Karl Marx, “The Genesis of Capital”: The Creation of Capitalism and Its Link to Modern Land Reform

This fascinating document is available in booklet form as it is only ~35 pages. It is an excerpt from the larger Capital volume. It’s not an easy read but it’s not impossible either.

Some of the writing is gorgeous. I read one sentence to my very anti-Communist liberal Democrat father and he swooned over the prose. That one sentence was both perfect and beautiful, though it dealt with some terrible.

In many places, this is forceful – see the fencing of the Commons in the 1300’s, done deliberately to force the peasants into the capitalist mode or production. Indeed theorists said that if the peasants could not be shoved into capitalism, there would be no capitalism, for their would be no workers. It was essential to destroy the peasants ability to live off the land for themselves in order to force them into worse circumstances as industrial workers.

We see this very same rhetoric employed today in India – where it is argued that the tribals in Chattisargh and other places must be uprooted from the lands, have their lands stolen from them to give to mining and forest industries, and forced into the capitalist mode in cities in order to properly develop the economy. It is argued that India cannot develop its economy until the Adivasis have been destroyed. Note that as with the ancient peasants, the Adivasis will live much poorer lives in the cities than the were in the rural areas.

In Colombia, we see something very similar. In Colombia, small farmers own a lot of land. They are able to subsist off this land and they do not need to participate in the larger economy. They grow enough food for themselves and some city people. The process of the Colombian revolution and the genocidal response of the Colombian oligarchy to it is all throwing the peasants off of these small plots, stealing their land at gunpoint (the paramilitaries are used for this), and terrorizing or killing them if they refuse to hand over their land.

The land is then confiscated by latifundias or large landowners who by and large control the Colombian economy. They grow coffee, bananas, etc. and raise cattle for export, generating money for the economy in the process.

In fact, this process has been going on all over Latin America for over 200 years as sort of a slow-motion process of ethnic cleansing and land theft. Smalholders are able to live off the land in Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Paraguay, and Brazil, and this is seen as unacceptable as they only grow food for themselves and possibly for city-dwellers but the produce cannot be exported.

These countries wish to develop an export model of agriculture based on the large scale production of food crops for export mostly to the US. In return, their ability to produce their own food is destroyed, in my opinion, rendering their economies completely backwards. The people are then rendered vulnerable to the purchase of imported food from the US, often packaged or canned food that is not very good for you.

As you can see, the country gets screwed and the US wins both ways. By destroying the basis for feeding themselves, the US wins an export market for its processed foods. By replacing these with food crops for export to the US, the US gets to make money by importing and selling these food crops. In return the country gains nothing.

Only a small landholding and import-export elite (maybe 20% of the population) gains and the vast majority of the poorer people lose as they can no longer feed themselves, no longer own land and are self-supporting, have to resort to unhealthy foods that they need much of their income to purchase, and they also are rendered much poorer as low wage proletariat in the slums of the large cities.

And in the process, of course, the country generates a revolutionary movement, often an armed one.

This can be seen in areas of Colombia. In one particular part of Southern Colombia, most of the rural peasantry had been thrown off the land and most of the land was now held by a few large landowners who were raising cattle on the land. The peasants had been terrorized off of their stolen land and formed ghettos in a large city nearby, which increased the poverty rate and the slump percentage of the city by a lot. Here they were poor, unhealthy, poorly fed and clothed, living in slums in shacks with no sewage systems, clean water or electricity.

These slums began to generate a lot of street crime as they tend to do. Outside of the cities on the main roads, there were soldiers and paramilitaries everywhere and one went from one armed roadblock to the other. Curiously enough, a large guerrilla movement had developed among the few remaining peasants and in teeming slums. Armed guerrillas extorted the latifundias for money that they called “war taxes.” The latifundias now paid a lot of money for paramilitaries to patrol their lands.

In the slums, an urban guerrilla movement was developing. Police, soldiers and paramilitary members were attacked with bombs, RPG’s and automatic weapons all the time and took significant casualties. The war had now moved to the city where there was no war before. Bomb and gun attacks hit city police stations on a regular basis. Death squads and army units roamed the land and the unarmed Left in the form or human rights activists, labor union members and organizers, community organizers and activists, environmentalists, campesino organizations, organizations of slum-dwellers and indigineous leaders were murdered and tortured to death on a regular basis.

The idiot US and the West see this as a process of “Communist guerrillas trying to subvert Colombian democracy, shoot their way into power, and set up a murderous Communist dictatorship which will destroy freedom and prosperity in Colombia”. The vast majority of Americans and others in the West actually buy this bullshit. Many on the Left refuse to support the Colombian guerrilla, insisting that they are anachronistic and that they should try to seek power peacefully. However, since the FARC disarmed, former members and members of newly formed political parties have been massacred like flies. So state terror blocks all road to peaceful change, leaving no alternative but the way of the gun.

Obviously the ridiculous analysis of this situation that Westerners believe has no basis in reality. The Western media cheers on the genocidal Colombian state and says that the Colombian democracy is waging a war against irrational and bloodthirsty terrorism, typically linked with drug trafficking to describe them as criminals and destroy their legitimacy.

As long as this process goes on, Colombia’s economy will stay forever backwards.

It is necessary to do a land reform in the rural areas before any country can prosper economically. Indeed this “socialist” project of land reform which the US spent decades in the Cold War slaughtering millions of people to stop was actually implemented by the US in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan in order to fend off a Communist threat. Oddly enough, it ended up creating the basis for subsequent booming development in those places.

Land reform was and is the basis for the Communist and Leftist revolutions and guerrilla forces in South Vietnam, Thailand, Colombia, Nepal, Peru, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay in the past 55-65 years, with some of the revolutions happening later 40 years ago. In Paraguay this process has just started several years ago when a FARC split has taken up arms agains the state.

Alt Left: Fascism, In Its Many and Varied Forms, Continues to Rampage Across the Planet

Rambo: Your friend there is wrong, Highbrow. Fascism is NOT dead. Just look around the world. Trying my best not to spout clichés, it’s very much alive and well. Maybe that’s what Highbrow has been trying to remind people of.

Yes, and fascism now is taking dramatically different forms than it has in the past. In general, fascism is political process set up by capitalists when they are facing a serious threat from the Left. Any rightwing authoritarian regime or dictatorship against the Left, especially a popular one, can only be seen as fascist.

Therefore, there were many fascist regimes in the world in the last 75 years. States in bold house current fascist regimes. States in normal print indicate past fascist regimes:

In Latin America in Guatemala until 1995, El Salvador until 1992, Honduras, Nicaragua until 1979, Haiti, Colombia, Brazil, Peru under Fujimori in the 1990’s, Ecuador, Bolivia under Hugo Banzer in the 1950’s and briefly last year, Argentina under Videla and Uruguay under the generals in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Paraguay, and Chile under Pinochet, but also in Spain under Franco until 1975, Portugal under Salazar until 1974, Croatia and Serbia after the Balkans War, Greece under the generals in the late 1960’s, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan under Zia in the 1980’s, India, Iran under the Shah until 1979, Liberia under Samuel Doe in the 1980’s, Zaire under Mobutu, South Africa under apartheid, Rhodesia under Ian Smith, Morocco under the king, Brunei under the Sultan, the Philippines, Vietnam under Thieu and Diem, Thailand Burma under the generals, Indonesia under Soekarno, South Korea under Singhman Rhee in the 1950’s until 1980, Taiwan in the 1950’s until 1980 and China in the late 1940’s under Chiang Kai Chek, and Fiji.

Incipient fascism is creeping in the US, the UK, Israel, Poland, and Hungary.

There is presently strong fascist opposition in Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Belarus, Lebanon, and Hong Kong.

Pro-fascist democracies exist in the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Georgia in particular and frankly, in the entire EU and NATO because the EU and NATO are supporting the fascist opposition in Latin America, the fascist government in Ukraine, and the fascist opposition in Belarus these days.

There are arguments that the Taliban is fascist, but I’m not buying it. I’m also not buying arguments about “Islamo-fascism.” Nor do I think China, North Korea, Belarus, or Russia are fascist.

Alt Left: Fascist States around the World in the Past Century

I will be leaving World War 2, where many such regimes were created in  Europe, out of this discussion because I don’t understand it well.

A discussion of fascism is very important because the Republican Party is already a fascist political party in the sense of a rightwing authoritarian party along Latin American oligarchy lines.

The Type of State the Republicans Are Aiming At

Similar regimes were installed in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Iran, Turkey (a Mussolinist + Nazi extrerminationist model), Greece, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Zaire, Kenya, Liberia, Indonesia (a classic Mussolinist model), Philippines, South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan, South Vietnam, Thailand, Nepal, Gabon, Angola, and South Africa, not to mention the many such regimes installed in Latin America, where the rightwing authoritarian or dictatorship regime has become a classic model. Many of these had a fake democratic facade over what was basically a dictatorship.

Nazi extreminationism with an ethnic component has been installed in Turkey and possibly Azerbaijan. Those models are governing to this day in the fake Croatian and Serbian states inside Bosnia. The present Croatian and Serbian regimes have overtones of WW2 like fascism, as does Hungary under Orban. Nazi-style exterminationist regimes, albeit with Communists and leftwingers substituted for Jews, have been installed in Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Taiwan in the past.

One could argue that Israel is now a Mussolinist style fascist government, albeit with a facade of democracy in which various fascist parties compete to rule the fascist state.

Rightwing Authoritarian Models in Latin America in the Last Century

It’s not so much the Nazi, National Socialist or classic fascist models of World War 2, although Trump and Berlusconi do resemble Mussolini, and Berlusconi created a classic Mussolinist fascist state in Brazil along the lines of the previous years of Operation Condor in Pinochet’s Chile, Velasco’s Argentina, the generals’ Brazil, Salazar’s Paraguay, the Uruguayan dictatorship, and Banzer’s Bolivia.

Somewhat different but similar “kill the Communists” regimes were created in Ecuador in the 1980’s, Fujimora and Belaunde’s Peru, Venezuela in the late 80’s, Uribe and many others’ Colombia (where it has become the only form of the state and Uribismo is almost a classic fascist Mussolinist model), Somoza’s Nicaragua, Bautista’s Cuba, Trujillo’s Dominican Republican, Rios Montt’s Guatemala, and ARENA, D’Aubisson, and Duarte’s El Salvador, Haiti under the Duvaliers, where it became a model followed to this day, and the present government of the generals in Honduras.

The model has not yet been installed in much of the Caribbean, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and the Guyanas, but it’s been generalized as the classic model in Latin America in general for over a century now. There are rumblings now to create another rightwing authoritarian regime in Peru and Mexico.

Counterrevolution is ongoing in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela and has succeeded recently in Ecuador, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, and Haiti. There were recent rumblings in Argentina, where the large landowners (who were never broken up as there was no land reform)  were making threats of a coup if their riches were touched. There were failed attempts recently in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Another attempt is ongoing in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Alt Left: Rural Land Reforms: An Overview

What’s odd is that imperialism went along with land reforms in a lot of other places such as Europe and the Middle East. All of the Middle East has done a land reform.

That was one thing the wave of Arab nationalist leaders who came to power in 1950-1970 did right away, including the Baath in Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Nasser in Egypt, the FLN in Algeria, Tunisia, and Qaddafi in Libya.

I believe there was some type of land reform done in Palestine too. If you read Ghassan Kanafani, the Palestinian Leftist, in the 1930’s, he talked about how terribly exploited the Arab fellahin or peasants were in Palestine.

If you went to Yemen in the 1960’s, there was a portrait of Nasser in every house.

I’m not sure if a land reform was ever done in Morocco. It’s been ruled by a fairly rightwing king for a long time.

A land reform was probably done in Lebanon, but I don’t have details. Likewise with Jordan.

Nothing grows in the Gulf anyway, so there’s no need for a reform.

I’m not sure about Sudan or Mauritania, but I doubt much grows in Mauritania except date palms.

In all of these places, land reform was a very easy sell for whatever reason, probably because neoliberal capitalism seems to be antithetical to Islam itself. The feudal lords of the former Ottoman Empire had tried to justify feudalism on the basis that in the Koran it says something like, “Some are rich and some are poor, and this is a natural thing” but that never went over too well.

The idea that in an Islamic country, the rich Muslims were viciously exploit the poor Muslims is nearly haram on its face. You just can’t do that. All Muslims are part of the ummah. All the Muslim men are your brothers and all the Muslim women are your sisters. Also individualism never made it to any part of the Muslim World other than the Hindu variety in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but that’s not really the same radical individualism that we have in the West. It’s just an ancient caste based system.

The first thing the Communists did in Eastern Europe was to do a land reform. You will never hear it here in the West, but until 1960, the Communist regimes in the East were very popular with industrial workers and also with the peasants.

In most of the world, peasants and rural dwellers are leftwingers. This is even the case in Western Europe in France.

The US is odd in that it’s farmers are so reactionary. That goes against the usual trend.

Yes, farmers are said to be conservatives, but that usually just means social conservatism. In most of the world, peasants are literally Alt Left: left on economics and right on social and cultural issues.

A land reform was definitely done in Iran.

Obviously one was done in the USSR, and the large landowners have not yet consolidated themselves in the former USSR, mostly because everybody hates them. Large landowners have taken over some of the state farms in Russia, but for whatever reason, they are not very productive. In fact, many of the state farms are still in existence. I am not sure what sort of arrangement they have now.

50% of the food in the Russia comes from small farms, typically grown on dachas. Dachas were vacation homes that were given to all Soviet workers. They were also given a bit of land, enough to grow some crops on. After 1991, all workers were allowed to keep their dachas and small plots. This was a great idea because most of the produce in Russia is coming right off of these farms.

After World War 2, the US supported land reforms in some places as a way of heading off a Communist threat. This is one great thing about the Communists. So many great steps of social progress were only done out of fear or terror that if these were not done, the Communists would take over. Now that that threat is gone, one wonders what motivation the oligarchs have to give up anything.

In particular, land reforms were done in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. They went over very easily. And in fact, the subsequent economic growth occurred right on the back of these reforms. There is a good argument that you can never develop a proper economy without first doing a land reform.

First of all, you need to get rid of the problem of rural poverty.

Second of all, you need to feed your own people. Large landowners in these countries typically grow food for export or simply fallow the land and keep it as an income base or a source of wealth.

When crops are grown for export, there is a problem in that the nation does not grow enough food to feed its people. This is a problem in Cuba and Venezuela right now, and it should not be. These are very fertile countries and there is no need to import food, but they have gotten hooked on some sort of “crack” of importing their food for whatever reason, possibly because most of their farmland was being used to grow crops for export.

When a nation can feed itself, this means it can feed its urban workers. This is extremely important and it is part of the reason that Stalin went at such breakneck speed in his collectivization. He had to feed his urban workers so he could industrialize because even back then, he was looking into the future and seeing that he was going to have to fight Hitler.

I’m not quite sure why, but no country seems to be able to properly industrialize and develop as long as the problem of rural poverty exists.

And once you are feeding your own people, you have solved a lot of other problems. Money that would be wasted importing inferior food from the West, especially the US, can now be spent on actual development of a national economy. The elimination of rural poverty gets rid of a constant revolutionary bur in the side of the state.

The US has always opposed land reform in Latin America because large US corporations are usually involved in growing foods for export down there. See Dole Pineapple in Guatemala. We want all of their agricultural land to go for export crops so US corporations can grow those crops or make money importing them. And we do not want them to grow their own food. That way there won’t be so much land for export crops which we need to make money off of.

Also, we want them to spend all of their food money importing lousy processed food from the US. So we make money on food both ways – importing food from crops grown for export to the US and in exporting processed food to the Latin America. This processed food is not very good for you and it is implicated in a lot of health problems in these places.

This is why the US opposes most efforts at land reform in the Americas.

An exception was made in El Salvador. After 200,000 people died, the US and the Salvadoran oligarchs were forced to the negotiating table and a land reform was one of the first things they pushed. I recall a piece written soon afterwards where the reporter went out to the rural areas and interviewed recipients of the land reform. They basically said, “Well, at least we can eat now. It wasn’t like that before.”

In semi-feudal countries, there is debt bondage whereby large landowners rent out their land to sharecroppers or peasants who never seem to get out of debt. This is a very primitive form of development.

The Philippines is notable that there has never been a land reform. And of course they have a vicious Communist insurgency.

Nor has there been one in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Honduras, or Argentina. The first five countries are horribly screwed up. Colombia and Paraguay have active armed leftwing guerrillas, and Guatemala did for many years. Haiti is a disaster. Honduras has a vicious rightwing dictatorship that has murdered over 1,000 people.

Argentina is mostly urbanized, but the landed rural elite still runs the country. Any talk at all of land reform or even taxation of large estates as was done recently under Christine Fernandez, and the ruling class starts making ominous threats of a coup. I assume something similar is going on in Uruguay. Those countries are urbanized though, so large landownership is not such a problem.

I’m not sure if there has ever been a land reform in Brazil, but there is no dearth of large landowners.

The fact that Colombia, Guatemala, and Haiti are so backwards is largely because there has never been a land reform.

The land reform was incomplete in Venezuela.

It is interesting that every country that fails to do a land reform seems to end up with a Communist or Leftist insurgency at some point or another. It’s almost without fail. This goes to show you that most Communist insurgencies in the Third World are over the most basic things dating all the way back to French Revolution: land and bread (food).

As far as land reforms go, they were done in Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Peru.

I’m not sure about Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Jamaica, Belize, the Guyanas, Chile, and most of the Caribbean.

And I’m not sure if one ever got done in the Dominican Republic after Bosch.

In El Salvador, 200,000 had to die in order for a land reform to take place. Roberto D’Aubission, the godfather of the Salvadoran death squads and the most favored visitor at the US Embassy, once said that “We will have to kill 200,000 people in order to prevent socialism in El Salvador.” What he meant by socialism was land reform.

It is notable that no land reform was ever done in India, nor in Pakistan or even Bangladesh. I had a friend whose parents were large feudal landowners in Pakistan who rented out land to farmers who ended up in debt peonage. In 1986, 14 million people a year were dying of starvation related diseases in the capitalist world. Most of that was in South Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Most of these deaths were attributed to the problem of the private ownership of land.

There is a problem with the private ownership of land. In the US, we think this is sacrosanct, but on a worldwide basis, it doesn’t work very well. What do you need all that land for? What do you need more than, say, an acre and a house? Nothing, unless you are a farmer.

In China, all land is owned by the state. All homeowners lease the land, often on 100 year leases. I’m not sure how it works in the countryside.

In Mexico, much of the land is owned by the state also, a product of the land reform that occurred after the Revolution. One of the major demands of the Revolution was land reform. Pre-revolution, most peasants usually lived like serfs. The state land in Mexico is called ejidos.

If you ever can’t make it in the city, if you become unemployed or homeless, you can always go out to the countryside and take up residence in an ejido, which are something like communal lands that are formed by the group that makes up the ejido. You join this group, work the land, and get a share of the crop. At least you have enough food to eat. So in Mexico the ejidos are a stopgap measure.

In China too, if you can’t make it in the city, you can always go back to the rural areas, take up residence, and work the land. At least you will have enough to food to eat. It is illegal to be homeless in China. If you are homeless, the police pick you up and put you in shelters, which are something like college dorms. They also encourage you to go back to the countryside if you have relatives back there. In recent years, many people have moved from the countryside to the cities to make more money. Those that don’t make it can always move back to the farm.

There was debate a while back about privatizing state land, but it ran aground on the idea that the state ownership of land was necessary as a stopgap measure in the event of urban poverty. In addition, state ownership of land has prevented the development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been adamant that the  development of a national oligarchy or plutocracy must be prevented at all costs. Once they develop, they are sort of like an infection in that they soon spread and take over society. The CCP has billionaire party members who are members of the People’s Assembly.

Guess what these “Communists” are advocating for? Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy. I think this goes to show you that billionaires are the same everywhere. Whether in a Communist or capitalist country, a rightwing or leftwing country, billionaires always have precisely the same class interests that barely vary at all. It’s usually something like this:

Reduction or elimination of taxes on the rich, massive reductions in social spending, state repression of labor, and the privatization of land along with most of the rest of the economy.

This goes to show that class interests of various classes are nearly a  law in a mathematical sense and not even a theory of social science. This was what Marx was getting at when he spoke of the laws of economics. They are so predictable that we can almost class them with the laws, theorems, and corollaries of mathematics instead of the typical “true for now” theories of most of the sciences.

I have a feeling that a Hell of a lot more things are laws, too, especially in terms of basic human behavior. So many of these things seem almost unchangeable. Of course they would never apply to everyone, but it’s pretty obvious that they are general tendencies.

Alt Left: How the US Staged Fascist Coups in Many Countries the World Over in the Last 70 Years

After World War, the Cold War was started and the murderous Dulles Brothers Installed the Policy known as Containment. This was implemented between 1946-48. As part of this policy, the US overthrew nationalist, social democratic, and even liberal democratically elected governments all over the world as part of the “War on Communism.” We replaced them with rightwing dictatorships. Although it is arguable, in general all rightwing  authoritarian regimes or dictatorships are probably fascist. Rightwing dictatorship = fascism.

These regimes were found most of Central America in Guatemala after 1954, in El Salvador and Honduras since forever, and in Nicaragua under the Somozas.

They were found in all of South America at one time or another. We can see them in the generals after 1964 in Brazil, the democratic facade duopoly regimes in Venezuela in Colombia (especially after 1947 and again in 1964, Ecuador, Peru until the generals’ revolt in 1968, Bolivia under Banzer after 1953, Paraguay under Strausser, Argentina and Uruguay under the generals in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and Pinochet in Chile.

They were also seen in the Caribbean in Cuba under Bautista, the Dominican Republic under Trujillo, and Haiti under the Duvaliers.

In Southeast Asia, they were found in Thieu in South Vietnam, Sihanouk in Cambodia, the monarchy in Laos, the military regimes in Thailand, Suharto in Indonesia, the Sultan in Brunei, Marcos in the Philippines, and Taiwan under Chiang Kai Chek.

In Northeast Asia, a regime of this type was found in South Korea from 1947-on.

They were found South Asia with Pakistan under Generals like Zia, in Central Asia in the Shah of Iran, and in a sense, the Arab World with Saddam (Saddam was installed by the CIA), King Hassan in Morocco, the Gulf monarchies, and Jordan. Earlier, they were found in the monarchies in Libya and Egypt that were overthrown by Arab nationalists. Also, Israel played this sort of role with a democratic facade.

We also found them in the Near East in the military regimes in Turkey (especially Turgut Ozul) and for a while in Greece under the colonels in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

NATO formed the backbone of a “rightwing dictatorship” in the background of Western Europe (especially Italy), where Operation Gladio NATO intelligence essentially ran most of those countries as a Deep State behind the scenes. These regimes were found in Spain under Franco and in Portugal under Salazar along with its colonies.

These regimes were not so much in evidence in Africa except in South Africa and Rhodesia and most prominently, Mobutu in Zaire and Samuel Doe in Liberia.

The fascist forms of these rightwing dictatorships varied, most being nonracist fascism but a few being racist fascists (Turkey), and others being Mussolinists (Suharto in Indonesia with his “pangesila”)

Alt Left: Ever Wonder Why North Koreans Hate the US So Much? Here’s Why

Only half a decade after the WW2 armistice, we got involved in the Korean War. Before that war started, we turned a blind eye to and even directly assisted South Korea’s Syngman Rhee’s genocidal massacres via execution of 800,000 “Communists” from 1945 until the start of the Korean War.  These were actually leftwing guerrillas and their civilian supporters waging a legitimate war against Rhee’s repression.

The guerrilla was set off by the massacres of peaceful civilian protestors on Jeju Island in 1947. Outraged, the islanders took up arms. Rhee, with close US support, waged a brutal counterinsurgency, razing most of the capital city, killing 30,000 people, mostly civilians, and forcing almost the entire rest of the population to flee the island in terror.

During the Korean War, the US committed the most unspeakable crimes against humanity, including using chemical and biological weapons against North Korea, similar to what Japan had done to China 10-15 years before. In fact, we got the idea for this directly form Japanese war criminals, most of whom were immediately hired by the Pentagon and intelligence agencies after the war, in part for their knowledge of WMD’s.

Even the bombing campaign against North Korea was probably one of the most criminal acts of the 20th Century. A general bragged that every human being walking openly and any standing building in Korea was a target to be destroyed or killed. General MacArthur (I always hated him) demanded and almost received permission to drop 40 atom bombs on China after the Chinese entered the war.

Pyongyang was burned to the ground with incendiary weapons like napalm similar to the firebombing of Tokyo in 1945 in which we murdered 100,000 Japanese civilians with firebombs in only a few days. Most of the houses were actually made of a form of paper, so the firestorms caused by the firebombs raged wildly through the city.

We actually killed 3 million North Koreans in that war, which was 10% of their population. In the latter part of the war, almost all of the population was living underground, either in caves or tunnels. A visiting diplomat described North Koreans as “mole people.” It would be like a country invading out land and killing 33 million Americans, mostly with bombs, raising to the ground every building in the land, and forcing the rest of the 300 million of us to live like moles underground in caves or tunnels.

If you want to know why North Koreans hate and especially fear us so much, there’s your Goddamn reason. General Mattis was terribly worried that he would have to implement a war plan involving dropping 40 nuclear bombs on North Korea in case of a North Korean attack, so you can see that if we  fight another war against North Korea, we will just as vicious and evil as before, if not much worse. This why you see the near-fanatical hatred and fear of the US, along with the frenzied mass buildup of one of the  impressively militarized North Korean army, the 4th largest military in the world.

Alt Left: Socialism, Communism and Neoliberalism in High and Low-IQ Societies

Clavdius Americanvs: I don’t believe socialism is necessarily better for low-IQ societies, but it definitely helps redistribute the misery so things are more bearable for the general populace.

Socialism and even Communism is always better for low-IQ countries. There’s not even any debate about it. I suppose you can say that neoliberalism functions somewhat in the West, but it doesn’t work at all in low-IQ countries. It’s just fails spectacularly, however, the top 20% of the population does make out well.

Clavdius Americanvs: I really don’t think socialism at the moment is a great idea for low-IQ countries. But it can arise if the ruling capitalist class is entrenched old money and not very permeable. Latin America used to have a race-based CASTE system for Christ’s sake! Entrenched old money isn’t really capitalist at all – it’s feudalism masquerading as a free market. I don’t believe Latin America is capable of anything else.

Well this is all neoliberal capitalism ever turns into – something that looks a lot like feudalism. Libertarians can’t figure out this law of capitalism and keep pining for this just and proper pure capitalism that never exists. Take the non-aggression principle. They can’t figure out that aggression is at the very heart of capitalism. No aggression, no capitalism.

Will capitalist countries ever allow socialist or communist countries to exist? Of course not. They try to overthrow them, often with violence, as soon as they show up. In the US, overthrowing socialist and even social democratic countries is a bipartisan affair, with even left Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders joining in with glee. Ocasio-Cortez is right. The Democratic Party is a center-right party and we don’t have a left party in the US. When was the last time? Henry Wallace? How did that work out? A party coup that put Truman in instead.

Clavdius Americanvs: I foresee any regime, even a socialist one, to eventually become feudal simply with a new ruling class not descended from the old one.

Probably not and it never happened in any Communist countries that I can think of. Many social democratic countries simply went corrupt and put the old ruling class in and continued calling themselves socialists. This happened in Venezuela, Peru, and Mexico.

Down in Latin America even the rightwing parties often call themselves socialists or have leftwing words like Labor, Liberal, Progressive, People’s, Popular, Workers, Revolutionary, etc. in their names because that’s often the only way to get elected. Rightwing parties down there even campaign on leftwing themes. All rightwing parties down there, even the death squad parties, campaign on helping the poor and alleviating poverty. Of course they never do it, but they have to say it or they won’t have a chance.

Clavdius Americanvs: The only hope is a secular rise in IQ for the countries so they can all produce more under capitalism.

I don’t think that will work either. The highest IQ countries are either Communist or “National Socialist” as in South Korea and Japan. I’m not sure what Taiwan is. Hong Kong is about ready to go Communist. Vietnam is Communist. All of Europe is nominally socialist or social democratic. It doesn’t look like even high-IQ countries want neoliberalism. Now if you talk about a market instead of “capitalism,” we can talk. After all, I am a socialist and I support a market myself.

Clavdius Americanvs: Afterwards, they can go the European route and turn into social democracies when they can afford it.

No one goes this route anymore – capitalism -> social democracy. Obviously the US is headed that way and Europe formerly did, as did Indonesia, with the Philippines heading that way slowly. And almost all poor countries nowadays are socialist or social democracies in name if not in form. No poor country wants to start out capitalist anymore. Neoliberalism is a luxury good, only affordable by the rich.

Clavdius Americanvs: Only with higher average IQ’s can entrenched ruling classes be otherthrown.

What happened in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Grenada, Laos, Cambodia, Eritrea, South Yemen, and Cuba?

Clavdius Americanvs: A population needs to be smart enough to produce and become aware of its social contract with the government. I doubt most leftwing participants in Latin America or any low IQ country really understand what they are signing up for in terms of a social contract.

Of course they do. Why do you think they all vote for the Left. Even at this late date, 70% of Venezuelans say they are Chavistas. They can see with their very own eyes what they got with Chavismo. They’re not dumb. Same thing in Nicaragua. The Sandinistas have 70-80% support. Lavalas in Haiti won with 92% of the vote.

Clavdius Americanvs: Low-IQ peasants just don’t want to starve or be beaten by armed thugs of their aristocratic overlords. They are somewhat aware of what they can get, but have no clue as to what they are giving up.

What they are giving up never worked for them anyway and probably never will.

Alt Left: Does Neoliberalism Even Work In High-IQ Societies?

Clavdius Americanvs: As for why right-wing Alpha societies turn feudal? IQ must be factored in. Low-IQ countries that go the right-wing capitalist way simply don’t have enough high-IQ types to make it in the free market. So the bulk of the population Alpha or not ends up starving, or a serf, or both. The few high-IQ Alpha males and their relatives are the victors in the winner-take-all game of capitalism.

Well they did this the world over in Latin America, Southeast Asia including the Philippines and Indonesia, Taiwan, and South Korea. They did it in some African countries like Rhodesia and South Africa, and Morocco. It doesn’t work. You have to impose it by a rightwing dictatorship because otherwise no one votes for it. Neoliberalism has never even been imposed on most of Africa or the Arab World because literally nobody wants it. It’s hardly even been tried in Europe either.

If it works so great in high-IQ countries, why do the Europeans,  Russians, and Chinese all reject it?

Even the Japanese and South Koreans don’t have neoliberalism. The Socialist Party has literally been in power for much of the time in postwar Japan, and the Communist Party is surprisingly large.

Even in South Korea, South Korea was only created after 300,000 armed Communists were exterminated in that country from 1945-1950. When North Korea conquered almost all of South Korea during the Korean War, armed South Korean communist guerrillas sprung up immediately in every conquered zone. They were already there and waiting for the North Koreans.

After the South Korean government took back all this territory, they rampaged around the country, seeking out and killing many of the people who had taken up arms and their supporters. Again over 300,000 were killed. There was also a Communist uprising on Jeju Island around this time that was put down viciously. Obviously Communism was quite popular in South Korea from 1945-53.

PUA/Game: Statistical Alphas, Behavioral Alphas, Chads, and Behavioral Alpha and Behavioral Beta Societies

First of all, some basic definitions:

Statistical Alpha: 15-20% of males, attractive to most women most of the time for whatever reason.Probably no more than 15-20% in any society, existing or conceivable.

Behavioral Alpha: Displays “Alpha behavior.” This may vary. In some societies like the Middle East, a majority of the men probably display Alpha behavior. Not limited to 15-20% the population.

Chad: An 8-10 on the 1-10 looks scale. Often does well with women but not necessarily, as certain other variables can mess him up. Mental Chads, Shy Chads, Odd Chads, Introverted Chads, etc. can definitely have problems with women. Sure some woman usually grabs them and rapes them sooner or later, but they can have long incel periods. A Chad could very well be a virgin or an incel. In fact, on incel forums, they discuss the phenomenon of the Chadcel.

Alpha behavior is probably learned, and Alpha behaviors are best acquired early in life, hopefully by high school or at least college age.

Chads are basically genetic. There’s no reason to brag about your Looks. They’re a gift from God. You didn’t do one thing to deserve them. You just lucked out in the genetic lottery is all.

However, I do think that men do better in societies where more men are Behavioral Alphas. They do better with women and male-female relationships are a lot better. There’s not much hypergamy, there aren’t many incels, and women don’t cuck men, monopolize Chads, or marry Beta Buxxers and then shut down the pussy, etc. The men are naturally masculine and the women are naturally feminine and both sexes seem to like each just fine that way. In addition, the men seem to love women (at least they are very sexually attracted to them), and the women seem to love men.

Societies Where Most Men are Behavioral Alphas (Male Rule Outside Northern and Western Europe and the Anglosphere)

On the other hand, these are typically patriarchies, and societies with many Behavioral Alphas are not great for women, face it. Some societies where most men are behavioral Alphas include Spain (though suffering from a wild feminist insurrection and the beginnings of a soyciety, though heavily resisted by the men), Portugal, Italy (feminism failed there, though that may be changing as new reports indicate the possibility of a soyciety arising there of all places), Greece, the Balkans, and frankly Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

Russia, the Caucasus, Turkey, Arabia, Mesopotamia, the Gulf, and the Levant. North Africa too. Of course we must include all of Black Africa. All of Latin America obviously. Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia. Central Asia and South Asia – Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and even India and Nepal. The Stans. I actually think SE Asian men are behaviorally Alpha. And traditional Korean, Japanese and Chinese societies were very behaviorally Alpha, and the older men still are.

Cucked Soycieties Where Most Men Are No Longer Behavioral Alphas (Behavioral Beta Soycieties under Female Rule in the West)

The soycieties where the men are no longer mostly behaviorally Alpha and have become behaviorally Beta are obviously most of the West as in Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Asians in the West, especially in the US. These are really the only places where Female Rule (Feminist Rule) has been implemented, though the infection is spreading, not diminishing, and the target is the whole world, as it is with all totalizing ideologies.

The result of Female Rule is an extreme reduction in:

  • Behavioral Alphas.
  • Sex for young single men.
  • Patriarchy.

Obviously all three of these are related.

The latter is often replaced by the rise of an oppressive matriarchy in its place. Why? Because in society just as in the home, someone has to wear the pants. If the women take the pants off the men, they won’t throw them in the corner or burn them as they probably should. They put them on themselves, turn into men, and turn the men into women.

Basic heterosexual behavior always exists. If the norm is toppled, the inverse simply takes its place. Someone’s got to rule and someone’s got to be ruled. Pure equality among the sexes is obviously not possible. Even Gloria Steinem admitted that!

What’s true among the sexes is probably true for society too, as basic sexual behavior is probably mirrored in some odd way in our sociopolitical world. There’s no escaping sex. It never ends, even in your 80’s.

Alt Left: Conservatives Say That Inequality in Latin America Is Caused by Socialism

Transformer (to Jason): I notice you don’t write about Latin America a lot.

I was hoping for Robert to respond to this article but would like your thoughts. I think the issue of inequality in Latin America is very deep. Conservatives like to blame the left and Communism (think Fidel Castro and the current Venezuela government under Maduro), but the situation is more complex.

Conservatives say inequality is caused by socialism and Communism? See what liars they are? Conservatives are the biggest shmucks. See? They can’t even lie properly. The best liars are at least somewhat believable. Conservatives are like the 13 year old pathological liar. He’s just a kid and you can safely dismiss almost everything he says. Seeing as they are such awful liars, why do so many people fall for their laughable, pitiful lies?

It’s the greed, right? Conservatives sell greed. They say support conservatism if you want to make lots of money or keep all the money you have. Support liberalism is you like being poor and having most of your money taken away and wasted on boondoggles and ne’er do wells, many of them disgusting criminals, and the rest at least repulsively amoral and stupid.

I guess if you are selling greed, stupid humans will believe everything you say. Tell him if he wants to be rich he will realize it’s pitch dark outside when it’s 95 degrees and high noon, and he’ll go outside and insist it’s true. Tell them he can keep all his money if he’ll only acknowledge that the sun comes up in the west and sets in the east, and he’ll swear they knew it along.

The truth is the opposite. The more socialism you have, the greater the economy. Venezuela before the crash was the most equal country in Latin America. Belarus and the Scandinavian countries are some of the most equal countries on Earth, with GINI indexes of 25-30, which is about where any country should be.

I admit that conservatives have their good points about their Latin American capitalism, but saying that Latin American inequality is caused by socialism isn’t one of them.

The more rightwing economics you have down there (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), the more unequal things get. This is because capitalism is exactly how Marx said it was. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer is the natural, typical, expected, and totally ordinary outcome of any pure capitalist system. You could almost write a Goddamned mathematical law about it. I know you can plot it on a linear chart.

The only countries that split up their wealth in any sort of fair way other than, “Everything for the top 20%, and nothing for anybody else!” are societies that have seasoned and moderated their capitalism with ample helpings of socialism. Capitalism is great for growth and crap and distribution. Social is bad at growth and great at distribution.

I think it’s clear that some sort of mixed economies with private, cooperative, family, and public enterprises work best of all. And the commanding heights of the economy must be ruled by the state. This is one thing the Chinese got right. And incidentally, in Japan and even South Korea, it is much the same. And both of the latter countries model their economies in part on, believe it or not, Nazi Germany. There were a lot of terrible things about the Nazis, but their economy was not one of them.

In such a system, the state owns the commanding heights and has the last say in everything. And both quite-capitalist countries use state economic planning to guide their economy. So it’s not true that a planned economy does not work. When state and private actors work together to guide the economy of the country forward, the results are very good.

Discussions about the Risks of a Shutdown

First of all, this is all moot anyway because we’re already opened up as it is, so I don’t understand why it’s even a discussion. Also, I have not yet seen a good discussion from the Left about to what extent we can shut down the economy and how we could get away with it, if at all. So I don’t know what I’m talking about here. I don’t know how long or to what extent we can lockdown the economy and the risks that might flow from that. So the things I’m suggesting might not even be feasible.

Here is another problem. You can open the economy back up all you want, but a lot of people are just going to boycott it. A lot of people are almost too scared to even go outside and are limiting their trips out of the house, shopping expeditions, socializing, etc. So if you open up but everyone stays home out of fear, you’re still stuck in a lockdown.

Gathering venue employees are clubs, bars

These are open but it’s not working. They’re spreading a lot of disease. They don’t need to be open if they are physical Typhoid Marys.

Regardless, they are securitized (turned into an investment for others) and resold. Small business loans are often securitized as well.

That should not even be allowed. Those are toxic investments that caused the last crash. They can fuck off to Hell and back.

No not really. The big banks already made their money on the loans.

Nope, the mortgages are all owed to banks, I believe. Or yeah, they securitized them and then sold them off to suckers? Ok, that’s what caused the last crash. It ought to be illegal but if that blows up again, it’s fine to me. Also I would imagine that almost 100% of mortgages and loans are paid to large banks. I would assume almost all business loans are paid to large banks.

It’s small banks,

No such thing.

credit unions,

They don’t loan out a lot of money. I’m not sure that they do a lot of mortgage and large business loaning. They’re owned by their customers. They’re mostly just there to serve us, as we own the place anyway. I’m a member.

depositors

Ever heard of a thing called the FDIC?

investors that can get fucked

You mean the top 10% that own almost all investments in the US? As it says in your quote, they can get fucked. Also, these are the guys who are buying all that toxic mortgage and loan-bundled securitized crap, right? Aside from the fact that that ought to be illegal, fuck em all. Fuck you if you buy that toxic garbage. You’re part of the problem. Just a bunch of rich people anyway. I’m sure they’re be starving when it’s all said and done. Maybe they’ll have to sell a yacht or two! Poor babies!

Lehman and Bear Sterns were allowed to die. That’s not happening again.

We can just take some banks over and make them public. It’s a better idea anyway. Most of China’s banking is public. Works great last time I checked. Also, they did better weathering that 2008 crash than any other country for the very reason that their banks were public.

In Japan, the commanding heights of the economy are owned by the state as they were in Nazi Germany.

In South Korea, the corporations and the state are all wrapped together in things called cheobols.

Get rid of the stock market. Germany barely has a stock market. They have a sort of a market, but almost all of the stocks and investments are owned by 2-3 large banks. That’s probably the way to do it. The stock market is toxic and evil. Shut it down.

Alt Left: Libertarianism and the Alt Left: Prospects for an Alliance?

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: Peronismo definitely won’t fly in Libertarian circles. Argentina is used as a case study for a failed nationalized protectionist economy.

That’s probably not even true. They did great during the Peron years.

I think that the Trump years in general and this COVID-19 response in particular, both of which have been characterized by neoliberal or Libertarian policy and a Libertarian response to a crisis, respectively, has proven the abject failure of the neoliberal or Libertarian model. As if it had not been proven failed by the 2008 crash, which was caused wholly by this model.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: To unify all the nomadic tribes of the Alternative Steppe, three things are need. First, a rejection of central economic planning would have to be declared by right and left wingers. Second, constitutional or legislative limitations on the power of government to regulate. Essentially, castrate the FDA, FCC, FAA etc.* and legalize drugs

I absolutely will not go for either of those. Central planning is working great in China. Even South Korea, Japan, and Germany engage in central planning.

And we will never go along with gutting regulations. Alt Leftists are regulators. We are really Big Government types in a lot of ways.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: And third, a solution to the immigration problem.

There is no solution to this problem.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: The social-economic model, even if never explicitly stated as such, would be capitalism for corporations, socialism for individuals, and tyranny at the border, which is the inverse of what we have now. Warren Buffett agrees.

It’s the capitalism for corporations part that we are going to object to. That’s the whole problem right there.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: The Democrats will stay hopelessly in shambles for the next few elections until minority GDP and population both over take that of whites.

I wouldn’t count on that if I were you.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: Deregulation is hard for leftists to accept because of the strong tendency to falsely conflate wealth redistribution with government regulation.

It is in fact that only thing that redistributes income at all. Absent that you just have never-ending growth of inequality until you pretty much have feudalism. Neoliberalism (or Libertarian economics) has failed everywhere it’s been tried. It’s only success stories are when it’s mixed with socialism. Most of the world rejects neoliberal economics. The US is a holdout. There aren’t many others.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: I suggest aptitude AND loyalty testing for immigrants to keep the stupids or anti-westerns out.

That’s fine.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: No explicit racism, but it would effectively bring in only Christian Caucasians from Europe, Africa and the Middle-East, liberal East Asians and light-skinned Hispanics.

We would object to this part. Of course we want mostly high-quality immigrants, but they don’t have to be any particular race. High-quality immigrants of any race should be just fine.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: Currently, strong regulation of consumer goods & services exists because, ex post fact, individuals can’t afford to sue companies for the damages their products may have caused. As IQ’s, automation, access to on-line information, and personal income increase worldwide, people could rely less on byzantine jurisprudence.

I don’t understand any of this.

CLAVDIVS AMERICANVS: But as I see the tsunami of technology and globalization approaching to totally demolish the justification for our current system, I can’t help but take preparations for the utopia. We must agree on which anarchist utopia to usher in, lest our system turn into a Blade Runner dystopia.

The future will not be any type of anarchism. In fact the future will see a greater role for the state.

The Secret to China’s Success – The Capitalists Are Kept out of Politics

China isn’t really a capitalist country. Why not? Because the capitalists are not in politics. They don’t run the country. The market or the capitalists are a tool to develop the forces of production instead of a form of Politics as they are most everywhere else, where they manage to conveniently screw up most everything for the masses.

The Communist Party rules China and the Hell if they are going to let the capitalists take over their country and run it into the ground like they do everywhere else. Instead the market is simply a tool, and the capitalists are barred from politics as they ought to be.

Capitalists should just make stuff. They’re pretty good at that. Once they gain political power, they seem to blow up everything and turn it all to Hell. Want some evidence? Open your eyes and look around at the capitalist world. See?

In China the capitalists have to go along with the Communist Party’s plans. New labor laws? Suck it up, capitalists. New pollution controls? Better fix those smokestacks, capitalists. The capitalists don’t have any say in this because if you let them take over, they always vote to ruin labor and destroy all the environmental laws because that’s what the profit motive demands.

Capitalists in China have to follow the Party’s five year plans. They have to do what the government says, or orders, for that matter. If the capitalists defy the party and don’t do as they’re told, the Party will just go in and confiscate all their property.  They’ll steal all your stuff. So that’s good motivation to get along and go along. Then they will either nationalize it or turn it over to one of their friends who is a bit more obedient.

There is a Party committee that sits on the board of directors of all large corporations. Large corporations are frequently bought out and nationalized. The state must own a proportion of all foreign corporations that set up shop in China. Apple wants to set up a factory? Fine, but the government gets a piece of that.

The banking is almost all controlled by the state. This is how China among a few other countries weathered the bankster economic crash of 2008. The state owned the banks so China was not plugged into world capitalist finance.

Japan is similar. There are a few very large banks at the top of the economic pyramid, and they are owned by the state.

Like in Korea, economic decisions about the development of the country are made by teams made up of the government and corporations. Korea’s giant conglomerates are nearly state-owned in part.

The Russian government is similar. It either owns outright or owns 50% of almost every large corporation in Russia.

A number of China’s state corporations are among the largest companies on Earth. They are right there in the Forbes 100 or even in the Forbes 50. They are immensely profitable and they generate a tremendous amount of money for the state, which is then used to develop the country or distributed to the people in one way or another. What’s wrong with that?

The Chinese state spends a staggering amount of money developing their country.  They do things quite easily, quickly, and even cheaply there – such as developing deep water ports or high speed rail systems – that either take forever and cost a fortune in the US or are simply not done, as they are economically unfeasible.

For instance, the US has decided that high-speed rail is not economically feasible in the US. How is it economically feasible in China, Japan, and Europe then? That argument is senseless.

China is presently pouring vast amounts of money into the rural areas, as they have been neglected. A lot of rural people move to the cities to seek their fortune. A lot of them don’t make it. China allows them to keep their farms as insurance when they do this, so rural folks who don’t make it in the cities always have the fallback of moving back to their farms. Hey, at least they can eat and survive.

This is where having the state own all the land in China comes in. Since the state owns all the land, the rural farms can remain as a backup insurance policy for rural workers who migrate to the cities and don’t make it.

If land in China was privately owned, that backup would not be available, and Chinese cities would be teeming with awful slums made up of rural dwellers migrated to the city. This sad scene is typical all over the capitalist world. But maybe it’s not necessary.

As noted, all land in China is owned by the state. Every inch of it. This is important as the private ownership of land is one of the main reasons that the India – Pakistan – Nepal – Bangladesh South Asian region is such a shithole. The best single thing India could do would be to abolish the private ownership of land.

In China, you get to own your house but not the land it’s built on. Sure you can lease out state land, even for a long time, but you can’t own it. In Netherlands, similarly all land is owned by the state. It’s not a bad idea.

A vast amount of the Chinese economy – 45% and growing – is publicly owned at some level or other, often at the municipal or even village level.

The state owns the vast irrigation system that underpins the entire rural economy. If that were privatized, all Hell would break loose. Think about it. You can’t have private corporations running the irrigation networks. Hell, we don’t even have that in the US.

The state used to run small schools and even medical centers in most rural villages, although they are getting away from that. Education is free through the graduate level. This also helps free graduates from being mired in poverty in debt for years or decades after they graduate. They keep their money to spend in the economy instead having most of their money go via debt bondage to parasitical bankers who don’t create anything of real value anyway.

Most capitalist banks in the West are giant loan-sharking institutions or casinos in the sky. Speculation isn’t real investment. It’s like going to the casino. If everyone just goes to the casino, this is good for the economy how? This is what happens when all that’s left of your economy is the economic mirage called “finance.”

Similarly, China now covers almost all typical medical care that people need. The state pays 85% and people pick up the rest. It’s easily affordable for most anything other than a very serious injury or illness such as cancer, which, unfortunately, the state won’t pay for.

This is a black mark to me, but it’s still better than our for-profit medicine system that wastes incredible amounts of the productive forces on overhead and executive payouts.

Medicare’s overhead is 2%. All the rest goes to medical treatment of patients, as it ought to. The overhead and profit of private insurance companies comes to 20%. So with Medicare, 98 cents of every dollar goes to actual health care, and with private insurance, only 80 cents of every dollar goes towards patient care. That’s obviously a grossly inefficient waste of economic resources. What’s this about the state being inefficient and the private sector being so efficient?

Once again, when the state covers your medical care, workers can not only relax, but they also don’t have to go into debt, bankruptcy, and poverty to  pay their medical bills. All of which helps whom? The vultures called for profit hospitals and insurance companies?

Why should sick people be financially ruined and living on the streets because they were so sick that they had to give every time they owned to some human shark in a corporate suit? In what possible world is this a just or even acceptable outcome?

Instead of being ruined, losing everything they own, and going homeless due to medical bills, with state health care, workers can keep working at their jobs and keep their money and their wealth as the state foots the doctor bills. So these workers remain productive and continue to spend money in the real economy. Win-win.

Conservatives Are Murderous and Hate Democracy All over the World and at All Times

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Latin American Right

The murderousness of the Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Argentine Right is in the past, but you never know when they will spring up again.

  • There was talk on the Argentine Right of calling for a coup when the last president talked about regulating the agricultural sector. They run that country like a mafia and no one dares to touch them. The Argentine Right worked with Wall Street to bankrupt the country and ruin the economy so they could win an election.
  • The Paraguayan Right overthrew the government with a judicial coup.
  • The Ecuadorian Right attempted an armed police coup several years ago.
  • The Peruvian Right staged a coup 25 years ago.
  • The Chilean Right only allowed a weak democracy 18 years ago.
  • The Honduran Right staged a military coup to get rid of a democratically elected president. Since then, death squads have murdered 1,000 people.
  • Aristide was overthrown by US sponsored coup 23 years ago, and they haven’t had any democracy since because Aristide’s party is banned from running. The last time they ran, they won 92% of the vote. After the coup, death squads rampaged through the population, murdering 3,000 members of Aristide’s party.
  • The rightwing Brazilian legislature overthrew the Left government based on a complete lie and they jailed the former president on a completely fake charge based on a bribe that he didn’t even accept! I mean they simply overthrew a democratically elected government with a parliamentary coup. They do this stuff all the time down there with either judicial, parliamentary or military coups.

The Latin American Right hates democracy.
If you wonder why the Left goes authoritarian down there, well, this is what happens if you try to do it democratically. They try to do it democratically, they wage coups and economic wars against you, start terrorist riots destroying you cities, murder the members of your government and political parties, start contra wars, or if they are in power, run death squads and slaughter the members of your parties.
I mean if they block all efforts at peaceful change, why not just put in a Left dictatorship? By the way, this is why Lenin said peaceful efforts towards socialism were doomed to fail because power never surrenders without a fight. He called such efforts parliamentary cretinism. I don’t agree with that, but I see the point.
The main point is that everywhere on Earth, the Right hates democracy and they are determined never to allow any Left governments to take power. Things are a bit different in Europe, North Africa, the Arab World, and Central Asia, but once you start getting over to South Asia, once again, they won’t give it up without a fight.

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Right in Southeast and East Asia

  • Thailand overthrew a Left government with a judicial coup and the middle class rioters called yellow shirts destroying the country.
  • Indonesia staged a fake coup so they could murder 1 million Communist Party members.
  • The Philippines runs death squads that slaughter the Left.
  • The Taiwanese state consolidated its power after 1949 when they fled to they island by murdering hundreds of thousands of Leftists.
  • South Korea also killed hundreds of thousands of Leftists from 1945-1950 before the Korean War even started.
  • Between 1954-1960, Communists tried to take power peacefully in South Vietnam, but the government murdered 80,000 of them. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms but it was never granted. Finally, in 1960, Ho gave them permission to take up arms.

A Look at the Chinese Model of Communism – Market Socialism

You are starting to see a lot of articles in the capitalist press bashing China now, saying their economy is not as good as they say, that it cannot be sustained, and that it is headed for crash. They base this on a comparison to other Communist countries, but those economies fell behind far before China’s did.
China has sustained Communism under various forms, including presently under market socialism, for 70 years now. That’s as long as the Soviet Union, and the Soviets started stagnating a long time before that. China is an example of a smashing success for a Communist country, and the capitalist press is freaking out because that shows that their anti-Communist propaganda has been crap for all of these years.
Incidentally, Deng Xiaoping emphatically stated that he was a Communist. Deng’s idea was to create “a rich Communist country.”. In an interview in 2005, a top party official was asked if China was still committed to spreading Communism all over the world.
“Of course,” the minister beamed. “That is the purpose of the Communist party (CCP).”
Incidentally, China still has 5-year plans and the whole economy is planned. The business sector has to go along with the plan, and if you do not go along with it, they can confiscate your business. A party committee sits on the board of all large corporations. The government owns every inch of land in China. The state invests an incredible amount in the economy and also overseas where it makes vast investments. This is because some Chinese government companies are very profitable. A number of Chinese government companies are on the list of largest companies in the world.
Capitalists in the US openly complain that they cannot compete with Communist Chinese government  corporations, crying that they get subsidies so it’s not fair. So here we have US corporations openly admitting that they can’t compete with Chinese government Communist state-owned companies.
45% of the economy is state owned and it is very profitable. 87% of all investment in the economy is made by the state. This figure includes all Chinese private investment and all foreign investment.
Much of the state sector is owned by small municipalities, and this works very well. Further, cities compete against each other. For instance, City A’s steel mill will compete against City B’s steel mill, and both will compete against a private sector steel mill, if there is one. Successful enterprises bring in a lot of money to the city, which it uses to upgrade the city, which results in more workers moving there, which grows the economy more with more workers and more demand.
There are also still a number of pure Maoist villages in China that are run completely on a Maoist line. Everything is done as it was right out of the Mao era. I understand that they do very well, and there is a huge waiting list to move to those villages.
I did a lot of research on China recently, and the party is literally everywhere you look every time you turn around. The party itself still runs many enterprises all over the country, especially in the rural areas. There are party officials in every village and city, and they take a very active role in developing the municipality in every way, including culturally. They have an ear to the ground and are typically very popular in the villages and cities.
Party officials lobby the state to try to solve any urgent problem in the area. The government is always spending a lot of money all over China on public works, on fixing various environmental problems, or on really any societal problem or issue you can think of. This of course includes economic development, which tends to be state-led. I read synopses of many dissertations coming out of Chinese universities, and most were on how to deal with some particular societal problem or issue. Many others dealt with technology and industry. So a lot of the research on technology and industry that is driving economic development is coming straight out of state universities.
Instead of leaving it up to the private sector to deal with the problems in society, create public works, and even plan the economy, the government does all of that. Incidentally, the way the US leaves the planning of the economy, such as it is, up to the private sector is insane. All sensible economic planning in any nation will always be done by the state with a view towards allowing the country to prosper. Capitalists have no interest in whether the country profits or not, so they engage in no economic planning at all. Leaving economic planning up to the whims of the capitalists is economic malpractice.
There are 1,000 protests every day in China. Yes, there is corruption and there are government abuses, but if protests last long enough, the party usually gets alarmed and tries to do something about the problem because they don’t want serious unrest. This is party that does everything it can to serve the people and try to remain popular with citizens by giving them as much as they can and doing as much for them as possible. The party spends every single day of its rule literally trying to buy off unrest and keep its citizens satisfied.
It’s illegal to be homeless in China. If you end up homeless in China, they will try to put you in a homeless shelter, or if they cannot do that, they will send you back to your village because most homeless are rural migrants who moved to the city. The state is now investing a vast amount of money in the rural areas because these places have been neglected for a long time. The state still wants to own all the land because they want to keep the rural areas as a secure base where rural migrants to the city can always return if they fail in the city.
How can a government in which 45% of the economy is publicly owned, 87% of investment is done by the state, and every inch of land is owned by the state possibly be called as capitalist country? No serious political economist anywhere on Earth considers China to be a capitalist country. The only people who say that are ideologues and liars, which includes almost all political conservatives and most businessmen.
The state spends an unbelievable amount of money on public works all over the country all the time. Many projects that in the US have “conclusively proven” to be too costly to be implemented have been done in China quickly and easily. And China’s per capita income in less than 10% of ours.
Most ethnic minorities are still allowed to support their culture, and in most cases they are allowed to have education in their native language. In these areas, the native language is co-official with Mandarin.
In recent years, the Chinese government has begun to support a lot of the Chinese dialects, of which there are over 2,000 main ones, many of which are actually separate languages. Cantonese is still an official language in Hong Kong, and it is widely used in Guangdong. The other major Chinese languages or macrolanguages still have millions of tens of millions of speakers. Lately the Chinese government is telling people they can preserve their dialect as long as they also speak Mandarin. Many schools now have classes in the local dialect.
Cheap medical insurance is available and it covers 85% of costs. State medical centers are still very good. However, if you have a serious medical condition in China, you will quickly run out of money with no recourse.
This is a serious problem but it is much better than earlier in the Deng Era when millions were dying from lack of health care. However, the state still need to cover everyone. They got away from universal coverage  when they moved away from Maoism early in the Deng era. In addition, tens of thousands of schools, many of which were built during the Cultural Revolution, were closed early in the Deng era.
The introduction of a market had a lot of problems in the early days. The capitalist press was cheering wildly as thousands of schools were closed all over China, medical care was cut off from or reduced for hundreds of millions of people, while millions of Chinese died from lack of medical care. This was all cause for celebration! Isn’t capitalism wonderful? What’s millions of humans dying from lack of health care as long as a few rich people can buy ridiculously expensive, useless items that they don’t even need?
A recent good survey done by a Western polling firm found that 87% of the population supported the Communist Party.  The excesses of the Mao era, especially the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution, have been widely discussed and the party has admitted that many errors were made and resolved not to do this again. These excesses are being blamed by the party on what they call “ultra-Leftism.”
The economic model of China is called Market Socialism and a lot of modern day Leftists and even Communists support it and agree that this is the way forward for the left and Communist movement. Like all words, the word Communism has no inherent meaning. It means whatever people who use it say it means. So the definition of Communism can clearly change with the times as Communists update their definitions of what the word means.
China cannot be called capitalist in any way. Their model is far more socialist than anything in any European social democracy. It also goes far beyond the US in the New Deal and of course beyond beyond the social liberalism and its more left analogue in Canada, not to mention beyond social democracy in Australia or New Zealand.
Interestingly, Japan is not a capitalist country. They don’t have neoliberalism. That country does not operate on the capitalist mode of development. Instead the resemblance is, I hate to say, to Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany also did not have a capitalist mode of development. I’m not sure what you call it, but it’s not capitalism. For instance, in Japan, the commanding heights of the economy, including almost all of the banks, is owned by the state.
The state still plans the economy. They plan the economy together with the business community and the state allocates a lot of funds and loans to areas of the economy it wishes to develop. There is probably a similar model in South Korea, which also is not capitalist and instead operates on a series of monopolies that are owned currently by large corporations and the government. The South Korean economy is also planned, and the plan is worked out by the government and the business sector working together.

The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.
Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.
I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).
As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.
I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.
So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)
You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?
Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.
A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.
So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”
The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.
The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.
Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.
Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.
And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.
I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.
The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.
So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.
Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.
The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.
Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.
I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.
Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.
The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.
The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?
The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.
Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.
After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.
As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.
After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.
The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

Why Do Some Countries Lack a Class Conscious Working Class?

John Engelman: Contrary to what Karl Marx said, for most people most of the time loyalties of nation, race and ethnicity are stronger than loyalties of class. The working class in the United States has always been more diverse than the working class in European countries. It is becoming more diverse with the influx of non whites.

To get class consciousness you really need a homogeneous working class. It helps if the working class is ethnically distinct from the upper class. In Scotland the upper class is English, or Anglicized Scottish. That is to say Scottish, but educated in England, and often speaking with English accents.
The clear majority of Scots vote for the British Labour Party. English workers are more likely to vote for the British Conservative Party.
The argument is circular in a sense because as you look around the world, generally what you see in most cases is an ethnically homogenous working class.
Would you describe the working classes of Latin America as homogeneous or diverse? They seem to be a mixture of White, Indian and Black and the mestizo, mulatto and Zambo mixtures, correct? Yet the diverse working classes down there have high working class consciousness despite their diverse nature.
Aren’t North African and Gulf countries fairly mixed between Blacks and Arabs?
Certainly in Arabia, lands with diverse working classes of Kurds, Arabs and Iranian working classes are all very left.
I believe Sri Lanka even with the vicious Tamil versus Sinhalese war, the diverse working class is leftwing. In Burma the working class is very left although there have been wild ethnic wars sputtering on for decades.
In Russia and other nations of the former USSR, there are many ethnic minorities, but the workers are still working class.
A recent exception is Ukraine where workers have gone radical Right. The former Yugoslavia is still very leftwing even after all of the ethnic conflict and even slaughter of past years. Spain’s working class is very radical despite an armed conflict in the Basque region and separatists in Catalonia. The different religions hate each other in North Ireland, but the Scottish Protestant workers are as class conscious as the Irish Catholic ones. Switzerland is divided between three ethnic groups – French, Germans, and Italians – yet it is a very leftwing country.
The extreme tribalism in Africa has not prevented the working classes from being class conscious.
Is the working class of England voting Tory yet? Or do you just mean that they are more likely to vote Tory than the Scots are?
Most workers in Europe, Arabia, North Africa, Africa, the former USSR, China, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal are the same ethnicity as the ruling classes of those places, yet workers have a high degree of class consciousness in all of those places.
The places where working class consciousness has been harder to develop were those that had a Chinese ruling class as in Philippines and Indonesia.
I think we need to come up with some better theories about the poor class consciousness of the US working class. If you are looking for examples elsewhere, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Australia, the Baltics and Colombia are places with quite poor working class consciousness.
In Australia it is recent as US style conservatism is imported.
A similar trend is underway in Canada and has been since Thatcher in the UK. But the UK is in nearly a revolutionary situation. A lot of the working classes are militant and radicalized, while a lot of the country has at the same time gone Tory. When Thatcher died, there were anti-rich riots in housing estates across the land. Thatcher was burned in effigy in the streets. Can you imagine that happening in the US?
The recent riots in the UK also had a class undercurrent. I was dating a British woman at the time, and she told me that local storeowners who treated the community well were spared by rioters. Rioters focused on stores selling upscale goods to the rich. Many corporate outlets were also smashed.
She told me that a number of those outlets had a reputation for not paying taxes to the UK by hiding money offshore. She said the rioters knew who those companies were, and they were brutally singled out. Many outlets were burned to the ground. Can you imagine heavily Black rioters in the US having class consciousness like that?
The Baltics are a case of entire nations full of complete idiots who hate Communism so much that they went into an extreme overreaction against Communism and turned against anything socialist, left, liberal or mildly progressive. Fascist heroes including many Nazis with a lot of Jewish blood on their hands were celebrated. Communist parties were outlawed, and Russian minorities were viciously maltreated.
Radical rightwingers were elected in all of these lands, and Chicago Boys Friedmanite experiments were undertaken. The results were predictable. In the recent economic crash, the most neoliberal European countries were the most devastated of all. Estonia was eviscerated, and Latvia was almost wiped off the map. 1/3 of the Latvian population left the country, including almost all of the educated people.
The Philippines and Indonesian cases are up for discussion, but these are Latin American situations of a ruling class of a different ethnicity than the working classes holding forth brutally and anti-democratically over the people. In addition, the workers have little consciousness.
Taiwan has a similar legacy where extreme hatred of Communism resulted in being ruled by reactionary fascist anti-Communists for decades. There is a nascent Left now, but it has little power yet. The wealth of the country seems to have gotten in the way of working class consciousness. Probably the extreme anti-Communism helped too, as any working class movement could be quickly portrayed as Communist.

No Conservatives Allowed on This Website!

We have had a few conservatives posting here in the past few days. These are US-style conservatives, which are the worst kind of all. US-style conservatives are absolutely banned from posting here in any way, shape or form.
Conservatism means different things in different countries, so conservatives from much of the rest of the world (except Latin America and the UK) can continue to post. Even Canadian conservatives can continue to post, as I do not mind them. It’s not conservatism itself that is so awful. Almost every country on Earth has people who call themselves conservatives, and there are conservative parties in almost every country on Earth. But being a conservative just about anywhere outside of the Americas is more or less an acceptable position for me. I probably won’t like their politics much, but I could at least look at them and say that this is an opposition I could live with.
US conservatives and their brethren in the UK, Latin America, the Philippines, Nepal and and Indonesia are quite a different beast.
I have to think hard about conservatives in Eastern Europe, especially Estonia, Latvia and the Czech Republic. These fools had such a bad experience with Communism that they went 180 degrees in the other direction. I would have to see the positions of these conservative parties in those countries to see whether they would be OK or not.
Just to give you an example, Vladimir Putin is considered to be a right-winger, and his party United Russia advocates a politics called Russian Conservatism. Looking at the party’s platform, this is not only a conservatism that I could live with but one I might even vote for!
Conservatives in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, and most other places in Asia are acceptable. The conservatives in the Stans, Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia can be rather awful, particularly in the nationalist sense, but I will not ban them.
I dislike Indian conservatives, but I will not ban them.
Conservatives from the Muslim World are all acceptable. In the Muslim World, conservatism just means religious and sometimes nationalist. I can live with that. Even the ones in Iran are orders of magnitude better than the US type.
Conservatives in the Arab World are acceptable. They are mostly just religious people.
Turkish conservatives are awful, but I will not ban them. They are just religious and a particularly awful type of nationalist.
African conservatives are OK.
Conservatives in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany,  the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Italy, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Greece, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania are sometimes good, sometimes pretty bad, but they are all acceptable here. Conservatism in Europe mostly means nationalism. I am actually rather fond of the conservative running Hungary, Orban. LePen conservatives leave something to be desired, but they are acceptable. They’re mostly just nationalists. Hell, I might even vote for Marine LePen! If it was down to LePen versus Macron, I would absolutely support LePen!
Conservatives from Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines are not OK. These are an “everything for the rich elite, nothing for anybody else” type of conservative. Some of them even hide under the labels of Socialist or even Communist.
The word conservative has no real inherent meaning. It means whatever people say it means.
Anyway, the conservatives in the US are pure garbage and recently they have become out and out fascists after moving in that direction for a long time. And a particularly horrible type of fascist at that, a Latin American/Filipino/Indonesian style fascist. I will not allow any US conservatives to post on this board. You all are lucky I even let you lurk here. That’s an idle threat as I can’t ban lurkers, but if they all stopped lurking, I would not mind frankly.
You all really ought to go back to the gutters you crawled out of.
PS This especially applies to Libertarians, the very worst of all the US conservative vermin. We shoot Libertarians on sight here, so you better watch out.
*This applies only to economic conservatives. If you are not an economic conservative, and your conservatism is only of the social variety or you are only conservative on race, religion, guns, law and order, respect for tradition, American nationalism, the military, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity issues, you can stay. I’m not crazy about some social conservatives, but I can live with them. I will probably even let patriotards post as long as they are not economic conservatives.
I am an American nationalist myself. I just don’t like patriotards. Of course, I very much dislike and even hate the country as it is right now, but I sure don’t want to make it worse! I have to live here too you now, and it might as well be as pleasant as possible as long I stay here.
I want what’s best for my country. I don’t want to harm this country or screw it over. That will be bad for me! And believe it or not, most US patriotards do not want what is best for the country! I have dreams of a greater and better America. It’s not impossible, but we will have to undergo some serious cultural changes. One of the reasons I am so against illegal immigration is because it is ruining my country and making this place even worse. Also illegal immigration is terrible for US workers and I am for the workers. I am against H-1B visas for the same reason – they are wrecking my country. IT workers are workers too, so they are my comrades. I want what is best for America and American workers.
I cannot live with economic conservatives. I like cancer way more than I like US conservatives. Cancer is much more decent and respectable.

North Korean Update

EPGAH: What was that bit about North Korea? They invaded South Korea, they massacred and kidnapped South Koreans, and in general, they deserved to be reduced to rubble and cowering.
If it hadn’t been for China’s interference–who didn’t want a thriving democracy at their border, rather than a country who would rather be illegal immigrant slaves than starve in their own country–there wouldn’t be a North Korea anymore, just a unified thriving Korea.
Why does North Korea get a pass, and why is there deafening silence over all the bad guys Russia and China became butt buddies with (And still are, like Kim Jong) and/or gave guns&bombs to?

Your average North Korean really hates the US and regards us as a deadly enemy and that first paragraph would be exhibit #1 for that attitude. I would not get your hopes up about a US invasion of North Korea being an easy win.
I do not know if it is fair to say that North Korea attacked South Korea. They had been attacking each other back and forth across the line for some time. Who started that back and forth is the subject of a good debate. The best evidence shows that the “North Korean invasion” that started the war was actually a case of two large armies attacking each other at about the same time. It is true that the North overran much of the South though.
Nobody is actually starving in North Korea anymore is how I see it. If you go there, you won’t see any starving people. Most people will look pretty well fed. But you might see a few middle aged men who seem far too thin for their age. That may be due to what they went through in the past. If you go to the rural areas, there are trucks full of smiling field workers everywhere, people pushing carts or with horses on all the roads and the fields full of happy workers. The rural villages look very respectable by 3rd World standards. If you go at harvest season, you will see fields full of harvested crops, in particular corn.
There are day care centers in many places that are open 24 hours a day so workers working any shift can drop their kids off.
North Korean industry is better than you might think. They have made a knockoff of a Mercedes Benz that looks and reportedly drives almost exactly like the real thing. I doubt if many could afford one though. Workers in factories are treated very well, much better than their counterparts in most capitalist countries.
The cities are full of workers too. Everywhere you go in Pyongyang, you see men working on the streets or on construction. You also see truckloads of working men going to wherever. They’re definitely pretty busy in North Korea.
The nights are a bit weird as they are short on electricity due to the oil problem. You will see tall buildings everywhere in Pyongyang at night with most of the lights out. The streets are not well lit up either. Nevertheless, there are some people out and about often, especially teenagers and young people, including girls and young women. They don’t seem to be worried about the lack of lighting. You even see people with their stands out selling things at night in the poorly-lighted streets. There are lone women out there manning their street stands on very dark streets after dark. They don’t seem to be worried about crime. I would gather based on the behavior of people out in these poorly lit streets that the crime rate must be awfully low.
And you will see people chatting and texting away on cellphones everywhere you go in Pyongyang. There’s an Internet, but it is mostly a North Korean intranet. Smuggled in South Korean soap opera tapes are very popular and many people watch them. Not much is done about this. Things are loosening up so much that they are having a mini-STD epidemic because so many married women are now having affairs. No one much cares about that either.
The price of oil went up 10X overnight with the fall of the USSR. I ask you how would the US fare if the price of gasoline suddenly went from 2.50 to 25.00? You think everything would be just fine. As a result of that, the heavily mechanized agriculture in the rural areas nearly came to a halt and many factories simply shut down and were not able to function anymore. That’s one reason that they wanted those nuclear power plants.
In the far north, there is a lot of gold mining going on, mostly illegally due to new finds of gold. I think a lot of it is hydraulic mining. The situation is pretty out of control and the state can’t get a handle on the mining. So instead they are just letting any North Korean who wants to go up there and mine gold, however, the state very much wants a hefty portion of your proceeds in tax. Still, gold miners are quite happy to keep at it as even with the tax, you make a lot more mining gold than being an ordinary worker.
They are allowing some business, and they even have a few rich people now. A few people have a net worth of over $100,000 in North Korea now, which qualifies as very rich. This was unheard of before.
The border in the north is actually somewhat open. They catch people going across all the time but not much is done to them as so many people are doing it. Guards on both sides of the border are easily bribed and it is not extremely difficult to get across other than some large rivers that are in the way. There is even a fair amount of cross-border traffic going on, as many North Koreans who cross the border to China do not stay in China but instead travel back and forth periodically.
Considering that North Korea is probably the most sanctioned country on Earth (quote from George Bush) with new sanctions being put on all the time, it is amazing that they economy even runs at all. They are locked out of the vast majority of the world’s banking system via SWIFT bans and although they are very rich in minerals, they are unable to export nearly all of their minerals. Their only real trade is with China. They do a lot of illegal arms trading though as it is one of the only ways they can make money.
Of course the treatment of dissidents is utterly appalling.

What Would Happen in a US Invasion of North Korea?

Otherwise known as the We Can Kick North Korea’s Ass in a Day or Two bullshit.
I would not get your hopes up about invading North Korea. I hear their equipment is better than you think and furthermore they have four million many under arms, with many of the rest in citizen militias. The army is well fed and well trained. North Korea has been preparing for an invasion for decades and it seems like half the military infrastructure is underground.
There is a huge arsenal of artillery pointed at South Korea and if we ever attack them for any reason, they will turn those guns on and the first fifty miles south of the DMZ will be pretty much leveled faster than you can blink your eyes. The artillery is not that easy to take out and as most it is actually underground in tunnels in mountains. the artillery actually pops out of the tunnels in the sides of the mountains, fires away and then retreats back into the tunnel while the tunnel closes behind it.
If we do invade with a ground army, I would worry about that too. North Koreans are some of the most brainwashed people on Earth and most of them have a fanatical hatred of the US. I am convinced that much of the army and even a lot of the militia would fight to the death. It would be very, very ugly and we might lose a lot of men. I have seen estimates of up to US 30,000 dead from an invasion of North Korea.
The war might go nuclear pretty fast not because the North Koreans would shoot nukes but more because we might. Contrary to popular MSM lie, North Korea does not have a usable nuclear weapon.

Chavismo Must Stop the Economic Bleeding

This is one of the most sensible articles I have read on the Venezuela economic crisis yet. The first three proposals will be bitter pills to swallow, but they need to be done. Apparently those subsidies, put in as popular redistribution methods by the government in which the government enacted subsidies enabling many things to be sold below cost with the state making up the difference, can no longer be afforded. They were great at a fantastic growth in the standard of living (before the economic crisis) of the lower classes, but they have to go.
The problem will be getting it through the Opposition controlled Legislature. The Opposition’s screams about the terrible state of the economy ring hollow because every time Maduro goes to the Legislature to offer plans to deal with the economic crisis, the Opposition refuses to enact any of them. That is correct. The Opposition refuses to do even one tiny thing to try to deal with the economic crisis. This is highly suggestive that they are part of the crisis themselves and that in part it is manufactured.
Obviously the Opposition wants the economy to tank as much as possible and for the crisis to go on as long as possible because they see the crisis as good propaganda that “Chavismo doesn’t work.” Also the crisis offers them a perfect chance to throw out the government. In this way, they are similar to US Republicans who blocked everything Obama tried to do apparently in an effort to make his Presidency fail.
You guys wonder why I hate capitalists and rightwingers. Well, the Venezuelan Opposition are capitalists and rightwingers. The US Republican Party are capitalists and rightwingers. If you ask me, capitalists and rightwingers are literally the worst people on Earth. I do not care how well capitalism works. That is not my concern. My problem is not so much with capitalism as with capitalists, the people who engage in the activity. The system can work reasonably well with a lot of socialism to make it go down easier, but the people who run the system are simply pond scum. They’re horrific and despicable human beings. I’m starting to see why Stalin shot them.

Chavismo Must Stop the Economic Bleeding

By Joe Emersberger – Telesur English
July 20th 2016

A special economic team convened by UNASUR, part of its effort to promote dialog between the Venezuelan opposition and Maduro’s government, has put together a detailed plan to lead Venezuela out of its worsening economic crisis. The key features of the plan are listed below:

  • A unification and clean float of the currency that should be implemented immediately.
  • Gradual lifting of price controls over an 18 month period.
  • Gradual lifting of all energy subsidies (not just gasoline) over an 18 month period.
  • Implement direct government subsidies to consumers, preferably universal subsidies, through an electronic discount card.
  • The indexing of all salaries to the monthly inflation rate for 18 months or until single digit inflation is achieved if that happens first.
  • A thorough and transparent audit of government assets so that non-strategic assets can be sold to finance the plan but also so that options for external financing become available.
  • The introduction of financial transaction and wealth taxes.

Implementation of an employment program to help people whose informal work (for example standing in lines to buy then resell price-controlled products) is eliminated through this plan. It would cost about 1 percent of GDP and would be financed with the taxes proposed above.
The first three proposals eliminate indirect subsidies which make certain products (and U.S. dollars) cheap for those lucky enough to get them. UNASUR’s team advises that the government support people’s incomes directly instead.
The first three proposals would be the most controversial to the Chavista base and to the Venezuelan left. The plan would be denounced by many as an IMF-style “paquetazo” as the IMF’s destructive policy recommendations have come to be known in Latin America. The left gained power throughout the region in the twenty-first century primarily because of the devastation caused by governments that followed IMF orders during the 1980-2000 period. It is not hard to see the huge political risk of doing things that look like backsliding or betrayal, but this plan is not in any way a return to IMF imposed neoliberalism.
Over the past three years, the costs of Venezuela’s indirect subsidies have not only skyrocketed, they have also largely failed to protect the poor, especially after oil prices collapsed near the end of 2014 but even for about a year before oil prices plummeted. UNASUR’s economic team estimates that Venezuela’s indirect subsidies cost the government anywhere from 11 to 17 percent of GDP.
To get a sense of how huge that is, consider that the United States presently spends about 3 percent of GDP on the Pentagon budget. The Venezuelan economy is being bled dry by massive indirect subsidies that do not work. UNASUR’s plan would stop the bleeding. It would replace outrageously costly and inefficient indirect subsidies with vastly more effective direct subsidies.
The UNASUR team does not address long term problems with Venezuela’s economy that have tended to confuse people about the immediate crisis it faces. Venezuela, like all developing countries, needs to diversify away from oil, and increase productivity generally in order to achieve the living standards of developed countries – at least key features of those living standards that should be strived for, like very low infant mortality.
In the Chavista era, the government has only had control over its state oil company, its main source of export revenue and hard currency, since about 2003, four years after the late Hugo Chavez was first took office. It took South Korea, a country not regarded as an ideological threat to the imperial powers, about 40 years to achieve the living standards of a rich country. It took Cuba about forty years to achieve a lower child mortality rate than the United States – a rich country that is a notorious laggard by that measure.
No “solidarity economy” that seeks to develop local production is going to begin to offset the hemorrhaging of 11 to 17 percent of GDP. There are many factors that go into successful long term planning and development, but no country striving to develop in the long term can afford incredibly wasteful and destabilizing polices in the present – especially in the context of a balance of payments crisis and low oil prices. Admonishing the Venezuelan government about long term planning and diversification is like talking to person with a serious stab wound about diet and exercise. The priority must be to stop the bleeding.
Venezuela’s Vice President has recently made remarks indicating that he understands and supports the nature of the UNASUR plan. It has never been totally clear if the government has allowed things to get so far out of hand as a result of political fears or from lack of understanding. People who have years of experience among grassroots Chavistas do not report that pressure from the government’s base will make them implement UNASUR’s plan. The base, it appears, do not know about the plan and would be probably misled about it by many grassroots leaders who would see it as a betrayal of Chavismo.
The government relies heavily on grassroots leaders during elections but that is no excuse for inaction. Moreover, as the UNASUR team points out, Venezuela has already made painful adjustments over the past few years through a huge reductions in imports. It could therefore very quickly deliver the benefits of implementing this plan, which is the best way to convince people that is necessary.
All around the world, people must really struggle to get any semblance of economic literacy. This is not a problem unique to Venezuela or to the left in Venezuela. The global economy was tanked in 2009 by massive housing bubbles in rich countries that “experts” failed to warn people about. Governments and big financial interests then took advantage of public ignorance again to make working people pay for the disaster.
People who care about the success of progressive change in Venezuela – and in Latin America – must do all they can to ensure that huge self-inflicted problems are avoided. Progressive governments will face extreme hostility abroad and at home during the best of times. They can least afford to make such serious mistakes.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

I plan on posting a number of articles abut this catastrophic TPP agreement that sadly looks like it is going to become law. I can’t even begin to tell you how horrific this trade agreement is. In a nutshell, it does away with all governments and makes it so corporations rule the world. Any government that passes any law that limits current or future profits of a corporation could be sued on the grounds that that law was a “trade barrier.” The corporation can sue in a kangaroo court made up of corporate types for damages,and the corporation will always win and the governments will always lose.

Government have had to pay out many millions of dollars to corporations for passing laws that limited their profits under NAFTA. And yes, all laws dealing global warming can also be challenged by this Frankenstein of a bill.

As you can see, it encourages the murder of labor leaders, union members and organizers because killing union members would not be a violation of the Labor Section of the agreement. The parts of the TPP dealing with labor and the environment are written in boilerplate and are entirely voluntary, while the sections that allow corporations to rule our lives in written in very strict legalese.

It’s worse than a catastrophe. It’s an out and out nightmare, and it’s the end of representative government as we know it. All governments will become irrelevant, and in their places, we will all be ruled by corporations. In other words, multinational corporations will become our de facto governments. It is stunning how crazy that is.

All the Republicans are for it.

Of course the Democratic Party is down with this agreement all the way. Obama is pushing it like crazy. There was a brief uprising a few months ago when it looked like the bill might not get through the Congress because so many Democrats were against it. This was followed by maniacal lobbying on the part of corporate lobbyists and an all-out propaganda blitz by the US media, 100% of which (note that we have a “free” press) supported the bill.

The “liberal” New York Times came out very strongly in favor of it and said that Obama’s legacy would ride on whether he could get this bill through or not. In other words, according to the “liberal” New York Times, if Obama could not get the bill through, then that would mean that his Presidency was a failure. So the Times threatened Obama with complete humiliation and damage to his mark in history if he could not get the TPP through.

Note that the entire “liberal” media came out in favor of this monstrosity. Note that “liberal” Obama came out in favor of it. I know some Democratic Party stalwarts who seem to support this nightmare bill. They think that people who oppose it are “extremist nuts.”

These people support anything that Obama does. If Obama is for it, then they support it. He can push the most reactionary stuff you could imagine, and these stalwarts will never oppose Obama or any other Democrat for one second. We really need to get away from this insane partisanship, as it is irrational.

To these folks, everything Republicans do its bad and everything Democrats do is good. Unfortunately, once you take that POV, Democrats are free to act as rightwing as they want to, and their moronic stalwarts will support everything they do because it’s treason to oppose a Democrat.

I will be posting more abuo9t this awful and insane trade agreement in the coming days, but this will be good for a starter.

TPP Ignores Global Warming and Allows Murder of Labor Union Organizers

by Eric Zeusse, from Global Research

U.S. President Barack Obama’s capstone to his Presidency, his proposed megalithic international ‘trade’ treaties, are finally coming into their home-stretch, with the Pacific deal finally being made public on Thursday November 5th.

The final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed treaty would leave each signatory nation liable to be sued by any international corporation that objects to any new regulation, or increase in regulation, regarding climate change, otherwise known as global warming. In no terminology is that phenomenon even so much as just mentioned in the “Environment” chapter.

Regarding labor issues, including slavery, the “Labour” chapter of the TPP contains merely platitudes. (Obama allowed Malaysia into the compact despite its notoriously poor record of non-enforcement of its ban on slavery, because he wants the U.S. to control the Strait of Malacca in order to impede China’s economic and military expansion; it’s part of Obama’s anti-China policy. Almost everything that he does has different motives than the ones his rhetoric claims.)

Throughout, the treaty would place international corporations in ever-increasing control over all regulations regarding workers’ rights, the environment, product safety, and consumer protection. But the environmental and labor sections are particularly blatant insults to the public — a craven homage to the top stockholders in international corporations. The World’s Richest 80 people own the same amount of wealth as the world’s bottom 50%; and Obama represents those and other super-rich and their friends and servants in the lobbying and other associated industries. But he also represents the even richer people who aren’t even on that list, such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the world’s richest person. It’s people such as that who will be the real beneficiaries of Obama’s ‘trade’ treaties. The public will be harmed, enormously, wherever these treaties become law.

The full meaning of the terms that are set forth in the TPP agreement won’t be publicly known for at least four years, but the explicit terms that were made public on November 5th, and that will be presented to the 12 participating nations for signing, are entirely consistent with what had been expected on the basis of Wikileaks and other earlier published information.

The 12 participating nations are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Three countries were excluded by U.S. President Obama, because the U.S. doesn’t yet control them and they are instead viewed as being not allied with the main axis of U.S. international power: U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel. Those three outright-excluded countries are Russia, China, and India. (India, of course, has hostile relations with Pakistan, which is Sunni and therefore part of the Saudi-Qatar-Turkey portion of the U.S. international core, basically the Sunni portion of the core. By contrast, Russia and China have been determinedly independent of the U.S., and are therefore treated by President Obama as being hostile nations: he wants instead to isolate them, to choke off their access to markets, as much as possible. This same motivation also factored largely in his coup to take control of Ukraine, through which Russia’s gas passes on its way into the EU, the world’s largest gas-market.)

6 nations that Obama had invited into the TPP were ultimately unwilling to accept Obama’s terms and so were excluded when the final text was published: Colombia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” don’t appear anywhere in the entire TPP document, nor does “climate” nor “warming” — it’s an area that’s entirely left to international corporations in each one of the separate participating nations to assault as much as they wish in order to gain competitive advantage against all of the other corporations that operate in the given nation: i.e., something for each corporation to sacrifice in order to be able to lower the given company’s costs. That raises its profit-margin. This also means that if any international corporation claims to be subjected in any participating nation, to global-warming regulation or enforcement which poses a barrier or impediment to that corporation’s profits, then that corporation may sue that given nation, and fines might be assessed against that nation (i.e., against its taxpayers) for such regulation or enforcement. National publics are no longer sovereign.

The “Labour” chapter is a string of platitudes, such as, “Article 19.7: Corporate Social Responsibility: Each Party shall endeavor to encourage enterprises to voluntarily adopt corporate social responsibility initiatives on labor issues that have been endorsed or supported by that Party.”

President Obama’s Trade Representative, his longtime personal friend Michael Froman, organized and largely wrote Obama’s proposed trade treaties: TPP for the Pacific, and TTIP and TISA for the Atlantic. Froman told the AFL-CIO and U.S. Senators that when countries such as Colombia systematically murder labor-union organizers, it’s no violation of workers’ rights — nothing that’s of any concern to the U.S. regarding this country’s international trade policies or the enforcement of them. On 22 April 2015, Huffington Post, one of the few U.S. news media to report honestly on these treaties, bannered AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t a Violation, and Michael McAuliff reported that, “Defenders of the White House push for sweeping trade deals argue they include tough enforcement of labor standards. But a top union leader scoffed at such claims Tuesday, revealing that [Obama] administration officials have said privately that they don’t consider even the killings of labor organizers to be violations of those pacts.”

In other words: This is, and will be, the low level of the playing-field that U.S. workers will be competing against in TPP etc., just as it is already, in the far-smaller existing NAFTA (which Hillary Clinton had helped to pass in Congress during the early 1990s). (Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, all campaigned for the Presidency by attacking Republicans for pushing such ‘trade’ deals. Their actions when they gain power, contradict their words. America and virtually the entire world has become rule of a suckered public, by perhaps as many as a thousand psychopathic aristocrats who own the international corporations and ‘news’ media, and who regularly do business with each other though they wall themselves off from the public.

Typically, at their level, it makes no real difference which country their passport is from.) “Trumka said that even after the Obama administration crafted an agreement to tighten labor protections four years ago, some 105 labor organizers have been killed, and more than 1,300 have been threatened with death.” The Obama Administration is ignoring the tightened regulations that it itself had managed to get nominally implemented on paper. “Pressed for details about Trumka’s assertion that murder doesn’t count as a violation of labor rules, Thea Lee, the AFL-CIO deputy chief of staff, told HuffPost that USTR officials said in at least two meetings where she was present that killing and brutalizing organizers would not be considered interfering with labor rights under the terms of the trade measures.”

Furthermore: “’We documented five or six murders of Guatemalan trade unionists that the government had failed to effectively investigate or prosecute,’ Lee said. ‘The USTR told us that the murders of trade unionists or violence against trade unionists was not a violation of the labor chapter.’”

That U.S. Trade Representative, Michael Froman, is the same person Obama has negotiating with foreign governments, and with international corporations, both Obama’s TPP, and his TTIP & TISA.

The most important chapter in the TPP treaty is “Dispute Settlement,” which sets forth the means by which corporations will sue countries for alleged violations of their stockholders ‘rights’ to extract profits from operations of those corporations in the signatory countries. The underlying assumption here is that the rights of international stockholders take precedence over the rights (even over the sovereignty rights) of the citizens of any participating country.

Instead of these suits being judged according to any nation’s laws, they are allowed to be addressed only by means of private arbitration “Panels.” The Dispute Settlement chapter contains “Article 28.9: Composition of Panels.” Section #1 there is simply: “The panel shall comprise three members.” Each of the two Parties will appoint a member; one for the suing corporation, and the other for the sued nation; and both of those members will then jointly select a third member “from the roster established pursuant to Article 28.10.3”; and this third member will automatically “serve as chair.”

Article 28.10.3 says that anyone who possesses “expertise or experience in law, international trade, other matters covered by this Agreement, or the resolution of disputes arising under international trade agreements” may be selected for the roster, so long as the individual meets vague criteria such as that they “be independent of, and not be affiliated with or take instructions from, any Party.” No penalty is laid out for anyone on the roster who lies about any of that. Basically, anyone may become a person on the roster, even non-lawyers may, and even corrupt individuals may, especially because there are no penalties for anyone on the roster, none at all is stated.

Then, “Article 28.19,” section 8: “If a monetary assessment is to be paid to the complaining Party, then it shall be paid in U.S. currency, or in an equivalent amount of the currency of the responding Party or in another currency agreed to by the disputing Parties.”

There is no appeals-process. If a nation gets fined and yet believes that something was wrong with the panel’s decision, there is no recourse. No matter how much a particular decision might happen to have been arrived at in contradiction of that nation’s laws and courts and legal precedents, the panels’ decisions aren’t appealable in any national legal system. Whatever precedents might become established from these panels’ subsequent record of decisions will constitute no part of any nation’s legal system, but instead create an entirely new forming body of case-law in an evolving international government which consists of international corporations and their panelists, and of whatever other panelists are acceptable to those corporate panelists. Voters have no representation, they’re merely sued. Stockholders have representation, they do the suing, of the various nations’ taxpayers, for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders.

The roster of authorized panelists available to be chosen by any corporation’s panelists in conjunction with by any nation’s panelists, is customarily composed of individuals who move back and forth between government and private-sector roles, through a “revolving door,” so that on both ends of that, the ultimate control is with the owners of the controlling blocs of stock in various international corporations. This is the newly evolving world government. It will not block any nation from legislating protections of workers, or of consumers, or of the environment; it will simply hold a power to extract from any participating nation’s taxpayers fines for ‘violating’ the ‘rights’ of stockholders in international corporations. Citizens will increasingly be held under the axe, and the top stockholders in international corporations will be holding it. This isn’t the type of world government that was anticipated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, the founders of the U.N., and by the other early (pre-1954) proponents of world government. But, since 1954, the plans for this anti-democratic form of emerging world government were laid; and, now, those plans are the ones that are being placed into effect.

Thus, on 26 October 2015, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, the international legal expert Alfred de Zayas, headlined, UN Expert Calls for Abolition of Investor-State Dispute Settlement Arbitrations. That’s the system, otherwise called “ISDS,” which already exists in a few much smaller international-trade treaties, and which is now being introduced on the largest scale ever in TPP and in Obama’s other proposed treaties. The U.N. press release, calling for its “abolition” or explicit outlawing, said:

In his fourth report to the UN General Assembly, Mr. de Zayas focuses on the adverse human rights impacts of free trade and investment agreements and calls for the abolition of Investor-State dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) that accompanies most of these agreements.

“Over the past twenty-five years bilateral international treaties and free trade agreements with investor-state-dispute-settlement have adversely impacted the international order and undermined fundamental principles of the UN, State sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. It prompts moral vertigo in the unbiased observer,” he noted.

Far from contributing to human rights and development, ISDS has compromised the State’s regulatory functions and resulted in growing inequality among States and within them,” the expert stated.

Earlier, on 5 May 2015, I headlined, “UN Lawyer Calls TTP & TTIP ‘A Dystopian future in Which Corporations and not Democratically Elected Governments Call the Shots’.” I close now by repeating the opening of that report:

The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots,” says Alfred De Zayas, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TTP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments. Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. “Red tape” that’s imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.

De Zayas was quoted in Britain’s Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, “The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated,”because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

"Thinking the Unthinkable"

This is an old article from the Saker that really needs to be read. In it, the Saker suggests the various responses the US/NATO might make to intervene in the war. I agree with him that the Pentagon is generally full of sane people who do not want to risk all-out war with Russia. However, the US civilian leadership has gone insane, and I believe that they have been insane and drunk on power and stupid for some time now, maybe even a couple of decades. This are the people who really worry me, not the generals. And sadly, I believe that Saker’s most apocalyptic scenarios are probably very much possible.
The Ukraine mess has the potential to be utterly terrifying; in fact, I would argue that it already is.
Why do most Americans, and most in the West even, not care about this Ukraine mess? Because Americans no longer care about anything we do overseas and they are lulled into a false sense of security by the corporate takeover of the media which turned the US media into a state propaganda organ. Americans are fat, lazy, stupid, apathetic and ignorant. They don’t care what we do overseas. In fact, they love it whenever we attack and kill people. The more the merrier.
We can kill as many people as we want to overseas as long as parades of soldiers are not coming back in body bags. This was the only reason for the opposition to the Vietnam War – too many Americans were being killed. Really the only thing Americans seem to understand and the only way to get through to them is to kill lots of US soldiers in a war with an easy out. In any case like that, the US public will simply bail and for good reason.
There is nothing too evil or sinister that the US can do overseas because the vast majority of Americans continue to believe in the Indispensable Nation, the City on the Hill, and Great and Good America that fights for freedom and democracy, confronting Evil everywhere on Earth. The idea that America itself might be the Evil, and that folks we are fighting are the Good Guys is simply too much for most Americans to deal with. They simply flat out refuse to believe it.
The Americans are always the Good Guys and our enemies are always the Bad Guys. Even Democratic Party liberals hold this attitude as one of their core beliefs. If you tell these liberals otherwise, they start jumping up and down, screaming and yelling and ordering you to get out of their homes. US patriotardism runs extremely deep in society. I estimate 80% of Americans are hardcore patriotards.
In fact, for much of my life, I believed the bolded lie myself until I finally wised up and learned the very painful truth.
 

Thinking the Unthinkable

By Saker

Introduction

I have been putting off writing about this topic for a very long while. In fact, I wrote several articles trying to explain the self-evident truism that the US/NATO/EU does not have a military option in the Ukrainian war. First, in an article entitled Remembering the Important Lessons of the Cold War, I tried to explain that the reason the Cold War did not turn into a hot shooting war is that both sides understood that they simply could never win and that any escalation in strikes and counter-strikes could very rapidly lead to a intercontinental nuclear war, something which neither side was willing to risk.
In a piece entitled Making Sense of Obama’s Billion Dollar Hammer, I tried to show that all the money the US will be pouring into “European security” is just a grandiose bribe for some European elites and that it had no real effect on the ground. A few days later I posted an article entitled Why the US-Russian Nuclear Balance is as Solid as Ever in which I tried to dispel the myth prevalent in the West about the putative state of disrepair of the Russian military in general and of the Russian nuclear forces in particular. Lastly, in a piece entitled Short Reminder about US and Russian Nuclear Weapons, I tried to show that in reality it was the US nuclear forces who were in a state of disrepair.
And over and over, in many comments, I tried to lay out the reasons why I simply did not believe that the US/NATO/EU would dare to attack Russia.
In summary, I will say this: the US is not nearly as powerful as US propaganda claims. Without going into long debates about what “victory” and “defeat” mean, I will just say that in my personal opinion is that the last time the US military fought well was in Korea, and even there it had to accept a draw. After that, it was all downhill. This is not the fault of the US solider, by the way, but instead is caused by the fact that big money and politics got so heavily involved in the US military that they corrupted everything.
This is most evident in the USAF which still has superb pilots but who are given a terrible choice: either fly on good but old aircraft or fly on new but terrible ones (I believe that given the choice, most would chose the former). As for the European NATO allies, they are such a joke that they hardly deserve mention. They even look bad on a parade.
As for a military option in the Ukraine, it appears unthinkable to me not only because, frankly, I don’t see a single military in the West capable of taking on the Russian military in full-scale battle but also because geography powerfully argues against such a crazy idea (the very same geography which would make it impossible for Russia to try to invade western or even central Europe).
And yet, something in all this very logical reasoning felt wrong to me. A few days ago it finally hit me. What bothered me was this:

The American Duck

Among the many beautiful and witty expressions and neologisms Americans use, I always loved this one: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. This so-called “Duck test” is funny, but it is also a powerful logical method which ended up chewing at me day after day after day. Here I was, all sure and certain that the US/NATO/EU would never consider such a ludicrous notion as a military attack on Russia or Russian forces.
But kept hearing the voice of the American Duck telling me: look at what they are doing, what does that look like to you? Suspend your conclusions and just tell me what are you observing? Tell me, if they had decided to escalate to the point of a military confrontation with Russia, would they be doing things differently?
And a few days ago, I threw in the towel (at the duck, of course) and had to accept that while I did not know what they were thinking or what their intentions really were, it sure looked to me like the western plutocrats had decided to escalate the crisis has much as possible.
In truth, I have to admit that when I studied the theory of deterrence in the 1980’s, my teachers always insisted that this theory of deterrence was predicated on what they called a “rational player”.
To put it simply – how do you deter a lunatic? Or a desperate man with nothing to lose? Or a person hell-bent on mutual destruction? The truth is, you cannot. Deterrence assumes a rational actor making a logical decision about unacceptable costs. As far as I know, nobody has ever developed a theory of deterrence applicable to a madman.
When I initially wrote my pieces explaining why I believed that a US/NATO/EU attack was impossible, a lot readers posted comments saying that while maybe the top US military command was still mainly composed of rational men, the US imperial elites had clearly gone crazy a long time ago and that they were so stuck in their arrogance, imperial hubris, delusions of invincibility and knee-jerk and systematic use of violence that they could no more be considered as rational. At the time I replied that, yeah, sure, maybe, but what is the point of analyzing something crazy? How do you try to make sense of the suicidally insane?
And yet, this is what I propose to do today. I will try as best I can to try to place myself in the mind of these lunatics and see what they could try doing and what the consequences of that would be. I will go through several possible plans that these crazies might have starting from the most limited one and then going up the insanity slope.

Plan One: a Symbolic and Limited Intervention

This plan is already underway. We know that there are US military advisers in the Ukraine, including at least one general, we know that the Dutch and Australians will be sending in a lightly armed force to “protect” the investigators at the crash site of MH17 (although how a few men armed with assault rifles can protect anybody from Ukie artillery, tank or mortar fire is anybody’s guess).
Then there are all the reports of foreign mercenaries, mostly US and Polish, fighting with the Ukie death squads. There is also some good evidence that Poland is sending military equipment, including aircraft and possibly crews. Well, all of that is dumb and serves very little useful purpose, but that is what the West is so good at: pretending. If this plan stays at this level, I would say that it is not very important. But, alas, there is a nastier possibility here:

Plan Two: A Tripwire Force

This is just an extension of plan one: bring in a few men and then have them killed. This would trigger the needed “popular outrage” (carefully fanned and reported by the corporate media) to force the Europeans to accept more US sanctions in Europe or even some kind of “EU-mandated peacekeeping force”.
Of course, if the Russians or Novorussians do not take the bait and fail to kill the “observers”, US/NATO false flag teams could easily do that. Just imagine what a heavy mortar strike on a building with these OSCE observers would look like. The junta in Kiev would be more than happy to “invite” such a “peacekeeping” force into Novorussia and since this would be an “invited” force, no UNSC Resolution would be needed.
Finally, such a “peacekeeping” force would be regularly reinforced and augmented until it could basically cover the flanks of the Ukies in their attacks against Novorussia. This force would also assume the command and control of Ukie forces, something which the Ukies could greatly benefit from (their current command and control is a mess).
Plans One and Two assume that Russian forces stay on the other side of the border and that the only opposition to such a deployment could come from the Novorussians. But what if the Russians decided to move into Novorussia either to protect the locals or to stop this limited US/NATO/EU “peacekeeping force”? Then the US/NATO/EU would have to take a dramatic escalatory step and send in a much bigger force, more capable of defending itself.

Plan Three: UPROFOR on the Dniepr?

This is the Yugoslav scenario. The West would send in something on the order of 10 battalions which would each be given an area of responsibility for “peacekeeping”. Then police forces would be also sent to “maintain law and order,” and EU commissars would be sent in to “help” the local population “express their will” and “organize” a local government. Soon there would be some kind of EU-run election, and all the Novorussian forces would be declared “bandits” from which the local population need to be “protected”.
Since Strelkov himself fought in Yugoslavia as did many other Russians, I don’t believe that the Russians or Novorussians would fall for this one. I think that Russia would express its opposition to such a plan and that if she was ignored, she would move in her own forces along the line of contact.
This might be the US/NATO/EU end goal: to create a Korea-like “line of demarcation” which would isolate the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics from the rest of Novorussia and the rest of the Ukraine. This would mean getting plenty of Kosovo-like “Camp Bonsteels” all along the Russian border, and it would make it look like the “Wartime President of the One Indispensable Nation stopped the Russian Bear”. Finally, it would create a perfect Cold War-like environment in which the western 1%ers could continue to exploit the 99% while constantly scaring them with the “Russian threat”.

Plan Four: Operation Storm in Novorussia and Crimea?

I would not put it past the folks in the Pentagon and Mons to try to pull off an “Operation Storm” in Novorussia and even possibly Crimea. That is the scenario Glazev fears: the US/NATO/EU would put enough forces inside the Ukraine to allow it to survive long enough to mobilize a sufficient number of men and equipment for a lightning-fast attack on Novorossia and even possibly Crimea.
And in theory, if we assume that Banderstan does not collapse under its own weight and economic disaster, the Ukraine has the resources to mobilize far more men and equipment that the tiny People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk or even Crimea. But that again assumes that Russia will let that happen, which she won’t, so now we have to look at the really crazy plans:

Plan Five: First “Desert Steppe Shield,” Then “Desert Steppe Storm”

That is a crazy notion: to do with Russia what the US did with Iraq. First, to place down a “protection force” in the Ukraine, isolate Russia, and then attack in a full-depth and full-scale determined attack. We are definitely talking about a continental war with a fantastic potential to turn into a world war. This plan would have be based on two crucial assumptions:

  1.  The US/NATO/EU conventional forces would be capable of defeating the Russian military.
  2. If facing conventional defeat, Russia would not use nuclear weapons.

I think that both of these assumptions are deeply mistaken. The first one is based on a mix of propaganda, bean counting and ignorance. The propaganda is something which western military are very good at. They are not. Most western armies are a pathetic joke, and those who can fight well (the Brits, the Turks) are too little to matter.
That leaves the US military which have capabilities far in excess of what its NATO allies can muster. Just as in WWII all the serious fighting had to be done by German units, in case of a WWIII (or IV?), all the serious fighting would have to be done by Americans. The problem is that the Americans would have an extremely hard time bringing in enough forces to really make the difference. In any case, I have the biggest doubt about the current fighting capabilities of the US Army and Marine Corps. Faced with a Russian battalion defending its own soil, I think that an equivalent US Army/Marine force would get slaughtered.
The “bean counting” is when you compare all the NATO APC’s or tanks to the number available to the Russian military. The corporate media loves these sorts of charts in which soldiers, APC’s, tanks, aircraft and other gear are compared. Professional analysts never use them simply because they are meaningless.
What matters is how much of that gear is actually available for battle, the kind of tactics used, the training and morale of the soldiers, the skills of their commanding officers, and stuff which is never mentioned: supplies, logistics, petroleum, lubricants, ammunition, lines of supply, medical standards, and even food and weather. Bean counters simply never see that. But one could argue that the number of trucks is more important to a military than the number of tanks. Yet trucks are never counted. But yes, on paper NATO looks huge. Even though most NATO gear could not even survive your average Ukrainian road, never mind the winter.
But let us assume that the Hollywood image of the US military is true: invincible, best trained, best armed, with a fantastic morale, led by the very best of the best officers, it would easily defeat the primitive Russian military, armed with antiquated weapons and commanded by fat drunken generals.
Okay, and then what? If the official Russian nuclear deterrence doctrine is examined, in this case Russia would use nuclear weapons.
Since even in Hollywood movies nobody makes the claim that the US anti-missile systems could stop Iskanders, cruise missiles or even gravity bombs, we would have to accept that the invincible US force would be turned into radioactive particulates and that in turn would leave the US President two terrible choices: a) take the loss and stop b) retaliate, and the second option would have to include the location from where the strike came from: Russia proper. That, of course, would place the following choices for the Russian President: a) take the loss or b) strike at the continental United States. At this points nuclear mushrooms would start appearing all over the map.
Now please make no mistake: Russia can not only destroy Mons, the Pentagon and Cheyenne Mountain (just a matter of placing enough warheads on the right spot) but also every single major city in the United States. Sure, the USA can retaliate in kind, but what kind of consolation would that be for anybody left?
I cannot believe that the US Deep State would truly, deliberately, want to start a planetary nuclear war. For one thing, US leaders are cowards, and they will not want to take such a monumental decision. A far more likely version is that being stupid, arrogant cowards, they will stumble upon just that outcome. Here is how:

Plan Six: American Football’s “Hail Mary”

In American football there is a specific pass which is used only when seconds are left on the clock, and your team is badly losing anyway. Basically it works like this: every single person who is not defending the quarterback rushes to the end zone, as do all the defenders, and the quarterback then just throws the ball straight into that zone with the very slim hope that one of his own players will catch it and score a touchdown. This is called a “Hail Mary” for very good reason as only a miracle makes such a desperate plan work. Most of the time the ball is either fumbled or caught by the other team. But, very rarely, it works.
I can very much imagine a desperate Obama trying to show the American people that he “has hair on his chest” and that he is not going to let “regional power” challenge the “indispensable nation”. So what he and, really, his administration risks doing is the following: to play a game of chicken hoping against all odds that the Russian will yield. This is my worst nightmare and the worst possible assumption to make because Russia cannot yield.
In March of this year I issued a warning which I entitled Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine – now Russia is ready for war. What prompted me to issue that warning was the fact that the Council of the Russian Federation has just unanimously passed a resolution allowing Putin to use Russian armed forces in the Ukraine. Since then, this resolution has been repealed at Putin’s request and for obvious political motives, but the mood and determination are still there. In fact, I think that it has grown much stronger.
There has been much useless speculation about Putin, his motives and strategy. This is way bigger than just Putin. If the US/NATO/EU really push too far, and that includes a genocide in Novorussia, an attack on Crimea or an attack on Russian forces, Russia will go to war, Putin or no Putin. And Putin knows that. His real base of support is not the Russian elites (who mostly fear him), but the Russian people (with whom his current rating are higher than ever before). And Putin himself openly spoke about the “threats to Russian sovereignty” though he did add that because of the Russian nuclear forces, there was, in his opinion, no immediate threat to Russian territory.
If the US decides to play a game of chicken with Russia, then it will do the same thing as a car driver playing a game of chicken against an incoming train: regardless of the train’s driver, the train is on tracks and its momentum is too great: it cannot stop or veer away.
The problem is that the USA has a long record of making absolutely irresponsible statements which end up putting them into a corner from which they cannot bulge without losing face. Just look at the MH17 disaster: the Obama administration immediately rushed to blame the Russians for it, but what will it do when the evidence to the contrary comes out? What if Obama also draws a red line somewhere (it does not really matter where) and then forces Russia to cross it?
Sadly, I can imagine the USA declaring that the US/NATO will defend the Ukie airspace. I think that they are dumb enough to try to seize a Russian ship entering or leaving the Black Sea.
Remember – these are the folks who hijacked the aircraft of Bolivian President Evo Morales to try to find Snowden on board. These are the folks who regularly kidnap Russian citizens worldwide (the last time the son of a well-know Russian member of Parliament who was kidnapped in the Maldive Islands). And, of course, these are the folks who did 9/11.
Their arrogance knows no limits because they are profoundly evil sociopaths. For them, the organization of false flag operations is a normal standard procedure. They almost triggered a war between the DPRK and South Korea by sinking a South Korean military vessel. They used chemical weapons in Syria not once, but several times. And the last time we had a Democrat in the White House, he was crazy enough to send two US Aircraft Carrier Groups into the Strait of Taiwan to threaten China.

My Biggest Fears

This is my biggest fear: some kind of desperate “Hail Mary” maneuver in which the US will try to convince Russia that “look, we are crazy enough to start this thing, so you better back off” not realizing that Russia cannot back off. The other thing which really scares me is that during the Cuban Missile Crisis everybody was aware of the stakes, and most people were truly terrified. Now, thanks to the propaganda of the corporate media, almost nobody is afraid and hardly anybody is paying attention. Russia and the USA are on a clear collision course and nobody cares! How come?
Because if 9/11 proved anything, it is that there are things which most people are simply unwilling to contemplate, no matter how close and real they are. It would only make sense that the Empire of Illusion would be populated by a people in total denial. After all, illusion and denial usually go hand in hand.
Most of you, dear readers and friends, seem to be sharing with me a sense of total distrust in the sanity of our leaders. When I asked you whether you believed that the US/NATO were crazy enough to use military forces against Russia, an overwhelming number of you answered “yes,” and a good part of you were even emphatically sure of that. Why? Because we all know how crazy and deluded our Imperial Overlords are. Crazy and deluded enough not to quality as “rational actor”? Crazy and deluded enough to play a game a chicken with a train? Crazy and deluded enough to risk the planet on “Hail Mary? Alas, I think that this is a very real possibility.

But What Does Uncle Sam Really Want?

There is a gradual realization in Russia that for Uncle Sam this is not about the Ukraine. It is about Russia and specifically about regime change in Russia. A vast majority of Russian experts seem to believe that the US wants to overthrow Putin and that this entire war in the Ukraine is a means to achieve that. As a very cynical joke going around now says “Obama is willing to fight Putin down to the very last Ukrainian”. I think that this is correct. The US hopes that one of the following will happen:

  1. A Russian military intervention in Novorussia which will allow the US to restart a Cold War v2 on steroids and which will also fully re-enslave Europe to the USA. Putin would then be blamed for falling in the US trap.
  2. The creation of a US-run “Banderastan” in the Ukraine. That would ‘contain’ and destabilize Russia. Again, Putin would be blamed for letting that happen.
  3. A “nationalist Maidan” in Russia: this is what is behind the current Putin-bashing campaign in the blogosphere: to paint Putin as a weak and/or corrupt man, who traded Crimea for the Donbass (you know the tune – these folks even comment on this blog). These efforts are supported and sometimes even financed by Russian oligarchs who have a great deal of money involved in the EU and don’t need the current tensions. Here Putin would be blamed for not doing enough.

In all three cases, Putin would risk a (patriotically) color coded revolution which would, inevitably, bring either crazy rogue or a clueless fossil to power (a la Zhirinovsky or Zuganov) or, much better, a pro-American “liberal” (a la Medvedev). I think that all of these plans will fail.
Putin will not give Uncle Sam the intervention he wants. Instead, Russia continue to support the Resistance in Novorussia until Banderastan goes “belly up”, i.e. for another 30-60 days or so. As for the “nationalist Maidan”, the Russian people see straight through this “black PR campaign” and their support for Putin is higher than it ever was. It’s not Putin who does not want to intervene overtly in the Donbass, it is the Russian people. The attempts at stirring up anti-Putin by first stirring up anti-Strelkov feelings have completely failed and, in fact, they have backfired. A lot of these “hurray-patriots” are now overly called “useful idiots” for the CIA or even provocateurs.
Finally, while they are at this point in time only rumors, there seem to be more and more specialists of the opinion that MH17 was a deliberate false flag by the US. If the news that the Ukies did it ever becomes public, then the entire destabilization plan will go down the tubes. At this point, I would not put anything, no matter how crazy, past the US Deep State.
And that is a very scary thought.
The Saker

Democratic Party Liberals Are Militarists

And they always have been.
Their current incarnation in the US is in the form of “The Cruise Missile Left” and “The Humanitarian Bomber Left”.
They are the ones who ramped up the Vietnam War and expanded it to its greatest extent. Let us look at the record of the two first post-WW2 Democratic Presidents and their incredible militarism and very rightwing foreign policy.
Democratic Party liberals did the following things:
Under Democratic Party liberal Harry Truman:

  • Engaged in a massive campaign to hide and secrete away Nazis after World War 2 so the CIA could use them to fight Communism.
  • Installed military rule in Japan. The first act of the military government was outlaw all labor unions.
  • Overthrew the democratic government of Greece with a rightwing monarchist coup and then helped the new Greek fascist government as they murdered 12,000 Greek Communists and threw another 40,000 in prison, thus starting the Greek Civil War.
  • Supported the Neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalist UNO as it waged its anti-Soviet guerrilla campaign in the Ukraine.
  • Supported and assisted the South Korean government while they murdered 200,000 South Koreans in the face of a Communist insurgency from 1945-1950.
  • Destroyed every city in North Korea, often with firebombs, bombed dams causing rivers to flood. North Korea was so devastated after this that most of the population was living underground in tunnels, shelters or caves. All in all, 3 million North Koreans were killed in the war, mostly by US bombs.
  • Assisted the French colonialists in the fight against the anti-colonialist Viet Minh.
  • Assisted the British colonialists in the fight against the anti-colonialist Malay guerrillas.
  • Assisted Chiang Kai Shek when he consolidated his rule in Taiwan by installing military rule, outlawing all languages but Chinese and murdering 100,000 people, mostly Leftists.
  • Set up the fascist Gladio stay-behind network all across Europe. This was a group of fascists who would “stay behind” after a Soviet invasion to fight an insurgency against the Soviets. The Gladio network subsequently caused all sorts of problems, including a wave of fascist terror bombings in the Years of Lead in the 1970’s.
  • Illegally interfered with the Italian elections after the war to keep the Italian Communist Party from winning.
  • Threatened to drop nuclear bombs on both North Korea and China if they didn’t say uncle.

Under Democratic Party liberal John F. Kennedy:

  • Stepped up the Vietnam War by vastly increasing the number of advisers into the tens of thousands.
  • Invaded Cuba in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
  • Supported a savage government and state death squads in Guatemala that slaughtered 5-10,000 people while fighting an insurgency.
  • Supported the French colonists versus the FLN anti-colonialists during the Algerian Civil War.
  • Initiated a violent coup that overthrew President Diem of South Vietnam, killing him because he was getting in the way of US plans.
  • Imposed an embargo on Cuba which idiotically continues to this very day.
  • Waged a guerrilla war called Operation Mongoose in Cuba where 10,000 people were killed, often civilians. They would get in boats and cruise along the beaches on Cuba, killing beachgoers with machine guns. They set off bombs in factories full of workers, killing up to 100 people at a time. The US began its endless efforts to murder Fidel Castro.
  • Started a lying campaign that the Castro government was going to take parents’ children away from so they could be raised by the state. 10,000 Cuban children fled the island with their parents.

The Ugliest Woman in the World

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIr3mlNINmg&feature=plcp]
Interesting story about about Lizzie Velasquez, a woman who has a terrible and rare genetic disorder that effects her adipose tissue. Only two people in the US have this condition, which she was born with. At one point, the illness caused her to go blind in one eye. It was also disfigured her to a large degree and it makes her look pretty homely.
A short 9 second video of her called The Ugliest Woman on Earth was made a while back and became a hit on Youtube. The comments were filled with all sorts of nasty remarks, many advising her to kill herself. She read through all the comments, though it was quite a painful exercise.
Then she decided to fight fire with fire, made her own video channel and decided to go public. She also authored a book and wants to become a motivational speaker.
In this video, she talks about bullying, which she has had to experience a lot of. Now it is mostly stares when she goes out, but when she was growing up, she was treated very cruelly by other kids in school. Even now there are whole websites devoted to bashing her and ridiculing her. There are a lot of folks involved in hating on her. They are mostly kids, but there are a number of adults in on it too.
I hope that if I knew her, I could be her friend and be a good friend to her. She seems like a pretty cool person, and I bet she would be a good friend.
It really all boils down to what kind of a society you have. This is one reason I am a socialist.
I remember a Bruce Cummings article about North Korea. He spoke about a man who was badly burned over much of his body by US bombs in the Korean War. The wounds gave him an ugly, monstrous and horrific appearance. There are many North Koreans with war wounds derived from the Americans like this man.
Cummings once accompanied this man around town. He said once they were in an elevator and a South Korean man completely freaked out upon being stuck in the elevator with the wounded man, treating like he was some kind of a circus freak who might contaminate him. He could hardly wait to get away from the burned man.
But Cummings said that everywhere they went, all North Koreans were very kind to him and treated him like he was a normal person, even doting on him. The burned man told Cummings that South Koreans always freaked out when they saw him, and his fellow North Koreans were always very good to him.
Cummings chalked this up to the different set of values fostered in Communist North Korea as opposed to the super capitalist South.

Japanese and Blacks

Tulio comments:

Virulent racism of Japanese towards blacks is something I always doubted. It seemed to contradict what black friends that have visited and worked there have told me. They said it’s absolutely fine and they have experienced little racism and what racism they do experience is stuff that tends to be directed toward foreigners in general such as being denied entry into Japanese only places.
Now one place I thought would be extremely racist to black people is Korea. But according to this black guy living there, he said he’s experienced nothing but hospitality and warmth. That even shocked me.

First of all, I am very happy that well behaved Black Americans can have a great experience in Korea and Japan. Black people really ought to be free to travel to and have fun in as many countries as I could. That a Black American is afraid to travel to some country because they will treat him badly simply because he is Black is very painful for me to contemplate. Maybe we Whites don’t realize how lucky we are.
However, a lot of Japanese Americans, both male and female, have very racist attitudes towards Blacks. I knew a Japanese American, and he was quite racist against Blacks.
You see where these Black guys run around and have like 8 different kids by 8 different women and don’t support any of them. That’s profoundly offensive to Japanese people, especially Japanese men. In East Asian society, a man may father children with more than one woman, but he absolutely must support all of his kids. If he does not, he is just a lowdown dirtball.
When these Black guys have 8 kids by 6 different women and don’t support any of them, to a Japanese man, you are little more than an animal. You’re basically a dog. Because that’s what a dog does. A dog just knocks up any bitch he can or as many bitches as possible, then runs away and leaves her and doesn’t help her raise any of the young.

Is It Fair to Compare the US Education System With Those of East Asian and European Countries?

Car Guy asks:

Would it be fair to compare the US education system with that of countries such as Japan, South Korea and Germany?

No!
People are always comparing US test scores with those of all Asian countries in East Asia and nearly all White countries in Europe. When the US falls behind say Finland, Taiwan or Singapore, rightwingers screech that the US public school system is failing and therefore we need to dismantle it in various ways such as charter schools, vouchers, defunding, etc.
These comparisons are all false due to differential IQ’s between ethnic groups in the US and those of other nations.
Japan and South Korea = pure East Asian. Higher IQ (105) than white majority US (98).
Germany = all White. German IQ is ~103; US IQ is 98. The US is only 66% White, and the rest is largely Black and Hispanic with much lower IQ’s than Whites. Totally unfair comparisons with all of them.

                 IQ
US Ethnic group
Whites           103
Hispanics         90
Blacks            87.2*

*Black estimate is my estimate. Others would put it lower at around 85. The White and Hispanic estimates seem to be pretty much valid. There may be some upward movement on the order of 1-2 points in both Black and Hispanic IQ’s in the last few decades for unknown reasons.
As you can see, Blacks and Browns score much lower on IQ’s than Whites, pulling the whole US average down, which will be reflected on test scores. Due to differential IQ’s US students will tend to score poorer than those of all White European nations and all-Asian Asian nations.

Which Countries are Socialist? Which Are Not?

I don’t know if I can agree that Germany is a socialist country. Its got a government and a public sector and a welfare system but its got a large private sector. I don’t know what percentage of the workforce work in the private sector for capitalist employers but its a lot. I might look it up. The means of production aren’t socially owned, right?
(Is America a socialist country by your definition?)

My position is that social democracy is a form of socialism. The social democrats call themselves socialists and their parties are typically called socialist parties.
America surely has socialist elements, but we don’t have any big socialist parties in this country. We don’t have a social democratic party or a party calling itself socialist in power in the US. We don’t have a ruling or large party that is a member of the Socialist International, as is the case with possibly most of the countries on Earth.
America has always been a Hard Right country as far as any kind of socialism goes. It’s basically a place for neoliberal experiments. Of all of the world’s richest countries, it is generally agreed that the US is by far the least socialist.
I realize that any social spending or social welfare projects are part of the social democratic project, but I doubt if many social democrats would describe the US as a social democratic country in spite of our meager and tattered safety net.
Now most of Europe is socialist. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are socialist. Japan is socialist. Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, China, Mongolia and North Korea are socialist. 40% of the Nepalese government is held by Maoists. Most of the Arab World and Iran are more or less socialist. Most of the CIS is socialist.
Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Paraguay, Bolivia and some Caribbean countries are at the very least run by socialists. Quite a bit of Africa is run by socialist parties. You can look at the list of the Socialist International and you will see that many countries have ruling or major parties that are part of the SI.
Which places are not socialist? Latvia, Estonia, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Gabon, Pakistan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong at the very least.
Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea are uncertain. Singapore has a lot of social democratic elements. Much of the housing is public housing for instance. That’s a socialist project. Taiwan and South Korea both underwent huge land reforms, and Taiwan now has national health care. Further, South Korea has huge state involvement in the economy, and I believe that Taiwan traditionally did too.
Neither Taiwan nor South Korea is run by neoliberal rightwing hardline free marketeers. Both of them seem to be following the Japanese model. The Japanese model is considered to be noncapitalist mode of production. No one really knows what it is. Some call it state capitalism. Others call it national socialism along WW2 German lines.
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American English Teacher in Korea Goes Nuts on Bus, Attacks Korean Couple

Video on the video site here.

Interesting video. This Black English teacher in Korea got into it with an older couple on a bus. The Korean man said something in Korean that sounds like “nigga” but really it just means something totally different. The older man had no idea that “nigga” in Korean means something bad in English because he doesn’t speak English. The English teacher goes totally nuts, starting screaming and yelling at the Koreans, and then starts manhandling both the man and the woman. The Korean man wants to fight back but is afraid to.

This American guy totally blew it on the bus. He totally lost it. What a moron. I hope the Koreans send him home for this. That’s all I can say.

This video is getting a lot of play on the Net and making the rounds.