Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 01, 2021

The U.S. Supply Chain Crisis Will Get Worse - As Will Inflation

By now it is obvious to everyone that the U.S. has a supply chain problem.


The highly optimized 'lean' transport chain from producers to consumers has clogged up.

This is a consequence of the two shocks the pandemic has caused in consumption patterns. Orders dropped hard at the start on the pandemic when people went into lockdown. A second shock came when consumption recovered to a higher than ever levels.


The higher consumption was not for services as restaurants were often still closed. Instead the money went into buying things. Things that are produced elsewhere.

Any lean supply system without reserves and redundancies will break down under such impulses. The supply chain has many critical points. Producers in Asia need containers to ship their goods. The containers must go to harbors. Ships must be available as well as loading capacity. The harbor at the receiving end must have capacity to unload the containers and to store them. Trucks must be available as well as container trailers. The goods then go to distribution centers where there must be capacity to repack them and to send them out again. The empty containers must travel back to their origin to get filled again.

All these levels need people capable and willing to work. If one element of the chain reaches its maximum capacity and clogs up all others will be affected. Meanwhile demand for goods continues to be strong. More goods are still coming in while every element of the system that still had reserves is clogging up too.

The supply chain from Asia to the U.S. has reached that point. Other global supply chains are also straining from side effects of the pandemic and may well clog up too.

One major problem are the U.S. harbors on the west coast. Even before the pandemic they were already the least efficient of the world:

In a review of 351 container ports around the globe, Los Angeles was ranked 328, behind Tanzania's Dar es Salaam and Alaska's Dutch Harbor. The adjacent port of Long Beach came in even lower, at 333, behind Turkey's Nemrut Bay and Kenya's Mombasa, the groups said in their inaugural Container Port Performance Index published in May.

The total number of ships waiting to unload outside the two adjacent ports hit a new all-time record of 100 on Monday. Americans' purchases of imported goods have jumped to levels the U.S. supply chain infrastructure can't handle, causing delivery delays and snarls.
Government control, 24/7 operations and automation help make many non-U.S. ports more efficient.
Southern California port executives are coaxing terminal operators, importers, truckers, railroads, dock workers and warehouse owners to adopt 24/7 operations in a bid to clear clogs that have backed up dozens of ships offshore and delayed deliveries to stores and e-commerce fulfillment centers.

Describing the problems at every level of the U.S. side of the supply and distribution chain Ryan Johnson, a twenty year truck driver, explains why going to 24/7 will not help and why the problems will get worse.

Truck drivers have to sleep, at least once a while. They also have to make money. They get paid by the load, not for the time it takes them to load it, drive it from A to B and to unload it. If there are hours long lines for loading and unloading the work is simply unprofitable:

So when the coastal ports started getting clogged up last spring due to the impacts of COVID on business everywhere, drivers started refusing to show up. Congestion got so bad that instead of being able to do three loads a day, they could only do one. They took a 2/3 pay cut and most of these drivers were working 12 hours a day or more. While carriers were charging increased pandemic shipping rates, none of those rate increases went to the driver wages. Many drivers simply quit. However, while the pickup rate for containers severely decreased, they were still being offloaded from the boats. And it’s only gotten worse.

The U.S. once had a well regulated transport system. But that has long been neo-liberalized to death.

The system will not unclog itself because the incentives are set all wrong. The people who have an interest in removing the blocks are the freight buyers and sellers. But the container owners, harbors and distribution centers and freight carriers are now simply increasing their prices for prioritized goods without delivering more capacity. They even can ask for penalties from those who have containers stuck in their system. They refuse to pay more for their workers and drivers and to hire and qualify additional ones.

It will take some strong political initiative, or a lot of time, to rearrange and unclog the current system. The political initiative is simply not there. The Biden administration guy who is responsible for the issues says he can not do anything:

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg predicted on Sunday that supply chain issues plaguing multiple industries at the moment are going to continue as long as the coronavirus pandemic does.

Confronted about the supply chain issues by Fox News’ Chris Wallace – including the fact that standstills at the Port of Los Angeles have only worsened after it began operating on a 24/7 basis – Buttigieg could only say that businesses should expect relief from the issues when the pandemic ends as the problems are a “direct” results of the virus’ strain on the world.
“Fundamentally, it's up to the producers, the shippers and the retailers and we're doing everything we can to help them move those goods across the infrastructure that's often outdated,” he said.

Buttigieg's 'can't do' attitude will have political consequences. The supply chain crisis will continue well into next summer and fall. Discussing Ryan Johnson's piece Yves Smith remarks:

The severity of the supply chain crisis combined with the near-certainty that the only actor that could partially (stress partially) clear this logjam is the Feds. They are guaranteed not to do enough even if they understood how the moving parts interconnect.

So it is now a safe bet that the Democrats will suffer a wipeout in the midterms, even if Biden gets his big bills passed (some stimulus!) and there is no Covid surge. Worsening supply shortfalls, particularly of drugs and medical staples, will make the bad press of the Iran hostage crisis look tame.

President Joe Biden's job rating has already sunk to 42%.

The supply chain crunch will lead to price increases and will have strong inflationary effects.

The central bankers, which have doused the economy with way too much money, have yet to understand that the supply chain problem is systemic and will have long term consequences:

The world’s top central bankers acknowledged that inflation, which has spiked higher across many advanced economies this year, could remain elevated for some time — and that though they still expect it to fade as pandemic-related supply disruptions calm, they are carefully watching to make sure that hot price pressures do not become more permanent.

Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, spoke Wednesday on a panel alongside Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank; Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England; and Haruhiko Kuroda, head of the Bank of Japan.
“It is frustrating to acknowledge that getting people vaccinated and getting Delta under control, 18 months later, still remains the most important economic policy that we have,” Mr. Powell said. “It is also frustrating to see the bottlenecks and supply chain problems not getting better — in fact, at the margin, apparently getting a little bit worse.

“We see that continuing into next year, probably, and holding inflation up longer than we had thought,” Mr. Powell said.

Powell and his colleagues still see the inflationary effects as transitory and rejected to act on them. But the supply chain crunch will have not only temporary price effects. It shows that the U.S. transport system is too 'lean' and too cheap in its current configuration. It needs updated infrastructure, better paid people, the right incentives and more redundancies. All of these will continuously cost more money and have long term inflationary effects.

In a (paywalled) Financial Times piece economist Steven Roach recently warned of such complacency:

Echoes of an earlier, darker period of economic history are growing louder. When I warned in early 2020 of a 1970s-style stagflation, my concerns were primarily on the supply side. Today a full-blown global supply shock is at hand: energy and food prices are soaring, shipping lanes are clogged and labour shortages prevalent.

One popular theory is that supply disruptions and price spikes are transitory glitches related to the pandemic that will ultimately self-heal. The inflationary build-up of the early 1970s was also presaged by a focus on transitory events: the Opec oil embargo and El Niño-related weather disturbances.
This has lured [central banks] into a “sequencing trap” — responding to surprises, such as inflation, first through a tapering of asset purchases and then by raising the benchmark policy interest rate in baby steps. Yet aggregate demand is likely to be far less sensitive to central bank balance sheet adjustments than to the real cost of money, and monetary policy actions have a long lag time. This is particularly worrisome for the Fed, which has embraced a new “average inflation targeting” approach designed to delay policy responses to compensate for earlier undershoots of inflation.
The lessons? Inflation is unlikely to peak soon. What seems transitory now will last longer than we think. And it will take far more monetary tightening than financial markets are expecting to avoid stagflation 2.0.

Roach is not the only one who warns of economic stagnation combined with high inflation. In his remarks at last week's G20 summit Russia's President Vladimir Putin made it his major point. He emphasized that the necessary changes in monetary policies must be accompanied by social measures:

Last year the economic authorities of the G20 member countries and many other countries decided to significantly increase their budget deficits against the backdrop of the deep crisis caused by the pandemic, which allowed for launching global economic recovery. However, such extraordinary measure accompanied by securities buyouts by central banks should be limited in time. In fact, this is what was said here earlier.
Excessive stimulation has resulted in the general lack of stability, growing prices of financial assets and goods in certain markets such as energy, food, etc. Once again, significant budget deficits in the developed economies are the main cause of these developments. With these deficits persisting, there is a risk of high global inflation in the medium term, which not only increases the risk of lower business activity but reinforces and exacerbates the inequality that was also mentioned today.

That is why it is important to prevent aggravating stagflation and instead do what can be done to normalise the budgetary and monetary policies, improve the quality of demand management in the economy and update economic priorities – and primarily prioritise overcoming inequality and boosting public welfare.

Higher taxes for the top 1%, who have profit most during the pandemic, can correct the budget deficits. The central banks can then stop the securities buyouts that have financed the deficits and doused the rich. They can raise the interest rates to starve of inflation before it increases further. A part of the additional money the states take in must be distributed to the lower income people who are most affected by the increase of basic prices.

While that may sound like a reasonable plan one thing is assured. It will not be acted on.

The current lack of government action to fix the supply chain issues shows that things will only change after a total breakdown has happened. We ain't there yet but it is by now assured to happen.

Posted by b on November 1, 2021 at 19:30 UTC | Permalink

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@Posted by: Rob | Nov 2 2021 16:43 utc | 85

When the USSR collapsed the international environment became very easy for the US, it could completely screw up and still look good as the opponents were "shit countries" as I think Pompeo put it. Also, there was still a cadre of older officials and politicians who had developed their skills in the 1950's onwards, having gone through relatively tough educational and professional lives. Also, many had actually fought in a war (WW2, Korea), before accepted dodge-drafting and then the professional army meant they didn't have to. The GI bill, and wartime success, and the old Democratic Party also allowed a lot of working class people to go to school and/or have the chance to serve at more senior levels. That all started to go with the Clinton (Rhodes Scholar) "New Democrats", Bush Jr., (dumbass handed success on a plate), Obama (selected as the saviour by the elites), Trump (dumbass born with a platinum spoon up his ass). Biden is actually a representative of the old school (a complete asshole, but a relatively clever one in real world terms) but his brain is shot to shit.

Let's also remember that the US army has never really been tested against a peer competitor: in WW1 it came in late to supplement the worn out allied armies against the utterly worn out German army (at the tail end of the failed German 1918 offensive that wiped out the latter's reserves and destroyed German morale), in WW2 the USSR fought 85% of the German armed forces and the Chinese fought the massive majority of the Japanese armed forces. It was forced back by the Chinese in Korea, forced out of Vietnam, couldn't even beat the Nicaraguan freedom fighters in the 1980s. A few "victories" 2000-2010, many of which have turned into defeats (Iraq, Afghanistan). But the elite have been trained to believe that it is "the best Army in the world".

Now we have the people who were raised in the neoliberal era, who floated to the top during the unipolar period, facing off against the crisis-hardened elites of Russia, Iran and China. Most of them are only good at being of service to their masters, but haven't actually had to really work hard for anything in their lives. What did Obama, Buttigeig, Harris, Blinken actually do to get to their exalted positions? Obama was selected based upon the colour of his skin and his readiness to serve the elites, a blank piece of paper that could be told what to do (just like who to put into his firs cabinet).

Let's look at Blinken, as Buttigeig and Harris are so obviously grovelling social climbers:
- Dad was a diplomat (as was his uncle - both Ambassadors), grandfather an early backer of Israel, Jewish
- Went to the elite school, Dalton
- Spent time in Paris, after parents divorced his mother married Robert Maxwell's personal lawyer (you can't make this stuff up!), who has many many connections. Went to a French elite school.
- Then went to Harvard, where he did "social studies"
- Columbia Law School after a year internship at the New Republic
- Helped his dad raise money for Michael Dukakis (a good way to get senior government jobs)
- Blinken’s close buddy was the Biden campaign’s point-man in Europe, among many other such friend connections
- Wife is deep in the DNC.
- Then onto the government-think tank-government carousel
- Most recently set up a "consultancy" to cash out all his govt connections

This guy is so "one of us" within the establishment (including AIPAC), and with a phenomenal rolodex, no wonder he climbed through the ranks. No greasy pole for him, more velcro on that pole. Never existed outside the elite ideological mindset bubble, no wonder he is an idiot. I am sure that he thinks that he is doing HIS work, for HIS representative upon the earth.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 2 2021 18:44 utc | 101

juliania @96--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, RFK had a plan. As I wrote yesterday, LBJ's policies were responsible for the 1970s Stagflation as he attempted to escalate Vietnam while also attempting to reduce poverty via his Great Society policy initiative. Do recall that MLK's assassination by the government also led to Nixon given his Law & Order mantra while the cities burned. One supply chain aspect I've omitted so far is the adoption of technological obsolescence as a business plan component since if you make bulletproof, indestructible toasters and such, then your market will eventually dry up--a point I made to students as a component of the Great Depression that FDR finally recognized by 1936. Another point is one made by William Appleman Williams in his Empire as a Way of Life regarding farmers contribution to the expanding empire by demanding more overseas markets for their products since supply stated the domestic market, with industrialists later making that same demand.


My old ASPO pal Richard Heinberg has written a good article dealing with a component of the current energy crisis a few of us here have noted--depletion. The depletion protocols we discussed long ago he brings back to the table as policy options. One of the issues we discussed at length at The Oil Drum blog was whether or not it was desirable to fill the gap created between the supply and demand for energy, not just oil and gas, due to depletion and inability to ramp up alternatives, which is part of the reality we're now experiencing. I tried to find the relevant discussion threads at TOD but I've yet to do so. The protocols were Richard and other's attempts to find a peaceful manner in which to handle the problem, which we envisioned would be occurring about now, but instead appears to be more toward the middle of this decade.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2021 18:48 utc | 102

Reading todays news from GOP26 in Glasgow. They have a plan, it seems, "for otherwise doomed planet", perhaps even for supply chain crisis:

Prince Charles claims a "vast military-style campaign" is required to marshal a "fundamental economic transition."

The heir to the British throne warned the audience during his speech at the COP26 climate conference that world governments had no choice but to engage in a “military-style campaign” across an otherwise-doomed planet.

The countries of the world must put themselves “on a war-like footing” to address the looming climate crisis, Prince Charles said in his opening speech to the climate conference in Glasgow on Monday. He warned the assembled heavies that climate change posed “an even greater existential threat” than the Covid-19 pandemic.

Posted by: js | Nov 2 2021 18:48 utc | 103

@Posted by: juliania | Nov 2 2021 17:58 utc | 98

Excellent points about how Nixon became the Republican candidate and then beat a weak Democrat. Let's also remember that Nelson Rockefeller was Ford's Vice President. It was in the mid-1970s also that another Kennedy was beaten for the Democrat nomination and the drive for single-payer healthcare etc. was defeated. Carter's administration was a who's who of the Trailateral Commissions (and CFR), from Chomsky:

"Perhaps the most striking feature of the new Administration is the role played in it by the Trilateral Commission. The mass media had little to say about this matter during the Presidential campaign — in fact, the connection of the Carter group to the Commission was recently selected as “the best censored news story of 1976” — and it has not received the attention that it might have since the Administration took office. All of the top positions in the government — the office of President, Vice-President, Secretary of State, Defense and Treasury — are held by members of the Trilateral Commission, and the National Security Advisor was its director. Many lesser officials also came from this group. It is rare for such an easily identified private group to play such a prominent role in an American Administration.

The Trilateral Commission was founded at the initiative of David Rockefeller in 1973. Its members are drawn from the three components of the world of capitalist democracy: the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. Among them are the heads of major corporations and banks, partners in corporate law firms, Senators, Professors of international affairs — the familiar mix in extra-governmental groupings. Along with the 1940s project of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), directed by a committed “trilateralist” and with numerous links to the Commission, the project constitutes the first major effort at global planning since the War-Peace Studies program of the CFR during World War II."

"The crucial task is “to restore the prestige and authority of central government institutions, and to grapple with the immediate economic challenges.” The demands on government must be reduced and we must “restore a more equitable relationship between government authority and popular control.” The press must be reined. If the media do not enforce “standards of professionalism,” then “the alternative could well be regulation by the government” — a distinction without a difference, since the policy-oriented and technocratic intellectuals, the commissars themselves, are the ones who will fix these standards and determine how well they are respected. Higher education should be related “to economic and political goals,” and if it is offered to the masses, “a program is then necessary to lower the job expectations of those who receive a college education.” No challenge to capitalist institutions can be considered, but measures should be taken to improve working conditions and work organization so that workers will not resort to “irresponsible blackmailing tactics.” In general, the prerogatives of the nobility must be restored and the peasants reduced to the apathy that becomes them.

This is the ideology of the liberal wing of the state capitalist ruling elite, and, it is reasonable to assume, its members who now staff the national executive in the United States…."

Its a good read:

Posted by: Roger | Nov 2 2021 18:55 utc | 104

Karlof1 @ 84

Not quite. Time to read Marx. Just the basic Das Kapital will do. IMO Marx was an aristocrat and a fraud and largely incapable of systematic thought. And a throughly brilliant historian. His work on enclosures is phenomenal and no historian can avoid it. It was occurring in sixteenth century, not all that much. First the monasteries were looted. Then piracy on the Spanish Main. (Capital R Royalist has a different meaning than you think, connects to English Revolution. Elizabeth Tudor was the big sponsor of piracy.) Then the rape of India. And then enclosures.

All part of what Marx called the Primitive Accumulation. Amassing enough wealth to do something with it. Fast track that with theft and plunder.

I got to cheat when I first read Marx. I read nineteenth century newsprint editions while sitting in the offices of Charles Kerr Publishers. This would be when Charles Kerr was Carlos Cortez and Franklin Rosemont. I read the Johann Most version. And versions of the version. Wildly popular in the nineteenth even though there was no formal publication until the twentieth. Everyone read it and it was hugely influential. And hugely readable. The Edward Aveling text is just mush by comparison. Although the straight history parts of Das Kapital survive far better than the political economy.

Last I talked with Franklin that old newsprint had all disintegrated. Antiquarians should have photoed all of it. Carlos and Franklin did not like Marx. They were artists and anarchists. And if official Marxists had ever seen the popular text they would have fits. Johann Most was a complete nut job, easy to discredit. He was Joseph Conrad’s Secret Agent.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 2 2021 19:10 utc | 105

@Roger (101) The number of A-holes in positions of governmental power in the US who have attended Ivy League universities at some point is stunning. Yale seems to be number 1 and Harvard number 2 (just guesses). These institutions of higher learning serve as the training grounds for future members of the ruling elite, who dutifully go on to serve the interests of their own class. I will be disappointed if any of my grandchildren attends one of those schools.

BTW, I have no doubt that similar situations exist in other countries, especially the UK.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 2 2021 19:24 utc | 106

The Decisive Battle

By: Malcom Kyeyune

In recent days, the phrase ”Let’s go Brandon!” has taken on a life of its own. At one point, four out of ten songs on the Spotify top 10 list were called ”Let’s go Brandon”. People are saying it as a form of greeting, or wearing it on t-shirts. For some, this is just a funny gag. For others, it is a source of significant and growing dread; dread about what is happening politically in the United States, and what the future now looks to have in store for them.

For those of you who don’t know the context: at a recent NASCAR event in New Jersey, the crowd could be heard chanting ”Fuck Joe Biden!” after the race. During an interview with the winner of the race – a man named Brandon Brown – the flustered reporter, hearing the chant, then says on camera that the crowd must be very enthused for Brandon, as they’re all chanting ”Let’s go Brandon!” in his honor. Of course, they crowd is doing no such thing, and she and everyone else knows it. This little episode, on its own, is hardly very remarkable or significant. Others slowly pick up on the story and mock the journalist involved. But at this point, it is merely just another day of ”fake news”, another day of the liberal media being the liberal media.

However, like a dangerous respiratory virus, this little ”Brandon incident” then incubates for a week or two, before blossoming out into something far more serious, into a true social event. People start saying ”Let’s go Brandon!” at random, both as a mockery of the sitting president, but also as a way to mock the now increasingly toothless media apparatus, who fewer and fewer seem to take seriously at all. And this is where things become truly interesting: as at least one pilot then tells his passengers ”Let’s go Brandon!” before takeoff, liberal America starts to actually freak out. At this point, think pieces are produced by NPR and others claiming that there’s a new form of conspiratorial ”code speak” that ”racists” are now using to note their displeasure with the sitting president. Others demand the offending pilot be fired, as it is obvious that he isn’t really saying ”Let’s go Brandon!”, he’s actually saying ”Fuck Joe Biden!”. The irony here should be quite obvious, as liberals are now decrying people for playing along with the very same cover story they invented out of thin air to cover up what is clearly growing dissatisfaction with president Biden.

Some have taken this to be just another funny episode of ”internet humor” leaking into the real world. But this is, to put it frankly, the delusions of an intellectual class who themselves enjoy being ironic on the internet, and who then quite myopically assume that everyone else must think and act the way they do. Middle aged female nurses, as a rule, do not use 4chan, nor are they versed in, or at all interested in, the finer points of ironic ”internet humor”. Political humor, coming from normal, working class people, might superficially resemble that of irony-poisoned college graduates. But in reality, they have very little in common.

Moreover, there’s a very large, very obvious flaw in this explanation of events. Again, the crowds at that NASCAR race weren’t chanting ”Let’s go Brandon!” they were chanting ”Fuck Joe Biden!”, and by all accounts, they certainly weren’t being ironic about that. No coded language was intented, no mental jiu-jitsu performed. Only when the media tried to use its incredibly hollow and thoroughly unimpressive powers of ”mind control” did people start with ironic mockery, and that mockery was aimed both at the president as well as the clear powerlessness of the chattering classes to control the narrative or get people to believe them. And so, perhaps unsurprisingly, when airplane passenger hear the phrase ”Let’s go Brandon!” spoken over the intercom, they don’t necessarily hear just a joke, but also a reminder that a political conflict they had tried to suppress is very much still real.

But even with all this said, many a reader will probably want to ask a simple question: why does any of this matter? Though I would argue that the sudden explosion of ”Let’s go Brandon!” in American culture actually means a very great deal, to truly explain why this joke is so funny to some, and so unnerving to others, we have to do so by way of a metaphor. To truly understand why many liberals are so scared of what others consider to still be merely a harmless joke, we have to talk a bit about a concept known as Kantai Kessen, the Japanese naval war doctrine during World War II. Do not worry, the relevance of this concept to today’s America will hopefully become clear as we go along.

Kantai Kessen translates literally as ”naval fleet decisive battle”, but in western parlance it is often simply called the ”Decisive Battle Doctrine”. To understand this doctrine, it’s worth talking for a second about why the Japanese attacked the US at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Japan had been an incredibly isolationist country for hundreds of years until – ironically enough – it was the Americans who forced them to open up in the middle of the 19th century. The Japanese at that point wished for nothing more than to be left alone on their island forever, but the American navy told the Japanese quite bluntly that unless they agreed to trade with them, the American ships would open fire on the city of Edo (a city which has since then been renamed to Tokyo), using their very modern guns that the isolationist Japanese had absolutely no way of defending against.

The Japanese quickly realize that while they’ve been living in splending isolation on their island for several hundred years, the rest of the world has changed dramatically. The rest of Asia is now being colonized by Europeans, and even great China – the ancient middle kingdom itself – is completely powerless to stop the barbarians. At this point, the Japanese adopt the attitude that they can either themselves become imperialists like the westerners, or they can become colonized, like China. Or, as the Japanese themselves so prosaically put it: jakuniku kyoshoku. This phrase can be translated a few different ways (most often it is translated as ”the law of the jungle” ) but its literal meaning is ”the weak are meat, the strong eat”. Having the choice between eating their fill or being the main course at someone else’s dinner party, the Japanese quickly opt for the former.

A civil war or two and a very painful process of industrialization and modernization later, the Japanese now have a modern army, a very powerful navy, and a growing industrial base. And so they start eating their neighbors, invading and annexing first Taiwan, and then Korea, while setting their sights on further expansion. At first they encounter little resistance; they have been very eager students of the westerners, and are now just as dangerous to the unprepared as the other colonial powers. But as the Japanese empire grows, they increasingly come into friction with the US, which is clearly beginning to see Japan as a rival that needs to be taken down a peg or two.

This is the runup to Pearl Harbor. Not long before the attack itself, the Japanese have invaded yet China again, in order to carve out even more ”meat” for themselves. While all imperialists come up with various pretexts to justify their actions, the Japanese truly do believe that they must never become weak enough for others to push them around like Commodore Perry once did. As a response to this latest bout of japanese expansionism, the US then begin embargoing oil shipments to Japan. Without that oil, Japan will figuratively and literally starve. And the Japanese are not about dismantle their own empire and leave themselves to rely on the kindness of America – the weak are meat, and the strong eat, after all. Guided by this national logic, Japan then must attack, and they must attack soon.

Of course, the Japanese know that a fight against America is a total nightmare. The countries simply are not comparable: Japan is an island nation quite poor in the resources needed to run a modern military, while the US by comparison has nearly unlimited manpower and fully unlimited natural resources. Japan can be bombed, encircled, and starved into submission easily by the Americans, while the Japanese, no matter how well prepared, will never be able to touch the continental United States. But still, the japanese must attack, because standing still is impossible and retreating means becoming weak, and thus food for someone else.

As such, the Japanese put their unlikely hopes of winning over the Americans in forcing a ”decisive battle”, a fight where the utter inferiority of Japan in a long-term struggle hopefully won’t have time to matter. To brutally simplify the Japanese military thinking behind this doctrine, the Japanese hope at the start of the war is to attack Pearl Harbor and do as much damage as possible to the unprepared Americans, to tilt the odds in the short term heavily in their favor. Then, the Japanese hope that the Americans will be so enraged at this surprise attack that they fairly quickly gather what forces they have lying around, send them to battle against the Japanese navy, which will then destroy the less trained and technically inferior American force in detail. At this point, after having sustained heavy casualties in one large set piece battle, the Japanese hope the Americans will simply conclude that fighting with Japan is just too much trouble for too little reward, and agree to simply leave Japan alone to do as she wants in southeast Asia.

It should be noted that many people inside the Japanese high command think this plan will never work. But nobody can actually come up with a better idea; this method of forcing a large, decisive battle and then having the Americans agree to call the match there is the only way a war against the US can succeed.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, Kantai Kessen quickly fails. The attack on Pearl Harbor itself goes swimmingly, and the Americans are indeed incredibly angry as a result. So far so good, but after that, things go catastrophically awry. Roosevelt goes on radio and predictably promise the Japanese pain and suffering, and then… then nothing happens. The Americans are furious, yes, but they don’t seek the quick and decisive battle the Japanese are hoping for. Instead they simply wait, and wait, and wait, focusing on the land war in Europe while building ships and preparing plans for when they will eventually take the war to Japan. And this is of course precisely the scenario in which the Japanese simply cannot win. If the Americans make this war about production and manpower, Japan will crumble; it is only a matter of time. The Imperial Japanese Navy isn’t defeated at Midway – it has in fact already lost the war the second the Americans refuse to follow the script the Japanese had – quite naively – hoped they would.

Now, consider the political situation in the United States in 2021, and what has transpired during the last twelve months. In a way, we have all been witnessing the execution of a modern political form of the Kantai Kessen, a decisive shock-and-awe campaign that is now clearly starting to run out of steam. To quickly recap the lead up to the current moment: in 2015, the Republican party was all about ”business as usual”, and the primary lineup was hailed as the most impressive crop of politicians on stage since those halcyon days of Ronald Reagan. Then, Trump descended that escalator, and he quickly upended the stable order of things completely. The impressive candidates were defeated quickly, almost effortlessly, by a notorious showman and an army made up of the angry, forgotten people of middle America.

At first, the democrats cheered, seeing this orange clown as easy prey for their putatively ”impressive” candidate, Hillary Clinton. But then Clinton lost, and this unlikely orange tribune of the deplorables became the most powerful person in the world. Large parts of the republican establishment refused to accept what had happened; the credentialed classes of America, almost to the last genderfluid xhe/xhim, violently refused to accept it. From day one, the election was widely seen as illegitimate, a result of ”Russian interference”, and at every turn, the Trump administration was met with bitter resistance from all corners of the media, the deep state, and the NGO world.

By mid-2020, it was clear that no one in America’s ”email job caste” would accept Trump winning another election. And from the death of George Floyd, until the aftermath of January the 6th, the email job caste of America put their own doctrine of Kantai Kessen into action. They gathered their strength and prepared for a mighty showdown, looking to strike such a ringing blow against the intruding plebeians and flyover deplorables that they would simply never be able to even think of fighting back again.

The George Floyd riots were famously hailed as ”fiery but mostly peaceful” by reporters standing in front of burned and destroyed buildings. And here, like a Japanese carrier group preparing to strike Pearl Harbor, all elements of the liberal ”woke” battle line now came together: they controlled the universities, they controlled the media, they controlled the NGOs, the upper echelons of big business, the tech companies, and command great majorities in such important professions such as judges, doctors, and teachers. In the runup to the elections, all elements of this war machine came toghether to make sure – by fair means or foul – that the election simply could not be won by Trump. Huge sums of NGO money flowed into various activist organizations, and the CEOs of some of the largest American companies eagerly lent their aid and economic clout to the war effort itself.

And just like the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, they succeeded. The overwhelming power behind this mighty fusion of media power, corporate buy-in, limitless NGO money, radical activists taking the battle to the streets, and constant political backup from the Democratic party and various state legislatures, city mayors and state governors was laid bare for the entire world to see. The social media companies banned the sitting president from having a platform, and censored stories (such as the Hunter Biden laptop) that were potentially harmful to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ chances.

Every sector of America’s ”knowledge worker” caste came together from the middle of 2020 up to the election and into its aftermath. Every single one. And it worked, in fact it worked perfectly – Joe Biden was, after a few interrupted vote counts here and there, hailed as the single most popular president in American history. Nobody could dispute this, and the sorry people who did (if they could even be called ”people” at all) were swiftly denounced as terrorists and traitors to the nation. The vote totals spoke for themselves, after all! In other words, the ”woke” really did it; they scored a perfect victory, just as the Japanese scored a perfect victory at Pearl Harbor. In 2016, the ”forgotten people” of America had, incredibly, used the power of their votes to narrowly push Trump over the finish line. In 2020, the very much not forgotten people of America’s urban cores and prestige institutions gathered all their might and routed the deplorables from the field.

Or so they hoped. It turns out that the liberal Kantai Kessen suffered from the same fatal flaw as the Japanese one: it is all well and good to sink all the ships in Pearl Harbor, but what do you do if the enemy then refuses to concede defeat? The significance of ”Let’s go Brandon!” spreading like wildfire outside the jaded internet set in this context is that it reveals for everyone just how powerless the media machine has now become. Nobody believes Joe Biden is the most popular president ever – nobody among the ”chuds” and the ”deplorables” would believe the likes of CNN about pretty much anything. And rather than being humiliated and broken, the American plebs are now acting just like the American sailors and soldiers did during World War 2: though none can deny that they have lost some battles and suffered real losses, surrender doesn’t seem to be forthcoming any time soon. Maybe surrender isn’t coming at all, ever. The ”decisive battle” that was the 2020 election was indeed decisive enough, but it increasingly looks like that simply doesn’t matter.

In a world where nobody is actually convinced by the media, the fact that you control the media doesn’t actually help you. Moreover, just like the Japanese in WW2, the ”email job caste” of America has a war machine that has already been maxed out. There are no reserves of fence-sitting journalists that can be drafted to fill in the holes and somehow make the message control more far-reaching or effective than it already is. There are no huge reservoirs of apolitical, unwoke university professors that can be drafted into talking some more sense into the chuds. What we all saw in 2020 represents, to some fairly significant extent, the full scope of the political, social and economic power of team blue in America today. And that team took its best shot in 2020, only to find out in 2021 that all that power has now decisively failed to settle any issues or end any conflicts in America. Team red is still there, and like the ”sleeping giant” that was America in 1941, they are now slowly waking up and starting to use their own power, on their own terms, in order to fight back.

And here we come to the real imbalance in the class war that currently rages in America, because it is now clearly very much a war between a great many people who have ”email jobs”, and the people who have jobs that keep the lights on, the garbage from piling up, that make sure that the fires are extinguished and the planes are flown. This imbalance of power is in some sense even more crippling than the one between Japan and America in World War 2, and one only needs to look at the growing number of empty shelves in America’s supermarkets, the stranded planes in her airports, and the growing mountains of garbage piling up on the streets of New York to see why.

In the conflict between the ”woke” and the ”deplorables”, the latter by and large work the kind of jobs where if people walk off the job, it takes days or even hours before one or more critical parts of modern society starts shutting down. If pilots call in sick, planes simply do not get flown. If truckers quit their jobs, every facet of the entire productive economy – from the smallest bakery to the biggest car manufacturer – will quickly become paralyzed and then starts to suffocate. If firemen refuse to go to work, the cities will quite literally burn down in short order.

But what happens if people at the average NGO stop showing up to work? What happens if an university professor in Gender Studies refuses to come into the office until this or that issue is solved? How many months or years will it take for the average citizen in flyover America to notice that this person is missing? And when they finally do notice that some gender commissar is refusing to show up at work, will they even care?

Here, the average member of America’s credentialed classes might point out how ridiculous such an argument is, that only a philistine, a luddite or a white supremacist would consider their jobs within academia, the media, and middle management to be useless. These jobs are really completely vital to a modern economy, and the fact that I even dare to question their necessity makes me a racist, a nazi, and a white supremacist. And maybe this is all true, but it actually doesn’t matter. I may be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler himself, but this will not change the fact that the guy who handles garbage collection is simply much, much more willing and able to go for long stretches without the oh-so-necessary Critical Race Theory commissars, than these commissar are able or willing to go without any garbage pickup. The HR manager might be ”just as important” as the truck driver on the level of platonic forms, but the truck driver is still willing and able to carry on forever without the HR manager showing up to work, while the HR manager will quite literally start starving to death in short order if the trucker doesn’t do his job. No moral hectoring or impotent crying about racism and white supremacy will ever change that basic imbalance between these two groups.

In 2020, the HR manager and CRT commissar pulled off their own little Pearl Harbor attack on the trucker and the pilot, and it was a very well-executed attack. All the targets were hit, all the objectives fulfilled. But when the trucker now refuses to go to work over Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, and the pilot openly mocks the power and legitimacy of the media and the credentialed classes over his airplane intercom, the utter hopelessness of the woke position is increasingly made manifest. They had hoped for a decisive battle, after which the ”forgotten people” would go back to being forgotten. Instead, the email job caste of America now finds itself locked into a hopeless conflict against people whose work and toil they rely on, but who do not need them to anything close to the same degree. The media has failed at controlling the narrative or shaping public opinion, but there’s no more media that can be used. Censorship on social media platforms has failed to stop the spread of forbidden thought and subversive opinion, but there aren’t any big platforms left that didn’t partake in some way in 2020. The email job caste has almost exhausted all the tools in their arsenal, and the more traditional means of tyranny – such as sending in the armed forces – are clearly incredibly dangerous to use, given the demographics of the lower ranks of the armed forces. The power that’s been used thus far has not been enough, but it’s increasingly unclear where the email job caste will get more power from.

On the other end of the barbed wire, however, the sleeping giant of America’s ordinary working men and women, her shopkeepers, firemen, nurses and train drivers, are now slowly freeing themselves from their torpor. Today, they are once again beginning to use muscles that some had forgotten were there all along. Unlike the email jobs caste, this caste of people are far from being ”maxed out”, indeed, they seem to have almost no limit on their potential power at all. It is by their work alone that the big cities where the email caste lives can keep going, and the more they are willing to use this power to fight back, the more doomed the email caste becomes.

Having spent much of their stored power on a shock and awe campaign that neither shocked nor awed the working men and women of America, the woke now increasingly hunker down for a long political war of attrition that they on some level must know they structurally cannot win, no matter how disciplined, fanatical, or moral they may be. So please, have some understanding if they choose not to find the humor in the simple phrase ”Let’s go Brandon!”. They have all the right in the world to not find any of this particularly funny.

After all, they know what that phrase really means.

Posted by: Masked Marvel | Nov 2 2021 19:27 utc | 107

Posted by: Masked Marvel | Nov 2 2021 19:27 utc | 107
Thanks for the link. No thanks for posting the content.
Like we're not busy enough trying to keep up with all the great comments! sheesh!

Posted by: waynorinorway | Nov 2 2021 19:53 utc | 108

It's difficult to know who to address my comment to @107, Malcom or Masked Marvel, although my hope is that Malcom posted his own essay, which I found very good. Yandex tells me Malcom is Swedish via its translation of OM BLOGGEN OCH FÖRFATTAREN and confirmed further by this, Ange din e-postadress för att följa denna blogg och få meddelanden om nya inlägg via e-post.

I read his previous blog entry about the significance of the ideas espoused in the movie Jurassic Park, which confirms Malcom's intellectual prowess. As an analytical essay, IMO given the writer's vantage point from Sweden, he comes close to getting the political basis for his essay correct and uses an apt allegory in its presentation. I know many barflies will scroll past the essay because of its length, but that would be an unfortunate error. I wonder what Grieved, psychohistorian and William Gruff would comment. I do know WG is all for Let's Go Brandon!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2021 20:33 utc | 109

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2021 11:30 utc | 68

Obama had it all and did nothing, everybody saw that.

Yes indeed. You nailed it.

Ole Trump sort of had it all too, and what did he do?

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 2 2021 20:39 utc | 110

Masked Marvel #107

Thank you for that post. I was catching up on rumble 'lets go brandon' videos yesterday as they had all been banned on utoob. Funny and informative. My guess is that the MAGA logo has been eclipsed and updated beyond the republican expectation.

The 'lets go brandon' meme has immense potential to trigger an entirely new political course in US politics but I suspect the next weeks will see it appropriated or discredited by the traditional means of a antisemitic or racist slur trick or a shooting.

The mayor of New York is among the first petri dish off the rank this week and it will be interesting to observe the progress of the anti mandatory vax campaign. This will have immense repercussions for the dems as they are forced to chose between Butterboy and Karma Harris. Now the Biden popularity numbers have tanked and independent media have the temerity to talk about it, there is a sniff of demise in the air.

Not that there is any promise of betterment coming from any quarters that the people of the USA could rely on! The US century of anti communist, anti collective propaganda and attacks have severely disabled the space for discourse. It is indeed a shitshow.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 2 2021 20:59 utc | 111

Oriental Voice @110--

Trump continued Obama's policies despite his supposed loathing of them and him. Biden has done the same as Trump did with Obama--Continuity followed by continuity followed by yet more continuity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2021 21:02 utc | 112

@Jackrabbit (73) As Caitlin Johnston likes to say, the main function of the Democratic Party is to prevent leftward movement towards a government with genuinely progressive policies and programs. This is why the Party is so bad at politics: It refuses to give people what they want. Some might say that this is the fault of just two obstructionists, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. No, there are 8 to 10 others ready to play the same role, should the need arise. And if not them, then the Democratic Congressional leaders will somehow manage to throw sand in the gears of progressive movement. This is why the US is such a mess and the Republicans are likely to gain control of the entire government in 2022 and 2024, possibly on a permanent basis, which seems to be their plan.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 2 2021 21:03 utc | 113

karlof1 @109:

I, for one, did not scroll past the essay. I copied and pasted it onto a notepad and saved it on file to keep.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 2 2021 21:03 utc | 114

karlof1 @112:

my point exactly! It's the latest politician syndrome of the USA as best I can tell.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 2 2021 21:05 utc | 115

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 2 2021 13:17 utc | 69
Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2021 15:58 utc | 82

1588...defeat of Spanish Armada...the Hakluyts! piracy...survey of Earth's resources...

In 1588 the Hakluyts were getting busy beginning survey and compilation of the world's resources. England's sea-faring/merchant class had recognized in early 1500s that since land was limited [clearly as Columbus 1492 showed planet Earth is spherical], then resources were also finite...while also England's size/lack of resources made them totally dependent on imports of RAW MATERIALS and thus, critically, they needed global CONTROL over ocean sea-lanes and navigation. Spain and all other naval powers were threats to the Crown.

To wit, England must create a dominant blue-water NAVY! Or else there would be no more England!

The Crown/Queen Elizabeth were so informed and authorized [1] piracy via Drake et al to acquire gold, etc to [2] finance construction of dominant blue-water Navy* and [2] begin global survey of all resources**, while the Hakluyts*** were assigned the task of receiving/compiling all the survey data. Successful pirate Drake**** later led attack 1588 to thwart the Spanish Armada.

* A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating globally, essentially across the deep waters of open oceans. While definitions of what actually constitutes such a force vary, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at long range. [per Wiki]

** all-inclusive survey. Besides physical materials, acquire knowledge data on navigation, mining/manufacture technology, etc. Example: Ocean sailing requires fresh water for crew, lest the crew die and ship goes derelict. Where are islands to re-stock fresh water and how to safely enter reefs approach? A modern example of material knowledge: When petroleum was discovered to exist in great quantity underground about 1858 in Canada and US, English already knew from early resources-survey data of locations of various oil-seeps in Middle East that pointed to the oil below!

***They were 2 relatives, both named Richard Hakluyt, who collected the raw, survey data and began issuing volumes about 1599 restricted to the Crown and principal merchants. The data came from any and all sources, preferably reliable. Thus began various, unrelenting missions acting under whatever cover was helpful to get the raw informations. It continues in various forms to this day. [Note that there is a Hakluyt & Co. formed in late 1990s that is NOT the Hakluyts mentioned above, but may may have some vague relation.
Curiously, when look=up "Hakluyt",mostly this "investment company" appears.]

**** Francis Drake [1640-1596] had circumnavigated the globe 1580 and was very successful of the gold-grabbing, pirate groups and returned to England to lead the gold-financed attack on the Spanish Armada . As planned, the gold was divided between the Crown and the merchant interests. The Royal Navy was built-up to become the dominant world-ocean monitor of the sea-lanes vital to England imperial ambitions.

Side-note re England/Rockefeller/petroleum: It was at the behest of English chemist Sam Andrews seeking financing to construct an oil refinery that John D. Rockefeller entered the oil business Thus was formed Andrews, Clark Co., with shareholders JDR, several Clarks and Andrews. Andrews was the technology prime mover. JDR continued the successful business after buying-out the others. This ultimately became the Standard Oil empire.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 2 2021 21:18 utc | 116

@George W Oprisko #83

There is no labor shortage in the US. There's a living wage shortage.

Posted by: fnord | Nov 2 2021 21:38 utc | 117

@chu teh #116
Your timeline is conspiracy theory, hagiographical nonsense.
I actually have looked deeply into the early part of English privateering/piracy. Drake was the equivalent of a libertarian back then, but in service to God and his adventures were much more about breaking Spain's stranglehold over the New World as opposed to personal enrichment or advancement of the British state.
What occurred after the landing of the first "treasure ship" was the same kind of self-reinforcing vortex that could be seen with say, NINJA loans --> MBS's during the runup to the GFC, or crypto-scammer pump and dumpers for many years now.
The English monarchy was far from certain that it wanted the enmity of Spain - enormously powerful in both temporal and religious authority - which English piracy certainly provoked, but the vortex of money from the enormous supply chain that sprang up overnight to service the pirates/privateers - from ships to men to cannons, food, intel, money laundering, etc etc was impossible to stop.
Furthermore your timeline confuses early Drake activities with post-Armada events; Drake's first raids against Spanish colonies in the Americas was in the 1570s.
To give an idea just what was involved: Drake's Golden Hind voyage in 1580 - the Crown's half share of it was more than its entire income for the whole year. Note that Drake had been attacking Spanish settlements and ships for 8 years by this time.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2021 21:50 utc | 118

@Oriental Voice #110
Trump didn't even have the majority of his own political party behind him, much less the Democrats.
Is/was Mitch McConnell cooperative with Trump? I don't see it at all.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 2 2021 21:53 utc | 119

@ karlof1 | Nov 2 2021 20:33 utc | 109 who wrote

I wonder what Grieved, psychohistorian and William Gruff would comment. I do know WG is all for Let's Go Brandon!

Let's Go Brandon!

Does it have legs? We will see.

Folks are not saying FU to the right folks like Occupy Wall Street but it is a start to tear the curtain off the front of this shit show

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 2 2021 21:53 utc | 120


You're right, Trump only has Senate controlled by his own party. But for all practical purposes, House went along with him all the time except for partisan politics. In any case, my point was the US has kept up with Imperial policies from president to president, regardless of party affiliations for a while. The unfortunate thing is many problems we are facing with have logical solutions, most of which requires some real reform within our government. But presidents after presidents failed to address these problems, let alone tried solve them, either due to inaptitude or due to political selfishness(like, being bought by special interests).

Mitch McConnell was cooperative with Trump 120%. His wife (in legal sense I suppose, considering McConnell's age) was in Trump's caninet from date 1 through day finalo.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 2 2021 22:13 utc | 121

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2021 11:30 utc | 68

Obama had it all and did nothing, everybody saw that.

Yes indeed. You nailed it.

Ole Trump sort of had it all too, and what did he do?

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 2 2021 20:39 utc | 110

Obama without the wit and charm. But seriously, how to characterize Trump? An accident, start to finish. Like watching a man stumble for hundreds of meters.

It was very noticeable, given the noise and fury about him, how much he got of what he wanted. Biden got what he wanted at first too, but that fear seems to have dissipated for now. It's always mania or panic these days.

Neither seems to have been able to come up with viable, sensible policies to begin some kind of real reform, although somebody in "Biden" seems to at least have a clue about the need.

I think they lack levers too, controlling the money spigot, lying, and spook chicanery seems to be the only tools. The Feds are weak domestically, and the states are disobedient. An old story.

At this point you can only hope for an early crisis, let's get on with it. As a lifelong pinko-hippie I find it very odd to be siding with the neanderthal right, like Tucker, but the Biden people are morons, and crooked as snakes. That's not going to work. First off, you have to stop dissembling.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 2 2021 22:56 utc | 122

@vk - generally most comments of yours.

I expect one day we shall dance till one of us drops.
I have no personal animosity.
I can only say as I did to myself as a 16 year old and any number of earnest friends through the decades to do me a favour about belief in God - please imagine just for half an hour there is no such thing!

That is where SCIENCE begins.

Many couldn’t manage it - believing that I was the devil incarnate asking them to risk their Immortal Soul - which was something they couldn’t discuss either because it was a given of their THEORY of GOD.

Marxists and their love of the THEORIES OF MARXISM have replaced that easy target for me in recent years.

I ask you can you for a day or so accept that it is all bunkum?

Just as the Bible is made up? Or any other religious text which isn’t just an esoteric ancient scientific text on astronomy?

Scientific Theories are proved or disproved and they have made the modern world what it is.

Capitalism and Marxism was an invention just as much as the Catholic Church was to keep the Forever Powers in place as they have been for millennia. Once you give that concept room in your mind you will easily see how it was constructed.
It’s not that difficult. His family. His university. his arranged marriage to a Westphalian ‘Jewish’ Princess. His placement in England of JS Mills who was charged with producing the corollary theory. His minder and financial manager from the Slave mills of Manchester. And of course his Theories and Work which was mostly ‘edited’ by Engels.

I’m sorry if it is such a mind bender, as much as when a priest loses their faith. I don’t mean to be cruel. But life is shorter daily and irrational beliefs in made to befuddle theories is not going to improve Life on Earth.


Posted by: D.G. | Nov 2 2021 23:05 utc | 123

Very relative to Malcom's essay is this poll "Americans cite Democrats and Republicans as equal threat to US democracy, poll shows. I'd echo Malcom and say the hoi polloi are smarter than those who think they're better believe, which is in line with my opining a few days ago that Lincoln's adage about fooling the people was becoming fulfilled. If we rearrange for reality what the article reports, Americans cite the Duopoly as THE threat to US democracy, all fueled by us independents. How soon will this translate politically is as usual hard to say, but you'd think a new political party marketing that point ought to make hay.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 2 2021 23:58 utc | 124

@ Posted by: D.G. | Nov 2 2021 23:05 utc | 123

Capitalism is not a theory. The closest you can come to that are the political economists (classical economists), but capitalism is an object, not a theory.

Marxism is both a scientific theory and a method.

The Bible is not a scientific work, but a religious one.

So, you're actually comparing three completely different things.

Posted by: vk | Nov 3 2021 0:25 utc | 125

It has taken an incredibly long time but some people are starting to realize that Trump's upset victory in 2016 was never about Trump. The chant "Let's go Brandon!" is about neither Biden nor Trump. The chant translates roughly to "Fuck you establishment!", with the establishment being the oligarchy and its scabby, roinishly servile "email job caste".

The "Decisive Battle Doctrine" employed by the establishment and its pathetic lackeys has been far larger than the author of the essay by Malcom Kyeyune quoted by Masked Marvel @107 describes. Even beloved science fiction properties like Dr Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, and so on have been corrupted to use as blunt objects to batter the "deplorables" with. Sports stars and comic book superheroes have been deployed against the "deplorables". The "deplorables" are slandered left and right in every form of media the establishment has at its disposal, and even after branding those "deplorables" as hateful "white supremacist" terrorists, which should have gotten them slinking back to their dens to fret away the rest of their miserable existences in shame, they still stand up and cheerfully reply "Let's go Brandon!"

The author of that essay suggests this might be the dawning; the awakening, of an new era of class consciousness in the US. I see lots of hints that this is the case. Now it is a race to see which is first: the full reawakening of the American working class or the final collapse into Dark Ages MkII.

My recommendation? Cheer on the working class. It's your best hope.

Ain't it exciting to "live in interesting times"?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 0:26 utc | 126

@109 karlof1 - "I wonder what Grieved, psychohistorian and William Gruff would comment."

I guess it's my turn. You hooked me, karlof1, because of course I scrolled past that huge mess of copy-paste, but I went to read it at the link, from your recommendation. It was well recommended but I don't admire a writer who could say things in a shorter way and indulges instead in taking a languorous afternoon over it.

Masked Marvel could have done us the service of summarizing an exceptionally long and self-indulgent essay, but I will do it now to save other readers the waste of their time.


The author illustrates the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as a desperate gambit that counted on an immediate response by an unprepared US fleet, in a battle that Japan might have won. Instead, the US did nothing immediate, but engaged with Europe, and ramped up production of materiel while considering its ultimate attack on Japan. At this, the Japanese realized they had lost the gambit and would lose the war. Thus, the author.

He compares this event to now, when the Woke faction made its attack and bullied everyone into compliance over COVID, but as we have previously discussed here, that wave of petty tyranny has perhaps now crested and broken, and may recede. Meanwhile the attacked - the essential workers, the ordinary and sane people, the hard-pressed and the hapless - have held their water and evaded as much punishment as possible, waiting it out. Trying to wait it out and survive. And now the time to respond to the attack may be preparing, and gathering itself, and getting ready to kick some ass.


The essay is longer than those 2 paragraphs, and as karlof1 says, it's a good point and made with a good analogy. I'm sure it contains excellent points my speed reading didn't catch. So if you have time to read the more than 4,000 words of an inconsiderate author, I recommend it. I don't know anyone with that time.

And yes, I am annoyed that someone would make such an excelent case in such a tedious way. All it took was two paragraphs of summary - "sheesh!" indeed.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 3 2021 1:09 utc | 127

mastameta @ 49 -- "... buttplug the transportation head has nothing to say about it."
Christian J. Chuba @ 14 -- "Buttigieg is an idiot to throw up his hands."

Love that name "ButtPlug". Also, "Butt-Gig" courtesy of William Gruff.

Plugging. Gigging. What's not to love? So evocative.

ButtGig is less an idiot than a politician who would not touch a third-rail thingie.

Just like Giggling Kamalalala, who has been AWOL from the borderland thingie.

US politicians are evil. As in satanic. Demonic. Anti-human.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 3 2021 4:04 utc | 128

Masked Marvel @ 107

Thanks for that great essay by Malcolm Kyeyune.

He was cogent, insightful, credible throughout.

Like Oriental Voice, I have saved it (for future deployment).

Looking forward to the Revenge Of The Deplorables.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 3 2021 4:11 utc | 129

@Posted by: Rob | Nov 2 2021 19:24 utc | 106

The UK is even simpler, Eton/Harrow/Charterhouse/Merchant Taylor’s/Rugby/Shrewsbury/St Paul’s/Winchester secondary schools and Oxford/Cambridge ("Oxbridge").

"Out of the UK’s 54 prime ministers, 67 per cent have been educated at one of the nine elite schools."

"As of April 2021, a total of 28 British Prime Ministers have been educated at the University of Oxford. " This includes BoJo, Theresa May, David Cameron, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Harold Wilson. Gordon Brown went to Edinburgh, which is the Oxbridge of Scotland.

The same holds for a lot of "third world" comprador leaders who's elites were educated in US/UK/French private schools and universities. Its amazing how many senior Africans speak with an upper class English accent.

Posted by: Roger | Nov 3 2021 4:23 utc | 130

A.L. @ 78 -- "Covid is just the scratch that busted open this festering puss pool.... I find it remarkable some posters would believe if manufacturing is somehow brought back on shore then all ills of the world would be solved.... There are more people, more factories, more engineers and simply a more synergistic environment for production in China. One day in the distant future this may go to India or Africa but its not changing anytime soon...."

America is suffering a fatal structural implosion which the return of manufacturing, even if it could be done, will not heal. In any case, manufacturing will never come back. Not in our lifetimes. Not even in our grandchildren's lifetimes.

Remember the famous Flying Geese pattern of economic development, where Asian nations develop one after another in what looks like a pass-the-baton marathon? After Japan, there was Taiwan, then South Korea, then Singapore, then China. After China there will be many Vietnams, many African nations, India, and so on.

Just as Japanese and Taiwanese firms moved their factories to China to exploit cheap, intelligent workers, so China will move theirs into the Vietnams, et al, for the same reason. And to escape US / Western sanctions. This game will go on for the next 2 or 3 generations.

Better to get your grandkids to learn Mandarin now. Jim Rogers and other ahead-of-the-curve super-rich are doing it already.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 3 2021 4:28 utc | 131

vk @ 79 -- The American people does not have the divine right to cheap goods.


How is it ever fair, or moral, or legal, for 0.2 billion amedikans to live off the labour of the other 7.0 billion people?

Why should 3% of humanity parasite off the other 97% of humanity?

And they do so by printing paper currency, backed by nothing since their Audaciously Atrocious August currency default of 1971 !!!

Well, if something is not fair, nor moral, nor legal, then it WILL stop.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 3 2021 5:42 utc | 132

Grieved | Nov 3 2021 1:09 utc | 127
I comment only to caution seemed a beta-test of Artificial Intel.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 3 2021 5:46 utc | 133

Good news!

Posted by: Smith | Nov 3 2021 9:09 utc | 134

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 3 2021 1:09 utc | 127
Thanks for that Grieved. That ‘tedious’ piece came in at bedtime here and it’s nice to wake up and not feel it necessary to start the day there, even if some recommend it.

I’m sure it had points worth considering too, but as with all analysis of history the points can be arranged in many ways. Did Mao’s leadership in confronting the Japanese in China tip the balance in favor of the US? Did Hitler make a mistake by looking East before West? On and on, a million books, a zillion facts and little more sense made than the right way to raise a child or what’s going to happen post-Covid. All interesting and why we’re here, tho’.

@ Posted by: D.G. | Nov 2 2021 23:05 utc | 123
It is complicated. In #60 D.G. equated Marxism with anti-capitalism. Would it not be more accurate to posit socialism in opposition to capitalism? Marxism just gives us a way to sort things out and capitalism is what needs to be sorted, as that is the system in use at present. (Marxism would be a way to discuss socialism too, were we to have that.) Economic analysis is fundamental to ALL understanding of the human condition. Asking one to give up God(s) is merely to ask them to throw off bonds that restrict their thinking. Asking one to give up analysis is to ask them to stop thinking.

Hitting on Marx is wasted energy. It’s like saying if there was no Darwin there would be no understanding of evolution or if we kill another Al Qaida leader or get rid of Trump all will be well. What’s labeled as Marxism is the basis of what Michael Hudson and Richard Wolff teach.

Of all the comments in this thread it is vk’s analysis of the supply chain ‘crisis’ that is the most comprehensive. Comments about port dredging, chassis, wages, toilets, and such, are like the blind men feeling parts of the elephant. (And Buttigieg is up on the elephant thinking like he’s on a 10-cent horsey-ride in the entryway of a Walmart store.) I appreciate that vk spends the time to comment here, obviously having spent the time to be in a position to use the tools Marx, Engels, Lenin, et al. developed. Who else besides them? Milton Fried man? Tom Fried man? Paul Krug man? Davey Stock man? Get Cereal man!

Posted by: waynorinorway | Nov 3 2021 9:25 utc | 135

Grieved @ 127

So if you have time to read the more than 4,000 words of an inconsiderate author, I recommend it. I don't know anyone with that time

Likewise Grieved, and I've whined about it before. Self-indulgent shit heads who dump thousands of words in a single comment, or even multiple comments, some in every thread, betray the spirit of blogging and the laws of good journalism, but ego and vainglorious puffery are what they are.

Thanks for the synopsis.

Posted by: john | Nov 3 2021 9:57 utc | 136

@ Posted by: vk | Nov 3 2021 0:25 utc | 125
@ waynorinorway | Nov 3 2021 9:25 utc | 135

Ok - let’s dance.

I am asking you to posit that Capitalism/Anti-Capitalism are INVENTIONS by these who are the forever Power holders across ‘western’ history.

‘They’ invented these two new ‘religions’ because ‘they’ were unable to keep the masses under control any longer with the fairytales ‘they’ had told the masses for centuries - such as there being a ‘creator’ and how ‘they’ were the creators ‘chosen’ upon the Earth to ‘own’ everything and everyone as ‘their’ vassals and property.

The failure to comply would be punishable by torture and death on Earth and failure to reach Heaven and to go to Hell forever!

Once Copernicus’s teachings spread and the ‘facts’ became self evident that the World/Earth was NOT the centre of the Cosmos and the Sun didn’t turn around it - all the brainwashing was threatened.

How would the minority ‘they’ be able to retain their lordship and power? How would their proxy for power - MONEY/ Wealth - be kept safe and still be always under ‘their’ control?

Well a new religion had to be created that would not be threatened by evolving science. A whole new credo. A new god/Satan , new heaven/hell , new believer/disbeliever etc

Something that would insulate ‘them’ and their ‘power’ from hoi polloi. ( The Chinese when they found they weren’t part of the celestial empire went into purdah and hid so they couldn’t see they weren’t alone! Is taken half a millennia for them to realise what a catastrophe that was for them and humanity.)

The something that was decided on was a new religion that would keep the lesser mortals occupied forever fighting about it between themselves - Capitalism/Anti-Capitalism

The smartest thinkers would be found and employed to write the new credos under the new ‘prophets’ that would be the namesakes that would write the new ‘bibles’ . New churches and priests would be needed - banks, companies, capitalists, employees etc.

It was of course the Money/ Bankers , the ancients , the City of London and European cousins who did this.

So JS Mills was tasked to produce Capitalism and
Karl Marx tasked with producing anti-Capitalism.

The theories and economics are THEORIES - they are not SCIENCE. They are not rigorous. They are BELIEFS.

Real science is not what economic ‘theories’ do.

If you do not understand that basic difference between scientific and economic theory, then there is no point having a discussion. It is as I said in my comment impossible to discuss the FACTS of the universe with these who believe in irrational THEORIES of Gods or Economics.

Such delusions used to lead to human sacrifices to assuage the gods of volcanoes as much as to the current sacrifices of believing Taxes Pay for Public Services, for example.

So kindly take your ancient certitudes somewhere where they stop doing harm to future humanity and never again see the light of day. This time I mean it.

Posted by: D.G. | Nov 3 2021 10:39 utc | 137

"...theories and economics are THEORIES - they are not SCIENCE."

My goodness! The cringeworthiness in this is so intense it hurts. This kind of nonsense is what develops from non-STEM education. This kind of stupidity is where every-answer-is-correct contemporary humanities style education leads you. These clowns have spent their academic lives not reading the assignments, bullshitting their way through their essays and papers, and still getting passing grades anyway. This conditions them to believe that their worthless and retarded opinions are just as valid as those of someone who actually studied the material for real.

Welcome to academia in modern America, where idiots can (an regularly do!) boldly assert opinions on topics about which they have not the faintest clue, and receive accolades for it too!

This idiot has no idea what science in general is, much less what Marxism is.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 12:02 utc | 138

c1ue @Nov2 17:04 #90: You say it is conspiracy, I say it is chickens coming home to roost.

I get push-back like this when I make 'meta' observations about our 'managed democracy'.

But there is no push-back about establishment media-pushed narratives that are psyop or half-truths like W, Gruff's summary @Nov2 17:09 #91:

Butt-gig is CIA, and conspicuously so. He was supposed to be PotUS 46, at least before the American voters screwed up the CIA's plans. Butt-gig was supposed to be the pinnacle of the "Identity Revolution", but those plans are all in disarray now.

PotUS 44 = female identity representation
PotUS 45 = Black identity representation
PotUS 46 = gay identity representation

Stupid voters screwed those plans all to pieces.

Guff asserts that the establishment/Deep State *DOES* conspire against us, *DOES* manipulate elections via media and political operatives but THEY FAIL EVERY TIME. LOL.

Democracy prevails! The sanctity of the democratic process can't be foiled! I can almost hear the "USA! USA! USA! chorus.

And in Gruff's latest thinking, the faux populist political operatives like Trump, Obama, Sanders, and Hillary are not only ineffective (but not in any noticeable way in Gruff's POV) but IRRELEVANT, as he explains @Nov3 0:26 #126, we should look past these media-generated 'heros' to the people themselves:

... people are starting to realize that Trump's upset victory in 2016 was never about Trump. The chant "Let's go Brandon!" is about neither Biden nor Trump. The chant translates roughly to "Fuck you establishment!"

Cheer on the working class. It's your best hope.

That the working class and all lower classes are clearly manipulated is something we are supposed to ignore?

Yet no push-back.

<> <> <> <> <>

When the establishment pretends to champion working-class/'deplorables', everyone shuts up. And those who make such observations are called 'conspiracy theorists' even as their critics talk openly about establishment political conspiracies!


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 3 2021 12:16 utc | 139

Posted by: D.G. | Nov 3 2021 10:39 utc | 137
“Ok - let’s dance.”

No thanks. I never could dance to Mingus or Monk, not that I’m comparing their understanding of music to your post, but my understanding of their music and what you wrote is about nil, though I suspect they knew what they were about. Of course it might just be me trying to figure out what you mean, but I think if you won’t accept that Marxism is a method then there’s nothing to talk about anyway.

“This time I mean it.”

Oh man, if I knew you weren’t cereal the first time I wouldn’t even have responded. I wonder if not putting some words in all caps makes my words less meaningful, hmmm. Maybe someone else wants to get out on the dance floor with you but after my comment about the Gruff/JR exchanges being vapid, I’ll stay seated so as not to be hypocritical, and just leave this link for anyone wanting to pursue further;
Why Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is a Science
and, with this just in, thank W Gruff for his #138.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Nov 3 2021 12:35 utc | 140

@JackRabbit #139
I don't bother with the Gruffster because truly inane idiocy stands on its own.
I actually agree with the premise of "managed democracy" - where we differ is that I have direct access into at least some of the oligarchy's memes. The oligarchy is neither ultra-competent or intelligent.
It is filled with exactly the same self-serving, solipsist, jealous assholes as the other side is depicted as. The notion that these idiots can conspire on anything is ludicrous. Most of what they're good for is getting prodded along to do what they're paid to do, by a handful of somewhat less socially moronic billionaires.
Nor have you responded to my assertion that what we are seeing is a consequence of chickens coming home to roost: as I type this, McAuliffe has lost the Virginia governorship and the NJ race is tied. McAuliffe is not only a past governor, he is a Democrat heavy on the finance side. The Democrats won full control of the Virginia state congress last year and Biden won Virginia by 10%.
Even Silver noted that the present environment heavily favors the GOP.
Between lockdowns, vaccine mandates, shortages and the woke bathroom rape thing - all I care about is the Fed is likely to be forced to act this time, instead of being pressured to let the party keep going as normal.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 3 2021 13:05 utc | 141

Amongst other educational qualifications : A levels in Maths , Physics and ECONOMICS on the way to a BSc PHYSICS.
followed by an eclectic career, ending in a successful start up business (several previously not) from which I have been happily retired since I was 42,18 years ago.

Having employed hundreds, made dozens very well off and indulged in travel and self education - I have been able to study the history of MONEY for the last 6-7 years - from which I have come to realise that what we are taught is complete bullshit. Just as organised religion is bullshit.

Science on the other hand keeps giving daily so that I can do this - from where and when I want instead of having to wait for the telegram boy to arrive with your responses.

Most people here I have plenty of respect for their opinions except the proselytisers - these I have a problem with.

Careful of being caught in crossfire.


Posted by: D.G. | Nov 3 2021 13:08 utc | 142

From Naked Capitalism: Restaurant Supply Chain woes in Washington DC

Note the detail: amounts ordered are less than arrive; they arrive late. Prices are up double digits. Many items are unavailable such that menu items are disappearing.

At least some of this is COVID lockdown induced: the lockdowns that shut down "eat-out" public food providers left the "eat-out" supply chain high and dry. Should we be surprised that they switched to "eat-in" supplying (i.e. grocery stores)? Other parts of this are clearly a function of the supply chain problems.

Again, the stop-start-stop nature is to blame.

A national or even state economy is like a train company. You can't just arbitrarily stop, start, stop operations without enormous and multiplying effects across the entire system. There is no way this is getting fixed in a short time barring a nation-wide program of self-enforced non-consumption for a period of time.
And that will happen the 2nd of never.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 3 2021 13:14 utc | 143

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 12:02 utc | 138

From my experience, such absurdities are said by people from STEM or Biological Sciences who think Humanities is kids' stuff and that they automatically can explain the social world through free analogies with the formulas and theories of their own fields.

His comment @142 confirms my suspicions.

There is a lot of pseudo-science and proto-science in Humanities, but you have to be a legitimate scientist from the Humanities field to have the capacity and expertise to identify which is which. Being from STEM does not make you a know-it-all in Humanities; there's a reason this separation of fields exist in the first place.

Posted by: vk | Nov 3 2021 13:17 utc | 144

Proof that our resident bunny is a paid shill for the establishment: "Guff asserts that the establishment/Deep State... FAIL EVERY TIME"

Did I? Have I ever?

In fact the post I was responding to was the quote of the essay by Malcom Kyeyune which detailed the success of the establishment installation of Biden in the White House. How could I possibly assert the establishment "fails every time", as the bunny disingenuously claims that I do, if I was posting in overall agreement with that analysis?

No, the bunny knows he is full of shit with that claim, but like all of the "woke" servants of the establishment, he thinks he is smarter than those "deplorables" he is tasked with gaslighting.

On the contrary, it is the bunny who asserts that the establishment never fails: everything happens according to their plans, as if they were the Illuminati or some other fictional organization with mystical super powers.

Is the bunny really smarter than you, dear Reader?

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 13:22 utc | 145

US reacts to disasters, or causes them to then react, it never prevents them

Posted by: Jouven | Nov 3 2021 13:23 utc | 146

D.G. @142

From the evidence of your own posts you are ignorant of what science is. I don't care how big you claim your muscles are on the Internet. You are a fraud and a moron.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 13:25 utc | 147

vk @144: "There is a lot of pseudo-science and proto-science in Humanities, but you have to be a legitimate scientist from the Humanities field to have the capacity and expertise to identify which is which."

True enough, but that is a rarity these days. Having a degree in journalism doesn't get someone there.

"Being from STEM does not make you a know-it-all in Humanities; there's a reason this separation of fields exist in the first place.

No, it does not, but more often than not STEM studies teach the student the humility to know they are not experts in every field. Note the poster you use as an example of a student of STEM claimed to be "...on the way to a BSc...". That poster obviously never reached the point of learning that there are things he doesn't know and cannot bullshit his way through.

While there are some people who take humanities seriously, most of the students in that track take it because they can come to class with bad hangovers and without doing any assigned reading and still pass. They take the humanities track because refined bullshitting skills do count there.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 13:46 utc | 148

@ VK and troll goat gruff (who leapt out from under the bridge to intervene where he/she was not invited - but welcome to my little scientific experiment to suss our who is what here)

Humanities are not science
Economics is not science
Religion of almost every sort isn’t science except when it was based on astronomy.

Don’t tell me what is science - I’ve forgotten more than most people will ever know. Ok that’s enough about me.

You (both) are not making any scientific or logical response.

Both of you have completely ignored the main part of my thesis statement - Economic is a Religion - and the why, how, when, where and who of its creation.

Any reader of the exchanges will see that preserved in posterity.

You have instead chosen to make ad hominem attack upon me - that has shown you to be a troll in a sheepskin - Billy Goat Gruff - I didn’t expect that but it does explains the MO you use.

If either of you wish to dance further on that particular subject we shall do so again I am sure. In the meantime I am leaving your abject troll posts to stand as they are. GOTCHA.

Posted by: D.G. | Nov 3 2021 14:21 utc | 149

@D.G. #149
It is pointless to engage with the Gruffster or vk - both are monomaniacally focused on specific memes. They're both hammers of different persuasions that see everything as nails.
Economics is absolutely not a science as practiced today. Besides the reproducibility and accountability problem this type of "big picture" study inherently has - Dr. Michael Hudson has extensively talked about how this profession is manipulated by sponsors to churn out favorable outcomes. Dr Hudson's commentary is reinforced by all manner of secondary evidence including the ongoing nonsense of "efficient markets" being not efficient, "rational actors" not being rational much of the time, "trickle down" actually being vacuumed up, etc etc.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 3 2021 14:48 utc | 150

I read the Asia Times for Andrew Goldman, pepe escobar and reprints of Indian punchline. Goldman, because his financial analysis is solid and because he represents the perspective of American imperialism.

I recommend his latest piece which is basically a roundtable discussion with other US imperialists, brainstorming about what can be done about china vis a vis Taiwan, and what is not feasible to do. the piece is thankfully free of MSM propaganda. it really is a roundtable thinking thru US strategy

Posted by: mastameta | Nov 3 2021 14:51 utc | 151

Multiple posters need remedial reading on early modern history. If any had even bothered to read Das Kapital most errors on the page above would not occur. This commenter does not even like Marx, he was IMO an aristocrat and a fraud. And a superb historian. He got enclosure right, none of those who followed, even those who would never dream of mentioning his name, can avoid his work. He got the rape of India right, rarely acknowledged at all. He got piracy right. He got the plunder of the monasteries right.

All the above are part of the primitive accumulation. A brilliant concept that no one, even Marxists, wish to apply.

Read Capital again. Disregard the political economy sludge and read the history. And read the jokes. If you get lost in the absurd diamat you will miss the jokes. Being able to chop logic with Stalinists over the diamat is not worth the trouble. Being roughly oriented to history is worth the candle.

I got lucky and cheated. Read the nineteenth century newsprint versions of Capital as edited by Johann Most. Original copies parked in the offices of Charles Kerr Publishers, back when CKP was Carlos Cortez and Franklin Rosemont. Those are all dust now, there were millions of copies printed everywhere and the whole world knew the Marx canon decades before the awful Engels-Aveling version was published. Marxists would have fits if the original and popular version ever surfaced again. Much of Capital is still good enough and worth the time to read.

Solidarity Bookshop (Franklin Rosemont) used to use original nineteenth century pages of Das Kapital as packing material for mail orders. Old hippies remember that, and the foil wrapped cubes of hashish by the cash register.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 3 2021 15:06 utc | 152

@ Grieved | Nov 3 2021 1:09 utc | 127

Excellent comment imo Grieved.

Your commentary is much appreciated. Not only have you mastered silken language but you use it to benefit others. Thanks.

I did plod through the essay yesterday b4 anyone had commented on it, finding it points to something noteworthy — but too self indulgently. And so, as you say, the writer is not very considerate of his readers.


When one reads the educational and employment bio of the new VIrginia governor elect, I wonder if push back by regular people thru the system yields anything other than the satisfaction of defeating, rejecting one elite over another. The same old yo-yo-ing in a failed system. It helps that people can keep a spirit of unity and perseverance with good humor.

Posted by: suzan | Nov 3 2021 15:55 utc | 153

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 13:46 utc | 148

The irony of your response is in the fact that the evidence - something STEM people should take special consideration - disproves your hypothesis (i.e. that STEM people are more humble).

As you can see in the comments @ 149, @ 150 and @ 152, that's not the case. STEM people are neither humbler nor more enlightened.

Posted by: vk | Nov 3 2021 16:04 utc | 154

Twenty-three years ago I wrote an essay dealing with historiography entitled The Quest For Objectivity that ought to be the foundation for the study and writing of history--facts not our biases ought to be what we record regardless of where they lead. That's why I'm adamant about naming the USA the Outlaw US Empire because objectively that's exactly what it is and has been since 1945.

Another related issue is what's known as economics--a field that never existed until it was contrived in the early 20th Century. What came before it and still endures is Moral Philosophy that was merged/melded into political-economy as exemplified by Adam Smith's two outstanding volumes that ushered in the modern era of such studies. As most know, philosophy attempts to have an empirical basis like a science but wavers immediately when Metaphysics becomes the topic, particularly the question about the existence of god, gods, goddess, and goddesses. Anthropology is the scientific study of human history in its physical, cultural and social spheres, and has numerous sub-fields such as anthropological linguistics and cognitive psychology. All attempt to have an empirical/objective basis. Then there's the issue of what exactly is a theory. A theory is a factually proven hypothesis--A Theory is a Fact. It is not a guess; a guess is an unproven hypothesis, yet another fact lost on too many people due to very poor education that's further embedded by dubious journalists. In almost all its areas, what's called modern economics fails the Theory/Fact Test as most of it's built on Straw Man premises. Rigor is what's lacking in all too many academic areas, which often results from what's known as reductionism--the ever thinning salami slicing of areas of academic study that results in numerous departments and PhDs, but much less overall understanding on a Big Picture scale.

To properly know and write about history requires the most extensive array of knowledge encompassing all of what are called the Social Sciences, but very few historians ever get that far in their educational breadth as it's very intensive and extraordinarily time consuming--I quit university with 168 credit hours after 4 full years of very intensive, beyond fulltime study and still knew I needed more. And 20 years after quitting, I know I'm at a deficit in too many areas because I aim at understanding it all, not just a tiny selection that leaves me disconnected to the whole. And it's because I want to be connected to the whole that led me to read all of Malcom's essay despite its length--synopses and abridgements don't always work for me. When it's clear the full story's not being told, I ask why; what's being omitted? I want the whole truth, for the truth doesn't scare me.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2021 16:46 utc | 155

vk @154

I am not trying to say that all STEM people are not know-it-all blowhards. I suppose the better way to put it would be that it is more difficult for the Dunning-Kruger effect to survive a real STEM education than is the case with more "liberal" (in the modern sense) educations.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2021 17:13 utc | 156

Karlof1 @ 155

There is antiquarian history and synthetic history..

Antiquarian history is “Just the facts, ma’am.” It involves all of the historians time for all of his life. Determining what is fact can be labor intensive to say the least.

Synthetic history is “what does it all mean?”. To indulge in synthetic history it should be necessary to have at minimum the accomplishments of George Lefebvre or Fernand Braudel. Mostly what we get is crap like Niall Ferguson. Which is ideologue for hire.

Looking for an honest historian is like looking for an honest man.

Posted by: Oldhippie | Nov 3 2021 18:57 utc | 157

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2021 16:46 utc | 155

Rigor is what's lacking in all too many academic areas, which often results from what's known as reductionism--the ever thinning salami slicing of areas of academic study that results in numerous departments and PhDs, but much less overall understanding on a Big Picture scale.

Very well said.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Nov 3 2021 18:57 utc | 158

Grieved | Nov 3 2021 1:09 utc | 127

Within the last year I considered why the Japanese leaders in the late 1940s, especially the military leaders, took the risk of attacking the US knowing Japan couldn't win a protracted war. The subject intrigued me because it appears that US geopolitical strategy requires an unbeatable military force and the will to use that force. That force does not exist today.

In WW2 the Soviets defeated the Germans and inflicted 80+% of German casualties with the loss of 25+ million of its own citizens. Russia has declared that it has developed the means to ensure that a hot WW3 will not be fought on Russian soil.

The US military knows this and is aware that it has not faced a peer military force since WW2, but US geopolitical "thinking" reminds one of the Japanese situation leading up to the decision to attack the US. If the US insists on its global primacy the analogy to the Japanese view back in the day seems most apt. US policy makers in public declare the need to put Russia and China in their place because each is a great threat to US hegemony. Each of them is facing US bases, missiles and US plans to build up more of the same.

My speculation is that the US will make the same miscalculation as did the Japanese and will do so soon, because the US understands that its enemies are getting stronger by the day. The US does not appear to be able to entertain an alternative to war. Neither did the Japanese.

See also:

Colonel Cassad has an update with a video made by the Iranians (the video includes a movie music soundtrack :-D )

Posted by: Victor | Nov 3 2021 18:07 utc | 83

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 3 2021 20:29 utc | 159

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3 2021 16:46 utc | 155
"Then there's the issue of what exactly is a theory. A theory is a factually proven hypothesis--A Theory is a Fact. It is not a guess; a guess is an unproven hypothesis, ..."

I would take some issue with that. There are a number of definitions of theory. #6 in Webster’s College Dictionary 1992 directly contradicts you by defining a theory as “a guess or conjecture”. Other dictionaries I’ve checked online offer numerous definitions, none of which claim that “a theory is a fact”. I would accept the concept that a theory is based on facts while a hypothesis is the idea before any testing or research has been done.

I write this not to get into a semantics discussion but simply to illustrate that, while words do mean something, that something is many times indefinite. It seems to me that D.G. in #137 was using the word ‘theory’ in the sense of something not proven, merely speculated, and in a pejorative sense concerning Marxism. That’s fine, it’s his opinion.

The word science is tossed about too. The ‘respect the science’ meme of the Covid noise is a good example. The indefinite meaning of words is what prompted my statement about capitalizing words – or not in my #140. People cap words to indicate that they have a singular definition of a word in mind and ‘that’s it!’. Whether Marxist analysis is science or not does not matter to me. It often, but not always, leads to truth. Show me a better method and I'll use that too.

“I want the whole truth, for the truth doesn't scare me.”
Yeah, that’s it isn’t it? I think that your interpretation of your educational experience leaving you with an unfulfilled quest for knowledge is wise. I’m not impressed with people who tell me how much education they have or that they got A grades, even in physics. For them my reply is, ‘Hey, I once bowled a 300 game. On my birthday!’. (fact, btw:-)

Posted by: waynorinorway | Nov 4 2021 8:15 utc | 160

I just came across this story about Maine voting for a constitutional amendment for a "right to food".

imo, a damn fine proposal and should be considered by everyone everywhere. The multinationals will probably get this struck down but you gotta try.

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 4 2021 9:59 utc | 161

kiwiklown #132

Well, if something is not fair, nor moral, nor legal, then it WILL stop.

If only it was so. 'Stop' is a long time coming from my observation.
I share your enthusiasm though.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 4 2021 10:09 utc | 162

@pogohere #159
I don't think you are considering the actual situation in early/mid 1941.
The economic blockade of Japan on oil was a very severe problem. It is very possible that the Japanese government felt it would either have to decide on whether to capitulate or declare war.
Furthermore, the Japanese aren't morons. They knew full well the manufacturing capability of the US as Japanese diplomats and engineers had been touring American factories for decades. That's why they struck at Pearl Harbor: they believed (correctly) that if they could take out much of the US Pacific fleet, it would be years before said fleet could be replaced. And in fact, they did take out the US fleet with the exception of the fleet carriers.
The situation in the Atlantic was also dire. The London Blitz was late 1940 to early 1941. Let's not also forget that German Uboat attacks off the US East Coast started in January 1942 - a coincidence? even as Uboat attacks in 1940 and 1941 were having a severe impact on the UK.
So yes, Japan attacking a larger, wealthier, more industrialized country was foolish - but less clear to me that the choice was so clear cut.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 4 2021 18:27 utc | 163

Trucking labor and capital being insufficient is a symptom of the destruction of economic freedom. There is one other very big thing that was recently destroyed that is directly relevant to supply chain efficiency. Does anyone here keep liquid assets in a Money Market Fund? If you think you do, check again. It may still have some branded remnant of that name, but you certainly are not invested in commercial paper anymore. Commercial paper, archaically known as Bills of Exchange, Bills of Lading, warehousing receipts and other evidence of clearing credits in the real world physical supply chains of the core economy, hardly has any secondary market today. $1-10T of liquidity had been devoted to making sure cities were fed, housed, warmed or cooled, etc. Nowadays we devote that credit to funding government agencies at miserly discount rates because this us the only risk-free source of liquidity left standing.

Where we once were certain ($1=1 share) that NYC would be fed each time the sun comes up, we now rely on FDIC to guarantee $1=1 share and no one works in the supply chain due diligence salt mines trying to make tommorow's needs arrive in time.

Posted by: RealBilly | Nov 12 2021 18:10 utc | 164

There is significant inflation masquerading on Wall St. that will be felt once its put into goods and services.

Posted by: D0ng | Nov 13 2021 1:20 utc | 165

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Posted by: شرکت ساختمانی رسا | Nov 28 2021 12:32 utc | 166

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Posted by: دکتر فالوور | Dec 1 2021 9:13 utc | 167

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