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Quiet coup: Casino capitalism as a new social system

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The term "Quiet coup" which means the hijacking of the political power in the USA by financial oligarchy was introduced by Simon H. Johnson (born January 16, 1963). Simon Johnson is a British-American economist, who currently is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.   From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, he was Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund.

The term was introduced in Simon Johnson article in Atlantic magazine, published in May 2009(The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic). Which  opens with a revealing paragraph:

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

The wealth of financial sector gave it unprecedented opportunities of simply buying the political power:

Becoming a Banana Republic

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.

But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.

 
 

Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.

The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight — a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.

He further researched this theme in his book 2010 book 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (ISBN 978-0307379054), coauthored with James Kwak. They also founded and regularly contributes to the economics blog The Baseline Scenario.


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[Mar 16, 2020] The Man Who Sold the World Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America Kleinknecht, William 9781568584423 Amazon.

Notable quotes:
"... Kleinknecht also spares little on showing just how disengaged Reagan was, and how rich tycoons used this to their advantage. At the same time, along the lines of Paul Kennedy in "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," Kleinknecht notes that, even before Reagan's election, these tycoons were already more corporate raiders, looking to make money off various forms of cooking or tricking out company books, than they were corporate builders reinvesting in their companies. ..."
Mar 16, 2020 | www.amazon.com

This title is from an award-winning journalist, a major work of reporting and history that shatters the myth of Ronald Reagan. Since Ronald Reagan left office - and after his death especially - his influence has loomed over American life. Singled out for his 'courage, his kindness, his persistence, his honesty, and his almost heroic patience in the face of setbacks', a number of conservatives, from the late William Buckley to his former speechwriter Peggy Noonan to Republican nominee John McCain have looked to Reagan as a figure to regenerate the American conservative tradition as the Bush White House stumbles through crisis and scandal. This carefully calibrated image is a complete fiction, however.

The Reagan presidency was epoch-shattering, but not - as his propagandists would have it - because it invigorated private enterprise, toppled the Berlin Wall or made America feel strong again. Rather what gives Reagan such an awesome legacy is that he presided over the dismantling of one of the greatest social experiments in human history-an eight-decade period of reform in which working people were given an unprecedented sway over US politics, economy, and culture. Reagan halted this forward march toward democracy almost overnight.

In "The Man Who Sold the World", journalist William Kleinknecht explores Middle America and shows how Reaganism put the poor and working class back on the margins of everything except the basest popular culture. This scathing indictment of the Reagan legacy is the first comprehensive book to deal seriously with Ronald Reagan's place in contemporary America. Just as Americans are trying to grapple with the legacy of George W. Bush, "The Man Who Sold the World" shows how poorly we understand Reagan's.


Paul , Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2016

If only more people knew the extent of the damage ...

If only more people knew the extent of the damage this man did to our country! I don't have time to write a long review, but this book takes an exhaustive look at every spectrum of the domestic policies that this laissez-faire, trickle-down, invisible hand of the free market president unleashed on Americans. And it doesn't even touch on Iran-Contra or the multiple despotic dictators he propped up or supported in Central America. 8 people found this helpful Helpful

Amazon Customer , Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2013
A Small Glimmer of Truth

Since studying business and law in graduate school, every search for solutions to our policy problems has led me back to the changes made under Reagan. The sad truth is, his presidency was probably the most destructive in our history. If only more people would open their eyes to the truth about what he did to our society and our economy. Both our social battles and our declining economy are his legacies.

S. J. Snyder , Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2010
Good book with a GREAT "hook"

Since a lot of conservatives like to claim Reagan did so much to help small towns' Main Street, and since Reagan himself pitched myths about that, Kleinknecht starts the book off with a brilliant conceit.

He actually visits Reagan's small-town birthplace of Dixon, Ill., and talks to people there about how it has changed since 1980. That includes people who say they'll only talk to him if not asked to comment negatively on Reagan - which is, itself, an indirect negative comment on Reagan!

Kleinknecht then supplements that with data from the Department of Labor, Department of Commerce, etc., showing just what Reagan did do to, and NOT "for," Dixon and by extension, other small towns.

Kleinknecht also spares little on showing just how disengaged Reagan was, and how rich tycoons used this to their advantage. At the same time, along the lines of Paul Kennedy in "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," Kleinknecht notes that, even before Reagan's election, these tycoons were already more corporate raiders, looking to make money off various forms of cooking or tricking out company books, than they were corporate builders reinvesting in their companies.

Kleinknecht then goes beyond that, showing that many conservatives, including economist Hayek (Hey, Milton Friedman, you didn't study him well enough!) warned about the perils of such unbridled "capitalism."

At a time when "conservatives" today bash lower-middle-class people for paying little to know income tax, while failing to point out massive companies like Reagan sponsor GM do the same on the corporate side, this reminder that conservativism is more than, and different from, what some talking heads today claim, is important.

That said, Kleinknecht cuts Jimmy Carter a bit too much slack and Bill Clinton a lot too much. I'm reminded of one of Clinton's first lies, IMO, where he said, with mock surprise, (not exact quote), "You mean my economic program is hostage to the bond market?" Yes, he was cleaning up parts of the Reagan deficit mess old man Bush hadn't fully tidied. But, he was too close to Jackson Stephens to really be surprised. Ditto for Congressional Democratic leadership, beyond the increasingly frail Tip O'Neill, in the Reagan era. (This means you, Jim Wright.)

This really is, though, at least a 4/5 star book. Ignore the 1-star reviews.

[Feb 24, 2020] Creating the Corporate Coup

Notable quotes:
"... Although corporations are legally a person (see history below), they are in fact an entity. The sole goal of that entity is profit. There is no corporate conscience. ..."
"... Perhaps it would be useful to look at the nature of our global expansion. The global expanse of US military bases is well-known, but its actual territorial empire is largely hidden. The true map of America is not taught in our schools. Abby Martin interviews history Professor Daniel Immerwahr about his new book, ' How To Hide An Empire ,' where he documents the story of our "Greater United States." This is worth the 40 minute watch...I learned several new things. One more long clip. However this one is fine to just listen to as you do things. This is a wonderful interview with Noam Chomsky. The man exudes wisdom. ..."
"... The oligarchy has been with us since perhaps the tribal origins of our species, but the corporation is a newer phenomenon. A faceless, soulless profit machine. Ironically it is the 14th amendment which is used to justify corporate person-hood. ..."
"... Corporations aren't specifically mentioned in the 14th Amendment, or anywhere else in the Constitution. But going back to the earliest years of the republic, when the Bank of the United States brought the first corporate rights case before the Supreme Court, U.S. corporations have sought many of the same rights guaranteed to individuals, including the rights to own property, enter into contracts, and to sue and be sued just like individuals. ..."
"... But it wasn't until the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Rail Road that the Court appeared to grant a corporation the same rights as an individual under the 14th Amendment ..."
"... The United States is home to five of the world's 10 largest defense contractors, and American companies account for 57 percent of total arms sales by the world's 100 largest defense contractors, based on SIPRI data. Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world, is estimated to have had $44.9 billion in arms sales in 2017 through deals with governments all over the world. The company drew public scrutiny after a bomb it sold to Saudi Arabia was dropped on a school bus in Yemen, killing 40 boys and 11 adults. Lockheed's revenue from the U.S. government alone is well more than the total annual budgets of the IRS and the Environmental Protection Agency, combined. ..."
"... http://news.nidokidos.org/military-spending-20-companies-profiting-the-m... For a list of the 20 companies profiting most off war... https://themindunleashed.com/2019/03/20-companies-profiting-war.html ..."
"... Capitalism, militarism and imperialism are disastrously intertwined ..."
"... Corporations are Religions Yes they are. They have ethics, goals, and priests. They have a god who determines everything "The Invisible Hand". They believe themselves to be superior to the state. They have cult garb, or are we not going to pretend that there's corporate dress codes, right down to the things you can wear on special days of the week. They determine what you can eat, drink and read. If you say something wrong, they feel within their rights to punish you because they OWN the medium that you used to spread ideas. OF course they don't own your thoughts... those belong to the OTHER god. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Chris Hedges often says "The corporate coup is complete". Sadly I think he is correct. So this week I thought it might be interesting to explore the techniques which are used here at home and abroad. The oligarchs' corporate control is global, but different strategies are employed in various scenarios. Just thinking about the recent regime changes promoted by the US in this hemisphere...

The US doesn't even lie about past coups. They recently released a report about the 1953 CIA led coup against Iran detailing the strategies. Here at home it is a compliant media and a new array of corporate laws designed to protect and further enrich that spell the corporate capture of our culture and society. So let's begin by looking at the nature of corporations...

The following 2.5 hour documentary from 2004 features commentary from Chris, Noam, Naomi, and many others you know. It has some great old footage. It is best watched on a television so you have a bigger screen. (This clip is on the encore+ youtube channel and does have commercials which you can skip after 5 seconds)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpQYsk-8dWg

Based on Joel Bakan's bestseller The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power , this 26-award-winning documentary explores a corporation's inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures.

One hundred and fifty years ago, a corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic, and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, a corporation is today's dominant institution.

Charting the rise of such an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals, the documentary also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force.

Although corporations are legally a person (see history below), they are in fact an entity. The sole goal of that entity is profit. There is no corporate conscience. Some of the CEO's in the film discuss how all the people in the corporations are against pollution and so on, but by law stockholder profit must be the objective. Now these entities are global operations with no loyalty to their country of origin.

Perhaps it would be useful to look at the nature of our global expansion. The global expanse of US military bases is well-known, but its actual territorial empire is largely hidden. The true map of America is not taught in our schools. Abby Martin interviews history Professor Daniel Immerwahr about his new book, ' How To Hide An Empire ,' where he documents the story of our "Greater United States." This is worth the 40 minute watch...I learned several new things. One more long clip. However this one is fine to just listen to as you do things. This is a wonderful interview with Noam Chomsky. The man exudes wisdom.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuVqfKYbGvE (2 hour 5 min)

So much of this conversation touches on today's topic of our corporate capture. Amy interviewed Ed Snowden this week... (video or text)

This is a system, the first system in history, that bore witness to everything. Every border you crossed, every purchase you make, every call you dial, every cell phone tower you pass, friends you keep, article you write, site you visit and subject line you type was now in the hands of a system whose reach is unlimited but whose safeguards were not. And I felt, despite what the law said, that this was something that the public ought to know.

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/12/5/edward_snowden_amy_goodman_interv...

The oligarchy has been with us since perhaps the tribal origins of our species, but the corporation is a newer phenomenon. A faceless, soulless profit machine. Ironically it is the 14th amendment which is used to justify corporate person-hood.

Corporations aren't specifically mentioned in the 14th Amendment, or anywhere else in the Constitution. But going back to the earliest years of the republic, when the Bank of the United States brought the first corporate rights case before the Supreme Court, U.S. corporations have sought many of the same rights guaranteed to individuals, including the rights to own property, enter into contracts, and to sue and be sued just like individuals.

But it wasn't until the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Rail Road that the Court appeared to grant a corporation the same rights as an individual under the 14th Amendment

https://www.history.com/news/14th-amendment-corporate-personhood-made-co...

More recently in 2010 (Citizens United v. FEC): In the run up to the 2008 election, the Federal Elections Commission blocked the conservative nonprofit Citizens United from airing a film about Hillary Clinton based on a law barring companies from using their funds for "electioneering communications" within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. The organization sued, arguing that, because people's campaign donations are a protected form of speech (see Buckley v. Valeo) and corporations and people enjoy the same legal rights, the government can't limit a corporation's independent political donations. The Supreme Court agreed. The Citizens United ruling may be the most sweeping expansion of corporate personhood to date.
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/how-supreme-court-turned-co...

Do they really believe this is how we think?

More than just using the courts, corporations are knee deep in creating favorable laws, not just by lobbying, but by actually writing legislation to feed the politicians that they own and control, especially at the state level.

Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue. Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.

In ALEC's own words, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU? Numerous resources to help us expose ALEC are provided below. We have also created links to detailed discussions of key issues...

https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

Here's an attempt by a local station to tell the story of a Georgia session of legislators and ALEC lobbyists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3yIbxydlHY (6 min)

There is very little effort to hide the blatant corruption. People seem to accept this behavior as business as usual, after all it is.

Part of the current ALEC legislative agenda involves stifling protests.

I think it started in Texas...

A bill making its way through the Texas legislature would make protesting pipelines a third-degree felony, the same as attempted murder.
H.B. 3557, which is under consideration in the state Senate after passing the state House earlier this month, ups penalties for interfering in energy infrastructure construction by making the protests a felony. Sentences would range from two to 10 years.

https://www.ecowatch.com/texas-bill-pipeline-protests-felony-2637605986....
It is now law. Other states are following suit...

Lawmakers in Wisconsin introduced a bill on September 5 designed to chill protests around oil and gas pipelines and other energy infrastructure in the state by imposing harsh criminal penalties for trespassing on or damaging the property of a broad range of "energy providers."

Senate Bill 386 echoes similar "critical infrastructure protection" model bills pushed out by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Council of State Governments over the last two years to prevent future protests like the one against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2019/09/16/wisconsin-legislators-seek-crimi...

These activities are taking place in most states...especially red ones like mine.

When TPTB use government to play chess with the countries of the world havoc ensues...

Abby and Mike were on Chris' show yesterday talking about Gaza and the US/Israeli effort at genocide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcsEYRt_jGY (28 min)

And Chris was on the evening RT news this week discussing how the US empire is striking back against leaders who help their own people rather than our global corporations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P5G9S8flnY (6.5 min)

Lee Camp and Ben Norton also discussed how the US wants to own South America. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLETst107M0 (1st 22 min)

This excellent article tells the story well...

Financially, the cost of these wars is immense: more than $6 trillion dollars. The cost of these wars is just one element of the $1.2 trillion the US government spends annually on wars and war making. Half of each dollar paid in federal income tax goes towards some form or consequence of war . While the results of such spending are not hard to foresee or understand: a cyclical and dependent relationship between the Pentagon, weapons industry and Congress, the creation of a whole new class of worker and wealth distribution is not so understood or noticed, but exists and is especially malignant.

This is a ghastly redistribution of wealth, perhaps unlike any known in modern human history, certainly not in American history. As taxpayers send trillions to Washington. DC, that money flows to the men and women that remotely oversee, manage and staff the wars that kill and destroy millions of lives overseas and at home. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees and civilian contractors servicing the wars take home six figure annual salaries allowing them second homes, luxury cars and plastic surgery, while veterans put guns in their mouths, refugees die in capsized boats and as many as four million nameless souls scream silently in death.

These AUMFs (Authorization for Use of Military Force) and the wars have provided tens of thousands of recruits to international terror groups; mass profits to the weapons industry and those that service it; promotions to generals and admirals, with corporate board seats upon retirement ; and a perpetual and endless supply of bloody shirts for politicians to wave via an unquestioning and obsequious corporate media to stoke compliant anger and malleable fear. What is hard to imagine, impossible even, is anyone else who has benefited from these wars.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/06/authorizations-for-madness-the-e...

The United States is home to five of the world's 10 largest defense contractors, and American companies account for 57 percent of total arms sales by the world's 100 largest defense contractors, based on SIPRI data. Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world, is estimated to have had $44.9 billion in arms sales in 2017 through deals with governments all over the world. The company drew public scrutiny after a bomb it sold to Saudi Arabia was dropped on a school bus in Yemen, killing 40 boys and 11 adults. Lockheed's revenue from the U.S. government alone is well more than the total annual budgets of the IRS and the Environmental Protection Agency, combined.

http://news.nidokidos.org/military-spending-20-companies-profiting-the-m... For a list of the 20 companies profiting most off war... https://themindunleashed.com/2019/03/20-companies-profiting-war.html

The obvious industry which was not included nor considered is the fossil fuel industry. Here's another example of mutual corporate interests.

"Capitalism, militarism and imperialism are disastrously intertwined with the fossil fuel economy .A globalized economy predicated on growth at any social or environmental costs, carbon dependent international trade, the limitless extraction of natural resources, and a view of citizens as nothing more than consumers cannot be the basis for tackling climate change .Little wonder then that the elites have nothing to offer beyond continued militarisation and trust in techno-fixes."

-- Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/05/doubling-down-the-military-big-b...

The US military is one of the largest consumers and emitters of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in history, according to an independent analysis of global fuel-buying practices of a "virtually unresearched" government agency.
If the US military were its own country, it would rank 47th between Peru and Portugal in terms of annual fuel purchases, totaling almost 270,000 barrels of oil bought every day in 2017. In particular, the Air Force is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and bought $4.9 billion of fuel in 2017 – nearly double that of the Navy ($2.8 billion).

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/us-military-ranks-higher-in-green...

The fossil fuel giants even try to control the climate talks...

Oil and gas groups were accused Saturday of seeking to influence climate talks in Madrid by paying millions in sponsorship and sending dozens of lobbyists to delay what scientists say is a necessary and rapid cut in fossil fuel use.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/12/fossil-fuel-groups-destroying-climate-t...

The corporations are so entwined that it is difficult to tell where they begin and end. There's the unity of private prisons and the war machine. And it's a global scheme...this example from the UK.

One thing is clear: the prison industrial complex and the global war machine are intimately connected. This summer's prison strike that began in the United States and spread to other countries was the largest in history. It shows more than ever that prisoners are resisting this penal regime, often at great risk to themselves. The battle to end prison slavery continues.

https://corporatewatch.org/poppies-prison-labour-and-the-war-machine/

Then there was the corporate tax give away...

The 2017 tax bill cut taxes for most Americans, including the middle class, but it heavily benefits the wealthy and corporations . It slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and its treatment of "pass-through" entities -- companies organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, or S corporations -- will translate to an estimated $17 billion in tax savings for millionaires this year. American corporations are showering their shareholders with stock buybacks, thanks in part to their tax savings.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/12/18/18146253/tax-cuts-and...

Even Robert Jackson Jr., commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Appointed to the SEC in 2017 by President Donald Trump. Confirmed in January 2018 sees the corporate cuts as absurd.

"We have been to the movie of tax cuts and buybacks before, in the Republican administration during the George W. Bush era. We enacted a quite substantial tax cut during that period. And studies after that showed very clearly that most corporations use the funds from that tax cut for buybacks. And here's the kicker. That particular tax cut actually required that companies deploy the capital for capital expenditures, wage increases and investments in their people. Yet studies showed that, in fact, the companies use them for buybacks. So we've been to this movie before. And what you're describing to me, that corporations turned around and took the Trump tax cut and didn't use it in investing in their people or in infrastructure, but instead for other purposes, shouldn't surprise anybody at all."

https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/11/18/corporations-stock-buybacks-sec-...

So the corporations grow larger, wealthier, more powerful, buying evermore legislative influence along the way. They have crept into almost every aspect of our lives. Some doctors are beginning to see the influence of big pharma and other corporate interests are effecting the current practice of medicine.

Gary Fettke is a doctor from Tasmania who has been targeted for promoting a high fat low carb diet...threatened with losing his medical qualifications. He doesn't pull punches in this presentation discussing the corporate control of big ag/food and big pharma on medical practice and education. (27 min)

Comments

detroitmechworks on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 8:28am

Corporations are Religions Yes they are. They have ethics, goals, and priests. They have a god who determines everything "The Invisible Hand". They believe themselves to be superior to the state. They have cult garb, or are we not going to pretend that there's corporate dress codes, right down to the things you can wear on special days of the week. They determine what you can eat, drink and read. If you say something wrong, they feel within their rights to punish you because they OWN the medium that you used to spread ideas. OF course they don't own your thoughts... those belong to the OTHER god.

At least the crazy made up gods that I listen to don't usually fuck over other human beings for a goddamn percentage. ON the other hand, if a corporation can make a profit, it's REQUIRED to fuck you over. To do otherwise would be against it's morals. Which it does have, trust us... OH, and corporations get to make fun of your beliefs, but you CANNOT make fun of theirs. Because that would be heresy against logic and reason.

www.youtube.com/embed/uGDA0Hecw1k?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 8:37am
yes indeed, they are superior to the state...

@detroitmechworks

In the film Secret State they (fossil fuel) admit it. Here's the trailer...(1.5 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCYjbux_dCM

You can watch the series if anyone has an interest. Start here...there are about 6 episodes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aeZT6IXCUg (42 min)

Good spy thriller.

Nice to see you around the site again. Thanks for visiting this piece.

QMS on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 8:39am
A recent front page item

In a local newspaper showed a couple coming out of a Wal-Mart with their carts piled high with big boxed foreign junk, then shown cramming their SUV full of said junk. The headline read "Crazy Busy". It pretty much summed up what is wrong with the American consumer culture. The next day's big headline spotlighted our senator's picture affixed to a LARGE headline boasting "$22 Billion Submarine Contract Awarded". A good example of of what is wrong with the american war economy.

Thank you for your compilation Lookout! If we can get beyond the headlines, working at grass root and local solutions, maybe even underground revolution, there may be hope for us. Barter for a better future.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:06am
Let's hope we trade up for something better

@QMS

My buddies always say about their mayor..."There's no way we will trade down after this election...but then we do." Perhaps it is true for more than just their town.

The line running in my head is..."What if they gave a war and nobody came". I want to expand it to..."What if they made cheap junk no one really wanted and nobody bought it". Or substitute junk food for cheap junk, or...

My point in today's conclusion is much as I try to walk away from corporate culture/control, I really can't totally escape...but at least I spend most of my time in the open, breathing clean air, surrounded by forest. We do what we can.

Onward through the fog...

Raggedy Ann on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 8:58am
Good Sunday morning, Lookout ~~

Consumerism in our society is a plague, a disease perpetrated upon us by our corporate lords. It has taken over everything about being an American.

I think the youth are catching on, as they are thrifting more, but they don't understand about food, and that's the rub. Our youth will be more unhealthy until they understand what corporations are doing to us through food addictions.

We're expecting rain today for most of the day and actually it's just started. The person who will drill our well came by yesterday and figured out some details. We are behind two other wells, so it will probably be the holiday week when it happens - we'll see. I can wait til January and hope we do.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone!

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:10am
best of luck with your well!

@Raggedy Ann

That's an exciting project. Keep us posted. I hope y'all have a great holiday break. Enjoy your time....the most valuable thing we have!

davidgmillsatty on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:09am
The main reason I am not enamored with Sander's economic

Ideas is that new deal of FDR's day had corporate opponents far different than those of today. Sanders does not seem to understand that the corporations of yesterday, and what worked against them, will not work against the corporations of today. In the early part of the 20th century, corporations were still primarily domestic and local often with charters from the state where they conducted their primary business, many times all of their business.

Regulation and unions were reasonable anti-dotes to the abuses of these local and domestic corporations. The state still had some semblance of control over them.

But today corporations are global. They have no allegiance to, or concern for the domestic economy or local people. They do not fear of any anti-dotes that worked for years against domestic or local corporations. Global corporations just leave and go elsewhere if they don't like the domestic or local situation if they have not managed to completely take over the government.

There is only one reason to incorporate in the first place. That is for the owner(s) of the business to avoid personal liability or responsibility. The majority of people never understand this idea. Corporate owners are the people who are the genuine personal responsibility avoiders. Not the poor. The only antidote to corporations these days is the total demise of the corporation and its similar business entities that dodge personal responsibility. And the state must refuse to allow any such entities to do business. It is the only way forward. Otherwise nation states will give way to corporate states. Corporate governance is the new feudalism from which the old feudalism morphed.

Sanders isn't going to advocate doing away with corporate entities or other similar business entities. Nor will any of the Democratic contenders. They all require corporations to rail against as the basis for their political policy.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:19am
corporate power is formative

@davidgmillsatty

...and I've always wondered just how Bernie would dismantle them. However like the impotence of the impeachment, is the impotence of the primary process.

When the DNC was sued after 2016, they were exonerated based on the ruling they were a private entity entitled to make rules as the wanted. The primary is so obviously rigged I can almost guarantee Bernie will not be allowed the nomination, so the question to how he would change corporate control is really moot.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

davidgmillsatty on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 10:56am
Sanders Winning the Nomination

@Lookout I probably could get on board with a Sanders campaign if he would run as an Independent. But it is really hard to get on board with him as a Democrat. If he loses the nomination, he will probably not run as an Independent once again. Once he bailed on an Independent run last time, I and many others bailed on him. I would support his Independent candidacy just to screw with the Electoral College. I thought last time an independent candidacy might have thrown the election to the House of Representatives. I could see a Democratically controlled House voting for him over Trump in a three way EC split if the Democratic candidate took low EC numbers.

But he is so afraid of being tarred with the Nader moniker.

What I said many times on websites last election is that an EC vote is very similar to a Parliamentary Election. And that would be an interesting change for sure. It would also be a means of having the popular vote winner restored if there is a big enough margin in the House. And what would be equally cool is that the Senate picks the VP. So you could have President and VP from different parties.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 10:32am
in some alternate universe...

@davidgmillsatty

if Bernie got the nomination, I would vote for him, especially in this imaginary world, if Tulsi was his running mate. Then there the question about your vote being counted? We'll just have to see what we see and make judgements based on outcomes, IMO.

#4.1 I probably could get on board with a Sanders campaign if he would run as an Independent. But it is really hard to get on board with him as a Democrat. If he loses the nomination, he will probably not run as an Independent once again. Once he bailed on an Independent run last time, I and many others bailed on him. I would support his Independent candidacy just to screw with the Electoral College. I thought last time an independent candidacy might have thrown the election to the House of Representatives. I could see a Democratically controlled House voting for him over Trump in a three way EC split if the Democratic candidate took low EC numbers.

But he is so afraid of being tarred with the Nader moniker.

What I said many times on websites last election is that an EC vote is very similar to a Parliamentary Election. And that would be an interesting change for sure. It would also be a means of having the popular vote winner restored if there is a big enough margin in the House. And what would be equally cool is that the Senate picks the VP. So you could have President and VP from different parties.

davidgmillsatty on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 11:01am
The more I think about this

@Lookout The only way the Democrats might beat Trump is to have Sanders run as an Independent and prevent Trump from reaching 270. That is a far better way to beat Trump than impeachment. Would the house vote for the Democrat or an Independent? I guess it would depend on how Sanders did in the popular vote and EC against his Democratic rival.

#4.1.1
if Bernie got the nomination, I would vote for him, especially in this imaginary world, if Tulsi was his running mate. Then there the question about your vote being counted? We'll just have to see what we see and make judgements based on outcomes, IMO.

TheOtherMaven on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 2:06pm
And who that rival was!

@davidgmillsatty @davidgmillsatty

If it was Hillary "Dewey Cheatem & Howe" Clinton, all bets are off.

#4.1.1.1 The only way the Democrats might beat Trump is to have Sanders run as an Independent and prevent Trump from reaching 270. That is a far better way to beat Trump than impeachment. Would the house vote for the Democrat or an Independent? I guess it would depend on how Sanders did in the popular vote and EC against his Democratic rival.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 2:48pm
The $hill was on Howard Stern this week...

@TheOtherMaven

//www.youtube.com/embed/LhxMvmX9WlA?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 3:18pm
Howard effin Stern indeed

@Lookout

Good lord.that she did that is unbelievable. Great point. Boycott Fox News, but go on Stern's show. It's going to be fun to watch how much lower she falls.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 3:30pm
The depth of her corruption is unfathomable

@snoopydawg

AE maybe be correct that they will pull her from behind the curtain and anoint her to run again. But I sure hope not!

snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 3:31pm
More lying about Bernie not supporting Hillary

@Lookout

MSNBC invited on two former Hillary Clinton aides to criticize Bernie Sanders for taking a "long time to get out of the race" and that he didn't do "enough" campaigning for her in 2016. pic.twitter.com/6Vsqo0DKZI

-- Ibrahim (@ibrahimpols) December 8, 2019

Come on Bernie call this crap out.

davidgmillsatty on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 6:08pm
The Way that would work in the House of Reps

@TheOtherMaven They have to choose from actual EC vote getters. So if she is not the candidate she could not win.

Having Sanders run as an Independent and Warren or Biden run as a Democrat would be a much better strategy to ensure a Trump loss in the House. Of course it might take some coordination as in asking the voters to vote for the candidate who has the best chance of beating Trump in certain states. But voters could probably figure that out.

Or a candidate could just withdraw from a state in which the other candidate had a better chance of beating Trump.

QMS on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:27am
Dig it

@irishking @irishking
What to do?Dance in the streets! //www.youtube.com/embed/9KhbM2mqhCQ

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:27am
Do you think the bear went over the mountain...

@irishking

refers to RUSSIA!!! (Just joking) Thanks for the song. Here's one from 1929 back atcha! Thanks for the visit. //www.youtube.com/embed/pDOwDi2jlk0

jakkalbessie on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 10:15am
So much to think about

Lookout as usual you have done an excellent job of giving me a lot of articles to read and think about this next week.

Of course I need to be loading my car and shutting this place down as I head to the Texas hill country. Will look for an article about Kinder Morgan and small communities that are fighting the pipeline through their towns. The read was a little hopeful.

Watching the weather and it looks like sunshine and clear skies as I travel. Thanks for all your work in putting this together.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 10:27am
My buddy JU Lee wrote a song...

@jakkalbessie

I like to travel on the old roads.

There's not a youtube, but the chorus goes:

I like to travel on the old roads
I like the way it makes me feel
No destination just the old roads
Somehow it helps the heart to heal.

I hope your road trip is a good one. The less busy tracks are almost meditative....soaking in scenery as the world passes by.

Have fun and be careful.

Lookout as usual you have done an excellent job of giving me a lot of articles to read and think about this next week.

Of course I need to be loading my car and shutting this place down as I head to the Texas hill country. Will look for an article about Kinder Morgan and small communities that are fighting the pipeline through their towns. The read was a little hopeful.

Watching the weather and it looks like sunshine and clear skies as I travel. Thanks for all your work in putting this together.

ggersh on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 11:06am
Nice work Lookout

Here are a couple of links to how free markets help in the corporate takeover. Amazon a corp that has only made a profit by never paying taxes and accounting fraud. It became a trillion dollar corp through the use of monopoly money(stock) it's nothing but the perfect example of todays "unicorn" corp, i.e. worth what it is w/out ever making a penny

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 11:26am
The free market created the private prison industry too

@ggersh

Not so free really is it? Amazon is certainly a monster...now hosting the CIA/MIC cloud as well as owning the WaPo.

Snode on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 11:45am
Corporations are not people

Corporations can live far beyond a persons lifespan. Corporations can commit homicide and escape execution and justice. Unfortunately, unions are just as likely to be on the corporations side to get jobs and wages, and bust heads if anything interferes with that.

If we protest we've seen the police ready to use deadly force at the drop of a hat, and get away with it. We get to vote on candidates that some political club chose for us, and have little incentive to work for the 99%. The gov. has amassed so much information on us we can't even fathom its depth. We have nowhere left, no unexplored lands out of reach of the government. We think we own things, but if you think you own a home, see how long it is before the gov. confiscates it if you don't pay your property taxes.

If I were younger, or a young person asked what to do, I would say.... learn some skill that would make you attractive for emigrating to another country, because the US looks like it's over. It's people are only here to be exploited. And if Bernie were to become president I hope he gets a food taster.

Lily O Lady on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 1:27pm
Corporations are worldwide entities now. No where to

@Snode

run to. No where to hide. As in the U.K., corporations are seeking to to dismantle the NHS and turn it into a for-profit system like ours. Even as the gilllet-jaune protesters risk life and limb, Macron seeks to install true neoliberalism in France. And the beat goes on.

snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 5:41pm
Yep you nailed it

@Snode

Corporations can live far beyond a persons lifespan. Corporations can commit homicide and escape execution and justice.

Look at what chevron did to people in Borapol. I'm sure I spelled this wrong but hopefully people will know what I'm talking about. They killed lots of people and poisoned their land for decades and the fight over it is still going on. How many decades more will chevron get to skirt justice? Banks continue to commit fraud and they only get little fines that don't do jack to keep them from doing it again. Even cities are screwing people. Owe a few dollars on your property taxes and they will take your home and sell it for pennies on the dollar. How in hell can it be legal to charge people over 600% interest? What happened to usury rules if that's the correct term.

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 5:51pm
They've done it all over the world...

@snoopydawg

The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled last week that a prior ruling by an Ecuadorean court that fined Chevron $9.5 billion in 2011 should be upheld, according to teleSUR, a Latin American news agency. Texaco, which is currently a part of Chevron, is responsible for what is considered one of the world's largest environmental disasters while it drilled for oil in the Ecuadorian rainforest from 1964 to 1990.
https://www.ecowatch.com/will-chevron-and-exxon-ever-be-held-responsible...

snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 7:13pm
It's just unbelievable that they can still dodge responsibilit

@Lookout

for decades of polluting and killing.

The legal battle has been tied up in the courts for years. Ecuador's highest court finally upheld the ruling in January 2014, but Chevron refused to pay.

This is another thing that corporations get away with. Contaminating land and then just walking away from it. How many superfund sites have we had to pay for instead of the ones who created the mess. Just declared bankruptcy and walked away. Corporations are people? Fine then they should be held as accountable as the people in the lower classes. Fat chance though right?

Lily O Lady on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 6:01pm
Union Carbide India was responsible for the Bopal disaster.
snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 7:16pm
Thanks for the save

@Lily O Lady

Weren't people killed by a gas cloud released from the plant? I read something recently that said the case is still going through the courts. How much money have they spent trying not to spend more?

snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 12:27pm
7 year old concerned about the Uighers

//www.youtube.com/embed/wGq0xVh6UJw?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 12:36pm
The comments are supportive of Tulsi

@snoopydawg

....and no I had not seen that clip. Tulsi impresses me in many ways and the manner in which she treats this child is an example.

Especially as compared to Joe ByeDone's adolescent behavior...

//www.youtube.com/embed/mKV0oAPENdg?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

snoopydawg on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 1:09pm
Ugh

@Lookout @Lookout

Byedone just needs to pack it in and drop out already. Today he was defending the republican party after someone said something about them needing to go away. Joe said that we need another party so one does not get more power than the other. Yeah right, Joe. It's not like the Pubs are already weilding power they don't have and them dems cowering and supporting them.

Newsweek reporter quit after being censored on the OPCW story.

I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US govt was removed, though it was factually correct.

-- Tareq Haddad (@Tareq_Haddad) December 7, 2019

ANd great news for Max Bluementhal!!

BREAKING: The US government has DROPPED ITS BOGUS CASE against me and @NotConq .

I was hauled out of my house by a team of cops, jailed for two days, and maliciously defamed due to the lies of the US-backed Venezuelan opposition.

I plan to seek justice. https://t.co/Wm7Yl8cL2T

-- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 7, 2019

Thanks for the wound up, LO. Lots of great stuff here to go back and digest.

#9

....and no I had not seen that clip. Tulsi impresses me in many ways and the manner in which she treats this child is an example.

Especially as compared to Joe ByeDone's adolescent behavior...

data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 1:22pm
Glad to see Max vindicated

@snoopydawg

...thanks for the news.

Caity had a nice piece on Consortiumnews on the newsweek story...
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/12/08/journalist-newsweek-suppressed-opc...

Lily O Lady on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 1:44pm
Bipartisanship is big now. It's how politicians hide their dirty dealings.

@snoopydawg

First frustrate us with gridlock. Then pass bills benefiting the corporate overlords. Then leading up to elections pass bills like the one against animal cruelty (who doesn't love kitties and puppies?), or propose a bill to consider regulating cosmetics. This second bipartisan effort is glaringly cynical since no one apparently knows what is in beauty products. Sanders must have politicians worried for them to attempt something which has managed to go unregulated for so long.

All this bipartisanship is not even up to the level of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's more like wiping at them with a dirty rag while the ship of state continues to sink. While animal cruelty and cosmetic safety are important issues, they pale in comparison to the systemic ills America suffers. Our fearless leaders will continue to scratch the surface while corruption and business as usual continue to fester. These bipartisan laws may look good on a politician's resume, but they won't really help the 99%.

CB on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 5:35pm
Looks like the PTB are starting to crank up

@snoopydawg
the propaganda to give NATO a raison d'être for a pivot to China. This will be doomed to complete failure just as the Russian pivot has.

But Putin and Xi Jinping are both much too skilled and intelligent to defeat. American WWE trash talkers are completely outclassed by an 8th dan in judo paired with a Sun Tzu scholar.

Tomoe nage - use your opponent's weight and aggression against him.

"If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected ."
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Thank you Barack and Hillary...

CB on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 9:39pm
Neither Russia nor China want the US or US$ to collapse too quickly. It would be devastating for the entire world if it happened suddenly.

@Lookout
What they want is a controlled collapse. If they can get the US to continue to overspend on war mongering rather than programs of social uplift the country will rot from the inside.

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Meanwhile, back in the Motherland: //www.youtube.com/embed/acPgB_rhdfA

Lookout on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 3:25pm
corporate corruption is low fanging fruit

@Pluto's Republic

So much more to say really. Had to stop somewhere but as you know the corruption runs deep and is intermixed with the CIA/FBI/MIC corporate government under which we live.

On we go as best we can!

There is great dignity in the objective truth. Perhaps because it never flows through the contaminated minds of the unworthy.

smiley7 on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 7:43pm
Excellent Watch, Lookout,

Corporate charters were initially meant to be for the public good if i'm not mistaken in recall, it was a trade-off for their privilege to exist. Maybe a movement political leader could highlight this and move the pendulum back to accountability.

Had a conversation with good friend today, a 3M rep, and he was griping about his competitor's shady marketing product practices apparently lying to manufacturers about the grades and contents of their competing products.

smiley7 on Sun, 12/08/2019 - 7:53pm
A timely piece to go with your conversation of today:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/07/kochland-review-koch-bro...

Battle of Blair... on Mon, 12/09/2019 - 8:37am
I want that flag.

Where can I buy that flag? I will raise it and sing the corporate anthem

"God bless Generica.
Land that is owned.
By the wealthy, unhealthy
As that might be for those being pwnd.

From the Walmart to McDonalds to the corner Dominooooos.
God Bless Generica
My high rent home.

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

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

likbez , February 19, 2020 12:31 pm

Does not matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of his quotes:

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

[Aug 23, 2019] Another "soft coup": A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that presidential electors who cast the actual ballots for president and vice president are free to vote as they wish and cannot be required to follow the results of the popular vote in their states

Aug 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president" [ NBC News ]. "A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that presidential electors who cast the actual ballots for president and vice president are free to vote as they wish and cannot be required to follow the results of the popular vote in their states . But once the electors are chosen and report in December to cast their votes as members of the Electoral College, they are fulfilling a federal function, and a state's authority has ended.

'The states' power to appoint electors does not include the power to remove them or nullify their votes,' the court said.

Because the Constitution contains no requirement for electors to follow the wishes of a political party, 'the electors, once appointed, are free to vote as they choose,' assuming that they cast their vote for a legally qualified candidate."

Readers will recall this post from December 16, 2016 , where I compared Democrat's scheme of persuading faithless electors to change their (presumed) voters based on intelligence that would not be shown to the public to the Chilean Constitutional order under Pinochet.

Today, we would use the term "soft coup," but I still think that was a pretty good call.

[Jul 27, 2019] The Corporate Coup d'Etat

Jul 27, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

Donald Trump's election was considered the beginning of a dark era for the entire planet, but could it possibly be the outcome of a well-thought-out plan set in motion decades ago? Heartbreaking stories of American citizens who feel abandoned by the US federal government are intertwined with one-on-one interviews with journalists, philosophers and political scientists. An investigative, powerful documentary that attempts to detect how corporations gradually took over politics, undermining people's will.
https://www.filmfestival.gr/en/movie-tdf/movie/12043

[Mar 29, 2019] America is a banana republic! FBI chief agrees with CIA on Russia alleged election help for Trump

Comey was a part of the coup -- a color revolution against Trump with Bremmen (possibly assigned by Obama) pulling the strings. That's right. This is a banana republic with nukes.
Notable quotes:
"... "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it. ..."
"... Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election ..."
www.sott.net
Reprinted from RT

FBI and National Intelligence chiefs both agree with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections partly in an effort to help Donald Trump win the White House, US media report.

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper are both convinced that Russia was behind cyberattacks that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, The Washington Post and reported Friday, citing a message sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees.

"Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it.

"The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI," it continued.

Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election to help Trump win, calling info "fuzzy and ambiguous"

... ... ...

[Mar 02, 2019] Tancredo Would Republican Establishment Use Impeachment to Block Trump Agenda

First vices about the color revolution against Trump were heard on December 2016
Notable quotes:
"... Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you. ..."
"... Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House. ..."
"... There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. ..."
"... On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging. ..."
"... Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so. ..."
"... on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement. ..."
"... Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Several months ago I was asked what advice I would give to the Trump campaign.

I said, only half joking, that he had better pick a vice presidential candidate the establishment hates more than it hates him. That would be his only insurance against impeachment. Those drums have already begun to beat, be it ever so subtly.

Is anyone surprised how quickly the establishment that Donald Trump campaigned against has announced opposition to much of his policy agenda? No. But few understand that the passionate opposition includes a willingness to impeach and remove President Trump if he does not come to heel on his America First goals.

Ferocious opposition to Trump from the left was expected and thus surprises nobody. From the comical demands for vote recounts to street protests by roving bands of leftist hate-mongers and condescending satire on late-night television, hysterical leftist opposition to Trump is now part of the cultural landscape.

But those are amusing sideshows to the main event, the Republican establishment's intransigent opposition to key pillars of the Republican president's agenda.

Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you.

If you think talk of impeachment is insane when the man has not even been sworn into office yet, you have not been paying attention. Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House.

What are the key policy differences that motivate congressional opposition to the Trump agenda? There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging.

Yet, while the President-elect 's transition teams at the EPA, State Department and Education Department are busy mapping ambitious changes in direction, Congress's Republican leadership is busy doubling down on dissonance and disloyalty.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so.

And then, on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement.

It is no exaggeration to say that Trump's success or failure in overcoming the opposition to immigration enforcement will determine the success or failure of his presidency. If he cannot deliver on his most prominent and most popular campaign promise, nothing else will matter very much.

So, the bad news for President Trump is this: If he keeps faith with his campaign promises on immigration, for example to limit Muslim immigration from terrorism afflicted regions, which is within his legitimate constitutional powers as President, he will risk impeachment. However, his congressional critics will face one enormous hurdle in bringing impeachment charges related to immigration enforcement: about 90 percent of what Trump plans to do is within current law and would require no new legislation in Congress. Obama disregarded immigration laws he did not like, so all Trump has to do is enforce those laws.

Now, if you think talk of impeachment is ridiculous because Republicans control Congress, you are underestimating the depth of Establishment Republican support for open borders.

The first effort in the 21st century at a general amnesty for all 20 million illegal aliens came in January 2005 from newly re-elected President George Bush. The "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill passed by the US Senate in 2013 did not have the support of the majority of Republican senators, and now they are faced with a Republican president pledged to the exact opposite agenda, immigration enforcement. And yet, do not doubt the establishment will sacrifice a Republican president to protect the globalist, open borders status quo.

The leader and spokesman for that establishment open borders agenda is not some obscure backbencher, it is the Republican Speaker of the House. Because the Speaker controls the rules and the legislative calendar, if he chooses to play hardball against Trump on immigration he can block any of Trump's other policy initiatives until Trump abandons his immigration enforcement goals.

What all this points to is a bloody civil war within the Republican Party fought on the battlefield of congressional committee votes.

Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party.

[Mar 01, 2019] The Black Bill and the Green New Deal

Feb 20, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

Sandwichman | February 20, 2019 12:48 am

Climate Change Politics US EConomics "When we first came to Washington in 1933," FDR Labor Secretary Francis Perkins wrote in her memoir, The Roosevelt I Knew , "the Black bill was already before the Congress. Introduced by Senator Hugo L. Black, it had received support from many parts of the country and from many representatives and senators."

The Black Bill was the Senate version of the Black-Connery Thirty-Hour Bill. On April 6, 1933, the Senate approved the measure by a vote of 53 to 30. Perkins was scheduled to appear before the House committee holding hearings on the Connery Bill:

Roosevelt had a problem. He was in favor of limiting the hours of labor for humanitarian and possibly for economic reasons and therefore did not want to oppose the bill. At the same time, he did not feel that it was sound to support it vigorously. But the agitation for the bill was strong. Its proponent insisted that it was a vital step toward licking the depression. I said, "Mr. President, we have to take a position. I'll take the position, but I want to be sure that it is in harmony with your principles and policy."

Roosevelt had another problem. The National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce were adamantly opposed to the Thirty-Hour Bill. Perkins offered amendments to the Connery Bill, the American Federation of Labor offered other amendments and business representatives "proposed crippling amendments that would have destroyed the purpose of the measure."

On May 1, the administration withdrew its support for the Connery Bill. Roosevelt had concluded that organized business would not support the recovery program if the Black-Connery Bill were to become law. In its place, the collective bargaining provisions of Section 7(a) and wage, hour and labor standard provisions were added to the National Industrial Recovery Act through, in Leon Keyserling's account, "a series of haphazard accidents reflecting the desire to get rid of the Black bill and to put something in to satisfy labor."

The Supreme Court ruled the Recovery Act unconstitutional on May 27, 1935. In its place, the "Second New Deal" consisted of a variety of policies, including, most notably, the National Labor Relations Act, the Works Progress Administration and Social Security.

The moral to the story is that "the" New Deal was improvised, it evolved, was not unitary and its original impetus came from a fundamentally different policy proposal that was anathema to the business lobby. The Thirty-Hour Bill was conceived as a solution to a problem that is no longer polite in policy circles to consider as a problem -- "over-production."

I am sympathetic to the intentions and ambition of the Green New Deal resolution proposed by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey. What I find especially compelling is the inclusion of social and economic justice and equality in the program goals. The vision isn't just a proposal for "sustainable" business-as-usual, powered by wind and solar.

The day before Ocasio-Cortez and Markey announced their resolution, Kate Aronoff and co-authors presented a " Five Freedoms " statement of principles for a Green New Deal, modeled on Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms.from 1941. My favorite, of course, is number two: Freedom From Toil:

We can't escape work altogether, and there's a lot of work we need to do, immediately and in the long term. But work doesn't need to rule our lives.

The great nineteenth-century English socialist William Morris made a distinction between useful work and useless toil: we need the former but should free ourselves from the latter. We can escape the crushing toll of working long hours for low wages to make something that someone else owns.

At present, there's a lot of work that's worse than useless -- it's toil that's harmful to the people doing it and to the world in which we live. But even useful work should be distributed more widely so that we can all do less of it -- and spend more time enjoying its fruits.

I suppose there always has been work that is "worse than useless" -- bullshit jobs and all that. But there is cruel irony in the fact that the ultimate solution to the 1930s problem of over-production was perpetual creation of useless toil through credit, fashion, advertising, and government stimulus and subsidies. The original proposal had been shorter working time !

Which brings me back to the peregrinations of the FDR New Deal. The 12-year deadline posited by the I.P.C.C. for keeping within the 1.5 degree centigrade limit brings us to the 100th anniversary of Keynes's " Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren ." Time has run out on his caveat:

But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.

We have been pretending long enough now for foul to become worse than useless and to convince ourselves that fair really would be foul. It is past time to stop pretending .


  1. spencer , February 20, 2019 11:32 am

    I've long wondered why conservatives – libertarians do not give as much attention to the 40 hour workweek as they do to the minimum wage. From their point of view there should not be much difference between the two.

    Sandwichman , February 20, 2019 11:47 am

    I suspect they intuit that a workweek much longer than 40-hours will not add an iota to output, will probably subtract from output -- and profits -- and could possibly provoke a renewal of mass struggles for shorter hours.

  2. Denis Drew , February 21, 2019 12:38 am

    As for the climate change part, don't forget the coming of thermonuclear fusion power. Only trouble is that it is always 30 years away.
    https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Bottle-Strange-History-Thinking-ebook-dp-B001IH6WOM/dp/B001IH6WOM/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1550727164

    I don't see work as such a torture. When Keynes was speaking, work was much more arduous than it is now (unless you work in McDonald's) and remuneration was mostly subsistence because productivity was much lower and technology but little (top invention, steam engines, no LED TVs!). I know people who could retire but don't because, what else would they do.

  3. Luc , February 21, 2019 9:04 am

    "The capitalist mode of production, while on the one hand, enforcing economy in each individual business, on the other hand, begets, by its anarchical system of competition, the most outrageous squandering of labour-power and of the social means of production, not to mention the creation of a vast number of employments, at present indispensable, but in themselves superfluous."

    Unless one has a good grasp of the difference between value and material wealth these discussions usually go nowhere. Most of labour performed today is unnecessary from the future standpoint of a post-capitalist society.

[Feb 18, 2019] It is interesting that in the center of the Dostoevski novel Posessed (published in the 1870's) liberalism is being taken to its distorted extreme by a small group of would-be anarchists whose proposals have a modern twist to them as codified by one of their would-be leaders

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

juliania , Feb 16, 2019 2:34:21 PM | link

Thanks for opening a discussion on this article, b. I also recommend the Orlov translation, since the writing is complex. I am currently reading Dostoievski's "The Devils" (translated as "The Possessed" in most English editions) and after going through the old copy I have, will acquire a more recent translation to go deeper in. I think it is important historically as assisting me in acquiring somewhat the perspective being brought in the Surkov article.

It is interesting that in the center of the novel (published in the 1870's) liberalism is being taken to its distorted extreme by a small group of would-be anarchists whose proposals have a modern twist to them as codified by one of their would-be leaders:

"...In the first place, there is a lowering of the level of education, science, and art...the thirst for knowledge is an aristocratic thirst. No sooner do we have a family and experience love than we begin to desire to own things. We shall kill that desire; we shall spread drunkenness, gossip, information on others...everything must be reduced to the common denominator of complete equality...

[Dec 23, 2018] The decline and fall of neoliberalism in the Democratic Party by Ryan Cooper

A very good article from is considered to be a neocon publication
Notable quotes:
"... Additionally, hard-line conservatives had been hazed out of power since 1932, but had been carefully organizing and building their strength ever since. The Volcker Recession allowed them to seize the moment, finally electing one of their own to the presidency: Ronald Reagan. The three succeeding Republican terms finally cemented the idea among the Democratic elite that the party would simply have to submit to neoliberalism to be able to compete ..."
"... Effectively, both parties conspired to break the New Deal ..."
"... The spectacular late-'90s boom was, in retrospect, the first and last time the U.S. saw full employment under neoliberalism. It was followed immediately by a financial crisis and a prolonged "jobless recovery," where growth returned reasonably quickly but employment and wages lagged far behind. (Only in 2017 did the median household income finally surpass the 1999 peak -- despite the economy being 18 percent larger.) ..."
Jan 08, 2018 | theweek.com

... ... ...

Meanwhile, New Dealers ran into political difficulties. In 1972, George McGovern ran on a strongly left-wing platform, and got flattened by Nixon, seemingly demonstrating that the New Deal was no longer a vote winner. Neoliberal economists were reaching the height of academic respectability, they had a convincing story to explain the problems, and they gained the ears of top Democratic politicians like Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. On the advice of Alfred Kahn, Kennedy shepherded through airline deregulation , while Carter appointed neoliberal Paul Volcker to chair of the Federal Reserve, where Volcker proceeded to create a terrible recession to crush inflation. " The standard of living of the average American has to decline ," he said.

This produced growing inequality, which turned out to be a keystone element of neoliberal political economy. Deregulation, union-busting, abandoning anti-trust, and so forth shunted money to the top of the income ladder -- thus providing more resources for lobbying, political pressure groups, think tanks, and economics departments to produce yet more neoliberal policy.

All this enabled neoliberal political operatives, who were organizing within the Democratic Party to push out the old New Dealers . The Democratic " Watergate Babies " elected after Nixon's downfall were largely neoliberals, and proved quickly to be amenable to deregulation and abandoning anti-trust.

Additionally, hard-line conservatives had been hazed out of power since 1932, but had been carefully organizing and building their strength ever since. The Volcker Recession allowed them to seize the moment, finally electing one of their own to the presidency: Ronald Reagan. The three succeeding Republican terms finally cemented the idea among the Democratic elite that the party would simply have to submit to neoliberalism to be able to compete .

Effectively, both parties conspired to break the New Deal .

For a time, it seemed that the neoliberals were right. America enjoyed reasonably good growth under Reagan, and did even better in the late '90s under Bill Clinton, when a boom in high-tech companies led to the first sustained period of full employment since the '70s -- without so much as a whisper of inflation. The Democratic elite's adoption of neoliberalism seemed to be paying off -- partly, no doubt, why Clinton followed Reagan's lead on anti-trust and passed two large packages of financial deregulation.

However, there were problems below the surface. In the New Deal days, wages had grown along with productivity. But in the mid-'70s, the link was broken, and median wages began to stagnate. As a result, income inequality began to increase, as economic growth flowed into corporate profits, executive pay, and capital gains instead of to the working class.

The spectacular late-'90s boom was, in retrospect, the first and last time the U.S. saw full employment under neoliberalism. It was followed immediately by a financial crisis and a prolonged "jobless recovery," where growth returned reasonably quickly but employment and wages lagged far behind. (Only in 2017 did the median household income finally surpass the 1999 peak -- despite the economy being 18 percent larger.)

Financial deregulation also dramatically increased financial sector size and instability. Contrary to prophets of the self-regulating market, an unchained Wall Street quickly created an escalating series of financial crises, requiring expensive government bailouts. Not even a single decade after Clinton's last package of deregulation, the worst financial panic since 1929 struck, leading to the worst recession since the 1930s.

The Democrats swept to power in a wave election in 2008, as the economy entered free fall. They had every opportunity to abandon neoliberalism and return to the kind of New Deal policy that the Great Recession called for -- and they blew it.

Early on, there was a brief window where the Democrats' old thinking snuck through, leading to the passage of the Recovery Act stimulus under President Obama. But this was only about half the necessary size, and instead of continuing to work on unemployment, the party became obsessed with deficits, turning to austerity by February 2010 . With unemployment still at 10 percent during that year's midterms, the Democrats were flattened at the polls, leading to Republican control of the House and dozens of state legislatures.

Incredibly, the Democrats responded by doubling down on neoliberalism. Over and over again during the Obama years, the party elite proved itself overly sympathetic to the concerns of the market.

Instead of attacking the concentrated wealth and power of big finance, Democrats took the neoliberal route and passed a blizzard of complicated rules in the Dodd-Frank financial reform package that attempted to reduce specific financial sector risk. Many of those provisions were quite worthy, to be sure, but after the crisis the biggest banks are even larger than they were before the crisis and financial sector profits quickly bounced back to their previous levels.

The Obama administration also proved itself largely incapable of enforcing laws against white-collar crime. Department of Justice careerists like Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer were terrified that anything more than gentle wrist-slap fines would undermine the stability of the financial sector . As a result, despite massive fraud carried out during the housing bubble and the ensuing crash , no major bank and none of their top executives were convicted of anything.

Most damning of all, neoliberalism under Obama turned in the worst economic performance since the 1930s . Despite the fact that the 2008 crash left obvious excess capacity, there was no catch-up growth -- on the contrary, growth was about two-thirds the 1945-2007 average, with no sign of speeding up on the horizon. Even 10 years after the start of the recession, there is every sign that the economy is still depressed.

So despite the confident predictions of the Chicago School, the political economy created by neoliberalism turned out to be identical to 1920s laissez-faire economics in every important respect. The United States is once again a country which functions mostly on behalf of a tiny capitalist elite. It has the same extreme inequality, the same bloated, crisis-prone financial sector, the same corruption, and the same political backlash to the status quo and rising extremist factions.

Now, it must be admitted that Obama is a magnificent political talent, the finest national politician in terms of raw ability since FDR. As long as he was at the top of the party, his sheer charisma and moderately good policy record allowed him to get re-elected -- especially against a tone-deaf aristocrat like Mitt Romney, who had advocated that Detroit be allowed to go bankrupt.

But Hillary Clinton, by her own admission , is not very good at retail politics. She has neither the cool, effortless charisma of Obama, nor the warm human touch of her husband. Worse, she is accurately perceived as being firmly ensconced in the political and economic elite -- made worse still by a ( partly unfairly ) awful relationship with the press, and a lingering miasma of scandal and corruption. But fundamentally, Clinton -- virtually handpicked by the party elite, and promising to continue and build on the accomplishments of Obama -- was the candidate of Democratic Party neoliberalism, for better and worse. And she lost to Donald Trump.

All this has profoundly discredited neoliberalism within the Democratic Party. The last generation of centrist policymaking has been a giant failure. There was some partial recognition of the problems under President Obama, and much worthy policy, but nowhere near the fundamental economic restructuring that is clearly needed to stop the economic elite from hoarding the fruits of growth.

So what is to be done?

Next up, the return of the trust busters.

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

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

Themiddlegound -> Themiddlegound , 11 Jun 2013 05:42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Themiddlegound -> Themiddlegound , 11 Jun 2013 05:23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 27, 2018] American capitalism could afford to make concessions assiciated with The New Deal because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a neoliberal counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This policy has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The original "New Deal," which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution ..."
"... Since the 2008 crash, first under Bush and Obama, and now Trump, the ruling elites have pursued a single-minded policy of enriching the wealthy, through free credit, corporate bailouts and tax cuts, while slashing spending on social services. ..."
"... To claim as does Ocasio-Cortez that American capitalism can provide a new "New Deal," of a green or any other variety, is to pfile:///F:/Private_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/Historyromote an obvious political fiction." ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star November 26, 2018 at 4:23 pm

As the New deal unravels:

"The original "New Deal," which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution that had occurred less than two decades before.

American capitalism could afford to make such concessions because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a social counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.

Since the 2008 crash, first under Bush and Obama, and now Trump, the ruling elites have pursued a single-minded policy of enriching the wealthy, through free credit, corporate bailouts and tax cuts, while slashing spending on social services.

To claim as does Ocasio-Cortez that American capitalism can provide a new "New Deal," of a green or any other variety, is to pfile:///F:/Private_html/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/Historyromote an obvious political fiction."

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/23/cort-n23.html

[May 13, 2017] Installing Macron as French president by way of simulated democracy demonstrated how trillioners like Rothschild can take over a country

See also : France has just been literally taken over by the banking mafia
Notable quotes:
"... My position is that Russia and Europe share the continent and one can hitchhike from Amsterdam to Moscow. One cannot hitchhike from New York to Amsterdam, right? I somehow cannot foresee that far-right is in Russian interest at all. ..."
"... A third of French voters voted Le Pen. In a civilized country with a free press you would then expect roughly a third of newspapers to be in favor of Le Pen, two thirds in favor of Macron. But coverage in favor of Macron was close to 100%. Newspapers, tv, web, the chancellors of the main universities, the french medical association, you name it: they told you to vote Macron. ..."
"... The US media etc was overwhelmingly anti-Trump and yet he won. I wish he hadn't, but he did. Enough voters chose him regardless of what they were told. In France, the voters were exposed to a similar barrage and chose to vote against the far-right candidate this time. Perhaps that's partly because Trump and the Brexiteers gave them a taste of what to expect; an indication of how half-arsed and hypocritical the far-right populists can turn out to be. ..."
"... Well it looks like to me that France just elected obomber 2.0. Please let me know in a few years how that hope and change thingy works in France. It didn't work in Amerika for us the 99% but was great for the 1%. ..."
"... Macron is the new and improved Obama marketing product/politician. Find a young person without defined policies, brand them in opposition to something "bad", throw the full support of media and elites behind them, and install them in office to continue austerity/financialization/war policy as per usual. ..."
"... "However, even if Marine Le Pen had won in the final round, the establishment would force her to follow the status quo agenda of the plutocracy, exactly as happened with Donald Trump in the United States." ..."
"... Macron but doesn't seem to be as odious and horrid as Clinton, ..."
"... Macron will continue to convert France into what Charles Hugh Smith calls a plantation economy: http://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr17/corp-plantation4-17.html This echoes the work of David Korten in his book "When Corporations Rule the World" and Michael Hudson in his book "Killing the Host" Macron's Tomorrowland world favors only the political class, rentiers of the Financial, Insurance and real estate sector (FIRE), extractive transnational corporations, and their media propagandists. ..."
"... Relevant to my # 39.... http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-gets-three-major-networks-to-broadcast-image-of-empty-podium-for-30-minutes/ No one else got this obscene spectacle. So much for the Kremlin influencing foreign "democracies". ..."
"... Bright? Quiet? Plese, this guy IS the establishment itself, he was pushed forward from nowhere by the media, apparently you have sucked up all their propaganda for him, similar to dupes that loved Obama when he was elected the first time. ..."
"... As someone who spent ten years on Wall Street, I can tell you with certainty that you don't go from updating excel models at a junior level to partner overnight. Someone extraordinarily powerful was pulling all sorts of strings for this guy. There seems to be little doubt about this. ..."
"... I just read Escobar's piece on the election. He makes some good points about today's post-Orwellian meanings of left and right - vastly different from earlier times. ..."
"... What French voters have – sort of – endorsed is the unity of neoliberal economy and cultural liberalism. Call it, like Michea, "integrated liberalism." Or, with all the Orwellian overtones, "post-democratic capitalism."A true revolt of the elites. And "peasants" buy it willingly. Let them eat overpriced croissants. Once again, France is leading the West. ..."
"... That link again: Emmanuel Clinton and the revolt of the elites Let them eat overpriced croissants. Nailed it. ..."
"... France just "elected" Western Europe's version of HRC. The Banksters are dancing in the streets, and France will STILL be the U$A's bitch. ..."
"... Somehow Macron is the smallest detail of what is going on. The old two major parties have imploded and the survivors are trying to fight for life by joining the new big centrist Macron-EU lobby movement. Everyday is about a new betrayal, a new U-turn on what has been signed or promessed by this or that party-member (Valls is the funniest to follow). The French politicians are and have been a mafia, Corsican type, ever since the 30s (or maybe before already?). Macron won't have much support in the coming parliament. Episode 2 is 18th June, results of the 2nd round of parliamentary election. ..."
"... The reason she is used first is to make her bigger against the other candidates. It worked this time against Mélenchon, who had initially better chances than her to win, and who might even have won against Macron (25 % abstention + 10 % blank votes is still a big reserve for anyone). But the Mélenchon was hailed "same as Le Pen", "friend of Putin and Castro", "supporting Syrian regime" etc. ..."
"... He was not elected by the people but through the electoral system. So the people didnt really took the opposite route of the media. ..."
"... Actually none of the above won 37% of the voters and Macron came in at 24% which is slightly above Le Pen at 21%. The rest voted against Le Pen by voting for Macron. ..."
"... This is one hell of a way to run an election and a country. The political divisions are terminal as in the US. The difference, is that the French allow their leaders to run things until they get few up and than throw a tantrum. In this case the cobblestones will fly and the transportation system will shut down. ..."
"... (Look at Ukraine for a perfect example - they believed the nationalists' lies just like you do.) ... ..."
"... Conflating the violent Putch in Ukraine with the stance of a France-for-the-French Nationalist is inane, to put it mildly. And as an Aussie, I can assure you that our Neolib, Turnbull, Totalitarian Capitalist, pro-middleman-itis, industry-destroying Govt could teach the French Swamp a thing or two about 'honeyed lies' and shameless betrayal by politicians - (whilst feathering their own ne$t$). ..."
"... The photoshopped image is funny. Good one. Hummvee, a.k.a. appeal to the reptilian brain. Does anyone know? I heard that Merkel has a PhD in physics (PhD in alemania is like a masters degree in amerika). So the imagery is maybe not so far from truth. ..."
"... I most certainly don't support neoliberals like Turnbull, Macron or whoever, but with the nationalists you'd get 'the same but more so', plus heightened conflicts between various groups in society, a.k.a. divide and rule. Look at history, and don't be fooled (again). ..."
"... More on the creation of Macron and the puppeteers behind him. It is a tangled web: http://www.voltairenet.org/article196289.html ..."
"... Juxtapose one against the other - and it's pretty clear that German strength is a mirror reflection of French weakness. Because both countries share the same currency, the only way for France to recover is for Germany to become sick. Therein lie the seeds of conflict. Far from invigorated partnership, one should expect gradual, yet unrelenting unraveling of Franco-German relations. Frustrated Macron will prove Germany's worst nightmare. It simply can't be any other way. ..."
"... is micron really petain in drag? ..."
"... Here's another excellent Monthly Review essay, this time by Henry A. Giroux: Trump's America: Rethinking 1984 and Brave New World , https://monthlyreview.org/2017/05/01/trumps-america/ ..."
May 13, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
ALAN | May 8, 2017 1:43:09 AM | 1

Installing Macron as French president by way of 'simulated democracy' demonstrated how trillioners like Rothschild can take over a country.

Circe | May 8, 2017 2:00:29 AM | 2
What this Macron victory proves is that the French lean more Left to Centre, therefore the key was to support and promote a non-interventionist candidate on the Left opposed to Neoliberalism, like Melenchon instead of a radically rightist Le Pen who scared off half of France.

Let's just say that a country that has multiple parties on the Left is NEVER going to vote in a radical rightist populist, never. So the strategy to be free of Neoliberalism in a country that leans Left is to always throw all the support behind a leftist party that opposes Neoliberalism.

Supporting Le Pen only to get a change in French foreign policy was doomed from the start.

And here's another thing: a party that opposes Neoliberalism and has a non-interventionist foreign policy, should try to be more flexible on domestic issues not socialist to an extreme to grab the attention of wider public while playing down slightly their foreign policy UNTIL victory is achieved. This is how you wean the dumb masses. Once in power then it can go all the way to reverse interventionist foreign policy and weed out Neoliberal/Neocon agendas.

No one likes war except those who profit from it.

nmb | May 8, 2017 2:53:30 AM | 5
France has just been literally taken over by the banking mafia
jfl | May 8, 2017 3:07:35 AM | 6
Macron wins French presidency
Hollande's repeated invitations of Marine Le Pen to the Elysée presidential palace during his presidency played the same role as Macron's appeal to the FN in the name of national unity last night: to show that the PS and Macron view the FN as legitimate political partners.

Like Hollande, Macron appears to be cultivating the FN as a political base for his deeply unpopular program. He has pledged to use the PS' anti-democratic labor law to tear up contracts and social spending by decree, escalate defense spending, and reestablish the draft in preparation for an era of major wars.

Mélenchon appealed last night for voters to give UF a strong delegation in the National Assembly in the June legislative elections, which would strengthen his bid to become Macron's prime minister.

... the trots at wsws.org see a push by unsubmissive france into the vacuum created by micron as 'treasonous' ... of course. but something might come of it ... Mélenchon hit some of the same points that le pen hit and may garner support from her stalwarts on those points. he might make something of it. might temper the unmitigated disaster of micron and the franco-american-german eu-financial axis.

Krollchem | May 8, 2017 3:12:39 AM | 7
Monday the French will awaken and find they live on an Animal Farm where the local French pigs suppress the people for the benefit of the wild boars of savage globalism.

In truth the French deserve this fate as they chose the American "dream of comfort and conformity" that Alexis de Tocqueville described as democratic tyranny that "reduces each nation to nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd". He attributed the rise of such "democratic despotism, to a benign form of social control by a centralized bureaucratic state supported by a weakened and isolated citizenry."

theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/01/equality-tyranny-despotism-democracy-remembering-alexis-de-tocqueville-timeless-patrick-deneen.html

For those who understand French the following provides a good analysis:
"Asselineau réagit gravement à la victoire de Macron"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp10kaf4Yj8

A French comedian recently pointed out that washing machines have more programs than Macron! Unfortunately, as Asselineau points out, Macron was brilliantly marketed to the French public as one would advertise a new detergent designed to clean up a mess!

The Marketing was led by Jacque Attali the Grand Vizier of the French establishment and Macron's mentor. Apparently, Attali's team published 17,000 articles promoting Macron in the last year. Attali also coordinated the combined assault on the other candidates by the media, banks and corporations that will now benefit from Macron's election.

Asselineau also suggests that the French read de Gaulle's memoirs, especially chapter 1 and 2. The 2015 book Soumission by Houellebecq plays off de Gaulle's warning.

The situation is grave and the French have been played by the best propaganda campaign since Hitler. Bernays, the author of the book "propaganda" and the inspiration for Hitler and modern marketing would be impressed...

sigil | May 8, 2017 3:13:25 AM | 8
I love how people here use the term 'installed' as if Macron wasn't elected. As if the French people desperately wanted a far-right leader, but somehow never got the chance to vote for one. As if Le Pen would do more for the French working class than Trump has done for the American working class. As if Le Pen would really pursue the kind of anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchical policies that Trump pretended to favour. As if putting the boot into muslims wasn't Le Pen's first, second and third priority.
ProPeace | May 8, 2017 4:20:05 AM | 12
Fake, or real?

Macron associate, Corinne Ehrel, dies unexpectedly hours after hacked Macron emails are published

laserlurk | May 8, 2017 4:47:16 AM | 13
Posted by: sigil | May 8, 2017 3:13:25 AM

I love how people here use the term 'installed' as if Macron wasn't elected. As if the French people desperately wanted a far-right leader, but somehow never got the chance to vote for one.

Very good observation.

As if Trump was installed and in general presidents are installed by the virtue of an "invisible hand" that manipulates the markets and currencies. That may (and did) happen in some small satellite 'allied" NATO countries and with the help of intelligence community steering the mindset, but not on the level of an obscure conspiracy group sitting in a dark room observing the world and manipulating it from afar.

People do vote here in Europe and they get what the current state of mind is.

Le Pen is out and for good as her win would be definitely the end of EU and a beginning of a very dark period for France through which UK is tunneling now.

Sad story is that today's general understanding of politics and a will to take a lead, we all are forced to choose between two varieties of stupidity and crookedness as the case was in USA. Here were two ideologies confronted and a really bad and evil one lost for good. Do not mention Russia, please, as we are all tired of hearing how Putin is evil and whatnot.

My position is that Russia and Europe share the continent and one can hitchhike from Amsterdam to Moscow. One cannot hitchhike from New York to Amsterdam, right? I somehow cannot foresee that far-right is in Russian interest at all.

So, I am actually happy for Trump, as he will put USA in its place by not knowing what is he doing or not doing what he doesn't know.

Naive and wishful thinking would be - is USA finally leaving the Europe for good, keeping UK under its skirts as a staging lapdance island outpost?

I certainly do hope so.

okie farmer | May 8, 2017 6:30:45 AM | 15
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinne_Erhel

Born
3 February 1967
Quimper, Finistère, France
Died
5 May 2017 (aged 50)
Plouisy, Côtes d'Armor, France
Occupation
Politician
Socialist Party
Corinne Erhel (3 February 1967 – 5 May 2017) was a French politician. She served as a member of the National Assembly from 2007 to 2017, representing the Côtes-d'Armor department.

George Smiley | May 8, 2017 6:51:12 AM | 16
What clarity I see with most of this thread's posters. Its amazing anyone would put their faith in Le Pen - for a thousand different reasons but especially after Trump's showing. It scares me how some people are so latched onto this very narrow, far right 'critique' of globalism and see it as the world's salvation. How easily this faith can be manipulated too. Reminds me of those who were so energetic about (and facilitated) Mussolini's rise to power.

Not to say the EU stooge is much/any better but its nice to see a more nuanced view here for once.

passerby | May 8, 2017 7:08:56 AM | 17
#8 sigil wrote: "I love how people here use the term 'installed' as if Macron wasn't elected."

A third of French voters voted Le Pen. In a civilized country with a free press you would then expect roughly a third of newspapers to be in favor of Le Pen, two thirds in favor of Macron. But coverage in favor of Macron was close to 100%. Newspapers, tv, web, the chancellors of the main universities, the french medical association, you name it: they told you to vote Macron.

I'd like to draw an analogy: Imagine that, at the next presidential elections, newspapers attack the Democratic candidate for hiring his own wife, but stay mum when documents appear on the net which show corruption by Trump. That all newspapers, all tv stations, all web sites are in favor of Trump, and - apart from some of the seedier blogs on the web - none in favor of the Democratic candidate. That the Association of American Universities, the American Medical Association, and the National Academy of Sciences all ask you to vote Trump. That you get a letter jointly signed by the president of the National Council of Churches, the president of the US Council of Muslim Organizations, and the Chief Rabbi, asking you to vote Trump. Would you call this free and fair elections? I wouldn't.

So yes, I think "installed" is the right word.

Laguerre | May 8, 2017 7:20:07 AM | 18
So was that picture photoshopped, b? I couldn't be bothered looking up the source.

At any rate, I think you're going to be proved wrong rapidly. Macron's a bright guy, and ran a very good campaign. That is, he kept quiet, like May did. But he is really pushy, and evidently competent. I don't know whether that means good or bad. But lapdog he certainly isn't.

ger | May 8, 2017 7:48:43 AM | 19
It is like electing Jamie Dimon President of the USA and wondering why nothing changes.
sigil | May 8, 2017 7:51:59 AM | 20
Re 17:
The US media etc was overwhelmingly anti-Trump and yet he won. I wish he hadn't, but he did. Enough voters chose him regardless of what they were told. In France, the voters were exposed to a similar barrage and chose to vote against the far-right candidate this time. Perhaps that's partly because Trump and the Brexiteers gave them a taste of what to expect; an indication of how half-arsed and hypocritical the far-right populists can turn out to be.

In all these cases, voters exercised their choices. As did the doctor's associations and university administrators, when choosing who to endorse. No one was 'installed'. Endorsements aren't a violation of democracy, they're an aspect of it - as is the freedom to take endorsements seriously or not.

LXV | May 8, 2017 9:44:43 AM | 25
@24 - Uncoy

This is the website behind nmb's link. No new revelations, though, I wouldn't hold my breath...

jo6pac | May 8, 2017 9:57:19 AM | 26
Well it looks like to me that France just elected obomber 2.0. Please let me know in a few years how that hope and change thingy works in France. It didn't work in Amerika for us the 99% but was great for the 1%.
BRF | May 8, 2017 10:14:29 AM | 28
Both Merkel and Marcon are a couple of M&Ms in the hands of the central bankers and their controllers who call all the shots for both of these puppets. Politics beyond the local level are manufactured to appear democratic in origin while serving a plutocracy that controls all eventualities by commanding the life blood of human economics, the Ownership over the creation of all money and credit. So y'all can relax now until the German and British election cycle gets y'all wound up again over this dog and pony show as an illusion meant as a distracting deception for the rank and file of humanity.
WorldBLee | May 8, 2017 11:34:23 AM | 32
Macron is the new and improved Obama marketing product/politician. Find a young person without defined policies, brand them in opposition to something "bad", throw the full support of media and elites behind them, and install them in office to continue austerity/financialization/war policy as per usual.

It's a brilliant scheme when you consider Macron's "platform" is essentially continuing the failed austerity policies of Hollande, who is currently approved of by 4% of the French electorate.

The key test will be the parliamentary elections coming up. Can Melenchon put together any support? Can there be a left/right anti-EU, anti-austerity alliance wide enough to keep the Macron globalists and the traditional right of Fillon from continuing the downward slide of France?

karlof1 | May 8, 2017 11:43:11 AM | 33
Here's Pepe Escobar's take on the outcome--predictable, as was Macron's Russophobic response to the last minute document dump, which was certified as genuine by WikiLeaks, http://www.atimes.com/article/emmanuel-clinton-revolt-elites/
james | May 8, 2017 11:51:41 AM | 34
@8 sigil... installed... yeah, i think that's a good word for what it is... groomed by bankers (rothchild and etc) and coddled 24/7 in the msm which acts as the main propaganda lever in these so called democracy shams.. it has everything to do with plutocracy, kleptocracy and nothing to do with democracy.. democracy is used as the front, and nothing more.. sorry - someone had to say it... funny thing - i don't recall using the word installed, but i think it is a good word for where we are at presently.. certain 'regimes' will be supported more then others, lol...
ben | May 8, 2017 11:55:19 AM | 35
nmb @ 5: Thanks for the link.

A paragraph from that link, that mirrors my personal thoughts..

"However, even if Marine Le Pen had won in the final round, the establishment would force her to follow the status quo agenda of the plutocracy, exactly as happened with Donald Trump in the United States."

RUKidding | May 8, 2017 12:01:47 PM | 36
Although I've followed this recent French election, I confess to being somewhat ignorant of Macron beyond the basics. Le Pen I do know more about.

My very ignorant guess is that French voters looked across the Channel and the Pond and saw the clusterfecks in the UK and the USA and figured an Obama 2.0 might be the better "choice" under the circumstances. As I said, don't know much about Macron but doesn't seem to be as odious and horrid as Clinton, which is why we're stuck with Trump. IMO (and I was very much open-minded about Trump once he won) Trump is an unmitigated disaster. I believe Le Pen would've been the same or similar for France (and elsewhere).

Well the Bankers run the world, do they not? Unsure how to unravel that knot.

Krollchem | May 8, 2017 12:04:40 PM | 37
Laguerre @ 18

Macron will continue to convert France into what Charles Hugh Smith calls a plantation economy: http://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr17/corp-plantation4-17.html This echoes the work of David Korten in his book "When Corporations Rule the World" and Michael Hudson in his book "Killing the Host" Macron's Tomorrowland world favors only the political class, rentiers of the Financial, Insurance and real estate sector (FIRE), extractive transnational corporations, and their media propagandists.

Macron is a cardboard construct created much like Napoléon (Tolstoy wrote in "war and Peace" if Napoléon Bonaparte did not exist he would have to be created).

Tocqueville provided a strategy for the people to create a civil society that suppresses the psychopaths that wish to contol all aspects of society. Adam Smith in his "Wealth of Nations" is mostly about the civil contract among workers and the bosses and he lays out the three rules of contacts between nations which is actually opposite of the globalists.

I do not think you will be happy in the globalist world order that Macron supports.

Noir22 | May 8, 2017 12:06:12 PM | 38
Here Madonna supporting Macron. May be considered trivial, just one dopey star shootin' off random perso messages.

I don't think so. Look at these kids, asked to perform and complying clumsily ....for one pres. cand. far away, why? Why? This is not just random flickr. photos looking for +++ points from aunties.

https://twitter.com/Madonna/status/861297816190291968

ben | May 8, 2017 12:14:23 PM | 39
sigil @ 20 said "The US media etc was overwhelmingly anti-Trump and yet he won."

The truth is, the MSM only opposed Mr. Trump mildly, at best. Through most of Mr. Trump's run for the White House, his coverage was " wall to wall ". Up to, and including, coverage of a empty podium, while one Bernie Sanders was giving a major live speech at the same time.

ALL MSM is corporate, and they got just who they wanted, a pro-corporate hack that will do their bidding.

peter | May 8, 2017 12:22:16 PM | 40
Looks like the French don't read MoA. Maybe if they did things would be different. Instead, something like 65% were bamboozled by the goddam press and the elites. Isn't it awful when people's right to choose is denied them by these behemoths?

Maybe Trump's performance in his early days had some effect. Maybe his anti-globalist rhetoric that turned out to be pro-.01% in actual fact gave the French pause. Maybe the French like their world beating health system and standard of living. One of the reasons for the formation of the EU was to keep the French and Germans from going at it hammer and tongs every few years like they had since forever and so far it's worked. Could it be that they like the option of traveling freely within the union while enjoying the benefits they as if they were home? Benefits that certainly didn't come from living in an inward looking country contemplating its navel.

Now the same folks who waxed ecstatic over Trump's unlikely win have to eat some crow. The snowball effect they so confidently predicted sweeping European elections has failed to materialize. Who knew people could be so stupid to pass up salvation when proffered on a silver platter. First the Dutch, and now the French. When will people learn?

ben | May 8, 2017 12:33:11 PM | 41
Relevant to my # 39.... http://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-gets-three-major-networks-to-broadcast-image-of-empty-podium-for-30-minutes/ No one else got this obscene spectacle. So much for the Kremlin influencing foreign "democracies".
ruralito | May 8, 2017 12:42:11 PM | 42

So much for the Kremlin influencing foreign "democracies".

Posted by: ruralito | May 8, 2017 12:42:11 PM | 42

smuks | May 8, 2017 3:21:04 PM | 43
Maybe the French are better at reading history books than the Americans.

This could explain why they didn't fall for Le Pen's lies - right-wingers like her always pretend to care for the 'common man (& woman)', but quickly turn out to be even more corporate-friendly/ pro-capital than their predecessors. If people are upset, well just offer them some patsy to blame, and laugh while the poor fight each other whites vs. blacks, Christians vs. Muslims or whatever division comes in handy.

T.'s 'about-face' is by no means surprising; it's standard procedure and was expected by many.

@peter 40
Good one, +1.

smuks | May 8, 2017 3:24:48 PM | 44
One thing:

I'd still appreciate if someone could explain to me what 'globalism' means.

The term doesn't make any sense to me, since an '-ism' usually denotes discrimination and classification of humans along certain lines - but everybody's from the same globe, afaik...(except Elvis, of course)

Outsider | May 8, 2017 3:40:48 PM | 45
According to Wikipedia the Gauls were worse at making good hard soap than the Celts and all the various Teutonic tribes ...or so the olive oil-scraping Romans said. I guess that little bit of knowledge explains a lot of "smelly" jokes and jibes against southern Europe in general; they really were.

Soap won't work on politicians but soap-making lye should. They say it's all very "green" but you need ash for the lye. Burn half of them? :P (what's a "shop"?).

France could get very interesting at any point in time without warning, probably more so than any other European nation and it has been that way for at least a year and a half already. Getting this poodle elected could be a big tactical error on the part of the powers that be.

I don't trust elections any more than I trust polls, there is no reason to, but it gave "us"/humanity Brexit, so there's that.

Hoarsewhisperer | May 8, 2017 4:02:43 PM | 46
Can't tell if b's Merkel-Micron pic is PhotoShopped but Pat Lang is on board with the concept (and context?) with this mid-campaign cite...

Le Pen quipped during the campaign that France would have a woman president no matter who won because the actual president would either be She or Angela Merkel.

canuck | May 8, 2017 4:20:33 PM | 47
Jim Stone contends that the election in France was stolen: jist = massive numbers of Le Pen's ballots were torn thus rendering them uncounted; Macron received half a million extra ballots; the media broadcast the scam that Macron was way ahead in all the polls; all media support was for Macron; reporting on Macron's dirty underwear was banned.
Fernando Arauxo | May 8, 2017 4:43:47 PM | 48
I get it, Sigil the lefty is happy. I'll go home now. Everything is going to be just fine in France. The French screwed themselves over, that's all their is to it. You guys had great chance to shake society to it's core but you blew it!!
Anonymous | May 8, 2017 4:56:03 PM | 49
Macron is just perverse as is his wife: Macron's wife was his...high school teacher https://www.thelocal.fr/20170506/whos-the-older-woman-in-presidential-hopeful-macrons-life
Anonymous | May 8, 2017 5:01:52 PM | 50
Laguerre

Bright? Quiet? Plese, this guy IS the establishment itself, he was pushed forward from nowhere by the media, apparently you have sucked up all their propaganda for him, similar to dupes that loved Obama when he was elected the first time.

blues | May 8, 2017 5:09:37 PM | 51
Any election system that uses anything other than strategic hedge simple score voting is nothing other than a placebo democracy. Party-free proportional elections can be achieved with simple score used with the parabolic proportional curve method. Without such simple methods, we only have simulated / fake democracy that just doesn't work.
MadMax2 | May 8, 2017 5:46:28 PM | 52
sigil @ 20 said "The US media etc was overwhelmingly anti-Trump and yet he won."

Sigil, if you hadn't noticed, Trump came out of the media-entertainment complex...pretty much born of it. That's what you are asking of Le Pen, to replace her 20 odd years of full tilt political life with self promotion for the sake of ratings.

If he wasn't POTUS, a chump like you would be watching Trunp TV™

karlof1 | May 8, 2017 6:31:19 PM | 56
Smuks @44--"I'd still appreciate if someone could explain to me what 'globalism' means."

The linked article by Joseph Nye is basically correct and provides a basis for discussion. The concept was also known as Internationalism; its advocates Internationalists; its antagonists Nationalists or Protectionists. After WW1 the debate over joining The League of Nations sparked a debate between advocates and antagonists within the Outlaw US Empire that affects us today given the smearing Pacifists got--Isolationists/Isolationism--as if there were no nuances or grey areas.

https://www.theglobalist.com/globalism-versus-globalization/

MadMax2 | May 8, 2017 6:32:18 PM | 57
@40 peter
I'll hazard a guess that you're not Greek then. Point re: a unified Europe via a tight Franco-German bond is well taken, but at what cost...? When do Eurocrats and ECBankers come up for re-election...? Hmm, we'll just have to settle for watching another puppet show I guess.

I wouldnt talk of the far right on series of losses in NL or FR either...the right is on an absolute roll, trending in only one direction. Seems the French jihadist economy is somewhat of a problem, they're importing more than they're exporting these days...but shhh...we're not allowed to talk about it.

France took the same old bullet to dodge a bullet, and it will be this way until what remains of the twisted left is reformed into something backable.

EdMOA | May 8, 2017 7:06:10 PM | 58
@Brooklyn Bridge 27, 29
Your method doesn't work on Google.
Go to https://unshorten.it/ and paste the short URL into the box there.
Tap on 'Unshorten it' at the end of the box.
Scroll down to the blue 'goto' button at the bottom of the page.
Right click on it and copy the link therein, which is the expanded URL.
Just Sayin' | May 8, 2017 7:23:50 PM | 59
In general URL shorteners stand for everything this website and its readers oppose (central government control, tracking, spyware).

=================

Anyone worried about that sort of stuff shouldn't even visit MOA , which uses Cloudflare

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13340281

Normal_gaussian 121 days ago

They receive a large amount of internet traffic and have the potential ability to fingerprint users and subvert privacy protections. AFAIK they don't do anything malicious, but I don't know they don't.

likklemore | May 8, 2017 7:38:39 PM | 61
@ Laguerre 18

So was that picture photoshopped, b? I couldn't be bothered looking up the source. At any rate, I think you're going to be proved wrong rapidly. Macron's a bright guy, and ran a very good campaign. That is, he kept quiet, like May did. But he is really pushy, and evidently competent. I don't know whether that means good or bad. But lapdog he certainly isn't.

"He is really pushy, and evidently competent."

Guess you missed reading some of his background. Worked as a Rothschild banker. Had no idea what is EBITDA? Oh my. Read the link and understand the Whys behind the photo image b posted. Macron was groomed created out of thin air

[Yet] it wasn't just a Rothschild sponsor who took the young Macron under his wing

What Mr Macron lacked in technical knowledge and jargon at first, he made up for with contacts in government, says Sophie Javary, head of BNP Paribas' corporate finance in Europe, who was asked by Mr Henrot to coach Mr Macron in the first year.

This is straight up bizarre. It appears Macron was so important to banking interests the had to form a consortium of firms to all pitch in to help him out. Yet it gets stranger still.

On the Atos deal, Mr Macron "had a fairly junior role at the time - he would be asked to redo the financial models on Excel, the basics," recalled an adviser. But a few days after the deal was announced, Mr Macron was made a partner. A few months later, he stunned colleagues and rivals by winning a role in Nestlé's purchase of Pfizer's infant food operations.

As someone who spent ten years on Wall Street, I can tell you with certainty that you don't go from updating excel models at a junior level to partner overnight. Someone extraordinarily powerful was pulling all sorts of strings for this guy. There seems to be little doubt about this.

Further hints that Macron is a total manufactured elitist creation can be seen with the following.

At the bank, Mr Macron mastered the art of networking and navigated around the numerous conflicts of interest that arise in close-knit Parisian business circles, making good use of his connections as an Inspecteur des Finances - an elite corps of the very highest-ranking graduates from ENA.

In 2010, he advised, for free, the staff of Le Monde when the newspaper was put up for sale. Journalists at the daily started doubting his loyalty when they happened upon him in conversation with Mr Minc, who was representing a bidding consortium that the staff opposed. They did not know that it was Mr Minc, a fellow Inspecteur des Finances, who had helped the young Mr Macron secure his interview at Rothschild.

A media executive who was part of the same consortium recalled: "It wasn't clear who Emmanuel worked for. He was around, trading intelligence, friends with everyone. It was smart, because he got to know everybody in the media world."

Indeed, who does he work for? I'm sure the French people would like to know.[..]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
sure he ran a very good campaign. It was so arranged for him – all that $$$$loot and more.

likklemore | May 8, 2017 7:42:00 PM | 62
me @ 61

EBITDA = Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, Amortization.

Grieved | May 8, 2017 9:20:54 PM | 63
@33 karlof1

I just read Escobar's piece on the election. He makes some good points about today's post-Orwellian meanings of left and right - vastly different from earlier times. I'm pretty sure he would agree with the word "installed" - in fact he alludes to much of the process. I love his writing for its sheer élan, but I have to quote the concluding paragraph:

What French voters have – sort of – endorsed is the unity of neoliberal economy and cultural liberalism. Call it, like Michea, "integrated liberalism." Or, with all the Orwellian overtones, "post-democratic capitalism."A true revolt of the elites. And "peasants" buy it willingly. Let them eat overpriced croissants. Once again, France is leading the West.

That link again: Emmanuel Clinton and the revolt of the elites Let them eat overpriced croissants. Nailed it.

ben | May 8, 2017 9:32:27 PM | 64
France just "elected" Western Europe's version of HRC. The Banksters are dancing in the streets, and France will STILL be the U$A's bitch.
smuks | May 8, 2017 9:45:32 PM | 65
@karlof1 56

Thanks, though I'm not much enlightened I'm afraid. Where would you place e.g. the Neocons? Nationalists to the bone, with global aspirations. 'Internationalism' is a very progressive concept, and mostly associated with the UN, e.g. some form of global democracy...would you say the same for 'globalism'?

Julian | May 8, 2017 9:57:18 PM | 66
Re: Posted by: smuks | May 8, 2017 3:21:04 PM | 43

You say this, but you must be happy because the Zionists have been defeated in France yes?

hopehely | May 8, 2017 11:16:08 PM | 68
Posted by: smuks | May 8, 2017 9:45:32 PM | 65

I think that globalism has a negative connotations mostly because of jobs outsourcing overseas. All those telemarketing and customer service call centers moved to India or Philippines, textile and manufacturing jobs to China and Bangladesh etc - OTOH we do not mind having cheap Chinese stuff to buy in dollar stores, but it is somewhat irritating when a guy from Mumbai is calling you to switch to another local phone or cable provider.

sigil | May 8, 2017 11:38:51 PM | 69
Re 63
It's a good article, but I can't see any implication that he believes the voters preferred Le Pen. Terms like 'manufactured' and 'installed' when referring to candidates have their role in drawing attention to elite machinations, but they shouldn't overshadow the banal fact that the voters really aren't ready to hand power to Le Pen. Most voters don't spend their days picking apart the tangled threads of Rothschild/NATO/AIPAC/CIA conspiracies, after all. Most voters still think that the euroliberal project can work, or at any rate, they think the right-wing populists have little to offer beyond thinly-disguised racism. Considering Trump and the Brexiteers, what other conclusion should they draw?
ben | May 8, 2017 11:59:46 PM | 70
From Black Agenda Report on French elections:

https://blackagendareport.com/africa_no_stake_french_election

Excerpt: "From de Gaulle in 1958 to Hollande in 2017, and for all members of the French establishment, the operational principle of the French towards Africa has been: "invade, intimidate, manipulate, install, antagonize, ingratiate, indemnify, expropriate." Nothing in this election will change that – only Africans can."

Hoarsewhisperer | May 9, 2017 3:11:25 AM | 72
Re 63
It's a good article, but I can't see any implication that he believes the voters preferred Le Pen.
...
Posted by: sigil | May 8, 2017 11:38:51 PM | 69

Me either, and he wasn't. He was attempting to hilight the components of the bamboozlement which the United Swamp inflicted on French voters. Imo, the Swamp's winning hand was pinning the (fearsome) Far Right label to Le Pen's forehead.

It's ludicrous when seen in the light of her policy platform but it seems to have worked. The following is the nuts & bolts condensed from an article by James Petras to which I posted a link on the last April Open Thread. There's nothing right-wing in it...

1. Remove France from NATO's integrated command.
2. End NATO's commitment to US directed global wars.
3. Reject the oligarch-dominated European Union and its austerity programs, which have enriched bankers and multi-national corporations.
4. Convoke a national referendum over the EU - to decide French submission.
5. End sanctions against Russia.
6. Increase trade with Rusia.
7. End France's intervention in Syria and establish ties with Iran and Palestine.
8. Adopt Keynesian demand-driven industrial revitalization as opposed to Emmanuel Macron's ultra-neoliberal supply-side agenda.
9. Raise taxes on banks and financial transactions
10. Penalise capital flight in order to continue funding France's retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men.
11. Keep the 35 hour work-week.
12. Provid tax-free overtime pay.
13. Direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.
14. Increase public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled.
15 Protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.
16. Support abortion rights and gay rights.
17. Oppose the death penalty.
18. Cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers.
19. Fight against sexism.
20. Fight for equal pay for women.

What makes it interesting is that it seems that the deluge of MSM hokum successfully discouraged the ppl who voted for Micron from examining and/or evaluating it.

Mina | May 9, 2017 3:40:09 AM | 73
Somehow Macron is the smallest detail of what is going on. The old two major parties have imploded and the survivors are trying to fight for life by joining the new big centrist Macron-EU lobby movement. Everyday is about a new betrayal, a new U-turn on what has been signed or promessed by this or that party-member (Valls is the funniest to follow). The French politicians are and have been a mafia, Corsican type, ever since the 30s (or maybe before already?). Macron won't have much support in the coming parliament. Episode 2 is 18th June, results of the 2nd round of parliamentary election.

If a clarification happens as to who the people should oppose, anti-EU parties will have to unite and take the fight to Brussels (which as always, includes sorting out the extreme-right xenophobes and anti-women rights), as Varoufakis already understood.

Mina | May 9, 2017 3:57:16 AM | 74
People here really don't understand how Le Pen functions. The way the MSM is dealing with her (differs from how it was played with the father, this was Mitterrand's business) is that she is everywhere, in a positive light, on a daily basis, and suddenly when an election happens, after she has been put up as credible etc they turn against her fascism at the last minute.

The reason she is used first is to make her bigger against the other candidates. It worked this time against Mélenchon, who had initially better chances than her to win, and who might even have won against Macron (25 % abstention + 10 % blank votes is still a big reserve for anyone). But the Mélenchon was hailed "same as Le Pen", "friend of Putin and Castro", "supporting Syrian regime" etc.

As to the 'programme' of Le Pen. She changed her tone when Philippot, a former help of Chevènement (socialist anti-EU, has quit the party but still very close to Hollande and Royal !) started to write her speeches. Through time, she simply borrowed stuff from the leftist unions (CGT), from Mélenchon, so far thay everyone notice the "social left" overtones of her platform.

But when asked precisely, there is nothing behind it but catching new voters. The basis of her voters, those of her father, are just very normal rightist liberal, with an open racist flavour, and the new mottoes are just to catch more people. Asked about all the 'borrowings' made by the FN to the extreme-left Mélenchon said that reading a FN tract nowadays looked like it was a CGT one, but that this did not cover that the fact they were just stealing it without any intention behind it.

The FN is ruling is a number of municipalities, they have 2 MP in the French parliament and 22 in the EUropean parliament. Please let me know of any 'social left' measure they would have suggested or agreed for?

Under Mitterrand, the Socialists used the FN as the perfect tool to reduce the weight of the right party. After him, the MSM understood it was the perfect tool to kill the marxists. ALL the media have kept saying "Mélenchon = Le Pen" in the latest months, especially after Mélenchon had a surge in the voting intentions. The guy is not perfect and would probably not do a good president, but his charism and pedagogical capacity made him get back some of the working class voters that had stopped voting for the Communists to vote for Le Pen (after the Communists were involved too often in compromising deals with the very corrupt Socialist Party) and he also managed to get some youth interested in politics again with his web platform and local organisations.

Heros | May 9, 2017 4:00:50 AM | 75
@11 Greg Bacon

"No way a banker's pet 'wins' 66% of the vote. That total must mean the bankers have some severe Greece-style austerity planned for France."

Actually the Rothschild banker won with 66.06% of the vote:

http://www.france24.com/en/20170507-frances-macron-beats-le-pen-win-presidency-toughest-tasks-come

The illuminists are informing their serfs and their enemies that they are in complete control and that this populist revolt stops now. It is in your face like Kushner's 666 fifth avenue building. The velvet glove is being removed from the steel fist.

Anon1 | May 9, 2017 4:05:16 AM | 76
Sigil -
He was not elected by the people but through the electoral system. So the people didnt really took the opposite route of the media.
Krollchem | May 9, 2017 4:54:37 AM | 77
@ Heros 75

Actually none of the above won 37% of the voters and Macron came in at 24% which is slightly above Le Pen at 21%. The rest voted against Le Pen by voting for Macron.

Macron wins – the 24% who voted for him rejoice, the rest sigh http://thesaker.is/macron-wins-the-24-who-voted-for-him-rejoice-the-rest-sigh/

This is one hell of a way to run an election and a country. The political divisions are terminal as in the US. The difference, is that the French allow their leaders to run things until they get few up and than throw a tantrum. In this case the cobblestones will fly and the transportation system will shut down.

Even the National police (CRS) assassins will not be able to hold the line. There must be a better way to elect leaders who will add to the wealth of nations rather than the "Masters of the Universe".

smuks | May 9, 2017 7:18:36 AM | 78
@hopehely 68

It's fascinating. Everybody has his or her very personal idea of what 'globalism' means - yours is the third answer I get on this forum, and the three are completely different!
What you refer to is 'globalization', which is a natural/ logical process in capitalist economy.

I thus get the impression that 'globalism' doesn't mean anything at all - which means it's a very bad idea to use it in any debate. Or, you have to define very precisely how you use it before doing so.

@Hoarse 72

Maybe you should learn a bit more about European politics rather than believe in fairytales.
It's strange how some people are disappointed by empty talk over and over, yet all it takes is some politician declaring herself 'anti-establishment' and they'll believe every word she says. That way, of course they're f*ckd time and again... Sad! ;-)
(Look at Ukraine for a perfect example - they believed the nationalists' lies just like you do.)

@Julian 66: Yeah, sure. And even better, the spiders from Mars didn't win either. lol

Curtis | May 9, 2017 8:03:47 AM | 79
Smuks

Globalism does have different meanings ... and uses. It can mean globalism by culture as in travel, communications, foods, celebrations, etc. It can also mean government level actions pushed by TPTBs like trade deals, border arrangements, regional combinations (EU, NAFTA), economic/currency deals, supranational organizations (WTO, GATT, EU). The fun is when you complain about the latter, you are smeared as being a xenophobe and against the former. Voluntary organization from below is one thing, forced from above is a different matter.

Hoarsewhisperer | May 9, 2017 9:32:39 AM | 80
...
@Hoarse 72

Maybe you should learn a bit more about European politics rather than believe in fairytales.
It's strange how some people are disappointed by empty talk over and over, yet all it takes is some politician declaring herself 'anti-establishment' and they'll believe every word she says. That way, of course they're f*ckd time and again... Sad! ;-)

(Look at Ukraine for a perfect example - they believed the nationalists' lies just like you do.) ...

@smuks | May 9, 2017 7:18:36 AM | 78

Can't argue with your first sentence, but you should have quit while you were ahead. Conflating the violent Putch in Ukraine with the stance of a France-for-the-French Nationalist is inane, to put it mildly. And as an Aussie, I can assure you that our Neolib, Turnbull, Totalitarian Capitalist, pro-middleman-itis, industry-destroying Govt could teach the French Swamp a thing or two about 'honeyed lies' and shameless betrayal by politicians - (whilst feathering their own ne$t$).

Mina | May 9, 2017 10:43:13 AM | 81
It is even worse than b imagines. Hollande was yesterday evening in Berlin for a "farewell dinner with Merkel"
http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2017/05/09/apres-la-victoire-de-macron-le-diner-d-adieu-offert-par-angela-a-francois_5124678_3214.html

and next week, Macron once inaugurated will do his first trip to Berlin to have dinner with Mutti.

Noir22 | May 9, 2017 11:04:44 AM | 82
The selection, crowning of Macron represents the ultimate effort within the 5th Republic to elect a 'prez' who promises, can, will be, effective. In what direction is not specified .mystery

Sarkozy was elected as a 'Républicain' (UMP then), an outsider nonetheless, a foreignor almost, a hyperactive, charismatic, posturing dude who agitated ppl from the right, provided a flattering mirror for many, and displayed an aura of determined, willful, 'renewal' while being 'conservative.' His wife Cecilia played a big part - another story.

Sark subsequently alienated swatches of the F who were becoming more impoverished, he almost destroyed the judiciary/ police/ repressive etc. organs in F (as he despised them personally) except prisons, that didn't go down well. Sure the 'Left' - aka local plutocrats belonging to the Le Zuper Klub des Zocialistes trying to get a bigger slice of the economic pie.. facing their now better entrenched competitors, went into valiant, sputtering, oppo.

Sark was the destruction of Lybia. Hollande was elected as a return to a 'normal' presidency, a-hmm reasonable, understanding, benevolent, a tad leftist stance. Hollande instored by decree the El Khomri law, as an ex., measures that Sark did not dare attempt. Hollande was militarily all over, not reported - see war in Mali for ex.

Macron embodies the 'not-left-not-right', the death to the creaky 'establishment' parties; a pragmatic 'renewal', a young brilliant guy, very French, very heart-felt, etc. Leading to a sort of 'technocratic, unity government' hmmm.

http://www.e-ir.info/2008/06/14/french-foreign-policy-under-sarkozy/

Roman T. | May 9, 2017 12:13:44 PM | 83
The photoshopped image is funny. Good one. Hummvee, a.k.a. appeal to the reptilian brain. Does anyone know? I heard that Merkel has a PhD in physics (PhD in alemania is like a masters degree in amerika). So the imagery is maybe not so far from truth.
smuks | May 9, 2017 1:28:24 PM | 84
@Curtis 79

What you describe is usually called 'globalization', which of course has cultural, economic, political etc. facets. Politics is always 'forced from above' to some degree, whether on a local, national or global level.

@Hoarse 80

While there was no coup in France, the nationalist ideologies are the same: Pretending to further the 'people's interests' to garner support, but in reality doing the oligarchs' bidding.

I most certainly don't support neoliberals like Turnbull, Macron or whoever, but with the nationalists you'd get 'the same but more so', plus heightened conflicts between various groups in society, a.k.a. divide and rule. Look at history, and don't be fooled (again).

Mina | May 9, 2017 1:59:25 PM | 85
The truth is.. people needed a change from Hollande. Isn't he a cuty? http://s2.lemde.fr/image2x/2017/05/09/534x0/5125000_6_e8b1_2017-05-09-c2acb99-9353-eu22j5-nm62prpb9_c3ce4e3f7e357bbe7514a05d0e522c5b.jpg
Krollchem | May 9, 2017 3:15:41 PM | 86
More on the creation of Macron and the puppeteers behind him. It is a tangled web: http://www.voltairenet.org/article196289.html
telescope | May 9, 2017 3:38:04 PM | 87
Germans will be disappointed by Macron's election. The force that is driving two countries apart are far bigger than thousands of macrons.
Here are two fascinating very recent headlines:

"French trade deficit widens to record in January"
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-trade-deficit-widens-to-record-in-january-2017-03-08

"Germany Posts Record Current-Account Surplus in March"
http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/05/09/germany-posts-record-current-account-surplus-in-march.html

Juxtapose one against the other - and it's pretty clear that German strength is a mirror reflection of French weakness. Because both countries share the same currency, the only way for France to recover is for Germany to become sick. Therein lie the seeds of conflict. Far from invigorated partnership, one should expect gradual, yet unrelenting unraveling of Franco-German relations. Frustrated Macron will prove Germany's worst nightmare. It simply can't be any other way.

jfl | May 9, 2017 4:29:20 PM | 88
It looks as though the south koreans will be much happier with their new president than the french will be with theirs. In france the next dates of note are 11 and 18 june, aren't they? all this talk of germany ... de gaulle's speech was on the 18th of june, wasn't it? is micron really petain in drag?
karlof1 | May 9, 2017 6:57:13 PM | 89
jfl

Here's another excellent Monthly Review essay, this time by Henry A. Giroux: Trump's America: Rethinking 1984 and Brave New World , https://monthlyreview.org/2017/05/01/trumps-america/

Most barflys will benefit from reading this.

[May 01, 2017] Hidden History: The Wall Street Coup Attempt of 1933

Notable quotes:
"... Prescott Bush and the Smedley Butler " Business Plot " Bush's Grandfather Planned Fascist Coup In America Nazis, he has praised Hitler, he talked last night in ... ..."
jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com
I wonder why this is never mentioned in history classes in the US.

And I wonder why the US media has not frankly discussed what happened. Is it because it would embarrass powerful figures still on the scene today?

I wonder why there is no frank discussion of the Wall Street interests who helped to finance the fascists in Europe, including the National Socialists in Germany, even during the 1940's?

When the going gets tough, the moneyed interests seem to invariably reach for fascism to maintain the status quo.

We keep too many things hidden 'for the sake of the system.' This obsession with secrecy is all too often the cover to hide misdeeds, incompetency, abuses of the system, and outright crimes.

If some things cannot bear the light of day, the chances are pretty good that they can remain a festering sore and a moral hazard for the future.

Here is a BBC documentary about what had happened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o1KwaLa8zTQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o1KwaLa8zTQ

Business Plot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  1. VIDEO]

    General Smedley Butler & the Plot of 1933 · Corporate ...

    Click to view

    1:17:14

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq3TumSVpfA
    • By Abel Danger ·
    • 3.9K views ·
    • Added Sep 27, 2013

    Mirrored from TheRapeOfJustice (exceptional channel for large library of relevant historical broadcasts and documentaries) http://www.youtube.com/user ...

  2. [PDF]

    The BBC's "Exposé" of Prescott Bush and Wall Street's ...

    valleyofsilicon.com/00_Google_resume/SmedlyButler-Coup5.pdf

    Prescott Bush and the Smedley Butler "Business Plot" Bush's Grandfather Planned Fascist Coup In America Nazis, he has praised Hitler, he talked last night in ...

[Apr 15, 2017] Populist regimes in Latin America are either out or under siege

Notable quotes:
"... Once again the opportunity to transform society down there has come apart ..."
Apr 15, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
paine -> anne... , April 14, 2017 at 09:55 AM
Related

Populist regimes in Latin America are either out or under siege

Once again the opportunity to transform society down there has come apart

Policy choices must be examined
post mo

anne -> anne... , April 14, 2017 at 10:23 AM
Where in 1980 real per capita Gross Domestic product in China was a mere 6.4% that of Brazil, in 2016 per capita GDP in China was larger than that of Brazil or 101.4% that of Brazil.

[Dec 18, 2016] Tancredo Would Republican Establishment Use Impeachment to Block Trump Agenda

Notable quotes:
"... Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you. ..."
"... Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House. ..."
"... There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. ..."
"... On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging. ..."
"... Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so. ..."
"... on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement. ..."
"... Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
Several months ago I was asked what advice I would give to the Trump campaign.

I said, only half joking, that he had better pick a vice presidential candidate the establishment hates more than it hates him. That would be his only insurance against impeachment. Those drums have already begun to beat, be it ever so subtly.

Is anyone surprised how quickly the establishment that Donald Trump campaigned against has announced opposition to much of his policy agenda? No. But few understand that the passionate opposition includes a willingness to impeach and remove President Trump if he does not come to heel on his America First goals.

Ferocious opposition to Trump from the left was expected and thus surprises nobody. From the comical demands for vote recounts to street protests by roving bands of leftist hate-mongers and condescending satire on late-night television, hysterical leftist opposition to Trump is now part of the cultural landscape.

But those are amusing sideshows to the main event, the Republican establishment's intransigent opposition to key pillars of the Republican president's agenda.

Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you.

If you think talk of impeachment is insane when the man has not even been sworn into office yet, you have not been paying attention. Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House.

What are the key policy differences that motivate congressional opposition to the Trump agenda? There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging.

Yet, while the President-elect 's transition teams at the EPA, State Department and Education Department are busy mapping ambitious changes in direction, Congress's Republican leadership is busy doubling down on dissonance and disloyalty.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so.

And then, on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement.

It is no exaggeration to say that Trump's success or failure in overcoming the opposition to immigration enforcement will determine the success or failure of his presidency. If he cannot deliver on his most prominent and most popular campaign promise, nothing else will matter very much.

So, the bad news for President Trump is this: If he keeps faith with his campaign promises on immigration, for example to limit Muslim immigration from terrorism afflicted regions, which is within his legitimate constitutional powers as President, he will risk impeachment. However, his congressional critics will face one enormous hurdle in bringing impeachment charges related to immigration enforcement: about 90 percent of what Trump plans to do is within current law and would require no new legislation in Congress. Obama disregarded immigration laws he did not like, so all Trump has to do is enforce those laws.

Now, if you think talk of impeachment is ridiculous because Republicans control Congress, you are underestimating the depth of Establishment Republican support for open borders.

The first effort in the 21st century at a general amnesty for all 20 million illegal aliens came in January 2005 from newly re-elected President George Bush. The "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill passed by the US Senate in 2013 did not have the support of the majority of Republican senators, and now they are faced with a Republican president pledged to the exact opposite agenda, immigration enforcement. And yet, do not doubt the establishment will sacrifice a Republican president to protect the globalist, open borders status quo.

The leader and spokesman for that establishment open borders agenda is not some obscure backbencher, it is the Republican Speaker of the House. Because the Speaker controls the rules and the legislative calendar, if he chooses to play hardball against Trump on immigration he can block any of Trump's other policy initiatives until Trump abandons his immigration enforcement goals.

What all this points to is a bloody civil war within the Republican Party fought on the battlefield of congressional committee votes.

Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party.

[Dec 18, 2016] America is a banana republic! FBI chief agrees with CIA on Russias alleged election help for Trump

Notable quotes:
"... "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it. ..."
"... Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election ..."
www.sott.net
Reprinted from RT

FBI and National Intelligence chiefs both agree with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections partly in an effort to help Donald Trump win the White House, US media report.

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper are both convinced that Russia was behind cyberattacks that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, The Washington Post and reported Friday, citing a message sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees.

"Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it.

"The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI," it continued.

Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election to help Trump win, calling info "fuzzy and ambiguous"

... ... ...

[Nov 19, 2016] The Origins of the Republican Media Machine

The Republican brass degenerated into a bunch to neocon racketeers who want to impoverish regular Americans. That's why Trump won.
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, in an October 1991 letter to Patrick J. Buchanan, Regnery claimed that Americans had been hornswoggled into supporting the war by "the President and those who form public opinion." ..."
"... Everywhere he looked, the media-newspapers, network radio and television news, magazines, and journals-all seemed locked in a [neo]liberal consensus. . . . If conservatives were going to claw their way back in from the outside, they were going to need to first find a way to impair and offset liberals in the media. ..."
Oct 16, 2016 | nationalinterest.org
From: The Origins of the Republican Civil War

Nicole Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 368 pp., $34.95.

IN DECEMBER 1953, Henry Regnery convened a meeting in Room 2233 in New York City's Lincoln Building. Regnery, a former Democrat and head of Regnery Publishing, had moved sharply to the Right after he became disillusioned with the New Deal. His guests included William F. Buckley Jr.; Frank Hanighen, a cofounder of Human Events ; Raymond Moley, a former FDR adviser who wrote a book called After Seven Years that denounced the New Deal; and John Chamberlain, a lapsed liberal and an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal . Regnery had not called these men together merely to discuss current events. He wanted to reshape them. "The side we represent controls most of the wealth in this country," he said. "The ideas and traditions we believe in are those which most Americans instinctively believe in also." So why was liberalism in the ascendant? Regnery explained that media bias was the problem. Anywhere you looked, the Left controlled the commanding heights-television, newspapers and universities. It was imperative, Regnery said, to establish a "counterintelligence unit" that could fight back.

In her superb Messengers of the Right , Nicole Hemmer examines the origins of conservative media. Hemmer, who is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia, has performed extensive archival research to illuminate the furthest recesses of the Right, complementing earlier works like Geoffrey Kabaservice's Rule and Ruin . She provides much new information and penetrating observations about figures such as Clarence Manion, William Rusher and Henry Regnery. Above all, she shows that there has been a remarkable consistency to the grievances and positions, which were often one and the same, of the conservative movement over the decades.

According to Hemmer, the modern Right first took shape in the form of the America First Committee. A number of leading conservatives saw little difference between Adolf Hitler and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Regnery recollected that "both Hitler and Roosevelt-each in his own way -- were masters of the art of manipulating the masses."

Indeed, in an October 1991 letter to Patrick J. Buchanan, Regnery claimed that Americans had been hornswoggled into supporting the war by "the President and those who form public opinion." Others such as the gifted orator Clarence Manion, a former FDR acolyte, joined the America First Committee in 1941. After the war, Manion became the dean of the Notre Dame Law School and wrote a book called The Key to Peace , which argued that limited government was the key to American greatness, not a quest to "take off for the Mountains of the Moon in search of ways and means to pacify and unify mankind."

While serving in the Eisenhower administration, he also became a proponent of the Bricker Amendment, which would have subjected treaties signed by the president to ratification by the states. Eisenhower demanded his resignation. An embittered Manion, Hemmer writes, concluded that columnists such as James Reston, Marquis Childs, and Joseph and Stewart Alsop had effectively operated as a united front to ruin him.

Everywhere he looked, the media-newspapers, network radio and television news, magazines, and journals-all seemed locked in a [neo]liberal consensus. . . . If conservatives were going to claw their way back in from the outside, they were going to need to first find a way to impair and offset liberals in the media.

In 1954, the Manion Forum of Opinion , which aired on several dozen radio stations, was born. It soon became a popular venue that allowed Manion, who was cochair of a political party called For America, to inveigh against the depredations of liberalism and preach the conservative gospel.

... ... ...

With the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the conservative media seemed to have arrived. But as Hemmer notes, a New Right generation of activists that included figures such Terry Dolan of the National Conservative Political Action Committee and Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority had arrived that did not have much in common with the older conservative generation. She points out that leaders of the New Right backed Republican congressman Phil Crane, then former Texas governor John Connally, only supporting Reagan during the general election. Buckley and his cohort, Hemmer writes, saw the New Right paladins as "Johnnies-come-lately to the movement, demanding rigorous fealty to social issues that had only recently become the drivers of politics." Hemmer might have noted that, although Reagan has since become a conservative icon, George F. Will and Norman Podhoretz, among others, lamented what they viewed as Reagan's concessive posture towards Mikhail Gorbachev.

Jacob Heilbrunn is editor of the National Interest.

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