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Collapse of neoliberal ideology in 2008 will in 40-50 years lead to the collapse of USA-led global neoliberal empire

Analogy exists between collapse of neoliberalism and dissolution of the USSR. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. Neoliberalism which entered zombie state in 2008 now is more cruel and bloodthirsty then before

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Introduction

As the most recent transformation of capitalism, neoliberalism is a broad economic and political project of restoring class power of financial oligarchy it enjoyed in 20th of XX century (financial revanchism). It involved  consolidation, globalization and rapid concentration of financial capital (Giroux 2008; 2014). Both neoliberal  governments and authoritarian societies share one important self-destructive trait: They care only about consolidating power in the hands of the financial elite, common people be damned.  As such it  is not a sustainable social system, although this does not mean that the replacement will be better. It well can be worse.

In any case financial oligarchy is the most criminal and vile part of capitalism class. Probably more vile then limitary industrial complex. The most close to the organized crime. So the fact that they will drive the societies which allowed them to rule of the cliff is govern. Neoliberalism was a toxic ideology designed specifically to restore the power of financial oligarchy and as such it has no staying power.  It is unable to improve the standard of living of the majority of the population as it is oriented on looting of this majority by the financial oligarchy without any interference from the state.  The peak power of neoliberal ideology was the decade of  1990-2000. during this decade the standard of living of working and middle class of the USA was sustained by looting the xUSSR area as well as computer and telecommunication revolution, which partially compensated the deindustrialization trend.

After that neoliberalism experienced series of shocks:

  1. Dot com bubble
  2. Bursting of the subprime mortgage bubble, devaluation of CDOs and the collapse of financial industry. Government bailout at a huge cost instead of deep reforms of financial sector (Obama was really a traitor of his class and his race) . That was a knockdown, but not a knockout. This crisis buried the neoliberal ideology, much like WWII buried Bolsheviks ideology.  At this point neoliberalism entered zombie stage, much like Bolshevism in late forties.
  3. Election of Trump and rejection of candidate of neoliberal elite -- Hillary Clinton by the majority of the US electorate.
  4. Color revolution against Trump by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of the Democratic Party which further delegitimized neoliberal elite. Epstein scandal.
  5. Unleashing by Trump administration of the trade war with China and end of "classic neoliberalism" globalization period.
  6. Defeat of the USA in Afghanistan  and realization that the dominance of Atlantic nations (G7) is coming to the end (Macron  remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz  is a nice illustration here)

As an ideology, neoliberalism consider profit-making to be the final arbiter and essence of democracy ("market fundamentalism"). Like Fascism and Bolshevism neoliberalism relies on the power of the state for pushing neoliberal "reforms" and the relentless brainwashing of the population by neoliberal propaganda (including indoctrination of the university students via neoclassical economy courses).   So democracy under neoliberalism is just a fig leaf covering dictatorship of financial oligarchy ("inverted totalitarism'). Despite smoke screen of "free market" rhetoric neoliberal are statists  par excellence. But this is covered by thick smoke screen  of propaganda, which in its intensity, penetration and the level of deception outdo Bolsheviks propaganda by an order of magnitude approaching the level described in Brave New World dystopia. In other words neoliberal population is a thoroughly brainwashed population.

There no surprise that the majority of the USA population hate it which in this USA resulted in the election of Trump and is GB in Brexit. Neoliberalism's sale of state assets, offshored jobs, stripped services, poorly-invested infrastructure and armies of the forcibly unemployed have delivered, not promised "efficiency" and "flexibility" to communities, but discomfort and misery. The wealth of a few has now swelled to a level of conspicuousness that must politely be considered vulgar, yet the neoliberal ideology and perverted neoliberal rationality entrenched itself so deeply in how governments make decisions and allocate resources. To the extent that one of propagandists of neoliberalism once declared its triumph "the end of history".

From the late 1980s to 2016, neoliberal ideas held hegemonic sway among both the Democratic elite and the Republican elite in the USA. But election of Trump was a sign of the  legitimization of the neoliberal elite and a really serious crack in the neoliberal facade. Which neoliberal elite tried to patch with the campaign of virulent Russophobia (aka RussiaGate.)  Moreover intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party tried to reverse the results of the elections by unleashing the color revolution against Trump.

Unlike fascism and bolshevism which both relied on population mobilization, neoliberalism tried to emasculate citizens suppressing political activity by treating them as just a consumers. In other words it promote political passivity and replacement of real political struggle by colorful spectacle like wrestling in WWE. Consumption is the only legitimate form of activity of citizens under neoliberalism and exercising of their choice during this consumption is the only desirable political activity.  With the related religious belief that the market can both solve all problems and serve as a model for structuring all social relations (the  idea of "self-regulating market," to use Karl Polanyi's phrase.) The resulting grinding mass unemployment — with only tiny remnants of New Deal protection mechanisms to soften the blow — created political instability that destroyed any chances of Clinton Wing of Dems for reelection in 2016.

As the mode of governance, neoliberalism produces the way of life driven by a survival-of-the fittest ethic, grounded in the idea of the free, predatory individual in economic jungles. And it declared the moral the right of ruling groups and institutions to exercise power ignoring issues of ethics and social costs (variant of "might is right" mentality).  Epstein scandal (or more correctly the fact that Epstein was not ostracized after his initial conviction and prison term)  is just extreme demonstration of this mentality. 

In the area of economic policies such mentality tend to produce an economy with highly unequal incomes, prevalence of monopolies and high business concentration, unstable booms, and long, painful busts.

As the political project, it involves the privatization of public services, the dismantling of the connection of private issues and public problems, the selling off of state functions, liberalization of trade in goods and capital investment, the eradication of government regulation of financial institutions and corporations, the destruction of the welfare state and unions, and the complete "marketization" and "commodification" of social relations.

Neoliberalism has put an enormous effort into creating a commanding cultural apparatus and public pedagogy in which individuals can only view themselves as consumers, embrace freedom as the right to participate in the market, and supplant issues of social responsibility for an unchecked embrace of individualism and the belief that all social relation be judged according to how they further one’s individual needs and self-interests.

Matters of mutual caring, respect, and compassion for the other have given way to the limiting orbits of privatization and unrestrained self-interest, just as it has become increasingly difficult to translate private troubles into larger social, economic, and political considerations. As the democratic public spheres of civil society have atrophied under the onslaught of neoliberal regimes of austerity, the social contract has been either greatly weakened or replaced by savage forms of casino capitalism, a culture of fear, and the increasing use of state violence.

One consequence is that it has become more difficult for people to debate and question neoliberal hegemony and the widespread misery it produces for young people, the poor, middle class, workers, and other segments of society — now considered disposable under neoliberal regimes which are governed by a survival-of-the fittest ethos, largely imposed by the ruling economic and political elite.

That they are unable to make their voices heard and lack any viable representation in the process makes clear the degree to which young people and others are suffering under a democratic deficit, producing what Chantal Mouffe calls “a profound dissatisfaction with a number of existing societies” under the reign of neoliberal capitalism (Mouffe 2013:119). This is one reason why so many youth, along with workers, the unemployed, and students, have been taking to the streets in Greece, Mexico, Egypt, the United States, and England.

Neoliberalism is the second after Marxism social system that was "invented" by a group of intellectuals (although there was not a single dominant individual among them) and implemented via coup d'état. ( Installed from above by a "quite coup") Although is  formally only around 40 years old (if we count the age of neoliberalism from the election of Reagan, which means from 1981) neoliberalism as ideology was born much earlier, around in 1947.  And the first neoliberal US president was not Reagan, but  Jimmy Carter.

In any case in 2008 it already reached the stage of discreditation of its ideology. When ideology became discredited, the social system based on it enters zombie state. That happened with Bolshevism after its victory on the WWII when it became evident that the working class does not represent the new dominant class and communist party is unable to secure neither higher productivity of economics, nor higher standard of living for people then the advanced capitalist societies. Soviet soldiers in 1944-1945 saw the standard of living in Poland (which was Russian province before the revolution, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Austria and started to suspect the dream of building communist society was just another "opium for the people", the secular religion which hides the rule of "nomenklatura". 

Later the Soviet intelligencia realized that The Iron Law of Oligarchy  in applicable to the USSR no less that to any Western country. We probably can  assume that Soviet ideology entered zombies state in 1945, or may be later in 1963 (with  Khrushchev Thaw) when it became clear that the USSR will never match the standard of living of the USA population and most of Western European countries (which paradoxically was the result of the existence of the USSR and which entered the decline after the USSR dissolution) .  Illusions of the possibility of global Communist hegemony had evaporated with the collapse of Sino-Soviet relations (also the 1960s.) Around 1975, the Soviet Union entered a period of economic stagnation from which it  never emerged.  Due to this the USSR looked to Europe, primarily West Germany, to provide hard currency financing through massive loans, while the US became a major supplier of grain.

All in all the story of the USSR collapse suggests that after the ideology was discredited the society, which was based on it,  can last  several decades, or even half a century (The USSR lasted another 28-46 years (depending on the point at which you assume the ideology was completely discredited).  The sad story of the USSR after 1963 does suggests that if the ideology is "man made" like is both the case with Marxism and neoliberalism, the collapse of ideology is the prolog to the subsequent collapse of the society (even if with a substantial lag). The collapse  of such a society is inevitable. It is just a matter of time.

Neoliberal society probably has at least the same staying power as Bolshevism. Probably more. So we can expect that  after 2008 -- when the ideology was discredited and neoliberalism entered zombie stage it will last around 50 years. If not more. The key fact that might speed up the collapse of neoliberalism is the end of cheap oil. As soon as the price of one barrel of oil exceeds some magic number (different researchers cite figures from $70 to $120; let's assume $100 per barrel) the USA like the USSR will enter the period of stagnation from which it might never emerge without dismantling neoliberalism first.

So the crisis of neoliberalism as ideology doers not signify the death of neoliberal as a social system. It will continue to exist in zombie state for some time. A development that some will indeed see as a curse, others as a blessing. Many people after 2008 declared that neoliberalism is dead or seen to be in its death throes. Many obituaries of finance capitalism and global free trade were written in 2008-2012. Nevertheless, neoliberalism has shown itself to be resilient and remains the dominant social system around the world( this resilience was called by Colin Crouch "the strange non-death of neoliberalism".)

The USSR managed to survive in a very hostile international environment more then 40 years (1945-1991) after Bolshevism was dead as an ideology. Absence of hostile environment, as well as the lack of alternative social system might prolong the life of neoliberalism. Also one advantage neoliberalism enjoyed is that collapse of the USSR was prompted by the ascendance of neoliberalism and betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura (which correctly decided that they will be better off under neoliberalism, then under Brezhnev socialism) is that socialism was discredited.   Also unlike KGB brass, which was instrumental in transition of the xUSSR space from Brezhnev socialism to neoliberalism (with the first stage of gangster capitalism) the USA and GB intelligence agencies (actually all five eyes intelligence agencies) still is ready to defend neoliberalism, as color revolution against Trump had shown.  

However, Brexit (and the election of Jeremy Corbyn as head of Labor) and the movements surrounding Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the United States are each in their own way symptomatic of a turning of the political tide against neoliberalism, especially such features as hyper-globalization and deregulation of financial markets. The benefits of free trade – of goods, services and capital – and outsourcing of labor to low-cost destinations are now being challenged across the political spectrum.

That means that the crisis of neoliberalism turned from the stage of purely intellectual  problems (collapse and discreditation of the ideology) to the stage of rising political challenges. Under Trump the effectiveness of neoliberal propaganda declined and start approaching the effectiveness of Soviet propaganda under Brezhnev. Neoliberal MSM are viewed by the majority of population of "fake news" -- the label in popularization of which Trump played an important role. Even "leading neoliberal economists" like Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Jeffrey Sachs and Thomas Piketty started voicing concerns.  Rising inequality lessen the cohesion of neoliberal societies and  created social tensions within them as we see in Marcon France. Even top economist from the IMF have recently acknowledged that neoliberalism has been “oversold”.

But we still do not see social system that will replace neoliberalism yet.  And that might prolog the life neoliberalism to the upper limit of the suggested range Meantime the crisis of neoliberalism created preconditions for the rise of far right movements and switch to "national neoliberalism" (or neoliberalism without globalization). Much like Stalinism was socialism within one given country with Trotsky idea of permanent world revolution till final victory of socialism sent to the dustbin). It is an interesting theoretical question if "national neoliberalism" promoted by Trump can be viewed as a flavor of neoliberalism or a flavor of neofascism. If the latter then neoliberalism already died around 2016 and existed in its classic form just 30 years or so.   I doubt  that we can do such equivalence.

At the current stage collapse of neoliberalism, if we can use this word, is still very slow and almost invisible.  Brexit and election of Trump in the USA are probably the first two most notable events after 2008 that can be interpreted as such. Both undermined "neoliberal globalization" -- one of the key components of neoliberalism, because like Communism before it is about building a global neoliberal empire (led by the USA financial oligarchy in close cooperation of other western oligarchies), without state borders.

Still "Great recession" which  started in 2008 is the fact of life. Nations took various roads out of the Great Depression and that's probably will be true for the Great Recession.  Some used deficit spending and the abandonment of the gold standard, which had to overcome resistance from business. In Germany, fascism removed "capitalist objections to full employment," wrote economist Michal Kalecki, by routing all deficit spending into rearmament and by keeping labor quiescent with political repression and permanent dictatorship.

We can envision  the same process of  the growing level of repression in the USA due to the growing gap between ideology postulates and the real life conditions, especially falling standard of living for most of the people (let's say, lower 80% in the USA. Top 20% including large part of "professional" class are doing just fine, much like nomenklatura in the USSR).

In the United States, the replacement ideology for unregulated capitalism on the early 20th was the New Deal. After some initial failed experimentation with planning, New Dealers settled on a framework of stimulus, regulation, unionization, progressive taxation, and anti-trust, heavily influenced by Louis Brandeis. To get people back to work and prime the economic pump, vast new public works were built, and millions were directly employed by the state. Business — especially finance — was regulated, above all to prevent concentration. Unions were protected under a new legal regime created by the National Labor Relations Act. Taxes on the rich were sharply increased, both to raise revenue and to deliberately prevent the accumulation of vast fortunes. Finally, world trade was managed under the Bretton-Woods system. New Deal ideology did not win at once and in 1937, FDR reversed the course and went back to austerity, instantly throwing millions out of work, and forcing him to return to deficit spending. It took the WWII war spending in 1941-1945 to entrench the New Deal and to eliminate mass unemployment. War also created the political space for Roosevelt to raise the top tax bracket to 94%. Think about it. Less then a century ago the top tax bracket in the USA was 94%. The erosion of the New Deal started almost immediately. For example, in 1847 trade union power was undercut by Taft–Hartley Act.

The New Deal framework held for about three decades after the end of the war — during which time the country also had the greatest economic boom in American history. Critically, this time the fruits of growth were also broadly shared. For all the many faults in the New Deal, in this period America was reformed from a country which functioned mostly on behalf of a tiny elite into one which functioned on behalf of a sizable chunk of population.

In this sense ascendance of neoliberalism was a counter-revolution against New Deal staged by financial elite:  fundamental economic bedrock is quite similar: deregulation, tax and spending cuts, union busting, and free trade. Its adherents resurrected the idea of the self-regulating market, creating an elaborate mathematic model in which depressions were always the result of structural problems, the economy is always at full employment, and nothing could be changed without making someone else worse off. Once again, the political message was that regulations and taxation should be kept as low as possible.

A generation of economists centered around the Chicago School, including Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Robert Lucas, provided the intellectual backbone, gaining strength in the 1950s and '60s. They argued that New Deal structures were a drag on economic growth, and that taxes, regulation, and social insurance needed to be cut. America simply couldn't afford the strangling red tape and high taxes of the New Deal. And this time, they assured everyone, things would be different — no 1929-style crash would be in the cards. That was all a very clever deception,  propaganda design at restoring the power of financial oligarchy undermined by the New Deal capitalism and increasing the rate of profits via financialization of everything. Plus a dream of world neoliberal revolution  taken directly from Trotskyite books (Neoliberalism can be viewed as a Trotskyism for the rich)

Neoliberals' opportunity came in the 1970s, when the world economy ran into difficulties and at the center of those difficulties was the rising price of oil. War spending, the baby boom coming of age, and the oil shocks created serious inflation and pushed the USA into a trade deficit, which broke the Bretton-Woods system. Profits declined and big business mobilized against labor and trade unions. The first wave of de-industrialization in the USA and offshoring of factories to Asia hit manufacturing.

I wonder if oil can serve as the grave digger of neoliberalism this time.

The limits of analogy between the collapse of neoliberalism and the collapse of the USSR

Like all analogies it far from being perfect.  Here are major objections:

  1. When the USSR collapsed neoliberal ideology was a clear alternative and the collapse of the USSR coincided with "triumphal march" of neoliberalism around the globe.  In a sense the USSR simply fall on the rails of the neoliberal train.
  2. Right now we do not see such a prominent alternative to the dominant neoliberal ideology, although it is clear that it is wrong and that neoliberal promise that high inequality speeds up economic development and "rising tide lifts all bots" proved to be a fake. But right now  neoliberalism  is still social system that is dominant globally (BTW this is true not only for the USA and Western Europe, but also for Russia and China).  Even after 2008 it managed to counterattack in Argentina and Brazil.
  3. Neoliberalism exists without  major geopolitical threat, unlike Soviet Union which existed in the hostile surrounding of major Western powers with their three letter agencies directly targeting this society. The "collective West" used huge money resources of Western financial system against the USSR, limit access to technology and scientific exchange, and created constant threat of the mere survival which justified huge military expenses (which in turn entrenched Soviet military-industrial complex which starved the civil society) and the burning desire (especially by the US neoliberal elite, which came to power in 1980 ) to get rid of competition by any means possible. 
  4. While Trump administration reminds in its incompetence Brezhnev administration, the gap is still tremendous. While Trump is definitely a third  rate politician, Gorbachov as a politician was simply a naive (and probably bought) idiot. In comparison with him Trump looks like a shrewd statesman (or, at least, a staunch nationalist.) Unless we assume that "Gorby" (cultivated by his handler Margaret Thatcher) was a traitor (the version that became increasingly popular in post Soviet space after 1991). But the complete absence of political talent (Gorbachov came to power as a protégé of Andropov)  is still the primary suspect, because you should not assume sinister motives when incompetence is enough for the explanation of the events (  The Soviet collapse Contradictions and neo-modernization ):

    The main charge that may be laid against Gorbachev as leader is that he lacked an effective strategy of statecraft: the mobilization of resources to make a country more self-confident, more powerful, more respected and more prosperous. Instead, Gorbachev frittered away the governmental capital accumulated by the Soviet regime, and in the end was unable to save the country which he had attempted to reform.

  5. Despite all difficulties the USA remains the owner of world reserve currency and the center of technological innovation (although in the later role it somewhat slipped). It military spending (which stimulate fundamental research) remains the largest in the world. The country still remains the magnet for immigration from other countries.
  6. Geographic location of the USA is such that it has no rivals that share common border.

Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich

There one, especially deep analogy between any neoliberal society and the USSR. Neoliberalism borrowed large part of its strategy and tactic of acquiring and maintaining power directly from  Marxism, specifically from the  flavor of Marxism, which partially originated (and remained popular until late 1940th) in the USA, and called Trotskyism (which Trotsky was a Russia émigré, he spend  his formative years in the USA).  Actually analogies with Marxism are to numerous to list.

The first notable analogy is the slogan "Dictatorship of "free markets"" instead of "dictatorship of proletariat."  With the same idea that the driving force of this social transformation is the intellectual "vanguard" recruited mainly from "Intelligentsia" (mainly right wing economists and philosophers of the  Mont Pelerin Society  created in `947 with the explicit goal to oppose socialism and Bolshevism) will drive steeple to the "bright future of all mankind" -- global neoliberal empire led by the USA. And that the end justifies the means.

In short, neoliberalism is a kind of "Trotskyism for rich." And it uses the same subversive tactics to get and stay in power, which were invented by Bolsheviks/Trotskyites. Including full scale use of intelligence agencies (during WWII Soviet intelligence agency -- NKDV -- rivaled the primary intelligence agencies of Nazi Germany -- Abwehr; CIA was by-and-large modeled on Abwehr  with Abwerh specialists directly participating in its creation ).  It also process the ideal of World Revolution -- with the goal of creating the global neoliberal empire. The neoliberal USA elite is hell-bent on this vision.

Like Trotskyism neoliberalism generally needs a scapegoat. Currently this role is served by Islamic fundamentalist movements. But recently Russia emerged like more convenient scapegoat, at least for "CIA democrats" like Obama and  Hillary Clinton.

Also like Bolshevism before, neoliberalism created its own "nomenklatura" -- the privileged class which exists outside the domain of capital owners. Which along with high level management and professionals include neoclassical academic economists. Who guarantee the level of brainwashing at the universities necessary for maintaining the neoliberal system.  This "creator class" fight for its self-preservation and against any challenges. Often quite effectively.

 Deification of markets (free market fundamentalism) like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold"

Yet another strong analogy is that the deification of markets much like the idea of "dictatorship of proletariat" is "fools gold". This fact was clearly established after the Great Recession, and one of the most succinct explanation of the stupidity of the idea of self-regulating market remains Karl Polanyi's famous book The Great Transformation.  Polanyi argued that the development of the modern state went hand in hand with the development of modern market economies and that these two changes were inextricably linked in history. And all talk about small state, state as "night watchman" are pure hypocrisy.  Like Marxism, neoliberalism really provides "the great transformation" because it both changes the human institutions and human morality. The latter in a very destructive way.  The book postulated that and "free market society" (where the function of social regulation is outsourced to the market forces)  is unsustainable because it is fatally destructive to human nature and the natural social contexts humans need to survive and prosper. 

Polanyi attempted to turn the tables on the orthodox liberal account of the rise of capitalism by arguing that “laissez-faire was planned”, whereas social protectionism was a spontaneous reaction to the social dislocation imposed by an unrestrained free market. He argues that the construction of a "self-regulating" market necessitates the separation of society into economic and political realms. Polanyi does not deny that the self-regulating market has brought "unheard of material wealth", but he suggests that this is too narrow a focus. The market, once it considers land, labor and money as "fictitious commodities" (fictitious because each possesses qualities that are not expressed in the formal rationality of the market), and including them "means to subordinate the substance of society itself to the laws of the market. This, he argues, results in massive social dislocation, and spontaneous moves by society to protect itself. In effect, Polanyi argues that once the free market attempts to separate itself from the fabric of society, social protectionism is society's natural response, which he calls the "double movement." Polanyi did not see economics as a subject closed off from other fields of enquiry, indeed he saw economic and social problems as inherently linked. He ended his work with a prediction of a socialist society, noting, "after a century of blind 'improvement', man is restoring his 'habitation.

But when 50 years passed and generation changed they manage to shove it down throat. Because the generation which experienced horrors of the Great Depression at this point was gone (and that include cadre of higher level management which still have some level of solidarity with workers against capital owners).

They were replaced with HBS and WBS graduates -- ready made neoliberals. Quit coup (in Simon Johnson terms) naturally  followed ( https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/05/the-quiet-coup/307364/ ) and we have hat we have.  In a sense neoliberalism and Managerialism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managerialism ) are closely related.  Here is how  he "reinvents" the concept  of "Minsky moment" in the new conditions of neoliberal globalization"

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

Neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack

Unlike Bolshevism after 1945, neoliberalism in zombie state (which it entered after 2008) remains dangerous and is able to counterattack -- the US sponsored efforts of replacement of left regimes in LA with right wing neoliberal regimes were by-and-large successful. I two key LA countries neoliberalism successfully counterattacked and won political power deposing more left regimes (Brazil and Argentina ). That happened despite that this phase of neoliberal era has been marked by slower growth, greater trade imbalances, and deteriorating social conditions. In Latin America the average growth rate was lower by 3 percent per annum in the 1990s than in the 1970s, while trade deficits as a proportion of GDP are much the same. Contrary to neoliberal propaganda the past 25 years (1980–2005) have also characterized by slower progress on social indicators for the vast majority of low- and middle-income countries [compared with the prior two decades ( https://monthlyreview.org/2006/04/01/neoliberalism-myths-and-reality/ ) :

In an effort to keep growing trade and current account deficits manageable, third world states, often pressured by the IMF and World Bank, used austerity measures (especially draconian cuts in social programs) to slow economic growth (and imports). They also deregulated capital markets, privatized economic activity, and relaxed foreign investment regulatory regimes in an effort to attract the financing needed to offset the existing deficits. While devastating to working people and national development possibilities, these policies were, as intended, responsive to the interests of transnational capital in general and a small but influential sector of third world capital. This is the reality of neoliberalism.

The danger of the end of "cheap oil" for neoliberalism

The Soviet Union collapsed partially due to the fact that collapse of oil prices (which might be engineered event) deprived it of the ability to buy the necessary goods from the West (which at this point included grain, due to inefficiency of Soviet model of  large centralized state owned agricultural complexes).

In case of the USA an opposite situation might also serve as a trigger: as soon as oil cross, say, $80 dollar per barrel mark most Western economies slide in "secular stagnation" and that means growing discontent of lower 80% of population. Also as  globalization is inherently dependent on cheap hydrocarbons and disappearance of cheap oil will male the current international patterns of flow of goods across countries with China as world manufacture  open to review.  

This is the situation when the irresistible force of globalization hits the brick wall of high oil prices. Also high cost of hydrocarbons means "end of growth" (aka permanent stagnation), and neoliberalism financial schemes based on cheap credit automatically implode in the environment of slow of zero growth. So expect that the next financial crisis will shake neoliberalism stronger then the crisis of 2008.

A lot of debt becomes unplayable, if growth stagnates. That makes manipulation of GDP numbers the issue of political and economic survival because this is the method of "inspiring confidence".  And the temptation to inspire confidence is too great to resists. Exactly like it was in the USSR. 

It might well be that the consistent price of oil, say, over $120 is a direct threat to neoliberal project in the USA. Even with prices over $100 the major neoliberal economics  tend to enter the stage of "secular stagnation". It also makes the US military which is a large consumer of oil in the USA much more expensive to run and virtually doubles the costs of  neoliberal "wars for regime change", essentially curtailing neoliberal expansion.

Election of Trump is just testament that some part of the US elite is ready for "Hail Mary" pass just to survive.  The same is true about financiering of color revolutions, which as a new type of neoliberal conquests of other countries, also require a lot of cash, although not at the scale of "boots on the ground".

 More on "zombie stage" of neoliberalism: the consequences of the situation when neoliberal ideology is already discredited

The implosion of the entire global banking/mortgage industry in 2008 has essentially delegitimized neoliberalism as an economic and social model which the U.S. has been pleased to espouse as the royal road to prosperity for decades. It signified the end of Washington Consensus.

At this point ideology of neoliberalism was completely discredited in a sense that promise prosperity for all via "free market" mechanisms. The whole concept of "free markets" is from now on is viewed as fake. Much like happened with bolshevism in the USSR.

It actually was viewed as fake after the Great Depression too, but the generation that remembered that died out and neoliberalism managed to perform its major coup d'état  in the USA in 1981. After trail balls in Chile and GB. 

Also its fake nature became evident to large part of global elite (which probably never have any illusions from the very beginning) as well, which is even more dangerous, a large part of upper middle class in many developing countries, the social strata from which "fifth column of neoliberal globalization" is typically recruited. 

Global neoliberal empire still is supported by pure military and financial power of the USA and its Western (and some Asian, such as Japan) allies as well as technological superiority of the West in general. So right now mainly ideological postulates of neoliberalism, especially as its "free market absolutism", started to be questioned.  And partially revised (the trend which is visible in increase financial regulation in most Western countries). So "self-regulation free market model proved to be neither self-regulating, not really free -- it just transferred the cost of its blunders on the society at large.  This form of neoliberalism with the core ideology intact but with modified one of several postulates can be called post-neoliberalism or zombie neoliberalism. 

Rule of financial oligarchy like the rule of "nomenklatura" in the USSR is under increasing scrutiny

While indoctrination now reached almost all adult population,  there are some instances of resistance, especially among young people, who are insisting that casino capitalism is an act of violence against them and destruction of their future. And if it does not come to an end, what we might experience a mass destruction of human life if not  the planet itself. 

Both Obama and Trump proved to be masters of the "bait and switch" maneuver, but the anger of population did not dissipated and at some point still can explode.

Rule of financial oligarchy also gradually comes under some (although very limited) scrutiny in the USA. Some measures to restrict appetites of financial oligarchy were recently undertaken in Europe (bank bonuses limitations).

HFT and derivatives still remain off-reach for regulators despite JP Morgan fiasco in May 2012 in London branch. Trade loss was around two billions, decline of bank value was around $13bn (The Guardian) At this stage most people around the world realized that as Warren Buffett's right-hand man Charlie Munger quipped in his CNBC interview Trusting banks to self-regulate is like trusting to self-regulate heroin addicts. At the meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) heads of states in the spring of 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the death of “the Washington Consensus” — the famous list of market-liberalizing policy prescriptions that guided the previous 20 or 30 years of neoliberal expansion into third world countries  (Painter 2009).

Prominent economists in the United States and elsewhere pointed out that after decades of reform, market-liberalizing policies had not produced the promised benefits for either economic growth or social welfare of countries were those policies were applied (Stiglitz 2002, 2006; Rodrik 2006). These criticisms further undermined the legitimacy of neoliberal governance, exactly the same way as similar criticism undermined socialist model of the USSR and Eastern Europe. the problem is that while socialist experiment could be compared with the Western countries capitalism achievement, here there is no alternative model with which to compare.

Still a backlash directed at the USA is mounting even from the former loyal vassals. Even the UK elite starts to display the behavior that contradict its role of the US poodle. The atmosphere is which the USA is considered "guilty" of pushing though the throats of other countries a utopia that harmed them is a different atmosphere for the US oligarchy that the role of it accustomed to.

Everybody is now aware of the substantial costs that the modern financial system has imposed on the real economy and no amount of propaganda and brainwashing can hide this simple fact. It is questionable that the "financial innovations" of the last three-four decades can compensate for those huge costs and that they warrants those costs. Shocks generated within the financial system and transformation of economies imposed by international financial oligarchy as the core of neoliberal elite, implies that the rule of financial oligarchy creates negative externalities for societies and that some types of financial activities and some financial structures should be treated like an organized crime (as purely parasitic, extortionist type of players).

Still this stage preserves several attributes of previous stage and first of all push for globalization and aggressive foreign policy. While economic crisis of 2008 destroyed legitimacy of ideology of neoliberalism, neoliberalism as an ideology continue to exists as a cult, much like communism as an ideology continues to exist, despite the failure of the USSR. And being phony ideology from the very beginning, a smokescreen for  the revanchism of financial oligarchy, it still can be promoted by unrelenting propaganda machine of the same forces which put it into mainstream albeit with les efficiency.  

Rise of nationalism as the reaction on neoliberal globalization
much like it was a reaction on Brezhnev's stagnation in the USSR

While no viable alternatives emerged, and inertia is still strong, and G7 block with the USA as the head is still the dominant world power, the crash are now visible in the global neoliberalism façade.  Like in 20th failure the globalization and unrestrained financial markets (which produced the Great Depression)  the financial crisis of 2008 led to the dramatic rise of nationalism, especially in Europe (France, Hungary, Ukraine). In some countries, such as Ukraine, the net result of neoliberal revolution was establishing  far right regime which has uncanny similarities to the régimes which came to power in 30th such as Franco regime in Spain.  The global neoliberal dominance as a social system still continues, it is just the central idea of neoliberalism, the fake idea of self-regulating market that was completely discredited by the crisis (it was discredited before during Great Depression, but the generation the remembered the lesson is now extinct (it looks like it takes approximately 50 years for humanity to completely forget the lessons of history ;-).

This rise of nationalism was also a feature of the USSR political space in 80th. Formally it was nationalist sentiments that buried the USSR.

Around the world, economists and policymakers now come to consensus that excessive reliance on unregulated financial markets and the unrestrained rule of financial oligarchy was the root cause of the current worldwide financial crisis. That created a more difficult atmosphere for the USA financial institutions to operate abroad. Several countries are now trying to limit role of dollar as the world currency (one of the sins Saddam Hussein paid the price).

Also internal contradictions became much deeper and the neoliberal regime became increasingly unstable even in the citadel of neoliberalism -- the USA. Like any overstretched empire it became hollow within with stretches on potholes ridden roads and decaying infrastructure visible to everyone. Politically, the Republican Party became a roadblock for any meaningful reform (and its radical wing -- the tea party even sending its representatives to Congress), the Party that is determined to rather take the USA the road of the USSR, then change its ideology. All this points to the fact that neoliberalism as an socio-economic doctrine is following the path of Bolshevism.

Neoliberal propaganda gradually lost effectiveness,
 and now  invokes internal protest and rejection much like Marxist propaganda in the USSR

Neoliberalism failed to fulfill its promises for the bottom 80% of population. They became more poorer, job security deteriorated, good jobs disappear, and even McJobs are scare judging from the fact that Wall Mart and McDonalds are able to fully staff their outlets.  McJobs are jobs that does not provide a living wages.  Opiod epidemics reminds me epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR during Brezhnev period.  Cannabis legalization belong to the same trend.

But its media dominance of neoliberalism paradoxically continues unabated. And this is despite the fact that after the crisis of 2008, the notion that finance mobilizes and allocates resources efficiently, drastically reduces systemic risks and brings significant productivity gains for the economy as a whole became untenable. We can expect that like was the case with Catholicism in middle ages and Bolshevism in the USSR, zombie phase of neoliberalism can last many decades (in the USSR, "zombie" state lasted two decades, say from 1970 to 1991, and neoliberalism with its emphasis on low human traits such as greed and supported by military and economic power of the USA, is considerably more resilient then Bolshevism). As of 2013 it is still supported by elites of several major western states (such as the USA, GB, Germany, France), transnational capital (and financial capital in particular) and respective elites out of the sense of self-preservation. That means that is it reasonable to expect that its rule in G7 will continue (like Bolshevism rule in the USSR in 70th-80th) despite probably interrupted by bursts of social violence (Muslim immigrants in Europe are once such force).

In the US, for example, income and wealth inequality continue to increase, with stagnating middle-class earnings, reduced social mobility, and an allegedly meritocratic higher education system, generously supported by tax exemptions, has been turned into the system whose main beneficiaries are the children of the rich and successful. Superimposed on this class divide is an increasingly serious intergenerational divide, and increases level of unemployment of young people, which make social atmosphere somewhat similar to the one in Egypt, although the pressure from Muslim fundamentalists is absent.

More and more neoliberalism came to be perceived as a ruse intended to safeguard the interests of a malignantly narcissistic empire (the USA) and of rapacious multinationals. It is now more and more linked with low-brow cultural homogeneity, social Darwinism, encroachment on privacy, mass production of junk, and suppression of national sentiments and aspiration in favor of transnational monopolies. It even came to be associated with a bewildering variety of social ills: rising crime rates, unemployment, poverty, drug addiction, prostitution, organ trafficking, and other antisocial forms of conduct.

While ideology of neoliberalism is by-and-large discredited, the global economic institutions associated with its rise are not all equally moribund. For example, the global economic crisis of 2008 has unexpectedly improved the fortunes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization long famous for the neoliberal policy conditions attached to its loans that served to incorporate countries into a global neoliberal economic system. In 2008, a cascade of financial crises in Eastern Europe and Iceland fattened the IMF’s dwindling loan portfolio.

World Trade Organization (WTO), the key US-used and abused universal opener of markets to US corporations and investments is in worse shape then IMF, but still is able to enforce Washington consensus rules. The Doha round of negotiations is stalled, mostly due to irresolvable disputes between developed and developing countries. Consequently, the current crisis of neoliberalism raises many important questions about the future path of the current international institutions promoting the neoliberal order. But still Russia joined WTO in 2012 which means that this organization got a new lease of life.

The slide to "Neoliberalism in name only" under Trump

When ideology collapses the elite often resorts to corporatism (and in extreme case to neo-fascism) That happened briefly in the USSR under Andropov, but he did not last long enough to establish a trend.

Trumps "national neoliberalism" (neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization) mixed with economic nationalism can be called "neoliberalism in name only". Trump foreign economic policies look more and more like an economic aggression, economic racket, then a neoliberal economic policy (which presuppose treating financial oligarchy of other countries as equals). Looks like Trump's "national neoliberalism" became "Hail Mary pass" with which the US financial oligarchy seeks to maintain at all costs it global dominance (The Great Crash, 2008: A Geopolitical Setback for the West , Foreign Affairs)

The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States.

A brutal recession is unfolding in the United States, Europe, and probably Japan -- a recession likely to be more harmful than the slump of 1981-82. The current financial crisis has deeply frightened consumers and businesses, and in response they have sharply retrenched. In addition, the usual recovery tools used by governments -- monetary and fiscal stimuli -- will be relatively ineffective under the circumstances.

This damage has put the American model of free-market capitalism under a cloud. The financial system is seen as having collapsed; and the regulatory framework, as having spectacularly failed to curb widespread abuses and corruption. Now, searching for stability, the U.S. government and some European governments have nationalized their financial sectors to a degree that contradicts the tenets of modern capitalism.

Much of the world is turning a historic corner and heading into a period in which the role of the state will be larger and that of the private sector will be smaller. As it does, the United States' global power, as well as the appeal of U.S.-style democracy, is eroding.

The USSR war in Afghanistan and the rampant militarism of the US neoliberal empire:
you can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them

The USSR occupation of Afghanistan was actually a trap created by Carter administration in order to weaken and possibly destroy  the USSR. They wanted that the USSR experienced its own Vietnam-style defeat.  As a side effect they created political Islam and Islam fundamentalist movement (exemplified by former CIA asset Osama bin Laden) that later bite them in the back.

The US elite got into this trap voluntarily after 9/11: first via occupations of  Afghanistan (the war continues to this day), then occupation of Iraq, Libya and initiating "color revolution" (and train and supply Sunni Islam fundamentalists, along with KSA and Turkey) to depose Assad government in Syria.

The USA still remains the most powerful country in the world with formidable military, and still can dictate it will military for small countries in a classic sense --  in a sense that "might makes right". It still can afford to behave as a word hegemon and the only source of justice ignoring the UN and other International organization, unless it is convenient to them.

But there are costs attacked and in case of Iraq war they are already substantial (to the tune of several trillion dollars). While effects on the USA economy of those set of wars of managing and expanding its neoliberal empire (and repartitioning ME, securing oil access and repartitioning the region in favor of Israel regional interests)  are still in the future, military adventurism was a gravestone on many previous empires, which tend to overstretch themselves and this fasten their final day. 

As Napoleon noted "You can do anything with bayonets, but you can't sit on them". having first class military weakens is not everything when you face guerilla resistance in occupied country. Running aggressive foreign policy on a discredited ideology and relying on blunt propaganda and false flag operations is a difficult undertaking as resistance mounts and bubble out in un-anticipated areas.

Ukraine is one recent example, when neoliberal color revolution, which was performed by few thousands trained by the West far right militants, including openly neo-fascist squads, led to civil war in the country. Syria is another case of unanticipated effects, as Russia did not want to repeat experience of Libya and intervened, interfering with the USA goal of establishing Sunni-based Islamist regime, subservant to KSA and Turkey, and/or dismembering the country and creating   several weak Sunny dominated statelets with jihadists in power, the situation which greatly  benefit Turkey and Israel.  Israel correctly consider secular Assad régime as a greater threat and major obstacle in annexation of Golan Heights and eliminating Hezbollah in Lebanon.  It would prefer weak islamist regimes, hopefully engaged in protracted civil war to Assad regime any time.

Unfortunately, the recent troika of "neoliberalized" countries -- Libya, Syria  and Ukraine --  were not probably a swan song of muscular enforcement of neoliberal model on other countries. While sponsored by the USA and allies anti-Putin putsch in Russia (aka "white revolution") failed, events in Libya and, especially,  Ukraine prove the neoliberalism still can launch and win offensives at relatively low, acceptable cost (via color revolutions mechanism ). The main cost carry the population of the target country which is plunged  into economic and political chaos, in most cases including the civil war.  

But in the USA those wars also somewhat backfire with broken domestic infrastructure, decaying bridges and angered, restless, and partially drugged by opioids  population.  As well as thousands of crippled young men healthcare for whom till end of their lives will cost large amount of money.

In such circumstances chances of raising to power of an openly nationalistic leader substantially increase. Which was already demonstrated quite convincingly by the election of Trump.

Conclusions

Analogy of current crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and the USSR collapse is demonstrably far from perfect. The USSR was always in far less favorable conditions  than the USA, operating is a hostile environment encircled by Western powers interested in its demise; also the collapse of the USSR happened during "triumphal march of neoliberalism" which provided ready-made alternative to Brezhnev's socialism and stimulated the betrayal of Soviet nomenklatura of their old ideology and "switching ideological camps").  But the key to collapse of the USSR was the collapse of Bolshevik's ideology, which has happened some time from 1945 to 1963. And this is a common element with the situation of the USA now.

Which does not bode well for the USA future, if the hypothesis that the same fundamental forces are in play in both cases. In this sense the collapse of neoliberal ideology ("free market fundamentalism"), which happened in  2008 is a bad omen indeed.

There is still a chance that the US elite proves to be flexible again  and manage to escape this "ideological mousetrap" by switching to some new ideology, but they are pretty weak, if we look at the quality of Trump administration and the personalities in the USA Congress. The latter clearly resembles the level of degeneration of Soviet Politburo.

Some members of Congress and key figured in Trump administration way  too closely correspond to the depiction of sociopaths to stay comfortable.  Some are perverts. The same was true about certain parts of Soviet "nomenklatura", especially leaders of Komsomol (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League ), from which such questionable post-communist figures such a Khodorkovsky, in Russia (of "pipes and corpses" film fame), and Turchinov in Ukraine  later emerged.

The recent humiliation of the US representative in the UN Nikki Haley by Bolivian representative also suggest that neoliberal propaganda lost large part of its effectiveness and unilateral military actions by the USA are now questioned more effectively: Bolivian UN Rep Sacha Llorenti Blasts U.S. for Attacking Syria, Educates Nikki Haley on Iraq, UN & U.S. History

Llorenti’s fourteen minute address to the UNSC was a tour de force – a critique of unilateral military action by the U.S. (it violates the UN charter), an analysis of previous emotional appeals for urgent action (think Colin Powell in 2003), as well as a reminder of the United States’ long history of interventionism in Latin America. Llorenti also called the UNSC to task for its internal structure, which grants considerably more power upon its five permanent members than it does its ten non-permanent members.

It was a remarkable anti-imperialist display. Read a partial transcript and/or watch the full video below.

That closely corresponds to what had happened with Bolshevism ideology around 1980 -- when it became the source of jokes both inside the USSR and abroad.  Or a little bit later, if we remember "Tear down this wall!" -- a line from a speech made by US President Ronald Reagan in West Berlin on June 12, 1987. When  Paul Craig Roberts  claims that It Has Become Embarrassing To Be An American  that is a symptom of a problem, yet another symptom of the demise of neoliberal propaganda,  despite obvious exaggeration.

It would be  too much stretch to state that neoliberal and especially globalist propaganda is now rejected both by population within the USA (which resulted in defeat of Hillary Clinton -- an establishment candidates and election of the  "wild card" candidate  -- Donald Trump -- with clearly nationalistic impulses) and outside the USA. 


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[Sep 18, 2019] Gee, didn't we have this advantage once? Thanks, neoliberals!

Sep 18, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Trade

"The Trade War Spurs China's Technology Innovators Into Overdrive" [ Industry Week ]. "In Shenzhen's glitzy financial district, a five-year-old outfit creates a 360-degree sports camera that goes on to win awards and draw comparisons to GoPro Inc. Elsewhere in the Pearl River Delta, a niche design house is competing with the world's best headphone makers. And in the capital Beijing, a little-known startup becomes one of the biggest purveyors of smartwatches on the planet. Insta360, SIVGA and Huami join drone maker DJI Technology Co. among a wave of startups that are dismantling the decades-old image of China as a clone factory -- and adding to Washington's concerns about its fast-ascending international rival.

Within the world's No. 2 economy, Trump's campaign to contain China's rise is in fact spurring its burgeoning tech sector to accelerate design and invention. The threat they pose is one of unmatchable geography: by bringing design expertise and innovation to the place where devices are manufactured, these companies are able to develop products faster and more cheaply ." •

Gee, didn't we have this advantage once? Thanks, neoliberals!

[Sep 17, 2019] How Elizabeth Warren Became the Democratic Party Establishment's Insurance Policy by Danny Haiphong

Notable quotes:
"... This is no coincidence. The DNC elite, a who's who of Wall Street donors and "party insiders," have chosen Elizabeth Warren as the safest insurance policy to Joe Biden. Warren has positioned herself as the safer version of progressivism in contradistinction to Bernie Sanders' full-fledged New Deal politics. ..."
"... In recent weeks, Elizabeth Warren has been putting smiles on the faces of the Democratic Party establishment. Her performance at the DNC's summer fundraiser in San Francisco in late August received widespread positive coverage from the corporate media. The New York Times , for example, reported that Warren has been sending private messages to Democratic Party insiders to let them know that she is more interested in leading a "revival" of the Democratic Party rather than a revolution. ..."
"... In other words, Elizabeth Warren is saying and doing all the right things to position herself as the DNC's choice for the presidential nomination should the Biden campaign continue to falter. ..."
"... The DNC is looking for a candidate who will oppose Trump but support the neoliberal and foreign policy consensus that exists in Washington. At first, Warren's mimicry of Bernie Sanders' talking points raised a few eyebrows on Wall Street. While some of those eyebrows remain raised, the DNC clearly prefers Warren's "revival" over Sanders' "political revolution." ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | ahtribune.com

From forgetting former President Barack Obama's name to having your wife ask voters to "swallow a little bit" of his pro-corporate positions on healthcare, the oligarchs in control of the two-party political system in the United States are well aware of Biden's struggles . According to the Washington Times , Biden is losing the support from the corporate media. The editorial cited a study from Axios which concluded that of 100 media stories about the Biden campaign that received the most attention on social media, 77 were negative in character. While Biden consistently leads in the polls, the DNC elite has gone fishing for of an insurance policy for Biden's flailing campaign.

Enter Elizabeth Warren. At first, the Massachusetts Senator seemed like a dark horse in the race and a mere thorn in the side of Bernie Sanders. Kamala Harris appeared to be the early DNC favorite and her campaign has worked overtime to show its commitment to a neoliberal economic and political agenda. However, Harris was stymied by Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard's thirty second run down of her record as Defense Attorney and Attorney General for the state of California during the second Democratic Party primary debate. Ever since, Harris has seen her stock decline mightily in the polls while Elizabeth Warren's polling numbers have increased dramatically.

This is no coincidence. The DNC elite, a who's who of Wall Street donors and "party insiders," have chosen Elizabeth Warren as the safest insurance policy to Joe Biden. Warren has positioned herself as the safer version of progressivism in contradistinction to Bernie Sanders' full-fledged New Deal politics. As far back as late February of 2019, Warren was deriding corporate "special interests" while signaling that she would not succumb to "unilateral disarmament" in a general election against Trump by forgoing corporate donations.

The progressivism of Elizabeth Warren was thus a malleable project with a history of inconsistency, as evidenced by her constant flip-flopping on issues such as the privatization of education in Massachusetts.

In recent weeks, Elizabeth Warren has been putting smiles on the faces of the Democratic Party establishment. Her performance at the DNC's summer fundraiser in San Francisco in late August received widespread positive coverage from the corporate media. The New York Times , for example, reported that Warren has been sending private messages to Democratic Party insiders to let them know that she is more interested in leading a "revival" of the Democratic Party rather than a revolution.

An article in The Atlantic provided snippet remarks from people like Don Fowler, described in the piece as a former DNC-chair and "long-time Clinton-family loyalist," who called Warren "smart as shit" for her inside-out approach to her political campaign. A more recent editorial in The New York Times offered a glimpse into Warren's former big donor connections from her 2018 Senate campaign. According to the Times , Warren was able to transfer 10.4 million USD to her presidential campaign effort in part because of the generosity of the very same corporate elite that she now condemns as holding too much influence over the Democratic Party. NBC News further revealed that Elizabeth Warren has an open line of communication with the much maligned but infamous Democratic Party establishment leader, Hillary Clinton.

In other words, Elizabeth Warren is saying and doing all the right things to position herself as the DNC's choice for the presidential nomination should the Biden campaign continue to falter.

Donald Trump is guaranteed the nomination for the Republican Party ticket after taking over the party in 2016 from defunct establishment figures such as Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz.

The DNC is looking for a candidate who will oppose Trump but support the neoliberal and foreign policy consensus that exists in Washington. At first, Warren's mimicry of Bernie Sanders' talking points raised a few eyebrows on Wall Street. While some of those eyebrows remain raised, the DNC clearly prefers Warren's "revival" over Sanders' "political revolution."

MORE...

That's because Warren's campaign to "revive" the Democratic Party is bereft of political principle. Whatever Sanders' political limitations as a "left" alternative to the establishment, the Vermont Senator is by far more progressive than Warren. Warren voted for the Trump Administration's recent military budget in 2017 even after tens of billions of dollars were added by Congress to the original proposal. During Israel's 2014 massacre of the Palestinians in Operation Protective Edge, Warren claimed Israel had a right to defend itself. Bernie Sanders offers a clear proposal for Medicare for All already drafted in the Senate, while Elizabeth Warren believes that Medicare for All can be implemented in "many different ways." In CNN's Climate Town Hall, Warren opposed public control of utilities while Sanders supported it. A deeper look at Elizabeth Warren reveals that she is more aligned with the establishment than she wants the public to believe.

All of this is to say that the DNC is looking for the best-case scenario for its corporate masters, which is the worst-case scenario for working people in the United States. The principle goal of the DNC is to stop Bernie Sanders from getting anywhere near the nomination. Prior to Warren becoming insurance policy for Joe Biden, the DNC hoped that the Massachusetts Senator would split supporters of Bernie Sanders down the middle. This would lead either to a clear path to the nomination for a handpicked candidate (Biden, Harris, fill in the blank) or to a contested convention where the unelected but very wealthy "superdelegates" would cast the deciding vote. Should Warren have turned out a lame duck, the DNC could still rely on over a dozen candidates with careerist ambitions to force a contested election at the DNC convention in Milwaukee.

Workers in the United States have no insurance policy when it comes to the 2020 presidential election or any other election for that matter. Austerity, privatization, and super exploitation is the law of the capitalist land in the USA. Sanders is attractive to many workers in the U.S. because of his consistent articulation of an anti-austerity platform which includes living wage employment, a Green New Deal to help provide that employment, and a solid commitment to Medicare for All. But Sanders remains deeply loyal to the Democratic Party and has stated firmly on several occasions on the campaign trail that he would support any Democratic Party candidate should he lose the nomination. Sanders frames Donald Trump as the most dangerous element in U.S. society even as his own party colludes to prevent him from having a fair shot at the nomination. Sanders and his supporters must realize that Elizabeth Warren is not a friend, but an opportunist who is more than willing to profit from their demise. The best-case scenario for the working class is that wall to wall resistance to Sanders will lead to a mass exodus from the party and open the door for an independent worker's party to form amid the collapse of the DNC.

*(Top image: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking with attendees at the 2019 National Forum on Wages and Working People hosted by the Center for the American Progress Action Fund and the SEIU at the Enclave in Las Vegas, Nevada. Credit: Gage Skidmore/ flickr ) Danny Haiphong is the co-author of the book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People's History of Fake News-From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror .

[Sep 17, 2019] In New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren described a government compromised by the influence of the wealthy. President Trump, in New Mexico, denounced a "failed [neo]liberal establishment.

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Warren described Washington as utterly compromised by the influence of corporations and the extremely wealthy, and laid out a detailed plan for cleansing it. ..."
"... "Corruption has put our planet at risk, corruption has broken our economy and corruption is breaking our democracy," Ms. Warren said Monday evening. "I know what's broken, I've got a plan to fix it and that's why I'm running for president of the United States." ..."
"... Their version of populism, which Mr. Sanders pioneered but did not bring to fruition when he challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016, is about attacking concentrated wealth and economic power and breaking its influence over government. Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, effectively tied for second place in their party's primary, both describe the country's political institutions as rotten and vow to make vast changes to the economy ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs, September 17, 2019 at 09:47 AM

Warren and Trump Speeches Attack Corruption, but Two Different Kinds https://nyti.ms/2IaKMVQ

NYT - Alexander Burns - September 17

In New York, Senator Elizabeth Warren described a government compromised by the influence of the wealthy. President Trump, in New Mexico, denounced a "failed liberal establishment."

Senator Elizabeth Warren stood beneath a marble arch in New York City, telling a crowd of thousands that she would lead a movement to purge the government of corruption. Not far from the site of a historic industrial disaster, Ms. Warren described Washington as utterly compromised by the influence of corporations and the extremely wealthy, and laid out a detailed plan for cleansing it.

"Corruption has put our planet at risk, corruption has broken our economy and corruption is breaking our democracy," Ms. Warren said Monday evening. "I know what's broken, I've got a plan to fix it and that's why I'm running for president of the United States."

Only a few hours later, on a stage outside Albuquerque, President Trump took aim at a different phenomenon that he also described as corruption. Before his own roaring crowd, Mr. Trump cast himself as a bulwark against the power not of corporations but of a "failed liberal establishment" that he described as attacking the country's sovereignty and cultural heritage.

"We're battling against the corrupt establishment of the past," Mr. Trump said, warning in grim language: "They want to erase American history, crush religious liberty, indoctrinate our students with left-wing ideology."

The two back-to-back addresses laid out the competing versions of populism that could come to define the presidential campaign. From the right, there is the strain Mr. Trump brought to maturity in 2016, combining the longstanding grievances of the white working class with a newer, darker angst about immigration and cultural change. And on the left, there is a vastly different populist wave still gaining strength, defined in economic terms by Ms. Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The messages underlined the possibility that the 2020 election could be the first in a generation to be fought without an ally of either party's centrist establishment on the ballot. While it is by no means certain that Ms. Warren will emerge as the Democratic nominee, two of her party's top three candidates -- Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders -- are trumpeting themes of economic inequality and promises of sweeping political and social reform.

Their version of populism, which Mr. Sanders pioneered but did not bring to fruition when he challenged Hillary Clinton in 2016, is about attacking concentrated wealth and economic power and breaking its influence over government. Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, effectively tied for second place in their party's primary, both describe the country's political institutions as rotten and vow to make vast changes to the economy . ...


[Sep 17, 2019] Warren scoops an important endorsement from The New York Times:

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , September 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM

Let's hope the Sanders campaign does not play this card.

"Senator Professor Warren continues to play error-free baseball in this here presidential campaign. Not only does she schedule a certified Big Speech in Washington Square Park in New York on Monday night to talk about the contributions of women to the labor movement not far from the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, but also, in the afternoon, she scoops an important endorsement across town. From The New York Times:

'The party endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the last presidential cycle, at which time he described Working Families as "the closest thing" to "my vision of democratic socialism." The group's endorsement of Ms. Warren on Monday, one of the few by a prominent progressive organization this early in the primary, is sure to turn heads among left-leaning Democrats who are desperate to defeat the current front-runner, Mr. Biden, in a primary election where their party's ideological future is at stake.

Mr. Mitchell brushed off the possibility that the group's endorsement would be seen as a sign of a splintering of the progressive left. The vote among "tens of thousands" of party members resulted in a commanding majority for Ms. Warren, a party spokesman said; she received more than 60 percent of the votes on the first ballot.'

The Sanders camp is already raising holy hell. They will now position SPW as a tool of her corporate masters. (That's been going on for a while now among some of the more enthusiastic adherents of the Sanders campaign. My guess is that it will become more general now.) The WFP endorsement is an important and clarifying one. If there is a liberal lane, there's some daylight open now."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29071011/elizabeth-warren-working-families-party-endorsement/

[Sep 17, 2019] Warren calls the reforms she envisions to corporate mandates and governance "accountable capitalism."

Notable quotes:
"... I do like the author's take on the importance of corporations' fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, though. There WAS a time when a company's first priority was customer satisfaction. The moment they became corporations, however, customers went out the window in favor of the shareholders. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Go to the section of Warren's website entitled "Plans" and at the time of this writing you'll have a choice between a staggering 43 links. Many of the plans could hugely impact our economy, but one stands above the rest in its potential to overhaul our commercia landscape. Warren calls the reforms she envisions to corporate mandates and governance "accountable capitalism."

Corporations sometimes do bad things, and Warren's plan might stop some of them.

So just what is accountable capitalism? It was originally a bill proposed by Senator Warren last year. In a fawning write-up in Vox , Matthew Yglesias inadvertently exposed the idea's flimsy intellectual foundation:

Warren's plan starts from the premise that corporations that claim the legal rights of personhood should be legally required to accept the moral obligations of personhood.

... ... ...

Warren's plan requires corporations valued at over $1 billion to obtain a special federal charter. This charter exposes corporations to regulation from a new Office of United States Corporations that "tells company directors to consider the interests of all relevant stakeholders -- shareholders, but also employees, customers, and the community within which the company operates -- when making decisions."

... ... ...

Warren has spent much of her career crusading against the harmful and unjust cozy relationships between Wall Street and government, often to her credit. It's curious that someone with such expertise in the matter doesn't seem at all concerned that this new "accountability" would multiply the number of meetings, phone calls, and emails between senior regulators and the titans of the private sector.

These billion-dollar corporations already employ armies of lawyers and accountants to navigate regulatory minefields and turn them into weapons against their smaller competitors. Does Warren believe this practice will stop overnight?

If most rent-seeking were a matter of nefarious corporate executives buying off weak or greedy officials, we could just elect better people. The fact that this problem persists over decades is indicative of a more subtle process. Rent-seeking is an inevitable systemic feature in a network with thousands of contact points between business and government.


Itchy and Scratchy , 25 minutes ago link

She had her chance in the '08 credit crash when she took on Wall Street & The Banksters!

She ended up filling the Banksters & 1%'ers pockets with billions of Tarp funds some of which were donated to her campaign while enacting competition killing Dodd Frank compliance laws! No one was ever charged or convicted for the $9Trillion debacle!

Nice work Princess Squatting Bull!

JustPastPeacefield , 29 minutes ago link

Last time around we had the Bernie Bro. Introducing the Lizzie Lez.

Get used to it. She's the nominee. Even the corrupt DNC knows Biden is halfway to senile. She's got the mojo this time around.

fightapathy , 50 minutes ago link

I recall Barry the magical ***** had similar plans that disappeared the moment of his coronation/deification. Campaign plans are like that: fictional lies that vanish like magic.

I do like the author's take on the importance of corporations' fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, though. There WAS a time when a company's first priority was customer satisfaction. The moment they became corporations, however, customers went out the window in favor of the shareholders.

These days, thanks to algos, things like revenue and performance don't even seem to matter to stock valuation anymore, only buybacks and options seem to keep prices up.

mabuhay1 , 51 minutes ago link

The problem of corporation lack of empathy is not caused by capitalism, it is caused by the lack of moral values of the people running the corporation. What is needed is a moral framework within which to raise our young... Religion? Yes! correct answer.

NYC80 , 56 minutes ago link

I think the author is too generous with Warren's intentions. She pretends she cares, and this is her misguided effort to "help". I don't think that's true.

Look at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It, too, sounds like it's about "helping" people. Warren proposed the whole thing, and wrote much of the legislation.

Its real purpose, if you look at its actions (which, I remind you, speak louder than words) is to extort money from large companies in order to fund left-wing activist groups. In nearly all its settlements, the CFPB offers companies the option to "donate" money to these third-party groups in lieu of larger fines and penalties. They've diverted billions of dollars to activist groups. Controlling the money allows them to control the groups, and these groups can exert all kinds of pressure, usually in ways that would be illegal, if done directly by the government.

It's the equivalent of having the government fund paramilitary groups or third party propaganda.

Warren would establish this new "Office of United States Corporations" to extort even more money, diverted to third parties to use to destroy people, companies, and anything else she'd like to target but cannot target directly through government because of our pesky Constitution.

She's an aspiring totalitarian dictator, using clever language and 21st century tools. Don't pretend, for a moment, that she's interested in "helping" anyone - she'd happily kill as many people as Hitler or Stalin ever did, if she had the chance.

[Sep 17, 2019] Elizabeth Warren releases sweeping anti-corruption plan

Sep 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 16, 2019 at 08:22 AM

Elizabeth Warren releases sweeping anti-corruption plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/09/16/elizabeth-warren-releases-sweeping-anti-corruption-plan-central-her-campaign/SXm5u4AadbvrKDcXfJPEHI/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Steve Peoples and Will Weissert - AP - September 16

NEW YORK -- Elizabeth Warren has released a sweeping anti-government corruption proposal, providing a detailed policy roadmap for a fight she says is at the core of her presidential campaign.

( https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/end-washington-corruption )

The Democratic senator from Massachusetts is announcing the plan Monday in Manhattan's Washington Square Park, near the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Co., which caught fire in 1911, killing 140-plus workers. Many of those deaths later were attributed to neglected safety features, such as doors that were locked inside the factory.

Warren's plan would ban lobbyists from many fundraising activities and serving as political campaign bundlers, tighten limits on politicians accepting gifts or payment for government actions and bar senior officials and members of Congress from serving on nonprofit boards. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 16, 2019 at 08:29 AM
Elizabeth Warren says she has
a plan for that. Here's a running list
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/07/11/elizabeth-warren-says-she-has-plan-for-that-here-running-list/EHsPJR7JCSs3tBYe7sXxEN/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - September 16

Senator Elizabeth Warren is blitzing the 2020 Democratic primary field with a series of ambitious policy proposals covering everything from student loans to the use of federal lands.

Her proposals have become a signature part of her campaign, solidifying her reputation as a policy wonk and spurring a new campaign slogan: "I have a plan for that."

Big Tech breakup
Child care
Clean energy
Criminal justice
Economic patriotism
Electoral college
Farmers
Filibuster
Green energy
Gun control
Higher education
Housing
Immigration
Minority entrepreneurship
Native American issues
Opioids
Pentagon ethics
Public lands
Puerto Rico
Racial wage disparities
Reparations
Roe v. Wade
Rural communities
State Department
Tax plans
Trade
Voting rights
Wall Street regulation

(more detail at the link)

im1dc -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 16, 2019 at 05:10 PM
S. Warren proposal is AWESOME and NEEDED

Here's another journalist take on it...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/maryanne-trump-barry-elizabeth-warren-goes-after-president-trumps-sister-as-part-of-anti-corruption-plan

"Warren Goes After Trump's Sister in Anti-Corruption Push"

"The Massachusetts Democrat, who had already introduced a massive anti-corruption bill, is adding some new aspects to her plan"

by Gideon Resnick, Political Reporter...09.16.19 12:06PM ET

[Sep 17, 2019] Stop the Trade War in the Name of Prosperity

Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, because of the horrific legacy of the one-child policy, China faces a rapidly aging population that will strain resources and reduce the number of working-age people . By 2050, it is estimated that the average Chinese will be 56 years of age. In contrast, the average American will be 44. No amount of spending or legal reform will prevent Beijing's coming demographic crisis. ..."
Sep 16, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Part of the Trump administration's latest round of 15 percent tariffs on Chinese imports went into effect Sunday, with the rest to follow on December 15. These increases will impact the prices of many consumer goods that Americans rely on, including clothing, appliances, televisions, smartwatches, textbooks, diapers, coffee, and even whiskey. And given their timing, they'll likely have an effect on holiday shopping. This makes all the more welcome President Trump's recent statement during the G7 summit that China is looking to end the trade war and that he too is open to making a deal.

Trump is right to negotiate with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as finding an off-ramp from the trade war should be Washington's priority. America's interest is in out-competing Beijing, not hurting our own economy in an attempt to damage theirs. The United States has a better hand here, but we must play it to our advantage.

America's great strength is in our freedom, our market economy, and our democratic system. The United States has attained a level of prosperity unseen in human history, and that economic engine is what fuels our military power. Without a strong economy, we cannot have a strong military. Thus an endless trade war endangers American security in the long term: as both sides pile on retaliatory tariffs, the risk of recession increases. American consumers will feel each new trade barrier as it hits their pocketbooks.

Washington must not pursue policies that hurt those it governs. And the suffering inflicted by a trade war wouldn't just be limited to the pricing of consumer goods. It would also make us weaker for no good reason. And it would lower tax revenues, requiring America to go further into debt to maintain our present level of security.

Advertisement

Moreover, long-term trade attacks on China are unnecessary, because China already has more problems than America. Beijing suffers from high national debt, a lack of clear economic reform, and a rapidly aging population. It has few, if any, good or timely solutions to these pressing issues.

According to the Institute of International Finance, China's total national, corporate, and household debt is now over 300 percent of its GDP. What makes this especially bad for Beijing is that the debt was taken on very quickly after the 2008 global recession, without the power of a global reserve currency to make borrowing easier, as the United States has. Moreover, this debt is largely corporate and China's state-capitalist system makes it harder for Chinese companies survive market pressures. Beijing has used cheap credit to fuel its exports and its economic rise through fully and partially state-controlled national companies.

The Chinese economic system has undergone some reforms in recent years but still remains too top-down and too focused on exports over consumption as compared to more developed economies. In other words, China needs to transition to a full market economy like Taiwan and South Korea did on their paths to prosperity, but it hasn't done so yet.

Furthermore, because of the horrific legacy of the one-child policy, China faces a rapidly aging population that will strain resources and reduce the number of working-age people . By 2050, it is estimated that the average Chinese will be 56 years of age. In contrast, the average American will be 44. No amount of spending or legal reform will prevent Beijing's coming demographic crisis.

China Has Already Lost the Trade War Tariffs Are Economic Patriotism, Putting Americans First

This comparative weakness is why it makes sense to find a trade war off-ramp sooner rather than later. China needs one badly and will eventually want a deal -- if it doesn't already. As for the United States, recession may be inevitable, but it would be better if it were not self-inflicted.

Already the trade war has cost American billions in higher prices for imported products. American farmers have been hit hard by China's retaliatory tariffs and, according to a report by IHS Markit, U.S. manufacturing has shrunk for the first since 2009. Economists polled by Reuters believe the trade war has increased the risk of a recession, with a median of those surveyed giving a 45 percent chance of a downturn over the next two years. Additionally, major banks have expressed concerns , as the stock market takes hits with every new tariff increase and angry statement between Washington and Beijing.


AllenQ 9 hours ago

I couldnt disagree more. I want more tariffs against China and Europe. I want closed borders and zero migration. China has infiltrated our government, our defense agencies, our nuclear agencies, our major research centers, our college campuses, our media and bribed our politicians. China is an imminent threat to Hong Kong, Taiwan and its militarization of the islands in the South China Sea are a threat to all of South Asia. China has been stealing US, Canadian and European technology for decades to leapfrog the US into technological dominance globally. China's plan is to force the US our of the Asia Pacific. China has infiltrated Canada and Australia to a similar degree (if not more) than the US. If you pander to these free trade globalists then you will be paving the way for a military conflict between Chinese and American Hegemony in Asia and elsewhere around the world. I dont know about you but I will take a tariff and trade war over a military war any day. Ramp up those tariffs and shift those supply chains out of China toward more benevolent allies and the world be be all the safer for it.
Mr. B 9 hours ago
China has been waging a one sided trade war against us for over 30 years, it's about time we resisted. Becoming more economically intertwined with our dangerous and genocidal rival doesn't sound like the right answer to me, especially when China will continue protectionist policies and currency manipulation regardless of what we do. America has allowed its industrial base to hemorrhage since the 70s, and bending over for our enemy to keep cheap trash flowing and American factories closed is not the right answer.
tz1 8 hours ago
Is this a white box article the Chamber of Commerce is using to astroturf?

China is a Monstrous regime that is killing and enslaving its citizens. It will simply kill everyone over 65, then 60 if it becomes convenient like they did with their one child policy. Problem solved.

You wish to keep trading with criminals, polluters, and pirates so you can get cheap junk at WalMart?

You have a job. I wish you would lose yours and that dozens of blue collar had working but laid off Americans can find one. It isn't how much something costs in dollars (or how much of your soul it costs), it is how much it costs in your virtuous labor. I'd rather pay double for stuff but get triple wages rather than pay half but be all but permanently unemployed.

ThaomasH 8 hours ago
Well said. Calling off the trade would be good for US consumers and the economy in general. But while we are on the subject,calling off the war on immigration would also be good for US consumers and the economy in general.
Adriana Pena 8 hours ago
Shoulda have voted for Hillary....
Kent 8 hours ago
Wow. This article is off-base on any number of levels.

"These increases will impact the prices of many consumer goods that Americans rely on,"

No, no they won't. Tariffs are paid for by the importer, not the consumer. If the importer could randomly increase prices, they would do so without tariffs. The market sets prices.

"America's interest is in out-competing Beijing, not hurting our own economy in an attempt to damage theirs."

If America could out-compete Beijing, American manufacturing would not have moved to China. It turns out, the American people simply don't want to live according to 3rd world standards. We want decent homes and stuff. We don't want to live in a cesspool of pollution. I'm sure the Chinese people have the same preferences, they just don't get a choice.

"Moreover, long-term trade attacks on China are unnecessary, because China already has more problems than America."

I agree with the author here, but not for the same reasons. Attacking China doesn't resolve anything. American companies will just move to a different 3rd world country with whom we can't complete. Why should I care if my clothes come from China or Vietnam?

AllenQ 5 hours ago
I am 100% supportive of the trade war and building the wall and tariffs. I say zero immigration and make all Chinese Tariffs permanent. Negotiate a trade deal with the tariffs intact. Id rather have a trade war with China and permanent tariffs than a war with China.

China has been stealing technology and has infiltrated media, government, defense, education, government officials (usually through bribes) from the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. China is proving itself to be a threat to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, India and South Asia.

Much of this "so called Russia Collusion" is actually a deflection of democratic politicians China is bribing to take down Trump in order to continue their military and technological theft, their existing preferential trade and their existing network. China is a serious danger to the US and the rest of the world. It is preferential to sacrifice a small amount of prosperity today for long term peace with China.

Mark B. 5 hours ago
Bring a thousand trade wars to blossom to save the climate, planet, middle classes. dignity and to fight rising extreme inequality.
kalendjay 3 hours ago
Propaganda. The aging of Chinese population? Not to worry, China has no real Social Security system, and so relies on massive surpluses of savings. The 300% consumer debt ratio? That would cripple any country with no help from trade. Should we let Wells Fargo and Goldman refinance them?

Farmers hit hard? As I recall we have had the worst corn harvest in decades, and shame on us for not growing more wheat, oats, and sugar cane. Our beef and poultry prices will be affected, not to mention our fast food industry, which has been whipsawed by political correctness. But China will effectively ration its pork, as it faces an even worse African Swine Flu crisis, and an additional one on grains from the Black Army Worm.

US decline in manufacturing? Look first at our glut of automobiles, and the self vetting of plant capacity by GM. Don't forget the crisis in car leases, which have made older cars worth less than their outstanding loans. And note, that the fall in lithium prices indicates that China's car electrification initiative is falling flat.

One thing left out of the equation is oil. And why should China live high on Iranian oil (mostly wastefully burned in power plants, mind you, and not cars) while we suffer attacks on Saudi oil from Iranian proxies (all on ChiRussia's dime)? Puts our trade negotiations in clear perspective, doesn't it?

Michael 3 hours ago
Stopping the war will not bring back China as our major trading partner. China is not going to be in this vulnerable position with America again. She is going to develop other markets

[Sep 16, 2019] President Macron's Amazing Admission by The Saker

Sep 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Interestingly, one of the people the Ukrainians gave up in this exchange was Vladimir Tsemakh, a native of the Donbass who was kidnapped by the Ukie SBU in Novorussia (our noble "Europeans" did not object to such methods!) and declared the "star witness" against Russia in the MH-17 (pseudo-)investigation. Even more pathetic is that the Dutch apparently fully endorsed this load of crapola . Finally, and just for a good laugh, check out how the infamous' Bellingcat presented Tsemakh . And then, suddenly, everybody seem to "forget" that "star witness" and now the Ukies have sent him to Russia. Amazing how fast stuff gets lost in the collective western memory hole

Thus we see these apparently contradictory developments taking place: on on hand, the Ukraine finally agreed to a prisoner swap with Russia (a painful one for Russia as Russia mostly traded real criminals, including a least two bona fide Ukie terrorist, against what are mostly civilian hostages, but Putin decided – correctly I think – that freeing Russian nationalists from Ukie jails was more important in this case) while on the other hand, the Ukronazi armed forces increased their shelling, even with 152mm howitzers which fire 50kg high explosive fragmentation shells, against the Donbass. Whatever may be the case, this prisoner swap, no matter how one-sided and unfair, is a positive development which might mark the beginning of a pragmatic and less ideological attitude in Kiev.

Some very cautious beginnings of a little hint of optimism might be in order following that exchange, but the big stuff seems to be scheduled for the meeting of the Normandy Group (NG), probably in France. So far, the Russians have made it very clear that they will not meet just for the hell of meeting, and that the only circumstance in which the Russians will agree to a NG meeting would be if it has good chances of yielding meaningful results which, translated from Russian diplomatic language simply means "if/when Kiev stops stonewalling and sabotaging everything". Specifically, the Russians are demanding that Zelenskii commit in writing to the so-called " Steinmeier formula " and that the Ukrainian forces withdraw from the line of contact. Will that happen? Maybe. We shall soon find out.

Here is my informal translation of these words:

The international order is being shaken in an unprecedented manner, above all with, if I may say so, by the great upheaval that is undoubtedly taking place for the first time in our history , in almost every field and with a profoundly historic magnitude . The first thing we observe is a major transformation, a geopolitical and strategic re-composition. We are undoubtedly experiencing the end of Western hegemony over the world . We were accustomed to an international order which, since the 18th century, rested on a Western hegemony, mostly French in the 18th century, by the inspiration of the Enlightenment; then mostly British in the 19th century thanks to the Industrial Revolution and, finally, mostly American in the 20th century thanks to the 2 great conflicts and the economic and political domination of this power. Things change. And they are now deeply shaken by the mistakes of Westerners in certain crises, by the choices that have been made by Americans for several years which did not start with this administration, but which lead to revisiting certain implications in conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, and to rethinking a deep, diplomatic and military strategy, and sometimes elements of solidarity that we thought were intangible for eternity, even if we had constituted together in geopolitical moments that have changed. And then there is the emergence of new powers whose impact we have probably underestimated for a long time. China is at the forefront, but also the Russian strategy, which has, it must be said, been pursued more successfully in recent years . I will come back to that. India that is emerging, these new economies that are also becoming powers not only economic but political and that think themselves, as some have written, as real "civilizational states" which now come not only to shake up our international order but who also come to weigh in on the economic order and to rethink the political order and the political imagination that goes with it, with much dynamism and much more inspiration than we have. Look at India, Russia and China. They have a much stronger political inspiration than Europeans today. They think about our planet with a true logic, a true philosophy, an imagination that we've lost a little bit.

... ... ...

6) " Look at India, Russia and China. They have a much stronger political inspiration than Europeans today. They think about our planet with a true logic, a true philosophy, an imagination that we've lost a little bit."

This is the "core BRICS" challenge to the Empire: China and Russia have already established what the Chinese call a "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era". If they can now extend this kind of informal but extremely profound partnership (I think of it as "symbiotic") to India next, then the BRICS will have a formidable future (especially after the Brazilian people give the boot to Bolsonaro and his US patrons). Should that fail and should India chose to remain outside this unique relationship, then the SCO will become the main game in town. And yes, Macron is spot on: China and, especially, Russia have a fundamentally different worldview and, unlike the western one, theirs does have "much stronger political" goals (Macron used the word "aspirations"), "a real philosophy and imagination" which the West has lost, and not just a "little bit" but, I would argue, completely. But one way or the other, and for the first time in 1000 years, the future of our planet will not be decided anywhere in the West, not in Europe (old or "new"), but in Asia, primarily by the Russian-Chinese alliance. As I explained here , the AngloZionist Empire is probably the last one in history, definitely the last western one.

... ... ...

PS: the latest rumor from the Ukraine: Zelenskii supporters are saying that Poroshenko is preparing a coup against Zelenskii and that he is preparing a special force of Ukronazi deathsquads to execute that coup. Dunno about a real coup, but they have already blocked the Rada . Never a dull moment indeed

[Sep 15, 2019] The USA is like the Hotel California, you can check out, but you can never leave.

Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Paralentor , 40 minutes ago link

Perfect time for Texas to secede from the Union and return to being a Lone Star Nation State. Price for barrels start at $95 and that's only a former friends and family rate.

just the tip , 33 minutes ago link

why would the blue state of texas do such a thing?

Dzerzhhinsky , 33 minutes ago link

The USA is like the Hotel California, you can check out, but you can never leave.

Last time you tried to leave they gave you a warning, this time they would kill you all.

[Sep 15, 2019] Trump's new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted by

The key to understanding the c
The collapse of neoliberalism naturally lead to the collapse of the US influence over the globe. and to the treats to the dollar as the world reserve currency. That's why the US foreign policy became so aggressive and violent. Neocons want to fight for the world hegemony to the last American.
Notable quotes:
"... US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational ..."
"... Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel. ..."
"... Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. ..."
"... The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched. ..."
"... driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university. ..."
"... "The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy." ..."
"... This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible. ..."
"... The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along. ..."
"... With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely. ..."
"... "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

With John Bolton dismissed, Taliban peace talks a fiasco and a trade war with China, US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational

It was by all accounts, a furious row. Donald Trump was talking about relaxing sanctions on Iran and holding a summit with its president, Hassan Rouhani, at this month's UN general assembly in New York. John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, was dead against it and forcefully rejected Trump's ideas during a tense meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.

...Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel.

The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.

Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.

The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched.

The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president's erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.

Trump wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taliban, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute

Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. "Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos," the New York Times noted last week .

Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.

"The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy."

This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible.

As a result, the US today finds itself at odds with much of the world to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. America, the postwar global saviour, has been widely recast as villain. Nor is this a passing phase. Trump seems to have permanently changed the way the US views the world and vice versa. Whatever follows, it will never be quite the same again.

Clues as to what he does next may be found in what he has done so far. His is a truly calamitous record, as exemplified by Afghanistan. Having vowed in 2016 to end America's longest war, he began with a troop surge, lost interest and sued for peace. A withdrawal deal proved elusive. Meanwhile, US-led forces inflicted record civilian casualties .

Facebook Twitter Pinterest The US and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May, marking the anniversary of the US embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/Getty

The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along.

All sides are now vowing to step up the violence, with the insurgents aiming to disrupt this month's presidential election in Afghanistan. In short, Trump's self-glorifying Afghan reality show, of which he was the Nobel-winning star, has made matters worse. Much the same is true of his North Korea summitry, where expectations were raised, then dashed when he got cold feet in Hanoi , provoking a backlash from Pyongyang.

The current crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is almost entirely of Trump's making, sparked by his decision last year to renege on the 2015 UN-endorsed deal with Tehran. His subsequent "maximum pressure" campaign of punitive sanctions has failed to cow Iranians while alienating European allies. And it has led Iran to resume banned nuclear activities – a seriously counterproductive, entirely predictable outcome.

Trump's unconditional, unthinking support for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's aggressively rightwing prime minister – including tacit US backing for his proposed annexation of swathes of the occupied territories – is pushing the Palestinians back to the brink, energising Hamas and Hezbollah, and raising tensions across the region .

With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely.

The bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived

Stephen Wertheim, historian

Yet Trump, oblivious to the point of recklessness, remains determined to unveil his absurdly unbalanced Israel-Palestine "deal of the century" after Tuesday's Israeli elections. He and his gormless son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be the only people who don't realise their plan has a shorter life expectancy than a snowball on a hot day in Gaza.

... ... ...

...he is consistently out of line, out on his own – and out of control. This, broadly, is Trump world as it has come to exist since January 2017. And this, in a nutshell, is the intensifying foreign policy crisis of which Professor Cohen warned. The days when responsible, trustworthy, principled US international leadership could be taken for granted are gone. No vague change of tone on North Korea or Iran will by itself halt the Trump-led slide into expanding global conflict and division.

Historians such as Stephen Wertheim say change had to come. US politicians of left and right mostly agreed that "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", Wertheim wrote earlier this year . "But agreement ends there " he continued: "One camp holds that the US erred by coddling China and Russia, and urges a new competition against these great power rivals. The other camp, which says the US has been too belligerent and ambitious around the world, counsels restraint, not another crusade against grand enemies."

This debate among grownups over America's future place in the world will form part of next year's election contest. But before any fundamental change of direction can occur, the international community – and the US itself – must first survive another 16 months of Trump world and the wayward child-president's poll-fixated, ego-driven destructive tendencies.

Survival is not guaranteed. The immediate choice facing US friends and foes alike is stark and urgent: ignore, bypass and marginalise Trump – or actively, openly, resist him.

Here are some of the key flashpoints around the globe

United Nations

Trump is deeply hostile to the UN. It embodies the multilateralist, globalist policy approaches he most abhors – because they supposedly infringe America's sovereignty and inhibit its freedom of action. Under him, self-interested US behaviour has undermined the authority of the UN security council's authority. The US has rejected a series of international treaties and agreements, including the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal. The UN-backed international criminal court is beyond the pale. Trump's attitude fits with his "America First" isolationism, which questions traditional ideas about America's essential global leadership role.

Germany

Trump rarely misses a chance to bash Germany, perhaps because it is Europe's most successful economy and represents the EU, which he detests. He is obsessed by German car imports, on which protectionist US tariffs will be levied this autumn. He accuses Berlin – and Europe– of piggy-backing on America by failing to pay its fair share of Nato defence costs. Special venom is reserved for Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, most likely because she is a woman who stands up to him . Trump recently insulted another female European leader, Denmark's Mette Frederiksen, after she refused to sell him Greenland .

Israel

Trump has made a great show of unconditional friendship towards Israel and its rightwing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has skilfully maximised his White House influence. But by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, officially condoning Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrawing funding and other support from the Palestinians, the president has abandoned the long-standing US policy of playing honest broker in the peace process. Trump has also tried to exploit antisemitism for political advantage, accusing US Democrat Jews who oppose Netanyahu's policies of "disloyalty" to Israel.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2019] TuckerCalson: Elizabeth Warren wrote one of the best books I've ever read on economics (The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke)

Notable quotes:
"... By that point, he'd already warned his audience about the perils of "monopoly power" and declared that income inequality, which the right had long been trained to believe is "just a pure invention of some diabolical French intellectual to destroy America," is actually "completely real" and "totally bad." ..."
"... The reimagining is playing out not just on Carlson's show or in conservative journals, but among a small batch of young, ambitious Republicans in Congress led by senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida. ..."
"... Their populist -- or "nationalist" or "post-liberal" -- prescriptions sometimes smack of opportunism. And it's still not clear how far they're willing to stray from their party. But it looks like there are places where the new nationalists could find common cause with an energized left. ..."
"... And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country. "In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites." But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant. Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ... "Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ... ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.bostonglobe.com

David Scharfenberg - September 6

...But he also spoke, in admiring tones and at substantial length, about "The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke," the book Warren wrote with her daughter in 2004.

"Elizabeth Warren wrote one of the best books I've ever read on economics," he said.

(The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke
https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Two-Income-Trap%3A-Why-Middle-Class-Parents-Are-Tyagi-Warren/9e71e947ba3ba9f8a993eb39699b9d9baacff235 )

By that point, he'd already warned his audience about the perils of "monopoly power" and declared that income inequality, which the right had long been trained to believe is "just a pure invention of some diabolical French intellectual to destroy America," is actually "completely real" and "totally bad."

His Bolshevist pronouncements were probably not a surprise to anyone who'd watched Carlson's show closely in the months leading up to his speech. But Fox, despite its outsize influence, has a relatively small audience.

And it's not just Carlson's evolution that's escaped notice. It's hard to keep track of what most of the key players on the right are saying these days, with President Trump soaking up so much attention.

But while the commander-in-chief thrashes about, something important is taking shape in his shadow -- the outlines of a new conservatism inspired, or at least elevated, by his rise to power.

It's a conservatism that tries to wrestle with the post-Cold War, post-industrial angst that fired his election -- dropping a reflexive fealty to big business that dates back to the Reagan era and focusing more intently on the struggles of everyday Americans.

"There are many downsides, I will say, to Trump," Carlson said, in his speech this summer. "But one of the upsides is, the Trump election was so shocking, so unlikely ... that it did cause some significant percentage of people to say, 'wait a second, if that can happen, what else is true?' "

The reimagining is playing out not just on Carlson's show or in conservative journals, but among a small batch of young, ambitious Republicans in Congress led by senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida.

Their populist -- or "nationalist" or "post-liberal" -- prescriptions sometimes smack of opportunism. And it's still not clear how far they're willing to stray from their party. But it looks like there are places where the new nationalists could find common cause with an energized left.

Whether the two sides can actually forge a meaningful alliance in the glare of our hyperpartisan politics is an open question. But a compact -- even a provisional one -- may offer the country its best shot at building a meaningful, post-Trump politics.

. . .

CARLSON DELIVERED HIS speech at the National Conservatism Conference -- the first major gathering aimed at forging a new, right-of-center approach in the age of Trump.

"This is our independence day," said Yoram Hazony, an Israeli political theorist and chief organizer of the event, in his spirited opening remarks. "We declare independence from neoconservatism, from libertarianism, from what they call classical liberalism." "We are national conservatives," he said. Any effort to build a right-of-center nationalism circa 2019 inevitably runs into questions about whether it will traffic in bigotry.

And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country. "In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites." But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant. Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ... "Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ...

* At the National Conservatism Conference, an 'Intellectual Trumpist' Movement Begins to Take Shape

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/national-conservatism-conference-intellectual-trumpist-movement/

Reply Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 06:59 AM

[Sep 14, 2019] How to lose 100 millions trying to enter the USA subway cars mar anne ,

Sep 14, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/business/chinese-train-national-security.html

September 14, 2019

Fearing 'Spy Trains,' Congress May Ban a Chinese Maker of Subway Cars
By Ana Swanson

CHICAGO -- America's next fight with China is unfolding at a glistening new factory in Chicago, which stands empty except for the shells of two subway cars and space for future business that is unlikely to come.

A Chinese state-owned company called CRRC Corporation, the world's largest train maker, completed the $100 million facility this year in the hopes of winning contracts to build subway cars and other passenger trains for American cities like Chicago and Washington.

But growing fears about China's economic ambitions and its potential to track and spy on Americans are about to quash those plans. Congress is soon expected to approve legislation that would effectively bar the company from competing for new contracts in the United States, citing national security and economic concerns. The White House has expressed its support for the effort.

Washington's attempt to block a Chinese company from selling train cars inside America is the latest escalation in a trade war that has quickly expanded from a spat over tariffs and intellectual property to a broader fight over economic and national security.

President Trump and lawmakers from both parties are increasingly anxious about the economic and technological ambitions of China, which has built cutting-edge global industries, including those that produce advanced surveillance technology. Those fears have prompted Washington to take an expansive view of potential risks, moving beyond simply trying to curtail Chinese imports.

In addition to slapping tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese products, the administration has banned Chinese companies like Huawei, the telecom giant, from buying sensitive American technology. It is moving to curb the ability of firms to export technology like artificial intelligence and quantum computing from the United States to China. And Congress has given the administration expansive power to block Chinese investment on national security grounds.

Now lawmakers have added a provision to a military spending bill that would prevent the use of federal grants to buy subway trains from state-owned or state-controlled companies, a measure that would effectively block CRRC's business.

The bill has gained bipartisan support from lawmakers who say companies like CRRC pose a threat to the United States. Part of the concern is economic: Flush with cash from its rapid growth, China has pumped money into building globally competitive businesses, often creating overcapacity in markets like steel, solar panels and trains.

That has lowered prices for consumers -- including American taxpayers who pay for subway cars. While a subway car has not been manufactured solely by an American company in decades, CRRC's low prices have raised concerns among American freight train companies that the company could ultimately move into -- and demolish -- their business.

CRRC has consistently underbid its competitors, winning over urban transit agencies that are saddled with aging infrastructure and tight budgets. For the Chicago L, CRRC's Chicago subsidiary bid $1.55 million per car, compared with a bid of $1.82 million per car by Bombardier, the Canadian manufacturer. And CRRC also proposed to build the Chicago facility and create 170 new jobs.

Legislators argue that Chinese state-owned companies are not pursuing profit, but the policy aims of the Chinese government to dominate key global industries like electric cars, robotics and rail.

"When you can subsidize, when you can wholly own an enterprise like China does, you can create a wholly unlevel playing field," said Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat who is a co-sponsor of the legislation. "We're used to that unlevel playing field existing between the U.S. and China, but now it's happening in our own backyard."

Another more nefarious worry is also at play. Lawmakers -- along with CRRC's competitors -- say they are concerned that subway cars made by a Chinese company might make it easier for Beijing to spy on Americans and could pose a sabotage threat to American infrastructure, though CRRC says it surrenders control of all technology in the cars to its buyers. Nonetheless, critics speculate that the Chinese firm could incorporate technology into the cars that would allow CRRC -- and the Chinese government -- to track the faces, movement, conversations or phone calls of passengers through the train's cameras or Wi-Fi.

Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, which represents manufacturers and the United Steelworkers, said the risks of giving a Chinese company the ability to monitor or control American infrastructure could not be understated given recent laws requiring Chinese companies to turn over data to Beijing upon request.

"I just think it would be irresponsible to assume the Chinese government to which this firm must answer would be a reliable security partner, given its well documented track record," Mr. Paul said.

Whether those fears are justified remains uncertain. Proponents of the bill have not made clear how subway cars manufactured by a Chinese company would pose a greater espionage threat than everything else that China makes and sells in the United States, including laptops, phones and home appliances.

Dave Smolensky, a spokesman for CRRC, said the company was being unfairly targeted by companies that wanted to legislate a competitor out of business under the guise of national security. He said the firm was a victim to "an aggressive multimillion-dollar media disinformation campaign," funded mostly by domestic freight train companies, intended to play on popular fears about China's rise.

Employees at the Chicago factory also dismissed the concerns, saying they had not seen any evidence that they were working to construct "spy trains."

"I haven't seen any secret wires yet," said Perry Nobles, an electrician for CRRC who was rigging wires in the interior of the trains. "With the world full of cellphones and computers, I'd think there's an easier way to get information."

Rising fears of China's ambitions in Washington have prompted officials to adopt an unsparing view, with policymakers and national security officials warning domestic and foreign governments not to trust Chinese equipment.

American officials have waged a global offensive against Huawei, telling other countries that allowing a Chinese company to build the world's next generation of wireless networks would be akin to handing national secrets to a foreign agent.

Like CRRC, the fear surrounding Huawei is largely based on concerns about technological dominance by China's authoritarian government. No one has yet disclosed finding a backdoor in Huawei's products that would allow it to snoop -- but officials say by the time one is discovered, it may be too late.

"The Chinese are working to put their systems in networks all across the world so they can steal your information and my information," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview in May. "This administration is prepared to take this on."

As Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, introduced the provision in March, he said, "China poses a clear and present danger to our national security and has already infiltrated our rail and bus manufacturing industries."

Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican whose California district is home to a Chinese bus maker, BYD, had opposed a version of the provision that would apply to buses as well as trains. House lawmakers dropped the bus provision, but the Senate bill would apply to both. Congress will take the issue up again in the coming weeks as part of the annual defense bill.

The legislation would not affect the thousands of American subway cars that CRRC previously won contracts to build, including an 846-car order for the Chicago L. But it would block the company from future contracts, such as those under consideration by the Chicago Metra and the Washington Metro.

The Chicago facility is the company's second in the United States. A factory in Massachusetts that employs more than 150 people is already building trains for Boston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, prompting concerns that the company plans to expand rapidly in the United States as it has in other foreign markets.

Like many Chinese state enterprises, CRRC is guided by Beijing's Made in China 2025 plan, which lays out an agenda to dominate key industries.

In its 2018 annual report, Liu Hualong, the company's chairman and party secretary, pledged to pursue the dual goals of "Party construction as well as developing into a world-leading company with global competitiveness."

"We conscientiously followed the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping," the report said, referring to the Chinese president and Communist Party leader.

The last American firm to make passenger rail cars, the Pullman Company, produced its final car in 1981. Since then, major American cities have bought subway cars from Bombardier and Japanese manufacturers like Kawasaki, Hyundai and Hitachi.

But American manufacturers of freight rail cars, including the Greenbrier Companies and TrinityRail, which is based in Mr. Cornyn's home state of Texas, say CRRC could use its footing in the United States to steal its business. Together with unions and others, they have mounted a lobbying campaign against CRRC under an umbrella group known as the Rail Security Alliance.

The group says American taxpayer dollars should not be spent in China, where the empty rail cars are made before being shipped to the United States for further work at the company's facilities in Illinois or Massachusetts.

"We think those dollars should stay here," said Erik Olson, the vice president of the Rail Security Alliance.

CRRC sends over experts from its giant headquarters in Qingdao, China, to plants in other countries. In Chicago, the American employees call these Chinese citizens "shifu," a polite term for a skilled worker meaning "master" or "teacher."

On a sunny day in July, the company break room was split between shifus, wearing white jumpsuits and eating stuffed buns, and American workers, many of whom had joined the company in the last few months. The gleaming concrete factory floor was bare, save for a few dozen people installing wiring, air ducts and other components into the empty shells of two rail cars.

"We are a little concerned because it's our livelihood," said Mr. Nobles, who was hired in March from a previous factory job making frames for the Ford Explorer.

This summer, CRRC replaced the Chinese flag outside the factory with a Chicago flag. It has also retained two Washington lobbying firms, Squire Patton Boggs and Crossroads Strategies, to plead its case in Congress.

It may be too late. Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said he helped sponsor the bill to prevent the American transit system from being "controlled by a foreign country that is not particularly friendly to us."

"They spell out in black and white they're going to use foreign investment as a weapon, and we're taking action to defend ourselves," Mr. Brown said.

[Sep 13, 2019] Tucker Carlson Pushes for End of the Neo-cons Reuters and Haaretz

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, people tend to forget that Bolton and all the other neocons are worshipers at the altar of a secular religion imported to the US by members of the Frankfurt School of Trotskyite German professors in the 1930s. These people had attempted get the Nazis to consider them allies in a quest for an ordered world. Alas for them they found that the Nazi scum would not accept them and in fact began preparations to hunt them down. ..."
"... Thus the migration to America and in particular to the University of Chicago where they developed their credo of world revolution under that guidance of a few philosopher kings like Leo Strauss, the Wohlstetters and other academic "geniuses" They also began an enthusiastic campaign of recruitment of enthusiastic graduate students who carefully disguised themselves as whatever was most useful politically. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Carlson concluded by warning about the many other Boltons in the federal bureaucracy, saying that "war may be a disaster for America, but for John Bolton and his fellow neocons, it's always good business."

He went on to slam Trump's special representative for Iran and contender to replace Bolton, Brian Hook, as an "unapologetic neocon" who "has undisguised contempt for President Trump, and he particularly dislikes the president's nationalist foreign policy." Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Carlson hours later in a tweet, arguing that "Thirst for war – maximum pressure – should go with the warmonger-in-chief." Reuters and Haaretz

-------------

Yes, people tend to forget that Bolton and all the other neocons are worshipers at the altar of a secular religion imported to the US by members of the Frankfurt School of Trotskyite German professors in the 1930s. These people had attempted get the Nazis to consider them allies in a quest for an ordered world. Alas for them they found that the Nazi scum would not accept them and in fact began preparations to hunt them down.

Thus the migration to America and in particular to the University of Chicago where they developed their credo of world revolution under that guidance of a few philosopher kings like Leo Strauss, the Wohlstetters and other academic "geniuses" They also began an enthusiastic campaign of recruitment of enthusiastic graduate students who carefully disguised themselves as whatever was most useful politically.

They are not conservative at all, not one bit. Carlson was absolutely right about that.

They despise nationalism. They despise the idea of countries. In that regard they are like all groups who aspire to globalist dominion for their particular ideas.

They should all be driven from government. pl

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-trump-bolton-neo-cons-iran-fox-news-tucker-carlson-1.7833399?=&ts=_1568393219979b

[Sep 13, 2019] Chile's Neoliberal Flip-Flop - CounterPunch.org

Notable quotes:
"... Robert Hunziker lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at roberthunziker@icloud.com . ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

As for the gory details of CIA involvement in the Chilean coup d'état of 1973, Costa-Gavras' film "Missing" (Universal Pictures, 1982) staring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek exposes the surreptitious U.S. involvement via CIA operatives, supportive of Pinochet's cold-bloodied massacre of students and other innocent bystanders. Not surprisingly, the film was removed from the U.S. market following a lawsuit against the director and Universal Pictures by former ambassador Nathaniel Davis for defamation of character. When Davis lost his lawsuit, the film was re-released by Universal in 2006.

The face of neoliberalism in Chile today is disheartened, reflecting deep losses for the wealthy class as the people of the country reject Milton Friedman's neoliberal policies, including clever tax evasion techniques by the business class. Could this be the start of a worldwide movement against neoliberalism?

After all, Chile is the country that neoliberal advocates crowned their "newborn" in the battle against big government, "get government off our backs," according to Milton Friedman (and, Reagan picked up on the adage.) But, au contraire, according to the film "Missing," fascism took control over Chile. Is it possible that Friedman and Kissinger secretly cherished a fascist empire, where control would be complete, disguised as "the land of individual economic freedom?" Whatever their motives, that's what they got, and they never hesitated to revere Chile's remarkable economic achievements, fascism and all, which is powerfully expressed in the film "Missing," from end to end the heavy hand of fascism is ever-present.

Today is a new day as the people of Chile abandon decades of rotting neoliberal policies. They've had enough of Milton Freidman. The people have decided that the "state" is a beneficial partner for achievement of life's dreams. The "state" is not the menacing force of evil preached by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

The people of Chile are embracing an anti-neoliberalistic nation/state for the first time in over four decades. Will the world follow in their footsteps similar to the world adopting the principles of the "Miracle of Chile" these past four decades?

As for the new way forward, it's all about student debt. Yes, student debt was the catalyst behind Chile's repudiation of neoliberalism. In 2011 students in Chile made headlines by launching nationwide strikes over high tuition costs that drove their families into debt (sound familiar?) The strike lasted for eight months.

Over time, the student marches gained recognition by other like-minded organizations like trade unions and protests of environmental degradation. According to Tasha Fairfield, an assistant professor for the London School of Economics' Department of International Development, the strikes were pivotal: "The student movement played a critical role in creating political space," according to Fairfield, it "dramatically changed the political context in Chile and helped to place the issues of Chile's extreme inequalities centrally on the national agenda," Sebastian Rosemont, Chilean Activists Change the Rules of the Game, Foreign Policy In Focus, Dec. 2, 2014.

Subsequently, the national election of 2013 swept the left wing into power with a huge wave of public support, gaining strong majorities in both houses of the National Congress as well as electing Michelle Bachelet president. The big leftward sweep came as over two thirds of the population grew to support student demands for free university tuition.

Ever since the 2013 election, neoliberal policies have crumbled like a decrepit equestrian statue of Pinochet, who carried the stigma of brutal criminality to, and beyond, the grave.

In stark contrast to 40 years ago, today, when students, armed with only stones clashed with police equipped with full regalia of riot gear, tear gas, and armored vehicles, the harsh police activity drew heavy international criticism. That, combined with more than two-thirds of the population in support of the student movement, led to a new politics, Nueva Mayoria (New Majority), a center-left coalition made up of Bachelet's Socialist Party, the Christian Democratic Party, and the Party for Democracy.

Whereupon, Nueva Mayoria, turning up its nose to neoliberalism, raised corporate taxes from 20 percent to 25 percent and closed tax loopholes for companies and wealthy business owners. Those changes added $8.3 billion annually to government coffers, thus, serving as a source of funds to provide free education to all Chileans by 2020, as well as improved health care, and including a roll back of the for-profit schools that emerged under Pinochet's dictatorship, which is another neoliberal fascination, witness the U.S. for-profit schools listed on the New York Stock Exchange honestly, what's with that? In order to achieve success, the new Chilean politics astutely employed a key tactical move by applying the corporate tax hikes to only the largest corporations. As a result, nearly 95% of businesses are not be affected by higher taxation. This, in fact, served to secure a broad base of support for the new politics by having those who can afford to pay Pay.

Along those same lines, the new government removed a tax dodge employed by large business owners that allowed them to mostly escape taxes on $270 billion of profits (similar to the U.S. 15% "carried interest" for private equity entities, e.g., Mitt Romney's 15% tax rate).

Thus, it's little wonder that public backlash is challenging neoliberalism, especially considering the conditions throughout the Pinochet regime, as described in the meticulously structured documentary film, "The Pinochet Case," (Icarus Films, 2002), which opens with scenes of ordinary Chileans scouring the desert for the remains of family members who were tortured and killed decades previous.

Chile, "The Babe of Neoliberalism," came to life as an experiment for the "Chicago School" of economic thought. It worked. Today neoliberal theory rules the world, laissez-faire capitalism as practiced from China to the United States, privatization, open markets, slash government, and deregulation, in short, "whatever works best for profits works best for society." But, does it?

Forty years of neoliberal thought and practice has changed the world's socio-economic landscape, but it only really, truly works for the same class of people today as it did 800 years ago for the nobility of the Middle Ages.

Robert Hunziker lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at roberthunziker@icloud.com .

[Sep 13, 2019] Does the end of neoliberalism coinside with the end of "Western hegemony"? by John Wright

Not so fast. The West still has the technological edge. And huge ultural influence. Most probably those will be two separate events, if they happen at all.
Sep 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

John Wright , September 12, 2019 at 16:43

Mr. Lawrence –

The Russia question is a very interesting and useful way to approach the much larger question which is how to manage the "end of Western hegemony".

Mackinder, Brzezinski and other geo-strategic thinkers have long posited that in order to control the world, one much control Eurasia.

The alliance between China and Russia, by definition, secures their dominance of Eurasia. Even forty years of U.S. trouble-making in Afghanistan, the geographic heart of Eurasia, has only proved to be an annoyance slowing the inevitable partnership of China and Russia, and the growing courtship of India. Recent U.S. interference in the Ukraine was a desperate, rather ham-handed attempt to deny Russia access to its historic, and only warm water, port in Crimea (and interfere with Russian gas pipelines to Europe). The Ukrainians seem to be now coming back to their senses a bit.

[ I may add a comment elucidating some of the long history of Western elite (primarily British, then U.S.) interference in the affairs of both Russia and China, but most CN readers should already be aware of the highlights.]

The EU and the euro, both created to prolong the dominance of the U.S., are now clearly faltering. The EU created a common market and allowed for the expansion of NATO eastward after the breakup of the Soviet Union and Russia's loss of the Warsaw Pact countries. The euro, directly tied to the U.S. PetroDollar at its creation, facilitated the greater transfer of U.S. debt instruments into the European banks, giving the debt addicted U.S. economy more capacity to expand its financial bubble and extend the era of U.S. dominance. The European central banks are now at their breaking point.

Thus, the era of U.S. PetroDollar supremacy, and with it U.S. dominance, is now coming to an end and the scramble for places in the new global system is heating up. The Greeks, Italians, Germans and Dutch have already signed deals with the Chinese, will the French be far behind?

Russia, the ambitious junior partner to China, can be seen to be both a cultural and geographic buffer between the Chinese juggernaut and Western Europe. The Russians have energy and consumer markets that the Western Europeans need access to if they are going to maintain any semblance of their present standard of living as U.S. economic dominance recedes. The nuclear armed U.S. presence on the continent keeps the Europeans cautious; as does their very precarious debt co-dependency with Wall Street, the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Treasury.

The northern Europeans don't want to freeze or go broke, so Nord Stream 2 will go ahead. Trump is truly delusional if he thinks he can keep that from happening. Trump's trade war has only accelerated the Chinese shift away from the U.S. and toward its well-planned future in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. China and Russia are both stockpiling gold in anticipation of rolling out a new global monetary system to replace the failing U.S. PetroDollar and SWIFT.

... ... ...

[Sep 13, 2019] Wallace against the USA neocolonialism

Leopard can't change its spots...
Notable quotes:
"... After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism. ..."
"... In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit." ..."
"... Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system." ..."
"... The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14

This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.

(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --

The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.

After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.

Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.

That speech made direct analogy between the Second World War and the Civil War, suggesting that the Second World War was being fought to end economic slavery and to create a more equal society. Wallace demanded that the imperialist powers like Britain and France give up their colonies at the end of the war.

In diplomacy, Wallace imagined a multi-polar world founded on the United Nations Charter with a focus on peaceful cooperation. In contrast, in 1941 Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine, had called for an 'American century,' suggesting that victory in war would allow the United States to "exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit and by such means as we see fit."

Wallace responded to Luce with a demand to create a world in which "no nation will have the God-given right to exploit other nations. Older nations will have the privilege to help younger nations get started on the path to industrialization, but there must be neither military nor economic imperialism." Wallace took the New Deal global. His foreign policy was to be based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries and mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Sadly, since then, despite occasional efforts to head in a new direction, the core constituency for US foreign policy has been corporations, rather than the "common man" either in the United States, or the other nations of the world, and United States foreign relations have been dominated by interference in the political affairs of other nations. As a result the military was transformed from an "arsenal for democracy" during the Second World War into a defender of privilege at home and abroad afterwards.

-- -
Foreign aid for Wallace was not a tool to foster economic dominance as it was to become, but rather "economic assistance without political conditions to further the independent economic development of the Latin American and Caribbean countries." He held high "the principle of self-determination for the peoples of Africa, Asia, the West Indies, and other colonial areas." He saw the key policy for the United States to be based on "the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and acceptance of the right of peoples to choose their own form of government and economic system."

--

Wallace's legacy suggests that it is possible to put forth a vision of an honest internationalism in US foreign policy that is in essence American. His approach was proactive not reactive. It would go far beyond anything Democrats propose today, who can only suggest that the United States should not start an unprovoked war with Iran or North Korea, but who embrace sanctions and propagandist reports that demonize those countries.

Rather than ridiculing Trump's overtures to North Korea, they should go further to reduce tensions between the North and the South by pushing for the eventual withdrawal of troops from South Korea and Japan (a position fully in line with Wallace and many other politicians of that age).
Rather than demonizing and isolating Russia (as a means to score political points against Trump), progressives should call for a real détente, that recognizes Russia's core interests, proposes that NATO withdraw troops from Russia's borders, ends sanctions and reintegrates Russia into the greater European economy. They could even call for an end to NATO and the perpetuation of the dangerous global rift between East and West that it perpetuates.
Rather than attempt to thwart China's rise, and attack Trump for not punishing it enough, progressives should seek to create new synergies between China and the US economically, politically and socioculturally.
-- -
In contrast to the US policy of perpetual war and "destroying nations in order to save them," China's BRI proposes an open plan for development that is not grounded in the models of French and British imperialism. It has proposed global infrastructure and science projects that include participants from nations in Africa, Asia, South and Central America previously ignored by American and European elites -- much as Wallace proposed an equal engagement with Latin America. When offering developmental aid and investment China does not demand that free market principles be adopted or that the public sector be privatized and opened up for global investment banks to ravish.
--
The United States should be emulating China, its Belt and Road Initiative and Community of Common Destiny, as a means of revitalizing its political culture and kicking its addiction to a neo-colonial concept of economic development and growth. Rather than relying on militarization and its attendant wars to spark the economy, progressives should demand that the US work in conjunction with nations such as China and Russia in building a sustainable future rather than creating one failed state after another.

Link to the full article provided below.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/henry-wallaces-internationalism-path-american-foreign-policy-could-have-taken-still-can/5683683

[Sep 12, 2019] Russia has no net public debt left

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 9, 2019 at 8:57 pm

У России не осталось чистого государственного долга
06:54 10.09.2019 (обновлено: 07:26 10.09.2019)

Russia has no net public debt left
06:54 09/10/2019 (updated: 07:26 09/10/2019)

MOSCOW, Sep 10 – RIA News. The net public debt of Russia has become negative for the first time since the introduction of the first sanctions for the annexation of the Crimea and the fall in oil prices in 2014, RBC writes, with reference to Ministry of Finance and Central Bank data.

As of August 1, the volume of public debt of the federal government, regions and municipalities, including state guarantees for enterprise loans, amounted to 16.2 trillion rubles.

At the same time, the liquid assets of the state – federal authorities, regions and extrabudgetary state funds – totalled 17.6 trillion ruble son the same date.

Thus, in the widest sense, the public debt since mid-2019 has become less than the liquid assets of the "expanded government", the publication indicates.

As noted, this has became possible owing to record reserves that have fully covered the state debt. That is to say, if Russia needed to immediately pay off all existing debts, this could be done at the expense of only government deposits with the Central Bank and commercial banks.

As the Minister of Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, emphasized, "what has been done in Russian macroeconomics from 2014 to 2019 will definitely fall into the textbooks", At the same time, the flip side of such a tough approach is the lack of fiscal incentives for economic development.

Over to you Bloomberg, WSJ, FT etc., etc!

Waddya say to that, arseholes?

And think on this, you happy folk of the Exceptional Nation who prosper ever onwards:

MOSCOW, 16 August 2019/ Radio Sputnik . Russia continues to reduce investments in US bonds in June, reducing their size to 10.8 billion dollars, the United States Ministry of Finance has reported.

According to Finance Department data, 5,296 billion dollars of this amount is for long-term securities and 5,552 billion are short – term.

For comparison, in may, the total amount was $ 12 billion.

As part of the de-dollarization course for Russia, other financial instruments are gaining importance: gold and investments in European and Asian securities, chief expert of FinEk agency Mikhail Belyaev said on Sputnik radio.

According to the economist, the instability of the US economy also contributes to the withdrawal of Russian assets from it.

[Sep 11, 2019] Tucker John Bolton refuses to acknowledge his mistakes - YouTube

Tucker is right: the problem is that Bolton can be replaced by another Bolton.
Sep 11, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Matt Curley , 16 hours ago

With Romney being "VERY VERY UNHAPPY" makes it all worthwhile..

Pete G , 18 hours ago

No more Wars Trump America first starts at Home Bring our Troops home 🇺🇸

Zentella6 , 18 hours ago

Bye bye, douchebag. Great news for America. I'm an 11 year vet, and I approve this message.

Marcus McCurley , 10 hours ago

I'm a vet who served in the 82nd Airborne and I say good riddance to this War Monger. This is an awful awful man!

stantheman1684 , 14 hours ago

iv> I see the GLOBALIST shills are in full force on this video, trying to artificially bring down the ratio from probably 99% Positive that such a bad man is gone. Doesn't matter, the Silent Majority & good people everywhere know that Bolton was a poor candidate for that job with a catastrophic failure record & everybody is better of with a more competent person in that position.

MAGA2020

Rebecca Martinez , 18 hours ago

Neo-con Bolton war monger turning on military industrial complex! No wars, no conflicts, no ME instability change! Good riddens!

Richard Willette , 13 hours ago

Trump only hires the best. Bolton will go to Fox and someone from Fox will be 4th National Security Advisor

Michael Ross , 14 hours ago

Thanks President Trump for getting rid of the globalist John Bolton

TED C , 17 hours ago

Foreign policy appears to be 17 year wars. Being a perpetual non winner.

caligirl , 16 hours ago

Good job Tucker, thank you for telling the truth about John Bolton and help to stop bombing Iran!

The Nair , 12 hours ago (edited)

John Bolton is owned by foreign powers like many in Washington. They get paid by their lobby to push the neocon agenda which translates into robbing the US of it's $ to fight wars that don't benefit the US.

yukonjeffimagery , 6 hours ago

War monger Bolton. How did that Libya thing work out for Europe ? Now after looking back, I am sure the African invasion into Europe was planned by Obama and his boss Soros.

Justin Noordyke , 8 hours ago

Romney is another swamp rat. All these politicians supporting Bolton have lost their sanity.

Marutgana Rudraksha , 6 hours ago

2,200 neo-cons don't like this video.

danielgarrison91 , 17 hours ago

Tucker while I agree with you on the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya. But one thing you left out Tucker. Foxnews hired John Bolton as a Contributer for over a decade. How do you miss that part.

SAROJA Band , 3 hours ago (edited)

Bolton is pure evil. A "catastrophic success". Warmonger neo-con-artist. Abject failure. Delusional hubris exemplified. Brilliant reporting Tucker!!

Jamie Kloer , 8 hours ago

All the policies in the Middle East are complete and other failures. I'm so sick of neo cons. You can't get rid of them. You can not get rid of them. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Constant war. Like every regime couldn't be replaced around the world. Absolutely ridiculous.

BP , 9 hours ago

"In Washington, nobody cares what kind of job you did, only that you did the job. Nobody there learns from mistakes, because mistakes are never even acknowledged. Ever." Yes, Tucker DOES understand Washington!!!

Deborah Beaudoin Zaki , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" class="comment-renderer-te

xt" role="article"> If Bolton becomes a Fox News contributor: I will change the channel immediately... I already do this when Jeff Epstein's, the child trafficker and rapist, good buddy Alan Dershowitz comes on as a guest... Do not know why Fox News selects guest contributors that have their morals/values in the wrong directions...

Angela J , 6 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="art

icle"> Bolton was signatory to PNAC- the project for a new american century, like other progressives and neo-cons of his generation. They do not view the chaos left by taking out Ghaddafi and Saddam as problems, rather the creation of failed states was their objective all along. Members of the GOP went along with these plans where they coincided with their own political and business objectives- the military industrial complex and the oilmen.

[Sep 11, 2019] Efforts of the conservative Catholic opposition in the US to launch a "coup d' tat" against Francis.

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Martin , Sep 11 2019 19:18 utc | 19

The Pope didn't seem too put out when faced with a long list of accusations against him from American Catholics as he was flying from Rome to Mozambique. He said he was honored to be attacked by them.

The book 'How America Wanted to Change the Pope' explores the supposed efforts of the conservative Catholic opposition in the US to launch a "coup d'état" against Francis. A copy was given to the pontiff by the author Nicolas Seneze, a journalist from France's Catholic newspaper La Croix, who was on board the papal plane Wednesday.

"For me it is an honor that Americans attack me," the pope quipped as he received the book, which he had apparently heard about and wanted to procure.He joked that the book about his critics "will be a bombshell."

But Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni attempted to deflate tensions, clarifying that the comments were made informally. He said Francis "always considers it an honor to be criticized," especially when it comes from "authoritative voices" or, as in this case, "an important nation."

[Sep 11, 2019] The "japanification" of America begins

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Sep 11 2019 19:18 utc | 18

US Fed 'boneheads' should cut interest rates to zero or less – Trump

The "japanification" of America begins. I've stated in this blog more than once that, if the USA falls, it certainly won't fall like the USSR. The USSR had a very peculiar economic system, where the PCSU was both the government and the economy: once Gorbachev destroyed his party, he destroyed the Soviet Union.

The USA, on the other side, is a capitalist economy, which means its "center of command" is a diffuse web of oligarchic capitalists who govern "in the shadows".

The government of a capitalist society is only one of the many institutions that, in a diffused fashion, preserves the "market anarchy" (domesticated chaos) that is indispensable for the existence of capitalism.

America, therefore, is more lika an onion than a jenga tower: if you destroy (peel) one layer, you still have many more.

Therefore, if the USA collapses, it will probably do so through a gradual descent into fragmentation and anarchy in a process that will take decades and maybe centuries, in an analogous form as the Roman Empire in the West.

... ... ...

Today, Sept. 11, is a date that marks two ends:

1) the end of any pretenstions left of a socialist wave in Latin America after the first one -- Cuba, 1959 -- was successful (so far, the first and only). The CIA masterfully learned from its mistakes in the island nation and successfully (and brutally) crushed Latin American socialism;

2) the beginning of the end of the "End of History" era. After the WTC fell, the USA would begin the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, in what would be the last time the USA acted as the "king of Nations".

What should've been -- after a wonderful victory in Iraq -- turned out to be a Pyrric endeavor, as Iran successfully resisted, the rest of the ME didn't budge, and the whole thing turned into a trillionaire black hole that drained the American coffers, spiked its debt rates and culminated with the 2008 crisis.


[Sep 10, 2019] Trade Wars Are a Fool's Game -- Strategic Culture

Sep 10, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Eric MARGOLIS

According to the great military thinker, Maj. Gen. J.F.C. Fuller, 'the object of war is not victory. It is to achieve political goals.'

Too bad President Donald Trump does not read books. He has started economic wars against China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela without any clear strategic objective beyond inflating his ego as the world's premier warlord and punishing them for disobedience.

Trump's wars are economic. They deploy the huge economic and financial might of the United States to steamroll other nations that fail to comply with orders from Washington. Washington's motto is 'obey me or else!' Economic wars are not bloodless. Imperial Germany and the Central Powers were starved into surrender in 1918 by a crushing British naval blockade.

Trade sanctions are not making America great, as Trump claims. They are making America detested around the globe as a crude bully. Trump's efforts to undermine the European Union and intimidate Canada add to this ugly, brutal image.

Worse, Trump's tariff war against China has damaged the economy of both nations, the world's leading economic powers, and raised tensions in Asia. The world is facing recession in large part due to Trump's ill-advised wars. All to prove Trump's power and glory.

Trump and his advisors are right about China's often questionable trade practices. I did 15 years of business in China and saw a kaleidoscope of chicanery, double-dealing, and corruption. A favorite Chinese trick was to leave imports baking in the sun on the docks, or long delaying them by 'losing' paperwork.

I saw every kind of craziness in the Wild East Chinese market. But remember that it's a 'new' market in which western-style capitalism is only one generation old. Besides, China learned many of its fishy trade practices from France, that mother of mercantilism.

China indeed steals technical and military information on a mass scale. But so does the US, whose spy agencies suck up information across the world. America's claims to be a victim are pretty rich.

What Trump & Co don't understand is that China was allowed into America's Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere by the clever President Nixon to bring it under US influence – just as Japan and South Korea were in the 1950's. China's trade surplus with the US is its dividend for playing by Washington's rules. If China's trade bonus is stripped away, so will China's half-hearted acceptance of US policies. Military tensions will rise sharply.

In China's view, the US is repeating what Great Britain did in the 19th century by declaring war to force opium grown in British-ruled Burma onto China's increasingly addicted people. Today the trade crop is soya beans and wretched pigs.

Trump's ultimate objective, as China clearly knows, is to whip up a world crisis over trade, then dramatically end it – of course, before next year's elections. Trump has become a master dictator of US financial markets, rising or lowering them by surprise tweets. No president should ever have such power, but Trump has seized it.

There is no telling how much money his minions have made in short or long selling on the stock market thanks to insider information. America's trillion dollar markets have come to depend on how Trump feels when he wakes up in the morning and watches Fox news, the Mother of Misinformation.

It staggers the imagination to believe that Trump and his minions actually believe that they can intimidate China into bending the knee. China withstood mass devastation and at least 14 million deaths in World War II in order to fight off Japanese domination. Does the White House really think Beijing will cave in over soya beans and semi-conductors in a daft war directed by a former beauty contest and casino operator? China's new emperor, Xi Jinping, is highly unlikely to lose face in a trade war with the US. Dictators cannot afford to retreat. Xi can wait it out until more balanced minds again occupy the White House.

Trade wars rarely produce any benefits for either side. They are the equivalent of sending tens of thousands of soldiers to be mowed down by machine guns on the blood-soaked Somme battlefield in WWI. Glory for the stupid generals; death and misery for the common soldiers

This fool's war of big egos will inevitably end in a face-saving compromise between Washington and Beijing. Get on with it.

ericmargolis.com

[Sep 10, 2019] 'The New Normal' Trump's 'China Bind' Can Be Iran's Opportunity by Alastair Crooke

Notable quotes:
"... The old adage that the 'sea is always the sea' holds true for US foreign policy. And Iran repeating the same old routines, whilst expecting different outcomes is, of course, one definition of madness. A new US Administration will inherit the same genes as the last. ..."
"... And in any case, the US is institutionally incapable of making a substantive deal with Iran. A US President – any President – cannot lift Congressional sanctions on Iran. The American multitudinous sanctions on Iran have become a decades' long knot of interpenetrating legislation: a vast rhizome of tangled, root-legislation that not even Alexander the Great might disentangle: that is why the JCPOA was constructed around a core of US Presidential 'waivers' needing to be renewed each six months. Whatever might be agreed in the future, the sanctions – 'waived' or not – are, as it were, 'forever'. ..."
"... "[So] decoupling is already in motion. Like the shift of tectonic plates, the move towards a new tech alignment with China increases the potential for sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy and supply chains. To defend America's technology leadership, policymakers must upgrade their toolkit to ensure that US technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks. ..."
"... "The key driver of this shift has not been the President's tariffs, but a changing consensus among rank-and-file policymakers about what constitutes national security. This expansive new conception of national security is sensitive to a broad array of potential threats, including to the economic livelihood of the United States, the integrity of its citizens personal data, and the country's technological advantage". ..."
"... A Quinnipiac University survey last week found for the first time in Trump's presidency, more voters now say the economy is getting worse rather than better, by a 37-31 percent margin – and by 41-37 percent, voters say the president's policies are hurting the economy. ..."
"... This is hugely significant. If Trump is experiencing a crisis of public confidence in respect to his assertive policies towards China, the last thing that he needs in the run-up to an election is an oil crisis, on top of a tariff/tech war crisis with China. A wrong move with Iran, and global oil supplies easily can go awry. Markets would not be happy. (So Trump's China 'bind' can also be Iran's opportunity ). ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

There is consensus amongst the Washington foreign policy élite that all factions in Iran understand that – ultimately – a deal with Washington on the nuclear issue must ensue. It somehow is inevitable. They view Iran simply as 'playing out the clock', until the advent of a new Administration makes a 'deal' possible again. And then Iran surely will be back at the table, they affirm.

Maybe. But maybe that is entirely wrong. Maybe the Iranian leadership no longer believes in 'deals' with Washington. Maybe they simply have had enough of western regime change antics (from the 1953 coup to the Iraq war waged on Iran at the western behest, to the present attempt at Iran's economic strangulation). They are quitting that failed paradigm for something new, something different.

The pages to that chapter have been shut. This does not imply some rabid anti-Americanism, but simply the experience that that path is pointless. If there is a 'clock being played out', it is that of the tic-toc of western political and economic hegemony in the Middle East is running down, and not the 'clock' of US domestic politics. The old adage that the 'sea is always the sea' holds true for US foreign policy. And Iran repeating the same old routines, whilst expecting different outcomes is, of course, one definition of madness. A new US Administration will inherit the same genes as the last.

And in any case, the US is institutionally incapable of making a substantive deal with Iran. A US President – any President – cannot lift Congressional sanctions on Iran. The American multitudinous sanctions on Iran have become a decades' long knot of interpenetrating legislation: a vast rhizome of tangled, root-legislation that not even Alexander the Great might disentangle: that is why the JCPOA was constructed around a core of US Presidential 'waivers' needing to be renewed each six months. Whatever might be agreed in the future, the sanctions – 'waived' or not – are, as it were, 'forever'.

If recent history has taught the Iranians anything, it is that such flimsy 'process' in the hands of a mercurial US President can simply be blown away like old dead leaves. Yes, the US has a systemic problem: US sanctions are a one-way valve: so easy to flow out, but once poured forth, there is no return inlet (beyond uncertain waivers issued at the pleasure of an incumbent President).

But more than just a long chapter reaching its inevitable end, Iran is seeing another path opening out. Trump is in a 'China bind': a trade deal with China now looks "tough to improbable", according to White House officials, in the context of the fast deteriorating environment of security tensions between Washington and Beijing. Defense One spells it out:

"It came without a breaking news alert or presidential tweet, but the technological competition with China entered a new phase last month. Several developments quietly heralded this shift: Cross-border investments between the United States and China plunged to their lowest levels since 2014, with the tech sector suffering the most precipitous drop. US chip giants Intel and AMD abruptly ended or declined to extend important partnerships with Chinese entities. The Department of Commerce halved the number of licenses that let US companies assign Chinese nationals to sensitive technology and engineering projects.

"[So] decoupling is already in motion. Like the shift of tectonic plates, the move towards a new tech alignment with China increases the potential for sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy and supply chains. To defend America's technology leadership, policymakers must upgrade their toolkit to ensure that US technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks.

"The key driver of this shift has not been the President's tariffs, but a changing consensus among rank-and-file policymakers about what constitutes national security. This expansive new conception of national security is sensitive to a broad array of potential threats, including to the economic livelihood of the United States, the integrity of its citizens personal data, and the country's technological advantage".

Trump's China 'bind' is this: A trade deal with China has long been viewed by the White House as a major tool for 'goosing' the US stock market upwards, during the crucial pre-election period. But as that is now said to be "tough to improbable" – and as US national security consensus metamorphoses, the consequent de-coupling, combined with tariffs, is beginning to bite. The effects are eating away at President Trump's prime political asset: the public confidence in his handling of the economy: A Quinnipiac University survey last week found for the first time in Trump's presidency, more voters now say the economy is getting worse rather than better, by a 37-31 percent margin – and by 41-37 percent, voters say the president's policies are hurting the economy.

This is hugely significant. If Trump is experiencing a crisis of public confidence in respect to his assertive policies towards China, the last thing that he needs in the run-up to an election is an oil crisis, on top of a tariff/tech war crisis with China. A wrong move with Iran, and global oil supplies easily can go awry. Markets would not be happy. (So Trump's China 'bind' can also be Iran's opportunity ).

No wonder Pompeo acted with such alacrity to put a tourniquet on the brewing 'war' in the Middle East, sparked by Israel's simultaneous air attacks last month in Iraq, inside Beirut, and in Syria (killing two Hizbullah soldiers). It is pretty clear that Washington did not want this 'war', at least not now. America, as Defense One noted , is becoming acutely sensitive to any risks to the global financial system from "sudden, destabilizing convulsions in the global economy".

The recent Israeli military operations coincided with Iranian FM Zarif's sudden summons to Biarritz (during the G7), exacerbating fears within the Israeli Security Cabinet that Trump might meet with President Rouhani in NY at the UN General Assembly – thus threatening Netanyahu's anti-Iran, political 'identity' . The fear was that Trump could begin a 'bromance' with the Iranian President (on the Kim Jong Un lines). And hence the Israeli provocations intended to stir some Iranian (over)-reaction (which never came). Subsequently it became clear to Israel that Iran's leadership had absolutely no intention to meet with Trump – and the whole episode subsided.

Trump's Iran 'bind' therefore is somehow similar to his China 'bind': With China, he initially wanted an easy trade achievement, but it has proved to be 'anything but'. With Iran, Trump wanted a razzmatazz meeting with Rohani – even if that did not lead to a new 'deal' (much as the Trump – Kim Jung Un TV spectaculars that caught the American imagination so vividly, he may have hoped for a similar response to a Rohani handshake, or he may have even aspired to an Oval Office spectacular).

Trump simply cannot understand why the Iranians won't do this, and he is peeved by the snub. Iran is unfathomable to Team Trump.

Well, maybe the Iranians just don't want to do it. Firstly, they don't need to: the Iranian Rial has been recovering steadily over the last four months and manufacturing output has steadied. China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) detailing the country's oil imports data shows that China has not cut its Iranian supply after the US waiver program ended on 2 May, but rather, it has steadily increased Iranian crude imports since the official end of the waiver extension, up from May and June levels. The new GAC data shows China imported over 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Iran in July, which is up 4.7% from the month before.

And a new path is opening in front of Iran. After Biarritz, Zarif flew directly to Beijing where he discussed a huge, multi-hundred billion (according to one report ), twenty-five-year oil and gas investment, (and a separate) 'Road and Belt' transport plan. Though the details are not disclosed, it is plain that China – unlike America – sees Iran as a key future strategic partner, and China seems perfectly able to fathom out the Iranians, too.

But here is the really substantive US shift taking place. It is that which is termed "a new normal" now taking a hold in Washington:

"To defend America's technology leadership, policymakers [are] upgrading their toolkit to ensure that US technology leadership can withstand the aftershocks Unlike the President's trade war, support for this new, expansive definition of national security and technology is largely bipartisan, and likely here to stay.

with many of the president's top advisers viewing China first and foremost as a national security threat, rather than as an economic partner – it's poised to affect huge parts of American life, from the cost of many consumer goods to the nature of this country's relationship with the government of Taiwan.

"Trump himself still views China primarily through an economic prism. But the angrier he gets with Beijing, the more receptive he is to his advisers' hawkish stances toward China that go well beyond trade."

"The angrier he gets with Beijing" Well, here is the key point: Washington seems to have lost the ability to summon the resources to try to fathom either China, or the Iranian 'closed book', let alone a 'Byzantine' Russia. It is a colossal attenuation of consciousness in Washington; a loss of conscious 'vitality' to the grip of some 'irrefutable logic' that allows no empathy, no outreach, to 'otherness'. Washington (and some European élites) have retreated into their 'niche' consciousness, their mental enclave, gated and protected, from having to understand – or engage – with wider human experience.

To compensate for these lacunae, Washington looks rather, to an engineering and technological solution: If we cannot summon empathy, or understand Xi or the Iranian Supreme Leader, we can muster artificial intelligence to substitute – a 'toolkit' in which the US intends to be global leader.

This type of solution – from the US perspective – maybe works for China, but not so much for Iran; and Trump is not keen on a full war with Iran in the lead up to elections. Is this why Trump seems to be losing interest in the Middle East? He doesn't understand it; he hasn't the interest or the means to fathom it; and he doesn't want to bomb it. And the China 'bind' is going to be all absorbing for him, for the meantime.

[Sep 10, 2019] Neoliberal Capitalism at a Dead End by Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik

Highly recommended!
This is a Marxist critique of neoliberalism. Not necessary right but they his some relevant points.
Notable quotes:
"... The ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. ..."
"... The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. ..."
"... While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand. ..."
"... The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5 ..."
"... This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis. ..."
"... The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6 ..."
"... If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment. ..."
"... The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market ..."
"... In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people ..."
"... In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. ..."
"... The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support. ..."
"... The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism. ..."
"... And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more. ..."
"... Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | portside.org
Originally from: Monthly Review printer friendly
The ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop.

Harry Magdoff's The Age of Imperialism is a classic work that shows how postwar political decolonization does not negate the phenomenon of imperialism. The book has two distinct aspects. On the one hand, it follows in V. I. Lenin's footsteps in providing a comprehensive account of how capitalism at the time operated globally. On the other hand, it raises a question that is less frequently discussed in Marxist literature -- namely, the need for imperialism. Here, Magdoff not only highlighted the crucial importance, among other things, of the third world's raw materials for metropolitan capital, but also refuted the argument that the declining share of raw-material value in gross manufacturing output somehow reduced this importance, making the simple point that there can be no manufacturing at all without raw materials. 1

Magdoff's focus was on a period when imperialism was severely resisting economic decolonization in the third world, with newly independent third world countries taking control over their own resources. He highlighted the entire armory of weapons used by imperialism. But he was writing in a period that predated the onset of neoliberalism. Today, we not only have decades of neoliberalism behind us, but the neoliberal regime itself has reached a dead end. Contemporary imperialism has to be discussed within this setting.

Globalization and Economic Crisis

There are two reasons why the regime of neoliberal globalization has run into a dead end. The first is an ex ante tendency toward global overproduction; the second is that the only possible counter to this tendency within the regime is the formation of asset-price bubbles, which cannot be conjured up at will and whose collapse, if they do appear, plunges the economy back into crisis. In short, to use the words of British economic historian Samuel Berrick Saul, there are no "markets on tap" for contemporary metropolitan capitalism, such as had been provided by colonialism prior to the First World War and by state expenditure in the post-Second World War period of dirigisme . 2

The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. As Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy argued in Monopoly Capital , following the lead of Michał Kalecki and Josef Steindl, such a rise in the share of economic surplus, or a shift from wages to surplus, has the effect of reducing aggregate demand since the ratio of consumption to income is higher on average for wage earners than for those living off the surplus. 3 Therefore, assuming a given level of investment associated with any period, such a shift would tend to reduce consumption demand and hence aggregate demand, output, and capacity utilization. In turn, reduced capacity utilization would lower investment over time, further aggravating the demand-reducing effect arising from the consumption side.

While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand.

Historically, while labor has not been, and is still not, free to migrate from the third world to the metropolis, capital, though juridically free to move from the latter to the former, did not actually do so , except to sectors like mines and plantations, which only strengthened, rather than broke, the colonial pattern of the international division of labor. 4 This segmentation of the world economy meant that wages in the metropolis increased with labor productivity, unrestrained by the vast labor reserves of the third world, which themselves had been caused by the displacement of manufactures through the twin processes of deindustrialization (competition from metropolitan goods) and the drain of surplus (the siphoning off of a large part of the economic surplus, through taxes on peasants that are no longer spent on local artisan products but finance gratis primary commodity exports to the metropolis instead).

The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5

At the same time, such relocation of activities, despite causing impressive growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP) in many third world countries, does not lead to the exhaustion of the third world's labor reserves. This is because of another feature of contemporary globalization: the unleashing of a process of primitive accumulation of capital against petty producers, including peasant agriculturists in the third world, who had earlier been protected, to an extent, from the encroachment of big capital (both domestic and foreign) by the postcolonial dirigiste regimes in these countries. Under neoliberalism, such protection is withdrawn, causing an income squeeze on these producers and often their outright dispossession from their land, which is then used by big capital for its various so-called development projects. The increase in employment, even in countries with impressive GDP growth rates in the third world, falls way short of the natural growth of the workforce, let alone absorbing the additional job seekers coming from the ranks of displaced petty producers. The labor reserves therefore never get used up. Indeed, on the contrary, they are augmented further, because real wages continue to remain tied to a subsistence level, even as metropolitan wages too are restrained. The vector of real wages in the world economy as a whole therefore remains restrained.

Although contemporary globalization thus gives rise to an ex ante tendency toward overproduction, state expenditure that could provide a counter to this (and had provided a counter through military spending in the United States, according to Baran and Sweezy) can no longer do so under the current regime. Finance is usually opposed to direct state intervention through larger spending as a way of increasing employment. This opposition expresses itself through an opposition not just to larger taxes on capitalists, but also to a larger fiscal deficit for financing such spending. Obviously, if larger state spending is financed by taxes on workers, then it hardly adds to aggregate demand, for workers spend the bulk of their incomes anyway, so the state taking this income and spending it instead does not add any extra demand. Hence, larger state spending can increase employment only if it is financed either through a fiscal deficit or through taxes on capitalists who keep a part of their income unspent or saved. But these are precisely the two modes of financing state expenditure that finance capital opposes.

Its opposing larger taxes on capitalists is understandable, but why is it so opposed to a larger fiscal deficit? Even within a capitalist economy, there are no sound economic theoretical reasons that should preclude a fiscal deficit under all circumstances. The root of the opposition therefore lies in deeper social considerations: if the capitalist economic system becomes dependent on the state to promote employment directly , then this fact undermines the social legitimacy of capitalism. The need for the state to boost the animal spirits of the capitalists disappears and a perspective on the system that is epistemically exterior to it is provided to the people, making it possible for them to ask: If the state can do the job of providing employment, then why do we need the capitalists at all? It is an instinctive appreciation of this potential danger that underlies the opposition of capital, especially of finance, to any direct effort by the state to generate employment.

This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis.

The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6

It may be thought that this compulsion on the part of the state to accede to the demand of finance to eschew fiscal intervention for enlarging employment should not hold for the United States. Its currency being considered by the world's wealth holders to be "as good as gold" should make it immune to capital flight. But there is an additional factor operating in the case of the United States: that the demand generated by a bigger U.S. fiscal deficit would substantially leak abroad in a neoliberal setting, which would increase its external debt (since, unlike Britain in its heyday, it does not have access to any unrequited colonial transfers) for the sake of generating employment elsewhere. This fact deters any fiscal effort even in the United States to boost demand within a neoliberal setting. 7

Therefore, it follows that state spending cannot provide a counter to the ex ante tendency toward global overproduction within a regime of neoliberal globalization, which makes the world economy precariously dependent on occasional asset-price bubbles, primarily in the U.S. economy, for obtaining, at best, some temporary relief from the crisis. It is this fact that underlies the dead end that neoliberal capitalism has reached. Indeed, Donald Trump's resort to protectionism in the United States to alleviate unemployment is a clear recognition of the system having reached this cul-de-sac. The fact that the mightiest capitalist economy in the world has to move away from the rules of the neoliberal game in an attempt to alleviate its crisis of unemployment/underemployment -- while compensating capitalists adversely affected by this move through tax cuts, as well as carefully ensuring that no restraints are imposed on free cross-border financial flows -- shows that these rules are no longer viable in their pristine form.

Some Implications of This Dead End

There are at least four important implications of this dead end of neoliberalism. The first is that the world economy will now be afflicted by much higher levels of unemployment than it was in the last decade of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, when the dot-com and the housing bubbles in the United States had, sequentially, a pronounced impact. It is true that the U.S. unemployment rate today appears to be at a historic low, but this is misleading: the labor-force participation rate in the United States today is lower than it was in 2008, which reflects the discouraged-worker effect . Adjusting for this lower participation, the U.S. unemployment rate is considerable -- around 8 percent. Indeed, Trump would not be imposing protection in the United States if unemployment was actually as low as 4 percent, which is the official figure. Elsewhere in the world, of course, unemployment post-2008 continues to be evidently higher than before. Indeed, the severity of the current problem of below-full-employment production in the U.S. economy is best illustrated by capacity utilization figures in manufacturing. The weakness of the U.S. recovery from the Great Recession is indicated by the fact that the current extended recovery represents the first decade in the entire post-Second World War period in which capacity utilization in manufacturing has never risen as high as 80 percent in a single quarter, with the resulting stagnation of investment. 8

If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment.

There has been some discussion on how global value chains would be affected by Trump's protectionism. But the fact that global macroeconomics in the early twenty-first century will look altogether different compared to earlier has not been much discussed.

In light of the preceding discussion, one could say that if, instead of individual nation-states whose writ cannot possibly run against globalized finance capital, there was a global state or a set of major nation-states acting in unison to override the objections of globalized finance and provide a coordinated fiscal stimulus to the world economy, then perhaps there could be recovery. Such a coordinated fiscal stimulus was suggested by a group of German trade unionists, as well as by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression in the 1930s. 9 While it was turned down then, in the present context it has not even been discussed.

The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market.

Such a transition will not be easy; it will require promoting domestic peasant agriculture, defending petty production, moving toward cooperative forms of production, and ensuring greater equality in income distribution, all of which need major structural shifts. For smaller economies, it would also require their coming together with other economies to provide a minimum size to the domestic market. In short, the dead end of neoliberalism also means the need for a shift away from the so-called neoliberal development strategy that has held sway until now.

The third implication is the imminent engulfing of a whole range of third world economies in serious balance-of-payments difficulties. This is because, while their exports will be sluggish in the new situation, this very fact will also discourage financial inflows into their economies, whose easy availability had enabled them to maintain current account deficits on their balance of payments earlier. In such a situation, within the existing neoliberal paradigm, they would be forced to adopt austerity measures that would impose income deflation on their people, make the conditions of their people significantly worse, lead to a further handing over of their national assets and resources to international capital, and prevent precisely any possible transition to an alternative strategy of home market-based growth.

In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people.

The fourth implication is the worldwide upsurge of fascism. Neoliberal capitalism even before it reached a dead end, even in the period when it achieved reasonable growth and employment rates, had pushed the world into greater hunger and poverty. For instance, the world per-capita cereal output was 355 kilograms for 1980 (triennium average for 1979–81 divided by mid–triennium population) and fell to 343 in 2000, leveling at 344.9 in 2016 -- and a substantial amount of this last figure went into ethanol production. Clearly, in a period of growth of the world economy, per-capita cereal absorption should be expanding, especially since we are talking here not just of direct absorption but of direct and indirect absorption, the latter through processed foods and feed grains in animal products. The fact that there was an absolute decline in per-capita output, which no doubt caused a decline in per-capita absorption, suggests an absolute worsening in the nutritional level of a substantial segment of the world's population.

But this growing hunger and nutritional poverty did not immediately arouse any significant resistance, both because such resistance itself becomes more difficult under neoliberalism (since the very globalization of capital makes it an elusive target) and also because higher GDP growth rates provided a hope that distress might be overcome in the course of time. Peasants in distress, for instance, entertained the hope that their children would live better in the years to come if given a modicum of education and accepted their fate.

In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. This changes the discourse away from the material conditions of people's lives to the so-called threat to the nation, placing the blame for people's distress not on the failure of the system, but on ethnic, linguistic, and religious minority groups, the other that is portrayed as an enemy. It projects a so-called messiah whose sheer muscularity can somehow magically overcome all problems; it promotes a culture of unreason so that both the vilification of the other and the magical powers of the supposed leader can be placed beyond any intellectual questioning; it uses a combination of state repression and street-level vigilantism by fascist thugs to terrorize opponents; and it forges a close relationship with big business, or, in Kalecki's words, "a partnership of big business and fascist upstarts." 10

Fascist groups of one kind or another exist in all modern societies. They move center stage and even into power only on certain occasions when they get the backing of big business. And these occasions arise when three conditions are satisfied: when there is an economic crisis so the system cannot simply go on as before; when the usual liberal establishment is manifestly incapable of resolving the crisis; and when the left is not strong enough to provide an alternative to the people in order to move out of the conjuncture.

This last point may appear odd at first, since many see the big bourgeoisie's recourse to fascism as a counter to the growth of the left's strength in the context of a capitalist crisis. But when the left poses a serious threat, the response of the big bourgeoisie typically is to attempt to split it by offering concessions. It uses fascism to prop itself up only when the left is weakened. Walter Benjamin's remark that "behind every fascism there is a failed revolution" points in this direction.

Fascism Then and Now

Contemporary fascism, however, differs in crucial respects from its 1930s counterpart, which is why many are reluctant to call the current phenomenon a fascist upsurge. But historical parallels, if carefully drawn, can be useful. While in some aforementioned respects contemporary fascism does resemble the phenomenon of the 1930s, there are serious differences between the two that must also be noted.

First, we must note that while the current fascist upsurge has put fascist elements in power in many countries, there are no fascist states of the 1930s kind as of yet. Even if the fascist elements in power try to push the country toward a fascist state, it is not clear that they will succeed. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that fascists in power today cannot overcome the crisis of neoliberalism, since they accept the regime of globalization of finance. This includes Trump, despite his protectionism. In the 1930s, however, this was not the case. The horrors associated with the institution of a fascist state in the 1930s had been camouflaged to an extent by the ability of the fascists in power to overcome mass unemployment and end the Depression through larger military spending, financed by government borrowing. Contemporary fascism, by contrast, lacks the ability to overcome the opposition of international finance capital to fiscal activism on the part of the government to generate larger demand, output, and employment, even via military spending.

Such activism, as discussed earlier, required larger government spending financed either through taxes on capitalists or through a fiscal deficit. Finance capital was opposed to both of these measures and it being globalized made this opposition decisive . The decisiveness of this opposition remains even if the government happens to be one composed of fascist elements. Hence, contemporary fascism, straitjacketed by "fiscal rectitude," cannot possibly alleviate even temporarily the economic crises facing people and cannot provide any cover for a transition to a fascist state akin to the ones of the 1930s, which makes such a transition that much more unlikely.

Another difference is also related to the phenomenon of the globalization of finance. The 1930s were marked by what Lenin had earlier called "interimperialist rivalry." The military expenditures incurred by fascist governments, even though they pulled countries out of the Depression and unemployment, inevitably led to wars for "repartitioning an already partitioned world." Fascism was the progenitor of war and burned itself out through war at, needless to say, great cost to humankind.

Contemporary fascism, however, operates in a world where interimperialist rivalry is far more muted. Some have seen in this muting a vindication of Karl Kautsky's vision of an "ultraimperialism" as against Lenin's emphasis on the permanence of interimperialist rivalry, but this is wrong. Both Kautsky and Lenin were talking about a world where finance capital and the financial oligarchy were essentially national -- that is, German, French, or British. And while Kautsky talked about the possibility of truces among the rival oligarchies, Lenin saw such truces only as transient phenomena punctuating the ubiquity of rivalry.

In contrast, what we have today is not nation-based finance capitals, but international finance capital into whose corpus the finance capitals drawn from particular countries are integrated. This globalized finance capital does not want the world to be partitioned into economic territories of rival powers ; on the contrary, it wants the entire globe to be open to its own unrestricted movement. The muting of rivalry between major powers, therefore, is not because they prefer truce to war, or peaceful partitioning of the world to forcible repartitioning, but because the material conditions themselves have changed so that it is no longer a matter of such choices. The world has gone beyond both Lenin and Kautsky, as well as their debates.

Not only are we not going to have wars between major powers in this era of fascist upsurge (of course, as will be discussed, we shall have other wars), but, by the same token, this fascist upsurge will not burn out through any cataclysmic war. What we are likely to see is a lingering fascism of less murderous intensity , which, when in power, does not necessarily do away with all the forms of bourgeois democracy, does not necessarily physically annihilate the opposition, and may even allow itself to get voted out of power occasionally. But since its successor government, as long as it remains within the confines of the neoliberal strategy, will also be incapable of alleviating the crisis, the fascist elements are likely to return to power as well. And whether the fascist elements are in or out of power, they will remain a potent force working toward the fascification of the society and the polity, even while promoting corporate interests within a regime of globalization of finance, and hence permanently maintaining the "partnership between big business and fascist upstarts."

Put differently, since the contemporary fascist upsurge is not likely to burn itself out as the earlier one did, it has to be overcome by transcending the very conjuncture that produced it: neoliberal capitalism at a dead end. A class mobilization of working people around an alternative set of transitional demands that do not necessarily directly target neoliberal capitalism, but which are immanently unrealizable within the regime of neoliberal capitalism, can provide an initial way out of this conjuncture and lead to its eventual transcendence.

Such a class mobilization in the third world context would not mean making no truces with liberal bourgeois elements against the fascists. On the contrary, since the liberal bourgeois elements too are getting marginalized through a discourse of jingoistic nationalism typically manufactured by the fascists, they too would like to shift the discourse toward the material conditions of people's lives, no doubt claiming that an improvement in these conditions is possible within the neoliberal economic regime itself. Such a shift in discourse is in itself a major antifascist act . Experience will teach that the agenda advanced as part of this changed discourse is unrealizable under neoliberalism, providing the scope for dialectical intervention by the left to transcend neoliberal capitalism.

Imperialist Interventions

Even though fascism will have a lingering presence in this conjuncture of "neoliberalism at a dead end," with the backing of domestic corporate-financial interests that are themselves integrated into the corpus of international finance capital, the working people in the third world will increasingly demand better material conditions of life and thereby rupture the fascist discourse of jingoistic nationalism (that ironically in a third world context is not anti-imperialist).

In fact, neoliberalism reaching a dead end and having to rely on fascist elements revives meaningful political activity, which the heyday of neoliberalism had precluded, because most political formations then had been trapped within an identical neoliberal agenda that appeared promising. (Latin America had a somewhat different history because neoliberalism arrived in that continent through military dictatorships, not through its more or less tacit acceptance by most political formations.)

Such revived political activity will necessarily throw up challenges to neoliberal capitalism in particular countries. Imperialism, by which we mean the entire economic and political arrangement sustaining the hegemony of international finance capital, will deal with these challenges in at least four different ways.

The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support.

Even if capital controls are put in place, where there are current account deficits, financing such deficits would pose a problem, necessitating some trade controls. But this is where the second instrument of imperialism comes into play: the imposition of trade sanctions by the metropolitan states, which then cajole other countries to stop buying from the sanctioned country that is trying to break away from thralldom to globalized finance capital. Even if the latter would have otherwise succeeded in stabilizing its economy despite its attempt to break away, the imposition of sanctions becomes an additional blow.

The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism.

And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more.

Two aspects of such intervention are striking. One is the virtual unanimity among the metropolitan states, which only underscores the muting of interimperialist rivalry in the era of hegemony of global finance capital. The other is the extent of support that such intervention commands within metropolitan countries, from the right to even the liberal segments.

Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it.

Notes
  1. Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969).
  2. Samuel Berrick Saul, Studies in British Overseas Trade, 1870–1914 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1960).
  3. Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966).
  4. One of the first authors to recognize this fact and its significance was Paul Baran in The Political Economy of Growth (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1957).
  5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, " Inequality is Holding Back the Recovery ," New York Times , January 19, 2013.
  6. For a discussion of how even the recent euphoria about U.S. growth is vanishing, see C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh, " Vanishing Green Shoots and the Possibility of Another Crisis ," The Hindu Business Line , April 8, 2019.
  7. For the role of such colonial transfers in sustaining the British balance of payments and the long Victorian and Edwardian boom, see Utsa Patnaik, "Revisiting the 'Drain,' or Transfers from India to Britain in the Context of Global Diffusion of Capitalism," in Agrarian and Other Histories: Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri , ed. Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik (Delhi: Tulika, 2017), 277-317.
  8. Federal Reserve Board of Saint Louis Economic Research, FRED, "Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing," February 2019 (updated March 27, 2019), http://fred.stlouisfed.org .
  9. This issue is discussed by Charles P. Kindleberger in The World in Depression, 1929–1939 , 40th anniversary ed. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2013).
  10. Michał Kalecki, " Political Aspects of Full Employment ," Political Quarterly (1943), available at mronline.org.
  11. Joseph Schumpeter had seen Keynes's The Economic Consequences of the Peace as essentially advocating such state intervention in the new situation. See his essay, "John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946)," in Ten Great Economists (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952).

Utsa Patnaik is Professor Emerita at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her books include Peasant Class Differentiation (1987), The Long Transition (1999), and The Republic of Hunger and Other Essays (2007). Prabhat Patnaik is Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His books include Accumulation and Stability Under Capitalism (1997), The Value of Money(2009), and Re-envisioning Socialism(2011).

[Sep 10, 2019] The Sunset of Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... By now the Republican hypocrisy on "fiscal responsibility" has become blindingly obvious: nondefense spending is always bad because it increases the national debt, tax cuts are fine even though they do the same. The political scam here may be more plain than the economic. Democrats understand that if they undertake the onerous task of closing budget deficits with unpopular tax increases and spending cuts, it only sets up the other side to make hay in the next election, then in office to blow up the deficit all over again. We've seen this three times since 1980. ..."
"... When the issues of poverty and inequality came up, a common neoliberal dodge was to invoke the Horatio Alger myth -- that in America, with hard work one can, or should be able to, raise oneself up by one' bootstraps. This switches the question from security made possible by the public sector to an individual responsibility for economic mobility. ..."
"... As it happens, mobility has declined over the long term in the United States, but that aside, it's a two-way street. The escalator of life runs in both directions. Moreover, it's a separate issue from that of poverty or inequality. One can have more mobility and the same or worse poverty or inequality. The rising tide goes out as well as in. ..."
"... The neoliberal remedy for poverty and inequality is commonly held to be education, because workers lack the requisite skills to earn a living wage. It's kind of their fault. All that's needed is some reasonable public expenditure. No deeper structural factors are at issue. This mindset is contradicted now in two ways. ..."
"... It does not require much contemplation to realize that merely splitting up the largest, most offensive corporations brings little promise of curbing their abuses. The Standard Oil monopoly was cut into pieces a century ago, and nobody has accused their spawn (Exxon, Shell, etc.) of being creditable public citizens. Three search engines that send you to the same scurrilous, paid-for content are no better than one. There is no reason to think life in a Walmart warehouse is any better than one in Amazon's. ..."
"... Postal savings banks can shield savers, home buyers, and taxpayers from the adventures of big players in the stock market. Nationalization of pharmaceutical patents could save consumers billions of dollars a year. ..."
"... Neoliberalism in foreign policy means the use of lethal force for the ostensible objectives of humanitarian intervention. This has always been the mask for US efforts to maintain its hegemonic position among world powers. Pressure on Iran or Venezuela or Iraq, for instance, was never credible as any sort of defense against existential threats to the United States, since no such threats from those nations could be demonstrated. The same can be said for the endless US presence in Afghanistan. ..."
"... Credit for the ebb of faith in the use of US military power is due to multiple sources. Foremost among these is the abject debacle of US machinations in Iraq (and Libya, if you're paying attention). These arguably contributed to caution on the part of the Obama Administration with respect to Iran and Syria. Among political figures, perhaps the strongest pressures are generated by Bernie Sanders and yes, Donald Trump. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | portside.org

Sheer up. The Left is winning the battle of ideas. Ideas are the basis for organization, and organization is prior to change. The signs are in the evolution of statements and platforms presented by Democratic presidential candidates. As the economist John Maynard Keynes wrote, eighty and some years ago:

Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.

It's our "madmen" (and women) who are more in evidence these days -- not as public personalities, but in the guise of campaign commitments offered by leading Democratic politicians. Their ascendance parallels the decline of neoliberal ideology.

In this essay, I'd like to give credit where it is due for the raising of consciousness. In the process, I would like to foster a keener appreciation for the difference between progressive and neoliberal doctrine. What does it mean to be left these days? Everybody knows the extreme point -- wholesale socialization of the commanding heights of the economy. But where is the separation between hackneyed liberalism, "woke" and otherwise, and emerging progressive platforms?

It does not always pay to highlight differences. But our ambitions go well beyond a restoration of the old order under Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. For one thing, the not unlikely shortcomings of a President Joe Biden could lead us straight back to the current dilemma, perhaps with a younger, smarter version of Trump. Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas wait impatiently in the wings, tanned, rested, and ready to wreak havoc anew. We bitterly recall the triumphant victories of 1992 and 2008. Democrats won the White House and held both houses of Congress; then they stunk up the joint, leading to the midterm electoral debacles of 1994 and 2010.

The urge to paper over differences, in the interests of antifascist unity, intermingles with sympathy for the old liberal verities and a reluctance, if not an incapacity, to offer a forthright critique of progressive alternatives. Among friends, the label "neoliberal" is often taken as an insult. The desire by liberals to avoid being flanked on the Left is strong. Of course, being "more left" is not necessarily better, much less a sign of virtue. There have always been virtuous liberals and low-down radicals.

From my own policy standpoint, I would assert that the radical or progressive option is not intrinsically preferable to the neoliberal: we need to get down to cases. Here are some leading examples of the dwindling currency of neoliberal thinking.

Up From Deficit Reduction

By now the Republican hypocrisy on "fiscal responsibility" has become blindingly obvious: nondefense spending is always bad because it increases the national debt, tax cuts are fine even though they do the same. The political scam here may be more plain than the economic. Democrats understand that if they undertake the onerous task of closing budget deficits with unpopular tax increases and spending cuts, it only sets up the other side to make hay in the next election, then in office to blow up the deficit all over again. We've seen this three times since 1980.

The economic bankruptcy of deficit reduction remains elusive to many Democrats. In increasingly globalized capital markets, the impact of higher deficits on interest rates and the fabled "crowding out" of investment have failed to transpire. Neither low unemployment nor monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve set off ruinous hyperinflation, contrary to the conventional wisdom.

The growth in popularity of Modern Monetary Theory has further winnowed the ranks of liberal budget balancers. An exception is Mayor Pete, who had the fortitude to identify himself as an outlier. In this case, the exception proves the rule, which is that deficit reduction and a balanced budget have been removed from the panel of Democratic hot buttons.

The Siren Song of Economic Opportunity

When the issues of poverty and inequality came up, a common neoliberal dodge was to invoke the Horatio Alger myth -- that in America, with hard work one can, or should be able to, raise oneself up by one' bootstraps. This switches the question from security made possible by the public sector to an individual responsibility for economic mobility.

As it happens, mobility has declined over the long term in the United States, but that aside, it's a two-way street. The escalator of life runs in both directions. Moreover, it's a separate issue from that of poverty or inequality. One can have more mobility and the same or worse poverty or inequality. The rising tide goes out as well as in.

The neoliberal remedy for poverty and inequality is commonly held to be education, because workers lack the requisite skills to earn a living wage. It's kind of their fault. All that's needed is some reasonable public expenditure. No deeper structural factors are at issue. This mindset is contradicted now in two ways.

First, the idea of education as an essential, missing ingredient is being supplanted by the idea that what's at issue is power , both political and economic . The wealthy control streams of income and institutions of credentialization that could be rerouted, via taxation, to finance education ("free college") that has an equalizing effect on wealth and enhances economic security. Most candidates support ways to reduce the costs of post-secondary education.

Second, power also stems from the operations of racial and gender oppression. Nonwhites and women are held back due to institutions of racism and sexism. One such institution is the pairing of local government finance of public education with racial segregation. Segregation simultaneously stems from and reinforces housing discrimination and wealth inequality.

I would also suggest that wealth inequality and employment discrimination impair family well-being and foster single-parent, female-headed families with children, which promotes gender-based oppression in the forms of unequal pay and occupational segregation. Women with a disproportionate responsibility for the care of children have less power to command livable wages and to advance in the labor market.

Democratic candidates are aiming closer to the roots of these problems in proposals to combat institutional racism and to expand subsidized childcare. Pete Buttigieg has proposed a comprehensive program to deal with institutional racism. Cory Booker has talked of "Baby Bonds," a prominent proposal aimed at racial wealth inequality. Most candidates pledge a significant increase in resources for childcare. We are some ways beyond Bill Clinton's "Mend it, don't end it" response to the limits of affirmative action, or Barack Obama's "Beer Summit."

Medicare for Lots More People

The limits of Obamacare have become painfully obvious, even as the added benefits of the program have stoked public appetite for more serious progress. One constraint on the Affordable Care Act's design at the time was reservations about its impact on the budget deficit, a concern that looks farcical in retrospect.

The debate among Democrats now is not whether to extend public support for health care, but by how much, and how rapidly. The implication is that health insurance markets are fatally flawed, despite neoliberal attempts to improve them.

More broadly, the burgeoning critiques of monopoly, not least in the form of rapacious, privacy-destroying tech giants whose business models entail pollution of public debate, raise fundamental questions about markets and the neoliberals who "believe" in them.

It does not require much contemplation to realize that merely splitting up the largest, most offensive corporations brings little promise of curbing their abuses. The Standard Oil monopoly was cut into pieces a century ago, and nobody has accused their spawn (Exxon, Shell, etc.) of being creditable public citizens. Three search engines that send you to the same scurrilous, paid-for content are no better than one. There is no reason to think life in a Walmart warehouse is any better than one in Amazon's.

A critique of monopoly can be channeled into consideration of shifting industries into the public sector. Public broadband can diminish the power of Big Media, which relies on vertical integration of cable, broadband, and content production. The same could be said of the clawback of "intellectual property" rights in film and music. Postal savings banks can shield savers, home buyers, and taxpayers from the adventures of big players in the stock market. Nationalization of pharmaceutical patents could save consumers billions of dollars a year.

War Is a Racket

Neoliberalism in foreign policy means the use of lethal force for the ostensible objectives of humanitarian intervention. This has always been the mask for US efforts to maintain its hegemonic position among world powers. Pressure on Iran or Venezuela or Iraq, for instance, was never credible as any sort of defense against existential threats to the United States, since no such threats from those nations could be demonstrated. The same can be said for the endless US presence in Afghanistan.

Credit for the ebb of faith in the use of US military power is due to multiple sources. Foremost among these is the abject debacle of US machinations in Iraq (and Libya, if you're paying attention). These arguably contributed to caution on the part of the Obama Administration with respect to Iran and Syria. Among political figures, perhaps the strongest pressures are generated by Bernie Sanders and yes, Donald Trump.

... ... ...

As this article was being written, the Sanders campaign released additional, detailed plans pertaining to labor rights, the Green New Deal, and how law enforcement deals with race. In this respect, his opponents are invariably more fated to play catch-up than to reject his proposals. The few who tried to plant a flag on their opposition to socialism are passing from the scene. It's as if Democratic voters have been thirsting for progressive proposals for decades, and now they will drink as much as can be offered. No candidate so far has proven willing to rain on this parade.

That's why I say we are witnessing the sunset of neoliberalism.

[Sep 10, 2019] It s all about Gene Sharp and seeping neoliberal regime change using Western logistical support, money, NGO and intelligence agencies and MSM as the leverage

Highly recommended!
What democracy they are talking about? Democracy for whom? This Harvard political prostitutes are talking about democracy for oligarchs which was the nest result of EuroMaydan and the ability of Western companies to buy assets for pennies on the dollar without the control of national government like happen in xUSSR space after dissolution of the USSR, which in retrospect can be classified as a color revolution too, supported by financial injection, logistical support and propaganda campaign in major Western MSM.
What Harvard honchos probably does not understand or does not wish to understand is that neoliberalism as a social system lost its attraction and is in irreversible decline. The ideology of neoliberalism collapsed much like Bolsheviks' ideology. As Politician like Joe Boden which still preach neoliberalism are widely viewed as corrupt or senile (or both) hypocrites.
The "Collective West" still demonstrates formidable intelligence agencies skills (especially the USA and GB), but the key question is: "What they are fighting for?"
They are fighting for neoliberalism which is a lost case. Which looks like KGB successes after WWIII. They won many battles and lost the Cold war.
Not that Bolsheviks in the USSR was healthy or vibrant. Economics was a deep stagnation, alcoholism among working class was rampant, the standard of living of the majority of population slides each year, much like is the case with neoliberalism after, say, 1991. Hidden unemployment in the USSR was high -- at least in high teens if not higher. Like in the USA now good jobs were almost impossible to obtain without "extra help". Medical services while free were dismal, especially dental -- which were horrible. Hospitals were poor as church rats as most money went to MIC. Actually, like in the USA now, MIC helped to strangulate the economy and contributed to the collapse. It was co a corrupt and decaying , led by completely degenerated leadership. To put the person of the level of Gorbachov level of political talent lead such a huge and complex country was an obvious suicide.
But the facts speak for themselves: what people usually get as the result of any color revolution is the typical for any county which lost the war: dramatic drop of the standard of living due to economic rape of the country.
While far form being perfect the Chinese regime at least managed to lift the standard of living of the majority of the population and provide employment. After regime change China will experience the same economic rape as the USSR under Yeltsin regime. So in no way Hong Cong revolution can be viewed a progressive phenomenon despite all the warts of neoliberalism with Chenese characteristics in mainland China (actually this is a variant of NEP that Gorbachov tried to implement in the USSR, but was to politically incompetent to succeed)
Aug 31, 2019 | Chris Fraser @ChrisFraser_HKU • Aug 27 \z

Replying to @edennnnnn_ @AMFChina @lihkg_forum

A related resource that deserves wide circulation:

Why nonviolent resistance beats violent force in effecting social, political change – Harvard Gazette

CHENOWETH: I think it really boils down to four different things. The first is a large and diverse participation that's sustained.

The second thing is that [the movement] needs to elicit loyalty shifts among security forces in particular, but also other elites. Security forces are important because they ultimately are the agents of repression, and their actions largely decide how violent the confrontation with -- and reaction to -- the nonviolent campaign is going to be in the end. But there are other security elites, economic and business elites, state media. There are lots of different pillars that support the status quo, and if they can be disrupted or coerced into noncooperation, then that's a decisive factor.

The third thing is that the campaigns need to be able to have more than just protests; there needs to be a lot of variation in the methods they use.

The fourth thing is that when campaigns are repressed -- which is basically inevitable for those calling for major changes -- they don't either descend into chaos or opt for using violence themselves. If campaigns allow their repression to throw the movement into total disarray or they use it as a pretext to militarize their campaign, then they're essentially co-signing what the regime wants -- for the resisters to play on its own playing field. And they're probably going to get totally crushed.

Wai Sing-Rin @waisingrin • Aug 27

Replying to @ChrisFraser_HKU @edennnnnn_ and 2 others

Anyone who watched the lone frontliner (w translator) sees the frontliners are headed for disaster. They're fighting just to fight with no plans nor objectives.
They see themselves as heroes protecting the HK they love. No doubt their sincerity, but there are 300 of them left.

[Sep 10, 2019] Bolton and company has turned my 2016 protest vote for Trump into a 2020 protest vote for Elizabeth Warren.

Sep 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Fed Up 21 hours ago

These idiots don't hire themselves. The problem is Trump. It doesn't matter whether Bolton (or Pompeo, or Hook, or Abrams) is in or out as long as Trump himself is in the White House.

That realization has turned my 2016 protest vote for Trump into a 2020 protest vote for Elizabeth Warren. The underlying principle is be the same, voting yet again for the lesser of two evils.

[Sep 09, 2019] I think the Car Wash conspiracy against Lula is a bombshell, and Pepe Escobar's prison interviews with Lula provide insight to the larger global Borgist conspiracy

Sep 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Roy G , Sep 8 2019 16:34 utc | 22

I think the Car Wash conspiracy against Lula is a bombshell, and Pepe Escobar's prison interviews with Lula provide insight to the larger global Borgist conspiracy. Check out what Lula had to say about the JCPOA. Be sure to read partsI I and II as well.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/inside-story-of-the-first-iran-nuclear-deal/

[Sep 09, 2019] Macron called for a global tax on tech giants at the G7 Summit last month, describing as "crazy" the current setup which gives multinationals "a permanent tax haven status."

Sep 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 09, 2019 at 10:31 AM

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2019-09-09/IMF-Firms-avoiding-tax-through-phantom-FDI-worth-15-trillion-JQuLyEAlRS/index.html

September 9, 2019
IMF: Firms avoiding tax through 'phantom FDI' worth $15 trillion
By Nicholas Moore

International tax havens are being used to funnel phantom investments worth the same as the combined annual GDP of China and Germany, according to a new study published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which sheds light on how tax-dodging multinationals are skewing global foreign direct investment (FDI) data.

The research, conducted by the IMF and the University of Copenhagen using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), shows that 38 percent of global FDI is "phantom in nature – investments that pass through empty corporate shells."

That 38 percent slice of FDI is worth around 15 trillion U.S. dollars. Eighty-five percent of that huge sum passes through just 10 economies, including Ireland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Singapore and Switzerland – all regions with low corporate tax rates.

Luxembourg, a country with a population of 600,000, hosts more FDI than the entire Chinese economy, according to the study. At four trillion U.S. dollars, that's 6.6 million U.S. dollars for each Luxembourger.

Of course, that money isn't going into the pockets of each and every Luxembourger, and it's not being spent on investment projects in the principality. But why is such a huge sum passing through the tiny European state?

The study found that phantom investments are a form of financial and tax engineering "to minimize multinationals' global tax bills." And while corporate shells bring in large sums to their host countries through company registration fees and providing financial services, the huge amounts of money involved mean significant tax income losses for countries around the world.

The report says the phantom FDI phenomenon affects "virtually all economies," no matter their size or level of development. Across all economies (advanced, emerging markets, low-income and developing), average outflows towards overseas shell firms represent 25 percent of total FDI.

Phantom investments are not new, and despite increasing international coordination against the phenomenon, their share of total FDI has grown by around eight percent in the past decade.

Beyond damaging the tax bases of countries around the world, phantom FDI is also heavily distorting headline data. Genuine FDI should act as an indicator of international economic integration, in terms of job creation as well as productivity. But with phantom FDI representing nearly 40 percent of all overseas investment, the data could mislead policymakers and skew economic outlooks.

For the tax havens, the huge influx of money towards shell companies also heavily skews their own data. When Ireland saw its GDP grow by 26 percent in 2015, The Irish Times said while it may be a statistical fact, the huge growth was "clearly a fiction."

Huge multinational companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have registered assets in Ireland for tax reasons. As the Irish Times reported, having such assets registered in Ireland had a limited effect on the economy, but its "impact on the different components of our economic data is explosive."

The IMF report calls for more international cooperation on "dealing with taxation in today's globalized economic environment." However, calls from leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron for stronger oversight of multinationals and their use of tax havens have mostly fallen on deaf ears.

Macron called for a global tax on tech giants at the G7 Summit last month, describing as "crazy" the current setup which gives multinationals "a permanent tax haven status." However, the U.S. President Donald Trump is firmly against such legislation, after what Macron described as "very strong lobbying" by American tech giants.

[Sep 09, 2019] About the fall of neoliberalism in Northeastern Asia

Sep 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Sep 9 2019 16:09 utc | 112

About the fall of liberalism in Northeastern Asia:

Krugman urges Korea to forestall deflation

Krugman -- the father of Abenomics -- is tactitly admitting his keynesian ideology is wrong. Now, all that is left is for him to openly defend austerity and we have a new liberal consensus for at least the next decade. Keynesianism will enjoy the glory of being the first liberal ideology to die twice -- first in 1974-5 (stagflatio) which gave birth to the neokeynesians and the post-keynesians -- and now, with the zombification of Japan and, soon, South Korea in NE Asia (the "Asian Tigers").

'3 lows' become new normal in Korean economy

South Korea has a new motto: low growth, low interest rate and low inflation.

South Korea is going the way of Japan. No wonder, since South Korea is a bad carbon copy of Japan. This explains why Moon Jae-in is trying to link his North-South peace efforts to a new boom of the South's economy. That's also why the South's reject the North's "one country, two systems" reunification proposal -- those chaebols need that cheap natural resources and workforce from the North to initiate a new accumulation cycle of South Korean capitalism.

And of course Japan continues to slowdown from its already stagnant levels . At this point, it's not even news anymore.

On the other side of the Pacific:

S&P concerned over India's weak public finances

Evidence is mounting on the hypothesis that India is quickly slowing down.

On the Indian ivory tower, reality crashes down:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02697-z

That's some hundreds of millions of USDs down the drain, which is bad for a country were one third of its population doesn't even have access to electricity.

With the economy slowing down and its Central Bank getting desperate , time is running out for the Superpower by 2020.

Better the reduction of Kashmir work out, because the neofascist government of Modi is depleting his excuses reserve.

In the West, denial is dominant:

US Treasury Secretary: 'I don't see in any way a recession'

I could quote some Marxist articles here to demonstrate Mnuchin is factually wrong. But I'll be merciful to the anti-marxists in this blog this time and quote a bourgeois economist who's at least honest in this specific issue:

Weak employment report confirms slowing US economy: Additional tariffs on Chinese imports due in October could push the country into recession

[Sep 08, 2019] The Case for Restraint Drawing the Curtain on the American Empire by Stewart M. Patrick

Notable quotes:
"... " Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America's Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Do Better) " is a scalding indictment not only of the 45th U.S. president, but also of a morally bankrupt national security establishment whose addiction to empire has embroiled the nation in misbegotten military misadventures. ..."
"... Glaser, Preble and Thrall see Trump -- the "least informed, least experienced, and least intellectually prepared U.S. president in modern memory" -- as more bark than bite. True, he has altered specific U.S. positions on trade (more protectionism), immigration (greater closure) and human rights (deafening silence). But, on balance, they perceive a depressing continuity between Trump's foreign policy and what preceded it. Abetted by an invertebrate Congress and emboldened by the military-industrial complex, Trump has doubled down on the imperial presidency, on inflated threat perceptions, on defense spending and on the pursuit of global domination. In so doing, they claim, Trump is setting a course for continued interventionism that is at odds with U.S. ideals and dangerous to American liberty. ... ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | www.worldpoliticsreview.com

In a provocative new book, three scholars from the libertarian Cato Institute -- John Glaser, Christopher A. Preble and A. Trevor Thrall -- counsel the United States to abandon the pursuit of global primacy for a policy of prudence and restraint. " Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America's Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Do Better) " is a scalding indictment not only of the 45th U.S. president, but also of a morally bankrupt national security establishment whose addiction to empire has embroiled the nation in misbegotten military misadventures. American foreign policy professionals may cast the United States as a benevolent hegemon, defending the liberal or "rules-based" international order. But this self-serving argument is hard to take seriously, they write, given the hubris, hypocrisy and coerciveness of the American imperium.

The most surprising argument in "Fuel to the Fire" is that this misguided orientation has persisted under Donald Trump. This seems counterintuitive. Washington's mandarins have recoiled in bipartisan horror as the president dismantles their handiwork and pursues his "America First" agenda. Glaser, Preble and Thrall see Trump -- the "least informed, least experienced, and least intellectually prepared U.S. president in modern memory" -- as more bark than bite. True, he has altered specific U.S. positions on trade (more protectionism), immigration (greater closure) and human rights (deafening silence). But, on balance, they perceive a depressing continuity between Trump's foreign policy and what preceded it. Abetted by an invertebrate Congress and emboldened by the military-industrial complex, Trump has doubled down on the imperial presidency, on inflated threat perceptions, on defense spending and on the pursuit of global domination. In so doing, they claim, Trump is setting a course for continued interventionism that is at odds with U.S. ideals and dangerous to American liberty. ...

[Sep 08, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Stands Out at New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention

This is a kind of NYT endorsement of Warren...
Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Warren received the most enthusiastic reception of the day, with an opening standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes. ..."
"... "There is a lot at stake and people are scared," she said. "But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in because we're scared." ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 07, 2019 at 03:12 PM

Elizabeth Warren Stands Out at New Hampshire Democratic
Party Convention https://nyti.ms/2POixCr
NYT - Katie Glueck - September 7

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s backers roared supportive slogans and banged on drums as they camped outside Southern New Hampshire University Arena. Backers of Senator Elizabeth Warren marched as part of a jazz-inflected brass band. A fan of Senator Amy Klobuchar admonished passers-by to consider electability, and banners associated with Senator Bernie Sanders that highlighted his own standing in the polls appeared aimed at drawing a contrast with Mr. Biden.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention drew 19 of the presidential candidates and some of the state's most committed party activists -- including more than 1,200 delegates -- to its gathering here Saturday, offering an early test of campaign organization and enthusiasm in a contest that is traditionally a must-win for candidates from neighboring states.

This cycle, that includes Mr. Sanders of Vermont, who won New Hampshire by a wide margin in 2016, and Ms. Warren of Massachusetts, whose ground game is often regarded as the most extensive in a contest that party officials describe as still fluid -- though Ms. Warren received the most enthusiastic reception of the day, with an opening standing ovation that stretched on for nearly two minutes.

Her supporters wielded inflatable noise makers and she received thunderous applause throughout her address.

"There is a lot at stake and people are scared," she said. "But we can't choose a candidate we don't believe in because we're scared."

It's a version of a line that Ms. Warren has deployed before, though it took on new significance when she deployed it Saturday, days before she faces off against Mr. Biden for the first time on the debate stage.

While many voters feel warmly toward Mr. Biden, some have also cited the perception that he is the most electable candidate in the race, rather than displaying outright enthusiasm for his campaign.

"There's that sense of, we know who Joe is and we trust him," said former State Senator Sylvia Larsen, the former New Hampshire Senate president. "There's still a little bit of people still looking around to say, 'Well, O.K., so what else is out there? Where are the voices? Who else might be a voice?'"

Mr. Biden, the former vice president, was the first of the presidential contenders to speak, and he received a polite though hardly raucous reception as attendees trickled into the arena, which was not yet full on Saturday morning.

Mr. Biden has led in most polls here since entering the race -- though the surveys have been relatively few. He is focused on blue-collar voters, moderates and other Democrats who believe his more centrist brand offers the most promising path to defeating Mr. Trump, in contrast to the more progressive coalitions Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders are working to build.

On the ground, Mr. Sanders's supporters challenged the notion that Mr. Biden is the only candidate well positioned to defeat Mr. Trump.

"Bernie beats Trump," read one banner hanging in the arena. Outside, another banner affixed to a pro-Sanders tent read, "In poll after poll after poll Bernie BEATS Trump."

Mr. Sanders received frequent applause throughout his speech and his supporters -- who appeared dispersed throughout the arena -- greeted many of his remarks with loud whoops.

"Together, we will make Donald Trump a one-term president," he said. "But frankly, frankly, it is not enough just to defeat Trump. We must do much, much more. We must finally create a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent."

In a sign of organizational strength, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., was also a prominent presence at the convention: He had a large cheering contingent that punctuated his address with rounds of applause. Flush with a field-leading fund-raising haul, his campaign has significantly expanded its presence in New Hampshire, and has announced the opening of 12 new offices in the state.

Senator Kamala Harris of California had a visible support section, too -- her fans wore bright yellow T-shirts -- and she also received applause and cheers.

Yet Ms. Harris's standing in the polls has slipped over the summer, and party leaders here say she does not have the same footprint in the state as some of the other contenders. Perhaps reflecting those dynamics -- and a lunchtime-hour speaking slot -- her ability to excite the room was at times uneven.

"Everybody else and the pundits can ride polls; I'm not on that roller coaster," she told reporters after her speech. "I am working hard, we are steady, I don't get high with the polls, I don't go low with the polls."

Senator Cory Booker, too, found himself brushing off the polls when speaking to reporters after giving an energetic speech that resonated in the room. His candidacy has mystified some veteran New Hampshire Democrats who note his relatively stagnant poll numbers despite extensive on-the-ground campaign organization, endorsements and an ability to deliver a fiery speech.

Certainly, the convention is an imperfect test of the state of the New Hampshire primary. It's a window into the mood of the most plugged-in activists, but isn't necessarily representative of the entire electorate that will turn out on Primary Day -- and it also drew attendees from out of state, from places including Massachusetts, New Jersey and even, in at least one case, California. ...

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 07, 2019 at 06:47 PM
Son and his wife were there....... with the Warren signs. I have a pix from fb.

We had other set of grandkids over, or I might have been in the Bernie line.

Good thing!

[Sep 08, 2019] https://twitter.com/DeanBaker13/status/1170197985168199680

Sep 08, 2019 | twitter.com

Dean Baker‏ @DeanBaker13

Hey #SchoolyardDonnie, China is not paying for the tariffs, the price of our imports from China are down just 1.6 percent over the last year

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/ximpim.t07.htm

Your tariffs are 10-25 percent, that means the great workers in the U.S. are paying the bill.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

"China is eating the Tariffs." Billions pouring into USA. Targeted Patriot Farmers getting massive Dollars from the incoming Tariffs! Good Jobs Numbers, No Inflation (Fed). China having worst year in decades. Talks happening, good for all!

9:51 PM - 6 Sep 2019 Reply Saturday, September 07, 2019 at 10:06 AM

Plp said in reply to anne... Btw family farmers prefer high demand for their output

Not high subsidies

They know the difference between earned and unearned dollars Reply Saturday, September 07, 2019 at 10:22 AM

Fred C. Dobbs said... Fun fact:

Trump has a favorite number
when he makes big claims: 10,000
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/09/06/trump-has-favorite-number-when-makes-big-claims/WpS2YPcnjeJQzQchHJLXhP/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Jordan Fabian - Bloomberg - September 6

When President Donald Trump wants to convey that something is a big deal, he often reaches for the same big number: 10,000.

He says it's the number of points the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be up had the Federal Reserve not raised interest rates. It's the number of people attending his rallies -- or the number forced to wait outside because they couldn't get in.

It's also the number of jobs a company plans to create, the headcount of captured Islamic State fighters, the number of migrants in a caravan headed to the U.S., and the Allied casualty count on D-Day.

Sometimes the number is accurate. Other times, it's a wild guess -- or wildly wrong.

Trump on Wednesday predicted the Dow would be up -- another 10,000 points -- if he hadn't embarked on a trade war with China.

"If I wanted to do nothing with China, my stock market -- our stock market -- would be 10,000 points higher than it is right now," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

That would be a dramatic rise. With the Dow closing at 26,728 on Thursday, another 10,000 points would represent a 37% increase.

Memorable Number

From a marketing standpoint, there's a great reason to use 10,000: It's memorable.

"He uses this round number in particular because it seems big," said Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which Trump often boasts of attending.

"He wants to convey something is a big problem, or something would be quite different, so he uses a big round number to try and sway his audience," said Berger, author of "Contagious: Why Things Catch On."

Trump has used the number since his 2016 campaign -- in speeches, remarks to reporters and one-on-one interviews -- but it could take on new significance as he seeks to burnish his record with the approach of the 2020 election.

The president has repeatedly sought to use 10,000 to his political advantage, even when it doesn't neatly match reality.

'Horrible People'

For instance, he said in January that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers last year removed 10,000 known or suspected gang members whom he described as "horrible people." (The agency actually reported arresting that number but removing 5,872 known or suspected gang members in fiscal year 2018.)

The White House declined to comment on Trump's use of 10,000.

The president has other verbal habits. He has often cited self-imposed two week deadlines for major announcements.

While Trump is often faulted by fact-checkers for making false statements, his spokeswoman has said journalists take the president's words too literally.

"I think the president communicates in a way that some people, especially the media, aren't necessarily comfortable with," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the Washington Post in a recent interview. "A lot of times they take him so literally. I know people will roll their eyes if I say he was just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals, but sometimes he is."

'Truthful Hyperbole'

Trump defended his use of what he called "truthful hyperbole" in his 1987 book "The Art of the Deal," calling it an "innocent form of exaggeration."

"People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do," Trump wrote. "People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular."

Wittingly or not, Trump has taken to a number that comes up often in history, religion and culture.

The army of the Ten Thousand marched against Artaxerxes II of Persia. During the conquest of Mecca, Muhammad was said to have 10,000 soldiers. The King James Bible has dozens of references to 10,000. Minnesota's nickname is the Land of 10,000 Lakes. A television game show called "The $10,000 Pyramid" debuted in the U.S. in the early 1970s.

But Trump's references typically are rooted in current affairs.

The president used the number in July to talk about attendance at a North Carolina rally where his supporters chanted "Send her back!" after he invoked the name of Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat.

"We had thousands and thousands of people that wanted to come, and we said, 'Please don't come,'" Trump said. "It held 10,000 people. It was packed. We could've sold that arena 10 times."

Authorities said 8,000 people got into the arena in Greenville, filling it to capacity, according to WITN-TV in North Carolina. About 2,000 were denied entry and between 750 and 1,000 were in an overflow area, the station said, citing police estimates.

Booing Ryan

In July, Trump used the number to attack former House Speaker Paul Ryan after the Wisconsin Republican was quoted in a book saying the president doesn't know how government works.

"I remember a day in Wisconsin -- a state that I won -- where I stood up and made a speech, and then I introduced him and they booed him off the stage -- 10,000 people," Trump told reporters at the White House.

The president appeared to be referring to a December 2016 post-election rally in West Allis, Wisconsin, where he publicly thanked Ryan, who was in the crowd. Audible, but not deafening, boos were heard as Trump tried to quiet his supporters by telling them that Ryan had improved "like a fine wine."

Then there's job creation -- a Cameron LNG liquefied natural gas export facility in Louisiana or an Intel Corp. semiconductor plant in Arizona.

In separate statements, Trump said they'd each create 10,000 jobs.

Bringing Credibility

Whether Trump's use of the number is accurate or not, the specificity can bring credibility to the president's claims, said Manoj Thomas, a behavioral scientist and marketing professor at Cornell University's SC Johnson College of Business.

"Using a number to quantify a claim -- even implausible numbers -- makes it more credible because numbers are concrete," Thomas said. "Claims without any numbers, for example, 'The Dow would be much higher if not for the trade war,' are more difficult for the human mind to instinctively process because the information is abstract and lacks specificity."

Trump could add even more credibility to his claim by making the number even more specific, Thomas said.

For instance, Thomas suggested: "The Dow would be 4,600 points higher if not for the trade war."


Reply Saturday, September 07, 2019 at 09:44 AM

[Sep 07, 2019] People familiar with Chinese economic policymaking have said in recent weeks that Chinese leaders remain interested in reaching a trade deal with the United States, but that they are wary of what appear to be ever-increasing demands from the United States and what they describe as frequent shifts in the American negotiating position.

Sep 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 05, 2019 at 03:49 PM

Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes
for Progress Are Low https://nyti.ms/2LrdVwH
NYT - Ana Swanson and Matt Phillips - September 5

WASHINGTON -- President Trump's decision to renew talks with China in the coming weeks sent financial markets soaring on Thursday, as investors seized on the development as a sign that both sides could still find a way out of an economically damaging trade war.

The rally sent the S&P 500 up more than 1 percent, underscoring just how much financial markets are subsisting on hopes and fears about the trade war. Shares fell through most of August, as Mr. Trump escalated his fight with China and imposed more tariffs, only to snap back on Thursday after news of the talks.

But expectations for progress remain low, and many in the United States and China see the best outcome as a continued stalemate that would prevent a collapse in relations before the 2020 election. Both Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China are under pressure from domestic audiences to stand tough, and the talks will happen after Mr. Trump's next round of punishing tariffs take effect on Oct. 1.

"Continuing to talk soothes markets a little bit," said Eswar Prasad, the former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. "But the political cost to making major concessions is, I think, too high for either side."

The skepticism stems in part from what is emerging as a familiar pattern for Mr. Trump, for whom China is both a source of leverage and a potential vulnerability heading into an election year. The president has so far imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods and routinely shifts from blasting China and threatening additional punishment to trying to calm the waters in the face of jittery markets and negative economic news.

Over two weeks, Mr. Trump has called Mr. Xi an enemy of America, ordered companies to stop doing business in China and suggested the United States was in no rush to reach a trade deal. On Sunday, he moved ahead with his threat to eventually tax every golf club, shoe and computer China sends into the United States, placing tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods.

Stock investors have zeroed in on the threat the trade war poses to the economy, buying and selling in tandem with Mr. Trump's trade whims. Thursday's rally was the fifth positive performance for the market in the past six sessions. It brought the S&P 500 to within striking distance -- less than 2 percent -- of its high of 3025.86, reached on July 26.

The coming weeks could result in more of the same, analysts say: tough words when the president wants to rally his base and a temporary cooling off when it seems to be hurting an economy that is one of his main arguments for re-election.

Mr. Trump and his advisers are wary of a potential challenge from Democrats who will try to paint the president as weak on China. Officials are cognizant that striking a deal based on the kind of limited concessions China is currently offering would most likely be a political liability in the president's bid for re-election. Democrats, along with some Republicans, have previously accused Mr. Trump of buckling on China after he reached a deal that allowed ZTE, the Chinese telecom company, to avoid tough American punishment.

Yet as collateral damage from the trade war increases, Mr. Trump is facing pressure to relent. The bond market has been flashing warning signs of a potential recession, and both consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector have slowed.

The trade war is also clearly weighing on the Chinese economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades. But China has responded defiantly, imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods. The country is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 1, and analysts say Beijing would be unlikely to make concessions at such a politically delicate moment.

People familiar with Chinese economic policymaking have said in recent weeks that Chinese leaders remain interested in reaching a trade deal with the United States, but that they are wary of what appear to be ever-increasing demands from the United States and what they describe as frequent shifts in the American negotiating position.

The Chinese government continues to insist that it will not accept any agreement that is unequal, or that prevents it from pursuing economic policies that it needs for continued growth.

While both countries have motivation to come to an agreement, each is still insisting the other will be the first to bend.

"China and the US announced new round of trade talks and will work to make substantial progress," Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter. "Personally I think the US, worn out by the trade war, may no longer hope for crushing China's will. There's more possibility of a breakthrough between the two sides." ...

[Sep 06, 2019] America's Billionaires Congealing Around Warren and Buttigieg by Eric Zuesse

In comparison with Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, Warren is huge progress even with her warts and all.
Notable quotes:
"... the DNC is already gaming polls, cherry-picking which are "official" for their 2% threshhold. MSNBC and other networks and pundits also cherry-pick. Or even simply outright lie if the poll doesn't match what they want it to. ..."
"... Polling should either be eliminated or held to MUCH more consistent and much more scientific standards. (demographics, prediction analysis, neutral rather than leading questions, standardized formats, etc.) Until then they're simply more and more useless as predictors of the real poll, the primaries or general. ..."
"... The difference no is, that countries like Canada, the U.S., Australia, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and with the AfD Germany are either as fascist, or more fascist than ever before. Once again, Russia is hyped up to be the eternal arch enemy of 'Western fascist values', 'freedom and democracy'. How much more difficult would it be today to round up resistance against a fascist axis that is hellbent to march again Russia? ..."
"... Sure, Trudeau is nothing but a bag of lukewarm air, but he employs hard core fascists in his cabinet – paid for by the Canadian people. ..."
"... History will look at the Sanders Warren debacle in the same way it must look now at the theft of the nomination of Henry A. Wallace in favor of the person that had no whatsoever second thoughts about dropping two nukes on an enemy that had already succumbed to the Soviet forces. Henry A. Wallace would heve never dropped these nukes. He was a staunch supporter of the 'common man'. All his policies reflected that. He was a presidential nominee for, of and by the people. ..."
"... To all the mindless party members of the Democratic fascist party: if you repeat history by allowing for the second time to install a puppet of the fascist powers in the U.S., you bear the full responsibilty for the dropping of the next nukes. ..."
"... The difference between Sanders and Wallace is a painful one. Wallace fought against the theft of his nomination with all he got. Subsequently, he realized that the 'Democratic' party would never allow for a person with integrity and the well being of the people at heart to win any nomination. He would have won the following presidency as a third party nominee – Trumann however knew how to prevent that. ..."
"... Much of what is sickening about the US as an imperial power today was present well before 1944 – indeed was present during the 19th century when the US made colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1890s, and occupied Haiti in 1915 (?), not leaving that country until the 1930s. ..."
"... Forgive me for saying so, but is a party of working folks really supposed to be grovelling for favours from billionaires? ..."
"... I think Gabbard is as authentic a new voice as i have ever seen in the DNC. She may well make it as an independent. Would Sanders? ..."
"... I'd say if a Gabbard/Paul grassroots campaign run by the Sanders 'momentum' network got their act together the USA may finally mature into a proper democracy not owned by their neolib con artistes. ..."
"... America where democracy has been extinguished and their increasingly paranoid voters are under the mistaken belief that yet another talking head can return them to a fair and impartial existence. ..."
"... Too late. Money is king and those that have most want more. The sideshow of elections produces the performing clowns such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc.all spouting the same vacuous promises on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. No real choice or change and an illusion of caring for the welfare of their citizenry. Listen carefully to the clowns, it's the sound of money talking. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | off-guardian.org

So: the rise of Elizabeth Warren gives the billionaires a 'progressive' candidate who might either win the nomination or else at least split progressive voters during the primaries (between Sanders and Warren) and thus give the nomination to Buttigieg, who is their first choice (especially since both Biden and Harris have been faltering so badly of late).

This explains the gushings for Warren, at such neocon rags as The Atlantic, The New Republic , New Yorker , and Mother Jones .

It's being done in order to set up the final round, so as for its outcome to be acceptable to the billionaires who fund the Democratic Party. Her record in the U.S. Senate is consistently in support of U.S. invasions, coups, and sanctions against countries that have never invaded nor even threatened to invade the U.S., such as Venezuela, Palestine, Syria, and Iran ; she's 100% a neocon (just like G.W. Bush, Obama and Trump were/are); and, to billionaires, that is even more important than her policy-record regarding Wall Street is, because the Military Industrial Complex, which she represents, is even more important to enforcing and spreading the U.S. megacorporate empire than the investment-firms are.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity


Jumpbean Max

I feel like any analysis that even mentions polls is guesswork, because nowadays polls are almost entirely useless. In that they aren't accurately measuring people who are actually going to go to open/semi-open or even closed primaries, and caucuses. The cohort of likely voters is different from the cohort who bothers to pick up a phone call from an unknown (polling) number. Or make it through a whole poll. Or do any online polls. Or have a reachable phone # at all.

Plus the fact that the DNC is already gaming polls, cherry-picking which are "official" for their 2% threshhold. MSNBC and other networks and pundits also cherry-pick. Or even simply outright lie if the poll doesn't match what they want it to.

Polling should either be eliminated or held to MUCH more consistent and much more scientific standards. (demographics, prediction analysis, neutral rather than leading questions, standardized formats, etc.) Until then they're simply more and more useless as predictors of the real poll, the primaries or general.

I liked the article other than that though.

mark
"Vote for me, I'm gay!"
"Vote for me, I'm a Red Indian!"
Daniel Rich
Do these 'Democratic Party billionaires ' have names and further affiliations? Could it be that most of these 'Democratic Party billionaires ' favor the Apartheid State? Hmmmmm?
George Cornell
David Bradley's The Atlanticmagazine headlined on August 26th, "Elizabeth Warren Manages to Woo the Democratic Establishment". Wooing in American politics = betraying your principles, cutting deals, bending to the wishes of the powerful, and all round submissive boot-licking.
Roberto
That would be describing successful politics in any country at any time in history. An unsuccessful politician would do the inverse of what you list. For those with good memories, let's try to name some.
George Cornell
Not everyone would agree with that definition of success, but you are quite right.
wardropper
Voice in the "Emperor's New Clothes" story: "Why don't we just ban all financial support of presidential candidates? – I thought this was supposed to be about the person best qualified and best suited to run the country "

HEY! Somebody shut that child up right now, will you!

nevermind
US politics running the UK? Still western nations 'Haves' are playing with themselves and politics. What big fat Yawn.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cOmdkN6MOwU

bevin
The significance of Sanders is this: if he wins the nomination he will have done so by leading an insurrectionary movement, not only within the Democratic Party but in US society itself. He simply cannot win otherwise. And if he wins the primaries it will have been in spite of the great mass of money and Establishment influence having been mobilised against him.

In other words he is right to call his supporters a "revolution."

It is of course equally true of the Corbyn movement- any victories are immense defeats for both the Establishment and its media. That, in itself is important.
And nowhere more than in Canada where the third and fourth parties- the NDP and the Greens- continue to tack further and further to the right, trying to catch up with the rightward swing of the Liberal Party -now close to full on neo-naziism- and the ultra right Tories.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/01/the-canadian-prime-minister-needs-a-history-lesson/

nottheonly1
Thank You for the link. While I am keenly aware of the untold history of WWII and the fact that Hitler would have never gotten where he was from 1933-1941 without the propping up by both U.S. and Zionist interests (mind the redundancy), eager to crush the perceived anti-capitalist behemoth Soviet Union, I am wondering about the present re-run of the same story unfolding.

The difference no is, that countries like Canada, the U.S., Australia, UK, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and with the AfD Germany are either as fascist, or more fascist than ever before. Once again, Russia is hyped up to be the eternal arch enemy of 'Western fascist values', 'freedom and democracy'. How much more difficult would it be today to round up resistance against a fascist axis that is hellbent to march again Russia?

Sure, Trudeau is nothing but a bag of lukewarm air, but he employs hard core fascists in his cabinet – paid for by the Canadian people. The rest of the what goes for the 'value West' is more of a disgrace than at any time before. These are the real dark ages, as I have stated before. Nothing good can come from these psychopathic puppets in control of countries that ought to deserve much better. Maybe, just maybe, the people of the countries in question should read Rudi Dutschke's works about 'Extra Parliamentary Opposition' – for Dummies?

Junaid
Until Turkey is able to produce S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems – it will buy weapons from Russia. Turkey intends to buy from Russia additional S-400 air defense systems

Turkey intends to buy from Russia additional S-400 air defense systems

nottheonly1
While Bernie Sanders is no Henry A. Wallace by a long shot, Elizabeth Warren is the new Harry Trumann. The Democrats are still the Democratic fascist Party of America and have their party base hypnotized into believing that it has the well being of its voters on its mind.

That is of course a lie and pure propaganda. And since the U.S. is the second most vulnerable nation to propaganda and fascism – with Germany being the number one, in both the past and the present – the people that refuse to leave the Democratic Fascist Party are remiscent of those people who kept following Hitler, even after it had become clear that his 'party' would drive Germany into the abyss.

For the brownshirt-like followers of proven war criminals that both lead, or finance the 'party', absolutely no crime is big enough that would warrant to turn their back on the fascist party.

History will look at the Sanders Warren debacle in the same way it must look now at the theft of the nomination of Henry A. Wallace in favor of the person that had no whatsoever second thoughts about dropping two nukes on an enemy that had already succumbed to the Soviet forces. Henry A. Wallace would heve never dropped these nukes. He was a staunch supporter of the 'common man'. All his policies reflected that. He was a presidential nominee for, of and by the people.

That did not sit too well with the fascists and they stole the nomination from him. Present day America has turned into this corrupt cesspool because of this stolen nomination. Everything that is sickening about the U.S. today, started in 1944. All the surveillance, the mindcontrol, the cold war and the transformation into a wannabe empire – they are all the result of this infamy by the hands of the Democratic fascists.

To all the mindless party members of the Democratic fascist party: if you repeat history by allowing for the second time to install a puppet of the fascist powers in the U.S., you bear the full responsibilty for the dropping of the next nukes. Suffering from such deep sitting cognitive dissonance, party members will find all kinds of excuses to prevent the truth from coming out. Just as there was no war crime by Clinton and Obama sufficient enough to not cheer them like the greatest baseball team ever. Leave the Democratic fascist party now, or have history piss on your graves.

Norcal
Very convincing argument and link, perfectly done. Thank you nottheonly1.
nottheonly1
Thank You, Norcal. It may be best to download these video clips, since they are all taken down one after another based on 'copyright issues'.

The difference between Sanders and Wallace is a painful one. Wallace fought against the theft of his nomination with all he got. Subsequently, he realized that the 'Democratic' party would never allow for a person with integrity and the well being of the people at heart to win any nomination. He would have won the following presidency as a third party nominee – Trumann however knew how to prevent that. As the clip states, the American people only have to be frightened and you can sell them their own demise on a golden platter. The ridicule and shaming of those who want a third party can also be traced back to this time.

It is equally very disturbing that the owner class managed to brain wash the people into accepting the use of 'oligarchs', 'billionaires', or 'donors' when in truth they are the real fascists Henry Wallace had warned about. This must be reversed by all means available. People must understand that the concerted use of these euphemisms will make it next to impossible to accept what these persons really are and what their goals are.

Jen
Much of what is sickening about the US as an imperial power today was present well before 1944 – indeed was present during the 19th century when the US made colonies of Hawaii and the Philippines in the 1890s, and occupied Haiti in 1915 (?), not leaving that country until the 1930s. Of course there was also the genocide of First Nations peoples through the theft of their lands, the wars waged to force them onto reservations, and the massive slaughter of bison as a way of destroying many indigenous cultures.
nottheonly1
Yes, but never before was the deliberate change of course towards fascism so blatant than with the ouster of Wallace. This was the watershed moment that turned the U.S. into the greatest threat for humanity. When You read about Wallace, You will find out that he generally wanted reconcile with the Native Indian Nation. He wanted cooperation with the Soviet Union/Russians for a lasting global peace and prosperity for everyone, not just a few American maggots. Present day U.S. started at that real day of infamy.
Lysias
Wallace was also a big supporter of establishing Israel.
Seamus Padraig

So, whereas they would be able to deal with Warren, they wouldn't be able to deal with Sanders, whose policy-record is remarkably progressive in all respects, and not only on domestic U.S. matters.

Frankly, Bernie could be better on foreign policy. While he did vote against the Iraq War–I give him all due credit for that–he hasn't really opposed any of Washington's other wars, coups and régime-change operations in recent memory. Oh: and Bernie, the self-described socialist, once referred to Hugo Chavez as a "dead dictator". That being said, he would still be preferable to the remaining flotsam in the today's Democrap Party.

Rhys Jaggar
Forgive me for saying so, but is a party of working folks really supposed to be grovelling for favours from billionaires? The Republicans are supposed to be the party for the rich, not the Democrats . And is not time for billionaires to be bumped off by politicians, not politicians bumped off by billionaires?
ANDREW CLEMENTS
Democrat Party are plantation owners at heart
Philip Roddis
A tad uncritical on Sanders, especially his foreign policies, but otherwise an excellent and closely argued takedown of the risible but sadly widespread delusion that America is a democracy. Thanks Eric.
Wilmers31
Democracy itself does not say anything about quality of life, it's just a system. US democracy runs on money. Most thing in life do – pretending it is otherwise, that's where the problem is.

Democracy is just the shell – if you fill it with sh1t it's bad; if you fill it with honey it's sweet.

Biden is remote-controllable, he'd do as told – so of course big money would prefer him.

Philip Roddis
I've just the other day written this piece on democracy . The immediate context is the fiasco re the UK Queen granting Boris Johnson's request to prorogue (temporarily dissolve) parliament, but the issues run deeper and wider.
Dungroanin

There is a long way to that election yet. (The US, ours is finally within reach, unless some wildebeast tramples in )

The DNC dirty tricks won't wash this time – perhaps its time to start reading and talking about the nitty gritty of these leaked mails – if for nothing else for the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of Seth Rich.

How about it Phillip Roddis?

Philip Roddis
Well I'm already stretched perilous thin, DG, but will give it thought.

Meantime, this piece from last week by Katia Novella Miller, first of a two parts with second part to follow on the same KBNB World News site, gives a precis of what Wikileaks showed the world.

George Cornell
Thanks for this -a must read.
Chris Rogers
The lack of mention of Gabbard is telling, as is the fact the Billionaire crowd (Rubinites) are pushing for a candidate I ain't even heard of.

The fact remains, a Sanders – Gabbard ticket against Trump is the preferable outcome for many observers on the Left.

Just as a reminder, neither Sanders & Gabbard are God like figures, in much the same way Corbyn ain't, however, they are the best available at this juncture in time if we really want some change, even if it is incremental.

Dungroanin
I think Gabbard is as authentic a new voice as i have ever seen in the DNC. She may well make it as an independent. Would Sanders?

I read somewhere that the US electorate were self identified as third Republican, Democrat and independent.

If they were given an independent ticket- not part of the two billionaire funded main parties then enough may join the independent third from these.

I'd say if a Gabbard/Paul grassroots campaign run by the Sanders 'momentum' network got their act together the USA may finally mature into a proper democracy not owned by their neolib con artistes.

Grafter
America where democracy has been extinguished and their increasingly paranoid voters are under the mistaken belief that yet another talking head can return them to a fair and impartial existence.

Too late. Money is king and those that have most want more. The sideshow of elections produces the performing clowns such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc.all spouting the same vacuous promises on behalf of their wealthy benefactors. No real choice or change and an illusion of caring for the welfare of their citizenry. Listen carefully to the clowns, it's the sound of money talking.

[Sep 06, 2019] 9-11 and Jeffrey Epstein Media Malfeasance on Steroids by Kevin Barrett

It is not vey clear for whom Epstein used to work. Mossad connection is just one hypothesis. What sovereign state would allow compromising politician by a foreign intelligence service. This just does not compute.
But the whole tone of discussion below clearly point to the crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite. And Russiagate had shown that the elite cares about it and tried to patch the cracks.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

As Eric Rasmusen writes: "Everybody, it seems, in New York society knew by 2000 that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were corrupting teenage girls, but the press wouldn't cover it." Likewise, everybody in New York society has long known that Larry Silverstein, who bought the asbestos-riddled white elephant World Trade Center in July 2001 and immediately doubled the insurance, is a mobbed-up friend of Netanyahu and a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7 , from which he earned over 700 million insurance dollars on the pretext that al-Qaeda had somehow brought it down. But the press won't cover that either.

The New York Times , America's newspaper of record, has the investigative talent and resources to expose major corruption in New York. Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein's alleged suicide stand? Why hasn't it used the work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth -- including the brand-new University of Alaska study on the controlled demolition of WTC-7 -- to expose the biggest scandal of the 21 st century, if not all of American history?

The only conceivable answer is that The New York Times is somehow complicit in these monstrous crimes. It must be protecting its friends in high places. So who are those friends, and where are those high places?

One thing Epstein and Silverstein have in common, besides names ending in "-stein," is alleged involvement in the illicit sex industry. Epstein's antics, or at least some of them, are by now well-known. Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including "the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption." All of this was exposed in a mid-1990s lawsuit. But good luck finding any investigative reports in The New York Times .

Another Epstein-Silverstein connection is their relationships to major American Jewish organizations. Even while he was allegedly pimping girls and running heroin, Larry Silverstein served as president for United Jewish Appeal of New York. As for Epstein, he was the boy toy and protégé of Les Wexner, co-founder of the Mega Group of Jewish billionaires associated with the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, and other pro-Israel groups. Indeed, there is no evidence that "self-made billionaire" Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money; his only investment "client" was Les Wexner. Epstein, a professional sexual blackmailer, used his supposed billionaire status as a cover story. In fact, he was just an employee working for Wexner and associated criminal/intelligence networks.

Which brings us to the third and most important Epstein-Silverstein similarity: They were both close to the government of Israel. Jeffrey Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell; among his friends was Ehud Barak, who is currently challenging Netanyahu for leadership of Israel. Larry Silverstein, too, has friends in high Israeli places. According to Haaretz , Silverstein has "close ties with Netanyahu" (speaking to him on the phone every weekend) as well as with Ehud Barak, "whom Silverstein in the past offered a job as his representative in Israel" and who called Silverstein immediately after 9/11.

We may reasonably surmise that both Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein have been carrying on very important work on behalf of the state of Israel. And we may also surmise that this is the reason The New York Times has been covering up the scandals associated with both Israeli agents for almost two decades. The Times , though it pretends to be America's newspaper of record, has always been Jewish-owned-and-operated. Its coverage has always been grotesquely distorted in favor of Israel . It has no interest in exposing the way Israel controls the United States by blackmailing its leaders (Epstein) and staging a fake "Arab-Muslim attack on America" (Silverstein). The awful truth is that The New York Times is part of the same Jewish-Zionist " we control America " network as Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Silverstein.

Epstein "Suicide" Illustrates Zionist Control of USA -- and the Decadence and Depravity of Western Secularism

Since The New York Times and other mainstream media won't go there, let's reflect on the facts and lessons of the Jeffrey Epstein suicide scandal -- a national disgrace that ought to shock Americans into rethinking their worldviews in general, and their views on the official myth of 9/11 in particular.

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was allegedly found dead in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City, one of America's most corrupt prisons. The authorities claim Epstein hanged himself. But nobody, not even the presstitutes of America's corporate propaganda media, convincingly pretends to believe the official story.

Jeffrey Epstein was a pedophile pimp to presidents and potentates. His job was recruiting young girls for sex, then offering them to powerful men -- in settings outfitted with hidden video cameras. When police raided his New York townhouse on July 6-7 2019 they found locked safes full of pornographic pictures of underage girls, along with piles of compact discs labeled "young (name of girl) + (name of VIP)." Epstein had been openly and brazenly carrying on such activities for more than two decades, as reported throughout most of that period by alternative media outlets including my own Truth Jihad Radio and False Flag Weekly News . (Even before the 2016 elections, my audience knew that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump were blackmailed clients of Jeffrey Epstein, that Clinton was a frequent flyer on Epstein's "Lolita Express" private jet, and that Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.) It was only in the summer of 2019 that mainstream media and New York City prosecutors started talking about what used to be consigned to the world of "conspiracy theories."

So who was Epstein working for? His primary employer was undoubtedly the Israeli Mossad and its worldwide Zionist crime network. Epstein's handler was Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Mossad super-spy Robert Maxwell. According to sworn depositions, Ghislaine Maxwell recruited underage girls for Epstein and oversaw his sex trafficking operations. As the New Yorker reported August 16: "In court papers that were unsealed on August 9th, it was alleged that Maxwell had been Epstein's central accomplice, first as his girlfriend, and, later, as his trusted friend and procuress, grooming a steady stream of girls, some as young as fourteen, coercing them to have sex with Epstein at his various residences around the world, and occasionally participating in the sexual abuse herself." Alongside Maxwell, Epstein's other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies , who appears to have originally recruited the penniless Epstein and handed him a phony fortune so Epstein could pose as a billionaire playboy.

Even after Epstein's shady "suicide" mega-Mossadnik Maxwell continued to flaunt her impunity from American justice. She no doubt conspired to publicize the August 15 New York Post photograph of herself smiling and looking "chillingly serene" at In-And-Out-Burger in Los Angeles, reading The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of C.I.A. Operatives . That nauseating photo inspired the New Yorker to accuse her of having "gall" -- a euphemism for the Yiddish chutzpah , a quality that flourishes in the overlapping Zionist and Kosher Nostra communities.

Maxwell and The New York Post , both Kosher Nostra/Mossad assets, were obviously sending a message to the CIA: Don't mess with us or we will expose your complicity in these scandalous crimes. That is the Mossad's standard operating procedure: Infiltrate and compromise Western intelligence services in order to prevent them from interfering with the Zionists' over-the-top atrocities. According to French historian Laurent Guyénot's hypothesis, the CIA's false flag fake assassination attempt on President John F. Kennedy, designed to be blamed on Cuba, was transformed by Mossad into a real assassination -- and the CIA couldn't expose it due to its own complicity. (The motive: Stop JFK from ending Israel's nuclear program.) The same scenario, Guyénot argues, explains the anomalies of the Mohamed Merah affair , the Charlie Hebdo killings, and the 9/11 false flag operation. It would not be surprising if Zionist-infiltrated elements of the CIA were made complicit in Jeffrey Epstein's sexual blackmail activities, in order to protect Israel in the event Epstein had to be "burned" (which is apparently what has finally occurred).

So what really happened to Epstein? Perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Kosher Nostra, which owns New York in general and the mobbed-up MCC prison in particular, allowed the Mossad to exfiltrate Epstein to Occupied Palestine, where he will be given a facelift, a pension, a luxury suite overlooking the Mediterranean, and a steady stream of young sex slaves (Israel is the world's capital of human trafficking, an honor it claimed from the Kosher Nostra enclaves of Odessa after World War II). Once the media heat wave blows over, Epstein will undoubtedly enjoy visits from his former Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs. He may even offer fresh sex slaves to visiting American congressmen.

This is not just a paranoid fantasy scenario. According to Eric Rasmusen : "The Justice Dept. had better not have let Epstein's body be cremated. And they'd better give us convincing evidence that it's his body. If I had $100 million to get out of jail with, acquiring a corpse and bribing a few people to switch fingerprints and DNA wouldn't be hard. I find it worrying that the government has not released proof that Epstein is dead or a copy of the autopsy."

But didn't the alleged autopsy reportedly find broken neck bones that are more commonly associated with strangulation murders than suicides? That controversy may have been scripted to distract the public from an insider report on 4chan , first published before the news of Epstein's "suicide" broke, that Epstein had been "switched out" of MCC. If so, the body with the broken neck bones wasn't Epstein's.

The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth, since God is al-haqq, THE truth, without Whom the whole notion of truth has no metaphysical basis. The postmodern philosophers understand this perfectly well. They taught a whole generation of Western humanities scholars that truth is merely a function of power: people accept something as "true" to the extent that they are forced by power to accept it. So when the most powerful people in the world insist that three enormous steel-frame skyscrapers were blown to smithereens by relatively modest office fires on 9/11, that absurd assertion becomes the official "truth" as constructed by such Western institutions as governments, courts, media, and academia. Likewise, the assertion that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide under circumstances that render that assertion absurd will probably become the official "truth" as recorded and promulgated by the West's ruling institutions, even though nobody will ever really believe it.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Since God alone can establish metaphysically-grounded limits between what is permitted and what is forbidden, a world without God will feature no such limits; in such a world Aleister Crowley's satanic motto "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" becomes the one and only commandment. In today's Godless West, why should men not "do what they wilt" and indulge their libidos by raping young girls if they can get away with it? After all, all the other sexual taboos are being broken, one by one. Fornication, adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism, gender-bending all of these have been transformed during my lifetime from crimes and vices to "human rights" enjoyed by the most liberal and fashionable right-thinking Western secularists. Even bestiality and necrophilia are poised to become normalized "sexual identities" whose practitioners will soon be proudly marching in "bestiality pride" and "necrophilia pride" parades. So why not normalize pedophilia and other forms of rape perpetrated by the strong against the weak? And why not add torture and murder in service to sexual gratification? After all, the secret bible of the sexual identity movement is the collected works of the Marquis de Sade, the satanic prophet of sexual liberation, with whom the liberal progressivist secular West is finally catching up. It will not be surprising if, just a few years after the Jeffrey Epstein "suicide" is consigned to the memory hole, we will be witnessing LGBTQBNPR parades, with the BNPR standing for bestiality, necrophilia, pedophilia, and rape. (It would have been LGBTQBNPRG, with the final G standing for Gropers like President Trump, except that the G was already taken by the gays.) The P's, pioneers of pedophile pride parades, will undoubtedly celebrate Jeffrey Epstein as an ahead-of-his-time misunderstood hero who was unjustly persecuted on the basis of his unusual sexual orientation.

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground.


NoseytheDuke , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:30 am GMT

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought Lucky Larry only leased the WTC buildings rather than actually purchased them. I think I have read that his investment was in the region of 150 mill for which he has recouped a whopping 4 bill.
Wizard of Oz , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT
Would you please answer a preliminary question before I put finishing this on my busy agenda? You stake a fair bit of your credit on what you say about Larry Silverstein and insurance. My present understanding is that the insurance cover for WTC 1 and 2 was increased as a routine part of the financing deal he had made for a purchase which was only months old. Not true? Not the full story? Convince us.

As to WTC 7 my understanding is that he had owned the building for some years and had not recently increased the insurance. Not true? And when did any clause get into his WTC7 insurance contract which might have had some effect on inflating the payout?

Fozzy Bear , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT
“Trump had been credibly accused in a lawsuit of joining Epstein in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old, to whom Trump then allegedly issued death threats.)”
The “Katie Johnson” case collapsed in 2016 when it was revealed that “she” was in fact a middle-aged man, a stringer for the Jerry Springer show. Just another Gloria Allred fraud.
nsa , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
“a society that no longer believes in god no longer believes in the truth, since god is the truth….blah blah blah”
This is thin gruel indeed…..just silly platitudes from a muzzie convert. There are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe with each galaxy containing as many as 100 billion stars. And there is no telling how many universes there are. Does anyone really believe Barrett’s preferred deity takes a time out from running this vast empire to service Barrett’s yearning for “truth”? Just goes to prove that humans will believe almost any idea as long as it’s sufficiently idiotic.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7

http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf

Conclusion form the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

“The principal conclusion of our study is that fire did not cause the collapse of WTC 7 on 9/11, contrary to the conclusions of NIST and private engineering firms that studied the collapse.”

“It is our conclusion based upon these findings that the collapse of WTC 7 was a global failure involving the near-simultaneous failure of all columns in the building and not a progressive collapse involving the sequential failure of columns throughout the building.”

WorkingClass , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
Trump is Israel’s best friend. Right? So why is the Jew York Times trying to destroy him? I don’t get it.
Mark James , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:52 am GMT
Speaking of the truth v. parody I’d really rather work on the cause of Epstein’s death –yes I think he’s dead– suicide or strangulation ?
There are some things the Justice Dept. could do if they wanted to. Why they apparently didn’t want to expose the corpse in greater detail, let media view the cell, have correspondent(s) interview the ex- cellmate of Epstein, et.al just leads to suspicions. This is something they should have to answer for . That includes AG Barr. Trump could make it happen–like every thing else– if Barr says no. The President won’t.

... ... ...

utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:58 am GMT
Dostoyevsky with his “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” overlooked the Jewish God who permits much more when it comes to Jewish gentile relations. The Jewish God is not limited by the Kant’s First Moral Imperative. The Jewish God’s moral laws are not universal. They are context dependent according to the Leninist Who, whom rule.
utu , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT

Not so for Silverstein, who apparently began his rags-to-9/11-riches story as a pimp supplying prostitutes and nude dancers to the shadier venues of NYC, alongside other illicit activities including “the heroin trade, money laundering and New York Police corruption.”

I would like to see more about the beginnings of Silverstein’s career.

BlackDragon , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:19 am GMT
Good work Kevin, Irrelevant exactly what Silverstein did in way of insurance.The FACT is that WTC7 DID NOT FALL due to fires. Neither did WTC1 or 2. The 6 million dollar question is ‘WHO put the ‘bang’ in the building?’ to bring them down, by what ever means. Im in favour of nukes for 1 and 2.
Answer that! Why isnt Silverstein arrested? I think Kevin provided the answer in the article..
Antares , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:27 am GMT
I liked the article but skipped the part about some god. Nothing matches intellectual integrity.

“It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West”

This is the same line of reasoning as Vltchek’s but then from a(nother) religious point of view.

The Duke of Dork , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:28 am GMT
I just stumbled onto your article from a link on reddit, r/epstein. You make some convincing arguments. I was thrilled that you brought 9/11 into this – because the Epstein “suicide” and how it is being covered reminds me so much of how I felt after 9/11 and the run-up to the war. -But you lost me at the end with the stuff about Godless secularism. I’ve read the bible and it is not the answer to what’s wrong with the world.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

Why did the Times spend almost two decades ignoring the all-too-obvious antics of Epstein and Silverstein? Why is it letting the absurd tale of Epstein’s alleged suicide stand?

One thing cannot be denied : Epstein was arrested, denied bail and jailed awaiting trail on a Federal indictment for much the same offence he had pleaded guilty to a decade ago, which did not involve even a single homicide yet made him universally reviled and in as much trouble with the legal system as a man could be (almost certain never to get out again). Epstein was in far more trouble that anyone of his financial resources has ever been, but then that was for paying for sex acts with young teen girls.

What an awesomely impressive testament to the impunity enjoyed by the Jewish elite Epstein is. It is no wonder that Larry Silverstein was insouciant about the risks of a Jewish lightning fraud controlled demolition killing thousands of people in a building he had just bought and increased the insurance coverage of. After all, it wasn’t anything serious like paying for getting hundreds of handjobs from underage girls. And it is not like someone like the Pizzagate nut that fired his AR15 into underground child molestation complex beneath the Dems restaurant/pedophile centre would take all those WTC deaths seriously enough to shoot at him just because of inevitable internet accusations of mass murder. Mr Barrett, why don’t you step up and do it, thereby proving you believe the things you say .

Macon Richardson , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:11 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke Yes, he leased the World Trade Center buildings one and two from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He built World Trade Center building seven, having acquired a ground lease from Port Authority.

I can’t imagine why you ask this question in a public venue. I found the answer in less than one minute on the internet.

I assume the insurance policies were for the present value of his net profits for the duration of the leases.

Lastoknow , says: September 5, 2019 at 7:26 am GMT
I recall reading about this guy prior to the event. I believe it was USATODAY . He and a silent partner had bought the complex with a down of 63million and had it insured for 7billion. I thought it odd that the port authority would let go of the property at the time.
As the building deficiencies became known afterwards,my thoughts were along the line of insurance fraud.
I came across a copy of the rand Corp “state of the world 2000” which accurately describes the scenario and resulting culture of terror as “one possible future “…. funny how it’s taken all these years to discover this website.
Sean , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT

Indeed, there is no evidence that “self-made billionaire” Epstein ever earned significant amounts of money.

Good thing that Wexner is Jewish so we can discount the possibility that he was telling the truth the other month when he said that Epstein stole vast amounts of Wexner money

his only investment “client” was Les Wexner

Clever of Wexner to give Epstein 80 million dollars to deliberately lose.
http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-lost-usd80-million-in-hedge-fund-bet-gone-bad.html

Alongside Maxwell, Epstein’s other Mossad handler was Les Wexner, co-founder of the notorious Mega Group of billionaire Israeli spies

Wexner and his fellow Mossad spy Maxwell leaving Virginia Roberts alive to repeatedly sue them, and use the world”s media to accuse them of sexually abusing, trafficking, pimping her out to VIPs, and fiming the trysts was a brilliant way to keep everything a secret.

Mossad handler Ghislaine Maxwell, his good friend Ehud Barak, and various other Zionist VIPs.

Yes, they are the greatest covert operatives ever.

Just another serf , says: September 5, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Epstein’s crimes are simple breaches of etiquette when compared to Silverstein. I believe the term “Silverstein valleys” has been used to describe the melted granite discovered beneath the former towers, Silverstein grins widely in interviews, while so many suffered horribly.

One might even consider the 9/11 deaths to be something of a “holocaust”. Certainly one of the most evil human beings to have walked the Earth.

Whitewolf , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz Silverstein said he gave the okay for wtc 7 to be “pulled”. The building was on fire at the time. Either someone wired it to be pulled while it was on fire and already damaged or it was wired for demolition beforehand. The second scenario seems a lot more likely. In that case all the insurance contract details are largely irrelevant to the bigger picture.
Twodees Partain , says: September 5, 2019 at 10:54 am GMT
The idea that the CIA is somehow independent of Mossad and that Mossad would have to warn the CIA off of the Epstein matter is implausible to me. Guyenot’s hypothesis tends to give cover to the CIA in the assassination of JFK by claiming that the CIA plot was set in motion as some sort of attempt to control JFK and that it was hijacked into an actual assassination by Mossad. That just isn’t credible.

It’s much more accurate to observe that the CIA was erected by the same zionists who oversaw the creation of Israel and later the forming of Mossad, and that the two agencies have been joined at the hip ever since.

anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 11:33 am GMT
@WorkingClass Bad cop good cop. NYT is trying to destroy him . Israel says to him :” send this , do this ,allow us to do this , increase this by this amount , and we will make sure that in final analysis you don’t get hurt ”
Trump possibly knows that the only people who could hurt him is the Jewish people of power .

Has NYT ever criticized Trump for relocating embassy , recognizing Golan, for allowing Israel use Anerican resources to hit Syria or Gaza , for allowing Israel drag US into more military involvement. for allowing Israel wage war against Gaza ,? Has NYT ever explored the dynamics behind abrogation of JCPOA and application of more sanctions?

NYT has focused on Russia gate knowing in advance that it has no merit and no public traction, Is it hurting Trump or itself ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke It was a 100 year lease, which is better described by the word purchase .
anon [383] • Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:28 pm GMT
People with normal IQ would believe that Epstein killed himself, if the following took place –

Media day and night asking questions about him from 360 degree of inquiries

1 why the surveillance video were not functioning despite the serious nature of the charges against a man who could rat out a lot in court against powerful people
2 why the coroner initially thought that Epstein was murdered
3 how many guards and how many fell asleep?
4 who and why allowed the spin story around Epstein brilliance and high IQ build up over the years ?
5 how does Epstein come to get linked to non -Jews people who have absolute loyalty to Israel
6 how did Epstein get involved with Jewish leaders ?
7 How did Epstein continue to enjoy seat on Harvard and enjoy social celebrity status after plea deal ?
8 Why did Wexner allow this man so much control over his asset ?
9 Media felt if terrorism were unique Muslim thing , why media is not alluding to the fact that pedophilia is a unique Jewish thing ?
10 why the angle of Israel being sex slavery capital and Epstein being sex slave pimp not being connected ?
11 how death in prison in foreign unfriendly countries often become causus celebre by US media , politicians , NGO and US treasury – why not this death ?

Kevin Barrett , says: • Website September 5, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Fozzy Bear Not true. A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson’s case. Shortly before the scheduled press conference at which Johnson was to appear publicly, she received multiple death threats: “Bloom said that her firm’s website was hacked, that Anonymous had claimed responsibility, and that death threats and a bomb threat came in afterwards.” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/3/13501364/trump-rape-13-year-old-lawsuit-katie-johnson-allegation Johnson folded because she was terrified (and perhaps paid off).
DaveE , says: September 5, 2019 at 12:51 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain In “Body of Secrets” by James Bamford, a newspaper article from the Truman era is referenced where the OSS, predecessor of the CIA, is described as “a converted vault in Washington used as an office space for 5 or 6 Jews working to protect our national secrets” (or similar wording).

Going from memory and gave away my copy of the book….. sorry for the vague reference, but you can look it up.

DanFromCT , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
@nsa An atheist like “nsa” must concede Dosteovsky’s point from his novel The Possessed that even for the atheist the concept of God represents the collective consciousness, highest principles, and ontological aspirations of believers. Given this sense, “nsa’s” real animus is more than likely an atavistic hatred of Christians and Muslims, probably for just being alive in his paranoid mind. What imbecility when this clown cites a multiverse of universes that has no proof and less plausibility for its existence than the tooth fairy. I’d also bet “nsa” speaks algebra, too, like the recently deceased mathematical genius, Jeffrey Epstein.

What’s Mr. Wexner’s, Mega’s, and Mossad/CIA’s involvement? That’s the real question trolls like “nsa” and the Dems and Republicans alike are crapping in their pants we’ll find out. When evidence starts to cascade out of their ability to spin or suppress it, things will get interesting. Meanwhile, Fox News is still doing its best from what I can tell to run cover for 911, now extended to the suspiciously related perps in the Epstein affair.

Patrikios Stetsonis , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
“The Epstein affair (like 9/11) illustrates two critically important truths about Western secularism: there is no truth, and there are no limits. A society that no longer believes in God no longer believes in truth…..”

You said it ALL Kevin.

... ... ...

Mulegino1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT

“While the Zionists try to make the rest of the World believe that the national consciousness of the Jew finds its satisfaction in the creation of a Palestinian state, the Jews again slyly dupe the dumb Goyim. It doesn’t even enter their heads to build up a Jewish state in Palestine for the purpose of living there; all they want is a central organisation for their international world swindler, endowed with its own sovereign rights and removed from the intervention of other states: a haven for convicted scoundrels and a university for budding crooks.
It is a sign of their rising confidence and sense of security that at a time when one section is still playing the German, French-man, or Englishman, the other with open effrontery comes out as the Jewish race.”

More prophetic words were ever spoken or written by any of the statesmen of the Twentieth Century than these, even though they themselves were insufficient to describe the horrors that the Zionist state would bring upon the world if left unchecked- and its power and influence have been unchecked since the 1960’s. The last time that the world stood up to Zionist power in an appreciable way was during the Suez Crisis.

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Not the full story? Convince us.

Connect the dots….

DOT.. Port loses claim for asbestos removal | Business Insurance
https://www.businessinsurance.com › article › ISSUE01 › port-loses-claim-…
May 13, 2001 – The suit sought claim of the Port Authority’s huge cost of removing asbestos from hundreds of properties ranging from the enormous World Trade Center complex

DOT…Silverstein knew when he leased WTC 7 that he would have to pay out of pocket for asbestos abatement removal in WTC 7, multiple millions, which is why the Port Authority leased it so cheaply.

DOT…In May, 2000, a year before, signing the lease, he already had the design drawn for a new WTC building. Silverstein had no plans to remove the asbestos as he already had plans to replace it.

DOT… Larry Silverstein signs the lease just six weeks before the WTC’s twin towers were brought to the ground by terrorists in the September 11, 2001, attacks.

DOT….After leasing the complex, Silverstein negotiated with 24 insurance companies for a maximum coverage of $3.55 billion per catastrophic occurrence. However, the agreements had not been finalized before 9/11.

DOT…..Silverstein tries to sue insurers for double the payout claiming 2 catastrophic occurrences because of 2 planes involved.

DOT….Silver loses that lawsuit but sues the air lines and settles for almost another billion, $ 750,000,000.

Just another Jew insurance fire folks. He planned on tearing down WTC 7 to begin with. The only missing DOT is who he hired to set the demolition explosives in WTC 7. Were they imported from our ME ally?

[Sep 06, 2019] US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards

While people do not agree of detail the main theme is common: government stories explaining both 9/11 and Epstein death are not credible. And that government tried to create an "artificial reality" to hide real events and real culprits.
Absence of credible information create fertile ground for creation of myths and rumors, sometimes absurd. But that'a well known sociaological phenomenon studies by late Tamotsu Shibutani in the context of WWII rumors ( Improvised News: A Sociological Study of Rumor (1966)).
Now we can interpret famous quote of William Casey "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false as an admission of the fact that the government can create artificial reality" much like in film Matrix and due to thick smoke of propaganda people are simply unable to discern the truth.
Sep 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm GMT

A foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure ..now what group does this remind me of?

US State Dept Program Offers $15 Million to Iran Revolutionary Guards September 4, 2019

The US State Department has unveiled a new $15 million "reward program" for anyone who provides information on the financial inner workings of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, in an attempt to further disrupt them.
The program comes after the US declared the Revolutionary Guards "terrorists," but remains very unusual, in as much as it targets an agency of a national government instead of just some random militant group.

The Financial Times reports on the farce that is our government's Iran policy:

Four days before the US imposed sanctions on an Iranian tanker suspected of shipping oil to Syria, the vessel's Indian captain received an unusual email from the top Iran official at the Department of State.
"This is Brian Hook . . . I work for secretary of state Mike Pompeo and serve as the US Representative for Iran," Mr Hook wrote to Akhilesh Kumar on August 26, according to several emails seen by the Financial Times. "I am writing with good news."
The "good news" was that the Trump administration was offering Mr Kumar several million dollars to pilot the ship -- until recently known as the Grace 1 -- to a country that would impound the vessel on behalf of the US. To make sure Mr Kumar did not mistake the email for a scam, it included an official state department phone number.
The administration's Iran obsession has reached a point where they are now trying to bribe people to act as pirates on their behalf. When the U.S. was blocked by a court in Gibraltar from taking the ship, they sought to buy the loyalty of the captain in order to steal it. Failing that, they resorted to their favorite tool of sanctions to punish the captain and his crew for ignoring their illegitimate demand. The captain didn't respond to the first message, so Hook persisted with his embarrassing scheme:
"With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age," Mr Hook wrote in a second email to Mr Kumar that also included a warning. "If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you."
Many people have already mocked Hook's message for its resemblance to a Nigerian prince e-mail scam, and I might add that he comes across here sounding like a B-movie gangster. Hook's contact was not an isolated incident, but part of a series of e-mails and texts that he has sent to various ships' captains in a vain effort to intimidate them into falling in line with the administration's economic war. This is what comes of a foreign policy of "maximum pressure" and swagger: tawdry bribes, heavy-handed threats, and complete failure.

independent109 , says: September 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm GMT
The Committee of 300 is an evolution of the British East Indies Company Council of 300. The list personally last seen included many Windsors (Prince Andrew), Rothchilds, other Royals. Some of the Americans included some now dead and other still living: George HW Bush, Bill Clinton Tom Steyer, Al Gore, John Kerry, Netanyahu, lots of bankers, Woolsey (ex CIA), journalists like Michael Bloomberg, Paul Krugman, activists and politians like Tony Blair, now dead Zbigniew Brzezinski, CEOs Charles and Edgar Bronfman. The list is long and out of date but these people control much of what goes on whether good or bad. Their hands are everywhere doing good and maybe some of this bad stuff.
Irish Savant , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 2:56 pm GMT
Given the facts a 10 year-old child could see that the official 911 explanation was totally flawed. Just three of these facts are sufficient, the 'dancing Israelis', Silverstein admitting to the 'pull (demolish) it' order and the collapse of steel-framed WTC 7 in freefall despite not being hit. It is not hyperbole to say that America is a failed state given that the known perpetrators were never even charged. ZOG indeed.
Junior , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett

A respectable civil rights attorney, Lisa Bloom, handled Katie Johnson's case.

"Respectable"?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
You do realize that Lisa Bloom is the daughter of Glora Allred and defender of Harvey Weinstein do you not?

You people are so desperate to try to link Trump to Epstein it's pathetic.

I suggest you go back to your gatekeeping nonsense of trying to discredit the 9/11 Truth Movement by spreading misinformation about nukes in the towers.

Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:20 pm GMT
This article stakes out much important ground of information and interpretation Kevin Barrett. The essay resonates as a historic statement of some of our current predicaments. What about the comparisons that might be made concerning the mysteries attending the disappearing corpses of Osama bin Laden and Jeffrey Epstein. And according to Christopher Ketcham, the release of the High Fivin' Urban Movers back to Israel was partially negotiated by Alan Dershowitz who played a big role in defending Epstein over a long period.
Tony Hall , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm GMT
@anon The ultimate "nutjob quackery" of 9/11 is Phillip Zelikow's 9/11 Commission Report, a document that stands as a testimony and marker signifying the USA's descent into a mad hatter's imperium of lies. legend and illusion.
restless94110 , says: September 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm GMT
Has someone (hint: the author of this article) got a real bad case of TDS? Yes, someone has.

Does someone think the pedophilia means consensual relations with 17 year olds? Yes, someone does.

Ronald Thomas West , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 4:58 pm GMT

It is getting harder and harder to satirize the decadence and depravity of the secular West, which insists on parodying itself with ever-increasing outlandishness. When the book on this once-mighty civilization is written, and the ink is dry, readers will be astounded by the limitless lies of the drunk-on-chutzpah psychopaths who ran it into the ground

You might try:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2019/07/29/gina-haspel-wild-indians/

'Believers' aren't exactly innocent in the criminal history of the disintegrating Western culture

follyofwar , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:02 pm GMT
@Kevin Barrett Adding to Junior's comment, I quit reading after you wrote of "credible accusations" of Mr. Trump being involved "in the brutal rape of a 13 year old." And feminist shakedown artist Lisa Bloom, daughter of the even more infamous feminist shakedown artist G. Allred, is your "credible source?" Bloom has about as much credibility as the sicko democrat women who tried to derail Judge Kavanaugh.

Regardless of how much one might hate Trump (and I'm no Trump supporter) levelling such unfounded accusations is journalistic malfeasance. Did we elect the Devil Incarnate? Mr. Barrett, I'm done reading you.

9/11 Inside job , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
The special relationship between the CIA and the Mossad was driven partly by the efforts of CIA officer James Angleton . Philip Weiss in his article in Mondoweiss entitled "The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel." states that Angleton's " greatest service to Israel was his willingness no to say a word about the apparent diversion of highly enriched plutonium from a plant in Western Pennsylvania to Israel's nascent nuclear program " The same program which JFK tried to curtail which efforts may have led to his assassination .

... ... ...

Intelligent Dasein , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:22 pm GMT

a confessed participant in the controlled demolition of Building 7,

For the love of God, this is stupid. Larry Silverstein was talking about the Fire Commander , for fuck's sake. The Fire Commander made the decision to pull the firefighters out of the building because they could not put the fire out and were in unnecessary danger. That's all he meant. There is not one word in this that has anything to do with a controlled demolition whatsoever.

In order to believe what the 9/11 Douchers would have you believe about this comment, you would have to believe that 1) Building 7 was wired for demolition beforehand; 2) That the NYC Fire Commander somehow knew about this; 3) That the NYC Fire Commander was perfectly okay with allowing his men to spend hours inside a burning building in which he knew that explosive charges had already been rigged to blow; 4) That the NYC Fire Commander had the authority to decide when the charges should be blown and had access to the master switch that would blow them all; 5) That after 7 hours of attempting to fight the fire, the NYC Fire Commander (who by now can be nothing but a full-fledged member of the conspiracy) decides, after briefly consulting with Larry Silverstein, "Oh, the hell with this! Let's just blow up the building now!", to which Larry Silverstein agrees; 6) That after spending 7 hours in a burning building that had fires burning randomly throughout it and that had been struck by multiple pieces of debris, all of the explosive charges and their detonators were still in perfect working order; 7) That none of the firefighters extensively searching the building for survivors happened to notice any of the pre-placed explosive charges nor thought it necessary to report about such; 8) That the NYC Fire Commander then proceeds to "pull" the building after presumably giving some other order for the men to evacuate, which order was never recorded because the "pull" order must have meant "blow up the building"; 9) And that Larry Silverstein, after being part of a massive conspiracy involving insurance fraud, murder, and arson which, if exposed, would send him to a federal death sentence, just decides to casually mention all of this in a television interview for all and sundry to see, but it is only the 9/11 Douchers who pick up on the significance of it.

Does any of this sound remotely believable? Did anyone subscribing to this nonsense stop to think about the context in which this conversation took place? Do any of you 9/11 Douchers even care that you're being completely ridiculous and grasping at nonexistent straws in your vain attempt to establish some sort of case for controlled demolition? Do you even care that everybody can see that what you are saying makes no sense at all? It is perfectly obvious that Larry Silverstein is NOT talking about controlled demolition here. To believe otherwise would require you to literally be insane, to not understand the plain meaning of words and to have no awareness of conversational contexts; yet not only have you swallowed all of this, you have been beating the drum of this insanity for nearly 20 years.

There is no point in reasoning with an insane person. There is, however, the possibility that you don't really believe what you are saying and are just flogging a hobbyhorse, in which case it is you who are engaging in mendacious journalism and trafficking in lies. In either case, you need to be silenced. Neither lies nor insanity have any "right" to be uttered in the public square. You 9/11 Douchers are really the ones doing everything you accuse the mainstream media of doing, and worse. You have become a danger to the public weal and must be stopped. Your conspiratorial nonsense just isn't cute anymore.

Major1 , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:31 pm GMT
Let's recap:

The official stories about the Kennedy assassination, Epstein's death, and 9/11 are clearly suspect. No one with the capacity for critical thinking can seriously deny this. Which elements of these stories are true and which are false will never be resolved.

Because:
The mainstream media including Fox News have abdicated their mission as fact finders and truth tellers. They peddle entertainment and sell ad space. Rachel Maddow foaming at the mouth about Trump's pee tape and Hannity fulminating about FISA abuse are the same product, simply aimed at different demographics.

Nothing in the above two paragraphs is even remotely novel. It's all been said before twenty bazillion times.

... ... ...

Kevin Barrett , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
Being a feminist or Democrat (or nonfeminist or Republican) is irrelevant to a person's credibility. It's possible that Lisa Bloom was part of a conspiracy to invent a fictitious Katy Johnson story, in which case Bloom is guilty of criminal fraud as well as civil libel. That would be quite a risk for her to take, to say the least. It's also possible that she was somehow duped by others, in which case they would be running the civil and criminal liabilities, while she would just get disbarred for negligence.

The same is true of Johnson's attorney Thomas Meagher.

It is also possible that Johnson's story is at least roughly accurate. There is supporting testimony from another Epstein victim.

If you set aside your prejudices about Democrats-Republicans, feminists-antifeminists, Trump-Hillary, etc., and just look at what's been reported, you'll agree with me that the allegations are credible (but of course unproven). If you suffer emotional blocks against thinking such things about a President, as so many did when similar things were reported about Bill Clinton, I sympathize but also urge you to get psychiatric treatment so you can learn to face unpleasant facts and then get to work cleaning up this country.

CanSpeccy , says: Website September 5, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@utu

The release of Prof. J. Leroy Hulsey report on the finite element analysis of the WTC7 collapse should be a big news.

But won't be.

Democracy works this way. The ruling elite, via the media, Hollywood, etc., tell the people what to think, the people then vote according to the way they think.

Ensuring such top-down control was a primary objective of the bankers, j0urnalists -- including doyen of American journalism, Walter Lippman, and politicians who established the Council on Foreign Relations , America's ruling political establishment.

So the truth of 9/11 will never be known to the majority unless we have a public statement from George W. Bush acknowledging that he personally lit the fuse that set off the explosions that brought WTC 7 down at free-fall speed .

This is fortunate for the intrepid Dr. Hulsey* who would, presumably, otherwise have had to be dispatched by a sudden heart attack, traffic accident, weight-lifting accident suicide with a bullet to the back of the head. As it is, hardly anyone will ever know what he will say or what it means.

* Fortunate also for those who so rashly advocate for truth here and elsewhere on the yet to be fully controlled Internets.

Durruti , says: September 5, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
Kevin Barrett

Nicely done. Article will not be featured on front page NYT & discussed on TV.

There are many highlights in your article. This is one.

Epstein's career as a shameless, openly-operating Mossad sexual blackmailer -- like the in-your-face 9/11 coup -- also illustrates another core truth of Western secularism: If there is no God, there are no limits (in this case, to human depravity and what it can get away with). Or as Dostoevsky famously put it: "If God does not exist, everything is permitted."

Morality is officially out of style.

Durruti

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: September 5, 2019 at 6:11 pm GMT
Please consult the following papers about the CIA/Mossad crimes against humanity and their pimps who pose as 'politicians' of the fake Western 'democracy' where Epstein was their agent serving their interest as a PIMP.

{from being the work of a single political party, intelligence agency or country, the power structure revealed by the network connected to Epstein is nothing less than a criminal enterprise that is willing to use and abuse children in the pursuit of ever more power, wealth and control.}

https://www.mintpressnews.com/genesis-jeffrey-epstein-bill-clinton-relationship/261455/

[Government by Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein, Trump's Mentor and the Dark Secrets of the Reagan Era]

https://www.mintpressnews.com/blackmail-jeffrey-epstein-trump-mentor-reagan-era/260760/

Mega Group, Maxwells and Mossad: The Spy Story at the Heart of the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal

https://www.mintpressnews.com/mega-group-maxwells-mossad-spy-story-jeffrey-epstein-scandal/261172/

[Sep 04, 2019] Kiss of Krugman can be fatal for Warren

Notable quotes:
"... What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost . ..."
"... So the more overtly neoliberal candidates are stalling or bailing, with the more progressive candidates (actually or putatively) -- Sanders and Warren -- sailing along. Is that some kind of surprise? ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bugs Bunny , September 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm

Warren has the Acela corridor's backing and that has been expressed in some fawning coverage from the likes of the WaPo and NYT. Krugman has hinted that she's his candidate as well.

Unless something completely untoward happens, expect her to get great reviews in the next debate.

I don't see how a classic Massachusetts liberal like Warren (to me she's very close to Teddy K in her policy views ) motivates enough abstaining voters to beat Trump. Not enough there, there.

inode_buddha , September 3, 2019 at 6:08 pm

I don't see how a classic Massachusetts Liberal represents anyone under $100K/yr let alone understand their lives.

Pelham , September 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Re the polls: Matt Taibbi recently wrote that if Biden lost ground Sanders would be the likely gainer, since Bernie is the second choice for most Biden supporters. But it appears Warren is benefiting as Biden slides.

Too bad. Still, maybe it's just the minority of Biden supporters who pick Warren as their 2nd choice who are bailing on Biden so far. Sanders may still gain if the more hard-core Bidenites begin to leave.

As for Beto's plan to snatch our AK's and AR's, good for him for being so forthright. It's a terrible idea, but one can appreciate the flat-out honesty.

nippersmom , September 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

" the enduring questions surrounding Biden's age and fitness for office may mean Democrats will lack the "safe" choice they have had in the past, whether the candidate has been former Vice President Al Gore in 2000, former U.S. Senator John Kerry in 2004 or Clinton, the former U.S. senator and secretary of state, in 2008 and 2016."

What do all those "safe" candidates have in common? Oh, that's right- they all lost .

Pat , September 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

That and they didn't upset the apple carts of the political consultants and the major donors.

Funnily I think the author is missing several 'safe' candidates still in the running, all of whom might secure the nomination on the second ballot depending on who the superdelegate darling is. All of whom would probably be able to uphold that loss record of the safe candidate.

NotTimothyGeithner , September 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

I didn't click through to read if it was a joke, but I suspect "safe" for Team Blue types means "a candidate who most assuredly won't be criticized by the Republicans."

Al Gore would blunt whining about the deficit. John Kerry was for a "stronger America."

Hillary was so qualified and had faced all arrows including machine gun fire in Serbia. Yep, those moderate Republicans are going to eliminate the need for Team Blue elites to ever have to worry about the poors again.

Jeff W , September 3, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Right -- and none of them had the press openly speculating about a lack of cognitive capacity, as is happening with the current "safe" candidate. That's what passes for "safe" these days, I guess.

Also: "Biden's appeal wanes," Gillibrand crashes and burns, Harris "hasn't caught fire," and Black Lives Matter of South Bend calls for Buttigieg to resign as mayor. (What language(s) will "Mayor Pete" give his resignation speech in, one wonders.)

So the more overtly neoliberal candidates are stalling or bailing, with the more progressive candidates (actually or putatively) -- Sanders and Warren -- sailing along. Is that some kind of surprise?

cuibono , September 3, 2019 at 9:03 pm

Warren is the Billionaires way to get Pete B:
https://off-guardian.org/2019/09/03/americas-billionaires-congealing-around-warren-and-buttigieg/

[Sep 04, 2019] Remember, it was the academics that got this started in the wrong direction, arguably

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren: "Monopolist's Worst Nightmare: The Elizabeth Warren Interview" [The American Prospect].

Warren: "Remember, it was the academics that got this started in the wrong direction, arguably."

[Sep 03, 2019] An interesting analysis of Brazil right wing coup that restored neoliberals in power.

Essentially it was a threat of military dictatorship that allow right wing forces to neutralise Brazilian left; in reality national neoliberalism regime that was installed was very close to the prototypical military dictatorships.
Notable quotes:
"... The internal redistributions and the geopolitical realignments displeased greatly both the United States and Brazil's right-wing forces. One thing that made it difficult for them to counter Lula was the fact that the state of the world-economy in the first decade of the twenty-first century was very favorable to the so-called newly-emerging economies, also known as the BRICS (B for Brazil). ..."
"... The right found a renewed opening in the financial squeeze that ensued. They blamed economic difficulties on corruption and fostered a judicial drive called lava jato (car wash), which evoked the issue of laundering money, something that was indeed widespread . ..."
"... Once Lula was threatened with immediate imprisonment, Brazil's two major popular forces expressed their strong opposition to what they asserted was a political coup d'état. One was the Central Ùnica dos Trabalhadores (CUT), which Lula had once led, and the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Brazil's largest rural organization. ..."
"... The MST and CUT organized significant mobilizations against his imprisonment. But, faced with the threat of the armed forces to intervene (and possibly restore a military regime again), Lula decided to present himself for arrest. He has now been imprisoned. ..."
"... The question today is whether this right-wing coup can succeed. This no longer depends on Lula personally. History may absolve him but the current struggle in Brazil and in Latin America as a whole depends on political organization at the base . ..."
"... In short, the outlook for Brazil and for Latin America as a whole is highly uncertain. Brazil, given its size and its history, is a key zone of the middle-run struggle for a progressive outcome of the struggle between the global left and the global right for resolving the structural crisis in their favor. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

From BrasilWire, " Immanuel Wallerstein On Lula's Arrest & The Coup " (2018):

On April 7, 2018 in Brazil Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva was arrested and taken to prison in Curitiba to begin a twelve-year sentence. He was Brazil's president from January 2003 to January 2011. He was so popular that when he left office in 2011, he had a 90% approval rate.

Soon afterwards, he was charged with corruption while in office. He denied the charge. He was however convicted of the charge, a conviction that was sustained by an Appeals Court. He is still appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court.

Lula was a trade-union leader who founded a workers' party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). It was the party of the underclass and one that stood for fundamental change both in Brazil and in Latin America as a whole.

The internal redistributions and the geopolitical realignments displeased greatly both the United States and Brazil's right-wing forces. One thing that made it difficult for them to counter Lula was the fact that the state of the world-economy in the first decade of the twenty-first century was very favorable to the so-called newly-emerging economies, also known as the BRICS (B for Brazil).

However, the winds of the world-economy turned, and suddenly revenue for the Brazilian state (and of course many other states) became scarcer.

The right found a renewed opening in the financial squeeze that ensued. They blamed economic difficulties on corruption and fostered a judicial drive called lava jato (car wash), which evoked the issue of laundering money, something that was indeed widespread .

Once Lula was threatened with immediate imprisonment, Brazil's two major popular forces expressed their strong opposition to what they asserted was a political coup d'état. One was the Central Ùnica dos Trabalhadores (CUT), which Lula had once led, and the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Brazil's largest rural organization.

The MST and CUT organized significant mobilizations against his imprisonment. But, faced with the threat of the armed forces to intervene (and possibly restore a military regime again), Lula decided to present himself for arrest. He has now been imprisoned.

The question today is whether this right-wing coup can succeed. This no longer depends on Lula personally. History may absolve him but the current struggle in Brazil and in Latin America as a whole depends on political organization at the base .

One of the principal characteristics of the structural crisis of the modern world-system in which we find ourselves is the high volatility of the world-economy . Should it run even further downward than it is at present, there may well be an upsurge of popular sentiment against the regime. If it began to include large parts of the professional strata, an alliance with the underclasses is quite possible.

Even then it will not be easy to change the political realities of Brazil. The army stands ready probably to prevent a left government from coming to power. Nonetheless one should not despair. The army was defeated once before and evicted from power. It could be again.

In short, the outlook for Brazil and for Latin America as a whole is highly uncertain. Brazil, given its size and its history, is a key zone of the middle-run struggle for a progressive outcome of the struggle between the global left and the global right for resolving the structural crisis in their favor.

Once again, the proof is in the pudding. But volatility? Yes, indeed. And blowback, too.

[Sep 03, 2019] Wallerstein on China

Notable quotes:
"... Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a] ..."
"... The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

From Wallerstein's site, " What About China? " (2017):

A structural crisis is chaotic. This means that instead of the normal standard set of combinations or alliances that were previously used to maintain the stability of the system, they constantly shift these alliances in search of short-term gains. This only makes the situation worse. We notice here a paradox – the certainty of the end of the existing system and the intrinsic uncertainty of what will eventually replace it and create thereby a new system (or new systems) to stabilize realities .

Now, let us look at China's role in what is going on. In terms of the present system, China seems to be gaining much advantage. To argue that this means the continuing functioning of capitalism as a system is basically to (re)assert the invalid point that systems are eternal and that China is replacing the United States in the same way as the United States replaced Great Britain as the hegemonic power. Were this true, in another 20-30 years China (or perhaps northeast Asia) would be able to set its rules for the capitalist world-system.

But is this really happening? First of all, China's economic edge, while still greater than that of the North, has been declining significantly. And this decline may well amplify soon, as political resistance to China's attempts to control neighboring countries and entice (that is, buy) the support of faraway countries grows, which seems to be occurring.

Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a]

The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China.

In addition, there have been, and will continue to be, wild swings in geopolitical alliances. In a sense, the key zones are not in the North, but in areas such as Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, and southeastern Europe, all of them pursuing their own roles by a game of swiftly and repeatedly changing sides. The bottom line is that, though China plays a very big role in the short run, it is not as big a role as China would wish and that some in the rest of the world-system fear. It is not possible for China to stop the disintegration of the capitalist system. It can only try to secure its place in a future world-system.

As far as Wallerstein's bottom line: The proof is in the pudding. That said, there seems to be a tendency to regard Xi as all-powerful. IMNSHO, that's by no means the case, not only because of China's middle class, but because of whatever China's equivalent of deplorables is. The "wild swings in geopolitical alliances" might play a role, too; oil, Africa's minerals.

NOTES [a] I haven't seen this point made elsewhere. [b] Crisis, certainly. "Ending the entire economic edge"? I'm not so sure.

[Sep 03, 2019] RIP Immanuel Wallerstein, Sociologist and World Systems Theorist by Lambert Strether

Sep 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Immanuel Wallerstein, author of The Modern World-System (Volume I, 1974[1]), Historical Capitalism (1983), The Decline of American Power (2003), and 30 other books, died on August 31 of this year. He was 89 years old. Oddly, or not, although he was a Senior Research Scholar at Yale, was head of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilization at Binghamton University, and received the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association, there has as yet been no obituary for him in any major[2] English, Five-Eyes newspaper that I can find ( France ; Spain ; Italy ; Brazil ; Romania ; Iran (English); Turkey [3]; and Turkey (English).

This will not be an obituary for Immanuel Wallerstein; I don't have time to do the reading required to summarize his personal intellectual history. (I read his short and simple World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction years ago, before going on to his associate Giovanni Arrighi's The Long Twentieth Century , which is also a world systems book. I recommend both, and that's really my object in this post: Getting some of you to read up on Wallerstein. So in this post, I'm going to share some long extracts from Wallerstein, less theoretical, and more focused on current events. Use the tools that come to hand!

Wallerstein on China

From Wallerstein's site, " What About China? " (2017):

A structural crisis is chaotic. This means that instead of the normal standard set of combinations or alliances that were previously used to maintain the stability of the system, they constantly shift these alliances in search of short-term gains. This only makes the situation worse. We notice here a paradox – the certainty of the end of the existing system and the intrinsic uncertainty of what will eventually replace it and create thereby a new system (or new systems) to stabilize realities .

Now, let us look at China's role in what is going on. In terms of the present system, China seems to be gaining much advantage. To argue that this means the continuing functioning of capitalism as a system is basically to (re)assert the invalid point that systems are eternal and that China is replacing the United States in the same way as the United States replaced Great Britain as the hegemonic power. Were this true, in another 20-30 years China (or perhaps northeast Asia) would be able to set its rules for the capitalist world-system.

But is this really happening? First of all, China's economic edge, while still greater than that of the North, has been declining significantly. And this decline may well amplify soon, as political resistance to China's attempts to control neighboring countries and entice (that is, buy) the support of faraway countries grows, which seems to be occurring.

Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a]

The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China.

In addition, there have been, and will continue to be, wild swings in geopolitical alliances. In a sense, the key zones are not in the North, but in areas such as Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, and southeastern Europe, all of them pursuing their own roles by a game of swiftly and repeatedly changing sides. The bottom line is that, though China plays a very big role in the short run, it is not as big a role as China would wish and that some in the rest of the world-system fear. It is not possible for China to stop the disintegration of the capitalist system. It can only try to secure its place in a future world-system.

As far as Wallerstein's bottom line: The proof is in the pudding. That said, there seems to be a tendency to regard Xi as all-powerful. IMNSHO, that's by no means the case, not only because of China's middle class, but because of whatever China's equivalent of deplorables is. The "wild swings in geopolitical alliances" might play a role, too; oil, Africa's minerals.

NOTES [a] I haven't seen this point made elsewhere. [b] Crisis, certainly. "Ending the entire economic edge"? I'm not so sure.

Wallerstein on Brazil (and Lula)

From BrasilWire, " Immanuel Wallerstein On Lula's Arrest & The Coup " (2018):

On April 7, 2018 in Brazil Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva was arrested and taken to prison in Curitiba to begin a twelve-year sentence. He was Brazil's president from January 2003 to January 2011. He was so popular that when he left office in 2011, he had a 90% approval rate.

Soon afterwards, he was charged with corruption while in office. He denied the charge. He was however convicted of the charge, a conviction that was sustained by an Appeals Court. He is still appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court.

Lula was a trade-union leader who founded a workers' party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT). It was the party of the underclass and one that stood for fundamental change both in Brazil and in Latin America as a whole.

The internal redistributions and the geopolitical realignments displeased greatly both the United States and Brazil's right-wing forces. One thing that made it difficult for them to counter Lula was the fact that the state of the world-economy in the first decade of the twenty-first century was very favorable to the so-called newly-emerging economies, also known as the BRICS (B for Brazil).

However, the winds of the world-economy turned, and suddenly revenue for the Brazilian state (and of course many other states) became scarcer.

The right found a renewed opening in the financial squeeze that ensued. They blamed economic difficulties on corruption and fostered a judicial drive called lava jato (car wash), which evoked the issue of laundering money, something that was indeed widespread .

Once Lula was threatened with immediate imprisonment, Brazil's two major popular forces expressed their strong opposition to what they asserted was a political coup d'état. One was the Central Ùnica dos Trabalhadores (CUT), which Lula had once led, and the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Brazil's largest rural organization.

The MST and CUT organized significant mobilizations against his imprisonment. But, faced with the threat of the armed forces to intervene (and possibly restore a military regime again), Lula decided to present himself for arrest. He has now been imprisoned.

The question today is whether this right-wing coup can succeed. This no longer depends on Lula personally. History may absolve him but the current struggle in Brazil and in Latin America as a whole depends on political organization at the base .

One of the principal characteristics of the structural crisis of the modern world-system in which we find ourselves is the high volatility of the world-economy . Should it run even further downward than it is at present, there may well be an upsurge of popular sentiment against the regime. If it began to include large parts of the professional strata, an alliance with the underclasses is quite possible.

Even then it will not be easy to change the political realities of Brazil. The army stands ready probably to prevent a left government from coming to power. Nonetheless one should not despair. The army was defeated once before and evicted from power. It could be again.

In short, the outlook for Brazil and for Latin America as a whole is highly uncertain. Brazil, given its size and its history, is a key zone of the middle-run struggle for a progressive outcome of the struggle between the global left and the global right for resolving the structural crisis in their favor.

Once again, the proof is in the pudding. But volatility? Yes, indeed. And blowback, too.

Wallerstein on Racism

From the London Review of Books, " The Albatross of Racism " (2000):

Since 1989, social science has thrown very little light on [such matters as the growth of extreme right in Austria]. Indeed, its failure has been lamentable. All anyone – whatever their politics – talks about is globalisation, as though that were anything more than current rhetoric for the continuing struggle within the capitalist world-economy over the degree to which transborder flows should be unimpeded It is dust in our eyes. So, too, is the endless litany about ethnic violence, and here human rights activists, as well as social scientists, are to blame. Ethnic violence, however horrifying, is not the preserve of some less fortunate, less wise, less civilised other. It follows from the deep and growing inequalities within our world-system, and cannot be addressed by moral exhortation, or by any meddling on the part of the pure and advanced in zones controlled by the impure and backward. World social science has offered us no useful tools to analyse what has been happening in the world-system since 1989, and therefore no useful tools to understand contemporary Austrian reality.

The reason everyone was so appalled by Nazism after 1945 is obvious. While almost everyone in the pan-European world had been openly and happily racist and anti-semitic before 1945, hardly anyone had intended it to lead where it did. Hitler's Final Solution missed the entire point of racism within the capitalist world-economy. The object of racism is not to exclude people, much less exterminate them, but to keep them within the system as Untermenschen, to be exploited economically and used as political scapegoats . What happened with Nazism was what the French would call a dérapage – a blunder, a skid, a loss of control. Or perhaps it was the genie getting out of the bottle.

It was acceptable to be racist up to the point of a final solution, but no further . It had always been a delicate game, and no doubt there had been dérapages before – but never on such a large scale, never in so central an arena of the world-system, and never that visible. Collectively, the pan-European world came to terms with what had happened by banning public racism, primarily public anti-semitism. It became a taboo language .

One of the reasons the EU reacted so strongly to Haider is that Austria has refused to assume its share of guilt, insisting that it was primarily a victim. Perhaps a majority of Austrians had not wanted the Anschluss, although it is hard to believe it when you see newsreel clips of the cheering Viennese crowds. But, more to the point, no non-Jewish, non-Roma Austrian was considered anything other than German after the Anschluss, and the majority gloried in that fact.

The realisation that racism had been undone by going much too far had two major consequences in the post-1945 pan-European world. First, these countries sought to emphasise their internal virtues as integrative nations untroubled by racist oppression, 'free countries' facing an 'evil empire' whose racism, in its turn, became a regular theme of Western propaganda. All sorts of socio-political actions followed from this: the 1954 decision by the US Supreme Court to outlaw racial segregation; the philo-Israel policies of the whole pan-European world; even the new emphasis on ecumenicism within Western Christianity (as well as the invention of the idea of a joint Judaeo-Christian heritage).

Second, and just as important, there was a need to restore a sanitised racism to its original function: that of keeping people within the system, but as Untermenschen. If Jews could no longer be treated thus, or Catholics in Protestant countries, it was necessary to look further afield. In the pan-European world the post-1945 period was, at least at first, a time of incredible economic expansion accompanied by a radically reduced rate of reproduction. More workers were needed and fewer were being produced than ever before. So began the era of what the Germans gingerly called the Gastarbeiter.

Who were these Gastarbeiter? Mediterranean peoples in non-Mediterranean Europe, Latin Americans and Asians in North America, West Indians in North America and Western Europe, Black Africans and South Asians in Europe. And, since 1989, citizens of the former socialist bloc. They have come in large numbers because they wanted to come and because they could find jobs: indeed, were desperately needed to make the pan-European countries flourish. But they came, almost universally, as persons at the bottom of the heap – economically, socially and politically

The rhymes with immigration policy debates in this country are obvious. And I love the irony of dérapage .

Wallerstein on His Legacy

From commentary #500 on Wallersteins site, " This is the end; this is the beginning " (2019):

My first commentary appeared on October 1, 1998. It was published by the Fernand Braudel Center (FBC) at Binghamton University. I have produced commentaries on the first and the fifteenth of every month since then without exception. This is the 500th such commentary. This will be the last commentary ever.

I have devoted myself to writing these commentaries with complete regularity. But no one lives forever, and there is no way I can continue doing these commentaries much longer.

So, sometime ago I said to myself I will try to make it to number 500 and then call it quits. I have made it to 500 and I am calling it quits

The post is dated July 1, 2019, two months before his death. Thats the way to do it. More:

There is only one language in which all 500 commentaries have been translated. This language is Mandarin Chinese.

Oh.

It is the future that is more important and more interesting, but also inherently unknowable. Because of the structural crisis of the modern-world system, it is possible, possible but not absolutely certain, that a transformatory use of a 1968 complex will be achieved by someone or some group. It will probably take much time and will continue on past the point of the end of commentaries. What form this new activity will take is hard to predict.

So, the world might go down further by-paths. Or it may not. I have indicated in the past that I thought the crucial struggle was a class struggle, using class in a very broadly defined sense. What those who will be alive in the future can do is to struggle with themselves so this change may be a real one. I still think that and therefore I think there is a 50-50 chance that we'll make it to transformatory change, but only 50-50.

Some might find that optimistic, but personally I find it heartening.

Conclusion

I don't have much to say -- the extracts are far too long! -- but surely Wallerstein's life was a life well lived.

NOTES

[1] Review from Christopher Chase-Dunn, Sociology, University of California-Riverside, " The emergence of predominant capitalism: the long 16th century ":

The new edition of Immanuel Wallerstein's Volume 1 of The Modern World-System, originally published in 1974, is more beautiful than the original both because of its cover, and because 37 years of subsequent scholarship and world historical events have demonstrated the scientific and practical utility of the theoretical approach developed in this seminal work .

The world-systems perspective is a strategy for explaining institutional change that focuses on whole interpolity systems rather than single polities. The tendency in sociological theory has been to think of single national societies as whole systems. This has led to many errors, because the idea of a system usually implies closure and that the most important processes are endogenous. National societies (both their states and their nations) have emerged over the last few centuries to become the strongest socially constructed identities and organizations in the modern world, but they have never been whole systems. They have always existed in a larger context of important interaction networks (trade, warfare, long-distance communication) that have greatly shaped events and social change .

Wallerstein's new Prologue responds to several of the major criticisms that have been made of Volume 1. Critics said that the book was too economistic, ignoring politics and culture. Marxists said that Wallerstein ignored class relations. Wallerstein's approach to world history is evolutionary, though he does not use that word. He compares regions and national societies with each other within the same time periods, but he also compares them with earlier and later instances in order to comprehend the long-term trajectories of social change and to explain the qualitative transformation in systemic logic that began to emerge in Europe in the long 16th century (1450-1640 CE). His theoretical framework contemplates a "whole system" and how that system has changed or remained the same over time while expanding to become a single Earth-wide integrated network.

(Here, Wallerstein explains his relation to Marxism before going on to a shorter explanation of world systems: Comparative Studies in Society and History (1974), " The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis .")

[2] The English venue hit that does come up is from ROAR , " an activist-run journal of the radical imagination ."

[3] Fascinatingly, this story is attributed to "BBC News | Türkçe," but the BBC English returns nothing in English on "Immanuel Wallerstein."

[Sep 02, 2019] Wall Street banks hate Sanders and Warren

Sep 02, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

CJ New York Aug. 13

I work for a law firm that represents Wall Street banks and I can tell you who they don't like, and that is Sanders and Warren. They hate that Warren created the CFPB and blew the whistle on Wells Fargo and all the other games being played by Wall Street banks. Therefore, I will vote for either of them, Warren preferred.

[Sep 02, 2019] Falling From Grace The Decline Of The US Empire

The USA centered global neoliberal empire falls from grace at alarming speed.
Just the discussion of this possibility would be unthinkable in 90th -- the period of triumphal advance of neoliberalism all over the globe. So thinks did change although it is unclear what is that direction of the social change -- neo-fascism or some kind of return to the New Del Capitalism (if so who will replace previous, forged by Great Depression political alignment between trade unions and management against the financial oligarchy, which financial oligarchy managed to broke using neoliberalism as the Trojan horse and bribing CEOs)
Om a was original fascist movements were also a protest against the rule of financial oligarchy. Even anti-Semitism in Germany was a kind of perverted protest against financial oligarchy as well. They were quickly subverted and in Germany anti-Semitism degenerated into irrational hatred and genocide, , but the fact remains. Just looks at NSDAP program of 1920 . Now we have somewhat similar sentiments with Wexner and Meta group in the USA. To say that they do not invoke any sympathy is an understatement.
The problem with empires that they do not only rob the "other people". They rob their own people as well, and rob them hard. The USSR people were really robbed by Soviet military industrial complex and Soviet globalist -- to the far greater extent then the USA people now. People were really as poor as church rats. Epidemic of alcoholism in the USA resembles the epidemic of narcoaddtion in the USA --- both are signs of desire then there is no jobs and now chances.
Like the collapse of the USSR was the result of the collapse of bolshevism, the collapse of the USA can be the result of the collapse of neoliberalism. Whether it will take 10 or 50 years is unclear, but the general tendency is down.
The competitors has grown much strong now and they want their place under then sub. That means squeezing the USA. Trump did agrat job in alientaing the US and that was probably the most important step is dismantling the USA empire that was taken. Add to that trade war with China and we have the situation that is not favorable to the USA politically in two important parts of the globe.
Add to this Brexit and we have clear tendency of states to reassert their sovereignty, which start hurting the USA based multinationals.
The only things that work in favor of the USA is that currently there is no clear alternative to neoliberalism other then some kind of restoration of the New Deal capitalism or neo-fasist dictatorship.
Notable quotes:
"... Self-discipline, self sacrifice and self restraint are the prices which must be paid for a civilization to survive, much less flourish, and Americans are increasingly unwilling to pay up. The America of a generation or two down the road will have the social cohesion of El Salvador. ..."
"... Being that history is always written by the tyrant of the time (which in our case was definitely behind the two last empires and a big player in Rome as and Spain as well) people are also led to believe that empire is a desireable state of cicumstance. It never was. Its the ambitions and conquistador actions of the collective psychopath. They feed on the strength of civilizations and utilize it for megalomaniac ambitions over power of others and power over everything. ..."
"... Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it. ..."
"... You are completely delusional. The world is not better off under American stewardship. We don't need and shouldn't want anything to replace it. We don't need and shouldn't want any empire ruling the world. We would be better off without any state at all, so we could finally be free people. ..."
"... And no it probably wouldn't be better off under the Chinese. Although if the world stopped respecting American IP law, that would be a huge positive step forward. ..."
Sep 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Years ago, Doug Casey mentioned in a correspondence to me, "Empires fall from grace with alarming speed."

Every now and then, you receive a comment that, although it may have been stated casually, has a lasting effect, as it offers uncommon insight. For me, this was one of those and it's one that I've kept handy at my desk since that time, as a reminder.

I'm from a British family, one that left the UK just as the British Empire was about to begin its decline. They expatriated to the "New World" to seek promise for the future.

As I've spent most of my life centred in a British colony – the Cayman Islands – I've had the opportunity to observe many British contract professionals who left the UK seeking advancement, which they almost invariably find in Cayman. Curiously, though, most returned to the UK after a contract or two, in the belief that the UK would bounce back from its decline, and they wanted to be on board when Britain "came back."

This, of course, never happened. The US replaced the UK as the world's foremost empire, and although the UK has had its ups and downs over the ensuing decades, it hasn't returned to its former glory.

And it never will.

If we observe the empires of the world that have existed over the millennia, we see a consistent history of collapse without renewal. Whether we're looking at the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish Empire, or any other that's existed at one time, history is remarkably consistent: The decline and fall of any empire never reverses itself; nor does the empire return, once it's fallen.

But of what importance is this to us today?

Well, today, the US is the world's undisputed leading empire and most Americans would agree that, whilst it's going through a bad patch, it will bounce back and might even be better than ever.

Not so, I'm afraid. All empires follow the same cycle. They begin with a population that has a strong work ethic and is self-reliant. Those people organize to form a nation of great strength, based upon high productivity.

This leads to expansion, generally based upon world trade. At some point, this gives rise to leaders who seek, not to work in partnership with other nations, but to dominate them, and of course, this is when a great nation becomes an empire. The US began this stage under the flamboyant and aggressive Teddy Roosevelt.

The twentieth century was the American century and the US went from victory to victory, expanding its power.

But the decline began in the 1960s, when the US started to pursue unwinnable wars, began the destruction of its currency and began to expand its government into an all-powerful body.

Still, this process tends to be protracted and the overall decline often takes decades.

So, how does that square with the quote, "Empires fall from grace with alarming speed"?

Well, the preparation for the fall can often be seen for a generation or more, but the actual fall tends to occur quite rapidly.

What happens is very similar to what happens with a schoolyard bully.

The bully has a slow rise, based upon his strength and aggressive tendency. After a number of successful fights, he becomes first revered, then feared. He then takes on several toadies who lack his abilities but want some of the spoils, so they do his bidding, acting in a threatening manner to other schoolboys.

The bully then becomes hated. No one tells him so, but the other kids secretly dream of his defeat, hopefully in a shameful manner.

Then, at some point, some boy who has a measure of strength and the requisite determination has had enough and takes on the bully.

If he defeats him, a curious thing happens. The toadies suddenly realise that the jig is up and they head for the hills, knowing that their source of power is gone.

Also, once the defeated bully is down, all the anger, fear and hatred that his schoolmates felt for him come out, and they take great pleasure in his defeat.

And this, in a nutshell, is what happens with empires.

A nation that comes to the rescue in times of genuine need (such as the two World Wars) is revered. But once that nation morphs into a bully that uses any excuse to invade countries such as Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria, its allies may continue to bow to it but secretly fear it and wish that it could be taken down a peg.

When the empire then starts looking around for other nations to bully, such as Iran and Venezuela, its allies again say nothing but react with fear when they see the John Boltons and Mike Pompeos beating the war drums and making reckless comments.

At present, the US is focusing primarily on economic warfare, but if this fails to get the world to bend to its dominance, the US has repeatedly warned, regarding possible military aggression, that "no option is off the table."

The US has reached the classic stage when it has become a reckless bully, and its support structure of allies has begun to de-couple as a result.

At the same time that allies begin to pull back and make other plans for their future, those citizens within the empire who tend to be the creators of prosperity also begin to seek greener pastures.

History has seen this happen countless times. The "brain drain" occurs, in which the best and most productive begin to look elsewhere for their future. Just as the most productive Europeans crossed the Pond to colonise the US when it was a new, promising country, their present-day counterparts have begun moving offshore.

The US is presently in a state of suspended animation. It still appears to be a major force, but its buttresses are quietly disappearing. At some point in the near future, it's likely that the US government will overplay its hand and aggress against a foe that either is stronger or has alliances that, collectively, make it stronger.


Basil1931 , 30 minutes ago link

The greatest (so called) threats to America- the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans, ISIS, ( fill in the blank for the latest overseas bogeyman-of-the-week ) pale into a wisp beside the ongoing disintegration of American traditional family life. Self-discipline, self sacrifice and self restraint are the prices which must be paid for a civilization to survive, much less flourish, and Americans are increasingly unwilling to pay up. The America of a generation or two down the road will have the social cohesion of El Salvador.

Ms No , 38 minutes ago link

You also cant warn people about the collapse of empire either. People notoriously go into denial about it and it shocks the **** out of everybody. Since empires bluff and bluster at the end its all to easy for people want to believe.

Being that history is always written by the tyrant of the time (which in our case was definitely behind the two last empires and a big player in Rome as and Spain as well) people are also led to believe that empire is a desireable state of cicumstance. It never was. Its the ambitions and conquistador actions of the collective psychopath. They feed on the strength of civilizations and utilize it for megalomaniac ambitions over power of others and power over everything.

ohm , 55 minutes ago link

Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it. if you think that the world would enter the age of Aquarius and peace will rule the planet you are extremely naive and stupid. If you think that the Chinese would be more benign rulers you are mistaken. The only reason China doesn't use its military to dominate other countries is because it is kept in check by the US.

HillaryOdor , 46 minutes ago link

You are completely delusional. The world is not better off under American stewardship. We don't need and shouldn't want anything to replace it. We don't need and shouldn't want any empire ruling the world. We would be better off without any state at all, so we could finally be free people.

And no it probably wouldn't be better off under the Chinese. Although if the world stopped respecting American IP law, that would be a huge positive step forward.

In the real world, Chinese terrorists are just as bad as American terrorists. Despite the most popular hypnosis gripping the American psyche, you can't have liberty or justice as long as either one is in charge. Whether the Chinese would be worse is debatable. It's not like America has some great track record to compete against. Their reign has been a complete disaster for human rights.

ohm , 41 minutes ago link

We don't need any empire ruling the world.

Agreed. But wishing that something isn't going to happen doesn't stop it from happening.

HillaryOdor , 34 minutes ago link

Pretending you are better off under the current arrangement doesn't make it so.

Pretending you have any control over the future of world politics doesn't make it so.

simpson seers , 43 minutes ago link

'Those of you hoping for the end of American Empire need to think about what would replace it '

for starters, peace would replace it, fake phoney ******.......

ohm , 42 minutes ago link

Why? Do you have a historical example?

ohm , 42 minutes ago link

Why? Do you have a historical example?

SHsparx , 37 minutes ago link

Expecting the inevitable and hoping for something are two different things.

Ms No , 29 minutes ago link

If China became the new empire we wouldnt live under it. It would be at least 100 years out. This empire will screw everybody epically first, plus we have decline weather patterns with super solar grand minimum. Also those people's who may see that next empire will deal with whatever circumstances present themselves and they wont give one **** what we think about it.

Basically power has kept moving west. Nobody will forget the depravity of this one. If written about accurately this one will be remembered most for the medical tyranny and intentional damage it did to human beings through injections and modified good supply, as well as moral depravity and proxy sadistic terrorism. Remember empire backed terrorist groups trafficked children and harvested organs. You can miss it if you want, few will.

ultramaroon , 11 minutes ago link

I do not _hope_ for an end of the American Empire, and I dread what is going to replace it. Howsoever, no empire lasts forever, and our empire is near its end. The Chinese are relentlessly cruel, and that's in their genotype. I probably won't live to see them take over the scraps and bits and pieces of our former empire. Those who are alive and in the prime of their lives when that happens will suffer unimaginably while they live, and their blood will cry out from the grave after they die. It makes me so heart-sick I can't bear to think about it for long, but our progeny will be forced to live it without let or hindrance.

Ms No , 8 minutes ago link

Lets find out the whole details of what they have done to our biology and our children's first before we say how cruel China might be. For starters look at what US and British did in Africa compared to China and Russia's involvement there. They are doing deals and not killing anybody, same with Venezuela.

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

Where else you going to go? What nation ISN'T broke? Europe is going to hell. So is South America. Africa has always been hell. Asia? Look what's going down in Hong Kong. China's broke. Make no mistake, the USA is in decline. But so is the rest of the world...

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

I'd say it's a race to the bottom but it's really that everyone is falling off the cliff at the same time...

perikleous , 1 hour ago link

regardless of what is printed China is not falling, they have a plan and have only advanced it. The debt side will not hurt them because they have been poor before and they have a route to success. They do not have resources but the industrial side is needed everywhere in the world. We are talking about a nation that literally prospered off of our garbage and resells it back to us! Think about it we use something up and pay them to take it away, they recycle it and resell it to us again and moved a nation 4x our population forward!

You really think debt will hurt them, especially the way the US determines debt! A huge portion of it is in the infrastructucture in China and along the BRI which will have returns over time, just as if we in the states rebuilt all our infrastructure by living wage employment rather than MIC investment!

Argentumentum , 1 hour ago link

Yes, all are broke. Assisted suicides of countries all over the world. Emphasise on "assisted".

Nations have been demoralized (the US most certainly, check Yuri Bezmenov) we are in destabilization phase already, collapse has to be next, it is unavoidable now. This will not end well, ignore at your own risk!

I am not talking about countries, just some Life Hedge Regions left in the world. People with brains and resources, you don need a Life Hedge Property! Away from Northern Hemisphere, away from Ring of Fire, etc... Get in touch. lifehedge(at) protonmail.com

He–Mene Mox Mox , 1 hour ago link

What got America into trouble was when Americans who thought of themselves as being "exceptional" became exceptionally stupid. The best and the brightest have already left America. Any wonder why we now depend on Russia to send our astronauts up on their rockets into space, or depend on China, South Korea, and Japan for our electronic products, or why better health care is found in other places outside the U.S., why our educational system has become poorer than what it was 60 years ago, etc.,?

perikleous , 1 hour ago link

When we decided to financialize everything and make nothing but investments we crippled our advancement.

When we decided to take the brightest minds in the world and recruit them into the US and then rather than advance the world with true science, we offer them lucrative money to enter financial markets to use their knowledge in that field.

We take the ones with morals and principles that choose to actually remain in science and then corrupt them over time with money/fame to regurgetate whatever their contractor chooses or lose funding for their projects.

We have corrupted every aspect of advancement and now just use our fake printed money to force the desperate to bend to our will.

SmallerGovNow2 , 1 hour ago link

Where do you see this better health care?

And you're saying the best and brightest left the USA for Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan? I don't think so...

Dump , 1 hour ago link

Good read on the subject of empires Sir John Glubb - The fate of empires and Search for survival.

We are probably near the end of the American Empire. And a fascinating by product of the HK protests is that we may well be near the end of Chinese Communism.

The Herdsman , 1 hour ago link

Nothing moves forward in a straight line. They move up and down. Empires are no exception. The Romans had their ups and downs throughout the course of their empire. You never know when a down cycle is the end but people who want it to end will always write articles like this.

American dominance might be drawing to an end....or it might be gearing up to go another 200 years. Nobody knows so it's a waste of time to speculate.