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August 22, 2019

Open Thread 2019-49


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News & views ...


Posted by b on August 22, 2019 at 17:30 UTC | Permalink

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As an Iranian oil tanker which Washington wants seized heads toward Greece, officials Wednesday indicated that Athens would not help the ship reach Syria while seeking to play down the prospects of such a development.

What’s your take on this Mr b ?

Posted by: DG | Aug 22 2019 17:36 utc | 1

Water samples confirm the "dark rain" that covered São Paulo at August 19, 2019 (a.k.a. last Monday from the day of this comment) came from massive manmade fires from the Amazon rainforest:

Chuva que escureceu SP tinha fuligem tóxica de queimadas, mostra análise da USP

“Achamos um composto que é encontrado só em queimadas, na queima de biomassa. Esse composto não é emitido em esquema de emissões industriais e não é emitido em emissões de carro. E nós o encontramos. É um composto chamado reteno”, afirmou ao jornal Folha de S.Paulo a doutora em química e professora Pérola de Castro Vasconcellos, responsável pela análise do material na Universidade.

"We've detected a compound that is only found in (man-made) fires, when burning biomass. This compound isn't emitted in industry and isn't emitted by vehicles. And we found it. It's a compound called Retene [C18H18, N.T.]", said to newspaper Folha de São Paulo Ph.D. and professor Pérola de Castro Vasconcellos, in charge for the analysis of the material at the University [of São Paulo -- USP, N.T.].


Simon Cheng Man-kit, the British ambassy in HK employee who was readily classified by the Western MSM, was actually detained for soliciting prostitutes:

Western media humiliates detained HK resident

The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday that Cheng was under administrative detention in Shenzhen. On Thursday, police in Shenzhen's Luohu district told Global Times that he was detained for violating article 66 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security. The article includes solicitation of prostitutes.

It is disgraceful to be caught for soliciting prostitutes. Those who are arrested usually wish to hide the truth. Shenzhen police also told Global Times that it was at the request of Cheng that they did not inform his family. In other words, if the British foreign ministry and Western media did not hype it, Cheng could have quietly returned to Hong Kong after being detained for 15 days.

The Guardian published this version, but only by stating that the Global Times is a "government mouthpiece" and that this accusation is common tool used by Beijing to arrest dissidents. However, they didn't disprove the Shenzhen police (GT's source) version. They also didn't get the irony, since it is the West, no China, which has a history of destroying careers by using the sexual assualt argument (the most recent example being the "#meetoo" campaign and Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest).


So, it seems "the greatest democracy of the world" still has problems in giving its people electricity:

Electricity suffers as India errs on BRI stance

Priyavrat Singh, energy minister of India's Madhya Pradesh state, faced some embarrassing moments recently as the lights went out while he was telling reporters about the achievements that have been made in power generation, the Hindustan Times reported.

India has experienced power shortages since independence in 1947. Some statistics show that about 240 million Indians lacked access to electricity in 2017.

That's the "Superpower by 2020™".


One more sign of the impending USA recession (to come in 2020):

"This Is The Worse I've Seen It" - Recession Imminent As RV Industry Crashes

For many ideological/cultural reasons, RV sales are an excellent indicator of employment cum high wages in America. Well, they've just plummeted 20%, annualised (i.e. it wasn't seasonal).


The NYT finally uses the R-word (in it's appropriate sense):

C.E.O.s Should Fear a Recession. It Could Mean Revolution.

Posted by: vk | Aug 22 2019 18:04 utc | 2

Even as unplugged as I am, I have been noticing the media headlines about a US recession now waiting in the wings.

Brandon Smith - whose political and philosophical views I'm not clear on and thus do not champion here - nonetheless has a nice deconstruction of the media and the typical lead times involved when MSM is ordered to foreshadow economic collapse. He suggests six months for this one, therefore early in 2020, with Trump as the obvious fall guy. Thus, a time for carpetbaggers to strip more assets, for fascists to tighten controls on the general populace, and for a new president for the US.

I like the article for its detail on how the media behaved prior to and after the crash of 2008, and for much of Smith's view on how the economy is run and ruled. Not so sure about its predictions:
The Real Reasons Why the Media Is Suddenly Admitting to the Recession Threat

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 22 2019 18:13 utc | 3

During a seminar I was taking on China in 2000, while discussing Marxian economics and his assumptions, what I call Marx's biggest erroneous assumption dawned on me--Marx assumed all other industrial economies to have the same percentage share of laborers as did the England in which he studied, which was just over 80% of the populace at the time--a huge proportion and one that could easily become the dominant political force; thus, the future proletarian-driven revolutions. BUT no other industrial nation has ever come close to that high a percentage, most never exceeding 50%. What Russia and later China did possess in contrast were very high percentages of peasants--and it was they who formed the proletarian core of both the Russian and Chinese Revolutions. The key wasn't the type of class; rather, the key is the solidarity of whatever the class consists of--it could even be multi-classed as in poor plus poor-middle, which is currently the largest within the Outlaw US Empire. (There's a good reason why the term Imperial-Middle exists.) So when we look at other revolutions of the 20th century, we most often see mixtures of classes forged together as one in opposition to a shared oppression--most often Colonialism. Thus, when we look at what goes into the promotion/selling of Color Revolutions, it's essential for its BigLie Media allies to attempt to portray vast solidarity when none actually exists, and to do the opposite when solidarity does exist against a faction allied with BigLie Media.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 18:15 utc | 4

After the 2020 Democratic National Convention (July 13-16, 2020) people will be told to hold their noses and vote the party line.


Hillary Clinton was in full control of the DNC a full year before the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“How in the world was Bernie Sanders supposed to have a fair chance if
Hillary was in full control of “the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised”? ”

[Side notes: six months after she lost the election Hillary Clinton founded Onward Together
a fund raising leech that was designed (we are wise to expect) to take over the fund raising
of emerging progressive groups.]

[Onward Together: “Onward Together is dedicated to advancing the vision that earned
nearly 66 million votes in the 2016 election. By supporting groups that encourage
people to organize, get involved, and run for office,
Onward Together will advance progressive values and work to build a brighter future for generations to come.” ]

[Laughter is an escape route from our lizard brain: ]

After the 2020 convention there will be much to hold our noses about.
You think 2016 was slimey? You ain’t seen nothin yet.

People were very upset about the super-delegate beast in 2016. To placate the outrage
the DNC offered a rule change – the super-delegates cannot be used in the first ballot.
This appeared like a huge concession as there hasn’t been a multiple-ballot convention since

“Suprise, surprise.” $They$ went out and found twenty candidates in order to assure a
contested convention and thus uncage the super-delegates.
You thought the plethora of candidates was merely a random clump? Feel the burn.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention caused outrage, thank goodness (snark) for Russiagate,
everyone could forget about the DNC treachery and blame Russia.

But if you think the stink from the 2016 Democratic National Convention was bad,
people are going to go absolutely ballistic after the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Will people “fall in line”? Don’t give Democratic voters too much credit, I am betting
they will … fall in line.


(I am a Green Party voter)

Posted by: librul | Aug 22 2019 18:18 utc | 5

@5 karlof1

Solidarity. That word takes on even more substance now from your comment. Thanks for that insight, I'll have to digest it as I get back to work - sadly still toiling for my daily bread.


Posted by: Grieved | Aug 22 2019 18:19 utc | 6

I think Trump administration will face several defeats on may fronts they have opened very soon. Their major issue is that they have tried to tackle many things at once, which has created a cohesive opposition: China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and many other countries that don’t like his unilateral decisions and moves. The major blow would be from dedollaraization down in the road. If he had problem with China, he should have dealt with it at a different time in a different manner. Pushing Iran at the same time was a major error. One wonders what is he thinking. On the issue of Iran; if they would have got along with Iran, they would have made major gains. Picking wrong partners always is the issue for these in the power.

Posted by: James | Aug 22 2019 18:22 utc | 7

@4 grieved... the s and p is off it's high and around the high of last sept 2018... it will be interesting to see where it goes as we head into the fall, which is traditionally a volatile time in the financial markets...

yesterdays daily usa press propaganda briefing for anyone who missed it.. these are once every approx 2 week events now..

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2019 18:23 utc | 8

@4 No recession says Jeff Saut. S & P has bottomed out. Market going much higher.

I mention this in case anybody is rushing out to sell their mutual funds....not that MOA readers own such things.

Posted by: dh | Aug 22 2019 18:39 utc | 9

I often cite Shadowstats, but almost never direct people to read the news it announces on its main page. In response to Grieved @4, I suggest clicking above and reading the Daily Update and Alert sections followed by whatever else is fancied to see that indeed a recession is more than forecast:

"ShadowStats’ Recession Forecast Remains in Place, With U.S. Economic Activity Still Sinking; Watch for Continued Flight from the Dollar and Stocks into Gold. Beyond intensified near-term market risks, the ShadowStats broad outlook in the weeks and months ahead remains for: (1) a rapidly intensifying U.S. economic downturn, reflected in (2) mounting selling pressure on the U.S. dollar, (3) continued flight to safety in precious metals, with upside pressures on gold and silver prices, and (4) increasingly high risk of extraordinarily heavy stock-market selling." [Emphasis Original]

The main things I point to using Shadowstats are Unemployment and GDP which are located at the dropdown Alternative Data menu. Take a look at each, then read the forecasts on the main page to make your own conclusions. On the older HK protest thread, I linked to this essay since it tells us how we were maneuvered into our current mess. Most have heard the term Enron Accounting. Well, that was happening long before Enron became incorporated But we need to have a Critical Mass of the citizenry understand that fact before we can enter into the Political Fight required to rescue ourselves.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 18:41 utc | 10

Andrei Raevsky (The Saker) interviews Seyed Mohammad Marandi:

Posted by: Putin Apologist | Aug 22 2019 18:41 utc | 11

Danger signs

The major headline at Reuters is a demonization hit piece.
Such things are prelude to war.

"Imported repression: How Cuba taught Venezuela to quash military dissent"

"Imposing surveillance, fear and repression, Cuba helped Venezuela revamp its armed forces and military intelligence service. Reuters reveals how two agreements, undisclosed since 2008, let Havana remake Venezuela's security apparatus."

Posted by: librul | Aug 22 2019 18:42 utc | 12

Why did the recent Huntsman and Co. regime-change op in the Duma elections get squashed relatively quickly, followed by Huntsman getting the boot, whereas the Hong Kong regime-change op seems to be more frozen than squashed, with no public-facing costs for the Empire, so far?

Posted by: casey | Aug 22 2019 18:43 utc | 13

The outrage being expressed in reaction to Wexler and his company's implicit support for organized pedophilia and abuse of young women is deafening - I can't hear anything. No protest?
Where are the advocates for fair and just treament of women?
Seems that all goes to wayside when politics does not align.
Vote for the Pedocrats.

Posted by: JARED | Aug 22 2019 18:51 utc | 14


I think you can add Denmark and Greenland to that list next.

And Denmark was, reportedly, the US's only ally in stopping the Russian Nord 2 pipe line.

Posted by: johnf | Aug 22 2019 18:54 utc | 15

Would be nice to know what happened in the last thread(s) that made B. state this warning? Did some of the usual suspets claim again, that those who have a different opinion must be 1. Trolls or 2. Sock puppets?
Pretty crazy these days, just like on SF where some individuals scream for censoring when challenged with a different opinion.
Good thing that those individuals are the minority, even though a very loud one.

I just don't get how someone can read Alt-Media, claim to search for "truth", accuse the MSM of "censorship", and then demanding censorship for those with a different opinion with a straight face.

Anyway, cheers to the SAA! And cheers to the outlook, that Idlib will be cleaned from Jiahdists in the near or medium term!
And thanks for Erdogans warming ties with the US in light of the safe zone that helped to greenlight Russias support for the Idlib operation! And cheers that US is only buying time with Turkey, leaving Erdogan in a pretty shitty situation.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Aug 22 2019 19:02 utc | 16

Given the mass murder in a Walmart parking lot in El Paso Texas a couple of weeks ago: Those who complain that "invasion [from the south across the US Mexico border]" is an explicitly rightist trope that MoA used some months will have their deleted comment restored of course?

Posted by: Jay | Aug 22 2019 19:13 utc | 17

reply to
"The key wasn't the type of class [for a successful revolution]; rather, the key is the solidarity of whatever the class consists of--it could even be multi-classed as in poor plus poor-middle, which is currently the largest within the Outlaw US Empire."
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 18:15 utc | 5

And the ruling class answer to that? Is to fragment the proletariat into ideological factions fighting on the basis of: races, religions, gun rights, education levels, cultures along with a massive dose of medically induced addictions.
The fact that the Democratic Party has made these issues its platform may indicate that "they" fear a coming awakening before they have managed to secure complete control. Here's hoping:)

Posted by: frances | Aug 22 2019 19:18 utc | 18

Looks like some movement will now occur in Korean talks thanks to this decision by Moon to scrap the "intelligence pact" it had with Japan, and thus also the Outlaw US Empire. That pact was entered into by the far-right Park government as part of the joint escalation of tensions with DPRK pressed by Obama and Abe. Both China and DPRK will be pleased with this development as it's an excellent signal by Moon in line with his recent declarations about unification of Korea just made a week ago--what, you never heard about what he said?! Here's the link to the Address by President Moon Jae-in on Korea’s 74th Liberation Day that covers much ground, with his remarks about the goal for a unified Korea in the last third or so of his speech.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 19:20 utc | 19

Iran has showcased their new defense system: Bavar-373 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons. The Iranian Bavar-373 radars can detect air targets at distances of up to 300 kilometers and in addition to aircraft, the radar is able to detect cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as small drones. According to data, the radar is also capable of detecting stealth aircraft, which makes it an effective means of combating F-22 and F-35 fighters.
This will help increase the value of Iran’s currency and it is clearly a message to the US and Israel. As Israel has claimed, without any proof that they have targeted an arms depo in Iraq recently.

Posted by: BlueB | Aug 22 2019 19:23 utc | 20

I don't think anyone is censoring you. B's intention is to run a professional platform. You should note, most sites have a moderator, and most of the time the intention is to a mature discussions.

Posted by: James | Aug 22 2019 19:26 utc | 21

karlof1 @5 said: "Marx's biggest erroneous assumption dawned on me..."

I may be wrong, but I thing you might be confusing Marx's definition of "working class" with the vulgar and unscientific contemporary definition.

"Working class" does not mean "simple and uneducated laborers with dirt under their fingernails". For Marx, "working class" has a very specific and scientific definition, which is the individuals in society who do not own the capital resources necessary for them to be productive.

In common usage, "working class" is used to refer to people whose salaries are below some certain level, or who work in manufacturing, or something equally arbitrary. In the scientific sense, though, the better rough test if someone is a member of the "working class" is whether or not their income comes from a paycheck with someone else's signature at the bottom. Do you live off a paycheck? If so, it doesn't matter how big that paycheck is, within Marxist analysis you are working class. If you do not see yourself as working class it is because you lack class consciousness, not because you are not working class. A pilot making $100k/year, assuming he does not own the airliner he is flying, is working class. A doctor making $200k/year, assuming she does not own the hospital where she works, is working class. If you make your living by selling your labor to someone who owns capital, then it doesn't matter how valuable, highly trained, or esoteric your labor is, or whether it is mental or manual labor, you are working class.

A few percent of Americans are big capitalists who live off their ownership of capital. Roughly 10% of Americans are little capitalists who own the tools of their trade and are self-employed. The rest of Americans are either working class, or unemployable sub-working class.

I'd say using such scientific definitions that pretty close to 80% of Americans are working class, and that this is fairly similar to the distribution in most developed countries.

By the way, solidarity is a side effect of class consciousness.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 22 2019 19:34 utc | 22

frances @20--

Yes, Divide and Rule ought to be the motto on the USA's money for that's what it's done over most of its history, particularly since the rise of modern political parties just prior to the US Civil War. Indeed, being able to arrive at a high degree of solidarity almost allowed the People's Populist Party to gain the presidency, but it made the strategic mistake of diluting its solidarity when it fused with that age's D-Party. The primary factors of division then--sectionalism and racism--were deliberately escalated to include all the facets of what's now known as the Culture Wars. It would be quite the coup if the situation could be reversed and the Current Oligarchy's solidarity could be shaken and destabilized to a similar degree.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 19:40 utc | 23

@ eli folk | Aug 22 2019 18:42 utc | 13

Recently a 'spiffy double liner' existed briefly concerning Britain's new PM, BoJo.

In New England of sixty five plus years ago the region received strong gales from passing low pressure cyclones, referred regionally as 'Nor'easters' from the direction of the strongest winds occurring in the north-east quadrant of the cyclone. In conversation these were called 'blows' by accustomed adults as in expecting a blow from the change of weather or in making comment on last night's blow. The second line of the occluded comment had to do with a 'storm Johnson' but clearly was sailing quite close to the eye of the dictate and would certainly incite a reaction in those minds where sewer dominates so will not be recounted in its original form here. There were possibly a few minds which caught 'storm Johnson' in its original intent to fuse the recent practice of naming notable storms as Britain will surely be experiencing shortly.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 22 2019 19:41 utc | 24

No protests in the US? When all the laws seem to be taylored to protect the wealthy and the criminals?
What of the fight against money laundering and off shore finances?

Posted by: Mina | Aug 22 2019 19:42 utc | 25

William Gruff @24--

Thanks for your reply! The 80% figure came from Marx's writings, although which I'd be hard pressed to cite at the moment. I agree with your comment on the semantics that drive the categorization, which is why I linked to The Imperial Middle in my comment since its class consciousness was directed at trying to become upper-middle then upper class rather than combining common cause with the lower-middle and lower classes. Indeed, the concerted effort to eliminate Class as a classifier has succeeded to a great degree within the Outlaw US Empire such that class consciousness is more often discussed in academia than within the wide variety of work spaces. An example, my partner and her son were both raised in the rabidly anti-union South--Georgia specifically--but both now find themselves union members at their jobs here in Oregon and have needed to be educated about the nature of unions and their advantages, part of which is becoming cognizant of the class within which you reside. And yes, it's been a struggle since they were so well indoctrinated by anti-union propaganda--it's not enough to point to Georgia's adherence to the federal minimum wage while Oregon is well above it and rising further as one of the main indicator's of unionization's importance.

Anyway, when Occupy Wall Street began, I was impressed by their use of 1% versus the 99% to try and promote solidarity and class consciousness. Sanders and others use the term but it has yet to be absorbed by the mass body politic. How do we get that message through the massive number of distractions deliberately emplaced to ensure that doesn't occur? How can you hear the voice of the carnival barker over the noise of the rides?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 20:07 utc | 26

is it possible to have an open philosophy day debate, say twice a month - on only one policy topic as presented, so two debates a month (republican vs democrat vs indep/etc. etc.america is the best/worst) and to allow votes to see where pple stand somewhat.

please B can you Set out the topics and philosophies to be debated and organized. i know you are a busy man, but often ....

people attempting to educate others in posts on other subjects and news start diving deep into history/economics/etc like GDP/PPP and other Marx/capitalist etc empire/republic/fuedalism/whatever is non reserve banking/reserve banking methods are unnecessarily diluting the drink. not always but often especially towards the end of comments and especially when someone wants to steer away from untenable positions to a somewhat vague standing.

thereby watering down the news and articles at hand, which i like to read from B, and many of the commentators. this is not to say certain history and actions on topics are not contribution towards the comments but often it is used to confuse the crowd, overstate ones own standing, start quarrels, etc which takes it off the subject at hand. we can settle it on a debate day even anonymously.

Posted by: jason | Aug 22 2019 20:12 utc | 27

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 19:40 utc | 25

Indeed, being able to arrive at a high degree of solidarity almost allowed the People's Populist Party to gain the presidency, but it made the strategic mistake of diluting its solidarity when it fused with that age's D-Party.

They knew their movement was extruding a political party too soon, without having built a sufficient movement foundation first. But they felt they had no choice because the Farmers' Alliance co-ops were being strangled by a credit embargo imposed by all the banks, so they had to try to politically achieve the subtreasury plan right then or die.

And then, like you say, they ended up making all the same miserable deals with the Deathocrats that so many other "alternative" parties have, and the Dem Party did its usual in neutralizing the threat to the status quo.

Posted by: Russ | Aug 22 2019 20:23 utc | 28

karlof1 says:

How do we get that message through the massive number of distractions deliberately emplaced to ensure that doesn't occur

apparently with repetition...

Posted by: john | Aug 22 2019 20:30 utc | 29

@ karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 19:40 utc | 25

Would co-opted be a better alternative to fused as you used? Both post 1860 parties were well known for adopting whatever popular political movement might have on offer by incorporating some semblance into their platforms. [/niggle]

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 22 2019 20:30 utc | 30

karlof1 @30 gets to the core of the matter with "How do we get that message through the massive number of distractions deliberately emplaced to ensure that doesn't occur?"

[sigh] I wish I knew a better way or some kind of shortcut, but the only way I know to force class consciousness on people is in the workplace. When you have people who otherwise hate each other working side by side facing the same issues then class consciousness should naturally develop. Of course, the bosses are well aware of this too, and they have lots of trick to keep everyone in the workplace at each other's throats. You need to be able to prevent those tricks and the only way I know is with aggressive unions dictating (dictatorship of the proletariat, anyone?) working conditions.

There isn't a whole lot of movement in that direction right now that I can see, but the last time America's labor movement took off it did so very quickly, going from almost nothing in 1933 to even soda jerks organizing a few years later. The Minneapolis Teamsters strike in 1934 lit the powder keg. I think the American workforce is overripe for a similar resurgence in the labor movement, but then I thought it was overripe a decade ago too, so what do I know?

What gives me hope, though, is how frightened the elites are acting. In some respects they have a better perspective on things... the higher your point of view the further you can see and all of that. I mean, the Business Roundtable suddenly deciding that the well being of its employees is a corporation's duty on par with delivering profits to the owners? While I know corporations cannot re-prioritize like that (the market won't let them), the fact that there is even discussion about trying suggests some deep anxiety among the elites' strategists.

I like it when those a-holes get ulcers.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 22 2019 20:48 utc | 31

Meet Skybot F-850! The Latest Member of Russian Soyuz Space Mission!

Russia’s Soyuz-2.1 rocket has blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome as part of a test flight to check compatibility of the upgraded booster and spacecraft – which this time carries only a humanoid robot to the ISS.

The Skybot F-850 robot, known simply as Fedor, has taken the captain's seat on Soyuz 2.1's test flight to the International Space Station, where the spacecraft is expected to dock on Saturday.

The android will greet the crew stationed in orbit with a specially uploaded message, while at the same time transmitting back to Earth telemetry data and parameters related to flight safety.

During its 17-day space mission, Skybot F-850 will take part in “about five or six scientific tasks,” Yevgeny Dudorov, the executive director of the robot’s manufacturer Android Technology, noted earlier, stressing that “those scientific tasks have been kept secret.”

Posted by: Russian Ivan | Aug 22 2019 21:11 utc | 32

I am doubleposting my reply in the previous thread because 1. That thread is now falling asleep, 2. Marx is still debated in this thread. 3. Marx was off topic in the other thread (although SwissArmyMan did provide a ref that linked to HK!) 4. This is an open thread and may be more fitting. If this is considered bad form, b is obviously free to delete the doublepost.

Apologies to all the objectors for sufficing only with a mere wikipedia link to Marx's industrialist family ties.

I have two excuses for this particular terseness:

1. As the story was set in the Netherlands, much anectodal evidence is in the local tongue, however, and that would be dutch to most readers here. Anyone fluent in that language is free to use any search engine set to return results in dutch for the query "marx philips" and enjoy the materials that are ripe for the picking. From there, it will quickly appear that Karl and uncle Lion enjoyed a more than casual familiar or financial relation. Marx spent a lot of time at Lion's place and wrote large parts of Das Kapital in the garden house where he was lodged.

2. Exactly as William Gruff points out: if even wikipedia cannot make it go away, there is undeniably something going on there that we may point the normies to, for a well deserved change of programming. Think "and now for something completely different" and add canned laughter to one's personal flavor.

In any case it is quite clear from the wiki alone that Marx was not poor at all. Further reading reveals him to have been perhaps a bit of a bum, as the mother of this somewhat fortunate son thought. If only once weekly he would have washed himself with soap and a sponge, she would have given him the damn money already.

Still, all that is little more than a salacious side track to the bigger Karl Marx story. SwissArmyMan relates much more poignant material, about Karl's wife Jenny, who just happens to be the sister of the Prussian secretary of state (and head of the secret police) Now there's a twist in the narrative. But but, vk claims, Marx had his Prussian citizenship taken from him. Questions questions.

I have to give it to c1ue, at first glance the Philipses do not appear to be Kochian sponsors, but the aristocrat linked von Westphalens do ever much more so. Here's another little gem: Wilhelm Pieper, private secretary to Karl Marx, contemporarly acted as tutor to Alfred and Nathan Rothschild. Some coincidence, no?

Readers with even casual mastery of the german language (SwissArmyMan wouldn't you?) ought to go straight to the original article at because it is more complete than the partial translation at postflaviana and also because it stands in jts own right, without the added baggage of Atwill's fellow travelers.

Finally I have go ask, who of the faithful actually read Das Kapital?

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 22 2019 21:41 utc | 33

I know that I am scared. If the American Empire collapses, there goes my pension just like the Soviet Union. My family needs it to stay alive. Capitalists who avoided being involved with Maria Butina or imprisoned in Metropolitan Correctional Center have enough sense to realize a crazy** plutocrat President, Negative Interest Rates, and the continued grounding of the unsafe 737 Max(s) are going to play hell with their portfolios. NY Times stated the obvious, “C.E.O.s Should Fear a Recession. It Could Mean Revolution.”

**Only a nutty insular Ugly American who never watched the Danish TV show “BORGEN” would cancel the meeting their PM because she said selling Greenland to the USA is “absurd”.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 22 2019 21:42 utc | 34

Fun with numbers. Recently I discussed the falsity of stated GDP since it counts transactions that ought not to be counted as additions but rather as subtractions. I'd like to take this a step further with GDP/capita, which is about $61,000/yr within the Outlaw US Empire. Yes, as previously discussed, that figure's overstated due to the errors in GDP accounting. But there's another realm that must be considered and that the fact that the 3 richest people within the USA own more wealth than the bottom 50% combined, or more than 160 million people. In other words, the income disparity is so skewed in favor of just those 3 that there's no possible way GDP per capita can be $61,000/yr. Here annual personal median income for USA is cited as $31,099 in 2016, well below the stated $57,467 GDP/capita for that year. Clearly, the economic position of the USA in contrast to other nations is much worse that depicted just as are the statistics provided by the USG to show the economy isn't as bad as it is actually.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 21:47 utc | 35

Gruff @24. Nail-on-head. I agree.

This point is so huge, it's the mammoth in the small and ever-contracting room that comprises what remains of Marxist thought. So sadly extinct, perhaps, and it reveals quite how far the fake left have gone from the theoretical, and in my view practical, roots of Marxism.

To me, historical materialism and the division of society based on an individual's relationship to the ownership of the means of production was self-evident from my first weeks of working in a warehouse in a summer job as a teenager. Of course, I didn't associate it with such vocabulary at the time, as my exposure to the economic theory which explained what I experienced lay ahead of me in the years to come.

What I would also come to understand, and would have to accept, is that most people didn't see it like that.

The idea of a 1% ruling class is a metaphor, but it's a working model to envisage a small tip of a pyramid ruling over the 99%. Such an imbalance shoud clearly be incapable of maintaining its dominance, and it does so by drawing a sufficient volume of the rest into its orbit, and sharing some power (or creating an illusion of doing so) to create a middle class in alliance with the
ruling class over the proles. Many/most of the 'proles' wouldn't consider themselves as such, as they are educated and working in an office that doesn't resemble a coal mine or production line, despite having very little money left after, for example,substantial housing and education costs. (What that ruling-middle-class alliance consists of is beyond the scope of this post.)

Were there a genuine class-consciousness based, not on perhaps archaic notions of cultural class (flat caps and strong regional accents for example), but on whether you depended on your wage or whether you enjoyed substantial returns on capital ownership, then there might be a genuine collective sense of political agency among the actual masses, where solidarity and the threat of mass withdrawal of labour would make them a social force, or class, to be reckoned with - were there to be a shared political direction.

I suspect that the jewel in the crown of the elite is identity politics. If the fake left hadn't invented this disaster for genuine working-class (in the widest sense) solidarity, then the capitalists would have had to invented it themselves. Maybe they did? Divide and Rule. The oldest imperialist and ruling class trick in the book. Get women versus men, religions v each other and them all against secularists, LBGTQ+ v 'normies' etc, and bingo! No chance of a wider working-class unity, especially when the very notion of traditional 'working class' can be demonised as backward, xenophobic and brutal.

And of course it is the fake left that marches to the banner of identity politics, where it seems the only groups excluded are the traditional working class - and if they were included would it help? No - if they are just another self interest group fighting for their place in a new, divisive pecking order of grievance and hopefully privilege, if they can get to be recognised. So class consciousness in the framework of identity politics would lack the universalism needed to pose a challenge to the elite. A new understanding of class would need to shatter the barriers that the fake left have erected, and get ordinary, working people, on a wage, to see what they have in common, and not what makes them different.

I'd finally add that this analysis, which although I consider Marxist, doesn't implicitly endorse any specific model or road map of socialism, (if at all) as that's another question really. Rather it is to illustrate how a potential opposition to the current ruling class could unite to propose an agency for change, which when faced with the forever endless war of the ruling class, should at least be a consideration.

Posted by: Ash (London) | Aug 22 2019 21:48 utc | 36

@ Lurk | Aug 22 2019 21:41 utc | 39

Hi Lurk, Rather than taking some entries at Wikipedia as gold standard for information, use it instead as source of possible information concerning some subject. Until relatively recently published books have generally been far better sources of information concerning contentious subjects, the editing usually limited to format versus youtube editing involving content. My use of wikipedia is mostly for spelling verification and a lot for clarification of dates and usually I haven't a problem except trying to remember how Nicolae Ceaușescu is spelt (had to copy it - again).

As for biographic information concerning Karl Marx you would be well informed in a recent biography by Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx, Greatness and Illusion, ISBN978-0-713-99904-4 Allen Lane (from my copy) by now it should be available in a number of the major languages should that matter. It sounds as disinformation has crept into your sources so compare them with a splendidly written and critically acclaimed biography. I will leave it to your judgment which source to trust.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 22 2019 22:08 utc | 37

Wow! What an excellent thread! Almost feel bad to post a news item. Boeing loses multi-billion contract and Outlaw US Empire's hypersonic weapons program suffers big setback. The loss of projected future earnings will further cripple Boeing's finances while also making a massive accusations made that Russia stole critical information for its hypersonic weapon program from the Outlaw US Empire far beyond laughable to shockingly desperate, or perhaps degenerate when considering the source.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 22:11 utc | 38

DG | Aug 22 2019 17:36 utc | 1

“What’s your take on this Mr b ?”
I, too, am curious.

“As an Iranian oil tanker which Washington wants seized heads toward Greece…”
Do you think the tanker is really planning on anchoring in Kalamata, Greece? I had a look at this place in Google Earth, and had to laugh.
There’s speculation about the tanker’s name change and the specific meaning of “Adrian Darya”. Given this new and probably very telling name, I have an idea where the ship might be headed, and I’d really like to bet on it. But on the other hand I’m reluctant to spell it out. What with B’s rise to fame, I guess this blog is being monitored (for all sorts of reasons), and I certainly don’t want to help make work for the State Dep. or the Treasury easier. Let them figure out where to strike next. So I’m just wishing the crew a safe voyage.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Aug 22 2019 22:11 utc | 39

@ Posted by: Ash (London) | Aug 22 2019 21:48 utc | 42

Re: your last paragraph, oddly, most do not seem to see those as two separate questions. It has always struck me that way though. I'm a science guy and not remotely an expert in Marxism, but for decades I've seen people who were eager to discard his criticisms of capitalism because his conception of optimal alternatives wasn't fully developed.

Posted by: AshenLight | Aug 22 2019 22:13 utc | 40

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 18:15 utc | 5

No. Marx assumed that countries had to go through bourgeois capitalism first before they could become communist. His theory assumed that communism would be possible in industrially developed countries only as he did not take into account the huge effect his theory would have world wide. He expected communism to develop naturally not because of his works.

His definition of worker presumably was anybody robbed of surplus value and not owning the means of production. Employees and industrial workers in Germany are some 80 percent of people having to work in Germany eg.

According to Marx communism means the working owning the means of production and frankly - modern technology is getting close. The capital you need for an internet company is close to nil, all you have to do is put your work in and cooperate. People tend to prefer to work employed (at least in Europe) as good working conditions and wages are easier to get from a capitalist than when you are exploiting yourself.

You need a lot of knowledge but 3D printing is only starting.
You can print your electric car or 3d print your house.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2019 22:21 utc | 41

Accomplices : Freeland and Pompeo Take Questions on China, Venezuela [Russia] and More...

"Today, Canada and United States are indispensable allies..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 22 2019 22:26 utc | 42

Bizarre reasons for resignation of Patrick Byrne as CEO of Overstock, an internet retailing company as per zerohedge today. I can't really understand what he is on about re the Clintons and Russia, and he was closely connected to to Maria Butina.

What is interesting about Byrne is how he reacted to a vicious attack on his company by naked short sellers a few years ago. Naked short selling is mass selling of shares that you do not own. It is officially known as Failure to Deliver and has been in use for decades. It is illegal but people get away with it and the SEC rarely prosecutes. Byrne was so infuriated he set up a website called Deep Capture where, joined by some good investigative journalists, he started exposing the naked short selling scam that came to a head when Lehman CEO Fuld told Congress that naked short selling played a major role in undermining his company and setting off the 2008 crisis. It coincided with research I was doing into the naked short selling of a Spanish company with a subsidiary in the US and Deep Capture helped point in the direction of probable culprits.

Byrne's stuff went on to became rather hysterical and overly conspiratorial. Pity that.

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 22 2019 22:38 utc | 43

Speaking of solidarity, were any barflies aware of the DNC's Summer Meeting occurring in San Francisco as I type? The linked article describes one facet of the events and provides one excellent example of hopes versus reality:

"Ken Martin, one of the resolution's sponsors and chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said in a statement. 'If we Democrats are serious about electing a new president and committed progressives up and down the ticket, then we should start following the lead of the young people whose energy will be critical to win in 2020.'"

Where are all the "committed progressives up and down the ticket"? Look at the top polling D-Party candidates and how many can actually be termed Progressive? Then we know what's happened regarding the funding and opposition to actual Progressive congressional candidates by the DNC and its affiliates--they were actively, openly opposed by their own party because the D-Party is owned by the 1%. I think it's great to see the energy of the insurgents trying to wrest control of the party from the deeply vested interests, but a lot more must occur. From what I see, a lot of state D-Parties are about to revolt against the National D-Party. The statement cited at the article's end said "Nearly half a million grassroots activists...", but that number needs to be tens of millions of grassroots activists as the spearhead of an even larger mass of activists and actual voters to even begin to propose doing what's required to change the USA's course from insolvent empire back to solvent nation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 22:42 utc | 44

"This is an issue I've broached a few times on The Corbett Report now, because I think it's a trap that those of us watching the machinations of the American Empire can fall into. It seems straightforward: If Washington is paying to stir things up in a given area, then the protests are all fake and the freedom movement in that area is not a "real" freedom movement. But this is too binary and simplistic. The people of Hong Kong have real and legitimate grievances with the Chinese government and real worries about their future. The right of the people to self-determination is a real and powerful motivating force there just as it is anywhere else, and who are we to tell the people of Hong Kong that their wish for freedom is illegitimate?

Something that should give pause for thought to those who would write off such protests as nothing more than American deep state operations is that when you dehumanize the protesters and disallow the legitimacy of their movement, you inevitably find yourself in the awkward position of cheering on the jackbooted thugs of the police state who are there to quell the protests. Yes, as many in the independent media have pointed out, the protesters have engaged in acts of violence during these protests, and that is despicable and should be condemned. But the police (who, interestingly, are dressing themselves up as protesters and mingling in with the crowds, Montebello-style), are also using brutal violence against protesters, and to ignore or deny that reality is dishonest.

So that brings us to our next question: Where does all of this leave us, looking on at a situation like this? The question itself is a trick. It presupposes that we have a role of some sort to play in these protests. That non-Hong Kongers should be actively choosing sides, rooting for, and even "aiding" one side or another in this conflict. But that's precisely the problem, isn't it? If it's outside interference that is stirring all of this discontent up in the first place, as some in the independent media would have you believe, then is more outside interference really the answer here?

In fact, as usual, the violence and conflict taking place in Hong Kong right now is playing directly into the hands of those who want to come in and impose "order" in the region. The protests obviously give Beijing the excuse to line their army up at the border and threaten to do away with the fig leaf of Hong Kong's quasi-sovereignty altogether. At the same time, any such crackdown would be exactly the excuse that the US and its partners in international crime would need to escalate their Clash of Civilizations 2.0 with the dreaded Chinese bogeyman.

One thing is for certain: the fight for the future of Hong Kong is raging as we speak. But the real question is: who is fighting that fight? The people of Hong Kong, or Beijing and Washington? The answer to that question will determine whether Hong Kong ever achieves a modicum of freedom, or whether it is destined to forever be a plaything in a proxy wars between the great powers."

Posted by: O | Aug 22 2019 22:47 utc | 45

Formerly T-Bear, assuming wikipedia to be the gold standard of information is equally presumptious as assuming it to be the gold standard of misinformation. Even on basic facts that are generally considered uncontroversial can wikipedia be in error. There is no fundamental difference in that respect with books.
A book is no more a priori authoritative than a web page. Nor is there an a priori categorization of truthiness for web pages belonging to wikipedia, facebook, blogs, corporations, universities or governments.

All we have is our ability to consider all the options that we know and even then to consider that we might not know all the options.

The nice thing about the web is that it is so easy to crossreference information in a discussion. With books it is a bit harder. I gave you a link in my previous post. It should not be too hard for you to point out what you consider "disinformation" as you call it. Alas I cannot easily and immediately check your book reference, so I shall refrain from handwaving vague dismissive derogations about it.

I sincerely appreciate your kind helpfulness in explaining to me about wikipedia, but I would have found your attention more valuable if you had instead addressed the substance of my post.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 22 2019 22:56 utc | 46

@AshenLight (46)

Indeed. There should be no correlation between the validity of Marx's critique of Capitalism, or of his understanding of the opposing forces that make up a society, and of the viability of a state-controlled alternative to Capitalism. One was based on lots of data, the other one none.

Posted by: Ash (London) | Aug 22 2019 22:56 utc | 47

Been reading an interesting report from Brown University's Watson Institute about "the CIA army and [it's] threat to human rights and an obstacle to peace in Afghanistan."

"Afghan paramilitary forces working with the United States Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) have long been a staple in the US war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the
border region with Pakistan. The problems associated with these militias take on new
significance given the recent momentum in talks between the US government and the
Taliban about the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. Whose interests do the
militias represent? How can they be integrated into a peace agreement – if at all? Will
their use value for the US in future counterterrorist operations outweigh the case for
closing them down in the service of human rights and a sustainable peace?
The militias
are at least nominally controlled by their CIA paymaster, but to what extent will the
operations of the CIA be monitored and streamlined with overall US policy towards

The CIA-supported militias are a particularly troublesome version of the
regionally based militias in Afghanistan that have developed over the years around local
strongmen with external support. The present units originate in the 2001 invasion,
when US military forces and the CIA organized Afghan militias to fight Islamist militants.
Almost two decades later, the CIA is still running local militias in operations against the
Taliban and other Islamist militants. Throughout, the militias reportedly have
committed serious human rights abuses, including numerous extrajudicial killings of
civilians. CIA sponsorship ensures that their operations are clouded in secrecy. There is
virtually no public oversight of their activities or accountability for grave human rights

[My emphasis]

Appears making peace with Afghanistan will be as elusive as any of the other american regime's various 'wars' and invasions.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Aug 22 2019 23:05 utc | 48

I see that Lurk has re-posted his comment from the previous MoA comments forum @ 39 here, so I'll repost my reply to that comment:

I have to ask: what is the point you are trying to make by uploading all these links about particular and selected aspects and details of Karl Marx's life, who supported him financially and otherwise, and the fact that he mixed in small social circles where everyone was linked to everyone else, in societies where not many people were able to read and write, and a large percentage of the population in most European countries still worked on the land?

According to the German-language Wikipedia article on Wilhelm Pieper, while living in exile in London, he was employed temporarily by Karl Marx from September 1850 onwards to help translate some of Marx's work from German into English. How many people were there in London or in Europe would have agreed to do such work instead of Pieper, at a time when Marx's name was dirt because of his journalism and socialist activities?

In 1852, Pieper became tutor to Alfred and Nathan Rothschild. The article does not say if this work was concurrent with his translation work or not. The article does not tell us if Piper was a full-time tutor or not. The tutoring work seems to have been based in Bognor Regis which is 55.5 miles southwest of London where Marx was living at the time. Would Pieper have been able to commute between Bognor Regis and London on a regular basis, using whatever transport was available between those two locations in the early 1850s? The earliest date I can find for a railway connection from London to Bognor Regis is 1864, if we assume that Pieper had to pay his own way to commute between those two locations. Alfred Rothschild might have been ready for university by then.

As for Marx's brother-in-law being a reactionary interior secretary, is it really so unusual that related people can have very different and even polarised political viewpoints and opinions? The Greek actor (also a former culture for minister in a past Greek social democratic government under Andreas Papandreou) Melina Mercouri had a fascist politician uncle who was head of Greece's central bank during Nazi German control of the country. Looking up a bio of Melina Mercouri's father Stamatis Mercouris on Wikipedia, I see he was a leftist politician.

I am not a student of Marxism or Karl Marx's life but I should imagine the chaotic conditions in which he and his family moved from continental Europe to Britain in the late 1840s, and the instability of his family and home life, dependent on income from newspapers not necessarily sympathetic to his views or opinions, along with the social and legal context of the period in which he lived, in which intellectual property law may have been weak and most people who wrote or engaged in other cultural occupations needed to rely on independent sources of income or on rich patrons whose incomes derived from the work of urban or rural labourers, forced Marx to rely on rich patrons (like Friedrich Engels) himself.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 22 2019 23:21 utc | 49

A collection of quotes by Michael Hudson about Marxism and Socialism since there's clearly lack of understanding regarding the two terms. I apologize for the length, but the accompanying context is important to reach understanding. And much more could be provided:

"Socialism was seen as a program to create a more efficient capitalist economy along these lines, until the word was hijacked by the Russian Revolution after World War I. The Soviet Union became a travesty of Marxism and the word socialism."

"Today’s neoliberal wasteland is basically a reaction against the 19thcentury reformers, against the logic of classical British political economy. The hatred of Marx is ultimately the hatred of Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, because neoliberals realize that Smith and Mill and Ricardo were all leading to Marx. He was the culmination of their free market views — a market free from rentiers and monopolists.

"That was the immediate aim of socialism in the late 19thcentury. The logic of classical political economy was leading to a socialist mixed economy. In order to fight Marxism, you have to fight classical economics and erase memory of how civilization has dealt with (or failed to deal with) the debt and rent-extracting problems through the ages. The history of economic thought and the original free-market economics has to be suppressed. Today’s choice is therefore between socialism or barbarism, as Rosa Luxemburg said."

"Marxism is much more than volume 1 of Capital. You have to read volumes 2 and 3, and especially the elaboration that Marx wrote in the drafts that he left for volumes 2 and 3, his Theories of Surplus Value where he discusses the history of economic thought leading up to him. You realize how Marx was the last great economist in the classical tradition. He showed that capitalism itself is revolutionary, capitalism itself is driving forward, and of course he expected it to lead toward socialism, as indeed it seemed to be doing in the nineteenth century.

"But it’s not working out that way. Everything changed in World War One. Afterward you had an anti-classical economics, which really was an anti-Marxist economics. The fight for marginalist theory, for Austrian theory, the fight for junk economics that we have today, is basically a fight against Marxism, because Marx showed the logical conclusion to which the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Ricardo and Malthus, the conclusion it was all leading was the synthesis that he made. It was later developed by people like Thorstein Veblen and Simon Patten in the United States. So I’m hoping that I can contribute what I can to help China’s economy to avoid the financialization process and dynamic that is destroying the West."

"You’d think that China would have learned this by looking at the West, or at least by reading Volume 3 of Capital. In fact the Peking University meeting, the Second World Conference on Marxism, David Harvey gave the opening and closing speech. His point was that the Chinese should read Volume III of Capital to understand why and how the volume of debt and credit grows exponentially. As banks get richer and richer, the One Percent get richer. They need to nurture more and more markets for their credit and debt creation. So they lend on easier and easier terms, at a rising proportion of the home’s value. So it’s bank credit that has been inflating the price of housing.

"David Harvey asked how China can let the price of housing go up so high in Shanghai (the most privatized city) that almost everybody who has a house is a millionaire. How can China expect to remain competitive in exporting industrial products when the cost of housing is so high?

"Unfortunately, his talk and mine were almost the only economic talks at the meeting in Peking. As one of the Russian attendees pointed out to me, “Marxism” is the Chinese word for politics. “Marxism with Chinese characteristics” means to doing what they want politically. But economically they’ve sent their students to the United States, to attend business schools to learn how U.S. financial engineering practices.

"Shanghai is where Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys came in the 1970s and early 80s, because the Chinese government worried that if western Marxists came over, they would tend to interfere with domestic Chinese politics. So actually, China had less exposure to foreign Marxian economics than to U.S.-style neoliberal teaching."

"This Western financial advice became a textbook example of how not to organize an economy. Having rejoined the global economy free of debt in 1991, Russia’s population, companies and government quickly ran up debts as a result of its man-made disaster. Families could have been given their homes freely, just as corporate managers were given their entire companies virtually for free. But Russian managers were as anti-labor as they were greedy to grab their own assets from the public domain. Soaring housing prices quickly plagued Russian’s economy with one of the world’s highest-priced living and business costs. That prevented any thought of industrial competitiveness with the United States or Europe. What passed for Soviet Marxism lacked an understanding of how economic rents and the ensuing high labor costs affected international prices, or how debt service and capital flight affected the currency’s exchange rate.

"Adversaries of socialism pronounced Marxist theory dead, as if the Soviet dissolution meant the end of Marxism. But today, less than three decades later, the leading Western economies are themselves succumbing to an overgrowth of debt and shrinking prosperity. Russia failed to recognize that just as its own economy was expiring, so was the West’s. Industrial capitalism is succumbing to a predatory finance capitalism that is leaving Western economies debt-ridden. The underlying causes were clear already a century ago: unchecked financial rentiers, absentee ownership and monopolies.

"The post-Soviet collapse in the 1990s was not a failure of Marxism, but of the anti-socialist ideology that is plunging Western economies under domination by the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector’s symbiosis of the three forms of rent extraction: land and natural resource rent, monopoly rent, and interest (financial rent). This is precisely the fate from which 19th-century socialism, Marxism and even state capitalism sought to save the industrial economies.

"A silver lining to the Soviet “final” stage has been to free Marxist analysis from Russian Marxology. Its focus of Soviet Marxology was not an analysis of how the capitalist nations were becoming financialized neo-rentier economies, but was mainly propagandistic, ossifying into a stereotyped identity politics appealing to labor and oppressed minorities. Today’s revival of Marxist scholarship has begun to show how the U.S.-centered global economy is entering a period of chronic austerity, debt deflation, and polarization between creditors and debtors."

This last essay, "Socialism, Land and Banking: 2017 compared to 1917," was written 2 years ago and, as are the others, worth reading in full. I saved the following citation for last; why should be obvious:

"To Marx, the historical task of capitalism was to prepare the way for socializing the means of production by clearing away feudalism’s legacy: a hereditary landlord class, predatory banking, and the monopolies that financial interests had pried away from governments. The path of least resistance was to start by socializing land and basic infrastructure. This drive to free society from economic overhead in the form of hereditary privilege and unearned income by the 'idle rich' was a step toward socialist management, by minimizing rentier costs ('faux frais of production')."

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 23:23 utc | 50

Somebody, I have to disagree with your assessment that in the internet age, the working classes own the means of production. The so-called knowledge workers do not own the infrastructure, neither physically nor logically. These are, as ever, restricted in monopolies and oligopolies.

The means of production in the strictly material sense was never the single issue that is is made out to be by some. Access to financing and markets are equally or perhaps even more important. Raw goods have to be bought, finished products have to be sold. This requires a network and it is how existing monopolies are leveraged and new ones created.

Do you seriously believe that any guy with some coding skills can start a new Microsoft, Google or Facebook? It takes "connections"TM. These tech mono/oligopolies employ droves of wageslaves, most of whom are entirely expendable, the contemporary equivalent of factory workers, except that they are now called knowledge workers.

About this 3D printing "revolution": anyone who believes that stuff such as you referenced obviously knows very little about the subject and almost certainly has no practical experience with it.

For now, the technology is at the stage of the Apple I (the one that came as a kit). Don't print your car or your house with pla filament (what most people use) or else never put your car/house outside in the sun or it will melt and crumble away. Even when assuming (hypothetical) useable filament material, printed structures aren't very strong and dependable, certainly not to any real engineering standard. And how would you print actual electric motors, including useable motor coils and axles and bearings and airbags (hint: these are quite a challenge).

I could go on with lots more technical issues, but I'll finish with pointing out that 3D printing is nice for prototyping, due to low production overhead but it is totally uncompetitive for anything mass produced, both in terms of cost and speed.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 22 2019 23:29 utc | 51

aye, myself & me | Aug 22 2019 23:05 utc | 54--

Thanks for providing that! Afghanistan seems doomed to suffer from factionalism long after all NATO/CIA forces are removed as the longstanding goal for the Outlaw US Empire is to deter Eurasian unity, which is why Afghanistan was invaded in the first place.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 23:32 utc | 52

Following Lurk's comment (57) I'd add that many workers in 19th century London were sub-contracted through family businesses. So a family of coopers in the East End, making barrels for the docks, were hardly capitalist class, even though they 'owned' their own businesses. Even dockers were largely self-employed. (Actually there's a big thing about the organised, unionised labour of the North of England compared with the more freelance labour of London and the political consequences ever since that I don't have time to get into now)

Another quick point on how Marx considered capitalism a progressive form beyond feudalism, that would lay the foundations for socialism - I do think that the more advanced capitalism gets, the more this might be possible as the information (Business Intelligence & Data Analysis) available makes planning an economy more realistic theoretically, if we overlook the corruption that is most likely inevitable in any statist power structure.

Posted by: Ash (London) | Aug 22 2019 23:50 utc | 53

I just got this email which I think appropriate to share with fellow MoA barflies

Since Day 1, this administration has been seeking out opportunity after opportunity to benefit the powerful and the privileged -- the very wealthiest Americans and big corporations. From the $1.7 trillion tax break for giant corporations and their wealthy executives, to allowing more pollution by oil and gas companies, to allowing insurance companies to once again discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, the giveaways to billion dollar corporations have been endless, while working families pay the price.

This week, the Trump administration added another critical item to the list of attacks on working families: Gutting the Volcker Rule firewall, a critical safeguard that protects Americans from the consequences of high-risk Wall Street gambling.

Make no mistake. This move is a brazen attempt by big banks and their Trump-appointed allies to reopen the Wall Street casino that led us into the Great Recession, no matter the cost to working Americans who will lose their homes, jobs and savings when the casino goes belly-up. That’s not just unethical, it’s dangerous.

Working Americans should not have to foot the bill for the big banks’ casino games. That’s why I co-authored the Volcker Rule and fought to include it in the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which Congress passed to prevent Wall Street from repeating the causes of the Great Recession. The reality is, if we let big banks go back to the days of making huge bets on things like future stock values, foreign exchange rates, or interest rates, working families will ultimately be the ones to pay the price.

I believe that our economy is only as strong as the bottom lines of our working families, and that big banks shouldn’t be calling the shots. Please know that I’m going to keep fighting for an economy that works for all of us -- not just the powerful and the privileged.

All my best,
Jeff (Merkley - Oregon Senator)
Our government is now controlled by the elite but not entirely silenced.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 23 2019 0:05 utc | 54

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Aug 22 2019 23:05 utc | 54
"Afghanistan seems doomed to suffer from factionalism long after all NATO/CIA forces are removed as the longstanding goal for the Outlaw US Empire is to deter Eurasian unity, which is why Afghanistan was invaded in the first place."
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 23:32 utc | 58

I would say it is more about the drugs and minerals.
During the 1980s, the CIA’s secret war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan helped transform the Afghani-Pakistani borderlands into a launchpad for the global heroin trade. “In the tribal area,” the US state department reported in 1986, “there is no police force. There are no courts. There is no taxation. No weapon is illegal … Hashish and opium are often on display.” By then, the process of guerrilla mobilisation to fight the Soviet occupation was long under way. Instead of forming its own coalition of resistance leaders, the CIA had relied on Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and its Afghan clients, who soon became key players in the burgeoning cross-border opium traffic.

Months before 9/11 The Taliban was eradicating the poppy fields and the empire was not going to let that continue to happen.
In 2001: Taliban's Ban On Poppy A Success, U.S. Aides Say

Ahmed Wali Karzai was a drug trafficker on the CIA payroll who happens to be the half brother of Hamid Karzai the US puppet to lead Afghanistan

The fact that Afghanistan sits on lucrative natural resources was recognized indirectly back in 2010 when the Afghan ministry of mines rolled out a $1b (!) estimate of what the country might have, and The New York Times quoted a source in the US Administration as saying that Afghanistan’s list of reserves included copper, gold, cobalt, and even lithium on which the present-day industry is heavily dependent. A Pentagon memo actually described Afghanistan’s potential lithium holdings as big enough to make it the “Saudi Arabia of lithium”. Somehow, the news flew below the radars of most watchers worldwide.

Posted by: O | Aug 23 2019 0:12 utc | 55

reply to
"What gives me hope, though, is how frightened the elites are acting. In some respects they have a better perspective on things... the higher your point of view the further you can see and all of that."
Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 22 2019 20:48 utc | 3

Yes, they do appear to be frightened it is very visible in the way they have taken the rants against Trump to a level that is manic.But their grip seems to have slipped.
A Rasmussen poll found that more than fifty percent do not believe the media when it comes to Trump and see ongoing and consistent MSM bias.
In addition, the ruling elite appear to be planning yet another recession to knock everyone down a few pegs as they seem to do every ten years or so. This time they seem to be rushing into it, possibly trying to launch it before the elections.
What is also interesting is the reaction of people to Epstein's supposed demise. No one is buying Barr's diagnosis of "suicide." Was it Zappa who said something about the drapes coming down and you see the brick wall?
Is there hope of real change?
I have been reading up on 5G and given the control mechanisms already in place, if 5G has the control capabilities it is purported to have, once they roll that baby out it is game over. So is there hope? I suspect not.

Posted by: frances | Aug 23 2019 0:20 utc | 56

@somebody 47'

You need to pay attention, my friend. If you actually think Travis Kalanick is "putting work in and cooperate (ing)," you've been drinking the Kool-Aid. And, the reason its harder to survive is due to rentiers and capitalists, not because you are "exploiting yourself."

According to Marx communism means the working owning the means of production and frankly - modern technology is getting close. The capital you need for an internet company is close to nil, all you have to do is put your work in and cooperate. People tend to prefer to work employed (at least in Europe) as good working conditions and wages are easier to get from a capitalist than when you are exploiting yourself.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 22 2019 22:21 utc | 47

Posted by: kgw | Aug 23 2019 0:32 utc | 57

@Karlof1 58

Afghanistan war was more about TAPI pipeline and securing a friendly government to sign the contracts and then protect UNOCAL´s investment throughout. Also,ENRON at the time had their eyes on this and had bet the farm on it before they folded, among other reasons. That´s why as soon as the Taliban fell out of favor for one reason or another, Hamid Kharzai and Zalmay Khalilzad, UNOCAL agents were placed in charge of the country.

It didn’t come to be of course, since the Taliban had other ideas. This was also ensured with a little help from friends in Russia and China. The article below is from 2002 but sheds a lot of light on the actual events of the day.

Now the focus has shifted to stopping BRI. But US empire will never lose sight of their original investment, nor the reserves in Caspian.

I agree to a degree that US will continue with their divide and conquer policies long after they pull out. However, if the Taliban who will eventually rule the country can be shown a different way of life by China and Russia which would lead to new roads, hospitals, schools and normal farming as oppose to death an destruction, opium and Tribalism, we might actually see a major change in Afghanistan.

Too optimistic? Perhaps, but the air is ripe.

TAPI might eventually be built, but not for UNOCAL. Have no doubt the Chinese will offer a much sweeter deal all around.

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 23 2019 0:34 utc | 58

Posted by: Uncle Jon | Aug 23 2019 0:34 utc | 65

Yea I forgot to add the oil pipeline as well to my comment on 62. Every war is about resources.

Posted by: O | Aug 23 2019 0:56 utc | 59

psychohistorian @61--

Thanks for providing that Merkley newsletter. I probably have one too, but haven't opened my email today. As you saw, I culled through lots of Hudson to provide some views. You and others have asked what solutions does Hudson suggest. What follows is his most direct, succinct formulation for What Must Be Done:

"The only way to control banks and their allied rentier sectors is outright socialization. The past century has shown that if society does not control the banks and financial sector, they will control society. Their strategy is to block government money creation so that economies will be forced to rely on banks and bondholders. Regulatory authority to limit such financial aggression and the monopoly pricing and rent extraction it supports has been crippled in the West by 'regulatory capture' by the rentier oligarchy.

Attempts to tax away rental income (the liberal alternative to taking real estate and natural resources directly into the public domain) is prone to lobbying for loopholes and evasion, most notoriously via offshore banking centers in tax-avoidance enclaves and the “flags of convenience” sponsored by the global oil and mining companies. This leaves the only way to save society from the financial power to convert rent into interest to be a policy of nationalizing natural resources, fully taxing land rent (where land and minerals are not taken directly into the public domain), and de-privatizing infrastructure and other key sectors." [My Emphasis]

So, your "one note samba" is 100% on the mark. But as I asked earlier regarding a related issue, how do we implement the medicine? How do we overcome the forces of reaction that have so many levers of control without physically eliminating them? Or, is that the only open road? Somewhat relatedly, Sanders has unveiled another major portion of his electoral campaign platform.

IMO, Trump can't be allowed another term, nor can any version of Trump-lite such as Biden. It certainly appears as I anticipated that Sanders is adding every additional Progressive policy proposal to his campaign's platform, which is resulting in the gathering of diverse factions under his tent. The BIG question: Will Sanders stick to his proposals or prove to be another Obama and sell out as it appeared to many in 2016? That's THE question I want to ask to his face up close and personal. And I bet a few million more folks want to do the same.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2019 1:06 utc | 60

Posted by: O | Aug 23 2019 0:56 utc | 66
Correction gas pipeline

Posted by: O | Aug 23 2019 1:08 utc | 61

This is not fair to Marx. Teodor Shanin's Late Marx and the Russian Road, is one account of the rebalancing of his ideas on the peasantry which followed his study of Russia, the Narodniks and the proto socialism of the collectives in the villages.
Marx was a thorough pragmatist, constantly testing his theories in historical practice and contemptuous of those who sought to fit the green growth of life into the grey categories of theories which are rooted in the past.
And of course, contrary to an assertion in the last thread he was not an agent of the Prussian State, any more than Bismark was a revolutionary socialist (for which there is much more evidence).

Somebody @47
"No. Marx assumed that countries had to go through bourgeois capitalism first before they could become communist. His theory assumed that communism would be possible in industrially developed countries only as he did not take into account the huge effect his theory would have world wide."
This is Menshevism, formal undialectical Marxism, which is really left wing progressive liberalism, based on the economics of the Scots Enlightenment. My remarks to karlofi above apply here.

As William Gruff points out the ruling class is getting increasingly skittish. Caught between the rock of environmental disaster (of which climate change is merely one dark cloudbank in an approaching storm) and the hard place of declining profits and increasing insecurity and anger among the working class after decades of, on average, declining living standards, the ruling class has no here to go (except Mars?). It knows that the outcome is bound to include a concerted and massive popular uprising against capitalism.
The important thing is to remember- as past generations never did- that the tightest regulation and the most draconian legal constraints will not be sufficient. Private property has to be abolished. As RH Tawney told the Fabian Society in 1951 "You cannot tame a tiger claw by claw". Leave the capitalist the tiniest purchase on the system and they will recover and corrupt it.
Look at the NHS in Tawney's Britain, now virtually dead after a thousand cuts by capitalists.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 23 2019 1:17 utc | 62

The world all over is beggining to stand up in unison against the extreme right and enemy of environment which is the Brazilian government. a govt elected by a collective hallunation we can t conceive or explain.
Their greedy farmers won a big congressual mass of support.
However nearly all of brazilian agricultural exports are easily subject to substitution.
There s simply no time left for organizing economic sanctions: the forest cannot wait. It s time simply for european, japanese consumers to boycott everything brazilian. Their supermarket chains should at once give the first shot in the battle to eliminate this threat called Bolsonaro.

Posted by: augusto | Aug 23 2019 1:25 utc | 63

Posted by: O | Aug 22 2019 22:47 utc | 51
The trade war has made HK even more important to China: Did Trump plan the trade war to protect HK? Just a morsel to ponder for the colour revolution crowd.

Posted by: aspnaz | Aug 23 2019 1:38 utc | 64

It is peculiar that Hudson is now regarded as a Marxist. He is a very interesting, honest and intelligent guy but he seems to me to be committed to capitalism, which, given his background is understandable.

While he understands what must be done-private property must be abolished. He appears not to understand what the essence of Marx's revolutionary idea was, namely that the working class would be the agent of change and that this meant, above all, that it would rule democratically.
There is tendency to believe that the working class will simply deliver society into the hands of an enlightened and selfless leadership. That is not the case it will take power and use it, democratically.
That is why the Soviets were so important: they seemed to be novel, completely democratic organs of government, composed of delegates, constantly being replaced, acting transparently in full view of all. Similar revolutionary experiments, in the Commune of 1871 and in successive French Revolutions had pointed the way. Or so Marx thought.

The real problem that faces us is not control over the economy, we know how that can be made to work, but building democracy on the fly, as class consciousness explodes into social solidarity. We will have to look at forms of representation based upon random selection rather than election-insisting that every "cook" must rule and that to refuse to rule is a form of strikebreaking.

It used to be axiomatic among Trotskyists that capitalism could never return to Russia, because the workers would never give up their ownership of the economy. And they weren't wrong except that,in the Soviet Union, they never had that ownership in any but a formal legal sense.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 23 2019 1:40 utc | 65

Seems like the teachers and professors of the top schools in HK are entering the game:

Hong Kong protests: students from 10 universities and more than 100 secondary schools expected to join class boycott

The show will go on after September.

Meanwhile, they better be well equipped: I've just found the perfect Hong Kong protester's starter pack. Better those spoiled kids start asking their daddies an advance in their allowances.

Posted by: vk | Aug 23 2019 1:43 utc | 66

Marx was concerned with the struggle between the owners of productive assets and those who utilized those assets to create valuable products.

Few realize that neoliberalism (which relies on the capture of government and media) has allowed capitalist exploitation in ways that never dreamed of: strip-mining future generations via debt-funded government deficits, fracking society with identity politics, socializing corporate losses via bailouts and environmental destruction, and misallocation of resources via militarism/NWO adventurism.

Capitalist-friendly propaganda claim that the will of the market = the will of the people. As usual, they don't tell you the whole truth: the market is not 'complete' and therefore the price of extraction seems much less than it is.

Once the true costs of neoliberalism become apparent, the revolution begins.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23 2019 1:44 utc | 67

frances @63:

... [elites] do appear to be frightened it is very visible in the way they have taken the rants against Trump to a level that is manic.

There is propaganda messaging on both sides. They play on each other.

While the people bicker, the Deep State has a free hand. Where this is headed is as disturbing as it is predictable: the country unites because of war, or the discord grows until there are calls for a strongman/police state.

No one is buying Barr's diagnosis of "suicide."

LOL. But most aren't thinking it through, either. They are thinking he was killed, not switched with another body and extracted.

IMO a determination of "suicide" was necessary in order to dispose of the body. There really hasn't been any attempt to explain of how asphyxiation by leaning could cause multiple fractures in the neck.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23 2019 2:10 utc | 68

librul | Aug 22 2019 18:18 utc | 6

If Sanders has a plurality on the first ballot and the superdelegates line up with another candidate on the second ballot, imho a substantial minority of dem voters--maybe 20%--will stay home.

At the most optimistic, maybe it ends up in some permanent party split.

Posted by: sleepy | Aug 23 2019 2:27 utc | 69

In short, their lies dont work anymore. Therein lies the Hope. That is all..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 23 2019 2:35 utc | 70

The fears (plural) could be "simple":

1. One large part could be that they increasingly fear themselves or their peers both the more they understand about themselves and the context they work in (ie.: what they experience or themselves do) and simultaneously the more they realize that they do not understand and do not control.

2. Another large part could be a a growing suspicion or conviction that there are or must be unidentified "others" having a disconcerting level of impact or interference. Unavoidable when many different parts of one or several governments lie (thus making causality untraceable) to themselves and others both internally and externally. It should eventually make government impossible (and we might be beyond such a point).

Given enough time any unaddressed lies become established truths taught as fact and this would take a lot of effort and cost to correct if at all possible (or conceivable, I'm not convinced it can be conceived of). One has seen the same process several times in science when well-regarded papers and studies have years later been shown not to be reproducible (peer review process almost never includes reproduction considering the cost and complexity involved). On societal levels the challenges and ramifications are much larger.

Thus a story of "Russians" (or Chinese etc.) can become an easy sell no matter how thoroughly invalidated.

They could be in the middle of transitioning from the fear of utter collapse to fear of not understanding why there hasn't been a collapse already or why anything at all functions.

When societies are built upon aggregated lies both from the bottom up and from the top down all of this should be expected. When as many pieces of any surviving dirty laundry as possible is quarantined for 70 years before disappearing or being redacted one can't expect anything but misleading lies and when people are manipulated, conditioned, and bullied into playing along of course this means that these people lie both to their "superiors" and themselves and their friends. This affects everything.

No one can stop this. All one can do is to lie as little as possible but (at least as far as I can see) for most people (including me) their mundane everyday non-political and purely practical survival depends upon continued lying and playing along with it (at least to the extent of not making too many enemies). Truth might be an act of rebellion but what does that matter if it is also understood to be an act of suicide or suicide-murder?

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 23 2019 3:13 utc | 71

re: on Communism and Capitalism and the problem survival...

I dare to address this matter with simplistic thoughts, but sometimes simple is also fundamental.

Recall Stalin's "Communism in one country" and Trotsky's "Communism I must be spread/propagated everywhere" [my paraphrases].

Stalin "knew" that Communism was instantly recognized as a clear threat to the existence of ruling-class/elite persons everywhere such that Communist Russia was known as the absolute enemy of those ruling-classes/elites. Thus the only path forward was for Communism to be seen as non-threatening and just an isolated Russian experiment, else it be quickly overwhelmed and crushed.

Trotsky "knew" that Communism was that absolute enemy and all rulers/elites would instantly agree to fight-to-the-death any Communism anywhere, lest it get a foothold and spread like wildfire. The only path forward was to immediately spread as an international movement else it overwhelmed and crushed.

I daresay both views were accurate. They both "knew" the were right. there was no middle ground/compromise under which to unite. That foretold a bitter, unending, internal struggle.

Communism, as the way to Socialism, is still seen as existential threat to landlords, dynasties, kingdoms, queendoms and other assorted rentiers everywhere wealth/power is allowed to accumulate without limit.

It is only naturally so. Modern technologies, whether explosives or biological or electronic or chemical, etc, now approach planet-shattering scale.

What a stunning trap. Perhaps recognition that it is a trap offers a clue to a way out. After all, our current state of affairs might even
be seen as a succession of traps.

Consider: A very good trap is designed not to be recognized as a trap.
And a very good trapper must wear some other label.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 23 2019 3:23 utc | 72

Sorry the typos at 3:23 utc. Pls work thru them.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 23 2019 3:31 utc | 73

Galloway interview;

Posted by: ben | Aug 23 2019 3:46 utc | 74

How do we get that message through the massive number of distractions deliberately emplaced to ensure that doesn't occur? How can you hear the voice of the carnival barker over the noise of the rides?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 20:07 | 30 & others that followed...

THAT is the question for the ages! Sadly cognitive dissonance & normalcy bias make it very difficult to get through. They often need some misreported, jarring event with indisputable proof to contrary for them to see the "man behind the curtain". Until then they live in another paradigm, embrace a different (and flawed) narrative

In the mean-time "I give reason for the hope that is in me", sharing with those interested & walk in accordance with my beliefs and worldview such that my shining my light on the darkness comes from both word & deed

Posted by: xLemming | Aug 23 2019 3:47 utc | 75

Heard DJT wants to negate the Volker rule through executive order. Wonderful..

Posted by: ben | Aug 23 2019 4:02 utc | 76

re chu teh | Aug 23 2019 3:23 utc

An addendum:

Consider: A very good trap is designed not to be recognized as a trap.
And a very good trapper must wear some other label.

And any "leader" who shows others the way out out of the trap, better wear another label, as a very good trap tales care of such "leaders".

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 23 2019 4:04 utc | 77

"So, your "one note samba" is 100% on the mark. But as I asked earlier regarding a related issue, how do we implement the medicine? How do we overcome the forces of reaction that have so many levers of control without physically eliminating them?"
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2019 1:06 utc | 67

One only needs to take the/ a first step if one wants to change the existing order. If we're talking about asserting Public Control over banking then what better place to start than the banks which were bailed out with Public Money after the 2008 financial crisis?

All of the banks which haven't repaid the bailout money could be and should be Nationalised - tomorrow. The so-called Ratings Agencies which provided False and misleading upgraded risk assessments of the dud mortgages should also be closed down on the same day and their bosses tossed in the slammer where they'll remain until they are put on trial.

Other necessary reforms would quickly follow, driven by People Power and repudiation of 'reluctant' politicians...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 23 2019 4:47 utc | 78

Bernie continues to spew humanist values into the echosphere. And he isn't sugar coating with political aspartame either. This is a radical development even as I acknowledge that Sanders himself is not radical. I don't believe Sanders gets enough credit for re-introducing the idea.It's up to those who carry forth the idea en masse to re-make reality.

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 23 2019 5:00 utc | 79

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 22 2019 19:34 utc | 22

Thanks for your post, William. What does Marx say about subsistence farmers? Were Russian peasants subsistence farmers? They are certainly not capitalists, yet they (optimally, but often not in fact) "own" the means of their meagre production, yet they own no capital whatsoever. Even their current crop may be financed by borrowings against the future crop (which may yet be destroyed by flooding or drought) - I think the capitalists would say the "own" the crop (means of production) but have liabilities for the loan. Of course, this is really only a quibble over terminology.

Posted by: BM | Aug 23 2019 6:47 utc | 80

NASA Say The Amazon Is Burning At Below Average Rates - Yet Many News Stories Say Record Rates - Which Is It?

The answer is both. The Amazon rain-forest extends over several sub-regions one of which is named "Amazon". While fires in the "Amazon" sub-region are above the average seasonal number, fires in the other rain-forest sub-regions are below the average numbers.

Posted by: b | Aug 23 2019 12:05 utc | 81

As I predicted, HK's color revolution didn't spill to the Mainland:

HK chaos leaves mainland economy unscathed, inbound investment stable

Not only was the Mainland's economy "unscathed":

But analysts argued that the mainland will become even more attractive to foreign investors, as business conditions are set to improve through reform and opening-up measures and as other major economies, including in the US and Europe, are engulfed in their own economic and political chaos.

The HK protesters are shooting themselves on the foot. They can't achieve a military victory because, contrary to countries like Brazil and Ukraine, USA's infiltration in China is very low (reduced to embassies and universities), which rules out unconventional warfare as per the TC-18-01.

The only part that loses with this situation is the Hongkonger capitalist (native) elite -- that's why Carrie Lam is desperate and almost cried in one recent speech. But this is a problem for the protesters themselves, who are liberals and seek to establish a perpetually capitalist HK. Hence HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of East Asia speak up against violence, call for peace in HK; hence a op-ed from the SCMP fears this is the end of HK as we know it. It can't come sooner.


@ Posted by: b | Aug 23 2019 12:05 utc | 81

Yes, this is exactly the case.

The fires happened mainly in the region of the State of Rondônia, which borders the Amazon Rainforest and the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna). It is the southernmost part of Amazon Rainforest.

It's offically at the region called "Legal Amazon" (a Brazilian government division). However, satellite images clearly show the fires begun at the northern part of Rondônia (which is, beyond doubt, the Amazon Rainforest) and spread northwards, reaching the southern part of the State of Amazonas (which is 100% Amazon Rainforest, as the name of the State suggests).

Posted by: vk | Aug 23 2019 12:37 utc | 82

A thoughtful observation, nominally about guns and shooting crimes, but applicable to conflict, stabbings, sticks and stones, and discord generally. Also obvious...

Searchterm> "Florida = Honduras: Inequality kills
Want to end the American shooting epidemic?"

Since it is obvious, and also not addressed by our Master Classes, it follows logically that the violence is desirable in the view of the MC.

Of course they use this to divide the working class along the line of incipient fracture, race, education, and so on. And also, probably more importantly, to de-legitimized private firearms and to restrict this nominal right to a minority...thus increasing violence in a well operating policy of discord, division, and disarmament of select classes.

Neat-O! What could go wrong?

Posted by: Walter | Aug 23 2019 12:59 utc | 83

ben @74

Thanks. Very informative.

Hedges interviews Galloway.

Galloway talks about "apparent" populism - which I have termed faux populism - and partisan astro-turfed "resistance".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23 2019 13:05 utc | 84

China announces tit for tat tariffs as yuan sinks to new low against the dollar.

Also sinking is Trump's popularity among US voters. AP has him at 36% approval versus 62% disapproval. Remarkably, Trump's highest mark of 46% approval is for his handling of the economy.

A no deal Brexit which Trump supports is just the thing to set off a recession in the EU which spreads to Asia and the US.

What will his approval rating be then?

Posted by: donkeytale | Aug 23 2019 13:43 utc | 86

Wrong configuration from the last post (#85). I politely ask the administer to delete it.

From the NYT:

China to Raise Tariffs on $75 Billion in U.S. Goods

The interesting part is the sub-headline:

The plan to retaliate against President Trump’s tariffs suggests that neither side in the trade war is prepared to back down.

I doubted this theory for a very long time, but now I'm beginning to believe it: Americans really don't think they are responsible for the politicians they elect. They expect the rest of the world to interpret any wrongdoings of their country as individual flaws of random politicians. They expect the rest of the world to swallow the abuses by their POTUS under the idea that they will elect another one the next election cycle. They expect the rest of the world to be suportive, loyal and patient with their contry forever.

From the same flaw the western MSM must suffer: did the NYT really expected China would just treat Trump like a child, wait for him to lose the 2020 election and suddenly make amends with the USA? Did it really think this trade war was just a bad taste joke? Did it really think China would just cave in in order to "defend globalisation"? Do they really think of America as some kind of transcendental, abstract idea, and not a concrete entity made of real human beings? Are they really that dense?

Posted by: vk | Aug 23 2019 13:47 utc | 87

Global opposition to the Hegemon is not cohesive, no matter how hard the Hegemon bullies the rest of the world. It just seems that countries are all too easily bullied and seduced. Solidarity has been mentioned several times. Countries, like oppressed classes, need to have real solidarity if they are to push off the boot heel of the Hegemon. So far such solidarity has been barely there. Russia and China, in particular, seem to be using countries like Iran and Venezuela as bargaining chips. They support the sovereignty of such countries againsts Hegemonic bullying just enough to encourage the Hegemon to make deals, deals in which Iran, Venezuela, Syria, Palestine, etc., presumably get thrown under the bus.

Let see what happens with the super tanker in the Mediterranean. The US is making noises that make it sound like the US intends to grab that vessel. It's high time that Russia and China speak up about this, making it clear that such a seisure won't be tolerated and that non-UN sanctions do not have global legitimacy. Will they do this? No. What is more likely is that they might press Iran very hard to surrender the oil in some way or another, to definitely not take it to Syria.

Posted by: paul | Aug 23 2019 14:05 utc | 88

Epstein. 1/2.

Daily Mail photos once again .. (the only ones available?)

Pix were taken by W. Farrington, who refused to discuss them when called by a ‘polite’ investigator and hung up...One by Probe-Media, one by Reuters, of X, supposedly Epstein, taken to the Presbyterian Hospital in Lower Manhattan (= hosp) from the MCC, and then, deceased, away in some manner.

Photos numbered in order of DM presentation.

Side entrance *A* of hosp.

1. X is on a gurney being wheeled along inwards. Capman (man closest to cam) carries a bag. One FDNY medic and one NYP emergency medic, woman, seem to be pushing gurney along. X’s mug: partial head in profile.

2. The same FDNY medic is present, Capman is again front and seems to watch, the woman from NYP has gone, and another man (FDNY I guess?) is present. They appear to be doing some ‘emergency’ procedures on X, a partial face side visible.

5. Another event: there are screens up, the DM states the METT van pictured was for removing the body. (For a dead person, one has time for screens.) Capman is not present, and the 2 ppl pictured are ‘new’, I could not find/identify them.

Side entrance *B* of hosp.

3. X in a body bag and is being carried out (not wheeled) on a wooden (?) support. Capman is present at left, has ditched the bag and acquired a backpack. The man at the back lifting the support - Pigtailbro, can be seen in many photos of the hosp, he is a long time employee. (type ‘name of hosp emergency’ in image search - generally he doesn’t have a beard.)

4. Seconds between 3 and 4. Body bag being loaded into a black SUV labelled Forensic Operations. Capman is front stage, the support and the body bag are the same, the guy at back is Pigtailbro.

X left the hosp. deceased in 2 ways - Black SUV Forensics and or White METT van. The 2 photo sets are linked by the presence of Capman, who has no clear identifying insigna. He has a gun, a cell phone (back pocket), and wears a bullet-proof vest. Who was he?


Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23 2019 14:31 utc | 89

A one-line comment: must read

Posted by: Mina | Aug 23 2019 14:32 utc | 90

Epstein 2/2

1, 2. In almost the same spot, and at almost the same time (an injured person being brought into hosp..) X is treated with some emergency procedures in one photo, but not the other. No. That is staged/faked.

The face is not Epstein’s. Watch vid from 3.04 on biggest screen, it is obvious, one does not even need the ‘demonstration’, in fact better without! (ignore rest of vid.)

X is missing his lower body. Epstein was 6 feet tall, solid, muscular, well built and well fed. Look to the left, the space that his hips and legs should occupy. In 2. we see X’s stomach and that he is wearing orange draw-string pants. Allegedly, the jail garb was grey (confirmed by pix of El Chapo in that jail), not orange. The positioning of the arms, one outside the gurney is very strange.

3, 4.

Would a body from the hospital be put in a body bag to go somewhere for autopsy? (Not the practice where I live.) Would the body be lifted and carried on a support or some such from the room where the patient died to the vehicle that will transport him? Never. A wheeled contraption would be used. (The excuse of make-do because of urgency does not hold for a corpse.) This looks a bit like a ‘divert the press op’ - note who took the pix. Pigtailbro looks stressed. Lastly, Epstein was tall, large, heavy, this body bag and the posture(s) of the carriers don’t sit well with me, it all looks like they might be carrying 30 kgs.

Other confirmation of Epstein presence in hosp: none.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23 2019 14:38 utc | 91

Epstein / addendum / officialdom

death certificate, scroll down. signed by Kristin Roman. The place of death is Emergency Dpt. /at/ hosp. A Barbara Sampson did the autopsy, allegedly. Epstein was not domiciled in the USA, but in the Virgin Islands. (See also his will which was lodged there.)

Daily Mail

Letter from MCC jail warden + responses.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23 2019 14:41 utc | 92

Zero Hedge posted a rather amusing graph of a ...

* * 'Fragility Index of Countries' * *

Brought to you by the "Fund for Peace" (that must be one of our gazillion NGO's, Hail Hydra, you cut off one head and two more emerge).
Syria - Dark Crimson Red
Iran / Venezuela - Menacing orange.
Russia / China - Flashing yellow.

Now the good guys:
F.U.K.U.S. - Dark healthy green, along with Japan / S. Korea.
Canada / Australia - pleasant blue.

Good grief, a Neocon's wet dream. Shouldn't the U.S. be at least an Orange because of the evil Russian coup that installed Donald Trump?

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Aug 23 2019 16:10 utc | 94

France has opened a case against Epstein after 10 plaintiffs came forward.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 23 2019 16:41 utc | 95

The trade war has made HK even more important to China: Did Trump plan the trade war to protect HK? Just a morsel to ponder for the colour revolution crowd.

Posted by: aspnaz | Aug 23 2019 1:38 utc | 64

This supposed trade war with China is some fake ass nonsense. It just an excuse to raise prices at your local Wal-Mart and Dollar General. If an actual trade war was happening the majority of stores' shelves across America would be empty.

Posted by: O | Aug 23 2019 16:54 utc | 96

Uncle Jon | Aug 23 2019 0:34 utc | 58--

While still in the clutches of academia taking post-grad seminars, Ahmed Rashid's massively important book Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia was published in 2000, which also led me to examine his earlier, 1994, work The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism?. Already knowing how badly destabilized Russia was and of the CIA strategy to use the "Nationalities Question" to further destabilize Central Asia to eliminate Russia's longstanding influence in the region, Rashid's info was added to other known longstanding CIA connections to the region's drug trade to reach a tentative conclusion as to the Outlaw US Empire's intentions. Also considered was the rapid rise of China and ASEAN nations and the Empire's desire to dominate and control their growth as they emerged from the contrived 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Sure, there was intrigue surrounding the potential pipeline, but far more important factors were also in play, particularly the narco-aspect given its many years as a CIA asset. Also recall the plans were already laid and approved to invade Afghanistan prior to 911 since the Taliban's refusal to cooperate was proven well enough, the "carpet of bombs" threat having zero effect. Also to consider are Afghanistan's mineral resources, particularly rare earths, that are worth far more than the hydrocarbon transit. Add in the newly minted Outlaw US Empire Full Spectrum Domination doctrine and requisite hubris after the subduing of Yugoslavia then Serbia, and doing Afghanistan for the Imperialists was a no-brainer--and this was Clinton/Gore not Bush/Cheney. Lastly, the overwhelming desire of the still dominant Cold Warriors to dismantle Russia remained ascendant and they saw the sort of opening long desired and now eminently possible to obtain. Bingo! The Outlaw US Empire's still there after essentially 20 years. It's geopolitical aims will keep it there as long as it can.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2019 16:58 utc | 97

KSA secures Yemeni oil with their usual clients

Posted by: Mina | Aug 23 2019 17:07 utc | 98

@ Posted by: bevin | Aug 23 2019 1:40 utc | 65

> It is peculiar that Hudson is now regarded as a Marxist. He is a very interesting, honest and intelligent guy but he seems
> to me to be committed to capitalism, which, given his background is understandable.

If memory serves, Hudson actually openly describes himself as a Marxist. It's just not something he emphasizes. I'm fairly certain (been a few months now) that he mentions it in ...And Forgive Them Their Debts.

Posted by: AshenLight | Aug 23 2019 17:11 utc | 99

@ karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 23:23 utc | 50
@ karlof1 | Aug 23 2019 1:06 utc | 60

Will have to return to your comment to finish reading but wish to note:
The best narrative of where Karl Marx developed his thinking is found in Gareth Stedman Jones' Karl Marx, Greatness and Illusion ISBN given above @ #37. Look to the French Revolution 1789 for both: the genesis of socialism and later communism as a specific form of socialism as a guise of republicanism; the aversion to and terror of socialism generated throughout Europe as an antidote to and protection from republican revolutions. It was a critique of political economics from one of Karl's writers that ignited his interest in exploring, assessing and developing his views although strong impetus came from the labour unrest of the late 1840's from which his Communist Manifesto emerged. Like the later John Maynard Keynes, someday Karl Marx will be read and understood for what they did write (but don't be going and holding your breath).

@ 60 So, your "one note samba" is 100% on the mark.
Don't fall for repetition making something true, all you do is make a fool of oneself. When you can factually produce any bank that has arbitraged labour outside the bank itself, then and only then is there any chance that what you are promulgating might hold water. Beware of academic economic pooh-bahs pushing theories leading you down the garden path. Most require a good sharp razor being used on their tomes when they start offering prescriptions on how to solve their chosen issue. At that point their offerings become the southern leavings of a north-bound bull. A minority report.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 23 2019 17:48 utc | 100

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