Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 02, 2019

Open Thread 2019-44

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News & views ...

Posted by b on August 2, 2019 at 17:36 UTC | Permalink

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@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 14:58 utc | 98

You must separate the official from the real narrative.

The South Korean elite uses the colonial past narrative to the masses when it interests them.

But, behind the scenes, its all love.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2019 15:38 utc | 101

VK, sorry this is just nonsense. I know many Koreans and the government doesn't need to manipulate their feelings towards the Japanese. They have great grandparents and grandparents whose memories remain fresh.

If the real narrative exists behind the scenes as you suggest, than how would you know?

Forgive me for saying this because you are obviously very intelligent and I enjoy reading your comments but if you have this access to supposedly hidden knowledge then you should be a much more successful writer. Or maybe you are really Glenn Greenwald another Brasilian resident commenting under a pseudonym.

Or maybe fiction is your thing? That's what it appears to me.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 16:00 utc | 102

Posted by: A User | Aug 3 2019 3:15 utc | 50

I have used the Yandex browser 14-15months now and never had any issues like yours, mine is set to Norwegian and auto translate to english.
I use Nord vpn

Posted by: Per/Norway | Aug 3 2019 16:20 utc | 103

Interesting phenomenon: those people and politicians (primarily Democrats) who most vociferously promote the notion of open borders, unrestricted immigration and the extension of the benefits of full citizenship to all those who enter are also by and large those who are most enthusiastically embracing and endorsing anti-BDS legislation, with the avowed aim of defending a ethnocratic state that operates the strictest imaginable form of selective immigration and refuses to grant full citizenship to any but the select few.

Posted by: Solitarian | Aug 3 2019 16:20 utc | 104

Navalny, the passionate leader of Free Russia who makes Putin shake in his boots....

Guess he needs to be nemtsoved ASAP before he totally discredited cultivated image of pro-western opposition.

....and just few years ago he was so macho!

To compare photo and

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 3 2019 16:28 utc | 105

donkeytale @95:

The Chinese are full-on partners in this "Ponzi scheme". Trump, being as ignorant as many commenters on this board who believe the political rhetoric and the white papers of the CPC while ignoring the reality on the ground, is playing a losing hand ...

Your focus on economic arrangements ignores the real reason for the trade war: the stark realization in 2014 that Russia would not be joining the West. That meant that China would not be isolated so supporting it's "peaceful rise" was just contributing to the 'rise' of an uncontrolable threat.

Dreams of global domination were dashed. Butt-hurt NWO 'globalists' installed Trump to rescue the Empire as per Kissinger's 2014 WSJ Op-Ed calling for MAGA.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 16:37 utc | 106

@ Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 16:00 utc | 103

I know the hate towards Japan is genuine.

It doesn't change the fact that South Korea's industrialization in the late 1980s was sponsored by Japan, and that the South Korean elite supports the Japanese elite behind the curtains.

We live in capitalism, which means we live the economic age: everything political has an economic background. Narratives that go against wealth accumulation is either suppressed or avoided at the macro level (e.g. South Korea will never declare war against Japan).

Or do you think today's Middle East conflicts are happening on the scale they are now (with full military equipment) because of an old rift between Sunnis and Shiites that begun some hundreds of years ago? Well, religion doesn't explain why Saudi Arabia is an ally with Israel (when, if the religious hypothesis was correct, it would ally with Iran against Saudi Arabia, since Iran has a Jewish population), or why Europe and the USA is ally with Saudi Arabia but not with Syria (which has a secular government right now plus a significant Christian population who supports said secular government).

Or why doesn't South Korea go all in, breaks up with the American alliance, allies with China (which also suffered, worse than Korea, at the hands of the Japanese) and strike right away a peace accord with North Korea? Again, if we used the colonial past card, that's what shoud've been happening right now -- but it isn't. South Koreans may say they hate Japan -- but, as a country, they are certainly not acting like they do.

There's no love in the real world, only proof of love. And proof of love, in capitalism, comes in the form of economic ties with your allies and economic sanction against you enemies.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2019 16:50 utc | 107

Has anyone ever got the Yandex browser to function reliably ...... times it decides to translate every site into Brazilian Portuguese for what reason I do not know.

Posted by: A User | Aug 3 2019 3:15 utc | 50

Did u try to prohibit Yandex auto-translate?
First google result:

BTW, there are also a bunch of other Chromium-derived browses like Vivaldi, Comodo, etc

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 3 2019 16:55 utc | 108

Alastair Crook’s new article:

The essence of the article: US is fixing to get into a century of conflict. And the main enemies are Russia and China with Iran, Syria as honorable mentions.

If there was any appropriate time to form a military alliance between Russia, China and Iran, this seems like it would be it. Fangs are being sharpened for something sinister and there is bipartisan consensus. The only consensus between the two.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 3 2019 16:57 utc | 109

JR - Im familiar with your view however I can only half subscribe to it.

I assume you mean Russia doesn't belong to Nato or the EU but to a partnership with China instead which somehow threatens US postwar dominance.

I wouldn't anticipate very much of substance from a Chinese/Russian alliance. Can you point to substance where the US and West feel threatened by this alliance?

In my view Russia is very much the juniour partner wherever they turn and Putin brilliantly uses the ancient Russo inferiority complex to maintain domestic political advantage while internationally he seeks alliances that can benefit Russia on all sides of the ideological global power structure.

What will happen in Russia post-Putin is more interesting to me than what role he plays internationally...and that aspect of Putin is actually of great interest to me for the very reason of his being a 'great man' historically speaking.

He has brought a sense of stability to world diplomacy but Russia could be very much a wild card in the future under a different leader who very likely will not be a 'great man' based on law of averages alone.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 17:02 utc | 110

Jackrabbit #106:

Butt-hurt NWO 'globalists' installed Trump to rescue the Empire as per Kissinger's 2014 WSJ Op-Ed calling for MAGA.

Kissinger who said that US should restore relations and team up with Russia against China. With 3 great powers in the world the US could never defeat the other two, so it must have an ally against the third. Sure that's gonna happen - when pigs fly. Why would Russia suddenly trust Americans and betray their own neighbour China? The multipolar world order according to Putin is not about world domination but that concept is very hard to grasp by the average US politician. Perhaps Trump and a few others get it, but for the other sore loosers its just game over.

Posted by: Joost | Aug 3 2019 17:09 utc | 111

Joost @111

Anglo-Zionist mindset is winner take all - and - go along to get along (never worthwhile to fight the established power structure).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 17:19 utc | 112

VK - OK thanks for that explanation. That does make some sense to me and I agree that the elites of S. Korea and Japan (and the US, China, Russia, the EU and all developing countries) "behind the scenes" are locked into a mutually beneficial system as the ruling economic class.

And the yes the growth of S. Korea as an industrial cum technological power resulted from stages of capitalist development in relation to the more advanced Japanese society as well as the US and Europe too.

Now, both Japan and S. Korea experience the issues with reaching the advanced stage. Japan for decades now and Korea more recently. Japan has managed its domestic political affairs rather well in comparison to the US and EU and seem to have kept its society from succumbing to ravages of neoliberal imperialism, that is the gutting of society along class lines.

Korea is also a more cohesive society and may follow the Japanese path of relative harmony as its maturity continues into old age.

China being more of a multiethnic empire than either Japan or Korea will be interesting to follow into capitalist maturity and old age especially given the nature of its political economy. As it stands today Chinaexhibits much greater wealth inequality than either S. Korea or Japan so will the government actually close these gaps, as you and others insist they will, or will the tendency of capital to find its own freedom win out long term?

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 17:26 utc | 113


Marxist analysis gets to the heart of this discussion regarding stages of capitalist development and the interlocking forms of neoliberal imperialism that result from the commoditisation of capitalist production as it forms, develops and mutates (some might say "evolves") in stages.

We can find many passages in which the tendency of the capitalist system to enslave everyone is mentioned. in The Holy Family, for instance:

The slavery of civil society [bürgerlichen Gesellschaft] is ostensibly the greatest freedom, because it appears to leave the individual perfectly independent. The individual considers as his own freedom the movement (no longer curbed or fettered by a common tie or by man) of his alienated life-elements, like property, industry, religion; in reality, this movement is the perfection of his slavery. ...

Again, in Capital, the achievement of individual freedom in modern times is seen, dialectically, to have generated its antithesis:

... the same division of labour that turns [men] into independent producers, also frees the social process of production, and the relation of individual producers to each other within that process, from all dependence on the will of those producers; and so ... the seeming independence of individuals gives rise to a system of universal and mutual dependence through or by means of the products. (Capital)

The exchange of commodities “develops a whole network of social relations spontaneous in their growth and entirely beyond the control of the actors” (Capital). Freedom is here only an “appearance” (Erscheinung), and appearances, notoriously, deceive.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 17:46 utc | 114

@ Ghost Ship re: The Guardian

Ever since Jonathan Freedland became head of the editorial board, his almost-obsessive campaign to extend the definition of 'anti-Semitism' to include criticism of the Israeli State as being 'anti-Semitic' has substantially succeeded ... when Corbyn's consistent support of the Palestians is twisted to be defined as 'anti-Semitic', the Guardian's foremost campaign: the destruction of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is well-served

Posted by: chet380 | Aug 3 2019 17:46 utc | 115

This is what corruption and mismanagement in the anti imperialist IRI looks like.

Posted by: Ninel | Aug 3 2019 17:57 utc | 116

The situation in the USA continues to deteriorate:

US employment report weaker than it looks: The average workweek fell to 33.3 hours from 33.4 hours and gains for May and June were revised down sharply

From the article:

Total hours worked (payroll employment times the average workweek) is the most comprehensive measure of labor in the US economy. The year-on-year growth rate of this comprehensive measure has slowed from 3.8% at the end of 2018 to 3% in July. As the chart shows, the decline in the growth rate of total hours worked tracks the fall in the National Association of Purchasing Managers’ composite index.

I remember a lot of neoliberal trolls rolling over Li Keqiang's infamous speech in 2011, where he stated that electricity consumption was a better indicator for him than GDP growth (of China). With that in mind, they rushed to "study" China's electricity consumption to "conclude" China was no growing 10%, but 4% (with some bolder experts even claiming China was actually in recession).

As History shows us, that extrapolation was completely off the mark: China overtook the USA in GDP PPP in 2017-8 and recently elected POTUS Donald Trump issued a WH paper officially declaring China "a superpower" (and, therefore, to be treated by the USA as such).

Now, it seems the reverse case is not true: the USA changed its unemployment rate methodology during Bill Clinton, which effectivelly halved America's unemployment rate overnight. Experts shamelessly claim American is "in full employment". Why don't they pay attention then to the hours worked and medium wages? Everybody and their mothers know the USA is rapidly becoming a post-apocalyptic subemployed wasteland -- why don't they candidly admit the official unemployment rate is bullshit, admit and try to address the problem?

This is a clear case of unequal treatment by the Western experts in economics: they give the USA the benefit of the doubt and malefice of the doubt to China.

Posted by: vk | Aug 3 2019 17:59 utc | 117

psychohistorian | Aug 3 2019 2:53 utc | 49

What comes after the God of Mammon culture of the West?

Debt is a shackle only insofar as it commands a body of enforcers who are willing and able to use violence to "encourage" debt to be repaid. When the gods of private finance become too greedy and have accumulated too much wealth, then their enforcers may discover they will be better off turning on their former employers than squeezing a few more drops from the peons. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? No man can have more money than he can protect.

What comes next is a forced cancellation of debt, a pogrom against the gods of private finance and chaos.

Posted by: TheBAG | Aug 3 2019 18:27 utc | 118

craig murray has an article up from yesterday in case anyone missed it..

from the article -

"It may seem strange that Johnson’s very first executive decision on coming in to 10 Downing Street was to cancel the long delayed judicial inquiry into UK involvement in torture and extraordinary rendition. On the face of it, there were political attractions for Johnson in pursuing the issue. The policy of complicity in torture had been established by Tony Blair and Jack Straw, with as ever the active collaboration of Alastair Campbell. A judicial inquiry would hold them to account, and given they are not only New Labour but a leading Remainer posse, you would think Johnson would have pushed forward with the chance to expose them. Plus he likes to pose as something of a social liberal himself. So why was Johnson’s urgent priority to cancel the torture inquiry?

The answer is that scores of very senior civil servants were deeply implicated in British collusion in extraordinary rendition. Those directly guilty of complicity in torture include Sir Richard Dearlove, Sir John Scarlett, Sir William Ehrman, Lord Peter Ricketts and Sir Stephen Wright. It was Johnson’s fellow old Etonian, Sir William Ehrman, who chaired the series of meetings in the FCO on the implementation of the policy of getting intelligence through torture."

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2019 18:44 utc | 119

Korea is also a more cohesive society and may follow the Japanese path of relative harmony as its maturity continues into old age.

China being more of a multiethnic empire than either Japan or Korea ...

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 17:26 utc | 113

Korea actually has some "funny" regional divisions. In remote history, south-east was a kingdom that first conquered south-west kingdom and then the northern one that was exposed to Chinese attempts of annexation. Recently, south-east was a bastion of conservatives, nostalgic about the military rule, south-west was a bastion of leftists who hated the military rule, and Seoul metropolis was an even mix. However, conservatives managed to elect a daughter of a strongman in the military period, and she was not only stupid, but also morbidly shy [??!!] and relied on close acquaintances who turned to be corrupt. (Compare with Trump who is not a mental giant, but is not shy at all and has actual political talents.) As a result, politically the conservatives collapsed and we have a period of "homogeneity" that is only few years old.

In the same time, the military and security services are very much for strong US ties, hostility with NK etc. so the government has to be careful.

Concerning Japan, for sure there is a web of mutual economic reliance which also includes China, and fierce competition. Most recently, Korea demanded some reparation from Nippon Steel (was it the use of forced labor in WWII?), and Japan retaliated with rather nasty economic sanctions. Things of that nature flare up every few years between on of the pairs in China, Korea, Japan triangle, and invariably, they settle down.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 3 2019 18:50 utc | 120

james @ 63 asked;"you mean like wall street circa 2008??? is wall st now socialism?? looks like it..

Absolutely, Socialism for the rich. God forbid we bail out the " we the people" segment of society.

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 19:14 utc | 121

Jrabbit @ 101; Always like your posts, They're cogent and always relevant, but long on critique, and short on solutions, besides full scale uprisings.

In your opinion, what can individuals do to mitigate the status quo?

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 19:22 utc | 122

Piotr @ 120

Interesting comments which I believe correspond with my belief that capitalist relations tend to develop through peculiarities (or spontaneous events) that subsume national political, historical and cultural differences into deterministic economic relations which systematically accrue to the greater benefit of the bourgeoisie...regardless of nation or national political intentions.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 3 2019 19:22 utc | 123

Re my 124 post; If we followed psychohistorian's advice, and went to public financing, we could do many good things to help "we the people"...

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 19:27 utc | 124

Fox news is making noises like they want to throw DJT "under the bus". If the Dem nominees are Biden and K. Harris, they really can, because Biden and Harris are subservient to the uber-rich..

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 19:38 utc | 125

Since I'm on a roll, I'll repost this Jimmy Dore video, about the games CNN was playing with certain journalists at the last Dem "debate" ..

Take 20 minutes and have a listen..

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 19:57 utc | 126

Stever @ 98

It seems like they are pushing Kamala after Tulsi threw water on her in the debates and she melted.

Shadow banned on Twitter, adds blocked on Google, now a Russian agent, opposition research going full blast and she has zero chance of winning the nomination.

What the hell are they afraid of? The National Security State has always thrived on its own paranoia. In reality they know how popular the message is and they really fear us more than anything on this Earth.

Posted by: dltravers | Aug 3 2019 20:40 utc | 127

james @122

A must read from Murray.

But I don't understand why more people can't see the scam that BoJo and the establishment are playing. An unelected, hard-right government threatens a worst-case No-deal Brexit to instill fear and cause people to accept remaining in the EU.

Why doesn't labor and the UK people simply wait for the next election instead of falling for this scam?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 20:58 utc | 128

ben @129, dltravers @130

OMG! the establishment hates Bernie and Tulsi. The anti-war and economic justice left should MUST FIGHT for these candidates that choose to work within the establishment power structure!!!

Wait ... what? Why do Bernie and Tulsi run as Democrats when the establishment hates them so much?

Bernie is a national figure with a determined following. Does he need the Democratic Party? Tulsi tells us that she's oh-so-committed to her principles (backed up by her personal story!)

Why doesn't the anti-establishment candidates candidates collectively jump ship?!? Why haven't the anti-establishment candidates learned from Sanders experience in 2016? At the very least, form a committee for media fairness composed of 4 or 5 candidates! That's what would happen if these candidates had integrity instead of just working for their own advancement.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 21:27 utc | 129

Ninel @ 119:

Coming from a source like Radio Farda, an outlet affiliated with Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, that news about the money disappearing may need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Countries under economic and trade sanctions exhibit that kind of corruption, in which companies tasked by govts to obtain goods by whatever means possible at cheap govt rates may sell a major portion of these imported goods at black market rates to earn profits on the side

It is my understanding that Hassan Rouhani's govt is lousy at managing Iran's economy and many if not most of its policies are neoliberal in orientation. Also I suspect a lot of that lost trillion got siphoned off by his cronies.

That Iran probably can and will absorb the loss will be due to its parallel economy of bonyads picking up research and investment in medicines and pharmaceutical products.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 3 2019 21:34 utc | 130

ben @125: what can individuals do to mitigate the status quo?

#1 recognize the dangers of "managed democracy" (money-in-politics, media capture)

The situation is dire: we are on the brink of war; a looming environmental; and we face a severe economic downturn. Hoping for the best from a selfish and uncaring establishment is foolish.

#2 Don't just vote - organize and join Movements

#3 Learn about Direct Democracy and the Yellow Vest Movement

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 3 2019 21:37 utc | 131

Only superman can save Julian Assange Now

USA occupied America will soon dispose of Assange.. it written .. so it will be.. the private media has suppressed
the response of the american public

Posted by: snake | Aug 3 2019 23:18 utc | 132

@ 134: Thanks rabbit. All good ideas, but, without a committed cadre of citizens who are willing to put a little money where
their hearts are, nothing happens.

The rich not only have ideas on a model society, they use $ to effect change by buying politicians. Until the masses do that by contributing to the people and movements they believe in, nothing changes.

Until the working classes get off their dead asses and do the above, workers are screwed.

Posted by: ben | Aug 3 2019 23:27 utc | 133

P.S. To answer all your ? at 132, there's only one answer. You need $ to be heard, and the captured MSM media are the only national outlets you can be heard on for free. Kinda a catch 22 eh?

Posted by: ben | Aug 4 2019 0:08 utc | 134

@132 jr

They are trying to work in the realm of possibility. One slip-up, one kooky revelation or promise can doom one in the primary. Have you heard about "keeping the wheel in well-worn ruts?" No independent has ever won the prez. Those that have taken votes from either party as indy have had their future ruined by heaps of scorn from the electorate that has blamed them for their party losses.

I don't blame Gabbard at all for trying to legit win the primary.

America is simple in their desire for a prez. No outlandish socialist bs and have heaps of confidence and pussy-grabbing is acceptable because it means non-homosexual and manliness.

I still think that Sanders/Gabbard ticket is basically a spam-dunk and probably the only thing that will derail Trump. Who Sanders picks as running mate if winning nom or going indy will be very telling.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 4 2019 0:19 utc | 135

@ 138; Agreed, if, he's heard, and if, the DNC ass-hats don't derail him first.(i.e. 2016)

P.S. I really don't believe he'll get the nomination. TPTB are REALLY pushing Biden and K. Harris...

Posted by: ben | Aug 4 2019 0:34 utc | 136

ben, nemesis

I'm not under any illusions. I've written before that Americans don't want to confront their corrupt political system because they are a combination of lazy/ignorant, selfish, or complicit.

Americans only change via war and economic depression. Both are now teed up.

Anyone that places their trust in the electoral system should make a serious effort to ensure the integrity of the system. But Americans allow a corrupt system to continue. And ignore evidence that their politicans are also corrupt participants. Prime example: Sanders sheepdogging ("enough with the emails!" and unwillingness to attach Hillary on 'character issues').

And, while it's comforting to believe that there's someone in the race that's anti-war, that is not actually Tulsi Gabbard's position.

Furthermore, Gabbard's attack on Harris was in support of Biden. Has Gabbard attacked Biden for having been supportive of the stupid regime-change wars that Gabbard opposes so much that she entered the race for President (well, that's the her story)? I haven't seen any such attack.

It's much more likely that Democrats nominate Biden than Sanders and Biden is likely to pick a person of color as a running mate. Also likely that his pick is a woman. That means Harris or Gabbard and it's not looking like Harris at this point.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 4 2019 1:51 utc | 137

@ 140 said;"It's much more likely that Democrats nominate Biden than Sanders and Biden is likely to pick a person of color as a running mate. Also likely that his pick is a woman. That means Harris or Gabbard and it's not looking like Harris at this point."

To each their own rabbit, but MSM is pushing Biden for sure, and I believe it'll K. Harris. Both are sycophantic suck-ups to the uber-rich. As are Pelosi and Schumer. And they're not alone.

We'll see.

The unofficial party of $ has great reach, and it permeates ALL of politics.

Posted by: ben | Aug 4 2019 2:27 utc | 138

@ 140 & 141:

It's unlikely Tulsi is going after Kamala in support of Biden, per se. Two options: 1) Kamala is such an abhorrent character (which she is indeed) that Tulsi sees it and just wants to knock her off (which benefits us all); or 2) Tulsi is trying to signal to Biden: "Pick me! Pick me!"

Tulsi's changes in personal conviction seem a sign of genuineness and thoughtfulness rather than self-serving caprice. (Yet, I've been wrong before.)

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 4 2019 4:47 utc | 139

But..., if you really want to know who will be a viable candidate for president, you have only to ask: "Does he or she descend from King John?"--every U.S. president (except Van Buren) is descended from King John. If you pull up the dress of the "democracy" she's a monarchy underneath anyway.

That way, no more speculation is necessary--merely genealogy.

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 4 2019 4:55 utc | 140

@ Jen 123

Tens of millions of Iranians live under the absolute and relative poverty lines. Many government officials, including the Supreme Leader, have blamed corruption for many of the country’s problems. No sanctions are not the primary reason for why there is so much corruption in the country. The Iranian government has released many studies on corruption over the years and it has identified as the primary causes: power of the monopolies, the structure of political power, government inefficiency, the failure of oversight and acceptance of responsibility and we could add lack of political and civil rights.

Here are some more recent charges. Funny accusations coming from the judiciary which is ran by one of the Larijani brothers, who is corrupt as hell.

You can find many many more examples online

Posted by: Ninel | Aug 4 2019 4:58 utc | 141

Below is a link to the latest spinning of the Skripal plate

US announces new sanctions against Russia over Skripal affair: State dept

The take away quote
Washington said Saturday it will oppose “the extension of any loan or financial or technical assistance to Russia” by international financial institutions and put limits on US banks from purchasing Russian sovereign debt, US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

The US will also limit the export of goods and technology to Russia that could be used in the country’s chemical and biological arms programs, Ortagus said.

This will simply speed up the development/implementation of alternative global finance tools and hasten their adoption by a growing list of countries.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 4 2019 5:36 utc | 142

It's a Capitalist Socialist mix. re. USA, ben at 27. - As are all OECD.

Imho, the USA is super socialist in two **narrow** senses.

1. Highly re-distributive. As a Federation it has medium high fiscal transfers. Other ‘federal’ actions aim to even out States incomes - e.g. setting up prisons in poor states. All Federations implement such, part of > keeping it together, which one can consider admirable (union) or not (separatists..)

Individuals. The true USA labor participation rate is around 50%. (Ppl working for free, for 1.5 hours a week, etc. should not be counted in the LPR.) One working-age adult / 2 is supported by other family member(s), friends, etc. and/or the Gvmt/State, the relative proportion is unknown. Note, the black economy never appears in US stats (contrary to for ex. Italy, Switz..) So it is almost impossible to figure out a full picture.

There are 100s of Gvmt. ‘aid’ programs (outside of education and health, see ex. Pell grants, Medicaid, CHIP - other topic, in the sense that the costs of these services should be shared imho...) that help the poor survive:

Housing sec. 8, WISC, SNAP (food stamps), EITC (‘tax credit’ or pay-back), SSI, TANF, ‘disability’, and much more. (link, a surface ex.)

When ppl starve, when their children cry for hours, they go out on the streets and riot, then kill. To control the poor, the ‘scattered’ aid keeps them on perpetual tenterhooks, running from one agency/request to another, hoping for help, then being turned down, etc., an engineered rat-race.

2. The economy of the USA is incredibly dirigiste, thru the melding of lobbyists, Corps, Pols, the Gvmt. The MIC is tops of course.. Big Tech Cos. pay no tax as for various reasons .. Big Agri: farmers are almost entirely dependent on the Gvmt., in the sense of subsidies awarded (v. high in OECD comparison, take into account the Gvmt. buy back of surplus fed to kiddos and prisoners..), constrained by laws, rules, imposed contracts, forced into buying, using, X products and machines, growing this or that.. As well as relying on infrastructure out of their purview (water!, roads, trucks, tractors, parts, etc.)

Farmers are captives in a system where they take on the risks with no counterparts. To, some say, feed junk food to the poor.. > becoming victims of Big Pharma..

The dirigiste aspect can be seen as socialist or communist; the enslavement of the farmers is perhaps the result of capitalism creating monopolies that have a stranglehold.

The Socialist/Capitalist split is a construct to hoodwink ppl into some illusory ‘tribal’ belongings, in first place in the USA.

see also vk @ 19 and psychohistorian generally

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 4 2019 13:26 utc | 143

Below is a BBC link to a reporting on the latest seizure of a tanker by Iran

Iran seizes another tanker in the Gulf, state media say

The take away quote
A Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was quoted as saying its naval forces had "seized a foreign tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries".

It said the tanker was carrying 700,000l of fuel, adding that seven sailors had been detained.

@ Joost from other thread asking about therapies to help them sleep and such. Please contact me through my web site and/or go to for some information about new "mental health" healing therapies

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 4 2019 14:41 utc | 144

Jackrabbit @140

It's much more likely that Democrats nominate Biden than Sanders and Biden is likely to pick a person of color as a running mate.

The term "people of color" is very manipulative (I know you didn't invent it). If I am not a "person of color" then what am I, colorless?

Biden likes to groom little girls. Is this ok for the average US-american?

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 4 2019 15:44 utc | 145

@Hor, Jennifer #79
@Norwegian #63
Whatever the ostensible resistance in Norway and Denmark may have been, here's the reality of how hard these nations fought the Germans:
Denmark: 16 killed in the initial invasion
Norway: 1000 killed or wounded in the initial invasion

Denmark also had around 2000 volunteers in the SS in the Freikorps Danmark - so it is far from clear that the Danish lost more fighting the Germans or for them.
As for Norway, there were 2000 British and 500 French and Polish casualties, plus the Quisling government and also about 1000 Norwegians in another Scandinavian SS military unit (the Freiwilligen-Legion Norwegen).
So while it is less clear that more Norwegians died fighting for the Germans than against them, it is very clear that Norway's participation in World War 2 was minimal compared to France, Russia, the UK, or pretty much any other European nation.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 5 2019 17:44 utc | 146

@vk #110
I'd like to see some validation of your statement that the South Korean industrialization was because of Japanese investment, as opposed to US and Korean government policy.
Is it your assertion also that the ongoing decline of Japan's economy - due in no small part to South Korean competition - also a function of Japanese elites?
There are a number of signs that point in a very different direction:
1) The destruction of the entire Japanese semiconductor industry, outside of a handful of base commodity manufacturers, by Samsung, LG and other Korean producers
2) The ongoing attack on the Japanese cosmetics industry worldwide
3) The recapitalization of the Korean treasury via the Korean people giving up all their gold etc after the 1998 collapse
Did some Japanese money go into South Korea - certainly. But to say that it was a major push or a major factor - that's where I would like to see evidence.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 5 2019 17:54 utc | 147

Here's an interesting talk by Mark Blyth.
He has economics based viewpoints and isn't afraid to talk about difficult economics based subjects. Although I don't agree with everything he says nor all of his conclusions, the viewpoints are definitely worth consideration.
Mark Blyth on "How We Got Here and Why"

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 5 2019 18:01 utc | 148

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