Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 28, 2019

How Russia's President Putin Explains The End Of The 'Liberal' Order

Today the Financial Times published a long and wide ranging interview with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

A full transcript is currently available through this link.

The talk is making some waves:

From the last link:

Putin said in an interview with the Financial Times Friday that the "liberal idea has become obsolete," and referred to Germany's decision to welcome more than one million refugees — many fleeing savage urban warfare in Syria — as a "cardinal mistake."

It is only the last part of the very long interview, where Putin indeed speaks of the 'obsolesce' of the 'liberal idea', that seems to be of interest to the media. Most of the interview is in fact about other issues. The media also do not capture how his 'obsolete' argument is ingrained in the worldview Putin developed, and how it reflects in many of his answers.

Here are excerpts that show that the gist of Putin's 'obsolete' argument is not against the 'liberal idea', but against what may be best called 'international (neo-)liberalism'.


bigger

Putin explains why U.S. President Donald Trump was elected:

Has anyone ever given a thought to who actually benefited and what benefits were gained from globalisation, the development of which we have been observing and participating in over the past 25 years, since the 1990s?

China has made use of globalisation, in particular, to pull millions of Chinese out of poverty.

What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies — the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners — made use of these benefits. [..] The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.

The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump’s victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference.

On Syria:

Primarily, this concerns Syria, we have managed to preserve Syrian statehood, no matter what, and we have prevented Libya-style chaos there. And a worst-case scenario would spell out negative consequences for Russia.
...
I believe that the Syrian people should be free to choose their own future.
...
When we discussed this matter only recently with the previous US administration, we said, suppose Assad steps down today, what will happen tomorrow?

Your colleague did well to laugh, because the answer we got was very amusing. You cannot even imagine how funny it was. They said, “We don’t know.” But when you do not know what happens tomorrow, why shoot from the hip today? This may sound primitive, but this is how it is.

On 'western' interventionism and 'democracy promotion':

Incidentally, the president of France said recently that the American democratic model differs greatly from the European model. So there are no common democratic standards. And do you, well, not you, but our Western partners, want a region such as Libya to have the same democratic standards as Europe and the US? The region has only monarchies or countries with a system similar to the one that existed in Libya.

But I am sure that, as a historian, you will agree with me at heart. I do not know whether you will publicly agree with this or not, but it is impossible to impose current and viable French or Swiss democratic standards on North African residents who have never lived in conditions of French or Swiss democratic institutions. Impossible, isn’t it? And they tried to impose something like that on them. Or they tried to impose something that they had never known or even heard of. All this led to conflict and intertribal discord. In fact, a war continues in Libya.

So why should we do the same in Venezuela? ...

Asked about the turn towards nationalism and more rightwing policies in the U.S. and many European countries, Putin names immigration as the primary problem:

What is happening in the West? What is the reason for the Trump phenomenon, as you said, in the US? What is happening in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people. The obvious problem is the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people.

Of course, we must always bear this in mind. One of the things we must do in Russia is never to forget that the purpose of the operation and existence of any government is to create a stable, normal, safe and predictable life for the people and to work towards a better future.

There is also the so-called liberal idea, which has outlived its purpose. Our Western partners have admitted that some elements of the liberal idea, such as multiculturalism, are no longer tenable.

When the migration problem came to a head, many people admitted that the policy of multiculturalism is not effective and that the interests of the core population should be considered. Although those who have run into difficulties because of political problems in their home countries need our assistance as well. That is great, but what about the interests of their own population when the number of migrants heading to Western Europe is not just a handful of people but thousands or hundreds of thousands?
...
What am I driving at? Those who are concerned about this, ordinary Americans, they look at this and say, Good for [Trump], at least he is doing something, suggesting ideas and looking for a solution.

As for the liberal idea, its proponents are not doing anything. They say that all is well, that everything is as it should be. But is it? They are sitting in their cosy offices, while those who are facing the problem every day in Texas or Florida are not happy, they will soon have problems of their own. Does anyone think about them?

The same is happening in Europe. I discussed this with many of my colleagues, but nobody has the answer. The say they cannot pursue a hardline policy for various reasons. Why exactly? Just because. We have the law, they say. Well, then change the law!

We have quite a few problems of our own in this sphere as well.
...
In other words, the situation is not simple in Russia either, but we have started working to improve it. Whereas the liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment.

So, the liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. Or take the traditional values. I am not trying to insult anyone, because we have been condemned for our alleged homophobia as it is. But we have no problems with LGBT persons. God forbid, let them live as they wish. But some things do appear excessive to us.

They claim now that children can play five or six gender roles. I cannot even say exactly what genders these are, I have no notion. Let everyone be happy, we have no problem with that. But this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.

While Putin says that liberalism is 'obsolete' he does not declare it dead. He sees it as part of a spectrum, but says that it should not have a leading role:

You know, it seems to me that purely liberal or purely traditional ideas have never existed. Probably, they did once exist in the history of humankind, but everything very quickly ends in a deadlock if there is no diversity. Everything starts to become extreme one way or another.

Various ideas and various opinions should have a chance to exist and manifest themselves, but at the same time interests of the general public, those millions of people and their lives, should never be forgotten. This is something that should not be overlooked.

Then, it seems to me, we would be able to avoid major political upheavals and troubles. This applies to the liberal idea as well. It does not mean (I think, this is ceasing to be a dominating factor) that it must be immediately destroyed. This point of view, this position should also be treated with respect.

They cannot simply dictate anything to anyone just like they have been attempting to do over the recent decades. Diktat can be seen everywhere: both in the media and in real life. It is deemed unbecoming even to mention some topics. But why?

For this reason, I am not a fan of quickly shutting, tying, closing, disbanding everything, arresting everybody or dispersing everybody. Of course, not. The liberal idea cannot be destroyed either; it has the right to exist and it should even be supported in some things. But you should not think that it has the right to be the absolute dominating factor. That is the point. Please.

There is much more in the interview - about Russia's relations with China, North Korea, the Skripal incident, the Russian economy, orthodoxy and the liberal attack on the Catholic church, multilateralism, arms control and the G-20 summit happening today.

But most 'liberal' media will only point to the 'obsolete' part and condemn Putin for his rallying against immigration. They will paint him as being in an alt-right corner. But even the Dalai Lama, held up as an icon by many liberals, says that "Europe is for Europeans" and that immigrants should go back to their own countries.

Moreover, as Leonid Bershidsky points out, Putin himself is, with regards to the economy and immigration, a staunch liberal:

Putin’s cultural conservatism is consistent and sincere.
...
On immigration, however, Putin is, in practice, more liberal than most European leaders. He has consistently resisted calls to impose visa requirements on Central Asian countries, an important source of migrant labor. Given Russia’s shrinking working-age population and shortage of manual workers, Putin isn’t about to stem that flow, even though Central Asians are Muslims – the kind of immigrants Merkel’s opponents, including Trump, distrust and fear the most.

What Putin is aiming at, says Bershidsky, is the larger picture:

[W]hat Putin believes has outlived its usefulness isn’t the liberal approach to migration or gender, nor is it liberal economics – even though Russia has, in recent months, seen something of a shift toward central planning. It is the liberal world order. Putin wants to keep any talk of values out of international politics and forge pragmatic relationships based on specific interests.
...
Putin’s drive to put global politics on a more transactional basis isn’t easy to defeat; it’s a siren song, and the anti-immigrant, culturally conservative rhetoric is merely part of the music.

There is in my view no 'siren-song' there and nothing that has to be defeated. It is just that Putin is more willing to listen to the people than most of the western wannabe 'elite'.

The people's interest is simply not served well by globalization, liberal internationalism and interventionism. A transactional approach to international policies, with respect for basic human decency, is in almost every case better for them.

Politicians who want the people's votes should listen to them, and to Vladimir Putin.

Posted by b on June 28, 2019 at 17:50 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

michaelj72 -

"....The liberal’s professed concern for others’ welfare and their rights has, in reality, provided cynical cover for a series of ever-more transparent resource grabs."

More straw man B.S. You've been listening to too much "conservative talk" on the radio or something and you've been programmed all wrong.

The "liberalism" excuse used by the capitalist warmongering class of the United States and Europe since at least WWI has always been a thin veneer to disguise their own true motives. Bringing democracy to ______ is just another form of that - and there's nothing "liberal" about it once the sanctions begin, tank treads start hitting the road and the bombs start falling. It's pure unadulterated right wing gangster capitalism. Ask Smedley Butler's ghost, for God's sake.

There is no functional unified American "left" with any sort of real power - and that's because people programmed like you have long bought into the bankster/corporate/chamber of commerce/kleptocrat propaganda that convinced so many Americans of things like the need to crush communism at home and abroad - no matter how accurate the description was or how much that communism sprung up precisely to counter the previously mentioned gangsters' influence in their respective countries.

I mean, unless you want to actually define what you mean by "liberals" then it's a pretty pointless comment - and all one needs to do is read a history book. I have to assume you mean the current "left" which, if nothing else, is merely a recent reaction to the accelerating rightward shift of the nation and our government according to most realistic metrics. Nixon and his drug war were prosecuted for one reason - to fully stamp out the remaining real American left by neutralizing the black and activist communities.

I suppose I should stop here because, again, I really have no idea what you mean by "liberals" until you clarify because - and perhaps I'm the one in the wrong here for my assumption - that you mean it in the same sense Rush Limbaugh might.

Posted by: KC | Jun 30 2019 0:49 utc | 201

KC @197

If you're a liberal, as you claim, then why ask cui bono?

Liberalism would clearly regard closed borders as anti-liberal.

When Swedes and Germany voted for liberal governments they voted for the issues that concern you. So no force involved, stupidity maybe?

As a liberal, you are railing against a problem that you created!

Perhaps, you need to find out a bit more about liberalism and neo-liberalism' you could start with my post @177

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 0:49 utc | 202

KC @201

Liberalism is the capitalist's house ideology. Political bodies with liberal ideologies are quintessential capitalist (far more so that those that claim a conservative ideology).

I think you've been voting for the wrong lot.

The problem is that you don't have any idea what liberalism really is!

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 1:01 utc | 203

Great post, b, thank you.

What strikes me about Putin is what a remarkable straight shooter he is. He dispenses with the obfuscatory BS and talks about the serious issues of the day and ways the world can resolve them amicably. He is a calm and rational statesman who puts his shady and dishonest western counterparts to shame. The mainstream media, of course, will always misrepresent his words and project the west’s arrogant belligerence onto him instead of living up to its own lofty rhetoric and holding power to account.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 30 2019 1:22 utc | 204

ADKC "It is unlike Putin to express a judgement on other Nation's in such a way"

Putin July 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hboxIO5D0RY

And this "All of them are nodding like bobble heads,"
https://www.rt.com/news/384421-nodding-like-bobbleheads-putin-nato/

That is just a couple of examples. What putin says in interviews is often more direct than what he says in speeches.
The FT interview is very muchin line with what he has said in the past.

Rather than confirmation bias, it is noting what Putin actually says.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30 2019 1:43 utc | 205

From Russia Hoax to Trump’s foreign policy. Vlad Pootie Poot has you covered. The dogs bark but the caravan rolls on.

Posted by: Anunnaki | Jun 30 2019 1:56 utc | 206

KC,

Only propagandized Americans who are infantile enough to believe what rich people tell them believe that liberalism isn't literally capitalism. Americans don't get to make up new meanings for words to serve their 1%.

If you still believe in capitalism, in class society, the fetishism of individualism, the right to buy one's way into any public space with a doctor's permission, you believe in liberalism and you are right-wing by any objective standard.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jun 30 2019 2:05 utc | 207

William Gruff-
Do you mean liberalism or neo-liberalism? Those words are getting more blurred every day.

US liberalism itself is not unified, cannot rally behind one candidate, and has no authentic progressive representatives in DC. I'm still reading argumentative comments exchanged between Bernie supporters and Hillary die-hards almost 3 years later, for pete's sake. Self-proclaimed leftist leadership in WA do little more than feign outrage over inconsequential issues while caving to the Republicans on just about everything.

So I would appreciate understanding how liberals are held continually responsible for what the US is doing? Either liberal leadership has power and is secretly using it behind conservative backs, which is not consistent with the evidence, or US liberals have no power and are riding the coattails of the Republicans as weak accomplices. Neither, to me at least, demonstrates liberalism being as solely responsible for US actions as your comment states.

I do not understand continually hearing "liberalism is destroying everything" while I watch conservatives return states to pre-abortion days, defy the Constitution's separation of church and state, and continue to sink the nation deeper into debt to finance military destabilization of other sovereign nations. Are you classifying such actions as liberalism?

I also hear that our political system is now one merged party, a sentiment I agree with, so how did that combination become just liberalism?

Americas politicized use of globalized capitalism, guerrilla sanctions, and fomenting internal divisions are being shielded by what I've seen as seldom substantiated "liberalism is the enemy" talking points, in spite of the fact that liberalism in the US today is so weak and/or in league with the conservatives.

I know I'm not the only person confused and being trapped by such blanket jargon. I'd appreciate anyone as well as William Gruff clarifying the meaning?

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Jun 30 2019 2:21 utc | 208

Somebody
Turns out Putin wasn't bullshitting.

link
Critics accused head teacher Martin Thalhammer of imposing Islamic standards of behavior on his students after he sent a letter to parents informing them about the refugees that were to be housed in the school gym.
"Because our school is in the immediate vicinity, restrained clothing should be worn to avoid confrontations" with the mostly young, male, Muslim asylum-seekers, he wrote.

I had to laugh though when I read this bit... "See-through tops or blouses, short-shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings," the letter stated."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30 2019 2:23 utc | 209

Summer Diaz

My thought. There seems to ber a form of liberalism that is US foreign policy. A foreign policy they are pushing on the world to further their interests. Right to protect wars and humanitarian bombing. US 'democracy' being pushed on the world is also part of this. Something that was very noticeable awhile back. US used its courts to bring in LBGT equality gay marriage ect rather than referendum. As soon as that was through, attacks on Russia by the US for being homophobic greatly increased in intensity.
Pat Lang in his explanation for what he terms 'the borg' (the entrenched foreign policy establishment) perhaps covers some of it. It is in the education the lectures and so forth that passes for foreign policy education in the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30 2019 2:42 utc | 210

The United States was founded in multiculturalism. Multiculturalism made the US strong and prosperous. From Europe, we got Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Orthodox Christians. From Asis we got Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese. And From Latin America we got Central Americans, Mexicans and other latinos. The US is dynamic because of it.

Posted by: El Cid | Jun 30 2019 2:57 utc | 211

El Cid

And what happened to the original cultures and people.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30 2019 3:02 utc | 212

Providing more content to the interview, we have Putin's presser after the G-20. It's long and detailed as is the case with his pressers. Since it was in the interview, I'll excerpt one of the segments about May and the Skripal garbage asked by a provocateur:

"Question: As was mentioned earlier, we all saw Theresa May’s very stern face as she met you yesterday. She said that it was impossible to have a different relationship with Russia unless Russia chooses a different path. I’d like to hear what your response to her was. Is Russia, as Mrs May says, ready to stop its external attacks, its aggression, its meddling in elections, and to take a different path, not only to improve relations with Britain, but also with the rest of the West?"

"Vladimir Putin: I have great news for you: we never had any intentions to commit any aggressive acts towards anybody. It is an illusion, wishful thinking, and what is wished for is to have an external adversary whose presence helps solve domestic policy issues. We have no aggressive intentions towards anybody.

"Yes, I can confirm what I have already said. The Prime Minister acted at our meeting the way she described publicly. She expressed her position in a fairly tough form. Yes, it is true, that is the way it was. I informed her of Russia’s position on a number of issues that act as irritants in our relations. [My Emphasis]

A classic Putin response!

There was an "Osaka Leaders Declaration" that was almost a 100% consensus as Putin alludes to in his initial recap: PDF here where you can read the specifics of what he mentions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2019 3:03 utc | 213

El Cid @211--

I've seen ignorance displayed here before, but yours is easily in the top 5.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 30 2019 3:06 utc | 214

My comment appeared and then poof! What gives? Retroactive moderation? I don't think I said anything offensive at all. Use of the word "bastardization"?
Posted by: KC | Jun 29, 2019 8:37:12 PM | 198

I suspect that this thread is under heavy siege from Russophobic trolls, judging by the amount of uninformed drivel I'm seeing. I assume that b is routing all comments through the bs filter for assessment prior to releasing them. I'm glad it's him and not me having to wade through the junk, looking for gems...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 30 2019 3:22 utc | 215

@ Summer Diaz 208

Firstly I hope this is not considered link dropping. There are serious misconceptions and confusion regarding definitions, they inhibit discussion. I don't pretend to have the absolute definitions either. We are talking always of a mixture of individual right, civil right, and national right, at least. Here I will drop links that you can extract the broader concepts from, asking that you limit the thought to in terms of attribution of economic and political power.

Once you get into details of individual and civil or social rights, the definition of liberal has very different meanings. Is gun ownership liberty orientated, is protection of the unborn a social duty, and so on. The same difficulty applies when you consider management of money supply and its use to further the construction of specific economic and business realities. I hope to draw a chart that demonstrates how interlaced these concepts are, and what they mean, if I do I will post a link to it at MoA.

So a look at neoliberalism

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/neoliberalism.asp

And classical liberalism

https://mises.org/library/what-classical-liberalism


In both of those the overlap onto other facets that affect a persons choices appear , my advice is to try not to get too distracted by those at first and just focus on trying to understand who is given the power or authority, and where or how. Sorry I cannot be more help but it is a very difficult topic to try to explain offhand, even for those who are much better versed than myself.

Posted by: gzon | Jun 30 2019 4:11 utc | 216

OT but significant in my estimation.....the quote below is the complete posting from Xinhuanet.....

"
BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) -- China on Sunday rolled out revised negative lists for foreign investment market access, introducing greater opening-up and allowing foreign investors to run majority-share-controlling or wholly-owned businesses in more sectors.
"
In another posting is mention of China becoming the 2nd largest bond market (about 273 billion U.S. dollars) and a total of "...444.8 billion U.S. dollars worth of Chinese financial assets at the end of last year, more than doubling the amount at the end of 2014, according the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

Private finance of my ongoing discussion is rapidly investing in China in spite of the government controls. What might this have to do with the end of the liberal order?

Think about it. The liberal order is tied to the West. It doesn't mean shit to China.

Smart private money is going to try and influence the emerging China order and the West will be told to adjust to China levels of social support provided through for profit systems because God of Mammon still rules.

I keep hoping private finance can meet a sooner demise but China will need to reign them in after they have become totally dependent on China for their existence........10 - 50 years?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 30 2019 4:46 utc | 217

What the HELL has happened to this post?/thread Can't fit in the browser window left to right anymore... bloody annoying

Posted by: Maximus | Jun 30 2019 5:06 utc | 218

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 29, 2019 10:23:00 PM | 209

Frankly, "See-through tops or blouses, short-shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings," were forbidden at school in my time - not because of misunderstandings with male Muslims but because of misunderstandings with male teachers.

Of course Putin was bullshitting

This is what he said

“In some European countries, parents are told that girls should not wear skirts at schools,” he asserted, adding that “people are living in their own country ... why has it come to that?”

He could not say mini-skirt as the christian and jewish orthodox or chechnyan muslims he supports at home would frown on mini-skirts, too.

Actually the Muslim immigrants he objects to in Europe agree with him on gender roles and LGBT.

If you try to screw other people's brains you have to screw your own brain first.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2019 5:07 utc | 219

RE: Jonathan Cook

I've read his essay and I think he's all over the place - correct, incorrect, pretty much equal in each category.

Liberalism isn’t the cause of our predicament. It is the nadir of a dangerous arrogance we as a species have been indulging for too long, where the individual’s good trumps any collective good, defined in the widest possible sense.

So now objectivism, greed, worship of the self is liberalism? I'm confused, sorry. This is stretching both the history and the definition way too far - it sounds like Cook is describing plain old right-leaning warmongering and greed unfettered by the previous nationalist, collectivist, and liberal vision of humankind and our relationship with nature. I think he's confusing the real definition with the modern *label* "liberalism" and the politicians, Wall Street, oligarchs and generals who gladly wear it and use it to justify their aggressive greed and sociopathy.

Posted by: KC | Jun 30 2019 5:26 utc | 220

somebody

You are splitting some fine hairs there.
What seems to be normal dress for girls at some German schools came as a bit of a surprise to me on reading that piece.

i think about the various dress codes at times and how they differ through countries and cultures. From some of the tribes sill in the Amazon that wear nothing to the completely covered muslim women. In Thailand with my daughter, we visited some Buddhist things and my daughter had to cover her armes and legs. She was a bit put out by that.
My thought is that when you visit or move to a country or culture that has different dress codes, you respect that. If the country or culture requires more covering, then that is what you do. If on the other hand, it is a culture that requires less covering, should the local have to cover up for the visitor or imigrant.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30 2019 5:27 utc | 221

add to 219

You can play the RT game of taking single incidents and declare them an overall problem with Russia, too.

Russian woman who wear miniskirts 'should not be surprised if they get raped'
A top cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church is under fire for saying that women who wear miniskirts and get drunk should not be surprised if they get raped.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2019 5:28 utc | 222

I am going to go out on my cultural anthropology branch and posit that gender issues/LGBT? are significantly related to the late Western empire patriarchy and manifest bullying character.

That patriarchy and bullying character are screaming all over the Western world with morally naked emperors wearing white robes and Liberace garb to cover their pussy grabbing and opposition murdering penchants. These same naked emperors are running around with the blessings of their respective religions and the one that rings them all, God of Mammon/global private finance.

So males have that for the dominant archetype in the West and it skewers not only the rest of "normal" male archetypes but what sort of women archetypes are supposed to survive in this environment? Either bullies with bigger ovaries, submissive or fuck all men attitudes seem a few clear female archetype landmarks for Western women

Let me close by adding that identity politics in the West is a manufactured construct by empire to isolate people by emphasizing differences rather than similarities. It is similar to left/right when reality is obviously top/bottom.

Welcome to JR's rabbithole

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 30 2019 5:43 utc | 223

somebody @219

I know you won't be able to see it but nearly every point you make in your rebuttal of Peter AU 1 @209 actually vindicates Putin's view.

This is amusing if you reflect that the teacher's letter Peter AU 1 was referring to was just an example that illustrated Putin's view; there is no way of knowing whether or not it actually informed Putin's view.

On the plus side, your loathing of Putin may be down to your brain being screwed with.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 5:45 utc | 224

KC @22O

Nationalism and collectivism are clearly not liberalism.

The only one who is confused is you.

You probably won't want to hear it but there is a view that equates liberalism to fascism.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 6:07 utc | 225

Somebody @ 170, 186:

The point of John Helmer's Dances With Bears article on The Moscow Times which you linked to earlier is to show what a dodgy operation this publication is, in its reporting and bias (very pro-NATO, to the extent that it will and has followed clearly dubious narratives with respect to the MH17 shoot-down and the Skripal poisoning saga), and in its administration and its financing. Indeed as I observed earlier, The Moscow Times restructured its ownership and administration so as to comply with Russian laws regarding the proportion of foreign ownership, else it would have had to declare itself a foreign entity and reveal the sources of its funding. What Russian ownership TMT has turns out to be circular and incestuous, pointing back to the people running the newspaper.

The Moscow Times turns out to be a regular online news publication in Russia with funding from the Dutch government, run by people with dual Dutch-Russian loyalties and with connections to a commercial-military information services organisation founded by a former British SAS officer. The people TMT is associated with have links to regime-change agencies. That Russia tolerates a newspaper whose agenda is essentially hostile to its government is far more than what most Western nations would tolerate from newspapers published within their own borders expressing agendas even mildly critical of their decisions, behaviours and actions.

You should have read John Helmer's article and realised that what Helmer said backed up my assertion that TMT does not have a good business model - indeed, it seems to be a similar business model that the US casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson is using to finance his Israeli newspaper "Israel Hayom" to influence readers into supporting Netanyahu's policies while at the same time threatening the viability of Israeli newspapers generally - before you linked to it.

It's pretty strange discussion you engage in when every point you present that you believe supports your argument actually supports the other side as ADKC @ 224 observes.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 30 2019 6:19 utc | 226

somebody @222

Again, your hatred of Putin and Russia leads you to fail to see that your post can be turned around and applied to the West in unpleasant ways that you didn't intend. Could you just stop!

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 6:22 utc | 227

So many liberalism’s.

Classical liberalism was built on ideas from the end of the 18th century . My interpretation is it meant liberty of the property class (illuminated elites) and protection of wealth from government and lower classes, all of it tempered by Christian social values until they could destroy Christianity

Social liberalism of the left developed in the early 20th century . Liberalism in this sense meant defending social civil liberties and workers rights. Social Justice

In the 1970’s , the left adopted Classic Economic Liberalism joining forces with the right. Together they form the cult of neoliberalism.

The left still pretends to still be social liberals , but its all talk because action on this front contradict their neoliberal beliefs and risks the money that comes in from their neoliberal backers. They disguise their lack of social liberalism by substitution with the cultural marxism that is the LGBT movement and white racism, another product of the illuminated elite to corrupt, divide and rule.

The conservative rights Christianity has been corrupted by Christian Zionism and social darwinism (aka racism) .They no longer oppose Big Government because that limits the ability to pay for the militarism that is necessary to support their Zionism which will bring them their eagerly awaited End Times. They believe the rich get richer is good for them, and blame their lower living standards on liberals who support immigration and welfare for minorities.

The lefts secularism is sterile. Beyond materialistic concerns, pleasure and survival they have nothing to offer beyond concern for imaginary enemies like religion and CO2. They support wars and imperialism as much as those on the right but want a bigger share of the elites pie. Their own party elite says let them eat cake. Lol

Posted by: Pft | Jun 30 2019 7:02 utc | 228

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30, 2019 1:27:43 AM | 221

I was trying to explain that "See-through tops or blouses, short-shorts or miniskirts" are not "German dress code". As a matter of fact, lots of businesses forbid their female employees to wear that.

But Putin is quoted as saying that "In some European countries, parents are told that girls should not wear skirts at schools" which is plain ridiculous.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2019 7:19 utc | 229

Pft @228

When you refer to the left you mean socialist or communist ideology; these ideologies can't be also neo-liberalist. What you are talking about is supplanting.

This supplanting first took place on the right in the British Conservative Party under Thatcher and the Republican Party under Reagan. In these case neo-liberalism supplanted conservative ideology from the top (their leader) downwards. Neo-liberal ideology then did the same on the left (some 10 to 15 years later) with the British Labour Party under Blair and the Democratic Party under Clinton. In all these cases it took about 20 years for neo-liberal ideology to achieve total control in each of the parties under attack.

The spiritual renewal of (neo-)liberalism was instigated by a resurgent class of classical economists of which Hayek was the most prominent. Prior to the supplanting process that occurred in the political parties, a similar process occurred in academia where neo-classical economists supplanted Keynesian economists (it's now virtual impossible to get a position if you are a Keynesian economist).

It follows that to describe neo-liberalism as left is misguided and fails to recognise that the neo-liberal ideology has more or less completely supplanted the right as well as the left.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 7:30 utc | 230

Somebody

Perhaps this is a closer fit. UK this time.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/skirt-ban-secondary-schools-uniform-england-gender-neutral-transgender-pupils-a8426411.html
"At least 40 secondary schools in England have banned girls from wearing skirts, an analysis of uniform policies across the country reveals.

Further schools are also considering the move to gender-neutral uniforms, which are more inclusive of transgender pupils.

One of the schools to have made the move last year is Priory School in Lewes, East Sussex, after pupils questioned why boys and girls should have to wear different clothing and stressed the importance of ensuring transgender students feel comfortable."

" There are also bans in schools in Leeds, Grimsby and Bradford, where some schools with a high proportion of Muslim pupils do not allow skirts for modesty reasons. "

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30 2019 8:07 utc | 231

please excuse this reply it is long and rather confused if you are not interested in the subject.. but I felt a reply necessary..
Snakes reply to steven t johnson's reply @133 concerning Snakes original comment @ 113

snake@115 #1 is incorrect, the 17th amendment expanded direct election to Senators, but the House was always directly elected. by: steven t johnson 133

snake#115 said in #1. Congress is elected by the people in a popular vote, since the 17th amendment... before that the people had no vote on anyone in government.

Snake acknowledges .. the house has always been direct elected.. I was thinking about the 17th amendment when I wrote that, which did not include the house.. my bad.. .. I stand corrected.. and propose to amend my # 1 statement as follows:

Congress is elected by the people in a popular vote. Before the 17th amendment the people had no vote on a president, a vice president or a senator.. the people's only input to "who would be elected to run the USA was a single vote for 1 member out of 425 members (based on today's composition) of the house.. . Would you agree the statement is correct as amended? Thanks.
<<<>>> ..


=> Snake does not adopt your objection to ==> "#6 is also incorrect, the members of Congress are directly elected in popular votes---diligently supervised to be meaningless, but even so. The two Senators and a representative seem to refer to the number of electoral votes cast by the state being equal to the number of representatives and senators, viewed as the number of representatives a citizen in a voting district has in presidential elections? by: steven t johnson @ 133"

Snake says the 17 amendment says "The Senate of the US s/b composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people therefor, for six years.... " Amendment 17 also talks about the voting districts for the electors.. and describes vacancies.
I am not sure where you got the diligently supervised or how you mixed Senators into numbers of electorial votes caste ..?

In light of that question how is my statement #6 wrong.. [6. Since 1789 <= the president has never been elected by the people.

and my statement in 7.. makes clear, i think, that senators and members of the house are popularly elected. stmt #7 follows.
7. Your three votes (2 Senators and 1 member of the house) elect 525 people to a salaried job in congress? How is that?]

I don't see any connection between voting districts for electors and state wide elections for senators as something that would make my statement in #6 incorrect? Can you please make that connection for me..if you continue to assert #6 wrong ? thanks.
<<<<<<>>>>

A most interesting challenge #8 is also incorrect, in that the presidents under the Articles of Confederation weren't elected by "the people" but by the states.

After my statement #8, I included the following.. explanation.
The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one year term during any three year period, so John Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such little time. Seven other presidents were elected after him — Elias Boudinot (1782-83), Thomas Mifflin (1783-84), Richard Henry Lee (1784-85), John Hancock (1785-86), Nathan Gorman (1786-87), Arthur St. Clair (1787-88), and Cyrus Griffin (1788-89) — all prior to Washington taking office We don't we hear about the first eight presidents?
George Washington was definitely not the first President of the United States. He was the first President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today. The first eight Presidents denied their place in history created our independent of Britain Colonial rule: America.


you respond, in part, in your reply comment to #8 as follows:
The congress under the Article of Confederation was much more like the Senate before the 17th amendment. Further, since not only slavery but property franchise was so widespread, "the people" under the Articles are not the same as later on. The Constitution of 1789 was much more like the Directory in France, the advent of a more conservative government meant to contain excesses by the people. Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 29, 2019 10:14:10 AM | 133 ...

Snake observes that if you are correct about open and free democracy; then it is admitted that
Americans have never enjoyed a democracy? <==very insightful your comment on this point.
<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>

You included in your reply comment wrt #8, in part, the following:
"The second American revolution was of course the Civil War." by: steven t johnson @ 133 ...

Snake holds fast the Civil War was the 3rd, not 2nd American Revolution, Here is why?
The civil war was preceded by a revolution that zapped and vaporized the power, previously vested
in the governed masses via their use of their respective states. It was practice to
develop consensus in local group meetings on the issues and to appoint and send a representative
to the state to deal with other representatives by other locals in the same state. These
representatives of the locals, would vote as directed on the issues, and in that way the
state was made the instrument of the people. These locals were the then equivalent of
states..and the states were the then equivalents of independent nations operating in
a cooperative union..the Articles of Confederation (1776 to 1789) to achieve common goals.

Snake continues..hence the several
preconstitutional states were citizen directed representatives; responsive to its own citizens.
not dictated to by federalism, but acting as independent nations; without federalism, without
article II veto, without constitutional separation of powers the states functioned in the interest
of their citizens.
It was this issue of state vs Federal power that led to the 3rd revolution in America<=the civil war.
Federalism created one big giant house of thieves and moneychangers, it made the corporations its
citizens and the governed its customers <=tightly held in position, with pocketbook held wide open,
by the USA. It hid government from those who it governed. and in hindsight; it created so much power
in such a tight space, that those who were positioned to drive it, tried to use it, to rule the world.
Americans were turned into mindless work animals and soldier beast. America became a federally
supervised market place especially outfitted for pillage by corporate domestic and global monopolist.

The weapon for the 2nd revolution was ratification. Ratification was used to circumvent the people
to deny them their right of self determination. IMO, failure to recognize ratification is intentional
as it shows a clear path to change the government; if ever a new constitution is ratified, what
would be the result? and who would ratify it?

The army that accomplished ratification were suit-clad carriage lobbyist representing the vested
interest of the British Bankers, foreign and domestic corporations, etc and their once British,
now American British and French Aristocracies. These land barrons, their bankers and corporations
were fighting to save title to their land grants (see Art VI[1] "All Debts contracted and
Engagements entered into, ..shall be valid... " <= meaning title to vast portions of colonial
American real estate passed into the same hands as owned it before the 1st Revolution now, after
ratification, were then guaranteed to own it after the 1st Revolution. Neatly, this method of
revolution "by ratification" avoids having to negotiate with issues raised by the Revolutionary
Articles of Confederation government, or with the governed masses. That a proposal to
confiscate said land grant real estate (titled traced back to land grant acquired before the
American Revolution) and to make the lands of the previous British Aristocrats available
for distribution to the soldiers and people who survived the 1st revolution energized the
drive that created and installed by ratification the US constitution.
See Colonel Shay in Shay's Rebellion for other reasons.

Ratification also did something else, it vanished into history those who defeated the British.
Shamefully, Few people have ever heard of them. Once again they are:
John Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such little time.
Seven other presidents were elected after him —
Elias Boudinot (1782-83),
Thomas Mifflin (1783-84),
Richard Henry Lee (1784-85),
John Hancock (1785-86),
Nathan Gorman (1786-87),
Arthur St. Clair (1787-88), and
Cyrus Griffin (1788-89) —
all prior to Washington taking office Why don't we hear about the first eight presidents?

Thank you Mr. Johnson for your comments they are welcome..

Posted by: snake | Jun 30 2019 8:53 utc | 232

psychohistorian | Jun 30, 2019 12:46:10 AM | 217:

China opening up to private finance will be the end of China as you know it.   China will become totally dependent on private finance.

Posted by: Ian | Jun 30 2019 11:17 utc | 233

somebody | Jun 28, 2019 5:35:12 PM | 43

In most of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development the income gap is at its highest level in three decades, with the richest 10 percent of the population earning 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 percent.

In the 1980s this ratio stood at 7 to 1, the OECD said in a report.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-21/we-reached-tipping-point-income-inequality-highest-records-began

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 30 2019 12:06 utc | 234

ADKC @230

I should, of course, have added that the reason neo-liberalism got such a grip, firstly in academia and then in the political parties, was because it was promoted by money and capital. It's influence and position was purchased; it had nothing to do with the value of neo-classical economics or neo-liberalism compared to the economics beliefs or political ideologies it supplanted.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 12:29 utc | 235

Passer by
It is difficult to take it seriously when people have no better source, when writing about Russia, than the Moscow Times.
These things change, but certainly until recently, the Moscow Times and its now defunct sister the St Petersburg Times, were regime change instruments of the American State Department. I can remember encountering an American connected to the St Petersburg Times - his card showed him as a fellow of some Mid-Western university - fairly openly looking for “nodes of resistance” to the Putin “regime”. A***hole.

Posted by: Montreal | Jun 30 2019 12:49 utc | 236

Summer Diaz @208

Others here have discussed what "liberalism" is well enough. You don't need my definition as well which will just overlap what has already been said. Do note, however, that I began my post concerning "liberals" by specifying "self-identified liberals", so what precisely is a "liberal" under all circumstances and throughout history isn't so relevant to my post back @139. Is one an American (or European... don't want to leave them out) who calls oneself "liberal"? Then that person is who I was referencing back in that post.

The following sentence may cause your head to explode, so read it cautiously: Trump is a liberal.

Trump often said so himself before he ran for President and he will say so himself again when he leaves office. He won't say that now because he has to stay in character until his part in the Democracy© Show is over, but Trump is every bit as liberal as the Clintons and the Obamas; in fact, more so.

You said "US liberalism itself is not unified, cannot rally behind one candidate, and has no authentic progressive representatives in DC."

Think very carefully about this statement that you made. Jonathan @207 explains part of what's going on in your observation with this concise point: "[Liberals] believe in... the fetishism of individualism..." It should be obvious that such fetishistic individuals cannot be unified except around the one issue they share in common: Capitalism. In the case of the United States that means imperialism. How could any of those representing imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism (h/t to Lenin) possibly also represent anything like authentic progressive (code for socialist) ideals? They are mutually exclusive ideologies.

Now consider honestly, Ms. Diaz, (no need to answer because we both know what the answer is already) where do your "liberal" friends stand with regards to Venezuela? They say "We should help those poor people!" right? How about Libya before liberalism destroyed that country? "Oh, those poor Libyans! We have to do something!", right? How about Brazil before liberalism jailed Lula? "Oh, those poor Brazilians suffering under so much corruption! I'm glad the CIA and NSA are tapping their phone conversations to dig up dirt on those deplorable working class people who took over the government!" or something to that effect.

"Are you classifying such actions as liberalism?"

The abortion and religion issues, along with gun control, racism, sexism, etc, are literally manufactured to drive portions of the population into prefabricated political corrals where they are not at risk of organizing independently. These issues are just parts of the Democracy© Show and in no way represent the personal beliefs of the actors up on stage. These issues are contrived to keep the population atomized.

Does it never strike you as odd the numbers of "conservatives" who portray homophobes in the Democracy© Show who are accidentally exposed as homosexuals themselves? Don't you wonder at all about the Democrats who make noise about corporate excesses, but end up practicing those excesses when they leave office? Rather than fixating on the spin, focus on what they actually do with the government. All that they actually do is liberalism.

Compare your silly pussy hat parades with the protests against America's wars on Libya and Syria. Such differences make it obvious where the priorities of self-described "liberals" lie. Even your protests to allow perverted men who claim their gender is unicorn to use restrooms with little girls are larger and more vociferous than your efforts to stop the empire's slaughter. Even in your own post the killing is just an afterthought tacked on after your identity-based issues, and your concern is more about the cost than the horror that America is inflicting on the world.

Sadly, empire is in the interests of middle class white self-identified "liberals". They will virtue signal about opposition to some of the empire's excesses, but they always end up supporting the empire's next military adventure.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 30 2019 13:45 utc | 237

snake@232 In regards to #6, evidently the point was never coherent to me, nor is the response. I can't make sense of this.

More generally, snake is operating on a definition of true democracy, a notion I don't find useful. I compared the government instituted by the Constitution as a kind of parallel or homology to the Directory, a shift to liquidating mass participation in the government. snake thinks this means the Directory was democratic, not truly, but I assure snake that every monarch, especially the Bourbons, still considered the Directory to be democracy. They disdained the idea of democracy entirely, so they weren't concerned with how much reality conformed to ideal.

The US Constitution was ratified directly by the people in conventions, not by state governments. This is why the United States was still a democracy in the style of the eighteenth century. And it is why trying to represent ratification as some sort of coup is preposterous.

Even more preposterous is the claim the Civil War was about federalism as the rights of the people, rather than the rights of states to defend property in men. The Civil War was about slavery (not the same thing as being about the social and economic equality of the black population.) The Civil War was about slavery, not about counterrevolution against humanity. Counterrevolution is useful term by the way.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 30 2019 14:17 utc | 238

William Gruff@237 abuses lots and lots of people. The starting point is to assert correctly that lots of social liberals are pro-imperialist, which is certainly. The point needed thought is that "conservatives" are not pro-imperialist, which is certainly is not true, no matter what William Gruff implies. The continuation is that social liberalism divides the people in order to defend the imperialist state. This is true of the versions that blame it all on the vile masses, rather than the vested interests who have carefully cultivated all sorts of socially conservative ideas that also divide the people in order to defent the imperialist state. But William Gruff's point requires that socially conservative ideas are instead the articulation of the people's resistance to imperialism. Lastly the whole thing finishes with forgetting that imperialism is a continuation of domestic policy, and vice versa. Thus, the conservative people who approve of discrimination against blacks, to the point of shooting so many of them (for one instance,) are in truth dividing the people in order to defend imperialism every bit as much as those liberals who defend torturing the people of Venezuela.

I find the whole individualism approach to be kind of mystical. The idea that the bad ideas chosen by the people (because they are just bad, presumably) really suggests in the end the only cure for liberalism is to kill all the liberals. This is not anti-imperialism. Real anti-imperialism I think requires the solidarity of the people in the struggle with the ruling class. Preferring to take aim an nasty individualists is to prefer not to fight imperialism.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 30 2019 14:31 utc | 239

First, let's remove Putin as the oracle of wisdom on all things.

Putin talks a good talk, often, not always, but does he walk a good walk to prove it's not all lip service?

Putin can't say something to this effect which he stated in other words, but meaning same: We did a good thing for Syria preventing it from collapse and from turning into Libya. Russia did a good thing for--Russia, and maybe others, not so nice. That's the truth, and it turns out what is good for Russia is not always so great for Syria's other allies who did some very heavy lifting with a great number of casualties and got nothing for it, from Putin. Putin talks about the ruling elite...but does he include himself, and the Zionist elite that he installed as captains of industry in Russia, knowing full well, because he's not a stupid man, that Zionists are always, and I emphasize ALWAYS, up to no good? Why does he honor that crook and swindler, Netanyahu, with a military parade when the crook vists Russia and celebrate the crook's election? Ask yourselves that? Zionists are 100% responsible for the mass migration of Arabs (Muslims) to Western countries. I agree with Putin that people should stay in their respective countries. Instead of trying to inflict war to change people and at the expense of other's human and economic treasure and cause millions to flee en masse and become the burden of other cultures, why don't Zionists, who aren't lacking in wealth, invest in those countries and collaborate with the countries that fight their wars to create industry, technology, and scientific advancement in those countries, so people have no reason to flee? The reason is that Zionism is about CONTROL and SUPREMACY, and Zionists need primitive minds to control and they use their fake present-day victimhood to guilt and fearmonger Western countries into fighting their regime-change wars and further control the West with the blowback from those wars.

So Putin, and worse, Trump cozying up to those Zionist titans of industry and licking Netanyahoo's boots is an enabler of Neo-liberalism because it, like NeoCONism is the conniving geopolitical strategy born of Zionist thinktanks and Zionist need for control. So Putin's talk, is but lip service to make himself appear like the smartest guy in the room.

There is only one way to defeat Neo...liberalism and NeoCONism and that is to destroy Zionism by exposing the power structure that sustains it and enables the machinations that further its expansion, and Putin is an important cog in that power structure.

Putin is in bed with the very elites who fund Neoliberal an NeoCON expansion. Putin gravitates to power: he honors a Zionist crook and jokes, backslaps and makes deals with Wahhabi tyrant monarchs.

Then to pretend that Trump is the anecdote to Neoliberalism and champion of populism when Trump is trying to regime change and bring down Venezuela and Iran is totally disingenuous.

Trump is only a fair-weathered CONVENIENCE for Russia, and the sad thing is that the diplomatic respite is fleeting and a temporary charade, because the U.S. will never be a natural ally for Russia, and for Putin to praise Trump and disregard the Zionist wealth that is behind Trump's actions is to betray that he too is in the same position and cannot be fully trusted.

Posted by: Circe | Jun 30 2019 15:13 utc | 240

Summer Diaz @ 208

I do not understand continually hearing "liberalism is destroying everything" while I watch conservatives return states to pre-abortion days, defy the Constitution's separation of church and state, and continue to sink the nation deeper into debt to finance military destabilization of other sovereign nations. Are you classifying such actions as liberalism?

I also hear that our political system is now one merged party, a sentiment I agree with, so how did that combination become just liberalism?

Americas politicized use of globalized capitalism, guerrilla sanctions, and fomenting internal divisions are being shielded by what I've seen as seldom substantiated "liberalism is the enemy" talking points, in spite of the fact that liberalism in the US today is so weak and/or in league with the conservatives.

This is the single most lucid comment in this very infotaining thread. Kudos also to bevin @ 165 for keeping the focus where it belongs, instead of the extended navel gazing pedantry.

Putin is talking not about "classic economic liberalism" or "neo-liberalism." he is critiquing liberal democracy and socially liberal attitudes. Further, he is propagandising on his own behalf and on behalf of his proto-fascist protege Trump and all the other wannabe members of the fascist-globalist clique that seeks to overthrow liberal democracy through any means necessary (see Brazil as example).

Putin is a fascist through and through. He is a brilliant neo-liberal wannabe whose vision exceeds his reach. His means for Russia's imperialist expansion are limited to energy and military equipment sales. Part of his brilliance is that he (unlike his fan bois in alt media) understands his limitations and maneuvers around these with guile and intelligence.

Putin's words should be dismissed as a rank political propaganda (admittedly of the highest calibre) and his actions should be subject to continual honest examination, as should the actions of his allies Trump, Netanyahoo and MBS.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 30 2019 15:21 utc | 241

...."extended navel gazing pedantry"...I forgot to add the [projection alert]

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 30 2019 15:23 utc | 242

@ james | Jun 29, 2019 4:07:52 PM | 168

"[INSTEX] will still be subject to politicization..."

I'm afraid that's so -- but I insist on having hope . . .

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jun 30 2019 15:36 utc | 243

@Posted by: Barovsky | Jun 28, 2019 2:16:21 PM | 3

Indeed, and in this, and his run up to meet Trump as soon as The Donald called for it and moreover in US territory at Osaka summit, he uncovers himself as what the MSM accuses him of, supporting Trump election ( by facilitating good press for him, as if he would be achieving something, in full election campaign for 2020 )and "alt-right" ideology.

That does Russia a thin favor in front of European eyes, now when Russia is starting to be seen with another mood and aims for rebellion are gingerly showing, as the readmission of Russia into PACE clearly shows...

Another one running to meet Trump at the first Twitt is Kim Jong-un, equally contributing to Trump reelection, this after they insuktied each other in the worst way via....well, Twitter...and snailmail....
If I am honest, after watching how fast Kim Jong-un responded to Trump´s wish to meet him expressed on a not so meditated afternoon´s Tweet, I fell to think, at least for a second, of that "conspiracy theory" on that Kim Jong-un is a US CIA agent....

No wonder so many here are expressing today more anti-Putin than ever...I myself, having defended him for over about 5 years, except for few critics about the pension reform and the likes, in situations like this, feel like something is teasing me here...

Unless what he wants is getting Trump reelected for him to constinue the unstoppable destruction of the US empire.... ( I must confess I find myself always trying to debunk my own doubts about him by inventing this other undercover purposes...)

Posted by: Sasha | Jun 30 2019 15:41 utc | 244

Putin’s judgment of Trump is astute, and extremely diplomatic, makes a good story, no rocky the boat. (relevant extract appended.)

He hints at - this goes beyond the definition of ‘liberalism’, ‘neo-liberalism’ hard to define - but doesn’t like to say directly who is responsible for ordinary ppl being deprived, impoverished and dying, in the US.

Imho in the US a final successful take over by the Banking and Insurance sector (see Health Care for ex. beginning with Killary) married to the MIC (not evident on the face of it, they like to keep it separate), with some Big Corps (Pharma a good ex) took place. State-subsidized industries (eg. farming) are a different matter.

These orgs., top ppl, oligarchs, indulged in predatory finance, asset stripping, extortion, illegitimate banking practices, manipulations, fraud. Off-shoring, of finance (tax havens, dark pools, laundering, mystery cyber crypts) and jobs, much of industrial activity, incl. manufacturing activity — excepting energy.

They managed to do this by controlling Gvmt. (corruption of long standing augmented, and the mask stripped away..) Decimating, then buying up, the MSM, to turn them into partisan stooges (eg. Maddow vs. Carlson) plus the internet (Breitbart vs. Daily Kos, or whatever, I don’t keep up with those sites.)


quote Putin. What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies — the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners — made use of these benefits. The middle class hardly benefited from globalisation. The take-home pay in the US … the middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.

The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump’s victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference. This is what we should be talking about here, including when it comes to the global economy.

I believe this may explain his seemingly extravagant economic decisions and even his relations with his partners and allies. He believes that the distribution of resources and benefits of globalisation in the past decade was unfair to the US.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 30 2019 15:51 utc | 245

some of the comments i read are not worth disagreeing with.. they can be seen for what they are as a reflection of the poster making them, as opposed to who they think they are addressing.. oh well..

i do want to thank a few posters for saying what they are saying - peter au, adkc, jen, wgruff and noirette..

@antispin.. thanks.. we'll see how instex unfolds...

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2019 16:05 utc | 246

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 30, 2019 4:07:52 AM | 231

:-)) aah but British Independent is owned by a Russian!!!

More seriously - Turns out British discussion on skirts or trousers is not really what Putin makes it to be, when you turn to other sources

Liberal Democrat Layla Moran is planning to propose a new law that forces schools in England to either have one uniform for everyone, or different types of uniform that children are allowed to wear on the basis of their preference not their gender.

Moran said she had been inspired by speaking to 15-year-old party member Jess Insall, who wanted to play football in breaks, but was forced to wear a skirt instead of trousers by her school’s uniform policy.

I have not extended my research yet what Scottish school uniforms for guys look like ....

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2019 16:12 utc | 247


Thank you to Peter AU 1, gzon, Pft, ADKA, and dockeytale for such thoughtful answers.

William Gruff, thank you for your reply, however if you thought to shock me, you missed completely. Trump being a Democrat, the political "corrals" as you aptly call them, the faux concern about other peoples, and the Saturday afternoon "let's go protest" protests, become apparent to anyone who looks beyond the MSM for information.

After reading everyone's replies, I still question this determined insistence to use "Liberal" "Liberalism" "Neo-liberalism" as an explanation for the behavior of the US. These words have been co-opted with connotations not remotely expansive enough to cover the damage the US is doing within itself and to the world, instead these misused and misunderstood words do more to complicate complex and globally interwoven issues than they clarify.

What is the base issue for US behavior? The Petrodollar and the lengths the US is going to in protecting it and our way of life, an explanation that any permutation of liberal does not reveal to those who most need it.

Posted by: Summer Diaz | Jun 30 2019 16:19 utc | 248

steven t johnson @238: The Civil War was about slavery

Was it? Lincoln's win meant that northern merchants were increasingly to be the economic beneficiaries of slavery via processing cotton into cloth.

Lincoln said he didn't want war and Lincoln and the north sought accommodations that would continue slavery and avoid war. But the South could see the writing on the wall: tariffs would impair their profits, preventing them from industrializing to reduce their dependence on northern manufacturers.

Lincoln didn't free the slaves until 2 years into the war!
If the war had really been about slavery, would've he have freed them on the first day?

Why we believe it was about slavery
It benefited neither side to claim that the heart of the conflict was about the division of profits from slavery. Instead, southern propaganda said it was about the 'right of succession', while northern propaganda said it was about 'preserving the Union'. In fact, many northerners resisted the draft because they really didn't care to risk their lives to free slaves. There were riots against conscription and European immigrants were forcefully conscripted to make up for the lack of recruits.

Once the war was over, of course, northern politicians took credit for the moral good of ending slavery.

Cotton prices and the tariff

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The American Civil War had many of the features of what we now know as "humanitarian intervention": propaganda, war profiteering, the serving of elite interests, and the prompt abandonment of the "saved" population (blacks were subject to severe discrimation and intimidation for hundred years after being "freed").

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 30 2019 16:30 utc | 249

james - here it is you who forgot the [projection alert]

I doubt many here care much whether you diagree or agree. I can tell you for a fact I don't care whether you agree with me or not or whether you point out your agreement or not.

When you present your actual thoughts on subjects that is something I pay attention to...these constant glib thank you notes are most likely taken as lightweight, meaningless blog filler to anyone in good faith adding their ideas to the discussion and looking for intelligent responses.

And my ideas are put forth in good faith, albeit often in polemical fashion. Your thank you sticky notes are closer to being bad faith expressions as they are subtly hidden attempts to direct and control the discussion. Luckily, this is impossible so that often begs the question why do you bother? Also, why I term your peculiar form of commentary "meaningless."

Have a nice day james.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 30 2019 16:39 utc | 250

Posted by: Montreal | Jun 30, 2019 8:49:37 AM | 236

I you look for ownership you have to dismiss most media. Sure, someone is funding them and that someone funds from the Netherlands (including a Chinese edition) and not for immediate commercial reasons. But they have a huge business section and I guess that is their target group and the interest they serve.

They (web)print the same Leonid Bershidsky of Bloomberg whom b. quotes above.
Frankly they seem to share content and journalists with Bloomberg.

Some well known US journalists started working for the Moscow Times eg. this guy.

But hey - let's face it - the US are doing business with Russia.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2019 17:04 utc | 251

Has anyone seen the clip of Trump's (ignorant) response to the question regarding neo-liberalism vis a vis Putin's remarks pertaining to it?

Basically, Trump says that we have a couple of cities in the USA that are very liberal, (specifically, Los Angeles & San Francisco), he doesn't know what they're thinking, they're kinda kooky and need some straightening out. Perhaps the Federal Government should to go in there and do something.

Herein, Trump reveals that he does not understand (big) Liberalism conceptually as it applies to Capitalist systems.

He thinks that liberalism applies only to social liberalism, leftist, gays, abortionists, Democrats. You know. The Rush Limbaugh Left Vs. Right Paradigm.

The sick divide that cuts workers into two camps and leaves Capital whole as it engulfs and assumes control of one half of the worker group. The ones dumb enough to buy the propaganda that the rich have their best interests at heart.

Point being that our President is a genuine dolt.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Jun 30 2019 17:06 utc | 252


@donkeytale Putin is a fascist through and through

Having just read the Putin biography by the German journalist Hubert Seipel, I have to chime in here: no, he's not. He's certainly a Russian patriot. He's also okay with capitalism, but the big difference to Western capitalism is this: concerning the relationship between the nation and corporations, the nation has to be the boss. In the neo-liberal Western agenda, corporations are allowed to get more powerful than the nation, in the form of multi-national corporations, hedgefunds etc. The banking crisis of 2008 and the subsequent bailout made that obvious.

At one point, Seipel hints at the basic system of values that Putin pursues: it is... Christianity. Might be surprising for many.

10, 12, 15 years ago, I didn't know a lot about Putin, my judgment was just about to take shape. I certainly preferred him to the maniacs of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld regime who coldbloodedly attacked not only other nations, but their own cities too. In the last years I observed a systematical demonization of Putin in Western media, that's why I tried to hear other voices, like that of Seipel. I have to admit the more I learn about this guy and the style of his policies, the more I trust him.

Posted by: mk | Jun 30 2019 18:11 utc | 253

steven t johnson @239

Did William Gruff imply that conservatives where not pro-imperialist? I don't think so. If anything he was just making the observation that real conservatives no longer exist and what you get is a parody; the Aunt Sally required for liberalism equally fake virtual signallers.

There is no point at tilting at conservatives, socialists, communists, anarchist, or even fascists when for the most part they don't really exist or are feeble (nothing more than caricatures).

What is of interest about William Gruff's view that "Donald Trump is a liberal" (which is obvious considering his background as a capitalist and that his position within the elite) is how willing Trump is to play the "populist/fascist role" (and doesn't appear uncomfortable in that role).

William Gruff never suggested that "the only cure for liberalism is to kill all the liberals" that projection only makes sense if that is how you view that opponents should be dealt with. The killing of liberals won't kill liberalism anyway. The way to kill liberalism is to kill the ideology; which is only an elite ideology anyway.

Your concern is anti-imperialism but the US has been extraordinarily successful in defining its actions as anything but imperialist. Neo-liberalism is the very essence of the US post-war/empire imperialism and a greater understanding of neo-liberalism has allowed for a greater understanding of how the US conducts its imperialism and controls its empire.

An example is the US neo-liberal imperialism aid to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Instead of helping the US grabbed control and exploited Haiti to a quite shocking extent. And we now see the US violently putting down protests in 2018/9 in Haiti with reprisal killing of Haitian, not when they are protesting but in the extremely poor places they live, with unrecognised, unreported deaths that are at least 200 plus. And the neo-liberal fantasy is that the Haitians were helped. And you, as an anti-imperialist, will be unable to explain this adequately, unable even to protest unless you understand the neo-liberal method and can bring yourself accept it as the predominant US/Western imperialist ideology.

Posted by: ADKC | Jun 30 2019 18:13 utc | 254

Summer Diaz @248 sez: "What is the base issue for US behavior? The Petrodollar and the lengths the US is going to in protecting it."

So, do you think the elites running the show are murdering millions just out of greed? Or perhaps pure villainy? Of course not. The elites consider their leadership to be humanity's best hope, so a few million killed and a few hundred million more crushed socially and economically are to them a small price to pay (even though the elites are not the ones paying that price, they believe the burden of living with having caused that suffering is immensely greater) so that American kids can grow up believing themselves to be unicorns. The petrodollar must be maintained so that the empire can be maintained so that an island of opioid-enhanced bliss can exist within the global sea of misery.

I didn't say that Trump was a Democrat, though indeed he was before running for office. I said Trump is a liberal. I am talking about Trump's personal ideology.

Anyway, others here have already exhaustively explained what liberalism is so there is no point restating it over and over. I suppose we could oversimplify it by claiming that liberalism is capitalism with a smile while conservatism is capitalism with a frown, but such oversimplifications lose their meaning when taken to that extreme.

Finally, once you stop self-identifying as liberal then it becomes much easier to see the harm liberalism is causing.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 30 2019 19:15 utc | 255

Putin is brilliant. Whether one agrees or not: he has thought deeply about matters of state.

Posted by: Matt | Jun 30 2019 19:59 utc | 256

Posted by: mk | Jun 30, 2019 2:11:38 PM | 253

You aren't supposed to have to "trust" politicians, you are supposed to be able to hold them to account.
But yes, he is a huge improvement compared to Jelzin, that bar however is extremely low.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jun 30, 2019 11:21:00 AM | 241

"Putin is talking not about "classic economic liberalism" or "neo-liberalism." he is critiquing liberal democracy and socially liberal attitudes"

You are correct, but that does not make him a fascist.

I think he was trolling Steve Bannon and Trump in this interview with a bit of disinformation of his own thrown in. Plus he was giving Trump some electoral help. There is no collusion between Trump and Russia but Russians have certainly figured out that Trump's "disruptiveness" works for them.

Putin compared himself to an enlightened Tsar and that is how he operates - bringing reform to his country but this reform is dependent on him and controlled by him (and not really good for the peasants).

I would say this is not sustainable long term. But who am I.

The US system seems to be pretty fool proof if a half-smart idiot like Trump cannot destroy it, so I guess "liberal democracy" is alive and kicking.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2019 20:52 utc | 257

Circe @ 240:

"... Why does [Putin] honor that crook and swindler, Netanyahu, with a military parade when the crook vists Russia and celebrate the crook's election? ..."

Netanyahu attended Russia's Victory Day parade in 2018 and tried to stay close to Putin and catch his attention. I have seen a video of them both paying their respects to Russia's fallen, along with the Serbian President. Putin ignored the Israeli PM and spoke with the Serbian leader and Russian war veterans during the parade.

Russia extends invitations to all major world leaders to attend its annual Victory Day parade but most ignore the invitations. Netanyahu took up the invitation, he had the right to do so and could not be refused. Victory Day is the day when everyone in Russia puts aside politics and remembers those who died defending their nations from Nazism and fascism in the mid-20th century.

What Netanyahu thought he would gain from attending, I have no idea, but any concessions he might have gained from the Kremlin were blotted out when Israeli fighter jets shadowed the Ilyushin plane carrying Russian military personnel over Syria in September later in the year and led to Syrian missile defence forces shooting down that Russian plane and killing 15 people. The end result was that Israel's worst nightmare came true: Syria finally got the S300 anti-missile defence systems it paid for years ago from Russia.

Netanyahu and his equally criminal wife may get their comeuppance after new Israeli elections to find a new Prime Minister are held in October this year. Yes, they have to have new elections after Netanyahu was unable to form a government because the parties he needs to form it fell out over the issue of compelling ultra-Orthodox Jewish people to serve in the Israeli Defence Forces.

I think after what you have been through recently, you need a laugh.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 30 2019 22:38 utc | 258

somebody and mk who both dispute my terming Putin a fascist. You both make solid points.

The great thing about bandying about the term fascist is the definition of fascism is flexible and changes over time. As in the term "multipolar" we can make use of "fascism" pretty much any way we need to suit our arguments.

Pft @ 67 in the current MoA Week in Review thread posits a very different synopsis from another Putin biography.

While one definition of fascism is corporate control of the government, which I endorse with respect to US corporate fascism, one can see a slightly different degree of corporate fascism in Russia (and similarly in China too) where the government controls corporations by handing out leadership slots to cronies and associates (Sechin at Rosneft, for instance), jails and bankrupts Putin opponents who own corporations, and disenfranshises/imprisons political opponents (Navalny).

Interesting debate all around. Appreciate the comments, especially somebody who isn't afraid to take on the entrenched Putin worshippers with reasoned arguments and evidence.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 1 2019 1:05 utc | 259

jackrabbit@234 thinks William Gruff is justified in singling out "liberals" defines them. The singular and savage condemnation is only valid if conservatives are morally superior. They aren't, therefore his post are partisan vilification. His argument isn't really much better than a snob condemning Trumpists as hicks.

As to the Civil War? From the South Carolina Ordinance of Secession:
These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States."

Link: link">http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp">link

Sorry but jackrabbit's opinions on the Civil War are nonsense, uttered in bad faith in my opinion.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 1 2019 1:29 utc | 260

steve t johnson

While I agree with you wholeheartedly that Jackrabbit often argues nonsensically in bad faith (and not coincidentally, against "liberals" and "Democrats" seemingly 100% of the time), it appears your lack of correct linking ha exploded the thread well beyond the margins, thus making for an unreadable experience. Otherwise I enjoyed your comments in this thread very much.

Please be more careful when creating links. Thanks.

Posted by: donkeytale | Jul 1 2019 2:30 utc | 261

steven t johnson @260: nonsense, uttered in bad faith

The North was willing to allow slavery to continue in the South.

Before Lincoln was inaugurated, both houses of Congress passed a Constitutional amendment that would have permanently preserved slavery in the states where it currently existed. At that point, those southern states that had not yet succeeded held off doing so for a time.

President Jame Buchannan signed the Amendment - even though it was unnecessary for him to do so. And, in his Inaugural Address, President Lincoln said of the Amendment:

I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution — which amendment, however, I have not seen — has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service ... holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

Three "border states" (which remained part of the Union) and three northern states ratified the Amendment (6 out of 25) before it was essentially abandoned after Lincoln (finally) freed the slaves. Lincoln did so only when it became clear that too much blood had been spilled to return to the status-quo.

Despite their willingness to allow slavery to continue (permanently!) in the South, the North insisted on a couple of things that the South refused to accept: high tariffs and no expansion of slavery. The tariffs would give merchants in the North the ability to drive down prices paid for cotton, while allowing them to continue to sell cloth made from that cotton at high prices. The end to expansion of slavery was necessary to blunt the criticism of abolitionists but the South saw it as an encroachment on their property rights.

The Corwin Amendment: The Last Last-Minute Attempt to Save the Union

Wikipedia: The Corwin Amendment

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

I didn't write to support what Gruff wrote, only to clarify a point. However, I guess I should now comment on what Gruff wrote.

Whatever "liberals" (the left kind) used to be, they are now almost completely subsumed by identity politics which the gate-keepers of the Democratic Party keep on a slow boil. "Identity politics" works well for the establishment because it neutralizes class politics (for the most part). Note: discussing class politics is fine as long as it is always guided to a defeat.

Liberals like to confuse people with the pretense that they are progressives, The liberals sympathize with progressive notions but readily attack progressive movements as impractical and misguided.

It is well known (the subject of much discussion at places like nakedcapitalism.com) that the bounty of the Empire pays for liberal largess. Institutional liberals (aka fake progressives) DEFEND that bargain and the Democratic Party itself has made a wilful decision NOT to challenge military/MIC. Only Tulsi Gabbard breaks this policy and she does so only for a very very limited purpose (ending "regime change wars" - but not reversing militarism/reducing MIC).

In the end liberals are among the moderates that subscribe to the 'Third-way' political formation (aka "radical center") that ensure that establishment priorities (tax cuts, militarism, Empire, etc.) prevail.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 1 2019 4:19 utc | 262

My apologies for the linking problem.

The issue with restricting slavery's expansion into new territories is that eventually the creation
of new states would change the balance of power in the federal government. The political reason for
secession simply because Lincoln was elected---not because of anything he had done---was that Lincoln's
election would have commenced the ultimate defeat of the slave power. A Corwin Amendment would then be
no more use proof against repeal than the Prohibition Amendment. To put it in contemporary words, the
Corwin Amendment was just another way of kicking the abolition of slavery in the South down the road,
to a time when the slave states were hopelessly outnumbered. The slavers knew this, knew their relative
power vis-a-vis the free states would never be greater than at the end of Buchanan's presidency. It is
much more significant that the slavers wouldn't accept the Corwin Amendment as enough to tolerate a
constitutionally elected president who wasn't committed to defending slavery everywhere, including by
expansion perceived as necessary because plantations wore out soils. Thus, secession, no matter what
Lincoln might have done if they hadn't walked out.

Lincoln never believed there was Constitutional warrant for abolishing slavery in the states (a correct
interpretation by the way, though this does not reflect well on the wisdom, much less decency, of the
Framers.) The Emancipation Proclamation was done under the rather elastic powers given to the President
as Commander-in-Chief, which is why it specifically exempted areas under the control of the US government,
where there was no military necessity to justify such a far reaching action. (The usual interpretation by
the neo-Confederate apologists and certain others is thatsomehow means the Emancipation was a fraud, rather
than the explicit formulation of an war aim, albeit one always implicit.) And it is why the Thirteenth
Amendment was deemed necessary. (Certain others also allege the abolition of slavery was a ploy to continue
slavery, but this depends on claiming there is no difference between slavery and discrimination, just as
slavers complained that there was no essential difference between chattel slavery and wage slavery, other
than slavers had child care and pension plans.)

Ending slavery so that all would be free men in a democracy,
and ending the rebellion against democracy, two things that can be distinguished in words, but not in
practice, were the primary aim of the government. Fighting for racial equality was never the primary goal
of the government. Nonetheless, the years of Reconstruction also incorporated much struggle in pursuit of
the goal. The national welfare program of the Freedmen's Bureau was entirely alien to the political theory
of the day, which did not even conceive of a welfare state. Well, at least the respectable political
theory, which was much more survival of the fittest than humanitarian.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 1 2019 15:30 utc | 263

The whole "liberal" thing was confusing because the context in which Putin used the term was not in the classical sense of individual rights and sovereignty. It was, as b pointed out, more along the lines of neoliberal globalism and disregard for community interests, referenced by Putin in the context of cultural outlooks that bind nations into communities of interest. It seems the references to "liberalism" in the media brouhaha have all missed the essential point, whether it was Trump talking about "liberal" Democrats in California or, more egregiously, commentators distorting the comment to mean denunciation of democratic republics. What gets overlooked is that open-borders corporate neoliberalism and multiculturalism are both very illiberal in the classical sense.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 1 2019 20:51 utc | 264

steven t johnson @263

The North didn't want to fight to free the slaves. Many in the South didn't trust any compromise and were emboldened by the fact that ... the North didn't want to fight.

If the Corwin Amendment had been added to the Constitution we can debate whether or how long it might take to reverse it. Once northern mercantile interests were receiving the bulk of the profits from slavery (via paying low prices for cotton due to tariffs) then its quite likely that northern politicians would find plenty of reasons to delay action. Example: today USA maintains a relationship with Saudi Arabia despite universal condemnation of Saudi human rights practices - that is largely due to the MIC/commercial interests that benefit from trade with the Saudis.

Furthermore, states - including northern states - might not like to lose the social control that the Corwin Amendment provided to them. Until at least the 1960's when social attitudes finally changed, many states would gladly have used that control to regulate abortion, legal age of consent, gay rights, women's suffrage, etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 1 2019 21:08 utc | 265

The question of whether liberalism in the classical sense can survive the contradictions that arose from the concentrations of power that accompanied the development of industrial and financial capitalism remains open. Karl Marx was first to recognize the crisis, but his scenario of how it would play out didn't work out so hot. The contemporary terms "liberal" and "conservative," applied to economic philosophy, largely denote differing approaches to navigating those contradictions. "Liberal" has meant maximum distribution of rights, while "conservative" has meant distributing rights according to economic power. The conservative idea was modulated by referring to cultural conditions that lend community, noblesse oblige and such, but that has fallen by the wayside in the neoliberal era. Liberals threw away one of their most powerful rejoinders to the conservative approach when they started to emphasize identity-based rights over individual rights. Putin is on the money when he points to the Western power elites' failure to advocate for community interest as feeding the disillusionment leading to the upsurge in populism.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 1 2019 21:10 utc | 266

@arby #122
The oligarchs in Russia, post 1991, got to where they were through a variety of means - but generally involving crime. It ranged from buying a bank and bribing government officials to deposit government funds into the bank - funds which were then used to buy privatized companies and resources, to strongarm tactics: extortion, intimidation - both physical and regulatory, murder, etc to get control, to fraud, embezzlement, busting out etc.
The "buying up" of public vouchers is mostly nonsense. Yes, there were vouchers in a few cases - but there were no such thing for national resources like oil pipelines, etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 1 2019 22:12 utc | 267

@ken #185
What you say "may" be true, but I am more of the opinion that getting Putin as PM was the price for the Sobchak/St. Peterburg political machine's support for Yeltsin.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 1 2019 22:13 utc | 268

@El Cid #211
The United States was founded on multi-culturalism?
No, not at all - except in the sense that many of the early founders were religious cults fleeing persecution.
Nor was multi-culturalism "multi" unless you were male, white, and wealthy. Poor people couldn't vote, black and American Indian people weren't "people" - nor were women. LGBTQ were literally burned at the stake.
Note I'm not even talking about the highly prevalent practices of debt peonage (debt slavery) and outright human chattel (human slavery).
The only presence of "multi" was in population counts for Congressional representation: black slaves were counted as 3/5ths of a real person for House of Representatives purposes, but the actual Representatives were appointed by the state legislature and/or governor in that era.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 1 2019 22:19 utc | 269

I expected more from the most intelligent and enduring leader of our time. Or maybe not, he's having it both ways throughout.

What exactly does "not allowed to overshadow" mean? No Pride parades?

Putin: The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment.

This sounds like Trump at his worst. In USA at least, immigrants are those least likely to do these things. And we already have laws against murder and rape anyway.

Is not-being-documented a crime too, even a special case in which the defendant has few rights, or should it be a mere civil offense as civil libertarians claim.

Putin sounds like Trump again, when he implies that other countries should take a "hardline" approach to immigration even if it's not politically acceptible.

In fact, Putin does not take such a hardline approach, and is more liberal himself than some of this sounds. Seems like he is dressing up his rhetoric sometimes to impress right wing allies. Papers can clip the unwanted parts.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Jul 1 2019 22:27 utc | 270

@Charles Peterson #270
The Russian law that is so reviled among the liberati is the one which prohibits the propagandizing of all forms to children.
Equally, there are actually a lot of immigrants in Russia - only they come from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, or the regions in Russia (Muslims from the more southerly - Chechnya, Dagestan etc, tribals like Yakuts and Buriats from Siberia, etc). There are also considerable numbers of Africans who go to Russia to start businesses or get educated, and lots of Asians - particularly Chinese in the big cities and Siberia.
Thus the notion that Russia and Putin are xenophobic and anti-immigrant is quite false. However, in Russia, immigrants are expected to be "Russian": speak the language, merge into society, observe societal mores.
This is very different than the "multicultural" approach.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 2 2019 2:22 utc | 271

@211

The whole idea was that America was defined by a civic culture. There was a social contract with immigrants, that they would embrace American civic culture. Immigrants were by and large happy to do so. Immigrant groups had social affinities where they settled, but by and large they saw something better in the USA than where they came from and often became super-patriots. The only exceptions I can think of are the Chinese and Japanese, who received targeted discrimination in US immigration law and experienced pogroms. The notion of multiculturalism, that advocating a core commonality of values among ethnic groups is somehow oppressive, is a recent phenomenon.

@269

The key factor among "white, male, and wealthy" was wealthy. Women were excluded from suffrage when the majority of the white male population was excluded from suffrage based on the requirement for holding property for eligibility to vote. It is also not correct to state that blacks and natives "weren't 'people." Natives were regarded as separate nations. Freed blacks were legally US citizens in the antebellum era, and were counted in the census that way. The 3/5 credit for slaves was to increase representation for the slave states on the basis of a population that was disenfranchised. 5/5 credit would have been less, not more, just. The best solution would have been 0/5, which would have provided incentive for the slave states to increase their populations of free blacks if they wanted more representation.

@270

Putin seems to be referring to the situation in Europe and the UK, where migrants have brought a high crime rate and nobody wants to talk about it for fear of grating against multiculturalist sensibilities. Refer to #209 for one example of multiculturalist absurdity in dealing with the migrant question. In Malmo, Sweden, migrants have turned it into a city with one of the highest rates of rape in Europe, while areas of Sweden without migrant settlement have remained on the low end. The Swedes, in their wisdom, have covered that issue up by engaging in an anti-rape campaign that targets native Swedish males.

Like it or not, gay rights is very much a northern European and Anglosphere thing. It's not popular in eastern Europe, the Latin world, Russia, south Asia, or east Asia. We need maturity in recognizing that it's a minority opinion on the world scale, and need to engage with other cultures without waving a rainbow flag in their faces.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 2 2019 2:48 utc | 272

But what is the core notion of "multiculturalism?" If the idea is that subcultures and immigrants be treated decently until their assimilation is complete, where the new cultural synthesis includes the widely accepted aspects of culture from before and after the arrival, a new synthesis...then we are talking about melting pot, rather than salad. The triumphs of the US have come from the melting pot and the disgraces have come largely from trying to defeat cultural change by use of repression. Cultures change, and it is ideology in the pejorative sense, to pretend culture is an unchanging essence. This seems to me to be where Putin is coming from on this.

Multiculturalism as a salad, where the constituents never change is about dividing the people, also fundamentally reactionary, but it's not always clear this is the kind meant by proponents, rather than a straw man set up by reactionaries.

The melting pot and salad analogies are very old, but seem to be still useful.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2019 15:15 utc | 273

Jackrabbit@265 (sorry about miscopying the user name, an oversight, not meant as a petty slight,) omits that it was Buchanan, a proslavery Democrat, who didn't want to fight to save the Union, democracy and ultimately free men, first in the territories and ultimately the South itself. The last wasn't said loudly, in fact often denied, but the fire eaters in the South were correct not to believe it. The election of Lincoln was the sectional decision of the North that the South's stranglehold on the federal government, exemplified by treasonous filth like Buchanan, was over. That was what so unacceptable about Lincoln's mere election. The North would rather fight than let the South keep matching the North in the Senate and the Electoral College by expansion in the territories. The South did not have a divine right to a permanent veto, no matter what they thought, but the North's election of Lincoln showed that was over. Hence the secession. The desperate need for the slave power to control (or neutralize, at worst,) the federal government was defending slavery, property in flesh.

The South objected to tariffs because the planters wanted cheap imports of better goods, especially luxury goods. The slave lords were very much about luxury, why else own men? The North did not get cheap cotton by using tariffs to protect industry. They bought cheap cotton from the South, and tariffs had nothing to do with that. Many northern textile mills used that cheap cotton to make inferior clothing which the planters very much liked to buy for slaves. Northern profit from slavery is why it took decades for northern opinion to see the whole nation should be free. It's why the single city that benefited most, New York, the greatest entrepot of the South, was the most vicious in supporting the South. The notorious draft riots were anti-black pogroms. Nobody burns down a colored children's orphanage because of federalist principles against conscription. The North overall ended slavery as a consequence of the American Revolution but tried very hard to compromise with the South for money. The real problem was the Slave Power insisted on invading the North with the rabid cruelties of the Fugitive Slave Act and by its murderous violence in the territories. The South refused to compromise. The picture of the North as rapacious exploiters of planters, rather than some joining in the exploitation of slaves, is crass propaganda.

Lastly the Corwin Amendment was reactionary, but it wasn't an expansion of federal controls over liberating movements like women's suffrage.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2019 15:34 utc | 274

@273

Advocates of multiculturalism denounce the melting pot idea as propagating some sort of oppressive "monocultural" standard. In reality the test is functional. If a culture has adaptive traits, it can thrive and contribute something positive to the melting pot. Clinging to dysfunctional cultural traits in the name of ethnic solidarity, so celebrated by multiculturalists, results in slag in the melting pot. The various combinations and blends in the melting pot can be fun and enlivening. The problem is how to minimize the slag. That requires saying "no" sometimes.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 2 2019 20:28 utc | 275

i liken what politicans want to do with cultures to what corporations want to do with culture...

that is there's a mcdonalds, walmart and etc. etc. in every strip mall on the planet...

following that parallel - it doesn't work for me, and is more like a cultural wasteland then anything else - melting pot / multiculturalism is a con job as i see it...

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 20:41 utc | 276

in fact, i think it is more corporate driven then anything else... get rid of borders and tariffs and etc. etc.. go for globalization for corporations and make it look like it is good for the people too..

Posted by: james | Jul 2 2019 21:00 utc | 277

@steven t johnson #273
Sadly, your definition of multiculturalism is nothing like what is being preached toward today.
Multiculturalism doesn't apparently apply if you are religious, if you're conservative, if you're nationalistic, etc.
I'd also note that the celebration of various multiple cultures is *not* necessarily a recipe for integration. Think ghetto - blacks and Chinese in the US, Jews in historical Europe, North Africans and Middle Easterners in Western Europe today.
How long does it take for a group of people to "melt" into the pot when they neither speak nor have to speak the predominant language? When they have customs which literally separate them from the community around them?
The United States is unique because it is an entire continent that was "freed" from its occupying Native Americans, was available, and needed lots of newcomers to clear off the land and make it productive. That is no longer true - and it hasn't been true in Europe or Asia for centuries.
Even after 200 years of integration - there are clearly substantive differences between culture and language between South, West, Midwest and NorthEast (and other regional subcultures).
My personal view is that the one unifying factor in the United States was the American Dream - the idea that working hard and being a part of society would mean a better life for the recent immigrant and their children, as well as the people already there. The death of the American Dream as evidenced by increasing GINI coefficients and lack of real income increases for the American middle class therefore has interesting ramifications...

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 2 2019 21:43 utc | 278

The issue between multiculturalism and religion is, judging from history, the example of people of different religions living more or less morally decent lives shows that religion is not the foundation of morality. The contradictions between religious faiths show none of them are true, in other words. Thus, religion has issues with any kind of multiculturalism, either melting pot monoculture or a salad of fossilized sects, because the current practitioners delude themselves into thinking if they suppress all alternatives from their lives, the religion won't change. Nothing stops change, however. Multiculturalism, meaning cultural change influenced by other people, is inevitable, so it is, contrary to their claims, the reactionaries who are pushing their wishes on everybody else, even as they shriek about being, somehow in some unnameable way, victims.

Pretty sure that no one should talk about people celebrating black culture in the US or Jewish (or Roma) culture in Europe. Pretty sure that great efforts have been made to ensure that blacks in the US or Jews (and Roma) in Europe couldn't end up assimilating over time. And that these efforts are the kind of thing people hysterical about multiculturalism just want to persecute others in a vile attempt to hold back the clock. And other nightmares of multiculturalism like women having jobs or men having sex with each other don't wreck society either. Cruelty is objectionable in itself, but cruelty in an unwinnable cause of no real value is astonishingly vile, justly inspiring a special contempt for the willful folly of it all. Some people feel lost in change, this is sad for them, but they aren't the victims.

c1ue notes that material progress makes it easier for everyone to assimilate, as material rewards compensate for illusory religious/ethnic/sexual/national/etc. prestige, which isn't even personal prestige anyhow. I tend to agree, though I think what we're seeing is the diminishing pie inducing people to band together to screw their inferiors (as they see them.) If the pie is shrinking, gang up to fight over the slices. The real question is who's making things go backward. The hysterically anti-multiculturalism mob is more or less to cowardly to fight the big shots, finding safer to kick ass of the weaker groups and more profitable to kiss ass of the owners.

That said, I think an awful lot of symbolic issues are intended, consciously or not, to divert people from real politics, which is who gets what? To put it in a Putin context, Pussy Riot isn't about anything most Russian people should care about, which is why "Putin" (the powers that be) should have more sense than to freak out like an old lady hearing the f-word.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 2 2019 22:46 utc | 279

steven t johnson @274

Well, you didn't address Lincoln's willingness to accept the Corwin Amendment (as indicated in his inaugural address) and his failure to free the slaves until well into the war (nearly two years, IIRC).

And your belief that the Corwin Amendment would've been overturned if it had been fully ratified is just hopium. You haven't convinced me that the inherent practical considerations (profiteering and state social control) would've been overcome by moral considerations. Abolitionists would've continued to push to end slavery but many of their fellow citizens would've just shrugged.

Also, on tariffs and cloth-makers you fail to distinguish between pre- and post-tariff trade. Here's a chart (and explanation) that shows how detrimental the tariff increase would've been to the South.

There were many failed attempts at compromise in the years that led up to the war. The Corwin Amendment was the last attempt and probably the most acceptable to most on each side. But secessionists in the South pushed ahead well before it was drafted and ratified by Congress. They didn't think the North would fight against fellow whites to free black slaves.

They were largely right about that but wrong about the determination of the North to not allow dissolution of the Union (which would essentially create a powerful foreign power 'next door').

Sure, slavery was at the core of WHY the war happened, but to say it was CAUSE of the war is simplistic. The vast majority of people in the North would've been happy with a peaceful solution that made slavery unprofitable for the South and prevented it's extension to other states. That's what the Corwin Amendment + tariff would've done. BUT it would also have shifted the profits to Northern manufacturers.

Note: I'm not advocating for the Corwin Amendment. Like most modern Americans, I'm pleased that slavery was ended in the 1860's. But the notion that "the North fought to end slavery" is wrong. Sure, general sentiment favored an end to slavery just as general sentiment today in USA favors not doing business with Saudi Arabia but that doesn't translate into a willingness to go to war to make it happen.

It was Abolitionists that wanted to fight to end slavery. They were the "progressives" of the day. 'Liberals' often favor progressive views but generally aren't willing risk much to make them happen. A good example is Obama's: "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good". Nevertheless, despite their hesitation, 'liberals' are only too happy to pat themselves on the back when a progressive cause wins.

And that's what's happened with the Civil War. 'Liberals' want to look like the heros by conflating their limited support with the successful outcome. It was the progressives who were the heros. And they 'won' only because of the group-think of secessionists who overplayed their hand.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2019 22:51 utc | 280

@279

"Multiculturalism, meaning cultural change influenced by other people....."

Uh.... that's not what it means. Multiculturalism divides cultures into a dominant "oppressive" culture and "othered" victims of the dominant oppressors. Yes, discrimination has occurred and does occur. That does not, however, mean that all of the shortfalls experienced by cultural groups in contact with a mainstream host culture are the result of discrimination. Sometimes cultural traits are maladaptive. Accommodating maladaptive cultural traits is not the responsibility of the host culture, any more than it would be the responsibility of Japanese people to accept me if I insisted on wearing shoes in the house.

On the example of Jews, Jewish immigrants to the USA and their children were very assimilationist while at the same time making a huge imprint on American culture in the first half of the twentieth century, in a very Jewish way. They were among the most successful and influential of all their cohort of immigrant groups.

Americans celebrate black culture all the time. The Americans who celebrated black culture most whole-heartedly were southern boys like Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The first generation of rock & roll was driven by white youth basking in the melting heat of black culture. Whites who resisted and clung to their white sensibilities became slag.

Paradoxically, as racial integration became a national project in the USA, the Black Power generation turned their backs on integration and became self-segregating. Look at the demands of black student activists in universities. They're mostly about maintaining separateness as a means of attaining collective power. In my opinion that is corrosive and not a path for blacks to lead productive, successful lives.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 3 2019 2:28 utc | 281

Thirdeye@281 has a definition of multiculturalism as evil. In support of this, there are strange claims that imply black self-segregation are the primary cause of, well, everything I suppose, from inner city ghettos to, what, the nightmare of the Obama years? The absorption of the black sub-culture in the military and via entertainers and sports (another form of entertainment somehow deemed separate) were a reason why support for all sorts of official government policies, like Jim Crow and unofficial ones, like lynching (yet no anti-lynching law) could not stand. It wasn't so long ago that the low cost housing loans offered by the federal government were expressly designed to maintain segregated neighborhoods. Differential policing is notorious.

Where the multiculturalism of the kind Thirdeye talks about may exist is in the would-be elite stratum, where the least victimized members of other groups try to mobilize their peers as a way to do in their competition. Kamala Harris poses a victim of racism (and to some degree she is) as if she were some poor black woman who can't get a decent job (living wage,) but whose career as a prosecutor probably did more damage to black people of a lower status than a great many white people. It's like Obama supporting the Libyans who started their war against Qaddafi by lynching black people. It's true there are people who want to inflate symbols like a black president into real politics. It's a swindle but most politicians are swindlers. Singling out multi-cultural swindlers when there's no great reason to think this are the swindlers who are actually doing the damage is something like capital punishment for shoplifters while crawling on your belly in front of billionaires. Real politics doesn't play symbolic moral theater but crooks do. Or using a Putin example, Putin wants stupid laws to forbid promoting homosexuality when it's obvious from experience there's no reason for this, except a personal prejudice on the part of the right wingers...who cover their folly with hysteria about multiculturalism. It's like the people who shriek about transgender boys in school bathrooms when what they really want is for the sissies to get beat up.

Jackrabbit@280 continues with the nonsense. The Corwin Amendment was unacceptable to the South because without a veto on the federal government, they could expand slavery in search of fresh soils, because they couldn't coerce the North into a attacking escapees from slaves, because the planter class wanted the cheapest possible costs for their industrial goods, which mostly meant British goods, which was industrially superior. That last is the infamous tariff problem. The link to an "explanation" assumes British traders financed their purchases of cotton from current sales of exports to the US. Even in 1860 that's not the way businesses worked. They even had banks then, which would print their own money and loan it to commercial firms. Also, the notion that welfare for old people was a major concern for the slavers sure isn't supported by life spans of slaves

The tariff problem is emphasized only because nowadays it seems like a non-racist principle. The Nullification crisis with South Carolina was much more about tariffs, but South Carolina did *not* get widespread support in the rest of the South for the very good reason that even fellow southerners didn't consider tariffs themselves so important. And it was especially true when the southern minority had a parity with the majority in the federal government. It was the loss of veto power that prompted the secession, not a tariff they may well have been able to defeat if they had stayed in Congress.

The abrupt reduction of the entire North to the person of Abraham Lincoln is convenient to overlook the efforts to free slaves that preceded Lincoln's capitulation to reality. Look up Fremont and Butler and Douglass. The Emancipation Proclamation was written in July 1862, which is not two years into the war. The promulgation was delayed solely for tactical reasons, unsound in my view, but Lincoln was a very legalistic and cautious politician.

Again, the notion that preserving the Union, which was defending the principle of democracy in the now controversial sense of majority rule (so much have the conservatives degenerated!) has nothing to do with strangling slavery despite the monstrous defects in the Constitution is a Big Lie. The Republicans would have kept the slave power out of the territories, stood down on the nationalization of slavery by the Dred Scott decision (another aggression by the slave power!) and done the truly dirty deed of the tariff, increased the wealth and population of the industrial parts of the country by a national policy. *That* was what the slavers genuinely hated about the tariff. Slavers prefer backwardness. In my opinion, it's why Jefferson opposed Hamilton's program on manufactures. A society with commerce and industry and free labor was just incompatible with the quasi-feudal ambitions of the planters to lord it over everyone, including the poor whites they flattered weren't poor because they were so much better than the slaves.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 3 2019 13:57 utc | 282

steven t johnson @282:

The link to an "explanation" assumes British traders financed their purchases of cotton from current sales ...

The link includes a chart based on real pricing data.

southerners didn't consider tariffs themselves so important.

It's not surprising that the southern elite didn't talk openly about how the tariffs would erode their profits. People don't go to war to defend the profits of the wealthy.

The Emancipation Proclamation was written in July 1862, which is not two years into the war.

It wasn't issued until January 1863, and even then with some hesitation:

On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863.[7] None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, and Lincoln's order was signed and took effect on January 1, 1863.

The War stared in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter. Note: I did say it was two years later, I said it was "about two years IIRC".

And the Emancipation Proclamation didn't free all slaves:

"The Proclamation ordered the freedom of all slaves in ten states.[3] Because it was issued under the president's authority to suppress rebellion (war powers), it necessarily excluded areas not in rebellion ..."

Why didn't the North free all slaves if the war was fought to free the slaves? And why didn't they do so at the outset of the war?

The abrupt reduction of the entire North to the person of Abraham Lincoln is convenient

I haven't done that. In fact, my argument has been that you can't reduce the intent of the war to the end result and post-war propaganda (glorification of Lincoln is part of that propaganda).

But you've tried to reduce the opinions of the entire South to the views expressed in South Carolina's declaration of succession (a document that focused on slavery and was clearly written as propaganda).

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You seem to be very invested in the belief that Americans are the good guys as proven by the selfless devotion to freeing slaves in the southern states. The reality is very different. The Abolitionists pushed the moral case for freeing slaves and, while many Americans agreed with the moral imperative, the vast majority of people were not eager to fight a war over the issue.

You also seem to want to play down class issues. In fact, it was the upper classes in the north and south that stood to gain the most. Everyone else was slated to lose due to the conflict.

Of course freeing the slaves was the right thing to do, but liberals want to take credit for doing it because it's politically advantageous to do so TODAY. Lauding themselves for freeing the slaves is just 'virtue signaling' in the extreme because it was a small minority - the progressives of the time (Abolistionists) - that really fought to free slaves.

Liberals are not progressives. Obama's famous adage "don't make the perfect the enemy of the good" sums up liberals very well.

Lastly, nothing proves the lie of a great liberal consensus to free the slaves better than the abandonment of the former slaves after the war. If northern society had really been so enlightened, blacks wouldn't have lived lives of poverty and repression for nearly a hundred years after being "liberated".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2019 17:11 utc | 283

@282

The multiculturalism I described is indeed an elite enterprise, working in tandem with the postmodernist establishment in universities. It erodes the notions of truth and progress, reducing everything to a (vastly oversimplified) model of power relationships. And at the end of the day it provides no tools for problem-solving or for bettering its supposed beneficiary's lives. It is an ideological justification and tool for manipulation, using identity. The multi-cultural swindle is a divide-and-conquer tool that does have damaging real-world consequences. The argument that "you as a black person can't make anything happen based on your individual efforts because society is so racist so dedicate yourself to the demands of self-appointed leaders" is enfeebling and fosters dysfunction. Opposing it is energy well spent.

Black self-segregation is a real thing. The urban race riots of the late 1960s were a good example. They resulted in greater racial separation in the cities in which they occurred. Formerly integrated neighborhoods served by local businesses became mono-ethnic service deserts. Much of the hullaballoo about urban gentrification is driven by black segregationist sentiments.

When we see the excesses of postmodernist "gender education" in the US and Canada it makes one wonder if Putin isn't onto something. Neurotic conditions are to be handled humanely but not glorified or taken as some sort of truth.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jul 4 2019 7:11 utc | 284

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