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From Wikipedia:

Many critics of trade liberalization, such as Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Susan George, and Naomi Klein, see the Washington Consensus as a way to open the labor market of underdeveloped economies to exploitation by companies from more developed economies. The prescribed reductions in tariffs and other trade barriers allow the free movement of goods across borders according to market forces, but labor is not permitted to move freely due to the requirements of a visa or a work permit. This creates an economic climate where goods are manufactured using cheap labor in underdeveloped economies and then exported to rich First World economies for sale at what the critics argue are huge markups, with the balance of the markup said to accrue to large multinational corporations. The criticism is that workers in the Third World economy nevertheless remain poor, as any pay raises they may have received over what they made before trade liberalization are said to be offset by inflation, whereas workers in the First World country become unemployed, while the wealthy owners of the multinational grow even more wealthy.

Anti-globalization critics further claim that First World countries impose what the critics describe as the consensus's neoliberal policies on economically vulnerable countries through organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and by political pressure and bribery. They argue that the Washington Consensus has not, in fact, led to any great economic boom in Latin America, but rather to severe economic crises and the accumulation of crippling external debts that render the target country beholden to the First World.

Many of the policy prescriptions (e.g., the privatization of state industries, tax reform, and deregulation) are criticized as mechanisms for ensuring the development of a small, wealthy, indigenous elite in the Third World who will rise to political power and also have a vested interest in maintaining the local status quo of labor exploitation.

Some specific factual premises of the critique as phrased above (especially on the macroeconomic side) are not accepted by defenders, or indeed all critics, of the Washington Consensus. To take a few examples,[29] inflation in many developing countries is now at its lowest levels for many decades (low single figures for very much of Latin America). Workers in factories created by foreign investment are found typically to receive higher wages and better working conditions than are standard in their own countries' domestically-owned workplaces. Economic growth in much of Latin America in the last few years has been at historically high rates, and debt levels, relative to the size of these economies, are on average significantly lower than they were several years ago.

Despite these macroeconomic advances, poverty and inequality remain at high levels in Latin America. About one of every three people - 165 million in total- still live on less than $2 a day. Roughly a third of the population has no access to electricity or basic sanitation, and an estimated 10 million children suffer from malnutrition. These problems are not, however, new: Latin America was the most economically unequal region in the world in 1950, and has continued to be so ever since, during periods both of state-directed import-substitution and (subsequently) of market-oriented liberalization.[30]

Some socialist political leaders in Latin America are vocal and well-known critics of the Washington Consensus, such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, Cuban ex-President Fidel Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador. In Argentina, too, the recent Peronist party government of Néstor Kirchner undertook policy measures which represented a repudiation of at least some Consensus policies (see Continuing Controversy below). However, with the exception of Castro, these leaders have maintained and expanded some successful policies commonly associated with the Washington Consensus, such as macroeconomic stability and property rights protection.

Others on the Latin American left take a different approach. Governments led by the Socialist Party of Chile, by Alan García in Peru, by Tabaré Vázquez in Uruguay, and by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, have in practice maintained a high degree of continuity with the economic policies described under the Washington Consensus (debt-paying, protection to foreign investment, financial reforms, etc.). But governments of this type have simultaneously sought to supplement these policies by measures directly targeted at improving productivity and helping the poor, such as education reforms and subsidies to poor families conditioned on their children staying in school.


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 19, 2018] Brexit Knives Out for Theresa May (Again) Over Extending Transition Period

UK as US hand grenade tossed at EU ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road. ..."
"... Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike. ..."
"... DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock . ..."
"... Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited". ..."
"... Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative ..."
"... Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise." ..."
"... Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU) 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements. ..."
"... It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other. ..."
Oct 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Another year wouldn't be enough additional time to achieve a trade agreement unless the UK capitulated to EU terms. And a big motivation for this idea seemed to be to try to kick the Irish border can down the road.

As we'll get to later in this post, the press has filed more detailed reports on the EU's reactions to May's "nothing new" speech at the European Council summit on Wednesday. The reactions seem to be more sober; recall the first takes were relief that nothing bad happened and at least everyone was trying to put their best foot forward. Merkel also pressed Ireland and the EU to be more flexible over the Irish border question but Marcon took issue with her position. However, they both then went to a outdoor cafe and had beers for two hours .

May's longer transition scheme vehemently criticized across Tory factions and by the DUP . Even pro-Remain Tories are opposed. The press had a field day. From the Telegraph :

Theresa May was on Thursday evening increasingly isolated over her plan to keep Britain tied to the EU for longer as she was savaged by both wings of her party and left in the cold by EU leaders

The move enraged Brexiteers who said it would cost billions, and angered members of the Cabinet who said they had not formally agreed the plan before she offered it up as a bargaining chip. Mrs May also faced a potential mutiny from Tory MPs north of the border, including David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, who said the proposal was "unacceptable" because it would delay the UK's exit from the hated Common Fisheries Policy.

From The Times, Revolt grows over Theresa May's handling of Brexit talks :

Theresa May is facing the most perilous week of her premiership after infuriating all sections of her party by making further concessions to Brussels. Her offer to extend the transition period after Brexit -- made without cabinet approval -- enraged Remain and Leave Tory MPs alike.

And Politics Home, DUP reject moves to extend Brexit transition period in fresh blow for Theresa May Politics Home:

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds has rejected calls for the post-Brexit transition period to be extended, claiming it would cost the UK billions and not break the Irish border deadlock .

His comments came after Tory MPs on all wings of the party also rejected extending the transition period.

Former minister Nick Boles, who campaigned for Remain in the 2016 referendum, told the Today programme: "I'm afraid she's losing the confidence now of colleagues of all shades of opinion – people who've been supportive of her throughout this process – they are close to despair at the state of this negotiation."

Brexiteer MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted: "Back in July, myself and 36 colleagues signed a letter to the Prime Minister setting out our red lines – and that was one of them. It's completely ridiculous."

Scottish Tories say they would veto an extension to the Brexit transition period in support of their fisherman.

And apparently the European Council didn't take the extension idea seriously. City AM reported that European Council president Donald Tusk said it wasn't discussed after May left .

And members of the hard-core Brexit faction are also up in arms about May conceding that an Irish border backstop can't be time limited. From The Sun :

Theresa May has conceded the Irish backstop cannot have an end date, risking the threat of fresh Cabinet resignations. The PM told Leo Varadkar she accepted Brussels' demands that any fallback border solution cannot be "time-limited".

But a fudge could cost Mrs May two eurosceptic Cabinet ministers, with Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom threatening to resign if there's not a set end date.

Merkel pushes for more Brussels-Ireland flexibility while Macron disagrees . I am at risk of seeming unduly wedded to my priors, but Merkel's effort at an intervention came off like a clueless CEO telling subordinates who have been handed a nearly-impossible task that they need to get more creative . While Merkel is correct to point out that no-deal = hard Irish border, an outcome no one wants, she does not appear to comprehend that the "sea border," which is politically fraught for the UK, is the only alternative that does not create ginormous problems for the EU. Merkel's seeming lack of comprehension may reflect the fact that EU nations don't handle trade negotiations. From the Financial Times :

At an EU summit dinner and in later public remarks, the German chancellor expressed concerns about the bloc's stand-off with the UK over the Irish "backstop", a fallback measure intended to ensure no hard border divides Ireland if other solutions fail. This has become the biggest outstanding issue in the talks.

Three diplomats said that at the Wednesday night dinner Ms Merkel indicated that the EU and the Republic of Ireland should rethink their approach on Northern Ireland to avoid a fundamental clash with London.

Ms Merkel also signaled her concerns in a press conference on Thursday, highlighting that if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal a hard border for Northern Ireland could be inevitable.

"If you don't have an agreement you don't have a satisfactory answer [to the border issue] either," she said, noting that on Northern Ireland "we all need an answer" .

Diplomats said the German chancellor was more forceful about the issue at the Brexit dinner, although some other leaders remained puzzled about the chancellor's intentions.

The Financial Times also said that the UK and Germany would meet Thursday to "discuss a way out of the Brexit impasse." Given that Barnier has offered a lot of new ideas in last month, it is hard to see how anything new could be cooked up, unless the UK hopes to sell Germany on its already-rejected techno vaporware idea.

Macron made clear he was not on the same page. Again from the Financial Times:

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, struck a more uncompromising tone. "It's not for the EU to make some concessions to deal with a British political issue. I can't be more clear on this," he said. "Now the key element for a final deal is on the British side, because the key element is a British political compromise."

Vardakar also made a statement after the dinner that reaffirmed the importance of the EU affirming the principles of the single market. From The Times :

The European Union would have "huge difficulties" in agreeing to extend the Northern Irish backstop to the rest of the UK, the taoiseach has warned. Leo Varadkar said he did not think "any country or union" would be asked to sign up to an agreement that would give the UK access to the single market while also allowing it to "undercut" the EU across a range of areas including state aid competition, labour laws and environmental standards.

"I would feel very strongly about this, as a European as well as an Irishman: you couldn't have a situation whereby the UK had access to the single market -- which is our market -- and at the same time was able to undercut us in terms of standards, whether they were environmental standards, labour laws, or state aid competition. I don't think any country or any union would be asked to accept that," Mr Varadkar said in Brussels.

Robert Peston deems odds of crash out high; sees only escape route as "customs union Brexit" . Robert Peston, who is one of the UK's best connected political reporters, described in a new piece at ITV how May has at best a narrow path to avoiding a disorderly Brexit, and that is what he calls a "customs union" Brexit. I am sure if Richard North saw that, he'd be tearing his hair, since he has been describing for months why a customs union does not solve the problem that virtually everyone who talks in up in UK thinks it solves, namely, conferring "frictionless trade".

One key point in his analysis is that the UK will also have to accept "a blind Brexit," meaning a very fuzzy statement of what the "future relationship" will be. The EU had offered that in the last month or so, presumably as a fudge to allow May to get the various wings of her coalition to agree to something. But Peston says it's too late to do anything else. From ITV :

Hello from Brussels and the EU Council that promised a Brexit breakthrough and delivered nothing.

So on the basis of conversations with well-placed sources, this is how I think the Brexit talks are placed (WARNING: if you are fearful of a no-deal Brexit, or are of a nervous disposition, stop reading now):

1) Forget about having any clue when we leave about the nature and structure of the UK's future trading relationship with the EU. The government heads of the EU27 have rejected Chequers. Wholesale. And they regard it as far too late to put in place the building blocks of that future relationship before we leave on 29 March 2019. So any Political Declaration on the future relationship will be waffly, vague and general. It will be what so many MPs detest: a blind Brexit. The PM may say that won't happen. No one here (except perhaps her own Downing St team) believes her.

Erm, that alone may be a deal killer. We quoted this section of a Politico article on October 10 :

5. Future relationship – Blind Brexit

Opposed: Brexiteers, Tory Remainers, the Labour Party, Theresa May

I'll let our astute readers give their reactions to Peston's recommendation to May:

3) There is no chance of the EU abandoning its insistence that there should be a backstop – with no expiry date – of Northern Ireland, but not Great Britain, remaining in the Customs Union and the single market. That would involve the introduction of the commercial border in the Irish Sea that May says must never be drawn.

4) All efforts therefore from the UK are aimed at putting in place other arrangements to make it impossible for that backstop to be introduced.

5) Her ruse for doing this is the creation of another backstop that would involve the whole of the UK staying in something that looks like the customs union.

6) But she feels cannot commit to keeping the UK in the customs union forever, because her Brexiter MPs won't let her. So it does not work as a backstop. And anyway the Article 50 rules say that the Withdrawal Agreement must not contain provisions for a permanent trading relationship between the whole of the UK and the EU. Which is a hideous Catch 22.

7) There is a solution. She could ignore her Brexiter critics and announce the UK wanted written into the Political Declaration – not the Withdrawal Agreement – that we would be staying permanently in the customs union. This is one bit of specificity the rest of the EU would allow into the Political Declaration. And it could be nodded at in the Withdrawal Agreement.

8) But if she announces we are staying in the Customs Union she would be crossing her reddest of red lines because she would have to abandon her ambition of negotiating free trade deals with non-EU countries. Liam Fox would be made redundant.

9) She knows, because her Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins has told her, that her best chance – probably her only chance of securing a Brexit deal – is to sign up for the customs union.

10) In its absence, no-deal Brexit is massively in play.

11) But a customs-union Brexit deal would see her Brexiter MPs become incandescent with fury.

12) Labour of course would be on the spot, since its one practical Brexit policy is to stay in the Customs Union.

13) This therefore is May's Robert Peel moment. She could agree a Customs Union Brexit and get it through Parliament with Labour support – while simultaneously cleaving her own party in two.

Finally, in an elegiac piece, Richard North contends that the UK didn't need to wind up where it is:

A reader takes me to task for making comparisons between the Brexit negotiations and the Allied invasion of Normandy

Yet it is precisely because Mrs May seems to have chosen an adversarial route rather than a consensual process that I have projected her failings in militaristic terms..

In reality, it would have been best to approach the Brexit process not so much as the end of a relationship as a redefinition, where the need to continue close cooperation continues, even if it is to be structured on a different basis

Here, though, lies the essential problem. The EU, as a treaty-based organisation, does not have the flexibility to change its own rules just to suit the needs of one member, and especially one which is seeking to leave the Union. Yet, on the other hand, the UK government has political constraints which prevent it making concessions which would allow the EU to define a new relationship

But, having put herself in a position where she is demanding something that the EU cannot give, she herself has no alternative but to adopt an adversarial stance – if for no other reason than to show her own political allies and critics that she is doing her best to resolve an impossible situation.

If there is a light at the end of this tunnel, it sure looks like the headlight of an oncoming train, the Brexit end date bearing down on the principals.


PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

I can't help but wonder whether the proposed time extension was proposed mischievously by EU negotiators precisely to set off divisions among the Tories. While Barniers no.1 aim is a deal, the close to no.2 aim must surely be to ensure that in the event of no deal (or a clearly clapped together bad interim deal), 100% of the blame goes to London. So far, they are doing a good job with that.

Its a little concerning that Merkel was so off-message, even though she is obviously correct that a no-deal means a hard border, which is a failure by any standard. I'm pretty sure we won't see any overt disagreements among the EU 27 as they won't want to give the UK the satisfaction of having sown dissent. However, that doesn't mean there won't be frantic background pressure from some (probably pushed by business) to do some sort of deal, even a bad one. That will inevitable mean leaning heavily on Dublin, if it is seen as the last obstacle. Any such pressure will be private, not public I'm sure.

vlade , October 19, 2018 at 7:33 am

The damage limitation is there, for sure, but it's always aimed on rest of the world (i.e. all but the UK, where the EU will be target in any outcome). TBH, I'm not sure how much that's needed now..

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:10 am

I wonder if the various negotiating teams are reminded of that nursery rhyme I learned as a child -- "and the wheels on the bus go round and round ".

As line one of section one of Article 50 explicitly states (and would therefore be given substantial weight in any reading of the Article itself):

Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU)
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

The U.K. government cannot change the constitutional settlement for Northern Ireland without the agreement of the people of the six counties and the Republic and the rest of the U.K. "Nothing about us, without us" in popular parlance. And Republicans need to give their consent for any change affecting devolved matters (which is enforceable via a Petition of Concern). EU laws and directives are devolved matters. Constitutionally, no one can force anything on anyone in the province.

What the EU is asking the U.K. to do is impossible.

What the U.K. is asking the EU to do is impossible.

A hard border is also impossible, both as an outcome of treaty obligations and also as a practical matter.

Therefore a no-deal Brexit is inevitable. Therefore, so is a hard border. Which is an impossibility -- politically and operationally.

No wonder this can got kicked down the road last December. But now we have, oh, look, what's this here? Who left this can lying around?

David , October 19, 2018 at 7:27 am

I'm not sure. I had always read that sentence as meaning "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements for withdrawing from treaties in general" ie much more narrowly focused. Normally, any government has a sovereign right to withdraw from treaties, but it could be the case, for example, that in some countries parliament has to be informed, debates have to be held etc, and that's the case that's being covered here. Not to say that my interpretation (if correct) makes the situation any easier.
I posted a long comment on the French media reporting of Wednesday's talks yesterday. If I have a moment, I'll look to see if there's anything fresh today. One thing to look out for will be signs of tension between Paris and Brussels.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:41 am

I would need a lawyer well versed in international treaty interpretations to give a proper opinion and ultimately a court to rule on this.

What the wording definitely does not say (we can all read it for ourselves) is anything along the lines of " may initiate " or " may invoke its right to withdraw " or suchlike followed by the bit about constitutional adherences. Thus the requirements to act constitutionally must likely be expected to apply to Article 50 in their entirety. Apart from any lawyerly parsing, this is also common sense.

The section says a Member State may withdraw and it has to (this is so stating the obvious the treaty drafting must have had this specifically in mind to mention it) be constitutional about it. The EU cannot ask a Member State to conduct its withdrawal unconstitutionally.

disillusionized , October 19, 2018 at 9:15 am

No, that's not what it means – what it means is that as far as EU law is concerned, EU law ends there. It's wholly up to the withdrawing state to define and consider.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:50 am

Yes, and the Member State can't act unconstitutionally in respect of its own withdrawal proceedings. The EU is reserving the right not to accept any instruction in the matter of a withdrawal from the EU from the said Member State which is unconstitutional for that Member State. Nor can the EU foist unconstitutional acts onto a Member State in respect of the withdrawal. Its a basic principle of any legal system and any law and any jurisprudence that Party A cannot induce Party B to break the law as a result of an agreement between them and for that agreement to then remain valid.

As a simpler example, I draw up an agreement that says you'll pay me £100 in a week's time and you must get the money by whatever means possible. Fast forward a week and you don't have the £100. I can't use our agreement as an excuse for you to commit an unlawful act (say, go and steal someone's wallet) "because we've got an agreement you'll pay me, so that makes it okay no matter what, so long as you give me the money". Nor can you use your being party to the agreement to say "sorry, I don't have the money, but you can steal it from my Aunt Flossie, she's never gonna know you took it".

David , October 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

I have a suspicion we are (nearly) saying the same thing. See the separate thread below. A country that signs the Lisbon Treaty accepts that any decision to withdraw will have to be taken according to its own constitutional arrangements. This is a national obligation, but I don't see how the EU could refuse to accept the notification on the basis that it had been unconstitutionally arrived at, or what standing they would have. I've never heard of anything similar happening elsewhere.
To rephrase your example. My partner and I lend you £100 and you say that we can have it back any time we want. I ask for it back, and you refuse to give it to me on the basis that, in your view, this has to be a joint request from my partner and me.

vlade , October 19, 2018 at 7:32 am

I buy this only partially, as Scotland has some freedom to set taxes, and NI has also diverged from other UK laws (the infamous abortion rights).

Of course, from that, to staying in single market is quite a jump, but one could argue that since majority of the NI voted "remain" (by some margin) they clearly DO wish to stay in the single market.

Also the "the rest of the UK" is dubious – it's really "without the say so from the Westminster Parliament". See Scottish Indy referendum – I didn't notice they run it in England as well? (if they did, I suspect Scots could have been independend by now).

That said, even the above can still be done by a single poll that NI republicans actually already called for i.e. if there's a hard-border Brexit, NI should get a reunification vote.

TBH, that's MY suggestion to the impasse. The backstop becomes a reunification referendum. Not time limited – once the transition period is done, it's done, nor really challengable. You want SM, you go European, or you stay within the UK. I'd like to see DUP to froth on that..

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 7:57 am

It's stated right at the top of the Good Friday Agreement absolutely explicitly:

It is accepted that all of the institutional and constitutional arrangements – an Assembly in Northern Ireland , a North/South Ministerial Council, implementation bodies, a British-Irish Council and a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and any amendments to British Acts of Parliament and the Constitution of Ireland – are interlocking and interdependent and that in particular the functioning of the Assembly and the North/South Council are so closely inter-related that the success of each depends on that of the other.

Treaty texts rarely get so unarguably clear.

This is why I suspect there was such a push in February to get Stormont up and running again. Without it, everything was stuck in constitutional limbo and lacking any possibility of constitutionally-authenticated approvals. Similar any possibility of a border poll. Without a vote in the Assembly, how can the U.K. government have any pretence (that would withstand a UKSC challenge) that it was responding to a democratic imperative issued by NI?

Of course, the U.K. government could do whatever the heck it likes by a reintroduced Direct Rule. At which point the Good Friday Agreement is toast (and the Republic would have to explicitly buy-in to Direct Rule being initiated). This must be one of the DUP's main game plans. They really don't care that much about borders in the Irish Sea if they can get rid of the Good Friday Agreement. The DUP would be quite happy to paint the Garvaghy Road emerald green from end to end if they could rip that up for good.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:23 am

An additional complication to this though is the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference , which explicitly gives the Irish government a say in non-devolved matters, including the Common Travel area and EU matters. So at least in theory, the British government must (if the Irish government insists on reconstituting the Council, which they haven't so far) engage with the Irish government for any change – including Brexit – to be constitutional.

Its been speculated here that Varadkar has not called for the BIIC to be held in order not to inflame matters with the DUP.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

Yes, I think this holds a lot of water. Especially since the Republic amended its constitution to facilitate the GFA, it shows how seriously it took the matter. While politically it may be gruesome for the U.K. to contemplate that it would not be possible to leave the EU without as a minimum consulting the Republic, I too think there is at least a possibility it was in fact legally obligated via the GFA to do exactly that.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

I read that entirely differently again – my (completely laymans) interpretation is that it means a countries request for withdrawal must be internally constitutionally based. In other words, a rogue leader can't simply say 'I'm launching A.50' in defiance of his own Parliament or courts. Or put another way – the EU can refuse to accept an A.50 application if it can be argued that it was not generated legally in the first place.

David , October 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

I think that's right, though most treaties like this contain some ambiguity in their wording. Interestingly, the French text gives a slightly different impression.
"Tout État membre peut décider, conformément à ses règles constitutionnelles, de se retirer de l'Union," which would be translated as "Any member state may decide, in accordance with its constitutional provisions, to leave the Union." The commas make it clear that, in French at least, the only decision that has to be taken constitutionally under the Treaty, is the decision to leave (alinea 1). Once that decision is taken the states has to inform the EU (alinea 2). Of course, there's a standing general requirement on governments to behave constitutionally, but that would be a matter for the domestic courts, not the EU. It must also be true that they should respect their constitutional rules during the negotiation process. Interestingly, Art 46 of the Vienna Convention on Treaties deals exactly with your point from the other end – what happens if a state signs a treaty without going through the proper procedures. I've seen some suggestions on specialist blogs that Art 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was inspired by the arguments about this point.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:57 am

Agreed, except it would be a matter for the CJEU if it was the EU (e.g. the Commission) which was doing the asking (or telling) of the Member State.

jabbawocky , October 19, 2018 at 8:24 am

The answer to your question has to be those that voted Leave in the referendum left the can lying around.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:06 am

Rubbish. The U.K. government had every right to hold a referendum. It was advisory of course. But Parliament had every right to invoke A50 as a result of the result.

What the U.K. government had no right whatsoever to do was to pretend that the Good Friday Agreement obligations could or should be fudged away. Nor that the EU or the Republic should tolerate this or go along with it. The fact that they did is, well, their bad. I'm still shaking my head as to why Barnier et al were dumb enough to go along with it at the time. There's probably a good reason we're not privy to.

Phillip Allen , October 19, 2018 at 9:29 am

There's probably a good reason we're not privy to.

Now there's some optimism and faith. Our erstwhile leaders have done very little to justify it, in my completely jaded and cynical option.

Clive , October 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

I was being perhaps overly generous -- there's also an awful lot of bad reasons I can think of, too.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 10:46 am

A year or so ago there was a little discussion of this in some parts of the Irish media. The thinking seemed to be that the government at the time (pre-Varadkar) had calculated that it was too divisive (in terms of the potential impact on NI politics) to be seen to be taking too aggressive a stance over Brexit (with hindsight, this was very naive, the DUP don't need outside help to be divisive).

FG was also very worried about giving any electoral help to Sinn Fein.

With hindsight, I think this was a major miscalculation on a number of levels – I don't think they anticipated that the stupidity of the London government would force them to take such a strong stance on the border issue, they thought it could be finessed by way of taking a more neutral stance.

begob , October 19, 2018 at 11:22 am

I think these are May's options:
1. Canada+++ with backstop – the DUP say NO! and she loses a vote of confidence.
2. EFTA + EEA without CU – she comes back in triumph – "No CU!" – but she loses DUP and Ultras so needs Corbyn, who will probably cry "No CU!" with contrary sentiment.
3. CU with backstop – Labour says it fails test #2 (at least), but she hopes their remainers defy the whip.

Peston is at option 3, but omits the backstop.

bold'un , October 19, 2018 at 7:22 am

Labour could help vote through a {blind brexit' with an extended Transition} in exchange for a post-deal General Election. This could suit May in that it would be risky for the Tories to change leaders in an election atmosphere. The British Public can then decide WHO best can negotiate the future Trade relationship (though sadly not the WHAT as it must be negotiated).

The Rev Kev , October 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

You wonder what is in it for May to stay in her job as Prime Minister. All indications are that she is a perfect example of the Peter Principle which is how she ended up with the job. You think too that she would be tempted to chuck the whole business and say "Here Boris – it's all yours!" with all the joy of throwing a live grenade. Maybe, in the end, it is like Milton had Satan say once – "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven".

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 8:14 am

An Irish politician once said that she was advised by an experienced colleague 'your worst day in government is better than your best day in opposition' . This is why politicians are so often incapable of turning down offers of coalition.

I don't believe it has occurred to May for one minute to resign or step aside. Power is what drives people like her (i.e. almost all politicians). Its the nature of the beast.

David , October 19, 2018 at 9:13 am

Macron's official statement after the European Council is here Interestingly, only about a third of the text was devoted to Brexit, and much of that was in turn a restatement of EU priorities – especially unity and the Single Market – and confidence in Barnier. All the technical solutions are known, said Macron, and it is for the UK to come up with some new ideas for compromises. The hope was to reach an agreement in the next few weeks, including "necessary guarantees for Ireland." The French media has essentially confined itself to reporting what Macron said.
What this shows, I think, is an increasing irritation among European leaders that Brexit, which should have been sorted out long ago, has been taking up the time that should really have been devoted to more important subjects, like migration and the deepening of economic and financial cooperation The British are regarded as a major irritant, incapable of behaving like a great power, paralysed by internal political splits and capable of doing a lot of collateral damage. The EU seems increasingly unwilling to devote any more time to Brexit until the UK comes up with some genuinely useful ideas – hence the cancellation of the November summit.

PlutoniumKun , October 19, 2018 at 10:42 am

Thats probably true, but if so, its very shortsighted. If the UK crashes out, for several months there will be nothing else on the plate of western Europe to deal with, there will be deep implications certainly from Germany to Spain. And if it causes more wobbles in the already very wobbly Italian banks, it'll be even more of a headache, to put it mildly.

David , October 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I agree, but I think it's at least partly the UK's doing. A modicum of common sense and political realism could have avoided this situation. The problem is that Brexit, as a subject, has the nasty twin characteristics of being at once extremely complicated and politically lunatic. I think EU leaders are focusing on the second, and in some ways May has become almost light relief. But jokes stop being funny after a while, and I think Macron is reflecting a wider belief among national leaders that only the UK can sort this out: you broke it, you fix it.

If there were issues which, whilst difficult, were potentially fixable then I think a lot more effort would have gone into the negotiations from EU leaders. But they must feel they are trapped in some Ionesco farce or (to vary the metaphor) trying to negotiate with the Keystone Cops.

Except the Keystone Cops happen to be playing with hand grenades. There's no doubt that European leaders are taking a crash-out seriously (the French have published a draft bill giving the government emergency powers to deal with such a situation) but I think there's a also widespread sense of helplessness. What can the EU actually do that it hasn't already done? All they can hope for is an outbreak of common sense in London, and I think we all know how likely that is. In the circumstances, you might as well concentrate on subjects where progress is actually possible.

MichaelSF , October 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

A reader takes me to task for making comparisons between the Brexit negotiations and the Allied invasion of Normandy

Would Dunkirk be a better comparison?

[Oct 09, 2018] Brexit Crunch Is the EU Trying to Save the UK from Itself Is That Even Possible

Oct 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Brexit Crunch: Is the EU Trying to Save the UK from Itself? Is That Even Possible? Posted on October 8, 2018 by Yves Smith The UK press is all over the map on the state of Brexit. That makes making sense of things even harder than usual.

At a minimum, it show that the EU's thumping of May at last month's Salzburg conference has led to an uptick in activity, as the EU27 leaders set an earlier deadline for the UK to serve up something realistic than the UK had previously thought it had (October versus November).

But it's far from clear that all the thrashing around and messaging amounts to progress. As we'll discuss, some press reports claim the EU is showing more flexibility, but the changes appear to be almost entirely cosmetic. If so, it would represent a cynical calculation that MPs are so illiterate about technical details that adept repackaging will get the dog to eat the dog food.

Another thing to keep in mind is that negotiators are always making progress until a deal is dead. The appearance of momentum can create actual momentum, or at least buy time. But here, time is running out, so the question is whether either side has made enough of a shift so as to allow for a breakthough.

One thing that may have happened, and again this is speculative, is that more key players in the EU are coming to realize that a crash out will inflict a lot of damage on the EU. A transition period is actually much more beneficial to the EU than the UK. It would not only allow the EU more time to prepare, but also enable it to better pick the UK clean of personnel and business activities that can move to the Continent in relatively short order.

By contrast (and not enough people in the UK appear to have worked this out), the UK will crash out with respect to the EU in either March 2019 or the end of December 2020. There's no way the UK will have completed a trade deal with the EU by then, unless it accedes to every EU demand. Recall that the comparatively uncomplicated Canada trade agreement took seven years to negotiate and another year to obtain provisional approval. And Richard North points out another impediment to negotiations: " .the Commission has to be re-appointed next year and, after Brexit, it will not be fully in operation until the following November." Now there are still some important advantages to securing a transition agreement, and they may be mainly political (who wants to be caught holding that bag?) but the differences may not be as significant for the EU as the UK. The UK will wind up having the dislocations somewhat spread out, first having to contend with falling out of all the trade deals with third countries that it now has through the EU in March 2019, and then losing its "single market" status with the EU at the end of 2020. But will the UK also be so preoccupied with trying to stitch up deals with the rest of the world that it loses its already not great focus on what to do with the EU?

That isn't to say there won't be meaningful benefits to the UK if it can conclude a Withdrawal Agreement with the EU and win a transition period. For instance, it has a dim hope of being able to get its border IT systems upgraded so as to handle much greater transaction volumes, a feat that seems pretty much unattainable by March 2019.

Two more cautionary note regarding these divergent news stories. The first is that we've seen this sort of thing before and generally, the optimistic reports have not panned out. However, they have generally ben from unnamed sources. While we do have a very thin BBC article with Jean-Claude Junkcer saying the odds of a deal had improved and Tusk making cautiously optimistic noises, Leo Vardarkar was more sober and the piece even admitted, "However, there is still no agreement on some issues, including how to avoid new checks on the Irish border."

Second, they appear to be mainly about claimed progress or deadlocks on the trade front. Recall that Article 50 makes only a passing reference to "the future relationship," which is only a non-binding political declaration. However, these issue seems to have assumed more importance than it should on the UK end, because it has become a forcing device for the coalition to settle on what sort of Brexit it wants .and it remains fundamentally divided, as demonstrated by last week's Conservative Party conference. By contrast, there seems to be little news on the real sticking point, the Irish border.

So to the rumors:

The EU has offered the UK a "Canada plus plus plus" deal . Even if you take the Guardian story at face value, there is less there there than the breathless reactions in the UK would lead you to believe.

First, recall that "Canada plus plus plus" has long been derided by the EU as yet another way for the UK to try to cherry pick among the possible post-Brexit arrangements. Boris Johnson nevertheless talked it up as a preferred option to May's too-soft Chequers scheme at the Tory conference . and May did not mention Chequers . Did EU pols take that to mean May had abandoned Chequers to appease the Ultras?

However, as we read things (and we need to watch our for our priors), Donald Tusk appears to be mouthing a pet UK expression to convey a different idea:

Tusk said the EU remained ready to offer the UK a "Canada-plus-plus-plus deal" – a far-reaching trade accord with extra agreements on security and foreign policy.

That reads as a Canada style free trade agreement plus additional pacts on non-trade matters. That is not what "Canada plus plus plus" signified on the UK side: it meant the UK getting a free trade deal with other (typically not specified) goodies so as to make it "special" and more important, reduce friction.

The Ultras were over the moon to have Tusk dignify Johnson's blather, even as the very next paragraph of the Guardian story revealed the outtrade over what "Canada plus plus plus" stands for:

Boris Johnson and other hard Brexit Tories seized on Tusk's remarks, arguing they showed it was time for May to immediately switch tack and abandon her Chequers proposals for remaining in a customs union for food and goods. "Tusk's Canada-plus-plus-plus offer shows there is a superb way forward that can solve the Irish border problem and deliver a free-trade-based partnership that works well for both sides of the channel," Johnson said.

If you managed to get further into the story, it sounded more cautionary notes:

Some Brexiters overlook that the EU's version of a so-called Canada deal incorporates a guarantee to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, which would keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union and single market. "Canada plus-plus-plus" is also a fuzzy concept that has no formal status in EU negotiating documents. Michel Barnier, the bloc's chief negotiator, mentioned the idea in an interview with the Guardian and other papers last year.

"I don't know what Canada-plus-plus-plus means, it is just a concept at this stage," Varadkar said, adding that it did not negate the need for a "legally binding backstop" – a guarantee to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland if there is no agreement on the future trading relationship.

EU to let UK super fudge on "future relationship." Another Guardian story reported that the EU might let the UK sign an even less committal version of the "future relationship" section , allowing the UK to "evolve" [gah] its position during the transition period. Frankly, this seems to be allowing for a change in government. I don't see this as that meaningful a concession, since this statement was never legally binding. However, given that Parliament must ratify the final agreement, formally registering that that section isn't set in stone probably would facilitate passage as well as any future change in direction. And if you suspect this is a big dog whistle to Labour, you be right:

An EU source said: "The message to Labour is that the UK could move up Barnier's stairs if the British government changes its position in the transition period. Voting in favour of the deal now would not be the last word on it."

May whips Labour for Chequers . You thought May gave up on Chequers? Silly you! She just had the good sense to go into her famed submarine mode while Boris was having yet another turn in the limelight. From the Telegraph :

Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs to force through Theresa May's Chequers Brexit deal risking open warfare with the party's own MPs.

The Government's whips' office has spent recent months making contact with the MPs as a back-up option for when Theresa May's Brexit deal is put to a vote in Parliament in early December, The Daily Telegraph has been told.

News of the wooing operation has infuriated Eurosceptic Tory MPs who are now threatening to vote against elements of the Budget and other "money bills" to force Mrs May to drop her Chequers plan.

If true, this is very high stakes poker. Brexit Central says there are 34 Tory MPs who have already declared they will oppose any "deal based on Chequers". And, to change metaphors, they appear ready to go nuclear if they have to. From the Times:

Brexiteers have issued a last-ditch threat to vote down the budget and destroy the government unless Theresa May takes a tougher line with Brussels -- amid signs that she is on course to secure a deal with the European Union.

Leading members of the hardline European Research Group (ERG) last night vowed to vote down government legislation after it was claimed the prime minister will use Labour MPs to push her plan through the Commons.

I turned to Richard North's site after I had pretty much finished this post, and he finds the Telegraph story as peculiar as I do :

Reporting of the key issue of our times gets more bizarre by the day. The latest contribution to the cacophony is the Telegraph, telling us that Ministers are in talks with as many as 25 Labour MPs "to force through Theresa May's Chequers Brexit deal".

That approaches are being made to Labour MPs is not news, but the idea that attempts to sell them the Chequers deal confounds recent indications that the prime minister is preparing to roll out "Chequers II", with enough concessions to all the Commission to conclude a withdrawal agreement.

If we are looking at such a new deal, then it cannot be the case that anyone is attempting to convince Labour MPs of the merits of the old deal. And, even if Ministers succeeded in such a task, it would be to no avail. Chequers, as such, will never come to parliament for approval because it will never form the basis of a deal that can be accepted by Brussels.

That should consign the Telegraph story to the dustbin now piled high with incoherent speculation, joining the steady flow of reports which are struggling – and failing – to bring sense to Brexit.

EU to announce "minimalist" no-deal emergency plans . Interestingly, the Financial Times has not had any articles in the last few days on the state of UK/EU negotiations. It instead depicted the EU as about to turn up the heat on the UK by publishing a set of "no deal" damage containment plans. I've never understood the line of thought, which seems to be taken seriously on both sides of the table, that acting like a responsible government and preparing for a worst-case scenario was somehow an underhanded negotiation ploy. 1 The pink paper nevertheless pushes that notion:

Brussels is planning to rattle the UK by unveiling tough contingency measures for a no-deal Brexit that could force flight cancellations and leave exporters facing massive disruption if Britain departs the EU without an exit agreement in March.

Subtext: it's the EU's fault all those bad things could happen .when it is the UK that is suing for divorce. Back to the story:

Against expectations in London, the plan is likely to encompass a limited number of initiatives over a maximum of eight months, diplomats who have seen the document told the Financial Times.

Notably, the EU is not planning special arrangements for customs or road transport and only limited provisions for financial services -- a decision that, if seen through, would cause long queues and operational difficulties at ports and airports.

The minimalist emergency plan, designed to be rolled out should there be no breakthrough in Brexit talks, would increase the pressure over already fraught negotiations between the UK and the EU ahead of a summit on 17 October. EU plans would then be firmed up by December .

The commission has thus far resisted outlining details of its plans for a no-deal Brexit for fear it would disrupt tense negotiations. But with just six months to go before Brexit, EU member states have pressed Brussels to speed up its preparations in case no deal is agreed in time.

Brussels will outline general principles for deciding the fields requiring special measures, which must only mitigate significant disruptions in areas of "vital union interest". The measures would be applied by the EU until the end of 2019 on a unilateral basis. They could be revoked with no notice, according to diplomats.

The plans are intended to enable basic air services, allowing flights to land and fly straight back to the UK, and to extend air safety certificates and security exemptions for UK travellers in transit. Visa-free travel is envisaged for British citizens, as long as it is reciprocated

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The commission has thus far resisted outlining details of its plans for a no-deal Brexit for fear it would disrupt tense negotiations. But with just six months to go before Brexit, EU member states have pressed Brussels to speed up its preparations in case no deal is agreed in time.

Brussels will outline general principles for deciding the fields requiring special measures, which must only mitigate significant disruptions in areas of "vital union interest". The measures would be applied by the EU until the end of 2019 on a unilateral basis. They could be revoked with no notice, according to diplomats.

The plans are intended to enable basic air services, allowing flights to land and fly straight back to the UK, and to extend air safety certificates and security exemptions for UK travellers in transit. Visa-free travel is envisaged for British citizens, as long as it is reciprocated.

And then we have the stories that are head-scratchers. The Sun reports that Barnier says a deal is nigh .based on:

Hopes of progress have been fuelled by expectations that Theresa May has come forward with a compromise solution to the Irish border.

The PM will propose keeping the whole of the UK in a customs union as a final fallback but allowing Northern Ireland to stick to EU regulations.

The EU has rejected having the UK collect EU customs post Brexit. Moreover, a customs union, as we've said repeatedly, does not give the UK its keenly-sounght frictionless trade. Making Northern Ireland subject to EU regulations means accepting the jurisdiction of the ECJ, since compliance is not a matter of having a dusty rule book, but of being part of the same regulatory apparatus. Aside from the fact that this solution won't be acceptable to the DUP, it would also result in a hard land border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. So are we to take this as incomprehension on the part of the Sun's reporters, or that the Government's negotiators continue to be as thick as a brick? Sadly, the Guardian tells a similar tale :

Ministers expect to discuss Brexit in a week's time when some hope that officials will have clarified how the UK proposes to handle cross-border regulatory checks if no progress is made on agreeing a free trade deal with the EU.

There has been speculation that this solution could involve the whole of the UK agreeing to be part of a common customs area with the EU in order to avoid the possibility of an invisible border separating Northern Ireland from Great Britain, in the event that no long-term deal is signed.

Richard North has the best take. He points the rumors from the UK side come from people who present themselves as being on the inside but probably aren't, or not enough to have a good feel, and continues :

Yet nothing seems to be leaking from No.10, with officials saying merely that proposals would emerge "soon". Says the Guardian, these are likely to form the basis of technical negotiations with Brussels "as officials scramble to find a form of words for the withdrawal agreement that the UK proposes to sign with the EU".

Any such timing will, of necessity, rule out any formal consideration by the October European Council. Those who understand the detail will know that, before anything can be considered by the European Council, it must first be agreed by the General Affairs Council, meeting as 27.

Currently, this is scheduled for 16 October (Tuesday week) – a day before the Article 50 European Council which starts its two-day session on the 17th. On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be enough time to factor in any last-minute proposals from London, especially as details must first be circulated to Member State capitals for comment.

This does nothing, though, but confirm that which we already know – that if there is to be a final showdown, then it is going to come at the special meeting in November (if this actually happens), or even the meeting scheduled for 13-14 December.

Even the rumor mills don't give much reason to think there is a solution to the Irish border. If May really hasn't abandoned Chequers, all the fudging to come up with a content-free "future relationship" section will be to the detriment of UK citizens, since the Government will keep holding on to a Brexit plan that the EU will never accept. But the best interests of ordinary people have gotten short shrift all along.

[Oct 08, 2018] I have been meeting more and more Americans abroad who permanently left the US and told me it was the best thing they did, or that they never want to go back. Why is that so? Is it due to POTUS?

Oct 08, 2018 | www.quora.com

Jason Perno , Cyber Security Specialist and Forensic Analyst at NNIT A/S (2017-present)

Answered 17h ago

I left the United States because I married a Danish woman. We tried living in New York, but we struggled a lot. She was not used to being without the normal help she gets from the Danish system. We... (more) Loading

I left the United States because I married a Danish woman. We tried living in New York, but we struggled a lot. She was not used to being without the normal help she gets from the Danish system. We made the move a few years ago, and right away our lives started to improve dramatically.

Now I am working in IT, making a great money, with private health insurance. Yes I pay high taxes, but the benefits outweigh the costs. The other things is that the Danish people trust in the government and trust in each other. There is no need for #metoo or blacklivesmatter, because the people already treat each other with respect.

While I now enjoy an easier life in Denmark, I sit back and watch the country I fiercely love continue to fall to pieces because of divisive rhetoric and the corporate greed buying out our government.

Trump is just a symptom of the problem. If people could live in the US as they did 50 years ago, when a single person could take care of their entire family, and an education didn't cost so much, there would be no need for this revolution. But wages have been stagnant since the 70's and the wealth has shifted upwards from the middle class to the top .001 percent. This has been decades in the making. You can't blame Obama or Trump for this.

Meanwhile, I sit in Denmark watching conservatives blame liberalism, immigrants, poor people, and socialism, while Democrats blame rednecks, crony capitalism, and republican greed. Everything is now "fake news". Whether it be CNN or FOX, no one knows who to trust anymore. Everything has become a conspiracy. Our own president doesn't even trust his own FBI or CIA. And he pushes conspiracy theories to mobilize his base. I am glad to be away from all that, and living in a much healthier environment, where people aren't constantly attacking one another.

Maybe if the US can get it's healthcare and education systems together, I would consider moving back one day. But it would also be nice if people learned to trust one another, and trust in the system again. Until then, I prefer to be around emotionally intelligent people, who are objective, and don't fall for every piece of propaganda. Not much of that happening in America these days. The left has gone off the deep end playing identity politics and focusing way too much on implementing government mandated Social Justice. Meanwhile the conservatives are using any propaganda and lying necessary to push their corporate backed agenda. This is all at the cost of our environment, our free trade agreements, peace treaties, and our European allies. Despite how much I love my country, I breaks my heart to say, I don't see myself returning any time soon I'm afraid.

[Oct 02, 2018] >A Rational Backlash Against Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... By Lubos Pastor, Charles P. McQuaid Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Pietro Veronesi, Roman Family Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Originally published at VoxEU ..."
"... The vote for Brexit and the election of protectionist Donald Trump to the US presidency – two momentous markers of the ongoing pushback against globalization – led some to question the rationality of voters. This column presents a framework that demonstrates how the populist backlash against globalisation is actually a rational voter response when the economy is strong and inequality is high. It highlights the fragility of globalization in a democratic society that values equality. ..."
"... See original post for references ..."
"... Aversion to inequality thus reflects envy of the economic elites rather than compassion for the poor. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on September 28, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. Haha, Lambert's volatility voters thesis confirmed! They are voting against inequality and globalization. This important post also explains how financialization drives populist rebellions.

By Lubos Pastor, Charles P. McQuaid Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Pietro Veronesi, Roman Family Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Originally published at VoxEU

The vote for Brexit and the election of protectionist Donald Trump to the US presidency – two momentous markers of the ongoing pushback against globalization – led some to question the rationality of voters. This column presents a framework that demonstrates how the populist backlash against globalisation is actually a rational voter response when the economy is strong and inequality is high. It highlights the fragility of globalization in a democratic society that values equality.

The ongoing pushback against globalization in the West is a defining phenomenon of this decade. This pushback is best exemplified by two momentous 2016 votes: the British vote to leave the EU ('Brexit') and the election of a protectionist, Donald Trump, to the US presidency. In both cases, rich-country electorates voted to take a step back from the long-standing process of global integration. "Today, globalization is going through a major crisis" (Macron 2018).

Some commentators question the wisdom of the voters responsible for this pushback. They suggest Brexit and Trump supporters have been confused by misleading campaigns and foreign hackers. They joke about turkeys voting for Christmas. They call for another Brexit referendum, which would allow the Leavers to correct their mistakes.

Rational Voters

We take a different perspective. In a recent paper, we develop a theory in which a backlash against globalization happens while all voters are perfectly rational (Pastor and Veronesi 2018). We do not, of course, claim that all voters are rational; we simply argue that explaining the backlash does not require irrationality. Not only can the backlash happen in our theory; it is inevitable.

We build a heterogeneous-agent equilibrium model in which a backlash against globalization emerges as the optimal response of rational voters to rising inequality. A rise in inequality has been observed throughout the West in recent decades (e.g. Atkinson et al. 2011). In our model, rising inequality is a natural consequence of economic growth. Over time, global growth exacerbates inequality, which eventually leads to a pushback against globalization.

Who Dislike Inequality

Agents in our model like consumption but dislike inequality. Individuals may prefer equality for various reasons. Equality helps prevent crime and preserve social stability. Inequality causes status anxiety at all income levels, which leads to health and social problems (Wilkinson and Pickett 2009, 2018). In surveys, people facing less inequality report being happier (e.g. Morawetz et al. 1977, Alesina et al. 2004, Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Ramos 2014). Experimental results also point to egalitarian preferences (e.g. Dawes et al. 2007).

We measure inequality by the variance of consumption shares across agents. Given our other modelling assumptions, equilibrium consumption develops a right-skewed distribution across agents. As a result, inequality is driven by the high consumption of the rich rather than the low consumption of the poor. Aversion to inequality thus reflects envy of the economic elites rather than compassion for the poor.

Besides inequality aversion, our model features heterogeneity in risk aversion. This heterogeneity generates rising inequality in a growing economy because less risk-averse agents consume a growing share of total output. We employ individual-level differences in risk aversion to capture the fact that some individuals benefit more from global growth than others. In addition, we interpret country-level differences in risk aversion as differences in financial development. We consider two 'countries': the US and the rest of the world. We assume that US agents are less risk-averse than rest-of-the-world agents, capturing the idea that the US is more financially developed than the rest of the world.

At the outset, the two countries are financially integrated – there are no barriers to trade and risk is shared globally. At a given time, both countries hold elections featuring two candidates. The 'mainstream' candidate promises to preserve globalization, whereas the 'populist' candidate promises to end it. If either country elects a populist, a move to autarky takes place and cross-border trading stops. Elections are decided by the median voter.

Global risk sharing exacerbates US inequality. Given their low risk aversion, US agents insure the agents of the rest of the world by holding aggressive and disperse portfolio positions. The agents holding the most aggressive positions benefit disproportionately from global growth. The resulting inequality leads some US voters, those who feel left behind by globalization, to vote populist.

Why Vote Populist?

When deciding whether to vote mainstream or populist, US agents face a consumption-inequality trade-off. If elected, the populist delivers lower consumption but also lower inequality to US agents. After a move to autarky, US agents can no longer borrow from the rest of the world to finance their excess consumption. But their inequality drops too, because the absence of cross-border leverage makes their portfolio positions less disperse.

As output grows, the marginal utility of consumption declines, and US agents become increasingly willing to sacrifice consumption in exchange for more equality. When output grows large enough -- see the vertical line in the figure below -- more than half of US agents prefer autarky and the populist wins the US election. This is our main result: in a growing economy, the populist eventually gets elected. In a democratic society that values equality, globalization cannot survive in the long run.

Figure 1 Vote share of the populist candidate

Equality Is a Luxury Good

Equality can be interpreted as a luxury good in that society demands more of it as it becomes wealthier. Voters might also treat culture, traditions, and other nonpecuniary values as luxury goods. Consistent with this argument, the recent rise in populism appears predominantly in rich countries. In poor countries, agents are not willing to sacrifice consumption in exchange for nonpecuniary values.

Globalization would survive under a social planner. Our competitive market solution differs from the social planner solution due to the negative externality that the elites impose on others through their high consumption. To see if globalization can be saved by redistribution, we analyse redistributive policies that transfer wealth from low risk-aversion agents, who benefit the most from globalization, to high risk-aversion agents, who benefit the least. We show that such policies can delay the populist's victory, but cannot prevent it from happening eventually.

Which Countries Are Populist?

Our model predicts that support for populism should be stronger in countries that are more financially developed, more unequal, and running current account deficits. Looking across 29 developed countries, we find evidence supporting these predictions.

Figure 2 Vote share of populist parties in recent elections

The US and the UK are good examples. Both have high financial development, large inequality, and current account deficits. It is thus no coincidence, in the context of our model, that these countries led the populist wave in 2016. In contrast, Germany is less financially developed, less unequal, and it runs a sizable current account surplus. Populism has been relatively subdued in Germany, as our model predicts. The model emphasises the dark side of financial development – it spurs the growth of inequality, which eventually leads to a populist backlash.

Who are the Populist Voters?

The model also makes predictions about the characteristics of populist voters. Compared to mainstream voters, populist voters should be more inequality-averse (i.e. more anti-elite) and more risk-averse (i.e. better insured against consumption fluctuations). Like highly risk-averse agents, poorer and less-educated agents have less to lose from the end of globalization. The model thus predicts that these agents are more likely to vote populist. That is indeed what we find when we examine the characteristics of the voters who supported Brexit in the 2016 EU referendum and Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The model's predictions for asset prices are also interesting. The global market share of US stocks should rise in anticipation of the populist's victory. Indeed, the US share of the global stock market rose steadily before the 2016 Trump election. The US bond yields should be unusually low before the populist's victory. Indeed, bond yields in the West were low when the populist wave began.

Backlash in a booming economy

In our model, a populist backlash occurs when the economy is strong because that is when inequality is high. The model helps us understand why the backlash is occurring now, as the US economy is booming. The economy is going through one of its longest macroeconomic expansions ever, having been growing steadily for almost a decade since the 2008 crisis.

This study relates to our prior work at the intersection of finance and political economy. Here, we exploit the cross-sectional variation in risk aversion, whereas in our 2017 paper, we analyse its time variation (Pastor and Veronesi 2017). In the latter model, time-varying risk aversion generates political cycles in which Democrats and Republicans alternate in power, with higher stock returns under Democrats. Our previous work also explores links between risk aversion and inequality (Pastor and Veronesi 2016).

Conclusions

We highlight the fragility of globalization in a democratic society that values equality. In our model, a pushback against globalization arises as a rational voter response. When a country grows rich enough, it becomes willing to sacrifice consumption in exchange for a more equal society. Redistribution is of limited value in our frictionless, complete-markets model. Our formal model supports the narrative of Rodrik (1997, 2000), who argues that we cannot have all three of global economic integration, the nation state, and democratic politics.

If policymakers want to save globalization, they need to make the world look different from our model. One attractive policy option is to improve the financial systems of less-developed countries. Smaller cross-country differences in financial development would mitigate the uneven effects of cross-border risk sharing. More balanced global risk sharing would result in lower current account deficits and, eventually, lower inequality in the rich world.

See original post for references


JTMcPhee , September 28, 2018 at 10:34 am

"rising inequality is a natural consequence of economic growth. " For which definition of growth? Or maybe, observing that cancer is the very model of growth, for any definition?

Nice model and graphs, though.

What kind of political economy is to be discerned, and how is one to effectuate it with systems that would have to be so very different to have a prayer of providing lasting homeostatic functions?

The Rev Kev , September 28, 2018 at 10:50 am

And what happens in a world where, due to depleted resources, growth is no longer an option and we start living in a world of slow contraction?

paulmeli , September 28, 2018 at 12:28 pm

Starvation pain and death absent some kind of (fair) rationing mechanisms.

Olga , September 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Actually, I can hardly wait. If nothing else will get folks motivated to effect change – this could (let's hope).

drumlin woodchuckles , September 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

The global overclass can hardly wait too. They think they are in position to guide the change to their desired outcome. Targeted applied Jackpot Engineering, you know.

joey , September 28, 2018 at 5:24 pm

hoping for an alpha test tube environment or better soma in my next go round?

Bobby Gladd , September 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Frase's "Quadrant IV" – Hierarchy + Scarcity = Exterminism (see "Four Futures")

d , September 28, 2018 at 2:11 pm

At some point if the majority dont think they get any benefit from the economy, they will put a stake through it, and replace it with some thing that works?now that could be some thing very different, but it will happen

Olga , September 28, 2018 at 2:22 pm

I had the same thought – growth as defined in the current, neoliberal model. There is nothing inevitable about inequality – it is caused by political choices.

Tony Wikrent , September 28, 2018 at 10:44 am

It is painful to find these assumptions accepted at NC.

"the economy is strong"

Not from my perspective. Or from the perspectives of the work force or the industrial base replacing themselves. Or the perspective of a 4 to 5 trillion dollar shortfall in infrastructure funding.

"In our model, rising inequality is a natural consequence of economic growth."

Well, that simply did not happen 1946 to 1971.

"populist delivers lower consumption but also lower inequality to US agents."

REALLY? Consumption of WHAT? Designer handbags and jeans? What about consumption of mass public transit and health care services? I'm very confident that a populist government that found a way to put a muzzle on Wall Street and the banksters would increase consumption of things I prefer while also lessening inequality.

Reading through this summary of modeling, it occurred to me that the operative variable was not inequality so much as "high financial development."

paulmeli , September 28, 2018 at 12:32 pm

It is painful to find these assumptions accepted at NC.

"the economy is strong"

"In our model, rising inequality is a natural consequence of economic growth."

"populist delivers lower consumption but also lower inequality to US agents."

Agreed, BS but likely to be skewered as the comment section picks up steam.

There's a lot of skeptics lurking here.

JEHR , September 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for pointing out the weaknesses in the article.

a different chris , September 28, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Posting doesn't apply "acceptance" at NC. I think that has been made pretty darn clear on a number of occasions.

Olga , September 28, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Yes and also, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. These days, just saying that globalisation leads to inequality and people act rationally, when they push back – even though choices are limited – is pretty revolutionary. We need other analyses along those lines, maybe with a few corrections. Thanks for posting!

shinola , September 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

"Redistribution is of limited value in our frictionless, complete-markets model"

That's nice. But in what universe do these "frictionless, complete-markets" actually exist?

juliania , September 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm

" In our model, a populist backlash occurs when the economy is strong because that is when inequality is high. "

Yes to the above comments. This sentence really stuck in my throat. A strong economy to me is one that achieves balanced equality. Somehow this article avoids the manner in which the current economy became "strong". Perhaps a better word is "corrupt". (No 'perhaps' really; I'm just being polite.)

Otherwise some good points being made here.

juliania , September 28, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I also didn't like that the anti-neoliberalists are being portrayed as not having sympathy for the poor. Gosh, we are a hard-hearted lot, only interested in our own come-uppance and risk-adversity.

Robert Valiant , September 28, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Isn't equality just a value?

A "strong" economy is one that is growing as measured by GDP – full stop. Inequality looks to me like a feature of our global economic value system, not a bug.

paulmeli , September 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Inequality is a problem of distribution. Is a strong economy one that provides the most to a few or a fair share to the many?

High GDP growth could reflect either but which is most important?

If your neighbor is out of work it looks like a recession, if you're out of work it feels like a depression.

Synoia , September 28, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Friction-less Markets exist in where there is much lube.

Trump is probably an expert in that area.

paulmeli , September 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm

"Redistribution is of limited value in our frictionless, complete-markets model"

This is complete BS. So is your model.

Kit , September 28, 2018 at 5:36 pm

A universe with spherical consumers of uniform size and density.

Economics is like physics, or wants to be. If you want practicality, you need something more like engineering.

Andrew Watts , September 28, 2018 at 5:56 pm

I only read these articles to see what the enemy is thinking. The vast majority of economists are nothing more than cheerleaders for capitalism. I imagine anybody who strays too far from neoliberal orthodoxy is ignored.

Patrick , September 28, 2018 at 10:56 am

the Trump/Brexit populist thinking has nothing to do with equality. it has do do with who should get preferential treatment and why -- it's about drawing a tight circle on who get's to be considered "equal".

not sure how you can pull a desire for equality from this (except through statistics, which can be used to "prove" anything).

Outis Philalithopoulos , September 28, 2018 at 1:23 pm

I'm confused – so the evidence of statistics should be discounted, in favor of more persuasive evidence? Consisting of your own authoritative statements about the motives of other people?

In the future, please try to think about what sorts of arguments are likely to be persuasive to people who don't already agree with you.

paulmeli , September 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm

In the Trump/neoliberal world we get what we "deserve". Or do we deserve what we get?

The majority of the population believes the losers didn't try hard enough.

In a world full of Einsteins the bottom 20% would still live in poverty. Life is graded on a curve.

Louis Fyne , September 28, 2018 at 10:57 am

If you consider yourself an "environmentalist," then you have to be against globalization.

(From the easiest to universally agree upon) the multi-continental supply chain for everything from tube socks to cobalt to frozen fish is unsustainable, barring Star Trek-type transport tech breakthroughs.

(to the less easily to universally agree upon) the population of the entire developed (even in the US) would be stablized/falling/barely rising, but for migration.

mass migration-fueled population growth/higher fertility rates of migrants in the developed world and increased resource footprint is bad for both the developed world and developing world.

Jeremy Grimm , September 28, 2018 at 2:51 pm

The long, narrow, and manifold supply lines which characterize our present systems of globalization make the world much more fragile. The supply chains are fraught with single points of systemic failure. At the same time Climate Disruption increases the risk that a disaster can affect these single points of failure. I fear that the level of instability in the world systems is approaching the point where multiple local disasters could have catastrophic effects at a scale orders of magnitude greater than the scale of the triggering events -- like the Mr. Science demonstration of a chain-reaction where he tosses a single ping pong ball into a room full of mousetraps set with ping pong balls. You have to be against globalization if you're against instability.

The entire system of globalization is completely dependent on a continuous supply of cheap fuel to power the ships, trains, and trucks moving goods around the world. That supply of cheap fuel has its own fragile supply lines upon which the very life of our great cities depends. Little food is grown where the most food is eaten -- this reflects the distributed nature of our supply chains greatly fostered by globalization.

Globalization increases the power and control Corporate Cartels have over their workers. It further increases the power large firms have over smaller firms as the costs and complexities of globalized trade constitute a relatively larger overhead for smaller firms. Small producers of goods find themselves flooded with cheaper foreign knock-offs and counterfeits of any of their designs that find a place in the market. It adds uncertainty and risk to employment and small ventures. Globalization magnifies the power of the very large and very rich over producers and consumers.

I believe the so-called populist voters and their backlash in a "booming" economy are small indications of a broad unrest growing much faster than our "booming" economies. That unrest is one more risk to add to the growing list of risks to an increasingly fragile system. The world is configured for a collapse that will be unprecedented in its speed and scope.

Olga , September 28, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Actually, the way I see it – if one considers oneself an environmentalist, one has to be against capitalism, not just globalization. Capitalism is built on constant growth – but on a planet, with limited resources, that simply cannot work. Not long term unless we're prepared to dig up and/or pave over everything. Only very limited-scale, mom-and-pop kind of capitalism can try to work long term – but the problem is, it would not stay that way because greed gets in the way every time and there's no limiting greed. (Greed as a concept was limited in the socialist system – but some folks did not like that.)

tagyoureit , September 28, 2018 at 3:22 pm

"Capitalism is built on constant growth." I have a 'brand new' view of photosynthesis. Those plants (pun intended) are 'capitalist pigweeds'

John Wright , September 28, 2018 at 11:21 am

The paper posits:

" Given their low risk aversion, US agents insure the agents of the rest of the world by holding aggressive and disperse portfolio positions."

That low risk aversion could be driven by the willingness of the US government to provide military/diplomatic/trade assistance to US businesses around the word. The risk inherent in moving factories, doing resource extraction and conducting business overseas is always there, but if one's government lessens the risk via force projection and control of local governments, a US agent could appear to be "less risk averse" because the US taxpayer has "got their back".

This paper closes with

"If policymakers want to save globalization, they need to make the world look different from our model. One attractive policy option is to improve the financial systems of less-developed countries. Smaller cross-country differences in financial development would mitigate the uneven effects of cross-border risk sharing. More balanced global risk sharing would result in lower current account deficits and, eventually, lower inequality in the rich world."

Ah yes, to EVENTUALLY lower inequality, the USA needs to "improve the financial systems of less-well developed countries"

Perhaps the USA needs to improve its OWN financial system first?

Paul Woolley has suggested, the US and UK financial systems are 2 to 3 times they should be.

And the USA's various financial industry driven bubbles, the ZIRP rescue of the financial industry, and mortgage security fraud seem all connected back to the USA financial industry.

Inequality did not improve in the aftermath of these events as the USA helped preserve the elite class.

Maybe the authors have overlooked a massive home field opportunity?

That being that the USA should consider "improving" its own financial system to help inequality.

shinola , September 28, 2018 at 1:17 pm

In my model, eventually, we are all equally dead.

Lee , September 28, 2018 at 11:26 am

I'm glad to see that issues and views discussed pretty regularly here in more or less understandable English have been translated into Academese. Being a high risk averse plebe, who will not starve for lack of trade with China, but may have to pay a bit more for strawberries for lack of cheap immigrant labor, I count myself among the redistributionist economic nationalists.

jrs , September 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm

I suspect strawberries would be grown elsewhere than the U.S., without cheap immigrant labor (unless picking them is somehow able to be automated).

polecat , September 28, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Yes, it's called u-pickum @ home ..

Right now I'm making raisins from the grapes harvested here at home .. enough to last for a year, or maybe two. Sure, it's laborous to some extent, but the supply chain is very short .. the cost, compared to buying the same amount at retait rates, is minuscule, and they're as 'organic' as can be. The point I'm trying to make is that wth some personal effort, we can all live lighter, live slower, and be, for the most part, contented.
Might as well step into collapse, gracefully, and avoid the rush, as per J. M. Greer's mantra.

Wukchumni , September 28, 2018 at 12:45 pm

The UK had become somewhat dependent on Switzerland for wristwatches prior to WW2, and all of the sudden France falls and that's all she wrote for imports.

Must've been a mad scramble to resurrect the business, or outsource elsewhere.

My wife and I were talking about what would happen if say the reign of error pushes us into war with China, and thanks to our just in time way of life, the goods on the shelves of most every retailer, would be plundered by consumers, and maybe they could be restocked a few times, but that's it.

Now, that would shock us to our core consumerism.

Inode _buddha , September 28, 2018 at 2:11 pm

People might actually start learning how to fix stuff again, and value things that can be fixed.

polecat , September 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm

I recently purchased a cabinet/shelf for 20 tubmans, from a repurposing/recycling business, and, after putting a couple of hundred moar tubmans into it .. some of which included recycled latex paints and hardware .. transformed it into a fabulous stand-alone kitchen storage unit. If I were to purchase such at retail, it would most likely go for close to $800- $1000.00 easy !!
With care, this 'renewed' polecat heirloom will certainly outlive it's recreator, and pass on for generations henceforth.

Duck1 , September 28, 2018 at 6:24 pm

I thought a Tubman was a double sawbuck, or at least a Hamilton. Otherwise, you're doing it right kid.

HotFlash , September 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Oh well, Canada not on any of the charts. Again. We are most certainly chopped moose liver. Wonder what the selection criteria were?

JEHR , September 28, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Yes, thank goodness there was no mention of Canada's failure to negotiate a trade treaty with our best friend. All of a sudden, Canadians seem to be the target of a lot of ill will in other articles.

JTMcPhee , September 28, 2018 at 1:47 pm

I think it's just ill- informed jealousy. Us US mopes think Canadians are much better off than we Yanks, health care and such. You who live there have your own insights, of course. Trudeau and the Ford family and tar sands and other bits.

And some of us are peeved that you don't want us migrating to take advantage of your more beneficent milieu.

Wukchumni , September 28, 2018 at 1:54 pm

It's a different vibe up over, their housing bubble crested and is sinking, as the road to HELOC was played with the best intentions even more furiously than here in the heat of the bubble.

Can Canada bail itself out as we did in the aftermath, and keep the charade going?

Jonathan T McPhee , September 28, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Do they have a sovereign currency, and as yet not exhausted real world extractable resources?

And I guess by "Canada" you are talking about the elite and the FIRE, right? "There are many Canadas " https://www.youtube.com/user/RedGreenTV

Unna , September 28, 2018 at 3:20 pm

Feel free to fill out that 8 inch high pile of Canadian immigration documentation, so ya'all can come on up and join the party. Or just jump on your pony and ride North into the Land of the Grandmother. Trudeau wants more people and has failed to offer proper sacrifice to the god Terminus, the god of borders, so .

Just don't move to "Van" unless you have a few million to drop on a "reno'ed" crack shack. When the god Pluto crawls back into the earth, the housing bubble will burst, and it's not going to be pretty.

Wukchumni , September 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

That's funny as our dam here is called the Terminus Reservoir, if the name fits

I'm just looking for an ancestral way out of what might prove to be a messy scene down under, i'd gladly shack up in one of many of my relatives basements if Max Mad breaks out here.

Unna , September 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Handwriting's been on the wall. Canada's very nice, not perfect, but what place is? And: It's not the imperial homeland.

JerryDenim , September 28, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Great article, interesting data points, but besides placing tariffs on Chinese imports there is nothing populist about Trump, just empty rhetoric. Highly regressive tax cuts for the wealthy, further deregulation, wanton environmental destruction, extremist right-wing ideologues as judges, a cabinet full of Wall Street finance guys, more boiler-plate Neo-Lib policies as far as I can tell.

I fear Trump and the Brexiters are giving populism a bad name. A functioning democracy should always elect populists. A government of elected officials who do not represent the public will is not really a democracy.

feox , September 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Aversion to inequality thus reflects envy of the economic elites rather than compassion for the poor.

That's ridiculous. Indeed, the Brexit campaign was all about othering the poor and powerless immigrants, as well as the cultural, artistic, urban and academic elites, never the the moneyed elites, not the 1%. The campaign involved no dicussion what's so ever of the actual numbers of wealth inequality.

When deciding whether to vote mainstream or populist, US agents face a consumption-inequality trade-off. If elected, the populist delivers lower consumption but also lower inequality to US agents.

How can anyone possibly write such a thing? The multi-trillion tax cut from Donald Trump represents a massive long time rise in inequality. Vis-à-vis Brexit, the entire campaign support for that mad endeavor came from free-trader fundamentalists who want to be free to compete with both hands in the global race-to-the-bottom while the EU is (barely) restraining them.

Trump and Brexit voters truly are irrational turkeys (that's saying a lot for anyone who's met an actual turkey) voting for Christmas.

Jonathan T McPhee , September 28, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Some of us mopes who voted for Trump did so as a least-bad alternative to HER, just to try to kick the hornet's nest and get something to fly out: So your judgment is that those folks are "irrational turkeys," bearing in mind how mindless the Christmas and Thansgiving turkeys have been bred to be?

Better to arm up, get out in the street, and start marching and chanting and ready to confront the militarized police? I'd say, face it: as people here have noted there is a system in place, the "choices" are frauds to distract us every couple of years, and the vectors all point down into some pretty ugly terrain.

Bless those who have stepped off the conveyor, found little places where they can live "autarkically," more or less, and are waiting out the Ragnarok/Gotterdammerung/Mad Max anomie, hoping not to be spotted by the warbands that will form up and roam the terrain looking for bits of food and fuel and slaves and such. Like one survivalist I spotted recently says as his tag-line, "If you have stuff, you're a target. If you have knowledge. you have a chance–" this in a youtube video on how to revive a defunct nickel-cadmium drill battery by zapping it with a stick welder. (It works, by the way.)He's a chain smoker and his BMI must be close to 100, but he's got knowledge

precariat , September 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm

The papers's framing of the issues is curious: the populace has 'envy' of the well-off; and populism (read envy) rises when the economy is strong and inequality rises (read where's my yaht?).

The paper lacks acknowledgement of the corruption, fraud, and rigging of policy that rises when an overly financialized economy is 'good.' This contributes to inequality. Inequality is not just unequal, but extremely disproportionate distributions which cause real suffering and impoverishment of the producers. It follows (but not to the writer of this paper) that the citizens take offense at and objection to the disproprtionate takings of some and the meager receipts of the many. It's this that contributes to populism.

And the kicker: to save globalization, let's financialize the less developed economies to mitigate cross-border inequalities. Huh? Was not the discussion about developed nations' voters to rising inequality in face of globalization? The problem is not cross-border 'envy.' It's globalization instrinsically and how it is gamed.

Mark Pontin , September 28, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Short version: It's the looting, stupid.

Agreed.

knowbuddhau , September 28, 2018 at 3:54 pm

I'm with Olga. It's good to see that voting "wrong" taken seriously, and seen as economically rational. Opposing globalization makes sense, even in the idiosyncratic usage of economics.

The trouble, of course, is that the world of economics is not the world we live in.

Why does the immigrant cross the border? Is it only for "pecuniary interests," only for the money? Then why do so many send most of it back across the border, in remittances?

If people in poor countries aren't willing to sacrifice for "luxuries," like a dignified human life, who was Simon Bolivar, Che Guevara, or more recently, Berta Cáceres?

Seems to be a weakness of economic models in general: it's inconceivable that people do things for other than pecuniary interests. In the reductionist terms of natural science, we're social primates, not mechanical information engines.

If this model were a back patio cart, like the one I'm building right now, I wouldn't set my beer on it. Looks like a cart from a distance, though, esp when you're looking for one.

Darthbobber , September 28, 2018 at 6:02 pm

To the extent that the backlash has irrational aspects in the way it manifests, I would suspect that it relates to the refusal of the self-styled responsible people to participate in opening more rational paths to solutions, or even to acknowledge the existence of a problem. When the allegedly responsible and knowledgeable actors refuse to act, or even see a need to act, it's hardly surprising that the snake oil vendors grow in influence.

Charlie , September 28, 2018 at 6:21 pm

I'm always leery of t-test values being cited without the requisite sample size being noted. You need that to determine effect size. While the slope looks ominously valid for the regression model, effects could be weak and fail to show whether current account deficits are the true source. Financialization seems purposely left out of the model.

[Sep 27, 2018] Why Not a Merit-Based Immigration System by Scott McConnell

Notable quotes:
"... Salam's case is that America's legal immigration system needs be reformed on lines roughly similar to what the Trump administration now and others before it have long advocated: changing the rules to place a greater emphasis on the economic skills of immigrants while deemphasizing the role played by family "reunification" would ensure both that new immigrants are an economic plus to the economy and, more importantly, that they are more likely to integrate into the American cultural mainstream. ..."
"... First of all, Salam reminds us, an alarming number of recent immigrants and their families are poor. This does not mean that almost all of them have not improved their economic status by migration: they have. ..."
"... Salam explains that under the current system, most visas are doled out according to family ties -- not skills or education. And the larger the number of immigrants is from a given country, the lower their average earnings and educational outcomes will be in the U.S. Conversely, the harder it is for a given group to enter the United States, the more likely it is that immigrants will be drawn from the top of their country's pecking order. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Why Not a Merit-Based Immigration System? Reihan Salam's latest book makes the case for an overhaul along Trumpian lines.

It's hard to imagine a more needed contribution to America's immigration debate than Reihan Salam's civil, sober, and penetrating Melting Pot or Civil War? At a moment when the major dueling discourses revolve around lurid depictions of immigrant crime by one side, and appeals to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and accusations of racism by the other, Salam's data-driven argument about the future consequences of today's immigration choices could not be more timely.

While Salam is the child of middle-class professionals from Bangladesh who settled in New York at a time when there were virtually no Bengali speakers in the city (there are now tens of thousands), apart from a few personal anecdotes, his book could have been written by an author of any ethnicity. Yet in our increasingly racialized debate, an argument made by a "son of immigrants" (as the book's subtitle announces) may be less likely to face summary dismissal from the centrist liberals and moderates who are its most important audience.

Salam's case is that America's legal immigration system needs be reformed on lines roughly similar to what the Trump administration now and others before it have long advocated: changing the rules to place a greater emphasis on the economic skills of immigrants while deemphasizing the role played by family "reunification" would ensure both that new immigrants are an economic plus to the economy and, more importantly, that they are more likely to integrate into the American cultural mainstream. This would put the U.S. more in line with the generally politically popular systems in place in Canada and Australia. The proposal is tempered, or balanced, by measures to shore up the condition of the American working poor and an amnesty giving long-term resident illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, as well as ambitious measures to enhance economic development in the Third World.

But the meat of Melting Pot or Civil War? is not in the proposal but in the getting to it -- a route which passes through numerous nuggets gleaned from contemporary research and a depressing if persuasive analysis of the consequences if America stays on its present course.

First of all, Salam reminds us, an alarming number of recent immigrants and their families are poor. This does not mean that almost all of them have not improved their economic status by migration: they have. A low-skilled job in the United States pays several times better than such work in many countries, so low-skilled migration is, without a doubt, a benefit to low-skilled migrants. Recent immigrants grateful for the opportunity to live in America may accept living in poverty, though Salam is right to remind us of the miserable conditions, redolent of the teeming tenements of the early 20th century, in which their lives often unfold. He makes the subtle point that part of the current appeal of America's major cities to upper middle-class professionals is the presence of a politically docile service class of low-skilled immigrants, many of them undocumented.

But the families such immigrants form tend to be poor as well: today's immigrants face headwinds to upward mobility that the storied Ellis Island generations did not. There was much more need in 1900 for unskilled labor than there is now, and no substantive gap then existed in education level between the immigrants and the general American population. The data Salam deploys is not overly dramatic but decisive nonetheless: children of immigrants now make up 30 percent of all low-income children (where they are 24 percent of the whole); roughly half of immigrant families have incomes within 200 percent of the poverty line; nearly a third of immigrant children grow up in families headed by someone without a high school diploma; the average Mexican immigrant has 9.4 years of schooling, rising to 12 in the second generation but flatlining after that.

As the gap between the earnings of American college graduates and others has grown in the past two generations, this means that the social problem of the intergenerational transmission of poverty is being intensified by the ever continuing flow of poor, unskilled immigrants, both legal and illegal. And while such immigrants may well be politically quiescent, their children are unlikely to be.

Why We Want Immigrants Who Add Value How to Resolve the Conservative Split Over Immigration

These somber facts are balanced, and in many ways veiled, by the immigrant success stories which Americans rightly celebrate. But while it may be unkind to say so, immigrants don't arrive as blank slates, mysteriously sorted out upon reaching these shores so that some become doctors and software entrepreneurs.

As Salam makes clear, successful immigrants tend to come from relatively rich and urbanized societies. The parents of Google founder Sergey Brin were accomplished scholars. An astounding 45 percent of immigrants from India -- who make up the latest version of a high-achieving "model minority" -- are Brahmins, members of the tiny Indian hereditary upper caste. Indians who come here tend to be "triple selected": most enter the country by way of high-skilled worker visas, which means they are products of India's highly competitive education system, which serves only a fraction of India's population. Similarly, Chinese immigrants tend to come from that country's college-educated elite.

Salam explains that under the current system, most visas are doled out according to family ties -- not skills or education. And the larger the number of immigrants is from a given country, the lower their average earnings and educational outcomes will be in the U.S. Conversely, the harder it is for a given group to enter the United States, the more likely it is that immigrants will be drawn from the top of their country's pecking order.

One might conceive of this as a stable system -- after all, there are many jobs for low-skilled immigrants. But of course immigrants have children, at rates far higher than the native born, and the children of lower-skilled immigrants make up a continually growing share of Americans at or near the poverty level. "The children of elite immigrants make their way into America's elite, where they add a much needed dash of superficial diversity, enough to make us forget their inconvenient working class counterparts." The result, of which there is already ample evidence among the Millennial cohort of immigrant children, is a growing population which has grown up in poverty, isn't doing especially well in income or education, and perceives the American dream cynically, as a kind of whites-only sham. This divide will influence our politics for the foreseeable future. The question is how much.

♦♦♦

While much of Salam's analysis is a deep dive into statistics of intergenerational poverty, educational outcomes, and the growing achievement gap, he doesn't shy from the ominous implications of the racialization of the immigration debate. There is ample evidence that college-educated Americans of all ethnicities marry one another at reasonable and growing rates, producing a fair number of mixed-race people who feel themselves part of the cultural mainstream. As scholars have long reminded us, "white" is a broad and fungible category in American history, and there is a fair prospect that the college-educated and middle classes will intermarry enough to produce a 21st-century version of the storied melting pot.

But that isn't the case with poorer immigrants, even as their children learn English. Current family unification statutes encourage poor, non-white immigrant communities to continually replenish their new arrivals. Thus there are two competing processes going on -- amalgamation, in which more educated immigrant families are joining the middle-class mainstream, intermarrying with whites and with one another, and racialization, in which a new immigrant group finds itself ghettoized and cut out of the mainstream. This latter phenomenon is most pronounced in some Mexican-American communities, which are demographically the largest immigrant groups, but exists in many immigrant communities.

It is in this subset, for example, where ISIS has found recruits, and where -- on a less dramatic level -- the Marxist Left is able to make inroads. As America's demography grows less white, the political salience of radical immigrants of color is likely to grow. While Salam exercises great restraint describing the phenomenon, his foreboding is unmistakable: "The danger, as I see it, is that as the logic of the melting pot fails to take hold, and as more newcomers are incorporated into disadvantaged groups, the level of interethnic tension will skyrocket, and we'll look back wistfully on the halcyon politics of the Trump years." Or again, "Imagine an America in which wealthy whites and Asians wall themselves off from the rest of society and low wage immigrants and their offspring constitute a new underclass."

Of course it is not merely racial minority immigrants who are tempted by political radicalism. The current extremist white backlash is widely noted by scholars and journalists. But among the liberal establishment it is viewed not as problem to be alleviated but a social development to be crushed. Salam observes immigration scholars who are scrupulous about reporting the ways immigration is making America less united, threatening social cohesion, "leading to greater divisions and tensions," while never considering reducing or reforming immigration (with greater emphasis on skills) as a possible answer to the problems. They hope -- against considerable social science evidence that political instability is endemic to multicultural societies -- that greater diversity will somehow bury ethnic conflict. This Salam calls the Backlash Paradox: while mass immigration contributes to bigotry and polarization, the only acceptable option among elites is to double down and hope the storm passes, as slowing the pace of immigration is considered a "callow surrender to bigotry."

I have focused on the social and political elements, but Salam's argument also relies a great deal on economics, much of it focused on economic choices molded by a relatively high-skilled or low-skilled labor force. His major point is that labor shortages spur technological innovation, while loose labor markets discourage it. Labor scarcity, Salam observes, has been the historical secret to American prosperity, spurring one labor-saving innovation after another. A high-immigration economy, with a completely elastic number of workers willing to work for a minimum wage or less, is an economy under a completely different calculus. There is no question we should prefer the first.

♦♦♦

I have only minor caveats with this outstanding book. It might be a necessary concession to the immigrationist lobby to maintain the raw number of immigrants as high as it is at present, but it seems likely that lowering it to, say, half a million a year, roughly the number urged by the Clinton administration's task force on immigration, would break the fever more quickly and lead to far more rapid assimilation of recent immigrants.

I find Salam's earnest plea for the United States to dramatically raise its spending to accelerate economic development in the Third World well intended, but likely futile. An answer which comes to mind is one that diplomat George F. Kennan suggested a quarter of a century ago, that the single greatest benefit the United States can deliver to the world's poor is to maintain itself as a relatively high civilization able to inspire by example, and provide help and insight to others seeking answers to their problems.

And though it is a subject in itself, I wish Salam had directly addressed the new leftist ideology built around the fighting of "white privilege" -- which now includes under its rubric everything from getting rid of standardized tests to delegitimizing police departments, railing against the First Amendment to ripping down statues of long-admired white Americans. This largely white-led phenomenon does far more to intensify nativist dread about being reduced to minority status than any racist agitation leveled against immigrants of color, however lamentable the latter might be.

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars .

[Sep 23, 2018] European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed Theresa May appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a "soft Brexit."

Sep 23, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 22, 2018 at 11:49 am

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/09/22/euro-s22.html

From the Super Schadenfreude Press:

"UK Prime Minister Theresa May suffered political humiliation in Salzburg, when European Union (EU) leaders rebuffed her appeal to give at least conditional support to her Chequers proposal for a "soft Brexit."

May was given only 10 minutes to address EU heads of state Wednesday, after dinner at the informal summit, during which she appealed to her audience, "You are participants in our debate, not just observers."

She said she had counted on at least supportive noises for her "serious and workable" plan, given that she was seeking to head off a potential challenge from the "hard-Brexit"/Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party. She warned that the UK could be torn apart -- with respect to Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as by social tensions; that if her government fell, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party could win a general election; and cited the potential damage to the EU itself of lost trade, investment and military support from the UK.

Instead, her address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be "unworkable.

No matter how these conflicts play out, Britain and the whole of Europe face a worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU apart. The growth of both inter-imperialist and social antagonisms found dramatic form in Brexit, which the dominant sections of the City of London, big business, all the major parties and Britain's allies in the US and Europe all opposed. Yet two years later, May is fighting a desperate struggle against her anti-EU "hard-Brexit" faction, the US is led by a president who has declared his support for the breakup of the EU, and numerous far-right governments have taken power in part by exploiting popular hostility to EU-dictated austerity."

"worsening crisis that threatens to tear the EU-(and hence NATO)- apart. " .

:O)

[Sep 22, 2018] The implications of US-China trade war - World Socialist Web Site

18 September 2018
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Popularity of National Socialism in capitalist country like Germany was exactly due to that process of corruption of working class who embassy stoped to question system as long as provided them with goods. ..."
"... Henceforth, most goods manufactured for US consumption were to be produced abroad, from Mexico to China. Once US based multinationals started down this road, European and even Japanese ones followed. This did not mean an increase in productive forces but a substitution of one labour force for another. ..."
"... Thus the rise of Chinese industry was as much a part of this process as the deindustrialisation of formerly prosperous parts of the US and the UK. This has nothing to do with the evolution of our species and everything to do with the evolution of capitalism. This is what I mean by globalisation. ..."
"... It has not eradicated national borders but is a major factor in the recent development of far right nationalism in Europe. It is a strong contributor to the restructuring of western economies so that only a minority of British workers have full time permanent jobs. It is also used as leverage to drive down wages in western economies. ..."
"... I do not believe what I mean by globalisation is progressive at all. It has been pushed by the most reactionary political forces in western societies as an integral part of what the WSWS calls a social counter revolution. As the WSWS again points out it makes the preservation of national welfare states or a decent standard of living for working class people impossible. I am not calling for this to be reversed under capitalism. ..."
"... "...globalised production is the exploitation of lower wage rates in developing countries." ..."
"... As if domestic production were not the same thing. The author is essentially arguing for "lesser evil" exploitation in the interests of society as a whole. Reformists always do. ..."
"... "The crisis also exposed in full glare another of the central myths of the capitalist order -- that the state is somehow a neutral or independent organisation committed to regulating social and economic affairs in the interests of society as a whole." - Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers ..."
"... "Keynes was a reformist and capable of formulating policies which, if followed, would make capitalism more amenable to the interests of the majority of people." ..."
"... The most important theoretical source of his thinking is his own work "The General Theory of Employment, Money and Interest" which is available to read or download free online. ..."
"... The US wants to reinforce it's declining global hegemonic position at any cost. Now they started with economic war against countries they see as not cooperating to their demands, but under current conditions this could easily transform into Global war at some point in future. ..."
Sep 22, 2018 | www.wsws.org

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis ten years ago, the leaders of the world's major powers pledged that never again would they go down the road of protectionism which had such disastrous consequences in the 1930s -- deepening the Great Depression and contributing to the outbreak of world war in 1939.

Yesterday US President Donald Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in what the Washington Post described as "one of the most severe economic restrictions ever imposed by a US president."

A levy of 10 percent will be imposed starting from September 24 and will be escalated to 25 percent in 2019 if the US does not receive what it considers to be a satisfactory agreement. The new tariffs, which will cover more than 1,000 goods, come on top of the 25 percent tariff already imposed on $50 billion worth of industrial products. Trump has threatened further measures on the remaining Chinese exports to the US totalling more than $250 billion.

China has threatened retaliatory action including tariffs and other, as yet unspecified measures, against the US, meaning that the world's number one and number two economies are locked into a rapidly escalating trade war that will have global consequences.

Announcing the decision, Trump called on China to take "swift action" to end what he called its "unfair trade practices" and expressed the hope that the trade conflict would be resolved.

But there is little prospect of such an outcome because, while the US is demanding that the trade deficit with China be reduced, the conflict does not merely centre on that issue. China has made offers to increase its imports from the US, all of which have been rejected. The key US demand is that the Chinese government completely abandon its program of economic development and remain subservient to the US in high-tech economic sectors.

As the position paper issued by Washington in May put it: "China will cease providing market-distorting subsidies and other types of government support that can contribute to the creation or maintenance of excess capacity in industries targeted by the Made in China 2025 industrial plan."

In other words, China must completely scrap the foundational structures of its economy so that it presents no threat to the economic dominance of US capitalism, a dominance which the US intends to maintain, if it considers necessary, by military means. This was made clear earlier this year when Washington designated China as a "strategic competitor," that is, a potential military enemy. This is the inherent, objective, logic of the latest trade war measures.

Their full significance can only be grasped when viewed with the framework of the historical development of the global capitalist economy.

After the disastrous decade of the 1930s, and as the world plunged into war, leading figures within the Roosevelt administration recognised that this situation was due in no small measure to the division of the world into rival trade and economic blocs which tariff and other trade restrictions had played a major role in creating.

Post-war planning centred on trying to overcome this contradiction between the global economy and its division into rival great powers and blocs through the development of a mechanism that ensured the expansion of world trade. This was the basis of the series of measures set in place in the immediate aftermath of the war: the Bretton Woods monetary system which tied major currencies to the dollar in fixed exchange rates, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that sought to bring down tariff barriers and the establishment of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to ensure international economic collaboration.

These measures, however, did not overcome the inherent contradictions of capitalism, above all between the global economy and the nation-state system. Rather, they sought to contain and mitigate them within a system based on the overwhelming economic dominance of the US.

But the growth of the world capitalist economy and the strengthening of the other major powers undermined the very foundations on which they were based -- the absolute dominance of the US. Within the space of a generation, the weakening of the US position was revealed in August 1971 when it scrapped the Bretton Woods monetary system declaring that the dollar would no longer be redeemable for gold.

The period since then has seen the ongoing weakening of the position of the US, which was graphically revealed in the financial meltdown ten years ago when the US financial system was shown to be a house of cards based on rampant speculation and outright criminal activity. This situation has continued in the subsequent decade, threatening, another, even more disastrous, financial crisis.

The US is now not only confronted with the economic power of its European rivals but a major new one in the form of China. It is striving to reverse this situation. As Leon Trotsky explained some eighty years ago, the hegemony of the US would assert itself most powerfully not in conditions of boom but above all in a crisis when it would use every means -- economic and military -- against all rivals to maintain its position.

The trade war measures against China are only one expression of this process. The US has already carried out protectionist measures against Europe and Japan through the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium and has threatened tariffs on cars and auto parts, which will be invoked unless they join its push on China.

And as the China tariffs are imposed, top officials of the European Union are meeting to discuss how they might overcome the financial sanctions the US will impose against European companies if they maintain economic ties with Iran after November 4 following the unilateral abrogation of the Iran nuclear deal.

The deal was not overturned because Iran had breached the agreement -- international agencies found that it had fully complied. Rather, the United States unilaterally abrogated the treaty in order to strengthen the strategic position of the US in the Middle East by countering the influence of Iran, and because European corporations stood to benefit from the opening up of new economic opportunities in that country at the expense of their US rivals.

Now the State Department has warned that European companies are "on the railroad tracks" if they defy US sanctions and firms that deal with the "enemy" will be barred from access to the US financial system.

Writing in the 1930s, Leon Trotsky explained that the interdependence of every country in the global economy meant that the program of economic nationalism, of the kind now being practised by the Trump administration, was a reactionary "utopia" insofar as it set itself the task of harmonious national economic development on the basis of private property.

"But it is a menacing reality insofar as it is a question of concentrating all the economic forces of the nation for the preparation of a new war," he wrote five years before the outbreak of World War II.

This "menacing reality" is now once again expressed in the fact that the trade war measures against China, as well as those against Europe and Japan, have all been invoked on "national security" grounds. Just as the US prepares for war, so too do all the other major powers. This drive does not arise from the heads of the capitalist politicians -- their actions are only the translation into politics of the objective logic and irresolvable contradictions of the capitalist system over which they preside.

But there is another more powerful logic at work. The very development of globalised production, which has raised the contradiction of the outmoded nation-state system with its rival great powers to a new peak of intensity, has laid the foundations for a planned world socialist economy. And it has created in the international working class, unified at an unprecedented level, the social force to carry it out.

The latest Trump trade war measures underscore the urgency for the political and theoretical arming of the working class with the program of world socialist revolution, fought for by the International Committee of the Fourth International, if civilisation is to go forward and the plunge into barbarism averted.

Nick Beams

ReplyShare › +

Warren Duzak4 days ago

Beams excellent piece included:
"As the position paper issued by Washington in May put it: "China will
cease providing market-distorting subsidies and other types of government support that can contribute to the creation or maintenance of excess capacity in industries targeted by the Made in China 2025 industrial plan."

This issue of "government support" in China is reflected in the U.S. but in a different way. Nashville and Tennessee governments alone have given hundreds of millions of dollars in "tax incentives," payment for worker training and outright "grants" to corporations in "government support."
Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) got millions for, of all things, furniture for new offices which included thousands of dollars for a guitar-shaped table.
Gaylord's Opryland Resort got almost $14 million from the city to build a $90 million hotel Waterpark that would only be open to hotel guests!
The state and its capitol are prepared to give Amazon more than $1.5 billion to have the corporation move is second U.S. headquarters here.
Like the Chinese government and oligarchs, neither state nor city will reveal the details or total amount.
As the WSWS has so correctly observed before, "the hypocrisy is breathtaking."

Jerome_Stern5 days ago
I should say I do not agree that globalised production is a beneficial or positive economic development. I accept that as a by product there is a positive political result namely the creation and expansion of the international working class. But the only reason for globalised production is the exploitation of lower wage rates in developing countries. If the cost of labour, taking into account currency exchange rates as well as wage levels, were the same in every country and region, there would be no advantage in producing most commodities in Asia for sale in North America or Europe (or vice versa). Also, I do not accept that free trade is in everyone's interest. The only argument ever advanced in it's favour by economists, the comparative advantage argument, is spurious. Even its originators, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, accepted that the benefits would only apply if capital was immobile across national boundaries, which hardly applies today. The US economy's industrial growth, though the result of several factors, was only possible because the US rejected free trade in favour of protective tariffs which protected its infant industries from foreign competition. What is the central fallacy in the comparative advantage argument is that the prosperity of the majority of a country's citizens under capitalism depends on a strong, capital intensive, manufacturing sector, but which also requires a large labour input. Only those jobs can pay a sufficiently high wage to workers. Their spending power also invigorates the whole economy.
Kalen Jerome_Stern4 days ago
Your quite reasonable concerns are partially addressed here with Quasi-Marxist analysis:

FALLACY OF FREE MARKET AND FREE TRADE: A THEORETICAL VIEW.
https://contrarianopinion.w...

Thy major point about this issue global or local is often completely missed namely that this dispute have nothing to do with Workers Socialist Revolution but to perhaps see ways how to save capitalism in a way of sharing more wealth with working class, how to suppress class struggle with Bread and Games or War, an old Roman method of divide and conquer.

Hence, capital controls, tarrifs , barriers, subsidies are instruments of having any possibility of real social policies in capitalism system making it more livable and longer lasting than in case of intensified pressure on working class and class struggle of globalism versus nationalism.

Popularity of National Socialism in capitalist country like Germany was exactly due to that process of corruption of working class who embassy stoped to question system as long as provided them with goods.

Little did they know, that they were in 1930 confronted with no permanent political solution to their class issues via improvement of standard of living and importance of their labor on the propaganda spectrum,but with dead end politics of submission to one political sellouts or another since their forced unity was just subordinated to capitalist imperative of ufettered economic and military growth via extreme exploitation.

And that is what's wrong with nationalism namely it is shutting down paths of class struggle toward class liberation, as it neuters this struggle.

Jerome_Stern Joe Williams4 days ago
There is a difference between the growth of global productive capacity and globalisation. Prior to the latter process, manufacturing capacity was increased including by western investment in developing countries, especially in Latin America. But production in those countries was for local regional and national markets.

The US accepted competition from the German economy as a price to be paid for avoiding the postwar threat of socialism. But the Japanese export driven model of growth was eventually unacceptable. The US demanded the Japanese destroy this model by raising their own currency to a level which made their exports much less competitive. The Japanese rich were given financial opportunities in the US as compensation.

However, when the South Koreans and other nations copied the Japanese model, the US government and US multinationals radically changed their economic policy. A conscious choice was made by the Reagon administration to export manufacturing jobs en masse to developing countries as well as attacking the incomes of US workers who had jobs.

Henceforth, most goods manufactured for US consumption were to be produced abroad, from Mexico to China. Once US based multinationals started down this road, European and even Japanese ones followed. This did not mean an increase in productive forces but a substitution of one labour force for another.

Thus the rise of Chinese industry was as much a part of this process as the deindustrialisation of formerly prosperous parts of the US and the UK. This has nothing to do with the evolution of our species and everything to do with the evolution of capitalism. This is what I mean by globalisation.

It has not eradicated national borders but is a major factor in the recent development of far right nationalism in Europe. It is a strong contributor to the restructuring of western economies so that only a minority of British workers have full time permanent jobs. It is also used as leverage to drive down wages in western economies.

Of course in recent years the Chinese and Indian economies have grown under these policies so that there is now an increase of global capacity. Nor do I believe this process has led to a genuinely more efficient system of production and distribution. To produce products in one part of the world for distribution to another part half way around the world is very inefficient, if the product could be made nearer to the point where it would be used. It however becomes profitable if the labour used to produce it is much cheaper than that available where the the object is to be sold.

I do not believe what I mean by globalisation is progressive at all. It has been pushed by the most reactionary political forces in western societies as an integral part of what the WSWS calls a social counter revolution. As the WSWS again points out it makes the preservation of national welfare states or a decent standard of living for working class people impossible. I am not calling for this to be reversed under capitalism.

That seems impossible. Only the overthrow of capitalism offers the possibility of positive change. But under international socialism, globalised production chains will finally be seen for what they are, an unnecessary and inefficient encumbrance on humanity.

Joe Williams Jerome_Stern3 days ago
I think you are largely confusing globalisation with imperialism. I think you are also misunderstanding the wsws position. The wsws does not call for xenophobic or nationalist policies to close borders and keep workers imprisoned in their home countries to be used as a captive labor force by the domestic bourgeoisie. The wsws calls for an internationalist and proletarian socialist movement in conformity with that advocated by the workers movement ever since the publication of the communist manifesto.
Hermit Crab Jerome_Stern3 days ago
profitability =/= efficiency
Hermit Crab Jerome_Stern2 days ago
I really could not care less what you call it. I just want people to start treating each other better. What makes those with sticky fingers think that they are so G.D. better than everyone else that they can condemn whole segments to poverty and even death, all for the sake of their bits of imaginary ego-boosts?

ALL of the "isms" in the world have never worked out a justification for greed and the lust for power. No matter what the system, crooked people always try to exploit others, and blame justify it all on their "good genes". (edited)

Capitalism is no better or worse because it just doesn't matter what the system is, the crooks will always cheat that system to get more than everyone else.

denis ross Joe Williams4 days ago
An interesting theory to describe what is essentially creation of a world customs union based on the model that created Germany in 1871, the Zollverein. Spreading the customs union (Zollverein) worldwide was the reason for the two world wars--instead of maintaining a world federation politically and economically. The United Nations was designed to be a federation, but under post-1945 changes in the USA and subsequent pressures on the UN and its member states, it began developing into a union, not a federation. This was accompanied with creation of a global Zollverein, tariff free borders and free trade.

The difference politically between a union and a federation is that in a federation the member states award limited operating powers to a central coordinating body which does what the members want; in a union the central body holds all the powers and tells the members what to do.

sumwunyumaynotno denis ross4 days ago
The United Nations "holds all the powers and tells the members what to do" ? That's news to me. As far as I can tell, the members do what they damn well please. The UN is more like a fractured federation with a nearly impotent central body - the so-called "Security Council" - which issues edicts but has no enforcement power. Same with the World Court.
Hermit Crab sumwunyumaynotnoa day ago
The UN was designed by the victors of WWII to be "crippled", mere window-dressing as a calming salve for the developing nations. From the start, it was meant to be largely ineffective as the world's policeman and justice system .

All the nation states with any significant power are still more interested in preserving as much their own power and hegemonic control as possible.

Greg Jerome_Stern4 days ago
"...globalised production is the exploitation of lower wage rates in developing countries."

As if domestic production were not the same thing. The author is essentially arguing for "lesser evil" exploitation in the interests of society as a whole. Reformists always do.

"The crisis also exposed in full glare another of the central myths of the capitalist order -- that the state is somehow a neutral or independent organisation committed to regulating social and economic affairs in the interests of society as a whole." - Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

Hermit Crab Greg3 days ago
I suppose the determination of what constitutes the "interests of society as a whole" depends on which end of the stick one's "society" is holding.
Greg Jerome_Sterna day ago
"However my fundamental advocacy of policy would be that of international socialism the result of which would be the handing of power to the working class to be exercised democratically ."

The "handing of power" from whom exactly?

As it is now, the minority holds the power. So it's reasonable to think you mean they would hand the power over to the majority.

Which would be silly. But whether or not that was your meaning, "the handing of power to the working class to be exercised democratically" besides being exactly backwards, is an opportunist "understanding" of Marxism. It implies a perspective where the state does not need to be destroyed.

"The crucial question for Marx was what was the social material force -- the class -- created by capitalist society itself, which would be the agency, the driving force, of this transformation." - A promotion of the "life-style" politics of the pseudo-left

It's a version of the frequently and historically repeated goal of replacing one petty bourgeoisie minority with another, betraying the material interests of the working class and the revolution every time.

It seems like you might have just mentioned that phrase as an aside but it might indicate the deeper problem.

Before you start analyzing which policies might be recommended (which seems to be mainly what interests you) you have to understand the class nature of the problem. That doesn't come down only to understanding that there are two classes in struggle in society and then applying your everyday petty bourgeois thinking to it.

Have you read David North's Lenin, Trotsky and the Marxism of the October Revolution ? It was written back in March yet it's still posted on the wsws main page--for a reason.

It provides a concise explanation of some of the fundamental ideas and way of thinking you have to understand if you want to have any kind of intelligent conversation about socialism.

sumwunyumaynotno Jerome_Stern4 days ago
Nick Beams did not say that "globalised production chains employed represent a genuinely beneficial development in some deep sense." He said that such an outcome is impossible under capitalism and the system of competing nation-states.

The only "deep sense" is that he said it would be possible for globalization to have a positive effect for humanity if the international working class were able to abolish capitalism, the pursuit of private profit, warring nation-states, and institute socialism.

imaduwa5 days ago
Thank you comrade Nick Beams. US's century is 20th and a bygone one. You finely point out on the basis of Trotskysm the mortal danger that humanity faces resulting from the inter-imperialist rivalry that is escalating by the day.

Besides, the US's taking up of its rival China, the second biggest economy, in trade war pose a military confrontation to which Russia could be attracted on to China side.

Also Russia has been taken up by American imperialism independently as a target. Brexit hard or soft would also confound economic nationalism that is gathering momentum hugely. US sanctions on Iran is bound to sharpen the conflict between European imperialists. Also India appears to be in crisis on whether to abide by US dictats as per its Iranian economic connection especially on oil purchase. US's increasing protectionism has already gone out of control as per its implications to global polity and military activity. In view of this critical situation the role of the working class, national and international, should determine the future of humanity. Role of the revolutionary triumvirate, ICFI/SEP/IYSSE, is of paramount importance. I appeal to national working classes to build SEP as your national party of the socialist revolution. I appeal to youth and students to build your national chapters of the IYSSE in schools, universities etc. as quickly as possible. World war is haunting. Very existannce of the humanity on this palnet is uncertain, if we unitedly as workers, youth and students fail to empower the party of the world revolution, ICFI. Victory to international socialist revolution. Death to protectionism whose major advocate is US capitalism/imperialism. Down with the psudo left and the trade unions.

Jerome_Stern5 days ago
Keynes, who designed the Bretton Woods system, also proposed an international banking system and currency (called the Bancor). The purpose was to prevent the kind of unbalanced world trade which now dominates the global economy. Under his proposed system, countries with chronic trade surpluses would be penalised, thus preventing a situation like the present with some nations being massive exporters and others massive importers. Instead, all countries would hover around balanced trade where their imports equaled their exports in value. The US government told Keynes to shut up about this plan or they would cancel their promised postwar loans to the UK. The reason was that at the time the US planned to be a net exporter. Incidentally, Keynes warned that if the system of managed currency exchange rates were abandoned, the financial markets would become a "virtual senate" which would have the power to dictate economic policies to nation states.
Greg Jerome_Stern4 days ago
"Keynes, who designed the Bretton Woods system, also proposed an international banking system and currency (called the Bancor). The purpose was to prevent the kind of unbalanced world trade which now dominates the global economy."

Perpetually caught in a "lesser evil" loop of some variety or another from which the reformist never escapes, applying the same failed (ruling class) logic over, and over and over and over...

"But this solves nothing because, as Marx's analysis showed, the crises of capitalism cannot be overcome by reforms to the monetary system because, while they necessarily express themselves there, they were rooted in the very foundations of the capitalist economy, in its DNA so to speak -- that is, in the social relations based on profit and the market system." -Ten years after Lehman: New financial crises in the making

Jerome_Stern Greg4 days ago
Keynes' suggestion would have "solved" or rather prevented one problem, but not every problem of capitalism. Keynes was a reformist and capable of formulating policies which, if followed, would make capitalism more amenable to the interests of the majority of people.

He was consciously trying to save capitalism from itself and said so. But you rightly point out there is a major problem with this thinking, namely that it ignores the self interest of governments and capitalists alike, who ignore such concepts of "enlightened" self interest in favour of short term advantage.

Political reality intruded in Keynes' well-intentioned designs immediately as I've mentioned and the whole Bretton Woods edifice was knocked down as soon as it proved inconvenient for US interests.

Similarly, I strongly suspect Keynes would have disapproved of financial deregulation, but the underlying development of US capitalism led to unstoppable political pressure for its implementation.

Greg Jerome_Stern3 days ago
"Keynes was a reformist and capable of formulating policies which, if followed, would make capitalism more amenable to the interests of the majority of people."

For the life of me I can't figure why you'd praise a policy that more effectively persuades or controls the masses to their own detriment and to the economic benefit of a minority--other than to conclude that like Keynes and the rest of the petty bourgeoisie, you're a reformist.

Jerome_Stern Warren Duzak4 days ago
The most important theoretical source of his thinking is his own work "The General Theory of Employment, Money and Interest" which is available to read or download free online.

I only recently learned of his Bancor proposal in an article by George Monbiot originally published in the Guardian. I read it on the Znet website, but I can't remember when.

As for his quote about the financial markets becoming a virtual senate, I read that in some article about finance but don't remember the source. Sorry I can't be more helpful. There could be other books on his theories but he is somewhat unfashionable as mainstream economics has mostly reverted to a more ideologically driven right wing position.

Charlotte Ruse5 days ago
"In January, while Trump was requesting Congress to allocate funds for the US-Mexico border wall, China sent delegates to Chile, inviting Latin American leaders to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. Months later, as Trump bullied US allies at the NATO summit, China was wrapping up the "16+1 summit" in Bulgaria, where Chinese investment and diplomatic relations were marketed to Central and Eastern European leaders. And most recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his travels throughout Africa, where he was visiting with heads of state and deepening China's relationships with the continent of the future, while America picks a one-sided trade fight with Rwanda."

The US "makes war" while China makes business deals. Pick your poison--two capitalists countries controlled by oligarchs which can only offer the working-class continued exploitation.

https://www.geopoliticalmon...

Sebouh805 days ago
An Excellent piece of article that explains clearly the trajectory that got us into US-China trade war, and what this means for the Global Capitalist System going forward. If we remember when trade war topic was first brought into picture Trump administration officials were saying imposing tariffs on China and Europe were the only way to correct the unfair trade balances. However, as the months progressed it quickly became known that US officials were using unfair trade practices of China as a scapegoat to demand further concessions from the Chinese authorities. These concessions include complete dismantlement of Made in China 2025 program and put a hold to their Silk Road initiative. In other words, Donald Trump and the entire American ruling circles see China as an existential long term threat and they are using trade war as a weapon to contain China's rising political and economical ambitions.

For now Trump is increasing the tariffs so as to force the Chinese leadership to acquiesce to his conditions. Of course, I would expect in the coming days Chinese authorities to rebuff this latest round of sanctions and that they would retaliate their own tariffs.

On the other hand, the Trump administration has put Iran under severe sanctions, and they also warned all big European Multinational corporations like Total and others to stop doing business with Iran after November. So as we can see we are in a very precarious Global situation right now due to rising contradictions between the needs of Global economy and nation states.

The US wants to reinforce it's declining global hegemonic position at any cost. Now they started with economic war against countries they see as not cooperating to their demands, but under current conditions this could easily transform into Global war at some point in future.

[Sep 22, 2018] A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington

Sep 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 21, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Euractiv with AFP: Belgian inquest implicates UK in phone spying
https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/belgian-inquest-implicates-uk-in-phone-spying/

A confidential report by Belgian investigators confirms that British intelligence services hacked state-owned Belgian telecom giant Belgacom on behalf of Washington, it was revealed on Thursday (20 September).

The report, which summarises a five-year judicial inquiry, is almost complete and was submitted to the office of Justice Minister Koen Geens, a source close to the case told AFP, confirming Belgian press reports

The matter will now be discussed within Belgium's National Security Council, which includes the Belgian Prime Minister with top security ministers and officials.

Contacted by AFP, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office and the cabinet of Minister Geens refused to comment .
####

NO. Shit. Sherlock.

So the real question is that if this has known since 2013, why now? BREXIT?

[Sep 21, 2018] On Brexit, UK Negotiators Have Adopted a Hard Bargaining Strategy

Notable quotes:
"... The EU is not perfect and has costs, but measured against what it has achieved, it is a great success. ..."
"... The EU has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful). ..."
"... You're funny. The EU makes war by other means. The burden of disease in Greece, health loss, risk factors, and health financing, 2000–16: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(18)30130-0.pdf ..."
"... The mortality rate for Greece is up approximately 50,000. All so Merkel in Germany, and Sarkozy and Hollande didn't have to go before their electorates and admit they were bailing out French and German banks through the backdoor. ..."
"... I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia and Bosnia and such, are not wars -- but then those are layable at the feet of NATO (that collection, as I recall it, of what, now, 29 member countries including all the Great Powers of the West) and the US imperium. ..."
"... The NATO establishment is about "making war," ..."
"... All of which is linked in significant ways to the economic "health" of the EU, from which lots of weapons flow in exchange for favors and money from the Destabilizers. ..."
"... In the meantime, the various stages are set, the players in the game of statism and nationalism and authoritarianism and neoliberalism are on their marks, the house lights are going out, and the long slow rise of the curtain is under way ..."
"... The period from the end of WWII to the Balkan Wars is still the longest period of peace since the Romans. I doubt you have ever lived through a war so I can't expect you to appreciate the difference between the Horrors of the Brussels Bureaucracy and the Horrors of Shelling and Bombing. ..."
"... I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it. ..."
"... in the real world ..."
"... in the real world ..."
"... Ultimately, it's that simple. Merkel, Sarkozy, Hollande, and whoever else among the EU elites who chose to be complicit in killing substantial numbers of people so they could maintain themselves in power are scum. They are scum. They are scum. ..."
"... Fine, our elected leaders are all scum, but why does this mean that the EU is evil specifically. Why single it out? Why not advocate the overthrow of all centralized or unifying government? Move out to Montana to a cult and buy lots of guns or something. ..."
"... Ons should be very aware that EU directives comes mainly from the member states and that especially bad things that would never fly past an election could – and often is – spun by local government as "Big Bad Bruxelles is forcing poor little us to do this terrible thing to you poor people". Ala the British on trade deal with India and immigration of east-european workers. ..."
"... The EU does not have that much in the way of enforcement powers, that part is down-sourced to the individual member states. When a member state doesn't give a toss, it takes forever for some measure of sanctioning to spin up and usually it daily fines unto a misbehaving government, at the taxpayers expense (which of course those politicians who don't give a toss, are fine with since most of their cronies are not great taxpayers anyway). ..."
"... The solution is, patently, Tories out of power. Which I think will happen, certainly between now and 31 March 2019. Now would be better. Anyone thinking strategically in other parties in the UK (an oxymoron of a formulation, to be sure) would call for a no confidence vote the instant May's feet are on British soil. ..."
"... I doubt that this is personal, but what do I know. May is a nincompoop. The other heads of state patently, and quite rightly, don't respect her. Her presence has been useful to them only insofar as she could deliver a deal. ..."
"... I'd agree with your analysis of what happened – just glancing through the news today it seems that Macron in particular just lost patience, and the other leaders were happy to help him put the boot in. The EU has been trying to shore May up for a long time – the December agreement was little more than an attempt to protect her from an internal heave. This is a common dynamic in the EU – however much the leaders may dislike each other, they will usually prefer the person at the seat than the potential newcomer. ..."
"... But I think the EU has collectively decided that May is simply incapable of delivering any type of agreement, so there is no point in mincing words. They simply don't care any more if the Tory government collapses, or if they put Rees Mogg or Johnson in power. It makes absolutely zero difference to them. In fact, it might make it easier for the EU if the UK goes politically insane as they can then wash their hands of the problem. ..."
"... A colleague told me today he knows of several Northern Irish Republicans who voted leave, precisely because they thought this would create constitutional havoc and lead to a united Ireland. It seems at least some people were thinking strategically . ..."
"... British politicians apparently were supposed to negotiate Brexit among themselves. And once they had reached a (tentative) consensus the foreigners (the EU) were apparently supposed to bow down and accept the British proposal. ..."
"... Which means I never understood why the British media was treating the Chequers proposal as a serious proposal? And spending lots of time and articles discussing on how to convince the EU / the member states. ..."
"... As a Scot can I point out that it is English politicians who are responsible for this mess? ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Yves Smith Yves here. While the specific observations in this post will be very familiar to readers (you've said the same things in comments!), I beg to differ with calling the Government's Brexit negotiating stance a strategy. It's bad habit plus lack of preparation and analysis.

And the UK's lack of calculation and self-awareness about how it is operating means it will be unable to change course.

By Benjamin Martill, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Dahrendorf Forum where he focuses on Europe after Brexit. He is based at LSE IDEAS, the London School of Economics's foreign policy think tank. The Dahrendorf Forum is a joint research venture between LSE and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. Originally published at openDemocracy

But is this the best strategy for advancing British interests? Here is the argument based on the findings of a recent Dahrendorf Forum working paper .

All eyes in British politics are on the negotiations between the UK and the EU over the terms of the forthcoming British withdrawal from the Union, or Brexit. Surprisingly, questions of bargaining strategy – once the preserve of diplomats and niche academic journals – have become some of the most defining issues in contemporary British politics.

The New Politics of Bargaining

Cabinet disagreements over the conduct of the negotiations led to the resignation of David Davis and Boris Johnson in early July 2018 and the issue continues to divide the ruling Conservative party. Theresa May's most recent statements have all addressed the question of how hard she has pushed Brussels in the talks.

But is the hard bargaining strategy appropriate, or will it ultimately harm the UK? The salience of this question should occasion deeper analysis of the fundamentals of international bargaining, given the extent to which the course of British politics will be determined by the government's performance (or perceived performance) in the Brexit talks.

Driving a Hard Bargain

A hard-bargaining strategy isn't necessarily a poor one. To the extent it is workable, it may even represent the sensible option for the UK.

Hard bargaining is characterised by negative representations of negotiating partners, unwillingness to make concessions, issuance of unrealistic demands, threats to damage the partner or exit the negotiations, representations of the talks in zero-sum terms, failure to provide argumentation and evidence, and withholding of information. From diplomats' portrayal of the EU as an uncooperative and bullying negotiating partner to a set of demands recognised as unrealistic in Brussels and Britain alike, the UK's approach to the Brexit negotiations scores highly on each of these measures.

The consensus in the academic literature is generally that hard bargaining works only where a given party has a relative advantage . Powerful states have an incentive to engage in hard bargaining, since by doing so they will be able to extract greater concessions from weaker partners and maximise the chance of achieving an agreement on beneficial terms.

But weaker actors have less incentive to engage in hard bargaining, since they stand to lose more materially if talks break down and reputationally if they're seen as not being backed by sufficient power,

So which is Britain?

Power Distribution

The success of hard bargaining depends on the balance of power. But even a cursory examination would seem to confirm that the UK does not hold the upper hand in the negotiations. Consider three standard measures of bargaining power: a country's economic and military capabilities, the available alternatives to making a deal, and the degree of constraint emanating from the public.

When it comes to capabilities, the UK is a powerful state with considerable economic clout and greater military resources than its size would typically warrant. It is the second-largest economy in the EU (behind Germany) and its GDP is equal to that of the smallest 19 member states. And yet in relative terms, the combined economic and military power of the EU27 dwarves that of the UK: the EU economy is five times the size of the UK's.

Next, consider the alternatives. A 'no deal' scenario would be damaging for both the UK and the EU, but the impact would be more diffuse for the EU member states. They would each lose one trading partner, whereas the UK would lose all of its regional trading partners. Moreover, the other powers and regional blocs often cited as alternative trading partners (the US, China, the Commonwealth, ASEAN) are not as open as the EU economy to participation by external parties, nor are they geographically proximate (the greatest determinant of trade flows), nor will any deal be able to replicate the common regulatory structure in place in the EU. This asymmetric interdependence strongly suggests that the UK is in greater need of a deal than the EU.

Finally, consider the extent of domestic constraints. Constraint enhances power by credibly preventing a leader from offering too generous a deal to the other side. On the EU side the constraints are clear: Barnier receives his mandate from the European Council (i.e. the member states) to whom he reports frequently. When asked to go off-piste in the negotiations, he has replied that he does not have the mandate to do so. On the UK side, by contrast, there is no such mandate. British negotiators continually cite Eurosceptic opposition to the EU's proposals in the cabinet, the Conservative party, and the public, but they are unable to guarantee any agreement will receive legislative assent, and cannot cite any unified position.

Perceptions of Power

But the real power distribution is not the only thing that matters. While the EU is the more powerful actor on objective criteria, a number of key assumptions and claims made by the Brexiteers have served to reinforce the perception that Britain has the upper hand.

First, on the question of capabilities, the discourse of British greatness (often based on past notions of power and prestige) belies the UK's status as a middle power (at best) and raises unrealistic expectations of what Britain's economic and military resources amount to. Second, on the question of alternatives, the oft-repeated emphasis on 'global Britain' and the UK's stated aim to build bridges with its friends and allies around the globe understates the UK's reliance on Europe, the (low) demand for relations with an independent Britain abroad, and the value of free trade agreements or other such arrangements with third countries for the UK. Third, on the question of domestic constraint, the post-referendum discourse of an indivisible people whose wishes will be fulfilled only through the implementation of the Brexit mandate belies the lack of consensus in British politics and the absence of a stable majority for either of the potential Brexit options, including the 'no deal', 'hard', or 'soft' variants of Brexit. Invoking 'the people' as a constraint on international action, in such circumstances, is simply not credible.

Conclusion

Assumptions about Britain's status as a global power, the myriad alternatives in the wider world, and the unity of the public mandate for Brexit, have contributed to the overstatement of the UK's bargaining power and the (false) belief that hard bargaining will prove a winning strategy.

Britain desperately needs to have an honest conversation about the limits of the UK's bargaining power. This is not 'treasonous', as ardent Brexiteers have labelled similar nods to reality, but is rather the only way to ensure that strategies designed to protect the national interest actually serve this purpose. Power is a finite resource that cannot be talked into existence. Like a deflating puffer fish, the UK's weakness will eventually become plain to see. The risk is that before this occurs, all bridges will be burned, all avenues exhausted, and all feathers ruffled.

The arguments in this blog are based on the findings of a Dahrendorf Forum working paper by Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger titled ' Cultures of Negotiation: Explaining Britain's Hard Bargaining in the Brexit Negotiations '.

The opinions expressed in this blog contribution are entirely those of the author and do not represent the positions of the Dahrendorf Forum or its hosts Hertie School of Governance and London School of Economics and Political Science or its funder Stiftung Mercator.


larry , September 20, 2018 at 10:30 am

I tend to agree that there is no real strategy on the UK's part. May resembles a broken record, where she says much the same thing over and over again, seemingly expecting a different response each time. Although Einstein said that he probably never made the claim about what insanity consists of, it is often attributed to him -- doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. How the government expects that this sort of behavior will bring desirable results is beyond me.

Schofield , September 20, 2018 at 10:35 am

Both UK and EU politicians are talking past each other. Neither side understands there are two key issues. Firstly, not understanding the economic effects stemming from the failure to understand how money is created and how it can be manipulated for global trading advantage. Secondly, that the UK is high up the list for "cultural tightness" and the reasons for this.

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6df109_a5da34d6a9ae4114be82ccf4b024a2b2.pdf

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 10:37 am

The other element of course of a negotiation is getting potential allies to roll up behind you. At the start of this the UK had a series of potential 'friends' it could call on – eurosceptics governments in Eastern Europe, close historic friends and political like minded governments in Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland. And of course non-EU countries like India or the US with historic links.

They somehow managed to anger or frustrate nearly all of those though its heavy handed negotiations or laughable lack of political empathy.

It must be emphasised that the current Irish government is ideologically and instinctively very pro-London. And yet, today RTE is reporting about the latest meeting between May and Varadkar:

The source said there was "an open exchange of views" between both sides, with the Irish delegation emphasising that the time was short and "we need to get to the stage where we can consider a legal text" on the backstop.

The source described British proposals so far as "only an outline, and we haven't seen specific proposals from the British side."

This can only be translated as 'what the hell are they playing at?'

The Indians of course were amusedly baffled by the British assumption that they would welcome open trade (without lots of new visas for Indian immigrants). Trump just smelt the blood of a wounded animal. The Russians are well

Jim A. , September 20, 2018 at 12:40 pm

"an open exchange of views" Which is a diplomat's way of saying that there was a shouting match and no agreement.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

I imagine it as being a little like this (not work safe if you have audio on).

HotFlash , September 20, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Mercy! I will save and share this. Thank you, Pu-kun.

Fazal Majid , September 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm

The British cited the EU's inability to conclude a free-trade agreement with India as one example of the EU's failings a revitalized Global Britain would no longer be shackled by. That's quite rich considering the FTA was torpedoed when the British Home Secretary vetoed increased visas for the Indians. Her name was Theresa May.

HotFlash , September 20, 2018 at 8:34 pm

True? Comedy gold!

fajensen , September 21, 2018 at 5:20 am

They somehow managed to anger or frustrate nearly all of those

Somehow?

The brits basically said: We are special people, much, much better, richer and stronger than you sorry lot of Peons to Brussels(tm), so now you shall see sense and give us what we want this week; you can call it your tribute if you like (because we don't care what you like :)

Half the Danes are fed up with the whole thing and the other half would be egging on a hard Brexit if only they could – knowing it will likely take out at least some of the worst and most overleveraged (and gorged with tax-paid subsidies) Anti-Environmentalist Danish industrial farmers, their bankers too. And diminish the power of their lobbyists: "Landbrug & Fødevarer"!

The good part is that: the British and the Danish governments have managed to make "being ruled by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels" look like a pretty much OK & decent deal, considering the alternative options: Being ruled by our local crazies, straight-up nutters and odious nincompoops (a word i like), half of whom, to top it up, are probably mere soulless proxies for those ghouls that are running Washington DC.

Tom Stone , September 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

Always bet on stupid.
Because human stupidity is infinite.

JTMcPhee , September 20, 2018 at 11:30 am

Though it often fits neatly into one of four categories, described here:

"The basic laws of human stupidity,"

http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidity/

Seems we humans are pretty good at inventing negative-sum games that we belieeeve are zero-sum

Watt4Bob , September 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm

It seems more and more to me, that never ending class warfare, and its current emphasis on austerity, leaves us unable to envision alternate routes to economic health.

The neo-liberal consensus mandates that our ruling class never questions its own tactics, ie dog-whistle racism to distract and divide the lower classes to enable all the looting.

So on both sides of the Atlantic, the rulers of English speakers stir up resentment amongst those at the bottom in order to secure votes, and maintain power, while never intending to follow through on promises to provide tangible material benefits to their constituents.

The looting goes on, the trail of broken promises grows longer, and the misery deepens.

The issue being ignored is that the folks at the bottom have reached the limit of their ability to maintain life and limb in the face of downward economic pressure.

We've finally reached the end game, we in America have been driven to Trumpism, and in Britain they've been driven to Brexit by the clueless efforts of pols to maintain power in the face of electorates who have decided they have had enough, and will absolutely not take the SOS anymore.

So we have the nonsensical situation of pols on both sides of the Atlantic flirting with economic collapse, and even civil war rather than moderate their irrational fixation on making the insanely rich even richer.

In both cases we have a cast of alternating villains robbing and beating us while waving flags and loudly complaining that we aren't showing the proper level of enthusiasm.

Which leaves me with one question for those villains;

Where you gonna hide.

Hayek's Heelbiter , September 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm

Yup.

Why no one, especially the punditocracy seems to realize this, is astonishing.

I also cannot believe the Old Gray Lady killing millions of trees in its shrill efforts to prove the Russians cost Hilary the election and nary a word about how totally fed up and voiceless (with the exception of a single presidential vote) are those in the Great Flyover.

Also find it amazing that the Beeb with rudimentary linguistic forensic analysis identified Mike Pence as almost certainly the author of the scathing anti-Trump memo the NYT published anonymously, without a single mention of this now widely-known fact.

disillusionized , September 20, 2018 at 12:28 pm

The problem is that brexiteers, almost to a man, thinks that the EU and the UK are equals.
That's what determines UK negotiating strategy, the ones who don't want to play hardball can't see the point in leaving, and the ones who wan't to leave, can't see the point of negotiating.
for all intents and purposes this is a accession negotiation in reverse, "then Sir Con O'Neill, the chief negotiator at official level in 1970-2, who commented that the only possible British approach to existing Community body of rules was 'Swallow the lot, and swallow it now'."

On a related note, while this was about the tactics of leaving, there has been some movement on the end state front, though not by the UK. Rather it seems that the EU has made up it's mind, and in my mind definitively scrapped the EEA option.
Several EU leaders (Pms of Malta and the Czech republic) have clearly stated that they wish to see a new referendum, and Macron said the following:
"Brexit is the choice of the British people pushed by those who predicted easy solutions. Those people are liars. They left the next day so they didn't have to manage it," Macron said on Thursday, vowing to "never" accept any Brexit deal, which would put the EU's integrity at risk.

I think the bridges have been burned, now it's surrender or revocation that's left to the UK, or stepping off the cliff edge.

tegnost , September 20, 2018 at 10:49 pm

The problem is that brexiteers, almost to a man, thinks that the EU and the UK are equals.
from a very great distance this does seem to be the case

TheScream , September 20, 2018 at 12:35 pm

It is astonishing to see that the UK still does not accept that the EU doesn't want it to go on principle more than for practical reasons. May and the others cling to the notion that without Great Britain, the EU will collapse or something. This is the same nation that has been foot-dragging on everything about Europe and slagging off the continent at every turn while pretending they are a Great Power and the BFF of the US. Trump does not care about Great Britain unless he needs some sort of zoning permission for his gold course, in which case he will cut a deal on trade or arms with May.

The Irish Border, assuming it remains open, is a massive concession and likely to lead to future problems as other EU nations try to have open borders or trade with their pet countries.

Brits on the Continent are worried about many things ranging from driver's licenses to residency visas! Not every Brit wants to live on that damp little island! Some like the sun and Continental cuisine.

JTMcPhee , September 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Is the EU a Great Idea to be Protected and Advanced, one that will inexorably result in ever greater benefits for the common people of the fainting nations that have been cat-herded into submitting to the "political union" that many very personally interested parties are always working toward? Like NATO is a Great Idea, not just a mechanism for global mischief and chaos? NATO gives "warfighters" a place to sit and play their games. Brussels gives "rules," at least some of which are sort of for public benefit, until the regulatory capturers work their magic. Profit and impunity, always for the few.

What is the organizing principle in all this? Likely can't be stated. Just a lot of interested parties squabbling over gobbets from the carcass torn from the planet

Maybe the 14th Century was not so very horrible after all? If one looks in "A Distant Mirror" at it, given where humanity seems to be, on the increasingly fleshed-out timeline of collapse?

OF course, one can always summon up the demoness TINA, to trump any efforts to take different paths

TheScream , September 20, 2018 at 1:09 pm

NATO was created to make war. The EU was created to make peace and prosperity. Comparing one to the other is unjust.

The EU is not some sacrosanct construct that must be worshiped, but it has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful). It has also promoted trade and prosperity. Europe has been even farther ahead of economic and regulatory integration than the US (phones and credit cards come to mind). Free movement of labor and travel have dropped costs for businesses and individuals immensely.

Now, whether or not human foibles enter into it is really another discussion. Is Brussels at times a giant Interest Machine and Bureaucratic Nightmare? Yes, but that is the negative face we see portrayed by anti-Europeans like the Brexiteers. The EU does a terrible job of self-promotion; citizens rarely know just how much the EU contributes to their lives. Perhaps the EU is afraid of drawing attention to itself. But the people making up the EU are not extraterrestrials; they are Europeans who make the same mistakes and commit the same fraud on a national level.

Many Americans criticize Europe while vaunting their own Federation. Why should California and Alabama share a currency, a passport and a Congress? There are more differences between those states than between France and Belgium or Italy and Spain.

The EU is not perfect and has costs, but measured against what it has achieved, it is a great success.

Mark Pontin , September 20, 2018 at 6:54 pm

The EU has brought peace to Europe for the longest period since Pax Romana (and that was not entirely peaceful).

You're funny. The EU makes war by other means. The burden of disease in Greece, health loss, risk factors, and health financing, 2000–16: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(18)30130-0.pdf

The mortality rate for Greece is up approximately 50,000. All so Merkel in Germany, and Sarkozy and Hollande didn't have to go before their electorates and admit they were bailing out French and German banks through the backdoor.

TheScream , September 20, 2018 at 7:22 pm

If you want to start accounting for economic death by economic war, we can look at the US as recently as the financial crisis, though I doubt there are studies on the Homeland of this sort. Or US embargoes of vital medication and food in Iraq which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. And so on.

My point is not that the EU is perfect, but there has not been a war in Western Europe since 1945. You are welcome to spin and fiddle and search for anything you like (Gosh, all that free travel led to increases in traffic deaths! Ban the EU!). Of course, we would also need to examine what the EU has done for Europe and how many lives have been saved by improved infrastructure and exchange of information.

I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it. Let's see how Great Britain does and then we can discuss this in a few years.

JTMcPhee , September 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm

I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia and Bosnia and such, are not wars -- but then those are layable at the feet of NATO (that collection, as I recall it, of what, now, 29 member countries including all the Great Powers of the West) and the US imperium.

The NATO establishment is about "making war," largely now displaced to other Woggish and Hajji places where the huge number of refugees that are moving into Eurospace are coming from (as a result of the largely economically driven (oil and other extraction interests) and Israeli and Saudi-enhanced large scale destabilizing war prosecution.

All of which is linked in significant ways to the economic "health" of the EU, from which lots of weapons flow in exchange for favors and money from the Destabilizers.

Yes, the EU notion of reducing the conflict generators of the past seems to be a good one. But surprise! In practice, you got your German hegemon and your French strutters and now of course the British bomb throwers pointing out, along with the renascent nationalism triggered in part by the hegemon's bleeding of other nations via Brussels and EU institutions, like Greece and Spain and Italy and so forth.

And of course the warring that the seamless economies of the EU (that includes their particpation in NATO) foster and participate in that drives the exodus of mopes from the Mideast and Africa. And how about the fun and games, with possible nuclear war consequences, that are playing out with EU and NATO and of course US Imperial Interests activity in Ukraine? And I see that the Krupp Werks has delivered a bunch of warships to various places (hasn't that happened a couple of times in the past? Thinking how particularly of Dolphin-class submarines paid for by Uncle Sucker, as in the US, and delivered to the Israel -ites who have equipped them with many nuclear-warhead cruise missiles? And thanks to the French, of course, and other Great Nations, the Israelis have nuclear weapons in the first place.

It's nice that the science parts of the EU structure are sort of working to keep US-made toxins and genetically modified crap and other bad stuff out of the Holy EU Empire. But hey, how many VW diesel vehicles on the road (thanks to some combination of corruption and incompetence on the part of the EU?) equals how much glyphosate and stacked-GM organisms barred by EU regulations? Lots of argument possible around the margins and into the core of the political economy/ies that make up the EU/NATO, and the Dead Empire across the Channel, and of course the wonderful inputs from the empire I was born into.

I guess the best bet would be to program some AI device to create a value structure (to be democratically studied and voted on, somehow?) and measure all the goods and bads of the EU, according to some kind of standard of Goodness to Mope-kind? Naw, power trumps all that of course, and "interests" now very largely denominated and dominated by supranational corporations that piss on the EU when not using its institutions as a means to legitimize their looting behaviors that sure look to me like an expression of a death wish from the human species.

There are always winners and losers in any human game, because at anything larger than the smallest scale, we do not appear wired to work from comity and commensalism. You sound from the little one can see of you from your comment as a person among the winners. Which is fine, all well and good, because of that "winners and losers" thing. Until either the mass vectors of human behavior strip the livability out of the biosphere, or some provocation or mischance leads to a more compendious and quicker, maybe nuclear, endpoint. Or maybe, despite the activities of the Panopticon and the various powers with forces in the polity to tamp it down, maybe there will be a Versailles moment, and "Aux Armes, Citoyens" will eventuate.

In the meantime, the various stages are set, the players in the game of statism and nationalism and authoritarianism and neoliberalism are on their marks, the house lights are going out, and the long slow rise of the curtain is under way

tegnost , September 20, 2018 at 10:45 pm

a worthy parlimentarian rant if I ever heard one

vlade , September 21, 2018 at 4:07 am

I suggest you read up on your recent European history. Czechoslovakia split entirely peacefully and it had exactly zero to do with either NATO or USA.

Yugoslavia had its problems ever since it was Yugoslavia in early 20th century – all Tito managed was to postpone it, and once he was gone, it was just a question of when, and how violent it would be. Serbian apologistas like to blame NATO, conveniently ignoring any pre-existing tensions between Croats and Serbs (not to mention ex-Yugoslavian muslims). Did NATO help? No. But saying it was the cause of the Serbo-Croat war and all the Yugoslavian fallout is ignorance.

What gets my goat is when someone blames everything on CIA, USA, NATO (or Russia and China for the matter), denying the small peoples any agency. Especially when that someone tends to have about zilch understanding of the regions in question, except from a selective reading.

Yep, CIA and NATO and the Illuminati (and Putin, to put it on both sides) are the all-powerful, all seeing, all-capable forces. Everyone else is a puppet. Right.

Lambert Strether , September 21, 2018 at 4:37 am

> I guess all those little Balkan unpleasantnesses, the former Czechoslovakia

TheScream , September 21, 2018 at 6:34 am

The period from the end of WWII to the Balkan Wars is still the longest period of peace since the Romans. I doubt you have ever lived through a war so I can't expect you to appreciate the difference between the Horrors of the Brussels Bureaucracy and the Horrors of Shelling and Bombing. From your lofty armchair, they might be the same but then again, perhaps you blame the socialists when your caramel latte is cold.

JTMcPhee , September 21, 2018 at 10:19 am

Lofty armchair? I actually volunteered and got the opportunity to go be a soldier in an actual war, the Vietnam one. So I have a darn good idea what War is in actuality and from unpleasant personal experience. And I don't have either the taste or the wealth for lattes. And forgive my aging failure of typing Czech instead of Yugo -- my point, too, is that the nations and sets of "peoples" living and involved in United Europe do in fact have "agency," and that is part of the fractiousness that the proponents of a federated Europe (seemingly under mostly German lead) are working steadily at suppressing. Not as effectively as a Federalist might want, of course.

Mark Pontin , September 20, 2018 at 10:03 pm

TheScream wrote: I am not defending poor governance per se for the sake of defending the EU. But it is facile and fun to criticize it because one can make up all kinds of counter fantasies about how wonderful life would be without it.

Wake up. I'm talking about what the European elite in the real world deliberately chose to do.

They chose to do a backdoor bailout of German and French banks specifically so Merkel, Sarkozy and Hollande and the governments they led didn't have to go to their electorates and tell them the truth. Thereby, they maintained themselves in power, and German and French wealth structures -- the frickin', frackin banks -- as they were. And they did this in the real world knowing that innocent people in Greece would die in substantial numbers consequently.

This is not a counterfactual. This happened.

There's a technical term for people who plan and execute policies where many thousands of people die so they themselves can benefit. That term is 'scum.'

Ultimately, it's that simple. Merkel, Sarkozy, Hollande, and whoever else among the EU elites who chose to be complicit in killing substantial numbers of people so they could maintain themselves in power are scum. They are scum. They are scum.

Don't get me started on people who defend such scum with threadbare waffle about 'I am not defending poor governance per blah blah it is facile and fun to criticize blah blah.' Nor interested in whataboutery about US elites, who as the main instigators of this 21st century model of finance as warfare are also scum.

TheScream , September 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

Fine, our elected leaders are all scum, but why does this mean that the EU is evil specifically. Why single it out? Why not advocate the overthrow of all centralized or unifying government? Move out to Montana to a cult and buy lots of guns or something.

My point is not that EU leaders are charming people working exclusively for the good of the people. My point is that the EU is not as bad as most of you believe and no worse than most other governments. It is simply an easy target because it is extra or supra-national. We can get all frothy at the mouth blaming Nazis and Frogs for our woes and ignore our personal failures.

I would love to insult you personally as you have insulted me, but I sense you are just ranting out of frustration. You hate the EU (are you even European or just some right-wing nutcase from America involving yourself in other's business?) and take it out on me. Go for it. Your arguments are irrelevant and completely miss the point of my comments.

fajensen , September 21, 2018 at 7:09 am

The EU does a terrible job of self-promotion; citizens rarely know just how much the EU contributes to their live

The EU is, very simplistically, set up like a shared Civil Service. Civil Services are to be seen rarely and never heard, less they take shine and glamour from the Government they serve.

What "Bruxelles" can do is to advise and create Directives, which are instructions to local government to create and enforce local legislation. The idea is that the legislation and enforcement will be similar in all EU member states.

Ons should be very aware that EU directives comes mainly from the member states and that especially bad things that would never fly past an election could – and often is – spun by local government as "Big Bad Bruxelles is forcing poor little us to do this terrible thing to you poor people". Ala the British on trade deal with India and immigration of east-european workers.

The EU does not have that much in the way of enforcement powers, that part is down-sourced to the individual member states. When a member state doesn't give a toss, it takes forever for some measure of sanctioning to spin up and usually it daily fines unto a misbehaving government, at the taxpayers expense (which of course those politicians who don't give a toss, are fine with since most of their cronies are not great taxpayers anyway).

ape , September 21, 2018 at 2:42 pm

"Maybe the 14th Century was not so very horrible after all?"

Hopefully sarcastic?

Dude -- black plague! 75 to 200 million dead! At a tie with a world population of 400 million, and 40 million of those may as well have been on Mars! China, ME, North Africa and Europe depopulated!

Time to really reconsider one's assumptions when one wonders whether the 14th century was "that bad".

JTMcPhee , September 21, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Dude, yes, sarcastic. And ironic. Doesn't change the horribleness of the present, does it now? Or the coming horrors (say some of us) that may have been inevitably priced in to the Great Global Market, does it

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 12:51 pm

And in todays news:

Chequers Plan is Dead, says Tusk as Macron calls Brexiters Liars.

Donald Tusk, the European council president, has ratcheted up the pressure on Theresa May by rejecting the Chequers plan and warning of a breakdown in the Brexit talks unless she delivers a solution for the Irish border by October – a deadline the British prime minister had already said she will not be able to meet.

The stark threat to unravel the talks came as the French president, Emmanuel Macron, broke with diplomatic niceties and accused those of backing Brexit of being liars. "Those who explain that we can easily live without Europe, that everything is going to be all right, and that it's going to bring a lot of money home are liars," he said.
"It's even more true since they left the day after so as not to have to deal with it."

The comments came at the end of a leaders' summit in Salzburg, where May had appealed for the EU to compromise to avoid a no-deal scenario. She had been hoping to take warm words over Chequers into Conservative party conference.
Tusk, who moments before his comments had a short meeting with the prime minister, told reporters that he also wanted to wrap up successful talks in a special summit in mid-November.

But, in a step designed to pile pressure on the prime minister, he said this would not happen unless the British government came through on its commitment to finding a "precise and clear" so-called backstop solution that would under any future circumstances avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

"Without an October grand finale, in a positive sense of this word, there is no reason to organise a special meeting in November," Tusk said. "This is the only condition when it comes to this possible November summit."

It seems the EU leaders aren't even pretending anymore. Its pretty clear they have run out of patience, and May has run out of options. I wonder if they'll even bother with having the November summit.

begob , September 20, 2018 at 2:01 pm

He didn't call May a liar, so we'll have to see how her life support algo in the Daily Mail responds to this new input.

vlade , September 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm

If there's no November summit (which would make no-deal Brexit almost certainty), then the game becomes fast a and furious, as sterling will drop like a stone – with all sorts of repercussions. TBH, that can already be clear after the Tory party conference, it's entirely possible that that one will make any October Brexit discussions entirely irrelevant.

I think that EU overestimated May in terms of sensibility, and now accept that there's no difference between May and Johnson (in fact, with Johnson or someone like that, they will get certainy, so more time to get all ducks in row. Entirely cynically, clear no-deal Brexit Johnson would be better for EU than May where one has no idea what's going to happen).

Either way, this crop of politicians will make history books. Not sure in the way they would like to though.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Announced post-summit in Salzburg: no November summit absent a binding exit deal on the table by the end of October. So no: no November dealing.

I don't know that EU politicos overestimated May. She is what they had, and all they had, so they did their absolute best to prop up Rag Sack Terry as a negotiating partner, hoping that they could coax her to toddle over their red lines with enough willingness to listen to her hopeless twaddle first. She just shuffled and circled in place. So they've given up on her ability to deliver anything of value to them. One could see this coming in June, when she couldn't even get the sound of one hand clapping to her chipper nonsense over dinner.

I think that deciding heads in Europe have accepted the probability that crashout is coming. That was clear also in June. If something better happens, I suppose that they would leap at it. Nothing in the last two years engenders any hope in that regard, so hard heads are readying the winches to hoist the drawbridge on We're Dead to You Day.

If the Tories fall, which I think and have long thought is probable, it would be up to a 'unity government' to either initial a settlement surrender and keep the sham going, or flinch. My bet has been on pulling together some kind of flinch mechanism on aborting exit. It's the kind of year, as I model these, where wild swings of such kind are possible, but I couldn't predict the outcome anymore than anyone else.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

My feeling for a while is that the government would never fall, whatever happened, simply because the Tories (and DUP) fear a Corbyn government too much, so would never, ever pull the trigger, no matter how bad things got. But if May falls at the Party Conference and is replaced with a hard Brexiter, I don't think its impossible that there may be a temptation that to see if they could whip up a nationalistic mood for a snap election. Some of them are gamblers by instinct. Anything could happen then.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm

I think Tory Remainers bolt, choosing keeping their own wallets rather than handing those over to the worst of their lot with everything else. But they would find a unity coalition more palatable than passing the microphone to Jerry the Red, yeah, so that's a bit sticky. A snap election is the worst kind of crazy town, and wolldn't improve negotiating or decision outcomes in the slightest -- so of course that may be the likeliest near term course! Won't get settled in a few weeks. Probably not until 20 March 2019.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm

This is just wowsers. Tusk, Macron, and Merkel baldly state that Chequers is mated -- "unacceptable" -- and furthermore gave the Tories a drop-dead date of 31 October to initial the divorce settlement. The process is a flat abandonment of Theresa May, concluding the obvious, that she and her government are incapable of negotiating exit. Going over her head to Parliament and public, in fact if not in pre-consisdered intent. -- And about time. I was worried that the EU would eat fudge in November with the Brits again on another pretend-to-agree accord like that of December 2017, which, as we have seen did nothing to induce the Tories to negotiate a viable outcome.

What was May's reaction? That she's perfectly prepared to lead Britain over the crashout cliff if the EU doesn't see fit to capitulate. I'd roll on the floor laughing but I can't catch my breath.

The next two weeks are going to be lively times in Britain indeed. I can't see how 'Suicide Terry's' government can survive this situation. -- And about high time. Put the poor brute out of her misery; she's delusional, can't they see how she's suffering? Push has come, so it's time to shove. Crashout or Flinch, those are the outcomes, now plainer than ever. All May can do is thrash and fabulate, so time to bag the body and swear in another fool; lesser or greater, we shall see.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Yes, I wonder was that planned, or (as is suggested in the latest Guardian articl e), motivated by anger at Mays criticism of Barnier?

EU sources said the move had been made on the bidding of Macron, who urged taking a hard line over lunch. The French president had been infuriated by May's warning earlier in the day to Varadkar that she believed a solution on the issue could not be found by October, despite previous promises to the contrary.

The tone of the prime minister's address to the EU leaders on Wednesday night, during which she attacked Michel Barnier, is also said by sources to have been the cause of irritation.

This obviously makes her very vulnerable at the party conference. Its hard to see what she can do now. She is toast I think.

I can only think of two reasons that they've closed the door firmly in her face. Either they have simply lost patience and now accept there is nothing can be salvaged, or they have lost patience with May personally, and hope that a new leader might do a deal out of desperation. The latter seems highly unlikely – a sudden Tory challenge is more likely to bring a hardliner into power.

Whichever way you look at it, things look certain to come to a head very soon now. The EU may have a hope that the UK will blink when staring into the abyss and agree to the backstop, but I don't see how politically this a capitulation is possible, at least with the Tories in power.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:44 pm

The solution is, patently, Tories out of power. Which I think will happen, certainly between now and 31 March 2019. Now would be better. Anyone thinking strategically in other parties in the UK (an oxymoron of a formulation, to be sure) would call for a no confidence vote the instant May's feet are on British soil.

I doubt that this is personal, but what do I know. May is a nincompoop. The other heads of state patently, and quite rightly, don't respect her. Her presence has been useful to them only insofar as she could deliver a deal. Macron looked at his watch and the date said, non on that. Just looking at his ambitions and how he operates, I would think he wanted to go this route quite some time ago, but the 'softly, softly' set such as the Dutch and Merkel wouldn't back that, and he was too smart to break ranks alone. That the Germans have given up on May is all one really needs to know. This was May's no confidence vote by the European Council, and she lost it over lunch.

PlutoniumKun , September 21, 2018 at 4:19 am

I'd agree with your analysis of what happened – just glancing through the news today it seems that Macron in particular just lost patience, and the other leaders were happy to help him put the boot in. The EU has been trying to shore May up for a long time – the December agreement was little more than an attempt to protect her from an internal heave. This is a common dynamic in the EU – however much the leaders may dislike each other, they will usually prefer the person at the seat than the potential newcomer.

But I think the EU has collectively decided that May is simply incapable of delivering any type of agreement, so there is no point in mincing words. They simply don't care any more if the Tory government collapses, or if they put Rees Mogg or Johnson in power. It makes absolutely zero difference to them. In fact, it might make it easier for the EU if the UK goes politically insane as they can then wash their hands of the problem.

ChrisPacific , September 20, 2018 at 5:20 pm

At this point it might actually be a blessing if that happened. There is likely to be a great deal of practical difference between a no-deal Brexit with six months of planning and preparation and a no-deal Brexit that takes everyone by surprise at the very last minute. (Yes, they will both be a nightmare, but some nightmares are worse than others). All this pretense that the other side is bluffing and will roll over at the 11th hour is starting to look like a convenient excuse for not facing reality. I don't think either side is bluffing.

Comments like "Britain desperately needs to have an honest conversation about the limits of the UK's bargaining power" might very well be true, but they're also irrelevant at this point. Certainly it would have been very useful if it had happened two years ago. Right now it's time to break out the life jackets.

Richard Kline , September 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Most Brits don't seem capable of mentally accepting how irrelevant they actually are internationally. They are NOT a 'power' in any other respect than that they have nuclear weapons under their launch authority (which they are never going to use). They have no weight. The City is, really other people's money that predominantly foreign nationals at trading desks play with, loose, steal, hide, and occasionally pay out. The UK economy isn't of any international consequence. Brits are embedded in the international diplomatic process, in a dead language speakers kind of way, which makes them seem important. But they are not.

So there was never going to be a reassessment of the weaknesses of Britain's negotiating position, nor will there be now exactly, because most in Britain cannot get their heads around the essential premise to such a discussion, the Britain is now essentially trivial on the power scale rather than of any real consequence. The Kingdom of Saud has more real power. Turkey is a more consequential actor. Mexico has more people. &etc.

orange cats , September 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm

If one is to accept the convictions of master bloviator Niall Ferguson and other Brexiteers, the issue is issue. Brexit is about immigration, period. The EU claims it will not bend on free movement of people, Brexiteers will not accept anything less. There was such a huge outcry when May mentioned the possibility of 'preferential' treatment for EU citizens back in July she threatened any further public dissent in the party would result in sackings. The EU insists there can be no trade deals, no freed movement of goods without free movement of people, for good reasons. Hard to imagine them climbing down.

vlade , September 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm

No.

There's about as many reasons why people voted Brexit as there's different Brexits they wanted. Immigration is just one of the convenient scapegoats peddled by both sides, although for different reasons.

If you want a better (but still not complete) reason, try decreasing real income.

orange cats , September 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

I'd like to know what those "many different reasons" are. Sovereignty? Well, that rolls off the tongue more easily than "immigration" which, leavers know, sounds a bit racist. "Control of borders" works for leavers like Nigell, although he went on at great length about how it's all about immigration, after talking to all the 'real' folks in the provinces.

vlade , September 21, 2018 at 4:08 am

I don't do other people's homework – the unwilligness to do so tends to be a reliable indicator of not being open to aruments in the first place.

begob , September 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm

My Irish/Brit family's Own Private Brexit: the grandparents are entitled to naturalisation and voted Leave, the children are subjects/citizens and voted Remain (and almost all vote Tory), the grandchildren are compromised subjects/citizens and didn't have a vote. Everyone's happy to be entitled to an EU passport. The Pakistan offshoot has a less complex variation (fewer rights), but I believe their family voted Leave on balance. Life.

PlutoniumKun , September 20, 2018 at 5:31 pm

A colleague told me today he knows of several Northern Irish Republicans who voted leave, precisely because they thought this would create constitutional havoc and lead to a united Ireland. It seems at least some people were thinking strategically .

Mike Barry , September 21, 2018 at 3:37 am

Not that immigration has anything to do with that,

vlade , September 21, 2018 at 8:27 am

Majority of the drop in real income is NOT driven by immigration. You may find it surprising, but there were times with large (relatively speaking) immigration and the real incomes going up.

orange cats , September 21, 2018 at 10:25 am

I don't believe it is either, you seem to think these views are my own. I am speculating, with some basis, that a majority of leavers think so. Anti-immigration attitudes are entrenched and growing. Just the other day a teacher, no less, spouted off about how immigrants were causing crime and stealing jobs. This is in a blue city in a blue state. I was shocked.

ape , September 21, 2018 at 2:49 pm

People come up with fantasy explanations when they've been reduced from realistic assessments to fantastic ideologies. If there's a clear answer but you are ideologically constrained from considering it, you need to invent some answer, the nuttier the better.

Detlef , September 20, 2018 at 5:45 pm

I think a major part of the problem is that British politicians and media seem to believe that Brexit is mainly (or exclusively) a British topic.
One British politician publishes one proposal, another British politician shoots it down. With the British media reporting about it gleefully for days. Newspaper articles, opinion pieces. Without even mentioning what the EU might think about it. The EU seems to not exist in this bubble.

Just remember the more than 60 "notices to stakeholders" published by the EU months ago. And freely available for reading on the Internet. I´ve read British media online for a long time now but somehow these notices never made any impact. It was only when the first British impact assessments were published (not that long ago) that British media started to report about possible problems after a no-deal Brexit. Problems / consequences that were mentioned in the EU notices months ago.
It´s almost unbelievable. It looks like if something isn´t coming from London (or Westminster) then it doesn´t exist in the British media.

And it´s the same with British politicians.

David Davis and the back-stop deal in late 2017?. He agreed with it during the negotiations, returned home and then said that it wasn´t binding, just a letter of intent. Or Michael Gove a few days ago? Regardless of what agreement PM T. May negotiates now with the EU, a new PM can simply scrap it and negotiate a new deal? Or send government members to the EU member states to try and undermine Barnier as reported in British media? How exactly is that building trust?

Have they never heard about the Internet? And that today even foreigners might read British media?

Brexit supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg might be the MP for the 18th century but surely they know that today there are faster methods for messages than using pigeons?

What about foreign investment in the UK? The gateway to the EU? Japanese car companies?
The drop in foreign investment was reported, to be sure. But after a few days it was immediately forgotten.

T. May according to British media articles apparently developed her Brexit strategy (and her red lines) together with her two closest political advisers back in late 2016 / early 2017. No cabinet meeting to discuss the strategy, no ordering of impact assessments which might have influenced the strategy (and the goals). And apparently – in my opinion – no detailed briefing on how the EU actually works. What might be realistically possible and what not.

The resignation of Ivan Rogers seems to support my speculations. Plus the newspaper articles in early 2017 which mentioned that visitors to certain British government ministries were warned not to criticize Brexit or warn about negative consequences. Such warnings would result in no longer being invited to visit said ministry and minister.

If they actually went through with that policy they created an echo chamber with no dissenting voices allowed.

Which might explain why they had no plan to deal with the EU.

British politicians apparently were supposed to negotiate Brexit among themselves. And once they had reached a (tentative) consensus the foreigners (the EU) were apparently supposed to bow down and accept the British proposal.

And now when the EU hasn´t followed the script they don´t know what to do?

I´m not an expert but it was pretty clear to me that the Chequers deal would never work. It was pretty obvious even when EU politicians were somewhat polite about it when T. May proposed it.

It might have been a good starting point for negotiations if she had introduced it in 2017. But in July 2018? Just a few months before negotiations were supposed to be concluded? And then claiming it´s the only realistic proposal? It´s my way or the highway?

It was obvious.

Which means I never understood why the British media was treating the Chequers proposal as a serious proposal? And spending lots of time and articles discussing on how to convince the EU / the member states.

I really think the EU member states have finally concluded that T. May is incapable of producing (and getting a majority in the House of Commons) for any realistic solution. Therefore helping her with statements to keep her politically alive doesn´t make sense any longer. The EU would probably really, really like a solution that gives them at least the transition period. Another 21 months to prepare for Brexit. But fudging things only get you that far .

The UK apparently never understood that it´s one thing to bend rules or fudge things to get the agreement of a member state. It´s quite another thing with a soon -to-be ex-member state.

I am a German citizen, living in Germany.
The (German weekly printed newspaper) Zeit Online website did have three articles about Brexit in the last few days. Which is noteworthy since they normally have 1-2 articles per month.

And the comments were noteworthy too.

Almost all of them now favor a hard-line approach by the EU.

The UK lost a lot of sympathy and support in the last two years. Not because of the referendum result itself but because of the actions and speeches of British politicians afterwards.

The UK had a rebate, opt-outs and excemptions. All because successive British governments pointed to their EU-sceptic opposition. Now the population voted for Brexit the British want a deal that gives them all (or most) of the advantages of EU membership without any of the obligations. To reduce the economic consequences of their decision.

No longer. Actions have consequences. And if it means we´ll have to support Ireland, we´ll do it. The German commentators quite obviously have lost their patience with the UK.

Anonymous2 , September 21, 2018 at 3:22 am

As a Scot can I point out that it is English politicians who are responsible for this mess?

Yves Smith Post author , September 21, 2018 at 3:25 am

Yes, Nicola Sturgeon has comported herself vastly better than anyone in the Tory or Labour leadership not that this is a high bar.

VietnamVet , September 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm

This is the first article that I have seen that talks about power. The ability to influence or outright control the behavior of people. Money has power. It is needed to eat, heal and shelter in the West. But, it is never talked about. This is because it would raise inconvenient truths. The wealthy are accumulating it and everyone else in the West is losing it. The neo-liberal/neo-conservative ideologies are the foundation of this exploitation. It is the belief that markets balance and there is no society. "Greed is good. Might is right." Plutocrats rule the west. Democracy died. There are two versions of similar corporate political parties in the USA. The little people matter not. Politicians are servants of the oligarchs. Global trade is intertwined and not redundant. What will happen will be to the benefit of the very few in power. Donald Trump is raising the price of all Chinese goods shipped into the USA and sold at Walmart and Amazon. A Brexit crash seems inevitable.

Buckeye , September 20, 2018 at 10:40 pm

Amen! It is ALWAYS about power. And the only way to deal with the elites is "Lord of the Rings" style:
their money must be cast into a financial version of Mount Doom, breaking their power once and for all. You folks in the UK need to make douchebag Brexiteers like Nigel Farrage suffer total loss of power for forcing this disaster on you.

RBHoughton , September 20, 2018 at 10:47 pm

There is a huge source of wealth that UK monopolises from Treasure Islands that operate the City's tax havens. That money goes straight back to City banks and flows into the market economy, independently of trade and commerce. It underwrites the derivatives biz that keeps the market economy afloat, paying pensions and profits and Directors' options.

Leaving the EU might have an effect but not a big one. Is that why UK seems so blithely unconcerned?

PlutoniumKun , September 21, 2018 at 4:13 am

The offshore wealth is certainly why the core hard Brexiters are unconcerned, because thats where they store their cash. They don't care if the UK goes down.

But in the longer term, they are under threat – within the EU the UK consistently vetoed any attempts to crack down on internal tax havens. The internal political balance of the EU is now much more firmly anti tax avoidance with the UK gone, so there would be little to stop a series of Directives choking off the Channel Island/Isle of Man option for money flows.

fajensen , September 21, 2018 at 8:59 am

Split Brain Syndrome: They seem think that the EU is Lucifer's Army Incarnate and then they apparently also think at the same time, that "The Army of Darkness" once unleashed from the responsible British leadership into the hands of those per-definition also demonic French and Germans will still "play cricket" and not come after their tax-havens ASAP, like in 2020 or so.

TheScream , September 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

May now demanding that the EU respect Great Britain. We are back to the beginning again. May has no leverage beyond the EU wanting Britain to stay in . But if Britain goes out, then it's out. The only way for May to get any concessions would be to offer to stay in! And even then I am not sure the EU would accept since it would simply open the way for any member to have a tantrum and demand better terms.

GB should leave, wallow in their loneliness a while and then ask to come back. I suspect that the EU would reinstate them fully without the usual processes. Check back here in 24-36 months.

[Sep 21, 2018] Michael Hart's THE RISE AND FALL OF THE UNITED STATES by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... The Rise And Fall Of The United States ..."
Sep 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

... ... ..

Dr. Hart's book is invaluable because it highlights some of the basic truths about America that modern-day histories simply conceal. For example, he writes: "America is much younger than most European nations . It did not exist at all prior to 1600 AD but was created in the ' colonial era .'"

This alone is a shot across the bow of Politically Correct histories that regard "America" simply as a geographic location. As Dr. Hart knows, "America" did not exist in any meaningful sense before the English settlement that created it -- our eponymous Virginia Dare's Roanoke Colony being the prototype. English settlers didn't "invade" a country that belonged to " Native Americans ," English settlers created one where none existed.

Dr. Hart provides a basic history of America's development, including highlighting specific incidents that ultimately proved critical to the future of the polity. One of the more interesting was the Zenger trial, a colonial case in which a journalist criticized the local governor and was charged with libel. A grand jury refused to indict Zenger, accepting his defense that the things he printed were true. Thanks to this case, Americans can claim truth as an absolute defense in libel cases, something our British cousins lack .

A highlight of Dr. Hart's history is his careful attention to demographic issues. For example, he scoffs at the claim sometimes heard within the dimmer quarters of the American Conservative Movement that the Constitution was a "miracle." Instead, Dr. Hart shows that the authors of America's governing document shared linguistic, cultural, racial, and experiential factors that allowed them to work together. (Contemporary American statesmen possess no such unanimity.) Dr. Hart is also not blind to the Constitution's faults, especially its failure to designate how and who has the power to interpret it -- specifically, not necessarily the Kritarchs on the Supreme Court.

Dr. Hart is also clearsighted regarding immigration. He does not accept the now de rigueur analysis that immigration from widely disparate regions was always a feature of American life. "Before 1849, immigrants to the Untied States came mostly from the Protestant regions of northwest Europe, including Holland , Sweden, Norway , Germany and Great Britain," he observes. He also provides an honest assessment of the difficulties Irish immigration presented for 19 th century America and argues that despite speaking English, "they assimilated very slowly."

Dr. Hart argues the "Golden Age" of the United States extended from 1865 to 1991. "During that interval the United States stood out for its wealth, for its military might, and for its unprecedented set of practical inventions and scientific discoveries," he argues. Indeed, one of the best parts of the book is when Dr. Hart recounts the numerous inventions and scientific advances America has given to the world.

However, Dr. Hart's most invaluable contribution is in detailing what he sees as the symptoms of America's decline after the Cold War. America's indebtedness, relatively poor military performance , loss of Constitutional liberties, and collapse of artistic standards are all covered. Two other issues highly relevant to immigration patriots are what Dr. Hart calls "political problems" and "loss of confidence and national pride."

Dr. Hart details how Democratic politicians have diligently opposed any efforts to implement common-sense voter ID laws to prevent election fraud. Media bias is another major political problem, one an increasing number of Americans are awakening to. Finally, Dr. Hart identifies the "increase in racial hostilities" as both a symptom and a cause of America's increasing political problems. "Black hostility towards whites is constantly being stirred up by 'race hustlers' such as Al Sharpton , who deny any good faith on the part of whites," he writes. "Many people deny that any progress has been made in the status and treatment of black Americans -- a blatant untruth which increases black suspicions and hostilities."

Similarly, the decline in national pride is partially a product of how the charge of "racism" has delegitimized our entire national history. "According to many of these critics, our Constitution was produced by a group of 'Dead White European Males' (DWEMs, for short) who do not deserve any respect," he writes. As a result of internalizing this poisonous attack on America's heritage, some advocate Open Borders as a kind of historical reparations of punishment for a "racist" country.

Dr. Hart writes:

One result of these attitudes is that many Americans find it unreasonable for the United States to defend its borders. (After all, since we stole the country from the Indians, we have no real claim on our land.) Sometimes these views lead to people suggesting that non-citizens should be permitted to vote in American elections. In any disagreement or conflict between the United States and a foreign group, many of these critics tend to blame America first. Many of these critics do not even pretend to be patriotic.

Dr. Hart identifies a host of causes to explain the emergence of these symptoms. Though they are too many to cover here, two very much worth mentioning are

Dr. Hart points out that for all the talk about white racism, the vast majority of interracial crime is committed by blacks against whites. Hatred of whites is not only mainstream but cultivated by the Main Stream Media, the education system, and even some Democratic politicians -- a coalition that Dr. Hart judges is too powerful to break.

Similarly, Dr. Hart details the disastrous consequences of the 1965 Immigration Act and explicitly calls for its repeal, but he is pessimistic about the prospects for doing so.

The most explosive part of the book is its concluding chapter, in which Dr. Hart discusses the various scenarios by which the United States could "fall," either by breaking up, being extinguished, or losing its political independence and being subsumed into a larger polity. All of these terrible scenarios have vastly increased in likelihood because of the destabilizing and destructive effects of mass immigration.

The "fall" of the United States may even occur without most people even noticing it at the time. "Without any foreign conquest, and without any sharp break, the USA might be transformed into a multinational state without any loyalty to our English origin," he writes. "In fact, such a process may already be in process."

During his discussion of causes for American decline, Dr. Hart identifies the most important "by far" as the "loss of pride and confidence." He blames this on the relentless hate campaign waged against "our ancestors" by educators and the Main Stream Media, leading to a situation in which Americans feel "ashamed of their country." In other words, Dr. Hart is really talking about a loss of identity.

With his history of the United States, and his frank discussion of the issues endangering its existence, Dr. Hart has performed a valuable service for Americans seeking to reclaim their national identity. For anyone curious about their country's past and concerned about its future, The Rise And Fall Of The United States (full disclosure: A VDARE book -- who else would publish it?) is well worth purchasing.

anonymous , [469] Disclaimer says: September 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT

No mention of white slavery in Plantation America?
mark green , says: September 8, 2018 at 9:20 pm GMT
If/when America does break apart, it will not be a result of conventional war. The attack/upheaval will come from within.

Ironically, the trillions spent by Washington on our global MIC will not, in the end, protect the American people from what is now our greatest threat: internal treason against Historic America and its core people.

Ironically, instead of returning home to protect US borders when the cold war ended, American troops were dispersed around the world to fight phantom threats and protect non-essential foreign entities and extra-national interests.

This ongoing waste of US resources abroad continues to serve the interests of globalists, militarists, and Zionists. Meanwhile, our domestic security, our Main Street economy, and the continuity of white, European-derived culture and people inside America gets short shrift. This glaring disconnect may be our nation's undoing.

The 'proposition nation' concept was a fraud from the start since it ignores the vital significance of race, culture, language, and IQ.

The engine for America's coming implosion is demographic: uninterrupted, illegal, non-white immigration by Third World refugees. Hostile elites who now dominate America are also key. They refuse to acknowledge the perils of 'diversity'. Many want America changed, irreversibly so.

Meanwhile, white identity and white cohesion have been demonized in our schools as well as by our dominant mass media. This campaign has undermined white identity, white cohesion and white interests in general.

Numerous, politically-correct expressions of anti-white hatred are now in wide circulation. These hate-terms are, ironically, protected from criticism even though they are applied selectively to target whites. Those few who contest these double-standards (including Pres. Trump) are routinely defamed by comparisons to 'Hitler' or references to the KKK. The basic translation comes down to this: Shut up.

This unhealthy and insidious paradigm is here by design. It is used to not only justify anti-white animus, but to legitimize anti-white violence whenever and wherever whites try to assemble and express their grievances and/or aspirations. This very sinister double-standard has taken deep root. It is nurtured by biased reporting and coverage. It has spawned 'antifa'.

Modern speech rules and penalties favor privileged 'minorities' just as they cleary disfavor and penalize white advocacy.

Among the popular terms that lend support to anti-white bigotry are: 'racist', 'nativist', 'white supremacy', 'Islamophobia', and 'anti-Semitism'.

These shame-inducing memes have 1) contaminated the American mind and 2) empowered our race-conscious adversaries. They must be deconstructed and deligimized if we are to protect our interests and preserve America's demographic core.

Resistance, cohesion and self-defense are not fascistic sentiments. They are legitimate expressions of democratic self-determination.

[Sep 18, 2018] Neoliberal EU faces the same crisis as the USA -- rejection of globalization by the majority of population

Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 60 tries to crush dissenters.
Sep 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

the obligatory four freedoms of the EU are free movement of goods, services, persons and capital throughout the Union. Open borders. That is the essence of the European Union, the dogma of the Free Market.

The problem with the Open Border doctrine is that it doesn't know where to stop. Or it doesn't stop anywhere. When Angela Merkel announced that hundreds of thousands of refugees were welcome in Germany, the announcement was interpreted as an open invitation by immigrants of all sorts, who began to stream into Europe. This unilateral German decision automatically applied to the whole of the EU, with its lack of internal borders. Given German clout, Open Borders became the essential "European common value", and welcoming immigrants the essence of human rights.

Very contrasting ideological and practical considerations contribute to the idealization of Open Borders. To name a few:

This combination of contrasting, even opposing motivations does not add up to a majority in every country. Notably not in Hungary.

It should be noted that Hungary is a small Central European country of less than ten million inhabitants, which never had a colonial empire and thus has no historic relationship with peoples in Africa and Asia as do Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. As one of the losers in World War I, Hungary lost a large amount of territory to its neighbors, notably to Romania. The rare and difficult Hungarian language would be seriously challenged by mass immigration. It is probably safe to say that the majority of people in Hungary tend to be attached to their national identity and feel it would be threatened by massive immigration from radically different cultures. It may not be nice of them, and like everyone they can change. But for now, that is how they vote.

In particular, they recently voted massively to re

Like the Soviet Union, the European Union is not merely an undemocratic institutional framework promoting a specific economic system; it is also the vehicle of an ideology and a planetary project. Both are based on a dogma as to what is good for the world: communism for the first, "openness" for the second. Both in varying ways demand of people virtues they may not share: a forced equality, a forced generosity. All this can sound good, but such ideals become methods of manipulation. Forcing ideals on people eventually runs up against stubborn resistance.

There are differing reasons to be against immigration just as to be for it. The idea of democracy was to sort out and choose between ideals and practical interests by free discussion and in the end a show of hands: an informed vote. The liberal Authoritarian Center represented by Verhofstadt seeks to impose its values, aspirations, even its version of the facts on citizens who are denounced as "populists" if they disagree. Under communism, dissidents were called "enemies of the people". For the liberal globalists, they are "populists" – that is, the people. If people are told constantly that the choice is between a left that advocates mass immigration and a right that rejects it, the swing to the right is unstoppable.


Johnny Rottenborough , says: Website September 17, 2018 at 11:17 pm GMT

Orban's reputation in the West as dictator is unquestionably linked to his intense conflict with Hungarian-born financier George Soros

And not only Soros, of course:

'I know that this battle is difficult for everyone. I understand if some of us are also afraid. This is understandable, because we must fight against an opponent which is different from us. Their faces are not visible, but are hidden from view; they do not fight directly, but by stealth; they are not honourable, but unprincipled; they are not national, but international; they do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs.' -- Viktor Orbán

Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 18, 2018 at 4:30 am GMT
Watch the great Hungarian foreign minister repel attacks by the BBCs arrogant open borders propagandist, rudely treating him like an ignorant child and calling him a racist for defending his nation.
Anonymous , [224] Disclaimer says: September 18, 2018 at 5:34 am GMT

Economic liberals maintain that because Europe is aging, it needs young immigrant workers to pay for the pensions of retired workers.

Not gonna happen. Their 80 IQ skills are uncompetitive and useless in Europe even before Automation erases those low-skilled positions in the coming decade or two. Meanwhile, (real) European youth unemployment rate is 20%. Young Europeans are not making babies because they don't have a stable future. This can only get worse as the hostile invaders get preferential, Affirmative Action treatment, in schools and workplaces. None of this is accidental.

... ... ...

jilles dykstra , says: September 18, 2018 at 7:19 am GMT
There are, in my opinion, two reasons for letting the mass immigration happen:
- the Brussels belief, expressed in a 2009 official document, not secret, that the EU needs 60 million immigrants.
- a Merkel belief dat the Germans are bad, they caused two world wars and perpetrated the holocaust, so the German people must be changed through mass immigration.

The Brussels belief seems to be based mainly on the increasing average age in the EU.
It is incomprehensible to me, at the same time fear that robots slowly will do all simple jobs.

The Merkel belief, on the other side of the Atlantic, where few understand German, and cannot or do not watch German tv, I wonder how many understand that the 20th century propaganda of the victors still is decisive in German daily life and politics.
The danger of neonazi's and fascism is everywhere.
Nationalism, the equivalent of building gas chambers.

The EU also is based on the 20th century fairy tales, only the EU prevented wars in Europe after WWII.
The idea that Germans were victims in two world wars, and, until Hitler became power in 1933, also between the world wars, in unthinkable.
The idea that Endlösung meant deportation to Madagaskar, even more unthinkable.

That jews, as one Rothschild wrote to another around 1890, have and had but one enemy, themselves, the world unthinkable is too weak.
Yet
'From prejudice to destruction', Jacob Katz, 1980, Cambridge MA
explains it, things as 'close economic cooperation, intermarriage, ostentious behaviour'.
In this respect
'Christianity and the Holocaust of the Hungarian Jewry', Moshe Y Herclz, 1993 New York University press
also is a very interesting book, after jews in the thirties had been banned from many intellectual professions not a single Hungarian newspaper could be published any more.

Soros trying to force Muslim immigrants on deeply catholic Hungary, he was born in Hungary, experienced anti semitism, revenge ?

John Siman , says: September 18, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
I was recently in Budapest on business and will likely be returning soon: It is the most beautiful city I have ever seen, with stunning architectural restoration projects, almost non-existent police and military presence, food and wines that rival those of Paris, and a very friendly, non-bureaucratic and non-obsese (as opposed to the USA) population. I would like to hear from others who have recently visited and have knowledge of the country. Viszlát! -- John
Felix-Culpa , says: September 18, 2018 at 11:27 am GMT
When the fort of folly that Globalism is finally falls, Diana Johnstone's article will be cited as exemplary in exposing its hidden grammar. That fall cannot be far off now given that psy-ops can only work if people are ignorant of the manipulation afoot.

Great opening, Diana. For forty years the presstitude media have leaned on the use of implication as argument to have the ninety-nine percent buy what they are selling. What was not pointed out very well until now, is that their implications are all false. Now, only a dummy among the dumbed-down cannot see it.

Buzz Mohawk , says: September 18, 2018 at 11:46 am GMT
For those who have the patience to read the English subtitles, here is an excellent speech given by Orbán in July. Here he outlines his thinking on the issues facing Hungary and the world.

Viktor Orbán is a very intelligent leader, and he has the vast majority of the Hungarian people behind him. History has taught those people many things, and they have had enough. They are not fools. Look to them as an example for all of us.

https://youtu.be/RfU-SVsGpsc

Hans Vogel , says: September 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm GMT
@John Siman I was recently in Budapest on business and will likely be returning soon: It is the most beautiful city I have ever seen, with stunning architectural restoration projects, almost non-existent police and military presence, food and wines that rival those of Paris, and a very friendly, non-bureaucratic and non-obsese (as opposed to the USA) population. I would like to hear from others who have recently visited and have knowledge of the country. Viszlát! -- John Wherever US influence is not yet overwhelming (and such places are becoming fewer every day, unfortunately), you will still find "old-fashioned" ways of interaction, few fatties, and decent food and drink.

People may become fat for many reasons, but most fatties these days in the Anglosphere belong to the underclass. These wretches get fat from eating expensive trash at McDonald's and other fast food outlets, and drinking Coca Cola and similar sugar-saturated garbage. Their behavior may seem strange because their brains have largely withered away through endless TV watching (mainly US or US-inspired visual trash), their hearing impaired by ear- and mind numbing noise passing for music.

I am afraid the way out of that prison is long and tortuous for all victims of US neoliberalism.

Michael Kenny , says: September 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm GMT
The usual anti-EU propaganda that Ms Johnstone has been peddling for at least a dozen years, although she has recently moved from claiming to be a far-leftist to claiming to be a far-rightest. Whatever pretext "proves" the EU to be evil is trotted out! However, she points out very clearly Viktor Orban's dilemma. The choice for Hungary is between the EU and Putin's tanks. After 40 years of occupation by a Soviet Union in which the ethnic Russians acted as colonial overlords and the general contempt which Hungarians have for Slavs, choosing the latter option would be political suicide for any Hungarian leader. Thus, Orban is stuck with the EU whether he likes it or not and the other Member States are stuck with Orban whether they like it or not. In addition, two of Ms Johnstone's factual claims need to be corrected. The "EU" is taking no step whatsoever to strip Hungary of its political rights. The (according to Ms Johnstone, "largely rubber stamp") European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on the Member States to sanction Hungary. The EP always does something attention-grabbing in the run up to elections and since Ms Johnstone once worked for the European Parliament (as a far-leftist!), I'm sure she knows that. Imposing sanctions, as always in the EU, is a matter for the sovereign Member States and the decision has to be unanimous. Poland has already said it will not vote for sanctions, so the whole thing is a dead letter. Secondly, the claim that Hungary "never had a colonial empire" is untrue. It never had a colonial empire outside Europe but before 1918, it ruled over Slovakia, most of Croatia, Transylvania, now part of Romania, and the Vojvodina, now part of Serbia (so much for Ms Johnstone's supposed "expertise" on ex-Yugoslavia!). In general, the frantic, almost hysterical, tone of the article suggests that Ms Johnstone doesn't believe that Viktor Orban is going to be the cause of the imminent and inevitable demise of the hated EU that she has been predicting for as long as I have been reading her articles (and that goes back at least 14 years!).
Hans Vogel , says: September 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny The usual anti-EU propaganda that Ms Johnstone has been peddling for at least a dozen years, although she has recently moved from claiming to be a far-leftist to claiming to be a far-rightest. Whatever pretext "proves" the EU to be evil is trotted out! However, she points out very clearly Viktor Orban's dilemma. The choice for Hungary is between the EU and Putin's tanks. After 40 years of occupation by a Soviet Union in which the ethnic Russians acted as colonial overlords and the general contempt which Hungarians have for Slavs, choosing the latter option would be political suicide for any Hungarian leader. Thus, Orban is stuck with the EU whether he likes it or not and the other Member States are stuck with Orban whether they like it or not. In addition, two of Ms Johnstone's factual claims need to be corrected. The "EU" is taking no step whatsoever to strip Hungary of its political rights. The (according to Ms Johnstone, "largely rubber stamp") European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on the Member States to sanction Hungary. The EP always does something attention-grabbing in the run up to elections and since Ms Johnstone once worked for the European Parliament (as a far-leftist!), I'm sure she knows that. Imposing sanctions, as always in the EU, is a matter for the sovereign Member States and the decision has to be unanimous. Poland has already said it will not vote for sanctions, so the whole thing is a dead letter. Secondly, the claim that Hungary "never had a colonial empire" is untrue. It never had a colonial empire outside Europe but before 1918, it ruled over Slovakia, most of Croatia, Transylvania, now part of Romania, and the Vojvodina, now part of Serbia (so much for Ms Johnstone's supposed "expertise" on ex-Yugoslavia!). In general, the frantic, almost hysterical, tone of the article suggests that Ms Johnstone doesn't believe that Viktor Orban is going to be the cause of the imminent and inevitable demise of the hated EU that she has been predicting for as long as I have been reading her articles (and that goes back at least 14 years!). Judging by your name, you are not a European, but an Englishman, or from somewhere else in the Anglosphere. It is a good thing for England and especially the English to be leaving the EuSSR, which is more of a prison than commonly realized. Ruled by a greedy class of corrupt and, to make it worse, utterly mediocre, politicians, incompetent and stupid bureaucrats (yes, I know this is an oxymoron) in the exclusive interest of ruthless big corporations, human rights do not exist in the EuSSR.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe has seen a wave of privatizations on a scale only comparable to what happened in the former USSR. Nevertheless, taxation has increased to a point where today, the average EuSSR "citizen" pays between 75% and 80% taxes on every Euro he earns. The middle class is on its way to extinction. The judiciary is a joke, education has been dismantled or stupidified, health care is a disaster, save in Southern Europe where many doctors and nurses still have a sense of humanity.

The piece by Mrs. Johnstone may not be flawless, but it says what needs to be said.

anonymous , [739] Disclaimer says: September 18, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT
Lots of important things switch sides.

70 years ago the Democrat party in the American South was the party of regular working class White Southerners and promoted Southern heritage and Southern history including Confederate history.

Then things change.

Now the national Democrat party and the Democrat party in the South hates Whites Southerners, hates Southern heritage and Southern history and are promoting the desecration of Confederate monuments and confederate graves.

60 years ago Hungarian was under Soviet Communist domination and Hungarian patriots looked to the West – especially American and Great Britain to help them achieve some personal freedom from Communism.

Now things have completely changed. It's the Wester (EU) UK BBC, American mass media that restricts freedom and National Christianity in Hungary and pretty much everywhere else. Russia is once again a health European Christian nation. Nobody in Hungary, Eastern Europe or Russia wants to allow their countries to be invaded by millions of 3rd world Muslim rapists.

So I living in Chicago IL (Obama was my neighbor) look to Hungary, Poland, Russia and Eastern Europe for any small dose of freedom.

Things change.

[Sep 02, 2018] Most of the premises of traditional imperialist power politics including forced globalization are simply blown away

Notable quotes:
"... At least neither Russia nor China are bombing hospitals, schools and bus full of children for oil ..."
Sep 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Jim in MN -> Majestic12 Fri, 08/31/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Not Pepe's best sauce, but always worth a read. He's best when he's reporting from the field. His armchair geopolitics aren't that much better than anyone else's.

That said, Eurasian integration, Western Hemispheric energy independence, the populist revolt against forced globalization/sovereignty elimination/kleptocracy and the outbreak of global peace are all changing the chessboard profoundly. Most of the premises of traditional imperialist power politics are simply blown away. Instead, a new 'Chinese Peace with Russian Muscle' is the de facto hegemony in the vast bulk of the world, including parts of South American and most of Africa. With the Brits and French too slow and stupid to react, the Germans as weaselly and venal as ever, and the Japanese comatose, the hulk known as the G7 is heeling over into full capsize mode. And, good riddance.

Now the G20 has to either stand up or collapse. Much depends on which outcome develops.

However it works out, we can all stand and cheer that it is not a US dependent historical course any more. We've ceded our moral and military leadership. Perhaps we can reform, even if by bloody revolution, and re-emerge with something to give the rest of the world. Free markets, liberty, democracy, freedom of thought......the future is now really a question of whether any of these ideas will have a chance in a remade global order dominated, so far, by dictatorship, corruption, and moral crime.

So, we tend to our own house now. Anyone got a pack of matches?

Ace006 -> Jim in MN Sat, 09/01/2018 - 03:36 Permalink

** We've ceded our moral and military leadership **

Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Georgia, NATO expansion, the Clintoons, the Bush dynasty of mediocrity, our open border, offshoring, Muslim ass kissing, free-ranging Antifa filth, media monopoly and lies, foreigners taking university slots, sexual confusion, ass kissing homosexuals, groveling before bat shit crazy feminists, destruction of our basic legal document through judicial usurpation, diseased leftists spouting lies and delusion, excusing black dysfunction, fiscal incontinence, unaddressd monopolies, attacks on free speech, criminal immunity for elites, a president who won't exercise his authority and tolerates insubordination, an unaccountable bureaucracy, a loose cannon prosecutor, Jewish political domination, slobbering over Israel as though Jerusalem is our capitol not Washington, denigration of the white majority culture, celebration of miscegenation, degradation of marriage, our diseased educational establishment, rampant vote fraud, illegal and unconstitutional wars, chest beating about "exceptionalism," and a generally crap culture all say you're right.

DEDA CVETKO -> Majestic12 Fri, 08/31/2018 - 21:57 Permalink

There will be no sudden and dramatic collapse. There will only be a slow, painful, never-ending, degrading decay into nothingness, a death from one million pundits, a process readily apparent (literally) all around us. Tune in to CNN, see for yourself.

hongdo -> Conscious Reviver Sat, 09/01/2018 - 15:37 Permalink

I see your point, but I am not convinced bankers work independently. Bankers do not have a monopoly on psychotics. The psychotics in gov have as much greed and craving for power as the bankers and I believe they work around, with, and against each other for various reasons just like everything else in the world works. Thus a one dimensional theory will not be complete - and maybe that is what you are arguing: to include bankers in geopolitics. I agree the bankers are a big part of the rotten problem but like when I am overseas - I watch the guys with the guns.

sarz -> shuckster Sat, 09/01/2018 - 05:59 Permalink

Most of the planet has put up with a lot of shit from America It's good that it's finally coming to an end.

"We have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population... Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction... We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

George Kennan, State Department memo, 1948

America never gave up on the idealistic slogans -- the figleaf for the Empire of Chaos. Finally shutting the fuck up after the game is over will be welcome.

me or you Fri, 08/31/2018 - 20:14 Permalink

At least neither Russia nor China are bombing hospitals, schools and bus full of children for oil.

[Sep 02, 2018] Escobar- Get Ready For A Major Geopolitical Chessboard Rumble

Notable quotes:
"... No wonder one of the side effects of progressive Eurasia integration will be not only a death blow to Bretton Woods but also to "democratic" neoliberalism. ..."
Sep 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Alastair Crooke took a great shot at deconstructing why Western global elites are terrified of the Russian conceptualization of Eurasia.

It's because "they 'scent' a stealth reversion to the old, pre-Socratic values: for the Ancients the very notion of 'man', in that way, did not exist. There were only men: Greeks, Romans, barbarians, Syrians, and so on. This stands in obvious opposition to universal, cosmopolitan 'man'."

So it's Heraclitus versus Voltaire – even as "humanism" as we inherited it from the Enlightenment, is de facto over.

Whatever is left roaming our wilderness of mirrors depends on the irascible mood swings of the Goddess of the Market.

No wonder one of the side effects of progressive Eurasia integration will be not only a death blow to Bretton Woods but also to "democratic" neoliberalism.

What we have now is also a remastered version of sea power versus land powers. Relentless Russophobia is paired with supreme fear of a Russia-Germany rapprochement – as Bismarck wanted, and as Putin and Merkel recently hinted at. The supreme nightmare for the U.S. is in fact a truly Eurasian Beijing-Berlin-Moscow partnership.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has not even begun; according to the official Beijing timetable, we're still in the planning phase. Implementation starts next year. The horizon is 2039.

[Sep 02, 2018] Trump Drops the Value of the EU as an Ally -- to Zero by ALASTAIR CROOKE

Notable quotes:
"... " One of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together – with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin – okay? And, I mean [that] where we [the US] have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well." ..."
"... Art of the Deal ..."
"... Identify a big goal (tax cuts, balanced trade, the wall, etc.). ..."
"... Identify your leverage points versus anyone who stands in your way (elections, tariffs, jobs, etc.). ..."
"... Announce some extreme threat against your opponent that uses your leverage. ..."
"... If the opponent backs down, mitigate the threat, declare victory and go home with a win. ..."
"... If the opponent fires back, double down. If Trump declares tariffs on $50 billion of good from China,and China shoots back with tariffs on $50 billion of goods from the U.S., Trump doubles down with tariffs on $100 billion of goods, etc. Trump will keep escalating until he wins." ..."
"... Eventually, the escalation process can lead to negotiations with at least the perception of a victory for Trump (North Korea) -- even if the victory is more visual than real. ..."
"... "The position of Europe is clear. It isn't a coincidence that Trump, while enumerating the enemies of the US (the EU, China, and Russia), made it clear that he considers Russia to be a smaller problem [than the EU], because there are practically no economic contradictions ("Nord Stream-2" doesn't count) with it. It's not China, with which the US has the biggest negative trade balance, but the EU, which Trump fairly defined as the main trade competitor, receiving unjustified economic benefits from political agreements with the US, and which is the main 'foe' of the US. ..."
"... "[Thus Trump] resolves his military-political contradictions with Russia, [and consequently] reduces the value of the EU as an ally for Washington, to zero Europe was accustomed to (and hoped to continue to use) its role of a springboard for the fight against Russia as [the primordial] argument that was supposed to keep Trump away from making the last step (complete separation with the EU). ..."
"... In recent days, Merkel, after the NATO summit, started talking literally [that Trump's hostility towards Europe is unjustified], because Europe battles with Russia for the interests of the US. ..."
"... "For the EU it was crucial that this argument continued to work. Otherwise, Washington indeed, would have more common ground with Moscow than with Brussels. And Europe isn't ready for a sharp confrontation with the US. Having rested on its laurels [i.e. on its conviction that it occupied, as it were, some 'moral high ground of values']. Europe wasn't engaged (in difference, for example, from China), in the diversification of economic ties and appeared to be strongly dependent on access to the American market. ..."
"... "Without having risked to be ahead of Trump in the question of normalising relations with Russia, EU leaders were fatally afraid that Trump and Putin, despite all difficulties, will do the impossible and reach an agreement, especially as both proved to be people who are ready to instantly make decisions that change the destiny of the world. ..."
"... "The position taken by the EU raised the value of the summit for Russia too. Moscow can wait until Washington is ready for reconciliation. But, taking into account the obvious intention of Europe to manoeuvre between Russia and the US, trying to preserve the geopolitical configuration that is profitable for itself, but doesn't suit either Trump nor Putin, Russia was also interested in showing to the whole world the success of the summit and good prospects for achieving definitive and comprehensive agreements." ..."
"... The latent hatred for Russia is unmistakeably revealed. This animosity will not be a surprise to Putin – though the extremity of the elite language used towards Trump will make Russians aware of their ..."
"... What does such language portend? The roots of American Russo-phobia go deep. It starts with American Trotskyist activists' on ground participation in the initial Trotskyist Bolshevik revolution – largely financed, and orchestrated by Wall Street. ..."
"... Of course, what rankles most in America, and amongst European liberal elites, is the apparent according of moral equivalence of Putin to America, and to America's intelligence capabilities. America believes it WON – it won the Cold War culturally, and in terms of its systems of government and economics. ..."
"... The western Establishment anger stems ultimately from Russia's refusal to acquiesce to their merited 'defeatism' (in this view): Putin rejected to merge Russia into the American-led global order, preferring Russia to remain somehow 'Russian', in its own Russian cultural way. ..."
"... And for Trump? The 'smart money' says that he will be indicted, or impeached, after the midterms. I doubt it. For all John Brennan's talk of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" (the precise legal language of impeachment), there is no crime. If any, crimes per se ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

Maybe we are misreading things. Not a small number of commentaries have suggested that President Trump intended for Helsinki to re-set the Kissinger-esque triangulation between the US, Russia and China. And there are good grounds for making such a hypothesis. At a 2015 press conference, Trump, himself, took the Kissinger line -- that the US should always try to keep Russia and China divided, and never allied together against America):

" One of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together – with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin – okay? And, I mean [that] where we [the US] have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well."

This makes a lot of sense, but maybe in Helsinki Trump was doing something a little less strategic and more down-to-earth – something more in line with his Art of the Deal philosophy.

We have, over the decades, developed a fairly precise mental model of how "Presidents are supposed to behave; and how the policymaking process is supposed to be carried out. Obviously, Trump does not fit their model", Jim Rickards writes . "[GW] Bush and Obama were totally process-driven. You could see events coming a mile away as they wound their way through the West Wing and Capitol Hill deliberative processes." With Trump, Rickards continues, "there is a process, but it does not adhere to a timeline or existing template. Trump seems to be the only process participant most of the time. No one else in Washington thinks this way. Washington insiders try to avoid confrontation, avoid escalation, compromise from the beginning, and finesse their way through any policy process."

"Here's the Trump process:

Eventually, the escalation process can lead to negotiations with at least the perception of a victory for Trump (North Korea) -- even if the victory is more visual than real.

So, if we reframe the Helsinki meeting through this Art of the Deal lens, what do we get? Seeing that thedivergencies of vision between Russia and the US are so substantial, and the common ground is so small, there is very little prospect for a 'strategic global deal'. In fact, President Trump has little that he can offer Russia: sanctions relief is not in his gift (it is in the maw of Congress), and he could not – at this stage – relinquish Ukraine, even if Trump understands that the US and Europe bought a 'pig in a poke' with its Maidan coup in Kiev.

"So", as Russian commentator, Rostislav Ishchenko, writes (in Russian, translation here ): "We have a situation where both parties even prior to negotiations, knew that they wouldn't be able to come to some arrangement, and they didn't even prepare for such a thing (it wasn't planned to sign anything following the results of negotiations). At the same time, both parties needed the event to be successful". Ishchenko continues: "Trump obviously blackmails the European Union with a possible agreement with Russia. But Putin also needs to show Europe that there are other fish in the sea besides them."

"The position of Europe is clear. It isn't a coincidence that Trump, while enumerating the enemies of the US (the EU, China, and Russia), made it clear that he considers Russia to be a smaller problem [than the EU], because there are practically no economic contradictions ("Nord Stream-2" doesn't count) with it. It's not China, with which the US has the biggest negative trade balance, but the EU, which Trump fairly defined as the main trade competitor, receiving unjustified economic benefits from political agreements with the US, and which is the main 'foe' of the US.

"[Thus Trump] resolves his military-political contradictions with Russia, [and consequently] reduces the value of the EU as an ally for Washington, to zero Europe was accustomed to (and hoped to continue to use) its role of a springboard for the fight against Russia as [the primordial] argument that was supposed to keep Trump away from making the last step (complete separation with the EU).

In recent days, Merkel, after the NATO summit, started talking literally [that Trump's hostility towards Europe is unjustified], because Europe battles with Russia for the interests of the US.

"For the EU it was crucial that this argument continued to work. Otherwise, Washington indeed, would have more common ground with Moscow than with Brussels. And Europe isn't ready for a sharp confrontation with the US. Having rested on its laurels [i.e. on its conviction that it occupied, as it were, some 'moral high ground of values']. Europe wasn't engaged (in difference, for example, from China), in the diversification of economic ties and appeared to be strongly dependent on access to the American market.

"Without having risked to be ahead of Trump in the question of normalising relations with Russia, EU leaders were fatally afraid that Trump and Putin, despite all difficulties, will do the impossible and reach an agreement, especially as both proved to be people who are ready to instantly make decisions that change the destiny of the world.

"The position taken by the EU raised the value of the summit for Russia too. Moscow can wait until Washington is ready for reconciliation. But, taking into account the obvious intention of Europe to manoeuvre between Russia and the US, trying to preserve the geopolitical configuration that is profitable for itself, but doesn't suit either Trump nor Putin, Russia was also interested in showing to the whole world the success of the summit and good prospects for achieving definitive and comprehensive agreements."

In short, Trump was using Helsinki to leverage "an extreme threat against your opponent" (Europe), by voiding the European 'card' of its 'usefulness' to America through its constant battling against Russia. Indeed the recent NATO final comunique, reads almost precisely as an legal indictment of Russia and its behavior.

Both Trump and Putin took a big political risk by staging this 'end to Cold War – coup de théâtre'. Trump has unleashed extraordinary hysteria in parts of the US, provoking numerous Washington Post op-eds to language such as characterising Trump's words (at the press conference) as 'apostasy' and 'a cancer amongst us'. (Apostasy is the language used by violent jihadists against non-believers.)

The latent hatred for Russia is unmistakeably revealed. This animosity will not be a surprise to Putin – though the extremity of the elite language used towards Trump will make Russians aware of their risks – what might ensue were Trump somehow be removed from office?

What does such language portend? The roots of American Russo-phobia go deep. It starts with American Trotskyist activists' on ground participation in the initial Trotskyist Bolshevik revolution – largely financed, and orchestrated by Wall Street.

Not only did New York bankers provide money, they also facilitated safe passage to Russia for revolutionaries such as Trotsky and others. Stalin's ultimate killing of the Trotskyist killers in the 1930s (and many others) is at the root of the Russian 'thuggery' language still circulating in US (even if some have forgotten its origins). Stalin's cleansing has never been forgiven by certain circles in the US.

Of course, what rankles most in America, and amongst European liberal elites, is the apparent according of moral equivalence of Putin to America, and to America's intelligence capabilities. America believes it WON – it won the Cold War culturally, and in terms of its systems of government and economics. This 'End to History' hubris voided – in this ecstatic state – the need to treat Russia as other than a psychologically 'defeated people', (which they were not).

The western Establishment anger stems ultimately from Russia's refusal to acquiesce to their merited 'defeatism' (in this view): Putin rejected to merge Russia into the American-led global order, preferring Russia to remain somehow 'Russian', in its own Russian cultural way.

What are the implications for Europe? For Europe this is a catastrophe. It means that US dialogue with Putin will continue. Where to run for the EU – to Washington or to Moscow? To remain loyal to an old suzerain or to try to adhere to a new one, before others get there first?

Moreover, unlike Russia, Europe can't wait. By meeting Putin, Trump brought the US out of zugzwang, having handed over to the European Union the right to make this same move, which only risks complicating Euro politics – beyond its existing challenges.

And for Trump? The 'smart money' says that he will be indicted, or impeached, after the midterms. I doubt it. For all John Brennan's talk of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" (the precise legal language of impeachment), there is no crime. If any, crimes per se may emerge out from a very different quarter. And Trump likely will survive the current hysterics.

Tags: European Union

[Aug 31, 2018] The globalists would find use for a Trump presidency, more so in fact than a Clinton presidency

Notable quotes:
"... I was not sure whether Trump was controlled opposition or simply a useful scapegoat for the economic crisis that globalists are clearly engineering. Now it appears that he is both. ..."
"... Many businessmen end up dealing with elitist controlled banks at some point in their careers. But when Trump entered office and proceeded to load his cabinet with ghouls from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Council on Foreign Relations and give Wilber Ross the position of Commerce Secretary, it became obvious that Trump is in fact a puppet for the banks. ..."
"... If one examines the history of fake coups, there is ALWAYS an element of orchestrated division, sometimes between the globalists and their own puppets. This is called 4th Generation warfare, in which almost all divisions are an illusion and the real target is the public psyche. ..."
"... the overall picture is not as simple as "Left vs. Right." Instead, we need to look at the situation more like a chess board, and above that chess board looms the globalists, attempting to control all the necessary pieces on BOTH sides. Every provocation by leftists is designed to elicit a predictable response from conservatives to the point that we become whatever the globalists want us to become. ..."
"... Therefore it is not leftists that present the greatest threat to individual liberty, but the globalist influenced Trump administration. A failed coup on the part of the left could be used as a rationale for incremental and unconstitutional "safeguards." And conservatives may be fooled into supporting these measures as the threat is overblown. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

At that time I was certain that the globalists would find great use for a Trump presidency, more so in fact than a Clinton presidency. However, I was not sure whether Trump was controlled opposition or simply a useful scapegoat for the economic crisis that globalists are clearly engineering. Now it appears that he is both.

Trump's history was already suspicious. He was bailed out of his considerable debts surrounding his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City in the early 1990s by Rothschild banking agent Wilber Ross , which saved him from embarrassment and possibly saved his entire fortune . This alone was not necessarily enough to deny Trump the benefit of the doubt in my view.

Many businessmen end up dealing with elitist controlled banks at some point in their careers. But when Trump entered office and proceeded to load his cabinet with ghouls from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, the Council on Foreign Relations and give Wilber Ross the position of Commerce Secretary, it became obvious that Trump is in fact a puppet for the banks.

Some liberty movement activists ignore this reality and attempt to argue around the facts of Trump's associations. "What about all the media opposition to Trump? Doesn't this indicate he's not controlled?" they say. I say, not really.

If one examines the history of fake coups, there is ALWAYS an element of orchestrated division, sometimes between the globalists and their own puppets. This is called 4th Generation warfare, in which almost all divisions are an illusion and the real target is the public psyche.

This is not to say that leftist opposition to Trump and conservatives is not real. It absolutely is. The left has gone off the ideological deep end into an abyss of rabid frothing insanity, but the overall picture is not as simple as "Left vs. Right." Instead, we need to look at the situation more like a chess board, and above that chess board looms the globalists, attempting to control all the necessary pieces on BOTH sides. Every provocation by leftists is designed to elicit a predictable response from conservatives to the point that we become whatever the globalists want us to become.

... ... ...

As this is taking place, conservatives are growing more sensitive to the notion of a leftist coup, from silencing of conservative voices to an impeachment of Trump based on fraudulent ideas of "Russian collusion."

To be clear, the extreme left has no regard for individual liberties or constitutional law. They use the Constitution when it suits them, then try to tear it down when it doesn't suit them. However, the far-left is also a paper tiger; it is not a true threat to conservative values because its membership marginal, it is weak, immature and irrational. Their only power resides in their influence within the mainstream media, but with the MSM fading in the face of the alternative media, their social influence is limited. It is perhaps enough to organize a "coup," but it would inevitably be a failed coup.

Therefore it is not leftists that present the greatest threat to individual liberty, but the globalist influenced Trump administration. A failed coup on the part of the left could be used as a rationale for incremental and unconstitutional "safeguards." And conservatives may be fooled into supporting these measures as the threat is overblown.

I have always said that the only people that can destroy conservative principles are conservatives. Conservatives diminish their own principles every time they abandon their conscience and become exactly like the monsters they hope to defeat. And make no mistake, the globalists are well aware of this strategy.

Carroll Quigley, a pro-globalist professor and the author of Tragedy and Hope, a book published decades ago which outlined the plan for a one world economic and political system, is quoted in his address ' Dissent: Do We Need It ':

"They say, "The Congress is corrupt." I ask them, "What do you know about the Congress? Do you know your own Congressman's name?" Usually they don't. It's almost a reflex with them, like seeing a fascist pig in a policeman. To them, all Congressmen are crooks. I tell them they must spend a lot of time learning the American political system and how it functions, and then work within the system. But most of them just won't buy that. They insist the system is totally corrupt. I insist that the system, the establishment, whatever you call it, is so balanced by diverse forces that very slight pressures can produce perceptible results.

For example, I've talked about the lower middle class as the backbone of fascism in the future. I think this may happen. The party members of the Nazi Party in Germany were consistently lower middle class. I think that the right-wing movements in this country are pretty generally in this group."

Is a "failed coup" being staged in order to influence conservatives to become the very "fascists" the left accuses us of being? The continuing narrative certainly suggests that this is the game plan.

* * *

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[Aug 31, 2018] Big Money refuses to return to reality as its addicted to Smoke Mirrors since that s what was used to gain its power and will now double-down

Notable quotes:
"... For dessert today, I offer Russia's Grand Strategy Revisited published on the 24th. The Outlaw US Empire is in the midst of a Seldon Crisis but lacks the means to even recognize the spectacular mess its made for itself, much of which is quite visibly articulated in its NDS I linked to above. ..."
"... By every metric I've observed, the USA's citizenry from all political POVs wants a return to Reality for that's the only basis from which to address and solve the many domestic problems. ..."
Aug 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Aug 30, 2018 5:38:27 PM | 34

Too Funny! Trump whines, threatens pullout from WTO again! After decades of bullying nations and impoverishing their people, other nations are using the Outlaw US Empire's WTO as a weapon against it, so Trump cries Unfair! As I wrote above, Big Money's trapped within its own web.

The "Softies" are yet another entity in the Smoke & Mirrors Fun House designed to fool and gain citizenry's consent to be robbed blind.

Russians already went through that and are very wary as illustrated by the very sensitive nature of the recent Pension System Reform Debate and legislation that Putin had to solve using his political capital.

As with all politicians, you won't know what you elected until you learn how your rep votes issues, although some can be anticipated by examining their past behavior as with our pseudo Democrat-Socialist.

For dessert today, I offer Russia's Grand Strategy Revisited published on the 24th. The Outlaw US Empire is in the midst of a Seldon Crisis but lacks the means to even recognize the spectacular mess its made for itself, much of which is quite visibly articulated in its NDS I linked to above.

By every metric I've observed, the USA's citizenry from all political POVs wants a return to Reality for that's the only basis from which to address and solve the many domestic problems.

Big Money refuses as its addicted to Smoke & Mirrors since that's what was used to gain its power and will now double-down.

[Aug 24, 2018] The establishment are shocked that the ordinary people want out of the European Union (EU). They just don't realize that people are fed up being used, abused, dictated to, lied to, manipulated

Aug 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Stephen J. , August 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

The powerful always want more power.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
June 26, 2016

"Brexit: Are The Serfs Finally Rebelling"?

The establishment are shocked that the ordinary people want out of the European Union (EU). They just don't realize that people are fed up being used, abused, dictated to, lied to, manipulated, and forced into an EU dictatorship by treacherous politicians.

These are some of the same politicians who scurry to the meetings of the so-called elites in Davos, and also attend Bilderberg meetings. And many of them, when they leave politics, finish up on the boards of banks and multi-national corporations with the rest of the money-manipulating bandits that got bailed out with taxpayers' dollars, some of whom, I believe, should be in jail .

[much more info at link below]

https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2016/06/brexit-are-serfs-finally-rebelling.html

[Aug 19, 2018] End of "classic neoliberalism": to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare. This global trade war is spearheaded by the Trump White House, which sees trade sanctions and tariffs, such as the onslaught it launched against Turkey, as an integral component of its drive to secure the United States' geopolitical and economic interests at the expense of friend and foe alike. ..."
"... But while they are deeply divided as to their economic and geo-political objectives, the capitalist ruling classes are united on one essential question. However the next stage of the ongoing breakdown of world capitalism proceeds, they will all strive by whatever means considered necessary to make the working class the world over pay for it. ..."
"... In 2008, capitalist governments around the world, above all in the US, derived enormous benefit from the decades-long suppression of the class struggle by the trade unions and the parties of the political establishment. The rescue operation they carried out on behalf of parasitic and criminal finance capital would not have been possible without it ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star August 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/08/16/pers-a16.html

"But to an extent hardly imaginable in 2008, all the world's leading economies are locked in a perpetually escalating cycle of economic warfare. This global trade war is spearheaded by the Trump White House, which sees trade sanctions and tariffs, such as the onslaught it launched against Turkey, as an integral component of its drive to secure the United States' geopolitical and economic interests at the expense of friend and foe alike.

The character of world economy has undergone a major transformation in the past decade in which economic growth, to the extent it that it occurs, is not driven by the development of production and new investments but by the flow of money from one source of speculative and parasitic activity to the next."

"But while they are deeply divided as to their economic and geo-political objectives, the capitalist ruling classes are united on one essential question. However the next stage of the ongoing breakdown of world capitalism proceeds, they will all strive by whatever means considered necessary to make the working class the world over pay for it.

This is the lesson from the past decade which, in every country, has seen a deepening attack on wages, social conditions and living standards as wealth is redistributed up the income scale, raising social inequality to unprecedented heights.

In 2008, capitalist governments around the world, above all in the US, derived enormous benefit from the decades-long suppression of the class struggle by the trade unions and the parties of the political establishment. The rescue operation they carried out on behalf of parasitic and criminal finance capital would not have been possible without it."

[Aug 15, 2018] Talking Turkey: In essence this is an emerging market financial crisis, much like the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... So why should you care? Why does that matter to you or me? Well, like most emerging market financial crisis there is the danger of contagion . ..."
"... Turkey's economy is four times the size of Greece, and roughly equal in size to Lehman Brothers circa 2008. ..."
"... Turkey's other borders face six nations: Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Nakhchivan, a territory affiliated with Azerbaijan. Five of those are involved in ongoing armed conflicts or outright war. ..."
"... NATO has long outlived its' usefulness. Cancel its' stipend and bring our soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen and women home! Put them to work here. Fighting fires. ..."
"... NATO only seems to be useful to the hegemony that supports it. Peace is not it's mission. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 3:46pm

By now you've probably heard that Turkey is having a financial crisis, and Trump appears to be pouring gasoline on it.
But you may not understand what is happening, or you may not know why it's important.
So let's do a quick recap .

Turkey's currency fell to a new record low today. Year to date it's lost almost half its value, leading some investors and lenders inside and outside of Turkey to lose confidence in the Turkish economy.
...
"Ninety percent of external public and private sector debt is denominated in foreign currencies," he said.

Here's the problem. Because of the country's falling currency, that debt just got a lot more expensive.
A Turkish business now effectively owes twice as much as it did at the beginning of the year. "You are indebted in the U.S. dollar or euro, but your revenue is in your local currency," explained Lale Akoner, a market strategist with Bank of New York Mellon's Asset Management business. She said Turkey's private sector currently owes around $240 billion in foreign debt.

In essence this is an emerging market financial crisis, much like the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis.

This is all about hot money that has been washing around in a world of artificially low interest rates, and now, finally, an external shock happened. As it always happens .

The bid-ask spread, or the difference between the price dealers are willing to buy and sell the lira at, has widened beyond the gap seen at the depth of the global financial crisis in 2008, following Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s collapse.

So why should you care? Why does that matter to you or me? Well, like most emerging market financial crisis there is the danger of contagion .

The turmoil follows a similar currency crash in Argentina that led to a rescue by the International Monetary Fund. In recent days, the Russian ruble, Indian rupee and South African rand have also tumbled dramatically.

Investors are waiting for the next domino to fall. They're on the lookout for signs of a repeat of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis that began when the Thai baht imploded.

A minor currency devaluation of the Thai baht in 1997 eventually led to 20% of the world's population being thrust into poverty. It led to Russia defaulting in 1998, LTCM requiring a Federal Reserve bailout, and eventually Argentina defaulting in 2001.

Turkey's economy is four times the size of Greece, and roughly equal in size to Lehman Brothers circa 2008.

The markets want Turkey to run to the IMF for a loan, but that would require a huge interest rate hike and austerity measures that would thrust Turkey into a long depression. However, that isn't the biggest obstacle .

The second is that Erdogan would have to bury his hatchet with the United States, which remains the IMF's largest shareholder. Without U.S. support, Turkey has no chance of securing an IMF bailout program.

There is another danger, a political one and not so much an economic one, that could have dramatic implications.
If Erdogan isn't overthrown, or humbled, then there is an ironclad certainty that Turkey will leave NATO and the West.

Turkey, unlike Argentina, does not seem poised to turn to the International Monetary Fund in order to stave off financial collapse, nor to mend relations with Washington.

If anything, the Turkish President looks to be doubling down in challenging the US and the global financial markets -- two formidable opponents.
...
Turkey would probably no longer view the US as a reliable partner and strategic ally. Whoever ends up leading the country, a wounded Turkey would most likely seek to shift the center of gravity away from the West and toward Russia, Iran and Eurasia.

It would make Turkey less in tune with US and European objectives in the Middle East, meaning Turkey would seek to assert a more independent security and defense policy.

Erdogan has warned Trump that Turkey would "seek new friends" , although Russia and China haven't yet stepped up to the plate to bat for him.
Russia, Iran and China do have a common interest when in comes to undermining the petrodollar . Pulling Turkey into their sphere of influence would be a coup.

Turkey lies at a historic, strategic crossroad. The bridge between the peaceful West and the war-ridden dictatorships of the East that the West likes to bomb.

On its Western flank, Turkey borders Greece and Bulgaria, Western-facing members of the European Union. A few years ago, Turkey -- a member of NATO -- was preparing the join Europe as a full member.

Turkey's other borders face six nations: Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, and Nakhchivan, a territory affiliated with Azerbaijan. Five of those are involved in ongoing armed conflicts or outright war.

Losing Turkey would be a huge setback for NATO, the MIC, and the permanent war machine.

QMS on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 4:59pm

IMF = Poison

more struggling economies are starting to get it. Trade wealth for the rulers (IMF supporters) to be paid by the rest of us. Fight back. Squeeze the bankers balls. Can't have our resources, now way, no how, without a fight.

enhydra lutris on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 6:26pm
Can the BRICS get by without Brazil, perhaps by pulling

in a flailing Turkey? Weren't there some outside potential takers encouraging China when it floated its currency proposal?

Nastarana on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 8:41pm
NATO has long outlived its' usefulness. Cancel its' stipend and bring our soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen and women home! Put them to work here. Fighting fires.

Patrolling our shores for drug running and toxic dumping. Teaching school, 10 kids per class maximum. Refurbishing buildings and housing stock. Post Cold War, an military alliance with Turkey makes no sense.

QMS on Tue, 08/14/2018 - 9:22pm
NATO only seems to be useful to the hegemony that supports it. Peace is not it's mission.

[Aug 15, 2018] Lira Surges After Turkey Crushes Shorts, Imposes New US Sanctions, Denies Brunson Appeal For Release

Aug 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Meanwhile going back to the ongoing escalation in political tensions between the US and Turkey, one day after Erdogan vowed to boycott US electronics products, including the iPhone, Ankara slapped an additional tax on imports of a broad range of American goods. Turkey announced it would impose an additional 50% tax on U.S. rice, 140% on spirits and 120% on cars.

There are also additional charges on U.S. cosmetics, tobacco and some food products. The was Erdogan's latest retaliation for the Trump administration's punitive actions over the past few weeks to pressure Turkey into releasing an American pastor.

Bloomberg calculated that the items listed in the decree accounted for $1 billion of imports last year, similar to the amount of Turkish steel and aluminum exports that were subjected to higher tariffs by President Donald Trump last week.

The decision shows Turkey giving a proportionate response to American "attacks" on the Turkish economy, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in tweets this morning.

[Aug 14, 2018] No matter how globalism is repackaged, it always smells the same way in the end.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Michael Snyder via The American Dream blog,

No matter how globalism is repackaged, it always smells the same way in the end.

For decades, the globalists have subtly (or sometimes not so subtly) been moving us toward a world in which national borders have essentially been made meaningless . The ultimate goal, of course, is to merge all the nations of the world into a "one world socialist utopia" with a global government, a global economic system and even a global religion.

The European Union is a model for what the elite hope to achieve eventually on a global scale . The individual nations still exist, but once inside the European Union you can travel wherever you want, economic rules have been standardized across the Union, and European institutions now have far more power than the national governments.

Liberty and freedom have been greatly restricted for the "common good", and a giant horde of nameless, faceless bureaucrats constantly micromanages the details of daily life down to the finest details.

With each passing day the EU becomes more Orwellian in nature, and that is why so many in Europe are completely fed up with it.

Rich Monk Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

The (((Money Changers))) have always been Humanity's greatest threat!

taketheredpill Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

I would support TERM LIMITS on Congress and Senate...

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump's Trade War with China Undermining China's Dependence on Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China. ..."
"... So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that. ..."
"... despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment. ..."
"... for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor. ..."
"... first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements. ..."
"... And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal. ..."
"... let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. ..."
"... The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system. ..."
"... So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

The Financial Times chief economic columnist Martin Wolf has called Trump's trade wars with Europe and Canada, but obviously the big target is China, he's called this a war on the liberal world order. Well, what does this mean for China? China's strategy, the distinct road to socialism which seems to take a course through various forms of state hypercapitalism. What does this mean for China? The Chinese strategy was developed in what they thought would be a liberal world order. Now it may not be that at all.

Now joining us to discuss what the trade war means for China, and to have a broader conversation on just what is the Chinese model of state capitalism is Minqi Li, who now joins us from Utah. Minqi is the professor, is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He's the author of The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, and the editor of Red China website. Thanks for joining us again, Minqi.

MINQI LI: Thank you, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So I don't think anyone, including the Chinese, was expecting President Trump to be president Trump. But once he was elected, it was pretty clear that Trump and Bannon and the various cabal around Trump, the plan was twofold. One, regime change in Iran, which also has consequences for China. And trade war with China. It was declared that they were going to take on China and change in a fundamental way the economic relationship with China and the United States. And aimed, to a large extent, trying to deal with the rise of China as an equal, or becoming equal, economy, and perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future an equal global power, certainly as seen through the eyes of not just Trumpians in Washington, but much of the Washington political and economic elites.

So what does this mean for China's strategy now? Xi Jinping is now the leader of the party, leader of the government, put at a level virtually equal to Mao Tse-tung. But his plan for development of the Chinese economy did not, I don't think, factor in a serious trade war with the United States.

MINQI LI: OK. As you said, Trump was not expected. Which meant that Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China.

Now, on the Chinese part, and we know that China has been on these parts, there was capitalist development, and moreover it has been based on export-led economic growth model and with exploitation of cheap labor. So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that.

And so you have, indeed there are serious trade conflicts between China and U.S. that will, of course, undermine China's economic model. And so far China has responded to these new threats of trade war by promising that China, despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment.

Now, with respect to the trade itself, at the moment the U.S. has imposed tariffs on, 25 percent tariffs on the worth of $34 billion of Chinese goods. And then Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But this amount at the moment is still a small part of China's economy, about 3 percent of the Chinese GDP. So the impact at the moment is limited, but certainly has created a lot of uncertainty for the global and the Chinese business community.

PAUL JAY: So given that this trade war could, one, get a lot bigger and a lot more serious, and/or even if they kind of patch it up for now, there's a lot of forces within the United States, both for economic and geopolitical reasons. Economic being the discussion about China taking American intellectual property rights, becoming the new tech sector hub of the world, even overpassing the American tech sector, which then has geopolitical implications; especially when it comes to the military. If China becomes more advanced the United States in artificial intelligence as applied to the military, that starts to, at least in American geopolitical eyes, threaten American hegemony around the world.

There are a lot of reasons building up, and it's certainly not new, and it's not just Trump. For various ways, the Americans want to restrain China. Does this start to make the Chinese think that they need to speed up the process of becoming more dependent on their own domestic market and less interested in exporting cheap labor? But for that to happen Chinese wages have to go up a lot more significantly, which butts into the interests of the Chinese billionaire class.

MINQI LI: I think you are right. And so for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor.

PAUL JAY: You know, there's some sections of the left in various parts of the world that do see the Chinese model as a more rational version of capitalism, and do see this because they've maintained the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the politics, and over economic planning, that do see this idea that this is somehow leading China towards a kind of socialism. If nothing else, a more rational planned kind of capitalism. Is that, is there truth to this?

MINQI LI: Well, first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements.

And then regarding the rationality of China's economic model, you might put it this way: The Chinese capitalists might be more rational than the American capitalists in the sense that they still use most of their profits for investment, instead of just financial speculation. So that might be rational from the capitalist perspective. But on the other hand, regarding the exploitation of workers- and the Chinese workers still have to work under sweatshop conditions- and regarding the damage to the environment, the Chinese model is not rational at all.

PAUL JAY: My understanding of people that think this model works better, at least, than some of the other capitalist models is that there's a need to go through this phase of Chinese workers, yes, working in sweatshop conditions, and yes, wages relatively low. But overall, the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and China's position in the world is more and more powerful. And this creates the situation, as more wealth accumulates, China is better positioned to address some of the critical issues facing China and the world. And then, as bad as pollution is, and such, China does appear to be out front in terms of developing green technologies, solar, sustainable technology.

MINQI LI: OK. Now, Chinese economy has indeed been growing rapidly. It used to grow like double-digit growth rate before 2010. But now China's growth rate has slowed down just under 7 percent in recent years, according to the official statistics. And moreover, a significant part of China's growth these days derives rom the real estate sector development. And so there has been this discussion about this growing housing market bubble. And it used to be that this housing price inflation was limited to a few big cities. But for the first half of 2018, according to the latest data, the national average housing price has grown by 11 percent compared to the same period last year. And that translates into a pace of doubling every six years.

And so that has generated lots of social resentment. And so not only the working class these days are priced out of the housing market. Moreover, even the middle class is increasingly priced out of the housing market. So that is the major concern. And in the long run, I think that China's current model of accumulation will also face the challenge of growing social conflicts. Worker protests. As well as resources constrained and environmental damage. And regarding the issue of China's investment in renewable energy, it is true. China is the largest investor in renewable energy development, in the solar panels. And although China is of all the largest investor in about everything.

And so China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for almost 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the world every year. And then China's own oil production in decline, but China's oil consumption is still rising. So as a result, China has become the world's largest oil importer. That could make the Chinese economy vulnerable to the next major oil price shock.

PAUL JAY: And how seriously is climate change science taken in China? If one takes the science seriously, one sees the need for urgent transformation to green technology. An urgent reduction of carbon emission. Not gradual, not incremental, but urgent. Did the Chinese- I mean, it's not, it's so not taken seriously in the United States that a climate denier can get elected president. But did the Chinese take this more seriously? Because you don't get the same, any sense of urgency about their policy, either.

MINQI LI: Well, yeah. So like many other governments, the Chinese government also pays lip service to the obligation of climate stabilization. But unfortunately, with respect to policy, with respect to mainstream media, it's not taken very seriously within China. And so although China's carbon dioxide emissions actually stabilized somewhat over the past few years, but is starting to grow again in 2017, and I expect it will continue to grow in the coming year.

PAUL JAY: I mean, I can understand why, for example, Russia is not in any hurry to buy into climate change science. Its whole economy depends on oil. Canada also mostly pays lip service because the Alberta tar sands is so important to the Canadian economy. Shale oil is so important to the American economy, as well as the American oil companies own oil under the ground all over the world. But China is not an oil country. You know, they're not dependent on oil income. You'd think it'd be in China's interest to be far more aggressive, not only in terms of how good it looks to the world that China would be the real leader in mitigating, reducing, eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, but still they're not. I mean, not at the rate scientists say needs to be done.

MINQI LI: Not at all. Although China does not depend on all on oil for income, but China depends on coal a lot. And the coal is still something like 60 percent of China's overall energy consumption. And so it's still very important for China's energy.

PAUL JAY: What- Minqi, where does the coal mostly come from? Don't they import a lot of that coal?

MINQI LI: Mostly from China itself. Even though, you know, China is the world's largest coal producer, on top of that China is either the largest or the second-largest coal importer in the world market as well. And then on top of that, China is also consuming an increasing amount of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas. And so although natural gas is not as polluting as coal, it's still polluting. And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal.

PAUL JAY: The Chinese party, just to get back to the trade war issue and to end up with, the idea of this Chinese nation standing up, Chinese sovereignty, Chinese nationalism, it's a powerful theme within this new Chinese discourse. I'm not saying Chinese nationalism is new, but it's got a whole new burst of energy. How does China, if necessary to reach some kind of compromise with the United States on the trade war, how does China do that without looking like it's backing down to Trump?

MINQI LI: Well, yes, difficult task for the Chinese party to balance. What they have been right now is that on the one hand they promise to the domestic audience they are not going to make concessions towards the U.S., while in fact they are probably making concessions. And then on the other hand the outside world, and they make announcement that they will not change from the reform and openness policy, which in practice means that they will not change from the neoliberal direction of China's development, and they will continue down the path towards financial liberalization. And so that is what they are trying to balance right now.

PAUL JAY: I said finally, but this is finally. Do the Americans have a case? Does the Trump argument have a legitimate case that the Chinese, on the one hand, want a liberal world order in terms of trade, and open markets, and such? On the other hand are not following intellectual property law, property rights and law, the way other advanced capitalist countries supposedly do. Is there something to that case?

MINQI LI: Well, you know, let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. - but I don't want to make justifications for the neoliberal global order. But let's put it this way: The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system.

PAUL JAY: So the crisis- you know, when you look at the American side and the Chinese side, including the deep debt bomb people talk about in China, there really is no sorting out of this crisis.

MINQI LI: So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable.

PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Minqi. I hope we can pick this up again soon.

MINQI LI: OK. Thank you.

PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump s Creative Vision for a New, Sensible, RealPolitik American Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Financial Times ..."
"... raison d'état ..."
"... balance of power ..."
"... Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Tharoor quotes from New York Times columnist David Brooks who concluded that Trump's behavior was that "of a man who wants the alliance to fail." He quotes extensively from Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and leader of the Liberal political fraction in the European Parliament fighting for a much more integrated EU, who sees Trump as the enemy of liberal internationalism and ally of his own alt right enemies in Europe.

Tharoor also brings into play Martin Wolf of the Financial Times , who delivered a scathing attack on Trump for his rejection of the West: " today the U.S. president appears hostile to core American values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law; he feels no loyalty to allies; he rejects open markets; and he despises international institutions."

In the 23 July issue of "Today's World View," Tharoor takes advantage of the time gone by since Helsinki to refine the conclusions. He offers a pithy commentary from Susan Glasser of The New Yorker : "We are witnessing nothing less than the breakdown of American foreign policy."

In the same issue, Tharoor notes that public reaction to Trump in Helsinki is less pronounced than one might suppose from reading the pundits. He offers the following remarks of colleagues on the results of a recent poll: "Most Americans do not feel Trump went 'too far' in supporting Puitn, and while more Americans say U.S. leadership has gotten weaker than stronger under Trump, his ratings on this question are slightly improved from last fall."

If we go back in time to the days following Trump's visit to the NATO gathering in Brussels, we find in the headlines of the 11 July issue another take on what Trump is doing:

"Trump's NATO trip shows 'America First' is 'America Alone.'"

Here we read about Trump's insistence that America "stop footing Europe's bill" for its defense, namely his demand that all NATO allies pay up 2% of GDP at once, not in the remote future; and that they prepare to double that to 4% very quickly. By intentional abrasiveness, these moves by Trump are, Tharoor tells us, "undercutting the post-World War II order in pursuit of short-term, and likely illusory, wins."

All of these comments address the question of what Trump opposes. However, Tharoor is unable to say what, if anything, Trump stands for. There are only hints: continued US hegemony but without the ideological cover; might makes right; nationalism and the disputes that lead to war.

Does this make sense? Or is it just another way of saying that Trump's foreign policy stance is an inconsistent patchwork, illogical and doomed to fail while causing much pain and destruction along the way?

I fully agree with the proposition that Donald Trump is ripping up the post-Cold War international order and is seeking to end NATO and the rest of the alliance system by which the United States has maintained its global hegemony for decades. But I believe this destructive side is guided by a creative vision of where he wants to take US foreign policy.

This new foreign policy of Donald Trump is based on an uncompromising reading of the teachings of the Realist School of international affairs, such as we have not seen since the days of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was its greatest practitioner in US history.

This is not isolationism, because Trump is acting to defend what he sees as US national interests in foreign trade everywhere and in geopolitics in one or another part of the world. However, it is a world in which the US is cut free from the obligations of its alliances which entail maintenance of overseas bases everywhere at the cost of more than half its defense budget. He wants to end the risks of being embroiled in regional wars that serve our proxies, not core US national interests. And he is persuaded that by a further build-up of military might at home, by adding new hi-tech materiel the US can secure its interests abroad best of all.

I reach these conclusions from the snippets of Trump remarks which appear in the newspapers of daily record but are intentionally left as unrelated and anecdotal, whereas when slotted together they establish the rudiments of an integrated worldview and policy.

For example, I take his isolated remark that the United States should not be prepared to go to war to defend Montenegro, which recently passed NATO accession, because Montenegro had been a trouble-maker in the past. That remark underwent virtually no analysis in the media, though it could be made only by someone who understood, remarkably, the role of Montenegro at the Russian imperial court of Nicholas II precisely as "troublemaker," whose dynastic family aided in their own small way the onset of WWI.

Donald Trump is not a public speaker. He is not an intellectual. We cannot expect him to issue some "Trump Doctrine" setting out his Realist conception of the geopolitical landscape. All we get is Tweets. This inarticulate side of Trump has been used by his enemies to argue he has no policy.

In fact, Trump is the only Realist on the landscape.

Going back to 2016, I thought he was being guided by Henry Kissinger during the campaign and then in the first months of his presidency, I misjudged entirely. Trump is true to the underlying principles of Realism without compromise, whereas Henry K. made his peace with the prevailing Wilsonian Idealism of the American Establishment a couple of decades ago in order to remain welcome in the Oval Office and not to be entirely marginalized.

Trump's vision of Realism draws from the source in the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648 with its guiding concept of sovereign nation-states that do not intervene in others' domestic affairs. It further draws on the notions of raison d'état or national interest developed by the French court of Louis XIV and then taken further by "perfidious Albion" in the eighteenth century, with temporary and ever changing combinations of states in balance of power realignments of competitors. The history of the Realist School was set out magnificently by Kissinger in his 1994 work Diplomacy . It is a pity that the master himself strayed from true and narrow.

In all of this, you have the formula for Trump's respect, even admiration for Putin, since that also is now Vladimir Vladimirovich's concept of Russia's way forward: as a strong sovereign state that sets its own course without the constraints of alliances and based on its own military might.

The incredible thing is how a man with such poor communication skills, a man who does not read much came to such an integrated vision that outstrips the conceptual abilities of his enemies, his friends and everyone in between.

We are tempted to look for a mentor, and one who comes to mind is Steve Bannon, who is very articulate, razor-sharp in his intellect and who provided Trump with much of the domestic content of his 2016 campaign from the alt right playbook. And though Bannon publicly broke with Trump in their falling out over his ever diminishing role in the Administration, Bannon's ongoing project, in particular his Movement to influence European politics and shift it to the Right by coordinating activities across the Continent during the parliamentary elections of May 2019, very closely parallel what Trump's ambassador in Berlin seems to be doing in Trump's name.

It may well be that the President and his confidantes find it prudent for him to play the hapless fool, the clueless disrupter of the global political landscape until he has the support in Congress to roll out the new foreign policy that is now in gestation.

The logical consequence of such a Realist approach to foreign policy will be to reach an understanding with the world's other two principal military powers, Russia and China, regarding respective spheres of influence in their geographic proximity. But I do not believe we will see a G-3 succeeding America's unipolar moment. Given the predispositions of both Russia and China, we are more likely to see a broader board of governors of global policy in the form of the G-20, ushering in the multipolar age. In such a formulation, regional conflicts will be settled locally by the interested parties and with the major powers involved only as facilitators, not parties to conflict. That promises a much more stable and peaceful future, something which none of Donald Trump's detractors can begin to imagine as his legacy.


Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book, "Does the United States Have a Future?" was published on 12 October 2017. Both paperback and e-book versions are available for purchase on http://www.amazon.com and all affiliated Amazon websites worldwide. See the recent professional review http://theduran.com/does-the-united-states-have-a-future-a-new-book-by-gilbert-doctorow-review/ For a video of the book presentation made at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on 7 December 2017 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciW4yod8upg

[Aug 08, 2018] US corps have bought out UK and EU corps and then outsource the work to India and China. US Corps = Globalisation.

Aug 08, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

DancehallStyle -> AgainstDarkness , 6 Aug 2018 20:02

US corps have bought out UK and EU corps and then outsource the work to India and China. US Corps = Globalisation.
DancehallStyle -> AnthonyFlack , 6 Aug 2018 19:57
IT tech and even intricate clothing are too fiddly for automata.

Americans view is if other countries like China make too much money and will overtake them then they will take it all back.

They did that with Japan. They also destroyed Soviet's economy.

ID4355982 , 6 Aug 2018 19:52
trump has wrecked environmental policy, trade policy and domestic social policy....the upshots will be: 1- a much more toxic environment & much higher level of respiratory disease and cancerous related ailments; overall poorer health & health care for the average citizen 2- higher prices for imported goods, lower level of trade exports, fewer US based jobs and more off-shoring of US jobs 3- a substantial increase in the homeless population in the urban areas of this country; increased rates of poverty for the poor, lower economic prosperity for the lower and lower middle class income brackets; wage stagnation for the middle & upper middle income brackets; less advanced education & lower worker productivity and innovation to name just a few of the impacts created by this idiot....in simple in English, Trump and his so-called initiatives are shafting this country in almost every way possible
Ilya Grushevskiy -> RepaTea , 6 Aug 2018 19:17
What part of international law is not just pissed on toiler paper strewn over the floors of a urinal? Which post WWII president respected this law?

None.

International law, since WWII failed. It failed in '47 when no referendum was held in Palestine - against Chapter 1, Article 1 paragraph 2 of the UN Charter. It failed in Crimea, when the results of such a referendum was spat on by the previous war criminal to sit in the Oval Office. It fails now as sanctions are used unilaterally - being equivalent to the use of force in result, they should be

But then let's not stop at after the war. The US is the only country to nuke civilians. 6/7 US four star generals at the time said the action had no strategic or tactical purpose whatsoever.

The US is what ISIS dreams to be, the sooner it falls into obscurity the better.

Brian Black -> bobthebuilder2017 , 6 Aug 2018 19:13
Pure nonsense. The Great Depression began on October 29, 1929. FDR was inaugurated on March 4, 1933 nearly 4 years after it began. Hoover had actually only been in office for just over 6 months before Black Tuesday. GDP began growing and unemployment began falling in 1933 shortly after FDR took office. The Depression officially came to an end in 1939 when GDP returned to pre-Depression levels.
Ilya Grushevskiy , 6 Aug 2018 19:09
There is no long term US growth. There is a debt default after people realize the fact that the top of the whole US government is incompetent. That it has chained itself to such astronomic liabilities for useless wars (as the Empire has not succeeded in world hegemony), is even sadder. It coould have spent the $5tn of Iraq and Afghanistan on building shit, but instead it bombed shit.

Trump doesn't matter for US long run - in 5-10 years time the country will be only found in history books.

gmiklashek950 , 6 Aug 2018 17:59
Remember Kruschev's (sp?) last words on leaving office, and I'm paraphrasing: "Don't worry about America, they'll spend themselves to death (just like we have)". Continued economic growth is a wet dream of Wall Street origin. We are massively overpopulated and rapidly using up earth's natural resources at an increasingly unsustainable rate. We must begin to reduce our growth, not keep increasing it. Population density stress is killing us now and only increasing every day along with the 220,000 new mouths to feed that we are turning out into a world that has no room for 28,000,000 homeless migrants already. Just how crazy are we really. If this article is to be believed, we are nuts. E.F. Schumacher is rolling in his grave! Stress R Us
AgainstDarkness , 6 Aug 2018 16:56
Trump/the US is attempting to renegotiate globalisation.

It is time for the rest of the western world to follow suit.

Levente Tanka -> plakias , 6 Aug 2018 16:34
The contribution of a president to the national debt depends a bit on how you calculate it. You could simply look at rhe dates of inauguration or go a step further and look at the fiscal years. For the latter see :

https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

In absolute terms Obama is indeed at the top of the list, percentagewise his predecessor played a larger part. No matter how you look at it or what the causes were, under Bush and Obama the U.S. debt seems to have spiralled out of of control and Trump is doing bugger all to stop that trend.

[Aug 07, 2018] Pat Buchanan Are Globalists Plotting A Counter-Revolution

Aug 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

For consider the fruits of free trade policy during the last 25 years : the frozen wages of U.S. workers, $12 trillion in U.S. trade deficits, 55,000 factories lost, 6 million manufacturing jobs gone, China surpassing the U.S in manufacturing, all causing a backlash that pushed a political novice to the Republican nomination and into the presidency.

To maintain a belief in the superiority of free trade to economic patriotism, in the face of such results, is to recognize that this belief system is impervious to contradictory proof.


Brazen Heist II -> brushhog Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

The sad reality that I see all around is that Western civilization has been hijacked by degenerate hyenas like Rome was sacked from within first before being sacked externally. The institutions that once made the West a leader and a model, have been corrupted, tainted and filled with anti-humanists and crony corporatists. Greed is out of control and "popular culture" is spreading decay. The hollowing out will continue until these parasites find another host to leech off. Will it be China? Will it be a global government? Will it be another planet? Who knows.

Once upon a time figures like Rosenstein, Mueller, Brennan, Browder, Clapper, Clinton etc would be just fucking taken out or punished. Instead of that, they get to wander their toxic asses around like protected peacocks, all on tax payers dime, with their shitty agendas, and their shitty handlers cheering on the degeneracy and assault on the truth and the people.

If this is what "civilization" has boiled down to, count me the fuck out of it. The 5000 year old human farming experiment is merely switching straight jackets. Its the same old story that ever was, ever since we gave up the nomadic lifestyle. In a way, its probably an inevitability, given our flawed human nature, and the size of the population....and average intellect. The desire to be 'lead' by some ruling class, no matter what flavour of 'ism' it is, eventually all turns to the same end result....shit. Unless this global awakening can muster into a force to be reckoned with, and not be swayed by divide and conquer tactics, nothing will change. So far with the toxic Left vs Right divide, and countless other divides, the only beneficiaries of this are the ones at the top of the pyramid.

sarcrilege -> Brazen Heist II Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

nature will take care of all this in due time...we just may not like the outcome

HopefulCynical -> sarcrilege Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:28 Permalink

Pat Buchanan: Are Globalists Plotting A Counter-Revolution?

HopefulCynical : Is the sky blue? Is water wet? Is fire hot?

FFS, look at the goddamn purge on (((Social media))). Of COURSE the (((globalists))) are attempting a counter-revolution.

We all need to move to alt-tech: Minds , Gab , Bitchute . Even if you don't have a (((social media))) presence, consider getting an alt-media presence. We've been wondering when the next phase would begin, whewn it would be time to take further action. Well, it's here.

First step in this next phase is to set up multiple lines of communication not under (((establishment))) control. Even if you seldom use them, set up accounts; advise those you know to do likewise. Wanna see the establishment panic? If they see the subscriber count for the alt-tech sites suddenly quadruple (or more) in response to their purge, they'll shit themselves. They'll probably attempt to pull domain registrars and financial processing services from those sites.

Then - the motherfucking games begin, bitchez.

[EDIT:] According to Styx, the alt-tech sites are already seeing a surge in membership. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZP1fwkdupg Let the (((establishment))) diaper-filling begin!

Endgame Napoleon -> Big Creek Rising Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:14 Permalink

But will "negotiations" and regulatory loosening on issues like the environment and worker safety, which have gotten out of hand in the US to the disadvantage of underemployed citizens, offset the extremely low wages offered to Asian and Latin American workers in the countries where American-owned companies shipped over 6 million jobs, canceling out the SS-retirement fund contributions that would have been made by American workers [and] employers if the jobs had been kept here?

Cheap labor seems to TRUMP everything with US employers.

Running from the SS trust fund might be another reason for their abandonment of America.

Cheap labor Trumps everything here in the USA, too, and the cheap-labor pool is aided and abetted by the welfare system. That is why US employers prefer an often extremely absentee welfare and progressive-tax-code-subsidized labor market, receiving .gov-financed monthly bills and up to $6,431 in refundable child-tax-credit cash for US-born instant-citizen kids.

Contrary to myth, hard work, daily and all-day attendance and even work productivity, like every-month quota meeting, is NOT preferred by American employers for most of the jobs left here in the USA.

The welfare-eligible 42 million are (on the books) not hard workers, but part-time workers, staying under the income limits for welfare programs. I KNOW that from working at the Department of Human Services, where single moms and the womb-productive girlfriends of illegal and legal immigrants MUST submit proof of a single-breadwinner's part-time, traceable earnings to get the free stuff.

The earnings must fall below the income limits for welfare programs that ALWAYS reward part-time work in womb-productive single-breadwinner households of citizens and noncitizens. You cannot work full time in a minimum-wage job while meeting the income limits. When I worked at DHS, both the EBT and monthly cash assistance income limits were BELOW $900 per month......

Even if Trump eventually lures US corporations back here with looser regulations and tax cuts, rather than just unleashing a stock buy-back spree, it will not matter to the 101 million American citizens of working age who are out of the labor force and the 78 million gig pieceworkers, not if this welfare-rigged labor market of citizens and noncitizens continues to be the norm.

You cannot compete with a bigly labor market full of welfare-fetching citizens & noncitizens who do not need pay sufficient to cover rent due to their womb production.

Only a Deplorables First immigration reform would address that issue, including a big reduction in the number of welfare-eligible legal immigrants let in each year. The number 1.5 million is too many. This -- no more and no less than illegal immigration -- keeps wages down, but the illegal immigration has the added bonus of making America more dangerous.

The impasse on the immigration issue is the reason why I am skeptical of the value of current trade-war maneuvering, even though I am glad that Trump is addressing that general issue.

The other thing that complicates this trade war is the way that globalist elites have sold America out over the years, not just destroying the middle class with all of this offshoring and welfare-supported illegal labor, but also getting the US economy 1) waist-deep in debt, 2) dependent on foreign investment and 3) subject to getting jerked around by Machiavellian currency manipulation that non-math people, like me, really don't understand.

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3463-trade-war-provides-perfect-cover-for-the-elitist-engineered-global-reset

It sounds kind of dangerous, though, even just the argument that Stockman makes about China being a house of cards that, if it came down, could have unintended consequences for the US.

I have no idea. But I do know that many of the people who voted for Trump are pretty adamant about the immigration issue, first and foremost, regarding it as an easier and less risky thing to get done as well.

Maybe, the children-at-the-border Movie of the Week has convinced most Trump voters to stay on the train, thinking something permanent has been done to contain the flow of welfare-rewarded illegal immigration.

I think many of the teenagers, released into the country to live with extended family or in foster care, will, in a few years, be entering the labor force as part-time workers, producing instant-citizen kids and getting free monthly bills and refundable child-tax-credit cash from .gov, while citizens like me will still face rent that eats up over half of our monthly, earned-only income from low-wage churn jobs.

As much of an enthusiastic Trump voter as I have been, going back a long way, I am not sure that I am going to vote in the mid-term general election. I am not going to vote for this Tammany Hall II Democratic Party, but I may just stay home.

There are many populists out there, not just on the right either, who are disgruntled for very real reasons, like this interesting article explains, so there will likely be wave after wave of non-centrist populism until globalism's shoreline has been redefined.

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2018/07/26/centrism-is-dead-and-it-never-really-existed/

Hmmm, weird, when I loaded the other link, it conformed to the format of this text box, but then when I loaded the link above this last paragraph, it reverted to cutting off the text on the side. Until I post it, I cannot see the full text after links are added.

Chupacabra-322 -> Brazen Heist II Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:36 Permalink

@ Brazen,

"The few who understand the system, will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on it favors that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantages...will bear its burden without complaint and perhaps without suspecting that the system is inimical to their best interests."

-Rothschild Brothers of London communique' to associates in New York June 25th, 1863.

The Difference.

J. Speer-Willams

June 16, 2010.

New-Cons. Love War & torture, increased regulations, tyranny and taxes; with our taxes going to the plutocrats of the private banking community. They support governmental destruction of our environment, under the pretender of protecting it. They, also, overtly support corporatism (Fascism for Oligarchs) and any measures supported by the Republican Party that enrich the private International Monetary / Banking Cartel at the expensive of the. American People.

New- Libs. Love War & torture, increased regulations, tyranny and taxes; with our taxes going to the plutocrats of the private banking community. They support governmental destruction of our environment, under the pretender of protecting it. They, also, overtly support corporatism (Socialism for Oligarchs) and any measures supported by the Democratic Party that enrich the private International Monetary / Banking Cartel at the expensive of the. American People.

Batman11 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:08 Permalink

Neoliberalism was just one huge debt fuelled boom, which was replicated across the UK, the US, the Euro-zone, Japan and China.

At 25.30 mins we can see the super imposed the debt-to-GDP ratios.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

The damage is done.

The economics of the neoliberal era had a fundamental flaw.

The 1920s roared with debt based consumption and speculation until it all tipped over into the debt deflation of the Great Depression. No one realised the problems that were building up in the economy as they used an economics that doesn't look at private debt, neoclassical economics.

Same economics, same problem, globally.

TeethVillage88s -> Batman11 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:55 Permalink

I think Pat also gets this sentence wrong and if so I say he misses details we would like to see

This is truly economics uber alles, economy before country.

The University Economist programs/studies were more oriented toward people in the old days. Economics today is used to justify Wall Street type finance and ideology. Economic study was hijacked to serve only those looking to get rich any way they can. CFR agenda comes to mind. Globalism comes to mind also and is an attack on all nations constitutions.

Batman11 -> TeethVillage88s Tue, 08/07/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

The Americans have been discovering the problems of running an economy with bad economics.

Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy.

The Classical economist, Adam Smith, observed the world of small state, unregulated capitalism around him.

"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."

How does this tie in with the trickledown view we have today?

Somehow everything has been turned upside down.

The workers that did the work to produce the surplus lived a bare subsistence existence.

Those with land and money used it to live a life of luxury and leisure.

The bankers (usurers) created money out of nothing and charged interest on it. The bankers got rich, and everyone else got into debt and over time lost what they had through defaults on loans, and repossession of assets.

Capitalism had two sides, the productive side where people earned their income and the parasitic side where the rentiers lived off unearned income. The Classical Economists had shown that most at the top of society were just parasites feeding off the productive activity of everyone else.

Economics was always far too dangerous to be allowed to reveal the truth about the economy.

How can we protect those powerful vested interests at the top of society?

The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital". They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists to hide the effects of rentier activity in the economy.

The landowners, landlords and usurers were now just productive members of society again.

It they left banks and debt out of economics no one would know the bankers created the money supply out of nothing. Otherwise, everyone would see how dangerous it was to let bankers do what they wanted if they knew the bankers created the money supply through their loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The powerful vested interests held sway and economics was corrupted.

Now we know what's wrong with neoclassical economics we can put the cost of living back in.

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)

Employees want more disposable income (discretionary spending)

Employers want to pay lower wages for higher profits

The cost of living = housing costs + healthcare costs + student loan costs + food + other costs of living

The neoliberals obsessed about reducing taxes, but let the cost of living soar.

The economists also ignore the debt that is papering over the cracks and maintaining demand in the economy. This can never work in the longer term as you max. out on debt.

Felix da Kat Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:12 Permalink

The problem is the US has lost citizenry-control. A shadow-government along with media operatives work unseen to manipulate sentiment and events in-line with an overall globalist, world-government objective (Neo-Marxism). The so-called elites behind the curtain are after total control which is why we will continue toward totalitarian dictatorship. It will not be a one-man show nor will it be readily recognizable as such, rather there will be a secretive Cabal of select ultra-wealthy liberals who will negotiate with each other as to which levers to pull and valves to turn in order to "guide" culture and civilization. But the tightknit Cabal has more work to do to infiltrate deeper into US (and world) government. The EU's Parliament is a proto-type test to tweak how they must proceed. As the Cabal coalesces their power, more draconian rulership will become apparent. The noose will tighten slowly so as to be un-noticeable and unstoppable. Certain events are planned that will cause citizenry to demand totalitarianism (for safety reasons). For the Cabal, it'll be like taking candy from a baby. This, in a nutshell, is the outline of how the US (and Western civilization) loses its democracy.

Winston Smith 2009 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:22 Permalink

"...consider the fruits of free trade policy during the last 25 years..."

The point is that THAT is not "free trade," you idiot. Globalists just incorrectly call it that intentionally. HERE is what it is:

The Myth of Modern "Global Markets"

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/08/16/the-myth-of-modern-glob

Understanding how trillions of trade dollars influence geopolitical policy we begin to understand the three-decade global financial construct they seek to protect.

That is, global financial exploitation of national markets. FOUR BASIC ELEMENTS :

♦Multinational corporations purchase controlling interests in various national outputs and industries of developed industrial western nations.

♦The Multinational Corporations making the purchases are underwritten by massive global financial institutions, multinational banks.

♦The Multinational Banks and the Multinational Corporations then utilize lobbying interests to manipulate the internal political policy of the targeted nation state(s).

♦With control over the targeted national industry or interest, the multinationals then leverage export of the national asset (exfiltration) through trade agreements structured to the benefit of lesser developed nation states – where they have previously established a proactive financial footprint.

SJ158 Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:34 Permalink

Pat must suffer from some kind of cognitive dissonance. There is no free trade, nor there was before Trump. In a world of flexible exchange rates and central banking backed-inflationary credit trade wars are the status quo. He willfully ignores all the effects of credit inflation, unsound money, tax structures, subsidies, regulatory burdens created internally and by those "trade deals" and last but not least the reserve status of the fiat dollar which basically turned the US in a huge nothing-for-something economy relative to its imports.

[Aug 07, 2018] Trump To Slap $16 Billion In New Tariffs On Chinese Imports Starting August 23

Aug 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Completing the latest round of tariffs pledged against China, the US Trade Representative announced on Tuesday (after the close of course) it will impose 25% tariffs on $16 billion-worth of Chinese imports starting August 23. The new round of tariffs completes Trump's previously disclosed threat to impose $50 billion of import taxes on Chinese goods. The first $34 billion-worth went into effect on July 6th.

According to the USTR statement, customs will collect duties on 279 product lines, down from 284 items on the initial list; as Bloomberg notes, this will be the second time the U.S. slaps duties on Chinese goods in about the past month, overruling complaints by American companies that such moves will raise business costs, tax US consumers and raise prices.

On July 6, the U.S. levied 25% duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing.

Of course, China will immediately retaliate, having vowed before to strike back again, dollar-for-dollar, on the $16 billion tranche.

The biggest question is whether there will be a far bigger tariff in the near future: as a reminder, the USTR is currently also reviewing 10% tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports, and may even raise the rate to 25%. Those tariffs could be implemented after a comment period ends on Sept. 5. President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than $500 billion last year.

Over the weekend, Trump boasted that he has the upper hand in the trade war, while Beijing responded through state media by saying it was ready to endure the economic fallout. Judging by the US stock market, which has risen by $1.3 trillion since Trump launched his trade war with China, which has crushed the Shanghai Composite, whose recent drop into a bear market has been duly noted by Trump, the US president is certainly ahead now, even if the market's inability, or unwillingness, to push US stocks lower has led many traders and analysts to scratch their heads.

[Aug 05, 2018] Canadians Begin Boycotting US Goods

Aug 05, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Exposing the growing backlash against Trump's trade policies, the WSJ writes that "ticked-off Canadians", angered by U.S. metals tariffs and Trump's harsh words for their prime minister, are boycotting American products and buying Canadian.

Take Garland Coulson, a 58-year-old Alberta entrepreneur, who admits that while usually he doesn't pay much attention to where the goods he buys are coming from, saying that "you tend to buy the products that taste good or you buy the products that are low in price where taste isn't an issue", he believes the tariffs from Canada's neighbor are a "slap in the face," and added that in recent he has put more Canadian products into his shopping cart.

Or take Calgary resident Tracy Martell, who "replaced her Betty Crocker brownie mix with a homemade recipe and hasn't visited the U.S. since shortly after President Trump's inauguration."

Or take Ontario resident Beth Mouratidis is trying out Strub's pickles as a replacement for her longtime favorite, Bick's.

The push to " boycott America" and buy more Canadian products gained strength after the U.S. levied 25% tariffs on Canadian steel and 10% on aluminum starting June 1 and President Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "Very dishonest & weak" on Twitter following a Group of Seven meeting the following week. Canada in turn imposed retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. products, including foodstuffs such as ketchup, orange juice and yogurt.

"People sort of feel that we're getting a raw deal from the U.S. and we have to stick up for ourselves," said Tom Legere, marketing manager for Ontario-based Kawartha Dairy Ltd., which has seen more interest in its ice cream recently. "And this is their way at the supermarket of trying to do so."

However, in their attempt to exclude US produce, Canadians have run into a problem: what is American, and what is really Canadian ?

The logistical spiderweb of global supply chains has made even something as simple as a boycott surprisingly complex. It shouldn't be: after all, Canada is the U.S.'s top export market, taking a little more than 18% of all U.S. exports. According to some estimates, roughly 40% to 60% of food on Canada's grocery shelves is from the US, while closely linked production chains make it tough to determine how much of any given item was produced domestically.

That has left would-be boycotters scratching their heads as they untangle how much of a given product was made or grown outside the country.

The confusion has led to a mini cottage industry: tracing the origins of Canadian products. "I'll swear up and down something is 100% Canadian," said Mouratidis, who curates a Facebook list of Canadian household goods, food products and other items. Occasionally, she runs into surprises: she was convinced Old Dutch chips were all-Canadian until she found out Old Dutch Foods Ltd. is a subsidiary. The parent company, Old Dutch Foods Inc., is based in Minnesota.

This leads to occasional exclusions on the boycott list: the Old Dutch snack food remains on Ms. Mouratidis's list because the Canadian company makes its chips in Canada.

It has also led to a sales boost for companies whose products are not "diluted" with traces of American influence. A social-media post promoting Kawartha Dairy over "American" Haagen-Dazs ice cream was criticized by a Facebook user who pointed out that Haagen-Dazs products sold in Canada are made at a Canadian plant. The plant also uses Canadian dairy, Nestlé Canada Inc. confirmed.

Kawartha Dairy, which wasn't involved in the original post, received more than a hundred emails and Facebook messages in recent weeks from Canadians asking where they could find the company's ice cream.

Another product getting a boost from the "Buy Canadian" push: Hawkins Cheezies, a corn snack that looks like a denser and crunchier version of Cheetos that is made with Canadian cheddar. W.T. Hawkins Ltd., which makes the snack, said two large grocery-store chains recently increased their orders.

The growing animosity to "Made in America" has made some traditional staples non-grata: Kraft Heinz has been a frequent target for Canadians since Heinz stopped producing ketchup in Ontario in 2014.

A list circulating online recently that ranked consumers' best options for Canadian products puts French's ketchup ahead of Heinz because it is manufactured in Canada.

Then again, unlike the Chinese where a boycott really means a boycott , one wonder if for all the clamor, Canada's revulsion to US products is merely just another example of virtue signaling. After all, one sector where the boycott efforts are failing miserably, is travel. Although some people are deliberately staying away from the U.S., the WSJ notes that according to official Canadian data, overall cross-border car trips by Canadians were up 12.7% in June from the same month last year .

snblitz -> skbull44 Sat, 08/04/2018 - 14:59 Permalink

Trade is sadly not a simple concept when it comes to national security.

I am a big proponent of buy local:

https://www.finitespaces.com/2018/03/20/protectionism-vs-why-buying-locally-makes-you-wealthy/

It is the best solution out there.

Foreign trade can be mutually beneficial. For the most part it has not been beneficial for the US for the last 40 years.

Much of the problem centers around US politicians simply selling out to foreign interests through family, friends, and foundations. The US worker has been left to dry up and die.

https://www.finitespaces.com/2018/02/15/taxes-and-trade-wars/

Brazen Heist II -> Yukon Cornholius Sat, 08/04/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

Nassim Taleb explains this in Skin in the game.

Basically,

A Kosher (or halal) eater will never eat nonkosher (or nonhalal) food , but a nonkosher eater isn't banned from eating kosher.

Full chapter here, or you can guess by the title:

The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority

https://medium.com/incerto/the-most-intolerant-wins-the-dictatorship-of

[Aug 03, 2018] China says it wants to resolve differences with U.S. on equal footing by Christian Shepherd

Notable quotes:
"... The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc. ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | m.nasdaq.com

China is willing to resolve differences with the United States on an equal footing, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Friday after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but added they did not address their trade war too specifically.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday instructed his trade officials to look at increasing tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion in Chinese imports into the United States.

Trump, who has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, has demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on Sept. 5.

China, however, shows no sign of bending to Washington's pressure.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Pompeo on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said Pompeo told him he was "was willing to maintain constructive contact".

"As two members of the U.N. Security Council and the world's largest two economies, we should of course maintain talks at all times," Wang said.

"Cooperation is the only correct choice for the United States and China. It's the universal expectation of the international community. Opposition can only bring dual loss and will hurt the peaceful and stable development of the world," he added.

"We are willing to resolve the concerns of both sides via talks on the basis of an equal footing and mutual respect. He (Pompeo) was accommodating on this as a direction, and said that he does not want current frictions to continue," Wang said.

Answering a question about what was specifically said on trade, Wang said: "We did not speak in such details. But actually, as journalists have noted, how can talks take place under this pressure?"

Wang, who is also China's foreign minister, urged the United States on Thursday to calm down and "carefully listen to the voices of U.S. consumers".

So far, the United States has imposed duties on $34 billion of imports from China as part of a first tranche of sanctions on $50 billion of goods.

It wants China to stop stealing U.S. corporate secrets, abandon plans to boost its high-tech industries at America's expense and stop subsidising Chinese companies with cheap loans that enable them to compete unfairly.

China says the United States is trying to stop the rise of a competitor and it has imposed its own tariffs on U.S. goods. The rising tensions have weighed on stock and currency markets, with the Chinese yuan falling against the dollar.

The two countries have not had formal talks on their trade dispute since early June.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of NASDAQ, Inc.

[Aug 03, 2018] Donald Trump might be a symptom that neoliberal system is about to collapse

Amazing interview.
We are in the point when capitalist system (which presented itself as asocial system that created a large middle class) converted into it opposite: it is social system that could not deliver that it promised and now want to distract people from this sad fact.
The Trump adopted tax code is a huge excess: we have 40 year when corporation paid less taxes. This is last moment when they need another gift. To give them tax is crazy excess that reminding Louis XV of France. Those gains are going in buying of socks. And real growth is happening elsewhere in the world.
After WW2 there were a couple of decades of "golden age" of US capitalism when in the USA middle class increased considerably. That was result of pressure of working class devastated by Great Depression. Roosevelt decided that risk is too great and he introduced social security net. But capitalist class was so enraged that they started fighting it almost immediately after the New Deal was introduced. Business class was enrages with the level of taxes and counterattacked. Tarp act and McCarthyism were two successful counterattacks. McCarthyism converting communists and socialists into agents of foreign power.
The quality of jobs are going down. That's why Trump was elected... Which is sad. Giving your finger to the neoliberal elite does not solve their problem
Notable quotes:
"... Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction. ..."
"... When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. ..."
"... Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade. ..."
"... The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

In another interesting interview with Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff explains why the Trump presidency is the last resort of a system that is about to collapse:

Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction.

So, absent that counter force we are going to see this system spinning out of control and destroying itself in the very way its critics have for so long foreseen it well might.

When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. If we hadn't been a country with two or three decades of a middle class - working class paid really well - maybe we could have gotten away with this. But in a society that has celebrated its capacity to do what it now fails to do, you have an explosive situation.

Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade.

The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears.

In France, it was said 'Aprčs moi, le déluge' (after me the catastrophe). The storm will break.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/60FrsWm9OAc

[Aug 02, 2018] Trump threatens to 'shut down' government if Dems don't support border measures

Notable quotes:
"... "would be willing to 'shut down'" ..."
"... "I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc." ..."
"... "based on MERIT!," ..."
"... "great people." ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | www.rt.com

The Sunday morning tirade saw the president claim he "would be willing to 'shut down'" the federal government if members of Congress from the opposition party didn't row in behind Republicans in voting for his immigration reform package, which includes releasing funds for the US-Mexico border wall that formed the cornerstone of his election campaign.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc."

I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018

He also called for an immigration system "based on MERIT!," adding that immigrants wanted by the USA needed to be "great people."

[Aug 01, 2018] Trump threatens to 'shut down' government if Dems don't support border measures -- RT US News

Notable quotes:
"... "would be willing to 'shut down'" ..."
"... "I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc." ..."
"... "based on MERIT!," ..."
"... "great people." ..."
Aug 01, 2018 | www.rt.com

The Sunday morning tirade saw the president claim he "would be willing to 'shut down'" the federal government if members of Congress from the opposition party didn't row in behind Republicans in voting for his immigration reform package, which includes releasing funds for the US-Mexico border wall that formed the cornerstone of his election campaign.

"I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security," the president tweeted, "which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc."

I would be willing to "shut down" government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018

He also called for an immigration system "based on MERIT!," adding that immigrants wanted by the USA needed to be "great people."

[Jul 28, 2018] HARPER TRUMP'S EU DEAL AND THE CONTINUING TRADE WAR WITH CHINA

Jul 28, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

In the long run, the US has two distinct advantages that offset some of the vulnerabilities in the US economy, brought about by 40 years of outsourcing. The US is energy independent to a very large extent, where China is greatly dependent on energy imports, largely priced in dollars. The US has a global military advantage that will persist for the next decade or more.

Hard to say where this will lead. Best option is for the US and China to resume the trade talks that broke off months ago. Economic mutually assured destruction is not a pleasant outcome, particularly at a moment when even the IMF is worrying about emerging market debt, corporate debt defaults and other signs of another global financial crisis.


kao_hsien_chih , 10 hours ago
My sense is that the whole issue of trade disputes is not so much about trade and economics as much as politics and sovereignty. Not a whole lot will have changed in economic terms when the dust clears, but the underlying politics will have been altered unrecognizably. The whole idea of creating international bureaucratic bodies to oversee and regulate international trade (e.g. WTO) was to bypass the "normal" politics in the states involved. Long ago, the weaker countries cried "modern day imperialism" over these because they felt (not entirely without justification) that these arrangements took trade policy out of the hands of their domestic politics and unresponsive to their needs, interests, and demands--and, in a sense, this was exactly the point, since protectionism, even economically undesirable varieties, are product of "good" domestic politics. But since 1980s and 90s, the pendulum seems to have swung in the opposite direction where reclaiming a share of sovereignty over trade policy is preferred by many over trusting international bureaucracy. While not exactly "trade" policy (but it is economic), the experiences of the less well off countries in EU (as well as segments of the publics even in better off countries) has to be a fairly widespread worldview in many countries these days--certainly enough that it should make good politics to try to address them in some fashion, not try to override them by fiat (the latter seeming to be the preferred approach of the cosmopolitan elite)
English Outsider -> kao_hsien_chih , 9 hours ago
"My sense is that the whole issue of trade disputes is not so much about trade and economics as much as politics and sovereignty."

That has to be right, and it certainly applies to small countries. Small countries must always be aware that there is a loss of sovereignty implicit in the very act of trading with larger ones. The greater weight of the large country can enable it to impose trading terms that are sometimes disadvantageous to the smaller.

Tough. That's how it is. But the smaller country must always be on its guard against the very real danger of allowing that to extend to loss of political sovereignty.

What I don't see is how this applies to the US. The US is not a small country and need not fear any loss of political sovereignty attendant upon any lack of size or power. Therefore one could perhaps see the current US trade negotiations in a different light.

That is, that Trump is not defending his country against any such threat. He is merely attempting to level the playing field. For far too long that playing field has been tilted against the US worker and, ultimately, the US economy. He was elected to rectify that and will, I believe, be judged by his success in doing so.

If, in attempting that, he ruffles a few feathers - well, if he went the asking nicely route they'd walk all over him.

That quibble aside, I couldn't agree more with your note.

kao_hsien_chih -> English Outsider , an hour ago
I don't think the size of the country is the decisive factor.

International trade always produces winners and losers. Depending on the particulars, the gains might be more widely spread than losses, or vice versa. Both sides want to play the political game to shape the terms of the trade in their favor. Generally, those who are in favor of more protection tend to do well in domestic politics, while those who tend to gain more by opening up trade don't. This is why international bureaucracy regulating trade winds up being set up, to bypass the domestic political process in favor of the free traders.

I don't think there is a fundamental relationship between the size of the country and the political conflict over free trade. It may be that smaller countries tend to be predisposed more towards protectionist policies, but counterexamples are found easily (e.g. Singapore). The real issue is that creation of and deference to international bureaucracy is a mechanism through which the winners from free trade shift the venue of politics from the domestic to the international and, in a sense, unfairly disadvantage their political enemies by depriving them of the means to affect trade policy easily. Or, in other words, international trade bureaucracy is NOT just a solution for trade conflict between nations, but a political weapon directed at the skeptics at home. If the winners of free trade were willing to share their gains with the losers, the conflict would not need to be so sharp. This has not been the case in US: more than in most other developed countries, the winners of free trade kept the gains only to themselves, claiming moral absolute of the free trade and their Mammon-given right to hold on to everything. Those who lose from the free trade are not only aggrieved, but find themselves at the wrong end of the political game specifically rigged to deprive them of influence. They don't want to play by its rules if they can--and Trump is providing them this option.

In this sense, Trump's actions are re-domesticalizing the politics of free trade, making trade policy responsive to domestic interests that were shunted side formerly. The internationalists have only their own short-sightedness to blame: if they were willing to build up a broader coalition, or at least, appease their domestic opponents better, the opposition to free trade detached from domestic politics would not have become so acrimonious.

Personally, I think it's not a good development: walking back from free trade is not easy, if at all possible--too many linkages have been built, too many sectors are dependent on access to foreign inputs or markets, that actual protectionism will be near impossible to bring back without major costs. Still, if you are creating international bureaucracy to bypass domestic politics, you'd better not piss off folks back home enough that they'd start with pitchforks, and this is among the many mistakes internationalists have made.

Jack , 13 hours ago
This interview of Sir James Goldsmith by Charlie Rose frames his debate with Laura Tyson, Clinton's trade representative. Well worth watching to understand the trade debate. Play Hide
SurfaceBook , 6 hours ago
The analyst in the link below explained the myth US energy independence. Although it is not as severe as china's need for foreign energy supply , but she got russian energy export via landline as opposed as sealane gulf imports.

There also this constant propaganda of better unemployment statistic , because of the way the data was processed to make it looks better (cooked)

-- -- -- -- --

From Srsroccoreport :

While the Mainstream media and the Whitehouse continue with the energy independent mantra, the U.S. is still highly reliant upon a great deal of foreign oil. Ahttps://d3hxt1wz4sk0za.clo... , why would the U.S. import 8 million barrels of oil per day if its shale oil production has surged over the past decade?

Well, it's quite simple. The U.S. Shale Oil Industry is producing way too much light tight oil, with a high API Gravity, for our refineries that are designed for a lower grade. So, as U.S. shale oil production exploded , the industry was forced to export a great deal more of this light oil overseas.

https://srsroccoreport.com/...

N.M> Salamon , 10 hours ago
Thanks for your exposition.
Some observations:
China's import of oil in US funds is about equal to USA's net import in US$ - the rest is in ruble/yuan.
The armed force imbalance is of no value, as attack on China is certain to get A-bombs into play [aside form danger to US ships both naval and other due to Chinese/Russian made anti ship missiles]
The USA can not maintain 25% duties on consumer goods for the simple reason that 75% of population can not afford to be consumer -debt levels are too high.
The USA can not maintain high tariffs as such would greatly increase the inflation rate applicable to the "deplorables" who are already on ropes [homelessness, welfare, food subsidies etc.] Notably the Fed would have to raise rates if inflation increases with dire result for the bond market and the federal deficit due to increased interest costs.
That the European satraps have bowed under US pressure is nothing new... there will be more changes in governments in the next cycle - the present bunch is too ripe [or rotten].
I do not imply by the above that China will not suffer, however they have a trillion dollar kitty to balance the external trade problems.
Fred -> N.M> Salamon , 9 hours ago
"75% of population can not afford to be consumer..."
They are in debt because they are consuming beyond thier income. "the Fed would have to raise rates if inflation increases" The Fed has already raised rates twice this year. It was less than ten days ago that Trump based the Fed for raising rates. The losers in that have always been Americans at the bottom.
http://thehill.com/policy/f...

[Jul 21, 2018] Either Trump Fires These People Or The Borg Will Have Won

Notable quotes:
"... The borg, financed and sworn to the agenda of globalists and the military-industrial-media complex, has its orders and is acting on them. The globalists want more free trade agreements, no tariffs and more immigration to prevent higher wages. Capital does not have a national attachment. It does not care about the 'deplorables' who support Trump and his policies: ..."
"... Nearly three-fourths, or 73 percent, of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who responded to a Pew Research survey out this week said they felt increased tariffs would benefit the country. ..."
"... Donald Trump is, indeed, a kind of traitor to the Washington Consensus, a hyper-militarized capitalist utopia of corporate dominated global supply chains that doubled the international wage-slave workforce in the last two decades of the 20th century and herded these desperate billions into a race to the bottom. The leadership of both corporate parties conspired to force U.S. workers into the global meat-grinder. ..."
"... The weapon industry and the military recognize that the 'war of terror' is nearing its end. To sell more they need to create an new 'enemy' that looks big enough to justify large and long-term spending. Russia, the most capable opponent the U.S. could have, is the designated target. A new Cold War will give justification for all kinds of fantastic and useless weapons. ..."
"... Trump grand foreign policy is following a realist assessment . He sees that previous administrations pushed Russia into the Chinese camp by aggressive anti-Russian policies in Europe and the Middle East. He wants to pull Russia out of the alliance with China, neutralize it in a political sense, to then be able to better tackle China which is the real thread to the American (economic) supremacy. ..."
Jul 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

President's Trump successful summit with President Putin was used by the 'resistance' and the deep state to launch a coup-attempt against Trump. Their minimum aim is to put Trump into a (virtual) political cage where he can no longer pursue his foreign policy agenda.

One does not have to be a fan of Trump's policies and still see the potential danger. A situation where he can no longer act freely will likely be worse. What Trump has done so far still does not add up to the disastrous policies and crimes his predecessor committed.

The borg, financed and sworn to the agenda of globalists and the military-industrial-media complex, has its orders and is acting on them. The globalists want more free trade agreements, no tariffs and more immigration to prevent higher wages. Capital does not have a national attachment. It does not care about the 'deplorables' who support Trump and his policies:

[P]olls show that Trump appears to still have the support of the bulk of Republican voters when it comes to tariffs. Nearly three-fourths, or 73 percent, of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who responded to a Pew Research survey out this week said they felt increased tariffs would benefit the country.

His 'isolationist' economic policies make Trump an enemy of the globalists :

Donald Trump is, indeed, a kind of traitor to the Washington Consensus, a hyper-militarized capitalist utopia of corporate dominated global supply chains that doubled the international wage-slave workforce in the last two decades of the 20th century and herded these desperate billions into a race to the bottom. The leadership of both corporate parties conspired to force U.S. workers into the global meat-grinder.

The weapon industry and the military recognize that the 'war of terror' is nearing its end. To sell more they need to create an new 'enemy' that looks big enough to justify large and long-term spending. Russia, the most capable opponent the U.S. could have, is the designated target. A new Cold War will give justification for all kinds of fantastic and useless weapons.

Trump does not buy the nonsense claims of 'Russian meddling' in the U.S. elections and openly says so. He does not believe that Russia wants to attack anyone. To him Russia is not an enemy.

Trump grand foreign policy is following a realist assessment . He sees that previous administrations pushed Russia into the Chinese camp by aggressive anti-Russian policies in Europe and the Middle East. He wants to pull Russia out of the alliance with China, neutralize it in a political sense, to then be able to better tackle China which is the real thread to the American (economic) supremacy.

This week was a prelude to the coup against Trump :

Former CIA chief John Brennan denounced Trump as a "traitor" who had "committed high crimes" in holding a friendly summit with Putin.

It can't get more seditious than that. Trump is being denigrated by almost the entire political and media establishment in the US as a "treasonous" enemy of the state.

Following this logic, there is only one thing for it: the US establishment is calling for a coup to depose the 45th president. One Washington Post oped out of a total of five assailing the president gave the following stark ultimatum: "If you work for Trump, quit now".

Some high ranking people working for Trump followed that advice. His chief of staff John Kelly rallied others against him:

According to three sources familiar with the situation, Kelly called around to Republicans on Capitol Hill and gave them the go-ahead to speak out against Trump. (The White House did not respond to a request for comment.) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan held televised press conferences to assert that Russia did meddle in the election.

Others who attacked Trump over his diplomatic efforts with Russia included the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats who used an widely distributed interview for that:

The White House had little visibility into what Coats might say. The intelligence director's team had turned down at least one offer from a senior White House official to help prepare him for the long-scheduled interview, pointing out that he had known Mitchell for years and was comfortable talking with her.

Coats was extraordinarily candid in the interview, at times questioning Trump's judgment -- such as the president's decision to meet with Putin for two hours without any aides present beyond interpreters -- and revealing the rift between the president and the intelligence community.

FBI Director Wray also undermined his boss' position:

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday defended Special Counsel Robert Mueller as a "straight shooter," and said the Russia investigation is no "witch hunt."

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Wray said he stood by his view that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election in some capacity and that the threat remained active.

A day latter Secretary of Defense Mattis also issued a statement that contradicted his president's policy:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis took his turn doing the implicit disavowing in a statement about new military aid to Ukraine:

"Russia should suffer consequences for its aggressive, destabilizing behavior and its illegal occupation of Ukraine. The fundamental question we must ask ourselves is do we wish to strengthen our partners in key regions or leave them with no other options than to turn to Russia, thereby undermining a once in a generation opportunity to more closely align nations with the U.S. vision for global security and stability."

Pat Lang thinks that Trump should fire Coats, Wary and Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General who is overseeing the Mueller investigation.

My advice is to spare Rosenstein, for now, as firing him would lead to a great uproar in Congress. The Mueller investigation has not brought up anything which is dangerous to Trump and is unlikely to do so in the immediate future. He and Rosenstein can be fired at a latter stage.

But Wray and Coats do deserve a pink slip and so do Kelly and Mattis. They are political appointees who work 'at the pleasure of the President'.

The U.S. has the legislative and the judicative as a counterweight to the president who leads the executive. The 'deep state' and its moles within the executive should have no role in that balance. The elected president can and must demand loyalty from those who work for him.

Those who sabotage him should be fired, not in a Saturday night massacre but publicly, with a given reason and all at the same time. They do not deserve any warning. Their rolling heads will get the attention of others who are tempted by the borg to act against the lawful policy directives of their higher up.

All this is not a defense of Trump. I for one despise his antics and most of his policies. But having a bad president of the United States implementing the policies he campaigned on, and doing so within the proper process, is way better than having unaccountable forces dictating their policies to him.

It will be impossible for Trump to get anything done if his direct subordinates, who work 'at his pleasure', publicly sabotage the implementation of his policies. Either he fires these people or the borg will have won.

[Jul 21, 2018] Migrants, Pro-Globalization Leftists, and the Suffocating Middle Class by Outis Philalithopoulos

Notable quotes:
"... By Enrico Verga, a writer, consultant, and entrepreneur based in Milan. As a consultant, he concentrates on firms interested in opportunities in international and digital markets. His articles have appeared in Il Sole 24 Ore, Capo Horn, Longitude, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and many other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @enricoverga . ..."
"... Continuing flows of low-cost labor can be useful for cutting costs. West Germany successfully absorbed East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the dirty secret of this achievement is the exploitation of workers from the former East, as Reuters reports . ..."
"... The expansion of the EU to Poland (and the failed attempt to incorporate the Ukraine) has allowed many European businesses to shift local production to nations where the average cost of a blue or white collar worker is much lower ( by 60-70% on average ) than in Western European countries. ..."
"... The middle class is a silent mass that for many years has painfully digested globalization, while believing in the promises of globalist politicians," explains Luciano Ghelfi, a journalist of international affairs who has followed Lega from its beginnings. Ghelfi continues: ..."
"... I think unrestrained globalization has taken a hit. In Italy as well, as we have seen recently, businesses are relocating abroad. And the impoverished middle class finds itself forced to compete for state resources (subsidies) and jobs which can be threatened by an influx of economic migrants towards which enormous resources have been dedicated – just think of the 4.3 billion Euros that the last government allocated toward economic migrants. ..."
"... In all of this, migrants are more victims than willing actors, and they become an object on which the fatigue, fear, and in the most extreme cases, hatred of the middle class can easily focus. ..."
"... If for the last twenty years, with only occasional oscillation, the pro-globalization side has been dominant in the West, elections are starting to swing the balance in a new direction. ..."
"... "Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force." ..."
"... never export their way out of poverty and misery ..."
Jul 20, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Enrico Verga, a writer, consultant, and entrepreneur based in Milan. As a consultant, he concentrates on firms interested in opportunities in international and digital markets. His articles have appeared in Il Sole 24 Ore, Capo Horn, Longitude, Il Fatto Quotidiano, and many other publications. You can follow him on Twitter @enricoverga .

International commerce, jobs, and economic migrants are propelled by a common force: profit.

In recent times, the Western middle class (by which I mean in particular industrial workers and office employees) has lost a large number of jobs and has seen its buying power fall. It isn't true that migrants are the source of all evil in the world. However, under current conditions, they become a locus for the exasperation of the population at twenty years of pro-globalization politics. They are tragically placed in the role of the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Western businesses have slipped jobs overseas to countries with low labor costs, while the middle class has been pushed into debt in order to try to keep up. The Glass-Steagall law and other brakes on American banks were abolished by a cheerleader for globalization, Bill Clinton, and these banks subsequently lost all restraints in their enthusiasm to lend. The cherry on top of the sundae was the real estate bubble and ensuing crash of 2008.

A damning picture of the results of 20 years of globalization is provided by Forbes , capitalism's magazine par excellence. Already in 2016, the surprise victory of Trump led to questions about whether the blond candidate's win was due in part to the straits of the American middle class, impoverished as a result of the pro-globalization politics of figures like Clinton and Obama.

Further support for this thesis is furnished by the New York Times , describing the collapse of the stars-and-stripes middle class. Its analysis is buttressed by lengthy research from the very mainstream Pew Center , which agrees that the American middle class is vanishing.

And Europe? Although the European middle class has been squeezed less than its American counterpart, for us as well the picture doesn't look good. See for example the analysis of the Brookings Institute , which discusses not only the flagging economic fortunes of the European middle class, but also the fear of prosperity collapsing that currently grips Europe.

Migrants and the Shock Doctrine

What do economic migrants have to do with any of this?

Far be it from me to criticize large corporations, but clearly they – and their managers and stockholders – benefit from higher margins. Profits (revenue minus costs and expenses) can be maximized by reducing expenses. To this end, the costs of acquiring goods (metals, agricultural products, energy, etc.) and services (labor) need to fall steadily.

In the quest to lower the cost of labor, the most desirable scenario is a sort of blank slate: to erase ongoing arrangements with workers and start over from zero, building a new "happy and productive" economy. This operation can be understood as a sort of "shock doctrine."

The term "economic shock therapy" is based on an analogy with electroshock therapy for mental patients. One important analysis of it comes from Naomi Klein , who became famous explaining in 2000 the system of fashion production through subsidiaries that don't adhere to the safety rules taken so seriously in Western countries (some of you may recall the scandal of Benetton and Rana Plaza , where more than a thousand workers at a Bangladesh factory producing Benetton (and other) clothes were crushed under a collapsing building).

Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force. Sometimes relocating from one nation to another is not possible, but if you can bring the job market of other countries here in the form of a low-cost mass of people competing for employment, then why bother?

The Doctrine in Practice

Continuing flows of low-cost labor can be useful for cutting costs. West Germany successfully absorbed East Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the dirty secret of this achievement is the exploitation of workers from the former East, as Reuters reports .

The expansion of the EU to Poland (and the failed attempt to incorporate the Ukraine) has allowed many European businesses to shift local production to nations where the average cost of a blue or white collar worker is much lower ( by 60-70% on average ) than in Western European countries.

We see further evidence of damage to the European middle class daily, from France where the (at least verbally) pro-globalization Macron is cutting social welfare to attract foreign investment , to Germany where many ordinary workers are seriously exploited . And so on through the UK and Italy.

Political Reactions

The migrant phenomenon is a perfect counterpoint to a threadbare middle class, given its role as a success story within the narrative of globalization.

Economic migrants are eager to obtain wealth on the level of the Western middle class – and this is of course a legitimate desire. However, to climb the social ladder, they are willing to do anything: from accepting low albeit legal salaries to picking tomatoes illegally ( as Alessandro Gassman, son of the famous actor, reminded us ).

The middle class is a silent mass that for many years has painfully digested globalization, while believing in the promises of globalist politicians," explains Luciano Ghelfi, a journalist of international affairs who has followed Lega from its beginnings. Ghelfi continues:

This mirage has fallen under the blows it has received from the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War. Foreign trade, easy credit (with the American real estate bubble of 2008 as a direct consequence), peace missions in Libya (carried out by pro-globalization French and English actors, with one motive being in my opinion the diversion of energy resources away from [the Italian] ENI) were supposed to have created a miracle; they have in reality created a climate of global instability.

Italy is of course not untouched by this phenomenon. It's easy enough to give an explanation for the Five Stars getting votes from part of the southern electorate that is financially in trouble and might hope for some sort of subsidy, but the North? The choice of voting center right (with a majority leaning toward Lega) can be explained in only one way – the herd (the middle class) has tried to rise up.

I asked him, "So in your opinion, is globalization in stasis? Or is it radically changing?" He replied:

I think unrestrained globalization has taken a hit. In Italy as well, as we have seen recently, businesses are relocating abroad. And the impoverished middle class finds itself forced to compete for state resources (subsidies) and jobs which can be threatened by an influx of economic migrants towards which enormous resources have been dedicated – just think of the 4.3 billion Euros that the last government allocated toward economic migrants.

This is an important element in the success of Lega: it is a force that has managed to understand clearly the exhaustion of the impoverished middle class, and that has proposed a way out, or has at least elaborated a vision opposing the rose-colored glasses of globalization.

In all of this, migrants are more victims than willing actors, and they become an object on which the fatigue, fear, and in the most extreme cases, hatred of the middle class can easily focus.

What Conflicts Are Most Relevant Today?

At the same time, if we observe, for example in Italy, the positions taken by the (pro-globalization?) Left, it becomes easier to understand why the middle class and also many blue collar workers are abandoning it. Examples range from the unfortunate declarations of deputy Lia Quartapelle on the need to support the Muslim Brotherhood to the explanations of the former president of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, on how the status of economic migrant should be seen as a model for the lifestyle of all Italians . These remarks were perhaps uttered lightly (Quartapelle subsequently took her post down and explained that she had made a mistake), but they are symptomatic of a certain sort of pro-globalization cultural "Left" that finds talking to potential voters less interesting than other matters.

From Italy to America (where Hillary Clinton was rejected after promoting major international trade arrangements that she claimed would benefit middle-class American workers) to the UK (where Brexit has been taken as a sort of exhaust valve), the middle class no longer seems to be snoring.

We are currently seeing a political conflict between globalist and nationalist forces. Globalists want more open borders and freer international trade. Nationalists want protection for work and workers, a clamping down on economic migrants, and rules with teeth aimed at controlling international trade.

If for the last twenty years, with only occasional oscillation, the pro-globalization side has been dominant in the West, elections are starting to swing the balance in a new direction.

Meanwhile, many who self-identify as on the Left seem utterly uninterested in the concerns of ordinary people, at least in cases where these would conflict with the commitment to globalization.

If the distinction between globalism and nationalism is in practice trumping other differences, then we should not let ourselves be distracted by bright and shiny objects, and keep our focus on what really matters.


fresno dan , July 20, 2018 at 7:06 am

From the Forbes link:
"The first downside of international trade that even proponents of freer trade must acknowledge is that while the country as a whole gains some people do lose."
More accurate to say a tiny, tiny, TINY percentage gain.

Nice how they use the euphemism "country as a whole" for GDP. Yes, GDP goes up – but that word that can never be uttered by American corporate media – DISTRIBUTION – that essentially ALL gains in GDP have gone to the very top. AND THAT THIS IS A POLITICAL DECISION, not like the waves of the ocean or natural selection. There is plenty that could be done about it – BUT it STARTS with WANTING to do something effective about it .

And of course, the bizarre idea that inflation helps. Well, like trade, it helps .the very, very rich
https://www.themaven.net/mishtalk/economics/real-hourly-earnings-decline-yoy-for-production-workers-flat-for-all-employees-W4eRI5nksU2lsrOR9Z01WQ/

Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:30 am

im used to use reliable link ( on forbes it's not Pew but i quoted also Pew) :)

Off The Street , July 20, 2018 at 9:43 am

Nice how they use the euphemism "country as a whole" for GDP.

Fresno Dan,
You have identified one of my pet peeves about economists and their fellow traveler politicians. They hide behind platitudes, and the former are more obnoxious about that. Economists will tell people that they just don't understand all that complexity, and that in the name of efficiency, etc, free trade and the long slide toward neo-liberal hell must continue.

Heraclitus , July 20, 2018 at 11:38 am

I think the assertion that all economic gains have gone to the very top is not accurate. According to 'Unintended Consequences' by Ed Conard, the 'composition of the work force has shifted to demographics with lower incomes' between 1980 and 2005. If you held the workforce of 1980 steady through 2005, wages would be up 30% in real terms, not including benefits.

It's amazing that critics miss this.

Jean , July 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm

But you are ignoring immigrant based population increases which dilutes your frozen population number. How convenient for argument's sake.

Not mentioned in the article are rent increases caused by more competition for scarcer housing.

makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 7:12 am

I think the author has highlighted some home truths in the article. I once remember several years ago just trying to raise the issue of immigration* and its impact on workers on an Irish so-called socialist forum. Either I met silence or received a reply along the lines: 'that when socialists rule the EU we'll establish continental wide standards that will ensure fairness for everyone'. Fairy dust stuff. I'm not anti immigrant in any degree but it seems unwise not to understand and mitigate the negative aspects of policies on all workers. Those chickens are coming home to roost by creating the type of political parties (new or established) that now control the EU and many world economies.

During the same period many younger middle and upper middle class Irish extolled the virtues, quite openly, of immigration as way of lowering the power and wages of existing Irish workers so that the costs of building homes, labour intensive services and the like would be concretely reduced; and that was supposed to be a good thing for the material well being of these middle and upper middle classes. Sod manual labour.

One part of the working class was quite happy to thrown another part of the working class under the bus and the Left**, such as it was and is, was content to let it happen. Then established Leftist parties often facilitated the rightward economic process via a host of policies, often against their own stated policies in election manifestos. The Left appeared deceitful. The Irish Labour party is barely alive and subsisting on die-hard traditionalists for their support by those who can somehow ignore the deceit of their party. Surreaslist stuff from so-called working class parties,

And now the middle-middle classes are ailing and we're supposed to take notice. Hmmm. Yet, as a Leftist, myself, it is incumbent upon us to address the situation and assist all workers, whatever their own perceived status.

*I'm an immigrant in the UK currently, though that is about to change next year.

** Whether the "Left", such as the Irish Labour Party, was just confused or bamboozled matters not a jot. After the financial crises that became an economic crisis, they zealously implemented austerity policies that predominantly cleared the way for a right wing political landscape to dominate throughout Europe. One could be forgiven for thinking that those who called themselves Leftists secretly believed that only right wing, neo-liberal economic policies were correct. And I suppose, being a bit cynical, that a few politicos were paid handsomely for their services.

PlutoniumKun , July 20, 2018 at 8:30 am

I think its easy to see why the more middle class elements of the left wing parties never saw immigration as a problem – but harder to see why the Trade Unions also bought into this. Partly I think it was a laudable and genuine attempt to ensure they didn't buy into racism – when you look at much trade union history, its not always pleasant reading when you see how nakedly racist some early trade union activists were, especially in the US. But I think there was also a process whereby Unions increasingly represented relatively protected trades and professions, while they lost ground in more vulnerable sectors, such as in construction.

I think there was also an underestimation of the 'balancing' effect within Europe. I think a lot of activists understimated the poverty in parts of Europe, and so didn't see the expansion of the EU into eastern Europe as resulting in the same sort of labour arbitrage thats occurred between the west and Asia. I remember the discussions over the enlargement of the EU to cover eastern Europe and I recall that there seemed to be an inbuilt assumption (certainly in the left), that rising general prosperity would ensure there would be no real migration impact on local jobs. This proved to be entirely untrue.

Incidentally, in my constituency (Dublin Central) in past elections the local Labour party was as guilty as any of pandering to the frequent racism encountered on the doorsteps in working class areas. But it didn't do them much good. Interestingly, SF was the only party who would consistently refuse to pander (At least in Dublin), making the distinction between nationalist and internationalist minded left wingers even more confusing.

makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 10:17 am

Yes, one has to praise the fact that the Unions didn't pander to racism – but that's about all the (insert expletive of choice) did correctly.

Your other points, as ever, are relevant and valid but (and I must but) I tend to think that parties like Labour were too far "breezy" about the repercussions about labour arbitrage. But that's water under the bridge now.

Speaking about SF and the North West in general, they have aggressively canvassed recent immigrants and have not tolerated racism among their ranks. Their simple reasoning was that is unthinkable that SF could tolerate such behaviour amongst themselves when they has waged a campaign against such attitudes and practices in the six counties. (SF are no saints, often fumble the ball badly, and are certainly not the end-all-be-all, but this is something they get right).

Glen , July 20, 2018 at 8:56 am

It has to be understood that much of immigration is occurring because of war, famine, collapsing societies (mostly due to massive wealth inequality and corrupt governments). Immigration is not the cause of the economic issues in the EU, it's a symptom (or a feature if you're on top). If you don't correct the causes – neo-liberalism, kleptocracy, rigged game – what ever you want to call it, then you too will become an immigrant in your own country (and it will be a third world country by the time the crooks on top are done).

Don't get caught up in the blame the other poor people game. It's a means to get the powerless to fight among themselves. They are not in charge, they are victims just like you.

Felix_47 , July 20, 2018 at 9:18 am

Having spent a lot of time in the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan and Iraq I have to say that rampant overpopulation plays a big part. Anyone who can get out is getting out. It makes sense. And with modern communications they all know how life is in Europe or the US in contrast to the grinding horror that surrounds them.

Louis Fyne , July 20, 2018 at 11:45 am

But Conan tells me that Haiti is a tropical paradise! (my brother too spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq working with the locals during his deployments)

"Twitter liberalism" is doing itself by not recognizing that much of the developing world IS a corrupt cesspool.

Instead of railing against Trump, the Twitter-sphere needs to rail against the bipartisan policies that drive corruption, and economic dislocations and political dislocations. and rail against religious fundamentalism that hinders family planning.

But that can't fit onto a bumper sticker.

Calling Trump names is easier.

redleg , July 20, 2018 at 7:32 pm

But if you actually do that, rail against bipartisan neoliberal policies on social media and IRL, the conservatives are far less hostile than the die-hard Dems. This is especially true now, with all the frothing at the mouth and bloodlust about Russia. Its raised their "it's ALL *YOUR* FAULT"-ism by at least an order of magnitude.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Actually, that's been true since the 18th C., at least for the US. TV may make it more vivid, and Europe has changed places, but most Americans have immigrant ancestors, most often from Europe.

makedoanmend , July 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

Very good points, and I agree with all of them.

However, it does seem that the policy of the EU, especially under the influence of Mutti Merkel, signalled a free-for-all immigration stance over the last several years, completely ignoring the plight of existing workers (many of whom would be recent immigrants themselves and the children of immigrants). That the so-called Left either sat idly by or jumped on Mutti's band wagon didn't do them any favours with working people. Every country or customs union has and needs to regulate its borders. It also makes some sense to monitor labour markets when unfavourable conditions appear.

It appears that only the wealthy are largely reaping the rewards of the globalist direction trade has taken. These issues need to be addressed by the emerging Left political parties in the West. Failure to address these issues must, I would contend, play into the hands of the more right wing parties whose job is to often enrich the local rich.

But, bottom line, your are correct workers do not come out well when blaming other workers for economies that have been intentionally created to produce favourable conditions for the few over the many.

nervos belli , July 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

It's a blade with two sides.
There are push factors like the wars and poor countries. However neither of these causes can be fixed. Not possible. Europe can gnash their teeth all they want, not even when they did the unthinkable and put the US under sanctions for their warcrimes would the US ever stop. First there would be color revolutions in western europe.

As important as the push factors are the pull ones. 90% or so of all refugees 2015 went to Germany. Some were sent to other countries by the EU, these too immediately moved to Germany and didn't stay where they were assigned. So the EU has to clean up their act and would need to put the last 10 or so US presidents and administrations before a judge in Den Haag for continued war crimes and crimes against humanity (please let me my dreams). The EU would also need to clean up their one sided trade treaties with Africa and generally reign in their own corporations. All that is however not enough by far and at most only half the battle. Even when the EU itself all did these things, the poverty would remain and therefore the biggest push factor. Humans always migrate to the place where the economy is better.

The pull factors is however at least as big. The first thing to do is for Germany to fix their laws to be in sync with the other EU countries. At this point, Germany is utterly alone, at most some countries simply don't speak out against german policy since they want concessions in other areas. Main one here is France with their proposed EU and Euro reforms but not alone by far.

Ben Wolf , July 20, 2018 at 7:36 am

Nationalists want protection for work and workers, a clamping down on economic migrants, and rules with teeth aimed at controlling international trade.

Socialism in one country is a Stalinist theory, and falling back upon it in fear of international capital is not only regressive but (assuming we aren't intentionally ignoring history) relective of a defensive mentality.

In other words, this kind of thinking is the thinking of the whipped dog cringing before the next blow.

Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:31 am

Am i a dog? :)

Andrew Watts , July 20, 2018 at 11:28 am

Or perhaps they want to regulate and control the power of capital in their country. Which is an entirely impossible proposition considering that capital can flee any jurisdiction and cross any border. After all, transnational capital flows which were leveraged to the hilt in speculative assets played an oversized role in generating the financial crisis and subsequent crash.

It wouldn't be the first time I've been called a Stalinist though.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

And why would we care whether it's a "Stalinist" theory? For that matter, although worker ownership would solve some of these problems, we needn't be talking about socialism, but rather about more functional capitalism.

Quite a leap in that last sentence; you haven't actually established anything of the sort.

JBird , July 20, 2018 at 3:39 pm

but rather about a more functional capitalism.

Personally, I believe capitalism needs to go away, but for it, or any other economic system, to work, we would need a fair, equal, just, enforced rule of law that everyone would be under, wouldn't we?

Right now the blessed of our various nations do not want this, so they make so that one set is unfair, unequal, unjust, harshly enforced on most of their country's population while they get the gentle rules.

For a society to function long term, it needs to have a fair and just set of rules that everyone understands and follow, although the rules don't have to equal; people will tolerate different levels of punishments and strictness of the rules. The less that is the case the more dysfunctional, and usually the more repressive it is. See the Western Roman Empire, the fall of just about every Chinese dynasty, the Russian Empire, heck even the American War of Independence, and the American Civil War. In example, people either actively worked to destroy the system or did not care to support it.

disc_writes , July 20, 2018 at 8:10 am

Thank you for the article, a pretty lucid analysis of the recent electoral results in Italy and trends elsewhere. Although I would have liked to read something about people voting the way they do because they are xenophobe fascist baby-eating pedophile racist Putin friends. Just for fun.

Funny how the author's company promotes "Daily international job vacancies in UNDP, FAO, UN, UNCTAD, UNIDO and the other Governative Organization, Non Governative Organization, Multinationals Corporations. Public Relations, Marketing, Business Development."

Precisely the sort of jobs that infuriates the impoverishing middle classes.

Lambert Strether , July 20, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Class traitors are important and to be encouraged (though a phrase with a more positive tone would be helpful).

Felix_47 , July 20, 2018 at 9:16 am

As recently as 2015, Bernie Sanders defended not only border security, but also national sovereignty. Asked about expanded immigration, Sanders flipped the question into a critique of open-borders libertarianism: "That's a Koch brothers proposal which says essentially there is no United States."
Unfortunately the ethnic division of the campaign and Hillary's attack seems to have led him to change his mind.

Andrew Watts , July 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

That's probably due to the fact that just about everybody can't seem to differentiate between immigration and mass migration. The latter issue is a matter of distributing the pain of a collapsing order. state failure, and climate change while the former is simply engaging in the comfortable rhetoric of politics dominated by the American middle class.

Enrico Verga , July 20, 2018 at 9:36 am

Ciao .

Oki lemme see.

1 people vote they like. im not updated if the voters eat babies but i'll check and let u know.
2 My company is not dream job. It is a for free ( and not making a penny) daily bulleting that using a fre soft (paper.li) collect international qualified job offers for whoever is willing to work in these sector.
i'm not pro or contro migrants. i actually only reported simple fact collating differents point :)

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , July 20, 2018 at 9:40 am

Economic migrants seek prosperity and are justified in doing so, yet they can also be seen as pawns in an international strategy that destroys the negotiating leverage of workers. The resulting contradictions potentially render conventional political classifications obsolete.

This appears on the homepage, but not here.

In any case, the 10% also seek prosperity. They are said to be the enablers of the 1%.

Perhaps pawns too.

Are economic migrants both pawns and enablers?

JBird , July 20, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Yes. The economic migrants are both pawns and enablers as well as victims.

Newton Finn , July 20, 2018 at 10:02 am

Until the left alters its thinking to reflect the crucial information presented in this video, information more clearly and comprehensively spelled out in "Reclaiming the State" by Mitchell and Fazi, resurgent rightwing nationalism will be the only outlet for those who reject global neoliberalism's race to the bottom. It's that simple and sad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IynNfA1Ohao

ROB , July 20, 2018 at 10:11 am

To paint this as two pro-globalisation (within which you place the left) and pro-nationalism is simplistic and repositions the false dichotomy of left vs right with something just as useless. We should instead seek to speak to the complexities of the modern political spectrum. This is an example of poor journalism and analysis and shouldn't have been posted here, sorry Yves.

John Wright , July 20, 2018 at 11:16 am

By "false dichotomy of left vs right" are you implying there is little difference between left and right?

Is that not one of the themes of the article?

Please speak to the complexities of the modern political spectrum and give some examples of better and more useful journalism and analysis.

JTMcPhee , July 20, 2018 at 11:17 am

Thanks for your opinion. Check the format of this place: articles selected for information or provoking thoughts, in support of a general position of driving toward betterment of the general welfare, writ large.

The political economy is at least as complex as the Krebs or citric acid cycle that biology students and scientists try to master. There are so many moving parts and intersecting and competing interests that in the few words that the format can accommodate, regarding each link, it's a little unkind to expect some master work of explication and rhetorical closure every time.

The Krebs cycle is basically driven by the homeostatic thrust, bred of billions of years of refinement, to maintain the healthy functioning and prolong life of the organism. There's a perceivable axis to all the many parts of respiration, digestion, energy flows and such, all inter-related with a clear organizing principle at the level of the organism. On the record, it's hardly clear that at the level of the political economy, and all the many parts that make it up, there is sufficient cohesion around a set of organizing principles that parallel the drive, at the society and species level, to regulate and promote the energy flows and interactions that would keep things healthy and prolong the life of the larger entity. Or that their is not maybe a death wish built into the "cultural DNA" of most of the human population.

Looks a lot to me that we actually have been invested (in both the financial and military senses of the word) by a bunch of different cancer processes, wild and unregulated proliferation of ecnomic and political tumor tissues that have invaded and undermined the healthy organs of the body politic. Not so clear what the treatments might be, or the prognosis. It is a little hopeful, continuing the biological analogy, that the equivalents of inflammation and immune system processes appear to be overcoming the sneaky tricks that cancer genes and cells employ to evade being identified and rendered innocuous.

John , July 20, 2018 at 11:44 am

Yes, "invested in a bunch of cancer processes" is a good description of allowing excessive levels of predatory wealth. Thus you end up with a bunch of Jay Gould hyper capitalists whose guiding principle is: I can always pay one half of the working class to kill the other half. Divide and conquer rules.

jrs , July 20, 2018 at 6:40 pm

It's mostly simply wrong. This doesn't describe the political views of almost anyone near power anywhere as far as I can tell:

"Globalists want more open borders and freer international trade. Nationalists want protection for work and workers, "

Most of the nationalist forces are on the right and give @#$# all for workers rights. Really they may be anti-immigrant but they are absolutely anti-worker.

JimmyV , July 20, 2018 at 12:04 pm

The middle class does not really exist, it was a concept invented by capitalists to distract the workers from their essential unity as fellow wage slaves. Some make more wages, some make less wages but they all have their surplus value, the money left over after they have enough to take care of themselves, taken by the capitalist and used for his ends even though he may not have worked in the value creation process at all.

Economic migrants are members of the working class who have been driven from their home country to somewhere else by the capitalist system. While the article does mention capitalist shock doctrine methods for establishing imperialism and correctly notes that economic migrants are victims, it then goes on to try to lay a weak and insidious argument against them. The author goes on citing multiple different cases of worker wages being driven lower or stagnating, many of these cases have differing and sometimes complex reasons for why this happened. But migrants and globalization are to blame he says and that our struggle is nationalism vs globalism. He refuses to see what is staring him in the face, workers produce surplus value for society, more workers produce more surplus value. If society finds itself wealthier with more workers then why do workers wage fall or stagnate? He does note correctly that this is due to the workers now having a weaker bargaining position with the capitalist, but he seems to conclude from this without stating outrightly that we should then reject the economic migrants because of this.

However, we could instead conclude that if more workers produce more surplus value but yet their wages fall because the capitalist takes a larger share of the overall pot, that the problem is not more workers but instead the capitalist system itself which was rigged to exploit workers everywhere. Plus the workers bargaining position only weakens with a greater number of them if they are all just bargaining for themselves, but if they were to bargain togather collectively then there bargaining position has actually only grown even stronger.

Also he falsly equates democratic party policies with leftists, instead of correctly noting that the democratic party represents capitalist interests from a centrist position and not the left. The strength of global capitalism can only be fought by a global coalition of the working class. The struggle of Mexican and American workers are interrelated to each other and the same goes for that of European and Middle Eastern workers. The time has come for the left to raise the rallying cry of its great and glorious past.

That workers of the world must unite!

Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 20, 2018 at 1:02 pm

You claim, as if it were obvious, that "economic migrants are members of the working class who have been driven from their home country to somewhere else by the capitalist system."

Are all economic migrants therefore bereft of agency?

If the borders of the US were abruptly left completely open, a huge number of people would enter the country tomorrow, for economic reasons. Would they all have been "driven" here, or would they have some choice in the matter?

When you say, "he refuses to say what is staring him in the face, that [ ] more workers produce more surplus value," you are not only taking a gratuitously pedantic tone, you are actually not making a coherent critique. If economic migrants move from one country to another, the total pool of workers in the world has not increased; while according to your logic, if all the workers in the world were to move to Rhode Island, Rhode Island would suddenly be swimming in the richness of surplus value.

When you say, "we could instead conclude that [..] the problem is not more workers but instead the capitalist system itself which was rigged to exploit workers everywhere," you are straw-manning the author but also making a purely rhetorical argument. If you think the capitalist system can be replaced with a better one within the near future, then you can work toward that; but in the meanwhile, nations, assuming that they will continue to exist, will either have open borders or something short of that, and these decisions do affect the lives of workers.

When you say he "falsly equates democratic party policies with leftists," the false equivalence is coming from you. The article barely touches on the Democratic Party, and instead draws most of its examples from Europe, especially Italy. In Italy, the public figures he mentions call themselves part of the sinistra and are generally referred to that way. You might perhaps feel that they are not entitled to that name (and in fact, the article sometimes places "left" in quotation marks), but you should at least read the article and look them up before discussing the matter.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 1:56 pm

From the article: "Meanwhile, many who self-identify as on the Left seem utterly uninterested in the concerns of ordinary people, at least in cases where these would conflict with the commitment to globalization."

To Be Fair, Verga clearly is skeptical about those claims to be "on the Left," as he should be. Nonetheless, his initial mention of Democratic exemplars of globalization triggers American reflexes.

Oregoncharles , July 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Something before this failed to post; was rejected as a double post.

In brief: corporate globalization is a conservative, Republican policy that Bill Clinton imposed on the Dems, where it has since become doctrine, since it pays. It's ultimately the reason I'm a Green, not a Democrat, and in a sense the reason there IS a Green Party in the US.

Lambert Strether , July 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

> The middle class does not really exist, it was a concept invented by capitalists

Let's not be simplistic. They have people for that.

Eduardo Pinha , July 20, 2018 at 1:00 pm

The author points to stagnant middle class income in USA and Western Europe but fail to look the big picture. Middle class income has increased sharply in the past decades in Asia and Eastern Europe. Overall the gain huge, even though life is tougher in richer countries.

JBird , July 20, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Overall the gain huge, even thought life is tougher in richer countries.

Please accept my apologies for saying this. I don't mean to offend. I just have to point out something.

Many in the Democratic Party, as well as the left, are pointing to other countries and peoples as well as the American 9.9% and saying things are great, why are you complaining? With the not so hidden implications, sometimes openly stated that those who do are losers and deplorables.

Saying that middle class incomes are merely stagnant is a sick, sick joke as well as an untruth. As an American, I do not really care about the middle classes in Asia and Eastern Europe. Bleep the big picture. The huge gains comes with a commensurate increase in homeless in the United States, and a falling standard of living for most the of the population, especially in the "wealthy" states, like my state of California. Most of us are using fingernails to stay alive and homed. If those gains had not been caused by the losses, I would be very please to see them. As it is, I have to live under President Trump and worry about surviving. Heck, worry about the rest of my family doing so.

jrs , July 20, 2018 at 6:50 pm

"Saying that middle class incomes are merely stagnant is a sick, sick joke as well as an untruth."

+10,000

I mean I actually do care somewhat about the people of the world, but we here in "rich countries" are being driven to homelessness at this point and told the goddamn lie that we live in a rich country, rather than the truth that we live in a plutocracy with levels of inequality approaching truly 3rd world. We are literally killing ourselves because we have to live in this plutocracy and our one existence itself is not even worth it anymore in this economic system (and we are lacking even a few of the positives of many other 3rd world countries). And those that aren't killing ourselves still can't find work, and even if we do, it doesn't pay enough to meet the most basic necessities.

David in Santa Cruz , July 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Thought-provoking post.

1. It is unfortunate that Verga raises the rising cost of material inputs but fails to meaningfully address the issue. One of the drivers of migration, as mentioned in Comments above, is the population volcano currently erupting. Labor is cheap and globalization possible in large part because the world population has grown from 2 Billion to over 7 Billion in the past 60-odd years. This slow-growing mountain of human beings has created stresses on material inputs which are having a negative impact on the benefits derived from declining labor costs. This becomes a death-spiral as capital seeks to balance the rising cost of raw materials and agricultural products by driving down the cost of labor ever further.

2. Verga touches on the interplay of Nationalism and Racism in the responses of political parties and institutions in Italy and elsewhere. Voters appear to be abandoning Left and left-ish parties because the Left have been unable to come up with a definintion of national sovereignty that protects worker rights largely due to the importance of anti-racism in current Left-wing thought. Working people were briefly bought-off with cheap consumer goods and easy credit, but they now realize that low-wage migrant and off-shore workers mean that even these goodies are now out of reach. The only political alternative currently on offer is a brand of Nationalism defined by Racism -- which becomes acceptable to voters when the alternative is Third-World levels of poverty for those outside the 1% and their 9% enablers.

I don't see any simple solutions. Things may get very ugly.

redleg , July 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

The "left" abandoned the working class. Denied a political champion, the right offered the working class scapegoats.

PKMKII , July 20, 2018 at 1:59 pm

I certainly see that policies tampering down free trade, both of capital and labor, can benefit workers within a particular country. However, especially in the context of said policies in "Western" countries, this can tend towards a, protect the working class within the borders, leave those outside of it in impoverished squalor. Which doesn't mesh well with the leftist goal of global class consciousness. Much like the racially segregated labor policies of yesteryear, it's playing a zero-sum game with the working class while the ownership class gets the "rising tide lifts all boats" treatment.

So how do we protect workers within the sovereign, while not doing so at the cost of the workers outside of it? Schwieckart has an interesting idea, that tariffs on imports are used to fund non-profits/higher education/cooperatives in the country of export. However, I think we'd need something a bit more fine-tuned than that.

Tomonthebeach , July 20, 2018 at 3:23 pm

It has always baffled me that governments enable this global musical chairs game with the labor market. Nearly all Western governments allow tax dodging by those who benefit the most from their Navies, Armies, Patents, and Customs enforcement systems. However, it is the working class that carries the brunt of that cost while corporations off-shore their profits.

A simple-minded fix might be to start taxing foreign profits commensurate with the cost of enabling those overseas profits.

whine country , July 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Interesting that a corporation is a person just like us mortals when it is to their advantage, but unlike us humans, they can legally escape taxation on much of their income whereas a human being who is a US citizen cannot. A human citizen is generally taxed by the US on all income regardless of its source. OTOH, corporations (among other means) routinely transfer intellectual property to a non tax jurisdiction and then pay artificial payments to that entity for the rights to use such property. It is a scam akin to a human creating a tax deduction by transferring money from one pocket to another. Yes, proper taxation of corporations is a simple-minded fix which is absolutely not simple to legislate. Nice try though. Something else to ponder: Taxation without representation was said to be a major factor in our war of independence from Britain. Today no one seems to be concerned that we have evolved into representation without taxation. Doesn't see right to me.

ChrisAtRU , July 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm

"Klein analyzes a future (already here to some degree) in which multinational corporations freely fish from one market or another in an effort to find the most suitable (i.e. cheapest) labor force."

Indeed:

Our Industry Follows Poverty

FWIW I don't think it's productive to talk about things like immigration in (or to) the US in terms of just the here – as in what should/could we be doing here to fix the problem. It's just as much if not more about the there . If we view the global economic order as an enriched center feeding off a developing periphery, then fixing the periphery should be first aim. #Wall or #NoBorders are largely incendiary extremes. Ending Original Sin and creating some sort of supranational IOU/credit system (not controlled by World Bank or IMF!) will end the economic imbalance and allow countries who will never export their way out of poverty and misery a way to become equal first world nation states. With this equality, there will be less economic migration, less peripheral poverty and potentially less political unrest. It's a gargantuan task to be sure, but with rising Socialist sentiment here and abroad, I'd like to think we are at least moving in the right direction.

Anonymous2 , July 20, 2018 at 4:40 pm

No mention of tax policy?

If the rich were properly taxed then social tensions would be greatly reduced and if the revenue raised were used to help the poorest in society much distress could be alleviated.

I worry that debate on migration/globalisation is being encouraged to distract attention from this issue.

JimmyV , July 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I may indeed have taken a gratuitously pedantic tone and could have chosen a better one, for that i apologise. I do however believe that much of my critique still stands, I will try to go through your points one by one.

"Are all economic migrants therefore bereft of agency?"

Not all but many are, especially the ones that most people are complaining about. Many of them are being driven from their home countries not simply for a better life but so they can have something approaching a life at all. While to fully prove this point would require an analysis of all the different migrants and their home country conditions, I do feel that if we are talking about Syrian refugees, migrants from Africa risking their lives crossing the Mediteranian sea, or CentralAmerican refugees than yes i do think these people to an extent have had their agency taken from them by global events. For Syrians, by being caught in an imperialist power struggle which while the civil war may not have been caused by it, it certainly has been prolonged because of it. Not too mention America played a very significant role in creating the conditions for ISIS, and western European powers don't have completely clean hands either due to their long history of brutal imperialism in the mideast. Africa of course also has an extensive past of colonization and suffers from a present of colonization and exploitation as well. For Central Americans there is of course the voracious american drug market as well as our politicians consistent appetite for its criminalisation to blame. There is also of course global climate change. Many of these contributing conditions are not being dealt with and so i believe that the migrations we have witnessed these last few years are only the first ining of perhaps even greater migrations to come. How we deal with it now, could determine whether our era is defined by mass deaths or something better. So to the extent that i believe many of these migrants have agency is similiar to how a person climbing onto the roof of there house to escape a flood does.

If the borders of the US were left completely open then, yes, there would most likely be a rush of people at first but over time they would migrate back and forth according to their needs, through the opening of the border they would gain agency. People often think that a country not permitting its citizens to leave is wrong and immoral, but if most countries close their borders to the people of a country going through great suffering, then it seems to me that is essentially the same even if the rhetoric may be different. The likeliness of this is high if the rich countries close there borders, since if the rich countries like the US and Italy feel they can not take them in, then its doubtful countries on the way that are much poorer will be able to either.

At the begining of your article you stated that "International commerce, jobs, and economic migrants are propelled by a common force: profit." This is the capitalist system, which is a system built upon the accumulation of capital, which are profits invested in instruments of labor, aka machines and various labor enhancements. Now Rhode island is quite small so there are geographical limitations of course, but if that was not an issue then yes. Wage workers in the capitalist system produce more value than they consume, if this was not the case they would not be hired or be hired for long. So if Rhode Island did not have the geographical limitations that it does, then with more workers the overall pot of valuable products and services would increase per capita in relation to the population. If the workers are divided and not unified into cohesive and responsive institutions to fight for there right share of the overall pie, which I believe should be all of it, then most of the gain to society will go to the capitalist as increased profits. So it is not the migrant workers who take from the native but instead actually the capitalist who exploits and trys to magnify there difference. So if the capitalist system through imperialism helped to contribute to the underlying conditions driving mass migration, and then it exploits there gratitude and willingness to work for less than native workers, than I believe it follows that they will wish to drive native anger towards the migrants with the ultimate goal of allowing them to exploit the migrant workers at an even more severe level. This could be true within the country, such as the US right now where the overarching result of anti-immigrant policies has been to not get rid of them but to drive there exploitation more into the shadows, or through mass deportations back to their home country followed by investments to exploit their desperation at super low wages that will then compete with the rich country workers, it is also possible they will all just die and everyone will look away. Either way the result will still be lower wages for rich country workers, it seems to me the only way out of the impass is for the native workers to realize their unity with migrant workers as exploited workers and instead of directing that energy of hostility at each other instead focus it upon the real root which is the capitalists themselves. Without the capitalists, more workers, held withing certain geographic limitations of course, would in fact only enrich each other.

So while nations may indeed continue to exist for awhile, the long term benefit of native workers is better served by making common cause with migrants against their mutual oppressors then allowing themselves to be stirred up against them. Making this argument to workers is much harder, but its the most beneficial if it can be made successfully.

This last point i do agree i may have been unfair to you, historically I believe the left generally referred to anarchists, socialists and communists. So I often dislike the way modern commentators use the left to refer to anything from a center right democrat like Hillary Clinton all the way to the most hard core communist, it can make understanding political subtleties difficult since anarchists, socialists and communists have radically different politics than liberals, much more so than can be expressed along a linear line. But as you point out you used quotes which i admit i did not notice, and of course one must generally use the jargon of the times in order to be understood.

Overall i think my main critique was that it seemed that throughout your article you were referencing different negative symptoms of capitalism but was instead taking that evidence for the negatives of globalism. I may come from a more radical tradition than you may be used to, but i would consider globalism to be an inherent aspect of capitalism. Capitalism in its algorithmic quest for ever increasing profits generally will not allow its self to be bound for long by people, nations, or even the physical and environmental limitations of the earth. While one country may be able to restrict it for a time unless it is overcome completely it will eventually reach out globally again. The only way to stop it is a prolonged struggle of the international working class cooperating with each other against capitalism in all its exploitive forms. I would also say that what we are seeing is not so much globalism vs nationalism but instead a rearrangement of the competing imperial powers, Russia, China, US, Germany and perhaps the evolution of multiple competing imperialisms similiar in nature to pre- world war times but that may have to wait for later.

A great deal of your article did indeed deal with Italy which I did not address but I felt that your arguments surrounding migrants was essentially of a subtle right wing nature and it needed to be balanced by a socialist counter narrative. I am very glad that you took the time to respond to my critique I know that putting analysis out there can be very difficult and i am thankful for your response which has allowed me to better express and understand my viewpoint. Once again I apoligise if I used some overly aggressive language and i hope your able to get something out of my response as well.

Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm

I appreciate the more reflective tone of this reply. I believe there are still some misreadings of the article, which I will try to clarify.

For one thing, I am not the author of the article! Enrico Verga is the author. I merely translated the article. Enrico is Italian, however, and so for time zone reasons will be unable to respond to your comments for a while. I am happy to write a bit on this in the meantime.

You make two arguments.

The first is that many or most migrants are fleeing desperate circumstances. The article speaks however consistently of "economic migrants" – there are some overlapping issues with refugees, but also significant differences. Clearly there are many people who are economically comfortable in their home countries and who would still jump at a chance to get US citizenship if they could (look up EB-5 fraud for one example). Saying this does not imply some sort of subtle critique of such people, but they are not a myth.

I actually found your second argument more thought-provoking. As I understand you, you are suggesting something like the following. You support completely open borders. You acknowledge that this would lead at first to massive shifts in population, but in the long run you say things would stabilize. You acknowledge that this will lead to "lower wages for rich country workers," but say that we should focus on the fact that it is only within the capitalist system that this causality holds. You also suggest that it would probably lead, under current conditions, to workers having their anger misdirected at migrants and therefore supporting more reactionary policies.

Given that the shift to immediate open borders would, by this analysis, be highly detrimental to causes you support, why do you favor it? Your reasons appear to be (1) it's the right thing to do and we should just do it, (2) yes, workers might react in the way described, but they should not feel that way, and maybe we can convince them not to feel that way, (3) things will work themselves out in the long run.

I am a bit surprised at the straightforwardly idealistic tone of (1) and (2). As for (3), as Keynes said, in the long run we are all dead. He meant by this that phenomena that might in theory equilibrate over a very long time can lead to significant chaos in the short run; this chaos can meanwhile disrupt calculations about the "long term" and spawn other significant negative consequences.

Anyone who is open to the idea of radically new economic arrangements faces the question of how best to get there. You are perhaps suggesting that letting global capital reign supreme, unhindered by the rules and restrictions of nation-states, will in the long run allow workers to understand their oppression more clearly and so increase their openness to uniting against it. If so, I am skeptical.

I will finally point out that a part of the tone of your response seems directed at the impression that Enrico dislikes migrants, or wants other people to resent them. I see nothing in the article that would suggest this, and there are on the other hand several passages in which Enrico encourages the reader to empathize with migrants. When you suggest that his arguments are "essentially of a subtle right wing nature," you are maybe reacting to this misreading; in any case, I'm not really sure what you are getting at, since this phrase is so analytically imprecise that it could mean all sorts of things. Please try to engage with the article with arguments, not with vague epithets.

Raulb , July 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

There is a bit of a dissonance here. Human rights has been persistently used by neoliberals to destabilize other regions for their own ends for decades now with little protest. And when the standard playbook of coups and stirring up trouble does not work its war and total destruction as we have seen recently in Iraq, Libya and Syria for completely fabricated reasons.

Since increased migration is the obvious first consequence when entire countries are decimated and in disarray one would expect the countries doing the destruction to accept the consequences of their actions but instead we have the same political forces who advocate intervention on 'human rights grounds' now demonizing migrants and advocating openly racist policies.

One can understand one mistake but 3 mistakes in a row! And apparently we are not capable of learning. The bloodlust continues unabated for Iran. This will destabilize an already destabilized region and cause even more migration to Europe. There seems to be a fundamental contradiction here, that the citizens of countries that execute these actions and who who protest about migrants must confront.

Maybe they should pay trillions of dollars of reparations for these intervention so these countries can be rebuilt and made secure again so migrants can return to their homes. Maybe the UN can introduce a new fund with any country considering destabilizing another country, for instance Iran, to first deposit a trillion dollars upfront to deal with the human fallout. Or maybe casually destabilizing and devastating entire countries, killing millions of people and putting millions more in disarray should be considered crimes against humanity and prosecuted so they are not repeated.

[Jul 19, 2018] This is the end of classic neoliberalism, no question about it, and the collapse of neoliberal globalization is just one aspect of it

Jul 19, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

likbez , July 19, 2018 at 4:44 am

Globalization is not a one-dimensional phenomenon, and some of its aspects are still intact. Hollywood dominance, Internet, English language dominance, West technological dominance, will not reverse any time soon.

What is under attack by Trump, Brexit, etc. is neoliberal globalization, and, especially financial globalization, free movement of labor and outsourcing of manufacturing and services (offshoring).

Neoliberal globalization was also based on the dollar as world reserve currency (and oil trading in dollars exclusively). But this role of dollar recently is under attack due to the rise of China. Several "anti-dollar" blocks emerged.

Trump tariffs are also anathema for "classic neoliberalism" and essentially convert "classic neoliberalism" into "national neoliberalism" on the state level. BTW it looks like Russia switched to "national neoliberalism" earlier than the USA. No surprise that Trump feels some affinity to Putin ;-)

Attacks against free labor movement also on the rise and this is another nail in the coffin of classic neoliberalism. In several countries, including the USA the neoliberal elite (especially financial elite after 2008, despite that no banksters were killed by crowds) does not feel safe given animosity caused by the promotion of immigration and resorts of conversion of the state into national security state and neo-McCarthyism to suppress dissent.

I think those attacks will continue, immigration will be curtailed, and "classic neoliberalism" will be transformed into something different. Not necessarily better.

Several trends are also connected with the gradual slipping of the power of the USA as the chief enforcer of the neoliberal globalization. Which is partially happened due to the stupidity and arrogance of the USA neoliberal elite and neocons.

Another factor in play is the total, catastrophic loss of power of neoliberal propaganda -- people started asking questions, and neoliberal myths no longer hold any spell on population (or at least much less spell). The success of Bernie Sanders during the last election (DNC was forced to resort to dirty tricks to derail him) is one indication of this trend. This "collapse of ideology" spells great troubles for the USA, as previously it spells great troubles for the USSR.

"Trumpism" as I understand it tried to patch the situation by two major strategies:

(1) splitting Russia from China

(2) Attempt to acquire dominant position in regions rick in hydrocarbons (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, etc)

But so far the decline of neoliberalism looks like Irreversible. It never fully recovered from the deep crisis of 2008 and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Another powerful factor that works against neoliberal globalization is the end of cheap oil. How it will play out is unclear, Much depends whether we will have a Seneca cliff in oil production or not. And if yes, how soon.

This is the end of classic neoliberalism, no question about it, and the collapse of neoliberal globalization is just one aspect of it

[Jul 16, 2018] The West Is Past

Notable quotes:
"... Two U.S. 'realists', Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, had always warned that the 'west' must keep China and Russia apart if it wants to keep its leading global position. Nixon went to China to achieve that. ..."
"... Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War. It felt invincible, the 'sole superpower' and sought to 'rule them all'. It woke up from that dream after it invaded Iraq. The mighty U.S. military was beaten to pulp by the 'sand niggers' it despised. A few years later U.S. financial markets were in shambles. ..."
"... Crude attempts to further encircle Russia led to the Chinese-Russian alliance that now leads the SCO and soon, one might argue, the world. There will be no photo like the above from the SCO summit. The Chinese President Xi calls Russia's President Putin 'my best friend'. ..."
"... Agreed! But what will the US psychopaths do to maintain their grip when they realize they are really losing it? Nuclear war? ..."
"... Watching the two meetings play out has really been interesting, that the West is dead is not in question. And once it started it seems to be gaining momentum. I don't know how many readers here watch CGTN but it is amazing. My IQ goes up every time I watch. Astonishing how much more valuable information you get from a "heavily censored" Chinese news compared to MSM. The website is a little slow at times but it is well worth the wait. ..."
Jun 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

G-7 summits are supposed to symbolize "the west", its unity and its power. The summits pretended to set policy directions for the world. We are happy to see that they are dead.

Trump was obviously not inclined to compromise.

Before attending the summit Trump trolled his colleagues by inviting Russia to rejoin the G-7/G-8 format without conditions. Russia had been kicked out after Crimea voted to join its motherland. Merkel, who had negotiated the Minsk agreement with Russia, was furious. She wants to use such an invitation as an element of future negotiations. (It is stupid talk. Russia is not interested in rejoining the G-7/G-8 format.)

There are now many fields where the U.S. and its allies disagree: climate change, the Iran deal, trade are only the major ones.

Before leaving the summit Trump again used Mafia language against everyone else:

As he prepared to depart early from the G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, to head to Singapore ahead of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump delivered an ultimatum to foreign leaders, demanding that their countries reduce trade barriers for the U.S. or risk losing market access to the world's largest economy.

"They have no choice. I'll be honest with you, they have no choice," Trump told reporters at a news conference, adding that companies and jobs had left the U.S. to escape trade barriers abroad. "We're going to fix that situation. And if it's not fixed, then we're not going to deal with these countries. "

The row at the G-7 meeting was in stark contrast to the more important other meeting that happened today, the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China:

Dazzling against the city skyline of Qingdao, fireworks lit up the faces of guests who traveled across the vast Eurasian continent to the coast of the Yellow Sea for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, on Saturday night.

It is the first such summit since the organization's expansion in June 2017 when India and Pakistan joined as full members.

...

The Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development , was stated in the Charter of the SCO, a comprehensive regional organization founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and later expanded to eight member states.

This weekend Xi will chair the summit for the first time as Chinese president, which is attended by leaders of other SCO member states and four observer states, as well as chiefs of various international organizations.

...

The SCO has grown to be an organization covering over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP.

Two U.S. 'realists', Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, had always warned that the 'west' must keep China and Russia apart if it wants to keep its leading global position. Nixon went to China to achieve that.

Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War. It felt invincible, the 'sole superpower' and sought to 'rule them all'. It woke up from that dream after it invaded Iraq. The mighty U.S. military was beaten to pulp by the 'sand niggers' it despised. A few years later U.S. financial markets were in shambles.

Crude attempts to further encircle Russia led to the Chinese-Russian alliance that now leads the SCO and soon, one might argue, the world. There will be no photo like the above from the SCO summit. The Chinese President Xi calls Russia's President Putin 'my best friend'.

The 'west' has lost in Eurasia.

The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big. Trump is off to Singapore to meet Kim Yong-un. Unlike Trump North Korea's supreme leader will be well prepared. It is likely that he will run rings around Trump during the negotiations. If Trump tries to bully him like he bullies his 'allies', Kim will pack up and leave. Unlike the U.S. 'allies' he has no need to bow to Trump. China and Russia have his back. They are now the powers that can lead the world.

The 'west' is past. The future is in the east.

Posted by b on June 9, 2018 at 03:14 PM | Permalink


Kelli , Jun 9, 2018 3:37:22 PM | 1

Agreed! But what will the US psychopaths do to maintain their grip when they realize they are really losing it? Nuclear war?
Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 3:44:17 PM | 2
Yeah, I was just thinking that. Trump is running full-speed into isolation. It's an ancient policy, which recalls the 1920s. What does America need of the outside world? Good question.

I would think we will hear in the not too distant future of a European replacement of the US exchange systems, such as VISA. The Americans have become too unreliable. Obviously the Russians and Chinese do have their own systems, but that won't do for the EU.

Independence is going to be forced, and the consequences will be permanent.

Babyl-on , Jun 9, 2018 3:53:27 PM | 5

Watching the two meetings play out has really been interesting, that the West is dead is not in question. And once it started it seems to be gaining momentum. I don't know how many readers here watch CGTN but it is amazing. My IQ goes up every time I watch. Astonishing how much more valuable information you get from a "heavily censored" Chinese news compared to MSM. The website is a little slow at times but it is well worth the wait.

Last year during the border standoff with India they had on strident Indian voices arguing the Indian position every day. Imagine if CNN had on Mexican reps regarding the wall - never happen.

Harry Law , Jun 9, 2018 3:59:37 PM | 6
Because Iran was under sanctions levied by the United Nations earlier, it was blocked from admission as a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Council [SCO]. The SCO stated that any country under UN sanctions could not be admitted. After the UN sanctions were lifted, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced its support for Iran's full membership in SCO during a state visit to Iran in January 2016.Iran must join the SCO ASAP it is also a military alliance and should prepare itself for a big effort at regime change by the US and lackeys. The moral of the story unless they hang together, the US will hang them separately.
ashley albanese , Jun 9, 2018 4:01:15 PM | 7
Well, China as the text books say was always ' half the human story' - only eclipsed by Western connivance in the 1860's .I remember my father argueing with high ranking Australian government and commercial figures in 1970.

My father argued Australia needed to find its own voice with China and Chinese policy . They replied sneeringly '' Ralph , their just red communists and will never amount to anything ' . Shortly thereafter Nixon flew to Beijing and my father sat back in his living room with a sardonic look on his face !

Scotch Bingeington , Jun 9, 2018 4:05:14 PM | 8
Interesting picture! Judging by his posture, Japan's Prime Minister Abe seems to back Trump's position.

By the way, Mr. Abe doesn't look Japanese to me, he rather has a striking resemblance to a certain Bavarian actor - one Max Griesser .

Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 4:13:18 PM | 9
You may like Freedland's article yesterday, which unusually I agreed with, that in fact Trump is a poor negotiator, and gives away tricks he doesn't have to. Why no concession from Israel, over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem? Why give away the honour to NK of a one-to-one with the US president? I'd be surprised if NK surrenders, when they know what will happen if they do.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/08/trump-master-negotiator-meeting-kim-jong-un-art-of-deal

Madderhatter67 , Jun 9, 2018 4:18:15 PM | 10
They did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.
Red Ryder , Jun 9, 2018 4:25:57 PM | 11
"President Putin is the leader of a great country who is influential around the world," Xi said. "He is my best, most intimate friend." Xi promised Russia and China would increase their coordination in the international arena.

Putin expressed his thanks for the honor and said he saw it as an "evaluation" of his nation's efforts to strengthen its relationship with its southern neighbor.

"This is an indication of the special attention and respect on which our mutual national interests are based, the interests of our peoples and, of course, our personal friendship," Putin said.

http://www.newsweek.com/putin-my-best-most-intimate-friend-chinese-president-xi-says-967531

This is not going missed by the West.

But it is unstoppable. The range of integrating projects the Chinese and Russians are working on is more than strategic.

They are forcing a massive shift in economics that is impossible for the US and EU to maintain as competitors.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201806091065269583-putin-xi-summit-takeaways/

The Double Helix is ascending.

Peter AU 1 , Jun 9, 2018 4:34:45 PM | 12
Interesting that Trump has said Russia should be invited back into the west's G7/G8 at this time. In cold war 1.0, Soviet Union was the main enemy of the US and China was split away from the Soviet Union. In this war, Trump sees China's economy as the main threat to the US and is trying but failing to pull Russia away from China.
Lea , Jun 9, 2018 4:45:07 PM | 13
Posted by: Madderhatter67 | Jun 9, 2018 4:18:15 PM | 10
They did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.

If winning the Cold War is about vanquishing communism, they flat out lost. Because, while they were concentrating on the end of the USSR and celebrating, China was going up and up and up. They never saw her coming, yet to this day and for the foreseeable future, China is a socialist, Marxist country.

So the new, desperate Western spin is to try to argue that China has "succumbed" to capitalism. Yeah, right, a country where all the private companies have to have members of the CPC on their board and hand over enough shares to the state to grant it veto powers, not to mention the Central bank and all its major companies are state-owned... Lol.

les7 , Jun 9, 2018 4:49:57 PM | 14
"The 'west' is past. The future is in the east."

Wow... such grandiose conclusions...

After the collapse of the USSR the consensus - even of the alt-media (what little of it existed) was that a new American century was on the way and the whole world would be better off for it. A decade later in 2003 the consensus (post 'shock & awe' Gulf War 2) was that America had the ability to re-structure the Asian /African world and that it would all be for good.

15 years later we are all sick of the fruit of that delusion. So we look to another power to save us... Do we understand nothing?

Without the accountability of multi-polarity, Western supreme power all became security-obsessed privilege, self-aggrandizement, blatant plunder and total disregard for moral value and life. Power corrupts - it knows no exceptions.

If the West is truly dead, the East will be no different.

Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 4:55:53 PM | 15
re 12
Interesting that Trump has said Russia should be invited back into the west's G7/G8 at this time.
Thought of a moment to annoy the Europeans. It is obvious that Trump was pissed off about having to attend, and left at the earliest opportunity. The Europeans heard that, and will draw the inevitable conclusions.
Quentin , Jun 9, 2018 4:57:21 PM | 16
Lea @ 13 Socialist, Marxist, Capitalist, what does it matter: it seems to work for China, at least for the time being. It's success makes me think that a bit more government control of corporations might not be such a bad thing.
Grieved , Jun 9, 2018 5:00:44 PM | 17
The summit with Kim will be fascinating to observe. In my view, NK has finessed the US and the Trump administration to a degree I would not have thought possible, even from native US insiders. To do it long range from the other side of the world speaks to me a lot about the power of Asia, and the clarity of view from there.

I agree with Laguerre @9 that Trump is a terrible negotiator (forgive that I didn't read the Guardian piece). I would take this much further and say that all the US institutions themselves are culturally crippled in terms of understanding what's happening in the ascendancy of Asia. All of their negotiation is feeble, because their grasp on their own true position is based on yesterday's view of their power. You cannot go into negotiation without knowing what you hold.

Every day, I become more confident in the ability of the elder nations to put the young western empires to rest without their being triggered into death spasms.

Red Ryder @11 - I see China's full-on drive for the one Road as its way of waging total war, its strategic masterstroke to render the enemy powerless without the enemy's realizing that it is being attacked. Russia as the other half of the Double Helix mesmerizes the west with weaponry while China undercuts the ground. Both countries are fully at war, and winning, while unseeing commenters complain that it's time for them to "do something." How superb the silk rope drawn so softly around the throat.

It's a beautiful play. I very much hope - and truly expect - that we can all survive to be able to sit back and admire it as the years unfold.

psychohistorian , Jun 9, 2018 5:05:30 PM | 18
I have a small quibble with b's wording but thank him for following and reporting on our evolving world.

b's words:"

The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.

"

My rewording:

The global elite have their US puppet acting like a schoolyard bully who beat up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.

The West is trying to consolidate power and control while they still have some ghost of a chance. How they hold countries after this global divorce will be interesting.

At his time the West has little to offer humanistically except its vice grip on most economic interaction and the tools including banking underpinning the "system". The elite have deluded the public in the West for centuries about private finance behind the scenes of all/most conflict......pointing to other religions but never their own.

It sure is getting interesting. IMO, the two Koreas are going to announce a reconciliation that requires the removal of America military forces/bases et al, which fits in with the fake nationalism efforts of Trump.

Jen , Jun 9, 2018 5:09:16 PM | 19
That the US and the EU and their respective camps are at loggerheads over trade and perhaps other economic issues should not (I hope) lead readers to assume that one side has the interests of the public it represents uppermost in mind. As the US and the Anglosphere is dominated by one set of neoliberals, so Germany and the lackey EU nations following Berlin are dominated by another set of neoliberals in thrall to an export-led mercantilist ideology. Just as the elites in charge of US power structures are only interested in enriching themselves, the same can be said for those in charge of power structures in Europe. Whether under the US or the EU, the public suffers.

Notice that Germany benefits from being the major economic power in the EU while its fellow EU nations around the Atlantic and Mediterranean rim flail under a huge debt (and Greece is being punished back into the impoverished colonial status it held under Nazi German occupation) and eastern European EU members are following suit running their economies into the ground and having to beg NATO into setting up bases in their territories to attract money. At the same time German workers are becoming poorer, they are not benefiting from Berlin's economic policies, they are not reproducing fast enough so Berlin needs to bring in more foreign workers in the guise of "refugees" to prop up factories and keep wages low.

@ Madderhatter67: The US did not win the Cold War because the Cold War was only ever a propaganda front for the secret war waged by US / UK elites against Russia and China to dominate and rob these nations and their neighbours of their natural resources.

Grieved , Jun 9, 2018 5:12:25 PM | 20
@5 Babyl-on

Thanks for the nod to CGTN. For any who care, I searched out its YouTube channel and it produces a huge daily output in English:

https://www.youtube.com/user/CCTVNEWSbeijing/videos

I've recently added Vesti News to my news for the same reason, a large daily feed of short clips of the Russian view, in English:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8MaD6gQscto_Nq1i49iew/videos

I've never been a TV watcher, especially not for news, but I'm enjoying these tastes and flavors of this burgeoning century.

james , Jun 9, 2018 5:20:12 PM | 21
thanks b - and for the laugh with the marjorie and homer pic for comparison!

i think this parallel you draw is a good one.. the west is certainly floundering... i am not sure how global finance responds here... i can't imagine the 1% being on the wrong side of a bet on the direction of things here either..

@6 harry law.. did iran make it into the sco? it sounds like it did.. good!

@14 les7.. regarding your last line - i tend to agree with that viewpoint..

@19 jen... do you think it will be somehow different if the power shifts to russia/china? i guess i am not so sanguine over power, regardless of who holds it.

Wess County , Jun 9, 2018 5:23:01 PM | 22
Very well put, only issue that as to be dealt with is all those Stan Countries, they are a hibernating and breeding ground for Terrorists and Arms dealers , who don't care who they sell arms to and how they get them to rogue regimes.
Zanon , Jun 9, 2018 5:28:02 PM | 23
Its quite funny how Trump wrecked that meeting.

Trump could talk about Russia but who cares, he cant be trusted, hes totally unreliable and hopefully Russia sees that.

Zanon , Jun 9, 2018 5:29:13 PM | 24
at the same time Trump is a king, just look at how the pathetic western states STAND AROUND HIM begging him basically on all kinds of things!
Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 5:57:10 PM | 25
re Grieved 17
I see China's full-on drive for the one Road as its way of waging total war, its strategic masterstroke to render the enemy powerless without the enemy's realizing that it is being attacked.
I do think you're exaggerating there.

China's past history has been one of a country very contented with itself, much like the US, because defended geographically by vast deserts. A longer history, so some foreigners did traverse the deserts.

The Chinese exported their products by foreign ships (Arabo-Persian) arriving at Canton, and buying cargoes, or camel caravans arriving in the north and buying silk. The Chinese themselves did not travel abroad very much, and so didn't know very much about surrounding countries, or the rest of the world. There was a fleet of Chinese junks which arrived in the Gulf in the 14th century, but it was the only one.

Today's situation is not so different. There are Chinese interventions in Africa, but their diplomacy is pretty ham-fisted. The Belt-and-Road initiative is in fact intended to bring up to speed Central Asian countries like Tajikistan. Fine, Tajikistan needs it, but it's not world-changing.

The rail freight from Beijing to Frankfurt works better as an intermediate between sea and air freight, but essentially it is what has always happened - foreigners export Chinese products. The Chinese don't know how to run a foreign policy.

bjd , Jun 9, 2018 5:58:01 PM | 26
I am surprised nobody here remarked on the pontifically present John Bolton.

This was about Iran, I am pretty sure.

bjd , Jun 9, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 27
I note, by the way, that in the second photo, the two persons holding a paper are not on the same page .

Talk about symbolism.

bjd , Jun 9, 2018 6:07:30 PM | 28
Have a closer look and you'll see that in the first photo, John Bolton is talking (Trump is silent and sitting there like 'Il Duce').

Bolton is talking to Macron, who is looking straight at Bolton.

In the second photo, Merkel is looking at Bolton, who is probably speaking at that moment.

Tell me this is not about Iran.

michaelj72 , Jun 9, 2018 6:26:40 PM | 29
hopehely at @4

"OK, so, is Japan 'east' or 'west'?"

from their body language, I would say that Japan is surely 'with' Trump and the US, but that's only because that arch-reactionary Abe is in power.....and when he goes, and go he will, there will be a big period of adjustment...some day.

Villainesse , Jun 9, 2018 6:26:46 PM | 30
The scambastic Trump could be inclined to make a slightly more fair deal in Singapore just to make a deal, but he is going extra early (no jet lag) and will be controlled by Pompeo with his 'Grim Reaper' CIA-dog/warhawk/translator/born & raised S. Korean with multiple relations in their South KCIA (NIS) and cabinet leadership, Andrew Kim (born Kim Sung-hyun). Kim's purpose will be to control Trump's spontaneaous decision making, inform him on what he reads as N. Korea's intent, and give baseline hawkish color to the translations for his own hawkish viewpoint.
annie , Jun 9, 2018 6:29:13 PM | 31
bjd, bolton is trump's overseer, making sure he doesn't step out of line.

Trump is a poor negotiator, and gives away tricks he doesn't have to. Why no concession from Israel, over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem?

Laguerre, you have it backwards. the embassy move, the iran deal, and the appointment of bolton are all concessions trump made, as payback for adelson's millions to both the gop and his campaign. possibly also has a little something to do cambridge analytica, honey traps or whatever.

Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump's Middle East policy

The imprint of the 84-year-old's political passions is seen in an array of Donald Trump's more controversial decisions, including violating the Iran nuclear deal, moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and appointing the ultra-hawkish John Bolton as national security adviser.

......The New York Times reported that Adelson is a member of a "shadow National Security Council" advising Bolton

Jen , Jun 9, 2018 6:36:52 PM | 32
James @ 21: I think one should always be a bit suspicious of those who hold power, especially those who find themselves holding the uppermost hand in power as a result of victory in war (whether in the form of actual military combat, trade war or other wars in soft power).

Russia under Vladimir Putin and China under Xi Jinping may be fine but will their successors know not to abuse the power they may gain from the New Silk Road projects encompassing Eurasia and Africa?

hopehely , Jun 9, 2018 6:38:17 PM | 33
Posted by: bjd | Jun 9, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 27
I note, by the way, that in the second photo, the two persons holding a paper are not on the same page.

Talk about symbolism.

In that pic, is that Miller lurking from behind?

Red Ryder , Jun 9, 2018 6:42:03 PM | 34
@29, bjd,

Of course, it is about Iran. It's the Iranian deal that the EU needs to continue. They benefit as the biggest vendors to Iran. They want to get inside that developing 70 million person market, also.

Bolton wants regime change. The EU knows that will be worse than Iraq. And economically, the EU will be in the dumps for 2 decades if there's another war they are forced to join. And they will be forced to join. They cannot say No to the Hegemon.

The EU 2, Germany and France, are at a historic moment of truth.

They could have a great future with Russia, China, Iran, the BRICS, SCO, OBOR and EAEU or they could be crippled by the Empire.

John Gilberts , Jun 9, 2018 7:01:17 PM | 35
Excellent analysis as always. Here's the muck CBC is reporting on the summit.

Canada Rejects Trump's Call to Let Russia Back Into G-7

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trump-russia-g7-canada-1.4697655

"...But Canada, which pushed for Russia to get the boot in 2014, is not onside. 'Russia was invited to be part of this club and I think that was a very wise initiation, and an invitation full of goodwill,'[FM Chrystia Freeland] she told reporters at the summit. 'Russia, however, made clear that it had no interest in behaving according to the rules of Western democracies..."

Glad to hear it...

michaelj72 , Jun 9, 2018 7:15:43 PM | 36
it's kind of wonderful to see all these imperialist and former neo-colonial powers fighting among themselves.

unfortunately, like the old African proverb goes, when the elephants fight it's the grass and small animals that suffer.

I see no reason for optimism for the peoples of europe at this point, as the stranglehold of the Trioka is perhaps as strong as ever, and hundreds of millions of people are suffering; the people simply have to get organized at all levels and take back their sovereignty at least as a start

WorldBLee , Jun 9, 2018 7:17:31 PM | 37
The US still has the power of the dollar in its arsenal. The UK and EU, and any nation that deals with Wall Street, are addicted to US investment in dollars. Since the EU is run by the banks, and western banks can't function with the dollar, any statements by the EU that they're going to avoid US sanctions over Iran are meaningless.

The equation is essentially this: you can have your sovereignty or you can have the benefits of the dollar that make your 1% very rich. You can't have both. Since the EU is ruled by the 1% banker/investor class they will forestall any attempts to regain sovereignty by the people. In a sense, Europe is like Russia 10-15 years ago, thinking that the US is the key to the golden calf. Russia learned the hard way they needed to establish some independence (although to this day Russia doesn't have nearly the financial independence one might hope), and China saw from Russia's example they needed to do so as well. This led them to team up on many economic initiatives while seeking to reduce the dominance of the dollar.

Perhaps someday Europe will learn this lesson. But as long as the EU exists, I kind of doubt it. The EU-crats will cry and criticize Trump but the bankers love US money too much to let them actually do anything serious.

Ghost Ship , Jun 9, 2018 7:20:38 PM | 38
Paul Krugman is tweeting that this is all happening because Trump doesn't understand Value-Added Tax !

This is not an endorsement of Krugman who is trying to blame it on Putin.

rexl , Jun 9, 2018 7:56:05 PM | 39
If the West is dead and the East is the future, then why are so many Chinese buying houses and living part time in Canada, Australia, and the USA? Why is there so much emphasis put on Western education facilities by Asians?
Winston , Jun 9, 2018 8:02:05 PM | 40
I'm sure Trump doesn't understand VAT.

Most Americans don't no matter how much explanation I go into.

They insist its a tariff or duty,which its not.

I've given up trying to explain its a sales tax on all,paying at customs is merely a cash flow issue for the importer.A reclaimable input on his VAT return,did it many times myself.

Sabine , Jun 9, 2018 8:11:53 PM | 41
there is no west nor east.

there is only a bunch of paid of administrators running the countries and the corporations that pay them.

Trumps quid pro quo is deals that benefit his family. I don't thinks he cares one bit about the GOP and how the party fundraises. He cares about advancing his family and keeping the loot.

maybe we should realize that the concepts of east and west, as much as neo liberalism or neo conservatism or any other moniker that we could apply to loot and steal - legally and without shame under the guise of trade - are concepts of the past.

the future is for the strongest, irrespective of their origins or philosophy. we are burning this planet down with a vengeance and we - the people - are to numerous and too expensive to keep.

while we debate and some even chuckle with delight as to how the west is treated by trump, or how much the west deserves to be made redundant and all hail the Russians and the Chinese - the king is dead, long live the king - it is us who dies in the wars, it is our children that are being kidnapped and locked up in prison when arriving on the border seeking asylum, it is us who will watch the women in our live die in childbirth because of lack of medical care, it is us who will die of black lung, hunger, thirst and general malice.

and while we gossip, they laugh all the way to the bank.

NemesisCalling , Jun 9, 2018 8:24:56 PM | 42
b, we have no doubt that the North Korean leadership is ready for the Americans and know the score with a rising Eurasia and a sinking NATO. However, your last assumption of Kim being more than ready to go toe-to-toe with DJT smacks of some of the worst tendencies of many posters here who are ready to venerate Kim without him ever even making formal address of more than a few words to a) his people, 2) his allies, or D) even the world. This is a laughable assumption from you and it would be like having the most beautifully-made garment handy for a long while, desperate for anyone to come along so you could fling it on them to prove they were the most amazing supreme leader in all the world!

This is not to say I do not want the NoKos to succeed in their endeavors of getting a fair deal...hardly: I think they will succeed eventually because they are shrewd. But this is an attempt to squash the unbelievably propagandistic (or naive) attempts to place the mantle of imperviousness, all-knowingness, utterly-innocentness, and insurmountably-cleverousness onto the boy that would be king. DJT could eat a boy like Kim for breakfast if left alone from their advisors.

CE , Jun 9, 2018 8:26:35 PM | 43
Interesting that this happens in June. Because it reminds me of this classic little fun ditty:

Death in June - Death of the West

ben , Jun 9, 2018 8:33:09 PM | 44
Sabine @ 41 said:"there is no west nor east.

"there is only a bunch of paid of administrators running the countries and the corporations that pay them"

And this"and while we gossip, they laugh all the way to the bank."

I would tend to agree, but I'm hoping b's right in his assessment, the empire and her minions very badly need a comeuppance..

dh , Jun 9, 2018 8:45:10 PM | 45
Trump is very dependent on his base. He knows them well. At risk of hitting a discordant note I suspect a lot of his fans are happy seeing him sock it to the goddamn ch*nks and euro faggots.
Daniel , Jun 9, 2018 8:46:57 PM | 46
It's a big weekend. G7, SCO, Bilderberg, NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels and the huge NATO "Drills" including the Baltic States and for the first time, Israel.

Oh, and the US called on NATO to add 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons, and 30 naval ships to "counter Russian aggression."

The AZW Empire is not giving up its plans.

karlof1 , Jun 9, 2018 8:47:27 PM | 47
I predicted it would become the G6+1 and so it has. Trump told his staffers NOT to sign the Joint Communique, which I believe is a first.

On the issue of power and the BRI , the linked item is a trove of info as it focuses on perhaps the most problematic region of the SCO/BRI.

If Europe is to break free from the Outlaw US Empire, Merkel must be jettisoned and independent-minded leaders must take control of Germany and EU. I'm not at all surprised with how events went in Canada. However, I see the Policy as the Bully, not Trump, the policy still being the attempt to gain Full Spectrum Domination. What's most important, IMO, is this spectacle will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The Outlaw US Empire cannot make it any plainer that it's the primary enemy state of all except the Zionist Abomination. I think Abe wonders why he's there and not in Qingdao.

Although this item focuses on Kashmir , it should be read after the longer article linked above. There's little news as of yet coming from Qingdao other than who's cooking what and sideline meets. I expect more coming out beginning Monday. Of course, Kim-Trump begins now, it being the 10th in Singapore already.

bevin , Jun 9, 2018 10:26:24 PM | 48
The difference between the two projects- the western Empire and the Eurasian schemes exemplified by OBOR- is that the former, as 500 years of experience teaches us, relies on ethnic divisions, wars and competition while the latter requires peace and co-operation.

In a sense that answers Jen @ 32. It really doesn't matter who runs the governments of China and Russia, provided that they can prevent the imperialists from distracting them into rivalry. It was that which, thanks to plenty of stupidity on both sides, gave rise to the tensions of which Nixon and Kissinger took advantage.

Had the USSR and China ironed out their small differences on the sixties- and Vietnam gave them a perfect excuse to do so, history would have been very different and probably much less bloody.

The truth is that, as b asserts, the SCO is already much more important than the G7- America and the Six Dwarfs. How much more important is shown by the role of Freeland (the neo-Nazi Ukrainian apologist) in insisting on holding the line against Russia's re-admission to a club that it almost certainly does not want to rejoin.

Trump may not be a 'good negotiator' but he has a position of relative strength vis a vis the rest of the G7 who cannot negotiate because they do as they are told. If they won't do what Trump tells them to do they will be on the lookout for someone else to give them orders-they have no idea of independence or sovereignty. Just watch most of them scuttle back to Brussels for ideas, or set up back channels to Moscow- once a puppet always a puppet.

karlof1 , Jun 9, 2018 11:57:39 PM | 49
The Sino-Soviet Split occurred while Stalin was still alive--he refused to allow the Chinese to develop "Communism with Chinese Characteristics" just like any other European Orientalist. And as the Monthly Review article I linked, the Chinese must beware of becoming/being seen as Imperialistic in their zeal to push BRI--Imperialist behavior will kill the Win-Win concept as it will revert to just another Zero-sum Game.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 10, 2018 12:20:55 AM | 50
One of the factors which has been killing the 'Democratic' West is that its bribed & blackmailed leaders have alienated themselves from The People whose views they were elected to represent.

No-one living in a so-called democracy is prepared to tolerate a leader who spends too much time praising, and making excuses for, the crimes of the racist-supremacist Zionist Abomination (h/t karlof1) and its Piece Process in Palestine. It can be persuasively argued that embrace of and fealty to the Z.A. is the only factor which Western Leaders have in common. And it's neither a coincidence nor happenstance.

ben , Jun 10, 2018 12:40:15 AM | 51
Hoarsewhisperer @ 50 said:" Piece Process in Palestine."

Nice word play. I'm assuming the "piece" word is referring to the Israelis taking the Palestinian's lands one piece at a time..

Debsisdead , Jun 10, 2018 12:51:14 AM | 52
Grrr! I still don't get why so many humans believe anything good comes from chucking aside one greedy oppressive arsehole then replacing it with another. Sure the SCO has a founding document laden with flowery words and seemingly wonderful concepts but I say "So what" check out the UN charter or the amerikan constitution and you'll find the same.

These issues of justice & equity cannot be fixed by swapping bosses because every society has its share of pathologically fucked up greedies who have the means and lack of empathy to destroy anything and everyone in their lust for whatever it is they imagine they need.

We have to accept that will never change and that trying to purge the planet of those types just creates more of them from within the structure most successful in effecting the swap.

I know I sound like a scratched disc but the only fix that could hope to work is one that smashes the conglomerations into tiny shards, reducing the world to thousands of small self governing entities; sure some places will still end up being taken over by low self esteem motivated arseholes, but not only will they not be able to do as much damage, arseholes stand out in a small society where more 'normal' humans interact with them - currently all the pr1cks coagulate in spots such as the G7 and few non-pr1cks ever get close enough to see them for what they are. A low count on the old degrees of seperation register makes it much more difficult for the scum to rise. Making sure that no chunk is sufficiently big to force its will on another would also be vital.

That won't fix everything, but who outside some totally screwed up anal regressive would want that anyway? I just want to live in a world where no one cops it like the entire Yemeni population currently is. I see no benefit in moving the horror from Yemen to Uigar-land or whatever place the new bosses decide should be their fun palace of hate, murder and misery.

The Congo and/or Nigeria another coupla sites of misery for money. Timor Leste aka East Timor, now that the Portuguese expats in the form of the man with the Nobel stamp of obeisance to the monied Jose Ramos Horta have done over the locals, something Xanana Gusmăo always said could happen. Horta's arseholeness made the wealthiest nation in the world (divide resources by population) riven by poverty, lack of health and education services plus of course old favourite, racist oppression. Check out these kids here untroubled by issues like getting a decent phone signal or their ranking on Twitch - wondering where their next decent feed is coming from is prolly their most pressing issue.

Swapping SCO for G7 will do SFA for them or anyone else unlucky enough to be living on top of whatever the current 'must have' is deemed to be.

Anyone who imagines that it could is delusional.

karlof1 , Jun 10, 2018 12:55:44 AM | 53
Official SCO Conference site .

Humanity either learns how to live with itself on an equal basis or it will perish; it's really that simple. The likes of the Outlaw US Empire, its NATO vassals and the Zionist Abomination are shining examples of what MUST be exorcised for ever more.

[Jul 16, 2018] Donald Trump s Trade Wars Could Lead to the Next Great Depression by Nomi Prins

Jun 22, 2018 | thenation.com

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com .

Leaders are routinely confronted with philosophical dilemmas. Here's a classic one for our Trumptopian times: If you make enemies out of your friends and friends out of your enemies, where does that leave you? What does winning (or losing) really look like? Is a world in which walls of every sort encircle America's borders a goal worth seeking? And what would be left in a future fragmented international economic system marked by tit-for-tat tariffs, travel restrictions, and hyper-nationalism? Ultimately, how will such a world affect regular people? Let's cut through all of this for the moment and ask one crucial question about our present cult-of-personality era in American politics: Other than accumulating more wealth and influence for himself, his children , and the Trump family empire , what's Donald J. Trump's end game as president? If his goal is to keep this country from being, as he likes to complain, " the world's piggy bank ," then his words, threats, and actions are concerning. However bombastic and disdainful of a history he appears to know little about, he is already making the world a less stable, less affordable, and more fear-driven place. In the end, it's even possible that, despite the upbeat economic news of the moment, he could almost single-handedly smash that piggy bank himself, as he has many of his own business ventures . Still, give him credit for one thing: Donald Trump has lent remarkable new meaning to the old phrase "the imperial presidency." The members of his administration, largely a set of aging white men, either conform to his erratic wishes or get fired. In other words, he's running domestic politics in much the same fashion as he oversaw the boardroom on his reality-TV show The Apprentice . Now, he's begun running the country's foreign policy in the same personalized, take-no-prisoners, you're-fired style. From the moment he hit the Oval Office, he's made it clear at home and abroad that it's his way or the highway. If only, of course, it really was that simple. What he will learn, if "learning process" and "President Trump" can even occupy the same sentence, is that "firing" Canada, the European Union (EU), or for that matter China has a cost. What the American working and the middle classes will see (sooner than anyone imagines) is that actions of his sort have unexpected global consequences. They could cost the United States and the rest of the world big-time. If he were indeed emperor and his subjects (that would be us) grasped where his policies might be leading, they would be preparing a revolt. In the end, they -- again, that's us -- will be the ones paying the price in this global chess match.

The Art of Trump's Deals

So far, President Trump has only taken America out of trade deals or threatened to do so if other countries don't behave in a way that satisfies him. On his third day in the White House, he honored his campaign promise to remove the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a decision that opened space for our allies and competitors, China in particular, to negotiate deals without us. Since that grand exit, there has, in fact, been a boom in side deals involving China and other Pacific Rim countries that has weakened, not strengthened, Washington's global bargaining position. Meanwhile, closer to home, the Trump administration has engaged in a barrage of NAFTA-baiting that is isolating us from our regional partners, Canada and Mexico.

Conversely, the art-of-the-deal aficionado has yet to sign a single new bilateral trade deal. Despite steadfast claims that he would serve up the best deals ever, we have been left with little so far but various tariffs and an onslaught against American trading partners. His one claim to bilateral-trade-deal fame was the renegotiation of a six-year-old deal with South Korea in March that doubled the number of cars each US manufacturer could export to South Korea (without having to pass as many safety standards).

As White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders put it , when speaking of Kim Jong-un's North Korea, "The President is, I think, the ultimate negotiator and dealmaker when it comes to any type of conversation." She left out the obvious footnote, however: any type that doesn't involve international trade.

In the past four months, Trump has imposed tariffs, exempting certain countries, only to reimpose them at his whim. If trust were a coveted commodity, when it came to the present White House, it would now be trading at zero. His supporters undoubtedly see this approach as the fulfillment of his many campaign promises and part of his classic method of keeping both friends and enemies guessing until he's ready to go in for the kill. At the heart of this approach, however, lies a certain global madness, for he now is sparking a set of trade wars that could, in the end, cost millions of American jobs.

The Allies

On May 31st, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed that Canada, Mexico, and the EU would all be hit with 10 percent aluminum and 25 percent steel tariffs that had first made headlines in March. When it came to those two products, at least, the new tariffs bore no relation to the previous average 3 percent tariff on US-EU traded goods.

In that way, Trump's tariffs, initially supposed to be aimed at China (a country whose president he's praised to the skies and whose trade policies he's lashed out at endlessly), went global. And not surprisingly, America's closest allies weren't taking his maneuver lightly. As the verbal-abuse level rose and what looked like a possible race to the bottom of international etiquette intensified, they threatened to strike back.

In June, President Trump ordered that a promised 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of imported goods from China also be imposed. In response, the Chinese, like the Europeans, the Canadians, and the Mexicans, immediately promised a massive response in kind. Trump countered by threatening another $200 billion in tariffs against China. In the meantime, the White House is targeting its initial moves largely against products related to that country's " Made in China 2025 " initiative, the Chinese government's strategic plan aimed at making the country a major competitor in advanced industries and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, Mexico began adopting retaliatory tariffs on American imports. Although it has a far smaller economy than the United States, it's still the second-largest importer of US products, buying a whopping $277 billion of them last year. Only Canada buys more. In a mood of defiance stoked by the president's hostility to its people, Mexico executed its own trade gambit, imposing $3 billion in 15 percent–25 percent tariffs against US exports, including pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon, and cheese.

While those Mexican revenge tariffs still remain limited, covering just 1 percent of all exports from north of the border, they do target particular industries hard, especially ones that seem connected to President Trump's voting "base." Mexico, for instance, is by far the largest buyer of US pork exports, 25 percent of which were sold there last year. What its 20 percent tariff on pork means, then, is that many US producers will now find themselves unable to compete in the Mexican market. Other countries may follow suit. The result: a possible loss of up to 110,000 jobs in the pork industry.

Our second North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partner (for whose prime minister, Justin Trudeau, there is " a special place in hell ," according to a key Trumpian trade negotiator) plans to invoke tariffs of up to 25 percent on about $13 billion in US products beginning on July 1st. Items impacted range "from ballpoint pens and dishwasher detergent to toilet paper and playing cards sailboats, washing machines, dish washers, and lawn mowers." Across the Atlantic, the EU has similarly announced retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on 200 US products, including such American-made classics as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, blue jeans, and bourbon.

Trump Disses the Former G7

As the explosive Group of Seven, or G7, summit in Quebec showed, the Trump administration is increasingly isolating itself from its allies in palpable ways and, in the process, significantly impairing the country's negotiating power. If you combine the economies of what might now be thought of as the G6 and add in the rest of the EU, its economic power is collectively larger than that of the United States. Under the circumstances, even a small diversion of trade thanks to Trump-induced tariff wars could have costly consequences.

President Trump did try one "all-in" poker move at that summit. With his game face on, he first suggested the possibility of wiping out all tariffs and trade restrictions between the United States and the rest of the G7, a bluff met with a healthy dose of skepticism. Before he left for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, he even suggested that the G7 leaders "consider removing every single tariff or trade barrier on American goods." In return, he claimed he would do the same "for products from their countries." As it turned out, however, that wasn't actually a venture into economic diplomacy, just the carrot before the stick, and even it was tied to lingering threats of severe penalties.

The current incipient trade war was actually launched by the Trump administration in March in the name of American " national security ." What should have been highlighted, however, was the possible "national insecurity" in which it placed the country's (and the world's) future. After all, a similar isolationist stance in the 1920s and the subsequent market crash of 1929 sparked the global Great Depression, opening the way for the utter devastation of World War II.

European Union countries were incredulous when Trump insisted, as he had many times before, that the "U.S. is a victim of unfair trade practices," citing the country's trade deficits, especially with Germany and China. At the G7 summit, European leaders did their best to explain to him that his country isn't actually being treated unfairly. As French President Emmanuel Macron explained , "France runs trade deficits with Germany and the United Kingdom on manufactured goods, even though all three countries are part of the EU single market and have zero tariffs between them."

[Jul 15, 2018] Trump doctrine: "Permanent destabilization creates American advantage"

Notable quotes:
"... The official who described this to me said Trump believes that keeping allies and adversaries alike perpetually off-balance necessarily benefits the United States, which is still the most powerful country on Earth. ..."
"... "No," the official said. "There's definitely a Trump Doctrine." "What is it?" I asked. Here is the answer I received: "The Trump Doctrine is 'We're America, Bitch.' That's the Trump Doctrine." ..."
Jul 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump today added to turmoil he caused in Europe:

In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor in Scotland on Saturday, President Trump named the European Union -- comprising some of America's oldest allies -- when asked to identify his "biggest foe globally right now."
"Well, I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe. ..."

Bashing allies is an essential component of the Trump doctrine :

The second-best self-description of the Trump Doctrine I heard was this, from a senior national-security official: "Permanent destabilization creates American advantage." The official who described this to me said Trump believes that keeping allies and adversaries alike perpetually off-balance necessarily benefits the United States, which is still the most powerful country on Earth.

...

The best distillation of the Trump Doctrine I heard, though, came from a senior White House official with direct access to the president and his thinking. I was talking to this person several weeks ago, and I said, by way of introduction, that I thought it might perhaps be too early to discern a definitive Trump Doctrine. "No," the official said. "There's definitely a Trump Doctrine." "What is it?" I asked. Here is the answer I received: "The Trump Doctrine is 'We're America, Bitch.' That's the Trump Doctrine."


vk , Jul 15, 2018 1:23:01 PM | 6

I think Trump simply has a very prosaic, very sincere even, view about the world: he treats his equals equally (e.g. Putin, Xi, Kim) and his unequals unequally (NATO countries' leaders, Abe etc.).

That is, he simply views his allies for what they really are: clients. And when you go visit clients, you expect them to stop, lower their heads, listen and obey you: that's why he probably found strange the fact that the Europeans were insulted by his behavior during the NATO summit and the individual countries official visits. He must have been particularly thunderstruck over the popular protests in Scotland: from his point of view, Scotland owes everything they have now to the USA (NATO), so he, as chief of State of the USA, has every right to go there and play golf whenever he pleases to do so. And the fact is he's right to think so: the European peninsula is an American protectorate, a "subState", inhabited by second-class citizens (like the peoples of Latin status of the Roman Republic).

As for the destabilization doctrine (Trump Doctrine), it's absolutely correct: peace, right now, is nocive to the USA. That's why Russia and China are trying to descalate: peace (and time) is on their side. If the USA doesn't manage to trigger WWIII soon, it will start to eat itself up, because the world didn't recover from the 2008 meltdown. The clock is ticking for the Americans (and, by extension, for the Europeans and the Japanese).

Last, I agree completely with the theory that May is a remainer who's trying to implode brexit without appearing to do so. She was a remainer during the camapaign, that's the reason she was elected as Cameron's successor (it was she or Leadsom or Johnson, both hardcore brexiters). The British elite is holding her while it can, and she is only in office right now because she has the elite's full weight behind her: if it was a Labour MP, he/she would've already fallen.

Bart Hansen , Jul 15, 2018 1:26:12 PM | 7
Re: Haass - It says a lot that a member of the Deep State can through out such a statement without embarrassment.

His Twitter feed is getting some sass, but he knows none of that will be included when the stenos quote him.

Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 15, 2018 1:48:15 PM | 11
There is one significant weakness to Putin's patient, restrained and reasonable response to US/NATO aggression and intimidation...
...
Posted by: les7 | Jul 15, 2018 12:17:17 PM | 2

Huh?!
If you watch the last 8 minutes of Episode 3 of Oliver Stone's Putin Interviews it'll cure you of the habit of confusing Putin's "Our Partners" diplo-speak with the hair-raising reality experienced by the crew of the Donald Cook in the Black Sea a couple of years ago. It'll also dissuade you from imagining that Putin/Russia has a 'weak' or 'reasonable' attitude toward NATO military provocations.

Imo Trump would have either watched them himself or been briefed on their contents by someone who has.

There are many links to the series on the www. Here's one to Ep 3...
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/965043267630/the-putin-interviews

Zanon , Jul 15, 2018 1:53:20 PM | 12
Even if I get Moscow as 'retribution,' critics will say it's not good enough - Trump
https://www.rt.com/usa/433263-trump-putin-summit-expectations/
dltravers , Jul 15, 2018 2:51:52 PM | 14
Trump is acting out the good cop bad cop role all in one. He comes in with slashing attacks and praise. The media only prints the slashing attacks. By placing his adversaries off balance he seeks to gain something. I would say that he is operating like a corporate raider. The weak kneed euro leaders just do not know how to handle this stuff.

He will not try that with Putin because he respects him. Putin is operating with a weak hand and he cannot and will not take on the Europe on his borders conventionally when he can possibly get what he wants in time with no bloodshed. Libya is his next target.

Putin and his family are from Stalingrad and Putin will cut off the head of the Snake (US) before he lets that happen again. How? Think bright glowing mushroom clouds. It is that serious.

Trump wants to bring Russia back into Europe. The Anglo Europeans want more control over Russia's vast resources and companies that control them. Offering then a role in NATO would be genius.

Putin is being conflated into an enemy of the world by a mass propaganda campaign. Crimea and Ukraine was NATO pushing to hard to make Putin act with aggression. Crimea fell without a shot being fired. As an independent republic full of Russians it can choose who it wants to affiliate with.

All in all this can be solved diplomatically but not by the current crop of deep state diplomats.

[Jul 15, 2018] Donald Trump told Theresa May how to do Brexit 'but she wrecked it' and says the US trade deal is off

Jul 15, 2018 | thesun.co.uk

THERESA May's new soft Brexit blueprint would "kill" any future trade deal with the United States, Donald Trump warns today.

Mounting an extraordinary attack on the PM's exit negotiation, the President also reveals she has ignored his advice on how to toughen up the troubled talks.

Instead he believes Mrs May has gone "the opposite way", and he thinks the results have been "very unfortunate".

His fiercest criticism came over the centrepiece of the PM's new Brexit plan -- which was unveiled in full yesterday.

It would stick to a common ­rulebook with Brussels on goods and agricultural produce in a bid to keep customs borders open with the EU.

But Mr Trump told The Sun: "If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.

[Jul 13, 2018] Opinion How to Lose a Trade War

Jul 13, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Trump's declaration that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" is an instant classic, right up there with Herbert Hoover's "prosperity is just around the corner."

Trump obviously believes that trade is a game in which he who runs the biggest surplus wins, and that America, which imports more than it exports, therefore has the upper hand in any conflict. That's also why Peter Navarro predicted that nobody would retaliate against Trump's tariffs. Since that's actually not how trade works, we're already facing plenty of retaliation and the strong prospect of escalation.

But here's the thing: Trump's tariffs are badly designed even from the point of view of someone who shares his crude mercantilist view of trade. In fact, the structure of his tariffs so far is designed to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. economy, for minimal gain. Foreign retaliation, by contrast, is far more sophisticated: unlike Trump, the Chinese and other targets of his trade wrath seem to have a clear idea of what they're trying to accomplish.

The key point is that the Navarro/Trump view, aside from its fixation on trade balances, also seems to imagine that the world still looks the way it did in the 1960s, when trade was overwhelmingly in final goods like wheat and cars. In that world, putting a tariff on imported cars would cause consumers to switch to domestic cars, adding auto industry jobs, end of story (except for the foreign retaliation.)

In the modern world economy, however, a large part of trade is in intermediate goods – not cars but car parts. Put a tariff on car parts, and even the first-round effect on jobs is uncertain: maybe domestic parts producers will add workers, but you've raised costs and reduced competitiveness for downstream producers, who will shrink their operations.

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So in today's world, smart trade warriors – if such people exist – would focus their tariffs on final goods, so as to avoid raising costs for downstream producers of domestic goods. True, this would amount to a more or less direct tax on consumers; but if you're afraid to impose any burden on consumers, you really shouldn't be getting into a trade war in the first place.

But almost none of the Trump tariffs are on consumer goods. Chad Bown and colleagues have a remarkable chart showing the distribution of the Trump China tariffs: an amazing 95 percent are either on intermediate goods or on capital goods like machinery that are also used in domestic production: KS

Is there a strategy here? It's hard to see one. There's certainly no hint that the tariffs were designed to pressure China into accepting U.S. demands, since nobody can even figure out what, exactly, Trump wants from China in the first place.

China's retaliation looks very different. It doesn't completely eschew tariffs on intermediate goods, but it's mostly on final goods. And it's also driven by a clear political strategy of hurting Trump voters; the Chinese, unlike the Trumpies, know what they're trying to accomplish:

Image

What about others? Canada's picture is complicated by its direct response to aluminum and steel tariffs, but those industries aside it, too, is following a far more sophisticated strategy than the U.S.:

Except for steel and aluminum, Canada's retaliation seemingly attempts to avoid messing up its engagement in North American supply chains. In broad terms, Canada is not targeting imports of American capital equipment or intermediate inputs, focusing instead on final goods.

And like China, Canada is clearly trying to inflict maximum political damage.

Trade wars aren't good or easy to win even if you know what you're trying to accomplish and have a clear strategy for getting there. What's notable about the Trump tariffs, however, is that they're so self-destructive.

And we can already see hints of the economic fallout. From the Fed's most recent minutes :

[M]any District contacts expressed concern about the possible adverse effects of tariffs and other proposed trade restrictions, both domestically and abroad, on future investment activity; contacts in some Districts indicated that plans for capital spending had been scaled back or postponed as a result of uncertainty over trade policy. Contacts in the steel and aluminum industries expected higher prices as a result of the tariffs on these products but had not planned any new investments to increase capacity.

So Trump and company don't actually have a plan to win this trade war. They may, however, have stumbled onto a strategy that will lose it even more decisively than one might have expected.

[Jul 13, 2018] Trump Regime 10% Tariffs on $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... On Tuesday, his trade representative Robert Lighthizer released a list of $10% tariffs to be imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. ..."
"... A senior Trump regime official falsely said it's "roughly equal to their exports to" the US. It's around 40% of the 2017 total. ..."
"... Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago. ..."
Jul 13, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Trump Regime 10% Tariffs on $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods By Stephen Lendman Global Research, July 13, 2018 Region: Asia , USA Theme: Global Economy , Law and Justice

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On Tuesday, his trade representative Robert Lighthizer released a list of $10% tariffs to be imposed on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

A senior Trump regime official falsely said it's "roughly equal to their exports to" the US. It's around 40% of the 2017 total.

Newly announced tariffs won't take effect before completion of a two-month review process, concluding at end of August. Trump warned he may order tariffs on $500 billion worth of Chinese goods.

In 2017, imports from China were $506 billion, US exports to the country $130 billion. The trade deficit was $375 billion last year.

It's because so much of industrial America was offshored to China and other low-wage countries, millions of US jobs lost, Washington under Republicans and undemocratic Dems permitting what demands opposition.

The Investment-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system incorporated into US trade deals like NAFTA and others, letting a corporate controlled extrajudicial tribunal resolve disputes, promotes offshoring of US jobs.

China called the latest announced tariffs "totally unacceptable" bullying, urging other countries to unite against Trump's trade policy, promising to retaliate in kind.

Along with earlier duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, newly announced ones raise the total to half of Chinese imports – maybe all of them to be targeted ahead if China retaliates in kind as expected.

China Association of International Trade senior fellow Li Yong believes one Beijing retaliatory measure may be a greater push to attract foreign investment other than from the US, adding:

Trump "closed the door for negotiations. It's up to (him) to open the door again."

Trade policy expert Eswar Prasad believes

"(t)he internal political dynamics in both countries make it unlikely that either side will stand down and offer conciliatory measures that could deescalate tensions and lead to a resumption of negotiations."

Economist Stephen Roach called trade wars "not easy to win easy to lose, and the US is on track to lose (its) trade war" with China, adding:

"This is live ammunition. This is not just rhetorical discussion anymore. We're in the early stages of fighting skirmishes in a real, live trade war."

"The question is, how far does it go? And how significant will the ammunition be in the future?"

Roach believe China has lots of ammunition to hold firm and fight back with.

"The US is hugely dependent on China as a source for low-cost goods to make ends meet for American consumers. We're hugely dependent on China to buy our Treasuries to fund our budget deficits," he explained.

Beijing has lots of ways to retaliate against Washington besides imposing duties on US goods.

On Thursday, China's People's Daily slammed the Trump regime, saying

Beijing "will never back down when faced with threats and blackmail, neither will it waver its resolution in safeguarding the global free trade and multilateral trade system," adding:

"The US is undermining global trade rules and causing problems for the global economy. (Its) mentality not only brings negative impacts to both parties directly involved, but also to every country on the global industrial chain."

China's Global Times called Trump's trade policy "extortion," stressing "countermeasures" will be taken.

Markets believe both sides eventually will show restraint. There's no sign of it so far – just the opposite.

*

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.

[Jul 11, 2018] Opinion How to Lose a Trade War - The New York Times

Jul 11, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Trump's declaration that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" is an instant classic, right up there with Herbert Hoover's "prosperity is just around the corner."

Trump obviously believes that trade is a game in which he who runs the biggest surplus wins, and that America, which imports more than it exports, therefore has the upper hand in any conflict. That's also why Peter Navarro predicted that nobody would retaliate against Trump's tariffs. Since that's actually not how trade works, we're already facing plenty of retaliation and the strong prospect of escalation.

But here's the thing: Trump's tariffs are badly designed even from the point of view of someone who shares his crude mercantilist view of trade. In fact, the structure of his tariffs so far is designed to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. economy, for minimal gain. Foreign retaliation, by contrast, is far more sophisticated: unlike Trump, the Chinese and other targets of his trade wrath seem to have a clear idea of what they're trying to accomplish.

The key point is that the Navarro/Trump view, aside from its fixation on trade balances, also seems to imagine that the world still looks the way it did in the 1960s, when trade was overwhelmingly in final goods like wheat and cars. In that world, putting a tariff on imported cars would cause consumers to switch to domestic cars, adding auto industry jobs, end of story (except for the foreign retaliation.)

In the modern world economy, however, a large part of trade is in intermediate goods – not cars but car parts. Put a tariff on car parts, and even the first-round effect on jobs is uncertain: maybe domestic parts producers will add workers, but you've raised costs and reduced competitiveness for downstream producers, who will shrink their operations.

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So in today's world, smart trade warriors – if such people exist – would focus their tariffs on final goods, so as to avoid raising costs for downstream producers of domestic goods. True, this would amount to a more or less direct tax on consumers; but if you're afraid to impose any burden on consumers, you really shouldn't be getting into a trade war in the first place.

But almost none of the Trump tariffs are on consumer goods. Chad Bown and colleagues have a remarkable chart showing the distribution of the Trump China tariffs: an amazing 95 percent are either on intermediate goods or on capital goods like machinery that are also used in domestic production:

Image

Is there a strategy here? It's hard to see one. There's certainly no hint that the tariffs were designed to pressure China into accepting U.S. demands, since nobody can even figure out what, exactly, Trump wants from China in the first place.

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China's retaliation looks very different. It doesn't completely eschew tariffs on intermediate goods, but it's mostly on final goods. And it's also driven by a clear political strategy of hurting Trump voters; the Chinese, unlike the Trumpies, know what they're trying to accomplish:

Image

What about others? Canada's picture is complicated by its direct response to aluminum and steel tariffs, but those industries aside it, too, is following a far more sophisticated strategy than the U.S.:

Except for steel and aluminum, Canada's retaliation seemingly attempts to avoid messing up its engagement in North American supply chains. In broad terms, Canada is not targeting imports of American capital equipment or intermediate inputs, focusing instead on final goods.

And like China, Canada is clearly trying to inflict maximum political damage.

Trade wars aren't good or easy to win even if you know what you're trying to accomplish and have a clear strategy for getting there. What's notable about the Trump tariffs, however, is that they're so self-destructive.

And we can already see hints of the economic fallout. From the Fed's most recent minutes :

[M]any District contacts expressed concern about the possible adverse effects of tariffs and other proposed trade restrictions, both domestically and abroad, on future investment activity; contacts in some Districts indicated that plans for capital spending had been scaled back or postponed as a result of uncertainty over trade policy. Contacts in the steel and aluminum industries expected higher prices as a result of the tariffs on these products but had not planned any new investments to increase capacity.

So Trump and company don't actually have a plan to win this trade war. They may, however, have stumbled onto a strategy that will lose it even more decisively than one might have expected.

[Jul 10, 2018] MoA - BREXIT - Still Not Gonna Happen

The trend is definitely against EU. But Britain may be crushed, like Brazil and Argentina into accepting neoliberal world order for longer.
Notable quotes:
"... Maybe Johnson the Brexiter can now launch an inner party coup and push Theresa May out. According to a YouGov poll she lost significant support within her conservative party. Besides the Brexit row she botched a snap election, lost her party's majority in parliament and seems to have no clear concept for anything. It would not be a loss for mankind to see her go. ..."
"... Boris the clown, who wins within his party on 'likability' and 'shares my political outlook', would then run the UK. A quite amusing thought. Johnson is a man of no principles. While he is currently pretending to hold a pro-Brexit position he would probably run the same plan that May seems to execute: Delay as long as possible, then panic the people into a re-vote, then stay within the EU. ..."
"... There is an excellent piece in the Boston Review on the EU- https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/j-w-mason-market-police ..."
"... Iy makes the point that "The European Union offers the fullest realization of the neoliberal political vision. Its incomplete integration -- with its confusing mix of powers -- is precisely the goal." ..."
"... It traces the neo-liberal project, designed to prevent democracy from controlling economic policy, back to von Mises and Hayek. Nothing is more mistaken for critics of imperialism than to buy the line that the EU represents internationalism in any sense. The fact that some racists oppose the EU-just as others support it as a 'white" bastion -- is no reason to give an institution which is profoundly and purposefully undemocratic the benefit of the doubt. ..."
"... It is a wondrous sight to see Western [neo]Liberal Democracy crumbling before our eyes. Have a look at the very founders and protectors of "freedom" corrupt to the very marrow of their bones. ..."
"... Anything bad that can happen to the UK is well-deserved. The home, the womb of Russophobia, lies and illegal wars, as well as the hub of spying against American citizens, is exposed as thoroughly bankrupt politically. ..."
"... EU is bound to collapse but Britain might be tempted to wait it out, and maybe it is the game in London: not to be the first. The most dynamic destructive work in progress is the Euro that benefit to none of its 18 members (the euro-zones) but Geramny and Nederland. Italy has understood it but is using the refugees crisis to enlarge the contestation to non-euro zone countries (Visegrad group and more). ..."
"... As Nato is the real and only cement in this enlarged un-united Europe, in an epoch of accelerating change (collapse maybe) the famous Wait and see of the Brits has just muted in a slow fox-trot. ..."
"... But the puffed up Brits do not even see this danger and would blithely fall into the arms of the mafiosi from across the pond. ..."
"... Brexit is rebellion against the US imposed world order. London money has gone along and profited from the US imposed order, but the ordinary Brits may not have. They may not know where they are going, but they do know where they do not want to be. ..."
"... ditto... status of colony... isn't that what the globalists, corporations, neo liberals and etc want? get rid of any national identity as it gets in the way of corporations having the freedom to rape and pillage as needed.. ..."
"... Trump has reversed some 70 years of US strategy to gain nothing. It is quite remarkable. Strategic vandalism is a good description. ..."
"... The thing about UK and the EU is the UK is basically the US 51st state and the US is a defacto commonwealth nation. The colonization of Europe by the US was never meant to encompass the UK and the City. As they are basically one and the same. ..."
"... EU could not possibly have been a US/CIA idea as it actually works. Yes it is undemocratic, usurps national aspirations, perverts local economies, coddles oligarchs, and all that. But that does not mean it is a US idea. ..."
"... Single union political aspirations have been around for centuries and in many countries. Dare I suggest that it is actually based on the Soviet Union of peoples and most likely a Leninist or Trotskyist plot!! :)))) ..."
"... What do the City of London, the Vatican and Washington DC have in common? Actually, Jerusalem shares many of the same traits. Bonus points for the most creative euphemism for "usurious bank." ..."
"... From my perspective, Nation-States have not been the loci of power for some time (if they ever really were). The US, with its awesome military might and (former) industrial capabilities has served as the enforcement arm of that usurious supra-national cabal throughout "the American Century." ..."
"... Obtainimg strong mandate Cameron went to Brussels to supposedly negotiate better deal with EU ESPECIALLY for security while in fact he went there trying to bully the shape future EU integration especially in political realm and even more in realm of banking Union and integration and coordination of banking rules, laws and unified controlling authorities, via threatening Brexit which would be a deadly blow to EU propaganda glue that holds together this melting pot of divided as never before nations and never since medieval times united national elites integrated in EU ruling bureaucracy. ..."
"... First it was devastating impact of further EU integration on UK banking as London has become legal under U.K. law illegal in EU, money laundering capital of the world and criminal income is huge part of the revenue of the City , US is second. ..."
"... At the passage of Brexit I believed the purpose to be to allow the City of London (the bankers) unlimited financial freedom, perhaps especially in their entering into agreements with the Chinese. This could not be the case under the original EU rules. It will be interesting to see how this works out. ..."
"... The reality of the brexit which the Tory government is determined to raiload through has been designed by elites to better oppress the hoi polloi and to sell it to the masses it has been marketed as a means of restoring 'white power'. ..."
"... That is really saying something because the current version of the UK is one of the sickest, greed is good and devil take the hindmost societies I have ever experienced -- up there with contemporary israel and the US, 1980's South Africa and by the sound of it (didn't experience it firsthand like the other examples, all down to not existing at the time) 1940's Germany. ..."
"... Brexit is nether the problem or the solution, it was just another distraction to keep the mass occupied, whilst they assist stripped the uk and a large part of the world! ..."
"... Every brexiteer I've asked why they voted for out, begins by saying "For once they had to listen to us" and that's usually followed by "there's too many people here" or "it's the E.Europeans". (My response to the europhiles is that you knew the EU was finished a dozen years ago, when all the Big Issue sellers turned into Romanian women.) UK cities are thick with destitute E.Europeans. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
...Hours before Boris Johnson quit his position, Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned from Prime Minister May's cabinet.

On July 6 the British government held a cabinet meeting at Chequers, the private seat of the prime minister. Following the meeting it published a paper (pdf) that took a weird position towards exiting the European Union. If it would be followed, Britain would practically end up with staying in the EU, accepting nearly all its regulations and court decisions, but without any say over what the EU decides. The paper was clearly written by the 'Remain' side. The two top Brexiters in May's cabinet felt cheated and resigned. More are likely to follow.

The majority of the British people who voted to leave the EU must feel duped.

My hunch is that Prime Minister Theresa May was tasked with 'running out the clock' in negotiations with the EU. Then, shortly before the March 2019 date of a 'hard Brexit' would arrive without any agreement with the EU, the powers that be would launch a panic campaign to push the population into a new vote. That vote would end with a victory for the 'Remain' side. The UK would continue to be a member of the European Union.

Shortly before the original Brexit vote in June 2016 MoA headlined: BREXIT - Not Gonna Happen

No matter how the Brexit vote will go, the powers that are will not allow Britain to exit the European Union.
Is that claim still justified?

Maybe Johnson the Brexiter can now launch an inner party coup and push Theresa May out. According to a YouGov poll she lost significant support within her conservative party. Besides the Brexit row she botched a snap election, lost her party's majority in parliament and seems to have no clear concept for anything. It would not be a loss for mankind to see her go.

Boris the clown, who wins within his party on 'likability' and 'shares my political outlook', would then run the UK. A quite amusing thought. Johnson is a man of no principles. While he is currently pretending to hold a pro-Brexit position he would probably run the same plan that May seems to execute: Delay as long as possible, then panic the people into a re-vote, then stay within the EU.

Then again - Boris may do the unexpected.

How do the British people feel about this?

Posted by b on July 9, 2018 at 11:43 AM | Permalink


Mark2 , Jul 9, 2018 12:07:09 PM | 2

Did you notice how quickly th E U sided with the U K over Salisbury ? That was the deal.
Remain in EU and we're back you!
Then again could have been we'l create a false flag you back us and we'll stay , a suttle nuonce.
bevin , Jul 9, 2018 12:21:17 PM | 3
The likelihood is that the blairite faction in the Parliamentary Labour Party-which has no real political differences with the Tories and is fanatically pro EU, as all neo-liberals are- will prop up the May government. Or a Tory government headed by another Remainer, with Blairites in the Cabinet.
This will prevent the General Election which Tories of all parties fear.


There is an excellent piece in the Boston Review on the EU- https://bostonreview.net/class-inequality/j-w-mason-market-police

Iy makes the point that "The European Union offers the fullest realization of the neoliberal political vision. Its incomplete integration -- with its confusing mix of powers -- is precisely the goal."

It traces the neo-liberal project, designed to prevent democracy from controlling economic policy, back to von Mises and Hayek. Nothing is more mistaken for critics of imperialism than to buy the line that the EU represents internationalism in any sense. The fact that some racists oppose the EU-just as others support it as a 'white" bastion -- is no reason to give an institution which is profoundly and purposefully undemocratic the benefit of the doubt.

John Zelnicker , Jul 9, 2018 12:23:35 PM | 4
@Jeff - #1 - You are correct. There will not be another referendum.

I would add that there is some chance, however small, that on March 29th the British government will tell the EU that they just have no way to meet the requirements of Article 50 and would the EU please allow them to continue as a member of the EU and forget about all the shenanigans of the past 2 years. The EU has said previously that they will accept such a result and allow the UK to continue as a member. The Brexiteers will have a total meltdown, and May will most likely be thrown out of office, but most businesses and many individuals will be quite happy for this whole thing to just go away.

For those interested see https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/category/brexit which has been following the Brexit chaos since the beginning.

Babyl-on , Jul 9, 2018 12:24:52 PM | 5
Britain - PATHETIC

It is a wondrous sight to see Western [neo]Liberal Democracy crumbling before our eyes. Have a look at the very founders and protectors of "freedom" corrupt to the very marrow of their bones.

In the US Trump, in the UK the Torys the democracies are now openly imperial and openly corrupt. Rule of law - ask the Skripals. Brexit, Russia, Skripals, Russia, junkies and poisons Russians - minority government - ministers resigning right and left deadlines looming no solutions in sight.

Western civilization is based on the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment and all its ideas of "democracy" are failing. Democracy is not a religion, it is not the end of history, it is not sacred and immutable - checks and balances have failed utterly. This sweetly written little essay says it all.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/14/the-end-of-the-enlightenment-a-fable-for-our-times-2/

erik , Jul 9, 2018 12:58:47 PM | 13
Look for countries to unilaterally bail from the EU with little or no advance notice. They will simply abrogate and that will trigger an avalanche of others joining in. There are various good economic reasons why they would do that, but I think the groundswell of populism fueled by anger over the open borders cataclysm will be the prime driver.
Red Ryder , Jul 9, 2018 1:12:35 PM | 14
Anything bad that can happen to the UK is well-deserved. The home, the womb of Russophobia, lies and illegal wars, as well as the hub of spying against American citizens, is exposed as thoroughly bankrupt politically.

The current path to chaos is well-trod. Now, we can expect national attention is on the team in Russia in the semi-finals, while the government crumbles and tumbles. But afterward, especially if Kane fails to bring the Cup home? Oh, the chaos. Of course, it will all be Putin and Russia's fault.

UK. Despicable. How long it has taken for folks to realize Theresa May always has been a stalking horse. Highly Likely the UK will stew in its own piss. Put that in their White Hall dossiers, and stamp it "Kremlin Plot".

Al-Pol , Jul 9, 2018 1:19:11 PM | 15
Britain won't be staying in the EU and nor will the EU be accepting May's fantasy ideas for a future relationship giving the UK free trade on everything it needs. There's a remote possibility that a new UK government could begin working on re-joining the EU (Article 49), but there are plenty in Europe who would not let the UK re-join, at least not in the near future.

Friday the 13th is coming soon, scary stuff ?

The "Don't take No for an answer" is rather misleading. Made to vote again ..only after changes to the Treaty. France's vote against the EU Constitution was accepted and when the Dutch also rejected it, it didn't happen.

Charles Michael , Jul 9, 2018 1:41:25 PM | 16
EU is bound to collapse but Britain might be tempted to wait it out, and maybe it is the game in London: not to be the first. The most dynamic destructive work in progress is the Euro that benefit to none of its 18 members (the euro-zones) but Geramny and Nederland. Italy has understood it but is using the refugees crisis to enlarge the contestation to non-euro zone countries (Visegrad group and more).

Now we have this Nato meeting coming and the abomination of Donald meeting Vlad that scares the whole neo-lberals, borgists, russian haters, warmongers.

As Nato is the real and only cement in this enlarged un-united Europe, in an epoch of accelerating change (collapse maybe) the famous Wait and see of the Brits has just muted in a slow fox-trot.

Daniel Good , Jul 9, 2018 1:45:23 PM | 18
Brits, especially the Leave voters, have no real idea what the consequences of leaving the EU are, nor do they care that much. What is uppermost in their minds is they do not want is to be in a union with "losers". Every single country on the Continent is a loser and thus the object of contempt. The only country in Europe that is not a loser (meaning they have never lost a war) is the United Kingdom of Roast Beef and God Save The Queen.

This British loser-phobia also explains the island nation's guttural hatred of Russia, which has bailed out Europe, and so by definition the Brits as well, twice, thereby taking away some of the British luster. (OK the last time around they got a bit of help from their old colonies, the Yanks, but its all the same. Yanks and Brits are the same stock.) As far as EU goes the Brits can leave, no problem. Except that what the Continent would then be faced with was an American armed camp a few miles off shore, not an appealing prospect to say the least. But the puffed up Brits do not even see this danger and would blithely fall into the arms of the mafiosi from across the pond.

b , Jul 9, 2018 2:08:45 PM | 19
Boris Johnson's resignation letter. Well written. Makes the same argument over the Checkers paper that I made above. If Johnson gets 48 back benchers on his side he could launch a vote on no-confidence against May and possibly become PM. The Conservatives in Parliament seem quite upset over all of this.
Peter AU 1 , Jul 9, 2018 2:10:07 PM | 20
@18

Brexit is rebellion against the US imposed world order. London money has gone along and profited from the US imposed order, but the ordinary Brits may not have. They may not know where they are going, but they do know where they do not want to be.

dh , Jul 9, 2018 2:44:44 PM | 22
@20 Not sure who qualifies as an 'ordinary Brit' these days. They come in all shapes and colours. I think the ones who moved to Spain are fairly happy with the EU status quo.
psychohistorian , Jul 9, 2018 2:48:42 PM | 23
Thanks for the posting b

I liked the "We are headed for the status of a colony" comment in the Johnson resignation letter

Getting the puppets to talk about the machinations of empire is a good thing for us but probably not good long term for empire.

No one ever said that evolving to a multi-polar world would be easy. All the ugly that kept the unipolar world together must be exposed as it dies.

ninel , Jul 9, 2018 3:11:03 PM | 29
Allow me to enlighten.

Dominic Raab is the new UK Brexit point-man. The previous guy, Davies, just resigned. But Raab's appointment, I think, points to what Brexit has been about all along -- namely, labour market reform beyond the rest of Europe, and to do this the UK must be free of the European Human Rights council and other protections it provides for workers in the member states.

Here is Raab's 2011 paper on employment standards and Brexit. https://leftfootforward.org/2011/11/dominic-raab-attack-on-workers-rights-based-on-no-evidence/ Have a look.

james , Jul 9, 2018 3:12:22 PM | 30
@23 psychohistorian... ditto... status of colony... isn't that what the globalists, corporations, neo liberals and etc want? get rid of any national identity as it gets in the way of corporations having the freedom to rape and pillage as needed..

it was interesting reading near the end of bjs comments "Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals." Guilty first - we will prove it later... maybe he really ought to consider rule from Brussels or where ever, if he can't fathom the concept of innocent until proven guilty...

NotBob , Jul 9, 2018 3:42:22 PM | 35
Al-Pol @ 15

The French populace rejected the EU Constitution in 2005 during the Chirac years, and you are correct that after some changes it was accepted under the Sarkozy government.But that happened because it was the Assembly (the parliament, i.e., the political class) that voted on it, not the people. Can't have those deplorable citizens deciding important matters like that, now can we?

Pft , Jul 9, 2018 5:48:32 PM | 51
According to this the EU was a US/CIA creation. Lol? https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-03/european-union-was-american-idea
james , Jul 9, 2018 5:59:35 PM | 52
@51 pft... in so far as the cia work for the financial complex - yeah, probably.. how to create a currency - the eu - that no one has any real control over, to compete with the us$ and yen... makes sense on that level..
Piotr Berman , Jul 9, 2018 6:37:17 PM | 53
@Babyl-on | Jul 9, 2018 12:24:52 PM | 5

Western civilization is based on the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment and all its ideas ...

When we discuss ALL ideas of the Enlightenment, we must remember this:

Wikipedia: "Enlightened absolutism is the theme of an essay by Frederick the Great, who ruled Prussia from 1740 to 1786, defending this system of government.[1]

When the prominent French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire fell out of favor in France, he eagerly accepted Frederick's invitation to live at his palace. He believed that an enlightened monarchy was the only real way for society to advance.

Frederick the Great was an enthusiast of French ideas. Frederick explained: "My principal occupation is to combat ignorance and prejudice ..."

In relatively short time, the List of enlightened despots included almost all absolute monarchs in Europe.

Piotr Berman , Jul 9, 2018 6:37:17 PM | 53 somebody , Jul 9, 2018 6:38:22 PM | 54
51 Much better summary on the CIA and the EU here .

From 2016

The awful truth for the Leave campaign is that the governing establishment of the entire Western world views Brexit as strategic vandalism. Whether fair or not, Brexiteers must answer this reproach. A few such as Lord Owen grasp the scale of the problem. Most seemed blithely unaware until Mr Obama blew into town last week.

And then came Trump - pro Brexit

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, has come out in support of Brexit, saying the UK would be "better off" outside of the European Union and lamenting the consequences of migration in the continent.

The billionaire, who secured the backing of Republican voters on a staunchly anti-immigration platform, said that his support for the UK leaving the EU was a personal belief and not a "recommendation".

"I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe," Trump told Fox News late on Thursday. "A lot of that was pushed by the EU. I would say that they're better off without it, personally, but I'm not making that as a recommendation. Just my feeling."

And very anti-Merkel

Donald Trump accuses Angela Merkel of making 'catastrophic mistake' on refugees. President-elect tells The Times and Bild that EU has become 'a vehicle for Germany'.

US President-elect Donald Trump said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made a "catastrophic mistake" with a policy that let a wave of more than one million migrants into her country.

In a joint interview with The Times and the German newspaper Bild, Trump also said the European Union had become "a vehicle for Germany" and predicted that more EU member states would vote to leave the bloc as Britain did last June.

"I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals," Trump said of Merkel, who in August 2015 decided to keep Germany's borders open for refugees, mostly Muslims, fleeing war zones in the Middle East.

Trump has reversed some 70 years of US strategy to gain nothing. It is quite remarkable. Strategic vandalism is a good description.

Ninel , Jul 9, 2018 6:47:54 PM | 55
Even when the 'light' (read truth about Brexit) is revealed, many here choose to ignore it out of sheer ignorance. For a good description of the MOA comment section, one should consult Plato's Allegory of the Cave. And the 'left' blames external elements for its inaptitude and demise when many it has only itself to blame.
Pft , Jul 9, 2018 7:27:36 PM | 56
Somebody@54

Good link, thanks

The thing about UK and the EU is the UK is basically the US 51st state and the US is a defacto commonwealth nation. The colonization of Europe by the US was never meant to encompass the UK and the City. As they are basically one and the same. Its presence in the EU was never really a problem though and was useful in terms of providing a guiding hand, so long as it remained free of the Eurozone. So I am not really sure its a change in strategy. Just another fork in the road.

It remains to be seen how it all works out. Perhaps the UK Brexit is meant to send a message to the other EU states as to the consequences of leaving. One benefit to the US neoliberals might be that UK scraps or at least scales back its NHS due to the economic consequences of a hard Brexit. The 0.1% will be fine at the end of the day and they are the only group that matters . The rest are just pawns on the board.

As for Germany. Immigration in the EU was all about divide and rule and leaving fewer Euros for social programs. All part of the neoliberal blueprint. Divide and rule is an age old tactic perfected by the British to rule the colonies. The EU and Germany being controlled by the Anglo-American ruling elite , and basically occipied by US controlled NATO opened the doors. Reversing this immigration can provide a plausible reason for more terrorism in Europe to empower the EU to become more of a security-police state like US and UK.

On a side note its interesting the head of the ECB and BOE are both former Goldman Sachs employees.

Another related link suggesting the EU also serves a purpose of isolating Russia economically.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-the-european-union-part-of-americas-imperial-project/5536396

uncle tungsten , Jul 9, 2018 7:48:18 PM | 57
@Pft 51

EU could not possibly have been a US/CIA idea as it actually works. Yes it is undemocratic, usurps national aspirations, perverts local economies, coddles oligarchs, and all that. But that does not mean it is a US idea.

Zero Hedge is polishing turds now it seems.

Single union political aspirations have been around for centuries and in many countries. Dare I suggest that it is actually based on the Soviet Union of peoples and most likely a Leninist or Trotskyist plot!! :))))

Peter AU 1 , Jul 9, 2018 7:57:17 PM | 59
The Marshal Plan Copy and past from the linked page.

"The Marshall Plan also established the creation of the Organization for European economic cooperation. It did this in a number of ways:

  • promote co-operation between participating countries and their national production programmes for the reconstruction of Europe,
  • develop intra-European trade by reducing tariffs and other barriers to the expansion of trade,
  • study the feasibility of creating a customs union or free trade area,
  • study multi-lateralisation of payments, and
  • Achieve conditions for better utilisation of labour.

It was arguably through this persistent interlinking of many European countries economic affairs that to not cooperate would simply be too risky.

This provided the basis for European cooperation and this was favoured by many people because cooperation was seen as a fundamental building block in the establishment of long term European Peace."

bevin , Jul 9, 2018 9:25:30 PM | 61

@Piotr Berman@53

"In relatively short time, the List of enlightened despots included almost all absolute monarchs in Europe."

You are right, and that included Catherine the Great for whom Samuel Bentham worked for some years. His brother Jeremy spent some time with him there and was a great admirer of Catherine and Potemkin. He was a key figure in the development of liberal ideology and political economy.

'The Enlightenment' is an historical concept which obscures more than it explains. To suggest that representative democracy's origins lie in this nebulous thing is completely misleading -- the truth is that democracy is as old as community. If anything 'The Enlightenment' movements are the beginning of the current system whereby the trappings of popular government are hung on the reality of a kleptocrats' oligarchy.

Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:33:58 PM | 62
Re. Australia: Have you read JOHN PILGER ON A HIDDEN HISTORY OF WOMEN WHO ROSE UP "?" I love that guy even more now.
Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:37:25 PM | 63
Just in time for Emperor Trump's arrival in Britain! I do not understand Great Britain's "democracy," (the very concept of an aristocratic House of Lords Peerage makes my head explode... and what's this about the Monarch having the authority to appoint a Prime Minister if he/she doesn't like the one selected?). But doesn't the party with the majority get to anoint the Prime Minister? Wouldn't that be Labour right now if Missy May is shown the door?
Bevin Kacon , Jul 9, 2018 9:45:25 PM | 64
Furthermore, the assertion that the UK will stay in the EU is entirely plausible. I heard, early in the days after the vote, that the govt had not expected it to go the way it did. Plans were made for a show of Brexit but that 'the idea is that everything stays the same' , i.e., no change. Sadly for the UK, the EU will not allow that to happen. In all probability, another vote will indeed be called. Otherwise, it's going to be a disaster for an already divided UK for many, many years to come!

The main problem with Brexit is that it is so complex that neither the officials who were set the task of drafting it knew little more than the Ministers themselves! NOBODY knew what the fuck to do! And they still don't!

There is every chance a Vote of No Confidence is going to be called on May's government and she will finally fall, as she must as she is the most inept PM there has probably ever been!

Bevin Kacon , Jul 9, 2018 9:48:27 PM | 65
@63 Daniel

No, the Tories will still stay in power. A General Election would have to be called and I cannot see May's successor being that brave. Or stupid!

Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 9:54:28 PM | 66
What do the City of London, the Vatican and Washington DC have in common? Actually, Jerusalem shares many of the same traits. Bonus points for the most creative euphemism for "usurious bank."

Are terms such as "The Five Eyes" and "The AZ Empire" 'trumped' by all this nationalistic furor?

From my perspective, Nation-States have not been the loci of power for some time (if they ever really were). The US, with its awesome military might and (former) industrial capabilities has served as the enforcement arm of that usurious supra-national cabal throughout "the American Century."

But really, does anyone here really believe that a New York City conman or the latest British "mophead" is more powerful than the dynastic power of the Rothschilds, Warburgs or Morgans... or even the nouveau riche like the Rockefellers or Carnegies?

These are dynasties so wealthy and powerful that they don't even appear on Forbes lists of "The Richest" and no one dare mention their names when plotting the next global conflagration.

Daniel , Jul 9, 2018 10:20:56 PM | 67
Since David Cameron used Jimmy Cliff's " You Can Get It If You Really Want " for his campaign, Afshin Rattansi's interview with that truly revolutionary artist is not so off topic. And it's well worth 12 minutes to enter a worldview we Westerners rarely live.

I and I say "Ja Mon!"

OK. I can't post Jimmy without " The Harder They Come, " especially as that seems to be the root of most of the comments here.

imo , Jul 9, 2018 10:28:10 PM | 68
@33 -- "...and Western Australia were separate British colonies that all began as penal settlement."

Not entirely correct. Western Australia started as a capitalist investment venture (c. 1828) but suffered chronic labor shortages as slavery was closed down (c. 1833). The colony then resorted to convict imports for a time. Much of the myth about 'criminal' can be re-framed as political prisoners such as the Welsh Chartists (see Chartism in Wales).

Kalen , Jul 9, 2018 11:49:40 PM | 69
One can only be confused if one ignores public and secret reasons while Cameron threatened Brexit vote already in 2015 and went through it in 2016. Officially it was about antiterrorism, security and hence controlling immigration flagship of Tory political campaign that brought them overwhelming electoral win as well as some noises that EU rules and laws stifle economic development and the British lose more in EU payments than they gain.

Obtainimg strong mandate Cameron went to Brussels to supposedly negotiate better deal with EU ESPECIALLY for security while in fact he went there trying to bully the shape future EU integration especially in political realm and even more in realm of banking Union and integration and coordination of banking rules, laws and unified controlling authorities, via threatening Brexit which would be a deadly blow to EU propaganda glue that holds together this melting pot of divided as never before nations and never since medieval times united national elites integrated in EU ruling bureaucracy.

What Cameron was scared of as far as direction of future of EU?

First it was devastating impact of further EU integration on UK banking as London has become legal under U.K. law illegal in EU, money laundering capital of the world and criminal income is huge part of the revenue of the City , US is second.

And second point is future of British monarchy which further integration of EU into superstate would require to be abandoned in UK as elsewhere as states were to loose all even symbolic sovereignty and turn into regions and provinces as in Roman Empire . Needles to say that UK still powerful landed aristocracy want nothing of that sort.

Hence Cameron went to Brussels make special deal for UK and was essentially, with some meaningless cosmetic changes, rebuked into binary decision in EU or out of it no special deal and hence he escalated with calling Brexit vote as a negotiating tool only to increase political pressure to rig elections toward remain if deal reached . In fact as latest scandal revealed results of exit polls were released to stock market betting hedge funds just minutes before polls were closed concluding guess what, that remain campaign won while electoral data in hours showed Brexiters wining simply because to the last moment before closing polls they expected EU to cave in, they did not so they continued pressure by closing openly pro Brexit win.

The pressure continues now while Cameron had to pay political price as he openly advocated staying in EU under phony deal even Tory did not buy, and hence this seeming chaos now fooling people that there is other way but hard Brexit to keep monarchy sovereignty and profits from global money laundering or surrender and humiliation degradation U.K. into EU colony as BJ just said.

Of course which way it goes ordinary Brits will pay but also big crack will widen in EU as national movements will have impact of shattering dreams of quit ascending to EU superstate.

Penelope , Jul 10, 2018 12:35:31 AM | 70
At the passage of Brexit I believed the purpose to be to allow the City of London (the bankers) unlimited financial freedom, perhaps especially in their entering into agreements with the Chinese. This could not be the case under the original EU rules. It will be interesting to see how this works out.

The Chinese, as they are intended to be the regional governor of Asia under the evolving global governance are key to the entire tyrannical plan. The AGW hoax, paid for by Western oligarchs, is the public relations for the UN's Agenda 21, currently being enforced at the local level in many parts of the US.

The Chinese oligarchs are so delighted with its tyrannical land-use provisions that they are actually calling their projects "China's Agenda 21". You may search for it.

http://osnetdaily.com/2014/03/agenda-21-rockefeller-builds-human-settlement-zones-in-connecticut/ Exc introductory summary.

Corbett Report interview of Rosa Koire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7T7ulzNG7o

ben , Jul 10, 2018 1:02:19 AM | 71
@ 62: Thanks for the Pilger article, a good read. There are many today, who would return us all to those days.
Herman J Kweeblefezer , Jul 10, 2018 1:05:09 AM | 72
The reality of the brexit which the Tory government is determined to raiload through has been designed by elites to better oppress the hoi polloi and to sell it to the masses it has been marketed as a means of restoring 'white power'. Bevin & co can whine on about the injustices of the eu for as long as their theoretical view of the world sustains them, but the brexit which will be delivered is based on 'pragmatic realism' developed by a really nasty gang of avaricious lying c**tfaces and will create a society far more unjust, divided and impoverished than the one that currently exists.

That is really saying something because the current version of the UK is one of the sickest, greed is good and devil take the hindmost societies I have ever experienced -- up there with contemporary israel and the US, 1980's South Africa and by the sound of it (didn't experience it firsthand like the other examples, all down to not existing at the time) 1940's Germany.

Jezza was great in the house last night but he didn't call for an immediate general election which would be pretty much SOP for any opposition facing as tattered a government (Seven cabinet 'resignations') as bereft of ideas as the Maybot machine.

The reason he didn't - couldn't in fact, is that the UK left is as divided and dug into their positions as that tory bunch of bastards. Far too many opposition politicians insist that a 'deal' on brexit comes first ahead of sorting out poverty and homelessness, woeful education outcomes (unless you believe wildly juked stats) and the horror show that has been created by three decades of relentless attacks on the health service.

We see it here from the brexiters so convinced of the rightness of their cause they ignore the institutionalised racism that will certainly follow a tory brexit. Or the remoaners who also ignore the unsavory aspects of eu policy to try and render the labour left impotent. Those latter types simply don't give a damn about anything which flows from this debate and division other than killing momentum, they consider even losing the next 5 elections to tories an agreeable sacrifice for ridding the party of Corbyn and co.

Corbyn has recognized the destructive divisiveness of Brexit and tries to ignore it because he holds with fixing the mess so many people are in as being much more important than theoretical arguments which will change nothing for the better regardless of impassioned exhortations by ninnies on both sides of the argument.

The thing which really pisses me off about the lefty brexiters, is that they behave as if it is a now or never situation, when it is anything but. There is nothing to prevent a more united Labour Party who have got their mandate by actually delivering a better life for people rather than irrelevant concepts, returning to sorting out the UK's position in the EU at a later date, ideally at a time when the EU's intransigent support for corporate welfare has run bang smack into a leftist UK Labour government's determination to restore public ownership of natural monopolies (rail, water, power, mail delivery etc).

The lefty brexiters claim the lefty remainers won't allow it, while the lefty remainers claim it is the lefty brexiters clogging the works. In fact it is both gangs of selfish egotistical assholes.

Al-Pol , Jul 10, 2018 1:54:09 AM | 73
NotBob @ 35.
The EU Constitution never happened. The Lisbon Treaty came along a couple of years later and this time round the Irish people voted against it. It got amended and the Irish people accepted it. The French and Dutch (and every other EU) country chose not to "ask the people" and left the decision to the peoples' chosen represtentatives.

The Irish Constitution has a bit in it making it necessary to ask the people before any changes can be made to that Constitution, so every time the EU adds some bits to the EU Treaty that require the Irish to change their own Constitution there's trouble, as those 3 million or so Irish people have the power to scupper anything and everything for the other 500 million EU citizens. Holding a national referendum to make decisions affecting the entire Union doesn't seem to be either fair or democratic. A single EU-wide referendum could be held when there's a major change to the Treaties.

Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 3:31:38 AM | 75
imo 68

Political correctness is a social disease very similar to syphilis - it fucks with the brain. You really should take precautions if socializing in those circles. Precautionary measures are available at all chemists and most public toilets.

Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 4:24:50 AM | 76
Correction to my post @75
Should have read - Political/ideological correctness is....
Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 4:50:46 AM | 77
I click on MoA now and see a pic of Boris the clown hanging from a rope. If the Brits were smart, they would connect that rope to a weather balloon and allow Boris to ascend to the stratosphere and cruise the jet stream.
paul , Jul 10, 2018 4:55:55 AM | 79
The EU is first and foremost a massive attack on democracy. At the same time it attempts to establish technocracy as the mode of government of the future. But right only racists and overly idealistic assholes oppose the EU...
somebody , Jul 10, 2018 5:24:13 AM | 80
Posted by: paul | Jul 10, 2018 4:55:55 AM | 79

"Democracy" only being possible locally? Numbers I posted on another thread:

Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - population of 3 Billion+

You think EU countries have got a competitive chance if on their own? Or - democracy in Switzerland enables them to decide on their relations with the outside world? Like not being part of the "single market" - they are -including free movement of people - yes you can live and work in Switzerland if you are a EU citizen.

But right only racists and overly idealistic assholes oppose the EU

Maybe because it is a stupid idea?

Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 5:32:30 AM | 81
Brexit is nether the problem or the solution, it was just another distraction to keep the mass occupied, whilst they assist stripped the uk and a large part of the world! The people we are scared to mention are the true people killing and oppressing us. I thank Daniel@66 for naming them ! Rothchild family ect ect I would add the Rothermere family and Murdoch ! Politics are debated, but history is made on the streets. We need to regain our sense of moral outrage (where did that go ?) there are 70 million displaced people in the world ! It could be. You or I next !
ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 5:33:44 AM | 82
Peter AU 1 @75

I don't read imo@68 as politically/ideologically correct but as a statement of fact. As far as I can see, imo didn't deserve your response.

Peter AU 1 , Jul 10, 2018 5:37:18 AM | 83
ADKC
Well that's tough shit isn't it.
ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 5:46:23 AM | 84
Peter AU 1 @83

Ignoring imo's 'feelings' what is wrong/objectionable about his posting @68?

Jen , Jul 10, 2018 5:56:25 AM | 85
Peter AU 1 @ 83: I agree with ADKC and IMO. There were convicts transported to the Australian colonies whose crimes can be considered political crimes. The Tolpuddle Martyrs who came to the Sydney colony in the 1830s are one example: they were transported for the crime of demanding an extension of voting rights to all men, among other demands. Such convicts were a small minority though.
Alan , Jul 10, 2018 6:37:23 AM | 88
@b

Boris Johnson is no clown. You should look beyond the (carefully crafted) popular image and see the dangerous fascist lurking in plain sight.

somebody , Jul 10, 2018 6:41:49 AM | 89
Posted by: Pft | Jul 9, 2018 7:27:36 PM | 56

As for Germany. Immigration in the EU was all about divide and rule and leaving fewer Euros for social programs.

"The demonization of Muslim immigration to the EU ...." - fixed it for you.

The stuff about leaving fewer euros for social programmes is propaganda. Social programmes are designed to force people to work - they are pegged below the minimum wage.

In the case of Germany costs for refugees were accounted to the 0.7 percent of GDP Germany is supposed to spend for development aid by the UN, thereby effectively developing Germany instead.

Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 7:23:05 AM | 90
Alan @ 88
I am in total agreement with you on your comment regarding Boris Johnson ! His childish buffoonery, is a commen system / tactic of a psychopath . It hides a callous disregard for human life , wins gullible friends which the psychopath manipulates to exploit there power and influence! They are very good at scheming there own self interested plan. But (and here's the crunch ) are totally useless at for seeing the consequences of there actions . And no regard for the victim of there actions!!! Do we want that in charge of the nuclear button ?
Mark2 , Jul 10, 2018 7:49:20 AM | 92
Google ---Boris Johnson grenfail tower
ADKC , Jul 10, 2018 8:19:01 AM | 97
Somebody @65

There is nothing wrong/inconsistent with the idea of an interconnected world of sovereign (independent) states. The idea that a treaty or a trade agreement means that a state is no-longer independent is ridiculous. As ridiculous as believing that an individual who purchases a pack of polo mints is no longer free because of the need of a local shop and a manufacturer.

You are basically pushing the idea that there should be no nation states, no borders and all trade free and therefore no need for treaties. From this comes no regulation, a poisoned environment, uncontrolled and rapacious capitalism, no rights for people, no benefits, no protection, just work til' you die and polished off sharpish if you are no longer productive.

I don't object to an EU as a grouping of independent states acting collectively. I do object to an EU that erodes and undermines the nation state, that seeks to remove state leaders and interfere in state elections/policies. The EU that we have is the latter and there is no practical way to reform it to the former.

Stubbs , Jul 10, 2018 8:22:30 AM | 98
@ B. You have too high an opinion of the competence of the main political figures in the UK Governing Party.

Boris Johnson has never been a serious contender for PM. He's good at giving a rousing speech to the Party faithful but that's it. The blue rinses enjoy the titillation of his infidelities but they don't want someone so amoral coming anywhere near their daughters, or representing their principles.

You knew Theresa May had no judgment the first day of her premiership, when she made BoJo her Foreign Secretary. A selection that could kindly be described as risible. He indicated no suitability for the role before his appointment nor has since. Quite the opposite. It was at that decision you knew all was hopeless. Brexit was going to be hopeless. Everything she was going to be involved in was hopeless.

And so it has proved.

The vox pop that I encounter ..... the Remainers are reconciled to Brexit and just want to get on with it. The Brexiteers are sick to death with hearing about it but not seeing anything done. Everyone had made their minds up before the election in 2015. The Referendum campaign was a few weeks of premium entertainment watching the most reviled political figures in the land trying to tear each others' throats out.

Every brexiteer I've asked why they voted for out, begins by saying "For once they had to listen to us" and that's usually followed by "there's too many people here" or "it's the E.Europeans". (My response to the europhiles is that you knew the EU was finished a dozen years ago, when all the Big Issue sellers turned into Romanian women.) UK cities are thick with destitute E.Europeans.

There's a huge disconnect between Parliament (+ media) and the people. A further example of this is the official narrative on the Salisbury poisonings. Ask people in the street and they say "yeah, it was Vlad with the doorknob" and then they crease up laughing. The Govt has no credibility with its "only plausible explanation".

My prediction, since the day BoJo was appointed minister for the exterior, is that the situation is so catastrophic the EU will have to lead us by the hand through the process of brexit. The EU's priority will be the stability of the Euro. They won't want us beggared on their doorstep and as they export 15% of their stuff to us they'll want to keep on doing that. We'll have to have what we're given and be grateful.

The political situation in the UK is so far beyond surreal that a man dragging a piano with a dead horse on it would appear mundane.

Willy2 , Jul 10, 2018 8:28:30 AM | 99
- It doesn't matter who the prime minister is. The UK has already adopted A LOT OF EU regulations/laws and that will make it nearly impossible to perform a "Hard Brexit". The UK still exports A LOT OF stuff to the Eurozone and then it simply has to follow EU regulations, no matter what the opinion of the government is. In that regard, the current EU regulation simply provides a good framework, even for the UK. No matter what one Mrs. May or Mr. Johnson.

- As time goes by the UK can change parts of the EU regulations to what the UK thinks those regulations should be.

- And do I think that Mrs. May and her ministers have drawn that same conclusion.

[Jul 09, 2018] We Are Headed For The Status Of A Colony Boris Johnson's Full Resignation Letter Zero Hedge

Jul 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"We Are Headed For The Status Of A Colony": Boris Johnson's Full Resignation Letter

by Tyler Durden Mon, 07/09/2018 - 17:01 89 SHARES

The much anticipated resignation letter penned by the former UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has been released, and in as expected, he does not mince his words in unleashing a brutal attack on Thersa May, warning that "we have postponed crucial decisions -- including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November -- with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system ."

He then adds that while "Brexit should be about opportunity and hope" and "a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy", he warns that the " dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt. "

He then compares May's proposal to a submission even before it has been received by the EU, noting that "what is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK -- before the other side has made its counter-offer . It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them."

And his punchline: the UK is headed for the status of a colony:

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony -- and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement

Explaining his decision to resing, he then says that "we must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go."

It remains to be seen if his passionate defense of Brexit will stir enough MPs to indicate they are willing to back a vote of no confidence, and overthrow Theresa May in what would be effectively a coup, resulting in new elections and chaos for the Brexit process going forward.

Meanwhile, as Bloomberg adds, the fact that Boris Johnson, or those around him, made sure his resignation statement came out in time for the evening news - before it was formally issued in the traditional way by May's office, hints at his continued interest in leading the Conservative Party.

His full letter is below (highlights ours):

Dear Theresa,

It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.

They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.

Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy.

That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.

We have postponed crucial decisions -- including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November -- with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.

It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws. Indeed we seem to have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February, when I described my frustrations, as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts. We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told that we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.

So at the previous Chequers session we thrashed out an elaborate procedure for divergence from EU rules. But even that now seems to have been taken off the table, and there is in fact no easy UK right of initiative. Yet if Brexit is to mean anything, it must surely give Ministers and Parliament the chance to do things differently to protect the public. If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists -- when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government -- then I don't see how that country can truly be called independent.

Conversely, the British Government has spent decades arguing against this or that EU directive, on the grounds that it was too burdensome or ill-thought out. We are now in the ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts of precisely such EU law, without changing an iota, because it is essential for our economic health -- and when we no longer have any ability to influence these laws as they are made.

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony -- and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement.

It is also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.

What is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK -- before the other side has made its counter-offer. It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them. Indeed, I was concerned, looking at Friday's document, that there might be further concessions on immigration, or that we might end up effectively paying for access to the single market.

On Friday I acknowledged that my side of the argument were too few to prevail, and congratulated you on at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward. As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat.

We must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go.

I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary in your Government. As I step down, I would like first to thank the patient officers of the Metropolitan Police who have looked after me and my family, at times in demanding circumstances.
I am proud too of the extraordinary men and women of our diplomatic service. Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals. They have organised a highly successful Commonwealth summit and secured record international support for this Government's campaign for 12 years of quality education for every girl, and much more besides. As I leave office, the FCO now has the largest and by far the most effective diplomatic network of any country in Europe -- a continent which we will never leave.