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Neoliberalism war on labor

“Robots are coming for your job” may be more scare talk than reality,
but instilling that belief helps weaken labor bargaining power.

Outsourcing is the way to decimate union power

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links Over 50 and unemployed Identity politics as diversion of attention from social inequality Atomization and oppression of workforce Neoliberal rationality of false Gods of neoliberalism
The neoliberal myth of human capital Chronic Unemployment Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism Scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers  
Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism Tucker Carlson's rejection of neoliberalism and neoconservatism   Glass-Steagall repeal Destruction of the New Deal Think Tanks as Enabler of Neoliberal Coup d'état
Attack of Think Tanks Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Predator state Lewis Powell Memo The Essential Rules for Dominating Population
New American Militarism Neoconservatism Neo-fashism National Security State Propaganda  Inverted Totalitarism  Totalitarian Decisionism
Neoliberalism and Christianity Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The Iron Law of Oligarchy Anglican Church on danger of neoliberalism Animal Farm Quite coup Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism
Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust Crowd manipulation Agenda-setting theory Manufacturing Consent Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Media-Military-Industrial Complex War is Racket
Small government smoke screen "Starving the beast" bait and switcht Bill Clinton, the man who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street and helped FIRE sector to convert the country into casino Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Two Party System American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism The Grand Chessboard
Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living American Exceptionalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Machiavellism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Atomization of workforce and establishment of national security state after 9/11 so far prevented large organized collective actions (recent riots were not organized, and with the current technical capabilities of the three letter agencies any organization is difficult or impossible). I think that conversion of the state into national security state was the key factor that saved a couple of the most notorious neoliberals from being hanged on the electrical posts in 2008 although I remember slogan "Jump suckers" on the corner of Wall Street.

But neoliberal attacks on organized labor started much earlier with Ronald Reagan and then continued under all subsequent presidents with bill Clinton doing the bulk of this dirty job. his calculation in creating "New labor" (read neoliberal stooges of Wall Street masked as Democratic Party) was right and for a couple of elections voters allow Democrats to betray them after the elections. But eventually that changes. Vichy left, represented by "Clintonized" Democratic Party got a crushing defeat in 2016 Presidential elections. Does not mean that Trump is better or less neoliberal, but it does suggest that working class does not trust Democratic Party any longer. 

2008 was the time of the crush of neoliberal ideology, much like Prague string signified the crush of Communist ideology. but while there was some level of harassment, individual beatings of banksters in 2008 were non-existent. And in zombie stage (with discredited ideology) neoliberalism managed to continue and even counterattack in some countries. Brazil and Argentina fall into neoliberal hands just recently.   Neoliberals actually managed to learn Trotskyites methods of subversion of government and playing on population disconnect in case of economic difficulties as well if not better as Trotskyites themselves.

Neoliberalism is based on unconditional domination of labor by capital ("socialism for the rich, feudalism for labor"). American scholar and cultural critic Henry Giroux alleges that neoliberalism holds that market forces should organize every facet of society, including economic and social life. In labor relations neoliberalism promotes a social darwinist ethic which elevates self-interest over social needs. A new class of workers lost "good" jobs in the  USA since arly 90th. They all, especially, "over 50" caterory, facing acute socio-economic insecurity, There is no a special tern for such people. They are called  'precariat'. 

The imposition of neoliberalism in the United States arose from a the political counterrevolution led by financial oligarchy in the 1970s. It was their reaction on the falling rate of profitability in manufacturing industry as well as the emergence of strong competitors both in Europe and Asia, competitors which no longer were hampered by WWII decimation of industrial potential and in some way even manage to benefit from reconstruction getting newer better factories then in the USA.

Neoliberalism doesn't shrink government, but instead convert it into a national security state, which provides little governmental oversight over large business and multinationals, but toughly control the lower classes, the smacks -- including mass incarceration those at the bottom. With the inmates along with illegal immigrants slowly becoming an important  source of low-wage labor for some US corporations. Essentially a new incarnation of slave labor. 

Neoliberal policies led to the situation in the US economy in which 30% of workers earn low wages (less than two-thirds of the median wage for full-time workers), and 35% of the labor force is underemployed; only 40% of the working-age population in the U.S. is adequately employed. The Center for Economic Policy Research's (CEPR) Dean Baker (2006) argued that the driving force behind rising inequality in the US has been a series of government step to impose on the society deliberate, neoliberal policy choices including anti-inflationary bias, anti-unionism, and profiteering in the health industry

It can not be hidden. Redistribution of wealth up is all the neoliberalism is about. Simplifying, neoliberalism can be defined as socialism for the rich and feudalism for poor.

So forms of brutal exploitation when people work 12 hours a day (as many "contractors" do now, as for them labor laws do not apply) or when even bathroom breaks are regulated now are more common.  Amazon, Uber and several other companies have shown that neoliberal model can be as brutal as plantation slavery.

In a way, we returned to the brutality of the beginning of XX century on a new level characterized by much higher level of instability of employment. This is not disputed  even for neoliberal stooges in economic departments of major universities. As interesting question arise: "What form the backlash might take, if any ?"

I think it is an observable fact that the US neoliberal elite is now is discredited and entered political crisis in which it can't govern "as usual": defeat of Hillary Clinton and ability to Trump to win nomination from Republican Party and then managed to win them despite opposition from intelligence agencies and attempt to discredit him by trying him to Russia national elections. Tump victory signifies the start of discreditation of the neoliberal political elite. The sma is true for the success of Sunders in Democratic Party primaries and the fact that DNC needed to resort to dirty tricks to derail his candidacy signifies the same. Even taking into account his betrayal of his voters.

If this does not suggest the crisis of neoliberal governance, I do not know what is. Neoliberal Democrats ("Clintonized" Democratic Party) by and large lost workers and lower middle class votes. It became "Republicans light", the second War Party in Washington and now rely of "CIA-democrats" (candidates with background in intelligences serves or military) to win the seats in Congress much like Republicans in the past.  There was even (quickly suppressed) revolt against Pelosi in the House of Representatives, as it is clear that Pelosi represents the "Party of Davos" in the Congress, not American people.  

The crisis of neoliberalism created conditions for increased social protest which at stage mostly result in passive "f*ck you" to neoliberal elite.  In 2016 that led to election of Trump, but it was Sanders who captures social protest voters only to be derailed by machinations of DNC and Clinton clan.  At the same time, the efficiency with which Occupy Wall Street movement was neutered means that the national security state is still pretty effective in suppressing of dissent, so open violence probably will be suppressed brutally and efficiently.  "Color revolution" methods of social protest are not effective in  the USA sitution, as the key factor that allow "color revolutionaries" to challenge existing government. It is easy and not so risky to do when you understand that  the USA and its three letter agencies, embassies and NGOs stand behind and might allow you to emigrate, if you cause fail.  No so other significant power such as China or Russia can stand behind the protesters against neoliberalism in the USA. Neoliberals controls all braches of power. And internationally they are way too strong to allow Russia or China to interfere in the US election the way the USA interfered into Russian presidential election.   


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[Apr 14, 2021] Outcomes of #Metoo - BLM - Antifa - Cancel Culture by Walrus

Apr 14, 2021 | turcopolier.com

I wrote a post on the above-mentioned subject but I deleted it. I will not discuss the demonisation of White heterosexual Males in all its forms for fear of cancellation. I will instead leave you with my conclusions – which are consistent with The Walrus Law; Governments achieve the reverse of their stated objectives.

Conclusion 1. No white male corporate manager is going to risk their career by engaging in any of the following actions:

– Mentoring female subordinates.
– Taking one on one meetings with any female.
– Participating in any but the most innocuous social functions with female subordinates and certainly not where alcohol is present.
– In fact avoiding any one on one situation with a female.
– It also stands to reason that women will not be employed or promoted if sufficient excuse can be found. There wasn't a glass ceiling. There is now.

Why? Because a female subordinate can now permanently end a males career in a microsecond by the act of alleging any impropriety thanks to #metoo. No proof is required.

Conclusion 2. The British/ European/ American class system is coming back with a vengeance. Young men and their parents will confine their search for partners and social interactions, to females of the same social strata, values, financial resources and background as their own. This is not a guarantee of marital harmony, It does however decrease the likelihood of a male being accused of relationship and career destroying improprieties twenty years after the alleged event. You can forget marrying 'for love' outside your social class.

Conclusion 3. Male behaviour in the upper and middle classes is indeed going to change. We will witness the return of the Chaperone for males. We will witness the end of many mixed sex parties and entertainments because of the ever present threat of denouncement. Expect single sex private schools to flourish. Co -education is an invitation for a young males career to be finished before it even starts – all it takes these days is an allegation made perhaps years and years after the alleged "event". The first a young male will know about it is when he is arrested and handcuffed.

Conclusion 4. The nature of families is going to change. We are going to see the return of stereotyped roles. Case in point? As a Grandfather I have decided I will have nothing more to do with the informal upbringing of grand daughters – there is too much risk that if they go off the rails in puberty or get involved in drugs, mental illness, etc. they will conveniently blame sexual abuse by a relative as the cause. That means I will never allow myself to be alone with them or be responsible for them ever and the rest of the family know it. Period. The personal risk is just too great

I have examples to back up each conclusion but I will not share them with you.

I have not addressed the American race and firearm based issues but I would expect that changes to firearm laws and characterisation of various behaviors as "extremist' will also have the same opposite effect from what Government intended.

6,454 total views, 128 views today

Posted in Walrus | 39 Comments
  1. Bill H. says: April 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Indeed. I suspect that if I were of dating age (and single) today I would go on to die celibate. A minority of women have made engaging with the entire gender entirely too dangerous. Reply

  2. Avatar Oilman2 says: April 10, 2021 at 11:14 am

    I brought this up on another blog I read.

    The law of unintended consequences

    We are an adaptive bunch; witness how successful Prohibition was, or the alleged 'War on Drugs'. Look at how Trumps border wall was rapidly shot to hell with a few acetylene torches and some hinges – making really nice gates for the coyotes to run people through.

    It's interesting that there is no actual, physical way that the number of guns out here 'in the wild' is even known, much less can be seized. Guns can be seized by the ATF/FBI/etc. making a huge raid on a single family and killing them all as examples – but once that card is played, the ante will be upped and things will not be as easy for them. The gun grabbers are literally about 200 years too late, as the gun cow is long out of the barn.

    The Covidian Cult is waning finally – in spite of the push by the globalist CDC, WHO, Big Pharma, MSM and many others. It's hard to push fear of dying when there is nothing to base it on any longer.

    So now we are back to Ukraine, where Biden is both well known and well connected. Russia will swat anything approaching her borders, and may swat hard. I would not be surprised to see our puny couple of ships in their sea crippled electronically, again. But Russia doesn't want what NATO and Biden are serving for dinner.

    It's the same old SSDD of world ending disasters to keep everyone afraid of everyone else while the big wheels in government are sending contracts out to their family members and their various foundations using money leveraged against our grandkids.

    57 genders; women cannot be approached without opening yourself to legal actions and yet they are all in the military and government positions in far larger percentages than people realize. Our local school principal was recently accused of "inappropriate conduct" with a female teacher who is so obese she requires an electric scooter to move her bulk about. Having actually seen this female, it was obvious to me, as a man with normal appetites, that approaching her would have resulted in disgorgement of the previous meal and not engorgement of anything.

    It's human nature that when you forbid something unilaterally, it becomes more attractive to many, just for the sake of flouting convention. Perhaps that is what the morbidly obese teacher is striving for?

    We are entering the Land of Unintended Consequences, and there is no way but through.

[Apr 02, 2021] Who's Hiring And Who's Firing

Apr 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Not only was the March payrolls report a blockbuster, golidlocks number, much higher than expected but not too high to spark immediate reflation/hike fears thanks to subdued wage inflation, job growth in March was also widespread unlike February, where 75% of all new jobs were waiters and bartenders . By contrast, in March the largest gains occurring across most industries with the bulk taking place in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction.

Here is a full breakdown:

It's hardly a surprise that with the US reopening, the one industry seeing the biggest hiring remains leisure and hospitality where jobs rose by 280,000, as pandemic-related restrictions eased in many parts of the country, with nearly two-thirds of the increase in "food services and drinking places", i.e., waiters and bartenders, which added +176,000 jobs in March.

And another notable change was in the total number of government workers, which surged by 136K in March, reversing the 90K drop in February, as a result of 49.6K state education workers and 76K local government education workers added thanks to the reopening of schools around the country.

Here is a visual breakdown of all the March job changes:

Finally, courtesy of Bloomberg , below are the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month.


7 play_arrow


Jack Offelday 1 hour ago

The "V" recovery. Where Food Service jobs are the new "Golden Age".

Creamaster 47 minutes ago (Edited)

My wife is a nurse in an outpatient office under a large hospital umbrella here. Normally these outpatient spots go within days to a week.

Currently they have 2 openings they have been trying to fill for a few months now. Combine that with the fact my wife got 3 years worth of raises in a single shot, recently and out of the blue for no reason, tells me the hospitla is really screwed trying to fill nursing spots.

After this pandemic crap, it has likely scared alot of people away from entering healthcare, and if a nurse was on the fence about retirement , likely decided to call it quits after all this BS.

newworldorder 45 minutes ago

There are an estimated, 30 million illegals currently in the USA waiting legalization.

WHEN legalization happens, they will bring into the USA (by historical averages,) another 60 to 90 million of their family members in 10 years.

And all of them US Minority workers, by current US Diversity Laws, - same as all Black Americans.

[Mar 28, 2021] Medicaid Enrollment Grew -30% Year-Over-Year

Mar 28, 2021 | angrybearblog.com

run75441 | March 27, 2021 7:55 pm

HEALTHCARE

Medicaid expansion enrollment grew nearly 30% year-over-year in 19-state sample, Andrew Sprung, XPOSTFACTOID, March 17, 2021

An update on Medicaid expansion enrollment growth since the pandemic struck. Below is a sampling of 19 expansion states through January of this year, and 14 states through February.

Maintaining the assumption, explained here , "relatively slow growth in California would push the national total down by about 2.5 percentage points." These tallies still point to year-over-year enrollment growth of approximately 30% from February 2020 to February 2021.

If that's right, then Medicaid enrollment among those rendered eligible by ACA expansion criteria (adults with income up to 138% FPL) may exceed 19 million nationally and may be pushing 20 million. Assuming the sampling of a bit more than a third of total expansion enrollment represents all expansion states more or less and again accounting for slower growth in California.

[Mar 28, 2021] One year later, unemployment insurance claims remain sky-high

Notable quotes:
"... Last week was the 53rd straight week total initial claims were greater than the second-worst week of the Great Recession. (If that comparison is restricted to regular state claims -- because we didn't have PUA in the Great Recession -- initial claims are still greater than the 14th worst week of the Great Recession.) ..."
Mar 28, 2021 | www.epi.org

One year ago this week, when the first sky-high unemployment insurance (UI) claims data of the pandemic were released, I said " I have been a labor economist for a very long time and have never seen anything like this ." But in the weeks that followed, things got worse before they got better -- and we are not out of the woods yet. Last week -- the week ending March 20, 2021 -- another 926,000 people applied for UI. This included 684,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 242,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the federal program for workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance, like gig workers.

Last week was the 53rd straight week total initial claims were greater than the second-worst week of the Great Recession. (If that comparison is restricted to regular state claims -- because we didn't have PUA in the Great Recession -- initial claims are still greater than the 14th worst week of the Great Recession.)

Figure A shows continuing claims in all programs over time (the latest data for this are for March 6). Continuing claims are currently nearly 17 million above where they were a year ago, just before the virus hit.

FIGURE A Continuing unemployment claims in all programs, March 23, 2019–March 6, 2021 *Use caution interpreting trends over time because of reporting issues (see below)*
Date Regular state UI PEUC PUA Other programs (mostly EB and STC)
2019-03-23 1,905,627 31,510
2019-03-30 1,858,954 31,446
2019-04-06 1,727,261 30,454
2019-04-13 1,700,689 30,404
2019-04-20 1,645,387 28,281
2019-04-27 1,630,382 29,795
2019-05-04 1,536,652 27,937
2019-05-11 1,540,486 28,727
2019-05-18 1,506,501 27,949
2019-05-25 1,519,345 26,263
2019-06-01 1,535,572 26,905
2019-06-08 1,520,520 25,694
2019-06-15 1,556,252 26,057
2019-06-22 1,586,714 25,409
2019-06-29 1,608,769 23,926
2019-07-06 1,700,329 25,630
2019-07-13 1,694,876 27,169
2019-07-20 1,676,883 30,390
2019-07-27 1,662,427 28,319
2019-08-03 1,676,979 27,403
2019-08-10 1,616,985 27,330
2019-08-17 1,613,394 26,234
2019-08-24 1,564,203 27,253
2019-08-31 1,473,997 25,003
2019-09-07 1,462,776 25,909
2019-09-14 1,397,267 26,699
2019-09-21 1,380,668 26,641
2019-09-28 1,390,061 25,460
2019-10-05 1,366,978 26,977
2019-10-12 1,384,208 27,501
2019-10-19 1,416,816 28,088
2019-10-26 1,420,918 28,576
2019-11-02 1,447,411 29,080
2019-11-09 1,457,789 30,024
2019-11-16 1,541,860 31,593
2019-11-23 1,505,742 29,499
2019-11-30 1,752,141 30,315
2019-12-07 1,725,237 32,895
2019-12-14 1,796,247 31,893
2019-12-21 1,773,949 29,888
2019-12-28 2,143,802 32,517
2020-01-04 2,245,684 32,520
2020-01-11 2,137,910 33,882
2020-01-18 2,075,857 32,625
2020-01-25 2,148,764 35,828
2020-02-01 2,084,204 33,884
2020-02-08 2,095,001 35,605
2020-02-15 2,057,774 34,683
2020-02-22 2,101,301 35,440
2020-02-29 2,054,129 33,053
2020-03-07 1,973,560 32,803
2020-03-14 2,071,070 34,149
2020-03-21 3,410,969 36,758
2020-03-28 8,158,043 0 52,494 48,963
2020-04-04 12,444,309 3,802 69,537 64,201
2020-04-11 16,249,334 31,426 216,481 89,915
2020-04-18 17,756,054 63,720 1,172,238 116,162
2020-04-25 21,723,230 91,724 3,629,986 158,031
2020-05-02 20,823,294 173,760 6,361,532 175,289
2020-05-09 22,725,217 252,257 8,120,137 216,576
2020-05-16 18,791,926 252,952 11,281,930 226,164
2020-05-23 19,022,578 546,065 10,010,509 247,595
2020-05-30 18,548,442 1,121,306 9,597,884 259,499
2020-06-06 18,330,293 885,802 11,359,389 325,282
2020-06-13 17,552,371 783,999 13,093,382 336,537
2020-06-20 17,316,689 867,675 14,203,555 392,042
2020-06-27 16,410,059 956,849 12,308,450 373,841
2020-07-04 17,188,908 964,744 13,549,797 495,296
2020-07-11 16,221,070 1,016,882 13,326,206 513,141
2020-07-18 16,691,210 1,122,677 13,259,954 518,584
2020-07-25 15,700,971 1,193,198 10,984,864 609,328
2020-08-01 15,112,240 1,262,021 11,504,089 433,416
2020-08-08 14,098,536 1,376,738 11,221,790 549,603
2020-08-15 13,792,016 1,381,317 13,841,939 469,028
2020-08-22 13,067,660 1,434,638 15,164,498 523,430
2020-08-29 13,283,721 1,547,611 14,786,785 490,514
2020-09-05 12,373,201 1,630,711 11,808,368 529,220
2020-09-12 12,363,489 1,832,754 12,153,925 510,610
2020-09-19 11,561,158 1,989,499 10,686,922 589,652
2020-09-26 10,172,332 2,824,685 10,978,217 579,582
2020-10-03 8,952,580 3,334,878 10,450,384 668,691
2020-10-10 8,038,175 3,711,089 10,622,725 615,066
2020-10-17 7,436,321 3,983,613 9,332,610 778,746
2020-10-24 6,837,941 4,143,389 9,433,127 746,403
2020-10-31 6,452,002 4,376,847 8,681,647 806,430
2020-11-07 6,037,690 4,509,284 9,147,753 757,496
2020-11-14 5,890,220 4,569,016 8,869,502 834,740
2020-11-21 5,213,781 4,532,876 8,555,763 741,078
2020-11-28 5,766,130 4,801,408 9,244,556 834,685
2020-12-05 5,457,941 4,793,230 9,271,112 841,463
2020-12-12 5,393,839 4,810,334 8,453,940 937,972
2020-12-19 5,205,841 4,491,413 8,383,387 1,070,810
2020-12-26 5,347,440 4,166,261 7,442,888 1,450,438
2021-01-02 5,727,359 3,026,952 5,707,397 1,526,887
2021-01-09 5,446,993 3,863,008 7,334,682 1,638,247
2021-01-16 5,188,211 3,604,894 7,218,801 1,826,573
2021-01-23 5,156,985 4,779,341 7,943,448 1,785,954
2021-01-30 5,003,178 4,062,189 7,685,857 1,590,360
2021-02-06 4,934,269 5,067,523 7,520,114 1,523,394
2021-02-13 4,794,195 4,468,389 7,329,172 1,437,170
2021-02-20 4,808,623 5,456,080 8,387,696 1,465,769
2021-02-27 4,457,888 4,816,523 7,616,593 1,237,929
2021-03-06 4,458,888 5,551,215 7,735,491 1,207,201

Other programs (mostly EB and STC) PUA PEUC Regular state UI Jul 2019 Jan 2020 Jul 2020 Jan 2021 0 10,000,000 20,000,000 30,000,000 40,000,000 Chart Data Caution: Trends over time in PUA claims may be distorted because when an individual is owed retroactive payments, some states report all retroactive PUA claims during the week the individual received their payment.

Click here for notes.

Source: U.S. Employment and Training Administration, Initial Claims [ICSA], retrieved from Department of Labor (DOL), https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/docs/persons.xls and https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf , March 25, 2021. Share Tweet Embed Download image

The good news in all of this is Congress's passage of the sweeping $1.9 trillion relief and recovery package. It is both providing crucial support to millions of working families and setting the stage for a robust recovery. One big concern, however, is that the bill's UI provisions are set to expire the first week in September, when, even in the best–case scenario, they will still be needed. By then, Congress needs to have put in place long-run UI reforms that include automatic triggers based on economic conditions.

[Mar 27, 2021] I have been surprised by the explosion in the numbers of people locally living in cars and vans lately

Notable quotes:
"... freedom is material: a human being must be free from material privation, here and now, in life (and not in the mythical afterlife of reincarnation) in order to be really free. In other words, freedom from need is true freedom. ..."
Mar 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 24 2021 17:07 utc | 3

Health is primary indicator of people's happy life: Xi

Marx's concept of freedom is completely different from the liberal or pre-liberal concepts of freedom. For Marx, freedom is material: a human being must be free from material privation, here and now, in life (and not in the mythical afterlife of reincarnation) in order to be really free. In other words, freedom from need is true freedom.

Human beings can only be materially free. Don't fall for the moral victories of liberalism, the snake oil salesmen's promise of a spot in Paradise from the Abrahamics or the nihilist bullshittery from the Buddhists et al.


William Gruff , Mar 24 2021 17:47 utc | 6

vk @3

Excellent point by vk here. Despite sometimes pretending to myself that I am a Buddhist (I am really good at meditating!), real freedom is being free from need. Abstract and metaphysical "freedoms" are luxuries of the wealthy that few under the thumb of the empire can afford.

I have been surprised by the explosion in the numbers of people locally living in cars and vans lately. I guess from my Buddhist perspective they have been freed from the attachment to a residence. Who could have guessed that capitalism would be such a good teacher of the path to enlightenment?

karlof1 , Mar 24 2021 21:30 utc | 50

John @44--

It's freedom from Want. The Four Freedoms as articulated by FDR in 1941 were:

1.Freedom of speech
2.Freedom of worship
3.Freedom from want
4.Freedom from fear

Earlier this year on the 80th anniversary of FDR's speech, I wrote a series of comments on the topic. They remain the four main tasks needing to be accomplished for the Common Man to be genuinely free. At the time, they were to be the main goals of WW2; goals that were further articulated by Henry Wallace in 1942 & '43 in his speeches and writings. Currently, several nations have accomplished those four goals; none of them is a NATO/Neoliberal nation however.

[Mar 22, 2021] The face of the Asian immigrant to the USA

Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 21 2021 19:30 utc | 37

The face of the Asian immigrant to the USA:

Ying Ma: "All Chinese Americans should denounce China for infecting the world with the China virus."

Contrary to the previous immigrants - who were economic immigrants (not religious immigrants, as the official history of the USA states) - the post-war immigrants to the USA are all political immigrants. They're the remnants of South Vietnam, Kuomintang, South Korea, Mensheviks, Refuseniks, Zionism, Batista's Cuba, Latin American comprador elites. I remember that once Hugo Chávez or the then president of Ecuador claimed that in Florida alone were more than 2,000 wanted people (most of them compradores and generals) enjoying political refugee status.

The only exception to the rule are the Mexican immigrants and some Central American immigrants (El Salvador, Guatemala in some cases), which had their economies dollarized or devastated by the advent of NAFTA, and were by chance close to the USA's territory.

[Mar 12, 2021] Global Transformation- The Precariat Overcoming Populism by Guy Standing

Notable quotes:
"... By Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Subjects of recent books include basic income, rentier capitalism and the growing precariat. He is a council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Originally published at Open Democracy . ..."
"... the precariat was evolving as a class-in-the-making. ..."
"... we should interpret what Karl Polanyi was to call the Great Transformation as beginning with a period of dis-embeddedness, when the old social formation with its specific systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution was being dismantled mainly by the interests of financial capital, guided by an ideology of laissez-faire liberalism ..."
"... "For the proletariat, the norm was and is to be in a stable job. There is nothing labourists love more than to have as many people as possible in jobs. They romanticise being in a job, promising Full Employment, and quietly resorting to workfare. They conveniently forget that being in a job is being in a position of subordination and fail to recall Marx's depiction of labour in jobs as 'active alienation'." ..."
"... Though for most of the 1848-1945 period, its not really true. The proletariat of Capital and Condition of the Working Class in England had an existence as precarious as today's precariat. Indeed, this was one of the things driving the growing militance. There was little in the way of a consumer goods industry selling to proletarians because until quite late in the 19th century the entire wages of all but the skilled and fortunate went for subsistence. ..."
"... A side note: my understanding is that classical Marxism's worry about the lumpenproletariat, aka a "reactionary mass," was based on the observation that their services could be bought to form King and Country mobs to attack working class organizations, along with serving as pogrom foot soldiers. Part of that function was superseded by the formation of regular armies of domestic occupation, aka the police. ..."
"... By complicating basic class analysis with an elaborate class structure, with the revolution to be led by a minority of young, educated 'progressive' precariats, he may be setting the stage for fragmentation of the Left, and further massive losses for workers. ..."
"... being drawn into platform capitalism, as 'concierge' or cloud taskers, controlled and manipulated by apps and other labour brokers. Above all, they are being gradually habituated to precariatisation, told to put up with a norm of unstable task-driven bits-and-pieces existence. ..."
"... That passage called to mind the increasing use by universities of adjunct faculty positions, which are the very definition of precarious. In recent days the was a report of the dismissal of tenured faculty by a college in New York State, whose name escapes me. ..."
"... I could see the 'Go Fund Me' phenomena for Medical (or just groceries, etc) costs in this thought:(my bold) ..."
"... Those characteristics are bad enough. But it is the distinctive relations to the state that most define the precariat. The precariat are denizens rather than citizens, meaning that they are losing or not gaining the rights and entitlements of citizens . Above all, they are reduced to being supplicants, dependent on the discretionary benevolence of landlords, employers, parents, charities and strangers, showing them pity. ..."
"... The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite ..."
"... Open Democracy is a Soros organ. Which immediately brings to mind the aspect of our precarious position that the author does not address or even allude to: the nexus of financial, media and paramilitary power that is the "Deep State" or the Spook Apparat if you will. ..."
"... Much of what Standing refers to as the Precariat is basically just the Proletariat yet again. ..."
"... Now that I know it's an Open Democracy piece, I suppose that it's meant to soften the blow of prolonged, steep unemployment and to desensitize people to the pain of "doing more with less" (as the tippytopp rakes it in) by calling it an Arts & Leisure Society. ..."
"... I must agree with DJG, Reality Czar's and others similar take. The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite, and when you are a (most likely well paid) participant in the current political system, by working closely with the leadership of one of the bigger old political parties while holding positions that come with stable income if not fungible prestige ["Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)]. ..."
"... "a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped" ..."
"... "The other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing." ..."
"... "When the credit ran out, the game stopped" ..."
"... Revolt of the Public ..."
"... Can't Get You Outta My Head ..."
"... Charter for the Precariat ..."
"... "The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers." ..."
"... "All for ourselves, and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." ..."
"... "The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" ..."
"... The labourers had before 25 The landlords 25 And the capitalists 50 .. 100 ..."
"... Framing Corbyn's election defeat as a failure to understand the needs of the "Labour" electorate, and hence supporting Standing's premise, whilst totally ignoring the fact that Corbyn was hammered by the powers of the right, BBC, MSM, Israel etc etc is totally disingenuous and seems to me to be a case of very sour grapes. ..."
Mar 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lambert here: A dense treatment of a subject of burning concern.

By Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Subjects of recent books include basic income, rentier capitalism and the growing precariat. He is a council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Originally published at Open Democracy .

Transformations tend to go through several preliminary phases. In Britain, the 'dis-embedded' phase in the development of industrial capitalism involved the Speenhamland system launched in 1795, the mass enclosures that created a proto-proletariat, and disruption by a technological revolution. All this prompted a period of primitive rebels – those who know what they are against, but not agreed on what they are for – in which protests were mainly against the breakdown of the previous social compact.

Those included the days-of-rage phase that culminated in the mass protest in Peterloo in 1819, brutally suppressed by the state, and the Luddites, misrepresented ever since as being workers intent on smashing machines to halt 'progress', when in fact what they were doing was protesting at the destruction of a way of living and working being done without a quid pro quo.

In my A Precariat Charter written in 2014, sketching a precariat manifesto for today's Global Transformation, I concluded by citing the stanza from Shelley's The Masque of Anarchy , written in reaction to the Peterloo massacre. Jeremy Corbyn was later to cite it in his campaign speech of 2017, which James Schneider recalls in his contribution to this debate . Shelley expressed it in class, not populist terms, as I did, in my case signifying that the precariat was evolving as a class-in-the-making. Corbyn seems to have expressed it in support of a left populism.

Until his drowning at an early age, Shelley along with Byron and other artists of that era, including Mozart, were railing against the bourgeoisie, which is why Mozart and Byron were both drawn to the Don Juan/Don Giovanni theme. The Romantics failed to arrest the march of industrial capitalism but their art put out a marker for the future counter movement.

The UK and 'Decent Labour'

The trouble was that at the time the emerging mass 'working class', the proletariat, had not yet taken shape as a class-for-itself, and was not ready to do so until late in the century. Three other primitive rebel events should be read into the narrative – the pink revolutions of 1848, often called the Springtime of the Peoples, wrongly seen by some at the time as presaging the proletarian revolution, the brave prolonged activities of the Chartists in the 1830s and 1840s, which advanced the cause of political democracy despite defeat, and the upheavals in the 1890s that the left have tended to underplay.

The latter marked an enormous historical error by 'the left'. It is why the term 'dangerous class' was in the sub-title of my The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class , published in early 2011. Although some Marxists have used it to describe the 'lumpen proletariat', the term 'dangerous class' was used in the nineteenth century to describe those who were in neither the bourgeoisie nor the emerging proletariat. They were the craftsmen, artisans, street traders and artists, from whose ranks came the leading figures articulating a version of socialism as rejection of labourism – freedom from labour, freedom to work and to leisure (reviving ideas of ancient Greece, embracing schole ).

In the 1890s, against William Morris and colleagues, including some anarchists, who championed that emancipatory vision, were the labourists, state socialists, Fabians and others who wanted to generalise decent labour. By the turn of the twentieth century, the latter had triumphed and marched forward in labour unions, social democratic parties and Leninism, even though most of the first batch of Labour MPs in 1906, when asked by an enterprising journalist what book had most influenced them, mentioned John Ruskin's Unto This Last , not anything by Karl Marx.

So, we should interpret what Karl Polanyi was to call the Great Transformation as beginning with a period of dis-embeddedness, when the old social formation with its specific systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution was being dismantled mainly by the interests of financial capital, guided by an ideology of laissez-faire liberalism .

This produced growing structural insecurities, inequalities, stress, precarity, technological disruption, debt and ecological destruction, culminating in an era of war, pandemics – most relevantly, the Spanish flu of 1918-1920, which may have killed 50 million people – and the Great Depression.

... ... ...

...Donald Trump epitomised the rentiers; he used anti-establishment rhetoric but jealously preserved and advanced the interests of the rent-seeking plutocracy. He never followed a neo-liberal economic agenda. He stood for mercantilism in foreign economic strategy and for rentiers eager to plunder the commons domestically, while pursuing a pluto-populist fiscal policy. It is better to see his era in Gramscian terms, a malignancy of a class-based system in deepening if not terminal crisis.

... ... ...


Henry Moon Pie , March 9, 2021 at 7:57 am

"For the proletariat, the norm was and is to be in a stable job. There is nothing labourists love more than to have as many people as possible in jobs. They romanticise being in a job, promising Full Employment, and quietly resorting to workfare. They conveniently forget that being in a job is being in a position of subordination and fail to recall Marx's depiction of labour in jobs as 'active alienation'."

Words to consider here at NC.

Anonapet , March 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Yep, large scale wage-slavery is not something to be embraced but something to be abolished.

Indeed, per the Bible, wage-slavery was the EXCEPTION, not the rule, for Hebrews in ancient Israel with roughly equal ownership of the means of production being the rule. Yet this was NOT communism since the means of production were individually owned, and not by the State, which didn't even exist for 400 years or so.

So accepting wage-slavery as some kind of norm is to concede way too much, Biblically speaking.

Henry Moon Pie , March 9, 2021 at 2:01 pm

An "eved" in the Hebrew bible is not really the same thing as a wage slave. The first time slavery is discussed in the Book of the Covenant following the Ten Commandments in Exodus, the only limitation is 7 years. There was no requirement to pay the slave anything. This is modified in the "Second Law" in Deuteronomy where the master is required to pay the slave some compensation upon the end of the 7 years, but not before. And these "eveds" were only the Hebrew slaves. Foreigners (goys) were slaves for life, but since neither Israel nor Judah won many wars, there were probably never that many foreign slaves anyway.

Anonapet , March 9, 2021 at 2:45 pm

I'm using "wage-slavery" in the more general sense that if one does not own assets (impossible for a Hebrew in Israel/Judah for more than 49 years (cf. Leviticus 25)) then one was de facto either a beggar or forced to live as a scavenger in the wilderness OR forced to work for wages.

As for foreign "permanent slaves", this is in conflict with no Hebrew OR CONVERT(?) could be held for more than 6 years as a well-treated indentured servant to be released, well provisioned, in the 7th year. So "permanent slavery" of foreigners was plausibly, imo, a conversion strategy (see Deuteronomy 23:3-7).

Not that the Old Testament is authoritative for Christians since the New Testament but can't we do at least as well wrt economic justice?

Darthbobber , March 9, 2021 at 6:05 pm

Though for most of the 1848-1945 period, its not really true. The proletariat of Capital and Condition of the Working Class in England had an existence as precarious as today's precariat. Indeed, this was one of the things driving the growing militance. There was little in the way of a consumer goods industry selling to proletarians because until quite late in the 19th century the entire wages of all but the skilled and fortunate went for subsistence.

And until after the changes beginning with the New Deal and consolidated in the war and postwar years, the end of a job meant the end of income, period.

hemeantwell , March 9, 2021 at 9:04 am

Lots going on here, as the author recognizes.

One take would be that he underplays the interrelationship of class identity, class aspirations, and class struggle. This comes out most clearly when he makes it seem as though mid-20th c social democracy lost a vision of the future through negligence, rather than running up against resistance from capital that was gradually getting its ideological act together after the fascist period. Strong class identity was contingent on a number of things, but one was maintaining labor militancy, MacAlevey's "strike muscle," and that became increasingly difficult, and not just because labor movement leadership went for business unionism.

The same applies to the present. The author seems hesitant to define what a Labor Vision should be now, and oscillates between UBI and other ideas without directly discussing the intensity of resistance from capital that different programs would set off. He might at least roll in Kalecki, as we so often do here, and with good reason. UBI will bring a very different response compared to demands that threaten to supplant capital's control of investment decisions, the sphere of "management prerogative." And so the author seems to be advocating fresh thinking without directly addressing what stands in its way, both the real threat of intensified class conflict and how that has been "internalized" in various ways over the last 50 or so years.

A side note: my understanding is that classical Marxism's worry about the lumpenproletariat, aka a "reactionary mass," was based on the observation that their services could be bought to form King and Country mobs to attack working class organizations, along with serving as pogrom foot soldiers. Part of that function was superseded by the formation of regular armies of domestic occupation, aka the police.

John Steinbach , March 9, 2021 at 9:33 am

There is much substance here but it seems that Standing ignores the elephant in the room -- the role that the age of limits (resource, environmental/climate change, economic/financial ) plays in the emergence of an era of rentier capitalism.

He says: "Reinventing the future, in class terms, has always been the primary task of 'the left'." But he is quick to condemn "phoney dualism of crude populism of 'the people' versus 'the elite'".

By complicating basic class analysis with an elaborate class structure, with the revolution to be led by a minority of young, educated 'progressive' precariats, he may be setting the stage for fragmentation of the Left, and further massive losses for workers.

tegnost , March 9, 2021 at 9:43 am

being drawn into platform capitalism, as 'concierge' or cloud taskers, controlled and manipulated by apps and other labour brokers. Above all, they are being gradually habituated to precariatisation, told to put up with a norm of unstable task-driven bits-and-pieces existence.

This is a great framing of the hoped for (by the technologists)labor contract

John , March 9, 2021 at 9:59 am

That passage called to mind the increasing use by universities of adjunct faculty positions, which are the very definition of precarious. In recent days the was a report of the dismissal of tenured faculty by a college in New York State, whose name escapes me.

Proposition 22(?) in California epitomizes precarity.

Rod , March 9, 2021 at 9:53 am

Quit a lot to think on here, and presented pretty clearly. De-stranding is a part of understanding (and understanding being part of good progress)

I could see the 'Go Fund Me' phenomena for Medical (or just groceries, etc) costs in this thought:(my bold)

Those characteristics are bad enough. But it is the distinctive relations to the state that most define the precariat. The precariat are denizens rather than citizens, meaning that they are losing or not gaining the rights and entitlements of citizens . Above all, they are reduced to being supplicants, dependent on the discretionary benevolence of landlords, employers, parents, charities and strangers, showing them pity.

DJG, Reality Czar , March 9, 2021 at 9:55 am

Much of this essay seems like a good diagnosis, although, after a certain point, I began to mistrust the foundations of the analysis. And there is this: "So when it came to framing a Precariat Charter, it seemed appropriate to take as a guiding principle the adage of Aristotle that only the insecure man is free. That means we must not be stuck in the old sense of security, even though it is a human need to enjoy basic security."

The author is fudging. Aristotle was writing about a stratified society in which there were many slaves (and, yes, Mediterranean slavery was different from the Anglo-American version). The ideal was the life of leisure (scholē), which was a kind of contemplation of how to act (but untroubled by having to work, which is a distraction). The "insecure" man was either Diogenes (who was unique) or a prosperous citizen with property.

We simply don't live in that kind of society. Yet the author keeps making the mistake of describing "labourists" and their supposedly antiquated ideas about unions and the organization of the workplace as all wet.

Current labor unrest in the U S of A indicates otherwise. Further, I happened to listened to some deeper analysis of the recent events at Smith College, and the NYTimes writer, Powell, pointed out how much unions shape attitudes (including eliminating racism), offer real protections, and teach the value of concerted action.

People like Standing, because of his position in society, can be blithe about being precarious. It is indeed a "philosophical" issue for them. Yet the current Draghi government in Italy has several members who want to remove labor protections and make more Italians precarious. Everyone will live the glory of being a U.S. style at-will employee. Hmmm. I wonder why this project still goes on among the powerful.

DJ Forestree , March 9, 2021 at 8:13 pm

I must agree with DJG, Reality Czar's take here.

The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite, and when you are a (most likely well paid) participant in the current political system, by working closely with the leadership of one of the largest old political parties, while holding positions that come with stable income if not fungible prestige ["Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)].

The author acknowledges that a simplistic, not multidimensional understanding of class is pseudo-Marxist; why not then go back to the original texts and review the writings of Marx, Engels, Gramsci et al in order to update the concept of class, perhaps broadening what being "working class" means today?

Why not trying to organize the workers, those who are precariat and those who aren't, around the goal of "reinventing the future in class terms", as he puts it?

How will the precariat advance its own sociopolitical goals now (as "a class-in-the-making") and later (as "a class-for-itself)"? Will it be capable of exerting any pressure and of promote real transformations without unions and without political parties?

The Trees , March 9, 2021 at 10:15 am

The default arrangement for human intercourse is some sort of feudalism. Regardless of best intended efforts to midwife a kinder gentler world, some sort of feudal hierarchic death-wish inheres in all social efforts. It seems woven into our humanity.

Hayek's Heelbiter , March 9, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Aboriginal hunter gatherers have managed to maintain a continuous non-feudal culture, even now, for approximately 50,000 years. Perhaps the precariat are heading that way?

False Solace , March 9, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Agreeing with Heelbiter, feudal hierarchies only emerge when there's a surplus that can be stolen, which tempts people with power (strongmen + sycophants) to keep it for themselves. Remove either the surplus or the agreement to steal, it's not at all universal.

Mansoor H. Khan , March 9, 2021 at 9:01 pm

strongmen + sycophants only?

Surplus also creates lasting valuable institutions which create huge social good (like Universities, Court systems, School systems, Regulatory oversight of the private sector, etc.).

Naked Capitalism commentators don't have a concept of hierarchical nature of talents which humans have. Meaning, there are super producer humans in any field of human endeavor: sports, music, arts, mathematics, sciences, film stars, singers, painters, etc.

Why would you not expect super producer humans in economic realm (business world)?

The talent spectrum is very wide and desire and ability to take risks for a possible "first mover advantage in business" that some humans go after.

Even luck (right place at the right time) requires the ability, desire and eye to recognize talents in other humans to create a high powered team which creates truly outsized results.

Talents of some humans is thousands of times the talents of more average humans.

Our job (democracy's job) is to get the most out of them. And I don't mean tax them a lot. I mean channel their energies in such a way through appropriate rules (laws) so they contribute outsized social good.

Mansoor

jsn , March 10, 2021 at 8:26 am

And yet in actual, existing polities for as long as records have been kept, there's a tendency for those with "thousand times the talents" to make off with all the surplus. Leading to, "The default arrangement for human intercourse is some sort of feudalism. Regardless of best intended efforts to midwife a kinder gentler world, some sort of feudal hierarchic death-wish inheres in all social efforts. It seems woven into our humanity."

It appears to be the structural force of "surplus" that engages our social heuristics into self defeating and brutal heirarchies. I'm with HH & FS that the track record of egalitarianism is a great deal longer than that of material heirarchy and hasn't anywhere threatened the ecosystems on which all life depends.

Not saying we can get out of our exploitative and self destructive rut, but that this condition is no more essential to our nature than egalitarianism.

tegnost , March 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

Your super producers "talent" is making money, not producing things or goods, and right behind all of your "there are super producer humans in any field of human endeavor: sports, music, arts, mathematics, sciences, film stars, singers, painters, etc." all are the face of a machine in the background with some unknowable tech tracking selling data collecting those are your actual producers but that isn't good pr, we're great at tracking people, we produce surveillance and sell people things they don't need and support disintegrating institutions in order to undermine your quote here
"Surplus also creates lasting valuable institutions which create huge social good (like Universities, Court systems, School systems, Regulatory oversight of the private sector, etc.)."

All of these things are being disintegrated for the benefit of your "super producer" BS as we speak. Maybe it's not the NC commentariat that has an understanding problem.

I think as far as the religious " concept of hierarchical nature of talents " I think the essential workers proved who they are over the pandemic, they're the ones who had to face risk, grocery workers, garbage collectors etc I doubt these people are very high up in your hierarchy.

fwe'theewell , March 10, 2021 at 11:44 am

We don't have a concept of it? Human capital theory has already been addressed here.

https://economicsfromthetopdown.com/2021/01/14/the-rise-of-human-capital-theory/

Mansoor H. Khan , March 10, 2021 at 1:39 pm

snippet from the linked article:

"If human capital theory someday becomes the fly on the power-theory-of-income elephant, it would signal not only a scientific revolution, but also a social one. I doubt I'll live to see it happen. And if I do, I have no idea what type of society would emerge from the other side."

"power-theory-of-income elephant" .You really believe this?

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , March 9, 2021 at 11:47 am

Open Democracy is a Soros organ. Which immediately brings to mind the aspect of our precarious position that the author does not address or even allude to: the nexus of financial, media and paramilitary power that is the "Deep State" or the Spook Apparat if you will.

Having a token whack at 'atavist' populism is just 'Basket of Deplorables' put another way. The author is deeply tied to the technocratic set and the slant is clear enough. The constant manipulation through fear-based stochastic 'war' efforts: War on Terror, War on COVID. Always some empty and obviously fake rallying point. UBI sounds like a sensible solution if we lived in the Jetsons future the Great Reset promises. But Klaus Schwab is no Bucky Fuller. Gates, Soros and Schwab are just investors. Investors with the power to manipulate the markets. Heads they win. Tails you lose.

To them, a guy like Trump is just the last echo of the Industrial age and the installation of a senile grifter the triumph of the technocracy, shielded by the CIA and MI5/6. These spy organizations were always private companies.

CIA was built by Wall Street and British Intelligence is an arm of the British monarchy and has never been accountable to the public. A realignment is definitely taking place. Behind the curtain. Challenging the old guard is the nexus of more openly private intelligence organizations like that of Erik Prince and computer oligarchs like Thiel and Mercer. This is exactly who put Trump over.

Susan the other , March 9, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Good summary of the evolution and status quo of liberalism. Liberalism being capitalism. And capitalism being profit. So there's a conundrum: The "strange death of populism" does not equate with some strange death of survival. Survival is always with us. There were atavists seeking out remote caves even during the agricultural revolution. Maybe even George Soros' ancient ancestors; the stone age bond vigilantes.

The underlying argument here by Standing seems to be for a Basic Income. Which is OK, but maybe ahead of its time. A jobs guarantee is a better option because there is so much work to be done that can be done best by humans it's just that none of them are profit making. That's the problem with all this political (aka economic) analysis. Because, for one thing, who is gonna clean the latrines? Yes, of course robots are. So then who is gonna arbitrage the robots? Who is monitoring the protection of the environment for fraud and graft? All of that will be necessary to ensure nobody is profiteering and polluting in a non-capitalist world. Labor was actually the best defense against rampant profiteering, because it was labor that was always exploited, so what will replace it? We should stick with a jobs guarantee for now. A better analysis at this point in time is not how do we live with the ruins of neoliberalism, but how do we live, equitably, without profit? It will take a while to figure that out. Clearly we'll live by fiat, but it will have to be controlled as well. I'd just say that if the Precariat is condescendingly guaranteed a "basic income" so should the rest of society be. That controls everyone. And protects the environment, and stays focused on all the things that are now imperative.

dummy , March 9, 2021 at 4:26 pm

Good investment and growth are definable as whatever investment and growth would remain if all artificial stimulants by the government and economists were removed. The ordinary liberal is usually several steps removed from real life. That is how he can be so foolish.

He is almost always either wealthy, or academic, or artistic, or political, or in some other way has escaped from the need to do productive work for a living.

flora , March 9, 2021 at 5:40 pm

It's just really weird seeing a 'left' site conflate 'populism' with 'rightism'. As in, "representing the economically hurting bottom of 50-90% of voters is bad (because the poor, the struggling working class, and the precarious middle class peoples are obviously morally suspect – or so saith the economic elites. / heh)." No. That's the elite's take on populism. It isn't the populists' history and political stance. It's almost like reading the elite's dictating what the bottom 50% economic polity must agree to. (As if the top 50% (or 1%) don't have an economic interest in guiding the bottom 50%'s away from their own economic interest. /heh )

Krystal Kyle & Friends | Thomas Frank

https://youtu.be/eLHZAGBnUhU?t=680

jsn , March 10, 2021 at 8:33 am

I didn't get that, maybe I'll re-read when I have a minute.

What I got was dissaggregating the struggling class into groups with common experience and history resulting in what the author called "reactionary" and I think you are calling 'rightism'.

The basic message I got was the left can no more restore that past than can the right and when it tries it ends up bolstering the right by accident.

Darthbobber , March 9, 2021 at 7:17 pm

Much of what Standing refers to as the Precariat is basically just the Proletariat yet again. But coming to the fore in a period resembling the Victorian era in terms of security more than it resembles the short-lived triumphal period of postwar welfare state, Keynesian, social democratic capitalism.

fwe'theewell , March 9, 2021 at 8:04 pm

I think he wants to expand the definitions of work and "productivity," maybe challenging the labor theory of value, etc. This piece reminded me of David Graeber in that respect.

Now that I know it's an Open Democracy piece, I suppose that it's meant to soften the blow of prolonged, steep unemployment and to desensitize people to the pain of "doing more with less" (as the tippytopp rakes it in) by calling it an Arts & Leisure Society. UBI is a lubricant for privatization, although I did notice and appreciate Standing's mention of the commons.

DJ Forestree , March 9, 2021 at 8:34 pm

I must agree with DJG, Reality Czar's and others similar take. The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite, and when you are a (most likely well paid) participant in the current political system, by working closely with the leadership of one of the bigger old political parties while holding positions that come with stable income if not fungible prestige ["Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)].

The author acknowledges that a simplistic, not multidimensional understanding of class is pseudo-Marxist; why not then go back to the original texts and review the writings of Marx, Engels, Gramsci et al in order to update the concept of class, perhaps broadening what being "working class" means today? Why not trying to organize the workers, those who are precariat and those who aren't, around the goal of "reinventing the future in class terms", as he puts it? Will the precariat succeed in advancing its sociopolitical goals as a class ("a class-in-the-making" or "a class-for-itself") outside of organized structures like unions and political parties (not necessarily the existing, often compromised ones)?

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:33 am

What has happened to inequality? Pretty much what you would expect really.

Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"

With the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics wealth concentrates at the top. A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt. Wealth concentrates until the system collapses.

What could they do? Keynes added some redistribution to stop all the wealth concentrating at the top, and developed nations formed a strong healthy middle class.

The neoliberals removed the redistribution. With the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics wealth concentrates at the top. A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt. Wealth concentrates until the system collapses.

"The other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing." Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48
Your wages aren't high enough, have a Payday loan.
You need a house, have a sub-prime mortgage.
You need a car, have a sub-prime auto loan.
You need a good education, have a student loan.
Still not getting by? Load up on credit cards.
"When the credit ran out, the game stopped" Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:34 am

Oh yes, I remember now, it was Keynesian capitalism that won the battle against Russian communism. The Americans could clearly demonstrate the average American was much better off than their Russian counterparts.

Today's opioid addicted specimens might have struggled.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:42 am

The arc of progress isn't supposed to look like a U-turn. You are supposed to keep moving forwards. After the Keynesian era we went back to what had preceded it.

After a few decades of Keynesian, demand side economics, the system became supply side constrained. Too much demand and not enough supply causes inflation. Neoclassical, supply side economics should be just the ticket to get things moving again. It does, but it's got the same problems it's always had.

kramshaw , March 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

I found this article massively interesting and relevant, especially at the same time that I'm trying to process Martin Gurri's Revolt of the Public and Adam Curtis' new documentary Can't Get You Outta My Head . My take is that all of them are professing a sort of political realism that is opposed to what they identify as magical thinking on the left, and that's how I take Standing's critique of left populism.

But more importantly, I want to share a few other related resources that I found as I was digging into this more. First, Standing has a few TED talks, and this one from 2016 helped me to understand this article better.

Also, Standing's Charter for the Precariat (linked differently in the article) is currently available on Bloomsbury open access, so you can actually download chapter pdfs of it for free with no login.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:13 pm

What is the problem with the class system?

Mankind first started to produce a surplus with early agriculture. It wasn't long before the elites learnt how to read the skies, the sun and the stars, to predict the coming seasons to the amazed masses and collect tribute.

They soon made the most of the opportunity and removed themselves from any hard work to concentrate on "spiritual matters", i.e. any hocus-pocus they could come up with to elevate them from the masses, e.g. rituals, fertility rights, offering to the gods . etc and to turn the initially small tributes, into extracting all the surplus created by the hard work of the rest.

The elites became the representatives of the gods and they were responsible for the bounty of the earth and the harvests. As long as all the surplus was handed over, all would be well.

The class structure emerges.

Their techniques have got more sophisticated over time, but this is the underlying idea. They have achieved an inversion, and got most of the rewards going to those that don't really do anything.

Everything had worked well for 5,000 years as no one knew what was really going on. The last thing they needed was "The Enlightenment" as people would work out what was really going on. They did work out what was going on and this had to be hidden again.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else. They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it. The Classical economist, Adam Smith:

"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."

There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died. They had to earn money to live. The classical economists could never imagine those at the bottom rising out of a bare subsistence existence as that was the way it had always been.

The classical economists identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income. Most of the people at the top lived off the parasitic "unearned" income and they now had a big problem. (Upper class – Do as little as they can get away with and get most of the rewards)

This problem was solved with neoclassical economics, which hides this distinction. It confuses making money and creating wealth so all rich people look good. If you know what real wealth creation is, you will realise many at the top don't create any wealth.

Can you believe Adam Smith said this?

"All for ourselves, and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind."

The classical economists, Adam Smith and Ricardo, are not what you might expect.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:21 pm

We got some stuff from Ricardo, like the law of comparative advantage. What's gone missing? Ricardo was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.

"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist

What does our man on free trade, Ricardo, mean?

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
Employees get less disposable income after the landlords rent has gone.
Employers have to cover the landlord's rents in wages reducing profit.
Ricardo is just talking about housing costs, employees all rented in those days.
Low housing costs work best for employers and employees.

In Ricardo's world there were three classes. He was in the capitalist class. The more he paid in labour costs (wages) the lower his profits would be. He was paying the cost of living for his workers through wages, and the higher that was, the higher labour costs would be. There was no benefits system in those days and those at the bottom needed to earn money to cover the cost of living otherwise they would die. They had to earn their money through wages. The more he paid in rents to the old landowning class, the less there would be for him to keep for himself.

From Ricardo:
The labourers had before 25
The landlords 25
And the capitalists 50
.. 100

He looked at how the pie got divided between the three groups.

There were three groups in the capitalist system in Ricardo's world (and there still are).

The unproductive group exists at the top of society, not the bottom. Later on we did bolt on a benefit system to help others that were struggling lower down the scale. Classical economics, it's not what you think.

William White (BIS, OECD) talks about how economics really changed over one hundred years ago as classical economics was replaced by neoclassical economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6iXBQ33pBo&t=2485s

He thinks we have been on the wrong path for one hundred years. Small state, unregulated capitalism was where it all started and it's rather different to today's expectations.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:37 pm

When we actually start talking about creating wealth, rather than making money, the rentiers are exposed for the parasites they are.

topcat , March 10, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Framing Corbyn's election defeat as a failure to understand the needs of the "Labour" electorate, and hence supporting Standing's premise, whilst totally ignoring the fact that Corbyn was hammered by the powers of the right, BBC, MSM, Israel etc etc is totally disingenuous and seems to me to be a case of very sour grapes.

The fact that the basic income was not implemented doesn't mean much given that there are many on all sides of the debate who do not agree with the idea. I think Standing is just pissed off because no one listened to him.

[Mar 12, 2021] Under neoliberalism what replaces a nation is often referred to as a "colony", where most of the inhabitants are no longer "citizens" but "natives" who can be exploited at will

Mar 12, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

SufferinSuccotash , March 11, 2021 at 7:57 am

What the proponents of the neo-liberal dispensation have not advertised, if indeed they even know, is what replaces the 'nation?'
What replaces a nation is often referred to as a "colony", where most of the inhabitants are no longer "citizens" but "natives" who can be exploited at will.

chuck roast , March 11, 2021 at 10:23 am

American unions pathetic, absolutely pathetic! We have been hearing this very same winging from them for 50 years. Then they, universally, go out and support the glad handing politicians who do a few rounds of golf with the their bosses and a few more jobs are lost. Mention to them that maybe they would have a bit more job security if owned their factories and work places, and watch the smoke start to rise from their collective heads. A hundred years ago you could have sat in a bar, discussed workers owning the means of production and the beers would have kept magically appearing in front of you. We are a long, long way from Flint.

The limited successes of the old trade unions in the US have been their undoing. If only because they always had, and continue to have, limited vision. They all think that they have scored major victories if they squeeze another dime out of the bosses. According to this union VP "We're at the mercy of whoever is supplying us." The guy is an idiot. He and his cohort are at the mercy of their bosses, and they will always be at the mercy of their bosses until they become their own bosses. Pathetic!

Starry Gordon , March 11, 2021 at 11:13 am

I thought Mr. Conway's connection of domestic manufacturing with war and imperialism, a.k.a. 'national security', was pretty obvious. 'War is the health of the state.' However, I suppose one might say that the American state now includes Japan. God, yes, we need more and more 'airplanes, munitions, satellites, civilian jetliners' and so on, and more reasons to keep armies in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and also so on, till the end of the world.

Phlip , March 12, 2021 at 5:06 am

Well yes, but the opposite also applies. If you have a self sufficient economy you don't have to get involved in wars on the other side of the planet because that's where "your" energy, raw materials, finance, food, key manufactured goods etc come from. The US did not have to get involved in either WW1 or WW2 for economic reasons, it was nearly self sufficient at that time. That is not the case today, hence the fore-ever wars in the middle east, and military bases scattered as confetti around the globe. Did America have to globalise its economy? No, but the wind fall profits (initially) that could be reaped from doing so could not be resisted by America's elites. The problem now is that America's economy has now been so gutted that it cannot function without globalisation, which will bankrupt it further. However look on the bright side, America's elites have never been so despised and hate in their history. And nobody expects them to change, because they have not changed for 50 years. People are now figuring out that they have to change things themselves. Expect fireworks.

Steven , March 11, 2021 at 11:51 am

Michael Hudson (of course!) has the first and last word on this. The general principle at work here is that U.S. industry and jobs must be off-shored so Wall Street and Washington politicians can create more debt – IOW keep Super (monetary) Imperialism going. The US is the world's leader in manufacturing DEBT not the wealth that really matters in today's world.

Michaelmas , March 11, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Yes. Regrettably, the article above is whistling past the graveyard, and I too thought of Hudson's analysis and shook my head as I read it.

If money is created as credit -- and it is -- and every notional dollar of credit has an obverse side of debt -- and it does -- then for the U.S. to be the Richest Country In The World™ and have an elite with so many multibillionaires, there must be debt on the the other side of all those notional dollars the elite have created for themselves.

Debt requires debtors.

Chris Herbert , March 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm

You might familiarize yourself with how the national government funds its spending. It creates new dollars every time it pays a bill. No debt required. So why do we have all this public debt if it was unnecessary to begin with? It lines the pockets of the One Percent who buy the safest bonds in the world to insure their immense fortunes. It's a subsidy. The rich have the best socialism in the world. Right here in the USA.

steven , March 11, 2021 at 4:24 pm

This issue has very little if any relationship to "how the national government funds its spending" or any of the other nominally 'conservative' debt bugbears. Those "safest bonds in the world" would not insure squat if US debt wasn't backed by the US military and threats to bomb any country that refuses to accept more of it back into the stone age. As Minsky wrote "Any (economic) unit can create money. The problem is getting it accepted."

The world is being destroyed environmentally as well as militarily because the world's one percent can think of no better alternative than allowing the US to continue creating debt, destruction and death so they can – as Trump put it – "keep score" with each other in the game to see who can accumulate the most unpayable debt.

To paraphrase Woody Allen (or somebody) the US is allowed to continue creating debt because the world's One Percent needs the money to continue playing their game.

[Mar 12, 2021] The US economy still has almost 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the coronavirus pandemic took hold

Mar 12, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

The jobs picture overall has been improving with 379,000 workers added in February , although the U.S. economy still has almost 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Economists have been revising their employment and GDP forecasts are higher.

Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, for example, wrote in a report this week that the jobless rate would fall to 4.1% by the end of 2021, from 6.2% last month.

Hyams has been seeing similar encouraging signs on Indeed, with postings on the site already lapping where they were pre-pandemic. "On Indeed, when we look at new job postings and our benchmark pre-pandemic of February 1, 2020, at the end of this February we were up 5% year-over-year. That's still with entire sectors completely shut down," he said.

As for where the hottest demand lies for new jobs, Hyams pointed to e-commerce-related occupations including logistics, warehousing and delivery, as well as jobs in health care and pharmacy.

While some of those openings may require showing up regularly in-person, many will not, which again feeds into Hyams' thesis that interviews will remain virtual.

"If you're going to be a remote worker, interviewing over video actually makes a whole lot more sense. It's more convenient. It will cut down on travel," he said.

That means many interviewees can continue to pull their blazers and ties out of the closet -- along with their sweatpants.

[Mar 12, 2021] The pandemic 'will change how hiring is done forever,' says CEO of jobs website Indeed

Mar 12, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Remember job interviews pre-pandemic? The jitters, the choosing of just the right suit, the race to get there early, maybe even the drive across town or flight across the country for a shot at a new opportunity?

Like most everything else, the pandemic changed that dynamic. The jitters may remain, but in-person meetings are largely off the table, interviews among them. The CEO of one of the most-trafficked jobs websites says it's likely to stay that way even after people get back to the office.

"People being able to conduct an interview from the safety and convenience of their own home is going to change hiring forever," said Chris Hyams, Indeed CEO, in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live. "We believe this is the beginning of a massive secular shift."

"In April, we saw the number of requests for interviews to happen over video shoot up by 1,000%. Even as things have started to stabilize and the economy has opened up over the last 11 months, we've seen that continue to grow," Hyams said.

The jobs picture overall has been improving with 379,000 workers added in February , although the U.S. economy still has almost 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Economists have been revising their employment and GDP forecasts are higher. Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, for example, wrote in a report this week that the jobless rate would fall to 4.1% by the end of 2021, from 6.2% last month.

Hyams has been seeing similar encouraging signs on Indeed, with postings on the site already lapping where they were pre-pandemic. "On Indeed, when we look at new job postings and our benchmark pre-pandemic of February 1, 2020, at the end of this February we were up 5% year-over-year. That's still with entire sectors completely shut down," he said.

As for where the hottest demand lies for new jobs, Hyams pointed to e-commerce-related occupations including logistics, warehousing and delivery, as well as jobs in health care and pharmacy.

While some of those openings may require showing up regularly in-person, many will not, which again feeds into Hyams' thesis that interviews will remain virtual.

"If you're going to be a remote worker, interviewing over video actually makes a whole lot more sense. It's more convenient. It will cut down on travel," he said.

That means many interviewees can continue to pull their blazers and ties out of the closet -- along with their sweatpants.

[Feb 21, 2021] It doesn't matter if we die of freezer burn sleeping on cardboard after we've been laid-off, evicted, and starved.

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

obwandiyag , says: February 12, 2021 at 5:10 am GMT • 8.8 days ago

Don't you know that whining about race, from the racist or the anti-racist side, doesn't matter, is more important than billionaires fucking us over. It's more important than anything. It doesn't matter if we die of freezer burn sleeping on cardboard after we've been laid-off, evicted, and starved. It doesn't matter if we die in a nuclear war that the billionaires started because they think it would be a good idea.

Nope. All that matters is whining about race. That's the most important thing. All else is trivial.

Ray Caruso , says: February 12, 2021 at 5:39 am GMT • 8.8 days ago

Didn't American people suffer from the disease? Yes, the US government is "grotesquely and manifestly incompetent" and they were likely to expect "a massive coronavirus outbreak in China would never spread back to America".

The crucial factor here is that the US is not a nation per the most basic definition of the word, "a group of people born of a common ancestry". Consequently, as illustrated by job-killing "trade deals" and in countless other ways, there are plenty of "Americans" who don't care a whit about the fate of Americans. That makes it entirely plausible that the Deep State and/or one or more billionaires would release a virus in China in the full expectation that it would hit the US and that once here it would disrupt, impoverish, and kill millions of Americans. This was a win-win for them. The Deep State and the billionaires don't like China, which is a non-liberal country and curtails their power by restricting the use of US tech products. So if somehow the virus were contained in China it would be okay with them, as it just would be a smaller win. However, what they really wanted was for the virus circle back to the US. They knew that once here the disruption it would cause would further enrich and empower them while giving them a pretext to dump it all on Donald Trump, whom they would accuse of being incompetent and uncaring.

FHTEX , says: February 12, 2021 at 12:06 pm GMT • 8.5 days ago

While full of good insights, the problem with this article as far as COVID is concerned is that it misleads on the main point. COVID is not biowarfare, it is not a pandemic, it's just the flu. The US recorded the same death rate in 2020 as in previous years and, as Dr. Colleen Huber has documented, medical oxygen and supply sales were no different from previous years.

All those COVID-19 deaths were simply deaths of a different name. Of course, we knew from last March's Diamond Princess cruise–still by far the best controlled COVID "experiment"–that the case-fatality rate of COVID-19 for the general public is in the flu range.

But, it never was about COVID-19, which is just a glorified coronavirus of the type seen even before the dawn of humans. Long before the virus even hit the streets, the media and governments and medical establishments had secretly planned to to create a "panic-demic" to scare people into a whole lot of strange and dangerous behaviors–like giving up their liberties and economic futures. COVID-19 is just a medical nothing-burger that convinced a lot of otherwise sane people to scare themselves into oblivion. Or did it? If the post-election analyses are correct, Trump won in a major landslide and even those who voted against him were already suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. So, maybe the people weren't fooled by COVID so much as electorally raped by the vast elite cabal.

Digital Samizdat , says: February 12, 2021 at 12:06 pm GMT • 8.5 days ago

Whatever we say is a fact-based result of diligent research; whatever you say is a conspiracy theory – both the US and China representatives subscribe to this mantra.

Maye both Washington and Beijing are guilty -- of a perpetrating a hoax.

Putin surprised me. He flatly refused the offer of Schwab and his ilk. He condemned the manner of recent pre-Covid growth, for all the growth went into a few deep pockets. Moreover, he noted that digital tycoons are dangerous for the world.

Emslander , says: February 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm GMT • 8.5 days ago

The next strong man we elect must be an actual STRONG man. I salute Trump for his genius in identifying the real majority in this country and for forcing the techno-oligarchs into overdoing their election steal. Now we need someone who is willing to establish real authority on behalf of the un-queer.

[Feb 03, 2021] FTC says Amazon took away $62 million in tips from drivers

Feb 03, 2021 | abcnews.go.com

"The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that for more than two years, Amazon didn't pass on tips to drivers, even though it promised shoppers and drivers it would do so.

The FTC said Amazon didn't stop taking the money until 2019, when the company found out about the FTC's investigation . The drivers were part of Amazon's Flex business, which started in 2015 and allows people to pick up and deliver Amazon packages with their own cars. The drivers are independent workers, and are not Amazon employees.

The FTC said Amazon at first promised workers that they would be paid $18 to $25 per hour, and also said they would receive 100% of tips left to them by customers on the app .

But in 2016, the FTC said Amazon started paying drivers a lower hourly rate and used the tips to make up the difference. Amazon didn't disclose the change to drivers, the FTC said, and the tips it took from drivers amounted to $61.7 billion."

And a "team" at Amazon reprogrammed the app to steal tips. Managers, programmers, testers, documentation specialists, accountants, database wizards, etc. Nobody said a word. All corrupt to the bone. "Learn to code!"

[Jan 29, 2021] The Coming Revolt Of The Middle Class - ZeroHedge

Jan 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

he Great American Middle Class has stood meekly by while the New Nobility stripmined $50 trillion from the middle and working classes. As this RAND report documents, $50 trillion has been siphoned from labor and the lower 90% of the workforce to the New Nobility and their technocrat lackeys who own the vast majority of the capital: Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 .

Why has the Great American Middle Class meekly accepted their new role as debt-serfs and powerless peasants in a Neofeudal Economy ruled by the New Nobility of Big Tech / monopolies / cartels / financiers? The basic answer is the New Nobility's PR has been so persuasive and ubiquitous: soaring inequality and Neofeudalism has nothing to do with us, it's just the natural result of technology and globalization--forces nobody can resist. Sorry about your debt-serfdom, but hey, your student loan payment is overdue, so it's the rack for you.

The recent Foreign Affairs article referenced here last week Monopoly Versus Democracy (paywalled) describes the net result of the economic propaganda that the stripmining of the working and middle classes was ordained and irresistible: Today, Americans tend to see grotesque accumulations of wealth and power as normal. That's how far we've fallen:

"As the journalist Barry Lynn points out in his book Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People , the robber barons shared with today's high-tech monopolists a strategy of encouraging people to see immense inequality as a tragic but unavoidable consequence of capitalism and technological change. But as Lynn shows, one of the main differences between then and now is that, compared to today, fewer Americans accepted such rationalizations during the Gilded Age. Today, Americans tend to see grotesque accumulations of wealth and power as normal. Back then, a critical mass of Americans refused to do so, and they waged a decades-long fight for a fair and democratic society." (emphasis added)

The bottom 90% of the U.S. economy has been decapitalized : debt has been substituted for capital . Capital only flows into the increasingly centralized top tier, which owns and profits from the rising tide of debt that's been keeping the bottom 90% afloat for the past 20 years.

As I've often observed here, globalization and financialization have richly rewarded the top 0.1% and the top 5% technocrat class that serves the New Nobility's interests. Everyone else has been been reduced to debt-serfs and peasants who now rely on lotteries and luck to get ahead: playing the stock market casino or hoping their mortgaged house in an urban sprawl on the Left or Right coasts doubles in value, even as the entire value proposition for living in a congested urban sprawl vanishes.

America has no plan to reverse this destructive tide of Neofeudal Pillage. Our leadership's "plan" is benign neglect : just send a monthly stipend of bread and circuses (the technocrat term is Universal Basic Income UBI) to all the disempowered, decapitalized households, urban and rural, so they can stay out of trouble and not bother the New Nobility's pillaging of America and the planet.

There's a lot of bright and shiny PR about rebuilding infrastructure and the Green New Deal, but our first question must always be: cui bono , to whose benefit? How much of the spending will actually be devoted to changing the rising imbalances between the haves and the have-nots, the ever-richer who profit from rising debt and the ever more decapitalized debt-serfs who are further impoverished by rising debt?

As I explain in my book A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet , people don't want to just get by on UBI , they want an opportunity to acquire capital in all its forms, an opportunity to contribute to their communities, to make a difference, to earn respect and pride.

That our "leadership" reckons bread and circuses is what the stripmined bottom 90% want is beyond pathetic. The middle class has meekly accepted the self-serving claim of the New Nobility that the $50 trillion transfer of wealth was inevitable and beyond human intervention. But once the stock market and housing casinos collapse, the last bridge to getting ahead--high-risk gambling-- will fall into the abyss, and the middle class will have to face their servitude and powerlessness.

That's how Neofeudal systems collapse: the tax donkeys and debt-serfs finally revolt and start demanding the $50 trillion river of capital take a new course.

* * *

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LetThemEatRand 4 hours ago (Edited)

In the last month or so, they have stopped even trying to hide that:

1) the internet is rigged (free speech only for those who say what is approved narrative),

2) elections are rigged (they openly admit that "all elections have fraud," and the defending point is that there isn't enough fraud to change the result, or so they say without investigation);

3) the government is rigged (lots of debate about whether to send a few bucks to people forced out of work by COVID restrictions, no debate needed on how much to give banks and defense contractors); and now

4) the markets are rigged (if you figure out a way to beat Wall Street, we simply change the rules).

Most Americans already knew these things, but felt vaguely conspiratorial in thinking so. TPTB no longer care what we think or what we know. They are taking down the curtains. They own this place and if we don't like it and even talk about doing something about it, then they will label you a terrorist and it's off to Gitmo with you.

Dear Old Hedge 2 hours ago

"That's how Neofeudal systems collapse: the tax donkeys and debt-serfs finally rebel and start demanding the $50 trillion river of capital take a new course."

Unlocking the Planet - Catherine Austin Fitts on The Corbett Report https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9sK3rRyoQ4 (34 min)

(Or if YouTube nixes it) https://www.bitchute.com/video/guMKGKKZ5WfW/

notfeelinthebern 4 hours ago (Edited)

Most of the middle class is now run by .Gov employees who are members of big unions. They will never revolt - they got it to good. Most are Feminazi's who vote Demshevik. & DFL.

The image above is really their cross and angry husbands who are now powerless.

LetThemEatRand 4 hours ago (Edited)

By design, and the classic model of feudalism. It's why places like present day China or North Korea have such a huge military and government sector. It's why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gives just enough to its citizens that they are comfortable. It's why Rome held together for as long as it did. Many other examples. Feudalism is the natural order of things according to history. We have been living through an anomaly that TPTB intend to fix.

NoDebt 3 hours ago

globalization and financialization have richly rewarded the top 0.1% and the top 5% technocrat class that serves the New Nobility's interests

Like I've said before, "Small number of rich, large number of poor and just enough middle class to service the rich. As most societies have been throughout most of human history. The 20th century in the US was the anomaly, not the norm."

sgt_doom 1 hour ago remove link

ROFL --- pressure "elected officials" from rigged elections!

You funny . . . .

Whenwas the last time an electsd official responded to me?

Oh yeah, Sen. Canteell about 14 years ago say that she would continue to support the offshoring of the American medica industry along with the Gates Foundation.

SDShack 13 minutes ago

I've been saying it for YEARS here. New Feudal World Order has been the design all along. People are finally starting to understand. The solution was always Drone Davos.

chunga 4 hours ago

The battle between capital and labor has been a complete wipeout, made possible by mountains of pure, solid fraud.

daveO 4 hours ago

It was benign neglect 30 years ago! It's been active destruction since China's admittance into the WTO with the help of the Clintons.

Mamachief 3 hours ago

David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger.

When Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller met with Zhou Enlai in China in 1973 -- just after President Richard Nixon had visited China establishing official relations -- an understanding was reached whereby the U.S. would supply industrial capital and know-how to China.

BEMUSED-CONFUSED 1 hour ago

And Nixon never realized that he sold out the US.

George Bayou 4 hours ago

Why has the Great American Middle Class meekly accepted their new role as debt-serfs and powerless peasants in a Neofeudal Economy ruled by the New Nobility of Big Tech / monopolies / cartels / financiers?

I'll tell you why, people don't realize what goes on behind the scenes because they are so far removed from it and the big corps and politicians keep it that way.

If you don't know you're getting screwed, then you can't fight it.

austinmilbarge 4 hours ago

Most US citizens are debt slaves. Miss one paycheck and it's lights out. They don't have time to keep up with how Wall Street cheats.

My Days Are Getting Fewer 2 hours ago

I used to subscribe to the author. No longer do so. Charles, stop writing and get a job or invest in a business.

The headline is false. The Middle Class will not revolt. And, as a group, it no longer exists.

I am baffled by the understanding that there are no super-rich people, who give a damn about the destruction of their Country. My grandchildren and their kids will never enjoy the fundamental freedoms that I knew growing up in high school in the 1950s and maturing in the 1960s through 2000.

In the last 20 years, everything, that was held sacred in this Country, has been uprooted. Fraud rules, with decency be damned.

I got more than enough money and 30 more years at best.

Money is not a substitute for freedom.

Only hopeless persons will undertake corrective action.

Cloud9.5 3 hours ago

The middle class works for government. They are cops, teachers, code enforcement officers, judges. The list goes on and on. The entrepreneur middle class has been put out of business.

Wayne 2 hours ago

Dear Charles,

I am in the smallest room in the house. Your clickbait book promo is in front of me. Soon, it shall be behind me.

A few words of advice, if I may (and even if I may not, I'm going to anyhow):

Do not use words you found in a thesaurus in book titles.

teleology

[ˌtelēˈäləjē, ˌtēlēˈäləjē]

NOUN

  1. philosophy

    the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes.

    • theology

      the doctrine of design and purpose in the material world.

Just makes you look like a pompous, officious, condescending ***.

Oh, that's right, you are.

Like Klaus Schwaub's little treatise, COVID-19 The Great Reset , your book is probably not wroth reading and should not have been written. There is such a thing in this world as masturbating, but you and Klaus should stroke your little peenees to **** instead of stroking your egos with the English language.

Nobody actually needs to know what you think about anything. You could make the world a better place by driving an Uber, growing guavas, or praying.

Thanks for playing, but the pleas for you to stop are growing louder.

Regards,

Mom

[Jan 29, 2021] Deaths of Despair and the Incidence of Excess Mortality in 2020

Notable quotes:
"... By Casey Mulligan, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago and former Chief Economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Originally published at VoxEU ..."
"... The spread of COVID-19 in the US has prompted extraordinary steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Some worry that 'the cure is worse than the disease' and these measures may lead to an increase in deaths of despair. Using data from the US, this column estimates how many non-COVID-19 excess deaths have occurred during the pandemic. Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds the total of official COVID-19 deaths and a normal number of deaths from other causes. Certain characteristics suggest the excess are deaths of despair. Social isolation may be part of the mechanism that turns a pandemic into a wave of deaths of despair; further studies are needed to show if that is the case and how. ..."
"... See original post for references ..."
Jan 29, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. While this paper does a good job of compiling and analyzing data about Covid deaths and excess mortality, and speculating about deaths of despair, I find one of its assumptions to be odd. It sees Covid-related deaths of despair as mainly the result of isolation. In the US, I would hazard that economic desperation is likely a significant factor. Think of the people who had successful or at least viable service businesses: hair stylists, personal trainers, caterers, conference organizers. One friend had a very successful business training and rehabbing pro and Olympic athletes. They've gone from pretty to very well situated to frantic about how they will get by.

While Mulligan does mention loss of income in passing in the end, it seems the more devastating but harder to measure damage is loss of livelihood, thinking that your way of earning a living might never come back to anything dimly approaching the old normal. Another catastrophic loss would be the possibility of winding up homeless, particularly for those who'd never faced that risk before.

By Casey Mulligan, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago and former Chief Economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Originally published at VoxEU

The spread of COVID-19 in the US has prompted extraordinary steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Some worry that 'the cure is worse than the disease' and these measures may lead to an increase in deaths of despair. Using data from the US, this column estimates how many non-COVID-19 excess deaths have occurred during the pandemic. Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds the total of official COVID-19 deaths and a normal number of deaths from other causes. Certain characteristics suggest the excess are deaths of despair. Social isolation may be part of the mechanism that turns a pandemic into a wave of deaths of despair; further studies are needed to show if that is the case and how.

The spread of COVID-19 in the US has prompted extraordinary, although often untested, steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Some have worried that 'the cure is worse than the disease'. Economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton mocked such worries as a "pet theory about the fatal dangers of quarantine". They concluded in the summer of 2020 that "a wave of deaths of despair is highly unlikely" because, they said, the duration of a pandemic is measured in months whereas the underlying causes of drug abuse and suicide take many years to accumulate (Case and Deaton 2020). With the extraordinary social distancing continuing and mortality data accumulating, now is a good time to estimate the number of deaths of despair and their incidence.

As a theoretical matter, I am not confident that demand and supply conditions were even approximately constant as the country went into a pandemic recession. Take the demand and supply for non-medical opioid use, which before 2020 accounted for the majority of deaths of despair. 1 I acknowledge that the correlation between opioid fatalities and the unemployment rate has been only weakly positive (Council of Economic Advisers February 2020, Ruhm 2019). However, in previous recessions, the income of the unemployed and the nation generally fell.

In this recession, personal income increased record amounts while the majority of the unemployed received more income than they did when they were working (Congressional Budget Office 2020). 2 Whereas alcohol and drug abuse can occur in isolation, many normal, non-lethal consumption opportunities disappeared as the population socially distanced. Patients suffering pain may have less access to physical therapy during a pandemic.

On the supply side, social distancing may affect the production of safety. 3 A person who overdoses on opioids has a better chance of survival if the overdose event is observed contemporaneously by a person nearby who can administer treatment or call paramedics. 4 Socially distanced physicians may be more willing to grant opioid prescriptions over the phone rather than insist on an office visit. Although supply interruptions on the southern border may raise the price of heroin and fentanyl, the market may respond by mixing heroin with more fentanyl and other additives that make each consumption episode more dangerous (Mulligan 2020a, Wan and Long 2020).

Mortality is part of the full price of opioid consumption and therefore a breakdown in safety production may by itself reduce the quantity consumed but nonetheless increase mortality per capita as long as the demand for opioids is price inelastic. I emphasise that these theoretical hypotheses about opioid markets in 2020 are not yet tested empirically. My point is that mortality measurement is needed because the potential for extraordinary changes is real.

The Multiple Cause of Death Files (National Center for Health Statistics 1999–2018) contain information from all death certificates in the US and would be especially valuable for measuring causes of mortality in 2020. However, the public 2020 edition of those files is not expected until early 2022. For the time being, my recent study (Mulligan 2020b) used the 2015–2018 files to project the normal number of 2020 deaths, absent a pandemic.

'Excess deaths' are defined to be actual deaths minus projected deaths. Included in the projections, and therefore excluded from excess deaths, are some year-over-year increases in drug overdoses because they had been trending up in recent years, especially among working-age men, as illicit fentanyl diffused across the country.

I measure actual COVID-19 deaths and deaths from all causes from a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) file for 2020 that begins in week five (the week beginning 26 January 2020) and aggregates to week, sex, and eleven age groups. To minimise underreporting, I only use the data in this file through week 40 (the week ending 3 October). In separate analyses, I also use medical examiner data from Cook County, Illinois, and San Diego County, California, which indicate deaths handled by those offices through September (Cook) or June 2020 (San Diego) and whether opioids were involved, and 12-month moving sums of drug overdoses reported by CDC (2020) through May 2020.

Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds what would have occurred if official COVID-19 deaths were combined with a normal number of deaths from other causes. The demographic and time patterns of the non-COVID-19 excess deaths (NCEDs) point to deaths of despair rather than an undercount of COVID-19 deaths. The flow of NCEDs increased steadily from March to June and then plateaued. They were disproportionately experienced by working-age men, including men as young as 15 to 24. The chart below, reproduced from Mulligan (2020b), shows these results for men aged 15–54. To compare the weekly timing of their excess deaths to a weekly measure of economic conditions, Figure 1 also includes continued state unemployment claims scaled by a factor of 25,000, shown together with deaths.

Figure 1 2020 weekly excess deaths by cause (men aged 15–54)

NCEDs are negative for elderly people before March 2020, as they were during the same time of 2019, due to mild flu seasons. Offsetting these negative NCEDs are about 30,000 positive NCEDs for the rest of the year, after accounting for an estimated 17,000 undercount of COVID-19 deaths in March and April.

If deaths of despair were the only causes of death with significant net contributions to NCEDs after February, 30,000 NCEDs would represent at least a 45% increase in deaths of despair from 2018, which itself was high by historical standards. At the same time, I cannot rule out the possibility that other non-COVID-19 causes of death or even a bit of COVID-19 undercounting (beyond my estimates) are contributing to the NCED totals.

One federal and various local measures of mortality from opioid overdose also point to mortality rates during the pandemic that exceed those of late 2019 and early 2020, which themselves exceed the rates for 2017 and 2018. These sources are not precise enough to indicate whether rates of fatal opioid overdose during the pandemic were 10% above the rates from before, 60% above, or somewhere in between.

Presumably, social isolation is part of the mechanism that turns a pandemic into a wave of deaths of despair. However, the results so far do not say how many, if any, come from government stay-at-home orders versus various actions individual households and private businesses have taken to encourage social distancing. The data in this paper do not reveal how many deaths of despair are due to changes in 'demand' – such as changes in a person's income, outlook, or employment situation – versus changes in 'supply' – such as the production of safety and a changing composition of dangerous recreational substances.

See original post for references


Terry Flynn , January 29, 2021 at 10:50 am

I agree with Yves's counter-argument though I must declare an interest, having done work on quality of life for 20 years and hope I'm not breaking site rules (given recent reminders about what is and isn't ok).

The excess deaths (particularly among men) certainly to me seems more consistent with a collapse in one's ability to do the "valued things in life" and prioritise (to SOME extent) economic outcomes over relationships. After all, the old trope that men cope less well than women with retirement is found in happiness, quality of life and other such data.

Whether or not one agrees with me, surely a test as to whether the authors or Yves has the better explanation for the excess deaths would involve looking at well-being and mortality of men who retire earlier than they'd like vs that of those whose spouse died earlier than expected (including the proper control groups).

Bob Hertz , January 29, 2021 at 10:59 am

Thanks for posting.

It would be interesting to find out the following:

1. Did the states with the most generous unemployment benefits (like MA or NJ) have fewer deaths of despair that the states with much stingier benefits?

2. Did the states which imposed various shutdowns (mainly blue states) have more deaths of despair than the states which stayed open, like SD or Florida?

My guess is that deaths of despair are too idiosyncratic to blame on Covid lockdowns, but I am not an expert at all about this.

1 Kings , January 29, 2021 at 11:47 am

They could also look for the link with 0% interest on people's saved money and seeing no f..ing end in sight as the beatings continue. Going down to zero does not make the people jolly.

Wukchumni , January 29, 2021 at 11:02 am

It used to be only men who would upon meeting another man, where the first question is likely 'What do you do for a living?', but with the advent of as many women working, probably appropriate there too.

Nobody ever asks firstly what your hobby is or what sports team you follow, as the job query tells you everything about the person in one fell swoop.

There's a lot of people whose jobs were kind of everything in their lives, who had never gone without work ever, that are now chronically unemployed.

Tomonthebeach , January 29, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Anybody who has studied suicide readily appreciates that the act is impulsive. Case & Deaton are probably correct in the limited sense of economic despair derived from transitioning away from fossil fuels and industrial production to jobs requiring education unreachable to middle-aged coal miners. However, those deaths were likely derived from easy access to opioids. Most of those job losses led workers to make disability claims (achy backs) to extend income. The treatment for achy back is pain killers – oxy-something or other back then. Those same pills killed the pain of failure. Over time, addiction set in and, according to Koob & LeMoal's 2008 addiction model, increased consumption becomes necessary to stay pain-free. Physicians would surely not up dosages indefinitely and that put addicts on the street literally. All that took time to evolve. But times have changed. Using your family doc to get you high is no longer an option. So, Mulligan makes sense.

IM Doc , January 29, 2021 at 1:39 pm

As an internist with boots on the ground – I cannot express enough gratitude that these kinds of reports are getting out.

As busy as I have been this past year with COVID, the actual patients struggling with anxiety and depression have just dwarved the actual COVID numbers.

I cannot even begin to tell you the heartbreak of being a provider and having 20-40 year old young men in your office crying their eyes out. Lots of job loss, lots of income issues, lots of not being able to pay for things for your kids. All the while being completely unable to find other work or extra work. It is truly a nightmare for these people. And the attitude by so many of the lockdown Karens who seem to have no conception of how this is all going down for these young people has been deeply worrisome to me.
It is really not getting better – if anything slowly getting worse.

I would agree with the article above that loneliness is a problem – this is for the minority – mainly older people and should not be dismissed.

Loneliness is not the big problem however, in my experience. The big problem is the economic despair for our young people and the complete loss of socialization for our teenagers and kids.

And I have no clue what the answer is.

[Jan 28, 2021] Poor Lives Matter, But Less

Jan 26, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. Sundaram discusses how the obsession with metrics, a long standing favorite topic of ours (see Management's Great Addiction ) produces policies that give short shrift to the poor and poor countries. One of the big fallacies is treating money as the measure of the value and quality of life. For instance, reducing the instance of cancer is worth more in rich countries because their lives are valued more highly in these models. Similarly, they often fall back on unitary measures like lifespan, and so don't capture outcomes like diets heavy in low nutrient foods (think simple sugars) producing higher rates of non-communicable diseases and hence less healthy citizens

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former economics professor, who was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, and received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. Originally published at his website

Current development fads fetishize data, ostensibly for 'evidence-based policy-making': if not measured, it will not matter. So, forget about getting financial resources for your work, programmes and projects, no matter how beneficial, significant or desperately needed.

Measure for Measure

Agencies, funds, programmes and others lobby and fight for attention by showcasing their own policy agendas, ostensible achievements and potential. Many believe that the more indicators they get endorsed by the 'international community', the more financial support they can expect to secure.

Collecting enough national data to properly monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is expensive. Data collection costs, typically borne by the countries themselves, have been estimated at minimally over three times total official development assistance (ODA).

Remember aid declined after the US-Soviet Cold War, and again following the 2008-9 global financial crisis. More recently, much more ODA is earmarked to 'support' private investments from donor countries.

With data demands growing, more pressure to measure has led to either over- or under-stating both problems and progress, sometimes with no dishonest intent. 'Errors' can easily be explained away as statistics from poor countries are notoriously unreliable.

Political, bureaucratic and funding considerations limit the willingness to admit that reported data are suspect for fear this may reflect poorly on those responsible. And once baseline statistics have been established, similar considerations compel subsequent 'consistency' or 'conformity' in reporting.

And when problems have to be acknowledged, 'double-speak' may be the result. Organisations may then start reporting some statistics to the public, with other data used, typically confidentially, for 'in-house' operational purposes.

Money, Money, Money

Economists generally prefer and even demand the use of money-metric measures. The rationale often is that no other meaningful measure is available. Many believe that showing ostensible costs and benefits is more likely to raise needed funding. Using either exchange rates or purchasing power parity (PPP) has been much debated. Some advocate even more convenient measures such as the prices of a standard McDonald's hamburger in different countries.

Money-metrics imply that estimated economic losses due to, say, smoking or non-communicable diseases ( NCD s), including obesity, tend to be far greater in richer countries, owing to the much higher incomes lost or foregone as well as costs incurred.

Development Discourse Changes

The four UN Development Decades after 1960 sought to accelerate economic progress and improve social wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, for decades, there have been various debates in the development discourse on measuring progress.

The rise of neoliberal economic thinking, claiming to free markets, has instead mainly strengthened and extended private property rights. Rejecting Keynesian and development economics, both associated with state intervention, neoliberalism's influence peaked around the turn of the century.

The so-called 'Washington Consensus ' of US federal institutions from the 1980s also involved the Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, both headquartered in the American capital.

In 2000, the UN Secretariat drafted the Millennium Declaration. This, in turn, became the basis for the Millennium Development Goals which gave primacy to halving the number of poor. After all, who would object to reducing poverty. The poor were defined with reference to a poverty line, somewhat arbitrarily defined by the Bank.

Poverty Fetish

Presuming money income to be a universal yardstick of wellbeing, this poverty measure has been challenged on various grounds. Most in poorer developing countries sense that much nuance and variation are lost in such measures, not only for poverty, but also for, say, hunger .

Anyone familiar with the varying significance, over time, of cash incomes and prices in most countries will be uncomfortable with such singular measures. But they are nonetheless much publicised and have implied continued progress until the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rejection of such singular poverty measures has led to multi-dimensional poverty indicators, typically to meet 'basic needs'. While such 'dashboard' statistics offer more nuance, the continued desire for a single metric has led to the development, promotion and popularisation of composite indicators.

Worse, this has been typically accompanied by problematic ranking exercises using such composite indicators. Many have become obsessed with such ranking, instead of the underlying socio-economic processes and actual progress.

Blind Neglect

Improving such metrics has thus become an end in itself, with little debate over such one-dimensional means of measuring progress. The consequent 'tunnel vision' has meant ignoring other measures and indicators of wellbeing.

In recent decades, instead of subsistence agriculture, cash crops have been promoted. Yet, all too many children of cash-poor subsistence farmers are nutritionally better fed and healthier than the offspring of monetarily better off cash crop or 'commercial' farmers.

Meanwhile, as cash incomes rise, those with diet-related NCDs have been growing. While life expectancy has risen in much of the world, healthy life expectancy has progressed less as ill health increasingly haunts the sunset years of longer lives.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Meanwhile, as poor countries get limited help in their efforts to adjust to global warming, rich countries' focus on supporting mitigation efforts has included, inter alia, promoting 'no-till agriculture'. Thus attributing greenhouse gas emissions implies corresponding mitigation efforts via greater herbicide use .

Maximising carbon sequestration in unploughed farm topsoil requires more reliance on typically toxic, if not carcinogenic pesticides, especially herbicides. But addressing global warming should not be at the expense of sustainable agriculture.

Similarly, imposing global carbon taxation will raise the price of, and reduce access to electricity for the 'energy-poor', who comprise a fifth of the world's population. Rich countries subsidising affordable renewable energy for poor countries and people would resolve this dilemma.

Following the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the UN proposed a Global Green New Deal (GGND) which included such cross-subsidisation by rich countries of sustainable development progress elsewhere.

The 2009 London G20 summit succeeded in raising more than the trillion dollars targeted. But the resources mainly went to strengthening the IMF, rather than for the GGND proposal. Thus, the finance fetish blocked a chance to revive world economic growth, with sustainable development gains for all.

Sound of the Suburbs , January 27, 2021 at 4:00 am

The globalists found just the economics they were looking for.
The USP of neoclassical economics – It concentrates wealth.
Let's use it for globalisation.

Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"

This is what it's supposed to be like.
A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt.

[Jan 20, 2021] When German scholars use the US populist government as a scapegoat, they overlooked the real question - without addressing the growing inequality in a Western system, will there be a second Trump in the future?

Notable quotes:
"... No examination of Neoliberalism's utter failure to deliver benefits to the masses while expropriating the wealth they produced for delivery to the class of Financial Parasites. At least the writers at Global Times get it right: ..."
Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 19 2021 17:55 utc | 155

Global Times reports on an essay published by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Check it out b or other German barflies) deeming " China's system, although 'authoritarian,' is 'very successful .'" [My Emphasis]

"It explained that as long as a society can reach the following goals - improving social welfare, increasing consumption choices, safeguarding domestic security, promoting education, and providing good healthcare - people will support and trust the system even if their influence in the decision-making process is limited. Such can 'in part ensure the legitimacy' of the social system....

"But the authors' introspection stopped from digging problems as they tried to shift blame to the rise of populism in the US."

No examination of Neoliberalism's utter failure to deliver benefits to the masses while expropriating the wealth they produced for delivery to the class of Financial Parasites. At least the writers at Global Times get it right:

"Populism, which helped crown Donald Trump, is being blamed today. Yet it all started from the widening gap between rich and poor. When German scholars use the US populist government as a scapegoat, they overlooked the real question - without addressing the growing inequality in a Western system, will there be a second Trump in the future?" [My Emphasis]

The fatal thrust is delivered in the two closing paragraphs but still omit naming the actual culprit, which is the ideology of Neoliberalism:

"The article raised the support and trust of people when it comes to judgment over the legitimacy of a society. In this regard, data speak louder than words. According to a poll conducted in 2020 by US-based global public relations and marketing consultancy firm Edelman, 95 percent of Chinese trust their government while the US government only saw an approval of 48 percent .

"What other excuses will the Western world have to question the legitimacy of the Chinese system? If the West, especially the US, the beacon of democracy, actually senses the crisis and does not wish to lose the competition, it should stop burying its head in the sand." [My Emphasis]

The problem isn't heads being buried in sand; rather, it's the design of the ideology to exploit and degrade a nation's masses so they're left with relatively nothing compared to the nation's Financial Parasites, all so the latter will always have their Free Unearned Lunch.


[Jan 19, 2021] DOJ Now Says There Was No Plot to Kill Elected Officials

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
"... The New Yorker, ..."
"... The last scene in the video shows that the violent protest and takeover was about more than just the election. After trashing media equipment, one man says, "We gotta change it. They fucking abuse us. They laugh at us. They steal our money." ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
"... The New York Times. ..."
Jan 19, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

T he U.S. Justice Department has reversed an earlier assertion in court by prosecutors that protestors who broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 had plans to "capture and assassinate elected officials."

Instead, the head of the DOJ investigation into the Capitol siege admitted that federal prosecutors filed a misleading statement before a federal judge in Arizona that was intended to prevent Jacob Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, from being released on bail.

The DOJ said that though there were calls to kill officials during the two-hour takeover of the Capitol, no evidence has been discovered yet to prove any serious effort to carry out such a plan.

"There is no direct evidence at this point of kill-capture teams and assassination," Michael Sherwin, the Washington DC federal district attorney running the investigation of the attack, told reporters, Agence France-Presse reported. Sherwin said it may be "appropriate" to raise it at trial, but at this point it could "mislead the court."

The original story of intentions to kill officials has entered the media discourse and is likely to remain a Democratic talking point despite the DOJ reversal. The only major media outlets that reported the new story is NBC News and The Washington Post . It has not appeared in The New York Times or on CNN's website, for instance.

Having saturated the public with days of lurid tales of intentions to hang Vice President Mike Pence and abduct House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it will be hard to shake such beliefs without reporting the DOJ's reversal with the same intensity.

The original statement filed in court said: "Strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials of the United States government."

There has been no suggestion that the prosecutors in Arizona who made the false claim are being investigated for misleading the court.

The 'Coup'

Riot police at Capitol, Jan. 21, 2017 for Trump's inauguration. (Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons)

The admission dramatically changes the story, repeated as Democratic Party talking points, and undermines the unquestioned certainty that what took place was an attempted coup against the United States government. The new DOJ stance might also weaken efforts to charge Capitol rioters and intruders with "seditious conspiracy" charges for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government.

Consortium News has been among the few media outlets to question the coup narrative from the start.

Even if there were such murderous intentions it would not have amounted to a coup attempt without the backing of the military or paramilitaries, and without taking over the airport and radio and TV stations. These days it would probably mean taking over social media companies too. The U.S. government and media structures are vaster and more powerful than just the legislature.

Even if the protestors had intended and succeeded in hanging Vice President Mike Pence (presuming the gallows erected outside the Capitol was sturdy enough), and even if they had taken Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and others hostage would Donald Trump have said, "Okay, they didn't certify Biden, I'm still president!"?

No branch of government would have supported Trump in that case and the surviving members of Congress would have met elsewhere to certify Joe Biden as president.

New Video Inside Capitol

Chansley, the far-right, bare-chested activist with fur headdress and Viking horns, became the symbol of the brief takeover of the Capitol by Trump supporters. He was arrested and faces a six-count federal indictment, charged with:

Civil disorder Obstruction of an official proceeding Entering and remaining in a restricted building Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building Violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building

He is not charged with insurrection or sedition to overthrow the government.

Jacob Chandsley/ Qananon Shaman. (TheUnseen011101/Wikimedia Commons)

In a new video released on Sunday by The New Yorker, Chansley is seen grunting primordial chants while playing to a photographer a few feet in front of him in a Senate balcony. Later he seats himself in Pence's Senate chair.

After a single Capitol police officer pleads with the intruders to leave, Chansley leads the group in prayer and then files out with the others, but not before scrawling on a piece of paper on Pence's desk: "It's only a matter of time, justice is coming."

Before Chansley sat in it, the video shows one of the protest leaders, dressed in military gear, demanding that the others not occupy the vice president's chair. He says: "It's not our chair. I love you brothers, but we cannot be disrespectful. It's a PR war, okay? You have to understand it's an IO war. We can't lose the IO war. We're better than that. It's an Information Operation."

The video shows a couple of dozen protestors rifling through senators' desks looking for, in the words of one, "something we can fucking use against these scumbags" and taking photos of documents. At one point they thought they found evidence in Senator Ted Cruz's desk that he was going to betray them on certification, but read further and realized he would not.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1350927254877040644&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F01%2F18%2Fdoj-now-says-there-was-no-plot-to-kill-elected-officials%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The film is interspersed with very violent scenes of police in riot gear trying to prevent protestors from entering the Capitol.

The last scene in the video shows that the violent protest and takeover was about more than just the election. After trashing media equipment, one man says, "We gotta change it. They fucking abuse us. They laugh at us. They steal our money."

As journalist Chris Hedges said last Thursday, one can decry their politics, the racism among many, and their tactics, but their pain is real in a system that has shrunk the middle class and debased workers.

What happened at the Capitol cannot be condoned. But unless Congress defies its oligarchic backers and serves the interests of average Americans, who also fund them, a real insurrection may be inevitable. Instead of the reforms to defuse that and bring more economic justice, we are witnessing a crackdown that will only further inflame the country.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


rosemerry , January 18, 2021 at 13:15

It is interesting that both sides of the House and Senate manage almost all the time to arrange that other countries they have decided are enemies or rivals have real "coups" and takeovers helped by the mighty US . Iraq, Syria,Libya,Venezuela are just a few of the recent examples, but they are not "USA USA" so they do not count.

rosemerry , January 18, 2021 at 13:07

No surprise that the "paper of record" NYT did not bother to mention this legal angle. The descriptions I have seen in European papers and in the Sycophant aka the Guardian hardly vary at all and scream the alleged danger to the poor Congress members.

Anne , January 18, 2021 at 14:25

Nor NPR .Indeed they didn't bother to mention the 1954 shootings in the US Capitol (House) until AFTER the BBC World Service had and then a week later


Tim S.
, January 18, 2021 at 12:54

Anyone who has watched the video filmed by the arch-instigator's would-be-journalist sidekick can see for themselves that these were not even serious rioters, much less coup plotters, who were surprised as everybody else about being allowed into the Capitol building.
And despite some toy guns and one man with the slogan on the back of his jacket "God, guns, and Trump), it is obvious from their panicky reactions when a woman was killed that they felt deep down that this was all fun and games. She was trying to break down an interior door, starting with the window, but when an agent inside pointed a pistol at her, she ignored it. When he finally shot her, they all start yelling "She's been shot!" and react rather like a bunch of bystanders.

Does that sound like a gang planning to kill some Congressmen and taken others hostage?

Jonny James , January 18, 2021 at 11:48

Yes, once again the mainstream narrative stinks, and the fresh air is here on CN. That's why we don't breathe the miasma of the corporate media.

The Divide and Rule strategies of the ruling classes are working nicely. We can't have the "99%" get together to work against "the interests of Goldman Sachs" (Hedges). That is not allowed. The rub is that both the so-called right and so-called left work for the interests of Goldman Sachs.

I remember very clearly how brutally the peaceful Occupy protests were smashed. The violent cops used armored vehicles and other military equipment, massive amounts of tear gas, flash-bang grenades, drones, surveillance etc. etc. , Scott Horton was nearly killed by a tear-gas canister fired directly at his head. You are not allowed to work against the interests of the real owners of this country. As George Carlin once said, "they own the f-in place".


Anne
, January 18, 2021 at 14:35

I have yet to hear NPR mention anything about the woman who was shot dead (no weapon on her) let alone who shot and killed her that she was ex-mil (thus trained to invade, destroy, devastate, slaughter peoples, cultures, societies far, far, from these shores what you train for and then deploy will eventually come back home and bite

John Drake , January 18, 2021 at 13:37

Agreed, I find the minimizing of this event truly putrid. What is it about an enraged crowd, chanting "stop the steal" breaking into a building full of legislators , assaulting, injuring police and scaring the ..t out of said elected legislators that is not an attempt to overthrow, interfere, interrupt, prevent a key governmental process? This a governmental process whose outcome they wanted to alter keeping the Orange Menace in power. A flight of ridiculous fancy, no doubt, but still attitude, behavior and intent count.

Just because it doesn't rise to the level of well known coups orchestrated by professionals (CIA): Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, Iran and hundreds more; doesn't mean it doesn't belong in the same family of nasty socio/political events. Can we compromise and call it a mini attempted coup or maybe mini coup-lite? Anyway the perpetrators and their enablers need to major consequences; especially those officials that violated their oath of office.

[Jan 19, 2021] Few sights in Washington are more familiar than an intellectual urging "total war" from the safety of the keyboard

Highly recommended!
In a way neocon jingoism serve as a smoke scree to sitrct "depolables" from the decline of the standard of living under neoliberalism.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com

Orthodoxy of the Elites - by Jackson Lears - The New York Review of Books

By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.

Jackson Lears is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, Editor in Chief of Raritan, and the author of ­Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920, among other books. (January 2021)

[Jan 19, 2021] Orthodoxy of the neoliberal Elites by Jackson Lears

Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com

Democracy is in trouble, and everyone is casting about for someone to blame. Donald Trump's grotesque incapacity to govern has made him an easy target, but the difficulties with democracy are subtler, wider, and deeper. One clue to their complexity is a blog post that appeared on the liberal website Daily Kos a month after Trump's election in 2016. "Be Happy for Coal Miners Losing Their Health Insurance," the headline blared. "They're Getting Exactly What They Voted For."

The dismissal is curt and callous: clearly, Trump's victory provoked some of his opponents to double down on their hostility toward his supporters. But the blog post also shows -- more broadly -- that being a liberal Democrat no longer means what it once meant. Sympathy for the working class has, for many, curdled into contempt. By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.

In 2020 the Democrats made little attempt to distance themselves from that calamitous inheritance. As early as 2019, Joe Biden himself made clear to the donor class that "nothing would fundamentally change" if he were elected and reassured the medical-industrial complex by dismissing any discussion of single-payer health care. But he has made no substantial attempt to reassure the millions of Americans who have lost jobs or homes or health care in recent months. One might never have known, by following his campaign, that the US was facing the most serious and protracted economic depression since the 1930s. So it should come as no surprise that Trump maintained his support among rural and less educated voters and even improved it among African-Americans and Latinos. Despite Trump's bungling, many ordinary Americans may have sensed indifference if not outright hostility emanating toward them from his Democratic opponents. And they would not have been mistaken. The Democratic Party leadership has become estranged from its historic base.

The spectacle of liberals jeering at coal miners reveals seismic changes in our larger public discourse. The miners were "getting exactly what they voted for" -- exactly what they deserved, in other words. The belief that people get what they deserve is rooted in the secular individualist outlook that has legitimated inequality in the United States for centuries, ever since the Protestant ethic began turning into the spirit of capitalism. Yet visions of a nation of autonomous strivers always coexisted with older ideals of community and solidarity -- and those ideals resurfaced in the Great Depression to become the basis, however limited and imperfect, of midcentury social democracy. During the last four decades, the autonomous striving self has returned to the center of the success ethic, but featured in a new narrative that has focused less on plodding diligence and more on talent, brains, and credentialed expertise.


[Jan 14, 2021] Biden already reneged on $2K stimulus promise

What you can expect from staunch neoliberal? Creepy Joe fought to impoverish the US workers all his adult life.
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 14 2021 21:07 utc | 26

Biden, Ds, reneging on $2K stimulus promise . Contortionist language is already being employed by Biden even before he becomes POTUS, which should surprise nobody, and provides plenty of I told ya so for Red America.

As I previously calculated, much more than $2K is needed to stave off very dire economic hardship and further deepening of Great Depression 2.0. But for any stimulus to be effective for small and medium businesses, operating restrictions related to the pandemic need to be greatly eased; and even then, it's projected that 1/3 of businesses already closed will remain closed regardless. That reality constitutes a huge blow for small businesses were seen by many as a way out of the never ending downsizing and offshoring of decent paying jobs.

[Jan 04, 2021] Tell me a better term than "globalist" for nationals who are titans of industry who betray their fellow nationals in the labor force by looking outside their own nation?

Jan 04, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bluedotterel , Jan 4 2021 6:04 utc | 78

Posted by: Lemming | Jan 4 2021 5:47 utc | 77

The current term "globalization" was originated by Ted Levitt in an article in the Harvard Business Review in the 80s and taken up by the Reaganites to push for offshoring of factories to countries with fewer workers rights and environmental concerns. He edited the magazine and was a professor at Harvard Business School. Those "weirdos" who championed the term were the corporate and financial behemoths that preferred it as a euphemism for "economic imperialism"


Lemming , Jan 4 2021 5:47 utc | 77

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2021 1:07 utc | 56

Our nation, right now, is on the cusp of a great earthquake which will change its arrangement so that the interior will not be beholden to the coastal elites much longer, who have themselves thrown off the mantle of nationhood in favor of the globalist paradigm which values nihilistic individualism over all.

So, in short, you're describing capitalism. A capitalist economy favors individualism, profits over morality, and is mostly centered around the idea of private property as described by John Locke. This worked wonders in the vast uncharted territories of America in the 18th and 19th century, when the population of the United States was below 20 million and they needed to compete, FAST, against agressive european civilizations who looked at them with envy.

Now that they are 332 millions and counting, that their natural resources are slowly depleting and that other civilizations have adapted to the previously unknown phenomenon of the American empire, USans are faced with a crisis in all sectors, including faith. How come a system that worked so well for you these past 300 years suddenly fails? well, not suddenly, but realizing that took a while.

Oh, I know!! It must be because of all those treacherous businessmen who traded their souls and their country for a quick buck! but we need to condemn them without condemning the whole system, and saying "capitalism sucks" makes us sound like Ivan the Red Commie. What a pickle. Let's call them "globalists"! so we can rally the nationalists as a bonus and say it's all because of evil foreigners.

On certain sites, it goes as far as calling "globalists" ... communists. Or Chinese. Or Russian. Sure, why not, everyone needs their Emmanuel Goldstein.

"Globalism" is a funny name some weirdos invented since the first Wall Street crashes happened to justify the worst excesses of the current capitalist economic system without pointing the finger at the real culprits. I say it's funny because it looks like nationalist clickbait for the 2 minutes of hate everyone in the West is prescribed each day in this hyper-social Internet.

Sad fact is, "globalists" are run-of-the-mill bosses who decided it was better for their end-of-year bonuses if they outsourced some or all of their production to cheap chinese companies, and not have to pay US salaries anymore. That's not globalist, that's called looking to make a profit in the short term.

Formerly T-Bear , Jan 4 2021 7:47 utc | 96

@ NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2021 6:34 utc | 82

Tell me a better term than "globalist" for nationals who are titans of industry who betray their fellow nationals in the labor force by looking outside their own nation?

A term of rather recent vintage is Labour arbitrage that is substituting less costly labour for higher costing labour. The driving motive for all offshoring or externalising labour resources from the home marketplace. Walmart made billions doing this as does Amazon.

Fnord13 , Jan 4 2021 8:44 utc | 100

@82 and @98 Nemesis Calling and Lemming

I agree with Lemming's position on this. And I think Nemesis Calling is wrong about what the term "Globalist" implies. If a "nationalist" is someone who's loyal to a nation, then isn't a "globalist" someone who is loyal to the whole globe? Humanity today has many massive problems that are extremely difficult and perhaps impossible to deal with on a purely national basis. Nuclear weapons, global climate change, pandemic diseases, the potential threats and benefits of real artificial intelligence, the extinction of so many species, controlling multinational corporations, the threat of mass starvation, global inequality... these are all problems which seem to many people to need the whole human species, or the whole globe, working together to address them.

I think the major reason why many capitalists started calling themselves "globalists" back in the 1980's was because they saw this was an idea which was becoming increasingly popular, and they wanted to try and coopt it for their own benefit.

The trouble was that the CEO's who decided it would be personally profitable for them to ship their companies jobs to low wage countries were not "real" globalists. If they had really understood what the decisions they were making would do to their countries, or even to the corporations they were responsible to their shareholders for managing, they might be accused of being frauds or even traitors. But they probably didn't understand, so it's probably more accurate to just call them parts of a greedy and shortsighted elite, which was far too arrogant to realize how countries like China would be able to exploit their shortsighted folly. They thought they were being so clever about their plans to exploit the Chinese. But the irony is that a major reason why they underestimated the Chinese is that they didn't understand that the fact that the Chinese were Marxists meant that the Chinese had a different and in some ways better understanding of how Capitalism worked than they did. They never dreamed that the Chinese would be able to make Lenin's prediction that capitalists would sell them the rope they needed to hang capitalism come true.

[Jan 02, 2021] Let's talk about neoliberalism some more by Cassiodorus

Notable quotes:
"... @magiamma ..."
"... @Cassiodorus ..."
Jan 02, 2021 | caucus99percent.com

..The only upshot of the Larry Summers interview is likely to be that maybe a few people will think that Joe Biden has bad people advising him, and the vast majority will either dislike Joe because he sucks or because they're Trumpies in their little faux rebellion or they will believe everything MSNBC et al. tell them about Joe Biden (and thus by extension they'll believe every word of Summers).

Here's the important lesson, the one that SHOULD be learned: Summers is a NEOLIBERAL. By this is meant that he is one of that group that believes that the proper role of government is to create and enforce markets and that ideally all functions of everyone's lives would be market functions.

The ultimate principle of neoliberalism, as pointed out in Chapter 2 of Kees van der Pijl's A Survey of Global Political Economy, is investor "freedom." This principle comes up on page 46 in the author's discussion of "microeconomics and rational choice theory." After having gone over the history of mainstream ("marginalist") economics as an "axiomatic" (which really means faith-based -- if you agree with its principles you might find it interesting) discipline, van der Pijl gets to neoliberalism. Here's what he says:

Importantly, the neoliberals no longer confine their prescriptions to the economy. They want economic rationality to be applied to all aspects of society; no organ of the social body may be allowed to function according to other principles than that of free choice by rational, self-interested individuals.

Ultimately, as van der Pijl notes in his discussion of Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992), the standard-bearer of neoliberalism, neoliberalism is committed to investor freedom in all spheres of life. This is on page 48:

The core concept of neoliberalism is the notion of 'competitively determined freedom'. This concept of freedom is defined from the principle of privately disposable property of the means of production, secured by political institutions ensuring 'law and order'. Hayek later specified law and order as the foundations of private property as such, as freedom of contract and the coercive upholding of contracts (quoted in Walpen, 2004: 114-5).

Thus, if Larry Summers believes in this insane pile of twaddle, why would he want the government to send out $2000 checks? That wouldn't promote investor freedom.

(The further catch, of course, is that EVERYONE in DC, in Wall Street, and throughout the ruling elites of the world, believes in this insane pile of twaddle, and they've believed it for forty years now. So, in the same way in which Donald Trump was not an exceptional case responsible for the general insanity of last year's politics, Larry Summers is also not an exceptional case responsible for why you aren't getting $2,000 checks.)


The day after Christmas, the New York Times online ran a piece on the effects of climate change( "The Darkest Timeline," by Jonah Engel Bromwich ). It was basically about another paper, called "Deep Adaptation," which supposedly changed the course of a lot of people's lives. Bromwich says about the paper that:

The paper's central thought is that we must accept that nothing can reverse humanity's fate and we must adapt accordingly. And the paper's bleak, vivid details -- emphasizing that the end is truly nigh, and that it will be gruesome -- clearly resonated.

"When I say starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war, I mean in your own life," wrote the author, Jem Bendell. "With the power down, soon you wouldn't have water coming out of your tap. You will depend on your neighbors for food and some warmth. You will become malnourished. You won't know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death."

But you don't really adapt to climate change doom. You commit suicide in advance of the event. And it's hard to tell why a scientific paper, and not, say, the story of Paradise, California , would motivate people to say, geez, there isn't much point in living in a doomed society, so let's plan in advance. Or here's an alternative path: when confronted with the doom of the human race and of you, personally, you choose to believe in a pile of insane twaddle, and you say: billions for the rich , $600 for a few of the rest. Isn't that what Congress is doing now? To be sure, this is a sort of side-adventure, meant to contextualize neoliberals as the sort of people who say "oh boy! Profit!" when confronted with disastrous reality.


At any rate, neoliberalism. There are a bunch of books about neoliberalism. Probably the best place to start is with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine , published in 2007. Klein makes clear what the enormous human costs are of neoliberal policy. The neoliberal method, Klein describes, is simple:

That is how the shock doctrine works: the original disaster – the coup, the terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane – puts the entire population into a state of collective shock. The falling bombs, the bursts of terror, the pounding winds serve to soften up whole societies much as the blaring music and blows in the torture cells soften up prisoners. Like the terrorized prisoner who gives up the names of comrades and renounces his faith, shocked societies often give up things they would otherwise fiercely protect. (17)

It's your basic imperialism. David Harvey calls it "accumulation by dispossession"; his book, A Brief History of Neoliberalism , offers a good summary. I love the understatement at the beginning of the Google Books synopsis (linked):

Neoliberalism - the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action - has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Its spread has depended upon a reconstitution of state powers such that privatization, finance, and market processes are emphasized. State interventions in the economy are minimized, while the obligations of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens are diminished.

"... has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world..." Yeah. That's like saying that European countries conquered much of Africa between 1870 and 1914. Uh-huh. It's good to appear innocuous when writing for publication!

Also meaningful are the writings of the French team of Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy. They've written a lot on the topic; the place to start would be Capital Resurgent . I haven't read this book in awhile. If I recall correctly, Dumenil and Levy argue that neoliberalism was a conscious choice of the elites, and that they could have chosen otherwise. But they didn't, and so here we are.

Those with an appetite for biting prose might enjoy Philip Mirowski's Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste . Mirowski wants to chastise everyone -- the neoliberals for their "logic" (beautifully dissected), everyone else for misrecognizing the neoliberals and for pronouncing neoliberalism to be "dead" when in fact it's more dominant than ever.

There's an interesting foreign-policy take on neoliberalism in Kees van der Pijl's Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq . Ostensibly a history of foreign relations, van der Pijl found himself obliged to discuss the history of neoliberalism because the history of foreign relations in the period after 1980 IS the history of neoliberalism.

Richard Cockett's Thinking the Unthinkable is a good early history of neoliberalism, from before the first meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society to its global triumph with Reagan and Thatcher.


All that having been said, it's amazing to find so many people online who think that "neoliberalism" is some esoteric phenomenon, or neoliberals who don't think they're neoliberals, or people who think there's no such thing as neoliberalism. You bring up neoliberalism and they say things like "I don't like labels." If you were to call a tree "green," would the tree respond by saying "I don't like labels"? We choose names for things because otherwise we wouldn't be able to talk about them in any serious sense.

Let's be clear. Today, "liberalism" might be this warm, fuzzy belief that government ought to give ordinary people a thing or two in addition to its usual duties of "national defense" (under the neoliberal regime this means wars for corporate profit) and "economic policy" (another giveaway to the rich). That's what the term "liberalism" came to mean in the US in the period after World War II. There's a longer and deeper meaning for the term "liberalism," and in that meaning it means what Adam Smith advocated, laissez-faire capitalism. The "neo" in "neoliberalism," to complete the definition, defines a form of liberalism in which it is viewed, by the neoliberals, as the duty of government to simulate laissez-faire capitalism by setting up markets and requiring people to participate in them. That's what neoliberalism is; that explains its NAME.

The classic neoliberal policy was the original "marketplace" function of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA was created to keep the insurance companies from pricing their product out of the market; the ACA obliged people to purchase health insurance (which, significantly, they still wouldn't be able to use in many ways) by setting up a "mandate penalty" in which non-purchasers would have to pay more in income taxes.

War for profit is a neoliberal initiative. Since the average consumer cannot purchase a war, the neoliberal government will step in to insure that there remains a market for war. Typically the wars serve to create enemies, which then sustain the war. Ultimately, what you see with neoliberal war is phenomena such as what was reported in Syria in 2016, in which militias funded by the CIA fought those funded by the Pentagon. It's fine as long as it moves product.

There shouldn't be any confusion, then, about neoliberalism as a ruling-class ideology. It has a well-defined meaning and plenty of examples to back up the notion that neoliberalism is a specific notion with specific beliefs, specific believers, specific policies, and a specific history.

It's your turn.

[Dec 29, 2020] Neoliberal Champion Larry Summers Opens Mouth, Inserts Both Feet by Matt Taibbi

How you can overheat economy that is in permanent stagnation mode (secular stagnation)? This is nonsense. What Larry is actually afraid of but can't say is the staut of the dollar the world reserve currency.
You can almost physically sense the level of hate toward "neoliberal scum" in comments below
Dec 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News

Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, director of the National Economic Council under Barack Obama, president of Harvard, and Chief Economist at the World Bank, wrote a post-Christmas editorial for Bloomberg entitled, " Trump's $2000 Stimulus Checks are a Big Mistake ." It's a classic:

Some argue that while $2,000 checks may not be optimal support for the post-Covid economy, taking stimulus from $600 to $2,000 is better than nothing. They need to ask themselves whether they would favor $5,000, or $10,000 -- or more. There must be a limiting principle.

The genesis of this Summers article is a perfect tale in microcosm about how America's intellectual elite manages to lose elections to people like Donald Trump. It's a two-step error. First, they put people like Summers in charge of economic policies. Then, they let them talk in public.

Summers the day before Christmas appeared on Bloomberg to offer his initial thoughts on why $2000 checks must be bad: he looked at which politicians were supporting the plan, and worked backward. "When I see a coalition of Josh Hawley, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump getting behind an idea, I think that's time to run for cover," he said, adding: "When you see the two extremes agreeing, you can almost be certain that something crazy is in the air."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342173060955332609&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

After delivering that cheery message, Summers got feces-pelted on the Internet:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342264622833790976&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342248609996107776&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=830

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342229765483331585&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Seeing that his comments "lit up the Twittersphere," Summers then sat down to compose an article doubling down on his reasoning. Essentially, he argued that from an econometric point of view, we're already overdoing it on the help front. If you were under the impression that huge numbers of people are living off meals from food banks and/or are at risk in an eviction crisis , you were wrong.

Noting that "total employee compensation" is "only running about $30 billion per month behind the Covid baseline," he insisted that $200 billion more in tax rebates per month over the next quarter would "equal an additional seven times the loss of household wage and salary income over the next quarter."

He then showed a graph explaining that "because of the legislation passed in 2020, total household income has exceeded normal levels relative to the economy's potential more or less since the pandemic began." The good news, as a result, is that "the existing stimulus bill is sufficient to elevate household income relative to the economy's potential to abnormally high levels -- unheard of during an economic downturn."

The whole piece reads like an extended New Yorker cartoon, in which an evictee with empty pockets is about to dive after a rotten apple core in a dumpster, only to be blocked by a cauldron-bellied Harvard economist in a $3000 Zegna suit. Caption: " Actually, total household income relative to the economy's potential sits at abnormally high levels ."

There are of course different positions one could take on the question of stimulus checks, but the issue with people like Summers is the utter predictability of their stances. Summers belongs to a club of neoliberal thinkers who've dominated American policy for decades. From Bob Rubin to Tim Geithner to Jason Furman to Michael Froman and beyond, the people one friend jokingly refers to as the "Rubino Crime Family" are all basically the same person, affectless technocrats who play up reputations as giant-brained intellectuals -- I always imagine them with bulbous Alien Nation heads -- while reveling in cold, hard truths about the limits of government assistance.

Read the rest here .


Lordflin 3 hours ago

The people are seen as cattle...

And this by an inbred group of gluttons who couldn't survive without the life they drain from others...

yerfej 3 hours ago remove link

That is the key "the life they drain from others". I have no issue with those who work their aysses off keeping their just rewards, but this kind of insider filth needs a lamppost.

two hoots 1 hour ago

Summers and those of his Jabba class know that uncontrolled Congressional giving could cause collateral damage to their lifestyles. So does every comfortable class below them. It all depends where you are positioned. Here on ZH i find people playing all sides of the class game to whatever suits their current mood of us/them others. The more an event can affect us directly determines where we direct our dislikes...up or down...inconsistently.

Doom Porn Star 1 hour ago

ALL politicians and 'public servants' who advocateor demand lockdowns and restrictions should cede ALL pay, benefits and accrual of all retirement or other benefits for the duration of ANY lockdown or restriction of ANY kind.

Those who advocate or demand sacrificed should make first, fullest largest sacrifices.

The whole lot of fascist 'some animals are better than others' lot should be thrown in gitmo or equivalent.

The_Dude 3 hours ago (Edited)

Study what Summer's and his (((ilk))) did to pillage post - Soviet Russia and you will understand who is untouchable in this society... And why in more sophisticated societies, they were always kept at the periphery where they couldn't harm others.

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/harvard-boys-do-russia/

Doom Porn Star 3 hours ago

Larry 'Dinner with Epstein' Summers has put more than his foot in his mouth.

BlueLightning 3 hours ago

O boy he's scared now

sgt_doom 2 hours ago (Edited)

Isn't Larry Summers the chief poster boy of the Global Banking Cartel ever since he inserted the credit derivatives clause in the WTO's Financial Services Agreement*** making it acceptable legal tender?

Believe that was during the Clinton Administration.

Is Larry still a lobbyist for the cental bankers? Oh yes, his photo is still there:

https://group30.org/members

***[Credit to Greg Palast for uncovering this item.]

Arising 2.0 2 hours ago (Edited)

Larry is a cabal member who has always been out of touch with the 'silly goy'.

iambrambles 3 hours ago

The real question is why trillions to foreign govs and corporations.

$2000/American is chump change and isnt what anyone should be focusing on.

America never had the right fiscal priorities, people tend to forget the brilliance of the US was with the constitution that enabled more freedoms than before.

But fiscally, America was always doomed after the absolution of the gold standard and the creation of the federal reserve which allowed for endless government largesse.

ElTerco 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

"negative consequences of aid to the less fortunate..."

Yet, no mention from Larry of negative consequences of aid to the more fortunate, which, so far this year, has been around 40x as much money.

ElTerco 2 hours ago (Edited)

The $10+ trillion that has been pumped into the US economy so far has been a firehose to top earners, while people who lost their jobs got a trickle of runoff as it worked its way down the street through a very long, crap filled gutter.

Funny how Summers never mentioned *that*.

Max21c 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

"When I see a coalition of Josh Hawley, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump getting behind an idea, I think that's time to run for cover," he said, adding: "When you see the two extremes agreeing, you can almost be certain that something crazy is in the air."

Thus is just more elitist nonsense from the silly conventional wisdom of Washingtonians, elites, and the Democratic Party establishment. Bernie Sanders was a solid and strong and energetic candidate and he could have had a chance of beating Trump in a free & fair election had the Party nomination not been fixed and stolen from him by elites and their puppet press smear campaigns.

Democrats made a mistake in attacking and undermining Bernie Sanders. Since much of what has transpired this past year has been massive increases in domestic spending and some social spending. Bernie Sanders could have beat Trump--fair and square--whereas the Crats had to cheat with Biden and steal the election. Had the Democratic Party not stolen the election from Sanders it likely Sanders would have had a significant opportunity to beat Trump. Since Sanders was positioned right/correctly to be competitive in contrast and have some edge with a significant part of the public on peace, foreign policy, domestic policy, and social spending agendas. Would have been a tight race with Sanders versus Trump instead of the fraud and fraudulent election of 2020. Definitely would have been a tossup on balance. Would have been even harder if Sanders had teamed with Tulsi Gabbard as they would have had a serious edge in foreign policy. But both Sanders and Gabbard are official pariahs and lepers in the Democratic Party and its establishment as well as in the Washington establishment. Sanders had the issues and would have had the momentum to give Trump a serious run for the money had he not be forced aside in favor of the establishment candidate in a series of rigged primaries and media smear campaigns and other subterfuge & Machavellian intrigues.

Max21c 1 hour ago (Edited)

I don't have issue with the size of company but do not like state sponsored industry whereby the state security apparatus heavily favors state industries and state sponsored industries--and--the secret police community and intelligence community and political class ensure that the statals/SEO and state backed companies are protected by the state security apparatus... The government doesn't have any business being used by Washingtonians, JudeoWASP elites, Ivy Leaguers and their secret police to using military warmaking powers in the secret police and intelligence community to rob one and redistribute back to state industries and state sponsored industries and favor elites and their firms using secret police powers... That's what both the Bolsheviks and Nazis did... It's the banana republoc and police state and tyranny...

The socialism Bernie was talking about seemed more his advocating for increases in social spending. The socialism Washington currently practices both openly and secretively & covertly and illegally through abuses of secret police powers and state secrecy is much more dangerous than what Bernie was advocating. The current socialist system as practiced by Washingtonians and their secret police does much more damage to the country. The police state socialism is much worse than the social spending games.

Bay Area Guy 2 hours ago remove link

LOL. How do you overheat a dead economy? No real growth (inflation adjusted) in at least 20 years; real unemployment at least 12.5% and probably north of 20%; this DESPITE interest rates at all time lows and likely to go negative. And this fool is talking about overheating the economy.

Max21c 2 hours ago remove link

If they can handout hundreds of billions to businesses under a questionable government to business subsidy program that has been previously fraught with fraud, inefficiencies in timeliness & appropriateness and geographical distribution. Also, such government to biz programs which shall likely fail to serve both business and the economy effectively both by practice and natural elements: such as some businesses being located in areas with a more sophisticated biz culture; and set of skills; as well as access to better educated & possibly more skillful entrepreneurs and cultures thereof; as well as some firms being simply better positioned; as well as some firms being more program wise or welfare wise; and still other firms being better tuned in or connected to the political system and or its bureaucracy. Given the afore situation the money is better spent on a basis of widely scattered and unpredictable et uncontrollable and thus not as apt to manipulation as well as a direct to households holding the advantage of timeliness.

About 4k is about right for the floor/minimum on the basis of 2k in the form of a stimulus and another matching 2k+ coming from forwarded tax rebates for future years which can be paid back through payroll deductions or which can be paid back similar to installment loans monthly or quarterly.

2k shall suffice in the near term as to stimulating consumer spending, consumer confidence, business confidence, sales & revenues & profits or the improvement in the outlook of a future return to profitability and the confidence & risks taking that comes with firms seeking current and future profits and potentially making investments and pursuing loans and the potential for an earlier uptick in the credit cycle as banks may change their outlook on lending sooner than they might otherwise.

[Dec 20, 2020] The American ruling class has failed on pretty much every issue of significance for the past several decades

Neoliberals as an occupying force for the country
Notable quotes:
"... The bottom line is the true enemies of the American people are no foreign nation or adversary---the true enemy of the American people are the people who control America. ..."
"... This way of thinking points to a dilemma for the American ruling class. Contrary to a lot of the rhetoric you hear, much of the American ruling class, including the "deep state" is actually quite anti-China. To fully account for this would take longer than I have here. But the nutshell intuitive explanation is that the ruling class, particularly Wall Street, was happy for the past several decades to enrich both themselves and China by destroying the American working class with policies such as "free-trade" and outsourcing. But in many ways the milk from that teat is no more, and now you have an American ruling class much more concerned about protecting their loot from a serious geopolitical competitor (China) than squeezing out the last few drops of milk from the "free trade." ..."
Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bemildred , Dec 19 2020 2:00 utc | 124

This is awesome, he nails the dilemma which our owners are confronted with;

I'll put it this way: It is not as though the American ruling class is intelligent, competent, and patriotic on most important matters and happens to have a glaring blind spot when it comes to appreciating the threat of China. If this were the case, it would make sense to emphasize the threat of China above all else.

But this is not the case. The American ruling class has failed on pretty much every issue of significance for the past several decades. If China were to disappear, they would simply be selling out the country to India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, or some other country (in fact they are doing this just to a lesser extent).

Our ruling class has failed us on China because they have failed us on everything. For this reason I believe that there will be no serious, sound policy on China that benefits Americans until there is a legitimate ruling class in the United States. For this reason pointing fingers at the wickedness and danger of China is less useful than emphasizing the failure of the American ruling class. The bottom line is the true enemies of the American people are no foreign nation or adversary---the true enemy of the American people are the people who control America.

This way of thinking points to a dilemma for the American ruling class. Contrary to a lot of the rhetoric you hear, much of the American ruling class, including the "deep state" is actually quite anti-China. To fully account for this would take longer than I have here. But the nutshell intuitive explanation is that the ruling class, particularly Wall Street, was happy for the past several decades to enrich both themselves and China by destroying the American working class with policies such as "free-trade" and outsourcing. But in many ways the milk from that teat is no more, and now you have an American ruling class much more concerned about protecting their loot from a serious geopolitical competitor (China) than squeezing out the last few drops of milk from the "free trade."

The Zürich Interviews - Darren J. Beattie: If Only You Knew How Bad Things Really Are


Grieved , Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 129

@102 karlof1 - "By deliberately setting policy to inflate asset prices, the Fed has priced US labor out of a job, while as you report employers sought labor costs that allowed them to remain competitive."

I never heard it said so succinctly and truly as this before. That is what happened isn't it? The worker can't afford life anymore, in this country.

And if the worker can't afford the cost of living - who bears the cause of this, how follows the remedy of this, and what then comes next?

I really appreciate your point of view, which is the only point of view, which is that the designers of the economy, the governors of the economy, have placed the workers of the economy in a position that is simply just not tenable.

No wonder they strive to divide in order to rule - because they have over-reached through greed and killed the worker, who holds up the society.

How long can the worker flounder around blaming others before the spotlight must turn on the employer?

uncle tungsten , Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 130

Bemildred #115

You have to remember these people really do think they are better. They do think in class terms even if they avoid that rhetoric in public. The problem is they thought they could control China like they did Japan. That was dumb then and it looks even dumber now. You can see similar dumbness in their lack of grip on any realisitic view of Russia. Provincials really. Rich peasants.

Thank you, they certainly DO think in class terms ALWAYS. + Rich peasants is perfect :))

Thankfully they are blinded by hubris at the same time. The USA destroyed the Allende government in Chile in 1973. After the Nixon Kissinger visit to China in 1979 they assumed they could just pull a color revolution stunt when they deemed it to be the right time. Perhaps in their hubris they thought every Chinese worker would be infatuated with capitalism and growth.

They tested that out in the People Power colour (yellow) revolt in the Filipines in 1986 following a rigged election by Marcos. In 1989 only 16 years after China had been buoyed up with growth and development following the opening to USA capitalism, they tried out the same trick in Tienanmen square in China but those students were up against the ruling party of the entire nation - not the ruling class. BIG MISTAKE. The ruling party of China was solidly backed by the peasant and working class that was finally enjoying some meager prosperity and reward a mere 40 years after the Chinese Communist Party and their parents and grandparents had liberated China from 100 years of occupation, plunder, human and cultural rapine and colonial insult. Then in 2020 it was tried on again in Hong Kong. FAIL.

The hubris of the ruling class and its running dogs is pathetic.

We see the same with Pelosi and the ruling class in the Dimoratss today. They push Biden Harris to the fore, piss on the left and refuse to even hold a vote on Medicare for All in the middle of a pandemic. Meanwhile the USAi ruling class has its running dogs and hangers on bleating that "its wrong tactic, its premature, its whatever craven excuse to avoid exposing the ruling class for what they are - thieves, bereft of compassion, absent any sense of social justice, fakes lurking behind their class supposition.

They come here to the bar with their arrogant hubris, brimming with pointless information some even with emoji glitter stuck on their noses. Not a marxist or even a leftie among them. Still its class that matters and its the ruling class that we must break.

chu teh , Dec 19 2020 4:00 utc | 131

@102 karlof1 and Grieved | Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 129

I did not understand inflate-assets/suppress-workers and forgot to return to it to clear it up. Grieved sent me back to Karlof1. I just got it.

That viewpoint indeed explains method of operation to accomplish the results I observed. When Nixon was forced to default on Bretton Woods use of Gold Exchange Standard* [the USD is as good as gold], then printing fiat solved the problem [threat to US inventory of gold]....but printing fiat [no longer redeemable as a promise convert to gold] became the new problem [no way to extinguish the promises to redeem/pay].

So how to proceed? Aha! Steal from the workers; squeeze 'em, entertain and dazzle 'em!.. Such an elegant solution...slow, certain and hardly noticeable...like slow-boiling frogs...an on-going project as we blog.

Now I'll read Karlof1's link.

[Dec 05, 2020] Lockdown lead to atomization of labour

Dec 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 3 2020 22:56 utc | 76

VK @ 24:

"... Lockdowns as being inherently against the working class is a capitalist (liberal) falsification: if you pay them while they're kept safe in their homes, you'll have the best of the two worlds for the working class (being paid without working). This option is only an anathema for the middle class and the capitalist class - who can't imagine a world without the proletarians serving them ..."

We all live in an interconnected world and middle class, capitalist class (whatever that's supposed to mean) and proletarians alike supply goods and services to one another. Money is the medium that facilitates such exchanges. It follows then that proletarians also serve one another and ditto for the other classes.

If working classes are paid to stay in their homes, who then supplies their needs? In spite of Jeff Bozo's efforts and those of Elon Musk, not all transport is self-automating and robots in Amazon warehouses still need some human inputs to operate quickly and without hitches.

One could also argue that working fulfils other, non-monetary needs. Karl Marx actually foresaw this when he wrote about anomie in capitalist systems of production, in which workers are denied control over their lives and the work they do by being denied any say in what they produce, how they produce it, the resources and environment needed to produce outputs, and maybe even whether they can be allowed to work at all.

Lockdowns can be viewed as another method in which to deny people control over their work and work environments. People socialise at work and lockdowns may be a way to deny workers a place or a means to connect with others (and maybe to form unions). Is it any wonder then, that during lockdowns people's mental health has become an issue and public health experts became concerned at the possibility that such phenomena as suicide and domestic violence could increase?


foolisholdman , Dec 3 2020 22:59 utc | 78

foolisholdman | Dec 3 2020 22:21 utc | 68


You can understand this from this quotation. It is the internal contradictions of the wesern capitalist system that is driving the changes we observe, not "pressure applied by China", which I would say is a myth.

"The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal: it lies in the contradictionariness within the thing. This internal contradiction exists in every single thing, hence its motion and development. Contradictionariness within a thing is the fundamental cause of its development, while its interrelations and interactions with other things are secondary causes."

"It (Materialist dialectics) holds that external causes are the conditions of change and internal causes are the basis of change, and that external causes become operative through internal causes. In a suitable temperature an egg changes into a chicken, but no temperature can change a stone into a chicken, because each has a different basis."
Mao Zedong. "On Contradiction" August 1937. Selected Works, Vol.1, p.315.

Mark2 , Dec 3 2020 23:09 utc | 80

Lockdowns are a medical protection to eradicate a contagious virus.
The lock downs we have had are fake and we're designed to fail. For political reasons.
The very people who complained 10 months ago, were responsible for them not working,
10 months later those people are still complaining. They are the ones who have prolonged the contagion.
They are to blame. That includes the polatians and duped public.
It's deliberate !

[Dec 05, 2020] The Real Source Of America's Frustrations - Zero Hedge

Dec 05, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Real Source Of America's Frustrations


Voice-of-Reason 12 hours ago

For those of you that worked hard and played by the rules your whole life to try to save enough money to have a decent retirement you were robbed and played like a bunch of suckers by Wall Street. The Fed is helping them steal any wealth the middle class has left. I'm not sure why these people are still breathing. They should be swinging by their neck from a rope.

Lost in translation 12 hours ago

"The status quo has been increasingly rigged to benefit insiders and elites as the powers of central banks and governments have picked the winners (cronies, insiders, cartels and monopolies) and shifted the losses and risks onto the losers (the rest of us)."

Charles displays a remarkable grasp of the obvious. I sometimes wonder if his target audience isn't 11-year olds.

Sound of the Suburbs 7 hours ago

How can things possibly get any worse for young people?

  1. Sky high housing costs
  2. Student loans
  3. Low wages and precarious part time jobs
  4. A minimum wage specified at an hourly rate that won't pay a living wage in a part time job

Most young people don't start off with any capital, and with student loans they will actually start off with loads of debt.

It's all about investors, so people with money can make more money, and they haven't got any.

Those young people are trying to earn their money and this just isn't the way we do things anymore.

J J Pettigrew 6 hours ago

how about HB1 visas and the overstaying? Floods the labor market with outsiders. Fundamentally transforming the nation.

Sound of the Suburbs 5 hours ago

Young people can't afford to start a family anymore.

You've got to sort out the demographic problem with immigration.

yerfej 5 hours ago

The tax system mimics society, both are run by elites and have so much complexity that ONLY elites have the ability to circumvent them. Lawyers own society and it is of course to their benefit to make it full of layer after layer of complex rules and regulations, which as sold as "protecting the commoner", but in reality it protects the elites by stifling competition. Start by cleaning up the tax code, have ONE flat rate for ANY AND ALL income above the poverty allowance and be done with it. THEN the elites can't game the system with layers and tax accountants to avoid paying. If the common people realized how screwed they're getting by complexity they would force the change to one rate for all.

Bay Area Guy 3 hours ago

The problem in America today was caused by the Clinton/Bush/Obama administrations, along with a complicit Congress, encouraging the off-shoring of US jobs, along with vastly increasing the number of jobs given to people holding H1b's visas who, in turn, off shore a large percentage of their salaries to their home countries, effectively off-shoring even more money. The result can be seen in US GDP. Real GDP (after including the effects of inflation), has consistently contracted since 2000 (see Shadowstats). Add in the fact that illegal immigration (and, to a smaller extent, legal immigration) has increased the population, and the result is you have a greater number of people trying to get their share of an economic pie that's shrinking. When the economy was expanding, people generally felt good about their situation. So if some sector got a bit of an increase that was more than their increase, it wasn't as big a thing. But now, with a shrinking economy, when the homeless or illegals or any other group gets more money, people are increasingly seeing that it's taken out of their share and they see themselves falling further and further behind. So, they react and object to that.

So, until or unless a way is found to expand the pie (the economy), you're going to see greater and greater levels of frustration as anytime Group A gets more funding, every other group is going to scream bloody murder.

Sound of the Suburbs 7 hours ago (Edited)

What is real wealth creation?

The last thing hedge funds, private equity firms and bankers need is anyone finding out.

I thought those neoliberals were educated.

Well they like to think they are, but they have no idea about the most basic things like wealth creation and the monetary system.

They have confused making money with creating wealth.

Sound of the Suburbs 7 hours ago

The US is going downhill fast.

What can we do?

Let them know what real wealth creation is, then they should be away.

Where does real wealth creation take place in the economy?

Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.

This is the problem.

Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else.

They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it.

The Classical economist, Adam Smith:

"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money."

There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died.

They had to earn money to live.

Ricardo was an expert on the small state, unregulated capitalism he observed in the world around him.

He was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.

"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist.

They soon identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income.

This disappeared in neoclassical economics.

GDP was invented after they used neoclassical economics last time.

In the 1920s, the economy roared, the stock market soared and nearly everyone had been making lots of money.

In the 1930s, they were wondering what the hell had just happened as everything had appeared to be going so well in the 1920s and then it all just fell apart.

They needed a better measure to see what was really going on in the economy and came up with GDP.

In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.

The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.

Real wealth creation involves real work producing new goods and services in the economy.

So all that transferring existing financial assets around doesn't create wealth?

No it doesn't, and now you are ready to start thinking about what is really going on there.

Don't get confused between making money and creating wealth.

When you equate making money with creating wealth, people try and make money in the easiest way possible, which doesn't actually create any wealth.

In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.

The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money.

You might as well do that in the easiest way possible.

It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.

They will load your economy up with their debt products until you get a financial crisis.

On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.

As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics.

Banks – What is the idea?

The idea is that banks lend into business and industry to increase the productive capacity of the economy.

Business and industry don't have to wait until they have the money to expand. They can borrow the money and use it to expand today, and then pay that money back in the future.

The economy can then grow more rapidly than it would without banks.

Debt grows with GDP and there are no problems.

The banks create money and use it to create real wealth.

[Dec 01, 2020] Indifference to working-class suffering will kill tens of thousands - caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... Tens of millions ..."
"... Tens of millions ..."
Dec 01, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Indifference to working-class suffering will kill tens of thousands

gjohnsit on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 7:30pm

Winter Is Coming for the American working-class.
Even if you don't care about the working poor, their suffering is going to affect you. In some ways it already has. Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, evictions have continued during the pandemic. This is led to hundreds of thousands of people being infected with Covid .

Expiring state eviction bans have led to hundreds of thousands of additional coronavirus cases, new research finds, raising alarm about what will happen when the national eviction moratorium lapses next month.
...
The researchers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University and Wake Forest University School of Law, found that lifting state moratoriums and allowing eviction proceedings to continue caused as many as 433,700 excess cases of Covid-19 and 10,700 additional deaths in the U.S. between March and September.

If the CDC's eviction ban isn't extended until 2021, experts say, many new cases are likely to emerge from people being forced out of their houses and apartments.

"This is a time where it's not an overstatement to say that for many people, eviction can lead to death ," said Helen Matthews, communications manager at City Life Vita Urbana, a nonprofit in Boston.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that making people homeless during the pandemic is a public health nightmare. Yet the eviction moratorium did not mean free rent. All that unpaid rent is build up to $36 billion.
So how many people are about to be evicted? How many people will be homeless on our streets in the coming months?
It depends on who you ask, but it will be in the tens of millions. Let that sink in for a moment. Tens of millions of Americans are about to lose their place of residence. The government has no plans to do anything about it.

One study says 19 million Americans will be evicted in the next two months. That's the conservative estimate.
Another study says 40 million Americans will lose their homes this winter. These are numbers that will destabilize American society and the American political system.
The end of the moratorium comes at the same time as the end of stimulus money .

UI, stimulus, and welfare combined, after spiking to an annual rate of $3.88 trillion in April, fell to $1.04 trillion in October


39 million Americans don't have enough to eat right now, and people are waiting in line for hours at food banks all over the nation just for some Thanksgiving handouts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 12 percent of all Americans did not have enough food to eat between October 28th and November 9th.

Let's like clear about something. Politicians, the media, and of course the wealthy couldn't care less about the suffering of the working class.
However, they do care about getting sick and dying. So what's going to happen is that working class are going to be crushed, and only then, when the Covid cases spiked to unimaginable levels, will the ruling elites have an epiphany. That epiphany is you really are your brother's keeper.

gjohnsit on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 7:30pm

Winter Is Coming for the American working-class.
Even if you don't care about the working poor, their suffering is going to affect you. In some ways it already has. Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, evictions have continued during the pandemic. This is led to hundreds of thousands of people being infected with Covid .

Expiring state eviction bans have led to hundreds of thousands of additional coronavirus cases, new research finds, raising alarm about what will happen when the national eviction moratorium lapses next month.
...
The researchers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University and Wake Forest University School of Law, found that lifting state moratoriums and allowing eviction proceedings to continue caused as many as 433,700 excess cases of Covid-19 and 10,700 additional deaths in the U.S. between March and September.

If the CDC's eviction ban isn't extended until 2021, experts say, many new cases are likely to emerge from people being forced out of their houses and apartments.

"This is a time where it's not an overstatement to say that for many people, eviction can lead to death ," said Helen Matthews, communications manager at City Life Vita Urbana, a nonprofit in Boston.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that making people homeless during the pandemic is a public health nightmare. Yet the eviction moratorium did not mean free rent. All that unpaid rent is build up to $36 billion.
So how many people are about to be evicted? How many people will be homeless on our streets in the coming months?
It depends on who you ask, but it will be in the tens of millions. Let that sink in for a moment. Tens of millions of Americans are about to lose their place of residence. The government has no plans to do anything about it.

One study says 19 million Americans will be evicted in the next two months. That's the conservative estimate.
Another study says 40 million Americans will lose their homes this winter. These are numbers that will destabilize American society and the American political system.
The end of the moratorium comes at the same time as the end of stimulus money .

UI, stimulus, and welfare combined, after spiking to an annual rate of $3.88 trillion in April, fell to $1.04 trillion in October


39 million Americans don't have enough to eat right now, and people are waiting in line for hours at food banks all over the nation just for some Thanksgiving handouts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 12 percent of all Americans did not have enough food to eat between October 28th and November 9th.

Let's like clear about something. Politicians, the media, and of course the wealthy couldn't care less about the suffering of the working class.
However, they do care about getting sick and dying. So what's going to happen is that working class are going to be crushed, and only then, when the Covid cases spiked to unimaginable levels, will the ruling elites have an epiphany. That epiphany is you really are your brother's keeper.

like Jimmy says, we are a failed state...

Plenty of money to wage war and create suffering abroad, but not enough to take care of the peasants at home. I keep hearing the US is a neofeudalist country...in classic feudal times they took care of the serfs...perhaps that the neo part.

Sure is a sad state you present gjohnsit. Thanks for informing us.

[Nov 28, 2020] Krystal and Saagar- New Study Shows Deaths Of Despair Hitting Poor Working Class Of ALL Races

Nov 28, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Daniel George @drdanielgeorge • Nov 10 000

A research team I'm part of just published data looking at the 'diseases of despair' crisis over the last decade (full article is free and available online).

A brief summary of our findings below, and some thoughts....

Trends in the diagnosis of diseases of despair in the United States...

Background and objective Increasing mortality and decreasing life expectancy in the USA are largely attributable to accidental...

See also: Saagar Enjeti- How Both Parties FAILED Us On Stimulus Guaranteeing Mass Unemployment, Business Death - YouTube

[Nov 28, 2020] Diseases of despair diagnoses increase in Pennsylvania - EurekAlert! Science News

Nov 28, 2020 | www.eurekalert.org

Diseases of despair diagnoses increase in Pennsylvania

PENN STATE

Research News

AUDIO: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY 100 YEARS, LIFE EXPECTANCY IS DECREASING IN THE UNITED STATES. IN THIS EPISODE, DR. LARRY SINOWAY DISCUSSES THE DECLINE AND HOW IT RELATES TO... view more

CREDIT: PENN STATE CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE

Medical diagnoses involving alcohol-related disorders, substance-related disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors -- commonly referred to as diseases of despair -- increased in Pennsylvania health insurance claims between the years 2007 and 2018, according to researchers from Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics.

Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton proposed the concept of deaths of despair in 2015. Case and Deaton's research observed a decline in life expectancy of middle-aged white men and women between 1999 and 2015 -- the first such decline since the flu pandemic of 1918. They theorized that this decline is associated with the social and economic downturn in rural communities and small towns. These changes include loss of industry, falling wages, lower marriage rates, increasing barriers to higher education, an increase in one-parent homes and a loss of social infrastructure.

"It is theorized that these changes have fostered growing feelings of despair including disillusionment, precariousness and resignation in many peoples' lives," Daniel George, associate professor of humanities and public health sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, said. "Despair can trigger emotional, cognitive, behavioral and even biological changes, increasing the likelihood of diseases that can progress and ultimately culminate in deaths of despair."

With the commonwealth's considerable rural and small-town population, particularly around Penn State campuses, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute led a research study to understand the rate of diseases of despair in Pennsylvania. Institute researchers collaborated with Highmark Health, one of the state's largest health insurance providers. Highmark provides employer-sponsored, individual, Affordable Care Act and Medicare plans.

Highmark Health's Enterprise Analytics team analyzed the claims of more than 12 million people on their plans from 2007 to 2018. Penn State did not have access to Highmark member data or individual private health information. Although the insurance claims included members from neighboring states, including West Virginia, Delaware, and Ohio, the majority of the claims were from Pennsylvania residents. Researchers reported their results in BMJ Open .

The researchers defined diseases of despair as diagnoses related to alcohol use, substance use and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. They searched the claims data for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes related to these diagnoses. ICD codes form a standardized system maintained by the World Health Organization and are used in health records and for billing.

The researchers found that the rate of diagnoses related to diseases of despair increased significantly in the Highmark claims in the past decade. Nearly one in 20 people in the study sample was diagnosed with a disease of despair. Between 2009 and 2018, the rates of alcohol-, substance-, and suicide-related diagnoses increased by 37%, 94% and 170%. Following Case and Deaton's findings, the researchers saw the most substantial percentage increase in disease of despair diagnoses among men ages 35 to 74, followed by women ages 55 to 74 and 18 to 34.

The rate of alcohol-related diagnoses significantly increased among men and women ages 18 and over. The most dramatic increases were among men and women ages 55 to 74. Rates increased for men in this age group by 50% and 80% for women.

The rate of substance-related diagnoses roughly doubled for men and women ages 35 to 54 and increased by 170% in ages 55 to 74. In 2018, the most recent year of claims included in the study, rates of substance-use diagnoses were highest in 18-to-34-year-olds.

The rate of diagnoses related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors increased for all age groups. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, rates increased by at least 200%. The rate for all other age groups increased by at least 60%.

The type of insurance patients had also mattered. People with Medicare insurance had 1.5 times higher odds of having a disease of despair diagnosis and those with Affordable Care Act insurance had 1.3 times higher odds.

One increase stood out to researchers: among infants, substance-related diagnoses doubled.

"This increase was entirely attributable to neonatal abstinence syndrome and corresponded closely with increases in substance-related disorders among women of childbearing age," Emily Brignone, senior research scientist, Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics, said.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs when a baby withdraws from substances, especially opioids, exposed to in the womb.

Future research can concentrate on identifying "hot spots" of diseases of despair diagnoses in the commonwealth to then study the social and economic conditions in these areas. With this data, researchers can potentially create predictive models to identify communities at risk and develop interventions.

"We found a broad view of who is impacted by increases in diseases of despair, which cross racial, ethnic and geographic groups," Jennifer Kraschnewski, professor of medicine, public health sciences and pediatrics, said. "Although originally thought to mostly affect rural communities, these increases in all middle-aged adults across the rural-urban continuum likely foreshadows future premature deaths."

###

National Center for Advancing Translational Science of the National Institutes of Health through Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute funded this research.

A podcast about this topic is available here.

Other researchers on this project were Lawrence Sinoway, director, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Curren Katz and Robert Gladden, Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics; Charity Sauder, administrative director, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and Andrea Murray, project manager, Penn State College of Medicine.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

[Nov 28, 2020] Deplorables, or Expendables

Notable quotes:
"... The Expendables: How the Middle Class got Screwed by Globalization ..."
"... The Innovation Illusion ..."
"... The Expendables ..."
"... Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York. ..."
Nov 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Home / Articles / Economy / Deplorables, Or Expendables? ECONOMY Deplorables, Or Expendables?

Rubin offers some valuable, albeit well-known, critiques of globalized trade, but doesn't go far beyond that. (By momente/Shutterstock)

NOVEMBER 26, 2020

|

12:01 AM

NAPOLEON LINARTHATOS

Back in 2013 a group of Apple employees decided to sue the global behemoth. Every day, after they were clocking out, they were required to go through a corporate screening where their personal belongings were examined. It was a process required and administered by Apple. But Apple did not want to pay its employees for the time it had required them to spend. It could be anywhere from 40 to 80 hours a year that an employee spent going through that process. What made Apple so confident in brazenly nickel-and-diming its geniuses?

Jeff Rubin, author of The Expendables: How the Middle Class got Screwed by Globalization , has an answer to the above question that is easily deduced from the subtitle of his book. The socio-economic arrangements produced by globalization have made labor the most flexible and plentiful resource in the economic process. The pressure on the middle class, and all that falls below it, has been so persistent and powerful, that now " only 37 percent of Americans believe their children will be better off financially than they themselves are. Only 24 percent in Canada or Australia feel the same. And in France, that figure dips to only 9 percent." And "[i]n the mid-1980s it would have taken a typical middle-income family with two children less than seven years of income to save up to buy a home; it now takes more than ten years. At the same time, housing expenditures that accounted for a quarter of most middle-class household incomes in the 1990s now account for a third ."

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.nakedcapitalism.com&width=838

The story of globalization is engraved in the " shuttered factories across North America, the boarded-up main streets, the empty union halls." Rubin does admit that there are benefits accrued from globalization, billions have been lifted up out of poverty in what was previously known as the third world, wealth has been created, certain efficiencies have been achieved. The question for someone in the western world is how much more of a price he's willing to pay to keep the whole thing going on, especially as we have entered a phase of diminishing returns for almost all involved.

As Joel Kotkin has written, "[e]ven in Asia, there are signs of social collapse. According to a recent survey by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, half of all Korean households have experienced some form of family crisis, many involving debt, job loss, or issues relating to child or elder care." And "[i]n "classless" China, a massive class of migrant workers -- over 280 million -- inhabit a netherworld of substandard housing, unsteady work, and miserable environmental conditions, all after leaving their offspring behind in villages. These new serfs vastly outnumber the Westernized, highly educated Chinese whom most Westerners encounter. " "Rather than replicating the middle-class growth of post–World War II America and Europe, notes researcher Nan Chen, 'China appears to have skipped that stage altogether and headed straight for a model of extraordinary productivity but disproportionately distributed wealth like the contemporary United States.'"

Although Rubin concedes to the globalist side higher GDP growth, even that does not seem to be so true for the western world in the last couple decades. Per Nicholas Eberstadt, in "Our Miserable 21st Century," "[b]etween late 2000 and late 2007, per capita GDP growth averaged less than 1.5 percent per annum." "With postwar, pre-21st-century rates for the years 2000–2016, per capita GDP in America would be more than 20 percent higher than it is today."

Stagnation seems to be a more apt characterization of the situation we are in. Fredrik Erixon in his superb The Innovation Illusion , argues that "[p]roductivity growth is going south, and has been doing so for several decades." "Between 1995 and 2009, Europe's labor productivity grew by just 1 percent annually." Noting that "[t]he four factors that have made Western capitalism dull and hidebound are gray capital, corporate managerialism, globalization, and complex regulation."

me title=

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.426.0_en.html#goog_1789765618 Ad ends in 15s

Contrary to popular belief, globalization has functioned as a substitute for innovation and growth. With globalization on the march, the western ruling class could continue to indulge in its most preferred activities, regulation and taxation, in an environment where both of these political addictions appeared sustainable. Non-western elites could perpetuate their authoritarian regimes, garnering growth and legitimacy, from the access to the western markets. Their copy-and-paste method of "innovation" from western firms would fit well with an indigenous business class composed of mostly insiders and ex-regime apparatchiks.

There are plenty of criticisms that can be laid at the feet of globalization. The issue with Rubin's book is that is does not advance very much beyond some timeworn condemnations of it. One gets the sense that the value of this book is merely in its audacity to question the conventional wisdom on the issue at hand. Rubin, who is somewhat sympathetic to Donald Trump, seems to be much closer to someone like Bernie Sanders, especially an earlier version of Sanders that dared to talk about the debilitating effects of immigration on the working class.

Like Sanders, Rubin starts to get blurry as he goes from the condemnation phase to the programmatic offers available. What exactly would be his tariffs policy, how far he would go? What would be the tradeoffs of this policy? Where we could demarcate a reasonable fair environment for the worker and industry and where we would start to create another type of a stagnation trap for the whole economy? All these would be important questions for Rubin to grapple with and would give to his criticisms more gravitas.

It would have also been of value if he had dealt more deeply with the policies of the Trump administration. On the one hand, the Trump administration cracked down on illegal and legal immigration. It also started to use tariffs and other trade measures as a way to boost industry and employment. On the other hand, it reduced personal and corporate taxes and it deregulated to the utmost degree possible. It was a kind of 'walled' laisser-faire that seemed to work until Covid-19 hit. Real household income in the U.S. increased $4,379 in 2019 over 2018. It was "more income growth in one year than in the 8 years of Obama-Biden." And during Trump's time, the lowest paid workers started not to just be making gains, but making gains faster than the wealthy. "Low-wage workers are getting bigger raises than bosses" ran a CBS News headline .

Rubin seems to view tax cuts and deregulation as another giveaway to large corporations. But these large corporations are just fine with high taxation, since they have a choice as to when and where they get taxed. Regulation is also more of a tool than a burden for them. It's a very expedient means for eliminating competitors and competition, a useful barrier to entry for any upstart innovator that would upend the industry they are in. Besides, if high taxation and regulation were a kind of antidote to globalization, then France would be in a much better shape than it appears to be. But France seems to be doing worse than anybody else. In the aforementioned poll about if their "children will be better off financially than they themselves are" France was at the bottom in the group of countries that Rubin cited. The recent events with the yellow-vests movement indicate a very deep dissatisfaction and pessimism of its middle and working class.

Moreover, there does not seem to be much hostility or even much contention between government bureaucracies and the upper echelons of the corporate world. Something that Rubin's politics and economics would necessitate. And cultural and political like-mindedness between government bureaucracies and the managerial class of large corporations is not just limited to the mutual embrace of woke politics. It seems that there is a cross pollination of a much broader set of ideas and habits between bureaucrats and the managerial class. For instance, Erixon notes that "[c]orporate managers shy away from uncertainty but turn companies into bureaucratic entities free from entrepreneurial habits. They strive to make capitalism predictable." Striving for predictability is a very bureaucratic state of mind.

In Rubin's book, missed trends like that make his perspective to feel a bit dated. There is still valuable information in The Expendables . Rubin does know a lot about international trade deals. For instance, a point that is often ignored in the press about international trade agreements is that "[i]f you're designated a "developing" country, you get to protect your own industries with tariffs that are a multiple of those that developed economies are allowed to use to protect their workers." A rule that China exploits to the utmost.

Meanwhile, Apple, after its apparent lawsuit loss on the case with its employees in California, now seems committed to another fight with the expendables of another locale. The Washington Post reported that "Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China, according to two congressional staffers familiar with the matter, highlighting the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights." "The bill aims to end the use of forced Uighur labor in the Xinjiang region of China ." The war against the expendables never ends.

Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York.

[Nov 25, 2020] Any social programs that benefit the working class are, in fact, affirmative action programs

Notable quotes:
"... Identitarianism is a far more effective strategy at watering down the left than any Red Scare or McCarthyist witch hunt ever was. ..."
Nov 25, 2020 | www.youtube.com



Viewable11
, 2 days ago

"Affirmative Action" is an euphemism for bigotry.

parallelworldsguy , 5 days ago

"Any social programs that benefit the working class are, in fact, affirmative action programs."-Krystal. So true.


Nathaniel Allen
, 5 days ago

Damn, Krystal dropping one of her classic heaters today: "Affirmative action is the type of program that poses little threat and only benefits to affluent white liberals. It's the college admissions version of identity politics: more about getting brown faces in high places to make WHITE people feel good than it is about actually addressing the very real problems it seeks to ameliorate." - Krystal Ball


Will J
, 5 days ago

As a black person I hate to admit that I've bought into the BS all of this time but she is absolutely right. All of her data is correct. AA is just a tool for bourgeoisie blacks to get into better schools. Period. Nothing else. Stop trying to sell it as some saving grace that it is not. The point about student loans is exactly right. If you want to help a ton of black people with college then do something about this BS student loan situation.


Jackson Morgan
, 5 days ago

the term "brunch liberals" is pure gold 😂


Chris Colon
, 5 days ago

Identitarianism is a far more effective strategy at watering down the left than any Red Scare or McCarthyist witch hunt ever was.


halfeatenwaffle
, 9 hours ago (edited)

"White Saviors" is a way to say what we've been saying all along. Affirmative Action IS racist. You are saying that someone needs help because of their skin color, as if that makes them inferior. Racist.


Bert C
, 1 day ago

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America, by Ira Katznelson (W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2005), preface, appendix, index, 238 pp.


trinnas
, 9 hours ago

How does it help the poor to have $15 minimum wage when they are priced out of the job market and you have raised the overall cost of living?

[Nov 22, 2020] 'The Real Looting in America Is the Walton Family'- GAO Report Details How Taxpayers Subsidize Cruel Low Wages of Corporate G

Nov 22, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

'The Real Looting in America Is the Walton Family': GAO Report Details How Taxpayers Subsidize Cruel Low Wages of Corporate Giants Posted on November 19, 2020 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

By Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

Pinpointing a reality denounced as " morally obscene " by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a new government study shows how some of the nation's largest and most profitable corporations -- including Walmart, McDonald's, Dollar General, and Amazon -- feast upon taxpayer money by paying their employees such low wages that huge numbers of those workers throughout the year are forced to rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid and food assistance just to keep themselves and their families afloat.

According to a statement from Sanders' office, the study he commissioned the Government Accountability Office to carry out -- titled " Millions of Full-time Workers Rely on Federal Health Care and Food Assistance Programs " -- found that an estimated 5.7 million Medicaid enrollees and 4.7 million SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients who worked full-time for 50 or more weeks in 2018 earned wages so low that they qualified for these federal benefits. In addition, an estimated 12 million wage-earning adults enrolled in Medicaid and 9 million wage-earning adults living in households receiving SNAP benefits worked at some point in 2018.

Upon the study's release Wednesday, Warren Gunnels, staff director and policy adviser for Sen. Sanders, tweeted: "The real looting in America is the Walton family becoming $63 billion richer during a pandemic, while paying wages so low that 14,541 of their workers in 9 states need food stamps -- all subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. Yes. The Walton family is the real welfare queen in America."

According to the Washington Post :, based on the GAO report:

Walmart was one of the top four employers of SNAP and Medicaid beneficiaries in every state. McDonald's was in the top five of employers with employees receiving federal benefits in at least nine states.

In the nine states that responded about SNAP benefits -- Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington -- Walmart was found to have employed about 14,500 workers receiving the benefit, followed by McDonald's with 8,780, according to Sanders's team. In six states that reported Medicaid enrollees, Walmart again topped the list, with 10,350 employees, followed by McDonald's with 4,600.

In Georgia, for example, Walmart employed an estimated 3,959 workers on Medicaid -- an estimated 2.1 percent of the total of non-elderly, non-disabled people in the state receiving the benefit. McDonald's was next on the list, employing 1,480 who received Medicaid, or 0.8 percent of the total of non-elderly, non-disabled people on the program. "

"At a time when huge corporations like Walmart and McDonald's are making billions in profits and giving their CEOs tens of millions of dollars a year, they're relying on corporate welfare from the federal government by paying their workers starvation wages," said Sanders in a statement. "That is morally obscene."

With the individual wealth of high-ranking executives and members of billionaire families like the Walton's, who own Walmart, soaring even as front-line, minimum wage employees and their families struggling to stay afloat amid the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, Sanders argues that the stark contrast should be a wakeup call for those who have refused to see how unjust and economically backward it is for the federal government, meaning taxpayers, to subsidize the cruel wages that massive profitable companies force their workers to accept.

"U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America," said Sanders. "It is time for the owners of Walmart, McDonald's and other large corporations to get off of welfare and pay their workers a living wage."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=yvessmith&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1329208075790807041&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2020%2F11%2Fthe-real-looting-in-america-is-the-walton-family-gao-report-details-how-taxpayers-subsidize-cruel-low-wages-of-corporate-giants.html&siteScreenName=yvessmith&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

No one in this country should live in poverty," Sanders added. "No one should go hungry. No one should be unable to get the medical care they need. It is long past time to increase the federal minimum wage from a starvation wage of $7.25 an hour to $15, and guarantee health care to all Americans as a human right."


fwe'theewell , November 19, 2020 at 11:44 am

These looters at the top don't just rely on welfare for their workers: they also rely on government assistance in other ways, such as favorable tax treatment and other goodies to bring their boondoggles to town, and of course trillions in infusions/ giveaways like we saw this year. Not to mention golden parachutes in corporate bankruptcies, facilitated by the "way things are done."

AGKaiser , November 20, 2020 at 9:50 am

don't forget: Walmart and others also profit by the food stamps spent in their grocery and Medicaid in their pharmacy.

fwe'theewell , November 20, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Dang, yes!

nycTerrierist , November 19, 2020 at 12:40 pm

more galling, if that's possible, Alice Walton postures as a 'philanthropist'

artwashing ill-gotten gains as the benefactress of lavish vanity museum Crystal Bridges:

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/hoard-doeuvres

""There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism," wrote Walter Benjamin. In precisely this vein, Walton's new Crystal Bridges museum offers American-made art to strategically cover up the ugly reality Walmart has created. Spanning the colonial era to the present, the exhibition space's fulsome celebration of the American spirit eulogizes the nation of shared confidence and abundance, sustainable mortgages, and worker dignity that Walmart has brutally demolished. The notion that Walton's supremely self-satisfied kunsthalle might serve as a balm, let alone a monument, to the market-battered American spirit is analogous to, say, Genghis Khan inviting survivors of his Mongol hordes to admire an installation of his plunder "

fwe'theewell , November 19, 2020 at 12:51 pm

This piece simply couldn't be written without a reference to Mongol hordes, of course.

Harry , November 19, 2020 at 4:59 pm

I suppose. Although no one relied on food stamps in the Great Khan Chingis' army.

Louis Fyne , November 19, 2020 at 1:30 pm

please don't forget Bezos even though he owns the WaPo

Same tactics. But I guess it's social acceptable to poo on the Waltons and Wal-Mart, but let us sweep Whole Foods and Amazon Prime under the rug

TimH , November 19, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Your 2nd para wins the straw man of the day award!

Louis Fyne , November 19, 2020 at 2:19 pm

As Amazon uses a network of subcontractors and contractors for everything for logistics to making toilet paper, all those employees will never show up on "official" stats re. Amazon.

it's called Lying with Statistics.
ymmv.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:31 pm

No, his second paragraph does not straw man. It merely invites us to widen the scope of our vision.

mileyvirus , November 20, 2020 at 12:56 pm

I agree, I did not interpret that as a straw man. Amazon is just as damnable as Walmart in terms of corporate welfare/employee wages

TimH , November 20, 2020 at 9:34 pm

I called it a straw man because " but let us sweep Whole Foods and Amazon Prime under the rug" suggested that the piece had done that, when they weren't mentioned.

Basil Pesto , November 20, 2020 at 11:20 pm

I believe that is what 'sweeping under the rug' entails.

(I get your point, and am actually
pretty sympathetic to it. couldn't resist the snark tho.)

Objective Ace , November 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm

An equally accurate storyline could be–"Workers in at least 9 states would be forced to live off even more government handouts without Walmart's employment".

Its tough to give companies grief here simply for paying what the market dictates. I'm all for going after the route of the problem–monopsony power–but noting the symptoms without actually raising awareness of the underlying problem is a distraction that keeps the plebs anger directed where it can't have much effect on the bigger picture. Being mad at Walmart instead of the government policy that has destroyed unions and made it easier/cheaper to move jobs overseas isn't serving middle America. Ironically, this distraction serves Walmart quite well. They actually champion hire minimum wages as it stifles competition

Its an interesting thought experiment to imagine absolutely no minimum wages but a UBI and universal healthcare so that no one needed a job just to survive. Then Walmart could pay its employees any low amount and no one would bat an eye (although I suspect wages actually wouldnt fall because walmart would lose its monopsony power)

fwe'theewell , November 19, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Government policy doesn't write itself: lobbyists guide the pen, and donors/ owners like Walmart pull the guides' puppet strings. "Personal responsibility" goes both ways.

To use yesterday's metaphor, I'd say that the PMC is like the human being co-driver in a "self"-driving car programmed by capital.

Objective Ace , November 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Definitely. And focusing on those issues (which are the actual issues) is better than focusing on the symptoms

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Though if we can get people to admit they feel the symptoms by describing the symptoms, some of those people might then be ready and willing to hear about the disease which is giving them the symptoms.

fwe'theewell , November 20, 2020 at 8:52 pm

A good point

bulfinch , November 19, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Tempting as it might be to shape the narrative so that the Walmarts of the World appear more like hapless innovators, shrewdly capitalizing on a crooked playing field, it only works if you blinker yourself to the fact that the WotW have at least 8 of the ten fingers on the hands architecting those same playing fields.

Objective Ace , November 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm

Don't get me wrong–I'm not trying to say Walmart is hapless. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I actually think they're so shrewd they want you to focus on these press releases about how they pay so little. If the only thing that stems from that is increasing the minimum wage, they come out big time winners

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Here's what the market dictates. " I can get 10 interns who will pay ME to LET them do your job. Now shut up and get back to work." The way to stop the Market Dictatorship of what wages will be is to impose a Legal Dictatorship on the market of what wages will be.

That's what the Wages and Hours Act was about to begin with. Make it a long-sentence hard-time felony to pay less or to take less. Abolish Free Trade in goods , services or people. That means Sealing the Borders to create zero immigration for as long as necessary to use the labor shortage to torture the employER class into raising wages and conditions upward. And to weld shut the "illegal immigration escape hatch" by which employERS ( including limousine liberals) pay less than the legally imposed minimum wage.

BlakeFelix , November 19, 2020 at 5:56 pm

Ya, I agree. Providing health care and making sure kids have food and education are subsidies that help businesses in a healthy way. And a UBI is a great idea as well! Toss in a Carbon tax, and you have my ideal policy.

Carolinian , November 19, 2020 at 11:12 pm

We've had this debate here for years so the above article is a bit of a recycled chestnut rather than an original thought.

And perhaps the answer for the "outrage" of those Walmart heirs is to reestablishment a meaningful inheritance tax since receiving billions through death is indeed an entitlement and not just for the Walmart heirs but also for plenty of mansion owners dotting the Northeast.

As for the company itself, yes it's a crappy and low paid place to work but they are hardly unique in that and one reason they top those mentioned lists, along with McDonalds, is that they are the number one and number two employers by number of employees in the country. And the reason they are so large is that they give their custormers what they want and can afford which cannot be said of so many competing looters that the author ignores.

There are lots of worse companies than Walmart but in the battle of the coastals versus the deplorables they have always made a fat juicy target for those who probably pay their hired help less than Walmart does its "associates."

Kirk Seidenbecker , November 19, 2020 at 2:34 pm

$15/Hr.? Thought it was more like $22/Hr. if minimum wage had kept pace with the rise in productivity.

https://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage1-2012-03.pdf

LC , November 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm

Right!?
I keep thinking about how at 15/hour people will lose what small piece of our social safety net that keeps them "making it". No family is purchasing health insurance on that increase. And really the few dollars per hour might not even make up the food benefits for a medium sized family. It's scary to get a raise where you end up worse off then before.
I mean I guess that's just the messed up reality when a whole bunch of household costs have been introduced or increased since policies using means testing (income and asset thresholds) to determine access. Actually I am sure ok not sure but it would make sense that these companies know exactly how much pay will kick these employees off benefits. So the employee community is less likely to make a fuss for small increases in pay which is the norm we have come to accept as workers. I'm all for real talk minimum/ living wages for the communities people actually live in.

Carla , November 20, 2020 at 6:38 am

That's why expanded, improved Medicare for All has to be implemented ALONG WITH the $15 (or $22) minimum wage.

Chauncey Gardiner , November 19, 2020 at 2:42 pm

"Corporate welfare queens" As others have noted, it isn't just Walmart and the Waltons. Trying to think of an appropriate term to describe the outcome of the decision by a majority of the US Supreme Court justices in the Citizens United case that not only enabled but tacitly encouraged One Percent, corporate, Wall Street, executive branch, legislators' and central bank behavior that, although still a cycle, has led to the opposite of a "virtuous cycle". "Morally obscene", corrupt and corruptible, and dishonorable are some descriptions of resultant behavior that come to mind. Too bad "The Swamp" wasn't drained, but has been further expanded and left both legacy political parties tarnished. It is said that a fish rots from the head down. That may be so, but that doesn't mean the rot cannot be allowed to set in. Follow the Money.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:21 pm

It turns out that when the TrumpAdmin used the phrase " the Swamp", what they strictly specifically and only meant were the impartial scientists at the various departments , bureaus and agencies. And they have done all they could to drain out the impartial scientists and stop the science. Which is all they ever meant by "drain the Swamp".

howseth , November 19, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Citizens United decision was a display of right wing insanity in all it's glory: I suppose insanity was either baked into the Constitution – or in 1780 – was not yet insanity?
Still can't get over that decision – ever since, my thought: term limits for friggen federal judges – and certainly the SCOTUS crew and throw in Congress and the Senate as well.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 10:21 pm

We have term limits for state officeholders in Michigan. All that mostly gets us is cynical amateurs who view their limited term as a chance to make contacts and audition for lobbying/law/etc. jobs after leaving office.

And the non-cynical amateurs who want to make things better are term-limited out of office just when they are finally learning where all the hidden levers, ropes, pulleys, secret trap doors are. Meanwhile, the lobbyists are not term limited.

Term limits for national office would make some things worse while making nothing better.

howseth , November 20, 2020 at 12:39 am

Ah, those immortal lobbyists! Term limits for politicians – combined with limits on lobbyists. One can dream. No? I'd like to try it. How can we actually drain the Swamp/
Oh. Crap. We have a Supreme Court. Freedom to Lobby infinitely. Freedom of bribery – I mean freedom of speech.
OK, So nothing can be done. Perhaps state office holders are a different thing then National politicians? (Yeah, maybe not) But Do you want to remove the term limits on our President then? No? I'd keep that limit.
Should we just resign ourselves to be stuck with this stuff till the Sun expands and swallows the USA? The future colony on Mars will have a better way? Not likely.

Carla , November 20, 2020 at 7:18 am

We have term limits. They're called elections. If/when there's something wrong with Democracy, fix Democracy. If/when there's something wrong with the Constitution, fix the Constitution

In most cases, artificial term limits don't do either. I would say there are two exceptions: limiting the presidency to two terms, and limiting the tenure of federal judges. In the latter case, 18-year term limits have been suggested, and that could be the right number, I'm not sure.

Now, with respect to fixing Democracy and the Constitution, for a First Step, please see HJR-48: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only -- oh, by the way, stating that money does not equal speech.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-joint-resolution/48/text

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Every looting is real looting. Little looters in the streets are real looters. Big looters in the suites are real looters.

Since the big looting is currently legal in many cases, laws would have to be changed to stop the big looters looting. Its worth trying to do. It won't happen with Joemala and McConnell conspiring together to stop it from happening.

We need to elect a Red Gingrich minority of officeholders into the House and into the Senate. The "squad" could be the nucleus of that if they decide to center economic justice instead of critical race wokeness.

Burn down the House. And the Senate too.

Carla , November 20, 2020 at 7:19 am

"Joemala" -- Love it!

Watt4Bob , November 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm

If China didn't have the Waltons, they would have found another family glad to help them destroy our small retailers.

Our government gave tax breaks to corporations moving manufacturing to China, and to Walmart, and others peddling what used to be made here.

And now, to add insult to injury, they're telling you to " Learn to code" because the problem is, you don't have any employable skills.

polecat , November 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Congrease had/has the legal power to enact legislation with which to reign in what has become the early 21st century gilded age .. but they refuse to .. Nearly ALL of them have their dirty proboscii harpooning the lowly constituents who elected them ..too busy sucking any and all of plebian bodilyeconomic liquidity whilst paying deference to the know-it-all, BigTime-parasitic Oligarchic Brainbugs!

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Abolish Free Trade and we could dry up the tidal wave of cheapest things which floats Walmart's boat to wealth and power.

sharonsj , November 20, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Not gonna happen. Apparently Biden will likely sign the TPP.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 21, 2020 at 2:24 am

If Biden does that, then Trump himself could very well win again if he runs in 2024. If that scenario plays out that way, I hope Trump picks Ivanka to be his VP running mate. That way, Ivanka would be on track to be America's first woman president. I just hope Hillary would live long enough to see that happen.

PeasantParty , November 19, 2020 at 4:38 pm

I used to dread the Friday news drops. The unemployment numbers, employed people in minimum wage jobs, workers at home working away, and major inflation in the grocery stores are hitting people extremely hard coming up to Holiday season. I really can't wait to see the Friday news drops now. Not just the Trump temper tantrum stuff, but the economic quips they make. Then what is totally mind blowing are the comments on social media. Some people that are not hurting much, or at all seem to think that all things are fine as wine in the rest of the country. I know this reply does not specifically comment on your article, but it is a wide view of the current situation.

Shiloh1 , November 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm

Walmart and Bezos are the symptoms of two generations of Congressional criminality.

Exhibit A: "I say to the Walton Family..,"

cynical observer , November 19, 2020 at 10:41 pm

With the computers and big data, the simplest solution is to claw back the benefits paid to the employees from the corporations, call it humanitarian tax.

But, it would be hard to find a lobbyist to write it, even harder to find a sponsor in the congress.

edmondo , November 19, 2020 at 11:30 pm

That would destroy the ability of these people to get jobs and to receive benefits.

I think you might have the cause and effect mixed up. In my state, anyone who gets SNAP benefits has to work at least 20 hours a week. These "bad" employers are the ones with flexible schedules and because the jobs are so crappy, they are readily available. Maybe it's not that WalMartb workers need benefits, it's that the benefits recipient needs WalMart and McDonalds.

sharonsj , November 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Every state is different. I just have to show proof of income (which I have, though I don't have a job). But the amount of SNAP you get varies widely. I am 150% of poverty level and the state of Pennsylvania just raised my monthly benefit to $16.50.

Ook , November 19, 2020 at 10:45 pm

Another way to put it: Walmart, McDonald's, Dollar General, and Amazon are really government stores with outsourced management and labor.
Socialism American-style.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 21, 2020 at 2:25 am

Life in the CSSA. ( Corporate Soviet States of America).

sharonsj , November 20, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Whenever I am in Walmart or any supermarket with automatic check out, I avoid automatic check out completely and only go to regular check out, no matter how long the line is. Automatic check out is a precursor to eventually firing all human cashiers. In my "larger" town, where I often end up in Walmart for the cheaper pet food, an Aldi's was built precisely opposite it, across the road. I heard an Aldi's employee saying they get paid better than Walmart. And lots of their prices are the same or better. So I will be spending a lot more time there.

Elaine Williams , November 21, 2020 at 10:37 am

This is not new news. We are too used to Walmart's superlow prices to do anything about it. This will continue long after I'm gone.

[Nov 17, 2020] A short note of class struggle

Nov 17, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

hunkerdown , November 16, 2020 at 10:29 am

Consider the structure of the term "common sense", which is just shared opinion. If there is no common sense, there will be no common action.

The problem with coming together is that the ruling class divides and rules us as a normal procedure of creating a class system. Nobody in the ruling class has a problem with this. Their purpose in life is to reproduce the system of mass slavery and adapt it to present conditions and they, being among the elect, are fine with this.

Pat , November 16, 2020 at 9:48 am

Cognitive dissonance is a daily occurrence for anyone paying attention. And our struggling "leaders" are largely struggling over territory while ignoring the state of the nation.

True national emergencies are ignored as they are inconvenient, or more honestly buried under the rug, because they might mean our sociopaths at the top of the food chain would have to pony up some of their Ill gotten gains to the social good AND lose some of their leverage over modern serfs. And unlike "war" and "military intervention" which have been monetized to the nth degree, pandemic response has been bungled not only because the social systems have been shredded but because factions are fighting over response in order to find a way to strip as much public money from it as possible.

We make black jokes here about brunch, but the election of Biden is NOT about him, it is a probably a vain attempt to put the genie back in the bottle. The sad thing is that instead of pretending to be the adults in the room, the usual suspects kept up their four year long tantrum, instead of letting the process play out and talking about how our system works, it was all "he isn't giving up, he is being mean." All because it slightly delayed them reestablishing their rice bowls. And so ends the "bring us together" meme with nary a whimper.

I wish there was a chance our national leaders would get their heads out of the pockets of their donors long enough to notice that the foundation THEY depend on for their corrupt lifestyles had been destroyed. I wish our foundations had not been so corrupted that even one part remains strong.

I am not entirely pessimistic. The kids are largely alright. I just hope we can hold it together long enough to give them a chance.

David , November 16, 2020 at 11:30 am

Two slightly different things here, perhaps.
I think it's generally accepted that all societies need a common frame of reference against which you can have discussions and arguments, make and critique policy and try to interpret the world. This doesn't mean that everybody agrees, or still less that everybody is obliged to, but rather that everybody agrees about what the issues are and about the ground over which they may disagree. Back in the days of the Cold War, for example, there were furious debates about politics, not to mention wars, atrocities and dictatorships, but pretty much everybody agreed what the issues were, even if they were on different sides of them. Historically, this was very much the norm: the religious wars of Europe, or the wars of the French Revolution were between people with very different views, but who agreed on the underlying context. What we have now, is what the philosopher Alasdair McIntyre called "incommensurability": a jaw-breaking term which means, essentially, that people don't even begin from the same assumptions, and so are condemned to talk past each other. This accounts for a lot of the cognitive dissonance. In the case of Brexit, for example, much of the bitterness and confusion arose from the fact that Leavers and Remainers were simply talking about different things, and starting from different assumptions, but didn't realise it. The same applies, obviously to the whole TDS story. As a result, Joe Public is now faced with the need to choose between competing and mutually exclusive interpretations of events, or even whether events have actually occurred. It's hardly surprising there's so much confusion and stress.

It's made worse by the kind of thing Thuto mentions. One of the least helpful ideas to emerge from the 1960s was that children should be "left to find their own way", rather than being taught things. But children mature by testing their ideas against the norms and structures of society, and indeed their parents, and coming to some sort of personal vision of the world. A lot of modern politics (and practically all of IdiotPol) is the result of middle-class educated people who were never contradicted as children, and are still looking to shock and provoke twenty or thirty years later. Once you understand that much of the political and media system is made of people who are basically adolescents ("why does it have to make sense? Tell me why it has to make sense!) the chaos and stress become easier to understand.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm

This is what we should expect.
Western liberalism's descent into chaos.
1920s/2000s – neoclassical economics, high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase
1929/2008 – Wall Street crash
1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, trade wars, austerity, rising nationalism and extremism
1940s – World war.

Right wing populist leaders are what we should expect at this stage in the descent into chaos.

Why is Western liberalism always such a disaster?
They did try and learn from past mistakes to create a new liberalism (neoliberalism), but the Mont Pelerin Society went round in a circle and got back to pretty much where they started.

It equates making money with creating wealth and people try and make money in the easiest way possible, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money.
You might as well do that in the easiest way possible.
It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.
What they are doing is really an illusion; they are just pulling future spending power into today.
The 1920s roared at the expense of an impoverished 1930s.
Japan roared on the money creation of real estate lending in the 1980s, they spent the next 30 years repaying the debt they had built up in the 1980s and the economy flat-lined.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

Bankers use bank credit to pump up asset prices, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
The money creation of bank credit flows into the economy making it boom, but you are heading towards a financial crisis and claims on future prosperity are building up in the financial system.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
Early success comes at the expense of an impoverished future.

Things haven't been the same since 2008.
Early success came at the expense of an impoverished future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6
At 18 mins.
The money creation of bank credit flowed into the economy before 2008 making it boom, but they were heading towards a financial crisis and claims on future prosperity were building up in the financial system.
It's repayment time.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 16, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Let's get the basics sorted.
When no one knows what real wealth creation is, you are in trouble.

We want economic success
Step one – Identify where wealth creation occurs in the economy.
Houston, we have a problem.

Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.
This is the problem.
Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else.
They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it.
The Classical economist, Adam Smith:
"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money."
There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died.
They had to earn money to live.

Ricardo was an expert on the small state, unregulated capitalism he observed in the world around him. He was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.
"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist.
They soon identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income.
This disappeared in neoclassical economics.

GDP was invented after they used neoclassical economics last time.
In the 1920s, the economy roared, the stock market soared and nearly everyone had been making lots of money.
In the 1930s, they were wondering what the hell had just happened as everything had appeared to be going so well in the 1920s and then it all just fell apart.
They needed a better measure to see what was really going on in the economy and came up with GDP.
In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.
The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.
Real wealth creation involves real work producing new goods and services in the economy.

So all that transferring existing financial assets around doesn't create wealth?
No it doesn't, and now you are ready to start thinking about what is really going on there.

GlassHammer , November 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm

"Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to."

And this is why the quintessential business model in the U.S (at least since the 1970s) has been the multi-level marketing scheme.

[Nov 14, 2020] 'There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions and workers'- Biden wants to undo Trump executive orders on federal workers

Nov 14, 2020 | www.msn.com

'There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions and workers': Biden wants to undo Trump executive orders on federal workers Andrew Keshner 6 hrs ago


Grandfather sentenced to more than 500 years in jail ordered to be released Supporters of President Donald Trump rally in Washington DC to protest MarketWatch logo 'There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions and workers': Biden wants to undo Trump executive orders on federal workers a man standing in front of a brick building: Are executive orders on labor rules in store for government workers in a Biden administration? © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Are executive orders on labor rules in store for government workers in a Biden administration?

President Donald Trump used executive orders to put up roadblocks for unions representing federal employees, and now President-elect Joe Biden seems poised to reverse those moves.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump signed executive orders mandating stricter deadlines and procedures when federal workers collectively negotiated new contracts, curbing on-the-clock time for union duties as well as giving some under-performing workers tight time frames to boost their performance.

In January 2021, newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden is likely to pull back those same orders, according to union members, who say the orders have weakened their ability to ensure rank and file staffers are treated fairly.

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The Biden transition team didn't respond to a request for comment, but Biden's campaign website has signaled that the president-elect will address these issues: "There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers. It's been raging for decades, and it's getting worse with Donald Trump in the White House."

The President-Elect, among other things, supports laws that would penalize companies trying to interfere with worker organizing efforts, according to his website.

Biden is expected to rely on executive orders for government policy if he cannot make changes through law in a divided Congress.

"This is not just about employees," said Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union. "Ultimately, this is good for American taxpayers to have federal employees and agency leaders communicating and taking action together to solve problems before there's a grievance and a lawsuit."

Reardon, who heads a union with 150,000 members, said he and his staff had heard from Biden and his campaign in the months leading up to the Nov. 3 election. "The President-Elect, he was clear with me that he is extremely supportive of labor unions and of workers' rights," Reardon said.

There's a different point of view from management. "In some ways, you look at [the executive orders] and go 'Why weren't these there before?'" said Scott Witlin, who represents private-sector employers as a partner at Barnes & Thornburg.

There's nothing that's unreasonable on its face in the Trump administration orders, he said, such as a six-month limit on negotiations. "Six months would be an exceedingly long private-sector negotiation," he said.


Video: City leaders warn of possible new restrictions as COVID spikes statewide (WWL-TV New Orleans)

Play Video City leaders warn of possible new restrictions as COVID spikes statewide Click to expand

In certain ways, the potential executive orders on federal workers are a narrow matter.

The federal government employed almost 3.8 million people in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Of that sum, 1.15 million were represented by unions, the agency said, noting that the category groups together union members and workers without union affiliation who have jobs covered by union or employee association contracts.

But it's also a peek at the president-elect's larger views on organized labor.

Declining union membership

Last year, there were 14.6 million salary and wage workers who were members of a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's just over 10% of the workforce, and a 10-percentage-point drop from 1983, the first year comparable statistics became available, the agency said.

There's a range of reasons why union ranks keep thinning, observers say . That ranges from the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act allowing "union shops" only when a majority of workers voted for the idea, to globalization -- which sent off factory jobs -- to state-level "right to work" laws that bar unions from collecting dues from non-union workers covered in their contracts.

Though right-to-work opponents say those kinds of laws eat into a union's to support itself, proponents say it's not fair to force workers into unions that they don't feel are acting in their best interest.

The three Trump administration executive orders frame their focus as a matter of promoting efficiency to avoid long, drawn out negotiations that could get in the way of carrying out official duties.

Celine McNicholas, director of government affairs at the left-leaning think tank the Economic Policy Institute, said Trump's orders focused on federal workers not because he had it out for them especially, but because "he could accomplish those attacks through the stroke of a pen."

The Trump administration orders "were designed in order to make it impossible for unions to fulfill their representation obligations under the law," said Jacqueline Simon, public policy director at the American Federation of Government Employees, a union comprised of 700,000 federal and District of Columbia government workers.

Reardon said the orders weren't necessary. "There is absolutely nothing about labor and management sitting down together and collaborating in work that suggests they can't create efficiencies." And there were already procedures to remove under-performing employees, he added.

Various unions, including the AFGE and NTEU, sued over the orders. Ultimately, the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the unions' challenges last year.

Reardon said he's seen the consequences of the new orders, which result in "sham" bargaining. Some NTEU members work at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he noted. In the aftermath of the orders, Reardon said agency negotiators cut the talks short because they were bound by the orders' rules on what could and couldn't be the focus of talks.

The sides still haven't come to an agreement, said Reardon.

"HHS is working with employees and their union representation to improve the operations of the department with the aim of making the federal government a better place to work and better able to deliver the services to the American people," an HHS spokeswoman said in a statement.


[Nov 07, 2020] Trump just put new regulations in place that require h1b to pay way more, among other things, which means it makes low quality Indian workers far less interesting to the profiteers that then get the same low quality code and have to pay white/east Asian male wages.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

Frank frank , says: November 7, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT • 8.1 hours ago

@Beckow ow quality Indian workers far less interesting to the profiteers that then get the same low quality code and have to pay white/east Asian male wages.

It's funny how the tech companies are all about diversity until it means higher costs.

It will also be funny when the token blacks people hiring programs by the tech companies mean that peak-diversity signaling, token hire Jamal realizes he'll be working with nothing but Indians that hate anyone would who is not brainwashed by Jewish propaganda and speak nothing but Hindi to each other and whom you can't understand when they actually try to speak English,

John Achterhof , says: November 7, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT • 4.8 hours ago
@Beckow

Excellent analysis, entirely plausible. Lacking any survey of broad opinion, I'm apt to project my own view as Trump's Waterloo: that while the political damage of poorly managing the pandemic was mostly washed out by the emerging view that the economic damage (including the rioting) of the severe course favored by the left has been more harmful than the virus, a decisive fraction of his core demographic nevertheless arrived at the view – despite the ceaseless scolding insistence of this by much of mainstream media – that their president is indeed glaringly ill-suited for public office.

bomag , says: November 7, 2020 at 12:56 pm GMT • 4.7 hours ago
@Beckow

Clearly helping the white male workers has not been a priority. So he lost.

So, the choice was between someone who did nothing, and someone who promised to take even more away from them.

Such voters stay home as a protest, not go out and actively make things worse for themselves.

Suspect that their non-votes were harvested by the Machine.

Old and Grumpy , says: November 7, 2020 at 1:00 pm GMT • 4.7 hours ago

Perhaps it is due to living near Philly, but there is always fraud. Democrats are good at it, and Republican Inc. loves it. Can't have any honest, straight shooter interrupt the long standing political graft. Of course the Donald isn't really an honest man. Had he kept that 5% of the 2016 white male vote, any cheating would have been impossible. But hey we have still have Israel first with President Kamala. Whew on that. However I don't look forward to being uncomfortable in my house due to the Paris Accords mandates.

In defense of Maga, there are so many professional agitators in their ranks besides Qanon. Call them dumb, but they really desperate for something called hope. Maybe that is the reason I tend to think Trump was the bait to reel them in for the sporting catch and kill.

PolarBear , says: November 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm GMT • 4.9 hours ago
@prime noticer Trump's a business man, not a career politician like Biden or Hillary. The system wants the latter. Soros funds BLM, antifa, ect. It's safe to say the system was against Trump. Much of his own party of sellout politicians weren't with him. Trump got through the cracks once, the deep state wasn't going to let that happen again. To get 8 years in office you have to be a total puppet. The Bush's, Clinton, and Obama were all hand-picked puppets. Trump wasn't in the club. Trump as President was an accident they had clean up, even if he was more than willing to betray the White men that voted him in and submit to the beast.
Trinity , says: November 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm GMT • 4.3 hours ago

It is obvious why (((they))) wanted Trumpstein out, Trumpstein, despite being a cuckold to the Zionist was threatening to bring our brave young men and women home, protect our borders, and his base was about 98% White at the lowest. And many of those were common everyday working class Whites, you know, the people who really made America great, the people who actually grow food, build buildings, work and produce automobiles in factories, drive trucks, you know jobs that are REAL JOBS, JOBS THAT ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING.

(((They))) didn't really hate Trump, they hated the typical Trump voter. Actually it has already been pointed out, Trump did very little for the average White other than give them hope, he really didn't deliver that much. Trump became uber popular by just giving the people crumbs, now can you imagine how popular a man or woman will be when they come out of nowhere and give the people the hundred per cent truth. It will take a fearless man or woman, someone with nothing left to lose, because that is the way it has always been. I NEVER expected Trump to do much, after all, this guy is the typical NYC businessman, think of who this guy has had dealings with in his lifetime, hell, look at his in-laws. For all his, "I am not a politician" rantings, Trump spent his life around politicians and pictures are all over the place with Trump & Bill Clinton golfing together, Trump and Ghislane, Trump & Epstein, Trump with his friend Baby Nut&Yahoo, etc. Sounds like the typical politician to me. Trump was NEVER a man of the people and it will take a real man of the people to set things right in America.

TMJ , says: November 7, 2020 at 2:34 pm GMT • 4.0 hours ago
@Ano4 emonized, censored, attacked, and even murdered. I am glad to have sat this one out, between who knows how many men like me and those 5% we brought this supposed contest to a standstill and caused a nation of cope.

Wignats gave him 2016 and we turned 2020 into a shitshow in answer to his betrayal. Trump only has himself to blame for doing almost nothing to stop censorship, clean up the FBI/DOJ, prosecute Antifa, end birthright citizenship, end H1B, so many other opportunities squandered. Trump supporters should start working toward something productive for their interests.

Trinity , says: November 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm GMT • 1.6 hours ago

Harris/Biden like Trump/Pence are Israel Firsters, so really all this hoopla over a transition is not really called for when you think about it. Matter of fact, the 1st and 2nd Amendment will continue to be under attacked just like it was with Trumpstein, now more than ever. Anti-White racism will continue until Whites start standing up for their rights the same way as everyone else. Trumpstein was never the savior for America, face it. Maybe things will become so bad IF Harris/Biden take over that this country and Whites will gain a spine again. Until then, new boss, same as the old boss, more or less. Still as bad as the Orange Man was, IF you are "White" and voted for Harris/Biden, you have to be legally retarded. Thanks to all the WINOs and white traitor trash out there. Brilliant you bunch of retards.

Emslander , says: November 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm GMT • 1.2 hours ago

A nice splash of cold water on the sadly losing side in the 2020 election. What you say is mostly true. There are some significant points you don't acknowledge, such as the idea that massive numbers of mailed ballots will certainly result in unauthorized votes being counted. It's hard to say how many that is, but I suspect, like you, that it can't have made a difference of hundreds of thousands across all the states necessary for a Trump victory.

Blame the phony virus for most of these results and I insist that shutdown policies have been a gross overreaction designed to make Trump powerless to campaign.

Finally, one simply has to admit that Trump was unprepared to be an effective President and never learned how. Saying things that sound populist over and over isn't governing.

We have a nice wall that's 400 miles long down on the Mexican border and that's about it. At some point in the fast approaching future, it will have a plaque on it saying, "I am Ozymandias Trump. Look on all that I survey."

Zarathustra , says: Next New Comment November 7, 2020 at 5:40 pm GMT • 54 minutes ago

Well?
What kind of pathetic miserable 17 intelligence agencies, with support of democratic party and Judenpresse would be , if they would not be able to fix the election such way that their mischief cannot be found. And on top of it Covid with mail in voting was a surefire help.
.
But than you sleep in the bed you make.

Ghali , says: Next New Comment November 7, 2020 at 5:56 pm GMT • 38 minutes ago

Very misleading and dis-informative post. It ignores the Democrats' history of fraudulent elections and manipulation of Americans. From the beginning and before the elections, the Democrats said that they will do everything to remove Trump from the White House, by violence if necessary.
In reality, the only times the Democrats won fair elections were by JFK and Obama recently. The reasons were because of the efficient and highly successful advertising campaigns (propaganda) to manipulate Americans. In fact, Obama won a prize for his efficient advertising campaign to con Americans and "win" the elections. He was far more criminal than his predecessors.

[Nov 07, 2020] .It's a class-war people, recognize it for such.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

donten , Nov 5 2020 23:33 utc | 178

The amount of cerebral activity wasted here is, well, wasted...It's a class-war people, recognize it for such. The U.S. needs to fall down among the weeds, and fertilize what's coming...The libertarian impulse must be squashed until it is unrecognizable!!

Equality, Fraternity, and Liberty in that order, my friends. All else is sickness in the mind.

[Nov 07, 2020] I grew up in the 50's, when a single wage earner was able to buy a modest house, own a car, and provide for the average family, including medical costs, college plans, etc. Those days have long gone due to the ongoing debasement of the currency

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

naiverealist , Nov 6 2020 16:32 utc | 75

I am seeing quite a few references to a $15/hr minimum wage as a target for a "living wage". I feel this is merely misdirection from the real problems with our money system.

First, let me say that I fully support the idea of a "living wage". After all, I grew up in the 50's, when a single wage earner was able to buy a modest house, own a car, and provide for the average family, including medical costs, college plans, etc. Those days have long gone due to the ongoing debasement of the currency. Thus, it doesn't matter what you establish as the minimum wage this year, by next year it will have to be raised again (and again, and again, . . . ). So, why pick a $15 number when $20, $25, etc. are in the future of an inflating currency.

To suggest a way to break this cycle, please abide with me as I relate a personal anecdote.

In the late 60's I was negotiating a job with a particularly cantankerous cheapskate. I told him that I would work for him for $1/ hour. He got really elated and was ready to formalize the position when I continued ". . . but that dollar has to be a silver dollar." He broke off negotiations immediately. I didn't care. I really didn't want to work for him. Silver was still cheap in those days.

Anyway, look at the price of a silver dollar now, and ask yourself if that would be a "living wage" today. (The melt value of a silver dollar (about .77 oz) is around $20 excluding any premiums or numismatic value.)

I contend that debasement of the currency (the US dollar) by removing all silver (and copper) from coins and gold backing from the paper dollar has caused more of the economic problems (IMHO) of the average person we see today.

[Oct 24, 2020] You do realize that H1B is literal indentured servitude, right?

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Oct 23 2020 15:31 utc | 120

@vk #110
You do realize that H1B is literal indentured servitude, right?
And that its purpose is nothing more than cheap(er) labor for the tech companies?
I know many people on H1B, as well as several people who specialize in H1B "hiring".
The good news: many of these people are smart and capable.
The bad news: they're stuck at the companies they start at for 7 years or more - and are paid significantly (20% to 50%) under "market". If they leave, their green card process starts anew even assuming they find another H1B sponsor.
More bad news: there are also a significant number of "body shops" who do nothing but enter the lottery for H1B visas, then auction off the "wins" to the tech companies. The H1B people in these situations are far worse off because they work for the "body shop", not the tech company.
Most importantly: H1B, even at its peak, brought in less than 200K people (188K by law).
In comparison: in 2017 - legal immigration was
Family and Immediate Relatives: 748,746
Employment: 137,855
Refugees and Asylees: 146,003
Diversity and Other: 94,563
Total Visas Issued: 1,127,167
Over 1.1 million people came in legally without the H1B.

[Oct 19, 2020] A new statue depicting Medusa holding a man's severed head symbolises what's bad about #MeToo and why it's backfired on women by Alexander Adams

Oct 17, 2020 | www.rt.com

In Greek mythology, men used to fear the stony gaze of the snake-haired Gorgon. Today, men once again feel such fear – but, ironically, no campaign has done more to impair women's opportunities either.

A seven-foot statue of Medusa holding a man's severed head was unveiled in New York this week. For six months, this sculpture, made by the Argentinian-Italian artist Luciano Garbati, will be situated facing the Manhattan Supreme Court, where Harvey Weinstein was prosecuted and convicted of sex crimes against actresses and female film-production staff.

The statue is being used in this position as a symbol of justice enacted against male rapists. However, it more accurately – and unintentionally – symbolises the difference between the public triumphalism of the #MeToo movement and its negative repercussions for women in the United States.

The most famous painting of Medusa – a female character from Greek mythology who had a hair of snakes and could turn men to stone if they met her gaze directly – was painted by Caravaggio in 1596. He was inspired by Vasari's account of a lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci. It has been a common subject for artists since. Garbati's statue was made in 2008 and adopted by the #MeToo movement subsequently. From moral outrage to financial advantage

The #MeToo movement hit prominence in 2017 and was initially primarily concerned with incidents, and allegations, of sexual abuse in Hollywood. It quickly grew to include cases of sexual impropriety in many fields, mainly in the US. However, as it expanded, it encompassed rape, sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual contact, unwanted advances, and transactional sex.

By refusing to draw distinctions between actual crimes, ethical/professional infractions, and consensual (but regretted) sex, the movement became diffusely broad. Allegations of sexual abuse led to the accused losing contracts, jobs, and marriages; in some cases, it contributed to suicide. In the ensuing storm of moral panic, actual rape was conflated with Ben Affleck's groping of an actress in a video interview , a woman complaining about a date with Aziz Ansari and Louis CK exposing himself to colleagues (with their consent).

By failing to distinguish between levels of seriousness, the movement lost what moral credibility it had and became a means of gaining revenge and exacting extortion. If crimes have been committed, then they should be reported to the police, not aired in a public forum. The accused need anonymity just as the victims do, until justice can be served.

Sexual accusations have long been weaponized in American pop culture. It has already been proven that a whisper network of female comic-book professionals has targeted male colleagues with – alongside actual crimes – unfounded accusations, in order to provide more opportunities for female creators. This is not a male/female problem; using deceit and exaggeration to advance oneself is as old as language itself.

In American television and film production, #MeToo gained control of productions via Time's Up, enforcing quotas of women and extracting payments. It became a grab to secure lucrative work for women, relying on goodwill from the public and the fear of executives. The Time's Up movement is co-led by Katie McGrath, who runs production company Bad Robot Productions with her husband J.J. Abrams. Bad Robot has a history of presenting itself as a pro-social-justice company. This summer, at a time when rioters were burning shops and destroying historic monuments, Bad Robot made an infamous announcement that there had been " Enough polite conversation. Enough white comfort. "

ALSO ON RT.COM Rose McGowan's new #MeToo rape claim puts the Left in difficulty. No prizes for guessing what they'll do – they'll dump on her Unintended consequences

By presenting a company as an ethical, socially conscious body, that company is an ideal position to benefit from major firms being pressured into making decisions not based on competence but politics. Individuals and companies have seen how they can manipulate public sympathy about sexual abuse to their own advantage. But firms are now realizing this danger.

No event has done more to impair women's opportunities in the workplace than the #MeToo/Time's Up movement. Production companies – even those led by women – now see female colleagues as a source of potential extortion and compensation claims. As a result, they now avoid hiring women in order to avert the possibility of costly legal claims and reputation-impairing social-media campaigns. Following decades-long attempts to persuade male-dominated industries that hiring women brought advantages and an expansion of the talent pool, the moral panic of #MeToo has served only to reveal the disadvantages of employing women.

When male executives see women today, they fear them, just as heroes in Greek mythology feared the gaze of Medusa. Ironically, rather than celebrating female power, Garbati's statue is instead a fitting symbol of the way a campaign that began well has, once again, made men mistrust women.

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Alexander Adams

is an artist, art critic and author. His book 'Iconoclasm, Identity Politics and the Erasure of History' is published by Societas. Follow him on Twitter @AdamsArtist

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Oct 15, 2020] Northern 'Working Class' Brits need to lose the chip on their shoulder and stop expecting other people to solve their problems -- RT Op-ed

Oct 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

Northern 'Working Class' Brits need to lose the chip on their shoulder and stop expecting other people to solve their problems Chris Sweeney Chris Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney 14 Oct, 2020 14:18 / Updated 14 hours ago Get short URL Northern 'Working Class' Brits need to lose the chip on their shoulder and stop expecting other people to solve their problems © Getty Images/Peter Byrne/PA Images 26 Follow RT on RT The traditional blue collar areas of the UK are complaining of being treated with less respect and urgency by Boris Johnson, than the more affluent parts of the country - but their argument doesn't stack up.

Britain is riddled by a class system. This is largely down to the exaggeration of those who self-identify as "working class".

A snapshot is the cliché thrown around that to be Prime Minister, you have to attend either Oxford or Cambridge. For those outside of the UK, the insinuation is that you come from an affluent background, can afford private education which enabled you to enter one of the two famous universities. Boris Johnson is the poster child for this privileged group of blue bloods.

READ MORE Britain has always been unfair, unequal and divided – Covid-19 has only served to show this in even more stark relief Britain has always been unfair, unequal and divided – Covid-19 has only served to show this in even more stark relief

But James Callaghan was Prime Minster before Margaret Thatcher took over in 1979, and couldn't afford to go to university so never went. Neither did her successor, John Major. Gordon Brown who followed Tony Blair, attended the University of Edinburgh and is well-regarded as the most intellectual of recent PMs.

There's no denying the political system has a bias towards Oxbridge alumni, but people have smashed the glass ceiling and, in fact, even of the PMs who did attend Oxford or Cambridge between 1964 and 1997, Wilson, Heath and Thatcher, none were privately educated.

Why this is pertinent now, is because of the hysteria sweeping Britain's North complaining of playing with a loaded deck. The gripe is that London and the wealthier pockets of society are being allowed more attention and flexibility during Covid.

The South of England is the spiritual home of The Conservatives, the land of the millionaire stockbroker and art history scholar. The North, Wales and Scotland have traditionally been enemy territory, due to their cities being built on manufacturing, coal mining and industry. In our current scenario, this Northern population are being driven by a chip on their shoulders.

London dominates commerce and business, it's a global financial centre. Even so, some of the capital city's inhabitants are under the misapprehension that Northerners dream of a "London life". They don't.

The two pillars of British culture; football and music are defined far more successfully outside of London, than they ever have been inside.

The same discombobulation happens in the other direction and because the Northern towns are more parochial, they impact on a bigger scale.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'No peasants, please': BoJo's love-in with Bill Gates on Twitter shows just how broken UK democracy really is

Over the last few days, the British government has tightened restrictions particularly in the North, across the three tiers - they are the only region in the most severe tranche. But chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new scheme to pay two-thirds of any employees' wages, if their place of work is forced to shut.

Large firms who close can claim grants up to £3,000 per month and smaller businesses are entitled to £1,300. That's on top of the Job Support Scheme, which kicks-in for anyone working at least a third of their normal hours. The government will subsidise the remaining two-thirds (up to £2,100).

This follows furlough, which has been paying 80 percent of salaries (up to £2,500 per month) of 12 percent of Britain's workforce. Sunak said : "The primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged - to support people's jobs...I cannot save every business, I cannot save every job."

Northern politicians have been quick to dog whistle.

Mayor of Greater Manchester , Andy Burnham complained: "They're trying to pressurise people into tier three, even though it will do certain harm to those economies, often quite fragile economies in the north."

Liverpool's mayor Steve Rotheram felt he wasn't consulted enough and said: "it was made clear to us that government would be doing this regardless of if we engaged with them or not."

Whipping up a frenzy ahead of the new rules, Frank McKenna, chief executive of lobby group Downtown in Business , ranted: "I cannot overstate the devastation that this will cause to Liverpool and other parts on northern England if these plans are adopted."

ALSO ON RT.COM I've gone from pro-lockdown to NO lockdown. Here's why people must take over from inept governments and learn to live with Covid

Covid is slitting the wrists of our economy. Unemployment has risen to 4.5 percent . But the pain is everywhere.

National debt stands at £2 trillion and will remain at over 100 percent of GDP, until 2025 at least. New research shows Aberdeen has the highest remaining income (£1,487.82), after monthly costs are deducted from average salaries.

Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle all rate above London on the same scale. The residents of the capital are left with £260.97.

London has a glut of millionaires and average figures are distorting. But that's the crux - statistics and points of view can be massaged.

This antipathy from the North is driven by rose-tinted spectacles. Those in the world of financial services earn more than their blue-collar counterparts.

That's because fewer people are capable of these jobs and they generate significantly more wealth than a manual or semi-skilled worker. This is not a criticism of manual workers, just a fact of life. Parity would be neither fair nor achievable. Living standards are determined by income, those working in commerce are also able to continue unabated, due to technology and video conferencing.

ALSO ON RT.COM Boris Johnson 'forcing' pubs in the North of England to close is a cultural car crash bound to cause more trouble than it cures

The arrival of Covid wasn't Britain's doing and Boris Johnson has handled it appallingly, for everyone. But even so there has been a herculean level of financial assistance, with The Treasury opening the cheque book like never before. Along with the other schemes, they've just handed £257 million to arts organisations across England.

Some elements of the Westminster machine are working for us all, the complaining masses in the North need to respect that. Moaning about being left dangling by the upper classes is just jealously at not having what others do.

Life isn't fair but the government's Covid assistance has been, so stop the self-pity.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Sep 29, 2020] The Most Miserable Place On Earth: Disney Firing 28,000 Workers

Sep 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Two-thirds of the newly laid-off workers are part-time employees: they will be happy to know that Disney loaded up on massive debt so it could fund stock buybacks.

[Sep 26, 2020] The Stockdale Paradox

Notable quotes:
"... You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. ..."
Sep 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

grug-cave-head , 2 hours ago

Let me post something.

The Stockdale Paradox[ edit ]

James C. Collins related a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp. [21] [ non-primary source needed ] When Collins asked which prisoners didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson.

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. [22]

Collins called this the Stockdale Paradox. [21]

[Sep 25, 2020] Angry Bear " All My Children

Sep 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

Comments (1)

  1. Likbez , September 25, 2020 11:05 am

    That's pretty naive take on the subject.

    For example Microsoft success was by the large part determined its alliance with IBM in the creation of PC and then exploiting IBM ineptness to ride this via shred marketing and alliances and "natural monopoly" tendencies in IT. MS DOS was a clone of CP/M that was bought, extended and skillfully marketed. Zero innovation here.

    Both Microsoft and Apple rely of research labs in other companies to produce innovation which they then then produced and marketed. Even Steve Jobs smartphone was not an innovation per se: it was just a slick form factor that was the most successful in the market. All functionality existed in other products.

    Facebook was prelude to, has given the world a glimpse into, the future.

    From pure technical POV Facebook is mostly junk. It is a tremendous database of user information which users supply themselves due to cultivated exhibitionism. Kind of private intelligence company. The mere fact that software was written in PHP tells you something about real Zuckerberg level.

    Amazon created a usable interface for shopping via internet (creating comments infrastructure and a usable user account database ) but this is not innovation in any sense of the word. It prospered by stealing large part of Wall Mart logistic software (and people) and using Wall Mart tricks with suppliers. So Bezos model was Wall Mart clone on the Internet.

    Unless something is done, Bezos will soon be the most powerful man in the world.

    People like Bezos, Google founders, Zuckerberg to a certain extent are part of intelligence agencies infrastructure. Remember Prism. So implicitly we can assume that they all report to the head of CIA.

    Artificial Intelligence, AI, is another consequence of this era of innovation that demands our immediate attention.

    There is very little intelligence in artificial intelligence :-). Intelligent behavior of robots in mostly an illusion created by First Clark law:

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws

    Most of amazing things that we see are the net result of tremendous raise of computing power of Neumann architecture machines.

    At some point quantity turns into quality.

[Sep 23, 2020] How Globalization Destroyed the Western Middle Class

Notable quotes:
"... "Another chasm opened between middle-class Westerners and their wealthy compatriots. Here, too, the middle class lost ground. It seemed that the wealthiest people in rich countries and almost everybody in Asia benefited from globalization, while only the middle class of the rich world lost out in relative terms. These facts supported the notion that the rise of "populist" political parties and leaders in the West stemmed from middle-class disenchantment. ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

HOW GLOBALIZATION DESTROYED THE WESTERN MIDDLE CLASS Published: September 15, 2020
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SOURCE: INSIGHT HISTORY

The world is becoming more equal but largely at the expense of middle-class Westerners, according to a recent paper by Branko Milanovic , a Stone Center Senior Scholar and a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. Milanovic's paper was published in Foreign Affairs, the publication of the think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and was titled: The World Is Becoming More Equal, Even as Globalization Hurts Middle-Class Westerners . Broadly speaking, globalization is the process of increased " worldwide integration of the economic, cultural, political, religious, and social systems" of the globe, producing an increased flow of goods, capital, labour, and information, across national borders. It was a process that gained steam particularly in the mid-1980s, with globalization having the greatest transformative impact on life since the Industrial Revolution .

Milanovic's paper starts by arguing that the world became more equal between the end of the Cold War and 2007/08 financial crisis, a period of high globalization. During this period however, globalization weakened the middle class in the West. As Milanovic writes :

"The results highlighted two important cleavages [or divisions]: one between middle-class Asians and middle-class Westerners and one between middle-class Westerners and their richer compatriots. In both comparisons, the Western middle class was on the losing end. Middle-class Westerners saw less income growth than (comparatively poorer) Asians, providing further evidence of one of the defining dynamics of globalization: in the last 40 years, many jobs in Europe and North America were either outsourced to Asia or eliminated as a result of competition with Chinese industries. This was the first tension of globalization: Asian growth seems to take place on the backs of the Western middle class."

Milanovic continues :

"Another chasm opened between middle-class Westerners and their wealthy compatriots. Here, too, the middle class lost ground. It seemed that the wealthiest people in rich countries and almost everybody in Asia benefited from globalization, while only the middle class of the rich world lost out in relative terms. These facts supported the notion that the rise of "populist" political parties and leaders in the West stemmed from middle-class disenchantment. "

Milanovic goes on to note that in an updated paper that looks at incomes in 130 countries from 2008 to 2013-14, the first tension of globalization holds true: in that, the incomes of the non-Western middle class grew more than the incomes of the middle class in the West. The impact of globalization on the Western middle class is imperative to understand. Globalization is a process that has produced winners and losers , and the Western middle class has been the greatest loser.

In my opinion, any system that weakens the middle class in any country should be seen as counterproductive. Having a strong middle class is one of the most important tenets in building a strong, prosperous, and stable society. The middle class serves as the bedrock of any country: those who comprise the middle-class work hard, pay taxes, and buy goods. A true solution to poverty in underdeveloped countries would create more prosperity for everyone, not take prosperity from one region and redirect it into another. This so-called solution creates at least as many problems as it supposedly solves.

Globalization has produced, and will seemingly continue to produce, a global standardization of wealth in many ways. For those special interests who are in the process of creating a global system, an economic uniformity across the globe is advantageous for the creation of this one-world system.

Sources

Globalization Definition, Oxford Reference - https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095855259

MÜNCHAU , W. (24 April, 2016) The revenge of globalisation's losers, Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/a4bfb89a-0885-11e6-a623-b84d06a39ec2

Milanovic, B. (28 Aug. 2020) The World Is Becoming More Equal, Even as Globalization Hurts Middle-Class Westerners. Foreign Affairs https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2020-08-28/world-economic-inequality

Milanovic, B. (13 May, 2016) Why the Global 1% and the Asian Middle Class Have Gained the Most from Globalization, Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2016/05/why-the-global-1-and-the-asian-middle-class-have-gained-the-most-from-globalization

Vanham, P. (17 Jan. 2019) A brief history of globalization, World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/how-globalization-4-0-fits-into-the-history-of-globalization/

[Sep 23, 2020] "THE $2.5 TRILLION THEFT"- RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%

Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

"THE $2.5 TRILLION THEFT": RAND STUDY UNCOVERS MASSIVE INCOME SHIFT TO THE TOP 1% Published: September 15, 2020
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SOURCE: FASTCOMPANY.COM

Just how far has the working class been left behind by the winner-take-all economy? A new analysis by the RAND Corporation examines what rising inequality has cost Americans in lost income -- and the results are stunning.

A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median -- with half the population making more and half making less -- now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation's economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)

The findings, which land amid a global pandemic, help to illuminate the paradoxes of an economy in which so-called essential workers are struggling to make ends meet while the rich keep getting richer .

"We were shocked by the numbers," says Nick Hanauer , a venture capitalist who came up with the idea for the research along with David Rolf, founder of Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union and president of the Fair Work Center in Seattle. "It explains almost everything. It explains why people are so pissed off. It explains why they are so economically precarious."

Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 [Chart: Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards, RAND Corporation]
"THE $2.5 TRILLION THEFT"

Notably, it isn't just those in the middle who've been hit. RAND found that full-time, prime-age workers in the 25th percentile of the U.S. income distribution would be making $61,000 instead of $33,000 had everyone's earnings from 1975 to 2018 expanded roughly in line with gross domestic product, as they did during the 1950s and '60s.

Workers in the 75th percentile would be at $126,000 instead of $81,000. Remarkably, even those in the 90th percentile would be better off than they are now if economic growth had been shared as it was in the post-war era. They'd be making $168,000 rather than $133,000.

Tally it all up, according to RAND, and the bottom 90% of American workers would be bringing home an additional $2.5 trillion in total annual income if economic gains were as equitably divided as they'd been in the past -- leading Rolf to dub the phenomenon "the $2.5 trillion theft."

"From the standpoint of people who have worked hard and played by the rules and yet are participating far less in economic growth than Americans did a generation ago," he says, "whether you call it 'reverse distribution' or 'theft,' it demands to be called something."

The RAND data also makes clear who the winners from inequality are: those in the top 1%.

Of course, they'd be in a less advantageous position if the economic pie had been divvied up since the mid-1970s like it was previously. If that were the case, RAND says, yearly income for the average one-percenter would fall from about $1.2 million to $549,000.

[Sep 22, 2020] Stop smoking, ditch the pyjamas, stay at your desk- how 'bossware' technology is secretly monitoring you working at home -- RT Op-ed

Sep 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Think you can take a sneaky break or have a lie-in because you're 'working' remotely? Forget it. Employers are increasingly deploying surveillance software to check how productive staff are at home.

Lockdown and its aftermath has led more and more employees to work from home. Many big firms have already said they won't even attempt to get back staff back to the office until next year, at the earliest, amid discussions about how working from home could become the new normal for at least part of the week.

Working from home has a lot of advantages for many people. It can make childcare easier, for example. Employees can avoid having to deal with annoying colleagues, or coughing up for long, expensive and often uncomfortable commutes.

They can also avoid having their bosses constantly looking over their shoulder – or can they?

Employers are using ever more sophisticated measures to keep tabs on their home-working staff, anxious that they might be shirking, and introducing new rules governing how their workers appear and act.

One large London employer, Hammersmith & Fulham Council, has even gone as far as banning its employees from smoking at their desks at home, demanding that " any part of a private dwelling used solely for work purposes will be required to be smoke-free " and that " family members should not be allowed to smoke in the home worker's office ". The council claims the policy has since been dropped, presumably because it is unenforceable. (Though, with webcams now ubiquitous, maybe not.) It's also irrational, since smoking at home can hardly affect your colleagues or the public image of your employer.

ALSO ON RT.COM A second lockdown for Britain? The evidence simply doesn't justify it

Smokers have long been in the vanguard of interference in our private lives. But having precedent for interference in our private lives having been established, the rules applied to smokers have inspired other kinds of meddling.

Most obvious in the current situation is the use of technological measures to monitor staff. Such surveillance is not new, but it's taken on a new importance and is much more widespread in the Covid era. A recent feature in Wired notes the rise of this surveillance culture. As author Alex Christian notes:

" As coronavirus lays waste to workplaces around the world, surveillance software has flourished: programs such as ActivTrak, Time Doctor, Teramind and Hubstaff have all reported a post-lockdown sales surge. Once installed, they offer an array of covert monitoring tools, with managers able to view screenshots, login times and keystrokes at will to ensure employees remain on track working remotely. Although marketed as productivity software, the technology – dubbed as 'bossware' for its secrecy and invasiveness – has led to many workers finding creative ways of evading its omniscient gaze ."

Employees working within these strictures face a reprimand or even the sack for low productivity or taking too long on their break. One app, Sneek, covertly takes photos of employees to see if they are at their desks. Project management programs such as Jira and Basecamp, meanwhile, can allow bosses to spot when workers are not maintaining a high level of output. Frequent online team meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams can ensure staff are at least thinking about work – and woe betide anyone who's still in their pyjamas or doesn't show up at all.

Of course, there are workarounds if you're smart enough. One way is to move your mouse regularly – or to instal software to give the illusion it's being moved. But the whole thing has the potential to create a sense that Big Brother Bossman is watching you constantly.

ALSO ON RT.COM Making the wearing of face masks compulsory is inconsistent, illogical, illiberal & divisive

It's bad enough that working from home leads many people into the trap of blurring work and home life. That time on the commute, when you might at least be reading or listening to music or a podcast, becomes work time. It's easy to see how all of this leads to the intensification of work.

Moreover, working from home deprives us of the solidarity and consolation of colleagues. It's harder to band together to push back against the imposition of new rules and regulations if you don't see your peers face to face. Many jobs are intense and stressful, but working in an office allows staff to sound off to each other informally in the pub on a Friday night – or maybe hear about better opportunities elsewhere.

Working from home can also be a disaster for younger employees, who need to learn the ropes from their experienced colleagues. It's harder to learn, and to make a good impression with those that count, over video calls.

While a middle-class employee with a comfortable and spacious home may wax lyrical about the benefits of working from home, for many people, it's becoming an ever more intensive and stressful experience. Knowing that your boss could be spying on you just adds paranoia and fear to the mix.

We may well be heading backwards in the world of work. In pre-industrial times and beyond, garment-makers would work themselves to death during long hours to service the demands of buyers, paid as they were by the piece and not by the hour, and isolated in their home from other such workers. We need to be very careful that the modern, connected, domesticated workplace doesn't take us down the same route.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Sep 11, 2020] Stephen Miller vs. CNN's Jim Acosta- You Have Revealed Your -Cosmopolitan Bias- - Video - RealClearPolitics

Sep 11, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

Stephen Miller vs. CNN's Jim Acosta: You Have Revealed Your "Cosmopolitan Bias" Posted By Ian Schwartz
On Date August 2, 2017

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.409.0_en.html#goog_1283031682

White House counselor Stephen Miller and CNN's Jim Acosta clash at the Wednesday press briefing focused on the administration's new immigration proposal:

RELATED: Stephen Miller vs. CNN's Jim Acosta: U.S. Immigration Policy Has Never Been Dictated By Statue Of Liberty Poem

[Sep 10, 2020] Is BLM the Mask behind which the Oligarchs Operate, by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
In short black people are used as pawns in the political struggle between two neoliberal clans fighting for power, using students without perspectives of gaining meaningful employment as a ram. We saw this picture before in a different country. And riots do reverse gains achieved in civil right struggle since 1960th, so they are also net losers. Racial tensions in the USA definitely increased dramatically.
Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning represent the ideological foundation upon which the war on America is based. The "anti-white" dogma is the counterpart to the massive riots that have rocked the country. These phenomena are two spokes on the same wheel. They are designed to work together to achieve the same purpose. The goal is create a "racial" smokescreen that conceals the vast and willful destruction of the US economy, the $5 trillion dollar wealth-transfer that was provided to Wall Street, and the ferocious attack on the emerging, mainly-white working class "populist" movement that elected Trump and which rejects the globalist plan to transform the world into a borderless free trade zone ruled by cutthroat monopolists and their NWO allies. ..."
"... This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated. ..."
"... The current situation cannot exist without the complicity of the secret services and the police. The heads of the secret services are either part of the cabal or close their eyes in fear ..."
"... There can be no single oligarch. It must be a larger group but very united by fear and a common goal. This can only be achieved if they are all Jews or Masons. Or both under a larger umbrella like some kind of pedo-ritual killing-satan worshiper. Soros can't do it alone. ..."
"... Of course politicians are corrupt and complicit but usually they are not the leaders ..."
Sep 08, 2020 | www.unz.com
MIKE WHITNEY 2,100 WORDS 165 COMMENTS REPLY

Here's your BLM Pop Quiz for the day: What do "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning tell us about what's going on in America today?

They point to deeply-embedded racism that shapes the behavior of white people They suggest that systemic racism cannot be overcome by merely changing attitudes and laws They alert us to the fact that unresolved issues are pushing the country towards a destructive race war They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

Which of these four statements best explains what's going on in America today?

If you chose Number 4, you are right. We are not experiencing a sudden and explosive outbreak of racial violence and mayhem. We are experiencing a thoroughly-planned, insurgency-type operation that involves myriad logistical components including vast, nationwide riots, looting and arson, as well as an extremely impressive ideological campaign. "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning are as much a part of the Oligarchic war on America as are the burning of our cities and the toppling of our statues. All three, fall under the heading of "ideology", and all three are being used to shape public attitudes on matters related to our collective identity as "Americans".

The plan is to overwhelm the population with a deluge of disinformation about their history, their founders, and the threats they face, so they will submissively accept a New Order imposed by technocrats and their political lackeys. This psychological war is perhaps more important than Operation BLM which merely provides the muscle for implementing the transformative "Reset" that elites want to impose on the country. The real challenge is to change the hearts and minds of a population that is unwaveringly patriotic and violently resistant to any subversive element that threatens to do harm to their country. So, while we can expect this propaganda saturation campaign to continue for the foreseeable future, we don't expect the strategy will ultimately succeed. At the end of the day, America will still be America, unbroken, unflagging and unapologetic.

Let's look more carefully at what is going on.

On September 4, the Department of Homeland Security issued a draft report stating that "White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States". According to an article in Politico:

" all three draft (versions of the document) describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S. , listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups . John Cohen, who oversaw DHS's counterterrorism portfolio from 2011 to 2014, said the drafts' conclusion isn't surprising.

"This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: that the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremac y and other far-right ideological causes," he said .

"Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States," the draft reads. "Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists will pose the most persistent and lethal threat."..(" DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat " Politico)

This is nonsense. White supremacists do not pose the greatest danger to the country, that designation goes to the left-wing groups that have rampaged through more than 2,000 US cities for the last 100 days. Black Lives Matter and Antifa-generated riots have decimated hundreds of small businesses, destroyed the lives and livelihoods of thousands of merchants and their employees, and left entire cities in a shambles. The destruction in Kenosha alone far exceeds the damage attributable to the activities of all the white supremacist groups combined.

So why has Homeland Security made this ridiculous and unsupportable claim? Why have they chosen to prioritize white supremacists as "the most persistent and lethal threat" when it is clearly not true?

There's only one answer: Politics.

The officials who concocted this scam are advancing the agenda of their real bosses, the oligarch puppet-masters who have their tentacles extended throughout the deep-state and use them to coerce their lackey bureaucrats to do their bidding. In this case, the honchos are invoking the race card ("white supremacists") to divert attention from their sinister destabilization program, their looting of the US Treasury (for their crooked Wall Street friends), their demonizing of the mostly-white working class "America First" nationalists who handed Trump the 2016 election, and their scurrilous scheme to establish one-party rule by installing their addlepated meat-puppet candidate (Biden) as president so he can carry out their directives from the comfort of the Oval Office. That's what's really going on.

DHS's announcement makes it possible for state agents to target legally-armed Americans who gather with other gun owners in groups that are protected under the second amendment. Now the white supremacist label will be applied more haphazardly to these same conservatives who pose no danger to public safety. The draft document should be seen as a warning to anyone whose beliefs do not jibe with the New Liberal Orthodoxy that white people are inherently racists who must ask forgiveness for a system they had no hand in creating (slavery) and which was abolished more than 150 years ago.

The 1619 Project" is another part of the ideological war that is being waged against the American people. The objective of the "Project" is to convince readers that America was founded by heinous white men who subjugated blacks to increase their wealth and power. According to the World Socialist Web Site:

"The essays featured in the magazine are organized around the central premise that all of American history is rooted in race hatred -- specifically, the uncontrollable hatred of "black people" by "white people." Hannah-Jones writes in the series' introduction: "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country. "

This is a false and dangerous conception. DNA is a chemical molecule that contains the genetic code of living organisms and determines their physical characteristics and development . Hannah-Jones's reference to DNA is part of a growing tendency to derive racial antagonisms from innate biological processes .where does this racism come from? It is embedded, claims Hannah-Jones, in the historical DNA of American "white people." Thus, it must persist independently of any change in political or economic conditions .

. No doubt, the authors of The Project 1619 essays would deny that they are predicting race war, let alone justifying fascism. But ideas have a logic; and authors bear responsibility for the political conclusions and consequences of their false and misguided arguments." ("The New York Times's 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history", World Socialist Web Site)

Clearly, Hannah-Jones was enlisted by big money patrons who needed an ideological foundation to justify the massive BLM riots they had already planned as part of their US color revolution. The author –perhaps unwittingly– provided the required text for vindicating widespread destruction and chaos carried out in the name of "social justice."

As Hannah-Jones says, "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country", which is to say that it cannot be mitigated or reformed, only eradicated by destroying the symbols of white patriarchy (Our icons, our customs, our traditions and our history.), toppling the existing government, and imposing a new system that better reflects the values of the burgeoning non-Caucasian majority. Simply put, The Project 1619 creates the rationale for sustained civil unrest, deepening political polarization and violent revolution.

All of these goals conveniently coincide with the aims of the NWO Oligarchs who seek to replace America's Constitutional government with a corporate Superstate ruled by voracious Monopolists and their globalist allies. So, while Hannah-Jones treatise does nothing to improve conditions for black people in America, it does move the country closer to the dystopian dream of the parasite class; Corporate Valhalla.

Then there is "Critical Race Theory" which provides the ideological icing on the cake. The theory is part of the broader canon of anti-white dogma which is being used to indoctrinate workers. White employees are being subjected to "reeducation" programs that require their participation as a precondition for further employment . The first rebellion against critical race theory, took place at Sandia Labs which is a federally-funded research agency that designs America's nuclear weapons. According to journalist Christopher F. Rufo:

"Senator @HawleyMO and @SecBrouillette have launched an inspector general investigation, but Sandia executives have only accelerated their purge against conservatives."

Sandia executives have made it clear: they want to force critical race theory, race-segregated trainings, and white male reeducation camps on their employees -- and all dissent will be severely punished. Progressive employees will be rewarded; conservative employees will be purged." (" There is a civil war erupting at @SandiaLabs ." Christopher F Rufo)

It all sounds so Bolshevik. Here's more info on how this toxic indoctrination program works:

"Treasury Department

The Treasury Department held a training session telling employees that "virtually all White people contribute to racism" and demanding that white staff members "struggle to own their racism" and accept their "unconscious bias, White privilege, and White fragility."

The National Credit Union Administration

The NCUA held a session for 8,900 employees arguing that America was "founded on racism" and "built on the blacks of people who were enslaved. " Twitter thread here and original source documents here .

Sandia National Laboratories

Last year, Sandia National Labs -- which produces our nuclear arsenal -- held a three-day reeducation camp for white males, teaching them how to deconstruct their "white male culture" and forcing them to write letters of apology to women and people of color . Whistleblowers from inside the labs tell me that critical race theory is now endangering our national security. Twitter thread here and original source documents here .

Argonne National Laboratories

Argonne National Labs hosts trainings calling on white lab employees to admit that they "benefit from racism" and atone for the "pain and anguish inflicted upon Black people. " Twitter thread here .

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security hosted a Training on "microaggressions, microinequities, and microassaults" where white employees were told that they had been "socialized into oppressor roles. " Twitter thread here and original source documents here ." (" Summary of Critical Race Theory Investigations" , Christopher F Rufo)

On September 4, Donald Trump announced his administration "would prohibit federal agencies from subjecting government employees to "critical race theory" or "white privilege" seminar. ..

"It has come to the President's attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date 'training' government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda ," read a Friday memo from the Office of Budget and Management Director Russ Vought. "These types of 'trainings' not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions."

The next day, September 5, Trump announced that the Department of Education was going to see whether the New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project was being used in school curricula and– if it was– then those schools would be ineligible for federal funding. Conservative pundits applauded Trump's action as a step forward in the "culture wars", but it's really much more than that. Trump is actually foiling an effort by the domestic saboteurs who continue look for ways to undermine democracy, reduce the masses of working-class people to grinding poverty and hopelessness, and turn the country into a despotic military outpost ruled by bloodsucking tycoons, mercenary autocrats and duplicitous elites. Alot of thought and effort went into this malign ideological project. Trump derailed it with a wave of the hand. That's no small achievement.

Bottom line: "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning represent the ideological foundation upon which the war on America is based. The "anti-white" dogma is the counterpart to the massive riots that have rocked the country. These phenomena are two spokes on the same wheel. They are designed to work together to achieve the same purpose. The goal is create a "racial" smokescreen that conceals the vast and willful destruction of the US economy, the $5 trillion dollar wealth-transfer that was provided to Wall Street, and the ferocious attack on the emerging, mainly-white working class "populist" movement that elected Trump and which rejects the globalist plan to transform the world into a borderless free trade zone ruled by cutthroat monopolists and their NWO allies.

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated.


Verymuchalive , says: September 8, 2020 at 2:47 pm GMT

A good article, but no mention of who exactly these oligarchs are. Or why so many of them are Jewish.
Or why so many Zionist organisations support BLM and other such groups.
Mike, not mentioning these things will not save you. You will still be cancelled by Progressive Inc.

Justvisiting , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:08 am GMT
@lloyd

This "all whites are racist" meme seems to be a variation on the Christian doctrine of "original sin".

I reject all of it as obscene nonsense used by sociopaths (the actual folks who were born with original sin) in an attempt to control us.

exiled off mainstreet , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:23 am GMT

This seems like a good explanation of what is happening. I wonder whether too many people will fall for the propaganda, though. It is the classic effort to get the turkeys to support thanksgiving.

sonofman , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:26 am GMT

The deserved progress and concessions achieved by the civil rights struggles for the Black community is in danger of deteriorating because Black leadership will not stand up and vehemently condemn the rioting and destruction and killing, and declare that the BLM movement does not represent the majority of the Black American culture and that the overexaggerated accusations of "racism" do not necessitate the eradication and revision of history, nor does it require European Americans to feel guilt or shame. There is no need for a cultural revolution. The ideology and actions of BLM are offensive and inconsistent with American values, and Black leaders should be saying this every day, and should be admonishing about the consequences. They should also use foresight to see how this is going to end, because the BLM and their supporters are being used to fight a war that they can never win. And when it's over, what perception will the rest of America have of Black people?

TG , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:13 am GMT

"This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war."

Quadruple kudos! Yes! Because of this ending statement, I have no quibbles! Yes!

Redman , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:40 am GMT
@sonofman g to TPTB. Better to have an amorphous slogan to donate money to than an actual organization with humans, goals and ideas which can be held up to the light and critically examined.

The whole sudden race thing is a fraud to eliminate the electoral support Trump had amassed among blacks before Corona and Fentanyl Floyd. In line with what Whitney says, the globalists need to take down Trump. And the race card has always been the first tool in the DNC's toolkit. When all else fails, go nuclear with undefined claims of racism.

Almost every big magazine has a black person on the cover this month. Probably will in October too. Coincidence? Sure it is.

TimeTraveller , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:52 am GMT

They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

I'm shocked that they're trying to sell this Q-tier bullshit about Trump fighting the deep state.

The reality about Trump is that he is the release valve, the red herring designed to keep whitey pacified while massive repossessions and foreclosures take place, permanently impoverishing a large part of the white population, and shutting down the Talmudic service-based economy, which is all that is really left. It is Trump's DHS that declared a large part of his white trashionalist base to be terrorists.

The populist majority never had anyone to vote for. This system will never give them one. They aren't bright enough to make it happen.

Tony Hall , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:14 am GMT
@sonofman

Agree. Barack Obama in particular will go down in history a real disgrace to the legacy of the US presidency. He is violating the sacred trust that the people of the United States invested in him. What a fraud!

omegabooks , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT

Good post Mr. Whitney especially about "white supremacy" garbage .which has only been going on since the 90s! You know, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Elohim City and Okie City, militias, "patriot groups," etc. This really is nothing new. And, since so many remember the "white supremacy" crapola was crapola back in the 90s, I'd say everyone pretty much regardless of race over the age of 40 knows there is, as it says in Ecclesiastes in the Bible, "there is nothing new under the sun." And, if you home schooled your kids back then, then you kids know it as well. Fact is this: the DHS as with every other govt. agency is forced to blame "white supremacy" for every problem in this country because who the heck else can they blame? Jews? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahh when pigs fly After all, Noahide just might be around the corner ..

Dr. Doom , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:25 am GMT

BLM is funded almost entirely by George Soros...

No Friend Of The Devil , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:33 am GMT

BLM is just one of the tools in their bag, in addition to AIPAC, ADL, NOW, in addition to dozens of others.

Typical divide and conquer ploy...

Dube , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:35 am GMT
@TG

"This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war."

Elegant.

Mefobills , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:28 am GMT

Sheriffs have a lot of legal power. Ultimately, the battle is privatized money power vs Joe Citizen/Sheriffs.

This sheriff is working a Constitutional angle that says: Local Posse (meaning you.. Joe citizen) working with the Sheriff department to protect your local community. Richard Mack is teaching other Sheriffs and (some Police) what their Constitutional power is, and that power doesn't include doing bidding of Oligarchs.

Sheriffs are elected, and their revenue stream is outside of Oligarchy:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5DFtE4ihWrs?feature=oembed

Exalted Cyclops , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:31 am GMT

So Donald Trump suddenly discovers that racial Bolshevism is the official policy of his own executive branch – a mere 3 years and 8 months after assuming the position

... Looks like the same old flim-flam they pull every four years. No matter who wins, the Davos folks continue to run the circus and fleece the suckers dry.

Miro23 , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:37 am GMT

It all sounds so Bolshevik.

Because it is. Substitute "the ethnic Russian middle class are class enemies" for "Anglo-American are all racists" and there you have it. Permission for a small organized minority to eliminate a whole class on ideological grounds...

idealogus , says: Website September 9, 2020 at 6:48 am GMT

I live in a former communist country in Eastern Europe with corrupt politicians, oligarchs and organized crime.
America was a country with a minor corruption and in which the oligarchs, although influential, were not united in a small group with decisive force. Now America is slowly slipping into the situation of a second-hand shit-hole country.
Is that I can see the situation more clearly than an American citizen who still has the American perception of his contry the way it was 30 years ago.
Essential thing:
1) The current situation cannot exist without the complicity of the secret services and the police. The heads of the secret services are either part of the cabal or close their eyes in fear .
2) There can be no single oligarch. It must be a larger group but very united by fear and a common goal. This can only be achieved if they are all Jews or Masons. Or both under a larger umbrella like some kind of pedo-ritual killing-satan worshiper. Soros can't do it alone.
3) Of course politicians are corrupt and complicit but usually they are not the leaders
4) BLM are exactly the brown shirts of the new Hitler.
Soon we will se the new Hitler/Stalin/ in plain light.

Wally , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:59 am GMT
@Verymuchalive i>

Thirty black children murdered recently; zero by police / BLM & 'the media' say nothing:
https://www.outkick.com/blm-101-volume-7-the-lives-of-innocent-black-kids-do-not-matter/
BTW:
– Last year, the nationwide total for all US police forces was 47 killings of unarmed criminals by police during arrest procedures.
– 8 were black, 19 were white.
Though blacks, relative to their numbers, committed a vastly higher number of crimes, hence their immensely greater arrest rate.

animalogic , says: September 9, 2020 at 8:00 am GMT
@Justvisiting urally, it is nonsense -- nasty, power-hungry, censorious nonsense.
It is the opposite of scientific or empirical thought -- science can not accept theories which are not capable of falsification. (Take astrology -- actually, don't ! -- what ever conclusion it comes to can never be wrong : Dick or Jane didn't find love ? Well, one of Saturn's moons was retrograde & Mercury declensed Venus (I don't know what it means either) . or Dick went on a bender & Jane had a whole bad hair week.
Frankly, to play these pre-modern tricks on us is just grotesquely insulting. That some are falling for it is grotesquely depressing.
Digital Samizdat , says: September 9, 2020 at 9:58 am GMT

Another ringer from Mike Whitney! Keep 'em comin', brother.

We are not experiencing a sudden and explosive outbreak of racial violence and mayhem. We are experiencing a thoroughly-planned, insurgency-type operation that involves myriad logistical components including vast, nationwide riots, looting and arson, as well as an extremely impressive ideological campaign.

Yup. TPTB have been grooming BLM/Antifa for this moment for at least 3-4 years now, if not longer. Here's a former BLMer who quit speaking out three years ago about the organization's role in the present 'race war':

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ULJtBdI7Aj0?feature=oembed

Franz , says: September 9, 2020 at 10:43 am GMT

Honesty at last!

Department of Homeland Security was a ... Trojan Horse from the start.

Aristotle , says: September 9, 2020 at 12:06 pm GMT
@anonymous

It is very clever politics and (war) propaganda. You break down and demoralise your enemies at the same time as assuring your own side of it's own righteous use of violence.

SimplePseudonymicHandle , says: September 9, 2020 at 1:17 pm GMT

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows.

Nailing it.

4. They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

Which of these four statements best explains what's going on in America today?

If you chose Number 4, you are right.

If we believe this – we need to act like it. These are "enemies, foreign and domestic ". This isn't ordinary politics, it arguably transcends politics.

What hope is there without organization?

And whatever is done – don't give them ammunition. The resistance must not be an ethno-resistance.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: September 9, 2020 at 2:42 pm GMT
@Mefobills

Trump is ignorant, but not unwilling to learn.

The action on critical race theory happened a day (or so) after Tucker Carlson had a 6 minute segment on it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rBXRdWflV7M?feature=oembed

He definitely doesn't dither.

But he is either naive or a bad manager, as his hires are deadly to his aims. And the management criticism is big, because as a leader that is mostly what he does.

That he gets information to affect US policy for good, from outside of his circle of trusted personnel, is a sad state of affairs.

Justvisiting , says: September 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT
@idealogus class="comment-text">

America was a country with a minor corruption

That is not correct–you have been misled by the mass media.

As Michael said in Godfather III,

All my life I was trying to get up in society where everything is legal, but the higher I go the more crooked it becomes.

I first "saw the light" years ago after reading this book:

https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?preview=inline&linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_EkhZDCHOQSUcFd&asin=1561712493&tag=kpembed-20

Later in life I had the "opportunity" to be "in the room" where the big crooks play–nasty nasty stuff.

Anonymous [125] Disclaimer , says: September 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan ds that it would have ended on day one were it not officially sanctioned and the rioters protected from prosecution. Why hasn't the Janet Rosenberg/Thousand Currents/Tides Foundation connection with the BLM/DNC/MSM cabal, as well as with Antifa and social media, been the major investigation on Fox News? Why haven't Zuckerberg, Zucker, et al been arrested for incitement to commit federal crimes, including capital treason to overthrow the duly elected president? (Just a few rhetorical questions for the hell of it.) What's so galling is that the cops and federal agents are being used as just so many patsies who are deployed, not to protect, but deployed to look like fools and be held up for mockery as pathetic exemplars of white disempowerment.
EdwardM , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:07 pm GMT

The officials who concocted this scam are advancing the agenda of their real bosses, the oligarch puppet-masters who have their tentacles extended throughout the deep-state and use them to coerce their lackey bureaucrats to do their bidding.

Agree, but where is President Trump? He was supposed to appoint undersecretaries and assistant secretaries and deputy undersecretaries and Schedule C whippersnappers on whose desks such outrages are supposed to die.

I've thought from the beginning that this lack of attention to "personnel as policy" -- with Trump overestimating the ability of the ostensible CEO to overcome such intransigence -- was one of his major failures. I am sympathetic, as there are not many people he could trust to be loyal to his agenda, much less to him, but this is a disaster in every agency

Iva , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:23 pm GMT

Few years ago I watch a clip secretly recorded in Ukrainian synagogue where Rabi said "first we have to fight Catholics and with Muslims it will be an easy job" ...

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMT

Thanks to Mr Whitney for being able to cut through the fog and see what's going on behind it. The term "white supremacist" wasn't much in public use at all until the day Trump was elected then suddenly it was all over the place. It's like one of those massive ad campaigns whose jingle is everywhere as if some group decided on it as a theme to be pushed. They're really afraid that the white working class population will wake up and see how the country is being sold out from underneath their feet hence the need to keep it divided and intimidated. Like all the other color revolutions everywhere else they strike at the weak links within the country to create conflict, in the US case it's so-called diversity. There's billions available to be spent in this project so plenty of traitors can be found, unwitting or otherwise, to carry out their assignments. The billionaire class own most of the media and much else and see the US as their farm. They have no loyalty whatsoever and outsource everything to China or anywhere else they can squeeze everything out of the workers. They want a global dictatorship and admire the Chinese government for the way it can order its citizens around.

David Erickson , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:19 pm GMT
@TimeTraveller

You are exactly right. Trump is doing his part (knowingly or unknowingly, but probably knowingly) to accomplish the NWO objectives. He was not elected in 2016 in spite of NWO desires, as most Trump supporters think, but rather precisely BECAUSE of NWO desires.

The NWO probably also wants him to win again this year, and if so then he will win. The reason the NWO wanted him in 2016 (and probably wants him to win again) was primarily to neutralize the (armed) Right in this country so they wouldn't effectively resist the COVID-19 scamdemic lockdown tyranny and BLM/Antifa riots.

Chet Roman , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Trinity While I tend to agree with you that it looks like a race war, the question is why is it happening now? If it were just a race war promoted by radicals in BLM and Antifa, it does not explain the nationwide coordination (let's face it the faces of BLM and Antifa are not that smart or connected), the support and censorship of the violence by the MSM and the support of Marxist BLM by corporations to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a color revolution in the making and may come to a peak after Nov. 3rd. Whitney is on to something, there is much more going on behind the "smoke and mirrors" and AG Barr (if he's not part of it) should be investigating it.
Tommy Thompson , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:09 pm GMT

They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

I keep reading such nonsense in the comments above. the so-called populist majority does not get it, Trump is not placed here to stop the Globalist agenda, that is an electioneering stunt. Look at what he has actually and really done.

How has he stopped the Globalist move forward?? By the Covid plandemic being allowed to circle the globe and shut down the US economy and social norm? By moving our high tech companies to Israel? Giving Israel and their Wall Street allies what is left of US credit wealth? Draining the swamp with even more Zio-Neocon Swamp creatures in the govt than ever? Moving the embassy to Jerusalem and all requests per Netanyahu's wish list? A real anti-Globalist stand? Looting the Federal Reserve for the Wall Street high fliers, who garnered more wealth during the crash test run of March-April and are sure to make out with even more for the coming big crash?

Phoney stunts of stopping immigration or bashing China. Really? China is still rising propelled by Wall Street and Banker funds. I have not seen any jobs coming home, lost more than ever in US history this year. Only lost homes for the working and middle classes.

How is Populist America standing up for their constitutional rights which is being shredded a little more each day? Standing up for their Real Interests, which are eroded and stolen on an almost daily basis by Trump's NY Mafia and Wall Street Oligarchs. Jobs gone for good and government assistance to the needy disappearing, as that is against the phoney Republic individualism, that you must make it on your own. Right just like the big goverment assistance always going to the big money players and banks, remember as they are too big to let fail!

Dreaming that Trump is going to save White America from the Gobalists is just bull corn . From whom BLM? Proven street theatre that will disappear on command. I actually have come to learn that some Black leaders are speaking out intelligently for street calm and distancing themselves from BLM.

Problem with the USA is the general population is so very dumbed down by 60 years of MSM – TV s and Hollywood mind control programming that the public prefers professional actors like Reagan and Trump over real politicians, and surely never chose a Statesman or real Patriotic leader. the public political narrative is still set by Fox , CNN and MSNBC .

The deep state is so infiltrated and overwhelmed with Zio and Globalist agents, that it is now almost hopeless to fix. Sorry to point out but Trump is best described as the Dummy sitting on his Ventriloquist's lap (Jared Kushner).

Situation is near hopeless as even here on Ron Unz Review the comments are so disappointing, almost 80% are focused on the Race as the prime issue and supportive of Trump fakery (not that I support Biden and Zio slut Kamil Harris either).

In sum, beyond putting their MAGA hats on, White America is more focused more on playing Cowboy with their toy guns, AR's and all than really getting involved politically to sort things out to get American onto a better track. Of course, this is not taken seriously as it might call for reaching out to other American communities that are even more disenfranchised: African- Americans and Latinos.

TimeTraveller , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:11 pm GMT
@David Erickson nted him in 2016 (and probably wants him to win again) was primarily to neutralize the (armed) Right in this country so they wouldn't effectively resist the COVID-19 scamdemic lockdown tyranny and BLM/Antifa riots.

Covid and BLM/ANTIFA are just window dressing for the financial turmoil. "Look over here whitey, there's a pandemic" and "look over here whitey, there's a riot" is much preferred to whitey shooting the sheriff who comes to take his stuff.

Wave the flag and bible while spreading love for the cops, and the repossessions and evictions should go off without a hitch. Yes, Trump is a knowing participant.

SunBakedSuburb , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike

"My impression is that BLM, Antifa and other protestors are well aware of this"

Like all good Maoists the cult white kids of antifa rigidly adhere to the mission statement and stick the inconvenient truth in the back of their mushy minds. BLM ... is a mercenary.

Trinity , says: September 9, 2020 at 10:26 pm GMT

Can you imagine any other groups rioting and destroying American cities for over 3 months? Imagine if the Hells Angels or some other White biker gang was doing what Antifa and BLM are doing? Hell, imagine if it were a bunch of Hare Krishnas pulling this shit off? Hell, I think the local mayors, police, and other law enforcement employees wouldn't even take this much shit even if the rioters were Girl Scouts. We are talking 3-4 months of lawlessness, assaults, rapes, murders ( cold blooded premeditated murders at that) and still the people in charge let this shit go on night and day. IF the POTUS doesn't have the authority or the power to stop shit like this from going on then what the hell do we even vote for anyhow? Granted, I see the reason for not being ruled by a dictatorship, but who in the hell can justify letting these riots go on? One can only assume that both the republicants and the demsheviks are fine with these riots because no one seems in a hurry to shut them down or arrest the hombres funding these riots. Who is housing and feeding the rioters? Who is paying their travel expenses? I'm sure most everyone in Washington knows who the people are behind these riots but don't expect any action anytime soon.

Dick French , says: September 9, 2020 at 10:29 pm GMT

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated.

That's true to a large degree, but

It is indeed an attempt to liquidate the working and lower middle class. Most of the American working and lower middle class, obviously not all, is White. So predictably we have these calls for White Genocide. Agreed and good to see the tie-in with the Coronavirus Hoax lock downs, too, which also spread the devastation into minority communities under the guise of public safety.

The one question that remains unanswered is why the major cities were targeted for destruction. Obviously these are the playgrounds of the oligarchs and have been decimated. We will learn soon enough.

Skeptikal , says: September 10, 2020 at 12:07 am GMT
@Redman

The Reverend William Barber is the only genuine black leader I am aware of.
And he makes a pointn of not speaking only for blacks, but for all disadvantaged communities, including poor whites. IMO he is the real deal, and I very much hope he takes the lead in articulating genuine community values of respect and equality for all, including basics such as decent health care and food access.

The pressure exerted on someone like Barber by the BLM forces in the media and other institutions is enormous.

I wish Ron Unz would invite him to write something for the UR.

[Sep 02, 2020] Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' report

Notable quotes:
"... workers are dehumanizingly treated by Amazon as if they are robots – persistently asked to accomplish task after task at an unforgiving rate." ..."
Sep 01, 2020 | www.theregister.com
I didn't get rich by signing checks // 10:30 UTC 141 Reg comments GOT TIPS? Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco BIO EMAIL TWITTER SHARE

Amazon is famous for its extreme efficiency yet behind the curtain is a crippling culture of surveillance and stress, according to a study by the Open Markets Institute.

The think tank and advocacy group that repeatedly takes companies like Google and Facebook to task warned in the report [PDF] that Amazon's retail side has gone far beyond promoting efficient working and has adopted an almost dystopian level of control over its warehouse workers, firing them if they fail to meet targets that are often kept a secret.

Among the practices it highlighted, the report said that workers are told to hit a target rate of packages to process per hour, though they are not told what exactly that target is. "We don't know what the rate is," one pseudonymous worker told the authors. "They change it behind the scenes. You'll know when you get a warning. They don't tell you what rate you have to hit at the beginning."

If they grow close to not meeting a target rate, or miss it, the worker receives an automated message warning them, the report said. Workers who fail to meet hidden targets can also receive a different type of electronic message; one that fires them.

"Amazon's electronic system analyzes an employee's electronic record and, after falling below productivity measures, 'automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors'," it stated. The data is also generated automatically: for example, those picking and packing are required to use a scanner that records every detail, including the time between scans, and feed it into a system that pushes out automated warnings.

Always watching

As with other companies, Amazon installs surveillance cameras in its workspaces to reduce theft. But the report claims Amazon has taken that approach to new lengths "with an extensive network of security cameras that tracks and monitors a worker's every move".

Bezos' bunch combines that level of surveillance with strict limits on behavior. "Upon entering the warehouse, Amazon requires workers to dispose of all of their personal belongings except a water bottle and a clear plastic bag of cash," the report noted.

For Amazon drivers, their location is constantly recorded and monitored and they are required to follow the exact route Amazon has mapped. They are required to deliver 999 out of every 1,000 packages on time or face the sack; something that the report argues has led to widespread speeding and a related increase in crashes.

The same tracking software ensures that workers only take 30 minutes for lunch and two separate 15-minute breaks during the day. The report also noted that the web goliath has patented a wristband that "can precisely track where warehouse employees are placing their hands and use vibrations to nudge them in a different direction".

Amazon also attempts to prevent efforts to unionize by actively tracking workers and breaking up any meetings of too many people, including identifying possible union organizers and moving them around the workplace to prevent them talking to the same group for too long, the report claimed.

It quoted a source named Mohamed as saying: "They spread the workers out you cannot talk to your colleagues The managers come to you and say they'll send you to a different station."

The combined effort of constant surveillance with the risk of being fired at any point has created, according to workers, a " Lord Of The Flies -esque environment where the perceived weakest links are culled every year".

Stress and quotas

The report said Amazon's workers "are under constant stress to make their quotas for collecting and organizing hundreds of packages per hour" resulting in "constant 'low-grade panic' to work. In this sense, workers are dehumanizingly treated by Amazon as if they are robots – persistently asked to accomplish task after task at an unforgiving rate."

At the end of the day, warehouse employees are required to go through mandatory screening to check they haven't stolen anything, which "requires waiting times that can range from 25 minutes to an hour" and is not compensated, the report said.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos 'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos READ MORE

Amazon also allegedly fails to account for any injuries, the report said, to the extent that "Amazon employees feel forced to work through the pain and injuries they incur on the job, as Amazon routinely fires employees who fall behind their quotas, without taking such injuries into account."

It quoted another piece of reporting that found Amazon's rate of severe injuries in its warehouses is, in some cases, more than five times the industry average. It also noted that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Amazon as one of the "dirty dozen" on its list of the most dangerous places to work in the United States in 2018.

The report concluded that "Amazon's practices exacerbate the inequality between employees and management by keeping employees in a constant state of precariousness, with the threat of being fired for even the slightest deviation, which ensures full compliance with employer-demanded standards and limits worker freedom."

Being a think tank, the Open Markets Institute listed a series of policy and legal changes that would help alleviate the work issues. It proposed a complete ban on "invasive forms of worker surveillance" and a rule against any forms of surveillance that "preemptively interfere with unionization efforts".

It also wants a law that allows independent contractors to unionize and the legalization of secondary boycotts, as well as better enforcement of the rules against companies by government departments including America's trade watchdog the FTC and Department of Justice, as well as a ban on non-compete agreements and class action waivers.

In response to the allegations in the report, a spokesperson for Amazon told us: "Like most companies, we have performance expectations for every Amazonian – be it corporate employee or fulfillment center associate and we measure actual performance against those expectations.

"Associate performance is measured and evaluated over a long period of time as we know that a variety of things could impact the ability to meet expectations in any given day or hour. We support people who are not performing to the levels expected with dedicated coaching to help them improve." ®

[Aug 29, 2020] Endurance- Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, Lansing, Alfred, eBook - Amazon.com

Aug 29, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole, one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age.

In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.

In Endurance , the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

>


Bama Fan

The book gave me several adrenaline rushes...it's that well written.

5.0 out of 5 stars The book gave me several adrenaline rushes...it's that well written. Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2018 Verified Purchase This is an amazing account of Shackleton's journey that went into intricate details about the twists and turns every step of the way for this small group of brave explorers. It reads like a thrilling fiction novel, but the fact that it is non-fiction makes it even more astounding. The description really paints a true picture of the hellacious conditions that they continued to face time and time again. This book really put into perspective what a challenge truly is. A simple headache that we might get now is nowhere near getting your sleeping bag drenched and still having to sleep in it in temperatures near 0 when you don't know how the weather or current is going to change while you try to sleep. Great read and really hard to put down because even though you think you know what's going to happen, you still have to find out how. Would highly recommend if you're looking for a good book that you will have trouble putting down. 38 people found this helpful

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Twostory
Cold

5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2018 Verified Purchase Very cold. Always cold. This is a very detailed (true) story about men trying to survive in a very hostile environment in c. 1915. Stark and full of detail, the reader almost gets to feel the cold, hunger and pain the crew experienced while trying to survive Antarctica and return to civilization. it's amazing that anyone survived this ordeal let alone all of them. Sadly, many creatures and peaceful animals paid the price for mans survival. The details often are so descriptive and redundant due to the scope of the story, that it sometimes becomes repetitive and familiar. This is because of the constant distress and horrible conditions the crew experienced for such a long time. It's a well documented and exciting story with a bit of a history lesson that really held my interest. It's a popular book that is deserving of its high ratings. 21 people found this helpful

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George E. Dawson
A REMARKABLE TALE OF SURVIVAL, SUPERBLY TOLD.

5.0 out of 5 stars A REMARKABLE TALE OF SURVIVAL, SUPERBLY TOLD. Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2017 Verified Purchase "There can be little doubt that Shackleton, in his way, was an extraordinary leader of men." (p. 11).

There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be able to endure even one, the best, day of the unimaginable hardships that the men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Exposition (1914-17) -- under the leadership of Sir Ernest Shackleton -- struggled with for more than 400 days. They endured and survived some of the most incredible, unbelievable, conditions ever experienced; and Alfred Lansing captures the urgency, the deprivation, and the desperation, with spellbinding storytelling.

Recommendation: Best adventure story, ever. Should be read by all, especially those of high school age.

"In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night. It is a return to the Ice Age -- no warmth, no life, no movement." (p. 46).

Basic Books. Kindle Edition, 268 pages. 16 people found this helpful

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Dataman
A Riveting True Story of Adventure, Survival and Hope

5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting True Story of Adventure, Survival and Hope Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2014 Verified Purchase In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton set out on an expedition to make the first land crossing of the barren Antarctic continent from the east to the west coast. The expedition failed to accomplish its objective, but became recognized instead as an amazing feat of endurance. Shackleton and a crew of 27 (plus one stowaway) first headed to the Weddell Sea on the ship Endurance. Their ship was trapped by pack ice short of their destination and eventually crushed. Forced to abandon ship, the men were trapped on ice floes for months while they drifted north. Once they were far enough north that the ice thinned somewhat, they were forced to journey in lifeboats they'd dragged off the ship. After six terrible days, they made it to uninhabited Elephant Island; from there Shackleton and five other men set off in an open 22-foot boat on an incredible 800-mile voyage across the notoriously tempestuous Drake Passage to South Georgia Island, where they hiked across the island's mountain range to reach a whaling camp. From there, they returned in a ship to rescue the men left behind on Elephant Island.

That these men were able to survive in the harsh, barren conditions of Antarctica, where temperatures frequently fell below zero is amazing. It's nearly unimaginable that these men could survive for almost two years, their lives marked by a seemingly endless stretch of misery, suffering, and boredom, not to mention the threat of starvation. At every turn, their situation seems to go from bad to worse. If this were a work of fiction, one would be inclined to claim the story was simply too far-fetched. But Endurance isn't just a tale of misery, it is a vivid description of their journey, the dangers they faced, and the obstacles they overcame. Through all of this, Shackleton has never lost a man.

Alfred Lansing's book, written in 1958 from interviews and journals of the survivors, is now back in print. It's a riveting tale of adventure, survival and hope. It is also a rare historical, non-fiction book that is as exciting as any novel. I've read a number of stories of survival and would rate this as the best of all I have read. This is one of the great adventure stories of our time. Don't miss it. Read more 45 people found this helpful

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Sam
I recommend this book to add to the collection of those ...

5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book to add to the collection of those ... Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2015 Verified Purchase What a page turner. Lansing is a master for the description of those explorers hardships, desire to follow Shacketon' orders. I kept saying to myself that there are few humans today that are as tough as those men. I recommend this book to add to the collection of those books that give us the knowledge of what it takes to conquer a goal. 51 people found this helpful

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S. Cherkas
By far one of the best books I've ever read, & I've read many!

5.0 out of 5 stars By far one of the best books I've ever read, & I've read many! Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2019 Verified Purchase I just finished reading 2 of Grann's books - Lost City of Z & The White Darkness. The latter is the story of Henry Worsley, the grandson of Frank Worsley one of the "extraordinary" men in Lansing's Endurance. Grann suggested Endurance as a worthy read. Sir Earnest Shackleton & Frank Worsley were two of some 20 men who incredibly survived a journey to Antarctica that went awry from almost its onset. Two years later all hands were rescued through the extraordinary will of the men who found themselves at the mercy of the elements. Lansing's research & grasp of the situation in which these men found themselves in conjunction with his writing style has put this book at the top of my all time favorites! Fabulous! Fabulous! Anyone 12 or older will be blown away by this true story & this writer! 4 people found this helpful

[Aug 27, 2020] Slavery and immigration

Undocumented immigrants are modern day slaves, which replaced traditional slaves...`
Aug 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

TG , says: August 26, 2020 at 12:46 pm GMT

But really, it's all about the cheap labor. And not just Europe.

The Ivory Coast used to be pretty prosperous. That meant that workers had high wages, because that's what prosperity is, but that limited the profits of the rich, and we can't have that. So the black elite imported massive numbers of muslim refugees as a source of cheap labor, and by the time they had doubled the population the poverty resulting from this tore the country apart in a bloody civil war. But that's OK, the right people made a lot of money.

Brazil had slavery for much longer than the United States, and unlike the United States, Brazil only got rid of slavery after massive immigration had boosted the population so much that 'free' labor was cheaper than slave labor. Crushed to the limits, Brazil was stuck in a capital-starved condition that it never pulled out of.

It's an old story. Look through history, whenever you hear about some place that imported workers to do whatever, no that's not what happened, they imported workers to cut labor costs – and the results for the average person have always been a reduction in living standards and social disruption.

When southern American plantation owners imported back African slaves, it wasn't because they thought the country needed more black people – they wanted cheap labor. And centuries later, the damage that that policy has done to American society continues. And it wasn't necessary – the free white north, without slaves and before mass immigration, was the place that produced the greatest technological and industrial power the world had ever seen – but there just wasn't enough cheap labor for a plantation owner to live the life they wanted, so sad.

So what's happening in Europe is perhaps a bit extreme, but it's an old story. It's not really about diversity or anti-white or any of that, that's just window dressing and rationalization. It's about jamming in more and more people so wages will go down and rents and profits will go up.

[Aug 23, 2020] Glitzy Convention Conceals Neoliberal Tyranny that both parties support by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian ..."
Aug 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Here are a few takeaways from the Democratic Convention:

The Democrats are running on the same platform they ran on in 2016. The Democrats put style above substance, flashy optics above ideas or issues. The Democrats think that hollow tributes to "diversity" and "inclusion" will win the election. The Democrats have abandoned white, working class voters opting instead for people of color. The Democrats have learned nothing from Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016.

In 2016, Democrat front-runner, Hillary Clinton lost the election because she failed to see her support was eroding in the key Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won all three states with a measly 77, 651 votes total. All three states were expected to go Democrat but flipped to the GOP due to Clinton's support for free trade and immigration policies that cost jobs and imposed unwelcome demographic changes on the working people of those states. The Democrats and Hillary have never accepted the factual version of how the election was lost. Instead, they fabricated a conspiracy theory about Trump colluding with Russia. Although the Mueller Report proved that the claims of meddling were baseless, Clinton and the Dems continue to trot them out at every opportunity. On Tuesday at the convention, Hillary again reiterated the lie that Trump stole the election. She said:

"Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are. Remember: Joe and Kamala can win 3 million more votes and still lose. Take it from me. We need numbers so overwhelming Trump can't sneak or steal his way to victory."

The determination on the part of the Democrats to mischaracterize what actually happened in the election is not a trivial matter. It suggests that deception is central to their governing style. Party leaders do not think their supporters are entitled to know the truth but rather believe that events must be shaped in a way that best serves their overall political interests. For Democrats, lying is not a personal failing, but an opportunity for enhancing their grip on power. This is from an article in The Guardian:

"Donald Trump's electoral college victory rests on the shoulders of more than 200 so-called "pivot counties" across the US. That is, counties that voted for Barack Obama only four years earlier. The most decisive of these swings occurred in Pennsylvania's Luzerne county, nestled in the north-east part of the state There, voters gave Trump a nearly 20-point victory after going for Obama by almost 5% in 2012. But Trump's win in Luzerne was also noteworthy for its magnitude. His 26,000 vote plurality in Luzerne comprised almost three-fifths of his plurality in the state as a whole, and with it Pennsylvania's 20 coveted electoral votes ." (" The Forgotten review: Ben Bradlee Jr delivers 2020 lessons for Democrats" , The Guardian )

Critical battleground states tilted in Trump's favor because Democratic policies had decimated their communities and eviscerated their standard of living. Author Ben Bradlee Jr. explains this phenom in his book "The Forgotten" which should be required reading at the DNC. Here's a clip from the review at the Guardian:

"The Forgotten documents the ravages of deindustrialization, lost jobs, crime and drugs. It captures the sense of displacement tied to a changing and less monochromatic America. Once upon a time, Luzerne was home to coal and textiles, dominated by Protestants from Wales and Catholics from Ireland and continental Europe. Not any more. Luzerne is poorer and smaller, for many a less recognizable place. Not surprisingly, immigration and Nafta come in for constant criticism. " (The Guardian)

This is the real reason Hillary was defeated. Russia had nothing to do with it. The Dems abandoned the white working-class people who had always voted for them and began to cobble together their Rainbow coalition. When Hillary denounced these people as "Deplorables", it forced more of them to join Trump team. The rest is history. Here's more from the same article:

"In the absence of a recession, however, the party stands to face the same electoral map it did in 2016. In fact, Ohio now looks an even tougher nut to crack. Much as the Democratic base loathes the president, reality cannot be wished away. Luzerne would be a good place for the party to start addressing this reality. " ( The Guardian )

The point we're trying to make is that the effectiveness of the Democrat Convention can only be measured in terms of its impact on potential voters. So, why have the Dems shrugged off any effort to reach out to the people who could help them win?

It's not that complicated. The Dems are merely abandoning the people who, they believe, will leave anyway as their globalist economic agenda becomes more apparent putting more downward pressure on overall living standards. It's worth noting, that when Obama left office in 2016, this process was already well-underway. According to a Gallup poll, 71 percent of the people said they were dissatisfied with the way things were going. (in Obama's last year.) Only 27 percent said they're satisfied. So, even though Obama's personal approval ratings remained high, his handling of the economy was extremely unpopular. (except on Wall Street, of course.)

During this same period, the PEW Research Center conducted a survey titled: "Campaign Exposes Fissures Over Issues, Values and How Life Has Changed in the U.S" which showed why Trump was steadily gaining on Hillary. Here are a few excerpts from the report:

"Among GOP voters, fully 75% of those who support Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination say life for people like them has gotten worse "

"GOP voters who support Trump also stand out for their pessimism about the nation's economy and their own financial situations: 48% rate current economic conditions in the U.S. as "poor.

"Within the GOP, anger at government is heavily concentrated among Trump supporters – 50% say they are angry at government "

"Among Republicans, a majority of those who back Trump (61%) view the system as unfair among Trump supporters, 67% say trade agreements are bad thing "

"Half of Trump supporters (50%) say they are angry at the federal government . Anger at government – and politics – is much more pronounced among Trump backers than among supporters of any other presidential candidate, Republican or Democrat " (" Campaign Exposes Fissures Over Issues, Values and How Life Has Changed in the U.S ", PEW Research Center)

So, a higher percentage of Trump supporters think they are getting screwed-over by an unfair system. They think "free trade" only benefits the rich, they think the government is unresponsive to their needs, they think the system is rigged, and they're really, really mad.

So, which speaker at the Democrat Convention addressed the concerns or complaints of white working-class people who now almost-universally harbor these same feelings??

No one, because no one in the Democrat party plans to do anything about these issues, in fact, just the opposite. Now that the Dems have been subsumed by Wall Street and their big globalist donors, things are going to get dramatically worse for working people who will see a vicious attack on essential social services and programs as soon as the election is over. The massive build-up of debt– by mainly Democrat Governors who deliberately drove their states into bankruptcy at the behest of Fauci's Vaccine Gestapo– will now be met by a growing demand for austerity on a scale unlike anything we've experienced in the last century. The country is being prepared for an excruciating restructuring that will create a permanent underclass that will provide an endless source of sweatshop labor for the multinational carpetbaggers. Those jobs will likely go to members of the Dems rainbow coalition while white, working class people in America's heartland –with their strong sense of patriotism– will be seen as a potential threat to the emerging new order.

It's clear that the Dems anticipate resistance to their plan by the contemptible way they have branded struggling workers as "white nationalists" and "racists". But is it true or are the Democrats and their deep-pocket allies preemptively denigrating these people and supporting BLM rioters to head-off growing resistance to their strategy of total control through widespread mayhem, decimation of the economy and extermination of the American middle class? Author CJ Hopkins summed it up like this in a recent article at The Unz Review:

"What we are experiencing is not the "return of fascism." It is the global capitalist empire restoring order, putting down the populist insurgency that took them by surprise in 2016.

The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution, the fake apocalyptic plague, all the insanity of 2020 it has been in the pipeline all along. It has been since the moment Trump won the election. No, it is not about Trump, the man. It has never been about Trump, the man

GloboCap needs to crush Donald Trump not because he is a threat to the empire , but because he became a symbol of populist resistance to global capitalism and its increasingly aggressive "woke" ideology . It is this populist resistance to its ideology that GloboCap is determined to crush, no matter how much social chaos and destruction it unleashes in the process.. ." (" The White Black Nationalist Color Revolution" , CJ Hopkins, The Unz Review )

Bingo. It is the "populist resistance to global capitalism" that is the defacto enemy of the Party elite, the same elites who conspired with senior-level members of the Intelligence Community, the FBI, the DOJ and the Obama White House to spy on the Trump Campaign, infiltrate the presidential transition, and to try to topple the elected government. And while the coup plotters have still not been brought to justice, they are now within spitting distance of their ultimate objective, which is seizing executive power and using it to crush the fledgling opposition, impose a one-party system of government, and transform America into a corporate superstate ruled by Global Capital. Here's a clip from an article by Gary D. Barnett at Lew Rockwell:

"By the end of this next planned phase of the 'virus' scare, a global reset of the world economy will be ready to launch. This reset will be mammoth in scope, as everything we have known will be restructured. Those out of work in the final stage will most likely stay out of work, pushing the dependency state to new levels sought by the ruling class. Controlling the population will be a key component of the plan, including population size, birth rates, movement, and personal contact among individuals. The elimination of normal human interaction is sought, and this is only the beginning . The ultimate goal is total control, and every tool in the box of the tyrants will be used to gain that control. Restraint by the ruling class will be non-existent, as this staged reset is now going forward at a very accelerated pace." ( "The Economic Insanity of This Coronavirus Pandemic Plot and the Coming Global Reset ", Lew Rockwell )

The coup plotters have chosen the candidates they want to carry out the next phase of their operation. All they need now is to win the election.

[Aug 19, 2020] The Devastation Of The Middle Class- It Now Takes 53 Weeks Of Median Wages Every Year To Pay For Basic Needs -

Aug 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Devastation Of The Middle Class: It Now Takes 53 Weeks Of Median Wages Every Year To Pay For Basic Needs by Tyler Durden Wed, 08/19/2020 - 13:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

The stock market is back to all time highs, but for ordinary Americans the standard of living has not been worse in decades, if ever.

As Bank of America points out, while the recent covid shutdowns has thrown the economy into disarray with millions laid off and living on government stimulus checks, life for the vast majority of workers - i.e., those who comprise the country's middle class - was already precarious before the pandemic, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Cost of Thriving Index.

Consider that in 1985 it took 30 weeks at the median wage to pay for big fixed costs like housing, health care, a car, and education; fast forward to today when it takes a mathematically impossible 53 weeks of a 52-week year to buy those things.

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In other words, as BofA puts it, "'thriving' has become impossible for the average worker" and adds that " it's no wonder that the uncertainty of forecasts for future growth remains near record highs."

Of course, it's also why millions of Americans are desperately looking forward to another stimulus round, and then another, and another after that, for the simple reason that it was the government's "pandemic relief" that boosted compensation to artificial, if "one-time" record highs.

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The question is whether this "one-time" stimulus which many equate with Universal Basic Income, has become a permanent fixture of American life.

[Aug 07, 2020] The New Puritans by Israel Shamir

Aug 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

Paolo Roberto, 50, a native of Sweden (his father was an Italian), had made a name for himself: a well-known boxer, he had his own TV show, he appeared in many programmes; Swedish girls loved to dance with him in Dancing with the Stars ; he also had a profitable business: he imported Italian olive oil and gastronomic products sold in the large Swedish supermarket chain CO-OP. All that glory vanished in a moment. Swedish police trapped him as he visited a girl of dubious character and then paid her for her services. It was a honey-trap. The policemen appeared from their hiding places and whisked Roberto off to the local precinct where he was booked and the nation alerted. He didn't deny a thing; he expressed extreme remorse.

In Sweden, it is perfectly legal to be engaged in prostitution. Today no one in Sweden can tell a woman what to do with her own body, be it abortion, sex change or prostitution. Yet it is a crime for a man to pay a woman for sex.

It is not sane; it is as though selling crack were legal while buying crack is the only crime. Usually it is other way around, a casual user goes free while the pusher is arrested. But it does not matter; Sweden is not the only country in the world with such a strange law on her books.

Roberto was charged for this crime. It could be worse: Sweden has some extraordinary crimes in its law book, one of them is Rape by Misadventure or Careless Rape which is committed by a man who has sex with a woman who ostensibly agrees to or even solicits sex but inwardly she is not willing. She may be doing it for money, or boredom, but not for pleasure, and the man carelessly overlooked her conflicting emotions. It is Swedish Rape. Pity they never apply the same logic to working people; we often do even less pleasant things for money, to buy food or pay rent, but the landlord is not punished for raping his tenants.

This new definition of rape deserves Victor Hugo's pen. It is Swedish Rape to have sex without a condom. It is Swedish Rape if the next day, or a few days later, the woman feels she may have been raped. Or cheated, or underpaid, or mistreated. For this ill-defined offence, Julian Assange has already spent ten years in various detention halls. If he would have killed the girl he would be free by now. Note that you may be guilty of Swedish Rape if you claim to be infertile and your partner becomes pregnant. Are you guilty of rape if you claim to be a Jew but aren't? This is an Israeli contribution to the concept of rape. But I digress.

Paolo Roberto is charged with paying a woman for sex, the crime Judah, son of Jacob, committed with Tamar (Genesis 38). The 25-year-old girl consented, but that does not matter. She came from a rather poor South European country, so probably her consent doesn't mean much. Or perhaps she consented just in order to entrap the guy and this is how Swedish justice works. Swedish prisons would be empty if police weren't allowed to entice and entrap Swedes.

The consequences for Paolo were terrible: he hasn't been tried yet; he hasn't been found guilty; his likely punishment is little more than a fine; but he was dropped like a hot potato by Swedish TV, by Swedish sports, by the Swedish chain that marketed his olive oil. His company was bankrupted overnight. The man was crushed like a bug. It was not Swedish law that crushed him. In the eyes of Swedish law he is still innocent until proven guilty. Swedish law did not force the supermarkets to remove his olive oil (actually, a very good one, I used to buy it) from its shelves. Paolo was lynched by the New Puritan spirit that is part and parcel of the New Normal.

Once upon a time, Sweden was an extremely liberal and free country. Swedes were known, or even notorious for free sexual mores. Independent and brave Swedish girls weren't shy, and they were comfortable with very unorthodox 'family' unions. But, while the US has always espoused its own brand of politically-correct Puritanism, the global media is now dragging along the other Western states in its wake. France and even Sweden participated in their own renditions of the American BLM protests, called for #MeToo, and seem eager to trade in their own cultures for the New Puritanism.

This rising Puritanism is a contrarian response to the personal freedom we enjoyed since the 1960's, and a jaded weariness with the excessive commercial sexuality of the mass media. The media sells everything with a lot of sex. You cannot turn a TV on, daytime or night, without seeing an implied or explicit act of copulation. They sell cars, snacks and sneakers by displaying naked bodies. This flood of pornography is turning the public mood against sex. Who should we blame for this blatant exploitation of sex? Men.

The Old Puritanism was hard on women; the witches were burned, and the whores were evicted from their homes. The New Puritanism is hard on men. Men are being taught that hanky-panky can have serious consequences. On the site of one of their destroyed statues of Jefferson, the Americans should erect a statue of Andrea Dworkin, the obese lying feminist who famously said that every intercourse is rape, and Penetration is Violation . She is an icon of New Puritan America.

They could not outlaw sex per se, so they invent sordid stories of incestuous sex, of paedophilia, of abusing priests, each storyteller trying to outdo the last. The vast majority of these stories are sheer inventions, like the witchcraft stories of the 17 th century in Old Puritan New England. We are in the midst of a global media campaign, and men are the targets. The Patriarchy will be diminished by the systematic demonization of boys and men.

In the current media frenzy I cannot trust any story, any accusation of a man involved in a sordid sexual crime: these media campaigns are too often employed to unseat a commercial competitor or destroy the popularity of a political rival. Often the man is not even accused of any crime, but only of frivolous behaviour: a touch, or an immodest proposal; natural acts celebrated in the days of my youth. Yes, my young readers, in the 1970's you could touch a woman's knee and suggest she accompany you on a passionate weekend at a seaside resort, and she would often agree. This libertine era is over completely. Even to me, it now seems mythical, like Atlantis. It is gone.

The US is the media's inspirational model of the New Puritanism. Remember the women who lined up to claim that the future Supreme Court judge tried to kiss or even rape them when they were kids in college? The most credible of them would not even allege he behaved criminally; just immorally according to New Puritan standards. Now every relationship must be re-evaluated in the light of the New Puritanical historical revisionism. Women who pose for a picture with a presidential candidate now have a certain amount of power over him. During a media campaign the allegations come fast and furious, but upon investigation they turn out to be spurious and motivated by self-interest or politics.

It is good to see that sometimes, quite rarely, a man can still escape a close encounter with his life intact. Former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond had been accused of all the usual sexual sins and was fully cleared by the court . No less than ten women were recruited (apparently with the knowledge of Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond's successor); they came forward and claimed that they were sexually attacked by Salmond. They were rather sloppy with their proofs, and it turns out that they claimed they were attacked at times and places where Salmond could not have been present. The case was dismissed and Salmond was found not guilty . Scottish prosecutors had spent years of labour trying to condemn Salmond, and it spectacularly failed.

You might ask, why have these perjurers (who are well-connected women close to the centre of power of the ruling SNP party) not been prosecuted for their attempt to frame the man? Well, the very idea of these trials is that the accusing woman can't lose. If she wins, she can collect millions, and if she loses, even her name remains secret. These ten perjurers are exempt from legal consequence; nor are they required pay expenses and damages. The women are protected. Who pays? Our colleague, the excellent writer and former HM Ambassador Craig Murray , that's who. Murray was reporting on the trial of Alex Salmond for the public's benefit, published onto his own blog, when he was charged with disclosing the identities of some of the perjuring women. A conscientious man, Craig wasn't guilty of naming names, but even his vague description of "an SNP politician, a party worker and several current and former Scottish government civil servants and officials" was considered by the court to be a monstrous breach of confidentiality.

The public was well prepared for this onslaught on mankind by the poisonous #MeToo culture, a massive wave of carefully coordinated media hysteria. Women in communes and nunneries are known to menstruate at the same time when living in close proximity. #MeToo was a similar mass event. It was designed to push women's buttons. They even offered up an appropriately grotesque scapegoat: Harvey Weinstein, a movie producer with 386 Hollywood production credits under his belt.

The actresses that accused Weinstein (over eighty women) would still be unknowns if he had not given them parts in his movies. And they repaid him with such cruel ingratitude. Actresses have a certain psychological setup that makes them extremely untrustworthy. They have many other qualities to offset this deficiency, but you can't just accept the words of a lady who plays today Lady Macbeth and tomorrow Madam Butterfly as solid truth. They are acting, in life as well as in their line of work.

Consider the beautiful Angelina Jolie. She is mad as a hatter. Even her own father said that she had "serious mental problems." Her long history of violent self-abuse culminated with her choice to cut off her breasts because of a DNA test that indicated risk for breast cancer. She has had a long line of boyfriends and husbands, and a lot of kids adopted out of Africa, taken away from their natural parents. Is she a reliable witness? She would say anything that is fashionable. The woman wants to be adored as the model of an excellent person; this is a honourable goal, but she is extremely unsuitable for it.

Weinstein's eighty accusers collected millions; the great producer went to a life-long jail sentence. The public, the great American public was eager to lynch the man who gave them True Romance and Pulp Fiction . Was he guilty as charged? Even the charges were a travesty of justice. Men of his generation (and of mine, too) routinely propositioned women. We are all guilty, though not many of us racked up Weinstein's numbers. Yet every woman was free to refuse. No police reports against Weinstein appeared until the #MeToo media campaign was in full swing. Did he harass them? You and me are harassed daily by offers to take another credit card or bank loan; we are free to refuse this definitely harassing offer. Every unsolicited proposal is harassment; and we receive daily hundreds of proposals of various nature. What is so different about a sexual proposal to a woman? Weinstein may or may not have committed a crime, but in the poisonous air of #MeToo there is no need to prove any accusation, and the man was lynched.

Perhaps now I am going to lose your tentative sympathy, but I do not believe the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein and Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, either. And the attack on Prince Andrew is similarly unbelievable. Chapeau for Mr Trump who dared to express sympathy to Ms Maxwell. This was an act of incredible bravery, to step out of line and to say a few kind words to her and about her. The cowardly Clinton and Obama, who were close friends with Epstein and Maxwell, were mum. Trump who was not particularly close to the couple, spoke up for them. He really deserves being re-elected, despite his many faults. Such a man is a master of his own mind, and this is a very rare quality.

I may mull over a proposal to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, but how possibly can one believe the stories of the disturbed woman who claims that she had to be forced to have sex with fabulously wealthy Mr Epstein or to meet glamorous Prince Andrew, let alone that she suffered "extreme distress, humiliation, fear, psychological trauma, loss of dignity and self esteem and invasion of her privacy" on his island retreat? The complete absence of evidence and the complete lack of objectivity could only prevail in the midst of a media campaign. It is believable what Ms Maxwell said in a deposition, that Ms Giuffre was "totally lying." Indeed all these gold diggers are totally lying.

Like this one : An anonymous accuser says she'll testify that 'evil' Ghislaine Maxwell raped her '20-30 times' starting from when she was 14 and claims she was forced to abort Jeffrey Epstein's baby. Honest and reputable men like Prince Andrew are forced into the demeaning and impossible position of having to argue and justify themselves against wild accusations. There are no reasonably believable accusations of crime against these people. A woman had a photo of her taken with Prince Andrew. She was at least 17; at this age girls in England are perfectly entitled to have an affair with a man. Other girls in other photos were apparently of age, too. Young, yes, but not criminally young. Furthermore, a posed photo does not always indicate a sexual relationship. Some women claim they were babies and they were raped, but there are no proofs of anything except their greed.

Mike Robeson who investigated the claims came to conclusion that they were often initiated by big business to rip off rich Jews. New Puritanism is the Joker card that can trump the antisemitism ace. He wrote:

I've read Whitney Webb's investigative articles on Epstein, which are often cited by the alternative and leftist crowd as evidence of his Mossad connections and blackmailing activities. But Webb's articles are actually full of unsubstantiated rumors, possible immoral or illegal activities between high level people based on coincidental social or business connections and potentially damning rumors corroborated mainly by her previous articles and posts. She has done some fine reporting on other issues. But on the Epstein case, she is part of what Israel rightly refers to as the New Puritanism.

Supposed evidence of Frau Maxwell's salacious involvement is the famous photo of Prince Andrew below. This is all the New Puritans need to justify believing the rumors and drawing their "I told ya' so!" conclusions. But hobnobbing has long been a sport played by the wannabes with the tacit collusion of the rich and/or famous.

Take a look at the fun couple under Prince Andrew and his alleged squeeze. You may recognize Rosalynn Carter, then First Lady of the US. Standing next to her is none other than William Gacy , a few months before he was arrested as a serial killer and cannibal of those he'd butchered. Are we to draw certain conclusions from this photo?

Below Rosalynn Carter is another photo, this one showing then President George Bush being hobnobbed by political has-been George Wallace and by young political wannabe Bill Clinton. What conclusions can be drawn from this? Was George already then grooming Billy Boy for higher things in life? Or is it merely more photographic evidence of how wannabes crawl up the ladder of personal and career advancement? For it is clear that the rich and/or famous, like Rosalynn Carter and Prince Andrew, have to put up with photo ops, sometimes to their later discredit.

Very little about the Epstein case makes sense – not his social and financial connections and especially not his alleged links with the Mossad. Every rich Jew in the US is sayanim, but that doesn't mean they are running blackmail ops. And the pedo accusations are ridiculous. His 'victims', none of whom were less than 16 (legal to marry in most European countries and many American states) were willing, well paid and well taken care of gals who got lucky to catch a good-looking sugar daddy. Whatever he knew about his rich and famous clients that may have gotten him killed may have had something to do with what he knew about them, sure. He probably shared his largesse with his friends and possible donors and contributors. But if he had been sexually blackmailing them over the years, why did they keep going back to him?

The blackmail angle doesn't make sense. It makes more sense that a lot of famous people may have preferred him dead to testifying about his activities. Who, famous or not famous, would want to get dragged through the mud by the overzealous New Puritan prosecution teams that had already destroyed the lives of innocent defendants of sexual accusations like Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nasser, as well as hundreds of others in the past decades of America's sexual abuse/devil worship hysteria. The Pizzagate fiasco is a demonstration of how mobs can be raised, aimed and defused by an orchestrated media campaign.

From what I see of Epstein's photos, he was an intelligent, good lucking, confident, fun loving guy. If he was nailing more hot chicks than I ever did, more power to him.

Another motivation for the liquidation of Epstein's empire is the collaboration between the media and the unknown figures behind the scenes who are likely to walk away with Epstein's millions. Are you familiar with the story of Howard Hughes and the destruction of his Las Vegas empire? It happened to him. Something similar has happened in the past few years to other wealthy Jews like Donald Sterling , who was first falsely accused of being a racist and then forced to relinquish his ownership of an NBA team. Other examples? Richard Fuld of Lehmann Bros. and Bernie Madoff were taken down by their Wall Street rivals and then used as scapegoats to expiate the sins of corporate raiders. Harvey Weinstein was the sacrificial schwein to absolve the sick Hollywood culture. Now that Weinstein has been destroyed, Hollywood can go back to business as usual.

But what about the intimidation faced by hundreds of girls victimized on Epstein's private island? Why do they claim to be afraid of retribution even after his death? The girls were treated well. They admit that they cooperated in finding more girls who would massage Epstein, even supposedly knowing that they too would be 'horribly abused' by the 'monster'. The reporters and the interviewed women are perfect examples of New Puritans. I feel dirty after watching them perform. None of their emotional anecdotes reach evidentiary standards and any court would dismiss their cases out of hand.

As for the source of Epstein's fortune, here is a plausible investigation . It is interesting that no one can really agree on the amount nor the source of his millions.

Justice, or what is passing under that name, gets screwed whenever the law is used to empower a person with a personal grudge, either on his own behalf or to benefit a media consortium. Emotional appeals could never been considered in the better world of Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington. Perhaps they had slaves, but they would not have condemned a man, free or slave, on the basis of empty accusations. Physical evidence is still required in the legal courts. Only on TV can people be destroyed by edited testimony.

I am very tolerant of anti-Jewish rhetoric. So tolerant that I am often accused of it myself. Still, the accusations against Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell, and let's not forget poor Mr Harvey Weinstein, are often marked by cliché characters such as the crass foul-mouthed Jew and the innocent girl he despoils. Meanwhile, the facts of each case are monotonously repeated: one man's career is destroyed while dozens of girls become famous; millions of dollars are suddenly difficult to track and soon begin to evaporate; the man is demonized and the women are sainted.

Can the New Puritanism overturn the Jews and their unstoppable juggernaut cry of antisemitism? Leo Frank was lynched by the mob and the ADL was formed to make sure it never happened again, no matter what the crime. Is New Puritanism the new mob violence? Perhaps mob violence is the only way our rulers can overwhelm the paralyzing effects of being called antisemitic. Perhaps the New Puritanism is an opening salvo in a larger war between shadow forces.

But I could never believe that Maxwell and Epstein were connected with the Israeli Intelligence agency, the Mossad. With all my sympathy to our esteemed colleagues Philip Giraldi and Whitney Webb , there is not a single shred of evidence for such connection. Conjecture, yes; evidence, no. Even the father of Ghislaine, the late Mr Maxwell, who was not a saintly person by any means, might be with better evidence accused of collaborating with Soviet Intelligence, the KGB, than with the Israelis. A person of his standing probably connected with Israelis, too, but he was no Mossad agent.

I can understand my American friends. There never was a time worse for American men, when the statues and memorials of their great ancestors have been uprooted, when their wives and daughters are queuing to press their pink lips upon the boots of black ghetto dwellers, when their manhood is defined as "toxic" and their sons are dreaming of a same-sex union with a glorious black buck. If the US were occupied by the Communists as Amerika envisaged, it wouldn't be as bad as what you've got now. You have been humiliated thoroughly. I understand that in such a situation you might jump at the chance to break the bones of rich Liberal Jews like Epstein and Weinstein. I wouldn't refuse you this comfort. They are anyway already lynched.

However, if you want ever to walk free, you'd better deal with the New Puritan takeover. Women are wonderful creatures, but often they can be manipulated and do what they are asked to do. They are also excellent actors and are not troubled by honour. Men are more independent and solitary by nature; that is why our Masters want to suppress masculinity. It is easier to shepherd a flock of cows than so many bulls. Women love to be the victims, to blame men for their failings; add social distance and fear of viral infection; add the mask (the New Western Burka); add lockdown, and the problem of how to send the children to school might just solve itself. No children. The New Puritans are currently purging Hollywood of the most relentlessly heterosexual men, but when they run out of rich Jews, they just might come after you.

The New Normal is the New Puritan. The pandemic fit into it tight as a glove. Under millions of cameras and tracing applications, privacy shrinks and disappears. New Puritanism erases the gap between public and private realms. In the world we knew, there was a difference between the twain. A man having an affair with a woman (or with another man) was in a private realm. Do whatever you wish in privacy of your home; just don't frighten the horses, Victorians once said. Now there can be no privacy. Sex is already more of a political opinion than a physical act. You might be lionized as a homosexual or despised as a breeder, your choice. Any affair, or even the attempt to start an affair could be deadly in the post #MeToo world. In an era of socialized medicine, sex is seen as a dangerous weakness that might endanger lives and imperil the global healthcare system.

Much of the severity of New Puritanism can be sourced directly to American culture. America was founded by the Old Puritans of Mayflower in 1620 and has periodically been subject to hysterical outbursts, from witches to Red scares. Nowhere has the use of sex for advertising and commerce been so widely spread as in the US. As the US has become the model for the world, an epidemic of American hysteria is starting to infect countries all around the world. #MeToo reached even Russia, but it is still only a minor phenomenon, mainly to be found among only the most woke of hipsters.

Orwell imagined a future of "state-enforced repression and celibacy" while Huxley predicted "deliberate, narcotising promiscuity". The New Puritans have chosen Orwell's world. I grew up in something more akin to Huxley's, and I can tell you which one is better. Communist Russia was very permissive in the private sphere. People had a lot of sex, with their girl/boy friends, with spouses, with neighbours, with wives of their friends, with their colleagues, with their teachers and students. The Soviets had none of the restrictions we have now against sexual relations in the University between teachers and students; in fact, no restrictions against sex with coworkers, something that now we would call abusive and then call the police. As religion had little influence in Soviet society, adultery was frequent, and unless connected with a public scandal, had no consequences.

Russians as well as the French could not understand why Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky made waves in the US that blew into an impeachment trial and ended with the bombardment of Belgrade. Bill was unfaithful to Hillary? That's not nice, but it is their private affair. President Clinton lied? Well, he was not in the confession booth. Traditional religions, be it Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, are quite tolerant of venial sin. Puritanism, the Old as well as its New offspring are deadly serious in everything, and are unafraid of killing or bullying a sinner to death. They may have begun with witches, but they are ending up targeting ordinary folk.

Currently their targets have a lot of wampum, for it is no fun to bully a person for no material gain. Us, impecunious men, we have nothing to be afraid of yet. But it might be wise to save society before the New Puritans bring down disaster onto all of us. In my opinion, America's influence on the world should be reversed, or at least limited. Let America get influenced by Europe for a change. Mercifully, Europe is suffering from a very light case of New Puritanism that may be entirely cured with a healthy dose of Anti-Americanism. I hear the vaccine is under development.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review .


Svevlad , says: August 2, 2020 at 11:52 am GMT

Nordoids are the most totalitarian people – it's just that they are told to be woke

anon [501] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT

Picture two is not proof, it's illustration. In fact Cord Meyer recruited Clinton as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, feathered his wife's nest with a ridiculous bonanza of commodity trading top-ticks, then appointed Bill to run the CIA covert ops slush fund at Mena airfield. That picture is junior secret agent Bill Clinton at the office picnic with his big boss the DCI.

As for picture number one, I'll be forever grateful for the heartwarming thought that Rosalyn also puts on a clown costume, handcuffs boys, buttfucks them, strangles them, and buries them in the crawlspace.

Jack McArthur , says: August 2, 2020 at 2:38 pm GMT

Virtually all you wrote is true but with "Very little about the Epstein case makes sense – not his social and financial connections and especially not his alleged links with the Mossad" you seem to have quite deliberately blown your cover as another lying judaizer to those who think Jews are normally incapable of true conversion and that your role in creation is to show what bad is compared to good.

Parsnipitous , says: August 2, 2020 at 4:04 pm GMT
@Jack McArthur

Indeed, it appears so: a very incisive first half of the article, describing a real phenomenon (used to manipulate public opinion and society) seems designed to drop the Epstein turd into.

Epstein is no Puritan witch hunt: Robert Maxwell gets something akin to a state funeral in Israel, his daughter pimps for guy who uses lavish Wexner money for beehives of celebrities into which a steady supply of young female flesh is injected and this guy is telling us we just need to relax a bit.

Israel Shamir is being dishonest here.

ThreeCranes , says: August 2, 2020 at 4:21 pm GMT

" then First Lady of the US. Standing next to her is none other than William Gacy, a few months before he was arrested as a serial killer and cannibal of those he'd butchered. Are we to draw certain conclusions from this photo?"

Yes. That she wasn't to his taste.

ThreeCranes , says: August 2, 2020 at 4:52 pm GMT

Thanks, Israel. Well reasoned and well presented. Although some or many may not agree with you, it's refreshing to read a straight forward exposition. At least you're laying it out there for others to take a crack at it.

"Women are wonderful creatures, but often they can be manipulated and do what they are asked to do. They are also excellent actors and are not troubled by honour. "

I've never met a woman who wasn't a bald-faced liar about anything that concerned her personally. (And no, I'm not an Incel. Far from it)

"Much of the severity of New Puritanism can be sourced directly to American culture. America was founded by the Old Puritans of Mayflower in 1620 and has periodically been subject to hysterical outbursts, from witches to Red scares."

So true. The country was settled by all manner of religious zealots, each and every one of them forming some sort of utopian colony here–almost all of which went down in flames.

Dumbo , says: August 2, 2020 at 5:01 pm GMT

The Old Puritanism was hard on women; the witches were burned, and the whores were evicted from their homes. The New Puritanism is hard on men.

Well, it is particularly hard on "beta" men. Their idea is basically to let "alphas" have harems but all other men to become incels or worse. Just look at this guy, punished for visiting a whore (in their view anyone who pays for sex is by definition not an alpha, so it makes sense to punish johns but allow or even celebrate whores)

Yes, Feminism is a kind of inverted puritanism. But being hard on sluts and whore makes sense if you want to preserve society's order and families. Feminist rules against men only help to destroy society.

So there's a very big difference between the Old Puritanism and the New Puritanism.

From what I see of Epstein's photos, he was an intelligent, good lucking, confident, fun loving guy. If he was nailing more hot chicks than I ever did, more power to him.

Come on. No one knows how this guy made money. For all purposes he was a nobody. Yet he was seen with Elon Musk, Woody Allen, Trump, Clinton, Bill Gates, Prince Andrew, anyone who was "someone" dined with him and maybe one of his girls. There's something very fishy about this. I don't know, maybe he and Maxwell were just the preferred pimp of the elites, or maybe there's something else. Robert Maxwell (Ghislaine's dad) was an Israeli spy and a media magnate, just that is very suspicious.

I mean, of course I don't trust the little whore Giuffre (whoever trusts whores or actresses, but I repeat myself, is an idiot). But there is something very strange and rotten about Epstein and the fact that he met with almost everybody in the so-called elite.

Dumbo , says: August 2, 2020 at 5:08 pm GMT

Nicola Sturgeon, Salmond's successor

Salmon(d) and Sturgeon? Who was the next one, Sardine?

Fidelios Automata , says: August 2, 2020 at 5:24 pm GMT

Much of this article makes sense, though I can't buy the defense of Epstein and Maxwell. It's absurd to call him a "pedophile" as many journalists do. He was a pimp for the Deep State's extortion racket.

Curmudgeon , says: August 2, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMT

Thanks for this. I have been criticized by many for observing holes in the narrative and objecting to trial by media.
I have, since the start of the last Epstein narrative questioned the "intelligence" connection. Not because it wasn't possible, rather that Virginia Roberts narrative about escaping was implausible. If Epstein was doing his alleged blackmail routine for Mossad or any other intelligence service, Roberts would have been suicided long ago. Loose ends like that are a danger to the operation.
That doesn't mean that Epstein wasn't diddling underage girls nor does it mean that Maxwell wasn't recruiting girls to massage Epstein. In Maxwell's case, she may, or may not have known Epstein was diddling them as alleged. I have yet to see a reasonable explanation of how these underage girls got passports without parental consent, and if they did, who was the guarantor? Apparently, all of these accusers had parents who were uninterested in their underage daughters traveling with a male more than twice their age, on his private jet.
As for Weinstein, Shirley Temple's mother complained people in the studio were trying to get into her daughter's pants and she had to be vigilant. Marilyn Monroe, on marrying Joe DiMaggio, is reported to have said that she`d never have to suck another cock. The casting couch stories have been rampant for as long as I have been alive, yet I am supposed to believe that none of Weinstein`s accusers knew that it was the price of admission. That does not mean I approve of taking advantage of women, that has always been done in many ways. Post war turned millions of German and Italian women into prostitutes, for occupying soldiers, in order to feed themselves and their families. Apparently that was ok, but young actresses being turned into millionaires is not.

Anon [252] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 5:58 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

Not true at all, the majority of people who settled the USA were regular Anglos, especially in the South.

And Anglo DNA is something like 25% of the USA. This country is full of immigrants from other stocks, and you know what? They are far more likely to be Democrat-voting liberals, while the Anglo Americans are more likely to be rural Republicans who think things like MeToo and BLM are crazy.

Get a new theory.

anon [313] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 6:06 pm GMT

If the US were occupied by the Communists as Amerika envisaged, it wouldn't be as bad as what you've got now.

Yes, the Commie occupiers had the good sense to execute the entire US Congress.

sarz , says: August 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm GMT

What a total crock of shit. I have long maintained that Shamir is Mossad and a pretend convert to Christianity. This is the guy who argued with passion that those who say that Muslims did not do 9/11 are depriving them of credit for their rare success. It's nevertheless surprising to see him cashing in his chips in such a stupid and lazy way. It's in fact so stupid that it brings to mind Gordon Duff, himself an intelligence figure, alerting me to the hugely disparate quality of Shamir emissions with the explanation that the persona "Israel Shamir" is the work of a committee. It looks like desperate times for the big Jews. The big satanic game -- implicating the Rothschilds, the British royals, and a whole gaggle of Jews and crypto-Jews including Trump and Bill Gates, and all their attendant goys such as the Clintons -- could all fall apart.

Israel Adam pretend-Christian Shamir, who is Moloch and why was there a temple to him on Epstein's island?

Anyone who finds Shamir's protestations of Jewish innocence plausible need look no farther than Maria Farmer's interview with Whitney Webb. Maria doesn't mention Moloch, but she keeps wondering what happened to all those girls. Thousands seem to have just disappeared.

Anonymous [184] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm GMT

innocent defendants of sexual accusations like Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nasser,

I agree with most of the article, but do you have any proof that Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nasser are innocent?

Prince Andrew fooling around with a consenting 17 year old does not compare with what Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nasser were accused and convicted of doing.

ThreeCranes , says: August 2, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@Anon

How much have you seen, first hand, of America? The East Coast and Midwest is littered with former religious communes. Okay, I may have indulged in a little hyperbole, but nevertheless, there were a lot of them. And I don't know what you're going on about Democrats, Anglos and such. Seems off topic to me.

From Wiki

[MORE]
Chris Moore , says: Website August 2, 2020 at 7:14 pm GMT

I have long maintained that Shamir is Mossad and a pretend convert to Christianity. This is the guy who argued with passion that those who say that Muslims did not do 9/11 are depriving them of credit for their rare success. It's nevertheless surprising to see him cashing in his chips in such a stupid and lazy way.

It's hard to imagine an authentic Christian would defend the deep state and Zionist Hebrew pedophile operative Epstein. Hebrew-supremacist blood is thicker than any ideology, I guess. His big Hebrew ego just can't let go of it's delusions of being forged by sacred, primeval forces. I'm sure a rat would have a huge ego if it could speak, too.

Anonymous [247] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT

Yes, the anti-Semitic trope of the Jew despoiling the innocent. The only stereotype I can read here is that of the eternal victim. So Madoff didn't steal millions from elderly pensioners. And Epstein wasn't linked to the former head of Israeli intelligence or invest in security companies run by former Unit 8200 types. And Wexner (of Mega Group) didn't gift him a multimillion dollar surveillance lair. And Maxwell was trolling the parking lot of Groton School and Philips Andover after the kiddies got released from their chemistry AP test, not preying on broken girls from broken homes. F#ck you Shamir.

traducteur , says: August 2, 2020 at 7:51 pm GMT

Leo Frank was lynched by the mob

He had murdered the girl, don't forget, and had been convicted by the courts, despite a protracted and lavishly financed Jewish effort to pin the crime on a Black man who had not committed it. The mob dragged Frank out of prison and lynched him only after his death sentence had been commuted by the Governor of Georgia.

Beb , says: August 2, 2020 at 8:04 pm GMT

Sir, you have the touch! A most amusing article.

israel shamir , says: August 2, 2020 at 8:13 pm GMT
@traducteur

Some people deserve lynching. "Was lynched" is not a synonym of "innocent".

sarz , says: August 2, 2020 at 8:19 pm GMT
@traducteur

He had murdered the girl, don't forget

All of us regulars at Unz Review know fully well that speaking of Leo Frank being lynched by the mob as the main story just won't do. Whoever is handling the Israel Shamir persona at Herzliya these days doesn't have all that much interest in what Ron and others here have been discussing.

sarz , says: August 2, 2020 at 8:21 pm GMT
@israel shamir

Damage control.

sarz , says: August 2, 2020 at 8:24 pm GMT
@Beb

Who are you, Beb, and why are you saying such silly stuff?

Mike Robeson , says: August 2, 2020 at 9:03 pm GMT

Here is additional support for Shamir's take on Epstein's primary accuser –
"Virginia Roberts . claimed to have met him when she was fifteen and to have been forced to work as his sex slave. In reality, she was seventeen, which is still below the age of consent in Florida, but does materially alter her claim that she had sex with Prince Andrew when she was under age because the age of consent in England is sixteen, something of which she was almost certainly unaware .

Among her lurid claims, many of which are demonstrably false, she admits she recruited other, genuinely underage girls for Epstein, yet she has been given a free pass on this. Roberts travelled to Thailand on Epstein's dollar, and while there she had a change of heart, breaking with him. She experienced no adverse consequences for this. Now she is back, regretting her past, sordid life and eager to cash in on it. In what sense can this woman be claimed to be a victim?"
https://theduran.com/victim-narratives-in-the-news/?ml_subscriber=1479058990255051922&ml_subscriber_hash=i0d9&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_duran_daily&utm_term=2020-08-02

Mike Robeson , says: August 2, 2020 at 9:11 pm GMT

Edward J.Epstein, a long time investigative journalist including on the JFK assassination, recently published his own angle on the sources of Jeffrey Epstein's riches, and they have nothing to do with sexual blackmail –

"An extremely savvy financier and philanthropist told me after Epstein's death about a proposition Epstein had once made him: that he could save more than $40 million in US taxes if he gave him $100 million to manage.

Epstein claimed the money would be concealed in a maze of offshore non-profits he controlled so that part of the profits would be transferred to the financier's own philanthropic foundation, with the balance retained offshore and out of the reach of the taxman.

When the financier told him that the scheme amounted to illicit tax evasion, Epstein said it was highly unlikely the Internal Revenue Service would unravel it, and, if it did, he would protect the financier from any criminal exposure.

The financier asked him how? Epstein said the financier would have to sign over the funds to him, thus giving him total discretion over where and how the money was invested. This piece of paper, he said, would provide an alibi to the US tax authorities.

The financier turned down Epstein's proposition, but others – Arab princes, Russian oligarchs and those interested in hiding some part of their wealth – might have accepted it.

Indeed, shortly before his arrest last year, Epstein told an associate that he was going into the business of hiding funds for billionaires who were contemplating divorcing their wives – for a hefty commission, of course.

He also claimed to be in the final stages of buying a property in Morocco, one of four countries in the world not to have an extradition treaty with the US.

So perhaps the mystery of Epstein's fortune is not how he made his millions, but to whom the money ultimately belongs.

Many very powerful people may have had cause to rue Epstein's incarceration on sex charges – and, given the fact that they were hiding their assets from the authorities, it's highly unlikely they will ever publicly come forward to try to recover their investments."

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8537413/EDWARD-JAY-EPSTEIN-investigates-seemingly-unsolvable-mystery-Jeffrey-Epstein-fortune.html?ito=native_share_article-masthead

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 9:15 pm GMT

The column seems intended to discomfit and/or discredit as many different people around here as possible. (I just checked Wikipedia to see how Mr. Multiname is being curated these days, and noticed that the first of the "RELATED ARTICLES" is Gilad Atzmon.) The oddest yet from this website's oddest writer.

hobo , says: August 2, 2020 at 9:30 pm GMT

" Even the father of Ghislaine, the late Mr Maxwell, might be with better evidence accused of collaborating with Soviet Intelligence, the KGB, than with the Israelis. "

Of course. This makes perfect sense. It explains why the Israeli's gave him a state funeral attended by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli President Chaim Herzog, and "no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence" .. because, after all, he was KGB Right.

Mike Robeson , says: August 2, 2020 at 10:04 pm GMT
@Anonymous in the Nasser case, a number of public figures have come forward in Sandusky's defence. The most active is John Ziegler who maintains a website full of articles showing that the case against Sandusky and Penn State was and is a sham and money grab. ( http://johnziegler.com/ )
There is also the well known author Mark Pendergrast who wrote a book on the case. Here are links to two video interviews of both –

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wDcpk2m1zsk?feature=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dFu2zLiliy4?feature=oembed

Anon [143] Disclaimer , says: August 2, 2020 at 11:15 pm GMT
@Anonymous likely that Nassar was sacrificed to atone for all the sex abuse that happens in kids sports. Now that he is destroyed then child sporting can go back to business as usual because the monster was vanquished. Note that the Nassar story could have been spun to criticize the families who hand their children over to strangers, or to attack child sports in general. But it wasn't. It was aimed directly at one man, and when he was gone the story was gone. That makes him the sacrificial lamb.

On the other hand, the Sandusky story was immediately expanded into the Pedo Rings story, indicating it was part of this long term project.

Haruto Rat , says: August 2, 2020 at 11:22 pm GMT
@Mike Robeson

&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_duran_daily&utm_term=2020-08-02

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter!

No, seriously. Are people still clicking links in their mail?

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: August 3, 2020 at 1:45 am GMT

This use of "Puritan" as a swear-word looks simplistic, beyond simplistic, to me. Like brain-washed Americans using "Socialist" as a swear-word in just the same way.

They might have been bible-fundamentalists, they might have been creationists, they might have thought the world was flat, but was every witch ever burned in Germany burned by Puritans? Was witchcraft a solely Puritan fantasy? The first ever mention of a witch was by them?

But thanks for reminding me of the mad hatter. I'll get a copy of Alice In Wonderland and compare it with what you write.

PS PC has a very different origin, a different so-called religion.

Jack McArthur , says: August 3, 2020 at 2:45 am GMT
@Mike Robeson nd his supporters an advantage by putting their argument adroitly – if dishonestly – before the public first. Not until David Martin responded with Wilderness of Mirrors was an opposing view presented coherently."
http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/5195-edward-j-epstein-legend-the-secret-world-of-lee-harvey-oswald/#comments

"JFK Assassination ~ Edward J Epstein Not a Shred of Conspiracy"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cQc4whcSVVg?feature=oembed

Jefferson Temple , says: August 3, 2020 at 3:06 am GMT
@Mike Robeson

And this excuses Prince Andrew for fucking teenagers how? A man born into royalty with every advantage but apparently unable to handle actual mature women. So that makes it cool for him to partake of sleazy Jeff's procured girls?

No decent guy thinks of doing stuff like that. If that's what having money does to men, I'll happily remain relatively poor.

ivan , says: August 3, 2020 at 3:13 am GMT

Thanks Mr Shamir. What you wrote sounds about right. I do not like the fact that rich and powerful men got their way with young girls. But this has been the way of the world since time immemorial. It was all done in the open, and for decades, right under the noses of the NYT. But neither they nor the New Puritans thought it fit to investigate, since their focus was elsewhere, namely to tame the Catholic Church through grinding it in the pedophile mill over alleged crimes largely committed in the 70s. Only now that the Pavlovian Dog known as Public Opinion can't get any further stimulus from allegations concerning the Papists, they have turned to Epstein and the Jews with a Royal thrown in instead. But at the end of it, it would make no difference to the men, women and children trafficked for sex, since the New Puritans would have turned their focus elsewhere. And for what it is worth I don't think this a Mossad operation either. I mean how good are these guys? And is it not the responsibility of politicians holding or aspiring to high office to keep themselves clear of such people and places?

Jefferson Temple , says: August 3, 2020 at 3:24 am GMT

You're right, you lost my sympathy with this robust defense of Jeffrey Epstein. I appreciate that it's good to be skeptical of what is reported as well as of the mob mentality but there is no real defense of this guy based on what I've seen and heard over the past two years.

All of his residences with surveillance cameras covering every room.

The source of his money being very murky.

His willingness to share his paid-for harem with the most powerful and connected. Out of the goodness of his heart? No.

The 100% implausible jail suicide.

Isn't that enough red flags?

Even swine like Bret Kavanaugh deserve to not be lynched but Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaineare in a whole other rarefied class of scum. Why bother to make excuses for them? Do you really believe that Trump wished Maxwell well out of magnanimity? More like he's hoping that none of their dirt on him will see daylight.

Priss Factor , says: Website August 3, 2020 at 4:48 am GMT

Puerile puritans or Pueritans

sarz , says: August 3, 2020 at 5:05 am GMT

Xymphora is also having none of it. (It's an indication of Ron Unz's good editorial judgment that Shamir's article is not listed on the main page.)

Xymphora (from the website) :

"The New Puritans" (Shamir). Besides being completely clueless about #metoo – it's about power relationships, not flirting – he has a list of completely innocent people: Jerry Sandusky, Larry Nasser, Donald Sterling, Richard Fuld, Bernie Madoff and, of course, Harvey Weinstein, goyim. Then he tell us that the Mossad has nothing to do with Epstein-Maxwell. I'm starting to think Shamir's history of being an 'anti-Semite' was just producing credibility for this important career-defining moment when the operations of the Mossad and the MEGA Group required protection.

Aristotle1 , says: August 3, 2020 at 6:30 am GMT

As clear and intelligent as ever. "It is easier to shepherd a flock of cows than so many bulls".

I suspect the Epstein ring may be linked to Mossad. It is clearly some sort of Jewish influencing network so seems like an Israeli soft power operation. Having said that Shamir is spot on about all the pearl-clutching even by sensible alt-right figures.

ivan , says: August 3, 2020 at 7:30 am GMT
@Jefferson Temple

Stupid idiot. What did Kavanaugh do at sixteen that other boys his age did not?

The Alarmist , says: August 3, 2020 at 8:33 am GMT

Given what happens daily in Sweden, it would seem the only thing Roberto did wrong was to have a family that came from the wrong side of the Med.

The Alarmist , says: August 3, 2020 at 8:49 am GMT

President Clinton lied? Well, he was not in the confession booth.

Clinton lied under oath in a deposition submitted in a judicial proceeding. He also coached other witnesses to support his story. These were crimes more serious than any that could have been charged against Nixon, who was hounded out of office. Clinton took serious charges and spun them into a story of a harmless peccadillo. Utter brilliance. And while the Judge in the case tried to sweep these actual crimes under the rug as immaterial to the case, it nevertheless cost the President his law licence.

Thomas Faber , says: August 3, 2020 at 10:56 am GMT

How a society views sexuality has a tremendous influence on it's long-term structure and stability.

I do not agree that the Epstein/MOSSAD-blackmail angle makes no sense, but I think that Mr. Shamir makes some good points. Excessively strict public morals is a ripe breeding ground for sanctimonious hypocrisy, and hidden rot, and can have frigthening consequences, and it would not surprise me to learn that the damnable Jesuit Order has a hidden yet decisive influence on this "New Puritanism" that the article traces the tentative outlines of.

On the other hand, too loose sexual morals fosters dissipation – as seen in the lives of highly promiscuous people, or on a larger scale, societies such as Soviet Russia, or various empires after they lost their moral vigour – such as much of contemporary America. Some amount of discipline and self-restraint is needed – this seems to be a moral law of nature.

These waters call for good personal judgment, fairness and balance, and wisdom.

israel shamir , says: August 3, 2020 at 11:06 am GMT

Today, more of the same in Daily Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/30/former-tory-mp-charlie-elphicke-guilty-sexually-assaulting-two/
The woman complained that Elphicke sexually assaulted her after inviting her for a drink at his London home in 2007.
She was in her early 30s and said Elphicke – who had recently become a father for the second time – proceeded to kiss her, grope her breast and then chase her round his house trying to slap her bottom, chanting: "I'm a naughty Tory".
The woman came close to selling her story to The Mirror newspaper for £30,000 around a decade later, but instead went to police.
She broke down as she gave evidence to the court. She cannot be identified for legal reasons. END QUOTE.
Is not it typical. The guy had a try 14 years ago. Why didn't she report it to police same day? Why wait for so long? Act now, or forget. She tried to make money of this allegation. Still she can't be identified for legal reasons. So she can try it again, with another victim who made a pass at her some time or another during last thirty years. This is incredible!

Brás Cubas , says: August 3, 2020 at 11:19 am GMT

I haven't read the entire article yet, so this comment applies only to its initial part.

Shamir is not very persuasive. He has the merit of explaining the situation clearly, but, by doing so, he makes his criticism of Swedish law somewhat misdirected. As he explains it, the legal punishment is very mild. The biggest punishment, he tells us, comes from private entities. But doesn't that imply that, even if that law did not exist, things would happen almost exactly as they did?

So, the problem, if it exists, is one of societal codes of moral. I, for one, think that Sweden is autonomous to decide which codes of moral are best to itself. It's not society which reflects the law, but the other way around. It is the law which reflects the wish of the majority of Swedes, which is normal in a healthy democracy.

Kali , says: August 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm GMT
@israel shamir

The woman came close to selling her story to The Mirror newspaper for £30,000 around a decade later, but instead went to police.

She tried to make money of this allegation.

This is incredible!

Indeed!

Anonymous [247] Disclaimer , says: August 3, 2020 at 12:10 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

And Clinton bombed an aspirin factory and killed some poor schmuck to take the attention away from his lying.

Bemildred , says: August 3, 2020 at 12:36 pm GMT

I don't find Shamir persuasive either. He has a point, women are not particularly more moral or ethical than men, they need to be watched just like anybody, but OTOH regular witch-hunts for politicians and plutocrats of both genders who cannot resist exploiting their positions financially or keep their hands off the staff could be a good thing, overall.

He comes across as somebody with skin in the game here too.

israel shamir , says: August 3, 2020 at 12:48 pm GMT
@Anonymous

This is stated in the quote from Mike Robeson, so it is better he will respond to the items mentioned in his quote (signposted on the webpage). I have too little knowledge about these details.

The Alarmist , says: August 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Sure, but Americans especially American Presidents are exempted from international laws governing war crimes and crimes against humanity. It's why they can sanction entire populations with impunity.

The irony of America bombing an aspirin factory in another country, however, is that much of America's asprin needs are met with imports.

MarkM66 , says: August 3, 2020 at 1:42 pm GMT

https://www.bitchute.com/video/LQ8EHCBlm8w/

This is an interesting analysis. If the data is correct, how much is just bs and how much is actually verifiable?

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: August 3, 2020 at 1:47 pm GMT
@israel shamir

I have too little knowledge about these details.

Then why did you write it? And who is your wingman "Mike Robeson"?

Further indication that you're a disingenuous weasel and provocateur.

israel shamir , says: August 3, 2020 at 1:50 pm GMT
@sarz

I commented on Xymphora: Regarding the New Puritans: " Jerry Sandusky, Larry Nasser, Donald Sterling, Richard Fuld, Bernie Madoff and, of course, Harvey Weinstein, goyim." – these are words of Mike Robeson I quote. It is even signposted as the quote. I hardly know these names (excepting Weinstein). So I think you may correct your post.

Jefferson Temple , says: August 3, 2020 at 2:10 pm GMT
@ivan

His horny boyhood is not what I was referring to, Yvonne. Talking about his record with Ken Starr and the "suicide" of Vince Foster.

Justvisiting , says: August 3, 2020 at 2:31 pm GMT
@ThreeCranes

I've never met a woman who wasn't a bald-faced liar about anything that concerned her personally.

They do exist, but they are always at least moderate on the Asperger's scale.

Jefferson Temple , says: August 3, 2020 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Thomas Faber

Yes. I'm not sure how it is puritanical to not want middle aged rich men to buy the services of even one minor girl for any sexual purposes. I thought that was just a civilized notion of protecting the young.

I think Shamir is being a bit duplicitous.

anon [327] Disclaimer , says: August 3, 2020 at 4:13 pm GMT

Perhaps now I am going to lose your tentative sympathy, but I do not believe the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein and Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, either. And the attack on Prince Andrew is similarly unbelievable. Chapeau for Mr Trump who dared to express sympathy to Ms Maxwell.

Trump's "sympathy" to Maxmossad was political noncommitment. Being a gentleman.

How clean and uninvolved are Wexner and Ehud?

You have lost more than sympathy.

Rev. Spooner , says: August 3, 2020 at 5:12 pm GMT
@Brás Cubas

"It's not society which reflects the law, but the other way around. It is the law which reflects the wish of the majority of Swedes, which is normal in a healthy democracy. "
One of us is an idiot.

Curmudgeon , says: August 3, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
@Jefferson Temple Unless you have inside information, his apparent inability to handle actual mature women is conjecture, and open ended. Some women are mature at 20, others are not mature at 50.
Jeff's procured girls, beyond them having been employed by him, are unproven allegations. Curious the parents were seemingly disinterested in their daughters traveling with a male more than twice the age of their daughter.

That does not mean girls were not procured for illicit purposes or that Andrew may be morally bankrupt, regardless of whatever happened between him and Giuffre.

Curmudgeon , says: August 3, 2020 at 5:47 pm GMT
@Mike Robeson

Even the thoroughly unlikable Dershowitz is begging for the release of all documents around this. He claims Giuffre is hiding stuff and has told several whoppers.
https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/alan-dershowitz-joins-tucker-carlson-to-respond-to-accusations-in-unsealed-ghislaine-maxwell-documents

Begging the FBI to investigate would be an odd defense, unless of course there was a fix already in.

Dumbo , says: August 3, 2020 at 7:00 pm GMT
@Chris Moore That said, I disagree with the two main points of the article. One, this is not a "new puritanism", it's something else, the comparison is patently false. How "puritan" is modern society if there's porn everywhere?

Two, there's no way to defend Epstein and say that he was just a "normal, rich, intelligent guy". The guy was, at best, a pervert and a well-connected pimp for politicians (but how did he get there?). At worst , well, there are many theories and I won't dwell into that. No way to defend that Jewish scum (sorry, but, he was Jewish, and he was scum).

brabantian , says: August 3, 2020 at 7:02 pm GMT
@Jack McArthur 'Arrest of Julian Assange is Just Theatre – Assange is a Rothschild-Israeli Operative'
https://www.henrymakow.com/2019/04/Julian-Assange-Arrest-is-Theatre.html
'Assange & Snowden are CIA 'Rat Traps'
https://www.henrymakow.com/2018/11/assange-snowden-rat-traps.html
[MORE]
Jake , says: August 3, 2020 at 7:14 pm GMT

If the US were occupied by the Communists as Amerika envisaged, it wouldn't be as bad as what you've got now.

And that's the horrifying truth. For non-rich white Americans, Stalinism, as evil as it was, would not have been as bad as what we now have under Anglo-Zionist Capitalist Globalism.

Rich , says: August 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm GMT

In my Catholic family, putting your hands on a female relatives' body in any unwanted way, would result in a visit from one of her brothers or cousins and a serious beating. It's also interesting to see that my old parish priests were right when they spoke about the immorality of the godless communists in that apparently adultery was common and accepted in the Soviet Union.

The older I get, the more respect I gain for the moral teachings of the Christian Faith, adhering to it will keep any young man out of the trouble Mr Shamir writes about.

Thomas Faber , says: August 3, 2020 at 8:03 pm GMT
@brabantian

That Mr. Shamir believes that Assange is legit is hardly evidence for him being a Mossad operative.

More likely, he is a big-hearted man, who wishes to believe the best about people. This is also what gives his writings their warm quality.

That it is sometimes the cynical view that is the correct one, and especially so in these days, should not make us too hasty in our judgments.

Jefferson Temple , says: August 3, 2020 at 8:10 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon ext">

Using Mick Jagger as a yardstick for acceptable behavior? Is that really what you meant?

I'm thinking that at least some of those girls actually were responsible for their choices but under the law, I don't think they can be held responsible. No character flaw or selfish motive changes the fact that they were minors. A full grown man and woman is a different story. They get the full advantages that society affords to adults as well as the accountability. I don't care who rich guys want to fuck. If they target my daughter, they're going to need an ambulance.

sarz , says: August 3, 2020 at 8:16 pm GMT
@israel shamir

You quoted a big passage from Mike Robeson without reservation. So what if it's signposted as a quote? One assumes from the context that you are endorsing his views. It does make you look ridiculous, and I can understand your subsequent eagerness to dissociate yourself from the quote. But there it is.

anon [327] Disclaimer , says: August 3, 2020 at 9:12 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon

Fix or snake belching fire to deceive.

Sollipsist , says: August 3, 2020 at 10:03 pm GMT

I don't think you quite understand Catholics if you think we have a healthy and casual outlook on sex

("We" in my case is cultural and geographic history. I haven't been actually practicing nor even much of a believer for a long time. But the culture tends to stick with you for life, no matter what you do)

For one thing, we are probably only second to Jews when it comes to being guilt-ridden from birth about sex (among most other things). The jury is still out whether this drives more of us toward sin than away from it. Catholics are infamously indiscriminately promiscuous (Zappa wrote a song about it) and somewhat less good at learning from their mistakes as many others

The incidence of priestly abuse may be exaggerated for Puritanical effect, but it's by no means an unfounded myth; we were joking about altar boys at least as far back as the 70s when I took First Communion. BTW we had a Father Chester and, whatever the truth was, his nickname rhymed

Ivan , says: August 3, 2020 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Jefferson Temple

My sincere apologies. I am not upto speed on those.

SaneClownPosse , says: August 4, 2020 at 12:00 am GMT
@anon a, Arkansas to run drugs into the USA. Must of have had some local pull.

An early image of William Jefferson Clinton seated next to George Herbert Walker Bush may shed light on the Intelligence connections of Bill, besides the two spook schools Yale and Oxford.

Then there is Hillary's lesbianism. Why would a supposed hetero male marry a lesbian? Bill did not need her political connections, nor her family connections. Chelsea looks like Bill, not. Possible that Bill's taste was never a Monica, nor a Hillary, nor a 16 year old Lolita. Bill and Hill, a match made in Langley.

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: August 4, 2020 at 12:35 am GMT

Israel Shamir: "Currently their targets have a lot of wampum, for it is no fun to bully a person for no material gain. Us, impecunious men, we have nothing to be afraid of yet."

This isn't true at all, at least in America, and I suspect it's the same elsewhere. Here, so-called sexual harassment has been a cause of action since at least the 1980s. As someone who was metooed way back then, before it became a thing, I can tell you that poverty is no guarantee you won't be targeted. People are scum and really get a kick out of victimizing each other. They'll do it just for the fun of it. Financial incentives aren't the cause of this; it's just the icing on the cake for the so-called victim. Also, there is an absurd culture of chivalry toward women in the matriarchal West that has lingered long past its expiration date, such that a certain type of man enjoys "white knighting" for women who make such claims. For such men, and they are very numerous, all a woman has to do is turn on the water works, start crying and acting hysterical, and she'll be believed. Often it won't even take that. From my point of view, when I see guys at the top, like Weinstein and Epstein, having now to deal with it too, I have to confess to a certain degree of shadenfreude. During my own tribulations with this, they were the ones getting away with it, and often even the enforcers and enablers of it.

I see it as yet another unintended side effect of two fundamental, revolutionary technological changes. These changes were first thought by almost everyone concerned to be wonderful, a sign of Progress at last, but nobody was looking down the road far enough. First, due to the advent and widespread use of scientific birth control and abortion, women were given for the first time in history complete control over their own fertility. This led directly to sexual liberation and modern feminism, both of which would be impossible without this development. Second, a change in the political technology, namely the extension of the vote to women. Why, you might ask, did an all-male government ever pass such laws, or in America, empower its enforcement arm, the EEOC? Because of the woman's vote, of course. No politician today can hope to succeed without it.

Exile , says: August 4, 2020 at 2:26 am GMT

But I could never believe that Maxwell and Epstein were connected with the Israeli Intelligence agency, the Mossad. With all my sympathy to our esteemed colleagues Philip Giraldi and Whitney Webb, there is not a single shred of evidence for such connection.

Is this one of C.J. Hopkins "I'm a Russian Asset" parodies? Are you serious?

How many Mossad heads attended "Robert Maxwell's" funeral, Shamir?

Weinstein did nothing wrong?

What do they have on you, Izzy? Blink three times fast in your next video appearance to let us know they got to you.

No one with their head north of their colon believes anything you just said here. So that's a plus.

Reg Cæsar , says: August 4, 2020 at 3:55 am GMT

The Old Puritanism was hard on women; the witches were burned

Where? Not here.

Jefferson Temple , says: August 4, 2020 at 4:09 am GMT
@Ivan

Thanks. I didn't take it personally. But it seems that Kavanaugh is dirty, and so is Trump. Makes me wonder about the operations to take them down. Russia gate for Trump and Blasey Ford gate for Kavanaugh. Both so ridiculous that it is almost as if their foes couldn't use the real dirt without self-incriminating.

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: August 4, 2020 at 5:06 am GMT
@Sollipsist l, impossible for little children to doubt what the big person says, whether Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Rabbit, anything. So easy to indoctrinate. And it's continued to the present day, the only denomination that has it's own elementary schools everywhere. Everywhere. All about capturing the children.

But going back to "Puritan", Wikipedia on Savonarola, in 1494 "he instituted an extreme puritanical campaign "

So, Ha! Ha!, Roman "Catholic" Puritans of the Fifteenth Century! Didn't molest children back then, but have ever since!

Adûnâi , says: Website August 4, 2020 at 8:22 am GMT
@Dr. Robert Morgan ds benevolent, Christian causes.

Feel free to check out how these egalitarian English men have in 10 min permanently banned my 6 year old Wikipedia account over a comment I made three years ago – proclaiming that marriage is between a man and a woman is considered homophobic now. (It's a self-plug, but it's also Christian psychology in real-time, you might appreciate it.)

http://archive.vn/AjJRF

Does this homosexual psychosis stem from technology, too? The most industrialized nations on the planet are not sodomitic at all. It all seems to me like an American cultural thing.

anon [327] Disclaimer , says: August 4, 2020 at 1:42 pm GMT
@SaneClownPosse

You mean Beelzebubba didn't spawn pointless, baby Hagwitch?

Who would get near cackling Hagwitch?

Rich , says: August 4, 2020 at 2:11 pm GMT
@SaneClownPosse

The portrait of Bill Clinton in a blue cocktail dress that was hanging on the wall in Epstein's house says it all.

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: August 4, 2020 at 3:10 pm GMT

Adûnâi: "Are you not confusing the cause and effect?"

Certainly there is an interplay between the two factors I mentioned that magnifies their societal effects. They strengthen and support each other.

Adûnâi: "But why did women get the vote to begin with? You don't explain.

From what I know, they were first employed in WW1, and it was a "symbol of gratitude"? Sounds quite cucked and Christian."

Technology develops according to its own internal logic, often with unpredictable and sometimes even catastrophic effects on human societies. It is deeply hostile to natural distinctions of race, sex, and culture that impede its efficient operation. Technological change drives cultural change, and war stimulates technological change.

Adûnâi: "Why then have the Eastern countries not faced it? Neither the USSR nor modern China?"

I'd say they have, in their own way. There are, for example, plenty of female professionals in both countries, who function in their jobs as the equivalent of men. This would be impossible if they were constantly pregnant and caring for children. Then too, there is the low birth rate, which is only possible with scientific birth control. They also participate equally with men in politics, AFAIK, and have equal rights as citizens. N.b. too that in China, at least, this happened without Christianity -- although, as has been said by Spengler and others, Marxism can itself be regarded as a form of Christianity.

Adûnâi: "Does this homosexual psychosis stem from technology, too?"

Efficiency is the god of technology, and that is unquestionably true all over the world. To the extent that cultural factors impede the efficient operation of technology, they have to change, or all that results is inferior technology. Man's increasing dependence on technology is why a kind of global culture is emerging now, instead of earlier in history. Cultural distinctions are being destroyed at an accelerating pace, and also races are being mixed as an unintended and unforeseen consequence of this dependence.

Because of this, I suspect the decadence you notice today in the West will eventually show up in the East as well. It's just that because they were relative late comers to technology and industrialization, it may take a little longer, that's all. There's a certain cultural inertia that needs to be overcome.

israel shamir , says: August 4, 2020 at 3:30 pm GMT

Russian method
In a far away Russian village, gals have heard of the Western way to deal with men, and they brought their rape complaints to local police. Police checked the claims, found them without merit, and both ladies were fined 5000 ruble ($80) each. How neat!
https://pervo.info/v-achite-eshhyo-odno-lozhnoe-iznasilovanie/

Adûnâi , says: Website August 4, 2020 at 4:49 pm GMT
@Dr. Robert Morgan d partially in the latter. WW3 > world-wide NatSoc.

Even without technology, give humans enough time, and one race will emerge triumphant. Whereas the high tide of Islam failed to conquer Anatolia, the Seljuks came to the Aegean, and the Ottomans reached Vienna. Failures are weeded out, and those remain who are strong, not who can make money most efficiently.

@Israel Shamir

And yet, the rural folk of Russia is dying out. Natural change (2018): -3 per 1000 rural vs -1 per 1000 urban.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Russia#After_WWII

76239 , says: August 4, 2020 at 6:44 pm GMT

The Old Puritanism is Yankee through and through.

America has a Yankee problem. Its inexorably opposed to the notion of "live and let live."

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: August 4, 2020 at 7:35 pm GMT

Adûnâi: "Everything indeed will be shown in due time. What else are we doing here but trying to predict the future?"

Yes, I agree with most of what you wrote in this comment. All I'm doing is pointing to the trend, the way the technological system tends to grind away cultural differences. Of course, some cultural differences may not affect the efficiency of the system, and those might remain. Western "decadence" might or might not be one of those things. Ted Kaczynski says something relevant about this in ISAIF:

29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocialized leftist shows his real attachment to the conventional attitudes of our society while pretending to be in rebellion against it. Many leftists push for affirmative action, for moving black people into high-prestige jobs, for improved education in black schools and more money for such schools; the way of life of the black "underclass" they regard as a social disgrace. They want to integrate the black man into the system, make him a business executive, a lawyer, a scientist just like upper-middle-class white people. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want is to make the black man into a copy of the white man; instead, they want to preserve African American culture. But in what does this preservation of African American culture consist? It can hardly consist in anything more than eating black-style food, listening to black-style music, wearing black-style clothing and going to a black-style church or mosque. In other words, it can express itself only in superficial matters. In all ESSENTIAL respects more leftists of the oversocialized type want to make the black man conform to white, middle-class ideals. They want to make him study technical subjects, become an executive or a scientist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove that black people are as good as white. They want to make black fathers "responsible." they want black gangs to become nonviolent, etc. But these are exactly the values of the industrial-technological system. The system couldn't care less what kind of music a man listens to, what kind of clothes he wears or what religion he believes in as long as he studies in school, holds a respectable job, climbs the status ladder, is a "responsible" parent, is nonviolent and so forth. In effect, however much he may deny it, the oversocialized leftist wants to integrate the black man into the system and make him adopt its values.

A corollary of this would seem to be that only trivial differences will remain between cultures as different cultures fully adapt themselves to the global technological system. The urging of "oversocialized leftists" isn't actually necessary, as the system itself contains its own rewards for compliance and punishments for failure to comply. There's also nothing particularly tied to naturally-occurring races in that system of values; at least, not obviously so. The system is hostile to natural race distinctions precisely because it is necessarily race-neutral. Might it create its own artificial race of genetically engineered humans in order to maximize efficiency? That could be. Certainly, genetic changes to man have been a side effect of civilization itself. E.g., human beings are much less violent than they used to be. Obedience, non-violence (at least on a personal level), and conformity has been bred into us modern humans.

Adûnâi: "Are you of the view that collapse is imminent, even without Unabombers? And if it is, there will be no going back to high technology?"

It's probably a mistake to underestimate the resilience of the system. Anyone interested in trying to preserve the status quo as to race will have to act fast to bring the system down, or it will be too late. Whether high tech can be rebuilt after a global collapse would depend on a lot of factors impossible to know without knowing at least the method used to cause the collapse, as that would have an effect on how long any ensuing "Dark Age" would last.

ivan , says: August 4, 2020 at 9:51 pm GMT
@Jefferson Temple

Yes its kind of strange. Kavanaugh is not an ideological conservative in the mould of Scalia or Thomas. Makes one wonder what the fuss was all about. I must revisit what you wrote about earlier on his earlier judgements.

Sollipsist , says: August 4, 2020 at 9:58 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse

I'm not disagreeing, but don't forget it was 19th Century "Great Awakening" Protestants who were responsible for creating the public school system in the US. Can we question their motives?

israel shamir , says: August 5, 2020 at 2:45 pm GMT

In England, a struggle to dismiss a parliamentarian because of a vague complaint
Chief whip Mark Spencer today stood by his decision not to suspend the senior Tory MP arrested on suspicion of rape.
The party is under mounting pressure, including from the alleged victim, to strip the ex-minister of the Conservative whip.
But Mr Spencer said it was right to allow the police to conclude their investigation before taking any action, while also stressing the need to protect the identity of the accuser.
The former parliamentary researcher in her 20s has alleged she was assaulted and forced to have sex.
What does "forced to have sex" means?

Adûnâi , says: Website August 5, 2020 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Dr. Robert Morgan , it's "a triumph of the Natural, Racial Order" that confuses the plans of the globo. The very globohomo is contingent upon the qualities of the Nordic race. It has evolved to seek efficiency, and now – under the guidance of Christianity – it is employing it in its own self-destruction. But as they near the end, their efforts become discordant, muffled, inefficient.

> "Ted Kaczynski"

By the way, why do you prefer calling him his real name instead of "the Unabomber"? "Ted" is so much more boring, and the in "Kaczynski" is mispronounced as by Americans while it should be in Polish. The Unabomber has a ring to it.

GoyRightActivist , says: August 5, 2020 at 8:46 pm GMT
@israel shamir

Shamir now confesses to be a Mossad Psyop who pretended to be a hero of the Goyim. The choosen ones raping and pimping gentile children and women is nothing to him. Criticism is New Puretanism. A surrogate for the word Antisemitism as Derschowitz uses it for his accuser? Calling Robert Maxell a KGB Agent i and other are struggling to understand if you are trolling or trutly a Mossad apologet. The worst is you are friends with Gilad Atzmon hopefully he is as bluffed by your (new?) behaviour and views as we are.

Ann Nonny Mouse , says: August 5, 2020 at 11:51 pm GMT
@Sollipsist

Hmm. Secular schooling is bad?

Anyway, just noticed more ammo lying on the ground right here at UR. Andy Flick-Chick, his 2020-02-13 article, The Philippines Are Choosing New Allies: Pres. Duterte, hugely popular there, "sexually molested by a priest when he was a child, he holds a grudge against Christianity."

Adûnâi , says: Website August 6, 2020 at 11:22 am GMT
@Dr. Robert Morgan he principle of the pursuit of individual happiness trumps any search for the efficiency of the collective.

I would concede that the history of technological intelligent life on this planet has been aimed at the discovery of the correct proportion between efficiency and race. But not more. Simply put, what I am observing to-day is the death of race-denialists in the Occident and the triumph of racists in the Orient. The latter are more efficient, too.

A little video celebrating the unity of the Man and the Machine. Those visions are not Checharian and not bucolic.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zhk9FJR_OGY?feature=oembed

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: August 6, 2020 at 4:45 pm GMT

Adûnâi: "If it were indeed calculating the most efficient society, it would probably try to mix and match, and as homosexualism is not exactly important, it would be discounted as a Western obstacle." I would say, if there is no reason ruling the system, it turns into idiocracy."

You have to keep in mind that the focus of technique when evaluating efficiency is necessarily quite narrow. For instance, having a horse is more efficient (in some ways) than walking, while having an automobile is still more efficient than having a horse. So an evaluation of efficiency is both relative and contextual. Someone might object, for example, that automobiles aren't really more efficient than walking, because by using automobiles, you have to accept that tens of thousands of people are going to die annually in car accidents. That's true, but still, the judgement of society (i.e., the "group mind" that I've referred to) has been that using automobiles is worth it, i.e., more "efficient". And there can be little doubt that, overall, a society that has the technology necessary to produce and use automobiles would defeat a society at a more primitive technological level in the contest of survival between them.

But generally, one cannot determine in advance "the most efficient society" any more than one can determine in advance "the fittest animal". Whatever form of social organization is most efficient must emerge gradually, as man does his dance of death with technology. Humanity is like a blind man groping his way down a corridor. Nobody knows where technological development will lead, and its development cannot be steered. Attempts to allow ideology to steer technology only result in inferior technology.

As for "homosexualism", thinking about it some more, I'd say it's just another side effect of female empowerment. Due to the development of scientific birth control methods women are now participating in work and politics on equal footing with men, and there are social consequences that weren't foreseen: e.g., more men are raised without a father in the home; more men who, in their work life, will necessarily have a woman as their "boss"; decoupling sex from its natural function of reproduction leads to regarding sexuality as a matter of "lifestyle choice". Given basic human psychology, I'd say these trends favor an increase in "homosexualism". Certainly they are quite destructive of patriarchy.

Adûnâi: "A lack of will is a lack of life. I emphasise the role of the individual in history. If the system is so smart, why does it allow the vector to turn towards disorder* for a period?"

Individual will has nothing to do with technique. It can't control it. Just to stick with the example of birth control technologies, you cannot "will" away the fact that they empower women, and at the same time disempower men. To use the technique at all, you just have to accept this, just as with the use of automobiles, a society accepts that the cost is tens of thousands of lives every year.

Disorder arises, and empires fall, precisely because all the consequences of a given technological configuration aren't foreseen; in fact, they're not even foreseeable. Shit happens, as the saying goes.

Adûnâi: "By the way, why do you prefer calling him his real name instead of "the Unabomber"? "

Because it's his ideas that are important, not his relatively ineffectual bombs.

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: August 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm GMT

Adûnâi: "Simply put, what I am observing to-day is the death of race-denialists in the Occident and the triumph of racists in the Orient. The latter are more efficient, too."

This is the question to be decided in the future, by the result. I agree that the West, precisely because of its Christian worldview, tends to confuse what it regards as moral superiority with technological superiority. But then, if the prize is survival itself, morals can change. Also, there's a time honored Christian tradition of hypocrisy that must be taken into account. Only the event of the matter will show which form of technological organization is more efficient.

Sollipsist , says: August 6, 2020 at 5:04 pm GMT
@Ann Nonny Mouse /p>

Kinda sad that people are so often especially motivated by childhood trauma; the simplicity, irrationality and disproportionate responses that are understandable in the childish mind are unnaturally preserved throughout adulthood. A little girl gets abused by a pervert uncle, and years later her supposed reason and free will convinces her that men are evil, old men especially, traditional families and patriarchal society are the enemy, and she was "born" a lesbian. So pretty much everybody in her sphere of influence ends up paying for the act of one degenerate.

Parsnipitous , says: August 7, 2020 at 2:51 am GMT
@sarz

Up to this article, I took him to be honest, regardless of how muddy his background was. Maybe he's testing his audience, but this is laughable.

Of course, if you're opposed to a superficially feminized, #metoo, gotcha culture, you may sympathize at first.

But he's covering up for a zio-criminal entity that hasn't yet been unraveled. He's actually trying the line that Epstein was some cavalier 70s Don Juan simply born a bit too late.

Big Chutzpah, Israel!

Parsnipitous , says: August 7, 2020 at 2:53 am GMT
@anonymous

Because he's full of shit

Parsnipitous , says: August 7, 2020 at 3:06 am GMT
@Curmudgeon

Whores will be whores. Don't care about them, as they squirmed around Weinstein and Epstein. Pretending Epstein is all about whores however, just turned Israel Shamir into a whore in his own right. Pat yourself on the back, but we still don't know shit about Epstein, the intelligence angle that is.

Maybe Israel can get his friend Assange on the ball?

[Jul 30, 2020] Building an Inclusive Post-Pandemic American Workforce by Michele Steeb Michele Steeb

Jul 30, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

>

ll eyes are on the declining number of unemployed. The May and June jobs reports chronicle the reabsorption of 5.3 million who lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic. Twelve million jobs to go to reach pre-pandemic employment.

Yet prior to the pandemic, there were 18 million Americans missing from the economy. These persons were neither employed nor seeking employment -- nor retirees, students or in-home caregivers -- and therefore were excluded from the Bureau of Labor Statistics count of the workforce. In order that America emerge from the pandemic stronger than before, a concerted initiative by federal and state governments to move them back into the economy -- using existing resources -- must begin now.

...

Research on the social determinants of health finds that employment has a very strong correlation with positive health outcomes. To exist as a non-participant in the economy is thus an invitation to dire health outcomes including premature death.

What's more, these individuals are needed as contributors to our national commonweal, fueling increased economic and social progress. And people engaged in productive activities are much less likely to engage in negative and destructive behaviors.

... The USDA's food stamp program has a robustly funded, though underutilized, employment and training grant. States use the excuse of USDA's partial match requirement as a reason to opt out.

[Jul 18, 2020] The Lost Boys- The White Working Class Is Being Left Behind by Christopher Snowdon

The USA and GB actually implement caste system. That's what job quota means.
Notable quotes:
"... It might seem divisive to compare different groups, but attainment in education and in life is relative and if we're to help the worst off, we have to know who they are. We should help everyone who needs it -- but it is vital to be able to compare groups to know who's falling behind, relative to their peers. In the UK, Bangladeshi-Brits earn 20 percent less than whites on average, for instance, but those with Indian heritage are likely to earn 12 percent more. Black Britons on average earn 9 percent less, but Chinese earn 30 percent more. What these differences tell us is that employers aren't systematically discriminating between people on the basis of their skin color, and that we have to look elsewhere to see the roots of inequality. ..."
"... Poor Chinese girls (that is to say, those who qualify for free school meals) do better than rich white children. ..."
"... But, interestingly, the ethnic group least likely to get into university are whites. With the sole exception of Gypsy/Roma, every ethnic group attends university at a higher rate than the white British and, of the white British who do attend, most are middle class and 57 percent are female. The least likely group to go on to higher education are poor white boys. Just 13 percent of them go on to higher education, less than any black or Asian group. ..."
"... Angus Deaton, a Nobel Laureate based at Princeton University, came up with the phrase 'deaths of despair' when he looked at the demographics of those suffering from alcoholism, depression and drug abuse. Suicides among whites, he found, was soaring and those who took their own lives tended to be poor and low-educated. His recently-published book on the subject ( Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism , co-written with Anne Case) tells the devastating story of what he calls 'the decline of white working-class lives over the last half-century'. ..."
Jul 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Christopher Snowdon via Spectator USA,

You can argue about the merits of pulling down statues, but it's hard to make the case that mass protests serve no useful purpose. At the very least, they provoke debate and draw attention to uncomfortable topics that it might otherwise be easier to ignore. The recent protests have forced everyone to have difficult discussions about race, class, poverty and attainment. Any serious examination of the statistics shows that we're pretty far from equal, but what the figures also show is that it's wrong-headed and damaging to lump very different groups together.

In these discussions politicians often lazily assume that all BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people are the same, and that all white groups are equally privileged. But a proper look at the data shows not just that there are striking difference within BAME groups, but that the very worst-performing group of all are white working-class boys -- the forgotten demographic .

It might seem divisive to compare different groups, but attainment in education and in life is relative and if we're to help the worst off, we have to know who they are. We should help everyone who needs it -- but it is vital to be able to compare groups to know who's falling behind, relative to their peers. In the UK, Bangladeshi-Brits earn 20 percent less than whites on average, for instance, but those with Indian heritage are likely to earn 12 percent more. Black Britons on average earn 9 percent less, but Chinese earn 30 percent more. What these differences tell us is that employers aren't systematically discriminating between people on the basis of their skin color, and that we have to look elsewhere to see the roots of inequality.

Ucas, the British university admissions service, can provide unique insight into these issues: it is the only outfit in the world to gather detailed information on all university applicants, including their age, gender, neighborhood and school type. This is collected along with data on who applied for which courses and who was accepted, and it is renewed in huge detail every year.

Much of the data shows predictable results: there is a gap between rich and poor, as you might expect in a UK state system where the best schools tend to be located in the most expensive areas. But there are surprising discoveries too: nearly half the children eligible for free school meals in inner London go on to higher education, but in the country outside London as a whole it is just 26 percent.

Black African British children outperform white children, whereas black Caribbean children tend to do worse. Poor Chinese girls (that is to say, those who qualify for free school meals) do better than rich white children.

But, interestingly, the ethnic group least likely to get into university are whites. With the sole exception of Gypsy/Roma, every ethnic group attends university at a higher rate than the white British and, of the white British who do attend, most are middle class and 57 percent are female. The least likely group to go on to higher education are poor white boys. Just 13 percent of them go on to higher education, less than any black or Asian group.

This is a trend that can also be seen in the GCSE data; only 17 percent of white British pupils eligible for free school meals achieve a strong pass in English and maths. Students categorized as Bangladeshi, Black African and Indian are more than twice as likely to do so. In 2007, the state sector saw 23 percent of black students go on to higher education; this was true for 22 percent of whites. So about the same. But at the last count, in 2018, the gap had widened to 11 points (41 percent for black students, 30 percent for whites). The children of the white working class are falling away from their peers, in danger of becoming lost.

Going to university is not the golden ticket it once was, but it requires stupefying naivety to believe that seven out of eight poor white boys take a sober look at the economics of higher education and choose to set up their own businesses instead. The trail of hard evidence runs cold once they leave school, but the prospects for those who can barely read and write are dreadful and we can get some idea of the consequences by looking at the 'left behind' areas where unemployment, crime and 'deaths of despair' are significantly higher than the national average.

Angus Deaton, a Nobel Laureate based at Princeton University, came up with the phrase 'deaths of despair' when he looked at the demographics of those suffering from alcoholism, depression and drug abuse. Suicides among whites, he found, was soaring and those who took their own lives tended to be poor and low-educated. His recently-published book on the subject ( Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism , co-written with Anne Case) tells the devastating story of what he calls 'the decline of white working-class lives over the last half-century'.

Yet while white working-class males are the largest disadvantaged minority, their cause is the least fashionable. In the intersectional pyramid of victimhood, white males are at the bottom, tarnished by ideas of 'toxic masculinity' and 'white privilege' despite the fact that in Britain class has always been the most significant indicator of true privilege. It's worrying, then, that any who attempt 'positive action' on behalf of poor white boys face a hostile reaction. Last year, Dulwich and Winchester colleges turned down a bequest of more than £1 million ($1.25 million) because the donor, Sir Bryan Thwaites, wanted the money ring-fenced for scholarships for white working-class boys. Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust, a charity whose stated mission is to improve social mobility, described Thwaites's offer as 'obnoxious'.

When Ben Bradley, the Conservative MP for Mansfield, tried to ask an 'Equalities' question about working-class white boys in parliament earlier this year, he was turned down by the Table Office because they do not have any 'protected characteristics'. The concept of 'protected characteristics' was wheeled into UK law by Harriet Harman's Equality Act, 10 years ago, and the Tories, then in opposition, took the rare step of voting for it. The nine protected characteristics include 'race', 'sex' and 'sexual orientation', but the Table Office is not alone in interpreting these as 'non-white', 'female' and 'gay'.

Under the Equality Act, 'positive discrimination' remains technically unlawful, but the barely indistinguishable concept of 'positive action' is explicitly legal. Firms cannot have quotas, but they can set targets. Employers cannot refuse to look at job applications from people who lack protected characteristics, but by stating that 'applications are particularly welcome' from BAME, female or LBGTQ+ candidates they send a message that some need not apply.

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In 2016 the BBC pledged that half its workforce and leadership would be female by 2020 despite less than 40 percent of Britain's full-time workers being women. It also set an 8 percent target for LGBT employees, although only around 2 percent of the population identify as LGBT. This target has been comfortably exceeded, as has been the target of having 15 percent of employees from a BAME background. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last month, the corporation raised this target to 20 per cent.

The BBC admits that people from 'low and intermediate income households' are hugely underrepresented in its workforce. But what does it do about it? Earlier this month Oxford University proudly reported that it was making 'steady progress' in its efforts to make its campuses 'representative of wider society'. Of its most recent intake of British students, only 14 percent came from the poorest 40 percent of households.

This fits a pattern: at a push, we can hear acknowledgement of the 'poor white male' problem. But that's as far as it ever goes. The underperformance of white boys and men is not considered to be a problem worth solving. When figures come out showing the stunning attainment gaps between boys and girls, the interest lasts for about a day. 'It always got a few headlines,' says Mary Curnock Cook, the former head of Ucas. 'Where it never got any traction at all was in policy-making in government. I began to think that the subject of white boys is just too difficult for them, given the politicization of feminism and women's equality.'

When I asked a teacher why white working-class boys have fallen so far behind, he gave me a short answer: girls are better behaved and immigrant parents are stricter. This is a generalization but nonetheless interesting: if it is the case that parenting is the problem, then it's not clear how much the UK government can do. Perhaps the reluctance to discuss the subject stems from fear that such a discussion would lead to difficult territory about family structure, quality of parenting and -- in short -- culture. Perhaps politicians think it better to let the problem fester, and the children suffer, than to risk discussing it.

Last month, the British government announced that its commission on racial inequality would include an examination into the underperformance of working-class white boys at schools. Will it look deep into the causes? It might look at recent studies that suggest poor reading levels in schools is a huge part of the problem. And it might ask whether 'positive action' in the name of diversity has left white working-class boys behind.

[Jul 17, 2020] No Masks, No Coughs: Robots Can Be Just What the Doctor Ordered in Time of Social Distancing

July 8, 2020 | www.washingtonpost.com

The Washington Post
Simon Denyer; Akiko Kashiwagi; Min Joo Kim
July 8, 2020

In Japan, a country with a long fascination with robots, automated assistants have offered their services as bartenders, security guards, deliverymen, and more, since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan's Avatarin developed the "newme" robot to allow people to be present while maintaining social distancing during the pandemic.

The telepresence robot is essentially a tablet on a wheeled stand with the user's face on the screen, whose location and direction can be controlled via laptop or tablet. Doctors have used the newme robot to communicate with patients in a coronavirus ward, while university students in Tokyo used it to remotely attend a graduation ceremony.

The company is working on prototypes that will allow users to control the robot through virtual reality headsets, and gloves that would permit users to lift, touch, and feel objects through a remote robotic hand.

Full Article

[Jul 11, 2020] This MIT robot combats COVID-19 and may soon be in your grocery store

This is essentially revamped robotic vacuum clener.
Jul 11, 2020 | finance.yahoo.com

A robot that neutralizes aerosolized forms of the coronavirus could soon be coming to a supermarket near you. MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory team partnered with Ava Robotics to develop a device that can kill roughly 90% of COVID-19 on surfaces in a 4,000-square-foot space in 30 minutes.

"This is such an exciting idea to use the solution as a hands-free, safe way to neutralize dorms, hallways, hospitals, airports -- even airplanes," Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, told Yahoo Finance's "The Ticker."

The key to disinfecting large spaces in a short amount of time is the UV-C light fixture designed at MIT . It uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light that eliminates microorganisms by breaking down their DNA. The UV-C light beam is attached to Ava Robotic's mobile base and can navigate a warehouse in a similar way as a self-driving car.

"The robot is controlled by some powerful algorithms that compute exactly where the robot has to go and how long it has to stay in order to neutralize the germs that exist in that particular part of the space," Rus said.

This robot can kill roughly 90% of COVID-19 on surfaces in a 4,000 square foot space in 30 minutes. (Courtesy: Alyssa Pierson, MIT CSAIL)
More

Currently, the robot is being tested at the Greater Boston Food Bank's shipping area and focuses on sanitizing products leaving the stockroom to reduce any potential threat of spreading the coronavirus into the community.

"Here, there was a unique opportunity to provide additional disinfecting power to their current workflow, and help reduce the risks of COVID-19 exposure," said Alyssa Pierson, CSAIL research scientist and technical lead of the UV-C lamp assembly.

But Rus explains implementing the robot in other locations does face some challenges. "The light emitted by the robot is dangerous to humans, so the robot cannot be in the same space as humans. Or, if people are around the robot, they have to wear protective gear," she added.

While Rus didn't provide a specific price tag, she said the cost of the robot is still high, which may be a hurdle for broad distribution. In the future, "Maybe you don't need to buy an entire robot set, you can book the robot for a few hours a day to take care of your space," she said.

McKenzie Stratigopoulos is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @mckenziestrat

[Jul 10, 2020] Sonoma Hotel Employs Robot For Contactless Room Service

Jul 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

During the pandemic, readers may recall several of our pieces describing what life would be like in a post corona world.

From restaurants to flying to gambling to hotels to gyms to interacting with people to even housing trends - we highlighted how social distancing would transform the economy.

As the transformation becomes more evident by the week, we want to focus on automation and artificial intelligence - and how these two things are allowing hotels, well at least one in California, to accommodate patrons with contactless room service.

Hotel Trio in Healdsburg, California, is surrounded by wineries and restaurants in Healdsburg/Sonoma County region, recently hired a new worker named "Rosé the Robot" that delivers food, water, wine, beer, and other necessities, reported Sonoma Magazine .

"As Rosé approaches a room with a delivery, she calls the phone to let the guest know she's outside. A tablet-sized screen on Rosé's head greets the guest as they open the door, and confirms the order. Next, she opens a lid on top of her head and reveals a storage compartment containing the ordered items. Rosé then communicates a handful of questions surrounding customer satisfaction via her screen. She bids farewell, turns around and as she heads back toward her docking station near the front desk, she emits chirps that sound like a mix between R2D2 and a little bird," said Sonoma Magazine.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at Atmospheric Research Group in San Francisco, said robots would be integrated into the hotel experience.

"This is a part of travel that will see major growth in the years ahead," Harteveldt said.

Rosé is manufactured by Savioke, a San Jose-based company that has dozens of robots in hotels nationwide.

The tradeoff of a contactless environment where automation and artificial intelligence replace humans to mitigate the spread of a virus is permanent job loss .

[Jul 09, 2020] Who belongs to working class and who to manageria class

I think the difference is owning of stock. If a person owns anough money to maintin the current standard of living without employment this person belong to upper middle class.
In this sense Steven Johnson comment are bunk.
Jul 09, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Chetan Murthy 07.06.20 at 6:45 am (
48
)

likbez @ 39:

Without working class votes they can't win. And those votes are lost

It's helpful that you told us who you were, in so few words. The Dems didn't lose working-class votes in 2016: the median income of a Hillary voter was less than that of a Trump voter [or maybe it was average? In any case, not much difference.] What the Dems lost, was "white non-college-educated" voters. They retained working class voters of color.

But hey, they don't count as working-class voters to you. Thanks for playing.

MisterMr 07.06.20 at 8:21 am ( 49 )

Two points:

1) White collar are, by definition, working class, because they don't own the means of production. What I see is an opposition between blue collars and white collars, that are two wings of the working class, not that democrats are going against the working class.
For some reason, the main divide in politics today is a sort of culture war, and republicans and other right wing parties managed to present the traditionalist side of the culture war as the "working class" one, and therefore the other side as the evil cosmopolitan prosecco sipping faux leftish but in reality very snobbish one, so that they pretend that they are the working class party because of their traditionalist stance.
But they aren't: already the fact that they blame "cosmopolitans" shows that they think in terms of nationalism (like Trump and his China virus), which is a way to deflect the attention from class conflict.
So comparatively the Dems are still the working class party, and the fact that some working class guys vote for trump sows that they suffer from false consciousness, not that the Dems are too right wing (the dems ARE too right wing, but this isn't the reason some working class guys are voting Trump).

2) Neoliberalism and free markets are not the same thing, and furthermore neoliberalism and capitalism are not the same thing; at most neoliberalism is a form of unadultered capitalism. However since neoliberalism basically means "anti new deal", and new deal economies were still free market and still capitalist (we can call them social democratic, but in this sense social democracy is a form of controlled capitalism), it follows that the most economically succesful form of capitalism and free markets to date is not neoliberalism.

Orange Watch 07.06.20 at 5:40 pm (
59
)

Chetan Murthy@48:

It's helpful that you told us who you were, in so few words. 43% of the US are non-voters. The median household income of non-voters is less than half of the median income of a Clinton voter (which was higher than the overall US median, albeit by less than the Trump median was). Clinton didn't lose in 2016 because of who voted as much as who didn't ; every serious analysis (and countless centrist screeds) since Trump's installation has told us that. Losing the working class doesn't require that the Republicans gain them; if the working class drops out, that shifts the electoral playing field further into the favor of politics who cater to the remaining voting blocks. Democrats playing Republican-lite while mouthing pieties about how they're totally not the party of the rich will always fare worse in that field than Republicans playing Republicans while mouthing pieties about how they ARE the party of the rich, but also of giving everyone a chance to make themselves rich. I know it's been de rigour for both Dems and the GOP to ignore the first half of Clinton's deplorable quote, but it truly was just as important as the half both sides freely remember. The Democrats have become a party of C-suite diversity, and they have abandoned the working class. And when their best pick for President's plenty bold plan for solving police violence is to encourage LEOs to shoot people in the leg instead of the chest (something that could only be said by a grifter or someone with more knowledge of Hollywood than ballistics or anatomy), the prospect of keeping the non-white portions of the working class from continuing to drop out is looking bleak.

MisterMr@49:

The traditional threading of that needle is to expand class-based analysis to more accurately reflect real-world political and economic behavior. In the past (and in some countries who updated the applicable definitions, still), the most relevant additional class was the petty bourgeoisie; in the modern US, however, the concept of the professional-managerial class is the most useful frame of reference.

MisterMr 07.07.20 at 12:06 pm (
76
)

Orange Watch 59

"The traditional threading of that needle is to expand class-based analysis to more accurately reflect real-world political and economic behavior. In the past (and in some countries who updated the applicable definitions, still), the most relevant additional class was the petty bourgeoisie; in the modern US, however, the concept of the professional-managerial class is the most useful frame of reference."

Sure, but one has to adopt a logicwhen building "class" groups. One relrvant dimension is educational attainment, which is IMHO where the "professional-managerial" class comes from.
But, not everyone with a degree is a manager, and "professional" normally implies a level of income that is higher that that of an average rank and file white collar.

So the question is whether this "new class" is really managers, or just white collar workers who work in services instead than in industrial production.
Furthermore, as technology increases, it is natural that a larger share of people will work in services and a smaller share in industry, for the same reason that increased agricultural productivity means less agricultural jobs.

Orange Watch 07.08.20 at 11:01 pm (
105
)

steven t johnson@98:

There are a great many unstated assumptions baked into this comment, but I'll take a shot at a foundational one. You suggest PMC is a distinction without difference vis a vis middle class appears to suggest that you've bought into a commonly accepted "truth" that can't withstand close scrutiny, and your claim that economic status is not a useful distinguisher only further drives it home. What is the cutoff between middle class and rich? I've seen far too many well-educated idiots with professional degrees make ridiculous claims like $150k household income representing a solidly middle-class income. That's in the upper 15% of national incomes, but it's being called middle class. 240% of the national median household income, but it's "middle class". And to pre-empt cost-of-living arguments, it's 175% of the median household income in Manhattan. So when you say PMC is not a useful concept, and that income is not a useful class distinction, I need to ask you where you draw your lines, or if you're asserting that class has no economic aspect at all. If you're arguing that households in the upper quintile and bottom quintile don't have different concerns, outlooks, values, and lifestyles – that someone in either could be working class or middle class (but I assume not upper class? Arguments like what yours appears to be typically don't start the upper class anywhere below the 1% ) is hard to treat as serious. If that is an assertion you'd stand by, what that tells me is that you're using private definitions of working and middle class, and they're essentially unintelligible.

Gorgonzola Petrovna 07.09.20 at 10:13 am (
113
)

@MisterMr
White collar are, by definition, working class, because they don't own the means of production

That's not the definition. For example: despite not owning any means of production, lumpenproletariat is not part of the working class.

What I see is an opposition between blue collars and white collars, that are two wings of the working class

If this is the way you feel, that's fine. It is, however, a controversial view. An alternative (and quite convincing, imo) view is that "white collars" belong to the 'professional-managerial class', with entirely different interests.

Anyhow, a bourgeois democracy (aka 'dictatorship of the bourgeoisie') does not and can not represent interests of the working class; this is indeed "by definition". Any benefits encountered by the working class are coincidental.

And in the current circumstance, the struggle between the remains of domestic bourgeoisie and global finance capitalism, the former faction is definitely – obviously – better aligned with interests of the domestic working class.

Orange Watch 07.08.20 at 11:01 pm (no link)

steven t johnson@98:

There are a great many unstated assumptions baked into this comment, but I'll take a shot at a foundational one. You suggest PMC is a distinction without difference vis a vis middle class appears to suggest that you've bought into a commonly accepted "truth" that can't withstand close scrutiny, and your claim that economic status is not a useful distinguisher only further drives it home. What is the cutoff between middle class and rich? I've seen far too many well-educated idiots with professional degrees make ridiculous claims like $150k household income representing a solidly middle-class income. That's in the upper 15% of national incomes, but it's being called middle class. 240% of the national median household income, but it's "middle class". And to pre-empt cost-of-living arguments, it's 175% of the median household income in Manhattan. So when you say PMC is not a useful concept, and that income is not a useful class distinction, I need to ask you where you draw your lines, or if you're asserting that class has no economic aspect at all. If you're arguing that households in the upper quintile and bottom quintile don't have different concerns, outlooks, values, and lifestyles – that someone in either could be working class or middle class (but I assume not upper class? Arguments like what yours appears to be typically don't start the upper class anywhere below the 1% ) is hard to treat as serious. If that is an assertion you'd stand by, what that tells me is that you're using private definitions of working and middle class, and they're essentially unintelligible.

[Jul 06, 2020] I don't want to return to normal

Notable quotes:
"... That is the reality of 'normal', where everything has been devalued to its lowest denominator – its cold, hard, economic value of cash. Yes, devalued – because our society demands that everything has only a cash figure. ..."
"... For the working class, these narratives of 'the middle', of being mediocre, do not work for us, because we start from a position of disadvantage and our narrative around success starts with change. Because who we are is never good enough – we are instead told and taught to 'aspire' to join the ranks of the middle class and achieve the things its members take as theirs. Property. Profits. Expensive wine. Insider knowledge of which brand of jam makes them a better person. ..."
May 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ... ..

That is the reality of 'normal', where everything has been devalued to its lowest denominator – its cold, hard, economic value of cash. Yes, devalued – because our society demands that everything has only a cash figure. Therefore 'normal' is always framed by the middle classes, because they have power, and language, and education – and yes, money – which allows what appears normal to them to be considered normal for everyone. If you are working class, you don't get to frame your interpretation of normal; normal sits in the middle and becomes mediocre, never radical or challenging.

That 'normal' works for the middle classes because it's theirs – most of them are living their lives today the same ways they were eight weeks ago, before Covid struck. Many are existing in even more comfortable contentedness than usual.

I hate this mediocre position. It speaks to me of having no aspirations to challenge, to think differently, to shake things up. It is the thought process, and actions, of the middle class – who see no benefit in change because they are doing okay.

For the working class, these narratives of 'the middle', of being mediocre, do not work for us, because we start from a position of disadvantage and our narrative around success starts with change. Because who we are is never good enough – we are instead told and taught to 'aspire' to join the ranks of the middle class and achieve the things its members take as theirs. Property. Profits. Expensive wine. Insider knowledge of which brand of jam makes them a better person.

ALSO ON RT.COM Mishandling of Black Death 640 years ago led to the Peasants' Revolt. It's time we modern-day peasants rebelled over Covid-19

... ... ...

Covid-19 has shown us VERY CLEARLY that it is the working class whose lives are in such precarity and who are always first in line to be killed or thrown onto the dole queues. It is the working class who suffer most from anything that is negative – whether it's man-made, like a rotten economic system, or a health pandemic – and benefit least from anything positive.

ALSO ON RT.COM If the UK government brings in a new round of austerity to pay for Covid-19, it'll spark civil unrest that will see cities burn

As governments and bosses all over the world try to tempt us back into the "old normal" and whisper snake-oil encouragements such a s "Don't worry, it won't all be the same things will improve," let us grab that message with both hands, our feet and our heads. Let's appropriate it and tell them clearly: no, it bloody well won't be the same. We don't want that 'normal'. As it was never normal for us – it was a living nightmare.

--

Dr Lisa McKenzie is a working-class academic. She grew up in a coal-mining town in Nottinghamshire and became politicized through the 1984 miners' strike with her family. At 31, she went to the University of Nottingham and did an undergraduate degree in sociology. Dr McKenzie lectures in sociology at the University of Durham and is the author of 'Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain.' She's a political activist, writer and thinker. Follow her on Twitter @redrumlisa .

[Jul 06, 2020] Britain's working class need a New Deal that overhauls housing, education and benefits to see them through the post-Covid crisis by Dr Lisa McKenzie

Notable quotes:
"... The consequences of the short-sighted politics and policies of the Thatcher era have been profound in those communities that suffered, and have shaped the narrative of the working class over the past 40 years, as people who are slow to change and are left behind. ..."
"... The consequence of this has been that the social, political and cultural influence of the working class has also diminished. Working-class people are now barely represented outside of low-paid, low-skilled work centered in the limited space of the service sector, healthcare, retail and distribution centers. ..."
"... Even the government's own appointed Social Mobility Commission acknowledges that class inequality and class prejudice is entrenched in our society. But it has no real solutions, and simply trots out the usual unimaginative tropes of raising aspiration for young working-class people. ..."
"... Working-class people need their own 'New Deal', which not only recognises the even greater inequalities caused by Covid-19 and the economic disaster that is on its way, but acknowledges the economic, social, political and cultural attack they have sustained for over 40 years. ..."
Jul 06, 2020 | www.rt.com

... ...

The consequences of the short-sighted politics and policies of the Thatcher era have been profound in those communities that suffered, and have shaped the narrative of the working class over the past 40 years, as people who are slow to change and are left behind.

Even former chancellors are warning of a return to a 1980s level of unemployment and recession – although none of them accepts responsibility for the structures they defended that caused that unemployment. Nor do they take responsibility for their inability to think honestly or even creatively about the failure of capitalism.

... ... ...

The consequence of this has been that the social, political and cultural influence of the working class has also diminished. Working-class people are now barely represented outside of low-paid, low-skilled work centered in the limited space of the service sector, healthcare, retail and distribution centers.

Even the government's own appointed Social Mobility Commission acknowledges that class inequality and class prejudice is entrenched in our society. But it has no real solutions, and simply trots out the usual unimaginative tropes of raising aspiration for young working-class people.

ALSO ON RT.COM I don't want to return to normal when this is all over... Normal is s**t

So I'll help it out. Working-class people need their own 'New Deal', which not only recognises the even greater inequalities caused by Covid-19 and the economic disaster that is on its way, but acknowledges the economic, social, political and cultural attack they have sustained for over 40 years.

The New Deal for working-class people would recognise that access to good, safe and affordable housing is needed immediately.

It would recognise that the welfare-benefits system that's supposed to catch those who need support is cruel, humiliating and keeps people in poverty, rather than lifting them out.

... ... ...

--

Dr Lisa McKenzie is a working-class academic. She grew up in a coal-mining town in Nottinghamshire and became politicized through the 1984 miners' strike with her family. At 31, she went to the University of Nottingham and did an undergraduate degree in sociology. Dr McKenzie lectures in sociology at the University of Durham and is the author of 'Getting By: Estates, Class and Culture in Austerity Britain.' She's a political activist, writer and thinker. Follow her on Twitter @redrumlisa .

[Jul 05, 2020] Trump used looted Venezuelan public money to build border wall with Mexico

Jul 05, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL July 2, 2020 at 4:36 am

The Grey Zone: Trump used looted Venezuelan public money to build border wall with Mexic

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/06/29/trump-stolen-venezuelan-money-border-wall-mexico/

An estimated $24 billion of Venezuelan public money has been looted, and the Trump administration has used at least $601 million of it to construct a militarized wall on the US-Mexico border.

By Ben Norton

In his new book "The Room Where It Happened," former Trump administration national security advisor John Bolton boasted that the British government "was delighted to cooperate on steps they could take" to assist in Washington's coup efforts, "for example freezing Venezuelan gold deposits in the Bank of England, so the regime could not sell the gold to keep itself going."..
####

Remember that Juan Guan is recognized by 50 UN states as interim President of Venezuela. But it's not the number that counts, but who those countries are. It is an effective loading of more votes per country though the unofficial Law of the Jungle system that the democratic West employs.

[Jun 30, 2020] Older Workers Targeted in Trump's Lawsuit to End Obamacare by DEAN BAKER

Notable quotes:
"... This would be bad news for anyone with a serious health condition, but it would be especially bad news for the oldest pre-Medicare age group, people between the ages of 55 and 64. This group currently faces average premiums of close to $10,000 a year per person for insurance purchased through the ACA exchanges. Insurers could easily charge people with serious health conditions two or three times this amount if the Trump administration wins its case. ..."
"... The 55 to 64 age group will also be hard hit because they are far more likely to have serious health issues than younger people. Just 18 percent of the people in the youngest 18 to 34 age group have a serious health condition, compared to 44 percent of those in the 55 to 64 age group, as shown in the figure above. ..."
Jun 30, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

Anne , June 30, 2020 12:49 pm

https://cepr.net/older-workers-targeted-in-trumps-lawsuit-to-end-obamacare/

June 30, 2020

Older Workers Targeted in Trump's Lawsuit to End Obamacare
By DEAN BAKER

The Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit which seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety. The implication is that a large share of the older workers now able to afford health insurance as a result of the ACA will no longer be able to afford it if the Trump administration wins its lawsuit.

Furthermore, if the suit succeeds it will both end the expansion of Medicaid, which has insured tens of millions of people, and again allow discrimination against people with serious health conditions. Ending this discrimination was one of the major goals of the ACA. The issue is that insurers don't want to insure people who are likely to have health issues that cost them money. While they are happy to insure healthy people with few medical expenses, people with heart disease, diabetes, or other health conditions are a bad deal for insurers.

Before the ACA, insurers could charge outlandish fees to cover people with health conditions, or simply refuse to insure them altogether. The ACA required insurers to cover everyone within an age bracket at the same price, regardless of their health. If the Trump administration has its way, we would go back to the world where insurers could charge people with health issues whatever they wanted, or alternatively, just deny them coverage.

This would be bad news for anyone with a serious health condition, but it would be especially bad news for the oldest pre-Medicare age group, people between the ages of 55 and 64. This group currently faces average premiums of close to $10,000 a year per person for insurance purchased through the ACA exchanges. Insurers could easily charge people with serious health conditions two or three times this amount if the Trump administration wins its case.

And, since a Trump victory would eliminate the ACA subsidiaries, people in this age group with health conditions could be looking to pay $20,000 to $30,000 a year for insurance, with no help from the government. That will be especially hard since many people with serious health conditions are unable to work full-time jobs, and some can't work at all.
[Graph]

The 55 to 64 age group will also be hard hit because they are far more likely to have serious health issues than younger people. Just 18 percent of the people in the youngest 18 to 34 age group have a serious health condition, compared to 44 percent of those in the 55 to 64 age group, as shown in the figure above.

The ACA has many inadequacies, but it has allowed tens of millions to get insurance who could not otherwise. Donald Trump wants to take this insurance away.

[Jun 28, 2020] Restaurant Of The Future - KFC Unveils Automated Store With Robots And Food Lockers

Jun 28, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"Restaurant Of The Future" - KFC Unveils Automated Store With Robots And Food Lockers by Tyler Durden Fri, 06/26/2020 - 22:05 Fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has debuted the "restaurant of the future," one where automation dominates the storefront, and little to no interaction is seen between customers and employees, reported NBC News .

After the chicken is fried and sides are prepped by humans, the order is placed on a conveyor belt and travels to the front of the store. A robotic arm waits for the order to arrive, then grabs it off the conveyor belt and places it into a secured food locker.

KFC Moscow robotic-arm takes the order off the conveyor belt

Customers use their credit/debit cards and or the facial recognition system on the food locker to retrieve their order.

KFC Moscow food locker

A KFC representative told NBC News that the new store is located in Moscow and was built months before the virus outbreak. The representative said the contactless store is the future of frontend fast-food restaurants because it's more sanitary.

KFC Moscow storefront

Disbanding human cashiers and order preppers at the front of a fast-food store will be the next big trend in the industry through 2030. Making these restaurants contactless between customers and employees will lower the probabilities of transmitting the virus.

Automating the frontend of a fast-food restaurant will come at a tremendous cost, that is, significant job loss . Nationwide (as of 2018), there were around 3.8 million employed at fast-food restaurants. Automation and artificial intelligence are set displace millions of jobs in the years ahead.

As for the new automated KFC restaurant in Moscow, well, it's a glimpse of what is coming to America - this will lead to the widespread job loss that will force politicians to unveil universal basic income .

[Jun 24, 2020] Can the USA stop strip-mining the human capital of other countries?

Jun 24, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

JohnnyGL , June 22, 2020 at 6:25 pm

You inspired me to peruse the website of Current Affairs. I bumped into this https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/04/should-we-just-open-the-borders

A bit off topic, but, personally, I'd really appreciate it if the Current Affairs-Jacobin crowd would drop the childish open-borders fantasy stuff.

Marx himself figured out what the immigration game was all about back in the mid-1800s, why do those who purport to represent the working class seem so intent on unlearning what was patently obvious back then and continues to be so, today?

Yes, I get we all like to meet different people, learn up close about different cultures, cuisines, and all that, but let's be clear-eyed that there's a cost to those things. It comes in the form of rising rents/property prices and gentrification, disinvestment in the labor force (why train workers when you can just import replacements?), degradation in local environment.

Also, can we stop strip-mining the human capital of other countries?

Let's focus more on creating a right to 'stay in place' instead of 'freedom of movement' fantasy stuff which sounds more like a right to tourism or something weird like that.

Anyway, rant over

WJ , June 22, 2020 at 7:04 pm

We need fewer Nathan Robinsons and a lot more Angela Nagles and Amber A'Lee Frosts

JohnnyGL , June 22, 2020 at 11:47 pm

Nathan Robinson on June 15th: "I don't believe the American left has lost its mind"

Also Nathan Robinson, June 19th:

https://twitter.com/NathanJRobinson/status/1274112979819278342

"I have regretfully come to the conclusion that The Hill, owned by one of Trump's close personal friends, puts on Rising mainly for the purpose of trying to trick leftists into softening on Trump & see nationalist racists as preferable to moderate Democrats"

Wow that is flat out ridiculous how stupid does he think people are?

Mr. House , June 23, 2020 at 9:27 am

Have you talked to people in public lately? They can't understand how you can be against both republicans and democrats. Then spend the next hour trying to convince you to vote democrat. Orrrrr they storm off in a fit.

casino implosion , June 23, 2020 at 5:55 am

And Aimee Tereses and Anna Khachiyans.

JBird4049 , June 22, 2020 at 8:44 pm

Neoliberalism's support of very open boarders for both finance and labor arbitrage is assumed to be always good because the American and English nomenklatura and their apparatchiks implicitly. very often without any real thought, believe in the ideology of neoliberalism. So, while there is often manipulation by whatever hidden authority is doing it, most of the time there is no need. The writers have brainwashed themselves into ignorance. 2+2=5

anon in so cal , June 22, 2020 at 10:14 pm

One of the groups that suffers most from open borders is African Americans. If Blacks in Los Angeles, for example, lacked a college degree, they could nevertheless earn decent wages in various sectors including construction and janitorial work, as two examples. Illegal immigration ended that.

https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1756&context=key_workplace

Daniel Raphael , June 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm

Borders are a problem only when capitalism prevails. Note the problems/objections you cited having to do with wages, property prices, and other "market" features that would not apply under socialism. When people rule themselves cooperatively and share the wealth that presently is stolen from them and used against them, the problem of borders will cease to be a problem.

WJ , June 22, 2020 at 9:29 pm

The problem I have is that, even assuming you're correct, the utopian socialist crew somehow thinks that open borders is compatible, in the actual capitalist world we live in, with forwarding the interests of the working class. It's just not.

Anarcissie , June 22, 2020 at 10:34 pm

Certainly 'open borders' are not compatible with anyone's interests because they're a contradiction in terms. The capitalists see the border (the real border, not the mythical 'open border') as a kind of valve which can be opened or shut as their interests require. It also provides for ways of further disadvantaging certain portions of the working class and thus reducing their wages and eliminating their rights. So the institution of the border turns out to be a kind of variable form of coercion, as well as a myth to build racist and classist politics on.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 23, 2020 at 3:55 am

> So the institution of the border turns out to be a kind of variable form of coercion

Has it occurred to you that coercion works because it causes real harms?

GettingTheBannedBack , June 22, 2020 at 10:05 pm

The media is more fascinating by the day if you try not to take it seriously. Really.

Trying to deconstruct who is the real audience, what is the underlying message (aka dog whistle), how is the media doing plausible deniability, who is the real source (who is the piece written to serve) and what is the motivation for the piece could take whole PhDs to figure out sometimes.

And it's hard because I have biases, like everyone I guess, which can get in the way. Every few days I get a lightbulb moment on something and that is fascinating.

But at the bottom of every media pronouncement is the money, so follow the money and the power. Not so easy sometimes because the real hallmark of the powerful is the ability to pay for invisibility. My CEO used to say that he had no real power. Now, he knew how to operate.

Clive , June 23, 2020 at 4:05 am

Yes, this is now my approach. I still watch and read widely, but never (or hardly ever) in the expectation that I'll either learn something or get told anything even vaguely related to the unvarnished truth.

Much more interesting (but as you say, requiring adroit mental gymnastics and prone to all sorts of misdirection) is trying to work out the answers to the inevitable questions:

-- Why am I being shown this at this time ?
-- What narratives are intended to be constructed by this "story"?
-- Who is trying to influence me and why, into doing (or refraining from doing) what?
-- Is it a false-flag or should it be taken at face value?
-- Is it supportive of existing norms or trying to change them (or, the old favourite stand-by "controlled opposition")?
-- Is it organic (highly, highly unlikely) or is it the latest exciting instalment of the ongoing oligarch v. oligarch grudge match?
-- What messaging / influencing technique is being employed (fear, guilt, appeal to ethics, tribalism, family values et. al.)?

The last is usually the most intriguing. Is this the family-favourite Soros v. Putin title fight? A Bill Gates v. Trump proxy war? The Clinton Democrats-in-name-only leftist faction v. whoever Sanders constituency actually is? Globalist Internationalism capitalists v. disaster capitalists?

I was going to write the following sentence at this point:

"Someone should publish " Top Trumps " (no irony intended) so we can all work our way around who's who in all this

But then, can you believe it, reality trumped me because some wisecracker beat me to it . Of course, the political power players Top Trumps pack really needs additional categories to make it realistic. "Number of SuperPACs", "$Billions Grifted", "Brown People in Far Away Places Blown to Pink Mist Total in Office", "Media Outlets Owned", "MSM Actors on the Payroll" etc. etc. etc.

Off The Street , June 23, 2020 at 9:58 am

+1
Your inevitable questions should be in school curricula.

Tom Finn , June 23, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Thank you Clive for enunciating and listing so clearly the mental editing of reporting that I too have been doing for decades.
My only addition: __'Who profits from this being accepted.'

arielle , June 23, 2020 at 3:20 pm

Cui bono?

Polar Socialist , June 23, 2020 at 5:00 am

There's a lot more recent papers on the issue than Marx. To put it shortly, it's almost impossible to separate the effect of immigration on wages from the effects of "free trade" and automatisation.

For example, in "The impact of massmigration on the Israeli labor market" in 2001 R.M. Friedberg concluded that wages actually went up, when Russians migrated en masse to Israel, though they did not migrate to seek employment.

Ottaviano and Peri in "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the theory and the empirics" and Card in "Immigration and inequality" state that the models used to estimate the wages are mostly too simple and very sensitive to how education levels are defined.

All economists seem to agree that in the least skilled or educated "class" the effect of migration is lower wages or raising unemployment, if wages are the only way for the economy to adjust.

I just don't think the issue is as clear cut as people make it to be.

Fireship , June 23, 2020 at 3:46 am

Robinson is continuing a great British tradition where mediocrities from the Mother country head for the colonies to wow the gullible colonists with their fancy ways. The guy is such a lightweight, like fellow grifting Brits Niall Ferguson or Louise Mensch.

Off The Street , June 23, 2020 at 8:24 am

Robinson could refer not to Fox, but to Fox Butterfield . That has a quaint, somewhat British-sounding aspirational upper class twit aspect that seems fitting. /s

geoff , June 23, 2020 at 11:20 am

Per wikipedia, Robinson moved with his family from the U.K. to the U.S. in 1995; he was born in 1989. He's almost entirely the product of an American upbringing and education. He hasn't dropped the accent because he doesn't want to. Frankly he's more of a Florida Man than a Brit imo. (I say this as an admirer.)

Donald , June 23, 2020 at 8:42 am

I generally like Nathan Robinson -- most of the time he writes long detailed heavily linked arguments that are worth reading and which I think most people here would agree with. He is not liked by mainstream Democrats.

I was very disappointed with his Taibbi piece. But I tend to be disappointed by nearly everyone at one point or another. When Robinson says he likes Taibbi, I think he is telling the truth. He just thinks Taibbi is wrong in this case, while I think it is Robinson who is wrong.

Fergus Hashimoto , June 23, 2020 at 2:15 pm

Why is everyone ignoring one of the most bizarre aspects of the Bernie Sanders campaign? That his campaign staff and most prominent supporters were mostly members and supporters of a small religious sect that comprises 1% of the US population, and they were not typical members of this sect, but instead the most extremist ones.
Moreover this small religious sect that comprises 1% of the US population causes one half of US terrorism deaths. Proof:
According to Wikipedia, between 2008 and 2016
 right-wing terrorists caused 79 deaths
 left-wing terrorists caused 7 deaths
 jihadi terrorists caused 90 deaths
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States# Recent trends
Therefore Islamic terrorists actually killed MORE people than right-wing terrorists. Furthermore, if we assume that right-wingers make up 10% of the US population, and Muslims make up 1% of the US population, then per capita, Muslims accounted for TEN TIMES as many terrorism deaths as right-wingers did. Furthermore Muslims accounted for ONE HUNDRED TIMES as many terrorism deaths as non-Muslims did.
Bernie Sanders' campaign was run by Muslim extremists Faiz Shakir and Matt Duss.
But nobody seems to mind. Anyone who criticizes Islam is called a bigot. But Islam's holy book says: "Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are ruthless to unbelievers, merciful to one another." (Qur'an 48:29) Is that bigotry or is that not bigotry?
In 1946 the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, praised Amin al-Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian national movement, in the following words:
Germany and Hitler are no more, but Amin el-Husseini will fight on!
Source: Die Welt, Hamburg
https://www.welt.de/kultur/history/article107737611/Von-Deutschland-lernen-heisst-erinnern-lernen.html
Bernie Sanders represents left-wing ideas and programs that are ANATHEMA to this small sect and ESPECIALLY to its extremist wing. Ideas like sexual freedom and religious freedom, freedom to criticize religions, equality among religions and non-religions, and equality between sexes, the idea that laws must be made by human beings elected by majorities through democratic elections instead of by some divinity who is obviously merely a social construct invented in order to exert tyrannical power over society. Those are all principles that flatly contradict Islam and its legal code, sharia law, which CAIR has been doing its utmost to protect from anti-sharia lagislation.
All of Bernie Sanders' most prominent supporters opposed ALL of his leftist ideas, because they want a theocratic state where binary sexuality is the norm and criticism of their sect is verboten.
They hopped onto the Sanders bandwagon and took control of it out of sheer opportunism, because they see Sanders as the path firstly to liquidating Israel and thus achieving one of the primary goals of the worldwide Islamist movement, namely to turn the Middle East into a homogeneous Muslim region, and secondly in order to seize key political positions in the political system of the US, DESPITE BEING SUCH A TINY MINORITY.
Matt Duss, Bernie Sanders' foreign policy adviser, is tightly linked through his family to World Vision, a Christian charity that for decades has funded the FDLP, a Palestinian terrorist group that is nominally secular, but in reality is Islamist. This is proved by the fact that when some of its members killed 4 rabbis in Jerusalem a few years ago, they yelled Allahu akbar. It was recently discovered that World Vision has financed Hamas with US government money. Moreover Matt Duss together with Faiz Shakir, Sanders' Islamist campaign manager, have campaigned in favor of sharia law, a legal system that claims divine authority and is a product of 7th century Arabian society.
By contrast, 20% of Americans are secularists who -- at least in theory -- strongly oppose the reactionary and obscurantist program of Bernie Sanders' principal supporters. But no prominent secularist appeared among Sanders' most important backers. Now why is it that Sanders relied principally on people who wholeheartedly oppose his program and ignored the vastly greater number of Americans who support freedom and equality?

HotFlash , June 23, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Whut?

clarky90 , June 22, 2020 at 5:06 pm

"(The Era) Of McRevolutions and Bugmen "

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEE2AZo4hDo

When your movement is sponsored by transnational corporations ..

Aumua , June 23, 2020 at 12:32 am

proto-fascism?

JBird4049 , June 23, 2020 at 3:10 am

Proto -fascism? I rather think it might be here already, but in an American guise.

(Sorry, I just couldn't decide where the sentences and paragraphs should be. Semicolons were the solution.)

As the United States is its own unique blend; utopian, socialistic, religious, fascistic, authoritarian or totalitarian, dysfunctional, increasingly hourglass shaped (oligarchy with skilled workers, tiny middle class, and massive poor class) like any very corrupt Third-World country; an increasingly oppressive police state trying to control a very diverse, well educated, skilled "rightsized" people, often armed and getting more so, with a large number retire military; everyone is angry or afraid and most know that it was laziness or stupidity or the race/social group/Russians/Chinese/Space Elves that turned the prosperity, power, and general competence of fifty into the economic hellscape, weakness, and near complete incompetence of today; it is increasingly obvious that it was the wealthy with the help of their courtiers and servants of the apparatchiks, and the intelligentsia/punditocracy.

Fear and self righteousness facing anger and desperation. What a situation to have.

anon in so cal , June 22, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Bookmarked for later. Nathan Robinson manages to insidiously smuggle Cold War propaganda into articles that ostensibly argue against Russiagate. He appears to be the most dangerous kind of propagandist.

Rod , June 22, 2020 at 5:47 pm

hooked by the headline

Read that Taibbi piece and boy does he have links -- to back his sound and clear narrative.
It seems like he always has a lot of research, way more than he makes his case with

Drawing fire, as a tactic for the well prepared, can be useful.

Carolinian , June 22, 2020 at 5:57 pm

If NC wants to add a Media Whores Online section to Links or Water Cooler we won't object. Of course this would probably inspire PropOrNot part deux. Those MSM journalists can dish it out but not take it.

As I seem to recall MWO somewhat got the stuffing knocked out of it after 9/11. But when it was really rolling it seemed to embodied what the internet was for and why many of us took it up. Monica-gate followed by Bush v Gore offered a TINA media landscape begging to be debunked.

norm de plume , June 23, 2020 at 6:57 am

MWO published what might have been my first blog comment, really just an email, and it was on the Kaus affair, piling on with sarc mode set to high, another example of the 'hate' we were apparently guilty of. It was the daily visit then that NC is now. It was important. The creator remains a mystery, though Bartcop seems to deserve favouritism.

Looking at some of the MWO Wayback pages from 2002 took me back (though the whole of July when the Kaus thing blew is missing). Lots of familiar names – digby, Alterman, Marshall, Conason, Lyons, Pierce et al, all of whom I just stopped reading at some point, probably about the same time I ceased to have any respect for the Clintons.

Mel , June 22, 2020 at 5:59 pm

No "spook", huh? Then it's "secret squirrel", except they're hardly secret sitting there on NBC and CNN.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 23, 2020 at 3:48 am

> No "spook", huh? Then it's "secret squirrel",

I encountered "Secret Squirrel" in my travels, but I am a big Rocky and His Friends fan (or, rather, I stan Rocky and His Friends (?)).

shinola , June 22, 2020 at 6:05 pm

Thank you Lambert for the link to Taibbi's article Definitely worth a read.

EOH , June 22, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Color me skeptical when it comes to the wonders of Mr. Taibbi's observations. I find his narratives full of sound and fury as often as they are sound and clear. But, like Craig Murray or Glenn Greenwald, he can be a good read on the right topic. Sy Hersh and Thomas Frank, however, I have a lot of time for.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , June 22, 2020 at 8:44 pm

By contrast I've always found that Taibbi always signifies something, but tries to do so in a way that might enable him to avoid being cancelled or deplatformed. Sy Hersh has no such concern. And last time I checked Thomas Frank was trying to signify to me that "maybe there is a case for Joe Biden". With more than 40 years' experience of the man, I utterly disagree.

ANTHONY WIKRENT , June 22, 2020 at 9:32 pm

"maybe there is a case for Joe Biden" is the headline and most of the article. It's deception. Read to the last paragraph if you want to see what Frank actually thinks of Biden. Quite a sucker punch! Though that does not fully capture the sticking and twisting of Frank's shiv.

EOH , June 23, 2020 at 11:53 am

But Frank says he came to assess Joe's mystique, not to bury it.

As for Joe Biden, consider the alternative of four more years of Mr. Trump's "malevolent incompetence" and intentional destruction.

integer , June 22, 2020 at 11:34 pm

Yes I think Taibbi knows a lot more than he puts forward in his articles. How could he not? Same with Frank, probably. Even Hersh censors himself, as evidenced by that recorded phone conversation about Seth Rich.

Chris , June 22, 2020 at 8:58 pm

The wonder of Mr. Taibbi's observations is that he's brave enough to keep making them. Real journalism is rare these days because our corporate organizations have removed journalists from the protected species list. Mr. Taibbi is just documenting the fallout from the officially sanctioned behavior that leads to people canceling those who are discussing actual injustice and real problems in our country. He's also trying, and failing, to show Team Blue fans that their inability to accept reality hurts their electoral chances. For example, the many attempts to scrub Hillary's problems from the media lead to a sense of complacency in likely Democrat voters and made people voting for her opponent highly motivated to turn out at the polls. Taking something like her "basket of deplorables" comment and not discussing why it was just as problematic as Mitt Romney's "48% of people who are voting for Obama don't pay income tax" comments was journalistic and political malpractice. It remains to be seen whether the many attempts to shield Biden using similar tactics will help or hurt him. Personally I think the Democrats will lose because they have rubber stamped the reduction of voting access so much in so many states that the people who would like to vote for them won't be able to vote. Which is a legitimately awful problem.

There are so many issues that Mr. Taibbi has discussed which bear repeating because unless you're getting your news from sites like NC you just don't see it. A recent Useful Idiots podcast episode that Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper did with Shahid Buttar noted that an interview that Mr. Buttar gave which mentioned corporate democrats supporting the re-approval of the Patriot Act under Trump was removed from YouTube and no reasons were given as to why that occurred. Stuff like that makes me think we're living on a spectrum between Brave New World and 1984, with class largely determining where you fall, and we have Cancel Culture people in media running around playing the role of Fireman from Fahrenheit 451 to keep the wrong people from asking too many questions regardless of class. As Mr. Buttar pointed out during his UI podcast interview, the algorithms that FB and YouTube use to remove content without due process catch all the videos of violent acts AND video evidence police abusing citizens. That's by design. But you wouldnt even know about it without reporters like Matt Taibbi.

Rod , June 22, 2020 at 10:18 pm

Yes, thanks for taking the time to encapsulate what Taibbi represents for me.
I admire his relentless pursuit of the 'how' our world is being spun out of control.

Lunker Walleye , June 22, 2020 at 11:28 pm

Yes! Completely agree. Thanks. I heard the interview with Shahid Buttar. I'm hoping for more courageous journalists like Matt.

wol , June 23, 2020 at 8:45 am

Yesterday I heard the Useful Idiots interview with Cornell West. At the end I was spontaneously fist pumping.

Michael , June 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm

That is a very interesting story. Call me paranoid, but IMO we are witnessing the collapse of American society, where every institution is losing it's credibility for various reasons. Personally, I think it is a combination of increased oppression from the threatened rulers, resulting in increased conformity by its victims ((journalists and the public) This combined with the privatization of information, ( ie everything becoming paywalled) is aimed at the reduction of important information by making it unavailable. I fear all of this ends in a veil of tears. This can only lead to fascism, where only the current accepted narrative is permitted.

Jeremy Grimm , June 23, 2020 at 1:40 am

We face the criminal persecution and torture of Assange; the criminal persecution of Craig Murray; the recent debacle at TruthDig; the demise of the Weatherunderground, the growing numbers of pay walls and pop-ups pleading for money and email addresses all suggesting a most unhappy outcome for the future. The consolidation and control of the major media is old history. Reporters are becoming extinct. And there's the pollution of youtube, search engines, and social media. Our society is devolving -- it is being dismantled, vivisected before our eyes to no end but the end of social order.

I am not sure fascism is the result. We already live in what is technically a fascism where State and Business share the same bed.

I still haven't read Talbi's critique but will.

norm de plume , June 23, 2020 at 7:11 am

'The consolidation and control of the major media is old history. Reporters are becoming extinct. And there's the pollution of youtube, search engines, and social media'

There should be a public option for the provision of information (surely up there with food, water and shelter as an essential public good) that is not polluted. Of course it would be derided (and feared) by the wingnuts, the Borg and finance capital as a vehicle for progressive propaganda. Which it could well be given consistent polling indicating majority support for many if not most progressive positions. That of course means that the Democrats would hate it too.

Which segues into my next pipe dream: Abolish parties!

Waking Up , June 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Ellsberg, like, Seymour Hersh and Thomas Frank, has been drummed out of town.

Interesting that those with a conscience are the ones "drummed out of town". Guess that tells you everything you need to know about that "town".

As for Matt Taibbi, he is one of the VERY RARE journalists that I give the benefit of the doubt is actually telling the truth (even though I still verify) as I usually assume most "journalists" are lying (or trying to sell a particular story) and go from there. I also find his podcast with Katie Halper entertaining and informative.

Synoia , June 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm

where every institution is losing it's credibility for various reasons

They had credibility, when?

Before the Committee of UnAmericam Activities?

Before the Korean War?

Before the Dulles Brothers?

Before the Monroe Doctrine?

Manifest Destiny?

elspeth ham , June 22, 2020 at 7:09 pm

I read that article. I thought it was one of the best of his I've read. Hats off Matt Taibbi. As far as I'm concerned once we lose the complexity that inhabits a serious regard for the truth, we're done. I always appreciate being brought up short by my 'enemies.' It means they might not be as hideous as I'd thought.

EH , June 22, 2020 at 7:15 pm

ditto

farmboy , June 22, 2020 at 7:38 pm

being consistently lied to by TV reporters, print media, and politicians not only breeds cynicism, it births, welps, nurses, and rears. the limitation of news outlets until the explosion of social media meant they could be parsed out in narrow sets of ideas and language. Today big media is laid bare, McLuhan was so right, Today it is crucial to know ones own biases, allow opinion and research in opposition into my field of view. As a trader, I always searched for the refuting argument, chart, analysis that would tell me i was wrong, saved me a lot of money. Inflaming passions today is crucial to getting buy-in, not just voting, which is the tail trying to wag the dog. Taibbi has earned his stripes, fields critics on twitter at least, faithfully and honestly.

Sutter Cane , June 22, 2020 at 7:45 pm

I have been reading Taibbi since the eXiled. Robinson and Current Affairs I only found out about more recently.

I view Taibbi as a real journalist with a proven track record. Current Affairs often has some entertaining and thoughful content, but Robinson frankly seems to be more of a lightweight, especially in comparison to Taibbi.

He specializes in "takedowns" of right wing grifters like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson. Not exactly difficult targets. His turning on Taibbi, and more recently Krystal Ball and Rising, has been interesting to see. I don't know if he just grew tired of writing about only right wing types, or if he's trying to raise his own profile by attacking better-known left media figures (probably a bit of both). Either way, Robinson's shitck has gotten decidedly old.

bob , June 22, 2020 at 8:49 pm

But he has a hat and that oh so wonderful accent! How can you say that?

funemployed , June 22, 2020 at 8:53 pm

Robinson's not really an investigative reporter. More like a pundit for the over-educated left. So it's not really fair to compare him to people like Greenwald and Taibbi. He's also quite young, and every one his age has some big blind spots and youthful hubris that will (hopefully) shrink in time.

And of course his shtick got tired. Anyone who's job consists of basically writing 2-3 op-eds a week is gonna run out of new material real fast. In a marginally more sane world he'd have a nice job as the regular NYT lefty op-ed guy, and be pretty good at it I think.

In any case, he's a sincere young man who does seem to listen and learn. I mostly side with Taibbi in this kerfuffle, but maybe I wouldn't have 10 years ago. Given the large number of truly horrible people in the public eye these days, the vitriol towards young Nate seems a bit excessive. Frankly, if there's anyone who could get the PMC+DSA crowd to start questioning identitarianism, it's probably him (as I believe they constitute the near entirety of his readership), so lets work on helping him "recognize his own privilege" re: the working class instead of bashing him or questioning his motives.

Donald , June 23, 2020 at 8:49 am

I forgot about the attack on Krystal Ball. I didn't like that either, but another person I generally like, Adam Johnson, did the same.

I have just gotten used to the fact that there aren't going to be people I agree with on every important issue 100 percent of the time. This isn't irony or sarcasm -- I really am disappointed when otherwise smart and (IMO) clearly well intentioned people have opinions I think are wrong. But it is possible I am wrong. ( This is all painfully earnest, as corny as it sounds. )

PlutoniumKun , June 23, 2020 at 9:50 am

I think you have the correct approach. People are far too hair triggered about certain topics. A journalist has to churn out lots of copy, even the best will occasionally get it wrong, or just happen to express beliefs that don't match up with what i or anyone else believes. It is I think the sort of trap that IdPol people fall into – insisting on increasing levels of purity from those on their side, and immediately casting them out if they dare shift one inch from the narrative.

It should be possible to read and learn from good writers, even if you disagree with them. And it's very important that progressives learn and develop by listening to those who have respectful and intellectually coherent reasons not to buy into every precious shibboleth. I think its very important to have voices like Taibbi and Stoller, people who aren't afraid to make even fellow left progressives angry by taking strong positions.

Mammoth Jackstock , June 22, 2020 at 8:30 pm

As seen on TV, Frank Figliuzzi x Greenwald mistaking Figliuzzi's shingle advertising body-man services, for a Wurlitzer. "Figliuzzi" is "small son" in Italian, a euphemism for abandoned orphans, also known for working on behalf of the parents that raised them: The State. Perhaps Figliuzzi's booking agency has insight into clandestine media control. It's hard to decipher whether Taibbi's beef is that journalists' ethical lapses are not properly coordinated or whether the lapses are not authentic enough. Which is the same criticism leveled at the street demonstrators without acknowledging that higher levels of coordination and authentic anger potentiate more physical harm. Spontaneity is the x-factor in both pursuits. Last point. When the surveillance state is conceptualized as the ever-vigilant eyes of BLM and the feverish archiving of Journos, rather than the underworld of the Police State, the surveillance state-less becomes a mode for positive change. Vindication by security camera. Can one be baffled by hope?

Off The Street , June 23, 2020 at 8:29 am

That Mighty Casio has such a tinny little speaker anyway.

Briny , June 22, 2020 at 8:49 pm

Put simply, I refuse to be schooled by the ethically challenged MSM. Matt's doing important work here.

Edward , June 22, 2020 at 8:50 pm

"What the heck is the correct pejorative for a member of the intelligence commumity? "

The intelligence communities must have there own terms for these people. "Agents of influence"? Psychological warfare specialists? Propagandists? Minitrue Goodthinker?

I think the United States needs a mandatory high school class in "How to read propaganda". Americans are probably the most propagandized people on the planet.

Acacia , June 22, 2020 at 10:33 pm

I have heard the term "analyst", though it's far too neutral for their activities. "Operatives" or "henchmen" seems more fitting.

ChrisPacific , June 23, 2020 at 1:22 am

Praetorians, perhaps?

Edward , June 23, 2020 at 6:16 am

They are the president's secret army. They have avoided congressional oversight by securing their funding from the drug trade.

Edward , June 23, 2020 at 6:13 am

Some of the CIA are analysts, like Ray McGovern, albeit politicized ones. The CIA has different departments. The best word for the CIA is probably "disgrace" or "national shame".

Fazal Majid , June 23, 2020 at 3:56 am

Oxymoron

Donald , June 23, 2020 at 8:52 am

"Lying scum" works, but applies to others as well, so we need something more targeted.

Berto , June 22, 2020 at 9:17 pm

Would love to hear Taibbi explain why the NY Times spent the summer of 2016 pretending to care that Republicans pretended to care about Clinton's email protocols.

anon in so cal , June 22, 2020 at 10:25 pm

Speaking of the fake news NY Times, here is a good 2017 analysis of its decades-long mendacity and war propagandizing. Here is a snippet:

"The CIA's brazen intervention in the electoral process in 2016 and 2017 broke new ground in the agency's politicization. Former CIA head Michael Morell announced in an August 2016 op-ed in the Times: "I Ran the C.I.A. Now I'm Endorsing Hillary Clinton," and former CIA boss Michael Hayden published an op-ed in the Washington Post just days before the election, entitled "Former CIA Chief: Trump is Russia's Useful Fool." Morell had yet another op-ed in the Times on January 6, now openly assailing the new president. These attacks were unrelievedly insulting to Trump and laudatory to Clinton, even portraying Trump as a traitor; they also made clear that Clinton's more pugnacious stance toward Syria and Russia was preferable by far to Trump's leanings toward negotiation and cooperation with Russia."

https://monthlyreview.org/2017/07/01/fake-news-on-russia-and-other-official-enemies/

Off The Street , June 23, 2020 at 10:04 am

Note where so many seemingly-disreputable people end up, and why. There is money , whether to reward for past services, or to transfer in anticipation of legal defenses needed.

Money shows up in novel ways, like book deals and in plain old propagandizing ways, like pundit spots.

McWatt , June 22, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Matt Taibbi is a God that Walks the Planet!!!

Stay the course Matt. When this is all over, you'll be the last intelligent reporter standing.

Along with Katie!!!

.Tom , June 22, 2020 at 11:00 pm

Pejorative suggestion: apparatchik

integer , June 22, 2020 at 11:43 pm

And of course there really is such a thing as "Left Wing Hate" (for some definition of "left," I admit).

Glad to see this qualifier added. I suspect the language that is necessary to have meaningful discussions about political ideologies with people from different political tribes is purposely corrupted by the conservative and liberal media establishments, probably at the behest of the CIA.

Charlie , June 23, 2020 at 2:30 am

New (But really not new) Pejorative: American Nomenklatura.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 23, 2020 at 3:14 am

Einstein's definition of madness "Doing the same thing again and again and expecting to get a different result"

Do you remember the last time you let the robber barons and reckless bankers run riot in the 1920s?
No.
Do you remember the last time you used neoclassical economics in the 1920s?
No.
Do you remember how bad it was in the 1970s?
Yes.
Do you remember how bad it was in the 1930s?
No.

During the 1920s there was a great consolidation of US businesses into often single companies that dominated every sector.
This time this has happened in the media.
About six corporations control the US media, and they make sure you hear, what they want you to hear.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 23, 2020 at 3:53 am

A trip down memory lane.

We stepped onto an old path that still leads to the same place.
1920s/2000s – neoclassical economics, high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase
1929/2008 – Wall Street crash
1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, trade wars, austerity, rising nationalism and extremism
1940s – World war.
We forgot we had been down that path before.

I remembered where this path goes.

When the US needed an FDR, it got an Obama.
Now they've got Trump.
They've taken a more European approach this time.
Trying to maintain the status quo is not a good idea, they needed a New Deal.

bwilli123 , June 23, 2020 at 3:46 am

Somewhat relevant. Don't threaten the narrative.
"Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex (@slatestarcodex deletes his blog after a @nytimes
reporter threatens to doxx him, which could ruin his career as a psychiatrist and raises serious safety concerns."

https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/06/22/nyt-is-threatening-my-safety-by-revealing-my-real-name-so-i-am-deleting-the-blog/

https://twitter.com/SwipeWright/status/1275318412051275782

Fazal Majid , June 23, 2020 at 4:07 am

Wow, that's truly despicable!

That said, anyone who believes the NYT was ever respectable, as in worthy of respect, not as in "mainstay of the establishment", needs only harken back to Pulitzer's role in fanning the Spanish-American War to understand how fundamentally depraved an institution it really is.

Off The Street , June 23, 2020 at 8:37 am

His name was known to many readers of Slate Star Codex, and they were too polite to repeat it. There is a decency and brilliance that would be sorely missed with any permanent silencing of his unique voice and views.

PlutoniumKun , June 23, 2020 at 9:44 am

Absolutely, its a brilliant blog, on so many levels. Its beyond belief that the NY would insist on publishing his real name, when there is absolutely no reason or public interest in doing so.

Off The Street , June 23, 2020 at 10:12 am

The NYT fancies itself an empire, dispensing and dispatching at will. Here is a Star Wars quote from Obi-Wan applicable to those that the Grey Lady targets, or even purposefully ignores:

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Ignacio , June 23, 2020 at 5:23 am

It is quite interesting, and positive, should I say, that nobody resorted to the argument of "lefty" thinkers destroying themselves as the perennial malaise of the left. Regarding the confrontation between Taibbi and Robinson it looks clear they do not represent 2 variations of the same camp: They inhabit completely different camps though, as an outsider, I am not able to establish clearly the limits between their audiences and their supporting platforms.

It strikes me, as very well pointed, the similarities that Lambert brougth from Taibbi in the ADDENDUM about the, IMO very likely, Trump reelection and the 2016 elections: he can easily run away with his errors and the liberals look poised to make similar mistakes in 2020 as they did in 2016. They learnt nothing and forgot nothing.

On this I really would like a well informed discussion on some news pieces that have seen linked here before indicating that Trump very much dislikes voting by mail "because of fraud" though my opinion is that he just wants the election turnout to be the smaller the better.

Philbq , June 23, 2020 at 7:21 am

Regarding the vast U.S. media propaganda machine, Chomsky famously said long ago that propaganda was MORE necessary in democratic societies. In a totalitarian regime, the government can control the public with force and violence, imprisoning or executing dissidents. But in a democratic society, citizens have the power to vote and change the government. Therefore, it is more necessary in a democratic society to control how the public thinks. Thus propaganda is the very essence of democracy. Propaganda ids thought control in democratic societies.

Philbq , June 23, 2020 at 7:24 am

That last line should have read: "Propaganda is thought control in democratic societies. "

David , June 23, 2020 at 9:21 am

There was a time when I went to the established media to learn things. Now, it feels more like checking in on an evolving soap opera with a baffling plot and inconsistent characters. There's a certain grim amusement in seeing the latest plot twist but that's about all. I get my actual information from sites like NC and specialist sites and newsletters by experts. I'm afraid that my gut reaction to clicking on a MSM story these days is: why is this bast**d lying to me?

PlutoniumKun , June 23, 2020 at 9:43 am

Likewise. The thing is, as a teenager back in the 1980's I'd read my Chomsky and a number of radical media writers. My eyes had been opened when I was around 15, home on holidays and bored watching afternoon TV when a particular incident occurred in NI. I remember watching open mouthed as the narrative was completely twisted around 180 degrees by the time of the evening news (I won't go into the details, but it started as 'brave mourners tackle terrorists who drove a car into a crowd saving many lives' into 'barbaric Republicans lynch two innocent soldiers who had lost their way' over the course of about 4 hours of reporting. But I still, up to a few years ago, as a default tended to believe what I read in the newspapers or watched on TV, unless I had a reasonably good reason not to do so. But no more. I don't really know whether things have gotten much worse, or I've just become more educated/cynical.

Ignacio , June 23, 2020 at 10:28 am

Fast forward to 2003, very much like the terrorist attacks in Atocha train station when Aznar phoned all the media to say "it is certain it was ETA" and so the publications in Spain went with this story. Thereafter, only the conservative media went on with a conspiracy theory with the Spanish police in collusion with ETA to maintain their narrative even when it was crystal clear it was a yihaddist attack.

So, regarding the media, it is the narrative what goes first and much more important than facts. No matter if it is a conservative or a liberal outlet, they will stick to their narrative. This has worsened with time.

larry , June 23, 2020 at 9:47 am

I love this quote, so let me be a stickler. The actual question is: Why is this lying bastard lying to me?. It was originally atributed to Louis Heron of the Times and channeled by Paxman in an interview at the end of his Newsnight career. Otherwise, I am depressed to say that I can do nothing other than agree with your view of the MSM in general, although there are a few journalists who appear to be doing what they should be doing even if they may not doing it as well as they probably could. As for the rest, some of them can't even write.

David , June 23, 2020 at 11:12 am

Yes, I'm not sure whether Heron actually said that (accounts differ) but I remember thinking when I first read it decades ago that it was silly: I spent a good part of my life preparing politicians for interviews, and, at least then, you made sure they were briefed to put the best spin on things, which is not the same as lying. But on subjects I was familiar with, I used to reckon that most jobbing journalists (ie not the deep specialists) would get things factually accurate about 50% of the time, and that the problems were more related to ignorance and preconceptions than active attempts to mislead. I don't think that's the case now. Journalists today, by contrast, actively tell lies, often for political reasons or to conform to groupthink.

John Mc , June 23, 2020 at 10:00 am

Taibbi is a national treasure. He is a funny, engaging writer who knows where the boundaries are involving spin, humor and articulating a precise message. The fact that he has been so clairvoyant about hundreds of issues (Political futility, Financial Crisis, Policing, and changes in Media) is due to his unique willingness to talk to people in all walks of life to understand the complexity of what he is writing about. And when he does not know something, he owns it. Connectivity to people, and his marriage to journalism all breed more and more trust (as well as puts a target on his back).

We live in a time of fracture (capital/labor, institutional decay, and the indelible scars of markets taking over our lives at every level) means we need people to cut through the noise, effectively -- reminding us of our fantastic thinking and proffering uncomfortable truths. And nowhere has this been more apparent than the NL core of the democratic party on the Left:

1. Russiagate Maddowers versus Mate-Blumenthal
2. Syria/Bolivia/Venezuela/Chile CIA media engineers vs The Grayzone and Greenwald
3. The Warren/Sanders rift. The Warren/Warren rift.
4. The night of 1000 Knives.
5. BLM and Democratic Party.
6. And left media puts out a hit against Taibbi – with very little serious discussion of Hate Inc..
7. Leftist Fractures – N Robinson vs Krystal Ball, Lee Fang, Taibbi and an academic accused of "bad research"
8. Attack on the show Rising – why would the left talk to the populist right canard.

The left are playing a role in their own demise -- often at the behest of the NL center or in concert to a more individualistic lens, separate of that to ordinary people. Kyle Kulinski just did a 30 minutes on this too.

All in all, the group who needs to be shattered into a thousand pieces in the wind (the NL core of both parties) just got stronger this election cycle -- and in my mind the fractures on the left are just starting.

It did not have to be that way. Sickening to consider when you think about the opportunity we had in January.

Thanks Lambert for this article

Bruce , June 23, 2020 at 10:59 am

To add to the lists of questions to be asked when reading the "news" .

"What is not being reported here?" or, more colloquially, "What dog isn't barking?".

Bruce , June 23, 2020 at 11:08 am

Over the years I have asked many people about press coverage of subjects they knew well. I asked if, from their perspective, the press got all, most, some or none of the story right. The long run average response is between some and none.

Then I ask, "Why, if your personal experience says the press rarely gets it right concerning something you know a lot about, do you believe they get it right concerning things you know little about?"

Roquentin , June 23, 2020 at 11:54 am

Taibbi is correct in that piece, undeniably so, but more than that it's the entire Sanders-based social democratic movement that's coming apart. The media is mostly a reflection of that. I had always hoped that the movement towards social democracy Sanders fostered could survive beyond him as a viable candidate, but I must confess I no longer think that likely. The whole movement is imploding in on itself, and people lashing out against Taibbi is, to me at least, just more evidence of how much of his criticism hit the mark.

Even if the current left can survive the end of Sanders as a political figure on the national stage, I see even less of a path for it once Trump is gone. Rabid anti-Trump sentiment is the only adhesive that keeps the different parts of it together. They saw a boom when Trump was elected, and I can only conclude there will be a big bust when he goes away. If they put a lot of effort into publicly shilling for Biden, then it's even more likely, because on some level they'll be bound to carry water for him while he's in office because they advocated for him as a leader in the first place. No, it's not just the press that's destroying itself it's also practically all of the liberal class and most of what flies under the banner of the left too.

Waking Up , June 23, 2020 at 3:27 pm

I have to disagree with your assessment about the movement towards social democracy. There isn't a specific "leader" at present, but just the sheer number of people who protested in the streets around the country (during a pandemic I might add) in regards to police brutality, economic inequality, a better healthcare system such as Medicare For All, are all fighting for social justice and democracy. This is coming from people who recognize what our system is doing to them and others.

"Rabid anti-Trump sentiment is the only adhesive that keeps the different parts of it together."

Once again, I have to disagree. The supposed "liberal" media, many "liberal" politicians, and supporters who base their personal opinion on whatever is popular that particular day may have "rabid anti-Trump sentiment".

But there are plenty of people who recognize we are going through a major "social collapse".

Some people may not want to discuss these issues because they don't want to change the current system (they would rather attack Matt Taibbi and others than discuss the legitimate problems we have). These problems, including an economic collapse, are not going to disappear the day Donald Trump is out of office nor will it improve with a "more of the same" Joe Biden administration.

At this point, I tend to believe our country will either

a) become even more authoritarian where the citizens just accept they have no civil rights and view police and military brutality as part of "everyday life" or

b) we continue on this trajectory of collapse with a very small percentage of people doing quite well and the vast majority wondering or already in circumstances which lead them to question how long it will be before they are homeless, without a job, how they will feed their family and whether they can get any healthcare if they need it or

c) we finally wake up as a majority of citizens and demand a government (executive, congressional, and judicial) responsive to the citizens which deals with social and economic collapse. All of those with the current ideologies of the Democratic/Republican parties need to go as they represent either their careers or moneyed interests. Then again, maybe the level of corruption and greed is so far gone in this country that the only trajectory is collapse.

Glen , June 23, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Taibbi has been doing good work on this. This would seem to be another example. Krystal and Saagar: CNN viewers REVOLT after journalist correctly says 'Biden is a flawed candidate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jofo1ybjqIY

[Jun 23, 2020] It is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get so many working class voters to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple. ..."
"... It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. ..."
"... Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Mar 3 2020 22:02 utc | 56

Yet another circus. The proles get to scream and holler, and when all is done, the oligarchy gets the policies it wants, the public be damned. Our sham 'democracy' is a con to privatize power and socialize responsibility.

Although it is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get substantial numbers of people to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

The issue is not (for me) his creepiness (I wouldn't much mind if he was on my side), nor even his Alzheimer's, but his established track record of betrayal and corruption.

From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple.

It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. Heck, he makes Calvin Coolidge look like Trotsky.

Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:01 utc | 55

Ian56:

Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class.

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1234914227963518977

[Jun 21, 2020] How Workers Can Win the Class War Being Waged Against Them by Richard D. Wolff

Notable quotes:
"... Mass unemployment will bring the United States closer to less-developed economies. Very large regions of the poor will surround small enclaves of the rich. Narrow bands of "middle-income professionals," etc., will separate rich from poor. Ever-more rigid social divisions enforced by strong police and military apparatuses are becoming the norm. Their outlines are already visible across the United States. ..."
"... In this context, U.S. capitalism strode confidently toward the 21st century. The Soviet threat had imploded. A divided Europe threatened no U.S. interests. Its individual nations competed for U.S. favor (especially the UK). China's poverty blocked its becoming an economic competitor. U.S. military and technological supremacy seemed insurmountable. ..."
"... Amid success, internal contradictions surfaced. U.S. capitalism crashed three times. The first happened early in 2000 (triggered by dot-com share-price inflation); next came the big crash of 2008 (triggered by defaulting subprime mortgages); and the hugest crash hit in 2020 (triggered by COVID-19). ..."
"... Second, we must face a major obstacle. Since 1945, capitalists and their supporters developed arguments and institutions to undo the New Deal and its leftist legacies. They silenced, deflected, co-opted, and/or demonized criticisms of capitalism. ..."
"... Third, to newly organized versions of a New Deal coalition or of social democracy, we must add a new element. We cannot again leave capitalists in the exclusive positions to receive enterprise profits and make major enterprise decisions. ..."
Jun 19, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

Organized labor led no mass opposition to Trump's presidency or the December 2017 tax cut or the failed U.S. preparation for and management of COVID-19. Nor do we yet see a labor-led national protest against the worst mass firing since the 1930s Great Depression. All of these events, but especially the unemployment, mark an employers' class war against employees. The U.S. government directs it, but the employers as a class inspire and benefit the most from it.

Before the 2020 crash, class war had been redistributing wealth for decades from middle-income people and the poor to the top 1 percent. That upward redistribution was U.S. employers' response to the legacy of the New Deal. During the Great Depression and afterward, wealth had been redistributed downward. By the 1970s, that was reversed. The 2020 crash will accelerate upward wealth redistribution sharply.

With tens of millions now a "reserve army" of the unemployed, nearly every U.S. employer can cut wages, benefits, etc. Employees dissatisfied with these cuts are easily replaced. Vast numbers of unemployed, stressed by uncertain job prospects and unemployment benefits, disappearing savings, and rising household tensions, will take jobs despite reduced wages, benefits, and working conditions. As the unemployed return to work, most employees' standards of consumption and living will drop.

Germany, France, and other European nations could not fire workers as the United States did. Strong labor movements and socialist parties with deep social influences preclude governments risking comparable mass unemployment; it would risk deposing them from office. Thus their antiviral lockdowns keep most at work with governments paying 70 percent or more of pre-virus wages and salaries.

Mass unemployment will bring the United States closer to less-developed economies. Very large regions of the poor will surround small enclaves of the rich. Narrow bands of "middle-income professionals," etc., will separate rich from poor. Ever-more rigid social divisions enforced by strong police and military apparatuses are becoming the norm. Their outlines are already visible across the United States.

Only if workers understand and mobilize to fight this class war can the trends sketched above be stopped or reversed. U.S. workers did exactly that in the 1930s. They fought -- in highly organized ways -- the class war waged against them then. Millions joined labor unions, and many tens of thousands joined two socialist parties and one communist party. All four organizations worked together, in coalition, to mobilize and activate the U.S. working class.

Weekly, and sometimes daily, workers marched across the United States. They criticized President Franklin D. Roosevelt's policies and capitalism itself by intermingling reformist and revolutionary demands. The coalition's size and political reach forced politicians, including FDR, to listen and respond, often positively. An initially "centrist" FDR adapted to become a champion of Social Security, unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, and a huge federal jobs program. The coalition achieved those moderate socialist reforms -- the New Deal -- and paid for them by setting aside revolutionary change.

It proved to be a good deal, but only in the short run. Its benefits to workers included a downward redistribution of income and wealth (especially via homeownership), and thereby the emergence of a new "middle class." Relatively well-paid employees were sufficient in number to sustain widespread notions of American exceptionalism, beliefs in ever-rising standards of working-class living across generations, and celebrations of capitalism as guaranteeing these social benefits. The reality was quite different. Not capitalists but rather their critics and victims had forced the New Deal against capitalists' resistance. And those middle-class benefits bypassed most African Americans.

The good deal did not last because U.S. capitalists largely resented the New Deal and sought to undo it. With World War II's end and FDR's death in 1945, the undoing accelerated. An anti-Soviet Cold War plus anti-communist/socialist crusades at home gave patriotic cover for destroying the New Deal coalition. The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act targeted organized labor. Senate and House committees spearheaded a unified effort (government, mass media, and academia) to demonize, silence, and socially exclude communists, socialists, leftists, etc. For decades after 1945 -- and still now in parts of the United States -- a sustained hysteria defined all left-wing thought, policy, or movement as always and necessarily the worst imaginable social evil.

Over time, the New Deal coalition was destroyed and left-wing thinking was labeled "disloyal." Even barely left-of-center labor and political organizations repeatedly denounced and distanced themselves from any sort of anti-capitalist impulse, any connection to socialism. Many New Deal reforms were evaded, amended, or repealed. Some simply vanished from politicians' knowledge and vocabulary and then journalists' too. Having witnessed the purges of leftist colleagues from 1945 through the 1950s, a largely docile academic community celebrated capitalism in general and U.S. capitalism in particular. The good in U.S. society was capitalism's gift. The rest resulted from government or foreign or ideological interferences in capitalism's wonderful invisible hand. Any person or group excluded from this American Dream had only themselves to blame for inadequate ability, insufficient effort, or ideological deviancy.

In this context, U.S. capitalism strode confidently toward the 21st century. The Soviet threat had imploded. A divided Europe threatened no U.S. interests. Its individual nations competed for U.S. favor (especially the UK). China's poverty blocked its becoming an economic competitor. U.S. military and technological supremacy seemed insurmountable.

Amid success, internal contradictions surfaced. U.S. capitalism crashed three times. The first happened early in 2000 (triggered by dot-com share-price inflation); next came the big crash of 2008 (triggered by defaulting subprime mortgages); and the hugest crash hit in 2020 (triggered by COVID-19). Unprepared economically, politically, and ideologically for any of them, the Federal Reserve responded by creating vast sums of new money that it threw at/lent to (at historically low interest rates) banks, large corporations, etc. Three successive exercises in trickle-down economic policy saw little trickle down. No underlying economic problems (inequality, excess systemic debts, cyclical instability, etc.) have been solved. On the contrary, all worsened. In other words, class war has been intensified.

What then is to be done? First, we need to recognize the class war that is underway and commit to fighting it. On that basis, we must organize a mass base to put real political force behind social democratic policies, parties, and politicians. We need something like the New Deal coalition. The pandemic, economic crash, and gross official policy failures (including violent official scapegoating) draw many toward classical social democracy. The successes of the Democratic Socialists of America show this.

Second, we must face a major obstacle. Since 1945, capitalists and their supporters developed arguments and institutions to undo the New Deal and its leftist legacies. They silenced, deflected, co-opted, and/or demonized criticisms of capitalism. Strategic decisions made by both the U.S. New Deal and European social democracy contributed to their defeats. Both always left and still leave employers exclusively in positions to (1) receive and dispense their enterprises' profits and (2) decide and direct what, how, and where their enterprises produce. Those positions gave capitalists the financial resources and power -- politically, economically, and culturally -- repeatedly to outmaneuver and repress labor and the left.

Third, to newly organized versions of a New Deal coalition or of social democracy, we must add a new element. We cannot again leave capitalists in the exclusive positions to receive enterprise profits and make major enterprise decisions. The new element is thus the demand to change enterprises producing goods and services. From hierarchical, capitalist organizations (where owners, boards of directors, etc., occupy the employer position) we need to transition to the altogether different democratic, worker co-op organizations. In the latter, no employer/employee split occurs. All workers have equal voice in deciding what gets produced, how, and where and how any profits get used. The collective of all employees is their own employer. As such an employer, the employees will finally protect and thus secure the reforms associated with the New Deal and social democracy.

We could describe the transition from capitalist to worker co-op enterprise organizations as a revolution. That would resolve the old debate of reform versus revolution. Revolution becomes the only way finally to secure progressive reforms. Capitalism's reforms were generated by the system's impacts on people and their resulting demands for change. Capitalism's resistances to those reforms -- and undoing them after they happened -- spawned the revolution needed to secure them. In that revolution, society moves beyond capitalism itself. So it was in the French Revolution: demands for reform within feudal society could only finally be realized by a social transition from feudalism to capitalism.

This article was produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Richard D. Wolff

Richard Wolff is the author of Capitalism Hits the Fan and Capitalism's Crisis Deepens . He is founder of Democracy at Work .

[Jun 19, 2020] The Police Weren t Created to Protect and Serve. They Were Created to Maintain Order. A Brief Look at the History of Police

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It's a commonplace to say the primary job of police is to "protect and serve," but that's not their goal in the way it's commonly understood -- not in the deed, the practice of what they daily do, and not true in the original intention, in why police departments were created in the first place. "Protect and serve" as we understand it is just the cover story. ..."
"... Urban police forces in America were created for one purpose -- to "maintain order" after a waves of immigrants swept into northern U.S. cities, both from abroad and later from the South, immigrants who threatened to disturb that "order." The threat wasn't primarily from crime as we understand it, from violence inflicted by the working poor on the poor or middle class. The threat came from unions, from strikes, and from the suffering, the misery and the anger caused by the rise of rapacious capitalism. ..."
"... What's being protected? The social order that feeds the wealthy at the expense of the working poor. Who's being served? Owners, their property, and the sources of their wealth, the orderly and uninterrupted running of their factories. The goal of police departments, as originally constituted, was to keep the workers in line, in their jobs, and off the streets. ..."
"... In most countries, the police are there solely to protect the Haves from the Have-Nots. In fact, when the average frustrated citizen has trouble, the last people he would consider turning to are the police. ..."
"... Jay Gould, a U.S. robber baron, is supposed to have claimed that he could hire one half of the working class to kill the other half. ..."
"... I spent some time in the Silver Valley of northern Idaho. This area was the hot bed of labor unrest during the 1890's. Federal troops controlled the area 3 separate times,1892, 1894 and 1899. Twice miners hijacked trains loaded them with dynamite and drove them to mining company stamping mills that they then blew up. Dozens of deaths in shoot outs. The entire male population was herded up and placed in concentration camps for weeks. The end result was the assassination of the Governor in 1905. ..."
"... Interestingly this history has been completely expunged. There is a mining museum in the town which doesn't mention a word on these events. Even nationwide there seems to be a complete erasure of what real labor unrest can look like.. ..."
"... Straight-up fact: The police weren't created to preserve and protect. They were created to maintain order, [enforced] over certain subjected classes and races of people, including–for many white people, too–many of our ancestors, too.* ..."
Jun 18, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. Tom mentions in passing the role of Pinkertons as goons for hire to crush early labor activists. Some employers like Ford went as far as forming private armies for that purpose. Establishing police forces were a way to socialize this cost.

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

One version of the "thin blue line" flag, a symbol used in a variety of ways by American police departments , their most fervent supporters , and other right-wing fellow travelers . The thin blue line represents the wall of protection that separates the orderly "us" from the disorderly, uncivilized "them" .

[In the 1800s] the police increasingly presented themselves as a thin blue line protecting civilization, by which they meant bourgeois civilization, from the disorder of the working class.
-- Sam Mitrani here

It's a commonplace to say the primary job of police is to "protect and serve," but that's not their goal in the way it's commonly understood -- not in the deed, the practice of what they daily do, and not true in the original intention, in why police departments were created in the first place. "Protect and serve" as we understand it is just the cover story.

To understand the true purpose of police, we have to ask, "What's being protected?" and "Who's being served?"

Urban police forces in America were created for one purpose -- to "maintain order" after a waves of immigrants swept into northern U.S. cities, both from abroad and later from the South, immigrants who threatened to disturb that "order." The threat wasn't primarily from crime as we understand it, from violence inflicted by the working poor on the poor or middle class. The threat came from unions, from strikes, and from the suffering, the misery and the anger caused by the rise of rapacious capitalism.

What's being protected? The social order that feeds the wealthy at the expense of the working poor. Who's being served? Owners, their property, and the sources of their wealth, the orderly and uninterrupted running of their factories. The goal of police departments, as originally constituted, was to keep the workers in line, in their jobs, and off the streets.

Looking Behind Us

The following comes from an essay published at the blog of the Labor and Working-Class History Association, an academic group for teachers of labor studies, by Sam Mitrani, Associate Professor of History at the College of DuPage and author of The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894 .

According to Mitrani, "The police were not created to protect and serve the population. They were not created to stop crime, at least not as most people understand it. And they were certainly not created to promote justice. They were created to protect the new form of wage-labor capitalism that emerged in the mid to late nineteenth century from the threat posed by that system's offspring, the working class."

Keep in mind that there were no police departments anywhere in Europe or the U.S. prior to the 19th century -- in fact, "anywhere in the world" according to Mitrani. In the U.S., the North had constables, many part-time, and elected sheriffs, while the South had slave patrols. But nascent capitalism soon created a large working class, and a mass of European immigrants, "yearning to be free," ended up working in capitalism's northern factories and living in its cities.

"[A]s Northern cities grew and filled with mostly immigrant wage workers who were physically and socially separated from the ruling class, the wealthy elite who ran the various municipal governments hired hundreds and then thousands of armed men to impose order on the new working class neighborhoods ." [emphasis added]

America of the early and mid 1800s was still a world without organized police departments. What the Pinkertons were to strikes , these "thousands of armed men" were to the unruly working poor in those cities.

Imagine this situation from two angles. First, from the standpoint of the workers, picture the oppression these armed men must have represented, lawless themselves yet tasked with imposing "order" and violence on the poor and miserable, who were frequently and understandably both angry and drunk. (Pre-Depression drunkenness, under this interpretation, is not just a social phenomenon, but a political one as well.)

Second, consider this situation from the standpoint of the wealthy who hired these men. Given the rapid growth of capitalism during this period, "maintaining order" was a costly undertaking, and likely to become costlier. Pinkertons, for example, were hired at private expense, as were the "thousands of armed men" Mitrani mentions above.

The solution was to offload this burden onto municipal budgets. Thus, between 1840 and 1880, every major northern city in America had created a substantial police force, tasked with a single job, the one originally performed by the armed men paid by the business elites -- to keep the workers in line, to "maintain order" as factory owners and the moneyed class understood it.

"Class conflict roiled late nineteenth century American cities like Chicago, which experienced major strikes and riots in 1867, 1877, 1886, and 1894. In each of these upheavals, the police attacked strikers with extreme violence, even if in 1877 and 1894 the U.S. Army played a bigger role in ultimately repressing the working class. In the aftermath of these movements, the police increasingly presented themselves as a thin blue line protecting civilization , by which they meant bourgeois civilization, from the disorder of the working class. This ideology of order that developed in the late nineteenth century echoes down to today – except that today, poor black and Latino people are the main threat, rather than immigrant workers."

That "thin blue line protecting civilization" is the same blue line we're witnessing today. Yes, big-city police are culturally racist as a group; but they're not just racist. They dislike all the "unwashed." A recent study that reviewed "all the data available on police shootings for the year 2017, and analyze[d] it based on geography, income, and poverty levels, as well as race" revealed the following remarkable pattern:

" Police violence is focused overwhelmingly on men lowest on the socio-economic ladder : in rural areas outside the South, predominately white men; in the Southwest, disproportionately Hispanic men; in mid-size and major cities, disproportionately black men. Significantly, in the rural South, where the population is racially mixed, white men and black men are killed by police at nearly identical rates."

As they have always been, the police departments in the U.S. are a violent force for maintaining an order that separates and protects society's predator class from its victims -- a racist order to be sure, but a class-based order as well.

Looking Ahead

We've seen the violence of the police as visited on society's urban poor (and anyone else, poor or not, who happens to be the same race and color as the poor too often are), and we've witnessed the violent reactions of police to mass protests challenging the racism of that violence.

But we've also seen the violence of police during the mainly white-led Occupy movement (one instance here ; note that while the officer involved was fired, he was also compensated $38,000 for "suffering he experienced after the incident").

So what could we expect from police if there were, say, a national, angry, multiracial rent strike with demonstrations? Or a student debt s trike? None of these possibilities are off the table, given the economic damage -- most of it still unrealized -- caused by the current Covid crisis.

Will police "protect and serve" the protesters, victims of the latest massive transfer of wealth to the already massively wealthy? Or will they, with violence, "maintain order" by maintaining elite control of the current predatory system?

If Mitrani is right, the latter is almost certain.


MK , June 19, 2020 at 12:31 am

Possible solutions? One, universal public works system for everyone 18-20. [Avoiding armed service because that will never happen, nor peace corp.] Not allow the rich to buy then or their children an out. Let the billionaires children work along side those who never had a single family house or car growing up.

Two, eliminate suburban school districts and simply have one per state, broken down into regional areas. No rich [or white] flight to avoid poor systems. Children of differing means growing up side by side. Of course the upper class would simply send their children to private schools, much as the elite do now anyway.

Class and privilege is the real underlying issue and has been since capital began to be concentrated and hoarded as the article points out. It has to begin with the children if the future is to really change in a meaningful way.

timbers , June 19, 2020 at 8:06 am

I would add items targeted as what is causing inequality. Some of these might be:

1). Abolish the Federal Reserve. It's current action since 2008 are a huge transfer of wealth from us to the wealthy. No more Quantitative Easing, no Fed buying of stocks or bonds.

2). Make the only retirement and medical program allowed Congress and the President, Social Security and Medicare. That will cause it to be improved for all of us.

3). No stock ownership allowed for Congress folk while serving terms. Also, rules against joining those leaving Congress acting as lobbyists.

4). Something that makes it an iron rule that any law passed by Congress and the President, must equally apply to Congress and the President. For example, no separate retirement or healthcare access, but have this more broadly applied to all aspects of legislation and all aspects of life.

MLTPB , June 19, 2020 at 11:11 am

Abolish the Fed and/or abolish the police?

Inbetween, there is

Defund Wall Street
Abolish banking
Abolish lending
Abolish cash
Defund fossil fuel subsidies

Etc.

Broader, more on the economic side, and perhaps more fundamental???

TiPs , June 19, 2020 at 8:34 am

I think you'd also have to legalize drugs and any other thing that leads creation of "organized ciminal groups." Take away the sources that lead to the creation of the well-armed gangs that control illegal activities.

David , June 19, 2020 at 9:32 am

Unfortunately, legalising drugs in itself, whatever the abstract merits, wouldn't solve the problem. Organised crime would still have a major market selling cut-price, tax-free or imitation drugs, as well, of course, as controlled drugs which are not allowed to be sold to just anybody now. Organised crime doesn't arise as a result of prohibitions, it expands into new areas thanks to them, and often these areas involve smuggling and evading customs duties. Tobacco products are legal virtually everywhere, but there's a massive criminal trade in smuggling them from the Balkans into Italy, where taxes are much higher. Any time you create a border, in effect, you create crime: there is even alcohol smuggling between Sweden and Norway. Even when activities are completely legal (such as prostitution in many European countries) organised crime is still largely in control through protection rackets and the provision of "security."

In effect, you'd need to abolish all borders, all import and customs duties and all health and safety and other controls which create price differentials between states. And OC is not fussy, it moves from one racket to another, as the Mafia did in the 1930s with the end of prohibition. To really tackle OC you'd need to legalise, oh, child pornography, human trafficking, sex slavery, the trade in rare wild animals, the trade in stolen gems and conflict diamonds, internet fraud and cyberattacks, and the illicit trade in rare metals, to name, as they say, but a few. As Monty Python well observed, the only way to reduce the crime rate (and hence the need for the police) is to reduce the number of criminal offences. Mind you, if you defund the police you effectively legalise all these things anyway.

km , June 19, 2020 at 11:48 am

I dunno, ending Prohibition sure cut down on the market for bootleg liquor. It's still out there, but the market is nothing like what it once was.

Most people, even hardcore alcoholics, aren't going to go through the hassle of buying rotgut of dubious origin just to save a few dimes, when you can go to the corner liquor store and get a known product, no issues with supply 'cause your dealer's supplier just got arrested.

For that matter, OC is still definitely out there, but it isn't the force that it was during Prohibition, or when gambling was illegal.

As an aside, years ago, I knew a guy whose father had worked for Meyer Lansky's outfit, until Prohibition put him and others out of a job. As a token of his loyal service, the outfit gave him a (legal) liquor store to own and run.

David , June 19, 2020 at 12:09 pm

Yes, but in Norway, for example, you'd pay perhaps $30 for a six-pack of beer in a supermarket, whereas you'd pay half that to somebody selling beers out of the back of a car. In general people make too much of the Prohibition case, which was geographically and politically very special, and a a stage in history when OC was much less sophisticated. The Mob diversified into gambling and similar industries (higher profits, fewer risks). These days OC as a whole is much more powerful and dangerous, as well as sophisticated, than it was then, helped by globalisation and the Internet.

rob , June 19, 2020 at 12:25 pm

I think ending prohibitions on substances, would take quite a bite out of OC's pocketbook. and having someone move trailers of ciggarettes of bottles of beer big deal. That isn't really paying for the lifestyle.and it doesn't buy political protection. An old number I saw @ 2000 . the UN figured(guess) that illegal drugs were @ 600 billion dollars/year industry and most of that was being laundered though banks. Which to the banking industry is 600 billion in cash going into it's house of mirrors. Taking something like that out of the equation EVERY YEAR is no small thing. And the lobby from the OC who wants drugs kept illegal, coupled with the bankers who want the cash inputs equals a community of interest against legalization
and if the local police forces and the interstate/internationals were actually looking to use their smaller budgets and non-bill of rights infringing tactics, on helping the victim side of crimes then they could have a real mission/ Instead of just abusing otherwise innocent people who victimize no one.
so if we are looking for "low hanging fruit" . ending the war on drugs is a no brainer.

flora , June 19, 2020 at 1:36 am

Thanks for this post.

"What's being protected? The social order that feeds the wealthy at the expense of the working poor. " – Neuberger

In the aftermath of these movements, the police increasingly presented themselves as a thin blue line protecting civilization, by which they meant bourgeois civilization, from the disorder of the working class. – Mitrani

I think this ties in, if only indirectly, with the way so many peaceful recent protests seemed to turn violent after the police showed up. It's possible I suppose the police want to create disorder to frighten not only the protestors with immediate harm but also frighten the bourgeois about the threate of a "dangerous mob". Historically violent protests created a political backlash that usually benefited political conservatives and the wealthy owners. (The current protests may be different in this regard. The violence seems to have created a political backlash against conservatives and overzealous police departments' violence. ) My 2 cents.

John Anthony La Pietra , June 19, 2020 at 2:20 am

Sorry, but the title sent my mind back to the days of old -- of old Daley, that is, and his immortal quote from 1968: "Gentlemen, let's get the thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn't there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder."

Adam1 , June 19, 2020 at 7:39 am

LOL!!! great quote. Talk about saying it the way it is.

It kind of goes along with, "Police violence is focused overwhelmingly on men lowest on the socio-economic ladder: in rural areas outside the South, predominately white men; in the Southwest, disproportionately Hispanic men; in mid-size and major cities, disproportionately black men. Significantly, in the rural South, where the population is racially mixed, white men and black men are killed by police at nearly identical rates."

I bang my head on the table sometimes because poor white men and poor men of color are so often placed at odds when they increasingly face (mostly) the same problems. God forbid someone tried to unite them, there might really be some pearl clutching then.

rob , June 19, 2020 at 8:07 am

yeah, like Martin Luther King's "poor people's campaign". the thought of including the poor ,of all colors .. just too much for the status quo to stomach.
The "mechanism" that keeps masses in line . is one of those "invisible hands" too.

run75441 , June 19, 2020 at 8:23 am

Great response! I am sure you have more to add to this. A while back, I was researching the issues you state in your last paragraph. Was about ten pages into it and had to stop as I was drawn out of state and country. From my research.

While not as overt in the 20th century, the distinction of black slave versus poor white man has kept the class system alive and well in the US in the development of a discriminatory informal caste system. This distraction of a class level lower than the poorest of the white has kept them from concentrating on the disproportionate, and growing, distribution of wealth and income in the US. For the lower class, an allowed luxury, a place in the hierarchy and a sure form of self esteem insurance.

Sennett and Cobb (1972) observed that class distinction sets up a contest between upper and lower class with the lower social class always losing and promulgating a perception amongst themselves the educated and upper classes are in a position to judge and draw a conclusion of them being less than equal. The hidden injury is in the regard to the person perceiving himself as a piece of the woodwork or seen as a function such as "George the Porter." It was not the status or material wealth causing the harsh feelings; but, the feeling of being treated less than equal, having little status, and the resulting shame. The answer for many was violence.

James Gilligan wrote "Violence; Reflections on A National Epidemic." He worked as a prison psychiatrist and talked with many of the inmates of the issues of inequality and feeling less than those around them. His finding are in his book which is not a long read and adds to the discussion.

A little John Adams for you.

" The poor man's conscience is clear . . . he does not feel guilty and has no reason to . . . yet, he is ashamed. Mankind takes no notice of him. He rambles unheeded.

In the midst of a crowd; at a church; in the market . . . he is in as much obscurity as he would be in a garret or a cellar.

He is not disapproved, censured, or reproached; he is not seen . . . To be wholly overlooked, and to know it, are intolerable ."

likbez, June 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm

That's a very important observation.

Racism, especially directed toward blacks, along with "identity wedge," is a perfect tool for disarming poor white, and suppressing their struggle for a better standard of living, which considerably dropped under neoliberalism.

In other words, by providing poor whites with a stratum of the population that has even lower social status, neoliberals manage to co-opt them to support the policies which economically ate detrimental to their standard of living as well as to suppress the protest against the redistribution of wealth up and dismantling of the New Deal capitalist social protection network.

This is a pretty sophisticated, pretty evil scheme if you ask me. In a way, "Floydgate" can be viewed as a variation on the same theme. A very dirty game indeed, when the issue of provision of meaningful jobs for working poor, social equality, and social protection for low-income workers of any color is replaced with a real but of secondary importance issue of police violence against blacks.

This is another way to explain "What's the matter with Kansas" effect.

John Anthony La Pietra, June 19, 2020 at 6:20 pm

I like that one! - and I have to admit it's not familiar to me, though I've been a fan since before I got to play him in a neighboring community theater. Now I'm having some difficulty finding it. Where is it from, may I ask?

run75441, June 20, 2020 at 7:56 am

JAL:

Page 239, "The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States."

Read the book "Violence: Reflections of A National Epidemic" . Not a long read and well documented.

Carla , June 19, 2020 at 12:39 pm

MLK Jr. tried, and look what happened to him once he really got some traction. If the Rev. William Barber's Poor People's Campaign picks up steam, I'm afraid the same thing will happen to him.

I wish it were only pearl-clutching that the money power would resort to, but that's not the way it works.

JacobiteInTraining , June 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

Yeah – that quote struck me too, never seen it before. At times when they feel so liberated to 'say the quiet part out loud', then as now, you know the glove is coming off and the vicious mailed fist is free to roam for victims.

Those times are where you know you need to resist or .well, die in many cases.

That's something that really gets me in public response to many of these things. The normal instinct of the populace to wake from their somnambulant slumber just long enough to ascribe to buffoonery and idiocy ala Keystone Cops the things so much better understood as fully consciously and purposefully repressive, reactionary, and indicating a desire to take that next step to crush fully. To obliterate.

Many responses to this – https://twitter.com/oneunderscore__/status/1273809160128389120 – are like, 'the police are dumb', 'out of touch', 'a lot of dumb gomer pyles in that room, yuk yuk yuk'. Or, 'cops/FBI are so dumb to pursue this antifa thing, its just a boogieman' thinking that somehow once the authorities realize 'antifa' is a boogieman, their attitudes towards other protesters will somehow be different 'now that they realize the silliness of the claims'.

No, not remotely the case – to a terrifyingly large percentage of those in command, and in rank & file they know exactly where it came from, exactly how the tactics work, and have every intention of classifying all protesters (peaceful or not) into that worldview. The peaceful protesters *are* antifa in their eyes, to be dealt with in the fully approved manner of violence and repression.

km , June 19, 2020 at 11:56 am

In most countries, the police are there solely to protect the Haves from the Have-Nots. In fact, when the average frustrated citizen has trouble, the last people he would consider turning to are the police.

This is why in the Third World, the only job of lower social standing than "policeman" is "police informer".

cripes , June 19, 2020 at 3:35 am

The anti-rascist identity of the recent protests rests on a much larger base of class warfare waged over the past 40 years against the entire population led by a determined oligarchy and enforced by their political, media and militarized police retainers. This same oligarchy, with a despicable zeal and revolting media-orchestrated campaign–co-branding the movement with it's usual corporate perpetrators– distorts escalating carceral and economic violence solely through a lens of racial conflict and their time-tested toothless reforms. A few unlucky "peace officers" may have to TOFTT until the furor recedes, can't be helped.

Crowding out debt relief, single payer health, living wages, affordable housing and actual justice reform from the debate that would benefit African Americans more than any other demographic is the goal.

The handful of Emperors far prefer kabuki theater and random ritual Seppuku than facing the rage of millions of staring down the barrel of zero income, debt, bankruptcy, evictions and dispossession. The Praetorians will follow the money as always.

I suppose we'll get some boulevards re-named and a paid Juneteenth holiday to compensate for the destruction 100+ years of labor rights struggle, so there's that..

Boatwright , June 19, 2020 at 7:51 am

Homestead, Ludlow, Haymarket, Matewan -- the list is long

Working men and women asking for justice gunned down by the cops. There will always be men ready to murder on command as long as the orders come from the rich and powerful. We are at a moment in history folks were some of us, today mostly people of color, are willing to put their lives on the line. It's an ongoing struggle.

MichaelSF , June 19, 2020 at 12:18 pm

Jay Gould, a U.S. robber baron, is supposed to have claimed that he could hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

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

rob , June 19, 2020 at 7:58 am

So how can a tier of society(the police) . be what a society needs ? When as this story and many others show how and why the police were formed. To break heads. When they have been "the tool" of the elite forever. When so many of them are such dishonest, immoral, wanna be fascists. And the main direction of the US is towards a police state and fascists running the show . both republican and democrat. With technology being the boot on the neck of the people and the police are there to take it to the streets.

Can those elusive "good apples" turn the whole rotten barrel into sweet smelling apple pie? That is a big ask.

Or should the structure be liquidated, sell their army toys. fill the ranks with people who are not pathological liars and abusers and /or racists; of one sort or another. Get rid of the mentality of overcompensation by uber machismo. and make them watch the andy griffith show. They ought to learn that they can be respected if they are good people, and that they are not respected because they seek respect through fear and intimidation.

Is that idiot cry of theirs, .. the whole yelling at you; demanding absolute obedience to arbitrary ,assinine orders, really working to get them respect or is it just something they get off on?

When the police are shown to be bad, they strike by work slowdown, or letting a little chaos loose themselves. So the people know they need them So any reform of the police will go through the police not doing their jobs . but then something like better communities may result. less people being busted and harassed , or pulled over for the sake of a quota . may just show we don't need so much policing anyway. And then if the new social workers brigade starts intervening in peoples with issues when they are young and in school maybe fewer will be in the system. Couple that with the police not throwing their family in jail for nothing, and forcing them to pay fines for breaking stupid laws. The system will have less of a load, and the new , better cops without attitudes will be able to handle their communities in a way that works for everyone. Making them a net positive, as opposed to now where they are a net negative.
Also,

The drug war is over. The cops have only done the bidding of the organized criminal elements who make their bread and butter because of prohibition.

Our representatives can legally smoke pot , and grow it in their windowboxes in the capital dc., but people in many places are still living in fear of police using possession of some substance,as a pretext to take all their stuff,throw them in jail. But besides the cops, there are the prosecutors . they earn their salaries by stealing it from poor people through fines for things that ought to be legal. This is one way to drain money from poor communities, causing people to go steal from others in society to pay their court costs.

And who is gonna come and bust down your door when you can't pay a fine and choose to pay rent and buy your kids food instead . the cops. just doing their jobs. Evil is the banality of business as usual

Tom Stone , June 19, 2020 at 8:20 am

The late Kevin R C O'Brien noted that in every case where the Police had been ordered to "Round up the usual suspects" they have done so, and delivered them where ordered. It did not matter who the "Usual suspects" were, or to what fate they were to be delivered. They are the King's men and they do the King's bidding.

The Rev Kev , June 19, 2020 at 10:10 am

To have a reasonable discussion, I think that it should be recognized that modern police are but one leg of a triad. The first of course is the police who appear to seem themselves as not part of a community but as enforcers in that community. To swipe an idea from Mao, the police should move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea. Not be a patrolling shark that attacks who they want at will knowing that there will be no repercussions against them. When you get to the point that you have police arresting children in school for infractions of school discipline – giving them a police record – you know that things have gotten out of hand.

The next leg is the courts which of course includes prosecutors. It is my understanding that prosecutors are elected to office in the US and so have incentives to appear to be tough on crime"" . They seem to operate more like 'Let's Make a Deal' from what I have read. When they tell some kid that he has a choice of 1,000 years in prison on trumped up charges or pleads guilty to a smaller offence, you know that that is not justice at work. Judges too operate in their own world and will always take the word of a policeman as a witness.

And the third leg is the prisons which operate as sweatshops for corporate America. It is in the interest of the police and the courts to fill up the prisons to overflowing. Anybody remember the Pennsylvania "kids for cash" scandal where kids lives were being ruined with criminal records that were bogus so that some people could make a profit? And what sort of prison system is it where a private contractor can build a prison without a contract at all , knowing that the government (California in this case) will nonetheless fill it up for a good profit.

In short, in sorting out police doctrine and methods like is happening now, it should be recognized that they are actually only the face of a set of problems.

MLTPB , June 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

How did ancient states police? Perhaps Wiki is a starting point of this journey. Per Its entry, Police, in ancient Greece, policing was done by public owned slaves. In Rome, the army, initially. In China, prefects leading to a level of government called prefectures .

Pookah Harvey , June 19, 2020 at 10:54 am

I spent some time in the Silver Valley of northern Idaho. This area was the hot bed of labor unrest during the 1890's. Federal troops controlled the area 3 separate times,1892, 1894 and 1899. Twice miners hijacked trains loaded them with dynamite and drove them to mining company stamping mills that they then blew up. Dozens of deaths in shoot outs. The entire male population was herded up and placed in concentration camps for weeks. The end result was the assassination of the Governor in 1905.

Interestingly this history has been completely expunged. There is a mining museum in the town which doesn't mention a word on these events. Even nationwide there seems to be a complete erasure of what real labor unrest can look like..

rob , June 19, 2020 at 11:58 am

Yeah, labor unrest does get swept under the rug. Howard zinn had examples in his works "the peoples history of the United States" The pictched battles in upstate new york with the Van Rennselear's in the 1840's breaking up rennselearwyk . the million acre estate of theirs . it was a rent strike.

People remembering , we have been here before doesn't help the case of the establishment so they try to not let it happen.

We get experts telling us . well, this is all new we need experts to tell you what to think. It is like watching the footage from the past 100 years on film of blacks marching for their rights and being told.. reform is coming.. the more things change, the more things stay the same. Decade after decade. Century after century. Time to start figuring this out people. So, the enemy is us. Now what?

Carolinian , June 19, 2020 at 11:01 am

Doubtless the facts presented above are correct, but shouldn't one point out that the 21st century is quite different from the 19th and therefore analogizing the current situation to what went on before is quite facile? For example it's no longer necessary for the police to put down strikes because strike actions barely still exist. In our current US the working class has diminished greatly while the middle class has expanded. We are a much richer country overall with a lot more people–not just those one percenters–concerned about crime. Whatever one thinks of the police, politically an attempt to go back to the 18th century isn't going to fly.

MLTPB , June 19, 2020 at 11:15 am

Perhaps we are more likely to argue among ourselves, when genetic fallacy is possibly in play.

Pookah Harvey , June 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

" the 21st century is quite different from the 19th "

From the Guardian: "How Starbucks, Target, Google and Microsoft quietly fund police through private donations"

More than 25 large corporations in the past three years have contributed funding to private police foundations, new report says.

These foundations receive millions of dollars a year from private and corporate donors, according to the report, and are able to use the funds to purchase equipment and weapons with little public input. The analysis notes, for example, how the Los Angeles police department in 2007 used foundation funding to purchase surveillance software from controversial technology firm Palantir. Buying the technology with private foundation funding rather than its public budget allowed the department to bypass requirements to hold public meetings and gain approval from the city council.

The Houston police foundation has purchased for the local police department a variety of equipment, including Swat equipment, sound equipment and dogs for the K-9 unit, according to the report. The Philadelphia police foundation purchased for its police force long guns, drones and ballistic helmets, and the Atlanta police foundation helped fund a major surveillance network of over 12,000 cameras.

In addition to weaponry, foundation funding can also go toward specialized training and support programs that complement the department's policing strategies, according to one police foundation.

"Not a lot of people are aware of this public-private partnership where corporations and wealthy donors are able to siphon money into police forces with little to no oversight," said Gin Armstrong, a senior research analyst at LittleSis.

Maybe it is just me, but things don't seem to be all that different.

Bob , June 19, 2020 at 11:40 am

If we made America Great Again we could go back to the 18th century.

rob , June 19, 2020 at 12:11 pm

While it is true, this is a new century. Knowing how the present came to be, is entirely necessary to be able to attempt any move forward.
The likelihood of making the same old mistakes is almost certain, if one doesn't try to use the past as a reference.
And considering the effect of propaganda and revisionism in the formation of peoples opinions, we do need " learning against learning" to borrow a Jesuit strategy against the reformation, but this time it should embrace reality, rather than sow falsehoods.
But I do agree,
We have never been here before, and now is a great time to reset everything. With all due respect to "getting it right" or at least "better".
and knowing the false fables of righteousness, is what people need to know, before they go about "burning down the house".

Carolinian , June 19, 2020 at 12:42 pm

You know it's not as though white people aren't also afraid of the police. Alfred Hitchcock said he was deathly afraid of police and that paranoia informed many of his movies. Woody Allen has a funny scene in Annie Hall where he is pulled over by a cop and is comically flustered. White people also get shot and killed by the police as the rightwingers are constantly pointing out.

And thousands of people in the streets tell us that police reform is necessary. But the country is not going to get rid of them and replace police with social workers so why even talk about it? I'd say the above is interesting .not terribly relevant.

Mattski , June 19, 2020 at 11:37 am

Straight-up fact: The police weren't created to preserve and protect. They were created to maintain order, [enforced] over certain subjected classes and races of people, including–for many white people, too–many of our ancestors, too.*

And the question that arises from this: Are we willing to the subjects in a police state? Are we willing to continue to let our Black and brown brothers and sisters be subjected BY such a police state, and to half-wittingly be party TO it?

Or do we want to exercise AGENCY over "our" government(s), and decide–anew–how we go out our vast, vast array of social ills.

Obviously, armed police officers with an average of six months training–almost all from the white underclass–are a pretty f*cking blunt instrument to bring to bear.

On our own heads. On those who we and history have consigned to second-class citizenship.
Warning: this is a revolutionary situation. We should embrace it.

*Acceding to white supremacy, becoming "white" and often joining that police order, if you were poor, was the road out of such subjectivity. My grandfather's father, for example, was said to have fled a failed revolution in Bohemia to come here. Look back through history, you will find plenty of reason to feel solidarity, too. Race alone cannot divide us if we are intent on the lessons of that history.

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