‘No, no, by the hair of my chiny chin chin.’
‘Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in.’
Well, he huffed, and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and huffed; but he could not get the house down….Then the wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he would eat up the little pig, and that he would get down the chimney after him. When the little pig saw what he was about, he hung on the pot full of water, and made up a blazing fire, and, just as the wolf was coming down, took off the cover, and in fell the wolf; so the little pig put on the cover again in an instant, boiled him up, and ate him for supper, and lived happy ever afterwards.
In this kind of anarcho-capitalism, where a small group of financiers runs the rest of humanity, a group known as ‘vulture funds’ obtained debt instruments at absurdly low prices. This small group of vulture funds is endangering not only Argentina. In reality what is at stake is the international financial system, and the international economic system more than the financial system. This is financial capitalism and the appearance of what is called financial derivatives, which began to generate, or at least make the world believe that they were generating, money without going through the cycle of the production of goods and services, which is impossible and obviously generate astronomically high profits, but also the existence of fictitious money.
Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
By the early 1980s the main elements of the modern offshore system were in place, and growing explosively. An older cluster of European havens, nurtured by European aristocracies and led by Switzerland, was now being outpaced by a network of more flexible, aggressive havens in the former outposts of the British empire, which were themselves linked intimately to the City of London. A state within the British state, the City had been transformed from an gentlemen’s club operating the financial machinery of empire … into a deregulated global financial centre dominated by American banks… A less complex yet still enormously important offshore zone of influence had also grown up, centred on the United States and also constructed by American banks…The future that the offshore system promises has a distinctly medieval quality: in a world still nominally run by democratic nation states, the offshore system is more like a network of guilds in the service of unaccountable and often criminal elites…Offshore attitudes are characterised by amazing similarities of argument, of approach and of method, and some striking psychological affinities in a geographically diverse but like-minded global cultural community. A peculiar mixture of characters populates this world: castle-owning members of ancient continental European aristocracies, fanatical supporters of American libertarian writer Ayn Rand, members of the world’s intelligence services, global criminals, British public schoolboys, assorted lords and ladies and bankers galore. Its bugbears are government, laws and taxes, and its slogan is freedom.
Nicholas Shaxson, Treasure Islands. Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World, 2011
There is a sense—commonly felt but rarely reflected upon by the American public— in which at critical moments a figure like John Brennan or Victoria Nuland may matter more than the president himself. There could be no surer confirmation of that fact than the frequent inconsequence of the president’s words, or, to put it another way, the embarrassing frequency with which his words are contradicted by subsequent events. […] John Brennan…told Charlie Rose recently that the new president, in 2009, “did not have a good deal of experience” in national security, but now “he has gone to school and understands the complexities.”
This is not the tone of a public servant talking about his superior. It is the tone of a schoolmaster describing an obedient pupil.
David Bromwich, What Went Wrong. Assessing Obama’s legacy, Harper’s Magazine, June 2015
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A Changin‘, 1964
NATO is bound by the principle of unanimity, and [the Alliance] could be paralyzed for some time … by Greece, which is a friend of Russia and wields veto power.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Moscow-Friendly Greece Could ‘Paralyze’ NATO, DefenseNews, 25 March 2015
Times are a-changing, indeed, and for the best!
We are already seeing a noticeable change of pace in the process of unfolding of the Great Transformation.
As Lenin once wrote, there are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.
The Irish voters have recognized that their homosexual fellow citizens are entitled to get married. An alliance of progressive forces will govern Madrid and Barcelona (Spain’s indignados could rule Barcelona and Madrid after local election success, Guardian, 25 maggio 2015).The once powerful Scottish Labour party has been brought to the brink of extinction by the Scottish leftwing nationalists and millions of people in England and Wales would vote SNP if given the option (New Scotland explained: Could the north of England really break away from Britain? The Independent, 15 May 2015).
Alberta, the most right-wing province of Canada, home to the neoconservative premier Stephen Harper, has been seized by the “socialist hordes” of the New Democratic Party.
Argentina openly and successfully challenges Wall Street hedge funds (Hedge Funds’ Latest Salvo Is Ignored by Argentina’s Bondholders, Bloomberg, 13 May 2015).
Greece is about to become the sixth member of the BRICS bank and Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia are switching from observer status to full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Kerry conceding to Putin the Ukrainian battle in the ongoing information-economic-military war between West and East (A Diplomatic Victory, and Affirmation, for Putin, NYT, 15 May 2015).
The western periphery (Euro-Atlantic) and the eastern periphery (Asia-Pacific) are growing restless, with Japan, France and Germany developing their own independent international policies (Merkel says free trade zone with Russia possible, RT, 18 April 2015), and ready to jump ships (Berlin and Paris look East: How close are we to a Common Economic Space? RT, 2 March 2015; Japan, Russia plan economic talks in Tokyo, Japan Times, 12 May 2015; U.S. official cautions Japan against seeking closer ties with Russia, Japan Times, 22 May 2015; Suga: Japan-China relations show signs of moving toward improvement, The Star, 25 April 2015).
Meanwhile, in the “belly of the beast”, a genuinely progressive (and empathetic) candidate of Irish descent, Martin O’Malley, is about to announce his intention to run for president of the United States (Iowa Paper: Martin O’Malley Could Be Next JFK, NewsMax, 24 March 2015), and he can be a real game changer (Martin O’Malley: Reinstate Glass-Steagall, Break up the Banks, Daily Kos, 21 March 2015) against an overexposed, saturating and problematic Hillary Clinton’s candidacy (The Next Act of the Neocons. Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? New York Times, 5 July 2014; Hillary Clinton’s Empathy Deficit, WSJ, 8 December 2014).
O’Malley is big fan of F.D. Roosevelt and the United States were spared a revolution thanks to FDR’s New Deal, when the élites were using the Depression to wage a total class war against the middle and lower classes. Alas! Obama is doing nothing of the sort.
Western media’s predictions have mostly failed miserably:
- Russia has not been kicked out of SWIFT;
- Crimea has not been returned and Novorussia has not been subdued;
- Kiev is not going to join the European Union and protesters are back in Maidan, as austerity is taking its toll and the economic is collapsing;
- Merkel, Juncker and Hollande have pronounced Putin a reliable partner;
- the IMF has predicted an upturn for Russian economy;
- Indian and Chinese soldiers have marched on Red Square to celebrate the defeat of the Axis powers and show that Russia is not isolated;
- Iraq will not be partitioned into three different states;
- Assad is still in power;
- Greece has not left the Eurozone and is not going anywhere anytime soon, for as long as NATO remains in existence (U.S. Urges Greece to Reject Russian Energy Project, NYT, 8 May 2015; America, much more than Europe, sees strategic stakes in the Aegean, Economist, 28 February 2015; White House urges Greece to reach agreement on bailout terms with the EU, Deutsche Welle, 17 April 2015. Barack Obama signals support for Greece’s call to loosen austerity programme, Telegraph, 2 February 2015).
- Greece and Iceland are turning eastwards (China, Iceland and the Arctic, the Diplomat, 20 May 2015).
Reality begins to bite for Washington and Brussels (John Kerry admits defeat: The Ukraine story the media won’t tell, and why U.S. retreat is a good thing, Salon, 20 May 2015).
The BRICS are currently enacting – vis-à-vis the West – a strategy very much akin to Germany’s Ostpolitik with the Soviet Union. The basic idea is that intensified trade results into mutual dependency and this is the best guarantee for peace (see Kant on international trade and peace in Perpetual Peace, Scientific American, 14 October 2014).
The EU would be wise to look East for growth and prosperity, unless their aim is to be disbanded in 5 years time.
- In Scotland both the Yes and No camps have united against Westminster. Scottish and Northern Irish have voted against the status quo, the English and the Welsh voted massively to keep things as they are. After a Brexit, Little Britain (sans Scotland) would still remain an American colonial outpost. Ireland could be finally reunited. A Brexit is unlikely, though, because it would require a deal similar to the one signed by Norway and Switzerland for the British economy to survive, and that would entail large expenses with no say whatsoever in Brussels, plus a second separatist referendum in Scotland which would be a sure win for Scottish nationalists.
- Scottish, Icelandic, Greek, Argentinean, Yemeni, Novorussian sovereignism is deprecated and stigmatized by the mainstream media because it threatens the old order and the status of elite institutions. These peoples are setting an example for the rest of the world population. Their lessons will not pass unheeded. A world revolution is in the making.
- The neocons, taking upon themselves the role of gatekeepers of the planet, behave in an all-or-nothing mode, as though they did not care about the consequences for the United States, Israel and the European Union of their going rogue. They believe in neoliberalism, that is, the notion that governments must be realigned to the advantage of corporate interests because self interest is the foremost virtue and moral basis of conduct. Neoliberalism is a cancer of democracy, the root cause of the impotence or unwillingness of politicians to hold corporate potentates accountable for their countless crimes. Everything in nature is about balance and the rogue neocon/neoliberal empire is causing huge imbalances across the board, spreading the poisons of hatred, suspicion, cynicism, and divisiveness everywhere. This is why it will be stopped.
- The IMF, no longer indispensable, is struggling to remain relevant, in the face of the evidence pointing to the fact that the West as a whole has become a burden for the Rest. It will be disbanded before the end of this decade, together with NATO, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
- The Chinese are not really interested in the renminbi inclusion into the SDR basket. They are going to use that as a Trojan horse in their effort to move to the new system, featuring an alternative currency basket with gold in it. this new order will not erase the old one, as it is meant to simply prevent the domination of the neoliberal doctrine and structures over all its alternatives (China-Russia Investment Fund, the Universal Credit Rating Group, the BRICS New Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Bank of the South, PetroCaribe). This is about levelling the playing field and avoiding the neocon-sponsored state of permanent war. However, the markets don’t like duplicates and therefore the old US-centric institutional order is doomed to extinction.
- This new order will enable China to, for instance, boost the economies of South America (China, Peru and Brazil mull Amazon railway, BBC, 23 May 2015). Chinese loans are mostly at lower interests and on more flexible terms compared to what the West has to offer and the infrastructures they build abroad are sorely needed in developing countries. The ultimate goal of technology and expertise transfer from China to emerging economies is to enrich local populations in order for the Chinese not to depend on wayward Western markets alone. They want to have Africans and Latin Americans doing business in China. It is about exchange and diversity, not Borg-like assimilation or de-facto apartheid on a global scale. This is why Western competitors will keep on losing ground.
And we now finally come to the crucial issue of what Western intentions are.
At this point rational decision-makers would fold, instead of raising the bet, and this confrontation would be resolved peacefully. But what if rationality has been utterly corrupted by greed and a penchant for self-aggrandizement (Pope Francis Explains To Children How War Profiteers Never Want Peace, Huffington Post, 12 May 2015)?
History unfortunately is written and distorted by the victor. Hiroaki Sato, author of the Dec. 26 article “Strange how isolationist stance can ruin a politician’s reputation,” will find it difficult to convince his American readers that not all Japanese leaders wanted to attack Pearl Harbor and fight America. While American history textbooks are riddled with inaccuracies that glorify America’s exceptionalism and pacifism — unless pushed into a corner — history texts in Malaysia and Indonesia expose the reasons why Japan was forced to act the way it did. Many Chinese today may hate the Japanese, but they also know that America is doing to them today what America did to Japan before the Pearl Harbor attack. They may hate to openly admit this, but America is slowly trying to put a chokehold on China’s oil supplies by conquering Iraq, Libya, South Sudan and, soon, Iran. America is already stirring up trouble in South China Sea. By [embargoes and other economic sanctions], including oil-supply chokeholds, America has consistently been at the forefront of provoking and promoting war. After all these years, I wonder what underlying philosophy drives this war-loving culture.
Kenzaburo Sugai, What drives a war-loving culture? Japan Times, 1 January 2012
NATO IS A CAGE
What must we do? First, we must learn the facts and face the truth that the US is the biggest war maker in the world. Second, we must commit ourselves and organize others to a true revolution of values and confront the corporations and politicians who continue to push our nation into war and inflate the military budget with the hot air of permanent fear mongering. Third, we must admit what our country has been doing wrong and we must make amends for the violence the US has waged on countries all over our world. Fourth, we must withdraw our military from all other countries, dramatically downsize our military, disarm our nuclear weapons, and truly stick to defending our own country. Fifth, we must work for peaceful, just solutions for conflict here at home and across our world. Only when we work for the day when the US is no longer the world leader in war will we have the right to pray for peace on Memorial Day.
Bill Quigley, Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War? CounterPunch, 25 May 2015
To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives
Something dreadful happened to the West, after Hitler’s “defeat” (In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis, NYT, 26 October 2014; CIA Ties With Ex-Nazis Shown, Washington Post, 7 June 2006; Revealed: How the CIA protected Nazi murderers, the Independent, 12 December 2010; JFK: ‘CIA were desperate to cover-up Nazi business connections with US’, 21st Century Wire, 25 November 2013; People with Nazi past collected $20.2m in US retirement benefits, says report, Guardian, 31 May 2015; Operation Mockingbird).
Something which has horribly perverted the course of the history of a civilization that has been hi-jacked, held hostage and progressively impoverished from the inside, by the Deep State and its neocon minions (Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy, BBC, 17 April 2014; Why NSA surveillance is worse than you’ve ever imagined, Reuters, 11 May 2015; The Making of an Imperial President, NYT, 22 November 2014; 8 striking parallels between the U.S. and the Roman Empire, Salon, 26 December 2012; Thomas Barnett, The Pentagon’s New Map, 2005; Project for the New American Century;A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm; Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant; Almost Half Of US States Are Officially Broke, ZH, 11 May 2015; Matt Taibbi: World’s Largest Banks Admit to Massive Global Financial Crimes, But Escape Jail (Again), Democracy Now!, 21 May 2015).
“Too big to fail” is the admission that, within the empire’s borders, corporate sovereignty now trumps state sovereignty (The Four Companies That Control the 147 Companies That Own Everything, Forbes, 26 October 2011; Murdoch To Be In Charge of E-voting From 2020, BFNN, 23 May 2015).
As a result of this historical setback for progressive and emancipative forces, the Empire of Chaos has engulfed the whole world.
The purpose of Western policies cannot possibly be the incessant multiplication of failed governments and carcass nations. Anti-life entropy was meant to be a means to an end (a new world order) and this end could be achieved 14 years ago, when big banks, “humanitarian” interventions, Western institutions (including the European Union), and nominally democratic parties contending in “winner take all” kind of voting system did not face such a strong opposition as today.
PERHAPS WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE, BUT IT IS LURKING NOT TOO FAR AWAY
Now, all this is about to change. It is a matter of time and patience. The BRICS and SCO nations are slowly and methodically extracting themselves from the present financial system, with the extreme caution required when one is dealing with a probable WWIII scenario (unless the neocons are ousted from power in Washington), the Samson Option, the prospective of the United States falling into the hands of warlords, and a domino effect that would crash the global economy.
The overall goal is to weaken – economically and militarily – the North Atlantic Alliance so that, when the time comes to pull the plug, it will offer the least resistance and euthanasia will not eventually get out of hand.
If we want to achieve sustainable development we need to create a new architecture of international economic relations based on trust and mutually beneficial integration. We cannot ignore the importance of healthy competition, but at the same time, we need to move towards forming common and interdependent interests and ties…The new architecture of economic relations implies a principally new approach to the work of international organizations…It has become increasingly apparent of late that the existing organisations are not always up to the measure in regulating global international relations and the global market. Organisations originally designed with only a small number of active players in mind sometimes look archaic, undemocratic and unwieldy in today’s conditions. They are far from taking into consideration the balance of force that has emerged in the world today. This means that the old decision-making methods do not always work… An international financial system based around just one or two currencies and a limited number of financial centres no longer reflects the global economy’s strategic demands. Fluctuations in these currencies’ exchange rates have a negative impact on the financial reserves of entire countries and on the development of different economic sectors around the entire world. There can be only one answer to this challenge and that is the emergence of several reserve currencies and several financial centres. This is why we need to start work today to create the conditions for diversifying the world financial system’s assets.
Vladimir Putin, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, 10 June 2007
The key priority today in world politics, where Russia could take the lead, is the formation of a new world financial architecture… Russia could take active steps to transform the ruble into an international reserve currency, and propose to all countries to shift to an equality-based, mutually beneficial system of financial and monetary relations, rejecting the use of the national currency of any one country as a world currency. We should get away from the excessive dependence of the world financial system on the currency issues of any one country, and shift to a system of equality-based financial and monetary relations. In practical terms, it is possible to reach a consensus among a large group of countries and begin to move to a new world financial and monetary system that would be more stable, more reliable and more fair.
Sergey Glazyev, Putin’s aide proposes anti-dollar alliance to force US to end Ukraine’s civil war, sputniknews, 18 June 2014
By the end of this process the dollar will be demoted to the status of regional reserve currency among several others, in a SCO-BRICS basket of currencies functioning as the euro did early on and, after a transition period of a few years, backed not by gold or fiat money, but by their socio-economic achievements:
The system could function in the same way as did the Euro at the beginning – as a basket of currencies each valued according to some key indicators of its national economy. Initially the new monetary system might be gold based – as opposed to the current fiat money with no backing whatsoever. In the long run, however, gold is not a stable or sustainable back-up for any currency. The intrinsic value of gold is only its industrial worth, currently less than 20% of its use. The combined economic output of the nations behind the joint currency – to a lesser degree the numerical growth oriented GDP, but rather social indicators such as public health, standard of education and environmental concerns, capacity of conflict resolution, of living in peace and harmony – might be more indicative of the strength of a sovereign’s currency than just gold or a straight GDP. Such a new monetary system may soon cover 25% to one third of the world economy, thereby becoming fully autonomous. The petro-dollar would further lose its stature as world reserve.
Peter Koenig, Russia and China: The Dawning of a New Monetary System, TeleSUR, 13 January 2015
This means that the American population, armed to the teeth, will suffer unbearably and it is likely to cause a bloodbath in its struggle for emancipation, until order is restored and a genuine recovery gets under way.
It took the Germans ten to fifteen years for their median income to recover from WWII. The Americans can bounce back faster than that.
If war with Russia and China is not a certainty it’s because the war party is not all-powerful and because there is an ongoing struggle within the Obama administration between warmongers and negotiators, confrontation (hot war) and competition (cold war), between unipolarism and bipolarism.
The problem is that neither Putin nor Xi Jinping are interested in anything other than a multipolar new world order. Should they manage to retain their power internally, balancing the interests of various factions pushing for war or cold war in order to keep them at bay, we would enter a new phase of human history, marked by decentralized coordination as opposed to neofeudal factionalism, post-nationalist patriotism as opposed to exceptionalism, pluralism as opposed to manifest destiny, a productivist and redistributive economy as opposed to a de-industrializing, rentier economy of neoliberal structural adjustments, interculturalism as opposed to white supremacism and the dystopia of a breakaway civilization, competitive cooperation as opposed to greedy egotism, a Planetary Consensus as opposed to the Washington Consensus.
Enough of this addictive, enslaving, psychopathic crap! A world where the powerful dominate the weak is primitive, juvenile, uncreative, boring and, ultimately, suicidal.