Category Archives: Economy/Economics

Eisenhower’s Ghost Haunts Biden’s Foreign Policy Team

In his first words as President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Antony  Blinken said, “we have to proceed with equal measures of humility and confidence.” Many around the world will welcome this promise of humility from the new administration, and Americans should too.

Biden’s foreign policy team will also need a special kind of confidence to confront the most serious challenge they face. That will not be a threat from a hostile foreign country, but the controlling and corrupting power of the Military-Industrial Complex, which President Eisenhower warned our grandparents about 60 years ago, but whose “unwarranted influence” has only grown ever since, as Eisenhower warned, and in spite of his warning.

The Covid pandemic is a tragic demonstration of why America’s new leaders should listen humbly to our neighbors around the world instead of trying to reassert American “leadership.” While the United States compromised with a deadly virus to protect corporate financial interests, abandoning Americans to both the pandemic and its economic effects, other countries put their people’s health first and contained, controlled or even eliminated the virus.

Many of those people have since returned to living normal, healthy lives. Biden and Blinken should listen humbly to their leaders and learn from them, instead of continuing to promote the U.S. neoliberal model that is failing us so badly.

As efforts to develop safe and effective vaccines begin to bear fruit, America is doubling down on its mistakes, relying on Big Pharma to produce expensive, profitable vaccines on an America First basis, even as China, Russia, the WHO’s Covax program and others are already starting to provide low-cost vaccines wherever they are needed around the world.

Chinese vaccines are already in use in Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE, and China is making loans to poorer countries that can’t afford to pay for them up front. At the recent G20 summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned her Western colleagues that they are being eclipsed by China’s vaccine diplomacy.

Russia has orders from 50 countries for 1.2 billion doses of its Sputnik V vaccine. President Putin told the G20 that vaccines should be “common public assets,” universally available to rich and poor countries alike, and that Russia will provide them wherever they are needed.

The U.K. and Sweden’s Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine is another non-profit venture that will cost about $3 per dose, a small fraction of the U.S.’s Pfizer and Moderna products.

From the beginning of the pandemic, it was predictable that U.S. failures and other countries’ successes would reshape global leadership. When the world finally recovers from this pandemic, people around the world will thank China, Russia, Cuba and other countries for saving their lives and helping them in their hour of need.

The Biden administration must also help our neighbors to defeat the pandemic, and it must do better than Trump and his corporate mafia in that respect, but it is already too late to speak of American leadership in this context.

The neoliberal roots of U.S. bad behavior

Decades of U.S. bad behavior in other areas have already led to a broader decline in American global leadership. The U.S. refusal to join the Kyoto Protocol or any binding agreement on climate change has led to an otherwise avoidable existential crisis for the entire human race, even as the United States is still producing record amounts of oil and natural gas. Biden’s climate czar John Kerry now says that the agreement he negotiated in Paris as Secretary of State “is not enough,” but he has only himself and Obama to blame for that.

Obama’s policy was to boost fracked natural gas as a “bridge fuel” for U.S. power plants, and to quash any possibility of a binding climate treaty in Copenhagen or Paris. U.S. climate policy, like the U.S. response to Covid, is a corrupt compromise between science and self-serving corporate interests that has predictably proved to be no solution at all. If Biden and Kerry bring more of that kind of American leadership to the Glasgow climate conference in 2021, humanity must reject it as a matter of survival.

America’s post-9/11 “Global War on Terror,” more accurately a “global war of terror,” has fueled war, chaos and terrorism across the world. The absurd notion that widespread U.S military violence could somehow put an end to terrorism quickly devolved into a cynical pretext for “regime change” wars against any country that resisted the imperial dictates of the wannabe “superpower.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell privately dubbed his colleagues the “fucking crazies,” even as he lied to the UN Security Council and the world to advance their plans for illegal aggression against Iraq. Joe Biden’s critical role as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was to orchestrate hearings that promoted their lies and excluded dissident voices who would have challenged them.

The resulting spiral of violence has killed millions of people, from 7,037 American troop deaths to five assassinations of Iranian scientists (under Obama and now Trump). Most of the victims have been either innocent civilians or people just trying to defend themselves, their families or their countries from foreign invaders, U.S.-trained death squads or actual CIA-backed terrorists.

Former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz told NPR only a week after the crimes of September 11th, “It can never be legitimate to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done. We must make a distinction between punishing the guilty and punishing others.” Neither Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Libya, Syria or Yemen was responsible for the crimes of September 11th, and yet U.S. and allied armed forces have filled miles upon miles of graveyards with the bodies of their innocent people.

Like the Covid pandemic and the climate crisis, the unimaginable horror of the “war on terror” is another calamitous case of corrupt U.S. policy-making leading to massive loss of life. The vested interests that dictate and pervert U.S. policy, in particular the supremely powerful Military-Industrial Complex, marginalized the inconvenient truths that none of these countries had attacked or even threatened to attack the United States, and that U.S. and allied attacks on them violated the most fundamental principles of international law.

If Biden and his team genuinely aspire for the United States to play a leading and constructive role in the world, they must find a way to turn the page on this ugly episode in the already bloody history of American foreign policy. Matt Duss, an advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders, has called for a formal commission to investigate how U.S. policymakers so deliberately and systematically violated and undermined the “rules-based international order” that their grandparents so carefully and wisely built after two world wars that killed a hundred million people.

Others have observed that the remedy provided for by that rules-based order would be to prosecute senior U.S. officials. That would probably include Biden and some of his team. Ben Ferencz has noted that the U.S. case for “preemptive” war is the same argument that the German defendants used to justify their crimes of aggression at Nuremberg.

“That argument was considered by three American judges at Nuremberg,” Ferencz explained, “and they sentenced Ohlendorf and twelve others to death by hanging. So it’s very disappointing to find that my government today is prepared to do something for which we hanged Germans as war criminals.”

Time to Break the Cross of Iron

Another critical problem facing the Biden team is the deterioration of U.S. relations with China and Russia. Both countries’ military forces are primarily defensive, and therefore cost a small fraction of what the U.S. spends on its global war machine – 9% in the case of Russia, and 36% for China. Russia, of all countries, has sound historical reasons to maintain strong defenses, and does so very cost-effectively.

As former President Carter reminded Trump, China has not been at war since a brief border war with Vietnam in 1979, and has instead focused on economic development and lifted 800 million people out of poverty, while the U.S. has been squandering its wealth on its lost wars. Is it any wonder that China’s economy is now healthier and more dynamic than ours?

For the United States to blame Russia and China for America’s unprecedented military spending and global militarism is a cynical reversal of cause and effect – as much of a nonsense and an injustice as using the crimes of September 11th as a pretext to attack countries and kill people who had nothing to do with the crimes committed.

So here too, Biden’s team face a stark choice between a policy based on objective reality and a deceptive one driven by the capture of U.S. policy by corrupt interests, in this case the most powerful of them all, Eisenhower’s infamous Military-Industrial Complex. Biden’s officials have spent their careers in a hall of mirrors and revolving doors that conflates and confuses defense with corrupt, self-serving militarism, but our future now depends on rescuing our country from that deal with the devil.

As the saying goes, the only tool the U.S. has invested in is a hammer, so every problem looks like a nail. The U.S. response to every dispute with another country is an expensive new weapons system, another U.S. military intervention, a coup, a covert operation, a proxy war, tighter sanctions or some other form of coercion, all based on the supposed power of the U.S. to impose its will on other countries, but all increasingly ineffective, destructive and impossible to undo once unleashed.

This has led to war without end in Afghanistan and Iraq; it has left Haiti, Honduras and Ukraine destabilized and mired in poverty as the result of U.S.-backed coups; it has destroyed Libya, Syria and Yemen with covert and proxy wars and resulting humanitarian crises; and to U.S. sanctions that affect a third of humanity.

So the first question for the first meeting of Biden’s foreign policy team should be whether they can sever their loyalties to the arms manufacturers, corporate-funded think tanks, lobbying and consultant firms, government contractors and corporations they have worked for or partnered with during their careers.

These conflicts of interest amount to a sickness at the roots of the most serious problems facing America and the world, and they will not be resolved without a clean break. Any member of Biden’s team who cannot make that commitment and mean it should resign now, before they do any more damage.

Long before his farewell speech in 1961, President Eisenhower made another speech, responding to the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. He said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed…This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

In his first year in office, Eisenhower ended the Korean War and cut military spending by 39% from its wartime peak. Then he resisted pressures to raise it again, despite his failure to end the Cold War.

Today, the Military-Industrial Complex is counting on a reversion to the Cold War against Russia and China as the key to its future power and profits, to keep us hanging from this rusty old cross of iron, squandering America’s wealth on trillion-dollar weapons programs as people go hungry, millions of Americans have no healthcare and our climate becomes unlivable.

Are Joe Biden, Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan the kind of leaders to just say “No” to the Military-Industrial Complex and consign this cross of iron to the junkyard of history, where it belongs? We will find out very soon.

The post Eisenhower's Ghost Haunts Biden's Foreign Policy Team first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“Great Reset” Equals Greater Tragedies For the People

Much has been said in recent months about the so-called “Great Reset,” also known as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Klaus Schwab, founder and executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and Thierry Malleret, founder of the Monthly Barometer, have even co-authored a 2020 book titled “COVID-19: The Great Reset.” Prince Charles of the U.K. has also played a major role in formulating and promoting the “Great Reset” agenda.

The WEF is based in Switzerland and was founded in 1971. It hosts an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland attended by thousands of millionaires, billionaires, and their political and media representatives. The large gathering is an important opportunity for the international financial oligarchy to figure out how to maintain their domination over the world’s peoples and resources under the banner of high ideals. The meeting is notorious for being non-transparent, undemocratic, and opulent.

This year the global oligarchs are specifically exploiting the never-ending and exhausting “COVID Pandemic” to push for restructuring international institutions and arrangements to maintain Anglo-American imperialist hegemony, which ultimately means more tragedies for the world’s peoples. The “COVID Pandemic” has proved to be a priceless pretext for all kinds of assaults on people’s rights, while concentrating even greater amounts of wealth in even fewer hands. The rich see the current global crisis as an opportunity for a new world order in which their class power and privilege can be further consolidated.

In the current context, the international financial oligarchy is deeply concerned about people’s growing consciousness of the failures of the capitalist economic system, including growing poverty, inequality, hunger, unemployment, debt, and political marginalization. They are worried that this precious consciousness will morph into an unstoppable demand and agenda for a human-centered alternative to the status quo, which would mean an end to the superfluous rich and their outdated economic system. The stakes are too high for the world’s billionaires to stand idly by as their outdated political and economic system lose greater legitimacy. Around the world more people are losing faith in defunct old governance arrangements and institutions because these no longer work or resolve matters in a way that favors the people. Nor are they capable of resolving the internal conflicts of the ruling elite. Old arrangements and institutions cannot provide a new aim and direction for the economy or society.

How to overwhelm people’s growing social consciousness with anti-consciousness and disinformation is a key concern of the global oligarchs. Convincing people to ignore the harsh and worsening realities in front of them naturally involves great conceit and illusion-mongering of the first order. The rich and their allies are eager to “save capitalism” and to convince people to ignore their own concrete experience and blindly believe that everything “will be OK” under capitalism with billionaires at the helm. Capitalism can supposedly be saved. There is no need for a pro-social alternative. Capitalism is allegedly resilient and can be made to provide for the needs of the people; it can be “reborn” and “reset.” In this way, there is great pressure for people to go along with the self-serving agenda of the rich instead of breaking free with a new and independent vision and agenda for humanity.

This new capitalism, this new world order, according to Schwab and his ilk, is “stakeholder capitalism,” a recycled hackneyed expression from years ago. “Stakeholder capitalism” is the irrational idea that social classes and class struggle do not exist and that everyone supposedly has some sort of stake or interest in capitalism, which is why capitalism is worth saving and should not be questioned, let alone replaced. It is straightforward disinformation designed to fool the gullible. It is another form of “one-nation” politics. It is another way of saying that there is no alternative to the retrogressive status quo and that there is such a thing as “responsible capitalism” or “ethical capitalism.” No matter what, everyone is to accept neoliberal polices and state arrangements that funnel even more socially-produced wealth to a tiny ruling elite that is historically exhausted and out of touch. It is no accident that the rich are more aggressively blurring the critical distinction between public and private and promoting public-private “partnerships” (PPPs) as a way to seize more public wealth to avert falling profits. PPPs are essentially pay-the-rich schemes masquerading as projects that benefit everyone. The “Great Reset” agenda specifically calls for the private sector to play the main role in creating a “brighter future” for humanity.

Objectively, the only interest working people have in capitalism is its replacement by a human-centered society based on a diverse, balanced, and self-reliant economy that serves the needs of all and a political system that vests sovereignty in the people themselves. There can be no social progress while people remain disempowered and reduced to lining up behind the antisocial and antiworker agenda of the rich and their cartel parties. Society does not need the rich or their political representatives.

The proposals put forward in the “Great Reset” post-Covid-19 agenda “to improve the state of the world” and to “shape the recovery” in a “more inclusive and resilient way” include developing the “green” economy, fighting climate change, digitizing everything, increasing surveillance, ensuring “sustainability” through “entrepreneurial solutions,” “changing the priorities of societies,” and altering the “direction of national economies.” We are cynically told that, “We must build entirely new foundations for our economic and social systems” and that this “is not some impossible dream.”

This “new” vision and agenda full of lofty buzzwords and phrases is supposed to replace the old tattered social contract with a “new social contract that honors the dignity of every human being.” The key thing, though, is to keep decision-making power out of the hands of the people and to convince everyone that big disruptions, sharp contradictions, and constant crises can somehow suddenly be overcome under capitalism, and that this is the time to do so. No matter what, the destiny of humanity and the world must continue to be determined by the world’s billionaires and their cheerleaders, not someone else. The role of the people is to abandon all thinking, experience, and analysis and blindly believe that the global oligarchs responsible for all the major unsolved problems and wars of the last 100 years are now going to suddenly usher in a world that affirms human dignity and provide everyone with a bright, inclusive, equitable, sustainable future. Does this make sense to anyone? Why was this not done decades ago? Were there not many serious crises and big problems in the past as well?

Additional Layer of Disinformation

In an attempt to further confuse people, many commentators and writers on the internet have introduced their own illusions, muddled thinking, and disinformation into the equation. Some, for example, have tried to characterize the “Great Reset” as Marxist, socialist, or communist in order to discredit all three and to glorify capitalism. But they forget that the “Great Reset” is the agenda of the biggest owners of capital and staunchest opponents of communism and Marxism. There is nothing Marxist or communist about “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” There is nothing in this agenda of billionaires that empowers working people or changes the narrow aim of the economy to maximize profit for major owners of capital. The last thing billionaires want is a society that deprives them of their ability to deprive people of their rights and power. Major owners of capital have been vigorously fighting Marxism and communism for more than 160 years. They are desperate to extend the longevity of capitalism and are increasingly restructuring the state to do this. Different commentators and writers have misinterpreted this to mean that capitalists are destroying capitalism and promoting collectivism. They fail to realize that private interests seizing greater functions of the state is the way private interests are funneling more public funds into their pockets while keeping working people marginalized and disempowered. The new world order being envisioned and planned by major owners of capital will further enrich billionaires and lower living and working standards for more people. The only economic planning the rich are interested in is planning that serves their narrow interests at the expense of everyone else. The “Great Reset” will do nothing to affirm the rights of workers and the general interests of society.

Everyone should consciously reject the post-“COVID Pandemic” world laid out in the “Great Reset” plan advanced by the global imperialist oligarchy. It is a recipe for more slavery, insecurity, and tragedies. It solves no problems because the people themselves remain marginalized and disempowered. People have wanted an alternative to capitalism for a long time, but the New is still being powerfully blocked by the Old.

Fortunately, the contradictions in the historically unprecedented situation we find ourselves in do provide cracks and openings that working people can take advantage of and seize the initiative to make some substantive headway. The rich and their allies are not invincible and do not have complete control over life. They have failed in many previous endeavors because of their short-sightedness, pragmatism, and megalomania. The “COIVD Pandemic” provides an opportunity for all forces in society to think and act in new ways. The complicated here and now requires the world’s peoples to develop new ways of thinking, analyzing, fighting, acting, and advancing. Some of the old demands and forms of struggle remain viable, but many do not. Already, new demands and new forms of consciousness and movement have emerged here and there in the context of the “COVID Pandemic.” Some new language and thinking is even finding its way into more meetings, discussions, groups, books, articles, the internet, and social media platforms.

Now is the time to become even more vigilant about the various plots the rich are preparing for the people so as to not be sabotaged and derailed from the task of creating a brighter future for all. No one should be fooled by the claim that the world’s billionaires and their governments are interested in “a better, fairer, greener, healthier future for humanity.” The current crisis cannot be overcome so long as power remains in the hands of international monopolies and out of the hands of those who actually produce the wealth of society. All attempts to block people from developing their own independent thinking, aim, politics, and outlook must be opposed.

The post “Great Reset” Equals Greater Tragedies For the People first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Nuremberg Trial: 75 years Ago and What it Means Today

On Saturday 21 November 2020 Russia celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Nuremberg Trials which started on 20 November 1945 and lasted almost a year, until 1 October 1946. The Tribunal was given the task of trying and judging 24 of the most atrocious political and military leaders of the Third Reich.

For this unique celebration – so we shall never forget – Russian leaders and people of the Arts and History organized a Special Performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” at Moscow’s Helikon Opera Theatre. Daniel Hawkins, from RT, introduced this extraordinary event, as a journey through history, a journey through life and death, when some of – at that time – most genocidal people in history had to answer for their crimes.

This opera event was prepared for more than a year and was first performed in January 2020 for the Holocaust victims and the victims of the Nazi concentration camps in Leningrad. The Nuremberg Trials were conducted by an International Military Tribunal. They resulted in 12 death sentences.

The idea of the “Requiem” performance is “not just to appeal to emotions, but to reason. Because if we fail to learn from history, the tragedy could be repeated.”

This is precisely what Sergei Novikov, head of the (Russian) presidential directorate for social projects, intimidated. He says, “Despite of what we have seen happening 75 years ago – we do not seem to have learned a lesson. Today we seem to go down the same road, which is frightening.”

The musical performance interplays with theatrical realism – so memories are awake and moving – better than a museum. The educational impact of this celebration of remembrance is extremely important especially for the young people, who do not remember these events, but with this first-class performance, they may learn a crucial lesson,  a lesson hardly talked about in history books and even less so in the west.

If we compare what has happened then – 75 years ago – actually the anti-Jewish demonstration in Berlin, known as Kristallnacht, on 9 and 10 November 1938, effectively the beginning of WWII, and look at today’s extremism in Europe, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, we know that we are not far from a tyranny we knew as “Nationalsozialismus”, a political Nazi-concept of the late 1930s and up to mid-1940s, that today can best be compared with extreme neoliberalism and merciless oppression of peoples’ rights by police and military.

In fact, we may be steps ahead of what Hitler and his crime and war cabinet had done, but again, today, like then, we are blind to it. There may be a time when we can no longer move, when we are in constant lockdown, masked with dismembered faces, so to speak, kept away from each other under the pretext of social distancing so that we cannot communicate with each other, all for reasons of public health, for the “good intentions” of our governments to protect us from an evil virus – the corona virus.

Today, this oppression is the result of a long-term plan by a small elite to implement The Great Reset (Klaus Schwab, WEF, July 2020).

*****

There is, of course, a good reason, why Moscow wants the world to remember what WWII meant and how eventually Nazi-Germany was defeated – yes, largely if not solely by enormous sacrifices of the Soviet Union. Some 25 to 30 million USSR soldiers and Soviet citizens had left their lives for salvaging Europe – and possibly the world – from an all invading fascism.

The United States, nominally an ally of the Soviet Union, had clandestinely funded the Third Reich’s war against the Soviet Union. One of the key purposes for the US getting “involved” in WWII, other than defeating the British Empire, was to defeat their arch-enemy, communist Soviet Union. The Rockefellers funded Hitler’s war machine by providing them with hydrocarbons, with petrol, the energy that drove the war.

On the other hand, the Federal Reserve (FED), via the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) – the pyramid tower still omni-present in Basle, Switzerland, near the German border – transferred gigantic monetary resources to the Reichsbank (at that time Hitler’s equivalent of a German Central Bank)

Verdi’s Requiem Performance in Moscow on 21 November is important to go back in history and open the “memory books” in front of our eyes. It is even more important, as we see the trend of fascism taking over the entire European continent and possibly also the United States.

Europe basically ignores the importance of the 75th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials which still, as of this date, provides precedents for international war crimes – except, these precedents are miserably ignored.  If not, we would have multiple repeats of Nuremberg in our days and age with European and US leaders (sic) in “retirement’ but still with power. Our dystopian western world is beset by war criminals even to the point where they blackmail judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, not to touch their – the European and US – war crimes, or else…

That’s where we have arrived.

Since we are going back to the times when WWII and Nuremberg happened, we should take the opportunity to also look at the Big Picture, one that may be at the root of this new wave of fascism invading Europe. It is, in essence, a health dictatorship; it has become a Health Martial Law. Many countries have ratified, quietly, or rammed it through Parliament without the public at large noticing – a law allowing them switching from everyday life to an emergency situation; i.e., (health) Martial Law.

The Big Picture, though, is a diabolical plan of eugenics. Yes, it’s a term nobody wants to use, but it must be said, because it’s one of the fundamental principles that lies in all that is planned, the 2010 Rockefeller Report and the extremely important WHO Report “A World at Risk” – Annual Report on Global Preparedness for Health Emergencies, by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board – GPMB (September 2019).

Key members of this Monitoring Board include the World Bank, IMF, CDC and many more influential players, who have been concocting the “Preparedness” for a new epidemic since at least 2016, when the World Bank set up a special “Health Emergency Fund” to face the “next pandemic”.

Also, part of the SARS-Cov-2 preparedness and planned outbreak, was Event 201 (18 October 2019, NYC, sponsored by Gates, the WEF, and the Johns Hopkins School for Medicine (Rockefeller created and funded), which simulated the outbreak of a SARS-Cov-2 virus which curiously happened a few weeks later. The “outbreak” was actually officially announced on the dot of the beginning of the Decade 2020.

The Big Picture scheme also includes as an aftermath to covid, The Great Reset by Klaus Schwab, WEF, July 2020), a plan to implement the 4th Industrial Revolution and the enslavement of the remaining population. The Rockefellers and Bill Gates, Kissinger and many more  have nurtured the idea of massively reducing the world population for at least the last 70 years.

Ever since the Rockefellers espoused the concept of the “Bilderberger Society” (a parallel organization to the WEF (World Economic Forum), with overlapping and an ever-moving memberships) their one and only continuous “project” was a selective population reduction. And they actually never made it a secret. See Bill Gates TedTalk in February 2010 – just about the time when the infamous 2010 Rockefeller Report was issued, the one that has us now in “lockstep” following all the rules and regulations, issued by WHO and supported by the entire UN system .

Why then was the eugenics agenda never seriously picked up by the mainstream, by the public at large? – Possibly, because nobody can even imagine people so evil – or allow me to call them non-humans – to actually want to make this reality. But these non-humanoids do exist. How they infiltrated themselves into human society is a mystery.

By the way, have you ever seen Bill Gates – with his obnoxious grin – wearing a mask? Or the Rockefellers, Kissingers, et al?  How come they are always spared from this deadly virus, SARS-Cov-2?  How come they get very old, but appear to be always in good health? What kind of life elixir are they using?

Back to the Eugenists. To implement such a massive plan on a worldwide scale, one needs a uniform approach to world health. In 1948, just a couple of years after the Nuremberg trials started, where war criminals like the Rockefellers should also have been indicted for supplying the enemy (German Nazis) with energy to drive their (anti-Soviet) war machine – back then, in 1948, Rockefeller created WHO, the World Health Organization.

The philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation (RF) has marked the field of health like no other organization. The oil magnate, John D. Rockefeller “to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.” Hence, the RF created and provided the original funding to set up WHO in 1948. On 7 April 1948, WHO inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health Organization, which had been an agency of the League of Nations. Twenty-six (out of then 58) UN members ratified WHO as a UN agency under the UN Constitution.

Once you have “Global Health” under one roof, the WHO, funded primarily by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the pharmaceutical industries (predominantly GAVI – Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization – also created by Bill Gates in 2000) and you also have the predominant donor, Bill Gates, an obsessed vaxxer (and eugenist) without any medical training, choose WHO’s Director General – Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a buddy of Gates and former Board Member of GAVI – it is relatively easy to make the foundation of WHO’s health policies based on vaccination.

That’s what we see today. As we have heard from Gates’ TedTalk (2010 see above), vaccination seems to lend itself perfectly to reduce the world population. It has the further advantage, that if anything goes “wrong” – no vaccine company can be held responsible, let alone being sued. For example, if people get seriously ill or die from the vaccinations – which would not be a surprise, after the Covid-19 are planned to be administered in warp speed – the vaccine pharmaceuticals cannot be sued.

In fact, vaccine companies do not bear any liability risk. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 (42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to 300aa-34), was signed into law by US President Ronald Reagan on November 14, 1986. NCVIA’s purpose was to eliminate the potential financial liability of vaccine manufacturers due to vaccine injury, since lawsuits led many manufacturers to stop producing the vaccines, a lame argument, but that shows once more the lobbying power the pharma industry commands.

That’s where we stand today. Any sinister vaccination agenda, no matter how hurtful to the public, is home free. Today we are at this crucial point of massive forced vaccination. Many governments; i.e., UK’s Boris Johnson and Australia’s Scott Morrison, have already advanced the idea of a vaccination-pass. Without it you are banned from flying and from just about every public event. That’s promising.

And one might ask what does that have to with public health?  What is the real agenda behind it?

Again, returning to the Nuremberg Trials, aren’t we in the midst of a world tyranny to which all 193 UN member countries subscribed, or were coerced into – a tyranny that has already been genocidal, in as much as it destroyed the world economy, creating countless bankruptcies, unemployment – untold poverty and misery and death, and now a potentially genocidal massive vaccination campaign, the effects of it might be death in the medium to long term, but “untraceable”, or too late by the time the cause is discovered.

A world tyranny inflicted by all 193 UN member countries – whatever their motivation – all these governments and the heads of WHO and the entire UN system belongs before a new Nuremburg-type Tribunal – where the same legal principal would be applied as 75 years ago in 1945.

Who says this will not happen? We can make it happen. We, the People, are the 99.99%.  They are only 0.01 %. We have the power to resist – and we will prevail.

The post Nuremberg Trial: 75 years Ago and What it Means Today first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: How Political Science and Neoclassical Economics Zombifies the Yankee Population

ORIENTATION

Why do political science and neoclassical economics go in one ear and out the other?

A human being who has a fully integrated social body understands that economics is about a social system of circulation of goods and services. In other words, provisioning for the population.  Politics is the collective process of evaluating and deciding a) where have we been (our past) and b) where are we going (the future). Politics is about steering.  With this framework, it would be inconceivable to steer or govern without referring to how well the economic system is working. How can you steer without an evaluation of how goods and services are circulating? So too, how can you monitor the economic provisioning process without checking on the decision-making process of the steering of our social direction? In fact, a person with an integrated social body only makes a distinction between economic and political processes for analytical purposes. It would be better to call the whole endeavor “political economy”.

However, if you received an undergraduate college degree you probably never had a class in political economy. What you probably had is at least one class in political science and another class in economics. If you are like most people, you found these classes either boring or incomprehensible. Why? The answer is because both fields are riddled with capitalist propaganda that has little basis in most people’s experience. Sure, there are some people who are convinced that political science and neoclassical economics make sense but which social class is this? Chances are it is members of the upper middle class for whom political and neoclassical economics make sense from their class position. But upper middle-class people are 10% of the Yankee population. Even if we take half of the 30% of the middle class, it is still only a quarter of the population. (I exclude the ruling class and the upper class for whom these courses are not relevant for different reasons).

For the rest of the middle class and lower classes, these courses are likely to produce apathy. There is a reason why Yankee masses hate politics and why they pay no attention to economics. For the elites who control political science and neoclassical economics fields, mass apathy is fine because they don’t want the lower classes asking political and economic questions. Mass apathy doesn’t mean they haven’t internalized the propaganda of political science and/or neoclassical economics. It just means some of these assumptions and images exist in the unconscious of people. For example, most people will say, if asked, “we live in a democracy”. So too they will say economically “there are no free lunches”, right out of neoclassical economics guru Milton Friedman’s playbook.

In the meantime, the social body has now slowly been taken over by two zombies: a political science zombie and a neoclassical economics zombie. This zombification process undergoes at least five processes:

  1. Political science and economics are cut off from history, anthropology and sociology.
  2. Political science and economics are separated from each other. In a political science class, if you ask an economic question about politics you will be told that is “not their department”. If you ask a political question in an economics class you will be told the same thing.
  3. Political science and economics classes become reified because both disciplines are presented as changeless and not subject to scandals, false turns or ideological manipulation. Both fields appear as things, dogmas, idols. In the case of the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, these documents have become dogma. George Washington or Thomas Jefferson have become idols that are uncriticizable.
  4. Both fields focus on very small micro processes that are relatively inconsequential for the average person’s life. In both fields, this is done because smaller processes lend themselves more easily to scientific measurement. In addition, most neoclassical economics theories are presented in mathematical form which is intimidating for working class and even some middle-class people because they do not have formal training.
  5. Scientific method is emphasized over the content in the field. Unless you have some reason for going into each field professionally, knowledge of how they do science is not really relevant. In the case of Trump, if you want to know how someone with no political experience or training could become the president of Yankeedom, you won’t find the answers in your political science or civics courses.

The result is that any zombified Yankee college graduate is filled with self-congratulatory political science propaganda about the nature of democracy as well as self-congratulatory neo-classical economics which is filled with economics propaganda about the wonders of capitalism.

For this article I will draw on the books Tragedy of Political Science by David Ricci and Disenchanted Realists by Raymond Seidelman and Edward Harpham. For the economics section, I’ve drawn on Introduction to Political Economy by Sackrey, Schneider and Knoedler as well as E. K. Hunt’s History of Economic Thought and Polanyi’s The Great Transformation.

FROM INTERDISCIPLINARY TO SPECIALIZATION OF POLITICS AND ECONOMICS

In the beginning of both the study of politics and the study of economics each was understood as being inseparable from history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology. So, in the case of politics, we could never understand a form of rule without understanding the economic property relations through which rulers, and ruled interacted. Nor could we make sense of the rise and fall of dynasties without understanding the social class composition of the society. Lastly, how could we know how the current ruler differs from rulers decades or even centuries ago without including history.

In the case of economics, the interdisciplinary field that preceded it was called political economy. In the work of Smith, Ricardo and Marx, no economic transactions could be understood without understanding the machinations of political rulers or how the newly formed industrial capitalist society differed from the agricultural, slave capitalism that preceded it. This way of looking at things began to change in the last three decades of the 19th century with the marginal utility theorists Menger, Marshall and Walras, who gradually isolated economics from these other fields. This isolation continued into the 20th century with the Austrian school economics in the work of Eugen Ritter Böhm-Bawerk, Von Mises and Von Hayek just before World War II.

In the United States during the depression the work of Keynes was carried on as a political economy point of view because Keynes was interested in macroeconomics and he insisted the state needed to intervene to keep capitalism from going off the rails. The work of neo-classical economists Samuelson and then Milton Friedman in the 1950s and 1960s emphasized the independence of the market from all political influences.

ZOMBIE NUMBER ONE: POLITICAL SCIENCE PROPAGANDA FOR DEMOCRACY

How the political ideology of liberal pluralism gets in the way of research into how democratic Yankeedom actually is

American political theory has always fancied itself a democratic politics well before the end of the 19th century. There was never a time when political theory considered that Yankee politics’ “democracy” was ever something to be proven. It was already always the case.  Political science was not a neutral approach to the study of politics. It dwelt in a national context of liberal democracy. This political ideology operates with the following postulates:

  • presumption of human rationality – people are capable of thinking through their situation about what their own interest requires them to do;
  • the separation of religious from secular institutions (separation of church and state);
  • separation of political powers into legislative, executive and judicial fields;
  • the presence of more than one political party to represent factions of citizens who must have their interests checked and balanced by the upper classes (electoral college);
  • all that is most profound and enduring about politics was laid down by the Founding Fathers in their documents; and,
  • liberal faith in science as the midwife of social progress and enlightenment.

The infrastructure of democracy – political parties, the electoral college, the constitution, the separation of powers – could not be challenged. This is crucial because it puts a damper on the study of power blocks and the behavior of elites. To the extent that it takes inequalities seriously, it farms them out to other social science disciplines such as sociology or political sociology.

What would happen if the results of actual political scientific research continually denied central tenets of democratic ideology that political scientists in the United States believe in?  Supposed research showed that American citizens do not behave much like democratic citizens? Suppose a political scientist has a hypothesis that democratic theory in practice is an illusion. Can you still practice political science if you believe democracy really doesn’t exist? Suppose a scientist insists on studying politics scientifically even though their inquiry cannot insure the health of a democratic society. Hypothetically you should be able to do this research.

What are the chances of a research grant for a hypothesis designed to show how anti-democratic American social institutions are? Of course, political scientists have done this research in these areas and received grants. But the research in political science would be easier if you proposed research that made people hopeful, comfortable or at least neutral, rather than disturbing them. As of around the year 2000 there were two political science textbooks which did not toe the line of what will later be called “political pluralism”. One was Michael Parenti’s Democracy for the Few, which is Marxist. The other is Irony of Democracy by Louis Schubert and Thomas Dye, which are from the Elitist school of political science.

But political scientists work in educational communities and are somewhat dependent on each other. They have political tendencies that are not based on political facts but on political ideologies that inform the facts whether they are conservative, liberal or Marxist. These ideologies inform whether the reception they receive from their work is cool, hostile or enthusiastic. For example, the topic of political disorder is not looked upon favorably by political scientists. It undermines their theories and cracks their time-honored assumptions. This kind of research is far from welcomed, as important a topic as it might be.

As a political scientist, do you try to use the research to change the institutions in a more democratic way or do you leave the institutions alone and rewrite democratic theory to fit the growing problems and weaknesses of its institutions? The field of political science in the United States did the latter. We will focus on how the ideology of democracy kept political scientists from critically analyzing their own institutions.

Generations of Political Science in Yankeedom

The first generation of politics in the US, from 1880-1900 grounded politics in morality and comparative history. The goal was to pass on qualitative, comparative, eternal wisdom through the ages that led to the development of character.  Teachers taught many subjects in the humanities. A single teacher would be responsible for teaching rhetoric, criticism, English composition, logic, grammar, moral philosophy, natural and political law and metaphysics. Teachers were not expected to “publish or perish”, as commercial publishers would not publish books on research because they were not profitable. Scholars in other disciplines, however, judged their work. A single organization, Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) housed History, Economics and Anthropology. Teachers were both products and co-producers of breadth-full learning.

Progressive era of muckraking: Charles Beard

The period of muckraking in the Progressive Era (1896 – 1916) was more down-to-earth and left-liberal compared to the previous generation. The desire was to expose the conditions and the workings of corporate capitalism with writers like Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens and Ida Turnbull.  Yet they were still interdisciplinary. For example, Charles Beard famously took the Constitution apart and identified the economic property relations that underlined it. Beard’s vision of a new society included the fusion of new state powers with a revived, educated, informed and activist public.

Positivism political science

But after World War I, interest in political muckraking and activism cooled. When the American Political Science Association (APSA) was set up as a field, its connection to research was separated from history, economics or sociology. As capitalists expanded their industry, companies merged into corporations.  They increasingly needed more highly trained managers to help in coordinating production, planning and supervising workers. Universities were chosen as the location to train the middle classes for work in these institutions. Some of these folks became political scientists.

Masses seem uninterested in substantive democracy

Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, the field of politics was taken over by a positivist scientific orientation and was rechristened as “political science”. The emphasis on science meant using techniques of modern empirical research and descriptive studies. Guided by the perspective that the social sciences could be as rigorous as the natural sciences, modern political science was based not on the discovery of eternal truths, but on an ever-expanding body of quantitative research. Science was considered a university affair in which basic research was done, supposedly independent of how the research could be used.

What this new science found was that Americans did not seem to be acting very democratically at all. Many did not bother to vote and masses were susceptible to dictators. The research showed the average American does not conform to the modern liberalism of Dewey and Roosevelt. Merriam and Gosnell wrote about the non-voting public that 44% of non voters gave general indifference or inertia as reasons for not voting. Lasswell pointed out that the findings of personality show the individual is a poor judge of their own interest. In a world of irrational humans, Lasswell argued that a stable order must rely on a universal body of symbols and practices which sustain an elite. This stable order propagates itself by peaceful methods and wields a monopoly of coercion which is rarely necessary to apply, as Graham Wallas said in Human Nature in Politics.

But what if scientific investigations carefully carried out with the intent to improve society might instead contradict popular expectations and undermine faith in democracy? Were political scientists to inquire into the most efficient ways to overthrow America’s government and then publish the results? These are not the types of questions political scientists would be happy to entertain. The tragedy of political science is that in pursuing scientific facts while ignoring political values, those political values became unconscious as they crippled their ability to critically evaluate and challenge the social institutions that stood in the way of a substantive democracy.

Political science fails to explain dictatorships, communism or fascism

Liberal democracy had failed to take hold in Europe after World War I. Instead, in Mussolini’s control of Italy, dictatorships were established in Portugal, Yugoslavia, Austria, and Bulgaria. In 1931 the Japanese invaded Manchuria. In 1932 the Nazis were voted into power and in 1939 fascism triumphed in Spain – and then came World War II.

Political science provided little guidance for understanding the political processes that were shaping Germany (fascism) and Russia and China (state socialism). With regard to key questions of the day such as why fascism existed or how it was possible for peasants to overthrow governments, they provided no serious answer. Even more damning, they could not explain why the politics in their own country were becoming less democratic. The entire corpus of scientific knowledge seemed unable to provide a course for society to follow which would enlighten the population about the rudiments of democratic government. World War I, fascism, Stalinism and World War II signaled a loosening of forces that would make human progress chaotic at best, rather than automatic

In spite of all this, political science proceeded on its merry way as if nothing had happened. Old liberalism counted on the rationality of citizens and the responsiveness of government. Neither was found to be very true. These are not findings that political science wanted to hear because it strongly supported institutions and practices of liberalism. Probably the most famous political scientist of the 1920s and 1930s, Charles Merriam, still held out hope for the public. He promoted a civic education to improve the political life of the average person.

THIN DEMOCRACY

The reification of research methodology

The first thing political science did was to bury itself in research methodology and stop paying attention to voting patterns or even more seriously, the electoral process itself. It worked overtime to be accepted as a kindred spirit to the natural sciences. Its aim was to make its research methods as close to natural science as possible. This meant quantitative measurement and specialization of the field.

Liberal democracy is like scientific method

John Dewey saw science as organized intelligence. When humans work together at science, the methods they employ individually are reinforced by their interaction collectively as an ever-increasingly joint capacity. Dewey developed a system called instrumentalism to organize the findings of science. Dewey believed that discovering the truth was a dynamic process which was forever incomplete yet evolving. Likewise, Dewey thought democracy must be the scientific method applied to politics. He came to think that the method of political science as at least as important, if not more important, than criticizing and changing political institutions.

In 1945, Karl Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies was published. For the next decade, this was the stance that informed many polemics of the Cold War. Like Dewey, Popper saw the application of the scientific method as the road to democracy.  He wanted to use the scientific method in his professional work so as to make modest proposals for reforming small parts of society one at a time – piecemeal social engineering as opposed to a “dangerous” utopian program for reframing all parts of society totally and simultaneously as in Marxism. Part of the process of distinguishing science from non-science is to make a distinction between what is true as the result of research, and what should be done with the research. The basic concepts and hypotheses of political science should contain no elaboration of political doctrine or what the state and society ought to be or do.

A product of this specialization was the loss of communication with the public. Political scientists talked to fewer and fewer people and those who listened heard more and more about less and less. Their research was guided by statistics, survey research, and later on formal modeling and game theory. These studies created jargon incomprehensible to the lay person. Instead political scientists became more concerned with how the work might interest their colleagues. As this happened political scientists lost touch with their colleagues in other disciplines and only discussed their findings with those already in their field. Associations which once housed many disciples differentiated into specialized bodies: Political science became more on the surface and lost its depth and breath. Only concrete scientific investigations could yield true knowledge and that knowledge was empirical, particular and experimentally verifiable.

Political scientists naively believed that by simply amassing more data, eventually a theoretical breakthrough would occur about how political systems changed. But while political scientists were slowly amassing reliable political knowledge about increasingly smaller political processes, in their insistence on separating fact from political commitment they left the barn door open by not providing political alternatives as a guide for social policy. Their political crisis came when Leninists and fascists did have political commitment while political science had nothing qualitatively to offer their own politicians.

Thin (Procedural) Democracy

Additionally, besides burying themselves in research method, their standards for what constituted democracy slipped badly. Instead of facing the lack of real substantive democracy in their own country they simply compared themselves favorably to “totalitarian societies” to make them seem relatively more democratic. The bad news for substantive democracy in the West was papered over by a comparison with the political life in “totalitarian” societies. As the evidence on individual and group irrationality mounted, many members of the discipline felt constrained to advocate an approach to politics designed to compensate for some of democracy’s shortcomings. This thin theory of democracy would praise existing liberal practices and institutions rather than criticize weak democratic processes such as voting and the electoral college. They needed to find new justifications for accepting the sometimes-disappointing outcome of democratic processes in the real world.

Rise of pluralism: political practice of interest groups as social science

If individuals are irrational, how did American democracy control its rulers? Empirical democratic theorists or pluralists examined the dynamics of group politics and the effect of organized interest groups on electoral competition. A plurality of groups competes with each other to constrain rulers and political parties to some extent. Pluralists claim, following Arendt, that unlike atomized individuals in totalitarian societies, in liberal democratic societies voluntary associations can and do exist for exerting pressure. William Kornhauser argued for the importance of maintaining pluralism, a bevy of competing power centers to guard against “mass society”.

Tinkering Instrumentalism as the invisible hand of politics

Why isn’t democracy the collective process by which we first establish our values, list our alternatives, prioritize the alternatives, weigh the potential consequences of each alternative and then act together to test what works? According to pluralists, this collective rational deduction process won’t work because humans cannot agree as to which values are to be pursued.

Dahl and Lindblom claim there is another way, which they call disjointed incrementalism. In Politics, Economics and Welfare, Dahl and Lindblom claim that democratic politics is incremental.  Here small policy steps are taken without reference to unattainable consensus or grand objectives. Since a great many political actors from voters to interest groups to parties to bureaucrats must be consulted before anything gets done, this process will be disjointed. Yet it is a series of policy adjustments and taking small steps via calculated risks where immediate additions to old policy will not at once achieve all goals but at the same time will not unduly invite unforeseen tumultuous consequences.

Political science and the end of ideology movement

The self-congratulatory nature of political pluralism reached new heights with the “end of ideology movement.” From the late 1940’s and well into the 1960’s many leading scholars in the US agreed that Western society had progressed beyond any need for an explicit liberal ideology because liberalism had already won. The fundamental decency and social efficiency of American policy had been conclusively proven between 1930-1950. Daniel Bell (End of Ideology), Seymour Lipset, (Political Man) and Edward Shils agreed that most political parties in the West paid only lip service to ideology anyway. Secondly, there were so few social issues left that only practical tinkering rather than ideological solutions was needed. Daniel Boorstin’s book The Genius of American Politics argued that American political institutions by-passed the need for ideology. Raymond Aron, in the Opium of the Intellectuals, called for the abolition of ideological fanaticism and the advent of skeptics who will doubt all models and utopias. They rejected ideological speculation because its propositions could not be confirmed or disconfirmed. To questions about their ideological use of “the end of ideologies” in the service of the Cold War they responded that the Cold War was largely a military affair. Anti-ideologists represented the dominant American mood after WWII.

Political science pluralism excludes the working class

Seymour Lipset writes about working class authoritarianism. He points out that studies show the poorest strata of Western society were most likely to support Communist parties. Lipset believes the lower-class people simply do not fit the requirements for good citizenship. They are insufficiently pragmatic, open-minded skeptical and tolerant. Therefore, there is a social utility in the relative weakness of the lower classes. Real world democracies operate on the basis of high participation by elites with their superior political knowledge.  Low participation by the masses might impair the political process with their undemocratic attitudes. Liberal political scientists had accepted apathy among citizens.

Rough road for political science in the 1960s

As most everyone knows, the 1960s were a time of explosion that neither Popper nor the pluralists predicted. As far back as the mid-1950s C. Wright Mills described a concentrated power elite which controlled society rather than the pluralist theories of a many-centered polity. The civil rights movement, the opposition to the Vietnam War, the rise of the New Left and the women’s movement all went unexplained by political science pluralism.  Whether they called for reform or revolution, the politics of the 1960s were far from pluralist instrumentalism. Murray Edelman, in his book Symbolic Use of Politics, says the job of democratic procedures is to provide the public with symbolic gratification. Elections are for expressing discontent, for articulating enthusiasm, for enjoying political involvement and legitimating the democratic regime by giving it the appearance of popular support. Herbert Marcuse attacked pluralism for creating a “one-dimensional man”. John Galbraith argued that capitalism was not creating real public goods such as roads and bridges but was creating or expanding on the fleeting fancies of consumer products introduced by advertising.

Students complained that the universities were machines in the service of churning out passive consumers or beholden to military contractors. Student activists wanted universities to be agents of change, not handmaidens to the status quo. What united all these strands was a vision of politics that was participatory, not consensual. Political sciences had been focusing on conventional political processes, not the quality of the institutions themselves. They dealt with congresses, political parties, but not the content of what these institutions were doing. Students wanted more policy studies – that is, what the government chooses to do or not do. There were too few, if any, quantitative research studies found on powerful bureaucracies like the Department of Justice, the Ford Foundation or Institute for Defense Analysis. Political philosopher Sheldon Wolin advocated a for a renaissance in the vocation of political theory – to read, analyze, appreciate, extend and build upon the great political philosophers of yesterday. He called for a development of “epic theory”. Political science was not neutral. No stance is a stance for the status quo.

ZOMBIE NUMBER TWO: NEOCLASSICAL ECONOMICS

From political economy to neoclassical economics

Just as political science got cut off from its relationship to history, sociology, anthropology and moral theory by end of World War I, so too economics theory also got cut off from history, politics, anthropology and moral theory beginning around 1870. What now passes for economics, which is known in the United States as neoclassical economics, didn’t exist until the mid-20th century. Throughout the 18th-19th century there was a tradition called “political economy” which included Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx and John Stuart Mill among others. Political economics assumed that economics could not be separated from history, politics or anthropology. It was only in the last three decades of the 19th century with the work of Jevons, Walras and Marshall – with what was called “marginal utility theory” – that economics began to be treated as if it could be separated from these other fields. The Austrian school of von Böhm-Bawerk, Von Mises and Von Hayek continued this tradition which separated the economy from the rest of social life. In the United States Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman brought together neoclassical economics fields.

Polanyi’s Great Transformation

In his powerful book The Great Transformation, political economist Karl Polanyi argues that for most of human history there was no such thing as a separate realm called “the economy”. The economy was embedded in social relationships regarding the circulation of goods based on principles of “reciprocity” within families and kin groups. At the level of the state power of kings and aristocrats, these political relationships were regulated by what Polanyi called “redistribution”. What might be called an “economy” was limited to some trade relations between societies, not within them.

Polanyi argues that this began to change when capitalism brought into society the wheeling-and-dealing that was once limited to trade between societies. At the end of the 18th century when industrialization began to pulverize community relations based on generalized reciprocity and redistribution, the state became more centralized and reorganized society as market relations. There is no better account of this great transformation than to examine Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. While Adam Smith is considered the “father” of neoclassical economics, in most ways he represented a cross between political economy and neoclassical economics. In the first section below I will contrast him with those harder-line political economists like Marx. In the next section I will show how different he was from neoclassical economists.

Substantive vs formal rationality

If you ask most people what an economy is, they will tell you that it is a social process by which people work to produce goods and then the goods are circulated and consumed. But in the minds of neoclassical economists, the economy is not a society-wide social process involving the transformation of nature to meet human needs through a production and circulation process. For neoclassical economists, the economy is a micro exchange between self-interested, hedonistic individuals who compete with each other. Their decisions about what will be traded or bargained is based on short-term self-interest in which they weigh the pros and cons. Society is no more than the aggregate sum of these micro interactions.

Adam Smith vs radical political economists (Marx)

Turning to Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the first thing worth noticing is the ahistorical manner in which the origins of capitalism are presented. Smith argues that individuals “trucked and bartered” all the way back to hunting and gathering societies. Ideologically it is important to establish that some form of capitalism has always existed. For Marx and the institutionalist political economy theory, capitalism has a more recent origin in the 15th and 16th centuries. No anthropologist who studied tribal societies would try to make Smith’s case.

Secondly, Smith claims that capitalism starts when frugal, hard-working, shrewd traders identify a need to invest capital in land. In the best of all possible worlds, the product sells and he makes a profit. This capitalist has to compete with other traders and the results of this competition are better products for everyone. Smith called this “the invisible hand” of the market. Marxists and post-Keynesians contest this. Marx argued that capitalism doesn’t begin with trading. It begins with what Marx called “the primitive accumulation of capital” when peasants are thrown off the land (enclosures) and their tools and animals are taken away from him. The capitalist uses the land for commercial farming growing coffee, sugar, cotton and tobacco through the labor of slaves. Meanwhile former peasants are driven to work in cities and eventually work in factories after capitalists have revolutionized industry in the 19th century.

Smith believes that the source of profit is in the circulation process. Capitalist make profits by winning the competition, buying land cheap and selling it dear. His ingenuity and risk-taking are rewarded. For Marx, the key to understanding the source of profit is not primarily circulation process, but the production process. Marx says that the exploitation by the capitalist of the laborer comes in the form of wages paid to the worker. Marx estimated that the wages of work covered the first four hours of labor. This was enough money to reproduce working-class life. The last 4-6 hours were surplus labor that was pocketed by the capitalist. So, the ultimate source of profit was the exploitation of labor power. Smith also has a labor theory of value, but it was not the most important factor.

Adam Smith was sensitive to the cost the specialization of labor might have on the body and mind of the worker in terms of alienation on the job. Despite that, he felt that the massive productivity of volume that would result was worth that cost. In Bertell Ollman’s great book Marx’s Theory of Alienation he points out that workers are alienated from a) the process of labor; b) the products of labor; c) other people on the job while laboring; d) the tools harnessed; e) alienation from himself. Marx’s hope was that once an abundance of goods was produced the worker should work less and have a diverse set of activities, as he said, fishing in the morning, cattle rearing in the afternoon, criticism in the evening.

Human nature for Smith is pretty bleak. He believed that human beings are pleasure-seeking, rational and competitive, but lazy. Most people would prefer to do nothing and it is only by the carrot and the stick of enterprising capitalists that makes workers productive. For Marx, people are naturally collectively creative and want to cooperate. People only appear lazy when they have been performing wage labor and they are tired and miserable. When people control their conditions of labor, they are more productive than under capitalist conditions. This has been shown in evidence of worker cooperatives and workers councils during revolutions.

For Adam Smith the fruits of competitive capitalism led to lower prices for consumers. Marx said this is not what actually happens. Competition between capitalists leads to a concentration of capital in a few corporations and the elimination of smaller capitalists. As Marxists Baran and Sweezy point out, corporate capitalists agree not to engage in cut-throat competition and the prices of commodities are pretty much the same. They compete through advertising, not through the prices themselves.  There are many more contrasts that could be made, but these are the most important. Let me turn now to the difference between Adam Smith and neo-classical economists like Milton Friedman. It is Milton Friedman‘s right-wing economics that is propagandized in college courses.

Adam Smith Vs Milton Friedman

Despite Smith’s departure from the more leftist political economists of Marx or Thorstein Veblen, compared to Milton Friedman, Adam Smith would have been considered a left liberal. In the first place, Adam Smith understood that the state was necessary for public works like roads, canals and harbors to provide education and defense. With rare exceptions, Milton Friedman wanted the state completely out of the market. His theory was “let the markets run everything”.

While Adam Smith was sensitive to the impact of the working conditions in factories, Milton Friedman might say that workers are free to find work elsewhere if the working conditions did not suit them. In terms of the source of profit, Adam Smith, like Marx, also included a labor theory of value. That means that the cost of a product depended at least partly on the labor time it takes to produce the product. To my knowledge, Milton Friedman ignored this.

How is wealth measured? Smith had an infrastructural answer to this. For him wealth is measured in a) the increased dexterity of every workman; b) the amount of time saved; and c) the inventions of machines that would shorten the workday for workers. Ultimately for Smith the increase in the standard of living of the poor should be the ultimate determination of social wealth. By today’s neoliberal and neoconservative light, Adam Smith would be to the left of Bernie Sanders! For Milton Friedman, he believed that maximizing the profits of capitalists would have a trickle-down effect on the poor.

Notice there is nothing in Adam Smith’s work about investment in the military or finance as sources of profit. For Adam Smith production of material, physical wealth was how profit was measured. For Milton Friedman, profit should be measured regardless of the field. This means that the profits made on a tractor and the profits made on a tank should all count as profit. This fails to make the distinction between tools which can produce food and tools which destroy land and people. So too, for Friedman, profits made on finance capital, investment in paper which produces no material wealth is the same as profits made on building roads, bridges or houses.

Adam Smith, like political economists such as Thorstein Veblen, included the creativity of farmers, artisan, scientists and engineers as creative sources for the economy. For Milton Friedman, the only fount of creative power was the ingenuity of the capitalist. Apparently, Friedman had little idea that the wealth capitalist possessed was not the result of personal ingenuity but most often from inheritance. Last time I checked about 2/3 of capitalist got their wealth from the inheritance they received.

Playing Hardball: the totalitarian nature of capitalist economics courses

In the fields of psychology, a student is presented with six different theoretical schools: psychoanalysis, behaviorism, humanistic psychology, physiological, evolutionary psychology and cognitive. In the fields of sociology, we might be presented with three founding schools – Marx, Weber and Durkheim. Second generation schools might be added: The Elitists (Mosca, Pareto, Michels), symbolic interactionists and rational choice theory. But in the field of economics, in Economics 101 classes, the student is presented with one school. That school would be the neoclassical economics of Samuelson and then later, Milton Freidman. No matter what the chapter heading, neoclassical economics has an interpretation and analysis.  Keynesian theory might be presented somewhat, but only in select chapters. Surprisingly only two schools are presented. Does this mean there are only two schools? Hardly.

In their book Introduction to Political Economy, Sackrey, Schneider and Knoedler identify a number of other schools. In addition to a full presentation of Keynes, also included are the works of John Kenneth Galbreath, Thorstein Veblen, Karl Marx, along with might be called the anarchist economics of worker cooperatives. There are other schools called post Keynesians like Steve Keen and Michael Hudson. These are all first-rate economics, why are they not included?

The reason is solely for propaganda purposes. Neoclassical economics theorists are cheerleaders for what I call market fundamentalism. Other schools vary in calling for more state intervention (Keynes, Galbraith) while some are critical of finance capitalism (Keens and Hudson). Others like Marxists and anarchists are critical of the entire capitalist system. The propagandistic nature of neoclassical economics can be more blatantly seen in the fact that there is not one Marxian economist in the United States that is the head of an economics department.

Conclusion

It has often been said by people living outside of Yankeedom that the Yankee masses are stupid people. We don’t know anything about the history of other societies or where they even are on the globe. As true as this may be, what is even more disturbing is that Yankee masses do not understand our own political economy. This article was designed to show how our social bodies have been snatched away and then inhabited by two zombified entities. A political science body which is designed to persuade us that we live in a democracy despite our own best judgment. The evidence political science offers us is self-congratulatory, contradictory, irrelevant, myopic, filled with deceptive comparisons and anti-communist.  The other body is a neo-classical economic entity which is also triumphant, mystifying, naïve, cynical, wooden, anti-social, shallow, obscurant and also anti-communist. Anyone in Yankeedom who manages to recover their social body must go through a process of de-zombification. What does this recovery look like? We must analyze the world through a political economy which is interdisciplinary, which is always undergoing quantitative and quantitative changes and through which we can collectively imagine and then build a new socialist world.

The post Invasion of the Body Snatchers: How Political Science and Neoclassical Economics Zombifies the Yankee Population first appeared on Dissident Voice.

People Are Rising Up Against The Elites, So Should We

Protest in Peru:  The people demand neither corruption or exploitation

This weekend, ten thousand people took to the streets in Guatemala to protest the President and Congress over a proposed budget, the largest in its history, that cuts funds for health care and education as poverty rises, and provides slush funds to politicians and governments. In Colombia, the people held a national strike to protest their violent, right-wing government. In Peru, protests against a right-wing power grab have ousted one appointed president and people are demanding a new government and constitution. And people in Chile won the right to a new constitution. Now they are defending the process to make sure it represents them.

Across the Atlantic Ocean in Nigeria, in what began as a response to ongoing and severe state violence, the #EndSARS movement, has evolved to a struggle for full liberation from a corrupt and repressive government. Their new hashtag is #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria. I spoke with Abiodun Aremu, a long time movement leader in Lagos, on Clearing the FOG, about the current conditions and history of looting and exploitation by those in power.

In these countries and more, the people are rising up against the elite power structure to fight for their rights. Across borders, we share a common enemy, neoliberal economies that funnel wealth to the top, deregulate industries so they violate worker rights and destroy the environment, and impose austerity programs to deny our basic necessities. We also share a common vision for a world where the self-determination of peoples is respected and all people have equitable access to a life of dignity and prosperity.

Boxes of food were handed out by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Gene J. Puskar/AP.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has a new report that finds the economy, which improved slightly over the summer, is stagnating again. As the provisions from the CARES Act expire, poverty is rising, especially for black and brown people. Women are also being adversely impacted because of the lack of childcare. Most of the jobs that have been lost, 52 percent, are low-wage jobs.

They point to a recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services that predicts ten million more people will become impoverished by the end of this year. Currently, 24 million adults say they don’t have enough food in their homes and 80 million adults say they are struggling to afford basic necessities. Without adequate support from the government, the economy won’t recover and people will continue to suffer.

The COVID-19 pandemic is surging with more than 200,000 cases in one day last week and deaths are rising again. Across the country, hospitals are struggling without enough beds and the staff to care for patients. The United States is expected to remain at this crisis level through the winter unless drastic steps are taken such as a national shut down, including all non-essential businesses. At present, that is not an option being considered by either President Trump or President-Elect Biden.

Both Trump and Biden are putting corporate profits over the needs of people by focusing on reopening businesses rather than providing the relief people desperately need. The Institute for Policy Studies reports that billionaires have increased their wealth by nearly $1 trillion since the start of the pandemic while their workers are left unprotected and without increases in their wages. They specifically call out a “delinquent dozen” of “pandemic profiteers.”

David McNew/Getty Images.

As Congress refuses to provide support for the millions who have lost their jobs, their health insurance and their homes, people are calling on the incoming Biden administration to take immediate action. For example, David Dayen points out that a provision in the Affordable Care Act allows the President to use executive power to expand Medicare to whomever needs it.

Biden, unfortunately, has made it clear that he opposes Medicare for All.  I spoke about the COVID-19 crisis and our for-profit healthcare system with Chris Hedges on his program, On Contact, this weekend.

This past week, more than 235 organizations called on Joe Biden to cancel student debt, which can also be done using executive power. Student debt has reached a staggering $1.6 trillion, a burden that is crippling people in the current recession. The groups state, “Cancellation will help jumpstart spending, create jobs, and add to the GDP. Short-term payment suspension alone is not enough to help struggling borrowers who are unemployed, already in default, or in serious delinquency.”

In addition to failing to address the pandemic and economic hardship at home, the United States government also inflicts pain and suffering across the planet through the many regime change efforts and military aggressions. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies outlined ten steps Joe Biden could take immediately to change our foreign policy to one that is in line with international law, provides humanitarian aid instead of bombs and reduces the threat of nuclear war.

Federal spending on the security state dwarfs what is spent on domestic needs. Only 32 percent of the federal discretionary budget is used for health care, education, energy and housing and the biggest chunk of that goes to the Veterans Health Administration. The rest goes to the Pentagon, Homeland Security, the State Department, and NASA. Imagine what could be done to provide universal health care, child care, fully-funded education through the university level, low-cost clean energy and affordable housing if we stopped our wars and brought the military home.

Sean Rayford/New York Times.

Now that it is clear the next president will be Joe Biden, some people may think it is time to relax and let him go to work running the country. This is the message the power holders want the people to hear. The Biden administration will go to great lengths to give the appearance that it is different and that it will make positive changes, but just as we have experienced over and over again, when it comes to domestic economic policy or foreign policy, there is little difference between Democratic and Republican administrations. Both serve the wealthy class and the military industrial complex.

The power elites are never going to give us what we need. We must demand it. As we see people in other countries doing, we must organize and mobilize with a clear set of demands now. Joe Biden can take immediate steps to relieve suffering, and in a time of crisis as we are in now, he can do it using executive power. We must not give Biden a honeymoon. We must not be fooled by the excuses used to convince us it can’t be done.

The post People Are Rising Up Against The Elites, So Should We first appeared on Dissident Voice.

People Are Rising Up Against The Elites, So Should We

Protest in Peru:  The people demand neither corruption or exploitation

This weekend, ten thousand people took to the streets in Guatemala to protest the President and Congress over a proposed budget, the largest in its history, that cuts funds for health care and education as poverty rises, and provides slush funds to politicians and governments. In Colombia, the people held a national strike to protest their violent, right-wing government. In Peru, protests against a right-wing power grab have ousted one appointed president and people are demanding a new government and constitution. And people in Chile won the right to a new constitution. Now they are defending the process to make sure it represents them.

Across the Atlantic Ocean in Nigeria, in what began as a response to ongoing and severe state violence, the #EndSARS movement, has evolved to a struggle for full liberation from a corrupt and repressive government. Their new hashtag is #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria. I spoke with Abiodun Aremu, a long time movement leader in Lagos, on Clearing the FOG, about the current conditions and history of looting and exploitation by those in power.

In these countries and more, the people are rising up against the elite power structure to fight for their rights. Across borders, we share a common enemy, neoliberal economies that funnel wealth to the top, deregulate industries so they violate worker rights and destroy the environment, and impose austerity programs to deny our basic necessities. We also share a common vision for a world where the self-determination of peoples is respected and all people have equitable access to a life of dignity and prosperity.

Boxes of food were handed out by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Gene J. Puskar/AP.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has a new report that finds the economy, which improved slightly over the summer, is stagnating again. As the provisions from the CARES Act expire, poverty is rising, especially for black and brown people. Women are also being adversely impacted because of the lack of childcare. Most of the jobs that have been lost, 52 percent, are low-wage jobs.

They point to a recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services that predicts ten million more people will become impoverished by the end of this year. Currently, 24 million adults say they don’t have enough food in their homes and 80 million adults say they are struggling to afford basic necessities. Without adequate support from the government, the economy won’t recover and people will continue to suffer.

The COVID-19 pandemic is surging with more than 200,000 cases in one day last week and deaths are rising again. Across the country, hospitals are struggling without enough beds and the staff to care for patients. The United States is expected to remain at this crisis level through the winter unless drastic steps are taken such as a national shut down, including all non-essential businesses. At present, that is not an option being considered by either President Trump or President-Elect Biden.

Both Trump and Biden are putting corporate profits over the needs of people by focusing on reopening businesses rather than providing the relief people desperately need. The Institute for Policy Studies reports that billionaires have increased their wealth by nearly $1 trillion since the start of the pandemic while their workers are left unprotected and without increases in their wages. They specifically call out a “delinquent dozen” of “pandemic profiteers.”

David McNew/Getty Images.

As Congress refuses to provide support for the millions who have lost their jobs, their health insurance and their homes, people are calling on the incoming Biden administration to take immediate action. For example, David Dayen points out that a provision in the Affordable Care Act allows the President to use executive power to expand Medicare to whomever needs it.

Biden, unfortunately, has made it clear that he opposes Medicare for All.  I spoke about the COVID-19 crisis and our for-profit healthcare system with Chris Hedges on his program, On Contact, this weekend.

This past week, more than 235 organizations called on Joe Biden to cancel student debt, which can also be done using executive power. Student debt has reached a staggering $1.6 trillion, a burden that is crippling people in the current recession. The groups state, “Cancellation will help jumpstart spending, create jobs, and add to the GDP. Short-term payment suspension alone is not enough to help struggling borrowers who are unemployed, already in default, or in serious delinquency.”

In addition to failing to address the pandemic and economic hardship at home, the United States government also inflicts pain and suffering across the planet through the many regime change efforts and military aggressions. Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies outlined ten steps Joe Biden could take immediately to change our foreign policy to one that is in line with international law, provides humanitarian aid instead of bombs and reduces the threat of nuclear war.

Federal spending on the security state dwarfs what is spent on domestic needs. Only 32 percent of the federal discretionary budget is used for health care, education, energy and housing and the biggest chunk of that goes to the Veterans Health Administration. The rest goes to the Pentagon, Homeland Security, the State Department, and NASA. Imagine what could be done to provide universal health care, child care, fully-funded education through the university level, low-cost clean energy and affordable housing if we stopped our wars and brought the military home.

Sean Rayford/New York Times.

Now that it is clear the next president will be Joe Biden, some people may think it is time to relax and let him go to work running the country. This is the message the power holders want the people to hear. The Biden administration will go to great lengths to give the appearance that it is different and that it will make positive changes, but just as we have experienced over and over again, when it comes to domestic economic policy or foreign policy, there is little difference between Democratic and Republican administrations. Both serve the wealthy class and the military industrial complex.

The power elites are never going to give us what we need. We must demand it. As we see people in other countries doing, we must organize and mobilize with a clear set of demands now. Joe Biden can take immediate steps to relieve suffering, and in a time of crisis as we are in now, he can do it using executive power. We must not give Biden a honeymoon. We must not be fooled by the excuses used to convince us it can’t be done.

The post People Are Rising Up Against The Elites, So Should We first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Covid and its Man-Made Gigantic Collateral Damage: The Great Reset

The going narrative in the west is: “Covid is on the Rise.  We are entering the second wave.  We must protect our people.”

The offered recipe is testing-testing-testing. It is the instrument for increasing “cases”. The more you test, the more cases you have. Is that so difficult to understand? If tomorrow the world stops “testing”, covid is gone. Finito. Back to life. That’s what they don’t want, though. “They”, the higher-ups. Let me call them the diabolical Deep Dark State.

However, testing and the testing results are never analyzed. How many positives are asymptomatic, who are the “positives’, what are their age groups? According to all those doctors around the world who have stepped out of the Matrix and formed associations of medical professionals and related scientists, most of them call themselves Doctors for the Truth, in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Peru, the USA and more – more than 80% of the “positives” are asymptomatic, meaning asymptomatic people feel nothing and never get sick.

About ten to fifteen percent have slight to more serious symptoms, but do not need hospitalization  and the rest who may be hospitalized is above 75 or 80 years of age almost all of them with one to several comorbidities. Of those who die, most die from a medical pre-condition – coronary disease, diabetes, cancer – with “tested” covid-19, but not from covid-19.

According to the various associations of Doctors for the Truth, they concluded, based on their experience, more than 50% of the so-called RT-PCM (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) deliver “false positives”. Of course, the labs, hospitals and doctors who perform them are aware, but they are silenced with a carrot or a stick. And the “false positives” conveniently help drive covid statistics through the roof.

But who would have an interest in that?

Curiously, very curiously, in the northern hemisphere — also called the Global North — the hundreds of years-old common flu has literally disappeared. From one year to another. We have just entered the season of the common flu, or “influenza”. Fall and winter are typical for the annual flu and cold. But nobody talks about it. Suddenly the flu has evaporated. No flu statistics. No mainstream media, no coopted doctors, hospitals or Covid Task Force, and, of course, no government officials, especially not those from the sacrosanct Health Authorities, would ever mention the word flu or “influenza”. Why? They don’t think that We, the people, could get the idea. Or do they?

Is it possible that the flu has been adopted, integrated into covid? This is just an innocent question, of course. One ought not to speculate with things that could put authorities in a corner, or worse, imply that they have been lying to the people who elected them, to the very people who pay their salaries.

And why would they do that? Do they have an obscure reason? Someone, something high-high above them, who tells them, all 193 UN nations at once, they have to cheat their people, because these high-high above them, sinister dark un-people have an agenda to implement? Perhaps Bill Gates’ Agenda ID2020, accompanied by WEF’s Klaus Schwab’s “Covid-19 – The Great Reset” (July 2020, available on Amazon and everywhere)?

It is indeed possible that governments around the globe have been coopted, by carrot or by stick (to put it benignly), to drive up covid statistics, covid “cases”; and what’s more convenient in the fall-winter season than converting the common flu which in any case, when tested, will show corona viruses. The flu and covid viruses are very, very similar; they are practically undistinguishable in a test.

Ask the doctors who stepped out of the Matrix, the doctors for the truth. Virtually all flu viruses contain a proportion of corona viruses, as high as 17% to 20%. So, telling what is what is almost impossible, and even less so if the mix-up can be favorable for covid and help drive the covid statistics up and up and up.

But who would be interested in making the pandemic look worse than it already is? Isn’t it that everybody wants to “flatten the curve”? At least that’s what they said during the first wave. It justified the first lockdown. Why would it be different in the second wave? And, yes, we are suddenly in the midst of the second wave. But nobody dares talking again about flattening the curve.

Virtually all governments have assured their people – frankly, we are more subjects than people for them, subjects that are manipulated with lies and masks and social distancing, separated from their loved ones through senseless quarantines – these potentially resisting subjects, WE, were assured that there will be no second lockdown, that the countries, the world, could not afford a second lockdown. However, gradually but with giant steps, these dictatorial governments, almost all of whom have quietly and without consultation of the people, adopted “Health Emergency Laws” — a close equivalent to Martial Law — have closed all the windows and doors, so that “bang” another lockdown is on the plate. And again, nowhere to escape.

Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, the UK, and so far, partly Switzerland have just declared within the last 48 hours a lockdown, or a quasi-lockdown, with curfews and “house arrests” – isolation at home, shop closings, work-from-home rules, and more.  Worse may follow. People take it. Benign protests only. But no steadfast and unrelenting resistance yet.

Others governments are weighing in, rather “when” than “if” – they want to take this draconian step, eviscerating the last shred of the remaining economy, and causing detrimental damage to humanity, social damage from isolation, social distancing – not being able to get together with family and friends. In some countries like Canada, the tyrannical Trudeau government has already announced that this year “Christmas may be cancelled” – meaning, no visits with families and friends. Others may follow suit. Can you imagine!

In a recent interview with RT, Stanford University Professor, medical doctor and President Trump’s Covid advisor, Scott Atlas, called the lockdown policies an “epic failure” and argued they are “killing people,”. Atlas added, “The public-health leadership have failed egregiously, and they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies.” And further, “The lockdowns will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refuse to accept, they were wrong.”

Atlas then pointed to job losses, rising suicides, rising drug abuse and the harm being done to young people, tying the issues to the Covid-19 restrictions put in place. He referred to a study showing that 25 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 thought about killing themselves in June “due to the lockdown,” he said. And what’s maybe worse, We’re creating a generation of neurotic children, forcing them to wear masks and be six feet apart from their friends, or not even have school in person.”

People do not take it! Resist!

France, under President Macron, is already considering a third wave. RT reports:

France’s minister of solidarity and health, Olivier Veran, has said he cannot rule out a third wave of the coronavirus, as the country enters a second national lockdown.

As they battle a new spike in Covid-19 cases, French officials are already concerned about the threat of a third wave. Discussing the situation on France Info radio, Veran told listeners that, due to the severity of the virus and the speed at which it’s spreading, it’s not possible to rule out a third wave, even if the second peak is brought under control.

Defending the government’s decision to implement a second national lockdown, which comes into effect at midnight on Thursday (29 October), Veran claimed that it’s “nobody’s failure,” but said there are challenges with containing the spread, as they are dealing with an “invisible enemy.”

A second wave, worldwide, was already predicted in May 2020 because those who call the shots on the “innocent” people knew exactly that the flu season will come, as it does every year.

Now, the flu is blended in with covid, mixed up and adding to the dramatic hike of covid “cases”, covid statistics. This and the media hype will create more FEAR, more – or rather – THE justification for a second lockdown, and obedience, yes.  The scared are weak and vulnerable, they are manipulable, especially when threatened at the same time with disproportionately huge fines for disobedience. FEAR is the strongest weapon of these tyrants.

The FEAR factor makes new parents accept that hospitals impose upon them to wear masks when receiving their newborn. Faceless parents, fearsome world. Their newborn and later toddlers and children will know their parents with masks. Facial expressions are hidden. The child is being isolated in plain sight from their parents. That’s what this monstrous dictatorship, to which every government of this world is submissive, wants. Alienated children – a generation that grows up in a faceless society. This is a sinister form of child abuse that may destroy an entire generation. But that’s what the eugenists behind this covid cum 5G atrocity want – heartless, emotionless people, who may easily become dispensable. The dispensable people is not a new term. It has been used regularly in the circles of the current US Administration to designate people who are in their views worthless for society.

This reminds of an infamous Henry Kissinger saying, “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.” These words were spoken already in the 1960s, by a eugenist. That’s what Kissinger is, a Rockefeller protégé, sharing his Master’s deepest thoughts, and he is joined, by whom else, Bill Gates, who doesn’t make a secret of wanting to reduce “drastically” the world population. It would therefore not come as a surprise, if the Great Reset also had in mind reducing food supply to certain “lesser populations”.

Even without disrupting food supplies, the poor will have no money to purchase food. They will enter a painful phase of famine, parents seeing their children starve  and many will succumb to famine, death by famine. This is the natural consequence of what’s already happening – bankruptcies abound, unemployment rises into unheard dimensions. The International Labor Office (ILO) predicts by end 2020 to mid-2021 that up to half of the world’s workforce may be out of work – most of them in the Global South, where about 70% of labor is “informal”, meaning no social safety nets, no pensions, no unemployment benefits, nothing.

Simultaneously, The World Food Program (WFP) predicts a Famine Pandemic, the consequences of which are far more disastrous than those of the so-called “covid-pandemic”. The WFP reports that today already 821 million people go to bed hungry every night, and an additional 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. That means 135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation.

WFP predicts that Covid-19 will likely add another 130 million, who could be facing starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people on the brink of death from starvation by the end of 2020.

The world’s governments – and all 193 UN members participate in one way or another – they are genocidal, since they know exactly what they are doing.

Enter the Great Reset, referred to above. It presents a disaster plan of total destruction – the 4th Industrial Revolution, based on IT, algorithms, robotism, transferring assets from the bottom to the top, what’s left of them, converting them in an “eco-friendly” way into a new capitalism, painted green, The New Green Deal. Will people fall for it? Propaganda is strong. Propaganda had already started with the 1992 Environmental Conference in Rio (The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), from 3-14 June 1992. This conference set the pace for the climate hype that ensued and to which by now almost the entire world is enslaved, leading to “How Dare You” Greta – and now the New Green Deal.

In this 4th Industrial age, where robots call the shots, we the surviving people, other than the commanding elite, of course, would become tele-commanded obedient servants, a bit like Aldous Huxley’s futuristic “Brave New World”.

We can resist. Peacefully, of course. For example, no more testing. Nobody goes “testing” and within no time the covid figures would decline. Covid would actually stop. And the common flu, as it does every year, would bother us a bit. But no reason for fear, because there are plenty of remedies – but NO Vaccines.

We have to peacefully engage in dialogue with the police and military, explain to them what’s at stake. They must understand that they are only the obedient servants of an abject rich elite’s agenda that has nothing to do with protecting public health, that, to the contrary, they are destroying public health and humanity. Police and military are just like us, We, the People. Once this dark sinister elite reached their goal of total control and take-over, police and military will be discarded and replaced by robots. That’s already in the books.

We have to talk to medical personnel in hospitals, clinics and medical practitioners, as well as to teachers from Kindergarten to primary school, all the way to universities – explain to them the “sinister plan” and what it has already done to humanity, to the world’s socioeconomic fabric.

And finally, we have to engage with the numerous country associations of thousands of medical doctors, virologists, immunologists and other scientists in the bio-medical field, who have stepped out of the matrix and sided with the people, often at the detriment of their careers – and worse.

No more testing and covid will be gone. And no vaccines.  Only in unison we are strong and can overcome. And overcome we shall!

The post Covid and its Man-Made Gigantic Collateral Damage: The Great Reset first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Countering Rightward Drift In The United States: This Struggle Is Long Term

This week, people are planning protests across the nation beginning the day after the election. Some, like Democratic Party-aligned groups and unions, will only demonstrate if President Trump loses and refuses to leave office. Trump will fail if he tries because the ruling class has clearly shifted its support to Biden. Professor Adrienne Pine explains this in her analysis of the opposition to Trump. Others such as issues-based groups, coalitions and community groups are planning to take the streets no matter what the outcome of the election is.

This is good news because a mass mobilization of left and progressive groups is needed to change the rightward direction in which the United States is headed. Michael J. Smith’s explanation of the “ratchet effect” describes the roles both Republicans and Democrats have played in moving our politics in that direction since 1968. In a nutshell, each time the Republicans moved to the right, the Democrats followed with the excuse that it’s necessary to win votes. This locks in the rightward motion, opening space for Republicans to move to the rightward again.

But Smith also writes, “the Democratic Party has assumed the role of ensuring that the countervailing pressure from the Left doesn’t happen. The party contains and neutralizes the Left, or what there is of it. Left voters are supposed to support the Democrat, come what may.” This is one of the reasons why the expression “the Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements” exists. How do we counteract that?

SignsofJustice.com.

2020 vision on who we are

In a recent episode of Eleanor Goldfield’s series, Deception 2020, she and Eugene Puryear discuss why the trope of “this is the most important election ever” is recycled in every presidential election. It serves as a great distractor that puts the focus on personalities rather than the broader social context of where we are. It pits Republican and Democratic voters against each other while the ruling class plays both sides, putting the most money on the one that has the best chance of winning. The people hold their noses and vote for whomever they consider to be the lesser evil while the wealthy class knows their interests will be served no matter who wins.

The year 2020 has brought into clear focus that we are living in a failed state and can’t afford to be drawn into this distraction.  The number of new COVID-19 cases surpassed 100,000 in one day. The recession is likely to deepen into a prolonged depression due to Congress’ failure to provide supports for families and their businesses and farms. The climate crisis is raging. And structural racist violence goes on in all of its forms while the Pentagon continues its insatiable consumption of the federal budget leaving austerity for the rest of us

Instead of being caught up in this “political ping pong”, as Kevin Zeese would call it, we need to focus on these grave issues before us. I learned some lessons to avoid this ping pong during my involvement with the health reform process in 2009-10 when we were advocating for national improved Medicare for all while the Democrats were pushing their version of a healthcare bill that protected the profits of the health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and big businesses.

The lesson is best summarized using the acronym “ICU.” Think of it as what is needed, especially in a time of crisis. The “I” stands for independent. It is important not to tie our issue to the agenda of a political party but to maintain independence from them while we press for what we need, lest our struggle be co-opted. The “C” stands for clarity, meaning we must be clear about what we are demanding. Members of the corporate duopoly will always try to water our demands down with proposals that may sound positive but are less than what we need. Look at the Democrat’s Green New Deal as a current example that protects the dirty energy industries and is too little, too late. And the “U” stands for uncompromising. The ruling class will always tell us we are asking for too much but we can’t compromise on fundamentals such as health care, housing, education, financial security and an end to violence against us. These are universal basic needs that nobody should be denied.

With this 2020 vision, we can mobilize a broad movement that puts forth a bold agenda of what we need and fights for it, no matter who is elected. This is how we reverse the ratchet effect. We can look to Chile as a recent example of a people succeeding in their struggle to reverse the ravages of neoliberalism. Patricio Zamorano describes how a similar situation to what we face, great inequality and injustice, drove people to mobilize despite severe repression and win the right to remake their Constitution.

Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News.

Violence on the rise

One reality we must prepare for is the continued rise in right wing violence no matter who wins the election. If Trump wins and people continue to struggle to end the injustices we face, right wing extremists will be emboldened by a president who encourages them. If Biden wins, they will be angered at what they view as a threat to the gains they have made and may lash out.

In light of this, communities need to organize to be vigilant to what is happening around them and to be proactive in creating structures that provide safety and mutual aid, particularly for those who are most vulnerable.

We live in an era of great polarization. This is expected because it goes hand in hand with great inequality and it often precedes moments of social transformation. Think of it as heightening the contradictions and forcing a choice. Who are we and how do we want our society to be?

George Lakey puts the polarization into historical context. Almost one hundred years ago, when extreme polarization existed in Europe, some countries moved to fascist dictatorships while others moved to socialized democracies. The difference was how the people organized and mobilized. Lakey suggests a road map.

If people who consider themselves left or progressive fail to organize and mobilize, we may go the way of a fascist dictatorship no matter who wins this presidential election. If Trump wins, he may do what others have done by trying to further consolidate his power into an authoritarian state. If Biden wins, and he continues the neoliberal and repressive policies that have marked his 47 years in elected office, then the conditions will be created in 2024 or beyond for another Democratic Party loss and an opening for a right wing leader who is more effective than Trump at consolidating power.

Either way we must mobilize and protect our rights. While most of our organizing will take place outside the electoral system because that is where we have power, it will also be necessary to focus on preserving whatever democratic rights exist and strengthening them.

Common Cause NY.

Protecting and improving the election process

As flawed as the electoral process in the United States is, it is the system we currently have. Fair election and third party activists have been working to change it for decades. Now, as it is on so many issues, the major problems with that system – voter suppression, lack of transparency and the process for choosing a president – are more evident.

While the United States has never been a democracy, in fact a look at the founding of the country shows the ruling class who wrote the Constitution were afraid of it, the people believe in democracy. Focusing on democratic rights in this election will bring people together and build momentum to change the system.

Focusing on what President Trump says is a distraction. Recall that Trump was also saying that he would not commit to accepting the outcome in the lead up to the 2016 election. The Democrats and the groups aligned with them are amplifying fears to drive voter turn out, and it seems to be working. The latest Gallup Poll finds almost 70% of registered voters are enthusiastic about the election, which is an increase from the 50% who were enthusiastic in 2016 and similar to 2008 levels. This is highest among registered Democrats.

Five Thirty Eight predicts that due to the electoral process in a few states, for example Pennsylvania is not allowed to start counting mail-in ballots until Tuesday, and the way the states are looking right now, neither of the major party candidates could reach the required 270 electoral votes on election night. It could take a few days.

This is not cause for panic. Instead, let’s take a collective deep breath and watch for problems with the process in our states. Documenting these can be used to challenge and improve the process for the next round. Already, people have been challenging the election process with more than 300 lawsuits filed in 44 states.

There is a small chance that President Trump will be re-elected. If that happens, it will be critical to respect that result. To reject an outcome of the election process we have opens the door to a breakdown of that system and a vacuum that could threaten the hope of building more democratic structures.

Remember, no matter what happens on November 3, our struggle goes on. It is a long term struggle against deeply entrenched structures of racism, capitalism, colonialism and imperialism that will have successes and failures. Our best chance for a better future is to keep our eye on the world we hope to create and keep working toward that goal.

The post Countering Rightward Drift In The United States: This Struggle Is Long Term first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Ending Regime Change in Bolivia and the World

Bolivian woman votes in October 18 election

Less than a year after the United States and the U.S.-backed Organization of American States (OAS) supported a violent military coup to overthrow the government of Bolivia, the Bolivian people have reelected the Movement for Socialism (MAS) and restored it to power.

In the long history of U.S.-backed “regime changes” in countries around the world, rarely have a people and a country so firmly and democratically repudiated U.S. efforts to dictate how they will be governed. Post-coup interim president Jeanine Añez has reportedly requested 350 U.S. visas for herself and others who may face prosecution in Bolivia for their roles in the coup.

The narrative of a rigged election in 2019 that the U.S. and the OAS peddled to support the coup in Bolivia has been thoroughly debunked. MAS’s support is mainly from indigenous Bolivians in the countryside, so it takes longer for their ballots to be collected and counted than those of the better-off city dwellers who support MAS’s right-wing, neoliberal opponents.

As the votes come in from rural areas, there is a swing to MAS in the vote count. By pretending that this predictable and normal pattern in Bolivia’s election results was evidence of election fraud in 2019, the OAS bears responsibility for unleashing a wave of violence against indigenous MAS supporters that, in the end, has only delegitimized the OAS itself.

It is instructive that the failed U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia has led to a more democratic outcome than U.S. regime change operations that succeeded in removing a government from power. Domestic debates over U.S. foreign policy routinely presume that the U.S. has the right, or even an obligation, to deploy an arsenal of military, economic and political weapons to force political change in countries that resist its imperial dictates.

In practice, this means either full-scale war (as in Iraq and Afghanistan), a coup d’etat (as in Haiti in 2004, Honduras in 2009 and Ukraine in 2014), covert and proxy wars (as in Somalia, Libya, Syria and Yemen) or punitive economic sanctions (as against Cuba, Iran and Venezuela) — all of which violate the sovereignty of the targeted countries and are therefore illegal under international law.

No matter which instrument of regime change the U.S. has deployed, these U.S. interventions have not made life better for the people of any of those countries, nor countless others in the past. William Blum’s brilliant 1995 book, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, catalogues 55 U.S. regime change operations in 50 years between 1945 and 1995. As Blum’s detailed accounts make clear, most of these operations involved U.S. efforts to remove popularly elected governments from power, as in Bolivia, and often replaced them with U.S.-backed dictatorships: like the Shah of Iran; Mobutu in the Congo; Suharto in Indonesia; and General Pinochet in Chile.

Even when the targeted government is a violent, repressive one, U.S. intervention usually leads to even greater violence. Nineteen years after removing the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the United States has dropped 80,000 bombs and missiles on Afghan fighters and civilians, conducted tens of thousands of “kill or capture” night raids, and the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Afghans.

In December 2019, the Washington Post published a trove of Pentagon documents revealing that none of this violence is based on a real strategy to bring peace or stability to Afghanistan — it’s all just a brutal kind of “muddling along,” as U.S. General McChrystal put it. Now the U.S.-backed Afghan government is finally in peace talks with the Taliban on a political power-sharing plan to bring an end to this “endless” war, because only a political solution can provide Afghanistan and its people with the viable, peaceful future that decades of war have denied them.

In Libya, it has been nine years since the U.S. and its NATO and Arab monarchist allies launched a proxy war backed by a covert invasion and NATO bombing campaign that led to the horrific sodomy and assassination of Libya’s long time anti-colonial leader, Muammar Gaddafi. That plunged Libya into chaos and civil war between the various proxy forces that the U.S. and its allies armed, trained and worked with to overthrow Gaddafi.

A parliamentary inquiry in the U.K. found that, “a limited intervention to protect civilians drifted into an opportunist policy of regime change by military means,” which led to “political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations, the spread of Gaddafi regime weapons across the region and the growth of Isil [Islamic State] in north Africa.”

The various Libyan warring factions are now engaged in peace talks aimed at a permanent ceasefire and, according to the UN envoy “holding national elections in the shortest possible timeframe to restore Libya’s sovereignty”—the very sovereignty that the NATO intervention destroyed.

Senator Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy adviser Matthew Duss has called for the next U.S. administration to conduct a comprehensive review of the post-9/11 “War on Terror,” so that we can finally turn the page on this bloody chapter in our history.

Duss wants an independent commission to judge these two decades of war based on “the standards of international humanitarian law that the United States helped to establish after World War II,” which are spelled out in the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions. He hopes that this review will “stimulate vigorous public debate about the conditions and legal authorities under which the United States uses military violence.”

Such a review is overdue and badly needed, but it must confront the reality that, from its very beginning, the “War on Terror” was designed to provide cover for a massive escalation of U.S. “regime change” operations against a diverse range of countries, most of which were governed by secular governments that had nothing to do with the rise of Al Qaeda or the crimes of September 11th.

Notes taken by senior policy official Stephen Cambone from a meeting in the still damaged and smoking Pentagon on the afternoon of September 11, 2001 summarized Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s orders to get “…best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time – not only UBL [Osama Bin Laden]… Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

At the cost of horrific military violence and mass casualties, the resulting global reign of terror has installed quasi-governments in countries around the world that have proved more corrupt, less legitimate and less able to protect their territory and their people than the governments that U.S. actions removed. Instead of consolidating and expanding U.S. imperial power as intended, these illegal and destructive uses of military, diplomatic and financial coercion have had the opposite effect, leaving the U.S. ever more isolated and impotent in an evolving multipolar world.

Today, the U.S., China and the European Union are roughly equal in the size of their economies and international trade, but even their combined activity accounts for less than half of global economic activity and external trade. No single imperial power economically dominates today’s world as overconfident American leaders hoped to do at the end of the Cold War, nor is it divided by a binary struggle between rival empires as during the Cold War. This is the multipolar world we are already living in, not one that may emerge at some point in the future.

This multipolar world has been moving forward, forging new agreements on our most critical common problems, from nuclear and conventional weapons to the climate crisis to the rights of women and children. The United States’ systematic violations of international law and rejection of multilateral treaties have made it an outlier and a problem, certainly not a leader, as American politicians claim.

Joe Biden talks about restoring American international leadership if he is elected, but that will be easier said than done. The American empire rose to international leadership by harnessing its economic and military power to a rules-based international order in the first half of the 20th century, culminating in the post-World War II rules of international law. But the United States has gradually deteriorated through the Cold War and post-Cold War triumphalism to a flailing, decadent empire that now threatens the world with a doctrine of “might makes right” and “my way or the highway.”

When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, much of the world still saw Bush, Cheney and the “War on Terror” as exceptional, rather than a new normal in American policy. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize based on a few speeches and the world’s desperate hopes for a “peace president.” But eight years of Obama, Biden, Terror Tuesdays and Kill Lists followed by four years of Trump, Pence, children in cages and the New Cold War with China have confirmed the world’s worst fears that the dark side of American imperialism seen under Bush and Cheney was no aberration.

Amid America’s botched regime changes and lost wars, the most concrete evidence of its seemingly unshakeable commitment to aggression and militarism is that the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex is still outspending the ten next largest military powers in the world combined, clearly out of all proportion to America’s legitimate defense needs.

So the concrete things we must do if we want peace are to stop bombing and sanctioning our neighbors and trying to overthrow their governments; to withdraw most American troops and close military bases around the world; and to reduce our armed forces and our military budget to what we really need to defend our country, not to wage illegal wars of aggression half-way round the world.

For the sake of people around the world who are building mass movements to overthrow repressive regimes and struggling to construct new models of governing that are not replications of failed neoliberal regimes, we must stop our government — no matter who is in the White House — from trying to impose its will.

Bolivia’s triumph over U.S.-backed regime change is an affirmation of the emerging people-power of our new multipolar world, and the struggle to move the U.S. to a post-imperial future is in the interest of the American people as well. As the late Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez once told a visiting U.S. delegation, “If we work together with oppressed people inside the United States to overcome the empire, we will not only be liberating ourselves, but also the people of Martin Luther King.”

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The World is Changing: China Launches Campaign for Superpower Status 

The outdated notion that China ‘just wants to do business’ should be completely erased from our understanding of the rising global power’s political outlook.

Simply put, Beijing has long realized that, in order for it to sustain its economic growth unhindered, it has to develop the necessary tools to protect itself, its allies and their combined interests.

The need for a strong China is not a novel idea developed by the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping. It goes back many decades, spanning various nationalist movements and, ultimately, the Communist Party. What sets Xi apart from the rest is that, thanks to the unprecedented global influence acquired by Beijing during his incumbency (2013 – present), China is now left with no alternative but to match its ‘economic miracle’ with a military one.

US President, Donald Trump, made the trade deficit between his country and China a cornerstone in his foreign policy agenda even before his rise to power. That aside, it is the military deficit that concerns China most. While world media often focuses on China’s military encroachment in the South China Sea – often dubbed ‘provocations’ – little is dedicated to the massive US military presence all around China.

Tens of thousands of US troops are stationed in the West Pacific and in other regions, creating an encirclement, all with the aim of cutting off the possibility of any Chinese strategic expansion. Numerous US military bases dot the Asia-Pacific map, stationed mostly in Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Guam and Australia.

In response to China’s military maneuvers in the South China Sea, the US composed the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which is raising the prospects of military confrontations between the US and its Asian allies on the one hand, and China, on the other. US military expansion soon followed. On September 8, the Wall Street Journal, citing US officials, reported that the Republic of Palau has “asked the Pentagon to build ports, bases and airfields on the island nation”.

It is obvious that the Pentagon would not base such a consequential decision on the wishes of a tiny republic like Palau. The immensely strategic value of the country – spread over hundreds of islands in the Philippine Sea, with close ties to China’s arch-enemy and US ally, Taiwan – makes Palau a perfect choice for yet more US military bases.

This is not new. The rise of China, and its clear intentions to expand its military influence in the Pacific, has irked the US for years. Barack Obama’s administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ in 2012 was the genesis of the new American belief regarding the imminent challenges awaiting it in that region. The National Defense Strategy of two years ago was a further confirmation that the focal point of US foreign policy has largely shifted away from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific.

The compromising language that became a feature in China’s foreign policy throughout the 1980s and 90s is now being supplanted by a different discourse, one of political resolve and unprecedented military ambitions. In his speech at the historic October 2017 Communist Party Congress in Beijing, Xi declared the dawn of a “new era”, one where development and strength must synchronize.

“The Chinese nation … has stood up, grown rich, and become strong. It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind,” he said.

Since then, Xi has tirelessly aimed to strike the balance between strength, bravery and victory with that of progress, ingenuity and wealth. For the “China dream” to be realized, “it will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there.”

The Chinese quest to reach its coveted ‘center stage’ has already been launched in earnest. In the economic realm, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in full swing. Announced by Xi in 2013, the giant plan hopes to outweigh all traditional trade channels that have been put in place over the course of many years. When completed, the China-led infrastructure network will establish connectivity throughout Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa. If successful, a future China could, once more, become a world-leading hub of trade, technological renovation and, of course, political power.

In contrast, the US has solidified its global dominance largely based on military might. This is why the US counter-strategy is now intently focused on military expansionism. On October 6, US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, said that his country’s navy requires more than 500 ships to counter China. Of this number, 355 traditional warfighting vessels are needed by 2035. This future fleet is dubbed “Battle Force 2045”.

Particularly intriguing in Esper’s recent announcement is the claim that by 2045, “Beijing wants to achieve parity with the United States Navy, if not exceed our capabilities in certain areas and to offset our overmatch in several others.” In fact, Beijing already has. China currently has the largest navy in the world and, according to the Pentagon, “is the top ship-producing nation in the world by tonnage.”

By China’s own calculations, Beijing does not need 25 more years to fully change the rules of the game. On October 15, President Xi told the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Marine Corps to focus their energy on “preparing for war”. Many interpretations have already been made of his statement, some linking it to the US, others to Taiwan, to various South China Sea conflicts and even to India. Regardless, Xi’s language indicates that China does not ‘just want to do business’, but is ready to do much more to protect its interests, even if this means an all-out war.

China’s foreign policy under Xi seems to portray an entirely different country. China now wields enough wealth, economic strategic influence – thus political power – to start the process of strategic maneuvering, not only in the Asia Pacific but in the Middle East and Africa, as well.

Another central piece in Xi’s strategy is to copy the American model and to rebrand China as a stately power, a defender of international law and against global crises. The US’ growing isolationism and failed leadership at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic have been Xi’s perfect opportunity for this new China debut.

The world is changing before our eyes. In the coming years, we are likely to, once more, speak of a bipolar – or, possibly, tri-polar — world, one in which Washington and its allies no longer shape the world for their benefit. In some way, China is well on its way to reclaim its new status.

The post The World is Changing: China Launches Campaign for Superpower Status  first appeared on Dissident Voice.