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July 13, 2022

Harpers Declares It's Over - The 'American Century' Is Gone

This month's Harpers title is astonishing.


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To declare that the U.S. century is over, without a question mark, is in the mainstream view still heresy. Sure the American Conservative has already done that years ago. But Harpers is positioned on the more liberal side of things and there the view is rarely expressed.

The lead essay in the edition, by one Daniel Bessner, is headlined:

Empire Burlesque
What comes after the American Century?

For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States confronts a nation whose model—a blend of state capitalism and Communist Party discipline—presents a genuine challenge to liberal democratic capitalism, which seems increasingly incapable of addressing the many crises that beset it. China’s rise, and the glimmers of the alternative world that might accompany it, make clear that Luce’s American Century is in its final days. It’s not obvious, however, what comes next. Are we doomed to witness the return of great power rivalry, in which the United States and China vie for influence? Or will the decline of U.S. power produce novel forms of international collaboration?

In these waning days of the American Century, Washington’s foreign policy establishment—the think tanks that define the limits of the possible—has splintered into two warring camps. Defending the status quo are the liberal internationalists, who insist that the United States should retain its position of global armed primacy. Against them stand the restrainers, who urge a fundamental rethinking of the U.S. approach to foreign policy, away from militarism and toward peaceful forms of international engagement. The outcome of this debate will determine whether the United States remains committed to an atavistic foreign policy ill-suited to the twenty-first century, or whether the nation will take seriously the disasters of the past decades, abandon the hubris that has caused so much suffering worldwide, and, finally, embrace a grand strategy of restraint.

At Consortium News Andrew Bacevich provides additional background and offers a mild critique of Bessner's essay. He seems to largely agree with it.

Me? I have always been for a policy of restrain, not just for the U.S., but for all countries on this planet. People are too different in personal believes, history, tradition and social surroundings to be put under one form of government or to submit to one peculiar form of economic organization. Attempting to do such is, as Michael Hudson provides, ruinous for those who try.

It is also a question of personal capacity. The U.S. does not have the leadership, and has not had it for some time, to be successful in such an endeavor.

Even Democrats have recognized that their current president is not up to the task. The New York Times writes Most Democrats Don’t Want Biden in 2024, New Poll Shows. The Washington Post adds Democrats are skeptical of Biden in 2024. Will the party’s left finally win?. Other have also chipped in with a NYT columnist outright declaring: Joe Biden Is Too Old to Be President Again.

Matt Taibbi calls this political signaling:

Along with companion outlets like the Washington Post and The Atlantic (as pure a reflection of establishment thought as exists in America), the paper in this sense fulfills the same function that Izvestia once served in the Soviet Union, telling us little or even less than nothing about breaking news events but giving us comprehensive, if often coded, portraits of the thinking of the leadership class.

The Democrat 'leadership class' has declared that Biden is now a lame duck president and that he better signal that he will not run again before the likely catastrophic results in the midterms election come out.

I agree with that view but it is not just Biden's mental fragility that is the matter here but the incompetence of the people around him who essentially set his policies. The Sullivans and Blinkens of this world or what Ray McGovern calls the Effete Elite:

The questions posed led me to comment candidly on the regrettable state of Western statesmen like EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Yes, the same Blinken who, in one breath excoriates China and the “systemic challenge” it supposedly represents, and in the next makes a pathetically quixotic attempt to cajole his Chinese counterpart to abandon Beijing’s lockstep with Russia on Ukraine.

Blinken's anti-China policy is, to say it mildly, not a success:

Washington has devised a series of plans to counter China, but few of them have won firm support in the region.

A coalition between the United States, Japan, Australia and India, known as the Quad, is meant to show solidarity in the Asia-Pacific region, but India buys huge quantities of oil from Russia; a new U.S.-led economic group of 14 countries, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, received a lukewarm reception from its members since it fails to offer tariff reductions for goods entering the United States; and an agreement for the United States and Britain to share technology to help Australia deploy nuclear-powered submarines remains vague.

This 'elite' who thought out those policies is now baby sitting Biden to prevent him, but not themselves, from making more 'mistakes'.

Dan Cohen @dancohen3000 - 14:57 UTC · Jul 12, 2022

2 days ago, the NYT reported that the White House is so concerned by Biden's age that it delayed his trip to the Middle East by a month so he could rest. Now we learn that Blinken will accompany him. Another daily reminder that Biden is a figurehead and his advisors run the show.

Biden's and Blinken's current Middle East trip is also likely to add to their collection of failures:

President Biden is traveling to Israel on Wednesday for a four-day trip to the Middle East to try to slow down Iran’s nuclear program, speed up the flow of oil to American pumps, and reshape the relationship with Saudi Arabia without seeming to embrace a crown prince who stands accused of flagrant human rights abuses.

All three efforts are fraught with political dangers for a president who knows the region well, but returns for the first time in six years with far less leverage than he would like to shape events.

A month ago Biden declared that he will not meet the Saudi clown prince:

"I am not going to meet with MBS. I am going to an international meeting, and he is going to be part of it," Biden told reporters at the White House.
...
However, a Saudi statement announced that MBS and Biden: "Will hold official talks that will focus on various areas of bilateral cooperation and joint efforts to address regional and global challenges."

We will likely soon see photos with Biden and MBS shaking hands. Biden needs higher Saudi oil production and lower prices at the pump to lessen the Democrats midterm losses. He can hardly condemn Mohammed Bin Salman for killing the 'journalist' and lobbyist for Qatar Jamal Khashoggi while at the same time ignoring the Israeli murder of the U.S.-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

The return to the nuclear agreement with Iran was botched by Biden and Blinken when they dithered for months after their inauguration before starting talks. They then made new demands that Iran was obviously unwilling to fulfill. They are now left with contradicting their own arguments:

In the early spring, Mr. Malley and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said there were just weeks, maybe a month or so, to reach a deal before Iran’s advances, and the knowledge gained as it installed advanced centrifuges to produce uranium in high volume, would make the 2015 agreement outdated.

Now, four months later, Mr. Biden’s aides decline to explain how they let that deadline go by — and they still insist that reviving the deal is more valuable than abandoning it.

Following various financial crises and too high spending U.S. financial leverage is gone. As it has proven in the Middle East, and now in Ukraine, its hyper expensive military is unable to win wars against small and big competitors. The U.S. role in international institutions has been diminished by China's and Russia's competing efforts like the Belt and Road program, the Asian Development Bank, Russia and Iran's North-South Transit Corridor.

The Harpers title is correct. The U.S. century is indeed over. As the Harpers lead essay concludes:

The American Century did not achieve the lofty goals that oligarchs such as Henry Luce set out for it. But it did demonstrate that attempts to rule the world through force will fail. The task for the next hundred years will be to create not an American Century, but a Global Century, in which U.S. power is not only restrained but reduced, and in which every nation is dedicated to solving the problems that threaten us all. As the title of a best-selling book from 1946 declared, before the Cold War precluded any attempts at genuine international cooperation, we will either have “one world or none.”

One world, in which the individual countries refrain from boundless greed and provide for the common good, is certainly the better choice.

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Posted by b on July 13, 2022 at 13:45 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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ostro #187

The characters like Peter Zalmayev seem to have carved out a lucrative lifetime occupation pumping up NGO's and imagined outcomes for George Soros Inc. Can you imagine how many there must be in South America. It would require a vast effort from each countries state security apparatus just to keep track of their staff movements.

I imagine a global wiki to register them all and monitor their every detail.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 14 2022 10:37 utc | 201


High-precision strikes in the areas of the settlements of Bereznegovatoye, Mykolaiv region, Konstantinovka and Kramatorsk, Donetsk People's Republic, hit the temporary deployment points of units of the 35th Marine Brigade, 54th Mechanized Brigade, 81st Airmobile Brigade and 109th Air Defense Brigade. As a result of the strikes, the total losses of these formations amounted to up to 1000 and more than 100 units of weapons and military equipment.

I guess there is a risk side in accumulating multiple BTG's in one place for an assault or in preparation for a major defensive maneuver. This certainly has all the hallmarks of a pathetic military 'command'.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 14 2022 10:45 utc | 202

Apropos of the end of the 'American Century' and the emergence of a multipolar global order: A "letter from a reader" published two days ago in the mainstream Slovenian media:
(In Slovenian)

https://www.dnevnik.si/1042992759

Thanks to all barflies that gather here at MoA for the inspiration to spread the word. The narrative in the core of the EU is inexorably shifting

Posted by: Andrew Celestina | Jul 14 2022 10:56 utc | 203

Regarding Germany current economic suicide: Chancellor Schultz seems from a genius; additionally, he is blocked in a green-social democrat coalition where he is far from free to make decisions. Green may be happy that chemical industry gets killed by high gas price; nevertheless they should be ashamed to go back to brown coal ( the most polluting coal) for power production.
German population seems quiet, but should wake-up one of these days, back from holidays, as they are very much keen of their comfort.
Only farmers start demonstrating strongly, on the Dutch model

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 14 2022 11:25 utc | 204

Yes we are witnessing a high level media operation where the public and talking heads are gradually sold the idea that dismantling the US is a good thing, because only then can a "one world" government be created. It's a rehash of League of Nations, United Nations, and the whole alphabet soup of "international" organisations. It's the stated goal of the WEF.

I don't think it will work and it will not lead to a better world. As far as the US is concerned - and by extension all large countries - a going back and re-orientation towards the political values of the late eight-teenth century (American, French Revolution) and radically decentralised, i.e. Federal government structures would help a great deal.
Unlikely to happen, but after the next catastrophic world war a "re-naissance" hopefully occurs.

Posted by: Prakash | Jul 14 2022 11:39 utc | 205

One for you, Juliania:

China’s rise, and the glimmers of the alternative world that might accompany it, make clear that Luce’s American Century is in its final days. It’s not obvious, however, what comes next. Are we doomed to witness the return of great power rivalry, in which the United States and China vie for influence? Or will the decline of U.S. power produce novel forms of international collaboration?

Brings to mind what Jesus is said to have said to one of his disciples (Matthew? I forget which):

Leave the dead to bury the dead, let the living come with me.

Or something to that effect. But no, the dead (Neo-Libs) want to spend all their energies trying to bring the dead (American primacy) back to life, while those pretending to be the living (but actually also dead) pretend to be pushing to come to terms with the inevitable arrival of a new multilateral world of sovereign nations, while at the same time struggling with all their might to negate every sign and symbol of that multilateral world by following the same old habits the US have followed for the last 70 years (let alone much longer, but especially the last 70 years).

Come on, Bessner, you don't expect us to believe that half of US think-tanks (all of which are truly dead in every real sense) are facing up to the new multipolar world with a brave face??

Posted by: BM | Jul 14 2022 12:23 utc | 206

Can anyone comment on the HIMARS attacks? Despite whatever propaganda western media spreads, this sounds alarming. The Empire continues to escalate without skin in the game - and is allowed to do so by the relative moderate Russian strategy. Russia must realize that the West has declared war and react accordingly.

Posted by: RationalPeacekeeper | Jul 14 2022 12:47 utc | 207

Just been listening to Handel’s “Lasting peace on earth “.
Written 300 years ago or thereabouts .
Isn’t it about time?

Posted by: Walt | Jul 14 2022 13:50 utc | 208

IronForge | Jul 14 2022 4:56 utc | 153
____

Thanks for excellent histgift. insight into the end of the grift.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jul 14 2022 14:22 utc | 209

IronForge | Jul 14 2022 4:56 utc | 153

Excellent historical insight into the end of the grift!

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jul 14 2022 14:24 utc | 210

@watcher, @PeterAU1, @PaulGreenwood, @exile:

thanks for chipping in on the wood fire issue...

As to my son: he is 30 with a wife and two boys, a very responsible and happy young man with a graduate degree in computer programming and work he really enjoys and which pays well. However, his computer life has weakened physical development so when he purchased his suburban home a few years ago he did a lot of renovation work himself partly to save money but mainly to strengthen his body. It was hard work but he enjoyed it. Recently he put in a long garden path with stone flags (?). He also bought the wood stove partly because he wants to have the experience of it. I suspect he also chose to cut the trees with a family member for the same reason but didn't ask. He got a good quality steel box stove with thermal pane window (which throws out radiant heat) and it will keep the main floor warm, not so much the upper bedrooms unless he cuts in some vents or some such and the basement will be very cold but not quite freezing as basements should be except he has a downstairs office there, so probably will need to heat with gas or electric.

In any case, I agree watcher ( I think ) who said that if everyone in Germany tries to use wood it won't work and/or heat apartments etc. True. He has a small home with decent-sized yard so can store the wood easily and he will enjoy the process of feeding it.

I lived for almost 20 years in Canada with wood heat and several years up in the Colorado Rockies at high altitude with wood (or propane) stoves. You get used to it. With a good back-burning stove you only have to refill every 8-12 hours; there are always enough coals left to just put in more wood and after an hour or so you have a steady fire again. For a while I lived in a poorly insulated long trailer in the woods in Cape Breton and a single wood stove was fine even when it went to -20C as it often does in Jan-Feb-March. But you have to have a good stove the right size.

The upside with wood is that it looks, smells and feels the best. Put a kettle on top to maintain humidity, no worries. Downside is the mess and the work but if you have it delivered cut and split six months earlier than you need it and store it well so it breathes and doesn't get damp, and have a place to keep about a day's worth of wood inside, it's really quite manageable. As to pollution, yeah, if you don't burn crap and have a good stove it's a non-issue. A wood-burning village smells great walking through on a crisp winter's morn....

Germans are practical, intelligent people though suburban city types are probably idiots like their ilk all over the world (myself included!). But they will learn fast. They are extremely well socialized so once they twig to things not being right they will probably self-organize more rapidly and effectively than most other populations. Which is why they were so hard to beat in the wars a century or so ago. I am looking to the Germans to lead Europe out of the trap they are in. The French will quickly follow. The Italians are already agitated but that's almost second nature condition for Italians (!); they probably won't do all that much until more countries show signs of life. French have long tradition of public demonstration but they will need more than that. They keep voting in Establishment types so are a very stupid collective politically (unless the elections are stolen, which is quite likely). England is a basket case of loquacious histrionic lunatics all clamoring for attention on stage - the English English at least, who are fast becoming a minority in their overcrowded island. Total mess, like their PM's hair!

No: it's going to be the much maligned Germans who will finally have to stand up to and eradicate the Nazis in their midst many of whom are part of an internationally coordinated virtual tribe (and no, I don't only mean yoonohoos but the more accurate 'them'!) pulling strings every which way but the right one, the so-called 'globalists' or whatever. The Germans are captive to this ruling political class as much as all western nations peoples all of whom need to find a way to wake up out of their deep slumber.

Maybe that way the German people can finally exorcise the many demons who have been forcefully bedded down among them for far too long since the last war ended in 1945, almost eighty years ago. Enough already!

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 14:34 utc | 211

PS. The other HUGE downside with wood is that you have to have good wood to begin with. Where I live for example that is going to prove quite a challenge. But I'll get there. There are higher mountains not far away with lower temperatures and harder woods. Might cost a bit to truck it in. Will also have propane heaters in all the main rooms connected to a 1000 litre tank outside. Will do the trick on chilly mornings which is mainly when you need the heat. THe wood stove is for the two winter months where it stays below 15 all day long inside and goes down to about 8 at night.

In any case: getting good wood is a Big Thing with wood stoves, obviously and if you are in a place where it is not often used, that's going to be a challenge.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 14:38 utc | 212

Scorpion@169
I am talking about classes based upon their relations with the means of production. One class owns all the arable land, another class only has access to the land, necessary because it produces vital food, by agreeing to the terms offered by the owners. This puts the landowners in a dominant position and reduces the labourers to impotence. In such a society power is in the hands of the small landowning class; the majority do as they are told, starve or flee.
Capitalist society rests on the transfer of communal lands into private hands. Essentially this was done by a legal re-definition of land ownership whereby the peasant/farmer who inherited his holding and held his land so long as he paid an annual rent to the feudal lord (who had seized the land centuries earlier) became a tenant at will who could be evicted if he could not pay arbitrarily increased 'rents.' This gave rise to the existence of a class- the great majority- without land and with only their labour to sell.
As to which the terms on which they sold their labour were dictated by the landowners who held a monopoly of political power. It is this which gives them the ability to make laws which protect them, for example from strikes and labourers acting collectively. And laws to turn common lands, used as pastures and woodlands since time immemorial, into private holdings which the community is prevented from using- to gather fuel or building material, to pasture cows to feed themselves, to feed pigs or goats etc...

The classes of which you talk, or to which you seem to refer, are of a different kind and appear not to be based upon control over the means of life. Who can object to them? If some prefer to eat off porcelain services and others to dine off food wrapped in old newspapers (??) who cares? Provided no horses are frightened it doesn't matter.
What does matter is a class system in which the lives of the many are in the power of the few, in which millions have life expectancies of less than thirty and a few expect to live into their seventies. A class system which like the one in Mexico and in England, is founded on the violent dispossession of the many by the few. Such a system inevitably produces, inter alia, continual struggle which in crisis becomes extremely intense. It also implies an appalling and inbuilt waste of potential and talent because the great majority of the talent pool-humanity- never has a chance to develop its potential. In the end this leads to the sort of situation we see in the world today: a leadership consisting entirely of the fruits of cronyism- people who are at best thugs and, more usually, arselicking sycophants selfish to the point of psychosis.
It is not just fairness and equity which demands that this be changed, but necessity: a ruling class that throws up Bushes, Bidens, Blairs, Johnsons, Starmers, Trudeaux (not to say Kennys and Fords) can only survive by throwing off the mask of democracy and reverting to the force that brought it power in the first place.

As to your reading of history it is rather more subtle than you suggest but it is certainly the case that the formative influences on the development of the Soviet state were external pressures, which were constant, real and never far from bursting into military attacks. If I may say so to learn anything from history it is necessary to study it rigorously and disregarding preconceptions. I began this study almost seventy years ago as a Young Briton (pre Young Conservative). I was then a patriot, in the sense that I believed in the defence of my fellow countrymen- the treachery of the US over Suez angered me, though my voice had not broken. When I learned, the evidence was irrefutable, that those countrymen had once lived off their own holdings and that their land and their rights over their native country had been stolen from them (for this is what Enclosures and game laws were) and that millions had been driven into permanent exile in America, Australasia and elsewhere, patriotism was redefined into socialism. All that was needed then was to learn-it is all recorded beyond a shadow of doubt-that similar fates had overtaken America's "indians" and poor people in every country, that patriotism had to become international socialism.
I am at a loss to understand how any honest man could be anything else.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 14:50 utc | 213

What comes after the American Century?

What comes next is the shake down of the grunts (Baby Boomers) ,who made it possible, of their last penney and their health.

Optimal situation would be if the Plebs went into the ground immediately while leaving the resources they would have used to the Enlightened Club to use in a much more enlightened way.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jul 14 2022 16:00 utc | 214

Interesting analysis by US academic Michael Brennet of events since Biden POTUS - published in France this month

In French

https://cf2r.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/TL-112-Brenner.pdf


Posted by: Daniel | Jul 14 2022 16:53 utc | 215

Another pandemic coming? Maybe this is a test to see if the new WHO powers granted lately are going to be respected.

WHO Demands Return of Covid Masks

With cases of Covid-19 trending upward globally, World Health Organization Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on Tuesday for authorities to bring back masking, ventilation, and social distancing.

Speaking during a weekly briefing, Tedros stated that “the virus is running freely, and countries are not effectively managing the disease.” With the WHO concluding last week that the virus remains a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, Tedros asserted that the pandemic was “nowhere near over.”

Mask mandates and social distancing requirements were largely abandoned earlier this year, although some countries – among them China and South Korea – still require face masks in most public settings.

Subscribe to RT t.me/rtnews

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 17:09 utc | 216

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 14:50 utc | 213

Thank you for your reply, always a pleasure. I will never have your depth of knowledge because will not invest the time needed, as have noted previously and which you correctly point out. However, one can glean broad general sweeps and also can apply core principles to one's best guestimate, for even the well informed historian ends up with best guestimates on many levels given that most often the people themselves caught up in the sweep of major events are operating themselves on best guestimates with very few people able to agree on anything at all at any given time. The terrain under observation long after the fact will forever remain chaotic and messy, put it that way.

I note your observations about the unfair aspects about overly rigid class systems and basically agree although I think there are several levels such dynamics can be viewed from including spiritual/religious, zeitgeist and so forth. In other words, there are very human components in any given 'system' which do not operate according to predictable mechanical laws. There are often cultural-historical imperatives for example which are more emotional than anything else, adherence to a certain style trumping practical considerations for example.

If the lower classes are always the victims and the exploited - which certainly seems a fair description in many cases - this still acknowledges the superiority of those who are perpetrating the abuse, a superiority which has often been granted by the consent of the governed. The need for security, for a pay check, for time, for simplicity, even simple peer pressure, all contribute to the majority ceding authority to a small ruling class, be that hereditary or recently upthrust.

I guess I am pushing for a 'don't throw the baby out with the bathwater' approach along with not approaching things in an overly materialist-systemic fashion with too many top-heavy concepts determining how to interpret and then craft new realities. The concepts are always too simplistic and rigid usually creating more harm than good - and to the very people they purport to be saving from penury and pain. Also, long-established cultural norms (including but not limited to class conventions, inherited and otherwise) should not idly be jettisoned. Society is a complex, multi-faceted and multi-generational affair which defies easy comprehension.

Lots of disparate societal elements need to line up for a good polity to emerge which includes both any given governance system and how it is interwoven into the existing cultural tartan whose warp and weave tendrils back into ancestral depths beyond our immediate ken. Such fabrics need to be handled not only with care but also a certain reverence.

It seems to me, looking from afar without any first-hand experience, that Russia right now has done a good job of lining up its multifarious elements including things like agriculture, private & public property, religion, political system, military, community development, national pride, birth rate, general happiness, education and so forth. They all fit together and are rowing in the same direction. This is a very simple thing when it is working but no small thing to make happen. Russians have suffered for a long time to get to this point. (Hopefully the upcoming conflicts will not bring it all crumbling down just as it is getting good again.)

Meanwhile the West exhibits the opposite dynamics and I suspect you feel that there are many suffering from the dysfunctional, stultifying aspects of a polity producing all these thoroughly disgusting low-life billionaires and bloated, corrupt Intelligence & Bankster run 'governments.' So is the solution to just blow it all up, tear it all down and start over? Do we just get rid of all the existing Big Dogs and replace them with salt of the earth types? How do such things get determined? In the street after a riot? Or coolly over time by well-ordered revolutionary committees, or a new political Party? No easy answers.

But what I'm suggesting is that we all have to reach into the roots of ourselves and our cultures if we want to bring things back to an even keel. Perhaps overturning the whole thing is the only way. But perhaps not.

I suspect that with good leadership in the local and national context that things could turn around rapidly. So this would be revolution by moving forward positively rather than destruction. But maybe such a thing isn't possible. Very hard to say.

Again, thank you for your replies. They are much appreciated.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 17:28 utc | 217

nationalized
Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jul 13 2022 21:23 utc | 106

No. That's Krugman bullshit talking. FRB and Treasury should have let them fail. That's what happened GDIII during the magical "Bank Holiday"--which was the first opportunity ever in US history that the feds actually counted the number (> 10K) of "unregulated," state-chartered depository and credit "institutions" running fractional reserve loan operations.

Instead, all the world of depositors got was slide-rule "stress testing" myriad financial ops including compound derivative liabilites of investment banks, backed by guaranteed by central bank recapitalization of losses.

That's no way to price discovery, now is it?

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 14 2022 18:22 utc | 218

Does anybody perhaps have any idea who are those "restrainers" mentioned in the Harpers article? Trying to think of names, I can't seem to recall anyone from the foreign policy establishment pushing for any kind of restrain, at least openly.

Posted by: Lathe biosas | Jul 14 2022 19:04 utc | 219

"...If the lower classes are always the victims and the exploited - which certainly seems a fair description in many cases - this still acknowledges the superiority of those who are perpetrating the abuse, a superiority which has often been granted by the consent of the governed. The need for security, for a pay check, for time, for simplicity, even simple peer pressure, all contribute to the majority ceding authority to a small ruling class, be that hereditary or recently upthrust..."

The victims and exploited are always treated as a lower class. In a capitalist society, because capitalism depends upon exploitation on a scale that is pretty well unprecedented. In most societies exploitation is episodic and takes the form of raids by warriors on foreign communities. In feudalism this is partly institutionalised, partly a protection racket with division of labour and rarely greatly onerous. The peasants tend to rule themselves, the Lord to be largely absent, their agents heavy or light handed depending on their military resources.
The reality of feudal society was that the peasants could always run away, there was plenty of land to assart and cultivate on the other side of the hills. And plenty of Lords looking for cultivators on their land. This was a world wide phenomenon and one which James C Scott has written much about. (Parenthetically many of the 'lost tribes' discovered by anthropologists in the fifties and sixties turned out to have only been 'lost' since they ran away from the Japanese army or the Brazilian government a decade or two before they were 'found'.)
What we find with capitalism is that it re-introduces forms of slavery which had been disappearing. Of nowhere was this more true than in Poland and the Ukraine where free peasants were enserfed- 6 days a week of compulsory labour was the standard 'rent' for a holding of about 30 acres- to provide the labour needed to grow enough wheat to make the Polish lords rich by selling it to the Dutch in Danzig. It was that re-enserfment in eastern europe that is one of the keys to understanding the context from which Bandera etc emerged.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 19:05 utc | 220

It was that re-enserfment in eastern europe that is one of the keys to understanding the context from which Bandera etc emerged.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 19:05 utc | 220

Does that "understanding" include the decapitating with axis the heads of whole families (kids included) ??? I kind of doubt that the DNA of such behavior has its roots in serfdom.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jul 14 2022 19:28 utc | 221

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 19:05 utc | 220


Many of those older social contracts make little sense to us now, but then many of the social contracts we find ourselves in today are often not even perceived, let alone understood. It's a funny old world.

https://matthewehret.substack.com/p/the-bastille-day-bloodbath-that-derailed
Right on cue, along comes a nice piece by Ehret for Bastille Day, the conclusion of which goes:

"On June 23, 1789, a desperate Necker gave a message to the King saying “Sire, what you must now do is to accede to the reasonable wishes of France, and resign yourself to adopt the British constitution.” Necker’s daughter Madame de Stael who recorded this message made the point that Necker’s offer was the same that was adopted when France again became a monarchy in 1814 which coincided with the restoration of the Monarchies and the Congress of Vienna loved so dearly by Henry Kissinger.

The King would survive another 2.5 years, but by that time, Egalite’s luck had run out as the monster he unleashed consumed him too as he found his head in a guillotine on November 6, 1793.

The remaining years of the revolution were characterized by wars abroad, and chaos within. The inflammatory pens of hundreds of Anglo-Swiss radical writers maintained by Jeremy Bentham were brought in becoming the voices of rage that would steer the Jacobin terror.

Soon waves of beheadings became a normal part of life under the tyrannical authority of Maximillian Robespierre who’s “profound” philosophical contribution to the revolution was that all revolutionary citizens must be have virtue, but that virtue must be led by terror.

His bloodlust only increased leading to his conclusion that the real cause of the injustices of France was Christianity itself, leading to his creation of a new religion of perverted reason called “the Cult of the Supreme Being” and the complete overhaul of the calendar system using a decimal system. “The French Revolutionary Calendar” used 10 days/week and based itself on the seasons. The hope was that the population would soon lose all sense of the existence of Sunday and be cleansed of the parasite of superstition. Even Robespierre’s closest supporters thought he went too far with this one, and he soon found himself in a guillotine.

At the end of the day, neither the Shelburne-Orleans plan for a Jacobin King nor the Bailly-Lafayette plan for a Constitutional Monarchy panned out.

A poor shadow of a republic came into being momentarily ending the age of monarchs, but through the trauma of purgative bloodshed which killed all possible leaders. Gaspard Monge, then constructing the important École Polytechnique which played a key role in producing layers of scientific cadres and soldiers so necessary to keep France alive amidst the years of war that followed commented on the situation saying “it is better to have republicans without a republic than a republic without republicans.”

So what is the lesson to be learned?
A revolution isn’t a good or a bad thing. It is given its value based upon the effect it has on the people and the causal principle from which it originates. Contrary to popular opinion, revolutions are never spontaneous, and always occur with catalyzers drawing upon core principles of human nature and historical forces.

The FORM a government takes after a revolution is of less consequence than many today believe. If a revolution for democracy occurs anywhere in the world, what does it matter if there is a hereditary elite managing the system from above? Does that make a revolution for socialism better? Not if the leadership of the socialist revolution doesn’t really care about the good of the people. Whatever the form of government, the qualification for moral fitness is based upon its commitment to 1) the General Welfare of all of its people, and its neighbours and 2) It’s commitment to defending the unalienable rights of each individual.

Is it committed to a political-economic-cultural program founded upon the constant improvement of the minds, spirits and lives of all, or is it wired to pillage from the masses for the benefit of a few?

Keeping those questions in mind, the only REAL revolution happening on the earth today reflecting that same republican spirit of 1789 which animated Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Benjamin Franklin and Marquis Lafayette is China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the broader Eurasian Partnership now standing in defiance to a transhumanist system of global governance.

Anything trying to pass itself off as a revolution in opposition to this new dynamic, is just a sociopathic counterfeit."

+++++++++++++++++++++

This one in ways far more informed than I can muster mentions my previous concern that although various injustices which should definitely be addressed may exist perniciously for far too long, sometimes solutions are not so easy to get at given the confrontation quotient, nearly always involving significant loss of lives, they entail. Conflicts usually happen because various parties with various interests cannot come to mutual accord (the causative failure of leadership) at which point each side tries to win their interests by weakening or destroying the parties seemingly blocking them, sometimes by only subterfuge but usually also by violent force. Such violence tends to be erratic, throwing up plethora of unexpected consequences, often several iterations of which; any original clarity is often lost in the heady mists of enraged blood lust. And so it goes.

He identifies key principles at the end which are currently being modeled by the Eurasian axis. As always, my only hope is that they will walk their talk as has so seldom happened in the past. The threat of nuclear Armageddon has hopefully served to focus the various strategy sessions conducted often over the past twenty years in preparation for this historic unraveling of which we are now all a part.

I also note in passing that just as with the later Russian revolution, a reign of terror ensued in which an attempt was made to purge the national religion from consciousness, which is always an ultimate betrayal of any fundamental justice and humanitarian decency there may have been at the beginning of what later became an extremely unfortunate exercise. Such things cannot always be lain at the feet of hostile others. They are the responsibility of those who decided to awake the Beast in order to achieve change by force what argument and persuasion failed to effect.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 19:29 utc | 222

It was that re-enserfment in eastern europe that is one of the keys to understanding the context from which Bandera etc emerged.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 19:05 utc | 220

Well bevin I'm unwilling to give an easy pass to the Bandera loving crowd in the Failed State. Decapitating (and even worst) whole families ,with kids included, suggests to me that there is a DNA component present with those willing to take such action. That's cruelty of an extreme nature that can not be explained away as being due to "serfdom".

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jul 14 2022 19:51 utc | 223

This is happening now 2022...

Ten million’s colleges graduate looking for jobs in China year 2022 and after China "GAOKAO" China equivalent SAT or ACT.... and yet our NeoLiberal and NeoCon ganging up with the QUAD, AUKUS and NATO to destroy China with regimes changed... my questions can these so call gangs able find jobs for the more than ten millions job seekers let alone feed them? What happens the last few decade... Afghan, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Libya, Iraq even if combines would be pale in comparison.... think about it will ya? And these job seekers are by no mean.. any students these are the creams of crops brightest and hardest working...

Sichuan universities taking measures to help graduates find jobs.mp4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiZG0zumlFA

Posted by: JC | Jul 14 2022 19:55 utc | 224

Tom_12@222
I'm far from excusing the Bandera fascists. I am simply pointing out that to understand the origins of the ethnic divides in western ukraine it is helpful to bear in mind the history of the place and its people.
Many people are unaware that as serfdom was breaking up in western europe it was beginning all over again the the east, while in America new forms of slavery were being introduced. And in every case the cause was largely the development of a market economy for commodities and long distance trade, leading to plantations, slave dealing and an intensification of labour services.
To understand all is not necessarily to forgive all.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 20:37 utc | 225

I just received private information from Ottawa Truckers that under German MEP Christine Anderson watch, there is an ongoing process of transatlantic unification between Europe and Canadian - and possibly US - protests against C0vid restrictions of public liberties ...

Posted by: Greg Galloway | Jul 14 2022 20:44 utc | 226

Scorpion I will have to read Ehret. I'm afraid that I rarely do so because he seems given to rehashing the peculiar and strained theories that attribute diabolical powers to the Mountbatten, formerly Saxe Coburg family. Them and the Rockefellers and, our old friends, the Rothschilds.
I'm guessing that the "Shelburne-Orleans plan for a Jacobin King" falls into the same category but I'll see, my mind is open but not empty.
Thanks for the reference is it at Strategic Culture?

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 20:45 utc | 227

And in every case the cause was largely the development of a market economy for commodities and long distance trade, leading to plantations, slave dealing and an intensification of labour services.
To understand all is not necessarily to forgive all.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 20:37 utc | 224

I'm not buying that.

I'd highlight the fact that the scumbags who were willing to tie kids with barbwire are closely rooted to Cossacks/Turks/Mongols/Khazars. Yes, this crowd had very high standards when it came to dealing with people that they considered expandable, that no amount of white washing will wash it clean. The Failed State in the West has a disproportionate number of such scumbags that require special treatment that only Russia can met out. The Westerns just don't get it as they are still dealing with the redefinition of what is a "women".

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jul 14 2022 20:51 utc | 228

And in every case the cause was largely the development of a market economy for commodities and long distance trade, leading to plantations, slave dealing and an intensification of labour services.
To understand all is not necessarily to forgive all.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 14 2022 20:37 utc | 224

I don't buy it.

The problem in my opinion has it's roots in the fact that this "extreme" element in the Western part of the Failed State has it's roots in the mentality of the Cossacks/Mongols/Khazars/Turks blood that curses through their veins. A crowd that would see few problems stringing barbed-wire around kids it considered to be its enemies. So whitewashing them with "market forces" is typical Western Liberal Reasoning, "If only they had equal access to service then ....". BS, this element is savage on an elemental level. Giving them whatever will change nothing, they will simply ask for more. That is why Russia needs to do what it needs to do to deal with such people.

Posted by: Tom_12 | Jul 14 2022 21:03 utc | 229

@bevin:
years ago I read a book by John Robison published in 1798. Here's the title page text:
"PROOFS
OF A
CONSPIRACY
AGAINST ALL THE
RELIGIONS AND GOVERNMENTS
OF
EUROPE,
CARRIED ON
IN THE SECRET MEETINGS
OF
FREE MASONS, ILLUMINATI,
AND
READING SOCIETIES,
COLLECTED FROM GOOD AUTHORITIES,
BY JOHN ROBISON, A. M.

+++++++++++

So of course could all be hogwash. I keep meaning to read it again after years of further experience with all this stuff but can never be bothered. As far as I know it actually WAS written back then, so that's something.

In any case, it seems there really were secret societies for quite some time, some of them dedicated to overcoming kings and/or aristocracy, others the church, others to create momentum for change and so forth and of course many were run by Jewish people to give them access to influence which they could not achieve outside such milieus. I suspect most of the older ones either faded away due to failure or irrelevance whilst others are now part of the status quo power structures making them no longer necessary. That said, have no doubt there are still various secret networks pulling strings today although have no interest in trying to determine who, what, why, when, where.

Still: I betcha the French Revolution had wheels within wheels in the mix and also the Russian. But just like with the latter, have no inclination to put enough time in to penetrate all those mysteries. He says that basically a pro-republican King working to establish representative government greatly reducing the power of the Crown got screwed when the English Imperialists fifth columned the delicate process ending up with the execution of said monarch and a ghastly right royal bloody mess afterwards in which all sides lost.

I read years ago that 25% of all young men under the age of 40 (or some such) perished in the 20 years following the revolution and also that the starvation story was over-hyped by the secret society types who were angling for regime change. But maybe that's more disinfo...

One thing for Ehret I'll say though: his level of knowledge of so much in the past reminds me of..... oh yes!... bevin at MoA!! So even if you don't like his theory (just like I don't like some of yours), I suspect it's derived from far more knowledge and information that your typical noob like Scorpion!

The article I got from his substack page which anyone can subscribe to quickly for free. I believe the link I sent takes you there.

He had a good one yesterday on the Silk Road:
https://matthewehret.substack.com/p/the-russia-china-polar-silk-road

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 21:15 utc | 230

A last ehret from 2 days ago (my, he's prolific!):

https://matthewehret.substack.com/p/todays-multi-polar-potential-and

Today's Multi polar Potential & the Missed Chance of 1867

Matthew Ehret
Jul 12

[Intro: ]

"Today’s world is shaped in many ways by similar dynamics shaping the world of 1867.

Today, just as in 1867, two systems pull mankind in two opposing directions while a global system of empire teeters on the brink of collapse.

Today, just as in 1867, the center of that failing empire is found in the City of London and its junior partners on Wall Street and even though it wasn’t known as “deep state” in 1867, the Anglo-American operations that assassinated Lincoln from Montreal Canada, while manipulating wars globally was essentially the same perverse force mis-shaping the natural tendency of civilization to cooperate, learn and progress together.

Just as in 1867, today’s world will either face a hellish slide into chaos by holding onto that dying imperial system, OR a new multi polar system may yet become the hegemonic replacement ushering in a new age of progress and cooperation amongst sovereign nations of the world.

While today’s defenders of the nation state system are based principally in Eurasia, the 19th century champions of this multi polar system had names like Henry C. Carey, William Seward, Ulysses Grant, Czar Alexander II and William Gilpin.

Whether we observe today’s Belt and Road Initiative, International North South Transport Corridor and Polar Silk Road as well as the 19th century global spread of Lincoln’s system of protective tariffs, productive credit, rail building and inter-connectivity, the British Empire was (and is) desperate to destroy this potential by any means. How could breaking this emergent system occur when the bonds of Russian-American friendship were at their apex by the end of the Civil War? Russia had, after all, saved the Union via the deployment of Russian fleets to San Francisco and New York while American engineers were offering their gratitude by assisting in vast Russian rail projects modeled on Lincoln’s Trans Continental Railway. It was known by leading statesmen of the time that the world’s two first continental rail systems (trans Siberian and America) would soon link together via the Bering Strait tunnel and this grand project was brought ever closer to realization by Russia’s 1867 sale of Alaska to the USA.

Britain was moving fast to keep control of her prized American colonies which were strategically vital not only to run operations on the lost colonies of 1776, but also to maintain a wall of division between the historic affection between the great Eurasian cultures and rebellious republic. The fact that the British North America Act was written out while America’s Civil War was still waging to the south in Charlottetown in 1864 (though would not be enacted until July 1, 1867) should not be lost on anyone.

It was a race against time, however as 9 out of 10 British Columbians living in the isolated colony of the Pacific rejected joining the newly confederated eastern colonies with whom they had no connection and were separated by 3000 km of Private Hudson Bay Company land. These British Columbians, living in abject squalor after the collapse of the Gold Rush bubbles of 1858, clamored loudly for annexation to the USA and even formally presented two annexation petitions to the Queen in 1867 and again in 1869.

Why did the planned rail connection from America to Russia via the Bering Straits fail? Why did British Columbia end up joining Confederation in 1871 and why did Lincoln’s allies in Canada fall from power before the Civil War had ended? While Britain’s “Southern Confederacy” failed, her “Northern Confederacy” succeeded. Why? How did Russia save America during the war and how do these lessons help us navigate through the tumultuous waters of our present age?

All of these questions and more will be addressed in this Untold History of Canada lecture:
https://youtu.be/8fCp1-tS45g
"

Based on what little I've read I believe he is correct not to depict the Tzar as a monster like the Bolsheviks did and which most people today regard as basically accurate.

The progressive French King who helped start a republican reform process in France got executed for his troubles. Something similar happened to the Romanovs who later have been unfairly depicted as moronic tyrants devoid of any virtues.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 21:31 utc | 231

In any case, it seems there really were secret societies for quite some time, some of them dedicated to overcoming kings and/or aristocracy, others the church, others to create momentum for change and so forth and of course many were run by Jewish people to give them access to influence which they could not achieve outside such milieus.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 21:15 utc | 228

Long ago, I read a book called Codeword Barbelon by Stuart, which detailed the founding, mission, misdeeds, and consequent vast influence of the Jesuits. I found it well-documented and persuasive, although I was a bit irritated by the author's lapses into condescension toward the reader.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 14 2022 22:54 utc | 232

@Tom Pfotzer | Jul 13 2022 14:24 utc | 7

Tom, this was some hard-hitting, incisive commentary. I spend a lot of time thinking about this very question and you've provided some great grist for the mill. Thanks for this and for your contributions on MOA. I come here primarily to learn, but as often as not I'm delighted to find some first rate writing. I was very impressed with the writing quality of the two linked Harpers pieces. IMO, Big name journals often have some incredible writers, irrespective of their politics.

That said, I liked your post so much I excerpted it in it's entirety to save other readers the scroll-back. Thanks again.

Boomhauer

"What's next?

First the fits-and-starts of acknowledging reality internally. That'll take a lot of to-and-fro of very powerful political tides. Mag articles are interestingly new, but the re-pointing of the ship of state entails a lot of oxen getting gored.

Not just the existing revenue streams (rent extractions), but also all that debt that's collateralized by those rent streams. That's a problem.

Many of our rich people have to figure out who to dump Defense stocks upon. That takes time, and much bickering.

So does setting up the new boondoggles. The Wurlitzer is gonna get a workout.

Then there's the question of "how do we extract rents, and from whom, if our intn'l extraction taps have busted out? (Russia, China, etc.)"

That question has to get answered, and the cynic in me says, in addition to new boondoggles domestically, there's the likely burgeoning of interest in the near-international. Think Canada, central America, and South America.

They may be about to become our even-better friends.

As raised last-thread, there is the perennial question of "how is a decent citizen to act in the face of all this stupid?".

We'll get plenty of chance to address that question in the next few years.
Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Jul 13 2022 14:24 utc | 7"

Posted by: Boomhauer | Jul 15 2022 1:16 utc | 233

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 14 2022 21:31 utc | 229

"...Based on what little I've read I believe he is correct not to depict the Tzar as a monster like the Bolsheviks did and which most people today regard as basically accurate..."
The Tsar, in question was known as the Tsar Liberator presiding as he did over the freeing of serfs. The Bolsheviks didn't come into existence until 40 years later. It is true that Alexander's son and successor had Lenin's older brother executed (for attempting to assassinate him!) so there were hard feelings between the two families, still...The 'liberation' incidentally, came at a very high price to the serfs who had, essentially to give a third of their land away and pay for the rest in full. It was the mortgages, still going strong in 1917, that made the Bolshevik land policy very popular.

"...Today, just as in 1867, the center of that failing empire is found in the City of London and its junior partners on Wall Street and even though it wasn’t known as “deep state” in 1867, the Anglo-American operations that assassinated Lincoln from Montreal Canada, while manipulating wars globally was essentially the same perverse force mis-shaping the natural tendency of civilization to cooperate, learn and progress together..."
Ehret specialises in half truths-neither The City nor Westminster had anything to do with the assassination of Lincoln. And certainly no Montreal authority was involved. The confederates benefitted in the shape of the Johnson Presidency and confederate sympathisers including Booth were responsible. As to the battle between Wall St and The City, there was none: as late as 1896 Cleveland was being criticised for being a tool of The City and-wait for it- The Rothschilds, but the dispute was over the gold standard "The white man with the yellow metal versus the yellow man with the white metal."

"..The progressive French King who helped start a republican reform process in France got executed for his troubles...."
The reference here is to the Duc D'Orleans, the King's cousin, 'Phillipe Egalite' who got guillotined. His son, Louis Phillipe spent some happy years in Philadelphia where, inter alia, he met Matthew Carey the Irish newspaperman whose son Henry was one of the founders of the American System., which Friedrich List took back to Germany.

"...Something similar happened to the Romanovs who later have been unfairly depicted as moronic tyrants devoid of any virtues..."
This really is typical of Ehret- some Romanovs undoubtedly were morons, others were equally clearly, extremely able. Nicholas II was not in the second category.
Ehret is I believe the legatee of the late Lyndon Larouche. Have you come across him?

Posted by: bevin | Jul 15 2022 2:40 utc | 234

Tom_12@227
Ironically your racialist theory is a mirror image of that developed by the Galician fascists who regarded the Russians and their Ukrainian brothers as those through whose veins coursed "Cossacks/Mongols/Khazars/Turks blood.." as to opposed to the pure Scandinavian/Germanic blood of the Bandera boys.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 15 2022 2:43 utc | 235

Ehret is I believe the legatee of the late Lyndon Larouche. Have you come across him?
Posted by: bevin | Jul 15 2022 2:40 utc | 232

LOL!
Funny 'cause it's a plausible alternative to Leo STRAUSS, master of all satanic rituals practiced by grande bourgeois philospher enemies of the One Singularity.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 15 2022 14:20 utc | 236

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