Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 25, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-50

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

The black block in Hong Kong, which consists of just a few hundred youth, is now back at rioting. Subway stations get vandalized and people pushed off the trains that the rioters use to ferry from one flash mob incident to the next one. Bricks and Molotov cocktails are thrown at police lines. Some protesters use baseball bats against the police, others have handguns. Today the police, for the first time, deployed water cannon trucks. One policeman fired a warning shot against the increasingly brutal mob. It is only of question of time until the first person gets killed.

The allegedly "leaderless" protesters even have a Dummy Guide for frontline rioters.

Miles Kwok aka Guo Wengui is a disgruntled Chinese oligarch. He is one of the men who finances the Hong Kong protests. Here he appears with Steve Bannon Miles Kwok & Mr Bannon: The 5 principles on Hong Kong’s matter (vid). But the NYT still claims that the nativist protesters' use of Pepe the frog is not a sign of alt-right influence.

Joshua Wong, one of the U.S. coddled students, compares the situation with 2014 Maidan riots in Ukraine. He is right in more ways than he says.

Khan Shaykhun and all surrounding villages are now liberated. There was little resistance left as most of the Jihadis had slipped out of the encirclement before it closed. The Syrian army is now concentrating forces to go further north towards Maarat al-Numan. The preparing bombing campaign is ongoing.

Last night Israel bombed a Hezbullah workshop south of Damascus. Three Hizbullah engineers were killed and two were wounded. Additionally an Israeli short-range drone landed on Hizbullah's media office in Beirut, Lebanon. A second drone, probably sent to destroy the first one, appeared and exploded. No one was hurt. The drone operators must have been relatively nearby, most likely on some boat off Beirut.

Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah addressed Israel in his July 12 speech: "You kill one of our own in Syria and we will respond and respond from Lebanon." Nasrallah, who tends to hold his promises, is due to speak today at 17:00 local time. Expect some fireworks ...

Maj. Danny Sjursen: We're Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria - TruthDig

Elijah Magnier reports that Israel is most likely behind this: Who is Behind Blowing up Ammunition Warehouses in Iraq? Iran is the Target. I still have my doubts about that.

The text of Mark Carney's Jackson Hole speech: The Growing Challenges for Monetary Policy in the current International Monetary and Financial System

Other issues:

Epstein:

Whitney Webb published another of her amazing pieces about the Epstein case: From “Spook Air” to the “Lolita Express”: The Genesis and Evolution of the Jeffrey Epstein-Bill Clinton Relationship - Mintpress News

Prof. Micheal Brenner looks into the lack of #MeToo outrage about the Epstein case: The Missing Howls of Denunciation Over Major Sex Trafficking - Consortiumnews - My take: It's an obvious class issues. The #MeToo establishment does not care about working class kids and women.

A Dead Cat, A Lawyer's Call And A 5-Figure Donation: How Media Fell Short On Epstein - NPR

Yemen:

The UAE supported southern separatists in South Yemen are not welcome outside of Aden. Some southern tribes mobilized against them as well as against the Saudis and the Houthi. The war to start all wars: Inside Yemen’s troubled south - Independent

Afghanistan:

There are no Afghan peace negotiations. There are peace negotiations between the U.S. and the (U.S. created) Taliban who will continue to fight against the (U.S. installed) government even while the U.S. wants the Taliban to fight the (U.S. installed) ISIS in Afghanistan. Robert Fisk: A century after the Anglo-Afghan peace treaty, the Fourth Afghan War is about to escalate - Independent

G-7:

The real G7, measured by nominal GDP, are: 1. USA, 2. China, 3 Japan, 4. Germany, 5. UK, 6. France, 7.India.  When measured by GDP in Purchase Power Parity the list is different: 1. China, 2. USA, 3. India, 4. Japan, 5. Germany, 6. Russia, 7. Indonesia. At the G7 meeting in France today are the USA (2nd), Japan (4th), Germany (5th), UK (9th), France (10th), Italy (12th) and Canada (17th).  Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif just arrived in Biarritz where the G-7 is holding their meeting. He will probably talk with Trump.

Media:

Who is providing your news? 15 Former Spooks Who Work At CNN And MSNBC Now -Daily Caller

Music:

Led Zeppelin cover by a Balalaika group: Stairway To Heaven (vid)

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on August 25, 2019 at 13:51 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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karlof1 | Aug 29 2019 18:57 utc | 296:

Gabbard explains why she's out of the debates. Unfortunately, she's incorrect about the DNC not being able to pick whomever it wants as nominee since the most recent court decision said it has the ability to do exactly that.

"Ultimately the people will decide" she says, singing from the Democracy Works! hymnal. Then she meekly decries a "lack of transparency" in her best laid-back sing-song voice. Aloha!

Such a lack of passion for someone that we are told resigned from a senior position at the DNC to protest collusion against Sanders. She doesn't even bring that up in this interview. Probably because her resignation wasn't about principle but about political positioning (who was guiding her?).

As I said several weeks ago, Gabbard deliberately blew her chance to attack Biden on her core issue of regime-change war, choosing to attacked Kamala instead - an act which helped Biden.

No doubt the hopium will now move into a new dimension of pitifulness as Gabbard supporters will tell us to STFU because Biden could pick Tulsi as a VP candidate (the logic: he needs a colorful woman on the ticket and he's not getting along well with Kamala). But why would he pick her when she's done so poorly? And why should we hope that she would accept a role as Biden's VP when Biden has been central to the war-making that she/we opposes?

If your head is spinning, it's because she was always a fake, inconsequential candidate with a few meek objections to war. The duopoly exists to play us and Gabbard's candidacy is designed to snuff out any real anti-war Movement.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 30 2019 1:24 utc | 301

@aye, myself & me #297
The problem I have with technotopians - i.e. those who think technology is the path to utopia - is that technology has nothing to do with it.
Technology generally increases productivity, true.
However, the class struggle is never about increasing productivity - it is about who captures how much of it.
The reason why so many people are dissatisfied in the US and EU isn't because they're poor in an absolute sense.
The argument that smart, rich people make is that even the poor in the US and EU are way better off than middle classes in poor countries.
But this is a false argument, because the issue isn't about absolute standards compared to the worst in the world - it is about relative standards where you live. The 1% have captured almost all of the economic gains - which generally parallel productivity increases plus population growth - in the past 3 decades.
In contrast, the share captured by the 99% from the 1940s to the 1960s was a lot more proportional; the 1% still captured a relatively large share, but they didn't get all or even most of it.
Technology isn't going to solve this problem of who gets what. Even if the technology utopia of zero cost goods and infinite "wealth" were ever realized - which is never given ecological considerations - there would still be ways by which the 1% would attempt to seize everything else of value in order to differentiate from the rest (and each other). All you have to see in order to understand that, is to look closely at the incredibly picayune and obscure ways by which really rich people compete with each other.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 30 2019 1:29 utc | 302

Somebody in The Jimmy Dore Show's live chat has posted a link to a great 2017 documentary by PressTV Documentaries: The Tragedy of Russia’s Reforms (49:23). I'm shocked that it only has some 3,000 views as it is an excellent introduction to the Rape of Russia, featuring exclusive interviews with such people as the head of Yeltsin's security Aleksandr Korzhakov, Alfa Bank co-owner and 90s oligarch Pyotr Aven, the leader of the Yabloko party and the author of the alternative USSR economic reform plan Grigoriy Yavlinskiy, as well as ordinary Russian citizens. Recommended even for those who are familiar with the topic.

Posted by: S | Aug 30 2019 1:39 utc | 303

@ c1ue # 305

"The problem I have with technotopians - i.e. those who think technology is the path to utopia - is that technology has nothing to do with it."

Thanks, appreciate your reply and i agree with you technology alone can't produce utopia of any kind. However, a lack for a need of lawyers and politicians would certainly lead in the direction of utopia, wouldn't it?

"Technology generally increases productivity, true.
However, the class struggle is never about increasing productivity - it is about who captures how much of it.
The reason why so many people are dissatisfied in the US and EU isn't because they're poor in an absolute sense.
The argument that smart, rich people make is that even the poor in the US and EU are way better off than middle classes in poor countries.
But this is a false argument, because the issue isn't about absolute standards compared to the worst in the world - it is about relative standards where you live. The 1% have captured almost all of the economic gains - which generally parallel productivity increases plus population growth - in the past 3 decades.
In contrast, the share captured by the 99% from the 1940s to the 1960s was a lot more proportional; the 1% still captured a relatively large share, but they didn't get all or even most of it."

No money and no bartering = no value of any kind. Nothing would hold value anymore. The 1% would be apart of the 99% overnight. A riches to rags story. Once the rich realize their predicament anger followed by resignation and suicides for some.

The transition for everyone, especially americans would be horrendous, way worse than the worst predictions of the upcoming recession, but it's necessary, if we're gonna save this planet for another generation, or two.

"Technology isn't going to solve this problem of who gets what. Even if the technology utopia of zero cost goods and infinite "wealth" were ever realized - which is never given ecological considerations - there would still be ways by which the 1% would attempt to seize everything else of value in order to differentiate from the rest (and each other). All you have to see in order to understand that, is to look closely at the incredibly picayune and obscure ways by which really rich people compete with each other.[My Emphasis]"

What's to seize when nothing has value? T'would be a completely different world entirely, to the one we entertain now and for centuries in the past, but in today's incredibly populated one it would seem like the best one to adopt for many reasons.

Saddens me a little that Jen has never looked into it, but then i've never looked into batteries as a medium for money, so we're even. I've received her recommendation of Hail Satan? in the mail, but haven't yet watched it, but soon, very soon.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Aug 30 2019 2:08 utc | 304

The bad news: Dorian is projected to be barreling towards Florida.

The good news: Mar-a-lago is in the path of the storm as well as a bunch of other Trump properties.

Oh dear.

🤣🤣🤣

Posted by: Circe | Aug 30 2019 2:34 utc | 305

...
If your head is spinning, it's because (Gabbard) was always a fake, inconsequential candidate with a few meek objections to war. The duopoly exists to play us and Gabbard's candidacy is designed to snuff out any real anti-war Movement.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 30 2019 1:24 utc | 304

I can understand why karlof1 thought she was a worthwhile candidate. Imo she's probably realised that Trump's promise to end the endless wars seems to be bearing fruit. i.e. defusing NK & Russia as AmeriKKKa's favourite fake enemies PLUS half-defusing Iran as "Israel's" favourite fake enemy.

At 38, she's a bit 'too young' to be POTUS but she's discovered that she can drum up a support base and is no longer an unknown candidate. Trump will wipe the floor with Sleepy Joe and Pocahontas so she's (sensibly) decided to watch that debacle from a safe distance, as a spectator.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 30 2019 3:11 utc | 306

Golly gee whiz! We should all bow down and grovel at the paws of the Omniscient Jackrabbit! FOAD!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 30 2019 4:31 utc | 307

@278 Formerly T-Bear

In the Western model, there is an (arbitrary) originator of money and credit. There is a point 0 from which money and credit radiates out towards the periphery.

This money and credit is enforced by law. (You may barter your house or your car, but the enforcer will assign a monetary value to the transaction and levy a fee, a tax, a license)

The enforcer overspends perpetually.

Hence, the enforcer must progressively generate more income for itself.

In order to generate more income, the enforcer must create legislation.

Legislation manifests in the form of taxes, levies, licenses, fees, dues, or contributions.

This is not, however, a linear dynamic. Spending money upon which interest is owed, is a compounding dynamic.

A compounding dynamic eventually goes critical.

Hence the reason USA's debt has doubled between 2008 and 2016 for example.

-----

At the outset, this model seems to work rather well. Ergo, at the outset, eventually:

Ic = NWD

And, for a time, it may even progress to:

ic > NWD

So, for a time there may well be even:

Sa

Due to perpetual overspending however, as the demands of the enforcer increase:

Ic gradually < NWD

And

Sa gradually become debt.

As this dynamic develops:

C and Ld are gradually transferred from the periphery towards the center of the system.

Whilst this happens, Lr succumbs to an increased cost of living and Ep are forced to migrate towards more friendly fiscal regions (offshoring = Ofs?)

As debt increases:

Fiscal income for the enforcer decreases

Which begats increased legislation for the purpose of increasing fiscal income.

Which begats more debt for Lb and more Ofs

Rinse repeat.

And we arrive at today.

Posted by: guidoamm | Aug 30 2019 4:35 utc | 308

@299 Karlof 1

Indeed, there have been and are instances where communities come together to create their own means of exchange.

The state will however intervene if these schemes become too widespread.

In this regard, the case of Bernard Von Nothaus in the USA is instructive as is the legal developments around blockchain in the form of cryptocurrencies.

When a center of power is perpetually broke, it can only hope to push back in time the moment that the entire nation is broke.

This is an arithmetical identity.

Pushing back in time the event horizon is made easier if you can export your monetary policy.

Eventually however, chickens will come home to roost. The outcome is dialed in. The only variable is time.

Posted by: guidoamm | Aug 30 2019 4:43 utc | 309

karlof1 @310: FOAD

Here's Caitlin Johnstone decrying the pleasantness that Gabbard offers in response to her having been shafted:

If progressives want to have a chance they’re going to have to fight with extreme aggression; calls for politeness and civility are always anti-populist in nature and serve no one but the establishment.

I would only add this: progressives will have to turn to Movements, because the duopoly Parties are a dead end.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 30 2019 5:24 utc | 310

I guess I'd better add that the Caitlin Johnston quote is pulled from a post that she did that discusses the progressive vs establishment conflict within the Democratic Party. Caitlin was not responding specifically to Gabbard's being shafted but her point about "politeness and civility" is relevant to Gabbard's meek reaction.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 30 2019 5:28 utc | 311

@ guidoamm | Aug 30 2019 4:35 utc | 311

Maybe it should be pointed out that observation made # 278 was a definition of economics, the core of it. Nowhere is there an indication that it is capitalist, nor is there a tag for socialism, it is straight on economic process. All other matters concern various processes that support, enhance, make efficient, make effective those core processes. That was what was being addressed in your just prior comment @ # 277. When it comes down to the bottom line, both Capitalism as well as Socialism are political wooden nickels the population has been given in return for surrendering political power decisions, the handful of magic beans Jack (and Jill) have been given for their milch cow. Perhaps the cleansing of words, terms and concepts would benefit from a similar treatment, arriving at a condition where economic communications are not hindered by defaced and politically blemished verbal currency.

Tokens (currency) were developed as a solution to the problem of Economic Goods (EG) to a population sufficiently large that intimate knowledge of an individual's NWD became impossible. Quite quickly a value was placed upon such tokens and money was born. At first tokens used various grades of hard to find or produce commodities to accommodate various value which automatically was associated with those commodities used as tokens, counterfeiting was made difficult if not unprofitable this way - hard to profit if the gold you get costs more than it will acquire, though some tried, brave souls. The superstructures of banking, credit, debt, bookkeeping and accounting all have been built upon the token and its management so should there be a problem, it is likely within some superstructure and not in the system itself. Just be mighty careful of what edifice gets destroyed.

One could go on in this manner and cover the balance of your comment but methinks you've gotten the idea and should not be bored by further critique and the expenditure of time it entails for all. A thoughtful comment nonetheless.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 30 2019 5:50 utc | 312

Aye, Myself @ Me @ 307:

Even in societies where technology is simple and emphasises Swiss-Army-knife capabilities in each and every tool, as in hunter-gatherer societies, people still need to exchange food and favours, necessitating agreement on some medium of exchange, and still need leaders (politicians) and mediators (lawyers) who know the rules and traditions of their society. Human societies would not be able to function otherwise if some people do not lead in particular situations and potential conflicts between individuals or between groups can't be resolved by someone or a third-party group acting as mediator to remind adversarial parties of how to deal with problems.

The issue is that we need to be able to understand or imagine that societies where social hierarchies don't exist't, people don't exploit one another, and the creation of money or its equivalent does not depend on people going into debt to creditors could exist despite written histories going back centuries averring the opposite. As the cliche goes, history is written by winners and we can always expect winners to justify their actions, thinking and values no matter how repugnant or unique to their society such thinking and values might actually be.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 30 2019 11:31 utc | 313

@aye, myself & me #307
You said:

a lack for a need of lawyers and politicians would certainly lead in the direction of utopia, wouldn't it?

As Jen #316 noted above, lawyers ultimately exist because of laws being intrinsically imperfect. Technology doesn't change this - in fact, it makes it worse. For example - blockchain advocates say that "smart contracts" will remove the need for lawyers; that code which stipulates criteria and executes outcome will fix everything.
Yet there is a trillion dollar criminal economy that exists solely due to the limitations of computer programming - a significant fraction which consists of broken blockchain protocols and programming oversights that have led to billions of dollars of cryptocurrency being stolen.
Lawyers exist because contracts can never be fully spelled out to handle all possible situations past, present and future - nor made foolproof such that smart, ruthless people can never find some way to get around stipulations. The American judicial system has been attempting to do that for its entire existence - and contracts continue to evolve despite a tradition of precedent. If the American system still sees major disagreements over the Constitution - written 200+ years ago and legally interpreted ever since, I don't see how changing the format to code makes any difference whatsoever.
As for politicians: they exist because of democracy. There were no politicians under feudalism aka monarchies, nor were there politicians in the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam or other communist governments.

No money and no bartering = no value of any kind. Nothing would hold value anymore. The 1% would be apart of the 99% overnight. A riches to rags story. Once the rich realize their predicament anger followed by resignation and suicides for some.

The transition for everyone, especially americans would be horrendous, way worse than the worst predictions of the upcoming recession, but it's necessary, if we're gonna save this planet for another generation, or two.

What's to seize when nothing has value? T'would be a completely different world entirely, to the one we entertain now and for centuries in the past, but in today's incredibly populated one it would seem like the best one to adopt for many reasons.


This is a semantic argument which fails even the most basic test. Anything which anyone requires to live has value. Anything that has value will engender conflict over who gets what and how much.
But even more importantly, modern society exists because the collective energy and wealth of a population is mustered to create that which any individual, or even small group, cannot. From dams and canals for irrigation and transport - the origin of "government" - to electrical grids, communication grids, transport grids, national defense, research, law enforcement, etc etc - destruction of "value" as you term it also means the destruction of 200+ years of progress.
So you're right that Americans would suffer mightily - a huge percent would die much as Europeans, Asians and all 1st and 2nd world nations suffer. Given that, I don't see this program ever getting enacted except through an "I am Legend" type disease scenario (i.e. apocalypse).
The problem isn't modern living - the problem is that concentration of power attracts bastards/sociopaths more than anything else.
You're proposing to kill the goose to solve the problem, and to thereby kill the golden eggs of civilization in the process.
I don't agree that's the only solution.
Personally, I see society as Lamarckian - and as such, something that evolves over time in an Eastern Yin vs. Yang type dichotomy. Only the dichotomy isn't the "female" vs. "male" but "selfish" vs. "communalist".
Too much selfish you end up with South America or Mogadishu. Too much communalist and you end up as ants or worker bees.
Today, we've gone very far down the path of "selfish" in the US.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 30 2019 14:13 utc | 314

@ Jen #317

"The issue is that we need to be able to understand or imagine that societies where social hierarchies don't exist't, people don't exploit one another, and the creation of money or its equivalent does not depend on people going into debt to creditors could exist despite written histories going back centuries averring the opposite.

Thanks for taking your time to reply.

If you have money you'll have debt Jen. They go together like birth and death. No money, no need for debt. The only reason you need lawyers and politicians is for our myriad of laws, which with no currencies including bartering there'd be no need for intermediaries down the road, once civilization settles down to the idea that world peace ain't such a bad idea after all. No doubt such a transition, if it were ever to occur would take at least a generation, or two to adopt to it, if even then.

@ c1ue # 318

"Yet there is a trillion dollar criminal economy that exists solely due to the limitations of computer programming...

"Lawyers exist because contracts can never be fully spelled out to handle all possible situations past, present and future - nor made foolproof such that smart, ruthless people can never find some way to get around stipulations.

"As for politicians: they exist because of democracy. There were no politicians under feudalism aka monarchies, nor were there politicians in the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam or other communist governments.

Thank you also for taking your time to reply, c1ue.

There'd be much less criminality, if there's nothing of value you could steal and therefore no medium that could 'buy' you anything you desired the desire to steal would lose it's appeal. Whatever you 'desired' you'd borrow, other than food, water and personal necessities, like everyone else. No need for lawyers, because contracts would be obsolete! No need for politicians, because without currency, nor contracts, nor most regulations put into place, there'd be no need for folly, only a very focused endeavor to make life worth thriving for, for the whole, not just a small portion.

"This is a semantic argument which fails even the most basic test. Anything which anyone requires to live has value. Anything that has value will engender conflict over who gets what and how much.

Semantics yes, very much so and a theory that's likely to never see the light of day, but i don't believe it fails the most basic test any more than the debacle humanity's had to put up with thru various monetary systems. Currency was needed then, but with our technologies today, not so much, only a desire to cling precedent and mostly then for our top ten percenters.

"The problem isn't modern living - the problem is that concentration of power attracts bastards/sociopaths more than anything else.
You're proposing to kill the goose to solve the problem, and to thereby kill the golden eggs of civilization in the process.
I don't agree that's the only solution."

The only reason you have power is you have money. We all know the golden rule, whoever has the most gold, rules. However, gold wouldn't have any more value than lead, which wouldn't hold any value at all, nor would food, or water as they're all substances that we'd share collectively. We wouldn't have to shed mankind's achievements, only his misconceptions.

No, not the only solution i'm sure, but it seems to me the most humane one i've ever come across.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Aug 30 2019 18:05 utc | 315

Probably not a good idea to allow China to criminalize free speech and extradite anyone who criticizes the Chinese Government from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan place where outsiders are welcome. China is the opposite. The Han Chinese are repressing indigenous groups, not to mention the Tibet situation.
Twenty years ago I ask a lady with vast experience in China if I should open a business there. She told me to avoid it like the plague because I would be treated badly in a number of ways.
Then there's the new Social Credit system they use to discriminate against dissent. Their justice system is totally corrupt.
Hong Kong will eventually be fully integrated with China. I see no reason to accelerate this.

Posted by: Rabbit | Aug 30 2019 20:08 utc | 316

T - Bear

Are we talking at cross purposes?

Your first reply to me was rather snide.

I am not concerned with Capitalism, Socialism or Communism. I am concerned with the distribution of wealth.

It however seems to me that people more readily bash what they perceive is Capitalism without understanding the definition of same.

If we agree that the distribution of wealth, ergo, the right to private property, is a desirable feature of a society, Capitalism would be a desirable construct to adhere to.

In the West today, Capitalism does not exist anywhere and has not existed since the centralization of monetary policy.

At any rate.

On an arithmetical basis, Capitalism is incompatible with a centralized power structure and it is most certainly incompatible with a centralized power structure that is subordinate to a centralized monetary authority that levies interest.

Posted by: guidoamm | Aug 31 2019 4:39 utc | 317

C1ue @ 317:

'... Personally, I see society as Lamarckian - and as such, something that evolves over time in an Eastern Yin vs. Yang type dichotomy. Only the dichotomy isn't the "female" vs. "male" but "selfish" vs. "communalist" ...'

I think the terms you are after are "individualist" (for "selfish") and "collectivist" (for "communalist").

Even then, societies that purport to uphold the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of the individual need some collective agreement to do so; and societies that are collectivist to some extent need also to respect essential individual rights and freedoms to function, otherwise they become police states.

It seems significant that societies that adopted neoliberal economic policies in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Chile under Augusto Pinochet, and Britain under Margaret Thatcher, actually became less free with respect to individual political freedoms and rights (such as free speech, free assembly, free education and healthcare) and relied on brute force to push through legislation that the public was hostile to, because this legislation was fundamentally hostile to the public interest, or the interests of the majority of people in those societies.

The gist is that every society needs to find its own balance between the rights, freedoms, needs and responsibilities of individuals vis-a-vis those of collectives, and to ensure that whichever set dominates (those of individuals or those of collectives) can't be hijacked and abused by a particular group in the society for its own pleasure at the expense of individuals and the collective alike.

Contrary to what Aye, Myself & Me says, this is why we have the political and the legal systems that we do, and why politics and the law (despite the failings of political and legal systems in parts of the West) are still necessary: because political systems essentially aim for that balance, and legal systems must codify, interpret and uphold whatever the balance turns out to be, as set down in nations' constitutions.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 31 2019 4:58 utc | 318

Below are two links to articles from Xinhuanet that I have not seen reported elsewhere

China, Philippines common interests "far greater" than differences: Premier Li

The take away quote
"
Duterte said the Philippine side is willing to further expand exchanges and cooperation with China in such fields as the economy, trade and people-to-people exchanges, so as to promote bilateral ties and secure the two peoples concrete benefits.

Duterte said the Philippines will never confront China.

On the South China Sea issue, Duterte said Western countries are not COC negotiators and should not hinder the efforts of regional countries in this regard.
"

Iranian senior cleric rules out likelihood of Iran-U.S. talks

The take away quote
"
Iran is not "insane" to negotiate with those who break their promises, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, senior Iranian cleric said here on Friday, referring to the U.S. exit from the Iranian 2015 nuclear deal last year.

"As the supreme leader has said, there will be no negotiations with the U.S., and both the authorities and the people agree on this," Khatami was quoted as saying by Tehran Times daily.

"Negotiation under pressure is surrender and the Iranian nation will never tolerate such disgrace," he said.

The United States and its president, Donald Trump, are in need of bringing Iran to the negotiating table, "but given the approach adopted by the U.S. and Trump, they're going to have to take this dream to their grave," he added.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 31 2019 5:32 utc | 319

@ guidoamm | Aug 31 2019 4:39 utc | 320
@ franziska | Aug 29 2019 13:28 utc | 285

Apologies, no 'snide' used, none intended.

Continuity of my original train of thought was to establish a consistent vocabulary for only economic terms. Nothing more.

Yourself and the Right Honourable franziska | Aug 29 2019 ff both were questioning using terms from or having: political; social; psychological; emotional; some persuasive natured purpose, none of which I can provide a reply that is universal. Again apologies to you both. Yesterday I had intended to make a comment to that effect; another paving stone for the road to perdition.

Another fine commentator here, …historian is perpetually on about a daemon of theirs, a term designed to instil an emotional response of fear, loathing, repudiation and repulsion substituting those for a rational assessment. Repetition has assured most here assume complete truthiness of that position.

I hope this may assuage and mollify both you and franziska from your discomfort; you both have carried on a superb and appreciated exchange badly needed to reduce this divisive economic Babel. May this now be put to rest.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 31 2019 8:07 utc | 320

@aye, myself & me #318

There'd be much less criminality, if there's nothing of value you could steal and therefore no medium that could 'buy' you anything you desired the desire to steal would lose it's appeal. Whatever you 'desired' you'd borrow, other than food, water and personal necessities, like everyone else. No need for lawyers, because contracts would be obsolete! No need for politicians, because without currency, nor contracts, nor most regulations put into place, there'd be no need for folly, only a very focused endeavor to make life worth thriving for, for the whole, not just a small portion.

I am sorry, but you're living in a dream world - one which not only ignores present common sense but past history.
Feudalism is just one major example. The feudal lords in the beginning, whether Normans (late feudal) or Polish pancerny, took their payment in food, women and labor. Monetary systems make this theft easier - Dr. Michael Hudson has written at length about how New Imperialism is the use of debt to extract value from entire nations and peoples, but the core mechanism is still the same: taking what's someone else's for your own. Denomination in sheaves of wheat, dollars or bitcoin is irrelevant outside of mechanism.

Semantics yes, very much so and a theory that's likely to never see the light of day, but i don't believe it fails the most basic test any more than the debacle humanity's had to put up with thru various monetary systems. Currency was needed then, but with our technologies today, not so much, only a desire to cling precedent and mostly then for our top ten percenters.
Currency exists because it is convenient. Your belief that it causes all evil is wrong, but ultimately doesn't matter because nobody is giving up currency. It is simply too useful a construct at all levels of society.
The only reason you have power is you have money. We all know the golden rule, whoever has the most gold, rules. However, gold wouldn't have any more value than lead, which wouldn't hold any value at all, nor would food, or water as they're all substances that we'd share collectively. We wouldn't have to shed mankind's achievements, only his misconceptions.

No, not the only solution i'm sure, but it seems to me the most humane one i've ever come across.


As I wrote earlier in this post - your beliefs are not backed up by even the most rudimentary historical analysis.
Money is not the root of all evil.
Power can be exerted with or without money.
I, for one, have no desire to go backwards into the disease ridden, labor intensive, low productivity and low luxury world of 2000 years ago.
Even more importantly - any group that decides to go your way soon becomes victim to those who don't.
It is just like the pastoral/agricultural divide: in the short term, the pastoralists were able to terrorize the agriculturalists because herding made for mounted bowmen. That ended with the development of the gun: herders can't make guns. Guns are much more easily and quickly trained for than being a bowman (arguably a lifetime profession), and so enabled the much denser population of agriculturalists to shift the tide.
With societies - productivity is the equivalent of the gun.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 31 2019 14:12 utc | 321

@Jen #321

societies that purport to uphold the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of the individual need some collective agreement to do so; and societies that are collectivist to some extent need also to respect essential individual rights and freedoms to function, otherwise they become police states.

Agreed - individualistic vs. collectivist are forces, not societies. No society is all of one or the other, but a blend - yet there is definitely an edge of knife where any given society is more of one than the other.
It seems significant that societies that adopted neoliberal economic policies in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Chile under Augusto Pinochet, and Britain under Margaret Thatcher, actually became less free with respect to individual political freedoms and rights (such as free speech, free assembly, free education and healthcare) and relied on brute force to push through legislation that the public was hostile to, because this legislation was fundamentally hostile to the public interest, or the interests of the majority of people in those societies.

All I would add to what you note above is that neoliberalism isn't a fortuitous or accidental outgrowth. The program has very clearly defined roots and branches arising from 1% sponsorship. In a real sense, the political and societal forces driving that economic theory - much as the theory itself - were manufactured.
The gist is that every society needs to find its own balance between the rights, freedoms, needs and responsibilities of individuals vis-a-vis those of collectives, and to ensure that whichever set dominates (those of individuals or those of collectives) can't be hijacked and abused by a particular group in the society for its own pleasure at the expense of individuals and the collective alike.

Agreed, but the problem is that those who want power - and they can be individualist as well as collectivist - will stop at nothing to get their way because it benefits them.
It is literally life: organisms that find a way that works, will use/abuse it to death.
In an evolved ecosystem, this is very difficult, but human society is far from well evolved.
So how do you guard against abusers from within the system as well as destroyers seeking to destroy the system?
My personal suspicion is that the only way is to vary the system regularly. Any system in place for too long will see its original purpose corrupted by those working from within, but equally - changing of systems is so bloody and painful that nobody wants to really do it until there's no choice.
A "system" where a random lottery dictates the new system every, say, generation might work.
In some sense, that's what China did when it started "capitalism with chinese characteristics".

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 31 2019 14:35 utc | 322

@aye, myself & me
@Jen
Here's an article on the formation of currencies in the Louisiana prison system supermax.
What's interesting is that there is an outright prohibition on cash for prisoners, and a payments system which is completely controlled by the prison management - yet demand for the ability to transmit and store value is such that "money will find a way" (deliberate pun on Jurassic Park".

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 31 2019 15:35 utc | 323

I just read a ZH article about the Iranian satellite launch failure that Trump tweeted a picture of follow up where they quote a tweet by MoA back at Trump saying

"
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
"

Nice trolling b

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 31 2019 21:23 utc | 324

@ Jen # 321

"Contrary to what Aye, Myself & Me says, this is why we have the political and the legal systems that we do, and why politics and the law (despite the failings of political and legal systems in parts of the West) are still necessary: because political systems essentially aim for that balance, and legal systems must codify, interpret and uphold whatever the balance turns out to be, as set down in nations' constitutions."

Only contrary, because it's never been tried before, is that such a sticking point? And from reading on this site it would seem China is accomplishing what you describe above and what america was swaddled in seventy years ago, but those systems of economic good times are fleeting aren't they? Has there ever been an economic system that met all your balances and worked out for everyone, in any one society throughout it's history, within our collective history, that perhaps stands out?

"The gist is that every society needs to find its own balance between the rights, freedoms, needs and responsibilities of individuals vis-a-vis those of collectives, and to ensure that whichever set dominates (those of individuals or those of collectives) can't be hijacked and abused by a particular group in the society for its own pleasure at the expense of individuals and the collective alike."

@ c1ue # 325 but in response to Jen's paragraph above.

"Agreed, but the problem is that those who want power - and they can be individualist as well as collectivist - will stop at nothing to get their way because it benefits them."[My emphasis]

If nothing had value, there'd be no benefits, c1ue. Only bullying and as america is finding out now, when you're the only one your easily singled out and isolated.

@ C1ue # 324

"I am sorry, but you're living in a dream world - one which not only ignores present common sense but past history."

I'm conveying a dream world. Don't shoot me for not conveying their message accurately enough, go instead to the film i posted above, because they can explain it much better than i can. However, it does not ignore present common sense, it emphatically embraces it. Past history, if anything is proof of that.

"I, for one, have no desire to go backwards into the disease ridden, labor intensive, low productivity and low luxury world of 2000 years ago."

Yes, you'd lose some of your luxuries and all of your worldly possessions, but all the rest you profess would be opposite. Less disease, much less, because we'd be focused on humanity, not profits. Low labor and high productivity, because of our advanced technologies and a world two thousand years from now, not ago.

No one should get in a huff over this. It won't happen in our lifetimes, unless something quite catastrophic occurs and wipes out most, but not all of humanity. Then it might come in handy, or somebody could start filming, in the hope of one day selling the latest apocalyptic movie?

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 0:34 utc | 325

C1ue @ 325, 326:

Thanks 4 the link to the Louisiana prison article and for the conversation on pros and cons of electricity as currency. I have a better understanding of the issue and its broader context concerning the functions of money generally. Much obliged to you for the time and effort you spent. 😀

Posted by: Jen | Sep 1 2019 1:15 utc | 326

@ Jen

Dunno if we're allowed to ask favors 'round here, but i have one to ask of you, could you dispense with the caps when spelling my moniker? Some here don't capitalize theirs and it could be out of laziness, but for me it's because i consider it a linguistic mistake, imho. Not capitalizing first names more exults last names, but even more a pronoun should earn it's capitalization, don't you think? That's why i capitalized China above, but not america and your country i'm not terribly certain of, so i'll leave it at australia and leave you to decide why i didn't capitalize it.;) However, your name above is capitalized and so out of respect i'll spell it the same way as you, or anyone else here.

I've said this before, but i'm amazed at the comments on this board and b's news is always worth the anticipation. Wished i'd found this place long ago, rather than a few months ago.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 1:26 utc | 327

@ C1ue # 324

"I am sorry, but you're living in a dream world"

Above i said i was conveying one, but that's not entirely true. I live in america and the consumerism is thru the roof. I do live in a dream world right now. Occasional attacks on the populace by loonies, but for the most part war free. How could that not be a dream place, eh? I can do what i want when i want to and go anywhere my pocket book can take me.

However, under non monetary you have the same as above, but you don't have to buy anything, except the concept. Our freedoms could become limitless under such a system, as anyone no matter their class, caste, or any other plague on society, everyone becomes free. Every imagination on the planet becomes unchained. Imagine what kind of world that could be, if just for a passing moment.

How fast could humanity advance themselves if every awareness on the planet was involved with humanity's progress, instead of congress? Thoughts to ponder at least.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 2:48 utc | 328

Below is a link from the Asia Time interview by Pepe Escobar of Luis Inacio Lula da Silva

BRICS was created as a tool of attack: Lula

The take away quote
"
He emphasized: “BRICS was not created to be an instrument of defense, but to be an instrument of attack. So we could create our own currency to become independent from the US dollar in our trade relations; to create a development bank, which we did – but it is still too timid – to create something strong capable of helping the development of the poorest parts of the world.”
"

I continue to posit that WWIII, that we are in, is about public/private global finance but none are talking about it openly.


Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 1 2019 4:34 utc | 329

Aye, myself & me @ 330:

OK I'll try to remember not to capitalise the first letters of the words in yr monicker though you have to excuse my smartphone if it does. 😀

Posted by: Jen | Sep 1 2019 5:11 utc | 330

@ aye, myself & me #324

Has there ever been an economic system that met all your balances and worked out for everyone, in any one society throughout it's history, within our collective history, that perhaps stands out?

Fortunately for me & myself included, Ellen Brown and by extension Michael Hudson over at Truthdig have come to my rescue. Take away quote for me tho is....

"Hudson counters that those classical societies are not actually where our financial system began, and that capitalism did not evolve from bartering, as its ideologues assert. Rather, it devolved from a more functional, sophisticated, egalitarian credit system that was sustained for two millennia in ancient Mesopotamia (now parts of Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait and Iran). Money, banking, accounting and modern business enterprise originated not with gold and private trade, but in the public sector of Sumer’s palaces and temples in the third century B.C. Because it involved credit issued by the local government rather than private loans of gold, bad debts could be periodically forgiven rather than compounding until they took the whole system down, a critical feature that allowed for its remarkable longevity.

In fact, it was the need to manage accounts for a large labor force under bureaucratic control that is thought to have led to the development of writing. The people willingly accepted this bureaucratic control because they viewed the gods as having decreed it. According to their cuneiform writings, humans were genetically engineered to work the fields and the mines after certain lower gods tasked with that hard labor rebelled."

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 6:04 utc | 331

@ psychohistorian # 332

"I continue to posit that WWIII, that we are in, is about public/private global finance but none are talking about it openly."

I'm completely with you on WWIII, psy, if i may call you that? However, i don't think public/private global finance should be at the top of anyone's list at the moment. More so globalist's desire to pare the world down by a third, if not two thirds if it can be done. Seems like us peons should be more focused on our fellow beings where ever they are and who ever they are. The many, not the few and money be danged until we save humanity and the planet, as well.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 6:22 utc | 332

addendum to 335

After reading the rest of Ellen Brown's article it becomes clear, that we'd likely have to fix your problem, before mine could/would be addressed. You might give it a read, if you have the time.

Hudson's takeaway quote

"To insist that all debts must be paid ignores the contrast between the thousands of years of successful Near Eastern clean slates and the debt bondage into which [Greco-Roman] antiquity sank. … If this policy in many cases was more successful than today’s, it is because they recognized that insisting that all debts must be paid meant foreclosures, economic polarization and impoverishment of the economy at large."

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 7:15 utc | 333

"Aye, myself & me" since it's OT I'll answer it here in case no one has said it already.

Short version.
F5 and Ctrl+R both refresh a web page using only the keyboard.

Stay away from F4 as it instead closes programs or windows of programs on some systems (at least this used to be the case on Windows systems but I don't know if it still does).

Long version.
In an active browser (active is usually indicated by the color of the title bar to show that the browser program is the program with the current focus):

A. Either press the "F5" key (function key number five) to refresh the current web page. Most but not all keyboards have function keys named and stenciled with "F1", "F2", "F3" and so on up to "F12". They are almost always placed at the top of the keyboard on a row starting with an "Esc" or "Escape" key in the upper left. Standard full size keyboards have a gap after the "Esc" key and group the line of function keys in fours with gaps between each group thus the "F5" key is the first key in the second group out of three groups (not counting the "Esc" key).

B. Or if that didn't work try pressing and holding a "Ctrl" or "Control" key and then press the "R" key before letting go of the "Ctrl" key (one can do this fast, it makes no difference). This should also refresh the current web page. The "R" can be though of as meaning "Refresh" and thus the command can be remembered as "Control Refresh".

For most systems and software both of these methods will work.

-----

As for this site it can sometimes take a little while before one finds out if a missing comment got through or not. I think it must have happened to just about everybody at some point, it certainly has to me. There is also the possibility that a comment got stuck in the spam filter, usually due to a link or several but b looks through those on a daily basis.

Some people read this site using mobile devices with small screens and get very annoyed if someone posts links that break the page formatting. To avoid this follow the last example given in the comment box of "Allowed HTML Tags" concerning the A tag (inside or with HTML chevrons ie.: lesser than and larger than signs). Use a few normal words for the link "headline" as illustrated after that example instead of the actual URL address which goes inside the HTML markup after the HREF=" part (remember to add a " to the end after the URL) and preview your comment to check it and that it doesn't result in some very long unbroken or underlined address (it might break automatically for you but not for everybody else, it should look something like the example instead), maybe also check that it correctly opens to the web page you linked to.

Even if everything is fine the spam filter can still throw a fit :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 1 2019 8:26 utc | 334

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 26 2019 18:45 utc | 126

Do you have a source link for this statement?
This is the first time I ever heard that World War 1 was ended due to specific materials shortages as opposed to manpower shortages or overall economic burden.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 26 2019 18:45 utc | 126

No. Sorry. I don't. Only that the chemistry lecturer at the technical college I attended said that both sides in WW1 ran short of glycerine (normally obtained as a bye-product of soap-making) to make explosives, and that Chaim Weizman discovered how to get yeast to make glycerine from sugar and used the knowledge to get the British government to promise to issue the Balfour Declaration in exchange for the secret.

Added to that discussions with Germans, (60 years ago now) about WW1 and my father-in-law (who fought in WW1) talking about hearing (and disbelieving)rumours of the Germans using human bodies as a source of fat and then, after the armistice finding a train full of bodies, in his words, "bundled together like firewood" which he was told, were going off to be used to make soap. Not a good source I'm afraid!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 1 2019 15:56 utc | 335


Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 26 2019 20:19 utc | 132

In Marxism the non-solutions is to claim control and force regulation in whatever form upon the economy, however doing so without understanding what one is actually manipulating can't succeed over time. Again the end result is self-defeat: it kills itself (and while dead is still technically under control, so much for that).
Economists are far too busy looking at economy as if it was a(n ever more detailed) collection of shops and their accounting and efficiency and optimums and thus can't reach further than tallying whereas the actual economics or even the nature of economics remains a black box. Smith and Marx just as much as anyone else; they make themselves masters of accounting but not economics.

There is one group of economists who seem to know what they are doing, despite all the predictions of their imminent pratfall, and they say that they are "Marxists with Chinese characteristics."

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 1 2019 16:14 utc | 336

@aye, myself & me #328

If nothing had value, there'd be no benefits, c1ue. Only bullying and as america is finding out now, when you're the only one your easily singled out and isolated.

It is clear our discussion has dead ended. I've stated that your decreeing an end to money in order to destroy value is flawed because value existed long before fiat currencies, and will exist once again as soon as existing fiat currencies are somehow magically ended. You keep saying "but if" even when there is no "but".
Agree to disagree.
Yes, you'd lose some of your luxuries and all of your worldly possessions, but all the rest you profess would be opposite. Less disease, much less, because we'd be focused on humanity, not profits. Low labor and high productivity, because of our advanced technologies and a world two thousand years from now, not ago.

Again, your beliefs don't seem to be based on a clear understanding of how modern society and technology are built and maintained. You seem to think that it is possible to maintain and develop technology without government. This is utterly false. Most of the nations in the world can't even support a single microchip factory and all its attendant machinery. Without microchips, so go communications and all manner of information technology.
The second part is energy. The prospecting and harvesting of energy resources, the conversion to usable forms whether electricity, roads, gasoline, whatever also requires enormous infrastructure.
But, as you don't seem to know or care about this, again - agree to disagree.
As for disease: your either wilful or inherent ignorance of history shows again. Disease arose precisely from the close interaction of humanity with domestic animals in pastoral settings. Smallpox from bovines, flu from avians, etc etc.
Disease wiped out enormous numbers of humans in the past - it just did it in an era before worldwide cable news networks. Yes, basic germ theory helps some, but you still require government-level quarantine and research efforts to identify and stop outbreaks. Even excluding man-made diseases like mad cow, there are still regular outbreaks of mumps, measles, polio, brucellosis, distemper as well as new diseases like AIDS and Ebola.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 1 2019 18:26 utc | 337

@aye, myself & me #334
Sadly, you're a hammer that sees everything as a nail.
What Dr. Michael Hudson wrote about is why money and credit was created: it was to facilitate government. Neither he nor Ellen Brown advocate anything like the destruction of money as a concept; both instead speak to how governments should be taking back its basic functions from private sector finance, in order to execute to its charter better.
Destroying money and credit also requires destroying government, and with it, modern existence.
Government in Sumeria was about building dams and canals, so that the population could experience greater prosperity, which in turn fortified the state.
Government today still does some of this, but also has enabled considerable other behavior to the benefit of a few.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 1 2019 18:30 utc | 338

@foolisholdman #338
Thanks for the info.
I don't doubt that the traditional sources for glycerine (glycerol is the same thing) would be insufficient for an industrial scale war like WW1, however, there is a large gap between this likely fact and the possibility that shortages of glycerine (or other materials) is what caused the war to end.
Among other things: glycerol can be produced via a synthetic process from propylene. This is relatively much more expensive, but that's rarely a factor in warfare.
Random note: non-organic production can create propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is almost the same as glycerine and not dramatically different (to a non-chemist) from ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol, however, is toxic - mostly to young children. The cough medicine poisoning in Central and South America a few years ago was because a Chinese supplier saw that they're practically the same (except ethylene glycol is enormously cheaper than propylene glycol) and relabeled the ethylene glycol after ingesting a bottle full to ensure it was safe. It is, mostly, safe for adults but not for childen...
Toxicity is not a concern when making explosives though. Propylene glycol can be used to make explosives in much the same manner as glycerol/glycerine.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 1 2019 18:52 utc | 339

@ c1ue # 341

"Sadly, you're a hammer that sees everything as a nail."

Happily i'm quite the opposite, but thanks for not noticing.

"What Dr. Michael Hudson wrote about is why money and credit was created: it was to facilitate government. Neither he nor Ellen Brown advocate anything like the destruction of money as a concept; both instead speak to how governments should be taking back its basic functions from private sector finance, in order to execute to its charter better."

I agree completely, however the link was to a question i posed to Jen whether in our collective history, if there ever was a nation that had a system that benefited the majority of society, rather than the few and lasted more than a few decades and Mr. Hudson clearly points out that occurred before government(s) got involved, but especially the greeks and romans and nearly everyone else afterwards, when debts were no longer forgiven.

I read your posts (all of them) with clarity, because you have much to offer, but it would be nice when we're conversing you could read mine with a little more clarity, even if you vehemently disagree with my position.

"Destroying money and credit also requires destroying government, and with it, modern existence."

You keep saying that, but there's really no substance behind what you're saying. Can you explain to me why a government, that's mostly bullying others and it's own citizens to change laws and remove freedoms, so said government can continue to spend willy nilly on anything that pleases them, rather than a system, such as the Addendum film i linked to above espouses. Where everyone in society is involved with protecting and advancing all of humanity, for the betterment of everyone, not just the selfish few? Why does a construct of government have to exist? It's as nonsensical as the gods, that people figured invented the government's, as Mr. Hudson asserts.

Imo, government isn't far off from religion, just something man has to grasp, because it's always been there, so must always be, which is pure nonsense. Humanity can look after itself far better than any single entity can, even a god.

"Government in Sumeria was about building dams and canals, so that the population could experience greater prosperity, which in turn fortified the state.
Government today still does some of this, but also has enabled considerable other behavior to the benefit of a few."

Our government today does very, very little of this and is much more involved in tearing other nation's infrastructures down. And as you state american government is only benefiting the few, seems to me everyone should benefit equally, other wise why bother with government, what's actually being governed?

@ SRB #337

Thanks for the tips! Now if they'll only sink in deep enough to help.

Posted by: aye, myself & me | Sep 1 2019 21:51 utc | 340

@aye, myself & me #343

You keep saying that, but there's really no substance behind what you're saying. Can you explain to me why a government, that's mostly bullying others and it's own citizens to change laws and remove freedoms, so said government can continue to spend willy nilly on anything that pleases them, rather than a system, such as the Addendum film i linked to above espouses.

I keep repeating because you seem to be unable to grasp that government exists for a reason.
Nobody, outside of American libertarians, wants no government.
That you dislike the present American government is understandable, but the solution isn't to make it disappear. More importantly, I have not seen any credible method by which this dream can be made into reality. This talk about no money, no government etc is like saying the world would be better if only .
As for your laudable desire that:
Where everyone in society is involved with protecting and advancing all of humanity, for the betterment of everyone, not just the selfish few?

Among many other reasons: in a society where everyone is trusting, the sociopaths thrive. Equally, as I've written before, a society in which everyone is purely collectivist - that's an ant colony.
Sociopaths exist for an evolutionary reason, so imagining that better world where everyone just gets along is pure fantasy.
Why does a construct of government have to exist?

Here is where you continue to fail to understand. I've written plenty, you either understand it, or more likely your world view precludes you from doing so. Either way, I see no point in more effort.
It is quite clear that what reading you do is to reinforce your existing view as opposed to learn that which conflicts with them.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 1 2019 22:18 utc | 341

@foolisholdman #339
I don't discount the job the CCP has done in China in the last 30+ years.
I would note, however, that China has had the benefit of others' mistakes.
Among many examples:
1) China got to see just how beneficial an open hand to the West is - or more specifically, isn't, from Russia's experience after 1991.
2) China also got to see what the economic liberalization endgame looked like from Japan's experience in its bubble: 1980s to the Plaza Accords.
3) The impact of finance by outsiders was already repeatedly demonstrated via Latin America defaults from the 1980s to today.
4) Iran and North Korea also served as negative examples the impact of exclusion from the world economy.
5) The risks of lack of control dependence on US monetary policy was demonstrated by Argentina in its dollar peg period and by South Korea in its 1998 default.
The great challenge for China today is that they're now in a position which no one has ever been before.
There are no more examples to learn from, only untested paths to take.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 1 2019 22:29 utc | 342

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