Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2019

The Moon of Alabama Week In Review - OT 2019-69

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

As predicted in the piece above the riots are over and internet access has for most parts been restored. Another 'regime change' attempt has been defeated.
Iran’s Security Counter Attack to A Three Year Plan! / Behind the Iran’s Recent Riots, Part 1 - ISW News

RAY McGOVERN: The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe - Consortium News
Two month ago we assessed that the Democrats' impeachment attempt is a huge mistake as it would help Trump to win the next election. Now evidence trickles in:
Trump approval ticks up amid impeachment battle: Gallup - The Hill
New Polling Suggests Democrats’ Impeachment Push Could Alienate Key Voters - Vanity Fair

The elections today went without a hitch and had a record turnout of 71% of all eligible voters.
Polls close in Hong Kong after record number of voters at district council elections - SCMP
Beyond parody:
Hong Kong university siege: two men trapped on campus for more than a week slam police for ‘depriving them of right to vote’ - SCMP
Will the pan-dems claim voting fraud if they do not get a majority?

Ukraine and Meddling in 2016 - Yes, it happened. - Yasha Levine

Other issues:

OPCW / Douma:

A third leak from the OPCW in form of an internal email is additional evidence that the OPCW report on the Douma incident was massively manipulated.
OPCW Douma Docs - Wikileak
"The author of the e-mail was a member of that team and claims the redacted preliminary version of the report, misrepresents the facts he and his colleagues discovered on the ground."
OPCW management accused of doctoring Syrian chemical weapons report - Stundin
New sexed-up dossier furore: Explosive leaked email claims that UN watchdog's report into alleged poison gas attack by Assad was doctored - so was it to justify British and American missile strikes on Syria?- Peter Hitchens, Daily Mail

737 MAX:

The Long-Forgotten Flight That Sent Boeing Off Course - Atlantic
Canadian air safety official urges removal of key software from Boeing 737 MAX - Seattle Times
Aerospace suppliers prepare for prolonged grounding of 737 MAX - Reuter

The most ridiculous 'liberal' headline ever:


Well-meaning sanctions?

Left I on the News points out that the State Department at times spelled out what sanctions are really supposed to do.

499. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mallory) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Rubottom)

Washington, April 6, 1960.
SUBJECT - The Decline and Fall of Castro
Salient considerations respecting the life of the present Government of Cuba are:
1. The majority of Cubans support Castro (the lowest estimate I have seen is 50 percent).
6. The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship.

If the above are accepted or cannot be successfully countered, it follows that every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba. If such a policy is adopted, it should be the result of a positive decision which would call forth a line of action which, while as adroit and inconspicuous as possible, makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.
Would you wish to have such a proposal prepared for the Secretary?

(Rubottom initialed the “yes” space provided on the source text.)

Some seventy years later its is evident that sanctions are a blunt tool that only harms the people, not their governments.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 24, 2019 at 17:06 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

S @198--

Thanks for the tip. I saw that he'd done that when going over the Kremlin's Twitter and was going to take a look. Interesting set of comments from Bemildred.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2019 20:10 utc | 201


Unions in China are creatures of the Party:

"The ACFTU is the world’s largest trade union, with around 303 million members, including 140 million migrant workers, in 2.81 million grassroots trade unions in 2018, according to official figures. This translates into a unionisation rate of 37 percent, higher than in most developed nations with the exception of those in northern Europe. In reality, however, the vast majority of Chinese union members either do not know that they are union members or have little faith in the ability of the union to represent their interests. The Trade Union Law stipulates that enterprises in which a trade union has been established must contribute two percent of monthly payroll to union funds. Worker contributions are negligible. As a result, the majority of enterprise trade unions in China are essentially controlled by management and represent the interests of management."

And why do you keep going on about Google? China blocks a lot more than just Google content. 'China doesn't heavily restrict the internet to deny its citizens access to information' is...certainly a take, I suppose.


"Of course the present state isn't 5000 years old"

So you're conceding the core of my 'pompous reply'. The idea of direct continuity stretching back into the mists of time, that Chinese civilization can meaningfully be described as coherently 'Chinese' going back 5,000 years, is part of the meme.

Posted by: Merasmus | Nov 26 2019 20:53 utc | 202

karlof1 says:

Contemporary economics as an area of study is akin to medieval alchemy, broken clocks, and fairy godmothers

and mazes.

Posted by: john | Nov 26 2019 21:03 utc | 203

201 Cont'd--

Rather short speech. Putin says this regarding United Russia:

"The status of a ruling party, a party of power, is not in ruling but in serving the people of Russia. The meaning of this service is the future of our citizens, of the children who were born and will be born in Russian families."

Thus, the source of United Russia and Putin's power lies at the level of service it provides the Russian people. Gee, what a concept! Too bad it won't fly in the Outlaw US Empire where the level of power is related to the service provided to the top 10%, the rest of the people be damned. Yes, there are echoes of Xi's thoughts resonating in Putin's oratory. But IMO, what I hear is Bismarckian, not Communist, and is strongly nationalistic. To paraphrase: We're Russia's number one party and we got that way by boldly serving all people, not the select few, and we must continue doing so if we desire to remain Russia's #1 political party--we work for the People, the Nation, and that's how we serve the Party. Only Gabbard and Sanders are saying anything remotely akin to Putin. The way Putin puts it sounds thusly to me: The best way to serve the People and the Nation is to be a member aspiring to be a leader in the Party; the path to becoming such a leader is to show by your actions your desire and willingness to serve the People and make the Nation stronger--in that way we all become stronger: People, Nation, Party.

It's entirely possible for Communism to have the same traits; but within Russia, it never grew into that sort of an organization for a variety of what ought to be well known reasons. Hell, any political party within any nation could espouse such a credo as does Corbyn of Labour who greatly desires the opportunity to prove it to his constituency. Perhaps since the People are mostly Proles and not business owners, United Russia might be termed Socialistic/Communistic; but Putin's made it very clear throughout his tenure that all Russians must act together to (re)make Russia and its People Strong--there's only One Class: The Russian People--although it's true those people are very diverse.

Yes, I'm very much a Russophile. I mean, what's there not to like in comparison with the massively sick, morally bankrupt Evil Outlaw US Empire? Read the US Constitution's Preamble and look at what Putin and United Russia are doing to implement it in Russia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2019 21:24 utc | 204

Walter @ 199

"anger and angst" was not my coinage. They were the words of Karlof1 @ 66, which I quoted in. If you look, they are indented via Blockquote, as are your words.

If you want to go off on someone, please aim at the correct person.

Thank you for your attention.

Posted by: john brewster | Nov 26 2019 22:06 utc | 205

@204 karlof1... thanks for your comments.. i wonder what it would be like living in russia today? it is hard to get a read living in canada, or the usa... everything we read and here from the west on russia is framed in the worst possible light.. so, it is refreshing how you are taking putin at his word here - something one would never do with our own politicians! however, i can't help but wonder how people in russia see russia and putin.. i know putin has had high ratings for a very long time.. i would like to think they are valid.. to me, i see putin as a very strong, steady and exceptional leader... but i say this at a distance, not being in the direct line of fire on what is actually taking place in russia..

Posted by: james | Nov 26 2019 23:08 utc | 206

James @ 193:

That post of mine @ 133 took a long time to appear. I posted it three times and each time it disappeared down the rabbit hole. B has taken the time to check down there and retrieve it which is how and why it appears where it has just very recently.

(Thanks B!)

It seems odd to me that the more some of us challenge Bevin on what he says about Jeffrey Epstein, the more extreme and vehement his accusations towards us become. John @ 180 makes a sarcastic remark (that refers to past Inuit practice) and that becomes the basis for an unjustified outburst about some people supposedly engaging in dishonest trolling, rejoicing in Epstein's death and condoning whatever severe punishment has been supposedly meted out to him. Not logical or rational at all, as one Donald Trump might put it.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 26 2019 23:14 utc | 207

: john brewster | Nov 26 2019 22:06 utc | 205

sorry, my error. nevertheless also my condition, quite content. sad tho/

Posted by: Walter | Nov 26 2019 23:22 utc | 208

Jen @207: It seems odd to me ...

Occam's Razor: Hasbara.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 26 2019 23:44 utc | 209

james @206--

Thanks for your reply! I've read lots of Putin talking on almost every topic imaginable, and he's extremely consistent--and serious--when it comes to commitment to Russia's People and their Nation--that's why I call him Bismarckian. I learned much about Russia studying its history, reading its literature and learning the language as at one time I was very much inclined to emigrating, but subsequent commitments I made have nixed that idea for better or worse. Collectively as a nation, Russia faces numerous challenges and has overcome many due to Putin's leadership and courage. He is akin to the general leading his troops from the frontline while the troops fear for his safety yet gain strength from his presence. Look around at the parade of national leaders that have appeared globally since your inception and find one with similar qualities (I count 5, none from the West). Russia's natural attributes are as spectacular as other nations, and there are many fine vids portraying them. Russians live within an advanced yet still developing nation where much activity's occurring aimed at improving the lot of Russians. Much of the Russophobia is aimed at deterring Europeans from moving there to take advantage of opportunities that no longer exist within their current nations. I'd expect more to move East given the way the Eu's being managed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 0:05 utc | 210

Thanks, karlof1 for redirecting us to Putin's speech at his party congress. In it he made mention of his yearly phone direct line which many of us have been able to read in transcript - I thought that reference was crucial to his understanding of both party and leadership roles - as he urged party members to take initiatives when they themselves saw problems and not to wait until the next of those brought issues to the fore.

We do have limited access to Russian men and women on the street - but those Direct Line transcripts have often shown the issues ordinary folk are facing still, and certainly things aren't perfect there, in particular because of aggressive sanctioning and refusal to treat Russia as anything but an adversary, on the part of the West. Which, I must say has backfired just as effectively as has the impeachment effort the Dems are currently mounting.

It does seem to be a pattern, these efforts, pointing to a particularly unsavory mindset as most ordinary Americans have to be sick and tired of. I know I am. It's such a waste of time and treasure!

I wish we could have this entire current century in the US to do over as it should have been done. How many lives we would have saved! We'd perhaps have lost our dear ones to 9/11 still - those matters were already being set in place, perhaps. But a sensible response by a different president could have set a far different course than the one we have been on.

Ah, but that would have taken a president who served the people of the United States.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 2:53 utc | 211

merasmus 202
*why do you keep going on about Google? China blocks a lot more than just Google content. *

Hey moron,
Havent I told you China protect its citizens from all these toxic Google,
fb, twitter, youtube and other MSM
fake news presstitutes ?
If you like it so much , keep it all to yourself fucking moron.

Posted by: denk | Nov 27 2019 3:25 utc | 212

@207 jen.. there is something unusual about bevins pattern here - agreed...

@ 210 karlof1... it goes with all the russiophobia - putinphobia... it has never made any sense to me, as i try to be impartial..

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2019 3:53 utc | 213

Catching up on Constitutional issues, mainly discussed herein by Snake and karlof1, I feel rather confused given previous issues I thought had been well stated concerning international law. I'll just quote karlof1 above first of all:

"...IMO, Williams is saying that even during the period governed by the Articles that the mindset of a continent spanning imperial framework of mind was always present and thus made that era one subjected to Empire as a way of Life...."

Then backtracking I found Snake to have said:

"...The constitution cut Americans out of participation in their government the very day the USA had its first meeting (1789). The very same British Aristocrats who ran colonial America installed themselves as persons in charge when their coup by constitution overthrew the government that defeated the British. They did this by putting Article VII in the constitution which allowed them to authenticate the coup..."

I will just comment on both of these assessments, with respect, that they are poppycock. Both disregard the conditions in the colonies at the time of the transition from being colonies of the crown through the Articles of Confederation to and through the Constitutional Congress arguments notwithstanding the Federal papers and early Supreme Court decisions. These were admittedly flawed men making decisions of a practical nature intending improvements upon a system that had functioned badly when the issue was divesting the country from English dominance. Call that a coup if you like, and I will perhaps agree with you, but the Revolution was fought against an occupying power, and the government at that time was so disfunctional that the 'coup' almost did not succeed.

Does Snake propose that because only nine of the thirteen colonies were needed to ratify in those early days, this makes the effort suspect? Goodness me, these were turbulent times and even a second war attempt by England was about to occur. I think these people were more concerned about survival than about setting up an empire.

I don't think it serves us to rewrite history in modern terms - we got a constitution that actually could be revised as indeed it has been. Assuredly some tweaks are currently needed and could be addressed. But if you tear all of it apart, what will you have?

Sorry, I'm late to this party. I truly don't believe most Americans are deluded in respecting the Constitution and wanting to see it better honored by those we elect or I should say want to elect. I disagree that Empire is implicit in its construct - strongly!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 3:58 utc | 214

merasfucking troll 202

Why are you bitching about this 5000 years stuff while fukus is killing innocents all over the world ?

You must be a fucking misdirection agent !

Posted by: denk | Nov 27 2019 4:09 utc | 215

karlof1 @ 210

Much of the Russophobia is aimed at deterring Europeans from moving there to take advantage of opportunities that no longer exist within their current nations. I'd expect more to move East given the way the Eu's being managed.

From what I hear, it is absolutely non-trivial to emigrate to Russia. First, you need a speaking knowledge of Russian. Then, there are very small quotas for those entering. Third, the paperwork is frighteningly complex and the bureaucracy slow. I have a Russian friend who goes back from time to time, and just keeping her documentation current is daunting and time-consumming.

The place is not someplace you go to, cash your Social Security check, and kick back.

Perhaps though, as you suggest, the Russians might want to make it a little easier, as there would probably takers. But, the Russians also have to be careful not to let in agents provocateur and spies. Clearly, the quota for Polish folks would be zero.

Posted by: john brewster | Nov 27 2019 4:53 utc | 216

In view of the holiday spirits it seems fair to post a quote from the Play, Marat Sade...and below it a link to good old Bill's Thanksgiving Prayer. I assume most people reading this blog know nothing of either artwork...or the artists. Oh how I love festivities, doesn't everybody?

/Don't be deceived when our Revolution has been finally stamped out, and they tell you that things are better now. Even if there's no poverty to be seen, because the poverty's been hidden. Even if you've got more wages and can afford to buy more of these new and useless goods. And even if it seemed to you that you'd never had so much - that is only the slogan of those who have that much more than you. Don't be taken in when they pat you paternally on the shoulder and tell you there's no more inequality worth speaking of, no more reason for fighting. If you believe them, they will be completely in charge in their shining homes and granite banks, from which they rob the people of the world under the pretense of bringing them freedom. Watch out, for as soon as it pleases them, they will send you out to protect their wealth, in war - whose weapons, rapidly developed by servile scientists, will become more and more deadly until they can, with the flick of a finger, tear a million of you to pieces./

Poem> (tiny url [dot] com ) /rsdmcuz

"To John Dillinger and hope he is still alive.
Thanksgiving Day, November 28 1986"

Thanks for the wild turkey and
The passenger pigeons, destined
To be shat out through wholesome
American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil
And poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a
Modicum of challenge and

Thanks for vast herds of bison to
Kill and skin leaving the
Carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves
And coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,
To vulgarize and to falsify until
The bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killing lawmen,
Feeling their notches.

For decent church-going women,
With their mean, pinched, bitter,
Evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for
Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the
War against drugs.

Thanks for a country where
Nobody's allowed to mind their
own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the
Memories-- all right let's see
Your arms!

You always were a headache and
You always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest
Betrayal of the last and greatest
Of human dreams.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 27 2019 8:08 utc | 217

@ denk | Nov 27 2019 4:09 utc | 215

Tis better to be thought a troll rather opining about others and thereby removing all doubt. When you point your finger at another, you should take note at the number of fingers pointing back at yourself.
It would be nice if some day you might grow up.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Nov 27 2019 9:00 utc | 218

ftb 218

Moron galore !
what've you contribute to this forum ?
No insight, no scoops, no nuthin except an occasional meaningless snark ?

Posted by: denk | Nov 27 2019 9:16 utc | 219


Cantonese is a dialect of Chinese that is spoken not only by Hongkongers but also people in Guangdong, Guangxi. Sun Yatsen was from Guangdong and so he spoke Cantonese. There are also Cantonese TV stations and TV programmes in Guangdong today.

There are tons of dialects still spoken by the locals, which are generally divided into several subfamilies: Mandarin, Wu (Shanghaiese dialect), Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka and Yue (Cantonese), etc.

These Chinese dialects differ most in their phonology, and to a lesser extent in vocabulary and syntax.

The difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is like the difference between BBC English and the English spoken up north in Scotland, or Swiss German/Bavarian German vs High German.

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 9:45 utc | 220


The CURRENT cultural divide between HK and Mainland China as well as overseas Chinese is mainly due to the 150-year British colony rule.

HKers were second-class citizens in their own city under the British rule but felt they were/are the first-class Chinese due to them becoming prosperous earlier than the other Chinese. They were and still are arrogant not only towards mainland Chinese but also towards Chinese from Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, etc.

Go read some of the message under some of the youtube videos posted by these overseas Chinese, you'll get how they feel towards the arrogant HKers.

HK’s prosperity is largely thanks to its geographical location aka middleman role:

- First, it helped the British to pour tons after tons opium into Mainland China to make money;

- Secondly, it helped to sale Chinese from the coast region (Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, etc) as indentured slavers aka coolie to the plantations after black slavery trade was abolished;

- Finally, it helped to re-sell imported Western goods to mainland China because
Red China was sanctioned and forbidden to do business with Western directly, as what the Empire is doing towards Iran, N. Korea and Venezuela nowd ays.

(Mind you, PRC was not officially recognised by the US till Nixon’s presidency, and it was even not allowed to take its UN sit till 1971 due to America block.)

When HK is hailed as the shining example of “free market” by MSM and the neo liberal economist, such as, Milton Friedman, but they have never told the true and full story about HK’s economic miracle. The brainwashed HKers totally and sincerely believe in MSM narrative.

Now Red China can do business directly with anyone around the world, HK is losing its prestige middleman position to milk more profits. Thanks to their selfishness and short-sightedness, HK oligarchs and bourgeois have consistently blocked and thrown away any HK government’s attempts to develop a new path for economic growth, for example, the plan of “Digital City”, which is instead turned into a real estate development for the oligarchy.

Now HKers are reaping what they have sowed: lack of perspective for the future for the ordinary HKers. Instead of self-criticising what’s gone wrong, they blame Mainland Chinese and CPC for all their fragile psychological inferior complex and economic stagnation.

To add salt to their wounds, more and more mainland Chinese, whom HKers used to look down upon and regarded as “peasant cousins”, become rich and have cash to spend in HK. This, for the HKers, after 150 British colony brainwashing, who have wholeheartedly adopted the Anglo-Saxon maxim “money is the master” , is simply unbearable. So no wonder you see all the hysteric xenophobia and racial slurs run wild among the so-called “democratic protesters”.

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 11:13 utc | 221

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 26 2019 1:31 utc | 143

That's not what the documentation indicate.

If you search for the internet comments of the time, none of them mention the fact that Kaepernick exploited Vietnamese children for his own profit as a reason for him to be blacklisted by the NFL. All of them explicitly state -- including the tweets from Donald Trump himself -- his "disrespect for the Anthem and the Flag" as the sole reason.

Americans don't give a damn about Vietnamese children. If they did, the USA wouldn't be in this USD 6 trn swamp in the Middle East in the first place.

Besides, blaming him for his links with Nike wouldn't make any sense, since, by that same metric, half of the pro-athletes in the USA should have their careers terminated. Nike is a symbol of American power and prestige, it is adored, not condemned, in the USA.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2019 13:20 utc | 222


The title of the article in the link is typical MSM modus operandi: selective reporting.

Yes, the pro-Protest party aka pan-Democracy has won 86% of the 452 seat, but remember that the election system for local district council in HK, just like that in UK and US, is “Winner-Takes-All” system:

“Poll watchers pointed out that while the pro-democracy bloc won 86 per cent of the 452 seats up for grabs across the city, their share of the votes was not as stunningly huge as the proportion of seats they swept suggested. The bloc (pan-democrates) garnered a total of 1.6 million votes, or 55 per cent of the valid votes cast; while the pro-establishment camp got 1.2 million votes, or 41 per cent . The remaining 4 per cent went to the non-affiliated independents.”

A “mighty 8% increase for the pro-protest block when compared to the 2015 district council polls, in which the pan-democrats in the constituencies they contested was 47% but won 116 seats.

(Link from SCMP:

This just confirms the existing pattern of support for the pro-protest/democrats bloc and government/China bloc. No dramatic change, in fact.

The spin from MSM is trying to give the people the (mis)impression that 86% of HKers are in support of the protestors, while in reality there is 55% voter voted for them.

By planting this misconception into people's mind, MSM will use this constructed narrative for future contention when the more import Legislative Council (LegCo) election, 40 of the 70 seats in LegCo elected by proportional representation , doesn’t go their way. Then we will get the same kind of election fraud claims as they did with Bolivian election.

Btw, I read on social media saying that there are some irregularities in this election: some young voters tried various tactics to prevent that the old voters, who generally vote for pro-government bloc, from voting by standing in the line again after their vote to make the waiting line long to discourage the oldies to vote, stealing of the IDs from the oldies, etc.

Anyway, this result will let HKers see what the pro-democrats can do to serve them as they’ve promised and also wake up the Central Government to rethink some of its rather laissez faire approach to HK’s oligarchy and lack of firm action of de-colonisation in HK.

FYI, the whole judicial system in Hong Kong is under the control by British colony elites: Hong Kong High Court and Court of Appeal are full of foreign judges with British/S. African/Australian etc citizenship and Hkers with foreign passports. (

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 13:26 utc | 223

@221 Thank you for confirming my theory that the problems between Hong Kong and the mainland are largely cultural. Hong Kongers had no trouble trading with communists before 97. In fact they acted as a gateway to the West for Chinese goods. No doubt this made them feel arrogant and superior. Now they have to deal with wealthy people from the mainland.

The history of British colony is well known. Opium, brainwashing etc. and the "Anglo-Saxon maxim 'money is the master'" didn't stop millions of Chinese from flocking to Hong Kong especially during the civil war and the subsequent communist take over. A lot of Hong Kongers seem to prefer the British system even now.

Posted by: dh | Nov 27 2019 13:50 utc | 224

@ Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 11:13 utc | 221

What you described is just the cultural manifestation of economic relative decline vis-a-vis the Mainland: Hongkongers were fine with trading with the socialists as long as they were winning the trade-off, but were not fine with it when it became clear the socialists were winning.

This confirms, on a societal level, my hypothesis of general decline of capitalism as the cause of a "last stand" of the HK natives against the Mainland. My hypothesis also explain why they are pro-USA (another behemoth against which they would also lose in trade relationships) but anti-China: the former is a capitalist behemoth, the latter is a socialist one.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2019 15:03 utc | 225

Below is a short posting from Reuters today

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian security agents arrested at least eight people linked to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency during last week’s unrest over gasoline price hikes, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

“These elements had received CIA-funded training in various countries under the cover of becoming citizen-journalists,” IRNA quoted the Intelligence Ministry as saying. “Six were arrested while attending the riots and carrying out (CIA) orders and two while trying to ... send information abroad.”

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 27 2019 16:47 utc | 226

@ lulu - thanks for your posts.. i read this morning a few comments from Slavoj Zizek on this which remind me of your comments..

"Today’s populist Right participates in the long tradition of popular protests which were predominantly leftist. Some revolts today (Catalonia, Hong Kong) can even be considered a case of what is sometimes called the revolts of the rich – remember that Catalonia is, together with Basque country, the richest part of Spain and that Hong Kong is per capita much wealthier than China. There is no solidarity with the exploited and poor of China in Hong Kong, no demand for freedoms for all in China, just the demand to retain one’s privileged position."

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2019 16:55 utc | 227

Epstein. Moral outrage can be both justified and provoked, and is often used by the PTB to obscure what is going on. (Please note I am NOT defending Epstein.)

The popular narrative is: Epstein was (or is if he walked) a Pedophile and a Mossad Spy or Agent, setting honey traps, and he didn’t kill himself (hugely pop meme.)

The story….he was a morally disgusting, criminal person and worked for a foreign agency / country and was most likely killed by some powerful person/s or group on whom he had kompromat.

sarc: The only qu. that remains open is: Was it the Clintons?

All very convenient for the PTB, another ‘rotten apple’ excuse, layered with ‘personal morality and involvement’ stories of Hollywood movies.

Epstein was friends with E. Barak, yes. Did Epstein ever use kompromat to effect some result in favor of Israel? Maybe he did, quite possible, idk, but I haven’t even seen ANY serious claims or proposals or even wild, crazy, speculation about who/to effect what … no examples, zero. Nobody argues it or comes forward. Just automatically assumed. > Please respond if any ex.

Did he use his blackmail stash to cash in huge sums for personal gain? Maybe for a while… but does anyone seriously think that the likes of Epstein from the wrong side of the tracks, and frankly a dolt, though adept with some superficial blather and charisma .. no genius … at the start a minor cog in Finance, at Bear Stearns, could successfully blackmail multiple powerful US figures for cash/favors…without being eliminated? (Maybe he was now, at age 66, but surely that would have happened way back when..)

The real state of affairs is being covered up in layers of scandal.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 27 2019 17:15 utc | 228

juliania @214--

Thanks for your replies! What you cited @214 is from a discussion related to a very enlightening book by one of the foremost historians on the US Empire, William Appleman Williams, and his book Empire as a Way of Life, the point at issue being those involved at provoking then running the Revolution already had a sense of the Imperial potential of their endeavor as indeed one of the major reasons cited for rebelling was the closing of settlement expansion beyond the Appalachians after the Treaty of Paris in 1763 that ended what's known as the French & Indian War here and the Seven Years War in Europe. Indeed, Virginia's Royal Charter ran its territorial claims all the way to the Pacific Ocean, which was also the case for several other colonies. One of the most entertaining works of history I've ever read is DeVoto's The Course of Empire, which is the first volume of his 3-volume history of the US Empire and can easily be found used for under $5, and which also unveils the same theme and describes how it worked. (It can be freely downloaded here.)

john brewster @216--

I've never looked into the details of emigrating to Russia, although I do know Russia offers the possibility to homestead within its Far East, which is an offer aimed at both Russians and non-Russians. Lots of former Ukrainians have moved East as have Soviet Russians caught in the Baltic Republics where the neoliberal looting since the USSR's fall continues nonstop. LeCarre in The Russia House has one of his characters famously ask if there exists a "decent human being" anywhere to help correct Russia's and humanity's path to destruction; I'll be bold and answer Putin's that decent human being, which is why he's loathed by the indecent human's of the West.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 17:32 utc | 229

@lulu #221: Your comment is the best explanation of what's going on in HK and why. Thanks!

Posted by: S | Nov 27 2019 18:03 utc | 230

@ vk 222

VK, that's not what I was alluding to.

I was merely pointing out that the same person who was railing against this country's history of racism, dating back to SLAVERY, had been endorsed by a company that willfully uses exploited labor in the globalist paradigm.

The shoe does fit, as for the ridiculous hypocrisy from Kapaernick.

As for him being blacklisted by NFL owners for being a distraction from their product, you misunderstood my post. Kapaernick was already a benched player due to poor performance when he decided that he was going to "take a knee" during the anthem. If his actions then meant that he would be looked at unfavorably by owners who were losing money because of that distraction, then it would be ridiculous for Kapaernick to seek damages that were self-inflicted. But the league yielded, paid the man handsomely, Kapaernick got endorsed by a company, Nike, that uses exploitative labor, and now Kap wants back into the NFL.

This is all coming from a guy who was abandoned by his birth parents, adopted and raised by a white family which gave him every opportunity and love, and received substantial encouragement from a white, high school coach that pushed tape of him quarterbacking under every college program's door in the area.

The situation reads of a severely deluded man pursuing libel suits using bogus claims of racism and enriching himself greatly in the process.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 27 2019 18:09 utc | 231

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 27 2019 18:09 utc | 231

Your opinion is your opinion. I just follow the historical documentation, which overwhelmingly indicate the American people ostracized Kaepernick because he offended the national symbols (Anthem and the Flag). People like you are the exception to the rule.

If hypocrisy was enough to cost your career, everybody in the USA would be unemployed. That was certainly not the reason why Kaepernick was blacklisted, according to the documentats I've read.

And, according to the historical documentation from football experts, Kaepernick was a top "quarterback" (for what I could investigate, the most decisive and prestigious position in football). After he hurt his throwing shoulder (because the quarterback's main feature is the power to throw the ball forward once per play, from behind the "line of scrimmage"), he lost his accuracy and his play degenerated quickly.

However, recent football experts indicate that, even with a hurt shoulder, Kaepernick is still at a starter quarterback level, even if not at the top tier of the position. This status was allegedly increased by the fact that, with a new generation of quarterbacks who can also "run with the football" (i.e. try to advance in territory carrying the ball, instead of throwing it), Kaepernick's versatility was further expanded. Kaepernick seems to be one of the first of these "running back quarterbacks", in an epoch where their potential apparently were not yet fully exploited by the head coaches.

Posted by: vk | Nov 27 2019 18:36 utc | 232

Glbal Times announces new round of trade talks between China, Japan and South Korea will recommence today in what's an ongoing process:

"The three countries held the 15th round of FTA talks in April, when they reached a consensus to further increase the level of liberalization in areas including commodity trade, services trade and investment, said the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Commerce Gao Feng on November 14.

"On the day the new round of FTA talks opened, experts expressed 'positive expectations' for the negotiations to bear fruit, as they argued that all countries are seeking ways to offset the negative impact forced on their economies by rising protectionism initiated by the US."

So, the geoeconomic integration of East Asia continues to gain further traction after last month's ASEAN Summit. I predict the looming trilateral deal will occur will before any breakthrough in Trump's Trade War aimed at China.

In what Global Times calls an "Observer" op/ed, continuing double standards by the Evil Outlaw US Empire are decried and Europeans prompted to make their own path by pointing out China and EU are in the same boat when it comes to being a target of the Empire:

"It seems that some US politicians can never get rid of their Cold War mind-set. But 21st century conditions are different from those in the Cold War era, and today's China is not like the Soviet Union decades ago. China is not a threat to any country. China and Europe are victims of US hegemony and protectionism, and neither of them can bear multilateralism breaking down. When facing the US government's words and deeds, China and Europe must jointly maintain the free and open global investment environment to deal with the challenges."

When Europe and Asia finally combine to become the one continental--Eurasian--entity they truly are at some point within the next several decades, the entire Imperial security scam/extortion will end and its last method for extracting tribute will cease to exist.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 19:03 utc | 233

@ vk 232

It is clear you understand very little of American cultural identity.

Football is as American as apple pie.

If you spit on its altar, you WILL BE OSTRACIZED.

The same goes for cultural dissenters in China and the like.

Don't try to say this is a uniquely American phenomenon. Your posts attacking tendencies of Americans really say more about you, vk, then it does about us.


Kaepnick was benched, meaning he was not playing meaningful minutes, before he began the whole charade. In other words, his career was on the downswing, and, afterward...his actions did hurt the NFL's bottom-line, period!

You need to live here my friend or do better research.

He took a big boy stand and should have been responsible for his big boy actions. He cried foul and so was not. HYPOCRITE!

End of story.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 27 2019 19:07 utc | 234

Merasmus @202 (Part One)

Take a look at what you said @156

There's no evidence for the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, or for the supposedly following Xia Dynasty, and little for the subsequent Shang Dynasty.

50,000 inscribed oracle bone scripts recorded pyromantic divinations of the last nine kings of the Shang dynasty, beginning with King Wu Ding, whose accession is dated by different scholars at 1250 BC or 1200 BC.

Guess 50,000 pieces Oracle bone scripts can't be categorised as "little" evidence, right?

It's not until the Zhou Dynasty, roughly contemporaneous with Classical Greece, that we get to something that probably actually existed, and even then all the records testifying to it were written after the fact and are no older than the third century BC.

Zhou Dynasty was between 1046 – 256 BC, while the Classical Greece is between 5th and 4th centuries BC. You are trying to mishmesh a whole different time frame here.

Oracle bone scripts confirmed not only King Wu Ding (1250 BC or 1200 BC) actually existed but also the annuals about Shang dynasty compiled by later historians in Book of Documents , Bamboo Annals and Records of the Grand Historian, which were long thought to be little more than legends, are quite correct.

Since King Wu Ding is proved reigned around 1250 BC or 1200 BC in the late Shang Dynasty, what makes you say Zhou Dynasty after it "no older than the third century BC"? Seriously.

If you don't know where to look for the evidences of the existence of Zhou Dynasty, take a look the Ritual Bronzes (中国青铜器), which are the most impressive surviving objects from the Chinese Bronze Age (3100-2700 BC) and very unique Chinese. Here is one for you Yǒu with zigzag thunder pattern; Early Zhou dynasty.

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 19:32 utc | 235

Merasmus @202 & 156 (Part Two)

Ever heard of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Jiahu Symbol and Jia Hu Culture (dated ca 7000 - 5700 BC) and Liangzhu Culture (ca 3400 - 2250 BC)?

Jiahu symbols, carved into tortoise shells and bones, could be possibly an early example of proto-writing. There are thirty-three Jiahu flutes carved from the wing bones of cranes, believed to be among the oldest playable musical instruments in the world; and evidence of wine fermented from rice, honey and hawthorn leaves.

(In 2005, Molecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Penn re-create an ancient beverage called Chateau Jiahu. Don't know how it tastes but the label design is tasteless.)

In Liangzhu (ca 3400-2250 BC), Hongshan Culture (ca 4700-2900 BC) and other archaeological sites, large quantity of jade artifacts are found.

The Chinese Emperors' seals were made in jade and called "imperial jade seal".

Jade appreciation is unique Chinese. Jade is still very much treasured and sought after nowadays. A piece of high quality of jade can command top price.

The discovery of a dragon statue dating back to the fifth millennium BC in Yangshao Culture makes it the world's oldest known dragon depiction; Chinese call themselves "龙的传人“(descendants of dragon) till to this day.

The "sense of continuity of coherent Chinese civilisation" lies in the Chinese characters that are still use, the appreciation for jade that are still exist, the love being descendants of dragon, and many many......

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 20:23 utc | 236

Merasmus @202 & @156 (The End)

That's all on top of the fact that 'China' grew massively over time, so even if they existed claiming any of these states as being the 'civilization' of all the people now within its borders is laughable.

According to your argument, "that's all on top of the fact the that 'Greece/Europe/Western' grew massively over time, so even if they existed claiming any of these states as being the 'civilization' of all the people now within its European/Western borders is laughable."

Please do tell me why the Europeans/Westerners are so terribly proud to trace their European/Western civilisation to the glorious Greek culture/civilisation?

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 20:36 utc | 237

For anyone who is interested to know a little bit about Chinese national treasures, such as, the Jiahu Flute (ca 7000 - 5700 BC), or the Ding (Ritual Bronze, ca 3100-2700 BC), I highly recommend this documentary for you: If Treasures Can Talk.

Each episode lasts about 5 minutes. You don't need understand Chinese to appreciate their beauty.


PS. Sorry b for posting quite a bit long posts here. Just feel I need to say something against the ignorance and arrogance regarding my culture heritage.

Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 20:53 utc | 238

As I suggested in my comment at the Russian Trolls thread, "I think it well past time to very closely examine the Why behind the demonizing of three related things: Russia, China and the practice of putting people ahead of profits whether via socialism, welfare state social-democracy, religious communalism, or nationalist driven state capitalism." Initially, the time-honored reason--Preventing the rise of a better political-economic example--comes to mind, which IMO is 100% correct--except--such prevention didn't arise at the end of WW2 as most historians of this issue have written. Rather, the facts point to an earlier start @1870 in concert with the rise of Bismarck and the highwater mark for the political-economic reforms championed by the school of Classical Economists, whose aims as noted up thread were to end the remaining feudal interests of the Rentier Class and their parasitic impact. Bismarck had observed the numerous European social revolutions; and upon unifying the German principalities into one German suprastate, began creating his Blood & Iron welfare state by giving the masses of all classes a stake in the system, which was Revolutionary at that time and treated as a threat--a good example--by the French and English elites. As Hudson intones, those feudal interests and the power they wielded has very deep roots going back to @1500BC in Southwest Asia and @1000BC in Eastern and Southern Europe--@3000 years of Rentier Class dominance over all and the core of all Reaction to any attempts at reform through the use of assassination and intimidation.

That's where I see the beginning and its why. I'm still not very well versed on the European part of the initial stage of the Reaction--the 35 years 1875-1910--but I have a fairly good handle of the USA's part during that period. The best mimicking of Bismarckian thought pre-WW1 was provided by Rooseevelt's speech at Osawatomie, which he called the New Nationalism, spells it out in his prefatory oratory:

"Our country - this great Republic - means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy, the triumph of popular government, and, in the long run, of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him. That is why the history of America is now the central feature of the history of the world; for the world has set its face hopefully toward our democracy; and, O my fellow citizens, each one of you carries on your shoulders not only the burden of doing well for the sake of your own country, but the burden of doing well and of seeing that this nation does well for the sake of mankind." [My Emphasis]

If Sanders is deemed a Socialist, imagine what Theodore Roosevelt would be called today when uttering that platform. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The History Department at George Mason University introduces the speech that follows thusly:

"The most famous speech in American political history was delivered by William Jennings Bryan on July 9, 1896, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The issue was whether to endorse the free coinage of silver at a ratio of silver to gold of 16 to 1. (This inflationary measure would have increased the amount of money in circulation and aided cash-poor and debt-burdened farmers.)"

Not much emphasis is made to this "most famous speech" or its subject matter nowadays, nor is the issue that Bryan references POTUS Jackson or the same issue that confronted Jefferson before him. Why is something deemed "most important" no longer considered relevant? Perhaps because the issue is over whether the nation's and the public's finances will be under public or private control:

"He says that we are opposing the national bank currency. It is true. If you will read what Thomas Benton said, you will find that he said that in searching history he could find but one parallel to Andrew Jackson. That was Cicero, who destroyed the conspiracies of Cataline and saved Rome. He did for Rome what Jackson did when he destroyed the bank conspiracy and saved America.

"We say in our platform that we believe that the right to coin money and issue money is a function of government. We believe it. We believe it is a part of sovereignty and can no more with safety be delegated to private individuals than can the power to make penal statutes or levy laws for taxation.

"Mr. Jefferson, who was once regarded as good Democratic authority, seems to have a different opinion from the gentleman who has addressed us on the part of the minority. Those who are opposed to this proposition tell us that the issue of paper money is a function of the bank and that the government ought to go out of the banking business. I stand with Jefferson rather than with them, and tell them, as he did, that the issue of money is a function of the government and that the banks should go out of the governing business….

"Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that this was a struggle between the idle holders of idle capital and the struggling masses who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country; and my friends, it is simply a question that we shall decide upon which side shall the Democratic Party fight. Upon the side of the idle holders of idle capital, or upon the side of the struggling masses? That is the question that the party must answer first; and then it must be answered by each individual hereafter. The sympathies of the Democratic Party, as described by the platform, are on the side of the struggling masses, who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic Party." [My Emphasis]

The idea of Trickle-down economics wasn't something new introduced by David Stockman and Ronald Reagan and denigrated as "Voodoo Economics" by GHW Bush:

"Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that this was a struggle between the idle holders of idle capital and the struggling masses who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country; and my friends, it is simply a question that we shall decide upon which side shall the Democratic Party fight. Upon the side of the idle holders of idle capital, or upon the side of the struggling masses? That is the question that the party must answer first; and then it must be answered by each individual hereafter. The sympathies of the Democratic Party, as described by the platform, are on the side of the struggling masses, who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic Party.

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it." [My Emphasis]

Later in his speech, Bryan links the proposed Gold Standard policy to England. And it ought to be very clear that the D-Party of Bryan, Jackson, Jefferson, and FDR is dead, having died when reactionary insiders got Wallace ousted and Truman installed. But why was England trying to strong-arm nations into adopting the Gold Standard? That's what I'll look at the start of the next installment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 22:22 utc | 239

lulu @237--

You did an excellent job! Open threads are for long commentary and an opportunity to explore topics that b doesn't specifically address, as you can see by mine @238.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 22:30 utc | 240

@ : karlof1 | Nov 27 2019 22:22 utc | 238

Totally rfo! Right phuckin' on!
Best! Hey Dude, you did a fine thing!

I heard family stories...about the bull moose and tr... 2 degrees away, well maybe 3...

We used to say bitchen. Not pc anymore too bad. Bitchen job!

Posted by: Walter | Nov 27 2019 23:48 utc | 241

Ah, thank you, karlof1 @ 229. I hadn't heard of William Appleman Williams, though as he contributed to The Nation during the years we might have had our subscription to that magazine, I certainly ought to have. I suspect back in those years we were not concerned with empire but rather with what he says in the excerpt I found, "imagining a new America" from the one we found ourselves in raising our family. Here's that copied excerpt (Nation wouldn't let me cut and paste.)

"...Can you even imagine America as not an empire? [I could and did, or I would never have become a citizen.] I think often about the relationship between these two words - imagination and empire - and wonder if they are incompatible. The truth is that I think they are incompatible. [So do I.] Do you want to imagine a new America or do you want to preserve the empire? Now, as surely we all know, preserving the empire is an exercise in futility [and needless carnage]. We will sizzle or suffocate. So let us get on with imagining a new America."

My one disagreement is still that I don't think the founders of the country were concerned with empire. One point on that is the French response to the incipient revolution, but also how it caught fire in the colonies. It wasn't just rich propertied folk sitting back and scheming how to retain their wealth - it was indeed a daring enterprise of imagination, like Jefferson's own estate, full of the new inventions and possibilities of the land itself, his university, explorations - more like what Russia faces today in an immense country that would take hold of the imagination and of families from all walks of life to become a part of.

Sure, that had awful consequences for the indigenous tribes and for the slaves - indeed it did - and women suffrage was far off as well - lots needed fixing. But this in itself was a world to conquer in the minds of the settlers and their leaders - maybe it is just a disagreement on the word 'empire'. Certainly the kind of empire we resist today hasn't got any imagination whatsoever and is doomed. But the kind that is Russia in its own land, that's chockfull of imagination!.

But that's all of this gentleman's writings I've read so far this century at least, and I do like what he says in this extract.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 27 2019 23:48 utc | 242

@238 karlof1

I hope you're keeping these big comments and compiling them somewhere or somehow. You've been piece-mealing your way through some major themes for some time now in these threads, and a lot of it seems to be coming together to great effect. Good work, many thanks.

I echo Walter in saluting you for this Bryan exposition - very coherent, very important, almost in itself the revolution.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2019 0:10 utc | 243

Walter @240--

Yeah, bitchin' took over for boss when wicked came before bad, ya dig! Note that the D-Party swapped its position 180 degrees under Wilson regarding the public control of government finance deep-sixing D-Party policy since its inception.

juliania @241--

Thanks for your reply! There weren't many radicals amongst the land owners; they mostly existed within the merchants and speculators. The Tory or pro-British POV doesn't get much time at all in standard US History courses, which is a shame. I highly suggest Bailyn's The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson as a necessary corrective.

As for your disagreement, the British subjects residing in the American Colonies knew well they were part of an Empire; and given the definition of Empire, that they'd become one as soon as they gained independence. Thus, as a given, it's not written about or remarked upon much. Perhaps the greatest articulation of being part of and then turning against Empire is within the Declaration of Independence. I hope you read the two speeches I linked above. I used both as teaching tools.

Grieved @243--

Thanks for your reply! Roosevelt's speech is just as weighty as he really goes off against the Plutocrats. Both provide different examples of what's now being fought against by the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28 2019 1:03 utc | 244

I guess I will have to ask you your definition of Empire, karlof1. If you simply mean expansion within territorial borders, then when a country enlarges to that extent, is that empire? My definition had been to have gone beyond natural borders into other lands as the Roman Empire and British Empire had done. To dominate the then known world being the aim of empire, not just to secure a place among other national entities. I still think you are attributing enormous reach to what was then an incipient country set on establishing itself as one among many, though I will grant you that empire delusion came upon the later and modern governments here as we've seen.

Russia drew back from soviet expansion and has benefited greatly. Most of the countries it formerly dominated have remained in alliance; a few have not. We used to be afraid of 'the domino effect' as far as China and Korea were concerned. Currently China is busy enough within its own borders.

For me, empire building took surreptitious wing with the creation of the CIA - a good book is "Legacy of Ashes" on that. (I can't locate my copy or I would give the author's name as well.) That's not to say there haven't been other delusionary expansions throughout the history; my only point was that it was not an overt premonition of the founders - they'd have hoped the country to become 'great' no doubt and an example in the manner of your recent quotation from Theodore Roosevelt. (My latest grandson, born on my birthday, is named Theodore - watch out!)

Posted by: juliania | Nov 28 2019 1:21 utc | 245

I guess I will have to ask you your definition of Empire, karlof1. If you simply mean expansion within territorial borders, then when a country enlarges to that extent, is that empire? My definition had been to have gone beyond natural borders into other lands as the Roman Empire and British Empire had done. To dominate the then known world being the aim of empire, not just to secure a place among other national entities. I still think you are attributing enormous reach to what was then an incipient country set on establishing itself as one among many, though I will grant you that empire delusion came upon the later and modern governments here as we've seen.

Russia drew back from soviet expansion and has benefited greatly. Most of the countries it formerly dominated have remained in alliance; a few have not. We used to be afraid of 'the domino effect' as far as China and Korea were concerned. Currently China is busy enough within its own borders.

For me, empire building took surreptitious wing with the creation of the CIA - a good book is "Legacy of Ashes" on that. (I can't locate my copy or I would give the author's name as well.) That's not to say there haven't been other delusionary expansions throughout the history; my only point was that it was not an overt premonition of the founders - they'd have hoped the country to become 'great' no doubt and an example in the manner of your recent quotation from Theodore Roosevelt. (My latest grandson, born on my birthday, is named Theodore - watch out!)

Posted by: juliania | Nov 28 2019 1:21 utc | 246


We can also find supposed records of Gilgamesh and the Scorpion King. Doesn't mean they actually existed. It also doesn't mean that these early small scale tribal 'Kings' have any meaningful continuity with the civilizations that followed.

And yes, exactly. There really isn't such a thing as a coherent, unified 'European' civilization. Certainly not one encompassing everything from Greece to the British Isles.

Posted by: Merasmus | Nov 28 2019 1:34 utc | 247

@ juliania # 245 who wrote
For me, empire building took surreptitious wing with the creation of the CIA

I would encourage you to understand the private finance core that fostered the creation of the CIA both for internal use and the expansion/maintenance of financial empire around the world.

Did you read the short Reuters piece I added above about the CIA operatives being captured in Iran?
Why does the US fronted empire have "troops" in 180 countries?

I posit it is all about getting and keeping them under the global private finance umbrella which is the real base of empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 28 2019 1:49 utc | 248

@lulu - i suggest you and others skip with certain posters that aren't interested in learning anything different from how they see it...

@238 karlof1... thanks for the overview on that.. it seems this is right up psychohistorians alley!

"the issue is over whether the nation's and the public's finances will be under public or private control." we have heard this time and again from psychohistorian! let us find out what you learn on england strongarming other nations towards the gold standard... thanks..

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2019 2:00 utc | 249

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 27 2019 19:07 utc | 234

I agree Kaepernick is a hypocrite (or, rather, a depoliticized man). What I'm arguing is that this was not the reason he was blacklisted.

All the evidence points to the direction that he was blacklisted because mob rule made the NFL teams have to force him out because his PR costs wouldn't compensate what he was bringing to the table.

Yes, if he was playing Peyton Manning level, he wouldn't be blacklisted, I agree with that; but much worse quarterbacks are still in the league. Kaepernick is a backup quarterback bare minimum.

Posted by: vk | Nov 28 2019 2:14 utc | 250

@ Posted by: Merasmus | Nov 28 2019 1:34 utc | 246

What you guys are discussing is called "ethnogenesis".

Of course modern China is completely different from ancient China. When Xi Jinping evokes China's "5,000 year" heritage, he's simply galvanizing the people over a nationalist basis.

The same way, the USA from 1776 is completely different from the USA from 1945 onwards. George Washington never imagined he was founding the future sole superpower. In fact, from the historical-archaeological point of view, you can argue we're at USA III (or IV): the first was the colonial USA, a mere experiment by some random British entrepeneurs; the second was the revolutionary USA (founding fathers, etc.); the third was regional superpower USA (expansion to the West, Civil War, Monroe Doctrine); the fourth is imperial USA (1945-present). The same certainly applies to any other extant nation.

I've listened to some Chinese scholars, and China has a particularity in relation to its ethnogenesis: in China, if you have the Mandate of the Heavens, you are "automatically" the supreme governor of China (emperor); the Mandate of the Heavens can be given or taken by natural disasters, wars and peasant revolts (a unique Chinese feature). By that logic, the CCP has the Mandate of the Heavens, therefore being the legitimate successor of the Chinese empire. That's why Karl Marx is put on the same level of the Chinese great philosophers such as Confucius in China, and Socialism is considered the successor ideology of the previous Chinese ones.

Posted by: vk | Nov 28 2019 2:25 utc | 251

@ juliania again

Two additional points
1. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein clearly explains how empire went into South American countries, created/expanded an oligarchy, set up a private owned Central Bank and got the countries indebted to the private IMF/World bank
2. The JFK concept of the Peace Corps was and continues to be a way for the CIA to identify and neutralize potential "troublemakers" under the guise of "helping out"

@ karlof1 and others with the public/private finance quotes and such.

What I don't know is the history of the the on/off of gold/silver backing to money that has occurred over the past few hundred years but believe it was done when forced and when it could be used to game the rest of the countries by the core of global private finance at the time. I know from the Paper against Gold book that the UK empire went off gold backed money in the late 1700's which is about 100 years after the City of London Corp was established and that the current empire went off gold backing of money and into fiat money in 1971 with Nixon.

So I think that fiat money started in the late 1700's in places, but between then and 1971 when the Western world went fiat, the on/off of precious metal backed money is unclear to me.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 28 2019 2:26 utc | 252

70years after the fukus insitigated Indo/China war,
[spun as 'Chinese aggression'],

68 years after the CIA/MI6/RAW orchestrated Tibet riot,
[spun as popular uprising],

30 years after the CIA/MI6 TAM destabilisation,
([[they]]] call it 'massacre of unarmed students' until this day)

12 years after the CIA/MI6/raw bloody riots in Tibet,
[so-called 'brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors]

11 years after the CIA/MI6 engineered bloodbath in Xinjiang,
[again, sobs tell us its 'brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors]

barely 5 years after another blood bath by Uighur militants and
the 'umbrella rev' in HK,
[[[they]]] already make a sequel, this time [[[they]]] wanna provoke a real massacre , with thousands of on the spot witness telecasting it real time to a world audience thru their mobile phone.

LIke I say, these CIA/MI6 capers usually are designed to
'kill several birds with one stone'.

Big bang for murkkan tax payers buck.
YOur monies are in good hand ,

This latest HK caper serves at least three purposes,

First , [[[their]]] usual demonisation of China,

Second, as bargain chip to force a Chinese trade concession,

Last but not least, to sway TW electorates towards that
Washington puppet, Cai Yin Wen,.

Right on cue, a 'Chinese spy' just confessed in Oz, his diabolical plan to subvert the TW election.
Hey presto,
no sooner than that interview was aired when the super efficient TW intel already apprehended two 'Chinese spooks' just before they were trying to board a flight home !

How conveeenient that all these happen at the eve of TW election, when a opposition candidate Han GUo Yu is enjoying very high popularity rating .......oops, he's now smeared as a CCP stooge !

Even an ex TW spook cant help smirking during an interview, at this oh so transparent script, written by 'you know who' !

Hey king liar you fucking moron,
forget about your ((())) tripe, no one, but one one can out B,S. the [[[five liars]]]...

[[["Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!" (Sir Walter Scott, 1808).]]]


Posted by: denk | Nov 28 2019 2:39 utc | 253

Thanks psychohistorian - no, I haven't yet read the Reuters piece, but will - I'll just say on the Peace Corp, that my father-in-law had the joyful thought he was one of the idealists on that score - not having anything to do with CIA subterfuge. He may well have been partially correct, as he did have a dear friend in Kennedy's cabinet. It was all about asking not what your country could do for you...and a lot of young people really believed in it.

I was coming back here tonight to thank karlof1 - he has inspired me to revisit Alexis de Tocqueville, and I am finding the reading fascinating. He's big on equality as a novel new idea in the formation of laws, etc. as unlike in the old country he generally perceives a lack of stratified community in the colonies as they were generated, thus:

"...The political existence of the majority of the nations of Europe commenced in the superior ranks of society, and was gradually and imperfectly communicated to the different members of the social body. In America, on the contrary, it may be said that the township was organized before the county, the county before the State, and the State before the Union..."

Posted by: juliania | Nov 28 2019 2:51 utc | 254

I'll give one more quote before I leave you in peace:

"...In the States of New England, from the first, the condition of the poor was provided for; strict measures were appointed to attend to them; records were established in every town, in which the results of public deliberations, and the births, deaths, and marriages of the citizens were entered...The law enters into a thousand various details to anticipate and satisfy a crowd of social wants which are even now very inadequately felt in France..."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! [My very favorite American holiday.]

Posted by: juliania | Nov 28 2019 3:10 utc | 255

Below is an article from The Register about a US computer company named Oracle that one of the commenters referred to as having "American industrial disease" which is entirely fitting

Just another example of the sickness of Western society

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 28 2019 3:52 utc | 256

Trump Signs Bill Backing Hong Kong Protesters, Defying China

Needless to say, no differences will be "settled amicably" and now China will have no choice but to retaliate, aggressively straining relations with the US, and further complicating Trump's effort to wind down his nearly two-year old trade war with Beijing.

. . .

Trump also signed into law the PROTECT Hong Kong act, which will prohibit the sale of US-made munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to the city’s authorities.

. . .

In accordance with the law, the Commerce Department will have 180 days to produce a report examining whether the Chinese government has tried use Hong Kong’s special trading status to import advanced “dual use” technologies in violation of US export control laws. Dual use technologies are those that can have commercial and military applications.

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Trump's statement:

I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 28 2019 4:34 utc | 257

De Tocqueville, mentioned above for his famous Democracy in America , traveled with an associate. That was Gustave De Beaumont. He too produced an important analysis, but created his presentation as a novel. He focused on a fundamental problem that might be see as the star-crossed curse of America> "Marie or Slavery in the United States,A Novel of Jacksonian America" (Marie ou l'esclavage aux Etats-Unis).

I have read that Lincoln was working on chartering the ships to send the slaves, or freed slaves, the blacks, to Africa. To-day we might say "ethnic cleansing"...and I understand his murder by conspiracy was curated by the English in part to prevent that. To create discord, division, to implant that as a permanent conflict engine. If so, it worked.

Reading one without the other may be less good than reading both.

Another superb contextual and literary analytical statement about America is Melville's "The Confidence-Man".

Marie and Confidence Man are online.

Alas, nobody reads these anymore.

I myself, looking to the more recent, would suggest "The Big Con" and "You Can't Win" (both were influential, they say, in forming Burroughs' character) but these latter two are not great literature, simply illumination

Posted by: Walter | Nov 28 2019 7:04 utc | 258

re: Posted by: lulu | Nov 27 2019 11:13 utc | 221

Further to what you posted about the Hongkongese attitude towards their 'mainlander' comrades it is vital to bear in mind the spineless attitude by the same Hongkongese to the Thatcher government decision to rob them of their status as brits.

Prior to the handover of Hongkong back to PRC, citizens of Hongkong were considered british citizens by the englander government, albeit rather second class citizens not entitled to reap the benefits of british industrial awards, lest employers (both englander and HK 'Chinese') be compelled to pay their Hongkong workers the same wage as other brits were entitled to by law.

When Chris Patton negotiated for the terms of the handover, the PRC made it plain that they were not opposed to Hongkongese being made full british subjects - as long as everyone accepted that there could be no automatic dual citizenship. "Fairweather' citizens were outta order; but beyond that if people wanted to remain Brits - no prob.

No problem for China but a big issue for racist englanders, so Patton dismissed the offer out of hand, in doing so closing off the opportunity for Hongkongese to join a corrupt western 'democracy'.

Even now while the bbc whinges about the HK Police arresting vandals, no one mentions the obvious solution - to make all these anglophiles english.

Once again the imperialists are let off the hook. AFAIC all sides of this contretemps are bent m-fers gaming for their own ends, which doesn't mean any side should be considered idealist - this entire issue springs from the english empire (which was once all the pink bits on an atlas of the world) running from its obligations to humans as it has consistently done since 1746, and likely before - ask the Taffys who have been screwed for at least one thousand years.

Posted by: A User | Nov 28 2019 7:08 utc | 259

Re Hong Hong item. The weakness in shall we say the critical Hong Kong narrative is that there too much the assumption that the foreign actors control the opposition and therefore the opposition has no legitimate aspirations.
The US/UK influence factor is real, it is extensive, and it is a long term factor. It didn't start recently but started at least a generation ago.
The introduction of democratic elements in Hong Kong was (or so I believe)not done to benefit the citizens but to damage China.
There is also the factor of redirecting legitimate grievances towards the external enemy China.
But at some point one has to accept that there are legitimate aspirations. People in Hong Kong have a preference for the US and approve of the interference.
There another factor comes in play. It is not the only factor to take in account but it matters.
The US foreign policy of nurturing can cultivating separatists and opposition forces wherever it may benefit them.
The state being targeted also has its legitimate concerns: stability and integrity of the state, an internal organisation where powers interact to settle their conflicts.
If not, then it is perfectly fine that Russia annexes the Donbass tomorrow, as well as parts of other neighboring countries with Russian speaking areas. Germany annexing German speaking areas before WW2 was fine.
Separation of Kosovo was fine. And of course Crimea is the easiest to justify of all.
Then the Oded Yinon plan is basically fine but one may quibble about the implementation details. States can be made to desintegrate by cultivating separatists.
Fjodor Lukyanov made a case once for a new treaty of Vienna.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 28 2019 11:07 utc | 260

"People in Hong Kong have a preference for the US and approve of the interference" sheer tosh. Hongkongers have not said anything about wanting be allied to the US.
If the bloated amerikan imperialists truly believed that, they wouldn't be hiding in the shadows & trying to pull strings, they would be out there blowing their own trumpet as they always do when they manage to delude idjits into believing what every other human tells them is lies, that US mob are on the up and up.

The fact they are not doing that tells us all that the us knows it is about as popular in Hongkong as a fart in an elevator, so instead, they creep about the island trying to sell their worn out hyperbole to treasonous but ambitious careerists, fools and a sprinkling of madmen.

Posted by: A User | Nov 28 2019 11:38 utc | 261

juliania @246 said: "My definition [of empire] had been to have gone beyond natural borders into other lands...".

And what were the borders of the Thirteen Colonies when they declared their independence from England? I hope you are not mistakenly assuming that they extended to the Pacific Ocean, as that was territory that other people were already living in. Many millions had to be killed and whole civilizations destroyed before America reached "from sea to shining sea". As partially Native American (and significantly more so than Elizabeth Warren, I assure you!), I find it offensive when people assume that America was empty before the Europeans arrived as if the indigenous populations were just subhuman "savages" that don't count. Indeed, one of the key reasons we failed to contain the Europeans' war of conquest of the continent was because we could not match the Europeans' brutal savagery.

karlof1 is correct to state that the US imperial ambitions started from day one.

Additional note: It may be that your definition of empire could be further updated to include modern forms of domination, as it appears that you might be working with notions of empire that are severely dated. Referring to the Roman Empire as an example is usually not very useful these days as that empire grew out of a slavery-based form of economy. Contemporary forms of empire are strictly capitalism-based (thus the USSR never formed an empire in either the modern or antiquated sense). One of the best primers on the modern form of imperialism is the one written by Lenin: Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.

If this modernized understanding of empire offends because you wonder "What is so bad about private trans-national finance? That's not illegal or anything!" then you should reflect on the fact that slavery wasn't illegal in the Roman Empire where it formed the foundation of the economy. As well, I'd suggest perhaps discussing with psychohistorian how it is that private finance achieves the same ends as slavery, along with immiseration of populations indistinguishable from what slavery results in, as I am confident that barfly fully understands how it works without even reading the pamphlet that I linked above. Actually, psycho-h would likely better describe the rubber-meets-pavement aspects of the role of private finance more colorfully than Lenin did as Lenin's essay is considered by some to be rather dry and technical.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 28 2019 12:26 utc | 262

Japanification of the USA:

Birthrates in the U.S. are falling. Abortions have also hit an all-time low

As we all know, constant population growth is essential for the survival of capitalism, since it is one of the main factors that slow down its tendency of the profit rate to fall. The article seems to agree with this:

Birthrates have been trending downward overall since 2005, sparking concern about potential economic and cultural ramifications. Keeping the number of births within a certain range, called the “replacement level,” ensures the population level will remain stable. A low birthrate runs the risk that the country will not be able to replace the workforce and have enough tax revenue, while a high birthrate can cause shortages of resources.

Another related article approaches the issue from another angle:

Social counterrevolution and the decline in US life expectancy

Virginia Commonwealth University professor Dr. Steven H. Woolf and Eastern Virginia Medical School student Heidi Schoomaker analyzed life expectancy data for the years 1959-2016 and cause-specific mortality rates for 1999-2017. The data shows that the decline in life expectancy is not a statistical anomaly, but the outcome of a decades-long assault on the working class.

So, this is not an "anomaly". If it isn't, then there's an underlying cause, which the same article hypothetizes:

Obamacare was part of a deliberate drive by the ruling class to lower the life expectancy of working people. As far as the strategists of American capitalism are concerned, the longer the lifespan of elderly and retired workers, who no longer produce profits for the corporations but require government-subsidized medical care to deal with health issues, the greater the sums that are diverted from the coffers of the rich and the military machine.

A 2013 paper by Anthony H. Cordesman of the Washington think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) frankly presented the increasing longevity of ordinary Americans as an immense crisis for US imperialism. “The US does not face any foreign threat as serious as its failure to come to grips with… the rise in the cost of federal entitlement spending,” Cordesman wrote, saying the debt crisis was driven “almost exclusively by the rise in federal spending on major health care programs, Social Security, and the cost of net interest on the debt.”

Meanwhile, conditions for the rich have never been better. This is reflected in the growing life expectancy gap between the rich and the poor. The richest one percent of men live 14 years longer than the poorest one percent, and the richest one percent of women 10 years longer than the poorest.

I wasn't aware of this CSIS report. If true, then this is indeed a very interesting hypothesis.


The thing I don't understand in the WSWS article linked above is this:

The first nodal point, in the early 1980s, corresponds to the initiation of the social counterrevolution by the administration of Ronald Reagan, which involved union busting, strikebreaking, wage-cutting and plant closings on a nationwide scale, combined with cuts in education, health care and other social programs.

So, Ronald Reagan did a "counterrevolution". That means there was a revolution before him, which I suppose is the post-war "Keynesian consensus", the "golden age of capitalism" of 1945-1975.

I really can't understand the logic behind the Trotskyists: they condemn the USSR and China as "stalinists", i.e. as counterrevolutionaries. But Harry Truman was a revolutionary? Dwight Eisenhower was a revolutionary? Clement Attlee was a revolutionary? De Gaulle was revolutionary?

What kind of nonsense is this?

What is most funny is that these same Trotskyists from the same WSWS website use the rise of labor strikes in China to argue China is a capitalist empire -- but uses the same strikes as evidence there was a revolution in the West during the post-war (by negative, since Reagan's "counterrevolution" was characterized by "union busting, strikebreaking, wage-cutting and plant closings on a nationwide scale, combined with cuts in education, health care and other social programs").

I think Trotskyism is having an identity crisis. They don't know if they are essentially a movement whose objective is essentially to tarnish Stalin's image or if they are closeted social-democrats. They forgot Trotsky fought for the revolution, not personal vendetta.

Posted by: vk | Nov 28 2019 12:49 utc | 263

Tuyzentfloot @260 sez: "...the opposition has no legitimate aspirations.

Sadly, the Hong Kong "opposition" do not have any legitimate aspirations. They have been infected with America's highly contagious delusions and thus their aspirations are not ones that they have any hope of being able to achieve in the real world, regardless of what China does. Their aspirations are varied and individualized dreams that are incompatible with reality.

It is an American mind disease that is transmitted by mass media.

USA --"My gender could be mountain panda if only the cisgender people were not denying it!"

Ukraine --"I could have a 2000€ pension, a Swedish girlfriend, and a BMW in the driveway if only the Soviets would get off my back!"

Venezuela --"I could be rich and powerful like J.R. Ewing if America would bomb Maduro!"

Hong Kong --"I could feel justified in sneering down at impoverished mainlanders again if only... aaargh!"

So the pan-dem-moniums won positions of influence. Let's see if they can do more than burn subway stations.

Hint: They cannot. They do not know how to fix the problems Hong Kong has because they have not yet faced what those problems are. The very fact that they are blaming China for their problems abundantly reveals this. It may be that they are totally incapable of facing what Hong Kong's problems really are as they are completely consumed with the ridiculous delusion that it is mainland China that is holding them down.

Since the pan-dem-moniums cannot deliver, what will they do now? Burn their own offices? Lie on the floor drumming their heels and holding their breaths until they are blue in the face? It may seem counter-intuitive, but the pan-dem-moniums defeated themselves by winning the elections as they have absolutely nothing constructive to offer.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 28 2019 13:18 utc | 264

Hong Kong is now officially lost to China thanks to Trump. We'll see how trade negotiations go. If China gets deeper into a trade war with the U.S., Trump will lose the election. Put it this way, he's already on the road to defeat and humiliation. Can't happen a minute too soon.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 28 2019 13:32 utc | 265

@ vk , who wrote> "I really can't understand the logic behind the Trotskyists"

It's a natural form to say it that way, and polite, because it politely implies that the Trots are using logic in a simple way.

I should say however, that they are touting a belief system, an ideology, not logic.

On a deeper level they design, they say, to create revolution...and they do use logic toward that illogical star, but they're ineffective beyond presenting ideas, and interesting ones too.

Ideologies blind people - and the blind men do not see the many fingers, Winston, and all of the softer ways to bamboozle too. Babich (Crosstalk) said that they were "ultracons" and driven by ideology - he said they're much like the USSR was...if a plan does not work it cannot be because of the ideology- and must have failed because of some person or group...of course they often blame Russia for the failures of their ideology, as we see.

As for creating revolution...the systemic direction, driven by a corrupt elite and their deep terror of the poor, is doing an astonishing job of that. They needen't worry at WSWS...everybody sees the clouds, eh?

For me, the non-logic of those powerful elites - their media claims are at least as dumbass and contradictory as any at wsws - their non-logic seems far more dangerous. They, naturally, have an army at their disposal. WSWS does not. (and they must be steeped in fbi internal "CI"s...if WSWS had an army it would be curated into the liquidation of that army, like the Red Brigades were.)

Posted by: Walter | Nov 28 2019 13:33 utc | 266

@ 261 I think some Hong Kongers would very much like a closer alliance with the US or Britain. But you're right about the US keeping a low profile. Maybe someone in DC has figured out that if they push it too far they could get a massive influx of new citizens. The US is only using HK as a weapon against the PRC.

Posted by: dh | Nov 28 2019 14:13 utc | 267

@William Gruff item 264,
You are reducing people to mindless tools of the US, and therefore what they want can be dismissed.
I say however stupid and manipulated people are, at some point, to some extent, you have to respect what they want. Respecting does not mean you go along with it or agree with it.
Imagine a significant majority says they want out (this cannot be concluded from the polls) then it carries weight and should not be casually dismissed in an authoritarian manner. When the direct aspirations cannot be addressed - because for instance there is a principle of One State which China is not prepared to deviate from,
then at least some of the underlying grievances can be addressed.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 28 2019 14:19 utc | 268

vk @263: "I really can't understand the logic behind the Trotskyists."

While all left-of-Democrats organizations in the US are infiltrated by various domestic intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the CIA predominantly prefers ones building on Trotsky's ideas. There are concrete reasons for this that can be discussed but they are not really necessary to address your point.

There is a strategy pioneered by the Israelis that is at play here. How do authorities identify individuals dispersed in a population who are potential threats to the establishment? The establishment can monitor communications and post informants on street corners everywhere, but the individuals who are the greatest threats know of these approaches and will guard their communications until they build up trust, which takes expensive time (this is capitalism we are talking about here and expenses that do not directly contribute to profits must be minimized).

The Israelis' solution was to have the intelligence agencies themselves create radical organizations that will act as lures to attract radical individuals from society into several different groups. This allows the state to easily monitor the most dangerous individuals. Since legitimate radical organizations always operate on minuscule budgets it is trivial and cheap for the state to be able to build ones that appear more powerful and thus attract radicals away from legit organizations. A side benefit is that this gave the Israelis ready-made groups to commit false flag operations with in which the group members themselves were unaware that they were actually playing into the state's plans.

US law enforcement agencies sent (and continue to send) personnel to Israel to train in building and running these honeypot radical organizations. The CIA also learned from the Israelis about this approach back in the 1960s.

While these organizations tend to be internally highly democratic, the reality is always that the members with "rich uncles" who pay the bulk for printing the organizations' newspaper, maintaining the website, and paying the rent on the organizations' offices, etc., end up consistently being elected to be the leading committees, and of course the "rich uncles" that nobody in the organization ever actually get to meet are in Langley. In fact, many of these organizations are manufactured from the ground up by the CIA, so founding member are actually on the CIA payroll. How many members will have the heart to vote founding members off the central committees?

An obvious example, and one manufactured completely by the CIA, is the "International Socialist Organization". The CIA runs the WSWS as well. This doesn't mean that everybody who writes for the WSWS is on the CIA payroll, but rather that the CIA has high enough level influence in the organization to have editorial control.

Part of what the CIA uses this influence for is to subtly steer the organizations into the political dead end of Identity Politics. They also guide the organizations into support for US imperial objectives and opposition to anti-imperialist movements worldwide. Another big objective of the CIA is to covertly discredit Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, and most importantly Trotskyism (because his work is the most modern theoretical and revolutionary extension of Marxism). With these individuals' works effectively buried, serious potential revolutionaries have to relearn from scratch a century's worth of lessons just to get back to where socialist understanding was in the 1940s (hint: VERY few socialists today are anywhere even remotely close to that).

In any case, the confusion that these supposed "Trotskyist" organizations generate in individuals who are otherwise ahead of the curve in understanding Marxist analysis is entirely intentional. A major part of why these organizations were created and exist is to generate that very confusion.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 28 2019 14:23 utc | 269

Tuyzentfloot @268

Your six year old child wants to go out at night and ride around in a van driven by creepy-looking strangers. Do you respect what that child wants?

Anyway, Hong Kong is certainly getting raped, but it isn't mainland China that is doing the raping. Mainland China is the only possible refuge from that rape for the people of Hong Kong, which is why the rapists have been trying to turn them against that refuge.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 28 2019 14:32 utc | 270


Well done!

Much the same techniques used by LE to "rf" motorcycle clubs - something I studied. They looked a bit like a microcosm for examination. Of course every motorcycle club is also a potential militia and also potentially a criminal gang - it depends on the circumstances and the it seems like a reasonable thing to keep an eye on them, but also not very nice. It traduces basic US law - freedom of association, freedom of speech, entrapment, and the second amendment - which makes militias protected. None of which matters anymore. By the way, they know about it...there's a dialectic going on...not that I myself have zilch to do with those fellas.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 28 2019 14:39 utc | 271

William Gruff @268
as I said from the start, it is not a good argument against separatism to take the authoritarian position of treating voters like a six year old child.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 28 2019 14:53 utc | 272

Tuyzentfloot @272

Do adults throw temper tantrums and burn subway stations?

No, we are not dealing with mature and emotionally stable individuals here.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 28 2019 14:57 utc | 273

@ juliania | Nov 28 2019 1:21 utc | 246

The force of blather is thick here, am tempted not to respond at all but you need a better response than what you got. There are only two forms of empire: contiguous and non-contiguous forms, contiguous is self explanatory, non-contiguous can be seen as maritime empires spanning continents. Historical contiguous empires include: China, Mongol (Trans-Asiatic), Mughal (India), Islamic Caliphate, Ottoman, Imperial Russian/USSR/Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, various Persian, Roman/Byzantine, Egyptian, Abyssinian just to name a few. Maritime empires are best identified with: Portuguese, Spanish, French and English empires. All have a metropolitan controlling core with additional populations, territories and/or colonies adhering, bound to the metropolitan core. Few, such as Ottoman empire were both contiguous and maritime throughout the Mediterranean Sea.

In the North American continent, the English empire was 50% successful maintaining colonies which became Canada. The other English colonies successfully rebelled against English Parliamentary stupidity in economic management, that management adhering to Mercantilist Theory concerning wealth and its accumulation, depriving the colonists of currency with which to conduct their affairs. Those conducting the rebellion were established some century and a half as colonies before conditions became economically and politically intolerable for well established and educated populations. The known size and estimated economic capacity of those rebelling colonies outsized anything Europe could offer outside possibly the Imperial Russian Empire undeveloped as it appeared to be. Certainly the political leaders of the colonial revolution were aware of the economic potential that placed the colonies in an economic category of empire and acknowledged it as such.

Great care must be exercised in using modern language as measure of historical facts such as using the modern conceptual development of words such as empire and applying to historically fixed facts, implying motive that had not existed and giving conclusions that are fictional. The blather here is strong.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Nov 28 2019 18:13 utc | 274

Thanks,Formerly T-Bear @ 274 - I put my answer to Mr. Gruff on the latest open thread but this was an excellent and concise explanation! I agree with the modern language framework, modern ideas as well! We sadly live in interesting times that do distort our sensibilities about the past sometimes, but that's what makes reading historical accounts so very interesting.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 28 2019 19:14 utc | 275

Formerly T-Bear @274 & juliania @275 and earlier--

An excellent formulation T-Bear along the lines of those I developed for Middle School students on the topics of Empire and Imperialism. Also well done was your admonition about the use of Presentism to past events. The primary mind behind the imperialist strategy pursued initially by the Evil Outlaw US Empire was Alfred Thayer Mahan and his The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. That strategy is still in play today augmented by Mackinder's "The Geographical Pivot of History", and what we most easily see today described I great detail in Hudson's Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 29 2019 19:23 utc | 276

I find it fascinating that Michael Hudson essentially re-discovered Lenin's observation that contemporary empire is bound by finance. Sure, Lenin didn't predict what arrangement WWII would leave the world in, but the guy wasn't equipped with psychic precognition so that was to be expected. For a third of a century the world was in a very anomalous state, with half the world freed from capitalism and capitalism even hobbled in its last stronghold. Capitalism was in a very dicey situation and had to tread carefully or the game was over for it. Big business had to pretend to play nice and fool the working class into believing that it had changed fundamentally from the robber baron days. Of course, "The Market™" has all of the mental capabilities of a nematode (that's actually its big selling point) so this act had to be orchestrated by the government (thanks Truman!). When the business elites in the US finally managed to throw the working class off their backs and crush the labor movement in the 1970s-1980s, capitalism reasserted its natural behavior and fell back in line with Lenin's description of it.

Hudson's discussion of the efforts to play hot potato with debt prior to WWII is exciting, but we know how that story ends. Hudson blames this on "intransigence" rather than accepting that America was desperately trying to maintain domestic economic growth in an environment of massive global manufacturing overcapacity. The solution of "debt forgiveness" is not realizable within capitalism which is why it was never (and will never be) implemented. The (private finance) House isn't going to tear up its IOUs and tell the dealer to redistribute its poker chips equitably to the players in order to keep the great poker game of market economics going, and the government doing so is called "expropriation of the bourgeoisie", so we already know what we need to do to get to that point.

Anyway, we can pretend that we are just discovering all of this for the first time and spend a few more decades getting back to the understanding that Marxists had a century ago, but that leaves us poorly prepared to intervene in the proliferation of war. Arguing that "debt forgiveness" is the solution without confronting what that really means and what it will take to get us there does not move us closer to that solution.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 30 2019 20:52 utc | 277

@277 william gruff... thanks for your insightful comments.. do you have a clear idea of the direction forward here on a wide scale? michael hudsons idea of 'debt forgiveness'' is a good one, but as you note - no one is going to take this up...

Posted by: james | Nov 30 2019 21:02 utc | 278

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 30 2019 20:52 utc | 277 who wrote
Arguing that "debt forgiveness" is the solution without confronting what that really means and what it will take to get us there does not move us closer to that solution.

I have a theory about why Michael Hudson pulls his punches and feel the same about the recent Steve Keen video on RT that was linked to by Grieved.

My theory is these folks know better but they are still alive because they do not come out directly and call out global private finance like I do. I am only still alive because I am a nobody with a TBI that can be easily marginalized by the MSM if it became necessary.

It is the same problem I have with Marxism and all those other ISMs....they don't tell the truth about how the power/control structure of the West really works....what the social contract really is. All that textual white noise is fluff like "invisible hand" and "animal spirits" to cover for the reality of the jackboot of private finance on the neck of Western political economy decisions.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 30 2019 21:30 utc | 279

I was too negative about Michael Hudson. I have now read enough of his writings to know that he does call out private finance. That said, it is not a drum beat message for him as his debt jubilee has become and we all know that such an event would still keep the same power structure in place......sigh

I have not read enough of Keen to understand how he can take on the economists but not the God of Mammon religion they are acolytes for.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 30 2019 21:39 utc | 280

@ juliania #275 and karlof1 #276

In addition to genuine empires as above #274, there are 'simulacrum empires' not based upon political(/military) dominance but upon advantageous commercial/trade relationships, e.g. Greek Mediterranean/Black Sea diaspora, Venetian Republic, various Italian city states, the effective empire of Holland (though evolved from maritime in competition with English developments) and the present United States (U.S.) economic position being the outlier of this group, its economic history should be studied in some detail.
Although ideally situated to become a maritime power in two oceans, it began undertaking external empire with the subversion of Hawaiian sovereignty somewhat quickly followed by accepting the detritus of the Spanish-American war. In the meantime England was obtaining commercial dominance over the residue bodies remaining from the collapse of the Spanish Empire; England soon to be contested by the growing U.S. economic powers well fed from the U.S. Civil War and the Republic's policy of development of its western frontiers and intervening territory, e.g. railroad, transportation and telecommunication networks. By the end decade of the 19th Century, the U.S. economy had become the largest in the world, aided immeasurably by government policy and investments during and after the Civil War.
U.S. commercial competition with Britain in the western hemisphere provided a commercial outlet to the historical accumulation of empire up to the advent of the Great War (WW I), the first war employing the industrial might of allied Great Powers (the first war employing industrial against agricultural power was the U.S. Civil War, outcome assured) against one another. The Great War saw the U.S. not only further develop its industrial base by orders of magnitude, it saw the financial wealth derived from its industrial power further employed in granting financing to other allied European Great Powers with the anticipated return on investment that failed to appear. As the European Great Powers recovered industrial capacity from the destruction of the Great War, the capacity of industrial production of the U.S. reached unparalleled levels, the 'Roaring Twenties' and excess ensued to be brought low by events of October 1929, followed by the Second Greater War (WW II).
Exigencies of survival saw all traditional forms of wartime financing utilised to the maximum and borrowing to levels theretofore unexperienced. The effect was to end the empires of all European Powers except that of the Soviet Union's, the U.S. leapt into this power breach to assure balance until whatever recovery could be effected and the Cold War began.
The history of the period following the end of the Second Greater War has yet to be written as there are few economic terms available to write it, the fog of words employed to date continue to hide any clear view of what has transpired in the intervening decades since that would also reveal the nature of a silent political coup de état transpiring within the U.S. itself. No-one is prepared for or can handle the facts so hidden, or know how to manage the results. The old mapmakers had their "Here be Dragons" to indicate the unknown; the future is of "Here be Dragons" as well.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 1 2019 12:03 utc | 281

All empires are about economics. The political and military issues are just implementation details.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 1 2019 12:32 utc | 282

@ 282


Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 1 2019 13:23 utc | 283

Debt jubilee? Red herring.. Come on, we have to stop believing in any form of saviors, be it coming from the elites, ie a financial reset, jubilee, dinar revaluation (funny one), etc. or from the New Age spectrum: An "Event" or "Second Coming", "Messiah", "Alien landing", "Ascension", etc. We have to come to grips that we are left to our own devices and take matters in our own hands. Either A-Revolutionary movements pick up the torch passed on from Trotsky to Che to Chavez and break the shackles.
B-Retreat to the jungle/desert/mountain and live "outside the system" and negate any chance of change..

I'm personally opting for B..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 1 2019 13:27 utc | 284

james @278

Yes, I know the direction we (as western society) need to go to avoid calamity, but it's a tough row to hoe. Debt jubilee is part of that, but to get there we need a revolution. Not the vulgar common conception of revolution where mobs tear down society's institutions leaving power vacuums to be filled by the next most powerful as in America's color revolutions, but a revolution in which people build up parallel power structures in society and then replace the old power structures with the new. Note the order to this: build new power structures and then comes the revolution. Gratification needs to be delayed until society is ready.

The most natural and organic progression from here to there is through workplace organization... unions and cooperatives. Of course, America's unions need serious clean-up before they can fulfill this role and a good starting point is to dump careerists from the leadership. The easy way to accomplish this is to limit all elected positions in the unions to either whatever their salary was prior to being elected or to the average of all the members' wages/salaries, whichever is lower. Careerists like big salaries and thus will seek out other career ladders to rung-grab their way up.

The American labor movement actually got pretty close to being able to pull this off several decades back but refused to take the reins from the business elites. Whether it was pity or lack of confidence, the labor movement had big business up against the ropes and then let them go. For its part, big business cannot feel pity (it's all just business), so when they picked themselves up and regrouped they completely crushed the labor movement (a big part of why they moved manufacturing to China) with not an ounce of remorse.

In any case, the solution is mass organization. In the workplace, in the community, online, in clubs and associations; wherever people interact, organization needs to be built. Then these organizations need to organize, electing/selecting (whatever the various organization's internal structures demand) representatives to regional and then national and then international conferences. The very process of building this kind of global organization will obsolete and displace traditional top-down authority in society. It will also establish a mechanism in society that can move us beyond market/private control over big finance without requiring that humanity dismantle globally integrated manufacturing (something required to avoid significant "population decline", to put it gently).

This is all entirely possible and success has been achieved experimentally over and over again in various settings around the world already. Humans naturally organize themselves. This, along with our ability to accumulate and transmit culture, is our chief evolutionary survival trait after all. We now have the technological infrastructure in place (the Internet) to enable populations to organize at the global scale and engage in the discussion and debate necessary to keep those organizations viable and responsive at that scale.

Left on its own, humanity will eventually achieve this degree of organization, unfortunately there are time constraints. We have to get to the point of being able to consciously and deliberately manage our economic activity and our environment before we poison our petri dish of a planet or use our technology to unconsciously destroy ourselves and erase much of the mountain of culture that we stand on. Also unfortunate is that the current business elites running the world are doing literally everything in their power to destroy and/or subjugate and/or corrupt any organization that appears in society.

We're on a tight deadline to avoid a new Dark Ages. Isn't it exciting to live in interesting times?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 1 2019 14:08 utc | 285

Lozion says:

...Come on, we have to stop believing in any form of saviors...An "Event" or "Second Coming", "Messiah", "Alien landing", "Ascension", etc. We have to come to grips that we are left to our own devices and take matters in our own hands

well, i presuppose that it'll take an "Event" before we find the moxie(necessity) to take matters into our own hands(no, commenting on the internet doesn't count). Nuclear holocaust, massive natural disaster, viral invasion, take your pick.

Posted by: john | Dec 1 2019 14:22 utc | 286

@ 285

Again 'Brilliant!' Quite some stash of hopium you got there. Care to share?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 1 2019 14:52 utc | 287


@269: warns of controlled opposition

@282: All empires are about economics....

@285: We're on a tight deadline to avoid a new Dark Ages.

Yes. Yes. Yes.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 1 2019 15:21 utc | 288

@286 You're putting faith in a catalyst "event" for things to change. The exact opposite of my argument..
@Hopium, the New Age religion of the masses, also explains why I opt for option B-Tune out..
@288 The Dark Ages upon us is The Machine Kingdom, post-singularity, wherein man transcends consciousness and morphs into an android type being..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 1 2019 17:37 utc | 289

Lozion says:

You're putting faith in a catalyst "event" for things to change. The exact opposite of my argument

yep. we may yet realize your second scenario, but yeah, it'll take a catastrophic event for that to happen for sure. there are 7.7 billion of us after all. in the meantime things won't change, they'll just slowly evolve, or devolve, as the case may be.

Posted by: john | Dec 1 2019 19:11 utc | 290

@285 william gruff... thanks.. i missed your post until now! i was reading that article on NED by william blum.. in it he mentions the cia's involvement in the unions and etc.. let me quote from the article -
"From 1994 to 1996, NED awarded 15 grants, totaling more than $2,500,000, to the American Institute for Free Labor Development, an organization used by the CIA for decades to subvert progressive labor unions. AIFLD’s work within Third World unions typically involved a considerable educational effort very similar to the basic NED philosophy described above. The description of one of the 1996 NED grants to AIFLD includes as one its objectives: “build union-management cooperation”. Like many things that NED says, this sounds innocuous, if not positive, but these in fact are ideological code words meaning “keep the labor agitation down … don’t rock the status-quo boat”. The relationship between NED and AIFLD very well captures the CIA origins of the Endowment.

NED has funded centrist and rightist labor organizations to help them oppose those unions which were too militantly pro-worker. This has taken place in France, Portugal and Spain amongst many other places. In France, during the 1983-4 period, NED supported a “trade union-like organization for professors and students” to counter “left-wing organizations of professors”. To this end it funded a series of seminars and the publication of posters, books and pamphlets such as “Subversion and the Theology of Revolution” and “Neutralism or Liberty”. (“Neutralism” here refers to being unaligned in the cold war.)"

it seems to me your idea is a good one, but it is being subverted by NED! thanks for taking the time to respond to my question wg!

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2019 20:45 utc | 291

@kopamaros through her website is offering a free PDF to an interesting book which debunks the"Holomodor Hoax"...

"Fraud, Famine and Fascism" by Douglas Tottle is now available for free in PDF format from the library of the website. I highly recommend this book on the Ukrainian nationalist's famine–genocide campaign. Exposing the myth from Hitler to Harvard.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 3 2019 21:37 utc | 292

here is a direct link to the pdf book by douglas tottle, that sasha refers to...

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2019 21:57 utc | 293

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