Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 26, 2021

Sorry, No Post Today.

Sorry, no post today.

The heating installation for the block I am living in failed yesterday. It is supposed to be up again only late this evening. It is freezing not only outside and typing with mittens on is just too inconvenient.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 26, 2021 at 16:54 UTC | Permalink

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The content of this Global Times editorial I find very juicy, as in delicious, for what ought to be obvious reasons:

"At the World Economic Forum, Diess said China 'is moving in the right direction and that it is easier to invest in China than China is allowed to invest in Germany or other places.' Quinn said on the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday that his bank was not in a position to question police requests when it agreed to freeze accounts of anti-government activists. He also said some senior HSBC executives experienced the violence during the protests in Hong Kong in 2019. Quinn replied to those 'hypocritical' accusations against him that he was 'not going to comment on democracy' because he's a banker, not a politician.

"Let's just say that the two business elites were telling the truth. The West now has formed an opinion 'iron curtain' to smear China and calls for politicization in business circles, which seriously threatens the livelihood of multinational companies. Some companies can't stand it anymore, which is why Volkswagen and HSBC had launched verbal 'revolts.'" [My Emphasis]

There's beauty in the prose woven by the editor as he dismembers those in the West attempting to erect their "Iron Curtain" to contain China. It's key that Japan refuses to join the smearing, while trolls prowl social media parroting Pompeo's lies. That Blinken continues down Pompeo's path has pissed off China:

"'The most important thing should be repeated three times - China has no genocide; China has no genocide; China has no genocide, period,' Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at the daily press conference on Thursday.

"Zhao's remarks came in response to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's claim on Wednesday that 'genocide' had been 'committed' against Uygurs in China's Xinjiang region." [My Emphasis]

This article provides the first deep analysis by China of BidenCo's level of relations, which is found to be disappointing but not surprisingly so. The Outlaw US Empire behaves as if it still has leverage over China when the opposite is the reality. But as with a great many realities, that one can't be voiced either. Instead of the Atlanticist school of policy it ought to be termed the Fantasist school because of its complete disconnection with reality.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2021 17:57 utc | 201

I just found out the term for “micro narrative” in English, flash fiction, the permanent state of the advertisement empire, they ended up believing their narrative. That brings me to a famous flash fiction by Monterroso, a Guatemalan writer, “The Dinosaur”, “when awoke the dinosaur still was there”, that’s going to be the empire’s soft landing, we hope.

And then I found an even shorter flash fiction in Spanish, The Emmigrant by the Mexican Lomelí:

Are you forgetting something? I only wish..

The original is only four words long.

Vlad ended up his Davos talk just like a Beatle, “All we need is love”

We are ready for this, we want this, and we will strive to make this happen. But love is impossible if it is declared only by one side. It must be mutual.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 28 2021 19:31 utc | 202

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 28 2021 17:57 utc | 201

Global Times article: Thanks for that, very interesting. Just the right attitude.

It will be interesting watching Blinken try to work with them. He seems naive to me so far. Lots of cliches.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2021 19:45 utc | 203

karlof1 #201
Bemildred #202


My take away quote from that Global Times editorial:

There has been a startling miscalculation of China by some political elites in the US and its major allies. They have misjudged China and the price their people at home are willing to pay to find fault with China. Their attempt to encircle China and to set up an "iron curtain" of public opinion against China is bound to be a farce of history, which will be destroyed completely as time passes. They are pulling a net but just trying to stop the wind across the prairie.

I love the China use of metaphor.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2021 21:46 utc | 205

Investors file CLASS ACTION SUIT against Robinhood

https://www.rt.com/usa/513956-robinhood-class-action-lawsuit-gamestop/

Posted by: Triden | Jan 28 2021 21:53 utc | 206

Arch Bungle #128

Odd, and here I thought the Indian elite worshipped cattle? Seems the Cow is not as holy as we thought ...

The Indian elite only promote the worship of cattle to make the bullshit that comes from their mouths more acceptable to the masses. Anyway the Sudan farmers transcended that trick about 10,000 years ago and likely taught it to their Indian country cousins around that time.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2021 22:27 utc | 207

My takeaways from the links karlof1 provides at 201:

"...dialogue with the US, China has patience and calmness to wait for the US to handle its domestic mess and issue a more clear and constructive policy toward China..."

"...an online dialogue organized by the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament and the Carter Center..."

"...it is possible to restart dialogue or cooperation..."

and finally again:

"China can wait."

Thank you, karlof1!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 28 2021 22:58 utc | 208

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 28 2021 21:46 utc | 204

"startling misalculation" - well it is interesting that their use of English is often better than the US MSM, allowing for the occasional missed idiom, but yeah, it beggars description really, the degree of misperception. Generally I attribute it to the hermetic group think that reigns in DC. One of the true signs of a failing ruling class is when they start to prefer fiction to reality. When you look around you see a lot of that sort of fail these days.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 28 2021 23:29 utc | 209

Aurelian Walls, American version:

US Police Chief Calls for Permanent Fencing Around Capitol Building Amid Security Concerns

Not as fancy as the original, but it'll do.

Posted by: vk | Jan 28 2021 23:48 utc | 210

Posted by: vk | Jan 28 2021 14:45 utc | 195

Sorry vk, there is a rebound because they printed many trillions of dollars. Thus the IMF now estimates that the pandemic made it harder for China to overtake the US.

I said many times, one must not underestimate the biggest empire the world has ever seen. The dollar is very, very important. And now you are seeing it in action. Print as much as you want and you can get out of any hole, as long as your currency is the world's.

Posted by: Passer by | Jan 29 2021 0:38 utc | 211

Hudson weighs in on dan of steele's question via his newest essay:

"One must conclude that America has chosen to no longer industrialize, but to finance its economy by economic rent – monopoly rent, from information technology, banking and speculation, whilst leaving industry, research and development to other countries. Even if China and other Asian countries didn’t exist, there is no way that America can regain its export markets or even its internal market with its current debt overhead and its privatized and financialized education, health care, transportation and other basic infrastructure sectors.

"The underlying problem is not competition from China, but neoliberal financialization. Finance-capitalism is not industrial capitalism. It is a lapse back into debt peonage and a rentier neo-feudalism. Bankers play the role today that landlords played up through the 19th century, making fortunes without corresponding value, by capital gains for real estate, stocks and bonds on credit, by debt leveraging whose carrying charges increase the economy’s cost of living and doing business." [My Emphasis]

So, one can say that China has a Marxist economy given the way Marx viewed Capitalism and the direction he presumed it would take but didn't. This is why I agree with Hudson that "Today’s New Cold War is a Fight by Finance Capitalism Against Industrial Capitalism," and all that entails--Nothing is to be provided for commonfolk; they must be made to pay for everything, even the air they breathe if there were a method to capture that natural resource similar to paying for water. The following excerpt is in honor of psychohistorian as his thesis is confirmed:

"In this respect, today’s New Cold War is a conflict of economic systems. As such, it is being fought against the dynamic of U.S. industrial capitalism as well as that of China and other economies. Hence, the struggle also is domestic within the United States and Europe, as well as confrontational against China and Russia, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and their moves to de-dollarize their economies and reject the Washington Consensus and its Dollar Diplomacy. It is a fight by U.S.-centered finance capital to promote the neoliberal doctrine giving special tax privileges to rentier income, untaxing land rent, natural resource rent, monopoly rent and the financial sector. This aim includes privatizing and financializing basic infrastructure, maximizing its extraction of economic rent instead of minimizing the cost of living and doing business. [My Emphasis]

What follows is deserving of being bolded paragraph after paragraph, but I'll just include what follows the above:

"Finance capitalism exploits labor, but via a rentier sector, which also ends up cannibalizing industrial capital. This drive has become internationalized into a fight against nations that restrict the predatory dynamics of finance capital seeking to privatize and dismantle government regulatory power. The New Cold War is not merely a war being waged by finance capitalism against socialism and public ownership of the means of production. In view of the inherent dynamics of industrial capitalism requiring strong state regulatory and taxing power to check the intrusiveness of finance capital, this post-industrial global conflict is between socialism evolving out of industrial capitalism, and fascism, defined as a rentier reaction to mobilize government to roll back social democracy and restore control to the rentier financial and monopoly classes. [My Emphasis]

Many years worth of disjointed commentary are now very succinctly articulated; yet, how comprehendible is it by those with only 9 years of education? Both Red and Blue Americans need to understand this dynamic, to understand what and who their real enemies are and where to find them. The same goes for Europeans and other victims living within Neoliberalized nations. There's more to the essay. The above citations are at about the 2/3s point. Read it all and pass it around. I'm curious what's to follow in the book and what if any solution Hudson proposes aside from the obvious intensive political fight to destroy the Financial Parasites and their allies whose aim is to enslave humanity or reduce it to the point where it poses no threat.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2021 0:54 utc | 212

@ karlof1 | Jan 29 2021 0:54 utc | 211 with the confirmation of my civilization war meme and Hudson link

Thanks for that. I can't express myself anything like Michael Hudson but I am a big picture thinker and he and others have given meat to the structure of my thoughts over the 50+ years I have been watching. I am just a fly on the wall of this watershed time of humanity, happy to be watching it unfold and eternally optimistic that our species can and will evolve given the right environment.

Someone once said that all we have individually and collectively to share in life with each other is the the example of how we live our life. We should all strive to give good example to ourself and others.

And the shit show rolls on....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 29 2021 1:16 utc | 213

Brandenburg aktuell-Energiewende im Winterstress
114 views •Jan 25, 2021:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgYubOxsjmI&feature=emb_logo

Posted by: Antonym | Jan 29 2021 1:57 utc | 214

@ karlof1 | Jan 29 2021 0:54 utc | 212.. thanks for sharing that... hudsons words couldn't be more true and he articulates what i have been thinking, but i don't have the understanding that he has! it is very relevant what he is saying... it is a conflict of huge significance, and i am not sure many are able to see or articulate it as he does, but he definitely does here...

Posted by: james | Jan 29 2021 17:31 utc | 215

What I'm posting below is the heart of Putin's Davos Speech where he lays out Humanity's problems as he sees them and what he and Russia see as solutions that are also Russia's major policy goals. Pepe Escobar directed his readers to this Ishchenko analysis of Putin's speech that provides a different POV that IMO can be used productively. While reading, try to keep in mind what Hudson's described as the forces in play and what their aims are to understand the challenge both Xi and Putin represent. And for those needing it, here's Xi's Davos Speech transcript.

"In this context, I would like to speak in more detail about the main challenges which, I believe, the international community is facing.

The first one is socioeconomic.

Indeed, judging by the statistics, even despite the deep crises in 2008 and 2020, the last 40 years can be referred to as successful or even super successful for the global economy. Starting from 1980, global per capita GDP has doubled in terms of real purchasing power parity. This is definitely a positive indicator.

Globalisation and domestic growth have led to strong growth in developing countries and lifted over a billion people out of poverty. So, if we take an income level of $5.50 per person per day (in terms of PPP) then, according to the World Bank, in China, for example, the number of people with lower incomes went from 1.1 billion in 1990 down to less than 300 million in recent years. This is definitely China's success. In Russia, this number went from 64 million people in 1999 to about 5 million now. We believe this is also progress in our country, and in the most important area, by the way.

Still, the main question, the answer to which can, in many respects, provide a clue to today’s problems, is what was the nature of this global growth and who benefitted from it most.

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, developing countries benefitted a lot from the growing demand for their traditional and even new products. However, this integration into the global economy has resulted in more than just new jobs or greater export earnings. It also had its social costs, including a significant gap in individual incomes.

What about the developed economies where average incomes are much higher? It may sound ironic, but stratification in the developed countries is even deeper. According to the World Bank, 3.6 million people subsisted on incomes of under $5.50 per day in the United States in 2000, but in 2016 this number grew to 5.6 million people.

Meanwhile, globalisation led to a significant increase in the revenue of large multinational, primarily US and European, companies.

By the way, in terms of individual income, the developed economies in Europe show the same trend as the United States.

But then again, in terms of corporate profits, who got hold of the revenue? The answer is clear: one percent of the population.

And what has happened in the lives of other people? In the past 30 years, in a number of developed countries, the real incomes of over half of the citizens have been stagnating, not growing. Meanwhile, the cost of education and healthcare services has gone up. Do you know by how much? Three times.

In other words, millions of people even in wealthy countries have stopped hoping for an increase of their incomes. In the meantime, they are faced with the problem of how to keep themselves and their parents healthy and how to provide their children with a decent education.

There is no call [IMO, there's a translation issue here; savior seems more appropriate] for a huge mass of people and their number keeps growing. Thus, according to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), in 2019, 21 percent or 267 million young people in the world did not study or work anywhere. Even among those who had jobs (these are interesting figures) 30 percent had an income below $3.2 per day in terms of purchasing power parity.

These imbalances in global socioeconomic development are a direct result of the policy pursued in the 1980s, which was often vulgar or dogmatic. This policy rested on the so-called Washington Consensus with its unwritten rules, when the priority was given to the economic growth based on a private debt in conditions of deregulation and low taxes on the wealthy and the corporations.

As I have already mentioned, the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. In the last year, the global economy sustained its biggest decline since WWII. By July, the labour market had lost almost 500 million jobs. Yes, half of them were restored by the end of the year but still almost 250 million jobs were lost. This is a big and very alarming figure. In the first nine months of the past year alone, the losses of earnings amounted to $3.5 trillion. This figure is going up and, hence, social tension is on the rise.

At the same time, post-crisis recovery is not simple at all. If some 20 or 30 years ago, we would have solved the problem through stimulating macroeconomic policies (incidentally, this is still being done), today such mechanisms have reached their limits and are no longer effective. This resource has outlived its usefulness. This is not an unsubstantiated personal conclusion.

According to the IMF, the aggregate sovereign and private debt level has approached 200 percent of global GDP, and has even exceeded 300 percent of national GDP in some countries. At the same time, interest rates in developed market economies are kept at almost zero and are at a historic low in emerging market economies.

Taken together, this makes economic stimulation with traditional methods, through an increase in private loans virtually impossible. The so-called quantitative easing is only increasing the bubble of the value of financial assets and deepening the social divide. The widening gap between the real and virtual economies (incidentally, representatives of the real economy sector from many countries have told me about this on numerous occasions, and I believe that the business representatives attending this meeting will agree with me) presents a very real threat and is fraught with serious and unpredictable shocks.

Hopes that it will be possible to reboot the old growth model are connected with rapid technological development. Indeed, during the past 20 years we have created a foundation for the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution based on the wide use of AI and automation and robotics. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly accelerated such projects and their implementation.

However, this process is leading to new structural changes, I am thinking in particular of the labour market. This means that very many people could lose their jobs unless the state takes effective measures to prevent this. Most of these people are from the so-called middle class, which is the basis of any modern society.

In this context, I would like to mention the second fundamental challenge of the forthcoming decade – the socio-political one. The rise of economic problems and inequality is splitting society, triggering social, racial and ethnic intolerance. Indicatively, these tensions are bursting out even in the countries with seemingly civil and democratic institutions that are designed to alleviate and stop such phenomena and excesses.

The systemic socioeconomic problems are evoking such social discontent that they require special attention and real solutions. The dangerous illusion that they may be ignored or pushed into the corner is fraught with serious consequences.

In this case, society will still be divided politically and socially. This is bound to happen because people are dissatisfied not by some abstract issues but by real problems that concern everyone regardless of the political views that people have or think they have. Meanwhile, real problems evoke discontent.

I would like to emphasise one more important point. Modern technological giants, especially digital companies, have started playing an increasing role in the life of society. Much is being said about this now, especially regarding the events that took place during the election campaign in the US. They are not just some economic giants. In some areas, they are de facto competing with states. Their audiences consist of billions of users that pass a considerable part of their lives in these eco systems.

In the opinion of these companies, their monopoly is optimal for organising technological and business processes. Maybe so but society is wondering whether such monopolism meets public interests. Where is the border [dividing line] between successful global business, in-demand services and big data consolidation and the attempts to manage society at one’s own discretion and in a tough manner, replace legal democratic institutions and essentially usurp or restrict the natural right of people to decide for themselves how to live, what to choose and what position to express freely? We have just seen all of these phenomena in the US and everyone understands what I am talking about now. I am confident that the overwhelming majority of people share this position, including the participants in the current event.

And finally, the third challenge, or rather, a clear threat that we may well run into in the coming decade is the further exacerbation of many international problems. After all, unresolved and mounting internal socioeconomic problems may push people to look for someone to blame for all their troubles and to redirect their irritation and discontent. We can already see this. We feel that the degree of foreign policy propaganda rhetoric is growing.

We can expect the nature of practical actions to also become more aggressive, including pressure on the countries that do not agree with a role of obedient controlled satellites, use of trade barriers, illegitimate sanctions and restrictions in the financial, technological and cyber spheres.

Such a game with no rules critically increases the risk of unilateral use of military force. The use of force under a far-fetched pretext is what this danger is all about. This multiplies the likelihood of new hot spots flaring up on our planet. This concerns us.

Colleagues, despite this tangle of differences and challenges, we certainly should keep a positive outlook on the future and remain committed to a constructive agenda. It would be naive to come up with universal miraculous recipes for resolving the above problems. But we certainly need to try to work out common approaches, bring our positions as close as possible and identify sources that generate global tensions.

Once again, I want to emphasise my thesis that accumulated socioeconomic problems are the fundamental reason for unstable global growth.

So, the key question today is how to build a programme of actions in order to not only quickly restore the global and national economies affected by the pandemic, but to ensure that this recovery is sustainable in the long run, relies on a high-quality structure and helps overcome the burden of social imbalances. Clearly, with the above restrictions and macroeconomic policy in mind, economic growth will largely rely on fiscal incentives with state budgets and central banks playing the key role.

Actually, we can see these kinds of trends in the developed countries and also in some developing economies as well. An increasing role of the state in the socioeconomic sphere at the national level obviously implies greater responsibility and close interstate interaction when it comes to issues on the global agenda.

Calls for inclusive growth and for creating decent standards of living for everyone are regularly made at various international forums. This is how it should be, and this is an absolutely correct view of our joint efforts.

It is clear that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit a million people, or even the golden billion. This is a destructive precept. This model is unbalanced by default. The recent developments, including migration crises, have reaffirmed this once again.

We must now proceed from stating facts to action, investing our efforts and resources into reducing social inequality in individual countries and into gradually balancing the economic development standards of different countries and regions in the world. This would put an end to migration crises.

The essence and focus of this policy aimed at ensuring sustainable and harmonious development are clear. They imply the creation of new opportunities for everyone, conditions under which everyone will be able to develop and realise their potential regardless of where they were born and are living

I would like to point out four key priorities, as I see them. This might be old news, but since Klaus has allowed me to present Russia’s position, my position, I will certainly do so.

First, everyone must have comfortable living conditions, including housing and affordable transport, energy and public utility infrastructure. Plus environmental welfare, something that must not be overlooked.

Second, everyone must be sure that they will have a job that can ensure sustainable growth of income and, hence, decent standards of living. Everyone must have access to an effective system of lifelong education, which is absolutely indispensable now and which will allow people to develop, make a career and receive a decent pension and social benefits upon retirement.

Third, people must be confident that they will receive high-quality and effective medical care whenever necessary, and that the national healthcare system will guarantee access to modern medical services.

Fourth, regardless of the family income, children must be able to receive a decent education and realise their potential. Every child has potential.

This is the only way to guarantee the cost-effective development of the modern economy, in which people are perceived as the end, rather than the means. Only those countries capable of attaining progress in at least these four areas will facilitate their own sustainable and all-inclusive development. These areas are not exhaustive, and I have just mentioned the main aspects.

A strategy, also being implemented by my country, hinges on precisely these approaches. Our priorities revolve around people, their families, and they aim to ensure demographic development, to protect the people, to improve their well-being and to protect their health. We are now working to create favourable conditions for worthy and cost-effective work and successful entrepreneurship and to ensure digital transformation as the foundation of a high-tech future for the entire country, rather than that of a narrow group of companies.

"We intend to focus the efforts of the state, the business community and civil society on these tasks and to implement a budgetary policy with the relevant incentives in the years ahead." [All Emphasis Mine]

Yes, Putin's plan is very Bismarckian and differs little from China's Socialeconomy in that it's conceived by civil society and directed by the state, not farmed-out to unregulated private entities. And what of the philosophy behind it? I see it as some form of Collectivism given the aim is the uplifting of the entire populous along with an attempt to level/even-out the stratification/equitability problem. There are also degrees of Liberalism and Conservatism in freeing people to do what they're best at while also promoting the familial base from which all people emerge and the core values that surround both. Clearly, this is Putin's Win-Win vision. In his recap, Ishchenko provides us with the following tidbit:

"And look, 80 people from among the most influential people on the planet did not laugh in Putin’s face, as it was in 2007 in Munich, and without noise and dust immediately after his open speech signed up for a closed conference with him."

I'd very much like to know what was said in that closed conference. Hopefully, Putin will write of it in his memoirs as I don't expect a leak. And finally, what will the Neoliberal Parasites do as I rather doubt they'll want to make any accommodations to Putin, Xi, or anyone else since they've been growing ever stronger since their wave began rolling some 170 years ago, which is to say I still sense some sort of confrontation. Perhaps it will be China who acts over Taiwan as suggested here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2021 20:38 utc | 216

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2021 20:38 utc | 216

It is probably a typo or a quirk, the text in Russian says that a huge mass of people is accumulating накопляется.

I tried to post this a couple of days ago but it seems my computer or my connection have a quirk too.

“Davos speech is online in english, and even though the final remarks are directed at Europe they apply to the US as well.

Europe and Russia are absolutely natural partners from the point of view of the economy, research, technology and spatial development for European culture, since Russia, being a country of European culture, is a little larger than the entire EU in terms of territory. Russia’s resources and human potential are enormous. I will not go over everything that is positive in Europe, which can also benefit the Russian Federation.

And that was expressed with moderation, many think that the true Europe is Russia, with her capital city Moscow the biggest city in Europe, with seven hills like Rome. But not only size matters, culture too.

We are ready for this, we want this, and we will strive to make this happen. But love is impossible if it is declared only by one side. It must be mutual.

What else can be said, Vlad is starting to sound like a Beatle with his “All You Need is Love” tará tarará…”

Posted by: Paco | Jan 29 2021 21:06 utc | 217

Actually I did not clarify the typo, the original says:

Накапливается и огромная масса людей, которые, по факту, оказываются невостребованными.

Literally:

There is also a huge mass of people who, in fact, are unclaimed.

What he means is:

a huge mass of people who in fact are redundant.

Posted by: Paco | Jan 29 2021 21:11 utc | 218

karlof1 @ 212, I'd read the Hudson essay first at nakedcapitalism.com, but it needs several re-reads as it is so compact. I used the part about the fragility of financial capitalism vs. industrial capitalism today over there in a comment that I think remained viable (some of mine don't) explaining why folk compared the Wall Street Battle to Occupy, and the global implications making it more than just a tussle between players.

Thanks for posting the Davos speeches of Xi and Putin also - worth examining in the context of Hudson's concluding points.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 29 2021 21:45 utc | 219

Hi all

About the Gamestop "riot" (or "insurrection"), this funny link makes me laugh:

https://babylonbee.com/news/wall-street-bans-anyone-who-doesnt-wear-a-top-hat-and-carry-around-giant-bags-of-money/

"We are making this change to keep the poors out," said an SEC spokesperson. "There were too many smelly poor people trading stocks, when the stock market was always intended just to help the rich people make more money. Now that the big investors started losing, we are changing the rules of the game. Don't make us flip the game board over -- we're warning you!"

Posted by: DFC | Jan 29 2021 22:01 utc | 220

One perhaps unhelpful observation, which is that the two leaders we are mostly positive in referencing here, Xi and Putin, were given the chance to make speeches at Davos which in general gave a different slant to the idea of 'reset' than, for example, Hillary Clinton did in presenting a big plastic 'reset' button to Putin when she met with him back in Obama years. Then it was a big joke, now not so much.

Have we reached an FDR moment? It would seem we are approaching that. The moment I mean is the one when FDR persuaded US oligarchs to start thinking about the rest of the country, the masses as Paco describes above. Not just from one country's perspective but universally. Putin seems to be saying the stakes are very high. And I do remember when he walked into the crowd in Moscow to enjoy a Beatles concert. So his last line isn't as frivolous as it may seem.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 29 2021 22:03 utc | 221

Paco @217&8--

Thanks much for your help with that issue. Did you happen to read Ishchenko's analysis? I recall Lavrov saying something very similar about a relationship needing to be mutually productive to be fruitful and long lasting. Both are trying to reason with unreasonable people, people who sincerely believe the lies they've been told, people who if tested to see how much of reality they know would fail because they only know unreality. Those are the type of people I see appointed to critical positions within the UK and USA's governments, and thus they are very dangerous. Blinken is every bit as unhinged as Pompeo, while Austin reminds me of Rumsfeld. And in the background lurk Obama and the CIA.

The last piece of New Deal legislation was aimed at trying to keep a large mass of "redundant" people from forming that might generate political unrest and recognized that could best be nipped in the bud by a Full Employment Act, which was passed into law in 1946. Yes, it's been violated massively, but this key aspect remains: The onus for positive economic performance remains on the President's head, which is why economic stats are so manipulated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 29 2021 22:15 utc | 222

So now the rage of Wall Street & Deep State will be directed to the gamers people in reddit, Discord has just unplug the r/WallStreetBets (WBS):

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/536222-discord-bans-server-tied-to-reddit-stock-surge-page

They say:

"the decision to remove the server was due to users sharing “hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” adding that it “did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks.”
“The server has been on our Trust & Safety team’s radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation,”

So those hoi polloi who have made VIP in Wall Street lose money, of course, are domestic terrorist, insurrectionists, dangerous klanish people, deplorables, the whole trash of the Earth...and they will pay for that, sure; Old Biden will help on that.

Posted by: DFC | Jan 29 2021 22:46 utc | 223

Okay, a second attempt to clear the spam trap, this time with a faked link (remove spaces and replace DOT with . in the link). Or just search on the article text ... this one is good.

Whitney Webb has a very detailed article about the Solar Winds exploit, the actors around it and the grave implications. Ties up a lot of loose ends and to me, seems about right:

https://www DOT thelastamericanvagabond DOT com/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/

The devastating hack on SolarWinds was quickly pinned on Russia by US intelligence. A more likely culprit, Samanage, a company whose software was integrated into SolarWinds’ software just as the “back door” was inserted, is deeply tied to Israeli intelligence and intelligence-linked families such as the Maxwells.

Posted by: jonku | Jan 29 2021 23:15 utc | 224

does whitney webb have an actual website?? i can get this article from the 22nd - https://unlimitedhangout.com/

i think that might be her website...

thanks for the additional notes karlof1...

Posted by: james | Jan 30 2021 0:39 utc | 225

I thought about doing the same for Xi's speech as I did for Putin's, but it's even longer and denser. Content-wise it stands as a massive challenge to the Neoliberal Parasites as there's nothing Marxist in Xi's prose. As you read you'll slowly realize with dismay that the West is actively opposing what Xi proposes without any specifics whatsoever. All that's said has to do with lies told about China's reality. Where're the West's counterarguments and its suggestions?!? Or was it one component from this one sentence given the forces running the Outlaw US Empire and its NATO vassals:

"We will continue to cut overcapacity, reduce inventory, deleverage financing, reduce cost and strengthen weak links."

Oh yes, there's all that mention of growth and development being for the benefit of ALL the people, not the cats at the top, particularly this paragraph:

"This is a path that puts people’s interests first. China follows a people-oriented development philosophy and is committed to bettering the lives of its people. Development is of the people, by the people and for the people. China pursues the goal of common prosperity. We have taken major steps to alleviate poverty and lifted over 700 million people out of poverty, and good progress is being made in our efforts to finish building a society of initial prosperity in all respects." [Emphasis original]

And it's all about Industrial Capitalism which is the road to Socialism that Finance Capitalism aims to capture and prevent, respectively.

Xi and Putin together have laid out the Eurasian Bloc's cards and silently said come and join our people centered efforts and path to the future that don't favor a very tiny minority. And that's why the West omitted any coverage of their greatly important speeches and offerings--Why? Because those holding the West by its gonads are scared that they'll be prevented from stealing ever more wealth by privatizing the world.

What a Colossal Struggle this will become, because that small bunch of greed heads want it all, just as those that came before them were content with massive Latifundia Estates populated by nothing but powerless serfs who owned nothing but debt to the Lord.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2021 0:52 utc | 226

Most here consensually agree that Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are soaked in blood and guilty of many Capital Crimes for which they ought to be imprisoned for life. But we now get people defending such killers because someone has suggested those three die for their deeds. Yes, I know the political background to this story, but what about Justice for the victims?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2021 1:22 utc | 227

Neoliberalism in Big Pharma is yet another enemy of the people as this report demonstrates.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2021 1:25 utc | 228

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2021 0:52 utc | 226

Content-wise it stands as a massive challenge to the Neoliberal Parasites as there's nothing Marxist in Xi's prose.

So, what you mean is that, by not being Marxist, it presents a massive challenge to the "neoliberal parasites"? Don't you mean the reverse?

Xi is a declared Marxist; the CPC is a declared Marxist-Leninist party; China is a declared socialist country. I don't understand your urge to erase Marx and his importance from history.

Posted by: vk | Jan 30 2021 1:39 utc | 229

@karlof1, paco et al...

Well I have finally been able to read Putin's address at Davos. I read the meaning of "there is no call" as you do, simply like the workers on the bench waiting to be called for work, and there is no call that day. Putin is clear in his own mind and personal culture that all people must have work, and this is the basis of society.

I read Ishchenko's article before Putin's speech. I rate Ishchenko as one of the very best geopolitical analysts in the world when it comes to Russia and the future of the world. He looks deep into a thing. So I take seriously what he's saying as Davos 2021 being the new Munich 2007.

I don't think Putin was talking to the USA at all in his speech. He was talking to every other country in the world, except the USA. As Ishchenko is obviously so taken with, Putin is saying to all these countries, come and join us as we move forward. The hegemony never actually happened, it only tried, and it has failed and that day is absolutely over. Dead, gone, over. Come and join with us as together we build the new arrangements.

~~

I like what Putin says about the global institutions. We have discussed here the future of the UN and how China and Russia could conceive of replacing it, but the effort involved is not called for yet by the UN's many obvious shortcomings. Better to work with it if possible, at least until the extremity.

And here now at Davos, Putin says all this, and in stone-cold real words. Work with the global institutions, reform them, bring them into the modern age. At the same time, create other, smaller conjunctions and bodies, to do some of the heavy lifting. All the rest of the world except the USA will combine in new arrangements and in persuading the old arrangement to adapt or be replaced - but all of this process will call on the least amount of effort and cost as possible. No grandstanding. Just simple, geopolitical realities.

~~

I agree that Putin's calling the economic situation the prime mover in the social distresses of the world is absolutely correct. He champions a world in which the people will not be allowed simply to die but instead will be accommodated and provisioned, and enfranchised. This is the world he pledges Russia to.

I recall very well that the last piece from Ishchenko I read, and mentioned here, took a view of the oligarchs similar to my own, that their plan for the future is passively to let the mass of people become increasingly poor and thence to die off, which in turn will solve the climate stress on the planet from resource depletion. This is why all they care about is to increase their personal holdings and why they can easily let every country, every tradition, every institution simply crumble and fall to ashes.

Putin says this is not what will happen.

No wonder Ishchenko is excited. I must say that his analysis threw into sharp relief many things that I might otherwise not have seen in Putin's speech. Much gratitude to all the players in this tipping point in the world's history (for such I think it is), including the unspoken heroes at StalkerZone, and karlof1 and other commenters here who brought these important voices into our own forum.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 30 2021 4:01 utc | 230

Grieved @230--

Thanks so very much for your reply! Unfortunately, what was initially uncut and uncensored is now in the realm of Top Secret since Xi's and Putin's speeches were blacked out in the West. I'm willing to bet that within the West only a few dozen non-specialists have read the entire contents of both to learn that there is indeed a very viable alternative to Trickle Down Economics that has morphed into Vacuum Up since 2008-9 and massively accelerated with the pandemic's onset. And therein lies the vast problem: Too few have any idea there's an alternative development model and how it works, and instead are pummeled daily by the TINA boot on their faces. Instead, they're subjected to deindustrialization and told its normal, along with numerous other BigLies.

It increasingly looks like those living within the Eurasian Bloc will benefit greatly from the policies of Xi, Putin, and their successors. Then there'll be the lucky few whose leaders also listened attentively, eagerly. The reason the Outlaw US Empire and its NATO vassals offered no rebuttal is because they don't want to acknowledge the existence of those speeches whatsoever, which is to say they don't favor People Centered Development and instead favor top-heavy development that continues to exploit the masses.

So, we can now say with assurance that the world is now split into two camps--Pro-Social Development and Anti-Social Development when looking at the East/West Divide. Yet as both Xi and Putin greatly emphasized, the world's problems are shared by all and need to be solved collectively--and such collective effort must by definition include the masses: Top->Down is completely incapable of doing what must be done whereas Bottom->Up is quite capable once the masses are informed and mobilized. Of course, the West cannot have such a solution because of its ideology; so, that ideology must be put to death and the West removed from impeding the solutions to global problems. I see no other pathway.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 30 2021 21:37 utc | 231

I'm glad Trumplicans are trying to get rid of Liz Cheney only after she voted for impeaching Trump and not before cause that's the only use I had for the Neocon spawn of the Neocon Cheney.

It appears that Trumplicans didn't mind that nasty Neocon fact when they voted her number 3 in the Party hierarchy after McConnell and McCarthy, but now that she stabbed Trump in the back, they suddenly grew a conscience and are damning her for being a Neocon. How about purging Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, Adam Kinzinger and so on...too?

If Trumplicans want to purge the Party of Neocons; they better start with Trump.

Alas, at least I got 2 wishes: Liz Cheney voting to impeach Trump; and Trump now working to unseat her. What could be better? 🤔 hmmmm...

Trump blowing up the Republican Party?

First Trump is out and now this possibility...things are really looking up!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 31 2021 5:32 utc | 232

Below is a short Xinhuanet posting about China playing hardball with the UK over its latest HK play

"
BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Sun has set on the British empire, but it seems that some in London have yet to wake up from their colonial dreams.

Beginning on Sunday, Hong Kong residents who hold the so-called British National Overseas (BNO) passports can apply for settlement and British citizenship. Such a political manipulation driven by a colonial thinking is a flagrant interference in China's internal affairs, which will take another toll on bilateral ties and further hurt Britain's own long-term interests.

As an immediate countermeasure, China said it will no longer recognize the BNO passport as a valid travel document or for identification from Sunday and reserves the right to take further actions.

Britain's tailored policy for Hong Kong residents reflects that the outdated mentality of colonialism still doggedly persist in the minds of some decision-makers in London. They are still pretending that they have some kind of a special responsibility for Hong Kong, which is handed back to China more than two decades ago.

The truth is that from the moment the handover of Hong Kong was done, all the rights and obligations regarding Britain in the Sino-British Joint Declaration were fulfilled.

It means that Britain has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of "supervision" over Hong Kong since then, and the "historical duty" it claimed it has to the Hong Kong people is as misleading as it is fictional.

Obviously, there are at least three calculations behind its new BNO policy: to cash in on those immigrants from Hong Kong, who could bring considerable economic benefits to Britain; to sow more seeds of chaos and divisions in Hong Kong; and to force Beijing to compromise on issues related to Hong Kong, particularly the national security law.

In the past two and half years, London has repeatedly tried to make waves in Hong Kong. The Chinese city, in its eyes, is no more than a geo-political leverage.

The birth of the law to safeguard national security in Hong Kong is the constitutional obligation of the Chinese government and a fundamental move to restore stability in one of the world's most robust financial hubs. Beijing will not give in for doing the right thing.

Those British politicians who are strategizing to profit from fueling instability in Hong Kong and challenging China's sovereignty, may feel "immensely proud" about their BNO tactic.

However, they are just penny-wise and pound-foolish. A healthy and stable China-Britain relationship is vital for both. Creating tensions between the two countries will endanger their mutually beneficial cooperation and overshadow the prospect of bilateral ties in the post-pandemic and post-Brexit era.

London should drop its obsession with colonialism and call off provocations against China's core interests. Holding onto an inglorious past will not help with Britain's present-day global relevance.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 31 2021 5:36 utc | 233

psychohistorian #234

I am sure the Xerxes Biden will convey China's concern to the UKi (for a small consideration of course). And then he will tell the UKi (for a small consideration from them) about China's concerns.

He is that sort of guy.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 31 2021 5:56 utc | 234

"For instance, if the country wants to alleviate poverty, it shouldn't hand out money to everybody. It is not difficult to figure out where and what places people need help more. If so, the money should be precisely given to them. If the rich and the poor both get 1,000 yuan, I don't think it is fair.

There are other efficient ways to stimulate consumption, for example, Beijing issued various vouchers last year, which are available to everyone in Beijing. It actually means the government offers you a discount when you make a purchase. These vouchers can be used when dining in restaurants, or buying electronics, which can help save as much as 800 yuan when buying electronics. They can produce immediate and accurate effects on boosting consumption so that the money invested will have a corresponding effect."

"It's good to have a debate on this issue as long as we have a serious attitude. However, some people probably just want to use the US' plan handing out cash to everybody to prove how the US does a better job than China, who doesn't have a similar plan. But is it fair or not to give homeless people and Bill Gates equally $2,000? Supporters of this like to dodge such a question."
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1214429.shtml

This is getting weird, so this Global Times editor is actually AGAINST stimulus, but wants voucher/discount instead.

His opposition with China not having enough money is weird, since China is one of the few countries that can print money without debt to help its people, and the question of same money between rich vs poor can be solved by looking into the income of each household/person and determine the amount that is considered fair (suggesting that China doesn't have such a study? I doubt that).

I guess the chinese people will want the stimulus, but the top won't do it because of these bad rational.


Posted by: Smith | Jan 31 2021 6:11 utc | 235

@232 karlof1

I'm glad you caught my comment, I was afraid the thread had died and you might miss it.

But to your concerns, here's what I think. I think the mass culture will miss what Putin and Xi said, but the principals of nations will not. Look at what Ishchenko noted, that 80 players signed up for the private conference with Putin. So the principals heard these speeches, and their diplomatic efforts will turn any questions into ultimate agreements.

We must ask, what value is the popular opinion in its ability to change national policy? Yes, in exceptional moments it can change an entire direction, but in large part, policy proceeds regardless of what the people think. I don't make light of the people's view, but I have to acknowledge this.

And so, the fact is that Russia and China are changing the world, and leading the new world, which is composed of all the other nations of the world that are not the USA...and then, finally, last of all, the USA will join in too - because there will be no isolated victims left, and all the rest of the world will be united.

In this view, some years from now, it could even be a happy event. Maybe so , maybe not, we shall see how it plays out.

But as the nations make their agreements, their media will come to reflect this, and portions of the global narrative will change, until finally the whole narrative will cross its tipping point and flip. And then even the people of the US will hear the new story.

~~

So this is a big change for me in what we here in this forum have discussed. Personally, I'm no longer saying we in the US must change the view of the populace. I'm saying the world will change it for us and the populace at large will be brought along.

I didn't have this luxury of passivity in earlier years. But Russia and China and the rest of the world - including Europe - are changing and influencing change to such a great degree that I have to look at their effect in this world. And I see it as a greater change agent for the US than any force within the US. And the US undergoes its own extraordinary eruptions too, from its own dynamics - and who can guess what these will be?

I ask myself, what if the US cannot be changed and it all goes down? Yes, this will hurt me, far more than my supposed altruism will bear with equanimity, but then who are we really in the US, with our population of 330 million, against the world's billions? Maybe I just take the hit, I tell myself, and bear it gladly because I know the rest of the world has escaped the trap, and will live on and flourish.

I'm not advocating a policy here, by the way, simply sharing with you as a colleague where my personal thinking has gone. I wanted to be clear. I would still rally to the flag if I could see the battle able to be won. And I would love to see that battle. But I think even if we lose, the world will now win.

~~

And I thought after my comment that I was maybe too taken with Ishchenko's view of Putin talking to the whole world. He was, I believe, but one should not ignore the huge play he made to Europe. He threw out, didn't he, the gambit of Russia being a European culture, all the way to Vladivostok, just to lull the Europeans into a comfort zone that could extend all the way there, to the very eastern edge, and all the way from Lisbon, at the Eurasian western edge, at the Atlantic. I loved that.

If Putin and Lavrov by their efforts - coupled with the security guarantees of friend Shoigyu - can lever Europe away from the Atlantic and all the way to the China seas, then it will be the masterstroke of the age. And it seems to me to be happening.

~~

I haven't studied Xi's speech, but I'm wired into lots of China sources so I get the daily triumphs of the Chinese surge forward that often number greater than the fingers of one hand. But Putin, yes, I will take it to heart as the new Munich.

And remember that what Putin said in 2007 is still being made famous today, so whether his Davos speech gets to be breaking news today matters hardly at all. It lives, and can become famous in its own time, as it prevails.

Be of good heart, karlof1. You have striven mightily to present a point of view, and I appreciate it. And it has a life of its own as well. And it is growing legs, and taking root, and spreading as mycelium throughout the good earth.

Salut, comrade.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 31 2021 6:20 utc | 236

@karflo1 #226

Xi's speech you linked to in post #226 is from Jan 2017. Still a good speech though.

His most recent speach is online.

Posted by: Mcs_ | Jan 31 2021 14:31 utc | 237

Somehow I linked to Xi's 2017 Davos speech instead of the 2021 in my commentary on this page. Thanks to Mcs_ for spotting that error. Here's the correct link to a shorter but even more intense speech by Xi than from 4 years ago.

Grieved @237--

Thanks for your excellent reply. IMO, the proper term to describe those atop the West's hierarchy is Cult as psychohistorian constantly intones; very much like Shakespeare's Coven, they hover around their cauldron using their best practice to deceive. And they have many agents posted here. This was a very eventful month of what should prove to be what might be termed a Marker Year. If China celebrates its New Year with little in the way of outbreaks, then the stage will be set.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 1 2021 1:20 utc | 238

@King Lear (231)

Degeneracy (ie. Homosexuality, Transgenderism, Pornography, Virtual Reality Video Games, etc.)

Not sure about that last one, aside from the sexual and/or violent examples that may exist. Care to elaborate?

Posted by: joey_n | Feb 1 2021 9:48 utc | 239

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