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Putin Calls for a New System Guided by the UN Charter… But Is It Possible?

Matthew Ehret

Anyone looking with sober eyes upon today’s world and the feeble economic and geopolitical underpinnings holding the system together must accept the fact that a new system WILL be created.

This is not an opinion, but a fact. We are moving towards eight billion lives on this globe and the means of productive powers to sustain that growing population (at least in the west) has been permitted to decay terribly over the recent half century while monetary values have grown like a hyperinflationary cancer to unimaginable proportions.

Derivatives speculation alone under the deregulated “too big to fail” banking system has resulted in over $1.5 quadrillion in nominal values which have ZERO connection to the real world (GDP globally barely accounts for $80 trillion). Over the past 5 months $415 billion of QE bailouts have been released into the bankrupt banks to prevent a collapse. So, economically it’s foundation of sand.

Militarily, the west has followed the earlier Roman empire of yesteryear by overextending itself beyond capacity creating situations of global turmoil, death and unbounded resentment at the dominant Anglo American powers controlling NATO and the Military-industrial complex.

The recent near-war with Iran at the start of 2020 put the world on a fast track towards a nuclear war with Iran’s allies Russia and China.

Culturally, the disconnection from the traditional values that gave western civilization it’s moral fitness to survive and grow has resulted in a post-truth age now spanning over three generations (from the baby boomers to today’s young adults) who have become the most confused class of people in modern history losing all discrimination of “needs” vs “wants”, “right” vs “wrong”, “beauty” vs “ugliness” or even “male” and “female”.

Without ranting on anymore, it suffices to say that this thing is not sustainable.

So the question is not “will we get a new system?” but rather “whom will this new system serve?”

Will this new system serve an oligarchical agenda at the expense of the nations and people of the earth or will it serve the interests of the nations and people of the earth at the expense of the oligarchy?

Putin Revives a Forgotten Vision

President Putin’s January 15 State of the Union was a breath of fresh air for this reason, as the world leader who has closely allied his nation’s destiny to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, laid out a call for a new system to be created by the five largest nuclear powers as common allies under a multi-polar paradigm.

After speaking about Russia’s vision for internal improvements, Putin shifted towards the international arena saying:

I am convinced that it is high time for a serious and direct discussion about the basic principles of a stable world order and the most acute problems that humanity is facing. It is necessary to show political will, wisdom and courage. The time demands an awareness of our shared responsibility and real actions.”

Calling for Russia, the USA, UK, China and France to organize a new architecture that goes far beyond merely military affairs, Putin stated:

The founding countries of the United Nations should set an example. It is the five nuclear powers that bear a special responsibility for the conservation and sustainable development of humankind. These five nations should first of all start with measures to remove the prerequisites for a global war and develop updated approaches to ensuring stability on the planet that would fully take into account the political, economic and military aspects of modern international relations.”

Putin’s emphasis that “the United Nations should set an example” is not naïve fantasy, nor “crypto globalist rhetoric” as some of his critics have stated.

Putin knows that the UN has been misused by anti-nation state ideologues for a very long time. He also knows his history better than his critics and is aware that the original mandate of the United Nations was premised upon the defense of the sovereign nation state. Article 2.1 of the charter clearly says:

The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.”

For readers who are perhaps rightfully cynical that such organizations as the UN could ever play a truly positive role in world affairs, it is important to recall that the UN was never intended to have any unilateral authority over nation-states, or military power unto itself when was created in 1945.

Its purpose was intended to provide a platform for dialogue where sovereign nation-states could harmonize their policies and overcome misunderstanding with the aim of protecting the general welfare of the people of the earth.

Articles 1.3-4 state clearly that the UN’s is designed “to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.”

If the United Nations principles as enunciated in its pre-amble and core articles were to ever be followed (just like America’s own admirable constitution): then wars of aggression and regime change would not be possible.

Article 2.4 directly addresses this saying:

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”.

These principles stand in stark contrast to the earlier 1919 Round Table/RIIA-orchestrated attempt at a post-national world order under the failed League of Nations which was rightfully put out of its misery by nationalists of the 1920s.

FDR’s 1944 vision, as Putin is well aware, was based not on “world government”, but rather upon the concept of a community of sovereign nations collaborating on vast development and infrastructure projects which were intended to be the effect of an “internationalization” of the New Deal that transformed America in the years following the Great Depression.

The closest approximation to this spirit in practice in our modern age is found in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Thousands of Asian, African and South American engineers and statesmen were invited to visit the USA during the 1930s and early 1940s to study the Tennessee Valley Authority and other great New Deal water, agriculture and energy projects in order to bring those ideas back to their countries as a driver to break out of the shackles of colonialism both politically, culturally and economically.

In opposition to FDR, Churchill the unrepentant racist was okay with offering political independence, but never the cultural or economic means to achieve it.

Although the world devolved into an Anglo-American alliance with FDR’s death in 1945, the other Bretton Woods Institutions which were meant to provide international productive credit to those large scale infrastructure projects to end colonialism were taken over by FDR’s enemies who purged the IMF and World Bank of all loyalists to FDR’s international New Deal vision throughout the years of the red scare.

Whether these corrupt financing institutions can be brought back to their original intention or whether they must simply be replaced with new lending mechanisms such as the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, BRICS New Development Bank or Silk Road Investment Fund remains to be seen.

What is vital to keep in mind is that Putin (just like FDR before him) knows that neither Britain nor Britain’s Deep State loyalists in America can trusted.

Yet, in spite of their mistrust, they both knew that a durable world order could only be accomplished if these forces were reined in under a higher law imposed by the authority of truly sovereign nations, and this is why FDR’s post-war plans involved a USA-Russia-China-UK partnership to provide the impetus to global development initiatives and achieve the goals of the Atlantic Charter.

This partnership was sabotaged over FDR’s dead body as the Cold War and Truman Doctrine broke that alliance. The goal of ending colonialism had to wait another 80 years.

At the 2007 Munich Security Conference, Putin had already laid his insight into history clearly on the table when he said:

This universal, indivisible character of security is expressed as the basic principle that “security for one is security for all.”

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out:

When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger… I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world. And this is not only because if there was individual leadership in today’s – and precisely in today’s – world, then the military, political and economic resources would not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation.”

Putin is not naïve to call for the United Nations charter to serve as the guiding light of a new military, political, economic architecture.

Nor is he naïve to think that such untrustworthy nations as the USA, UK and France should serve in partnership with Russia and China since Putin knows that it will be Russia and China shaping the terms of the new system and not the collapsing basket-cases of the west whose excess bluff and bluster betrays a losing hand, which is why certain forces have been so desperate to overthrow the poker table over the past few years.

The fact that Putin, Xi and their growing allies have not permitted this chaos agenda to unfold has not only driven “end of history” imperialists into rage fits but also gives FDR’s vision for a community of sovereign nation-states a second chance at life.

Originally published by Strategic Culture.

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yuri
yuri
May 6, 2020 7:35 AM

ameikans r not agreement capable…Bercovitch describes the US as “the ultimate trickster’s paradise”—2/3 of all lawyers on earth live in the USA….”amerikan parents lie to their children, amerikan children lie to their parents–its expected”. Geoffrey Gorer. “amerikans have been liars and braggarts for 3 centuries”. Daniel Boorstin. “the men amerikans most admire tell them the most extravagant lies–the men they most despise try to tell them the truth”. HL Menkhen. “obama’s job is to lie to a nation of liars”. Kiese Laymon
when the empire collapses—in less than 10 years, perhaps then the amerikans will be agreement capable

paul
paul
Jan 26, 2020 10:03 PM

Who needs a new system when we’ve already got such a splendid one?
Tom Watson will shortly be picking up his peerage.
As endorsed by Jeremy Corbyn.

No peerages for Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker or Ken Livingstone.
They just get thrown under the bus to keep the Zionist Mafia happy.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 27, 2020 3:08 PM
Reply to  paul

Sure it wasn’t tories who nominated Fatberg Slim?
They certainly should have the 3 others for the ammo they provided against Corbyn.

paul
paul
Jan 26, 2020 4:57 PM

There were TWENTY protestors at Davos.

Where have all the protestors gone?
Where is last year’s snow?
Last year, 2,300 billionaires increased their wealth by 12%.

All the protestors are putting on balaclavas and playing at being Antifa terrorists.
Or painting their faces and playing their bongo drums and falling in line behind little Greta.

Meanwhile, Orange Man is firmly under the thumb of Globalist and Zionist interests.
God forbid that Amazon, Google, Facebook should have to pay any tax.
Luckily, he was able to head off this terrible threat by threatening 25% tariffs on car exports by his European satellites.
While promising to cut welfare and medicare if he is re-elected in 2020.

A small businessman in the US, something like a roofing or plumbing business with a turnover of $250,000, pays more tax than Amazon.

Inequality is greater than at any time over the past 200 years.
But let’s all go tree hugging with little Greta, while avoiding any criticism of corporate giants.
Have to get our priorities right.
What we need is more deregulation, more privatisation, welfare cuts, and tax cuts for hard pressed, needy billionaires and fund managers.

Jamie Dimond has just announced a vastly expanded $100 billion loan sharking operation in the Third World.
Last week, the bank offered to loan me money at the incredibly generous APR of 39.9%.
This generosity will now be extended to Juan from Guatemala to pay off the coyotes to get him across the US border.

Meanwhile, the tax haven universe is expanding apace.
Forget Jersey and the Caymans and the Bahamas. They’re old hat.
All the smart money is going to the new internal tax havens, Delaware, Nevada, and especially South Dakota.

South Dakota is a state with a population of 900,000.
It has no income tax, capital gains tax, or inheritance tax.
It has repealed all legislation to control loan sharking.
The rich can protect their wealth in totally secret trusts exempt from all tax and scrutiny.
No inconvenient money laundering controls like Switzerland.
Taxes are for the little people.
The sort of people who wear MAGA hats.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 26, 2020 12:24 AM

The Dark Pool Derivatives Universe is far in excess of $1.8 quadrillion USD, and High Frequency Trading Algorithms run approximately 95% of the NYSE trades whereas human traders now occupy less than 5% of the trading volume.

The United States of America is an asset inflation Ponzi scheme invented by Neoliberals that emanated out of the Chicago School of Macroeconomics most synonymous with Strauss et al on the right spectrum of politics.

The USA Federal Reserve is now funding the dark off exchange Hedge Fund ‘primary dealer’ REPO facilities ‘term’ & ‘overnight’ free cash spigot to the tune of $1.8 quadrillion USD Dark Pool Derivatives Universe that can never be allowed to deflate given that asset inflation is all that Americans are capable of doing when it comes to running the 21st century version of the Weimar Republic United States of America banana republic. The USA deflationary $25 trillion debt overhang indicates that Americans are beyond capable of paying outstanding debt owed to foreign creditors that are no longer buying the banana republic debt of the debtor nation USA.

Dividing up the spoils of war between the rotted out shell of the USA and everyone else is my domain and not that of the USA, UK, or China & Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation, Putin, USA, UK, China, and the rest of the flotsam & jetsam brain trust of Finance in the world will take a subservient role in my New World Disorder as the new world disorder serfs in my Feudalist Hegemonic totalitarian rule of the New World Disorder.

There is only room for one MASTER OF UNIVERSE, President Putin.

MOU

Peter
Peter
Jan 25, 2020 4:20 PM

It always amazes me [even though it should not] but this sort of discussion never appears in MSM.

Hugh O'Neill
Hugh O'Neill
Jan 25, 2020 3:23 AM

By the curious process of serendipity, whilst musing on the parallel lives of Erskine Childers and T.E. Lawrence (both ‘celebrated’ authors and British secret agents, both Anglo-Irish adding to their loss of self-identity) when I stumbled over a descendant of Childers who in 1994 co-authored a report on how to reform the UN – http://www.daghammarskjold.se/wp-content/uploads/1994/08/94_1.pdf.
The shadows of assassinations stalk and undermine the best intentions of the best of men e.g. Childers may have had a hand in the assassination of Irish leader, Michael Collins. The paper was written under the Dag Hammarskjold foundation, who himself was probably assassinated by the Anglo-American Intelligence. Was TE Lawrence offed for his pro-Arab views or for his inside knowledge of the Sykes-Picot deal? Was FDR offed because of his betrayal of the Capitalist oligarchy?
In short, the UN concept is a great idea and our last best hope. But as has been mentioned below, it needs to move away from the US and develop a new funding model.

Antonym
Antonym
Jan 25, 2020 2:11 AM

the concept of a community of sovereign nations collaborating on vast development and infrastructure projects which were intended to be the effect of an “internationalization” of the New Deal that transformed America in the years following the Great Depression. The closest approximation to this spirit in practice in our modern age is found in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Naivety at its peak; Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road + his String of Pearls are conducts for Chinese economical and political imperialism. The trick is to dept-trap these nations through hash contracts and that take the land as collateral. Most work is done by Chinese laborers and Chinese companies; no open bids.

Putin has little to do with this; Russia is mostly by-passed. The Russian president is right that the present UN set up is a mess. The UK should be out and India as permanent member of the SC. Japan should be added too. The UN location should be shifted away from New York/ USA – internationalist hedge fund central to say the Canary islands.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 25, 2020 6:30 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Bog Standard Zionist Sinophobic hatred, from our resident ‘ God Upon the Earth’.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 25, 2020 10:07 AM
Reply to  Antonym

The trick is to dept-trap these nations through hash contracts and that take the land as collateral.

Spoken like an insider on U.S./UK/IL business practices.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 25, 2020 11:44 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Move it to Palestine- fairly central in world affairs over eons.

Antonym
Antonym
Jan 25, 2020 12:00 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

The Center of the(ir) World for 70% here….

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 25, 2020 1:16 PM
Reply to  Antonym

100% for at least you.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 25, 2020 9:02 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

10000% for our resident Ziosupremacist.

Theo
Theo
Jan 25, 2020 11:50 AM
Reply to  Antonym

China has forgiven billions of dollars already.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 25, 2020 9:03 PM
Reply to  Theo

Unlike Paul Singer and the other vulture fund ghouls, nearly all of whom share Ant’ s Celestial Destiny.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jan 26, 2020 12:54 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Historically the Chinese have never enslaved anyone or been interested in conquering the world — for much of their existence China was The World and the outside wasn’t even very interesting to trade with. Since they have lots of stuff that we’re interested in this resulted in the first Chinese serious trade imbalance problem that prompted the Opium Wars of the 19th century. All that’s behind them now and you’ve got to assume that they’re smart enough to figure that trade is a two way street — they can only sell to people who can afford to buy. The Belt and Road initiative not only enhances their trading position but it coincidentally helps people to pull themselves up – not people like us in the West, we should be able to take care of ourselves, but all those billions of impoverished people living in what used to be (used?) our colonies.

I hear a lot about how it enslaves people in debt traps but, seriously, how well have people fared trading with us? We want their raw materials but we don’t really have much to offer them in return except overpriced armaments and dodgy financial products. We’re having enough problems building railways and roads in our own countries, comparatively minor projects in the global scheme of things, so why would we want to deny others the opportunities that a working infrastructure could bring them?

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 27, 2020 8:20 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

‘Debt traps’??!! Just ask the IMF, World Bank, Paul Singer and the vulture funds. We seem to have Memory Holed ‘ Structural Adjustment Plans’ that killed tens of millions, and the ‘ economic hit-men’. Ignorance is Bliss.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 25, 2020 12:38 AM

This article does not persuade anyone that rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic will in some way extricate humanity from its current impasse. It’s not a matter of sovereign nations coming to more equitable arrangements via that den of thieves, the UN, or by some other international mechanism. Under imperialism such rearrangements at best are reactionary chimeras that can never address the true underlying monstrosity — capitalism.

Imperialism is no mere ‘policy’, where the drive to predation of the major powers and their financial agents, primarily the IMF and World Bank, can be somehow changed by a UN vote. Each of the major powers has major financial and industrial cartels running their economies and governments, and these interests can never be altered at the ballot box or by a UN ‘resolution’. The root of the problem is that capitalism in the imperialist epoch has expanded far beyond the national boundaries of the imperial centres and must seek investment opportunities all over the globe for its excess capital. Altering the way capitalism’s imperialist stage presents itself, altering its ‘rules’ of engagement perhaps to make it more ‘palatable’, won’t change the basic underlying capitalist drive to accumulate as much as possible from wherever possible and by any means necessary, be it through financial and debt peonage, siege warfare or by warfare and occupation outright. Capitalist imperialism’s predatory drive originates in this fundamental and continual contradiction between its need to accumulate and its need to reinvest the accumulation.

Nations that should be ‘sovereign’ really aren’t that sovereign in the imperialist epoch, and even less so if they’re unfortunate to have a resource or represent a market that the imperialists dearly want to exploit. And because imperialism isn’t a simple monolith but in fact is fiercely competing gangs of rival mafiosi, then if the poor unfortunate ‘sovereign’ nation were left to its own devices by one imperial power, then another will quickly fill the vacuum. Imperialism has been and will continue to be a historical gangbang of ‘sovereign’ (ie, subjugated) nations.

Despite the claims of some in what counts for the ‘left’ these days, and of course among liberals of all stripes, China isn’t ‘capitalist’, despite serious capitalist encroachment; nor is China an ‘imperialist’ power. The Chinese economy remains centrally planned and the core of its economy remains socialised. The Chinese Stalinists see value in investing in needed infrastructure and in providing capital to resource rich countries in exchange for access to their resources — on terms qualitatively different for the country in question and far better than could ever be provided by the profit maximisation prerogatives of predatory imperialism.

In response, the imperialists are scrambling, often through their kept NGOs, to increase ‘aid’ to such countries to try and supplant China. And of course the US is increasing its military presence in Africa and elsewhere to better ‘compete’ with China. China builds infrastructure, the US imperialist beast ‘competes’ by building military bases from which to ‘project’ its own brand of ‘competition’.

Russia, which is a regional capitalist power and by no means ‘imperialist’, sees the value of China’s largesse. It has bountiful resources but relatively little capital to export, and in this sense is no different from those African and Pacific countries who also benefit from Chinese investment largesse.

Putin certainly is the most forward looking leader of all the capitalist powers. After all, he he sits on top of a capitalist economy that he’s helped bring from the brink of disaster imposed by the strictures of the restoration of capitalism there in 1991-92. Putin is determined, as is much of Russian society with this restoration period burning in its living memory, to never allow a return to the gangster capitalism of the 1990s (Russian capitalism’s ‘primitive accumulation’ stage), nor allow Russia to again be subject to the ‘shock therapy’ diktats of the World Bank, IMF and the imperialists. By his reformism, he best can be characterised as the Bismarck of Russia albeit with limited means. China has thrown a lifeline and he gladly takes it.

The UN has always been a den of imperialist thieves and their victims. Under its aegis, many war crimes have been committed by the imperialists, from the Korean war to various adventures in Africa to the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. The UN has always been but one tool for enforcement of the imperialist order. But when the ‘sovereign’ hostages in the UN have the nerve to vote against the will of the dominant imperialist powers, these latter swine still do as they please. Never is there any ‘UN’ bombing of Washington, London or Paris.

Putin most certainly is naive in thinking the UN Charter could be the basis for a new or better international order. If Russia or China didn’t have nukes, all manner of imperialist predation, of course under UN sanction, would be happening there, including the restoration of capitalism in China. Putin simply desires a more rational capitalist, multipolar, world order. That is the height of naivety that neglects the vast power and resource imbalances between the imperialists and their intended victims.

What humanity needs today is nothing less than an internationally, rationally, and democratically planned economy, where the earth’s and humanity’s resources are used to the benefit of the whole species. Without the overthrow of capitalism worldwide, without the expropriation of the capitalist class worldwide, this cannot be achieved. For our species to survive, it needs to be able to exploit not only resources rationally on earth but elsewhere (for starters, He3 on the moon).

Humanity must have the material and social basis to be able to manage much needed energy sources whose technology requires management beyond the dangerous realm of private property, irrational markets and the mad drive for profits. This includes thorium fission reactors and nuclear fusion (via He3 extracted from the surface of the moon). Political sovereignty for nations would still persist as long as the need for such persists, but there can be no economic sovereignty in an international division of labour where humanity overall must decide what it needs to do overall to survive. Not via a UN, but by an international soviet.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 25, 2020 10:37 AM

Honestly, I could not take the time to write it up like you did. What angers me with a few articles of late – including this one – is the describing of pressing problems as if they only would need a little tweaking and it would be alright again.

No, it will not be alright. Anything but that. It is fair to say that the ‘West’ is lost. It is the same ‘West’ that has dictated not only the creation of the ‘United’ Nations, but had also unilaterally created the prerequisites to create a controlling body like the UN. In conjunction with the ‘World’ bank, the International ‘Monetary Fund’ and the World Health ‘Organization’, a system was designed and implemented to make sure that the World would be organized under the business model of the ultra-rich. The same ultra-rich that paid for WWII.

‘Unbelievable Nazis’ would also be an apt acronym for the institution – since Red, Brown, Yellow and Black People’s Nations generally have no whatsoever voice in the apparatus. And even IF the UN would for once demand an immediate halt of the wars in the Middle East and the blatant use of terror by the U.S./IL/UK/CAN/AUS et al, the result would be sanctions on those Nations that backed the demand.

Everything needs to go.

Have you ever wondered, why what is around on Earth for the longest time, has not changed its design for the longest time? Like hundreds of millions of years?

And while it is obvious that some folks are looking for a solution, the solution is always more of a bandage than a cure. We do need a true Global Parliament and do away with all the Nazi stuff. In a true Global Democracy, the West would not be allowed to continue in its war of terror to achieve global hegemony.

Global Parliament based on ‘One Human Being – One Vote’, abolishment of lobbying and militarism, abolishment of the monetary system, cleaning up of the Planet, implementing Interdependence versus the lie of independence.

An open penal community on the Moon for all those that keep wanting to kill, to terrorize, to torture and torment, to deceive, to steal without existential threat, to lie with the intend to abuse and exploit – all under decent living conditions without parole, social networking and means to leave the Moon.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 25, 2020 11:45 AM
Reply to  nottheonly1

I’m inclined to think that the west isn’t lost, but it has lost. Except it hasn’t realised it yet. Like the Roman empire, the US in its death throes will expend itself militarily, lashing out in all directions. It’s a very dangerous beast right now, and its imperial rivals strongly fear that the its reckless outbursts will bring the whole capitalist house of cards down.

What some in the west may realise but definitely no-one wants to acknowledge is: (i) the Chinese real (productive) economy surpassed the US some years ago; and (ii) the US can no longer win a conventional or a nuclear war against Russia or China. This is because of the strategic advantage that each now has over the US with both hypersonic missiles and air defense systems. Their hypersonic missiles can now reach Washington or any other part of the mainland US and hit their targets with high precision, within a few metres. Currently the US has no defenses against them. The US Navy can now be wiped out easily with these missiles — its aircraft carrier groups are sitting ducks which can be hit from well out of range of their fighter jets and their own missiles.

China’s alliance with Russia is not just economic. It’s also a military one, one that will effectively protect the Silk Road development from the US.

In a future international socialist society, there’d be no need for jails on the moon or anywhere else. Jails, like the death penalty, are barbaric, and they’ll demolished as the state itself as a repressive instrument withers. In a society of plenty that’s as automated as possible there’d be little or no need to kill or terrorise others. And those that do under such conditions clearly would be mentally deranged in need of medical treatment not incarceration.

Unlike an ‘international parliament’, an ‘international soviet’ would be a deliberative body comprising representatives elected from various national soviets which in turn comprise elected representatives from various regional soviets, and so on down to local soviets. Representatives would be recallable at any time by the lower electing body which and at the lowest level the masses would be armed and have the right to bear arms. In such a collegiate system, it’s not simply one man one vote, except at the lowest soviet level. Even so, the mechanics of such a system would need to be worked out in terms of proportionality, and so on. Unlike a parliamentary system, soviet democracy involves mass participation in decisions about what is to be done not just about who will do it.

Finally, it’s said that beetles and cockroaches haven’t changed much in millions of years, and if human affairs aren’t drastically changed soon they’ll likely outlive our species for millions more years.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 25, 2020 12:27 PM

StephenM a reasonable attempt at trying to discern the wood – but you see too many trees.

It is not capitalism that is the problem, it never has been, its bankerism.

Every farmer ever has been a capitalist – investing in tools, seeds and labour to be rewarded after a harvest and taking it to a market.

Getting public MONEY supply to pay interest to bankers for having ‘ownership’ of that state CREATED money has been the biggest scam from the creation of the BOE to the FED – set up as PRIVATELY owned companies themselves to collect interest from also created NATION states (Westphalia was only about that).

Why you may ask did they need to create nation states?

Because the people that were natives could then be marshalled to patriotic fervour to sacrifice & create Industries and infrastructure for ‘THEIR’ nations – in effect become willing slaves to create real WEALTH. Which would then be privatised to repay the bankers who ‘financed’ the public ‘debt’ created out of their imagination, the magic money tree, that they ‘OWN’, from which they will always earn profits without actually, ever having taken , ANY risk – like that farmer.

Free money. Forever interest from state taxes. Profits from privatisation of state assets. Profits from destruction of states. Rent from buying up the cheap assets thereafter.

Rinse & Repeat age after age expecting future generations of the robbed to forget, while making sure the inheritors of the robbers never do.

China, Russia, Europe, South America, Africa & SE Asia have had enough of it and after many centuries are in a position to finally call a halt to it.

The current representatives Xi,Putin,Merkel, Maduro… whoevers left ‘unowned’ in Africa & Asia are calling a halt to it.

Syria and Iran have called a halt to it – as the cradles of civilisation they know it has to be done to preserve civilisation from these implacable global robber barons – by refusing to bow to these bankers demands.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 25, 2020 10:37 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

It’s not the means of exchange, ie money, or its creators (banks, bank cartels, government-run mints, etc) that’s the problem, even though they’re part of it. It’s the means of production which are in private hands, yet production is organised socially. Commodities are produced not for human needs but solely for realising private profits for the individual enterprise. That’s the alpha and omega of capitalism. The surplus that’s produced is appropriated and used in unaccountable and irrational ways at the exclusive discretion of the individual capitalist and his/her partners/shareholders.

Capitalism is also an extremely wasteful system, ignoring the enormous literal waste that’s polluting the oceans, waterways, soil and air. So much is wasted on advertising, marketing and on all the other activities for realising the surplus value produced by the workers in their production of the capitalist’s commodities. Add in waste expended on the bloated state apparatus and war machines that capitalism must maintain and use to prop up its interests, property and investments, not just against the working class but also against rival gangs of capitalists from other countries. These are all swept under the rug as ‘externalities’, except now the rug is showing rather large lumps.

Banks serve as the chief source of short-term credit for capitalist enterprises and are but one mechanism for the capitalists to reinvest their surplus capital. They help maintain the velocity of capital turnover, and as such are essential to capitalism. They also are key to maintaining and promoting the debt peonage of the domestic population of the imperial centres and especially to subjugating countries under the imperialism’s heel. But to focus on banks and money distracts from the fundamentally irrational and wasteful ways that capitalism itself produces and distributes its products which are driving the human race to war, ecoside and extinction. Banks and money grease the wheels, but those wheels need to be ripped off, the run-down jalopy taken to the junkyard and cubed and a new social and economic vehicle created to replace it.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 1:56 AM

StephenM,

You completely ignored my starting example!

You moved straight to the theory of capital and rentierism – Marx & Engels work!

Why? You agree so far about banks and complain capitalisms problem is that it is in private hands – but it ALWAYS has been.

Ok I’ll simplify it further and see if you can give a equally simple launchpad to what you believe.

Lets go back to a fairytale- Jack and the Beanstalk. So jack has a cow that he takes to the market. Ok so far?

Now as we know he didn’t quite make it to the market and got some magic beans instead… but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
(I’m going to miss out a lot of detail here but will post it if absolutely necessary later)

Everyone brings to the market the wealth created by their investments and skilled labours to exchange for others different wealths.
So there’s a Jack with the cow, a Jack with the pig, a Jack with a sheep, a Jack with a chicken, a jack with a chair, a jack with a knife … ok i think that’s enough jacks EXCEPT

JACK WITH THE MONEY.
Who he?
What Jack invested what labour to grow that money from what?

All of that is to show that capitalism and markets and trading are as old as humans and their creativity and effort and knowledge transfer.

From the first flint spear head and stone axe makers to the hunters and farmers and miners and furniture and candlestick makers to jewellers, artists, priests and warriors and kings.

MONEY comes after.
Somebody created MONEY.
That somebody was the KING.
It was how he taxed all the Jacks – he didn’t want a piece of every cow or whatever but he wanted to be able to BUY as many cows and whatever when he needed and collect his taxes as MONEY from them NOT cows!

So Jacks have to convert what they own to the money the king created so that they can pay their portion of it as tax that the king demands.

That is what gives the kings money its value. As the only thing he accepts as tax.

The king spends money (on his soldiers and palaces and navy etc) by minting or printing it and gets it back by demanding everyone pays their due taxes in ONLY that currency – that is the only thing that gives it a value greater than its intrinsic material.

The Kings gave the rights to create and store and transport that money to some capable persons on his behalf. They inturn were able to lend these stored monies (savings) to others to invest and charge an interest on top of returning that investment- which means there must always be more money created!

Unfortunately the banks got control of creating money for the king and started creating it for themselves – which is where reality BEGINS and the fairytale ends.

Oh and the magic beans and the beanstalk? Why thats the original MONEY tree of course.

Lol and THEY still live happily ever after.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 26, 2020 4:42 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

You equate exchange of labour, money and product with capitalism, as do most liberals and others who defend it, as if capitalism has been with us since time immemorial, ‘in our bones’, part of ‘human nature’ no less. We Marxists on the other hand make a distinction between means of production, means of exchange, and ownership and labour relations.

After barter, all manner of economic activity occurred before the capitalist mode of production took root and relied on some form of exchange medium. Those pre-capitalist modes were based on private ownership of the means of production, and included slavery and feudalism. These owning classes presupposed a level of productivity beyond subsistence sufficient to support a class living off the surplus product. Growing up in the midst of feudalism and laying the basis for capitalist production itself was mercantilism where produce from all over the world and domestically was put onto the market by merchants, where the producers and purchasers were now anonymous to each other.

The merchants accumulated vast sums of capital from the trade and began investing it into organising production itself rather than buying and selling alone. Thus grew a new class of actual capitalists who displaced craft production and came to dominate and own the means of production, overwhelmingly and initially the manufacture of non-agricultural commodities on an industrial scale. Revolutions were necessary (French, English, etc) to cement the dominance of the capitalist mode of production, to take it also to the countryside, for the town burgers to overthrow to country aristocracy. The so-called physiocratic mode of surplus production based on agricultural fecundity was replaced by a purely social and economic one. But money, markets, banks, money lenders and merchants themselves lived on.

Yet to equate all societies preceding the capitalist mode of production with capitalism, based on private property, on market-based mechanisms of exchange, and the production of a surplus is to render meaningless the distinction between feudalism, chattel slavery and capitalism as modes of production.

I appreciate your efforts to simplify the picture for my obtuseness but not all Jacks had or have a product or commodity to sell, like the proverbial cow, etc, to exchange for money. Most Jacks in fact had and have only a single commodity to sell: their labour power. And it’s these Jacks without their cow (or bean) who made up and continue to make up the labour force for the capitalist mode of production — they don’t have much of a choice, other than to beg, starve or resort to a life of crime otherwise.

Of course, banks of a sort at a certain level of development, and money lenders also, have been around for a lot longer than capitalism, and of course finance capital and banks today dominate the modern capitalist economy in the imperialist epoch, but it’s still capitalism that needs to be replaced. Feudalism or slave society can’t be overthrown because they don’t exist anymore as dominant modes of production. My point is that capitalism cannot function without banks and the demise of the private banks will be part and parcel of eliminating capitalism. Or vice versa: one won’t happen without the other. As will the elimination of the private ownership of the means of production itself, which also has been around a lot longer than capitalism.

And some petty or retail trading and markets using currency will still occur, and (state-owned) banks will continue to exist also, for some time in the early days of a post-capitalist society. If you still want to continue to call this ‘capitalism’ also, then that’s your prerogative. But the rest of us will know that capitalism as a mode of production will have been replaced by a socialised, planned economy, just as the rest of us already know the fundamental differences between feudalism, slave society and capitalism, despite similarities in modes of exchange, the private ownership of the means of production, and appropriation of the productive surplus common to these societies.

In short, the presence of money, banks or markets does not signify per se the existence of the capitalist mode of production. These certainly signify the same drive to accumulate private wealth as exists under capitalism, as in all societies where a surplus is produced and the means of production is in private hands. As part of standard pro-capitalist ideology today, such a drive is ‘universalised’ as ‘capitalism’ going back to time immemorial in a bid to ‘eternalise’ the capitalist mode of production into the indefinite future, as part of mankind’s ‘nature’.

If Jack with his cow feels upset by all this, then that’s unfortunate. Jack will have to realise that it’s high time that the productive resources of this planet are organised to benefit everyone, not the petty greed of the individual ‘owner’ of capital. And Jack might even come to realise that he’ll actually be better off for it, since he’ll be part of a collective and not subject like an atom to the random chaos of colliding with other atoms in the ‘free’ market.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 9:49 AM

Stephen you confirm my conjecture that you are merely pontificating some bs ‘Marxist’ trope – which has very little to do with reality.

You confuse INDUSTRIALISATION with CAPITALISM.

On purpose? Because you never thought it through?

Creating mass production is what industrialism is it was about long before thecreation of Mills or Production Lines.
Creating A SLAVE workforce and ARMIES of conquest is that original industrialism.

Creating tools and weapons for their use and food and footwear is TRADITIONAL activity – capitalism, that you so insensibly hate, in spreading the bullshit ‘revolutionary communism/marxism’.

It is that type of total BULLSHIT that leads to realities such as BREXIT is ‘good for the workers’ and HARD BREXIT even better – when it is only the BANKERS and the super rich who will benefit from it.

YOU and your cohorts have enabled that. Either by design, in which case well played; or by ignorance, in which case you do not know that you have been used to sell your kids into slavery and deserve all the shit that you will get!
———-

Think for YOURSELF.

Try and understand whatIasked you to considet about what is MONEY. Which your parroting of theory completely IGNORES. WHY?

How money has ANY value?

Who controls money?

Just stop spouting the same bs western European theory of control of peoples designed specifically to entrench, insulate and further OBSCURE these who have grabbed control of all things by grabbing control of MONEY.

If you insist in repeating more bs screed I’ll be forced to go back and start parsing the basics dressed as a fairytale !

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 26, 2020 12:19 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Terms and categories which are grounded in specific periods of human development and history shouldn’t be used in an ahistorical, subjective sense in order to obscure any meaningful discussion and understanding about changes in human society or history.

First, your use of the term ‘industrialisation’ where first you introduce its equivalence to ‘mass production’ (which is only partly true), then you proceed with this: ‘Creating A SLAVE workforce and ARMIES of conquest is that original industrialism.’ (and you could lay off the caps — they don’t make your pronouncements any more ‘profound’). No economic historian, anthropologist or ancient historian, let alone your despised Marxist, would ever equate simply a division of labour in the production of commodities or products with ‘industrialisation’. One can observe slave workforces and armies in ants nests. By your lights, ants have also ‘industrialised’.

Industrialisation fully developed as a process only during the industrial revolution which occurred only under capitalism, and it had two basic phases. Its first phase was the breaking up of more-or-less complex tasks that a single craftsman normally would perform into simpler steps that could be done quickly by many hands in a sequence that by this division of labour speeds up production (‘piecework’ as it was originally termed, which was farmed out originally by merchants). Before the capitalist mode of production, this phase of industrialisation had already occurred in only limited settings for limited purposes. The final phase of industrialisation occurred when machines, driven initially by steam, were introduced to take the place of human labour and speed up production even further. Under capitalism both these phases of industrialisation occurred, universally, and industrialisation took over all aspects of production. Economic historians call it the industrial revolution for this reason.

Nor would any economic historian, anthropologist or sociologist ever agree with your claim, ‘Creating tools and weapons for their use and food and footwear is TRADITIONAL activity – capitalism…’. They’d be drummed out of academia quick smart and quite rightly. Tools and weapons and footwear were created in tribal societies too, where there was no private property or buying or selling. The members of these tribes might be surprised to be told they were also engaging in capitalism. It gets even worse for your argument: there are animals that make tools too, so by your lights they’re engaging in ‘capitalism’ too. Chimpanzees in the wild make and use stone hammers and spears and have toolkits to forage for army ants. These dastardly capitalists. They’re everywhere. Aaaahhh!!

That’s where the logic of such dilettantish sophistry leads. You need to learn some economic history, and some history of economic thought wouldn’t go astray either. Steer clear of the fairytales.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 10:27 AM

“elimination of the private ownership of the means of production itself, which also has been around a lot longer than capitalism.”

Imagine you are a artiste. Or story teller or craftsperson.

How would you function if you had NO ownership over your means of production or indeed the product?

The ‘money’ free world can NOT exist without removing all free choice. Tokens would still exist as they have in the recent past such as food and petrol vouchers of the 40’s. Not everyone wants sugar or meat or whatever – they want a choice.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 26, 2020 12:31 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Here’s some news for you: about 80% of the population has ‘NO ownership over your means of production or indeed the product’. That is, the workforce employed by the owning class, the capitalists.

We Marxists despise capitalism for its irrationality, inefficiency and its propensity for exploitation, war and destruction of human lives. Those blinded by their love for it must erect all manner of ‘definitions’ and fictions in order to defend it, as you so well demonstrate. Some call this religious belief in the ‘magic of the market’, and the sophistry it entails, ‘magical thinking’.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 1:01 PM

Supplying ones labour for reward
IS exactly ownership of a resource.

Withholding that resource IS a means of negotiation for better treatment of that resource and demand for security and reasonable reward.

You neo-Marxists are mere cogs in the Bankers machinations and success- some of you know that and spread the bs philosophy that is built to fail the people and protect the banker – YOUR MASTER.

You are haters of social democracies that actually have been working to raise the poorest and provide security, education and medicine for ALL. As has been proved in the western economies as well as spectacularly in recent decades in China and Russia and the failures in places where such governance has not been employed and left in the hands of the Banker Masters, which still influcts great privations on its peoples.

You are shown to be the praetorian guards of the mightiest rulers of the Earth through your divide and rule bs.

Refusing to understand money and it’s ownership is DELIBERATE protection by YOU of your MASTERS.

And rather than engage with me you instead repeat the bs.

Lols.
——
Hilarious that you agree with the respondent about the Venus Project – yet reject it with your DUPLICITOUS philosophy.

Typical.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 26, 2020 1:38 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Now you attempt to equate ‘ownership of a resource’ (in supplying one’s labour) with owning the ‘means of production or indeed the product’. Sorry, these are very different things that define the difference between the capitalist, who owns the means of production (the machines, raw materials, etc) and the final product the worker produces for him or her, and the worker, the wage slave with only their labour power to sell. Never the twain shall meet.

And if ‘Withholding that resource IS a means of negotiation for better treatment of that resource and demand for security and reasonable reward’ is some kind of ‘normal’ operation of your free market in attaining that ‘reasonable reward’, then you need to get out some more. This claim is risible.

When workers ‘withhold their labour’, they’re met with cops, courts and all manner of state and non-state violence in the service of the owners. (That’s why, Virginia, the capitalists are called the ruling class by Marxists). Every gain won by workers, and all the conditions that you take for granted in your own working life (if you have one) like paid holidays and sick leave, didn’t come from heaven. They were fought for and won by hard class struggle, by strikes, and other industrial action. And the lack of hard class struggle defending working conditions today has seen them slowly but surely taken away. So who or whatever is deciding what your ‘reasonable reward’ might actually be boils down to the balance of class forces, which doesn’t appear to be part of any free market model of the capitalism you appear to be so enamoured with.

As for your lunatic claims that we Marxists somehow are in the service of or slaves to the bankers (!!), largely it seems because we don’t adhere to your crackpot ‘theory’ of money and its functions, I’d like to know who your druggist is. I want to try some.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 6:57 PM

Show me the money.

What is your learned theory of money?

Unions are what allowed the workers to get better treatment- not your version of ‘marxists’.

You are slithering around the very realities I have presented for you to address. Because you are reading a script.

That makes you stand out as someones mouthpiece of an agenda.

So now for completeness sake I will go back and parse Jack and the Beanstalk, for the record.

Enjoy the benefits of your ideology as the Brexit bites and the these who believed the bs finally realise they didn’t get magic beans but a pup in a bag.

Pitchforks speak pretty loudly!

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 7:00 PM

Btw
” (That’s why, Virginia, the capitalist…)

Wtf does that even mean? Shirley doesn’t make sense does it?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 26, 2020 7:10 PM

Well lets get back to Jack – since it seems we are dealing with a hardcore divide & rule invective spouting parrot.

1A. How does he come to be an owner ? Is he a thief?
1B. How did he suddenly have a fully grown cow? Did he steal it?
2A. What is his need?
2B. Why is his need only going to be met by transferring his ownership of his cow to someone else?
3A. What is a ‘market’ that he has to go to effect his plan?
3B. Why would someone want to take ownership of his cow?
4A. What does he expect in return for giving away ownership of his cow – will the new owner be able to satisfy his need 2A?
4B. Will he never need to own a cow himself again?

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 27, 2020 12:07 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

Money (standard Marxist definition) is: (i) a measure of value; (ii) a universally accepted representative of value, a universally accepted embodiment of wealth; (iii) a means of payment.

Today money in itself has no intrinsic value, even though historically it did where its value was reflected in the gold or silver content of the coinage. That went by the wayside as coin shavings reached the melting pot, but because money came to be accepted as the universal representative of value and therefore could be exchanged for any commodity, it is the universal commodity. Its universalisation only came about as commodity production purely for the market became universalised. Money’s only use value is as a measure of value and the means of exchange and payment.

Unlike the commodity it’s exchanged for, which does have a specific use value, money doesn’t drop out of circulation or cease to be of value. It takes the place of the commodity no longer in the marketplace when purchased. The seller of the commodity, now with the money, buys more stock, or more raw materials and labour power to make more of the commodity if they’re its manufacturer, and throws more of the commodity onto the market. As the seller makes a profit on each sale, they will not only keep this cycle going but strive to do so on an expanded scale. The cycle eventually grinds to a halt, however, when sales stop because the market is saturated with the product. Thus ensues cutbacks and the entrepreneur inevitably invests his/her gains into non-productive outlets/hoarding or into investments beyond his/her expertise, at his/her absolute discretion.

Money today has many forms (coin, paper, electronic states), but bullion (principally gold because it’s compact, maleable and chemically inert) still serves as the ‘money of the world’, despite limitless US dollars currently serving as the substitute for limited specie but gradually being dumped by numerous countries as the ersatz ‘money of the world’. Some commodities like stocks and bonds also serve the purpose of money in limited circumstances (eg, CEO pay), and like stocks and bonds, money is traded, one currency against another, and so on. And of course money can change in value in relation to all commodities, as reflected in inflation rates. All stock standard stuff.

Now to your notion of money, or from what I can make of it. First, it doesn’t matter a jot about its provenance, whether it was created originally by the fiat of kings or later by banks or whomever the state directs to do so. Money can be and always has been created at the will of whomever the rulers are.

Landed wealth, the implements of production, and its stock and seed in agricultural societies, along with private ownership of the means of production, arose from the neolithic revolution, ~10,000 years ago. In the real world of Ur-Sumeria for example, peasant families were granted a land allotment to grow food in sufficient quantity to feed themselves and to pay an annual tithe to the royal household. Peasants also paid taxes by corvee/statute labour, where they supplied their abled bodied for the king’s armies for war or to work on royal projects. Contrary to your claim, peasants thus didn’t pay taxes to the king in money. In those times, money (silver) circulated principally amongst merchants, which of course kings accessed and certainly had a say in creating.

Now to answer your Jack and the Beanstalk ‘gotcha’ questions.

1a, 1b: Jack wasn’t the owner of the cow. I believe his widowed mother owned it, but he presumably would have inherited it from her and owned it outright if she died (and if he didn’t sell the cow). If it could produce offspring, he would have bequeathed the cow’s offspring to his own. Along with the neolithic revolution and the rise of private property was the change from female to male lineage precisely for the purpose of the transfer of acquired private property. Jack’s deceased father would have owned the cow originally, likely inheriting it from his own father.

2a, 2b. It’s immaterial what Jack’s need was, as his mother only wanted the money in exchange. He would only have hoped someone with a need for a non-milking cow was ready to purchase it. Some means of exchange is needed because of course there’s very little chance that the purchaser of Jack’s cow will also be the seller of what Jack might need — if he were indeed going to market to also purchase something in exchange for the cow and not just for the money. In the latter hypothetical case, Jack sells his cow to someone who wants it, then wanders around the market with his coins to find someone who wants to offload the commodity Jack might want. His need will only be met if he has found someone with what he wants and has something of value to offer in exchange, as in any business/economic transaction. That’s called mutuality. Nothing strange there.

3a, 3b. The market Jack would have gone to would have been the typical 18th century market in England. Since the original Jack and the Beanstalk story was written in the 1700s and not in some long distant past where stories about the transition from bartering to trading may have originated, the existence of money and consumer markets was very well established. After all, Isaac Newton himself was master of the Royal Mint from 1699 to 1727, who incidentally improved the accuracy of the coinage minted, since in those days gold or silver content still conferred face value to the currency. It was Newton’s innovation also to engrave the coins with lined edges so that shaving would be immediately evident.

The cow’s potential purchaser, in Jack’s or his mother’s eyes, would have been someone who wanted it for its meat and hide and other animal by-products if it could no longer produce milk and presumably calves.

4a, 4b. Since it was only money he (his mother) needed in exchange for the cow, then what Jack really needed was someone willing to part with the money for his cow. Given the fantastical way things turned out, Jack had no need to purchase a cow ever again.

Jack and the beanstalk is all about the physiocratic theory of surplus product, based on natural fecundity being the exclusive source of surplus product and wealth (which it isn’t). Jack made a fantastical profit from the bean, which he wouldn’t have from mere money in exchange for his cow, and which is the moral of the story. However, this morality play is unrelated to how the capitalist appropriates surplus product and surplus value and accumulates capital and wealth.

We Marxists have no illusions in social democracy ‘helping the poor’ and so on. It doesn’t necessarily, and its measures can be rolled virtually back to zero in any case, as has happened in the UK and is now occurring in Scandinavia. And while Brexit on its own won’t achieve that much economically, it’s still a good thing in that it restores the right of a social democrat like Corbyn to renationalise infrastructure and run budget deficits >3%, to restore the NHS for example, rather than bow to the diktats of German bankers. For all your railing about the banks, you seem to be rather sanguine about the ECB.

Finally, of course we Marxists have an agenda: the replacement of capitalism with socialism. I’ve made no bones about that. Such a sin it must be to have an agenda. Clutch those pearls.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 27, 2020 7:53 AM

StephenM, thanks for at least attempting to answer my posits, there may be hope yet if you can get past screed that you are parroting- like a trained cleric – for that is what your religion is.
Before I summarise and address your arguments here are my answers to my questions:-

1A&B-if he didn’t steal it, he raised the cow from a baby cow – fed it, looked after it , somewhere it was secure (his home? A patch of commons?)- ie he invested in a baby cow with his effort. Maybe he found a baby cow or someone gave it to him in exchange for something he had – labour?
He is an INVESTOR using HIS WEALTH (which can also be simply his labour).

2A – his need is to turn the result of his investments into something else that the grown cow can enable – food? clothes? Horse? More baby cows?
2B. In short all the things he can’t easily get by his own labour that he can by easily transferring OWNERSHIP of the fruits of his INVESTMENT his WEALTH.

Now it gets trickier…

3A – a MARKET is where all the other Jacks of All Trades bring their particular bits of wealth they own or created by their investments to exchange for something they too NEED – which answers…
3B Jack hopes to find someone who wants his cow for exactly what Jack needs.

Which brings us finally to
4A – it is unlikely that the person wanting ownership of Jacks cow has exactly what Jack needs (obviously not impossible just unlikely) but there are probably others at that market who will have what Jack needs but THEY don’t necessarily want a cow (Jacks fruits of labour and investment).

So they all have a barter between themselves until the cow is converted through various exchanges into what Jack needs and he goes home with them along with the means to bring another cow (a baby cow or something else) for Jack to bring to the market in the future – 4B.

Voila! Everyones happy! So onto the magic beans? Wait .. wait hang on just a moment … they all barter?

Well that’s where the economic teachers suddenly leap into their imaginary creation myth, including Marxists, they say:-

MONEY was ‘suddenly invented’ to make bartering unnecessary or something like that.

Now watch that last bit again
carefully and in slow motion and again in closer detail and again… which is this conversation.

I’ll be back with the Denouement don’t fear!

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 27, 2020 9:49 AM
Reply to  Dungroanin

I think you need to understand that me relating facts isn’t some kind of religious parroting as you seem to think. These facts are well established, they’re ‘stubborn things’ and tend to get in the way of your fairytales. They no doubt will be repeated to you by others not necessarily of the Marxist persuasion. If you need fairytales to understand the world then that’s fine, but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously, including me.

Please try and engage with facts and history. Otherwise I’m not at all interested in your middle-school attempts to convey the simplistic ‘economic man’ explanation of the world. It’s moronic, insulting, and a time waster. If you can’t refute the facts and historical record that I’ve presented to you and instead resort to your fables, then please waste someone else’s time. I think I’ve humoured you for long enough.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 27, 2020 6:14 PM

These are not facts that you quote but ‘Marxist’ beliefs.

I made up my dissection of Jack by myself based on years of trying to understand ‘money’ of which I have made a lot and lost plenty too.

I studied Economics to A levels and science thereafter before my various money earning activities.

It is only in semi-retirement and political engagement since that i have tried to use my logical training and experiences to question what was NOT taught in Economics and still isn’t, to realise that there is a veil and a fog which has been put in place a long time ago. To look beyond that to actual historical facts and not buy into the theories that we have been sold as some kind of religious creation myth.

The fact is you have only repeated the prevailing myth created centuries ago like a good religious student – the religion of ”Marxism’. It is a tough thing I ask of you to question your belief, I understand that, I have had to go through it myself and it was a shock!

So, What does Marxism say about Tally sticks?
Not much.
Marx was one of these tasked to create the fairytale after the last tallysticks were burned in Parliament, that also burned down that parliament!

Tally sticks in use for hundreds of years were a form of debt free money issuance. They used to be ‘dented’ as they were used, the word ‘indenture’ comes from that…
Tally sticks were issued until the 1780’s.

‘Tally sticks were a form of receipt for government income which originated in the middle ages. Tallies were regularly destroyed over the centuries by the Exchequer which had offices in the Palace of Westminster, but following its abolition in 1826, a large quantity of tallies – some two cartloads – were left behind. It was the decision by the Palace’s Clerk of Works to burn them in the furnaces rather than in an open-air bonfire or to give them away as firewood, that led to the fateful fire of 16 October 1834.’

In 1844 the Bank of England (created in 1694) became the SOLE issuer of bank notes in England (previously local regional banks were able to do so). That model of central national bank has been spread throught out the world. Thus the model of control of money creation was centralised and these ‘central banks’ were actually privately owned! As they still mostly are.

Money did NOT come out of bartering.

‘Credit’ and money is ancient – from Babylonian clay tablets to pre-money Tallysticks so ‘banking’ is a lot older than coins & notes and loans and interest, that we know and are taught.

The concept (Marx and since) that credit proceeds ‘production’ is the big fat LIE.
As is that money is a ‘commodity’
As is that only banks create money as loans and destroy it when these loans are repaid.
That subtle lie ended up with the bigger lie of Maggies handbag that a states money is the same as a households money – a direct line from Marx to endogenous money theory of the neocon/libs.

It is the state which creates it’s own money when it spends and destroys it when it taxes – not tax & spend but spend & tax.

That is the only reason any currency has any value within the jurisdiction that it is created in.

If you really are interested in understanding for yourself there are many learned sources since Marx to help you – I won’t list them unless you want.

However you could do worse than this as a start.
http://www.omo.co.nz/Property%20Rights.pdf

Upto you. A horse to water…

& you still haven’t answered about your ‘Virginia’ statement???

Daniel
Daniel
Jan 25, 2020 2:31 PM

Excellent analysis Stephen and ‘nottheonly1’. Thank you. Are you aware of ‘the venus project’? A very carefully thought out and wise vision (after decades of study and observation) that proposes how to the practicay apply of exactly what you pointed out here.

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Jan 25, 2020 10:46 PM
Reply to  Daniel

Yes, I learnt about the Venus project a few years ago, and it’s impressive. There are numerous useful projects envisioning a rational future, which is always a good sign. But the main concern now is removing the chief obstacle, the social and historical baggage that weighs like a millstone around humanity’s neck, which seeks at all costs to prevent any possibility of such a rational and humane future ever arising.

paul
paul
Jan 27, 2020 4:02 PM

The answer is to ditch all corrupt, compromised, mendacious, politicised international organisations like the UN, IAEA, OPCW, ICC, ECHR, which are simply tools of US imperialism and US aggression, with a revolving door with the State Department.
Particularly the UN, which has never once lifted a finger against the genocidal Zionist Regime.
Add in all the CIA front organisations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Save The Children.
And bogus charities like the Red Cross and Oxfam.
Together with WADA and the Olympics.

Set up new organisations which serve a genuine purpose and are not tools of Zionist/ Neocon intrigue and chicanery.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 24, 2020 10:52 PM

It looks like Putin has a Russian version of the Chinese priority, ‘harmony’, as a future model for humanity. Hence the fit between Russia and China in opposing the Atlanticist drive for ‘ Full Spectrum DOMINANCE’, that role granted them alone by Lawd God Awmighty hisself. I’m afraid that Putin and Xi’s vision stands no chance against the lunatic psychopaths who rule in Washington DC.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jan 25, 2020 12:18 AM

Was going to post a comment, but both yours and Pasha’s comment pretty much sums up our situation.
The nut jobs in Washington are not capable of being rational. They are insane with power and lust for Full Spectrum Dominance as you both say.

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE
Jan 26, 2020 12:38 AM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

There are now 175 Canadian Firefighters downunder in Oz, Gezzah. Fifteen Canadian Military firefighting specialists are being sent over too. Sorry about one of our water bombers crapping out the other day but we are doing our level best to assist.

Cheers, MOU

pasha
pasha
Jan 24, 2020 10:29 PM

Yeah, nice idea but it depends on the parties being willing, sane and reasonable. The US is ruled by an idiot-savant, psychopathic, paranoid, megalomaniac oligarchy and asking them to participate in a rational discussion is beyond futile.
We will have change only when the current system collapses. It may happen soon or not but it will be an agonizing and terrifying process which the planet may not survive.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 24, 2020 10:55 PM
Reply to  pasha

You’ve hit the nail right into the lid. Who, in the Evil and moronic Inferno of Washington DC, is fit or inclined to lead the USA into a position of joining the rest of humanity in working to avoid the Apocalypse? Half the Evil vermin WANT the world to end, and soon, as their vile ‘ religion’ says that it must.

Gall
Gall
Jan 24, 2020 9:55 PM

The big mistake was giving France, UK and the US or FUKU or FUKUS, USSR NKA Russia and China any veto over the other independent Nations on the planet. Especially since the first two were responsible for hobbling together the Frankenstein monster known as the United States of America that was created by rapacious theft and genocide of the indigenous population followed by almost total ecocide and now has been loosed upon the world it seems to accomplish the same thing under the cover of bringing it “freedom and democracy”.

Paul
Paul
Jan 24, 2020 5:50 PM

It’s a pity the experience of the League of Nations isn’t examined any longer because it is instructive. OK Congress declined to approve it so the Pilot Wilson was missing but more serious was the problem of totally partisan and self serving decisions that made its provisions a mockery. Italy was ‘allowed’ to keep on occupying Ethiopia and sanctions eg on oil were simply declined, partly because the US supplied the oil and wasn’t going to stop selling it, especially to Mussolini who was rapidly becoming a client state of America in enormous debt.

BigB
BigB
Jan 24, 2020 5:21 PM

Someone said it was ”banal” of me to oppose ‘The Western Intellectual Tradition’ (TWIT). Well, here is its vision *in extremis*. If you do not recognise it: this is ‘Platonic Humanism’ in all its glory.

It reads well. It is sensible and intelligible in its clearly written propositions. It has meaning and clearly denotes real world events – right? And yet it is ultimately unintelligible and non-sensical …in an early Wittgensteinian sense of its underlying logic. If you did not immediately recognise the subtextual vision of Lyndon LaRouche: you might want to read it again?

The underlying logic is one of economic infinity: completely decoupled from the neo-Malthusian sustainable ‘green iron cage’ that prohibits the *productive* economy growing forever …as per the deluded LaRouchian proscription. Which is utterly banal: if not actually exceedingly dangerous.

This fact of life is the essential proof that not only mankind but the universe is unbounded in its potential for constant self-perfectibility and thus ANTI-ENTROPIC in its essence.

https://orientalreview.org/2019/07/31/the-genocidal-roots-of-the-green-new-deal-the-limits-to-growth-and-the-unchaining-of-prometheus/

To illustrate my point: this is from an earlier text. I never actually know where I stand: because ”anti-entropy” is laced through much of the commentary here. Which is why this text may appeal on a superficial reading? It ticks a lot of boxes: including perpetual capitalist growth; expansion of the SCO/BRI/BRICS/EAEU/CPEC colonisation of the Eurasian ‘supercontinent’; and development of an anti-hegemonic sovereigntist bloc. All of which seem as a fashionable vogue for the internet progressive about town. But in multipolar alliance with Donald Trump! Infinite anti-entropic capitalistic growth – guided by the UN Charter – with Putin, Xi AND Trump at the helm in an “alliance for a new just economic order”? Sounds like hell to me.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/07/06/trumps-relationship-to-russia-and-china-a-revival-of-the-henry-wallace-doctrine-for-the-post-war-world/

My point is that perhaps we should learn to read more deeply? Perhaps at the underlying paradigmatic logic of the text? Power is transmitted in mysterious ways. Everyone is paranoid about ”mind-control” and ”hidden agendas”. Well, Matthew’s is a prime exemplar of hidden context …perhaps not to be uncritically assimilated? Unless, perhaps you share the vision of unlimited self-perfectibility; infinite nuclear fusion powered bourgeois ecumenical consumerism …decoupled from ecological neo-Malthusian ‘limits-to-growth’; and ANTI-ENTROPY? In which case you may be a banal Platonist TWIT too? 🙂

LaRouche was a cultic delusionist who took cherrypicked ideas to assemble an intelligible and sensible montage of beliefs that did not hang together. Which makes his writing absurd nonsense and a philosophical non-entity. Any putative logical link to the real world is severed by its premises. This piece is reduced to a mere a Trojan Horse for gibberish. It is a meaning-less ‘language game’.

As unfortunate as it may seem: entropy exists as a fundamental property of the ecosphere. Resources deplete and growth is thermodynamically limited. We need a new system: one which actually addresses the extinction level ecological crisis we are in the midst of. Something we need to understand and embrace: not illogically deny. This text subverts that strategic denial to its own ends. Let the reader be aware of the paradigmatic subtext.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 25, 2020 6:37 AM
Reply to  BigB

It is reminiscent of anthropogenic climate denialists. They simply deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, as these lunatics deny the Second Law of Thermodynamics. You can get away with it because every Dunning-Krugerite has a Nobel Prize in his back-pack, and are so very easily conned by snake oil peddlers employed by the fossil fuel industry and the ideological Right. One also thinks of the Flat Earth strangelings, although they seem to have fallen off the edge of the planet.

johny conspiranoid
johny conspiranoid
Jan 25, 2020 9:23 AM

” Flat Earth strangelings, ”
There’s a psy-op if ever there was one.

paul
paul
Jan 24, 2020 3:09 PM

Russia and China have always been status quo powers, more concerned with their own internal development than implementing insane Neocon/ James Bond Villain-style fantasies of world domination. This was true even during the period of communist rule. Their growth and influence in the world can only be viewed as a positive development.

China built the infrastructure in the Third World that was neglected during centuries of colonialism.

China builds things.
America (and its cringing satellites like Britain and France) bomb things.
Most people in Africa and elsewhere prefer building things to bombing things.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 25, 2020 6:40 AM
Reply to  paul

The Judeo-Christian tradition is one in large part consisting of hatred of the other, the heathen, the savage, the goy, from the Old Testament/Torah to Iraq, Libya, Syria, Gaza etc, with oceans of blood and woe in between.

paul
paul
Jan 27, 2020 4:10 PM

Toss in the gooks and the sand niggers.

Zoran Aleksic
Zoran Aleksic
Jan 25, 2020 10:55 PM
Reply to  paul

It’s actually a different choice – building things or being bombed.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Jan 24, 2020 3:02 PM

A good piece – The UN is not fit for purpose.
The SCO already operates under a ‘charter’ – which goes past religion and cultural hagemony by any one nation or peoples. Since it already represents more than half the worlds population and the majority of its land mass – it is only a matter of time that the defunct UN is upgraded to these standards and absorbed into it OR crashes and burns.

Today there were hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – maybe over million, in showing the US and its allies that they really are serious about their national sovereignty and demand that the foreign forces fuck off!

The US response? To revive the old divide and rule option. Break up Iraq into religion and sectarian areas – using the ‘never learning Charlie Brown’ proxy Kurds by offering them tet another football to kick!

While the world accelerates towards a new order which puts economic security and mutual defence at its core, the US and its gunfighter professional gamblers resort to poker terminology – ‘we are ALL IN’ in keeping the Iranians and Syrians (and Turkey?) out of the SCO to stop a nonstop link from the Med to the Pacific and Artic to the Southern Seas.

All in! Lol. They going to lose their shirts and be overturning the table and demanding a shootout to keep from paying up their bet.
It’s a bluff and sitting with pocket rockets a simple CALL by the new, new world order.

paul
paul
Jan 27, 2020 4:15 PM
Reply to  Dungroanin

The number of demonstrators was somewhere between 1.5 and 4 million.
Though if it was 40 million it wouldn’t matter to the Exceptional and Indispensable Folk.
They’ll shortly call out their head chopper Foreign Legion again with a brand new name and a brand new “really scary” mad moslem leader to do their dirty work and terrify us all.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Jan 24, 2020 2:56 PM

Excellent. Worthy of wide dissemination for its first nine paragraphs alone.

BigB
BigB
Jan 24, 2020 3:54 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Phillip, my friend …this is not a personal attack, but – have you heard of Lyndon LaRouche? I suggest you might want to read up on his agenda then re-read the text in its wider context? The subtleties are not explicit: but if you are aware of LaRouche – or read some of the authors other texts – they are obvious in the subtext.

The basic premise – unstated herein – is for Trump, Putin, and Xi to form a wider multipolar alliance against the British economic empire (the British Deep State infiltrators) for untrammeled infinite global economic growth – with maximum penetration of nuclear power (eventually nuclear fission) into every economy of the world. To the ends of a global bourgeois consumer culture serviced by the BRI intitiative. Unrestricted by neo-Malthusian ecologists like me, who say this is impossible.

We may not always see eye to eye: but I’m pretty sure you do not envisage a hypothetically- infinite ecumenical consumerism as humanities apex culture? Not least as I assume that you would agree that this is actual ecological fantasy – the world is finite, as are resources – which means this text needs to be shredded …not further disseminated?

https://www.strategic-culture.org/contributors/matthew-ehret/

Norn
Norn
Jan 24, 2020 2:51 PM

UN Charter .. “sustainable development of humankind”

One of the top priorities must be: Swift actions to STOP poisoning our food.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jan 24, 2020 2:30 PM

A very sanguine view of FDR. To be sure, it’s impossible to say with 100% certainty what he would have done had he survived the war, but it boggles the mind to think that he was going to be forever cool with the idea of sharing the world with Russia and China, when he abjectly refused to share it with Germany and Japan in his own lifetime.

And please don’t believe that old canard about the Japanese wanting to take over America; it was actually Roosevelt who precipitated the whole war with Japan, with his oil embargo and what not. He even had advance knowledge of Pearl Harbor from multiple sources, but deliberately withheld that intelligence from his own navy. FDR clearly wanted the attack on Pearl Harbor to be as devastating as possible, so as to drag his recalcitrant countrymen to war, and it worked. In fact, eighty years later, we’re still at war. That’s the real legacy of FDR, not the long-gone New Deal, of which only Social Security survives (for now). All the other ‘alphabet soup’ programs he initiated are gone.

I will always wonder wistfully how our history would have turned out had Huey Long become president instead.

seriouslyman
seriouslyman
Jan 24, 2020 2:21 PM

Everything Putin says is perfect. There is nothing bad that can be said about Russia on offguardian. Anyone with any mild criticism of russia is a pro imperialist bastard and cannot be engaged with. Offguardian has rightly attacked almost every significant political figure on earth from corbyn to trump. Putin is the only person who can save us. There is no flaw in his character or politics and anyone who suggests otherwise is a conspiracy theorist. Good on Offguardian for never publishing any negative stories about this brilliant intelligent fair play hero who will save us all from hell.

paul
paul
Jan 24, 2020 3:14 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

No, Little Greta is going to save us.
Vlad isn’t going to do that, but he has done quite a good job so far of stopping the Exceptional And Indispensable People from blowing up the planet.
This gives Greta the chance to save us all from the global warming and the polar bears.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 24, 2020 10:59 PM
Reply to  paul

What do you put your allergic reaction to reality down to?

paul
paul
Jan 25, 2020 2:27 AM
Reply to  paul

And the New Ice Age.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 27, 2020 8:27 AM
Reply to  paul

Will all that ice make your Flat Earth tilt over, sending us all falling into the void?

paul
paul
Jan 27, 2020 4:19 PM

No, all the global warming’s going to melt all the ice so it’s all going to cancel each other out.

Andy
Andy
Jan 24, 2020 4:02 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

Sarcasm can be an effective tool for making a point. This is an example of it not being.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Jan 24, 2020 4:24 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

I am trying hard to assess your contribution but couldn’t find anything either interesting or relevant to say about it, other than it is little more than sarcastic rant. How does it, or is it even meant to, increase our understanding of international relations? Who exactly makes those claims about Putin?

What I would say about Putin is that he is simply talking like a foreign policy realist. More power to his elbow I say; we could do with some more realism. His political position is very similar to American foreign policy realists such John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt who to their credit put the Zionist noses (AIPAC, JINSA, ADL, AEI) out of joint with the publication of – ”The Israel Lobby”. Putin’s views could have come straight out of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) which brought an end to the Wars of the Reformation could have come straight from the Treaty, which were based on the following precepts which of course support a multipolar not a unipolar system. Liberal imperialism, humanitarian intervention, call it what you will is a deadly threat to the future of mankind. In contrast multipolarism as an alternative. See below.

1. States existed within recognised borders.
2. Each states sovereignty was recognised by the others
3. Principles of non-interference were agreed.
4. Religious differences between states were tolerated.
5. States might be monarchies, republics, democracies, as was their wont
6. Permanent state interests or raison d’etat was the organizing principle of interntional relations.
7. War was not entirely eliminated, yet it was mitigated by diplomacy and balance-of-power politics.
9. The object of the balance of power was to prevent one state from becoming so powerful that it could conquer others and destroy world order.

Sounds like straight common sense to me.

BigB
BigB
Jan 24, 2020 5:53 PM
Reply to  Francis Lee

seriouslyman has a point. The progressive world is extremely slow to recognise the capitalist colonisation of 70% of the Eurasian globe as an existential threat to humanity. As I have been pointing out: capitalism does not transform to a benign humanist alternative as it travels West to East. Russia and China’s economic expansionist extractivisim is inimical to all life on Earth. Especially as China has taken a coal-fired ‘Great Leap Backwards’ to maintain growth in the face of the secular synchronised global economic slowdown.

When the very real extinction level threat of industrialised financialised capitalism is reduced to a personification and represented as the personality of one man – VVP – this is nothing more than a masking discourse that conceals the globalised extinctionism of fossil fuel capitalism. Perhaps the time to reflect on the superior personality of VVP will come when we are all gasping for our last breath – breathing in petrol?

Capitalism thrives on such personal Fetishism. Power is the invisibilising of capitalism’s truly destructive force. No one even wants to open the discourse into what underlies Russia’s welfare capitalism. Which is infinite market mechanism extraction and quasi-eternal expansionism of fossil fueled growth. Which will kill us all just as soon as America’s big guns and bombs.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 24, 2020 7:12 PM
Reply to  BigB

You know BigB I can’t help but get the feeling that behind all that polysyllabic pontificating, everything you say comes down to a kind of masked reactionary claptrap. You call yourself “neo-Malthusian”. Well that’s comparatively candid. Malthus being the most obvious case of a capitalist apologist of the most brutal sort. And how interesting that you are having a go at Putin here – as if to suggest that even some kind of socialist transformation isn’t going to save us. So what then? Some kind of reaching back to some healthy sparsely populated savannah filled with Conan the barbarian types?

And this:

“Perhaps the time to reflect on the superior personality of VVP will come when we are all gasping for our last breath – breathing in petrol?”

Seems to me you are secretly longing for that moment of last breath when you can finally gleefully shout, “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah – Told you so!” before croaking.

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 25, 2020 6:44 AM
Reply to  George Mc

By 2100, a savanna populated by Conan will seem paradisaical to the tattered remnants of humanity (if any)wandering the wastes of the far North and Antarctica.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 25, 2020 7:23 AM
Reply to  George Mc

And how interesting that you are having a go at Putin here – as if to suggest that even some kind of socialist transformation isn’t going to save us.

It isn’t. Or, to get the tense right, it hasn’t. Or to get the semantics right, it didn’t.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 25, 2020 7:29 AM
Reply to  George Mc

And how interesting that you are having a go at Putin here – as if to suggest that even some kind of socialist transformation isn’t going to save us.

It isn’t. Or, to get the tense right, it hasn’t. Or to get the semantics right, it didn’t. You’re still living and breathing? That’s called “borrowed time”.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 25, 2020 9:25 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

I assume by your “borrowed time” quip that you agree with BB? As for the socialism not saving us, well it didn’t get much of a chance – considering that it always took place against a capitalist background that sure as hell wasn’t going to give it a chance.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 26, 2020 12:06 AM
Reply to  George Mc

I assume by your “borrowed time” quip that you agree with BB?

Agree with BB? In some things, yes. For instance his(?) in his self-proclaimed neo-Malthusianism (although I hadn’t thought of it under that banner), which has nothing to do with socialism v capitalism, but to do with finite resources (a much bigger concept than it appears to be at first sight, and why he spent so much time going on about negative entropy, later termed negentropy (see Schrödinger’s What is Life? for the concept’s origin), before he accepted that telling dumbfucks the blatantly obvious was to be on a hiding to nowhere (dumbfucks are dumbfucks) and switched to McMurtry’s more humanist formulation–see The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, particularly as presented in the second edition–instead).

Socialism never given a chance? Of course it isn’t, except in the hearts of the despised, deprived and disadvanted, where it is the reason why they are despised, deprived and disadvantaged. Yehuda Ben-Yehuda was a remarkable Iraqi-Israeli human being and visual artist who had a third interest as a private trader on the US stock market. He expressed his take on the paradox as: when his stocks were doing well he was a capitalist and when they weren’t he was a socialist.

“Borrowed time” quip? Not a quip, a literality. De Nile is not a river in North Africa, it is the shop name of those members of the Deck Stewards’ Association who undertook the final re-arrangement the deck chairs on the already-icebroken Titanic in preparation for the evening’s entertainment.

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
Jan 25, 2020 9:03 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Agreed. It sometimes sounds like Private Fraser in Dad’s Army ‘were dooooomed’

Historically speaking it seems like a reiteration of David Ricardo’s theory of diminishing returns. His friend and interlocutor Thomas Malthus was also besotted with this sort reactionary pessimism. The theory was that humans had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known as the “Malthusian trap” or the “Malthusian spectre” of cyclical mass starvation.As it turned out both were wrong. This is not to say that this tendency cannot happen, but it is a tendency not a law. The future is unknowable and mankind is very inventive and adaptable. As for economic theories, these must always be, and always have been provisional.

Population growth is very uneven and in many places is actually in decline. Fertility rates in the whole of Europe is less than 2 which is required for static population growth. As societies have become richer population has tended to fall. The worst example of this being eastern Europe which has bucked the trend with a slightly rising living standards but catastrophic population decline.

So we shall see what the future holds, anything is possible.

BigB
BigB
Jan 25, 2020 10:19 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

The particulars of the future are indeed unknowable. But Mandel coined the term “parametric determination”. When you reduce your options: the future is indeed knowable. The outcome of exponential debts; exponential growth; exponential entropy; and exponential depletion are not just known …we are living them. 1% of the global people own half the wealth of the planet- up 12% this year – while 21,000 children a day die from preventable causes to support them. Their wealth – if you can call it that – is down 11%.

VVP and Xi’s welfare distribution is expropriated from that 11% polarization …which is fueled by fossil fuel extractivism. Surely you can project the underlying principles of capitalist wealth monopoly? I can. Short term extinctionism for those who are not already dying to support the exponentially widening divide. See Jason Hickel’s book of that title for conclusive proofs.

The thing is: another world is entirely possible. Which gets lost as a positive vision with the negative criticism of capitalism. Not just possible: already extant. But we have to try and expose the legitimising mythology of capital: one of which is, I’m afraid, that we shall see what the future brings. The future is here for the interspecies community of life …only it is being killed by our inability to face the fact.

BigB
BigB
Jan 25, 2020 9:36 AM
Reply to  George Mc

The very real point of occasionally commenting is to avoid the worst case scenario …not to gloat. I’d be a really sad sick fuck if that was my motivation. I haven’t got time to explain that I did not say a word about VVP. I spoke of the social construction of VVP as a configuration and representative concept for Russian capitalism. Which Marx calls a Fetish, which is an imagistic and imaginary social and ecological relationship. Forget VVP.

Russia is the fourth largest primary energy consumer on the planet, which, with only 1% renewables penetration, is solely powered by fossil fuels and nuclear energy. It also has a bio-material source to sink throughput equivalent to a consumption rate of the bio-capacity of 3.3 planets per capita, increasing exponentially year on year. Which has not even the remote chance of decarbonisation or becoming sustainable. So, do you like the smell of petroleum? Neither do I.

It is only the bio-material critical insights that reveal this. Talking about the personality of one man and his welfare capitalism character masks the wholly destructive genesis of that capital. Welfare capitalism is global market dependent: and exponential market growth has finished …so, ecologically and economically it is all a deadly fantasy. Of which no one can highlight, for the sake of offending the imagistic personality of one man? So, do we all have to die to defend that honour?

This is of course madness. I only point it out because it is the mechanism of capitalist bourgeois reproduction: creating any amount of screen discourses to hide the real means of production …planetary rape. That’s our planet: the one that sustains all of our welfare.

You also missed the neo-Malthusian point. I took it from Lyndon LaRouche’s anti-entropic fantasy: that Matthew Ehret barely concealed. Carrying capacity is a real phenomena. Every ecological paper affirms it: every economy paper denies it. We have to live within the planet’s bio-capacity: no ifs, buts, or maybe. The socially constructed fallacy that Russia and China are building a harmonious ecological society is another deadly deceit. Are you really telling me that capitalism’s propaganda mythology has to be disseminated and digested whole without any criticism?

If nothing else: I might get a counter-narrative started. We have to connect capitalism and it’s extinction pogrom for all life: rather than reproduce its welfare mythologies word for word. Well, I do.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 25, 2020 10:25 AM
Reply to  BigB

I daresay you’re a very clever chap BB. It’s just that I have difficulty understanding you.

“The very real point of occasionally commenting is to avoid the worst case scenario…”

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. It looks like a non-sequitur.

If you’re going to start talking about social constructions and representative concepts then we’re on a slippery slope. Any figure appearing in the media could be described as a social construct or representative concept.

Nobody likes the smell of petroleum. But you seem to have tied in this global crisis in with “the imagistic personality of one man” – as if this latter was a distraction. Well maybe it is – but is Putin in particular a distraction – or are you only saying that because Off-G and the left in general are likely to “idolise” Putin? (and this is where my suspiciousness about reaction comes in i.e. when someone appears to be on the “progressive” side but ends up attacking what the right wing attack cf. a certain Mr Proyect.)

“Are you really telling me that capitalism’s propaganda mythology has to be disseminated and digested whole without any criticism?”

Well capitalism’s propaganda mythology is currently telling me that Putin is evil and you seem to be concurring in your own sesquipedalian way.

I am also automatically suspicious about any talk of “carrying capacity” since it was precisely such verbiage that Malthus used to introduce the most reactionary and brutal spur to capitalism.

I am happy to be proven wrong and for you to introduce a “counter-narrative”. It’s just that I’m not sure what your counter narrative is – and more to the point – what you actually propose to do.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 26, 2020 3:02 PM
Reply to  George Mc

“The very real point of occasionally commenting is to avoid the worst case scenario…”

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean. It looks like a non-sequitur.

It means what it says. BigB is hoping to replace the death culture narrative that informs capitalism (and many of its precursors), including the mindset that informs the organization of the nations of
Russia and China, with a life culture narrative (and hence all associated social derivatives) to lead to a reorganization of our lifestyles on this planet that will avoid the worst case scenario, namely that the whole human life on Earth thingy goes down the extinction tubes, carrying you and everything else with it. Because without such a fundamental realignment of our undertandings and values, down the extinction tubes it will surely go, probably sooner rather than later.

It’s just that I’m not sure what your counter narrative is –

If you won’t open your eyes to his radically different view–and, in mindset terms, radically means radically–then you will not even cognise it as a counter narrative. It’s an old problem:

His disciples asked, “When will the kingdom come?”
and he replied, “It will not come by waiting for it,
nor will it be said that ‘here it is’ or ‘there it is,’
for the kingdom of the father is spread out
everywhere upon the face of the earth,
yet men do not see it.”

and more to the point – what you actually propose to do.

He is doing it. Narrative precedes organised thought precedes informed action. The question is, what are you going to do about it, now that you know it’s about moving towards a mindset of which you have, so far, demonstrated ability either to conceive or to begin to comprehend.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Jan 26, 2020 3:08 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

“…demonstrated ability either to conceive or…” –>”…demonstrated no ability either to conceive or…

tim jenkins
tim jenkins
Jan 28, 2020 8:54 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

“Say little about what you know and nothing at all about what you don’t know. When a discussion degenerates into a dispute, keep silent. Do not do anything which the whole world cannot know about.”

Following your links … 🙂 always a chuckle.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 26, 2020 3:29 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

“As we hear from German ideologists, Germany has in the last few years gone through an unparalleled revolution. The decomposition of the Hegelian philosophy, which began with Strauss, has developed into a universal ferment into which all the “powers of the past” are swept. In the general chaos mighty empires have arisen only to meet with immediate doom, heroes have emerged momentarily only to be hurled back into obscurity by bolder and stronger rivals. It was a revolution beside which the French Revolution was child’s play, a world struggle beside which the struggles of the Diadochi [successors of Alexander the Great] appear insignificant. Principles ousted one another, heroes of the mind overthrew each other with unheard-of rapidity, and in the three years 1842-45 more of the past was swept away in Germany than at other times in three centuries.

All this is supposed to have taken place in the realm of pure thought.”

The German Ideology – Marx

So much for “mindsets”.

BigB
BigB
Jan 29, 2020 1:06 PM
Reply to  George Mc

The general mindset we have now – which is pan-global, at least at the “educated” or “advanced” level – has its roots in the Ionian School of the 6th century BP. The roots of current metaphysics were formalised by Plato, and categorised by Aristotle …who also introduced bi-valent logic. With very little modification then till now: this Foundation and Essentialist metaphysical core has been and is the architecture of all knowledge: philosophical, scientific, and even mathematical.

Philosophies and ideologies may come and go: but the deep mindset and architectonics of belief remain unchanged. The one major modification was that the eternal predicates of the Platonic soul were transferred to that of the strictly objective rational mindset by Descartes. The only indubitable thing is the mindset itself. Feuerbach also showed that the predicates of God – which are a wholly human projection onto Nature – have been internalised as the predicates of the rational mindset. Which Marx – as a reference – also included in the German Ideology. We have become our own God – which Feuerbach termed “anthropodeism” – and our commodities have attained supernatural powers (Fetish status).

A detailed analysis of which brings us full circle to the “metaphysics of Miletus” and the early workings out of the nature philosophy of the Ionian School. There is a homuncular Being in every phenomenon: and the eternal unchanging character – Essence – of him (and due to the “iron law of andrarchy” Being is most definitely a “Him”) is how the thing is that particular kind of thing …a one time predicate and wholly individuated character with no duplication of its particular attributes. Which is how it is formally categorised. Thingness = pragmata = pragmatics of language. And that is the analytical and formalist foundation of all knowledge.

You see, it is part of my project to show this world generating pragmatism is wholly flawed …as it formalises a metaphysically separate pseudoworld. Which is a metaphysical conceptual and representational copy or simulacrum of the world …in which we reify the copy as the “Real”. Or for some institutionalised commodities – like rationality itself and money – even deify ‘beyond real’.

Only: this reprentationalism has become too real – hyperreal – because it contains us as homuncular Being (essentialist categories are always singular …”Truth”, “Justice”, etc.) and Essentialist “selves”. Which contains the essence of the essences – the quintessence of Being – ourselves and our formal structural categories. Which become reflected in everything as a means of universal symbolic exchange. The word and the world share the same logico-formal structure …which is the basis of its objectivism.

So philosophies may change: subject to vogue and caprice …but the deep logico-formalist mindset remains the same. So much so it is embodied as the “cognitive unconscious”. Much of our belief is ‘essentially’ pre-formalised and pre-categorised as per a neo-pagan animistic pantheism …modernised so only certain socially valued status commodities become “animated” as desire-objects. Animated by money and deified in markets. Which give form to our illimitable imagistic imagination.

Being modernised: we do not like to think that we think in the formalised metaphysics of a pre-Socratic neo-pagan crypto-pantheistic nature philosophy. Or that we structure our social reality on this objectivist foundation …but we do. Which is quite clear in certain historical circumstances: such as those that formalised the unconscious market religion. It’s all a function of reified commodity relations and the deified metaphysical categorical errors of an Essentialist (esse = Being) neo-pagan animism. The power of which is that if you tell anyone our world is constructed …they’ll think you mad. Our world is objectivist and obviously real, isn’t it? 😉

Richard Le Sarc
Richard Le Sarc
Jan 29, 2020 7:30 AM
Reply to  BigB

I think it is pretty plain that we have passed the planetary carrying capacity already. Around 1980 I reckon. ‘ There’s a deal of ruin in a planet’, but we’ve got there.

paul
paul
Jan 24, 2020 8:14 PM
Reply to  BigB

US investment good, Chinese investment bad!
US oil companies good, Russian and Chinese oil companies bad!!
Baa! Baa-aa!! Baa-aaaa!!!

Zoran Aleksic
Zoran Aleksic
Jan 25, 2020 11:10 PM
Reply to  BigB

Absolutely. Our fossil fuels production is progress, but when they dare extract their own it’s the world’s extinction. Evil bastards!

Frank
Frank
Jan 24, 2020 4:32 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

Sorry, but this doesn’t sound much like satire.

It sounds like an 8-year-old taught you everything you know about geopolitics, and unfortunately it all went a bit over your head.

George Mc
George Mc
Jan 24, 2020 7:53 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

Two points:

First, I fail to see the point of pillorying Putin when the entire Western media is already doing so.

Second, to pillory Putin on the pretence of “a plague on all their houses” takes us nicely into that pleasant non-committal “higher sphere” where all-is-one-and-one-is-all. The old con trick of “being reasonable” in order to sit on an all-facing fence and basically have no opinion at all.

Gall
Gall
Jan 24, 2020 9:03 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Estaugh
Estaugh
Jan 24, 2020 9:39 PM
Reply to  seriouslyman

So far, Vlad has being doing a very good job, (saving us all from Hell), and it seems, most of the world is increasingly backing him up. That’s tough on ‘pro-imperialist bastards’ but that’s cricket.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Jan 24, 2020 11:48 AM

Are you okay?