AuthorTopic: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis  (Read 41198 times)

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2016, 07:02:37 AM »
Quote
It may seem counterintuitive to write about Russia being in crisis today.

Yes, it does.  In fact such a biased load of crap could only have been written by Stratfor.

I thought you might have some criticism of that one.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline edpell

  • Waitstaff
  • ***
  • Posts: 295
    • View Profile
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2016, 09:28:31 AM »
The whole world is in crisis. Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?

Russia a nation that is energy independent and has good relations with the workshop of the world, China, seems better positioned than most.

Online Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13182
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2016, 09:44:40 AM »
Quote
All paid for by Joe six-pack.

So yes, the US supported the proto-ISIS group, but they turned against them later, and now they are stuck with allies that hate them and are working against them most of the time.  Yet the US can't be seen to fall out with a NATO member or the world's biggest oil exporter.  Is it any wonder that progress against ISIS looks odd?

And you're trying to tell me that it's all to do with making money off spare tank parts!  No, that doesn't fit, sorry.

One scam among many. What I am saying is that J6P is paying for all ends of the trade and the obscene profits being siphoned into the bank accounts of war profiteers and military "contractors" who are paid for every transaction, every step of the way-- no matter what scam(s) are actually employed.

And as for ISIS, past articles posted in this space has testified to the lucrative business Turkey was doing in ISI oil before the Russians ruined the party.

The sheer amount of money made and lost staggers the imagination. Anyone interested would do well to wathc some original reporting on the subject and make up their own minds whether it is credible:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_CvWJVtEkUE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_CvWJVtEkUE</a>
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 3754
    • View Profile
    • https://palloy.wordpress.com
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2016, 04:56:16 PM »
There was a hint in the video that this destruction of equipment was to do with not leaving it behind for the Taliban to capture and use - you can appreciate that that it is cheaper than flying it home and parking it in a scrap lot somewhere.  It is all very well saying that an engine with parts missing is being rebuilt into tanks, but that is not really credible is it?  If the stuff was all kept in the original sets, it might be possible, but not when dumped in a mountain of different stuff like that.  And there was no evidence that the contractors destroying the equipment were re-billing for new stuff - they were contracted to destroy stuff, that's all.  So VICE were not being entirely honest in the video.

Having been put on the alert for VICE dishonesty, is there any way that the $300 million power station could have been mis-reported?  I don't doubt that Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with all their gas resources, can produce electricity cheaper than in Afghanistan using imported diesel.  But you wouldn't want to rely on other countries in a volatile region for your electricity, or for the transmission towers to not be blown up, so as a quick fix, you build a diesel fired power station, and then only use it in emergencies - they did say it was only for backup.  I have a $1,000 gasoline generator for my backup and haven't used it in 5 years.

On the Russian helicopters that the US supposedly bought and gave to Afghanistan, there is no description of the state of the equipment when it was bought, or how much they paid - perhaps they were old, shot-up junk in the first place, and the US only paid the scrap price and cost of transport.  If the US had wanted Afghanistan to have a modern, well-equipped force, they would have sold them new Amerikan stuff, wouldn't they?  In October 2015 the Russians agreed to sell Afghanistan the latest Mi-35 attack helicopters, and in December 2015 India gave Afghanistan 4 Mi-35s.  Buying influence by donating new attack helicopters doesn't come cheap, I bet.  The US wanted influence in Afghanistan for its TAPI pipeline dream, so had to pay the price, and should have known better because in the end it was defeated.  They never even learned the language, let alone who they could trust.

As a result the US ran up its budget deficit, and issued Treasury Bonds to cover it.  The Fed printed the money up and bought the bonds and stashed them in its asset book.  J6P still hasn't paid for it, and probably never will, because it will take the winning of WW3 to force the US to settle their debts.

So no need to look further than an Empire seeking to control the entire world, and running into Empire Limits as usual.

The State is a body of armed men

Online Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13182
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2016, 07:47:49 AM »
There was a hint in the video that this destruction of equipment was to do with not leaving it behind for the Taliban to capture and use - you can appreciate that that it is cheaper than flying it home and parking it in a scrap lot somewhere.  It is all very well saying that an engine with parts missing is being rebuilt into tanks, but that is not really credible is it?  If the stuff was all kept in the original sets, it might be possible, but not when dumped in a mountain of different stuff like that.  And there was no evidence that the contractors destroying the equipment were re-billing for new stuff - they were contracted to destroy stuff, that's all.  So VICE were not being entirely honest in the video.

We clearly watched two different videos. I'm not going to go back and rescreen the video, but VICE did a thorough job of documenting the fact that the reselling effort was approved by the government, the contractors were paid by the government and that indeed the contractors were re-invoicing for new equipment.  You're overlooking the part of the videos that had to do with the oversight, the chief administrator bringing the hundreds of millions of dollars of waste, fraud, and corruption to light. I did not take away that the Taliban were fashining new tanks so much as a variety of other vehicles, some of which were depicted in the piece.

is there any way that the $300 million power station could have been mis-reported?  I don't doubt that Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with all their gas resources, can produce electricity cheaper than in Afghanistan using imported diesel.  But you wouldn't want to rely on other countries in a volatile region for your electricity, or for the transmission towers to not be blown up, so as a quick fix, you build a diesel fired power station, and then only use it in emergencies - they did say it was only for backup.  I have a $1,000 gasoline generator for my backup and haven't used it in 5 years.


Having been put on the alert for VICE dishonesty,

This statement itself is unsupportable by the facts.

Specifically, what facts do you assert that VICE "mis-reported? That  of $300 million electrical power stations was built and is currently not generating electricity?  that the power to simply operator station is being imported from abroad?  Perhaps the real crime, again in the context of illustrating waste, fraud, and abuse, is that such a station was built based on the requirement for imported diesel.  There is the real fraud.

As a result the US ran up its budget deficit, and issued Treasury Bonds to cover it.  The Fed printed the money up and bought the bonds and stashed them in its asset book.  J6P still hasn't paid for it, and probably never will, because it will take the winning of WW3 to force the US to settle their debts.

This you get right. But the fraud, waste and corrpution that makes the world go around for the .1 per cent continues apace.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 3754
    • View Profile
    • https://palloy.wordpress.com
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2016, 02:12:04 PM »
Quote
Specifically, what facts do you assert that VICE "mis-reported?

That each of those examples represented waste, fraud, and abuse on the part of the .1%.  Trying to drag a destitute and corrupt country into the 20th century, when you don't know the local languages or the customs, or who the enemy is, is bound to be expensive, and it was.

The real problem started with the original decision to go in there, knowing the history of the Russian occupation, and earlier the British.  The way they treated everyone as if they were the enemy - bursting into peoples' home at night doing searches.  Dragging people off for interrogation and humiliation at Abu Grahib.  Not tackling the opium poppy industry, while being the biggest market for the final product.  It had failure written all over it from the beginning.

And worst of all, they think it is going to be possible to do the same to Russia, the Central Asian stans and China.
The State is a body of armed men

Online Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13182
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2016, 01:38:30 AM »
Quote
Specifically, what facts do you assert that VICE "mis-reported?

That each of those examples represented waste, fraud, and abuse on the part of the .1%.  Trying to drag a destitute and corrupt country into the 20th century, when you don't know the local languages or the customs, or who the enemy is, is bound to be expensive, and it was.

Thre is simply no way that you can behold the amount of "waste, fraud, and abuse" identified in the VICE piece and not be appalled, especially when you are one of the taxpaying muppets paying for it all. VICE demonstrates that even the administrator in charge of it all is appalled, and lacks meaningful tools to do anything about it. The neocons have extended this war, argued for a permanent occupation on the South Korea model, and the weapons manufacturers and the contractors get paid each step of the way.

The real problem started with the original decision to go in there, knowing the history of the Russian occupation, and earlier the British.  The way they treated everyone as if they were the enemy - bursting into peoples' home at night doing searches.  Dragging people off for interrogation and humiliation at Abu Grahib.  Not tackling the opium poppy industry, while being the biggest market for the final product.  It had failure written all over it from the beginning.

But we're 'Murkins, and we're exceptional. So when we do it, it's different. Even tough every occupying power since Alexander has come to grief in Afghanistan.

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
and the women come out to cut up what remains,
jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
and go to your gawd like a soldier.


-Rudyard Kipling


As I recall, the Taliban had made inroads into reducing or eliminating the poppy growing. It rebounded and has grown under US administration. Someone cynical might think that if opium were not the point, it was at least a useful byproduct of the US occupation.

And worst of all, they think it is going to be possible to do the same to Russia, the Central Asian stans and China.

And Ukraine. The wages of Empire.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
Government of the Politicians, by the Military, for the Corporations
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2016, 09:18:16 PM »
Title should have read "Goobermint of the Banksters, by the Military for the Corporations".  Pols are just Puppets.  However, the content is on the mark.

RE

http://rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_age_of_authoritarianism_government_of_the_politicians_by_the_milit2

The Age of Authoritarianism: Government of the Politicians, by the Military, for the Corporations

By John W. Whitehead
February 22, 2016

    “I was astonished, bewildered. This was America, a country where, whatever its faults, people could speak, write, assemble, demonstrate without fear. It was in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. We were a democracy... But I knew it wasn't a dream; there was a painful lump on the side of my head... The state and its police were not neutral referees in a society of contending interests. They were on the side of the rich and powerful. Free speech? Try it and the police will be there with their horses, their clubs, their guns, to stop you. From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country—not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root. The situation required not just a new president or new laws, but an uprooting of the old order, the introduction of a new kind of society—cooperative, peaceful, egalitarian.” ― Historian Howard Zinn

America is at a crossroads.

History may show that from this point forward, we will have left behind any semblance of constitutional government and entered into a militaristic state where all citizens are suspects and security trumps freedom.

Certainly, this is a time when government officials operate off their own inscrutable, self-serving playbook with little in the way of checks and balances, while American citizens are subjected to all manner of indignities and violations with little hope of defending themselves.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have moved beyond the era of representative government and entered a new age—the age of authoritarianism. Even with its constantly shifting terrain, this topsy-turvy travesty of law and government has become America’s new normal.

Don’t believe me?

Let me take you on a brief guided tour, but prepare yourself. The landscape is particularly disheartening to anyone who remembers what America used to be.

The Executive Branch: Whether it’s the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers, the systematic surveillance of journalists and regular citizens, the continued operation of Guantanamo Bay, or the occupation of Afghanistan, Barack Obama has surpassed his predecessors in terms of his abuse of the Constitution and the rule of law. President Obama, like many of his predecessors, has routinely disregarded the Constitution when it has suited his purposes, operating largely above the law and behind a veil of secrecy, executive orders and specious legal justifications. Rest assured that no matter who wins this next presidential election, very little will change. The policies of the American police state will continue.

The Legislative Branch:  It is not overstating matters to say that Congress may well be the most self-serving, semi-corrupt institution in America. Abuses of office run the gamut from elected representatives neglecting their constituencies to engaging in self-serving practices, including the misuse of eminent domain, earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars in federal contracting in return for personal gain and campaign contributions, having inappropriate ties to lobbyist groups and incorrectly or incompletely disclosing financial information. Pork barrel spending, hastily passed legislation, partisan bickering, a skewed work ethic, graft and moral turpitude have all contributed to the public’s increasing dissatisfaction with congressional leadership. No wonder 86 percent of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

The Judicial Branch: The Supreme Court was intended to be an institution established to intervene and protect the people against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds. Yet through their deference to police power, preference for security over freedom, and evisceration of our most basic rights for the sake of order and expediency, the justices of the United States Supreme Court have become the guardians of the American police state in which we now live. As a result, sound judgment and justice have largely taken a back seat to legalism, statism and elitism, while preserving the rights of the people has been deprioritized and made to play second fiddle to both governmental and corporate interests.

Shadow Government: America’s next president will inherit more than a bitterly divided nation teetering on the brink of financial catastrophe when he or she assumes office. He or she will also inherit a shadow government, one that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country. Referred to as the Deep State, this shadow government is comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes right now.

Law Enforcement: By and large the term “law enforcement” encompasses all agents within a militarized police state, including the military, local police, and the various agencies such as the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace but now extensions of the military, are part of an elite ruling class dependent on keeping the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens. In the latest move to insulate police from charges of misconduct, Virginia lawmakers are considering legislation to keep police officers’ names secret, ostensibly creating secret police forces.

A Suspect Surveillance Society: Every dystopian sci-fi film we’ve ever seen is suddenly converging into this present moment in a dangerous trifecta between science, technology and a government that wants to be all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful. By tapping into your phone lines and cell phone communications, the government knows what you say. By uploading all of your emails, opening your mail, and reading your Facebook posts and text messages, the government knows what you write. By monitoring your movements with the use of license plate readers, surveillance cameras and other tracking devices, the government knows where you go. By churning through all of the detritus of your life—what you read, where you go, what you say—the government can predict what you will do. By mapping the synapses in your brain, scientists—and in turn, the government—will soon know what you remember. And by accessing your DNA, the government will soon know everything else about you that they don’t already know: your family chart, your ancestry, what you look like, your health history, your inclination to follow orders or chart your own course, etc. Consequently, in the face of DNA evidence that places us at the scene of a crime, behavior sensing technology that interprets our body temperature and facial tics as suspicious, and government surveillance devices that cross-check our biometrics, license plates and DNA against a growing database of unsolved crimes and potential criminals, we are no longer “innocent until proven guilty.”

Military Empire: America’s endless global wars and burgeoning military empire—funded by taxpayer dollars—have depleted our resources, over-extended our military and increased our similarities to the Roman Empire and its eventual demise. The U.S. now operates approximately 800 military bases in foreign countries around the globe at an annual cost of at least $156 billion. The consequences of financing a global military presence are dire. In fact, David Walker, former comptroller general of the U.S., believes there are “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that contributed to the fall of Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.”

I haven’t even touched on the corporate state, the military industrial complex, SWAT team raids, invasive surveillance technology, zero tolerance policies in the schools, overcriminalization, or privatized prisons, to name just a few, but what I have touched on should be enough to show that the landscape of our freedoms has already changed dramatically from what it once was and will no doubt continue to deteriorate unless Americans can find a way to wrest back control of their government and reclaim their freedoms.

That brings me to the final and most important factor in bringing about America’s shift into authoritarianism: “we the people.” We are the government. Thus, if the government has become a tyrannical agency, it is because we have allowed it to happen, either through our inaction or our blind trust.

Essentially, there are four camps of thought among the citizenry when it comes to holding the government accountable. Which camp you fall into says a lot about your view of government—or, at least, your view of whichever administration happens to be in power at the time.

In the first camp are those who trust the government to do the right thing, despite the government’s repeated failures in this department. In the second camp are those who not only don’t trust the government but think the government is out to get them. In the third camp are those who see government neither as an angel nor a devil, but merely as an entity that needs to be controlled, or as Thomas Jefferson phrased it, bound “down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.”

Then there’s the fourth camp, comprised of individuals who pay little to no attention to the workings of government, so much so that they barely vote, let alone know who’s in office. Easily entertained, easily distracted, easily led, these are the ones who make the government’s job far easier than it should be.

It is easy to be diverted, distracted and amused by the antics of the presidential candidates, the pomp and circumstance of awards shows, athletic events, and entertainment news, and the feel-good evangelism that passes for religion today. What is far more difficult to face up to is the reality of life in America, where unemployment, poverty, inequality, injustice and violence by government agents are increasingly norms.

The powers-that-be want us to remain divided, alienated from each other based on our politics, our bank accounts, our religion, our race and our value systems. Yet as George Orwell observed, “The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

The only distinction that matters anymore is where you stand in the American police state. In other words, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
Australia’s planned military buildup focuses on navy
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2016, 07:58:25 PM »
Now, who do you suppose the Crocodile Dundees will buy the Subs and Destroyers from?  :icon_scratch: :icon_scratch:

Also, where do you think Waltzing Matilda will get the MONEY to buy the new Naval Hardware? ???

RE

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/australias-planned-military-buildup-focuses-on-navy/2016/02/24/d8964fba-db6e-11e5-8210-f0bd8de915f6_story.html

Australia’s planned military buildup focuses on navy

By Associated Press February 24 at 10:21 PM

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s prime minister says his country will bolster its naval strength with more submarines and warships as part of a long-term military buildup needed to maintain peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Thursday that Australia plans to double the size of its submarine fleet to 12 as well as commissioning three additional air warfare destroyers, nine anti-submarine frigates and 12 patrol boats.

The naval increase is at the center of a planned 20-year military buildup to deal with future threats, including tensions in the South China Sea where China, Australia’s most important trade partner, is aggressively staking territorial claims.

The plan says the United States will remain the pre-eminent global military power and will continue to be Australia’s most important strategic partner.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Palloy

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 3754
    • View Profile
    • https://palloy.wordpress.com
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2016, 10:07:56 PM »
Quote
Now, who do you suppose the Crocodile Dundees will buy the Subs and Destroyers from?

Japan and France are front-runners.  Last time (Collins class) they were designed and built in Oz, which turned out to be a complete disaster - only two in service at any one time.

Quote
where do you think Waltzing Matilda will get the MONEY to buy the new Naval Hardware?

More debt, of course. 

Prime Minister Turnbull is a former partner of Goldman Sachs and Chair/MD of GS Australia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Turnbull#Professional_career
In 1987, he established an investment banking firm, Whitlam Turnbull & Co Ltd, in partnership with Neville Wran (a former Labor Premier of New South Wales) and the former State Bank of New South Wales chief executive, Nicholas Whitlam (son of Gough Whitlam, a former Labor prime minister).
The State is a body of armed men

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
Global Economic, Political and Military Configurations
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2016, 10:22:41 AM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/global-economic-political-and-military-configurations/5512722

Global Economic, Political and Military Configurations
By Prof. James Petras
Global Research, March 08, 2016
Theme: Global Economy, US NATO War Agenda

Introduction

Mapping the emerging global economic, political and military configurations requires that we examine regions and countries along several dynamic policy axis:

Capitalist versus anti-capitalist, Neoliberal versus anti-neoliberal, Austerity versus anti-austerity, War command centers and war zones, Political change and socio-economic continuity, New Order and political decay

Though many of these dimensions overlap, they also highlight the complexity and influence of local and national versus global power relations.

We will first identify and classify the regimes and emerging movements, which fall into each of these categories, and then proceed to generalize about current ‘global’ trends and future perspectives based on approximations of the real correlation of forces.

Capitalism versus Anti-Capitalism

Capitalism is the only economic system throughout the world. However, it has and continues to experience periods of severe crisis, stagnation and breakdown. Several regimes continue to declare themselves ‘socialist’ (like Cuba, Venezuela and China) even as they pursue large scale foreign investments, establish free trade zones and provide incentives to stimulate expansion of the private sector.

Anti-capitalist parties, movements and trade unions have emerged and some still engage in large-scale class-struggles. But others have capitulated, like Syriza in Greece, and Refundacion Comunista in Italy, which renounced any anti-capitalist pretense and embraced neo-liberal variants of capitalism.

Anti-capitalist tendencies are at best implicit in the mass working class strikes occurring in China, India and South Africa and explicitly by minor parties in Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere. Much more significant are the conflicts and struggles between variants of capitalism: neo-liberal and anti-neoliberal regimes and movements; and between austerity and anti-austerity regimes and movements.

In military terms, conflicts can best be understood by differentiating between ‘war (command) centers’ in the imperial countries and ‘war zones’.

Neoliberal and Anti-Neoliberal Correlations of Power

The balance of power has shifted toward pro-neoliberal regimes over the past two years. Even where political regime changes have occurred, they have not been accompanied by any significant shifts toward anti-neoliberal policies.

Latin America has witnessed the biggest shift toward hard-right neoliberal regimes and policies. Rightwing extremists won presidential elections in Argentina and legislative elections in Venezuela. In Brazil the so-called ‘Workers Party’ regime has embraced a neoliberal austerity program. In Bolivia, the social democratic Movement to Socialism lost the recent referendum allowing a 3rd term re-election for President Evo Morales. The organized forces that defeated the referendum were predominantly hardline neo-liberals.

Elsewhere, in Latin America political changes, from hardline neoliberal presidents to ostensible social democrats (Chile and El Salvador) and nationalists (Peru), simply led to the continuation of free market economic policies. Even socialist regimes, like Cuba, have introduced market incentives and free trade zones for foreign multi-nationals.

In the Middle East and North Africa, popular revolts against incumbent neoliberal despots were violently suppressed. Recycled neoliberal military autocrats and politicians returned to power in Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Iraq and Yemen.

Iran, under the recently elected ‘reformist’ Rohani regime, has opened the oil and gas fields to foreign capital and captured about 40% of the legislative deputies in the February 2016 election.

In Asia, neoliberals, who took power in recent elections in India and Indonesia, are moving to de-regulate and promote foreign multi-national capital penetration. China and Russia have moved to facilitate financial capital flows – resulting in multi-billion-dollar capital flight and the relocation of new billionaire families to Canada, England, the US and other Western countries.

In Europe, Scandinavian and Low Countries, Social Democrats have embraced and deepened neoliberal policies even as they lose support to rightwing anti-immigrant parties.

In the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania hardline neoliberals have imposed harsh austerity programs provoking protests of no great political consequences, as the opposition has promoted the same policies.

Russia, under Putin, has succeeded in the reconstruction of the state and economy after the destructive policies of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. But apart from ending the flagrant pillage of the economy by a gangster-ridden oligarchy, Russia is still an oil-dependent state in which billionaires invest and disinvest with facility.

Greece, which became a bankrupt vassal state under the rule of corrupt rightwing parties, experienced an electoral revolt in January of 2015, electing a supposedly leftist “anti-neoliberal” party. Syriza under the leadership of Alexander Tsipras embraced a brutal European Union – IMF austerity program plunging Greece deeper into debt, stagnation, poverty and vassalage.

In Portugal, an anti-austerity alliance between the Socialist (social democrats) and the Communist and Left Bloc parties formed a new government. However, under pressure from the EU, it capitulated, surrendering its tepid anti-austerity proposals.

In Canada, the opposition Liberal Party defeated the Conservatives, offering cosmetic changes and promptly reneged on its promises to end austerity.

In sum, the neoliberal- austerity onslaught provoked mass electoral opposition that led to political changes, bringing to power parties and leaders who embraced almost identical policies! In some cases, the changes deepened neoliberal policies by extending austerity measures; in other cases, they modified some of the restrictions on salaries and social expenditures.

The February (2016) elections in Ireland are a case in point: The neoliberal austerity enthusiasts in the governing coalition (Fine Gael and the Labor Party) were defeated and the Fianna Fáil re-emerged as a leading party, even though it had brought about the economic crisis and breakdown! The only exception to this revolving door politics was an increase in the vote for the national-populist Sinn Fein Party and a scattering of anti-neoliberal and left parties. In the end, the two neoliberal parties are likely to form a coalition regime.

In Europe, the main anti-neoliberal, anti-austerity parties are rightwing-conservatives who have won election in Poland and Hungary and opposition parties like the National Front in France.

The major exception is in Spain where a leftist party, Podemos, has embraced an anti-austerity program, even as it offered to form a coalition government with the neoliberal Socialist Party. The coalition regime never came about.

The return, continuation and triumph of neoliberal and austerity parties and policies occur despite a deepening economic crisis and growing popular hostility.

In the Middle East, North Africa, the Baltic and Eastern European states, Egypt, Tunisia, Lithuania and Poland, repression has undercut leftist opposition.

Secondly, nationalist parties and conservative regimes have pre-empted attacks on austerity as is the case in France and Hungary and have marginalized the Left.

Thirdly, international tensions, wars, coups and military build-ups in Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Turkey and Southeast Asia have temporarily undercut popular opposition to neoliberal and austerity programs.

In the Ukraine, the US-backed neoliberal regime has virtually collapsed and is widely discredited. The problem is that the most aggressive opposition comes from the neo-Nazi Right!

In the short-run, international conflicts have temporarily distracted popular opposition to neoliberalism. However, over time, the wars, coups and military destruction are exacerbating the domestic crisis, as refuges flood and threaten to disintegrate the European Union.

EU sanctions toward Russia over the Ukraine exacerbated the economic crisis.

The Saudi-Turkey-US-EU-sponsored terror war against Syria and its allies heightens tensions and dampens investment in the region.

In other words, neoliberal/austerity regimes are threatened less by internal opposition than they are by the expansion of ‘war zones’, emanating from ‘imperial war centers’.

War Centers and War Zones

The economic and political configurations and divisions, which we have described, emphasize the varieties of capitalist regimes, the advance of neoliberalism and the emergence of variations among capitalists (austerity versus anti-austerity). US and EU militarism has deepened cleavages between emergent (China) and re-emergent (Russia) capitalist powers.

The political-economic map and the correlation of forces are deeply affected by military conflicts.

Wars, coups and insurgencies profoundly impact the scope, depth and character of socio-economic systems, above and beyond the dichotomies stated above.

Essentially the global military divisions can be understood through identifying war (imperial command) centers and war zones.

War centers are countries and regimes, which plan, organize, fund and execute military action against other countries. The war centers usually are run by imperialist regimes, which span the globe with military bases in order to defend and promote financial and multi-national corporation domination in other countries.

The war centers, form alliances, but also compete among themselves; they have follower regimes providing bases, mercenary soldiers and political support, even to the point of sacrificing their own economic goals in order to serve the dominant war centers. Follower regimes participate only at the periphery of decision-making.

War centers have global interests (US, EU), regional interests (Saudi Arabia and Israel – the Middle East) and local interests (Ukraine – Crimea).

The war centers with global interests have clearly defined adversaries: They target emerging military and economic competitors, like Russia and China; nationalist regimes, like Venezuela, Syria and Iran; popular anti-imperialist movements (Hezbollah in Lebanon) and Islamist anti-Western movements (Taliban in Afghanistan). The war centers, at the same time, correlate with neoliberal regimes and destroy or undermine lucrative markets and prosperous sites for investments by expanding the war zones.

War zones, defined by the US and the EU, have included Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Ukraine and earlier Yugoslavia. The ensuing wars succeeded in ousting incumbent regimes and splintering target countries, but failed to consolidate political control and, above all, destroyed hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, trade, financial and resource extraction opportunities.

The war centers have engaged in three levels of military engagement: (1) High intensity, signifying long-term large-scale warfare involving massive expenditures and commitments of troops such as Iraq and Afghanistan; (2) Middle level intensity, involving US-EU air wars and the use of proxy mercenaries as in Syria, Ukraine and Libya; and (3)Low intensity wars providing military support to regional allies, e.g. Israel’s onslaughts against the Palestinians, Saudi Arabia’s assault on Yemen and Turkey’s war against the Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Kurdish regions of Turkey.

The war centers in the EU and US have differences over China. The EU favors market expansion, while the US seeks to intensify the military encirclement of China.

Likewise, Europe and the US have differences over sanctions against Russia: the economic elite in the European Union, with billions of Euros invested in Russia is divided. Meanwhile the US mobilizes its clients in Poland and the Baltic countries to escalate military operations on Russia’s borders.

The growth of military tensions reflects both economic competition (US-EU versus China) and military expansion (US-EU coups in Ukraine).

Conclusion

The growth and advance of neoliberal and austerity regimes are largely the outcome of domestic or internal class conflicts. These, in turn, are the result of political-electoral contests where the imperial powers play an indirect role (mostly financial/propaganda).

In other words, the advance of neoliberal capitalism is not a result of imperial wars. It conquers because of its electoral advances and because of the defeats, retreats and capitulations of the trade unions and leftist political parties.

The limits of neoliberalism have been clearly set by destructive wars from the imperial military centers; the sanctions imposed on independent capitalist countries; and the alliances with destructive, aspiring regional hegemons (Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia).

The prolonged war economy and the neoliberal policies of the imperial centers have concentrated wealth, undermined economic growth, provoked downward social mobility and led to massive population displacement in war zones.

Widespread malaise among voters subject to the destabilization and disintegration of the European Union and the brutal concentration of wealth, power and privilege within the US has led to the emergence of social democratic and rightwing nationalist mass electoral movements.

High intensity warfare and prolonged austerity and social polarization have created a chaotic political universe and a multitude of diverse conflicts within the capitalist system.

If the anti-capitalist left is nowhere near overthrowing the system, the system may self-destruct, in a war of all against all: the great sow devouring her own progeny.
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof. James Petras, Global Research, 2016
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Palloy

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 3754
    • View Profile
    • https://palloy.wordpress.com
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2016, 10:14:58 PM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-03-13/hybrid-wars-part-1-disrupting-multipolarism-through-provoked-conflict
Hybrid Wars Part 1: Disrupting Multipolarism Through Provoked Conflict
Andrew Korybko via OrientalReview.org

The Law Of Hybrid Warfare

Hybrid War is one of the most significant strategic developments that the US has ever spearheaded, and the transitioning of Color Revolutions to Unconventional Wars is expected to dominate the destabilizing trends of the coming decades. Those unaccustomed to approaching geopolitics from the Hybrid War perspective might struggle to understand where the next ones might occur, but it’s actually not that difficult to identify the regions and countries most at risk of falling victim to this new form of aggression. The key to the forecast is in accepting that Hybrid Wars are externally provoked asymmetrical conflicts predicated on sabotaging concrete geo-economic interests, and proceeding from this starting point, it’s relatively easy to pinpoint where they might strike next.

The series begins by explaining the patterns behind Hybrid War and deepening the reader’s comprehension of its strategic contours. Afterwards, we will prove how the previously elaborated framework has indeed been at play during the US’ Wars on Syria and Ukraine, its first two Hybrid War victims. Next part reviews all of the lessons that have been learned thus far and applies them in forecasting the next theaters of Hybrid War and the most vulnerable geopolitical triggers within them. Subsequent additions to the series will thenceforth focus on those regions and convey why they’re so strategically and socio-politically vulnerable to becoming the next victims of the US’ post-modern warfare.

Patterning The Hybrid War

The first thing that one needs to know about Hybrid Wars is that they’re never unleashed against an American ally or anywhere that the US has premier preexisting infrastructural interests. The chaotic processes that are unleashed during the post-modern regime change ploy are impossible to fully control and could potentially engender the same type of geopolitical blowback against the US that Washington is trying to directly or indirectly channel towards its multipolar rivals. Correspondingly, this is why the US won’t ever attempt Hybrid War anywhere that it has interests which are “too big to fail”, although such an assessment is of course contemporaneously relative and could quickly change depending on the geopolitical circumstances.

Nevertheless, it remains a general rule of thumb that the US won’t ever intentionally sabotage its own interests unless there’s a scorched-earth benefit in doing so during a theater-wide retreat, in this context conceivably in Saudi Arabia if the US is ever pushed out of the Mideast.

Geostrategic-Economic Determinants:

Before addressing the geo-economic underpinnings of Hybrid War, it’s important to state out that the US also has geostrategic ones as well, such as entrapping Russia in a predetermined quagmire. The “Reverse Brzezinski”, as the author has taken to calling it, is simultaneously applicable to Eastern Europe through Donbass, the Caucasus through Nagorno-Karabakh, and Central Asia through the Fergana Valley, and if synchronized through timed provocations, then this triad of traps could prove lethally efficient in permanently ensnaring the Russian bear.

This Machiavellian scheme will always remain a risk because it’s premised on an irrefutable geopolitical reality, and the best that Moscow can do is try to preempt the concurrent conflagration of its post-Soviet periphery, or promptly and properly respond to American-provoked crises the moment they emerge.

The geostrategic elements of Hybrid War are thus somewhat inexplicable from the geo-economic ones, especially in the case of Russia, but in making the examined pattern more broadly pertinent to other targets such as China and Iran, it’s necessary to omit the “Reverse Brzezinski” stratagem as a prerequisite and instead focus more on the economic motivations that the US has in each instance.

    The grand objective behind every Hybrid War is to disrupt multipolar transnational connective projects through externally provoked identity conflicts (ethnic, religious, regional, political, etc.) within a targeted transit state.

This template can clearly be seen in Syria and Ukraine and is the Law of Hybrid Warfare. The specific tactics and political technologies utilized in each destabilization may differ, but the strategic concept remains true to this basic tenet. Taking this end goal into account, it’s now possible to move from the theoretical into the practical and begin tracing the geographic routes of various projects that the US wants to target. To qualify, the multipolar transnational connective projects being referred to could be either energy-based, institutional, or economic, and the more overlap that there is among these three categories, the more likely it is that a Hybrid War scenario is being planned for a given country.

Socio-Political Structural Vulnerabilities:

Once the US has identified its target, it begins searching for the structural vulnerabilities that it will exploit in the coming Hybrid War. Contextually, these aren’t physical objects to be sabotaged such as power plants and roads (although they too are noted, albeit by different destabilization teams), but socio-political characteristics that are meant to be manipulated in order to attractively emphasize a certain demographic’s “separateness” from the existing national fabric and thus ‘legitimize’ their forthcoming foreign-managed revolt against the authorities.

The following are the most common socio-political structural vulnerabilities as they relate to the preparation for Hybrid War, and if each of them can be tied to a specific geographic location, then they become much more likely to be used as galvanizing magnets in the run-up to the Color Revolution and as preliminary territorial demarcations for the Unconventional Warfare aspect afterwards:

    * ethnicity

    * religion

    * history

    * administrative boundaries

    * socio-economic disparity

    * physical geography

The greater the overlap that can be achieved among each of these factors, the stronger the Hybrid War’s potential energy becomes, with each overlapping variable exponentially multiplying the coming campaign’s overall viability and ‘staying power’.

Preconditioning:

Hybrid Wars are always preceded by a period of societal and structural preconditioning. The first type deals with the informational and soft power aspects that maximize key demographics’ acceptance of the oncoming destabilization and guide them into believing that some type of action (or passive acceptance of others’ thereof) is required in order to change the present state of affairs. The second type concerns the various tricks that the US resorts to in order to have the target government unintentionally aggravate the various socio-political differences that have already been identified, with the goal of creating cleavages of identity resentment that are then more susceptible to societal preconditioning and subsequent NGO-directed political organizing (linked in most cases to the Soros Foundation and/or National Endowment for Democracy).

To expand on the tactics of structural preconditioning, the most commonly employed and globally recognized one is sanctions, the implicit goal of which (although not always successful) has always been to “make life more difficult” for the average citizen so that he or she becomes more amenable to the idea of regime change and is thus more easily shepherded into acting upon these externally instilled impulses. Less known, however, are the more oblique, yet presently and almost ubiquitously implemented, methods of achieving this goal, and this surrounds the power that the US has to affect certain budgetary functions of targeted states, namely the amount of revenue that they receive and what precisely they spend it on.

The global slump in energy and overall commodity prices has hit exporting states extraordinarily hard, many of which are disproportionately dependent on such selling such resources in order to satisfy their fiscal ends, and the decrease in revenue almost always leads to eventual cuts in social spending. Parallel with this, some states are facing American-manufactured security threats that they’re forced to urgently respond to, thus necessitating them to unexpectedly budget more money to their defense programs that could have otherwise been invested in social ones.

On their own, each of these ‘tracks’ is designed to decrease the government’s social expenditure so as to incubate the medium-term conditions necessary for enhancing the prospects of a Color Revolution, the first stage of Hybrid Warfare.

In the event that a state experiences both limited revenue intake and an unexpected need to hike its defense budget, then this would have a compound effect on cutting social services and might even push the Color Revolution timeframe forward from the medium- to short-term, depending on the severity of the resultant domestic crisis and the success that the American-influenced NGOs have in politically organizing the previously examined identity blocs against the government.
The State is a body of armed men

Offline Palloy

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 3754
    • View Profile
    • https://palloy.wordpress.com
Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2016, 08:42:06 PM »
Weekend viewing 58:39
https://www.youtube.com/embed/g_0S80jMeg0
The Untold History of the US - Bush and Obama's Age of Terror
Oliver Stone

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/g_0S80jMeg0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/g_0S80jMeg0</a>
The State is a body of armed men

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
US troops in Europe to outnumber all European troops combined
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2016, 06:27:27 AM »
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/04/16/us-troops-in-europe-to-outnumber-all-european-troops-combined/

US troops in Europe to outnumber all European troops combined
Author TGP STAFF Date April 16, 2016


Lyuba Lulko
Pravda.ru

An exceedingly dangerous situation provoked by Washington continues to develop on the very borders of Russia. This is one view from the Russian standpoint.

Will Americans wake up to what their ruling class is doing in their name in time to avoid a cataclysmic war? Don’t bet on the American media to sound the alarm as they are on the arsonists’ team.



Dateline: 12.04.2016 US troops in Europe-pravda

The Americans are planning the largest increase of their military presence in Eastern Europe since the Cold War. The Pentagon announced plans to deploy a tank brigade in Europe in February 2017. Why not immediately, especially against the backdrop of the “Russian aggression?” As a matter of fact, there is no aggression. Instead, the United States occupies Europe.

Not that long ago, Pentagon officials announced plans to deploy 4,000 troops, 250 tanks and Bradley armored vehicles, self-propelled howitzers and 1,700 pieces of other wheeled vehicles and trucks in Eastern Europe.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Wark said that many countries of Eastern Europe questioned the readiness of the United States to protect them, especially against the background of the “Russian aggression.” The above-mentioned measures were taken to prove otherwise.
Poland and Bulgaria to have the honor to die first in nuclear war

A report from the European Command of the US Armed Forces said that the total number of US troops in Europe would thus be equal to three brigades. This contingent will be shared between  Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria. American people and equipment will be present in each of these countries, Gen. Ben Hodges said.

According to The National Interest, NATO’s growing presence in the Baltic States – the most likely flashpoint for a confrontation with Russia – will demonstrate NATO’s determination to protect its members. However, it turns out that the tank brigade will not be deployed in Eastern Europe under the aegis of NATO. The move will be made as part of the US program titled European Reassurance Initiative. The $3.4-billion program requires approval from Congress to become reality.

Secondly, who is the aggressor? Is Russia building its bases near the USA to protect Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and other countries? Does Russia need to give way to “peace loving” initiatives of the North Atlantic Alliance? Does Russia’s military doctrine mention anything about a preemptive nuclear strike? No other country has started so many bloody conflicts all over the world. There is also a very nice American tradition to betray allies, should something go contrary to plans.

The Americans prefer to bomb someone and see what happens. They will not die for Europe. The main concern is the Russian-German alliance that targets Asia. Yet, it is possible to end this initiative by bribing politicians and spreading adequate propaganda.

Thirdly, if the threat of the Russian aggression is as serious as it is painted, why not increase the military presence immediately? Why does the USA want the unlucky Balts, Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians tremble with fear for nearly a whole year? Is the Russian aggression an imaginary threat? Why send tanks to Europe if a nuclear conflict could destroy them in minutes?
USA occupies Europe on Roman Empire principles
As for Europe, it is not just dependent on the United States – it is occupied by the United States. The occupation is based on principles of the Roman Empire: the Romans used military garrisons to contain local population should they rebel against Rome’s exploitative and predatory policy.

What if a country of Eastern Europe decides to re-engage with Russia despite the Transatlantic Pact and sanctions? That would be a reason to use American military garrisons. Nobody will dare to utter a word, because US troops in Europe will soon outnumber all European troops combined. With the help of US troops, Poland, Bulgaria and others of the ilk will have the honor to die first in the much-talked about nuclear war.

Russia has no territorial or other claims to Europe. However, moving troops to its borders without a good reason for it is a very dangerous game. Russia will not repeat the experience of 1941. Russia will take necessary security measures in response to NATO’s growing military presence in Europe, especially in the eastern part of the continent, Alexander Grushko, Russia’s Ambassador to NATO said. Moscow’s reaction to such a move will be adequately efficient, he added.

The USA never sends its troops to places where it smells war – it evacuates them from such places instead. For example, we have recently seen the evacuation of NATO’s troops from Turkey, a NATO member.

“The Americans do not want to get involved in a real war. They do not want to mess with North Korea, – Eduard Limonov, writer and political activist told Pravda.Ru. – Donald Trump says that it is about time the Americans should stop protecting (sic) all for free. The Americans have a plethora of their own problems: a huge public debt, high unemployment, and the situation is getting worse. Instead, they spend enormous money on other countries. This will stop soon. The Americans will return to their North America, and their interference in global affairs will decrease.”


Lyuba Lulko
Pravda.Ru
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Online RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
http://www.globalresearch.ca/beyond-the-empire-of-chaos-building-ecology-into-the-economy-life-capital-value-base-and-measure/5520668

Beyond the Empire of Chaos: Building Ecology into the Economy. Life Capital Value, Base and Measure
By Prof. John McMurtry
Global Research, April 18, 2016
Theme: Culture, Society & History, Environment, Global Economy

Professor John McMurtry

Ecological and social science research increasingly demonstrate that ‘globalization’ is not what it seems. It does not produce more prosperity and reduce poverty for the world, but just the opposite. Ever more powerful transnational corporate money sequences multiply through organic, social and ecological life hosts looting and polluting them.   

But what can the social alternative be?

Philosophers across schools reject any ultimate common value, and no political party has any unifying solution. Meanwhile a Hobbesian imperative rules – that all must compete harder in this end-game to survive. The cumulative consequence is that common life capital bases are increasingly depredated and stripped to further enrich the corporate rich. Business statistics themselves show that the poorer half of the world has lost over 40% of its wealth in the last five years, while less than one-tenth of one percent of the world’s population has multiplied its private wealth. Yet the World Bank still claims ‘global poverty reduction’, elite voices blame ‘overpopulation’, and games spectacles capture most attention.

With even the opposition repeating masking slogans of “neo-liberal”, policy drivers to reclaim the life capital of humanity are not conceived. ‘Liberal’, ‘Conservative’, ‘Keynesian and ‘Marxist’ theories lack any life capital base or measure. All acceptable economic schools assume priced commodity-cycles as an end in themselves. So-called ‘neo-classical economics’ has no life coordinates, while political leaders assume this economics in a world of invisible-hand rule.

Even ecological economics remains confined to raw material replacements so that board-foot plantations and biodiverse forests are not distinguished in value. One welcomes counter-evidence to this profile across parties and schools, but none is shown. As in the past, few in favorable positions want to move out of the value system that rules. There is fiddling at the margins, but the ruling paradigm works ever more systemic oppression and ruin on the ground.

Keynesianism is the favorite alternative of progressive economists in the press, but it too is life-capital blind. Keynes himself only questioned the Supply = Demand equation, arguing it could also be the reverse with Demand leading the productive cycle (ie., by government spending, even if it were only “holes in the sand”). This is about as far as the ‘alternative’ goes, with military, PPP, green-wash schemes and bank handouts spending trillions of public wealth to keep the big corporate money-sequences going.

‘Growth’ is the panacea, that is more priced commodities. The life-coherent idea that the demand of the economy is ultimately the demand of life systems for life goods is completely repressed. Money-exchanges alone compute even if the ice-caps melt, more billions are malnourished and ever more species go extinct.

Life Capital, not Marxism is the Solution

For Marx, productive forces are the ultimate driver of history and the base of human evolution, with the environment as instrumental value for human production re-creating the world to serve ever more empowered stages of productive development. In these respects Marx’s position and orthodox techno-economics today are alike in principle. They argue for opposite outcomes  – working-class revolution versus capitalist-system growth – but both are forms of technological determinism. Neither has a life capital base – the missing ground and link of received economic thought.

Close examination reveals that productive-force determinism is the ultimate driver of society for Marx with no grounding life-value base to control or direct it – Stalinist growth being an extreme example of the problem. My own long research through these issues has concluded that life capital is the underlying ground long eluding us – the ultimate base of human society and development, and the only concept which unifies across social, ecological and organic systems. It is the unseen foundation of the unifying alternative, and applies across domains.

Defining Life Capital as Universalizable and Objective Value through Time

Life capital is an objective and quantifiable process whose criterion is life wealth/capacity that produces more life wealth/capacity without loss and with cumulative gain through generational time (e.g., a society’s public hydro infrastructure, its literacy development, or an individual’s organic fitness through age stages).

Yet it is crucial to emphasize that life capital does not presuppose a private possessor of it. Nor does it require a private profit. But both these false presuppositions have become instituted as akin to physical laws in the reigning ‘economic’ paradigm.

At the most comprehensive level, life capital denotes the collective life bases of the planetary ecosystem and all the socially constructed conditions of humanity’s provision of life goods which are reproduced and gain through generations. In any form, macro or micro, life capital is always that which enables life capacities to reproduce and advance through time. Life capital, at any level, however, can be run down by a life-blind economic system such as ‘globalization’ today.  The collapse of the Easter Island culture is a paradigm example of this hollowing out of a society’s life capital bases in life-blind devotion to its system constructions as an end in self.  We follow this pattern on a global scale today.

 How Life Capital Applies to our Daily Lives

Life capital is all that we continuously depend on to live and live well – breathable air, potable water, everyday knowledge, energy infrastructures, and life-protective laws and regulations. There is no good of our lives not dependent on it to stay alive and well, but the current ruling system increasingly despoils it across sectors. This is the essential problem of our world.

On the individual level, each one of us is a bearer of life capital which we manage better rather than worse by developing rather than wasting or depleting it. On the micro as well as the macro level, our life capital is far deeper in value than what can be sold in the market. Yet we lack the concept for what ultimately matters to us, that without which every life is reduced, malnourished and dies. This is especially true for social and ecological life capital on which we depend without knowing it – for example, effective societal norms and infrastructures ensuring clean air, water, stable climate, civil safety, electricity infrastructures, education, healthcare, income security.

All this becomes self-evident with testing inspection. But nothing is less comprehended in the reigning ‘Economics’. Its paradigm is decoupled from life means and substance in principle, with money demand for them as their only worth. If it is not priced for exchange and purchase, it has no value in this value system. There is no life-value in the calculus. If a natural resource or beauty does not make money, it is ‘wasted’. If a corporation kills people by its negligence, the value of their lives is the income to replace them.

It may seem that life capital has already entered into progressive economists’ vocabulary with concepts of ‘ natural capital’, ‘social capital’, ‘human capital’ and ‘knowledge capital’  which have become familiar in recent decades (beginning with ‘human capital’ from 1960’s onward applied to people who increase their own market value by earning university degrees). Yet these seeming forms of life capital reverse its meaning. They mean only what can be equated to a money value in the market, and so rule out life capital value itself – the value in itself and for life of nature, society, and knowledge. Life value, all real value on earth, cannot be conceived within the instituted blinkers.

Since only what increases revenues/reduces costs in money transactions and sequences is a “cost” or “benefit” to this value calculus, polluting, depleting and otherwise destroying life capital is built in as more “efficiency” because it reduces cost inputs. Thus a contradiction arises across the oceans and forests of the world. Life capital is perpetually despoiled as ‘natural capital’ to maximize money-value profit however natural life capital is in fact destroyed, moving from one site to the next as ‘globalization’. What is called ‘development’ and ‘growth’ cannot distinguish between this ‘investor value adding’ and the cumulative destruction of life systems.

What Has Gone Wrong at the Most Basic Level

As money becoming more money for transnational private possessors has become the ruling value system of the planet, the moral disorder is not examined or represented as it behaves. Rather it is auto-venerated in stock epithets of ‘freedom’, ‘prosperity’, and ‘new wealth’. In reality, a triad mechanism of media indoctrination, transnational treaty commands and armed force have imposed the system step by step. The global money-sequence system operates in accordance with three internal laws not discussed. It selects for more priced commodities without life standards, multiplies money demand to the richest, and – mot deeply – depredates life capital across social and ecological life support systems.

That this system cumulatively entails eco-genocidal effects is taboo to raise within official society. Most people have no idea of the inner logic of the reigning assumptions. Orthodox theory is instead devoted to perfecting the models of money-sequence ‘value adding’ with arcane mathematics leading devices for the rich to slip between the cracks of the law. Wall Street has in this mode modelled control of the buyable water and land in the world for future profit to its ‘investors’ with anything else that can be bought and sold to spike private money sequences.

While every plane of existence from which more money-value can be extracted is in the cross-hairs, no effectively binding protection for life capital bases has been allowed since the mildly successful Ozone Layer Protocol of 1988. The planet is systemically converted into private money sequences to the top depriving and destroying organic, economic and natural life support systems. The crowning irony is ‘austerity programs’ for society to keep the meta program going. At the same time, corporate-rights treaties are backed by severe punishments of taxpayers for any profit-reducing deviation by democratic laws – for example, to reduce neuro-toxins in the air, or stop toxic dumps, proscribe dolphin meat, or prohibit slave labour products. All is enforceable by financial and armed embargo in the last resort, and corporate state politicians are pervasively lobbied with electoral financing and post-office wealth to serve the new world order.

The emergence in the 2016 American presidential primaries of candidate policies to reverse these transnational corporate rights expresses a growing political resistance of the US population – even if the issues are obscured in the corporate media. It has been a long time coming. Thomas Berry long ago observed that “corporate profit is the deficit of the Earth”. Yet in the more exact words of Wall Street analysis: “With captive customers, the cash flows are virtually guaranteed. The only major variables are the initial prices paid, the amount of debt used for financing, and the pace and magnitude of price hikes – easy things for Wall Street to model.”

‘Freedom’ here consists in no recourse left for society to stop or limit the hollowing out of life capital to maximally profit transnational ‘investors’. In pretence of ‘free trade’, peoples are deprived of what ultimately matters to them without knowing what has happened. This is why in the end people feel increasingly helpless and meaningless in a world run out of control.

Primary Implications for Public Policy and Recovery

Re-grounding begins with a first principle. Real economic value is not created by the global market or by money exchanges. This ruling delusion has been promoted by neo-economics since the turn of the 20th century when it reduced economics to dyadic money exchanges with no life coordinates or bases – a system in which the best of possible worlds is a money-price gain for the exchangers. In life-capital understanding, the economic ground begins with reproduction of the planetary atmosphere itself, the oceans, hydrological cycles, soil cover, forests, fellow species, and all such life bases now erased from accounts by the reigning model.

Yet life capital includes far more than the planet’s physical resources on which life depends. It denotes all real goods that are reproduced and/or cumulatively advance through time, including scientific knowledge, life protective norms, and accessible energy sources. These are all measurable life capital formations along with the human-made bases of the real economy of producing goods otherwise in short supply.

Orthodox economics, in polar contrast, eliminates all life capital from view, and all commodities are ‘goods’ by definition. Only what can be privatized to yield more money counts as ‘economic’ or ‘competitive’. Thus a system of taking more than is put in every cycle with no limit becomes the supreme law of ‘value creation’ with all its profitable produces as ‘goods’, never bads.. Behind the scenes, the, the ‘masters of the universe’ create money by ever rising debt-issues and service charges which create nothing, but propel margin feeding in ever greater multiples.

No step is possible without the guarantee and force of corporate states. “My administration”, said President Obama to his Wall Street audience on April 3 2009, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks”.  Governments’ servant economists and stacked committees, double-standard tax policies, escalating subsidies, armed force protections, privatization of public knowledge, and foreign wars are further dimensions of this transnational corporate system at work.

Life capital is opposite in nature. Whether our own lives or family, our bioregion or the planetary life-host – or the tree, garden or birdlife, vocation or vocabulary at hand – there is one underlying formula of life substance and flourishing across al of them. Life capital produces more life wealth/capacities without loss and with cumulative gain through time in all its variations, the law of true human evolution. Securing our life capital base to live by is its first moral axiom across cultures and tastes. This underlying first principle entails, in turn, policy and regulation to prevent any life capital being run down, wasted or destroyed – as almost all are now. Our collective and individual life capital of ecological, social and organic life hosts are all at risk.

Solution follows from recognising the problem. Moral and policy deciders collectively reclaim human purpose by binding life-capital standards to regulate production, trade and investment- as we already do now with water and sewer standards and enforced laws against criminal attacks.

How the Mass Media Paralyse Societies within the Life-Blind Money Mechanism

The mass media are advertising vehicles which sell media spaces to the wealthiest corporations. They are operationally structured as a propaganda system for the corporations buying the spaces and the system they are embedded in. This is an analytic description confirmed by examining their electronic and hard-copy operations across formats.

It follows that the mass media promote and idealize the corporate operations and wealth sustaining them. But what is not recognised is that these corporations collectively depredate the life capital bases of societies with no connected media investigations. With no life capital standards governing, a global market race to the bottom forms without alternative.

All the while, trillions of dollars/Euros/pounds of public money go to big banks and corporations to keep them going. A staggering $5.3 trillion (U.S.) of public money by IMF calculation is given to fossil-fuel corporations alone, even as the climate destabilization they lead reaches cataclysmic proportions. Despite finally known emergency, even all ecological life support systems together do not receive a small fraction of what subsidizes the big banks and oil/motor industries propelling their collapse.

What is not seen is not responded to. The mass media are, in fact, structured to divert attention from the system’s degenerate trends to sell priced commodities as their law of motion. Endless images, gossip and tales of appetite, fear and projection hold populations in thrall disconnected from their common life-ground. The latest Enemy of the US/EU is then cast as the real threat to global life security – presented, for example, by intermittent hate messages on Vladimir Putin. What is actually occurring in tidal trends – the acidifying oceans, rising climate instability, species extinctions, and youth without meaningful life vocations –dissolve out of view.

The system remains auto-assumed as the best of possible worlds by the media, economists, formal economic models, and academic mainstreams. And why not?  Human slavery too was thought optimal for centuries – in fact, it was the first major commodity of ‘global free trade’.  Mass homicide by system starvation and ecocide are still called ‘costs of development’ with no challenge of the term. As knowledge and information themselves become proprietary monopolies, we come to see that the world’s deepest problem is the instituted mind-lock of the reigning paradigm beneath consciousness of it. its life blind logic.

From Sports to the Academy: Life Capital Bases Blocked Out A-Priori

On the system-wide level, the dominant mass media are governed by three implicit goals – selling corporate ads, validating money power, and blocking out life capital bases.  Professional sports exemplify the system as its ultimate site of transnational market propaganda. They draw increasing mass audiences round the world with no competitor to mobilize public attention and commitment. The inner logic of the ruling value system is imprinted beneath notice.

The more money sports stars get, the more money take is glorified, the more ads are sold, the more public attention and wealth are diverted from profound public issues like the degrading life capital bases of society and the planet. In this way, the ultimate struggle for better life on earth is displaced by commercial contest spectacles and logos competing for private money pay-offs for the few.  Free time itself is subjugated by the corporate money system.

Mass spectator sports are an allegory and a linchpin of the system’s hold (and I say this as a former professional player). Battle cries of ‘everything is at stake’ drive ersatz-tribal passions to displace what really matters to life on Earth. Even if a public issue comes into the spectacle-sales agenda, it too is converted by corporate ads into sales images of concern and action. The rising catastrophic storms, sea-rises and weather extremes are euphemized as ‘climate change’ with only market solutions promoted.

In the US, the most popular sports are linked to military displays, bands and metaphors, with few noticing the US military is the biggest killer and greatest polluter in the world. Again we see the many levels at which life-blind aggression and attack is built into this system. The destruction becomes part of the excitement with, for example, pristine nature as a favorite scene of beauty to sell fossil-fuel super engines ripping up the life terrain. Reduced to ad vehicles, the mass media follow one underlying law of meaning. The truth is what sells. Parallel to the games spectacles, marketed personalities are the centre of elections too. Collective life capital bases as the proper concern of nations and democracy do not compute within the reigning mind-set.

The academic world has been taken over by corporate self-maximization in less visible ways. University administrations have become corporate fund managers accountable to no academic standards in their multiplied spending on their own offices, salaries, and corporate-ladder culture. Their essential function is partnering with leveraged corporate research funds necessary to replace underfunding by corporate states – a 25 year planned process in North America.

At the same time, commercial publishers have bought up once-independent scholarly journals across the academic world, multiplied their prices to libraries, and imposed corporate procedures of refereeing with corporate forms ruling out critical autonomy of evaluation. Throughout, the externally profiting transnational corporations exploit university scholars’ need to be published with no payment for their services. In fact, the publishing corporations pay nothing for the entire life-capital infrastructure of advancing learning and disseminating knowledge, an extremely costly affair for advanced facilities and world-level expertise. All educational costs are borne by taxpayers and student fees, exerting mounting downwards pressure on public capacities of research and teaching. Ever more cuts follow from corporate states and administrations so that, for example, casual labour with no research support does most of the teaching and instruction. Throughout research for new commodities for the global corporate market becomes the dominant objective of funding sciences themselves.

Every step of these systemic degradations and front-line dispossessions dismantles the life capital evolution of public learning and higher research leading the species’ evolution.

Lead Philosophies Decoupled from the Life-Ground Too

In the background, the most lauded thinkers block out the advancing corporate occupation and its life capital alternative in principle. Martin Heidegger seems to sense the great hollowing out in his signature idea of our “forgetfulness of Being”. Yet he has no life-ground to go on but the “home of language” rooted in pre-Socratic conceptions.  Wittgenstein and others follow with “language games” and “linguistic philosophy” in the English-analytic tradition, but again with life-ground and social structure bracketed out as if they did not exist.

Today’s leading social philosopher-scientist, Jurgen Habermas, reduces “life-world” (Lebensvelt) to background assumptions, and rules out any alternative economic order a-priori. The dominant justice/moral theories of John Rawls and Robert Nozick have dominated normative philosophy over half a century, but cannot get beyond self-maximizing agents in a social void with no collective life capital bases imagined across industries of literature. ‘Communitarian’ philosophy moves underneath liberal atomism to social institutions and traditions as common bearings of persons and social reality, but has no deeper test or validation of them in universal life needs or life capital ground. Even socialist theory and doctrine provides no unifying life foundations integrating ecology, economics and life-value choice space.

Throughout the evolved life ground is lost – the life capital bases of humanity and nature as ground and measure of all life value through time in process of reproduction, loss or gain. We already have the basics in any working public health system where every one of these parameters can be known down to the finest detail of life capacity performance and well-being, but joining the dots into unifying concept and common thread across domains is the missing meta step.

The Postmoderns Revolt Against Any Common Life-Ground At All

Many celebrate post-modern with thinkers like Foucault, Baudrillard, Derrida and Lyotard who are believed to expose the inhuman and the repressive in our institutions and language by a liberation from metaphysics of duality and deep structures. Less noticed, the postmodernists implicitly repudiate any unifying life-ground whatever. Life capital does not exist. Like the global market, postmodernism proclaims the free, the particular and the disruptive without any life base, while ignoring the actual global command system’s attack on planetary life itself. Some like Deleuze may loathe capitalism. But they have no conception of humanity’s universal life bases and necessities to ground agreement or alternative to what destroys them.

Organising principles which bridge from the past through the present to the future by objective common life interests are, yet again, ruled out.  The economists’ life-blind paradigm of liquid mechanics goes on being mapped onto the living world, unquestioned even by the self-conceived subversives of totalizing structure.

Life Capital Meaning Steers Humanity’s Underlying Evolution

A simple example is herds of livestock. Their life capital continues so long as they reproduce or gain in collective life capacity of yield in meat, milk-production, pull-power, manure, and hide material, all quantifiable through time. The same can be said of socially constructed and regulated life capital formations – public literacy and health systems, clean air and water, electric-light access, recycling garbage and sewage systems, life security in body and speech, book and film libraries, ecological integrity including noise bylaws, biodiverse pathways and surroundings. We find life capital meaning most inclusively and incisively when we consider our lives without any of them.

In polar contrast, public spending is now increasingly diverted to subsidize the private money-sequence system in trillions of dollars to dominant corporations leading the depredation of life capital bases – for example, ‘quantitative easing’ to the destabilizing and  non-productive speculations of big banks and the massive subsidization of the armaments, oil and luxury motor industries. But the most built-in appropriations of public wealth and collective life capital bases are by corporate lobbies feeding on public services and the public purse directly by privatization schemes. To cite British MP John McDonnell: “Privatization over the last four decades has been a history of snatching up public assets to print private money. From the earliest privatizations of water, energy and rail to the PFI [Private Financial Intitiatives] from the last decade, it has been one long confidence trick.”

The same covert raiding of public life capital to feed private corporate profits has been imposed by captive states across the world – a systematic eating away of social life support systems and services accompanying the looting of ecosystems and natural resources as ‘the last frontier of easy money’.  Collective life capacities and capital are the victim, but no measure of their losses exists. In fact, every overloading, depletion, pollution, abandonment, reverse liability, under-investment in infrastructures, and price-gouging of ‘privatization’ programs follows the reigning paradigm’s primary axiom of rational choice. In its abstract form, the rule of self-maximizing preference in all things is the overriding law of modern reason with no proof or question of it in even the inner sanctums of high theory.

Life-coherent reason is missing – consistency with life capital requirements. Consistency with evidence  and other statements provide empirical and logical validity, but not life validity – the lost life-ground of knowledge. It is already at work without the name in valid life-protective and safety regimes across sectors, and in medical science, public health and infrastructures and requirements of life necessity across domains. The underlying meaning is the evolution of human society itself towards ever more life-coherent rule systems of how to live on the planet. Life capital defence and advance is the missing link and guiding thread across domains.

Public money is properly investment flow of society into life capital. But much goes immediately to paying off private banks which create the money as unlimited debt issues with permanent service demands, a distinguished from central bank loans with no such private-profit issue and claws on the public purse – as in successful economies like China and in Canada’s before 1974 when its great social and physical infrastructures were built. Another US $26 trillion today goes offshore to evade public taxation. At every level, the life capital bases of society are invaded by private money-sequence demands adding costs and degrading them so that most are in cumulative decline. This is the macro pattern of life capital dispossession and common wealth destruction by the transnational money-sequence system until a public life capital turn steers us.

The Unifying Alternative follows from the Logic of the Problem

In the degenerate trends identified above, the private market system lacks life capital coordinates and binding standards to guide it. Yet if we consider human advances made through generational time, we find the underlying principle of public life capital always at work in some form – from language development by agreed-on conventions enabling more meaningful communications to protection of community water supplies and waste-recycling separation to knowledge criteria and storing across the lines of death to the ecological protection systems that ultimately decide the rise or fall of civilisations. Seek any exception to this evolutionary pattern so far as humanity advances. It is the unseen moral vocation of the race.

Steering is life-coherent through time by life-capital measure and principle at all levels – as already being achieved in life-coherent energy and trash conversion systems, still-working public health systems, open knowledge centres of dissemination and learning, and ecological understanding dissolving life-blind ignorance. The life capital base of developed societies has already evolved beneath market phenomena, but without second-order understanding or even a name.

Thus the global money-sequence system continues to seek ‘growth’ that cumulatively despoils life capital and support systems without a connecting concept of the problem and solution across domains. Life capital provides this missing concept and common ground as the set-point of life-coherent policy deciders across jurisdictions. It is always what ultimately matters to human and fellow life – that without which life capacities are destroyed over time. Its measure invariably enables an objectively unifying meaning of life-value gain or loss throughout – of life security in need, of housing and nourishing food supply, of adequate clean water and sewage cycles, of accessible learning and knowledge, of public facilities and structures of production and art, and of the environmental integrity of our life-host – in short, the true goods of life which are now everywhere at risk without a life-value ground and compass to guide choice and action.

John McMurtry is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and his work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his latest book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/from Crisis to Cure.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
6 Replies
1625 Views
Last post January 26, 2015, 08:01:38 PM
by MKing
0 Replies
421 Views
Last post April 07, 2015, 03:40:35 PM
by Golden Oxen
0 Replies
157 Views
Last post December 19, 2017, 01:02:42 AM
by RE