Category Archives: Neoliberalism

How Many Concussions from Capitalists Can Americans Take?

America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

— Hunter S. Thompson, “September,” Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, p. 413.

Imagine, just how programmed are we, and this is it for an excuse?

The Doctor Who Inspired The Movie Concussion - Truth Doesn't Have A Side

So, the electricity will be shaky here, there, and everywhere. The excuse is, of course, supply chain. Ports are cloggged. Container ship chaos. They will not admit to the real reason for economic and spiritual collapse:  CAPITALISM and PRICE gouging. It’s Putin’s fault.

Mass shootings, Roe v. Wade down the drain, empty shelves at hardware and food stores. It’s all Putin’s fault, including the price thieving for these electrical transformers, right? The $6 a gallon for gas in USA and $10 a gallon in Denmark, Putin’s fault. Mindless media midgets, and here we are: Western culture trapped in their own lies, inside their own self-fulfilling nightmares. Or continuous requiems for our dreams!

Requiem for a Dream: Trailer, Kritik, Kino-Programm u.v.m. | KINO&CO

The lies and the shallow inquiries and the lack of curiosity, right up there with everyone is a used car salesman.

Journalism has always been dead in the mainstream:

The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.

Which is more or less true. For the most part, they are dirty little animals with huge brains and no pulse.

— Hunter S. Thompson, Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s,  November 6, 2003.

But back to other lies, and other lackeys lacking an inquiring mind. Local news from the local rag I publish my columns in, has stories about the local happenings. No pushback, just inverted triangle reporting. Referencing the local Public Utilities District here in Lincoln County:

Like utilities nationwide, Central Lincoln is being greatly challenged by supply chain delays, material shortages and massive cost increases for materials delivered. Demand for electrical supplies is robust, while transportation bottlenecks and raw material constraints are causing us significant concern over our ability to meet construction timelines. As we address these issues, Central Lincoln will strive to maintain supply levels to meet customer needs, while still maintaining emergency inventories.

We’ve all seen supply chain issues impact many aspects of life today. In some cases, lead times for Central Lincoln have increased six fold in the last two years when we’ve placed orders for materials. For example, new residential transformers typically took four months for delivery prior to the pandemic, and now they take between one year to 20 months to arrive. Costs for materials are also soaring — transformers that were $2,500 two years ago are now $15,000 each, and the cost is continuing to increase. This is not an exaggeration. (source)

Read that again: $2,500 for necessary transformers two years ago now SIX times more, at $15,000?

This is what defines USA, Biden, Trump, McConnell, Pelosi, Carson or Maddow, the entire shit show that is the American stupidity show. And how unprepared are we? This is the colonized mind, and this is the state of the American culture, as well as UK’s and Canada’s and EU’s. If all of this were true, and if we were guided (sic) by sane and humane folks, there’d be massive movements and masterful national plans to nationalize industries and rejigger the entire mess of capitalism for a world, a nation, that works for the people.

Now, shifting over to Scott Ritter, military lover, but still, smart.  He’s not on mainstream TV, in mainstream news. Again, the plastic hair and the Botox lips and the grappling girdles on these airhead TV presenters match their plastic brains. Here (below), he talks about how stupid Americans are (about world issues), and that includes what Yanquis do not know or want to know about the Nazi Ukrainians and this special military operation that Russia FINALLY had to unleash on that disgusting Ukraine and that perverted Zelensky and his crew.

But before Scott’s interview, how about  a little black robe insanity. Here we are now, with that un-Supreme Court, doing their shit show decision to get into the uterus of the female persuasion. Eichmanns, one and all.

See the source image

Imagine that? Supreme (not) Court now determining the legality of obesity, the calories, the sorts of foods, the environmental effects on the male perusasion. Will the male be held criminally libel for what they ingest and what they do to their bodies, their sperm, the RNA?

Let’s be consistent here, perverts?

There is substantial evidence that paternal obesity is associated not only with an increased incidence of infertility, but also with an increased risk of metabolic disturbance in adult offspring. Apparently, several mechanisms may contribute to the sperm quality alterations associated with paternal obesity, such as physiological/hormonal alterations, oxidative stress, and epigenetic alterations. Along these lines, modifications of hormonal profiles namely reduced androgen levels and elevated estrogen levels, were found associated with lower sperm concentration and seminal volume. Additionally, oxidative stress in testis may induce an increase of the percentage of sperm with DNA fragmentation. The latter, relate to other peculiarities such as alteration of the embryonic development, increased risk of miscarriage, and development of chronic morbidity in the offspring, including childhood cancers. (source)

Preparing for American Roe v. Wade protests in DC. Imagine that, Plywood USA. DC Police Gauntlets. AmeriKKKa.

Washington, On Edge About the Election, Boards Itself Up - The New York Times

This all connects, really, these issues of local electrical power outages, and war. War against Russia, and, well, local costs soaring: War against the people. Supply chain excuses. Oh, where oh where are those Republican pukes and Democratic pukes serving us, the people? Electrical outages? Check that one failure of leadership for massive deaths and injuries in simple households?

Ritter talks about Nato using nuclear weapons, talks about the stupidity of Americans, and actors and the cultural cancelling.

Here you go, Gonzalo Lira: Israel Provokes Russia

Because I’ve lost access to all my accounts and channels to the SBU (Ukraine’s secret police), I don’t have any way to promote my content—so please be so kind as to share this video with anyone whom you think might learn something. GL

He talks about how Jews, not just Zionists and those in Occupied Palestine, seem to collectively hate Russians. It’s racism, of course, to hate an entire people: Russians? And, will this YouTube be taken down? For the opinion of Lira saying that Jews seem to hate Russians, or, for, another reason?

So, on the Scheer Post, we get all sorts of mixed bag aggregated articles on Russia and Ukraine. Many are like this: “China Will Decide the Outcome of Russia v. the West: Is Putin the Face of the Future or the Final Gasp of the Past?”

John Feffer wrote it, and he is bought and sold — co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. He is a fellow at the Open Society Foundation and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. The original article came from Tom Dispatch. Feffer is self-described Jewish gay.

Look up George Soros and his Open Society Foundation. Look up DSA’s stance on pouring weapons and death into Ukraine. DSA is all for billions of weapons to Ukraine, and billions for ZioLensky to “operate” the Ukraine government, err, Mafia. This is how these pencil necks see their world:

In its attempt to swallow Ukraine whole, Russia has so far managed to bite off only the eastern Donbas region and a portion of its southern coast. The rest of the country remains independent, with its capital Kyiv intact.

No one knows how this meal will end. Ukraine is eager to force Russia to disgorge what it’s already devoured, while the still-peckish invader clearly has no interest in leaving the table.

Here some comments at Scheer Post, pushing back on this guy, and I won’t republish mine:

Robert Sinuhe:

This is what happens when you are seriously ignorant of facts. He seems to know what Mr. Putin is thinking which should prompt Mr. Putin to ask this fellow what he’s thinking. Complete nonsense!

Roger Hoffmann:

What a disappointing read from Scheerpost. As others have already noted the repeated falsehoods (Russiagate) and baseless claims (Russia wants to swallow Ukraine) and others, I won’t waste the time addressing them either.

I will only say that it is apparent that this writer, in stating a narrative that overlaps much with that of Washington and its mouthpieces, seems oblivious to (or else, dishonestly chooses to ignore) much of the actual history of this conflict- the context in which it emerged, the pleas and warnings not only by Russia but of many seasoned U.S. officers from military, Intel and Diplomatic corps alike, and that of Russia-expert western scholars; and the actions of the U.S. since 2014 at least.

My advice to the writer: please don’t write about things that you know so little about, especially if you want to persuade those who’ve taken the time to become informed.

Terrence Bennett:

Tom Dispatch is a now sadly Pro Nazi source for regressives.
I urge Robert Scheer to monitor and reject many former progressives who now appear on organs like the late great Tom Dispatch

So, taking it in the rear? The back alley abortions. The behind the box store automobile trunk deals for prescriptions and diapers. The people have a choice in what money goes here and there? No massive strike, rolling strikes, rebellion? Our lives are gutted more and more each day!

Rents? Is that on the Republicans’ and Democrats’ agenda?

Gerardo Vidal, who has lived in the same apartment in Queens, New York, with his family for 9 years, recently received a $900-a-month rent increase this year.

“It means having to uproot my entire family, given the fact we’re still having a difficult time earning money due to the pandemic and loss of jobs,” said Vidal. “It’s unfair that we are being basically forced out of places we lived in for nine years and that landlords can get away with this.” (source)

We’ll finish with Richard Wolff, on Capitalism and US Empire now that USA-Klanada-EU-UK are dumping their weapons on the world, and then a Brit who has been in Donbass reporting on the ground:

“The Economic, Political and Social Crisis of the United States.” One hour!

Here you go, the Nazi Zio-Zelensky using USA-French-German-Nato weapons to, well, bomb neighborhoods, bomb apartment blocks, bomb universities, bomb bomb bomb, and there are NO military targets in these volleys.

Graham Phillips: “20+ Minutes in Donetsk Under Shelling Just Now – Uncensored, Love Donbass, do what you can to help Donbass.”

Reality therapy. So, those transformers cost so much, uh? How many transformers in Donbass have been imploded by the USA-UK-France-Germany? Keep reading:

“National Security State Censoring of Anti-Imperialist Voices… the Latest Phase of its Long-Term Strategy to Divide and Control the Left” on Dissident Voice, by Stansfield Smith 

These secret US government and CIA operations have been detailed in The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played AmericaFinks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World’s Best Writers, The Cultural Cold War, and AFL-CIO’s Secret War against Developing Country Workers: Solidarity or Sabotage?

In 1977 Carl Bernstein revealed CIA interconnections with the big business media. More than 400 journalists collaborated with the CIA, with the consent of their media bosses. Working in a propaganda alliance with the CIA included: CBS, ABC, NBC, TimeNewsweekNew York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, Miami HeraldSaturday Evening Post and New York Herald Tribune. The New York Times still sends stories to US government for pre-publication approval, while CNN and others now employ national security state figures as “analysts.”

Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat operate similarly, participating in covert British government funded disinformation programs to “weaken” Russia. This involves collaboration with the Counter Disinformation & Media Development section of the British Foreign Office.

The CIA pays journalists in Germany, France, Britain, Australia and New Zealand to plant fake news. Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the largest German newspapers, showed how the CIA controls German media in Presstitutes: Embedded in the Pay of the CIA. Ulfkotte said the CIA had him plant fake stories in his paper, such as Libyan President Gaddafi building poison gas factories in 2011.

The CIA was closely involved with the long defunct National Students Association and with the trade union leadership. The AFL-CIO’s American Institute of Free Labor Development, received funding from USAID, the State Department, and NED to undermine militant union movements overseas and help foment murderous coups, as against President Allende of Chile (1973) and Brazil (1964), as well as defended the rule of their masters at home. This continues with the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center, which receives $30 million a year from NED.

The CIA created publishing houses, such as Praeger Press, and used other companies such as John Wiley Publishing Company, Scribner’s, Ballantine Books, and Putnam to publish its books. It set up several political and literary journals such as Partisan Review. This CIA publishing amounted to over one thousand books, mostly geared to a liberal-left audience, seeking to bolster a third camp left, and undermine solidarity with the once powerful world communist movement.

Ahh, those transformers:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-197.png

No national movement to, well, nationalize the construction and deployment and installation of these valuable electrical units? Summer, heat, fridges, AC, fans, oxygen machines, well, you get how valuable electricity is and how dangerous disruption of it kill.

No Marshall Plan for that? For clinics in all neighborhoods? Social workers and counselors for millions of students? Aging in place adults, no help for them? All those with Complex PTSD?

Again, one little Oregon County, and, shit-show number 9,999,999, coming to a city-town-county-place near-by.

Footnote: So, I went to pick up some vital medications at the Walgreens in Newport. Lo and behold, that electrical outage a few days ago fried the Walgreens’ computer — here, in Newport, and then, in Lincoln City. So, there were  people lined up, freaked out since some of their meds are, well, life saving. That’s it for America, and it will only get worse as I wait in a line of 20 at the small USPS office in Waldport, where signs say, “Don’t leave junk mail here since we do not have a janitor . . .  We are short staffed so we have to cut Saturday pick up window services . . . Please be patient as we are understaffed.”

USPS, and Trump and Biden. Whew! Ben Franklin is turning in his grave. The light is out on his kite. Remember, USPS is a public service, and it is one foot in the grave:

What this report finds: The United States Postal Service is a beloved American institution that provides an essential public service to communities and good middle class jobs for workers. It is a model of efficiency and responsive to changing customer needs. But the conflicting demands made upon it by Congress and regulators put it in a precarious financial position even before the pandemic. Anti-government ideologues and special interests have long sought to privatize, shrink, or hobble the Postal Service. The Trump administration revived these efforts, spurred by the president’s opposition to mail voting and his animus toward Amazon, a major customer.

What needs to be done: The Biden administration and Congress must act to undo the damage and allow the Postal Service to adapt to meet unmet needs, including the revival of postal banking. (source)

Is Louis DeJoy's 10-Year Plan the Death Knell for the U.S. Postal Service?

The post How Many Concussions from Capitalists Can Americans Take? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Towards a Leftist Psychotherapy

Millions of Britons are suffering from stress-related mental disorders. The number of people with anxiety has been steadily rising for years. According to NHS statistics, more than six million people in the UK are taking antidepressants.

There is an acceptance that wide-scale mental distress is an unavoidable part of modern life. The general response to the crisis by government bodies and the media is to call for more treatment. While increased support is necessary, the focus on treatment hides the extent to which society is often responsible for personal distress.

The cause for much of this depression is social and political. Under neoliberal governance, workers have seen their wages stagnate and their working conditions and job security become more precarious. The individualising and privatising forces that underpin capitalism have led to the breakdown of communities and social bonds, leaving millions of people lonely.

Given the increased reasons for anxiety, it’s not surprising that a large proportion of the population diagnose themselves as chronically miserable. Converting that depression into a political anger is an urgent political project. This should be the job of the left, who are the natural critics of capitalism. I believe that we should develop a kind of ‘leftist psychotherapy’ in which mental distress is explained in relation to the power structures of society.

In this endeavour the work of British clinical psychologist David Smail (1938-2014) is instructive. His writings provide a searing critique of the psychology establishment, and a social constructivist model for how to better understand mental distress. I believe that building on his work could have a tremendous impact.

The Role of the Psychology Establishment

In his seminal text Power, Interest and Psychology, Smail explains how mainstream psychology reinforces the status quo. It does this by diverting us from connecting mental distress to the material circumstances that condition our lives. ‘The psychology establishment has nothing to say about how to apparatus of power and interest that so clearly operates at the level of society comes to be reflected in the subjectivity of individuals – or even whether it does’.

Psychology has become a technical profession, like chiropody or dietetics, which focuses on the pragmatics of relief rather than on any more abstract intellectual or scientific enterprise. The dominant forms of treatment in mental illness are drugs and therapy.

Antidepressants contain people’s depression rather than actually deal with the causes of depression. The focus on brain chemistry creates a horrible loop whereby massive multinational pharmaceutical companies sell people drugs in order to cure them from the stresses brought about by working in late capitalism. In this context, the message to patients is cruel; if you’re depressed because of overwork, that’s between you and your brain chemistry!

Smail was critical of therapy. He suspected that it is only effective to the extent that the therapist becomes a true friend to the client, involved in their world. The supposed process by which people are ‘cured’ of mental illness once they gain ‘insight’ into their problems is illusory, and therapists are to a large extent involved in wishful thinking.

He argued that therapeutic psychology gives patients a false understanding of reality. The focus on the individual turns ‘the relation of person to world inside out, such that the former becomes the creator of the latter. If the story you find yourself in causes you distress, tell yourself another one’.

Counsellors and therapists have a stake in maintaining an individualist and idealist account of emotional distress, for only such an account can legitimate the role of professional practitioner. ‘Psychology tries to be objective like a science – explanations of activities or interests undermines the ‘scientific’ rationale for our practice’.

This is not to say that drugs or therapy are harmful. Being able to talk to someone for an hour in therapy or having something which will take the edge of things via anti-depressants can make people feel better, but it doesn’t get to the sources of that sort of misery in the first place.

A Sociomaterialist Explanation of Mental Distress

Smail argued that feelings of well-being fundamentally arise from a public world. And in a society in which the concept of the public has been so viciously and systematically attacked – it’s no surprise, he argues, that distress has increased.

Interest and power are what determine events in our lives more than we are allowed to acknowledge. ‘The strength and integrity of the subject is determined not (as therapeutic psychology would have us believe) by efforts of individual will, but by the adequacy or otherwise of the environment (including, crucially, the public societal structures) in which it is located.’

It follows that where public structures are stable, supportive and nurturing, the individual may blossom and flourish; where they disintegrate the subject becomes demoralised and depressed.

To solve the mental health crisis we must ask broader ethical questions about how we treat each other. ‘We are bodies in a world: of course, in a physical world, but also a socially structured, material space-time in which what we do to each other has enormous importance’.

A Way Forward

To solve the mental health crisis it is necessary to critique the social conditions that we live in. Widespread mental illness is a hidden cost of neoliberal capitalism. Market forces have created heightened instability and alienation which has resulted in mass psychological distress.

The medical establishment reinforces the status quo by privatising stress. Those who struggle to meet the expectations of society are told that the problem is their family background or in the chemical make-up of their brain. There is a case to be made that anti-depressants and therapy are now the opiates of the masses.

As a collective, there is an urgent need for us to connect mental distress to systems of power and interest. If someone struggles to meet the cost of living, or to cope with the instability of working in the gig economy, it is vital that they understand that millions of other people are suffering for the same reasons.  Those incapacitated by depression and anxiety often feel tremendous guilt and self-loathing.  By connecting their illness to broader social forces, they may apportion less blame to themselves.

We need to challenge the idea that wide-scale mental distress is an unavoidable part of modern life. The kind of world we want is an ethical choice. We are not bound to accept that the ‘real world’ is one in which the ‘bottom line’ defines what is right and wrong. The ruthless world may be chosen, as it is by the current rulers of the globalised neo-liberal market. It can also be rejected.

The awareness that neoliberal governance is causing wide-scale mental distress can be a catalyst for social change. The left can drive this process by developing a ‘leftist psychotherapy’ that provides a theoretical framework for how the material conditions that we live in cause mental illness.

The post Towards a Leftist Psychotherapy first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“Booming” Economy Leaves Millions Behind: Part Three

Below is more data on the continually failing economy and how it is hurting millions across the U.S.

It can be seen from the different parts in this series, as well as other articles on the same topic,1 that there is a dire situation confronting millions of people centuries after the scientific and technical revolution made it possible to easily meet the needs of all.

To be sure, the economy is working mainly for a handful of people and cannot provide for the needs of all. And experience shows that the inability and unwillingness of the ruling elite to fix any major problems will increase in the coming years. This historically superfluous force is blocking the rise of a fresh new alternative that puts human rights center-stage. It is desperate to seize even more of the new value produced by working people no matter how damaging this is to the natural and social environment.

*****

The share of socially-produced wealth owned by the richest 0.00001 percent of Americans, representing only 18 households, has risen by a factor of nearly 10 since 1982.

“Top US corporations are raising prices on Americans even as profits surge.” Big companies and various monopolies routinely engage in price-gouging and price-fixing. The pandemic intensified corporate greed.

The concentration of wealth increased through a record number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in 2021 and are expected to increase in 2022. Global M&A volume exceeded $5 trillion in 2021.

“As inflation soars [now officially over 8 percent], Americans’ confidence in the economy is crumbling.” Many are not hopeful about the future of the economy. In a recent Gallup poll, only 2% of survey respondents felt that the economy was “excellent.” The real inflation rate exceeds 15 percent.

The U.S. Commerce Department recently reported that energy costs are up 34 percent while wage growth continues to lag behind widespread inflation, leaving many Americans behind.

“In March [2022], U.S. consumer sentiment reached its lowest level since 2011, according to the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers, and more households said they expected their finances to worsen than at any time since May 1980.”

“US job openings reached a record 11.5 million in March [2022], according to JOLTS data released Wednesday. That’s up from the 11.3 million seen the month prior and above the forecast for 11 million openings.” The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) comes from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The labor force participation rate was at 62.4% in March [2022], still below the 63.4% rate in February 2020, before the pandemic.”

“Gross domestic product unexpectedly declined at an annual rate of 1.4% during the first three months of the year — the worst quarter for the American economy since the pandemic turned the world upside down in the spring of 2020.”

“[T]he U.S. economy is more leveraged than ever, with the average consumer needing $6,400 a year in debt to maintain the current standard of living.”

MarketWatch and other mainstream news sources report that, “The bond market has crashed” and that this is the worst record for bonds in decades.

“In March of 2021, The Hope Center at Temple University conducted a survey of nearly 200,000 students attending colleges and universities around the country. Nearly three in five students said they experienced basic needs insecurity. Housing insecurity impacted 48% of those students and 14% of them were affected by homelessness.”

Officially, there are “more than 4,000 homeless [k-12] students in Palm Beach County [Florida].” Last year the number was under 3,000. Many “live in cars, parks or abandoned buildings.”

“A report from Rent.com puts a one-bedroom apartment in Miami [Florida] at $2,744 per month, up 21.6% from last year.” This pattern can be found in dozens of other American cities.

U.S. “mortgage rates hit their highest level since 2009.”

“In the six weeks ending April 2, the U.S. hotel industry sold 5.2 million fewer room nights than it did at this time in 2019.”

3.4 million more kids lived in poverty in February [2022] than last December, two months after a monthly check program to parents expired.”

“41.5 million people received SNAP (food stamps) in 2021, up nearly 6 million from 2019.”

“[N]early 20% of U.S. workers reported being bound by noncompete agreements that limited an employee’s ability to join or start up a competing firm, and said employer market power was responsible for keeping wages 15% below where they would be in a perfectly competitive market.”

On top of all this, the stock market, which produces nothing, is more turbulent than ever and recently lost several trillion dollars in paper wealth in the course of just a few days. Unpredictability and anarchy persist. The harsh reality is that economic and social decline continues uninterrupted in many parts of the world, not just the U.S.

An economy dominated by an extremely tiny elite is not going to produce solutions that favor the people. Experience and research show that problems steadily go from bad to worse under existing political and economic arrangements. Participating in outmoded arrangements that were always designed to keep people at arm’s length has not worked, as can be seen from the fact that many serious problems keep going from bad to worse, and the fact that millions feel marginalized, overwhelmed, exhausted, and disempowered today. All the liberal institutions that came into being in the twentieth century are dysfunctional, outmoded, and incapable of giving expression to the claims, will, and interests of the people.

New arrangements based on a new independent politics and a new word outlook are urgently needed. The current neoliberal trajectory is untenable and unsustainable. It only brings more tragedies to the people. Relentlessly begging politicians to do the most basic simple things to affirm the most basic rights is humiliating, exhausting, and preposterous. Democracy should not mean that people beg and chase politicians every day just to “do the right thing.” Such supplication and chasing diverts large amounts of precious attention and energy away from focusing on and building our own collective power, analysis, and actions. It prevents us from relying on ourselves and seeing ourselves as the alternative to the status quo. Getting caught up in the nasty, self-serving, pragmatic, and unprincipled internal politics, shenanigans, and chicanery of the parties of the rich, democratic or republican, will only hinder progress and prolong misery and insecurity for all. It is a non-starter. It is not politically effective. Even incremental and small “breaks” and “wins” are very hard to come by. Why is this the case in 2022 when the problems and necessity for change are so glaring? Why is it so difficult for basic rights to be affirmed?

The existing political set-up blocks the affirmation of the will of the people instead of upholding it and honoring it. Mainstream politicians and their parties are proving to be more irrelevant and ineffective with each passing day.

With democratic renewal it is possible to break free from current arrangements and usher in a new world based on a self-reliant, diverse, and balanced economy that meets the needs of all and thrives without exploitation and oppression.

• Read Part One here; read Part Two here

  1. Many other articles containing extensive facts and statistics on economic and social decline can be found at my Dissident Voice author’s page
The post “Booming” Economy Leaves Millions Behind: Part Three first appeared on Dissident Voice.

“Long COVID”: Economic Devastation and Quarter of a Billion Pushed Into Extreme Poverty  

There is a terrifying prospect that in excess of a quarter of a billion more people will fall into extreme levels of poverty in 2022 alone. Without immediate radical action, we could be witnessing the most profound collapse of humanity into extreme poverty and suffering in memory.

That is according to Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher.

She adds this scenario is made more sickening given that trillions of dollars have been captured by a tiny group of powerful men who have no interest in interrupting this trajectory.

In its January 2021 report ‘The Inequality Virus’, Oxfam stated that the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $3.9tn between 18 March and 31 December 2020. Their total wealth then stood at $11.95tn, a 50 per cent increase in just 9.5 months.

In 2021, an Oxfam review of IMF COVID-19 loans showed that 33 African countries were encouraged to pursue austerity policies. This despite the IMF’s own research showing austerity worsens poverty and inequality.

Barely days into the shutdown of the global economy in April 2020, the Wall Street Journal ran the headline ‘IMF, World Bank Face Deluge of Aid Requests From Developing World‘. Scores of countries were asking for bailouts and loans from financial institutions with $1.2 trillion to lend.

Prior to that, in late March, World Bank Group President David Malpass said that poorer countries would be ‘helped’ to get back on their feet after the various COVID-related lockdowns. However, any assistance would be on condition that further neoliberal reforms became embedded.

Malpass said:

For those countries that have excessive regulations, subsidies, licensing regimes, trade protection or litigiousness as obstacles, we will work with them to foster markets, choice and faster growth prospects during the recovery.

Two years on and it is clear what ‘reforms’ really mean. In a press release issued on 19 April 2022, Oxfam International insists the IMF must abandon demands for austerity as a cost-of-living crisis continues to drive up hunger and poverty worldwide.

According to Oxfam’s analysis, 13 out of the 15 IMF loan programmes negotiated during the second year of COVID require new austerity measures such as taxes on food and fuel or spending cuts that could put vital public services at risk. The IMF is also encouraging six additional countries to adopt similar measures.

Kenya and the IMF agreed a $2.3 billion loan programme in 2021, which includes a three-year public sector pay freeze and increased taxes on cooking gas and food. More than three million Kenyans are facing acute hunger as the driest conditions in decades spread a devastating drought across the country. Oxfam says nearly half of all households in Kenya are having to borrow food or buy it on credit.

At the same time nine countries, including Cameroon, Senegal and Surinam are required to introduce or increase the collection of VAT, a tax that disproportionately impacts people living in poverty.

In Sudan, nearly half of the population live in poverty. However, it has been told to scrap fuel subsidies which will hit the poorest hardest. A country already reeling from international aid cuts, economic turmoil and rising prices for everyday basics such as food and medicine. More than 14 million people need humanitarian assistance (almost one in every three people) and 9.8 million are food insecure in Sudan.

In addition, 10 countries are likely to freeze or cut public sector wages and jobs, which could mean lower quality of education and fewer nurses and doctors in countries already short of healthcare staff. Consider that Namibia had fewer than six doctors per 10,000 people in early 2020.

Prior to Covid, the situation was bad enough. The IMF had consistently pushed a policy agenda based on cuts to public services, increases in taxes paid by the poorest and moves to undermine labour rights and protections. As a result, 52 per cent of Africans lack access to healthcare and 83 per cent have no safety nets to fall back on if they lose their job or become sick.

Nabil Abdo, Oxfam International’s senior policy advisor, says:

The IMF must suspend austerity conditions on existing loans and increase access to emergency financing. It should encourage countries to increase taxes on the wealthiest and corporations to replenish depleted coffers and shrink widening inequality.”

It is interesting to note what could be achieved. For instance, Argentina has collected about $2.4 billion from its one-off pandemic wealth tax. Oxfam estimates that a ‘Pandemic Profits Tax’ on 32 super-profitable global companies could have generated $104 billion in revenue in 2020 alone.

Many governments are nearing debt default and being forced to slash public spending to pay creditors and import food and fuel. The world’s poorest countries are due to pay $43 billion in debt repayments in 2022, which could otherwise cover the costs of their food imports. Oil and gas giants are reporting record-breaking profits, with similar trends expected to play out in the food and beverage sector.

Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) have also revealed that 43 out of 55 African Union member states face public expenditure cuts totalling $183 billion over the next five years.

Oxfam says that, despite COVID costs piling up and billionaire wealth rising more since COVID than in the previous 14 years combined, governments — with few exceptions — have failed to increase taxes on the richest.

Gabriela Bucher rejects any notion that governments do not have the money or means to lift all people out of poverty and hunger and ensure their health and welfare. She says the G20, World Bank and IMF must immediately cancel debts and increase aid to poorer countries and act to protect ordinary people from an avoidable catastrophe.

Nabil Abdo says:

The pandemic is not over for most of the world. Rising energy bills and food prices are hurting poor countries most. They need help boosting access to basic services and social protection, not harsh conditions that kick people when they are down.

The ‘pandemic’ is not over for most of the world – for sure. People too often conflate the effects of COVID-related policies with the impact of COVID itself. It is these policies that have caused the ongoing devastation to lives and livelihoods.

What it has amounted to is a multi-trillion-dollar bailout for a capitalist economy that was in meltdown prior to COVID. This came in the form of trillions of dollars pumped into financial markets by the US Fed (in the months prior to March 2020) and ‘COVID relief’.

As the world’s richest people lined their pockets even more in the past two years, COVID IMF loans are now piling more misery on some of the world’s poorest people. For them, ‘long COVID’ is biting austerity – their ‘new normal’.

All this resulting from policies supposedly brought in to protect public health – a claim that rings hollower by the day.

The post “Long COVID”: Economic Devastation and Quarter of a Billion Pushed Into Extreme Poverty   first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The West Has Fallen Into Darkness

When reason hath to deal with force, yet so
Most reason is that reason overcome.

— Paradise Lost (6.125-126)

As the Western elites continue to pour weapons into Ukraine to the delight of the armaments industry and the closet Nazis of Natostan, the cult of neoliberalism, which put the Banderite regime in power during the Obama years, reaches new depths of degradation with each passing day. Both at home and abroad, the schizophrenic rift between the language of neoliberalism and the actual policies that these creatures support continues to widen. The increasingly delusional trajectory of the queen of cults is propelling us into a new dark age where literacy, reason, the rule of law, and even the survival of our species are in danger.

Subconsciously, neoliberals believe that they are carrying on in the tradition of the Enlightenment, the abolitionists, the New Dealers, the civil rights activists, and the anti-war activists that marched against the Vietnam War and the bombings of Laos and Cambodia. In actuality, what they offer today is lawlessness, unfettered capitalism, biofascism, deunionization, war, sectarianism; and the multicultural curriculum, a cousin of Banderite education, as both are predicated on the anti-humanities. It is this sophomoric hubris of neoliberals, the macabre fantasy that they are sensible, rational, and moral beings while the heathens represent intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry, which blinds them to the barbarism of their deeds. Like the lost souls in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, neoliberals believe they are firmly grounded in reality, when they are enslaved to venal public health agencies and a mass media brainwashing apparatus which have entrapped them in a world of deception and lies — a world of shadows.

While Ukrainian civilization is inextricably linked with Russian history and culture, Banderite education is anchored in Russophobia, its antithesis. Having extirpated all things Russian from their lives, Ukrainian state ideology has become synonymous with hating Russians. No less rooted in self-cannibalization, the multicultural society has become synonymous with a hostility towards the American canon and all things Western. Both are depraved, totalitarian, anti-intellectual and anti-democratic dogmas. As Orwell wrote in 1984, “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” Beware the anti-humanities, for they are the handmaidens of totalitarianism.

Indeed, identity politics and Banderite indoctrination have spawned tens of millions of illiterate, nihilistic, and atomized individuals that are devoid of a legitimate culture, cannot place current events in their appropriate historical context, are inculcated with loathing for an imaginary enemy, and can easily be manipulated by oligarchic forces. Nazi and Zionist indoctrination achieved similar results. Notably, the Russophobia in the West increasingly resembles the Russophobia in Ukraine prior to the Maidan putsch (see here and here).

The idea that neoliberalism is anchored in “anti-racism” is nonsensical, as not a day goes by without more dumbing down of children of color, mindless hate-filled rants against Russians and white people (excluding Nazis in Eastern Europe and the ones with lots of money); while the anti-white jihad ideology imbues the younger generation with a desire to launch a crusade against all things “racist.” This encompasses everything from Shakespeare to Mozart, to the principle of bodily autonomy, to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to disposable white workers themselves. This is the most dangerous form of bigotry – sectarian hatreds that are knowingly and willfully cultivated in an education system charged with the task of molding impressionable young minds.

When not smashing unions to the wall, burning books, dismantling informed consent, and fomenting ghettoization, neoliberals can be found spending trillions of dollars dropping bombs on people and supporting death squads. Indeed, the sociopathy of American humanitarian interventionism is glaringly on display with regards to the Biden administration’s support for the Banderite regime.

Like Pavlov’s dogs, neocons and neolibs alike clamor for hellfire to be unleashed on whoever is the latest to be vilified: anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, Serbs, Russians, the Taliban, the Iraqis. Entire societies are deemed to be somehow synonymous with their alleged dictators. While faux leftists have imaginary conversations about Russiagate, children in Mariupol are acquiring a real-world understanding of the horrors that have been inflicted on their society as a result of the US-backed Maidan coup. Yet we must follow these virtuous crusaders, who applaud their government for giving billions of dollars in weapons (or complain that it is insufficient, for the most fanatical) to a Banderite regime which permits fascists to get on television and openly call for genocide in the Donbass. Meanwhile, a vast swath of American society lacks adequate health insurance, adequate employment, education, the rule of law; and increasingly, even a society. As many a wise babushka can explain, before the specter of Ukrainian nationalism once more reared its ugly visage, western and eastern Ukrainians lived in peace with one another. Undoubtedly they would still, were it not for Washington providing the Banderite entity with enormous amounts of diplomatic aid, arms, military training, and assistance in executing psyops.

The idea currently being bandied about by a number of presstitutes and congressmen, that we could nonchalantly waltz into a third world war, as it would likely be confined to the use of conventional weapons, is indicative of a society that has lost the ability to engage in rational fact-based discussions. If there is a third world war, it will be nuclear. The Kremlin is not going to allow a repeat of Operation Barbarossa, and senior Kremlin officials have explicitly stated that they are not going to permit another war to be fought on Russian soil. This deranged thinking is yet further evidence of a society that has, over the past thirty years, been transformed into a diabolical cesspit of lies, propaganda, and deceit.

Some have speculated that there is a cabal in Washington pushing for a third world war, wagering that Europe and Russia would be destroyed, but that the US would somehow escape the carnage unscathed as transpired after the first two world wars, and that the American ruling establishment would then be able to create a new financial system which would cancel American debt and reverse the looming threat of de-dollarization. Should things degenerate to the point where the Russian military is targeting London, Paris, and Brussels is it not likely that major American cities would also be targeted?

While neoliberals wallow in the pathologies of cult dogma, the Russians are acutely aware of the following facts: the Banderite coup was orchestrated by Washington; battalions and death squads comprised of neo-Nazis and ultranationalists have been armed, funded, and trained by the West; and that Western presstitutes have fallen head over heels in love with Russophobia and are providing the Banderite regime with assistance in carrying out false flag operations. Furthermore, they are aware of the fact that Washington is providing the Banderite entity with information regarding Russian troop movements, a very delicate and dangerous tightrope indeed. In “Russia Formally Warns US to Stop Arming Ukraine,” Dave DeCamp comments on this ominous line that NATO is walking:

On top of arming the Ukrainians, the US is also providing them with intelligence for attacks on Russian forces. The huge amount of support raises questions about at what point Russia would consider the US a co-belligerent in the war.

Principles which were once deemed inviolable such as freedom of speech, the presumption of innocence, habeas corpus, the informed consent ethic, privacy, a healthy fear of nuclear war, integration, and even the notion that a democratic society must have an informed and educated population, are being swept away. The result is lawlessness, despotism, and savagery. Uncontrolled immigration, the anti-humanities, and offshoring, which together with medical mandates neoliberals look to as magical elixirs with which to solve every domestic problem, have commodified human beings and turned workers into interchangeable parts that lack any sense of ethics, class consciousness, a shared history, and can easily be manipulated and controlled. The Weimarization of America is well underway, and all things sacred are in danger of being lost.

The neoliberal notion of “tolerance” has become a euphemism for extremism, biofascism, book burning, and illegal wars of aggression. Witch hunts against heretics have become normalized, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to have rational discussions about incredibly serious political and socio-economic problems. The idea that the multicultural curriculum and identity studies “fight racism” when they constitute its quintessence is no less divorced from reality than the notion that a democracy can survive without the First Amendment, the Nuremberg Code, or any respect for international law. The lack of any empathy or remorse in the face of countless lives destroyed as a result of “humanitarian interventions” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia is coming home to roost.

“Education” has become a euphemism for fomenting sectarian hatreds and increasingly specialized job training. Revealingly, Americans with the most advanced degrees are often the most inclined to believe in the infallibility of the legacy media and the public health agencies. With a diseased society that teaches young people to kowtow at the altar of materialism and careerism while blindly following “the experts,” self-imposed ignorance is increasingly necessary to “get ahead.” Except in unusual circumstances, physicians speaking out against the Branch Covidian coup d’état will lose their jobs. The same fate would undoubtedly befall a mainstream journalist attempting to educate their readers about the gruesome realities of US foreign policy, or a professor criticizing identity politics and the scourge of tribalism.

The Guardian’s squeamishness over London cyclists being too white and male coupled with their fondness for Ukrainian nationalists – real racists – who have wiped entire Donbass villages off the face of the earth and committed crimes against humanity, is emblematic of the unhinged, devious, and wicked nature of neoliberal cult ideology.

American universities – automaton training facilities which churn out millions of aspiring Karl Brandts, Adolf Eichmanns, and Albert Speers each year – have created a conscienceless technocratic class on the carcass of what was once a sound middle class. As any number of reporters that covered the Nuremberg trials undoubtedly discerned, hyper-careerism and hyper-specialization foment amorality, and like vultures hover menacingly whereon the anti-humanities feed. Even the original Nazi doctors would have dismissed the idea of giving an experimental vaccine series to every German in Europe as utter lunacy. Yet to millions of shameless faux leftists these policies are necessary for “the greater good,” and predicated on “the science.”

That talking heads are permitted (or perhaps even encouraged by shadowy intelligence agencies) to call for people like Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard to be arrested for questioning the official Ukraine narrative is inextricably linked with the growing illiteratization and the fact that classes in civics have been expunged from the curriculum. This growing pathologization of dissent poses extremely serious risks to the First Amendment, as liberals are increasingly slandering their critics as mentally ill, evidence that biofascism’s war on informed consent poses a grave threat to our survival as a rule of law state. Should Democratic Party devotees attempt to commit (or section, as the British say) people such as Carlson and Gabbard, what legal mechanisms will prevent this from happening now that the informed consent ethic has been all but totally destroyed?

The authoritarianism of neoliberals is directly proportional to their growing disconnection from reality; and the more delirious the faithful become, the more they believe they are the paragon of reason.

James Howard Kunstler correctly points out on his blog that, in addition to the mass media, social media has played a significant role in fomenting this epidemic of demented ideation:

All this coerced insanity has been nurtured by social media’s sly mechanisms for bending narrative into propaganda: their beloved algorithms, all fine-tuned to destroy anything that touches on truth. The result is a country so marinated in falsehood that it can’t construct a coherent consensus of reality, and can’t take coherent actions to avert its own collapse.

It is remarkable that the New Deal, the public education system, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, any semblance of integration, a free press, the Nuremberg Code, and efforts to demilitarize and establish a single-payer health care system were obliterated in the name of “fighting racism,” “fighting sexism,” “fighting white supremacy,” and “fighting misogyny.” These words have become akin to dog commands, except unlike humans canines do not burn books, exploit slave labor, give weapons and military training to death squads, torture, or drop bombs on people.

Indie conservatives typically understand the dangers of identity politics and the Branch Covidians, yet often lack an adequate understanding of US foreign policy and the threat to democracy posed by unfettered capitalism. Before most leftists were enveloped by a pall of madness, that was their job.

Assuming we aren’t incinerated in a nuclear conflagration, how will reason and checks and balances be restored in a country run by toddlers, book burners, unscrupulous careerists, and homicidal maniacs? Irregardless of whether we witness the triumph of anti-white jihad, a Confederate white supremacist revival, or a takeover by the Christian Right (unlikely in this environment, as they are no fan of forced vaccination) the left’s self-evisceration threatens our existence as a civilized society and is slowly opening the harrowing portal of perdition.

Should the pendulum swing back to the traditional far-right and neoliberals dethroned, what laws will be in place to protect those who have been deposed and dispossessed? As neoliberal cultists are no longer living in the reality-based world, and are seemingly incapable of acknowledging the consequences of their actions, the path towards the spires of reason and solidarity will be difficult to forge in the long and arduous days that lie ahead.

The post The West Has Fallen Into Darkness first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Localization and Local Futures: The Alternative to the Authoritarian New Normal    

World Localization Day’ will be celebrated on 20 June. Organised by the non-profit Local Futures, this annual coming together of people from across the world began in 2020 and focuses on the need to localise supply-chains and recover our connection with nature and community. The stated aim is to “galvanize the worldwide localization movement into a force for systemic change”.

Local Futures, founded by Helena Norberg-Hodge, urges us to imagine a very different world, one in which most of our food comes from nearby farmers who ensure food security year round and where the money we spend on everyday goods continues to recirculate in the local economy.

We are asked to imagine local businesses providing ample, meaningful employment opportunities, instead of our hard-earned cash being immediately siphoned off to some distant corporate headquarters.

Small farms would be key in this respect. They are integral to local markets and networks, short supply chains, food sovereignty, more diverse cropping systems and healthier diets. And they tend to serve the food requirements of communities rather than the interests of big business, institutional investors and shareholders half a world away.

If the COVID lockdowns and war in Ukraine tell us anything about our food system, it is that decentralised, regional and local community-owned food systems based on short(er) supply chains that can cope with future shocks are now needed more than ever.

The report Towards a Food Revolution: Food Hubs and Cooperatives in the US and Italy offers some pointers for creating sustainable support systems for small food producers and food distribution. Alternative, resilient food models and community supported agriculture are paramount.

Localization involves strengthening and rebuilding local economies and communities and restoring cultural and biological diversity. The ‘economics of happiness’ is central to this vision, rather than an endless quest for GDP growth and the alienation, conflict and misery this brings.

It is something we need to work towards because multi-billionaire globalists have a dystopian future mapped out for humanity which they want to impose on us all – and it is diametrically opposed to what is stated above.

The much-publicised ‘great reset’ is integral to this dystopia. It marks a shift away from ‘liberal democracy’ towards authoritarianism. At the same time, there is the relentless drive towards a distorted notion of a ‘green economy’, underpinned by the rhetoric of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘climate emergency’.

The great reset is really about capitalism’s end-game. Those promoting it realise the economic and social system must undergo a reset to a ‘new normal’, something that might no longer resemble ‘capitalism’.

End-game capitalism  

Capital can no longer maintain its profitability by exploiting labour alone. This much has been clear for some time. There is only so much surplus value to be extracted before the surplus is insufficient.

Historian Luciana Bohne notes that the shutting down of parts of the economy was already happening pre-COVID as there was insufficient growth, well below the minimum tolerable 3% level to maintain the viability of capitalism. This, despite a decades-long attack on workers and corporate tax cuts.

The system had been on life support for some time. Credit markets had been expanded and personal debt facilitated to maintain consumer demand as workers’ wages were squeezed. Financial products (derivatives, equities, debt, etc) and speculative capitalism were boosted, affording the rich a place to park their profits and make money off money. We have also seen the growth of unproductive rentier capitalism and stock buy backs and massive bail outs courtesy of taxpayers.

Moreover, in capitalism, there is also a tendency for the general rate of profit to fall over time. And this has certainly been the case according to writer Ted Reese, who notes it has trended downwards from an estimated 43% in the 1870s to 17% in the 2000s.

The 2008 financial crash was huge. But by late 2019, an even bigger meltdown was imminent. Many companies could not generate enough profit and falling turnover, squeezed margins, limited cashflows and highly leveraged balance sheets were prevalent. In effect, economic growth was already grinding to a halt prior to the massive stock market crash in February 2020.

Fabio Vighi, professor of critical theory, describes how, in late 2019, the Swiss Bank of International Settlements, BlackRock (the world’s most powerful investment fund), G7 central bankers, leading politicians and others worked behind closed doors to avert a massive impending financial meltdown.

The Fed soon began an emergency monetary programme, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars per week into financial markets. Not long after, COVID hit and lockdowns were imposed. The stock market did not collapse because lockdowns occurred. Vighi argues lockdowns were rolled out because financial markets were collapsing.

Closing down the global economy under the guise of fighting a pathogen that mainly posed a risk to the over 80s and the chronically ill seemed illogical to many, but lockdowns allowed the Fed to flood financial markets (COVID relief) with freshly printed money without causing hyperinflation. Vighi says that lockdowns curtailed economic activity, thereby removing demand for the newly printed money (credit) in the physical economy and preventing ‘contagion’.

Using lockdowns and restrictions, smaller enterprises were driven out of business and large sections of the pre-COVID economy were shut down. This amounted to a controlled demolition of parts of the economy while the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Meta (Facebook) and the online payment sector – platforms which are dictating what the ‘new normal’ will look like – were clear winners in all of this.

The rising inflation that we currently witness is being blamed on the wholly avoidable conflict in Ukraine. Although this tells only part of the story, the conflict and sanctions seem to be hitting Europe severely: if you wanted to demolish your own economy or impoverish large sections of the population, this might be a good way to go about it.

However, the massive ‘going direct’ helicopter money given to the financial sector and global conglomerates under the guise of COVID relief was always going to have an impact once the global economy reopened.

Similar extraordinary monetary policy (lockdowns) cannot be ruled out in the future: perhaps on the pretext of another ‘virus’ but possibly based on the notion of curtailing human activity due to ‘climate emergency’. This is because raising interests rates to manage inflation could rapidly disrupt the debt-bloated financial system (an inflated Ponzi scheme) and implode the entire economy.

Permanent austerity   

But lockdowns, restrictions or creating mass unemployment and placing people on programmable digital currencies to micromanage spending and decrease inflationary pressures could help to manage the crisis. ‘Programmable’ means the government determining how much you can spend and what you can spend on.

How could governments legitimise such levels of control? By preaching about reduced consumption according to the creed of ‘sustainability’. This is how you would ‘own nothing and be happy’ if we are to believe this well-publicised slogan of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

But like neoliberal globalization in the 1980s – the great reset is being given a positive spin, something which supposedly symbolises a brave new techno-utopian future.

In the 1980s, to help legitimise the deregulated neoliberal globalisation agenda, government and media instigated an ideological onslaught, driving home the primacy of ‘free enterprise’, individual rights and responsibility and emphasising a shift away from the role of state, trade unions and the collective in society.

Today, we are seeing another ideological shift: individual rights (freedom to choose what is injected into your own body, for instance) are said to undermine the wider needs of society and – in a stark turnaround – individual freedom is now said to pose a threat to ‘national security’, ‘public health’ or ‘safety’.

A near-permanent state of ‘emergency’ due to public health threats, climate catastrophe or conflict (as with the situation in Ukraine) would conveniently place populations on an ongoing ‘war footing’. Notions of individual liberty and democratic principles would be usurped by placing the emphasis on the ‘public interest’ and protecting the population from ‘harm’. This would facilitate the march towards authoritarianism.

As in the 1980s, this messaging is being driven by economic impulses. Neoliberalism privatised, deregulated, exploited workers and optimised debt to the point whereby markets are now kept afloat by endless financial injections.

The WEF says the public will ‘rent’ everything they require: stripping the right of personal ownership under the guise of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘saving the planet’. Where the WEF is concerned, this is little more than code for permanent austerity to be imposed on the mass of the population.

Metaverse future 

At the start of this article, readers were asked to imagine a future based on a certain set of principles associated with localization. For one moment, imagine another. The one being promoted by the WEF, the high-level talking shop and lobby group for elite interests headed by that avowed globalist and transhumanist Klaus Schwab.

As you sit all day unemployed in your high-rise, your ‘food’ will be delivered via an online platform bought courtesy of your programmable universal basic income digital money. Food courtesy of Gates-promoted farms manned by driverless machines, monitored by drones and doused with chemicals to produce crops from patented GM seeds for industrial ‘biomatter’ to be engineered, processed and constituted into something resembling food.

Enjoy and be happy eating your fake food, stripped of satisfying productive endeavour and genuine self-fulfilment. But really, it will not be a problem. You can sit all day and exist virtually in Zuckerberg’s fantasy metaverse. Property-less and happy in your open prison of mass unemployment, state dependency, track and chip health passports and financial exclusion via programmable currency.

A world also in which bodily integrity no longer exists courtesy of a mandatory vaccination agenda linked to emerging digital-biopharmaceutical technologies. The proposed World Health Organization pandemic treaty marks a worrying step in this direction.

This ‘new normal’ would be tyrannical, but the ‘old normal’ – which still thrives – was not something to be celebrated. Global inequality is severe and environmental devastation and human dislocation has been increasing. Dependency and dispossession remain at the core of the system, both on an individual level and at local, regional and national levels. New normal or old normal, these problems will persist and become worse.

Green imperialism  

The ‘green economy’ being heavily promoted is based on the commodification of nature, through privatization, marketization and monetary valuation. Banks and corporations will set the agenda – dressed in the garb of ‘stakeholder capitalism’, a euphemism for governments facilitating the needs of powerful global interests. The fear is that the proposed system will weaken environmental protection laws and regulations to facilitate private capital.

The banking sector will engage in ‘green profiling’ and issue ‘green bonds’ and global corporations will be able to ‘offset’ (greenwash) their environment-degrading activities by, for example, protecting or planting a forest elsewhere (on indigenous people’s land) or perhaps even investing in (imposing) industrial agriculture which grows herbicide-resistant GMO commodity crop monocultures that are misleadingly portrayed as ‘climate friendly’. Imperialism wrapped in green.

Relying on the same thinking and the same interests that led the world to where it is now does not seem like a great idea. This type of ‘green’ is first and foremost a multi-trillion market opportunity for lining pockets and part of a strategy that may well be used to secure compliance required for the ‘new normal’.

The future needs to be rooted in the principles of localization. For this, we need look no further than the economics and the social relations that underpin tribal societies (for example, India’s indigenous peoples). The knowledge and value systems of indigenous peoples promote long-term genuine sustainability by living within the boundaries of nature and emphasise equality, communality and sharing rather than separation, domination and competition.

Self-sufficiency, solidarity, localization and cooperation is the antidote to globalism and the top-down tyranny of programmable digital currencies and unaccountable, monopolistic AI-driven platforms which aim to monitor and dictate every aspect of life.

The post Localization and Local Futures: The Alternative to the Authoritarian New Normal     first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The French Presidential Election

[Do what you want but vote for Macron; Libération, 6 May 2017]

The second round of the French Presidential election will be held on Sunday 24 April. The two front runners contesting the election from the first round are Emmanuel Macron (27.85%) and Marine Le Pen (23.15%). The left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon came a close third (21.95%).

Macron and Le Pen also met in the 2017 election, gaining 24.0% and 21.3% in the first round, with Macron winning decisively in the second round with two-thirds of the vote. It was extremely convenient for Macron that the front runner for the 2017 election, François Fillon (President Sarkozy’s Prime Minister, 2007-12), was found to have employed family members at public expense and for no recognisable work (emploi fictif) – a perennial practice but for which Fillon was found to be a culprit of some consequence.

It will be closer this time, reflecting a protest vote against the incumbent President. Marine Le Pen (MLP) is a stayer, having run in the 2012 election, surprising pundits by coming third in the first round with 18% of the vote.

Another facet of the 2022 election was the candidacy of journalist/author Éric Zemmour. Stridently anti-immigrant, and his interpretations of history controversial (for example, the treatment of the Jews under Vichy, 1940-45), he was given saturation media coverage – not least on billionaire Vincent Bolloré’s CNews. Zemmour’s star faded into fourth place with 7% of the vote – whose numbers will presumably flow to MLP.

In the medium term, the rising votes for MLP are a protest not merely against Macron but also against his two predecessors in office and their two Parties – Nicolas Sarkozy (Union pour un mouvement populaire, now Les Républicains) and François Hollande (Parti socialiste).

The previously formidable LR and the PS have now gone to the dogs, appropriately, with LR’s Valerie Pécresse getting 4.8% and PS’ Anne Hidalgo 1.7% in the first round. Getting under 5% means that the Parties aren’t reimbursed for their campaign expenses. Pécresse, as President of the Île-de-France Council, has demonstrated indifference and incompetence in office. Hidalgo, as mayor of Paris, has accumulated a huge debt – not least with madly acquiring the deadweight Olympic Games for Paris in 2024 as a means of leveraging her running for Presidential Office. Hidalgo is so much on the nose that in Paris itself she managed to garner only 2.17%.

MLP heads the Rassemblement national, renamed in 2018 from the Front national (France creates and changes the names of its political parties with the weather). The universal qualifying adjective for the RN/FN is ‘far right’. The RN/FN policy agenda has varied, not least for opportunistic reasons, but the essential permanent planks are social conservatism and a hostility to (read African and/or Muslim) immigration. In respectable circles the Party and its adherents are the perennial subjects of vilification and condescension.

Representative of the condescension is a July 2019 piece by academics Pablo de Orellana and Nicholas Michelsen. It’s a juxtaposition between the rational and enlightened (the governing class and its minders – of which us) and the irrational and ignorant. More, the latter are prone to invent and believe in ‘conspiracy theories’ – from which ‘we’ are entirely immune! The problem is that these people have the vote and that their numbers keep growing.

The French far right’s traditional stamping ground is in the South-East. But the 2017 election saw MLP popular right across the North and North-East, a veritable brown tide (the felicitous expression is a “vague bleu Marine”) across a landscape of long term de-industrialisation. For 2022 votes by Departments, see here; for votes by Communes, see here. For example, in Pas-de-Calais, MLP obtained 38.7% of the vote. MLP herself is a Deputy since 2017 in one of Pas-de-Calais’ 12 Constituencies, along with three other RN Deputies. None of the 12 Constituencies presently has a left-wing Deputy – historically unprecedented. Moving East, MLP obtained 33% in the Somme, 39% in Aisne, 30% in Marne, 36% in Ardennes, 35% in Meuse, 27.5% in Meurthe-et-Moselle, 30% in Moselle, but losing to Macron in the far-East Bas-Rhin.

The astute commentator François Asselineau (of the Union Populaire Républicaine Party) has noted that, in the first round, MLP arrived at the head of 20,036 Communes of 35,080 (57%), whereas Macron won 11,861 Communes (34%).

Orellana and Michelsen acknowledge the tangible background to the dissent:

These [New Right alliances] depend on the continued presence of grievances that directly affect people’s lives, particularly growing poverty even when working, the collapse of stable and safe social identities linked to work, the increasing instability of employment security, and the rapid change of local communities due to emigration, migration, collapsing housing affordability, and redevelopment initiatives that displace communities. These provide precise and urgent electoral rallying points.

They are particularly effective given that so many mainstream politicians ignore these basic grievances. … If their success is to be confronted, the basic grievances they claim to resolve will need to be addressed and solutions offered.

But it isn’t going to happen, in France or elsewhere. These people are misguided trash and we’re not going to cater to them. Rather, the mainstream media (plus the ‘progressive’ media) have mounted a broadside against MLP and RN to ensure that France is rendered safe for the moment against the nasties. Representative is the online site Mediapart (originally created by a bloc of refugees from Le Monde). As per 2017, it devotes multiple articles to denigrating Mélenchon and his La France insoumise Party with the aim of keeping Mélenchon from the second round. With Mélenchon disposed of, Mediapart editorial (read Edwy Plenel) goes full bore against MLP and RN (corrupt, anti eco, anti worker, anti-Islam, etc. – and, worst of all, pro-Russia!), pretending that the always preferred candidate Macron is the journal’s reluctant choice by default.

Nevertheless, Mediapart has in its stable admirable journalists – at least on French matters. On 14 April, the journal interviewed sociologist Didier Eribon (in French, paywall), who brings a close personal experience to the ascendancy of MLP and RN. Eribon notes that almost all his family have passed in less than ten years from voting Communist to voting FN. For Eribon’s mother, her vote has always been a protest vote. But underneath the continuity of protest there has been a profound transformation – from one background culture to another. The first involved industrial employment, membership of the communist-affiliated CGT union, communal solidarity built on workplace solidarity. The second involves unemployment or precarious employment, social isolation and desperation.

Eribon lays special blame on the Parti socialiste in power from Mitterrand after 1983 but especially from the government of Lionel Jospin (1997-2002) onwards. The PS should have read the wind after Jospin, self-considered a shoe-in to the second round of the 2002 Presidential election against incumbent Jacques Chirac, was edged out by MLP’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen. But no. An incisive account of the PS’ ongoing self-deception is made by Serge Halimi in the June 2018 Le Monde Diplomatique (English, paywall).

The PS’ neoliberal drift is reinforced by a new generation of intellectuals seeking to destroy the culture underpinning the long boom (“les trentes glorieuses”) in France, comprising academics, some industrialists and bankers, and journalists to sell the story. The establishment of the think tank la fondation Saint-Simon in 1982 encapsulated the onslaught. Sympathetic technocrats emanating from the École nationale d’administration, especially those ensconced in the Finance Ministry, completes the picture. As Eribon notes, Macron is the incarnation of this historical sequence.

Emmanuel Macron is a cold fish, without empathy. In January 2017, I claimed that there was a touch of Chauncey Gardiner, the hollow character of Kozinski’s Being There, in Macron. But there is no malice in Gardiner. An expert has weighed in on this delicate subject. Dr Adriano Segatori, an Italian psychiatrist, has mercilessly decoded Macron’s persona. His presentation, in Italian with French subtitles, is here. An English translation of the essence of Segatori’s diagnosis is here. Macron displays the characteristics of a sociopath.

A minor interaction with a ‘member of the public’ well reflects Macron’s mentality. The person, unemployed gardener, was anxious to improve his lot. Macron haughtily told him: “There are heaps of jobs, it’s necessary to find them! Hotels, cafés, restaurants, I can find you a job just by crossing the road”. Here’s the event recorded. Macron’s period in office is peppered with such arrogance and disdain for the hoi polloi.

Macron was elevated into President Hollande’s administration and then into the Presidency courtesy of very well-connected patrons and mentors, supported by a private media dominated by very wealthy businessmen and by a compliant public media. Since 2017, private media ownership has become even more concentrated, with the bulk owned by five billionaires – Bernard Arnault (luxury goods), Vincent Bolloré (transport and logistics), Martin Bouygues (construction), Patrick Drahi (telecom) and Xavier Niel (telecom). Add the Dassault family, who have long held the dominant conservative paper Le Figaro, and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, who in 2018 secretly bought a controlling interest in the iconic daily Le Monde. Macron faces no opposition from this coterie, other than pressure to hasten his neoliberal agenda.

As Economy Minister under Hollande, Macron led the introduction of the loi Travail in August 2016 which weakened workplace rules and protections, including measures to ease employer rights to sackings and to lower sacked employee payouts. After widespread resistance, including in parliament, the law was imposed under section 49.3 of the Constitution, a draconian secret of the Fifth Republic never before used for such purposes. Here was Macron’s authoritarian character on full display.

Once elected in 2017, Macron set about abolishing the wealth tax, the Impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF). True, the tax was largely symbolic, and some wealthy were quitting the country. Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, and in his maltreatment of employees having no sense of solidarity (vide François Ruffin’s documentary Merci patron!), threatened to clear out. Solidarity is also not in Macron’s makeup, as he had failed to report his sizeable earnings at Rothschild when becoming Economy Minister in 2014, lying about them, and thus avoiding his personal liability for the ISF.

It is standard practice for neoliberal governments everywhere to cut taxes on the wealthy, to go easy on their tax evasion lurks, and then claim that fiscal prudence demands that arms of the ‘unsustainable’ welfare state be wound back (‘defense’ spending is, of course, off the table). This ruse is institutionalised in the EU, with Brussels pressuring national governments under the 1992 Maastricht strictures. In 2013, as Hollande’s economic adviser, Macron fostered the introduction of the Crédit d’impôt pour la compétitivité et l’emploi (CICE). This tax credit was granted in the claimed expectation that businesses would create a huge number of jobs. But the credit granted was in the form of relief on employer contributions to the social security fund. This mechanism was thus a direct redistributive vehicle from the welfare state to the well-off (the greatest beneficiaries were large corporates like the supermarkets). As President, Macron closed down the CICE at the end of 2018, but replacing it with a permanent comprehensive lowering of social security contributions by enterprises. The cost to the exchequer has been enormous, in tens of billions of euros, for estimated minor gains in employment generated from this poorly targeted measure.

In the run-up to the 2022 election, Macron declared his candidacy belatedly and declined to campaign, declaring that his opponents didn’t deserve his attention. In any case, how could he run on his record?

Macron’s obsession with enslaving wage labour has continued with his prolonged attempt to achieve ‘reform’ of the unemployment relief system (assurance-chômage). After two years of Macron trying, delayed partly by objections from no less than the authoritative Conseil d’État, the structure was belatedly installed in October 2021. The unemployed face lower payments, already derisory, and being readily ‘penalised’ – cut off from any payment for failure to adhere to impossible demands.

The spontaneous and prolonged protests, in the form of the ‘yellow vests’ movement, against his contempt for struggle street have been met with brutal repression.

Macron has nothing but disdain for public infrastructure. He has been happy to kowtow to Brussels’ demand to facilitate ‘competition’ in areas where natural monopolies prevail (electricity generation, transport). He presided over the cynical privatisation of Toulouse-Blagnac airport – a strategic public asset adjoining a major Airbus facility. He wanted to privatise the core Aeroports de Paris, but was forced to back off due to the public backlash.

Macron has had no overall industry policy. He legitimised the scandalous selloff of Alstom Energy – the dominant part of the French flagship (fleuron) Alstom – see my articles here and here. The only beneficiaries have been vulture advisory law firms and banks. He overlooks ongoing de-industrialisation. He tacitly endorsed the predatory and anti-competitive takeover of Suez by Veolia.

His election manifesto to instigate ‘the start-up nation’ appears formally to have had some success. Macron boasted of such in January. But a 23 February article in Le Canard Enchaîné is cautionary. Many start-ups are in flippant domains, and with minimum employment prospects. Those in substantive fields, like Exotec which makes small industrial robots, are rare. Insiders note that “The concept of a unicorn [start-up reaching a billion dollars in market valuation] rests on a sole criterion: the capacity of an individual to convince investors to hand over their money. That says nothing of the capacity of an enterprise to be profitable, of its social and environmental impact, of its employment generation capacity …”. Quite. To date, there is little to see here with respect to overall employment generation and regional township viability.

Macron has consciously neglected the health system, subject to long term corporatisation and funding cuts. The ravages of Covid have seen no change of heart. Respected medicos have pleaded with the government for assistance, without effect. I wrote a short piece on the background to the health system crisis after the early months of Covid in June 2020. In early June 2020, France had witnessed 29,000 deaths attributed to Covid. Now the figure is over 144,000. Meanwhile the aged care system (ehpad), subject to the diabolical excesses of for-profit companies, remains a national disgrace.

Macron’s interventions in both higher and secondary education are reactionary and divisive.

His environmental record is heavy on rhetoric and devoid of substance.

His administration has involved a series of scandals, none of which have rubbed off on him because of complicity of relevant institutions of state (in particular, the Parquet national financier). The placement of his income (essentially a gift from his patrons) from employment at Rothschild and the sources and extent of his 2017 campaign spending remain mysteries. Representative of the scandals are Macron’s employment and defense of bully boy Alexandre Benalla and the most recent disclosure of the fabulous sums spent on advisory firms (McKinsey in the first rank) in the outsourcing of public policy advice and operation.

As for the European Union, Macron has done nothing to offset the ongoing dominance of the EU’s institutions by a selfish Germany. His duplicity and weakness, with Germany, in prevarication with respect to Ukraine’s non-compliance with the two Minsk Accords, and its implied subjugation to US imperatives, has facilitated the catastrophic outcome of the Russia-Ukraine war which we currently endure.

Finally, Macron’s foreign policy has been quixotic and chaotic – most striking in France’s humiliating retreat from the Sahel – the work of an absolute novice.

In short, Macron’s reign has been wretched. Macron deserves, like his predecessors Sarkozy and Hollande, to be consigned to irrelevance and to write his memoirs regarding his salutary role in public life.

If re-elected for a second term (quinquennat), Macron’s first agenda will be unfinished business with the welfare state – ‘reform’ of the retirement system (retirement age pushed back from 62 to 65), against which he has also faced dogged resistance.

Régis de Castelnau has been a long time lawyer turned legal scholar and commentator. He blogs at Vu du Droit. From an ‘old’ family, he has acted for clients on the left of the spectrum (due to lessons learned from working on the factory floor). However, his commentary is detached, unique and astute.

de Castelnau notes:

to vote for Macron for a non-renewable term will have him engage in open slather. We know his project. Social security and the retirement system will be dismantled to the profit of private pension funds. McKinsey will be charged at great expense to put it in place and those such as Blackrock will walk off with the loot. That which remains of French industry will be auctioned off, to the great pleasure of the investment banks organising the selloff. Our sovereignty will finish by being dismantled to the profit of a EU dominated by Germany, to whom we will acquiesce to share our seat on the UN Security Council and to access our nuclear force of dissuasion. The all of course in the name of a “European sovereignty” which doesn’t exist.  … At the end of these five next years, France will be unrecognisable and it will be irreversible.

As with 2017, there is no satisfactory option. Some principled people have given notice that they intend to vote blank – an option ultimately to little effect unless tens of thousands demonstrate by such means their disgust. The French electoral system being non-compulsory, the abstention rate is a significant player – in the local vernacular, many choose to ‘go fishing’. In the 2022 first round, the abstention rate (voters relative to enrolled citizens) was a high 26.8%. There is a tug between those who call to come out in droves to keep ‘the fascists’ from gaining power and those individuals who can’t bring themselves to endorse either of the poxy alternatives.

Whatever the outcome, France’s immediate future is guaranteed to be not much fun.

The post The French Presidential Election first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Impunity of War Lords, Financial Thieves, Israel, Mercenaries, Mindlessness

These are not good people, those in charge of the military blast-them-all-away-but charge-citizens-hard-on-the-back-end complexes. Here, below, and I have seen a lot, but I shudder just looking at these, well, misanthropes: Biden, Blinken and Austin, a trio of despicable fellows. All the years Austin worked as a mercenary in uniform, and then the offensive weapons companies he protected in that racket. Biden? Over fifty years of destroying Democracy. Blinken? The 71st United States secretary of state since January 26, 2021. He was deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 under Obama.

Senior US official may soon visit Kiev – media

US apologizes to ruler of Gulf monarchy - media

More space junk, leaks, and the moon shot of Artemis. Think about that — billions for that endeavor and it is not one step for man, but rather one giant leap for Lords of War 3.0, and the war merchants and the FIRE branding thugs of billions. And we have teacher shortages, teacher burnout, prescriptions (necessary) for anyone’s serious diseases out the roof. All of that crisis after crisis, and the inflation, and the housing market on steroids/lack of affordable housing rising, and the suicide rates, and the lost and lost generations, now, and those unborn. All that infrastructure collapsing, all those homes leaking, all those fields and crops dessicating, all the wind and rain and heat, all the lack of decent living conditions. All of the decay and the rising number of aging people who do/barely live without . . . WITHOUT  decent food, health care, denistry, safe and creative activities of daily living. We do without, man, while we arm Nazis and a billionaire boy Being There schmuk. This is the West, the USA under these felons’ leadership (sic) . . .  these thieves, these elites and these Ivy Leaguers. Mainstream Media doesn’t just fawn over them; the MSM pimps for them. But pimps in MSM are, well, a dual-use sort of profession — pimping and prostituting. We the people, we the youth, we the students, we the uninformed, are being screwed, blued and tattooed.**

**(The phrase has always had a very definite negative connotation, and means to be supremely screwed, screwed beyond all comprehension. The original phrase was “screwed, blewed and tattooed”.

  1. “Screwed” essentially means “cheated” here, much as it does today.
  2. “Blewed” meant “lost or been robbed of”. The word’s origin is from the German “blauen” so it’s actually related to “blue”, not “blew”, and meant that something had vanished (into the blue). (According to “A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant” by Charles Godfrey Leland, published in 1889.)
  3. “Tattooed” refers here to a beating with very rapid blows, in the same sense as a military tattoo, which is a rapid pattern on a drum.

So, the phrase literally meant “cheated, robbed and beaten.”)

Being All Things by Being Nothing: The Enigma of 'Being There' | PopMatters

Channel 4 to screen comedy that shot Volodymyr Zelensky to fame | News | The Times

The dance with the devil is us, we the people, The Eighty Percent, dancing to our graves while paying for the sins of the rich, the millionaires and the billionaires.

Gouging, and shortages, death in a corner of an unheated home: the new Cormac McCarthy script (The Road).

See the source image

Entire regions of the country where homes are unaffordable to most, but where the house flippers get to bid on anything to drive up the cost of a roof over the poorhouse’s head. Meth heads and booze drinkers. So many people guzzling drugs and insane ideas to stave off the pain, the suicidal ideation, the drip-drip-drip of death by a thousand neocon/neoliberal/celebrity culture cuts.

Death By A Thousand Cuts - Death By A Thousand Cuts - Sticker | TeePublic

Rural hospitals short-staffed/not staffed. Urban hospitals short staffed/not staffed. Massive quits for many professions. Then, the doom of Zoom, all those students in college demanding teachers turn their world in hybrid worlds of students sitting at home, sipping drinks, playing Nerf ball, while getting the classes delivered via internet connection. More of the same nothingness, dead-head dumb thinking, and no conversing.

 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.04.2022

[Artemis shut down for leaking — more misappropriated junk voted on by NOT you and I!]

Truly, the blashpemy of the media is their collusion with the ZioLensky thief, the Thiefs of Israel, and their collusion with the orgasmic military murdering machine, all the hardware and equipment produced, hawked, sold, used. Imagine, EU throwing weapons at Ukraine, while that perversion of a human, ZioLensky hides in Poland. Imagine all the surrendering of Ukrainian Military to the Russians. Imagine his home in Florida, a cool $28 million worth, the Panama Papers reported.

For Ukrainian Jews, having a Jewish president is a source of pride — and fear | The Times of Israel

Imagine Blinken, Biden and Austin in Ukraine. Legitimate targets in my mind. Of course, Ukraine has so much to do with You and I, USA. You know, the ZioLensky amassing $billion$, as the Panama Papers revealed. Well, Pandora Papers, that is! (Panama Papers reveals other thieves and money laundering whores)  Imagine, all the things this society, USA, goes without, and all the sliding systems decaying, and the fraying of social safety nets, all of that, yet, we have Save a ZioLensky Day (daily) at the grocery store, and at the military hardware bargain basement. Easter rotten eggs for the Nazis of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his partners in comedy production owned a network of offshore companies related to their business based in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize.
  • Zelensky’s current chief aide, Serhiy Shefir, as well as the head of the country’s Security Service, were part of the offshore network.
  • Offshore companies were used by Shefir and another business partner to buy pricey London real estate.
  • Around the time of his 2019 election, Zelensky handed his shares in a key offshore company over to Shefir, but the two appear to have made an arrangement for Zelensky’s family to continue receiving money from the offshore. (Source)

Billions while the heart medicines and diabetes drugs are unaffordable for many. Then, think of Blinken, Biden and Austin. Think of all the fools in the media who make millions a year. All those in the offensive weapons industries. All the governmental workers and all the politicos. Those tanks and “war things” from EU, Germany, hell, ZioLensky is making out like a true war bandit, but in skinny jeans and Gucci shoes).

Germany explains limits to Ukraine weapons supply

Look at this fool, this Brit, captured by Russia and then his family pleads for “fair” treatment of this guy. He’s a soldier for hire, a mercenary, and the British Family wants their son to be treated like what? A criminal, which he is. I can’t image this fellow making it on a 20 click hike with a 60 pound rucksack and thrity pounds of weaponry. But this is it for the Western mind and body!

Then these headlines surround this illegality. “Israel has dropped repeated hints at a major strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in the near future”. This is kosher? Under world order? Hmm. So, dropping bombs on nuclear facilities is fair game? All over the world? This is why the Jewish Project is a Jaded Project, one geared toward murder and theft. Impunity. Killing Iranians. Blasting nuclear plants? So, how is it Russia doesn’t just ka-boom those bioweapons labs in Ukraine? (Do a Google Gulag search on, “Ukraine biolabs” and you get a thousand hits on why that story is fake!)  This is the new abnormal — quash any story that goes outside the neoliberal-rah-rah USA bold coloring lines!

Israel has dropped repeated hints at a major strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in the near future

War in Ukraine turns people’s lives and affairs upside down. Dirty laundry, previously hidden, is on display. A Russian communication on March 6 mentions “evidence of an emergency clean-up performed by the Kyiv regime was found—aimed at eradicating traces of the military-biological program in Ukraine, financed by @DeptofDefense.”

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson two days later spoke of “26 [U.S.] bio-labs and other related facilities in Ukraine.” (Source)

Found 30 biological labs in Ukraine, possibly for bioweapons, claim Russian forces, World News | wionews.com

“Germany involved in ‘military biological activities’ in Ukraine – Russia” (Source)

Bernie’s F-35’s, man, the Bernie Bro Most Expensive Offensive Weapon

NATO pins nuclear plans on F-35

NATO planners are updating the US “nuclear sharing” program to account for most European allies planning to buy F-35 joint strike fighter jets, the alliance’s director of nuclear policy said this week. Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation fighter has been embraced by multiple US allies, including most recently Germany, despite the Pentagon’s own misgivings about the program.

“We’re moving fast and furiously towards F-35 modernization and incorporating those into our planning and into our exercising and things like that as those capabilities come online,” Jessica Cox, director of the NATO nuclear policy directorate in Brussels, said on Wednesday, adding that “By the end of the decade, most if not all of our allies will have transitioned” to the F-35. (Source)

Bernie Sanders supports the basing of the F-35s in Vermont. He said, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, that it would be a “major blow” if the weapons program did not come to Vermont. Referring to the Vermont National Guard, Sen. Sanders stated, “If they don’t have planes to fly, there ain’t going to be too much for them to do.”

Bernie Sanders Loves This $1 Trillion War Machine

If they don’t have nukes to fire, then what are they going to do with themselves? If they don’t have frigates to sail, what will they do on the water? If they don’t have missiles to launch, then what will they do in the air?

And this guy was what? An alternative? What? He’s as insane as Trump as Bush as Obama. As Elizabeth Warren reiterated, she is a capitalist . . . “capitalist to my bones…” Sanders is one too.

But we have the beasts of this nation, Israel, all those in Europe, Australia, everywhere the US not only wags the tail but bites with rabid glee. Yet, we have pundits and great intellectuals covering up the tracks of history. All the hatefulness of the Anglo Saxons, the British Isle, all the Euro-Trash, so much, that speaks to that hatred of Slavs, Russians, the Chinese Peril, all those “Orientals,” and, alas, the Muslims, we have that elephant in the room of these traitors of humankind. And, yet, Russia, and Syria, and, well, USSR did support many movements, many revolutions, and those in countries considered black and brown. To be honest, the Russians were asked (USSR) to get involved with Afghanistan by the Afghans.

As is the case with the Anglo-American-Canadian-New Zealand-Australia-UK world, there will be blood, in every imaginable way. From birth to death, from the village, to the great cities, the Anglo-American-Canadian-New Zealand-Australia-UK is like a termite of galactic proportions, drilling into all cultures, all tribes, all people of the land, people of seas and mountains and forests. The munching mandibles of that “race” of people. Imagine, calling Russians orcs, subhuman.

The reality is the full force of these demonic masters of slavery — EU, Nato, USA-Israel-UK-ETC. will make Ukraine the killing fields.

They are hoping for a nuclear strike.

And, alas, this is the reality the leftists who support Russia’s goals in de-Nazification. The end goal has been shifted. With the full force of the military industrial complex.

Day 50 of the SMO – are things becoming clear(er)? (UPDATED 2x)

While the armies of Ukraine and Russia are preparing for the upcoming battle for Donbass, Kiev’s allies are increasing arms supply shipments to Ukraine. The United States, mainly by European forces, is implementing a large-scale rearmament project for Ukraine.

Heavy offensive systems are being transferred to the disposal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which will open a new stage of military confrontation.

The delivery of about three hundred modernized Soviet-made tanks to Ukraine was confirmed. According to various reports, Poland transfers the upgraded T-72M1R as the Czech Republic removes its T-72s from storage. The AFU also has 170 Polish BMP-1s at its disposal. Echelons with M109 howitzers and M113 armored personnel carriers are already on the Ukrainian border.

High-precision ammunition is also being transferred to Ukraine, including the M982 Excalibur with GPS guidance and anti-tank SMArt 155 munitions. Ukraine has also been provided with Switchblade mobile barrage ammunition.

Ukrainian troops are being saturated with modern air defense systems including British Starstreak MANPADS and American Stingers.

During a recent briefing, the Pentagon said that a batch of 1,000 ATGMs has already been delivered to Ukraine.

It is reported that Norwegian Naval Strike Missiles are planned to be transferred to Ukraine. According to some reports, the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System will be also transferred from Europe. The range of these complexes reaches 300 km, which makes it possible to strike deep into the territory of Russia.

At the same time, mercenaries and military personnel of NATO countries are deployed along with the AFU in Ukraine under the guise of foreign volunteers. The foreign fighters in Ukraine are led by US officers. It has become obvious that the whole command of the AFU is concentrated mainly in the hands of the United States.

On April 14, Russian missile forces eliminated another detachment of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. As a result of the strike, up to 30 mercenaries of the Polish private military campaign were killed in the settlement of Izyumskoye in the Kharkiv region.

According to unconfirmed reports from local sources, about 2,000 foreign mercenaries, including fighters from Turkey and Azerbaijan, arrived on the territory of the Zaporozhye region. Most likely, foreigners will be deployed on the Avdiivka front lines, since the Russian forces have already begun assault and offensive operations in the area.

In the political arena, the United States openly issues an ultimatum to all countries that are not ready to sacrifice their own interests and stop cooperation with Russia.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has issued threats to those countries that see an opportunity to benefit by maintaining their relations with Russia and filling the void left by others.

“Let’s be clear, the united coalition will not be indifferent to actions that undermine the sanctions we have imposed.” – she claimed. (Source)

Monsters.

See the source image

No highly trained and experienced special forces Russian brigade has anything on this whiz woman, Yellen. These are natural born killers, of the massive variety.

 https://pictures.reuters.com/archive/RUSSIA-SECURITY-DRILLS-RC21LD9YZWSD.html

The chosen few, those Star Chamber Elite, the veritable unholiest criminals of FIRE — finance insurance real estate — with their weapons of mass destruction — algorithms, Wall Street, Deep State, Shallow State, Sanctions, and, well, we now know, DARPA Bat Virus, et al — they are unbeatable!

Finally, the ZioLensky is looking for his own Ten Year War. Talk about the obscene oligarch:

Ukraine is not prepared to give up its territories and is ready, if needed, to fight with Russia “for ten years,” the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

In an interview with CNN, Zelensky said that for Ukraine “the battle for Donbass is very important” for a number of reasons. He explained that this battle might influence “the course of the whole war.” However, the president stressed that the preferable solution of the conflict is the diplomatic one.

“We cannot give up our territory, but we must find some kind of dialogue with Russia,” Zelensky said, underlining that no talks could be conducted “on the basis of the Russian ultimatum.”

He stressed that a dialogue is needed to prevent more deaths but he hasn’t ruled out another option.

“We can fight the Russian Federation for 10 years,” Zelensky said.

Those mighty billionaires and multimillionaires will be laughing all the way to the bank, or gold markets.

Shift!!!!

A little poem for Russia, still, National Poetry Month:

Tears of Rage Captured in a Poem and Harmonica Riff

You think dark is just one color, but it ain’t. There’re five or six kinds of black. Some silky, some woolly. Some just empty. Some like fingers. And it don’t stay still. It moves and changes from one kind of black to another. Saying something is pitch black is like saying something is green.

— Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, Page 40

‘A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.’

we (they) came, we (USA) laughed
they (Libyans) died, then Yemeni babies
those children of Venezuela
collateral damage, Libya
immolated by Democrat with an H
Clinton laughs when leaders are raped
with blade, but we are the voice
of hypocrisy, Iran, and Brown places
or Black haunts, those Congo tykes pulling up
coltan/iPhones/ Chrome books for all
we dance in our cancel culture….

‘And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.’

talking heads paid for stupidity
millionaires chant to teens and grannies–
‘Russia is an enemy, we are at war’
even those puttering PhD fools
learn to forget Yankee damage
to Cuban babies, the kindness
of Norte Americanos holding
death court on Afghanis,
millions will suffer Goldman
JP Morgan Sachs lords of financial war….

‘Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.’

yet Safeway plies me when I
buy tofu and butter leaf lettuce
‘give money for Ukraine’
that fascist Comic ZioLenskyy
trickster of thespian rouse
he dances with billionaires….

‘Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.’

I have friends who dig deep,
journalists where truth is core
principle, where all sides are facets
of complicated stories, now, tomorrow
history redefined is scooped up
pulled apart, a place of discovery
but Americanos can’t take nuance
the white is against black
pro versus con, enemy or foe….

‘For purple mountain majesties.’

we’ve been Wobblies for
one century, THEY/USA jailing speakers
we, organizers against capital
shot down by Pinkerton and Police….

‘O beautiful for pilgrim feet.’…

today mainstream is extreme
squashing out common sense
old retirees chanting, ‘treason . . .
never pro-Russia . . . block anyone shouting Donbas crimes
Crimea crimes . . . ‘
these old mothball ideas are tools
of CIA, tools of VOA, tools of withering
politicos, plagiarist-rapist VP now POTUS

the digital demigods have it
shutting down free speech zones
closing minds, corralling those of us
called fringe, in their minds
fanatical, gleeful donating
one dollar to a Nazi regime
the optics of Jew with Azov
oh the Congressional dimwits zoomed
comic boy caught money
hiding in Panama Papers…

‘Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.’

how many Safeway campaigns
ask money for Afghanistan
billions stolen from treasury
how many pleas by Walgreens
beg for dollars to stave off
Yemen famine . . . how many
d’s with Democrat shouting
‘bomb apartheid Israel
fabricated stolen land
of a military industrial complex
stamped with Star of David’?….

‘For amber waves of grain.’

those star spangled sycophants
they draw cartoons of their hero
as Europeans shut down
stars and stripes infirm
old men, young Ivy League
demons, telling world–
tighten belts, shower less
yet Safeway and Walgreens
want my shekels for bombs
bullets brigades of mercenaries
yet we hear in all circles
of Dante’s hell, screams of
‘hate 139 million Russians . . .
death to Slavs . . . sanction
heroes of world war two . . .
eviscerate good people
who plowed over Nazi’s . . .
donate to Ukraine.’

old and young
tongues tied to propagandists
chanting homilies from mainstream
media, minds blended into mush
the hubris and greed and power
Yankee Doodle Dandy eyeing
China, wanting every dead
Taiwanese as the price of
red white and blue
sanctions –unilateral murder
until Safeway and Walgreens
plead for dollars for Taiwan-
Ukraine as USA/RoboCop
stuffs trillions
into war machine
oil machine
retail machine….

‘O beautiful for spacious skies.’

Brother, sister will you spare
a billion for big bad bombs?

Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
behold, you are beautiful;
your eyes are doves.

–“Song of Solomon,”1:15

The post The Impunity of War Lords, Financial Thieves, Israel, Mercenaries, Mindlessness first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Endless Wars and Failed States: The Tragedy of Neoliberalism

Then all cried with one accord,
‘Thou art King, and God and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!’

— “The Mask of Anarchy,” Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819

Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the American ruling establishment embarked on a policy of backing radical anti-nation state ideologies (henceforth to be referred to as ANSIs) with the goal of dismantling national identities and leaving failed states in their wake. Only through acknowledging both the extraordinary dangers that this entails, and the fact that the process emanates from powerful transnational capitalist forces rather than from “the left” (which once referenced a Marxist or social democratic position), can the chaos within the West as well as US foreign policy in the post-Soviet era be understood.

If left unchecked, an ANSI will act as a cancer and metastasize, until the national identity it has infiltrated has reached the point of dissolution. Indeed, it will either eradicate or be eradicated; there is no other alternative. A curious phenomenon in the panoply of neoliberal barbarities is that those who reject extremism are inevitably labeled as extremists themselves. For instance, the American and Canadian truckers who are defending the informed consent ethic, the principle of bodily autonomy, and the Nuremberg Code, without which a democracy cannot survive, are guilty of “antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, homophobia, and transphobia,” to quote Canada’s puerile prime minister – i.e., it is they who are the extremists.

Serbs that endured over seventy days of NATO bombing, and who suffered genocidal attacks at the hands of Croatian neo-Ustasha soldiers and Kosovo Liberation Army terrorists were also “extremists;” their oppressors, “freedom fighters.”

Identity politics, a deranged yet powerful ANSI which has cataclysmically destabilized American society, and is likewise being used as a battering ram to turn much of the West into a Tower of Babel while dismantling the rule of law, is predicated on the notion that any opposition to unrestricted immigration and the jettisoning of the American canon is indicative of “white supremacy.” This zealotry has been taken to its inescapable conclusion in the New York City public schools, where non-native speakers of English are hanging from the chandeliers, and a curriculum which demonizes American letters, British literature, classics of Western Civilization, civics, and the history of Western art – the foundational pillars of our civilization – is hegemonic.

Not only has this brought about a collapse of the society, but those for whom this curriculum purports to help – Americans of color and immigrant youth – are rendered illiterate, both culturally and intellectually. What better time than the 21st century to use one’s knowledge of the Nuremberg Code, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, McCarthyism, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Great Depression, the Vietnam War (particularly prior to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan), and the role played by Ukrainian nationalists during the Second World War? The ignorance, alienation, tribalism, atomization, and dehumanization fomented by the multicultural society (essentially the inversion of white supremacy), has spawned a younger generation drowning in amnesia and amorality – a zombie class which is extremely amenable to brainwashing by the presstitutes.

Another example of an ANSI is the problem of Sunni fundamentalism in Syria, as Syria is comprised of not only Sunnis, but Alawites, Jews, Christians, Kurds, as well as other religious and ethnic minorities, all of which would be regarded as nonpersons by the jihadis should they sack Damascus. There are also considerable numbers of Sunnis in Syria that reject the radicalism of ISIS, Jaysh al-Islam, and Jabhat al-Nusra. In other words, the Syrian government had no choice but to outlaw these groups, as there is no way that they could peacefully coexist with a modern and secular Syrian state.

Multiple ANSIs were introduced into Iraq during the US military occupation. In commenting on the animus between the Baath Party and the Dawa Party, The Oklahoman writes:

The parties’ rivalry dates back more than four decades. The two groups have traditionally held opposing views on how Iraq should be run, with Dawa calling for an Islamic Shiite state, and the Baath party having a secular, pan-Arab ideology.

Unlike Iran, Iraq is not a predominantly Shiite state. Consequently, the rise of the Dawa Party, which was dominant in Iraq from 2003 to 2018, disenfranchised Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians, thereby facilitating Kurdish separatism as well as the birth of ISIS. In a similar vein, the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in India undermines a cohesive national identity and poses a threat to democratic institutions. Democracy demands freedom of speech, yet cannot become a synonym for dogmatism, sectarianism, and tribalism.

The Branch Covidian coup d’état has facilitated the emergence of a global cult which is anchored in a contempt for informed consent and which poses an existential threat to democracy. This contempt for the informed consent ethic is rooted in the notion that human beings are the property of the state, and that the state has a right to do whatever it wants to its subjects medically. Hence, this is a totalitarian position. Once a totalitarian position has been embraced, its acolytes invariably abandon the world of reason. This explains why you can send your indoctrinated relatives countless links to articles showing that masks and lockdowns don’t work, that the mRNA vaccines are dangerous and do not confer immunity, and that Covid can be treated with repurposed drugs, all to no avail. They have turned their backs, not only on democracy, but on logic, and are operating on a purely primordial emotion. Indeed, the irrationality of totalitarianism is tied to the fact that those who seek to destroy vital democratic pillars, such as the First Amendment and informed consent, are not only fighting to destroy the freedom of their adversaries but are fighting to destroy their own freedoms as well.

One might argue that the polarization that has ensued following the imposition of medical mandates was an unforeseen consequence of the Branch Covidian response, yet this phenomenon is fundamentally no different than inciting internecine strife within a country that has fallen into Washington’s crosshairs. Alas, it is another mechanism of the age-old divide and conquer strategy.

The Western elites’ post-Soviet love affair with smashing civilizations to the wall came to Ukraine in the winter of 2014, when the US-backed Maidan “Revolution of Dignity” saw the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, which precipitated the disintegration of Ukraine’s constitutional order. In the Western part of the country there has long been a considerable amount of support for Ukrainian nationalism, whose disciples regard themselves as “Aryans” and who romanticize Stepan Bandera, a fanatical leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, rabid Russophobe and Nazi collaborator. This putsch allowed the heirs to the Ukrainian nationalists that collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War to seize power in Kiev. As there are millions of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine, this could only lead to the country becoming a failed state.

Consider this extravaganza of ludicrousness: we have been told that truckers protesting medical mandates are “Nazis,” while the Western elites have been supporting a neo-Nazi government in Ukraine for eight years. No less galling, the Branch Covidian contempt for informed consent has its roots in the Nazi medical ethos.

On May 2, 2014, Banderite pogromists set fire to the Odessa Trade Union House, where locals who were protesting the nationalist coup were holed up, savagely beating and shooting those who attempted to escape. This incident, which led to the loss of over forty lives, was deeply symbolic of the new regime, its lawlessness and savagery, and its visceral hatred of Russians. In the West it would be unthinkable for there to be statues and monuments honoring prominent Nazis and Nazi collaborators. However, in Ukraine this is all too common. That Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, and Zelensky have proven adroit in speaking in the language of neoliberalism fails to alter the fact that the real power in post-Maidan Ukraine lies unequivocally with the Banderites.

A recent Bloomberg article titled “Russian Fleet Approach has Ukraine’s Port City Odessa Bracing” embodies the pervasive ignorance of the Western media, as Odessa is a Russian speaking city whose civilian inhabitants would mostly be delighted should the Russian military turn up. Not to be outdone, the BBC laments the fact that the residents of Kiev have been forced to spend a couple of nights in basements and metro stations. Where have the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian, and other esteemed institutes of skulduggery been when Donbass residents were forced by a genocidal NATO-backed regime to live in basements for eight years? Incredibly, the songs and music videos of the Russian singer Artem Grishanov offer better journalistic coverage of post-Maidan Ukraine than all the Pentagon storytellers put together (see here, here, here and here). Note the total absence of any context in the mass media’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: do we discuss the Invasion of Normandy in this way?

This coup, which brought a bloodthirsty ultranationalist cabal to power, proceeded to ban the formerly influential pro-Russian Party of Regions as well as the Communist Party, and has taken steps to undermine the language rights of Russian speakers. When the oblasts of Donetsk and Lugansk refused to recognize the new junta, the Ukrainian military, backed by neo-Nazi units such as the Azov Battalion and the Aidar Battalion, and supported by the no less loathsome Right Sector and Svoboda Party, placed the Donbass under a medieval siege, a siege that has caused terrible suffering, but was doomed to fail militarily due to the fact that Donetsk and Lugansk share a border with Russia. These paramilitary groups have committed crimes against humanity, operate with minimal oversight, and have, together with regular Ukrainian forces, long been attempting to “ethnically cleanse” the Donbass of its ethnically Russian inhabitants in the same way that the Croatian government of Franjo Tudjman forcibly expelled 200,000 Serbs from the Krajina region in 1995 (see here, here, and here). Many thousands of Donbass residents have lost their lives at the hands of these Western-backed gangs, which delight in shelling residential neighborhoods, and which have been green-lighted to commit atrocities with impunity. Videos of neo-Nazis boasting of how they are abusing and torturing captured Russian soldiers, and how they will hunt down and punish Ukrainians accepting Russian aid, is yet another sad reminder of who invariably benefits from US government largesse.

Putting Ukraine, a country that has long-standing cultural, linguistic, and civilizational ties to Russia that go back centuries in the hands of Ukrainian nationalists, has served to weaken Russia and transformed the country into a dangerous Western proxy. The mass media’s histrionics over the Russian military’s alleged targeting of residential neighborhoods is preposterous indeed, as this has long been an integral part of US imperial policy, as evidenced by relentless and indiscriminate US bombing campaigns conducted over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Serbia, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, and even when conducting air raids in the heart of Europe during the Second World War. Many Russians, in fact, have family in Ukraine – hence their genuine desire to not do this. Moreover, the Russian military has made a concerted effort to help civilians evacuate the war zone via humanitarian corridors, avenues of escape which have been repeatedly cut off by nationalists who have been accused by refugees of holding them hostage and even firing on those attempting to flee the fighting.

A substantial percentage of the Ukrainian population was hoodwinked into believing that for eight years they have been at war with Russia when they have been massacring their fellow countrymen in the Donbass. This underscores the mass hysteria that has gripped a vast swath of the country following the Maidan coup, and is indicative of how a mass psychosis can seize hold of a population once an ANSI has been imposed through the use of a hijacked media and education system.

Perhaps forgetting that Russia has nuclear weapons, Adam Kinzinger has called for a no-fly zone to be imposed over Ukraine, a country whose airspace is controlled by Russia. Elaborating on the there-is-no-difference-between-Russia-and-Somalia theme, Sean Hannity has called for drone strikes to be carried out against Russian military convoys, arguing that the Russians wouldn’t be able to figure out who did it; which leads one to wonder which country has more lunatics per capita: Ukraine or the United States? Perhaps Nietzsche was correct when he wrote in Beyond Good And Evil that “Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.”

Following the onset of the Russian intervention, the freedom-loving government in Kiev opened the doors to its prisons, granting convicts an early release should they agree to fight “the Moskal.” Empowered by this maelstrom of anarchy, heavily armed bandits are free to join their Banderite brethren, embrace “democracy,” and terrorize the locals at will. Fittingly, the new draconian sanctions directed at Russia are being called “the Halting Enrichment of Russian Oligarchs and Industry Allies of Moscow’s Schemes to Leverage its Abject Villainy Abroad Act;” a strange name, yet one which happens to form the acronym HEROIAM SLAVA, a Ukrainian fascist greeting meaning “Glory to the Heroes,” and which is comparable to “Sieg Heil.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Russophobia in the US is starting to resemble the Russophobia in Ukraine itself, with Lindsey Graham openly calling for Putin to be assassinated (which doesn’t constitute “hate speech,” incidentally, according to Twitter).

The government in Kiev has recently spoken of reconsidering its commitments under the Budapest Memorandum and obtaining nuclear weapons, a threat that undoubtedly contributed to Moscow’s recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states. There has also been speculation that one of the objectives of the denazification campaign is the elimination of biowarfare labs, as the Russian government has been accusing the US of operating these facilities near its borders for quite some time (a claim not denied by Maidan architect Victoria Nuland). A false flag chemical weapons attack à la the White Helmets is a real and present danger.

The Kremlin has been trying for decades to have a respectful dialogue with the West about NATO’s relentless eastward expansion, and has repeatedly attempted to come to terms with its “Western partners” on establishing a new European security architecture which would take into account Moscow’s legitimate security concerns. The Kremlin’s attempts at getting Washington to cease its deliveries of arms to the murderers and sociopaths in Kiev, coupled with Putin’s tireless attempts at getting the Banderite regime to implement the Minsk agreements, have proven no less futile. Moscow will not permit the Banderite regime to obtain nuclear weapons, it will not permit the Donbass to be overrun, and it will not allow Ukraine to join NATO – each constitutes a non-negotiable red line.

In many ways it was inevitable that the Russian military would be sent into the Donbass, as the position of Donetsk and Lugansk has grown increasingly precarious due to the relentless influx of NATO weaponry, and they have been pleading with Moscow for protection ever since the commencement of hostilities. The decision to execute a reverse regime change operation is likely due to the Russian elite concluding that if they were to leave the Banderite junta in place, it would grow increasingly dangerous over time as its military capabilities expand exponentially – a kind of illiterate Russophobic Israel at one’s doorstep, if you will. If thousands of Americans were being killed and tortured at the hands of a tyrannical Moscow-backed puppet government in Mexico, would Washington have the patience to pursue diplomacy for the greater part of a decade?

The Russian military needs to get in and out of Kiev, a hornet’s nest of Banderivtsi, as efficiently as possible. The longer they remain, the greater the likelihood that the CIA will entrap them in an Afghan-style quagmire, as Western intelligence agencies are working around the clock to flood Ukraine with as many private military contractors, jihadis, and neo-Nazi volunteers as possible. Should Ukraine cease to exist, balkanization would certainly be preferable to the country being pulled inexorably into a never-ending vortex of violence as transpired in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It is difficult to see how the country could be put back together, with one half comprised of Russophobes; and the other, of Russophiles.

The Western elites’ growing reliance on the use of ANSIs as a form of unconventional warfare threatens civilization both at home and abroad, and if directed at Russia or China, could unleash a nuclear war from which there would be no survivors. Since the inauguration of Bill Clinton, Washington has worked long and hard to smoke a hibernating bear out of its den. Through the resurrection of the ghost of Bandera, at long last, they have succeeded.

The post Endless Wars and Failed States: The Tragedy of Neoliberalism first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Economic Restructuring, Democratic Deficit and Locking Down Liberty  

Remember how the notion of freedom was spun by the ideologues of neoliberalism for decades prior to COVID? The freedom to consume. The freedom to make money. The freedom to be plunged into poverty and debt.       

Platitudes about ‘individual responsibility’ and ‘standing on your own two feet’. A relentless ideological attack on the state and collective responsibility. The doctrine of ‘no such thing as society’ Thatcherism. Ideologically, at least, the individual and ‘the market’ were paramount. But in reality, of course, there was no genuine rolling back of the state: its machinery was used differently to facilitate the needs of global capital while attacking the labour movement. 

In all this ‘freedom’, there was never much talk in the mainstream political and media narrative about the plight of the poor or workers who felt the brutal effects of the brave new world of neoliberal capitalism. 

Never sufficient analysis about offshoring manufacturing and service-sector jobs to cheap labour economies to boost profits. This was merely presented as efficiency and job creation for poorer countries, as if the owners of industry were on some kind of humanitarian mission. 

But it was only ever the old colonialist mentality passed off in new clothing. 

Today, this mentality manifests by subjecting poorer nations to IMF-World Bank ‘structural adjustment’ directives and beating them into being ‘business friendly’ and compliant with the needs of global (Western) capital. Spin it any way you like, whether ‘foreign direct investment’ or ‘liberalising’ the economy, it amounts to richer countries merely using or loaning back money to the poorer countries (with strings) that they stole from them over the centuries. 

Courtesy of lop-sided trade deals, the WTO and the international financial institutions, we see a model of ‘development’ characterised by indebtedness, displaced populations resulting from ‘infrastructure projects’ (to facilitate the needs of capital) and a deliberate running down of indigenous models of agriculture. 

There was not much talk about ‘freedom’ in relation to the subsequent state-corporate economic brutality experienced by society’s most marginalised, highlighted, for instance, by Arundhati Roy in The Ghosts of Capitalism – the ‘invisible’ and shoved-aside victims of a rampant neoliberalism, with a good dose of state-backed violence always on hand to secure compliance.

Their ‘freedom’ never amounted to much in the first place. 

Economic structural violence waged against people, economies and ecosystems courtesy of elite interests bent on monopolising energy, money, food, land and violence across the globe. 

Yet the system now purports to care about the well-being of those it persistently regards as ‘collateral damage’ and ‘economic fodder’. A system that by its very nature concentrates money, control and power at the top of the pyramid. 

Consider that prior to COVID, Pfizer was “the least trusted company in the least trusted industrial sector in the United States”, according to Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice. 

But we are supposed to have faith in Pfizer and disregard its lengthy corporate rap sheet and its unscrupulous profiteering practices regarding its COVID vaccine rollout across the globe. We are supposed to trust its products and its vaccine data that it is trying so hard, with help from the US Food and Drug Administration, to keep from the public. 

At the same time, to facilitate uptake of Pfizer’s injections, we hear a lot about ‘collective responsibility’. A much-maligned concept in a dog-eat-dog neoliberal regime. Joe Biden, Justin Trudeau and others spin vaccine sceptics’ talk of ‘freedom of choice’ regarding what is allowed to be injected into their own bodies as selfish and the domain of right-wing women haters and fascists. 

The right to protest, to free speech, to associate and so forth were (and often continue to be) suspended as people were locked down waiting for ‘the vaccine’ thanks to a virus that mainly targets those over 80 and those with compromised immune systems due to existing (serious) morbidities. 

We have seen all manner of state interference in the private lives of citizens over the past two years. 

Political leaders like Macron, Trudeau, Biden, Merkel and Arden – the frontline managers and facilitators of private capital – have seemingly become so concerned about the public’s welfare that their freedoms and rights must be trampled on by the state. 

Those who demand freedom and have questioned the mainstream COVID narrative have been labelled ‘anti-vaxxers’, ‘granny killers’, irresponsible and as prioritising their own selfish needs over those of the collective. 

Even those who claim to be of the ‘left’ have become part of the ideological apparatus of the state: joining in the chorus and defending tyranny as well as Big Pharma’s rushed-to-market injections and its right to your body and right to make billions in the process. 

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine brought in $37bn in 2021. Nick Dearden calculates the NHS has paid a mark-up of at least £2bn – six times the cost of the pay rise the UK government agreed to give nurses last year. 

Moreover, Dearden argues companies like Pfizer behave more like hedge funds, buying up and controlling other firms and intellectual property, rather than traditional medical research companies. 

He says: 

The truth is, they aren’t the sole inventors of the vaccine. That was the work of public money, university research and a much smaller company, Germany’s BioNTech. As one former US government official complained, the fact we call it the ‘Pfizer’ vaccine is ‘the biggest marketing coup in the history of American pharmaceuticals’.

Even though many on the ‘left’ have campaigned against the brutality of capitalism over the years, they bought into the fear propaganda from the start without question, helping to pave the way for pharma’s distorted profits, the destruction of small businesses and the loss of countless livelihoods due to lockdowns. 

Many stood by in silence and watched the mega rich accrue enormous profits. Research by Oxfam has shown that the wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by $3.9tn between March and December 2020. The world’s 10 richest billionaires collectively saw their wealth increase by $540bn over this period. In September 2020, Jeff Bezos could have paid all 876,000 Amazon employees a $105,000 bonus and still be as wealthy as he was before COVID. 

While lockdowns and restrictions were imposed on ordinary people and small businesses, the winners were the likes of Amazon, Big Pharma and the tech giants. The losers were small enterprises and the bulk of the population, deprived of their right to work and an entire panoply of civil rights. 

A report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) stated that COVID-19 policies had severely disrupted economies and labour markets in all world regions, with estimated losses of working hours equivalent to nearly 400 million full-time jobs in the second quarter of 2020, most of which were in emerging and developing countries. 

Among the most vulnerable were the 1.6 billion informal economy workers, representing half of the global workforce, who were working in sectors experiencing major job losses or had seen their incomes seriously affected by lockdowns. Most of these were self-employed and in low-income jobs in the informal sector. 

For policies that were supposedly brought in to protect health, there has also been immense damage resulting in lengthy non-COVID healthcare waiting lists for all manner of life-threatening diseases and conditions. 

A more logical approach to protecting public health would have involved the promotion of a targeted strategy based on risk along with early intervention treatments as set out in the Great Barrington Declaration. But this was not even up for debate. Censorship and smears were the norm. 

Locking the global population in their homes, or in places like India compelling millions to walk huge distances or travel in crowded conditions to return to the countryside, until a vaccine was made available smacks of incompetence or worse – a predetermined agenda. 

Writing in the Contemporary Voice of Dalit journal (31 October 2021), researchers Krishna Ram and Shivani Yadav note the effects of COVID policies in India: 

The economic tumult caused by the pandemic over the past two years has the potential to double the nation’s poverty… Our calculations show that around 150–199 million additional people will fall under poverty in 2021–2022; a majority of which are from rural areas, owing to the immiserate nature of the rural economy. Further disaggregation reveals that the SC/ST [Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes], casual labour and the self-employed are the most impacted groups.

It is clear who was influencing the lockdown-COVID public health policy. In a report by Yohan Tengra of the Awaken India Movement, it is described how the Gates Foundation and Big Pharma have infiltrated and co-opted key public health institutions at the national level in India, not least the COVID-19 National Task Force. 

Tengra says the report has exposed: 

… not just the names of those who are sitting in this task force but also how they are financially connected to the pharmaceutical industry and vaccine mafia. This task force has been responsible for the aggressive push to lockdown, mandatory mask requirements, forced testing of asymptomatics, dropping ivermectin and hcq from the national protocol, suppressing vaccine adverse events and a lot more!

It was fitting that an MP recently asked in Canada’s parliament just who does the government serve: Klaus Schawb and the World Economic Forum (WEF) or Canadian citizens? 

A pertinent question. But any enquiry should also look to include the wider digital-financial-industrial complex which has used COVID as cover for bailing out financial markets and restructuring capitalism and trying to manage the long-term falling rate of profit. 

These issues are at the heart of the ‘Great Reset’ or ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ that Klauss Schwab and others talk of. Concepts that – like neoliberal globalisation in the 1980s – are given a positive spin and which supposedly symbolise a brave new techno-utopian future. 

The WEF, Big Finance, Big Tech, the Gates Foundation and Big Pharma have been heavily promoting the COVID-Great Reset agenda from the start. This has to date resulted in the reinvigoration of an ailing pharma sector with a multi-billion-dollar windfall, the eradication of smaller firms and jobs, cementing the dominance of the online retail giants, global chains and the digital payments sector and the injection of much-needed liquidity into what were by late 2019/early 2020 collapsing financial markets. 

In the 1980s, to help legitimise the deregulated neoliberal agenda, government and media instigated an ideological onslaught, pressing home the notion of individual rights and responsibility and emphasising a shift away from the state, trade unions and the public sector. This reflected economic changes underpinned by notions of the primacy of the market and individual consumer choice.  

But there is now a new ideological shift. We hear claims of a ‘democratic deficit’, whereby individual rights are said to be undermining the wider needs of society. The message is that individual freedom is posing a threat to ‘national security’, ‘public health’ and ‘safety’.” As a result, there must be clampdowns on the right to travel, associate and protest and on freedom of speech.  

As stated by journalist Iain Davis in a recent article, a commitment to the ‘public interest’, ‘safety’ and protecting the population from ‘harm’ will replace freedom and democracy. Technocracy: The Operating System For The New International Rules-Based Order (unlimitedhangout.com) 

As in the 1980s, this messaging is being driven by economic factors. Neoliberalism has privatised, deregulated, exploited workers and optimised debt to the limit. We have collapsing markets kept afloat by endless financial injections and an overall declining rate of profit with firms suffocating under mountains of debt. 

AI and advanced automation of production, distribution and service provision (3D manufacturing, drone technology, driverless vehicles, lab grown food, farmerless farms, robotics, etc) are also on the horizon. 

A mass labour force – and therefore mass education, mass welfare, mass healthcare provision and entire systems that were in place to reproduce labour for capitalist economic activity – might in the near future no longer be required. Labour’s relationship to capital is being transformed. So, if labour is the condition for the existence of the working class, why bother with the working class?  

COVID has accelerated economic restructuring and the shift towards an authoritarian form of capitalism that is ultimately to be based on a Chinese-style social credit system to ensure the population complies with its coming servitude.  

Former WEF-sponsored ‘young global leaders’ like Trudeau, Macron, Merkel and Arden rose to the political helm of various countries after having been suitably groomed. They will continue to fulfill their roles by managing dissent through mass surveillance and clamping down on civil rights as the effects of inflation (induced by the liquidity injected into the system), joblessness and post-COVID austerity measures kick in. 

They will, of course, still facilitate freedom: the freedom of the billionaire class to continue to plunder across the globe. And the freedom for citizens to submit. 

 

The post Economic Restructuring, Democratic Deficit and Locking Down Liberty   first appeared on Dissident Voice.