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[Feb 19, 2020] During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d' tat) changed sides and betrayed the working class

Highly recommended!
This was an outright declaration of "class war" against working-class voters by a "university-credentialed overclass" -- "managerial elite" which changed sides and allied with financial oligrchy. See "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind
Notable quotes:
"... By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI. ..."
Feb 19, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 19, 2020 12:31 pm

Does not matter.

It looks like Bloomberg is finished. He just committed political suicide with his comments about farmers and metal workers.

BTW Bloomberg's plan is highly hypocritical -- like is Bloomberg himself.

During the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" was staged in the USA by "managerial elite" which like Soviet nomenklatura (which also staged a neoliberal coup d'état) changed sides and betrayed the working class.

So those neoliberal scoundrels reversed the class compromise embodied in the New Deal.

The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the neoliberal managerial class and financial oligarchy who got to power via the "Quiet Coup" was the global labor arbitrage in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations.

So all those "improving education" plans are, to a large extent, the smoke screen over the fact that the US workers now need to compete against highly qualified and lower cost immigrants and outsourced workforce.

The fact is that it is very difficult to find for US graduates in STEM disciplines a decent job, and this is by design.

Also, after the "Reagan neoliberal revolution" ( actually a coup d'état ), profits were maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of the immigrant workforce (the collapse of the USSR helped greatly ). They push down wages and compete for jobs with their domestic counterparts, including the recent graduates. So the situation since 1991 was never too bright for STEM graduates.

By canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, the neoliberal elite saws the seed of the current populist backlash. The "soft neoliberal" backbone of the Democratic Party (Clinton wing) were incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat -- the rejection of the establishment candidate by the US population and first of all by the working class. The result has been the neo-McCarthyism campaign and the attempt to derail Trump via color revolution spearheaded by Brennan-Obama factions in CIA and FBI.

See also recently published "The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite" by Michael Lind.

One of his quotes:

The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight.

[Feb 19, 2020] On Michael Lind's "The New Class War" by Gregor Baszak

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. ..."
"... Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt. ..."
"... Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists." ..."
"... To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration. ..."
"... Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages. ..."
"... This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up. ..."
"... But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself. ..."
"... American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises. ..."
"... In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism." ..."
"... A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes. ..."
Jan 08, 2020 | lareviewofbooks.org

A FEW DAYS AFTER Donald Trump's electoral upset in 2016, Club for Growth co-founder Stephen Moore told an audience of Republican House members that the GOP was "now officially a Trump working class party." No longer the party of traditional Reaganite conservatism, the GOP had been converted instead "into a populist America First party." As he uttered these words, Moore says, "the shock was palpable" in the room.

The Club for Growth had long dominated Republican orthodoxy by promoting low tax rates and limited government. Any conservative candidate for political office wanting to reap the benefits of the Club's massive fundraising arm had to pay homage to this doctrine. For one of its formerly leading voices to pronounce the transformation of this orthodoxy toward a more populist nationalism showed just how much the ground had shifted on election night.

To writer Michael Lind, Trump's victory, along with Brexit and other populist stirrings in Europe, was an outright declaration of "class war" by alienated working-class voters against what he calls a "university-credentialed overclass" of managerial elites. The title of Lind's new book, The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite , leaves no doubt as to where his sympathies lie, though he's adamant that he's not some sort of guru for a " smarter Trumpism ," as some have labeled him.

Lind cautions against a turn to populism, which he believes to be too personality-centered and intellectually incoherent -- not to mention, too demagogic -- to help solve the terminal crisis of "technocratic neoliberalism" with its rule by self-righteous and democratically unaccountable "experts" with hyperactive Twitter handles. Only a return to what Lind calls "democratic pluralism" will help stem the tide of the populist revolt.

The New Class War is a breath of fresh air. Many on the left have been incapable of coming to terms with Hillary Clinton's defeat. The result has been the stifling climate of a neo-McCarthyism, in which the only explanation for Trump's success was an unholy alliance of "Putin stooges" and unrepentant "white supremacists."

To Lind, the case is much more straightforward: while the vast majority of Americans supports Social Security spending and containing unskilled immigration, the elites of the bipartisan swamp favor libertarian free trade policies combined with the steady influx of unskilled migrants to help suppress wage levels in the United States. Trump had outflanked his opponents in the Republican primaries and Clinton in the general election by tacking left on the economy (he refused to lay hands on Social Security) and right on immigration.

The strategy has since been successfully repeated in the United Kingdom by Boris Johnson, and it looks, for now, like a foolproof way for conservative parties in the West to capture or defend their majorities against center-left parties that are too beholden to wealthy, metropolitan interests to seriously attract working-class support. Berating the latter as irredeemably racist certainly doesn't help either.

What happened in the preceding decades to produce this divide in Western democracies? Lind's narrative begins with the New Deal, which had brought to an end what he calls "the first class war" in favor of a class compromise between management and labor. This first class war is the one we are the most familiar with: originating in the Industrial Revolution, which had produced the wretchedly poor proletariat, it soon led to the rise of competing parties of organized workers on the one hand and the liberal bourgeoisie on the other, a clash that came to a head in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Then, in the 1930s, while the world was writhing from the consequences of the Great Depression, a series of fascist parties took the reigns in countries from Germany to Spain. To spare the United States a similar descent into barbarism, President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal, in which the working class would find a seat at the bargaining table under a government-supervised tripartite system where business and organized labor met seemingly as equals and in which collective bargaining would help the working class set sector-wide wages.

This class compromise ruled unquestioned for the first decades of the postwar era. It was made possible thanks to the system of democratic pluralism, which allowed working-class and rural constituencies to actively partake in mass-membership organizations like unions as well as civic and religious institutions that would empower these communities to shape society from the ground up.

But then, amid the stagflation crisis of the 1970s, a "neoliberal revolution from above" set in that sought to reverse the class compromise. The most powerful weapon in the arsenal of the newly emboldened managerial class was "global labor arbitrage" in which production is outsourced to countries with lower wage levels and laxer regulations; alternatively, profits can be maximized by putting downward pressure on domestic wages through the introduction of an unskilled, non-unionized immigrant workforce that competes for jobs with its unionized domestic counterparts. By one-sidedly canceling the class compromise that governed the capitalist societies after World War II, Lind concludes, the managerial elite had brought the recent populist backlash on itself.

Likewise, only it can contain this backlash by returning to the bargaining table and reestablishing the tripartite system it had walked away from. According to Lind, the new class peace can only come about on the level of the individual nation-state because transnational treaty organizations like the EU cannot allow the various national working classes to escape the curse of labor arbitrage. This will mean that unskilled immigration will necessarily have to be curbed to strengthen the bargaining power of domestic workers. The free-market orthodoxy of the Club for Growth will also have to take a backseat, to be replaced by government-promoted industrial strategies that invest in innovation to help modernize their national economies.

Under which circumstances would the managerial elites ever return to the bargaining table? "The answer is fear," Lind suggests -- fear of working-class resentment of hyper-woke, authoritarian elites. Ironically, this leaves all the agency with the ruling class, who first acceded to the class compromise, then canceled it, and is now called on to forge a new one lest its underlings revolt.

Lind rightly complains all throughout the book that the old mass-membership based organizations of the 20th century have collapsed. He's coy, however, about who would reconstitute them and how. At best, Lind argues for a return to the old system where party bosses and ward captains served their local constituencies through patronage, but once more this leaves the agency with entities like the Republicans and Democrats who have a combined zero members. As the third-party activist Howie Hawkins remarked cunningly elsewhere ,

American parties are not organized parties built around active members and policy platforms; they are shifting coalitions of entrepreneurial candidate campaign organizations. Hence, the Democratic and Republican Parties are not only capitalist ideologically; they are capitalistically run enterprises.

Thus, they would hardly be the first options one would think of to reinvigorate the forces of civil society toward self-rule from the bottom up.

The key to Lind's fraught logic lies hidden in plain sight -- in the book's title. Lind does not speak of "class struggle ," the heroic Marxist narrative in which an organized proletariat strove for global power; no, "class war " smacks of a gloomy, Hobbesian war of all against all in which no side truly stands to win.

In the epigraph to the book, Lind cites approvingly the 1949 treatise The Vital Center by historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote that "class conflict, pursued to excess, may well destroy the underlying fabric of common principle which sustains free society." Schlesinger was just one among many voices who believed that Western societies after World War II were experiencing the "end of ideology." From now on, the reasoning went, the ideological battles of yesteryear were settled in favor of a more disinterested capitalist (albeit New Deal–inflected) governance. This, in turn, gave rise to the managerial forces in government, the military, and business whose unchecked hold on power Lind laments. The midcentury social-democratic thinker Michael Harrington had it right when he wrote that "[t]he end of ideology is a shorthand way of saying the end of socialism."

Looked at from this perspective, the break between the postwar Fordist regime and technocratic neoliberalism isn't as massive as one would suppose. The overclass antagonists of The New Class War believe that they derive their power from the same "liberal order" of the first-class peace that Lind upholds as a positive utopia. A cursory glance at the recent impeachment hearings bears witness to this, as career bureaucrats complained that President Trump unjustifiably sought to change the course of an American foreign policy that had been nobly steered by them since the onset of the Cold War. In their eyes, Trump, like the Brexiteers or the French yellow vest protesters, are vulgar usurpers who threaten the stability of the vital center from polar extremes.

A more honest account of capitalism would also acknowledge its natural tendencies to persistently contract and to disrupt the social fabric. There is thus no reason to believe why some future class compromise would once and for all quell these tendencies -- and why nationalistically operating capitalist states would not be inclined to confront each other again in war.

Gregor Baszak is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His Twitter handle is @gregorbas1.

Stourley Kracklite 20 days ago • edited ,

Reagan was a free-trader and a union buster. Lind's people jumped the Democratic ship to vote for Reagan in (lemming-like) droves. As Republicans consolidated power over labor with cheap goods from China and the meth of deficit spending Democrats struggled with being necklaced as the party of civil rights.
The idea that people who are well-informed ought not to govern is a sad and sick cover story that the culpable are forced to chant in their caves until their days are done, the reckoning being too great.

[Feb 18, 2020] The West "Weeps" for What It Has Sowed by Stormy

Feb 16, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
At the Munich Security Conference the U.S. and its allies had no idea of how to handle China, a problem of their greed and stupidity. The West is divided, confused. What to do about Huawei? Really, what to do with China?

So when Mike Pompeo proclaimed "we are winning," the largely European audience was silent and worried in what sense "we" existed longer.
In the meantime, Europe, including the U.K, finds itself in a mincer between the U.S. and China

Unfortunately for us. China has followed the U.S. playbook and has outplayed the West, especially the U.S.

Walter Rostow of the Johnson administration, an avid anti-communist, wrote the playbook: How can an undeveloped nation take its place among the leaders of the world.

The answer : Industrialize as rapidly as possible. Do whatever it takes. China did just that.

In its five year plans, China acknowledged its debt to Rostow and started to industrialize. While I have described this process many years ago, I again outline it briefly here.

First : China entered the W.T.O. Bill Clinton and Congress were accommodating and instrumental:

Last fall, as all of you know, the United States signed an agreement to bring China into the W.T.O, on terms that will open its markets to American products and investments.
Bill Clinton speaking before Congress, March 9, 1998

Second : China offered dirt cheap labor, labor that had no effective right to bargain
Third : China did not require a company to obey any environmental regulations.
Fourth : China often offered a ten-year grace period without any taxation. If there were taxes they were less than those on its own indigenous firms.
Fifth : China manipulated its currency, making products cheaper to make but getting higher profits in the West.

The net resul t: Massive trade imbalance in favor of China. CEOs and their henchmen made enormous profits. Devastated American workers were told to go to school, to work harder, to make themselves invaluable to their companies. A cruel joke.

In droves, Western companies outsourced to China, emptying one factory after another. Anything that could be outsourced was outsourced. China, of course, was not the sole beneficiary of U.S. foolishness. India, Mexico, Vietnam wherever environmental standards were non-existent, wherever workers had no effective rights these were the third world countries the U.S. used. The health and safety of third world workers was of no concern. They were many–and they were expendable.

U.S. companies were so profitable that special arrangements were made to repatriate those profits back to the states: pennies on the dollar. Many billionaires should really be thanking China.

Americans were considered only consumers/ The more they consumed, the richer the rich became. Credit was made easy. George Bush's answer to 911 was: Go out and shop.+

Between The Financial Modernization Act of 1999 and Free trade insanity, the working class of American faced the crash of 2008.

China became the factory of the world, not through automation, but through dirt cheap labor. China poisoned its atmosphere and polluted its water. Face masks were everywhere. Nonetheless, China had become undeniable economic power, challenging the U.S.

At the same time, China educated great numbers of engineers, inventors, and scientists. Huwaii became the problem really, Huwaii is just an emblem of it.

The U.S. in its greed had became lazy. It poured money into weapons. The U.S. decided to build a space force. U.S. bullied countries with foolish sanctions if those countries did not make their billionaire class more profitable. Sanctions instead of competition became last gasp, the last grasp at profit. Flabby and greedy, the U.S.is no longer competitive. It has become just a bully, a threat to everyone.

Trump, of course, played both sides of the problem. He railed against the outsourcing, but has done little to correct it, giving instead massive tax breaks to the wealthy, gutting environmental regulations laying waste to everything he touches. Pelosi and Schumer pretend to care, but they have nothing to offer. Like Trump, they worry about China. Like Trump, they have no answer, except for more wars and more sanctions.

Hillary and Bill should take a bow. They began this debacle. Once things were made in the U.S.A. Go to any Walmart store and read the label: Made in China.

Pelosi and the free trade Democrats should take a bow as should all the Republicans. All of them should hold hands, give each other a quick hug and smile. They and their friends are rich.

To China belongs the future.


Terry , February 16, 2020 8:27 pm

Economics 101 says trade benefits all participants. The problem is not China but the United States. The oligarchs have sucked up all the benefits of trade and have bought the government to keep the good times going. Obama played along unlike FDR with the result that the oligarchs came out stronger than ever while everyone else had a second rate rather than a third rate health care system which Trump and the GOP are struggling to return to a third rate system. You can blame China or the "laziness " of Americans, but the real problem is the moneyed class who do not give a crap about the country or its citizens but only how to hang onto their privileged existence. I hate to even think it but I do not see this thing ending peacefully.

MARK LOHR , February 16, 2020 8:27 pm

And in turn funding China's considerable, unabated, and ongoing military expansion.
The screws are turning; the noose tightening.
That Western governments of all leanings have not counter-vailed for many decades now is a tale of enormous short-sightedness and cultural hubris.

davebarnes , February 16, 2020 9:24 pm

Didn't I read the same thing about Japan 20+ years ago?

MARK LOHR , February 16, 2020 10:50 pm

Yes. And to be sure, China faces all the limits inherent to a totalitarian system. However, unlike Japan, they have remilitarized and have demonstrated expansionist goals – artificial island military outposts, Belt and Road, etc.
Besides stealing/extorting etc our IP.

doug higgins , February 17, 2020 1:00 am

Mark,
Where do you get your information? China has one military base outside its borders. The U.S. has over 800. China does not pour its money into a military budge; the U.S. does.

Try the actual facts, for a change.

likbez , February 17, 2020 9:34 am

To China belongs the future.

I think it is too early to write down the USA. Historically the USA proved to be highly adaptable society (look at the New Deal). And I think that still there is a chance that it might be capable of jumping the sinking ship of neoliberalism. Although I have problems with Sanders's economic program, Sanders's victory might be instrumental for that change.

China adopted neoliberalism, much like the USA. It was just lucky to be on the receiving end of the outflow of the capital from the USA. It has a more competent leadership and avoided the fate of the USSR for which the attempt to the adoption of neoliberalism ( aka Perestroika ) proved to be fatal.

I suspect that the main problem for China is that Neoliberalism, as a social system, is incompatible with the rule of the Communist Party.

Fundamentally what China has now is a variation of the Soviet "New Economic Policy" (NEP) invented by Bolsheviks after the Civil War in Russia, and while providing a rapid economic development, China has all the problems that are known for this policy.

One is the endemic corruption of state officials due to the inability of capital to rise above a certain level of political influence and systematic attempts to buy this influence.

That necessitates periodic campaigns against corruption and purges/jailing of officials, which does not solve the fundamental problem which is systemic.

The other problem is that the Communist Party is such mode degrades into something like amorphous "holding company" staff for the country (managing state tier in the two tie economy -- state capitalism at the top; neoliberalism at the middle and the bottom)

Which necessitates the rule of a strong leader, the Father of the Nation, who is capable to conduct purges and hold the Party together by suppressing the appetite of local Party functionaries using brutal repressions. But the Party functionaries understand that they no longer conduct Marxist policies, and that undermines morale. That they are essentially renegades, and that creates a huge stimulus for "make money fast" behavior and illicit self-enrichment.

Which paradoxically necessitate the hostility with the USA as the mean to cement the Party and suppress the dissent. So not only the USA neocons and MIC are interested in China, China, China (and/or Russia, Russia, Russia) bogeyman.

That also creates for Chinese senior Communist Party leadership an incentive at some point to implement "Stalin-style solution" to the problems with New Economic Policy.

So it looks like Neo-McCarthyism in the USA has a long and prosperous future, as both sides are interested in its continuation 🙂

BTW another example of NEP as a policy was Tito Yugoslavia, which no longer exists.

Yet another example was Gorbachov's "Perestroika," which logically led to the dissolution of the USSR. With the subjective factor of the total incompetence of Gorbachov as a leader -- with some analogies as for this level of incompetence with Trump.

As well as general "simplification," and degeneration of Politburo similar to what we observe with the USA Congress now: the USSR in the 1980th has become a gerontocracy.

But the major factor was that the top KGB officials and several members of Politburo, including Gorbachov, became turncoats and changed sides attempting to change the system to neoliberalism, which was at the time on the assent; Russia always picks the worst possible time for the social change 😉

While neoliberalism is definitely in decline and its ideology is discredited, I still think there are fundamental problems in tis interaction with the Communist Party rule, that might eventually cause the social crisis for China.

But only time will tell

BTW Professor Stephen Cohen books contain very interesting information about NEP, Russia adoption of neoliberalism (and related dissolution of the USSR) and Russia social development in general

[Feb 18, 2020] Automation Armageddon: a Legitimate Worry? reviewed the history of automation, focused on projections of gloom-and-doom by Michael Olenick

Relatively simple automation often beat more complex system. By far.
Notable quotes:
"... My guess is we're heading for something in-between, a place where artisanal bakers use locally grown wheat, made affordable thanks to machine milling. Where small family-owned bakeries rely on automation tech to do the undifferentiated grunt-work. The robots in my future are more likely to look more like cash registers and less like Terminators. ..."
"... I gave a guest lecture to a roomful of young roboticists (largely undergrad, some first year grad engineering students) a decade ago. After discussing the economics/finance of creating and selling a burgerbot, asked about those that would be unemployed by the contraption. One student immediately snorted out, "Not my problem!" Another replied, "But what if they cannot do anything else?". Again, "Not my problem!". And that is San Josie in a nutshell. ..."
"... One counter-argument might be that while hoping for the best it might be prudent to prepare for the worst. Currently, and for a couple of decades, the efficiency gains have been left to the market to allocate. Some might argue that for the common good then the government might need to be more active. ..."
"... "Too much automation is really all about narrowing the choices in your life and making it cheaper instead of enabling a richer lifestyle." Many times the only way to automate the creation of a product is to change it to fit the machine. ..."
"... You've gotta' get out of Paris: great French bread remains awesome. I live here. I've lived here for over half a decade and know many elderly French. The bread, from the right bakeries, remains great. ..."
"... I agree with others here who distinguish between labor saving automation and labor eliminating automation, but I don't think the former per se is the problem as much as the gradual shift toward the mentality and "rightness" of mass production and globalization. ..."
"... I was exposed to that conflict, in a small way, because my father was an investment manager. He told me they were considering investing in a smallish Swiss pasta (IIRC) factory. He was frustrated with the negotiations; the owners just weren't interested in getting a lot bigger – which would be the point of the investment, from the investors' POV. ..."
"... Incidentally, this is a possible approach to a better, more sustainable economy: substitute craft for capital and resources, on as large a scale as possible. More value with less consumption. But how we get there from here is another question. ..."
"... The Ten Commandments do not apply to corporations. ..."
"... But what happens when the bread machine is connected to the internet, can't function without an active internet connection, and requires an annual subscription to use? ..."
"... Until 100 petaflops costs less than a typical human worker total automation isn't going to happen. Developments in AI software can't overcome basic hardware limits. ..."
"... When I started doing robotics, I developed a working definition of a robot as: (a.) Senses its environment; (b.) Has goals and goal-seeking logic; (c.) Has means to affect environment in order to get goal and reality (the environment) to converge. Under that definition, Amazon's Alexa and your household air conditioning and heating system both qualify as "robot". ..."
"... The addition of a computer (with a program, or even downloadable-on-the-fly programs) to a static machine, e.g. today's computer-controlled-manufacturing machines (lathes, milling, welding, plasma cutters, etc.) makes a massive change in utility. It's almost the same physically, but ever so much more flexible, useful, and more profitable to own/operate. ..."
"... And if you add massive databases, internet connectivity, the latest machine-learning, language and image processing and some nefarious intent, then you get into trouble. ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Michael Olenick, a research fellow at INSEAD who writes regularly at Olen on Economics and Innowiki . Originally published at Innowiki

Part I , "Automation Armageddon: a Legitimate Worry?" reviewed the history of automation, focused on projections of gloom-and-doom.

"It smells like death," is how a friend of mine described a nearby chain grocery store. He tends to exaggerate and visiting France admittedly brings about strong feelings of passion. Anyway, the only reason we go there is for things like foil or plastic bags that aren't available at any of the smaller stores.

Before getting to why that matters – and, yes, it does matter – first a tasty digression.

I live in a French village. To the French, high-quality food is a vital component to good life.

My daughter counts eight independent bakeries on the short drive between home and school. Most are owned by a couple of people. Counting high-quality bakeries embedded in grocery stores would add a few more. Going out of our way more than a minute or two would more than double that number.

Typical Bakery: Bread is cooked at least twice daily

Despite so many, the bakeries seem to do well. In the half-decade I've been here, three new ones opened and none of the old ones closed. They all seem to be busy. Bakeries are normally owner operated. The busiest might employ a few people but many are mom-and-pop operations with him baking and her selling. To remain economically viable, they rely on a dance of people and robots. Flour arrives in sacks with high-quality grains milled by machines. People measure ingredients, with each bakery using slightly different recipes. A human-fed robot mixes and kneads the ingredients into the dough. Some kind of machine churns the lumps of dough into baguettes.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/O22jWIjcdaY?feature=oembed


Baguette Forming Machine: This would make a good animated GIF

The baker places the formed baguettes onto baking trays then puts them in the oven. Big ovens maintain a steady temperature while timers keep track of how long various loaves of bread have been baking. Despite the sensors, bakers make the final decision when to pull the loaves out, with some preferring a bien cuit more cooked flavor and others a softer crust. Finally, a person uses a robot in the form of a cash register to ring up transactions and processes payments, either by cash or card.

Nobody -- not the owners, workers, or customers -- think twice about any of this. I doubt most people realize how much automation technology is involved or even that much of the equipment is automation tech. There would be no improvement in quality mixing and kneading the dough by hand. There would, however, be an enormous increase in cost. The baguette forming machines churn out exactly what a person would do by hand, only faster and at a far lower cost. We take the thermostatically controlled ovens for granted. However, for anybody who has tried to cook over wood controlling heat via air and fuel, thermostatically controlled ovens are clearly automation technology.

Is the cash register really a robot? James Ritty, who invented it, didn't think so; he sold the patent for cheap. The person who bought the patent built it into NCR, a seminal company laying the groundwork of the modern computer revolution.

Would these bakeries be financially viable if forced to do all this by hand? Probably not. They'd be forced to produce less output at higher cost; many would likely fail. Bread would cost more leaving less money for other purchases. Fewer jobs, less consumer spending power, and hungry bellies to boot; that doesn't sound like good public policy.

Getting back to the grocery store my friend thinks smells like death; just a few weeks ago they started using robots in a new and, to many, not especially welcome way.

As any tourist knows, most stores in France are closed on Sunday afternoons, including and especially grocery stores. That's part of French labor law: grocery stores must close Sunday afternoons. Except that the chain grocery store near me announced they are opening Sunday afternoon. How? Robots, and sleight-of-hand. Grocers may not work on Sunday afternoons but guards are allowed.

Not my store but similar.

Dimanche means Sunday. Aprés-midi means afternoon.

I stopped in to get a feel for how the system works. Instead of grocers, the store uses security guards and self-checkout kiosks.

When you step inside, a guard reminds you there are no grocers. Nobody restocks the shelves but, presumably for half a day, it doesn't matter. On Sunday afternoons, in place of a bored-looking person wearing a store uniform and overseeing the robo-checkout kiosks sits a bored-looking person wearing a security guard uniform doing the same. There are no human-assisted checkout lanes open but this store seldom has more than one operating anyway.

I have no idea how long the French government will allow this loophole to continue. I thought it might attract yellow vest protestors or at least a cranky store worker – maybe a few locals annoyed at an ancient tradition being buried – but there was nobody complaining. There were hardly any customers, either.

The use of robots to sidestep labor law and replace people, in one of the most labor-friendly countries in the world, produced a big yawn.

Paul Krugman and Matt Stoller argue convincingly that it's the bosses, not the robots, that crush the spirits and souls of workers. Krugman calls it "automation obsession" and Stoller points out predictions of robo-Armageddon have existed for decades. The well over 100+ examples I have of major automation-tech ultimately led to more jobs, not fewer.

Jerry Yang envisions some type of forthcoming automation-induced dystopia. Zuck and the tech-bros argue for a forthcoming Star Trek style robo-utopia.

My guess is we're heading for something in-between, a place where artisanal bakers use locally grown wheat, made affordable thanks to machine milling. Where small family-owned bakeries rely on automation tech to do the undifferentiated grunt-work. The robots in my future are more likely to look more like cash registers and less like Terminators.

It's an admittedly blander vision of the future; neither utopian nor dystopian, at least not one fueled by automation tech. However, it's a vision supported by the historic adoption of automation technology.


The Rev Kev , October 25, 2019 at 10:46 am

I have no real disagreement with a lot of automation. But how it is done is another matter altogether. Using the main example in this article, Australia is probably like a lot of countries with bread in that most of the loaves that you get in a supermarket are typically bland and come in plastic bags but which are cheap. You only really know what you grow up with.

When I first went to Germany I stepped into a Bakerie and it was a revelation. There were dozens of different sorts and types of bread on display with flavours that I had never experienced. I didn't know whether to order a loaf or to go for my camera instead. And that is the point. Too much automation is really all about narrowing the choices in your life and making it cheaper instead of enabling a richer lifestyle.

We are all familiar with crapification and I contend that it is automation that enables this to become a thing.

WobblyTelomeres , October 25, 2019 at 11:08 am

"I contend that it is automation that enables this to become a thing."

As does electricity. And math. Automation doesn't necessarily narrow choices; economies of scale and the profit motive do. What I find annoying (as in pollyannish) is the avoidance of the issue of those that cannot operate the machinery, those that cannot open their own store, etc.

I gave a guest lecture to a roomful of young roboticists (largely undergrad, some first year grad engineering students) a decade ago. After discussing the economics/finance of creating and selling a burgerbot, asked about those that would be unemployed by the contraption. One student immediately snorted out, "Not my problem!" Another replied, "But what if they cannot do anything else?". Again, "Not my problem!". And that is San Josie in a nutshell.

washparkhorn , October 26, 2019 at 3:25 am

A capitalist market that fails to account for the cost of a product's negative externalities is underpricing (and incentivizing more of the same). It's cheating (or sanctioned cheating due to ignorance and corruption). It is not capitalism (unless that is the only reasonable outcome of capitalism).

Tom Pfotzer , October 25, 2019 at 11:33 am

The author's vision of "appropriate tech" local enterprise supported by relatively simple automation is also my answer to the vexing question of "how do I cope with automation?"

In a recent posting here at NC, I said the way to cope with automation of your job(s) is to get good at automation. My remark caused a howl of outrage: "most people can't do automation! Your solution is unrealistic for the masses. Dismissed with prejudice!".

Thank you for that outrage, as it provides a wonder foil for this article. The article shows a small business which learned to re-design business processes, acquire machines that reduce costs. It's a good example of someone that "got good at automation". Instead of being the victim of automation, these people adapted. They bought automation, took control of it, and operated it for their own benefit.

Key point: this entrepreneur is now harvesting the benefits of automation, rather than being systematically marginalized by it. Another noteworthy aspect of this article is that local-scale "appropriate" automation serves to reduce the scale advantages of the big players. The availability of small-scale machines that enable efficiencies comparable to the big guys is a huge problem. Most of the machines made for small-scale operators like this are manufactured in China, or India or Iran or Russia, Italy where industrial consolidation (scale) hasn't squashed the little players yet.

Suppose you're a grain farmer, but only have 50 acres (not 100s or 1000s like the big guys). You need a combine – that's a big machine that cuts grain stalk and separate grain from stalk (threshing). This cut/thresh function is terribly labor intensive, the combine is a must-have. Right now, there is no small-size ($50K or less) combine manufactured in the U.S., to my knowledge. They cost upwards of $200K, and sometimes a great deal more. The 50-acre farmer can't afford $200K (plus maint costs), and therefore can't farm at that scale, and has to sell out.

So, the design, production, and sales of these sort of small-scale, high-productivity machines is what is needed to re-distribute production (organically, not by revolution, thanks) back into the hands of the middle class.

If we make possible for the middle class to capture the benefits of automation, and you solve 1) the social dilemmas of concentration of wealth, 2) the declining std of living of the mid- and lower-class, and 3) have a chance to re-design an economy (business processes and collaborating suppliers to deliver end-user product/service) that actually fixes the planet as we make our living, instead of degrading it at every ka-ching of the cash register.

Point 3 is the most important, and this isn't the time or place to expand on that, but I hope others might consider it a bit.

marcel , October 25, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Regarding the combine, I have seen them operating on small-sized lands for the last 50 years. Without exception, you have one guy (sometimes a farmer, often not) who has this kind of harvester, works 24h a day for a week or something, harvesting for all farmers in the neighborhood, and then moves to the next crop (eg corn). Wintertime is used for maintenance. So that one person/farm/company specializes in these services, and everybody gets along well.

Tom Pfotzer , October 25, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Marcel – great solution to the problem. Choosing the right supplier (using combine service instead of buying a dedicated combine) is a great skill to develop. On the flip side, the fellow that provides that combine service probably makes a decent side-income from it. Choosing the right service to provide is another good skill to develop.

Jesper , October 25, 2019 at 5:59 pm

One counter-argument might be that while hoping for the best it might be prudent to prepare for the worst. Currently, and for a couple of decades, the efficiency gains have been left to the market to allocate. Some might argue that for the common good then the government might need to be more active.

What would happen if efficiency gains continued to be distributed according to the market? According to the relative bargaining power of the market participants where one side, the public good as represented by government, is asking for and therefore getting almost nothing?

As is, I do believe that people who are concerned do have reason to be concerned.

Kent , October 25, 2019 at 11:33 am

"Too much automation is really all about narrowing the choices in your life and making it cheaper instead of enabling a richer lifestyle." Many times the only way to automate the creation of a product is to change it to fit the machine.

Brooklin Bridge , October 25, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Some people make a living saying these sorts of things about automation. The quality of French bread is simply not what it used to be (at least harder to find) though that is a complicated subject having to do with flour and wheat as well as human preparation and many other things and the cost (in terms of purchasing power), in my opinion, has gone up, not down since the 70's.

As some might say, "It's complicated," but automation does (not sure about "has to") come with trade offs in quality while price remains closer to what an ever more sophisticated set of algorithms say can be "gotten away with."

This may be totally different for cars or other things, but the author chose French bread and the only overall improvement, or even non change, in quality there has come, if at all, from the dark art of marketing magicians.

Brooklin Bridge , October 25, 2019 at 12:11 pm

/ from the dark art of marketing magicians, AND people's innate ability to accept/be unaware of decreases in quality/quantity if they are implemented over time in small enough steps.

Michael , October 25, 2019 at 1:47 pm

You've gotta' get out of Paris: great French bread remains awesome. I live here. I've lived here for over half a decade and know many elderly French. The bread, from the right bakeries, remains great. But you're unlikely to find it where tourists might wander: the rent is too high.

As a general rule, if the bakers have a large staff or speak English you're probably in the wrong bakery. Except for one of my favorites where she learned her English watching every episode of Friends multiple times and likes to practice with me, though that's more of a fluke.

Brooklin Bridge , October 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm

It's a difficult subject to argue. I suspect that comparatively speaking, French bread remains good and there are still bakers who make high quality bread (given what they have to work with). My experience when talking to family in France (not Paris) is that indeed, they are in general quite happy with the quality of bread and each seems to know a bakery where they can still get that "je ne sais quoi" that makes it so special.

I, on the other hand, who have only been there once every few years since the 70's, kind of like once every so many frames of the movie, see a lowering of quality in general in France and of flour and bread in particular though I'll grant it's quite gradual.

The French love food and were among the best farmers in the world in the 1930s and have made a point of resisting radical change at any given point in time when it comes to the things they love (wine, cheese, bread, etc.) , so they have a long way to fall, and are doing so slowly; but gradually, it's happening.

I agree with others here who distinguish between labor saving automation and labor eliminating automation, but I don't think the former per se is the problem as much as the gradual shift toward the mentality and "rightness" of mass production and globalization.

Oregoncharles , October 26, 2019 at 12:58 am

I was exposed to that conflict, in a small way, because my father was an investment manager. He told me they were considering investing in a smallish Swiss pasta (IIRC) factory. He was frustrated with the negotiations; the owners just weren't interested in getting a lot bigger – which would be the point of the investment, from the investors' POV.

I thought, but I don't think I said very articulately, that of course, they thought of themselves as craftspeople – making people's food, after all. It was a fundamental culture clash. All that was 50 years ago; looks like the European attitude has been receding.

Incidentally, this is a possible approach to a better, more sustainable economy: substitute craft for capital and resources, on as large a scale as possible. More value with less consumption. But how we get there from here is another question.

Carolinian , October 25, 2019 at 12:42 pm

I have been touring around by car and was surprised to see that all Oregon gas stations are full serve with no self serve allowed (I vaguely remember Oregon Charles talking about this). It applies to every station including the ones with a couple of dozen pumps like we see back east. I have since been told that this system has been in place for years.

It's hard to see how this is more efficient and in fact just the opposite as there are fewer attendants than waiting customers and at a couple of stations the action seemed chaotic. Gas is also more expensive although nothing could be more expensive than California gas (over $5/gal occasionally spotted). It's also unclear how this system was preserved–perhaps out of fire safety concerns–but it seems unlikely that any other state will want to imitate just as those bakeries aren't going to bring back their wood fired ovens.

JohnnyGL , October 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm

I think NJ is still required to do all full-serve gas stations. Most in MA have only self-serve, but there's a few towns that have by-laws requiring full-serve.

Brooklin Bridge , October 25, 2019 at 2:16 pm

I'm not sure just how much I should be jumping up and down about our ability to get more gasoline into our cars quicker. But convenient for sure.

The Observer , October 25, 2019 at 4:33 pm

In the 1980s when self-serve gas started being implemented, NIOSH scientists said oh no, now 'everyone' will be increasingly exposed to benzene while filling up. Benzene is close to various radioactive elements in causing damage and cancer.

Oregoncharles , October 26, 2019 at 1:06 am

It was preserved by a series of referenda; turns out it's a 3rd rail here, like the sales tax. The motive was explicitly to preserve entry-level jobs while allowing drivers to keep the gas off their hands. And we like the more personal quality.

Also, we go to states that allow self-serve and observe that the gas isn't any cheaper. It's mainly the tax that sets the price, and location.

There are several bakeries in this area with wood-fired ovens. They charge a premium, of course. One we love is way out in the country, in Falls City. It's a reason to go there.

shinola , October 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Unless I misunderstood, the author of this article seems to equate mechanization/automation of nearly any type with robotics.

"Is the cash register really a robot? James Ritty, who invented it, didn't think so;" – Nor do I.

To me, "robot" implies a machine with a high degree of autonomy. Would the author consider an old fashioned manual typewriter or adding machine (remember those?) to be robotic? How about when those machines became electrified?

I think the author uses the term "robot" over broadly.

Dan , October 25, 2019 at 1:05 pm

Agree. Those are just electrified extensions of the lever or sand timer. It's the "thinking" that is A.I.

Refuse to allow A.I.to destroy jobs and cheapen our standard of living. Never interact with a robo call, just hang up. Never log into a website when there is a human alternative. Refuse to do business with companies that have no human alternative. Never join a medical "portal" of any kind, demand to talk to medical personnel. Etc.

Sabotage A.I. whenever possible. The Ten Commandments do not apply to corporations.

https://medium.com/@TerranceT/im-never-going-to-stop-stealing-from-the-self-checkout-22cbfff9919b

Sancho Panza , October 25, 2019 at 1:52 pm

During a Chicago hotel stay my wife ordered an extra bath towel from the front desk. About 5 minutes later, a mini version of R2D2 rolled up to her door with towel in tow. It was really cute and interacted with her in a human-like way. Cute but really scary in the way that you indicate in your comment.

It seems many low wage activities would be in immediate risk of replacement. But sabotage? I would never encourage sabotage; in fact, when it comes to true robots like this one, I would highly discourage any of the following: yanking its recharge cord in the middle of the night, zapping it with a car battery, lift its payload and replace with something else, give it a hip high-five to help it calibrate its balance, and of course, the good old kick'm in the bolts.

Sancho Panza , October 26, 2019 at 9:53 am

Here's a clip of that robot, Leo, bringing bottled water and a bath towel to my wife.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXygNznHSs0

Barbara , October 26, 2019 at 11:48 am

Stop and Shop supermarket chain now has robots in the store. According to Stop and Shop they are oh so innocent! and friendly! why don't you just go up and say hello?

All the robots do, they say, go around scanning the shelves looking for: shelf price tags that don't match the current price, merchandise in the wrong place (that cereal box you picked up in the breakfast aisle and decided, in the laundry aisle, that you didn't want and put the box on a shelf with detergent.) All the robots do is notify management of wrong prices and misplaced merchandise.

The damn robot is cute, perky lit up eyes and a smile – so why does it remind me of the Stepford Wives.

S&S is the closest supermarket near me, so I go there when I need something in a hurry, but the bulk of my shopping is now done elsewhere. Thank goodness there are some stores that are not doing this: The area Shoprites and FoodTown's don't – and they are all run by family businesses. Shoprite succeeds by have a large assortment brands in every grocery category and keeping prices really competitive. FoodTown operates at a higher price and quality level with real butcher and seafood counters as well as prepackaged assortments in open cases and a cooked food counter of the most excellent quality with the store's cooks behind the counter to serve you and answer questions. You never have to come home from work tired and hungry and know that you just don't want to cook and settle for a power bar.

Carolinian , October 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm

A robot is a machine -- especially one programmable by a computer -- capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically. Robots can be guided by an external control device or the control may be embedded

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robot

Those early cash registers were perhaps an early form of analog computer. But Wiki reminds that the origin of the term is a work of fiction.

The term comes from a Czech word, robota, meaning "forced labor";the word 'robot' was first used to denote a fictional humanoid in a 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti – Rossum's Universal Robots) by the Czech writer, Karel Čapek

shinola , October 25, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Perhaps I didn't qualify "autonomous" properly. I didn't mean to imply a 'Rosie the Robot' level of autonomy but the ability of a machine to perform its programmed task without human intervention (other than switching on/off or maintenance & adjustments).

If viewed this way, an adding machine or typewriter are not robots because they require constant manual input in order to function – if you don't push the keys, nothing happens. A computer printer might be considered robotic because it can be programmed to function somewhat autonomously (as in print 'x' number of copies of this document).

"Robotics" is a subset of mechanized/automated functions.

Stephen Gardner , October 25, 2019 at 4:48 pm

When I first got out of grad school I worked at United Technologies Research Center where I worked in the robotics lab. In general, at least in those days, we made a distinction between robotics and hard automation. A robot is programmable to do multiple tasks and hard automation is limited to a single task unless retooled. The machines the author is talking about are hard automation. We had ASEA robots that could be programmed to do various things. One of ours drilled, riveted and sealed the skin on the horizontal stabilators (the wing on the tail of a helicopter that controls pitch) of a Sikorsky Sea Hawk.

The same robot with just a change of the fixture on the end could be programmed to paint a car or weld a seam on equipment. The drilling and riveting robot was capable of modifying where the rivets were placed (in the robot's frame of reference) based on the location of precisely milled blocks build into the fixture that held the stabilator.

There was always some variation and it was important to precisely place the rivets because the spars were very narrow (weight at the tail is bad because of the lever arm). It was considered state of the art back in the day but now auto companies have far more sophisticated robotics.

Socal Rhino , October 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm

But what happens when the bread machine is connected to the internet, can't function without an active internet connection, and requires an annual subscription to use?

That is the issue to me: however we define the tools, who will own them?

The Rev Kev , October 25, 2019 at 6:53 pm

You know, that is quite a good point that. It is not so much the automation that is the threat as the rent-seeking that anything connected to the internet allows to be implemented.

*_* , October 25, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Until 100 petaflops costs less than a typical human worker total automation isn't going to happen. Developments in AI software can't overcome basic hardware limits.

breadbaker , October 25, 2019 at 2:29 pm

The story about automation not worsening the quality of bread is not exactly true. Bakers had to develop and incorporate a new method called autolyze ( https://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2017/09/29/using-the-autolyse-method ) in the mid-20th-century to bring back some of the flavor lost with modern baking. There is also a trend of a new generation of bakeries that use natural yeast, hand shaping and kneading to get better flavors and quality bread.

But it is certainly true that much of the automation gives almost as good quality for much lower labor costs.

Tom Pfotzer , October 25, 2019 at 3:05 pm

On the subject of the machine-robot continuum

When I started doing robotics, I developed a working definition of a robot as: (a.) Senses its environment; (b.) Has goals and goal-seeking logic; (c.) Has means to affect environment in order to get goal and reality (the environment) to converge. Under that definition, Amazon's Alexa and your household air conditioning and heating system both qualify as "robot".

How you implement a, b, and c above can have more or less sophistication, depending upon the complexity, variability, etc. of the environment, or the solutions, or the means used to affect the environment.

A machine, like a typewriter, or a lawn-mower engine has the logic expressed in metal; it's static.

The addition of a computer (with a program, or even downloadable-on-the-fly programs) to a static machine, e.g. today's computer-controlled-manufacturing machines (lathes, milling, welding, plasma cutters, etc.) makes a massive change in utility. It's almost the same physically, but ever so much more flexible, useful, and more profitable to own/operate.

And if you add massive databases, internet connectivity, the latest machine-learning, language and image processing and some nefarious intent, then you get into trouble.

:)

Phacops , October 25, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Sometimes automation is necessary to eliminate the risks of manual processes. There are parenteral (injectable) drugs that cannot be sterilized except by filtration. Most of the work of filling, post filling processing, and sealing is done using automation in areas that make surgical suites seem filthy and people are kept from these operations.

Manual operations are only undertaken to correct issues with the automation and the procedures are tested to ensure that they do not introduce contamination, microbial or otherwise. Because even one non-sterile unit is a failure and testing is destructive process, of course any full lot of product cannot be tested to state that all units are sterile. Periodic testing of the automated process and manual intervention is done periodically and it is expensive and time consuming to test to a level of confidence that there is far less than a one in a million chance of any unit in a lot being non sterile.

In that respect, automation and the skills necessary to interface with it are fundamental to the safety of drugs frequently used on already compromised patients.

Brooklin Bridge , October 25, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Agree. Good example. Digital technology and miniaturization seem particularly well suited to many aspect of the medical world. But doubt they will eliminate the doctor or the nurse very soon. Insurance companies on the other hand

lyman alpha blob , October 25, 2019 at 8:34 pm

Bill Burr has some thoughts on self checkouts and the potential bonanza for shoppers – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxINJzqzn4w

TG , October 26, 2019 at 11:51 am

"There would be no improvement in quality mixing and kneading the dough by hand. There would, however, be an enormous increase in cost." WRONG! If you had an unlimited supply of 50-cents-an-hour disposable labor, mixing and kneading the dough by hand would be cheaper. It is only because labor is expensive in France that the machine saves money.

In Japan there is a lot of automation, and wages and living standards are high. In Bangladesh there is very little automation, and wages and livings standards are very low.

Are we done with the 'automation is destroying jobs' meme yet? Excessive population growth is the problem, not robots. And the root cause of excessive population growth is the corporate-sponsored virtual taboo of talking about it seriously.

[Feb 16, 2020] Imperialism and Liberation in the Middle East Feb 14, 2020 Written by P l Steigan, translated by Terje Maloy

Notable quotes:
"... Imperialism – the highest stage of capitalism ..."
"... Without the natives' consent and without the neighbouring countries approval, Moroccans, Somalis, and later Afghans and Syrians, found home in the EU thanks to madame Merkel. ..."
"... How ligitimate is that? ..."
Feb 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

At the moment, the United States has great difficulty in retaining its hegemony in the Middle East. Its troops have been declared unwanted in Iraq; and in Syria, the US and their foreign legion of terrorists lose terrain and positions every month. The US has responded to this with a significant escalation, by deploying more troops and by constant threats against Iran. At the same time, we have seen strong protest movements in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.

When millions of Iraqi took to the streets recently, their main slogan was "THE UNITED STATES OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST!"

How should one analyze this?

Obviously, there are a lot of social tensions in the Middle East – class based, ethnic, religious and cultural. The region is a patchwork of conflicts and tensions that not only goes back hundreds of years, but even a few thousand.

There are always many reasons to rebel against a corrupt upper class, anywhere in the world. But no rebellion can succeed if it is not based on a realistic and thorough analysis of the specific conditions in the individual country and region.

Just as in Africa, the borders in the Middle East are arbitrarily drawn. They are the product of the manipulations of imperialist powers, and only to a lesser extent products of what the peoples themselves have wanted.

During the era of decolonization, there was a strong, secular pan-Arab movement that wanted to create a unified Arab world. This movement was influenced by the nationalist and socialist ideas that had strong popular support at the time.

King Abdallah I of Jordan envisaged a kingdom that would consist of Jordan, Palestine and Syria. Egypt and Syria briefly established a union called the United Arab Republic . Gaddafi wanted to unite Libya, Syria and Egypt in a federation of Arab republics .

In 1958, a quickly dissolved confederation was established between Jordan and Iraq, called the Arab Federation . All these efforts were transient. What remains is the Arab League, which is, after all, not a state federation and not an alliance. And then of course we have the demand for a Kurdish state, or something similar consisting of one or more Kurdish mini-states.

Still, the most divisive product of the First World War was the establishment of the state of Israel on Palestinian soil. During the First World War, Britain's Foreign Minister Arthur Balfour issued what became known as the Balfour Declaration , which " view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

But what is the basis for all these attempts at creating states? What are the prerequisites for success or failure?

The imperialist powers divide the world according to the power relations between them

Lenin gave the best and most durable explanation for this, in his essay Imperialism – the highest stage of capitalism . There, he explained five basic features of the era of imperialism:

The concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; The merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this "finance capital", of a financial oligarchy; The export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; The formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves; The territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.

But Lenin also pointed out that capitalist countries are developing unevenly, not least because of the uneven development of productive forces in the various capitalist countries.

After a while, there arises a discrepancy between how the world is divided and the relative strength of the imperialist powers. This disparity will eventually force through a redistribution, a new division of the world based on the new relationship of strength. And, as Lenin states :

The question is: what means other than war could there be under capitalism to overcome the disparity between the development of productive forces and the accumulation of capital on the one side, and the division of colonies and spheres of influence for finance capital on the other?"

The two world wars were wars that arose because of unevenness in the power relationships between the imperialist powers. The British Empire was past its heyday and British capitalism lagged behind in the competition. The United States and Germany were the great powers that had the largest industrial and technological growth, and eventually this misalignment exploded. Not once, but twice.

Versailles and Yalta

The victors of the First World War divided the world between themselves at the expense of the losers. The main losers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia (the Soviet Union) and the Ottoman Empire. This division was drawn up in the Versailles treaty and the following minor treaties.

Europe after the Versailles Treaties (Wikipedia)

This map shows how the Ottoman Empire was partitioned:

At the end of World War II, the victorious superpowers met in the city of Yalta on the Crimean peninsula in the Soviet Union. Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin made an agreement on how Europe should be divided following Germany's imminent defeat. This map shows how it was envisaged and the two blocs that emerged and became the foundation for the Cold War.

Note that Yugoslavia, created after Versailles in 1919, was maintained and consolidated as "a country between the blocs". So it is a country that carries in itself the heritage of both the Versailles- and Yalta agreements.

The fateful change of era when the Soviet Union fell

In the era of imperialism, there has always been a struggle between various great powers. The battle has been about markets, access to cheap labor, raw materials, energy, transport routes and military control. And the imperialist countries divide the world between themselves according to their strength. But the imperialist powers are developing unevenly.

If a power collapses or loses control over some areas, rivals will compete to fill the void. Imperialism follows the principle that Aristotle in his Physics called horror vacui – the fear of empty space.

And that was what happened when the Soviet Union lost the Cold War. In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and soon the Eastern bloc was also history. And thus the balance was broken, the one that had maintained the old order. And now a huge area was available for re-division. The weakened Russia barely managed to preserve its own territory, and not at all the area that just before was controlled by the Soviet Union.

Never has a so large area been open for redivision. It was the result of two horrible world wars that anew was up for grabs. It could not but lead to war." Pål Steigan, 1999

"Never has a so large area been open for re-division. It was the result of two horrible world wars that anew was up for grabs. It could not but lead to war." Map: Countries either part of the Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc or non-aligned (Yugoslavia)

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, both the Yalta and Versailles agreements in reality collapsed, and opened up the way for a fierce race to control this geopolitical empty space.

This laid the foundation for the American Geostrategy for Eurasia , which concentrated on securing control over the vast Eurasian continent. It is this struggle for redistribution in favor of the United States that has been the basis for most wars since 1990: Somalia, the Iraq wars, the Balkan wars, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria.

The United States has been aggressively spearheading this, and the process to expand NATO eastward and create regime changes in the form of so-called "color revolutions" has been part of this struggle. The coup in Kiev, the transformation of Ukraine into an American colony with Nazi elements, and the war in Donbass are also part of this picture. This war will not stop until Russia is conquered and dismembered, or Russia has put an end to the US offensive.

So, to recapitulate: Because the world is already divided between imperialist powers and there are no new colonies to conquer, the great powers can only fight for redistribution. What creates the basis and possibilities for a new division is the uneven development of capitalism. The forces that are developing faster economically and technologically will demand bigger markets, more raw materials, more strategic control.

The results of two terrible wars are again up for grabs

World War I caused perhaps 20 million deaths , as well as at least as many wounded. World War II caused around 72 million deaths . These are approximate numbers, and there is still controversy around the exact figures, but we are talking about this order of magnitude.

The two world wars that ended with the Versailles and Yalta treaties thus caused just below 100 million dead, as well as an incredible number of other suffering and losses.

Since 1991, a low-intensity "world war" has been fought, especially by the US, to conquer "the void". Donald Trump recently stated that the United States have waged wars based on lies, which have cost $ 8 trillion ($ 8,000 billion) and millions of people's lives. So the United States' new distribution of the spoils has not happened peacefully.

"The Rebellion against Sykes-Picot"

In the debate around the situation in the Middle East, certain people that would like to appear leftist, radical and anti-imperialist say that it is time to rebel against the artificial boundaries drawn by the Sykes-Picot and Versailles treaties. And certainly these borders are artificial and imperialist. But how leftist and anti-imperialist is it to fight for these boundaries to be revised now?

In reality, it is the United States and Israel that are fighting for a redistribution of the Middle East. This is the basis underlying Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century", which aims to bury Palestine forever, and it is stated outright in the new US strategy for partitioning Iraq.

Again, this is just an updated version of the Zionist Yinon plan that aimed to cantonize the entire Middle East, with the aim that Israel should have no real opponents and would be able to dominate the entire region and possibly create a Greater Israel.

It is not the anti-imperialists that are leading the way to overhaul the imperialist borders from 1919. It is the imperialists. To achieve this, they can often exploit movements that are initially popular or national, but which then only become tools and proxies in a greater game.

This has happened so many times in history that it can hardly be counted.

Hitler's Germany exploited Croatian nationalism by using the Ustaša gangs as proxies. From 1929 to 1945, they killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma people. And their ideological and political descendants carried out an extremely brutal ethnic cleansing of the Krajina area and forced out more than 200,000 Serbs in their so-called Operation Storm in 1995.

Hitler also used the extreme Ukrainian nationalists of Stepan Bandera's OUN, and after Bandera's death, the CIA continued to use them as a fifth column against the Soviet Union.

The US low-intensity war against Iraq, from the Gulf War in 1991 to the Iraq War in 2003, helped divide the country into enclaves. Iraqi Kurdistan achieved autonomy in the oil-rich north with the help of a US "no-fly zone". The United States thus created a quasi-state that was their tool in Iraq.

Undoubtedly, the Kurds in Iraq had been oppressed under Saddam Hussein. But also undoubtedly, their Iraqi "Kurdistan" became a client state under the thumb of United States. And there is also no doubt that the no-fly zones were illegal, as UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali admitted in a conversation with John Pilger .

And now the United States is still using the Kurds in Northern Iraq in its plan to divide Iraq into three parts. To that end, they are building the world's largest consulate in Erbil. What they are planning to do, is simply "creating a country".

As is well known, the United States also uses the Kurds in Syria as a pretext to keep 27 percent of the country occupied. It does not help how much the Kurdish militias SDF and PYD invoke democracy, feminism and communalism; they have ended up pleading for the United States to maintain the occupation of Northeast Syria.

Preparations for a New World War

Israel and the US are preparing for war against Iran. In this fight, they will develop as much "progressive" rhetoric as is required to fool people. Real dissatisfaction in the area, which there is every reason to have, will be magnified and blown out of all proportion. "Social movements" will be equipped with the latest news in the Israeli and US "riot kits" and receive training and logistics support, in addition to plenty of cold hard cash.

There may be good reasons to revise the 1919 borders, but in today's situation, such a move will quickly trigger a major war. Some say that the Kurds are entitled to their own state, and maybe so. The question is ultimately decided by everyone else, except the Kurds themselves.

The problem is that in today's geopolitical situation, creating a unified Kurdistan will require that "one" defeats Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. It's hard to see how that can happen without their allies, not least Russia and China, being drawn into the conflict.

And then we have a new world war on our hands. And in that case, we are not talking about 100 million killed, but maybe ten times as much, or the collapse of civilization as we know it. The Kurdish question is not worth that much.

This does not mean that one should not fight against oppression and injustice, be it social and national. One certainly should. But you have to realize that revising the map of the Middle East is a very dangerous plan and that you run the risk of ending up in very dangerous company. The alternative to this is to support a political struggle that undermines the hegemony of the United States and Israel and thereby creates better conditions for future struggles.

It is nothing new that small nations rely on geopolitical situations to achieve some form of national independence. This was the case, for example, for my home country Norway. It was France's defeat in the Napoleonic War that caused Denmark to lose the province of Norway to Sweden in 1814, but at the same time it created space for a separate Norwegian constitution and internal self rule.

All honor to the Norwegian founding fathers of 1814, but this was decided on the battlefields in Europe. And again, it was Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War that laid the geopolitical foundation for the dissolution of the forced union with Sweden almost a hundred years later, in 1905. (This is very schematically presented and there are many more details, but there is no doubt that Russia's loss of most of its fleet in the Far East had created a power vacuum in the west, which was exploitable.)

Therefore, the best thing to do now is not to support the fragmentation of states, but to support a united front to drive the United States out of the Middle East. The Million Man March in Baghdad got the ball rolling. There is every reason to build up even more strength behind it. Only when the United States is out, will the peoples and countries in the region be able to arrive at peaceful agreements between themselves, which will enable a better future to be developed.

And in this context, it is an advantage that China develops the "Silk Road" (aka Belt and Road Initiative), not because China is any nobler than other major powers, but because this project, at least in the current situation, is non-sectarian, non-exclusive and genuinely multilateral. The alternative to a monopolistic rule by the United States, with a world police under Washington's control, is a multipolar world. It grows as we speak.

The days of the Empire are numbered. What this will look like in 20 or 50 years, remains to be seen.

This article is Creative Commons 4.0. Pål Steigan is a Norwegian veteran journalist and activist, presently editor of the independent news site Steigan.no . Translated by Terje Maloy. Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest WhatsApp vKontakte Email Filed under: 20th Century , historical perspectives , latest Tagged with: Croatia , Egypt , historical perspectives , imperialism , Israel , Jordan , Lenin , Middle East , Pal Steigan , Palestine , russia , Saudi Arabia , Stepan Bandera , Terje Maloy , ukraine , WWII can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

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George Mc ,

Off topic – but there's nowhere else to put this at the moment:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/16/fran-unsworth-bbc-election-coverge-licence-fee

The BBC was taken aback by leftwing attacks on its general election coverage

No idea what they are talking about. They patiently explained that Corbyn was Hitler. What more could they do?

Dungroanin ,

Ok roll up the sleeves, time to concentrate. I've had enough of being baited as a judae- phobe.

The 'Balfour Declaration' – he didn't write it and it was a contract published in the newspapers within hours of it being inveigled.

Ready?

'Balfour and Lloyd George would have been happy with an unvarnished endorsement of Zionism. The text that the foreign secretary agreed in August was largely written by Weizmann and his colleagues:

"His Majesty's Government accept the principle that Palestine should be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object and will be ready to consider any suggestions on the subject which the Zionist Organisation may desire to lay before them."

Got that – AUGUST?

Dungroanin ,


The leading figure in that drama was a charismatic chemistry professor from Manchester, Chaim Weizmann – with his domed head, goatee beard and fierce intellect. Weizmann had gained an entrée into political circles thanks to CP Scott, the illustrious editor of the Manchester Guardian, and had then sold his Zionist project to government leaders, including David Lloyd George when he was chancellor of the exchequer.

Dungroanin ,

Author(s)
Walter Rothschild, Arthur Balfour, Leo Amery, Lord Milner

Signatories
Arthur James Balfour

Recipient
Walter Rothschild

Dungroanin ,

'In due course the blunt phrase about Palestine being "reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people" was toned down into "the establishment of a home for the Jewish people in Palestine" – a more ambiguous formulation which sidestepped for the moment the idea of a Jewish state. '

Dungroanin ,

'Edwin Montagu, newly appointed as secretary of state for India, was only the third practising Jew to hold cabinet office. Whereas his cousin, Herbert Samuel (who in 1920 would become the first high commissioner of Palestine) was a keen supporter of Zionism, Montagu was an "assimilationist" – one who believed that being Jewish was a matter of religion not ethnicity. His position was summed up in the cabinet minutes:

Mr Montagu urged strong objections to any declaration in which it was stated that Palestine was the "national home" of the Jewish people. He regarded the Jews as a religious community and himself as a Jewish Englishman '

Dungroanin ,

'Montagu considered the proposed Declaration a blatantly anti-Semitic document and claimed that "most English-born Jews were opposed to Zionism", which he said was being pushed mainly by "foreign-born Jews" such as Weizmann, who was born in what is now Belarus.'

Dungroanin ,

The other critic of the proposed Declaration was Lord Curzon, a former viceroy of India, who therefore viewed Palestine within the geopolitics of Asia. A grandee who traced his lineage back to the Norman Conquest, Curzon loftily informed colleagues that the Promised Land was not exactly flowing with milk and honey, but nor was it an empty, uninhabited space.

According to the cabinet minutes, "Lord Curzon urged strong objections upon practical grounds. He stated, from his recollection of Palestine, that the country was, for the most part, barren and desolate a less propitious seat for the future Jewish race could not be imagined."

And, he asked, "how was it proposed to get rid of the existing majority of Mussulman [Muslim] inhabitants and to introduce the Jews in their place?"

Dungroanin ,

Sorry for the length of this bit – but it only makes sense in the whole:

'Between them, Curzon and Montagu had temporarily slowed the Zionist bandwagon. Lord Milner, another member of the war cabinet, hastily added two conditions to the proposed draft, in order to address the two men's respective concerns. The vague phrase about the rights of the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" hints at how little the government knew or cared about those who constituted roughly 90 per cent of the population of what they, too, regarded as their homeland.

After trying out the new version on a few eminent Jews, both of Zionist and accommodationist persuasions, and also securing a firm endorsement from America's President Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George and Balfour took the issue back to the war cabinet on 31 October. By now the strident Montagu had left for India, and on this occasion Balfour, who could often be moody and detached, led from the front, brushing aside the objections that had been raised and reasserting the propaganda imperative. According to the cabinet minutes, he stated firmly: "The vast majority of Jews in Russia and America, as, indeed, all over the world, now appeared to be favourable to Zionism. If we could make a declaration favourable to such an ideal, we should be able to carry on extremely useful propaganda both in Russia and America."

This was standard cabinet tactics: a strong lead from a minister supported by the PM, daring his colleagues to argue back. And this time Curzon did not, though he did make another telling comment. He "attached great importance to the necessity of retaining the Christian and Moslem Holy Places in Jerusalem and Bethlehem". If this were done, Curzon added, he "did not see how the Jewish people could have a political capital in Palestine".'

Dungroanin ,

Dates again crucial and the smoking gun:

'securing a firm endorsement from America's President Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George and Balfour took the issue back to the war cabinet on 31 October.'

Dungroanin ,

The two conditions had bought off the two main critics. That was all that seemed to matter, even though the reference to the "rights of the existing non-Jewish communities" stood in potential conflict with the first two clauses about the British supporting and using their "best endeavours" for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".

Dungroanin ,

There is MORE but I'll pause and see how many are really interested in FACTS, as opposed to invented History, Economics and Capital instead of the only real human motivations of the ages – Money and Power.

George Mc ,

the only real human motivations of the ages – Money and Power.

If this is true then we are all doomed.

Dungroanin ,

Not if we are aware of it George.

Dungroanin ,

Ok a summary fom Brittanica:

'Balfour Declaration Quick Facts

The Balfour Declaration, issued through the continued efforts of Chaim Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow, Zionist leaders in London, fell short of the expectations of the Zionists, who had asked for the reconstitution of Palestine as "the" Jewish national home. The declaration specifically stipulated that "nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." The document, however, said nothing of the political or national rights of these communities and did not refer to them by name. Nevertheless, the declaration aroused enthusiastic hopes among Zionists and seemed the fulfillment of the aims of the World Zionist Organization (see Zionism).

The British government hoped that the declaration would rally Jewish opinion, especially in the United States, to the side of the Allied powers against the Central Powers during World War I (1914–18). They hoped also that the settlement in Palestine of a pro-British Jewish population might help to protect the approaches to the Suez Canal in neighbouring Egypt and thus ensure a vital communication route to British colonial possessions in India.

The Balfour Declaration was endorsed by the principal Allied powers and was included in the British mandate over Palestine, formally approved by the newly created League of Nations on July 24, 1922.

In May 1939 the British government altered its policy in a White Paper recommending a limit of 75,000 further immigrants and an end to immigration by 1944, unless the resident Palestinian Arabs of the region consented to further immigration.

Zionists condemned the new policy, accusing Britain of favouring the Arabs. This point was made moot by the outbreak of World War II (1939–45) and the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.'

Dungroanin ,

But what about the timing?

Well there are twin tracks, here is the first.

'But talking about the return of the Jews to the land of Israel was only meaningful because that land seemed up for grabs after the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany in 1914. For Britain, France and Russia – though primarily focused on Europe – war against a declining power long dubbed the "Sick Man of Europe" opened up the prospect of vast gains in the Levant and the Middle East.

The Ottoman army, however, proved no walkover. In 1915 it threatened the Suez Canal, Britain's imperial artery to India, and then repulsed landings by British empire and French forces on the Dardanelles at Gallipoli. Although Baghdad fell in March 1917, two British assaults on Gaza that spring were humiliatingly driven back, with heavy losses. Deadlock in the desert added to Whitehall's list of woes.

In this prescribed narrative of remembrance for 1914-18, what happened outside the Western Front has been almost entirely obscured. The British army's "Historical Lessons, Warfare Branch" has published in-house a fascinating volume of essays about what it tellingly entitles "The Forgotten Fronts of the First World War" – with superb maps and illustrations. The collection covers not only Palestine and Mesopotamia (roughly modern-day Iraq and Kuwait), but also Italy, Africa, Russia, Turkey and the Pacific – indeed much of the world – but sadly it is not currently available to the public. '

Dungroanin ,

The second track is the 'money' track and what everything is about and why we live in such a miasma of blatant lies.

IT can only make sense by asking questions such as :

Can we follow the money?

When was the Fed set up? Why? By whom?
How much money did it lend &
to whom?

When was the first world war started?

When did US declare war?

When did US troops arrive in numbers to enter that war?

What happened in Russia at the same time?

And in Mesopotamia?

How did it end?

How did it fail to end?

What happened to the contract?

Etc.

I have attempted to research and answer some of these already above.

Next I will attempt to walk the other track but be warned that opens more ancient tracks.

Dungroanin ,

'On 2 November, Balfour sent his letter to Lord Rothschild.

7 November, Lenin and the Bolsheviks had seized power in Petrograd. ransacked the Tsarist archives, they published juicy extracts from the "secret treaties" that the Allied powers had made among themselves in 1915-16 to divide the spoils of victory.
The same day the Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies evacuated the town of Gaza

9 November Letter published in Times.

Mid November – The Bolsheviks did not discover that the British were also playing footsie with the Turks. In the middle of November 1917, secret meetings took place with Ottoman dissidents in Greece and Switzerland about trying to arrange an armistice in the Near East. The war cabinet recognised that, as bait, it might have to let the Ottomans keep parts of their empire in the region, or at least retain some appearance of control. When Curzon got wind of this, he was incensed: "Almost in the same week that we have pledged ourselves, if successful, to secure Palestine as a national home for the Jewish people, are we to contemplate leaving the Turkish flag flying over Jerusalem?"

End November. The Manchester Guardian's correspondent in Petrograd, Morgan Philips Price, was able to examine the key documents overnight, and his scoop was published by the paper at the end of November. It revealed to the world, among other things, that the British also had an understanding with the French – the Sykes-Picot agreement of January 1916 – to carve up the Near East between them once the Ottoman empire had been defeated. In this, Palestine was slated for some kind of international condominium – not the British protectorate envisaged in the Balfour Declaration.

11 December Allenby formally entered Jerusalem. '

So just a few loose ends left to tie up anyone actually want to go there?

George Mc ,

No.

Dungroanin ,

🤣

Dungroanin ,

Ok on the back stretch:

https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/feds_formative_years

The paramount goal of the Fed's founders was to eliminate banking panics, but it was not the only goal. The founders also sought to increase the amount of international trade financed by US banks and to expand the use of the dollar internationally. By 1913 the United States had the world's largest economy, but only a small fraction of US exports and imports were financed by American banks. Instead, most exports and imports were financed by bankers' acceptances drawn on European banks in foreign currencies. (Bankers' acceptances are a type of financial contract used for making payments in the future, for example, upon delivery of goods or services. Bankers' acceptances are drawn on and guaranteed, i.e., "accepted," by a bank.) The Federal Reserve Act allowed national banks to issue bankers' acceptances and open foreign branches, which greatly expanded their ability to finance international transactions Further the Act authorized the Reserve Banks to purchase acceptances in the open market to ensure a liquid market for them, thereby spurring growth of that market.

President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913.

The task of determining the specific number of districts, district boundaries, and which cities would have Reserve Banks was assigned to a Reserve Bank Organization Committee.

On April 2, 1914, the Committee announced that twelve Federal Reserve districts would be formed, identified the boundaries of those districts, and named the cities that would have Reserve Banks.1 The Banks were quickly organized, officers and staff were hired, and boards of directors appointed. The Banks opened for business on November 16, 1914.
..

The Federal Reserve Act addressed perceived shortcomings by creating a new national currency -- Federal Reserve notes -- and requiring members of the Federal Reserve System to hold reserve balances with their local Federal Reserve Banks.

World War I began in Europe in August 1914, before the Federal Reserve Banks had opened for business. The war had a profound impact on the US banking system and economy, as well as on the Federal Reserve.

War disrupted European financial markets and reduced the supply of trade credit offered by European banks, providing US banks with an opening. Low US interest rates, abundant reserves, and new authority to issue trade acceptances enabled American banks to finance a growing share of world trade.

Dungroanin ,

So the denouement :

It appears that the 'first world war' was designed to diminish European banks and boost the US banks.

However the fuller history of the US bankers is worth knowing- the Jekyll Islanders story is widely publicised.

Into this time track enters the Balfour Declaration addressed to Lord Rothschild, steered by Milner (heir to Rhodes empire building and the old EIC), approved by the potus Wilson (another hireling) that finally sent US troops to overwhelm the Germans, while the great gamers took out the Romanovs and the Ottoman Empire.
-- --

When we try to understand such facts and timelines and are attacked as Judaeo-phobes, because we identify Bankers and Robber Barons, it becomes even clearer how deep and wide they have controlled history and it has NOTHING to do with RELIGION (except perhaps Ludism). Nothing to do with Judaism (except perhaps Old Jewry in the City, but Lombard Street was most powerful!) and EVERYTHING to do with POWER and it's representation MONEY. The obscuring of that through various Economic theories including Marxism is the work of the same old bastards who are responsible for all our current malaises.

Thankyou and good evening, if anyone made it this far!

😉

George Mc ,

Well OK Dunnie, let's say I go along with you and assume that all the shit we are facing has nothing to do with religion or all that "Marxian porridge" (as Guido Giacomo Preparata called it). The question is: What do we do about it?

Speaking of GGP , it seems to me that you and him have much in common. He also goes on about "Power" but seems to be on the verge of referring this "Power" to mystical entities in a disconcertingly Ickean manoeuvre. Not that I'm attibuting such a thing to yourself. (No irony intended.)

Dungroanin ,

George – i don't want you or anyone to just go along with me.

I want everyone to make their minds up on FACTS. That is the only way humanity has actually progressed by inventing the only self correcting philosophical system and method of the ages that goes beyond 'personal responsibility teligions' – SCIENTIFIC METHOD – that takes away arbitrary power to rule, from these that inhabit the top of the human pyramid by virtue of being born there and having control over the money and so the power to remain in these positions, which does not benefit the totality of humanity or all life on Earth.

I am not a messiah, I am angry as fuck and I am not going to sit around enjoying whatever soma has been handed to us to keep compliant and leave this Planet worse than I found it. That is the scientific conclusion I have reached.

I suppose some proto buddhist / zoroastrianism / animalist / Shinto / Jain & Quakers seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality.

I suppose Ghandi's non-violence rebellion against Imperialists is a model as are various peasants revolts – the Russian / Chinese / Korean / Vietnamese couldn't have survived without the literal grassroots!
..

As for Guido Giacomo Preparata that you have introduced to me – i had nevet heard of him before this morning – my first take on him is that he seems to have arrived at similar conclusions by similar methodology. He seems to have a lot of formal education and a enviable career so far – i'll have to look into him further but the interview that i just read seems to indicate concurrence with what i said above. I see no Ickean references – please give a link.

-- -

As a observation do you not find it funny that there is not a single objection to the verity of the facts which I have presented above?

Good luck George if you are a real seeker of truth. If not insta-karma awaits.

George Mc ,

The Preparata statement I was referring to is in this interview:

https://www.larsschall.com/2012/06/10/the-business-as-usual-behind-the-slaughter/

The statement itself is this:

Power is a purely human suggestion. Suggested by whom? That is the question. The NSDAP thus appeared to have been a front for some kind of nebula of Austro-German magi, dark initiates, and troubling literati (Dietrich Eckhart comes to mind), with very plausible extra-Teutonic ramifications of which we know next to nothing. Hitler came to be inducted in a lodge of this network, endowed as he seemed with a supernatural gift of inflaming oratory.

This is a theme that I am still studying, but from what I gathered, the adepts of the Thule Gesellschaft communed around the belief of being the blood heirs of a breed that seeks redemption / salvation / metempsychosis in some kind of eighth realm away from this earth, which is the shoddy creation of a lesser God -- the archangel of the Hebrews, Jehovah. It all sounds positively insane to post-modern ears, but it should be taken very seriously, I think.

Admittedly it isn't quite interdimensional reptiles but there is a distinct metaphysical flavour there.

I wouldn't go along with everything Preparata says but he is a wonderful writer and I have bought almost everything I can find by him. His "biggie" is "Conjuring Hitler". It was Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed that brought GGP to my attention via that book.

milosevic ,

images on this website look terrible, with very little colour. the problem seems to be caused by this rule, from the file "OffGstyle.css":

.content-wrap-spp img {

filter: sepia(20%) saturate(30%);

}

Open ,

This sepia effect usually works well with Off-Guardian articles, but with these maps in today's article it is definitely terrible. Why have maps if they don't want to show them clearly?
(any extra steps for the user to see the pictures clearly is not the answer)

Another area neglected on this website is crediting photos. The majority of images carry no atribution/credit, despite it [crediting photos] is the best ethical practice even for public domain pictures. I wish Admin gets expert advice on this.

Open ,

Look at the language used by the americans:

On feb. 12 [2020], Coalition forces, conducting a patrol near Qamishli, Syria , encountered a checkpoint occupied by pro-Syrian .. forces .

So, the supremacist unites states' army has found that Syrian forces are occupying Syrian land .. wow wow wow .. according to this logic, Russian forces are occupying Russian land. Iranian forces are occupying Iranian land (how dare they?!). But american forces are not occupying any land, and Israel is not occupying Palestinian and Syrian lands.

This language needs to be known more widely.

Open ,

The americans always use the term 'Coalition forces' when they talk about their illegal presence in Syria. I tried to search online for what countries are in this coalition. I recall I was able to find that in the past, but now, it seems this information is being pushed under wrap.

What are they afraid of? What are they hiding?

Joe ,

Just bring about the end of "Israel" and there'll be peace in the Middle East, and probably in the wider world, too.

Open ,

Ending the Israeli project is certainly a step in the right direction to improve global stability. However, alone, it will not bring about peace because the British/Five-Eyes/Washington's doctrine of spreading disorder and chaos permeates (saturates) the planet.

In fact, current disorders are the results of convergence of Israeli interests with those of Western White Supremacy's* resolve to dominate, erh, eveything.

* Western White Supremacy can also be called Western White Idiocy and Bigotry.

Israel manipulates the West's political and military might. The West also uses Israel to spread Chaos and Disorder.

Antonym ,

Right, back to the good old peace of the graveyard inspired by Mohamed's male sex riot ideology and plunder legitimization before the Westerners showed up with their superior (arms) tech legitimization for their plunder.
Before Israel's 1947 creation the world was a bed of roses .

Open ,

"srael's 1947 creation"

Without the natives' consent and without the neighbouring countries approval, Ukranians and Germans, and later South Americans, found home in the Middle East.

How ligitimate is that?

Antonym ,

Without the natives' consent and without the neighbouring countries approval, Moroccans, Somalis, and later Afghans and Syrians, found home in the EU thanks to madame Merkel.

How ligitimate is that?

Open ,

"Moroccans, Somalis, and later Afghans and Syrians .. etc.."

Do these comments reflect the Zionists' perspective? This is important because they prove that the whole existence of Israel is based on total fabrication and lies.

Maggie ,

Did you have to practice at being THAT stupid! Or did they lobotomise you in Langley?
Somalis, Afghans, Syrians would not have had any cause to leave their homeland had it not been for your employers the CIA/MOSSAD facilitating the raping and pillaging of their homes by the Oil Magnates, leaving them starving and desolate.
https://www.hiiraan.com/op2/2007/may/somalia_the_other_hidden_war_for_oil.aspx
and where does our Aid money go?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5OInaYenHkU?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
But of course Antonym, if you were in their situation, you would just stick it out?
Shame on you .

To those who care, read "The confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins" to understand how this corrupt system is conducted.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Its 'creation' in blood, murder, rape and terror, in a great ethnic cleansing-the sign of things to come, ceaselessly, for seventy years and ongoing.

paul ,

Ask the people in Gaza about the Zionist "peace of the graveyard."

Antonym ,

Gaza before 2005 was relatively peaceful + prosperous. After the Israeli withdrawal the inhabitants messed up their own economy but kept on making lots of babies just like before.
Quite the opposite of a graveyard or a Warsaw ghetto or a Dachau.

George Mc ,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_disengagement_from_Gaza

Despite the disengagement, the United Nations, international human rights organisations and most legal scholars regard the Gaza Strip to still be under military occupation by Israel, though this is disputed by Israel and other legal scholars. Following the withdrawal, Israel has continued to maintain direct external control over Gaza and indirect control over life within Gaza: it controls Gaza's air and maritime space, and six of Gaza's seven land crossings, it maintains a no-go buffer zone within the territory, and controls the Palestinian population registry, and Gaza remains dependent on Israel for its water, electricity, telecommunications, and other utilities.

Interesting definition of "withdrawal". It's amazing those Gazans even managed to have babies!

Richard Le Sarc ,

You would have made a grand Nazi, Antsie-cripes, you have!

paul ,

Gaza was, and is, a huge Zionist concentration camp hermetically sealed off from the outside world and blockaded just like the Warsaw Ghetto. With Zionist thugs and kiddie killers shooting hundreds of kids in the head for the fun of it with British sniper rifles and dum dum bullets, and periodically dropping 20,000 tons of bombs at a time on it, a higher explosive yield than Hiroshima. With parties of Jews going along to hold barbecues and picnics to watch all the fun. Nice people, those chosen folk.

Richard Le Sarc ,

I rather think that Epstein, Weinstein, Moonves and all those orthodox and ultra-orthodox who are such prolific patrons of the sex industry in Israel, know a bit about 'male sex riot ideology', Antsie.

Dungroanin ,

Pathetic.
'Nandy won a major boost when members of the Labour affiliate Jewish Labour Movement gave her their backing after a hustings, saying she understood the need to change the party's culture.'
From the Groaniad

How many members? How many by denomination?

As for the Balfour Contract there were actual English Jewish establishment figures against its premise. Actual imperial servants. The declaration was a stitch up by the new banking powers in the US which then sent in the yanks to stop the Germans in 1917.

History is rewritten daily to memory hole such facts.

Capricornia Man ,

The 'Jewish Labour Movement' is so Jewish that most of its members are not Jewish. And it is so Labour-affiliated that it did not support Labour in the December general election. But it has no shortage of money. It exists solely to prosecute the interests of a foreign power. Much the same could be said for any politician who accepts its endorsement.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Given that Jews are vastly outnumbered by non Jews, the simplest way to stop Jewish manipulation of politics is to form a party from which Jews are specifically banned.

You will not propose any policies harming Jews in any way, you will just make it clear that this is a party free from any Jewish influence in its constitution.

If Jews cannot accept that, then they are utterly racist and must be dealt with without sensibility.

Maggie ,

A better solution Rhys would be to form a party that denies all and any dual citizens
That way all the Zionists would be barred.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Full public financing of political parties would end Zionist control.

paul ,

Thornberry has just thrown in the towel.
She will now have more time to "get down on her hands and knees" and "beg forgiveness" from the Board of Deputies.
Those good little Shabbos are so easily trained.

Dungroanin ,

BoD's??? Another random organisation!

Who are they? Who do they represent? How many people? Which people? How did they get elected? How can they be fired?

Richard Le Sarc ,

The next world war has already started, with the bio-warfare atttack on China aka Covid19.

lundiel ,

Why no comment on the government reshuffle? I don't agree with the Indian middle-class uplifting but totally agree with neutering the ultra-conservative treasury.

Maggie ,

I think it's a case of who gives a fck. We now know that our elections are rigged, and so there is no point in us being involved. My family and I all realised and voted for the last time.
They are all bloody crap actors reading their scripts and playing their parts, whilst the never changing suits in the background pull the strings.
I had to explain to my 10 year old Grandson how politics work, and he said "Why doesn't anyone know the names of, or see the suits?"
What I want to know is why no-one ever asks this question or demands an answer?

tonyopmoc ,

Completely Brilliant Article, but it is Valentines Day, so as I am 66 years old, and in love with my wife (nearly 40 years together = LOVE), I wrote this in response to Craig Murray, who has banned me again.

It may be off topic for him, but it ain't off topic for me. I am still in Love.

"Churchill's mental deterioration from syphilis – which the Eton and Oxford ."

Never had it, and she didn't either. We were young and in love, but we didn't know, if either of us had sex before, but I had a spotty dick, and went to the VD clinic. I had a blood test, and they gave me some zinc cream.

She also had the same thing, and showed her Mum.

We were both completely innocent, and had a sexually transmitted disease called Thrush. It is relatively harmless, but can also give you a sore throat.

We both laughed at each other, and nearly got married.

Natural Yoghurt, is completely brilliant at preventing it.

Far better than Canestan.

Happy Valentines Day, for Everyone still In Love.

Let us all look forwad to a Brighter Day for our Grandchildren.

Tony

Loverat ,

Hey Tony

Dont worry. Craig Murray might not like you but I do. Your stories, here and elsewhere have entertained me for many years.

Mind you, if I were your other half I would have chucked you years ago.

paul ,

Tell him how much you like haggis and tossing your caber.

Dungroanin ,

Without Stalins say so Poland would not have had its borders at the end of ww2.
Also,
On these maps just off the right hand edges is missing Afghanistan.. which the imperialists invaded in 2002 as the Taliban wiped out the opium crops. Back to full production immediately after invasion and 18 years later secret negotiations to hand over to Taliban while leaving 8,000 CUA troops delivering the huge cash crop.

binra ,

Seeking possession and control – in competition with those you see as seeking to dispossess and control or deny you – is the identity or belief in 'kill or be killed'.
This belief overrides and subordinates others – such as to subsume all else to such private agenda that will seek alliance against common threat but only as a shifting strategy of possession and control.

One of the things about this 'game' of power struggle, is that it loses any sense of WHY – and so it is a driven mind or dictate of power or possession for it own sake that cannot really ENJOY or HAVE and share what it Has. The image of the hungry ghost comes to mind here. It will never have enough until you are dead – and even then will offer you torment beyond the grave.

Until this mindset is recognised and released as an 'insanity' it operates as accepted currency of exchange, and maps our a world of its own conflicting and conflicted meanings.

The willingness to destroy or kill, deny or undermine and invalidate others in order to GET for a private agenda set over the whole instead of finding balance within the whole – is destructive to life, no matter how ingenious the thinking that frames it to seem to be progressive, protective, or in fact powerful.
But in our collective alignment and allegiance with such a way of thinking and identifying – we all give power to the destructive – as if to protect the life that it gives us.

The hungry ghost is also in the mass population when separated from their land and lives to seek connection or meaning in proffered 'products and services' instead of creating out of our own lives. Products and services that operate a hidden agenda of possession and control or market and mind capture under threat of fear of pain of loss in losing even the little that we have.

Having – on a spiritual level is our being – and not a matter of stuffing a hole.
Madness that can no longer mask as anything else is all about – and brings a choice to conscious awareness as to whether to persist in it or decide to find another way of seeing and being.

This is not to say there is no place to call upon or seek to limit people in positions of trust from serving an unjust outcome by calling for transparency and accountability – but not to wait on that or make that the be all and end all.

If there is another way and a better way than war masking in and misusing and thus corrupting anything and everything, then it has to be lived one to another.

Everyone seeks a better experience – but many seek it in a negative framing. Negative in the sense of self-lack seeking power in the terms of its current identity. Evils work their own destruction, but find sustainability in selling destructive agenda or toxic debt as ingeniously complex instruments of deceit – by which the targeted buyer believes they have or shall save their 'self' or add to their 'self' rather than growing hollow to a driven mindset of reactive fear-addiction.

I don't need to 'tell this to those who refuse to listen' – but I share it with any moment of a willingness to listen. In the final analysis, we are the ones who live the result of choices in our lives, whatever the times and conditions.

The 'repackaging' of reality to self-deceit, is not new but part of the human mind and experience throughout history. The evil changes forms – as if the good has and shall triumph. But truth undoes illusion by being accepted. It doesn't war on illusion and thus make it real – and remain truth.

Judgement divides to rule.
Discernment arises from the unwillingness to division.
One is set apart from and over life as the invocation of an alien will, dealing death, and the other as the will of true desire revealed.

The idea of independent autonomy is relative to a limited sphere of responsibilities in the world.
The idea of living our own life is an alignment within the same for others and the freedom to do so cannot take from others without becoming possessed by our denials, debts and transgressions – no less so in the driven mind of ingeniously repackaged and wilfully defended narrative identity.

In our own experience, this is not a matter of applied analysis, so much as awareness or space in which to seek and find truth in some willingness of recognition and acceptance or choice, while the triggering or baiting to madness is loud or compelling as the dictate of fear seeking protection and grievance seeking retribution – as if these give freedom and power rather than locking into a fear-framed limitation as substitution for life set in defiance and refusal to look on or share in truth – and so to such a one, war is truth, and love is weakness to exploit, use and weaponise for getting.

paul ,

If you look at the proposed new map of the Middle East, it mirrors Kushner's Deal Of The Century for Palestine – because it has the same Zionist authorship.
The same old dirty Zionist games of divide and rule – break up countries in the region into tiny defenceless little statelets setting different ethnic and religious groups at each others' throats, so that they can rule the roost and steal whatever they wish.
You see this in the past and the recent past. The way Lebanon was torn away from Syria. Or Kuwait from Iraq. Or the Ruritanian petty Gulf dictatorships like Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai.
Trump was being honest for the first time in his miserable life when he said none of these satellites and satraps would last a fortnight if they were not propped up by the US.

paul ,

George Galloway described the whole region as a flock of sheep surrounded by ravenous wolves.

At the same time, there is more than a grain of truth in the Zionists' contention that the people of the region are to some extent the authors of their own misfortune.

They always fall for the divide-and-rule games of outside powers, Britain, America, Israel, who invade, bomb, slaughter, humiliate and exploit them. If they had been united, Israel would not have been created. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, would not have been destroyed and bombed back to the Stone Age. These countries would be genuinely independent and at peace.

When I speak to ordinary moslems, it is surprising and depressing to see how much visceral hatred they express for Shia moslems. They seem blind to the way they are being manipulated to serve outside interests.

So we see moslem Saudi Arabia trying to incite America and Israel to destroy Iran, and offering to pay for the whole cost of the war. Or S. Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, UAE et al, in bed with Israel, paying billions to bankroll the terrorist head choppers in Syria. Or Egypt, which does not even protest, let alone lift a finger, when Israeli aircraft use its air space to carpet bomb Gaza. Or going further back in history, when countries like Egypt and Syria sent troops to join the 1991 US invasion of Iraq. Even though Iraq had sent its forces to the Golan Heights in 1973 to fight and die to prevent Syria being overrun by Israel. How contemptible is all that? Yet those are just a few of many examples of all the backstabbing that has occurred over the years. If these people don't respect themselves, why should anybody else?

paul ,

And this has been going on for hundreds of years.
1096 marked the beginning of The Crusades, a disaster for the region on a par with the creation of Israel.
At that time, London was a little village of 25,000. Baghdad and Alexandria and Cordoba were sophisticated modern cities with populations of hundreds of thousands. They dismissed the Crusaders as mere bandits who would do some looting, steal some cattle, and go home. But 3 years later Jerusalem had been conquered and its inhabitants slaughtered, the start of a 200 year disaster for the region. How? Why?
Because the Arabs were so busy fighting a civil war at the time they barely noticed the foreign invaders. The old, old story. Civil war between Sunnis and Shias.

One day, they will wake up and realise that they have to hang together, or hang separately.
But I wouldn't hold your breath.
There seems to be an endless supply of quisling stooge dictators ready to do the bidding of hostile outside powers. The Mubaraks, the Sisis, the King Abdullahs, the Sinioras, the MBS's, to name but a few.
Conforming to all the worst stereotypes about Arabs and moslems.
You could argue that they deserve all they get, when they are ever ready to bend over and drop their trousers.
Is it really any surprise that they have been invaded, slaughtered, bombed back to the Stone Age, robbed, exploited and humiliated from time immemorial.
Maybe one day they will discover an ounce of dignity and self respect. Who knows?

Maggie ,

"1096 marked the beginning of The Crusades, a disaster for the region on a par with the creation of Israel.
At that time, London was a little village of 25,000. Baghdad and Alexandria and Cordoba were sophisticated modern cities with populations of hundreds of thousands. They dismissed the Crusaders as mere bandits who would do some looting, steal some cattle, and go home. But 3 years later Jerusalem had been conquered and its inhabitants slaughtered, the start of a 200 year disaster for the region. How? Why?"
Because despite the mendacious lies that are told about Muslims, they are tolerant and forgiving. They believe in one God, and live exemplary modest, generous lives in the belief that they will enter in to the kingdom of heaven.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_2LEgowbzSc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGz6nrWTsEI

And these are the people we are being encouraged to hate and fear? To enable the neo cons to invade and destroy everything in their path to get their oil.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims the world over 'live in democracies' of some shape or form, from Indonesia to Malaysia to Pakistan to Lebanon to Tunisia to Turkey. Tens of millions of Muslims' live in -- and participate in' -- Western democratic societies. The country that is on course to have the biggest Muslim population in the world in the next couple of decades is India, which also happens to be the world's biggest democracy. Yet a persistent pernicious narrative exists, particularly in the West, that Islam and democracy are incompatible. Islam is often associated with dictatorship, totalitarianism, and a lack of freedom, and many "well paid" analysts and pundits claim that Muslims are philosophically opposed to the idea of democracy .

Richard Le Sarc ,

'Democracy' as practised in the neo-liberal capitalist West, is a nullity, a fiction, a smoke-screen behind which the one and only power, that of the rich owners of the economy, acts alone.

Gall ,

I know. These Zionist morons droning on about how violent Islam is as religion yet ignoring the fact that the Bible is based on the God of Abraham granting them Canaan (like Trump giving the Israelis the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) and urging them to commit complete and utter genocidal annihilation of the inhabitants by not leaving a single living thing breathing.

No violence there folks. Nope. The book of love my ass!

paul ,

Their God was a demented estate agent, rather like Trump or Kushner.

Gall ,

Personally I believe that the chapters of the bible were written after their genocidal blood lust simply to justify their despicable acts. Claiming that God made 'em do it.

Loverat ,

My experience of muslims in the UK is many express support for the Palestinians but don't identify or understand those states which still speak up for their rights, Syria, Iran and a few others.

Sadly like the general UK population they have been exposed to propaganda which excuses evil and mass murder carried out by Saudi Arabia and their lackeys and Israel. This is changing however. People are gradually waking up. Muslims and the general UK public if they really knew the extent of this would be out demonstrating on the streets.

The realisation these policies have exposed all of us to nuclear wipe out in seconds should be enough motivation for any normal person.
The wipe out or (preferably) demonstrations will happen. Just a question of when. You can see why the establishment and people like Higgins, Lucas and York are so active recently. These idiots, blinded by their pay checks can't see the harm they are causing through their irresponsible lies even to their own families. Perhaps they all have nuclear shelters in their back garden.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Saudi Arabia is NOT 'Moslem'. It is Wahhabist, a genocide cult created by doenmeh, ie crypto-Jewish followers of the failed 17th century Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi, which is homicidally opposed to all Moslems but fellow Wahhabists.

milosevic ,

I thought it was created by the British Empire, in order to provide reliable stooges and puppet regimes.

Richard Le Sarc ,

What people must realise is that,for the Zionassty secular and Talmudic religious leaderships, by far the dominant forces in Israel and among many of the Diaspora sayanim, the drive to create 'Eretz Yisrael', '..from the Nile to the Euphrates' (and some include the Arabian Peninsula as well), is a real, religious, ambition-indeed an obligation. With the alliance with the 'Christian Zionist' lunatics in the USA, the fate of humanity is in the hands of the Evil Brain Dead.

BigB ,

I despair. This is why there is 'No Deal For Nature' because the hegemonic cultural movement is to extend cultural hegemony over nature. We cannot seem to help it or stop ourselves. Do we suppose a glossy website will change that? Or empty sloganneering subvertisements? Or waiving placards outside banks? Or some other futile conscience salving symbolic gesture?

No, we have to subvert the cultural hegemony over nature at every point at every chance. Which is thankless because cultural normativity is ubiquitous. And it's killing us. And BRI is the very antithesis of alternative an eternal return into the cultural consumerism and commodification that is the global hegemony at least at an elite level. And we are among that elite – in terms of consumption and pollution. We are the problem. If we seek to extend or preserve our own Eurocentric priviliges and consumptions we can only do so by extracting evermore global resources and maldeveloping the Rest. Which is also what Samir Amin said: following Wallerstein's World Systems Theory.

The progressive packaging of all our sins and transferring them to something called 'American Imperialism' is nothing less than mass psychological transference to a Fetish. By which we maintain autonomy from any blame in the ecological disaster we are co-creating. Which is why it is a powerful cultural narrative constructivism. 'We' do not have to reform: the scapegoated Otherised 'they' do. Whilst we all sit smugly in our inauthentic imaginary autonomy: the ecological destruction caused entirely by our collectivist consumption carries on. 'They' have to clean up 'their' act – not us. 'We' align with the 'counter-hegemonic alliance': the alternative BRI. 'We' are so bourgeois and progressive in our invented independence and totally aligned with the destructive forces of capitalist endocolonised culture because of our own internalised screening discourse. Which is why there is #NoDealForNature. 'We' don't actually give a flying fuck not beyond some hollow totemic gestures in transference of our own responsibility.

'We' are pushing for the financialisation of nature: as the teleology of our particular complicit cultural narratives. It's not just 'them'. Supply and demand are dialectically exponential. Who is demanding less, more fairly distributed North to South? Exponential expansionism via BRI is no more alternative than colonising the Moon or Mars. For nature to have a deal: we have to stop demanding growth. And in doing that: become self-responsible right through to the narratives we produce. For which every person in the global consumer bourgeoisie – that's us – will have to change their imperatives from culture to nature. Which means a new naturalised culture: not just complicitly advocating the 'same old, same old' exponential expansionism of the extractivist commodification of every last standing resource. Under the guise of new narrative constructions like this. That's not progress: it's capitalist propaganda and personal self-propaganda. We are among the consumer elite. Which is driving the financialisation and commodification of everything. For us.

#NoDealForNature until we take full and honest self-responsibility to create one with our every enaction including speech-enactivism.

Gall ,

I'm sure Thomas Robert Malthus and Charles Darwin are smiling upon you my child from their very special place in hell.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Charles Darwin? What on Earth are you on about?

Gall ,

Ever heard of social Darwinism? This is how the elite justify genocide and theft of resources. It is one of the basics of Neoliberalism.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Darwin had NOTHING to do with 'social Darwinism'. It's like blaming Jesus for the KKK.

Gall ,

Uh huh:

"With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage."
― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

BigB ,

Every appraisal from a cultural POV extends the cultural hegemony over nature – with no exceptions. If we do not address the false dichotomy of culture and nature – and invert the privileged status of cultural domination over nature – this never changes. If nothing changes its going to be a very short century the last in the history of culture.

I'm expressing my own private POV with the intention of at least highlighting the issue of only ever expressing the distorted cultural-centric POV. It would be nice if we could all agree to do something other than waste our privileged status and access to resources for other than meaningless sarcasm. It's not like we'd all benefit from a change in POV and the entailed potential in a change of course that can only happen if we think of nature first, is it? 😉

Gall ,

The only thing I don't like about the environmentally "woke" is that many are easily manipulated by the neoliberal elite. Greta is a perfect example.

That is they go after the little guy while the Military and big industry continue to pollute unhampered.

George Mc ,

I despair.

Well that's what you do.

Dungroanin ,

The M5 highway is secured. Allepo access points too and Idlib is surrounded- where are the US backed /Saudi paid / Tukish passport holding Uighars and various Turkmen proxy jihadist anti Chinese / anti Russian, Central asian caliphate establishing mercenaries supposed to go now??

Pompeo is buzzing around Africa now like a blue bottomed cadaverous fly, non-stop buzzing from piles of shot, trying to find them homes – no Libya doesn't want anymore of them, nor the UAE and Saudis, or Turks maybe dump them in Canada with all these ex Ukrainian still nazis? Its a big country nobody will know!
Or bring them to the US and give them a ticker tape parade?

Or let them surrender and have them testify as to how the fuck they let themselves be bought for $$$$ maybe just fry them with the low yield nuke and blame Assad for it!

Dumbass yanks, fukus, 5+1 eyed gollum and Nutty- 'it's the Belgian airforce bombing Russian weapons in Syria' -yahoo!

Up-Pompeos farce and buzzing is about to sizzle in the blue light of death for dumbfuck poison spreading flies.

normal wisdom ,

so much disrespect here hare here.

these takfiri these giants these beards are hero

of the oded yinon plan

they raped murdered and stole
dustified atomised the syriana so
is rael can become real

the red heffers have been cloned the temple will grow

the semites must leave for norway,sweden wales scotland and detroit
already

the khazar ashkanazim need the land returned to it's true owners from the turkic russio steppe

tonight back to back i watch reality
fiddler on the roof and exodus and schindlers lists.
i watch bbc simon scharmas new rabbi revised history of mighty israel.
every day it grows massive every day hezbollah become weak husk

shirley you can sea more that

my life already

Francis Lee ,

Very interesting and informative article. Lenin's 5 conditions of the imperialism of his time have been matched by similar conditions in our own time, as listed by the Egyptian Marxist, Samir Amin. These conditions being as follows.

1. Control of technology.

2. Access to natural resources.

3. Finance.

4. Global media.

5. The means of mass destruction.

Only by overturning these monopolies can real progress be made. Easily said. But a life and death struggle for humanity.

The collapse of the Soviet Union opened up the space for increased penetration of Europe to the East by the US and its West European allies in NATO. At that time the subaltern US powers in Europe were the UK and West Germany, as it then was. There was a semblance of sovereignty in France under De Gaulle, but this has since disappeared. Europe as a whole is now occupied and controlled by the US which has used EU/NATO bloc to push right up to the Russian border. Most, if not all, the non-sovereign quasi states, in Europe, particularly Eastern Europe, are Quisling-Petainist puppet regimes regardless of whether they are inside our outside of the EU. (I say 'states' but of course if a country is not sovereign it cannot be a 'state' in the full meaning of the word).

A political, social and economic crisis in Europe seems to be taking taking shape. Perhaps the key problem, particularly Eastern Europe, has been depopulation. There is not one European state in which fertility (replacement) rates has reached 2.1 children. Western European imperial states have to large degree been able to counter-act this tendency by immigration from their former colonies, particularly the UK and France. But this has not been possible in states such as Sweden and Germany where the migration of non-christian guest workers from Turkey to Germany and Islamic refugees
from the middle-east hot-spots have had a free passage to Sweden. This has become a serious social and economic problem; a problem resulting from a neoliberal open borders policy. The fact of the matter is that radically different cultures will tend to clash. Thank you Mr Soros.

British immigration policy was successful in so far as immigrants from the Caribbean were English speakers, they were also protestant Christians, and the culture was not very different from the UK. Later immigration from the Indian sub-continent and Indian settled East Africa were generally professional and middle-class business people. Again English speakers. Assimilation of these newcomers was not unduly difficult.

However it wouldn't be exaggerating to say that Eastern Europe is facing a demographic disaster. This particular zone is literally bleeding people. Ukraine for example has lost 10 million people since 1990. Every month it is estimated that 100,000 Ukrainians leave the country, usually for good. In terms of migration – no-one wants to go to Eastern Europe, but everyone wants to leave, asap. This process is complemented by low birth rates, and high death rates. These are un-developing states in an un-developing world. But now we have new kids on the bloc. A counter-hegemonic alliance. No guesses who.

BigB ,

Rubbish. There is no 'counter-hegemonic alliance' to humanities rapacious demand for fossil fuels and ecological resources. Where are the material consumption resources for BRI coming from – the Moon, Mars? Passing asteroids? Or from the Earth?

When its gone: its gone. Russia and China provide absolutely no alternative to this. China's consumption alone is driving us over the brink. To which the real alternative is a complicit silence. As we all align with culture-centric capitalist views: there is no naturalistic 'counter-hegemonic alliance'. Just some hunters in the Amazon we are having shot right now so we can have the privilige of extending cultural hegemony over nature.

When it's gone: it's gone. And so will we be too. Probably as we are still praising the wonders of the 'counter-hegemonic alliance' that killed us.

Gall ,

Actually there is a naturalistic alliance forming but it seems you haven't been paying attention because you seem stuck in some Malthusian mind set. In order to defeat capitalism you have to defeat Globalism so you first have to eliminate the Anglo-American Hegemony and get back to a multipolar world.

Ranting on about like Gretchen doesn't do any good.

BigB ,

Resources are finite and thermodynamics exist. These are the ineliminable, indisputable, and rock solid epistemology of the Earth System. Everything else is metaphysics – literally 'beyond nature; beyond physics'. Or, as it is more commonly known – economics. The imaginary epistemology of political economics and political theory. 'Theory' is the non-scientific sense of unfounded opinion and non-sense. A philosophical truth-theory that is not and cannot ever be true. Hypothetical non-sense.

I get my information from a wide range of sources that realise these foundational predicates. That is: a foundational set of beliefs that require no underpinning. I can only paraphrase Eddington on thermodynamics: "if your theory is found to be against the second law I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation."

Which is to say all modern political theory and economics – and by extension all opinions based on its internalisation – is the product of vivid and unfounded imagination. To which a naturalised epistemology is the only remedy.

There are lots of people working on the problem: but not in the political sphere. Which is why we are stuck in a hallucinated metaphysical political-economic theatre of the absurd and absolutised cultural non-sense. Which is not beyond anyone to rectify: if and when we accept the limitations of the physical-material Earth System. And apply them to our thinking.

#NoDealForNature until we accept that the thermodynamics of depletion naturally limit growth. Anything anyone says to the contrary should be treated with scepticism and cause a collapse into deepest humiliation of any rational thinker.

Richard Le Sarc ,

'Depopulation' is only a problem if you believe in the capitalist cancer cult of infinite growth on a finite planet, ie black magic. If you value Life on Earth, and its continuance, human depopulation is necessary. Best done slowly and humanely, by redistributing the wealth stolen by the capitalist parasites. The process seen in the Baltics and Ukraine is the capitalist way, cruel and inhumane. Even worse is planned for the Africans, south Asians and Chinese etc.

Gall ,

They don't for a minute believe in "infinite growth". They believe in the "bottom line","instant gratification" and "primitive accumulation". "Infinite growth" is a sales pitch that they use to sell the unwary on their rapaciousness. That is all. If they actually believed in "infinite growth" they've be investing in renewable resources not fracking, strip mining and other environmentally unfriendly practices.

Gall ,

The problem for Imperialists is that they only know how to plunder, rape and destroy thus all their weaponry and tactics is used for aggression they know nothing about actual defense which is their weak point. General George C Custer found this out some time back and so did Trump just recently when the American were assaulted by a barrage of missiles they couldn't stop.

Iran, Russia and China have one of the most advanced arsenal of defensive weapons ever developed such as the S- series of air defense system that can turn a Tomahawk attack into a turkey shoot. What was it? I think it was 100 Tomahawks fired on Syria after that false flag chemical attack and only 15 or so got through and this was the earlier version of the S missile defense S-300. They've already developed 500 which practically makes them impervious and is a true iron dome compared the iron sieve that the Israelis got for free during GW1 and then repackaged and sold back to the US Military for 15B with very few improvements except maybe for a pretty blue bow.

Not only that but they can return fire with hypersonic weapons that are unstoppable and can turn a base or Aircraft Carrier into a floating pinnate.

lundiel ,

Very well presented. Excellent article.

Gall ,

Actually the US proudly waving the banner of the East India Company is following in the footsteps of the deceased British Empire into the boneyard of empires which is Afghanistan. Iraq, Syria and Ukraine are just side shows. America can not escape history no matter what it does now since its days of empire are now numbered. Just as they were for the late unlamented Soviet Union.

The "New American Century" is ending preemptively early like Hitler's "Thousand Year Reich" and we can all breath a sigh of relief when it does.

Frank ,

The only thing that will get the bastard yanks out of the middle east is dead Americans.

Lots and lots of dead Americans.

Enough dead Americans to make the braindead jingoistic American masses notice.

Enough dead Americans to touch every family that produces grunts that serve their criminal state by raping and pillaging foreign countries.

Enough dead Americans to make dumbfuck Americans who say, 'Thank you for your service" squirm in literal pain at the words.

Dungroanin ,

They got brain damage in their bunkers in the best US base in the ME from just a handful of Kinetic energy missiles.

Their low yield nuke is their response.

The Israelis keep prodding the Bear – they even targeted a Russian Pantir system in Syria!

I suppose only a downing or infact destroying on the ground of a squadron of useless F35's with a threat to escalate into a full blown mobilisation is ever going to stop these imperialist chancers. Or a fully coordinated assassination campaign of the leads and their heirs as they frolic on their superyachts and space stations and secret Tracey islands.

And they can pay their taxes in full.

The Third world war is already fought – this really is a world war rather than some Anglo Imperialist bankers playing king of the castle – and they have LOST – the Empire is dead.

Long live the new Empire – the first not beholden to the bankers.

wardropper ,

Even with a new empire, our godless world would soon enough breed another generation of bankers to which we would be beholden.
That's what the fundamentally dishonest people in any society do.
Something wrong? Oh, well, we'll form a committee to discuss it, and in future we will look into creating a banking system which will enable us pay ourselves high wages for our invaluable contribution to human evolution.
It's MORALITY which is lacking today, not more legislation or a new constitution.

Gall ,

All one has to do is move off the centralized banking system developed and controlled by the Rothschilds that is totally based on creating finance out of thin air and return to a commodity based currency (not gold!!) that represents actual value like scrip or wampum or barter and the bankers will eventually starve.

Actually this system is starting to take hold in the US to a small extend to avoid the depredations of the IRS since Tax is based mostly on currency.

Stop using fiat currency and the problem's solved.

After WW II the French didn't have a press to press Francs so their standard of exchange became cigarettes and chocolate. It worked quite well until the presses started churning out paper again.

wardropper ,

My fear is that without the Rothschilds, some other over-ambitious family would simply step in and fill their shoes. It's the motivation to be greedy and wicked which needs addressing. How that would be done, of course, I have no idea.

Gall ,

This is only if you embrace the concept of centralized banking and the "magic" of compound interest. Current "banking" is all smoke and mirrors that favors the parasite who lives on the production of others through what is called "unearned income".

wardropper ,

I agree. But how to stop it?

Gall ,

Ignore the bastards instead. Just go off the grid.

wardropper ,

I can't deny the wisdom in that.

Dungroanin ,

The Red Shield ancient silk road trader and slaving company employees are only a family as say the Vatican is a family

wardropper ,

I know, but "only a family" with the wealth to buy whole nations
I find that very unsettling, to say the least.

Dungroanin ,

Indeed but there is always hope as the poet saw – THEY are the few, we are many.

Gall ,

Actually the Israelis are going a little slower now that isolated reports indicate that those flying turkeys AKA F-35s are getting popped out of the skies of Syria by antiquated Soviet SAMs. Of course there is no mention of this in the Mainstream Press. Just like there wasn't a word of a IDF General and his staff taken out by a shoulder launched RPG fired by Hezbollah in retaliation for attacking their media center in Beirut.

Antonym ,

Anybody who believes that the Israeli tail wags the US mil-ind. complex dog is contributing to the Jewish superiority myth.

Ken ,

They're not superior, but they do wag the US MIC dog in and ebb-and-flow kind of way. That 9/11 thing was quite the wag. Read Christopher Bollyn and study other aspects of the event if you're not sure of this.

Antonym ,

Langley and Riyadh love you; you fell for their ploy. See: Tel Aviv is much worse them.
The CIA/FBI failure explained.

The Mossad loves you too: for keeping mum on this Entebbe Mach 2.0 on their familiar New York crap they got huge US support in the ME.
Makes them look invincible too as a bonus .

5 dancing guys was all the proof needed – cheapest op in history.

Ken ,

"5 dancing guys was all the proof needed – cheapest op in history"

Oh please, that was such a minor bit of evidence of any Zionist/Israeli involvement, which spanned nearly every facet of the event and its aftermath.

The list of false flagging Zionist Jews in love with you is too long to list.

Gall ,

Oh please. What about the close to 200 Israelis who were arrested that day? Not to mention the helpful warning by Odigo which was only given to citizens of Israel?

Also one has to act who benefitted? Definitely not the Saudis or the Americans leaving Sharon who was trying to suppress a Palestinian uprising that he arrogantly started.

Speaking of your friendly five doing a fiddler on the roof on top of an Urban Moving Van that just happened to owned by another Israeli who fled the country. Didn't they say something stupid when arrested like "we are not your problem. It's the Palestinians who are your problem!"?

A pathetic frame up attempt but a frame none the less. Speaking of frame ups wasn't Fat Katz at SiteIntel (propaganda) who posted some stock footage of Palestinians celebrating which has been proven to be false since the only people who seem to celebrating that day was your friends the Dancing Israelis which doesn't prove their mental superiority at all but their arrogant stupidity,

Richard Le Sarc ,

The three, the USA, Saudi Arabia and the USA, are allies in destruction-the Real Axis of Evil. The dominant force, these days, given the control of the USA by Israel First Fifth Columnists, in the MSM, political 'contributions', the financial Moloch etc, is most certainly the Zionassties. Why don't you, like so many other Zionassties, glory in your power, Antsie. Nobody believes your ritual denials.

Gall ,

They don't really wag the dog by themselves. They have a lot of help from the Stand with Israel brain dead Christian Zionists who like Israelis consider themselves the chosen ones as well.

Ken ,

@Gall Yep! I had a long time friend who went Pentecostal and we drifted apart but still kept in touch. I lost him completely just after telling him that Israelis played a big part in 9/11.

Gall ,

Chuck Baldwin and a few other it seems have seen the light and are now questioning their colleagues undying support of Israel. Maybe you could show this article to your friend who seems enthralled by the terrorist snake er I mean state:
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/13/emperor-trump/

Ken ,

Thanks for that article. Were I ever able to get it in front of my estranged friend, it would make his head explode and kill him. Baldwin does seem to nail it. Chuck for president! I came across this rather intersting piece on 9/11 while at VT for your article.
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/10/9-11-the-bottom-line-an-open-letter-to-all-researchers/

Gall ,

Yes that pretty much sums up how 9/11 was carried on. Both Heinz Pommer and VT have done some excellent research based on facts not fantasy.

As far as your friend and many Christian Zionists in general. They seem to live in some alternative universe and dislike being confused by such irrelevant things as facts.

binra ,

It is a story that can be told in some detail – but when you say myth do you actually mean fallacy – ie – are you saying that Jewish power doesn't exercise considerable influence – if not control over US social and political and corporate development across of broad spectrum of leverages?

Richard Le Sarc ,

Yes-all those addresses of Congress, by Bibi, where the Congress critters compete to display the most extreme groveling and adulation, are just the natural expression of reverence and awe at his semi-Divine moral excellence. Denying the undeniable is SOP for Zionassties.

normal wisdom ,

what jews?
i do not see any jews
just a sea of khazar ashkanazim pirates
a kaballa talmudick race trick
a crime syndicate pretending to be semite
jew is just the cover
init

[Feb 16, 2020] Psychologist Explains Why Economists -- and Liberals -- Get Human Nature Wrong by Lynn Parramore

Feb 12, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

For a fictional character, homo economicus has had a pretty good run . Since the 1950s, this mono-motivated, self-seeking figure has stalked the pages of economics textbooks, busy deciding each action according to a rational calculus of personal loss and gain. But more recently his territory has shrunk as experts on human nature have demonstrated what any decent novelist could have told them: our real selves are nothing like this.

Unfortunately, many economists still plug this flawed view of people into computer models that determine all kinds of things that impact our lives, from how much workers get paid to how we value life or common goods, such as a clean environment. The results can be disastrous.

Typically, economists aren't that keen on admitting that their work is deeply connected to morality -- never mind that Adam Smith himself was a moral philosopher. But if you ask a question as simple as how to price a used car, you quickly find that moral concerns and economic activity happen together all the time.

In his 2012 book, The Righteous Mind , New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explored why so many perfectly intelligent people have misread human nature– and not just economists, but plenty of psychologists and even (shocker!) people who identify as politically liberal. For him, the key to getting to know ourselves properly lies with moral psychology, a newish strain that pulls together evolutionary, neurological, and social-psychological research on moral emotions and intuitions.

As Haidt sees it, we are creatures driven by moral intuition and attuned to both our personal interests as well as what's good for the groups with which we identify. He points out that in order to thrive, we have to appreciate our complex, interactive natures and see each other more clearly and empathetically – an observation that may be especially useful at a time when threats like climate change and the concentration of money and power threatens all of us, no matter who we are or what groups we belong to. At the moment, we aren't doing such a good job of this.

The Rider and the Elephant

Morality, Haidt argues, doesn't arise from reason, and besides, humans aren't winning any prizes for rationality. Heaps of studies show how factors beyond conscious awareness influence how we think and act, from judges giving out more lenient sentences after lunch to bottles of hand sanitizer making people more feel more conservative .

In Haidt's view, the conscious mind is like a press secretary spewing after-the-fact justifications for decisions already made. Thinkers like David Hume and Sigmund Freud were certainly hip to this idea, but somehow a lot of economists missed the memo, as did psychologists following dominant rationalist models in the 1980s and '90s.

Haidt invites us to consider ourselves as a rider (our analytical, rational part) and an elephant (our emotional, intuitive part). The rider holds the reins, but the beast below is in charge, urged on by the complex interaction of genetic influence, neural wiring, and social conditioning. The rider can advise the elephant, but the elephant calls most of the shots.

Fortunately, the elephant is quite intelligent and equipped with all sorts of intuitions that are good for conscious reasoning. But elephants get very stubborn when threatened and like to stick to what's familiar. The rider, for her part, is not exactly a reliable character. She's not really searching for truth, but mostly for ways to justify what the elephant wants.

That's why a rebel economist challenging conventional thinking about subjects like human nature faces a heavy lift. Experts have to see a lot of evidence accumulating across many studies before they reach a point where they are finally forced to think differently. Scientific studies are even less helpful in persuading the general public.

When I asked Haidt how the mavericks could help their cause, he noted that humans are social creatures more influenced by people than by ideas. So, it matters who says something as much as what they say. It also makes a difference how they say it: elephants don't like to be insulted, and they lean towards arguments made by people they like and admire. Not very rational, perhaps, but likely true.

Homo Duplex

The notion that human beings are social creatures is another strike against homo economicus. We are selfish much of the time, but we are also "groupish," as Haidt puts it, and perhaps better described as "homo duplex" operating on two levels. Here he offers another animal analogy, suggesting that we're 90% chimp and 10% bee, meaning that from an evolutionary perspective, we are selfish primates with a more recently developed a "hivish" overlay that lets us occasionally devote ourselves to helping others, or our groups.

This helps explain why you can't predict how someone is going to vote based on their narrow self-interest. Political opinions are like badges of social membership. We don't just ask what's in it for us, but also what it means to our groups. Having a kid in public school doesn't tell you that a person will support aid to public schools, probably because there are group interests in play. What unifies us in groups, Haidt argues, are certain moral foundations that allow us to share emotionally compelling worldviews that we can easily justify and defend against any attack by outsiders who don't share them. And we can get pretty nasty about those outsiders.

This begins to sound like ugly tribalism, the kind of stuff that leads to war. But Haidt reminds us that this propensity also prepares us to get along within our groups and even to cooperate on a large scale -- our human superpower. We differ from other primates because we exhibit shared intentionality: we're able to plan things together and work together towards a common goal. You never see two chimps carrying a log – they just don't act in concert that way. We do, and in our groups we've developed mechanisms to suppress cheaters and free riders and reap the benefit of division of labor. Groups of early humans may well have triumphed over other hominids not because they smashed them with clubs , but because they out-cooperated them.

To better understand how we operate in political groups, which have lately become more antagonistic, Haidt created a map of our moral landscape called Moral Foundations Theory which delineates multiple "foundations" we presumably use when making moral decisions, including care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation, and liberty/oppression. (Some scholars have challenged his system, offering alternative maps). His research indicates that liberals and conservatives differ in the emphasis they place on each of these foundations, with conservatives tending to value all six domains equally and liberals valuing the first two much more than the other three.

Haidt argues that liberals tend to home in on care and fairness when they talk about policy issues, which can put them at a disadvantage vis-ŕ-vis conservatives, who tend to activate the whole range of foundations. Republicans are thus better able to talk to elephants than Democrats because they possess more ways to go for the gut, as it were. If Democrats want to win, Haidt warns, they need to think of morality as more than just care and fairness and to try to better understand that foundations more important to conservatives, like deference to authority or a reverence for sacredness, are not pathological, but aspects human social evolution that have helped us survive in many situations.

When he wrote The Righteous Mind , Haidt noted that Democrats had espoused a moral vision that did not resonate with many working class and rural voters. In the current presidential race, he sees some progress on economic populism from the Bernie Sanders wing, in part because Occupy Wall Street got people attuned to issues of fairness and the oppression of the 1%. When politicians talk about the abuse of political and economic power, they can activate not only care and fairness concerns, but also the liberty/oppression foundation which people respond to across the political spectrum.

But this line is also tricky because, as Haidt pointed out to me, "Americans don't really hate their rich." (One recent study suggested only 25% of Americans have a negative view of the rich, though a majority said they should be taxed more).

Haidt also worries that many Democrats, particularly elites, are currently engaging with cultural issues by embracing a what he called a "common enemy" form of identity politics which "demonizes people at the intersectional point of evil (white men)" rather than focusing on a "common humanity" story which "draws a larger circle around everyone. (Haidt plunged into controversial territory with his 2018 book, The Coddling of the American Mind , which argues that college campuses are shutting down useful debate through "safetyism" that protects students from ideas considered harmful or offensive).

He observed to me that while the polarizing Donald Trump may have turned off the younger generation "for the next few decades," Democrats may be failing "to look seriously at the ways that their social policies -- and their messengers -- alienate many moderates." Newly "woke" white elites, for example, who see racism as the driver of nearly every phenomenon, may be having an unintended negative effect in his view. When they ascribe Trump's victory to racial resentment and ignore the concerns of those who fear sliding down the economic ladder, for example, they may turn off potential allies. Call a person or a group racist and you won't be able to convince them to support your view on anything. Their elephants aren't listening.

Haidt acknowledges that our moral matrices are not written in stone; they can and do evolve, sometimes quite rapidly within a couple of generations. Economic forces surely act to shift attunement to moral foundations, making people more susceptible, for example, to anti-immigration arguments. If you fail to consider the economic influence on this kind of moral activation, you'll be less equipped to address problems like ethnic conflict. Being able to step outside our own moral matrix is essential to persuasion. We not only have to talk to the elephant, but see the beehive.

We also have to remember the truth is not likely to be something held by any one individual, but rather something that emerges as a large number of flawed and limited minds exchange views on a given subject. Our smarts and flexibility are increased by our ability to cooperate and share information. Economists, for example, improve their understanding of human nature by opening up to other social sciences and the humanities for insight.

There is evidence that economists are paying attention to moral psychology. In their book Identity Economics , Nobel laurate George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton argue that people identify with "social categories," and that each category, whether it be Christian, mother, or neighbor, has associated norms or ideals to which people want to aspire. Sam Bowles' The Moral Economy shows that monetary incentives don't work in many situations and that policies targeting our selfish instincts can actually weaken the institutions which depend on our more selfless impulses– including financial markets. At the Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET), the connection between economics and morality has been explored by INET president Rob Johnson and political philosopher Michael Sandel as well as thinkers like economic historian Robert Skidelsky and economist Darrick Hamilton .

All of this rather bad news for homo economicus. But pretty good news for humanity.


Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 1:37 am

we're 90% chimp and 10% bee, meaning that from an evolutionary perspective, we are selfish primates with a more recently developed a "hivish" overlay that lets us occasionally devote ourselves to helping others, or our groups.

Well if one wants to take an "evolutionary perspective" (works for me) then obviously our instincts are shaped to promote survival of the species and not just the individual. And if that's true then the Randian/economics version of rational isn't rational at all. Perhaps it would be clearer to talk about this problem in terms of rational versus irrational rather than appealing to some "altruism gene" that will supposedly save us. IMO only that rational, intelligent, creative aspect of humans will save us from that irrational side that is indeed totally instinctive. Somehow we've gotten this far–despite everything–"by the skin of our teeth." Here's hoping those minds will find a path.

eg , February 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

I believe that a huge controversy continues to rage in Biology around "group selection"

erik , February 13, 2020 at 12:53 am

Over what? Carol's point about the sociology of Ayn Rand?

In point of fact, Carol, altruism is always secondary (where it appears) in nature. Selfishness ensures the fittest genes survive to carry on the species. Only in the face of catastrophe does altruism at
the individual level become more valuable than selfishness. So, indeed it is because of our selfishness, because we've struggled by the skin of our teeth, that we as a species have survived and prospered.

Susan the other , February 13, 2020 at 2:41 pm

but, but erik, that leaves out all the energy saving advantage we get from a cohesive group which is also determined to survive and carry on centuries of knowledge on just how to do so .

H. Alexander Ivey , February 12, 2020 at 2:01 am

Just a quick jab: why does Haidt, and others, assume that feelings are inferior to logic and intellect? Seems to me they are inter-twined, separate-able, but equal in value, if not dimension.

It could be a three way set-up instead of a two way (like markets, which are commonly spoken of as two: buyer and seller, but are three: buyer, seller, and banker /money man). Man's consciousness could be 1) feelings, 2) logic /intellect, and 3) the decider (call out to ex-prez W, so got political jab in too!).

But all that rather kicks Haidt's argument

eg , February 12, 2020 at 2:34 pm

In fairness to Haidt, I think he's more nuanced than "rationality good; feelings bad"

I have encountered more of that rather rigid approach among those who have read "Thinking Fast and Slow" perhaps because that book doesn't do as good a job of outlining as crucial the capacity to recognize which situations favor System 1 thinking and those which favor System 2 -- a problem compounded by the emphasis in the book on the rather narrow range of circumstances in which System 2 is clearly superior.

vlade , February 12, 2020 at 3:00 am

Social scientists can't add:
"value all six domains equally [ ] valuing the first two much more than the other three."

More seriously, yes. Years ago, Heinlein wrote "Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal".

somecallmetim , February 12, 2020 at 8:56 pm

Jeez – I spent years getting an Econ degree in the homo economus/monetarist era (dark times), when I should've been making my way through my D&D Dungeon Master's sci fi collection!

Dell , February 13, 2020 at 2:53 pm

I always thought that the Professors who thought up homo economus never went with their wives (as it was back then) to the grocery store.

The rational choice, always, was the store brand. DelMonte and all other such brands owed their very existence to non-rational, emotional choices–by tons of people.

But the implications of that never sunk in.

erik , February 13, 2020 at 1:04 am

'Rational' just means 'consistently following an internally sound logic.' A machine does that – following the logic of its mechanics. A computer does that – following the logic of code. An animal does that – following the logic dictated by emotion. And an animal certainly does that better than we humans whose behaviors become muddled by ideas. Truly, by this measure animals are better machines than humans – more mechanical, more emotional, more logical, more rational.

Hayek's Heelbiter , February 12, 2020 at 5:28 am

That's why a rebel economist challenging conventional thinking about subjects like human nature faces a heavy lift. Experts have to see a lot of evidence accumulating across many studies before they reach a point where they are finally forced to think differently.

As an ex-organic chemist, I was astonished to find that more than a few scientists cling to outdated paradigms with a tenacity that would shame the most rigid religious fundamentalist. Cf. heliobacter, continental drift, even the heliocentric solar system.

divadab , February 12, 2020 at 11:02 am

Huh? Heliocentric solar system is an outdated paradigm? Are you talking about this planet or are you coming from another solar system?

vlade , February 12, 2020 at 11:50 am

same for continental drift – pretty much no one in geology challenges plate tectonics, as it explains way more than any other theory on offer.

Anon , February 12, 2020 at 12:06 pm

While "continental" drift was first proposed in about 1600 AD it was not completely wrong. Like many initial geologic theories it was partially correct. It is now known that it is not the "continents" that move across the earth, but tectonic plates, on which the continents are located, that is creating movement. The convection of the earths interior magma is thought to be the movement vector for the plates.

Henry Moon Pie , February 12, 2020 at 6:04 am

"this propensity also prepares us to get along within our groups and even to cooperate on a large scale -- our human superpower"

Yuval Harari's central point revolves around this. Humans, like other primates, engage in "grooming" activities to maintain group cohesion. With the development of language, this "grooming" went from picking lice out of each other's hair (fun!) to gossiping about each other. But this behavior seems to be unable to maintain a group size larger than 150 individuals, not surprising considering the person-to-person contact necessary.

To gather a larger group around common goals requires myth, Harari says. Early myths involved gods, often imagined as living in a separate world with structures parallel to our own. In a polytheistic society, the head god related to the lesser gods as a king related to his human subjects. In the henotheistic Ancient Near East, nations like Babylon, Assyria and even the southern Israelite kingdom of Judah envisioned a parallel war occurring in "heaven" between the national gods when two countries went to war. These days, there are new, completely secular myths like what Harari calls "Money" that orient our world around materialism, competition and power.

eg , February 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm

William H. McNeill also noted the almost universal human behaviours of mass marching/dancing (which requires and reinforces cooperation) as indicative of a social behaviour rooted in a biological need

We also have "mirror neurons" for a reason -- one that baffles the proponents of "homo economicus"

Eric , February 12, 2020 at 7:20 am

I was more interested in this article from the political perspective; i.e. what liberals get wrong.

Like many who read this site, I'm interested in the primary elections and want Bernie to win.

But Bernie's message could be better by being more attuned to some of the "Moral Foundation" issues Haidt raises.

Take Medicare for All which, by most accounts, is the leading issue to most voters:

Talking more about Medicare being a simple and successful 50+ year program appeals to authority. Medicare Advantage plans can be framed as subversion. Or loyalty / betrayal. Also consider sanctity / degradation.

Talking more about the 80/20 aspect of coverage addresses fairness / cheating and "free stuff"

Not talking about eliminating private insurance shows concern for liberty / oppression. I would actually make a joke about people who would still want private insurance after M4A becomes available

Just food for thought in terms of how the ideas contained in the article could be applied.

And the next time some nefarious reporter asks how we will pay for this or that; I wish someone will just say "Mexico will pay for it".

deplorado , February 13, 2020 at 1:20 am

This!
Share it with the campaign on twitter – please!

LowellHighlander , February 12, 2020 at 7:24 am

As an economist (M.A. in Econ), I am elated to see Jonathan Haidt's work receive this kind of attention from serious thinkers. In addition to the reasons cited by Lynn Parramore, I believe Professor Haidt's work validates, by building on, the work of Humanistic Economics by Professor Mark Lutz (Ph.D. UC-Berkeley) and Dr. Kenneth Lux. Moreover, Professor Haidt's work appears, to me, to further validate the astute criticisms of Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot for neoclassical Marxists' use of "Rational Economic Man" in their paradigm's modls (no "e"). Having obtained my degree about 25 years ago, basically in humanistic economics, I am sure that adoption of such thinking by grad students in economics can help rescue humanity from its current barbaric state. I just hope there's still time left.

Jeremy Grimm , February 12, 2020 at 1:03 pm

But economics without homo economicus? Does that not mess-up a lot of beautiful economic proofs and their beautiful mathematics?

eg , February 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Let them have their toys -- just don't let them near anything like policy

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 7:30 am

On hate and having negative view on the rich : this article mentions that "only" 25% of Americans have a negative or very negative view of the rich". Only is the proper word? I would say that is a lot of bad feelings. Hate is not a sane feeling and we are inclined to hate in stressful situations. So, if 25% of Americans, have these negative feelings (8% very negative) about the rich this spells quite a lot of despair/stress. It would be interesting a comparison with other countries to evaluate if this is normal by international standards.

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 7:52 am

I mention this because stress & despair might explain, at least partially, the relative low turnout in general elections in the US compared with other OECD countries. Does anybody here know the evolution of electoral turnout in the US since 1950? Has turnout declined with time?

Dirk77 , February 12, 2020 at 5:13 pm

There is a Wikipedia article under the title Voter Turnout in the US Presidential Elections fwiw.

John Wright , February 12, 2020 at 9:46 am

I remembered an old David Brooks column mentioning that Americans vote their aspirations.

I'm not a fan of Brooks, but this 20 year old column may explain some USA citizens' current attitudes..

Here is a sample quote (about a proposed Al Gore estate tax):

"The most telling polling result from the 2000 election was from a Time magazine survey that asked people if they are in the top 1 percent of earners. Nineteen percent of Americans say they are in the richest 1 percent and a further 20 percent expect to be someday. So right away you have 39 percent of Americans who thought that when Mr. Gore savaged a plan that favored the top 1 percent, he was taking a direct shot at them."

https://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/12/opinion/the-triumph-of-hope-over-self-interest.html

While it has been 20 years since this was published, one might suspect American "I'll be rich" aspirations have taken a beating during this interval.

The economics profession has ridden the hydrocarbon energy spend of the last 100+ years as hydrocarbon energy has been pulled from the ground and converted into "economic growth".

It will be interesting to see how the profession responds to future events with climate change, peak human population and peak energy inexorably (in my view) arriving.

Susan the other , February 12, 2020 at 10:38 am

Yes, after all corvid-19 only has a mortality rate of 2.5% . are viruses comparable to hate?

Donald , February 12, 2020 at 7:49 am

One thing that has happened is that over the past several decades so- called liberals have agreed with conservatives that the market represents freedom and efficiency and the government represents the opposite. Some younger people are rebelling, but older voters have been hearing this their whole lives without challenge until Sanders came along.

I just read a description of a Trump rally at the NYT and I think it was accurate. The reporters just repeated what ordinary people said there. One guy claimed the Democrats have just swung so far left he can't support them anymore, yet on economics this simply isn't the case. Sanders just represents what Democrats used to be on economic issues.

gsinbe , February 12, 2020 at 7:57 am

I enjoyed the article, and agree with the main ideas, but he was a little rough on our primate cousins. Chimps may not cooperate by "carrying logs", but, like a lot of social animals, they work together when, say, hunting other primates. And most social animals have a pretty well-developed sense of fairness (watch what happens if you give one of your dogs a treat and ignore the other one).

a different chris , February 12, 2020 at 8:59 am

Yes I am trying to think about what chimps would actually need to transport a log for. That famous jocular saying by one of the researchers "we were beginning to think the difference between us was merely cultural".

Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 9:26 am

Is that a sense of fairness or a sense of competition or perhaps a sense of both? Each dog would prefer being the favorite but will accept being the equal.

Dogs are an interesting analogy because in my observation they are, as social animals, so much like us. Perhaps the main takeaway from the above article is the belief that there is such a thing as "human nature" and that we have a kinship with the other species. Needless to say such a view was once anathema in an intellectual climate dominated by religion and a human centric world view. Even now people like Pence are "dominionists" and believe that humans have been given dominion over the planet and all its other species because of what it says in the Bible. Power always needs to justify itself–perhaps because of that innate sense of fairness/competition that you mention.

Susan the other , February 12, 2020 at 10:54 am

Haidt got me thinking about language too. His thesis could be talking about the evolution of language itself. The evolution of rationalization. Since he seems to premise his insights on human intuition and a certain bedrock of morality that all animals seem to have. Pre language. Can we attribute the morality of animals to a lack of rationalization? They do seem to lack immorality. If we were mute, but very intuitive as we are, what effect would our intuition have on our communication skills and our actions? Raising the question here, Is language the emotional middleman that is always (duplex) less than rational and causing all this confusion? Sort of thinking here about someone giving an over-the-top sermon, like an economics professor claiming that we are all homo-economicus.

Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Morality traditionally implies conscious choice so I'm not sure that's relevant to the animal world. Guess what I'm saying is that we are similar to certain animals in our instincts, not our intelligence.

However the language of economic profs is deceptive since they should be saying "irrational self interest" rather than "rational self interest." Pure selfishness usually ends up being bad even for the selfish.

Susan the other , February 13, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Also on this very subject, last night on Nova, the one about dogs, their domestication (or ours?) and their amazing ability to relate – communicate. They attribute a dog's ability to communicate to oxytocin – because they thrive on love and friendship. I do believe that because I've only had one aloof dog and he was very wolf-like. A throwback. Indicating that evolution tends toward love – not to be too corny. Maybe Oxytocin will save us ;-)

Susan the other , February 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Maybe we could develop a more finely-tuned consciousness.

eg , February 12, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Um, pack animals have hierarchies -- period

And we are biologically pack animals, mercifully moderated by culture

Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm

If by "pack animals" you mean species that live in societies I never said they didn't. But obviously there is also cooperation on some level and social bonding. I do think this is a very complicated subject and not easily reduced to simplifications by yours truly–not a biologist–or the above article. But arguably the above is correct in asserting that economists themselves are ignoring the complications.

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 8:16 am

And for those interested, here is a paper published in 2008 that empirically demonstrates that the "Homo economicus" approach in this case disguised in the form of "median-voter model" is bullshit regarding inequality, redistribution and public opinion, though they regard it as intelectually compelling. Economists!

John Wright , February 12, 2020 at 10:19 am

Your link did not work for me.

But this did work (after google searching for "mwm006.pdf") that was buried in your link

https://academic.oup.com/ser/article-pdf/6/1/35/4761357/mwm006.pdf

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 11:10 am

Thank you. That was the paper.

a different chris , February 12, 2020 at 8:56 am

>Experts have to see a lot of evidence accumulating across many studies before they reach a point where they are finally forced to think differently.

Ummm, the whole, underlying maybe, point of the rest of the article is that the dominant economic thought of our age has nothing to do with evidence. Yet they overthrew Keynes. "Trust us, We're Experts" or something like that right?

DJG , February 12, 2020 at 8:58 am

I just finished slogging through The Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist, which harmonizes with this article. Instead of the rider on an elephant, McGilchrist writes of the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which are significantly different. The left brain is verbal, analytical, and task oriented. It likes straight lines. (This strikes me as a description of the pseudo-accuracy and busyness of economics.) The right brain sees a larger picture, is less talky, and is generally better at perceiving the world around us. It is the hemisphere that can attain greater knowledge even if it is not as adept at expressing such knowledge in words. (The "bee" part of the brain–and more than 10 percent.)

McGilchrist's book is good, but way too long, which is an irony given that he asserts that the left brain, the emissary, is trying to subvert the master, the part of the brain less likely to go on and on and on in words.

But this era of too many easy paradigms (economics, "free markets"), too much flimsy analysis (critical studies, queer studies, economics, New York Times op-ed columnists), and too much talk (social media) is very much left-brained. I think that what is wearing all of us out is the endless tsunami of word salad. Economics, with its insistance on rationality rather than reasonableness (left brain rather than right brain), fell into the salad bowl a long time ago.

Mel , February 12, 2020 at 10:12 am

Yes. I, too, think this is a very important book. Being retired, I don't think it's too long. I revel in how much stuff I got for only thirty bucks (or whatever it was -- something like that.)
The neurological case is complete after 94 very dense pages. (535 citations. Pleasantly readable prose, though, and that bizarre experiment that "proves" that porcupines are monkeys.) After that he traces the effects and footprints of the two independent modes of thought through philosophy, art, music, and, generally, the working of our societies from ancient to post-modern.
There's a strong parallel to Daniel Kahneman's Fast and Slow thinking, the right hemisphere being the fast one. The one wrinkle is that language is the province of the left hemisphere, but Kahnemann finds that fast thinking is perfectly adept at small-talk, as long as it doesn't get too abstract.
Worst for me is that now that I've read it, I've got to go back into Heidegger, all the other modern Germans, John Dryden, classical and modern painting, religion

The Rev Kev , February 12, 2020 at 9:27 am

So how would homo economicus work out in anything other than a modern industrial system? In earlier times, I would say that at the least they would be shunned as a danger to the community or maybe even thrown out altogether as being incapable of working in a close-knit community. Want a modern example instead? How about the fact that you cannot have a military based on the idea of homo economicus unless you are talking about a band of mercenaries. This whole stupid idea is why every relationship these days whether for work, employment, government, etc is defined by contracts. In short, it is a cookie-cutter idea that come in only one shape.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 12, 2020 at 9:31 am

"Since the 1950s, this mono-motivated, self-seeking figure has stalked the pages of economics textbooks, busy deciding each action according to a rational calculus of personal loss and gain."

Advertising gave up with that sort of approach years ago.
Advertisers appeal to deep seated wants and desires and this works really well, so they haven't looked back.
Are the wealthy much more rational?
Let's have a look at adverts targeted at wealthy people.
Are they a long list of specifications and comparisons saying why these products are better?
No.
An advert for a Sunseeker luxury yacht conveys luxury, elegance, being able to get away from it all and there is usually a young woman in the back in a bikini; the less said about that the better.

What about PR and propoganda?
How do they work?
The same as advertising really, and it's got nothing to do with appealing to rational human beings.
It works; they are not going to be doing it differently anytime soon.

Economics seems to be the odd man out.

Mel , February 12, 2020 at 11:32 am

A propos of nothing, long, long ago there was an ad during the Superbowl placed by Cadillac. It was all about authority, power, celebrity, and it hardly mentioned cars at all, if it even did. Blog commenters had to work very hard to explain how this was selling Cadillacs. IMHO, it didn't sell Cadillacs. It told the top Cadillac executives all the things about themselves that they most longed to hear. It didn't sell cars to wealthy people, it sold the ad itself to the Cadillac C-suite. It worked like a charm.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 12, 2020 at 9:56 am

Inequality exists on two axes:

Y-axis – top to bottom
X-axis – Across genders, races, etc ..

As long as the Democrats wealthy donors keep them focussed on identity politics and the X-axis, the donors should be able to keep making progress in the reverse direction on the Y-axis.

Rob Chametzky , February 12, 2020 at 11:33 am

Samuel Bowles has examined these issues recently in "The moral
economy":

https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300163803/moral-economy

and he's MUCH better than Haidt. I recommend this book and lots
of his earlier work, much of it done with Herbert Gintis.

Their 1976 "Schooling in capitalist America" is no less necessary
reading now than it was then, and their 1986 "Democracy & capitalism"
is maybe even more relevant now (Milanovic credits it as a forerunner
to his current "Capitalism, alone", which it is–and much more than that).
More recent stuff is referenced in "The moral economy" and pretty
much always worthwhile.

–Rob Chametzky

Tim , February 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm

Morality is a big part of decision making, but I'll argue that is secondary to our cognitive biases that exist at an even lower level of consciousness to enable us to retain function and decision making in the face of an overwhelming number of variables.

The opposite of cognitive bias or perhaps the antidote is critical thinking, which must be taught/learned, so yeah it is preposterous to assume people use solid reasoning that could only come about with the use of critical thinking, which vasts swaths of society almost never exercise.

flora , February 12, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Thanks for this post. Homo economicus was/is always and only about the 'one'.

Whereas the basis of moral philosophy is about 'the one and the many' in equal importance, imo.

Thanks for this post and to the commentors recommending more writings in this field.

Dirk77 , February 12, 2020 at 6:10 pm

The article to me is all over the place, which builds on Haidt's views that seem all over the place too. Interesting though. Comments too. The experimental data about Haidt's classifications of moral decision making elements, and where self-described liberals and conservatives rank them in importance was interesting. I suppose the liberals regarding only two of the six as important could be due to their college educations. As a math professor I had once observed about a smart student in his class: "he learned his subject too well". Or to paraphrase Othello: "One that learned not wisely but too well".

greensachs , February 12, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Nuff sd

"It's Armageddon Time for the Democratic Party"
https://theintercept.com/2020/02/12/its-armageddon-time-for-the-democratic-party/

TG , February 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm

Hmm yes but

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must ship our industrial base to China so that the rich can make more money.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must allow big companies to merge and quash competition and raise prices.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must allow "surprise medical billing" when insured people go to the emergency room.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must do nothing to stop the use of slave labor in peeling shrimp for export in Southeast Asia.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must bail out and subsidize Wall Street and big finance with tens of trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Perhaps the "humans are rational economic agents!" argument is not really an argument, as such

deplorado , February 13, 2020 at 2:29 am

The most important takeaway from this is that we should not let economists guide the economy. Not the economists believing in homo economicus anyway (and, while we are at it, believing in equilibrium as well). The reason for existence of such a concept is clearly to replace ethics and morality as a guiding principle of human economic activity with a pseudo- "natural law" (humans by nature are "economicus" – i.e. self-interested and materialistic – phew!), which once entrenched, relieves those in power from moral obligations because it safely explains away almost any economic outcome as result of "natural" forces – i.e. no one to blame (globalization=natural force). It's a great tool for them. Down with it.

Dick Swenson , February 14, 2020 at 4:25 pm

The asumption of rationality has been defeated by many economists, as well as psychologists, sociologists, etc.. Carrying on about this is unncessary. Assuming that humans worry about "care and fairness' is true. The "12" prophets of the Tanakh (Old Testament") raised this concern numerous times, and one can find it as a major issue in the Synoptic Gospels. Smith also worried about this in his first book on economocs, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments." The only reason for any further consideration of "rationality" in economics is due to the attemprt by economists to treat economics as a "science" like physics. There are also numerous misguided attempts to mathemaize economics.

But one insidious reason to pretend that economics is a "science" is to justify the idea of a "Nobel Prize" in economics, or to give a "halo" to economists that win the "Swedish Central Bank Prize in Economic Scholarship in Memory of Alfred Nobel."

Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg have written a good book about the creation of this prize, "The Nobel Factor." Please note, the words "Nobel Prize" do not seem to appear on either the certificates or medal awarded.

Daniel Kahneman who won the prize (justifiably, (and John Nash a famous mathematicin who won many real prizes) notd that giving labels often transfers a false aura to those being labeled. Offer and Söderberg noted that this is true of the label "winner of the Nobel Prize." Given that there is no decent encompasssing theory of economics similar to Newton's Laws and how often the prizes are awarded to economists who don't produce anything like such a theory, we should once and for all abandone the pretense that economis is a science. It is an attempt to describe social behaviour in a very restricted context. Leaving it to psychologists, sociologists and others has produce better undertandings of human behaviour.

[Feb 15, 2020] Tucker: Fairness is the most important American idea

Feb 15, 2020 | www.youtube.com

NOTHING BURGER - CONFIRMED. , 1 day ago (edited)

HEY BARR , HlLLARY USED HAMMERS & BLEACHBlT TO DESTR0Y/HlDE EVlDENCE OF UNKN0WN CRlMES!!

Jim , 1 day ago

Fairness is an important idea in America. Unfortunately it isn't to our "justice" system - never has been!

Bobby Hendricks , 1 day ago

No such thing as fairness when we are talking about the 2 tier justice system

Trollhaj , 1 day ago

"We're not going to let him just torch this democracy" Says, Eric "We Have Nukes" Swalwell

Douglas Tibbitts , 1 day ago (edited)

Say while we are at it wasn't this the guy who gave Jeffrey Epstein his cush deal.?

Tony Pinto , 1 day ago

Hillary was asked specifically about the movement of arms from Libya to Syria during congressional inquiry and she claimed to know nothing of such activities. Lied to congress, yet still walking around free.

Sheila hucke , 1 day ago

Swallwell is a liar just like the rest of em. He says they don't wake up in the morning wanting to Impeach him, BS they have wanted to Impeach him since before he was president....

Phillip Johnson , 1 day ago (edited)

The swamp is deeper than originally thought! Also, I am really quite surprised at the amount of RINOs in the party.

Heather Swanson , 20 hours ago

"We don't wake up in the morning, wanting to impeach the president" - Eric Swalwell 😳🤔 are we living in the same timeline bro?

Greg Olsen , 1 day ago

Judge refused excupitory evidence that would have cleared Stone! :-(

homeward bound , 1 day ago

I'm with Tucker. Let the pres pardon him and that's that.

[Feb 14, 2020] Bullshit Earnings: Charlie Munger Slams using Adjusted EBITDA To Report Earnings

Feb 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

xxx 43 minutes ago

Charlie looks pretty good for a 96 year old billionaire, compare him to 89 year old George Soros who looks like a goblin from hell.

[Feb 14, 2020] The best about Trump is that it makes the US system so visibly transparent: The king and his servants (acolytes) looking for personal advantage ... Hillarious. Don't you second-rate allies/acolytes use the wrong words. We better give you talking points.

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Feb 13 2020 11:16 utc | 147

Pft 85 < The Constitution of the United States of America is a corporate charter. in form and substance, it redirected the distribution of profits from shareholders to feudal lords.

What it has been doing since Lincoln was shot is to develop lordships (called monopoly possessing corporations) and making sure those lordships were vested by rule of law, war in foreign land, and other measures as needed, to make sure the feudal lords and their corporations were always profitable no matter what and to be sure that any need or want the feudal lords had need for, the USA corporation would extract from those (called Americans) that it governs. ..

When the feudal lords fail, the government is made to give the feudal lord the money it needs to keep going. until the failed feudal lord can realize by its bull shit existence to be profitable again.

Vig , Feb 13 2020 12:48 utc | 152

Comment les Etats-Unis ont demandé à la communauté internationale de soutenir leur plan israélo-palestinien.or look for lefigaro.fr then international,then moyen orient.
Posted by: willie | Feb 13 2020 0:48 utc | 94

Interesting willie. Yes the best about Trump is that it makes the US system so visibly transparent: The king and his servants (acolytes) looking for personal advantage ... Hillarious. Don't you second-rate allies/acolytes use the wrong words. We better give you talking points.

https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/comment-les-etats-unis-ont-demande-a-la-communaute-internationale-de-soutenir-leur-plan-israelo-palestinien-20200201

[Feb 14, 2020] Now here is a good piece on Trump gangsterism by Gordon Duff

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Feb 12 2020 22:34 utc | 77

Now here is a good piece on Trump gangsterism by Gordon Duff.
I guess some is Duffy but most entirely believable.
Q wont reprint this .

ben , Feb 12 2020 22:41 utc | 81

Thanks for the link ut @ 77; An excerpt;

"Those who accept the policies of the Trump administration, cancellation of the JCPOA with Iran, seizing oil fields in Syria, endless sanctions on nation after nation, Europe blackmailed, endless threats emanating almost hourly from Trump's iPhone as "national policy" or even criminally deranged is simply not paying attention."

Excellent come back for the Qanon fantasy, which, IMO, ranks right up there with Ayn Rand's fevered dreams...

Pft , Feb 12 2020 23:28 utc | 85
Ran across this quote which is more true than not.

There is no America. Everything is just one vast corporation, an association of corporations. There's no Britain. There's no America. There's no Holland. There's no China. There's no Russia. It's one conglomerate of corporations. Money runs the thing."

-- Peter Finch as character Howard Beale, in the movie "Network

Its true when you consider the interlocking ownership of the elites in the major corporations and industries, which also capture governments political parties and regulatory agencies, and in China of course these local global elites make up parts of the party elite. While money is an important attribute of power, I think its a means and not an end to them. Their motivations is an ideology based on Platos Republic where they are pholisopher kings ruling the rest, and a religious idea that they, as elites may evolve to become like God and recover what was lost after the fall - as man was originally made in Gods image. Another name for it is Transhumanism which actually is idea that came from gnostic Judeo-Christian beliefs. Religion like Eugenics has not disappeared, both have just been renamed and repurposed. The Elites are Gods chosen people and the rest exist to serve.

uncle tungsten , Feb 13 2020 1:23 utc | 96
Penelope #95

Exactly Penelope, that is precisely what the Trump and establishment oligarchy want. Red herrings to mesmerise and nimble fingers to pick pockets and all backed by their 'rule of law', their thugs, their assault on humanity.

Benign neglect of the safety of citizens as part of this strategy of creating high level terror (be it actual violence or a coronavirus)is called out in this excellent analysis .

[Feb 14, 2020] This is Jimmy Dore of Tucker Carlson show FoxTV.

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Feb 13 2020 4:10 utc | 114

This is Jimmy Dore of Tucker Carlson show FoxTV.

You would not ever have seen this on Fox at the last election. Best high voltage spit by Jimmy Dore I have seen.
Tucker shows a great smirk especially when Jimmy dumps on Guaido.

five minutes of mirth

[Feb 14, 2020] The trouble with Artificial Intelligence

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 12 2020 6:36 utc | 43

Posted by: juliania | Feb 12 2020 5:15 utc | 39
(Artificial Intelligence)

The trouble with Artificial Intelligence is that it's not intelligent.
And it's not intelligent because it's got no experience, no imagination and no self-control.

[Feb 14, 2020] The power of the Fed has become so acute that it has replaced the economy as a principle influence over the stock market to the point where there is only a 7% correlation between GDP and the S P 500

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

financial matters , Feb 12 2020 23:56 utc | 89

AntiSpin @ 39. A couple of very good articles.

From the first:

""The power of the Fed has become so acute that it has replaced the economy as a principle influence over the stock market to the point where there is only a 7% correlation between GDP and the S&P 500. Historically, in any given cycle that relationship was anywhere between 30% and 70%."""

So eventually, there will be no goods for this money to buy. And other countries will also stop selling their goods to us.

""So even though stocks continue to steadily climb higher, the rot at the foundation of the system is becoming more and more apparent.""

Financial assets need to mirror realty.

[Feb 09, 2020] Globalism requires rapacious capitalism.

Jan 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

Jake , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 10:49 pm GMT

Globalism requires rapacious capitalism. Globalism is billionaires and multi-millionaires getting richer while the middle classes of the entire Western world get squeezed and then squeezed more, with once stable working classes ruined.

Liberal voters fall for it because the Globalists swear they are helping all the blacks and browns of the world. Liberal academics, journalists, artists, and 'ordinary rich' people back it because they invariably despise both the white working class and the non-Liberal white middle class. Neocons (WASPs as well as Jews) practice rapacious capitalism religiously because they worship Mammon.

[Feb 09, 2020] For me the scariest thing is not that the world is ruled by gangsters a criminal elite with the US ruling class its top mafia family.

Jan 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , Jan 26 2020 18:35 utc | 22

Hausmeister and I discussed rule by fear, "deimocracy".

That was off topic, and belongs more properly here.

And to that discussion I wish to proffer an interesting related essay>

@ steelcityscribblings.(uk)"Talking WW3 Blues" "...For me the scariest thing is not that the world is ruled by gangsters – a criminal elite with the US ruling class its top mafia family. It is that this particular family, and the lesser criminals who ride its coat-tails, are justifiably worried...."

They too are ruled by fear. Not logos, not knowledge, fear, and panic.

What can go wrong with that?

They conjure up these, the lesser gods of the wars they've made since ...you name a date... And thus themselves are ruled, as they rule the people, by war and fear and panic.

[Feb 09, 2020] Pompeo and the Mafia Hit Strategy by Kurt Nimmo

Jan 21, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

For the former tank commander, murder -- not simply double-tapping the target with a firearm, but blowing him into meaty chunks with a Hellfire missile -- is "real deterrence."

Pompeo said during a speech at Stanford University's Hoover Institute "there was 'a bigger strategy' behind the killing of Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force, Iran's elite foreign espionage and paramilitary force.

The USG Mafia Hit Strategy on steroids is not confined to threatening Iran, however. Pompeo eluded to Russia and China's leaders being assassinated.

Pompeo didn't come out and say Trump's government will steer Hellfire missiles specifically at Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, or even Kim Jung-un . The message, however, is inescapable, especially for folks opposed to neoliberal crony capitalist domination of their national economies, industries, public services, and natural resources

Iran wants a nuke to prevent an attack by the USG in collaboration with the Zionist government in Israel. Ditto, North Korea. It remembers when the USG bombed virtually every city, town, and hamlet in the country and killed a third of the population. No doubt the mullahs in Tehran vividly recall Muammar Gaddafi's fate. They also remember how the CIA colluded with the Brits to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran and installed a monarchial tyrant.

It is entirely rational to seek the most effective deterrent to foreign invasion and mass murder campaigns waged relentlessly by the crony capitalist neolib USG and its little vicious client, Israel, the racist state where only Jews are considered first-class citizens and Arabs are tortured and killed -- or at best maimed (during anti-occupation protests, Israel snipers are instructed to aim for the eyes ).

For neocons, Trumpsters, and Fox News teleprompter readers, "taking out" Soleimani in Mafia hit fashion "was a brilliant move."

. @jockowillink says President @realDonaldTrump 's gamble ordering the strike that killed Soleimani was a brilliant move that killed an enemy of America and the Iranian people on #TheBrianKilmeadeShow @foxnation @foxnewsradio https://t.co/2w4S5n3yC8

Trump Threatens to Kill Iran's Spiritual Leader

-- Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) January 14, 2020

Yes, of course, murdering leaders of recalcitrant nations is considered a "brilliant move" by psychopaths. The Italian-Jewish Mafia killed opponents one-by-one or in small groups while the USG kills opponents in the thousands, even the millions. The Gambino family and Kosher Nostra founded by Arnold Rothstein (who was himself assassinated) would have loved to take out their opponents with Reaper drones and Hellfire missiles, courtesy of witless US taxpayers and debt-serfs.

State Department officials involved in U.S. embassy security were not made aware of imminent threats to four specific U.S. embassies, two State Department officials said, further undermining Trump's claims that Soleimani posed an imminent threat. https://t.co/sG9ZXyxOa3

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 13, 2020

USG embassies were not and are not under threat by Iran. In Iraq, the people protesting outside the embassy are Iraqis. They want the USG and its contractors out of their country which is still reeling from Bush the Lesser's invasion, a follow-up on more than a decade of child-killing (over 500,000) sanctions and a previous invasion by Junior's father, the former CIA boss who would become president.

Corporate war propaganda media is pushing the narrative that Trump impulsively decided to slaughter Soleimani, as if it simply came to him out of the blue.

. @douglaslondon5 , who retired from CIA at the end of 2018, writes that he and his team "often struggled in persuading the president to recognize the most important threats" because of Trump's "focus on celebrity, headlines, and immediate gratification." https://t.co/1SlVDNb44l

-- Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) January 15, 2020

Hardly. This is simply another anti-Trump gimmick. If you look beyond this one-dimensional pre-election circus, you'll see Trump's orthodox Jewish son-in-law, Sheldon Adelson, and a cast of Zionist characters steering the president into war with Israel's enemies. Indeed, Trump is driven by a pathological need for attention and this has been successfully exploited by neocons in the service of a tiny nation based on racial and religious superiority.

The basic method Trump used to kill Soleimani was developed by the Israelis >30 years ago. Here's a screen shot from "Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations," by Israeli author Ronen Bergman, here describing Israeli developments in late 1980s pic.twitter.com/MWKifPPjPF

-- James Perloff (@jamesperloff) January 14, 2020

The neolib USG with its Israel-first neocon faction is the largest and most deadly Mafia organization in the world.

The US government has killed millions since the end of FDR's war under false pretense and has overthrown countries far and wide. It trains and enables sadistic paramilitaries, has armed crazed Wahhabi jihadists, and is the only country to have used a nuclear weapon against innocent civilians.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this articl e was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Feb 09, 2020] The CIA drug connection is as old as the Agency

Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Agent76 , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 7:06 pm GMT

Jan 14, 2020 The Dirty American Secret You're *NOT* Supposed to Know About

https://www.youtube.com/embed/02F5r2y9JU0?feature=oembed

December 3, 1993 The CIA Drug ConnectionIs as Old as the Agency

LONDON -- The Justice Department is investigating allegations that officers of a special Venezuelan anti-drug unit funded by the CIA smuggled more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States with the knowledge of CIA officials – despite protests by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the organization responsible for enforcing U.S. drug laws.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/03/opinion/03iht-edlarry.html

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT
@Agent76 Agree, the CIA and MI6 and the Mossad are the biggest drug runners in the world.

[Feb 09, 2020] Bush older acted as a gangster in Kuwait war: he was determined to "seize the unipolar moment."

Bush older was the first president from CIA. He was already a senior CIA official at the time of JFK assassination and might participate in the plot to kill JFK. At least he was in Dallas at the day of assassination. .
Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 5:20 pm GMT

That Iraq is to say the least unstable is attributable to the ill-advised U.S. invasion of 2003.

Nothing to do with 9 years of sanctions on Iraq that killed a million Iraqis, "half of them children," and US control of Iraqi air space, after having killed Iraqi military in a turkey-shoot, for no really good reason other than George H W Bush seized the "unipolar moment" to become king of the world?

Maybe it's just stubbornness: I think Papa Bush is responsible for the "imperial pivot," in the Persian Gulf war aka Operation Desert Storm, 29 years and 4 days ago -- January 17, 1991.

According to Jeffrey Engel, Bush's biographer and director of the Bush library at Southern Methodist University, Gorbachev harassed Bush with phone calls, pleading with him not to go to war over Kuwait

https://www.c-span.org/video/?310832-1/into-desert-reflections-gulf-war

(It's worth noting that Dennis Ross was relatively new in his role on Jim Baker's staff when Baker, Brent Skowcroft, Larry Eagleburger & like minded urged Bush to take the Imperial Pivot.)

According to Vernon Loeb, who completed the writing of King's Counsel after Jack O'Connell died, Jordan's King Hussein, in consultation with retired CIA station chief O'Connell, parlayed with Arab leaders to resolve the conflict on their own, i.e. Arab-to-Arab terms, and also pleaded with Bush to stay out, and to let the Arabs solve their own problems. Bush refused.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?301361-6/kings-counsel

See above: Bush was determined to "seize the unipolar moment."

Once again insist on entering into the record: George H Bush was present at the creation of the Global War on Terror, July 4, 1979, the Jerusalem Conference hosted by Benzion and Benjamin Netanyahu and heavily populated with Trotskyites – neocons.

International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Benjamin Netanyahu, ed., 1981.
(Wurmser became Netanyahu's acolyte)

Z-man , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 7:05 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

I think Papa Bush is responsible for the "imperial pivot," in the Persian Gulf war aka Operation Desert Storm, 29 years and 4 days ago -- January 17, 1991.

Yes I remember it well. I came back from a long trip & memorable vacation, alas I was a young man, to the television drama that was unfolding with Arthur Kent 'The Scud Stud' and others reporting from the safety of their hotel balconies filming aircaft and cruise missiles. It was surreal.
You are correct of course.

[Feb 09, 2020] Trump demand for 50% of Iraq oil revenue sound exactly like a criminal mob boss

Highly recommended!
Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

Tucker , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT

I've heard and read about a claim that Trump actually called PM Abdul Mahdi and demanded that Iraq hand over 50 percent of their proceeds from selling their oil to the USA, and then threatened Mahdi that he would unleash false flag attacks against the Iraqi government and its people if he did not submit to this act of Mafia-like criminal extortion. Mahdi told Trump to kiss his buttocks and that he wasn't going to turn over half of the profits from oil sales.

This makes Trump sound exactly like a criminal mob boss, especially in light of the fact that the USA is now the world's #1 exporter of oil – a fact that the arrogant Orange Man has even boasted about in recent months. Can anyone confirm that this claim is accurate? If so, then the more I learn about Trump the more sleazy and gangster like he becomes.

I mean, think about it. Bush and Cheney and mostly jewish neocons LIED us into Iraq based on bald faced lies, fabricated evidence, and exaggerated threats that they KNEW did not exist. We destroyed that country, captured and killed it's leader – who used to be a big buddy of the USA when we had a use for him – and Bush's crime gang killed close to 2 million innocent Iraqis and wrecked their economy and destroyed their infrastructure. And, now, after all that death, destruction and carnage – which Trump claimed in 2016 he did not approve of – but, now that Trump is sitting on the throne in the Oval office – he has the audacity and the gall to demand that Iraq owes the USA 50 percent of their oil profits? And, that he won't honor and respect their demand to pull our troops out of their sovereign nation unless they PAY US back for the gigantic waste of tax payers money that was spent building permanent bases inside their country?

Not one Iraqi politician voted for the appropriations bill that financed the construction of those military bases; that was our mistake, the mistake of our US congress whichever POTUS signed off on it.

melpol , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 1:41 pm GMT
...Trump learned the power of the purse on the streets of NYC, he survived by playing ball with the Jewish and Italian Mafia. Now he has become the ultimate Godfather, and the world must listen to his commands. Watch and listen as the powerful and mighty crumble under US Hegemony.
World War Jew , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 1:42 pm GMT
Right TG, traditionally, as you said up there first, and legally too, under the supreme law of the land. Economic sanctions are subject to the same UNSC supervision as forcible coercion.

UN Charter Article 41: "The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."

https://www.un.org/en/charter-united-nations/index.html

US "sanctions" require UNSC authorization. Unilateral sanctions are nothing but illegal coercive intervention, as the non-intervention principle is customary international law, which is US federal common law.

The G-192, that is, the entire world, has affirmed this law. That's why the US is trying to defund UNCTAD as redundant with the WTO (UNCTAD is the G-192's primary forum.) In any case, now that the SCO is in a position to enforce this law at gunpoint with its overwhelmingly superior missile technology, the US is going to get stomped and tased until it complies and stops resisting.

Charlie , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 7:53 pm GMT
@Tucker This idea that the US is any sort of a net petroleum exporter is just another lie.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=268&t=6

In 2018 total US petroleum production was under 18 million barrels per day, total consumption north of 20 mmb/d. What does it matter if the US exports a bunch of super light fracked product the US itself can't refine if it turns around and imports it all back in again and then some.

The myths we tell ourselves, like a roaring economy that nevertheless generates a $1 trillion annual deficit, will someday come back to bite us. Denying reality is not a winning game plan for the long run.

Christophe GJ , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm GMT
I long tought that US foreign policies were mainly zionist agenda – driven, but the Venezuelan affair and the statements of Trump himself about the syrian oil (ta be "kept" (stolen)) make you think twice.

Oil seems to be at least very important even if it's not the main cause of middle east problems

So maybe it's the cause of illegal and cruel sanctions against Iran : Get rid of competitor to sell shale oil everywhere ?( think also of Norstream 2 here)

Watch out US of A. in the end there is something sometimes referred to as the oil's curse . some poor black Nigerians call oil "the shit of the devil", because it's such a problem – related asset Have you heard of it ? You get your revenues from oil easily, so you don't have to make effort by yourself. And in the end you don't keep pace with China on 5G ? Education fails ? Hmm
Becommig a primary sector extraction nation sad destiny indeed, like africans growing cafe, bananas and cacao for others. Not to mention environmental problems
What has happened to the superb Nation that send the first man on the moon and invented modern computers ?
Disapointment
Money for space or money for war following the Zio. Choose Uncle Sam !
Difficult to have both

OverCommenter , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:24 pm GMT
Everyone seems to forget how we avoided war with Syria all those years ago It was when John Kerry of all people gaffed, and said "if Assad gives up all his chemical weapons." That was in response to a reporter who asked "is there anything that can stop the war?" A intrepid Russian ambassador chimed in loud enough for the press core to hear his "OK" and history was averted. Thinking restricting the power of the President will stop brown children from dying at the hands of insane US foreign policy is a cope. "Bi-partisanship" voted to keep troops in Syria, that was only a few months ago, have you already forgotten? Dubya started the drone program, and the magical African everyone fawns over, literally doubled the remote controlled death. We are way past pretending any elected official from either side is actually against more ME war, or even that one side is worse than the other.

The problem with the supporters Trump has left is they so desperately want to believe in something bigger than themselves. They have been fed propaganda for their whole lives, and as a result can only see the world in either "this is good" or "this is bad." The problem with the opposition is that they are insane. and will say or do anything regardless of the truth. Trump could be impeached for assassinating Sulimani, yet they keep proceeding with fake and retarded nonsense. Just like keeping troops in Syria, even the most insane rabid leftoids are just fine with US imperialism, so long as it's promoting Starbucks, Marvel and homosex, just like we see with support for HK. That is foreign meddling no matter how you try to justify it, and it's not even any different messaging than the hoax "bring democracyhumanrightsfreedom TM to the poor Arabs" justification that was used in Iraq. They don't even have to come up with a new play to run, it's really quite incredible.

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 8:44 pm GMT
@OverCommenter A lot of right-wingers also see military action in the Middle East as a way for America to flex its muscles and bomb some Arabs. It also serves to justify the insane defence budget that could be used to build a wall and increase funding to ICE.

US politics has become incredibly bi-partisan, criticising Trump will get you branded a 'Leftist' in many circles. This extreme bipartisanship started with the Obama birth certificate nonsense which was being peddled by Jews like Orly Taitz, Philip J. Berg, Robert L. Shulz, Larry Klayman and Breitbart news – most likely because Obama was pursuing the JCPOA and not going hard enough on Iran – and continued with the Trump Russian agent angle.

Now many Americans cannot really think critically, they stick to their side like a fan sticks to their sports team.

Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment January 21, 2020 at 9:11 pm GMT
The first person I ever heard say sanctions are acts of war was Ron Paul. The repulsive Madeleine Albright infamously said the deaths of 500,000 Iranian children due to US sanctions was worth it. She ought to be tried as a war criminal. Ron Paul ought to be Secretary of State.

[Feb 09, 2020] Trump Secretly Threatened Europe With Auto Tariffs If It Didn t Declare Iran In Breach Of Nuclear Deal

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's threats of auto tariffs to gain trade concessions with the Europeans is certainly nothing new, but using the same to dictate foreign policy is, notes WaPo's diplomatic correspondent John Hudson. ..."
"... Interestingly, in Wednesday's joint statement the European signatories attempted to distance their drastic action away from Washington's so-called "maximum pressure" campaign. "Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran," they said . ..."
"... The statement also underscored Europe hopes to use the mechanism "to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA" and in the words of one official quoted in The Guardian to prevent nuclear advancement to the point that the Iranians "learn something that it is not possible for them to unlearn" . ..."
Jan 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

A bombshell revelation from The Washington Post a day after France, Britain and Germany took unprecedented action against Iran by formally triggering the dispute resolution mechanism regulating conformity to the deal, seen as the harshest measure taken by the European signatories thus far. The European powers officially see Iran as in breach of the deal which means UN and EU punitive sanctions are now on the table.

But according to The Post , how things quickly escalated to this point is real story : " Days before Europeans warned Iran of nuclear deal violations, Trump secretly threatened to impose 25% tariff on European autos if they didn't," says the report.

This came as a "shock" to all three countries, with one top European official calling it essentially "extortion" and a new level of hardball tactics from the Trump administration.

After the US leveraged the new tariffs threat according to the report, European capitals moved quick to trigger the mechanism, which involved the individual European states formally notifying the agreement's guarantor, the European Union, that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal.

This followed the Jan.6 declaration of Tehran's leadership to no longer be beholden to uranium enrichment limits. And that's where things got interesting as Washington's pressure campaign dramatically turned up the heat on Europe.

"Within days, the three countries would formally accuse Iran of violating the deal, triggering a recourse provision that could reimpose United Nations sanctions on Iran and unravel the last remaining vestiges of the Obama-era agreement," the report continues .

However, the report notes France, the UK, and Germany were already in deep discussion on moving forward with triggering the mechanism. "We didn't want to look weak, so we agreed to keep the existence of the threat a secret," a European official cited by WaPo claims.

Trump's threats of auto tariffs to gain trade concessions with the Europeans is certainly nothing new, but using the same to dictate foreign policy is, notes WaPo's diplomatic correspondent John Hudson.

Interestingly, in Wednesday's joint statement the European signatories attempted to distance their drastic action away from Washington's so-called "maximum pressure" campaign. "Our three countries are not joining a campaign to implement maximum pressure against Iran," they said .

The statement also underscored Europe hopes to use the mechanism "to bring Iran back into full compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA" and in the words of one official quoted in The Guardian to prevent nuclear advancement to the point that the Iranians "learn something that it is not possible for them to unlearn" .

Now that the mechanism has been enacted, the clock starts on 65 days of intensive negotiations before UN sanctions would be reimposed if no resolution is reached. Specifically a blanket arms embargo would be imposed among other measures, and certainly it would mark the deal's final demise, given the Europeans are Iran's last hope for being equal partners in the deal.

Also interesting is that in the hours before The Washington Post report was published, Iranian FM Zarif charged that the EU investigation into Iran's alleged non-compliance meant Europe is allowing itself to be bulled by the United States .

Indeed the new revelation of the secret threats attempting to dictate Europe's course appear to confirm precisely Zarif's words to reporters earlier on Wednesday : "They say 'We are not responsible for what the United States did.' OK, but you are independent" he began. And then added a stinging rebuke: "Europe, EU, is the largest global economy. So why do you allow the United States to bully you around?"

[Feb 09, 2020] Trump is a GODFATHER and his clique is literally a gangster MAFIA using extortion and operating protection racket

Jan 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Jan 7 2020 19:07 utc | 20

This is how a MAFIA BOSS operates. Trump made an offer Abdul Mahdi couldn't refuse. Trump is a GODFATHER and his clique is literally a gangster MAFIA using extortion and OPERATING A PROTECTION RACKET.

Trump had already asked Iraqi Prime Ministers -twice- if the U.S. could get Iraq's oil as reward for invading and destroying their country. The requests were rejected. Now we learn that Trump also uses gangster methods (ar) to get the oil of Iraq. The talk by the Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi happened during the recent parliament session in Iraq (machine translation):

Al-Halbousi, Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives, blocked the speech of Mr. Abdul Mahdi in the scheduled session to discuss the decision to remove American forces from Iraq.

At the beginning of the session, Al-Halbousi left the presidential seat and sat next to Mr. Abdul-Mahdi, after his request to cut off the live broadcast of the session, a public conversation took place between the two parties. The voice of Adel Abdul Mahdi was raised.

Mr. Abdul Mahdi spoke with an angry tone, saying:

"The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They are those who refuse to complete building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for giving up 50% of Iraqi oil imports, so I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it, and today Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement."

The American President's threatened the Iraqi Prime Minister to liquidate him directly with the Minister of Defense. The Marines are the third party that sniped the demonstrators and the security men:

Abdul Mahdi continued:

"After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened me with massive demonstrations that would topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, so that the third party (Marines snipers) would target the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from the highest structures and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement, so I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement and when the defense minister said that who kills the demonstrators is a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened me and defense minister in the event of talk about the third party."

The reliable Based Cat in Iraq seems to confirm the timeline:

TØM CΛT @TomtheBasedCat - 4:00 UTC · Jan 7, 2020
Yes a 50-person delegation visited China in 2019 and then the protests started on October 1st until the Arbaeen dates, then picked up again on Oct 25th. I'm skeptical about the 3rd party but the timing itself was interesting. The flames were fanned by Gulf media and Al-Hurra.

Tom_LX , Jan 7 2020 19:20 utc | 21

A scandal is developing as one consequence of Trump's evil deed after Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi revealed the gangster methods U.S. President Trump used in his attempts to steal Iraq's oil.

Well well well, looks like Trump has been studying Cheney's map lately now that he is not fixated on Kim and accusations of being Putin's Puddle.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//dc.html?doc=5746914-National-Security-Archive-Doc-08-Iraqi-Oilfields
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2007/4/21/325872/-

What is described by the PM is typical behavior of a gangster threatening a weaker opponent. Trump had better get some LSD to get him back in touch with Reality.

AriusArmenian , Jan 7 2020 19:30 utc | 24
MoA has done great reporting but this report is astounding.
It is stunning.

But it is the standard operating procedure of US elites. Trump is nothing unusual except for his persona. He gives away the game. Clinton/Bush/Obama/Trump, they are all power mad, vindictive, and vile. The elites that run the two major parties are together in pushing forward to war behind their political posturing.

[Feb 08, 2020] Trump's Chumps by Brad Griffin

Notable quotes:
"... Speaking of Trump's donors, we wrote Trump a blank check in the 2016 election to deliver on the MAGA agenda that he had sold us. We voted for big ideas like "nationalism" and "populism." The reasons why I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 were immigration, trade, foreign policy, political correctness and campaign finance and furthering these big ideas of "nationalism" and "populism." He has been a disappointment on all fronts. ..."
"... Orthodox Jews hit the jackpot with the King of Israel and Zionists have been on an unprecedented winning streak. In just the last three months, Trump has issued an executive order to ban anti-Semitism on college campuses, assassinated Qasem Soleimani and has given Bibi Netanyahu the green light to annex large swathes of the West Bank. Trump is even considering allowing Jonathan Pollard to return to Israel. Is it any wonder then that a recent Gallup poll found that Israelis support his "America First" foreign policy over Americans by a whopping 18-point margin? ..."
"... Trump's Chumps have demonstrated in the last two election cycles how easy they are to manipulate. They can be relied on to vote and shill for the GOP no matter what it does. Donald Trump isn't under any pressure from these people to change. He knows his mark better than they know themselves. They are so desperate for acceptance and to participate in elections and to feel like they are "winning" that they will delude themselves like the rest of his cult into believing almost anything. Give a drowning man enough rope and he will hang himself. ..."
Feb 08, 2020 | www.unz.com

"This President has done more for African Americans in this Country than any President since Lincoln." @LouDobbs 

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2020

I voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

I spent months making the case for Trump on this website. I will be the first to admit that I was wrong and that those who were skeptical of Trump in our community were right in 2016. In that election, I drank the koolaid and was one of Trump's Chumps. Unlike AmNats, I have tried to learn something from that experience. I hate getting fooled by Republicans.

In 2020, we have a far better sense of Donald Trump. The Trump administration has a record now. Donald Trump's first term is mostly history. We can now look back with the benefit of hindsight and evaluate our standing after the last three years without being drunk on Trump koolaid. No one drank the Trump koolaid in our community more deeply than the AmNats. Some of them remained drunk on the Trump koolaid even after the 2018 midterms. A handful of his most faithful cheerleaders have never given up faith in their GOD EMPEROR and succumbed to reality.

What is the reality of the Trump presidency?

1.) Those who feared that the Trump administration would lull the conservative base into a false sense of complacency and put all the normies back to sleep were right. Donald Trump has told his base that they are "winning." They wear Q shirts and "Trust The Plan" at his rallies. They are Making America Great Again simply by having a Republican in the White House. They are content to go on believing that even as illegal immigration DOUBLED in FY 2019 and became a far worse problem than it ever was under the Obama administration. As we saw after the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, they are also ready to swallow Trump's war propaganda against Iran and believe anything their dear leader tells them. It was Julian Assange and Roger Stone who went to prison under Trump, not Hillary Clinton. Normies are content to have conservatism in power and are less willing to give us an audience with a Republican in the White House.

2.) Those who feared that the Trump administration would suck all of the energy out of the Alt-Right were right . In the final two years of the Obama administration (2015 and 2016), the Alt-Right was thriving on social media and was brimming with energy. Four years later, the country has only gotten worse, but the brand has been destroyed and all the energy it had back then as an online subculture has been sucked out of the room by Trump and channeled into pushing the standard conservative policy agenda. The movement has been in disarray and has been divided and demoralized ever since Trump won the 2016 election. The last few years have been terrible. As soon as Trump won the 2016 election, conservatives shifted their attention back to policing their right flank. They are far more successful at policing their right flank when they are in power.

3.) Those who rationalized voting for Donald Trump on the basis of immigration and changing demographics were proven wrong about that too. He has refurbished the George W. Bush era fence. Since he has been president, Donald Trump has built all of three new miles of fence , which is actually less than W. and Obama. He didn't do anything about sanctuary cities or pass E-Verify. He has actually increased guest worker programs . There has been no cuts to legal immigration. Instead, Jared Kushner's legal immigration plan only proposes to reconfigure the composition of it for big business so that more high skilled workers and fewer peons are imported from the Third World. Illegal immigration has remained steady and has surged past the worst highs of the Obama years. It has recently fallen back to 2015 levels after peaking in FY 2019 . Trump has vowed to pass an amnesty to save DACA. The Muslim ban became an ineffective travel ban . The only area where he has had any real success is refugee resettlement, but overall the bottom line is that after four years of Trump there are millions of more illegal aliens and legal immigrants here. Donald Trump hasn't even deported as many illegal aliens as Obama .

4.) Those who voted for Donald Trump to "move the Overton Window" succeeded in making homosexuality more acceptable on the Right. This was already clear by the time of the Deploraball at Trump's inauguration. In the Trump era, homosexuals and drag queens would be accepted into the fold on the Right and White Nationalists would remain stigmatized. Congress has actually condemned White Nationalism at least two or three times since Donald Trump has been president. Far more White Nationalists have gone to prison under Donald Trump than Barack Obama. Trump has appointed "conservative judges" like Thomas Cullen who put RAM in prison . Some of Trump's Chumps point to Bernie Sanders vowing to "declare war" on White Nationalism after the El Paso shooting. They conveniently forget the fact that National Review and conservatives ALSO declared war on White Nationalism last August . We've been covering the government crackdown which has been going on since last August .

AmNats have been purged from Turning Point USA, banned from its events and reduced to haranguing Ben Shapiro and Charlie Kirk from the sidewalk. They have been banned from even attending CPAC. Those who thought that they could work within the system to reform conservatism were grossly mistaken. Steve King was condemned by Congress, stripped of his committee assignments and has been treated as a pariah within the Republican Party . Michelle Malkin was deplatformed by Mar-a-Lago and excommunicated from the synagogue of mainstream conservatism. Ann Coulter was marginalized in the Trump administration. Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon were both fired. Donald Trump hired conservatives and staffed his administration with his enemies. While I won't name any names, I will just point to all the people who actually worked within the conservative movement who have all been purged and fired in the Trump era by Conservatism, Inc. as proof that working within the system doesn't work and is a bad idea and those people would have had more job security doing almost anything else.

5.) What about Antifa and Big Tech censorship? Aren't those good reasons to vote for Donald Trump in 2020? Neither of these issues were on our radar screen BEFORE Donald Trump won the 2016 election. Both of those problems became dramatically worse as a result of electing the boogeyman as president . Far from being a victory for the Dissident Right, we became identified with Donald Trump and were caught in the backlash while he delivered Jeb Bush's agenda (the boogeyman wasn't real). Before Trump was elected president, Antifa was a tiny nuisance that protested Amren conferences and there was still a great deal of free speech on the internet. We could also hold rallies all over the South without serial harassment from these people. Now, everything from harassment and doxxing by "journalists" to chronic Antifa violence to police stand down orders to deplatforming to FBI counterextremism witch hunts has became part of the scenery of life under the Trump administration which is only interested in these new grievances insofar as they can be milked and exploited to elect more Republicans. In hindsight, it would have been better NOT to have identified ourselves with the boogeyman in 2016.

6.) Isn't having Donald Trump in the White House a huge victory for "identitarianism" and big ideas like "nationalism" and "populism." President Donald Trump's signature policy victories have been passing a huge corporate tax cut, criminal justice reform and renegotiating and rebranding NAFTA. Trump is a "populist" in the sense that he has DEEPENED neoliberalism. When you look at his policies, he has continued and further extended the status quo of the last forty years which has been tax cuts, deregulation, entitlement cuts, free trade agreements and huge increases in military spending. Trump's economic agenda has been no different from the last three Republican presidents. He has been all bark and no bite.

Donald Trump is pointedly NOT a nationalist, populist or identitarian. He carefully avoids ever mentioning the word "White." Instead, he talks incessantly about the black, Hispanic, Asian-American, LGBTQ and female unemployment rate. He holds events at the White House for blacks and Hispanics. He delivers policies for blacks and Hispanics too like criminal justice reform. The "forgotten man" couldn't be further from Donald Trump's mind when he is schmoozing with the likes of Steve Schwarzman and boasting about the stock market. Trump is a demagogue who recognized that nationalist and populist sentiments were growing in the American electorate and he has harnessed and manipulated and exploited those forces for his donors.

7.) Speaking of Trump's donors, we wrote Trump a blank check in the 2016 election to deliver on the MAGA agenda that he had sold us. We voted for big ideas like "nationalism" and "populism." The reasons why I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 were immigration, trade, foreign policy, political correctness and campaign finance and furthering these big ideas of "nationalism" and "populism." He has been a disappointment on all fronts.

Those of us who were duped into believing that Donald Trump had a team of Jews who were going to craft all of these policies which were going to stabilize America's demographics should reflect on what has actually happened during the Trump presidency. Orthodox Jews hit the jackpot with the King of Israel and Zionists have been on an unprecedented winning streak. In just the last three months, Trump has issued an executive order to ban anti-Semitism on college campuses, assassinated Qasem Soleimani and has given Bibi Netanyahu the green light to annex large swathes of the West Bank. Trump is even considering allowing Jonathan Pollard to return to Israel. Is it any wonder then that a recent Gallup poll found that Israelis support his "America First" foreign policy over Americans by a whopping 18-point margin?

Trump's Chumps haven't been deterred by any of this. They want us to write Donald Trump a second political blank check in 2020, which his Jewish donors intend to cash at the White House, only this time he won't be restrained by fear of losing his reelection . In light of everything he has delivered for them so far, what is Donald Trump going to do in his second term for his Jewish donors who fund the GOP? Do we trust Trump not to start a war with Iran?

8.) In the last two elections, Donald Trump has pulled a bait-and-switch and Trump's Chumps are gullible enough to fall for it a third time. While I was wrong about the 2016 election, I was one of the first voices in our community to wise up to what was going on. By the 2018 midterms, I saw the bait-and-switch coming and warned our readers about it.

As you might recall, the 2018 midterms were about tax cuts and the roaring economy, deregulation and putting Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. It was also full of dire warnings about scary Antifa groups, Big Tech censorship and caravans from Central America to stir up the base. Trump vowed to issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship. The GOP knows what its base cares about and shamelessly manipulates its base during election season.

After the 2018 election was over, you might recall how Trump banned bump stocks and passed criminal justice reform for Van Jones and the Koch Brothers during the lame duck session of Congress. As we entered 2019, the Republican agenda changed to overthrowing the government of Venezuela to install Juan Guaidó in power and passing anti-BDS legislation. The GOP spent the whole year accusing the Democrats of anti-Semitism and promoting Jexodus. Virtually nothing else was talked about for a whole year in Congress but anti-Semitism until Trump issued his executive order on anti-Semitism on college campuses after the House and Senate had failed to reach agreement on anti-BDS legislation. The White House held its Social Media Summit in July and nothing came out of it . Antifa disappeared from the agenda and was replaced by a government crackdown on White Nationalists after El Paso. Ending birthright citizenship was forgotten about. Illegal immigration soared to its highest level in over a decade last May.

Don't forget how Trump's Chumps told us how "Chad" it was in 2018 to elect more Republicans to stop Antifa, the caravans and Big Tech censorship and how those same Republicans once elected to office preferred to fight anti-Semitism for AIPAC.

9.) In the last election, Trump's Chumps were manipulated into splintering their own movement by GOP operatives who divided and conquered and data mined the Dissident Right. When Ricky Vaughn was exposed as a Republican operative named Douglass Mackey who was scraping Paul Nehlen's Facebook in order to feed the information into the Smartcheckr database, Trump's Chumps loudly denounced Nehlen for doxxing Vaughn. Strangely, they had nothing to say when Smartcheckr which became Clearview AI sold that database and its facial recognition tool to the FBI and hundreds of other law enforcement agencies .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/-JkBM8n8ixI?feature=oembed

10.) Trump's Chumps have demonstrated in the last two election cycles how easy they are to manipulate. They can be relied on to vote and shill for the GOP no matter what it does. Donald Trump isn't under any pressure from these people to change. He knows his mark better than they know themselves. They are so desperate for acceptance and to participate in elections and to feel like they are "winning" that they will delude themselves like the rest of his cult into believing almost anything. Give a drowning man enough rope and he will hang himself.

Four years later, Trump's Chumps are still sitting by the phone waiting for the Donald to call back while he huddles with Steve Schwarzman and Bibi Netanyahu. They can't see what is front of their own eyes. By going ALL IN for Trump, they wrecked, divided and demoralized their own movement in order to advance the standard conservative policy agenda. They have been pushed off the internet and in some cases even to the dark web. In virtually every way, they are worse off than they were four years ago and have nothing to show for it. Insofar as they are getting more web traffic, it is because America has only continued to deteriorate under Trump, which would have happened anyway regardless who won in 2016.

It's not too late for Trump's Chumps to reclaim one thing that they have lost over the past four years. They can still reclaim their self respect. They don't have to participate in this charade a second time and mislead people who are less informed because they now know full well that Sheldon Adelson has bought Donald Trump and the lickspittle GOP Congress.

Note: Imagine thinking a New York City billionaire is a "populist." LMAO what were we thinking? He told us what we wanted to hear and we believed it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zgJC4Pu_tbo?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6-sATHRO0jo?feature=oembed


Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 5:06 am GMT

Trump killed a true hero and man of God Soleimani.

Trump is scump.

MattinLA , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 5:11 am GMT
My understanding is that net foreign immigration has gone down in the last few years. Hardly a triumph, I agree. There are quite literally hordes of foreigners living here. Even a president who was a combination of Jesus and Superman would find it excrutiatingly difficult to eliminate immigration under these circumstances.

We face no good choices, unfortunately.

Peter Akuleyev , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 5:24 am GMT
All this seemed painfully obvious to me in 2016. We all know who Trump had been the first 70 years of his life – a braggart, a reprobate and a real estate developer who loved celebrities and organized crime figures. He is married to a high class escort from Slovenia who speaks English worse than a Mexican immigrant. This man is going to be the savior of Western Civilization? He has always been a fraud.
Peter Akuleyev , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 5:30 am GMT
@MattinLA Trump has not even made a sincere effort. Where is the effort to stop birth right citizenship? To punish employers who hire illegals? He doesn't try to build a coalition to stop immigration, he is clearly using it as political issue to keep his low info base revved up, but Trump doesn't actually want it resolved. It is the same with abortion, where both Parties are perfectly happy with the status quo because it allows each to fund raise by pointing at the threat coming from the other side. And at the end of the day it is all about find raising.
Gizmo880 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 5:54 am GMT
Pretty much an accurate article, but what Democratic Presidential Contender would have been a better choice? The answer is none. The modern day Democratic Party, and most everyone who identifies with it, is as morally disgusting and filthy of a political party as has ever existed on this planet. Whatever grievances you have with DT, wait until the next Democrat gets elected President. The trifecta of Diversity (aka hate and blame Whitey for everything), LGBTQ insanity, and Climate Change hysteria will be shoved down the throats of this country like never before. The Obama years were just a warm-up for the cultural destruction that will happen to this country when the next Dem gets elected.

Actually, just bring the Civil War on. Whites will either get some self-respect and stand up for themselves before it is too late, or surrender to living in a ghetto trash culture and being ruled over by Jews and their white hating 'POC' puppets. It's an easy choice in my book.

I started college in 1982 with nothing but high hopes for the future, by 1990 I knew something was terribly going wrong with this country, and now I know the destruction of this country is virtually guaranteed. No good choices, indeed, as stated above. WTF happened?

EliteCommInc. , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 6:16 am GMT
I voted for this executive. I am not ashamed of my vote. However, as someone who voted on agendas and policies, I disappointed with the results. I knew going in there wasn't much in store for me personally by supporting the candidate. it was a diversion at the time from the standard fare. The problem with the standard fare is that they offered more of what were the problems. candidate Trump, actually responded to the issues echoing the same concerns, even if in a less than civil tenor. He gave as good as he got or better. I would that had been more substantive, but it was what it was.

There are some things that need to be cleared up in your article, most prominant of which is the fairly loose use of straw men positions. Just a few:

–the president did not run as a conservative despite comments he made about some conservative aspects of his own views.

–he never ever abandoned his position on same sex relations and marriage -- both of which are neither conservative or something he campaigned on, so it was clear from the get go, he had no intention of changing that game. What he did contend is that religious people have the same protections and they should not be cowed

–the overton window that would permit any president to openly support a condition in which skin color is the primary or a primary point of view would violate the principles and foundation of the country. but regardless most of the country sees that as an anathema to the what they want to country to be -- even far right conservatives are not arguing a white nationalist perspective -- trying to weigh him down with an overton window position that was never in play, at least not as you suggest it. The president started with a definitive lean in that direction of sorts, but it probably did not take him, long to figure out -- he was surrounded by whites in control of the country -- whites are not being pushed around by non-whites, inspite of having elected a non-white executive. But still he has knee jerk responses to dismantle the nonwhites policies. He remains as prowhite as any candidate in office. his references to how he claims to have aided nonwhites as pushback against accusations of being "racist" makes perfect sense. That does not make him "anti-white".

–your bait and switch assail is a tad convoluted. Antifa big tech and tax cuts . . . big tech and antifa initially responded with the same shock and vitriol as all his opposition when he was elected -- but as time has worn big tech has moved on seeing the current exec as a nonthreat -- tax cuts proceed unimpeded. The president's position on Jews and Israel were clear from the start and remain as they were -- one can contend he is overboard, but there was no bait and switch. The president did not say I was not for Israel and pro limiting immigration, he made clear he opposed illegal immigration and was proIsrael they are not competing issues . He has simply abided by one and dragged his feet on the other, if not abandoned it all together.

There are some other issues that need addressing, not the least of which is that many of us who supported the current executive before and now, have done so calling him out on issues where he has failed or is failing and have done so from the start -- -

On that I think my self respect remains intact

Father O'Hara , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 6:24 am GMT
Harvey Weinstein posed a question to one of his conquests: Do you like my fat Jewish dick? Trumps answer is apparently," Hell yeah!"
anon_382 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 6:32 am GMT
@Priss Factor the scary part about that is blumpf and the (((deep state))) would do that to you or me too

it was sickening to see that he seemed to have regained his self confidence from the assassination of Soleimani and was blathering on at the SOTU as though everything was just fine, better than ever

Crazy Horse , says: Website Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:04 am GMT
One good thing Trump did was save us from that shrieking Valkyrie warmongering Hildabeast. If she had been elected she would have taken it as a mandate to start a war with Russia and/or Iran. Personally I was never voting for Trump but against Hillary.

Now that the demoncrats no longer have someone like Hillary running it would be pretty safe to vote a third party which I plan to do this election. Screw King Cyr-ass and his Zionist claque of losers.

alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:04 am GMT
@MattinLA The US economy alone (not to mention the suckiness of the culture and people) has been bad enough going back to a year or so before the crash that net immigration, I believe, has been outward. Stupid Orange Man yelling at people "Get outta here! You're fired!" means less when they calmly retort, "I was leaving anyway".
nsa , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:28 am GMT
@MattinLA

"net foreign immigration has gone down .."

Happened to be in the Emerald city on Wednesday and wandered through the Seattle Convention Center .there were so many hindoos milling about thought it was some kind of curry cooking convention.

But no .it was something called Microsoft Ready which is Microsoft's internal marketing, technical, and sales event bringing together over 21,000 Microsoft staff.

Had to be at least 75% dotheads with a sprinkling of turbanized Sikhs, and maybe 25% whites and asians. Asked one of the dotheads if Paul Allen would be attending this year, but just drew a quizzical stare.

Noted in the Mr. Softie handouts that these legions of imported cut rate code scribblers are referred to as "scientists". Trumpstein actually did something about the H1B visa program .he increased it claiming we need more of these half priced "brainiacs". Can't find enough discount American code scribblers, you know.

Gleimhart Mantooso , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:33 am GMT
Trump first got my attention when he made those initial comments against the illegal invasion. But later, when he said that Mexico was going to pay for the wall and talked about putting a "big beautiful door" in it, I figured he was probably full of it. When he attended AIPAC, I was done.
eah , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:40 am GMT

Congress has actually condemned White Nationalism at least two or three times since Donald Trump has been president. Far more White Nationalists have gone to prison under Donald Trump than Barack Obama. Trump has appointed "conservative judges" like Thomas Cullen who put RAM in prison.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:53 am GMT
After the last 3 years of seditious behavior of lying politicians like Schiff, Nadler and Pelosi and the traitorous schemes of deep state actors like Weismann, Vindman, Sondland and Yovanovitch I would still vote for Trump in the hopes that some of these traitors and others in the DOJ/FBI/CIA/NSA would be prosecuted. Hopefully, Durham will do his job before the election and we will see some of the coup plotters going to jail. Even if that doesn't happen, a final payback to the treacherous Democrats and their propagandists in the MSM will be another conservative judge on the Supreme Court; a change that will impact the next 30+ years. That alone will be enough for me.
Divine Right , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:57 am GMT
I agree with much of the analysis I've read here, but let me offer a somewhat different perspective. The author notes that, "Donald Trump is pointedly NOT a nationalist, populist or identitarian." This is probably true, but it's also not necessarily a bad thing at this point if you're a contrarian of this sort.

My read of the situation is that Donald Trump is almost certainly going to lose the general election, despite the confident predictions of an incoming Trumpslide by deluded supporters. In his defeat, he'll take the last vestiges of Reagan conservatism down with him. Even if he doesn't, Trump will almost certainly be the last republican president due to demographic change, so it doesn't matter either way. It would make sense in that light to let Mr. Trump run and lose on a platform of standard fare conservatism than have him be closely associated with populism and discredit that ideology on his way out.

People forget that Donald Trump was only made possible by Mitt Romney's failure in 2012. Romney ran a standard conservative, milquetoast campaign and lost; he was nevertheless called all manner of vile names by the left but responded like a gentlemen. His defeat came as quite a shock to many rank and file GOPers. Fox News had convinced them leading up to election day that they were going to win. How could they not? Romney said all the same things Ronald Regan did and he won; he talked up the military, he repeated economic platitudes and denounced socialism, he self-immolated over racial issues and claimed democrats were the real racists. So, obviously, Mitt Romney should – by all rights – win just as Reagan did. Lost on them was the demographic situation, among other things. 2012 America was not 1980 America. When Reagan won California in 1980, Los Angeles was majority white; California had two million more white Caucasians than it does now (Trump and Reagan received almost exactly the same number of white votes in California but with different results); the economy for blue collar voters was better, so there was less opposition to Reaganomics.

When Romney ran as a traditional, non-offensive republican and lost, he discredited that ideology and made a louder, more combative alternative possible. That was Donald Trump. In the minds of many republicans, conservatism could no longer win elections, so why not go all in with a contrarian radical? I expect that mentality to return sometime after Trump loses this November. Radical sentiment has been quieted as of late only because normies sheepishly think they are winning. That's probably why the establishment is freaking out: they know that won't last. You occasionally see moderate democrats asking for peace and quiet, perhaps realizing this, but it's unfortunately not a message well-received by the fringe left who control social media and these divisive late night network shows.

My prediction: on election night 2020, there will be a lot of shell-shocked republican normies. Either the despised socialist is elected or a man who stokes racial animus for personal gain – Pete Buttigieg – will become president-elect. In the minds of conservative Boomers, that wasn't supposed to happen; it's as if someone said they could see inside the event horizon of a black hole – total violation of established physical reality. Impossible or so they thought. Republican operatives are already trying to help Bernie Sanders in both Iowa and South Carolina. They foolishly think Sanders can't win, but that's not true. I've seen the polls. On election night, Donald Trump will have to deliver a heart-wrenching speech to his deluded followers conceding defeat to someone they thought couldn't win.

But the Trumpslide. Qanon said to trust the plan*. We're winning. The wall. MAGA.

All exposed as lies. The sort of lies a defeated people tell themselves. Cerebral comfort food for the weak-minded.

In the process, Donald Trump will discredit Conservatism Inc. just like Mitt Romney did in 2012. Contrarians will escape the judgment of history and live to fight another day. Most likely, there are yet more dissident stars on the right to be made. Some older ones may also return in the aftermath.

Considering circumstances, the best path forward (speaking as devil's advocate) is to critique the man without vocally supporting his defeat. Let him go down fair and square. Starting in November, there will many republicans in Trump's former base looking for an alternative. They will seek out dissidents they heard about but dismissed as blackpillers; MAGA supporters will be sidelined. Third Way Alternatives should consider laying out a well-reasoned, practical and achievable alternative in the present with the anticipation they will be called upon in the near future.

However, I wouldn't count on that considering the lack of organization and drive I see on the dissident right. Mr. Griffith's essay, for example, is filled with a strange defeated tone. It sounds as if he just wants to go back to business as usual before Trump: do his contrarian thing without being harassed. Certainly, life would be easier. But you would be no closer to any kind of victory, either. As the author notes, dissidents were tolerated before Trump. But why? I think laying the full blame on Trump is not warranted. Yes, he failed to protect his followers – that's one big reason why dissent is now being crushed. There is another reason, however: you were winning. You were only tolerated before because you were on the wrong side of history. The establishment didn't fear you because you couldn't challenge them. With Trump's surprise victory, the situation changed. With that in mind, what's the point of going back to business as usual while being on a certain path to defeat? unless you want to lose (or don't care), unless you simply want the freedom to be a contrarian without accomplishing anything. Sounds like a grift to me, pardon the rudeness.

If you want to ineffectually complain about the ruling class on Twitter while being free of harassment, then supporting the democrat is probably your best bet. They'll tolerate you because you don't threaten them. I think that's what a lot of guys on the right really want, which is why they went so heavily into Yang's UBI. It was a sort of early retirement option for them, regardless of how they justified it – get free money and cash out, let the world burn.

*Well, that and to drink bleach to ward off the wuhan coronavirus. Do NOT trust that plan.

Disclaimer: I'm speaking as a neutral third party who was never involved in any of this stuff.

Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 7:59 am GMT
But what's this "United" muck? How much better the world would be without that muck! (Says an Australian.)
Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:07 am GMT
To distill the above into something simple: ' you' are what you vote .

Luckily you learned a lesson. Cherish it.

Mea Culpa , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT
Idiotic article. Yeah, Trump is a Trojan horse who is making. Israel great again. Yeah, he's a fragile, narcissistic buffoon. The only unabashed positive I can really offer is that he is in 2020, as he was in 2016, the least bad option.

The author doesn't seem to quite get numbers. God, as they say, tends to favor the side with the biggest battalions. Perhaps he should take a look at a demographic plot of the map of the United States circa 2020. The truth is that, if a hyper-competent, charismatic candidate had formed a consensus around Trump's 2016 platform in maybe 1975, the demographic trajectory of the country could have been changed. It's way, way too late for that.

If you were stupid enough to think in 2016 that demographic realities were going to be unwound, or even that there could consensus to address the issue in a serious unapologetic way, I really don't know what to tell you. You're probably too stupid to be operating heavy machinery, much less posting articles on Unz. Trump's election is Prop 187, circa 1980's. Far too little, far too late. But still the least bad option.

All there really is at this point is a rearguard action, and maybe win a skirmish here and there. In terms of the Long War, we don't have the numbers or the consensus. Grow the fuck up.

The Alarmist , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:27 am GMT
I'm often asked by people in the US who learn I've lived outside the US the better part of three decades when I might return to the US, to which I lightly reply, "When the Republic is restored. I guess that means never."

At the end of the day, who better than Trump can you get behind? I guess it is game over. The only problem is that the rest of the developed world is going in the same problemmatic direction, and places like Uruguay still have their occasionally lurches into insanity.

Biff , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:34 am GMT

2.) Those who feared that the Trump administration would suck all of the energy out of the Alt-Right were right.

This is very typical. In the waning days of G.W. Bush there was a very strong hard left anti-war movement in place, and doing well on the internet, and also had a home on some cable stations. Once Obama was elected it faded into obscurity with-in hours, and never resurrected even as Obama become more hawkish than Bush – both expanding the War on Terror, and codifying the Bush Doctrine.

Dupes all around.

Gleimhart Mantooso , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:37 am GMT
@Priss Factor Soleimani was no man of God. He was a muslim, which is the opposite.
Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:42 am GMT
Ok, let's see,

1. Trump was a con man as a businessman. How did anyone imagine he wouldn't be a con man as president?

2. Trump knows which side his bread is buttered. How long do you imagine he would've lasted if he actually did the things he promised, especially ending the Amerikastani Empire, before ending like Kennedy? Six weeks?

3. Whether the author of this article, with whom I sympathise, changes any minds with it is irrelevant. Trump is the Wall Street/military industrial complex/zionist candidate for re election, and his return to power is being arranged even as I write this. The shambolic Daymockratic Party impeachment circus and the bad jokes posing as candidates in their primaries have one purpose alone: to ensure a second term for Donald Trump. What any normal person votes for is irrelevant.

Thulean Friend , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 8:54 am GMT
A common trope on the right is that the left gets what it wants. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just witness the shenanigans the DNC is pulling in the current primaries. When Pelosi theatrically ripped up Trump's speech in the SOTU, she shortly thereafter voted to support the efforts to destabilise Venezuela and support the CIA-handpicked Juan Guaido.

Pro-Israel PACs have flooded the primaries attacking Bernie. CIA puppet Pete Buttigieg is against medicare for all. Democrats do not get what they want. The only thing they get is woke rhetoric but the neoliberal economic system and the imperialist foreign policy remains the same.

Jimmy Dore's reference to the "uniparty" is apt here. So while Mr Griffin's catalogue of Trump's various betrayals is useful, keep in mind that the disease is bipartisan. The US is in many ways a sham democracy where the actors perform kabuki theater. You will never get an honest say on the core principles of the system. Regardless if you're coming from the right or the left. And the media is in on the charade.

freedom-cat , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 9:00 am GMT
Tricky Trump.

He is so duplicitous it's mind boggling. Nancy Pelosi is right when she calls him a liar, although she's no angel herself.

The Jewish Power structure is in total control. Trump WILL BE the final nail in USA coffin, because he is dictating for Israel, now. Israel will make even bigger moves after he is re-elected, for sure. No doubt to further the Yinon plan along.

I voted for him too; but will not be voting at all this year. I refuse to play into their twisted game.

They purposely caused all this Chaos to keep people distracted while Big Tech companies consolidate their power over the internet and the Military Industrial Complex plans the next false flag to kick off the next invasion (Iran & Syria).

My guess is that Jewish Democrats like Schiff, Nader, and proxy Nancy have all been part of this horrible PsyOp that has been going down the last 3 years.

It doesn't matter which "side" you are on anymore because there is really only ONE SIDE.

Nodwink , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 9:06 am GMT
I wouldn't feel bad about being a "Trump Chump" – there are millions of you, after all.

As someone who would be in the Bernie/Tulsi camp if I lived in the USA (but would also be furiously opposed to being swamped by Somalis), here's a little advice, free of charge:

You will never get anywhere being attached to a Party of Capital. They will always want to bring cheap labour into your country, and they don't care what those immigrants do to your family. Money rules. Forget the GOP, and start your own party.

NPleeze , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 9:51 am GMT

Imagine thinking a New York City billionaire is a "populist." LMAO what were we thinking? He told us what we wanted to hear and we believed it.

Not just a NY billionaire, but one who profited from (a) mega-banks, and (b) the ZioNazi media.

His first two reality TV stunts were WWE, and then The Apprentice. The third is his crown achievement.

You call them Trump's Chumps, I've called them TrumpTARDs, because they are fucking useless, mindlessly idiotic fools/rednecks/inbred losers.

Fact is the country doesn't stand a chance, the "resistance" is more pathetic than the globlalists. If the last three years has taught the world anything, it's not just how mindlessly stupid TrumpTARDs are, but how uncivil, rude, aggressive, and downright despicable.

Nobody has harmed the conservative cause more than the Orange Satan.

All, of course, by design. What still gets me is that conservatives are to utterly stupid to fall for it. At least the Liberals caught on that Obama was a fake early on – the TrumpTARDs just can't get enough of sucking that Orange ZioNazi's dick.

sally , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 9:51 am GMT
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52960.htm&#8221 ; < Coronavirus & Global Collapse

https://theintercept.com/2020/02/06/congress-exxon-mobil-eastmed-pipeline-cyprus/ =<pipeline

this who thing looks related to me.. .. the Cornoavirus, the pipeline, the bombings in Syria, the libya-turkey GNA thing, the recent airliner crash in Turkey, I feel something is surfacing

https://friendsforsyria.com/2020/02/07/israeli-airstrikes-on-damascus-suburbs-put-at-risk-civilian-flight-with-172-passengers-on-board-russian-mod/

Trump proved that the nation state system is disastrous for those humans governed by it. The nation state system is great for those few who are the puppet governors of the few that rule the world.

The problem Mr. Griffin is that the article does not recognize that USA citizens who not part of the electoral college cannot vote for either the President or the Vice President. Amendment 12 read it.

We should Trumpet Trump because if we don't we might be next..

NPleeze , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 9:54 am GMT
@MattinLA

There are quite literally hordes of foreigners living here.

Fact is none of the fake conservatives, from the Orange Satan to the Governor of Texas, is against illegal immigration. It would be easy enough to prosecute employers who hire illegals, but neither the Orange Satan, nor any State, be it Wyoming or Texas, so-called "Red" (Communist) states, does anything about it.

But yet the idiot TrumpTARDs wail on and on about how the Orange Satan is their savior and how Republicans are better than Democrats.

It's amazing how unbelievably, astoundingly stupid Americans are.

George Lincoln , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 10:01 am GMT
You are either stupid or lying, I believe lying. I say this because in each of your substantive attacks, you blatantly misstate facts, even obvious ones.

Personally I am honestly and eyes open clinging to the hope that Trump is sincerely doing his best for us, because the alternative is civil war, and if it comes to that, it will come to that. Trump is the last possible peaceful salvation for America.

Here are your lies, which tell me you are not genuine:
> He has refurbished the George W. Bush era fence. Since he has been president, Donald Trump has built all of three new miles of fence,

A blatant and obvious lie to anyone who is tracking the wall progress – "refurbished" means replaced completely ineffective fence, including vehicle barriers which you can literally walk around, with 18-30ft high steel fence. You may jerk off to the technicality that it isn't "new", but we all see through you. Over 100 miles so far with 350 more planned, and he has done it with congress kicking and screaming. He even diverted defense spending for this purpose, against all of Washington's whining and complaining. These are the actions of someone who is sincere.

>there have been no cuts to legal immigration

Bull shit. Blatant lie. 2017 saw a 10% decrease in net migration from 1046 million to 930 million. 2018 down another 25% to 700 million, and 2019 15% to 600 million. That's God damn good work for a man with an entire bureaucracy and 2 parties fighting him. He didn't even get a law to sign and he still cut legal immigration by almost HALF. I can hardly believe it myself it's too good to be true. Why lie?

>Donald Trump hasn't even deported as many illegal aliens as Obama.

You know as well as I do that Obama changed the reporting of deportations to include 'voluntary returns'. Obama deported virtually no one from the interior. Regardless, more importantly, we both know how aggressively both parties and the bureaucracy have fought to prevent Trump from taking action, and yet against all odds he secured agreements with Honduras El Salvador and Guatemala to deport "Asylum seekers" there, making an end run around the legal labyrinth that was keeping them here. That is HUGE and you completely omit it.

You also omitted –

Starting a trade war with China
Supporting the break up of the EU
Demanding funds from allies under our umbrella
Not starting a war in Syria or Iran, both of which they desperately tried to force him into

But most of all, you ignored the fact that the entire intelligence apparatus, the entire media, the entire establishment has sacrificed their credibility in the attack on Trump.

That is the main reason I still have hope. Your lies bald face lies are why I do not believe you are sincere.

gotmituns , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 10:12 am GMT
I love it that the jew and the fag won in Iowa. Of course, I don't love that Trump will probably win in Nov. but the options to him are dismal to say the least. No matter what, once he's out of office the days of this "republic"/empire are surely numbered.
Tom Welsh , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 10:28 am GMT
I disagree that voting for Mr Trump was a mistake. American elections are always a choice of evils, but in this case it was more a choice between rapid extinction of our species and run-of-the-mill evil, killing only the odd million people now and then.

I personally take this cartoon very seriously indeed:

If Hillary Clinton had become President, I believe she would have found a way to start a war with Russia. And that would have resulted in the death of all human beings, plus many other species.

Mr Trump is execrable, it is true. But he has one enormous virtue: for whatever reason, he is extremely open and candid. Whereas US presidents going back to the 19th century did frightful things while smiling genially and pretending to be kind, Mr Trump openly admits how frightful he and his deeds are.

That is hastening the demise of the US empire, which is in the interests of all human beings.

Tom Welsh , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 10:31 am GMT
@MattinLA There are certainly no easy choices. As a foreigner I am hardly in a position to criticize, let alone to encourage US citizens. But perhaps I could remind you of an early President during whose 8 years in power not a single American or foreigner was killed by the US government?

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure".

– Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Stephens Smith (13 November 1787), quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 10:36 am GMT
@MattinLA IOW, you're going to vote again? For Mr. Trump?

"In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won't fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics."

Linh Dinh, "Orlando Shooting Means Trump for President," June 12, 2016, @ The Unz Review.

All the system needs is for you to pick Red or Blue, accepting the results until the next Most Important Election Ever.

Esoteric Schuonian , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:16 am GMT
As a first time voter in 2016, Trump's relative inaction on all that he promised has made me more aware than ever of the rot that has set in our political system. I was skeptical that political change could be accomplished prior to 2016 but optimistic. Now I cannot be anymore pessimistic about the future.
anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:35 am GMT
@Chet Roman " another conservative judge on the Supreme Court; a change that will impact the next 30+ years. That alone will be enough for me."

Yeah, Right.

Like the impact of all the Republican appointees who issued the ruling in Roe v Wade?

Like the impact of Mr. Kennedy, a Republican choice who helped rewrite the legal definition of marriage?

Like the impact of Mr. Roberts, a Republican choice who nailed down Big Sickness for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries?

What impact do you honestly expect from Mr. Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump's choice who earned his first robe by helping President Cheney with the Patriot Act?

Like the "federal" elections held every November in even-numbered years and the 5-4 decrees of the Court, the partisan judicial nominations and nailbiting confirmation hearings are another part of the RedBlue puppet show that keeps people like Chet Roman voting in the next Most Important Election Ever.

WorkingClass , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:36 am GMT
Your disappointment is the inverse of your expectations. Perhaps you should curb your enthusiasm? So what's next? Join the Communists? Boycott the system? That will teach them! Trump is the best looking horse in the glue factory. Do you see a candidate you like better?

Speak for yourself chump.

Sunshine State , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:36 am GMT
As Ronald Reagan once noted, the public has once again come to realize there is not much difference between the Party's.
Craig Nelsen , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:49 am GMT
The effort to remove Trump from office began before he was even sworn in. In terms of intensity the effort has been unlike anything any of us have ever seen. And that effort has come relentlessly, from all sides. The media, the late night comics, the intelligence services, the kritarchy, the bureaucracy they have been united in thwarting Trump's every move, united in flogging an entirely bogus Russian collusion investigation from his first day in office. And they IMPEACHED the man over nonsense, for crying out loud.

The most powerful elements in this country have thrown, and continue to throw, everything they've got at him. They have brought this country to the brink of a cataclysm for their hatred of Donald Trump and their overriding desire to see him removed from power and his voters punished. Their hatred alone is reason enough to continue to support Trump.

It was a miracle Donald Trump won the presidency. It is a miracle he is still in office. And a miracle is the only thing that can save us.

Do you not remember how utterly hopeless things seemed in 2015? How completely we'd been beaten? There was zero chance the immigration tide could be stopped, for one thing. Do you not realize that it is a miracle that things are slightly less hopeless now? A miracle that, in 2020, we aren't beaten quite so completely? That, by some miracle, the chance of achieving an immigration time-out within the next four years is now greater than zero?

Any Trump supporter who turns on Trump because he disapproves of the job Trump has done as president just shows his own fractiousness, because, in truth, Trump has not yet had a chance to be president. And politically, turning on Trump is particularly boneheaded given there is absolutely no alternative and we are out of miracles.

Just passing through , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:53 am GMT
@Divine Right The GOP donors would never allow a fully-fledged White populist candidate to slip through the net, Trump was never such a thing which is why he managed to win the primaries.

By the time the boomers die off, it will be too late and even a White Rights candidate would never won as the demographics will have shifted so much, and this is assuming Whites start skewing towards GOP on the same way Blacks skew towards Democrats. In reality the younger Whites still have the virus of individuality in their minds, thinking that politics is about high-minded ideas instead of group interests.

BuelahMan , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 11:59 am GMT
Poor Brad. I spent all that same time trying desperately to show you how far off you were in the support of an obvious jew water carrier. Twitter (until they dumped me) and then even signing up for your blog.

I left comment after comment with valuable information, obvious and thorough.

You ignored it all, even in the face of its blatant OBVIOUSNESS. You were a Drumpfter and with Trump saying just the right thing, you could probably go back.

It is why I left your site and won't go back. You spent years being totally WRONG.

Reading this is like reading the words of a guilty man who was too stupid to see what was truly right in front of your face. Or one that knew all along but had a different agenda.

Either way, you have zero credibility or discernment when it comes to politics, so why don't you just keep it to yourself.

Me, a dumb ole redneck, called it in Aug 2015 and didn't stop trying to warn the world of this OBVIOUSNESS. You know it and I know it.

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm GMT
Some strong points here, not all of them, but a number.

"He has been a disappointment on all fronts."

No statement could be more accurate.

Trump is a failure, but one with a very loud mouth and a rather twisted psychology that magically converts all failures into successes. Nothing factual ever fazes him.

And the ability to just keep going is a great asset in politics, even if it means you keep going to do destructive things. You actions communicate strength and purpose and determination to ordinary people.

After all, much of the ordinary public literally has no idea what is going on, abroad or at home, so poorly informed are they by the mainline press and the political establishment.

He does a daily war dance of self-praise, finding new phrases to whoop and chant, describing his almost complete failure in the opposite terms.

But because he is doing overall the power establishment's work – against China, against Iran, against Russia, for Israel, and in Latin America – they not only do not oppose him, they support him.

He does his work rudely and utterly without grace.

He is a man who wears his ignorance as though it were a finely-tailored suit.

But the power establishment is okay with the grotesque style, so long as they get the results they want. And they do.

The desired results are mainly negative, not positive, achievements.

But that is the essence of imperial America today, to do harm to others in order to improve its own relative standing. It does almost nothing positive anymore anywhere. It threatens friends and foes alike. It destroys international organizations and order. It supports the creation of chaos, as in Syria or Libya or Yemen.

The contrast of America's now-constant threats and hostilities with China's great Belt and Rail Initiative couldn't be starker. Or with Putin's pragmatic "live and let live" philosophy. We see destruction versus creation. Coercion versus cooperation. Ignorance versus information. Darkness versus light.

So, Trump, with all of grotesqueries and lies, provides almost the perfect President.

Sorry, America, but that is a very great, if ugly, truth.

BuelahMan , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh The lesser of two evils is a sad, twisted and failed idea. Learn a new one.
BuelahMan , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:03 pm GMT
@George Lincoln Let's not forget that he is totally and completely surrounded and controlled by Chabad jews.

Good thing, right?

That his every move is something for jews?

That's GOOD, right?

I despise Drumpfters.

Iraq Veteran , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:08 pm GMT
@Priss Factor You are so right!
geokat62 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:14 pm GMT

They wear Q shirts

Only until they start wearing JQ shirts will there be hope.

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:20 pm GMT
"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy .Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies." Carroll Quigley

And so it goes ..at least until enough people start to understand/believe that the government is their enemy, never their friend , and that a completely unlimited government [i.e. what we currently endure], regardless of who is president, will continue to take more of their money and freedom away on a daily basis because:

"Because they are all ultimately funded via both direct and indirect theft [taxes], and counterfeiting [central bank monopolies], all governments are essentially, at their very cores, 100% corrupt criminal scams which cannot be "reformed"or "improved",simply because of their innate criminal nature." onebornfree

Regards, onebornfree

Robert Dolan , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:22 pm GMT
Sadly, it doesn't matter who we vote for as the jewing will continue unabated.

Proof of this is to always ask, "Who benefits?"

And the answer is ALWAYS the jews, and the answer is NEVER white people.

Once you understand what the jews want, what their interests are, and you see that everything that happens seems to be good for the jews, you realize that this awful system is anti-white to the core and it's been engineered by the nose for the nose. There is no other way to explain the fact that the interests of white people are NEVER honored. In fact, the interests of white people are not even given a passing thought.

It's really quite remarkable. And totally insane.

Rusty nail , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:23 pm GMT
I knew it was going south in a hurry when he moved into the white house and turned it into something resembling a synagogue.

As an outsider, watching media reporting on American politics, I find myself wondering if I'm not actually viewing Israeli political news. How do Americans not notice this?

zard , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:24 pm GMT
Trump's supposed conflict with congress to get funding for the border wall is just a kosher psyop designed to give off the illusion that he is fighting to uphold his campaign promises, when in reality he's just carrying out the jews white genocidal program. He's no different than Obama. Black or white, they take orders from the same political class: the Jews who control the money, the policies, and the media.

But what's most sickening about all this is that the same congress that unanimously votes to give untold billions to Israel in foreign military aid is now telling the American people that there is just not enough money to fund a border wall ! Israel first, America last, that's how congress works.

Why don't the Jews want a strong US border wall built ? Because the JEWS want to genocide White Christian Americans through mass illegal immigration. Why ? Because non-white third world people have lower-iq's and are easier for the Jews to control and make slaves out of.
( Destabilizing society for political gains- Offering stupid people free everything will always get votes, and they know this. )

Funding for the US border wall could be solved overnight by removing Jewish control over the monetary system and cancelling all foreign aid to Israel, but don't except that to happen anytime soon. Nothing has changed since Trump has become president and nothing will. Illegal immigration, poverty, unemployment and wars will accelerate under Trump because those are the natural consequences of following the orders of America hating Jews. Trump isn't playing some 4d chess strategy and all those who still say this are blind, deaf and dumb. The Jews are still in full control of the Federal Reserve and by extension the media, government, courts, law enforcement, education etc. Stop living in a fantasy land and face the facts.

As it was with Bush,Clinton and Obama, the United States is still a vassal state of Israel and controlled by the Jews. We cannot vote ourselves out of this situation. Democracy means Jewish control that breaks down to which political candidate gets the most jewish money and jewish media coverage. The Jews pick our presidents, it doesn't matter if a republican or democrat gets elected, each party is only concerned with advancing the Jewish world government agenda.

Moi , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:57 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Regarding Gen. Soleimani, a true martyr, you should have seen how insultingly the moronic ABC World News anchor David Muir brought up the name of Gen. Soleimani at last night's DNC debate. And none of the candidates bothered to correct Muir.
Moi , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 12:59 pm GMT
@Gleimhart Mantooso Keep wallowing in hate and ignorance. Muslims are the only people outside of Christians who revere Jesus, albeit not as god jr. but as as a mighty prophet.
Moi , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:01 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev The man is lout!
I'm Not Laughing , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
For sure, Trump has been less than impressive on all fronts. At least he hasn't committed the US to an all-out war with Iran, but I strongly suspect he will do so after he is re-elected.

As far as actual unemployment, January 2020 remains at a stable 21% and all the bs about 3.5% is the usual smoke-and-mirrors:

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

I think the establishment is once again giving the American voter no real alternatives (but isn't that the point?). Do you want Trump or a Jewish communist, Trump or Indiana's little Peewee Buttfudge? Whatever. The final result will always be "X" is president in a White House filled with zionists. Everything American crumbles while the Israelis continue the dance they started on 9/11.

Anonymous [346] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:09 pm GMT
Machiavelli wrote that the best people to take power are not the best people to run the government. The implication is precisely that: use the chumps and then discard them.

Despite all the technology, some things haven't changed.

Sam J. , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
@Divine Right " My read of the situation is that Donald Trump is almost certainly going to lose the general election, despite the confident predictions of an incoming Trumpslide by deluded supporters. In his defeat, he'll take the last vestiges of Reagan conservatism down with him "

Your comment is very interesting. While I didn't like it emotionally. Intellectually it was excellent.

I have all of the same complaints as Brad Griffin. I have to admit my perfidy as I have at times believed in Q and other times I haven't. Right now I'm at the, we'll see, stage as I have no idea what is going to happen and if he so wished Trump could fall on the deep State like a bear trap. If he is going to do this then the delay til he can get in a more honest set of judges and push out some the worst of the actors makes sense. Even his wishy washy staffing the place to the gills with Jews and inconsistent policies. He has several times stated positions and done things that have put his enemies in very awkward positions that are difficult to weasel out of. He could still take down portions of the deep State. We'll have to see but I admit it doesn't look good.

Former CIA head William Casey once said, and it is verified, something like that when no one knows what the truth is the CIA had done it's job. I think we are at that stage now.

If Trump does not reign in the deep State, meaning the Jews for all practical purposes, or even if he loses the election I suspect strongly that a vast tsunami of Whites will instantly lose faith in government. I think it likely that if Trump loses it will be a psychic shock.

If Trump has no plan to take on the deep State and Q is just a deep State actor to delay the day of reckoning I hope Trump does lose.

There's a path, a very scary one, that may be what Q is all about if he is a deep State actor. Computer power has continued to increase combined with neural nets computing. The time line for a $1,000 computer chip with the computing power of a human is 2025. It may be off by a little but it will happen. If when this happens and the Jews are still in control they could, combined with 5G, build what ever robot army they wished for around 10 or 20 thousand dollars a piece and murder us all. Elon Musk global network in space would also allow them global dominance. I've always been suspicious of Elon being a Jew while supporting what he is doing as being good for the country. When he immigrated to Canada from South Africa he first had a job at a bank supposedly with one of this relatives. He also has been extremely capable in raising vast sums of capital. Jews are much more able to do this due to nepotism. He denies being a Jew.

Sam J. , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:32 pm GMT
@NPleeze " Nobody has harmed the conservative cause more than the Orange Satan ."

Nobody has harmed the FAKE JEW conservative cause more than the Orange Satan.

Fixed it for you.

Johnny Walker Read , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:45 pm GMT
Trump is very much a chump and a liar, as pretty much every president has been from the beginning. This will include supposed great presidents like Lincoln, Wilson, Teddy and FD Roosevelt, Reagan, Obama, and yes, even the vaunted JFK.

The problem is and always has been "Murkans" find themselves a political party and basically sign up for life. They never seem to learn no matter who is put into office, the slow slide to a full blown Marxist type Oligarchy marches on. I cannot fathom why people go to political rallies and wave and cheer for known liars and charlatans, hanging on their every promise as if it came from God himself.

Nothing is ever going to change in this country until the corporate money is eliminated from politics, until lobbying for political favors is made illegal, until BOTH corrupt political parties currently running America are shown the ash heap of history, AND until people realize there is more politics than marking a ballot.

This country will only be made well when the citizens start attending city, county, and state government meetings and demand the constitution be upheld. Without our involvement at every level of government, it is easy for the shysters and crooks to grow fat through graft and corruption.

The choice is ours and ours alone, but if history is any indicator of what will be, I say we be in deep shit.

KenH , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:47 pm GMT
@George Lincoln

Bull shit. Blatant lie. 2017 saw a 10% decrease in net migration from 1046 million to 930 million. 2018 down another 25% to 700 million, and 2019 15% to 600 million. That's God damn good work for a man with an entire bureaucracy and 2 parties fighting him

Where's the link for this claim? At the 2019 SOTU Trump bragged that immigrants would be coming to the USA in "the largest numbers ever" under his administration.

Candidate Trump vowed to end H1B visas but president Trump now supports expanding the program. Candidate Trump vowed to deport Dreamers and all other illegal aliens. Candidate Trump says he'll work with Congress to allow Dreamers to stay in the U.S. and avoid deportation.

But most of all, you ignored the fact that the entire intelligence apparatus, the entire media, the entire establishment has sacrificed their credibility in the attack on Trump.

Outside of a few of exceptions like Comey, Strzok and McCabe there's been almost no consequences for any crazy leftists or deep state operatives for attacking Trump. At most, some (((MSM))) talking heads have suffered decreased viewership, but that hasn't slowed them down one iota while the FBI has viciously retaliated against high profile Trump supporters like Mike Flynn and Roger Stone.

I thought Trump was going to go after Hillary if elected and "lock her up?" That was just one of his many lies and dog whistles.

Johnny Walker Read , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 1:53 pm GMT
More on "Pete the Cheat" Buttigieg, not the harmless little rump ranger mayor you have been led to believe he is.
https://www.winterwatch.net/2020/02/mayor-pete-the-spook-a-favorite-of-the-kakistocracy-and-parasite-guild/
Truth3 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:13 pm GMT
Yes, Trump is an idiot I know well. I spent a day with him.

The real problem has been, when we have a candidate that would be good for America, the Jews and the Jewish controlled media destroy him, and the people do not react appropriately.

Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader all offered their talents for the job. See what happened?

Trump is not the problem. He's the symptom.

Go after the root.

Gerhard Menuhin understood this well enough he named his book accordingly.

Because life is relatively short, the people adapt a "go along to get along" mentality. They fear losing their rice bowl (job) so they act like coolies (slaves).

People need to change the essential failing thinking only of themselves.

Better to be a martyr once than a slave 10,000 times.

fool's paradise , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:17 pm GMT
Since both parties are hopelessly corrupt enemies of the people, I vote third party if I can, so I didn't vote for Trump but I was glad he beat Hillary, because Hillary was a known evil, and Trump? I liked his campaign promises, to make friends with Russia, to get out of NATO, to stop the "stupid" Mideast wars, to echo Lindbergh by his motto "America First", which promised a kind of paleo-conservative "isolationism", i.e., stay home, mind our own business, stop policing the world with regime-change wars. I wrote off his Border Fence as unworkable. And he started off well. He called most TV news Fake News. He said Media was "the enemy of the people". Wow! What other politician told such a truth? He met with Putin in Helsinki and believed Putin's word over his own "Intelligence", and Wow!, again. But it didn't last. His enemies were after him (Russia! Russia! Russia!) from Day One, and after the Putin meeting FBI and CIA and Media all called him a TRAITOR! Media bad-mouthed him 24/7 for months, and I believe Trump finally caved, joined our enemies in the Swamp he had promised to drain, because he didn't have the balls to stand up to the constant, unrelenting pressure on him. His first choices for Secty of State,of Defense, were okay, but then he hired the awful Bolton and then the noxious Pompeo, he surrounded himself with the loyal-to-Israel Neocons, and now Netanyahu is our President, not Trump.

So he has become just another enemy of the people. If Bernie is screwed out of the Dem nomination, as he was last time, I hope he starts a Third Party, with Ron Paul as his Vice, and Tulsi Gabbard as Secty of State.

remington , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:24 pm GMT
inclined to agree. perhaps q-anon is part of this charade?
ken , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:29 pm GMT
@Gizmo880 Add to that, who would champion any of these changes in either chamber of Congress? This article perfectly reflects the adolescent whining that permeates the unz site that everything is not going exactly as I want.
bjondo , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:39 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_wMntDFfAhQ?feature=oembed

https://www.redstate.com/nick-arama/2020/02/07/tucker-carlson-sounds-the-alert/

5ds

Really No Shit , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:40 pm GMT
You deserve to be drunk on the junk offered by the Drumpf a narcissistic hedonist from Manhattan in real estate business (where 9 out of 10 largest real estate enterprises are owned by Jews), who was desperate at times to hold on to that thing which is most dear to him, the title of unmitigated billionaire, and which could not be hold on to without the blessings of the Central Park "rabbis" and one who had married non-native white women of dubious origin (possibly Jewish), at least 2 out of 3 times and a man who wasn't known for his christian (assuming he is one) piety or charity was suddenly the savior of the White nationalists.

You're right about one thing: give a drowning (White nationalist) man enough rope and he will hang himself!

Glock45 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:49 pm GMT
@nsa Trumpstein actually did something about the H1B visa program .he increased it claiming we need more of these half priced "brainiacs". Can't find enough discount American code scribblers, you know.

Bingo.

BTW, back in the mid 00s when I had certifications in C# programming and SQL, my phone was literally ringing off the hook with job offers and I never went more than 1 week without a contract job. In the following years working for a large company in the industry, I gained even more experience in other things in IT that interested me such as machine learning, parallel programming and cloud computing.

When that company went south in 2016 I lost my job. Furiously searching for a job, it took NINE months before I landed another. When I talked with all the local head-hunting contractor firms and IT placement companies, they all told me the same story: all the local companies are pretty much only hiring H1B's now in their IT departments.

Absolutely disgusting.

That along with many other things that I've seen since 2016 have convinced me that my children have no future here in this shithole country.

MLK , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:51 pm GMT

In the final two years of the Obama administration (2015 and 2016), the Alt-Right was thriving on social media and was brimming with energy.

Yes, in service to Hillary and the Democrats. Not all who called themselves alt-right, but beyond question it was a "movement" that was and still is wholly compromised. I know it's hard for you to hear, and despite whatever else he peddled, Freud was on to something when it came to Projection.

It doesn't surprise me that this author has memory-holed his movement's high water mark -- Hillary's alt-right speech. Throughout the 2016 campaign, while little went Hillary's way, she consistently drew royal straight flushes, with David Duke, Richard Spencer and various other agents-provocateur, going on CNN and MSNBC declaring their support for Trump.

Here's your buddy Richard Spencer days after Trump won the election:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1o6-bi3jlxk?feature=oembed

A word to the wise, anyone who didn't know to whom this character belongs, and long before this moment, should assiduously avoid the word 'chump.'

I won't paint with a broad brush. To the extent that anyone cares, it was and remains rather easy to figure out which in the so-called alt-right can't be trusted. Whether because the FBI or someone else has them by the short-hairs, or they're Leninist/Stalinist filth doing their part for the cause.

That includes those writing articles like this, lamenting that Trump betrayed you after you voted for him by being a great president for African Americans too.

Timing is rarely coincidental. Thus this jibber jabber comes just after Trump defeated the latest coup attempt and even Democrat allied-media is finally forced to begin to concede that he'll win reelection.

Trump will do so with historic support from blacks and Hispanics (for a Republican). Which is why Democrats and their allied-media are again feverishly pushing their "white nationalist" button again.

Glock45 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:58 pm GMT
Meh, c'mon guys.

Any day now the "GOD EMPEROR (!!!)" is going to "UNLEASH THE STORM!!!"

Oh, yeah, sure some Jews get beat up in midtown Manhattan and Trump swings into action quicker than whale shit thru an ice floe passing EOs that end up practically paving the way to make it illegal to criticize Jews

Um, OK he sure was quick and decisive for them.

But surely he will get around to doing something for the goys too!!!

Just wait and "trust the plan!"

Ragno , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:58 pm GMT

The reasons why I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 were immigration, trade, foreign policy, political correctness and campaign finance and furthering these big ideas of "nationalism" and "populism."

Well then you are a chump. The only tactical reason to have voted for Trump was to deny Hillary Clinton executive power . That was the sole reason any conservative or rightist had to participate in Our National Sham. To believe that he was going to reintroduce "nigger" to the national lexicon by 2018 was head-in-the-clouds foolishness.

Thwarting Soros/Hillary remains his major contribution* to American politics: under Trump, the masks on the other side have all come off. There is no longer any subterfuge about the Unholy Trinity of the Far Left, meaning the Democratic Party, the mainstream media and the hostage institutions such as academia and local/state government. The rabid doubling-down of the anti-white Deep State – unthinkable with a nabob like McConnell or Romney in the Oval Office – is another plus to the Trump Administration: what the talking heads all nervously refer to as the "deep divisions" in our country is one of the few signs of mental health and vitality America has experienced in a half-century's worth of decline.

Nobody was going to reverse that half-century in three or four years – it was a physical impossibility; just as no one was going to pry off Team Shmuel's death-grip without at least pretending not to. Ten years would be insufficient for such tasks. But it doesn't mean you petulantly vow to starve yourself because half a loaf is an insult.

*= it's rarely brought up but his quietly appointing centrist/conservative judges to the bench, boring as it may seem to tiki-torch revolutionaries, still represents an important step in the right direction and is probably his second major contribution to the struggle,

Moi , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Father O'Hara Perfect!
MikeatMikedotMike , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT
@BuelahMan For example?
Desert Fox , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:05 pm GMT
Trump is the reincarnation of the Roman emperor Caligula and the present government of the ZUS is a reincarnation of the later days of the Roman empire, in every way!
MikeatMikedotMike , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm GMT
@I'm Not Laughing Pool's closed.
Anonymous [137] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:07 pm GMT
Great article, and the most depressing one I've read in a long time.
KA , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:17 pm GMT
@MattinLA America has faced problem like this in the past It will solve the problem in similar or identical terms . Thats what it does It provides a ruse . Now the ruse is not covering the corners of the lying lips even before next set of problems emerge straight from the solution.
Anon [398] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:18 pm GMT
I agree with the Jew in hating Christ.

I am gainfully employed by the FBI.

I eat ranch dressing on every meal.

I AM A PROUD WHITE NATIONALIST!

Niebelheim , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:19 pm GMT
Trump isn't a god and there's so much to criticize about his track record, all true. But at minimum, Trump did delay the socialist takeover of the federal judiciary. As disgusting as his kowtowing has been of the neocons that control the Deep State, the invasion of Iran has still yet to materialize. How would a Hillary presidency have fared with Scalia's replacement and a no-fly zone over Syria? Good bye First and Second Amendment. The alternative to Trump is grim.
KA , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Sam J. FAKE JEW conservative

He has not harmed the FAKE He has not harmed the JEW

He might have harmed some conservatives But they are not neoconservatives.

Trinity , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:21 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh As bad as Trumpstein is, and make no mistake, the cuckold for Coco-Zionists is bad, Clinton and company would have been even worse. In 2020 we have anti-White demsheviks like Butt-Plug, the first openly homosexual candidate for Prez, Warren, Biden and flat out commie Jew, Sanders, and Jew Bloomberg. I guess the Jew is ready to come out of the shadows and openly run for Prez just like homosexual Butt-Plug. Of course it could be said that we have a Jew as POTUS right now, President Baby Nut&Yahoo and his VP Jared Kushner.

The biggest thing Trumpstein has done as Prez is expose how fake the Jew media is, but lets not kid ourselves, with the exception of Tucker Carlson ( even Tucker doesn't tell the total truth and he won't touch the JQ) even the neocons at FOX and OAN don't tell the complete truth, and sometimes they do more harm by telling 90% truth and 10% lies than commie anti-White networks like CNN, MSNBC and all the rest.

Trumpstein is a native New Yorker, what did you really expect?? The guy has been around criminal Jews all his life, he has Jew lawyers, his daughter has converted to Judaism and she married an orthodox Jew. As bad as our past Presidents were, some claim LBJ, FDR, and even Eisenhower might have been Jews or had Jewish blood flowing through their shabbos goy veins, Trump might be the biggest cuckold yet when it comes to the biggest shabbos goy Prez of all time.

Until a UNITED STATES PRESIDENT OR OFFICIAL GOES AFTER GEORGE SOROS AND THE LIKE AND SERIOUSLY SEEKS TO IMPRISON HIM AND OTHERS FOR FLOODING OUR COUNTRY WITH ILLEGAL INVADERS, WE DON'T HAVE A LEGIT PRESIDENT.

Do you think Hitler would have stood by and allowed non-Germans or traitorous Germans to flood Germany with Turks or Pakis and then went out and told throngs of people how he is keeping Germany first? Come on, man. Trump is better than the alternative, BUT the new boss isn't much different than the old boss. Just another cuckold influenced by his Jewish masters and Jewish money.

WJ , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:23 pm GMT
@Priss Factor It's amusing to read the rabid Trump haters on the right. They have a better option?

Some of the Trump haters say we should just let the whole thing burn down and that Trump is controlled opposition delaying the inevitable and preferred civil war. These are people that won't give up their Netflix, won't give up whatever outlet Game of Thrones is on and won't even put down their IPhone. It's absurd.

It's always about horrible vs less horrible.

Charles Pewitt , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:23 pm GMT
Trump is a fat-assed, baby boomer politician whore for the evil and immoral globalizer treasonites in the JEW/WASP ruling class of the American Empire.

Trump has been screaming like a three dollar whore politician about flooding the USA with mass legal immigration "in the largest numbers ever."

Trump has refused to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA.

Trump has kept the American Empire garrisons and bases forward deployed and stuck in muck hole regions of the globe.

Trump has put the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the American Empire.

Trump is a bought and paid for three dollar whore politician for Jew billionaires Shelly Adelson and Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus and other billionaire bastards.

Trump has kept his fat mouth shut about the Fed-created and monetary policy induced asset bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate. In 2016, fat ass baby boomer bastard Trumpy was calling these same damn asset bubbles nothing but "fat, ugly bubbles." In 2016 Trump said "we are in a big, fat, ugly bubble" and the asset bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate are only bigger and uglier and fatter now.

I hereby challenge baby boomer fat ass Trumpy -- and Teddy Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dan Crenshaw, Tom Cotton and any other GOP puke who wants to show up -- to a debate on mass legal immigration and mass illegal immigration, tax policy, trade policy, foreign policy, monetary policy, American national identity, multicultural mayhem, White Genocide and any other damn thing.

Vote for CHARLES PEWITT as a Write-In candidate for president in New Hampshire and Nevada and South Carolina and every other state presidential primary.

Charles Pewitt Immigration Pledge:

IMMIGRATION MORATORIUM NOW!

DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS NOW!

REMOVE THE FOREIGNERS NOW!

REMOVE ALL WHITES OR OTHERS THAT ARE HOSTILE TO THE EUROPEAN CHRISTIAN ANCESTRAL CORE OF THE USA

Ban The Bat Soup Fever People Now!

The Charles Pewitt write-in campaign for president of the USA has called for the immediate implementation of a BAT SOUP FEVER BAN which will quarantine the rest of the world, including Canada and Mexico. All foreigners currently occupying US territory will be immediately removed and they will be put on barges with baloney sandwiches for sustenance on their long voyage back to wherever the Hell they came from. Those who have deliberately shredded their identification -- like Pelosi shredding Trumpy's speech -- shall be put in a baloney sandwich camp in sub-Saharan Africa and kept there indefinitely.

The Charles Pewitt write-in campaign for president has stated numerous times that open borders mass legal immigration and open borders mass illegal immigration brings infectious diseases to the USA and this new fangled BAT SOUP FEVER is just EBOLA with more sniffles and the walking pneumonia and the boogie woogie bat soup fever blues.

The Charles Pewitt ban on the Bat Soup Fever People, plus all the other foreigners for good measure, will bring massive benefits to the American people.

The Charles Pewitt ban on all foreigners in combination with a massive removal of all foreigners in the USA will boost wages, lower housing costs, reduce income inequality, lower class sizes, protect the environment, restore cultural cohesion, give US workers more bargaining power, reduce belly fat, reduce commuting times, provide relief for overwhelmed hospitals and be good for regular Americans and bad for globalizer banker money-grubbing nasty people.

The Charles Pewitt presidency will extinguish all student loan debt and pay back all student loan debt ever paid plus 6 percent interest accrued yearly.

The Pewitt Conjured Loot Portion will grant each American citizen with all blood ancestors born in colonial America or in the USA before 1924 the sum of ten thousand dollars a month -- tax free.

The Pewitt Tax Pledge will abolish the payroll tax and reduce federal income taxes substantially for all Americans making below 300, 000 dollars a year. Billionaires will be declared illegal and they will be financially liquidated and the federal corporate tax rate shall be 80 percent and 100 percent for all corporations that have gone offshore.

God Bless America And Ban The Bat Soup Fever People Now!

Write In CHARLES PEWITT For President On Your Ballot -- God Bless The USA!

WJ , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm GMT
@MattinLA Clinton /Kaine promised up comprehensive amnesty in the first one hundred days of their administration. Did we get that under Trump?
Turk 152 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMT
@Divine Right If the Democrats have Pete steal the nominatin, then you can be sure they want to give Trump the election. I dont think they control Bliombverg, more likely, he controls them so I would call him a wild card. Sanders would win the election, but as you can see in Iowa, the criminals running the DNC, aka Hillary, are a much bigger threat to him then Trump.
RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:36 pm GMT
@Father O'Hara Proper response would have been a kick in the balls and "you ARE a Fat Jewish dick."
Trinity , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:38 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt And you actually think that guy has a legit shot at winning? And you actually think he will be able to keep all of his promises? The more I learn about what Hitler had to overcome to become Chancellor of Germany, you realize that men like Hitler are rare and only come along once every couple hundreds of years. And Germany wasn't mixed with every kind of brown and yellow race under the Sun either, America is a different animal altogether. I am not sure if even a man like Hitler could turn America around in 2020. It will take A LOT OF WORK TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, odds are unless we do a 180% turn, America is going out with a whimper and sooner rather than later.
RadicalCenter , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:41 pm GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit Net immigration has definitely NOT been outward. Both legal and illegal migration into the USA are still massive, larger than the outflow from all appearances. The net result, and this is without reference to the race or color or religion of the wave of immigrants:

a more crowded, more polluted, more expensive, less trusting society where tens of millions of people cannot communicate effectively with each other in English and US citizens whose families have been here for generations or even a couple centuries have a harder and harder time finding full-time jobs with decent pay, benefits, and HAHA a pension.

eah , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Chet Roman After the last 3 years of seditious behavior of lying politicians like Schiff , Nadler and Pelosi and the traitorous schemes of deep state actors like Weismann, Vindman, Sondland and Yovanovitch

(That would be Andrew Weis s mann.)

See JEW COUP: SEDITIOUS JEWS ORCHESTRATING TRUMP IMPEACHMENT LYNCHING

Trump will continue to kiss Jew ass though -- and don't forget: the Democrats are the real anti-Semites.

Z-man , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:50 pm GMT
While I agree with your main point, what are you going to do? Vote for lil' Mike Bloomberg? Mayor Pete? LOL. These clowns are completely controlled. Yes this system has boxed us in but Trump at least gives the illusion of revolt, and he still isn't 100% controlled, only 99%.(Grin) Others will have to pick up the mantle of revolt against the 'Deep State' when he is gone.
For the time being thankfully Tucker Carlson, Rand Paul and other America First types will be pushing Trump to follow his campaign promises, however little he actually does. Because the alternative, Biden, Bloomberg, the mayor Pete & company, is considerably worse.

The main strikes against Trump are 1. His even more fawning than anticipated towards the Zionist beast. But most of that was predictable however regrettable. 2. His acquiescence to the Republi'tard tax cuts which has only benefited the rich. The Republicans lost big in the mid terms because of those cuts but 'lo and behold' Trump was still there. 3. All the other shit-lib policies that Trump ignored or even supported, like increases in 'legal' immigration. That's the fault of his dopey daughter and her weird Zionist/Orthodox Jew husband. With the son-in-law's one sided 'Deal of the Century' falling flat on its face, hopefully this will hasten the moving of said weird son-in-law and dopey daughter back to NYC 'one'. Then hopefully Trump will turn to advice from the likes of Carlson and Paul who will appeal to his inner America First soul.

Meena , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Ragno Thwarting Soros/Hillary remains his major contribution* to American politics: under Trump, the masks on the other side have all ""

How has he exactly ?
Soros and Hillary occupy certain positions . Now they are gone but taken over by some other guys and gals .
It's a job . New employees still haven't been awarded the best employee award yet . That will come at the retirement for the next set of people to carry on with the same anonymity.

We all know PNAC. How many will bother to know what the new letter head organizations the same crazy bunch are heading now with new faces ?

Trinity , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 4:03 pm GMT
Whether it is the openly anti-White demshevik candidate who wins or Trump, it is a win-win for the Jew. And our demshevik buddies have already hinted at locking up any White who might have the temerity to whine about his or her countries being flooded with browns, yellows and other hues of hostile third world biological weapons of mass destruction or God any White who blasphemes the self avowed "masters of the universe" who control America's media, much of our judicial system, and apparently own all of our serious candidates for POTUS should face imprisonment according to some of these certifiable cuckold nutjobs. As I commented earlier, Hitler wasn't some mentally disturbed madman who munched on carpet when enraged, he was a brilliant and brave man, but even Hitler didn't have to overcome the odds that anyone elected as the American President has to overcome. The Jewish dream of making America a polyglot of every kind of race under the sun with more colors than a rainbow has become true. Hitler only had the Jew to worry about for the most part, while the American President has to tackle not only Jewish power and influence, he has a country full of Chinese, Arabs, East Indians, Africans, Hispanics of all sorts, just your common everyday African American with a chip on his shoulder the size of a boulder, and all other assorted groups of malcontents demanding handouts while at the same time cursing our nation and thinking Whitey owes them something for nothing.
Agent76 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 4:05 pm GMT
Slavery is alive and well for those who cannot thier chains.

Jul 22, 2009 Speaker Pelosi on Restoring Pay-As-You-Go Budget

Discipline Today, the House passed the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act 2009 (HR 2920) by a vote of 265-166.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jmiU_C2UEdM?feature=oembed

Jan 20, 2017 Here's how much debt the US government added under President Obama

Based on quarterly data released by the US Treasury, the debt at the end of 2008 – just before Obama took office – stood at roughly $10,699,805,000,000. As of the third quarter of 2016, the most recent data available, the debt as Obama is set to leave office stood at $19,573,445,000,000.

https://amp.businessinsider.com/national-debt-deficit-added-under-president-barack-obama-2017-1

Charles Pewitt , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 4:07 pm GMT
@Trinity The USA will thrive like never before after doing two simple things:

3 measly little hikes to the federal funds rate and remove all the foreigners and the spawn of the foreigners.

The Pewitt presidential administration shall order the privately-controlled Federal Reserve Bank to raise the federal funds rate from the current level below 2 percent to 6 percent and then to 10 percent and then to 20 percent. This whole series of asset bubbles the last 40 years can be traced back to 1981 when the federal funds rate was 20 percent. Deliberate asset bubble implosions now!

Implode the asset bubbles and financially liquidate the greedy White nation wreckers born before 1965.

Young White Core Americans must be free of the DEBT BOMB MILLSTONE destroying their future and their country.

The Pewitt presidential administration shall order the Fed to begin contracting the Fed's balance sheet and there will be a complete halt to dollar swaps and liquidity injections and all the other monetary extremism crud that keeps the asset bubbles in stocks and bonds and real estate inflated.

The Pewitt presidential administration shall order the immediate implementation of an immigration moratorium and will begin the immediate deportation of all 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA. All foreigners and their spawn shall be immediately removed from the USA and the members of the Deportation Force that puts this policy into action will get 1 million dollars a year for their patriotic efforts.

Politics in the USA Distilled For My Fellow Americans:

DEBT and DEMOGRAPHY

Monetary Policy

Immigration Policy

The USA must get back to a population of 220 million like it was in 1978.

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 4:21 pm GMT
@Charles Pewitt The zionist owned FED must be abolished, this is the key to the zionist control of America and Americans.
anon_382 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 4:27 pm GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit

means less when they calmly retort, "I was leaving anyway"

OMG please do

Turk 152 , says: Show Comment February 8, 2020 at 4:40 pm GMT
After Iowa, i'm unclear why anyone still thinks the DNC is interested in making any sort of meaningful change to our system towards socialism; rest assured they are not. They blatantly committed election fraud to support the mayor from the CIA, Pete. If he fails, they will put their full support behind Bloomberg, the very definition of a right wing candidate. The threat to our ruling class is not Trump, its Sanders.

Trump supports Israel, billionaires, Big Corporations, wars for Oil, Wall Street and so will the DNC candidates Pete and Bloomberg. The rest are just wedge issues to give the masses the illusion of choice.

Current Commenter

[Feb 08, 2020] Beyond Ukraine America's Coming (Losing) Battle For Eurasia

Feb 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Beyond Ukraine: America's Coming (Losing) Battle For Eurasia by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/08/2020 - 00:05 0 SHARES Authored by US Army Major Danny Sjursen (ret.) via AntiWar.com,

Academic historians reject anything smacking of inevitably . Instead they emphasize the contingency of events as manifested through the inherent agency of human beings and the countless decisions they make. On the merits, such scholars are basically correct. That said, there was something – if not inevitable – highly probable, almost (forgive me) deterministic about the two cataclysmic world wars of the 20th century. Both, in retrospect, were driven, in large part, by collective – particularly Western – nations' adherence to a series of geopolitical philosophies.

The first war – which killed perhaps nine million soldiers in the sodden trench lines (among other long forgotten places) of Europe – began, in part, due to the continental, and especially maritime, competition between Imperial Great Britain, and a new, rising, and highly populous, land power, Imperial Germany. Both had pretensions to global leadership; Britain's old and long-standing, Germany's recent and aspirational – tinged with a sense of long-denied deservedness. Political and military leaders on both sides – along with other European (and the Japanese) nations – then pledged philosophical fealty to the theories of an American Navy man, Alfred Thayer Mahan. To simplify, Mahan's core postulation – published from a series of lectures as The Influence of Sea Power Upon History – was that geopolitical power in the next (20th) century would be inherently maritime. The countries that maintained large, modern navies, held strategic coaling stations, and expanded their coastal, formal empires, would dominate trade, develop the strongest economies, and, hence, were apt to global paramountcy. Conversely, traditional land power – mass armies prepared to march across vast land masses – would become increasingly irrelevant.

Mahan's inherently flawed, or at least exaggerated, conclusions – and his own clear institutional (U.S. Navy) bias – aside, key players in two of the major powers of Europe seemed to buy the philosophy hook-line-and-sinker. So, when Wilhelmine Germany took the strategic decision to rapidly expand its own colonial fiefdoms (before the last patches of brown-people-inhabited land were swallowed up) and, thereby necessarily embarked on a crash naval buildup to challenge the British Empire's maritime supremacy, the stage was set for a massive war. And, with most major European rivals – hopelessly hypnotized by nationalism – locked in a wildly byzantine, bipolar alliance system, all that was needed to turn the conflict global was a spark: enter the assassin Gavrilo Princip, a pistol, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and it was game on .

The Second World War – which caused between 50-60 million deaths – was, of course, an outgrowth of the first. It's causes were multifaceted and complicated. Nonetheless, particularly in its European theater, it, too, was driven by a geopolitical theorist and his hypotheses. This time the culprit was a Briton, Halford John Mackinder. In contrast with Mahan, Mackinder postulated a land-based, continental power theory. As such, he argued that the "pivot" of global preeminence lay in the control of Eurasia – the "World Island" – specifically Central Asia and Eastern Europe. These resource rich lands held veritable buried treasure for the hegemon, and, since they lay on historical trade routes, were strategically positioned.

Should an emergent, ambitious, and increasingly populated, power – say, Nazi Germany – need additional territory (what Hitler called " Lebensraum ") for its race, and resources (especially oil) for its budding war machine, then it needed to seize the strategic "heartland" of the World Island. In practice, that meant the Nazis theoretically should, and did, shift their gaze (and planned invasion) from their outmoded Mahanian rival across the English Channel, eastward to the Ukraine, Caucasus (with its ample oil reserves), and Central Asia. Seeing as all three regions were then – and to lesser extent, still – dominated by Russia, the then Soviet Union, the unprecedentedly bloody existential war on Europe's Eastern Front appears ever more certain and explainable.

Germany lost both those wars: the first badly, the second, disastrously. Then, in a sense, the proceeding 45-year Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union – the only two big winners in the Second World War – may be seen as an extension or sequel to Mackinder-driven rivalry. The problem is that after the end of – at least the first – Cold War, Western, especially American, strategists severely miscalculated . In their misguided triumphalism, US geopolitical theorists both provoked a weak (but not forever so) Russia by expanding the NATO alliance far eastward, but posited premature (and naive) theories that assumed global finance, free (American-skewed) trade, and digital dominance were all that mattered in a "Post" Cold War world.

No one better defined this magical thinking more than the still – after having been wrong about just about every US foreign policy decision of the last two decades – prominent New York Times columnist , Thomas Friedman. In article after article, and books with such catchy titles as The World is Flat , and The Lexus and the Olive Tree , Friedman argued, essentially, that old realist geopolitics were dead, and all that really mattered for US hegemony was the proliferation of McDonald's franchises worldwide.

Friedman was wrong; he always is (Exhibit A: the 2003 Iraq War). Today, with a surprisingly – at least with his prominent base – popular president, Donald J. Trump, impeached in the House and just acquitted by the Senate for alleged crimes misleadingly summed up as "Ukraine-gate," a look at the real issues at hand in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, demonstrate that, for better or (probably) worse, the ghost of Mackinder still haunts the scene. For today, I'd argue, the proxy battle over Ukraine between the U.S. and its allied-coup-empowered government – which includes some neo-nazi political and military elements – and Russian-backed separatists in the country's east, reflects a return to the battle for Eurasian resource and geographic predominance.

Neither Russia nor the United States is wholly innocent in fueling and escalating the ongoing Ukrainian Civil War. The difference is, that in post-Russiagate farce, chronically (especially among mainstream Democrat) alleged Russia-threat-obsessed America, reports of Moscow's ostensible guilt literally saturate the media space. The reporting from Washington? Not so much.

The truth is that a generation of prominent "liberal" American, born-again Russia-hawks – Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the whole DNC apparatus , and the MSNBC corporate media crowd – wielded State Department, NGO, and economic pressure to help catalyze a pro-Western coup in Ukraine during and after 2014. Their opportunism seemed, to them, simple, and relatively cost-free, at the time, but has turned implacably messy in the ensuing years.

In the process, the Democrats haven't done themselves any political favors, further sullying what's left of their reputation by – in some cases – colluding with Ukrainians to undermine key Trump officials; and consorting with nefarious far-right nationalist local bigots (who may have conspired to kill protesters in the Maidan "massacre," as a means to instigate further Western support for the coup). What's more, while much of the conspiratorial Trump-team spin on direct, or illegal, Biden family criminality has proven false, neither Joe nor son Hunter, are exactly "clean." The Democratic establishment, Biden specifically, may, according to an excellent recent Guardian editorial , have a serious "corruption problem" – no least of which involves explaining exactly why a then sitting vice president's son, who had no serious diplomatic or energy sector experience, was paid $50,000 a month to serve on the board of a Ukrainian gas company .

Fear not, the "Never-Trump" Republicans, and establishment Democrats seemingly intent on drumming up a new – presumably politically profitable – Cold War have already explanation. They've dug up the long ago discredited, but still publicly palatable, justification that the US must be prepared to fight Russia "over there," before it has no choice but to battle them "over here" (though its long been unclear where "here" is , or how , exactly, that fantasy comes to pass). First, there's the distance factor: though several thousands of miles away from the East Coast of North America, Ukraine is in Russia's near-abroad. After all, it was long – across many different generational political/imperial structures – part of the Soviet Union or other Russian empires. A large subsection of the populace, especially in the East, speaks, and considers itself, in part, culturally, Russian.

Furthermore, the Russian threat, in 2020, is highly exaggerated. Putin is not Stalin. The Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union; and, hell, even the Soviet (non-nuclear) military threat and geopolitical ambitions were embellished throughout Cold War "Classic." A simple comparative " tale-of-the-tape " illustrates as much. Economically and demographically, Russia is demonstrably an empirically declining power – its economy, in fact, about the size of Spain's.

Nor is the defense of an imposed, pro-Western, Ukrainian proxy state a vital American national security interest worth bleeding, or risking nuclear war, over. As MIT's Barry Posen has argued , "Vital interests affect the safety, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and power position of the United States," and, "If, in the worst case, all Ukraine were to 'fall' to Russia, it would have little impact on the security of the United States." Furthermore, as retired US Army colonel, and president of the restraint-based Quincy Institute, Andrew Bacevich, has advised , the best policy, if discomfiting, is to "tacitly acknowledge[e] the existence of a Russian sphere of influence." After all, Washington would expect, actually demand, the same acquiescence of Moscow in Mexico, Canada, or, for that matter, the entire Americas.

Unfortunately, no such restrained prudence is likely, so long as the bipartisan American national security state continues to subscribe to some vague version of the Mackinder theory. Quietly, except among wonky regional experts and investigative reporters on the scene, the US has, before, but especially since the "opportunity" of the 9/11 attacks, entered full-tilt into a competition with Russia and China for physical, economic, and resource dominance from Central Asia to the borderlands of Eastern Europe. That's why, as a student at the Army's Command and General Staff College in 2016-17, all us officers focused almost exclusively on planning fictitious, but highly realistic, combat missions in the Caucasus region. It also partly explains why the US military, after 18+ years, remains ensconced in potentially $3 trillion resource-rich Afghanistan, which, not coincidentally, is America's one serious physical foothold in land-locked Central Asia.

Anecdotally, but instructively, I remember well my four brief stops at the once ubiquitous US Air Force way-station into Afghanistan – Manas Airbase – in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Off-base "liberty" – even for permanent party airmen – was rare, in part, because the Russian military had a mirror base just across the city. What's more, the previous, earlier stopover spot for Afghanistan – Uzbekistan – kicked out the US military in 2005, in part, due to Russian political and economic pressure to do so.

Central Asia and East Europe are also contested spaces regarding the control of competing – Western vs. Russian vs. Chinese – oil and natural gas pipeline routes and trade corridors. Remember, that China's massive " One Belt – One Road " infrastructure investment program is mostly self-serving, if sometimes mutually beneficial . The plan means to link Chinese manufacturing to the vast consumerist European market mainly through transportation, pipeline, diplomatic, and military connections running through where? You guessed it: Central Asia, the Caucasus, and on through Eastern Europe.

Like it or not, America isn't poised to win this battle, and its feeble efforts to do so in these remarkably distant locales smacks of global hegemonic ambitions and foolhardy, mostly risk, nearly no reward, behavior. Russia has a solid army in close proximity, a hefty nuclear arsenal, as well as physical and historical connections to the Eurasian Heartland; China has an even better, more balanced, military, enough nukes, and boasts a far more powerful, spendthrift-capable, economy. As for the US, though still militarily and (for now) economically powerful, it lacks proximity, faces difficult logistical / expeditionary challenges, and has lost much legitimacy and squandered oodles of good will with the regional countries being vied for. Odds are, that while war may not be inevitable, Washington's weak hand and probable failure, nearly is.

Let us table, for the purposes of this article, questions regarding any environmental effects of the great powers' quest for, extraction, and use of many of these regional resources. My central points are two-fold:

As the U.S. enters an increasingly bipolar phase of world affairs, powerful national security leaders fear its diminishing power. Washington's is, like it or not, an empire in decline; and, as we know from history, such entities behave badly on the downslope of hegemony. Call me cynical, but I'm apt to believe that the United States, as perhaps the most powerful imperial body of all time, is apt, and set, to act poorest of all.

The proxy fight in Ukraine, battle for Central Asia in general – to say nothing of related American aggression and provocations in Iran and the Persian Gulf – could be the World War III catalyst that the Evangelical militarist nuts, Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, unwilling to wait on Jesus Christ's eschatological timeline, have long waited for . These characters seemingly possess the heretical temerity to believe man – white American men, to be exact – can and should incite or stimulate Armageddon and the Rapture.

If they're proved "right" or have their way – and the Mikes just might – then nuclear cataclysm will have defied the Vegas odds and beat the house on the expected human extinction timeline. Only contra to the bloody prophecy set forth in the New Testament book of Revelations, it won't be Jesus wielding his vengeful sword on the back of a white horse, but – tragic and absurdly – the perfect Antichrist stooge, pressing the red button, who does the apocalyptic deed .

* * *

Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and regular contributor to Antiwar.com . His work has appeared in the LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Truthdig, Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War , is available for preorder on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet . Check out his professional website for contact info, scheduling speeches, and/or access to the full corpus of his writing and media appearances.


Sparkey , 1 hour ago link

"it won't be Jesus wielding his vengeful sword on the back of a white horse, but – tragic and absurdly – the perfect Antichrist stooge, pressing the red button, who does the apocalyptic deed .'

The World is full of people who would like to be the one who pushes that button, no matter what happens!

There is an hint of Samson Option, which basically says; If I can't have it all, then none shall have anything! Don't blame anyone it is just the nature of man, probably both sides believe in this! Who will wiling submit to slavery?

PKKA , 2 hours ago link

Europe will become free when the last armed American occupier leaves the European continent. This axiom is also valid for Japan, South Korea and other countries.

Revolution_starts_now , 2 hours ago link

Ukraine only matters if you are playing a game of "risk" for world domination.

messystateofaffairs , 2 hours ago link

Space and the moon is the latest theory for how to acheive empire and defend yourself from empire.

Well defended soverignty that is helpful and useful to other sovereign trading partners in a diverse mutipolar world of sovereigns, not so much as yet. Switzerland is kind of that and Russia looks like they're working on it.

China aspires to empire and America aspires not to lose theirs and is taking instructions from Israel on how to do that.

Melchizedek gave Abraham these seven laws of how to get along. Empire ambitious nations have trouble with numbers 3, 4 and 5.

93:4.7 (1017.9) 1. You shall not serve any God but the Most High Creator of heaven and earth.

93:4.8 (1017.10) 2. You shall not doubt that faith is the only requirement for eternal salvation.

93:4.9 (1017.11) 3. You shall not bear false witness.

93:4.10 (1017.12) 4. You shall not kill.

93:4.11 (1017.13) 5. You shall not steal.

93:4.12 (1018.1) 6. You shall not commit adultery.

93:4.13 (1018.2) 7. You shall not show disrespect for your parents and elders.

PKKA , 1 hour ago link

It depends on which god to serve. They certainly do not serve Christ the Savior. By their fruits you will recognize them. Mtf. 7:20.

squid , 2 hours ago link

Why are career military officers so myopic?

Eurasia is NONE of America's business, full stop, period, paragraph finish.

Done.

It has two oceans separating itself from same.

It's NONE of America's business. end.

squid

SittingDuck2 , 1 hour ago link

Because they are totally corrupt.

They are only interested in Money

theprofromdover , 2 hours ago link

When China and Russia abandon the dollar, all that's left for the Empire is Canada and South America, and they've never been able to stop themselves making a mess of everywhere south of the fence.

We're at the end-game now.

ArgentDawn , 2 hours ago link

What if they win?

Chief Joesph , 2 hours ago link

Pretty good article and summation of what America has become and what to expect. America has sure lost a lot of ground since the 1990's. It's really hard to see America winning at anything these days.

Justin Case , 2 hours ago link

When alternatives become available, the *** kissing ends. It's getting late in the bankruptcy

Scipio Africanuz , 3 hours ago link

Now Major, let's explore your wonderful article..

When the "strategists" were penning their hegemonic theories, they woefully failed to peruse history properly, especially that of human nature put on existential defense..

Either they were not human, or stunted development humans for were they properly developed humans, they'd have understood eventual reaction to unprovoked aggression..

Such responses often tend to be totally destructive, especially after long suffering from aggression..

Now, regarding the BRI/OBOR, we've been saying to the West, if they think it's not good enough, what inputs, devoid of coercion, rapine, aggression, or deceit, they'd suggest to improve it..

And it was crickets for a while, until Germany woke up, and decided with Europe that they'd contribute trade diplomacy..

We're still waiting for that of America under the current Admin, and all we observe is bullying, coercion, and reality denial..

Until a Bernard Sanders seized the initiative, that with a continously finessed Green New Deal, the United States of America will lead in the environmental aspect of global trade and commerce, which the EU has also committed to doing as well..

So then Major, perhaps the time has finally arrived for America to eschew aggression and imperialism, in favor of the erstwhile business of America.. Trade and Commerce..

So for those who desire swamp drained, and a fresh start for America, you might wanna go chat with, and support Bernard Sanders, the future, and Us..

Then dump the swamp critters and their current admin enabler..

But as in all things, we can only show you the way.. Traveling on it however, is your sovereign prerogative..

Good luck!...

Falcon49 , 3 hours ago link

The author still tends to think that it is all because of missteps, mistakes, ignorance, incompetence, stupidity....

If you step back from the fray.....and don't get caught up in red/blue team nonsense, it becomes apparent that there is a theme/strategy that is being played out. It appears to be conducted in evolutionary phases with Wars allowing larger and more overt advances in their agenda. Simply put order out of chaos.

We are now about to be manipulated into another major evolutionary phase to advance the globalist agenda. All the conditions are set for their next major order out of chaos...scheme. It is pretty obvious that Nationalism/Populism will be the scapegoat for the cause of the chaos to come. The US will take center stage as an example that you cannot trust a single country (uni-polar world) not to abuse its power....and history has shown a multi-polar situation leads to major wars...creating chaos around the world.

Their answer will be global governance and their dream of a global feudalistic utopia will be well on its way to being realized. Hold on, we are about to enter a global "great leap forward"...

[Feb 07, 2020] The democratic party must be thee only political party in all world history that actively suppresses people who want to vote for them.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Erelis , Feb 6 2020 19:43 utc | 61

The democratic party must be thee only political party in all world history that actively suppresses people who want to vote for them.

Looks like the democrats are set to lose the same way they did in 2016. Basically as Matt Bruenig wrote in his article "The Boring Story of the 2016 Election

Donald Trump did not win because of a surge of white support. Indeed he got less white support than Romney got in 2012. Nor did Trump win because he got a surge from other race+gender groups. The exit polls show him doing slightly better with black men, black women, and latino women than Romney did, but basically he just hovered around Romney's numbers with every race+gender group, doing slightly worse than Romney overall.

However, support for Hillary was way below Obama's 2012 levels, with defectors turning to a third party. Clinton did worse with every single race+gender combo except white women, where she improved Obama's outcome by a single point. Clinton did not lose all this support to Donald. She lost it into the abyss. Voters didn't like her but they weren't wooed by Trump .

The Third Wave neocons pointed out an interesting fact. Clinton won bigly CA, NY, and MA which gave her something like 7 million votes. However, Trump won the remaining 47 states by four million.

Willy2 , Feb 6 2020 23:19 utc | 92

- Caitlin Johnstone: It wasn't "incompetence", it was intentionally.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/06/the-myth-of-incompetence-dnc-scandals-are-a-feature-not-a-bug

[Feb 07, 2020] Unless They Change The Democrats Deserve To Lose

Notable quotes:
"... How can they change? The owners are the warmongering monopoly capitalist ruling class. Are you imagining that any decision can ever be made by the lowly peons, the rank and file? ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Unless They Change The Democrats Deserve To Lose Trisha , Feb 6 2020 16:12 utc | 6

The Democratic Party seems to intend to lose the 2020 elections.

The idiotic impeachment attempt against Trump ended just as we predicted at its beginning:

After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia [the Democrats] now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate Joe Biden will get damaged.
...
Trump should be impeached for his crimes against Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

But the Democrats will surely not touch on those issues. They are committing themselves to political theater that will end without any result. Instead of attacking Trump's policies and proposing better legislation they will pollute the airwaves with noise about 'crimes' that do not exist.

There is no case for impeachment. Even if the House would vote for one the Senate would never act on it. No one wants to see a President Pence.

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC. Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

The Senate acquitted Trump of all the nonsense the Democrats have thrown against him.


bigger

Biden lost in Iowa and his poll numbers elsewhere are not much better. His meddling in Ukrainian politics will continue to be investigated.

Iowa caucuses count was intentionally sabotaged, first through an appn created by incompetent programmers on the payroll of a Buttigieg related company , then by a manipulated manual count by the Iowa Democratic party:

Chris Schwartz @SchwartzForIowa - 22:01 UTC · Feb 5, 2020

The state party is now being forced to walk back their error of giving @BernieSanders delegates to @DevalPatrick who received zero votes in Black Hawk County. Press can dm me.

We have known for over 24 hours as verified by our county party that @BernieSanders won the #iacaucuses in Black Hawk County with 2,149 votes, 155 County Delegates. #NotMeUs #IowaCaucuses


bigger

The whole manipulation was intended to enable Buttigieg to claim that he led in Iowa even though it is clear that Bernie Sanders won the race. It worked:

29 U.S.C. § 157 @OrganizingPower - 4:13 UTC · Feb 6, 2020

Post Iowa, Buttigieg has gotten a 9pt bounce in Emerson's tracking poll of NH. A bounce based on a caucus he didn't win.

All this is clearly following a plan:

Lee Camp [Redacted] @LeeCamp - 16:58 UTC · Feb 5, 2020

If a progressive is about to win #IowaCaucuses:
- remove final polls
- use mysterious app created by former Clinton staffers
- Funnel results thru untested app
- Claim app fails
- Hold results
- Reveal only 62% to give false impression of who won
- Refuse to reveal final results

But the cost of such open manipulations is the loss of trust in the Democratic Party and in elections in general:

In sum: We are 24 hours into the 2020 campaign, and Democrats have already humiliated their party on national television, alienated their least reliable progressive supporters, demoralized their most earnest activists, and handed Trump's campaign a variety of potent lines of attack.

This so obvious that has to wonder if these outcomes are considered to be features and not bugs .

Buttigieg is by the way a terrible candidate. His work for McKinsey, the company that destroyed the middle class , smells of work for some intelligence agency . His hiring of a Goldman Sachs executive as national policy director makes it clear what his policies will be.

The other leading candidates are not much better. Sanders might have a progressive agenda in domestic policies, but his foreign policies are fully in line with his party. Matt Duss, Sanders' foreign policy advisor, is the son of a lifelong key front man for CIA proxy organizations. He spills out mainstream imperial blabber:

Matt Duss @mattduss - 2:38 UTC · Feb 5, 2020

The only thing that Trump's Venezuela regime change policy achieved is giving Russia an opportunity to screw with the US in our own hemisphere. That's what they were applauding.

Giving a standing ovation to Trump's SOTU remarks on Venezuela were of course the Democratic "resistance" and Nancy Pelosi . That was before she theatrically ripped up her copy of Trump's speech, the show act of a 5 year old and one which she had trained for . She should be fired.

Impeachment, the Iowa disaster and petty show acts will not win an election against Donald Trump. While they do not drive away core Democratic voters, they do make it difficult to get the additional votes that are needed to win. Many on the left and the right who dislike Trump will rather abstain or vote for a third party than for a party which is indistinguishable from the currently ruling one.

Meanwhile Trump hauls in record amounts in donations and, with 49%, achieved his best personal approval rate ever .

Either the Democrats change their whole course of action or they will lose in November to an extend that will be breathtaking. It would be well deserved.

Posted by b on February 6, 2020 at 15:57 UTC | Permalink The donor class owners of the "Democratic" party have every incentive to support Trump, who has cut their taxes, hugely inflated the value of their assets, and mis-directed attention away from substantial issues that might degrade either their assets or their power, by focusing on identity politics.


SharonM , Feb 6 2020 16:15 utc | 7

It's obvious to me that the two war parties function as one. The Democrats have been winning since Trump took office--they get their money and they get their wars. If Trump wins, the Democrats win as billionaires flood more money into the DNC. If Trump loses, the Republicans win for the same reasons.
Bruce , Feb 6 2020 16:36 utc | 10
The behavior of a five year old is an appropriate reference point for most of the people working in DC, albeit engaged parents expect more of their children. This vaudeville routine is giving satisfaction to Republicans, Trump supporters, and those who have been looking for a clearer opportunity to say "I told you so" to diehard Democratic believers (who will continue to refuse to listen).
For an American, even one who has always been somewhat cynical regarding cultural notions of democracy and the "American Way," the show has become patently and abusively vulgar and revulsive. It does not appear to be anywhere near "hitting bottom." There can be no recovery without emotional maturity, and the leaders in Washington exhibit nothing of the kind. The level of maturity and wisdom of the individuals involved is determinative of the political result, not the alleged quality of the politics they purport to sell. Right now we don't have that.
Piero Colombo , Feb 6 2020 17:07 utc | 19
"Unless They Change The Democrats Deserve To Lose"

Aren't there 2 levels of "change"?

1. How can they change? The owners are the warmongering monopoly capitalist ruling class. Are you imagining that any decision can ever be made by the lowly peons, the rank and file? If you thought anything like that, you should try to find one single instance, in all history, of this "party" ever having done anything at all out of line with the express policy of the owners of the country (the high level of people-friendly noise, intended for the voting peons, never translates into any action of that sort.)

2. If you mean change the electoral policy to win this election, how could they conceivably manage to change this late? Like a supertanker launched at full speed trying to make a sharp turn a few seconds before hitting the shore, you mean?

Anyway, in both cases forget what it "deserves", it should be destroyed and buried under, not only lose.

ak74 , Feb 6 2020 17:08 utc | 21
American democracy is Kabuki Theater and Professional Wrestling.

It is the ultimate Reality TV show for the sheeple to think that they have a political voice.

Remember what Frank Zappa said: "Politics is the Entertainment Division of the Military-Industrial Complex."

jared , Feb 6 2020 17:30 utc | 26
It would take extreme mental contortions to take U.S. "democracy" seriously at this point.
I would like to believe that it makes some difference who is elected, but increasingly doubtful.
How different would it really have been had Hillary been elected (much as it pains me to consider such a scenario)?
Trump was elected (aside from interference from AIPAC) partly because he was republican candidate and for some that's all it takes but aside from that because;
- end pointless wars
- improve healthcare
- control immigration
- jobs for coal miners
- somehow address corruption and non-performance of government
- improve US competitiveness, bring back jobs, promote business, improve economy
He claims having improved the economy but more likely is done juice from the FED.
So really, what grade does he deserve?
And yet people are rallying to his side.
Personally I think that the entrenched interests have moulded Trump to meet their requirements and now it is inconvenient to have to start work on a new president, unless it would be one of their approved choices.
I voted for Trump because of Hillary.
Now I would not vote for Trump given a decent choice. Fortunately there is an excellent alternative.
Noirette , Feb 6 2020 17:37 utc | 29
All who count have known for a long time that Trump will have a second term. Baked in. (1)

The Dems agitate and raucously screech and try to impeach to distract or whatever to show da base that they hate Trump and hope to slaughter! him! a rapist! mysoginist! racist! liar ! He is horrors! in touch with the malignant criminal authoritarian ex-KGB Putin! Russia Russia Russia - and remember Stormy Daniels! ( :) ! )

The top corp. Dems prefer to lose to Trump, I have said this for years, as have many others. In rivalry of the Mafia type, it is often better to submit to have a share of the pie. Keep the plebs on board with BS etc. Victim status, underdog pretense, becomes ever more popular.

1. Trump might fall ill / dead / take Melania's advice and wishes into account, or just quit.

Jackrabbit , Feb 6 2020 17:47 utc | 31
People still talk like democracy really exists in USA.

They channel their anger toward Party and personality.

If only the democrats would ... If only Sanders would ... If only people would see that ...

A few understand the way things really are, but most are still hoping that somehow that the bed-time stories and entertaining kayfabe are a sort of democracy that they can live with.

But the is just normalcy bias. A Kool-Aid hang-over. This is not democracy. It is a soft tyranny encouraged by Empire stooges, lackeys, and enabled by ignorance.

The lies are as pervasive as they are subtle: half-truths; misdirection; omitting facts like candidate/party affiliations with the Zionist/Empire Death Cult.

The REAL divide among people in the West is who benefits from an EMPIRE/ZIONIST FIRST orientation that has polluted our politics and our culture and the rest of us.

Wake up. War is on the horizon. And Central Banks can't print money forever.

/rage, rage against the dying of the light

!!

par4 , Feb 6 2020 17:52 utc | 34
After watching Pelosi it reminded me that during the Geo. W. Bush era the Democrats were always claiming to be the adults in the room. It's odd that Mayo Pete's 'husband' is never seen or heard from. I wonder why? Biden's toast and Epstein didn't kill himself. AND Seth Rich leaked Hillary's emails to Wikileaks.
Qparticle , Feb 6 2020 18:11 utc | 41
-- --
The Clinton-Obama administration had scores of corrupt officials and associates (the Podestas, for instance). It was necessary to create a firewall once Trump won the nomination. As so, they attacked his campaign manager, his national security adviser, his family, himself, using all the means of FISA, wire tapping done by NSA and CIA and Mi6 and probably Mossad.

Red Ryder | Feb 6 2020 16:56 utc | 14
-- --

Trump is an installment of The Mossad via blackmail and media manipulation, check "Black Cube Intelligence", a Mossad front operating from City of London. It would make sense the establishment in the US would eavesdrop on him. Mossad on the other hand would wiretap the wiretapers and give feedback on Trump. The Podesta you mentioned once threatened the factions with "disclosure" possibly to keep the runaway black projects crazies in check not that I wish to play advocate of these people.

-- --
After they lose again in November, they will unleash their street thugs, Antifa, to terrorize the winners. Meanwhile for the purists of the Liberal Cult there will be many real suicides. So, bloodshed and death will become reality.

Red Ryder | Feb 6 2020 16:56 utc | 14
-- --

Yes, what we need is just a nazi party in the US to keep communism in check, right? We are half way there with Trump already aren't we? "Black Sun" technologies (which a part off I described above) already there, leaking to anyone interested enough that would aid in the great outsourcing for the Yinon project, so why not? "Go Trump 2020"! (sarcasm)

DannyC , Feb 6 2020 18:12 utc | 42
For whatever reason the only thing the Dems seem to find more terrible than a loss to Trump is a win with Bernie. I'm no fan of Bernie but it's clear they're out to sabotage the one guy that would actually beat Trump in an election
VeraK , Feb 6 2020 18:16 utc | 43
While I have no illusions that a Sanders administration will have good foreign policy objectives, is there not something to be said for shifting money away from the military-industrial complex in the US? In general Sanders gives me the impression that he wants to reduce US intervention in foreign affairs in favor of spending more money on domestic issues. Even a slight reduction in pressure is helpful for giving other countries the ability to expand their spheres of influence and becoming more legitimate powers in opposition to the US and EU. Based on this I still see voting for Sanders as helpful even if he won't bring about any meaningful change in the US's foreign policy.
Pft , Feb 6 2020 19:10 utc | 56
it's not an actual Stalin quote, but often used as such
he did say something in the same vein, though.
it IS absolutely spot on here:

"It's not who vote that counts, it's who counts the votes"

congratulations, DNC, you're on a par with Joseph Stalin; the most ruthless chairman the Sovyets have ever had.
so here is your real Russia Gate.
oh, come and smell the Irony. In fake wrestling the producers determine the winner in advance and the wrestlers ate given their script to follow. The Dems have no intention to win this, look at the clowns they have running the show not to mention the flawed candidates . The script calls for the king of fake wrestling, Trump himself, to win yet again. Only a concerted effort by the Dems and Deep State media, along with some tech help from Bibis crew can engineer this result, but they are all on board. Dems willing to wait for 2024 when the producers will write them in for a big Win over somebody not named Trump. The world will be ready for a Green change by then, and Soros/Gates boys will have their chance to step up to the plate again.

Enjoy the show if you wish, I'm changing the channel.

[Feb 07, 2020] The Consequence Of Globalism Is World Instability by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Yes, more complex systems are less stable.
Notable quotes:
"... The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism. ..."
"... Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence. ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

If the coronavirus proves to be serious, as it does not appear to be at the present time, many economies could be adversely affected. China is the source of many parts supplied to producers in other countries, and China is the source of the finished products of many US firms such as Apple. If shipments cannot be made, sales and production outside of China are affected. Without revenues, employees cannot be paid. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, this would be an unemployment crisis and bankruptcy of large manufacturing and marketing corporations.

This is the danger to which globalism makes us vulnerable. If US corporations produced in the US the products that they market in the US and the world, an epidemic in China would affect only their Chinese sales, not threaten the companies' revenues.

The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism.

Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence.

At this point of time, it is difficult to understand the hysteria over coronavirus and predictions of global pandemic. In China there are about 24,000 infections and 500 deaths in a population of 1.3 billion people. This is an inconsequential illness. Compared to the ordinary seasonal flu that infects millions of people worldwide and kills 600,000, the coronavirus so far amounts to nothing. Infections outside of China are miniscule and appear to be limited to Chinese people. It is difficult to know for certain, because of the reluctance to identify people by race.

Yet China has huge areas in quarantine, and travel to and from the country is restricted. Nothing like these precautions are taken against seasonal flu. So far this flu season in the US alone 19 million people have been sickened, 180,000 hospitalized, and 10,000 have died. The latest report is that 16 people in the US (possibly all Chinese) have come down with coronavirus, and none have died.

Perhaps the coronavirus is just warming up and much worse is to come. If so, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take a hit. Quarantines prevent work. Finished products and parts cannot be made and shipped. Sales cannot take place without products to sell. Without revenues companies cannot pay employees and other expenses. Incomes decline across the world. Companies go bankrupt.

You can take it from here.

If a deadly coronavirus pandemic or some other one does erupt and there is a world depression, we should be very clear in our mind that globalism was the cause. Countries whose governments are so thoughtless or corrupt as to make their populations vulnerable to disruptive events abroad are medically, economically, socially, and politically unstable.

The consequence of globalism is world instability.


yerfej , 47 minutes ago link

It makes sense for rich countries elites to leverage poor backwards shithole countries to manufacture the things they need because the elites then don't have to worry about anyone but themselves. Globalism is wonder as it bypasses all that crazy western nonsense like jobs and wages and society and hope and such.

Coram Justice , 1 hour ago link

"Bolshevism is globalism according to Lenin."
Prof. V. G. Liulevicius, Utopia & Terror in the 20th Century

Street Chief Martin , 2 hours ago link

Globalism is nothing more than the major central banks finding ways to dump off their inflation which is the deflation of an ever increasing number countries which the major cb's used to deflate their currencies. The older the cb you are the worse off yo are. From a since A.D. perspective only the Sterling is what you have to worry. From my last fiat currency perspective its the Venisthaler that is un doing everything.

To get more zero's you have to add more nine's. They can not be added as nausem like people think zero's are. The compensation pool has been shrinking for centuries on end now. Globalism is an attempt to keep the pool growing at all cost which results relentless asset appreciation. We are out of nine's. The end result of that is hyper deflation for the man and hyper reflation for the people. Easily provable at a store named Vons owned by the treasury retired.

That ladies and gents is your simplified street fed explanation. I am not trying to even remotely write out the longer technical version.

Having said that meet me at what is known as the small walmart around here, which is the home of what does MU do, what does MU do at walmart it never gets old fame for a real life walk thru of what globalism is and looks like. We will then progress to the "Big Walmart" not even a mile away and I will show you what an out of control system looks like.

So we are clear of what I just said. I live in the only place in the world where when a tourist ask you where Wal Mart is, you get your choice of size. Whats the difference you ask??? The small Wal Mart has one main entrance, the big one has three. The lady almost smacked the **** out of the guy I got that from when she asked what the difference was. The hand came up. You really had to be there.

rtb61 , 2 hours ago link

Regional trade blocks with relatively balanced resource and production capabilities make more sense. Globalisation just lead to one country seeking to 'DOMINATE' in every sphere of global activity, raising the threats of economic and military conflict, as clearly demonstrated and this with the aim of global enslavement to multinational corporations, the aim of Globalism, really sick psychopathic stuff.

Regional trade blocks relatively balanced for resource and production, provide stability within each block and lesson competition for outside resource and commercial competitiveness, and represents a far more long term stable structure.

Within each trade block, as it is economic rather than socio-political the original identities of each distinct region can be preserved for the long term, so that future generations can enjoy and share in the different cultures. Race ******** is race ********, there is only one race and all of it's people are free to share in which ever culture they choose or combinations there of. Whether you get to move to those regions and enjoy those cultures will be done to your personal worth, character and ability to contribute to those societies, just the way it will be.

Some economic blocks will be far more preferable to others and will attract higher worth individuals (character and ability to contribute to society), the least and most desirable will become more so as higher worth individuals move to the most preferable away from the least preferable and make the most preferable more preferable by their active presence.

I would tip the Japan Australia one to be the most preferable for this century, the next hard to tell (there are real deep problems in the Americas caused by the USA, the EU had an bad immigrant problem as in they let in too many bad unvetted immigrants, Africa will be what Africa will be corrupt and Russia China it depends upon how quickly the modernise and socially advance, the middle of the middles south east to mid east it depends how long it takes them to come together and religion is a real problem for them).

free corn , 2 hours ago link

Competing MAD capable nations need communication/cooperation to keep the world somewat stable, that's one reason for Globalism. Author sucks.

headless blogger , 4 hours ago link

I've been wondering if this might be some kind of Globalist Drill. It doesn't make sense, although there is always the potential it could become worse than it is.

uhland62 , 3 hours ago link

I thought so, too. Strangely enough, Wuhan Chinese are now repatriated from Bali back to Wuhan?!

Instability is a necessary condition to get more conflicts and then wars going. Weapons production must be kept up; peace and stability would make make weapons production an expensive hobby.

Shifter_X , 4 hours ago link

Globalism is the shredding of nations, peoples, traditions, culture and religion.

It is failing and will continue to fail for two reasons:

1. Good fences make good neighbors

2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

People are not going to stand for these destructive invasions any more. Bottom-of-the-barrel wages, crap jobs, high crime -- it's coming to a head.

I hope every nation in the EU exits.

Every idiot in Congress who supports this ridiculous bill that would make illegal immigration legal, require that the US NOT deport criminals and that we taxpayers pay to bring CRIMINALS we've deported, back to the USA, should be stripped of citizenship and kicked off the planet.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5383/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22chamberActionDateCode%3A%5C%222019-12-10%7C116%7C1000%5C%22+AND+billIsReserved%3A%5C%22N%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=10&s=4

Have you SEEN this **** pending in Congress???

surf@jm , 5 hours ago link

Globalism was outlawed forever at the Tower of Babel.....

That law has never been revoked....

[Feb 07, 2020] Sanders Called JPMorgan's CEO America's 'Biggest Corporate Socialist' Here's Why He Has a Point

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is purely extractive ..."
"... By Paul Adler, Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology and Environmental Studies, University of Southern California. Originally published at The Conversation ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. I wish Sanders would use even more pointed messaging, like "socialism for the rich". But for those who complain about Sanders not going after important targets, this slap back at Dimon, who criticized Sanders and socialism at Davos, shows that the Vermont Senator is landing punches, but choosing his fights carefully.

And banks are much bigger welfare queens than the public realizes. They get all sorts of subsidies, from underpriced deposit insurance to Federal guaranteed for most home mortgages to the Fed operating and backstopping the essential Fedwire system. These subsidies are so great that banks should not be considered to be private sector entities, yet we let them privatize their profits and socialize their train wrecks. As we wrote in 2010 :

More support comes from Andrew Haldane of the Bank of England, who in a March 2010 paper compared the banking industry to the auto industry, in that they both produced pollutants: for cars, exhaust fumes; for bank, systemic risk. While economists were claiming that the losses to the US government on various rescues would be $100 billion (ahem, must have left out Freddie and Fannie in that tally), it ignores the broader costs (unemployment, business failures, reduced government services, particularly at the state and municipal level). His calculation of the world wide costs:

.these losses are multiples of the static costs, lying anywhere between one and five times annual GDP. Put in money terms, that is an output loss equivalent to between $60 trillion and $200 trillion for the world economy and between £1.8 trillion and £7.4 trillion for the UK. As Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman observed, to call these numbers "astronomical" would be to do astronomy a disservice: there are only hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy. "Economical" might be a better description.

It is clear that banks would not have deep enough pockets to foot this bill. Assuming that a crisis occurs every 20 years, the systemic levy needed to recoup these crisis costs would be in excess of $1.5 trillion per year. The total market capitalisation of the largest global banks is currently only around $1.2 trillion. Fully internalising the output costs of financial crises would risk putting banks on the same trajectory as the dinosaurs, with the levy playing the role of the meteorite.

Yves here. So a banking industry that creates global crises is negative value added from a societal standpoint. It is purely extractive . Even though we have described its activities as looting (as in paying themselves so much that they bankrupt the business), the wider consequences are vastly worse than in textbook looting.

Back to the current post. As to JP Morgan's socialism versus the old USSR's planned economy, one recent study which I cannot readily find due to the sorry state of Google offered an important correction to conventional wisdom.

Recall that Soviet Russia initially did perform extremely well, freaking out the capitalist world by industrializing in a generation. There was ample hand-wringing as to whether a less disciplined free enterprise system could compete with a command and control economy. Economists got a seat at the policy table out of the concern that capitalist economies needed expert guidance to assure that they could produce both guns and butter.

The study concluded that central planning had worked well in Soviet Russia initially, until the lower-level apparatchiks started gaming the system by feeding bad information so as to make their performance look better (for instance, setting way too forgiving production targets, or demanding more resources than they needed). The paper contended that the increasingly poor information about what was actually happening on the ground considerably undermined the central planning process. That is not to say there weren't also likely problems with motivation and overly rigid bureaucracies. But the evolution of modern corporations, of devaluing and ignoring worker input and treating them like machines that are scored against narrow metrics, looks as demotivating as the stereotypical Soviet factory.

Finally, this post conflates socialism, which includes New Deal-ish European style social democracy, with capitalist systems alongside strong social safety nets, which the public ownership and provision of goods and services. It should be noted that public ownership has regularly provided services like utilities very effectively.

By Paul Adler, Professor of Management and Organization, Sociology and Environmental Studies, University of Southern California. Originally published at The Conversation

Sen. Bernie Sanders called JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon the " biggest corporate socialist in America today " in a recent ad.

He may have a point – beyond what he intended.

With his Dimon ad, Sanders is referring specifically to the bailouts JPMorgan and other banks took from the government during the 2008 financial crisis. But accepting government bailouts and corporate welfare is not the only way I believe American companies behave like closet socialists despite their professed love of free markets.

In reality, most big U.S. companies operate internally in ways Karl Marx would applaud as remarkably close to socialist-style central planning. Not only that, corporate America has arguably become a laboratory of innovation in socialist governance, as I show in my own research .

Closet Socialists

In public, CEOs like Dimon attack socialist planning while defending free markets.

But inside JPMorgan and most other big corporations, market competition is subordinated to planning. These big companies often contain dozens of business units and sometimes thousands. Instead of letting these units compete among themselves, CEOs typically direct a strategic planning process to ensure they cooperate to achieve the best outcomes for the corporation as a whole .

This is just how a socialist economy is intended to operate. The government would conduct economy-wide planning and set goals for each industry and enterprise, aiming to achieve the best outcome for society as a whole.

And just as companies rely internally on planned cooperation to meet goals and overcome challenges, the U.S. economy could use this harmony to overcome the existential crisis of our age – climate change. It's a challenge so massive and urgent that it will require every part of the economy to work together with government in order to address it.

Overcoming Socialism's Past Problems

But, of course, socialism doesn't have a good track record.

One of the reasons socialist planning failed in the old Soviet Union, for example, was that it was so top-down that it lacked the kind of popular legitimacy that democracy grants a government. As a result, bureaucrats overseeing the planning process could not get reliable information about the real opportunities and challenges experienced by enterprises or citizens.

Moreover, enterprises had little incentive to strive to meet their assigned objectives, especially when they had so little involvement in formulating them.

A second reason the USSR didn't survive was that its authoritarian system failed to motivate either workers or entrepreneurs. As a result, even though the government funded basic science generously, Soviet industry was a laggard in innovation .

Ironically, corporations – those singular products of capitalism – are showing how these and other problems of socialist planning can be surmounted.

Take the problem of democratic legitimacy. Some companies, such as General Electric , Kaiser Permanente and General Motors , have developed innovative ways to avoid the dysfunctions of autocratic planning by using techniques that enable lower-level personnel to participate actively in the strategy process.

Although profit pressures often force top managers to short-circuit the promised participation, when successfully integrated it not only provides top management with more reliable bottom-up input for strategic planning but also makes all employees more reliable partners in carrying it out.

So here we have centralization – not in the more familiar, autocratic model, but rather in a form I call "participative centralization." In a socialist system, this approach could be adopted, adapted and scaled up to support economy-wide planning, ensuring that it was both democratic and effective.

As for motivating innovation, America's big businesses face a challenge similar to that of socialism. They need employees to be collectivist, so they willingly comply with policies and procedures. But they need them to be simultaneously individualistic, to fuel divergent thinking and creativity.

One common solution in much of corporate America, as in the old Soviet Union, is to specialize those roles , with most people relegated to routine tasks while the privileged few work on innovation tasks. That approach, however, overlooks the creative capacities of the vast majority and leads to widespread employee disengagement and sub-par business performance.

Smarter businesses have found ways to overcome this dilemma by creating cultures and reward systems that support a synthesis of individualism and collectivism that I call "interdependent individualism." In my research, I have found this kind of motivation in settings as diverse as Kaiser Permanent physicians , assembly-line workers at Toyota's NUMMI plant and software developers at Computer Sciences Corp . These companies do this, in part, by rewarding both individual contributions to the organization's goals as well as collaboration in achieving them.

While socialists have often recoiled against the idea individual performance-based rewards, these more sophisticated policies could be scaled up to the entire economy to help meet socialism's innovation and motivation challenge.

Big Problems Require Big Government

The idea of such a socialist transformation in the U.S. may seem remote today.

But this can change, particularly as more Americans, especially young ones, embrace socialism . One reason they are doing so is because the current capitalist system has so manifestly failed to deal with climate change.

Looking inside these companies suggests a better way forward – and hope for society's ability to avert catastrophe.


Colonel Smithers , February 7, 2020 at 5:21 am

Thank you, Yves.

Just to add, as a former bank and buy side lobbyist, the industry is not always opposed to regulation. It's a barrier to entry.

This post is on the money. Banksters and their clients love corporate welfare and socialism for the rich, especially when so much of, for example, UK QE "leaked" into asset bubbles in emerging markets, commodities and real estate.

You are right to say that Sanders should use more pointed language. Like Nina Turner, he should call out oligarchs. That term is used for Russians and Ukrainians, but never for the likes of Zuckerberg, Musk, Dimon, Blankfein, Schmidt, Branson, Dyson, Arnault et al. The term regime should also be used. If it's good enough to delegitimise certain governments, it's good enough to describe the Trump and Johnson administrations. After all, William Hague in talks with the US government called the British government the Brown regime.

Feynman and Haldane are mentioned above. It emerged this week that Dominic Cummings, Johnson's main adviser, is an admirer of both, regarding them as free thinkers and technicians of substance, and championed Haldane's candidacy to be Bank of England governor. Johnson sided with Chancellor Sajid Javid.

Ignacio , February 7, 2020 at 6:21 am

Sanders should use more pointed language or may be not for the moment. May be after the Super Tuesday. He is being careful and that is good IMO. He doesn't want to give excuses for easy attacks. I would say, instead of "socialism for the rich", "socialism for the 1%" or the 0,1% even better. Sounds more neutral. A comment yesterday linked an article comparing Sanders with Gandhi and others and I think it was well pointed. The quiet and careful revolution!

skippy , February 7, 2020 at 6:30 am

Attack the economics and not the strawmen.

pretzelattack , February 7, 2020 at 7:02 am

what do you think of american democracy? i think it would be a good idea.

ObjectiveFunction , February 7, 2020 at 11:04 am

Sanders understands (as does Trump), that the 2020 battle is *not* for the 35-40% whose minds are basically made up at each end. Trying to win those over in any numbers (especially by shrieking invective at them) is a pathetic waste of time and effort.

The winning message must move the 20-30% of voters who either:

(a) voted Obama (hope, for something more than soothing patter) and then Trump (a giant stubby middle finger to the establishment).
(b) voted Obama in 2008 but have stayed at home since (what's the point? they're all lying scum)

Sanders simply doesn't bring socialism to America, because he doesn't have a New Deal (i.e. SocDem) party. That kind of movement will take time (and the upcoming global climatolo-economic crisis) to build up, under savage attack from the propertied unterests and continuously subverted by credentialed PMC weasels and Idpol misleadership grifters.

What Sanders the man *does* bring, today, is:

(1) unimpeachable integrity, steadfastness and sorely missed absence of smug BS and double talk;
(2) hardheaded enforcement of the existing laws of the land;
(3) delivery of universal Concrete Material Benefits© to the broad citizenry (not more 'GDP' gravy for the oligarchs) in finite time, freeing them to rejuvenate themselves, and over time, the Republic.

This last is vitally important, but must also be approached prudently lest the entire movement lose focus, overextend and fall prey to the next Trump .

IMHO, it must focus ruthlessly on delivering:

(a) single payer health care, to starve (if not incinerate) the bloated ticks gorging on the US health/elder 'care' . cesspool, I can't bring myself to call it a 'system'. This above all: without it, Americans simply can't compete in any world, walls and tariffs or not.

(b) *real* infrastructure, for the 80%. That's water and sewerage, cross-class public housing, and busways and light rail to coax Americans out of their cars and suburbs. It's not 5G, vanity EVs and high speed Acelas. And sorry Keynesians, shovel ready is a side benefit, not the primary purpose. There's a lot to do.

(c) an overhaul of American higher education (still rooted in 17th century divinity schools). Teaching (and medicine) must again become honored occupations in the country; administrators must give way to front line practitioners.

. Only then can Bernie move on to the more deeply embedded and multinational targets:

(a) big finance,
(b) extractive industries
(c) the MIC

These behemoths can really only be attacked during a time of crisis. Or they will simply crush their opponents like insects, or buy them off.

In the case of the MIC, Berniecrats will likely need to be content with strong reassertion of Federal oversight (more stick, less carrot), and disengagement from doing our 'allies' dirty work (Trump is already on that road, with one huge Ixception .)

Total dismantlement sounds very nice, but consider: whatever's left of US industrial power is concentrated in the MIC. America doesn't need to 'buy prosperity down at the armoury', but like FDR, Bernie and (Tulsi) will also need to have the keels laid down against whatever whirlwind we have reaped. Baring our breast and saying 'we deserve destruction for our sins' is a fatuous open invitation to fascism. FDR knew better.

[/rant]

Harry Shearer , February 7, 2020 at 11:28 am

Anybody citing Kaiser Permanente as a good example of anything has never known a person subjected to their distinctive form of "care".

David J. , February 7, 2020 at 7:32 am

Sanders was pretty direct last night at the CNN Town Hall. Flat out calls Trump a socialist. (youtube link to the question.)

Also, stick around for his answer to Cooper's followup question. Gloves are off.

LowellHighlander , February 7, 2020 at 7:43 am

Paul Adler's post here reminds me of John Kenneth Galbraith's New Industrial State, except Professor Adler was referring to the financial (i.e. parasitical) sector of the economy. Am I off the mark in thinking this?

Mel , February 7, 2020 at 11:13 am

You're right on. Galbraith showed that planning comes naturally from very large projects. Soviets went to planning because they couldn't bet the entire national economy on some gut feeling -- they needed to know what would happen. Ditto the gigantic industries in what JKG called the Planning Sector in the west. Projects spending millions or billions of dollars over many years couldn't be left to chance. Eliminating chance meant imposing control, which the gigantic industries could try to do, helped by their access to gigantic capital, and which the Soviets had done with State power.

IMHO the modern FIRE sector arose from the old Planning Sector. They eliminated the uncertainties that complicated their planning; they cut their ties with physical processes that brought those uncertainties; they dumped physical industries onto throwaway economies overseas (that could be abandoned if they failed); they finally became pure businesses that dealt only with nice, clean contracts. No muss, no fuss, no bother.

Dirk77 , February 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

So planning is a tool of any organization, yet is required more the larger it becomes? While planning may make sense for a company with a single product such as automobiles, does it make sense for a conglomerate? I mean I think the purpose of a conglomerate is to contain many diverse product sectors to reduce risk of the conglomerate as a whole to any one sector. In that way each sector does its own planning, but the conglomerate as a whole does not, apart from choosing which companies to buy and sell, which can be considered a different type of planning? In that way are the goals of society planning are different from the goals of conglomerate planning or that of smaller single product sector companies? Yet in spite of these differences the techniques of planning are the same? Is that the main point of Alder's article? Can someone explain please.

DSB , February 7, 2020 at 8:44 am

Dimon – billionaire bank manager.

chuck roast , February 7, 2020 at 8:46 am

If you surf around a bit you can find links to Bernie's views and support of worker co-ops. There is nothing on his website. In light the burgeoning Socialist smear tsunami, it is probably not something he wants to emphasize right now. Imagine someone getting up at a CNN Town Hall and asking him about his attitude towards worker cooperatives. (corporate heads explode on golf-courses all over America)

Stadist , February 7, 2020 at 10:03 am

Modern theses about leadership, expertise and management underline agile learning and self leadership to everyone himself and within team and then within larger entities. While I'm somewhat pessimistic about these corporate trends they still look like they would work much better with worker co-ops than in traditional top down owned corporations. Basically they are asking higher dedication from workers, but this only works really well if the profits are shared with workers in somewhat equitable manner in my opinion.

Also it seems common nowadays that many coding/programming companies, especially the highly productive ones seem to act more akin to co-ops than monolithically led traditional companies. The programmers are often engaged more to the company by giving or selling them shares, and if this happens in large scale the company ownership structure can skew more towards worker owned 'co-op'-like entity than more hierarchical traditional company, where owners and workers are usually clearly separated.

The Rev Kev , February 7, 2020 at 9:57 am

Be nice if one could have posted the Forbes 400 but, listed next to each entry, is the amount of money that they receive from the Federal government both directly and indirectly.

inode_buddha , February 7, 2020 at 12:38 pm

You might want to have a look at Open Secrets

https://www.opensecrets.org/

They conveniently list which money went where, and how the respective legislator voted.

notabanktoadie , February 7, 2020 at 10:23 am

Yves here. So a banking industry that creates global crises is negative value added from a societal standpoint. It is purely extractive. [bold in the original]

Which leads to this obvious question: Why should banks be privileged, explicitly or implicitly, in any way then?

E.g. why should we have only a SINGLE payment system (besides grubby physical fiat, paper bills and coins) that recklessly combines what should be inherently risk-free deposits with the inherently at-risk deposits the banks themselves create? I.e. why should a government privileged usury cartel hold the entire economy hostage?

a different chris , February 7, 2020 at 12:14 pm

If you mean "why" in the moral sense, which I believe you do, there is no answer.

If you mean why in the technical sense, examine this sentence:

>why should a government privileged usury cartel

It's not "government privileged", it owns the government. Anything the government is allowed to do outside of making Jamie Dimon et al richer are considered the actual privileges by this group, and can, will and have been retracted at will.

notabanktoadie , February 7, 2020 at 1:46 pm

If the banks cognitively "own" the government, it's because almost everyone believes TINA to government privileges for them.

This is disgracefully true of the big names of MMT, who should be working on HOW to abolish those privileges, not ignore or, in the case of Warren Mosler at least, INCREASE* them.

*e.g. unlimited, unsecured loans from the Central Bank to banks at ZERO percent.

Dirk77 , February 7, 2020 at 11:03 am

That neither extreme, capitalism or socialism, works, and that what is best for human society is some middle ground between the two is a very important message. So I'm very glad for this post. I realize that a black and white way of perceiving the world is an easy one. Yet as Alder points out, humans are both individuals and social beings. If people in this world could get back to thinking more like Ancient Greece in its appreciation for the golden mean, we would have a much better chance of surviving. Dispensing with all these useless socialism vs capitalism discussions would be a great time saver. I realize most people believe in some middle ground, yet making it explicit would simplify things quite a bit. As for the rest of the article, I need to think about it more. The corporate socialism idea does tie in with the link yesterday about limited liability.

a different chris , February 7, 2020 at 12:19 pm

>That neither extreme, capitalism or socialism, works,

Exactly! Because: There. Is. No. Economic. Equilibrium. Never was, never will be, anywhere and everywhere. Heck for billions of years, before humans existed let alone learned to talk, the world changed. Things developed, other things went extinct (although not in the heart-wrenching way of the Anthropocene, I personally am happy never to have met a T. Rex in truth), the way the world works even without us is continual change.

So adjust as necessary. Our healthcare system sucks, bring full bore socialism on it. Our corporate overlords suck, bring full bore free markets (kill patents to start) on them.

monday1929 , February 7, 2020 at 2:51 pm

You might want to re-think the "kill patents" idea. Our Founders liked them. I just had a patent "killed" by an examiner who "killed" 42 of 43 patents he examined. It was for a device which could be saving Corona/Flu victims Right Now. I am going to try to Donate the idea to Society, but preventing people from profiting from valid Novel ideas is not the solution. I realize Corporations abuse the Patent System, like every other thing they touch. But I am a low level individual who is trying to "innovate" and reduce illness. My main motivation was not monetary but it is always a factor.
I believe you have the wrong target on this issue.
My first rejection on a related patent was just received 2.5 years after initial filing. It took this long because the Govt. takes money from USPTO (which runs a surplus) and sends it to the General Fund. USA innovation friendly? Not the way I see it.

NoBrick , February 7, 2020 at 11:20 am

"But for those who complain about Sanders not going after important targets "

Consider the wisdom of Susan Webber:
"Wisdom of the CEO is comprimised work. These CEOs "know" that too much candor,
either individually or institutionally, is not a pro-survival strategy."

Diogenes , February 7, 2020 at 11:53 am

I think the comparison of banks to welfare queens is quite unfair.

To welfare queens, that is.

Assuming they exist outside of the sweaty PR fantasies of those of a certain political stripe, presumably even a welfare queen is not living 100% off of the munificence of the state, whereas the implied value of the "Too Big To Fail" guaranty subsidy was determined to be very nearly in the same amount as the annual profits of the recipient banks. In other words, they're complete wards of the state. Doesn't get much more socialistic than that.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2013-02-20/why-should-taxpayers-give-big-banks-83-billion-a-year-

In other words: "Socialism for me, markets for thee."

Susan the other , February 7, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Thank you, Yves for this post. Alder has very logical and accessible ideas. "Interdependent Individualism" is a good way to begin. When he says "socialists recoil against individual performance-based rewards" I can't help but think the rewards should be gifted from the workers to the bosses. Because that would be very change-promoting. Top down has a tendency to stagnate motivation – even offensively – like tossing them a few crumbs to keep them quiet. imo. This also really does sound Japanese. I'm not sure I can relate to the way they cooperate; from them there is not so much as a polite argument; certainly no sarcastic barbs. Americans are the exact opposite – we cooperate competitively in a sense. But Climate Change will dictate our direction regardless of decorum. My own sense of our dilemma is that "free market" corporations make their profits by extracting from labor and the exploitation of the environment, and by externalizing costs to society. Big disconnect. Huge, in fact. This is why "capitalism" has failed to address climate change. Anybody else notice that China has forbidden short selling as we speak? Just like the Fed did in 2009 with QE, etc. That's probably because if the economy crashes (regardless of how illogical it has become) it will take way too long to put back together. And there's work to be done. I remember Randy Wray dryly responding to Jacobin's criticism (of MMT) that the ideological socialists would rather see a bloody Marxist uprising than a peaceful evolution. I do think Wray is right on ideological blinders on both sides. One quibble I have with this very wise post is that it assumes (I think) that we cannot change our ways fast enough to mobilize adequately to address climate change. I think we've been doing it pretty aggressively since 2009. Literally a world war to control oil and maintain financial supremacy; serious consideration of our options by the political class (turning to MMT, etc.); slamming the breaks on trade and manufacturing; subsidizing essential industries. I'm sure there are other things going on under the radar. So I wouldn't discount our ability to mobilize – just our inability to admit it. Clearly we want to do things selectively.

a different chris , February 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm

>the Vermont Senator is landing punches, but choosing his fights carefully.

Yes, as Objective Function laid out nicely (funny word for this mess, but whatever) above – this isn't gonna be easy. If you hope to beat Mike Tyson in his prime, you don't start by trading heavy blows. Defeat him with small but continuous cuts from multiple directions.

twonine , February 7, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Speaking of Davos and Dimon, shouldn't that be "Biggest Corporate Criminals" ?

" senior leaders of three of the largest and most elite U.S. banks were serial criminals whose frauds are (we pray) without equal." -- William K. Black

monday1929 , February 7, 2020 at 2:34 pm

Wallstreet on parade website does great job laying out JPM's crime spree. They (JPM) just came off parole(?) in January on some Felony charges. Someone (Eliz. Warren?) might start a movement to prohibit public pensions / State and local Govts. from conducting business with any banks convicted of felonies or entering plea agreements more than, let's say, ten per year.
A convicted felon can not get a job at a bank run by a 22 times loser- Jamie Dimon, a fellow felon who should have some empathy.
Wallstreet on parade is one of few sites who discuss Citi's crimes, and the fact that the Federal Reserve tried to cover up (and succeeded until about 2012) the secret 2.5 TRILLIION in revolving loans provided to a bankrupt Citibank around 2009. This in addition to the hundreds of billions we did know about.
I do tend to harp on this because the felon Robert Rubin cost me about 500K in expired Put options on shittybank because of his blatant, felonious (per FCIC) lies right before the implosion. His referral for prosecution by the Financial Crises Inquiry Commission mysteriously withered away

[Feb 07, 2020] The favored candidate of the DNC is clearly Trump

Trump is Hillary2020 ;-)
Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Feb 6 2020 20:57 utc | 74

Yes pft, the favored candidate of the DNC is clearly Trump.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 6 2020 19:25 utc | 58


Only if the ungrateful commoners who identify as Democrats or moderates can't be brought to heel and give their full throated support for the DNC's favoured Cookie Cutter candidate who might as well be one of those dolls with a string and a recording you hear when you pull the string.

Then yes, they would prefer 'fore moar years!!' of the Ugliest American ever to be installed as President of the United States.

One of things I respect about Tulsi Gabbard is she ain't no Doll with a string attached. When she made the comment about cleaning out the rot in the Democratic Party, she left no doubt her intent and goals. And to take on hillary, the Red Queen to boot, why that was simply delicious.

Alas, the View, the DNC, it's web of evil rich and the media will never forgive her for Soldiering for her Country.

[Feb 07, 2020] It should be clear on what the fight is really about in the US. It's about stopping the rise of socialism. Regardless of party affiliation, the elites know what the populace wants and are desperately trying to stop it. I refuse to accept that the Democrats have no idea what they're doing.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ian2 , Feb 6 2020 20:02 utc | 65

It should be clear on what the fight is really about in the US. It's about stopping the rise of socialism. Regardless of party affiliation, the elites know what the populace wants and are desperately trying to stop it. I refuse to accept that the Democrats have no idea what they're doing.

I honestly can't see Sanders getting the nomination with all the corruption openly being displayed. I would be pleasantly surprised if Sanders did manage to get it, but he still have to deal with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE (EC). The Electors have the final say. Yes, one can point out that some States have laws forcing Electors to vote what the populace wants, but that is being challenged in court. The debate on whether such laws are unconstitutional or not, remains to be seen. It's too late now to deal with the EC for this election, but people need to be more active in politics at the State level as that's where Electors are (s)elected.

IF Sanders is genuine then he should prepare to run as an independent just to get the EC attention.

ben , Feb 6 2020 22:01 utc | 79

RR @ 14;
Everything in the U$A today, is driven by the unofficial Party of $, and it's reach transcends both Dems & repubs. It's cadre is the majority of the D.C. "rule makers", so we get what they want, not what "we the people" want or need.

They own the banks, MSM media, and even our voting systems.

IMO, to assume one party is to blame for conditions in the U$A is a bit naive.

Question is, can anything the masses do, change the system? Or is rank and file America just along for the ride?

I'm assuming us peons will get what the party of $ wants this November also.

P.S. If any blame is given, it needs to go to the American public, because " you get the kind of Gov. you deserve" through your inactions...

It's a lot like living, death is certain, but until that occurs, I'll move forward trying to mitigate current paradigms.

[Feb 07, 2020] Pepe Escobar pointed out once that certain members of the "Masters of the Universe" (as he terms the US elites who actually run things) supported Trump in 2016, and were opposed to other "Masters" who supported Hillary Clinton.

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , Feb 7 2020 0:54 utc | 104

This is very speculative, but...

Pepe Escobar pointed out once that certain members of the "Masters of the Universe" (as he terms the US elites who actually run things) supported Trump in 2016, and were opposed to other "Masters" who supported Hillary Clinton. Given that Clinton disappointed her "Masters" by losing and damaging her credibility with the whole "Russiagate" fiasco, perhaps they switched sides to Trump - especially given that Trump can be controlled and manipulated more easily (since he is an idiot and ignoramus) to start the wars the "masters" are yearning for to improve their corporate profits (regardless of his alleged desire to avoid wars - a fanciful story also told about Barrack Obama from the beginning as well, which resulted in Obama destroying four more countries than Bush during his administration.)

So now they've decided the Dems need to be kept out of it for whatever reasons of incompetent politicking or too much socialism for the "Masters" liking, or whatever. So they're arranging for the Dems to self-destruct this year.

Just a speculative thought, and I wouldn't put any stock in it absent any real evidence.

In the end, it doesn't matter. Absent Gabbard being nominated and elected, nothing will change in US foreign policy anyway. And to quote Percival Rose from the Nikita show about Gabbard's chances, "That ain't gonna happen."

[Feb 05, 2020] Trump as a middle level gangster

There is a real danger for gangstrism mode of forign policy -- policimakers live in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs...
Feb 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Diplomacy, accommodation, compromise, mutuality, the perspectives of others: It is already clear these are among the defining features of 21 st century statecraft. Jealous of its dissipating preeminence, the U.S. proves indifferent to all such considerations. There is no longer even the pretense of deriving authority by way of example, so radical is Washington's preference for coercive might alone. The paradox is not difficult to grasp: In displays of unadorned power we also find the limits of power. The Trump administration's conduct of foreign policy -- primarily but not only in the Mideast -- makes failure and an American comeuppance inevitable.

... ... ...

Many years ago, during the first term of George W. Bush, Karl Rove gave an interview in which he asserted that the U.S. was no longer bound by "discernible reality," as the White House aide put it. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," Rove explained. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out."

Rove Warning Overlooked

This singularly arrogant remark was much noted at the time but was thought to reflect only the kookier extremes of the Bush II administration. What a misinterpretation that has proven to be. Rove was effectively warning us that the U.S. had already begun its fundamental shift toward sheer power as the instrument of its foreign policies. This is plain in hindsight.

... These policies share two features. They rest on power alone -- in this they are Karl Rove's dream made flesh -- and they are bound to fail, if they are not already failing.

It is evident now that the European allies will defy U.S. efforts to sabotage NordStream 2 and keep Huawei out of 5–G. London announced last week that it will allow Huawei to participate in its 5–G development program. Germany made a similar decision last autumn.

In the Middle East, it is equally clear that Iran has no intention of buckling under U.S. sanctions and military threats. U.S. influence in the region has already begun to decline since the drone assassination of a top Iranian general on Iraqi soil early last month. The Pentagon now faces popular Iraqi demands to withdraw its troops.

And now the Mideast -- Israel and Palestine. The Trump administration sacrificed all claim to "honest broker" status when it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017 -- a unilateral move that prompted the Palestinians to stop talking to the U.S. about the plan Jared Kushner was by then developing. Of all that is wrong with the new Trump–Kushner plan, the absence of Palestinian input more or less assures that it will prove dead on arrival.

Power alone is power blind. Power blind is certain to fail, for it cannot see its way.

[Feb 05, 2020] Stumbling Into Catastrophe by Daniel McAdams

Feb 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Daniel McAdams via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

There is a real danger for foreign policy advisors and analysts – and especially those they serve – when they are in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs. Needless to say it's even worse when they believe they can create their own reality and invent outcomes out of whole cloth.

Things seldom go as planned in these circumstances.

President Trump was sold a bill of goods on the assassination of Iran's revered military leader, Qassim Soleimani, likely by a cabal around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the long-discredited neocon David Wurmser. A former Netanyahu advisor and Iraq war propagandist, Wurmser reportedly sent memos to his mentor, John Bolton, while Bolton was Trump's National Security Advisor (now, of course, he's the hero of the #resistance for having turned on his former boss) promising that killing Soleimani would be a cost-free operation that would catalyze the Iranian people against their government and bring about the long-awaited regime change in that country. The murder of Soleimani – the architect of the defeat of ISIS – would "rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival," wrote Wurmser.

As is most often the case with neocons, he was dead wrong.

The operation was not cost-free. On the contrary. Assassinating Soleimani on Iraqi soil resulted in the Iraqi parliament – itself the product of our "bringing democracy" to the country – voting to expel US forces even as the vote by the people's representatives was roundly rejected by the people who brought the people the people's representatives. In a manner of speaking.

Trump's move had an effect opposite to the one promised by neocons. It did not bring Iranians out to the street to overthrow their government – it catalyzed opposition across Iraq's various political and religious factions to the continued US military presence and further tightened Iraq's relationship with Iran. And short of what would be a catastrophic war initiated by the US (with little or no support from allies), there is not a thing Trump can do about it.

Iran's retaliatory attack on two US bases in Iraq was initially sold by President Trump as merely a pin-prick. No harm, no foul, no injuries. This despite the fact that he must have known about US personnel injured in the attack. The reason for the lie was that Trump likely understands how devastating it would be to his presidency to escalate with Iran. So the truth began to trickle out slowly – 11 US military members were injured, but it was just "like a headache." Now we know that 50 US troops were treated for traumatic brain injury after the attack. This may not be the last of it – but don't count on the mainstream media to do any reporting.

The Iranian FARS news agency reported at the time of the attack that US personnel had been injured and the response by the US government was to completely take that media outlet off the Internet by order of the US Treasury !

Last week the US House voted to cancel the 2002 authorization for war on Iraq and to prohibit the use of funds for war on Iran without Congressional authorization. It is a significant, if largely symbolic, move to rein in the oft-used excuse of the Iraq war authorization for blatantly unrelated actions like the assassination of Soleimani and Obama's thousands of airstrikes on Syria and Iraq .

President Trump has argued that prohibiting funds for military action against Iran actually makes war more likely, as he would be restricted from the kinds of military-strikes-short-of-war like his attack on Syria after the alleged chemical attack in Douma in 2018 (claims which have recently fallen apart ). The logic is faulty and reflects again the danger of believing one's own propaganda. As we have seen from the Iranian military response to the Soleimani assassination, Trump's military-strikes-short-of-war are having a ratchet-like effect rather than a pressure-release or deterrent effect.

As the financial and current events analysis site ZeroHedge put it recently:

[S]ince last summer's "tanker wars", Trump has painted himself into a corner on Iran, jumping from escalation to escalation (to this latest "point of no return big one" in the form of the ordered Soleimani assassination) -- yet all the while hoping to avoid a major direct war. The situation reached a climax where there were "no outs" (Trump was left with two 'bad options' of either back down or go to war).

The Iranians have little to lose at this point and America's European allies are, even if impotent, fed up with the US obsession with Saudi Arabia and Israel as a basis for its Middle East policy.

So why open this essay with a photo of Trump celebrating his dead-on-arrival "Deal of The Century" for Israel and Palestine? Because this is once again a gullible and weak President Trump being led by the nose into the coming Middle East conflagration. Left without even a semblance of US sympathy for their plight, the Palestinians after the roll-out of this "peace" plan will again see that they have no friends outside Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. As Israel continues to flirt with the idea of simply annexing large parts of the West Bank, it is clear that the brakes are off of any Israeli reticence to push for maximum control over Palestinian territory. So what is there to lose?

Trump believes he's advancing peace in the Middle East, while the excellent Mondoweiss website rightly observes that a main architect of the "peace plan," Trump's own son-in-law Jared Kushner, "taunts Palestinians because he wants them to reject his 'peace plan.'" Rejection of the plan is a green light to a war of annihilation on the Palestinians.

It appears that the center may not hold, that the self-referential echo chamber that passes for Beltway "expert" analysis will again be caught off guard in the consequence-free profession that is neocon foreign policy analysis. "Gosh we didn't see that coming!" But the next day they are back on the teevee stations as great experts.

Clouds gathering...


Minamoto , 23 minutes ago link

It is hard to believe that Trump has any confidence in Jared Kushner. Yet, he does enough to go public with a one-sided plan developed without Palestinian input.

francis scott falseflag , 41 minutes ago link

a real danger for foreign policy advisors and analysts – and especially those they serve – when they are in a bubble, an echo chamber, and all of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs.

The same is true of the economists and financial analysts who live in the bubble of the NSYE and the echo chamber of Manhattan. All of their conclusions are based on faulty inputs.

Ruler , 1 hour ago link

The problem all incompetent leaders have, is seeing how their opponents see them.

Bokkenrijder , 1 hour ago link

If Trump continues to be 'dumb' enough to consistently hire these people and consistently listen to them, and if his supporters continue to be dumb enough to consistently believe all the lies and excuses, then Trump and his supporters are 100% involved in the neoCON.

RafterManFMJ , 1 hour ago link

Dude, it's 666D chess!

The Real John Bolton

[Feb 05, 2020] If nothing else, the "Trump v. Deep State" sage shows that the unity in the US elite is long gone. Infighting is a norm

Feb 05, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Entrapment of Flynn and his own stupid behavior (for former chief of DIA this really unass[eble naivity) that facilitated it is an interesting case study here...

David G. Horsman Although I am not familar with all the players, in context to early 2017 the one part of the article I thought exaggerated was this:'Probably the most intelligent analysis of the Deep State was written for The Nation by Greg Grandin. Titled "What is the Deep State?", it makes many very good points I

n 1956, C. Wright Mills wrote that "the conception of the power elite and of its unity rests upon the corresponding developments and the coincidence of interests among economic, political, and military organizations."

If nothing else, the "Trump v. Deep State" framings show that unity is long gone.'The three seem generally aligned with the people on the outside looking in. Infighting is the norm.

[Feb 03, 2020] Boris Johnson acting as if he can threaten the EU with a no deal at the end of the transition period by Yves Smith

Notable quotes:
"... If the strategy is to pressurise the EU into giving the UK a better trade deal though, it is unlikely to be treated as a credible threat. In the short to medium term, the UK is in no position to set up inspection systems which could handle the volume of goods coming in from EU Member States . ..."
"... The fundamental problem is that the most brilliant team of negotiators in the world can't do anything unless they have a clear negotiating mandate. (This was the case in 1972 and 1991 by the way). There comes a point in negotiations where you have to decide whether to stick, twist or bust, and you can only do that if you have a clear idea of the overall political objectives of your masters. There's nothing worse (it's happened to me) than to be sent out to die in a ditch on some issue only to find out half way through that your principals have had a rethink and changed their position. It doesn't do your credibility any good, but it also makes it practically impossible to negotiate, because nobody believes you afterwards when you say "no." ..."
"... Johnson has one fatal weakness – the Faustian bargain he struck to deliver a hard Brexit to win the prime ministership. Any economic bounce this year will be short-lived: the Bank of England's forecast of 1.1% growth for the next three years could even be optimistic, as both inward direct investment and UK business investment dry up when access to the EU single market and customs union ceases. The Canada-style trade deal Johnson advocates is as close to self-immolation as economics provides. Britain already has a vast trade deficit in goods that will widen alarmingly as competitive overseas exporters take advantage of zero tariffs, while services – where Britain has great competitive strengths – will be crippled by being denied their former EU markets. It is insane and risks an unstoppable run on the pound, as a former cabinet minister privately agreed. Renewed austerity and recession will follow. ..."
"... For Johnson the first objective of Brexit is to place greater controls on labor. The intention is to ensure that by controlling free movement labor itself can be controlled, and so too can its price be kept at rates the government would desire. And that is low, of course. ..."
"... Freeports are instead about permitting the free movement of capital beyond the control of the state and without the imposition of any taxes. ..."
"... Quite bizarrely, given that freeports are effectively declared to be outside the country that creates them, one of the major objectives Johnson has for Brexit is to carve whole chunks of the UK out of the control he claims to have just taken back, and to pass it over to the free loaders who frequent freeports. ..."
"... The aim of freeports is to undermine the state. It achieves this by suspending the law. Freeports permit illicit activity ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

On the one hand, we Americans are hardly ones to talk about empty posturing, usually accompanied with moral indignation and finger-wagging. On the other hand, it isn't just that the Government's approach to Brexit has been heavy on theatrics and thin on substance. It's also that the UK is in Groundhog Day mode, subjecting the rest of us to tired tropes yet another time.

The latest iteration of this far-too-familiar play is Boris Johnson acting as if he can threaten the EU with a no deal at the end of the transition period. Specifically, Johnson has made a big show of poking the EU in the eye by setting forth his tough guy negotiating demands over this past weekend. Admittedly, the Prime Minister isn't setting out his position formally until Monday, but there's no mystery as to what it will be: a rejection of accepting EU rules yet saying it wants a Canada-style free trade agreement.

... ... ...

The BBC said Johnson also intends to threaten the EU with customs checks at UK point of entry. As Richard North pointed out, the EU is not impressed :

If the strategy is to pressurise the EU into giving the UK a better trade deal though, it is unlikely to be treated as a credible threat. In the short to medium term, the UK is in no position to set up inspection systems which could handle the volume of goods coming in from EU Member States .

Needless to say, a "senior EU source" has rejected the idea of reacting to Johnson's plan to impose import controls. "We saw similar threats from Theresa May" he says, "but frankly we never believed them. And if the UK is actually ready for border checks – which are indeed coming – then so much the better for both sides".

Even the normally sober Economist concludes that Johnson is aiming for " the hardest possible Brexit ." He does have a fallback:

"A government source said last night: "There are only two likely outcomes in negotiation, a free trade deal like Canada or a looser arrangement like Australia – and we are happy to pursue both." Australia is the new euphemism for No Deal or WTO ! https://t.co/BDpwb4Z3qP

-- S & W Yorkshire for Europe (@SWYforEurope) February 3, 2020

Some dry humor from the Financial Times:

This new stance has prompted bafflement in Brussels, given that Canberra is still in the process of negotiating a wide-ranging trade deal with the EU.

... ... ...

Needless to say, this does not look pretty. As I said to our Brexit mavens by e-mail yesterday:

Johnson is playing a game of chicken. He's already lashed himself to the mast of 11 months.

Sir Ivan Rogers basically warned that the early months would amount to shape of the table talks and he thought negotiations could break down then. I would not see that as lasting but with time so tight any delay increases the risk of bad outcomes. And Sir Ivan warned that there had never been a trade deal between countries trying to get further apart. He's stressed that point so often that I think he is saying at least that the human dynamics of that make getting to a deal more difficult.

Again, if the time weren't so rigid, the odds would look completely different.

And the EU would almost certainly give an extension if the UK asked .but at a price .and would Johnson ever ask? The most I can see him being able to finesse might be say a 2 -3 month "technical" extension, which won't buy meaningful negotiating runway given the complexity of deals like this.

Now we've seen these games of chicken resolve without a crash before, but Johnson is making it difficult as hell, and the UK is further hampered by a Foreign Office which is short staffed and has effectively no experience negotiating trade deals.

David's response:

The fundamental problem is that the most brilliant team of negotiators in the world can't do anything unless they have a clear negotiating mandate. (This was the case in 1972 and 1991 by the way). There comes a point in negotiations where you have to decide whether to stick, twist or bust, and you can only do that if you have a clear idea of the overall political objectives of your masters. There's nothing worse (it's happened to me) than to be sent out to die in a ditch on some issue only to find out half way through that your principals have had a rethink and changed their position. It doesn't do your credibility any good, but it also makes it practically impossible to negotiate, because nobody believes you afterwards when you say "no."

Not only do I not think Johnson has no real negotiating objectives, I also believe that he's uninterested in even fairly high-level detail, and sees the negotiations as one more jolly game that he wants to win. My fear is that he's out to deliberately sabotage progress in order to create drama and tension, only to fly to the rescue at the very last minute. This is more than dangerous. "Insane" is perhaps the word for it.

Some other takes. Will Hutton in the Guardian contends that Johnson has become a prisoner of the allegiances he made to become Prime Minister (and Hutton is very complimentary of the moves Johnson has made so far ex Brexit). I'm not sure I agree, since before his ascent, Johnson was famed for shamelessly reversing himself and getting away with it. But Johnson sure looks like someone who is choosing to throw away the steering wheel. From the Guardian:

However, Johnson has one fatal weakness – the Faustian bargain he struck to deliver a hard Brexit to win the prime ministership. Any economic bounce this year will be short-lived: the Bank of England's forecast of 1.1% growth for the next three years could even be optimistic, as both inward direct investment and UK business investment dry up when access to the EU single market and customs union ceases. The Canada-style trade deal Johnson advocates is as close to self-immolation as economics provides. Britain already has a vast trade deficit in goods that will widen alarmingly as competitive overseas exporters take advantage of zero tariffs, while services – where Britain has great competitive strengths – will be crippled by being denied their former EU markets. It is insane and risks an unstoppable run on the pound, as a former cabinet minister privately agreed. Renewed austerity and recession will follow.

Johnson and his Brexit cabinet, backed by our Europhobic rightwing press, will blame dastardly Europeans for the crisis – and the anti-foreigner mood will grow ugly. But even if the worst is avoided, Britain is plainly not going to grow at "new dawn" rates of up to 2.8%, as our curiously naive chancellor wants. Rather, the years ahead are going to be a drip of disappointments, as the reality of a hard Brexit bites. And on this Johnson cannot be breezily opportunistic and convert to a soft Brexit, tempted though he may be. He will be imprisoned by his know-nothing right – the European Research Group in full battle cry.

Richard North argues , "What this looks like, therefore, is Johnson setting up his alibi for the failure of the talks, getting his blame game cranked into gear before the EU can react." And Richard Murphy contends Johnson knows what he is doing, which it to put in place Singapore on the Thames :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gn2W4JtYpjE?feature=oembed

Nothing I have yet seen so starkly states what Brexit is all about.

For Johnson the first objective of Brexit is to place greater controls on labor. The intention is to ensure that by controlling free movement labor itself can be controlled, and so too can its price be kept at rates the government would desire. And that is low, of course.

And his second objective is to create freeports. He will claim that these are all about creating regulation free hubs for enterprise. This is completely untrue. There is no evidence that regulation free ports have ever generated work, wealth, much employment, or free market enterprise, come to that. This is unsurprising. That is not what freeports are about, at all. Freeports are instead about permitting the free movement of capital beyond the control of the state and without the imposition of any taxes.

Quite bizarrely, given that freeports are effectively declared to be outside the country that creates them, one of the major objectives Johnson has for Brexit is to carve whole chunks of the UK out of the control he claims to have just taken back, and to pass it over to the free loaders who frequent freeports.

To understand how freeports really work I suggest watching this video. I know it's not in English, but it's good, and explains how the Geneva freeport works to handle diamonds, gold, armaments, fine art and rare wines, all beyond the control of authorities and all beyond the reach of tax:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CwuMY-_V4dc?feature=oembed

The aim of freeports is to undermine the state. It achieves this by suspending the law. Freeports permit illicit activity. They permit wealth to be accumulated in secret. That wealth is beyond the reach of tax. Research suggests that much of that wealth is also shielded by anonymous offshore shell companies that disguise the ownership of an asset even if it can be located. The object is to ensure wealth can accumulate without constraint.

This is the paradox that Johnson revealed in his video. He wants to control and constrain people. He will use that power to oppress, not just those who want to come to the UK but also, of course, those who wish to leave the UK as well. The market in labour will be constrained. People will suffer as a result.

At the same time the market in illicit wealth will be liberated to traffic at will. The cost will be to us all, in lost tax revenue, increased inequality and the undermining of the rule of law. Additional jobs will be few and far between.

And let's not for a moment pretend that any freeport activity supports markets: creating ring fences always creates unlevel playing fields that will always, by definition and in practice, undermine effective markets. So there is nothing in this policy that is about wealth creation: it is all about wealth expropriation and extraction.

This is what Brexit was for. And Johnson admitted it last night. One day people will realise.

If Murphy is correct, that would explain Johnson's recent conversion to fixity of purpose, at least with Brexit. We'll have more clues in due course whether the hard core Brexit faction is mad like a fox or simply a different variant of the madness we've seen all along.


notabanktoadie , February 3, 2020 at 5:57 am

but it's good, and explains how the Geneva freeport works to handle diamonds, gold , armaments, fine art and rare wines, all beyond the control of authorities and all beyond the reach of tax: [bold added]

Gold obviously has value in industry but its use as or to back fiat is inherently corrupt* and obsolete** too.

So let's please quit idolizing a corrupt and obsolete money form, i.e. Central Banks, along with other reforms, should be required, in a manner to promote the general welfare, to sell all private asset forms, including precious metals such as gold.

*Fiat is backed by the authority and power of the State to tax and needs no other backing; hence to "back" fiat with gold is to do no such thing but is to back gold with the authority and power of the State to tax, a violation of equal protection under the law.

**Historically, precious metals had some use as an anti-counterfeiting measure but modern payment systems have no need for such.

PlutoniumKun , February 3, 2020 at 6:10 am

Yup, the Freeports thing is clearly the Big Idea that lots of Brexit backers are hoping to cash in on. Of course, what will happen is that lots of manufacturers will simply move into the Freeports to save on taxes and regulations and close down their existing premises.

The UK has been there before – Thatcher was a huge fan of Development Corporations which were low tax low regulation zones in crumbling industrial areas of the North and Midlands. They became a byword for outright corruption. And of course huge areas which were supposed to be redeveloped for industry became distribution hubs or frequently just massive shopping malls (such as Merry Hill in the West Midlands, owned by two major Tory financial contributors). Various studies after the event intended to demonstrate their success were quietly buried when the results were not as expected. In reality, they were a costly failure.

vlade , February 3, 2020 at 6:19 am

"costly failure". I believe the words you were looking for were "corporate welfare".

[Feb 01, 2020] Neoliberalism is another Trotskyist attempt at convincing people they don't need nations anymore

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

NemesisCalling , Jan 31 2020 19:31 utc | 16

Another Trotskyist attempt at convincing people they don't need nations anymore. No need to feel proud in your cultural difference which makes the world a beautiful and ineffable place.

Instead, they want monoculture ruled by Technocrats. How "eastern."

I don't mind, because I know that in Christianity's early days, many converts had to hide to preserve the faith.

Indeed, Philip K. Dick had fever dreams about being a Christian in ancient MENA and hiding himself amongst the Romans. Jews, similarly, I am sure, felt something akin during the war in Germany and occupied territory.

[Feb 01, 2020] You think it's bad now, look where we're going

Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Batman11 , 4 hours ago link

You think it's bad now, look where we're going.

We stepped onto an old path that still leads to the same place.

1920s/2000s – neoclassical economics, high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase

1929/2008 – Wall Street crash

1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, trade wars, austerity, rising nationalism and extremism

1940s – World war.

We forgot we had been down that path before.

[Feb 01, 2020] Freedom in the neo-liberal lexicon means freedom of the strong to predate on the weak. Free Trade is a particular example of this.

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tim Glover , Jan 31 2020 19:07 utc | 9

Freedom in the neo-liberal lexicon means freedom of the strong to predate on the weak. Free Trade is a particular example of this. A rational person must expect the UK to be brutally savaged in dealing with the EU, US and China.

@1, It is true that at present not having a Mediterranean coast is an advantage. But an optimist might hope that the defeat of the US in Eurasia will bring new peace along the Belt and Road, and Africa and the ME will see the greatest boom.

[Feb 01, 2020] Quotes of former and current neoliberals suggest that globalization is an essential part of neoliberal doctrine

Notable quotes:
"... In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology ..."
Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology

General Titus , 22 minutes ago link

"The affirmative task we have now is to actually create a new world order."

-- Vice President Joe Biden, April 5, 2013

"Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order -- can emerge."

-- President George H. W. Bush, September 11, 1990

"We saw deterioration where there should have been positive movement toward a new world order."

-- Mikhail Gorbachev, October 19, 2011

"I think that his [Obama's] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a 'new world order' can be created. It's a great opportunity."

-- Henry Kissinger, January 5, 2009

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/15036-joe-biden-on-creating-a-new-world-order

RoboFascist 1st , 1 hour ago link

Remember it was the British that basically established political Zionism as a state back in Palestine.

It was Trump that declared Jerusalem as the 'eternal capital' of anti-Christ Judaism.

Boris Johnson is a 'passionate Zionist' by his own proclamation.

This is about a realignment of Zionist interest in the English speaking world.

The EU wasn't going to play ball on the terms of American (and British) Zionism.

The English (KJV) world of eschatology demands a pseudo-Christianity to bow down to the interests of anti-Christ Jewish nationalism. (It is why the U.S. Senate has passed legislation making it illegal to criticize 'Israel' as 'anti-Semitic')

American evangelicals are being misrepresented by heretics like John Hagee and a pseudo-Christianity that cares not for Jesus Christ at all but rather maintains a focus only on 'Israel'. A dual covenant theology mixed with heresies galore served up in a controlled media that doesn't allow for the recognition of Christianity as the real Israel against a history of the destruction of ancient Israel because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

The New Testament Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen is Jesus foretelling and giving clear reason for the destruction of anti-Christ Judaism in 70 AD.

The heresies of John Darby and Cyrus Scofield (again nearly exclusively in English) have created everything from British Israelism to fear and anxiety hustling crapola such as Hal Lindsey and The Late Great Planet Earth end of the world heresies.

On the basis of Christian heresy has emerged anti-Christ political Zionism and its vast adherents in the English speaking world now realigning.

[Feb 01, 2020] Britain now could easily be maneuvered into a similar vassal state situation with the US as Canada

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P , Feb 1 2020 15:35 utc | 102

To Nemesiscalling 98:

The way most Canadians define themselves and our country is in NOT being like the US in the most important ways. The decline into US-vassalage has been incrementally implemented since WW2, but there is still hope. Scheer and Ignatief found out exactly what Canadians thought about having a dual Cdn/US citizen PM... NOT HAPPENING. Harper found out trying to US-ify Canada was a bad idea.

The Cdn-US cultural border has been basically open for decades, the effectiveness of CRTC Cdn-content rules have been diluted to the point of irrelevance. But still we Canucks prefer little things like our free medical and minimal military bloat to the US shit-show.

But highly unlikely Canada will return to the "preferred trading status" the Commonwealth enforced. NAFTA Part Deux pretty much blocks that.

So Britain could easily be maneuvered into a similar vassal state situation with the US as Canada, but what will Britain bring to the table the US military/corporatocracy would want? No natural resources to speak of, so what is on offer? A handy military lily-pad perhaps, but the US already has that, and can't see Britain booting the US military off the island.

Britain is in a VERY weak bargaining position with the US, if anything weaker as it closes one avenue of access/influence the US has within the EU.


Nemesiscalling , Feb 1 2020 15:55 utc | 103

@102 a user

Britain has already been a de facto vassal state when it comes to aligning itself with every empire FP misadventure abroad for 30 years.

I do not think the U.S. will give the U.K. a bad deal. I think this is the hope of many here who foolishly advocate for the EU, which is really a byproduct of their unconscious from their academia templates they wish to lay down over the world a la a good technocrat.

They will get along swimmingly. The U.S. is looking for better deals as opposed to getting raped by China under the globalist paradigm.

[Feb 01, 2020] The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the neoliberal fabric

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 1 2020 3:13 utc | 71

The most encouraging aspect of the BREXIT SNAFU is that it confirms the suspicions/ wishful thinking of many observers that fissures are appearing in the fabric which unites the Masters Of The Universe/ the 1%.
With China's Belt & Road Initiative gaining momentum, the weaponisation of the USD, and many countries looking East, it won't be difficult to cook up wedge issues to further erode the "unity" of the EU.
When the recession starts biting and politicians begin prattling about "Austerity" (for the 99%) it'll be time to instigate a thorough investigation into the Tax Haven Network, and a vigorous debate about how and why they should be closed down, the assets therein redistributed in a Fair & Balanced way, and the perps imprisoned or executed for Tax Evasion, Greed and Perjury.

[Feb 01, 2020] Brexit and GB financial industry

Brexit is a clear hit for the GB financial industry.
Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
A User , Feb 1 2020 0:00 utc | 58
The englanders refused to accept that the primary issue was never about brexit stay or go, but what philosophy would underpin england for the next decades.
The picked the mean, racist, classist & regionalist (only the south east matters) Tory Party so it won't be pretty. Yep the tories won seats in the working class areas of the midlands & further north in addition to the seats in the bourgeois areas up there they already held and yep Johnson did make noises about spending up large up there. However since the remainers in the south east didn't desert the tories, I doubt much will be diverted outside the south east, represented by long-standing MP's who don't 'talk funny' ie have a regional accent unlike the new largely inexperienced northern representatives.
It was M Thatcher who introduced the heroin addict traineeships for miners & factory workers in place of their jobs and I do not see the lobbyists who have worked so hard to ensure that the financialisation of everything industry grew to be the major component of the englander economy, countenancing anything more than token funds being diverted from them, not least because that industry is going to take a major hit.
There is no way the EU is going to agree to england's banks & finance corps getting anything like the same deal england had in the EU which means that the tax avoidance rorts are going to be harder to implement whilst being more transparent to regulators.

Already stockbrokers, accountancy firms and a couple of the bigger banks are checking out the weather in frankfurt now.
If the EU's shift to 137 governments international tax rules for tech giants idea remains as minimal & toothless as it appears to be, most corporate CFO's are going to see the notion of doing business in another jurisdiction & another currency expensive & pointless, when the job can be done easier within the EU.

I'm sure that those banksters who cannot or will not shift their operations outta London have some big strategy for persuading the EU to give way and treat the City as if it is still in the EU, but that price will be high for all other englander industries, leaving Jo/Joe Blow and the rest of the 99% in worse crap than they were before.

Sasha , Feb 1 2020 16:25 utc | 105

In case it gets hard for the UK economically after Brexit, the City of London will ask for Johnson´s head, who will not hesitate, as Eton privileged class, selling what of welfare still remains there, especially what Trump will for sure demand, the NHS, to try to save face...

They will not low Johnson or his successor´s wage, nor will renounce to their billionaire earnings, it will be he working class who will lose, as always happens. Then, probably a new labor movement will arise...but after having payed such a price....

The best and most realistic analysis, from satire group ICYMI member (v this time notice his graveness...)

Gloating Brexiteers happier about beating smug Remoaners than leaving EU

Much more realistic than the delusional vision by Galloway, since to reach his dreamt utopic state of affairs through this way, working people in the UK will first have to suffer a lot, even a confrontation amongst ecah other, which is the "ultra-right" agenda, chaos from which they reap...

[Feb 01, 2020] UK Came Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Barovsky , Jan 31 2020 20:57 utc | 40

I think Diane Johnstone's piece sums it up the best:


UK Came & Went, Leaving Europe in a Mess

30 January 2020 -- Consortium News
As Great Britain returns to the uncertainties of the open sea, it leaves behind a European Union that is bureaucratically governed to serve the interests of financial capital, writes Diana Johnstone

/../

From the start, the question of British membership appeared as a thorn in the side of European unity. Initially, London was opposed to the Common Market. In 1958, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan assailed it as "the Continental Blockade" (alluding to Napoleon's 1806 European policy) and said England would not stand for it. But as the project seemed to take shape, London sought accommodation.

De Gaulle warned from the start that Great Britain didn't belong in a unified Europe, geographically, economically or above all psychologically.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/01/30/uk-came-went-leaving-europe-in-a-mess/

[Feb 01, 2020] Pluses and minuses of Brexit are not clar, but it might be that Brexit does not amount to very much for GB

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

cdvision , Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

A few countervailing points:

1. 50% of UK exports do not go to the EU. The "Rotterdam Effect" - whereby UK goods transported to the rest of the world go via Europe's largest container port and are counted in Eurostat land as exports to the EU.

2. The net balances of trade is massively in favour of the EU - ie the EU exports much more to the UK than vice versa. Thus its the EU which desperately needs a trade deal. With Germany a blink away from recession the last thing they need is tariffs on Mercedes, Audi, VW etc..

3. Don't underestimate the value of old Commonwealth (Australia, NZ etc) ties

4. The sole ECB guarantor, in reality, is now Germany. When the Euro banks go tits up it will be devastating for Germany.

5. The UK is a major financial hub, and will not be replaced by Frankfurt or Paris.

6. The UK could very easily do a Singapore by slashing business taxes and becoming the gateway to Europe.

7. The world does not end when the transition period ends with no deal. See 1 & 2 above. WTO trade terms then apply. Its how the rest of the world trades with the EU, and I don't see the likes of China or the US complaining.

I could go on. But the over-riding factor is that the UK gets back its sovereignty, and at last a democratic vote has been respected, albeit belatedly. This will have many positive effects for the UK. Oh, and the UK won't be the last to leave the EU.


lebretteurfredonnant , Jan 31 2020 23:11 utc | 51

Hello Everyone, Hello b

I think b that you got it all wrong. The European Union has no advantage whatsoever since it's institution are flawed. Just like Occupation put it "The structure of its financial system and capital flows is not equitable, sustainable or resilient". We saw that very fact unfold with the Greek crisis where the European union institutions and member states and countries refused to support Greece in any way whatsoever (Germany, mainly.). Greece is almost a third world country now to where the government has shortage of drugs and is selling some of his major islands to billionaire like Warren Buffet.Add to that the rise of anti European, German and globalist sentiments coupled with like minded terrorist groups such as the Popular fighter Group and the revolutionary Struggle since the 2008 crisis and we have pretty much a country in decay , very unstable and about to implode. I could go on and on adding the so call PIGS country economic and social state therein it wouldn't make a difference.

There is unity in European union but in name only.

Furthermore the European Union while not being democratic (since its parliament has not the power and freedom to introduce bills of law and the European commissioners can put any law they deem so necessary into effect without parliament consent ) has however a tremendous amount of legal power, when it comes to societal changes and free trade, that can overrule any member states and countries judicial systems (Let's Think of the introduction of GMO products and destructive and unhealthy agriculture in spite of states and people opposing them).

This may very well be one of the reasons why England and part of its ruling elite are keen to get out of the European Union.

Lets be in honesty and speak truth here, countries and member states of the European Union are ancient countries b, some having more than a thousand year history. Even if they truly wanted to make an efficient European union, their differences, different interests and mostly languages, cultural, practical and natural organizations of society inherited from years past make the European union way too hard to achieve . Such a dream will take at least a couple of centuries to happen if it ever does and will require unprecedented sacrifices and a denying of people long established habits, behaviors, and so on only history can overcome.You, b, better than anyone knows how politic even with great vision must be based on practical means and understanding of realities or else its result can be catastrophic. That isn't the path undertook by the European union.

Talking of economy, I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement on England weaknesses after the Brexit.

First, it will be easier for great Britain to protect its main industries and tax big corporations such as the GAFAM and the FANG.

Second, Britain is a very well educated and able country and there is nothing she cannot mostly (or at least partially) do and achieve on her own in the possibility that she lacks significant imports from other European countries. If anything,the refusal from other European countries of importing some products via trade deals will boost inner production and force Britain to re-industrialize segments of its economy which is very good for employment and salaries. Britain may take a few years to recover but in the end she will come out of the European union stronger and richer than she was in it.

Finally lets not fool ourselves England will certainly increased ties with the commonwealth, the united states and china without major issues. Africa as a whole is not far behind and I doubt France will ever stop selling cheese and wine to England and Germany stop selling Cars and machine tools to it.

vk , Jan 31 2020 23:19 utc | 52
@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 31 2020 19:57 utc | 26

No. Nation-States are not born from cultural isolation: economic development develops culture, not the inverse. The problem with the "cultural genesis" hypothesis is that it is completely arbitrary: you could come up with an infinite combination of nation-States at every time, at any stage. It is a hypothesis that explains everything without explaining anything. It is, therefore, a scientifically useless hypothesis at best; a logical fallacy at worst.

My observation about the development of the productive forces come from the objective reality. It is the most scientifically precise description of human societal development in a historical frame. This is not an opinion of mine: it's a fact. So, let's not waste time with this anymore, as it would only bother the people who visit this blog.

--//--

@ Posted by: cdvision | Jan 31 2020 22:38 utc | 48

1. Maybe. But, as you state at #5, the UK is basically a rentier economy, so the battle won't be won by the UK in the exports front.

2. This could be because the UK's productive sector is weak, not that the EU's productive sector is strong. Besides, we live in a capitalist world, where there are not one, but two balances: trade and capitals. The UK has a massive surplus in the capitals balance - massive enough to cut by 7% its entire deficit per year.

3. Well then...

4. True.

5. True. But it will lose its Euro swap services monopoly - not enough to break the bank, but a minus nevertheless.

6. You know you're desperate when you begin to resort to fucking Singapore to try to search from some light at the end of the tunnel. First of all: Singapore is tiny. Very tiny. Actually, it is a city.

Second, the UK's tax rates are already very low, and it already controls the main tax havens, so there isn't much to lower anymore.

Third: as mentioned here in my first comment, the UK already had more than 750 bilateral free trade agreements with the rest of the world; the UK was already "free" while it was in the EU.

True, it won't be the total collapse the Remainers have been touting - but it won't be that boom the Brexiter are preaching too. Basically nothing will change in the UK in terms of trade agreements. Fourth: did I mention you're literally comparing a nation-State of 70 million people to a city-state?

7. True. Europe simply isn't that relevant anymore.

But the most funny thing I find about this Brexit debate is how amplified it is: Remainers think the world will end; Brexiters think the Empire will come back. People, Brexit only makes things go as they were before . Did the world end when the WTO ruled trade? No. Did the UK become a superpower again when Thatcher rose to power? No. Was the UK a superpower before the EEC and after WWI? No.

So, in other words, almost nothing will change. UK will strike some Norway-type deal with the rest of the EU (is Norway collapsed? No.), it will probably renegotiate its already existing trade deal with the USA - under unfavorable terms, for sure, since the USA is infinitely richer and stronger than the UK - and the other one gazillion bilateral deals it already had before will continue to exist.

The only notable thing I find about Brexit is its symbolism: it represents the inexorable fall of Europe as a significant world player. In its history, Europe only became a world player on two short lived occasions: when the Roman Empire was at its apex (the "High Empire", from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius) and when the British Empire led a coalition of second-rate empires essentially at the 19th Century (i.e. when capitalism became global). That's only 350 years in more than 12,000 of human civilization history. During the rest of it, Europe not only wasn't a world player, but it was probably one of the most peripheral and poor regions of the planet.

It should bo back to its place.

Sveno , Jan 31 2020 23:21 utc | 53
I think MA outlook for Britan is too shadowed in sorrow. Britain strength in fishing waters and import of germany cars are too underestimated. Britain with there connection to former colonial countries make them sustainable. In the end germany will bend down to any toll on cars. Britain has the upper card. Meanwhile the whole french spanish portuguise fishing industry can wish they where british.

Still you wounder, the Illuminati outpost recommended brexit, what are they planning? Hope it's a struggle between Illuminati and not a plan to extinguish common people. Eu will fall like Rom, but the timeline is quit quick. Farage the city of london citizen talking to the people convinced to leave eu what can be wrong? The world is no democracy and you can just observe Illuminati decisions.

Ash Naz , Jan 31 2020 23:51 utc | 56
We should not underestimate the importance of today from the viewpoint of sovereignty and democracy.

The principal of sovereignty must apply both to the countries we here defend as the targets of the Empire, and even to the Chief Poodle of the US Empire itself, the UK. It is of course unlikely, but if Britain is to be free of Brussels it should be free of Washington too. Hard to imagine when the CIA and MI6 seem to be the same thing.

One of the reasons I voted Leave was to remove the toxic Chief Poodle influence of Britain from Europe. If the EU becomes less Russophobic with MI6 removed, then this is a win for Brexit.

The democracy thing is huge though. Here we have had for three and a half years almost the whole coalition of forces who constitute the ruling-class narrative control (minus a few Tories) demonise Brexit and portray Leavers as knuckle-dragging racist xenophobe chauvinist nazi fascist bigoted hateful morons who were duped by a gross rather than net figure on the side of a bus.

Despite this Leavers have quietly, peacefully and patiently voted in three elections since the referendum with outcomes favouring Leave. In the 2017 GE both Tory and Labour promised to respect the referendum and Labour did well. The Lib Dems ran on reversing Brexit and got nothing. In the EU Parliament elections (there are no elections for the EU commission - now there's a thing) the Brexit Party basically smashed it and won most of the seats. Then in the 2019 GE Labour was forced by the Blairites (and probably not opposed by the Corbynistas who are also pro-Eu, contrary to their guru's long-held Tony Bennite Left Euro Scepticism) to campaign on a rejection of the referendum, and the so-called Red Wall of sold, traditional Labour working-class constituencies voted Tory because Labour had betrayed them.

And so, after FOUR polls, and the majority of the elites trying to crush the popular will, finally The Thing is done - at least symbolically - there is more to come.

The future is uncertain, but tonight this is a victory for democracy, and a blow for the elites who instructed the proles to Remain. The proles refused.

SteveK9 , Feb 1 2020 0:20 utc | 62
Martin Jay disagrees with the conclusions of this article and believes GB has the advantage.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/01/25/eu-is-showing-its-cracks-already-as-boris-now-shows-it-the-whip-on-trade-deal/

[Feb 01, 2020] The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 31 2020 19:09 utc | 11

Britain has until the end of this year to make a new trade deal with Europe, with the U.S., and with other countries.

The UK already had more than 750 bilateral deals around the world. The argument used by the brexiters that EU membership was "isolation" is a complete farce.

Nothing significant will change in this front after Brexit.

But the EU will also need to change its urge to centralize and regulate everything. If it continues on its path other countries may want to follow the British example despite the damage it will cause to them.

The issue is not between "centralization vs decentralization", but the historical process of the development of the productive forces.

Before the creation of the Euro, it was economically advantageous for the little poor countries from the European Peninsula to seek EU membership. After its creation, the economies begun to diverge: Germany begun to siphon the wealth from its poorer members.

Add to that the worldwide capitalist meltdown from 2008 and you have the toxic mixture for what is essentially a neoliberal union in the EU.

Centralization and decentralization, in abstract, mean nothing. It's always the historical context that counts. It's not the quest for centralization that menaces the dissolution of the EU, but the fact that the EU was already economically declining for two decades that resulted in its smaller members to complain about its perceived quest for centralization. This vicious cycle generated a dialetical contradiction which impelled the EU to actually try to seek more centralization in response - in a classic "self-realizing prophecy" case.

This must be the case, since it explains why Brexit happened in 2016 and not in 2000; why the Scotish referendum happened in 2015 and not in 1708; and why similar movements are happening more or less at the same time in Italy and Greece. It also explains why there is not "exit" movements in Poland and Hungary, even though there are anti-EU movements there.


ben , Jan 31 2020 19:11 utc | 12

IMO, this leaves GB more susceptible to the influences of the empire. I fully expect the U$A to attack the British National Health Service with pressure to privatize.
ErGmb , Jan 31 2020 19:20 utc | 13
Spot on vk! Your analysis of EU dynamics is a pretty succint summary.

Those who think that Brexit will reduce immigration to the UK are fantasists (as well as racists - at this point UKIP and Farage have an undeniable track record one could plausibly claim not to know about in 2014). The current UK economic model relies on a large inflow of immigrant labour to underpin fanciful "growth" statistics, depress wages, and keep up pressure on the housing market, among other "schemes" in the worst sense of the word, and the government has already said that it will seek to increase non-European immigration to make up for decreases in EU immigration. Bye bye Polish plumber, hello ???...

NemesisCalling , Jan 31 2020 19:21 utc | 15
Bilateral, un-hypercentralized all the way.

Victoria Nuland said it best, "Fuck the EU."

When will European people come to their senses and trust the ability of their own local leaders? B isn't quite there yet.

[Feb 01, 2020] A new ideology, neoliberalism, was wrapped around 1920s neoclassical economics, to make it look brand new.

Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Batman11 , 4 hours ago link

The US worked things out after using neoclassical economics in the 1920s, but then they forgot again.

At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

The tell tale sign; debt rises much faster than GDP in the US in the 1920s.

(Japan 1980s; US, UK and Euro-zone before 2008; China after 2008)

The bankers were inflating asset prices with bank credit.

Bank credit effectively brings future prosperity into today.

The 1920s boomed on borrowed money and the 1930s were impoverished as they made the repayments.

In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.

The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.

Inflated asset prices aren't real wealth, and this can disappear almost over-night, as it did in 1929 and 2008.

Real wealth creation involves real work, producing new goods and services in the economy.

Henry Simons was a founder member of the Chicago School of Economics and he had worked out what was wrong with his beliefs in free markets in the 1930s.

Banks can inflate asset prices with the money they create from bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

Henry Simons and Irving Fisher supported the Chicago Plan to take away the bankers ability to create money.

"Simons envisioned banks that would have a choice of two types of holdings: long-term bonds and cash. Simultaneously, they would hold increased reserves, up to 100%. Simons saw this as beneficial in that its ultimate consequences would be the prevention of "bank-financed inflation of securities and real estate" through the leveraged creation of secondary forms of money."

https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Henry_Calvert_Simons

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." Irving Fisher 1929.

This 1920's neoclassical economist that believed in free markets knew this was a stable equilibrium. He became a laughing stock, but worked out where he had gone wrong.

Banks can inflate asset prices with the money they create from bank loans, and he knew his belief in free markets was dependent on the Chicago Plan, as he had worked out the cause of his earlier mistake.

It was those bankers inflating the US stock market with margin lending.

It's not quite the same this time.

Let the bank's collapse for a Great Depression

Save the banks, but leave the debt in place for Japanification .

How did this old belief set come back again?

A new ideology, neoliberalism, was wrapped around 1920s neoclassical economics, to make it look brand new.

The reckless bankers and robber barons had made a lot of money in the 1920s and they rather liked the way things had been before, but after the reckless bankers and robber barons had run riot in the US in the 1920s, beliefs in economic liberalism and the markets were in short supply.

Just a few diehards, like Hayek, were left and they were hiding out at the LSE in the UK in the 1930s. He was looking to put a new slant on those old ideas.

In the 1940s, Hayek put together his theories of the markets being a mechanism for transmitting the collective wisdom of market participants around the world through pricing. It was never going to get into the mainstream until nearly everyone had forgotten what happened last time they believed in the markets.

At last, in the 1980s, the people were ready to believe in the markets again.

The UK:

https://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/uploads/monthly_2018_02/Screen-Shot-2017-04-21-at-13_53_09.png.e32e8fee4ffd68b566ed5235dc1266c2.png

Before 1980 – banks lending into the right places that result in GDP growth (business and industry, creating new products and services in the economy)

Debt grows with GDP

After 1980 – banks lending into the wrong places that don't result in GDP growth (real estate and financial speculation)

Debt rises much faster than GDP

2008 – Minsky Moment

After 2008 – Balance sheet recession and the economy struggles as debt repayments to banks destroy money. We are making the repayments on the debt we built up from 1980 – 2008.

What happened in 1979?

The UK eliminated corset controls on banking in 1979 and the banks invaded the mortgage market and this is where the problem starts.

This is the UK, but everyone has made the same mistake.

One economics, one ideology.

Global groupthink.

At 25.30 mins you can see the super imposed private debt-to-GDP ratios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

What Japan does in the 1980s; the US, the UK and Euro-zone do leading up to 2008 and China has done more recently.

The tell tale sign of neoclassical economics; debt rises much faster than GDP

The PBoC saw the Chinese Minsky Moment coming and you can too by looking at the chart above. The Chinese bankers had been loading their economy up with their debt products and it was just about to crash.

Our experts look at public debt and consumer price inflation, but the problems develop in private debt and asset price inflation so the "black swan" flies in under their radar.

Davos 2018 – The Chinese know financial crises come from the private debt-to-GDP ratio and inflated asset prices

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WOs6S0VrlA

The PBoC know how to spot a Minsky Moment coming, unlike the FED, BoE, ECB and BoJ.

geekz_rule , 4 hours ago link

thatcher was a neoliberal. neoliberalism is both nationalism (for the long con game) and globalist (the goal)

The Mont Pelerin Society's (Austria 1940's) favorite "economist" F. v Hayek proposed path of "liberty" and "freedom" [only for the inbred 1% (Neoliberalism)] (Friedman, Buchanan, "Chicago School", were later disciples)

1) Deregulate global financial markets - DONE
2) Deregulate global trade - DONE
3) Create the illusion and urgency of national bankruptcy with fake (fiat) debt (thereby neuter a nation's capability to enforce laws - eliminate the people's ability to defend against being overwhelmed and consumed by the 1%) - DONE

this manufactured illusion of bankruptcy is critical path for the inbred 1%'s agenda. the "debt" is used to justify austerity measures for the people, and to tee up, the privatization plan, which is about transforming the public debt, into private debt, where the 1% can extract usury, ad infinitum.

#AusterityIsCode4Looting - austerity measures are plain evidence, the system has already been looted by generational globalist wealth.

then lastly, the kill shot:

4) Privatize Everything. recreate us ALL as permanent rent payers of even the most basic necessities of life (Air, water, food, shelter, health care). the public debt of a ntion has been effectively eliminated, transmuted into private debt; the service of which (usury) is FOREVER- Almost COMPLETE

#PrivatizationIsTheft - privatization today is STRICTLY about prioritizing national productivity (work) away from the commons and general welfare, extracting and transferring it to the inbred 1% rent-seeking parasites (Extreme Redistribution of wealth from the people TO the Billionaires, NOTHING for the people)

Falcon49 , 6 hours ago link

"People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when crisis is upon them."

Same old process...Problem, Reaction, Solution

They corrupt the current system and advance their agenda as far as they can (gaining public support using the process above). When they detect growing resistance and distrust of the system...they then encourage and use that trend to advance their agenda further using the same Problem, Reaction, Solution process. The crash/destruction of the current status quo and the fear and chaos that comes with it will be blamed on populism/nationalism. The people (in chaos and fear) will seek safety and security...and will willingly accept the solutions offered up to them. Rinse and repeat.

The bottom line is they know that acceptance of global centralization of power and control...is a bottoms up process (the people must willing accept/demand it). It must be accomplished in evolutionary stages through gradualism. However, when they have reach a certain point and want to take the next major step, they undermine the peoples trust in the current system and encourage and use the people's blow-back. Blow-back will be blamed for all the chaos and fear.

[Feb 01, 2020] Trump is just another in a long line of big-mouthed, self-important scam artists always, was, and always will be

Far right is now against Trump. Interesting...
Feb 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

onebornfree , says: Website Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 1:37 pm GMT

So they bump off Trump. So what?

Trump was never going to "drain the swamp". I knew this back in 2015 when he started to campaign: http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/2015/08/do-you-suffer-from-dictator-syndrome.html

When/where did he ever talk about reducing the Federal government to its original constitutional functions? Never.

When/where did he ever talk about re-enforcing the Bill of Rights on the Feds? Never.

When/where did he ever talk about getting rid of the income tax and the IRS? Never.

When/where did he ever talk about getting rid of the FBI, the CIA, the Federal Reserve, the NSA, the FDA, the CDC, the EPA [all unconstitutional] etc.etc. etc. ad infinitum? Never, that's when.

He's just another in a long line of big-mouthed, self-important scam artists – always, was, and always will be.

I feel sorry for the naive individuals who were fooled, and those who continue to be fooled. Maybe at least some of them have now learned a valuable lesson.

Regards, onebornfree

Bro43rd , says: Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT
@onebornfree
You are correct that orange man was a manchurian candidate. But I still felt good giving the ptb a good poke in the eye.
Tucker , says: Show Comment January 31, 2020 at 2:20 pm GMT
@TG I said over a year ago, around the time this Orange Cuck Master gave that SOTU speech and reversed almost every policy promise he made to his 63 million supporters on his #1 most important issue, i.e., the border wall, deporting illegals, ending DACA on day one, drastically reducing legal immigration – which is even more destructive to the future of the GOP to win any more elections than is illegal immigration, the whole package that got people off their sofas and down to the polls to vote for him – that it was obvious to me that the globalist deep state had finally gotten their hands on some kind of leverage over him and had finally put their dog collar around his Orange lying neck.

Was it related to Jeffrey Epstein? Who knows. I'm sure it is possible, with the way degenerate behavior seems to now run amok within the super rich and elitist circles. Heck, the morals of the entire country have pretty much descended into the sewer these days.

I think we are in the last days of this empire's history. I see no White knight waiting in the wings who will ride to the rescue, and if one did emerge – only half of the country would support them and the other half of totalitarian, sexual and moral degenerates would want to kill him.

What we need is a collapse and breakup of America.

[Feb 01, 2020] Bernie Sanders Real resistance and the steep learning curve

Feb 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

In what is happening right now around the Bernie Sanders camp and the Elizabeth Warren camp, there is an opportunity for these supposed ResistanceTM-people to step up their game significantly.

After all, in this moment, the anti-Berners are certainly stepping up their own game. The problem is that there is a large asymmetry here: it is a lot easier to take someone like Bernie down than it is to build him up, in part because the former can rely on every aspect of the system, from call-out culture and Title IX-type methods to the most nefarious elements of the Deep State, while the latter has to actually confront these elements for a change.

... ... ... 1. What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. These two played a major role in doing that in 2016, and now they're getting the band back together again. Okay, that's no mystery.

The real question is, What are Bernie supporters and those who (one way or another) support the Democrats, going to do about it? When and if Warren and Clinton succeed in taking Bernie down–and of course Biden and the Obamas are onboard for this, as well–will Democrats (and Dem-supporting "leftists," etc.) be so blinded by TDS that they'll just say, "Oh well, we still have to vote for " Warren, Biden, etc.?

I think this runs parallel to what some have said about "letting the CIA help with the impeachment"–it's truly delusional, reactionary stuff. Likewise, people getting in a huff because "Bernie called her a liar on national television." No problem, apparently, that Warren first called Bernie a liar. Even more, no problem that Warren's whole life and career is based on a lie–a lie that, even now, she justifies with bullshit about how she "just loves her family so much." (Of course, with only a very few exceptions, I find the Democratic Party–and the Republican Party–completely unacceptable anyway. They are both steering media for capitalist power and money. However, unlike my leftist friends who presently justify supporting the Democrats, in impeachment and in re-taking the White House, "because they are the lesser evil," I argue that the Democrats are the greater evil, the "best representatives" of the current form of capitalism, that the Republicans are in at least some cases the lesser evil, and that Trump is something different from either one.)

2. Accordingly, I think a Trump/Sanders election would be a very good thing. You may know that I have been writing a long series of articles I have two basic reasons for hoping Sanders can get the nomination and that there could be a Trump/Sanders election: i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder. I really don't think it can happen -- and we're seeing major moves in this effort toward eliminating Bernie just in the week that has passed since I started writing this. However, this does mean that, if Bernie can build (much further) and lead the movement to seriously address these power structures,

ii. Despite what you and many others say and (I feel) are a bit too desperate to think, Sanders does have some things in common with Trump, at least thematically -- and a lot of my arguments in my articles have to do with the importance of these themes being out there, in a way that they never would have been with any other Republican, Hillary Clinton or any of the other current frontrunners besides Sanders, and any of the other media with the very important exceptions of Tucker Carlson, Steve Hilton, and perhaps a couple others on Fox News (perhaps Laura Ingram) -- and this is not only something that the anti-Trumpers absolutely hate, they hate it so much that they can't even think about it.

That is, Trump and Sanders have in common that they 1) profess that they want to do things that improve the lives of ordinary working people, and 2) profess that they want to draw back militarism.

What I emphasize is that these terms would not even be on the table if it weren't for Trump -- and yes, to some extent if it weren't for Bernie, but there is a way in which Bernie can only be out there at all because Trump has put these things on the table.


Rhys Jaggar ,

The thing you are failing to see here is that Trump did nothing particularly special last time: the Deplorables had simply had enough shit over enough years that their bullshitometers were fully sensitised.

So they listened to all the Deep State crap and said: 'Screw You! We're all gonna vote Trump and piss on your friggin' parade!'

They did not think all that deeply, they just were absolutely adamant about what they DID NOT WANT.

And Trump just said: 'I understand!'

The words 'I understand' are dynamite in politics. They are even more dynamite if it is said in a roundabout way, but the meaning is crystal clear to the target audience.

If Sanders wants to win, he has to prove to Main Street America that 'HE UNDERSTANDS!'

He will not win speaking down to them, telling them he knows what is best for them.

They have had two generations of that and are absolutely sick and tired of it.

The way to victory for any US Presidential candidate in 2020 is showing that they understand, they care enough to DO SOMETHING TO HELP and they have the savvy NOT TO GET PUT ON A SPIKE BY THE DEEP STATE!

Seamus Padraig ,

Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder. I really don't think it can happen

I agree. For one thing, Bernie is no Trump; he's just not a fighter. Bernie is weak. They already defrauded him once back in 2016, and he didn't care. He went ahead and endorsed the woman who cheated him, and he even spent months criss-crossing the country stumping for her! Have we seen the merest scrap of evidence this year that Bernie finally plans to take the gloves off? No, we haven't. He's a lot like Jeremy Corbyn in that regard, and just like Jeremy Corbyn, I predict he will be defeated–not so much by the voters as by 'his own' party.

but does anyone think there is a shortage of obnoxious jerks around Warren and Biden?

Just one little word should suffice: Hunter!

I think you'll find that this work is not going to be nearly so easy as what has passed for "resistance" among the anti-Trump crowd thus far.

What has passed for "resistance" since 2016 is this:

1.) Working for the government for a while to sabotage Trump.

2.) Then, when you get found out and fired by him, getting a multi-million dollar contract to write some 'tell-all' book about how evil/stupid (take your pick) your ex-boss was.

3.) Then getting invited onto The View to promote it and prattle on about how you answer to some "higher calling" so that your serial violations of the law don't matter–as opposed to, say, Trump's serial violations of decorum, which obviously merit impeachment.

That's exactly what "resistance" means to these wankers, and that's one reason I am proud to say that I am not a part of it.

lundiel ,

America's most dangerous president was, imo, Obama. Trump has nothing on him, apart from his delusions over Israel, Trump has tried, and failed, to exercise control over the security state. Obama worked with the state while he mesmerised us with stunning speeches about equality and democracy as he signied off on regime change and assassinations.
Should she ever run, Michelle would be at least as dangerous. The Obamas can make people believe that they are 'on their side'.

Antonym ,

Bernie is a nice guy – too nice: no match for the shark pools from Fairfax county, Lower Manhattan or the Clinton clan . The 2016 DNC candidate selection revelations proved this.

The only untainted strong Democratic candidate is Tulsi Gabbard, but she has all Establishments against her.

wardropper ,

I'd go further and say that the Americans can't win, whoever is leading them.
The pool from which they make their selections was poisoned long ago.
And it makes me very sad to say that.
Our godless society is overflowing with people who long for moral leadership, but who can't find it in today's Washminster.
Personal pursuit of a decent inner life is always an option, but Washington and Westminster are addicted to the other kind – the moneyed surface of life.
The way things are right now, it's extremely hard to say how a bridge from one kind to the other could possibly be built, but I keep looking

paul ,

Sanders is just another irrelevant mediocrity.

Fair dinkum ,

Since Reagan's Presidency, all US elections have been about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The ship may be sinking slowly, but the outcome will be the same.

Gall ,

I'd say it was long before Ronnie got elected to office. Remember it was Carter and Zyb who got involved in the imperial quick sand of Afghanistan (mixing metaphors here) that is after being run out of 'Nam by a bunch of angry natives who had gotten tired of America "being a force for good" by reining "freedom and democracy" on them from the bomb bays of B 52s which I think is going to a be similar situation to what will soon happen in Iraq if we dawdle too long.

Elections have in reality become all pomp with no circumstance. Flip a coin and it always comes up heads. It's a stacked deck that public are asked to play every two years thinking the odds are in their favor when it never really is. Might as well head to Vegas following the dusty trail of Hunter S Thompson.

Charlotte Ruse ,

The day FDR dumped Henry Wallace in favor of Harry Truman the US was f–ked.

Seamus Padraig ,

That phase is over. Now that the Titanic's going down, it's no longer about rearranging any deck chairs, but about fighting over the life boats!

Charlotte Russe ,

It's not all that complicated Obama laid the groundwork ensuring Bernie's defeat when he interfered in deciding who would Chair the DNC. Tom Perez was Obama's pick. Bernie wanted Keith Ellison. Perez guaranteed neoliberal centrist Dems would maintain control. Tom Perez didn't disappoint– his nominations for the 2020 Democratic Convention standing committees are a like a who's who of centrism. Most of the folks on this "A list" would fit quite nicely in the Republican Party.

milosevic ,

threaten to abandon the Dems to start a Workers Third Party

actually doing so, would accomplish vastly more than just "threatening", unless anybody is really hoping for a remake of Hope and Change, which would change nothing except the specific flavour of Identity Politics secret sauce disguising the foul taste of neoliberal fascism.

[Feb 01, 2020] Brexit in name only (BRINO)

Feb 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Tallis Marsh ,

Exactly! It was always going to be Brexit in name only (BRINO) with Theresa May and Boris at the helm (due to their establishment masters including the civil service). If the 2019 election hadn't been transparently & despicably corrupt (with its uber smears of Jeremy Corbyn and the outright rigging with postal ballots) we would not be in this position. The truth must be that the estab had too much to lose to not rig it.

Will we be leaving all the EU institutions including the ECJ?

Why did Theresa May (and Boris) insidiously sign us up to the Global Compact for Migration? Why did Theresa May (and Boris) also insidiously sign us up to the EU/European Defence Union? Do some people not know what I am talking about? Well, there is a Media 'D Notice' on these subjects. if you need to find out about these things you will have to look to the alternative media like UK column and social media (like Twitter e.g Veterans for Britian) to find these things out.

Did you know Lord James of Blackheath was threatened for speaking about the EU Defence Union last year – that may tell you how important it is that the estab need keep most of the public unaware of the subject.

[Jan 31, 2020] Tucker: DNC worried about Sanders becoming nominee - YouTube

They actually don't: Sanders proved to be more of a sheepdog then a real candidate in 2016: he betrayed his voters They are afraid of Tulsi, though
Money quote "Democratic Party is a collection of various interest group that actually hate each other"
Jan 31, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Charles Hull , 2 weeks ago

🤔 If she doesn't want to be called a liar, on national TV, she should stop lying, on national TV.

Karinda Tiweyang , 6 days ago

"Sexist, not SEXY, sexist" hahahhaha why was this necessary. Still funny af.

Flagrus , 1 week ago

That moment when a fox News treats Bernie fairer and more honest than his own party.

[Jan 31, 2020] Tucker: Biden's career bankrolled by credit card companies and Sanders has no courage to state an obvious think -- yest he is corrupt as hell

Sanders despicably folded... Another argument that Sanders plays the role of sheep dog in this election cycle.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Impeachment distracting from the real scandal we should be focusing on: the Bidens.


Commander Biden , 1 week ago

Joe Biden loves corruption almost as much as he loves kids jumping on his lap.

Marie Si , 1 week ago

The Democrats are never prosecuted or held accountable for their crimes and corruption.

Freda Rounthwaite , 1 week ago

You've hit the nail on the head with every single word you've said Tucker. Thank you for staying true to real journalism.

ubon11 , 1 week ago

It's too bad that only half the country will ever hear this.

Puffin Vapor , 1 week ago (edited)

This is just a part of the "Swamp" President Trump has talked about. Funneling money to family members of elected officials is so prevalent that they don't even see a problem, it's just business as usual.

L P , 1 week ago

What's in your wallet? Oh, it's Biden's hand..

Kelly T , 1 week ago

"It's a hostage tape." Laughed out loud. Love Tucker

Lynn Jacobs , 2 days ago

Joe Biden is creepy, corrupt, and dishonest -- the exact opposite of Bernie Sanders.

ultraflem , 3 days ago

"My instincts tell me the Democrats don't want to get rid of Plugs (Biden) on the corruption angle because then they're all exposed to it." - Rush Limbaugh

Carl Worsoe , 1 week ago

I wonder if Chuck shummers daughter and her wife got money from Ukraine like piglosi Kerry and the bidens 🇺🇸

No worries Mate , 1 week ago

Biden crime family!

QUÉBEC FLAT , 1 week ago

Colonel Sanders : " Joe Biden is a very decent man" !!! Comming from the mouth of the Communist who wants to put YOU in Goulags...It makes perfect sense !

Elazar de Lusignan M. , 1 day ago

So Uncle Joe is a front man for the credit card industry? Good job Joe! Millions of Americans are being harassed by collection agencies.

James Williams , 3 days ago

Joe Biden is a friend of mine and he's a really nice guy ... I love my husband or wife he/she's a really nice person as the ER staff bandages their wounds ... hmm got it

Emanuel Terzian , 1 week ago

Tucker has been the widest eye opener ever in this 3 year saga of going after the greatest U S President of my lifetime and counting

Sallyanne Deegan , 1 week ago

DEMS react with disbelief when called on the table for the ©BUSINESS AS USUAL CORRUPT PRACTICES... Years of getting the system to fill their pockets ILLEGAL

David Price , 5 days ago

The Bidens are crooks, they need convicting and jailing..

smoothtwh , 2 days ago

The impeachment is to protect ALL the Corruption. The Ukraine was a hotbed for big $$$!!

WoodBeast , 2 days ago

Pelosi too Google 60 minutes steve kroft pelosi credit card insider trading

Adam M , 2 days ago

at best joe's son was being used to get a conncetion to the vp and at worst hunter was running a drug ring

[Jan 31, 2020] Note on Gitmo and degradation of the American society

Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Antonym Cruelty is a sign of a degrading society. Cultures promoting cruelty and torture have lost any arguments. The Roman empire went down the public games till death phase just before it collapsed, but that was two millennia ago. The US doesn't have the time excuse but still promoted its Hollywood violence.
From the biggest kid on the block to bully gone bad


Richard Le Sarc ,

You have to remember that under Talmudic Judaic Law, killing civilians is not just permissible, but is considered a mitzvah or good deed. And killing children, even babies, is permissible if it can be said that they would grow up to 'oppose the Jews'. Quite understandable in a hate-cult where, as the 'revered' Rabbi Kook the Elder declared, it is believed that, 'There is a greater difference between the soul of a Jew and that of a non-Jew than there is between the soul of a non-Jew and that of an animal'. What a Divine Burden you bear, Ant-and with such dignity.

paul ,

Charming, these Levantine folk.
Luckily, Tony Blair is now on the job, working to suppress "the global pandemic of anti Semitism."
That certainly puts my mind at rest.

Antonym ,

The CIA might have "inspired" Al Qaida or ISIS hangmen but not Assad's. They definitely trained most Central and South America sadists in official uniform.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Come on Ant-don't be so shy. Israeli trained many Latin American killers and aided them in drawing up death-lists. You should be proud of Zionist achievements.

Charlotte Russe ,

Guantanamo Bay provided a striking "stage setting" proving there's indeed a "War on Terror." A "War on Terror is a nebulous concept–how do you battle terror. Terror is an "emotion" which quickly evolved into rage felt by millions devastated in imperialist wars. How does an Empire win a War on Terror with 1,000 military bases scattered throughout every continent. The War on Terror was never conceived to be won, it was meant to be endless.

Now getting back to Guantanamo Bay, most of the victims were gathered by bounty hunters in Afghanistan or were targeted because of past grievances. The unlucky captives, had nothing to do with terrorist activities or 9/11. Guantanamo Bay, diabolically tests the limitless way an Empire can abscond with an individual's freedom. Extrajudicial concepts like "enemy combatant" are auditioned proving all legal rights can be immediately abrogated with just a stroke of a pen. The War on Terror produced a new type of captive–someone who was neither a prisoner of war or a US criminal. An abducted victim held indefinitely in a black site. In other words, the War on Terror justified extrajudicial transfers from one country to another circumventing the former country's laws on interrogation, detention and
torture. The War on Terror proved that a mind-boggling event such as a "false flag like 9/11" generates enough shock to gain public acceptance for legislation like the "Patriot Act" where frightened citizens are willing to capitulate freedom for safety.

paul ,

Many of the unfortunates murdered or tortured or held indefinitely without trial in US concentration camps were basically just Afghan or Pakistani yokels handed over to CIA spooks for a $5,000 bounty. They reckon half the villages in Pakistan were suddenly missing the village idiot, who had been sold to the CIA.

The Taliban fighters rounded up were engaged in a civil war in Afghanistan at the time against assorted warlords and drug lords from non Pashtun communities who rejected the authority of the Taliban government. They had never fought against America, and had no plans to. Some of them probably didn't know that America existed. They were probably somewhat bewildered that the US was muscling in on their civil war.

Bin Laden was there as a hang over from the war against Russia. He had been on the CIA payroll for years, a "heroic freedom fighter" invited round the White House for tea and buns.

Incidentally, the "enemy combatant" routine is nothing new for the US. In 1945, German POWs were suddenly designated "surrendered enemy personnel" to deprive them of the protection of POW status. Eisenhower hated Germans, and wanted to treat prisoners as harshly as possible. German prisoners held by US forces in the Rhineland area were deliberately deprived of food, water and shelter, and certainly very large numbers died, though figures are disputed. There were many murders and summary executions. Wherever they have operated, US forces have always committed atrocities and war crimes on both a casual and more organised basis.

Richard Le Sarc ,

It is actually a War OF Terror. And torture is as American as apple-pie.

paul ,

As bad as they are, the US concentration camps at Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib and the issue of waterboarding, are just the tip of a very large iceberg.
There is a global US Gulag of concentration camps, torture chambers and secret prisons (including UK territory) where thousands of people have been horrifically tortured and murdered on an industrial scale.
The torture employed exceeds by far anything Guy Fawkes or the Knights Templar would have experienced in the 17th and 14th centuries.

paul ,

This torture is the product of very sick and diseased minds from a very sick and diseased society.
Extreme sexual torture and humiliation. Murder, blindings and maimings. Agonising confinement in tiny boxes for protracted periods. One unfortunate chained up naked in a freezing cell in a standing position, medieval style, and just left there until somebody noticed, 17 days later, that he was dead.
Another kidnapped from Canada and spirited away to US torture chambers in Morocco and Yugoslavia, where his private parts were mutilated. It transpired that this unfortunate was not the man they wanted. He just had a similar name to somebody else.

paul ,

And of course the UK and all the US satellites were fully complicit in these crimes and atrocities.
Not that this will in any way inhibit them from climbing up on their high horse and giving lofty sermons and pious lectures to all the benighted natives on the rest of the planet about their human rights failings, and their need to comply with our exalted "Rules Based Order."

paul ,

"We tortured some folks."

paul ,

Of course these are just 2 isolated cases out of thousands and thousands.
One of the worst torturers known as NZ7 was a religious nut job who liked to bring people to the point of death so he could feel the soul leaving the body.
People were tortured three times a day for weeks and months on end.
Scenes of torture replicated and far exceeded anything in medieval dungeons.
Torture doctors were on hand to advise on how to intensify the torment.
The motivation seems mainly to have been sadism and sexual sadism for its own sake rather than any genuine interest in obtaining information.
Anal rape was a routine part of the CIA torture manual.
So was freezing people to death and shoving nuts and hummus up people's arses.

People with specialist knowledge of the subject have said that the Gestapo record of torture was actually far better than that of the US. The Gestapo did torture people, but it was a very bureaucratic process, and they preferred to intimidate people into cooperating by playing on their bad reputation.

Richard Le Sarc ,

Many of the worst torture practises used by the USA were borrowed from the Israelis, drawing on decades of experience torturing tens of thousands of Palestinians. But they are the ' most moral torturers on Earth'-and don' t you dare forget it.

[Jan 31, 2020] Tucker John Bolton has always been a snake

Bolton was appointed by Adelson.
Jan 27, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bolton's tell-all book leaks during Senate trial. #FoxNews


Yamaha Venture , 3 days ago

Mitt Romney is a joke.

Michael Harvey , 2 days ago

John Bolton wants war everywhere to line his pockets with money.

Stephen C , 1 day ago

The "right" gets the left, but doesn't agree with them. The "left" doesn't understand the "right".

Citizen Se7en , 2 days ago

"Bolton's resignation was one of the highlights of the president's first term." Truer words have never been spoken.

Jack Albright , 2 days ago

This story is also called "the scorpion and the frog".

Ragnar Lothbrok , 3 days ago

John Bolton should be given a helmet and a gun and sent to the next war. Let's see how he likes it.

Stratchona , 1 day ago

Trump.." I don't know John Bolton,never met him,don't know what he does."

Jaret Glenn , 2 days ago

Time to investigate Romney's son working for the oil company in the Ukraine.

Regan Orr , 2 days ago

Romney's Holy Underwear is Cutting off the Blood Supply to his Deep St Brain!

Marjo , 2 days ago (edited)

I never liked Bolton. I sensed he was out for himself, at anyone's expense. War monger too. He had many people fooled.

Shara Kirkby , 3 days ago

Bolton wants war anywhere and forever!

David Dorrell , 1 day ago (edited)

Frickin' Globalist peckerwoods. John Bolton and his pal, Mitt Romney.

Olivier Bolton , 2 days ago

Bolton wanted war so he got the boot...the fact he brings out his book now just looks like vengean$$

Max Liftoff , 2 days ago

2:30 Because Bolton never served in the military he truly passionately loved war :)) LMAO Tucker nailed it.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ , 1 day ago

The left's championing of John Bolton is further proof that TDS has made their minds turn to sludge.

j abe , 3 days ago

Can someone expaine to me how mit romney is still geting votes from ppl

Mark Whitley , 2 days ago

Bolton is a war mongering narcissist that wanted his war, didn't get it, & is now acting like a spoilt child that didn't get his way & is laying on the floor kicking & screaming!

Tim Fronimos , 2 days ago

Regarding John Bolton's book, is this the first book that he's colored. just curious

newuserandhiscrew 22 , 2 days ago

Everyone: Bolton: "take me in oh tender woman, take me in for heaven's sake"

Brittany Ward , 1 day ago

I can't fathom that people actually believe everything the media says!

[Jan 31, 2020] What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back by Bill Martin What follows originates in some notes I made in response to one such woman who supports Bernie. There are two main points.

Highly recommended!
Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org

1. What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. These two played a major role in doing that in 2016, and now they're getting the band back together again. Okay, that's no mystery.

The real question is, What are Bernie supporters and those who (one way or another) support the Democrats, going to do about it? When and if Warren and Clinton succeed in taking Bernie down–and of course Biden and the Obamas are onboard for this, as well–will Democrats (and Dem-supporting "leftists," etc.) be so blinded by TDS that they'll just say,

"Oh well, we still have to vote for " Warren, Biden, etc.?

I think this runs parallel to what some have said about "letting the CIA help with the impeachment"–it's truly delusional, reactionary stuff. Likewise, people getting in a huff because "Bernie called her a liar on national television." No problem, apparently, that Warren first called Bernie a liar. Even more, no problem that Warren's whole life and career is based on a lie–a lie that, even now, she justifies with bullshit about how she "just loves her family so much." Indeed, Hillary's intervention in the following days was very likely intended to take attention away from Warren's attack on Sanders, as well as, of course, to once again put HRC out there as the potential savior at the convention.

It seems to me that the lesson here is that, if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, no other candidate (from among the frontrunners) is acceptable, especially because of the role they will have played in taking down Bernie and his movement.

I have two basic reasons for hoping Sanders can get the nomination and that there could be a Trump/Sanders election:

i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder. I really don't think it can happen -- and we're seeing major moves in this effort toward eliminating Bernie just in the week that has passed since I started writing this. However, this does mean that, if Bernie can build (much further) and lead the movement to seriously address these power structures, and even beat them in some significant ways, then something tremendous will have been accomplished -- "the harder they come, the harder they fall," or at least I hope so. ii. Despite what you and many others say and (I feel) are a bit too desperate to think, Sanders does have some things in common with Trump, at least thematically -- and a lot of my arguments in my articles have to do with the importance of these themes being out there, in a way that they never would have been with any other Republican, Hillary Clinton or any of the other current frontrunners besides Sanders, and any of the other media with the very important exceptions of Tucker Carlson, Steve Hilton, and perhaps a couple others on Fox News (perhaps Laura Ingram) -- and this is not only something that the anti-Trumpers absolutely hate, they hate it so much that they can't even think about it.

That is, Trump and Sanders have in common that they 1) profess that they want to do things that improve the lives of ordinary working people, and 2) profess that they want to draw back militarism.

What I emphasize is that these terms would not even be on the table if it weren't for Trump -- and yes, to some extent if it weren't for Bernie, but there is a way in which Bernie can only be out there at all because Trump has put these things on the table.

A lot of blowback against my articles has been against my argument that getting these terms and the discourse around them on the table is very important, a real breakthrough, and a breakthrough that both clarifies the larger terms of things and disrupts the "smooth functioning" (I take this from Marcuse) of the neoliberal-neoconservative compact around economics and military intervention.

Okay, maybe I'm right about this importance, maybe I'm not -- that's an argument I've dealt with extensively in my articles and that I'll try to deal with definitively in further writing -- but certainly a very important part of not letting Sanders be taken down by the other frontrunners (and HRC, and other nefarious forces, with Warren playing a special "feminist" and Identity Politics role here -- a role that does nothing to help, and indeed does much to hurt, ordinary working people of all colors, genders, etc.) will be to further sharpen the general understanding of the importance of these themes.

Significantly, there is a third theme which has emerged since the unexpected election of Donald Trump -- unexpected at least by the establishment and the nefarious powers (though they were thinking of an "insurance policy"); on this theme, I don't know that Sanders can do much -- working with the Democratic Party, he is too implicated in this issue, and he does not have whatever "protection" Trump has here.

What I am referring to are those nefarious powers behind the establishment and the ruling class, and that have taken on a life of their own -- I don't mind calling this the Deep State, but one can just think about the "intelligence community" and especially the CIA.

Whatever -- the point is that Trump has had to call them out and expose them in ways that they obviously do not like, and also his agenda of a world where the U.S. gets along well-enough with China and Russia at least not to risk WWIII, or, perhaps more realistically, not to tip the balance of things such that Russia goes completely over to a full alliance with China, a "Eurasian Union," which both Putin and Xi have spoken about, is not to their liking.

Whether Sanders would call out these nefarious factors if he were in a position to do so, I don't know -- I don't have great confidence that he would -- but it is also the case that he is not in a position to do so, these powers can easily dispose of Sanders in ways that they haven't been able to, so far, with Trump.

If one does think these themes are important, especially the first two (with further discussion reserved regarding the powers-behind-the-powers), then I wish that Trump-haters would open their minds for a moment and think about what it apparently takes in our social system to even begin to get these themes on the table.

In any case, regarding Sanders, the movement he is building will have to go even further with the first two themes if Sanders is nominated, and at least go some distance in taking on the third theme. This applies even more if Sanders were to be elected. (This is where you might take a look at the 1988 mini-series, A Very British Coup -- except that how things go down in the U.S. will not be so "British.") Here again, though, if Sanders is to build a movement that can openly address these questions, this will be tremendous, a great thing.

So this is it in a nutshell: If Sanders were to be nominated, then there is the possibility, which everyone ought to work to make a reality, that we could have an election based around the questions, What can be done to improve the lives of ordinary working people?, and, What can be done to curb militarism and end the endless interventions and wars?


Antonym ,

Bernie is a nice guy – too nice: no match for the shark pools from Fairfax county, Lower Manhattan or the Clinton clan . The 2016 DNC candidate selection revelations proved this.

The only untainted strong Democratic candidate is Tulsi Gabbard, but she has all Establishments against her.

Fair dinkum ,

Since Reagan's Presidency, all US elections have been about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The ship may be sinking slowly, but the outcome will be the same.

Gall ,

I'd say it was long before Ronnie got elected to office. Remember it was Carter and Zyb who got involved in the imperial quick sand of Afghanistan (mixing metaphors here) that is after being run out of 'Nam by a bunch of angry natives who had gotten tired of America "being a force for good" by reining "freedom and democracy" on them from the bomb bays of B 52s which I think is going to a be similar situation to what will soon happen in Iraq if we dawdle too long.

Elections have in reality become all pomp with no circumstance. Flip a coin and it always comes up heads. It's a stacked deck that public are asked to play every two years thinking the odds are in their favor when it never really is. Might as well head to Vegas following the dusty trail of Hunter S Thompson.

Charlotte Russe ,

It's not all that complicated Obama laid the groundwork ensuring Bernie's defeat when he interfered in deciding who would Chair the DNC. Tom Perez was Obama's pick. Bernie wanted Keith Ellison. Perez guaranteed neoliberal centrist Dems would maintain control. Tom Perez didn't disappoint– his nominations for the 2020 Democratic Convention standing committees are a like a who's who of centrism. Most of the folks on this "A list" would fit quite nicely in the Republican Party.

Bernie a FDR Democrat, is considered too radical by the wealthy who enjoy their Trumpian tax cuts and phony baloney stock market profits. If Trump, was just a bit less crude and not so overtly racist he'd be perfectly acceptable. Bernie, who thinks the working-poor are entitled to a living wage, healthcare, a college education, and clean drinking water is anathema to the affluent liberals who like everything just the way it is. They long for the Obama days when two wars were quietly expanded to seven, when the Wall Street crooks got a pass, and when health insurance lobbyists had their way with the federal government–the CIA was absolutely ecstatic with Obama. Trump was a bit of a speed bump for the security state, but nothing really threatening as he stuffed the pockets of the arms industry and the surveillance state with billions of working-class tax dollars. The Orangeman is having a few internecine battles with the intelligence agencies, but in the end they thoroughly had their way with the buffoon.

Bernie on the other hand, is a bit more complex. He can't be as easily attacked. Of course, the mainstream media news has all the usual Corbyn tricks in their bag, and Bernie could fall to the wayside like Corbyn if he's incapable of unapologetically fighting back. Bernie's working-class supporters want to see him give his attackers the one-two-punch and knock them out before the DNC Convention.

If Bernie manages to win numerous primaries the threat won't come from Warren or Hillary that's so 2016. The new insidious "Bernie enemy" is billionaire Bloomberg. Who is waiting in the wings If Biden takes a deep dive, Daddy Warbucks will make a play to cause a brokered convention. And that's when Perez and his Republican/Dems will takedown Bernie. Bernie's followers MUST come out swinging and not capitulate like they did last time. They have to force the issue, create a stir and threaten to abandon the Dems to start a Workers Third Party. Young progressives have this one big shot at making a difference, and they can't allow themselves to be sheepdogged into voting for another neoliberal who's
intent on maintaining the status quo. Remember, if you don't move forward you're actually moving backward into planetary ecocide.

Gall ,

Hey check this out. Seems the DNC is shaking in their boots about the possibility of a third party hijacking their "base":

https://www.mintpressnews.com/liberal-establishment-warning-third-parties-not-to-ruin-2020-election/264460/

Here's one from Whitney implying that they needn't worry because plans are in the works to install King Cyrus II as the permanent ruler with the help of his Zionist friends in the Department of Hebrew Security:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/liberal-establishment-warning-third-parties-not-to-ruin-2020-election/264460/

Even so it looks like Trump has decided to get rid of us noninterventionist and antiwar naysayers by fully bringing in the Dispensationalist Armageddon rapture embracing nut jobs who stand with the Talmudic genocidal racists in Israel who believe that Jesus Christ is boiling for an eternity in excrement and that his mother Mary was a whore:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52918.htm

I wish that this insanity was fantasy.

mark cutts ,

Hi Bill

we have witnessed in the UK the defamation of Corbyn the ' Left Disrupter ' as he wanted to throw back the normal state of political play.

He and the well meaning Labour Party was headed off at the pass.

We have to remember that the Ruling Class have to have fall back positions and that Biden is better than Bernie as is Warren and so on.

It appears to me that the DNC also has its fallback positions too and Bernie will be chopped by the Super Delegates once again on the altar of ' electabilty ' ( read any form of Socialism – American or British is not acceptatble to the PTB ) and that is how it may end.

The battle at the moment in the UK Labour Party is which leader will back up and support extra Parliamentary action in resistance to this very right wing Tory government?

In the US the thing is the same if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

Personally I would think that he would be a plus ( despite his foreign policy views ) but remember that Trump was a maverick Republican yet I'm not sure that Sanders would veer over to that position.

If he did then the " action " part of the steep learning curve would have to kick in to defend him and more to the point his genuinely progressive policies.

In the UK now Corbyn as the personification of ' Socialist ' threat is no longer doorstepped by the British media.

Instead the installation of a Leftish Centrist by the media ( i.e. a person that is -no threat to the existing order ) is a requirement.

This is all under the guise of a " Strong Opposition " to the right wing government.

Warren – not Biden seems to be that kind of favourite for the Ruling Class should Trump fall.

We had Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair – you in the US will get Warren.

I wish Bernie and his backers weel but I don't see it happening.

Maybe Tulsi Gabbard in another 4 years?

She and AOC are very good But this is not their time.

Not yet.

Richard Le Sarc ,

When I think of how Corbyn refused to fight back against ENTIRELY mendacious and filthy vilification as an 'antisemite', I think it might be possible that the MOSSAD told him that if he resisted he might end up, dead in his bath, like John Smith.

bevin ,

Where the world weary gather to tell us how they have been let down.
Bill nails it here:
" i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder ."

Anyone who believes that elections, as such, lead to great changes needs a keeper. And one who can read the US Constitution aloud for preference.
But this is not to say that at a time like this-and there have been very few of them in US history- when there is the possibility of a major candidate challenging some of the bases of the ruling ideology-albeit by doing little more than running on a platform of refurbished Progressivism- there is really no excuse for not insisting that the challenge be made and the election played out.
Sanders is not just challenging the verities of neo-liberalism but, implicitly undermining the political consensus that has supported the Warfare State since 1948.
The thing about Bernie is that he is authenticated by the enemies that he has enrolled against him and the dramatic measures that they are taking against him. Among those enemies are the Black Misleadership Class, and the various other faux progressives who are revealing themselves to be last ditch defenders of the MIC, Israel- AIPAC is now 'all in' in Iowa and New Hampshire- and the Insurance industry. It is an indication of the simplicity of Bernie's political task that no section of Congress gives more support to the Healthcare scammers than the representatives of the community most deprived by the current system. If he manages to get through to the people and persuade them that he will fight for Free Healthcare for all and other basic and long overdue social and economic reforms he can break the hold that the political parties have over a system everyone understands is designed to make the rich-who own both parties- richer and the great majority poorer. That has been the way that things have been going in the USA for at least 45 years.

Gall ,

Here's the point you've missed here Bill and that Bernie had a mass appeal to the Independents that is until he sold out to the "Democratic" establishment which out of the two parties has to be the least democratic since it adopted the elitist and plutocratic Super Delegate system that can ride roughshod over the actual democratic will of the voters.

Of course a cosmetic change has been made that these delegates aren't allowed to vote until the Convention but as I said it is "cosmetic" since that was originally the way this undemocratic system was set up in the "Democratic" party until Hillary Clinton used it as a psychological weapon during that sham called a "primary" to convince the hoi polo that her nomination or more accurately coronation was already a foregone conclusion.

There is also another factor that most voters are not aware of and that is the so called "Democratic" party has come up with a dictatorial "by law" that can nullify the result of the primary if the candidate isn't considered "democratic" enough by the Chairman of the DNC which in Bernie's case is very possible since technically he is an Independent running as a "Democrat". This is what Lee Camp the "Nuclear Option".

Explained here in his inimitable style:

https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/lee-camp-the-dncs-secret-nuclear-option-to-stop-bernie-sanders-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/

Personally I gave up on Bernie after he sold out and shilled for that warmongering harpy Hillary who if elected would accept it as a mandate to launch WW III while ironically trying to convince us all that the "noninterventionist", "antiwar" candidate was actually the greater of the two evils.

Yeah right.

Anyway no longer have any faith in the two party system. As far as I'm concerned they can both go to hell. I've already made my choice:

https://www.markcharles2020.com

He probably needs to adjust his message more to appeal to those of us who tend to be more Libertarian and is not exactly a Russell Means but with a little help from the American Indian Movement and others can probably "triangulate" his appeal to cover a broader political spectrum. Instead of what has been traditionally known as the "left".

Greg Bacon ,

After Obama, the golden liar and mass-murderer and now Tubby the Grifter, another liar and mass-murderer, I have no desire to vote in 2020, unless Tulsi is on the ticket.

If Sanders is smart and survives another back-alley mugging by the DNC and the Wicked Witch of the East, and gets the nod, he'll take on Tulsi–Mommy–as his VP.
If he does that, then Trump, Jared the Snake and Princess Bimbo will have to find another racket in 2021.

Gall ,

Yeah Trumpenstein is a far cry from the Silver Tongued Devil O-Bomb-em. Even so both of them sold us a bill of goods that neither of them delivered on.

But hey that's politics in America at least since Neoliberal prototype Wilson which is lie your ass off until you get elected at least.

Willem ,

Much magical thinking here.

If we act now and support Sanders things will change for the better?

I surely hope so, but hope and change is soo 2008.

And if the Hildebeast enters the race, life on earth will end?

Don't think so.

Perhaps we should do this different this time. Get away from the identity politics, look what is really needed, and demand for that, not caring about 'leadership'. You know, French yellow vests style. Actually if you look a little bit outside of the MSM bubble, you see demonstrations and people demanding better treatment from the government and corporations everywhere.

The US 2020 elections, will be a nothing burger I predict. Like all elections are nothing burgers and if they are not they will fake it, or call it 'populism' that needs to be stopped (and will be stopped).

I would have voted Sanders though, if I could vote for Sanders, Similar as I would have voted for Corbyn if I could have voted for Corbyn. Voting is a tic, a habit, an addiction that is difficult to get rid of, but deadly in the end since we have nothing to vote for, except to vote for more for them at the cost of everyone else, no matter what politicians say

It's liberating to lose some of your illusions and silly reflexes, although a bit painful in the beginning as is with all addictions. The story used to 'feel' so good.

See also https://act.represent.us/sign/the-problem/

Richard Le Sarc ,

If voting changed anything, it would be outlawed.

[Jan 30, 2020] There is no shortage of people with Visions. I am keeping an eye on this bunch:

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Jan 30 2020 15:21 utc | 24

There is no shortage of people with Visions.

'Greta, bonnie Prince Charles and the pirate billionaires and trillionaires'- In another post I queried how did Greta go to Davos? Silly me; Greta was invited the keynote speaker. "Stop Climate change" was this year's theme: the Vision - 'stop the natural cycle of the universe' -
Now she intends to Trademark 'How Dare You' and set up a Foundation Indeed, Greta found her sugar daddies. Adults who encourage truancy.

my grandpa was a wise bloke and admonished "when politicians and do gooders are in the same room, keep an eye on your money."

William F. Engdahl names the pirates in the "Stop Climate" (cycles) Money Trail.
Follow the "Real Money" Behind the "New Green Agenda"

[.] Davos trustees

It was no accident that Davos, the promoter of globalization, is so strongly behind the Climate Change agenda. Davos WEF has a board of appointed trustees. Among them is the early backer of Greta Thunberg, climate multi-millionaire, Al Gore, chairman of the Climate Reality Project. WEF Trustees also include former IMF head, now European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde whose first words as ECB chief were that central banks had to make climate change a priority. Another Davos trustee is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney, who was just named Boris Johnson's climate change advisor and who warns that pension funds that ignore climate change risk bankruptcy (sic).

The board also includes the influential founder of Carlyle Group, David M. Rubenstein. It includes Feike Sybesma of the agribusiness giant, Unilever, who is also Chair of the High Level Leadership Forum on Competitiveness and Carbon Pricing of the World Bank Group. And perhaps the most interesting in terms of pushing the new green agenda is Larry Fink, founder and CEO of the investment group BlackRock.[.]

TCFD and SASB Look Closely

As part of his claim to virtue on the new green investing, Fink states that BlackRock was a founding member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). He claims, "For evaluating and reporting climate-related risks, as well as the related governance issues that are essential to managing them, the TCFD provides a valuable framework."[.]

TCFD was created in 2015 by the Bank for International Settlements, chaired by fellow Davos board member and Bank of England head Mark Carney. In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government created the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to "green" investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, it includes in addition to BlackRock, JP MorganChase; Barclays Bank; HSBC; Swiss Re, the world's second largest reinsurance; China's ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP and David Blood of Al Gore's Generation Investment LLC. Note the crucial role of the central banks here.[.]


of note: Mark Carney upon leaving his position of Governor Bank of England will serve as global warming adviser to Boris Johnson. Who knew Carney was a scientist?
Pre-alert:
Tax on Excessive garbage output is coming to your town. You will be restricted to xxxKGs/LBS annually. Your garbage will be weighed and at December 31st any excess above the permissible will attract additional tax.
Anyone see the unintended consequences?

[Jan 30, 2020] An excellent question, "who benefits", clearly it's not everybody. "Profitable for whom", "rights for whom", "safe for whom", "justice for whom"

Jan 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Biloximarxkelly , Jan 30 2020 19:30 utc | 84

Human. Beings. Doing Earth Life. There is no separation in our species, except that, a disconnect occurred. Who, When, What, Where, and How did the disconnect become an all powerful power? Acting as though the species Human isn't. The tap root "dis~ease" (disconnect) must be eradicated/ healed/ rejoining our species into oneness, again. Top~bottom junk yard dogs is barbaric.

Bemildred , Jan 30 2020 20:01 utc | 89

Posted by: charliechan | Jan 30 2020 19:36 utc | 85

An excellent question, "who benefits", clearly it's not everybody. "Profitable for whom", "rights for whom", "safe for whom", "justice for whom". If the answer is not "everybody", it's bullshit. What's good for corporations is not what is good for people. We are infested with economic parasites who blather on about how they are taking "care" of us and giving us "choices".

[Jan 29, 2020] The Trump Impeachment A Clash Between America's Competing Elites by Kevin MacDonald

Jan 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

Donald Trump ran on a platform guaranteed to arouse the hatred of this elite. His immigration-related proposals and comments (e.g., " Paris is no longer Paris ," "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best") and his advocacy of a non-interventionist foreign policy were red flags to an Establishment bent on massive immigration and endless wars in the Middle East to protect Israel. His victory was a hostile takeover of the Presidency, opposed by the entire spectrum of elite political opinion, from the far Left to the neoconservative "Right," and including Conservatism, Inc. cheap-labor lobbyists like Paul Ryan.

...So it's no surprise that Trump's actual election was greeted with quite unprecedented anguish and frustration. The Washington Post headlined The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun the day of Trump's inauguration. [By Matea Gold, January 17, 2017] (But in fact -- incredibly -- it dates back to even before his nomination).


Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 12:14 pm GMT

So it's no surprise that Trump's actual election was greeted with quite unprecedented anguish and frustration. The Washington Post headlined The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun the day of Trump's inauguration. [By Matea Gold, January 17, 2017] (But in fact -- incredibly -- it dates back to even before his nomination).

In fact, right around the time of the Republican convention in 2016, James Kirchik was already openly stating that a coup against Trump was possibility, if he won the election. You can't say we weren't given fair warning.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kirchick-trump-coup-20160719-snap-story.html

I believe the present political crisis should be seen as a struggle between our new, Jewish-dominated elite, stemming from the 1880–1920 First Great Wave of immigration, and the traditional white Christian majority of America, significantly derived from pre-Revolutionary colonial stock but augmented by subsequent white Christian immigration.

But as Kevin himself later notes, Trump is such a raging Zionist and he's surrounded by Zionist Jews–including his own family! So I'm thinking maybe this is all actually a schism between rival factions of Jews: say, globalist Jews vs. zionist Jews. The WASPs, after all, are finished. They surrendered their country long ago.

The nascent elite defeated Sen. McCarthy, despite subsequent evidence that he was substantially right. Of course, it is simply a fact that the individuals caught up in the McCarthy accusations were disproportionately Jewish. McCarthy's crusade may be regarded as the last gasp of traditional America.

McCarthy himself was controlled opposition. Please note that he never, ever raised the Judenfrage in public. And with good reason: some of leading advisors, like the ultra-creepy Roy Cohn, were Jews. So 'Tailgunner Joe' was just more controlled opposition–and so were the Birchers, too.

I suggest that that the "visceral animosity" that I noted above is motivated by the parallels between Trump's white working-class base and working-class support for National Socialism in 1930s Germany. This phenomenon was traumatic for Jewish intellectuals, who at the time were deeply immersed in classical class-struggle Marxism. It was of critical importance in motivating the shift pioneered by Frankfurt School toward conceptualizing Jewish interests in terms of race -- that the real problem Jews faced was white ethnocentrism, the latter solvable only by propaganda efforts aimed at vilifying white racial identity (which soon became mainstream in the educational efforts of the Jewish activist community) and by importing non-whites in order to diminish white political power.

This! Jewish intellectual support for the working class a hundred years ago was purely and transparently cynical. In the 1930s, once it became clear that the working class was capable of acting in its own interests without the help of Shmuel, the Frankfurt Schoolers (who, as the name implies, originated in Frankfurt, Germany) were stunned. That's why hardly any Jewish leftists anymore give a rat's rumpus about the working class. And Bernie Sanders is just a relic of a bygone era assuming he's even sincere.

Bob Bishop , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 3:54 pm GMT
Assuming eliminating the white majority is the goal, what are Jews supposed to do once they've accomplished it? This strategy seems self-destructive since all the other racial and ethnic groups being imported are far less tolerant of Jews.
Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 10:29 pm GMT
@Been_there_done_that In other words, fcuk the UN Declaration of Human Rights guaranteeing freedom of political thought.
https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html
Been_there_done_that , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 4:19 am GMT
@Curmudgeon Regrettably, not a single country in the world fully complies with Article 19 nowadays; this standard appears to be just too difficult to live up to:

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

GMC , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 8:44 am GMT
The 65 Open, Unlimited , un Vetted Immigration plan that was lobbied ... passed by the team that killed JFK, knew exactly what they were engineering. Their plan to cut off the European white society and was the end game. 80 % of our immigrants prior to 65 came from Europe – after the 65 laws – only 8% were permitted. This is the Smoking Gun !..
Lockean Proviso , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 11:04 am GMT
@Franz Has John Bolton flipped by leaking early drafts of his book and saying that he will testify if subpoenaed? Not really, he's now trying to help dislodge Trump from office because Trump is wobbly on starting a war with Iran. After the Soleimani hit at the behest of his administration neoconservatives, Trump's in-house nationalist isolationists then got his fickle, ADD ear and talked him down from further escalations. No real tit-for-tat came after the Iranian symbolic strike on a US empty hangar (one that was prefaced with a warning so as to ensure no US deaths). Rhetoric aside, both the Iranian leadership and Trump realized that full-scale war is a very bad idea for both Iran and the US.

The neocon element and their Israeli allies are unhappy to be derailed from their path to war, so they, including Bolton, probably now believe that it's time to remove Trump and replace him with Mike Pence, a 100% Useful Idiot for Israel. With Pence, and maybe an October/November Surprise, the vile, treasonous neocons would get the disastrous war with Iran they so desperately want America to fight on behalf of Israel.

By the way, it's important to remember that the Democratic leadership decided not to take their House subpoenas to court and to involve the judicial branch in enforcing them, which it ultimately would have. The Dems made a political decision to favor expediency over historic congressional prerogatives and power because they didn't want the impeachment to be near the election. Won't it be ironic if it ends up that Senate Republicans end up being the enforcers of subpoenas by using their political clout from being in Trump's party, all due to the book by a former staffer (and to backroom animosities toward Trump and to Senate interventionists such as Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney).

This is a significant development.

Sean , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 11:41 am GMT

Donald Trump ran on a platform guaranteed to arouse the hatred of this elite. His immigration-related proposals and comments (e.g., "Paris is no longer Paris," "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best") and his advocacy of a non-interventionist foreign policy were red flags to an Establishment bent on massive immigration and endless wars in the Middle East to protect Israel.

While immigration was a big part of his appeal the longest running theme with Trump has been unfavourable terms of trade and military largesse undermining American primacy.

Saudi Arabia cannot defend itself. The US army cannot be kept in Saudi Arabia, and if the US wants the Saudi oil money to the kept in US bonds then the US must be prepared to use military force to defend Saudi Arabia. Iran already has the beginnings of an alliance with Russia and China having conducted unprecedented naval exercises with them recently. The Iranians have it in for Saudi Arabia. It really will not do to walk away from Saudi Arabia; does anyone think China would hesitate to build a base in Saudi if the Saudis decided they would be a better protector than the US? If the US withdrew from the Middle East, China would be in there like a shot, nothing would stop them. This is the same China that Trump opposed the so called free trade with that put people out a job who are killing themselves in the White Death with fentanyl that China funnels into the US.

DONALD TRUMP: THE MAKING OF A WORLD VIEW by Brendan Simms shows that for past thirty five years Trump has focused on on trade and economic power and his concern is with countries that either rival the US economy (especially China) or so called allies that undermine American strength by exploiting relations with the US. Since the 80s Trump has been extremely critical of Saudi Arabia , Germany, and Japan's failure to contribute to their own defence.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/01/27/private-trump-tape-bolsters-wh-impeachment-defense-but-deceptive-media-edits-focus-on-unrelated-ambassador/

Indeed, in his call with Zelensky, Trump spotlighted his displeasure that the U.S. was helping Ukraine while Germany and other European nations were not doing enough.

I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she ·doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it's something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. How about Germany opening up a pipeline into Russia? And we are supposed to be fighting Russia. So Germany is paying Russia like 2 billion dollars a month and they a member of NATO And we are paying 90% of the cost of NATO.

Anonymous [830] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 12:21 pm GMT
The hatred oozing from every pore of Schiff, Nadler, and the others mentioned cannot be explained even in part by hatred of the person of DJT, because none of them know him enough to hate him the way they do. The American tragedy is that average whites can't see he's a proxy for them and that that hatred is a brazen display of sanguinary intent about what they would do if they could, as happened in Russia a century ago at the hands of their forefathers.

Unless you've worked with them where they're running the show, such as, say, on Wall Street, you really have no idea how visceral their hatred for you is when they don't need your cooperation for something or other. In suburban NYC towns on Long Island and up in Fairfield County, Connecticut you've got thousands of nouveau riche goys working as traders on the Street tooling around in their Porsche convertibles in dusty pink baseball caps on Sunday mornings, worshipping at the bagel shop instead of church. They've got the money and they're surely not going to upset the apple cart for anyone. Mega-sellout Sean Hannity tops most of them, however, selling out his people and country with a straight face every night for a cool $40 MM a year, with a net worth of $250 MM, according to Forbes.

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 12:56 pm GMT
For a different take, see Linh Dinh's prescient column of June 12, 2016.

Since at least the closed door reaming apparently administered after Helsinki in summer 2018, "Trump's lack of success in effecting fundamental change" is due to Trump's lack of EFFORT in effecting fundamental change. And the farcical impeachment is just puppet show turned up to 11, the latest, desperate way to stir up enough sheep to vote RedBlue and keep things just as they are.

zard , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 1:57 pm GMT
The whole Impeachment is in MY opinion staged , another story , a fable designed by the worlds greatest liars . Cover up Epstein , cover up Syria and Saudi Arabia / U.S. military ops and Venezuela . Of course the Chosen Ones will give only the side of the news fit for the goy ..

The US deep state is planning it to backfire. Impeachment was proven to be Bill Clinton's ticket to a second term. They are also running nothing but losers on the Dem side of the contest. The last thing the MIC will allow to happen is for the people to elect a government to control their own lives or to control them. When they have hundreds of billions every year to throw around, all filched from taxpayers, with the money barons calling the shots of whom is to run for the top position, and mutually reticent about any real control from the people, they will use the impeachment process to ensure Trump gets a second term.

smiddy012 , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm GMT
People who get stuck on "the Jews" become tiresome after long It is more accurate to point to elite families or institutions like the Rothschilds or Rockefellers, the Vatican, the Skull & Bones/Trilateral/Bilderberg types, the various secret societies and/or Occultist sects If you dig even deeper you may realize that archaic hominids and their hybridization with us plays a role going back millennia

The first problem with blaming Jews and/or Jewish systems is that it absolves non-Jews who partake and are just as effectually guilty as the Jews who do, so it is to some degree slave mentality (similar to how black liberals blame "whites" for everything). The other problem is that there are dark Occult sects whom historically use Jews as a sacrificial front; they'd rather Jews take the fall than "bankers", "Luciferians", etc., it's literally part of their playbook.

Just passing through , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Ship Track If I remember correctly, many heavy industries in Germany during that time were not Jew owned, Hitler received the funding for his NSDAP from companies like Thyssen and Krupp. They donated because they knew Hitler wasn't really 'socialist' and wouldn't seize control of their industries, and that he would be a better alternative to the Communist parties that were on the rise at that time.

Jews have a complete stranglehold on most aspects of money in 2020, I doubt something like this could happen again, Zionists Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer were donating to Trump after he won the primaries. All politicians can be bought these days and the buyers are always Jews.

Derer , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT
I am in a foreign country and must "rely" on CNN for the daily news. The CNN despicable insects reporting is so one-sided pro-Democrats that suggesting "CNN is to Democrats what Goebbels was to Nazis" is a very mild comparison. Instead of discussing Trump's defense team points they are deflecting by discussing Bolton book and pathetic Romney's hate. It looks like Democrats are now holding on to a razor.

Bolton wants to make money by selling his book unfortunately Democrats would not buy Bolton's book, hence create controversy, Trump slander and they will.

Really No Shit , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 3:17 pm GMT
I've never commented without fully delving into an article but today is an exception because the rhetorical headline says it all: it's a clash of the competing elites of America and there is no two ways about it!
danand , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 5:37 pm GMT
@Z-man "I'm still hoping he's playing 3D chess with the CABAL but that hope is fading fast. Lets see the particulars of this 'Deal of the Century' (rolls eyes)."

Z-man, this interview with Ann Coulter (I know, I know) is kind of fun watching for her comments Trumps "3D" chess. Actually quite a few of these PBS frontline interviews published on YouTube, Jan 13th, are interesting/worth a casual view:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mbn9DSr-ynI?feature=oembed

sarz , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Ship Track

Wonderful analysis, but didn't Rothschild bail out Trump?

Thank you.

Yes, he did. More than that, Lord Rothschild's son was dating Ivanka. The big Jews were more or less united in the early years of this century, long past 9/11.

But at some point, in light of the repeated war games that showed Iran defeating the United States in a conventional war, it occurred to the financial powers that had set up Israel in the first place that Israel, much as they loved the idea, was getting to be too high-maintenance. Adolf Hitler had conjectured in his memoirs that the real reason a homeland for the Jews was being pushed was to give the cover of sovereign immunity to the deprecations of a criminal tribe. Let's say the main motive was utilitarian. And so the Yinon ambitions of Israel had to be pruned back somewhat. And so Obama did his nuke treaty. That's when the big-Jew split came about.

It's a family quarrel snd Trump is s dues-paid member of the Kehilla. But he's broken the rules of the biggest big Jews and has to be brought down.

"Cyrus card" doesn't doesn't quite render it right. Cyrus wasn't a Jew. And if you're keeping up on the impeachment, the Parnas recording showed that traditional Jewish religious concepts, specifically the Messiah, had to be explained to Trump. "In a secretly recorded video of a dinner with President Donald Trump, businessmen and Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman draw a parallel between the president and the Messiah." (Haaretz) But the flattery that was on his wavelength and which he retweeted was" King of the Jews". What he wants is not, what the Adelsons have suggested, a book of his own in the Jewish bible like the Book of Esther, but to be thought of as the biggest Jew macher of all time.

Truth3 , says: Show Comment January 28, 2020 at 5:52 pm GMT
The so called 'Deal of the Century' has been unveiled

Abject surrender demanded of the Palestinian people.

See? Trump doubling down on what is 'Good for the Jews'.

[Jan 28, 2020] During the Great Recession it became evident that in some (not all) respects the United States was unable to fulfil its responsibility as the international economy's manager.

Notable quotes:
"... During the Great Recession it became evident that in some (not all) respects the United States was unable to fulfil its responsibility as the international economy's manager. After all, an economic hegemon is supposed to solve global economic crises, not cause them. But it was the freezing up of the US financial system triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis that plunged the global economy into hot water. The economic hegemon is supposed to be the lender of last resort in the international economy. ..."
"... The United States, however, has become the borrower of first resort -- the world's largest debtor. When the global economy falters, the economic hegemon is supposed to jump-start recovery by purchasing other nations' goods. From the end of the Second World War until the Great Recession struck, it was America's willingness to consume foreign goods that constituted the primary firewall against global economic downturns. ..."
"... When the Great Recession hit, however, the US economy proved too infirm to lead the global economy back to health. ..."
"... The task facing American statesmen over the next decades is to recognize that broad trends are under way, and that there is a need to 'manage' affairs so that the relative erosion of the United States' position takes place slowly and smoothly, and is not accelerated by policies which bring merely short-term advantage but longer-term disadvantage. ..."
"... It has slowly usurped a system intended to provide benefits to the world at large and made of it an instrument for its own geopolitical goals. ..."
"... It continues to exploit a system that was put in place after WW2 and intended to be an instrument for its own geopolitical goals. FTFY ..."
Jan 28, 2020 | www.reddit.com

I'd say Christopher Layne's " [The US-China power shift and the end of Pax Americana] ( https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/images/ia/INTA94_1_6_249_Layne.pdf ) " 2018 article is better at ascertaining the situation.

During the Great Recession it became evident that in some (not all) respects the United States was unable to fulfil its responsibility as the international economy's manager. After all, an economic hegemon is supposed to solve global economic crises, not cause them. But it was the freezing up of the US financial system triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis that plunged the global economy into hot water. The economic hegemon is supposed to be the lender of last resort in the international economy.

The United States, however, has become the borrower of first resort -- the world's largest debtor. When the global economy falters, the economic hegemon is supposed to jump-start recovery by purchasing other nations' goods. From the end of the Second World War until the Great Recession struck, it was America's willingness to consume foreign goods that constituted the primary firewall against global economic downturns.

When the Great Recession hit, however, the US economy proved too infirm to lead the global economy back to health. It fell to China to pull the global economy out of its nose-dive by stepping up to the plate with a massive stimulus program. Barack Obama acknowledged the deeper implications of this when, at the April 2009 G20 meeting in London, he conceded that, in important respects, the United States' days as the economic hegemon were numbered because it was too deeply in debt to continue as the world's consumer of last resort. Instead, he said, the world would have to look to China (and other emerging market states, plus Germany) to be the motors of global recovery. 'If there is going to be renewed growth,' Obama stated, 'it can't just be the United States as the engine, everybody is going to have to pick up the pace.'

Rather, the declinists, in Paul Kennedy, Rob Gilpin, David Calleo and P. Huntington of the 1980s pointed to domestic and international economic drivers that, over time,would cause American economic power to diminish relatively, thereby shifting the balance of power. In essence, the declinists believed that the United States was experiencing a slow -- 'termite-like' -- decline caused by fundamental structural weaknesses in the American economy that were gradually nibbling at its foundations.

Layne states even Kennedy (JFK that is) knew that American power would decline into the 21st century,

The task facing American statesmen over the next decades is to recognize that broad trends are under way, and that there is a need to 'manage' affairs so that the relative erosion of the United States' position takes place slowly and smoothly, and is not accelerated by policies which bring merely short-term advantage but longer-term disadvantage.

Source; Layne, C., 2018. The US–Chinese power shift and the end of the Pax Americana. International Affairs , 94(1), pp.89-111. level 1

jeanduluoz 15 points · 1 day ago

Yeah this is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, the fed is a complete mess, and has been the primary driver of asset price inflation, slowing total factor productivity, and marginal labor productivity (ie limited wage growth), and putting this all together, has been the primary cause of wealth inequality.

Yes, the fed is a bald-faced nationalized monopoly, and the biggest company in the world. Yes, it is a clearly political institution that enacts policy for the benefit of stakeholders, and has issued far more debt than a competitive market otherwise would.

But America's financial system is still the shiniest turd on the block. East Asia is a mess, Europe is completely stalled, and those are your only real competitors. Bond yields have bifurcated, with the spread between real yields in the US (which are stable to growing) and basically every other central bank (which has been or is headed negative, in real terms) so capital has been increasingly flowing into US assets. China is a slightly different story but its not worth mentioning because the result is the same.

This is both cause and effect of being the most powerful and effective financial centre.

There are other things to say about the negative impact of America's financial empire (primarily the impact of the petro dollar internationally), but that's again an unavoidable result of USA being something like 1/8th of the global economy.

This_Is_The_End 10 points · 1 day ago · edited 1 day ago

SS:

The authors are doing the hypothesis the fall of an empire is founded by using oppression as a primary means to support it's own interests. To support their hypothesis they are comparing the fall of Athens with the US. The usage of financial coercion to get allies in line and putting pressure on other nations is implying others will search for a circumvention of a possible financial coercion which then leads to a weakening of the financial system as we know it. The article could be summarized as the insight, power projection needs more than a simple projection of force.

As for now, most people would agree the capability of the US to coerce everyone will not vanish over night. Even when this article is directed towards the US, the conclusion is almost universal. Whether it's the US, EU or China nobody can escape the consequences of his own actions. level 2

helper543 12 points · 1 day ago · edited 1 day ago

The usage of financial coercion to get allies in line and putting pressure on other nations is implying others will search for a circumvention of a possible financial coercion

They are assuming this is a new phenomenon. It is not, the US has been doing the same thing for 100 years, and 100 years ago there wasn't a risk of the empire falling, so why is there a risk today?

The difference between 100 years ago and today is information sharing and the internet. So we know about it.

We are entering a world with 2 dominant global superpowers, after a generation of having only 1. The real question is how US domestic politics drives outward projects to the rise of China. Does the US elect politicians who want trade wars and real wars? or does the US turn more into what the UK did, a very strong first world country that is OK losing the mantle of dominant superpower relatively peacefully.

Being a superpower or not has no meaningful impact on residents day to day lives.

FoxfieldJim 2 points · 1 day ago

I agree that dominance does not vanish overnight but the night is long and full of terrors. [Sorry GOT] What worked for US is we being this beacon of liberty. It is disappearing as a beacon and also in reality. Once setting up your technology hubs in Canada and Western Europe becomes the obvious choice because of American politics, once right and left just refuse to compromise and want to eliminate each other, it does not matter if other countries are weak now, what matters is how much gains they can make while the US is fighting its own civil war.

ImagingSpectroscopy 6 points · 1 day ago

Foreign investment is attracted to the US economic system, and the rules that govern it, in part BECAUSE they are different from those in Europe and Canada. "Tech hubs" won't bail on the US until that changes alonside myriad other economic incentive reversals.

fellasheowes 4 points · 1 day ago

It has slowly usurped a system intended to provide benefits to the world at large and made of it an instrument for its own geopolitical goals.

It continues to exploit a system that was put in place after WW2 and intended to be an instrument for its own geopolitical goals. FTFY

ChineseSpamBot 4 points · 1 day ago

The sun never sets on American money

[Jan 27, 2020] There's a recent Foreign Affairs piece that also compares the US to Athens in abusing its financial clout and thereby alienating allies

Jan 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

occupatio , Jan 27 2020 23:46 utc | 81

Review of history: Bullies have a limited life as do Reserve Currencies all things end.
https://www.zerohedge.com/article/history-worlds-reserve-currency-ancient-greece-today
Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 27 2020 20:14 utc | 49

There's a recent Foreign Affairs piece that also compares the US to Athens in abusing its financial clout and thereby alienating allies.

The Twilight of America's Financial Empire

occupatio , Jan 27 2020 23:47 utc | 82

proper link:
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2020-01-24/twilight-americas-financial-empire

[Jan 27, 2020] The assessment of the key players in Global Chessboard party

Notable quotes:
"... They look so great only because the Empire and its sidekicks have morons at the helm (I don't mean disposable figureheads, "presidents", "chancellors", and "PMs", but real powers behind the throne). ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment January 27, 2020 at 3:45 pm GMT

@PeterMX

I think President Putin is a great leader and the greatest in the world today.

Putin is just a man with normal quite ordinary intelligence, like Xi. They look so great only because the Empire and its sidekicks have morons at the helm (I don't mean disposable figureheads, "presidents", "chancellors", and "PMs", but real powers behind the throne).

[Jan 27, 2020] The Great Democracy How to Fix Our Politics, Unrig the Economy, and Unite America by Ganesh Sitaraman

Dec 10, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Basic Books (December 10, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1541618114
ISBN-13: 978-1541618114


Ryan Boissonneault , December 31, 2019

The way forward after four decades of neoliberal failures

Contemporary US politics in a nutshell is rule by the rich for the rich, and it's amazing that 40 years in we are still debating whether or not neoliberal policies are benefiting the majority (they clearly are not). The income gap continues to grow, economic growth continues to be siphoned to the top, education and healthcare remain unaffordable for most people, and the response of the current administration is...to cut taxes further for the wealthy??

In The Great Democracy, Ganesh Sitaraman shows us how both the left and the right have embraced neoliberalism over the past four decades along with its emphasis on tax cuts, deregulation, trade liberalization, and limited government. Neoliberalism's faith in the market has narrowed our conception of democracy, replacing discussions about the common good and general welfare with discussions about economic efficiency and profit maximization. The ideology is so deep most people don't even realize that there could be another way.

Sitaraman does a better job than most diagnosing the problems and continually emphasizing the point that economics cannot be separated from politics. Even if you don't believe that income and wealth inequality necessarily contributes to a lower standard of living for the majority -- and that people should earn whatever the market pays them -- the existence of inequality is detrimental to democracy and skews legislation to favor the rich. The wealthiest Americans and corporations spend massive amounts of money on elections and legislation to get the politicians and regulations (or lack thereof) that benefit them the most. If this wasn't the case, they would not consistently spend tens and hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign financing and lobbying.

Forty years of neoliberalism is going to be tough to dig ourselves out from, and this demands some bold and broad legislation. But it cannot be disjointed; it has to be part of a larger philosophy with clear goals. In this respect, The Great Democracy provides a complete political philosophy to replace neoliberalism and compete with oligarchic nationalism. It is based on restoring the ideals of democracy, recognizing that the common good and general welfare of the people means more than economic growth at all costs. It also recognizes that political and economic fixes must be implemented together, and that massive discrepancies in wealth threatens democracy.

Sitaraman goes much further than simply outlining the problems and proposing an overall political philosophy. He provides several detailed economic and political reforms that seek to reduce inequality, expand democracy, and improve the standard of living for the bottom 90 percent of the population. His suggestions range from mandatory voting requirements to reinstating a top marginal tax rate of 70 percent to fundamentally reworking the structure of the Supreme Court to make it less political. His reform agenda also includes getting money out of politics, overturning Citizens United, mandating employee representation on corporate boards, and restructuring executive compensation.

The bottom line is that more of the same will not work. Our political problems will not solve themselves, and the market certainly won't solve them for us, mainly because it is the market that has caused them. But we don't want to turn to nationalism either. Sitaraman simultaneously provides us with a political philosophy that appeals to the ideals of democracy -- to use as a guide for policy implementation -- while suggesting reforms that will make our our society more equitable, engaged, and fair. Let's hope the next era of politics follows this path.

Shanti Fry , December 28, 2019
If you read one book about politics this year, make it this one

Stop wondering why, "We can't just get along?" Ganesh Sitamaran explains the deep wounds to our country that aren't going away with the application of civility. Neverthless this isn't a pessamistic book; in fact it describes how to face the problems that are undermining our country and start living up to the ideals that are our political birth right, a route that will bring us better lives and better, more enduring communities. So get this excellently reasoned and quite readable book. It will save you a shouting match or two at extended family gatherings as you will then be able to spread some much needed light on the divisions of the day with irrefutable arguments and a optimism about the future that has escaped many another current thinker. One person found this helpful Helpful

Carl Nelson , December 20, 2019
An important oil that should be widely read

A nonpartisan review of the recent history that has hurt our democracy. An important part of this history is that economics and politics can t be separated. Our government now serves the rich, not the majority. This book is about how to restore representation of the majority. Helpful 0 Comment Report abuse

[Jan 27, 2020] The Federal Assembly Speech; Putin vows to rein in capitalism and shore up sovereignty by Mike Whitney

Jan 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

Western elites and their lackeys in the media despise Russian president Vladimir Putin and they make no bones about it. The reasons for this should be fairly obvious. Putin has rolled back US ambitions in Syria and Ukraine, aligned himself with Washington's biggest strategic rival in Asia, China, and is currently strengthening his economic ties with Europe which poses a long-term threat to US dominance in Central Asia. Putin has also updated his nuclear arsenal which makes it impossible for Washington to use the same bullyboy tactics it's used on other, more vulnerable countries. So it's understandable that the media would want to demonize Putin and disparage him as cold-blooded "KGB thug". That, of course, is not true, but it fits with the bogus narrative that Putin is maniacally conducting a clandestine war against the United States for purely evil purposes. In any event, the media's deep-seated Russophobia has grown so extreme that they're unable to cover even simple events without veering wildly into fantasy-land. Take, for example, the New York Times coverage of Putin's recent Address to the Federal Assembly, which took place on January 15. The Times screwball analysis shows that their journalists have no interest in conveying what Putin actually said, but would rather use every means available to persuade their readers that Putin is a calculating tyrant driven by his insatiable lust for power. Check out this excerpt from the article in the Times:

"Nobody knows what's going on inside the Kremlin right now. And perhaps that's precisely the point. President Vladimir V. Putin announced constitutional changes last week that could create new avenues for him to rule Russia for the rest of his life .(wrong)

The fine print of the legislation showed that the prime minister's powers would not be expanded as much as first advertised, while members of the State Council would still appear to serve at the pleasure of the president. So maybe Mr. Putin's plan is to stay president, after all? .(wrong again)

A journalist, Yury Saprykin, offered a similar sentiment on Facebook, but in verse:

We'll be debating over how he won't leave,
We'll be guessing, will he leave or won't he.
And then -- lo! -- he won't be leaving.
That is, before the elections he won't leave,
And after that, he definitely won't leave." (wrong, a third time)

( " Big Changes? Or Maybe Not. Putin's Plans Keep Russia Guessing" , New York Times )

This is really terrible analysis. Yes, "Putin announced constitutional changes last week", but they have absolutely nothing to do with some sinister plan to stay in power, and anyone who read the speech would know that. Unfortunately, most of the other 100-or-so "cookie cutter" articles on the topic, draw the same absurd conclusion as the Times , that is, that the changes Putin announced in his speech merely conceal his real intention which is to extend his time in office for as long as possible. Once again, there's nothing in the speech itself to support these claims, it's just another attempt to smear Putin.

So what did Putin actually say in his annual Address to the Federal Assembly?

Well, that's where it gets interesting. He announced changes to the social safety net, more financial assistance for young families, improvements to the health care system, higher wages for teachers, more money for education, hospitals, schools, libraries. He promised to launch a system of "social contracts" that commit the state to reducing poverty and raising standards of living. He pledged to provide healthier meals to schoolchildren, lower interest rates for first-time home buyers, greater economic support for working families, higher payouts to pensioners, raises to the minimum wage, additional funding for a "network of extracurricular technology and engineering centers". Putin also added this gem:

"It is very important that children who are in preschool and primary school adopt the true values ​​of a large family – that family is love, happiness, the joy of motherhood and fatherhood, that family is a strong bond of several generations, united by respect for the elderly and care for children, giving everyone a sense of confidence, security, and reliability. If the younger generations accept this situation as natural, as a moral and an integral part and reliable background support for their adult life, then we will be able to meet the historical challenge of guaranteeing Russia's development as a large and successful country."

Naturally, heartfelt statements like this never appear on the pages of the Times or any of the other western media for that matter. Instead, Americans are deluged with more of the same relentless Putin-psychobabble that's become a staple of cable news. The torrent of lies, libels and fabrications about Putin are so constant and so overwhelming, that the only thing of which one can be absolutely certain, is that nothing that is written about Putin in the MSM can be trusted. Of that, there is no doubt.

That said, Putin is a politician which means he might not deliver on his promises at all. That is a very real possibility. But if that's the case, then why did his former-Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, resign immediately after the speech? Medvedev and his entire cabinet resigned because they realized that Putin has abandoned the western model of capitalism and is moving in a different direction altogether. Putin is now focused on strengthening welfare state programs that lift people out of poverty, raise living standards, and narrow the widening inequality gap. And he wants a new team to help him implement his vision, which is why Medvedev and crew got their walking papers. Here's how The Saker summed it up in a recent article at the Unz Review :

"The new government clearly indicates that, especially with the nominations of Prime Minister Mishustin and his First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov: these are both on record as very much proponents of what is called "state capitalism" in Russia: meaning an economic philosophy in which the states does not stifle private entrepreneurship, but one in which the state is directly and heavily involved in creating the correct economic conditions for the government and private sector to grow. Most crucially, "state capitalism" also subordinates the sole goal of the corporate world (making profits) to the interests of the state and, therefore, to the interests of the people. In other words, goodbye turbo-capitalism à la Atlantic Integrationists!" ( "The New Russian Government" , The Saker)

This is precisely what is taking place in Russia right now. Putin is breaking away from Washington's parasitic model of capitalism and replacing it with a more benign version that better addresses the needs of the people. This new version of 'managed capitalism' places elected officials at the head of the system to protect the public from the savagery of market forces and from perennial-grinding austerity. It's a system aimed at helping ordinary people not Wall Street or the global bank Mafia.

But while the changes to Russia's economic model are significant, it's Putin's political changes that have drawn the most attention. Here's what he said:

(The) "requirements of international law and treaties as well as decisions of international bodies can be valid on the Russian territory only to the point that they do not restrict the rights and freedoms of our people and citizens and do not contradict our Constitution ."

What does this mean? Does it mean that Putin will not respect international law or the treaties it has signed with its neighbors? No, it doesn't, in fact, Putin has been an enthusiastic proponent of international law and the UN Security Council. He strongly believes that these institutions play a crucial role in maintaining global security, an issue that is very close to his heart. What the Russian president appears to be saying is that the rights of the Russian people and of the sovereign Russian government take precedent over foreign corporations, treaties or free trade agreements. Russia will not allow the powerful and insidious globalist multinationals to take control of the political and economic levers of state power as they've done in countries around the world. Putin further clarified this point saying:

"Russia can remain Russia only as a sovereign state. Our nation's sovereignty must be unconditional. We have done a great deal to achieve this. We restored our state's unity and overcome the situation when certain powers in the government were essentially usurped by oligarch clans. We created powerful reserves, which increases our country's stability and capability to protect (us) from any attempts of foreign pressure."

For Putin sovereignty, which is the supreme power of a state to govern itself, is the bedrock principle which legitimizes the state provided the state faithfully represents the will of the people. He elaborates on this point later in his speech saying:

"The opinion of people, our citizens as the bearers of sovereignty and the main source of power must be decisive. In the final analysis everything is decided by the people, both today and in the future."

So while there may be significant differences between Russian and US democracy, the basic principle remains the same, the primary responsibility of the government is to carry out the "will of the people". In this respect, Putin's political philosophy is not much different from that of the framers of the US Constitution. What is different, however, is Putin's approach to free trade. Unlike the US, Putin does not believe that free trade deals should diminish the authority of the state. Most Americans don't realize that trade agreements like NAFTA often include provisions that prevent the government from acting in the best interests of their people. Globalist trade laws prevent governments from providing incentives to companies to slow the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, they undermine environmental regulations and food safety laws. Some of these agreements even shield sweatshop owners and other human rights abusers from penalty or prosecution.

Is it any wonder why Putin does not want to participate in this unethical swindle? Is it any wonder why he feels the need to clearly state that Russia will only comply with those laws and treaties that "do not restrict the rights and freedoms of our people and citizens and do not contradict our Constitution"? Here's Putin again:

"Please, do not forget what happened to our country after 1991. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, .there were also threats, dangers of a magnitude no one could have imagined ever before. .Therefore We must create a solid, reliable and invulnerable system that will be absolutely stable in terms of the external contour and will securely guarantee Russia's independence and sovereignty."

So what happened following the dissolution of the Soviet Union?

The United States dispatched a cabal of cutthroat economists to Moscow to assist in the "shock therapy" campaign that collapsed the social safety net, savaged pensions, increased unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and alcoholism by many orders of magnitude, accelerated the slide to privatization that fueled a generation of voracious oligarchs, and sent the real economy plunging into an excruciating long-term depression.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz followed events closely in Russia at the time and summed it up like this:

"In Russia, the people were told that capitalism was going to bring new, unprecedented prosperity. In fact, it brought unprecedented poverty, indicated not only by a fall in living standards, not only by falling GDP, but by decreasing life spans and enormous other social indicators showing a deterioration in the quality of life ..

The number of people in poverty in Russia, for instance, increased from 2 percent to somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, with more than one out of two children living in families below poverty. The market economy was a worse enemy for most of these people than the Communists had said it would be. In some (parts) of the former Soviet Union, the GDP, the national income, fell by over 70 percent. And with that smaller pie it was more and more unequally divided, so a few people got bigger and bigger slices, and the majority of people wound up with less and less and less . (PBS interview with Joseph Stiglitz, Commanding Heights)

At the same time Washington's agents were busy looting Moscow, NATO was moving its troops, armored divisions and missile sites closer to Russia's border in clear violation of promises that were made to Mikhail Gorbachev not to move its military "one inch east". At present, there are more combat troops and weaponry on Russia's western flank than at any time since the German buildup for operation Barbarossa in June 1941. Naturally, Russia feels threatened by this flagrantly hostile force on its border. (BTW, this week, "The US is carrying out its biggest and most provocative deployment to Europe since the Cold War-era. According to the US Military in Europe Website: "Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe .The Pentagon and its NATO allies are recklessly simulating a full-blown war with Russia to prevent Moscow from strengthening its economic ties with Europe.) Here's more from Putin:

"I am convinced that it is high time for a serious and direct discussion about the basic principles of a stable world order and the most acute problems that humanity is facing. It is necessary to show political will, wisdom and courage. The time demands an awareness of our shared responsibility and real actions."

This is a theme that Putin has reiterated many times since his groundbreaking speech at Munich in 2007 where he said:

"We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state's legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this? ." ("Wars not diminishing': Putin's iconic 2007 Munich speech, you tube)

What Putin objects to is the US acting unilaterally whenever it chooses. It's Washington's capricious disregard for international law that has destabilized vast regions across the Middle East and Central Asia and has put world leaders on edge never knowing where the next crisis will pop up or how many millions of people will be impacted. As Putin said in Munich, "No one feels safe." No one feels like they can count on the protection of international law or UN Security Council resolutions.

Putin:

"Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life

The power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 ."

Is Putin overstating Washington's role in decimating Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan or is this a fair assessment of America's pernicious and destabilizing role in the region? Entire civilizations have been laid to waste, millions have been killed or scattered across the region to achieve some nebulous strategic advantage or to help Israel eliminate its perceived enemies. And all this military adventurism can be traced back to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the triumphalist response from US powerbrokers who saw Russia's collapse as a green light for their New World Order.

Washington reveled in its victory and embraced its ability to dominate global decision-making and intervene unilaterally wherever it saw fit. The indispensable nation no longer had to bother with formalities like the UN Security Council or international law. Even sovereignty was dismissed as an archaic notion that had no place in the new borderless corporate empire. What really mattered was spreading western-style capitalism to the four corners of the earth particularly those areas that contained vital resources (ME) or explosive growth potential. (Eurasia) Those regions were the real prize.

But then something unexpected happened. Washington's wars dragged on ad infinitum while newer centers of power gradually emerged. Suddenly, the globalist utopia was no longer within reach, the American Century had ended before it had even begun. Meanwhile Russia and China were growing more powerful all the time. They demanded an end to unilateralism and a return to international law, but their demands were flatly rejected. The wars and interventions dragged on even though the prospects for victory grew more and more remote. Here's Putin again:

"We have no doubt that sovereignty is the central notion of the entire system of international relations. Respect for it and its consolidation will help underwrite peace and stability both at the national and international levels First of all, there must be equal and indivisible security for all states." (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, " The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow, From the Office of the President of Russia)

Indeed, sovereignty is the foundational principle upon which global security rests, and yet, it is sovereignty that western elites are so eager to extinguish. Powerhouse multinationals want to erase existing borders to facilitate the unfettered, tariff-free flow of goods and people in one giant, interconnected free trade zone that spans the entire planet. And while their plan has been derailed by Putin in Syria and Ukraine, they have made gains in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. The virus cannot be contained, it can only be eradicated. Here's Putin:

"Essentially, the entire globalisation project is in crisis today and in Europe, as we know well, we hear voices now saying that multiculturalism has failed. I think this situation is in many respects the result of mistaken, hasty and to some extent over-confident choices made by some countries' elites a quarter-of-a-century ago. Back then, in the late 1980s-early 1990s, there was a chance not just to accelerate the globalization process but also to give it a different quality and make it more harmonious and sustainable in nature.

But some countries that saw themselves as victors in the Cold War, not just saw themselves this way but said it openly, took the course of simply reshaping the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.

In their euphoria, they essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organizations, norms and rules. They chose the road of globalization and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, and not for all." (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

As Putin says, there was an opportunity to "make globalization more harmonious and sustainable", (perhaps, China's Belt and Road initiative will do just that.) but Washington elites rejected that idea choosing instead to impose its own self-aggrandizing vision on the world. As a result, demonstrations and riots have cropped up across Europe, right-wing populist parties are on the rise, and a majority of the population no longer have confidence in basic democratic institutions. The west's version of globalization has been roundly repudiated as a scam that showers wealth on scheming billionaires while hanging ordinary working people out to dry. Here's Putin again:

"It seems as if the elites do not see the deepening stratification in society and the erosion of the middle class (but the situation) creates a climate of uncertainty that has a direct impact on the public mood.

Sociological studies conducted around the world show that people in different countries and on different continents tend to see the future as murky and bleak. This is sad. The future does not entice them, but frightens them. At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events and shaping policy." (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)

True, life is harder now and it looks to get harder still, but what is Putin's remedy or does he have one? Is he going to stem the tide and reverse the effects of globalization? Is he going to sabotage Washington's plan to control vital resources in the Middle East, become the the main player in Central Asia, and tighten its grip on global power?

No, Putin is not nearly that ambitious. As he indicates in his speech, his immediate goal is to reform the economy so that poverty is eliminated and wealth is more equally distributed. These are practical remedies that help to soften capitalism and decrease the probability of social unrest. He also wants to fend off potential threats to the state by shoring up Russian sovereignty. That's why he is adding amendments to the Constitution. The objective is to protect Russia from pernicious foreign agents or fifth columnists operating within the state. Bottom line: Putin sees what's going on in the world and has charted a course that best serves the interests of the Russian people. Americans would be lucky to have a leader who did the same.


Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 8:21 am GMT

@Westcosast

He is now granted $40 billion in tax breaks to the biggest fossil fuel oligarchs–Rosneft and Gazprom. These are privatised companies that were formerly state companies in the former USSR. Instead of reversing the trend Putin has escalated privatization.

It seems you were misinformed. Rosneft and Gazprom are still state-owned, the latter mostly and the former entirely. So if indeed Putin did grant them these tax breaks, it's just one branch of the government transferring money to another branch of government–sort of like when the Social Security Administration here in the US buy bonds from the Treasury Department. It's just an accounting gimmick, not gift to 'oligarchs'. (BTW, why is it that the media never refer to Soros, Bezos or the Rockefellers as 'oligarchs'? Why only Russians?)

Miro23 , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 8:29 am GMT

For Putin sovereignty, which is the supreme power of a state to govern itself, is the bedrock principle which legitimizes the state provided the state faithfully represents the will of the people. He elaborates on this point later in his speech saying:

"The opinion of people, our citizens as the bearers of sovereignty and the main source of power must be decisive. In the final analysis everything is decided by the people, both today and in the future."

This is what has been missing from so called US Democracy for a while now.

The present day US is a hegemony of Special Interests busy looting the place under cover their propaganda department (US MSM).

St-Germain , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 1:07 pm GMT
Great article, Mike Whitney. So far it's the only one I've seen that reveals a coherent hard core in what Putin seeks to achieve with a seemingly bureaucratic rejiggering of the constitution and ruling echelon. Maybe he's finally ending the humiliating indecision that has stymied Russia the past three decades: Will the country keep trying to be yet another pale copy of the financialized U.S. economic sphere, powered by dollar hegemony? Or, will it free itself from predatory corporate domination in order to duplicate the obvious success of sovereign next-door China? If your analysis is on the mark, Putin may have now found the answer to Russia's debilitating post-Soviet identity crisis.

Trump's unexpected election and the parallel rise of nationalism in docile Europe suggests that much the same crisis has now emerged within the Western empire. Will it be borderless neofeudal corporatism for the benefit of those at the top of the social pyramid or will working people regain a voice in their own government? Reading those troubled tea leaves, Putin may have picked the right moment to launch Russia on the more promising path.

geokat62 , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 1:30 pm GMT

Is Putin overstating Washington's role in decimating Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan or is this a fair assessment of America's pernicious and destabilizing role in the region? Entire civilizations have been laid to waste, millions have been killed or scattered across the region to achieve some nebulous strategic advantage or to help Israel eliminate its perceived enemies.

No need to qualify the cause of this nefarious plan by referencing some nebulous objective. There was nothing nebulous about it. The plan to Remake the Middle East was clearly articulated by Richard Perle, well before the GWOT was launched, in A Clean Break, A New Strategy for Securing the Realm .

The Scalpel , says: Website Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 2:07 pm GMT
@Tucker

Sooner or later, every Bully will push the wrong opponent and wind up getting his ass stomped in the dirt.

Sad, but true. I think everyone hopes that the US pulls off some sort of last minute transformation and repentance, because the takedown would be very ugly for everyone

Franklin Ryckaert , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 2:42 pm GMT
@geokat62 Don't forget to mention the Oded Yinon Plan, the plan to shatter all Israel's neighbors into small, dysfunctional, quarrelling statelets. See, Global Research : "Greater Israel" : The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.
Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm GMT
God bless Putin and Russia for saving Syria from the terrorists created by the ZUS and Israel and ZBritain and ZNATO , these terrorists AL CIADA aka ISIS and all offshoots thereof were created and armed and funded to destroy the middle east for the zionist greater Israel project and all of this was brought on by the joint Israeli and ZUS attack on the WTC on 911 and blamed on the arabs.

Who is the greater terrorist, the terrorists or the ones who created them.

bluedog , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 2:57 pm GMT
@Sean Russia will do very well they are moving in the right direction, they are putting regulations on those that need it, and better programs for the people.

I once read that you can start out with a strong generation and from that strong generation ever generation after will become weaker and weaker, until you end up with a generation like the U.S. has that's like clay in the hands of a master, they can't think nor even act they just follow the dictates of the master.!!!

Desert Fox , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Old and grumpy In regards to sanctions Russia for the last 3 years has been the greatest producer and exporter of grain, and since food is the most important thing, the ZUS is pissing into the wind with sanctions on Russia.
RoyJ , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 3:15 pm GMT
"This is sad. The future does not entice them, but frightens them. At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events and shaping policy." (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)"

Jeez ain't that the truth. I live in Virginia and it seems that no matter how I vote it just never changes anything. We just had big demonstrations against the stupid new gun laws our despotic governor wants to enact and from where I'm sitting it didn't make one iota of difference. The rank and file have zero to say in how they are governed But we sure get to finance it with our taxes.

Huxley , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 4:01 pm GMT
@Anonymous You are delusional and have obviously spent no time in Russia. When the Pussy Riot grrrls desecrated the altar at St. Savior, Russians went ballistic, from the Patriarchs down to the blue collar diesel mechanics.

Your so-called "faith" in the US and Europe has already sold out to Globohomo completely. Most priests are gay and have been buggering the altar boys for decades. Protestant sects have lesbian bishops. Your "faithful" have not only totally surrendered to the Globohomo takeover, they now EMBRACE it proudly. "All are welcome." There is now no difference between Vatican II Catholicism and Unitarian Universalism. Western Europe is so far gone, so anti-life, there's hardly a white child left. Muslims are sharpening their machetes.

So you think there's no substance behind Orthodoxy. You are mistaken. (I'm Latin Mass Catholic, BTW)

Take 3 minutes to listen to Patriarch Kirill:

LIBERAL IDEA IS A SIN:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CZgykarzaM4?feature=oembed

Greg S. , says: Show Comment January 26, 2020 at 4:01 pm GMT
@John Chuckman

It's only consistent with his past behavior of reining in post-Soviet Russian Oligarchs.

And there is the real reason why the "west" hates him. Because who controls the west? Who owns all of the media, owns the politicians, and controls the narrative? Our very own Oligarchs, indistinguishable from the Russian version and in fact interchangeable (borders mean nothing to them). So of course they are pissed if Putin is rolling them back over in Russia. How dare he.

Also, have you ever noticed that the word "Oligarch" is only every applied in the same sentence as "Russian?"

[Jan 27, 2020] Fascism and neofascism (by L. Proyect)

Jan 27, 2020 | www.columbia.edu

Fascism and neofascism

1. THE EIGHTEENTH BRUMAIRE AND FASCISM

Fascism is the most extreme form of counterrevolution. Counterrevolution itself only emerges as a response to revolution. Nazism, for example, didn't arrive because the German people all of a sudden lost their bearings from an overdose of Wagner's operas and Nietzsche's aphorisms. It arrived at a time when massive worker's parties threatened bourgeois rule during a period of terrible economic hardship. Big capital backed Hitler as a last resort. The Nazis represented reactionary politics gone berserk. Not only could Nazism attack worker's parties, it could also attack powerful institutions of the ruling class, including its churches, media, intellectuals, parties and individual families and individuals. Fascism is not a scalpel. It is a very explosive, uncontrollable weapon that can also inflict some harm on its wielder.

Fascism emerges in the period following the great post-World War I revolutionary upsurge in Europe. The Bolsheviks triumphed in Russia, but communists mounted challenges to capitalism in Hungary, Germany and elsewhere. These revolutions receded but but their embers burned. The world-wide depression of 1929 added new fuel to the glowing embers of proletarian revolution. Socialism grew powerful everywhere because of the powerful example of the USSR and the suffering capitalist unemployment brought.

Proletarian revolutions do not break out every year or so, like new car models. They appear infrequently since working-people prefer to accomodate themselves to capitalism if at all possible. They tend to be last-ditch defensive reactions to the mounting violence and insecurity brought on by capitalist war and depression.

The proletarian revolution first emerges within the context of the bourgeois revolutions of 1848. Even though the revolutions in Germany, France and Italy on the surface appeared to be a continuation of the revolutions of the 1780's and 90's, they contain within them anticapitalist dynamics. The working-class at this point in its history has neither the numbers, nor the organization, nor the self- consciousness to take power in its own name. Its own cause tends to get blurred with the cause of of other classes in the struggle against feudal vestiges.

Marx was able to distinguish the contradictory class aspects of the 1848 revolutionary upsurge with tremendous alacrity, however. Some of his most important contributions to historical materialism emerge out of this period and again in 1871 when the proletariat rises up in its own name during the Paris Commune. The 18th Brumaire was written in the aftermath of the failure of the revolution in France in 1848 to consolidate its gains. Louis Bonaparte emerges as a counterrevolutionary dictator who seems to suppress all classes, including the bourgeoisie. Marx is able to show that Bonapartism, like Fascism, is not a dictatorship that stands above all classes. The Bonapartist regime, whose social base may be middle-class, acts in the interest of the big bourgeoisie.

Robert Tucker's notes in his preface to the 18th Brumaire that, "Since Louis Bonaparte's rise and rule have been seen as a forerunner of the phenomenon that was to become known in the twentieth century as fascim, Marx's interpretation of it is of interest, among other ways, as a sort of a prologue to later Marxist thought on the nature and meaning of fascism."

The 18th Brumaire was written by Marx in late 1851 and early 1852, and appeared first in a NY magazine called "Die Revolution". This was a time of great difficulty for Marx. He was in financial difficulty and poor health. The triumph of the counterrevolution in France deepened his misery. In a letter to his friend Weydemeyer, Marx confides, "For years nothing has pulled me down as much as this cursed hemorrhoidal trouble, not even the worst French failure."

In section one of the 18th Brumaire, Marx draws a clear distinction between the bourgeois and proletarian revolution.

"Bourgeois revolutions like those of the eighteenth century storm more swiftly from success to success, their dramatic effects outdo each other, men and things seem set in sparkling diamonds, ecstasy is the order of the day- but they are short-lived, soon they have reached their zenith, and a long Katzenjammer [crapulence] takes hold of society before it learns to assimilate the results of its storm-and-stress period soberly. On the other hand, proletarian revolutions like those of the nineteenth century constantly criticize themselves, constantly interrupt themselves in their own course, return to the apparently accomplished, in order to begin anew; they deride with cruel thoroughness the half-measures, weaknesses, and paltriness of their first attempts, seem to throw down their opponents only so the latter may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again more gigantic than ever, recoil constantly from the indefinite colossalness of their own goals -- until a situation is created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves call out: Hic Rhodus, hic salta! "

Proletarian revolutions, Marx correctly points out, emerge from a position of weakness and uncertainty. The bourgeoisie emerges over hundreds of years within the framework of feudalism. At the time it is ready to seize power, it has already conquered major institutions in civil society. The bourgeoisie is not an exploited class and therefore is able to rule society long before its political revolution is effected. When it delivers the coup de grace to the monarchy, it does so from a position of overwhelming strength.

The workers are in a completely different position, however. They lack an independent economic base and suffer economic and cultural exploitation. Prior to its revolution, the working-class remains backward and therefore, unlike the bourgeoisie, is unable to prepare itself in advance for ruling all of society. It often comes to power in coalition with other classes, such as the peasantry.

Since it is in a position of weakness, it is often beaten back by the bourgeoise. But the bourgeoisie itself is small in numbers. It also has its own class interests which set it apart from the rest of society. Therefore, it must strike back against the workers by utilizing the social power of intermediate classes such as the peasantry or the middle-classes in general. It will also draw from strata beneath the working-class, from the so-called "lumpen proletariat". Louis Bonaparte drew from these social layers in order to strike back against the workers, so did Hitler.

Bonaparte appears as a dictator whose rule constrains all of society. In section seven of the Eighteenth Brumaire, Marx characterized Bonapartist rule in the following manner:

"The French bourgeoisie balked at the domination of the working proletariat; it has brought the lumpen proletariat to domination, with the Chief of the Society of December 10 at the head. The bourgeoisie kept France in breathless fear of the future terrors of red anarchy- Bonaparte discounted this future for it when, on December 4, he had the eminent bourgeois of the Boulevard Montmartre and the Boulevard des Italiens shot down at their windows by the drunken army of law and order. The bourgeoisie apotheosized the sword; the sword rules it. It destroyed the revolutionary press; its own press is destroyed. It placed popular meetings under police surveillance; its salons are placed under police supervision. It disbanded the democratic National Guard, its own National Guard is disbanded. It imposed a state of siege; a state of siege is imposed upon it. It supplanted the juries by military commissions; its juries are supplanted by military commissions. It subjected public education to the sway of the priests; the priests subject it to their own education. It jailed people without trial, it is being jailed without trial. It suppressed every stirring in society by means of state power; every stirring in its society is suppressed by means of state power. Out of enthusiasm for its moneybags it rebelled against its own politicians and literary men; its politicians and literary men are swept aside, but its moneybag is being plundered now that its mouth has been gagged and its pen broken. The bourgeoisie never tired of crying out to the revolution what St. Arsenius cried out to the Christians: 'Fuge, tace, quiesce!' ['Flee, be silent, keep still!'] Bonaparte cries to the bourgeoisie: 'Fuge, tace, quiesce!'"

At first blush, Bonaparte seems to be oppressing worker and capitalist alike. Supported by the bourgeoisie at first, he drowns the Parisian working-class in its own blood in the early stages of the counterrevolution. He then turns his attention to the bourgeoisie itself and "jails", "gags" and imposes a "state of siege" upon it. By all appearances, the dictatorship of Bonaparte is a personal dictatorship and all social classes suffer. The Hitler and Mussolini regimes gave the same appearance. This led many to conclude that fascism is simply a totalitarian system in which every citizen is subordinated to the industrial-military-state machinery. There is the fascism of Hitler and there is the fascism of Stalin. A class analysis of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia would produce different political conclusions, however. Hitler's rule rested on capitalist property relations and Stalin's on collectivized property relations.

Bonaparte's rule, while seeming to stand above all social classes, really served to protect capitalist property relations. Bonaparte represents the executive branch of government and liquidates the parliamentary branch. The parliament contains parties from every social class, so a superficial view of Bonapartist rule would conclude that all classes have been curtailed. In actuality, the bourgeoisie maintains power behind the scenes.

In order to maintain rule, Bonapartism must give concessions to the lower-classes. It can not manifest itself openly as an instrument of the ruling-classes. It is constantly on the attack against both exploiter and exploited. It acts against exploited because it is ultimately interested in the preservation of the status quo. It acts against the exploiters, because it must maintain the appearance of "neutrality" above all classes.

Marx describes this contradictory situtation as follows:

"Driven by the contradictory demands of his situation, and being at the same time, like a juggler, under the necessity of keeping the public gaze on himself, as Napoleon's successor, by springing constant surprises -- that is to say, under the necessity of arranging a coup d'etat in miniature every day -- Bonaparte throws the whole bourgeois economy into confusion, violates everything that seemed inviolable to the Revolution of 1848, makes some tolerant of revolution and makes others lust for it, and produces anarchy in the name of order, while at the same time stripping the entire state machinery of its halo, profaning it and making it at once loathsome and ridiculous. The cult of the Holy Tunic of Trier, he duplicates in Paris in the cult of the Napoleonic imperial mantle. But when the imperial mantle finally falls on the shoulders of Louis Bonaparte, the bronze statue of Napoleon will come crashing down from the top of the Vendome Column."

Bonaparte throws the bourgeois economy into a confusion, violates it, produces anarchy in the name of order. This is exactly the way fascism in power operates. Fascism in power is a variant of Bonapartism. It eventually stabilizes into a more normal dictatorship of capital, but in its early stages has the same careening, out-of-control behavior.

Bonapartism does not rest on the power of an individual dictator. It is not Louis Napoleon's or Adolph Hitler's power of oratory that explains their mastery over a whole society. They have a social base which they manipulate to remain in power. Even though a Bonapartist figure is ultimately loyal to the most powerful industrialists and financiers, he relies on a mass movement of the middle-class to gain power.

Louis Bonaparte drew from the peasantry. The peasantry was in conflict with the big bourgeoisie but was tricked into lending support to someone who appeared to act in its own behalf. The peasantry was unable to articulate its own social and political interests since the mode of production it relied on was an isolating one. Marx commented:

"The small-holding peasants form an enormous mass whose members live in similar conditions but without entering into manifold relations with each other. Their mode of production isolates them from one another instead of bringing them into mutual intercourse. The isolation is furthered by France's poor means of communication and the poverty of the peasants. Their field of production, the small holding, permits no division of labor in its cultivation, no application of science, and therefore no multifariousness of development, no diversity of talent, no wealth of social relationships. Each individual peasant family is almost self-sufficient, directly produces most of its consumer needs, and thus acquires its means of life more through an exchange with nature than in intercourse with society. A small holding, the peasant and his family; beside it another small holding, another peasant and another family. A few score of these constitute a village, and a few score villages constitute a department. Thus the great mass of the French nation is formed by the simple addition of homonymous magnitudes, much as potatoes in a sack form a sack of potatoes. Insofar as millions of families live under conditions of existence that separate their mode of life, their interests, and their culture from those of the other classes, and put them in hostile opposition to the latter, they form a class. Insofar as there is merely a local interconnection among these small-holding peasants, and the identity of their interests forms no community, no national bond, and no political organization among them, they do not constitute a class. They are therefore incapable of asserting their class interest in their own name, whether through a parliament or a convention. They cannot represent themselves, they must be represented. Their representative must at the same time appear as their master, as an authority over them, an unlimited governmental power which protects them from the other classes and sends them rain and sunshine from above. The political influence of the small-holding peasants, therefore, finds its final expression in the executive power which subordinates society to itself. "

Intermediate layers such as the peasantry are susceptible to Bonapartist and Fascist politicians. They resent both big capital and the working- class. They resent the banks who own their mortgage. They also resent the teamsters and railroad workers whose strikes disrupts their own private economic interests. They turn to politicians whose rhetoric seems to be both anti-capitalist and anti-working class. Such politicians are often masters of demagoguery such as Hitler and Mussolini who often employ the stock phrases of socialism.

The peasantry backed Bonaparte. It was also an important pillar of Hitler's regime. In the final analysis, the peasants suffered under both because the banks remained powerful and exploitative. The populism of Bonaparte and the "socialism" of Hitler were simply deceptive mechanisms by which the executive was able to rule on behalf of big capital.

Bonapartism, populism and fascism overlap to a striking degree. We see elements of fascism, populism and Bonapartism in the politics of Pat Buchanan. Buchanan rails against African-Americans and immigrants, both documented and undocumented. He also rails against Wall St. which is "selling out" the working man. Is he a fascist, however? Ross Perot employs a number of the same themes. Is he?

The problem in trying to answer these questions solely on the basis of someone's speeches or writings is that it ignores historical and class dynamics. Bonaparte and Hitler emerged as a response to powerful proletrian revolutionary attacks on capital. What are the objective conditions in American society today? Hitler based their power on large-scale social movements that could put tens of thousands of people into the streets at a moment's notice. These movements were not creatures of capitalist cabals. They had their own logic and their own warped integrity. Many were drawn to Hitler in the deluded hope that he would bring some kind of "all-German" socialism into existence. These followers were not Marxists, but they certainly hated the capitalist class. Are the people who attend Buchanan, Perot and Farrakhan rallies also in such a frenzied, revolutionary state of mind?

At what point are we in American society today?

I would argue that rather than being in a prerevolutionary situation, that rather we are in a period which has typified capitalism for the better part of a hundred and fifty years.We are in a period of capitalist "normalcy". Capitalism is a system which is prone to economic crisis and war. The unemployment and "downsizing" going on today are typical of capitalism in its normal functioning. We have to stop thinking as if the period of prosperity following WWII as normal. It is not. It is an anomaly in the history of capitalism. When industrial workers found themselves in a position to buy houses, send children through college, etc., this was only because of a number of exceptional circumstances which will almost certainly never arise again.

We are in a period more like the late 1800's or the early 1900's. It is a period of both expansion and retrenchment. It is a period of terrible reaction which can give birth to the Ku Klux Klan and the skinheads and other neo-Nazis. It is also a period which can give birth to something like Eugene V. Debs socialist party.

But if we don't recognize at which point we stand, we will never be able to build a socialist party. We will also not be in a position to resist fascism when it makes its appearance.

In my next report, I will take a look at the American Populist movement led by Tom Watson at the turn of the century. It is a highly contradictory social movement. In some respects it is fascist-like, in other respects it is highly progressive. If we understand American Populism, we will in a much better position to understand the populism of today.

These are the types of questions that we should be considering in the weeks to come:

1) Why did fascism emerge when it did? Could there have been fascism in the 1890's?

2) Is fascism limited to imperialist nations? Could there be fascism in third-world countries? Did Pinochet represent fascism in Chile?

3) What is the class base of the Nation of Islam? Can there be fascism emerging out of oppressed nationalities? Can a Turkish or Algerian fascism develop as a response to neo-fascism in Europe today?

4) The Italian government includes a "fascist" party that openly celebrates Mussolini. What should we make of this?

5) What is the difference between fascism and ultrarightism? Ultrarightism is a permanent feature of US and world politics. Was George Wallace a fascist? What would a European equivalent be?

6) Is fascism emerging in the former Soviet Union? Does Zherinovsky represent fascism? Is the cause of the civil war in former Yugoslavia Serbian or Croatian fascism?

7) Can there be a fascism which does not incorporate powerful anticapitalist themes and demagoguery? Joe McCarthy was regarded as a fascist-like figure, but had no use for radical left-wing verbiage or actions. What should we make of him?

8) If fascism emerged as a reaction to the powerful proletarian revolutionary movements of the 1920's and 30's, what types of conditions can we see in the foreseeable future that would provoke new fascist movements? If socialism is no longer objectively possible because of the ability of capitalism to "deliver the goods", what would the need for fascism be? Why would the capitalist class support a new Hitler when the working-class is so quiescient? Should we be thinking about a new definition of fascism?

9) Fascism has a deeply expansionist and bellicose dynamics. In the age of nuclear weaponry, can we expect imperialism to opt for a fascist solution? Would the Rockefellers et al allow a trigger-happy figure like "Mark from Michigan" in control of our nuclear weapons?

10) What tools are necessary to analyze fascism? Should we be looking at the speeches of Farrakhan or Mark from Michigan? Was this Marx's approach to Bonapartism?

2. TROTSKY ON BONAPARTISM AND FASCISM

Trotsky, like Lenin, was a revolutionary politician and not an economist or political scientist. Every article or book the two wrote was tied to solving specific political problems. When Lenin wrote "Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism", he was trying to define the theoretical basis for the Zimmerwald opposition to W.W.I. Similarly, when Trotsky wrote about German fascism, his purpose was to confront and defeat it.

Trotsky's understanding of how fascism came to power is very much grounded in the definition of "Bonapartism" contained in Marx's "18th Brumaire", a classic study of dictatorship in the 19th century. Marx was trying to explain how dictatorships of "men on horseback" such as Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon's nephew, can appear to stand suspended above all classes and to act as impartial arbitrator between opposing classes, even though they carry out the wishes of the capitalist ruling class. The capitalist class is small in number and periods of revolutionary crisis depend on these types of seemingly neutral strong men.

A true Bonapartist figure is somebody who emerges out of the military or state apparatus. In order to properly bamboozle the masses, he should have charismatic qualities. War heroes tend to move to the front of the pack when a Bonapartist solution is required. Charles DeGaulle is the quintessential Bonapartist figure of the modern age. If the US labor movement and the left had been much more powerful than it had been during the Korean war and had mounted a serious resistance to the war and to capitalist rule, it is not hard to imagine a figure such as General Douglas MacCarthur striving to impose a Bonapartist dictatorship. Since there was no such left-wing, it was possible for US capitalism to rule democratically. Democracy is a less expensive and more stable system.

Germany started out after W.W.I as a bourgeois democracy-- the Weimar Republic. The republic was besieged by a whole number of insurmountable problems: unemployment, hyperinflation, and resentment over territory lost to the allies.

The workers had attempted to make a socialist revolution immediately after W.W.I, but their leadership made a number of mistakes that resulted in defeat. The defeat was not so profound as to crush all future revolutionary possibilities. As the desperate 20's wore on, the working- class movement did regain its confidence and went on the offensive again. The two major parties of the working class, the CP and the SP, both grew.

In the late 1920's, Stalin had embarked on an ultraleft course in the USSR and CP's tended to reflect this ultraleftism in their own strategy and tactics. In Germany, this meant attacking the Socialist Party as "social fascist". The Socialist Party was not revolutionary, but it was not fascist. A united SP and CP could have defeated fascism and prevented WWII and the slaughter of millions. It was Stalin's inability to size up fascism correctly that lead to this horrible outcome.

Hitler's seizure of power was preceded by a series of rightward drifting governments, all of which paved the way for him. The SP found reasons to back each and every one of these governments in the name of the "lesser evil". (This is an argument we have heard from some leftists in the United States: "Clinton is not as bad as Bush"; "Johnson is not as bad as Goldwater, etc." The problem with this strategy is that allows the ruling class to limit the options available to the oppressed. The lesser evil is still evil.)

The last "lesser evil" candidate the German Social Democracy urged support for was Paul Von Hindenburg, a top general in W.W.I.. The results were disastrous. Hindenburg took office on April 10 of 1932 and basically paved the way for Adolph Hitler. Hindenburg allowed the Nazi street thugs to rule the streets, but enforced the letter of the law against the working-class parties. Elections may have been taking place according to the Weimar constitution, but real politics was being shaped in the streets through the demonstrations and riots of Nazi storm-troopers.

As these Nazi street actions grew more violent and massive, Hindenburg reacted on May 31 by making Franz Von Papen chancellor and instructed him to pick a cabinet "above the parties", a clear Bonapartist move. Such a cabinet wouldn't placate the Nazis. All they wanted to do was smash bourgeois democracy. As the civil war in the streets continued, Papen dissolved the Reichstag and called for new elections on July 31, 1932.

On July 17, the Nazis held a march through Altona, a working class neighborhood, under police protection. The provocation resulted in fighting that left 19 dead and 285 wounded. The SP and CP were not able to mount a significant counteroffensive and the right-wing forces gathered self-confidence and support from "centrist" voters. When elections were finally held on July 31, the Nazi party received the most votes and took power.

In his article "German Bonapartism", Trotsky tries to explain the underlying connections between the Bonapartist Hindenburg government and the gathering Nazi storm:

"Present-day German Bonapartism has a very complex and, so to speak, combined character. The government of Papen would have been impossible without fascism. But fascism is not in power. And the government of Papen is not fascism. On the other hand, the government of Papen, at any rate in the present form, would have been impossible without Hindenburg who, in spite of the final prostration of Germany in the war, stands for the great victories of Germany and symbolizes the army in the memory of the popular masses. The second election of Hindenburg had all the characteristics of a plebiscite. Many millions of workers, petty bourgeois, and peasants (Social Democracy and Center) voted for Hindenburg. They did not see in him any one political program. They did not see in him any one political program. They wanted first of all to avoid civil war, and raised Hindenburg on their shoulders as a superarbiter, as an arbitration judge of the nation. But precisely this is the most important function of Bonapartism: raising itself over the two struggling camps in order to preserve property and order."

The victory of Hitler represents a break with Bonapartism, since it represents the naked rule of finance capital and heavy industry. Fascism in Germany breaks the tension between classes by imposing a reign of terror on the working class. Once in power, however, fascism breaks its ties with the petty-bourgeois mass movement that ensured its victory and assumes a more traditional Bonapartist character. Hitler in office becomes much more like the Bonapartist figures who preceded him and seeks to act as a "superarbiter". In order to make this work, he launches an ambitious publics works program, invests in military spending and tries to coopt the proletariat. Those in the working-class who resist him are jailed or murdered.

In "Bonapartism and Fascism", written on July 15, 1934, a year after Hitler's rise to power, Trotsky clarifies the relationship between the two tendencies:

"What has been said sufficiently demonstrates how important it is to distinguish the Bonapartist form of power from the fascist form. Yet, it would be unpardonable to fall into the opposite extreme, that is, to convert Bonapartism and fascism into two logically incompatible categories. Just as Bonapartism begins by combining the parliamentary regime with fascism, so triumphant fascism finds itself forced not only to enter a bloc with the Bonapartists, but what is more, to draw closer internally to the Bonapartist system. The prolonged domination of finance capital by means of reactionary social demagogy and petty- bourgeois terror is impossible. Having arrived in power, the fascist chiefs are forced to muzzle the masses who follow them by means of the state apparatus. By the same token, they lose the support of broad masses of the petty bourgeoisie."

3. MICHAEL MANN ON FASCISM

Michael Mann believes that 20th century Marxism has made a mistake by describing fascism as a petty-bourgeois mass movement. He does not argue that the leaders were not bourgeois, or that the bourgeoisie behind the scenes was financing the fascists. He develops these points at some length in an article "Source of Variation in Working-Class Movements in Twentieth-Century Movement" which appeared in the New Left Review of July/August 1995.

If he is correct, then there is something basically wrong with the Marxist approach, isn't there? If the Nazis attracted the working-class, then wouldn't we have to reevaluate the revolutionary role of the working-class? Perhaps it would be necessary to find some other class to lead the struggle for socialism, if this struggle has any basis in reality to begin with.

Mann relies heavily on statistical data, especially that which can be found in M. Kater's "The Nazi Party" and D. Muhlberger "Hitler's Followers". The data, Mann reports, shows that "Combined, the party and paramilitaries had relatively as many workers as in the general population, almost as many worker militants as the socialists and many more than the communists".

Pretty scary stuff, if it's true. It is true, but, as it turns out, there are workers and there are workers. More specifically, Mann acknowledges that "Most fascist workers...came not from the main manufacturing industries but from agriculture, the service and public sectors and from handicrafts and small workshops." Let's consider the political implications of the class composition of this fascist strata." He adds that, "The proletarian macro-community was resisting fascism, but not the entire working-class." Translating this infelicitous expression into ordinary language, Mann is saying that as a whole the workers were opposed to fascism, but there were exceptions.

Let's consider who these fascist workers were. Agricultural workers in Germany: were they like the followers of Caesar Chavez, one has to wonder? Germany did not have large-scale agribusiness in the early 1920's. Most farms produced for the internal market and were either family farms or employed a relatively small number of workers. Generally, workers on smaller farms tend to have a more filial relationship to the patron than they do on massive enterprises. The politics of the patron will be followed more closely by his workers. This is the culture of small, private agriculture. It was no secret that many of the contra foot-soldiers in Nicaragua came from this milieu.

Turning to "service" workers, this means that many fascists were white-collar workers in banking and insurance. This layer has been going through profound changes throughout the twentieth century, so a closer examination is needed. In the chapter "Clerical Workers" in Harry Braverman's "Labor and Monopoly Capital", he notes that clerical work in its earlier stages was like a craft. The clerk was a highly skilled employee who kept current the records of the financial and operating condition of the enterprise, as well as its relations with the external world. The whole history of this job category in the twentieth century, however, has been one of de-skilling. All sorts of machines, including the modern-day, computer have taken over many of the decision-making responsibilities of the clerk. Furthermore, "Taylorism" has been introduced into the office, forcing clerks to function more like assembly-line workers than elite professionals.

We must assume, however, that the white-collar worker in Germany in the 1920's was still relatively high up in the class hierarchy since his or her work had not been mechanized or routinized to the extent it is today. Therefore, a clerk in an insurance company or bank would tend to identify more with management than with workers in a steel-mill. Even under today's changed economic conditions, this tends to be true. A bank teller in NY probably resents a striking transit worker, despite the fact that they have much in common in class terms. This must have been an even more pronounced tendency in the 1920's when white-collar workers occupied an even more elite position in society.

Mann includes workers in the "public sector". This should come as no surprise at all. Socialist revolutions were defeated throughout Europe in the early 1920's and right-wing governments came to power everywhere. These right-wing governments kept shifting to the right as the mass working-class movements of the early 1920's recovered and began to reassert themselves. Government workers, who are hired to work in offices run by right-wingers, will tend to be right-wing themselves. There was no civil-service and no unions in this sector in the 1920's. Today, this sector is one of the major supporters of progressive politics internationally. They, in fact, spearheaded the recent strikes in France. In the United States, where their composition tends to be heavily Black or Latino, also back progressive politics. But in Germany in the 1920's, it should come as no major surprise that some public sector workers joined Hitler or Mussolini's cause.

When Trotsky or E.J. Hobsbawm refer to the working-class resistance to Hitler or Mussolini, they have something specific in mind. They are referring to the traditional bastions of the industrial working-class: steel, auto, transportation, mining, etc. Mann concurs that these blue- collar workers backed the SP or CP.

There is a good reason why this was no accident. In Daniel Guerin's "Fascism and Big Business", he makes the point that the capitalists from heavy industry were the main backers of Hitler. The reason they backed Hitler was that they had huge investments in fixed capital (machines, plants, etc.) that were financed through huge debt. When capitalism collapsed after the stock-market crash, the owners of heavy industry were more pressed than those of light industry. The costs involved in making a steel or chemical plant profitable during a depression are much heavier. Steel has to be sold in dwindling markets to pay for the cost of leased machinery or machinery that is financed by bank loans When the price of steel has dropped on a world scale, it is all the more necessary to enforce strict labor discipline..

Strikes are met by violence. When the boss calls for speed-up because of increased competition, goons within a plant will attack workers who defend decent working conditions. This explains blue-collar support for socialism. It has a class basis.

These are the sorts of issues that Marxists should be exploring. Michael Mann is a "neo-Weberian" supposedly who also finds Marx useful. Max Weber tried to explain the growth of capitalism as a consequence of the "Protestant ethic". Now Mann tries to explain the growth of fascism as a consequence of working-class support for "national identity". That is to say, the workers backed Hitler because Hitler backed a strong Germany. This is anti-Marxist. Being determines consciousness, not the other way around. When you try to blend Marx with anti-Marxists like Weber or Lyotard or A.J. Ayer, it is very easy to get in trouble. I prefer my Marx straight, with no chaser.

4. NICOS POULANTZAS ON FASCISM

Nicos Poulantzas tried to carve out a political space for revolutionaries outside of the framework of the CP, especially the French Communist Party. Poulantzas wrote "Fascism and Dictatorship, The Third International and the Problem of Fascism" in 1968 when he was in the grips of a rather severe case of Maoism.

This put him in an obviously antagonistic position vis a vis Trotsky. Trotsky was the author of a number of books that tried to explain the victory of Hitler, Mussolini and Franco in terms of the failure of the Comintern to provide revolutionary leadership. Poulantzas's Maoism put him at odds with this analysis. His Maoist "revolutionary heritage" goes back through Dmitrov to Stalin and Lenin. In this line of pedigrees, Trotsky remains the mutt.

Poulantzas could not accept the idea that the Comintern was the gravedigger of revolutions, since the current he identified with put this very same Comintern on a pedestal. Yet the evidence of Comintern failure in the age of fascism is just too egregious for him to ignore. He explains this failure not in terms of bureaucratic misleadership, but rather in terms of "economism". This Althusserian critique targets the Comintern not only of the 1930s when Hitler was marching toward power, but to the Comintern of the early 1920s, before Stalin had consolidated his power. All the Bolsheviks to one extent or another suffered from this ideological deviation: Stalin and Trotsky had a bad case of it, so did Bukharin, Zinoviev and Kamenev.

What form did this "economism" take? Poulantzas argues that the Third International suffered in its infancy from "economic catastrophism", a particularly virulent form of this ideological deviation. What happened, you see, is that the Communists relied too heavily on Lenin's "Imperialism, the Latest Stage of Capitalism". Lenin's pamphlet portrayed capitalism as being on its last legs, a moribund, exhausted economic system that was hanging on the ropes like a beaten prize-fighter. All the proletariat had to do was give the capitalist system one last sharp punch in the nose and it would fall to the canvas.

If capitalism was in its death-agony, then fascism was the expression of the weakness of the system in its terminal stages. Poulantzas observes:

"The blindness of both the PCI and KPD leaders in this respect is staggering. Fascism, according to them, would only be a 'passing episode' in the revolutionary process. Umberto Terracini wrote in Inprekorr, just after the march on Rome, that fascism was at most a passing 'ministerial crisis'. Amadeo Bordiga, introducing the resolution on fascism at the Fifth Congress, declared that all hat had happened in Italy was 'a change in the governmental team of the bourgeoisie'. The presidium of the Comintern executive committee noted, just after Hitler's accession to power: 'Hitler's Germany is heading for ever more inevitable economic catastrophe...The momentary calm after the victory of fascism is only a passing phenomenon. The wave of revolution will rise inescapably Germany despite the fascist terror..."

Now Poulantzas is correct to point out this aspect of the Comintern's inability to challenge and defeat fascism. Yes, it is "economic catastrophism" that clouded its vision. We must ask is this all there is to the problem? If Lenin's pamphlet had not swept the Communists off their feet, could they have gotten a better handle on the situation?

Unfortunately, the failure of the Comintern to provide an adequate explanation of fascism and a strategy to defeat it goes much deeper than this. The problem is that Stalin was rapidly in the process of rooting out Marxism from the Communist Party in the *very early* stages of the Comintern. Stalin's supporters were already intimidating and silencing Marxists in 1924, the year of the Fifth Congress of the Comintern.

>From around that time forward, the debate in the Comintern was not between a wide range of Marxist opinion. The debate only included the rightist followers of Bukharin and Stalin, the cagey spokesman for the emerging bureaucracy. The Soviet secret police and Stalin's goons were suppressing the Left Opposition. Shortly, Stalin would jail or kill its members. So when Poulantzas refers to the "Comintern", he is referring to a rump formation that bore faint resemblance to the Communist International of the heroic, early days of the Russian Revolution.

When Stalin took power, the Comintern became an instrument of Soviet foreign policy and Communist Parties tried to emulate the internal shifts of the Soviet party. The ultraleft, third period of the German Communist Party mirrored the extreme turn taken by Stalin against Bukharin and the right Communists in the late 1920s. Bukharin was for appeasement of the kulaks and, by the same token, class-collaborationist alliances with the national bourgeoisie of various countries. Stalin had embraced this policy when it was convenient.

When Stalin broke with Bukharin, he turned sharply to the ultraleft and dumped the rightist leadership of the Comintern. He replaced it with his lackeys who were all to happy to march in lock-step to the lunatic left. The German CP went to the head of the pack during this period by attacking the social democrats as being "social fascists".

Poulantzas maintains that the Kremlin did not have a master-puppet relationship to the Communist Parties internationally. Since the evidence to the contrary is rather mountainous, his explanations take on a labored academic cast that are in sharp contradistinction to his usually lucid prose. It also brings out the worst of his Maoist mumbo- jumbo:

"To sum up: the general line which was progressively dominant in the USSR and in the Comintern can allow us to make a relatively clear [!] periodization of the Comintern, a periodization which can also be very useful for the history of the USSR. But this is insufficient. For example, we have seen how the Comintern's Sixth (1928) and Seventh (1935) Congresses cannot be interpreted on the model of a pendulum (left opportunism/right opportunism), but that there is no simple continuity between them either. That corroborates the view that the turn in Soviet policy in relationship to the peasantry as a whole was not a simple, internal, 'ultra-left' turn. But it will be impossible to make a deeper analysis of this problem in relation to the Comintern until we have exactly established what was the real process involving the Soviet bourgeoisie [Don't forget, gang, this is 1968] during the period of the class struggle in the USSR -- which was considerably more than a simple struggle of the proletariat and poor peasants against the kulaks."

As Marxists, we should always avoid the temptation to resort to "deterministic" types of analysis. Poulantzas, the Althusserian, would never yield to such temptation. That is why refuses to make a connection between the ultraleft attack on the peasantry within the Soviet Union and the ultraleft turn internationally. I am afraid, however, that no other analysis makes any sense. Sometimes, a cigar is simply a cigar. Stalin, the quintessential bureaucrat seems only capable of lurching either to the extreme left or extreme right. His errors reflect an inability to project working-class, i.e., Marxist, solutions to political problems. By concentrating such enormous power in his hands, he guaranteed that every shift he took, the Communist Parties internationally would follow.

Ideology plays much too much of a role in the Poulantzas scheme of things. The Comintern messed up because it put Lenin on a pedestal. He also says that the bourgeoisie supported fascism because it too was in a deep ideological crisis. What does Poulantzas have to say about the German working-class? What does he say about the parties of the working-class? Could ideological confusion explain their weakness in face of the Nazi threat? You bet.

Poulantzas alleges that the rise of fascism in Germany corresponds to an ideological crisis of the revolutionary organizations, which in turn coincided with an ideological crisis within the working class. He says:

"Marxist-Leninist ideology was profoundly shaken within the working class: not only did it fail to conquer the broad masses, but it was also forced back where it managed to root itself. It is clear enough what happens when revolutionary organizations fail in their ideological role of giving leadership on a mass line: particular forms of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology invade the void left by the retreat of Marxist- Leninist ideology.

The influence of bourgeois ideology over the working class, in this situation of ideological crisis, took the classic form of trade unionism and reformism. It can be recognized not only in the survival, but also in the extending influence of social democracy over the working class, through both the party and trade unions, all through the rise of fascism. The advancing influence of social-democratic ideology was felt even in those sections of the working class supporting the communist party."

Comrades, this is not what Lenin said! Lenin said that socialist consciousness has to be brought into the working-class from the outside, from intellectuals who have mastered Marxism. Not is it only what Lenin said, it is happily what makes sense. Workers *never* rise above simple trade union consciousness.

When Poulantzas says that bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology "invades" the working-class, he is mixing things up hopelessly. This type of ideology has no need to invade, it is *always* there. It is socialist ideas that are the anomaly, the exception.

Workers have no privileged status in class society. The ruling ideas of any society are the ideas of the ruling class. When Jon the railroad worker reports to this l*st about the numbers of his co-workers who are for Perot, he is conveying the same truth that is found in What is to be Done. The ideas that he supports are being "imported" into the rail yards. That's the way it goes.

This also explains the murderous fanaticism of the Shining Path. When they witness the "bourgeois" ideas of ordinary Peruvian workers, it is very tempting for them to put a bullet in the brain of any of them who stand in their way. If Maoism posits ideology as the enemy, no wonder they conceive of the class struggle as a struggle against impure thoughts. The answer to impure thoughts, of course, is patient explanation. This is the method of Marxism, the political philosophy of the working-class. Marxists try to resolve contradictions by reaching a higher level of understanding. Sometimes, it can be frustrating to put up with and work through these contradictions, but the alternative only leads down the blind alley to sectarianism and fanaticism.

5. DELEUZE/GUATTARI ON FASCISM

In the translator's foreword to "A Thousand Plateaus", Brian Massumi tells us that the philosopher Gilles Deleuze was prompted by the French worker-student revolt of 1968 to question the role of the intellectual in society. Felix Guattari, his writing partner, was a psychoanalyst who identified with R.D. Laing's antipsychiatry movement of the 1960's. Laing created group homes where schizophrenics were treated identically to the sane, sort of like the Marxism list. Guattari also embraced the protests of 1968 and discovered an intellectual kinship with Deleuze. Their first collaboration was the 1972 "Anti-Oedipus". Massumi interprets this work as a polemic against "State-happy or pro-party versions of Marxism". "A Thousand Plateaus", written in 1987, is basically part two of the earlier work. Deleuze and Guattari state that the two books make up a grand opus they call "Capitalism and Schizophrenia".

I read the chapter "1933" in "A Thousand Plateaus" with as much concentration as I can muster. Stylistically, it has a lot in common with philosophers inspired by Nietzsche. I am reminded of some of the reading I did in Wyndham Lewis and Oswald Spengler in a previous lifetime. These sorts of authors pride themselves in being able to weave together strands from many different disciplines and hate being categorized. Within a few pages you will see references to Kafka, American movies, Andre Gorz's theory of work and Clausewitz's military writings.

Their approach to fascism is totally at odds with the approach we have been developing in our cyberseminar. Thinkers such as Marx and Trotsky focus on the class dynamics of bourgeois society. Bonapartism is rooted in the attempt of the French bourgeoisie in 1848 to stave off proletarian revolution. Trotsky explains fascism as a totalitarian last- ditch measure to preserve private property when bourgeois democracy or the Bonapartist state are failing.

Deleuze and Guattari see fascism as a permanent feature of social life. Class is not so important to them. They are concerned with what they call "microfascism", the fascism that lurks in heart of each and every one of us. When they talk about societies that were swept by fascism, such as Germany, they totally ignore the objective social and economic framework: depression, hyperinflation, loss of territory, etc.

This is wrong. Fascism is a product of objective historical factors, not shortcomings in the human psyche or imperfections in the way society is structured. The way to prevent fascism is not to have unfascist attitudes or live in unfascist communities, like the hippies did in the 1960's. It is to confront the capitalist class during periods of mounting crisis and win a socialist victory.

In a key description of the problem, they say, "The concept of the totalitarian State applies only at the macropolitical level, to a rigid segmentarity and a particular mode of totalization and centralization. But fascism is inseparable from a proliferation of molecular focuses in interaction, which skip from point to point, before beginning to resonate together in the National Socialist State. Rural fascism and city or neighborhood fascism, youth fascism and war veteran's fascism, fascism of the Left and fascism of the Right, fascism of the couple, family, school, and office: every fascism is defined by a micro-black hole that stands on its own and communicates with the others, before resonating in a great, generalized central black hole."

This is a totally superficial understanding of how fascism came about. What is Left fascism? It is true that the Communist Party employed thuggish behavior on occasion during the ultraleft "Third Period". They broke up meetings of small Trotskyist groups while the Nazis were breaking up the meetings of trade unions or Communists. Does this behavior equal left Fascism? Fascism is a class term. It describes a mass movement of the petty-bourgeoisie that seeks to destroy all vestiges of the working-class movement. This at least is the Marxist definition.

Fascism is not intolerance, bad attitudes, meanness or insensitivity. It is a violent, procapitalist mass movement of the middle-class that employs socialist phrase-mongering.

I want to conclude with a few words about Felix Guattari and Toni Negri's "Communists like Us". Unlike Deleuze/Guattari's collaborations, this is a perfectly straightforward political manifesto that puts forward a basic challenge to Marxism. It is deeply inspired by a reading of the 1968 struggle in France as a mass movement for personal liberation. Students and other peripheral sectors move into the foreground while workers become secondary. It is as dated as Herbert Marcuse's "One Dimensional Man".

The pamphlet was written in 1985 but has the redolence of tie-dyed paisley, patchouli oil and granny glasses. Get a whiff of this:

"Since the 1960's, new collective subjectivities have been affirmed in the dramas of social transformation. We have noted what they owe to modifications in the organization of work and to developments in socialization; we have tried to establish that the antagonisms which they contain are no longer recuperable within the traditional horizon of the political. But it remains to be demonstrated that the innovations of the '60s should above all be understood within the universe of consciousnesses, of desires, and of modes of behaviour."

I have some trouble understanding why Deleuze and Guattari are such big favorites with some of my younger friends. My friend Catherine who works in the Dean of Studies office at Barnard was wild about Derrida when I first met her four years ago. She started showing more of an interest in Marxism after Derrida did. But she is not reading the 18th Brumaire. She is reading Bataille, Deleuze/Guattari and Simone Weil. My guess is that a lot of people from her milieu feel a certain nostalgia for the counterculture of the 1960's and in a funny sort of way, Deleuza/Guattari take that nostalgia and cater to it but in an ultrasophisticated manner. They wouldn't bother with Paul Goodman and Charles Reich, this crowd. But French and Italian theorists who write in a highly allusive and self-referential manner: Like wow, man!

6. TOM WATSON

Tom Watson was born in Thompson, Georgia on September 5, 1856. His father owned 45 slaves and 1,372 acres of land on which he grew cotton. These assets put the Watson family in the top third of the Georgian land-owning class, but not at the very top of the slaveocracy.

The slave-owning class hated the Northern industrial class which had won the civil war. The northerners brought an end to the old agrarian ways at the point of the bayonet during reconstruction. The Yankee industrial capitalist sought free land and free labor. This would allow him to commercially exploit the south and break up the older semi- feudal relations.

Young Tom Watson hated what was happening to the south and joined the Democratic Party soon after graduating college and starting a law profession. The Democrats in the south formed the political resistance to the northern based Republicans. The "white man's party" and the Democratic Party were terms used interchangeably.

Some of the southern capitalists aligned with the Democratic Party realized that the future belonged to the northern capitalist class and joined forces with them. They became avid partners in the commercial development of agriculture and the expansion of the railroads throughout the south. Most of these southerners were connected with a newly emerging finance capital, especially in the more forward- looking cities like Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta has always seen itself as representative of a "new south". It was to be the first to end Jim Crow and it was the first to develop an intensive financial and services-based infrastructure after WWII.

The intensive commercialization of the south impoverished many of the small and mid-sized farmers who found themselves caught between the hammer and anvil of railroad, retail store and bank. The banks charged exorbitant mortgages for land while the railroads exacted steep fees for transporting grain and cotton. It often cost a farmer a bushel of wheat just to bring a bushel of wheat to market. The retail stores charged high prices for manufactured goods and were often o