Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 24, 2020

Open Thread 2020-101

News & views ...

Posted by b on December 24, 2020 at 10:44 UTC | Permalink

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@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 2:09 utc | 102

The last point you reply to is a total misrepresentation of Hudson’s scholarship on early money, so you’re debunking an imaginary.

The other points made by your interlocutor in his post are also misrepresentations of the literature, as you point out, but careful reading is not a strong suit of clue who has claimed to have read all !!! of Marx’ works, some of which have not even yet been published.

Posted by: suzan | Dec 26 2020 2:43 utc | 101

Waving goodbye to Weibo
"The retrenchment of online discourse has also given way to another bizarre twist: the championing of Donald Trump as a free speech crusader. While fighting for equality and justice at home, Guo and liberal Chinese intellectuals, such as Chen Guangcheng and Ai Weiwei, have emerged on Twitter as staunch Trump supporters, condemning the Black Lives Matter movement, comparing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the radicals of the Cultural Revolution, and calling President Biden’s win into question. Through the cracked lens of today’s polarized discourse, Donald Trump’s opposition to the Chinese Communist Party has paradoxically made him an ally, and his rallying cries against the rhetoric of “political correctness” have won over Guo and others."
Lost on most free Westerners here ...

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 26 2020 2:43 utc | 102

re frtitzcat (sic) or fritzcat
Is a soporific sophomore a real person? I guess it's still celebration of the winter solstice in the US & there's always a few who get their teeth floating on the booze.

Posted by: A Human | Dec 26 2020 3:41 utc | 103

I have problems with these catagories.... socialist, communist, marxist, facist ... it lends itself to sloppy discourse.
(Ok, fine, you hate marxists ....but what is a marxist, in your mind?”
Talk about their ideas... something i can chew on. The name calling is infantile.

Posted by: James j | Dec 26 2020 4:42 utc | 104

frtitzcat #105

"is Marxturbation a word"?

Yes, and it drives D bots insane with rage. Russurbation is another affliction often mistaken these days for marxturbation. D bots cant tell the difference any more as Bernie refuses to explain the difference. Not that he would know or care.

Comrade Pelovskaya has refused to provide any Medicare for All for the masses suffering from this disease as she and her murder of chicks are busy gorging on their new entitlements.

As the local D bot reminds us - "wankers of the world unite" you have no medicare for alll to lose but here's some more chains.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 26 2020 5:07 utc | 105

lofl circe of course biden is a deficit hawk, has been for decades.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 26 2020 5:40 utc | 106

I just posted the comment below over on the Happy Christmas thread but decided it should be posted here as well.....

@ b who wrote

Time for a festivity that is about hope, about the birth of a revolutionary and savior who will make the walls come down. If only symbolically.

It is the end of Christmas day here on the US West coast. Like b, everyone I know is limiting connection this year to electronic means, which represents even more social change to the list of what the events and/or the political/economic manipulations of 2020 have wrought.

Change is the operative concept that is a given but perceived/actual rate fluctuates significantly. Does the amount of change we are seeing reflect efforts to effectuate more social control in the West or a breakdown reflecting the inherent social dissonance in the top/bottom social contract? Does that make it evolutionary or add an "r" to the previous?

I think that the walls that are coming down symbolically are those that lie about the potential of humanity organizing itself in other than the top/bottom Western manner. China is proving the lie of the West TINA to global private finance. That is why we are in the civilization war that is entering a new phase in 2021, the financial shock.....below is the ending quote from one of the latest postings at Wall Street on Parade
And, of course, the derivatives that blew up Wall Street during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2010 have reached massive heights once again with nary an alarm bell being rung by regulators, as have the off-balance sheet accounting manipulations.

In short, all the same devils have returned to set in motion the next epic Wall Street collapse.
The shit show continues

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 26 2020 6:49 utc | 107

Last time I was in the US of A the president was an ex agenCIA guy, Arbusto the Elder, so thanks a lot for the compliment, my main aim visiting this bar was to practice my forgotten English and it seems I’m doing fine since someone thinks I’m a freedom fries muncher.

Marxism, a whole generation of USians has to disappear before the word is taken for what it is. The duck an cover trauma won’t go away easily.

May the coming year be at least peaceful. Happy holidays.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 26 2020 7:08 utc | 108

@uncle tungsten | Dec 26 2020 5:07 utc | 108

"Comrade Pelovskaya has refused to provide any Medicare for All for the masses suffering from this disease as she and her murder of chicks are busy gorging on their new entitlements."

I'm tickled by your allusions snd double meanings there:

*Pelovskaya=>Pelosi=>head [scare]Crow

*Murder of chicks (ie group of baby crows)=> AOC and the Squad

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 9:39 utc | 109

And backing up uncle T's clever comment there is this:

Posted by: gm | Dec 26 2020 10:07 utc | 110

As the Covid-19 vaccination campaign starts tomorrow in Europe with a lot of fanfarria, at least the French responsible for the vaccination campaign, Alain Fischer, Emeritus Professor of the College of France, pediatrician and epidemiologist, has had enough personal and medical ethics and responsability to recognize that we are playing here with a lot of uncertainty related to what kind of immunity that will be achieved and how it will last, and, above all, what will happen with the vaccinated. This is why he considers that Covid-19 vaccination can not be but a volunteer decission...

The ‘experts’ cross their fingers so that vaccines do not cause more misfortunes than expected

This is more than we have heard in Spain where an absolute trust in these vaccines has been broadcasted through the media by even former regional health officials who later went to work at the WHO and even US administration... who have stated live on TV prime time, with all their stoneface, that "I have never seen a person who have died of a vaccine administered", which is way too much to say in this case of experimental vaccines whose mechanism has never been tested before. Of course, one does not reach such heights of career at international level for nothing....

What this say to us is that Spanish citizenship is still considerec as the alleged "illiterate lot" who were robbed their Republic by a military coup in the past century and also that our alleged "democracy" is of way worst quality.. at least of that that of France.

What Spanish authorities do not know is what has been one of the main themes of conversation in the carefully selected tiny familiy groups who have been able to meet for Christmas dinner, that is reticences with respect to the Covid-19 vaccines...The people may be ruined ( left to their own as they are not big corporations to be rescued by puvlic money ), others exhausted and exploited by the doubling of work load because of the pandemic ( while their employers pocket European funds for allegedly keep the jobs or reinforce health systems which they are not doing ), and even in the queues for food, but what they are not is fools, and, definitely, what they are not is uninformed...

In France also a legislative project to stablish a kinds health dictatorship where vaccination would had been mandatory to be able to do anything out of home was toppled in the Assemblée Nationale

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 11:49 utc | 111

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 11:49 utc | 114

What is interesting to me, as a USA-ian watching, is you guys clearly don't have any better idea of how to run a country than we do. Europe is the only place on the planet doing as bad as we are in dealing with the pandemic. All this bullshit about democracy is just no good if your leaders are incompetent and arrogant fools.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 26 2020 12:01 utc | 112

@Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 26 2020 12:01 utc | 115

Any honest housewife out there would had better idea on how to rule this country, or any other for that matter, as she would not had been in the pockets of big corporations...

Covid is a Project of the Globalists – Russian Defense Ministry [VIDEO]

The cooporate dictatorship continues advancing, billions in funds are being funelled to their pockets on the alibi of pandemci loses and future "green economy" reconversion, the price to be paid by the population ( i.e. those who still have a job... as it is being tried in Spain, unocntested in the streets taking advantage of the pandemci restrictions, the reform of pension systems which never could be achieved before as strongly contested in the streets..

On the alibi of this pandemic, the working masses will lose anything of value they so hard worked through decades, their propiertie will ose any value, and the remaining welfare state will be eliminated on the grounds of keeping corporate jobs which then will be deemed useless in the next to come 5th technoparadigm..The hugest, and may be the last, transfer of wealth from the working masses to the rich is taking place through this two years to last pre-planned pandemic.

They simply noticed proportionate taxes on billionaire earnings will be impossed in Europe, especially to BigTech, that these taxes were in the programs of the surged out of the 2008 crisis new left parties governing in some European countries, thus they decided democracy as we know it must end and that they corporations should rule the world as they arvev not willing to share nor reduce their profits.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 12:33 utc | 113

frtitzcat @105: "Is Marxturbation a word?"

I don't know. Maybe people do masturbate while studying Marxism. Is it marketed with intense sexual suggestion and innuendo like capitalism is? But I don't see that we have established yet that Marxism is marketed at all, much less with titillation or stimulation of our "reptilian (limbic) brains". Marxist analysis, in my experience at least, tends to be a frontal lobe activity of the mind. I suppose that is why it puts off so many Americans.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 26 2020 13:07 utc | 114

I am astonished of the so few it is being commented here the "Nashville bombing", being a forum mainly frquented by US Americans...

Colonel Cassads throwing a few possibilities out, all based on the theory of it being a false flag to provoke a result...

Amongst the possibilities outlined ( apart from the possibility of Trump administration trying to stablish a new martial law on the grounds of terrorist attacks on US soil, as happened during 9/11 ), I fell for the Iranian blaming to justify a war on Iran ( as we witness Pompeo finding Iran behind every resistance move in the world, including resistance by Frente Polisario to the give away of their land to Morocco ( by those who do not own it, this Trump administration ) which one would think do not need any Iranian, or from any other country for that matter, encouragement, when you are attacked and your land stolen condemning you either to be submitted to an authoritarian monarchy which keeps represing your people since decades ago, or to live stranded in the desert for ever...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 13:22 utc | 115

@Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 13:22 utc | 118

Meanwhile you keep discussing old theory of "Marxism", as if there was not more accute topics to discuss, especially encouraged by "c1ue", who always appears over here questioning people and directing the discussion to where he finds fitting when something interesting happens, as happened during the past "Beirut bombing", in the outcome of which, Hezbollah, who previously had a comfortable parliament majority propiciated by its alliances with Christians, and who tried to get rid of chronic corruption in the government and institutions, has been almost erased from government decission making, its alliances broken, the Lebanese government almost dissabled, and the usual vultures wandering over there...which points all the way to a false flag operation to acclerate this process...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 13:37 utc | 116

suzan@103 talks about Hudson's early work on the origins of money. I have only "...and forgive us our debts..." and J is for Junk Economics." Not even the former talks very much about why and how states, whether temple cults in Sumer or later, engage in trade. Whether Hudson is much different from Knapp is unclear, but if Hudson develops reasoning about the state as an agent in the markets, I don't know where that is. It would be helpful if Hudson would make differences with Knapp clear, wouldn't it?

I never claimed to have read all Marx, suzan is simply wrong on this.

c1ue is still grotesquely wrong.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 13:42 utc | 117

As illustration on my 119,

Who is destroying Lebanon and why

Expect that some, before now prolific, currently absent, commenters who live underground, to come in barrena to question this...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 14:04 utc | 118

Today's Mao's 127th birthday:

Mao’s legacy foundation for China’s rejuvenation

Do you know why Mao rose the CPC's ranks to become its indisputable leader? Not because he was the smartest, not because he was the bravest, not because he was the best orator, not because he was the best at behind-the-scenes politics. No, none of that.

He became the indisputable leader of the CPC for one very simple reason: natural selection. When it was originally founded, the CPC was an extremely moderate, pro-bourgeois revolution party. It was even to the right of the German SPD. Mao was just a curiosity, a member of the very minuscule radical faction of the Party.

Then, all of a sudden, the Nationalists (Kuonmintang) exterminated all the moderate members of the CPC after a "betrayal". The year was 1927, and the event became known in the West as the Shanghai Massacre. The leader of the massacre: Chiang Kaishek.

The Chinese "center-right" showed they wouldn't tolerate even the center-left. The Chinese political ecosystem expelled them through the only means it knows: extinction.

The natural selection didn't stop there: during the Long March, Mao was only one of the many generals. By that time, the "radical" faction already was the majority of the CPC (as the previous majority was exterminated by the Nationalists). His two main "rivals" for the leadership of the party were killed during the March because they made wrong decisions. The Nationalists demonstrated once again that being a radical leftist wasn't enough: you would have to be a radical leftists AND a very smart one in order to survive in the Chinese political ecosystem.

In the end, only Mao survived. You can blame him for having survived. But don't forget it was the Nationalists - the beloved middle class "center-right" - who stipulated the rules.


How Alibaba probe can promote harmony among enterprises, entrepreneurs and Chinese society?

Long story short: it's nothing personal against Jack Ma, just class warfare.


Brexit deal - live: Full trade agreement text published as Boris Johnson admits ‘devil is in the detail’

My speculation turned out to be correct: this deal was a humiliation to the UK.

And let's be frank: in the era of Ctrl + F, there's no "devil in the details".


China's Tibet helps farmers, herdsmen find jobs

The WaPo published a ridiculous opinion piece yesterday about the "atrocities in Tibet", but the truth is Tibet has never been better and happy, and they don't want to be a feudalist shithole anymore.

And yes, there has to be migration by people from the "Han" areas: if you want to achieve a certain level of material support, you have to have a bigger population, in order to sustain a more robust services sector. Or do you think those Western European micronations sustain their levels of wealth all by themselves? See Brexit and you'll notice the true face of the Western European economies: gated communities feeding from cheap labor from the rest of the world (specially Eastern European).


No allergic reactions from Sputnik V vaccine recorded — developer

700,000 Russians have already been vaccinated with the Sputnik V. No allergic reactions - and it protects against the new variants.

Your turn, Pfizer. Release your trial records.


Boeing 737-8 Max: Air Canada jet shuts down an engine and diverts after mechanical issue

You know your product is bad when your most loyal ally turns it down.


UK's biggest financial firms have given boards near-80% pay rise since 2009

Who said capitalism isn't good? It's great! - if you work in finance.


UK to Remain World's 5th Largest Economy and Will Widen Lead Over France Despite Brexit, Report Says

Honestly, considering France's dismal and pitiful situation, I wouldn't take that as a compliment if I were British.


Recommended book for the week:

War for Eternity: Inside Bannon's Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers

This book explains the way of thinking of a lot of commenters here in this blog.

Posted by: vk | Dec 26 2020 14:21 utc | 119

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 13:42 utc | 120

This is misunderstanding! Not you, but c1ue recently said he had read all !!! of Marx’ writings as a defense for his ill founded point of view. Even I, who knows little, knew of literature that refuted the points clue was making which he seemed to claim to be straight from the mind of the critical thinker historian philosopher himself.

Posted by: suzan | Dec 26 2020 15:10 utc | 120

Schmatz @ 118
Really enjoying all your comments here, good to know someone is sharp and on the ball. Can’t fault a single point on your far ranging topics.
Regarding Nashville again spot on, look for interviews of mayor John Clarke, study the guys body language, on one he was loughing and joking about it.
Plus their are some extremely nasty far right groups, looking for all out civil war. With uniformed affiliation. Forget Dems Repugs, the far right fascists will now be America’s main problem this year. Terrorist and their misguided apologists / sympathisers !

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 26 2020 15:30 utc | 121

My apologies to suzan.

Unfortunately, despite this embarrassment I still have to be critical of someone.

vk@122 thinks the takeaway from yet another Global Times editorial (why not an actual article with facts?) is the investigation of Alibaba is "class warfare."

Unfortunately the editorial appears to be quite unusual, written in the first person, which to my eye suggests it is highly controversial. It should be, though for different reasons than vk thinks I'm afraid. A note first, which is the editorialist thinks entrepreneurs are an "asset," who create wealth. This is, pardon the blunt language, fucking stupid. China is not the moon. Entrepreneurs are the exploiters and they have their leading position because they have the money. Real startup entrepreneurs, real creators of wealth like inventors, mostly go broke...and it's doubtful any ever got to be filthy rich by sheer superiority in production.

"...socialism with Chinese characteristics, under which, capital is the driving force for economic development, but shouldn’t be the source for power."
Capital is a social complex, which is also the driving force for exploitation, ecological devastation, the industrial reserve army of unemployment, crises, imperialism as well as the unending revision, revolutionization of the division of labor and physical capital investments that in the long run for many years developed the productive forces. But now, capital is increasing at odds with the social nature of production, now a fetter on further development. This is despite all vk's protestations, anti-Marxist. A thousand times worse, because in the end being a Marxist is something being a Darwinist or an atomist, it is just plain wrong economics and politics and sociology.

Thus, in the end, it can't even be good morality. The editorial reduces to a plea to capitalists to play nice, be good citizens and obey the government, not just laws but the government line. To my eyes, the editorialist is pleading with Jack Ma not to be obdurate, but to give lip service to the government, which is supposed to be society. (The Party is not desired here, apparently.) Then, everything can go back to normal. The editorial is calling for class peace, not class war. Jack Ma is supposed to negotiate what he wants to do while talking a conformist game instead of criticizing the government.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 16:22 utc | 122

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 14:04 utc | 121

Who is destroying Lebanon and why

A terrifying article and empirically true from my point of view. It should be clear to anyone whose been watching the Lebanese saga for more than 30 years or so that this is the plan of the West regarding Lebanon and has been since French colonial times.

The question is do the Lebanese understand the nature of the pot they're being boiled in?

Does Nasrallah have a plan to frustrate these objectives or has he also in a sense submitted to being frog-boiled over time?

I find much material on what the West's plans are vis a vis Lebanon but almost nothing regarding the plans of The Resistance. One wonders if they have one at all...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 26 2020 16:55 utc | 123

An afterthought to 126:

Lebanon as it exists is a project doomed to failure from the start given the care France and others took in designing it over a network of socio political fault lines.

I've begun to think that the best thing that could happen to the Lebanese is for chunks of it to return to Syria or become wholly independent (e.g Mount Lebanon for the Druze and Maronites and the Bekaa valley and Southern Lebanon for the Shia). Such a split would need to be organic, as a result of a referendum at best or a civil war at worst.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 26 2020 17:22 utc | 124

@Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 26 2020 16:55 utc | 126

You will not find the plans of The Resistance published in a forum or "alt-media", of course, any resitance who prices itself would never broadcast its plans to the fourth winds, especially those blowing at Western shores...

Strabge that you exepct such thing...

For what is worth, the only people who did not rest even at Christmas Holy Night were the Israelis...who bombed Syria...home of a lot of Christians, this is why Pompeo´s Christianity should be put in doubt all the way...

Since Javad Zarif congratulatesd and wished the best to all the Christians in the world, including their not despicable Christian citizens in Iran, especially Armenians, I bet the Nashville bombing has the same origins in people who are not beliievers, say, your usual mercenaries, from ISIS, Al Qaeda, or other more Western looking contractors, after all, what to fear, if, in the end, you will be pardoned by the POTUS, or will be erased from that face of Earth from any possible forensic scrutiny in a lost house in Jalalabad or Idlib...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 26 2020 17:37 utc | 125

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 25 2020 18:21 utc | 72

"I would note that I didn't say the America overall is becoming areligious; what I stated specifically was that voter polls were showing decreasing overt religious affiliation among voters.
One does not actually have to correlate directly with the other.

This is a good distinction, and I would also add that counting up "churchgoers" is also not the same as spiritually religious affinity, even though in many cases it has become an expressed requirement to do so. An example is Sergei Rachmaninov, who rarely attended services, but wrote glorious liturgical works expressive of the Orthodox faith. Sometimes the official churches down through the centuries have strayed far from the original Christian faith of their founders, and I imagine that could be the case for many organized religions.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 26 2020 18:13 utc | 126

The Fake Political and Media Class

craig murray...

re johnson and brexit -

"Let me add a few thoughts to this. The first is that I do not think that anybody except a very few utter nutters really believe, for example, that Jeremy Corbyn is personally a racist. Yet the mainstream political and media classes pump out the anti-semitism slur in a continual stream. This forcefully reminds me of the run-up to the Iraq War, when I asked an FCO colleague working directly on Iraq how he managed to do his job when he knew full well that Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction. He replied to me that he was an avid player of “Football Manager”; while in the game he really was immersed for hours and the manager of Arsenal, once he left the game of course he knew he was not. Walking into the FCO to work was the same. While in the FCO, he believed Iraq had WMD and acted on that basis; once he left in the evening he did not."

Posted by: james | Dec 26 2020 18:23 utc | 127

Debsisdead @ 80, I can't as yet agree or disagree with your long Ackerman essay - it requires more brain activity than I'm very used to employing these days (though I will try as it looks a well constructed thesis.) I do first wish to add that I have been mulling over the different beast from other revolutions that the original American Revolution had been - that is, it was a revolution against afar off ruling entity, England. And not, as other cases have been, a civil war as such. I don't know if that impacts on your post, but it came to me that a similar 'revolution' could be, ironically, the overthrow of the regime that was imposed upon Russia when the USSR fell; that regime being instituted by the Chicago Boys when they brought their US program to empower the Russian Oligarchs and Russia as a country was brought down even further than it had come under Communist control. In other words, an entity from outside the country was making the rules,just as England had before the American Revolution.

I broach this as a possibility as I am currently reading "The Children of the Arbat" by Anatoly Rybakov - about Russia in the 1930's. He uses the term Civil War for what is mostly called the Russian Revolution, and that would apply to the French Revolution as well.

The point I'm trying to make is that the American Revolution is rather an unique one with many diverse elements at play.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 26 2020 18:40 utc | 128

Sorry, that ought to be "Children of the Arbat"- minus "The".

Posted by: juliania | Dec 26 2020 18:44 utc | 129

Debs @ 80, I have to disagree with Ackerman's thesis. The fragmentation he claims was Madison's obstruction of the universality of popular will, had existed already in the way in which colonies grew into states, each one being now required to function in unified fashion much as they would function within their own entities. It wasn't Madison's desire to subvert popular will -- that has come about as the Constitution with its checks and balances, its Bill of Rights has been ignored.

I am thinking that the analogy I proposed is related to Putin's decision that Russia's Constitution needed revising. That is similar to what happened in early new government adjustments in the US. It's true that the founders didn't want a majority rule situation but a balance so that states already forming would, varying in diversity, have that diversity recognized. I think that was an important consideration given how populations have ebbed and flowed between them.

But I'm not much of a Constitutional scholar. I just think the problems we have now are our own.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 26 2020 19:12 utc | 130

Posted by: juliania | Dec 26 2020 18:40 utc | 131

was brought down even further than it had come under Communist control.

The cost was arguably high but the communists received a crumbling and defeated peasant empire to become a superpower.

You'll enjoy reading Children of The Arbat, a serial was filmed based on the book, with very well known Russian actors and actresses, like Chulpan Khamatova, liberal star that starred in a new controversial film, Zuleikha opens Her Eyes. I liked the book better, somehow the actors did not match the image I had from the book’s characters, еspecially the role played by Khamatova, that of Varya, whom I imagined younger and with more energy that in the movie. It’s a tragic story, the 30’s and the broken futures of young people. You’ll enjoy it. There was a sequel to the book, actually it is a trilogy, but the second part is not as eye catching.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 26 2020 19:18 utc | 131

@ Posted by: juliania | Dec 26 2020 18:40 utc | 131

Roughly speaking, there are two revolutionary trees since the beginning of the Modern Era.

The American Revolution (1776) is a very late revolution from a series of liberal revolutions initiated with the era of John Locke (16th Century) and culminated with the Glorious Revolution (1688).

Just to give you an idea about the lateness of the American Revolution: just thirteen years later (1789) the French Revolution happened. The Americans were against it from the very beginning, and considered it a disaster for the liberal world (the world of the white race, according to the American and English intellectuals of the time). The American revolutionaries ("founding fathers") were already born reactionaries.

Needless to say, the Founding Fathers were 100% against the Jacobins abolishing slavery in France. When slavery was restored in France, during the Napoleonic Era, there was a sight of relief on both sides of the Atlantic, and a slave revolution in Santo Domingos was crushed with active and declared American help.

An even later child of the Glorious Revolution was the German Unification, under Otto von Bismarck. The Meiji Restoration of 1868 can also technically be considered a late child of the liberal revolutions. However, I don't like to classify the late capitalist empires (Italian, German, Austro-Hungarian and Japanese) as fruit of true liberal revolutions: by that time, the British Empire was at its apex (first half of the Victorian Era), and liberalism was already considered a reality, a given. I would call them more like reforms/reformations than revolutions; indeed, this can be verified empirically, through their patterns of capitalist formation ("Prussian Way"/"Revolution from Above").

The October Revolution (Russian Revolution) is a direct descendant of the French Revolution (1789), not the liberal revolutions of the 17th-18th Centuries. In the aforementioned slave revolution of Santo Domingos also was a direct descendant of the French Revolution (here in the literal sense), as were the communes. All of the revolutions of the 20th Century (I'm not including here, obviously, the color revolutions, which are not revolutions) are descendants of the French Revolution tree.

In this case, the consolidated division between Modern Era (1453-1789) and Contemporary Era (1789-present) is very helpful and very illustrative: the American Revolution was a modern revolution, while the Russian Revolution was a contemporary revolution. This helps with memorization.

Posted by: vk | Dec 26 2020 20:19 utc | 132

vk@135 is incorrect that the Founding Fathers were 100% against the abolition of slavery in Haiti. The Federalists recognized and cooperated with Haiti, when Adams was president. (It is a commonplace of HBO history that the malignant Hamilton ran the US by intrigue until the heroic Adams took proper presidential command in 1789, but hash that out with Paul Giamatti if you must.)

vk is incorrect in omitting the US Civil War as a bourgeois revolution. Expropriation of millions and millions of dollars of slave property, to expand bourgeois free labor markets (labor in bourgeois societies is exploited, not enslaved) makes it a bourgeois revolution.

vk is incorrect in implying the French revolution wasn't a bourgeois revolution, as the expropriation of church properties was not the foundation of collectivized agriculture, etc.

vk is incorrect in tracing the Communist lineage to "the French Revolution" as a whole. As admirable as Robespierre, St. Just etc. were, they were not one of us (if your "us" hopes to put on the communist side, at least.) The French revolutionaries who can count as direct predecessors, true ancestors to Communists were Gracchus Babeuf and his Conspiracy of Equals.

vk is incorrect in omitting the Commune of Paris in 1870 from the Communist lineage. The Communards truly were forerunners of Communism. One of the most important aspects of Marx's political career was his unflinching defense of the Commune. Indeed, he was *the* defender.

vk is incorrect in omitting the Mexican revolution (you know, the one with Zapata and Pancho Villa,) the Chinese revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty and the Turkish revolution that overthrew the Ottomans.

vk seems to categorize revolutions by superficial political characteristics. I suggest instead that great revolutions remake society by transferring large amounts of property and remaking the state. The fact that bourgeois revolution in Turkey seemed to require genocide is a powerful hint that 1)bourgeois democracy is not quite what it's cracked up to be, not the final revelation of moral and political virtue and 2)whatever it was in the past, the great days of bourgeois democracy are over. The prominence of the "Glorious Revolution" in English language political theory I suggest is as a substitute for even acknowledging the centrality of the Puritan Revolution (and the Dutch revolution too, ironically enough given William III's presence.) It was precisely because 1689 wasn't very revolutionary, much less very glorious that it was, and is in backward circles, so popular.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 21:00 utc | 133

@133 juliania

I agree with you in your disagreement with Ackerman's thesis. I went back to read what debsisdead had quoted and cited.

I think you've described very well what the Framers wanted and intended, namely that they very deliberately created the Constitution to exclude any arising of the "void at the center of the state, in the space where popular sovereignty ought to be" that Ackerman seems to want.

Any time someone refers to the Constitution as an "ancient parchment" I'm reminded of W. Bush referring to it as just a piece of paper. Ackerman is wrong in everything except his blaming the Framers for the things he finds missing in the Union - but, that he would want them is chilling.

You're correct, I think, that the failures of the modern-day US are not because of the Constitution but in spite of it. The Constitution has kept the people safer than we realize, especially given the assault this country has suffered from its many plunderers.

Of all the contemporaries of that time, I find Madison to shine above them all, personally. Not all of his ideas were able to prevail, but such as did have saved us from a terrible government. Better to have the non-government of this age than an efficient and coherent tyranny such as Ackerman would open the door to. We may get one anyway, but it will be in total subversion of the Constitution, and the destruction of the Bill of Rights - if that is even possible.

And the states have not spoken for a long time. The people still have their states, and the Union was only to rule over them, not to rule inside them. The Framers gave the Feds greater power than the States...unless, there is a grievance large enough to bring the states together in opposition to the feds.

As you say, and I agree, the problems we have today are from our own neglects and faults. But the story is by no means over yet, and we may see surprising strengths arise in the Union, as we sometimes have in the past - and to the extent that we do, part of its fiber and backbone will be Madisonian.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 26 2020 21:10 utc | 134

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 21:00 utc | 136

I never said the French Revolution wasn't bourgeois. But it marked the first great schism of liberalism - and the American and English liberals stayed on the conservative side of that debate (i.e. anti-Jacobin). Socialism and communism obviously didn't exist in 1789.

It is a myth that the USA (Thirteen Colonies) were some kind of revolutionary miracle that broke the chains of English serfdom. Reading the documents of the time by the Founding Fathers and other American notables, it is evident that, once the whole thing became economically viable, the American elites always saw themselves as on equal footing to the English. The USA already was respected by the European imperialist powers as a legitimate contender since well before the American Revolution - most of all for racial reasons (i.e. they were both Anglo-Saxons, therefore free by blood). In that sense, the Revolution of 1776 was more like an English Civil War than anything else, the Manifest Destiny being more like a formalization on paper of what already was common sense for decades.

I mentioned the communes in my comment.

The independence revolutions triggered by Simon Bolivar in Latin America were bourgeois, but of the "Jacobin style", i.e. of a radicalist faction of liberalism. Bolivar compromised with the immediate end of slavery in exchange of support from the slaves, mestizos and even native Americans.

The War of Secession wasn't a revolution, so it doesn't enter the discussion here.

Both the Russian capitalist reforms of 1863 and the February Revolution of 1917, as well as the Chinese Revolution of 1911 are clear examples of lack of timing. Both were "forced" to have bourgeois revolutions by an external force (in Russia's case, the Crimea War and WWI; in China's case, the culmination of the "Century of Humiliation") - but by then it already was an idea out of time and out of place. Communist revolutions quickly overran them. The Turkish Revolution can be placed on the same category as the reformations of the late 19th Century, as the Ottoman Empire was an imperialist candidate until it was destroyed in WWI.

Posted by: vk | Dec 26 2020 21:53 utc | 135

vk posted this link to an item about Mao but provided no excerpt for his extrapolation. I found this small bit to be extremely important as it entails the resulting duty historians are supposed to perform:

"Mao also made some mistakes in the later years of his life. This is also worth remembering. I have been on Weibo for nearly 10 years, every time I write about Mao, I mention this point. Some people ask, why do you always refer to the mistakes he made when you commemorate him? Everybody makes mistake, why do Mao's mistakes have to be repeatedly mentioned?

"My answer is: It's of long-term realistic significance for our country to remember the mistakes that this great man made. We should admire and commemorate a great man but not shirk his defects - this will strengthen our culture."

Oftentimes mistakes are more important than some fleeting glory--real or imagined--resulting from leadership. This is a huge problem for the Outlaw US Empire as its many abuses of power and crimes against humanity overshadow anything deemed a good work by every president since 1945--Not one president can be considered a role model since they're all felonious criminals, including Biden. Indeed, the triumph of Mal-leadership is one of the reasons the Empire is an Outlaw. And what was the reason given for the requirement to pursue Outlawry: To maintain global inequity--we had to continue absorbing 60%+ of the world's resources to keep our top 10% happy, nevermind the bottom 90% who had to be appeased into not revolting. Truman was the boss stooge at the time. This raises a critical question: How honest was the US delegation to the negotiations that resulted in the formation of the United Nations? Remember, that idea was the joint brainchild of Roosevelt and Churchill, the latter being most unwilling and said yes to get the war supplies he desperately needed. It seems the formative speeches about the need for the UN for the USA's public consumption were given to Henry Wallace to deliver. But what was he smeared as--A Communist--since he was all for elevating the Common Man. And as we've seen for the past 75 years, those running the federal government weren't going to allow that to happen. In the critical year of 1968, @72% of the US populace was considered Middle Class. Today, that number is likely down to 45%--the massive drop being one of the reasons why Trump tried to undermine the census. When looking at ever shrinking GDP for the last 30+ years, a drop of @27% ought to be expected. IMO, it's worse than that; but getting honest figures from a very dishonest government is highly unlikely--and it matters not if D or R.

The affect on Foreign Policy is thus easy to see: The Outlaw US Empire cannot allow ANY nation whose goal is to establish equality within its polity to survive; and if for some reason the nation remains standing, to make the life of its people as retched as possible--Cuba and Haiti being the two best examples since they weren't the initial targets of the Cold War. And the practice will continue under Biden. And as a matter of course, no equitability is to be established within the USA for the same reasons it can't be allowed elsewhere--The American Century as envisioned by Henry Luce was to be a triumph for American Capitalism; but even in 1940 when he published his vision, that was in the process of being changed from Industrial Capitalism to 100% Finance Capitalism. By my reckoning, in 1940 Neoliberalism was already 70 years old, having risen and fallen several times as it tried to perfect its ways of both fleecing and controlling.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 26 2020 22:45 utc | 136

vk@138 appears even more obviously to be using some obscure notions about political forms while ignoring the renovation of society, a tendency either fostered by or arising from some unfamiliarity with deeper history. Jacobin "style" is not a really thought out idea, much less scientific analysis. The northern states of the US had black soldiers and this ultimately led to the northern states abolishing slavery. The difference in timing with Bolivar was due to the different balance of forces. The artificial distinction between the American revolution and the revolutions against Spain are putting to much weight on an esthetic concept like "style."

The English and American liberals opposed the Jacobins? Look up the Genet affair. Much of the hostility focused on Robespierre and the Mountain, but other Jacobin factions and developments, such as the Brissotins/Girondins early on, or the Thermidorians or the Directory had supporter. The American liberals went to war on Napoleon's side, and yes, Napoleon was a development of liberalism, as much as William III and Mary II I think.

The hostility to the Robespierres, St. Just, Couthon et al., had very much to do with the Maximum, which is about as close to social democracy as anyone could have been in this period. This is why Babeuf and the Equals regretted their opposition to Roberspierre after his fall.

The notion that the American Revolution didn't take massive amounts of property away from the British Empire needs elaboration to make any sense at all. If there's is a myth about Americans being English "serfs" I forgot it too long ago to take it into account. The mystifying irrelevance of Manifest Destiny asks for an explanation. If the answer is that democracy is not supposed to be about imperial conquest, that is bourgeois ideology, not social science. Democracy is about class-collaboration in a nation to unite them against foreigners. It's all about conquest, from the days of the Athenian empire and the Spartan Peers (or Equals,) to the Roman Republic to modern times. Democracy, as the history of the US shows, is entirely compatible with internal repression too.

Re the apparent notion there wasn't anything revolutionary about the Puritan Revolution, there is no easy can read original sources, or you can read Christopher Hill.

Why external forces triggering a revolutionary situation is a mystery too. But the first Russian Revolution was in 1905, and twelve years is not "quickly" overrunning. Calling the thirty eight years in China "quickly" overrunning is downright ludicrous. The Young Turks and their CUP had started dismantling the Ottoman monarchy before WWI started.

Most of all, reducing the Civil War and the liberation of millions to "the War of Secession"---why not say "War of Northern Aggression" while you're at it?---is nonsense. The bourgeoisie in this country still has trouble accepting the Fourteenth Amendment! One of the problems in these little historical oddities you're inventing is that you're ignoring counter-revolutions, pretending successful counterrevolutions somehow prove the revolution that was ultimately defeated wasn't a revolution. This is history as blind worship of the winners.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 23:35 utc | 137

This Sputnik article might have a surprise or two for readers: It says that Iran has administered two slaps in the face of the Outlaw US Empire:

"'Those are only slaps, while harsh revenge will [still] be taken', Hejazi told reporters on Friday, referring to the major funeral for Soleimani and Iran's retaliatory missile attacks on US military bases in Iraq earlier this year."

That the funeral was a slap is news to me. The head of The Outlaw US Empire's Central Command is cited:

"'I Do believe we remain in a period of heightened risk. I would just emphasise this key point: We're not looking to escalate ourselves. We're not looking for war with Iran, I really want to emphasise that', McKenzie claimed.

"The general added he believed Iran was also not seeking to escalate matters, and that the Islamic Republic 'doesn't want a war with the United States right now'."

On 16 December, Supreme Leader Khamenei issued the following tweet:

"Millions attending Martyrs Soleimani & Abu Mahdi’s funerals in Iraq & Iran was the 1st severe slap to the US. But the worse one is overcoming the hegemony of Arrogance & expelling the US from the region. Of course, revenge will be taken on those who ordered it & the murderers." [My Emphasis]

So, avenging the murders isn't considered a "slap"; I interpret his words to mean Justice will be served and in a larger scope than some may have thought--Trump, Pompeo, a few others in Trump's administration AND those who actually performed the deed. That would be a momentous operation whether successful or not. In his latest, which is still behind its paywall, Pepe Escobar hints at the timing:

"Iran is building an ultra-strategic pipeline from the eastern part of the Persian Gulf to the port of Jask in the Gulf of Oman – bypassing the Strait of Hormuz and ready to export up to 1 million barrels of oil a day. China will be the top customer.

"President Rouhani said the pipeline will be ready by the summer of 2021. He added that Iran plans to be selling more than 2.3 million barrels of oil a day next year, whether or not US sanctions have been alleviated by the incoming Joe Biden administration.' [My Emphasis]

But IMO, the most intriguing part of Escobar's report is about a new security architecture that will involve Iran:

"Enter an even more interesting development that also benefits Moscow: the Azerbaijan-Pakistan strategic partnership, now in overdrive regarding trade, defense, energy, science/technology and agriculture. Islamabad, incidentally, supported Baku on Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Both Azerbaijan and Pakistan have very good relations with Turkey: a matter of interlocking and very complex Turk-Persian cultural heritage.

"They may get even closer with the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INTSC) increasingly connecting not only Islamabad to Baku, but also both to Moscow.

"Thus the extra dimension of the new security mechanism proposed by Baku uniting Russia, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia: all the top four here want closer ties with Pakistan."

As I've written, the Eurasian integration project is moving along swiftly and in ways not being widely reported. So, the question seems to be how long will Iran wait to exact its revenge?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 26 2020 23:55 utc | 138

@139 Cont'd--

I talk a lot about the destruction of the Middle Class; and while many things both positive and negative have been written about its role in the Outlaw US Empire, there's no doubt it's rapidly shrinking. This essay has a negative view of the Middle Class historically, yet also laments its undoing. It's strength is in providing a series of charts showing what's happened to it that buttresses my argument @139. The final chart shows graphically what Hudson argues orally and I've written about, but it's only about healthcare costs, not all cumulative costs of living. The second of the FRED charts exemplify what I'm writing about--"the relentless decline of wages' share of economy's total income" since 1970. I agree with John Williams of Shadowstats:

"Severe Systemic Structural Damage from the Shutdown Will Forestall Meaningful Economic Rebound into 2022 or Beyond, Irrespective of Coronavirus Treatments and Vaccines."

Much real damage is being hidden by falsified stats. And as pointed out long ago, the Fed can't print the factories that supply the jobs that would provide the basis for a genuine recovery. Welcome to the Second Great Depression, a Neoliberal Production that began long ago but accelerated drastically in 2008-9 when Biden was Obama's Veep.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 27 2020 0:29 utc | 139

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 23:35 utc | 140

The decisive factor is in the goals of the revolution. The goal of the American Revolution wasn't to create a new economic system, but to decouple one part of the system from another part of the same system. The Founding Fathers wanted to be recognized as equals to the British elite - a goal which they achieved.

The USA was quickly recognized by the British Empire in 1783, and, in a few years, became one of its main trade partners. By the time of the French Revolution, English and Americans already were considered inseparable allies - both economically and ideologically. Imperialist struggled happened during the Napoleonic Wars, but friendship quickly resumed after that.

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2020 0:58 utc | 140

@Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 26 2020 16:22 utc | 125

No problem. Simple misunderstanding.

Regarding your comment @ 120 :

“I have only ‘..and forgive us our debts…' and ‘J is for Junk Economics.’ Not even the former talks very much about why and how states, whether temple cults in Sumer or later, engage in trade.”

Creating Economic Order: Record-keeping, Standardization, and the Development of Accounting in the Ancient Near East
Volume IV in a series sponsored by the
 Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends and the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (2004)

Michael Hudson writes the volume’s Introduction: The Role of Accounting in Civilization’s Economic Takeoff and Chapter 10: The Development of Money-of-Account in Sumer’s Temples.

The book is a free pdf available at

Does Hudson think “the earliest states creat[ed] money simply for taxation” (your words rephrasing c1ue’s misconstrued notion of Hudson’s scholarship)? No.

The original (false) allegation made by c1ue | Dec 25 2020 12:23 utc | @ 44:

“Michael Hudson[’s]… work is entirely based on reality: the reality of how money came to be (government created money for taxes)”

also evoked from vk @52, “Michael Hudson's concept of money and debt are fundamentally wrong. The key here is that none of those are an innovation of capitalism; they are just institutional devices created over history.”

So an imaginary is posited as truth and countered not once, but twice. Frustrating.

Here are a few quotes from the intro:

“Anthropologists almost unanimously find that societies since the neolithic have had to plan their economic life. Assyriologists find that the origins of modern economic practices can be traced back to cen­tralized planning.”

“Accounting concepts, weights and measures, money and prices, and the charging of stipulated rates of interest and land rent were part of the “technology of social control” that constituted civilization’s quantum leap from personalized reciprocity to bulk resource acquisition, pro­duction and distribution. Public institutions developed these new modes of control to coordinate their resource flows and long-distance trade. “
“Mesopotamia’s experience and that of its trading sphere provides the missing link between reciprocity (gift exchange) and the modern price-setting markets that most historians have traced back only as far as classical Greece and Rome. Rather than assuming that such markets emerged naturally at the hands of individ­uals acting by themselves, these papers focus on the basic building blocks that took many centuries and even millennia to evolve in place in Sumer, Babylonia and their neighbors.”
“The initial objective was to provide stable value equivalencies, not to open the way for price flexibility responding to shifts in supply and demand. Such fluctuation was perceived as disorder, especially for transactions in barley and other crops at the interface with the family- based economy on the land.”
“The origins of most economic practices find their roots in Mesopotamia’s public institutions.”

Posted by: suzan | Dec 27 2020 1:51 utc | 141

karlof1 #141

Thank you for that post and your reference to the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). Yet another multi nation transit corridor that halves the freight journey time between India and Russia and by-passes the overcrowded Suez route.

The International North-South Transport Corridor is a 7200 km-long multimodal transportation network that links the Indian Ocean to the Caspian Sea via the Persian Gulf onwards into Russia and Northern Europe. Launched as a joint initiative by India, Iran and Russia in 2000 and ratified by the three in 2002, the corridor has now expanded to include eleven more members, namely, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Syria, Belarus, Oman and Bulgaria (observer status).

Reading the linked report at what I gather to be a conservative journal, I get the impression that Modi's tilt to the USA will be marginal unless the oligarchy of both nations can find mutual profitable alternatives. If so then I can see that Modi will do a 'NordStream2 like Germany' and suddenly drag his heels and whine incessantly and totally alienate critical Indian thieving oligarchs.

Bidens first month in office will no doubt reveal the depth of the D's ignorance and potential stupidity on this and related issues. February will be an interesting month in 2021.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 27 2020 2:53 utc | 142

gm #112

:)) glad you liked it. I though afterwards that it was way too oblique.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 27 2020 2:55 utc | 143

Thank you, Grieved @ 137. I share your respect for Madison. I always loved the title of his compendium: "The People Shall Judge". It sends shivers down my spine, even more than the actual Declaration of Independence does.

I expect it is from growing up in the antipodes, far from the 'seat of power' that I have some sense of the colonists facing their own severance from such authority an ocean away, having the rudiments of governance borrowed from the Great Power that needs to adapt itself in a practical manner to the challenges at hand. And now it isn't some court in a distant land, bewigged judges and advocates handing down decisions wrapped in ages long precedent. Now the precedents will be born anew, and the people shall judge!

The arguments about the forms of governing didn't end with the setting down in writing of the edicts of the Constitution. It was far too complex; it had to grow. It had flaws as all governance does, but it was intended to be flexible, to change with the changing times. The argument between Adams and Jefferson is one example of this - they were at loggerheads most of their lives until out of office they became friends, and died on the same day, the 4th of July. (That, too,sends chills up my spine.)

These men were the Constitution and the Constitution was them. They were not out for money or power. They were making a country.

I see Putin and Xi having that same dedication; I don't see it here in the US, not yet. I hope, though, Grieved, that you are right and some day it will happen here again. There are new distant forces impinging in a clarifying way; the potential is there for a reassessment, even such a one as the colonists reckoned with.

It's possible.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 27 2020 4:23 utc | 144

The fraud that is Buttigieg is the fail that is Biden.

Buttigieg is the opposite of Nina Turners professed beliefs and all of the progressive policies and behaviours that Turner now promotes.

Katie Halper assembles a team to to profile this low life appointment of Joe Biden. While Anthony Clarke kick this dolt's arse to one side of the room then Araqel Boss kicks it to Emannuel Cannady's corner and then off to JTLarsen. It is clear that Buttigieg is a standard Dimratss scumbag that walks the talk of the corporates and is the exact opposite of Nina Turner and her failed predecessor BS (that is B. Sanders).

The Dimratss likely have a giant warehouse full of Buttigieg dumbarse clowns waiting to be deployed wherever needed as they have strangled the open primary system that once existed in the USAi.

Just when a promising team of squad champions gets elected they are faced with the simplest and most decisive moment possible - Force the vote: Medicare for all. That is the simplest and most easily achievable goal since these champions got on the field. Comrade Pelosivskaya is the goalie.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 27 2020 5:26 utc | 145

Posted by: juliania | Dec 27 2020 4:23 utc | 146

If you are on to a new book I assume you finished reading In The Fisrt Circle. What is your opinion about that book? which character was closer to you, Rubin, a convinced communist in spite of being their prisoner or Sologdin, the nationalist, conservative and religious scientist? Both characters are taken from real life, and both were not in good relations with Solzhenitsyn, which together with others discredit the work of an otherwise literature genius but controversial writer. Of Sologdin I love the way he defends the Russian language and his self chastising when using foreign words. But I sympathized more with Rubin, as the proverbial atheist believer in the cause, in spite of his misfortune.

Concerning Rybakov’s book, living in the Arbat is demanding, in those days absolute loyalty was required, if I remember well this was mentioned in the book, it’s Moscow’s downtown en route to the Kremlin for big dignitaries. So the price then was loyalty, today what’s required is money, since I cannot imagine what real estate prices are in the Arbat. Young activists, but nevertheless elite, compared to what was going in the country and in the world in those days.

Posted by: Paco | Dec 27 2020 7:55 utc | 146

@steven t johnson #102
Nice try, but your ongoing attempts to recast history into your own unique (and utterly wrong) point of view still fail.
The Bank of England *is* the government. While it was technically "private", in reality it started with government mandated exclusivity in a wide range of roles - much like the Federal Reserve.
Equally, your idiocy about Hudson's (and many other's) work is again predicated upon your Dunning Kruger views coupled with a lack of even the slightest independent thought. Temples in Sumeria *were* part of the government - no different than the Divine Right of Kings or the literally ascension of Egyptian pharaohs.
Nor is your depiction of the Communist revolutions accurate. The "working classes" in Russia and China were peasants/farmers under feudal writ. They weren't the ones who created or led, or even largely drove the revolutions - it was the "petit bourgeoisie" as you term it.
All in all, yet another farrago of nonsense and incompetence - from a long line of such.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 27 2020 9:15 utc | 147

@suzan #103
I've never claimed to have read everything Marx wrote.
What I note about the failures of Marxist social theory - because it isn't science - is well understood by even the most rudimentary analysis using the scientific method, not to mention the historical record.
And to be fair, the same applies to 95% of all economic theory - which is to say that economics isn't a science.
What is completely clear from the little of economics that utilizes the scientific method - is that economists are plagiarists who expropriate hot scientific theories to try and justify personal prejudices. This is as true today as it was 200 years ago.
This includes the "efficient markets" theory. Utterly disproven, over and over again. As well as its close cousin: the rational economic human.
Marxism has its own inbuilt fallacies: not least of which is that human beings are corruptible and power seeking. Or in other words: the worker as utopian perfection of soul. In reality, the "workers" of 1917 evolved into the bureaucratic tyrants of 1990.
The one part which Marx did get right is that those in power/wealth will always use their power/wealth to improve their own lot at the expense of others - but the Bible and many other, older publications say the same thing.
Marx doesn't, however, say a lot about the corollary: workers destroying their own ecosystems due to lack of systemic understanding and/or individual selfishness. France after the Revolution may have been more equal, but it also stagnated to an amazing degree since the subdivision of land for individual families caused them to severely limit the number of their children. Normally, after a nation suffers enormous war losses as France did due to Napoleon's adventures, it has a population boom - but not the France of Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite.
Which is to say: there can be positive contributory roles from both management and labor. Imbalance in power on either side enables all manner of fuckery.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 27 2020 9:30 utc | 148

@H.Schmatz #119
You really are not a competent reader.
What I wrote was in response to a specific posting by vk.
If you cannot even understand references, then perhaps you might consider brushing up on basic writing conventions.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 27 2020 9:34 utc | 149

@juliania #131
The primary reason the American Revolution was different was that it was led by its own wealthy.
This is something obscured by hagiographical American history and "democracy porn": the Founding Fathers were almost all really wealthy by any reasonable standards of the day.
One example - which I've noted before: tea back then was the double non fat latte of today. The Crown tax on tea was the equivalent of progressive taxation.
A second example: George Washington - the Town Burner of ethnic/racial cleansing fame - paid the equivalent of $150,000 to private individuals to spy on British officers. Not something your average or even above average guy could afford.
This puts a different understanding on the Constitution. The electoral college is then a consistent and sane setup by Founding Fathers who were the economic and social elite of that era - as protection against the mob which they needed to overthrow British rule but didn't want to lose control to.
The reality is that mass revolts by poor people fail. There have been many waves of peasant and slave revolts over recorded human history - they fail because they are poor/hungry/badly equipped as well as being bad at planning, military and economic strategy.
The Pax Americana system today isn't just an accident. There are whole cadres of upper classes in many/most nations who are literally directly tied to American pursestrings and even more who are selected/self selected for useful ideology. Just look at the various NATO secretary generals, for example: always European, always rabid anti-Russian even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In a different era, they would be called Vichy...
And of course, Australia. Whitlam is a perfect example of the Pax Americana at work.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 27 2020 9:50 utc | 150

Great writing from Robert Gore, via ZH, on the terrible pickle we are in in the US right now.

The Gray Curtain Descends, Part 1

It’s a close contest between which officially approved story is more implausible: Coronavirus as the Scourge of Humanity or America’s Free and Fair Election. The former enabled the latter, and they were propagated by the same people pursuant to an all-in power grab. Both are riddled with glaring inconsistencies and fraud, none of which are mentioned in polite society.

Posted by: gm | Dec 27 2020 13:07 utc | 151

gm | Dec 27 2020 13:07 utc | 154

Err...more of a great rant, but hits all the high notes for me.

Posted by: gm | Dec 27 2020 13:21 utc | 152

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 27 2020 9:30 utc | 151

Maybe you're confusing Marx's works per se with Sociology. Marx is not social sciences.

Sociology is a frankenstein bourgeois pseudo-science created at the beginning of the 20th Century, long after Marx died. It claims to be the amalgamation of three intellectuals: Marx, Weber and Durkheim.

Reading Marx through the lens of sociology is the absolute wrong way. I lost the count of how many sociologists (many turned historians because they couldn't get a job at their original areas) throw Marx's name in the mud by fusing him with Weber, thus creating an amorphous beast that's very easy to tame and slay.

My advice to you is this: forget Sociology exists. Read Marx as if it was above those academic divisions, or, at the most, as if it was philosophy (which was indeed Marx's area). Also, read Marx directly - not what other scientists (who most likely are intellectually inferior to him, and most likely didn't understand what he really meant) say about him.

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2020 14:22 utc | 153

China surpassing US in 2028 is faint praise: Global Times editorial

This is correct. Overcoming the USA is not an end in itself, just another step towards socialism. In the great scheme of things, the USA means jack shit.

What matters is the continued development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It would be a Pyrrhic victory for China to surpass the USA in GDP terms at the cost of turning capitalist.

Besides, those "reports" by those think tanks are almost always completely wrong. They're not reliable sources.


Boston doctor says he almost had to be INTUBATED after suffering severe allergic reaction from Moderna Covid vaccine

But the mRNA technology is great! It will treat cancer in the future! It was only shelved for 10 years before we revived it!

As I said: theory is nothing if you don't have the manufacturing technology to back it up. It was only after the creation of the particle accelerators that we were able to prove empirically the existence of some specific quantum particles.

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2020 15:07 utc | 154

Thank you, suzan, for the link. The mention of long-distance trade in the intro cited is particularly important I think.

vk is entitled to an opinion (as if I could order that around anyhow,) but not to personal facts. The US and England were not firm allies by the French Revolution. Even neutrality between England and France during the French revolutionary war was highly controversial. See the epistolary debate between Hamilton and Madison under the names Pacificus and Helveticus, respectively. Look up the Aroostook War or the Venezuela crisis. One of Polk's main slogans when he ran for president was "Fifty-four forty or fight"...with England. The US muscling into the Middle East oil fields and ambiguous support for anti-colonialism wasn't friendly either, economically or ideologically.

And of course, the notion of real revolutions plan to institute a new economic system equivocates on what a "new" system is. Anti-colonial revolutions are most certainly revolutions, including the American Revolution, because a country owned by itself is hugely different from a country owned by the Crown of England. The French Revolution did not aim to create a new economic system by your lights. The US Civil War began when an administration refused to give up the right of the plurality to determine the economic system in territories, which is most certainly an economic goal. vk is very confused.

Re Madison and freedom...people, if you look at what they actually did, Madison seems to be possibly even more pro-slavery than Jefferson. We are talking about a very peculiar definition of freedom here.

Panic over the existence of Buttigieg is homophobia or deliberate queer-baiting in my judgment.

c1ue of course will never cite any facts to support the contention that feudalism dominated China in 1948. That's really is nutty claim, prompted by the need to fake rational discourse and based on a racist notion that the lesser races are centuries behind us. (Orthodox Christians don't really count as true Christians with the likes of c1ue and others. juliania can correct me if I'm wrong about fairly widespread prejudice against the Orthodox Christians in many Protestant and Roman milieus.) c1ue also cannot cite any facts to "explain" how the supposedly "petite bourgoisie" leading a fake workers' revolution magically defeated the "petite bourgeoisie" in government service, in business, in multiple political parties. Class snobbery plays a role here, I think. It's only the remembered names who matter, and the unremembered militants who provided the muscle, literal or metaphorical, don't. It's like claiming abolitionism was a white religious movement!

c1ue is so incompetent as to use the phrase Founding Fathers without drawing the distinction between the revolutionaries and the Framers of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers included people like George Washington and Alexander Hamilton but also included Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Rush, Joseph Warren, Samuel Adams, Henry Laurens---but most likely the most important of them all was Tom Paine. Benjamin Franklin's political revolution in Pennsylvania and the left-wing ideology of Paine are still a hideous embarrassment for reactionary scum like c1ue. So they want to pretend the Framers of the Constitution were the "Founding Fathers." In truth, those people were the reactionary tail end of the American Revolution. They were the equivalent of the liberals of the Glorious Revolution, working out an elaborate compromise to avoid another revolution. Or they were the equivalent of the Directory in France, determined to prevent Jacobinism from ever coming back (the Directory failed, yes, but they too wanted to set up a stable government suitable to the bourgeoisie.) Or the equivalent of the US after the panic of 1873, the Great Compromise of 1876 and the great strikes of 1877, that went so far to reverse the verdicts of the Civil War.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 27 2020 15:53 utc | 155

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 27 2020 9:30 utc | 151

Well, that is what I remember and it stuck because all of his writings have not been published. I could be wrong, of course. My memory is not infallible! All too often I forget what I should remember and remember what I would rather forget — as I haven’t complete control of my psychophysical processes.

I think Hudson is exactly what we need now here at the dark center of failing empire. Be sure to listen Pepe Escobar interview and conversation with him on December 17, 2020.

Also, here is an interview with Hudson which focuses more on situation in the states, (asking others’ forbearance here), making it as clear as a sunny cloudless day what needs to be done to stop the destruction and suffering.

Posted by: suzan | Dec 27 2020 15:54 utc | 156

@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 27 2020 15:53 utc | 158

I was talking about the world of ideas: both the English and the American liberal intellectuals agreed the Jacobins were wrong, for the same reasons.

Of course that, geopolitically, tension was still high between the two nations. It also didn't mean they weren't trading between them. The world was much more privatized then, and the national governments had much less control over foreign trade than today's governments. Even if you don't take this variable into account, you have the ideological aspect, as both Americans and English intellectuals-politicians (they were the same at that time) believed trade should be left out of the political dispute, unless in case of war.

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2020 16:43 utc | 157

@vk #157
Marx was an economist, but economics isn't a science.
Sociology and economics are both pseudosciences, and what Marx wrote is as much sociological as it is economic.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 28 2020 19:07 utc | 158

@suzan #159
Fair enough.
And note that I am not disparaging Dr. Hudson. I am and continue to be an admirer of his work in economics and the interaction of government with the economy.
However, Hudson is more than a little utopian when he continues to think that government will somehow magically shift from its self seeking (individuals in government) nature to the "good of all" role which it was created for (irrigation, defense, law etc).

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 28 2020 19:09 utc | 159

@gm #154
Robert Gore might be more credible if he weren't both so clearly selling his line and so wrong about so many things.
Look up his article on the Supreme Court intervening in the election.
I told him directly (and he responded) that he was smoking crack if he thought the Supreme Court would hear the Texas case - because the precedent set would be horrific: that one state could sue to disbar the electors of another state.
I can cite many more examples of his being "not right" - that's just the most recent. He is not a person for whom information inconsistent with his ideological views is accepted.
As such, he is nothing more than a rabble rouser in my view.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 28 2020 19:13 utc | 160

@steven t johnson #158
It is always amusing to me to see you continue to dig deeper in your quest to destroy your own credibility.
Mao Zedong is officially "the son of a prosperous peasant", but he worked in Peking University. He had an arranged marriage so his wife's and his own family's land would be united - again, hardly the mark of a real peasant.
So no, Mao was not a true proletariat in any sense of the word.
The same can be said for pretty much all of the leaders in the Communist movement in China, as could be said for the original revolutionaries who overthrew the Qin dynasty.
Anyway, I can always rely on you to be wrong and to be ridiculous in doing so.
It is actually a skill, of sorts, to be so consistently incorrect. People should just take the opposite of whatever you say.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 28 2020 19:19 utc | 161

c1ue@164 wrote Mao "had an arranged marriage so his wife's and his own family's land would be united - again, hardly the mark of a real peasant."

An arranged marriage to unite two pieces of property is very much the way peasants do things. As so often, c1ue is 100% wrong. Also, the idea that Mao was the Communist Party incarnated is ridiculous. The hard-core militants who constituted the cutting edge of the Communist Party were not peasants fighting feudalism, as per c1ue's racist slander of an entire country. The May Fourth movement may have extolled Mr. Science and Mr. Democracy over Mr. Confucius, but the students were not peasants following some boss's orders, as c1ue has claimed. May Fourth was largely urban, not rural.

And so on, and so forth.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 29 2020 15:41 utc | 162

@ Posted by: c1ue | Dec 28 2020 19:07 utc | 161

Marx graduated, had a masters and Ph.D. in philosophy. He was a philosopher by profession, if you want to adopt the middle class/petit-bourgeois meaning of the term. He briefly worked as a journalist and editor before being expelled from Germany or Belgium.

Capital is not a work of economics, but a critique of political economy. Political economy was the area of scientific economics of Marx's time. There was also, concomitantly at the time, what they called "vulgar economics", i.e. Economics as pseudo-science, produced at the time by a legion of amateurs, in a pre-peer-review era.

It is vulgar economics - not political economy - that "survived" in the post-war Academia and gave birth to Economics as we know today. Political economy died after Marx demolished it in Capital, but was scientific. All the economics you learn nowadays that's not Marxist is pseudo-science, as they all derive either from Keynesianism, Neoclassicism or Austrian School - all of which descend from vulgar economics of the 19th Century.

And there's a reason only vulgar economics is taught nowadays: after Marx's Capital, it became clear that, investigated to the last consequences, political economy would lead to a revolutionary conclusion. Hence it was reduced to pseudo-science, borderline esoteric teachings.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2020 16:03 utc | 163

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