Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

Elite [Dominance] Theory and the Revolt of the Elite
(Silent Coup, or Revolt of the Rich under Neoliberalism)

News Principal-agent problem Recommended Books Recommended Links The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Deep State Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura
Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust The Pareto Law Amorality of neoliberal elite The Rise of the New Global Elite  Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Two Party System as polyarchy
Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Corporatism Neo-fascism National Security State New American Militarism Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections   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 Real war on reality Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative  New American Caste System Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
Wrecking Crew: Notes on Republican Economic Policy Libertarian Philosophy  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Groupthink Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction


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 and that 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 wiped out. Extremes meet and in fact Bolsheviks were other early adopters of the same "elite dominance" vision. 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")

Under neoliberalism any democracy even theoretically is impossible and to claim otherwise is to engage in open 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, 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 is just one example here) and subdue the national governments to the interests of those corporations due to financial levers that corporate wealth provides.

A recent example of this can be found in the Forbes Magazine article [1] (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 of the citizens in the control of government. In less "politically correct" terms "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."

Classic Elite theory

  “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.”

-- George Gavlin

Classic Elite [Dominance] Theory is based on several ideas:

  1. Power lies in the positions of authority in key economic and political institutions.  
  2. The Iron Law of Oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his book 1915 Political Parties. Michels was an anarcho-syndicalist at the time he formulated the Law. He later became an important ideologue of Mussolini's fascist regime in Italy. The simplest formulation of the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy': "Who says organization, says oligarchy." In essence Iron law of oligarchy postulate that any complex organization self-generate its own elite, an oligarchy that has disproportional influence on the decisions made in the organization and is pretty autonomous from "rank-and-file" members and is little affected by elections. As such Iron law of oligarchy stands in stark opposition to pluralism and suggests that "participatory democracy" is a utopian ideal and that democracy is always limited to very narrow strata of existing oligarchy (top 0.01% in the USA). It also stands in opposition to state autonomy theory. 
  3. Pareto principle is related to the original observation was in connection concentration of the wealth in top 20% of the population. Pareto noticed that 80% of Italy's land was owned by 20% of the population. He then carried out surveys on a variety of other countries and found to his surprise that a similar distribution applied. Due to the scale-invariant nature of the power law relationship, the relationship applies also to subsets of the income range. Even if we take the ten wealthiest individuals in the world, we see that the top three (Carlos Slim Helú, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates) own as much as the next seven put together. A chart that gave the inequality a very visible and comprehensible form, the so-called 'champagne glass' effect, was contained in the 1992 United Nations Development Program Report, which showed the distribution of global income to be very uneven, with the richest 20% of the world's population controlling 82.7% of the world's income.
    Distribution of world GDP, 1989[8]
    Quintile of population Income
    Richest 20% 82.70%
    Second 20% 11.75%
    Third 20% 2.30%
    Fourth 20% 1.85%
    Poorest 20% 1.40%

    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. 

  4. The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, money, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are relatively incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves and are deprived of money. That means that once in power the elite are resourceful and will strive to sustain its rule. 
  5. The elite have the most to lose if government or state failed as Russian elite discovered twice in the last century. So there are some natural limits of plundering of the state by the elite. 
  6. The simple plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system also called  winner-takes-all or  first-past-the-post. The latter term is an analogy to horse racing, where the winner of the race is the first to pass a particular point (the "post") on the track, after which all other runners automatically lose. Elections in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada belong to this category. In this voting there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes. Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that any plurality voting system elections naturally impose a two-party system  That means that single-winner voting system essentially hand all the power to the elite as it is elite that controls the electability of candidates from both parties. The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

The top twelve classical elite theorists include

  1. Karl Marx  is typically cited, along with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. Although the key postulate of Marxism about liberating role of proletariat proved wrong, Marxism made a tremendous contribution into understanding of power structure of the society, pointing that all power is concentrated directly or indirectly in owners of capital hands: a sociological theory of class domination. Marxism teaches that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labor for goods. He called the current socio-economic form of society (capitalism) "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" that is run by the wealthy elite purely for own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions within different faction of the elite. He first understood that political class represents a powerful force that is somewhat independent from economic foundations, especially if it is organized as a political party (and state can even be dominated by a fervent ideological network like USSR, China, Saudi Arabia,  Iran since 1979).  and that the current political elite is vary to redistribute this power with other factions of the elite even if relative balance of power within various factions changed.  What Marx give to the world is the understanding is that of Western history from the disintegration of Roman Empire was about the deadly conflict between rising factions of economic elite (industrial, landed, banking, etc) and existing political elite, with an occasional and temporary coalitions with peasants or artisans who tried to take advantage of the divisions in elite circles. So what Marx incorrectly called class struggle was actually a deadly struggle between economic and political elites within a society. In the 17th and 18th centuries it begins to make sense to describe the state -- paraphrasing Marx -- as an executive committee for managing the common affairs of the elite.  Generally speaking, Marx overstated the importance of industrial capitalists as compared to landed elites within the ruling circles of the 19th century, and of urban workers as compared to other urban dwellers and peasants (Hamilton, 1991). 
  2. Thorstein Veblen combined sociology with economics in his masterpiece The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) where he argued that there was a basic distinction between the productiveness of "industry", run by engineers manufacturing goods, vis-à-vis the parasitism of "business" that exists only to make profits for elite that he called  a leisure class. The chief activity of the elite was "conspicuous consumption", and their economic contribution is "waste," activity that contributes nothing to productivity. The American economy was thereby made inefficient and corrupt though Veblen never made that claim explicit. He believed that technological advances were the driving force behind cultural change, but, unlike many contemporaries, refused to connect change with progress. Although Veblen was sympathetic to state ownership of industry, he had a low opinion of workers and the labor movement. He pointed out that the new industrial processes created a conflict between businessmen and engineers, with businessmen representing the older order and engineers as the innovators of new ways of doing things. In combination with the tendencies described in The Theory of the Leisure Class, this conflict resulted in waste and “predation” that served to enhance the social status of those who could benefit from predatory claims to goods and services. 
  3. Vilfredo Pareto. Pareto emphasized the psychological and intellectual superiority that the Elites obtained, he believed that the elites were the highest accomplishers in any field and he discussed how there were two types of Elites
    1. governing elites
    2. non-governing elites

    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. 

  4. Gaetano Mosca. Mosca emphasized the sociological and personal characteristics of elites. He said elites are an organized minority and that the masses are an unorganized majority. The ruling class is composed of the ruling elite and the sub-elites. He divides the world into two groups:
    1. ruling class
    2. class that is ruled

    Mosca asserts that elites have intellectual, moral, and material superiority and/or other qualities that is highly esteemed and influential. 

  5. Robert Michels.  German sociologist Robert Michels developed The Iron Law of Oligarchy in his book  Political Parties published in 1915.  The Iron Law of Oligarchy  asserts that social and political organizations are run by few individuals, and social organization and labor division are the key. He believed that all organizations are elitist and that existence of elites is based on several factors that come into play in the bureaucratic structure of any large political organization:
    1. Need for leaders, as well as for specialized staff and facilities.
    2. The relative scarcity of the people with the psychological attributes of the leaders
    3. Natural monopolization of the their position by elected leaders within any sizable organization and related subversion of the democratic process even in organizations devoted to the promotion of democracy.

    Michels stressed several factors that underlie the 'Iron Law of Oligarchy'.

    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.  

  6. C. Wright Mills. Mills published his book The Power Elite in 1956, which provided a new sociological perspective on structure of power in the United States. He identified a triumvirate of power groups - political, economic and military - which form a distinguishable, although not unified, power-wielding body in the United States. This theory later was enhanced by Michael Mann who proposed that the power structures within Western civilization, and probably other civilizations, too, are best understood by determining the intertwining and relative importance at any given time of the organizations based in four "overlapping and intersecting sociospatial networks of power" (Mann, 1986, p. 1). These networks are ideological, economic, military, and political. This view is called "The IEMP model".  Simultaneous crisis in several of those networks, the phenomenon we observe now in the USA and previously in the USSR represent a social crisis.

    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. 

  7. Floyd Hunter. The elite theory analysis of power was also applied on the micro scale in community power studies such as that by Floyd Hunter (1953). Hunter examined in detail the power relationships evident in his "Regional City" looking for the "real" holders of power rather than those in obvious official positions. He posited a structural-functional approach which mapped the hierarchies and webs of interconnection operating within the city – mapping relationships of power between businessmen, politicians, clergy etc.

    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. 

  8. G. William Domhoff. In his book Who Rules America?, G. William Domhoff researched local and national decision making process networks in order to illustrate the power structure in the United States. He asserts, much like Hunter, that an elite class that owns and manages large income-producing properties (like banks and corporations) dominate the American power structure politically and economically.  
  9. James Burnham. Burnham’s early work The Managerial Revolution sought to express the movement of all functional power into the hands of appointed managers rather than the owners – separating ownership and control. Many of these ideas were adapted by paleoconservatives Samuel T. Francis and Paul Gottfried in their theories of the managerial state. Burnham's thoughts on Elite Theory were elucidated more specifically in his book The Machiavellians which discusses the thoughts of, among others, Pareto, Mosca, and Michels; in it he attempts to analyze of both elites and politics generally from his background as a former Trotskyite. 
  10. John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) proposed the term technostructure in his book "The New Industrial State" (1967) to describe the group of managers within an enterprise (or an administrative body) with considerable political influence (especially true for financial brass) and the level of control on nation's economy. It usually refers to so called managerial capitalism where top managers, scientists, or lawyers acquire more power and influence than the shareholders in the corporation. They are the de-facto the owners of the corporation, while shareholders (outside a few large one) are generally powerless to influence the way the corporation develops and do business. 
  11. Robert D. Putnam

    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.[7]

    "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."

  12. Thomas R. Dye. Dye in his book Top Down Policymaking, argues that U.S. public policy does not result from the "demands of the people," but from quite opposite phenomenon -- the Elite consensus found in Washington. It is a consensus between key non-profit foundations, think tanks, special-interest groups, and prominent lobbyists and law firms. Dye's thesis is further expanded upon in his works: The Irony of Democracy, Politics in America, Understanding Public Policy, and Who's Running America?

The idea of "The Revolt of the Elites" and "The Quiet Coup" by Financial Oligarchy

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." 

"The Revolt of the Elites" by Christoper Lasch

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.

The Quiet Coup of Financial Oligarchy by Simon Johnson

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.

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.

Johnson also wrote a piece in the Atlantic Magazine titled The Quiet Coup. It may be worth re-reading.
Here is the introduction to this in The Fall of the American Republic: The Quiet Coup d'Etat in August 2010.
"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."

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.

Revolt of the Rich by Mike Lofgren

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.

Neo-classical economics smoke screen in Yves Smith’s Econned

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:

  1. Excessive dependence or even open prostitution to the financial oligarchy. It's deplorable but probably unavoidable as the grip of financial community of economic profession does not requires any additional commentary. Also there are always exceptions to the rule.
  2. Mathematical masturbation instead of science. When, for example, a paper that propose even a linear equation (or God forbid differential equation) does not provide any estimate of errors of input data such a paper in a narrow sense can be called mathematical masturbation. Classic example here would be any paper that has inflation as an input variable. In a more broad sense this occurs when research paper contains results or mathematical model which rely on idealized, with little connections to reality postulates about the structure of economic activities. Many supply/demand models belong to this category as they rely on existence of equilibrium between supply and demand and/or are ignoring Minsky instability hypothesis. Most neo-classical economics can be called a theory in a desperate search for suitable reality.
  3. Relying on discredited and openly anti-scientific assumptions or hypothesis. Examples include, but not limited to "supply side voodoo", "monetarism", "Taylor rule", "permanent equilibrium fallacy", "invisible hand" (both as a postulate about absence of manipulation of the markets and the idea that "free markets lead to efficient outcomes" disregarding the role of government and almost permanent government intervention as well as issues of economic rent and taxation of participants to support an aristocracy or oligarchy).

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). 

Econned

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

kievite:

 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.

Amorality and psychopathic tendencies

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:

Shaming the poor as a new sport for the transnational elites and subservient politicians

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.

To what extent new transnational elite is monolithic ?

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 problem of degeneration of 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.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Jan 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

File this under "Praetorian Guard Watch."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He gets there in stages. First, this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 17, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

What a bunch of fools. As Tucker Carlson aptly said

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

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

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

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

[Jan 17, 2019] Critical thinking is anathema to the neoliberal establishment. That't why they need to corrupt the language, to make the resitnace more dissifult and requiring higher level of IQ

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BluebellWood -> Supermassive , 29 Nov 2018 12:41

Yep - 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.

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

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

Albert Ravey , 29 Nov 2018 10:45

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

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

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

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

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

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

The MSM has always been biased-

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

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

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

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

TheBorderGuard -> SomlanderBrit , 29 Nov 2018 10:44

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just to review the situation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@peterAUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feel free to attack me.

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

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

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

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

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

So, same old same old

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump was elected by Russia ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is more than his political enemies can claim.

Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not holding my breath.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

Dream on, darlings!

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

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

A clever metaphor.

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

Just so.

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

[Jan 04, 2019] How neoliberalism is damaging your mental health

Jan 04, 2019 | theconversation.com

"Neoliberalised healthcare requires every patient (or rather, "client" of healthcare "services") to take responsibility for her own state or behaviour. Mental healthcare is therefore being reframed as a series of "outcomes" geared at measurable improvement which the "service user" must manage by themselves as far as possible.

Access to psychiatric diagnosis and support from public health services (and also within private or employer-run occupational healthcare schemes) sometimes depends on completion of a mood or symptom diary using smartphone or Fitbit self-tracking techniques .

And there may well be more punitive future consequences for failure to self-track, as employers and perhaps benefit agencies gain more power to command this sort of performance from workers." •

From 2018, still germane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Barbara Ann , 6 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

__________________________________________________________

My original comment follows:

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

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

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

Frankly, Vladimir Putin he is not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Trump at this point is the head fool.

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

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

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

Otherwise, turn the lights out before you leave.

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

Tags Politics

Posa , 29 minutes ago link

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

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

William Dorritt , 31 minutes ago link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Acula , 30 minutes ago link

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

Fireman , 35 minutes ago link

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

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

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

The Lobby Part One

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

The Lobby Part Two

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

The Lobby Part Three

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

The Lobby Part Four

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

commiebastid , 33 minutes ago link

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

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

112 CONGRESS
THE US SENATE [13]

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

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES [27]

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

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

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

Dr. Acula , 40 minutes ago link

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

Day 713

Still in Afghanistan

Still in Iraq

Still in Syria

Didn't lock her up

Didn't end Obamacare

Money for Israel

No money for wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 27, 2018] The MSM are hardly going to publish this article, nor are they going to reference it, why should they? It goes against everything they have been fighting for and the tin ear of their readership are unwilling to change teir views. The only thing that they understand is money and they work for to further the concentration of wealth.

Notable quotes:
"... Friends of mine who make a living out of dealing both in stock and wealth creating schemes have no loyalty to this country, they are self motivated and libertarian in persuasion. "Government should get out of the way!" This is nothing short of scandalous. ..."
"... Unless we stand up for our rights and a civil society that provides adequate provision for fair and balanced policy making,xwe will continue until we will see an implosion. History is littered with examples of revolution based on the kind of inequality we are seeing happen in this country. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

PossumBilly , 3 Jun 2018 23:25

This message is clear and concise. It is however never going to be heard beyond the 'Guardian'.

The MSM are hardly going to publish this article, nor are they going to reference it, why should they? It goes against everything they have been fighting for and the tin ear of their readership are unwilling to change teir views.

The only thing that they understand is money and the concentration of wealth. This misonception as Dennis So far this has been handed to them on a plate, the taxation system has enabled them to manipulate an multiply their earnings. So much of money the has nothing to do with adding value to this countries economy but is speculative in nature based on financial and overseas instruments.

No is the time for our government to take the lead and start as the Victorian ALP have done and invest in people and jobs on the back of strategic investment. It is a fallacy that governments don't create jobs they, through their policies do just that.

Friends of mine who make a living out of dealing both in stock and wealth creating schemes have no loyalty to this country, they are self motivated and libertarian in persuasion. "Government should get out of the way!" This is nothing short of scandalous.

Unless we stand up for our rights and a civil society that provides adequate provision for fair and balanced policy making,xwe will continue until we will see an implosion. History is littered with examples of revolution based on the kind of inequality we are seeing happen in this country. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

[Dec 27, 2018] All talk about "small government" and "slashing red tape" it is NeeSpeak for small government and NO red tape for the rich

Dec 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MajorMalaise , 3 Jun 2018 23:44

A couple of thoughts - in no particular order.

When governments like the LNP (driven as it is by its ideology of greed, the IPA manifesto and Gina Rinehart's idea of what Australia should look like [and how little she should pay to pillage "communally owned" assets to enrich herself beyond imagination - she has no greater claim over the Pilbara than any other Australian, but like all who live by the ethos of greed, she thinks she should get it all for nothing]).

When the LNP talk about "small government" and "slashing red tape" it is politician-speak for small government and NO red tape for the rich. What it also means is much more government and red tape for the poor and vulnerable - as we would expect, the rich and powerful, who really dictate economic and social policy in this country enlist willing governments to enact measures that suppress the lower classes. It is not quite calling out the military (as Hawke did during the pilot's strike at the insistence of the corpulent Ables - one act for which I will always despise Hawke), but it has the same result by more surreptitious, lasting and egregious means.

And one of the lasting legacies of the philosophies of neo-liberalism, from which the Hanson's of the world "suck their oxygen" is that the political and corporate dialogue of the last 30 or so years has pushed the notion of self-entitlement and vilification of the poor and vulnerable further down the economic ladder. So now, we have countless Australians on reasonable incomes who, like the rich, are convinced that all of our social and economic ills can be rectified if we stop giving handouts to the bludgers, the malingerers, the disabled and the indigenous - the neo-liberal rhetoric is now so widespread that it is easier than ever for the vulnerable to be attacked and for many, that is seen as absolutely necessary. It is the false US-sourced notion that if you are poor, it is because you deserve to be and if I am rich - it isn't luck or inheritance - it is because I deserve it. This world-view makes it so much easier to attack the vulnerable as receiving way to much to sit at home and bludge.

Want to forget the now disgraced CEO of Australia Post who bought a Sydney mansion for $22 million and now wants to sell it for $40 million - tax free I might add. He is entitled to that wealth enhancement. But someone on the dole smokes a spliff now and then and we think they should lose their entitlements to an income that doesn't even get them up to the poverty line (but they should be grateful for that pittance). Want to forget the CEO's who pretentiously do their "sleeping rough" for a night and proclaim their empathy for the homeless who would shriek at paying more tax to genuinely fund programmes to help the down and outs. No problem - just embrace the selfish and greedy neo-liberalism philosophy.

[Dec 23, 2018] Generation Wealth documentarian Lauren Greenfield on how the rich are destroying civilization by Keith A. Spencer

No one knows how the Midas myth ends, but he dies of starvation because everything turns to gold. The the culture equates wealth and self-worth, this is repetition of Midas myth on a new level. Like Russian oligarchs (Prokhorov is one example), or Getty in the USA enjoying a harem of "girlfriends"
For those that haven't seen the first few episodes of British TV series about Getty, you should. There are many parables that come to mind that include Getty Sr, his children, his kidnapped grandson, and him harem, or how I would call them Getty's female posse.
Notable quotes:
"... The esteemed filmmaker observed how the vapid trickle-down culture of the plutocracy could be the end of us all ..."
Dec 02, 2018 | www.salon.com

The esteemed filmmaker observed how the vapid trickle-down culture of the plutocracy could be the end of us all

This article was co-produced with Original Thinkers , an annual ideas festival in Telluride, Colorado that brings speakers, art and filmmakers together to create new paradigms.

It is ironic that, as the gulf between rich and poor reaches record levels, the language of the underclass has become infected with the culture and mores of the rich . Twenty years ago, English began to absorb and normalize verbal markers of wealth, consumption and status, evidenced by the mainstreaming of luxury brands like Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton and their appearance in pop culture and media. Reality TV went from nonexistent in the 1970s to one of the most popular television genres in the 2000s, much of it homed in on the lifestyles and lives of the rich -- culminating in a billionaire, reality-TV star president. Social media in the late 2000s and 2010s seems to have exacerbated a cultural normalization of narcissism , an obsession with self-image, and a propensity for conspicuous consumption. Few of us are rich, but we all aspire to appear that way on Instagram.

00:00 00:00

In the past twenty-five years, documentarian and photograph Lauren Greenfield has been documenting this profound shift in culture, as the vapid materialism of the plutocracy has trickled down to the rest of us. Greenfield, who was once named "America's foremost visual chronicler of the plutocracy" by the New York Times, is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker and photographer. Greenfield has experience documenting the lifestyles of the rich and (in)famous: her much-lauded 2012 documentary, " The Queen of Versailles ," followed the billionaire Siegel family during their quest to build the largest house in the United States. Her unflinchingly honest depiction of their bleak existence led to patriarch David Siegel filing a lawsuit against the filmmakers for defamation, which increased publicity to the film and which the Siegels lost handily.

Greenfield's latest opus, " Generation Wealth ," is an attempt to understand the intricacies of the trickle-down culture of the wealthy. Simultaneously an exhibition, monograph and film , Greenfield's camera follows not just the wealthy, but many folks who are middle- or working-class and yet who have absorbed the narrative and values of the elite in their quest to be thin, forever beautiful, and image- and luxury-obsessed. The film is unflinching in a way that is occasionally macabre: The on-screen depiction of plastic surgery is a grisly counterpoint to the pristine resorts, lifestyles and houses of the well-heeled. "This movie is neither trickle-down treat nor bacchanal guised as bromide, but rather an interrogation of an era defined by an obsession with wealth," wrote Eileen G'Sell in Salon's review .

I interviewed Lauren Greenfield at the Original Thinkers Festival in Telluride, Colorado. A video from this interview can be viewed here ; the print version has been condensed and edited.

Keith Spencer: " Generation Wealth " is such a fascinating [book and film] project, and it's so rich. For those who may not know about it, how would you describe the overall project? I know it took 25 years of work?

Advertisement:

Lauren Greenfield : I started looking back at my photography since the early nineties and seeing that, in a way, all of the stories that I had been doing -- about consumerism and body image and fame and celebrity and the economic crisis -- that in a way they were connected. And I decided to do an archeological dig in my own work and look at the pictures as evidence of how we had changed as a culture.

And what I came to was that they revealed a kind of fundamental shift in the American dream, that we had gone from a dream that prized hard work and frugality and discipline, to a culture that elevated bling and celebrity and narcissism.

Interesting. And like you said, it's a global phenomenon, right? I mean, the pictures and the shots in the film were taken are all over the planet, right?

Yeah, I started in L[os Angeles] in the nineties, but even when I was doing the work in L.A., I felt like [I] was more looking at L.A. as the extreme manifestation of how you see the influence of the popular culture. In a way you are closest to the flame there.

Advertisement:

But then I found that other people saw [that culture] as just L.A., so I kind of made it my mission to first go across the country and then go to different places in the world to show how we were exporting these values -- exporting this culture with global media, with the Internet, with social media, with branding and international branding. In "Generation Wealth," I really tried to show this global virus that is consumerism.

And that's something that I thought was so interesting about the film, was that the goods and the brands and the imagery look the same whether they were in Hong Kong or Moscow or Los Angeles or Orlando. It was like there's this culture that exists everywhere. It's so interesting how something like that is transmitted everywhere, the same idea, the same cultural values.

Yeah, I was really looking at how our culture, international culture in a way is being homogenized by these influences of corporations and globalism and media. In my work, I'm really looking for the similarities in values and influence and behavior in people who are really, really different.

And that really came together for me during the economic crisis. Because from L.A., from middle class to working class, to billionaires in Florida ... to the crash in Dubai , to Iceland to Ireland , I was seeing similar consequences from similar behavior.

And the interconnected financial system was one more kind of homogenizing factor. And so that's what I was really interested in looking at. [Cultural critic] Chris Hedges speaks throughout the movie and at the end he says this comment, which I really love, about how authentic culture is being destroyed by the values of corporate capitalism. And that it's authentic culture that actually teaches us who we are and where we came from.

Advertisement:

And so in a way we lose our identities when we lose that. And I think we see, especially with young people, how identity is so connected to brands and what you have and what you wear and what you buy.

Right. And that's one of the other interesting threads through the film, is just that in almost every subject's case -- because you followed a lot of them for a long time through their lives or pick up at different points in their life -- they all seem to sort of admit that either the money itself or the things that they bought with the money never made them happy. But yet at the same time, what I thought was so funny was some of them just seemed like they couldn't quit the lifestyle, like especially the German hedge fund manager.

Yeah. That's exactly right. For me, I realized it was really about addiction and it wasn't about the money -- in the [film], you see that wealth is not just money, but all the things that give you value. And so you see people searching for beauty and youth and fame and image. But it's like addiction in the sense that you think it's going to bring you something that it doesn't.

[In] a way, all of the subjects are kind of looking to fill a void or an emptiness that can't be filled by that thing . [You] just stay on that gold plated hamster wheel... in the metaphor of addiction, the only way to stop is when you hit rock bottom. And so we see a lot of crashes, both collective and individual in the film.

Speaking of addiction -- you ended up bringing in and talking about your own family too, both your mother and your children. Which I was not expecting, because before I saw "Generation Wealth" I'd seen "The Queen of Versailles," which you don't really bring yourself in that one much at all. Did you think while you were making it that you were going to end up turning the camera around on yourself and your family?

Advertisement:

No, it kind of evolved. I started thinking I would be in it in some way as a kind of narrator, thinking mostly my voice, not physically in it, which was really scary to me in the beginning. But I felt like I was kind of the connective tissue and my journey was the connective tissue between these subjects.

I've always tried to go in really non-judgmentally, and show phenomena and people in situations that I think speak to the larger culture and are part of mainstream culture and influence. So I want people to see themselves in the characters, like in "Queen of Versailles."

And so I felt like it was also important to make the point that we're all complicit and that I'm not outside of it. And [to] look at how I'm also affected by these influences.

And it kind of emerged organically. I was talking to Florian -- the German Hedge Fund banker -- who is a very flamboyant character in the film. Makes $800,000,000, loses it all and becomes a truth-teller for how [money] doesn't bring you what you think it will.

And he challenged me at a certain point, and said, "How can a hundred-hour work week not affect your relationship with anything that matters?" And he kind of looks at me. And it forced me to kind of think about -- you know, there I was in Germany on a three week trip on my way to Iceland, two kids at home that I'm trying to connect with on FaceTime. It made me think about my own addiction to my work.

Advertisement:

There's this great scene in the movie where your son Gabriel talks about how his older brother got a perfect score on the ACT and how he's just afraid that he'll never be able to live up to that and he'll never be able to go to Harvard like his parents and brother. And it was amazing because it was like, before the camera was focused on all these rich kids -- but they had similar anxieties to your son.

Yeah. And I think that this cycle of wanting more manifests in all different ways. I don't think that anybody can say they're outside of it. It's kind of like, I always think about modernism in a way, being kind of a justifiable luxury for [a] sophisticated or intellectual class.

And yeah... achievement was really important in my family. Gabriel also speaks to the weight and pressure of comparison, which is really a theme of the whole movie, that we're all kind of living in the state of collective FOMO where we can never be good enough because we're comparing ourselves to what we see not just on media but on social media. Not just real people but fictional, curated people.

I did a lot of work on gender, and so I made a short film called " Beauty Culture ." And even in my book, " Girl Culture ," looking at how girls are comparing themselves to pictures of models that are not just genetically specific, but also retouched and styled. And so it's literally impossible to measure up. And now I think we're all kind of in that state.

And so when Gabriel talked about comparing himself to his brother or not feeling like he could measure up, I wasn't initially planning to have my family be in there, but I did feel an obligation [to] be willing to ask of myself what I ask of the subjects -- a hard, intimate look into the hard issues of living.

Advertisement:

Last night at the Q&A after the film screening, you mentioned that this movie is a feminist film in the specific way that it looks at girls and women. Can you elaborate on that? I thought it was interesting how you noted that women are both a commodity, and also get power from commodifying themselves.

Yeah. I had done a lot of work on gender and I wasn't sure in the beginning how it would fit into "Generation Wealth." And then I realized that, in a way, girls were a really powerful and tragic case study for how human beings are commodified, and how in a way it's the ultimate cost and degradation of capitalism, the sale of the human being. And so for girls, I had been looking at both how girls were sold to -- because their body image insecurities make them very vulnerable and avid consumers; "buy this and you can fix whatever's wrong with your skin, your body," or whatever -- but also how they are physically sold.

And I think, for me, Kim Kardashian is a really powerful symbol of how that's changed. That the sex tape is a means to a lifestyle of money and affluence, and it's not the scarlet letter anymore. It's a badge of honor if that's what you bring.

And that manifests in different ways from an innocent game of dress-up, where there's also kind of precocious sexualization, to teenage girls putting sexy pictures of themselves on social media, to women who feel like they can't age and [get] plastic surgery -- because if their beauty and bodies are their value, you can't lose that.

Speaking of that, that was another thing about the film I thought was interesting. From watching the trailer I had the sense that [the film] would be focused mostly on the 1%, but actually it's about how the values and the culture that the wealthy, the hypermaterialism and such, trickles down to the working class. I'm thinking specifically of Cathy, the bus driver... there's the very gruesome scenes of her getting plastic surgery in Brazil, multiple times I believe if I remember right.

Advertisement:

Well, she gets multiple surgeries on one trip to Brazil, because if you go to Brazil you can get surgery much cheaper and the doctors will actually perform multiple operations on you in a way that they won't in the US. And yeah, I was really blown away by a statistic about plastic surgery that I heard, where 75% of women who get plastic surgery make $50,000 or less.

Like eating disorders -- these things were thought to be kind of practices of the rich, but they have really trickled down. And I think part of that is the way we're bombarded with images of luxury and affluence. And also the kind of, in a way, new mythmaking of the American Dream, where the body is the new frontier of the rags to riches -- where anybody with enough money, effort and willpower can transform themselves physically.

And so it's kind of like your fault if you don't have the drive and motivation to do that. And we see these shows, reality shows like "The Swan" and these transformation shows... I apologize for showing such hard images, but I felt like it was really important to not see the before and after that we get in the media, but to see the middle, and the violence and risk that's really part of that transformation.

Towards the end, cultural critic Chris Hedges describes us as a civilization on the verge of collapse. But then the movie ends on a more hopeful note. I was wondering if you share Chris Hedges' apocalyptic view of the future, or if you felt hope at the end?

Advertisement:

I do share his view, but I have, I guess, kind of a split or duality, in the sense that I feel like the reason I did this work and put it all together now, and went through a half a million pictures, is I do feel we're kind of barreling towards the apocalypse if we stay on this path. It's not a sustainable path. And from what I've seen over the last 25 years, it's blown-up exponentially.

Yet I think that there's a possibility of not staying on this path. A lot of the characters in the movie and in the book -- when they do hit rock bottom, whether it's the economic crisis or their own personal crashes -- they have insights that make them want to change.

And I feel like, in a way, this work is about kind of showing the Matrix that we live in, and having the option of the red pill. But I think that you kind of need a super-majority for that to happen on any significant scale.


Keith A. Spencer

Keith A. Spencer is the cover editor for Salon, and manages Salon's science, tech and health coverage. His book, " A People's History of Silicon Valley: How the Tech Industry Exploits Workers, Erodes Privacy and Undermines Democracy ," was released in 2018 from Eyewear Publishing. Follow him on Twitter at @keithspencer.

MORE FROM Keith A. Spencer • FOLLOW keithspencer

[Dec 22, 2018] The Vocabulary of Economic Deception by Michael Hudson and Bonnie Faulkner

Notable quotes:
"... The aim of classical economics was to tax unearned income, not wages and profits. The tax burden was to fall on the landlord class first and foremost, then on monopolists and bankers. The result was to be a circular flow in which taxes would be paid mainly out of rent and other unearned income. The government would spend this revenue on infrastructure, schools and other productive investment to help make the economy more competitive. Socialism was seen as a program to create a more efficient capitalist economy along these lines. ..."
"... Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire ..."
"... Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy ..."
"... J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception ..."
"... J is for Junk Economics ..."
"... Guns and Butter ..."
"... J Is for Junk Economics ..."
"... The Fictitious Economy ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception ..."
"... Killing the Host ..."
"... J is for Junk – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception ..."
"... Trade, Development and Foreign Debt ..."
Dec 22, 2018 | www.unz.com
Michael Hudson and Bonnie Faulkner October 8, 2018 8,300 Words Leave a Comment Email This Page to Someone
Remember My Information


=> Remove from Library B Show Comment Next New Comment Next New Reply Read More Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour. Email Comment Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter Add to Library
Bookmark Toggle All ToC Search Text Case Sensitive Exact Words Include Comments List of Bookmarks

The aim of classical economics was to tax unearned income, not wages and profits. The tax burden was to fall on the landlord class first and foremost, then on monopolists and bankers. The result was to be a circular flow in which taxes would be paid mainly out of rent and other unearned income. The government would spend this revenue on infrastructure, schools and other productive investment to help make the economy more competitive. Socialism was seen as a program to create a more efficient capitalist economy along these lines.

I'm Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today's show: The Vocabulary of Economic Deception. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends, a Wall Street financial analyst and distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His 1972 book Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire is a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. His latest books are, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy and J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception . Today we discuss J is for Junk Economics , an A to Z guide that describes how the world economy really works, and who the winners and losers really are. We cover contemporary terms that are misleading or poorly understood, as well as many important concepts that have been abandoned – many on purpose – from the long history of political economy.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Dr. Michael Hudson, welcome to Guns and Butter again.

MICHAEL HUDSON: It's good to be back, Bonnie.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You write that your recent book, J Is for Junk Economics , a dictionary and accompanying essays,was drafted more than a decade ago for a book to have been entitled The Fictitious Economy . You tried several times without success to find a publisher. Why wouldn't publishers at the time take on your book?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Most publishers like to commission books that are like the last one that sold well. Ten years ago, people wanted to read about how the economy was doing just fine. I was called Dr. Doom, which did very well for me in the 1970s when I was talking about the economy running into debt. But they wanted upbeat books. If I were to talk about how the economy is polarizing and getting poorer, they wanted me to explain how readers could make a million dollars off people getting more strapped as the economy polarizes. I didn't want to write a book about how to get rich by riding the neoliberal wave dismantling of the economy. I wanted to create an alternative.

If I wanted to ride the wave of getting rich by taking on more debt, I would have stayed on Wall Street. I wanted to explain how the way in which the economy seemed to be getting richer was actually impoverishing it. We are in a new Gilded Age masked by a vocabulary used by the media via television and papers like The New York Times that are euphemizing what was happening.

A euphemism is a rhetorical trick to make a bad phenomenon look good. If a landlord gets rich by gentrifying a neighborhood by exploiting tenants and forcing them out, that's called wealth creation if property values and rents rise. If you can distract people to celebrate wealth and splendor at the top of the economic pyramid, people will be less focused on how the economy is functioning for the bottom 99%.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Can you describe the format of J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception as an A-to-Z dictionary with additional essays? It seems to me that this format makes a good reference book that can be picked up and read at any point.

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's what I intended. I wrote it as a companion volume to my outline of economic theory, Killing the Host , which was about how the financial sector has taken over the economy in a parasitic way. I saw the vocabulary problem and also how to solve it: If people have a clear set of economic concepts, basically those of classical economics – value, price and rent – the words almost automatically organize themselves into a worldview. A realistic vocabulary and understanding of what words mean will enable its users to put them together to form an inter-connected system.

I wanted to show how junk economics uses euphemisms and what Orwell called Doublethink to confuse people about how the economy works. I also wanted to show that what's called think tanks are really lobbying institutions to do the same thing that advertisers for toothpaste companies and consumer product companies do: They try to portray their product – in this case, neoliberal economics, dismantling protection of the environment, dismantling consumer protection and stopping of prosecution of financial fraud – as "wealth creation" instead of impoverishment and austerity for the economy at large. So basically, my book reviews the economic vocabulary and language people use to perceive reality.

When I was in college sixty years ago, they were still teaching the linguistic ideas of Benjamin Lee Whorf. His idea was that language affects how people perceive reality. Different cultures and linguistic groups have different modes of expression. I found that if I was going to a concert and speaking German, I would be saying something substantially different than if I were speaking English.

Viewing the economic vocabulary as propaganda, I saw that we can understand how the words you hear as largely propaganda words. They've changed the meaning to the opposite of what the classical economists meant. But if you untangle the reversal of meaning and juxtapose a more functional vocabulary you can better understand what's actually happening.

ORDER IT NOW

BONNIE FAULKNER: You write that "the terms rentier and usury that played so central a role in past centuries now sound anachronistic and have been replaced with more positive Orwellian doublethink," which is what you've begun to explain. In fact, your book J is for Junk – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception is all about the depredation of vocabulary to hide reality, particularly the state of the economy. Just as history is written by the victors, you point out that economic vocabulary is defined by today's victors, the rentier financial class. How is this deception accomplished?

MICHAEL HUDSON: It's been accomplished in a number of ways. The first and most brutal way was simply to stop teaching the history of economic thought. When I went to school 60 years ago, every graduate economics student had to study the history of economic thought. You'd get Adam Smith, Ricardo and John Stuart Mill, Marx and Veblen. Their analysis had a common denominator: a focus on unearned income, which they called rent. Classical economics distinguished between productive and unproductive activity, and hence between wealth and overhead. The traditional landlord class inherited its wealth from ancestors who conquered the land by military force. These hereditary landlords extract rent, but don't do anything to create a product. They don't produce output. The same is true of other recipients of rent. Accordingly, the word used through the 19 th century was rentier . It's a French word. In French, a rente was income from a government bond. A rentier was a coupon clipper, and the rent was interest. Today in German, a Rentner is a retiree receiving pension income. The common denominator is a regular payment stipulated in advance, as distinct from industrial profit.

The classical economists had in common a description of rent and interest as something that a truly free market would get rid of. From Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill down to Marx and the socialists, a free market was one that was free of a parasitic overclass that got income without doing work. They got money by purely exploitative means, by charging rent that doesn't really have to be paid; by charging interest; by charging monopoly rent for basic infrastructure services and public utilities that a well-organized government should provide freely to people instead of letting monopolists put up toll booths on roads and for technology and patent rights simply to extract wealth. The focus of economics until World War I was the contrast between production and extraction.

An economic fight ensued and the parasites won. The first thing rentiers – the financial class and monopolists, a.k.a. the 1% – did was to say, "We've got to stop teaching the history of economic thought so that people don't even have a memory that there is any such a thing as economic rent as unearned income or the various policies proposed to minimize it. We have to take the slogan of the socialist reformers – a free market – and redefine it as a free market is one free from government – that is, from "socialism" – not free from landlords, bankers and monopolists." They turned the vocabulary upside down to mean the opposite. But in order to promote this deceptive vocabulary they had to erase all memory of the fact that these words originally meant the opposite.

BONNIE FAULKNER: How has economic history been rewritten by redefining the meaning of words? What is an example of this? For instance, what does the word "reform" mean now as opposed to what reform used to mean?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Reform used to mean something social democratic. It meant getting rid of special privileges, getting rid of monopolies and protecting labor and consumers. It meant controlling the prices that monopolies could charge, and regulating the economy to prevent fraud or exploitation – and most of all, to prevent unearned income or tax it away.

In today's neoliberal vocabulary, "reform" means getting rid of socialism. Reform means stripping away protection or labor and even of industry. It means deregulating the economy, getting rid of any kind of price controls, consumer protection or environmental protection. It means creating a lawless economy where the 1% are in control, without public checks and balances. So reform today means getting rid of all of the reforms that were promoted in the 19 th and early-20 th century. The Nobel Economics Prize reflects this neoliberal (that is, faux-liberal) travesty of "free markets."

BONNIE FAULKNER: What were the real reforms of the progressive era?

MICHAEL HUDSON: To begin with, you had unions to protect labor. You had limitations on the workweek and the workday, how much work people had to do to earn a living wage. There were safety protections. There was protection of the quality of food, and of consumer safety to prevent dangerous products. There was anti-trust regulation to prevent price gouging by monopolies. The New Deal took basic monopolies of public service such as roads and communications systems out of the hands of monopolists and make them public. Instead of using a road or the phone system to exploit users by charging whatever the market would bear, basic needs were provided at the lowest possible costs, or even freely in the case of schools, so that the economy would have a low cost of living and hence a low business overhead.

The guiding idea of reform was to get rid of socially unnecessary income. If landlords were going to charge rent for properties that they did nothing to improve, but merely raise the rents whenever cities built more transportation or more parks or better schools, this rent would be taxed away.

The income tax was a basic reform back in 1913. Only 1% of America's population had to pay the tax. Most were tax-free, because the aim was to tax the rentiers who lived off their bond or stock holdings, real estate or monopolies. The solution was simply to tax the wealthiest 1% or 2% instead of labor or industry, that is, the companies that actually produced something. This tax philosophy helped make America the most productive, lowest-cost and competitive yet also the most equal economy in the world at that time.

ORDER IT NOW

This focus on real industry has gradually been undermined. Today, if you're a real estate speculator, monopolist, bankster or financial fraudster, your idea of reform is to get rid of laws that protect consumers, tenants, homebuyers and the public at large. You campaign for "consumer choice," as if protection is "interference" with the choice to be poisoned, cheated or otherwise exploited. You deregulate laws designed to protect the atmosphere, free air and water. If you're a coal or oil company, your idea of reform is to get rid of the Clean Air Act, as the Trump administration has been doing.

The counterpart to junk science is junk economics. It is a lobbying effort to defend the idea of a world without any laws or regulations against the wealthy, only against the debtors and the poor, only against consumers for the "theft" of downloading music or stealing somebody's patented songs or drug monopoly privilege. This turns inside out the classical philosophy of fairness.

BONNIE FAULKNER: According to 19 th -century classical economists, what is fictitious capital, and why is this distinction no longer being made by economists?

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's a wonderful question. Today the term "fictitious capital" is usually associated with Marx, but it was used by many people in the 19 th century, even by right-wing libertarians such as Henry George.

Fictitious capital referred to purely extractive claims for income, as distinct from profits and wages earned from tangible means of production. Real capital referred to factories, machinery and tools, things that were used to produce output, as well as education, research and public infrastructure. But an ownership privilege like a title to land and other real estate, a patent or the monopoly privilege to charge whatever the market will bear for a restricted patent, without reference to actual production costs, does not add anything to production. It is purely extractive, yielding economic rent, not profits on real capital investment.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You say that by the late-19 th century, "reform movements were gaining the upper hand, that nearly everyone saw industrial capitalism evolving into what was widely called socialism." How would you describe the socialism that classical economists like Mill or Marx envisioned?

MICHAEL HUDSON: They all called themselves socialists. There were many kinds of socialism in the late 19 th century. Christians promoted Christian socialism, and anarchists promoted an individualistic socialism. Mill was called a Ricardian socialist. The common denominator among socialists was their recognition that the industrial capitalism of their day was a transitory stage burdened by the remnants of feudalism, headed by the landlord class whose hereditary rule was a legacy of the medieval military invasions of England, France, Germany and the rest of Europe. This was the class that controlled the upper house of government, e.g ., Britain's Lordships. For socialists, the guiding idea was to run factories and operate land and provide public services for the economy at large to grow instead of imposing austerity and letting the rentier classes exploit the rest of the economy and concentrate income, political control and tax policy in their own hands.

Until World War I, socialism was popular because most people saw industrial capitalism as evolving. Politics was in motion. The term "capitalism," by the way, was coined by Werner Sombart, not Marx. But classical political economy culminated in Marx. He looked at society's broad laws of motion to see where they were leading.

The socialist idea was not only that of Marx but also of American business school professors like Simon Patten of the WhartonSchool. He said that the kind of economy that would dominate the world's future was one that was the most efficient in preventing monopoly and preventing or taxing away absentee land rent so that almost all income would be paid as wages and profits, not rent or interest or monopoly rents.

The business classes in the United States, Germany and even in England were in favor of reform – that is, anti-rentier reform. They recognized that only a strong government would have the political power to tax away or regulate parasitic economic rent by the wealthiest classes at that time, in the late 19 th and early 20 th century. This economic and political cleanup of the rentiers stemmed very largely from the ideological battle that occurred in England after the Napoleonic Wars were over in 1815. Ricardo, representing the banking class, argued against Reverend Malthus, the population theorist who also was a spokesman for the landlord class. Malthus urged agricultural protectionism for landlords, so that they would get more and more rent from their land as grain prices were kept high. Ricardo argued that high food prices to support rents for the agricultural landlords would mean high labor costs for industrial employers. And if you have high labor costs then England cannot be the industrial workshop of the world. In order for England to become the industrial supreme power, it needed to overcome the power of its landlord class. Instead of protecting it, England decided to protect its industrial capital by repealing its protectionist Corn Laws in 1846. (I describe its strategy in my history of theories of Trade, Development and Foreign Debt .)

At that time England's banking class was still a carryover from Europe's Medieval period. Christianity had banned the charging of interest, so banks were able to make their money by combining their loans with a foreign exchange charge, called agio. Banks even Ricardo's day in the early 19 th century made most of their money by financing foreign trade and charging foreign exchange fees. If your listeners they have ever tried to change money at the airport, they will know what a big rake-off the change booths take.

Later in the 19 th century, bankers began to shift their lending away from international trade financing to real estate as home ownership became democratized. Home owners became their own landlords – but on mortgage credit.

ORDER IT NOW

Today we're no longer in the situation that existed in England 200 years ago. Almost two-thirds of the American families own their homes. In Scandinavia and much of Europe, 80% are homeowners. They don't pay rent to landlords. Instead, they pay their income as interest to the mortgage lenders. That's because hardly anyone has enough money to buy a few-hundred-thousand-dollar home with the cash in their pocket. They have to borrow the money. The income that used to be paid as rent to a landlord is now paid as interest to the mortgage banker. So you have a similar kind of exploitation today that you had two centuries ago, with the major difference that the banking and financial class has replaced the landlord class.

Already by the late-19 th century, socialists were advocating that money and credit don't have to take the form of gold and silver. Governments can create their own money. That's what the United States did in the Civil War with its greenbacks. It simply printed the money – and gave it value by making it acceptable for payment of taxes. In addition to the doctrine that land and basic infrastructure should be owned by the public sector – that is, by governments – banking was seen as a public utility. Credit was to be created for productive purposes, not for rent-extracting activities or financial speculation. Land would be fully taxed so that instead of labor or even most industry paying an income tax, rentiers would pay tax on wealth that took the form of rent-extracting privileges.

The aim of classical economics was to tax unearned income, not wages and profits. The tax burden was to fall on the landlord class first and foremost, then on monopolists and bankers. The result was to bea circular flow in which taxes would be paid mainly out of rent and other unearned income, and the government would spend this revenue on infrastructure, schools and other productive investment to help make the economy more competitive. Socialism was seen as a program to create a more efficient capitalist economy along these lines, until the word was hijacked by the Russian Revolution after World War I. The Soviet Union became a travesty of Marxism and the word socialism.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You write that: "Today's anti-classical vocabulary redefines free markets as ones that are free for rent extractors and that rent and interest reflect their recipients' contribution to wealth, not their privileges to extract economic rent from the economy." How do you differentiate between productive and extractive sectors, and how is it that the extractive sectors, essentially Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE), actually burden the economy?

MICHAEL HUDSON: If you're a real estate owner, you want lower property taxes so that as the economy grows and people are able to pay more rent, or when a land site in a neighborhood becomes more valuable because the government builds a new subway – like New York City's Second Avenue line – real estate prices rise to reflect the property's higher income that is not taxed.

New York landlords all along the subway line raised rents. That meant that their real estate had a "capital" gain reflecting the higher rent roll. Individual owners fortunate enough to own a condo or a townhouse near the stations became more wealthy – while new renters or buyers had to pay much more than before. None of this price rise created more living space or other output (although today's post-classical GDP figures pretend that it did!). It simply meant that instead of recapturing the $10 billion the government spent on this subway extension by taxing the increased land valuations all along the subway route, New York's income and real estate taxes have been raised for everybody, to pay interest on the bonds issued to finance the subway's construction. So the city's cost of living and doing business rises – while the Upper East Side landlords have received a free lunch.

Creating that kind of real estate "fictitious wealth" is a capitalization of unearned income – unearned because the Upper East Side landlords didn't do anything themselves to increase the value of their property. The City raised rental values by making the sites more desirable when it built the subway extension.

The same logic applies to insurance. When President Obama passed the basically Republican Obamacare law advocated by the pharmaceutical and health management sectors, the cost of medical care went way up in the United States. It was organized so as to be a giveaway to the healthcare and pharmaceutical monopolies.

None of this increased payment for medical care increases its quality. In fact, the more that's paid for medical care, the more the service declines, because it is paid to health insurance companies that try to legally fight against consumers. The effect is predatory, not productive.

Finally, you have the financial part of the FIRE sector. Finance has accounted for almost all of the growth in U.S. GDP in the ten years since the Lehman Brothers crisis and the Obama bailout in 2008. The biggest banks at that time were insolvent as a result of bad loans and outright financial fraud. But the government created $4.3 trillion of reserves to bail out Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, with Goldman Sachs thrown in, despite the fact that their fraudulent junk mortgage loans were predatory, not productive credit that actually increased wealth in the form of productive power. There's a growing understanding that the financial sector has become so dysfunctional that it is a deadweight on the economy, burdening it with increasing debt charges –student loans are an example – instead of actually helping the economy grow.

BONNIE FAULKNER: So just to reiterate, what is the classical distinction between earned and unearned income?

MICHAEL HUDSON: This distinction is based on classical value and price theory. Price is what people have to pay. The margin of price over and above real cost value is called economic rent. A product's value is its actual, necessary costs of production: the cost of labor, raw materials and machinery, and other elements of what it costs to tangibly produce it. Rent and financial charges are the product of special privileges that have been privatized and now financialized.

ORDER IT NOW

Classical value theory isolated this economic rent as unearned income. It was the aim of society either to prevent it from occurring in the first place, by anti-monopoly regulation or by public land ownership, or to tax it away in cases where you can't help it going up. For instance, it's natural for neighborhoods to become more valuable and high-priced over time as the economy gets richer. But it doesn't cost more to construct buildings there, and rents keep going up and up and up on buildings that were put up 100 years ago. This increased rent does not reflect any new cost of production. It's a free lunch.

Neoliberals, most notoriously the University of Chicago's Milton Friedman at, kept insisting that "There's no such thing as a free lunch." But that's exactly what most of the wealth and income of the richest 1% is. It's the result of running the economy primarily to siphon off a rentier free lunch. Of course, its recipients try to distract public attention from this face and tell national income and Gross Domestic Product statisticians to pretend that they actually earn their income wealth, not merely transfer income from the rest of the economy into their hands as creditors, monopolists and landlords. The leading Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs said so notoriously a few years ago that "Our partners are the most productive in the country because look at how much we're paid." But they don't really earn their wealth in the classical sense of earning by performing a productive economic service. The economy would get along much better without Goldman Sachs and indeed the banking and financial system or the health insurance system being run the way they are, and without real estate the being untaxed in the way that it is.

BONNIE FAULKNER: I noticed that you used the term "rent" for unearned income. Is rent the same as profit, or not?

MICHAEL HUDSON: It's not at all the same. Profit is earned by investing in a means of production to make useful goods and services. Classical economists viewed profit as an element of cost if you're going to have a privately owned economy – and most socialists have accepted private ownership, although in a system regulated so as to benefit society as a whole. If you make a profit by a productive act acting within this system, you've earned it by being productive.

Economic rent is different. It is not earned by actively building means of production, conducting research or development. It's passive income. When pharmaceutical companies earn rent, it's simply for charging much more for the drugs they sell than it actually costs to produce them. This is especially the case when the government has borne the research and development cost of the drugs and simply assigns the rent-yielding patent privilege to the pharmaceutical companies. So rent is something over and above the profit necessary to induce the activity that these companies actually perform. Profits are why investors produce more. Rent is not necessary. If you got rid of it, you wouldn't discourage production, because it's purely an overhead charge, whereas profits are a production charge in a capitalist economy.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Well, thank you for that distinction between rent and profit. That's a very important thing to understand.

MICHAEL HUDSON: I describe it more clearly in my book, which includes the appropriate classical quotations.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You point out that interest and rent are reported as "earnings," as if bankers and landlords produce gross domestic product (GDP) in the form of credit and ownership services. How do you think interest and rent should be reported?

MICHAEL HUDSON: They should be classified interest and rent. But the rentier classes have taken over the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) to depict their takings as actual production of a service, not as overhead or a transfer payment, that is, not as parasitic extraction of other peoples' earnings.

For instance, suppose you have a credit card and you miss a payment, or miss a payment on a student loan, electric bill or your rent. The credit card company will use this as an excuse to raise your interest charge from 11% to 29%. The national income account treat this rise to 29% as providing a "financial service." The so-called service is simply charging a penalty rate. The pretense is that everything that a bank charges – higher interest or penalties – is by definition providing a service, not simply extracting money from cardholders, transferring income from them to itself.

Classical economists would have subtracted this financial rake-off from output, counting it as overhead. After all, it simply adds to the cost of living and doing business. Instead, the most recent statisticians have added this financial income to the Gross National Product instead of subtracting it, as the classical economists would have done – or simply not counted it, as was the case a generation ago.

Most reporters and the financial press don't get into the nitty-gritty of these national accounts, so they don't realize how lobbyists have intervened in recent years to turn them into propaganda flattering bankers and property owners. Today's "reformed" GDP format pretends that the economy has been going up since 2008. A more realistic description would show that it is shrinking for 95 percent of the population, being eaten away by the wealthiest 5% extracting more rentier income and imposing austerity.

If you look at the national balance sheet of assets and liabilities, the economy is becoming more debt-ridden. As student debt and mortgage debt go up, and penalty fees, arrears and defaults are rising. The long rise in home ownership rates is being reversed, and rents are rising, while people also have to pay more for medical care and other basic needs. Academic economists depict this as "consumer choice" or "demand," as if it is all a voluntary choice of "the market." The GDP accounting format has been modified to make it appear that the economy is getting richer. This statistical sleight-of-hand is achieved by counting the takings of the rentier 1% as a product, not a cost borne by the economy at large. What really should be shown is a loss – land and monopoly rent, interest and penalties is in fact so large a "product" that the economy seems to be growing. But most of that growth is unreal.

BONNIE FAULKNER: How does government fiscal policy, taxation and expenditure influence the economy?

ORDER IT NOW

MICHAEL HUDSON: That's what Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is all about. When governments run a budget deficit, they pump money into the economy. For Keynesians the money goes into the real economy in ways that employ labor. For neoliberals, quantitative easing is spent directly into the financial sector, and is used to finance the purchase of real estate, stocks and bonds, supporting the valuation of wealth owned mainly by the One Percent. The effect is to make housing more expensive, and also the price of buying a retirement income. Having to take on larger mortgage debt to buy a house and spend less each month in order to save for one's pension is not really "wealth creation," unless your perspective is that of the One Percent increasing its power over the 99%.

At least the United States is able to run deficits and avoid the kind of unemployment and austerity that Europe is imposing on itself and especially on Greece and Italy. I think in one of our talks on this show explained the problem that Europe is suffering. Under the constitution of the Eurozone, its member countries are not allowed to run a budget deficit of more than 3%. Most actually aim at extracting a surplus from the economy (as distinct from producing a surplus for the economy). That means that the government doesn't spend money into the economy. People and businesses are obliged to get their money from the banks. That requires them to pay more interest. All Europe is on the road to looking like Greece– debt-strapped economies that are kept artificially alive by the government creating reserves to give to the banks and bail out bond markets, not spending into economies to help them recover.

The ability to create debt by writing a bank loan that creates a deposit is a legal privilege. There's no reason why governments cannot do this themselves. Instead of borrowing from private creditors to finance their budget deficits, governments can create their own money – without burdening budgets with interest charges. Credit creation has little cost of production, and therefore does not require interest charges to cover this cost. The interest is a form of monopoly rent to privatized privilege.

Classical economists saw the proper role of government as being to create social infrastructure and upgrade living standards and productivity for their labor force. Governments should build roads to minimize the cost of transportation, not private companies creating toll roads to maximize the cost by building in financial charges, real estate and management charges to what users have to pay. Government should be in charge of providing public health insurance, not private companies that charge extortionate prices and whatever the market will bear for their drugs. It's the government that should run prisons, not private companies that use prisoners as cheap labor to make a profit and advocate that more people get arrested so to make more of a profit from their incarceration.

The great question is, what is the government going to spend money on, and how can it spend money into the economy in a way that helps growth? Imagine if this trillion dollars a year that's spent on arms and military – in California and the districts of the key congressmen on the budget committee – were spent on building roads, schools, transportation and subsidizing medical care. The country could become a utopia. Instead, the rentier classes have hijacked the government, taking over its money creation and taxing power to spend on themselves, not to help the economy at large produce more or raise living standards. Special interests have captured the regulatory agencies to make them serve rent extractors, not protect the economy from them.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Interest is tax-deductible, whereas profit is taxable. Does the tax deductibility of interest have a major impact on the economy?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Yes, because tax deductibility encourages companies to raise money by going into debt. This tax deductibility of interest catalyzed the corporate raiding movement of the 1980s. It was based on debt leveraging.

Suppose a company makes $100 million a year in profit and pays this out to its stockholders as dividends. In the 1980s this profit was taxed at about 50%, so you could only pay $50 million to the stockholders. Then as today, they were the wealthiest layer of the population. Drexel Burnham and other Wall Street firms sought out corporate raiders as clients and offered to lend them enough money to buy companies out, by buying out their stockholders. Stocks were replaced by bonds. That enabled companies to pay out twice as much income as interest than they had been paying as dividends. When they bought out target companies with debt, a company could pay all $100 million of its income as interest instead of only $50 million as dividends on stock.

So the wealthiest classes in the United States and other countries decided that they could get more from own bonds than stocks anymore. Government revenue declined by the added amount paid to financial investors as a result of this tax subsidy for debt.

The advantage of issuing stocks is that when business conditions turn down and profits fall, companies can cut back their dividend. But if they have committed to pay this $100 million to bondholders, when their earnings go down they may face insolvency.

The result was a wave of bankruptcy since the 1980s as companies became more debt-pyramided. Also companies heads went to the labor unions and threatened to declare bankruptcy and wipe out their pension funds, if their leaders did not agree to change these funds and replace the guaranteed retirement pension that were promised for a defined contribution plan. All they know is what they have to pay in every month. Retirees will only get whatever is left when they reach pension age. The equity economy shift into a debt economy has enriched the wealthy financial class at the top, while hurting employees.

Most statistical trends turned around in 1980 for almost every country as this shift occurred. Indebting companies has made them more fragile and also higher-cost, because now they have to factor in the price of interest payments to the bondholders and corporate raiders who've taken them over.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Do you think that changes should be made to the tax deductibility of interest?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Sure. If interest were to be taxed, that would leave less incentive for companies to keep on adding debt. It would deter corporate raiding. It is a precondition for companies being run to minimize their cost of production and to serve their labor force and their customers more. For homebuyers, removing the tax-deductibility of interest would leave less "free" rent to be pledged to banks for mortgages, and hence would reduce the size of bank loans that bid up housing prices.

ORDER IT NOW

I think that interest and rents should be taxed, not wages and legitimate profits. The FICA wage withholding now absorbs almost 16% of most wage-earning income for Social Security and Medicare. But wealthy people don't have to pay any contribution on what they make over than about $ $116,000 a year. They don't have to pay any FICA contribution on their capital gains, which is how most fortunes are made. The rentiers' idea of a free market is to make labor pay for all of the Social Security and Medicare – and then to give so much to Wall Street that they can say, "Oh, there's no more money. The system's short, so we have to wipe out Social Security," just as so many companies have wiped out the pension commitments. As George W. Bush said, tere's not really any money in the Social Security accounts. Its tax on the lower income brackets was all used to cut taxes on the higher income and wealth brackets. The economy has been turned into a grab bag for the rich.

BONNIE FAULKNER: What about monetary policy, interest rates and the money supply? Who controls monetary policy, and how does it affect the economy?

MICHAEL HUDSON: The biggest banks put their lobbyists in charge of the Federal Reserve, which was created in 1913 to take monetary policy out of the hands of the Treasury in Washington and put it in the hands of Wall Street. That made the Fed a lobbyist for its members, the commercial banking system. It's run to control the money supply – in practice, the debt supply – in a way that steers money into the banks. That's why not a single banker was jailed for committing the junk mortgage scams and other frauds that caused the crash. The Fed has turned the banking system into a predatory monopoly instead of the public service that it was once supposed to be.

Monetary policy is really debt policy, because money is debt on the liabilities side of the balance sheet. The question is, what kind of debt is the economy going to have, and what happens when it exceeds the ability to be paid? How is the government going to provide the economy with money, and what will it do to keep debts line with the ability to be paid? Will money and credit be provided to build more factories and product more output, to rebuild American manufacturing and infrastructure? Or, are you going to leave credit and debt creation to the banks, to make larger loans for people to buy homes at rising prices reflecting the increasingly highly leveraged and outright reckless credit creation?

Monetary policy is debt policy, and on balance most debts are owed by the bottom 90% to the wealthiest 10%. So monetary policy becomes an exercise in how the 10% can extract more and more interest, rent and capital gains from the economy – all the while making money by impoverishing the economy, not helping most people prosper.

BONNIE FAULKNER: The economy is always being planned by someone or some force, be it Wall Street, the government or whatever. It's not the result of natural law, as you point out in your book. It seems like a lot of people think that the economy should somehow run itself without interference. Could you explain how this is an absurd idea?

MICHAEL HUDSON: It's an example of rhetoric overcoming people's common sense. Every economy since the Stone Age has been planned. Even in the stone age people had to plan when to plant the crops, when to harvest them, how much seed you had to keep over for the next year. You had to operate on credit during the crop year to get beer and rent draft animals. Somebody's in charge of every economy.

So when people talk about an unplanned economy, they mean no government planning. They mean that planning should be taken out of the hands of government and put in the hands of the 1%. That is what they mean by a "free market." They pretend that if the 1% control the economy it's not really a planned economy anymore, because it's not planned by government, officials serving the public interest. It's planned by Wall Street. So the question is, really, who's going to plan the American economy? Is it going to be the government of elected officials, or is it going to be Wall Street? Wall Street will euphemize its central planning by saying this is a free market – meaning it's free of government regulation, especially over the financial sector and the mining companies and other monopolies that are its major clients.

BONNIE FAULKNER: You emphasize the difference between the study of 19 th -century classical political economy and modern-day economics. How and when and why did political economy become "economics"?

MICHAEL HUDSON: If you look at the books that almost everybody wrote in the 19 th century, they called it political economy because economics is political. And conversely, economics is what politics has always been about. Who's getting what? Or as Lenin said, who-whom? It's about how society makes decisions about who's going to get rich and how they are going to do it. Are they going to get wealthy by acting productively, or parasitically? Eeverything economic turns out to be political.

The economy's new central planners on Wall Street pretend that what they're doing is not political. Cutting taxes on themselves is depicted as a law of nature. But they deny that this is politics, as if there's nothing anyone can do about it. Margaret Thatcher's refrain was "There is no alternative" (TINA). That is the numbing political sedative injected into today's economic discussion.

The aim is to make people think that there is no alternative because if they're getting poorer, if they're losing their home by defaulting on a junk mortgage of if they have to pay so much on the student loan so that they can't afford to buy a home, or if they find that the only kind of job they can get driving an Uber car, it's all their fault. It's as if that's just nature, not the way the economy has been malstructured.

The role of neoliberalism is to make people think that they are powerless in the face of "the market," as if markets are not socially and politically structured. The 1% have hired lobbyists and subsidized business schools so as to shape markets in their own interest. Their aim is to control the economy and call it "nature." Their patter talk is that poverty is natural for short-sighted "deplorables," not the result of the predatory neoliberal takeover since 1980 and their capture of the Justice Department so that none of the bank fraudsters go to jail.

ORDER IT NOW

BONNIE FAULKNER: In your chapter on the letter M – of course, we have chapters from A to Z – in your chapter on M, you have an entry for Hyman Minsky, an economist who pioneered Modern Monetary Theory and explained the three stages of the financial cycle in terms of rising debt leveraging. What is debt leveraging, and how does it lead to a crisis?

MICHAEL HUDSON: Debt leveraging means buying an asset on credit. Lending for home ownership in the United States is the leading example. From the 1940s to the 1960s, if you took out a mortgage, the banker would look at your income and calculate that the mortgage on the house you buy shouldn't absorb more than 25% of your income. The idea was that this would leave enough income to pay the interest charge and amortize – that is, pay off – the mortgage 30 years later, near the end of your working life. Minsky called this first credit stage the hedge stage, meaning that banks had hedged their bets within limits that enabled the economy to carry and pay off its debts.

In the second credit stage, banks lent more and loosened their lending standards so that mortgages would absorb much more than 25% of the borrower's income. At a certain point, people could not afford to amortize, that is to pay off the mortgage. All they could do was to pay the interest charge. By the 1980s, the federal government was lending up to almost 40% of the borrower's income, writing mortgages without any amortization taking place. The mortgage payment simply carried the existing homeowner's debt. Banks in fact didn't want to ever be repaid. They wanted to go on collecting interest on as much debt as possible.

Finally, Minsky said, the Ponzi stage occurred when the homeowner didn't even have enough money to pay the interest charge, but had to borrow the interest. So this was how Third World countries had gotten through the 1970s and the early 1980s. The government of, let's say Mexico or Brazil or Argentina, would say, well, we don't have the dollars to pay the debt, and the banks would say, we'll just add the interest onto the debt. Same thing with a credit card or a mortgage. The mortgage homeowner would say, I don't have enough money to pay the mortgage, and the bank would say, well, just take out a larger mortgage; we'll just lend you the money to pay the interest.

That's the Ponzi stage and it was named after Carlo Ponzi and his Ponzi scheme – paying early buyers out of income paid into the scheme by new entrants. That's the stage that the economy entered around 2007-08. It became a search for the proverbial "greater fool" willing to borrow to buy overpriced real estate. That caused the crash, and we're still in the post-crash austerity interim (before yet a deeper debt writeoff or new bailout). The debts have been left in place, not written down. If you have a credit card and have to pay a monthly balance but lack enough to pay down your debt, your balance will keep going up every month, adding the interest charge onto the debt balance.

Any volume of debt tends to grow at compound interest. The result is an exponential growth that doubles the debt in little time. Any rate of interest is a doubling time. If debt keeps doubling and redoubling, it's carrying charges are going to crowd out the other expenses in your budget. You'll have to pay more money to the banks for student loans, credit card debts, auto loans and mortgage debt, leaving less to spend on goods and services. That's why the economy is shrinking right now. That's why people today aren't able to do what their parents were able to do 50 years ago – buy a home they can live in by paying a quarter of their income.

BONNIE FAULKNER: Dr. Michael Hudson, thank you so very much.

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

Dec 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 14, 2018] Hidden neoliberal inner party : US chamber of commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and The Business Roundtable

Notable quotes:
"... The American Chamber of Commerce subsequently expanded its base from around 60,000 firms in 1972 to over a quarter of a million ten years later. Jointly with the National Association of Manufacturers (which moved to Washington in 1972) it amassed an immense campaign chest to lobby Congress and engage in research. The Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs 'committed to the aggressive pursuit of political power for the corporation', was founded in 1972 and thereafter became the centrepiece of collective pro-business action. ..."
"... Nearly half the financing for the highly respected NBER came from the leading companies in the Fortune 500 list. Closely integrated with the academic community, the NBER was to have a very significant impact on thinking in the economics departments and business schools of the major research universities. ..."
"... In order to realize this goal, businesses needed a political class instrument and a popular base. They therefore actively sought to capture the Republican Party as their own instrument. The formation of powerful political action committees to procure, as the old adage had it, 'the best government that money could buy' was an important step. ..."
"... The Republican Party needed, however, a solid electoral base if it was to colonize power effectively. It was around this time that Republicans sought an alliance with the Christian right. The latter had not been politically active in the past, but the foundation of Jerry Falwell's 'moral majority' as a political movement in 1978 changed all of that. The Republican Party now had its Christian base. ..."
"... It also appealed to the cultural nationalism of the white working classes and their besieged sense of moral righteousness. This political base could be mobilized through the positives of religion and cultural nationalism and negatively through coded, if not blatant, racism, homophobia, and anti feminism. ..."
"... The alliance between big business and conservative Christians backed by the neoconservatives consolidated, not for the first time has a social group been persuaded to vote against its material, economic, and class interests ..."
"... Any political movement that holds individual freedoms to be sacrosanct is vulnerable to incorporation into the neoliberal fold. ..."
"... Neoliberal rhetoric, with its foundational emphasis upon individual freedoms, has the power to split off libertarianism, identity politics, multiculturalism, and eventually narcissistic consumerism from the social forces ranged in pursuit of social justice through the conquest of state power. ..."
"... By capturing ideals of individual freedom and turning them against the interventionist and regulatory practices of the state, capitalist class interests could hope to protect and even restore their position. Neoliberalism was well suited to this ideological task. ..."
"... Neoliberalization required both politically and economically the construction of a neoliberal market-based populist culture of differentiated consumerism and individual libertarianism. As such it proved more than a little compatible with that cultural impulse called 'postmodernism' which had long been lurking in the wings but could now emerge full-blown as both a cultural and an intellectual dominant. This was the challenge that corporations and class elites set out to finesse in the 1980s. ..."
"... Powell argued that individual action was insufficient. 'Strength', he wrote, 'lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations'. The National Chamber of Commerce, he argued, should lead an assault upon the major institutions––universities, schools, the media, publishing, the courts––in order to change how individuals think 'about the corporation, the law, culture, and the individual'. US businesses did not lack resources for such an effort, particularly when they pooled their resources together. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Themiddlegound -> Themiddlegound , 11 Jun 2013 05:42

The American Chamber of Commerce subsequently expanded its base from around 60,000 firms in 1972 to over a quarter of a million ten years later. Jointly with the National Association of Manufacturers (which moved to Washington in 1972) it amassed an immense campaign chest to lobby Congress and engage in research. The Business Roundtable, an organization of CEOs 'committed to the aggressive pursuit of political power for the corporation', was founded in 1972 and thereafter became the centrepiece of collective pro-business action.

The corporations involved accounted for 'about one half of the GNP of the United States' during the 1970s, and they spent close to $900 million annually (a huge amount at that time) on political matters. Think-tanks, such as the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the Center for the Study of American Business, and the American Enterprise Institute, were formed with corporate backing both to polemicize and, when necessary, as in the case of the National Bureau of Economic Research, to construct serious technical and empirical studies and political-philosophical arguments broadly in support of neoliberal policies.

Nearly half the financing for the highly respected NBER came from the leading companies in the Fortune 500 list. Closely integrated with the academic community, the NBER was to have a very significant impact on thinking in the economics departments and business schools of the major research universities. With abundant finance furnished by wealthy individuals (such as the brewer Joseph Coors, who later became a member of Reagan's 'kitchen cabinet') and their foundations (for example Olin, Scaife, Smith Richardson, Pew Charitable Trust), a flood of tracts and books, with Nozick's Anarchy State and Utopia perhaps the most widely read and appreciated, emerged espousing neoliberal values. A TV version of Milton Friedman's Free to Choose was funded with a grant from Scaife in 1977. 'Business was', Blyth concludes, 'learning to spend as a class.

In singling out the universities for particular attention, Powell pointed up an opportunity as well as an issue, for these were indeed centers of anti-corporate and anti-state sentiment (the students at Santa Barbara had burned down the Bank of America building there and ceremonially buried a car in the sands). But many students were (and still are) affluent and privileged, or at least middle class, and in the US the values of individual freedom have long been celebrated (in music and popular culture) as primary. Neoliberal themes could here find fertile ground for propagation. Powell did not argue for extending state power. But business should 'assiduously cultivate' the state and when necessary use it 'aggressively and with determination'

In order to realize this goal, businesses needed a political class instrument and a popular base. They therefore actively sought to capture the Republican Party as their own instrument. The formation of powerful political action committees to procure, as the old adage had it, 'the best government that money could buy' was an important step. The supposedly 'progressive' campaign finance laws of 1971 in effect legalized the financial corruption of politics.

A crucial set of Supreme Court decisions began in 1976 when it was first established that the right of a corporation to make unlimited money contributions to political parties and political action committees was protected under the First Amendment guaranteeing the rights of individuals (in this instance corporations) to freedom of speech.15 Political action committees could thereafter ensure the financial domination of both political parties by corporate, moneyed, and professional association interests. Corporate PACs, which numbered eighty-nine in 1974, had burgeoned to 1,467 by 1982.

The Republican Party needed, however, a solid electoral base if it was to colonize power effectively. It was around this time that Republicans sought an alliance with the Christian right. The latter had not been politically active in the past, but the foundation of Jerry Falwell's 'moral majority' as a political movement in 1978 changed all of that. The Republican Party now had its Christian base.

It also appealed to the cultural nationalism of the white working classes and their besieged sense of moral righteousness. This political base could be mobilized through the positives of religion and cultural nationalism and negatively through coded, if not blatant, racism, homophobia, and anti feminism.

The alliance between big business and conservative Christians backed by the neoconservatives consolidated, not for the first time has a social group been persuaded to vote against its material, economic, and class interests the evangelical Christians eagerly embraced the alliance with big business and the Republican Party as a means to further promote their evangelical and moral agenda.

Themiddlegound -> Themiddlegound , 11 Jun 2013 05:23

Any political movement that holds individual freedoms to be sacrosanct is vulnerable to incorporation into the neoliberal fold.

The worldwide political upheavals of 1968, for example, were strongly inflected with the desire for greater personal freedoms. This was certainly true for students, such as those animated by the Berkeley 'free speech' movement of the 1960s or who took to the streets in Paris, Berlin, and Bangkok and were so mercilessly shot down in Mexico City shortly before the 1968 Olympic Games. They demanded freedom from parental, educational, corporate, bureaucratic, and state constraints. But the '68 movement also had social justice as a primary political objective.

Neoliberal rhetoric, with its foundational emphasis upon individual freedoms, has the power to split off libertarianism, identity politics, multiculturalism, and eventually narcissistic consumerism from the social forces ranged in pursuit of social justice through the conquest of state power. It has long proved extremely difficult within the US left, for example, to forge the collective discipline required for political action to achieve social justice without offending the the Construction of Consent desire of political actors for individual freedom and for full recognition and expression of particular identities. Neoliberalism did not create these distinctions, but it could easily exploit, if not foment, them.

In the early 1970s those seeking individual freedoms and social justice could make common cause in the face of what many saw as a common enemy. Powerful corporations in alliance with an interventionist state were seen to be running the world in individually oppressive and socially unjust ways. The Vietnam War was the most obvious catalyst for discontent, but the destructive activities of corporations and the state in relation to the environment, the push towards mindless consumerism, the failure to address social issues and respond adequately to diversity, as well as intense restrictions on individual possibilities and personal behaviors by state-mandated and 'traditional' controls were also widely resented. Civil rights were an issue, and questions of sexuality and of reproductive rights were very much in play.

For almost everyone involved in the movement of '68, the intrusive state was the enemy and it had to be reformed. And on that, the neoliberals could easily agree. But capitalist corporations, business, and the market system were also seen as primary enemies requiring redress if not revolutionary transformation: hence the threat to capitalist class power.

By capturing ideals of individual freedom and turning them against the interventionist and regulatory practices of the state, capitalist class interests could hope to protect and even restore their position. Neoliberalism was well suited to this ideological task. But it had to be backed up by a practical strategy that emphasized the liberty of consumer choice, not only with respect to particular products but also with respect to lifestyles, modes of expression, and a wide range of cultural practices. Neoliberalization required both politically and economically the construction of a neoliberal market-based populist culture of differentiated consumerism and individual libertarianism. As such it proved more than a little compatible with that cultural impulse called 'postmodernism' which had long been lurking in the wings but could now emerge full-blown as both a cultural and an intellectual dominant. This was the challenge that corporations and class elites set out to finesse in the 1980s.

In the US case a confidential memo sent by Lewis Powell to the US Chamber of Commerce in August 1971. Powell, about to be elevated to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon, argued that criticism of and opposition to the US free enterprise system had gone too far and that 'the time had come––indeed it is long overdue––for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshaled against those who would destroy it'.

Powell argued that individual action was insufficient. 'Strength', he wrote, 'lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations'. The National Chamber of Commerce, he argued, should lead an assault upon the major institutions––universities, schools, the media, publishing, the courts––in order to change how individuals think 'about the corporation, the law, culture, and the individual'. US businesses did not lack resources for such an effort, particularly when they pooled their resources together.

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Cameron has been in hiding ever since.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Government found guilty of Contempt of Parliament:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope I am wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

Here I stopped reading, maybe later more.
Nonsense.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 05, 2018] Travesty of neoliberalism by Frank Wilhoit

Please replace conservatism with neoliberalism in this post...
Notable quotes:
"... There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect. ..."
"... As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr . All that is left is the core proposition itself -- backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence. ..."
"... FDR used "liberal" for its connotation of generosity just as he repurposed "freedom" as, say, freedom from fear or want. A practical politician overseeing one of the great realignments in American partisan political history, FDR, by virtue of his own family name, could appropriate much of the reputational capital of progressive reform, but he also needed the Republican Progressive faction in his New Deal coalition, as support for agenda items like the Tennessee Valley Authority (public ownership of the means of producing electricity! What will we tell the grandkids?) ..."
"... US partisan politics now is undergoing its own crisis of legitimacy and realignment, as is, not incidentally, European party politics. There are splits in both Parties, though Wilentz is concerned with the split in the Democratic Par ..."
Dec 05, 2018 | www.bradford-delong.com

Frank Wilhoit 03.22.18 at 12:09 am

There is no such thing as liberalism -- or progressivism, etc.

There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham's Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation.

There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist. What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely.

Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time.

For millenia, conservatism had no name, because no other model of polity had ever been proposed. "The king can do no wrong." In practice, this immunity was always extended to the king's friends, however fungible a group they might have been. Today, we still have the king's friends even where there is no king (dictator, etc.). Another way to look at this is that the king is a faction, rather than an individual.

As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr . All that is left is the core proposition itself -- backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence.

So this tells us what anti-conservatism must be: the proposition that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

Then the appearance arises that the task is to map "liberalism", or "progressivism", or "socialism", or whateverthefuckkindofstupidnoise-ism, onto the core proposition of anti-conservatism.

No, it a'n't. The task is to throw all those things on the exact same burn pile as the collected works of all the apologists for conservatism, and start fresh. The core proposition of anti-conservatism requires no supplementation and no exegesis. It is as sufficient as it is necessary. What you see is what you get:

The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.

bruce wilder, 03.23.18 at 1:40 pm

I read the Sean Wilentz article and it seems to be an exercise in virtue signalling by a political centrist and Democratic partisan. Like most left-neoliberals, he doesn't want to be called a neoliberal or acknowledge the political dynamics that have cast his own political tendency as villains, and he cannot understand why betrayal rebranded as "practical" isn't selling better.

Wilentz did not write the straightforward piece J-D wishes for because to do so would reveal too much of the reprehensible nature of the Democratic Party politics he has decided to praise.

It is strange that an historian would write a piece whose rhetoric seems premised on such labels having reliable definitions constant thru time when he clearly knows that such labels are repeatedly re-purposed by succeeding generations.

FDR used "liberal" for its connotation of generosity just as he repurposed "freedom" as, say, freedom from fear or want. A practical politician overseeing one of the great realignments in American partisan political history, FDR, by virtue of his own family name, could appropriate much of the reputational capital of progressive reform, but he also needed the Republican Progressive faction in his New Deal coalition, as support for agenda items like the Tennessee Valley Authority (public ownership of the means of producing electricity! What will we tell the grandkids?)

But, the New Deal was then, and now is something else.

US partisan politics now is undergoing its own crisis of legitimacy and realignment, as is, not incidentally, European party politics. There are splits in both Parties, though Wilentz is concerned with the split in the Democratic Party, which has people who actually care at odds with those, like Wilentz, who want to be seen to care while maintaining plausible deniability.

Z 03.23.18 at 4:35 pm ( 54 )
bruce wilder

It is strange that an historian would write a piece whose rhetoric seems premised on such labels having reliable definitions constant thru time when he clearly knows that such labels are repeatedly re-purposed by succeeding generations.

Yes, I was amused to think of François Hollande presidency, the successful candidate of the Socialist party, each time he wrote the word socialism to relate today and the 1920s.

>

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

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

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Tom Luongo,

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

No act by him was more contentious.

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

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

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

He wasn't.

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

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

Empty President

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

All it did was weaken him.

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

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

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

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

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

G-20 Ghost

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

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

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

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

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

You know, the grown-ups in the room.

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

Please.

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

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

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

Time Enough to Win

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

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

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

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

The End of the Beginning

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

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

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

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

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

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

And he has no one to blame but himself.

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

* * *

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


Brazen Heist II , 1 hour ago link

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

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

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

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

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

WTFUD , 1 hour ago link

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

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

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

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

Bokkenrijder , 2 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

Bokkenrijder , 2 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

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

Expat , 3 hours ago link

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

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

You guys need a box of tissues?

MAGA

I am Groot , 6 hours ago link

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

The Clinton Foundation

Uranium One Deal

Hillary's Email Server

The murder of Seth Rich

The Benghazi Consulate Disaster

The Democrats computer scandal with the Iwan brothers.

Bill Clinton giving China classified missile and sub technology

The unelected Deep State actors controlling the country.

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

[Dec 03, 2018] From I am hearing from reliable anonymous CNN sources that Deep State do not like too much sunlight ;-)

Dec 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DEDA CVETKO , 5 hours ago link

I am hearing from reliable anonymous CNN sources that Deep State cockroaches do not like too much sunlight.

Pass the UV lamp, please!

Wormwoodcums , 5 hours ago link

Hard to piece together? Supposed to be. Story is so unreal it's unbelievable. Aliens Bitchez.

http://xekleidoma.info/

iSage , 5 hours ago link

Spy vs Spy...used to love reading Mad Magazine. Now the world is Mad Magazine, amazing stuff.

scam_MERS , 4 hours ago link

I credit Mad with my warped sense of humor, as well as my skepticism of anything/everything.

And don't forget: Potrzebie!

[Dec 03, 2018] From Killing Kennedy To Kremlin Collusion - Deep State Forced Out Of The Shadows

Dec 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

From Killing Kennedy To Kremlin Collusion - Deep State Forced Out Of The Shadows

by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/01/2018 - 20:15 150 SHARES Authored by Robert Gore via Straight Line Logic blog, The Deadliest Operation

Choose your battles wisely...

One month to the day after President Kennedy's assassination, the Washington Post published an article by former president Harry Truman.

I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency -- CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President.

Truman had envisioned the CIA as an impartial information and intelligence collector from "every available source."

But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what's worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.

Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department "treatment" or interpretations.

I wanted and needed the information in its "natural raw" state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions -- and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.

Truman found, to his dismay, that the CIA had ranged far afield.

For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue -- and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.

The article appeared in the Washington Post's morning edition, but not the evening edition.

Truman reveals two naive assumptions. He thought a government agency could be apolitical and objective. Further, he believed the CIA's role could be limited to information gathering and analysis, eschewing "cloak and dagger operations." The timing and tone of the letter may have been hints that Truman thought the CIA was involved in Kennedy's assassination. If he did, he also realized an ex-president couldn't state his suspicions without troublesome consequences.

Even the man who signed the CIA into law had to stay in the shadows, the CIA's preferred operating venue. The CIA had become the exact opposite of what Truman envisioned and what its enabling legislation specified. Within a few years after its inauguration in 1947, it was neck-deep in global cloak and dagger and pushing agenda-driven, slanted information and outright disinformation not just within the government, but through the media to the American people.

The CIA lies with astonishing proficiency. It has made an art form of "plausible deniability." Like glimpsing an octopus in murky waters, you know it's there, but it shoots enough black ink to obscure its movements. Murk and black ink make it impossible for anyone on the outside to determine exactly what it does or has done. Insiders, even the director, are often kept in the dark.

For those on the trail of CIA and the other intelligence agencies' lies and skullduggery, the agencies give ground glacially and only when they have to. What concessions they make often embody multiple layers of back-up lies. It can take years for an official admission -- the CIA didn't officially confess its involvement in the 1953 coup that deposed Iranian leader Mohammad Mosaddeq until 2013 -- and even then details are usually not forthcoming. Many of the so-called exposés of the intelligence agencies are in effect spook-written for propaganda or damage control.

The intelligence agencies monitor virtually everything we do. They have tentacles reaching into every aspect of contemporary society, exercising control in pervasive but mostly unknown ways. Yet, every so often some idiot writes an op-ed or bloviates on TV, bemoaning the lack of trust the majority of Americans have in "their" government and wondering why. The wonder is that anyone still trusts the government.

The intelligence agency fog both obscures and corrodes. An ever increasing number of Americans believe that a shadowy Deep State pulls the strings. Most major stories since World War II -- Korea, Vietnam, Kennedy's assassination, foreign coups, the 1960s student unrest, civil rights agitation, and civic disorder, Watergate, Iran-Contra, 9/11, domestic surveillance, and many more -- have intelligence angles. However, determining what those angles are plunges you into the miasma perpetuated by the agencies and their media accomplices.

The intelligence agencies and captive media's secrecy, disinformation, and lies make it futile to mount a straightforward attack against them. It's like attacking a citadel surrounded by swamps and bogs that afford no footing, making advance impossible. Their deadliest operation has been against the truth. In a political forum, how does one challenge an adversary who controls most of the information necessary to discredit, and ultimately reform or eliminate that adversary?

You don't fight where your opponent wants you to fight. What the intelligence apparatus fears most is a battle of ideas. Intelligence, the military, and the reserve currency are essential component of the US's confederated global empire. During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump questioned a few empire totems and incurred the intelligence leadership's wrath, demonstrating how sensitive and vulnerable they are on this front. The transparent flimsiness of their Russiagate concoction further illustrates the befuddlement. Questions are out in the open and are usually based on facts within the public domain. They move the battle from the murk to the light, unfamiliar and unwelcome terrain.

The US government, like Oceania, switches enemies as necessary. That validates military and intelligence; lasting peace would be intolerable. After World War II the enemy was the USSR and communism, which persisted until the Soviet collapse in 1991. The 9/11 tragedy offered up a new enemy, Islamic terrorism.

Seventeen years later, after a disastrous run of US interventions in the Middle East and Northern Africa and the rout of Sunni jihadists in Syria by the combined forces of the Syrian government, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah, it's clear that Islamic terrorism is no longer a threat that stirs the paranoia necessary to feed big military and intelligence budgets . For all the money they've spent, intelligence has done a terrible job of either anticipating terrorist strikes or defeating them in counterinsurgency warfare

So switch the enemy again, now it's Russia and China. The best insight the intelligence community could offer about those two is that they've grown stronger by doing the opposite of the US. For the most part they've stayed in their own neighborhoods. They accept that they're constituents, albeit important ones, of a multipolar global order. Although they'll use big sticks to protect their interests, carrots like the Belt and Road Initiative further their influence much better than the US's bullets and bombs.

If the intelligence complex truly cared about the country, they might go public with the observation that the empire is going broke. However, raising awareness of this dire threat -- as opposed to standard intelligence bogeymen -- might prompt reexamination of intelligence and military budgets and the foreign policy that supports them. Insolvency will strangle the US's exorbitantly expensive interventionism. It will be the first real curb on the intelligence complex since World War II, but don't except any proactive measures beforehand from those charged with foreseeing the future.

Conspiracy theories, a term popularized by the CIA to denigrate Warren Commission skeptics, are often proved correct. However, trying to determine the truth behind intelligence agency conspiracies is a time and energy-consuming task, usually producing much frustration and little illumination. Instead, as Caitlin Johnstone recently observed , we're better off fighting on moral and philosophical grounds the intelligence complex and the rest of the government's depredations that are in plain sight.

Attack the intellectual foundations of empire and you attack the whole rickety edifice, including intelligence, that supports it. Tell the truth and you threaten those who deal in lies . Champion sanity and logic and you challenge the insane irrationality of the powers that be. They are daunting tasks, but less daunting than trying to excavate and clean the intelligence sewer.


bogbeagle , 1 hour ago link

I sometimes wonder whether the Bond films are a psy-op.

I mean, the 'hero' is a psycho-killer ... the premise of the films is 'any means to an end' ... they promote the ridiculous idea that you can be 'licensed to kill', and it's no longer murder ... and they build a strong association between the State and glamour.

Bond makes a virtue out of 'following orders', when in reality, it's a Sin.

WTFUD , 25 minutes ago link

Can't remember which Section of MI6 Ian Fleming (novelist 007.5) worked but he came into contact with my Hero, the best double-agent Cambridge, maybe World, has Ever produced, Kim Philby. Fleming was a lightweight compared to him and was most likely provided the Funds, by MI6 to titillate the Masses, spread the Word of Deep State.

Norfry , 2 hours ago link

The article makes many good points but still falls into use of distorting bs language.

For example, "after a disastrous run of US interventions" - well, they stole Libya's wealth and destroyed the country: mission accomplished; that's what they were trying to do. It was not an ""intervention", it was a f***ing war of aggression based on lies.

StarGate , 2 hours ago link

Well the good news is that folks now know there is deep State, shadow govt, puppet masters, fake news MSM mockingbird programming, satanic "musik/ pop" promoters, etc.

Not everyone knows but more know, and some are now questioning the Matrix sensations they have. That they have not been told the Truth.

Eventually humanity will awaken and get on track, how long it will take is unknown.

The CIA is a symptom of the problem but not the whole problem. Primarily it is the deception that it sows, the confusion and false conclusions that the easily led fill their heads with.

Now that you know there are bad guys out there...

Find someone to love, even if it is a puppy or a guppy. Simplify your needs, and commit small acts of kindness on a regular basis. The World will heal, it may be a rocky convalescence, yet Good triumphs in the end.

[Nov 30, 2018] The Power Elite Now by Alan Wolfe

Notable quotes:
"... No longer were the chief executive officers of these companies chosen because they were of the right social background. Connections still mattered, but so did bureaucratic skill. The men who possessed those skills were rewarded well for their efforts. Larded with expense accounts and paid handsomely, they could exercise national influence not only through their companies, but through the roles that they would be called upon to serve in "the national interest." ..."
"... Given an unlimited checking account by politicians anxious to appear tough, buoyed by fantastic technological and scientific achievements, and sinking roots into America's educational institutions, the military, Mills believed, was becoming increasingly autonomous. Of all the prongs of the power elite, this "military ascendancy" possessed the most dangerous implications. "American militarism, in fully developed form, would mean the triumph in all areas of life of the military metaphysic, and hence the subordination to it of all other ways of life." ..."
"... Rather they understood that running the Central Intelligence Agency or being secretary of the Treasury gave one vast influence over the direction taken by the country. Firmly interlocked with the military and corporate sectors, the political leaders of the United States fashioned an agenda favorable to their class rather than one that might have been good for the nation as a whole ..."
"... The new breed of political figure likely to climb to the highest political positions in the land would be those who were cozy with generals and CEOs, not those who were on a first-name basis with real estate brokers and savings and loan officials. ..."
"... the emergence of the power elite had transformed the theory of balance into a romantic, Jeffersonian myth. ..."
"... neither Congress nor the political parties had much substantive work to carry out. "In the absence of policy differences of consequence between the major parties," Mills wrote, "the professional party politician must invent themes about which to talk." ..."
"... the image he conveyed of what an American had become was thoroughly unattractive: "He loses his independence, and more importantly, he loses the desire to be independent; in fact, he does not have hold of the idea of being an independent individual with his own mind and his own worked-out way of life." Mills had become so persuaded of the power of the power elite that he seemed to have lost all hope that the American people could find themselves and put a stop to the abuses he detected. ..."
Jun 01, 1999 | www.returnofkings.com
Power in America today looks far different from the picture that C. Wright Mills painted nearly half a century ago. C. Wright Mills's The Power Elite was published in 1956, a time, as Mills himself put it, when Americans were living through "a material boom, a nationalist celebration, a political vacuum." It is not hard to understand why Americans were as complacent as Mills charged.

Let's say you were a typical 35-year-old voter in 1956. When you were eight years old, the stock market crashed, and the resulting Clutch Plague began just as you started third or fourth grade. Hence your childhood was consumed with fighting off the poverty of the single greatest economic catastrophe in American history. When you were 20, the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, ensuring that your years as a young adult, especially if you were male, would be spent fighting on the ground in Europe or from island to island in Asia. If you were lucky enough to survive that experience, you returned home at the ripe old age of 24, ready to resume some semblance of a normal life -- only then to witness the Korean War, McCarthyism, and the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Into this milieu exploded The Power Elite . C. Wright Mills was one of the first intellectuals in America to write that the complacency of the Eisenhower years left much to be desired. His indictment was uncompromising. On the one hand, he claimed, vast concentrations of power had coagulated in America, making a mockery of American democracy. On the other, he charged that his fellow intellectuals had sold out to the conservative mood in America, leaving their audience -- the American people themselves -- in a state of ignorance and apathy bearing shocking resemblance to the totalitarian regimes that America had defeated or was currently fighting.

One of the goals Mills set for himself in The Power Elite was to tell his readers -- again, assuming that they were roughly 35 years of age -- how much the organization of power in America had changed during their lifetimes. In the 1920s, when this typical reader had been born, there existed what Mills called "local society," towns and small cities throughout Am erica whose political and social life was dominated by resident businessmen. Small-town elites, usually Republican in their outlook, had a strong voice in Con gress, for most of the congressmen who represented them were either members of the dominant families themselves or had close financial ties to them.

By the time Mills wrote his book, this world of local elites had become as obsolete as the Model T Ford. Power in America had become nationalized, Mills charged, and as a result had also become interconnected. The Power Elite called attention to three prongs of power in the United States. First, business had shifted its focus from corporations that were primarily regional in their workforces and customer bases to ones that sought products in national markets and developed national interests. What had once been a propertied class, tied to the ownership of real assets, had become a managerial class, rewarded for its ability to organize the vast scope of corporate enterprise into an engine for ever-expanding profits. No longer were the chief executive officers of these companies chosen because they were of the right social background. Connections still mattered, but so did bureaucratic skill. The men who possessed those skills were rewarded well for their efforts. Larded with expense accounts and paid handsomely, they could exercise national influence not only through their companies, but through the roles that they would be called upon to serve in "the national interest."

Similar changes had taken place in the military sector of American society. World War II, Mills argued, and the subsequent start of the Cold War, led to the establishment of "a permanent war economy" in the United States. Mills wrote that the "warlords," his term for the military and its civilian allies, had once been "only uneasy, poor relations within the American elite; now they are first cousins; soon they may become elder brothers." Given an unlimited checking account by politicians anxious to appear tough, buoyed by fantastic technological and scientific achievements, and sinking roots into America's educational institutions, the military, Mills believed, was becoming increasingly autonomous. Of all the prongs of the power elite, this "military ascendancy" possessed the most dangerous implications. "American militarism, in fully developed form, would mean the triumph in all areas of life of the military metaphysic, and hence the subordination to it of all other ways of life."

In addition to the military and corporate elites, Mills analyzed the role of what he called "the political directorate." Local elites had once been strongly represented in Congress, but Congress itself, Mills pointed out, had lost power to the executive branch. And within that branch, Mills could count roughly 50 people who, in his opinion, were "now in charge of the executive decisions made in the name of the United States of America." The very top positions -- such as the secretaries of state or defense -- were occupied by men with close ties to the leading national corporations in the United States. These people were not attracted to their positions for the money; often, they made less than they would have in the private sector. Rather they understood that running the Central Intelligence Agency or being secretary of the Treasury gave one vast influence over the direction taken by the country. Firmly interlocked with the military and corporate sectors, the political leaders of the United States fashioned an agenda favorable to their class rather than one that might have been good for the nation as a whole.

Although written very much as a product of its time, The Power Elite has had remarkable staying power. The book has remained in print for 43 years in its original form, which means that the 35-year-old who read it when it first came out is now 78 years old. The names have changed since the book's appearance -- younger readers will recognize hardly any of the corporate, military, and political leaders mentioned by Mills -- but the underlying question of whether America is as democratic in practice as it is in theory continues to matter very much.

Changing Fortunes

The obvious question for any contemporary reader of The Power Elite is whether its conclusions apply to the United States today. Sorting out what is helpful in Mills's book from what has become obsolete seems a task worth undertaking.

Each year, Fortune publishes a list of the 500 leading American companies based on revenues. Roughly 30 of the 50 companies that dominated the economy when Mills wrote his book no longer do, including firms in once seemingly impregnable industries such as steel, rubber, and food. Putting it another way, the 1998 list contains the names of many corporations that would have been quite familiar to Mills: General Motors is ranked first, Ford second, and Exxon third. But the company immediately following these giants -- Wal-Mart Stores -- did not even exist at the time Mills wrote; indeed, the idea that a chain of retail stores started by a folksy Arkansas merchant would someday outrank Mobil, General Electric, or Chrysler would have startled Mills. Furthermore, just as some industries have declined, whole new industries have appeared in America since 1956; IBM was fifty-ninth when Mills wrote, hardly the computer giant -- sixth on the current Fortune 500 list -- that it is now. (Compaq and Intel, neither of which existed when Mills wrote his book, are also in the 1998 top 50.) To illustrate how closed the world of the power elite was, Mills called attention to the fact that one man, Winthrop W. Aldrich, the Am erican ambassador to Great Britain, was a director of 4 of the top 25 companies in America in 1950. In 1998, by contrast, only one of those companies, AT&T, was at the very top; of the other three, Chase Manhattan was twenty-seventh, Metropolitan Life had fallen to forty-third, and the New York Central Railroad was not to be found.

Despite these changes in the nature of corporate America, however, much of what Mills had to say about the corporate elite still applies. It is certainly still the case, for example, that those who run companies are very rich; the gap between what a CEO makes and what a worker makes is extraordinarily high. But there is one difference between the world described by Mills and the world of today that is so striking it cannot be passed over. As odd as it may sound, Mills's understanding of capitalism was not radical enough. Heavily influenced by the sociology of its time, The Power Elite portrayed corporate executives as organization men who "must 'fit in' with those already at the top." They had to be concerned with managing their impressions, as if the appearance of good results were more important than the actuality of them. Mills was disdainful of the idea that leading businessmen were especially com petent. "The fit survive," he wrote, "and fitness means, not formal competence -- there probably is no such thing for top executive positions -- but conformity with the criteria of those who have already succeeded."

It may well have been true in the 1950s that corporate leaders were not especially inventive; but if so, that was because they faced relatively few challenges. If you were the head of General Motors in 1956, you knew that American automobile companies dominated your market; the last thing on your mind was the fact that someday cars called Toyotas or Hondas would be your biggest threat. You did not like the union which organized your workers, but if you were smart, you realized that an ever-growing economy would enable you to trade off high wages for your workers in return for labor market stability. Smaller companies that supplied you with parts were dependent on you for orders. Each year you wanted to outsell Ford and Chrysler, and yet you worked with them to create an elaborate set of signals so that they would not undercut your prices and you would not undercut theirs. Whatever your market share in 1956, in other words, you could be fairly sure that it would be the same in 1957. Why rock the boat? It made perfect sense for budding executives to do what Mills argued they did do: assume that the best way to get ahead was to get along and go along.

Very little of this picture remains accurate at the end of the twentieth century. Union membership as a percentage of the total workforce has declined dramatically, and while this means that companies can pay their workers less, it also means that they cannot expect to invest much in the training of their workers on the assumption that those workers will remain with the company for most of their lives. Foreign competition, once negligible, is now the rule of thumb for most American companies, leading many of them to move parts of their companies overseas and to create their own global marketing arrangements. America's fastest-growing industries can be found in the field of high technology, something Mills did not anticipate. ("Many modern theories of industrial development," he wrote, "stress technological developments, but the number of inventors among the very rich is so small as to be unappreciable.") Often dominated by self-made men (another phenomenon about which Mills was doubtful), these firms are ruthlessly competitive, which upsets any possibility of forming gentlemen's agreements to control prices; indeed, among internet companies the idea is to provide the product with no price whatsoever -- that is, for free -- in the hopes of winning future customer loyalty.

These radical changes in the competitive dynamics of American capitalism have important implications for any effort to characterize the power elite of today. C. Wright Mills was a translator and interpreter of the German sociologist Max Weber, and he borrowed from Weber the idea that a heavily bureaucratized society would also be a stable and conservative society. Only in a society which changes relatively little is it possible for an elite to have power in the first place, for if events change radically, then it tends to be the events controlling the people rather than the people controlling the events. There can be little doubt that those who hold the highest positions in America's corporate hierarchy remain, as they did in Mills's day, the most powerful Americans. But not even they can control rapid technological transformations, intense global competition, and ever-changing consumer tastes. American capitalism is simply too dynamic to be controlled for very long by anyone.

The Warlords

One of the crucial arguments Mills made in The Power Elite was that the emergence of the Cold War completely transformed the American public's historic opposition to a permanent military establishment in the United States. In deed, he stressed that America's military elite was now linked to its economic and political elite. Personnel were constantly shifting back and forth from the corporate world to the military world. Big companies like General Motors had become dependent on military contracts. Scientific and technological innovations sponsored by the military helped fuel the growth of the economy. And while all these links between the economy and the military were being forged, the military had become an active political force. Members of Congress, once hostile to the military, now treated officers with great deference. And no president could hope to staff the Department of State, find intelligence officers, and appoint ambassadors without consulting with the military.

Mills believed that the emergence of the military as a key force in American life constituted a substantial attack on the isolationism which had once characterized public opinion. He argued that "the warlords, along with fellow travelers and spokesmen, are attempting to plant their metaphysics firmly among the population at large." Their goal was nothing less than a redefinition of reality -- one in which the American people would come to accept what Mills called "an emergency without a foreseeable end." "War or a high state of war preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States," Mills wrote. In this state of constant war fever, America could no longer be considered a genuine democracy, for democracy thrives on dissent and disagreement, precisely what the military definition of reality forbids. If the changes described by Mills were indeed permanent, then The Power Elite could be read as the description of a deeply radical, and depressing, transformation of the nature of the United States.

Much as Mills wrote, it remains true today that Congress is extremely friendly to the military, at least in part because the military has become so powerful in the districts of most congressmen. Military bases are an important source of jobs for many Americans, and government spending on the military is crucial to companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which manufacture military equipment. American firms are the leaders in the world's global arms market, manufacturing and exporting weapons everywhere. Some weapons systems never seem to die, even if, as was the case with a "Star Wars" system designed to destroy incoming missiles, there is no demonstrable military need for them.

Yet despite these similarities with the 1950s, both the world and the role that America plays in that world have changed. For one thing, the United States has been unable to muster its forces for any sustained use in any foreign conflict since Vietnam. Worried about the possibility of a public backlash against the loss of American lives, American presidents either refrain from pursuing military adventures abroad or confine them to rapid strikes, along the lines pursued by Presidents Bush and Clinton in Iraq. Since 1989, moreover, the collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe has undermined the capacity of America's elites to mobilize support for military expenditures. China, which at the time Mills wrote was con sidered a serious threat, is now viewed by American businessmen as a source of great potential investment. Domestic political support for a large and permanent military establishment in the United States, in short, can no longer be taken for granted.

The immediate consequence of these changes in the world's balance of power has been a dramatic decrease in that proportion of the American economy devoted to defense. At the time Mills wrote, defense expenditures constituted roughly 60 percent of all federal outlays and consumed nearly 10 percent of the U. S. gross domestic product. By the late 1990s, those proportions had fallen to 17 percent of federal outlays and 3.5 percent of GDP. Nearly three million Americans served in the armed forces when The Power Elite appeared, but that number had dropped by half at century's end. By almost any account, Mills's prediction that both the economy and the political systemof the United States would come to be ever more dominated by the military is not borne out by historical developments since his time.

And how could he have been right? Business firms, still the most powerful force in American life, are increasingly global in nature, more interested in protecting their profits wherever they are made than in the defense of the country in which perhaps only a minority of their employees live and work. Give most of the leaders of America's largest companies a choice between invading another country and investing in its industries and they will nearly always choose the latter over the former. Mills believed that in the 1950s, for the first time in American history, the military elite had formed a strong alliance with the economic elite. Now it would be more correct to say that America's economic elite finds more in common with economic elites in other countries than it does with the military elite of its own. The Power Elite failed to foresee a situation in which at least one of the key elements of the power elite would no longer identify its fate with the fate of the country which spawned it.

Mass Society and the Power Elite

Politicians and public officials who wield control over the executive and legislative branches of government constitute the third leg of the power elite. Mills believed that the politicians of his time were no longer required to serve a local apprenticeship before moving up the ladder to national politics. Because corporations and the military had become so interlocked with government, and because these were both national institutions, what might be called "the nationalization of politics" was bound to follow. The new breed of political figure likely to climb to the highest political positions in the land would be those who were cozy with generals and CEOs, not those who were on a first-name basis with real estate brokers and savings and loan officials.

For Mills, politics was primarily a facade. Historically speaking, American politics had been organized on the theory of balance: each branch of government would balance the other; competitive parties would ensure adequate representation; and interest groups like labor unions would serve as a counterweight to other interests like business. But the emergence of the power elite had transformed the theory of balance into a romantic, Jeffersonian myth. So anti democratic had America become under the rule of the power elite, according to Mills, that most decisions were made behind the scenes. As a result, neither Congress nor the political parties had much substantive work to carry out. "In the absence of policy differences of consequence between the major parties," Mills wrote, "the professional party politician must invent themes about which to talk."

Mills was right to emphasize the irrelevance of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century images to the actualities of twentieth-century American political power. But he was not necessarily correct that politics would therefore become something of an empty theatrical show. Mills believed that in the absence of real substance, the parties would become more like each other. Yet today the ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats are severe -- as, in fact, they were in 1956. Joseph McCarthy, the conservative anticommunist senator from Wisconsin who gave his name to the period in which Mills wrote his book, appears a few times in The Power Elite , but not as a major figure. In his emphasis on politics and economics, Mills underestimated the important role that powerful symbolic and moral crusades have had in American life, including McCarthy's witch-hunt after communist influence. Had he paid more attention to McCarthyism, Mills would have been more likely to predict the role played by divisive issues such as abortion, immigration, and affirmative action in American politics today. Real substance may not be high on the American political agenda, but that does not mean that politics is unimportant. Through our political system, we make decisions about what kind of people we imagine ourselves to be, which is why it matters a great deal at the end of the twentieth century which political party is in power.

Contemporary commentators believe that Mills was an outstanding social critic but not necessarily a first-rate social scientist. Yet I believe that The Power Elite survives better as a work of social science than of social criticism.

At the time Mills was writing, academic sociology was in the process of proclaiming itself a science. The proper role of the sociologist, many of Mills's colleagues believed, was to conduct value-free research emphasizing the close em pirical testing of small-bore hypotheses. A grand science would eventually be built upon extensive empirical work which, like the best of the natural sciences, would be published in highly specialized journals emph a sizing methodological innovation and technical proficiency. Because he never agreed with these objectives, Mills was never considered a good scientist by his sociological peers.

Yet not much of the academic sociology of the 1950s has survived, while The Power Elite , in terms of longevity, is rivaled by very few books of its period. In his own way, Mills contributed much to the understanding of his era. Social scientists of the 1950s emphasized pluralism, a concept which Mills attacked in his criticisms of the theory of balance. The dominant idea of the day was that the concentration of power in America ought not be considered excessive because one group always balanced the power of others. The biggest problem facing America was not concentrated power but what sociologists began to call "the end of ideology." America, they believed, had reached a point in which grand passions over ideas were exhausted. From now on, we would require technical expertise to solve our problems, not the musings of intellectuals.

Compared to such ideas, Mills's picture of American reality, for all its exaggerations, seems closer to the mark. If the test of science is to get reality right, the very passionate convictions of C. Wright Mills drove him to develop a better empirical grasp on Am erican society than his more objective and clinical contemporaries. We can, therefore, read The Power Elite as a fairly good account of what was taking place in America at the time it was written.

As a social critic, however, Mills leaves something to be desired. In that role, Mills portrays himself as a lonely battler for the truth, insistent upon his correctness no matter how many others are seduced by the siren calls of power or wealth. This gives his book emotional power, but it comes with a certain irresponsibility. "In Am erica today," Mills wrote in a typical passage, "men of affairs are not so much dogmatic as they are mindless." Yet however one may dislike the decisions made by those in power in the 1950s, as decision makers they were responsible for the consequences of their acts. It is often easier to criticize from afar than it is to get a sense of what it actually means to make a corporate decision involving thousands of workers, to consider a possible military action that might cost lives, or to decide whether public funds should be spent on roads or welfare. In calling public officials mindless, Mills implies that he knows how they might have acted better. But if he did, he never told readers of The Power Elite ; missing from the book is a statement of what concretely could be done to make the world accord more with the values in which Mills believed.

It is, moreover, one thing to attack the power elite, yet another to extend his criticisms to other intellectuals -- and even the public at large. When he does the latter, Mills runs the risk of becoming as antidemocratic as he believed America had become. As he brings his book to an end, Mills adopts a termonce strongly identified with conservative political theorists. Appalled by the spread of democracy, conservative European writers proclaimed the twentieth century the age of "mass society." The great majority, this theory held, would never act rationally but would respond more like a crowd, hysterically caught up in frenzy at one point, apathetic and withdrawn at another. "The United States is not altogether a mass society," Mills wrote -- and then he went on to write as if it were. And when he did, the image he conveyed of what an American had become was thoroughly unattractive: "He loses his independence, and more importantly, he loses the desire to be independent; in fact, he does not have hold of the idea of being an independent individual with his own mind and his own worked-out way of life." Mills had become so persuaded of the power of the power elite that he seemed to have lost all hope that the American people could find themselves and put a stop to the abuses he detected.

One can only wonder, then, what Mills would have made of the failed attempt by Republican zealots to impeach and remove the President of the United States. At one level it makes one wish there really were a power elite, for surely such an elite would have prevented an extremist faction of an increasingly ideological political party from trying to overturn the results of two elections. And at another level, to the degree that America weathered this crisis, it did so precisely because the public did not act as if were numbed by living in a mass society, for it refused to follow the lead of opinion makers, it made up its mind early and thoughtfully, and then it held tenaciously to its opinion until the end.

Whether or not America has a power elite at the top and a mass society at the bottom, however, it remains in desperate need of the blend of social science and social criticism which The Power Elite offered. It would take another of Mills's books -- perhaps The Sociological Imagination -- to explain why that has been lost.

[Nov 30, 2018] How The Elites Are Using "Divide And Rule" To Control Us by Corey Savage

Notable quotes:
"... The Elites Have One Rule For Themselves, And One Rule For The Rest Of Us ..."
Oct 31, 2016 | www.returnofkings.com
179 Comments Corey Savage

Corey is an iconoclast and the author of 'Man's Fight for Existence' . He believes that the key to life is for men to honour their primal nature. Visit his new website at primalexistence.com

It wasn't long ago that the Left represented the anti-establishment wing in politics. They used to fight against globalism (remember the anti-globalization movement?) even if their motives were different from those of today's anti-globalists, as well as being against censorship, imperialist wars, and the expanding powers of governments and corporations. But today, you see leftists protesting against Brexit, attacking and censoring anyone who disagrees with the establishment (using Twitter on their Apple products while sipping on their Starbucks coffee), and are calling for war in Syria to challenge the Russians. So, just how the hell did did they end up becoming the patsies for the elites?

To understand, we must go back to 2011 when the Occupy movement was ongoing. The Occupy protests, which now seem like ages ago, came about as a response to the economic downturn with the people realizing that they were being screwed by the system. We can debate endlessly about exactly who these people were and the motives behind them, but the important fact is that, to the elites, it was a sign that the people were waking up and challenging their power.

The elites were in a panic as this was the first time in post-war history that the people of West mobilized in mass to threaten their rule. So, the cabals decided that they needed to act fast before the whole movement evolved to a full-blown revolution. And they already had a plan in mind: the never antiquated strategy of divide and rule.

The Diversion

When the people are discontent and angry from being powerless and dispossessed, the pressure will mount and it won't go anywhere. The people want to vent out their frustrations. The elites know that responding directly with repression only inspires greater desire to rise up, so instead of fighting it, they prefer to re-channel that pent up energy elsewhere.

On February 2012, with the Occupy movement still raging, the elites were given that golden opportunity -- or, rather, they created one -- when a black teenager was shot dead in Florida: the none other than the infamous Trayvon Martin case. The shooter wasn't even a full white, but the elites jumped at the chance and used their control of the media to throw everything they had on it; anything to divert the public attention away from them. With their efforts, it quickly became the biggest story of America.

But they didn't stop there. Police shootings, which have always been happening and to all races, were also highly publicized by the mainstream media to stoke liberal outrage and racial tensions that led to the creation of Black Lives Matter movement -- a movement that is financed by George Soros and others to stir up unrests across America.

occupysjw

Did the elites convert Occupy protesters into SJW patsies?

The diversion was complete as the people were now more interested in racial issues than the "1%" who were dictating their lives. The Occupy movement faded away and the people were now venting out their anger elsewhere. Although I don't have as much proof as with the rise of BLM movement, I strongly suspect that the resurgence of social justice warriors around the same time is also the work of the elites who want the Leftists to target fellow citizens over asinine cultural issues rather than the established order.

The Strategy

Back in 19th century, Karl Marx claimed that religion and nationalism was being used to distract the masses from the fact that they were being oppressed under capitalism. If we were to apply this concept to the world today, the culture wars going on now are distractions to keep the masses from undermining the power of the elites.

The goal the elites is simple: divide the masses and let them fight each other so that they will never come together to topple those in power. Meanwhile, they themselves focus on expanding their own wealth and continue to implement institutional control to further their globalist plans. The worst case scenario the elites want to avoid is to have the common people unite as one, so they must do everything they can to fragment them by creating as many divisions as possible.

My understanding of their modus operandi is this: 1) Use hot-button issues to stir up controversy (something that doesn't affect them like gay marriage, race issues, and all other politically correct nonsense). 2) Have the Leftists either get outraged or do something that will provoke a reaction from the Right. 3) Let the people vent out their anger onto each other and get at each other's throats. 4) When the issue fades away, foment a new controversy to repeat the whole process. By cycling through them over and over again, the elites are able to maintain the status quo and keep the people from uniting against them.

Thus, we have our current situation where the masses are divided with blacks against whites, women against men, Islam and atheism against Christianity, Left against Right, and so on, but no more anti-globalization, Tea Party movement, or Occupy Wall Street.

As long as those on the left continue berating the right as racists, sexists, and bigots who are controlled by corporations and the right in turn accuse the left of being degenerate, socialist slackers who just want freebies from a nanny government, nothing will change. As long as the two sides see each others as enemies who are stupid and ignorant, and getting in the way of creating a decent society, the people will remain divided. As long as the rest of the population go berserk over wedding cakes for homosexuals, the latest "misogynist" outrage, or how a lion named Cecil got shot, the elites will continue to win.

Loading...

me name=

Mgid Reasons Clean Shaven Men Are Switching To This In Droves 22,361 CLICK TO READ A Couple More Points To Consider

I know they look like an occupying army, but there's nothing to be alarmed about. They're just your friendly neighborhood police doing their jobs to protect you from the "terrorists."

First, while this article has been focused on how the Left has been toyed by the globalist elites, let's not forget that the Right are not totally immune to their influence either. Remember how Neo-cons ( globalist puppets disguised as conservatives ) effectively lured the conservatives in America through faith and patriotism? The support they got from that base was the impetus to launch their war against Iraq based on bullshit evidences of WMD's and Saddam–Al-Queda link. While the Right has changed a lot since then, there are still "conservatives" today who are itching for a war with Russia because USA! USA! USA! .

Second, it is crucial to remember that although the main goal is to maintain divide and rule, it is not the end of it. The elites have far more sinister aims. By raising hell in societies through demographic conflicts and terrorism, the elites are preparing for a total social control. I get the feeling that the elites are letting the chaos and violence run its course so that the people from the two opposing camps will join together in their approval of new government measures for social control.

No matter their differences, when the people get terrified of savagery and disorder, they'll welcome the state to intervene in the name of security. Europe is already getting used to large military presence on their streets while the US government is seemingly preparing for a war against their own citizens . A leaked Soros memo also reveals that the BLM movement is potentially being used to federalize the US police . While many people seem to be concerned about violence and terrorism, it seems those are just tools used by the elites to justify a totalitarian state in the near future.

The Culture Wars: Necessary Fight Or Engineered Distraction?

The issue of culture wars is not an easy one as they are important in many ways, but are still forms of distraction implemented by the elites.

On one hand, we are playing into the hands of elites by raging against social justice and feminist pigshits instead of trying to stop the globalists, Zionists , bankers, mega-corporations , and the governments from undermining our existence. Really, do the issues of politically-incorrect Halloween costumes and whatever bathroom trannies use matter more than the fact that the middle-class is being destroyed, revelations of massive corruption in the DNC, the coming police-state, and the globalist wars that are causing death and destruction around the world? All the drama of outrage and counter-outrage is silly when the elites are snickering as their new world order is taking shape.

On the other hand, culture does matter in many ways. Uncontrolled immigration, anti-male laws, and censorship are all very relevant issues. And as much of the Leftists are now serving as pawns of the establishment, the situation isn't exactly the divide and rule model I described above. In a way, we are now forced to fight the Left and everyone else who are getting in the way of fighting the globalist elites.

So, does this mean we should ally with those who scorn us? Or should we continue playing the elite's games and bicker with their SJW drones? I don't have a good answer, but whatever we choose to do, I believe it is crucial for us to focus our battles and not get trolled into petty issues that the mainstream media wants us to focus on. We should always keep in mind that it is always those at the top who are the true enemies of mankind.

Conclusion: Is There Still Hope?

Although we no longer see grassroots movements and popular mobilization, the current US election has shown that the people are still awake and sick of the establishment. To me, that alone is a hopeful sign that people are still willing to challenge the ruling class.

With Bernie Sanders brought down by the establishment and his supporters scattered into different camps, the only anti-establishment movement now is the presidential campaign led by Donald Trump. This is why we are seeing unprecedented efforts by the elites to bring down Trump and use disgruntled Leftists against his supporters.

I have my doubts about Trump , but he is thousand times preferable to the certain nightmare that Hillary Clinton will bring to America and the world if she gets elected. But besides voting, I believe that it is more important for the people themselves to wake up and be aware of the methods of control that are being implemented upon us. We can't constantly expect some knight in shinning armor to come rally us; we must take the initiative ourselves and be willing to fight for our own destiny.

Read More: The Elites Have One Rule For Themselves, And One Rule For The Rest Of Us

  1. October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    The elites were in a panic as this was the first time in post-war
    history that the people of West mobilized in mass to threaten their
    rule.

    The unfunded and grassroots Tea Party had the Soros organized and funded OWS beat by a good three years (2008).

    • October 31, 2016 Corey

      "People of the West", not just the US. It's possible that the Occupy movement, too, was created by the elites to counter the Tea Party until it spiraled out of control.

      • GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        It's more than just possible, it's pretty clear that it was. They show up with buses rented and food vendors in tow. Somebody was paying for that shit, and it sure as hell wasn't the unwashed hippy wannabes out shitting on cop cars.

        • Hugo

          Its a false statement by the author to state that the 'left' was anti establishment back in the day. It wasn't. It's goal, then and now was to create a global, Marxist establishment and to do that it had brainwash the masses into believing it was 'fightin the man'.

          When in fact the 'left' has always been 'the man' as Marxism is focused on control and authority. None of this is new. Perhaps new to North America but, exactly the methodology that was used in Europe since WW1 to turn it into the Marxist shiithole it has become. That in essence was what WW2 was about; Nationalism vs. Globalized Marxism. And Nationalism lost.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Although it is in how you define the establishment. At the time of progressives assuming power (around WW1, give or take) the "Establishment" was fairly Classical Liberal and friendly to liberty and free trade, at least to an extent. Now the "establishment" is them, and they are absolutely "the Man" these days.

        • October 31, 2016 Corey

          Koch brothers and Soros are accused of funding Tea Party and OWS respectively; both denied the charges. Buses and food vendors aren't that expensive and they did receive donations from ordinary people.

          But I feel like the whole point of the article is now lost due to this debate of who funded who, who's controlled by who, which is the good side and which the bad, which just confirms that we are divided. I guess some things never change.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Sorry man, but I didn't bring up OWS, the article did. They were so astroturfed that I can't even pretend to take them seriously as legitimate protest. When you have Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the bulk of the Democrat party cheering them on, that should give a moment for pause. On the flip side, the Tea Party was reviled by the Dems AND the GOP simultaneously.

        • October 31, 2016 JungleJim

          There is no "side" . Both were part of same team

    • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

      Oh please. Most free-market libertarian organizations are astroturfed by the Koch brothers. They're every bit as insidious as the left, being the pro-free-trade and pro-immigration people they are.

      • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

        Spare me your Leftism. I took part in them, they were locally organized and unfinanced, basically we just showed up (here in central Ohio) when a college sophomore at OSU sent out a mass email to various local groups.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with free trade, and not all libertarians are open borders/pro-immigration.

        • October 31, 2016 Jim Johnson

          I concur whole heartedly. The tea party movement was a locally organized movement and stood for ideals that made our country great .which is exactly why the left lied so hard and loud about it.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          What it became later of course is up for discussion, I'm only referencing the first year or so. After that, who knows?

          Now that being said, yes, they were hot as holy hell about us, and we were accused of everything short of genocide by the BSM.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Free trade is what caused all the factories in the rust belt to close and outsourced all of American industry.

          The Koch brothers themselves, the one that fund things like FreedomWorks, GMU and certain elements of the Tea Party (simply because they weren't directly involve in events does not make them not involved). They themselves are pro-immigration.

          I'm not a leftist in the slightest. Being an economic nationalist does not make one left-wing.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Give me a break. Nobody "funded" us. There isn't even a leadership hierarchy to fund. That's what you people don't get, it was a decentralized movement, which gives it a lot of advantages that other movements do not have. It's why we can't be "funded" as monolithic group.

          "Free trade" didn't give us the current situation. The government now, and at the time of NAFTA, so regulated the market and taxed it to the hilt that it's laughable to even suggest that it's "free" in any real sense. The best you can say about it is that it's mercantilist, which funny enough, is one step away from "economic nationalism" aka national socialism.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > Give me a break. Nobody "funded" us. There isn't even a leadership
          hierarchy to fund. That's what you people don't get, it was a
          decentralized movement, which gives it a lot of advantages that other
          movements do not have. It's why we can't be "funded" as monolithic
          group.

          BLM is also highly decentralized. Doesn't mean it isn't funded.

          > "Free trade" didn't give us the current situation. The government now,
          and at the time of NAFTA, has so regulated the market and taxed it to
          the hilt that it's laughable to even suggest that it's "free" in any
          real sense. The best you can say about it is that it's mercantilist,
          which funny enough, is one step away from "economic nationalism" aka
          national socialism.

          There's a difference between regulating industries and imposing preferential tariffs and lavishing companies with subsidies similar to how China does. They're the ones winning, in case you haven't noticed.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          BLM has a hierarchy, a chain of command and this is easily seen by going to the website of the people who started it.

          If the government is out granting favors (or restricting access) then this is not a "free market". Adam Smith would spit on the economic system that America, and by proxy, most of the West has adopted since the 1930's.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > BLM has a hierarchy, a chain of command and this is easily seen by going to the website of the people who started it

          Yet the fact it can't keep the rank and file in line (as evidenced by the endless rioting) speaks to this command structure not working.

          > If the government is out granting favors (or restricting access) then
          this is not a "free market". Adam Smith would spit on the economic
          system that America, and by proxy, most of the West has adopted since
          the 1930's.

          Funny you mention Adam Smith, because he argued for a social safety net and a tax on beer to pay for it. Free-market fundamentalists love to ignore this.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Yet the fact it can't keep the rank and file in line (as evidenced by the endless rioting) speaks to this command structure not working.

          They don't *want* them to be "in line". Their entire existence is to create chaos to necessitate "change" at various levels. They are doing exactly what they're told to do.

          Sneering at Adam Smith does not change my statement at all. We are not now, nor have we been since at least WW1, a "free market". Not even freaking close. So the position you hold, I reject entirely.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > They don't *want* them to be "in line". Their entire existence is to
          create chaos to necessitate "change" at various levels. They are doing
          exactly what they're told to do.

          Do you honestly think that people trying to win the majority over to their side would encourage beating the shit out of the majority? BLM, for all its failings and Marxism, has lost the media war it was trying to win.

          > They don't *want* them to be "in line". Their entire existence is to
          create chaos to necessitate "change" at various levels. They are doing
          exactly what they're told to do.

          Free-market capitalism is impossible in a situation where the state can easily be used to slant the market in its favor. Corporations, especially big ones, don't really like free markets.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Who says that they're trying to win the majority over to their side? This aggitation is meant to spur a new set of "rules" and enforcers and empower certain political groups at the expense of others.

          Free-market capitalism is impossible in a situation where the state can easily be used to slant the market in its favor. Corporations, especially big ones, don't really like free markets.

          Exactly, this is *exactly* what I'm pointing out. Blaming the "free market" for things like NAFTA thus, is incorrect.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > Who says that they're trying to win the majority over totheir side?
          This aggitation is meant to spur a new set of "rules" and enforcers and
          empower certain political groups at the expense of others.

          The people who are most able to facilitate change are the voters and the organizations that control cops. Coming across as a bunch of thugs certainly doesn't help them.

          > Exactly, this is *exactly* what I'm pointing out. Blaming the "free market" for things like NAFTA thus, is incorrect.

          "Economic internationalism" (i.e no tariffs) would be a better term then.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          The people who are most able to facilitate change are the voters and the
          organizations that control cops. Coming across as a bunch of thugs
          certainly doesn't help them.

          You don't understand, this isn't about organizing voters. The changes I'm talking about are not even vaguely connected to "democracy". Their entire point is to be the firebomb throwers that enable a "crackdown". This is an old script.

          "Economic internationalism" (i.e no tariffs) would be a better term then.

          That, I can accept.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          > Their entire point is to be the firebomb throwers that enable a "crackdown". This is an old script.

          It isn't working, which makes me wonder if they intended to do it in the first place.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          It's just the beginning. My hunch is that they will be fully mobilized after Trump takes POTUS. The violence from the Left and their group of retards will escalate an awful lot, I suspect.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Whether Trump will win POTUS is still an open-question.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Nah, the election is over, he's going to landslide. The only people who see it as "iffy" are the mainstream media, and they're just trying to cover their own asses at this point.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Let's hope you're right.

        • October 31, 2016 Conrad Stonebanks

          I'm going to pour myself a fine scotch laced with SJW tears when Trump wins.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          I'm going to install a disco ball and light-changing dance floor and dance to "That's the Way I like It" by KC and The Sunshine.

        • October 31, 2016 Conrad Stonebanks

          Lol

        • October 31, 2016 porcer34

          Be careful, that stuff'll make you impotent.

          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/crying-women-turn-men-off/

          Not to mention all the cancer causing chemicals from the red hair dye that leach through.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Its only the first step, its like celebrating because you got a sucker punch in on Mike Tyson.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Luckily none of them know how to shoot straight.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Just imagine, BLM if it got big enough could be the justification for a police state. And when they raise the minium wage to $15 an hour, and even more blacks have even fewer jobs .a desperate man does desperate things. Its BS that blacks won't work, they had a higher employment rate in the 50's than whites. And if you can't get a job you turn to crime. And families get broken up, and welfare and divorce laws break up the family. And what has happened to them is happening to everyone else, they were just the canaries in the coal mine.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          BLM has exceeded spectacularly. George Soros doesnt make many bad bets. The police are against blacks, now blacks can justify killing cops, and cops can justify killing blacks. Divide and conquer and no one sees that we are killing you all.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Why would Adam Smith oppose the current model, when it is a continuation of the British Empire he worked for, except that at least Britain forced Free Trade on everyone else but themselves, this system asset strips every country. BTW you show what an idiot you are mentioning 'what the West has adopted since the 1930'. You do realise that we have had multiple conflicting economic models since the 1930s? There was the Bretton Woods System, which Rockefeller and Kissinger crushed to bring in the floating exchange rate, then Clintons 1999 repeal of the Glass Steagil Act, which set off the last 17 years of madness, so there is no 1930s-2016 Western model Adam Smith would critique, as the current madness is Smiths model. Free Trade was never some mom and pop trading freely with each other utopia you might think, it was all about monopoly and gunboat diplomacy. I thought that cult had ended 5 years ago? There is only 1 working economic model, a high tech, high level education national socialist republic with a national bank, where kikes have no control of finance, with one and only one racial group, whites; no niggers, muds or kikes, then everything we work towards is for Our Posterity.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          When you can contribute more than sneering and tired old Nazi cheerleading, give me a shout.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Resorting to the 'nazi' jibe. Great response. You have obviously donwloaded the full jewish lexicon and parrot it without question. Well done.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Resorting? Fuck dude, you bring up "kikes" and go full dick sucking admiration about "national socialism" which, I'm going to go out on a limb here, is what the *FREAKING NAZIS* practiced.

          And of course, when I note that you're for Nazism, that means that I'm under jewish influence.

          This whole "congruity" thing is new to you isn't it?

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          You do realise that national socialism is far older than "the nazisssssssssss". It simply means a nation, as an ethnic group, and a government of the people for the people. Most European countries have been national socialists except the one major factor – they didn't have control of the issuance of currency (as the Founding Fathers planned), ergo, it was a socialist hive for jewish financiers/ central banking cartel. The nazisssssssssss were pretty much the first country (other than Britain briefly after WW1) to get control of the issuance of credit for what the Founding Fathers coined The General Welfare. And look what happened, an economic miracle in under a decade. When whites are given heir own space, free of jewish parasitism, they are completely unbounded and can achieve anything (that was until jew brainwashed America and allies fucked it up).

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          It simply means a nation, as an ethnic group, and a government of the people for the people

          Oh please, save that for people who have no grounding in socio-economic theory.

          Nationalism means what you say (in essence). SOCIALISM does NOT mean anything of the sort. Trying to combine the two as a package deal is not going to fly. Simply put, that dog don't hunt, son.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          The Industrial Revolution from the very start, was a product of what the French called Dirigisme. It was planned, financed and exectuted as a state run project, both in Britian and France with the investment into science and the creation of the canals, which laid the route for sending coal to the factories. Americas developement was all through the same means, actually the US govenment poaching the best scientists and miners etc from Britain, to use in America. I guess you have never heard of Alexander Hamilton and is Report on Manufactures. It is socialism minus any sick minded jewish involvement, ergo national socialism. The left has been completely co-opted by jewish financiers with Marx. Before Marx joined Masonry, he was a proponent of Freidrich List – the true left, before kikes/ Freemasons hijacked it.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Your "Argument From The Sneer" really doesn't go over well, chief.

          You can keep your slavery qua socialism. No thanks.

        • November 2, 2016 Will B Candid

          you had a great argument going until you started with the racial horse shit. color and race dont matter to me. Its big government and big business against everyone else, and those on top see no difference between black or white poor people. to them, we are all trolls.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Free trade doesn't exist in the real world. The closer the West got to that idea was in the 19th century. Moreover should we have a free trade, then agreements and other binding documents wouldn't be necessary. A free trade agreement is an oxymoron. Regulated trade agreement would be closer to the truth.

          Moreover China doesn't practice free trade, it practices mercantilism at a high price: the suffering of its own people (check the working conditions and the environmental costs). Had we (the west) exercised the ideas of free market, we wouldn't be in this situation.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Really? Which country practised the uptoian Free Trade? Britian didn't practise it; it forced Free Trade onto everyone else to keep rival countries from developing, whilst using its own working class under worse conditions than Africans-in-America slaves. Workhouses, borstals, child workers in mines from age 6, 14 hours a day 6 days a week, dying on average at 28 years old. The good old days of Free Trade!

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          You can go to Hell if what you search are utopias. In Earth and probably in this universe you will find none. Moreover you misrepresent what I wrote. No matter how you define it, in the 19th century there was more economic freedom than now, at least within the countries. It was not a coincidence that that century marked the zenith of European greatness.

          By the way, I never said worldwide free trade is possible because it's not. Intra-national free trade is possible and necessary along with a smaller government, however not even within the European nations or within the U.S. there is free trade. Endless Regulations, currency manipulation, finance speculation are stifling trade and labor, and are making ever more attractive the replacement of human labor via automation due to the high costs and risks of hiring human beings (sex-lawsuits, constant pay rises) and the currency loss of worth (devaluation).

          By your writings, I can infer that you are just a racist communist. So I guess the pogroms and gulags will continue until the morale improves.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Free trade means freedom for the most prosperous country to flood foreign countries with goods. There are two kinds of systems: overt mercantilism (tariffs) or covert mercantilism (free "trade" with the WTO backing it).

          If free trade benefitted the elite, they'd accept it.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          That's why I said global unfettered (free) trade was impossible. Too many differences. Free trade between two or more similar nations might be possible. But free trade between unequal nations it doesn't work out as intented. However we don't even have free trade within our borders how can you try to have free trade with another nation?

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          "Free trade" is like communism in the sense it is very utopian but impossible.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Not exactly. Free market within a country is possible and the ideal condition. Communism is just hellish ideology that ignores human nature, for the "common good". Global or international free trade is most likely impossible due to the human nature.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          If you have a Free Market within a country, that means you are excluding foreign competition, ergo it is not Free Trade, its just trade within a protectionist country.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Could be. I never said global or international free trade was possible. However today we don't have free market even within one's own country.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Communism is just rebranded dictatorship. Everyone owns everything? Not quite, the person who decides how it is used is effectively the owner.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          I make something that you want, you have money and wish to buy it from me. We agree, you give me money, I give you the object.

          Ta da. Free trade.

          Not quite as utopian as you seem to think.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Wow, is it so simple now that simple minded man has explained it. Now how do you suppose you protect your own economy (that your ancestors gifted to you) from being flooded with cheaper imports, or your companies closing down and moving to slave plantations to under cut wages? You do realise that Free Trade, as an economic model (as opposed to the fantasy interpretation you have deduced), was created with the sole purpose of looting and undercutting prices to keep competators down? We can have a world of nation states – ethnic nation states – where we have borders, regulations, protective tarrifs and a central bank owned by and for the poeple, as opposed to the Roschild family, and have a system of fair trade. It can't be free trade as you will basically give every incentive to people who are not your people to undercut you and practise economic and intellectual/ copyright espionage (like China does). You do realise that this economic system since the start of the Industrial Revolution, was created by known people, it was a conspiracy against the feudal powers by the likes of John Baptiste Colbert and the French Academy of Sciences. This Industrial Revolution didn't just happen by men who were trying to make money and trade. There was a conspiracy by top scientists and mathematicians to unlock nature through technology, in the face of the feudal powers that tried suppressing it, such as the pressure Denis Papin had against his work. There was literally government money all over the Industrial Revolution from the start, and government regulation to protect it.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Your life must be so exhausting, surrounded by enemies at every turn.

        • November 10, 2016 I'm not fat I'm just curvy lol

          Being thankful to your ancestors and proud of your ethnicity or race is one thing. This guy however, he takes it to the next level.
          Not white = not good enough.
          All non-whites are enemies.
          ENEMIES EVERYWHERRREEEE!!!
          lol

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          Yeah, but then the state and the International bankers come in and demand 20 percent of the proceeds. Utopian in the sense it isn't possible given the circumstances.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Which is when it is no longer free trade.

          It's completely possible and happens all the time, in the black and gray market. If left to our own devices, it would happen naturally and organically among normal people.

        • October 31, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          No disagreement here. Hence my rebranding of the term earlier in this thread.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          With the caveat that there is no coercion. Coercion has managed to take on incredible forms these days. I poison your food and try to sell you a health book that promises a cure..free trade? I bribe researchers, to fake studies, then sell drugs that don't work and share the money with doctors who are accepted to be experts. Free trade? The more of a difference in intelligence and money two parties have, usually the less free trade exists.

        • November 1, 2016 woody188

          You are correct. The original Taxed Enough Already movement was designed as a "headless" organization in an attempt to prevent the co-option of the group by the Big Tent Republicans. Didn't work because Sarah Palin and the FreedomWorks goons would show up in their Koch supplied buses and act like they organized the events.

        • November 1, 2016 Observasaurus Rex

          Open borders is fine, as long as you have zero welfare. Once you start giving gibsmedats (welfare, health care, even free road use), then you need to lock down the border tighter than a muslim's 9 year old bride.
          Similarly (though more complex), free trade is great, as long as there is little to no interference by the government, or at least similar business crushing regulations on both ends (which is why free trade between Canada and the US is a problem for neither country). Regulations, minimum wages, maternity leave mandates, and such are the reason that free trade results in jobs going over seas. Get the government to remove the regulations, and you eliminate 99.9% of the problem.

        • November 1, 2016 woody188

          Wrong. Free trade didn't close the factories. Labor arbitrage is NOT a function of free trade. That is how the masters have modified the language to suit their needs.

        • November 2, 2016 Raphael Verelst

          The word you're looking for is arbitration. As for what destroyed the rust belt, the fact the car industry went international and sought to produce cars closer to markets meant that the old industrial heartland went to shit. Free trade (or economic internationalism, just so GOJ doesn't call me out on this) is partially to blame for this.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          You're still at that magical thinking level where you think grassroots movements just spring up? How quaint. The Tea Party was always funded by billionaires. The Tea Party cult members acted like it got co-opted, but in this country everything is lead from the top, they just pretend its grassroots so you'll buy into something that really isn't in your best interest. As for people saying America was created on Tea Party principles, it wasn't. The Founding Father opposed the British Empires Free Market model which dumped goods onto the colonies and prevented industry from developing. America is inherently a high wage, high tech, protectionist nation state. Free Trade is the opposite – cheap labor, no workers rights and monopoly, which is really feudalism rebranded. For those who think the battle is Free Trade vs Marxism, read what Marx said about British Free Trade (he was employed by the Empire), he was wholly in support of it and David Ricado. Orginially Marx was in favor of Freidrich List, and wrote essays on his system, then he got got hooked into the Freemasonic networks, joined the British Library (spooks) and pushed Free Trade, i.e British (jewish Freemasonic) Imperialism. There was a left wing that was pushing our values, before the kikes took over it. http://www.schillerinstitute.org/books/Robert-Burns-book-2007.pdf

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Spare me your condescension.

        • October 31, 2016 bem

          I am suspicious of movements
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1c19e15d0d4c96e095561ff07b1e0bc6481a6b9448351282d421c12f9e4c1ff6.jpg

        • October 31, 2016 Conrad Stonebanks

          Another recent ROK article comes to mind, the one about ascribing divine/all knowing qualities to the elites:

          The Elites Are Not Smarter Than You

          http://www.returnofkings.com/98642/the-elites-are-not-smarter-than-you/embed#?secret=g4QCfp1AI0

    • October 31, 2016 Tom Arrow

      Occupy always stank to me. I don't know. It's as if I have some bullshit meter in my head. This bullshit meter goes off when I see Obama. When I see people going crazy over their country losing at football. When I see celebrity gossip. And when I see OWS.

      • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

        It stunk to me too because they didn't even seem to have a goal. Im mad so I'm going to sit here stinking up the place. I'm mad, so we should close the federal reserve..now that would have struck fear into the elitists!

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          I guess it stunk to me for two reasons:
          1. Big organized movement with streamlined ideology. I always get a weird feeling around my stomach when great numbers of people gather.
          2. This super-focused blame on bankers, as if they were responsible for everything wrong in their lives. I mean, most of those people aren't even the underprivileged ones. They're probably students who just love the thrill of protesting and get fed by mommy and daddy.

          I experienced no.2 a few years back when a guy came to visit me to go to a protest. So we were there walking with the crowd. A few people shouting through megaphones attacking the police verbally. Police all around the movement. Everybody kinda just walking like a zombie for some nebulous cause. Totally pointless. I don't even feel the thrill. It's just boring to me. I would call it scary, but it isn't even that. Those people are harmless. They aren't killers. They have just enough courage to keep holding up a sign with some slogan. When they shout, they don't even shout with passion. Or in other words: They have just as much courage as the elite wants them to have in order for them to not feel totally powerless. They get a little 'high' from the thing and feel like they are changing the world, while nobody really cares. And this guy who I was there with, he just loved it for fun. He didn't really care about the cause either.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          There were a bunch of enviro protesteres once at an event I went to, and I started talking to them and asking basic enviro questions like " What causes the ozone hole?" They had no clue. For many its a social club, maybe more of a religion, they show up for their protests on Sunday and have a barbeque after, and maybe get laid. But I agree with that guy you mentioned, there is a very famous quote that he who controls the money controls the world. You might like the movie Zeitgeist. The consipiracy theories arent theories, now with the internet the proof can be so strong. I thought there was just NO WAY 911 could have been faked-NO WAY. The fact that they pulled it off shows just how much power the elites really have. 911 was a good deal all around, the new owner made a fortune, the strongest reinsurance companies got stronger, US got the go ahead to invade a few countries, and laws got passed depriving us of more liberties(fear is always the best way to accomplish that). Win win win.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Reminds me 1:1 of a former friend who is now a Scientologist. Scientology has that "Say No To Drugs" campaign. They are against all drugs, no matter what. My former friend happened to be at one of their stands so I went there and confronted him, asked a few questions. The simplest one: Have you ever taken drugs?

          He said he took alcohol. And that's enough for him. He took alcohol and by that he judges all drugs, including psychedelics. He gave some vague examples of some cases where LSD supposedly hurt someone or whatever. But he didn't have much answers either.

          Only that Scientologists don't get laid is my guess. They attract and select for the weakest of society. They appear to me to be mostly like sheep with zero confidence, looking for a cause and a leader and a set of rules that explains everything and blah blah.

          Guess what. I told him I took LSD. He told me that that would probably disqualify me from becoming a Scientologist. Hah! So you have thousands of people working against psychedelics but not a single one of them has actually taken them. 😀

          The more ironic that some people think Ron Hubbard came up with most of his ideas on LSD

          I read something about 911. Has it actually been proven to be true? That would be a great thing to throw at people.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          I've been learning alot about psychedelics lately too-a few interesting things about them. They are all chemically related to adrenochrome-oxidized adrenaline. oxidized adrenaline is a psychedelic(asthmatics take adrenaline, which as it goes bad turns pink red then brown oxidizing), and it looks like schizos are merely producing an excessive internal amount of this. To me, there is a progression of behaviour modification..from normal, to borderline, narcicism and ending with schizo with increased stress. Schizos are narcissists by the way. But to me its adaptive, when you are under a great deal of stress is when you drastically need to learn something and change your situation. Another thing is that it appears mushrooms, reduce brain activity, which to me links it to sensory deprivation and meditation. As for 911 heres a few good videos, the simplest is the amazing stories told by the owner, that have to change because they are so bad. And a multibillion dollar operation and he only lost 4 people..and profited handsomely from the investment! Truly jewish lightning.

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/-jPzAakHPpk?feature=oembed


          its fantasyland stuff that you can demo a building in an afternoon. Which is probably why he changed his story. Oh and he had plans drawn up for WTC 7 a year before the attack. Perfectly normal.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOSObJDs67Y
          this guys says some interesting things

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/fpMrOds1JXo?feature=oembed


          very good complition,and analysis by a guy who actually demos buildings.

          https://www.youtube.com/embed/q3v4QUQpYjc?feature=oembed

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Hmm. What do you mean by chemically related? Is that some stuff you have deeper knowledge that I probably wouldn't grasp? If so, that's cool. And what do you mean by "it looks like" when you refer to schizos producing an excessive amount? And where does the link between schizos and narcs come from and where did you get that succession from (normal, borderline, narc, schizo). Seems a bit inconclusive to me, especially since those are all groups of symptoms that, as far as I can tell, have not been somehow linked to a real thing, but rather those people are simply linked together because of similar symptoms. And the symptoms of those 3 things are quite different, I'd say, and not really the same or in some way successive.

          Maybe you have a few good points, but I can't logically follow you because I don't understand the links you make.

          You also use 'it looks like' when you talk about mushrooms. What leads you to that conclusion? Psychedelics have been shown to greatly increase brain activity (not decrease). There was a test with LSD, the video is floating around Youtube etc. Basically, they observed that there was a lot more activity and what they called 'interconnectivity', which basically means all brain parts lit up at the same time.

          In other cultures, schizophrenics have been considered as those who walk among the dead and given great respect. It's all a matter of perspective. My experience with psychedelics is that they greatly raise awareness. They are like an amplifier to all perceptions. I think you have to try it to be able to make a conclusion, but maybe you have

          But even then, schizophrenia is probably not even a real thing, just like narcissism and borderline. More like a group of symptoms that don't necessarily all have the same cause. So it is arguable that one schizophrenic is not the same as another, which rings true from my experience in the nuthouse. One was diagnosed with schizophrenia and yes, I would call him narcissistic. Others were rather quiet and beaten down and shit (partly due to medication probably).

          Also, I wouldn't say meditation has much links to sensory deprivation, although you could say that if you just think of some guy in a cave sitting still. But that can be a good thing, too, because reducing the input from the outside leaves more attention for the stuff that's inside, which can greatly help you be mindful of your emotions and deal with your demons. Psychedelics can help with this, although I use them scarcely. I see psychedelics a bit like signposts for meditation. You take them and kinda know the direction you're going and then you do the rest 'on foot'.

          Thanks for the video links. I thought it was something that was officially acknowledged, but it still seems to be kind of a borderline thing where you have to do your own research, so I'll abstain from that for now. (Other stuff on my mind)

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          By chemically similar I just mean similar molecular shape, if you read more about the guys on that page you found they get more into it. Its good to talk to you sounds like you have much experience on the subject.
          Who knows, maybe my theory is wrong. To explain a little better my theory I should say, a man usually goes through normal narcissism and then schizo, with increasing amounts of stress. Borderline is more for women. And it seems like environmental toxins might be able to cause it as well, and since they tend to lodge in different places, that could cause different specific effects and maybe they don't cause some of the same effects as adrenaline caused narcissism. Now if you look at alot of the typical aspects of Narcissism you'll notice that they would be good for say fighting or fleeing- black and white thinking(no time for gray areas) more impulsive(no time to reflect), lack of empathy(again there isnt enough time to consider nuances). One interesting study found that narcissists actually can read emotion in others, just for some reason they don't react to that info . Do you find that people with narc/schizo have really really good memories? If so thats high adrenaline. If they also tend to have a high heart rate, that would also tend to confirm my theory.
          I had an interesting experience with a woman I know who had a resting heart rate of 110(!) and a borderline personality. Just giving her a gram of sodium ascorbate a day brought her resting heart rate down to 70, and she could sleep 8 hours now, and her personality actually changed. She went from being always cold in a warm environment to absolutely radiating heat. This took place over a few days.
          Oh and for sensory deprivation, you can do the lite version, find some white noise music and put something redish over your eyes. When I did this it was like having a waking dream, very bizarre.
          Yeah 911 is not officially debunked, everything is misinformation wars, and people seem to be finally waking up to it this election.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Some interesting info.

          Personally, I've gone through phases that would apply to pretty much all 3 of the categories. In fact, I dare say most of my life I've been stuck in a fight or flight without realizing it. I think it's spot on. It allows black and white, pretty much. In my case, it's a little more weird, because it kinda conflicts with some other desires, leading to me being somewhat unpredictable (borderline maybe, heh). I also seem to tend to have very high heart rate. Guy at the gym told me this once despite me having not done much work or anything beforehand. It was really just the stress of my social anxiety.

          I find that this kind of stress creates a kind of sensation in my body that may very well have to do with adrenaline. It feels kinda dead-ish. A bit like the taste of blood when you get it into your mouth. Hard to describe. Numb, a little sizzling, dark, oppressive, hot. Well yeah, dead. Also get it during intensive training and too much of this makes me almost faint and gets me into extremely weird states for a short amount of time. Like when I totally power myself out, I can feel it coming. It's like I know shit I went too far and in the next moment, I almost black out. Extremely extremely uncomfortable. It's like I can feel my whole personality being deconstructed very quickly into nothingness and then coming back again.

          Interesting tip with the white noise I'll keep it in mind.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          You might try paying attention to your heart rate more, either feel the side of your neck, time for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4, or there are even programs for smart phones that use the light and camera and can see the blood pulses. What is likely happening to you is that when the heart beats excessively fast, it actually stops pumping effectively, it seems to be a defect we have-horses on the other hand have a max heart rate and wont go beyond that even if they run faster. Now like I was telling the woman i know, its like she's running a marathon, but she can never sit down, its a very unhealthy thing. I think I saw a study in men where it correlates with a 400% increase in mortality rate. There are many consequences of excess acid production(co2 dissolved in blood is acidic). A little talked about fact of the human body is that it goes to extreme effort to maintain PH. When you exercise, your body aggressively and actively releases alkaline bone mineral to help maintain PH, and when you rest it is rebuilt. You also eliminate acid through breathing, urine and to a small extent through sweat. Excessive acid, can cause kidney stones, gout, collagen breakdown, mild scurvy, acne, joint pain, feeling of coldness. You might try like the woman I was talking with some potassium ascorbate around a gram dissolved in a glass of water, take maybe two to three times a day and see what your heart rate does, and if it improves some of your other symptoms(potassium ascorbate I've learned is much better than sodium ascorbate). You may see some initial negative effects too, because sometimes all of a sudden you are eliminating toxins from your body that you werent before. It isnt a panacea, but it can correct some of the basic problems going on. For example the basic problem could be hyperthyroidism, which most likely that woman had, and you have to treat that to decrease hormone production. I suspect heavy metals that cross the blood brain barrier may be able to cause it as well.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Interesting, I'll keep that info in mind. Thanks.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Hey, I checked on that adrenochrome thing.
          http://www.orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1999/articles/1999-v14n01-p049.shtml

          Quite interesting, I have to say. I am wondering how that can be reconciled with my experiences. Maybe extreme stress is a precursor to death to the body, hence it prepares itself to enter the world of the dead, in a sense. I think it was proven (or hypothesized?) that the brain generates DMT on birth and death, a potent psychedelic substance. It's like the mother of all psychedelics. Let's you talk to God and shit like that.

          This could indicate though, that schizophrenia (if the link is valid) is less a result of a malfunctioning brain than some kind of constant stress that is so severe that it creates those chemicals, leading to a 'disconnect from reality'. If you think about it, death is a form of disconnect from reality, so schizophrenia may be a half-way thing. That doesn't mean though that you have to fight those chemicals with neuroleptika. In fact, I'd say the body produces these things precisely because they are helpful in extreme stress. I have also read here on ROK that extreme stress during lifting can create an almost transcendental experience where you become one with the universe (or perceive so) and stuff like that. If those chemicals create that kind of awareness, it makes sense to me that it can be used constructively if the 'patient' practices a lot of mindfulness or meditation.

          Now, I will readily admit that I had something you could call a psychotic episode on psychedelics. Only that I don't see it as pathologic. I am glad I had that experience and I think it was important. Psychotic only describes the symptoms. But a person that looks like he's freaking out from the outside may be having a great experience on the inside that is actually healing and helpful. Which is why indigenous tribes used psychedelics for thousands of years as a cure, as a guide, as an initiation rite. Hah, and since we're creating links: Initiation rites often deal with a lot of intense pain or even symbolical dying. Christianity also talks about dying and being reborn. I think there is a lot of truth in it. That to enter manhood fully, one has to die in a sense and be reborn. Which is what those experiences can do they literally rip you apart and put you back together in a better way.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Yeah those guys had an 80% ish success rate curing schizo. Looks like toxoplasmosis(common infection) can cause it too. Orthomolecular was started by Linus Pauling a double nobel prize winner. There are numerous things like this where there are amazing cures, and no one cares to study further. Most medicine is a scam. It would be horrible if it turned out simple herbs could cure cancer, I mean they would lose about $50k per patient. Number two monopoly according to Milton Friedman the famous economist. Japan and Germany seem to be exceptions.
          Thanks for the info on DMT and lifting, Ill check it out. Maybe DMT is an even more potent one? I noticed that most of the greatest mathematical discoveries happened during grave illness and a year before death. Look up Riemann or Ramanujan as good examples. Now in my experience heart rate seems to be a good measure of adrenaline..and from what Im reading it seem LSD and mushrooms increases heart rate. As for rebirth in religion watch that movie I mentioned Zeitgeist, it has a very interesting take on it. Many religions share the same beliefs and it seems to be taken from the movement of the Sun.
          Those rituals about killing the boy and going through hardship to be accepted into the group of men seem very important. In a way its the classic heros quest. A man can no longer run from danger as a child would, should no longer cry from pain. Very important lessons that are rarely taught.

        • November 6, 2016 Spaghettimonster

          Zeitgeist is that controlled opposition material the elites love to put out. 98% truth 2% lies – just like David Icke.

        • November 7, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Do you have anything you recommend?

        • November 7, 2016 Spaghettimonster

          Honestly – do your own research. I know that's a redundant statement, but that's what it has come down to. Zeitgeist promotes things such as the Horus/Jesus theory – which has been debunked numerous times by mainstream secular scholars. And that's only one among many other lies it propogates. When it's so glaring that info is false – one is forced to look into their own knowledge gathering

        • November 7, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Doing your own research includes getting info from others with common interests. The term "debunking" is a shit term. There are only better theories, and better evidence. Many mainstream researchers are shit too, I talk alot about medicine, and so much of what they do is provably crap based on their own studies of what they do. And here as we've learned in the manosphere, studies about men and women interactions are often gamed, to show that men are horrible and women are saints. Someone producing a paper showing the wrong results will almost never get published. Just like if you control the media, its easy to have the appearance of authority, when in reality, money bought a fake authority. SO do you have anything good to recommend?

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          But now its so clear how much control the elitists have, and how much they are exerting now, I've had several posts insta vaporized from various places. One was regarding threats to Trump and the other about a high level murder. What they try to contol the most is what is most dangerous to them. They really don't want Trump to win, because then they have to try to control him with bullets, and that never looks good when you murder the highest guys. Because then people notice. Putin is their nightmare, the elites set him up and pretty soon some elites were floating in the river, and some were locked up. He let others stay in their places, but it was clear a new sheriff was in town. I'm enjoying watching them sweat.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Hmm but then, if "we" send people floating in the river are we actually better or any different than the elite? Sounds like a perfectly mirror-reversed behavior.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Well at the very least I would say the second was revenge while the first was murder, however revolutions often produce the same tyrants they seek to depose. And Tyrants create the same revolutions that kill them. They have a goal to cull the worlds populations through social engineering(you might notice for example all the porn now with incest one pornhub now) through toxins(drugs, contaminated food and water), and financially. Sounds like a perfect program to create a superman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plVk4NVIUh8

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Amazing video. Truly breathtaking.

          Reminds me of some comment on Youtube by someone who met one of those 'reptilians' and asked why they are causing suffering and that thing replied 'to make humanity stronger'. Heh.

          Yeah, I suppose it is that way. There will always be the oppressed and underprivileged and there will always be those who enjoy being in the current mainstream. The truly oppressed will never be equal with those in power, that's a fever dream.

        • November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          And as they say heavy is the head that wears the crown.

        • November 5, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          I looked up the reptillian stuff. It works perfectly if you relace reptilian with"jewish banker" and half reptillian as "collaborator". Sometimes they have to act crazy to even be allowed to spread ideas without getting murdered like say kubrick after eyes wide shut.

        • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

          Mad that reckless gambling by financial institutions caused a massive economic crash and global recession, millions of people losing their jobs and their homes, job market and middle class still hasn't recovered from it. How do you not know any of that??? It's been in the news for 8 years now.

        • November 5, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Dont be and idiot everyone knows that.b Being mad isnt a goal. If they had said we want to break up all of the biggest banks that would have been a goal. Sitting there because you are mad inspires nothing and no one. And not surprisingly they changed nothing.

        • November 6, 2016 Padge Vounder

          If being mad wasn't a goal, Fox 'news' and Breitbart wouldn't exist.

          You're sadly uninformed about the occupy wall street movement. But you already made up your mind about it, it seems, dismissing people braver and more involved than you who actually went out to risk their safety and freedom protesting the criminal recklessness of financial institutions and their failure to take responsibility for their actions. What was the goal? to show American politicians and the financial industry that American people are fed up with their behavior so much they've shaken off their apathy that infects the brains of so many.

          THAT is what the people in power fear – that the sleeping sheep would wake up and get informed and start fighting back.

          The movement inspired a lot and it's a pity you can't see it ( or simply refuse to ).

          You're the one who is sitting there. These people actually got off their asses to go out and try to make a difference. Doubt you can say the same.

        • November 7, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

          Great sound and fury signifying nothing.

      • November 1, 2016 ConservativeAtheistRedPiller

        It stank to me as well because the stock exchange isn't some evil globalist tool. Everybody can buy shares and, you know, they don't always go up making you filthy rich, quite the contrary. They are a useful financing tool for companies though.

        • November 1, 2016 Tom Arrow

          Yeah, well said. Definitely an aspect.

        • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

          Do some reading about Goldman Sachs and other fatcat banks, their criminal and reckless and unethical behavior.

        • November 5, 2016 ConservativeAtheistRedPiller

          So? That would only prove that GS etc are bad guys, not that the Stock Exchange itself should go.

        • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

          Who was proposing abolishing the stock exchange in it's entirety? Total straw man you made up. OWS was about the criminal executives who gambled and crashed the global economy, wanting accountability and new laws to prevent a similar disaster from occuring. I'd think anyone with common sense could agree on that.

          As it stands, they avoid any criminal liability by paying fines as part of a settlement and admitting no guilt. And the fines are a small fraction of their profits so there is no incentive to follow the laws. It's seen as the cost of doing (shady) business.

          They came to the government hat in hand after they screwed up, and got a fat bailout at the taxpayers expense. This is why I can't stand conservatives. They're all for socialism for the rich, but rugged individualism for the poor and middle class. It should be the reverse. Goldman and the others should have been turned away and homeowners bailed out instead.

          Can you imagine going to a casino, recklessly gambling, losing it all, then begging/demanding the government give you more money?

          This is what really stinks.

        • November 6, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Is this what you really imagined happened? You put no blame on the American middle class which effectively tanked the economy due to their own greed?

      • November 2, 2016 david

        Agreed

      • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

        helps if you know the first thing about the crash of 08 as a starting point.

    • November 5, 2016 Padge Vounder

      that was just a bunch of ignorant conservative rednecks who didn't like paying taxes. Astroturf. That joke of a movement isn't even worth mentioning. But it's funny when they eat their own, like with Eric Cantor. Now he has to take a job as million dollar a year lobbyist subverting our government, how sad.

  1. October 31, 2016 Marcus Antonius

    Great article, and probably true. Part of self-development is seeing through this shit.

    The thing is, if we as Men focus on our own self-development, and on expressing our bigger and better selves by dominating our environments, none of this stuff matters and will eventually change anyway.

    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

    Oh, and vote Trump on the 8th

  2. October 31, 2016 Bourbonman

    Occupy and Tea Party had one thing in common. How quickly they suckered the masses into thinking they were for the people. Movements that large don't suddenly appear overnight.

    • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      If somebody does something heinous, like nationalize 1/6th of the economy (health care) you bet your bippy that great amounts of people will gather suddenly overnight. Same for the nationwide pro-gun demonstrations that happened after the CN shooting.

      Technology has made organizing and getting large groups together in a flash pretty easy. Not everything is some nefarious conspiracy.

      Now if the Tea Party had shown up with organized busses, vendors and pre-selected college faculty in tow, like OWS, then you'd have something.

    • October 31, 2016 John Galt

      Some do and they start out as a emotive grassroots network, but get quickly comprimised. I had relatives active in the Tea Party and after awhile it gets hijacked and ran into the ground.

      Did you read about the Oregon uprising against the feds and how they were acquitted? The evidence revealed half the people involved were paid FBI informants. Thats what happens over time to any organization deemed a threat.

  3. October 31, 2016 Cecil Henry

    Meanwhile in Canada, this:

    An explicit invasion at your expense.

    White Genocide in explicit, unabashed, unapologetic action.

    Immigration Minister John McCallum to reveal 'substantially' higher newcomer targets

    Experts warn that welcoming more immigrants, refugees must come with enhanced support services

    https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/10/23/finance-ministers-key-advisers-want-100m-canadians-by-2100.html

    • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

      You'll not get many thumbs up here, given half the idiots are unrecovered Tea Party Free Trade dupes, that like cheap labor being imported, so long as their jobs are not threatened.

  4. October 31, 2016 Jim Johnson

    There has always been elites who have tried to control the masses through divide and conquer. Even if this crop is eliminated, others will arise. The only way we can come together is if we have a common guiding set of principals to go by. Throughout history, violent revolutions that have resulted in a loss of freedom, (French Revolution, Bolshevik, Nazi, Cuban .etc.) all had an anti-christian element, or a bastardization of Christianity.

    In retrospect, as a people, we need to be continually reminded of the principals that enable freedom to exist. Integrity, work, charity, self determination, etc. are taught in church. Go to church, work to strengthen those virtues, and expect virtue from your neighbor. If we as a whole, reject the crap spewed out main stream media and leftists, we will have a stronger society.

    • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      You are exactly correct, and this is *precisely* why the Marxists, back to Marx, targeted things like the church, family and traditional social constructs for destruction. He understood what you're saying perfectly.

  5. October 31, 2016 Tom Arrow

    You forget the women vs. men division.

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

    • October 31, 2016 Jim Johnson

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

      • October 31, 2016 Tom Arrow

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

  6. October 31, 2016 Michael Ryan

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

  7. October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

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

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

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

    • October 31, 2016 Corey

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

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

      • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

      • October 31, 2016 John Galt

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

    • October 31, 2016 Frank Rook

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

      • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

  8. October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

    • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

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

      • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

        • October 31, 2016 John Galt

          That's tired old tripe.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          Well reasoned.

        • October 31, 2016 John Galt

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

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

        • November 1, 2016 John Galt

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

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

        • November 1, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

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

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

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

          -Distribution is irrelevant. Mass cheap labor.

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

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

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

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

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

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

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

          Does Mansa Musa count?

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

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

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

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

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

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

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

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

          smh

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

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

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

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

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

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

          Flexibility. Heh. Yeah, like, none.

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

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          Founding fathers supported slavery. Ending slavery wasn't enough. Equality is.

          So slaves and free men have equal freedom of labor?

          Not all empires have done this. Most have, yes. But essentially my point is that you insist that conquering was a good thing and the natives and blacks should be grateful for getting killed, raped, and enslaved in exchange for a television. Same in the middle east. They don't want democracy. Everyone else did it so I should do it too? Well in that case, so does the hate, hence blm and why the world hates america.

        • October 31, 2016 GhostOfJefferson ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

          Oh bullshit. Now you're back to square one. Some supported it, many were against it. This is precisely why they did the 3/5 thing, which I've patiently explained to you.

          Most have, yes

          Correct Ergo your sneering "you sound like a Jeeeewwww!" is rendered meaningless.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          So are you. Admit it- it wasn't justified, and 3/5ths wasn'tt near enough. Get rid of the white hero complex. Its the reason America is so hated around the world.

          No, you claim victimhood from blacks and all the other people you take from and still claim to be the savior. Hatred outside and within the US takes a special kind of people. It is just retribution. And the Islamic empire, at least the Rashidun caliphate, did not.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Remember when Americans used to be proud of winning wars rather than feeling bad for the vanquished foe?

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          According to the 1850 census blacks were 12.5% of the population.
          Most of the rest of the 35,000,000 of the population at the time were white. Those 3.5 million slaves didn't build everything.
          As for the natives, they had no boundarys no government, no property rights ,they were cavemen who were conquered and white folk started a country with government, property rights and civilization.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          But those 12.5% were slaves, so they were doing more labor per person. Mass cheap labor. I agree that the natives needed codified law, but it would be ridiculous to think that was the reason that was justification to conquer. It was just Manifest Destiny, something that is happening today via western imperialism.

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          Yes I agree the slaves would have worked more man hours but all those other people were not just sitting around.
          The natives just were not prepared.it was was simply the way of the world at the time. It just is what it is.

        • October 31, 2016 Cardtheorist

          I expect the unwillingness to work was a big factor as well; lack of incentives. My main issue is that some people today are still trying to justify that what they did. Just because many other nations of the past did so, does not a right make. This goes the other way too of course- there have been times where whites were massacred and enslaved and driven out, which is also wrong.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Right, but what do you consider white. I mentioned the other day that a girl who was a member of the daughters of the American revolution, had membership to the union club etc called me a "gateway minority" because 5 generations ago my forebearers came her eyes from Italy

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          You know what they say about them dark Eye-talians, though.

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          I don't know, I guess those damn ole wops are white too 🙂
          I get a really really dark tan every year I guess I'm white too.
          What in the hell is a gateway minority anyway? .now I've forgotten the point I was trying to make anyway.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          I have never had a (((tan))) in my entire life. I go from pale to burned directly back to pale

        • October 31, 2016 UnreconstructedConfederate

          Usually by about the middle of May I start looking funny when I take my hat off because my face,neck,arms and legs are dark brown and my head is BRIGHT white.

      • October 31, 2016 jz95

        As usual, you are full of shit.
        America was built BY Anglos, FOR Anglos. This country was never meant to be "whiteopia." The alt-right looks at the 1950s as the glory days of America. The founding fathers would have been disgusted at all of the "lesser European" groups that were in the country at that time, such as the Irish. The blacks have more of a right to be here than many European immigrant groups.

        • October 31, 2016 Untergang07

          Historically you have a point. But the circumstances are pushing the European derived ethnicities of that country (U.S.) towards the formation of multiple "white" identities (Southern, Midwestern, etc) which are the combination of all types of Europeans. For European observers like me it seems a ridiculous development if it were in Europe, but once again It's happening in America and I am not American. It just is (the phenomenon I just described). Hence your argument is out of date.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          Well, there already were significant differences between the regions of the United States, even when the European population was majority Anglo. Compare the aristocratic, agrarian South to the liberal urban North.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          Total bullshit made up from your pathetic negro brainpower. The Irish, Scttish, Germans and French were invited as immigrants from the start of America as a Constitutional Republic – INVITED TO SETTLE. You stupid cunt, you don't even realise that the Founding Fathers got many of their ideas from the French and the French Academy of Sciences, as well as German economists. It was created by white Freemasons, some of whom were Scottish not Anglo YOU STUPID CUNT. You think slave owning Alexander Hamilton was an anglo, dumbshit? Blacks have no right to be in America, they were never part of the Founding Fathers vision. You think they were fucking retarded and wanted the dregs of the bell curve as citizens? OUR POSTERITY means European.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          The Irish were INVITED? The fuck are you smoking? The Irish were viewed as little, if any better than the Negroes. If you had told Washington or Jefferson that they were the same race as an Irishman, they would have laughed in your fucking face. Franklin viewed the Germans in America as a problematic presence in the United States. OUR POSTERITY meant the descendants of the (largely) Anglo-Germanic Protestants who founded this country, not all European peoples. Get your head out of Unkie Adolf's ass and learn some history, provided you have more than a single-digit IQ, something which I think you lack.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          You are making shit up as you go. What an absurd way to argue. The Irish were invited to settle, its an historical fact. Jefferson was even a proponent of the Irish independence. There were Catholic Founding Fathers, even at a time when in Britain they were persecuted. Oh now America is Anglo-Germanic, not Anglo like you previously stated? What about the Scots such as Alexander Hamilton, or Benjamin Frankin being a product of French schooling, and the American Revolutionary War was funded by Russians, French aristocrats such as Marquez de Lafayette. What about the Dutch colonies, which New York is from. Go and make up some shitty historical fantasy with someone who doesn't know history. America was European – white, from the start.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          The United States of America was founded by Anglo-Germanic Protestants, mostly Englishmen. The Dutch, French and Spanish had colonies in North America, but they did not create the country that would become the United States of America. That was almost entirely the English, with a few Scots thrown in there. First point refuted.

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          "Irish immigrants of this period participated in significant numbers in the American Revolution, leading one British major general to testify at the House of Commons that "half the rebel Continental Army were from Ireland."[14] Irish Americans signed the foundational documents of the United States -- the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution -- and, beginning with Andrew Jackson, served as President." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Americans

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          This first wave of Irish immigrants were the SCOTS-Irish, Scotsmen and Englishmen who had settled (and in many ways colonized) Ireland. Second point refuted.

        • October 31, 2016 Mac-101

          I had an Irish forefather who fought as a private in the Revolution In the PA Militia and another Irish forefather who came to America to fight the British in the War of 1812. Johnny Bulls were still looked down upon in the 1950s by Irish and vice versa. LOL!

        • October 31, 2016 Ar C.

          So now you have been proven incorrect, lets talk about why you elivate the worthless nigger over fellow Europeans, in light of the evidence that Irish, Russians, Italians (there was an Italian involved with the Founding documents – look up Founding Fathers by Country of Origin), Prussians, Dutch, Scottish and especially French were intimately involved in the creation of America.

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          You're a fucking idiot. That's all there is to say. You really are a fucking idiot.

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          The Irish and scots were brought in to do the slave labor. Blue bloods don't mate with the help

        • October 31, 2016 Hipponax (μητροκοίτης)

          Correct. These are the people still pissed that Joe DiMaggio go to to play. Ethnics in the major leagues?

          I've mentioned it before, but there is a great quote from the movie The Good Shepherd. Matt Damon plays an OSS office, Yale, skull and bones, American pedigree, founding member o the CIA. He talks to Pesci who plays the mob boss that the CIA tried to get to kill Castro.

          Pesci: let me as you something. Us Italians, we got our families and the church. The Jews have their traditions. The micks have their homeland. Even the niggers have something, they have their music. What do you have
          Damon: we have the United States of America the rest of you are just tourists

          If you don't date your family back to the mayflower than you are no different than the Muslim invaders. Alt right would do well to remember than in some people's eyebrows most of them are just light skinned niggers

        • October 31, 2016 jz95

          The alt-right, like their SJW counterparts, don't care about facts. You could lay it all out for them in the simplest terms imaginable and they'd still be living in their fantasylands.

  9. October 31, 2016 onetruth

    While I'm sure there's some truth to the notion of elites using divide and conquer, I nonetheless get tired of fence-sitting rhetoric that implies that coming together with leftists is the only way to defeat the elites.

    Rank-and-file leftists want to BE elite, that's the main thing (other than provably broken ideology) that differentiates them from me. I don't want power, I simply want people to tell the truth and pull their weight. If you can't do that, I'd just as soon kill you as look at you, because you are a cancer on this planet. I'm certainly not going to join up with you to defeat some separate but equally evil group, lol. I prefer to fight and destroy both groups.

    • October 31, 2016 Corey

      And how will you do that exactly?

      • October 31, 2016 onetruth

        I've been thinking about that a lot lately but I don't have the answer. I do know that trying to find common ground with people who are part of the problem is both the wrong answer and a waste of time.

  10. October 31, 2016 HAIDES

    It started in July 2012 at the Anaheim Riots. The whole thing was started by the white anarchist anti authoritarian who s tired of taking shit from the cops.

  11. October 31, 2016 chrish

    I'm afraid your solution on a large scale basis is too ambitious. Most don't want to get involved in any unpleasantness, much easier to go along to get along. Most don't want to observe what's going on around them, it's much more important to walk around with one's face in their iPhone or have it up to their ear. Most don't want to read, it's easier to watch a video and have it summarized and spoon fed them. There is no right and wrong, it's all relative.

    Until the unthinkable happens to them or close friend or family most don't care,and if said unthinkable DOES happen, it's Plan B time. Demand government find a solution to the problem, any solution that makes them feel like something was done. And sure, they'll give up privacy, their own ability to protect themselves, or agree to pay a little more as long as a "feel good" measure is taken.

  12. October 31, 2016 A Wise Man

    I was involved very early on in the Occupy movement, and I must say there were a lot of good people in it who simply wanted to limit global finance capitalism from destroying the American economy. Most of these people were older whites who were more in line with the leftists we picture from the mid to late twentieth century. Unfortunately, the Occupy movement already had the SJW seeds sown into its fabric from the very beginning. During the meetings and marches I attended, it was made VERY CLEAR to me that if you are a white male, it is your job to step aside and let the women and non-whites run the show and set the agenda. And indeed that was the case. I stuck around for a little bit, listening to what these angry black/brown women, socially retarded white women, and the token while male faggot had to say. It started off as more anti-bank/capitalism, but the writing was on the wall and I could see exactly how this movement was going to turn into the anti-white male patriarchy, pro feminism, pro faggot, pro degeneracy movement it has transformed into today.

    • October 31, 2016 Max Tweeter

      "It started off as more anti-bank/capitalism, but the writing was on the
      wall and I could see exactly how this movement was going to turn into
      the anti-white male patriarchy, pro feminism, pro faggot, pro degeneracy
      movement it has transformed into today."

      Most movements and social-justice groups start out benevolent, like many religions. Soon, those whom I call the "Crazy Elements" infiltrate that group/movement and alter its definition. After not long, the "crazy" becomes the movement, and attracts more bat-shit insane types faster than water seeking its own level. Once the lame-stream media get bored, the ranks thin out, and everyone goes home, until the next group of aggrieved shitheads gets loud (i.e. BLM, etc.). This shit is so easy to see from miles away, though.

    • October 31, 2016 Mac-101

      That's because Soros was funding it.

  13. October 31, 2016 Smokingjacket

    We've never had a natural form of capitalism which accords with the natural strengths of people and nations. Instead, the natural instincts of what capitalism in its true sense was meant to signify has always been undermined by the State and creeping socialism along each step of the way. Civics, culture and customs, including religion were meant to be the natural bulwarks against unfettered capitalism, not the State with all its forms of social ideologies.

    When will people ever get it- socialism is the natural blood and substance of modern States in all its forms- the State's future (any western advanced State) is tied up intrinsically with the "guardian" role of "social nanny" who'll protect her downtrodden children from the nasty boggy man (who pays all her bills, including her socialist programs) of libertine capitalism. The truth is that the entire system is rigged this way and if we had a more conservative or traditional set of values (like religion etc) we wouldn't need the socialist State to "protect us" from the free market, ispo facto, end of the State control of peoples lives. Imagine, a world were people could survive in a state of liberty and happiness without the need of the State? A Utopia perhaps??

  14. October 31, 2016 Albionic American

    The news about the Christian cartoonist Jack Chick's death, and the various reactions to it, got me to thinking about how our elites view religion. It looks to me as if they think about religion more rationally than they think about their childish utopianism regarding globalization, race, immigration, feminism and sexual degeneracy.

    Defenders of the elites' world view just laugh off religious obsessives who threaten ordinary people with hell, especially straight white guys who ogle women, like the one in Jack Chick's early tract, "This Was Your Life."

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b5147fd5c1ad960bfa878affc67de3a950bee6671b1a8c368259a6f99b1b8f5.gif

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9467c83b7af0acf004079e5f05f907aac1b47e44cff1f87010134d97a4987f7e.gif

    But they condemned Chick as a homophobe when he published tracts which threatened gays with hell, even if they don't believe in it.

    What accounts for the difference? Gays exist and hell doesn't, obviously. But also gays have privileged status in our elites' project to destroy and remake traditional societies, and they simply must remain immune from criticism, regardless of how much damage they cause along the way, even from some religious nut who draws comic books which threaten them with imaginary harm after death.

    By contrast, notice that Chick also propagandized the fantasy that Israel's existence somehow fulfills "bible prophecy," instead of showing the ordinary reality that people get ideas from books. Not a peep of criticism from our elites about that delusion, curiously. And not because our elites share Chick's belief about Israel, but because the Jews among them have used this belief to play American Christians for suckers to make them support pro-Israel policies in our government.

    Funny how that works.

  15. October 31, 2016 Lovekraft

    South Park Season 20 examines the concept of trolling. Here's my take:

    trolling is defined as doing something to get a reaction from those defending the person you insulted, which then brings a reaction from the other side. Sit back and watch the fireworks.

    We are being trolled when we fail to identify where the latest 'outrage' is coming from. We allow ourselves to waste time and energy when the messenger dictates the terms.

    By, for and about are the three key words with any message. Who is sending the message, who is the message directed at, and what is the message itself. Basic critical analysis is where the alt-right leaders (could) make the most impact.

  16. October 31, 2016 Noa

    Excellent content, Cory. Left and right should unite to fight against billionaires globalists stealing from us. GO TRUMP!

  17. October 31, 2016 skillet

    It is a revolution against the middle class. With elite usiing weaponized poverty, zombies and misfits against the middle clas.sRather than the top 1 percent, the left attacks the privilege of the white assistant manager at Pizza Hut.

    • October 31, 2016 Gil G

      The concept of a free, middle class would be the historic exception. Throughout most of history it was mostly made up of masters and lords as well as slaves and serfs.

  18. October 31, 2016 Mac-101

    Good article except Soros funded Occupy Wall Street and of course he switched to funding BLM and stiring Racial hate since it was much more effective.

  19. November 1, 2016 Jim Jones Koolaid

    Read or view Milton Friedman on youtube. Every deep recession has been caused by a drastic drop in money supply. The great depression was caused by the fed so that the bankers could purchase the pieces for pennies on the dollar after. For those of you who dont believe in conspiracy theories there has been so much time since 911 and all the videos of all the people have been looked at and analyzed. Amazing stuff. Even better just look at a few videos of speeches that the owner who just bought the trade centers not long before(99 year lease).

  20. November 1, 2016 Hoosier Jimmy

    The Me generation is the worst of America. And now they are in politics. America will be better off when the self-serving, self-absorbed flower children are long gone.

  21. November 1, 2016 Poetry ->

    "Thus, we have our current situation where the masses are divided with "

    Socially engineered 'Useful Idiots' are engineering

    1. Tavistock: the best kept secret in America
    https://anticorruptionsociety.com/2016/08/25/tavistock-the-best-kept-secret-in-america/

    2. The Truth About America's Survival.
    Demographics and the 2016 Election

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/GN_FOCF3vIQ?feature=oembed

    3. Race Differences In Intelligence
    http://niggermania.com/library/Race%20Differences%20In%20Intelligence.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/6SJNVb0GnPI?feature=oembed

    4. The Truth About The Fall of Rome: Modern Parallels

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/qh7rdCYCQ_U?feature=oembed

  22. November 1, 2016 TheChariman

    Think about this – the elites know that white America is developing an awareness. They also know that whites will revolt and correct the issue eventually. As a psychological diffuser, they put a person in like Trump that appears to be everything he is. This will allow whites to relax their defenses while the elites move to limit and censor information that will oppose their long term goals. They do this under a president like Trump so whites will remain docile. After 8 years, they continue their main agenda now with limited, if any real independent news agencies, etc. It allows them to buy time, diffuse white opposition, then continue with their program. Did Trump really "ditch" his inside team?

  23. November 1, 2016 Jair 3

    Agree. The radicals of the 60's supported the URSS against the US, today they want to fight Putin, what is more puzzling is that they oppose Christians because we want to live our faith, but they willingly accept sharia law that forbids women to wear a dress, are shunned and considered second class, honor killings are frequent, feminists say nothing, atheists say nothing, LGBT lobby is quiet, why? Because their leader, Soros has not given the cue. Group thinking!!!

  24. November 2, 2016 vincent Menniti ΛΤ

    Can we get a post about why Soro's owns the world? I don't care enough to look myself, but am curious none the less.

  25. November 2, 2016 david

    The occupy movement was a bunch of spoiled middle class suburban brats who were in the top 1% globally. If they thought they were protesting the economic downturn, they were fifteen years late. The Clinton administration signed the death warrant for the economy. It just took 10 years to show the effect.

    The housing bubble in 2006 ( which influenced the economic crash in 2008) was caused by affirmative action policy in the big banks. The Clinton administration pressured the banks into "not descriminating " against the poor. AKA giving hundreds of billions of dollars in loans to people who were too irresponsible to pay rent. Then that debt was sold and resold, until 1 by 1 the floor fell out.

    A great explanation is in the new movie " The Big Short."

    It was that terrible series of events that scared americans into voting for Barrack Obama.

    Then we had eight years of feminist propaganda, and here we are.

[Nov 30, 2018] US Warlords now and at the tome Miill's Poer Elite was published

Highly recommended!
This is from 1999 and in 2018 we see that Mills was right.
Notable quotes:
"... Personnel were constantly shifting back and forth from the corporate world to the military world. Big companies like General Motors had become dependent on military contracts. Scientific and technological innovations sponsored by the military helped fuel the growth of the economy. ..."
"... the military had become an active political force. Members of Congress, once hostile to the military, now treated officers with great deference. And no president could hope to staff the Department of State, find intelligence officers, and appoint ambassadors without consulting with the military. ..."
"... Mills believed that the emergence of the military as a key force in American life constituted a substantial attack on the isolationism which had once characterized public opinion. He argued that "the warlords, along with fellow travelers and spokesmen, are attempting to plant their metaphysics firmly among the population at large." ..."
"... In this state of constant war fever, America could no longer be considered a genuine democracy, for democracy thrives on dissent and disagreement, precisely what the military definition of reality forbids. If the changes described by Mills were indeed permanent, then The Power Elite could be read as the description of a deeply radical, and depressing, transformation of the nature of the United States. ..."
"... The immediate consequence of these changes in the world's balance of power has been a dramatic decrease in that proportion of the American economy devoted to defense. ..."
"... Mills's prediction that b