Yes, They ARE Trying to Kill You

Karl Denninger doesn’t believe that the satanic global depopulationists actually want to kill anyone.

No, They’re Not Trying To Kill You

The common chestnut among those with a bit too much Reynolds wrapped around their head:

This is part of a depopulation move to kill you all.

IMHO, nope.

Why? Because while those who think they’re your “betters” are indeed desirous of you all getting “out of their way”, such as not being on Martha’s Vineyard if you’re brown and from Venezuela, unless of course you’re already a servant (Want to see this in prime action? Visit Jackson Hole, MV, or any of these other places); if you are suddenly there and “in their face” they want those folks as actual people who expect to be treated on an equal footing about as much as a plantation owner wanted the black folks in his house sleeping in his bed (other than when providing sexual pleasure “on demand”, of course.)

But even so all these people do fully understand that without plenty of roughnecks and “lessers” in the form of something as simple as a car mechanic they’re fucked. Their jet is useless without fuel in size and to get it to their airport it first must be drilled for, extracted, refined and then transported and none of these people will dirty their hands to do any of that. Never mind that effectively zero of them could replace a wheel bearing on their nice expensive car if it required it; without said replacement when it needs to be done the vehicle is a 2-ton brick.

Karl is a genuine American hero. His courageous work on the vaccine front saved many lives and families. He always tells the truth as best he sees it, and I regard his blog as one of the very few must-reads on the Internet.

He is a smart, observant, and rational man. But he is not, to the best of my knowledge, a religious man.

Which, I think, makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for him to connect the events that he analyzes so well today with the pattern of historic manifestations of the same evil that is ascendant today. Because the wicked elite are not rational, their motivations are difficult to comprehend, and their inspirations are inhuman.

But the one thing we do know about them is that they celebrate death and seek to create more of it everywhere they go and in everything they do.

So, yes, with all due respect, they are trying to kill you.

DISCUSS ON SG


Serbia Calls Out NATO’s Double Standard

It’s fascinating to see the same countries that bombed Serbia in its attempt to maintain its territorial integrity now claiming “territorial integrity” is the reason four pro-Russian provinces can’t be permitted democratic self-determination or to leave Ukraine:

Western countries have failed to explain why they have different points of view on Ukraine and Serbia’s territorial integrity, given that they support Kiev in its fight against Russia, but endorsed Kosovo’s independence, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday.

In an address to the UN General Assembly in New York, the Serbian leader stated that his state respects the territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, and that many describe the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev as “the first conflict on European soil since WWII.” He said, however, that the truth about the violation of Serbia’s territorial integrity “is constantly unspoken.”

“We ask for a clear answer to the question I’ve been asking… for years – what is the difference between the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, which was grossly violated,” Vucic said, referring to the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

According to Vucic, Serbia “has never [set] foot” on anybody’s territory, but this “did not prevent the 19 richest NATO countries from attacking a sovereign country without a decision by the UN Security Council.”

He also said that while NATO pledged to respect the full territorial integrity of Serbia, it did not stop many Western countries from unilaterally recognizing the breakaway province of Kosovo in 2008. NATO occupied Kosovo in 1999, after a 78-day bombing campaign against what was then Yugoslavia. The province declared independence in 2008 with Western support. While the US and most of its allies have recognized it, many other countries, including Russia and China, have not.

NATO are not the good guys here. To the contrary, they are, and have been, the evil imperialists since 1990. The so-called “New World Order” that Bush the Elder announced on September 11, 1990, is the very Empire of Lies that Russia, China, and most of the rest of the world is now fighting.

Hence the demonic inversion that we witness on an almost daily basis these days. But it was there from the beginning.

Ours is a generation to finally see the emergence of promising, exciting new world order which we’ve sought for generations. And we are witness to the first demonstration of this new partnership for peace: a united world response to Iraq’s aggressive ambition.

George Bush, September 19, 1990

And now we know precisely whom had been seeking that “promising, exciting new world order” for generations, and what their real objectives are.

DISCUSS ON SG


Amazon’s Diary of Anne Frank

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to this one.

Hey, if you don’t have a problem with ballpoint pens in 1941 and a teenage girl writing copiously about middle-aged male sexual fetishes on MySpace, then a simple change of skin color shouldn’t be a problem for you either. Also, Mary Beard was the historical consultant, and you know you can trust her. Checkmate, haters.

DISCUSS ON SG


WW3 Mobilization Math

The Tree of Woe contemplates WW3 from a historical and statistical perspective, and reaches precisely the same conclusions I have.

Today, Russia spends 4.1% of its GDP on its military; America spends 3.5%; and China spends 2.1%. (Saudi Arabia, at 10.4%, and Israel at 5.2% are the two biggest spenders by ratio.) They are essentially on pre-war footing, demobilized.

To what extent could today’s superpowers match the mobilization of the WWII-era US and USSR?

According to the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), about one-third of military spending is on personnel. The remainder is on equipment and operations, both of which are highly demanding on the economy’s manufacturing and energy sectors. At the outbreak of World War II, manufacturing and energy accounted for approximately 30% of the American GDP. From that basis, America spent 40% of its GDP on war. As a first approximation, therefore, the maximum extent to which an economy can be mobilized for defense spending might be 133% of its manufacturing and energy GDP.

At present, manufacturing and energy make up 41% of China’s GDP, 30% of Russia’s GDP, and 20% of America’s GDP. Therefore, the maximum mobilization we would expect their economy to achieve would be 54% for China, 40% for Russia, and 27% for America.

Wait, you ask — Why can’t we just “build more factories?” Because it’s very difficult to rapidly grow manufacturing. The fastest large-scale improvement I have found in looking at data is a 3% increase in the share of manufacturing per year for a major economy. Achieving this during wartime, when manpower is diverted into uniform and infrastructure is under attack seems unlikely. A nation can rapidly convert its peacetime manufacturing to wartime manufacturing, but it cannot rapidly build manufacturing capability where none existed. I assume that maximum mobilization might increase by at most 1% per year from their present level.

Even when taking advantage of pre-existing industrial infrastructure, mobilization is never instantaneous. In its best year, the US was able to mobilize from 10% to 35% (1941 to 1942), and the USSR was able to mobilize from 20% to 55% (1942 to 1943). That suggests the absolute best possible mobilization is a 3.5 increase annually. It’s not clear to me that any of today’s great powers could match those, due to the vastly increased complexity and fragility of our supply chains. Therefore I assume that actual mobilization can at most double yearly, until the maximum mobilization is reached. Therefore I estimate the following:

In one year, America could achieve 7% mobilization; in two years, 15% mobilization; in three years, 30% mobilization; in four years 31%; in five years 32%.

In one year, China could achieve 5% mobilization; in two years, 10%; in three years 20%; in four years 40%; in five years 60%.

In one year, Russia could achieve 8% mobilization; in two years, 16%; in three years, 33%; in four years 44%; in five years 45%.

Now, in considering what mobilization as a percentage of GDP means, we need to be sure we are comparing apples to apples. A comparison of nominal GDP won’t do. At a minimum we need to use Purchasing Parity Power (PPP) adjusted GDP. But even that might understate the relative capabilities.

In a July 2017 white paper by the Heritage Foundation called “Putting Defense Spending in Context: Simple Comparisons are Inadequate,” the authors found:

For the equivalent investment in terms of U.S. dollars, China and Russia respectively have 1.7 times and 2.5 times the purchasing power within their domestic markets… Due to differences in purchasing power across economies, then, two countries could hypothetically field the same size and quality force at dramatically different spending levels.

For example, the Chinese Yuzhao-class landing platform dock (LPD) costs approximately $300 million to build and is most similar in terms of displacement and capability to the U.S. San Antonio-class LPD. However, the purchase price of the San Antonio-class LP exceeds $1.6 billion per unit…

In the March 2015 article “China’s Military and Growing Political Power,” the CEPR notes:

Using exchange rates comparisons significantly understates the Chinese military spending. A much more realistic assessment is obtained using PPP terms… China’s military budget was 18% of that of the US using market exchange rate comparisons, but 33% of the one of the US using PPP exchange rates…

The correct exchange rate with which to compare military spending would be a price or unit cost ratio of military services in each country… We use market exchange rates as a measure of relative military equipment costs facing each country… For relative operations costs, however, we use PPP exchange rates as a reasonable proxy… Finally, relative personnel costs are obtained using manufacturing wages, either gross or net of on-costs, since this represents the social opportunity cost of military employment.

This low relative military costs exchange rate implies a real value of China’s military spending of 40% of the US in real terms – larger than the level implied by using PPP rates of 33%, and much larger than the market exchange rate based figure of 18%.

Thus the best estimates are that in relative terms, we have to scale up China’s GDP by (40%/18%) = 220% in order to get an accurate picture of its potential mobilization. Unfortunately CEPR did not provide a similar ratio for Russia, but we can approximate it by multiplying Russia’s PPP multiplier (250% of nominal GDP) by (40%/33%) = 120%, for a total multiplier of 300%.

This is not a pretty picture if you like the Star-Spangled Banner. China’s military-effective GDP is already almost 200% the size of America’s military-effective GDP, and its effective military spending is 130% of our own! Meanwhile, Russia — currently mocked in the mainstream press as an economic weakling — is maintaining an effective military budget of 30% of America’s. Given that the US tries to maintain military power across the entire globe, while Russia only needs regional dominance, this should make us very uneasy about our relative capabilities.

It gets worse when we consider mobilization over time. Much, much worse. US deindustrialization has virtually crippled our large-scale mobilization, while China has become an Arsenal of Authoritarianism. Below I have tabulated each nation’s expected Mobilization Ratio and used that to calculate its Effective Military Spending (EMS) per year of World War Next.

The longer the war goes on, the worse it looks for America. In year one, America is able to spend 64% of China and Russia’s defense budget. By year five, America can only spend 26% of its rivals’ defense budgets.

The Tree of Woe’s detailed research backs up the previously observed historical analogy, which is to say that the USA and its European allies today are in much the same position that Germany and its allies were during WW2. Neither the superior quality of German and Japanese manufacturing nor the superior quality of German troops were sufficient to even begin to make up for the massive advantage in manpower and manufacturing enjoyed by the USA-USSR-UK alliance.

The Sino-Russian alliance alone dwarfs the manpower and manufacturing capacities of the NATO alliance, even if NATO’s prospective allies in South Korea, Japan, and Israel are included. And if the rest of the BRICSIA nations – who are already aligned with Russia in this global conflict – are included in the equation, the conclusion is even more heavily stacked against the Were-West.

The key is this: manufacturing capacity can be repurposed during wartime, but it cannot be constructed from scratch.

This mobilization math explains why the neocons and their pets presently presiding over the European nations have been so desperate to “win the war in Ukraine”. The Empire That Never Ended’s chances in the proxy war between Kiev and the Donbass republics were considerably better than its odds in either a regional war or a global war, although as we’ve seen, the proxy war has already been won by the two former Ukrainian republics.

DISCUSS ON SG


The TWA 800 Coverup

This “conspiracy theory” has been so obvious for so long that it won’t surprise anyone to learn that US Navy personnel who were on the scene have confirmed that the US Navy shot down the passenger plane:

On the evening of July 17, 1996, as Teele relates, the Carr was trying out new AN/SPY-1 Alpha radar as well as new AN/SPS 49 radar. For this simulated air attack, the target was to be a drone pulled by a military aircraft using a thousand-or-so foot chain. Teele was among the personnel monitoring this activity from within the ship’s combat information center (CIC).

In its November 1997 summary the FBI acknowledged that three submarines — the USS Normandy, the USS Trepang, and the USS Albuquerque — were in the “immediate vicinity of the crash site.” So too, said the FBI, were an Aegis cruiser, and a US Navy P-3 Orion. The P-3, in fact, just happened to be flying about seven thousand feet above TWA 800 when the plane was blown out of the sky.

Teele puts the USS Carr in this group as well. Although he has not said so publicly, Teele strongly believes that the USS Leyte Gulf, another Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, was involved. With Teele confirming there was a drone in the mix, the U.S. Navy had all the “combatants” needed for a Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) missile test.

In 1996, the Navy was in the process of introducing this enormously complex system. The CEC was created to integrate the information coming from each of the combatant’s sensors — range, bearing, elevation, Doppler updates etc. — and feed the integrated picture back to the individual combatants. In the CEC live-fire tests, which began as early as 1994 in Puerto Rico, drones played the role of “unknown assumed enemy.” The P-3’s role was to relay data among the various units involved. In this way, as Teele explains, one ship could track the assumed enemy, and another ship could fire.

Teele describes the assumed enemy as a “low, slow flier flying toward us.” The tragedy that followed would likely have been averted had not air traffic control held the Paris-bound TWA 800 at 13,700 feet to allow US Air 217 heading north to pass safely overhead. “I believe we jumped the gun,” said Teele. “We had a track on a contact that came out that fit the profile that we were given.” TWA 800 became the “assumed enemy.” Says Teele, “It matched the drill.”

Two missiles were fired. Over his headset, Teele heard the announcement, “Birds away.” A few minutes later, he heard “Splash,” meaning the missiles had hit the target. Soon after that, he heard someone say, “Wo, wo, wo.” And another person added, “Wait a minute. We hit an Airbus.”

In fact, eight years earlier, at the tail end of the Iran-Iraq War, an Aegis cruiser, the USS Vincennes, fired two Standard Missiles at a commercial Iranian Airbus, IR 655. IR 655 had reached 13,500 feet, a final altitude almost identical to TWA 800’s. Capt. Will Rogers III gave the order to fire. Rogers and his crew had mistaken the ascending passenger jet with 290 people on board for a descending Iranian F-14, a fighter plane. Stuff happens.

The stuff that happened on the night of July 17, 1996 outraged Teele’s CO, Captain Wray. “These have got to be the dumbest idiots I’ve ever seen in my life,” Teele remembers Wray as saying. “How do you accidentally fire a missile? You don’t know the color of missiles? One is blue. One is white. Blue mean training. White means live. You’ve got to be stupid to put a white on the rail.” Although his memory as to which ship was responsible is admittedly uncertain, Teele believes it was the Leyte Gulf.

Despite the long-established mandate that neighboring ships rush to the scene of an accident, the Carr turned tail and headed out to sea “at top speed.” Teele’s leading petty officer made it so clear that he was to say nothing of what he saw or heard. He then issued the order, “Pull the RD390 tapes, close all positional log books, including the bridges, tape them and leave them on the DRT table!”

The documents were then taken to a place called the “shred room” where they were destroyed using salt water and a shredder. “We ran to Bermuda where we were not allowed to leave the ship, no phone calls, emails secured, and nothing was to be discussed!” says Teele. “Everyone that was involved was told in CIC, ‘This didn’t happen!’” As far as the major media are concerned, it never did.

Of course, given what we now know about government-related incidents, the more serious question isn’t whether the US Navy shot down TWA 800 or not, but whether the firing of the live missile at the airliner was intentional or accidental.

In the post-vaxx era, argumentum ad incredulitatem is no longer viable. Because now we all know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that U.S. government employees are absolutely capable of doing something like that.

DISCUSS ON SG


An Absence of Sanctions

Israel is pounding the hell out of the Palestinians in Gaza again.

Israel has bombarded Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) positions in the Gaza Strip for a third day today with 31 Palestinians killed, while militants fired hundreds of rockets back amid escalating violence.

Six children are among the dead since the conflict began Friday, while 275 people have been wounded, said health authorities in the enclave where several buildings were reduced to rubble.

Israel launched its first bombardment on Friday as part of a surprise operation named ‘Breaking Dawn’ that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said was a ‘pre-emptive strike’ designed to thwart a planned PIJ rocket attack.

The IDF early this morning continued their intense aerial and artillery bombardment of the Iran-backed group, which has fired hundreds of rockets in return since Friday.

Now, I understand that this bombardment is probably in response to sound intelligence concerning an attack on the Israeli people. Whether the preemptive strike is proportional or not, one cannot possibly say, it almost certainly wasn’t launched without some provocation. However, it should be kept in mind that the Russian special military operation was also in response to a series of ongoing attacks on the Russian people of the Donbass for more than eight years.

It would be interesting and informative to learn how many munitions were expended by the Ukrainian military and paramilitaries over the last eight years in comparison to how many were expended by the Palestianian Islamic Jihad and the Israeli Defense Forces over that same period.

Because if there is no reason to sanction Israel over its bombardments and invasions of Gaza, there is no clearly no reason to sanction Russia over its bombardments and invasions of Ukraine.

DISCUSS ON SG


A Warning Within the Warning

It’s never a good sign when the Defense Ministry assumes responsibility for communications concerning certain matters in the place of the Foreign Ministry.

Action is the most powerful language, said the Chinese Defense Ministry on Thursday as its spokesperson stressed the sensitivity of the Taiwan question again after China issued six warnings against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan island over the past few days.

The frequency of Chinese warnings and the remarks different departments use fully demonstrate China’s determination to take any necessary military measures to counter US provocations and safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, analysts said.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will not tolerate any “Taiwan independence” moves or interference from external forces, and will resolutely stop such attempts, Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, said at Thursday’s press briefing.

The root cause of a turbulent Taiwan Straits is the collusion between “Taiwan independence” forces and external interfering forces, Wu said, urging relevant parties to learn to adapt to the new reality (PLA operations near the Straits), to reflect on their own deeds and “most importantly, to pull back from the brink.”

Though Wu was responding to a question about PLA operations on the Taiwan Straits, analysts interpreted Wu’s words as another stern warning against the US government and some US politicians who are pushing Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan island.

The US should not underestimate the crisis and possible disastrous results it will bring to the Taiwan Straits if Pelosi ultimately makes the trip, experts said. On edge of the cliff for bilateral relations, if the US does not pull back but keeps challenging the guardrail, the price will be beyond US capabilities to pay.

It’s an interesting historical lesson in the use of the phrase yanzhen yidai, which literally means “streamlining army formation to wait for the enemy” and has very seldom been used in the diplomatic context. It more accurately translates into modern American English as “fuck around and find out”, such as when Zhou Enlai warned the USA not to cross the 38th Parallel prior to the Chinese intervention in the Korean War.

In other words, the Chinese are no more bluffing over Taiwan than the Russians were bluffing over Ukraine.

DISCUSS ON SG


A Tale of Two Capitalisms

Michael Hudson explains the difference between industrial capitalism and finance capitalism, and how the latter has destroyed the US economy and impoverished the American people.

Most people think of all kinds of capitalism as being the same and the assumption is that industrial capitalism of the nineteenth century somehow was always financialized because there were always banks but financial capitalism is you just pointed out is a political system and as a political system it’s very different from the industrial capitalism dynamic. In industrial capitalism, the whole aim or the hope of the industrial capitalists in the late nineteenth century, especially in Germany and central Europe was that banking would no longer be just usury, it wouldn’t be just consumer lending to exploit labor, and it wouldn’t be lending to the government somehow.

The financial system would recycle the economy savings and money creation and credit into industrial production and would finance the means of production to make that productive instead of predatory and parasitic as it became and that seemed to be the way that industrial capitalism was evolving up until World War I. Everything changed after that all of a sudden you had the financial system take over as a result of the crisis caused in the 1920s by the German reparations debt that couldn’t be paid and the inter-ally debt that was insisted upon to repay the United States for the arms that have supplied Europe for a century into World War I. Well, the result was a huge depression.

The allies said, well, we didn’t expect to actually have to pay the United States. If we have to pay the United States, then we have to charge reparations on Germany and for a decade there was a debate between John Maynard Keynes and Harold Moulton and others saying that these debts can’t be paid. How are you going to handle a situation where the debts can’t be paid?

The finance capitalists then were the basically the ancestors of today’s neoliberals and they said any amount of debt can be paid by any country if it just lowers the living standards and squeezes labor enough and that’s what basically the philosophy of the IMF ever since world war II when third world countries can’t pay the debt, the IMF comes in with an austerity program and say you have to lower wages, you have to break up labor unions, if necessary you have to have a democracy, and you can’t have a democracy unless you’re willing to assassinate and arrest the labor leaders and the advocates of land redistribution because a democracy means basically rule by the financial sector centered in the united states. And so finance capitalism ever since WWI and especially WWII and especially since 1980 is the nationalistic doctrine of American banks and the American one percent, and the American financial sector that is sort of merged into a symbiotic unit with the finance insurance and real estate.

In other words, finance capitalism instead of trying to promote overall economic growth for the 99 percent, instead of financing the industrialization of an economy with rising productivity and rising living standards, is now cannibalizing the industrial sector, cannibalizing the corporate sector. As you’re seeing in the U.S., finance capitalism is the economic doctrine of deindustrialization that has occurred in America in England and is now occurring in Europe.

Well, the problem is how do you survive if you’re not industrializing, if you’re not producing your own means of subsistence and how are you going to get this from other countries? Well, the answer is you don’t go to war with them like countries used to go to war with each other to grab their money and their land, you use finance as the new means of war so finance capitalism is the tactic of economic warfare by the United States against Europe and the global south to sort of draw all of the economic surplus of these countries in the form of debt service and the debt service is supplied by basically economic rent seeking from land rent, natural resource rent, and just plain interest charges on economy. So, none of these are really the result of industrial profits that are made by employing labor and uh selling its products at a markup.

Finance capitalism is not based on surplus value like industrial capitalism was. In fact, it destroys industry and in this cannibalizing of industrial capital, it basically dries out the economy and makes it unable to break even or even to function and in the United States today, for instance, if you look at the balance sheets of corporate revenue much of it is spent on stock buybacks. You buy back your own stock or dividend payouts. Only eight percent of corporate earnings are spent on new capital investment research and development: factories, machinery, and means of production to employ labor.

How did General Electric (GE) go broke? Basically, Jack Welch said let’s use our income not to continue to invest in making more electronic goods and services and appliances, let’s use it to buy our own stock that’ll push up our stock and essentially, we’ll just sell off our divisions and we’ll use the money of selling off our washing machine companies and stoves and sell it off and we’ll just pay it to the stockholders. That’ll push it up and by the way his salary was based on how much he could push up the stock of GE and he was paid in the form of stock options. Well, all of this is now the normal corporate behavior in the United States and corporations are no longer led by industrial engineers as they were a few centuries ago in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

They’re led by financial engineers of the chief financial officer and the ideal of these corporations is to make money financially not by industrial investment….. so on the narrow microeconomic level finance capitalism is a way of basically selling out a company and giving the proceeds to the stockholders and the bondholders but as a political system, because it is so destructive of the economy as you’ve seen in the United States and you’ve seen in Britain through de-industrializing it, it becomes belligerent in an attempt to make other countries just as equally paralyzed by making these countries pay tribute to the U.S. and England and the financialized economies by means of financial engineering, by means of debt service, by means of selling their mineral resources, their public utilities, their land, their roads all to foreign investors–basically to who borrows the money that’s just simply created in the U.S. and to save all of their money in their central bank reserves in the forms of loans to the U.S. treasury holding treasury bonds which is how the international monetary system worked until just a few months ago when everything changed.

So if you’re England and America right now you can look at President Biden’s speeches and he said well, China is our number one enemy because it’s competing unfairly. China is actually subsidizing industrial development by having its own infrastructure. It gives free education instead of privatizing education and making its labor pay for it. It has public health instead of privatizing social medicine like we do in the United States and making employers and workers pay for it.

Well, industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century was all in favor of strong government infrastructure. The ideal of industrial capitalism was to keep the wage costs of production down not by reducing wages but having government provide a basic infrastructure to cover the basic
needs of employees. The governments would provide free education so that employers didn’t have to pay for it. The governments would provide medical care so that employees didn’t have to pay for it and employers wouldn’t have to pay employees enough money to cover the education costs and to cover the medical care costs. The government would build roads and infrastructure and everything to facilitate the overall cost of doing business by industrial capital.

Well finance capitalism is just the reverse. Finance capitalism wants to privatize and take education, medical care, roads, turn the roads into toll roads, and take all of these and privatize them and make them financial corporations that will essentially pay out their economic rent to the bondholders and the stockholders and this economic rent adds to the cost of education and everything else that workers need to live on so the result is to make it a high cost economy and that’s why Biden has said China and Russia are America’s enemies because the only way that America can succeed given our privatized economy, given the fact that Americans have to pay up to forty three percent of their income for rent, given the fact that eighteen percent of America’s GDP is for medical care, given the heavy student loan debt–only if other countries tie themselves in the same knot, only if other countries impose the same economic overhead on their labor force and on their industry can there be equal competition.

If other countries have a mixed economy and are more efficient because they have an active government providing basic needs, that’s “autocracy” and that’s the opposite of “democracy.” Democracy is where everything is privatized and ultimately the one percent own everything.

Autocracy is any government that’s strong enough to have its own public investment. Any government strong enough to tax or regulate the financial sector is called “autocracy” so the U.S. in the 19th century would be called an autocracy as I guess the Austrian school called it – civilization is basically an “autocracy.”

There never has been an unmixed economy without government regulation, without a government investment, although Rome began to get to that point at the end of its empire and we all know what happened to it. So basically, finance capitalism is a predatory international economic policy aimed at draining the rest of the world all to pay the leading one percent of wealth holders in the U.S. and their satellite oligarchy in England and a few European countries.

Notice how, as always, evil lurks in the endless redefinitions and word spells. The inversions, subversions, and perversions are endless, and remember, we have been told that the root of all evil is the love of money. Therefore, it should be no surprise that an economic system entirely focused on money would prove to be unmitigated evil.

DISCUSS ON SG


The American Century Debacle

As even its advocates now admit that the American Century is over, it’s worth looking back and seeing exactly what it was for which Americans abandoned the country founded by their forefathers:

What specific steps can the United States take, however, to reach Luce’s goal? We have already mentioned one of the steps – it must embrace internationalism over isolationism. But Luce provides us with other steps to follow. First of all, the United States must share its Bill of Rights, its Declaration of Independence, and its Constitution with the world—America’s principles of freedom largely rest on reverence to these documents, and although they may not be applicable to all peoples, other nations could learn quite a bit from them. Sharing them, however, is not enough; Americans must have a passionate devotion to the great American ideals embodied in those works for them to be effective – they must be devoted to freedom, the equality of opportunity, and a tradition of self-reliance, independence, and cooperation. By showing the citizens of the world that they are dedicated to the same ideals expressed in their documents, Americans will set an example that other peoples can follow.

Second, the United States must be willing to provide its industrial products and technical know-how to the world. In many ways, Luce writes, the United States is already doing this. After all, it sells its industrial products abroad and other peoples are consumers of the products of American scientific, artistic, and intellectual life. But the United States must be willing to do more than just export the products it creates. It also must be willing to provide the skills and training for others to create successful artistic, intellectual, and scientific products of their own. Luce guarantees his readers that such training will be needed and welcomed around the world, but only if Americans have the imagination to see it and “the sincerity and good will to create the world of the 20th century.”

Third, and related to the last, the United States must ensure that its vision of the international economic order is the dominant one—without that economic order, American prosperity could stagnate, and the idea of the “American Century” would fall flat. Pursuant to ensuring that its ideas of economy become (and remain!) dominant, the United States must be willing to defend a principle that Americans have long held dear: the freedom of the seas. Only by guaranteeing free trade among the nations of the world can this vision be fulfilled.

Fourth, and finally, Americans must become the good Samaritans of the world, sending out an “army of humanitarians” to feed the world wherever it is needed. And why not? This kind of action would, Luce seems to argue, foster good will among the nations of the world that need it most, and it is certainly possible in light of the United States’ overwhelming prosperity. Feeding the world is not simply something the United States should think about doing, either. Rather, it is the “manifest duty” of America “to undertake to feed all the people of the world who as a result of this worldwide collapse of civilization are hungry and destitute.” If the United States can spend millions of dollars on weapons of war, it can surely spend some money on food for the people displaced by weapons: for “every dollar we spend on armaments we should spend at least a dime in a gigantic effort to feed the world.”

It probably sounded very high-minded and inspirational at the time. Now, it sounds like a horrifically bad, obviously stupid recipe for disaster. Feeding the world and free trade… did Henry Luce never read the historical aphorism that once you pay the Danegeld, you will never be rid of the Dane?

DISCUSS ON SG


The West’s Fatal Flaw

If Michael Hudson is correct, Western Civilization will ultimately fall because Christians failed to understand what “forgive them their debts” actually meant:

The greatest challenge facing societies has always been how to conduct trade and credit without letting merchants and creditors make money by exploiting their customers and debtors. All antiquity recognized that the drive to acquire money is addictive and indeed tends to be exploitative and hence socially injurious. The moral values of most societies opposed selfishness, above all in the form of avarice and wealth addiction, which the Greeks called philarguria – love of money, silver-mania. Individuals and families indulging in conspicuous consumption tended to be ostracized, because it was recognized that wealth often was obtained at the expense of others, especially the weak.

The Greek concept of hubris involved egotistic behavior causing injury to others. Avarice and greed were to be punished by the justice goddess Nemesis, who had many Near Eastern antecedents, such as Nanshe of Lagash in Sumer, protecting the weak against the powerful, the debtor against the creditor.

That protection is what rulers were expected to provide in serving the gods. That is why rulers were imbued with enough power to protect the population from being reduced to debt dependency and clientage. Chieftains, kings and temples were in charge of allocating credit and crop-land to enable smallholders to serve in the army and provide corvée labor. Rulers who behaved selfishly were liable to be unseated, or their subjects might run away, or support rebel leaders or foreign attackers promising to cancel debts and redistribute land more equitably.

The most basic function of Near Eastern kingship was to proclaim “economic order,” misharum and andurarum clean slate debt cancellations, echoed in Judaism’s Jubilee Year. There was no “democracy” in the sense of citizens electing their leaders and administrators, but “divine kingship” was obliged to achieve the implicit economic aim of democracy: “protecting the weak from the powerful.”

Royal power was backed by temples and ethical or religious systems. The major religions that emerged in the mid-first millennium BC, those of Buddha, Lao-Tzu and Zoroaster, held that personal drives should be subordinate to the promotion of overall welfare and mutual aid.

What did not seem likely 2500 years ago was that a warlord aristocracy would conquer the Western world. In creating what became the Roman Empire, an oligarchy took control of the land and, in due course, the political system. It abolished royal or civic authority, shifted the fiscal burden onto the lower classes, and ran the population and industry into debt.

This was done on a purely opportunistic basis. There was no attempt to defend this ideologically. There was no hint of an archaic Milton Friedman emerging to popularize a radical new moral order celebrating avarice by claiming that greed is what drives economies forward, not backward, convincing society to leave the distribution of land and money to “the market” controlled by private corporations and money-lenders instead of communalistic regulation by palace rulers and temples – or by extension, today’s socialism. Palaces, temples and civic governments were creditors. They were not forced to borrow to function, and so were not subjected to the policy demands of a private creditor class.

But running the population, industry and even governments into debt to an oligarchic elite is precisely what has occurred in the West, which is now trying to impose the modern variant of this debt-based economic regime – U.S.-centered neoliberal finance capitalism – on the entire world. That is what today’s New Cold War is all about.

It’s not socialism to forgive debt. It’s not irresponsible to forgive debt. It’s not economically unsound to forgive debt. To the contrary, debt forgiveness is Christian, it is civilized, and it is absolutely necessary on a regular basis in any society that permits legal usury.

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