Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 31, 2008

Billmon?

Is this THE Billmon?

But I was around, and following congressional politics rather closely (by which I mean professionally) when McCain first popped up on the political radar screen in 1986 during the so-called Keating Five scandal. In exchange for various regulatory favors, Keating, a wealthy and politically, um, generous, S&L executive, turned himself into the special friend of a bipartisan group of sleazebag Senators, with five in particular, including McCain, reaping most of the benefits. By modern standards (i.e. Jack Abramoff’s and Ted Steven’s standards) it was actually pretty tame stuff, but it was considered a big deal at the time)

Hmmm  ...

Go read: The Great White Hope

Thanks to furrythug and to Fran for linking this in comments.

Posted by b on July 31, 2008 at 20:20 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Yay! billmon, boo, dailykos...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 31 2008 21:10 utc | 1

Great commentary, Billmon writes wonderfully, I loved his commentary on the 2006 Lebanon war, but if you will permit me my normal acidity, isn't it a bit late? It's been evident for a week or two that McCain is a lame candidate. His campaign is not getting off the ground. When Obama is out wowing the foreigners, in the Middle East and in Europe (with whatever success), McCain's visit to the Gulf of Mexico oil platforms is cancelled.

The latest issue is the video comparing Obama to Britney Spears. Will it go down well with the redneck base? Some say yes, some say no. but not certain.

But what is certain is that the Rovian attack dogs have not yet come to fight for McCain. Will they?

Of course, as a European, I have no right to say anything...

Posted by: alex | Jul 31 2008 21:11 utc | 2

Sorry, I didn't address the question of whether it is the real Billmon, I presumed it was. Evidently I don't know his style like you do. I would say, whatever, it was a pretty good commentary anyway.

Posted by: alex | Jul 31 2008 21:15 utc | 3

it's a nice piece of writing, whoever it is & yes alex i think it is precisely for an american audience

but the beauty of the moon for me is simply the breadth & constance of b's work - whic covers not only economics, but also geopolitics in a way that is simply not covered anywhere else

b was the first to pick up on baluchstan, lots of stuff on the old soviet republics - with b real - the coverage here on africa is exceptional to many of my african comrades here - the moon has become a necessary resource

& b has honoured the arc of opinion that was there at the whiskybar - which is not consensual & is necessarily conflictual. it is not a church, there are no gods, & false pieties belong in the dustbin

but any writer putting their shoulder or even their forehead to the wheel to analyse our slaughterhouse of a world is a particular kind of grace

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jul 31 2008 21:22 utc | 4

We'll see how long billmon's use of the kos forum survives the inevitable and necessary ridicule of brainless dkos obama-worship.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2008 21:38 utc | 5

seconded r'giap.

Posted by: CP | Jul 31 2008 21:40 utc | 6

Slo, troll the fuck elsewhere, or make a substantive comment please.

Posted by: CP | Jul 31 2008 21:44 utc | 7

billmon's wikipedia entry includes mention of today's post:

On July 31, 2008, Billmon returned to Daily Kos to post a diary entry in regard to John McCain entitled "The Great White Hope".

Interesting. Hope his McCain critique makes the rounds.


Posted by: Hamburger | Jul 31 2008 21:45 utc | 8

CP

And you are just sucking somebody else's dick, it seems.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 31 2008 21:52 utc | 9

Yep, that is billmon alright.

Funny, I always had just a little suspicion that "b" was billmon. Well, if he is not, he is as good in his own way.

Posted by: buckaroo | Jul 31 2008 22:13 utc | 10

1986 - wasn't billmon a financial reporter for usa today at that time?

glad to see him writing an extended political piece, no matter how safe it may be

it's definitely aimed @ the media - helping them to kick that special relationship the press has w/ mccain

Posted by: b real | Jul 31 2008 22:46 utc | 11

Billmon was active in printed media in mid-1980s from what I gathered from his blog. And since it's clearly his account, and the style looks good enough, I don't see any reason to doubt.
As for Billmon coming late, maybe was he too busy before. He may be in vacation right now, changing job, or something like this, which would allow to blog a bit since a couple of days, but not 2 weeks ago. We just can't know, he's been MIA since so long.

Whatever, it's good to have him back at least for some time.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jul 31 2008 23:38 utc | 12

i was going to tell #7 that #5 seemed substantive to me (although i know Sloth's behavioral record), but #9 is below the belt line... so... whatever...

: billmon be welcomed and long live to B !
..&, rgiap, must say that you're now more concise and incisive than ever, salut!

Posted by: rudolf | Aug 1 2008 0:14 utc | 13

mmm, the B above is meant to be b
.

Posted by: | Aug 1 2008 0:16 utc | 14


very pregnant post from Billmon.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 1 2008 0:48 utc | 15

I wandered to MoA while in a billmon swoon. b's hosting is more tactful. b's comments carry more insight, and draw important viewpoints from minute discrepancies in reporting. Billmon had a stilletto, b has a scalpel. Heck, b's occasional satire and humor are on a par with some of billmon's. This site teaches. I hold b and the commenters here in the highest regard.

Posted by: Browning | Aug 1 2008 1:09 utc | 16

If it is the real billmon, he also seems to be posting under the nick PeterP (hah!). He's been commenting and posting under his alter ego for the last nine months.

Posted by: dmd76 | Aug 1 2008 2:04 utc | 17

441 comments on Billmon's article on KOs thus far. I've missed him. but B, you are a God send. I'll drink with either of you any time. Come up to Northerm Maine1

Posted by: Diogenes | Aug 1 2008 2:59 utc | 18

only thing missing was the inflammatory photoshopping

anyone remember Howlin' Wolf?

Posted by: furrythug | Aug 1 2008 3:28 utc | 19

furrythug, hahahaha... I write, 'lol' in text a lot, but that really did make me burst out in laughter, tanks for postin that & thanks 4 the memories, billmon...lol

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 5:47 utc | 20

I was a research assistant in Arizona in the early 80's when John McCain was just starting his political career. His new wife's family basically bought him the nomination in a staunchly Republican district, all but guaranteeing him a seat.

I had him pegged for a carpetbagging opportunist back then. I favored him over George Bush as a primary candidate in 2000, but was not surprised that the character assassins made short work of him as soon as he threatened to disrupt the coronation process.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 1 2008 6:14 utc | 21

He's busy, here is his next posting on dKos:

Daily Kos: First time as tragedy, second time as farce

In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The "meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’" according to one of Hersh’s sources.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 1 2008 7:22 utc | 22

Nice to read billmon again but let's hope he's just warming up.

Posted by: biklett | Aug 1 2008 7:23 utc | 23

EU agrees to go beyond U.N. sanctions on Iran

The European Union has agreed to go beyond United Nations sanctions on Iran, instructing its financial institutions to exercise "restraint" on export credits and allowing its navies to inspect all Iran-bound cargoes, a senior diplomat said on Wednesday.

When the EU puts this practice into action, the EU will have, in effect, declared a naval blockade against Iran, which is an act of war.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 1 2008 8:28 utc | 24

billmon's return is being welcomed across the web.
$cam, nice pick up. If the Bush legacy for the Democrats is to be as toxic as they'd like, this prelude to war plays into their hands.

Posted by: waldo | Aug 1 2008 9:58 utc | 25

@Uncle @24 - that Reuters piece is based on a "diplomat in Brussels" who may well be from the U.S. or Israel ...

Posted by: b | Aug 1 2008 10:11 utc | 26

@rudolf (auspicious #13)

Bit ironic that in a thread dedicated to a potential revival of the wheat we should also be seeing the uncontested revival of the chaff. Trolls are indefatigable and even commenting about them in a meta sense (as I am guilty of doing right now) ensures their continued presence.

Billmon's approach to the problem (and it is a problem) was the Civil War surgeon's approach: he amputated the festering limb before it affected the larger corpus. Bit extreme, but it left his blog, his reputation, and presumably his psyche, hobbled but whole.

Many things should just pass without comment due to their apparent self-evidence. Problem I have found is that what is self-evident to me is not exactly clear to my colleagues (I'm not as charitable with that benefit-of-doubt any longer), and I can't blame Billmon for his solution to it. I dearly love b's tireless, Buddhist approach to things, but I haven't the patience he has for it... either engaging the willfully ignorant or reading other people's engagements of the same.

When Billmon eliminated comments from his blog back in 2004, he had this to say:

over the past few months I've noticed a definite deterioration in the quality of the conversation here at the bar. Trolls I can usually give the bum's rush pretty quickly - at least most of the time. But I'm seeing more and more stuff on the threads that strikes me as marginal at best....- people who seem to get their main kick out of insulting or picking fights with the other patrons; people who don't have anything particularly intelligent to say, and aren't very articulate about saying it....That's generally what the on-line world is like, I know, but for a time Whiskey Bar seemed to inhabit a different space: a bit more thoughtful, more intimate, less raucous, and - maybe most important of all - less crowded.

More on-topic, I have no reason to suspect that this piece was written by anyone other than the Billmon, but I've also had my nom-de-guerre (or near enough to it to pass without close scrutiny) attached to things written in a style entirely different than my own and had people whom I thought were more intelligent/ more intimate with me fooled by it. As for authenticity of authorship, I quite frankly don't trust anyone else's judgement as a result.

Concerning the substance of the piece in question, it's very readable and accessible and tells us very little that we weren't already aware (McCain is an opportunistic, hawkish, double-dealing, backstabbing, lying, larcenous, perverted worm? You don't say!), but it is nice to have some of the particulars at our fingertips.

I don't habitually read kos, so thanks Furrythug, Fran and, as always, b, for linking to that here.

Posted by: Monolycus | Aug 1 2008 11:11 utc | 27

Grand to read Billmon again. Marvellous writer.

AFP puts it this way: “EU nations held a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday and are keen to apply existing UN sanctions against Iran more robustly, an EU diplomat said Wednesday.” http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gIBas0-i_our6SzuqJqJXg236vvw>AFP 1 Aug. Resol. 1803 dates from March and has not been applied by the EU.

EU business: “In the end they (EU) agreed to go beyond the letter of the resolution, which tightened measures aimed at persuading the Islamic republic to suspend..”

Vague language:

“The resolution notably urges states to "exercise vigilance" in entering into new commitments for public-provided financial support for trade with Iran, including the granting of export credits. It also urges vigilance in dealing with "all banks domiciled in Iran, in particular Bank Melli and Bank Saderat and their branches and subsidiaries based abroad."

The EU text will go further by urging European nations to exercise "restraint" in its dealings with Iran in these areas, the diplomat said.” http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/1217437323.01>EUB 31 Jul.

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 1 2008 11:21 utc | 28

Is it just me or won't DKos allow you to print from their site? If so, any way around it?

Posted by: beq | Aug 1 2008 11:25 utc | 29

Well with crude in the low 120's it was inevitable that the good old boys crank up some new rumour about Iran. No doubt most have seen this article already:

As political heat rises over high oil prices, Exxon Mobil yesterday announced the biggest quarterly profit of any corporation in U.S. history, breaking its own previous record with $11.68 billion in earnings during the second quarter. The company's revenue surged 40 percent, to $138.07 billion for the quarter. If it were a country, the company would have the 18th-largest economy in the world.

The engine behind those results was Exxon Mobil's oil and gas production. Exxon Mobil produces about 2.4 million barrels a day of oil and natural gas liquids worldwide. It sold that output for an average of $119.28 a barrel, more than $50 a barrel higher than the price a year earlier, essentially riding the wave of world oil prices that has boosted prices at the pumps.

Profit from oil and gas production accounted for the overwhelming majority of the company's earnings, which rose 14 percent compared with the second quarter of 2007.

Dutch english conglomerate shell along with french oil monopoly Total have also set new record profits out of the world's misery.

I suspect too many peeps have been attributing to cheney a quality that is sadly lacking in amerikan bred corporate greedheads. That is the ability to think past the next quarter's bottom line.
Just as the evidence points to cheney's spruiking for an invasion of Iraq being motivated by little more than the desire to maximise Halliburton profits, the same claim can be made about his continual, plaintive now rather than bellicose ,bleating and beating the Iran war drum.

Every time cheney or some paid lackey in amerika or israel cranks up the notion of a blue with Iran, crude oil shoots up by $5 a bbl.

The news that Iran was talking to the great satan had oil on a downward blip but these fresh renderings of stale arguments have put the price back on an upward increment.

b questioned the identity of the anonymous informant and as some of us have been saying here for a while so many of these iran stories just don't fit they cloash with other known facts.

If europe were to blockade iran exceeding the sanction approved by the UN - un giving the sanctions a legality they otherwise lack, how could europe legally counter Iran putting it's own blockade on european ships going past Irans doorstep? Europe has a hell of a lot more to lose in the blockade game than iran does which is what makes that rumour so facile and totally unrealistic.

Even more so when considered in the light of Germany's deal. In fact the stories may be that classic counter move of blowing a heap of smoke around so amerikan peeps don't notice the german deal and still think everyone is 100% onto war with iran and not just the neo-zi french prez ably assisted by gordon brown-nose.

I see all the pols are hurrumping and threatening 'hearings' on the inordinate profits that the oil compamnies are making.
How much longer are peeps gonna tolerate that bullshit before they recognise that hearings do nothing other than allow pols free advertising and that peeps need to force the pols to institute price controls?
Real price controls where any increase must be approved by the price control authority who will only do so after a real cost increase on the product has been demonstrated. Natch an increase in the spot price doesn't make the vast majority of oil which companies purchase, that had it's price fixed years ago on long term contract, cost any more. Not that many peeps are aware of that but a price control authority would be in the know.

If the profits have increased as much as they have, the oil companies claim, that they are just passing on an increased cost, is plainly a lie.

The oilers have done what any greedy guts would do when faced with politicians incompetent shilly-shallying. For too long pols everywhere have been mumbling about the neccessity to increase the tax on oil products to decrease demand and then use the tax to help ameliorate the damage done by hydro carbon products, subsidise public transport pay for alternative sustainable energy sources and all the other projects too many pols discuss and too few pols implement.

They took so long, the oil companies decided they would rather push the price up as high as the market would bear, and that way prevent governments from siphoning off any of 'their' revenue.
Of course the price was pushed much higher than governments were going to go; so as to ensure that a tax increase or new tax became impossible. This way the energy corps get fully rewarded for any drop in consumption. assholes

Maybe John Hopkins need to do one of their mortality projects on exactly how many have died around our rock as a result of the insupportably high oil prices which have been passed on to consumers by way of a rise in all prices especially that of food which has risen 200%.

The next time a pol or an oil company lackey near you starts spouting about the cost rises being the fault of china and or india's burgeoning middle class, ask em if that is the case why has the cost of foodstuffs only increased dramatically in the last couple of years? China and India have had an exponential increase in middle class humans at least since the mid 90's. That didn't put any pressure on food prices for a decade. prices only went up when speculators buoyed by all of the iran war stories, pushed up fuel prices a couple years back. Those increases flowed on to us all. Of course many food corps have done the same as the oil companies and kept pushing their prices higher using the alleged increase in transportation costs caused by fuel increases as an excuse.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 1 2008 12:11 utc | 30

normal ctrl + p works fine for me.
to strip down the page printing the article only, you can use this nice firefox addon: NukeAnythingEnhanced.

Posted by: | Aug 1 2008 12:19 utc | 31

Thanks anon. That (ctrl+p) didn't work for me but found another way.

Posted by: beq | Aug 1 2008 12:42 utc | 32

Nice to see Billmon writing again, but MoA has gone way beyond the Bar in breadth, scope and insight, all thanks to b. I came to Whiskey Bar for the comments, not for Billmon's satirico-political haikus, incisive though they were. But b, you seed and nurture a depth of debate through your own work and your own spirit that is truly matchless. Your threads are a daily inspiration and a challenge.

And not even Billmon will induce me to patronize dkos.

Posted by: Tantalus | Aug 1 2008 13:12 utc | 33

Billmon digs at the Great White Hope, I wonder how some potshots at the Bringer of Light will go over with da Kos crowd. There is less of a past to resurrect, virginity has its uses.

Politicians of course care nothing for historical truth, it is not their role, and assessing character by flip flops is a vain exercise - they are media creations, stand ins, spokesmen, follow the advice of strategists, the past is but a map that can be reinterpreted.

Flip flopping, past sins, mistakes, crimes, shoddy morality, is something that one accuses one’s lover or neighbor of. A lack of honor, consistency, poor ethics, faulty memory may be pertinent in the personal sphere - but in politics?

Lacking a party system (in the real sense) the US is thrown into considering candidates as an emblem, of what exactly is not clear, and second, as a person. It is a popularity contest, very similar to TV survivalist type shows, or the fame, popularity, of actors (and pols are actors), judged both by ‘the roles they played’ and ‘their personal life’, melded into a eerie, composite, shifting picture. Rock bands trumpet personal political opinions, actresses have to show compassion for fly-infested expiring children to get good roles.

The anticipated outcome of the US election depends on how one judges the divide or link between popular culture and hard-headed geo-politics.

Imagine, for a moment, a TV series, where Obama, Hill and McCain, play parts. Obama will be the most popular, his strange but cool name, youth, savvy lines, good looks, mixed ancestry, skin color, mild rebellion conventional outsider thing, are huge assets. He’s da hee-ro. The series would collapse without him. Hillary has her supporters, in the sense that when asked questions like “who do you like best..what character do you identify with most, whose actions do you approve of...” etc. some smallish % of responders, very steady thru time, express heartfelt allegiance to her. The viewers, asked whom would be the best prez, if (:: this tv show was a reflection of real life) would answer McC, to the tune of at least 70%.

His true nature is irrelevant. His past, ditto. Popular culture replicates geo politics and magnifies it. A hawkish, white, elderly, Republican figure is the only one who can defend America and Americans, kill others for resources in the most efficient way. Do the right thing.

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 1 2008 14:03 utc | 34

i'm glad to see billmon writing again, agree that moonofalabama2008 is more than and different from billmon's whiskey bar - and with regard to whether it was shakespeare, or another man with the same name, who wrote the comedies/tragedies/farces/case studies - i see it asserted - #17, supra - that "he also seems to be posting under the nick PeterP" - what observations are evidence for this conclusion?

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Aug 1 2008 15:11 utc | 35

i welcome anybody that speaks out - billmon amongst them - but as tantalus - i find dkos a useless research source - atfiredoglake - only siun & emptywheel - consistently offer something other than a juvenile fascination with 'jurisprudence' & 'politics'. other than that - as has been encouraged here - is to work wide on the sources - wherever they come from - even the most conspiracy laced sites - still offer some useful info amongst their manias - & manias are not so unusual in a culture that excacerbates & activates & encourages mania through its own maniacal discourses

however, for all the heat here - the moon is a calmer bar - where it is possible to listen - i would not be so angry with slothrop if he simply provided evidence, facts, empirical proofs - he does not - he offers ideas & metaphysics - while sometimes engaging are not useful in themselves

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 18:35 utc | 36

remembereringgiap, I would add that atrios has extraordinary peripheral vision (and I certainly share your thoughts about the others).

We had to get over the loss of billmon; we had to do the work of mourning (and so, I suppose, did he). One result has been the "calmer bar" of which you speak.

I hope he'll join us now and then, and I'd like to think that he lurks from time to time.

Posted by: alabama | Aug 1 2008 19:37 utc | 37

Just went to take a look, and I came upon this post-Katrina billmon post on Whiskey Bar Sept. 6 2005.

Must have missed it the first time around, it's a fine example of snark:

Dead or Alive

... Then Dick Cheney would have to go on Meet the Press and promise Tim Russert that Operation Cyclone Liberation would be a piece of cake, because the waves in the Indian Ocean would greet us as liberators, allowing our troops to walk on water.
...
Then Kerry would get pissy and demand that Bush dump even more troops into the Indian Ocean, and Bush would get even more defensive, and babble some feeble lie about how he relies on his generals to tell him how many troops they need to dump into the Indian Ocean in order to make sure we fight the cyclones there instead of in New Orleans. ...
There's more. I'm still laughing ... on the inside.

Posted by: jonku | Aug 1 2008 20:14 utc | 38

alabama

you are right, of course - there are a few like susang who participated here who in effect follow the i f stone investigative route replacing the complete absence of that kind of work in the media - except after the fact(as seems the case of the now dead (suicided)microbioligist dr ivins who was awarded the highest military honour as late as 2003) - the late steve gilliard was also quite special tho i did not agree with him - otherwise it is not a lot more than a gossip ground for the numbercrunchers of the internets tammany hall

what is here is the generosity of other posters who are forever researching & giving links & more links from all over the world. it is here at the moon that i've been able to follow meandering rivers of research of which i would have otherwise been completely ignorant

& for all the rivulets that flow from these rivers there is not a whole lot of noise - which is all that is apparent on the sites like dkos - there is a 'silence' which permit me to understand a little of the slaughterhouse in which we live - without the sordid soundscape of the sophists that many american sites surround themselves

it is ironic, that here americans form 70% of the posters( am i right, b) & there is none of that sordid soundscape. there are ruptures, there are emotive full responses but given the catastrophe we actually live i am surprised by our manners

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 20:26 utc | 39

& in the prolixity of discourses - as i think the admirable pessimist foucauld said - i offer my own voice to the tiny resistances we must make with every breath. so much here demands the honor of guests to build barricades of words to defend against the assault of reason. & grazing on metaphors today - which i do every morning after dismounting my baguette - my struggle is a kind of infinite hopscotch grid of intelect - my ego is a small girl in a whispy sunday dress skipping from here to there and every square she lands upon is an idea of terrible beauty - as plekhonov said during lunch on the last day of trhe internationale - the first & final revolution is 'benign heroism of inaction'. & to have such friends here who value my old groaning of verities nothing can dislodge me from the happinbess of my compounding certainties - not even slothrop and his almanac of numbers and names.this game of hopscotch is interminible and played only by me.

& as blind blond willy moonbite sang - gonna go downtown/gonna see my gal / gonna sing her a song / gonna show her my ding dong

venceremos..........

Posted by: rememberingiap | Aug 1 2008 20:30 utc | 40

me, evidently.

Posted by: rememberinggiap | Aug 1 2008 20:33 utc | 41

slothrop

satire was never your strongest suit

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 20:57 utc | 42

& i think it is true that when you offered something more than your sophomoric cynicism - when you were capable of actually creating your post rather than the too-easy-asides that have become your stock in trade in any critque of the empire, in any critique of the war crimes that are specific to that empire, any critique of the 'jurisprudence' of the empire - & it is strange in that it is something you shared with billmon - an american exceptionalism - in terms of blood. all discourse no matter how volatile hides the fact of the river of blood behind it - that the organisation of the world is a purely american matter - & this american exceptionalism is really angry only with the current elites - who are the crudest expression of their doctrines

they would prefer the 'decent' truman-ite times when all was good on the farm

but as dos passos or james agee could have told them - the farm had already burnt down

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 21:12 utc | 43

You wouldn't know "empire" if it delivered you your next dose of methadone.

I was right about the war. I said here in 2003 that you underestimated US power. You were wrong about iraqi nationalism, the modern history of internecine conflicts there; wrong about the mobilization of anti-US insurgency throughout the arab diaspora. There's not one thing in what passes for analysis in your feverish bullshit that even came close to truth about the war.

And the "empire"--your grand idea--is just that. Anyone who claims the US is "empire" while illyric france is peripheral congenial land, is risibly stupid.


Posted by: slothrop | Aug 1 2008 21:31 utc | 44

but yeah. Good to see billmon sharpening his stick again.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 1 2008 21:32 utc | 45

u s power has been revealed to one & all as a paper tiger - it is in defeat & the invasion of iras was the sign the most certain of that defeat

you have absolutely no understanding of what constitutes a nationalist struggle in iraq nor its strategy. five years is a short time in history & in that small time they have reduced the empire to its knees

your comments on the 'intrinsic' nature of the 'internecine' conflict are the commentary i remember from both you & billmon. a complete rejection on your part that any form of 'salvador option' was a possibility marked you as the fuzziest of centrists

i'd say that the configurations against u s imperialism have never been so strong in my life, qualitatively different even than during the vietnam war. even your elite's media cannot hide the fact that u s imperialism is the most despised force on earth & the convrete oppossition to it is permutating everywhere

'satire' in the sense it is uttered avove represents solely a socialism of the stupid

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 22:27 utc | 46

the global capitalist class, not your mystical "empire," is now more powerful than ever. You don't see it, so you don't even know who your enemies are anymore.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 1 2008 22:43 utc | 47

i do not see it because - while you are an academic - you seem to know very little about economics, you seem to not know how transnational corporations function, you have an even sloppier understanding of speculation & the stockmarket - i think that is perhaps because you are from a discipline only concerned with language. perhaps that is why you don't understand figures, numbers & dates

what is more perplexing in the american exceptionalis you share with billmon - is that he is supposed to be a financial reporter in the belly of the beast, itself. at one time he worked for u s a today - some soft pornographic imperialist rag - so i'd be under the impression he understands the little cogs of capital well

but then, when idealism is turned on its head becomes a breathtaking form of misanthropy

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 22:59 utc | 48

what i would suggest as a antidote to your american exceptionalism - is a close rewatching of sam peckinpah's 'pat garret & bill the kid'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 1 2008 23:14 utc | 49

though a child talking to the smart men with the big sticks, i hope, sloth, you have been granted a spot in the borderless bunker where the mighty global capitalists shall await the culling of herd.

if you have not been granted that level of access, your malicious sputtering places you squarely in a special kind of hell reserved for those incapable of relating to their fellow human brethren in a civil manner. hopefully you will one day realize the finite spark that is your wasted life is being spent by agitating forums like MoA where honest work towards understanding the complexities of a fucked up world is undertaken.


Posted by: Lizard | Aug 2 2008 7:21 utc | 50

Thanks for clearing the air, lizard. You are so right.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 13:11 utc | 51

I think what Lizard meant is that you are a boring wanker, Slothrop. And if he didn't, I do.

Posted by: Tantalus | Aug 2 2008 13:23 utc | 52

tantalus

Don't read anything I post here. Pretty simple. I don't read your gee whiz! posts.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 14:19 utc | 53

& again what is perplexing with someone who has studied language & rhetoric to become a sort of meyer-lansky-menshevik that you have not understood history

transnational movements of capital are themselves no stranger to imperialism - both british & french imperialism benefited from them

you wuld do well to reread baran & sweezy - though being sophistaces you would find them too crud. the students of baran & sweezy have done the world a great service in making clear - how exactly - u s imperialism retains control even in its dying moments

but the dying moments of that imperialsm have been noted in one of the posts of billmon a long time ago reminiscing about a chilhood memory. as i remember it it was a kind of pastiche of james agee & upton sinclair - describing a piece of road & the business that used to pass on it. it was in its way as eloquent statement on the moral collapse of empire as the more polemical pieces tried to articulate

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 2 2008 14:43 utc | 54

i also wanted to make a point about the 'calm' here, yhat though there is rage & there is fury - there is very little bitterness

i spoke a long time ago about white skin privilege, & when that bitterness is expressed in ad hominem attacks by people who benefit directly from the empire - it is little hard to swallow

& if i ever had a real problem with billmon - it was that - there was a bitterness of a person betrayed - like the ex communists before their 'god who failed' - put simply they have no right to that bitterness. in the end - not a lot of white people do because even the poorest of us has benefited until now from policies that wera at once exploititative & genocidal

i witness every day here people whose lives, dreams & desires have been broken apart - & amongst the bitterness is extremely rare - so when i read a site like dkos - that is all i seem to hear - babies crying bitterly about the world they thought was theirs

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 2 2008 15:04 utc | 55

"Empire" has reduced efficacy in any analysis of globalization for the simple reason IT and financial "innovations" have made it possible for capital to expand and deflate regional economies in the restless pursuit of profit. The old imperialism was a workhorse for a n historically situated moment in the development of globalizing capital. world systems core/periphery north/south dichotomies were useful in the moment of decolonization and analysis of comprador exploitation of the "3rd world."

It's a different ballgame now. Global Capital is in many ways a post-nationalist power bloc whose policies are promulgated by institutions and less by states. This is not "empire" but the successful configuration of monopoly TNCs and finance advancing in a stunningly coordinated way the interests of a global capitalist class.

And the "empirics" for this are prodigious.

I await your damning rebuke cloaked in a personal insult.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 15:19 utc | 56

sloth wrote:

the global capitalist class, not your mystical "empire," is now more powerful than ever. You don't see it, so you don't even know who your enemies are anymore.

The global capitalist class, - the words *web, system, circuit, network, club* might be more appropriate, who am I to presume, it all depends on frame of reference - are extremely dependent on, as well as outcomes of, the long-standing, if ever shifting, Nation States.

For profit, ownership and workers are needed, common sense, no need to plunge into Marxist theory. These rest on national organization, which trickles down to regions, etc.

So the glob.caps defend this organization ardently and will never break with it.

Who are they exactly? Bill Gates? The CEO of Wallmart? W. Buffet? Presumably not Julia Roberts, a highly paid charm worker, or Dick Cheney, an official nominated in a democracy?

Forbes gives a neat map of ‘big companies’ - scroll down a little and click on the pic - http://www.forbes.com/2004/03/24/04f2000land.html>forbes ...are these the global capitalists?

Hunting for definitions or descriptions, that is all.

Empire seems easier to define. Listing the methods of exploitation and control is arduous but could be done, though colonialists and today their new cloak as humanitarians can be counted on to bring up the tired arguments.

The US empire does not, on the maps, or in the law books, resemble the Ottoman empire, or the Roman one (closest ex. maybe) but is one nevertheless, imho.

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 2 2008 16:04 utc | 57

Language is the stuff of empire: a language can circulate just like capital, and also belong (as a mother tongue) to some communities rather than others.

The ongoing action in Iraq can be seen as the effort of an Anglophone community to further the place of English by in Arabic-speaking community. How else, indeed, to understand the injecting, into Iraqi politics, of 1000 monoglot, anglophone, "diplomats"?

It rather disturbs the positivist binary of "national" and "global," and in a most empirical way.

Posted by: alabama | Aug 2 2008 16:11 utc | 58

Who are they exactly?

Look at this sector by sector. For example, CNET Tech Index is a good place to locate IT services and R&D. The overlap of the Index w/ http://www.zdnetasia.com/toptech/2006/listing.htm>CNET's Asian Tech Index is revealing. The value added high-tech Asian stuff is dominated by TNC FDI, and mostly from the OECD.

The affect of this concentration on "skilled-labor" is downward pressure on wages especially in the deindustrializing core and an increase in wages in zones of development in the periphery.

This trend militates very favorably to the shareholders as labor costs in the "knowledge-based economy" are suppressed on a global scale.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 16:28 utc | 59

sloth@56: that was actually an interesting post which you are obviously capable of making and i neither intend to rebuke it or insult you. i know this will sound simplistic to an intellectual such as yourself, but it's pretty obvious to anyone with a modicum of sense that "globalization" is a heartless process that will ultimately enslave much of the global population, and anyone who defends this process is equally heartless and, furthermore, an enemy to the regular folk who are being purposely kept stupid and poor and fearful so this global scam can continue.


Posted by: Lizard | Aug 2 2008 18:02 utc | 60

Yikes, maybe I’m missing some inside sophistication, understanding, but sure, imho, no mystery, downward pressure on the de-industrialized core, etc. Cheap labor with no protection, can, will, produce cheaper goods for export, which will sell.

In pompous, smooth tongue, discourse, was touted: globalization, basically an extension of ‘fake free trade’ would make everyone rich, and so it did, and so it does, on the surface, for a while, for the few, but also for a fringe of the upper middle, who benefits, participates.

Americans can buy affordable goodies, they would pay double, triple, if they were produced by US workers, meanwhile there are few steady well paid factory jobs..everyone is familiar with this argument which dates from Henry Ford.

The effect of the the recent frantic industrialization of China (+, .. ), and its Capitalist Oligarch One party Gvmt, very similar underneath the surface to the US system, is overestimated in the US popular mind.

Coolies, you know, and communists, doing what they can to profit from Americans...and getting rich! Isn’t that a little pathetic? In the ‘free’ market?

China’s exports are in fact not even pointed to the US, which is only one destination, see for ex http://internationaltrade.suite101.com/article.cfm/chinas_top_trading_partners>link - I couldn’t find a per cap. accounting but keep that stat. in mind.

So the Chinese are the global capitalists? Huh, what about the Swiss? Or Cheney, etc?

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 2 2008 18:05 utc | 61

sector by sector - u s imperialism & its minions dominate

i am not surprised that countries that allow real research & development are making great steps - the reality of research & development under the empire is tht the people pay for it & then it is utilised by capital in all its forms

knowing you have not read lenin's 'imperialism - the highest stageof capitalism' - i wonder why you think the u s empire invaded iraq, why that same empire is trying to control the ground in afghanistan & the area around the caspian sea, i wonder why you think the empire has defended israel at all cost - even in front of their collection of crimes & ignorance & rejection of internalional law(a law they yelp for when they want their 'enemies' isolated), why does slothrop think that the empire wants to invade or dominate iran. implicitly, slothrop believes their so called moral imperatives for doing so because that is the only argument left open to him


how slothrop interprets what has happened in asia, latin america & africa in the last fifty years is quite beyond me. in fact his argument against empire are empty. slothrop would make much of the fact that the object of the long war - china - in fact 'lends' money to the empire - but then i am sure he is famiiar with chinese rhetoricians, ancient & modern

in fact, i cede nothing in my critique of the us empire & the so called empirics/metrics slothrop uses here don't amount to a hill of beans

though i agree with lizard at least that post tries to 'analyse' something without needing to wounding anyone

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 2 2008 18:44 utc | 62

You are a relentless prick, I'll give you that.

Imperialism of the kind which led to WWI is an historical artifact. That conflict is explained in large part by a confrontation of nat'l capitals seeking to resolve an accumulation constrained by european empires. The aftermath of that war saw renewed eagerness among western capital to exploit conditions of primitive accumulation in the south: raw materials and agricultural products were imported by the core and the small bourgeoisie of the periphery imported finished goods while investing surpluses in the core economies. Classic imperialism proved to be a barrier to accumulation for a number of reasons I won't mention here. A partial solution was the kind of imperialism the American domination of finance and manufacturing achieved after WWII--which has been in decline since 1973--but an arrangement hugely benefiting the reconstruction of northern economies who have resiliently defended this status quo.

As I said before, the alacrity of modern finance to expand and contract markets via increasing availability of credit and by widening the global scope of investment obviates the older realities of "empire." So too does the mobility of manufacturers to relocate and deepen the sophistication of supply chains and the division of labor and the management of wage-rates via uneven development and unequal exchange.

Acknowledging this reality of these developments is not also a vindication of global capital. What I've just said is repeated in similar ways by everyone from Roubini, Freeman, Noland, to Arrighi, Emmanuel, Harvey and many others.

But you can shove it into your ass and shit it out into anything resembling your hackneyed marxism, rgiap.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 20:27 utc | 63

& your 'comprehension' of economics remains consistently crude - a few footnotes not withstanding

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 2 2008 21:06 utc | 64

And as usual you will be unable to say why my "comprehension is crude."

Just insults.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 21:17 utc | 65

So the Chinese are the global capitalists? Huh, what about the Swiss? Or Cheney, etc?

No doubt, Blackie. New and old money shaking hands under the table.

I'll grant you the projection of US power is justified at the same time as the defense of "an American way of life." But so much of this is rhetoric aimed at winning domestic legitimation of policies benefiting the capitalist class. And even US political class are mystified by the same rhetoric so that decisions are made that seem irrational (tariffs on trade, anti-immigration, rejection of FDI in US by sovereign wealth funds, etc.). That is, the US leaders often make decisions which imperialists would make which actually harm the interests of the capitalist class. There are hiccups. But nevertheless it is astonishing the continuity of policy and purpose aligning global capitalist class interests.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 21:31 utc | 66

slothrop

i have been pedantic enough in the past to offer you a reading list - i imagine you have ignored them & perhaps it was a sign of pomposity on my part to offer it but the intention was clear. i have argued this out wsith you for nearly 4 years now & you have brought so little to the table, really. i don't know - it's like you've read trotsky filtered through daniel bell or fukuyama

your comprehension is crude because it never never - not in your posts anyway - offer any context, anything substantial. it is always peripheral. they are crude because for all the theoreticism they are essentially rudimentary

clearly you are a gifted fellow & a chap like lenin has nothing to offer you in his comprehension of imperialism but there are a number of substantial thinkers alive today who are in his debt

you seem to want to make of yourself an enemy - you are not - i just think you are young & confused & a little guilty of what mao tse tung called 'book-worshp'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 2 2008 21:32 utc | 67

And you are a fuckhead.

I did a lot to honor your intelligence, and for whatever reason, I think perhaps to enhance your following among some of the dim bulbs here, you threw it back in my face. It was convenient for you to do so.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 21:39 utc | 68

and anyone who defends this process is equally heartless and, furthermore

Global trade is good. The ordering of social relations by a globalized capitalist mode of production is bad.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 2 2008 21:48 utc | 69

this is not a church, slothrop & none of us is in the conversion business. we live the lives we live & i doubt even b seeks a 'following'.

i do not know why you use menace & often - even if only rhetorically - but that is your business but it is tiring nonetheless

if once, once you would provide a real context to your discourse then i wouldn't feel so combatitive with you. you do not use theory - you hide behind it & again that is your business - but when you rewrite the history of the middle east, of iraq particularly - you do history a disservice

& when yr on yr global capital rave - you are just like yet another american elmer gantry, pat robertson or todd bentley

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 2 2008 22:03 utc | 70

global trade could be good, but due to systemic inequity promoted by institutions like the WTO, global fiefdom will only get worse. of course the uber-consumer lifestyle of developed nations, most obscenely the US, is a major contributor to this inequity.

if i'm getting you right, sloth, you would have the political class finally adhere policy to the reality of global capital by erasing borders, tariffs, subsidies, etc, so that an actual free market could exist unimpeded by govt interference and outdated nationalism.

the free market will never exist, just like true communism will never exist. greed reigns supreme as the binding philosophy of the capitalist class and the consequences will always fall on the heads of the people at the bottom.

we can argue theories all day and call each other fuckheads when our feelings get hurt but at the end of the day the cost of basic necessities will continue to rise to imperil billions of people who will never get a chance to learn, work, and raise their families in peace.


Posted by: Lizard | Aug 2 2008 22:47 utc | 71

It's funny, no matter how much time passes, this argument is permanent around here.

Posted by: Rowan | Aug 2 2008 22:58 utc | 72

slothrop@68
I did a lot to honor your intelligence, and for whatever reason, I think perhaps to enhance your following among some of the dim bulbs here, you threw it back in my face. It was convenient for you to do so.

can I ask why r'giap was so deserving of such favor in the first place ?

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 3 2008 0:15 utc | 73

"sucking somebody else's dick"
"shove it into your ass"
"fuckhole"

slothy, if u're not concerned about this, ur parents shall be

Posted by: | Aug 3 2008 2:06 utc | 74

Titled under 'Billmon' - endless bullshit rants from r'giap and the sloth. The reason Billmon left.

Posted by: DM | Aug 3 2008 3:10 utc | 75

Huh, I didn't know the origin of Moon of Alabama.

*

So who's the big baddies running the show, Global Capitalists or Fascist America? It was my understanding that the answer is 'both'. Dick Cheney certainly is both. The aggressive industrialized warfare of the latter is a huge profit center for the former.

Nationalism is good for corporations -- when they want 'em their lobbyists have only to write the law for protective tariffs, subsidies, "free trade", whatever they need for a given situation.

Neither of the mud-slingers provides any context since I've been reading; I'd have to go read years of archives to figure out what the fight is over, if indeed it is over anything beyond one subscribing to Marx and one not. Which I doubt it is.

Posted by: Cloud | Aug 3 2008 4:31 utc | 76

Fucking hell I suppode screaming cliches over and over agin is one way to drown out the shrieks of the humans squashed under the invaders' boot, but it is self defeating if quiet is the real aim.
What I have never been able to understand about why this eternal rant drones on, is, who decided capitalism and imperialism lived seperate lives?
Imperialism has always had a mob of capitalists driving it along
As already discussed long ago the first big english empire wasn't founded by england but by the east India company. Roman senators and big merchants/moneylenders were one and the same.
The relationship then as now went capitalists urge the plump targets, but the final decisons are made by the military aligned politicians, usually scions of the 'old money' landed gentry.

The relationship between modern capitalism and amerikan imperialism is plain to see for anyone who looks. That is unless they believe the cascades of cash pouring from the coffers of corporations the bulk of which are listed on the NYSE, into the pockets of amerikas congresspersons and senators in almost direct proportion to those politicians bellicosity, is totally unrelated to said corporations' dependence on the expansion of amerikan empire, but is a function of those corporations' charity expressed as support for 'good governance'. Yeah right.

There was a time back in the earlier noughties when it seemed as though global capitalism and the amerikan empire were indeed coalescing into one and the same thing, but that was before the Iraq criminality revealed the total incompetence of the imperialists and global capitalists. If the greedy guts hadn't shot their wad too early they may well have had the world fall into their laps.

At that time there was no sign of any coherent opposition to a global empire, just an assortment of disillusioned natives of the Middle East who were expressing their opposition with next to no strategic overview and tactics which depended mostly upon good fortune to succeed each day.
But the mad shrub's idiotically conceived global war on terror created a unified, coherent opposition and the security council is no longer a collection of amerikan imperialism's fanbois.
We prolly won't see a philosphically driven opposition to USuk imperial adventures again, but Russia's knowledge that her customers need her goods more than russia needs the customers and China's shift from an export driven economy to a domestically driven one, does mean that the ugly empire peopled by legions of uglies will be opposed every time time its interests fail to intersect with russian and/or chinese interests. ie most of the time.

Eventually, probably quite soon in fact, now that boredom has set in for the amerikan imperialists tired of 'fighting ragheads'- amerika's eye will shift off the ball in the ME, probably while the amerikan empire is indulging in a bit of nostalgic 'oppression of the spics' in Latin America.

At that moment Russia will ease back into it's position of viable alternative to 'big brother' for the teetering states of the ME.

Then amerika will have to forgo strutting about the place all Mutt n Jeff, shortarse israel hanging on. The incongruous pair have to quit playing the local 'standover men' and amerika solo once more, reverts to playing wicked uncle ernie with a pocketful of candy, trying to lure middle eastern states down side alleys using promises of all the chocolate you can eat.

Finally if global capitalism rather than imperialism is the primary disease one can't help but wonder how it came to pass that the interests of global capitalism (ie capturing the last truly 'virgin' markets, those of Africa) were subsumed by amerikan and eurpean national interest when those nations' instransigence put the kybosh on the 'development round' of the WTO Doha Agreement last week.

The chances of resurrection are slim to none, for once even USuk brinkmanship with a big stick failed to cause the world's major primary producers in the south of the planet to budge from their determination that global capital would advance no further until bulk commodity suppliers got a fairer shake.
USuk have been told 'you buy our food or we won't use your banks'.

So the interests of global capitalism were deemed to be less important than the interests of the relatively small population-wise (compared to the already sacrificed manufacturing and service sectors)agricultural sectors of the westernised north.

Could it be that the real power of the elites still rests with the tiny percentage of people in europe and amerika who own the vast bulk of the land in those countries? That when push comes to shove in the engine room of global trade, the interests of mass-market capitalists are forced to play second fiddle to the ancien regimes, the landed gentry? How does that square with the notion of corporate capitalists being the bosses of everything?

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 3 2008 12:50 utc | 77

So the interests of global capitalism were deemed to be less important than the interests of the relatively small population-wise

I wouldn't get too carried away on this point. "Concessions" on food subsidies do not undermine the globalization project. The issue of food security is necessary to any political legitimation even for capitalist totalitarians like the CCP.

Also, the intellectual property rights regime (TRIPS) is largely supported by the BRIC countries for reasons which are obviously central to the massive maldistribution of global wealth.

the interests of mass-market capitalists are forced to play second fiddle to the ancien regimes, the landed gentry?

What do you mean by this?

Debs, I enjoy your earnest screeds, but you suffer from the same problem as rgiap. The assiduous condemnation of US tends to displace more analytical rewards of critique of capital. And though you are not guilty as rgiap, the end of the road in the journey of misapprehension is best expressed by rgiap in his occasional exultation of CCP-cum-capitalist "empire" (a view shared by Chomsky, for chrissakes). And less direct but just as harmful is the argument offered by countless liberal reformists that a more purified form of capitalism, or some tamed version of it, will make everything beautiful. One only has to look at the skyrocketing inequality everywhere to know the endpoint of such reforms.


Posted by: slothrop | Aug 3 2008 15:00 utc | 78

DM, mate,

Don't read my posts. Go read links supplied by our local purveyors of conspiracy theories. That's the shite you love, and of course, sharing your soldier-killing fantasies.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 3 2008 15:04 utc | 79

@ Debs #77's "total incompetence of the imperialists and global capitalists. If the greedy guts hadn't shot their wad too early they may well have had the world fall into their laps."

Not incompetence, are in endgame and know it. Shooting wads is orgasmic, profitable, and teasing/torturing of we cattle.

Owners of big corps also own much land, especially inland land.

Posted by: plushtown | Aug 3 2008 15:11 utc | 80

Fucking hell I suppode screaming cliches over and over agin is one way to drown out the shrieks of the humans squashed under the invaders' boot,

There's hardly a more unhelpful cliche used here than "USuk."

Posted by: | Aug 3 2008 16:27 utc | 81

@anon while I'll concede that USuk is indeed a cliche it is far from unhelpful, the relationship between old and new power of the english speaking white dominated population is covered in a form of shorthand that is both accurately descriptive and expressive.
That northern based coalition of greed has sucked the lifeblood from too many societies leaving chaos, hunger and misery in it's wake. Virtually the whole south of this planet from Latin America across the pacific through southern asia and across to Africa then back again through the Malvinas to southern America has been and still is subjected to parasitic USuk hegemon. No wonder so many of those states including the english speaking white dominated 'allies in the minds' of USuk are currently cosying up to and cavorting with the totalitarian regime of China. Anything must be better than the falsehood piled upon falsehood as they pick yer pockets of the USuk 'alliance'. England and amerika have combined their one-two hit on too many countries for it to be a coincidence. Since the end of ww2 the imperialists in both nations have worked together to enrich themselves at the expense of others.

The other northern cabals have largely faded from view.

USuk is a geat cliche almost onomatopoeic I wish I had thought it up, I didn't but shall continue to use it until something better comes along, unless of course the complaints about it's usage reach the level of the whining about amerika then I suppose I shall be stuck with it as well.

As for the comments about the way the WTO failure shaped up. Put simply the private ownership of land is the oldest and still the biggest determinant of real wealth and power. The old cliche about 'them not making any more' is just as true now in the era of global corporatism as it ever was back when the elite's ancestors squatted in their redoubts on top of a hill over-looking their holdings.

If the sub-prime debacle has shown anything it that owning bits of paper that say you own an entity that owns a share in a piece of land is useless, worthless if the moment in time passes, not so with land.
Any of the toys that the 'pseudo rich' hold, be it stock or intellectual property rights, or any of the other 'investment vehicles' mean nothing compared to those who own the ground the rest of us have to use to eat, sleep, and shit upon.

The struggle between humans and those who oppress them rarely focuses on land ownership. Zimbabwe would be one of the few exceptions. The reason is simple whenever people start talking about land as an asset or even worse as a currency those with lots of it get very nervous indeed. Every dispute I have been involved with where indigenous people argue for reparation for what was stolen, one subject has been absolutely inviolable. It is never returned. Land that has moved from the indigenous people into a private holding. The fact that is usually the matter at the core of the dispute means nothing. Land which belongs to the peeps ie state owned or crown land and usually the dog ends of unwanted land left by the great exploiters, that can be wrested back and that takes effort, but land stolen by privateers ,some of it in recent history and whose title isn't in doubt, the means of sequestration plainly illegal, that is never given back. Rather give back millions of dollars of ordinary peeps hard earned tax money than require a Vestey or similar to give up a square foot.

The point I was trying to make with my WTO observation was that when the debate on global capitalism boiled down to an internecine fight amongst the elite, the global capitalists on one side and the private groups who control land ownership on t'other side a strange thing happened. We need to remember that landowners depend on subsidised returns from the mug taxpayers in the country to carry the operating cost of that ownership. Of course they can use their own money to acquire more land. The latest scam refined to an art form is to describe themselves as the planet's best environmentalists, that if they weren't running exotic flora and fauna on their swathes of chemically sprayed acreage the planet would be truly fucked. Surely that agrarian socialism should be spat upon by the eggheads. Although socialism does insinuate that there is some sort of egalitarianism in the largesse which there isn't, the methodology (cross subsidy using tax momey) is usually desribed as socialist by economic rationalists, and should appal the technocrats who usually call the shots on world trade or globalism or whitey rules or USuk fucks or whatever cliche fits.

The so-called masters of the universe, the global capitalists, lost out to the land owning groups. I would have thought that should make some peeps kinda go "Hmmmm".

ps had to laugh at the purveyor of old marxist dialectic calling my rants "earnest". Lol good one Slothy.

I used to enjoy your tirades also but there appears to be a refusal to evolve, a lack of progression. Although I didn't agree with it I did think the enforced holiday would have helped you move on a bit.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 3 2008 22:23 utc | 82

With respect, your musings about the war ("Sadr is a military genius" and so on) have been wrong as was your recent take on the Colombian insurgency. Many other examples.

I've tried where I can to locate the source of these errors. I think the general provenance is your "USuk" thesis.

So, no. I won't "evolve" by reproducing your mistakes. Who would?

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 3 2008 23:35 utc | 83

The so-called masters of the universe, the global capitalists, lost out to the land owning groups.

I just don't understand what you say. I don't see the contradiction in the interests of "land owners" and "global capitalists."

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 3 2008 23:44 utc | 84

slothrop,
tell us where your coming from in plain english. Am sure many on this board would like be able to follow you better. You make it too rarified. As if its an inside thing or some gang-language. Plz talk to us on the regular. r'giap does.

Waiting.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 4 2008 4:49 utc | 85

Thanks to anonymous @ 31 for resolving a long-standing issue for me.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Aug 4 2008 9:03 utc | 86


whats wrong with the USUk thing ? Maggie Thatcher & Tony Blair & George Bush (1 & 2) all found it very useful.

can it be a coincidence that these two countries almost always find their interests in near perfect harmony ? Well why did the USA choose to send troops & support to UK rather than Russia in WWII ?

so if we abandon the USUk theme, we must also abandon the Russia/China theme, and the Iran/Syria/Hezbollah theme as well. Not to forget the Nato theme too.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 4 2008 12:46 utc | 87

slothrop's insult to debs are unworthy of even his recent cretinous 'conversations' - which are not conversations because i do not think he ever listens

debs offers with great rigour & generosit contexts & links which is more than i can say for slothrop who behaves more & more like that barbarous bishop cardinal law from boston . slothrop just seem to engage in his encyclical with all the rhetorical flourish o the inquisition

the two situations he dicsusses in relation to debs - the military capàacity of sadr & the situation in colombia are far from clear & it does not help that slothrop just repeats the talking points laid out by his hero general petraeus & the girld & boys at the state dept

vietnamese resistance to the french & american was multiple - & at the time of the 1968 tet offensive the viet cong were no more than 170,000 people - the resistance in iraq in all its configurations are enormous, flexible & perhaps still at the beginning of their war. slothrop's rush to historical closure & judgement is a little too early

mulling over the insult laden posts of slothrop - i wonder why he never, never, never - offered analysis of the situation in the occupied territories, why he never offered a real analysis of the succesful repulsion of israeli forces in lebanon - combined with all the intrinsic elements he 'gave' the arabs - in relation to war & slaughter - it amounts to an arabaphobia which is indeed a part of american exceptionalism & an integral element to the empire's project

you & i we are one question

but why do you not respond fully to other people's post - instead of invective

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 4 2008 17:56 utc | 88

I did not insult debs. I always read him. But, my analysis of GWOT has been correct, his hasn't. The reason for repeated error is that the analysis is always shoehorned into the usual USuk thesis: The US (along with its poodle uk) fights the war only to advance some abstract state interests of the "empire." It's the crumbling hegemon against the oppressed--and among the oppressed the USuk theorist must also include china, new zealand, most of europe and russia, and nz again.

This isn't true at all. GWOT enjoys explicitly wide support from NATO and european allies. And implicit support too. Russia digs GWOT so long as the red army can murder chechens. China digs GWOT so far as the war vindicates han oppression of muslim minorities in the west.

As for afghanistan, are russia and china going to supply insurgents with the training and hardware to defeat nato? Are you high?

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 18:31 utc | 89

And I've never attacked anyone, sfaik. I only respond to baseless insults with insults. I'm only guilty of disagreement.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 18:36 utc | 90

nato is being defeated fair & square by what is clearly a popular war of resistance which seems to include every element of afghan society except for those compradors benefiting directly from the empire & even those seem to placing their bets with pakistan too

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 4 2008 18:40 utc | 91

To read rubin's stuff about afghanistan/pakisdtan, the notion of coordinated resistance is somewhat far-fetched. There are many groups "resisting" for different reasons--everything from defense of drug trade, taliban ideological defense of whack caliphate, tribal insurgencies against paskistan in defense of autonomy, etc. etc.

Maybe if china/russia fed some new generation of mujahedeen to oppose nato, maybe. But that's not likely to happen.

No. I think if you want to slay your "empire" you should start by convincing french pensioners to demand that retirement funds no longer be invested in GWOT. It's a start.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 18:59 utc | 92

@sloth - I'm only guilty of disagreement.

That's factual wrong. Your are guilty of providing nonsense arguments without any link or data for your positions while at the same time insulting people.

I have yet to see an argument that would support your position other than ad hominems which are no arguments at all.

I guess I'll have to (again) ban you here.

Posted by: b | Aug 4 2008 19:05 utc | 93

ban away

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 19:18 utc | 94

"No facts"

That's just a lie and you know it.

I've thoroughly dispatched your uncoupling fantasy with facts. And when I linked and provided excepts from credible sources I was ridiculed for littering your precious bandwidth with too many facts.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 19:24 utc | 95

slothrop

i think facts & contexts are the only thing people have demanded. you only provide circular arguments that endlessly excupate the u s empire of any crimes or wrongdoing. you earnestlt want to share these crimes around - whether they were visited on filipinos, indonesians, vietanmese, greeks latin americans or arabs

& what i find personally strange - is that your arguments across the board mirror those talking points of the elites that are best represente by zrebeniski - a manageable clean theft of the worlds resources & american dominance

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 4 2008 19:38 utc | 96

Oh brother.

You haven't made any attempt at counterargument. I've supplied scores of "empirics" to support my argument. There have been many here in this thread. You said nothing about my recent claims and links and support for my views about global capital, including the many occasions in which I supplied evidence of the enormous incestuousness of european investment in US militarism. Instead, all I get are insults. And I get this asshole broken-record admonishment that I don't supply support. Or when that doesn't work, you demand I read the collected works of althusser.

In any case, it's obvious my analyses about what makes us crazy--this fucking war--have been correct. Yours have been incorrect.

I don't support my arguments. That's an outrageous lie.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 19:49 utc | 97

some things never change.

Posted by: annie | Aug 4 2008 19:52 utc | 98

Well, annie. Tell me why I'm wrong here.

Posted by: slothrop | Aug 4 2008 19:55 utc | 99

tangerin offered you the fortune 500 & i think that spoke for itself

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 4 2008 20:11 utc | 100

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