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Pepe Escobar

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Russia, China mock divide and rule
« on: December 25, 2014, 08:19:02 PM »

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THE ROVING EYE


Map-New_Silk_Road


Originally published in Asia Times on December 23, 2014

Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.


ROME and BEIJING – The Roman Empire did it. The British Empire copied it in style. The Empire of Chaos has always done it. They all do it. Divide et impera. Divide and rule – or divide and conquer. It’s nasty, brutish and effective. Not forever though, like diamonds, because empires do crumble.


A room with a view to the Pantheon may be a celebration of Venus – but also a glimpse on the works of Mars. I had been in Rome essentially for a symposium – Global WARning – organized by a very committed, talented group led by a former member of European Parliament, Giulietto Chiesa. Three days later, as the run on the rouble was unleashed, Chiesa was arrested and expelled from Estonia as persona non grata, yet another graphic illustration of the anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Baltic nations and the Orwellian grip NATO has on Europe’s weak links. [1] Dissent is simply not allowed.


At the symposium, held in a divinely frescoed former 15th century Dominican refectory now part of the Italian parliament’s library, Sergey Glazyev, on the phone from Moscow, gave a stark reading of Cold War 2.0. There’s no real “government” in Kiev; the US ambassador is in charge. An anti-Russia doctrine has been hatched in Washington to foment war in Europe – and European politicians are its collaborators. Washington wants a war in Europe because it is losing the competition with China.


Glazyev addressed the sanctions dementia: Russia is trying simultaneously to reorganize the politics of the International Monetary Fund, fight capital flight and minimize the effect of banks closing credit lines for many businessmen. Yet the end result of sanctions, he says, is that Europe will be the ultimate losers economically; bureaucracy in Europe has lost economic focus as American geopoliticians have taken over.


Only three days before the run on the rouble, I asked Rosneft’s Mikhail Leontyev (Press-Secretary – Director of the Information and Advertisement Department) about the growing rumors of the Russian government getting ready to apply currency controls. At the time, no one knew an attack on rouble would be so swift, and conceived as a checkmate to destroy the Russian economy. After sublime espressos at the Tazza d’Oro, right by the Pantheon, Leontyev told me that currency controls were indeed a possibility. But not yet.


What he did emphasize was this was outright financial war, helped by a fifth column in the Russian establishment. The only equal component in this asymmetrical war was nuclear forces. And yet Russia would not surrender. Leontyev characterized Europe not as a historical subject but as an object: “The European project is an American project.” And “democracy” had become fiction.


The run on the rouble came and went like a devastating economic hurricane. Yet you don’t threat a checkmate against a skilled chess player unless your firepower is stronger than Jupiter’s lightning bolt. Moscow survived. Gazprom heeded the request of President Vladimir Putin and will sell its US dollar reserves on the domestic market. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier went on the record against the EU further “turning the screw” as in more counterproductive sanctions against Moscow. And at his annual press conference, Putin emphasized how Russia would weather the storm. Yet I was especially intrigued by what he did not say. [2]


As Mars took over, in a frenetic acceleration of history, I retreated to my Pantheon room trying to channel Seneca; from euthymia – interior serenity – to that state of imperturbability the Stoics defined as aponia. Still, it’s hard to cultivate euthymia when Cold War 2.0 rages.


Show me your imperturbable missile

Russia could always deploy an economic “nuclear” option, declaring a moratorium on its foreign debt. Then, if Western banks seized Russian assets, Moscow could seize every Western investment in Russia. In any event, the Pentagon and NATO’s aim of a shooting war in the European theater would not happen; unless Washington was foolish enough to start it.


Still, that remains a serious possibility, with the Empire of Chaos accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) even as it prepares to force Europe in 2015 to accept the deployment of US nuclear cruise missiles.


Russia could outmaneuver Western financial markets by cutting them off from its wealth of oil and natural gas. The markets would inevitably collapse – uncontrolled chaos for the Empire of Chaos (or “controlled chaos”, in Putin’s own words). Imagine the crumbling of the quadrillion-plus of derivatives. It would take years for the “West” to replace Russian oil and natural gas, but the EU’s economy would be instantly devastated.


Just this lightning-bolt Western attack on the rouble – and oil prices – using the crushing power of Wall Street firms had already shaken European banks exposed to Russia to the core; their credit default swaps soared. Imagine those banks collapsing in a Lehman Brothers-style house of cards if Russia decided to default – thus unleashing a chain reaction. Think about a non-nuclear MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) – in fact warless. Still, Russia is self-sufficient in all kinds of energy, mineral wealth and agriculture. Europe isn’t. This could become the lethal result of war by sanctions.


Essentially, the Empire of Chaos is bluffing, using Europe as pawns. The Empire of Chaos is as lousy at chess as it is at history. What it excels in is in upping the ante to force Russia to back down. Russia won’t back down.


Darkness dawns at the break of chaos

Paraphrasing Bob Dylan in When I Paint My Masterpiece, I left Rome and landed in Beijing. Today’s Marco Polos travel Air China; in 10 years, they will be zooming up in reverse, taking high-speed rail from Shanghai to Berlin. [3]


From a room in imperial Rome to a room in a peaceful hutong – a lateral reminiscence of imperial China. In Rome, the barbarians swarm inside the gates, softly pillaging the crumbs of such a rich heritage, and that includes the local Mafia. In Beijing, the barbarians are kept under strict surveillance; of course there’s a Panopticon element to it, essential to assure internal social peace. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – ever since the earth-shattering reforms by the Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping – is perfectly conscious that its Mandate of Heaven is directly conditioned by the perfect fine-tuning of nationalism and what we could term “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics”.


In a different vein of the “soft beds of the East” seducing Marcus Aurelius, the silky splendors of chic Beijing offer a glimpse of an extremely self-assured emerging power. After all, Europe is nothing but a catalogue of multiple sclerosis and Japan is under its sixth recession in 20 years.


To top it off, in 2014 President Xi Jinping has deployed unprecedented diplomatic/geostrategic frenzy – ultimately tied to the long-term project of slowly but surely keeping on erasing US supremacy in Asia and rearranging the global chessboard. What Xi said in Shanghai in May encapsulates the project; “It’s time for Asians to manage the affairs of Asia.” At the APEC meeting in November, he doubled down, promoting an “Asia-Pacific dream”.


Meanwhile, frenzy is the norm. Apart from the two monster, US$725 billion gas deals – Power of Siberia and Altai pipeline – and a recent New Silk Road-related offensive in Eastern Europe, [4] virtually no one in the West remembers that in September Chinese Prime Minister Li Keiqiang signed no fewer than 38 trade deals with the Russians, including a swap deal and a fiscal deal, which imply total economic interplay.


A case can be made that the geopolitical shift towards Russia-China integration is arguably the greatest strategic maneuver of the last 100 years. Xi’s ultimate master plan is unambiguous: a Russia-China-Germany trade/commerce alliance. German business/industry wants it badly, although German politicians still haven’t got the message. Xi – and Putin – are building a new economic reality on the Eurasian ground, crammed with crucial political, economic and strategic ramifications.


Of course, this will be an extremely rocky road. It has not leaked to Western corporate media yet, but independent-minded academics in Europe (yes, they do exist, almost like a secret society) are increasingly alarmed there is no alternative model to the chaotic, entropic hardcore neoliberalism/casino capitalism racket promoted by the Masters of the Universe.


Even if Eurasian integration prevails in the long run, and Wall Street becomes a sort of local stock exchange, the Chinese and the emerging multipolar world still seem to be locked into the existing neoliberal model.


And yet, as much as Lao Tzu, already an octogenarian, gave the young Confucius an intellectual slap on the face, the “West” could do with a wake-up call. Divide et impera? It’s not working. And it’s bound to fail miserably.


As it stands, what we do know is that 2015 will be a hair-raising year in myriad aspects. Because from Europe to Asia, from the ruins of the Roman empire to the re-emerging Middle Kingdom, we all still remain under the sign of a fearful, dangerous, rampantly irrational Empire of Chaos.


Notes:

1. See here.

2. What Putin is not telling us, Russia Today, December 18, 2014.

3. Eurasian Integration vs. the Empire of Chaos, TomDispatch, December 16, 2014.

4. China set to make tracks for Europe, China Daily, December 18, 2014. China’s Li cements new export corridor into Europe, Channel News Asia, December 16, 2014.


Pepe Escobar’s latest book, just out, is Empire of Chaos. Follow him on Facebook.


Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).


« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 08:23:32 PM by Surly1 »

Offline RE

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2014, 09:01:09 PM »
Interesting that Pepe buys the line that the FSoA State Dept and the Saudis colluded to force down the price of Oil, when in fact the Saudis did absolutely nothing.  They didn't start flooding the market with Oil, they can't.  They merely said they wouldn't stop pumping AFTER the prices started falling.

Oil price collapse is demand driven, globally speaking the customers are BROKE.  They can't afford the high prices, they bankrupt everyone except the oil extractors.

Collapsing Oil prices hurt Wall Street and the local Fracking industry at least as much as they hurt Mother Russia, so if funding Fracking was a strategic move to collapse Oil prices to hit the Ruskies, it's cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Where Pepe is correct is that Vlad the Impaler still does have quite a few cards to play here, they can default on their Western Debt, and both sides can engage in expropriation of the other sides assets that are on one side or another of the Ruskie border.

The vision of a great new Sino-Ruskie alliance creating another industrial superpower is complete nonsense.  Mother Russia's Oil fields are in decline also.  China is a polluted sewer in terrific population overshoot.  I don't see how Pepe can miss this issue.

Finally, I am getting tired of the damn Chess metaphor.  How about switching over to Bridge?  Bidding, Trumping, Ruffing, Long Suits, Doubling and Redoubling, there's a lot of good analogies there!  LOL.

RE
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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2014, 09:37:02 PM »
Before the oil price crash there was so much talk of frack wells decline rates with a big assumption that the investors did not know about it. I always thought they did know and it was by design, even if it is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The chess metaphor is popular because Kasparov is russian and the disadvantage they are at requiring the restraint of a saint. What Im tired of is everyone else other than pepe talking about rasPutin as though he were an autonomous dictator instead of a figurehead who takes a lot of input from a lot of people. Hes a much stronger figure than give-in gorbachev or drunken yelstsin, but still makes decisions with the help of a lot of advisors.

I will be very surprised if pepes vision comes to fruition, looks more like those silk roads and trains are set to carry shitloads of chinese soldiers.

Merry Xmas!

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 09:54:31 PM »
The chess metaphor is popular because Kasparov is russian

Problem there is Kasparov lost to Deep Blue in 1997 and won't do any more chess matches against Supercomputers, which are a good deal faster today.

So if it is a Chess Match, the question is who has the better Supercomputer?

RE
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Offline Karpatok

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2014, 11:17:25 PM »
Before the oil price crash there was so much talk of frack wells decline rates with a big assumption that the investors did not know about it. I always thought they did know and it was by design, even if it is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The chess metaphor is popular because Kasparov is russian and the disadvantage they are at requiring the restraint of a saint. What Im tired of is everyone else other than pepe talking about rasPutin as though he were an autonomous dictator instead of a figurehead who takes a lot of input from a lot of people. Hes a much stronger figure than give-in gorbachev or drunken yelstsin, but still makes decisions with the help of a lot of advisors.

I will be very surprised if pepes vision comes to fruition, looks more like those silk roads and trains are set to carry shitloads of chinese soldiers.

Merry Xmas!
   Do you really pay serious attention to everyone else's talk about Rasputin? That is serious intellectual ignorance. Of course there are advisors besides the Yid/criminal Atlanticists. Such are Lavrov and Kazin. I'm not even going to go to Dugin. Who the Hell does the Us have besides Israelis turned Nazi? The cream and coffee immigration proliferators and apologists? I already mentioned today that it would be a toss up between totalitarian hegemon extremes. Shitloads of shit soldiers prepared as nuclear fodder, just as always. What did you expect? A safe house in Tasmania for motorcycle enthusiasts like MKing? MKing is so clueless he might as well be dead already. Not so for the lovely lady in British Columbia referenced by the dentista. Like I said earlier, there's no place left to hide from this insanity based on bloodlust. Karpatok

Offline monsta666

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 03:10:55 AM »
Low oil prices hurt the fracking industry as well as Wall Street however big industry and consumers benefit from lower energy prices. While the oil business has become a larger proportion of the US economy the majority of the US economy still consists of other industries and since they stand to benefit from these low prices overall the US will benefit on a economic basis. As such I wouldn't see this as an example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Moreover this move (if it is planned) has the added benefit that the other beneficiaries would be the US western allies in Europe who stand to gain even further as those nations do not produce oil in any significant quantities.

On the other hand oil exporters most notably Russia will suffer from lower oil prices. Since the US has been wanting to put the noose over Russia this situation is quite favourable in pushing their agenda forward because not only is Russia made weaker but the European nations become less dependent on Russia as they do not need to spend as much money buying Russian oil or gas. As a result the probability of Europe allowing further sanctions to be imposed increases. At the very least when it comes to negotiations the US and Europe can do it from a position of strength. 

My feelings on the whole situation is these low oil prices were not planned. Demand for oil simply dropped off and the Saudi's saw this decline as an opportunity to lower prices further by not dropping production. The US decided not to intervene with this stance as while there are significant disadvantages the advantages outweigh the shortcomings. In any case what the Saudi's did or more precisely did not do is not only a legitimate action but is what SHOULD happen in a capitalist economy. All suppliers should maintain production and if prices fall so be it; the most marginal and least economically viable producers will stop producing and a new equilibrium in prices will be established. Doing anything else i.e. propping up prices by cutting production is not following the market economy model and is something a normal cartel would do to maintain abnormal profits. As such there is no case for people who say the Saudi's are manipulating the market by maintaining production. The Saudi's are still making a profit with current prices; the margins have simply decreased and since they are not selling at a loss this cannot be classed as a case of dumping either.

I think people are so used to market manipulation that when someone actually happens to do the right thing it seems weird. The question should be asked why is a cartel such as OPEC behaving like a normal market participant? Why do they continue to sell as many barrels as they can when they could shut in production and enjoy greater profits in the future? What are the motivations is it economic, geopolitical or what?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 03:22:49 AM by monsta666 »

Offline Surly1

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2014, 03:31:30 AM »
Interesting that Pepe buys the line that the FSoA State Dept and the Saudis colluded to force down the price of Oil, when in fact the Saudis did absolutely nothing.  They didn't start flooding the market with Oil, they can't.  They merely said they wouldn't stop pumping AFTER the prices started falling.

Oil price collapse is demand driven, globally speaking the customers are BROKE.  They can't afford the high prices, they bankrupt everyone except the oil extractors.

Collapsing Oil prices hurt Wall Street and the local Fracking industry at least as much as they hurt Mother Russia, so if funding Fracking was a strategic move to collapse Oil prices to hit the Ruskies, it's cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Where Pepe is correct is that Vlad the Impaler still does have quite a few cards to play here, they can default on their Western Debt, and both sides can engage in expropriation of the other sides assets that are on one side or another of the Ruskie border.

The vision of a great new Sino-Ruskie alliance creating another industrial superpower is complete nonsense.  Mother Russia's Oil fields are in decline also.  China is a polluted sewer in terrific population overshoot.  I don't see how Pepe can miss this issue.

Finally, I am getting tired of the damn Chess metaphor.  How about switching over to Bridge?  Bidding, Trumping, Ruffing, Long Suits, Doubling and Redoubling, there's a lot of good analogies there!  LOL.

RE

Want another metaphor? How about judo? Putin is a black belt in judo, and has authored books on the subject.  Although bridge is also rich in simile potential; so let's review the bidding.

As regards this: 'Collapsing Oil prices hurt Wall Street and the local Fracking industry at least as much as they hurt Mother Russia... cutting off your nose to spite your face,"  perhaps the neocons who determine all  foreign-policy on behalf of the Washington consensus are counting on a Republican Congress to pass the necessary "bail-ins" for the extractive industries. We cover the casino losses for all of our friends, don't we?  Remember that from the point of view of the neocons, there is no higher good than to ratfuck the Russians.  As former Pres. Cheney's "1% doctrine" made clear, we are very good in "creating our own reality;"  less good at anticipating unintended consequences.  (See: mujaheddin.)

And your dismissal of the New Silk Road concept depends wholly upon your reliable-if-nearly-irrational belief that "China is toast." Toast it may be, but not yet-- still in the toaster. And, China still, by the way, retains hundreds of billions of dollars of dollar-denominated paper with which to cause mischief for the Empire of Chaos. Oh, you opened with an "event to Asia?" I'll raise you a Nicaraguan Canal.  If I were China I'd be funding development projects all over the Pacific coast of South America, all the better to get the neocons spinning dervishes.

And I know you must have read Steve's article, so mother Russia's petroleum industry is not in nearly as bad shape as you insist; at least not according to Steve. And in the long term who do you think is going to pump more oil, Russia or American frackers, whose wells typically play out in 24 months?

In bridge,  which I learned to play as an adult and really enjoyed, every bid contains an element of intelligence for everyone seated at the table.  If you pay attention, you can work out at least a rough idea of what everybody at the table is holding even before play starts.   What concerns me most is that the players at this particular table will bid on a contract so expensive  that one of the players will determine a big reset is in order. Which brings us to the John Pilger thread posted here yesterday.  Do you really think, for even a minute, that the same people who brought you 9/11, the Iraq war, and half of the Malaysian domestic air fleet will shrink for a minute at exercising their so-called "nuclear option?"
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

Offline monsta666

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2014, 04:22:30 AM »
When it comes to Russia and China we should consider what their primary assets are. In Russia it is their oil and gas industries while for China it is their industrial capacity. These nations sell their goods to western nations and in many ways we can consider them creditor nations where the West owes them money when it comes to procuring goods. In this arrangement it is often stated that the creditor can dictate the terms of the contract as the debtors are the people in the weaker position. However the snag in this idea is that the creditors i.e. Russia/China cannot find another similarly sized debtor nations to replace them. Moreover the level of debt is so high that the debt cannot be repaid even if the Chinese/Russian could seize all Western assets (which they can't).

As such they find themselves in a situation where a lot of their wealth and power is just paper wealth and most of it will disappear in event of a crisis. In summary it is a bit like that saying if I owe the bank a $1 million I am in trouble but if owe it a $1 trillion the bank is in trouble. Because of this Russia and China despite being creditor nations are dependent on their debtors to pay their dues as these economies are dependent on the western nations incomes to get its own wealth. If Russia or China invoke a policy that "destroys" the West they will be destroyed as all the foreign debt they own becomes worthless and all the goods they produce remain unsold.

Sometimes people like to mention the past with the US and UK of early 20th century as an analogy of what will happen in the future. The British in the early 20th century where like the US today; a large but waning empire which still held the reserve currency of the world while the US was the rising tiger much like China is today. There are important differences however China unlike the US of the past is not a self-contained economy that can depend on its own consumer base to buy the goods it produces. Since that it is the case the Chinese must negotiate with the West and cannot set such onerous terms that the other nations are forced to accept.

One way of attempting to side-step this issue of the Chinese/Russian having to use the West to gain income is to try and create bi-lateral deals with various client nations thus bypassing the dollar and the western banking system. However the problem still remains that the average Chinese consumer cannot buy the goods it produces and the same is true for the Russians. In addition to those issues of under-consumption what tends to get discounted in these type of discussions are resource limits. There is simply not even oil, gas, water, topsoil in the world to allow China/Russia to develop the type of hegemony the US enjoyed in the 1950s. I would even go so far to say there are not enough resources to have a multi-polar global economy as when oil goes the capacity to maintain international trade will diminish.

I think when discussing the geopolitical issues we need to factor the issue of resource depletion. Unlike times of the past the total amount of resource available (i.e. true wealth) is not increasing it will be declining. In light of that what we will have is not even a zero sum game where one man's loss is another man's gain. It is a sub-zero game where one man's gain is achieved through the loss of ten men. This is a asymmetric game where everyone is going to lose it is just a question of degrees. The losses will not be distributed equally or even equitably. The nations who loses the least will be the "winners". I think the other big weakness in all this is the fact there are no democracies in China or even Russia so when a crisis does hit (and it will hit us all) the nations with no democracy will tend to suffer more political problems as there are less outlets to vent peoples' frustrations.

In any case I don't see a US, Chinese or Russian future what I envision is something closer to the collapse of the Roman empire albeit on a grander scale where global trade at some point collapses and economies are forced into localisation through necessity. The end of the Roman era resulted in less global trade and it laid the foundations for feudal society as Roman citizens gave up many of their rights to freedom in exchange for food and general security that their local lord could offer. The countries who are more self-sufficient in terms of critical needs (read water, topsoil and energy) will fair better. In this regard you can see the US should do better in the long run when compared to Russia or China all things being equal. Out of the three I expect China to fair the worst.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 04:46:54 AM by monsta666 »

Offline Karpatok

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 04:30:26 AM »
 So, Surly, does that mean that in the final analysis you recognize the evil potentiality of the the new NaziCons of dual citizenship that are really running our country and directing everything from behind the curtain. You admit that they will stop at nothing as they have stopped at nothing in the past. It's not just Bush, Cheney and Coffee Rama with their CIA tool, it's the glowing embers of a love of destruction and the power to cause suffering. This is more than just whores wanting to fill their pockets. No, it's beyond common greed, It's a maniacal longing for death, a very bloody final death for all of creation. Why do we not have the balls to just kill them, the way Cseausescu was killed before they finish destroying the entire planet and everything on it. What the Hell is stopping us? Karpatok

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 04:41:30 AM »
  Bushwa! The average British consumer is on the dole and so is the average American. Steve just showed and has been shown elsewhere that the British economy is a shambles with the death of North Sea oil and loss of jobs. Read the analysis of the double helix over at The Vineyard Saker before trying to join the Establishment Monsta. Karpatok

Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 05:17:48 AM »
However the problem still remains that the average Chinese consumer cannot buy the goods it produces and the same is true for the Russians.

Im not so sure, the biggest dealerships of high end luxury goods are in china. If they can buy the bulk of bentleys built as well as designer name everything they can buy a lot of their own stuff too. They make a million hondas a year there and they are all sold there, probably more than the rest of the world put together. Then theres all the stuff they import like prime beef and lamb and the whole catch of things like caviar and lobster putting the price out of reach of the average western consumer. We have a lot of seafood at christmas because its hot in december and lobster or something was not sold in restaurants at all because the price was not affordable less than 100$ a serve because the chinese had bought it all. If they took up celebrating thanksgiving they would similarly buy up all the turkey. 1.4 billion chinese cant afford it but at least 300 million can...

Then theres the russians, who have been paying 250K USD for the old soviet apartments and 7USD cups of coffee up until now, and outbidding british bluebloods but not saudi sheikhs for their manor houses.  If they just cleared out their porsche and ikea showrooms when the ruble run happened they probably can afford chinese stuff as well.

I think food and clean water is really in short supply in china and their food chain is stretched for the J6P but not the fatcat. If the USN blockaded the shipping probably many would face starvation. I suspect thats the real reason they dont dump their trilions of USD and devalue it.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2014, 05:22:02 AM »
So, Surly, does that mean that in the final analysis you recognize the evil potentiality of the the new NaziCons of dual citizenship that are really running our country and directing everything from behind the curtain. You admit that they will stop at nothing as they have stopped at nothing in the past.

Of course, KK. Over the past several years I've been pretty consistent, both in what I write and in what I post,  in the opinion that we are governed by a handful of unelected psychopaths who will stop at nothing, say anything, use anything or anybody, and who are absolutely ruthless in pursuit of their objectives. They succeed in this country largely because, as the recently released report on CIA torture has shown, we wish to believe that we are very different from the way we actually are. The CIA has always tortured, or used rendition. And other cabals within the government before them.  As a childlike people, we simply wish to believe otherwise.  The case for American moral bankruptcy can be summed into words: "enhanced interrogation."

And Americans wonder why people all around the world hate us, largely ignorant in the gap between rhetoric and practice and with no interest in having collective ignorance lifted.  The election of Ronald Reagan proved once and for all that Americans much prefer comforting lie to a painful truth.

What gives Russia and China an advantage is that they see us as we are, for what we are, without the comforting illusions of propaganda or Newspeak.  And they pursue their own interests as ruthlessly as our unelected leadership/permanent Washington consensus does.

And if you wish to call them "ZioNazis," have at it.  My opinion of the current government of the Zionist Apartheid State is likewise a matter of record.
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Offline Karpatok

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 06:04:24 AM »
So, Surly, does that mean that in the final analysis you recognize the evil potentiality of the the new NaziCons of dual citizenship that are really running our country and directing everything from behind the curtain. You admit that they will stop at nothing as they have stopped at nothing in the past.

Of course, KK. Over the past several years I've been pretty consistent, both in what I write and in what I post,  in the opinion that we are governed by a handful of unelected psychopaths who will stop at nothing, say anything, use anything or anybody, and who are absolutely ruthless in pursuit of their objectives. They succeed in this country largely because, as the recently released report on CIA torture has shown, we wish to believe that we are very different from the way we actually are. The CIA has always tortured, or used rendition. And other cabals within the government before them.  As a childlike people, we simply wish to believe otherwise.  The case for American moral bankruptcy can be summed into words: "enhanced interrogation."

And Americans wonder why people all around the world hate us, largely ignorant in the gap between rhetoric and practice and with no interest in having collective ignorance lifted.  The election of Ronald Reagan proved once and for all that Americans much prefer comforting lie to a painful truth.

What gives Russia and China an advantage is that they see us as we are, for what we are, without the comforting illusions of propaganda or Newspeak.  And they pursue their own interests as ruthlessly as our unelected leadership/permanent Washington consensus does.

And if you wish to call them "ZioNazis," have at it.  My opinion of the current government of the Zionist Apartheid State is likewise a matter of record.
  Thank you Surly for your timely reply as this Christmas I am beyond disillusionment or even despair. I'm getting harder and a bit cooler though still angry beyond description at the great American scam that has come to overshadow my life and probably anyone's with two cents of awareness. I still believe in trying to stop them even if it meant the sacrifice of the rest of my life. I am old enough to not care if only there were a way. I am sure that I am not alone in these feelings but of course people are terrified to confess as much because of their religious upbringing and the penalties as now revealed by the torture reports. To save the Earth and future generations from these people we should all be willing to die. If it is noble to go into battle for one's country it should be even more noble to give up one's life to save the Earth and its people and animals and all living things.I need to reach out to Jaded Prole or other revolutionaries who may have plans. But how to reach them and how to organize before it is too late. Just very early morning musings for the gathering of battle toward Satan and his followers disguised in false raiments of the Old Testament. thanks for listening. K

Offline Karpatok

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2014, 07:06:39 AM »
 Further musings on the aforesaid subject. I begin to see. This is definitely happening in the world now more and more. the carrying of a backpack. Remembering the officers of the aborted attempt to reach H. And the person of last week avenging Garner with the two policemen. It would be necessary to have the means of ending one's life immediately after in order to avoid the torture and interrogation. There must be countless cells working on this. I have never researched such a subject before, part of the ignorance, selfishness and innocence. "If it were done, it would be well it were done quickly" of course. It has been attempted thousands of times more unsuccessfully than even once successfully. This would call for great help and cooperation among many to make anything successful. How can I find which instances were the most successful and for what reasons? What a waste of suicides that take place constantly and for such selfish reasons. Mainly carelessness and to avoid pain. But this too would be to avoid physical pain while trying to spare the pain for many others. Well worth it. Many have done this for their truest beliefs in the good. the one for the many.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Russia, China mock divide and rule
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2014, 10:04:10 AM »
There is simply not even oil, gas, water, topsoil in the world to allow China/Russia to develop the type of hegemony the US enjoyed in the 1950s. I would even go so far to say there are not enough resources to have a multi-polar global economy as when oil goes the capacity to maintain international trade will diminish.

I think when discussing the geopolitical issues we need to factor the issue of resource depletion. Unlike times of the past the total amount of resource available (i.e. true wealth) is not increasing it will be declining. In light of that what we will have is not even a zero sum game where one man's loss is another man's gain. It is a sub-zero game where one man's gain is achieved through the loss of ten men. This is a asymmetric game where everyone is going to lose it is just a question of degrees. The losses will not be distributed equally or even equitably. The nations who loses the least will be the "winners". I think the other big weakness in all this is the fact there are no democracies in China or even Russia so when a crisis does hit (and it will hit us all) the nations with no democracy will tend to suffer more political problems as there are less outlets to vent peoples' frustrations.

In any case I don't see a US, Chinese or Russian future what I envision is something closer to the collapse of the Roman empire albeit on a grander scale where global trade at some point collapses and economies are forced into localisation through necessity. The end of the Roman era resulted in less global trade and it laid the foundations for feudal society as Roman citizens gave up many of their rights to freedom in exchange for food and general security that their local lord could offer. The countries who are more self-sufficient in terms of critical needs (read water, topsoil and energy) will fair better. In this regard you can see the US should do better in the long run when compared to Russia or China all things being equal. Out of the three I expect China to fair the worst.

Monsta, always enjoy it when you comment on these threads because you are so thoughtful.

I would tend to agree with you that the scenario that you describe could be likely in the absence of an event (or set of events) that trigger open warfare. For the life of me, it seems that the neocons who drive FSA foreign-policy are utterly intent upon fomenting such a war. And what, indeed, is the so-called "pivot to Asia"  about aside from "containing" China?  (As if China could be "contained…") The FSA seems to be about fomenting a new Cold War along the edge of the Pacific.

Logic and simple mathematics would seem to argue that in a world approaching peak carrying capacity for humanity, resource limitations alone dictate the future power struggles will result in a less than zero-sum game – for both winners and losers.

As Tom Lewis speculated in the interview we did with him last weekend, what the future may look like is a series of "step downs," a period of recessions each of which makes the previous era look like the "good old days."  Indeed, the economy is never really fully recovered from what it was pre-2007-8,  unless you're in the upper 1/10 of 1% who benefit from the gains of the stock market, deal in luxury goods sold to this highly exclusive market, or have been employed as a pimp for the fracking industry.  Other always be those among us who deny that any resource limitations of any sort will obtain,  because they are doing very well here, thank you very much, and what's your problem?  That since the fracking wells now shut in still have oil in the ground, since we have 500 years of natural gas and 1000 years of coal,  there are no resource limits. Which requires a religious belief in the premise that man is incapable of doing anything to affect global temperature...  this point of view brought to you by Koch industries.

You make a point about the "lack of democracy" in China and Russia. It is pretty clear that only the forms of democracy still exist in the West, the practice of which has been short-circuited by the corporate interests who have purchased politicians and hand them laws to enact.

It is near irresistible to draw parallels between the fall of Rome and our own times.  For example, military spending became onerous. Constant warfare required heavy military spending and the Roman army became over-stretched. Recently conquered barbarians and other foreign mercenaries were allowed to join the Roman army. The knowledge the barbarians gained of Roman style of warfare and tactics by serving in the Roman army led to the sack of Rome by the Visigoths led by Alaric, an army veteran.  The government was famously financially unstable,  threatened by bankruptcy due to the cost of defending the Empire, through corruption,  heavy taxation and high inflation. Rome knew incredible prosperity, but the majority of the inhabitants of the Empire failed to share in it. The amount of gold sent to the orient to pay for luxury goods led to a shortage of gold to make Roman coins. Roman currency was debased such that bartering returned. Cheap slave labor resulted in the unemployment of the Plebs, who became dependent on hand-outs from the state. The Romans attempted a policy of unrestricted trade but this led to the Plebs being unable to compete with foreign trade. And yet for all that, it is difficult to establish a date when the Empire actually "fell." Gibbon states 476, some to the sack of Rome by Alaric in 410;  others to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

What is known is that a widespread ignorance dissented over Western lands as people congregated under the production of a local warlord, and generally his kept Bishop.  In every time in every place, ignorance make slaves of all of us.

"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

 

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