Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Zachary Keck — Chinese Democracy: A ‘Nightmare’ Scenario for US

A democratic China would be a nightmare for the West, according to a leading former Southeast Asian former diplomat. 
One of the paradoxes for the West is that it is better off with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in power in China, Kishore Mahbubani, the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore and that country’s former UN ambassador, told a D.C. audience on Tuesday. 
Noting that the general consensus in the United States has long been that a liberal democratic China would be a more responsible global power, Mahbubani warned Americans to be careful what they wish for. 
“There is a strong nationalist sentiment in China” that derives from the view that China suffered a century of humiliation at the hands of Western and other foreign powers, Mahbubani pointed out. This sentiment is not relegated to the fringe of society; in fact, this conviction is often strongest among highly educated Chinese elites, especially those who have studied abroad in places like the United States and Europe. 
The CCP currently keeps this nationalist sentiment in check, Mahbubani said. These forces would be unleashed, however, if China became a liberal democracy, which would be a “nightmare” for the Western world. 
“I have no doubt that doubt China as a liberal democracy would be a much more nationalist, much more dangerous country” because “200 years of pent up anger” would explode, Mahbubani predicted…
The Diplomat
Chinese Democracy: A ‘Nightmare’ Scenario for US
Zachary Keck

Counter Current News Police Destroy LEGALLY Painted Mural of Mike Brown, Because It ‘Sent the Wrong Message’

The mural was created by artists in Trenton, New Jersey on the gate to a vacant storefront. 
Permission of the proper authorities was even obtained before the mural was created, just to make sure that there was no reason for it to be destroyed later by police.
But that didn’t seem to thwart officers who decided to get involved, even though no laws had been broken by the artists who created the mural.
Monday afternoon, the mural was defaced, then painted over after Trenton police said that the painting “sent the wrong message about community and police relations.”
Watch the video of the illegal destruction of this legal artwork by police suppressing freedom of speech!
Counter Current News
Police Destroy LEGALLY Painted Mural of Mike Brown, Because It ‘Sent the Wrong Message’

Peter Radford — Why No Labor Controversy?

Surely labor is as muddled a concept as capital.…
To me, at least, the old fashioned triad of inputs into the basic economic production equation – land, labor, and capital – are all so imprecise as to leave any output from those equations subject to enormous doubt. 
What, exactly, do we mean by them? 
What capital? What labor? and what land [land includes natural resources]? 
It is no wonder, then, that even the most heroic attempts at understanding the great curve towards modern prosperity that began a couple of hundred years ago fall farcically short. They don’t take into account to drivers of such prosperity, they depend upon archaic notions and such imprecise measures that they cannot hope to succeed.…
I understand the desire to compress human endeavor into simple formulae in the attempt to trace the arc of progress, but I think we all would benefit from a clearer understanding of what needs to be compressed. For economics to fit more neatly within the same world as the more basic sciences it needs to look through the lens of energy conversion, at work, and at the flow of information that results from both. Using land, labor, and capital makes that next to impossible. Some combination of energy, raw material, and knowledge would be a step in the right direction.
But economics is too path dependent to make such a shift. So we are stuck with pointless controversies, and inputs so vague that they obscure rather than illuminate the basic economic process called growth.
Peter Radford takes the business school approach to economics. Like what are the numbers actually, and what do they mean for meeting objectives according to plan.

The Radford Free Press
Why No Labor Controversy?
Peter Radford

Joachin Flores — Will Serbia Turn to the East? The Real Significance of Putin’s Visit

What the post doesn't mention is that Serbia is not only Slavic rather than Euopean but also Orthodox rather than Catholic-Protestant. The old national and regional rivalries are arising anew as the post WWII and Cold War order breaks down. And again, Germany is a lynchpin.

Oriental Review
Will Serbia Turn to the East? The Real Significance of Putin’s VisitJoachin Flores

digby — Testing the attacks for 2016 - the fear factor

“There is a phenomenon that I haven’t seen in my lifetime, and that is this fear factor, whether it’s Ebola or the wars,” said Ed Rollins, a Republican who directed Ronald Reagan’s 1984 presidential re-election campaign. 
“If there wasn’t the overarching fear out there, you couldn’t run this without being painted as anti-woman,” Rollins said. “It’s a subtle or not-so-subtle way of saying: These candidates are not as strong as they should be.”
Testing the attacks for 2016

Živadin Jovanović — Global Justice or World Domination

Almost imperceptibly, the war marketing evolved into a new discipline. It seems that we got accustomed to that “science” very quickly and underestimating the risks. At present, even the non-professionals can easily recognize the pattern of preparing, propagating, and justifying all kinds of aggressions and instigating civil wars. The process comprises these steps: choosing the target; demonizing its legitimate leadership via the media; promises of democracy and fast “better life” that serve to disorientate the public; funding and, as necessary, arming the “pro-democratic” opposition; intensification of destabilizing actions of the NGOs; staging massacres/poisoning by chemical warfare/humanitarian disasters, i.e.: event brands like “Markale” in Sarajevo, “Racak” in Kosovo and Metohija, “Majdan” in Kiev; then follows instigating civil wars or armed aggression; toppling legitimate authorities; installing “pro-democratic” opposition in power; and, finally, assuming the target country’s natural and economic resources by the corporations and even by individuals from administrations of the aggressor countries by the so-called transition, also known as the predatory privatizations. 
One of disturbing contemporary phenomena is a very extensive interpretation of the notion of national interests. The USA was the first to appropriate the right to proclaim its national interests in practical terms, in any corner of the Planet, and to defend them by armed force. European partners followed suite. Particular attention provoke statements of Joachim Gauck, President of Germany, that Germany must be ready to defend its national interests abroad by force, if needed. State sovereignty over its natural resources is derogated. Brzezinski and Albright openly claim that natural resources in Siberia cannot belong to Russia only, but rather to the so-called international community! The claims for redistribution of natural wealth of the planet are clearly articulated. Here, one may recall the consequences the humanity suffered owing to German ambitions for redistribution of colonies in the run-up to the World War I.… 
Another great danger for the contemporary world stems from the presence of power centers which believe they are destined to govern the word, and entrusted with this mission by providence. They hold anyone else in the planet to be handicapped and obliged to do as told and obey directives of the “exceptional” ones. Such centers do not recognize profound changes bringing new distribution of global power. They apply the logic of uni-polar world order not recognizing that this concept is gone and that the history cannot be stopped. 
Therefore, having regard to the lessons of history, we may conclude, that it is not the time to seek privileges and domination by force; it is in the interest of humanity to accommodate to the new multi-polar reality, to accept righteous compromises and work for peace.
One can argue whether this is true, but what is evident is that it is a growing perception.

Global Research
Global Justice or World Domination
Živadin Jovanović

Eric Lorber and Elizabeth Rosenberg — Don't Mistake Russia for Iran

With sanctions beginning to bite, Russia is starting to play a new economic game. To alleviate the pain of Western restrictions on its financial and energy sectors, Russia is turning for help to non-Western partners. Last week alone, Russia and China signed over 40 agreements that provide Russian firms with lines of credit worth billions of dollars and establish strategic partnerships in the energy sector. 
The United States, in turn, is looking to step up its own game. Policymakers are considering giving global companies a choice: stop providing long-term financing and energy assistance to major Russian companies or be kicked out of the U.S. financial system. Such measures resemble the sanctions the United States placed on Iran a couple of years ago. But Iran was a different problem. And treating Russia the same way would be a mistake.…
More generally, policymakers in the United States should be wary of continually relying on sanctions that penalize foreign firms by preventing their access to U.S. markets. Ultimately, such a strategy could backfire. At some point, foreign companies may decide that doing business in U.S. markets -- and being subject to U.S. sanctions policies -- is simply not worth it.…
 Foreign Affairs
Don't Mistake Russia for Iran
Eric Lorber and Elizabeth Rosenberg

Robert Skidelsky — The Moral Economy of Debt

The moral of the tale is not, as Polonius instructed his son Laertes, “neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Without both, humanity might still be living in caves. Rather, we need to limit the supply of and demand for credit to what the economy is capable of producing. How to do this and maintain freedom of enterprise is one of the great unsettled questions of political economy.
Project Syndicate
The Moral Economy of Debt
Robert Skidelsky, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords

Mark Gongloff — All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone

The middle-class share of American wealth has been shrinking for the better part of three decades and recently fell to its lowest level since 1940, according to a new studyby economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics….
In this case, "middle class" is defined rather expansively as the bottom 90 percent of all Americans. "Wealth" is the total of home equity, stock and bond holdings, pension plans and other assets, minus debt. As such assets are mostly owned by mid- to higher-income households -- and considering most Americans define themselves as "middle-class" -- it seems reasonable to use the bottom 90 percent as a proxy for the "middle class."…
Debt has been the big force driving net wealth lower for the middle class, according to Saez and Zucman. Brief bubbles in stock and home prices in the 1990s and 2000s only temporarily offset the steady, depressing rise in mortgage, student-loan, credit-card and other debts for the bottom 90 percent.
The Huffington Post
All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone
Mark Gongloff

Neo-Liberals to Bill Mitchell: "Let Them Eat Snake-Oil" (but that don't make no sense!)

   (Commentary posted by Roger Erickson)

In his latest blog, Bill Mitchell reviews data which does NOT support the std presumption of Neo-Liberals, i.e., that there is a "skills mismatch" leaving dynamic capitalists with jobs to fill, but no "employable" peasants to hire.

Overwhelming data indicates that there are not enough buyers to induce more production. Diners can't eat more when their belt is too tight. And vendors can't sell when main street buyers aren't allowed liquidity units to buy with. There's more to banking than just hoarding currency past the point of social utility. Fiat currency supply is supposed to automatically FOLLOW aggregate demand, and NOT be a tool for suppressing it. Is anti-fiat in our dictionary yet?
US labour market beset by massive job shortages
The Neo-Liberals claim the public is unfit to use it's own initiative?

How convenient, when those same oligarchs have maladaptively laid claim to the vast majority of our present capital - static, dynamic, human or otherwise - while also spouting an unending stream of dire messages warning us not to express any more Public Initiative, aka, fiat.

Marie Antoinette might be personally proud of their defiance, but I can't for the life of me understand WHY Marie or the present Neo-Liberals see any evolutionary logic in their own behaviors.

History suggests that it will not be kind to either flavor of venal hoarder, whether Aristocratic or Neo-Liberal.

These people are a mistake that's already happened. We can't gain by letting them or us just sit on the static measures of our Public Initiative. A culture sitting on it's collective butt is going nowhere. Especially if it's entire purpose for it's inactivity is to "save initiative." As any peasant would tell you, "that don't make no sense."

What kind of idiot truly believes that we as a people can run out of public initiative, aka, fiat, denominated as fiat currency units? Can math students run out of numerals? Can atoms run out of photons or bosons to exchange?

If the Neo-Liberals aren't that dumb, then they're that criminal, for trying to promote an idea that even they don't believe.

Either way, why on Earth does an electorate possessing so much American ingenuity put up with such idiocy?

We the people can make as much lunch as we want. We merely need Desired Outcomes worthy of our distributed talents. If we just continuously express our growing, distributed initiative, then even the 1% can't continue eating our lunch forever. They'll simply burst - or at least fail to capture it all.

They're already hoarding obscene amounts which are close to killing them just with the stress of guarding it.

And then they have the audacity to tell us that WE must cut back public initiative, so that their hoard of our initiative won't "decrease in value." Maybe exorcists could convince us to stop our head-spinning attempts to swallow their snake-oil logic?

Just what the hell is the Neo-Liberal measure of adaptive value? They can sit on all the static and dynamic assets they want. The only outcome is that they'll soon die with fat asses and sclerosed semi-brains.

Such brains are already obsolete. The rest of us just have to start acting like owners of our own Public Initiative, and find some Desired Outcomes (Public Purpose) that has more meaning than simply over-feeding Neo-Liberals waxing fat on dumb.

Let them choke on their snake-oil.

Dmitry Orlov — How to start a war and lose an empire

Dmitiry Orlov parses the US-Russian relationship.
It's a new, mixed-mode sort of war. It's not a total war to the death, although the US is being rather incautious by the old Cold War standards in avoiding a nuclear confrontation. It's an information war—based on lies and unjust vilification; it's a financial and economic war—using sanctions; it's a political war—featuring violent overthrow of elected governments and support for hostile regimes on Russia's borders; and it's a military war—using ineffectual but nevertheless insulting moves such as stationing a handful of US troops in Estonia. And the goals of this war are clear: it is to undermine Russia economically, destroy it politically, dismember it geographically, and turn it into a pliant vassal state that furnishes natural resources to the West practically free of charge (with a few hand-outs to a handful of Russian oligarchs and criminal thugs who play ball). But it doesn't look like any of that is going to happen because, you see, a lot of Russians actually get all that, and will choose leaders who will not win any popularity contests in the West but who will lead them to victory.…
Club Orlov
How to start a war and lose an empire
Dmitry Orlov

China Hand — C.Y. Leung Harshing On the Poors Maybe Not as Dumb as You Think

Neoliberalism rules. The elite know that neoliberalism and democracy are incompatible.

China Matters
C.Y. Leung Harshing On the Poors Maybe Not as Dumb as You Think
China Hand

Vladimir Golstein — Ukraine's Descent into Fascism and How the West Turns a Blind Eye

Vladimir Golstein is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages at Brown University, an American Ivy League university. 
We have decided to publish this article in full, since it is by far the best description we know of the rise of fascism in Ukraine.

The author, who is a top US scholar, shows that Ukrainian fascism is not the fringe phenomenon that western governments and media say it is, but that is central to Ukrainian politics and is the key to understanding Ukraine’s political crisis and the way that crisis is evolving as the situation in the country worsens.

He shows by drawing on the latest academic scholarship that the fascism currently loose in Ukraine is fascism in its classic form, identical to the fascism of that existed in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and that like that fascism it disguises its racist and genocidal agenda behind slogans of anti-communism. He describes how the racist hatred that drives Ukrainian fascism is focused on Russia and Russians and expresses itself with the same genocidal language against Russians that fascists of the 1930s and 1940s used against Slavs and Jews.
The author shows that western governments and media, their judgement already clouded by their hostility to Russia, have allowed themselves to be beguiled by Ukrainian fascism’s anti-communist slogans and insincere “Europeanism” so that they turn a blind eye both to its reality and to its actions, with potentially disastrous results as the situation in Ukraine worsens.
Russia Insider
Ukraine's Descent into Fascism and How the West Turns a Blind Eye
Vladimir Golstein | Associate Professor of Slavic Languages at Brown University

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vivian Belik — A Town Without Poverty?

Canada's only experiment in guaranteed income finally gets reckoning
The Dominion
A Town Without Poverty?
Vivian Belik
h/t Jan Milch

David F. Ruccio — Piketty and the principle of taxation

As it turns out, while working on a new research project (on “Utopia and the Marxian Critique of Political Economy,” for aconference in November), I chanced upon a much earlier discussion of wealth taxes: a speech given by Friedrich Engelson 8 February 1845 in Elberfeld. 
Engels argued that communists had no intention of introducing “common ownership overnight and against the will of the nation.” Still, it was possible to move in the direction of “practical communism” by adopting certain measures—such as “general education of all children without exception at the expense of the state” and “a complete reorganisation of the Poor Relief System.”
"Both these measures require money. In order to raise it and at the same time replace all the present, unjustly distributed taxes, the present reform plan proposes a general, progressive tax on capital, at a rate increasing with the size of the capital. In this way, the burden of public administration would be shared by everyone according to his ability and would no longer fall mainly on the shoulders of those least able to bear it, as has hitherto been the case in all countries. For the principle of taxation is, after all, a purely communist one, since the right to levy taxes is derived in all countries from so-called national property. For either private property is sacrosanct, in which case there is no such thing as national property and the state has no right to levy taxes, or the state has this right, in which case private property is not sacrosanct, national property stands above private property, and the state is the true owner. This latter principle is the one generally accepted — well then, gentlemen; for the present we demand only that this principle be taken seriously, that the state proclaim itself the common owner and, as such, administer public property for the public good, and that as the first step, it introduce a system of taxation based solely on each individual’s ability to pay taxes and on the real public good."
Occasional Links & Commentary
Piketty and the principle of taxation
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics University of Notre Dame Notre Dame

Daniel W. Drezner — Five known unknowns about the future of the global economy

  1. The Summers/Gordon Question about growth rate
  2. The Eichengreen/Rodrik Question about global convergence
  3. The Angell/Gartzke Question about the future of trade in globalization
  4. The Fukuyama/Kirshner Question about the superiority of economic liberalism
  5. The Piketty/Freeland question about inequality
The Washington Post
Five known unknowns about the future of the global economy
Daniel W. Drezner | Professor of International Politics, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a contributing editor at the Washington Post
h/t Brad DeLong

Wolf Richter — What NCR just Said about the American Retail Quagmire

Retail demand tanking.
NCR, a thermometer into the retail industry beyond the latest sales statistics, has noticed that brick-and-mortar retailers are cutting back. And they’re not just cutting back buying point-of-sale devices; they’re cutting back, period. “Ongoing retail consolidation,” Nuti called it. And some are using bankruptcy courts to do it.
Wolf Street
What NCR just Said about the American Retail Quagmire
Wolf Richter

Shannon Tiezzi — Hong Kong's Leader: Univeral Suffrage Threatens Business Interests

Chief Executive CY Leung said that universal suffrage could turn Hong Kong into a welfare state.
Channeling Michael Bloomberg and Occupy Wall Street.

The Diplomat
Hong Kong's Leader: Univeral Suffrage Threatens Business Interests
Shannon Tiezzi

Igor Strelkov replies to Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Today I am submitting to your attention two interesting documents. A speech by "ex-oligarch and mobster now turned democratic activist" Mikhail Khodorkovsky and a reply to that speech by Igor Strelkov. 
Make no mistake, there is a war going on. True, it has not yet turned into a shooting war with armies on both sides unleashing their power, but this is a war nevertheless. This war opposes, on one hand, the 1% ruling elites of the AngloZionist Empire and their allies in Russia - we can call them the "5th column" or the "Atlantic Integrationists" - and on the other hand, the Russian "Eurasian Sovereignists" and their allies in the rest of the world, including the many supporters of a sovereign and independent Russia in the West. This war has many "fronts" including, of course, the one between in Novorussia and Banderastan, but there are many more. There is one in Syria, Iran and Iraq. There is another one right inside the EU. There is another front in Far East Asia, along the Taiwan Strait, and yet another one in Latin America. In the recent past, these fronts could also be found running across the Serbian Krajina in Croatia, the border between Israel and Lebanon and in Chechnia. In fact, this is the first truly a *planetary war* and there are "fronts" everywhere. Even the Muslim "umma" is deeply split between those who support (US backed) Saudi Wahabism and those who oppose it (lead by Iran).

Right now, the most important one of these fronts runs across the Donbass, but this can change tomorrow.
One of these fronts runs across the Russian society. Khodorkovsky is the iconic symbol and spokesman for the "Atlantic Integrationist" camp while Strelkov is the iconic symbol and spoksman for the "Eurasian Sovereignist" camp. Please read both of their manifestos and compare them - you will see that the differences between these two worldviews are not only deep, they are mutually irreconcilable.

MK: "A return to the European values that lie at the foundation of the Euro-Atlantic civilization, – a mental and political return – is the starting point for the new political course that could help Russia work its way out of the historical snare it is now in. Russia has just two ways it can go – forward into the post-industrial era together with Europe, or back into the Middle Ages , and after that into outright non-existence.…

"The ruling regime is turning Russia into a Chinese protectorate. This is not even a question of the annexation of Siberia,. Today it would be enough just for Siberia to be completely locked in on China, which for all intents and purposes is going to be sucking resources out of it for free, like from a colony."

IS: " Speaking about "the European values", you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, either don't understand or just pretend that you don't understand) that they have no relation to the real Values, traditional for Europe. They are revived today in Russia by the President Putin. And those "values" which are imposed by world financial oligarchy as "European", today are causing hundred thousand-strong protest actions in Europe. When last time, more than 20 years ago, the management of the USSR decided "to turn" to these so-called "values", the country was split, as a result, plundered and humiliated, and the Russian people suddenly appeared to be the largest divided nation in the world. From the moment of coming to power Putin started correcting catastrophe of the 90th: to subdue absolute power of oligarchy, to nationalize elite, to restore the destroyed economy.…

"Your hatred to Putin brought you into a camp of enemies not only personally of the President, but into a camp of enemies of the Russian state and all Russian people. How can you dare to reproach Putin that he stood up to defense of the people of the Crimea and Novorossiya, didn't allow the Ukrainian nazis supported by the West to establish over the Crimea and Donbass a bloody dictatorship? After all Russians protecting themselves and their lifes. You accuse the victims that they allegedly have the nerve to defend themselves. The third world war is excluded while Russia is strong and rather powerful to guarantee, hence asymmetric, but strategic parity and while there are people in charge, who are not ready to trade off their country and the people for promises to be part of supranational financial elite.…

"Such things which you talking about, as "the European values and the euroatlantic civilization", not only has no relation to Russia, but directly contradicts our national history, psychology, destiny. Europe departed from its own Christian values long ago, having plunged into the abyss of the most vile defects, and eulogized "euroatlanticism" is no more than the geopolitical doctrine of USA global domination, directed against the people of the whole world still keeping own religion, the sovereignty and national traditions. Russia was twice affected already in recent times with leprosy of "the progressive European ideas" and was heavy injured by mad hobbies of its own elites and intellectuals,has two roads today : either to return to itself, anew to find the Faith, the tradition, the values, the sovereignty or be dissolved in the global West, get into slavery and to disappear as a civilization, having lost everything. I will emphasize again, what outstanding hypocrisy Mr. Khodorkovsky, you possess when you regret about lost art, literature, science, space and other achievements of imperial and Soviet "totalitarian past". Truly, "the wolf feel sorry for a horse – left tail and mane"! But even if we assume that something told by you is remotely true, I ask you to learn history a little: Russia received Christian Faith not from the Catholic West, but from the orthodox East – directly from East Roman Empire Byzantium, which remained the keeper of true Christianity throughout the whole millennium . However, how can you argue about Christian Faith?

"The values spread by world financial oligarchy ("European", "euroatlantic", "universal", etc.) – these are values of the national states elimination and radical cancellation of anything that bears a faint resemblance of social justice. Here, Mr. Khodorkovsky, you are either ignorant or conscious liar. Well about "ignorance" I'm saying "for the sake of a witty remark", as I have no illusions concerning defects in your education. Liberalism which you defend, has as the ultimate goal total globalization, leveling of all people and religious communities under one consumer "comb" and the statement of the power of world financial oligarchy in process of abolition of all historically developed states (the project of the European Union – the first step in this direction). In the sphere of economic policy liberalism not only in practice, but in the theory rigidly denies social justice. Freedom of the market about which liberals go on, is incompatible with redistribution of profit as supporters of social justice insist. More Russia will be involved in globalization processes, the quicker will lose the sovereignty and opportunity to pursue social policy. Now on "mobilization". We, of course, need powerful national mobilization against aggression of the "evroatlantist" aimed at the accelerated and final plunder of Russia under the pretext of "integration into the world community" and "global economy…

"Today is not Europe that matters, but Russia. Our way is a return to itself. It is necessary to return to Russia, to our history, to our culture, to our mission. This mission always was and remains in bearing Christ's light of belief, ideals of good and social justice to people of the world, to be "keepers" against the evil, as the Apostle Pavel told. We had very heavy past. Russia was shook all 20th century in fevers of bloody revolutions and destructive wars. But thanks to the passed heavy tests, Russia managed to save a lot of things which Europe lost almost irrevocably. If Europe wishes to return to own traditions and the Christian principles, its on the way with us, but not with the financial oligarchy of the USA bearing to people of the world a godless civilization of moral decay, ideological zombiing, spiritual and physical death.…

"Liberalism as you understand it, Mr. Khodorkovsky, is absolute delusion. This flase doctrine which is completely ignoring God, spirit, culture, mankind, society and regarding an individual, his material private interests and the sphere of finance, as of paramount importance. Liberalism, understood in such manner, is absolutely incompatible with original freedom: how can be a person free, if society in which he lives, is a slavery of interest rate, a debt bondage of the international financial oligarchy and its local supervisors? If all human life is subordinated to search and enhancement of material benefits and the bank account statement is a criterion only? Today liberalism is totalitarian ideology on which distribution the USA build the world hegemony. It is unacceptable for Russia in no shape or form – neither in political, nor in economic, in legal. This is most important: for you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, liberalism is the ultimate truth and national development and social justice is good for populism. But in Russia liberalism is doomed, it is acceptable neither by right, nor left. It is the colonial ideology going against our Russian identity. Trying to destroy this identity for the sake of a celebration of liberal ideology you are destroying Russia too.…

"The USA and the American hegemony is a war. We see it in Libya, in Syria, in Iraq, and Afghanistan, in Ukraine. Everywhere, USA helps to carry out "color revolutions", fascists, extremists, fundamentalists come to the power. To be the supporter of the USA, the West and NATO – means to be the fascist helper, the lawyer of war. This war is waged against the whole Mankind, which is not interested to live by the American rules and to serve obediently and servilely interests of world financial oligarchy.…

"Acting authorities brought Russia to the threshold of decisive breakthrough towards independence, power and freedom which is capable to bring her out from zone of direct influence by the American hegemony. Unfortunately, at my private judgment, the specified breakthrough obviously it is slow down (suspected, by your secret and obvious adherents who still have huge influence, thanks to the stolen riches and high internal political influence, bought with that). Hesitations regarding the need to move forward are visible also. But people of the country are quite ready to it and it frightens you. The hysterics concerning threat of "the Chinese protectorate" also occurs from here. "The Chinese threat" is in the theory, so far. But open protectorate of the USA established over Russia as a result of Gorbachev and Yeltsin treason is a fact of life. The main threat to the sovereignty of Russia is an aggressive impact of the world financial oligarchy frightened by possibility of losing Russia from a slop trough of "colonial economy". And in its fifth column, where you are one of ideologists.
"The world financial oligarchy desperately and frenzy struggles against revival of Russia. If Russia withstands, it has a future; she will return to history and will win. But if the sales agent of world financial oligarchy hating all Russian (such as you), comes to the power in Russia, we will fail in a chasm in comparison with gangster era of 90th would seem as a children's game . Disintegration of the country with all that implies in the form of wars, general poverty, hunger, epidemics and large-scale technogenic catastrophes, here that waits for us in this box.…

"Probably, you believe that future happiness of the Russian people is in a slave labor for a skilly bowl for the benefit of world financial oligarchy which you represent. And for the low-standard "shows" offered in addition to a skilly, which guarantee returning the person to a condition of the an animal, following the simplest instincts. Well, then "only over our dead bodies"! The Russian people have absolutely other horizons and the purposes, than dumb submission to the corrupted western elites. Here I will distract from your theses and I will briefly formulate our Russian answer which is expressed by a simple formula "For Faith, the Tsar and Fatherland". For these sacred concepts the Russian people from time immemorial went to die, perfectly understanding that battling for them is a battle for themselves and for the future. Today it means quite concrete loyalty: to the Russian Orthodox Church, to the Russian state and Supreme Commander V. V. Putin.…"
The issue is whether Atlanticist neoliberal globalization under will prevail, as Khodorkovsky advocates, to which Strelkov responds, "only over our dead bodies"! As the Saker says, "the differences between these two worldviews are not only deep, they are mutually irreconcilable." 

It's interesting to note, too, that a fundamental cultural divide is between Catholic-Protestant Christianity and Eastern Orthodox Christianity, a political divide that resulted from a religious divide when Constantine moved his capital to Constantinople in 324 CE. The Roman West and Byzantine East vied until the Great Schism in 1054 CE, and the effects still persist.

The Vineyard of the Saker
Igor Strelkov replies to Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Vladimir P. Kozin — Cold War 2.0: How It Started and How to End It

Vladimir P. Kozin is Chief Adviser and Head of the Group of Advisers to the Director of RISS and is a Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and a Professor at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences. He has written this piece specifically for Russia Insider.…
VPK: The Cold War 2.0 was intentionally initiated by President Barack Obama for obvious reasons: to undermine Russia’s military and economic potential, to increase NATO military expenditures, to create more pro-Western states along the perimeter with Russian territory. Unfortunately, all 28 NATO member-states have seconded his option. Currently such a new war is in full swing. It has deteriorated the global political, military, economic and financial climate.
Russia Insider
Cold War 2.0: How It Started and How to End It
Tom Mitchell and Stefan Wagstyl (The Financial Times)
Amid slowdown in German economy, Merkel struggles to bring economic relations with China to higher level and seeks stabilising relations with Russia with Beijing's help
The Washington Post
The myth of Russian humiliationAnne Applebaum
In 1991, Russia was no longer a great power in either population or economic terms. So why didn’t we recognize reality, reform the United Nations and give a Security Council seat to India, Japan or others? Russia did not transform itself along European lines. Why did we keep pretending that it had?

Elliott Auckland — Ukrainian Economy Collapses In Third Quarter

Set to shrink by a painful 14% this year. In excess of $100 billion in grants, not loans, needed to make country solvent. Russian participation in financial rescue unavoidable.
Russia Insider
Ukrainian Economy Collapses In Third Quarter
Elliott Auckland

The Conversation
Ukraine steels itself for winter as Novorossiya forges ahead
Stefan Wolff, Professor of International Security at University of Birmingham, and Tatyana Malyarenko, Professor of Public Administration at Donetsk State Management University

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sharmini Peries interviews Michael Hudson — IMF Meeting Review – Austerity to Cost

Sharmini Peries, Exec. Producer, TRNN interviews Michael Hudson. Video and transcript.

IMF Meeting Review – Austerity to Cost
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City

Henry Giroux on the Rise of Neoliberalism — Interview by Michael Nevradakis

Henry Giroux discusses the increasingly negative impact of neoliberalism across the world, politically, socially, economically and in terms of education, and he offers some suggestions for what we must do now.
HG: We're talking about an ideology marked by the selling off of public goods to private interests; the attack on social provisions; the rise of the corporate state organized around privatization, free trade, and deregulation; the celebration of self interests over social needs; the celebration of profit-making as the essence of democracy coupled with the utterly reductionist notion that consumption is the only applicable form of citizenship. But even more than that, it upholds the notion that the market serves as a model for structuring all social relations: not just the economy, but the governing of all of social life.

I think that as a mode of governance, it is really quite dreadful because it tends to produce identities, subjects and ways of life driven by a kind of "survival of the fittest" ethic, grounded in the notion of the free, possessive individual and committed to the right of individual and ruling groups to accrue wealth removed from matters of ethics and social cost.

That's a key issue. I mean, this is a particular political and economic and social project that not only consolidates class power in the hands of the one percent, but operates off the assumption that economics can divorce itself from social costs, that it doesn't have to deal with matters of ethical and social responsibility, that these things get in the way. And I think the consequences of these policies across the globe have caused massive suffering, misery, and the spread of a massive inequalities in wealth, power, and income.   And I think the consequences of these policies across the globe have caused massive suffering, misery, and the spread of a massive inequalities in wealth, power, and income. Moreover, increasingly, we are witnessing a number of people who are committing suicide because they have lost their pensions, jobs and dignity. We see the attack on the welfare state; we see the privatization of public services, the dismantling of the connection between private issues and public problems, the selling off of state functions, deregulations, an unchecked emphasis on self-interest, the refusal to tax the rich, and really the redistribution of wealth from the middle and working classes to the ruling class, the elite class, what the Occupy movement called the one percent. It really has created a very bleak emotional and economic landscape for the 99 percent of the population throughout the world.…
In neoliberal cost-benefit analysis social costs (externalties) are ignored. Indeed, the not so hidden neoliberal agenda is to capitalize benefits and socialize costs insofar as possible with the ownership calls and its cronies pocketing the difference.

Giroux goes on to show how neoliberalism regards participatory rights-based democracy as its enemy and works to institute oligarchic "democracy" based on class privilege based on wealth and influence in its place.
This tactic is really pathological…
Henry Giroux on the Rise of Neoliberalism
Interview by Michael Nevradakis

Gareth Porter — When the Ayatollah Said No to Nukes

Iran's WMD-is-against-Islam policy began with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and has been reiterated under Khomeini's successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

When the Ayatollah Said No to Nukes
Gareth Porter, Foreign Policy | Report

BTW, WMD were found in Iraq but they were the chemical and biological weapons that the West had provided to Saddam during his war with Iran when it looked as if Iran would win the war against the greatly outnumbered Iraqis. But that news was suppressed for political reasons. Saddam did use them against the Iranians and also against the Iraqi Kurds.

Der Spiegel — Deadly Ukraine Crash: German Intelligence Claims Pro-Russian Separatists Downed MH17

After completing a detailed analysis, Germany's foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has concluded that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 19 in eastern Ukraine while on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. 
In an Oct. 8 presentation given to members of the parliamentary control committee, the Bundestag body responsible for monitoring the work of German intelligence, BND President Gerhard Schindler provided ample evidence to back up his case, including satellite images and diverse photo evidence. The BND has intelligence indicating that pro-Russian separatists captured a BUK air defense missile system at a Ukrainian military base and fired a missile on July 17 that exploded in direct proximity to the Malaysian aircraft, which had been carrying 298 people.…
Der Spiegel Online International English
Deadly Ukraine Crash: German Intelligence Claims Pro-Russian Separatists Downed MH17

JP Koning — Fedcoin

…. I rank the importance of bitcoin-as-product above bitcoin-as-philosophy. And at the moment, bitcoin is not a great product. While bitcoin has many useful features, these are all overshadowed by the fact that its price is too damn volatile for it to be be taken seriously as an exchange medium. This volatility arises because bitcoin lacks a fundamental value, or anchor, a point that I've written about many times in the past. However, there is one way to fix the crypto volatility problem... 
Enter Fedcoin….
JP Koning

Merijn Knibbe — Rogoff on Wolf. Some comments or: empowering households made all the difference

In a very readable and insightful review of the new Martin Wolf book (which I haven’t read yet) Kenneth Rogoff plays the revolutionary card:’Let’s get rid of these debts, we’ve got nothing to lose than a deflationary chain of events’. This puts him, in a Eurozone perspective, in the radical left corner of politics (and it’s kind of ironic that he accuses text-book economists like Krugman of being ´hard-left´…).
Real-World Economics Review Blog
Rogoff on Wolf. Some comments or: empowering households made all the difference
Merijn Knibbe

Diane Coyle — The Enlightened Economist Prize, 2014

A month ago I announced the shortlist for the Enlightened Economist Prize this year – as a reminder, the rules are that any book I happened to read during the previous 12 months is eligible, and the choice is entirely mine. The prize is the offer of dinner to the winner.
Look at the shortlist first.

The Enlightened Economist

Dean Baker — The Post Tells Us the Economy is SO Complicated

"We can't fix the economy as long as we oversimplify." 
Nope, that is 180 degrees wrong. We can't fix the economy until more people are clear that the rich have rigged the rules to give themselves all the money. Then a political reaction may turn the tide. Obviously the Post doesn't want to see that sort of political reaction, hence the effort at obfuscation.
Beat the Press
The Post Tells Us the Economy is SO Complicated
Dean Baker | co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C.