“Some in Hong Kong Feel Frustrated as Their City Loses to Mainland China,” by Andre Vltchek

I am sure most of you have heard of the riots convulsing Hong Kong. The Western media is only providing one point of view about these riots – heroic rioters fighting evil Communist dictatorship for freedom and democracy and sugar and spice and everything nice.

I urge you to think again. I don’t support these rioters. There’s really nothing to support. Further, as I hope to show in future pieces, the rioters absolutely do not have majority support. If you go against them, they beat you with clubs, fists and boots. They are destroying public property all over Hong Kong for no particularly good reason.

These are the children of the rich and the upper middle classes. The working class of Hong Kong, the poor, and older people are nowhere to be seen. Go talk to some of them and they will all tell you that they oppose these destructive riots.

If there was a referendum tomorrow on what the rioters want, it would lose. The rioters represent a significant group, but they are not a majority. They only have 35-40% support, and 60-65% of the people are against them.

Your average working class, poor, or older Hong Konger is a fairly conservative person. These silly riots go against traditional Chinese values. Sure, China is revolutionary, and that involves chaos and destruction, but since when are contras revolutionaries? Contras are never revolutionaries.

The young rioters think they are citizens of something called Hong Kong that is not a part of China. The silent majority with their more conservative values are proud to be what they have always considered themselves to be: citizens of China and heirs to its great civilization.

The rioters don’t get it. Hong Kong is not some separate thing. Hong Kong is part of China. It always was part of China. Sure, the British stole it for a while (during the Opium Wars to boot), but it was still part of China even then.

Hong Kong is now back to China where it has always been. The rioters are citizens of China, not some fake thing called Hong Kong. They obviously lack majority support in China proper, where recent polls show ~86% support for the Communist Party.

The CP runs China. Almost everyone in China supports the CP. I hate to tell people to love it or leave it, but if these kids don’t want to be part of China, perhaps they might wish to leave. Macao is right next door. And then there’s Taiwan. Or just calm down and quit being tools of the West.

I would like to add that a century of extreme anti-Communist propaganda is also driving these riots. Most Hong Kongers are extremely anti-Communist. Except now they live in a Communist country. Maybe it’s time they made some adjustments. You can only push a rock uphill for so long. At some point, even Sisyphus wears out and becomes just one more victim of the Law of Gravity. Maybe some causes are doomed from the start.

Some in Hong Kong Feel Frustrated, as Their City Is Losing to Mainland China

Hong Kong is losing to Mainland China. Its poverty rates are high; it suffers from corruption and savage capitalism. It is now the most expensive city on earth. People are frustrated, but paradoxically, they are blaming socialist Beijing for their problems instead of the legacy of British colonialism. ‘Across the line’, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Xiang and other cities are leaving Hong Kong behind in almost all fields.

When my dear friend and great concert pianist from Beijing, Yuan Sheng, used to live in New York, recording, giving concerts, and teaching at prestigious Manhattan School of Music, he told me that he used to cry at night:

“In the United States, they smear China. I felt hurt, defenseless.”

He returned to Beijing, gave back his Green Card and began teaching at Beijing Conservatory. He never regretted his decision. “Beijing is much more exciting than New York these days”, he told me.

It is obvious that Beijing is booming: intellectually, artistically; in fact, in all fields of life.

Yuan’s friend, who returned from London and became a curator at the iconic “Big Egg” (the biggest opera house on earth), shared her thoughts with me:

“I used to sit in London, frustrated, dreaming about all those great musicians all over the world. Now they come to me. All of them want to perform in Beijing. This city can make you or break you. Without being hyperbolic, this is now one of the most important places on earth.

Just under one roof, in one single night, we can have a Russian opera company performing in our big halls, in another there is a Chinese opera, and there is a Bolivian folklore ensemble in the recital hall. And ours is only one of Beijing’s theatres.”

When Chinese artists and thinkers are fighting for the prime venues with their Western counterparts, it is usually Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen ‘against’ London, Paris, and New York. Hong Kong is ‘somewhere there’, behind, suddenly a backwater.

While Hong Kong University and the City University of Hong Kong used to be the best in China, many mainland institutions of higher learning, including Peking University and Tsinghua, are now producing many more cutting-edge creative thinkers.

I spoke at all of these schools and can confirm that the young people in Beijing and Shanghai are extremely hardworking and endlessly curious, while in Hong Kong, there is always that mildly arrogant air of exceptionalism and a lack of discipline.

It used to be that the so-called “Sea Turtles” (students who went abroad or to Hong Kong and then returned to Mainland China), were treated like celebrities, but now, it is much easier to get a job with Mainland China’s diplomas.

Recently, while filming the riots in Hong Kong, I was told by a receptionist at one of the major shopping plazas:

“We do not treat visitors from Mainland China well. And they lost interest in Hong Kong. Before, they used to come here to admire out wealth. Now, most of them are avoiding this place. What we have, they have too, and often better. If they travel, they’d rather go to Bangkok or Paris.”

These days, the contrast between Xiang, Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong is shocking. Mainland infrastructure is incomparably better. Public areas are vast, and cultural life much more advanced than in the former British colony.

While the Mainland Chinese cities have almost no extreme poverty (and by the end of 2020 will have zero), in Hong Kong, at least 20% are poor, and many simply cannot afford to live in their own city.

Hong Kong is the most expensive place on earth. Just to park a car in the city could easily cost over US $700 per month, and that’s just for working hours. Tiny apartments cost over a $1 million. Yet Salaries in Hong Kong are not higher than those in London, Paris, or Tokyo.

The city is run by an extreme capitalist system ‘planned’ by corrupt tycoons/developers. The obsolete British legal system here is clearly geared to protect the rich, not the majority. That was essentially why the “Extradition Bill” was proposed: to protect Hong Kong inhabitants from the unbridled, untouchable, as well as unelected de facto rulers. But after months of riots sponsored by the West, the Hong Kong administration scrambled the bill.

But there is also this ‘deal’ negotiated before Hong Kong was returned where it belongs – to China: “One Country, Two Systems”. It is an excellent contract for the turbo-capitalist magnates and for the pro-Western “activists”. And it is an extremely bad one for the average people of Hong Kong.

Young hooligans know very little about their city. I talked to them extensively during their first anti-Beijing riots in 2014, the so-called “Umbrella Revolution”.

Correctly, then and now, they have been frustrated about the declining standard of living and the difficulties of getting well-paid jobs and finding affordable housing. They told me there was no future for them and that their lives were going nowhere.

But quickly, their logic would collapse. While realizing what tremendous progress, optimism, and zeal could be observed in the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party, they still demanded more capitalism, the very thing which was actually ruining their territory. In 2014 and now, they are readily smeared the Communist Party.

Being raised on the shallow values of selfishness and egotism, they have now betrayed their own country, and have begun treasonous campaigns, urging foreign powers, including US and UK, to “liberate them”. All for a fleeting moment of fame, for a “selfie uprising”.

To liberate them from whom? China does not (unfortunately for Hong Kong) interfere in Hong Kong’s economic and social affairs. If anything, it builds new infrastructure, like the enormous bridge now connecting Hong Kong with Macau (a former Portuguese colony) and a high-speed train system linking Hong Kong with several cities in Mainland China.

Huanzhou high-speed train station, one of the biggest in the world

The more restraint Beijing shows, the more it gets condemned by the rioters and Western media for ‘brutality’. As more subway stations and public property get destroyed by rioters, more sympathy flows for them from the German, US, and British right-wing politicians.

For decades, the British colonialists humiliated  the people of Hong Kong while simultaneously turning their city into a brutal and by the Asian standards ruthless and fully business-oriented megalopolis. Now people are confused and frustrated. Many are asking, “Who am I?”

For Hong Kong, this is a difficult moment of soul-searching.

Even those who want to “go back to the UK” can hardly speak English. When asked why they were rioting, they mumble something about the democracy and freedom of the West, plus the evilness of Beijing. Brochures from obscure, extremist Japanese religious cults are distributed amongst the rioters.

It’s pure intellectual chaos. Rioters know nothing about Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and other countries which are being ruined by the West.

Leaders like Joshua Wong proudly collude with the Western embassies. To praise Chinese socialism publicly is now dangerous – people get beaten by the “pro-democracy” rioters, for such “crimes”.

Highly educated and overly-polite Singapore is literally sucking out hundreds of foreign companies from Hong Kong. Its people speak both English and Mandarin. In Hong Kong, the great majority speaks only Cantonese.

Many foreigners in Hong Kong are also relocating to Shanghai. Not only big businessmen: Shanghai is now full of European waiters.

Even tourism is down in Hong Kong, by 40%, according to the recent data.

Absurdly, the rioters want precisely what the Communist Party of China is providing: a real struggle against corruption, a determined attempt to solve housing crises, the creation of new jobs, and the provision of more public services. They want better education and generally a better life. They want “Shanghai or Beijing”, but they also say that they want to be a colony of the UK or a dependency of the USA.

They loosely define communist goals, and then they shout that they are against Communism. In short, politically speaking, they are very confused.

HNKChina is now ready to celebrate its 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People’s Republic of China.

Clearly, the West is using Hong Kong to spoil this great moment.

After leaving Hong Kong, in Shanghai, I visited a brilliant socialist realism exhibition at the iconic, monumental China Art Museum. The country under the leadership of President Xi is once again confident, revolutionary, and increasingly socialist, to horror of declining West.

It is a proud nation with great, elegant cities constructed by the people, for the people, and with a progressively ecological countryside. Its scientific, intellectual ,and social achievements speak louder than words.

China Art Museum, Shanghai.

The contrast between Hong Kong and Shanghai is tremendous and growing.

But do not get me wrong: I like Hong Kong. I have  more than 20 years of history with that old, neurotic, and spoiled lady. I can feel her pulse. I love old trams and ferries and out-of-the-way islands.

But Hong Kong’s charm lies in its decay.

Mainland China’s beauty is fresh. China is one of the oldest cultures on earth and one of the deepest. But it feels crisp, full of hope, and positive energy. Together with its closest ally, Russia, it is now working and fighting for the entire world; it is not selfish.

Hong Kong is fighting only for its vaguely defined uniqueness. Actually, it is not Hong Kong that is fighting, as most of people there want to be where they truly belong – in their beloved nation – China. It is a gang of kids with their face masks that is fighting. In brief: a relatively big group of pro-Western extremists whose leaders are putting their fame above the interests of the people.

Hong Kong has no “Big Egg”: no famous theatre where the greatest musicians are stunning the world. Its only art museum has been closed for reconstruction for years and will re-open only at the end of 2019. Its cultural life is shallow, even laughable, especially pathetic for the place that is branding itself “Asia’s World City”. There are no great discoveries made here. It is all business. Big, big business. And creeping decay.

Beijing could ‘liberate’ Hong Kong easily to give it purpose, pride, and future.

But young hooligans want to be liberated by Washington instead. They want to be recolonized by London. And they have not consulted their fellow citizens. That clearly reflects their idea about ‘democracy’. Not the “rule of the people” but the “rule of the West”.

Not only do they feel spite for their country, but they also scorn and intimidate their fellow citizens who only want to live meaningful lives based on Chinese values.

Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook where this article was originally published. 

What Race Is This Person (Singapore)?

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An interesting phenotype from Singapore.

This is the aunt of a friend of mine. The family is from Singapore. They are part of an ethnic group called the Pernakans, a Southern Chinese group that moved to Malaysia ~600 years ago for some reason, possibly due to overcrowding in Fujian or worse, the terrible wars that periodically raged through the region.
Chinese groups have been leaving from this part of Southern China for a very long time now, especially in the last 200 years. In the past couple of centuries, this part of China has become very crowded. Possibly as a result, wild and vicious wars periodically raged through the area, sometimes killing 100,000’s of people. If you study Chinese history, you will hear about these wars a lot. It is not uncommon to read that invaders conquered several large cities and exterminated the whole populations of perhaps 300,000 people, men, women and children. This is how the Chinese have often fought wars. Chinese wars are unbelievably vicious and savage.
The Pernakans moved to Malaysia, and over time, bred in with Dutch and Portuguese and to a lesser extent British Europeans. All three were colonists in the region. I believe that they were Min speakers, but their Hokkien has gotten so changed, in particular from massive borrowings from Malay, that these languages in general are no longer intelligible with Amoy or Taiwanese Hokkien Proper.
Most Pernakans now are somewhat Eurasian, Chinese crossed with Dutch, Portuguese and sometimes British. The Pernakans had their own patriarchal culture and were known as very hard workers, often at manual labor type jobs like farming, timber harvest are working on rubber plantations. They committed little crime and had very orderly societies. The European colonists marveled at their high level of civilization. They did keep slaves, but they probably treated their slaves better than any slaves have ever been treated, and in many cases, slaves were freed.
Over time, most Pernakans also bred in with Malays. Pernakans are now a Chinese/Malay/European race, but the Asiatic tends to be prominent over the European in the stock. The mixing of cultures over 600 years in Malaysia resulted in some very interesting fine cuisine.
Many of these Chinese migrated to Singapore, where they, along with Teochew speakers (another Min group) and a large group of Cantonese Chinese, form what is known as the Singaporean Chinese, one of the wealthiest and most economically advanced ethnic groups on Earth. There is still a division of labor in Singapore, with Chinese on top, Malays on the bottom, and Southern Indian Dravidian speakers in between. Nevertheless all three groups are substantially mixed by this point. Most Chinese have Malay blood, and a lot of Malays have some Chinese in them. Malays and Indians are now intermarrying quite a bit. There is some ethnic conflict but not a lot possibly due to the wealth and everyone being so mixed.
Although this woman has a somewhat archaic phenotype (note prognathism), these archaic types are fairly common in Southern China. Many can be seen in the mountains of Yunnan Province. The archaism may be due to incomplete transition from Australoid -> Mongoloid, as the transition happened much later in Southern China than in Northern China, and prominent Australoid types were common in the far south of China only 3-4,000 YBP.
I also believe that this woman may be admixed with Caucasian. And I think the Malay admixture is quite clear. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think I see some Vedda influence here. That would not be unusual, as Malays were Veddoids only until quite recently, and the Senoi are Veddoids to this day. The Mani Negritos are also still extant.
The transition in Malaysia went from Australoid Negritos (Mani) and Orang Asli -> Australoid Veddas (Senoi) -> Paleomongoloid Southeast Asians (modern Malays). The Malays appear to be aware of this transition, as they state that the Mani and Orang Asli are their ancestors. The bloodline of the Orang Asli goes back 72,000 YBP, so this group has been present in Malaysia since the very first Out of Africa groups, and their archaism is about on a par with the Andaman Islanders, another Australoid group which is also the remains of some of the earliest OOA groups.

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.

A Eugenic Effect for the Jizya Tax?

Makran writes:

The reason Christian Arabs from Lebanon/Syria/Jordan are smarter than Muslim Arabs or why Hindus from places like Bangladesh are smarter than Muslims is because of the Jaziya tax. Dhimmis or non-Muslims in Islamic lands had to pay a Jaziya tax or they would be killed, only escape from this is conversion to Islam. Thus the poorest low IQ sections of the population who could not pay the tax converted early.The smarter populations (and in the case of South Asia, the higher castes) used money to prevent conversion as much as possible. Thus the Muslims in these areas are predominantly low IQ genes while high IQ populations got separated into a different gene pool. Islam is dysgenic. Even Lew Kyan Yew of Singapore berated Malay Muslims for being dysgenic by the tendency of Muslims to marry even if the people involved were either very stupid of full of genetic diseases.

Do you think there is any truth to this? Interesting notion from the comments.

Does Radical Capitalism Work Anywhere?

Capitalist Caucasian wrote:

Whites thrive under capitalism. Asians thrive under both, and blacks cannot thrive on any economic system, but totalitarian, authoritarian communism does the job of not letting a black society burn to shit. Like black Muslims, for example. Or the fact that some of the smartest, well behaved nigs are Nation of Islam members.

Not really true. Look at the 19th Century White world in the beginnings of industrialization and tell me things were thriving. Or the Potato Famine. Look at how the gangster capitalists have looted the Ukraine since 1991. Latvia went radical free market and the economy collapsed worse than the Depression and all that remains is a hollowed out shell. Estonia lies in ruins. Greece and maybe Ireland are disaster areas.
Europe was feudal until WW1, and Eastern Europe was feudal until WW2. The life expectancy in capitalist Albania in 1949 was 32 years. With the return to capitalism in Russia, there was an economic crash three times worse than the Great Depression, life expectancy collapsed, gangsters inside and outside the country stripped the place bare, and 15 million people died, more than Stalin killed.
Radical capitalists came to power in Chile and Argentina, two White countries, ran the economies into the ground and murdered 15,000 people in Chile and 30,000 in Argentina.
Capitalists caused all of these messes.
Whites don’t do so great under radical capitalism either. Nobody does. The thriving White world you are talking about is mostly not run by Libertarian neoclassical free marketeers. Most of those countries are run by social democrats who call themselves socialists and are members of the Socialist International.
Asians do well under well under capitalism? In 1949, China was ruined by war and warlords, the nation was under feudal rule, and life expectancy was 32 years.
Not sure which Asians you are talking about? Filipinos and Indonesians do not seem to be doing well under radical capitalism. The only real hardcore free market Asian states are Hong Kong and Singapore. All the rest are either socialist to some degree or becoming that way.
Blacks do pretty well under both Islam and Communism. At the very least, the resulting societies are orderly, well-behaved, calm and have little crime and chaos. Sometimes I think Black people need the “stern father” approach.

Another View of Singapore

Excellent commenter Creaders writes about Singapore, begging to differ that Lee Kuan Yew is some sort of a Marxist.

Hi Robert, I am a Singaporean. I think the world needs to study this Lee Kuan Yew carefully. He is being championed by the capitalists not without good reasons. Singaporean workers are being exploited. Singapore is the only first world country without any forms of social security and government medical insurance.
Our public housing system is not due to any charity from Lee Kuan Yew. The subsidy came from the political enemies of PAP government as well as subsistence farmers. The land was expropriated from those landlords.
After PAP government took all our land, the sold to the highest bidder. The PAP government is extremely rent seeking. It jacks up property prices crazily such that our fertility rate is now about 1.1 kids per woman, the lowest in the whole world. Our property prices are one of the highest in the world now, just 20% behind Hong Kong.
Lee Kuan Yew’s greed knows no bounds. Despite of all these social ills, he has continued till this day to import foreigners massively, further pushing up our property prices and reducing our birthrate.
Lee Kuan Yew succeeded in Singapore not because he is smart but more because Singaporeans, the majority of whom are Chinese, are able to take his abuse and turn bad things into good.
Today, Lee Kuan Yew has run out of ideas. Singapore being the first to industrialize in the third world has seen all our industries hollow out due to high property prices. Lee now pursues the financialization of our economy. Singapore is now a money laundering and tax-evasion haven, that allows the rich all over the world to avoid paying taxes and hoard all their wealth in Singapore.
Tax havens like Singapore, Luxembourg, Switzerland need to be destroyed. The western countries already achieved 100% employment and utopia in 1960s. Their problem now is due to parasitic tax haven states as well as capitalists shipping jobs to India and China.

This is an excellent analysis. My view as a socialist is that we should support pro-worker states. The states that do the greatest good for the greatest number of workers are the best states on Earth. By this argument, North Korea is failing badly because they are not creating a good society for the working people of North Korea.
As a pro-workerist, I really don’t care whether a state is good for business. Who cares! Good for business tends to be in direct opposition to good for workers. The more a state is good for business, the less it is good for workers. Though many pro-worker states try to accommodate business, it is true that they do tend to limit them and hamper them in various ways, which I feel is proper.
As a pro-workerist, why should I care which nations are best for the rich? If a nation is ruled only by the rich and exists and only to benefit the rich (as is true of many nations) why should working people support this? What’s in it for them?
The ideal state is pro-worker, allows the rich to nevertheless keep a lot of their cash and puts reasonable limits on business in terms of regulation and taxation while nevertheless using the market as a tool to create wealth which can then be rationally distributed to society as a whole.
There is nothing whatsoever good about a wealthy state that won’t even provide national health care or Social Security for its people. And as the commenter points out, the state housing was created in a very sleazy way, by stealing the land of the rivals of Lee’s party. In addition, the lands of subsistence farmers were also confiscated.
I had a discussion about Singapore with a friend of mine. The Right likes to claim that the rightwing more or less neoliberal society of Singapore can be repeated elsewhere on a global scale as some sort of a model.
My friend pointed out that Singapore is a very rich country that exists simply due to the very low wages paid to the workers from surrounding lands who commute into Singapore every day to work. It’s based on exploitation of the poor. How can the whole world become “rich” like Singapore? It’s not possible, and it cannot be duplicated.
Presently the housing prices are so insanely high that most Singaporeans cannot even afford a home. This results in children living at home far into their 20’s and 30’s and not marrying and starting families. Because housing and the cost of living is so expensive, most of the young have decided that it makes no sense at all to have kids.
Lee has created a rich people’s paradise in Singapore, a nearly feudal state where the workers are so priced out of the economy that they are refusing to breed and have no roofs over their heads.
Lee has apparently adopted the traditional neoliberal model of continuous importation of cheap labor from abroad to be exploited by rich Singaporeans. Well, that is quite progressive.
Now that the productive economy is hollowing out because property prices are so high that few businesses even want to pay the rent necessary to do business there, Singapore is turning to a financialized and parasitic economy like New York City’s. Singapore will become a giant casino and tax haven for the rich. Some model!

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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Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan

AJ asks:

Neoliberalism works in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. They are rated as the freest economies by the Heritage Foundation. No starvation or shantytowns there. 

First of all, I would never read anything that the Heritage Foundation says about anything, nor would I trust any of their scales, which are probably rigged so that rich countries mysteriously end up with the “freest economies” and poor countries somehow end up with the “least free” economies.
Anyway, capitalism can definitely create wealth. Anyone knows that.
The post asked why it can’t do stuff like feed people, educate them, give them medical care, give them decent clothes and housing, transportation and full unemployment. Obviously, neoclassical economics is a complete disaster as far as all that goes.
Hong Kong is full of the most horrible shantytowns that lack even the most basic services. It’s truly awful.
Singapore is a social democracy. Plus it has very heavy state involvement in the economy (corporatist), unless I am mistaken.
Taiwan is another state in which the state is heavily involved in working with industry to plan the development of the capitalist economy. This is the corporatist model that is typical in that region. South Korea and Japan area also corporatist states. Taiwan appears to be a social democracy. They also did a huge land reform in the early days. In addition, their economic growth was predicated on decades of protectionism as they used trade barriers to protect their nascent industry from foreign competition.
Neoliberalism is opposed to land reform, social democracy in any and all forms, protectionism and trade barriers, and in particular to corporatism.
Even if those countries were running according to the neoliberal model (and it’s not clear if they are), one must ask why it is succeeding there and failing everywhere else.

Is Conservatism Always Bad?

Yes.
In my opinion, conservatism is always bad. Conservatism is always and everywhere at all times elite rule and only elite rule. Some support elite rule. I don’t. I support popular rule. I say elite rule is bad. Since elite rule is always bad, conservatism is always bad. Real simple.
In addition, conservatism is almost always dishonest. As an elite philosophy, you can either be honest about your goals and say you are working to better the elite and harm everyone else – say, the top 20% will benefit and the bottom 80% will be harmed, or you can lie and say you are out for everyone when you are not. It usually doesn’t work for conservatives to tell the truth, but now and then they do. Most people are not so stupid as to vote for an elite party when they are members of the non-elite group who will be harmed by the elite party. So conservatives, always and everywhere at all times, lie. They lie about their project. They have to, because often that’s the only way to get in.
But this continuous lying results in a destruction of Politics. There’s not much of a democracy left when almost the entire media is lying their fool heads off day and night. The population is bewildered at best or brainwashed at worst. This is the sort of “democracy” we have here in America. It’s hardly a democracy at all!
Erranter asks if we should not be bashing conservatives.

Doesn’t a conservative just mean someone who is fine with the way things are going, the status quo? There are places where the status quo is democracy and none of those above things. I don’t think it’s fair to attach “bad” to the very definition of conservative and “good” to progressive. That’s changing the definitions which people use to communicate and permanently attaching a moral judgment. It’s also unequivocal that conservatives are bad, because a part of this new definition is that they are bad.

Someone who is fine with the way things are going, the status quo – No, that is not what conservatism means.
Conservatism is elite rule. It always has been, it is now, and it always will be. Some things never change. Elites hate democracy. The Republican Party hates democracy. Notice how they are always trying to repress voter turnout. Heavy turnout is always bad for the elite Republicans. Given half a chance, sane electorates generally vote for popular rule (the Left) and against elite rule (the Right). Why would any electorate voluntarily vote against popular rule and for elite rule? They would have to be out of their minds (like the US electorate).
It’s hard to vote in elite rule. People don’t like it too much. So conservatives usually need to rule by dictatorship in one form or another. Once Latin America got rid of the dictatorships, the first thing the people did was vote in the Left.
There are only a few places on Earth where US style hard rightwing conservatives are actually voted into power, and those elections are problematic because the popular, anti-elite candidates of the Left are typically murdered.
The US
Guatemala
El Salvador (though the Left is starting to win now)
Colombia
Chile
Turkey
The Philippines
That’s about it.
The conservatives in El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Turkey and the Philippines all rule by terror. They all run death squads and slaughter the Left.
In the Philippines, conservatives run as populists who will fight and get rid of poverty, so that’s not really US conservatism.
In Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador, conservatives usually run on a platform of “kill the Communists (the Left).”
Everywhere else on Earth, people generally vote in some sort of a liberal to socialist type government.
All of Africa has generally been run by popular Leftwing parties, with a few exceptions in Zaire and Kenya. They haven’t done a very good job of popular rule, but US style conservatism simply does not exist there.
In North Africa, most of the governments are socialist. Morocco was always the outlier, as it was ruled by a rightwing king, but he’s a dictator.
All of the Arab World is generally run by some type of socialist party or other. US style conservatism never takes power there.
All of the former Soviet Republics are now run by some type of socialist government or other.
All of Europe is being run by some type of socialist government or other, with the possible exception of Great Britain. The UK was always the outlier. US style conservatism ruled under Thatcher, but she was probably the most hated ruler in the 20th Century UK, and she couldn’t get much done.
Russia is run by a socialist regime under Putin.
The Iranian religious government has always been socialist in nature.
It’s hard to characterize the Karzai regime, but it is not US conservatism.
The Pakistani government is very hard to characterize, but it is not US style conservatism. The recently assassinated leader, Benazir Bhutto, was a socialist. The President, her widower, is also a socialist.
Since Independence, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka have generally been run by socialist regimes of one type or another.
Myanmar is run by a regime that calls itself socialist.
Singapore has a social democracy.
SE Asia has been run by socialists since 1975. Thailand typically had rightwing military government. Recently, a progressive, Thaksin, was elected. He was extremely popular, but the conservative elite threw him out in a coup like they often do. At any rate, US style conservatism does not exist in Thailand.
China is run by a socialist party.
Mongolia is run by socialists.
Japan has been a social democracy since 1945.
True, South Korea was always a rightwing regime, but recently they elected a leftwinger.
Taiwan was always ruled by a rightwing dictatorship, but I am not sure who is in power since independence. They have had a social democracy for a while now.
Indonesia was always run by a rightwing dictatorship, but they recently went to democracy. The present leader has begun a number of socialist programs.