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|Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust||The Pareto Law||Amorality of neoliberal elite||Moral degradation of the US elite||Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?||Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite||Two Party System as polyarchy|
|Factional struggle within the elite||Corporatism||Neo-fascism||National Security State||New American Militarism||Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition||Pluralism as a myth|
|Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Casino Capitalism||Inverted Totalitarism||Predator state||Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||What's the Matter with Kansas|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||US and British media are servants of security apparatus||Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections||The Rise of the New Global Elite||The importance of controlling the narrative||New American Caste System||Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich|
|Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy||Real war on reality||Media-Military-Industrial Complex||Groupthink||Skeptic Quotations||Humor||Etc|
|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.
Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief
In political science and sociology, elite [dominance] theory is a theory of the state which seeks to describe the power relationships in contemporary society. The theory posits that a small minority, consisting of members of the economic elite, policy-planning networks (which include not only think tanks, but also part of academia, see Econned) and selected members of "professional class", holds the most political power. They acquire this power bypassing the democratic elections process and are able to hold into it for a long time (see Two Party System as polyarchy).
This, in a way, is close to position of "classic" or paleo conservatives (not to mix them with neocons). Their position has never been simply that a hierarchical society is better than an egalitarian one; it always has been that an egalitarian, genuinely democratic society is impossible. That every society includes rulers and ruled, and it is rulers(the elite) who make critical decisions, no matter under which sauce: democratic republic, communist dictatorship, authoritarism or some other variant. The central question of politics, therefore is how to select the rulers in an optimal way so that those at the bottom of food chain were not mercilessly squeezed or wiped out.
Extremes meet and in fact Bolsheviks were early adopters of the same "elite dominance" vision as paleoconservatives. Lenin’s classic question “who, whom?” is an essence of Bolshevism. While Bolsheviks promised that a classless society would one day emerge as a variant of Christ Second Coming, in the meantime, however, they were open and enthusiastic practitioners of brutal power politics which they shrewdly called "dictatorship of proletariat", while in reality it was a dictatorship of the Party elite and state bureaucrats (so called "Nomenklatura"). Neoliberalism borrowed a lot from Bolshevism and also created "New Class" out of financial elite, modules of Silicon Valley and military industrial complex. It falsely promoted the idea that the rising tide lift all boats, while in reality middle class sinks under neoliberalism lower and lower and lost both its standard of living and some privileges.
Under neoliberalism any democracy even theoretically is impossible and to claim otherwise is to engage in open and blatant propaganda. Even revolt of people, which is the past was a powerful control mechanism of the elite, now is very unlikely due to the power and sophistication of repressive apparatus and advances in communications, power at which functionless of Stasi could only dream.. Through positions in corporations and corporate boards, as well as the influence over the policy-planning networks through financial support of foundations`` or positions with think tanks or policy-discussion groups, members of the "elite" are able to exert dominant power over the policy decisions of the corporations in their own favor (outsized bonuses of top executives in large corporations is just one example here) and subdue the national governments to the interests of those corporations due to financial levers that corporate wealth provides in influencing politics of the society.
A recent example of this can be found in the Forbes Magazine article  (published in December 2009) entitled The World's Most Powerful People, in which Forbes lists the 67 people, which the editors consider to be the most powerful people in the world (assigning one "slot" for each hundred million of humans).
The initial variant of this theory was proposed In 1956, C Wright Mills. In his book The Power Elite he described how political, corporate and military leaders in the US made policy with minimal, if al all, control, or even just consideration of preferences or concerns of ordinary citizens.
The majority of Americans now feel they are ruled by a remote, detached from their needs elite class. As Robert Johnson noted "Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. Their slogan is: "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." That creates as Christopher Hayes noted "national mood of exhaustion, frustration and betrayal" at the "near total failure of each pillar institution of our society."
As soon as we understand the dominance of elite is inevitable several fundamental questions arise:
Elite dominance theory postulates that there are powerful barriers that exist for citizens participation in the control of government. Rulers are always detached form ruled and pursue the set of interests that only partically if at all overlaps with the interest of the public at large. In less "politically correct" terms we can state that outside rare moments when ideology collapses, "rank-and-file" citizens are politically powerless. Still the stability of the society depends on the ability of the most capable members of the society, no matter in what strata they were born, to rise to the top. Equal opportunities in education in this sense are of paramount importance and represent a real "safety valve" in the society.
As for the question whether the elite is interested in stability and well-being of the given society, the key problem is to determine about which society we are talking. Elite low operates in transnational categories and can value stability of "transnational world" higher then stability and well-being of a given society. The idea that the national elite acts in the interest of the nation is now under review. Dissolution of the USSR, when the elite (aka nomenklatura) singlehandingly decimated and "privatized" the whole country to get their "fair share" of wealth is a telling example, a textbook example of self-centered and destructive behavior of new "transnational" elites.
It has shown that modern elites are not anymore connected with their country of origin and social background and roots. Paradoxically, the KGB elite actively participated in dismantling of the USSR, and Gorbachov was put in power mostly by efforts of Andropov, the guy who was the head of KGB. Here is one telling comment:
IHaveLittleToAdd, Aug 28, 2014 9:03:13 AM
Considering the non-elite citizens of the US have effectively no say in policy, what would happen if all of a sudden our government and media began shooting straight? Seems to me, pretty much nothing. It's not that most of the people I know don't realize we are being deceived to advance an altogether hidden agenda, it's that they simply don't care and are unaware of even the fabricated story.
In other words, the world's ruling elites are abandoning their host countries. They have a global vision and ambitions, their families often live in countries other are then their native country (and the country of main business), and they do not accept any constraints (such as level of taxation) and limits (such as local laws) in the pursuance of their egotistical interests, which are basically money oriented.
They move their money to offshore zones to avoid taxation. They break with impunity local laws to increase profits. It is now common for the leaders and members of the ruling elite to base self esteem upon material success, accumulation of raw wealth, emphasize Randian positivist philosophy and downplay humanistic ideals such as respect and tolerance. They no longer feel in the same boat as the rest of the society and openly worship on the altar of unlimited, pathological greed. This is especially noticeable among the US and GB financial elite. In the USA they also morphed both Republican party and Democratic party into a single party of rent-seekers on behalf of the wealthier members of society.
Marx would turn in his grave, if he saw how his idea of international unity of workers mutated into the actual international unity of elites. And how elites instead of workers implement a version of socialism, "socialism for rich", or "corporate welfare society". And they do it much more effectively then communists ever managed to implement "socialism for working class" (which actually was never a real goal, just a convenient slogan). And like Bolsheviks they also practice redistribution of profits. In the same direction toward "nomenklatura", but much more effectively (also under Stalin regime position in nomenklatura was a precarious, as Stalin practiced "purges" as a method for rotation of the elite)
With NAFTA as a prominent example, Jeff Faux had shown how national elites are morphing into a global governing class ('The Party of Davos') and are shaping the new global economy alongside the lines of their neoliberal gospel. Their long arms are the IMF, the WTO, transnational corporations and transnational economic agreements. Being transnational the US elite does not care that the technological engine of the 20th century, the USA, is fatally wounded. That its high-tech industry, which was envy of the whole world is now outsourced, education way too expensive and outside several top universities is quite mediocre, and its scientific power is waning.
In other words they no longer believe in a Benjamin Franklin's dictum: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
|“Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”|
Classic Elite [Dominance] Theory is based on several ideas:
|Quintile of population||Income|
The Pareto principle has also been used to attribute the widening economic inequality in the United States to 'skill-biased technical change'—i.e. income growth accrues to those with the education and skills required to take advantage of new technology and globalization.
The top twelve classical elite theorists include
He also extended on the idea that a whole elite can be replaced by a new one and how one can circulate from being elite to non-elite.
Mosca asserts that elites have intellectual, moral, and material superiority and/or other qualities that is highly esteemed and influential.
Michels stressed several factors that underlie the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy'.
The delegation leads to specialization: the development of bases of knowledge, skills, and resources among a leadership, which further serves to alienate the leadership from the 'mass and rank' and entrenches the leadership in office.
In other words rule by an elite (aka "oligarchy") is inevitable within any large organization and society as a whole because both "tactical and technical necessities". As Michels stated:
"It is organization which gives birth to the dominion of the elected over the electors, of the mandataries over the mandators, of the delegates over the delegators. Who says organization, says oligarchy".
He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy." That means that the official goal of democracy of eliminating elite rule is impossible, and any "democracy" is always just a façade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite. What is important is the level of mobility of "non-elite" to the elite and the rotation of the elite.
Mills proposed that those groups emerged through a process of rationalization at work that occurs in all advanced industrial societies. And in all of them power became concentrated at the very top (0.01%), funneling overall control into the hands of a very small, somewhat corrupt group. This tendency is reflected in a decline of politics as an arena for debate about social change and relegation it to a merely formal level of discourse about non-essential issues, a smokescreen for backroom dealings of the oligarchy,
This macro-scale analysis sought to point out that the degradation of democracy in "advanced" societies in not accidental. It reflects the fact that real power generally lies outside of the elected representatives. A main influence on the emergence of this views on politics was Franz Leopold Neumann's book, Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 , a study of how Nazism came to power in the German democratic state.
It provided the tools to analyze the structure of a political system and served as a warning of what could happen in a modern capitalistic democracy.
The study debunks current mythology about the level of ‘democracy’ is present within urban politics.
This type of analysis was also used in later, larger scale, studies such as that carried out by M. Schwartz examining the power structures within the corporate elite in the USA.
Putnam saw the development of technical and exclusive knowledge among administrators and other specialist groups as a mechanism by which power is stripped from the democratic process and slipped sideways to the advisors and specialists influencing the decision making process.
"If the dominant figures of the past hundred years have been the entrepreneur, the businessman, and the industrial executive, the ‘new men’ are the scientists, the mathematicians, the economists, and the engineers of the new intellectual technology."
Previous consensus was that elite generally shares the idea that the society in which they live works best when all members of society can engage in upward mobility and improve their status via education and entrepreneurship. If there is significant upward mobility channels then members of society perceive themselves as belonging to the same team and care about ensuring that that team succeeds.
But in new" internationalized" world dominated by transnational corporations, the notion that a company or corporate executive of transnational corporation or professional (for example, IT professional) working is such a corporation is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin and work for its benefit is passé. The elites of today are bound to their corporations, one another, not to the countries. And their greed is just overwhelming and decimates all other considerations such as patriotism and moral obligations. Amorality became a norm.
People outside the elite became just tools, not compatriots and their standard of living means nothing. This new generation of transnational elite are running the country like a regular for profit corporation in which they are both the members of the board and the controlling shareholders.
Not all elites are created equal. In the last half-century we have witnessed a dramatic expansion of American corporate power into every corner of the world, accompanied by an equally awesome growth in U.S. military power. The means the US elite is higher on pecking order then elites of other countries. That does not make it less transnational. And this new power of the USA as a sole superpower state is not used in traditional way to conquer and plunder the countries (like the USA did in Philippines, Mexico and other countries in the past). Instead it is used to support subservient regimes that favor business interests of transnational companies, putting those interests above interest of the country and its people. And if necessity remove non-complaint regimes by force The USA foreign policy now is essentially based on the coercive use of economic, political, and military power to expropriate other nations land, labor, capital, natural resources, commerce, and markets in the interests of transnational corporation, not in the interest of the American people. Now the decisive factor in the selection of allies and foes is the respective actors' position on "free market policies" like trade liberalization, privatization and deregulation, that favor international corporations and related transnational part of elite. In fact, the USA recent "patterns of intervention" reveal no or little correlation between democratic ideals and the role the US plays in the affairs of other nations. Globalization that is very successfully enforced by the USA foreign policy establishment (which contrary to its critics proved to be very apt and competent in achieving its goals) amounts to a Quiet coup d'état by transnational capital over the peoples of the world, subverting democracy and national autonomy everywhere including the USA itself, while ushering in a new stage of international expropriation of resources in the interest of elite and sending the US citizens to die for the benefit of transnational corporations. the blowback for the US people includes a national security state, an inviolable Pentagon budget, and rampant PTSD among military personnel. From this point of view the popular but simplistic notion that a neoconservative cabal headed by George W. Bush has somehow 'hijacked' the U.S. government looks extremely naive.
In effect the transnational elite behaves as an occupying power, although less brutal, toward the US population as well. In a way America is just another casualty of the new transnational elite. Cutbacks in social programs, decaying infrastructure, declining wages, massive unemployment, and the rise of municipalities facing bankruptcy means not only that a republic in decline, but that unchecked appetites of transnational elite fit classic Marxist scenario -- to expropriate as much above minimum subsistence level as possible.
An important additional factor is the a new elite despise commoners. As Christoper Lasch pointed out in his groundbreaking book: "The new elites, the professional classes in particular, regard the masses with mingled scorn and apprehension."
Playing with financial flows as if they are computer game lead to high levels of unemployment, which can no longer be regarded as aberrational, but due to labor arbitrage and dramatically improved communications became a necessary part of the working mechanisms of modern capitalist mode of production.
Oligarchy became really audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate. "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." Crass materialism and accumulation of excessive wealth became the primary goal. Privatization and sell of public assets -- the mean to achieve those goals.
They have what Dr. John McMurtry has termed "The Ruling Group Mind" when reality is warped to conform to manufactured delusions submerging the group and its members within a set of hysteria, denials and projections...
The USA still has a privileged position in this "new world order" but no my much. As Napoleon Bonaparte observed
"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes.
Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
Christopher Lasch (1932-1994) was a historian and penetrating social critic. He was the first who promoted the idea that the values and attitudes of elites and those of the working classes have dramatically diverged to the extent that elite became a natural "fifth column" within the state and generally hostile to the nation-state well-being and especially to the well-being of lower strata of the population.
In 1994, Lasch had come to believe that the economic and cultural elite of the United States, who historically has insured the continuity of a culture had lost faith in the traditional values (which that organized the country culture since its inception), and replaced then with unrestrained greed . He saw a threat to the continuation of Western civilization was not a mass revolt as envisioned by the pro-communist New Left of the 1960's, but a rejection of its liberal and pluralistic values by the educated elite. (see Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult)
In the process of throwing off elements of traditional morality, transnational elite adopted Nietzschean "Übermensch" mentality (typically in the form of Objectivism). They also have mastered the art of the shameless transgression of authority for their own enrichment. This tendency became possible because of computer revolution. Computers dramatically increased the capability of transnational corporation making possible growth far beyond that was possible before them. They also enabled "hacking" on monetary system to the extent that was not possible in 1920, although financial elite were always capable to find a sure way to a huge crash to be bailed out by the state again and again. .
Here is a couple of insightful reviews from Amazon:
According to Lasch, contrary to the thesis advanced by Ortega y Gasset in The Revolt of the Masses, the revolt of the masses is over ending in the defeat of communism and is to be followed by a revolt of the cultural elite. Lasch advances arguments showing how we have reached a new stage of political development in America where the elite have become increasingly detached from the concerns of the common man. Unlike the elite of past ages, the former aristocracy of wealth and status, the new elite constitutes an aristocracy of merit. However, unlike in past ages, the new elite have increasingly alienated themselves from the common man. Lasch demonstrates how an increasing division between rich and poor, in which the working class has become alienated from the intellectual class of "symbolic analysts", has led to an utter sense of apathy among the American people.
In addition, the values of the new intellectual class are utterly different from the values of the man in the street. While the working class is fundamentally culturally conservative (a fact which Lasch has certainly latched onto) demanding moral certainties on such issues as homosexual rights, abortion, feminism, patriotism, and religion, the intellectual class demands political correctness advocating affirmative action, feminism, homosexual liberation, and promoting a radical (or rather, pseudo-radical) agenda.
Lasch seems to sympathize with the populists of old, who sought a sort of third way between the horrors of monopoly capitalism and the welfare state. Populists promoted the values of the common man, thus maintaining a cultural conservativism, while at the same time demonstrating an innate fear of bigness and far off bureaucracy. In addition, Lasch sees in communitarianism which seeks to emphasize the role of community, neighborhoods, and organic connectedness (contrary to libertarianism which emphasizes the individual at the whim of market forces and cultural pluralism) a new hope for the working class and cultural conservativism. Those who are opposed to communitarianism argue that based on previous experiments with small close knit communities (particularly emphasizing cases such as Calvin's Geneva and the New England Puritans but also small towns and neighborhoods) that these are oppressive. Obviously a balance needs to be struck; nevertheless, a re-emphasis on community and traditional values is obviously an important way to achieve improvement in human conditions. Unlike many right wing libertarians who may give lip service to "family values" but who then place the family at the whim of unfettered markets and corporate interests, Lasch argues for a restraint in order to facilitate family and community growth. Lasch shows how class remains an important division with equality of opportunity being merely a further means to oppress the working class. In addition, Lasch shows how the left uses the issue of race (extended arbitrarily to include all minorities and underprivileged - as defined by them, particularly so as to include whites) to create further difficulties for the common man, who is utterly alienated by political correctness. Lasch also argues that feminism remains an important force for the new class, because by allowing more women to enter the workforce they have achieved a situation whereby they perpetuate themselves. Lasch also turns his attention to education, showing how the modern system of compulsory education has failed, emphasizing the failures of such individuals as Horace Mann, who sought to eliminate politics from education. In addition, Lasch turns his attention to the university system, a hotbed of political correctness, multiculturalism, and postmodernist philosophies. Lasch shows how these philosophies have totally alienated any contact that universities may have with ordinary citizens, becoming more and more jargon-laden and specialized while at the same time promoting values completely contrary to those of the common man. Lasch refers to this as "academic pseudo-radicalism" to show how it differs distinctly from true radicalism, how it is fundamentally elitist, and how it further denies opportunities to the very minorities that it claims to so valiantly protect. However, unlike many of the other right wing critics of the university system, Lasch argues that corporations have continued to play a large role in the development of departments leading to a weakening of humanities programs. I found Lasch's criticisms of political correctness in the university system to be particularly cogent. While economically Lasch is opposed to unfettered capitalism, nevertheless he finds room to criticize the welfare state and government bureaucracy which promotes dependency and a culture of victimization. Lasch also shows how respect and shame have been misunderstood by the modern age. In addition, Lasch shows how a culture of narcissism has developed in this country, in which individuals have become excessively self interested and rely heavily on psychotherapies which promote self esteem and "happiness" as the highest good. Lasch also argues for a return to traditional religious values as a means for achieving hope and providing an inoculation against otherwise difficult times.
As a cultural conservative, I found Lasch's brand of populism/communitarianism to be particularly interesting. Lasch's analysis of the elites seems to make sense in light of their lack of contact with everyday reality, their lack of respect for common sense and the average person, and their lack of ties to nation and place. Our country is increasingly controlled by political elites in both parties who serve merely as tourists with little interest in America beyond what makes them money. In this respect, I believe Lasch's arguments to be particularly well thought out.
caroline miranda "caroline miranda" (los angeles) -
The aristocratic elitism of modern society's version of royalty--well-educated liberals, university administrators, race and class baiters and political elites who fear accusations of being insufficiently sophisticated and sensitive--are tossed off their thrones by Christopher Lasch. Lasch gives a clear and comprehensive overview of the social and political upheaval of the last 40 years that occurred under the noses of a bland and uncaring populace.
He explains the changes in America that led to morality becoming a code word for judgmentalism, standards becoming a code word for racism, multiculturalism becoming a code word for denigrating an evil European culture, the loss of family and neighborhood hailed as necessary for individual freedom, and the death of social cohesiveness, which never was mourned. "Most of our spiritual energy is devoted precisely to a campaign against shame and guilt, the object of which is to make people 'feel good about themselves.' The churches themselves have enlisted in this therapeutic exercise...," he notes.
Lest one think this is a Bill Bennett-type bromide, Lasch's observations extend far beyond the ain't-divorce-and-latchkey-children-terrible speech and extends to the paradox of modern society in which people have never been better off materially because of capitalism but so in danger of losing the core of their souls and their society's democratic values.
Individuality without community connection and the disintegration of unstated but commonly understood traditional rules and obligations that neighbors and a community once believed they owed other threaten democracy, Lasch believes.
When multiculturalism is seen from a limited tourist-type approach of folk dances and exotic food, when crime and violence in ethnic neighborhoods replace social cohesiveness, when impersonal malls and fast food restaurants displace informal gathering spots where people once discussed ideas and experiences, and when intimidation and name-calling replace reasoned debate, the country is deeply troubled, he notes. Worse yet, no one seems to find these developments alarming, so enmeshed they are in their structured public work worlds and isolated private home worlds.
Lasch pessimistically regrets the faltering of the foundation of a culture lost the very core of its democratic ideals: reasoned governance by an informed populace with a sense of community and ethics. He decries the usurpation of cultural norms instigated by elites, who rarely venture outside their smug circle of we-know-best-for-you compatriots and who refuse to acknowledge a need for individual responsibility and rather see the average, ordinary working person as a spigot for unending social spending and an unsophisticated inferior.
"...Identity politics has come to serve as a substitute for religion--or at least for the feeling of self-righteousness that is so commonly confused with religion," he says, while meanwhile decrying the modern tendency to use religion as a way to achieve personal happiness instead of as a guide to rightful living.
Lasch's clear and flowing writing style and his insights into the disorder and straying of modern society from its historical anchor make the book a timely and informative expose of many of the ills of modern society.
Simon Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management. He wrote an influential piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup. While in reality translation elite is much broader, he concentrated on financial elite (or financial oligarchy) as the dominant player among them and provided an interesting perspective on how they got dominant power position and fully control government of a particular country (in this case the USA was an example):
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.When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.
In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.
But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.
The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.
Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.
Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin. It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.
He lays out the threat that the American society faced now -- capture of the government by the finance industry:
"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."
"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."
In his NPR interview with Terry Gross he demonstrated that he does not understand the fact that the mousetrap is closed and that financial oligarchy the ruling elite of the country without any significant countervailing forces. So he dispensed a pretty naive advice (Fighting America's 'Financial Oligarchy):
"We face at least two major, interrelated problems," Johnson writes. "The first is a desperately ill banking sector that threatens to choke off any incipient recovery that the fiscal stimulus might generate. The second is a political balance of power that gives the financial sector a veto over public policy, even as that sector loses popular support."
Johnson insists the U.S. must temporarily nationalize banks so the government can "wipe out bank shareholders, replace failed management, clean up the balance sheets, and then sell the banks back to the private sector." But, Johnson adds, the U.S. government is unlikely to take these steps while the financial oligarchy is still in place.
Unless the U.S. breaks up its financial oligarchy, Johnson warns that America could face a crisis that "could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression — because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big."
A good discussion of his key ideas can be found at Jesse's Café Américain Sep 02, 2012 post Reprise -- Simon Johnson On the Quiet Coup d'Etat in the Anglo-American Financial System
In an interview with MIT economist Simon Johnson which was posted here in February, 2009.
Have we heeded Simon Johnson's warning? Has he proven to be prescient? Is crony capitalism and the kleptocracy becoming bolder, more aggressive, ever more demanding?"I think I'm signaling something a little bit shocking to Americans, and to myself, actually. Which is the situation we find ourselves in at this moment, this week, is very strongly reminiscent of the situations we've seen many times in other places.Johnson also wrote a piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup. It may be worth re-reading.
But they're places we don't like to think of ourselves as being similar to. They're emerging markets. It's Russia or Indonesia or a Thailand type situation, or Korea. That's not comfortable. America is different. America is special. America is rich. And, yet, we've somehow find ourselves in the grip of the same sort of crisis and the same sort of oligarchs...
But, exactly what you said, it's a small group with a lot of power. A lot of wealth. They don't necessarily - they're not necessarily always the names, the household names that spring to mind, in this kind of context. But they are the people who could pull the strings. Who have the influence. Who call the shots...
...the signs that I see this week, the body language, the words, the op-eds, the testimony, the way they're treated by certain Congressional committees, it makes me feel very worried.
I have this feeling in my stomach that I felt in other countries, much poorer countries, countries that were headed into really difficult economic situation. When there's a small group of people who got you into a disaster, and who were still powerful. Disaster even made them more powerful. And you know you need to come in and break that power. And you can't. You're stuck....
The powerful people are the insiders. They're the CEOs of these banks. They're the people who run these banks. They're the people who pay themselves the massive bonuses at the end of the last year. Now, those bonuses are not the essence of the problem, but they are a symptom of an arrogance, and a feeling of invincibility, that tells you a lot about the culture of those organizations, and the attitudes of the people who lead them...
But it really shows you the arrogance, and I think these people think that they've won. They think it's over. They think it's won. They think that we're going to pay out ten or 20 percent of GDP to basically make them whole. It's astonishing....
...these people are throughout the system of government. They are very much at the forefront of the Treasury. The Treasury is apparently calling the shots on their economic policies.
This is a decisive moment. Either you break the power or we're stuck for a long time with this arrangement."
Bill Moyer's Journal - Interview with Simon Johnson, February, 2009.Here is the introduction to this in The Fall of the American Republic: The Quiet Coup d'Etat in August 2010.As far as I can tell, we are right on track for a very bad time of it. And you might be surprised at how far a belief in exceptionalism and arrogant superiority can go before it finally ends, or more likely, falls."I am not so optimistic that this reform is possible, because there has in fact been a soft coup d'etat in the US, which now exists in a state of crony corporatism that wields enormous influence over the media and within the government.
Let's be clear about this, the oligarchs are flush with victory, and feel that they are firmly in control, able to subvert and direct any popular movement to the support of their own fascist ends and unshakable will to power.
This is the contempt in which they hold the majority of American people and the political process: the common people are easily led fools, and everyone else who is smart enough to know better has their price. And they would beggar every middle class voter in the US before they will voluntarily give up one dime of their ill gotten gains.
But my model says that the oligarchs will continue to press their advantages, being flushed with victory, until they provoke a strong reaction that frightens everyone, like a wake up call, and the tide then turns to genuine reform."
An interesting variation of the quiet coup theory was advanced by Mike Lofgren in his influence article Revolt of the Rich (TAC, August 27, 2012)
It was 1993, during congressional debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement. I was having lunch with a staffer for one of the rare Republican congressmen who opposed the policy of so-called free trade. To this day, I remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens.”
That was only the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.
At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. Some looked at the demise of the Soviet Union and foresaw the territorial state breaking up into statelets of different ethnic, religious, or economic compositions. This happened in the Balkans, the former Czechoslovakia, and Sudan. Others predicted a weakening of the state due to the rise of Fourth Generation warfare and the inability of national armies to adapt to it. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan lend credence to that theory. There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state.
I do not mean secession by physical withdrawal from the territory of the state, although that happens from time to time—for example, Erik Prince, who was born into a fortune, is related to the even bigger Amway fortune, and made yet another fortune as CEO of the mercenary-for-hire firm Blackwater, moved his company (renamed Xe) to the United Arab Emirates in 2011. What I mean by secession is a withdrawal into enclaves, an internal immigration, whereby the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot.
Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?
Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. I discussed this with a radio host who recounted a story about Robert Rubin, former secretary of the Treasury as well as an executive at Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup. Rubin was being chauffeured through Manhattan to reach some event whose attendees consisted of the Great and the Good such as himself. Along the way he encountered a traffic jam, and on arriving to his event—late—he complained to a city functionary with the power to look into it. “Where was the jam?” asked the functionary. Rubin, who had lived most of his life in Manhattan, a place of east-west numbered streets and north-south avenues, couldn’t tell him. The super-rich who determine our political arrangements apparently inhabit another, more refined dimension.
To some degree the rich have always secluded themselves from the gaze of the common herd; their habit for centuries has been to send their offspring to private schools. But now this habit is exacerbated by the plutocracy’s palpable animosity towards public education and public educators, as Michael Bloomberg has demonstrated. To the extent public education “reform” is popular among billionaires and their tax-exempt foundations, one suspects it is as a lever to divert the more than $500 billion dollars in annual federal, state, and local education funding into private hands — meaning themselves and their friends. What Halliburton did for U.S. Army logistics, school privatizers will do for public education. A century ago, at least we got some attractive public libraries out of Andrew Carnegie. Noblesse oblige like Carnegie’s is presently lacking among our seceding plutocracy.
In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse.
Stephen Schwarzman, the hedge fund billionaire CEO of the Blackstone Group who hired Rod Stewart for his $5-million birthday party, believes it is the rabble who are socially irresponsible. Speaking about low-income citizens who pay no income tax, he says: “You have to have skin in the game. I’m not saying how much people should do. But we should all be part of the system.”
But millions of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes do pay federal payroll taxes. These taxes are regressive, and the dirty little secret is that over the last several decades they have made up a greater and greater share of federal revenues. In 1950, payroll and other federal retirement contributions constituted 10.9 percent of all federal revenues. By 2007, the last “normal” economic year before federal revenues began falling, they made up 33.9 percent. By contrast, corporate income taxes were 26.4 percent of federal revenues in 1950. By 2007 they had fallen to 14.4 percent. So who has skin in the game?
... ... ...
Since the first ziggurats rose in ancient Babylonia, the so-called forces of order, stability, and tradition have feared a revolt from below. Beginning with Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre after the French Revolution, a whole genre of political writings—some classical liberal, some conservative, some reactionary—has propounded this theme. The title of Ortega y Gasset’s most famous work, The Revolt of the Masses, tells us something about the mental atmosphere of this literature.
But in globalized postmodern America, what if this whole vision about where order, stability, and a tolerable framework for governance come from, and who threatens those values, is inverted? What if Christopher Lasch came closer to the truth in The Revolt of the Elites, wherein he wrote, “In our time, the chief threat seems to come from those at the top of the social hierarchy, not the masses”? Lasch held that the elites—by which he meant not just the super-wealthy but also their managerial coat holders and professional apologists — were undermining the country’s promise as a constitutional republic with their prehensile greed, their asocial cultural values, and their absence of civic responsibility.
Lasch wrote that in 1995. Now, almost two decades later, the super-rich have achieved escape velocity from the gravitational pull of the very society they rule over. They have seceded from America.
Mike Lofgren also authored the book The Party Is Over How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. Here is quote from one of Amazon reviews:
Over time, that sense of entitlement insensibly changed Democrats into what we in the Pentagon would call ENABLERS of Republicans. The Democratic enablers unwittingly played a crucial role in the demolition of the American dream, not unlike that played by infiltration troops in blitzkrieg. Infiltration troops soften up the front by slipping through defenses to find or create holes and weak areas for the tanks to roar thru to reap chaos and destruction deep in the enemy's rear area. Only in this case, the rear area being ruined is the American middle class, and the flood of tanks is taken up by the flood money supplied by the oligarchs who feather their nests by buying Democrats as well as Republicans in one seamless auction.
Put bluntly, to protect a sense of hereditary entitlement to the power that accompanied the coattails of FDR and the New Deal, Democrats abandoned their heritage and moved to Wall Street, Big Pharma, Defense, etc., and in so doing, insensibly mutated into faux Republicans. If you doubt this, look at the enervating, quasi-neoliberal bloviating by the self-inflating Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) or the cynical triangulations and warmongerings of Messrs. Clinton and Obama. The abdication of traditional Democratic principles gave Republican crazies more room to get even crazier, and together the faux Republicans and the real crazy Republicans reinforced each other to create a rightward shift in the American political dynamic that unleashed the emergence of a new gilded age, together with the emergence of a legalized plutocracy that criminal Russian oligarchs would envy. And this mutation came about in a remarkably short time of 30 to 40 years.
In so doing, the Democrats sold out their most important constituency, i.e., John Q. Average American, and colluded in the historic swindle that brought the great American middle class to the brink of impoverishment and debt peonage, a condition some times referred to chillingly in the tone-deaf salons of Versailles on the Potomac as the "new normal."
If you think collusion is too strong a term, I would urge you to think about Bill Clinton's (the DLC's choice for president in the 1992 election) collusion with Republicans in 1999 to nullify of the Depression era Glass-Steagle Act -- one of monuments of reform in the New Deal. This nullification was one of the main deregulatory "initiatives" that unleashed the greedy excesses that led to the 2007-8 financial meltdown. When he left office, Bill Clinton, by the way, did not pick up his grips and retire to a modest house in Independence Missouri like Harry Truman; he chose instead to join the plutocratic elite, where he is now well on his way to becoming a card-carrying member of the one-tenth of one-percent club of the mega rich. The bottom line: the Democrats' sense of entitlement and the consequent corruption of their principles have been a necessary, if not sufficient, condition in the emergence of the current political-economy that is destroying what is left of the middle class in our good ole USA. The reader would make a great mistake if he or she allowed the hilariously disgusting Republican hijinks described by Lofgren to brand his book as an anti-Republican polemic written by a convert, and miss his main message.
Mike, of course, states clearly in his title that his subject is how the madness of the Republicans and the uselessness of the Democrats reinforced each other over the last 30 to 40 years to hose the American People. It is the degenerate nature of their symbiotic relationship that is his thesis and should be the Left's call to arms.
I do not count on this happening, however. The faux Republicans are far more likely to try to exploit the embarrassment of riches in Mike's book for their narrow short-term political advantage, in yet another demonstration of the hypocrisy and opportunism that are central pillars propping up their losing mentality.
Chicago neoclassical economics school is a well known pseudo-science school, one of the pillars of Economic Lysenkoism (along with Supply Side Economics). This is an economic cult, an ideology of financial oligarchy. So it is more proper to it not neoclassical, but as aptly suggested by Bill Black “theoclassical” or Chicago Ponzinomics. It is a neoliberal phenomenon, not neoclassical. Like in Lysenkoism, and high demand sects anybody who strays from the cult is in danger of being ostracized. As Mark Thoma observed:
Some years ago, when I first presented an empirical paper questioning some of the conventional views on trade to a high profile economics conference, a member of the audience (a very prominent economist and a former co-author of mine) shocked me with the question "why are you doing this?"
There is a useful part of neoclassical economy related to thinking about an aggregate social phenomena in terms of costs and benefits of individual participants, and that can be sometimes (but not always) as a useful supplementary approach. Bastartized version of this notion which tries to imply cost-benefit motives in all human interactions is called Freakonomics. Still you can view some choices people make as tradeoffs between desired goals and social constraints (which can interpreted as costs).
Still neoclassical economics as practiced by Chicago school is driven by ideology and financed by financial oligarchy.
And like Trofim Lysenko and his followers those people are as close to criminals as one can get. Like Rabbies and Catolic Priests can be criminals, the same is true about people in academic mantles. Corruption of academics is nothing new, but corruption of economists is a very dangerous mass form of white-collar crime as close to Madoff and his associates as one can get. This is the way we should look at the Chicago schools: kind of incarnation of Lysenko henchmen or, if you wish, Chicago mafia in a university environment. Actually similar way of thinking can be applied to Harvard (see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia ).
Is neoclassical economics a mafia? Sort of, says Christopher Hayes in a very well-written and very interesting piece in The Nation. He says orthodox economists are a close-knit group and are quick to penalize those among them or from outside who overstep the boundaries. Here is an excerpt:
So extreme is the marginalization of heterodox economists, most people don't even know they exist. Despite the fact that as many as one in five professional economists belongs to a professional association that might be described as heterodox, the phrase "heterodox economics" has appeared exactly once in the New York Times since 1981. During that same period "intelligent design," a theory endorsed by not a single published, peer-reviewed piece of scholarship, has appeared 367 times.
It doesn't take much to call forth an impressive amount of bile from heterodox economists toward their mainstream brethren. John Tiemstra, president of the Association for Social Economics and a professor at Calvin College, summed up his feelings this way: "I go to the cocktail parties for my old schools, MIT and Oberlin, and people are all excited about Freakonomics. I kind of wince and go off to another corner or have another drink." After the EPI gathering, Peter Dorman, an economist at Evergreen State College with a gentle, bearded air, related an e-mail exchange he once had with Hal Varian, a well-respected Berkeley economist who's moderately liberal but firmly committed to the neoclassical approach. Varian wrote to Dorman that there was no point in presenting "both sides" of the debate about trade, because one side--the view that benefits from unfettered trade are absolute--was like astronomy, while any other view was like astrology. "So I told him I didn't buy the traditional trade theory," Dorman said. "'Was I an astrologer?' And he said yes!"
Please note that some of the most close to Lysenkoism figures at Chicago, such as Cochrane and Fama, are in the business school rather than the econ department. And they were key enablers of Goldman Sacks and Co. looters. Deregulation wave was promoted by right wing extremists who recruited corrupted academicians like Milton Friedman to perform specific role of Trojan horse to undermine New Deal. He managed to made the "invisible hand" a prefect pocket picker! And the method of spreading influence was essentially borrowed from the Lysenko book: control the economic department and those who went to college and studied those theories in the 70’s and 80’s would then go to Wall St and Government and enact them. Control the key academic magazines and conferences and any aspiring economists need either to conform or leave the field.
Here is one telling comment about corruption of those modern day Lysenkoists in the blog Crooked Timber
ogmb 09.18.09 at 12:01 pm
...Cochrane is the AQR Capital Management Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth [formerly Graduate] School of Business. Which incidentally also makes his whining that Krugman ‘accuses us literally of adopting ideas for pay, selling out for “sabbaticals at the Hoover institution” and fat “Wall street paychecks”’ a bit malnourished in the introspection department, coming from someone who holds a chair sponsored by a quantitative trading firm at a school sponsored by the founder of an EMH investment firm. (Nevermind that Krugman never, literally or otherwise, accused Cochrane and his peers of selling out to Wall Street…)
In this ideology Milton Friedman is playing the role of false prophet and lesser "giants" producing continued steam of detached from reality papers and speeches. It also includes several clown who as Krugman noted have some qualities of irritable adolescents, but actually are proper heirs of Academician Trofim Lysenko:
And that same adolescent quality was evident in the reactions to the Obama administration’s attempts to deal with the crisis — as Brad DeLong points out, people like Robert Lucas and John Cochrane (not to mention Richard Posner, who isn’t a macroeconomist but gets his take from his colleagues) didn’t say that when serious scholars like Christina Romer based policy recommendations on Keynesian economics, they were wrong; the freshwater crowd declared that anyone with Keynesian views was, by definition, either a fool or intellectually dishonest. So the freshwater outrage over finding their own point of view criticized is, you might think, a classic case of people who can dish it out but can’t take it.
But it’s actually even worse than that.
When freshwater macro came in, there was an active purge of competing views: students were not exposed, at all, to any alternatives. People like Prescott boasted that Keynes was never mentioned in their graduate programs. And what has become clear in the recent debate — for example, in the assertion that Ricardian equivalence rules out any effect from government spending changes, which is just wrong — is that the freshwater side not only turned Keynes into an unperson, but systematically ignored the work being done in the New Keynesian vein. Nobody who had read, say, Obstfeld and Rogoff would have been as clueless about the logic of temporary fiscal expansion as these guys have been. Freshwater macro became totally insular. And hence the most surprising thing in the debate over fiscal stimulus: the raw ignorance that has characterized so many of the freshwater comments. Above all, we’ve seen the phenomenon of well-known economists “rediscovering” Say’s Law and the Treasury view (the view that government cannot affect the overall level of demand), not because they’ve transcended the Keynesian refutation of these views, but because they were unaware that there had ever been such a debate. It's a sad story. And the even sadder thing is that it’s very unlikely that anything will change: freshwater macro will get even more insular, and its devotees will wonder why nobody in the real world of policy and action pays any attention to what they say.
The proper label for neo-classical economics might be "theological voluntarism", the term which has some academic aura... There are several issues here:
Chicago (or as some called it freshwater) school specializes in deification of the market (often in the form of "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com).
Yves Smith’s in her book Econned, How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism discussed the role of corrupted economics professor in establishing and supporting the rule of financial oligarchy. Here is one Amazon review
Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy, September 25, 2010
There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.
Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments ("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.
Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.
The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.
The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.
The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Sheller story on p.9.
I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolsheviks rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, albeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".
That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.
It might well be that for certain part of this new transnational elite with their "cult of greed" can be characterized by a callous disregard for other people feelings typical for psychopaths. Moreover for new, first generation members of this elite those psychopathic tendencies (which does not mean that the person is an outright psychopath, or sociopath) might be a powerful engine in climb to the top and can play a important, if not decisive role in their success. They look more like "well compensated" sociopaths. See Authoritarians and Corporate Psychopaths as Toxic Managers for more information about typical traits that define this condition.
There’s a section in the book The Psychopath Test, in which British journalist Jon Ronson does the psychopath test on "Chainsaw Al" Dunlop, the former CEO of Sunbeam who was notorious for gleefully laying off thousands of workers to make more money. And he redefines a great number of the items on the checklist as business positives. He turned the psychopath test into “Who Moved My Cheese?” The thing that’s so startling about his story is that the more ruthlessly and remorselessly psychopathically he behaved when he was heading up Sunbeam and the company before Sunbeam — Scott — the more he was rewarded. As Times reported on 2011/09/20:
One in 25 bosses may be psychopaths — a rate that’s four times greater than in the general population — according to research by psychologist and executive coach Paul Babiak.
Babiak studied 203 American corporate professionals who had been chosen by their companies to participate in a management training program. He evaluated their psychopathic traits using a version of the standard psychopathy checklist developed by Robert Hare, an expert in psychopathy at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
Psychopaths, who are characterized by being completely amoral and concerned only with their own power and selfish pleasures, may be overrepresented in the business environment because it plays to their strengths. Where greed is considered good and profitmaking is the most important value, psychopaths can thrive.
Just look at the at their grandiosity, their pathological lying, their lack of empathy, their lack of remorse of the financial elite demonstrated during the crisis of 2008. I know there’s a danger in seeing psychopaths everywhere, but sometimes in this case it’s just impossible not to see some alarming correlations. Look at the apostils of deregulation in the USA such as:
Amorality and psychopathic tendencies of new transnational elite and a special breed of corrupted politicians who serve them are perfectly demonstrated in the new sport for crooked politicians, especially from the part of the US Republican Party which can be called neo-confederates.
Barbara Ellen in her Guardian column (Guardian March 2, 2013) pointed out that the Methodists, the United Reformed Church, the Church of Scotland and the Baptist Union have joined forces to publish a study called The Lies We Tell Ourselves. It highlights myths surrounding people and poverty, including Iain Duncan Smith's much trumpeted "families out of work for three generations" line (which, it turns out, has never been backed up by data).
The report argues that the government is "deliberately misrepresenting" the poor, blaming them for their circumstances while ignoring more complex reasons, including policy deficiencies. Moreover, they feel that this scapegoating is the result of collusion between politicians, the media and the public.
Increasingly, the shame is being taken out of poor-shaming. It didn't seem so long ago that most people would think twice about denigrating fellow citizens who were having a hard time. These days, it appears to have been sanctioned as a new sport for the elites. A politician is one thing but these attitudes are spreading and hardening among ordinary people too. Indeed, poverty seems a trigger to inspire hate speech that would be quickly denounced if it related to race or gender.
Is this our new default setting – that the needy are greedy? This chimes with a slew of government policies that appear to be founded on notions of bulletproof self-reliance, making no allowances for circumstances or sheer bad luck, and which many would require huge amounts of help to put into practice, never mind sustain. Meanwhile, the more fortunate are invited to pour scorn upon anyone who fails.
While there are people whose problem are self-inflicted for many this is not true. In reality substantial number of poor are former people of modest means hit by a serious disease and who run out of options.
And shaming poor is a pretty safe sport. The poor are poor. They have no money, no voice, no representatives, and no means to defend their interests. Poverty is a like collapse of domino – once the first domino falls, all others follow the suit. In such circumstances, if a group of people are "deliberately misrepresents" the real situation with the poor, then there's precious little they can do about it. The churches got it right – if anything, the truth seems so much worse that it must surely be time to put the shame back into poor-shaming.
Poor-shamers are bullies, and right now they're getting away with it.
State interests and interest of large social groups are "projected" on the elite making is less monolithic then otherwise it might be. Here is come to a complex question of "national elite" vs. "transnational elite". This question is often discussed under the banner of "Fifth column". In this sense Color revolutions can be viewed as attempts to "harmonize" elite with the requirements of international corporations plus geostrategic interests of the counties which "home" those corporations. See for example Russian experience in "white Revolution" of 2011-2012
In this sense Civil war can be viewed as a condition in which two parts of the elite in the same country can't reconcile their differences with peaceful means. That's definitely true about the US Civil War.
Existence of "ideologically charged" and openly nationalistic parties which periodically come to power in various countries somewhat undermines the thesis about international elite dominance, unless you assume that such parties represent "blowback" of internationalization of capital and come to power to protect the interest of some parts of the national elite threatened by "more international" (aka comprador) part of the elite. Which is historically true for NDSP (with military-industrial complex as the main supported of them as a tool against communists as well as against Jewish financial oligarchy) as well as for Bolsheviks in Russia (if we assume the theory that the initial core of Bolsheviks movement before Stalin purges was Russian Jewish intelligencia supported by the USA (via Trotsky connections) and some other countries (paradoxically Germany during the period of WWI; it was Germany that "delivered" to Russia by via a special train Bolshevik leaders caught at the beginning of WWI in various European countries including Germany, in violation of the their status as "interned" nationals for the duration of the First World War )).
"Resource nationalism" is another close, but more modern phenomenon
Nationalism is probably the most potent force for undermining the unity of international elite.
The elite in most European countries and the USA consists not of the "best of the breed". It became more like the result of adverse selection. Conversion to neoliberalism just made this problems more acute. At this point the problem of degeneration of elite comes to the forefront. George Bush II was clear a warning in the respect. Obama might well be the second bell. In criticizing the degeneration of the current US or GB elite, we should not forget that such processes are not new and in the past were the cause of several revolutions. Financial oligarchy of the neoliberal society is only a new name for aristocrats. And in the past the self-serving, decadent and corrupted upper class was the important source of instability in the society. level of degeneration of European elite which clearly demonstrated the fact the Cameron managed to came to power in GB in many respects makes the situation even more fragile than in the USA. Here is one telling quote (The EU's ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns):
It is generally accepted that "politics is the art of the possible" and yet the EU leaders are clearly engaged in the art of the absolutely impossible. The fact that they are all pretending like this is going to have some useful impact is truly a sign of how much the EU leadership has degenerated over the years. Can you imagine Helmut Schmidt, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher, François Mitterrand or Francisco Franco engaging in that kind of infantile nonsense? All these leaders had their bad aspects, but at least none of them were clowns, whereas when I look at the current EU leadership, especially Van Rumpey, Adners Fogh Rasmussen or José Manuel Barroso I get the feeling that I am looking at some ugly kindergarten of intellectually challenged clowns and, frankly, I can understand Mrs Nuland's feelings.
Degeneration of elites lead the denunciation of the elites, when to a large body of civil population became clear that the upper class is no longer fulfill their function, do not care about the people, and, in case of neoliberal elite, is not even the part of the same society -- it acquired features of a foreign, parasitizing on the national body occupation force.
If the elite is not regenerates itself, catastrophic crisis in Society became more likely. The state itself became a “quasi-state”: endowed with juridical statehood, yet lacking the political will, institutional capacity, and organized authority to protect human rights and provide socioeconomic welfare for the population. In this case a parallel political authority -- a shadow state replaces the "regular" stat – whose defining characteristic is the change of the role of security services in the governance of the state. See National Security State. Dissolution of the USSR was particularly connected with such a level of degeneration of the elite as well as betrayal of security services with KGB brass changing sides and adopting neoliberalism as a new ideology.At the same time while people like Obama and Cameron are merely instruments of neoliberalism and financial capital. So one explanation of the degradation of elite is the current crisis of neoliberalism. This is somewhat similar to the degradation of Politburo in last years of the USSR. They all however fit the definition of idiocy, repeating the same mistakes that prove so unfailingly disastrous, over and over, the inability to learn from their mistakes.
Here is one telling comment from Moon of Alabama discussion:
jayc | Aug 29, 2014 3:12:01 PM | 13
When Cameron started taking selfies at Mandela's funeral it undermined any remaining notion that he was some kind of leader, he was rather revealed as a mediocre middle-management suckup.
Western political leadership is chock full of these types. Policy is being developed at another level than elected representatives and middle-management is there to sell the policy.
I'm not sure NATO wants a full shooting proxy war - they don't care much about Ukraine or its people and would be content with new bases and new weapons programs.
The intent, it seems, is to isolate Russia from Europe and hope that the effects from sanctions could produce some sort of regime change or fracture the country into territories It seems that the Kiev regime has done just about everything possible to provoke a Russian invasion.
Western politicians and media, by their open hysteria and constant insistence that Russia has "invaded" and shot down a passenger plane, are invoking a sort of nostalgia for the Afghanistan invasion of 1978 or the KAL007 shoot down, when the evil empire stood revealed and the brave middle managers could rush to the barricades.
Unfortunately for them, Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next.
Crest | Aug 29, 2014 6:26:49 PM | 47@jayc 13"Russia hasn't played that game and because they are mediocre the West's political leadership cannot summon the imagination for what to do next."
This is a great line. Western elites have no imagination, because of a generation of brutally purging all dissent from the neoliberalism/financialist imperalism paradigm.
If you don't believe in the Washington consensus, you don't exist.
They simply can't think of anything better, and they won't allow themselves to try.
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orguncle tungsten , Jul 3 2020 7:08 utc | 107
Mina #101Maxwell's arrest makes me wonder if it is not about Trump throwing down the gauntlet?
Thank you Mina, yes that or the deep state throwing down the gauntlet. I don't think we can assume that Trump actually has control of the FBI. If he did he would likely have deep sixed the Democrazis through the Awan family spy and blackmail scam. But he didn't. They and Debbie Wasserman Shultz were protected/had dirt on DT.
If the kiddy fiddlers get outed following Ghislaine dropping some of her likely thousands of hours of home movies then that includes Trump and Biden.
In the fetid atmosphere of accusations against pussy grabbers and finger f#ckers and hair sniffers neither could survive. The pack will run rabid.
Is there a woman in the house? Yes, they cried AND she has experience!! Plus the campaign will be televised and it would be a virtual campaign because Covid. No need to rig audience, the polls or the balllot.
Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jeff Stryker , says: June 30, 2020 at 5:59 pm GMT@Rev. Spooner bout the Bill of Rights or the Constitution or community. Those are a joke to people whose money is made transnational.
The lumpens who have never traveled out of their state have no concept of geographic dimensions. They have never even left home. They think everyone is as patriotic as them and will fight and die for their country and their community.
I assure none of the elite care a whit. Penthouses look the same from Manhattan to Tokyo.
Ask the Boers in South Africa or Polish in Detroit who did not "sniff the wind" in time.
The guy who has a gun loaded in his pocket as an insurance policy has a plan and it does not end well for the person who hit him.
The elites have two or three passports, own businesses overseas, own houses.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The national security elite now wants us to believe we are seeing things that aren't really there. 'Gaslight' lobbycard, from left, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, 1944. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Ten years ago, "restraint" was considered code for "isolationism" and its purveyors were treated with nominal attention and barely disguised condescension. Today, agitated national security elites who can no longer ignore the restrainers -- and the positive attention they're getting -- are trying to cut them down to size.
We saw this recently when Peter Feaver, Hal Brands, and William Imboden, who all made their mark promoting George W. Bush's war policies after 9/11, published "In Defense of the Blob" for Foreign Affairs in April. My own pushback received an attempted drubbing in The Washington Post by national security professor Daniel Drezner ( he of the Twitter fame ): "For one thing, her essay repeatedly contradicts itself. The Blob is an exclusive cabal, and yet Vlahos also says it's on the wane."
One can be both, Professor. As they say, Rome didn't fall in a day. What we are witnessing are individuals and institutions sensing existential vulnerabilities. The restrainers have found a nerve and the Blob is feeling the pinch. Now it's starting to throw its tremendous girth around.
The latest example is from Michael J. Mazarr, senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation, which since 1948 has essentially provided the brainpower behind the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Mazarr published this voluminous warrant against restrainers in the most recent issue of The Washington Quarterly, which is run by the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Its editorial board reeks of the conventional internationalist thinking that has prevailed over the last 70 years.
In "Rethinking Restraint: Why It Fails in Practice," Mazarr insists that the critics have it all wrong: "American primacy" is way overstated and the U.S. has been more moderate in military interventions than it's given credit for. Moreover, he says, the restrainers divide current "US strategy into two broad caricatures -- primacy or liberal hegemony at one extreme, and restraint at the other. Such an approach overlooks a huge, untidy middle ground where the views of most US national security officials reside and where most US policies operate."
There is much to unpack in his nearly 10,000-word brief, and much to counter it. For example, Monica Duffy Toft has done incredible research into the history of U.S. interventions over the last 70 years, in part studying the number of times we've used force in response to incidents of foreign aggression. While the United States engaged in 46 military interventions from 1948 to 1991, from 1992 to 2017, that number increased fourfold to 188 (chart below). Kind of calls Mazarr's "frequent impulse to moderation" theory into question.
But I would like to zero in on the most infuriating charge, which mimics Drezner, Brands, Feaver, et al.: that the idea of a powerful, largely homogeneous foreign policy establishment dominating top levels of government, think tanks, media, and academia is really all in our heads. It's not real.
This weak attempt to gaslight the rest of us is an insult to George Cukor's 1944 Hollywood classic . It's unworthy. In the section "There is No Sinister National Security Elite," Mazarr turns to Stephen Walt (who wrote an entire book on the self-destructive Blob) and Andrew Bacevich (who has written that the ideology of American exceptionalism and primacy "serves the interests of those who created the national security state and those who still benefit from its continued existence"). This elite, both men charge, enjoy "status, influence, and considerable wealth" in return for supporting the consensus.
To this Mazarr contends, "Apart from collections of anecdotes, those convinced of the existence of such a homogenous elite offer no objective evidence -- such as surveys, interviews, or comprehensive literature reviews -- to back up these sweeping claims." Then failing to offer his own evidence, he argues:
on specific policy questions -- whether to go to war or conduct a humanitarian intervention, or what policy to adopt toward China or Cuba or Russia or Iran -- debates in Washington are deep, intense, and sometimes bitter. To take just a single example from recent history, the Obama administration's decision to endorse a surge in Afghanistan came only after extended deliberation and soul-searching, and it included a major, and highly controversial, element of restraint -- a very public deadline to begin a graduated withdrawal.
Let's go back to 2009, because some of us actually remember these "deep, intense, and sometimes bitter" times.
First, the only "bitter debates" were between the military, which wanted to "surge" 40,000 troops into Afghanistan in the first year of Obama's presidency, and the president, who had promised to bring the war to an end. After months, Obama "compromised" when in December 2009, he announced a plan for 30,000 new troops (which would bring the then-current number to 98,000) and a timetable for withdrawal of 18 months hence, which really pleased no one , not even the outlier restrainers, like Mazarr suggests.
In fact, restrainers knew the timetable was bunk, and it was. In 2011, there were still 100,000 troops on the ground. In fact, it didn't get down to pre-2009 levels until December 2013.
But let it be clear: the only contention in December 2009 was over the timetable (the hawks at the Heritage Foundation and AEI wanted an open-ended commitment) and whether the president should have been more deferential to his generals (General Stanley McCrystal had just been installed as commander in Afghanistan and the mainstream media was fawning ). Otherwise, every major think tank in town and national security pundit blasted out press releases and op-eds supporting the presidents strategy with varying degrees of enthusiasm. None, aside from the usual TAC suspects, raised a serious note against it. Examples:
John " Eating Soup with a Knife " Nagl, Center for a New American Security : "This strategy will protect the Afghan population with international forces now and build Afghan security forces that in time will allow an American drawdown–leaving behind a more capable Afghan government and a more secure region which no longer threatens the United States and our allies." Each of the CNAS fellows on this press release offer a variation on the same theme, with some more energetic than others. Ditto for this one from The Council on Foreign Relations .
Vanda Felhab-Brown, Brookings Institution : "there would have been no chance to turn the security situation around, take the momentum away from the Taliban, and hence, enable economic development and improvements in governance and rule of law, without the surge."
David Ignatius, The Washington Post : "Obama has made what I think is the right decision: The only viable 'exit strategy' from Afghanistan is one that starts with a bang -- by adding 30,000 more U.S. troops to secure the major population centers, so that control can be transferred to the Afghan army and police."
Ahead of Obama's decision (during the "bitter debate"), the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon, a fixture on The Washington Pos t op-ed pages and cable news shows -- was pushing for the maximum : "President Barack Obama should approve the full buildup his commanders are requesting, even as he also steels the nation for a difficult and uncertain mission ahead."
Meanwhile, all of the so-called progressive national security groups, including the Center for American Progress, Third Way, and the National Security Network, heralded Obama's plan as "a smarter, stronger strategy that stated clear objectives and is based on American security interests, namely preventing terrorist attacks."
"Counterintuitively," they said in a joint statement , "sending more troops will allow us to get out more quickly."
Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has always been a thoughtful skeptic, but he never fails to offer a hedge on whatever new plan comes down the pike. Here he is on Obama's surge , exemplifying how difficult it was/is for the establishment to just call a failure a failure:
The strategy President Obama has set forth in broad terms can still win if the Afghan government and Afghan forces become more effective, if NATO/ISAF national contingents provide more unity of effort, if aid donors focus on the fact that development cannot succeed unless the Afghan people see real progress where they live in the near future, and if the United States shows strategic patience and finally provides the resources necessary to win.
That's a lot of "ifs," but they provide amazing cover for those who don't want to admit the cause is lost -- or can't -- because their work depends on giving the military and State Department something to do. This is what happens when your think tank relies on government contracts and grants and arms industry money . According to The New York Times, major defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing gave some $77 million to a dozen think tanks between 2010 and 2016.
They aren't getting the money to advocate that troops, contractors, NGO's, and diplomats come home and stay put. Money and agenda underwrites who is heading the think tanks, who speaks for the national security programs, and who populates conferences, book launches, speeches, and television appearances. Mazarr doesn't think this can be quantified but it's rather easy. Google "2009 Afghanistan conference/panel/speakers" and plenty of events come up. Pick any year, the results are predictable.
Here's a Brookings Panel in August 2009 , assessing the Afghanistan election, including Anthony Cordesman, Kimberly Kagan, and Michael O'Hanlon. Not a lot of "diversity" there. Here's a taste of the 2009 annual CNAS conference, which featured the usual suspects, including David Petraeus, Ambassador Nicholas Burns, and 1,400 people in attendance. Aside from Andrew " Skunk at the Garden Party " Bacevich, there was little to distinguish one world view from another among the panelists. (CNAS was originally founded in support of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign; she spoke at the inaugural conference in 2007. Former president Michele Flournoy later landed in the E-Ring of the Pentagon.) Meanwhile, here's a Hudson Institute tribute to David Petraeus, attended by Scooter Libby, and a December 2009 Atlantic Council panel with -- you guessed it -- Kimberly Kagan and two military representatives thrown in to pump up McChrystal and NATO and staying the course.
On top of it all, these events and their people never failed to get the attention of the major corporate media, which just loved the idea of warrior-monk generals "liberating" Afghanistan through a "government in a box" counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy.
Honestly, thank goodness for Cato , which before the new Quincy Institute, was the only think tank to feature COIN critics like Colonel Gian Gentile , and not just as foils. The Center for the National Interest also harbored skeptics of the president's strategy. But they were outnumbered too.
This is what I want to convey. Mazarr boasts there is a galaxy of opinion today over U.S. policy in Iran, China, Russia, NATO. I would argue there is a narrow spectrum of technical and ideological disagreement in all these cases, but nowhere was it more important to have strong, competing voices than during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and there was none of that in any realistic sense of the word.
I challenge him and the others to take down the straw men and own the ecosystem to which they owe their success in Washington (Mazarr just published a piece called "Toward a New Theory of Power Projection" for goodness sake). Stop trying to pretend what is there isn't. Realists and restrainers are happy to debate the merits of our different approaches, but gaslighting is for nefarious lovers and we're no Ingrid Bergman. about the author
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC since 2007, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.
Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Rurik , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 11:19 pm GMT@AnonFromTN
Orwell called this "newspeak". That's now the language of libtards.
and not just shitlibs, but across the entire length and breadth of our culture and society this Ministry of Truth-imposed doublethink masquerades as language intended to inform and explain, when it does the opposite.
George Will and Sean Hannity use newspeak with the same alacrity as Lawrence O'Donnell or Rachel Maddow. Israel has to defend itself. Putin's aggression and Russian meddling in our democracy.
'Quantitative easing' as a doubleplusgood expression for human history's most colossal case of mass-swindling the world has ever known.
it's everywhere, and the more it isn't noticed, the more sinister and diabolical it is.
It's like that Twilight Zone episode of the aliens that only wanted to 'serve man'.
'We're here to serve you'.
The writers of that episode certainly must have been thinking of a certain tribe of 'philanthropists' and owners of 'human rights' organizations.
it's our greatest strength!
Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 4:20 utc | 35
This statement by Jeffrey Sachs may as well also describe America's leadership crisis: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite."
Jun 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Nixon 68 is back with a vengeance, with President Trump placing himself as the guarantor/enforcer of Law & Order.
That slogan guaranteed Nixon's election, and was coined by Kevin Phillips, then an expert in "ethnic voting patterns" .
Philips makes for a very interesting case. In 1999, he became the author of a seminal book: The Cousins' Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America, where he tracks how a "small Tudor kingdom" ended up establishing global hegemony.
The division of the English-speaking community into two great powers -- "one aristocratic, 'chosen' and imperial; and one democratic, 'chosen' and manifest destiny-driven", as Philips correctly establishes -- was accomplished by, what else, a war triptych: the English Civil War, the American revolution and the U.S. Civil War.
Now, we may be at the threshold of a fourth war -- with unpredictable and unforeseen consequences.
As it stands, what we have is a do-or-die clash of models: MAGA against an exclusivist Fed/Wall Street/Silicon Valley-controlled system.
MAGA -- which is a rehash of the American dream -- simply cannot happen when society is viciously polarized; vast sectors of the middle class are being completely erased; and mass immigration is coming from the Global South.
In contrast, the Fed as a Wall Street hedge fund meets Silicon Valley model, a supremely elitist 0.001% concoction, has ample margins to thrive.
The model is based on even more rigid corporate monopoly; the preeminence of capital markets, where a Wall Street boom is guaranteed by government debt-buybacks of its own debt; and life itself regulated by algorithms and Big Data.
This is the Brave New World dreamed by the techno-financial Masters of the Universe.
Trump's MAGA woes have been compounded by a shoddy geopolitical move in tandem with Law and Order: his re-election campaign will be under the sign of "China, China, China." When in trouble, blame a foreign enemy.
That comes from serially failed opportunist Steve Bannon and his Chinese billionaire sidekick Guo Wengui, or Miles Guo. Here they are in Statue of Liberty mode announcing their no holds barred infowar campaign to demonize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to Kingdom Come and "free the Chinese people".
Bannon's preferred talking point is that if his infowar fails, there will be "kinetic war". That is nonsense. Beijing's priorities are elsewhere. Only a few neo-conned Dr. Strangeloves would envisage "kinetic war"- as in a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Chinese territory.
Alastair Crooke has masterfully shown how the geoeconomic game, as Trump sees it, is above all to preserve the power of the U.S. dollar : "His particular concern would be to see a Europe that was umbilically linked to the financial and technological heavyweight that is China. This, in itself, effectively would presage a different world financial governance."
But then there's The Leopard syndrome: "If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change". Enter Covid-19 as a particle accelerator, used by the Masters of the Universe to tweak "things" a bit so they not only stay as they are but the Master grip on the world tightens.
The problem is Covid-19 behaves as a set of -- uncontrollable -- free electrons. That means nobody, even the Masters of the Universe, is able to really weigh the full consequences of a runaway, compounded financial/social crisis.
Russiagate, now totally debunked , has unfolded in effect as a running coup: a color non-revolution metastasizing into Ukrainegate and the impeachment fiasco. In this poorly scripted and evidence-free morality play with shades of Watergate, Trump was cast by the Democrats as Nixon.
Big mistake. Watergate had nothing to do with a Hollywood-celebrated couple of daring reporters. Watergate represented the industrial-military-security-media complex going after Nixon. Deep Throat and other sources came from inside the Deep State. And it was not by accident that they were steering the Washington Post -- which, among other roles, plays the part of CIA mouthpiece to perfection.
Trump is a completely different matter. The Deep State keeps him under control. One just needs to look at the record: more funds for the Pentagon, $1 trillion in brand new nuclear weapons, perennial sanctions on Russia, non-stop threats to Russia's western borders, (failed) efforts to derail Nord Stream 2. And this is only a partial list.
So, from a Deep State point of view, the geopolitical front -- containment of Russia-China -- is assured. Domestically, it's much more complicated.
As much as Black Lives Matter does not threaten the system even remotely like the Black Panthers in the 60s, Trump believes his own Law & Order, like Nixon, will once again prevail. The key will be to attract the white women suburban vote. Republican pollsters are extremely optimistic and even talking about a "landslide".
Yet the behavior of an extra crucial vector must be understood: what corporate America wants.
When we look at who's supporting Black Lives Matter -- and Antifa -- we find, among others, Adidas, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Bank of America, BMW, Burger King, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DHL, Disney, eBay, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Mastercard, McDonald's, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, WalMart, Warner Brothers and YouTube.
This who's who would suggest a completely isolated Trump. But then we have to look at what really matters; the class war dynamics in what is in fact a caste system , as Laurence Brahm argues.
Black Lives Matter, the organization and its ramifications, is essentially being instrumentalized by selected corporate interests to accelerate their own priority: to crush the U.S. working classes into a state of perpetual anomie, as a new automated economy rises.
That may always happen under Trump. But it will be faster without Trump. What's fascinating is how this current strategy of tension scenario is being developed as a classic CIA/NED playbook color revolution. An undisputed, genuine grievance -- over police brutality and systemic racism -- has been completely manipulated, showered with lavish funds, infiltrated, and even weaponized against "the regime".
Just to control Trump is not enough for the Deep State -- due to the maximum instability and unreliability of his Demented Narcissus persona. Thus, in yet another priceless historical irony, "Assad must go" metastasized into "Trump must go".
The cadaver in the basement
One must never lose track of the fundamental objectives of those who firmly control that assembly of bought and paid for patsies in Capitol Hill: to always privilege Divide and Rule -- on class, race, identity politics.
After all, the majority of the population is considered expendable. It helps that the instrumentalized are playing their part to perfection, totally legitimized by mainstream media . No one will hear lavishly funded Black Lives Matter addressing the real heart of the matter: the reset of the predatory Restored Neoliberalism project, barely purged of its veneer of Hybrid Neofascism. The blueprint is the Great Reset to be launched by the World Economic Forum in January 2021.
It will be fascinating to watch how Trump deals with this "Summer of Love" remake of Maidan transposed to the Seattle commune . The hint from Team Trump circles is that he will do nothing: a coalition of white supremacists and motorcycle gangs might take care of the "problem" on the Fourth of July.
None of this sweetens the fact that Trump is at the heart of a crossfire hurricane: his disastrous response to Covid-19; the upcoming, devastating effects of the New Great Depression; and his intimations pointing to what could turn into martial law.
Still, the legendary Hollywood maxim -- "no one knows anything" -- rules. Even running with a semi-cadaver in a basement, the Democrats may win in November just by doing nothing. Yet Teflon Trump should never be underestimated. The Deep State may even realize he's more useful than they think.
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment June 18, 2020 at 11:28 pm GMT
An undisputed, genuine grievance – over police brutality and systemic racism…
Even Candace Owens understands that police are more likely to be killed or injured by “suspects” than the “suspects” are to be killed or injured by police. The militarization of police departments is a genuine grievance. The relatively few acts of actual police brutality out of millions of contacts in a year is not.
If there is “systemic racism”, it is systemic against White males.
There is no genuine systemic racism other than non-specific word games. Is there systemic racism in China? How about Japan?
Societies are a racial construct. They are built for the people/drivers that “invented” the society. Why would a Chinese or Japanese care about what a German or Nigerian thought should be done for their society?
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Jun 16 2020 3:36 utc | 87I'm always amused, nah that is a little harsh - dumbfounded is more reasonable, when Americans express dismay that 'their' constitution is not being adhered to by the elites.
The minutiae of American political history hasn't greatly concerned me after a superficial study at high school, when I realized that the political structure is corrupt and was designed to facilitate corruption.
The seeming caring & sharing soundbites pushed out by the 'framers' scum such as Thomas Jefferson was purely for show, an attempt to gather the cannon fodder to one side. This was simple as the colonial media had been harping on about 'taxation without representation' for decades.
It wasn't just taxes, in fact for the American based elites that was likely the least of it. The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites.
A well placed courtier would put a bagman into the regional center of a particular colony (each colony becoming a 'state' post revolution), so that if someone wanted to, I dunno, say export huge quantities of cotton, the courtier would charge that 'colonial' for getting the initial warrant, then take a hefty % of the return on the product - all collected by the on-site bagman then divvied up.
The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash.
The system was ponderous inaccurate & very expensive. Something had to be done, but selling revolutionary change to the masses on the basis of the need to enrich the already wealthy was not likely to be a winner. Consequently the high faulting blather.
The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state.
IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Dave C , 4 days agoRobert Schupp , 4 days ago
"That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." -George Carlin
You can't just move to American cities to pursue opportunity; even the high wages paid in New York are rendered unhelpful because the cost of housing is so high.
Dingo Jones , 3 days agoDirtysparkles , 4 days ago
@JOHN GAGLIANO Cost of living is ridiculous too.Jean-Pierre S , 4 days ago
Our country has become the American NightmareJohn Sanders , 3 days ago
Martin Luther King, Jr. was vilified and ultimately murdered when he was helping organize a Poor People's Campaign. Racial justice means economic justice.Adriano de Jesus , 4 days ago
Old saying: A Recession is when your neighbor loses their Job. A Depression is when you lose your Job.Ammon Weser , 4 days ago
A lot of mega wealthy people are cheats. They get insider info, they don't pay people and do all they can to provide the least amount of value possible while tricking suckers into buying their crap. Don't even get me started on trust fund brats who come out of the womb thinking they are Warren buffet level genius in business.crazyman8472 , 4 days ago
There's a documentary about Wal-Mart that has the best title ever: The High Cost of Low CostDavid Tidwell , 4 days ago
Night Owl: "What the hell happened to us? What happened to the American Dream?"
Comedian: "What happened to the American Dream? It came true! You're looking at it."
-- WatchmenD dicin , 4 days ago
Nailed it. As a millennial, I'm sick of being told to just "deal with it" when the cards have always been stacked against me. Am I surviving? Yes. Am I thriving? No.farber2 , 4 days ago
When the reserve status of the American dollar goes away, then it will become apparent how poor the US really is. You cannot maintain a country without retention of the ability to manufacture the articles you use on a daily basis. The military budget and all the jobs it brings will have to shrink catastrophically.Michael D , 4 days ago (edited)
American trance. The billionaires hypnotized people with this lie.B Sim , 3 days ago
...and sometimes you CAN'T afford to move. You can't find a decent job. You certainly can't build a meaningful savings. You can't find an apartment. And if you have kids? That makes it even harder. I've been trying to move for years, but the conditions have to be perfect to do it responsibly. The American Dream died for me once I realized that no matter the choices I made, my four years of college, my years of saving and working hard....I do NOT have upward mobility. For me, the American Dream is dead. I've been finding a new dream. The human dream.Sound Author , 3 days ago
This is a very truncated view. You need to expand your thinking. WHY has the system been so overtly corrupted? It's globalism that has pushed all this economic pressure on the millennials and the middle class. It was the elites, working with corrupt politicians, that rigged the game so the law benefited them.
This is all reversible. History shows that capitalism can be properly regulated in a way that benefits all. The answer to the problem is to bring back those rules, not implement socialism.
- - Ended the free trade deals
- - Imposed Protective tarriffs to defend American jobs and workers
- - Lowered corporate taxes to incentivize business to locate within us borders.
- - Limited immigration to reduce the supply of low skilled labor within US borders.
The result? before COVID hit the average American worker saw the first inflation adjusted wage increase in over 30 years!
This is why the fake news and hollywood continue to propagandize the masses into hating Trump.
Trump is implementing economic policies good for the people and bad for the elitesJulia Galaudet , 4 days ago
The dream was never alive in the first place. It was always bullshit.Scott Clark , 4 days ago
Maybe it's time for a maximum wage.Siri Erieott , 4 days ago
Private equity strips the country for years! It's the AMERICAN DREAM!!!andrew kubiak , 4 days ago
A dream for 1%, a nightmare for 99%.
Globalism killed the American dream. We can buy cheap goods made somewhere else if we have a job here that pays us enough money.
Jun 12, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Krystal Ball exposes the delusion of the American dream.
About Rising: Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day's political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen.
It also sets the day's political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country's most important political newsmakers.
Owen Cousino , 4 days agopoppaDehorn , 4 days ago
Debt-free is the new American dream
Got my degree just as the great recession hit. Couldn't find real work for 3 years, not using my degree... But it was work. now after 8 years, im laid off. I did everything "right". do good in school, go to college, get a job...
I've never been fired in my life. its always, "Your contract is up" "Sorry we cant afford to keep you", "You can make more money collecting! but we'll give a recommendation if you find anything."
Now I'm back where i started... only now I have new house and a family to support... no pressure.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
pparalegal , 11 hours agoVictor999 , 11 hours ago
John Adams 1798:
While our Country remains untainted with the Principles and manners, which are now producing desolation in so many Parts of the World: while she continues Sincere and incapable of insidious and impious Policy: We shall have the Strongest Reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned Us by Providence.
But should the People of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World.
Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by eletion, morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition, Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any otherkatagorikal , 11 hours ago
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other
Key statement. Americans are no longer a moral and religious people even though they present the trappings of such.Victor999 , 11 hours ago
The Century of the Self - Adam Curtis
Highly recommended. America has been transformed into a public relations image - she no longer has substance. She is like a hologram - reach out to touch her and you find there is nothing there - it's all been taken and replaced with an image.
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Richard Steven Hack , Jun 16 2020 1:11 utc | 73Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15 2020 17:36 utc | 24
This happened prior to Crooke writing his current article
Just read that piece. I was fascinated to see him referencing an article by "Walrus" over at SST (which was a particularly BS article in my view.) However, he referenced the concept of Walrus' article about a "billionaire network" controlling everything by corrupting people over 40.
My reaction to that is: Isn't that how it was always done throughout history? The rich control the less-rich who control the less-rich - using his matryoshka example.
His main thesis is that younger ideologist are setting up a more serious divide in US society than the old "Liberal vs Conservative" or "North vs South" division, and that this is putting pressure on the "billionaires network."
I'm not sure how to regard that concept yet. On the one hand, I know that the old "young vs old" dynamic is always at work - and generally irrelevant since it is the old that controls the money and the military power. OTOH, there is a new phenomenon in the last decades, starting with the availability of networks, and then growing with the availability of affordable personal computers, and now exploding with the presence of the Internet. That phenomenon is hacking. And it is the youth that control that technology.
I referenced the "cyberpunk" sci-fi genre a few threads back. If one is familiar with the hacker community and the infosec profession, ne if struck by the massive disparity between the capabilities of the attackers and that of the defenders of networks. No matter what the defenders do, there is no stopping an adversary which has motivation, resources and time. The defender has to always be right, the attacker only has to be right once.
This translates to the current situation socially - but only to a limited degree. Hackers are a particular breed intellectually and emotionally. Their attitudes and abilities do not translate to the rest of people their age. Their political and social attitudes *may*, to some degree, depending on the hacker.
But most hackers have a decidedly anti-authoritarian, if not libertarian, or dare I say anarchist, attitude. They can join with others, but that tends to be at arm's length. So I don't see the majority of them empowering a "youth collectivism" or whatever one wants to call the general social and political attitude of the young today.
I *do* see them being willing to take on political and social power. That was the entire reference point of the cyberpunk genre: technically proficient iconoclasts marginalized as criminals taking on (and frequently losing) TPTB depicted as corporations and the state.
I see the rise of hacking as a direct threat to the "billionaires network" (if such a thing actually exists as a coordinated entity.) The only question is whether the hackers have a coherent view of their potential. I suspect they don't, much like the "Woke" (see below). But they could - and if they did, they'd be very dangerous since there is no real way to stop them, and their numbers are growing worldwide as more Third World societies develop middle classes that can afford to own computers while still not providing an adequate economy for their people (places like India, Malaysia and Indonesia.)
"One aspect he apparently overlooks is the very poor understanding of history and contemporary events exhibited on all sides--the "woke" are asleep as they know nothing of Anti-Federalism or of the Class-based rationale related to the genesis of Police, although they seem to be aware of the social control goals of that Genesis in both North and South as we examined last week."
Agreed. That's my problem with the "Woke" - they're even more ignorant than their parents were, even if they're more socially conscious. They believe things that aren't correct just as much as their parents did - they just believe different incorrect things.
"The Class War is also sidelined despite the reality of it being the most important factor in the equation--The .1% being the genuine looters..."
"IMO, there's no discernable ideological direction aside from some basic demands related to policing and the racism connected to it because those in the streets lack the tools to articulate a complete vision--something that's very difficult to do when you don't know where you've actually been and the happenings over the past 75 years that have shaped the current landscape"
Indeed. One has to burrow rather deeply into first principles to formulate a coherent philosophy - and I don't see anyone doing that. I had nine years in a Federal prison to re-orient myself and I benefited from having a previous forty years of exposure to concepts outside the mainstream "left vs right" dichotomy. I doubt many of these people on the streets have a clue as to what should be done either on their personal level or a social level.
Jun 15, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Sky News Australia In this Special Investigation Sky News speaks to former spies, politicians and investigative journalists to uncover whether US President Donald Trump is really at war with "unelected Deep State operatives who defy the voters".
Cee Zee , 7 months agoTron Javolta , 6 months ago
Was it not for Trump, we would never have had a clue just how evil and corrupt the fbi, cia, leftist media and big tech giants are!k-carl Manley , 1 month ago
George Soros, The clintons, The royal family, The Rothschild's, the Federal reserve as a whole, The modern Democrat, cia, fbi, nsa, Facebook, Google, not to mention all the faceless unelected bureaucrats who create and push policies that impact our every day lives. This, my lads, is the deep state. They run our world and get away with whatever they want until someone in their circle loses their use (Epstein)Nick Krikorian , 7 months ago
JFK was right: dismantle the CIA and throw the remaining dust to the wind - same for the traitorous leaders in the FBI!Joe Mamma , 1 week ago
The deep state killed JFKJoe Graves , 1 month ago
The deep state is real and they are powerful and have an evil agenda!ceokc13 , 3 days ago (edited)
Anyone that says a "deep state" doesn't exist in America, is part of the American deep state.Francis Gee , 1 week ago (edited)
The Cabal owns the US intelligence agencies, the media, and Hollywood. That's how all these big name corrupted figure heads aren't in prison for their crimes. The Clinton email scandal is a prime example. This is much bigger than the USA... it's effects are world wide.TheConnected Chris , 1 day ago
The Four Stages of Ideological Subversion: 1 - Demoralization 2 - Destabilization 3 - Crisis 4 - Normalization Are you not entertained? The above is "their" roadmap. Learn what it means and spread this far & wide, as that will be the means by which to end this.Fact Chitanda , 2 weeks ago
President JFK on April 17, 1961: "Today no war has been declared--and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired. If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of 'clear and present danger,' then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent. It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match." thoughts: by saying, 'conducts the Cold War' did he directly call out the CIA???David Stanley , 3 days ago
The secret services are only one arm of the deep state. Its bigger than them!Miroslav Skoric , 2 months ago
Most troubling now it is known about the deep state: is Trump a double agent just another puppet just giving the appearance of working against the deep state?Franco Lust , 2 months ago
"I' never saw corruption" said the blind monkey "I never heard any corruption " said the deaf monkey The mute monkey,of course said nothing.Always Keen , 7 months ago
Thank you Australians for having rhe courage to speak out for us Patriots!!! We know the Deep State Cabal retaliated with the fires. We love you guys from 💖💗joe wood , 2 days ago
Drain that swamp!Peter Kondogonis , 1 month ago (edited)
Found and cause all wars. Mislead both sides .silva lloyd , 1 month ago
Well done Skynews. THE DEEP STATE IS REAL. I woke up 10+ years ago. Turn off the TV for 1-2 years to study and awaken. Make a start on learning with David ickes Videos and books. WWG1 WGARhsheeda Russell , 5 days ago
"How does democracy survive" We don't live in a democracy. The English isles and commonwealth are a constitutional monarchy, America is a republic.Jerry Kays , 1 day ago
And President Trump was right. Senator Graham is a sneaky, lying, sloth who enjoys his status and takes taxpayers money to do nothing.Jonathan King , 7 months ago (edited)
Before I go and pass this on to as many as I can get to follow it I just wanted to commend those that produced this and I hope that it gets fuller dissemination because it is such a rare truth in such a time of utter deceit by most all of the MSM (Main Stream Media) that this country I reside in uses to supposedly inform the American people ...what a crock! Thank You, Australia for making this available (but beware, the Five Eyes are always very active in related matters to this) ... This has been welcome confirmation of what many of us have known and attempted to tell others for about 5 years now. Sadly, I doubt that has or will help very much, The System is so corrupted from top to bottom ... IMnsHO and E.GB3770 , 1 month ago (edited)
Firstly your definition of 'deep state' is too limited, it includes the bureaucracy, much of the judiciary, banks and other financial institutions, and the major political parties. It is not restricted only to the intelligence agencies. It is not a US-specific issue, but a global one. For the deep state exists everywhere, and is often more powerful in commonwealth countries, such as here in apathetic Australia.BassBreath100 , 2 months ago
When the CIA kills Kennedy you know you've got problems... And whilst agents in the CIA probably did not pull the trigger - their "assets" did... If you don't believe me spare me your tiresome ignorant replies and go and do some research...Scocasso Vegetus , 1 month ago (edited)
" We were warned about the Military Industrial Complex, Sadly the Government Media Complex, has done way more damage, and will be much harder to overcome" ~ Dr. Mike Savage 2008cuppateadee , 3 days ago
14:20 I met a guy from Canada in the early 2000s, a telephone technician, told me about when he worked at the time for the government telephone company in the early 80s. He was given a really strange job one day, to go do some work in the USA. Some kind of repair work that required someone with experience and know-how, but apparently someone from out-of-country, he guesses, because there certainly must have been many people in the USA who could have done it, he figured. He flew down to oregon, then was driven for hours out into the middle of nowhere in navada, he said. They came to a small building that was surrounded by fencing etc. Nothing interesting. Nothing else around, he said, as far as he could see. They went in, and pretty much all that was there was an elevator. They went in, and he said, he didn't know how many floors down it went, or how fast it was moving, but seemed to take quite sometime, he figured about 8 stories down, was his guess, but he didn't know. He was astounded to see that there was telephone recording stuff in there about the size of two football-fields. He said they were recording everything. He said, even at that time, it was all digital, but they didn't have the capacity to record everything, so it was set up to monitor phone calls, and if any key words were spoken, it would start recording, and of course it would record all phone calls at certain numbers. "So, who knows what they've got in there today, he said" back in the early 2000s. So, imagine what they've got there today, in the 2020s. I didn't know whether or not to believe this story, until I saw a doc about all of the telephone recording tapes they have in storage, rotting away, which were used to record everyone's phone calls onto magnetic tape. Literally tonnes and tonnes of tapes, just sitting there in storage now, from the 1970s, the pre-digital days. They've always been doing it. They're just much better at it today than ever. Now they can tell who you are by your voice, your cadence, your intonation, etc. and record not just a call here and there, but everything.Shaun Ellis , 7 months ago
Assange got banged up because he exposed war crimes by this lot on film Chelsea Manning also. They are heroes.Cheryl Lawlor , 2 weeks ago
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he didnt exist" Credit the --- Usual Suspects ---- That's the playbook of the "Deep State"NeXus Prime , 1 week ago
Even Obama said, "the CIA gets what the CIA wants." Even he wouldn't upset them.zetayoru , 1 month ago
The last guy (denying the deep state's existence) was lying. When someone shakes their head when talking in the affirmative you can be 100% sure it is a lie (micro expressions 101).adolthitler , 1 week ago
JFK said he wanted to expose a deeper and more sinister group. And when he was moving closer to it, he got killed.Ed P , 3 weeks ago
Yuri Bezmenov will tell you the deepstate has too much power. Yuri was right about much.Shirley van der Heijden , 1 month ago
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULZdtvhtYQIThe Vault , 5 days ago
Evil never is satisfied!Bitcoin Blockchain , 1 day ago
https://www.facebook.com/kyle.darbyshire/posts/1085832538454860Ken Martin , 5 months agoBitcoin Blockchain 1 day ago 1950–1953: Korean War United States (as part of the United Nations) and South Korea vs. North Korea and Communist China 1960–1975: Vietnam War United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam 1961: Bay of Pigs Invasion United States vs. Cuba 1983: Grenada United States intervention 1989: U.S.Invasion of Panama United States vs. Panama 1990–1991: Persian Gulf War United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq 1995–1996: Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina United States as part of NATO acted as peacekeepers in former Yugoslavia 2001–present: Invasion of Afghanistan United States and Coalition Forces vs. the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to fight terrorism 2003–2011: Invasion of Iraq The United States and Coalition Forces vs. Iraq 2004–present: War in Northwest Pakistan United States vs. Pakistan, mainly drone attacks 2007–present: Somalia and Northeastern Kenya United States and Coalition forces vs. al-Shabaab militants 2009–2016: Operation Ocean Shield (Indian Ocean) NATO allies vs. Somali pirates 2011: Intervention in Libya U.S. and NATO allies vs. Libya 2011–2017: Lord's Resistance Army U.S. and allies against the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda 2014–2017: U.S.-led Intervention in Iraq U.S. and coalition forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria 2014–present: U.S.-led intervention in Syria U.S. and coalition forces against al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Syria 2015–present: Yemeni Civil War Saudi-led coalition and the U.S., France, and Kingdom against the Houthi rebels, Supreme Political Council in Yemen, and allies 2015–present: U.S. intervention in Libyapharcyde110573 , 6 months ago (edited)
Deep State is the "Wealthy Oligarchy", an "International Mafia" who controls the Central Bank (a privacy owned banking system which controls the worlds currencies). The Wealthy Oligarchy "aka Deep State" controls most all Democratic countries, and controls the International Media. In the United States, both the Republican and Democrat parties are controlled by the Wealthy Oligarchy aka Deep State.Gord Pittman , 22 hours ago
A beautifully crafted and delivered discourse, impressive! As a Londoner I have become increasingly interested in Sky News Australia, you are a breath of fresh air and common sense in this world of ever growing liberal media hysteria!joe wood , 1 week ago
I have to laugh at the people, including our supposedly unbiased and intelligent media, who said the Russia thing was the truth when it was nothing but a conspiracy theory. Everything else was a conspiacy theory according to the dems ans the mainstream media..Joseph Hinton , 1 month ago
CIA did 9-11 with bush cabal pulling stringsKaren Reaves , 2 weeks ago (edited)
Wall Street and the banksters control the CIA. One can imagine the ramifications of control of the world via the moneyed interests backed by James Bond and the Green Berets, the latter, under control of the CIA.killtheglobalists , 2 days ago (edited)
Every nation has the same deep state. CIA Mossad MI6 and CCP protect the deep state like one big Mafia. Thank you Sky News. outofshadows.orgKauz , 1 week ago
Deep State Powers have been messing with your USA long before your War of Independence . Your Founding Fathers knew , why do you think they wrote your Constitution that way. Now everyone is always crying about something but fail to realize you gave your freedoms away over time . The Deep State never left it just disguised itself and continued to regain control under a new face or ideaology. Follow the money . "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."― Edmund BurkeSierra1 Tngo , 2 weeks ago
Timothy Leary gives the CIA TOTAL CREDIT for sponsoring and initiating, the entire consciousness movement and counter-culture events of the 1960's.iwonka k , 3 hours ago
After the John F. Kennedy assassination the took full power,those who are in power now are the descendants of the criminals who did it,some of their sons just have a different last name but they are the same family,like George Bush and John Kerry are cousins but different last name and the list goes and goes.R Tarz , 2 months ago
Council on Foreign Relation is more Deep State than CIA and FBI . The two worked for CFR. CFR tel president whom to appoint to what positions. Nixon got a list of 22 deep state candidates for top US position and all were hired. Obama appointed 11 from the list. Kissinger is behind the scenes strings puller also.Adronicus -IF- , 2 months ago
Thanks Sky and Peter for bringing this to the mainstream attention, it really is time! Wished you had aired John Kiriakou,s other claims off child sex trafficking to the elites which has been corroborated by so many other sources now and is the grossest deformity of this deep state which you can see footage of trump talking about. I am amazed and greatful to see Trump has done more about this than all other presidents in the last 20 years. Lets end this group. All we need to do is shine the light on themJohn Doe , 1 month ago
The CIA are only an intelligence and operations functioning part of the deep state its much more complex and larger than just the CIA. The British empire controls the deep state they always have it is just a modern version of the old East India Company controlled by the same families with the same ideology. https://theduran.com/the-origins-of-the-deep-state-in-north-america/Nicholas Napier , 2 months ago (edited)
It's funny how for decades "the people" were crying on their knees about how bad every president was n how corrupt n controlled they were. Now you've got a president with no special interest groups publicly calling out the deep state n ur still bitching. U know you've got someone representing the people when the cia n fbi r out to get him. In 50 years trump will be looked back at with the likes of Washington, Lincoln n jfk. Once the msm smear campaign is out of everyone's brain.itsmemuffins , 7 months ago
When they start spying on people within the United States and when they used in National Defense authorization act that gave them a lot of power since after 911 to give them more power now they have Homeland Security which is the next biggest threat to the United States it can be abused and some of these people have a higher security clearance than the president.... they're not under control the NSA is one of them you don't mention in here either one is about the more that you don't even know about that they don't have names are acronyms that we knew about that's why the American people have been blindsided by this overtime they've been giving all this money to do things... allocation of money they gathered to do this and now Congress itself doesn't know temperature of Schumer when you caught him saying to see I can get back at you three ways to Sunday I mean he's got some words in this saying to the president of usa donald trump... basically threatening the President right there.. you can see it's alive and well when Congress is immune from prosecution from anything or anyone....msciciel14therope , 1 month ago
"I think in light of all of the things going on, and you know what I mean by that: the fake news, the Comeys of the world, all of the bad things that went on, it's called the swamp you know what I did," he asked. "A big favor. I caught the swamp. I caught them all. Let's see what happens. Nobody else could have done that but me. I caught all of this corruption that was going on and nobody else could have done it."Vaclav Haval , 6 days ago
there is no big secret that CIA is deeply involved in drug smuggling operations...i remember interview with ex marine colonel who said that he was indirectly involved in such operations in panama...Wilf Jones , 1 week ago
The Deep State (CIA, NSA, FBI, and Israeli Mossad) did 9/11.Chubs Fatboy , 2 weeks ago
Super Geek Zuckerberg was made a CIA useful Idiot ... I mean agent , lol .Rue Porter , 1 day ago
Attempting to infiltrate News rooms😆😅😂 all those faces you see in the MSM are all working for Cia. In 1967 one of the 3 letter agencys bragged about having a reporter working in 1 of the 3 letter news channel!peemaster Bjarne , 1 week ago
Wow this was really good. It's funny you showed a clip from abc of kouriakow and it reminded me how much the news in america has been propagandized and just fake. I'm 38 and it's sad that these days the news is unpatriotic. Well most . Ty sky news Australiarichard bello , 2 weeks ago
Why no mention of what facilitates the surveilance? Telecom infrastructure is a nations nerve system and the powergrid its bloodsystem. Who controls them? That is where you find the head of the deep state!AussieMaleTuber , 7 months ago (edited)
What people aren't aware of is that Facebook YouTube Twitter Instagram Google maps and Google search are all NSA CIA and DIA creations and CEO's are only highly paid operatives who are not the creators but the face of a product and what better way to collect all of your information is by you giving it to themTrevor Pike , 2 months ago
More please? A subject for another installment regarding the Deep State could be Banking, Federal Reserves and Fiat currencies. Later, another video could be Russia's success at expelling the Deep State in 2000 after it took them over (for a 2nd time) in 1991. Be cognizant, the Deep State initially had for a short time from 1917 via 'it's' 'Bolshivics,' orchestrated the creation of the Soviet Union through the Bolshivic take over of Russia from it's independence minded and Soveriegn Czarist led Eastern Orthodox State. Now, President Trump is preventing a similar Deep State take-over by Intelligence agencies, Corporations and elected political thugs as bad as Leon Trotsky and V I Lennin were to the Russian Czar. The Soviets soon after their (1917) take-over went Rogue on the Deep State and therefore the Soviet Union was independent until The Deep State orchestrated it's downfall and anexation of it's substantial wealth and some territory (1991). More, more, more please Sky News, this video was great!Michael Small , 1 month ago
Amazing, Sky News is the ONLY TV News Service in Australia Trying to deliver true news. Australia's ABC news are CIA Deep State Shills and propagandists - Sarah Ferguson Especially - see her totally CIA scripted Four Corners Report on the Russia Hoax. John Gantz IS a Deep State Operative Liar.Barry Atkins , 7 months ago (edited)
Isnt it time to see TERM LIMITS in Co gress and to realign our school education to teach the real history of these unites states? End the control of Congress and watch the agencies fall in step with OUR Conatitution. No one should ever be allowed in Congress or any other elected position of trust if they are not a devout Constitutionalist. Anyone who takes the oath to see w the people and fails to so so should be charged with TREASON and removed immediately. Is there a DEEP STATE? Damn right there is and has been for many decades. Where is our sovereignty? Where is the wealth of a capitalist nation? Why so much poverty and welfare and why do communists and socialist get away with damaging our country, state or communities. Yes, there has been a deep state filled with criminals who all need to be charged, tried and executed for TREASON.price , 7 months ago
The CIA and Australias Federal police have One main Job/activity to feed their Populations with Propaganda & Lies to give them their Thoughts & Opinions on Everything using their psyOps through MSM News & Programming...you prolly beLIEve this informative News Story as well. : (Marie Hurst , 6 days ago
Sky news is owned by rupert Murdoch...the same guy that owns fox news. Nuff said😘Debbie Kirby , 7 months ago
These people denying a deep state with such straight faces are psychopaths. Unwittingly, or maybe not, Schumer made liars of them with his comment to MaddowJames dow , 1 week ago
President Trump is correct. He knows exactly what's going on. The 3 letter agencies are up to no good and work against the fabric of our nation's founding fathers. It's despicable behavior. Just one example is John Brennan (CIA Director) and Barack Hussein Obama's Terror Tuesdays. Read all about it on the internet now before it's permanently removed. Thank you for creating this video.mary rosario , 5 days ago
When was the last time we ever witnessed an American President openly abused continually attacked over manufactured news treated with absolutely no respect for him or the office his family unfairly attacked and misrepresented etc, etc, that's right never, which proves he threatens the existence of the deep state as discussed. He should declare Martial Law Hang the consequences and remove every single deep state player everywhere. Foreign influence? read Israel.evan c , 2 weeks ago
People are so fixated on trumps outspoken Sometimes outrageous demeanor which in my opinion it's just being really honest and yes he can Be rude at times but when you look at the facts He's the only one that has gone against the deep state! those are the real devils dressed up in sheep's clothing! Wake up!
You are missing the point. It goes further then intelligence agency working against the people. It's the ultra rich literally trillionaires like the rothchilds that control the cia etc. That is who trump is fighting. The globalists line gates soros etc.
Jun 14, 2020 | nationalinterest.org
Kirkpatrick's essay begins by insisting that, because of world events since 1939, America has given to foreign affairs "an unnatural focus." Now in 1990, she says, the nation can turn its attention to domestic concerns that are more important because "a good society is defined not by its foreign policy but its internal qualities . . . by the relations among its citizens, the kind of character nurtured, and the quality of life lived." She says unabashedly that "there is no mystical American 'mission' or purposes to be 'found' independently of the U.S. Constitution and government."
One cannot fail to notice that this perspective is precisely the opposite of George W. Bush's in his second inauguration. According to Bush, America's post –Cold War purpose was to follow our "deepest beliefs" by acting to "support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture." For three decades neoconservative foreign policy has revolved around "mystical" beliefs about America's mission in the world that are unmoored from the actual Constitution.
In Trumpian fashion, Kirkpatrick then goes on to warn Americans about the danger of an unaccountable "deep state" in foreign policy that is immune to popular pressures. She rejects emphatically the views of some elitists who argue that foreign policy is a uniquely esoteric and specialized discipline and must be cushioned from populism. She says that, no, "it has become more important than ever that the experts who conduct foreign policy on our behalf be subject to the direction of and control of the people."
She points out that because America had for much of the twentieth century assumed global responsibilities, our foreign policy elites had developed "distinctive views" that are different from those of the electorate. Again, in Trumpian fashion, she argued that foreign policy elites "grew accustomed to thinking of the United States as having boundless resources and purposes . . . which transcended the preferences of voters and apparent American interests . . . and eventually developed a globalist attitude."
In support of Kirkpatrick's concern, Tufts professor Michael Glennon has more recently argued that the national security establishment has now become so "distinctive" in their separation from our constitutional processes that they represent one wing of a now "double government" that is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the popular branches of government. The Russiagate investigations and the attempt to disable the Trump presidency, aided by many in the establishment, would appear to confirm Kirkpatrick's warning that foreign policy elites want no part of the electoral preferences of voting Americans.
Kirkpatrick concludes her essay with thoughts on "What should we do?" and "What we should not do." Remarkably, her first recommendation is to negotiate better trade deals. These deals should give the U.S. "fair access" to foreign markets while offering "foreign businesses no better than fair access to U.S. markets." Next, she considered the promotion of democracy around the world and, on this subject, she took the John Quincy Adams position : that "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be." However, she insisted: "it is not within the United States' power to democratize the world."
When Kirkpatrick goes on to discuss America's post –Cold War alliances, she makes clear that she is advocating, quite simply, an America First foreign policy. Regarding the future of the NATO alliance, a sacrosanct pillar of the American foreign policy establishment, she argued that "the United States should not try to manage the balance of power in Europe." Likewise, we should be humble about what we can accomplish in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: "Any notion that the United States can manage the changes in that huge, multinational, developing society is grandiose." Finally, with regard to Asia: "Our concern with Japan should above all be with its trading practices vis-à-vis the United States. We should not spend money protecting an affluent Japan, though a continuing alliance is entirely appropriate."
She famously concludes her essay by making the plea for the United States to become "a normal country in a normal time" and "to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status and become again an unusually successful, open American republic."
Kirkpatrick became Ronald Reagan's United Nations ambassador because her 1979 article in Commentary , "Dictatorships and Double Standards," caught the eye of the future president. In that article, she sensibly points out that authoritarian governments that are allies of the United States should not be kicked to the curb because they are not free and open democracies. The path to democracy is a long and perilous one, and nations without republican traditions cannot be expected to make the transition overnight. Regarding the world's oldest democracy, she remarked: "In Britain, the road from the Magna Carta to the Act of Settlement, to the great Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, and 1885, took seven centuries to traverse."
While at the time neoconservatives opportunistically embraced her for this position as a tactic to fight the Cold War, the current foreign policy establishment would consider Kirkpatrick's argument to be beyond the bounds of decent conversation, as it would lend itself to an accommodation with authoritarian Russia as a counterweight to totalitarian China.
Kirkpatrick died in 2006 and had, like many neoconservatives, evolved from a Humphrey Democrat into a member of the GOP establishment. With William Bennett and Jack Kemp, in 1993 she cofounded a neoconservative group, Empower America, which took a very aggressive stance against militant Islam after the 9/11 attacks. However, she was quite ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq and was quoted in The Economist as saying that George W. Bush was "a bit too interventionist for my taste" and that Bush's brand of moral imperialism is not "taken seriously anywhere outside a few places in Washington, DC."
The fact that Kirkpatrick's recommendations in her 1990 essay coincide with some of Donald Trump's positions in the 2016 campaign (if not with many of his actual actions as president) make her views, ipso facto, not serious. The foreign policy establishment gives something like pariah status to arguments that we should negotiate better trade deals, reconsider our Cold War alliances and, most especially, subject American foreign policy to popular preferences. If she were alive today and were making the arguments she made in 1990, then she would be an outcast. That a formidable intellectual like Kirkpatrick would be dismissed in such a fashion is a sign of how obtuse our foreign policy debate has become.
William S. Smith is Senior Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His recent book, Democracy and Imperialism , is from the University of Michigan Press. He studied political philosophy under Professor Jeane Kirkpatrick as an undergraduate at Georgetown University.
Jun 14, 2020 | www.serendipity.li
And now there is the Epstein matter, which threatens not only former president Bill Clinton, but a cosmos of political, financial, and entertainment "stars" in countless ugly incidents that involve a kind of personal corruption that has no political context but says an awful lot about the obliteration of moral and ethical boundaries by the people who ended up running things in this fretful moment of US history.
Jun 13, 2020 | www.serendipity.li
These idiots in Washington and all these think tanks that talk about regime change and bringing democracy to the world and so forth -- never even think about the consequences -- the message that these violent episodes send -- and the unfortunate reaction that people take in order to defend themselves. ... The problem is there's lasting damage when you engage in all this regime change over so many years and episodes. They don't trust you. Trump has worked very hard, using an odd, idiosyncratic personal diplomacy to build up trust with Kim. It seems to be working, but there are just so many forces at work behind the scenes that are aiming to undermine that trust-building so that nothing happens. They want to keep 29,000 troops in South Korea, in harm's way, as a tripwire, so that the North Koreans obey us ... If you take away the Korean threat, if you recognize the Iranians aren't a threat, if you see that Russia is a tiny little country that's not going to invade Western Europe ... [Suddenly] somebody is going to do the math as we get into the coming fiscal crisis and say, "We can't afford all this defense that we don't need [anyway]. Let's cut it back dramatically." They [the Deep State] don't want this to happen. And so, they have to keep these hot spots burning and these threats maintained or inflated, because they know if the real truth of the world were considered by Congress, the defense budget would be slashed dramatically.
Jun 12, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
There is a need for competent counterintelligence to, in effect, crack the egg and isolate and take action against the hardcore network of trained provocateurs who have the capacity to hijack genuine protest to further their goal: Chaos and civil conflict as the endgame.
TV , 11 June 2020 at 01:03 PMAnyone see the photo of the FBI agents kneeling at the "protest" in DC?Diana Croissant , 11 June 2020 at 01:09 PM
Think this FBI is going to find out ANYTHING about these scumbags?
If they (accidently) did, they'd bury it.
Only thing preventing the FBI's corruption from doing real damage is their massive incompetence.Antifa is not really again Fascism as far as I can tell...Jose , 11 June 2020 at 02:12 PMRegretfully, our intelligence agencies are too busy participating in the coup-revolution to act on your great advice.exiled off mainstreet , 11 June 2020 at 03:46 PMPlus this is an existential war for the deep state. They have the most to gain and the most direct interests in winning. Just don't be blind to the underlying motivations - there are no coincidences, right? Past is prologue - get a copy of the 2012 Breitbart documentary "Occupy Unmasked". The similarities exposed to what is again happening in 2020 will give one pause.
Posted by: Deap | 11 June 2020 at 02:38 PM
If the deep state can't pr won't handle it, perhaps vigilantes can come in from the surrounding areas to liquidate the seditious secession move. It is obvious that the official elements of the imperium have left the reservation so an unofficial initiative is necessary.
Jun 09, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.comdiv Has "The Deep State" Won? By Walrus.
I want to advance a fanciful theory - an extension of Col. Lang's question; Perhaps money talks. The test is at the end of this post.
Suppose some very rich folks bought the majority of American media. They control that by influencing who is hired, promoted and fired throughout their networks. Smaller players, internet businesses, etc. are dependent on the larger players for content. They are similarly controlled by the big players.
Now suppose there is also a global foundation, operated by the most skilled politicians of their era. Their business model is simple. They control and operate a global influence network. People with money can buy influence from this network.
The network, which we will call "the respectable tendency", to borrow Andrew Roberts term, extends deep into worldwide media and perhaps more importantly, public services around the globe. Of course all of this is benign because the purpose of this endeavor is the advancement of planetary human well being. To this end it seamlessly creates or combines with a variety of good causes, to advance its agenda, for example, the advancement of women, minority rights, gay rights, the environmental movement.
Now we come to practical matters. As the behaviourists posit: "where you stand is where you sit" - Miles Law. The foundation lives by this saying and drives it deep into every organ it touches. Be aware that when the foundation touches you it makes a Faustian bargain. You do something for it, one day it returns the favor. For example, you might be asked as a civil servant to do something that is perhaps borderline corrupt. You are found out but no matter; you reappear as a professor at a prestigious University, or a fellow at a think tank, or a media personality on a Tee Vee network or perhaps a judge. The foundation takes great care to ensure it keeps its end of the bargain. It also publicly destroys the careers of those that reject its overtures using whatever weapon comes to hand, for example sexual innuendo, allegations of discrimination, whatever. Fear and greed are its tools.
Lets assume that the foundation has had almost total success in recruiting Congress and the higher ranks of the career public service. There are two exceptions; the first is President Trump who is fireproof against the entreaties of the foundation. More about the other later.
So now let's look at the events of Trumps Presidency through this lense.
Russiagate - explained.
The illegal and obvious judicial persecution of Flynn and others who have associated with Trump - explained.
The conversion and public recantings of former Trump appointees - explained.
The criticisms of Trump and public professions of love for foundation causes like #metoo and BLM by senior business leaders - explained.
The deliberate frustration of President Trumps agenda by Congress - explained.
The relentless and unjustified criticism of Trump by the media - explained.
As a vignette; Why even today Trumps decision to pull troops out of Germany is criticized by MSN for breaking up a happy relationship with a German town:
"President Donald Trump's directive to pull 9,500 troops from Germany hits home hard for friends of America like Edgar Knobloch, whose Bavarian town has been home to U.S. service members for seven decades."
So now we come to recent events.
The criticism of Trump for his Covid19 response, first not fast enough, then too fast and hard - explained.
So now we come to George Floyd. The black community, deliberately oversensitised by the media to the statistically insignificant problem of Police brutality against blacks, arcs up. Their lawmakers, sensing the foundations approval, amplify the BLM message. After all, this is a ticket to righteous reelection or maybe a seat in Congress courtesy of the foundation.
The blacks start looting. President Trump calls for the rule of law to be upheld and promises military assistance if necessary. The foundation springs the trap. This is no longer about BLM, this is about HIM. The media comply.
Actions taken as part of this foundation agenda are deliberate and designed to create a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt in all Americans.
Threats to defund the police in various states are false. What they are designed to achieve is the perversion of police forces into instruments of political control. The first requirement being the suppression of any white backlash against the black mobs. That is about militias and gun control.
Expect to see more media censorship of anything that contradicts BLM, #metoo, or any other foundation pet cause.
Expect to see more lawmakers, public servants and personalities publicly denounce Trump.
Expect to see each and every national business leader pledge fealty to the foundation on penalty of the destruction of their businesses, careers or both. This will then morph into a requirement to "donate" to BLM and similar good causes as is practiced in most third world countries. That is followed by a requirement to hire and promote minority members for no good reason except political safety.
Expect all investigations into possible malpractice by foundation operatives to stop.
All public institutions will be required to pledge fealty to the foundation, the Universities did this thirty years ago.
Trump, if he is even Presidential Candidate is going to be facing Joe Biden and...Michelle Obama.
The more probable Republican candidate is Romney, who will lose.
And now the exception. The United States Defence Forces. The CJCS Gen. Miley, will now be under intense pressure from the foundation to distance himself as far as possible from the President, perhaps to the point of insubordination. This is a "five days in May 1940" moment although we may never know.
The pressure already got to Esper who folded. The pressure on Miley, IMHO, will be coming from his colleagues and the next rank below them and take the form of extreme fear of massive budget cuts foreshadowed by foundation lawmakers unless the defence forces disavow their Commander in Chief.
The test to watch is which way our Rupert Murdoch jumps. He is renowned for his extremely accurate political antennae.
Soros predicting revolution prior to election in US at Davos earlier this year
Posted by: Terence Gore | 07 June 2020 at 04:19 PM
"Suppose some very rich folks bought the majority of American media." It really isn't hard to figure out which entities control the major news outlets or where their corporate revenue stream is coming from. The democrat led lockdown orders had an effect very beneficial to monopolist media firms: It destroyed local media by destroying the small and mid-sized firms in every Blue city and state. Which economic class wins? You can't hide that to actual black voters without BLM riots to provide emotional cover and burnging buildings to provide an actual smokescreen. "The ni*****" are out to get you" has been replaced with "Whitey did it" because a third of the democratic party voting base is black and urban. Trump was making actual inroads because he was delivering actual results to the bottom of the economic pyramid.
"Now suppose there is also a global foundation"
There are multiple NGOs and not just the Clinton Foundation or the one run by Soros.
"They control and operate a global influence network."
Remind us all again of your multiple years in international business and the need for China to save face? Any other interconnections that might be of interest? Bilderberg and Davos are just the eurocentric starting points.
"Threats to defund the police in various states are false." That is untrue. Police agencies have already been copopted in multiple cities and at the leadership ranks of the FBI. Defunding them will happen in LA and elsewhere with predictable results. It will drive out those close to retirement, thus allowing an ideological purge of the leadership ranks.
"This is no longer about BLM, this is about HIM. "
This was always about Trump because he is capable of rolling up the corrupt operatives within FBI/DOJ/DOD and the rest of government. He has already shown how corrupt the major media companies are. Look at "Fake News CNN" which can't even mention its own building was damaged in a riot.
"That is followed by a requirement to hire and promote minority members for no good reason except political safety." Afirmative Action and minority set-assides are lawful means of racial discrimination in favor of protected classes and have been for decades.
" The first requirement being the suppression of any white backlash against the black mobs. That is about militias and gun control."
There was never going to be a flag waving militia marching into NYC, LA, Detroit or elsewhere to save anyone from their own neighbors and ideological allies of the hard left. Bernie Bro James Hodgkinson, already erased from your memory, was just that - a lefty Bernie Bro. The FBI's finest still can't figure out why a man in Vegas would unleash a half hour barage of gunfire at a country music concert. Do you need anyone to explain what percent of country music fans vote for which party?
"Trump, if he is even Presidential Candidate"
Pray tell how Romeny or anyone else gets the nomination without forcably removing Trump from office? Romney lost when he ran and nobody outside what is contemptiously referred to as a "cuckservative" is going to back him.
(Keith) Rupert Murdoch, AC, KCSG, is almost 90. Do you think he is running day-to-day operations of his media holding company? Perhaps you read that in the New York Times...
Posted by: Fred | 07 June 2020 at 04:59 PM
An excellent interview of Ric Grenell, discussing the Deep State, courtesy of CTH.
I never knew him before but I am impressed with his clarity.
Posted by: Jack | 07 June 2020 at 05:21 PM
of course it is an attempted coup. The media, rigged worse than Hilary's DNC debate, didn't help her win, Russian probe fraud, Ukraine Fraud, Stormy Daniels fraud, China's manipulative virus attack on the west, the CDC/FDA corrupt conduct and criminal actions of multiple governors who in effect murdered thousands of seniors in nursing homes by returning infected patients by executive order, an economy locking shutdown; all of that failed. Where the hell was the left when poor St. George was trying to make a living; Travon, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey, Eric Garner? Where was holy Joe Biden and his boss, Barack? The bore from NYC via reality TV has been the only effective leader in delivering economic results to the lower middle and working class communities, especially the black ones, in decades.
"A politicized Army with 1000+ nuclear weapons under its control is a nightmare."
Oh, you figured that part out? What do you think is going to result if the left succeeds in the erasure of American culture and transformational change of what is left of the Republic? Perhaps the never Trumper's should have a road to Damascus moment that doesn't include treating the cult of St. George of Minneapolis as the second coming. The only thing to stop them is their own guilt or complicity in any of the afformentioned plots.
Posted by: Fred | 07 June 2020 at 06:29 PM
I'm more with Fred on this. IMO, an incestuous multigenerational clique comprised of devious, selfish, mediocre intelligences who are never held accountable -and those seeking entrance into the clique - can explain the whole thing. Though I am surprised they that even men like Gen Mad Dog Mattis have fallen into the that network. Then again, those stars always make me suspicious.
j. casey , 07 June 2020 at 08:13 PMDiana Croissant , 07 June 2020 at 08:24 PM
Ischenko has a similar perspective, with perhaps a wider historical POV. https://www.stalkerzone.org/test-by-maidan-what-strikes-protests-in-the-us-other-countries-really-mean/Deap , 07 June 2020 at 08:24 PM
I attended church IN CHURCH for the first time in a long time. It felt right and good. But, besides feeling right and good about being in church, I felt cheated when I thought of the last few months on the COVID19 restrictions, the ridiculous masks, the use of shaming if one spoke up against some of the restrictions......because not one person I know thinks Fauci is anything but an incompetent fool.
After church I ate lunch with family and extended family in a restaurant while sitting close to each other and NOT wearing masks. We actually mentioned our beliefs that the BLM outcries had gone too far. The police officers who were the cause of his death make us sick. But the result of Floyd's death now being the seeming vilification of all people of NO color (meaning of white color) hurts all of us white people terribly since many, many, many of us do not live in places where there are large populations of Blacks. We live here because these places are our home towns. We do have Hispanic populations and some blacks and other minorities such as Asian minorities and those from other parts of the world. We resent a little the protesters in our town, mostly young women in the local teacher training University who marched and held several noisy demonstrations with their ONE token Black person, the only one they could find, I assume.
We sat and each agreed with the basic assertion of your piece: that there is a definite conspiracy against Trump in the crazy areas of our country controlled by Democrats, by the corrupted media (which has been that way for a long, long time) and the extremely wealthy class.
There are many of us still keeping our MAGA hats ready; and I don't know one single Republican where I live who would not rise up against a movement to push Romney again as the Republican nominee.
We may not be as noisy as the young impressionable mis-educated youth that are rioting and marching in the streets. In fact, we are quietly sitting back and preparing for the next Trump rally and for the next chance we have to show our support for Trump.
I have seen NO movement against Trump from the friends and family I know who supported him before.
Fly-over country denizens sit and waits, as they are disgusted by the failures of the idiots who run the coasts. Some of us write to our Congressional representative and Senators warning them against even thinking of not supporting Trump. We watch FOX News and enjoy it most when they mock and make fun of the supposed journalists who appear on the MSM.
The mention of any effort to again give the Obamas any sort of say in our government, much less Hillary and the idiot speaking out of his basement who is now the Democrats' chosen one, the reins of the government makes our stomachs turn and causes us to think of giving up our dignity in order to riot against Democrats, BLM, and those Antifa jerks and their sponsors. We will bring semis, tractors, and construction equipment, and angry people with rifles on horses--whoever and whatever to the fight.
I think there are many here not wanting to think about it, but resolving to finally rise up ourselves if we have to.tedrichard , 07 June 2020 at 08:59 PM
Don't forget there is an army of NoTrumpers who became Pro-Trumpers after the election, realizing the Democrats were too toxic to ever stomach again.
While Trump may be losing some of his former base, he is also gaining in unexpected quarters. Like me, who at one time marched for Hilary in Denver and finally saw what the Obama Democrat party had become.
The hot issue this election is where will the police unions go since they have been hard core Democrats but have lately defected. Democrats naturally will now revile police in any way they can, and they are certainly beating the drums to take the renegade police unions down.
How will this come across to the voters -- and to the rank and file police themselves. It is war now between the police unions and the Democrats - it is an issue and a voting block to carefully tease out.
Drain the swamp is to lessen the power of the public sector unions on our lives and elections. But now the police unions, who have taken the lions share of local tax dollars for themselves already, will go along with "draining the swamp with trump, or will the Democrats seduce them back into the fold.
In California, police unions are lining up to take a knee for BLM, so they have made their choice - scurry back to the Democrat plantation.
The unknown unknown - when will Biden officially implode and who will replace him?Mathias Alexander , 08 June 2020 at 02:59 AM
"A politicized Army with 1000+ nuclear weapons under its control is a nightmare."
i posit this is the ONLY worry that russia and china have at this point regarding the united states. they know with absolute surety washington and the 'hidden rulers behind them' are simply no longer powerful enough or capable enough to subdue and force them to submit to private control.
they worry someone enters the white house and is delusional enough or insecure enough to feel the need to prove they have what it takes........my wager is on a female president fitting that bill and minority racist female president would likely give these leaders real worries.........not because they can be defeated but because of the millions of deaths and destruction she will bring in her wake.
if/when the democrats return to the oval office and if that resident is female and more so if she is black world war against russia or china which means BOTH is very much more likely.
because the pentagon can no longer prevail conventionally against either russia or china and against both will be summarily defeated almost immediately the urge to go nuclear even tactically will be overwhelming if not INEVITABLE. this is the danger of an identity politics anti white female president.
the russians have stated in no uncertain terms through their published war doctrine.........if a war is inevitable and CAN NOT be avoided then they will strike first....and as a cherry on the sunday putin has stated multiple times that the next war will NOT be fought on russian soil which means at the least nato disappears as a fighting force in 72 hours if they last that long, then america gets a taste of what the russians and chinese have suffered.LondonBob , 08 June 2020 at 05:19 AM
This is obviously an approved movement. MSM love 'em and the protestors don't get kettled. I think the BLM crowd have a point but also that they are being manipulated. Antifa are an obvious bunch of agent prococateurs.
There have always existed networks and patronage. Soros, Clinton, Zionist, neocons, military industrial. Problem for Trump many of these are bitterly opposed to him, he has little support in the Imperial City, except for some parts of the Israel lobby, although it is mostly actual Israelis.
Russiagate, Obama people.
Flynn to protect the Obama people.
Denouncing Trump is so the gravy train in DC doesn't get upset. Look at Sgt Bilko, James Mattis, complete grifter with a puffed up persona, painted like a latter day Patton, except he has only seen combat in Desert Storm. Theranos, Cohen Group. Useful neocon idiot McCain or Rubio, or bitter loser Romney.
We had the exposure of the journolist network in the media, no doubt something similar exists still, we know the media collude with various parties to put across certain viewpoints.
Like JFK was, Trump is seen as a threat to a few well established interest groups, much opposed to a change in the status quo.
The only thing I don't get is why business in America is so 'woke'. You get a bit of this in Britain, but nowhere near the same, is it the larger Jewish population, lack of a public school network?
Jun 09, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.comMikeyHeLikesIt Laura Joakimson • 14 hours ago
"Elite" refers to a clique of people with the "right" credentials and the "right" ideas and philosophy from the "right" parts of the country who are connected, look out for each other, and deny opportunities to those outside the the clique.
They also fervently believe they are intellectually and morally superior to those outside the clique, while often being completely untested in the real world, know nothing directly, and believe the fables they are told about life. Money is only a small part of it.
So, if a West Virginia hillbilly gets an advanced degree from a no-name University and starts a succesful billion dollar company, then he is "non-elite" because he doesn't have the "right" background, or connections, or ideas.
Like the rich son of a hardscrabble Queens builder who took the benefits he was given and expanded them 30 fold, instead of sitting on his keister, being a trust fund parasite, and attempting to become a member of the Hamptons/Martha's Vineyard chattering class.
Replace "elite" with "snob" and you have it about right.
Jun 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Global Crisis: The Convergence Of Marx, Kafka, Orwell, & Huxley by Tyler Durden Mon, 06/08/2020 - 16:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print
Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,
The global crisis is not merely economic; it is the result of profound financial, sociological and political trends described by Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley.
The unfolding global crisis is best understood as the convergence of the dynamics described by Marx, Kafka, Orwell and Huxley. Let's start with Franz Kafka , the writer (1883-1924) who most eloquently captured the systemic injustices of all-powerful bureaucratic institutions--the alienation experienced by the hapless citizen enmeshed in the bureaucratic web, petty officialdom's mindless persecutions of the innocent, and the intrinsic absurdity of the centralized State best expressed in this phrase: "We expect errors, not justice."
If this isn't the most insightful summary of the current moment in history, then what is? A lawyer by training and practice, Kafka understood that the the more powerful and entrenched the institution and its bureaucracy, the greater the collateral damage rained on the innocent, and the more extreme the perversion of justice.
We are living in a Kafkaesque nightmare where suspicion alone justifies the government stealing from its citizens, and an unrelated crime (possessing drug paraphernalia) is used to justify state theft.
As in a Kafkaesque nightmare, the state is above the law when it needs an excuse to steal your car or cash. There is no crime, no arrest, no due process--just the state threatening that you should shut up and be happy they don't take everything you own.
All these forms of civil forfeiture are well documented. While some would claim the worst abuses have been rectified, that is far from evident. What is evident is how long these kinds of legalized looting have been going on.
Taken: Under civil forfeiture, Americans who havenâ€™t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all weâ€™re losing? (2013)
Stop and Seize (six parts) (2013)
When the state steals our cash or car on mere suspicion, you have no recourse other than horrendously costly and time-consuming legal actions. So you no longer have enough money to prove your innocence now that we've declared your car and cash guilty?
Tough luck, bucko--be glad you live in a fake democracy with a fake rule of law, a fake judiciary, and a government with the officially sanctioned right to steal your money and possessions without any due process or court proceedings-- legalized looting .
They don't have to torture a confession out of you, like the NKVD/KGB did in the former Soviet Union, because your cash and car are already guilty.
This is where Orwell enters the convergence , for the State masks its stripmining and power grab with deliciously Orwellian misdirections such as "the People's Party," "democratic socialism," and so on.
Orwell understood the State's ontological imperative is expansion, to the point where it controls every level of community, markets and society. Once the State escapes the control of the citizenry, it is free to exploit them in a parasitic predation that is the mirror-image of Monopoly capital. For what is the State but a monopoly of force, coercion, data manipulation and the regulation of private monopolies?
What is the EU bureaucracy in Brussels but the perfection of a stateless State?
As Kafka divined, centralized bureaucracy has the capacity for both Orwellian obfuscation (anyone read those 1,300-page Congressional bills other than those gaming the system for their private benefit?) and systemic avarice and injustice.
The convergence boils down to this: it would be impossible to loot this much wealth if the State didn't exist to enforce the "rules" of parasitic predation.
Aldous Huxley foresaw a Central State that persuaded its people to "love their servitude" via propaganda, drugs, entertainment and information-overload. In his view, the energy required to force compliance exceeded the "cost" of persuasion, and thus the Powers That Be would opt for the power of suggestion.
He outlined this in a letter to George Orwell :"My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World .
Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience."
As prescient as he was, Huxley could not have foreseen the power of mobile telephony, gaming and social media hypnosis/addiction as a conditioning mechanism for passivity and self-absorption. We are only beginning to understand the immense addictive/conditioning powers of 24/7 mobile telephony / social media.
What would we say about a drug that caused people to forego sex to check their Facebook page? What would we say about a drug that caused young men to stay glued to a computer for 40+ hours straight, an obsession so acute that some actually die? We would declare that drug to be far too powerful and dangerous to be widely available, yet mobile telephony, gaming and social media is now ubiquitous.
... ... ...
Last but not least, we come to Marx. As Marx explained, the dynamics of state-monopoly-capitalism lead to the complete dominance of capital over labor in both financial and political "markets," as wealth buys political influence which then protects and enforces capital's dominance.
Marx also saw that finance-capital would inevitably incentivize over-capacity, stripping industrial capital of pricing power and profits. Once there's more goods and services than labor can afford to buy with earnings, financialization arises to provide credit to labor to buy capital's surplus production and engineer financial gains with leveraged speculation and asset bubbles.
But since labor's earnings are stagnant or declining, there's an end-game to financialization. Capital can no longer generate any gain at all except by central banks agreeing to buy capital's absurdly over-valued assets. Though the players tell themselves this arrangement is temporary, the dynamics Marx described are fundamental and inexorable: the insanity of central banks creating currency out of thin air to buy insanely over-priced assets is the final crisis of late-stage capitalism because there is no other escape from collapse.
Having stripped labor of earnings and political power and extracted every last scrap of profit from over-capacity (i.e. globalization) and financialization, capital is now completely dependent on money-spewing central banks buying their phantom capital with newly printed currency, a dynamic that will eventually trigger a collapse in the purchasing power of the central banks' phantom capital (i.e. fiat currencies).
When there is no incentive to invest in real-world productive assets and every incentive to skim profits by front-running the Federal Reserve, capitalism is dead. Paraphrasing Wallerstein, "Capitalism is no longer attractive to capitalists."
We can see this for ourselves in the real world: if "renewable energy" was as profitable as some maintain, private capital would have rushed in to fund every project to maximize their gains from this new source of immense profits. But as Art Berman explained in Why the Renewable Rocket Has Failed To Launch , this hasn't been the case. Rather, "green energy" remains dependent on government subsidies in one form or another. If hydropower is removed from "renewables," all other renewables (solar, wind, etc.) provide only 4% of total global energy consumption.
Japan's stagnation exemplifies Marx's analysis: Japan's central bank has created trillions of yen out of thin air for 30 years and used this phantom capital to buy the over-valued assets of Japan's politically dominant state-capitalist class, a policy that has led to secular stagnation and social decline. If it weren't for China's one-off expansion, Japan's economy would have slipped into phantom capital oblivion decades ago.
Kafka, Orwell, Huxley and Marx called it, and we're living in the last-gasp stage of the cruel and unsustainable system they described. So sorry, but investing your phantom capital in FANG stocks, Tik-Tok and virtual-reality games will not save phantom capital from well-deserved oblivion.
Jun 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
- Racism or "White privilege"
- Police violence
- Social alienation and despair
- The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
- The infighting of the US elites/deep state
They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.
It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of " cause " and "pretext". And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.
The next thing which we must also keep in mind is that evidence of correlation is not evidence of causality . Take, for example, this article from CNN entitled "US black-white inequality in 6 stark charts" which completely conflates the two concepts and which includes the following sentence (stress added) " Those disparities exist because of a long history of policies that excluded and exploited black Americans, said Valerie Wilson, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning group. " The word "because" clearly point to a causality, yet absolutely nothing in the article or data support this. The US media is chock-full of such conflations of correlation and causality, yet it is rarely denounced.
For a society, any society, to function a number of factors that make up the social contract need to be present. The exact list that make up these factors will depend on each individual country, but they would typically include some kind of social consensus, the acceptance by most people of the legitimacy of the government and its institutions, often a unifying ideology or, at least, common values, the presence of a stable middle-class, the reasonable hope for a functioning "social life", educational institutions etc. Finally, and cynically, it always helps the ruling elites if they can provide enough circuses (TV) and bread (food) to most citizens. This is even true of so-called authoritarian/totalitarian societies which, contrary to the liberal myth, typically do enjoy the support of a large segment of the population (if only because these regimes are often more capable of providing for the basic needs of society).
Right now, I would argue that the US government has almost completely lost its ability to deliver any of those factors, or act to repair the broken social contract. In fact, what we can observe is the exact opposite: the US society is highly divided, as is the US ruling class (which is even more important). Not only that, but ever since the election of Trump, all the vociferous Trump-haters have been undermining the legitimacy not only of Trump himself, but of the political system which made his election possible. I have been saying that for years: by saying "not my President" the Trump-haters have de-legitimized not only Trump personally, but also de-legitimized the Executive branch as such.
This is an absolutely amazing phenomenon: while for almost four years Trump has been destroying the US Empire externally, Trump-haters spent the same four years destroying the US from the inside! If we look past the (largely fictional) differences between the Republicrats and the Demolicans we can see that they operate like a demolition tag-team of sorts and while they hate each other with a passion, they both contribute to bringing down both the Empire and the United States. For anybody who has studied dialectics this would be very predictable but, alas, dialectics are not taught anymore, hence the stunned "deer in the headlights" look on the faces of most people today.
Finally, it is pretty clear that for all its disclaimers about supporting only the "peaceful protestors" and its condemnation of the "out of town looters", most of the US media (as well as the alt media) is completely unable to give a moral/ethical evaluation of what is taking place. What I mean by this is the following:
- obwandiyag says: Show Comment June 4, 2020 at 11:22 pm GMT Cops don't protect nothing but rich people's money. You been watching too much TV.
And this ain't nothing. Nothing. Not compared to 1967-68.
But you young people don't know nothing. Especially about history. So, no surprise there.
- Si1ver1ock says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 3:14 am GMT • 100 Words If I had to guess, I'd say it's the neoliberal, CIA-Obama faction vs the Trump-Military faction, (Pompeo et al)
This came to a head just as Obama-gate was picking up steam. Obama is still a player. He is the reason we have Biden for President on the Dem side, for example.
My guess is that you are seeing the power of a CIA community organizer, color-revolutionary, Jedi psyop master, pulling strings across multiple strata of society.
Trump and Obama don't like each other for some reason.
- Just another serf says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 4:35 am GMT • 200 Words
The Systemic Collapse of the US Society Has Begun
Begun? It's been in process for many decades. It might have begun in the early 20th century. What's new here? Focusing on recent times, jobs disappeared in the 70's. Inflation exploded at the same time. Negro antagonism began in the 60's. Replacement of the white population accelerated in 1965 and continued relentlessly to the current moment.
We are seeing the looting phase of the business known as the United States of America. Refer to an informative scene from the movie Goodfellas. The criminals got control of a business, looted it into bankruptcy and burned the place down. Except in this case there are no Italians involved. And you know who replaces them in our real life experience.
- Espinoza says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 6:44 am GMT It's controlled demolition. First unjustified lockdown. Then unjustified race riots. The deep state is intent on destroying Trump.
If US is divided into mutually hostile territories, guess where the majority will go. That is right. They will go to white dominated areas as they do now to white dominated neighborhoods.
Can no one stop the deep state?
- Brewer says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 7:17 am GMT • 100 Words Seen it all before. How short do memories have to be to forget Kent State, Rodney King, the Civil Rights protests of the sixties, Harlem riot of 1964, the Watts riot of 1965 et al ?
America is and will remain a deeply disturbed society given that their entire philosophy, lifestyle and Politics is based on consumerism. Winners (no matter how unethical) are heroes, losers (no matter how unjustly) are despised.
America will bump and grind on through bankruptcy, both morally and economically. It is the Judaic way.
Simple fact is that most Americans are ignorant of History and are therefore condemned to go on repeating the past.
Jun 08, 2020 | www.unz.com
Cyrano , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 2:53 am GMTWhy (Oh, why) do the empires – or at least very successful countries collapse? The answer is actually very simple. Because the elites of such successful entities lose touch with reality.animalogic , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 8:01 am GMT
The elites in every country, even the worst s ** tholes on the planet earth are always going to be OK, better than the ordinary citizens – that's the whole point of being an elite – to avoid the suffering of the common people.
And because there is no mechanism to increase the suffering of the elites in tandem with the suffering of the ordinary population – when the times are tough – the elites fail to respond to the difficulties that ordinary citizens face.
The elites start living in a fantasy world where they believe that as long as they are OK, the country is OK. But the elites are going to be OK right up to the moment the country collapses, so that's not an accurate measure of how the country is doing. The country can be in the doldrums and the elites will still be OK.
That disconnect from reality is what prevents them to undertake measures that will alleviate the plight of the majority of the population.
To make the things even worse, the elites of the enlightened west (that's how you call countries that are struck by lightning) seems to have found a way to progressively increase the benefits for themselves proportionately to the decrease of good fortunes coming the way of the common citizens, thus further removing any incentive to act on behalf of the majority of the population and further increasing the chasm that separates the haves from the have nots.@Cyrano Really good comment Cyrano.St-Germain , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 11:18 am GMT
"Because the elites of such successful entities lose touch with reality."
Elites have "found a way to progressively increase the benefits for themselves proportionately to the decrease of good fortunes coming the way of the common citizens, thus further removing any incentive to act on behalf of the majority of the population and further increasing the chasm that separates the haves from the have nots."
In fact, the wealthier Elites become, the greater the chasm between them & the 99.9% becomes, the more desperate Elites come to feel about their situation. Call it subconscious guilt or conscious fear & insecurity but the richer & more powerful they feel, the more they demand -- more .
The idea that they could at least fore-stall problems by a few reforms that would cost them little (ie, a "people's QE") is unthinkable. "If we give 'em an inch, they'll demand a mile"
Such acts of sensible benevolence are felt to be demeaning & dangerous.
And further, they've spent 40 years restructuring society & economy to serve their interests, any reform now, however trivial, could undermine that structure. Reform itself is an act of self contradiction to a class that has never missed a chance to take-take-take for 40 years.
US Elites are not a tree that can bend in the wind. They are completely rigid. Only events of god-almighty significance will break them.
The current shenanigans will not do that. But, given rates of unemployment, & contraction of GDP, given the distinct possibility of vast future immiseration, current events may be the first breathe of a god almighty wind set to blow the whole shithouse down.
Unfortunately, current events are politically vacuous & offer no sign of real political conscious.
Lack of political direction can only lead to anarchy -- & anarchy is just as likely to strengthen the Elite hand as anything else.Current History , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 11:53 am GMT
Irrespective of whether either faction will succeed in instrumentalizing the riots, what we are seeing today is a systemic collapse of the US society.
Amen. The collapse is systemic , it is social , and it has been gathering momentum for decades. Thank you, Saker, for pointing that out. It's about time someone above the battle invested serious thought in what's really going on in the hearts, minds and streets. Your analysis is head and shoulders above the rabble-rousing we get from parochial home-grown U.S. pundits, who deal only in labelling their personal heroes or villains du jour (Blacks, Cops, White Supremacists, Jews, Climate Change, Empire, Bat viruses, Trump, and so forth).
Those who agree with Saker's brilliant analysis and seek a deeper understanding of mechanism at work may want to consult Joseph A. Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge 1988). He invokes archaeological case studies to prove that what we are seeing is actually a function of the law of diminishing returns (which is way broader than economics). Complexity advances to a point at which the rulers' latest fixes for arising problems do more harm than good since all these separate "solutions" invariably have an unforeseen systemic effect.
At that point a system's traditional cheer-leading investment to engender social esprit and voluntary compliance for a common good is no longer credible and the ruling elite is then forced to resort to raw repression of dissent, which is much more costly than just benign propaganda. All key institutions collapse not in isolation but systemically, and chunks of a fragmenting society must spall off in order to save themselves from ruin. The inevitable systemic collapse runs its course.@Cyrano Excellent post Cyrano:Simpleguest , says: Show Comment June 5, 2020 at 12:55 pm GMT
"And because there is no mechanism to increase the suffering of the elites in tandem with the suffering of the ordinary population – when the times are tough – the elites fail to respond to the difficulties that ordinary citizens face."
As you said: That's what makes them an elite.
"The elites start living in a fantasy world where they believe that as long as they are OK, the country is OK. But the elites are going to be OK right up to the moment the country collapses, so that's not an accurate measure of how the country is doing."
And when America finally does collapse, and their "fantasy world" ends, they'll fly off in their private jet to one of their homes in New Zealand, Australia, or Switzerland.@Cyrano
The elites start living in a fantasy world where they believe that as long as they are OK, the country is OK. But the elites are going to be OK right up to the moment the country collapses, so that's not an accurate measure of how the country is doing. The country can be in the doldrums and the elites will still be OK.
That disconnect from reality is what prevents them to undertake measures that will alleviate the plight of the majority of the population.
I beg to differ a bit. This is true only as far elites are of capitalist and/or aristocratic kind. You probably draw your conclusions from the French and Russian revolutions.
However, I would argue that political elites in the former communist countries did try to reform the system for the benefit of the citizens and, after seeing their efforts fail, had the integrity to step down peacefully. The only possible exception being China where reforms were fruitfull.
Unironically, one could argue that communist elites, having no personal wealth and stakes, remained honest and true to their essential creed of serving the greater common good. When the deep crisis of socialism in 1980s seemed to require that they step down and contries abandon socialist order, they indeed steped down in the interest of the common good as it was perceived at the time.
Now we see that we may have to reconsider the whole "fall of communism" thing again, but, this theme is, off course, tangential to this article's topic.
Jun 26, 2019 | www.unz.com
...If you bomb Syria, do not admit you did it to install your puppet regime or to lay a pipeline. Say you did it to save the Aleppo kids gassed by Assad the Butcher. If you occupy Afghanistan, do not admit you make a handsome profit smuggling heroin; say you came to protect the women. If you want to put your people under total surveillance, say you did it to prevent hate groups target the powerless and diverse.
Remember: you do not need to ask children, women or immigrants whether they want your protection. If pushed, you can always find a few suitable profiles to look at the cameras and repeat a short text. With all my dislike for R2P (Responsibility to Protect) hypocrisy, I can't possibly blame the allegedly protected for the disaster caused by the unwanted protectors.
Jun 20, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
A way to capture this change was thinking in terms of the traditional task of journalists to interview or consult a variety of sources to determine was is truth or true. The shift gradually became one of now interviewing or consulting various sources and reporting those opinions.
Old-school journalism was like being assigned the task of finding out what "1+1 =?" and the task was to report the answer was "1."
Now the task would be to report that "Some say it is 1, some say it is 2, some say it is 3."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,
So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.
If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.
That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.
After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).
Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.
The jig, as they say, is up.
But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?
... ... ...
Jun 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jun 1 2020 17:58 utc | 26This one better pierces the veil:
"Partisan politics has created severe divisions in society. Such divisions restrict and disturb people's thinking. People's support for a particular party is only a matter of stance, which provides a shelter to politicians who violate people's interests.
"As elections come and go, it is simply about one group of elites replacing the other. The intertwined interests between the two groups are much greater than those between the victorious one and the electorate who vote for them.
"To cover such deception, the key agenda in the US is either a partisan fight or a conflict with foreign countries. The severe racial discrimination and wealth disparities are marginalized topics."
I wonder if the writer would like to see his conclusion proven wrong:
"Judging from the superficial comments and statements from US politicians on the protests, the outsiders can easily draw the conclusion that solving problems is not on the minds of the country, and elites are just fearlessly waiting for this wave of demonstrations to die out."
In order to solve problems, one must know their components and roots, and that demands honesty in making the assessment. Looking back at the assessments of Cornel West and the producers of the Four Horsemen documentary, the main culprit is the broken political system/failed social experiment, which are essentially one in the same as the flawed system produced the failure. Most of us have determined that changing the system via the system will never work because the system has empowered a Class that has no intentions on allowing its power to be diminished, and that Class is currently using the system to further impoverish and enslave the citizenry into Debt Peonage while increasing its own power. The #1 problem is removing the Financial Parasite Class from power. Yes, at the moment that seems as difficult as destroying the Death Star's reactor before it blows up Yavin 4, but the stakes involved are every bit as high as those portrayed in Lucas's Star Wars , as the Evil of the Empire and that of the Parasite Class are the same Evil.
H.Schmatz , Jun 1 2020 18:09 utc | 27vk , Jun 1 2020 18:27 utc | 31What political demand could one possibly make by now, and of whom would you make it? Reform is impossible, and there's no legitimate authority left (if there ever was in the first place).
Posted by: Russ | Jun 1 2020 17:49 utc | 23
Indeed, apart from the shock of witnessing one of them murderd in plain daylight as if he were a vermin, I think that the people, especially young, reacted that anarchic way because they really see no future. They see how their country functions at steering wheel blows especially through the pandemic, preview they will e in the need soon, even that they will be murdered without contemeplation,and go out there to grab whatever they could...
We forget that they are under Trump regime and Trump has supported always their foes, witnessing such assassination in plain daylight, without any officila doing nothing, not even charging the obvious culprits was felt by tese people as if the hunting season on nigers and lefties" had been declared. No other way yo ucan explain the sudden union of such ammount of black and white young people. Thye felt all targets of the ops or of Trump´s white supreamcist militias after four years of being dgreaded as subhumans. In fact, were not for the riots to turn so violent, I fear carnages of all these peoples would have started.
The people, brainwashed or not, at least when they are young, still conserve some survival instincts and some common sense too.@ Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 1 2020 17:58 utc | 26Kali , Jun 1 2020 18:52 utc | 35
Yes, the republican model of organization is naturally unstable and doomed to collapse. Everybody knows what happened to the Roman Republic: tendency to polarization, civil war and collapse.
However, the reverse is also true: when the economy is flying high, every political system works. Everybody is happy when there's wealth for everybody.
The present problem, therefore, is inherent to the capitalist system, not with the republican system per se.A Story: How The Chickens Came Home To Roost
The media and politicians have repeated a mantra for years n order to gain power by exploiting social and racial faultlines. They didn't want to deal with the actual cause of societal discontent which is their own support of an exploitative economic system which disempowers and pushed down everyone but the 1%. So they invented a false cause of discontent in order to appear as saviors who are bringing a message of Hope and ChangeWhite people are racist. White people are inherently evil and greedy. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Black and Brown people are good, Black and Brown people are victims of the racist greedy evil white people.
White people are racist. White people are inherently evil and greedy. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Black and Brown people are good, Black and Brown people are victims of the racist greedy evil white people.
After enough time has gone by, we have a generation of young people of all colors who believe the above mantra with all their heart because of hearing that mantra every day in the media, in schools, in movies, from leaders. The media knowing that, would then look for ways to exploit their hatred of "white racism against black and brown people."
The media would sensationalize any act of violence involving white on black and brown. They ignored all the violence of black and brown on white. This uneven media reporting was based on their desire to reinforce the mantra of "white people are evil racists, black and brown people are victims and good."
Because it would paint themselves as supporters of "social justice" they created a false version of reality where everything bad in society was because of white people being racist. Never mind the actual causes of societal discontent being the exploitation by the elite. Because the media is the elite they don't want you to hate them. So they created a false victimizer they could blame for all the problems of society.
Because violence from black and brown on white was never reported by the media except in local news, people only heard from the national narrative of white violence of black and brown because people don't pay attention to local news. They grew up believing the police only abused black and brown people, they grew up believing that random street violence was only from white people against black and brown. None of which is true.
This was bound to end up with a generation of people who believed the false narrative where America is a nation where black and brown people are always the victims, and white people are always the victimizers. And as you can see in the riots, the rioters are almost all under 30. A generation has grown up being brainwashed by the mantra:White people are racist. White people are inherently evil and greedy. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Black and Brown people are good, Black and Brown people are victims of the racist greedy evil white people.
That is why so many people are perfectly fine with the violence and looting based on a few recent incidents of white on black violence. During the same time period there was plenty of black on black violence, plenty of brown on brown violence, and plenty of black and brown on white violence. But the national media never highlights any violence but white on black and brown. That is what has led to the new normal where any violence involving white on black or brown will be blown up WAY out of proportion to the reality of violence in America. Which is an equal opportunity game. A generation of people has grown up to believe that white racism is the cause of all the problems.
Meanwhile the elites sit in their yachts and laugh. The rabble are busy fighting over race when the real issue is ignored. The media has done their job admirably. Their job is to deflect rage from the elite to racism. From wealthy exploitation of the commons, to racism. As long as the underclasses are busy blaming racism then the politicians, business leaders, and media are satisfied because they are the actual ones to blame. They are the enemy. They blame racism for all the problems as a way to hide that truth of their own culpability for the problems in society. THEIR OWN GREED AND CONTEMPT FOR THE UNDERCLASS.
May 31, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
NemesisCalling , May 31 2020 17:45 utc | 26@ vk 23
You are completely wrong, of course. What is happening now is the exact same thing as Hong Kong. In any given instance of mass revolt, you have two warring factions, usually funded at the top by diametrically opposed elites.
In Hong Kong, it is pro-western, old-guard/money versus Chinese new-guard. In America, we have the old-guard/money represented currently by the DJT-phenomenon, meaning Anti-globalist nationalists, and, on the other side, you have new-money internationalists and neolibs represented by billionaires, big-tech, the democratic party and garden-variety globalists.
Look at the degree of organization (or lack thereof) which was able to politically assassinate Gen. Flynn! You had the dem establishment and billionaires like the Clintons, Obama-faction sycophants all the way up to the top.
You think that this event is entirely grassroots? Give me a f*cking break, vk. You are such a blatantly obvious Chinese shill, no doubt probably employed by globalist entities, that the fact you are unable to employ an effective and probable analysis on these current "protests" reaffirm to me exactly what you are and what you stand for.
Blue Dotterel , May 31 2020 17:55 utc | 27@NemesisCalling | May 31 2020 17:45 utc | 26Abe , May 31 2020 18:05 utc | 30
You could also have the same oligarchs funding both sides in a divide and conquer strategy. This is a common strategy that has been used in Turkey among others in the runup to the 1980 coup. It was also used by the US and Israel in their funding of both sides in the Iran/Iraq war in the 80s.
In the former it was used to ramp up violence to justify a military coup. That is very probable here, except that martial law might be the objective. Similar to the Iran/Iraq, the stoking of violence between liberals and conservatives may simply be to wear them out for when the economy truly tanks to justify in the minds of the sheeple a greater oppression of demonstrations in future.US is becoming like Israel even more. Considering same people rule both countries, and same people train cops in both of them, is it surprising 99%-ers in US are becoming treated like Palestinians?
May 23, 2020 | discussion.theguardian.com
hartebeest , 10 Apr 2019 18:42Back in the Thatcher/Reagan years there were at people around who genuinely believed in the superiority of the market, or at least, made the effort to set out an intellectual case for it.Apomorph -> GeorgeMonbiot , 10 Apr 2019 18:19
Now we're in a different era. After 2008, hardly anyone really believes in neoliberal ideas anymore, not to the point that they'd openly make the case for them anyway. But while different visions have appeared to some extent on both left and right, most of those in positions of power and influence have so internalised Thatcher's 'there is no alternative' that it's beyond their political horizons to treat any alternatives which do emerge as serious propositions, let alone come up with their own.
So neoliberalism stumbles on almost as a reflex action. Ben Fine calls it a 'zombie' but I think the better analogy is cannibalism. Unlike the privatisations of the 80s and 90s there's barely any pretence these days that new sell-offs are anything more than simply part of a quest to find new avenues for profit-making in an economy with tons of liquid capital but not enough places to profitability put it. Because structurally speaking most of the economy is tapped out.
Privatising public services at this point is just a way to asset strip and/or funnel public revenue streams to a private sector which has been stuck in neoliberal short-term, low skill, low productivity, low wage, high debt mode for so long that it has lost the ability to grow. So now it is eating itself, or at least eating the structures which hold it up and allow it to survive.Right-wing ideology is often presented as a natural state and not ideological at all. This denial is a central feature, acting as a way of abdicating responsibility for harmful and selfish actions and providing means of fostering intellectual suspicion to prevent challenges or structured and coherent critiques like your own. The right engenders coalitions of people disinterested in politics and distrustful of politicians with those who feel intellectually superior but see politics as an amoral game in the pursuit of "enlightened" self-interest.
As a result, everything about it is disingenous. There is no alternative (that we want you to choose). It's not racist to (constantly, always negatively and to the expense of everything else) talk about immigration. Cutting taxes for the rich reduces inequality (because we change the criteria to exclude the richest from the calculations). This is also because there are dualities at play. Neoliberalism relies on immigration to increase worker competition and suppress wage demand but courts the xenophobic vote (which is why even with reduced EU migration Brexit has so far increased overall immigration and would continue to do so in the event of no deal or May's deal). Both Remainers and Leavers have accused the other of being a neoliberal project, and in certain aspects -because of these dualities - both sides are correct.
I also believe the disdain for "political correctness" is somewhat a result of neoliberalism, since marketisation is so fundamental to the project and the wedge of the market is advertising, the language of bullshit and manipulation. People railing against political correctness feel judged for their automatic thoughts that they identify as natural instead of culturally determined. Behavioural advertising encourages these thoughts and suppresses consideration. It is a recipe for resentment.
May 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Joe B , May 23 2020 0:23 utc | 43... ... ...
That article notes "The so called 'pro-democracy' parties in Hong Kong have lost in each and every local election. The pro-China parties always receive a majority of votes" so that is the issue to be cited.
2. The political issue presented by the US is of the legitimacy of secession of an alleged democracy from what it alleges is not a democracy. Governments never permit secession, whether legitimate or not, so US action would be provocation with only symbolic effect.
If the US was a democracy and the PRC was a tyranny, the US claim would be at least ethical. But the US form of government is bribery via political parties, masquerading as democracy to keep the proles in line. It simply claims that the PRC is not as much of a democracy, to a public that has no information on that. So the missing ethical issue is: is the PRC more of a democracy, some kind of democracy, etc.?
May 15, 2020 | www.unz.com
450.org , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMTCase in point. America has a surveillance state but it refuses to use it to save lives. Instead, it uses it to save Wall Street and protect the extractive elite from any TRUE REAL threat. I relish the notion of this virus running rampant across America until it ravages, and decimates actually, the Praetorian Guard Class, the managerial class if you will, that licks the ass of the extractive elite for some bread crust, discarded steak fat and a Tesla. I want to see them truly suffer for their sins.
After weeks cooped up at home following governors' orders to contain the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. residents appear eager to get moving again. As more states began to relax restrictions, about 25 million more people ventured outside their homes on an average day last week than during the preceding six weeks, a New York Times analysis of cellphone data found .
In nearly every part of the country, the share of people staying home dropped, in some places by nearly 11 percentage points.
As the death toll from this pandemic rises in America with no end in sight, Wall Street, as reflected in the DJIA, doesn't even blink and actually cheers. It doesn't get any sicker than that. Wall Street sees the carnage as an opportunity to make more profit off of death and the extractive elite see it as an opportunity to concentrate wealth even further and rid the world of burdensome useless eaters. It's sick. It's sadistic. It's malevolent. It's evil. It's our reality.
Damn them all to hell.
May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 11:01 am GMTTom , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 11:37 am GMT
A Bicephalous Monoparty and the Four Pillars
Yes the Deep State is a two sided coin. One side Republicans, the other Democrats.
The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the two parties as long as their important issues (wealth and power) are advanced. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.Fred nails it to the wall here. We're free to argue what color the Titanic should be paintedAnonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT
but don't dare mention the iceberg. When you cross the line on social media, the neo-Hundred Roses campaign has it all for the day that they decide to really clip your wings.
Even off-limits dissidence is encouraged in certain quarters so as to identify those with views inimical to the official state narratives. So you see, free speech can be a tool of the Leviathan State to enslave its enemies. The intrepid Winston Smith's of this site and everywhere beware!Hermetic control of information isn't needed, and would be noticed.450.org , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:54 pm GMT
Hermetic control of information is precisely what is needed and also achieved by the faux left-right shadow boxing on TV news that predictably converges on the identical narrative during events like 9-11 and CV-19.
In almost 100% of the cases from what I can tell, CNN or MSNBC fields the narrative and then Fox News suffocates reaction with maundering imbecilities about democracy being our greatest strength when, in truth, it now guarantees extermination in our own land -- thanks also to the Republican stooges' empty handwringing that amounts to their assent as well.Trump supporters love them some totalitarianism. The East Germany model of democratic capitalism, right?vot tak , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 3:13 pm GMT
McConnell and Trump are Siamese Twins. This is Trump as much as it's McConnell. Trump, who has repeatedly decried the FBI and thrown it under the bus, wants to empower it and retool it into a brownshirt organization as if it isn't already. Trump supporters want tyranny. They want totalitarianism. They just want their brand of it. Their own shade of totalitarian lipstick so to speak. Hypocrites. Fools. Numbskulls. Scumbags.
Two independent sources provided a copy of the amendment to Reason. As Ackerman reported, the amendment would give the FBI the authority under the PATRIOT Act to secretly collect the browsing records and search history of Americans without a warrant.
McConnell's amendment accomplishes this by adding the words "internet website browsing records, internet search history records" to the list of records described in FISA law that covers FBI searches that require businesses to provide customer records. In other words, this amendment would permit the FBI to turn to your internet provider and demand they fork over your browser history."We have now listed the fundamentals of American government."
No you have not. Fundamental #1 is that the government is essentially a subsidiary of big business, and operated as an enforcement and regulatory tool. U.s. government is mostly a front which oligarchic corporate/capitalist power sits behind to wield their power. IE: it is business that uses government for their ends, and not the other way around, government wielding business, as Reed appears to posit here in his discussion of how american government works.
May 06, 2020 | www.unz.com
Debates like the 5G one have not emerged in a vacuum. They come at a moment of unprecedented information dissemination that derives from a decade of rapid growth in social media. We are the first societies to have access to data and information that was once the preserve of monarchs, state officials and advisers, and in more recent times a few select journalists.
Now rogue academics, rogue journalists, rogue former officials -- anyone, in fact -- can go online and discover a myriad of things that until recently no one outside a small establishment circle was ever supposed to understand. If you know where to look, you can even find some of this stuff on Wikipedia (see, for example, Operation Timber Sycamore ).
The effect of this information overload has been to disorientate the great majority of us who lack the time, the knowledge and the analytical skills to sift through it all and make sense of the world around us. It is hard to discriminate when there is so much information -- good and bad alike -- to digest.
Nonetheless, we have got a sense from these online debates, reinforced by events in the non-virtual world, that our politicians do not always tell the truth, that money -- rather than the public interest -- sometimes wins out in decision-making processes, and that our elites may be little better equipped than us -- aside from their expensive educations -- to run our societies.
Two decades of lies
There has been a handful of staging posts over the past two decades to our current era of the Great Disillusionment. They include:the lack of transparency in the US government's investigation into the events surrounding 9/11 (obscured by a parallel online controversy about what took place that day); the documented lies told about the reasons for launching a disastrous and illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003 that unleashed regional chaos, waves of destabilising migration into Europe and new, exceptionally brutal forms of political Islam; the astronomical bailouts after the 2008 crash of bankers whose criminal activities nearly bankrupted the global economy (but who were never held to account) and instituted more than a decade of austerity measures that had to be paid for by the public; the refusal by western governments and global institutions to take any leadership on tackling climate change , as not only the science but the weather itself has made the urgency of that emergency clear, because it would mean taking on their corporate sponsors; and now the criminal failures of our governments to prepare for, and respond properly to, the Covid-19 pandemic, despite many years of warnings.
Anyone who still takes what our governments say at face value well, I have several bridges to sell you.
Experts failed us
But it is not just governments to blame. The failings of experts, administrators and the professional class have been all too visible to the public as well. Those officials who have enjoyed easy access to prominent platforms in the state-corporate media have obediently repeated what state and corporate interests wanted us to hear, often only for that information to be exposed later as incomplete, misleading or downright fabricated.
In the run-up to the 2003 attack on Iraq, too many political scientists, journalists and weapons experts kept their heads down, keen to preserve their careers and status, rather than speak up in support of those rare experts like Scott Ritter and the late David Kelly who dared to sound the alarm that we were not being told the whole truth.
In 2008, only a handful of economists was prepared to break with corporate orthodoxy and question whether throwing money at bankers exposed as financial criminals was wise, or to demand that these bankers be prosecuted. The economists did not argue the case that there must be a price for the banks to pay, such as a public stake in the banks that were bailed out, in return for forcing taxpayers to massively invest in these discredited businesses. And the economists did not propose overhauling our financial systems to make sure there was no repetition of the economic crash. Instead, they kept their heads down as well, in the hope that their large salaries continued and that they would not lose their esteemed positions in think-tanks and universities.
We know that climate scientists were quietly warning back in the 1950s of the dangers of runaway global warming, and that in the 1980s scientists working for the fossil-fuel companies predicted very precisely how and when the catastrophe would unfold -- right about now. It is wonderful that today the vast majority of these scientists are publicly agreed on the dangers, even if they are still trapped in a dangerous caution by the conservatism of scientific procedure. But they forfeited public trust by leaving it so very, very late to speak up.
And recently we have learnt, for example, that a series of Conservative governments in the UK recklessly ran down the supplies of hospital protective gear , even though they had more than a decade of warnings of a coming pandemic. The question is why did no scientific advisers or health officials blow the whistle earlier. Now it is too late to save the lives of many thousands, including dozens of medical staff, who have fallen victim so far to the virus in the UK.
Lesser of two evils
Worse still, in the Anglosphere of the US and the UK, we have ended up with political systems that offer a choice between one party that supports a brutal, unrestrained version of neoliberalism and another party that supports a marginally less brutal, slightly mitigated version of neoliberalism. (And we have recently discovered in the UK that, after the grassroots membership of one of those twinned parties managed to choose a leader in Jeremy Corbyn who rejected this orthodoxy, his own party machine conspired to throw the election rather than let him near power.) As we are warned at each election, in case we decide that elections are in fact futile, we enjoy a choice -- between the lesser of two evils.
Those who ignore or instinctively defend these glaring failings of the modern corporate system are really in no position to sit smugly in judgment on those who wish to question the safety of 5G, or vaccines, or the truth of 9/11, or the reality of a climate catastrophe, or even of the presence of lizard overlords.
Because through their reflexive dismissal of doubt, of all critical thinking on anything that has not been pre-approved by our governments and by the state-corporate media, they have helped to disfigure the only yardsticks we have for measuring truth or falsehood. They have forced on us a terrible choice: to blindly follow those who have repeatedly demonstrated they are not worthy of being followed, or to trust nothing at all, to doubt everything. Neither position is one a healthy, balanced individual would want to adopt. But that is where we are today.
Big Brother regimes
It is therefore hardly surprising that those who have been so discredited by the current explosion of information -- the politicians, the corporations and the professional class -- are wondering how to fix things in the way most likely to maintain their power and authority.
They face two, possibly complementary options.
One is to allow the information overload to continue, or even escalate. There is an argument to be made that the more possible truths we are presented with, the more powerless we feel and the more willing we are to defer to those most vocal in claiming authority. Confused and hopeless, we will look to father figures, to the strongmen of old, to those who have cultivated an aura of decisiveness and fearlessness, to those who look like down-to-earth mavericks and rebels.
This approach will throw up more Donald Trumps, Boris Johnsons and Jair Bolsonaros. And these men, while charming us with their supposed lack of orthodoxy, will still, of course, be exceptionally accommodating to the most powerful corporate interests -- the military-industrial complex -- that really run the show.
The other option, which has already been road-tested under the rubric of "fake news", will be to treat us, the public, like irresponsible children, who need a firm, guiding hand. The technocrats and professionals will try to re-establish their authority as though the last two decades never occurred, as though we never saw through their hypocrisy and lies.
They will cite "conspiracy theories" -- even the true ones -- as proof that it is time to impose new curbs on internet freedoms, on the right to speak and to think. They will argue that the social media experiment has run its course and proved itself a menace -- because we, the public, are a menace. They are already flying trial balloons for this new Big Brother world, under cover of tackling the health threats posed by the Covid-19 epidemic.
Surveillance a price worth paying to beat coronavirus, says Blair thinktank https://t.co/AAb1nnv4pG
-- Guardian news (@guardiannews) April 24, 2020
We should not be surprised that the "thought-leaders" for shutting down the cacophony of the internet are those whose failures have been most exposed by our new freedoms to explore the dark recesses of the recent past. They have included Tony Blair, the British prime minister who lied western publics into the disastrous and illegal war on Iraq in 2003, and Jack Goldsmith, rewarded as a Harvard law professor for his role -- since whitewashed -- in helping the Bush administration legalise torture and step up warrantless surveillance programmes.
Fmr. Bush admin lawyer/current Harvard Law prof Jack Goldsmith goes full-Thomas Friedman, credits China's enlightened authoritarian approach to information as "largely right" and laments the US' provincial fealty to the First Amendment as "largely wrong." https://t.co/1WyQtgE8bK pic.twitter.com/1M03ybxh0I
-- Anthony L. Fisher (@anthonyLfisher) April 26, 2020
Need for a new media
The only alternative to a future in which we are ruled by Big Brother technocrats like Tony Blair, or by chummy authoritarians who brook no dissent, or a mix of the two, will require a complete overhaul of our societies' approach to information. We will need fewer curbs on free speech, not more.
The real test of our societies -- and the only hope of surviving the coming emergencies, economic and environmental -- will be finding a way to hold our leaders truly to account. Not based on whether they are secretly lizards, but on what they are doing to save our planet from our all-too-human, self-destructive instinct for acquisition and our craving for guarantees of security in an uncertain world.
That, in turn, will require a transformation of our relationship to information and debate. We will need a new model of independent, pluralistic, responsive, questioning media that is accountable to the public, not to billionaires and corporations. Precisely the kind of media we do not have now. We will need media we can trust to represent the full range of credible, intelligent, informed debate, not the narrow Overton window through which we get a highly partisan, distorted view of the world that serves the 1 per cent -- an elite so richly rewarded by the current system that they are prepared to ignore the fact that they and we are hurtling towards the abyss.
With that kind of media in place -- one that truly holds politicians to account and celebrates scientists for their contributions to collective knowledge, not their usefulness to corporate enrichment -- we would not need to worry about the safety of our communications systems or medicines, we would not need to doubt the truth of events in the news or wonder whether we have lizards for rulers, because in that kind of world no one would rule over us. They would serve the public for the common good.
Sounds like a fantastical, improbable system of government? It has a name: democracy. Maybe it is time for us finally to give it a go.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgThe dems are incapable of finding a credible stand in for Biden. Some flunky might come to the fore but thet will most likely be the result of a 'committee' decision as the dems have cancelled democracy and decency.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 5 2020 18:31 utc | 4
Jackrabbit , May 5 2020 20:31 utc | 15Seeing everyone get worked up over Biden is funny. Do you think you'll get a better candidate? Bernie dropped out for a reason. He was never a real candidate. There will not be any real candidate for change.ptb , May 5 2020 19:09 utc | 9
Killary's pretended "health problems" in 2016 seem like a fore-shadowing of Biden's. May be she really is the ultimately "the one" in 2020.
All we can do is watch and LOL.
!!burnemall , May 5 2020 19:17 utc | 10
nah, as long as DC Democrats run the show, it'll be Biden all the way.
VP nominee: Jeb Bush in drag.Burn em all!Elephant , May 5 2020 19:20 utc | 11It doesn't matter who the nominee is, and that's true for both parties. As I believe we all know, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and, to some extent, the bureaucracy, are what drives the agenda. The goons heading up the parade are simply an odd form of bread and circus.Lozion , May 5 2020 19:30 utc | 12I say its time for Cthulhu.Jen , May 5 2020 20:08 utc | 14
After all, Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn..
Right?Lozion @ 14:
Cthulhu couldn't destroy the US any more than its politicians and other leaders in its other institutions (in education, in the entertainment and media industries, in the financial sector, in the defence industry) have already done so perhaps his time has come.
Yog Sothoth for Vice President!
Apr 30, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
Previously undisclosed documents in the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn offer us a chilling blueprint on how top FBI officials not only sought to entrap the former White House aide but sought to do so on such blatantly unconstitutional and manufactured grounds.
These new documents further undermine the view of both the legitimacy and motivations of those investigations under former FBI director James Comey. For all of those who have long seen a concerted effort within the Justice Department to target the Trump administration, the fragments will read like a Dead Sea Scrolls version of a "deep state" conspiracy.
One note reflects discussions within the FBI shortly after the 2016 election on how to entrap Flynn in an interview concerning his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to Fox News, the note was written by the former FBI head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap, after a meeting with Comey and his deputy director, Andrew McCabe.
The note states, "What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?" This may have expressed an honest question over the motivation behind this targeting of Flynn, a decision for which Comey later publicly took credit when he had told an audience that he decided he could "get away" with sending "a couple guys over" to the White House to set up Flynn and make the case.
The new documents also explore how the Justice Department could get Flynn to admit breaking the Logan Act, a law that dates back to from 1799 which makes it a crime for a citizen to intervene in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. It has never been used to convict a citizen and is widely viewed as flagrantly unconstitutional.
In his role as the national security adviser to the president elect, there was nothing illegal in Flynn meeting with Kislyak. To use this abusive law here was utterly absurd, although other figures such as former acting Attorney General Sally Yates also raised it. Nevertheless, the FBI had latched onto this abusive law to target the retired Army lieutenant general .
Another newly released document is an email from former FBI lawyer Lisa Page to former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who played the leadership role in targeting Flynn. In the email, Page suggests that Flynn could be set up by making a passing reference to a federal law that criminalizes lies to federal investigators. She suggested to Strzok that "it would be an easy way to just casually slip that in." So this effort was not about protecting national security or learning critical intelligence. It was about bagging Flynn for the case in the legal version of a canned trophy hunt.
It is also disturbing that this evidence was only recently disclosed by the Justice Department. When Flynn was pressured to plead guilty to a single count of lying to investigators, he was unaware such evidence existed and that the federal investigators who had interviewed him told their superiors they did not think that Flynn intentionally lied when he denied discussing sanctions against Russia with Kislyak. Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team changed all that and decided to bring the dubious charge. They drained Flynn financially then threatened to charge his son.
Flynn never denied the conversation and knew the FBI had a transcript of it. Indeed, President Trump publicly discussed a desire to reframe Russian relations and renegotiate such areas of tensions. But Flynn still ultimately pleaded guilty to the single false statement to federal investigators. This additional information magnifies the doubts over the case.
Various FBI officials also lied and acted in arguably criminal or unethical ways, but all escaped without charges. McCabe had a supervisory role in the Flynn prosecution. He was then later found by the Justice Department inspector general to have repeatedly lied to investigators. While his case was referred for criminal charges, McCabe was fired but never charged. Strzok was also fired for his misconduct in the investigation.
Comey intentionally leaked FBI material, including potentially classified information but was never charged. Another FBI agent responsible for the secret warrants used for the Russia investigation had falsified evidence to maintain the investigation. He is still not indicted. The disconnect of these cases with the treatment of Flynn is galling and grotesque.
Even the judge in the case has added to this disturbing record. As Flynn appeared before District Judge Emmet Sullivan for sentencing, Sullivan launched into him and said he could be charged with treason and with working as an unregistered agent on behalf of Turkey. Pointing to a flag behind him, Sullivan declared to Flynn, "You were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States. That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out."
Flynn was never charged with treason or with being a foreign agent. But when Sullivan menacingly asked if he wanted a sentence then and there, Flynn wisely passed. It is a record that truly shocks the conscience. While rare, it is still possible for the district court to right this wrong since Flynn has not been sentenced. The Justice Department can invite the court to use its inherent supervisory authority to right a wrong of its own making. As the Supreme Court made clear in 1932, "universal sense of justice" is a stake in such cases. It is the "duty of the court to stop the prosecution in the interest of the government itself to protect it from the illegal conduct of its officers and to preserve the purity of its courts."
Flynn was a useful tool for everyone and everything but justice. Mueller had ignored the view of the investigators and coerced Flynn to plead to a crime he did not commit to gain damaging testimony against Trump and his associates that Flynn did not have. The media covered Flynn to report the flawed theory of Russia collusion and to foster the view that some sort of criminal conspiracy was being uncovered by Mueller. Even the federal judge used Flynn to rail against what he saw as a treasonous plot. What is left in the wake of the prosecution is an utter travesty of justice.
Justice demands a dismissal of his prosecution. But whatever the "goal" may have been in setting up Flynn, justice was not one of them.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley . - " Source "
May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm GMTHere's something to be disillusioned about. Deep State as Deep Corruption.AaronInMVD , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm GMT
But what happened to the Trump who was going to drain the swamp? He filled it with more sewage.
He murdered Soleimani and interferes in Venezuelan politics in ways that Russia has been accused(falsely) of interfering in US politics.@Priss Factor I suspect the true backbreaker when it comes to disillusioning for me was seeing how thoroughly Trump was disconnected from the levers of power except for those few cases when he'd been surrounded by war lobby shills.
Whatever welcome change Trump could have brought has been completely negated by the fact everyone he hired or could have hired is too stuck in the status quo to welcome change. Even the people he though could have been the "rebels" on his side lead him down that path of seeing Iranian ballistic missiles hitting US troop positions in Iraq.
The only thing that might have worked would have been firing everyone he could during the first 7 days and filling as many posts as he could with clean cut (as opposed to neck bearded) alt-right 20-somethings.
I voted for Trump, but Trump still wasn't enough to keep me in the US.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
A quick study of history shows that when exploiting elites are doing great, they all faithfully support each other, but when things start to go south, they immediately turn on each other. The best recent example of this phenomenon is the schism in the US ruling elites who, since the election of Trump, have immediately turned on each other and are now viciously fighting like "spiders in a can" (to use a Russian expression). In fact, this is so true that it can even be used as a very reliable diagnostic tool: when your enemies are all united, then they are probably confident in their victory, but as soon as they turn on each other, you *know* that things are looking very bad for your opponents. Likewise, we now see how southern Europeans are getting really angry with their northern "EU allies" ( Macron seems to be falling in line behind Trump even if he uses a more careful and diplomatic language). Finally, the way the US CIA has one foreign policy, the Pentagon another and Foggy Bottom one of its own (even if limited to sanctions and finger-pointing) tells you pretty much all you need to know to see how deep the systemic crisis of the Empire has become.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jake , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMTThis cannot be overemphasized: "Last, but most certainly not least, the Europeans will find out (and some already have), that the US literally does not give a damn about not only regular Europeans, but even about the European ruling classes."
That has been the defining pattern of WASP culture since its formation (or completion with the rise of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism). But it is more generally a hallmark of Germanic pagans/warlords. It is about endless rapine with honor given to those who help those above them secure more spoils. There is zero concern for the working man (whether he tends cattle to feed the rich or rows the viking boats), and the honor for others in the chain of command lasts only as long as they profit those above them.
The chief Elites of the Anglo-Zionist Empire are, obviously, all tied directly to the US. The Brit Elites have the honorary position of being the second most prestigious. Every other nation's Elites are on rather thin ice. The second that French Elite stop pimping for Uncle Sam is the second that the Elites of the Anglo-Zionist Empire see them as trash that must be removed.
The naive backers of the EU still assume that that alliance is what saves them from the US inflicting direct overlordship. They are damned fools, because the EU acts in concert with the Anglo-Zionist Empire on all major matters that, ultimately, will make all of Western Europe a playpen for the Anglo-Zionist Elites.
And for our VDARE crowd – that is the reality of the spread of English language and of WASP run empire. When it moves from a small local church and community, WASP culture must be perpetually imperialistic and philoSemitic. It must destroy non-WASP European cultures, forcing their leaders to bow and assimilate to WASP hegemony.
Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
Jake , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm GMTLet's place a couple of things together:
1. "The US political culture is that 99.99% of Americans will believe literally ANY lie, no matter how self-evidently stupid, about the rest of the world rather than accepting any unpleasant truth about the US. "
2. "Eventually, and inevitably, this strategic PSYOP upped the ante and FOXnews (logically) aired this true masterpiece: "Sen. Hawley: Let coronavirus victims sue Chinese Communist Party". Truly, this is brilliant. "I lost my job, let the evil Chinese commies pay me back" is music to the ears of most Americans."
This is what Anglo-Zionist religious/political culture produces. And it is not restricted to jingoistic blaming of the peoples of other nations; it also features blaming those who are citizens of the nation but are more outsiders to the WASP Elites that the group doing the blaming. That pattern keeps the non-Elites from ever seeing that their enemy is the national/imperial Elite they serve.
For example, the horrors the Brit WASP Elites and their system inflicted on Lancashire factory workers would have made any real life Simon Legree giddy at the possibilities. And those abused masses could be counted on at every turn to retard their own demands any time the Elites could turn the conversation to how the Irish or Highlanders would come in and take their jobs for even less and ruin their delightful communities. Or how the evil empires on the Continent were causing trouble and to save lives of British soldiers the factory workers must be reasonable.
Orwellian fiction is steeped deeply in the actual ways that WASP Empire operates to grind its own citizens and ue them as mindless pawns to make Anglo-Zionist Elites ever richer, ever more entrenched in power.
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
AMERICA-HYSTERICA. US Attorney General Barr just said the Russia collusion probe was a travesty, had no basis and was intended to sabotage Trump . All true of course. May we take this as a sign that at last (at last!) Durham is ready to go with indictments? Or will it prove to be another false alarm? There's certainly a lot to reveal: A recent investigation showed that every FISA application (warrant to spy on US citizens) examined had egregious deficiencies. It's not just Trump.
MEANINGLESSNESS. Remember the Steele dossier? Now it's being spun as Russian disinformation . So we're now supposed to believe that Putin smeared Trump because he really wanted Clinton to win? Gosh, that Putin guy is so clever that it's impossible to figure out what he's doing!
COVID BLAME I. Back in the day I read a certain amount of Soviet propaganda about the wicked West. And, while it was quite often over the top, pretty monotonous and probably – judging from what ex-Soviets have told me – not all that effective in the long run, it usually had, buried deep inside, a tiny kernel of reality. Western anti-Russia propaganda, on the other hand, is nothing but free-association nonsense. Take the NYT's latest: the headline alone tells you it's crap: " Putin's Long War Against American Science: A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses ." Another difference was that Soviet propaganda at least ran on the assumption that the Soviet system was preferable: this, on the other hand, is a pitiful attempt to blame the US COVID failure on somebody else. Nonetheless, this is not rock-bottom for the NYT's anti-Russian fantasies: that target was hit a couple of years ago with " Trump and Putin: A Love Story ". (But, the goalposts keep moving: if you accuse a Dem of Trumpish grabbing, you're probably a Putinbot .) I guess it will only get more: " The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters ."
COVID BLAME II. Maybe it's not Putin or Xi who's to blame: maybe it's your own propaganda outlet: " VOA too often speaks for America's adversaries -- not its citizens... VOA has instead amplified Beijing's propaganda. "
Apr 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
PJB , Apr 14 2020 12:02 utc | 91@Wlliam Gruff
Whether social democrat or socialist - I agree Sanders did progress the cause for needed societal, financial and political change.
But why did he fold so weakly and meekly in both 2016 and again now?
Especially in the face of obvious vote rigging by the Hillary campaign (as proven in a Florida civil court ruling - albeit with the judge's decision accepting the DNC Defense argument that the DNC has the right to appoint their candidate and override the primaries - sudden untimely death of two of the lawyers for the Bernie Sanders supporters who brought the case as well).
This time the totally unexpected victory on "Super Thursday" as Sleepy Joe called it in 9 state primaries stinks to high heaven. Maybe he did win given the media support and enough ignoramuses voted for a man who is blatantly suffering dementia as well as having been a corrupt nepotist of the highest order and an alleged rapist and video documented serial creepy fondler of women and young children.
Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media. The pretence of democracy is crashing and the oligarchy exposed.
Trump will win - because many will hope he is a renegade oligarch who has some moral compass even if a broken one.
William Gruff , Apr 14 2020 12:32 utc | 93PJB @89
A social democrat will refuse to demand that General Motors make concessions to the workers unless General Motors is making solid profits. Extend the concept to the entire economy. Capitalism is in crisis. For a social democrat that means heavy demands are off the table until the crisis is resolved and capitalism returns to profitability. How could Sanders deliver on his promises even if he won? Better to just throw in the towel, at least from a social democrat perspective.
"Something is seriously sick about the DNC and it's collusion with the media."
Indeed, but there is more to it. The mass media isn't so much colluding with the Dems as the media has been largely taken over by a criminal gang ( Operation Mockingbird ), and the same gang has taken over the Democrat party. Instructions to both the mass media and the Dems are coming from the same folks, so it looks like collusion, but actual direct connections between the two will not be so conspicuous.
Apr 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgsusan , Apr 3 2020 3:18 utc | 192Richard Steven Hack @101
Since two others have mentioned this, I'll thrown this out.
Hegemonic ideologies tend to naturalize socioculturally-generated pathologies, often dismissing them as "human nature."
I don't understand you to be necessarily doing this when you identify "human nature" with callous self-centeredness given your other writing (and generously shared links) but it does sound like you are using the term too loosely in your post for materialists and others to philosophically stomach. I am not the only one who objected to the usage upon reading.
Can "human nature" be identified, labeled, discussed separate from historical and material conditions? Is "human nature" not constituted via dialectical processes at multiple levels occurring through time and space, not least of all cultural which is shaped by socioeconomic conditions.
Apr 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bemildred , Apr 2 2020 20:25 utc | 69Ian Welsh:
Why Western Elites Are So Incompetent And What The Consequences AreLet's chalk this up to aristocratic elites. Aristocrats, unlike nobles, are decadent, but don't stop with that word, understand what it means.
Elites who are not aligned with the actual productive activities of society and are engaged primarily in activities which are contrary to production, are decadent. This was true in Ancien Regime France (and deliberately fostered by Louis XIV as a way of emasculating the nobility.) It is true today of most Western elites: they concentrate on financial numbers, and not on actual production. Even those who are somewhat competent, tend not to be truly productive: see the Waltons, who made their money as distributers–merchants.
Apr 02, 2020 | thehill.com
Abron olepi • 10 hours agoTrump is planning the blame game already. He's blaming Governors, stating that this is really a state and local issue.
And he's blaming the impeachment trials, saying they took the focus off the virus, etc. etc.
Always has to blame someone else. Oh, and Obama! Don't forget Obama!
Mar 29, 2020 | www.unz.com
aandrews , says: Show Comment March 29, 2020 at 4:58 pm GMT" I always considered him a fraud for this (and many other) reasons. Now Tulsi Gabbard is doing the same thing ."
There's really no one to vote for. I don't intend to bother. And they love it when people don't vote.
Mar 29, 2020 | www.unz.com
PTG Mann , says: Show Comment March 28, 2020 at 5:11 am GMT"The historical unity of the ruling classes is realized in the State." – Antonio GramsciCyrano , says: Show Comment March 29, 2020 at 4:48 am GMT
Its somewhat bemusing that we discuss American politics ad nauseam, when it's been amply demonstrated that voters in the USA cannot make changes to government policy through their electoral process.
In fact, I would contend that American democracy has been non-existant since the JFK assassination (57 years after the event with no charges having been laid) which was essentially a coup d'état
Don't believe me? Read it and weep
A 2014 study from Princeton University spells bad news for American democracy – namely, that it no longer exists:
Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens – Martin Gilens & Benjamin I. Page
"Each of 4 theoretical traditions in the study of American politics -- which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and 2 types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism -- offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.
A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set which includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence .
The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism." [Emphasis mine]
Ref: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-@PTG Mann This is my attempt to shed some light on the "democracy" reality show. In grade 11 I had a subject called Marxism. Yes, I did study Marxism for 1 year only – in high school. One of the benefits of living in a "communist" country, I guess.Hans Vogel , says: Show Comment March 29, 2020 at 8:41 am GMT
My Marxism professor, when he talked about capitalism, always used USA as an example. Not because he was impressed with them, but because he believed that it was a common knowledge that US was running the most austere form of capitalism possible. It's still like that today, they are just using multiculturalism as a smoke screen to cover up the fact that their capitalism is the most severe that they could get away with. And the stupid Europeans copy them, believing that multiculturalism is what makes a country truly liberal. Sure.
Another interesting thing that I remember from my high school Marxism classes is that they taught us that US has 2 types of elites. 1.Regular elites 2. Political elites. The regular elites are the real elites, the economic ones, the real movers and shakers. The political elites are just domestic help, a hired nobodies who do the rich men's bidding. The lines between these 2 are almost never crossed. As many perks as there are to becoming political elite, the benefits that you can milk from this new-found bonanza can never amount to the point of making you qualified to join the real – economic elites. And it goes vice versa as well. Economic elites usually don't have the interest (unless you are senile old guy like Bloomberg) to waste time on personally participating in politics – it just doesn't pay well enough by their standards. Of course, there are always exceptions – Donald Trump. That's why the real elites hate him so much. Because he wants to sit on 2 chairs, to belong to both the real elites and the political ones as well. The idea behind the political elites is to pay them so you can influence them and tell them what to do. How do you influence someone who doesn't really qualify as a hired help, who is one of you? It makes it more difficult to boss around. I am not saying that Trump is unbossable, the problem is that the real elites can't stomach the fact that Trump wants to boss THEM. Unforgivable.
The "democracy" has always been a pipe-dream, designed to prevent the rich f ** ks getting at each other throats, more than anything else. That's why voting and elections are just a mirage, political elites are not elected by voters, they are elected by the real (economic) elites. That's why they throw millions of dollars on campaigns and lobbies and so on. So they can have the final say about how things should be done, and not leave it to the political "elites" initiatives.
Trump proved that the move from the economic elites into political elites is feasible, even though it can be very unpopular with the economic elites, but the move from political elites into real elites is almost impossible – despite occasional valiant efforts – like Joe Biden and his son. The political elites simply lack any real cashable skills that are required in order to make tons of money and qualify for the prestigious club of real (economic) elites.
Sure the political elites can make a lot of money, but only from the perspective of the poor. The money that the political elites make compared to the economic ones – is pocket change. This is actually one of the positives of the American system, people who are interested in making really big money, don't usually go into politics, because there are much more and better ways to make more money. This is actually a feature of most of the developing countries – where there is almost no distinction between real elites and political elites and the only way to make money is to go into politics, and use corruption as a driving force for becoming rich.
Sure the political elites can accomplish relative financial successes as well, and sometimes this can get to their heads, making them delusional, like when Hillary – white trash herself– called her own people – deplorables. The "democracy" pipe dream serves another purpose – to create the illusion that the real elites (the rich) and the poor are in the same predicament together – suffering under the unscrupulous political elites. Yeah, right.
The other thing that people talk a lot about is communist propaganda. Sure there was some of it. Having experienced living in both systems – capitalism and "communism" – I can say that there is a big difference between capitalist and communist propaganda. Communist propaganda was more of the wishful thinking type, trying to cover up reality because they wished things could be better. Capitalist propaganda is much more sinister. The sole purpose of existence of capitalist propaganda is not because they want things to be different and better, but because they want things to stay the same as long as possible. The purpose of the capitalist propaganda is to impede progress. Communists at least felt bad that their system wasn't good enough to satisfy all the needs of the people. Capitalists have no such qualms. The message that they convey through their "democracy" is that this is as good as it's going to get, so you better get used to it. No regrets, no attempts to make things better.
It's funny that they bothered to teach us about different kinds of American elites way back in high school, like that was going to have any practical application in our lives. It's also unusual that I remember it, because I wasn't a particularly good student in any subject, including Marxism. Maybe the reason why I remember it, is because after all these years it still rings true.Most discussions about and references to the US two-party system presidential elections remain oblivious to the fact that for all practical purposes the US has only one political party.
The US has the exact same political system that Mexico had for decades under the PRI: the party elite decided on who was going to be the next president and then organized elections. The US is essentially a none-party state (just read or reread Michael Parenti's Democracy for the Few ).
The fact that the American voter can choose between a psychopath like Mrs. Clinton and a guy like Trump, or between Trump and a senile moron like Biden (as may be the case this year), merely serves to prove that the real political decisions are not made by the president and that he is just a figurehead.
How can it be that a country with 330 million people cannot select even moderately intelligent, decent, capable candidates for the highest office?
It is a good sign that most Americans understand this and don't bother to vote. Democracy is a fake anyway, because if our votes would really count, we wouldn't have the right to vote.
Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
Last year, the Dept. of Health and Human Services ran a 7 month long exercise code named "Crimson Contagion," a dry run response to a global pandemic which started in China and expected more than 100 million Americans to become ill.
The simulation highlighted several failures in our preparedness for such a catastrophe .
DONALD TRUMP: Nobody knew there'd be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion.
The New York Times broke this story yesterday, but as it's behind a paywall I won't link to it. But there's a good interview with one of the authors conducted by NPR.
Trump is like the kid who played video games when he should have been doing his homework, then failed miserably on the test and tried to bullshit his way through the essay questions.
As you are probably aware, a handful of elected leaders were selling their stock while assuaging the public about the dangers of the pandemic. We've gone from incompetence, to negligence, to outright profiteering.
QMS on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 11:05amgood point MarieMarie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 11:57am
dropping bombs and sanctioning free commerce in other countries is the American way of protecting the proceeds of the sociopaths
not such a good way to stop pandemics. Not in my name congressWe do have a weird definition of national security.Cant Stop the M... on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 3:52pm
Fifty-six years dumping an untold number of dollars into "keeping us safe" from a foreign invader and the one time it happened, not any of the resources were worth a damn.
The problem isn't so much that the real threats are unknown, at least not in broad outline form, but they're not "sexy." Not amenable to what the military and cloak and dagger spy guys are into. And the perpetual USG budgets for the sexy stuff is far more profitable. And is better suited to hiding all the graft and corruption (and employing the surplus and unskilled labor that elite universities crank out) that upset ordinary people fearful that some undeserving person would get something for free from the USG.Apparently medical supplies don't count as military
supplies, either. Well, given how the govt likely views our soldiers, I guess that's not surprising.
pandemic war games but no money to implement the most basic stockpiles (thermometers, face masks, gloves) that would be very helpful in containing a virus. The larger serious shortcomings in the US are mostly intractable due to the "best" health care system that money can buy.
Mar 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Stonebird , Mar 21 2020 21:25 utc | 31I just think that the US "Intelligence" and most of the US Administration just haven't got it. I suppose when you are waiting for the "rapture" anything that can add to the chaos is to be included.
1) Pompeo and Grenell reportedly arguing that coronavirus has created window of opportunity for a direct strike on a weak and divided Iran. They were arguing about the severity of the strike.
2) Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisian has criticized the #UK for not delivering millions of masks #Iran bought in preparations ahead of #Covid19 outbreak. The London govt. refused to deliver them citing US sanctions! Note that Germany took supplies meant for Switzerland, The US via the Italian Mafia (I suppose) gets masks from Bergamo. etc. Wonderful show of world-wide solidarity.
Pompeo should hold his "rapture" in his hot little hand and .....
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Mar 22 2020 12:57 utc | 155In essence, the misnamed "intelligence community" is a distillation of the gravest intellectual flaws in contemporary neoliberal (non-STEM) academia.
So naturally when China tries to "out-victim" them by pointing out that the virus was a bioweapon attack, these members of the misnamed "intelligence community" feel honor bound to defend the supremacy of their own victim status by minimizing China's victim status. That may sound crazy to people from prior generations, but it is the logical destination for victim culture.
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:11 utc | 128@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 22:32 utc | 50
"These officials "failed us" in the same way that our media "fails us": they serve the interests of the EMPIRE-FIRST Deep State."
Yuppp. Our error is to assume all 17 intelligence agencies; the presstitudes; and US "leadership" exist to serve the American people. And so, yes, they "fail" the people. But, from the point of view of the controllers of those agencies and of those "leaders", they hardly ever fail !!!
While the people argue over virulent minutae, they are once again helping themselves to the US Treasury.... Trillions of USDs.... LOL
kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:36 utc | 132@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 54kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 11:25 utc | 137
"Caitlin Johnstone also sees the response being manipulated to focus hate on China...."
Yuppp, blaming China, hating on China achieves several objectives:
- it misdirects Americans from blaming Trump's "leadership";
- it excuses Trump's mismanagement ("...the Chinese LIED...")
- it absolves the CDC, 17 "intelligence" agencies, etc;
- it continues The Great China Pivot started by Great Pretender Obama;
- it uses current fear to mobilise Americans to hate China more;
- it prepares Americans for when war on China becomes feasible;
Just look at how US leadership has been hating on Russia for the last 100 years, waiting to whack them with a sneak attack if feasible.@Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 2:45 utc | 79
".... was then told to STOP TESTING...... A medical person would not try to suppress testing. That would be a "management decision" and its the Nation Security Council that was running the show (and which had classified all discussions related to virus preparations)...."
Thanks for reminding us of Dr Chu's story. What if the US leadership:
- Knew the coronavirus was already out in the wild in the US by Sep 2019;
- Decided to set up China to be the "origin" to be blamed;
- Realized that a "pandemic" can be the cover for kicking the table over to do the Great Financial Reset;
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Miro23 , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm GMT@Spanky
No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests. However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.
Incredibly globalization as a system seems to have mostly disappeared in 6 weeks. There are closed frontiers, no more container ships, the ports are empty, no flights and the malls are closing.
It's not clear where the US public are going to get their electronics, clothing and other Walmart items unless everything rebounds 100%. If there's no rebound, then it starts to look like some kind of watershed event equivalent to WW1.
If elites and their interests are the foundation of the NWO, then right now they seem to be all over the place.
– The globalists want a strong dollar which they ensure with the dollar's reserve currency role (particularly the petrodollar). The dollar is doing fine now as a refuge, but with oil approaching $20 a barrel it doesn't look like such a great link longer term, and what use is a reserve currency when there's no trade?
– Globalism is based on ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) to keep the West consuming and allow the issuance of massive debt. Now international bond markets are hesitating in the face of more massive international issuance to deal with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus. Interest rates only have to rise to their historic averages to collapse the whole thing.
– The LGBT, SJW crowd find that racism, diversity and generally anti-White propaganda has become a non-issue. Everything has become Coronavirus which is actually sort of equalizing , and putting the focus on what the government needs to do to protect all the public including Deplorables (unusual turnaround).
– Frontiers are closing with the cheap labour/ multicultural crowd having gone quiet.
– Many globalist interests are facing bankruptcy as demand disappears, new share and bond issuance is blocked, credit disappears and a myriad of counterparty risks (finacialized opaque derivatives) turn into counterparty failures.
– The general inability of Western government elites to handle all these combined events. Monetary policy doesn't work in a ZIRP environment so they may just resort to "Helicopter Money" but with shortages of goods this is guaranteed to feed directly into inflation.
Altogether a remarkable change of direction in a very short time.
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Spanky , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT@Miro23 Coronavirus is certainly a useful way to deflate a speculative bubble. The virus gets the blame rather the Dumpers in the Pump and Dump cycle. -- Miro23
But, given the precarious state of the global financial system, wouldn't any black swan of sufficient magnitude suffice to accomplish both deflation and take the blame?
No doubt global elites present a united front to protect their common interest in maintaining the petrodollar and international banking system, insofar as it supports their individual interests . However, other than that shared interest, the elite are rife with factions -- both domestically and especially internationally.
Which explains Tom Dye's assertion that one of the critical roles of the Counsel on Foreign Relations (CFR) is conflict resolution between competing elite factions. Or, in other words, I am having a bit of difficulty with the currently popular theory that a unified, omnipotent and near infallible global elite is behind everything single thing that happens on the world stage
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com
Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm GMT@Sean
Here was me thinking the Western elites wanted to continue making money on Chinese growth.
Much of the US elite is sinecured in the media, foreign policy, and national security state establishments, whose status depends on the relative power and prestige of the US state. The relative power and prestige of the US state is jeopardized by the continued growth of China.
If you follow US coverage of China in the US, you'll find that this US elite is generally critical of China, although style and presentation vary. The liberal "China watchers" among the US elite in the media and foreign policy establishment tend to focus on human rights, democracy promotion, and liberalism as vectors to attack the Chinese state. They tend to be polished and more subtle rather than explicitly hostile.
The US elite in the national security establishment tend to be more overt about military containment and or confrontation with China, and on developing an anti-China coalition in the Pacific.
Mar 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Daniel , Mar 13 2020 22:16 utc | 138@Joanne Leon 15The explosion of hate and blame and fear flying around online with regard to this pandemic is more than alarming and ultimately useless and damaging. In a way it scares me more than the flu itself at the moment because of the implications of how it will hinder our ability to cooperate and deal with this.
That's a good point. Western society with its twisted guiding philosophy of radical individualism and competition combined with a supremacist "that could never happen here" attitude quickly falls into panicked chaos when reality kicks in and reveals the society's underlying vulnerabilities. Countries with weak social safety nets and an ideological opposition to social responsibility are extremely vulnerable to systemic breakdown when their societies are under unexpected stress.
This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal social Darwinist "every man for himself" ethos is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are. Additionally, the house of cards that makes up the global economy has been in crisis mode since 2008, when it was bailed out by massive money printing in the US and EU and China pumping billions of dollars into the economy to keep it afloat, simply can't handle any additional stressors without going into breakdown mode.
In this kind of situation where clear headed cooperation and mutual effort are required the opposite happens and people go into panic and finger pointing mode looking for some external enemy to blame. Just imagine what will happen if global warming turns out to be as serious as many are predicting.
Apr 16, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative? @GeorgeMonbiot
Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you'll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?
Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness , the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump . But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?
Inequality is recast as virtuous. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.
So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom even recognise it as an ideology. We appear to accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a kind of biological law, like Darwin's theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.
Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. It redefines citizens as consumers, whose democratic choices are best exercised by buying and selling, a process that rewards merit and punishes inefficiency. It maintains that "the market" delivers benefits that could never be achieved by planning.
Attempts to limit competition are treated as inimical to liberty. Tax and regulation should be minimised, public services should be privatised. The organisation of labour and collective bargaining by trade unions are portrayed as market distortions that impede the formation of a natural hierarchy of winners and losers. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for utility and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society are both counterproductive and morally corrosive. The market ensures that everyone gets what they deserve.
We internalise and reproduce its creeds. The rich persuade themselves that they acquired their wealth through merit, ignoring the advantages – such as education, inheritance and class – that may have helped to secure it. The poor begin to blame themselves for their failures, even when they can do little to change their circumstances.
Never mind structural unemployment: if you don't have a job it's because you are unenterprising. Never mind the impossible costs of housing: if your credit card is maxed out, you're feckless and improvident. Never mind that your children no longer have a school playing field: if they get fat, it's your fault. In a world governed by competition, those who fall behind become defined and self-defined as losers.
See also Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us by Paul Verhaeghe, Sep 24, 2014
Among the results, as Paul Verhaeghe documents in his book What About Me? are epidemics of self-harm, eating disorders, depression, loneliness, performance anxiety and social phobia. Perhaps it's unsurprising that Britain, in which neoliberal ideology has been most rigorously applied, is the loneliness capital of Europe . We are all neoliberals now.
The term neoliberalism was coined at a meeting in Paris in 1938. Among the delegates were two men who came to define the ideology, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. Both exiles from Austria, they saw social democracy, exemplified by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and the gradual development of Britain's welfare state, as manifestations of a collectivism that occupied the same spectrum as nazism and communism.
In The Road to Serfdom , published in 1944, Hayek argued that government planning, by crushing individualism, would lead inexorably to totalitarian control. Like Mises's book Bureaucracy , The Road to Serfdom was widely read. It came to the attention of some very wealthy people, who saw in the philosophy an opportunity to free themselves from regulation and tax. When, in 1947, Hayek founded the first organisation that would spread the doctrine of neoliberalism – the Mont Pelerin Society – it was supported financially by millionaires and their foundations.
With their help, he began to create what Daniel Stedman Jones describes in Masters of the Universe as "a kind of neoliberal international": a transatlantic network of academics, businessmen, journalists and activists. The movement's rich backers funded a series of thinktanks which would refine and promote the ideology. Among them were the American Enterprise Institute , the Heritage Foundation , the Cato Institute , the Institute of Economic Affairs , the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute . They also financed academic positions and departments, particularly at the universities of Chicago and Virginia.
As it evolved, neoliberalism became more strident. Hayek's view that governments should regulate competition to prevent monopolies from forming gave way – among American apostles such as Milton Friedman – to the belief that monopoly power could be seen as a reward for efficiency.
Something else happened during this transition: the movement lost its name. In 1951, Friedman was happy to describe himself as a neoliberal . But soon after that, the term began to disappear. Stranger still, even as the ideology became crisper and the movement more coherent, the lost name was not replaced by any common alternative.
At first, despite its lavish funding, neoliberalism remained at the margins. The postwar consensus was almost universal: John Maynard Keynes 's economic prescriptions were widely applied, full employment and the relief of poverty were common goals in the US and much of western Europe, top rates of tax were high and governments sought social outcomes without embarrassment, developing new public services and safety nets.
But in the 1970s, when Keynesian policies began to fall apart and economic crises struck on both sides of the Atlantic, neoliberal ideas began to enter the mainstream. As Friedman remarked, "when the time came that you had to change ... there was an alternative ready there to be picked up". With the help of sympathetic journalists and political advisers, elements of neoliberalism, especially its prescriptions for monetary policy, were adopted by Jimmy Carter's administration in the US and Jim Callaghan's government in Britain.
It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice should have been promoted with the slogan 'there is no alternative'
After Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan took power, the rest of the package soon followed: massive tax cuts for the rich, the crushing of trade unions, deregulation, privatisation, outsourcing and competition in public services. Through the IMF, the World Bank, the Maastricht treaty and the World Trade Organisation, neoliberal policies were imposed – often without democratic consent – on much of the world. Most remarkable was its adoption among parties that once belonged to the left: Labour and the Democrats, for example. As Stedman Jones notes, "it is hard to think of another utopia to have been as fully realised."
It may seem strange that a doctrine promising choice and freedom should have been promoted with the slogan "there is no alternative". But, as Hayek remarked on a visit to Pinochet's Chile – one of the first nations in which the programme was comprehensively applied – "my personal preference leans toward a liberal dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism". The freedom that neoliberalism offers, which sounds so beguiling when expressed in general terms, turns out to mean freedom for the pike, not for the minnows.
Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining means the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers , endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.Facebook Twitter Pinterest Naomi Klein documented that neoliberals advocated the use of crises to impose unpopular policies while people were distracted. Photograph: Anya Chibis/The Guardian
As Naomi Klein documents in The Shock Doctrine , neoliberal theorists advocated the use of crises to impose unpopular policies while people were distracted: for example, in the aftermath of Pinochet's coup, the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina, which Friedman described as "an opportunity to radically reform the educational system" in New Orleans .
Where neoliberal policies cannot be imposed domestically, they are imposed internationally, through trade treaties incorporating " investor-state dispute settlement ": offshore tribunals in which corporations can press for the removal of social and environmental protections. When parliaments have voted to restrict sales of cigarettes , protect water supplies from mining companies, freeze energy bills or prevent pharmaceutical firms from ripping off the state, corporations have sued, often successfully. Democracy is reduced to theatre.
Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket, but it rapidly became one
Another paradox of neoliberalism is that universal competition relies upon universal quantification and comparison. The result is that workers, job-seekers and public services of every kind are subject to a pettifogging, stifling regime of assessment and monitoring, designed to identify the winners and punish the losers. The doctrine that Von Mises proposed would free us from the bureaucratic nightmare of central planning has instead created one.
Neoliberalism was not conceived as a self-serving racket, but it rapidly became one. Economic growth has been markedly slower in the neoliberal era (since 1980 in Britain and the US) than it was in the preceding decades; but not for the very rich. Inequality in the distribution of both income and wealth, after 60 years of decline, rose rapidly in this era, due to the smashing of trade unions, tax reductions, rising rents, privatisation and deregulation.
The privatisation or marketisation of public services such as energy, water, trains, health, education, roads and prisons has enabled corporations to set up tollbooths in front of essential assets and charge rent, either to citizens or to government, for their use. Rent is another term for unearned income. When you pay an inflated price for a train ticket, only part of the fare compensates the operators for the money they spend on fuel, wages, rolling stock and other outlays. The rest reflects the fact that they have you over a barrel .In Mexico, Carlos Slim was granted control of almost all phone services and soon became the world's richest man. Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters
Those who own and run the UK's privatised or semi-privatised services make stupendous fortunes by investing little and charging much. In Russia and India, oligarchs acquired state assets through firesales. In Mexico, Carlos Slim was granted control of almost all landline and mobile phone services and soon became the world's richest man.
Financialisation, as Andrew Sayer notes in Why We Can't Afford the Rich , has had a similar impact. "Like rent," he argues, "interest is ... unearned income that accrues without any effort". As the poor become poorer and the rich become richer, the rich acquire increasing control over another crucial asset: money. Interest payments, overwhelmingly, are a transfer of money from the poor to the rich. As property prices and the withdrawal of state funding load people with debt (think of the switch from student grants to student loans), the banks and their executives clean up.
Sayer argues that the past four decades have been characterised by a transfer of wealth not only from the poor to the rich, but within the ranks of the wealthy: from those who make their money by producing new goods or services to those who make their money by controlling existing assets and harvesting rent, interest or capital gains. Earned income has been supplanted by unearned income.
Neoliberal policies are everywhere beset by market failures. Not only are the banks too big to fail, but so are the corporations now charged with delivering public services. As Tony Judt pointed out in Ill Fares the Land , Hayek forgot that vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk.
The greater the failure, the more extreme the ideology becomes. Governments use neoliberal crises as both excuse and opportunity to cut taxes, privatise remaining public services, rip holes in the social safety net, deregulate corporations and re-regulate citizens. The self-hating state now sinks its teeth into every organ of the public sector.
Perhaps the most dangerous impact of neoliberalism is not the economic crises it has caused, but the political crisis. As the domain of the state is reduced, our ability to change the course of our lives through voting also contracts. Instead, neoliberal theory asserts, people can exercise choice through spending. But some have more to spend than others: in the great consumer or shareholder democracy, votes are not equally distributed. The result is a disempowerment of the poor and middle. As parties of the right and former left adopt similar neoliberal policies, disempowerment turns to disenfranchisement. Large numbers of people have been shed from politics.
Chris Hedges remarks that "fascist movements build their base not from the politically active but the politically inactive, the 'losers' who feel, often correctly, they have no voice or role to play in the political establishment". When political debate no longer speaks to us, people become responsive instead to slogans, symbols and sensation . To the admirers of Trump, for example, facts and arguments appear irrelevant.
Judt explained that when the thick mesh of interactions between people and the state has been reduced to nothing but authority and obedience, the only remaining force that binds us is state power. The totalitarianism Hayek feared is more likely to emerge when governments, having lost the moral authority that arises from the delivery of public services, are reduced to "cajoling, threatening and ultimately coercing people to obey them".
Like communism, neoliberalism is the God that failed. But the zombie doctrine staggers on, and one of the reasons is its anonymity. Or rather, a cluster of anonymities.
The invisible doctrine of the invisible hand is promoted by invisible backers. Slowly, very slowly, we have begun to discover the names of a few of them. We find that the Institute of Economic Affairs, which has argued forcefully in the media against the further regulation of the tobacco industry, has been secretly funded by British American Tobacco since 1963. We discover that Charles and David Koch , two of the richest men in the world, founded the institute that set up the Tea Party movement . We find that Charles Koch, in establishing one of his thinktanks, noted that "in order to avoid undesirable criticism, how the organisation is controlled and directed should not be widely advertised".
The nouveau riche were once disparaged by those who had inherited their money. Today, the relationship has been reversed
The words used by neoliberalism often conceal more than they elucidate. "The market" sounds like a natural system that might bear upon us equally, like gravity or atmospheric pressure. But it is fraught with power relations. What "the market wants" tends to mean what corporations and their bosses want. "Investment", as Sayer notes, means two quite different things. One is the funding of productive and socially useful activities, the other is the purchase of existing assets to milk them for rent, interest, dividends and capital gains. Using the same word for different activities "camouflages the sources of wealth", leading us to confuse wealth extraction with wealth creation.
A century ago, the nouveau riche were disparaged by those who had inherited their money. Entrepreneurs sought social acceptance by passing themselves off as rentiers. Today, the relationship has been reversed: the rentiers and inheritors style themselves entre preneurs. They claim to have earned their unearned income.
These anonymities and confusions mesh with the namelessness and placelessness of modern capitalism: the franchise model which ensures that workers do not know for whom they toil ; the companies registered through a network of offshore secrecy regimes so complex that even the police cannot discover the beneficial owners ; the tax arrangements that bamboozle governments; the financial products no one understands.
The anonymity of neoliberalism is fiercely guarded. Those who are influenced by Hayek, Mises and Friedman tend to reject the term, maintaining – with some justice – that it is used today only pejoratively . But they offer us no substitute. Some describe themselves as classical liberals or libertarians, but these descriptions are both misleading and curiously self-effacing, as they suggest that there is nothing novel about The Road to Serfdom , Bureaucracy or Friedman's classic work, Capitalism and Freedom .
For all that, there is something admirable about the neoliberal project, at least in its early stages. It was a distinctive, innovative philosophy promoted by a coherent network of thinkers and activists with a clear plan of action. It was patient and persistent. The Road to Serfdom became the path to power.
Neoliberalism, Locke and the Green party | Letters Read more
Neoliberalism's triumph also reflects the failure of the left. When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in 1929, Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was ... nothing. This is why the zombie walks. The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years.
Every invocation of Lord Keynes is an admission of failure. To propose Keynesian solutions to the crises of the 21st century is to ignore three obvious problems. It is hard to mobilise people around old ideas; the flaws exposed in the 70s have not gone away; and, most importantly, they have nothing to say about our gravest predicament: the environmental crisis. Keynesianism works by stimulating consumer demand to promote economic growth. Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction.
What the history of both Keynesianism and neoliberalism show is that it's not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to develop an economic Apollo programme, a conscious attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st century.
George Monbiot's How Did We Get into This Mess? is published this month by Verso. To order a copy for £12.99 (RRP £16.99) ) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.Topics Economics
Sep 08, 2017 | www.faireconomy.org
Many of us have come across the term "neoliberal," or "neoliberalism" before, but for all its use, few have ever taken the chance to actually explain what it is. An inadequate popular definition has allowed the term to be abused and misrepresented in a variety of ways. Despite these misrepresentations, however, "neoliberalism" is a concept that is very useful for understanding the world we live in today.
In simple terms, neoliberalism is a broad ideology that became popular in political, economic, and governmental circles in the 1970's and reached its peak in global popularity in the 1980's. Neoliberalism describes the political paradigm we are in right now, the political conditions of modern society . As the name suggests, it calls for a revitalization of the classical liberal view of economic policy. It's important to understand that "classical liberal" here refers to an older understanding of the word liberal than the one it has in modern America- it is referencing the liberalism of the Enlightenment era, represented by thinkers like Adam Smith and John Locke, not modern social liberalism as embodied by Barack Obama and much of the rest of the Democratic Party. In concrete policy terms, neoliberalism means free trade, low taxes, deregulation, privatization, and balanced budgets.
Neoliberalism represents a shift in the way we look at the world: it entails seeing every aspect of society, even those typically considered civic or community affairs, in the terms of the market economy."Stagflation" & Schools of Economic Thought
Neoliberalism emerged as a reaction to welfare state politics and Keynesian economics that had become popular in the West following the end of World War II.
What is Keynesian Economics? Two major schools of economic thought are Classical Economics and Keynesian Economics. Adam Smith's (1723-1790) theory of Classical Economics asserts that the market is a rapidly-adjusting, self-correcting entity. John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) believed that Classical Economics was flawed. If classical economics were true, Keyes asserted, waves of massive unemployment wouldn't exist, as the market would quickly self-adjust for the downturn. Keynes theorized that during an economic downturn, consumer demand tended to drop, causing employers to lay off employees, which would then decrease overall consumer demand, and the cycle would continue. Keynes concluded that in periods of economic downturn, government could manipulate demand by hiring, directly or through policy, unemployed workers and break the cycle.
Following a long period of significant prosperity, the 1970's brought with it a phenomenon known as "stagflation" - simultaneous stagnation (where worker wages are kept flat) and inflation (where the cost of living rises). Keynesians, who had been the dominant group in American economics at the time, believed it was impossible for stagflation to exist for any extended period of time.
As the Keynesians tried to make sense of economic realities of the day, a new wave of economists began to create other schools of thought. Milton Friedman (known as "the Chicago School" or "monetarists") made the case not only for a different approach to monetary policy in order to solve stagflation, but also for the idea that many forms of governmental involvement in the economy are in fact harmful. Others, like James Buchanan pioneered a field known as "public choice theory," which made the case to the economics profession that government bureaucrats acted in personal self-interest, not in the public interest, and thus that policy prescriptions should be much more cautious in calling for governmental solutions to economic issues.Activist Business
At the same time as the intellectual environment began to shift toward the political right in economics, the business community also began to be more aggressive in asserting their interests in politics. This development was prompted in part by soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. writing a memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1971, arguing that "the American economic system is under attack" from progressive critics of big business and that the business community should fight back. A number of conservative and libertarian think tanks and advocacy organizations were created and expanded during this period in order to make the intellectual case for "freer" capitalism, including the Heritage Foundation (1973), the Cato Institute (1974), and the American Enterprise Institute (founded in 1938 but becoming influential during the 1970′s).A Radical Message
Combine a turn against government in the field of economics and a growing assertion of political power by businesses, and throw in increased public skepticism of government after Vietnam and Watergate, and you have a recipe for fundamental political change. Between the economic disarray, the public distrust, and both intellectual and financial support for an alternative to post-war welfare statism, a new ideology became dominant in the political sphere. This ideology was encapsulated by the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who summed it up perfectly with his famous quote: "in this current crisis, government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem."
Such a claim may sound like standard conservative fare today, but both Reagan and his message were quite radical at the time, even among Republicans. At the time of his election, Reagan was seen by some ( including Gerald Ford ) as simply too far right to win. The last (elected) Republican president before him, Nixon, created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and a number of other progressive programs. He also called for healthcare reform that could arguably be called stronger than Obamacare, and an expansion of welfare , the latter of which was the inspiration for the Earned Income Tax Credit, passed shortly after he left office. Pieces of Nixon's economic agenda were noticeably left-wing, so much so that one journalist at the time noted that he left the Democrats having to resort to "me-tooism."
Nixon took such positions because he needed to respond to political pressures from the left, the same pressures that had pushed LBJ on civil rights legislation and the war on poverty. In the late 1970's, as the activism and radicalism of the 1960's began to die out, those pressures began to be outweighed by increasing pressure from businesses in the direction of neoliberalism. This started under Jimmy Carter, who oversaw the cautious deregulation of airlines in 1978 and the trucking industry in 1980. However, it was Reagan who truly delivered the neoliberal agenda in America and institutionalized it into government.
Importantly, this era also saw the start of the growth in the importance of campaign donations. Republicans had not only a strong base of think tanks to provide them with a network of intellectual support, they also had far more money from the corporate interests they were serving. Congressional Republicans beat their Democratic counterparts in campaign expenditures in every election year from 1976 to 1992.
Traditionally, Democrats had relied on unions as a critical source of both campaign donations and organizational support. With union strength declining (a trend the Reagan administration encouraged through policy), the Democrats were being totally outgunned. According to Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson's book "Winner-Take-All Politics":The Third Way
" From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, corporate PACS [political action committees] increased their expenditures in congressional races nearly five fold. Labor spending only rose about half as fast... By 1980, unions accounted for less than a quarter of all PAC donations -- down from half six years earlier."
Even with the emergence of conservative "Reagan Democrats" during the 1980's, the game had changed for the Democratic Party. Recognizing this, a number of Democrats (including Bill Clinton) joined together in a group called the Democratic Leadership Council with the goal of dragging the party to the right and boosting campaign contributions. They succeeded. When Clinton eventually won the presidency, he cemented neoliberalism as the law of the land by making it clear that the Democrats would not challenge the new fundamental doctrine of limited government involvement in many parts of the economy, and as a result made the Democrats politically competitive again. (Both the previously mentioned "Winner-Take-All Politics" and Thomas Ferguson and Joel Roger's "Right Turn" go more into detail on this issue, and on neoliberalism more generally).
Instead of challenging the entirety of Reagan's assertion of government-as-problem, Clinton espoused a "third way" ideology: in his second inauguration, he said that "Government is not the problem, and Government is not the solution. We -- the American people -- we are the solution." Though the Clinton White House at times backed left-liberal policies like mild tax hikes on the wealthy, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Family Medical Leave Act, it also continued the neoliberal march of rolling back progressive achievements through the deregulation of Wall Street (the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, etc.), conservative welfare reform in 1996, NAFTA, and the gutting of public housing .A One-Party System
Clinton himself was aware of the way that American politics was moving to the right, and he was sometimes frustrated with it. Allegedly, he once entered a meeting in the Oval Office complaining : "Where are all the Democrats? I hope you're all aware we're all Eisenhower Republicans. We're Eisenhower Republicans here, and we are fighting the Reagan Republicans. We stand for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn't that great?"
Despite this, however, Clinton and most of the rest of the Democratic Party accepted their role doing nothing more than, to borrow a phrase from political philosopher Roberto Unger, "to put a softer face on the agenda of their conservative opponents." They seek to make marginal improvements for poor, working class, and middle class voters here and there, but never seek to fundamentally shake up the political-economic system in any way. As one critic put it in 1990, even before Clinton's election, the Democratic Party is "...history's second-most enthusiastic capitalist party. They do not interfere with capitalist momentum, but wait for excesses and the inevitable popular reaction." This is why many left-wing critics will refer to some Democrats as neoliberals even when they don't literally advocate for free market capitalism.
Neoliberalism within the Democratic Party looks less like a proposal to privatize or abolish Social Security as much as it does a commitment to benefit-cutting "entitlement reform." It can be seen both in language (the constant discussion of education as an "investment" in "skills" necessary for "improving the workforce," instead of a guaranteed right for all citizens) and in policy (proposing tax cuts for the middle class instead of social spending even when taxes are at some of their lowest rates in decades ; compromis[ing] in advance on major policy proposals like the 2009 stimulus; advocating piecemeal technocratic reforms to healthcare and finance instead of deeper, fundamental reform; etc.).
With their opponents on the defensive and partially compliant with their agenda, the Republicans continued to push further right under the leadership of Newt Gingrich and his "Contract with America." The Democrats started to dig their heels in and push back a little for the first time during the later part of the George W. Bush administration as his (and the wars') approval ratings sank, and they now seem to have more or less stabilized. An increasingly loud progressive coalition of activists and advocates continues to push for ideas like single-payer healthcare, often dismissed as radical despite both being an international norm and the explicit goal of many mainstream Democratic politicians before neoliberalism's rise. The Democratic party establishment, on the contrary, is largely fine holding on to ideological territory that is, in certain areas, to the right of where it was several decades ago.
With the establishment of both major political parties accepting neoliberal ideology, it became default wisdom among economic, political, and media elites. Because the most powerful class of America accepted it as fact, it was instilled into the American consciousness as "common sense" that can't be seriously challenged. Ideas in direct opposition to neoliberalism were largely marginalized, and as a result, much of our modern debate now takes place within its bounds. Today, though, this marginalization is rapidly disappearing.
Today, we are witnessing the collapse of neoliberalism's "common sense" status. Republican elites took neoliberalism being one of their root organizing principles for granted while running campaigns using dog-whistle racism, never realizing that they were attracting a base of voters who hated immigrants a lot more than they hated regulation. The Republicans have drifted so far to the right that unabashed nationalists like Trump can now take the lead of the party, even as he espouses racist xenophobia-inspired protectionism that are in conflict with the neoliberal ideals of the party's business wing.
Even during their neoliberalization, the Democrats always had a left-wing occupied by social democrats. Today they largely occupy the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They were empowered by both opposition to the Iraq War late in the Bush era and the subsequent economic crash that occurred as a result of neoliberal deregulation of the finance sector. Obama ran as a semi-progressive but governed as a standard Democrat, leaving progressive disappointment and frustration to rise to the surface again once a primary was held to determine who would be the Democratic candidate after Obama: thus, the Bernie phenomenon.Globalism & Neoliberalism
It seems as though the extinction of neoliberalism is embedded in the formula of neoliberalism itself. Neoliberalism and accompanying globalization have resulted in inequality and poverty for significant portions of the population, leaving many people economically impoverished and politically alienated. This prompts an inevitable political reaction, angry and populist in nature. The center-left (ex. Hillary Clinton) and center-right (ex. Jeb Bush) sing the praises of neoliberal globalization, while the left (ex. Bernie Sanders) vigorously attacks the "neoliberal" part of it, and the far-right (ex. Donald Trump) vigorously attack the "globalization" part of it. Today, progressives dislike neoliberalism, but also believe that the far-right's disdain for all forms of globalization is a distraction and misidentification of the root issue, using foreigners and people of color as scapegoats. The problem is not globalization, but globalization implemented in such a way so as to benefit the wealthy and powerful.
Neoliberalism is a powerful ideology and way of looking at the world. The neoliberal views most government involvement in the economy as harmful, and seeks to leave social problems to be solved by private enterprise and markets whenever possible. This is an idea that, over the last several decades, has become widely accepted to varying degrees by people across the political spectrum, and as such has been embedded into modern government and public policy.
When discussing modern politics, a recognition of the role neoliberalism has played in fueling massive increases in inequality and corrupting our democracy is vital.
A number of other industrialized countries have undergone neoliberalization on roughly the same time frame as the US, and are now experiencing similar backlashes: the U.K., neoliberalized under Margaret Thatcher and others, now has UKIP on its right and Jeremy Corbyn and social democratic Scottish nationalists on its left. France has witnessed the rise of not only the National Front on its far-right, but also the rise of populist socialists like Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Germany has the AfD and Pegida on its right and Die Linke on its left. New Zealand has New Zealand First. Sweden has the Sweden Democrats. Spain has Podemos. Additionally, backlash against "Washington Consensus" neoliberalism in Latin America contributed to a revitalization of left-populism in many countries. Though there are some nations that have experienced some form of neoliberalism without such political effects, a definite connection between neoliberalism and the emergence of anti-neoliberal populism certainly seems to exist.
Mar 04, 2020 | www.amazon.com
The populist revolution succeeded tonight for the same reason it did nearly two centuries ago. The main reason Trump won wasn't economic anxiety. It wasn't sexism. It wasn't racism. It was that he was anti-elitist. Hillary Clinton represented Wall Street, academics, policy papers, Davos, international treaties, and peo- ple who think they're better than you. People like me. Trump represented something far more appealing, which is beating up people like me. A poll taken a month before the 2016 election showed that only 24 percent of voters disagreed with the statement "The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but between mainstream America and the ruling political elites."
People are foolish to get rid of us. Elites are people who think; populists are people who believe. Elites de- fer to experts; populists listen to their own guts. Elites value cooperation; populists are tribal. Elites arc masters at delayed gratification, long-range planning, and
controlling our emotions...
...We can t afford that. Populists believe our complex society is so secure that disaster is near impossible no matter who is in charge. Elites know it's not. Most of our work is calculating risk and planning for contingencies. We invented reinsurance, and if you give us a few years, we'll come up with rereinsurance. The myth that the elite are selfishly rigging the system while do- ing nothing useful conveniently ignores the fact that the system we've built is great. If this were a book about any other group of people besides the elite, this would be the part where I list all the amazing contributions we've made throughout history. I do not need to do that because elites created everything that ever existed...
4.0 out of 5 stars Hamartia of Elitism Exposed Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2019 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase With In Defense of Elitism, Joel Stein goes where few elites would dare step foot, intellectually or literally - to the panhandle, bible-thumping, gun-toting town of Miami, Texas.
At this first stop on his tour of populist and elite hotspots of America, Stein elucidates a no-brainer: nobody is always right all the time about everybody else. That includes we elites.
What is my takeaway from this marvelous book, besides the fact that Stein is completely hilarious? That elites need a crash course in tolerance. Populists could use a big dose of it too, but at least when they do not demonstrate this virtue, they don't pretend to possess it. The tragic flaw of elites is that they fail to see the hypocrisy in their own cries for tolerance and equality.
It was the "deplorables" moment that opened my eyes to the current trajectory of America. I fear that intellectual elites, of which I am admittedly one, have not learned from this unfortunate blunder. And time is running out for us. Perhaps all we elites need to start toting Reader's Digest crosses.
Bonnie Cobert Millender , Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2019
Important Message Delivered with Humor and Insight!Chele Hipp , Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
Joel Stein's new book is both engaging and enlightening. He begins by immersing himself in the small town culture of rural Miami, Texas, where he mingles with the locals and tries to understand their customs. He enjoys their hospitality but examines their values with a critical eye. The rest of the book is mostly a comparison of "elitism" with the ethos of Miami. He distinguishes between two kinds of elitism: "boat elitism" which worships money and power, and "intellectual elitism" which elevates reason and intelligence. Stein obviously champions intellectual elitism which he feels is imperative for a successful democracy: "Democracy is a government of the nerds, by the nerds and for the nerds. And the Boat Elite do not respect nerds." Ultimately, Stein concludes, "The elite, with our pesky qualifiers and annoying exceptions, are the thin line between democracy and tyranny." The great charm of this excellent book is that these very valid truths are presented with so much humor and insight that the reader cannot help but agree with Joel Stein's illuminating conclusions.
If This Book Were a High School Debate, Mr. Stein Would LoseFlying Scot , Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2019
If this book was evaluated like an elite high school debate held on the Stanford campus each year, Mr. Stein would be winning the debate handily in each round and scoring exceedingly high speaker points. But, in the end, while he would still get the Top Speaker Award, he would not win the tournament trophy because he gave up his argument in his closing statement. This book is written five parts, four of which are hilarious and compelling arguments for finding connection with every type of elite and populist one can come across. Those four parts make equally compelling arguments for why having experts and intellectual elites run the world does the greatest good for society as a whole. Mr. Stein is winning the debate with compassion, good humor, and style. I'm rooting for him to win the debate! My debate judge objectivity has flown out the window. And then part five happens. His closing argument. Oh no! Mr. Stein decides to withdraw from the battle for expert and intellectual elite leadership. He says it's not our time. It's time to wait out the populists. That we can do that. That we must do that. And then he says that the need for human connection is greater than anything - that humility is the job elites need to pursue. Wait. What? You just contradicted your entire case. You surrendered your position. Your conclusion is the opposite of your thesis! That's it. You lose on technical failure. Victory awarded to your opponent. If this book were a research project using the scientific method, it would be entirely possible to have a conclusion that did not match the hypothesis. But the title of the book, "In Defense of Elitism" is suggestive of a debate or an argument. And, in such case, the conclusion must necessarily match the opening statement. If I were to recommend this book to a friend, which I still may very likely do, I would recommend that my friend read only parts one through four. Or, maybe read all five parts with very low expectations for intellectual follow-through on part five. Mr. Stein still has my utmost respect and admiration for both his efforts and his humor. I almost wonder if his editor insisted on a soft landing for the book and the conclusion was a negotiated settlement.
Elite People Make Superior ChoicesJosé Sotolongo , Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2020
The thing I most admire about intellectual elites is how skillfully they choose their parents.
A Sly Sociological StudyReginald H. Henderson , Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
In self-deprecating, often hilarious language, Joel Stein gives us a study of the gulf between the bicoastal United States and the heartland. The socially and politically conservative, religious citizens of Miami, Texas, vastly different from the author in values, religion, and background, are profiled with humor and affection. By establishing common ground with these citizens and shedding light on their beliefs, Stein lets us understand them despite the different, even foreign ideas compared to those of us who are "elites." By "elites" the author means reasonably educated, anti-racist, not-very-religious-if-at-all folks who tend to vote for progressive candidates. The middle of the book puts us back in California, where Stein lives, and his gimlet eye skewers the elites that surround him, again with humor and insight. I am somewhat surprised that this impressive work, which has so much to say about the present divisions and polarization in our country, has not been better promoted by the publisher. A search in the New York Times fails to find a review or even mention of it, and a full web search renders scant results. Highly recommended.
Elite by cheating your way to wealth, versus an elite level of intelligenceReviewer Dr. Beth , Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2019
Being anti-elite can make sense if you're against the elite due to wealth gained by taking advantage of people (Stein refers to as the "boat elite"), but being against elite by intelligence doesn't make sense (the "intellectual elite"). Stein talks with anit-elite Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) who talks about a medical issue for which he had to go to the most elite doctor there was to be cured, and Scott somehow concludes that this is why doctors are useless and he knows better than them. Stein points out Sarah Palin bragging that she will never claim to know more than anyone else, instead of trying to study and learn more. You read about people striving to make a difference, and somehow Republican America rejecting intelligent elite and embracing wealthy elite (which is the opposite of what a democratic government should do, it should reign in those that gain all the power through wealth). The jokes make this serious and passionate subject fun to read.
Make America elite againRyan Mease , Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019
How can one be both self-deprecating and aggrandizing at the same time? Somehow author Joel Stein manages this. A long-time humorist writer for TIME (who was eventually fired, as he points out), Stein offers a book that is as insightful as it is funny. Stein's humor ranges from cheap to clever, and yet is unfailingly smart and on the mark. The premise of this book has already been thoroughly covered. Stein seeks to explain the backlash against so-called elites which led to the election of Trump. He starts by visiting the county in the US which had the highest percentage of Trump voters in the 2016 election. He finds many things that he expected to find (religion, guns) and many things he did not. Does he leave Miami, Texas thinking that the Trump voters were right? No. But he leaves with a better appreciation of people different from him and less of an us versus them mindset. After spending time with the populists, Stein visits with his own group, the elites, providing a short and somewhat mocking look at our country's most privileged...living in ivory towers, maybe, but also doing great work. Next come the populist elites, a group which includes Stein's "boat elites," or people like Trump. The section on elite populists is the shortest in the book; obviously elites generally aren't wining any popularity contests. Finally, in "Saving the Elite," Stein attempts to figure out how elites can re-emerge on top, where they belong. Solutions include fighting back, which many liberals seem to be doing to little or no avail; taking the high road, which appeals to the self-satisfied nature of elitists but which tends to be ultimately frustrating; and moving towards change, perhaps through greater humility, kindness, and--dare we say it?--love. Stein himself admits both that he is smug...and also that his smugness is his downfall. We cannot dismiss those with whom we do not agree. Stein makes this point in a way that is intelligent, compelling, moving...and also very, very funny.
Fun Tour of (Right-Wing) Populism in Americaplubius tullius , Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2020
This is a sometimes-humorous, sometimes-serious review of different populist voices in the Trump era. Klein scored a number of perfect interviews with figureheads in / critics of the populist movement -- Tucker Carlson, the Dilbert guy and Bill Kristol. It's a shame he couldn't get Steve Bannon. He's very effective at interviewing opponents. I actually walked away from the Tucker chapter feeling less confused about Tucker's position on race and immigration. I can see his journey and his current rhetorical postures seem wrong, but reasonable. He has a point of view that's well-reasoned. The Dilbert guy is another story. I'm not even sure if he belongs in this book; he's just a sophist like Ann Coulter or Milo. I'm trying to use that term precisely, in the elitist Plato's dialogue sense of the term. If you read the book or listen to an interview with him, you'll understand what I mean. He's a bad faith relativist who enjoys attention. There's a lot more to this book! I didn't even mention the long opening section where the author travels to Texas to interview Trump supporters while living with them for an extended period. There are moments in the book where we're allowed to see how we might heal our national wounds. The major flaw here is the lack of depth concerning left-wing populism. The author points to Bernie Sanders and the populist left without really interviewing anyone or considering those voices too carefully. That's a shame, because they would have made an excellent companion chapter to the content on Tucker. The author ends up luring elite readers to a place where they feel comfortable receiving criticism. It would have been nice to hear that critique from each side. This was a fun read. Definitely recommended.
Less about elite, more about [neoliberal] aristocracy
I listened to this as an audiobook, read by Joel Stein himself. Even as read by the author, I can't tell if this book is a joke or supposed to be taken seriously. An honest discussion of experts vs non-experts would be useful. This is not it. Stein picks points that back his views up, which extend well beyond expertise, and into entitlement, connection, and general condescension to the "great unwashed." For example, he interviews cartoonist Scott Adams... why not Nassim Nicholas Taleb - on the fallacy of expertise. Of course, lots and lots of name dropping in this book. Figures - thats how those insecure in their elitist claims attempt to establish their membership.
Dec 31, 2019 | democracyjournal.orgfrom Winter 2019, No. 51 – 31 MIN READ
Tagged Authoritarianism Democracy Foreign Policy Government nationalism oligarchy
Ever since the 2016 election, foreign policy commentators and practitioners have been engaged in a series of soul-searching exercises to understand the great transformations taking place in the world -- and to articulate a framework appropriate to the challenges of our time. Some have looked backwards, arguing that the liberal international order is collapsing, while others question whether it ever existed. Another group seems to hope the current messiness is simply a blip and that foreign policy will return to normalcy after it passes. Perhaps the most prominent group has identified today's great threat as the rise of authoritarianism, autocracy, and illiberal democracy. They fear that constitutional democracy is receding as norms are broken and institutions are under siege.
Unfortunately, this approach misunderstands the nature of the current crisis. The challenge we face today is not one of authoritarianism, as so many seem inclined to believe, but of nationalist oligarchy. This form of government feeds populism to the people, delivers special privileges to the rich and well-connected, and rigs politics to sustain its regime.
... ... ..
Authoritarianism or What?
Across the political spectrum, commentators and scholars have identified -- and warned of -- the global rise of autocracies and authoritarian governments. They cite Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, and Turkey, among others. Distinguished commentators are increasingly worried. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently published a book called Fascism: A Warning . Cass Sunstein gathered a variety of scholars for a collection titled, Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America .
The authoritarian lens is familiar from the heroic narrative of democracy defeating autocracies in the twentieth century. But as a framework for understanding today's central geopolitical challenges, it is far too narrow. This is mainly because those who are worried about the rise of authoritarianism and the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics. Their emphasis is almost exclusively political and constitutional -- free speech, voting rights, equal treatment for minorities, independent courts, and the like. But politics and economics cannot be dissociated from each other, and neither are autonomous from social and cultural factors. Statesmen and philosophers used to call this "political economy." Political economy looks at economic and political relationships in concert, and it is attentive to how power is exercised. If authoritarianism is the future, there must be a story of its political economy -- how it uses politics and economics to gain and hold power. Yet the rise-of-authoritarianism theorists have less to say about these dynamics.
To be sure, many commentators have discussed populist movements throughout Europe and America, and there has been no shortage of debate on the extent to which a generation of widening economic inequality has been a contributing factor in their rise. But whatever the causes of popular discontent, the policy preferences of the people, and the bloviating rhetoric of leaders, the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist.
The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy , Jeffrey Winters calls it "wealth defense." Elites engage in "property defense," protecting what they already have, and "income defense," preserving and extending their ability to hoard more. Importantly, oligarchy as a governing strategy accounts for both politics and economics. Oligarchs use economic power to gain and hold political power and, in turn, use politics to expand their economic power.
Those who worry about the rise of authoritarianism and fear the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics.
The trouble for oligarchs is that their regime involves rule by a small number of wealthy elites. In even a nominally democratic society, and most countries around the world today are at least that, it should be possible for the much larger majority to overthrow the oligarchy with either the ballot or the bullet. So how can oligarchy persist? This is where both nationalism and authoritarianism come into play. Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them.
The divide-and-conquer strategy is an old one, and it works through a combination of coercion and co-optation. Nationalism -- whether statist, ethnic, religious, or racial -- serves both functions. It aligns a portion of ordinary people with the ruling oligarchy, mobilizing them to support the regime and sacrifice for it. At the same time, it divides society, ensuring that the nationalism-inspired will not join forces with everyone else to overthrow the oligarchs. We thus see fearmongering about minorities and immigrants, and claims that the country belongs only to its "true" people, whom the leaders represent. Activating these emotional, cultural, and political identities makes it harder for citizens in the country to unite across these divides and challenge the regime.
Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. Tactics like these are not new. They have existed, as Matthew Simonton shows in his book Classical Greek Oligarchy , since at least the time of Pericles and Plato. The consequence, then as now, is that nationalist oligarchies can continue to deliver economic policies to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.
It is worth noting that even the generation that waged war against fascism in Europe understood that the challenge to democracy in their time was not just political, but economic and social as well. They believed that the rise of Nazism was tied to the concentration of economic power in Germany, and that cartels and monopolies not only cooperated with and served the Nazi state, but helped its rise and later sustained it. As New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, one of the authors of the Anti-Merger Act of 1950, said, quoting a report filed by Secretary of War Kenneth Royall, "Germany under the Nazi set-up built up a great series of industrial monopolies in steel, rubber, coal and other materials. The monopolies soon got control of Germany, brought Hitler to power, and forced virtually the whole world into war." After World War II, Marshall Plan experts not only rebuilt Europe but also exported aggressive American antitrust and competition laws to the continent because they believed political democracy was impossible without economic democracy.
Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. Electoral losers in places like North Carolina seek to entrench their power rather than accept defeat. The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship.
Addressing our domestic economic and social crises is critical to defending democracy, and a grand strategy for America's future must incorporate both domestic and foreign policy. But while many have recognized that reviving America's middle class and re-stitching our social fabric are essential to saving democracy, less attention has been paid to how American foreign policy should be reformed in order to defend democracy from the threat of nationalist oligarchy.
The Varieties of Nationalist Oligarchy
Just as there are many variations on liberal democracy -- the Swedish model, the French model, the American model -- there are many varieties of nationalist oligarchy. The story is different in every country, but the elements of nationalist oligarchy are trending all over the world.
... ... ...
... the European Union funds Hungary's oligarchy, as Orbán draws on EU money to fund about 60 percent of the state projects that support "the new Fidesz-linked business elite." Nor do Orbán and his allies do much to hide the country's crony capitalist model. András Lánczi, president of a Fidesz-affiliated think tank, has boldly stated that "if something is done in the national interest, then it is not corruption." "The new capitalist ruling class," one Hungarian banker comments, "make their money from the government."
The commentator Jan-Werner Müller captures Orbán's Hungary this way: "Power is secured through wide-ranging control of the judiciary and the media; behind much talk of protecting hard-pressed families from multinational corporations, there is crony capitalism, in which one has to be on the right side politically to get ahead economically."
Crony capitalism, coupled with resurgent nationalism and central government control, is also an issue in China. While some commentators have emphasized "state capitalism" -- when government has a significant ownership stake in companies -- this phenomenon is not to be confused with crony capitalism. Some countries with state capitalism, like Norway, are widely seen as extremely non-corrupt and, indeed, are often held up as models of democracy. State capitalism itself is thus not necessarily a problem. Crony capitalism, in contrast, is an "instrumental union between capitalists and politicians designed to allow the former to acquire wealth, legally or otherwise, and the latter to seek and retain power." This is the key difference between state capitalism and oligarchy.
... ... ...
Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law and Chancellor's faculty fellow at Vanderbilt Law School, and the author of The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic .
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
"There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold."
– William Shakespeare
Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by. The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person. The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen and undeniably an essential key figure in combating terrorism in Southwest Asia, was a terrible crime, an abhorrently repugnant provocation. It was meant to cause an apoplectic fervour, it was meant to make us who desire peace, lose our minds in indignation. And therefore, that is exactly what we should not do.
In order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation unfortunately causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of 'official government statements'.
Thus, before we may find firm ground to stand on regarding the situation of today, we must first have an understanding as to what caused the United States to enter into an endless campaign of regime-change warfare after WWII, or as former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Prouty stated, three decades of the Indochina war.An Internal Shifting of Chess Pieces in the Shadows
It is interesting timing that on Sept 2, 1945, the very day that WWII ended, Ho Chi Minh would announce the independence of Indochina. That on the very day that one of the most destructive wars to ever occur in history ended, another long war was declared at its doorstep. Churchill would announce his "Iron Curtain" against communism on March 5th, 1946, and there was no turning back at that point. The world had a mere 6 months to recover before it would be embroiled in another terrible war, except for the French, who would go to war against the Viet Minh opponents in French Indochina only days after WWII was over.
In a previous paper I wrote titled "On Churchill's Sinews of Peace" , I went over a major re-organisation of the American government and its foreign intelligence bureau on the onset of Truman's de facto presidency. Recall that there was an attempted military coup d'état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.
One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows. In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President's principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.
In Col. Prouty's book he states,
" In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions , provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to "provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA" as an official function . "
What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC's policies.An Inheritance of Secret Wars
" There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare. "
– Sun Tzu
On January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States. Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, he was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA.
JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon, they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict for what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years. Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration's March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office.
This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election or judgement by the people. It shows the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President's power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters.
Within three months into JFK's term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17th to 20th 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and the land invasion was a calamitous failure and a decisive victory for Castro's Cuba. It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed. That the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them. If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country and internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War.
What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro's last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself. Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro's last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro's threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA's plan for Cuba.
Kennedy's order for the airstrike on Castro's jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade's B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua, Kennedy was not brought into this decision. In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was unbelievably out of the country on the day of the landings.
Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborates on this situation:
" Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an "air cover" position written into the official invasion plan The "air cover" story that has been created is incorrect. "
As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy's telephone call to General Cabell (who was also CIA Deputy Director) that cancelled the President's air strike order.
Kennedy had them.
Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA's intervention into the President's orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Prouty states,
" When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy's coffin. "
If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell.
In Oct 1962, Kennedy was informed that Cuba had offensive Soviet missiles 90 miles from American shores. Soviet ships with more missiles were on their way towards Cuba but ended up turning around last minute. Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir.
NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released on Oct 11th, 1963, and outlined a policy decision " to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963 " and further stated that " It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965. " The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY '65. Kennedy was winning the game and the American people.
This was to be the final nail in Kennedy's coffin.
Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d'état that it was and is . The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison's book . And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie "JFK")Through the Looking Glass
On Nov. 26th 1963, a full four days after Kennedy's murder, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 to begin the change of Kennedy's policy under #263. And on March 4th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.
The Vietnam War, or more accurately the Indochina War, would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy's death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans.
Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 74 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China. Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979.
It had been understood far in advance by the CIA and US military that the toppling of sovereignty in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran needed to occur before Russia and China could be taken over. Such war tactics were formulaic after 3 decades of counterinsurgency against the CIA fueled "communist-insurgency" of Indochina. This is how today's terrorist-inspired insurgency functions, as a perfect CIA formula for an endless bloodbath.
Former CIA Deputy Director (2010-2013) Michael Morell, who was supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential election campaign and vehemently against the election of Trump, whom he claimed was being manipulated by Putin, said in a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to 'pay the price' .
Therefore, when a drone stroke occurs assassinating an Iranian Maj. Gen., even if the U.S. President takes onus on it, I would not be so quick as to believe that that is necessarily the case, or the full story. Just as I would not take the statements of President Rouhani accepting responsibility for the Iranian military shooting down 'by accident' the Boeing 737-800 plane which contained 176 civilians, who were mostly Iranian, as something that can be relegated to criminal negligence, but rather that there is very likely something else going on here.
I would also not be quick to dismiss the timely release, or better described as leaked, draft letter from the US Command in Baghdad to the Iraqi government that suggests a removal of American forces from the country. Its timing certainly puts the President in a compromised situation. Though the decision to keep the American forces within Iraq or not is hardly a simple matter that the President alone can determine. In fact there is no reason why, after reviewing the case of JFK, we should think such a thing.
One could speculate that the President was set up, with the official designation of the IRGC as "terrorist" occurring in April 2019 by the US State Department, a decision that was strongly supported by both Bolton and Pompeo, who were both members of the NSC at the time. This made it legal for a US military drone strike to occur against Soleimani under the 2001 AUMF, where the US military can attack any armed group deemed to be a terrorist threat. Both Bolton and Pompeo made no secret that they were overjoyed by Soleimani's assassination and Bolton went so far as to tweet "Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran." Bolton has also made it no secret that he is eager to testify against Trump in his possible impeachment trial.
Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently, but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points' cadet motto is "You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.", his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating " I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment. "
Thus, it should be no surprise to anyone in the world at this point in history, that the CIA holds no allegiance to any country. And it can be hardly expected that a President, who is actively under attack from all sides within his own country, is in a position to hold the CIA accountable for its past and future crimes .
Tags Politics War Conflict
ThomasChase1776 , 3 minutes ago linkIs-Be , 8 minutes ago link
General Smedley Butler had an answer. Read his book.
https://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/major-general-smedley-butlerElement , 15 minutes ago link
Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen
All his countrymen?ThomasChase1776 , 5 minutes ago link
Who's Really In Charge Of The US Military? - Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation
Donald Trump, you stupid time-wasting twat .
InTheLandOfTheBlind , 1 hour ago link
LOL. That's a good one.
Assuming Trump is doing what he said he would, why isn't our military guarding our border?
Why hasn't our military left the middle east already?
Who really runs our government?ThomasChase1776 , 4 minutes ago link
As much as I hate the CIA, mi6 had more of hand in overthrowing iran than Langley didGRDguy , 1 hour ago link
Is that supposed to be an excuse?ThomasChase1776 , 4 minutes ago link
". . . the CIA holds no allegiance to any country." But they sure kiss the *** of the financial sociopaths who write their paychecks and finance the black ops.Slaytheist , 1 hour ago link
and Mossadoneno , 1 hour ago link
Does this bitch not know that the CIA is the currency mafia police....ffs, that's a **** ton of words.SRV , 1 hour ago link
She knows ...cynicalskeptic , 1 hour ago link
Fletcher Prouty's book The Secret Team is a must read... he was on the inside and watched the formation of the permanent team established in the late 50s that assumed the power of the president.
JFK fought that team...InTheLandOfTheBlind , 43 minutes ago link
Look at who the OSS recruited - Ivy League Skull and Bones types from rich families that made their fortunes in often questionable ventures.
If you're the patriarch of some super wealthy family wouldn't you be thrilled to have younger family members working for the nation's intelligence agencies? Sort of the ultimate in 'inside information'. Plus these families had experience in things like drug smuggling, human trafficking and anything else you can imagine..... While the Brits started the opium trade with China, Americans jumped right in bringing opium from Turkey.
Didn't take long before the now CIA became owned by the families whose members staffed it.Spiritual Anunnaki , 2 hours ago link
Again ignoring the British influence. The CIA does not have a monopoly on intelligenceHaboob , 2 hours ago link
One major aspect pertaining American involvment in Veitnam was something like 90% of the rubber produced Globally came from the region.
It is more diverse now, being 3rd, with the association revealing that in 2017, Vietnam earned US$2.3 billion from export of 1.4 million tonnes of natural rubber, up 36% in value and 11.4% in volume year on year.Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link
Fighting for rubber monopoly in Vietnam,fighting for oil monopoly in the middle east.
That's life.InTheLandOfTheBlind , 38 minutes ago link
Gunboat diplomacy is nothing new. War is and always has been a racket.Art_Vandelay , 2 hours ago link
Unfortunately it is a winning racket.Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link
Betrayals, secrets, tyranny? Who's in charge? **** Cheney & Co.InTheLandOfTheBlind , 36 minutes ago link
Mike Pimpeo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPt-zXn05acKan , 2 hours ago link
The British crownTeethVillage88s , 1 hour ago link
Rockfellers formed the OSS then the CIA which is the brute force for the CFR which they also run and own. The bankers run y our country and bought and blackmailed all your politicians... Only buttplug and pedo's get to be in charge now folks.... and some 9th circle witches of course...
OSS & CIA were formed from Ivy League Schools/Uni's... who turned out to be Traitors to England & USSR... Same today I
Feb 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
A new focus on the Deep State in undermining the national interests has become a serious thought for many citizens. Not known to many, the Deep State has its origin in the British Empire and how the Round Table infiltrated former British colonies (including India) through America.
Last year, fuel was added to this fire when internal memos were leaked from the British-run Integrity Initiative featuring a startling account of the techniques deployed by the anti-Russian British operation to infiltrate American intelligence institutions, think tanks and media.The Integrity Initiative
For those who may not know, The Integrity Initiative is an anti-Russian propaganda outfit funded to the tune of $140 million by the British Foreign office. Throughout 2019, leaks have been released featuring documents dated to the early period of Trump's election, demonstrating that this organization, already active across Europe promoting anti-Russian PR and smearing nationalist leaders such as Jeremy Corbyn, was intent on spreading deeply into the State Department and setting up "clusters" of anti-Trump operatives. The documents reveal high level meetings that Integrity Initiative Director Chris Donnelly had with former Trump Advisor Sebastien Gorka, McCain Foundation director Kurt Volker, Pentagon PR guru John Rendon among many others.
The exposure of the British hand behind the scenes affords us a unique glimpse into the real historical forces undermining America's true constitutional tradition throughout the 20th century, as Mueller/the Five Eyes/ Integrity Initiative are not new phenomena but actually follow a modus operandi set down for already more than a century. One of the biggest obstacles to seeing this modus operandi run by the British Empire is located in the belief in a mythology which has become embedded in the global psyche for over half a century and which we should do our best to free ourselves of.Myth of the "American Empire"
While there has been a long-standing narrative promoted for over 70 years that the British Empire disappeared after World War II having been replaced by the "American Empire", it is the furthest thing from the truth. America, as constitutionally represented by its greatest presidents (who can unfortunately be identified by their early deaths while serving in office), were never colonialist and were always in favor of reining in British Institutions at home while fighting British colonial thinking abroad.
Franklin Roosevelt's thirteen year-long battle with the Deep State, which he referred to as the "economic royalists who should have left America in 1776″, was defined in clear terms by his patriotic Vice-President Henry Wallace who warned of the emergence of a new Anglo-American fascism in 1944 when he said :
"Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes."
The fact is that already in 1944, a policy of Anglo-Saxon imperialism had been promoted subversively by British-run think tanks known as the Round Table Movement and Fabian Society, and the seeds had already been laid for the anti-Russian cold war by those British-run American fascists. It is not a coincidence that this fascist Cold War policy was announced in a March 5, 1946 speech in Fulton, Missouri by none other than Round Table-follower and the butcher of Bengal, Winston Churchill .The Round Table Movement
When the Round Table Movement was created with funds from the Rhodes Trust in 1902, a new plan was laid out to create a new technocratic elite to manage the re-emergence of the new British Empire and crush the emergence of nationalism globally. This organization would be staffed by generations of Rhodes Scholars who would receive their indoctrination in Oxford before being sent back to advance a "post-nation state" agenda in their respective countries.
As this agenda largely followed the mandate set out by Cecil Rhodes in his Seventh Will who said "Why should we not form a secret society with but one object: the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilized world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States , and for the making of the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire?"
Q: Is @ShashiTharoor serving the RETURN OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ecosystem? His new boss is Shoaib Bajwa, son of British spy, and from same community as Pakistan's General Bajwa head of military. https://t.co/f74pgkDfQU-- Rajiv Malhotra (@RajivMessage) November 30, 2019
With the help of an anglophile, racist president in America, leading figures organizing these think tanks first advanced a program to create a "League of Nations" as the solution to the "nationalist problem" which humanity was told "caused" World War One. Nationalist forces in America rejected the idea that the constitution should be rendered obsolete and the plan for global governance failed. However that did not stop the Round Table Movement from trying again. Leading Round Table controller Lord Lothian (British Ambassador to the USA) complained of the "American problem" in 1918.
There is a fundamentally different concept in regard to this question between Great Britain and the United States as to the necessity of civilized control over politically backward peoples . The inhabitants of Africa and parts of Asia have proved unable to govern themselves . Yet America not only has no conception of this aspect of the problem but has been led to believe that the assumption of this kind of responsibility is iniquitous imperialism.
They take an attitude towards the problem of world government exactly analogous to the one they [earlier] took toward the problem of the world war. If they are slow in learning we shall be condemned to a period of strained relations between the various parts of the English-speaking world. [We must] get into the heads of Canadians and Americans that a share in the burden of world government is just as great and glorious a responsibility as participation in the war ".
A Chinese leader of the American-inspired republican revolution of 1911 named Sun Yat-sen warned of the likes of Lord Lothian and the League of Nations in 1924 when he said:Council on Foreign Relations
"The nations which are employing imperialism to conquer others and which are trying to maintain their own favored positions as sovereign lords of the whole world are advocating cosmopolitanism [aka: global governance/globalization -ed] and want the world to join them Nationalism is that precious possession by which humanity maintains its existence. If nationalism decays, then when cosmopolitanism flourishes we will be unable to survive and will be eliminated".
By 1919, the Round Table Movement changed its name to the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) with the "Round Table" name relegated to its geopolitical periodical. In Canada and Australia, branches were created in 1928 under the rubrics of "Canadian and Australian Institutes for International Affairs" (CIIA, AIIA). However in America, where knowledge of the British Empire's subversive role was more widely known, the name "American Institute for International Affairs" was still too delicate. Instead the name "Council on Foreign Relations" was chosen and was chartered in 1921.
Rhodes Scholar William Yandall Elliot surrounded by a few of his leading disciples: Sir Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski Samuel Huntington and Pierre Trudeau
Staffed with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians, the CFR (and its International Chatham House counterparts) dubbed themselves "independent think tanks" which interfaced with Rhodes Scholars and Fabians in academia, government and the private sector alike with the mission of advancing a foreign policy agenda that was in alignment with the British Empire's dream of an Anglo-American "special relationship" . One such Rhodes Scholar was William Yandall Elliot, who played a major role mentoring Henry Kissinger and a generation of geo-politicians from Harvard, not the least of whom include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Samuel (Clash of Civilizations) Huntington.Coup Against FDR
In Canada, five leading Rhodes Scholars were busy creating the League of Social Reconstruction as a self-described "Fabian Society of Canada" in 1931 which was meant to be a fascist/technocratic answer to the chaos of "greedy nationalism" that supposedly caused the economic collapse of Black Friday in 1929. During the same time in America, a different path to fascism was taken by these networks during the early 1930s. This plan involved installing a General named Smedley Butler into power as a puppet dictator steered by the Anglo-American establishment. Luckily for America and the world, General Butler blew the whistle on the coup against Franklin Roosevelt at the last minute.Kissinger's British Takeover of America
Though it took a few assassinations throughout the post war years, Kissinger's takeover of the State Department ushered in a new era of British occupation of American foreign policy, whereby the republic increasingly became the "Dumb Giant" acting as " American Brawn for the British brains " using Churchill's words. While a nihilistic generation of youth were tuning in on LSD, and an old guard of patriots surrounding Wallace and Kennedy had fallen to the "red scare" witch hunt, geopolitical theory was fed like a sweet poison down the throat of a sleeping nation, replacing a policy of peace and "win-win cooperation" advanced by true nationalist patriots as FDR, Wallace and the Kennedys, with an imperial clone masquerading as a republic.
Sir Kissinger did nothing less than reveal his total allegiance to the British Empire on May 10, 1981 during a Chatham House conference in Britain when he described his relationship with the British Foreign office in the following terms:
"The British were so matter-of-factly helpful that they became a participant in internal American deliberations, to a degree probably never practiced between sovereign nations In my White House incarnation then, I kept the British Foreign Office better informed and more closely engaged than I did the American State Department It was symptomatic ".
During this period, Kissinger worked closely with CIA director George Bush Senior, who was later rewarded for his role in advancing the British-planned first war on Kuwait with a knighthood. This war set the stage for the second wave of Middle East wars beginning with the Anglo-Saudi orchestrated operation known as 9/11 and the ushering in of the new "post-nation state order" by Kissinger and Blair.
This was the era which was celebrated by both Kissinger and Bush in sundry places as "the New World Order".CTD Advisors – Rebuilding British Empire of Modern Times
CTD Advisors is a UK-based advisory that with insider information from its highly-placed members aims to rebuild the British Empire of modern times. The firm is founded by the son of a Pakistani British spy and heavily infested with former British intelligence chiefs advocating foreign intervention in Kashmir .
CTD Advisors is full of spies decorated as the Commanders of the British Empire.
Isn't providing "insider knowledge" for cracking business deals to former intelligence chiefs of a foreign country by serving member of Indian Parliament a conflict of interest, if not an economic offense and an act of #espionage ?
Our exclusive report 》 https://t.co/7B6EhWZXiK pic.twitter.com/h84eIO7JJM-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) November 22, 2019
- Chris Nickols – a Retd Air Marshal in the Royal Air Force, whose final appointment was Chief of Defence Intelligence. Prior to that he served as Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations).
- Lord Stuart Polak is the last Commander of the British Empire at CTD Advisors. A British Conservative politician and member of the House of Lords, he is the Honorary President of the Conservative Friends of Israel Group and widely known as an Israeli lobbyist.
- Theresa Mary May the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is perhaps the most high-profile member of CTD Advisors. After graduating in 1977, May worked at the Bank of England and is a member of the Church of England. In 2003 May was appointment to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.
- Sir Mark Lyall Grant awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George before being promoted to Knight Commander (KCMG).
- Shoaib Bajwa , founder of CTD Advisors and the son of a Pakistani born British spy. In his obituary, Salim Nasir Bajwa, the father of Shoaib is said to have served in British security services for almost 10 years in 1950s and was engaged in multiple entrepreneurial activities in Pakistan and abroad during his life.
- Shashi Tharoor is a serving Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, since 2009 (Mr. Tharoor has in a tweet claimed that "this is premature. They've been in discussions about a consultancy role but no agreement has yet been signed.")
In an interview to the London based Asian Voice, Shoaib explains the reason for founding CTD Advisors. He says, "Since the time of the Second World War, Britain has gradually lost influence in commonwealth states and the emerging markets. It has constricted itself by the EU and kept itself tied to that region."
He says, "western businesses severely lack insider knowledge" and through his company, he "wants to help construct new economic corridors, from within places such as Nigeria to countries and continents that are as far flung as India and Asia. Essentially, rebuilding a "Global Britain" in modern times."General David Petraeus – Deep State Pointman in India Operation Timber Sycamore
The Pentagon project Operation Timber Sycamore that spawned ISIS was the brainchild of former CIA Director General David Petraeus. It is now coordinated by the investment fund KKR, established by Henry Kravis and whose military activities are led by Petraeus.Intervention in India
KKR where Petraeus sits as Chairman belongs to the equity partners who owns 80% stake in NXP Semiconductors who supplied chips for the Electronic Voting Machines in India – the integrity of which is being investigated by Indian agencies. Gen Petraus is also credited to have trained former United States National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster who is responsible for pulling India into the Anglo-American orbit as a "major defense partner" implemented through 'Washington's Man in New Delhi'.Deep State Airbase in Kashmir
Gen Petraeus is also the key in the ongoing plot for an Anglo-American base in #Kashmir under the trusteeship of the United Nations. The original policy drafted by Mountbatten himself. Read more here 》 Kashmir Conflict - An Anglo American Operation https://t.co/4wg0oUEKXF-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) September 12, 2019
Gen Petraeus is also the key player in the ongoing plot for an Anglo-American Airbase in Kashmir under the trusteeship of the United Nations – a policy drafted by Mountbatten himself. When asked about US intervention in Kashmir, then US Central Command Chief Gen Petraeus disclosed in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Kashmir : "Together with my great diplomatic wingman Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, this effort actually has started".
As per intel with GreatGameIndia , Petraeus is the pointman for Deep State in India. In 2018, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and former CIA Director David Petraeus together formed strategies for the "dramatic transition of India in the New World Order" at a six-day Raisina Dialogue also attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Recently, a high-level conference was organized in London to chart our the strategies for this transition. Needless to say the key speaker for this UK-India Summit 2019 was Petraeus. The event is well known in intelligence circles to be organized by British intelligence.
It has been suggested that KKR had a role to play in Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha's death. But what is KKR? Who owns it? What has KKR to do with the CIA?
Here we chart a brief overview of the various covert operations of KKR in India. https://t.co/N9DYF436V8-- GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) September 14, 2019
It were such meeting, albeit secret that took place in London in the late 90s where the blueprint for the return of East India Company was drafted. Called Vision 2020 the scheme was a brainchild of an American consultancy firm born out of US military, McKinsey and the Big Four. Fortunately the project was met with a lot of opposition and as a result was stopped in its tracks. Since then they have their eyes set on Kashmir now.
* * *
We need your support to carry on our independent and investigative research based journalism on the external and internal threats facing India. Your contribution however small helps us keep afloat. Kindly consider donating to GreatGameIndia. ow
Jim in MN , 11 minutes agoPush , 41 minutes ago
Here, if folks think the Deep State originated with Trump getting ambushed, think again:
Bill Moyers and The Atlantic, 2013-2014
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/07/the-deep-state-the-permanent-campaign-and-the-frayed-fabric-of-american-democracy/277828/Pandelis , 35 minutes ago
And that's the truth. There is one guy in the US who spent his entire career revealing this reality and the establishment went after him harder than any other political figure in American history. George Bush in cooperation with Kissinger and Mueller threw the entire organization in prison - actual political prisoners right here in the US. His name is Lyndon LaRouche and the LaRouche organization is the ONLY organization telling it like it is.
For truth seekers and those looking to really get into what the forces are behind the chaos we see in today's world then you'd be well served to read Lyndon LaRouche and find out for yourself just how influential the British Empire still is today. It's the big secret that's right in front of your faces.
WWW.LaRouchePAC.comPush , 30 minutes ago
to understand "deep state" you have to go back to venice and most probably rome ... same methods (hand), as Abba songs says "the history book on the shelf just keep repeating itself"
no coincidence Lombard street in london takes it name after the italian region next to venice where the pawnshops come from (no banking system yet) ....it shows where the players came from and took over the city.
no coincidence either of the special status of city of london - it shows it is not controlled by "the british"state but by the deep states ... the likes soros works for ... yeah well, in due time they will be handed their verdict by the real power above.
Well it's an ideology. You don't really need to look that far back but it helps to understand the families and the transfer of power from one empire to the next. The ideology is a concept of what man is, and their concept is challenged in the first two sentences of the Declaration of Independence. Which, I believe, 99% of Americans read those first two sentences and have no clue wtf our founders were talking about.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Levtraro , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 6:52 pm GMTI suspect his open-borders advocacy and Russia-bashing too are lies; these are lines of defence against internal forces. It makes sense for him to take those positions while he seeks the nomination. If he gets it, he can betray those positions. A serious politician has to demonstrate a large capacity for betrayal. At the end of the day, he is a hardened politician like the rest.
Feb 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jefferson Morley via TruthDig.com,
President Trump's ongoing purge of the intelligence community, along with Bernie Sanders' surge in the Democratic presidential race, has triggered an unprecedented intervention of U.S. intelligence agencies in the U.S. presidential election on factually dubious grounds.
Former CIA director John Brennan sees a "full-blown national security crisis" in President Trump's latest moves against the intelligence community.
Brennan charges, "Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's." But congressional representatives, both Democratic and Republican, who heard a briefing by the intelligence community about the 2020 election earlier this month say the case for Russian interference is "overstated."
On February 21, it was leaked to the Washington Post that "U.S. officials," meaning members of the intelligence community, had confidentially briefed Sanders about alleged Russian efforts to help his 2020 presidential campaign .
Special prosecutor Robert Mueller documented how the Russians intervened on Trump's behalf in 2016, while finding no evidence of criminal conspiracy. Mueller did not investigate the Russians' efforts on behalf of Sanders, but the Computational Propaganda Research Project at Oxford University did. In a study of social media generated by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), the Oxford analysts found that the IRA initially generated propaganda designed to boost all rivals to Hillary Clinton in 2015. As Trump advanced, they focused almost entirely on motivating Trump supporters and demobilizing black voters. In short, the Russians helped Trump hundreds of thousand times more than they boosted Sanders.
The leak to the Post, on the eve of the Nevada caucuses, gave the opposite impression : that help for Trump and Sanders was somehow comparable. The insinuation could only have been politically motivated.
What's driving the U.S. intelligence community intervention in presidential politics is not just fear of Trump, but fear of losing control of the presidency. From 1947 to 2017, the CIA and other secret agencies sometimes clashed with presidents, especially Presidents Kennedy, Nixon and Carter. But since the end of the Cold War, under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, the secret agencies had no such problem.
Under Trump, the intelligence community has seen a vast loss of influence. Trump is contemptuous of the CIA's daily briefing. As demonstrated by his pressure campaign on Ukraine, his foreign policies are mostly transactional. Trump is not guided by the policy process or even any consistent doctrine, other than advancing his political and business interests. He's not someone who is interested in doing business with the intelligence community.
The intelligence community fears the rise of Sanders for a different reason. The socialist senator rejects the national security ideology that guided the intelligence community in the Cold War and the war on terror. Sanders' position is increasingly attractive, especially to young voters, and thus increasingly threatening to the former spy chiefs who yearn for a return to the pre-Trump status quo. A Sanders presidency, like a second term for Trump, would thwart that dream. Sanders is not interested in national security business as usual either.
In the face of Trump's lawless behavior, and Sanders' rise, the intelligence community is inserting itself into presidential politics in a way unseen since former CIA director George H.W. Bush occupied the Oval Office. Key to this intervention is the intelligence community's self-image as a disinterested party in the 2020 election.
Former House Intelligence Committee chair Jane Harman says Trump's ongoing purge of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is a threat to those who "speak truth to power." As the pseudonymous former CIA officer "Alex Finley" tweeted Monday,NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST
the "'Deep state' is actually the group that wants to defend rule of law (and thus gets in the way of those screaming 'DEEP STATE' and corrupting for their own gain)."
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Self-image, however, is not the same as reality. When it comes to Trump's corruption, Brennan and Co. have ample evidence to support their case. But the CIA is simply not credible as a "defender of the rule of law." The Reagan-Bush Iran-contra conspiracy, the Bush-Cheney torture regime, and the Bush-Obama mass surveillance program demonstrate that the law is a malleable thing for intelligence community leaders. A more realistic take on the 2020 election is that the U.S. intelligence community is not a conspiracy but a self-interested political faction that is seeking to defend its power and policy preferences. The national security faction is not large electorally. It benefits from the official secrecy around its activities. It is assisted by generally sympathetic coverage from major news organizations.
The problem for Brennan and Co. is that "national security" has lost its power to mobilize public opinion. On both the right and the left, the pronouncements of the intelligence community no longer command popular assent.
Trump's acquittal by the Senate in his impeachment trial was one sign. The national security arguments driving the House-passed articles of impeachment were the weakest link in a case that persuaded only one Republican senator to vote for Trump's removal. Sanders' success is another sign.
In the era of endless war, Democratic voters have become skeptical of national security claims - from Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, to the notion that torture "works," to "progress" in Afghanistan, to the supreme importance of Ukraine - because they have so often turned out to be more self-serving than true.
The prospect of a Trump gaining control of the U.S. intelligence community is scary. So is the intervention of the U.S. intelligence community in presidential politics.
the "'Deep state' is actually the group that wants to defend their power and remain above the law (and thus corrupting the rule of law for their own gain)."
True... the Washington secret police community together with their comrades inside and outside the Regime and their foreign comrades in the secret police community... are only interested in covering up their crime spree and abusing power... though Trump goes along with the Washington regimes abuses of power... play_arrow 1 play_arrow
RepealThe16th , 1 minute agoEquinox7 , 2 minutes ago
So the author repeats the charge of intelligence agencies 'insertion' into domestic politics (which they are FORBIDDEN to do anyway.....especially the CIA and NSA).......and he ends the piece with "Based on Trump's lawless behavior"......
Uh. Dickhead. You might want to point the 'lawless' finger at the proper targets. The intelligence agencies.
WTF???oromae , 3 minutes ago
U.S. Intelligence Is Intervening In The 2020 Election....
Let's correct this misleading headline.
U. S. INTELLIGENCE IS INTERFERING IN THE 2020 ELECTION!Alis Aquilae , 3 minutes ago
What a load of trash.A_Huxley , 4 minutes ago
" The prospect of a Trump gaining control of the U.S. intelligence community is scary."
What an asinine statement. Since its inception, by Harry Truman in 1947 the CIA has been an instrument of the deep state, working against America.
Having said that the corruption inside the CIA seems almost to the point where it can't be salvaged. The FBI is in the same shape as it has been handcrafted by the likes of Mueller, Comey and now Wray to a hollow farce of law enforcement that brings back fond memories of the Keystone cops. It seems the FBI with all of its technical wizardry and surveillance capabilities couldn't find their azzholes in a snowstorm. The list of failed investigations and stasi fascist tactics is growing daily.
At this point it seems the only real cure for these two hemorrhoids on the sphincter of America is a dissection, just like JFK planned before Dallas.
I'm all in on the phasing out of both the CIA and the FBI and creating a new sector of military intelligence to assume the duties that these 2 agencies have squandered.Thalamus , 4 minutes ago
Who are the gov of Australia and MI6 supporting this year?Shemp 4 Victory , 11 minutes ago
The intelligence agencies are the mob getting government pay.Shifter_X , 12 minutes ago
So this is US "intelligence"? What a bunch of narcissistic, dim-witted, hypocritical, unimaginative poltroons.
Jane Harman must think everyone is huffing gasoline if she expects people to believe that the "intelligence" community speaks truth to power. If she actually believes it herself, then she must come back from lunch reeking like Sunoco Gold 94 octane. Anyone who actually does speak truth to power ends up like Assange, Manning, or Snowden, or gets the Seth Rich treatment, or simply disappears.
Pseudonymous former CIA officer "Alex Finley" is just one of many self-serving racketeers in the "intelligence" community worried that their racket may be exposed. He's also a shabby liar. Here is his statement after it's been stripped of the cheap ********:
the "'Deep state' is actually the group that wants to defend their power and remain above the law (and thus corrupting the rule of law for their own gain)."
And Johnny "one-note" Brennan (whose eye sockets appear to be empty) keeps playing the same "the Russians are gonna get us" song because he is scared shitless. He knows the extent of his crimes and is desperately trying to deflect attention away from himself. He's such a dullard, though, that he can't think of any way to do so except to bleat the same tired old fake Cold War propaganda from 50 years ago.
As an American, I'd be embarrassed if these creepy freaks were working for America. It's pretty clear that they're not, though.Shue , 15 minutes ago
This whole Red scare is just a boatload of ********.ISEEIT , 16 minutes ago
" Brennan charges, "Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's."
WTF?! Are you ******* kidding me? Are Americans really that ******* stupid? Trump has been the worst possible POTUS towards Russia.nuerocaster , 16 minutes ago
Whoever wrote this crap is pretty slick, I'll give 'em that.
The thing is I simply can't accept the embedded assumptions that render the entire article intellectually poo-poo.
The real story that would be dominating any legit public discourse would be the ******* coup attempt and the matter of lack of accountability.
Once we peel off that layer of the onion, we can begin talking about 12-3 and one on one.
The lack of perspective issue is fatal.Falconsixone , 17 minutes ago
Editors?seryanhoj , 20 minutes ago
Your All Fired! Get Your **** And Get Out!BankSurfyMan , 16 minutes ago
From the CIA viewpoint, " why should we few hundred thousand citizens and their votes **** up our best laid schemes? That would be crazy ?Railiciere , 20 minutes ago
Angel 5 dispatched 7 at WUHAN, ~ From the CIA viewpoint ~ on the HEDGE! U Next!Shemp 4 Victory , 8 minutes ago
I've made $64,000 so far this year working online and I'm a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I've made such great money. It's really user friendly and I'm just so happy that I found out about it.
Heres what I do............... FoxLifeStyles.comSicSemperTyrannus , 26 minutes ago
***.valjoux7750 , 26 minutes ago
Or, we finally woke up to the fact that the intelligence "community" is a cabal of psychopathic murdering satanists who only cares to stay in power. Keeping the American people in thrall. I could be wrong.BankSurfyMan , 20 minutes ago
Is that Brenan **** still running his mouth? That ******* is out there.JohnG , 13 minutes ago
Speak often on the HEDGE, sign up and post up, Comment of the Month Club Awarded! AMAZING, BUT NEVER COMMON U Next!CamCam , 30 minutes ago
You are coming close to being ignored.
Post no more obviously retarded comments.insanelysane , 31 minutes ago
The intelligence community intervened in every election, everywhere and all of the timeChain Man , 31 minutes ago
Not even a majority of sheeple believe anything the alphabet agencies have to say.Shemp 4 Victory , 5 minutes ago
The CIA needs to be helping ICE get rid of illegal aliens in the USA. They can do some investigating and leg work.gcjohns1971 , 33 minutes ago
Sounds nice, except the CIA doesn't give a **** about America.Shifter_X , 11 minutes ago
"Brennan and Co. have ample evidence to support their case. "
Oh where oh where have I heard THAT before??
I wouldn't believe Brennan & Co if they told me, "The Sun will rise tomorrow morning".
And if I shook hands with "Brennan & Co" I would count my fingers afterwards.chubbar , 34 minutes ago
If there was any, much less, ample evidence, we would have all seen it by now 24/7 for the last three years.The Palmetto Cynic , 34 minutes ago
The author is an idiot. Anytime you are listening to Brennan or Mueller, you know you are way off track.BankSurfyMan , 32 minutes ago
Intelligence has nothing to do with elections. HL Mencken pointed this out a long time ago:
"Politicians rarely if ever get there [into public office] by merit alone, at least in democratic states. Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle. They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually under privileged .... Will any of them venture to tell the plain truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the situation of the country, foreign or domestic? Will any of them refrain from promises that he knows he can't fulfill-that no human being could fulfill? Will any of them utter a word, however obvious, that will alarm and alienate any of the huge pack of morons who cluster at the public trough, wallowing in the pap that grows thinner and thinner, hoping against hope? Answer: maybe for a few weeks at the start. ... But not after the issue is fairly joined, and the struggle is on in earnest .... They will all promise every man, woman and child in the country whatever he, she or it wants. They'll all be roving the land looking for chances to make the rich poor, to remedy the irremediable, to succor the unsuccorable, to unscramble the unscrambleable, to dephlogisticate the undephlogisticable. They will all be curing warts by saying words over them, and paying off the national debt with money that no one will have to earn. When one of them demonstrates that twice two is five, another will prove that it is six, six and a half, ten, twenty, n. In brief, they will divest themselves from their character as sensible, candid and truthful men, and become simply candidates for office, bent only on collaring votes. They will all know by then, even supposing that some of them don't know it now, that votes are collared under democracy, not by talking sense but by talking nonsense, and they will apply themselves to the job with a hearty yo-heave-ho. Most of them, before the uproar is over, will actually convince themselves. The winner will be whoever promises the most with the least probability of delivering anything." – HL Mencken "A Mencken Chrestomathy"The Palmetto Cynic , 29 minutes ago
I read your entire comment in less than a second on the HEDGE of Doom 2020! No votes from me, MING!BankSurfyMan , 25 minutes ago
What matters is that you took at least 30 seconds to write that response ;-)J J Pettigrew , 38 minutes ago
My instincts on the Hedge told me to expect a reply, Courtesy and Respect ~ Due to You ~ up voted!BankSurfyMan , 31 minutes ago
And what of Hunter Biden...?
Notice the deals were made somewhere to drop the issue....the corruption...the linkages...bizarroworld , 38 minutes ago
JJ in the House and on the Hedge getting up voted AGAIN!Roanman , 41 minutes ago
I hope the moron who wrote this (clearly a TDS infected moron) gets covid-19. Soon.Balance-Sheet , 42 minutes ago
Dumb *** piece written by a dumb ***.
Corrupt Trump, corrupt CIA out to get poor Bernie.
To quote Bugs, "What a maroon. What an ignoranimous."seryanhoj , 15 minutes ago
The top level of the Military and the Intelligence Agencies will consider themselves as holders of the Sovereignty of the USA not Congress, the President, and certainly not the average citizen.
As such they will defend their position on the basis that all politicians are very temporary and will not tolerate any person or group to threaten their primacy and President Trump or anyone else doesn't have to do or say much of anything one way or the other to cause the Mil/Intel community to block the elected government and remove people from office by any and all means.
As the Sovereign Power of the USA they are above all law outside the USA and increasingly inside the country as well.tunEphsh , 43 minutes ago
Right. The CIA aren't about to let voters inntefere with their plans for the world. What do they know ? Only what we tell them.Balance-Sheet , 40 minutes ago
John Brennan is a wacko, and he lied to congress about all 17 intelligence agencies supporting the claim of Russia hacking of the DNC emails. The determination was in reality made by a small group of people hand-picked by Brennan. Brennan needs to go to jail for about twenty years. The U.S. should put him in Cuba to be with the Middle Eastern murderers.tunEphsh , 39 minutes ago
If the CIA really opposes Brennan they can instantly remove him by accident.chunga , 44 minutes ago
They could but they will not.TheBeholder , 23 minutes ago
I just watched the maverick reformer and his team of experts talk about how awesome the US is prepared for the zombie apocalypse and I still don't know if CDC even has a test for this virus.
I don't think they do.Cabreado , 44 minutes ago
Not a very accurate test, lots of false positivesGovernment needs you to pay taxes , 53 minutes ago
Enough of the gibberish.
How 'bout a Rule of Law?
Where are the indictments?Steele Hammerhands , 53 minutes ago
That goddamn traitor dunecoon Brennan can suck my balls.LordMaster , 51 minutes ago
What happened to breaking the CIA into a thousand pieces and scattering the bits to the wind? That seemed like a good plan.Freespeaker , 49 minutes ago
CIA is basically MOSSAD. If you don't know this, you could be a moron.LordMaster , 50 minutes ago
They are close MI6/5Eyes as wellDaiRR , 57 minutes ago
There should be a people's rally outside CIA headquarters. They are scummy bastards who DO NOT act on the behalf of American Interests.Reaper , 58 minutes ago
LOL, yeah sure, Brennan spoke "truth to power." I volunteer to pull the lever on his gallows at no cost to the taxpayer. Hell, I volunteer to build the gallows gratis.
One of the only high level intel chiefs from the Obamunist Administration I trust was Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency. President Trump has been getting Roger's counsel on who to fire.Wow72 , 58 minutes ago
Everything they say is a fabrication.J'accuse , 1 hour ago
Brennan charges, "Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's." But congressional representatives, both Democratic and Republican, who heard a briefing by the intelligence community about the 2020 election earlier this month say the case for Russian interference is "overstated."
This from the democratic side...The side which has sold every valuable thing in the country to foreign interests... The Hypocrisy is insane here.. Where was he when foreigners were donating to the Clinton Foundation for favors?darkenergy-KNOT , 57 minutes ago
It's a sad situation when the DOJ remains unable to prosecute the Intel agencies' corrupt actors that plotted a coup against Candidate/Pres Trump in 2016 to this day. And Mr. Brennan is already setting up a 2020 pre-coup and the MSM/DOJ et al are willingly participating - again! Sad times for America.Freespeaker , 1 hour ago
same as it ever was.Farts and Leaves , 1 hour ago
CIA is a much bigger electoral threat to the US than Russia could ever dream of.Freespeaker , 1 hour ago
Hey Brennan...NOBODY BELIEVES YOU!typeatme , 1 hour ago
Brennan and Mike Morrell pushed the Steele dossier along with Harry Reid. This was prior to the election.nmewn , 54 minutes ago
"When it comes to Intelligence agency corruption, Trump and the American People have ample evidence to support their case."
There, Fixed it for ya...
Something about kettles and black comes to mind...
Ain't it great that Senator Di-Fi is no longer a member of the Gang of Eight on intelligence matters? It kinda lowered her stature after everyone found out she had a Chi-Com spy in her employ for years...lol.
And is subject to divulging classified information just because she's taking "cold medicine" ;-)
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:43 pm GMT
In a struggle between oligarchy and democracy, something must give
America hasn't been a democracy for decades there is no contest oligarchy (Deep State) won a long time ago. The only struggle is to continue the facade/charade that we are a democracy/democratic republic.
The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.
The Deep State consists of the very wealthy who are greedy for more wealth and power. There are 607 billionaires in the US. There is no reason for the Deep State members to formally collude they all know what needs to be done and how to do it. They use a relatively small amount of their money to place their minions in positions of power heads of the movie industry, the media, the federal government, academia. From then on if the lessers in these groups want to keep their jobs/lives they will toe the line. It becomes self sustaining from tax money and the Deep State glories in more wealth and power. Here is an excellent example of the Deep State in action: The SCOTUS has passed down egregious decisions that abridge the First Amendment and show contempt for the concept of a representative democracy. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1976 and exacerbated by continuing stupid SCOTUS decisions First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
These decisions have codified that money is free speech thereby giving entities of wealth and power almost total influence in elections. By gaining control of the SCOTUS the Deep State is able to further their goals.
Another take on the Deep State:
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/14/understanding-the-deep-states-propaganda/Is the US presently a :AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
6.All of the above ?There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed.
Feb 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Russians are back, alongside the American intelligence agencies playing deep inside our elections. Who should we fear more? Hint: not the Russians.
On February 13, the election security czar in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) briefed the House Intelligence Committee that the Russians were meddling again and that they favored Donald Trump. A few weeks earlier, the ODNI briefed Bernie Sanders that the Russians were also meddling in the Democratic primaries, this time in his favor. Both briefings remained secret until this past week, when the former was leaked to the New York Times in time to smear Trump for replacing his DNI, and the latter leaked to the Washington Post ahead of the Nevada caucuses to try and damage Sanders.
Russiagate is back, baby. Everyone welcome Russiagate II.
You didn't think after 2016 the bad boys of the intel "community" (which makes it sound like they all live together down in Florida somewhere) weren't going to play their games again, and that they wouldn't learn from their mistakes? Those errors were in retrospect amateurish. A salacious dossier built around a pee tape? Nefarious academics befriending minor Trump campaign staffers who would tell all to an Aussie ambassador trolling London's pubs looking for young, fit Americans? Falsified FISA applications when it was all too obvious even Trumpkin greenhorns weren't dumb enough to sleep with FBI honeypots? You'd think after influencing 85 elections across the globe since World War II, they'd be better at it. But you also knew that after failing to whomp a bumpkin like Trump once, they would keep trying.
Like any good intel op, you start with a tickle, make it seem like the targets are figuring it out for themselves. Get it out there that Trump offered Wikileaks' Julian Assange a pardon if he would state publicly that Russia wasn't involved in the 2016 DNC leaks. The story was all garbage, not the least of which because Assange has been clear for years that it wasn't the Russians. And there was no offer of a pardon from the White House. And conveniently Assange is locked in a foreign prison and can't comment.
Whatever. Just make sure you time the Assange story to hit the day after Trump pardoned numerous high-profile, white-collar criminals, so even the casual reader had Trump = bad, with a side of Russian conspiracy, on their minds. You could almost imagine an announcer's voice: "Previously, on Russiagate I "
Then, only a day after the Assange story (why be subtle?), the sequel hit the theaters with timed leaks to the NYT and WaPo . The mainstream media went Code Red (the CIA has a long history of working with the media to influence elections).
CNN concluded that "America's Russia nightmare is back." Maddow was ecstatic, bleating "Here we go again," recycling her failed conspiracy theories whole. Everybody quoted Adam Schiff firing off that Trump was "again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling." Tying it all to the failed impeachment efforts, another writer said , "'Let the Voters Decide' doesn't work if Trump fires his national security staff so Russia can help him again." The NYT fretted , "Trump is intensifying his efforts to undermine the nation's intelligence agencies." John Brennan (after leaking for a while, most boils dry up and go away) said , "we are now in a full-blown national security crisis." The undead Hillary Clinton tweeted , "Putin's Puppet is at it again."
It is clear we'll be hearing breaking and developing reports about this from sources believed to be close to others through November. Despite the sense of desperation in the recycled memes and the way the media rose on command to the bait, it's intel community 1, Trump 0.
But it's still a miss on Bernie. He did well in Nevada despite the leaks, though Russiagate II has a long way to go. Bernie himself assured us of that. Instead of pooh-poohing the idea that the Russians might be working for him, he instead gave it cred, saying , "Some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters."
Sanders handed Russiagate II legs, signaling that he'll use it as cover for the Bros' online shenanigans, which were called out at the last debate. That's playing with fire: it'll be too easy later on to invoke all this with "Komrade Bernie" memes in the already wary purple states. "Putin and Trump are picking their opponent," opined Rahm Emanuel to get that ball rolling.
Summary to date: everyone is certain the Russians are working to influence the election (adopts cartoon Russian accent) but who is the cat and who is the mouse?
Is Putin helping Trump get re-elected to remain his asset in place? Or is Putin helping Bernie "I Honeymooned in the Soviet Union" Sanders to make him look like an asset to help Trump? Or are the Russkies really all in because Bernie is a True Socialist sleeper agent, the Emma Goldman of his time (Bernie's old enough to have taken Emma to high school prom)? Or is it not the Russians but the American intel community helping Bernie to make it look like Putin is helping Bernie to help Trump? Or is it the Deep State saying the Reds are helping Bernie to hurt Bernie to help their man Bloomberg? Are Russian spies tripping over American spies in caucus hallways trying to get to the front of the room? Who can tell what is really afoot?
See, the devil is in the details, which is why we don't have any.
The world's greatest intelligence team can't seem to come up with anything more specific than "interfering" and "meddling," as if pesky Aunt Vladimir is gossiping at the general store again. CBS reports that House members pressed the ODNI for evidence, such as phone intercepts, to back up claims that Russia is trying to help Trump, but briefers had none to offer. Even Jake Tapper , a Deep State loyalty card holder, raised some doubts. WaPo , which hosted one of the leaks, had to admit "It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken."
Yes, yes, they have to protect sources and methods, but of course the quickest way to stop Russian influence is to expose it. Instead the ODNI dropped the turd in the punchbowl and walked away. Why not tell the public what media is being bought, which outlets are working, willingly or not, with Putin? Did the Reds implant a radio chip in Biden's skull? Will we be left hanging with the info-free claim "something something social media" again?
If you're going to scream that communist zombies with MAGA hats are inside the house , you're obligated to provide a little bit more information. Why is it when specifics are required, the response is always something like "Well, the Russians are sowing distrust and turning Americans against themselves in a way that weakens national unity" as if we're all not eating enough green vegetables? Why leave us exposed to Russian influence for even a second when it could all be shut down in an instant?
Because the intel community learned its lesson in Russiagate I. Details can be investigated. That's where the old story fell apart. The dossier wasn't true. Michael Cohen never met the Russians in Prague. The a-ha discovery was that voters don't read much anyway, so just make claims. You'll never really prosecute or impeach anyone, so why bother with evidence (see everything Ukraine)? Just throw out accusations and let the media fill it all in for you. After all, they managed to convince a large number of Americans Trump's primary purpose in running for president was to fill vacant hotel rooms at his properties. Let the nature of the source -- the brave lads of the intelligence agencies -- legitimize the accusations this time, not facts.
It will take a while to figure out who is playing whom. Is the goal to help Trump, help Bernie, or defeat both of them to support Bloomberg? But don't let the challenge of seeing the whole picture obscure the obvious: the American intelligence agencies are once again inside our election.
The intel community crossed a line in 2016, albeit clumsily (what was all that with Comey and Hillary?), to play an overt role in the electoral process. When that didn't work out and Trump was elected, they pivoted and drove us to the brink of all hell breaking loose with Russiagate I. The media welcomed and supported them. The Dems welcomed and supported them. Far too many Americans welcomed and supported them in some elaborate version of the ends justifying the means.
The good news from 2016 was that the Deep State turned out to be less competent than we originally feared. But they have learned much from those mistakes, particularly how deft a tool a compliant MSM is. This election will be a historian's marker for how a decent nation, fully warned in 2016, fooled itself in 2020 into self-harm. Forget about foreigners influencing our elections from the outside; the zombies are already inside the house.
Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent .
49 minutes ago
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,
There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.
Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.
A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.
But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:
"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."
Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."
Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.
Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)
Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.
Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.Why No Antiwar Generals
When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.
Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.
The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.
Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.
Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.
Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.
But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.
At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.
More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.
One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?
In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.
That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.
Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .
Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.
Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.
Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."
Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...2 minutes agoAm I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.14 minutes agoTULSI GABBARD.14 minutes ago
Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).
The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.14 minutes ago
- What imperialism?
- We are spreading freedumb and dumbocracy.
- We are saving the world from socialism and communism.
- We are energy independent, with innate exceptionalism and #MAGA# will usher in a new era of American prosperity.
- Any and all accusations of USSA imperialism, are made by the "woke" and those jealous of the greatest Capitalist system in the world.
- The swamp is being drained as I speak, and therefore will continue with unwavering support for my 5x draft dodging, Zionist supporting, multiple times bankrupt, keeper of broken promises POTUS.
- Smedley Butler's book is not worthy of reading once you have the seminal work known as "The Art Of The Deal"
#MIGA#29 minutes ago
ALL wars are EVIL. Period .30 minutes ago
Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.
This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.
And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.32 minutes ago35 minutes ago
Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind
Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!41 minutes ago
Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.
How stupid can we be!(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!49 minutes agoHe was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.22 minutes ago(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.53 minutes ago
Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!
How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.54 minutes agoAll the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits57 minutes agowant to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this
War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour agoHere is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.
How can we be so stupid???
1 hour agoSee also:
1 hour agoThe main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.
Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.
He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:
- 2006-07: he served as the Military Secretary to the 33rd and 34th Commandants of the Marine Corps
- 2008: he was selected by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the Director of the Chairman's New Administration Transition Team (CNATT)
- 2009: he reported to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan to serve as the Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for Stability. ..... Deputy to the Deputy for Stability ???? WTF is that?
- 2010: he was assigned as the Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) for the U.S. Central Command
- 2012: he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps to serve as the Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review
In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?
51 minutes agoare U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.
It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.
How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?
1 hour agoGoebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel
1 hour agoThe greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."
Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.
1 hour ago
1 hour ago
"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."
Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.
" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
James Madison Friday June 29, 1787
"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])
1 hour ago
A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire
See Alexander Parvus
1 hour ago
Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.
1 hour ago
Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report
1 hour ago
ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.
1 hour ago
The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.2 hours ago
If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgTrailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36
Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?
Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.
One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.
But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...
Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.
NorwayThe amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway
Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.
But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.
Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".
From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,
Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.
Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
- The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.
For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.
- The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.
There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.
When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.
The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.
The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.
IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.
To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.
- The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.
Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .
Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.
The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.
We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.
insanelysane , 9 minutes ago linkDonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link
The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:
1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.
2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.East Indian , 23 minutes ago link
Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sighthardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link
A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':
"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."
- reader ricocat1hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link
his name was Seth Rich!buckboy , 57 minutes ago link
The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link
We, the People are free to bitch and moan.Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link
The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.
The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link
Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine
Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine
Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine
Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending
Trump Abuse of Power:
Trump...HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link
They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.monty42 , 1 hour ago link
I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link
Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.
True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...
Jan 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer is out with a new book, " Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite," in which he reveals that five members of the Biden family, including Hunter, got rich using former Vice President Joe Biden's "largesse, favorable access and powerful position."Frank Biden, Vice President Joe Biden, & Mindy Ward
While we know of Hunter's profitable exploits in Ukraine and China - largely in part thanks to Schweizer, Joe's brothers James and Frank, his sister Valerie, and his son-in-law Howard all used the former VP's status to enrich themselves.
Of course, Biden in 2019 said "I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else -- even distant family -- about their business interests. Period."
As Schweizer puts writes in the New York Post ; "we shall see."
James Biden : Joe's younger brother James has been deeply involved in the lawmaker's rise since the early days - serving as the finance chair of his 1972 Senate campaign. And when Joe became VP, James was a frequent guest at the White House - scoring invites to important state functions which often "dovetailed with his overseas business dealings," writes Schweizer.
Consider the case of HillStone International , a subsidiary of the huge construction management firm, Hill International. The president of HillStone International was Kevin Justice, who grew up in Delaware and was a longtime Biden family friend. On November 4, 2010, according to White House visitors' logs, Justice visited the White House and met with Biden adviser Michele Smith in the Office of the Vice President .
Less than three weeks later, HillStone announced that James Biden would be joining the firm as an executive vice president . James appeared to have little or no background in housing construction, but that did not seem to matter to HillStone. His bio on the company's website noted his "40 years of experience dealing with principals in business, political, legal and financial circles across the nation and internationally "
James Biden was joining HillStone just as the firm was starting negotiations to win a massive contract in war-torn Iraq. Six months later, the firm announced a contract to build 100,000 homes. It was part of a $35 billion, 500,000-unit project deal won by TRAC Development , a South Korean company. HillStone also received a $22 million U.S. federal government contract to manage a construction project for the State Department. - Peter Schweizer, via NY Post
According to Fox Business 's Charlie Gasparino in 2012, HillStone's Iraq project was expected to "generate $1.5 billion in revenues over the next three years," more than tripling their revenue. According to the report, James Biden split roughly $735 million with a group of minority partners .
David Richter - the son of HillStone's parent company's founder - allegedly told investors at a private meeting; it really helps to have "the brother of the vice president as a partner."
Unfortunately for James, HillStone had to back out of the major contract in 2013 over a series of problems, including a lack of experience - but the company maintained "significant contract work in the embattled country" of Iraq, including a six-year contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
In the ensuing years, James Biden profited off of Hill's lucrative contracts for dozens of projects in the US, Puerto Rico, Mozambique and elsewhere.
Frank Biden , another one of Joe's brothers (who said the Pennsylvania Bidens voted for Trump over Hillary), profited handsomely on real estate, casinos, and solar power projects after Joe was picked as Obma's point man in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Months after Joe visited Costa Rica, Frank partnered with developer Craig Williamson and the Guanacaste Country Club on a deal which appears to be ongoing.
In real terms, Frank's dream was to build in the jungles of Costa Rica thousands of homes, a world-class golf course, casinos, and an anti-aging center. The Costa Rican government was eager to cooperate with the vice president's brother.
As it happened, Joe Biden had been asked by President Obama to act as the Administration's point man in Latin America and the Caribbean .
Frank's vision for a country club in Costa Rica received support from the highest levels of the Costa Rican government -- despite his lack of experience in building such developments. He met with the Costa Rican ministers of education and energy and environment, as well as the president of the country. - NY Post
And in 2016, the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education inked a deal with Frank's Company, Sun Fund Americas to install solar power facilities across the country - a project the Obama administration's OPIC authorized $6.5 million in taxpayer funds to support.
This went hand-in-hand with a solar initiative Joe Biden announced two years earlier, in which "American taxpayer dollars were dedicated to facilitating deals that matched U.S. government financing with local energy projects in Caribbean countries, including Jamaica," known as the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI).
Frank Biden's Sun Fund Americas announced later that it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to build a 20-megawatt solar facility in Jamaica.
Valerie Biden-Owens , Joe's sister, has run all of her brother's Senate campaigns - as well as his 1988 and 2008 presidential runs.
She was also a senior partner in political messaging firm Joe Slade White & Company , where she and Slade White were listed as the only two executives at the time.
According to Schweizer, " The firm received large fees from the Biden campaigns that Valerie was running . Two and a half million dollars in consulting fees flowed to her firm from Citizens for Biden and Biden For President Inc. during the 2008 presidential bid alone."
Dr. Howard Krein - Joe Biden's son-in-law, is the chief medical officer of StartUp Health - a medical investment consultancy that was barely up and running when, in June 2011, two of the company's execs met with Joe Biden and former President Obama in the Oval Office .
The next day, the company was included in a prestigious health care tech conference run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - while StartUp Health executives became regular White House visitors between 2011 and 2015 .
StartUp Health offers to provide new companies technical and relationship advice in exchange for a stake in the business. Demonstrating and highlighting the fact that you can score a meeting with the president of the United States certainly helps prove a strategic company asset: high-level contacts. - NY Post
Speaking of his homie hookup, Krein described how his company gained access to the highest levels of power in D.C.:
"I happened to be talking to my father-in-law that day and I mentioned Steve and Unity were down there [in Washington, D.C.]," recalled Howard Krein. "He knew about StartUp Health and was a big fan of it. He asked for Steve's number and said, 'I have to get them up here to talk with Barack.' The Secret Service came and got Steve and Unity and brought them to the Oval Office."
And then, of course, there's Hunter Biden - who was paid millions of dollars to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma while his father was Obama's point man in the country.
But it goes far beyond that for the young crack enthusiast.
With the election of his father as vice president, Hunter Biden launched businesses fused to his father's power that led him to lucrative deals with a rogue's gallery of governments and oligarchs around the world . Sometimes he would hitch a prominent ride with his father aboard Air Force Two to visit a country where he was courting business. Other times, the deals would be done more discreetly. Always they involved foreign entities that appeared to be seeking something from his father.
There was, for example, Hunter's involvement with an entity called Burnham Financial Group , where his business partner Devon Archer -- who'd been at Yale with Hunter -- sat on the board of directors. Burnham became the vehicle for a number of murky deals abroad, involving connected oligarchs in Kazakhstan and state-owned businesses in China.
But one of the most troubling Burnham ventures was here in the United States, in which Burnham became the center of a federal investigation involving a $60 million fraud scheme against one of the poorest Indian tribes in America , the Oglala Sioux.
Devon Archer was arrested in New York in May 2016 and charged with "orchestrating a scheme to defraud investors and a Native American tribal entity of tens of millions of dollars." Other victims of the fraud included several public and union pension plans. Although Hunter Biden was not charged in the case, his fingerprints were all over Burnham . The "legitimacy" that his name and political status as the vice president's son lent to the plan was brought up repeatedly in the trial. - NY Post
Read the rest of the report here .
Jan 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 17 2020 19:24 utc | 6Yes! The inability to tell the truth about the genuine aim of policy despite its being published because that policy goal--to attain Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people such that neoliberal bankers can rule the world--is actually 100% against genuine American Values as expressed by the Four Freedoms (1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear) and the articulated goals/vision of the UN Charter--World Peace arrived at via collective security and diplomacy, not war--which are still taught in schools along with Wilson's 14 Points. Then of course, there's the war against British Tyranny known as the Spirit of '76 and the Revolutionary War for Independence and the documents that bookend that era. In 1948, Kennan stated, in an internal discussion that was never censored, the USA consumed 60% of global resources with only 5% of the population and needed to somehow come up with a policy to both continue and justify that great disparity to both the domestic and international audience. Yet, those truths were never provided in an overt manner to the American public or the international audience. The upshot being the US federal government since it dropped the bombs on Japan has been lying or misleading its people such that it's now habitual. And Trump's diatribe against the generals reflects the reality that he too was taken in by those lies.
Apr 18, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.comDJG , April 17, 2017 at 11:09 amNeoliberalism is creating loneliness. That's what's wrenching society apart George Monbiot, GuardianKatharine , April 17, 2017 at 11:39 am
George Monbiot on human loneliness and its toll. I agree with his observations. I have been cataloguing them in my head for years, especially after a friend of mine, born in Venice and a long-time resident of Rome, pointed out to me that dogs are a sign of loneliness.
A couple of recent trips to Rome have made that point ever more obvious to me: Compared to my North Side neighborhood in Chicago, where every other person seems to have a dog, and on weekends Clark Street is awash in dogs (on their way to the dog boutiques and the dog food truck), Rome has few dogs. Rome is much more densely populated, and the Italians still have each other, for good or for ill. And Americans use the dog as an odd means of making human contact, at least with other dog owners.
But Americanization advances: I was surprised to see people bring dogs into the dining room of a fairly upscale restaurant in Turin. I haven't seen that before. (Most Italian cafes and restaurants are just too small to accommodate a dog, and the owners don't have much patience for disruptions.) The dogs barked at each other for while–violating a cardinal rule in Italy that mealtime is sacred and tranquil. Loneliness rules.
And the cafes and restaurants on weekends in Chicago–chockfull of people, each on his or her own Powerbook, surfing the WWW all by themselves.
That's why the comments about March on Everywhere in Harper's, recommended by Lambert, fascinated me. Maybe, to be less lonely, you just have to attend the occasional march, no matter how disorganized (and the Chicago Women's March organizers made a few big logistical mistakes), no matter how incoherent. Safety in numbers? (And as Monbiot points out, overeating at home alone is a sign of loneliness: Another argument for a walk with a placard.)DJG , April 17, 2017 at 11:48 am
I particularly liked this point:
In Britain, men who have spent their entire lives in quadrangles – at school, at college, at the bar, in parliament – instruct us to stand on our own two feet.
With different imagery, the same is true in this country. The preaching of self-reliance by those who have never had to practice it is galling.
Katherine: Agreed. It is also one of the reasons why I am skeptical of various evangelical / fundi pastors, who are living at the expense of their churches, preaching about individual salvation.
So you have the upper crust (often with inheritances and trust funds) preaching economic self-reliances, and you have divines preaching individual salvation as they go back to the house provided by the members of the church.
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41Yep - education is the key.
I remember at school we read Orwell's essay Politics and the English Language in an English class and then we were set a writing task as a follow-up, reporting on the same story using the same facts, from completely opposing points of view, using euphemism and mind-numbing cliches. Teach children to do this themselves and they can see how language can be skewed and facts distorted and misrepresented without technically lying.
How many children in schools are taught such critical thinking these days, I wonder? It might be taught in Media Studies, I suppose - but gosh, don't the right really hate that particular subject! Critical thinking is anathema to them.
Dec 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org
J_Garbo ,I suspected that Deep State has at least two opposing factions. The Realistists want him to break up the empire, turn back into a republic; the Delusionals want to extend the empire, continue to exploit and destroy the world. If so, the contradictions, reversals, incoherence make sense. IMO as I said.
Gary Weglarz ,I predict that all Western MSM will begin to accurately and vocally cover Mr. Binney's findings about this odious and treasonous U.S. government psyop at just about the exact time that -- "hell freezes over" -- as they say.
Jen ,They don't need to, they have Tony Blair's fellow Brit psycho Boris Johnson to go on autopilot and blame the Russians the moment something happens and just before London Met start their investigations.
Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT
The Year of Manufactured Hysteria
The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc.
The unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.
Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.
Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.
Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.
Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.
Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.
james , Dec 19 2019 1:51 utc | 57hey b... i like your title - "How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party" ... could change it to" How the Deep State Sunk the USA" could work just as well...ptb , Dec 19 2019 2:07 utc | 62
Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment.
is this intentional?? it sort of looks like it...
good quote from @ 26 lk - "The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones."@babyl-on 35
yes that is about right. The top power networks are all a tight mix of names from govt, MIC, and private equity (incl. top 2-3 investment banks). With the latter group naturally paying the salaries of the whole policy making ecosystem, and holding the positions that select future generations who will eventually take their place.
They want the security of knowing noone in the world will mess with them. This necessitates that noone in the world *can* mess with them. Pretty straightforward from there.
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs , December 06, 2019 at 06:22 AMImpeach the presidentJohnH -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 06, 2019 at 08:34 AM
Boston Globe - editorial - December 5
From the founding of this country, the power of the president was understood to have limits. Indeed, the Founders would never have written an impeachment clause into the Constitution if they did not foresee scenarios where their descendants might need to remove an elected president before the end of his term in order to protect the American people and the nation.
The question before the country now is whether President Trump's misconduct is severe enough that Congress should exercise that impeachment power, less than a year before the 2020 election. The results of the House Intelligence Committee inquiry, released to the public on Tuesday, make clear that the answer is an urgent yes. Not only has the president abused his power by trying to extort a foreign country to meddle in US politics, but he also has endangered the integrity of the election itself. He has also obstructed the congressional investigation into his conduct, a precedent that will lead to a permanent diminution of congressional power if allowed to stand.
The evidence that Trump is a threat to the constitutional system is more than sufficient, and a slate of legal scholars who testified on Wednesday made clear that Trump's actions are just the sort of presidential behavior the Founders had in mind when they devised the recourse of impeachment. The decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment is warranted.
Much of the information in the Intelligence Committee report, which was based on witness interviews, documents, telephone records, and public statements by administration officials, was already known to the public. The cohesive narrative that emerges, though, is worse than the sum of its parts. This year, the president and subordinates acting at his behest repeatedly tried to pressure a foreign country, Ukraine, into taking steps to help the president's reelection. That was, by itself, an outrageous betrayal: In his dealings with foreign states, the president has an obligation to represent America's interests, not his own.
But the president also betrayed the US taxpayer to advance that corrupt agenda. In order to pressure Ukraine into acceding to his request, Trump's administration held up $391 million in aid allocated by Congress. In other words, he demanded a bribe in the form of political favors in exchange for an official act -- the textbook definition of corruption. The fact that the money was ultimately paid, after a whistle-blower complained, is immaterial: The act of withholding taxpayer money to support a personal political goal was an impermissible abuse of the president's power.
Withholding the money also sabotaged American foreign policy. The United States provides military aid to Ukraine to protect the country from Russian aggression. Ensuring that fragile young democracy does not fall under Moscow's sway is a key US policy goal, and one that the president put at risk for his personal benefit. He has shown the world that he is willing to corrupt the American policy agenda for purposes of political gain, which will cast suspicion on the motivations of the United States abroad if Congress does not act.
To top off his misconduct, after Congress got wind of the scheme and started the impeachment inquiry, the Trump administration refused to comply with subpoenas, instructed witnesses not to testify, and intimidated witnesses who did. That ought to form the basis of an article of impeachment. When the president obstructs justice and fails to respect the power of Congress, it strikes at the heart of the separation of powers and will hobble future oversight of presidents of all parties.
Impeachment does not require a crime. The Constitution entrusts Congress with the impeachment power in order to protect Americans from a president who is betraying their interests. And it is very much in Americans' interests to maintain checks and balances in the federal government; to have a foreign policy that the world can trust is based on our national interest instead of the president's personal needs; to control federal spending through their elected representatives; to vote in fair elections untainted by foreign interference. For generations, Americans have enjoyed those privileges. What's at stake now is whether we will keep them. The facts show that the president has threatened this country's core values and the integrity of our democracy. Congress now has a duty to future generations to impeach him.How can Trump have sabotaged American foreign policy, when he has full responsibility and authority to set it?likbez -> Fred C. Dobbs... , December 07, 2019 at 01:27 AM
IMO this impeachment is partly about Trump personally asking a foreign country for help against a domestic political opponent. But it is mostly about geopolitics and the national security bureaucracy's need for US world domination.
Just listen to the impeachment testimony--most of it is whining about Trump's failure to follow the 'interagency' policies of the deep state."Impeachment does not require a crime."
Stalin would approve that. And if so, what is the difference between impeachment and a show trial, Moscow trials style? The majority can eliminate political rivals, if it wishes so, right? This was how Bolsheviks were thinking in 30th. Of course, those backward Soviets used "British spy" charge instead modern, sophisticated "Putin's stooge" charge, but still ;-)
The facts show that the president has threatened this country's core values and the integrity of our democracy.
This is just low level Soviet-style propaganda: "Beacon of democracy" and "Hope of all progressive mankind" cliché. My impression is that the train left the station long ago, especially as for democracy. Probably in 1963. The reality is a nasty struggle of corrupt political clans. Which involves intelligence agencies dirty tricks. BTW, how do you like that fact that Corporate Democrats converted themselves in intelligence agencies' cheerleading squad?
In short Boston Globe editors do not want that their audience understand the situation, in which the county have found itself. They just want to brainwash this audience (with impunity)
And both Corporate Dems and opposing them Republican are afraid to discuss the real issues facing the country, such as loss of manufacturing, loss of good middle class jobs (fake labor statistics covers the fact the most new jobs are temps/contractors and McJobs), rampant militarism with Afghan war lasting decades, neocon dominance in foreign policy which led to increase of country debt to level that might soon be unsustainable.
Both enjoy impeachment Kabuki theater. With Trump probably enjoying this theatre the most: if they just censure him, he wins, if charges go to Senate, he wins big.
Can you imagine result for Corporate Dems of Schiff (with his contacts with Ciaramella ) , or Hunter Biden (who was just a mule to get money to Biden's family for his father illegal lobbing) testifying in Senate under oath.
The truth is that they are all criminals (with many being war criminals.) So Beria statement "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime" is fully applicable. That really is something that has survived the Soviet Union and has arrived in the good old USA.
Nov 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Lambert here: Not sure the soul is an identity, but authors don't write the headlines. Read on!
By Christine Berry, a freelance researcher and writer and was previously Director of Policy and Government for the New Economics Foundation. She has also worked at ShareAction and in the House of Commons. Originally published at Open Democracy .
"Economics is the method: the object is to change the soul." Understanding why Thatcher said this is central to understanding the neoliberal project, and how we might move beyond it. Carys Hughes and Jim Cranshaw's opening article poses a crucial challenge to the left in this respect. It is too easy to tell ourselves a story about the long reign of neoliberalism that is peopled solely with all-powerful elites imposing their will on the oppressed masses. It is much harder to confront seriously the ways in which neoliberalism has manufactured popular consent for its policies.
The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people. We need a coherent strategy for replacing this narrative with one that actively reconstructs our collective self-image – turning us into empowered citizens participating in communities of mutual care, rather than selfish property-owning individuals competing in markets.
As the Gramscian theorists Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau observed, our political identities are not a 'given' – something that emerges directly from the objective facts of our situation. We all occupy a series of overlapping identities in our day-to-day lives – as workers or bosses, renters or home-owners, debtors or creditors. Which of these define our politics depends on political struggles for meaning and power.
Part of the job of politics – whether within political parties or social movements – is to show how our individual problems are rooted in systemic issues that can be confronted collectively if we organise around these identities. Thus, debt becomes not a source of shame but an injustice that debtors can organise against. Struggles with childcare are not a source of individual parental guilt but a shared societal problem that we have a shared responsibility to tackle. Podemos were deeply influenced by this thinking when they sought to redefine Spanish politics as 'La Casta' ('the elite') versus the people, cutting across many of the traditional boundaries between right and left.
The architects of neoliberalism understood this process of identity creation. By treating people as selfish, rational utility maximisers, they actively encouraged them to become selfish, rational utility maximisers. As the opening article points out, this is not a side effect of neoliberal policy, but a central part of its intention. As Michael Sandel pointed out in his 2012 book 'What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets' , it squeezes out competing values that previously governed non-market spheres of life, such as ethics of public service in the public sector, or mutual care within local communities. But these values remain latent: neoliberalism does not have the power to erase them completely. This is where the hope for the left lies, the crack of light through the doorway that needs to be prised open.
The Limits of Neoliberal Consciousness
In thinking about how we do this, it's instructive to look at the ways in which neoliberal attempts to reshape our identities have succeeded – and the ways they have failed. While Right to Buy might have been successful in identifying people as home-owners and stigmatising social housing, this has not bled through into wider support for private ownership. Although public ownership did become taboo among the political classes for a generation – far outside the political 'common sense' – polls consistently showed that this was not matched by a fall in public support for the idea. On some level – perhaps because of the poor performance of privatised entities – people continued to identify as citizens with a right to public services, rather than as consumers of privatised services. The continued overwhelming attachment to a public NHS is the epitome of this tendency. This is partly what made it possible for Corbyn's Labour to rehabilitate the concept of public ownership, as the 2017 Labour manifesto's proposals for public ownership of railways and water – dismissed as ludicrous by the political establishment – proved overwhelmingly popular.
More generally, there is some evidence that neoliberalism didn't really succeed in making us see ourselves as selfish rational maximisers – just in making us believe that everybody else was . For example, a 2016 survey found that UK citizens are on average more oriented towards compassionate values than selfish values, but that they perceive others to be significantly more selfish (both than themselves and the actual UK average). Strikingly, those with a high 'self-society gap' were found to be less likely to vote and engage in civic activity, and highly likely to experience feelings of cultural estrangement.
This finding points towards both the great conjuring trick of neoliberal subjectivity and its Achilles heel: it has successfully popularised an idea of what human beings are like that most of us don't actually identify with ourselves. This research suggests that our political crisis is caused not only by people's material conditions of disempowerment, but by four decades of being told that we can't trust our fellow citizens. But it also suggests that deep down, we know this pessimistic account of human nature just isn't who we really are – or who we aspire to be.
An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage' , cooperation is our species' main survival strategy.
What's Our 'Right to Buy?'
The challenge for the left is to find policies and stories that tap into this latent sense of what makes us human – what Gramsci called 'good sense' – and use it to overturn the neoliberal 'common sense'. In doing so, we must be aware that we are competing not only with a neoliberal identity but also with a new far-right that seeks to promote a white British ethno-nationalist group identity, conflating 'elites' with outsiders. How we compete with this is the million dollar question, and it's one we have not yet answered.
Thatcher's use of flagship policies like the Right to Buy was a masterclass in this respect. Deceptively simple, tangible and easy to grasp, the Right to Buy also communicated a much deeper story about the kind of nation we wanted to be – one of private, property-owning individuals – cementing home-ownership as a cultural symbol of aspiration (the right to paint your own front door) whilst giving millions an immediate financial stake in her new order. So what might be the equivalent flagship policies for the left today?
Perhaps one of the strongest efforts to date has been the proposal for ' Inclusive Ownership Funds ', first developed by Mathew Lawrence in a report for the New Economics Foundation, and announced as Labour policy by John McDonnell in 2018. This would require companies to transfer shares into a fund giving their workers a collective stake that rises over time and pays out employee dividends. Like the Right to Buy, as well as shifting the material distribution of wealth and power, this aims to build our identity as part of a community of workers taking more collective control over our working lives.
But this idea only takes us so far. While it may tap into people's desire for more security and empowerment at work, more of a stake in what they do, it offers a fairly abstract benefit that only cashes out over time, as workers acquire enough of a stake to have a meaningful say over company strategy. It may not mean much to those at the sharpest end of our oppressive and precarious labour market, at least not unless we also tackle the more pressing concerns they face – such as the exploitative practices of behemoths like Amazon or the stress caused by zero-hours contracts. We have not yet hit on an idea that can compete with the transformative change to people's lives offered by the Right to Buy.
So what else is on the table? Perhaps, when it comes to the cutting edge of new left thinking on these issues, the workplace isn't really where the action is – at least not directly. Perhaps we need to be tapping into people's desire to escape the 'rat race' altogether and have more freedom to pursue the things that really make us happy – time with our families, access to nature, the space to look after ourselves, connection with our communities. The four day working week (crucially with no loss of pay) has real potential as a flagship policy in this respect. The Conservatives and the right-wing press may be laughing it down with jokes about Labour being lazy and feckless, but perhaps this is because they are rattled. Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work.
Skilfully communicated, this has the potential to be a profoundly anti-neoliberal policy that conveys a new story about what we aspire to, individually and as a society. Where neoliberalism tapped into people's desire for more personal freedom and hooked this to the acquisition of wealth, property and consumer choice, we can refocus on the freedom to live the lives we truly want. Instead of offering freedom through the market, we can offer freedom from the market.
Proponents of Universal Basic Income often argue that it fulfils a similar function of liberating people from work and detaching our ability to provide for ourselves from the marketplace for labour. But in material terms, it's unlikely that a UBI could be set at a level that would genuinely offer people this freedom, at least in the short term. And in narrative terms, UBI is actually a highly malleable policy that is equally susceptible to being co-opted by a libertarian agenda. Even at its best, it is really a policy about redistribution of already existing wealth (albeit on a bigger scale than the welfare state as it stands). To truly overturn neoliberalism, we need to go beyond this and talk about collective ownership and creation of wealth.
Policies that focus on collective control of assets may do a better job of replacing a narrative about individual property ownership with one that highlights the actual concentration of property wealth in the hands of elites – and the need to reclaim these assets for the common good. As well as Inclusive Ownership Funds, another way of doing this is through Citizens' Wealth Funds, which socialise profitable assets (be it natural resources or intangible ones such as data) and use the proceeds to pay dividends to individuals or communities. Universal Basic Services – for instance, policies such as free publicly owned buses – may be another.
Finally, I'd like to make a plea for care work as a critical area that merits further attention to develop convincing flagship policies – be it on universal childcare, elderly care or support for unpaid carers. The instinctive attachment that many of us feel to a public NHS needs to be widened to promote a broader right to care and be cared for, whilst firmly resisting the marketisation of care. Although care is often marginalised in political debate, as a new mum, I'm acutely aware that it is fundamental to millions of people's ability to live the lives they want. In an ageing population, most people now have lived experience of the pressures of caring for someone – whether a parent or a child. By talking about these issues, we move the terrain of political contestation away from the work valued by the market and onto the work we all know really matters; away from the competition for scarce resources and onto our ability to look after each other. And surely, that's exactly where the left wants it to be.
This article forms part of the " Left governmentality" mini series for openDemocracy.
Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 12:36 pm
The problem is that people are selfish–me included–and so what is needed is not better ideas about ourselves but better laws. And for that we will need a higher level of political engagement and a refusal to accept candidates who sell themselves as a "lesser evil." It's the decline of democracy that brought on the rise of Reagan and Thatcher and Neoliberalism and not some change in public consciousness (except insofar as the general public became wealthier and more complacent). In America incumbents are almost universally likely to be re-elected to Congress and so they have no reason to reject Neoliberal ideas.
So here's suggesting that a functioning political process is the key to reform and not some change in the PR.
Angie Neer , November 1, 2019 at 12:42 pm
Carolinian, like you, I try to include myself in statements about "the problem with people." I believe one of the things preventing progress is our tendency to believe it's only those people that are the problem.
MyLessThanPrimeBeef , November 1, 2019 at 4:55 pm
Human nature people are selfish. It's like the Christian marriage vow – which I understand is a Medieval invention and not something from 2,000 years ago – for better or worse, meaning, we share (and are not to be selfish) the good and the bad.
"Not neoliberals, but all of us." "Not the right, but the left as well." "Not just Russia, but America," or "Not just America, but Russia too."
Carolinian , November 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm
Perhaps a rational system is one that accepts selfishness but keeps it within limits. Movements like the Chicago school that pretend to reinvent the wheel with new thinking are by this view a scam. As J.K. Galbraith said: "the problem with their ideas is that they have been tried."
The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:06 pm
My small brain got stuck on your reference to a 'Christian marriage vow'. I was just sitting back and conceiving what a Neoliberal marriage vow would sound like. Probably a cross between a no-liabilities contract and an open-marriage agreement.
Carey , November 1, 2019 at 9:05 pm
"people are selfish"?; or "people can sometimes act selfishly"? I think the latter is the more accurate statement. Appeal to the better side, and more of it will be forthcoming.
Neolib propaganda appeals to trivial, bleak individualism..
Carolinian , November 2, 2019 at 9:14 am
I'm not sure historic left attempts to appeal to "the better angels of our nature" have really moved the ball much. It took the Great Depression to give us a New Deal and WW2 to give Britain the NHS and the India its freedom. I'd say events are in the saddle far more than ideas.
Mark Anderlik , November 2, 2019 at 10:58 am
I rather look at it as a "both and" rather than an "either or." If the political groundwork is not done beforehand and during, the opportunity events afford will more likely be squandered.
And borrowing from evolutionary science, this also holds with the "punctuated equilibrium" theory of social/political change. The strain of a changed environment (caused by both events and intentionally created political activity) for a long time creates no visible change to the system, and so appears to fail. But then some combination of events and conscious political work suddenly "punctuates the equilibrium" with the resulting significant if not radical changes.
Chile today can be seen as a great example of this: "Its not 30 Pesos, its 30 Years."
J4Zonian , November 2, 2019 at 4:40 pm
Carolinian, you provide a good illustration of the power of the dominant paradigm to make people believe exactly what the article said–something I've observed more than enough to confirm is true. People act in a wide variety of ways; but many people deny that altruism and compassion are equally "human nature". Both parts of the belief pointed out here–believing other people are selfish and that we're not–are explained by projection acting in concert with the other parts of this phenomenon. Even though it's flawed because it's only a political and not a psychological explanation, It's a good start toward understanding.
"You and I are so deeply acculturated to the idea of "self" and organization and species that it is hard to believe that man [sic] might view his [sic] relations with the environment in any other way than the way which I have rather unfairly blamed upon the nineteenth-century evolutionists."
Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p 483-4
This is part of a longer quote that's been important to me my whole life. Worth looking up. Bateson called this a mistake in epistemology–also, informally, his definition of evil.
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
― Frédéric Bastiat
Doesn't mean it's genetic. In fact, I'm pretty sure it means it's not.
Capital fn 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:11 pm
The desire for justice is the constant.
The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.
But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.
The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.
Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.
Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:09 am
At some points in life, everyone is a free rider. As for the hard workers, many of them are doing destructive things which the less hard-working people will have to suffer under and compensate for. (Neo)liberalism and capitalism are a coherent system of illusions of virtue which rest on domination, exploitation, extraction, and propaganda. Stoking of resentment (as of free riders, the poor, the losers, foreigners, and so on) is one of the ways those who enjoy it keep it going.
Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm
The desire for justice is the constant.
The Iron Lady once proclaimed, slightly sinisterly: "Economics is the method. The object is to change the soul." She meant that British people had to rediscover the virtue of traditional values such as hard work and thrift. The "something for nothing" society was over.
But the idea that the Thatcher era re-established the link between virtuous effort and just reward has been effectively destroyed by the spectacle of bankers driving their institutions into bankruptcy while being rewarded with million-pound bonuses and munificent pensions.
The dual-truth approach of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (thanks, Mirowski) has been more adept at manipulating narratives so the masses are still outraged by individuals getting undeserved social benefits rather than elites vacuuming up common resources. Thanks to the Thatcher-Reagan revolution, we have ended up with socialism for the rich, and everyone else at the mercy of 'markets'.
Pretending that there are not problems with free riders is naive and it goes against people's concern with justice. Acknowledging free riders on all levels with institutions that can constantly pursue equity is the solution.
Synoia , November 2, 2019 at 12:58 pm
The Iron Lady had a agenda to break the labor movement in the UK.
What she did not understand is Management gets the Union (Behavior) it deserves. If there is strife in the workplace, as there was in abundance in the UK at that time, the problem is the Management, (and the UK class structure) not the workers.
As I found out when I left University.
Thatcher set out to break the solidarity of the Labor movement, and used the neo-liberal tool of selfishness to achieve success, unfortunately,
The UK's poor management practices, (The Working Class can kiss my arse) and complete inability to form teams of "Management and Workers" was, IMHO, is the foundation of today's Brexit nightmare, a foundation based on the British Class Structure.
And exploited, as it ever was, to achieve ends which do not benefit workers in any manner.
The Historian , November 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The left needs to acknowledge that aspects of the neoliberal agenda have been overwhelmingly popular: it has successfully tapped into people's instincts about the kind of life they want to lead, and wrapped these instincts up in a compelling narrative about how we should see ourselves and other people.
Sigh, no this is not true. This author is making the mistake that everyone is like the top 5% and that just is not so. Perhaps she should get out of her personal echo chamber and talk to common people.
In my travels I have been to every state and every major city, and I have worked with just about every class of people, except of course the ultra wealthy and ultra powerful – they have people to protect them from the great unwashed like me – and it didn't take me long to notice that the elite are different from the rest of us but I could never explain exactly why. After I retired, I started studying and I've examined everything from Adam Smith, to Hobbes, to Kant, to Durkheim, to Marx, to Ayn Rand, to tons of histories and anthropologies of various peoples, to you name it and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want.
Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. It is what allowed people in Europe to risk their own lives to save Jews. And it is also what allows people to live under the worst dictators without rebelling. Of course we all want more but we have limits on what we will do to get that more – the wealthy and powerful seem to have no limits. For instance, most of us won't screw over our co-workers to make ourselves look better, although some will. Most of us won't turn on our best friends even when it would be to our advantage to do so, although some will. Most of us won't abandon those we care about, even when it means severe financial damage to us, although some will.
For lack of a better description, I call what the 5% have the greed gene – a gene that allows them to give up empathy and compassion and basic morality – what some of us call fairness – in the search for personal gain. I don't think it is necessarily genetic but there is something in their makeup that cause them to have more than the average self interest. And because most humans are more cooperative than they are competitive, most humans just allow these people to go after what they want and don't stand in their way, even though by stopping them, they could make their own lives better.
Most history and economics are theories and stories told by the rich and powerful to justify their behavior. I think it is a big mistake to attribute that behavior to the mass of humanity. Archeology is beginning to look more at how average people lived instead of seeking out only the riches deposited by the elite, and historians are starting to look at the other side of history – average people – to see what life was really like for them, and I think we are seeing that what the rulers wanted was never what their people wanted. It is beginning to appear obvious that 95% of the people just wanted to live in their communities safely, to have about what everyone else around them had, and to enjoy the simple pleasures of shelter, enough food, and warm companionship.
I'm also wondering why the 5% think that all of us want exactly what they want. Do they really think that they are somehow being smarter or more competent got them there while 95% of the population – the rest of us – failed?
At this point, I know my theory is half-baked – I definitely need to do more research, but nothing I have found yet convinces me that there isn't some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us.
Foy , November 1, 2019 at 5:09 pm
" ..and I've come to the conclusion that most of us are not neoliberal and do not want what the top 5% want. Most people are not overly competitive and most do not seek self-interest only. That is what allows us to live in cities, to drive on our roadways, to form groups that seek to improve conditions for the least of us. It is what allows soldiers to protect each other on the battlefield when it would be in their self interest to protect themselves. "
I really liked your comment Historian. Thanks for posting. That's what I've felt in my gut for a while, that the top 5% and the establishment are operating under a different mindset, that the majority of people don't want a competitive, dog eat dog, self interest world.
SKM , November 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm
me too, great observation and well put. Made me feel better too! Heartfelt thanks
Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm
I agree with Foy Johnson. I've been reading up on Ancient Greece and realizing all the time that 'teh Greeks' are maybe only about thirty percent of the people in Greece. Most of that history is how Greeks were taking advantage of each other with little mention of the majority of the population. Pelasgians? Yeah, they came from serpents teeth, the end.
I think this is a problem from the Bronze Age that we have not properly addressed.
Mystery Cycles are a nice reminder that people were having fun on their own.
Carey , November 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Thanks very much for this comment, Historian.
deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 5:22 pm
I have more or less the same view. I think the author's statement about neoliberalism tapping into what type of life people want to lead is untenable. Besides instinct (are we all 4-year olds?), what people want is also very much socially constructed. And what people do is also very much socially coerced.
One anecdote: years ago, during a volunteer drive at work, I worked side by side with the company's CEO (company was ~1200 headcount, ~.5bn revenue) sorting canned goods. The guy was doing it like he was in a competition. So much so that he often blocked me when I had to place something on the shelves, and took a lot of space in the lineup around himself while swinging his large-ish body and arms, and wouldn't stop talking. To me, this was very rude and inconsiderate, and showed a repulsive level of disregard to others. This kind of behavior at such an event, besides being unpleasant to be around, was likely also making work for the others in the lineup less efficient. Had I or anyone else behaved like him, we would have had a good amount of awkwardness or even a conflict.
What I don't get is, how does he and others get away with it? My guess is, people don't want a conflict. I didn't want a conflict and said nothing to that CEO. Not because I am not competitive, but because I didn't want an ugly social situation (we said 'excuse me' and 'sorry' enough, I just didn't think it would go over well to ask him to stop being obnoxious and dominant for no reason). He obviously didn't care or was unaware – or actually, I think he was behaving that way as a tactical habit. And I didn't feel I had the authority to impose a different order.
So, in the end, it's about power – power relations and knowing what to do about it.
Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm
Yep, I think you've nailed it there deplorado, types like your CEO don't care at all and/or are socially unaware, and is a tactical habit that they have found has worked for them in the past and is now ingrained. It is a power relation and our current world unfortunately is now designed and made to suit people like that. And each day the world incrementally moves a little bit more in their direction with inertia like a glacier. Its going to take something big to turn it around
Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm
I too believe "most of us are not neoliberal". But if so, how did we end up with the kind of Corporate Cartels, Government Agencies and Organizations that currently prey upon Humankind? This post greatly oversimplifies the mechanisms and dynamics of Neoliberalism, and other varieties of exploitation of the many by the few. This post risks a mocking tie to Identity Politics. What traits of Humankind give truth to Goebbels' claims?
There definitely is "some real basic difference between those who aspire to power and wealth and the rest of us" -- but the question you should ask next is why the rest of us Hobbits blindly follow and help the Saurons among us. Why do so many of us do exactly what we're told? How is it that constant repetition of the Neoliberal identity concepts over our media can so effectively ensnare the thinking of so many?
Foy , November 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm
Maybe it's something similar to Milgram's Experiment (the movie the Experimenter about Milgram was on last night – worth watching and good acting by Peter Sarsgaard, my kind of indie film), the outcome is just not what would normally be expected, people bow to authority, against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice. The Hobbits followed blindly in that experiment, the exact opposite outcome as to what was predicted by the all the psychology experts beforehand.
Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:12 pm
people bow to authority , against their own beliefs and interests, and others interests, even though they have choice
'Don't Make Waves' is a fundamentally useful value that lets us all swim along. This can be manipulated. If everyone is worried about Reds Under the Beds or recycling, you go along to get along.
Some people somersault to Authority is how I'd put it.
Foy , November 1, 2019 at 11:17 pm
Yep, don't mind how you put that Mo, good word somersault.
One of the amusing tests Milgram did was to have people go into the lift but all face the back of the lift instead of the doors and see what happens when the next person got in. Sure enough, with the next person would get in, face the front, look around with some confusion at everyone else and then slowly turn and face the back. Don't Make Waves its instinctive to let us all swim along as you said.
And 'some people' is correct. It was actually the majority, 65%, who followed directions against their own will and preferred choice in his original experiment.
susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 8:07 pm
thank you, historian
The Rev Kev , November 1, 2019 at 8:14 pm
That's a pretty damn good comment that, Historian. Lots to unpick. It reminded me too of something that John Wyndham once said. He wrote how about 95% of us wanted to live in peace and comfort but that the other 5% were always considering their chances if they started something. He went on to say that it was the introduction of nuclear weapons that made nobody's chances of looking good which explains why the lack of a new major war since WW2.
Mr grumpy , November 1, 2019 at 9:56 pm
Good comment. My view is that it all boils down to the sociopathic personality disorder. Sociopathy runs on a continuum, and we all exhibit some of its tendencies. At the highest end you get serial killers and titans of industry, like the guy sorting cans in another comment. I believe all religions and theories of ethical behavior began as attempts to reign in the sociopaths by those of us much lower on the continuum. Neoliberalism starts by saying the sociopaths are the norm, turning the usual moral and ethical universe upside down.
Janie , November 1, 2019 at 11:59 pm
Your theory is not half-baked; it's spot-on. If you're not the whatever it takes, end justifies the means type, you are not likely to rise to the top in the corporate world. The cream rises to the top happens only in the dairy.
Grebo , November 2, 2019 at 12:25 am
Your 5% would correspond to Altemeyer's "social dominators". Unfortunately only 75% want a simple, peaceful life. 20% are looking for a social dominator to follow. It's psychological.
Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:21 am
Excellent comment. Take into consideration the probability that the majority of the top 5% have come from a privileged background, ensconced in a culture of entitlement. This "greed" gene is as natural to them as breathing. Consider also that many wealthy families have maintained their status through centuries of calculated loveless marriages, empathy and other human traits gene-pooled out of existence. The cruel paradox is that for the sake of riches, they have lost their richness in character.
Davenport , November 2, 2019 at 7:57 am
This really chimes with me. Thanks so much for putting it down in words.
I often encounter people insisting humans are selfish. It is quite frustrating that this more predominant side of our human nature seems to become invisible against the propaganda.
Henry Moon Pie , November 1, 2019 at 1:49 pm
I'm barely into Jeremy Lent's The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning , but he's already laid down his central thesis in fairly complete form. Humans are both competitive and cooperative, he says, which should surprise no one. What I found interesting is that the competitive side comes from primates who are more intensely competitive than humans. The cooperation developed after the human/primate split and was enabled by "mimetic culture," communication skills that importantly presuppose that the object(s) of communication are intentional creatures like oneself but with a somewhat different perspective. Example: Human #1 gestures to Human #2 to come take a closer look at whatever Human #1 is examining. This ability to cooperate even came with strategies to prevent a would-be dominant male from taking over a hunter-gatherer band:
[I]n virtually all hunter-gatherer societies, people join together to prevent powerful males from taking too much control, using collective behaviors such as ridicule, group disobedience, and, ultimately, extreme sanctions such as assassination [This kind of society is called] a "reverse dominant hierarchy because rather than being dominated, the rank and file manages to dominate.
SKM , November 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm
yes, this chimes in with what I`ve been thinking for years after puzzling about why society everywhere ends up as it does – ie the fact that in small groups as we evolved to live in, we would keep a check on extreme selfish behaviour of dominant individuals. In complex societies (modern) most of us become "the masses" visible in some way to the system but the top echelons are not visible to us and are able to amass power and wealth out of all control by the rest of us. And yes, you do have to have a very strange drive (relatively rare, ?pathological) to want power and wealth at everyone else`s expense – to live in a cruel world many of whose problems could be solved (or not arise in the first place) by redistributing some of your wealth to little palpable cost to you
Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:37 pm
Africa over a few million years of Ice Ages seems to have presented our ancestors with the possibility of reproducing only if you can get along in close proximity to other Hominids without killing each other. I find that a compelling explanation for our stupidly big brains; it's one thing to be a smart monkey, it's a whole different solution needed to model what is going on in the brain of another smart monkey.
And communications: How could spoken language have developed without levels of trust and interdependence that maybe we can not appreciate today? We have a word for 'Blue' nowadays, we take it for granted.
Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:18 am
There is a theory that language originated between mothers and their immediate progeny, between whom either trust and benevolence exist, or the weaker dies. The mother's chances for survival and reproduction are enhanced if she can get her progeny to, so to speak, help out around the house; how to do that is extended by symbolism and syntax as well as example.
chuck roast , November 1, 2019 at 2:00 pm
I recall the first day of Econ 102 when the Prof. (damned few adjuncts in those days) said, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be built on the concept of scarcity." Being a contrary buggah' I thought, "The air I'm breathing isn't scarce." I soon got with the program supply and demand upward sloping, downward sloping, horizontal, vertical and who could forget kinked. My personal favorite was the Giffen Good a high priced inferior product. Kind of like Micro Economics.
Maybe we could begin our new Neo-Economics 102 with the proviso, "Everything we discuss hereafter will be based on abundance." I'm gonna' like this class!
Off The Street , November 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm
Neo-lib Econ does a great job at framing issues so that people don't notice what is excluded. Think of them as proto-Dark Patternists.
If you are bored and slightly mischievous, ask an economist how theory addresses cooperation, then assume a can opener and crack open a twist-top beer.
jrs , November 1, 2019 at 3:11 pm
Isn't one of the problems that it's NOT really built on the concept of scarcity? Most natural resources run into scarcity eventually. I don't know about the air one breaths, certainly fish species are finding reduced oxygen in the oceans due to climate change.
shtove , November 2, 2019 at 3:45 am
Yes, I suppose people in cities in south-east Asia wearing soot-exclusion masks have a different take on the abundance of air.
Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 6:57 pm
If you would like that class on abundance you would love the Church of Abundant Life which pushes Jesus as the way to Abundant Life and they mean that literally. Abundant as in Jesus wants you to have lots of stuff -- so believe.
I believe Neoliberalism is a much more complex animal than an economic theory. Mirowski builds a plausible argument that Neoliberalism is a theory of epistemology. The Market discovers Truth.
Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm
"The air I'm breathing isn't scarce."
Had a lovely Physics class where the first homework problem boiled down to "How often do you inhale a atom (O or N) from Julius Caesar's last breath". Great little introduction to the power and pratfalls of 'estimations by Physicists' that xkcd likes to poke at. Back then we used the CRC Handbook to figure it out.
Anyway, every second breath you can be sure you have shared an atom with Caesar.
Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:08 pm
I don't think Maggie T. or uncle Milty were thinking about the future at all. Neither one would have openly promoted turfing quadriplegic 70-year-olds out of the rest home. That's how short sighted they both were. And stupid. We really need to call a spade a spade here. Milty doesn't even qualify as an economist – unless economics is the study of the destruction of society. But neoliberalism had been in the wings already, by the 80s, for 40 years. Nobody took into account that utility-maximizing capitalism always kills the goose (except Lenin maybe) – because it's too expensive to feed her. The neoliberals were just plain dumb. The question really is why should we stand for another day of neoliberal nonsense? Albeit Macht Frei Light? No thanks. I think they've got the question backwards – it shouldn't be how should "we" reconstruct our image now – but what is the obligation of all the failed neoliberal extractors to right society now? I'd just as soon stand back and watch the dam burst as help the neolibs out with a little here and a little there. They'll just keep taking as long as we give. This isn't as annoying as Macron's "cake" comment, but it's close. I did like the last 2 paragraphs however.
Susan the Other , November 1, 2019 at 2:42 pm
Here's a sidebar. A universal one. There is an anomaly in the universe – there is not enough accumulated entropy. It screws up theoretical physics because the missing entropy needs to be accounted for for their theories to work to their satisfaction. It seems to be a phenomenon of evolution. Thus it was recently discovered by a physics grad student that entropy by heat dissipation is the "creator" of life. Life almost spontaneously erupts where it can take advantage of an energy source. And, we are assuming, life thereby slows entropy down. There has to be another similar process among the stars and the planets as well, an evolutionary conservation of energy. So evolution takes on more serious meaning. From the quantum to the infinite. And society – it's right in the middle. So it isn't too unreasonable to think that society is extremely adaptable, taking advantage of any energy input, and it seems true to think that. Which means that society can go long for its goal before it breaks down. But in the end it will be enervated by lack of "resources" unless it can self perpetuate in an evolving manner. That's one good reason to say goodbye to looney ideologies.
djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm
For a view of humanity that is not as selfish, recommend "The Gift" by Marcel Mauss. Basically an anthropological study of reciprocal gift giving in the oceanic potlatch societies. My take is that the idea was to re-visit relationships, as giving a gift basically forces a response in the receiver, "Am I going to respond in kind, perhaps even upping what is required? Or am I going to find that this relationship simply isn't worth it and walk away?"
Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. Except with the potlatch it was like extending that concept to the clan at large, so that all the relationships within the clan were being re-enforced.
Amfortas the hippie , November 1, 2019 at 3:26 pm
"Kind of like being in a marriage. The idea isn't to walk away, the idea is you constantly need to re-enforce it. "
we, the people, abdicated.
as for humans being selfish by default i used to believe this, due to my own experiences as an outlaw and pariah.
until wife's cancer and the overwhelming response of this little town,in the "reddest" congressional district in texas.
locally, the most selfish people i know are the one's who own everything buying up their neighbor's businesses when things get tough.
they are also the most smug and pretentious(local dems, in their hillforts come a close second in this regard) and most likely to be gop true believers.
small town and all everybody literally knows everybody, and their extended family and those connections are intertwined beyond belief.
wife's related, in some way, to maybe half the town.
that matters and explains my experience as an outcast: i never belonged to anything like that and such fellowfeeling and support is hard for people to extend to a stranger.
That's what's gonna be the hard sell, here, in undoing the hyperindividualist, "there is no such thing as society" nonsense.
Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm
I grew up until Junior High in a fishing village on the Maine coast that had been around for well over a hundred years and had a population of under 1000. By the time I was 8 I realized there was no point in being extreme with anyone, because they were likely to be around for the rest of your life.
I fell in love with sun and warmth when we moved away and unfortunately it's all gentrified now, by the 90s even a tar paper shack could be sold for a few acres up in Lamoine.
djrichard , November 1, 2019 at 10:49 pm
Yep, small towns are about as close as we get to clans nowadays. And just like clans, you don't want to be on the outside. Still when you marry in, it would be nice if the town would make you feel more a member like a clan should / would. ;-)
But outside of the small town and extended families I think that's it. We've been atomized into our nuclear families. Except for the ruling class – I think they have this quid pro quo gift giving relationship building figured out quite nicely. Basically they've formed their own small town – at the top.
By the way, I understand Mauss was an influence on Baudrillard. I could almost imagine Baudrillard thinking how the reality of the potlatch societies was so different than the reality of western societies.
Anarcissie , November 2, 2019 at 10:29 am
That's the big problem I see in this discussion. We know, or at least think we know, what's wrong, and what would be better; but we can't get other people to want to do something about it, even those who nominally agree with us. And I sure don't have the answer.
David , November 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing. Low taxes but still decent public services. The right to buy your council house without putting your parents' council house house in jeopardy. Enjoying private medical care as a perk of your job whilst still finding the NHS there when you were old and sick. And so on. By the time the penny dropped it was too late.
If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community, which it abandoned decades ago in favour of extreme liberal individualism Unfortunately, community is an idea which has either been appropriated by various identity warriors (thus fracturing society further) or dismissed (as this author does) because it's been taken up by the Right. A Left which explained that when everybody cooperates everybody benefits, but that when everybody fights everybody loses, would sweep the board.
deplorado , November 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm
>>Neoliberalism, in its early guise at least, was popular because politicians like Thatcher effectively promised something for nothing.
This. That's it.
Thank you David, for always providing among the most grounded and illuminating comments here.
Mo's Bike Shop , November 1, 2019 at 9:54 pm
If the Left is serious about challenging neoliberalism, it has to return to championing the virtues of community
I agree. The tenuous suggestions offered by the article are top down. But top-down universal solutions can remove the impetus for local organization. Which enervates the power of communities. And then you can't do anything about austerity, because your Rep loves the PowerPoints and has so much money from the Real Estate community.
Before one experiences the virtue, or power, of a community, one has to go through the pain in the ass of contributing to a community. It has to be rewarding process or it won't happen.
No idea how to do that from the top.
Capital fn. 4 , November 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm
one more attempt to get past Skynet
PKMKII , November 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm
Anyone have a link to the studies mentioned about how Econ majors were the only ones to act selfishly in the game scenarios?
Rod , November 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm
this may not get the ECON majors specifically but this will raise your eyebrows
this is next gen coming up here
Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:33 pm
"An example of how this plays out can be seen in academic studies showing that, in game scenarios presenting the opportunity to free-ride on the efforts of others, only economics students behaved as economic models predicted: all other groups were much more likely to pool their resources. Having been trained to believe that others are likely to be selfish, economists believe that their best course of action is to be selfish as well. The rest of us still have the instinct to cooperate. Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising: after all, as George Monbiot argues in 'Out of the Wreckage', cooperation is our species' main survival strategy."
Since so many people believe their job is their identity, would be interssting to know what the job training or jobs were of the "others."
Summer , November 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm
"Ultimately, they can't escape the fact that most people would like to spend less time at work."
And that is a key point!
Carey , November 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm
>so many people believe their job is their identity
Only because the social sphere, which in the medium and long term we *all depend on* to survive, has been debased by 24/7/365 neolib talking points, and their purposeful economic constrictions..
Jeremy Grimm , November 1, 2019 at 7:13 pm
How many people have spent their lives working for the "greater good"? How many work building some transcendental edifice from which the only satisfaction they could take away was knowing they performed a part of its construction? The idea that Humankind is selfish and greedy is a projection promoted by the small part of Humankind that really is selfish and greedy.
Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 4:59 am
Let's work out the basics, this will help.
Where does wealth creation actually occur in the capitalist system?
Nations can do well with the trade, as we have seen with China and Germany, but this comes at other nation's expense.
In a successful global economy, trade should be balanced over the long term.
Keynes was aware of this in the past, and realised surplus nations were just as much of a problem as deficit nations in a successful global economy with a long term future.
Zimababwe has lots of money and it's not doing them any favours. Too much money causes hyper-inflation.
You can just print money, the real wealth in the economy lies somewhere else.
Alan Greenspan tells Paul Ryan the Government can create all the money it wants and there is no need to save for pensions.
What matters is whether the goods and services are there for them to buy with that money. That's where the real wealth in the economy lies.
Money has no intrinsic value; its value comes from what it can buy.
Zimbabwe has too much money in the economy relative to the goods and services available in that economy. You need wheelbarrows full of money to buy anything.
It's that GDP thing that measures real wealth creation.
GDP does not include the transfer of existing assets like stocks and real estate.
Inflated asset prices are just inflated asset prices and this can disappear all too easily as we keep seeing in real estate.
1990s – UK, US (S&L), Canada (Toronto), Scandinavia, Japan
2000s – Iceland, Dubai, US (2008)
2010s – Ireland, Spain, Greece
Get ready to put Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Hong Kong on the list.
They invented the GDP measure in the 1930s, to track real wealth creation in the economy after they had seen all that apparent wealth in the US stock market disappear in 1929.
There was nothing really there.
Now, we can move on further.
The UK's national income accountants can't work out how finance adds any value (creates wealth).
Banks create money from bank loans, not wealth.
We have mistaken inflating asset prices for creating wealth.
How can banks create wealth with bank credit?
The UK used to know before 1980.
Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth (business and industry, creating new products and services in the economy)
After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth (real estate and financial speculation)
What happened in 1979?
The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979 and the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.
Real estate does make the economy boom, but there is no real wealth creation in inflating asset prices.
What is really happening?
When you use bank credit to inflate asset prices, the debt rises much faster than GDP.
The bank credit of mortgages is bringing future spending power into today.
Bank loans create money and the repayment of debt to banks destroys money.
In the real estate boom, new money pours into the economy from mortgage lending, fuelling a boom in the real economy, which feeds back into the real estate boom.
The Japanese real estate boom of the 1980s was so excessive the people even commented on the "excess money", and everyone enjoyed spending that excess money in the economy.
In the real estate bust, debt repayments to banks destroy money and push the economy towards debt deflation (a shrinking money supply).
Japan has been like this for thirty years as they pay back the debts from their 1980s excesses, it's called a balance sheet recession.
Bank loans effectively take future spending and bring it in today.
Jam today, penury tomorrow.
Using future spending power to inflate asset prices today is a mistake that comes from thinking inflating asset prices creates real wealth.
GDP measures real wealth creation.
Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 5:37 am
Did you know capitalism works best with low housing costs and a low cost of living? Probably not, you are in the parallel universe of neoliberalism.
William White (BIS, OECD) talks about how economics really changed over one hundred years ago as classical economics was replaced by neoclassical economics.
He thinks we have been on the wrong path for one hundred years.
Some very important things got lost 100 years ago.
- The Mont Pelerin society developed the parallel universe of neoliberalism from neoclassical economics.
- The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) saw the light once they discovered my equation (Michael Hudson condensed)
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
"Wait a minute, employees get their money from wages and businesses have to cover high housing costs in wages reducing profit" the CBI
It's all about the economy, and UK businesses will benefit from low housing costs. High housing costs push up wages and reduce profits. Off-shore to make more profit, you can pay lower wages where the cost of living is lower, e.g. China; the US and UK are rubbish.
Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:11 am
What was Keynes really doing? Creating a low cost, internationally competitive economy. Keynes's ideas were a solution to the problems of the Great Depression, but we forgot why he did, what he did.
They tried running an economy on debt in the 1920s. The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.
Keynes looked at the problems of the debt based economy and came up with redistribution through taxation to keep the system running in a sustainable way and he dealt with the inherent inequality capitalism produced.
The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living
Disposable income = wages - (taxes + the cost of living)
High progressive taxation funded a low cost economy with subsidised housing, healthcare, education and other services to give more disposable income on lower wages.
Employers and employees both win with a low cost of living.
Keynesian ideas went wrong in the 1970s and everyone had forgotten the problems of neoclassical economics that he originally solved.
Sound of the Suburbs , November 2, 2019 at 8:44 am
Economics, the time line:
- Classical economics – observations and deductions from the world of small state, unregulated capitalism around them
- Neoclassical economics – Where did that come from?
- Keynesian economics – observations, deductions and fixes for the problems of neoclassical economics
- Neoclassical economics – Why is that back?
We thought small state, unregulated capitalism was something that it wasn't as our ideas came from neoclassical economics, which has little connection with classical economics.
On bringing it back again, we had lost everything that had been learned in the 1930s, by which time it had already demonstrated its flaws.
Kristin Lee , November 2, 2019 at 5:54 am
Ultimately, neoliberalism is about privatization and ownership of everything. This is why it's so important to preserve the Common Good, the vital resources and services that support earthly existence. The past 40 years has shown what happens when this falls out of balance. Our value system turns upside down – the sick become more valuable than the healthy, a violent society provides for the prisons-for-profit system and so on. The biggest upset has been the privatization of money creation.
This latest secret bank bailout (not really secret as Dodd-Frank has allowed banks to siphon newly created money from the Fed without Congressional approval. No more public embarrassment that Hank Paulson had to endure.) They are now up to $690 billion PER WEEK while the media snoozes. PPPs enjoy the benefits of public money to seed projects for private gain. The rest of us have to rely on predatory lenders, sinking us to the point of Peak Debt, where private debt can never be paid off and must be cancelled, as it should be because it never should've happened in the first place.
"Neoliberalism, which has influenced so much of the conventional thinking about money, is adamant that the public sector must not create ('print') money, and so public expenditure must be limited to what the market can 'afford.' Money, in this view, is a limited resource that the market ensures will be used efficiently. Is public money, then, a pipe dream? No, for the financial crisis and the response to it undermined this neoliberal dogma.
The financial sector mismanaged its role as a source of money so badly that the state had to step in and provide unlimited monetary backing to rescue it. The creation of money out of thin air by public authorities revealed the inherently political nature of money. But why, then, was the power to create money ceded to the private sector in the first place -- and with so little public accountability? And if money can be created to serve the banks, why not to benefit people and the environment? "
Paul Hirshman , November 2, 2019 at 3:33 pm
The Commons should have a shot at revival as the upcoming generation's desires are outstripped by their incomes and savings. The conflict between desires and reality may give a boost to alternate notions of what's desirable. Add to this the submersion of cities under the waves of our expanding oceans, and one gets yet another concrete reason to think that individual ownership isn't up to the job of inspiring young people.
A Commons of some sort will be needed to undo the cost of generations of unpaid negative externalities. Fossil fuels, constant warfare, income inequality, stupendous idiocy of kleptocratic government these baked in qualities of neo-liberalism are creating a very large, dissatisfied, and educated population just about anywhere one looks. Suburbia will be on fire, as well as underwater. Farmlands will be parched, drenched, and exhausted. Where will Larry Summers dump the garbage?
Nov 21, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on November 20, 2019 by Yves Smith By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website
Political theorist Wendy Brown's latest book, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West , traces the intellectual roots of neoliberalism and reveals how an anti-democratic project unleashed monsters – from plutocrats to neo-fascists – that its mid-20 th century visionaries failed to anticipate. She joins the Institute for New Economic Thinking to discuss how the flawed blueprint for markets and the less-discussed focus on morality gave rise to threats to democracy and society that are distinct from what has come before.
Lynn Parramore: To many people, neoliberalism is about economic agendas. But your book explores what you describe as the moral aspect of the neoliberal project. Why is this significant?
Wendy Brown: Most critical engagement with neoliberalism focuses on economic policy – deregulation, privatization, regressive taxation, union busting and the extreme inequality and instability these generate. However, there is another aspect to neoliberalism, apparent both in its intellectual foundations and its actual roll-out, that mirrors these moves in the sphere of traditional morality. All the early schools of neoliberalism (Chicago, Austrian, Freiburg, Virginia) affirmed markets and the importance of states supporting without intervening in them.
But they also all affirmed the importance of traditional morality (centered in the patriarchal family and private property) and the importance of states supporting without intervening in it. They all supported expanding its reach from the private into the civic sphere and rolling back social justice previsions that conflict with it. Neoliberalism thus aims to de-regulate the social sphere in a way that parallels the de-regulation of markets.
Concretely this means challenging, in the name of freedom, not only regulatory and redistributive economic policy but policies aimed at gender, sexual and racial equality. It means legitimating assertions of personal freedom against equality mandates (and when corporations are identified as persons, they too are empowered to assert such freedom). Because neoliberalism has everywhere carried this moral project in addition to its economic one, and because it has everywhere opposed freedom to state imposed social justice or social protection of the vulnerable, the meaning of liberalism has been fundamentally altered in the past four decades.
That's how it is possible to be simultaneously libertarian, ethnonationalist and patriarchal today: The right's contemporary attack on "social justice warriors" is straight out of Hayek.
LP: You discuss economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek at length in your book. How would you distribute responsibility to him compared to other champions of conservative formulations for how neoliberalism has played out? What were his blind spots, which seem evidenced today in the rise of right-wing forces and angry populations around the world?
WB: Margaret Thatcher thumped Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty and declared it the bible of her project. She studied it, believed it, and sought to realize it. Reagan imbibed a lot of Thatcherism. Both aimed to implement the Hayekian view of markets, morals and undemocratic statism. Both accepted his demonization of society (Thatcher famously quotes him, "there's no such thing") and his view that state policies aimed at the good for society are already on the road to totalitarianism. Both affirmed traditional morality in combination with deregulated markets and attacks on organized labor.
I am not arguing that Hayek is the dominant influence for all times and places of neoliberalization over the past four decades -- obviously the Chicago Boys [Chilean economists of the '70s and '80s trained at the University of Chicago] were key in Latin America while Ordoliberalism [a German approach to liberalism] has been a major influence in the European Union's management of the post-2008 crises. "Progressive neoliberals" and neoliberalized institutions hauled the project in their own direction. But Hayek's influence is critical to governing rationality of neoliberalism in the North and he also happens to be a rich and complex thinker with a fairly comprehensive worldview, one comprising law, family, morality, state, economy, liberty, equality, democracy and more.
The limitations? Hayek really believed that markets and traditional morality were both spontaneous orders of action and cooperation, while political life would always overreach and thus required tight constraints to prevent its interventions in morality or markets. It also needed to be insulated from instrumentalism by concentrated economic interests, from aspiring plutocrats to the masses. The solution, for him, was de-democratizing the state itself. He was, more generally, opposed to robust democracy and indeed to a democratic state. A thriving order in his understanding would feature substantial hierarchy and inequality, and it could tolerate authoritarian uses of political power if they respected liberalism, free markets and individual freedom.
We face an ugly, bowdlerized version of this today on the right. It is not exactly what Hayek had in mind, and he would have loathed the plutocrats, demagogues and neo-fascist masses, but his fingerprints are on it.
LP: You argue that there is now arising something distinct from past forms of fascism, authoritarianism, plutocracy, and conservatism. We see things like images of Italian right groups giving Fascist salutes that have been widely published. Is that merely atavism? What is different?
WB: Of course, the hard right traffics in prior fascist and ultra-racist iconography, including Nazism and the Klan. However, the distinctiveness of the present is better read from the quotidian right than the alt-right.
We need to understand why reaction to the neoliberal economic sinking of the middle and working class has taken such a profoundly anti-democratic form. Why so much rage against democracy and in favor of authoritarian statism while continuing to demand individual freedom? What is the unique blend of ethno-nationalism and libertarianism afoot today? Why the resentment of social welfare policy but not the plutocrats? Why the uproar over [American football player and political activist] Colin Kaepernick but not the Panama Papers [a massive document leak pointing to fraud and tax evasion among the wealthy]? Why don't bankrupt workers want national healthcare or controls on the pharmaceutical industry? Why are those sickened from industrial effluent in their water and soil supporting a regime that wants to roll back environmental and health regulations?
Answers to these questions are mostly found within the frame of neoliberal reason, though they also pertain to racialized rancor (fanned by opportunistic demagogues and our mess of an unaccountable media), the dethronement of white masculinity from absolute rather than relative entitlement, and an intensification of nihilism itself amplified by neoliberal economization.
These contributing factors do not run along separate tracks. Rather, neoliberalism's aim to displace democracy with markets, morals and liberal authoritarian statism legitimates a white masculinist backlash against equality and inclusion mandates. Privatization of the nation legitimates "nativist" exclusions. Individual freedom in a world of winners and losers assaults the place of equality, access and inclusion in understandings of justice.
LP: Despite your view of democratized capitalism as an "oxymoron," you also observe that capitalism can be modulated in order to promote equality among citizens. How is this feasible given the influence of money in politics? What can we do to mitigate the corruption of wealth?
WB: Citizens United certainly set back the project of achieving the political equality required by and for democracy. I wrote about this in a previous book, Undoing the Demos , and Timothy Kuhner offers a superb account of the significance of wealth in politics in Capitalism V. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution . Both of us argue that the Citizens United decision, and the several important campaign finance and campaign speech decisions that preceded it, are themselves the result of a neoliberalized jurisprudence. That is, corporate dominance of elections becomes possible when political life as a whole is cast as a marketplace rather than a distinctive sphere in which humans attempt to set the values and possibilities of common life. Identifying elections as political marketplaces is at the heart of Citizens United.
So does a future for democracy in the United States depend on overturning that decision?
Hardly. Democracy is a practice, an ideal, an imaginary, a struggle, not an achieved state. It is always incomplete, or better, always aspirational. There is plenty of that aspiration afoot these days -- in social movements and in statehouses big and small. This doesn't make the future of democracy rosy. It is challenged from a dozen directions – divestment from public higher education, the trashing of truth and facticity, the unaccountability of media platforms, both corporate and social, external influence and trolling, active voter suppression and gerrymandering, and the neoliberal assault on the very value of democracy we've been discussing. So the winds are hardly at democracy's back.
Bruce Bartlett , November 20, 2019 at 10:05 am
I think Milton Friedman was vastly more important than Hayek is shaping the worldview of American conservatives on economic policy. Until Hayek won the Nobel he was virtually