Category Archives: Capitalism

Karl Marx and the Great Socialist Revival, by James Bovard

Nothing has quite the staying power of a bad idea. From James Bovard at fff.com:

Socialism’s popularity is reviving in America. A self-proclaimed socialist won the Democratic nomination for a congressional seat in the Bronx, and Democratic Socialist candidates are thriving in many areas of the nation. The Washington Post reported in July that it’s “been a good summer for the Democratic Socialists of America,” who have “never had more adherents or more clout.” The Democratic Socialists of America openly calls for the abolition of capitalism.

It would be gratifying to Karl Marx, born 200 years ago in Trier, Germany. In a New York Times tribute headlined, “Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!” philosophy professor Jason Barker declared that “educated liberal opinion is today more or less unanimous in its agreement with Marx’s basic thesis” that capitalism is fatally flawed. But that presumption is true only if “educated liberal opinion” simply does not care about tyranny.

Trier, Germany, held a huge birthday celebration highlighted by the unveiling of a 5,000-pound bronze statue of Marx donated by the communist Chinese government. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, gave a speech lauding the communist theoretician, declaring that

Karl Marx was a philosopher, who thought into the future, had creative aspirations, and today he stands for things which is he not responsible for and which he didn’t cause…. One has to understand Karl Marx from the context of his time and not have prejudices….

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Soros ‘person of the year’ indeed: In 2018 globalists pushed peoples’ patience to the edge, by Robert Bridge

Soros may be the snake or the arachnid of the year, or globalist would-be dictator of the year, but person of the year he is not, except in the flatulent fantasies of the Financial Times. From Robert Bridge at rt.com:

It is no secret that neoliberalism relentlessly pursues a globalized, borderless world where labor, products, and services obey the hidden hand of the free market. What is less often mentioned, however, is that this system is far more concerned with promoting the well-being of corporations and cowboy capitalists than assisting the average person on the street. Indeed, many of the world’s most powerful companies today have mutated into “stateless superpowers,” while consumers are forced to endure crippling austerity measures amid plummeting standards of living. The year 2018 could be seen as the tipping point when the grass-roots movement against these dire conditions took off.

Since 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants into Germany and the EU, a groundswell of animosity has been steadily building against the European Union, perhaps best exemplified by the Brexit movement. Quite simply, many people are growing weary of the globalist argumentthat Europe needs migrants and austerity measures to keep the wheels of the economy spinning. At the very least, luring migrants with cash incentives to move to Germany and elsewhere in the EU appears incredibly shortsighted.

Indeed, if the globalist George Soros wants to lend his Midas touch to ameliorating the migrant’s plight, why does he think that relocating them to European countries is the solution? As is becoming increasingly apparent in places like Sweden and France, efforts to assimilate people from vastly different cultures, religions and backgrounds is an extremely tricky venture, the success of which is far from guaranteed.

One worrying consequence of Europe’s season of open borders has been the rise of far-right political movements. In fact, some of the harshest criticism of the ‘Merkel plan’ originated in Hungary, where its gutsy president, Viktor Orban, hopes to build “an old-school Christian democracy, rooted in European traditions.” Orban is simply responding to the democratic will of his people, who are fiercely conservative, yet the EU parliament voted to punish him regardless. The move shows that Brussels, aside from being adverse to democratic principles, has very few tools for addressing the rise of far-right sentiment that its own misguided policies created.

Here it is necessary to mention once again that bugbear of the political right, Mr. Soros, who has received no political mandate from European voters, yet who campaigns relentlessly on behalf of globalist initiatives through his Open Society Foundations (OSF) (That campaign just got some serious clout after Soros injected $18bn dollars of his own money into OSF, making it one of the most influential NGOs in the world).

With no small amount of impudence, Soros has condemned EU countries – namely his native Hungary – for attempting to protect their territories by constructing border barriers and fences, which he believes violate the human rights of migrants (rarely if ever does the philanthropist speak about the “human rights” of the native population). In the words of the maestro of mayhem himself: “Beggar-thy-neighbor migration policies, such as building border fences, will not only further fragment the union; they also seriously damage European economies and subvert global human rights standards.

Through a leaked network of compromised EU parliamentarians who do his bidding, Soros says the EU should spend $30 billion euros ($33bln) to accommodate “at least 300,000 refugees each year.” How will the EU pay for the resettling of migrants from the Middle East? Soros has an answer for that as well. He calls it “surge funding,” which entails “raising a substantial amount of debt backed by the EU’s relatively small budget.

ny guesses who will be forced to pay down the debt on this high-risk venture? If you guessed George Soros, guess again. The already heavily taxed people of Europe will be forced to shoulder that heavy burden. “To finance it, new European taxes will have to be levied sooner or later,” Soros admits. That comment is very interesting in light of the recent French protests, which were triggered by Emmanuel Macron’s plan to impose a new fuel tax. Was the French leader, a former investment banker, attempting to get back some of the funds being used to support the influx of new arrivals into his country? The question seems like a valid one, and goes far at explaining the ongoing unrest.

At this point, it is worth remembering what triggered the exodus of migrants into Europe in the first place. A large part of the answer comes down to unlawful NATO operations on the ground of sovereign states. Since 2003, the 29-member military bloc, under the direct command of Washington, has conducted illicit military operations in various places around the globe, including in Iraq, Libya and Syria. These actions, which could be best described as globalism on steroids, have opened a Pandora’s Box of global scourges, including famine, terrorism and grinding poverty. Is this what the Western states mean by ‘humanitarian activism’? If the major EU countries really want to flout their humanitarian credentials, they could have started by demanding the cessation of regime-change operations throughout the Middle East and North Africa, which created such inhumane conditions for millions of innocent people.

This failure on the part of Western capitals to speak out against belligerent US foreign policy helps to explain why a number of other European governments are experiencing major shakeups. Sebastian Kurz, 32, won over the hearts of Austrian voters by promising to tackle unchecked immigration. In super-tolerant Sweden, which has acceptedmore migrants per capita than any other EU state, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats party garnered 17.6 percent of the vote in September elections – up from 12.9 percent in the previous election. And even Angela Merkel, who is seen by many people as the de facto leader of the European Union, is watching her political star crash and burn mostly due to her bungling of the migrant crisis. In October, after her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) suffered a stinging setback in Bavaria elections, which saw CDU voters abandon ship for the anti-immigrant AfD and the Greens, Merkel announced she would resign in 2021 after her current term expires.

Meanwhile, back in the US, the government of President Donald Trump has been shut down as the Democrats refuse to grant the American leader the funds to build a wall on the Mexican border – despite the fact that he essentially made it to the White House on precisely that promise. Personally, I find it very hard to believe that any political party that does not support a strong and viable border can continue to be taken seriously at the polls for very long. Yet that is the very strategy that the Democrats have chosen. But I digress.

The lesson that Western governments should have learned over the last year from these developments is that there exists a definite red line that the globalists cross at risk not only to the social order, but to their own political fortunes. Eventually the people will demand solutions to their problems – many of which were caused by reckless neoliberal programs and austerity measures. This collective sense of desperation may open the door to any number of right-wing politicians only too happy to meet the demand.

Better to provide fair working conditions for the people while maintaining strong borders than have to face the wrath of the street or some political charlatan later. Whether or not Western leaders will change their neoliberal ways as a populist storm front approaches remains to be seen, but I for one am not betting on it.

 

The Federal Reserve Is A Suicide Bomber With A Deeper Agenda, by Brandon Smith

How can the Federal Reserve “save” the economy if it’s hell-bent on destroying the economy? From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

Central bankers are sociopathic in nature and sociopathic people tend to behave like robots. When one understands the motivations of central bankers, or at the very least what their goals are, their actions become rather predictable. The question is, what truly motivates these people?

I believe according to the evidence that the central banks are motivated by ideological zealotry with the core purpose of total global centralization of economic and political power into the hands of a select group of elitists. This agenda is really just a modern “reboot” of feudalism or totalitarianism. They sometimes refer to the plan in public as the “new world order,” or the “global economic reset.” I often refer to the encompassing ideology as “globalism” for the sake of expediency.

To attain this goal, central bankers must influence mass psychology using traumatic events. Fear opens doors to centralization of power. This is simply a fact of social behavior and history. The more afraid a population is, the more willing they will be to give up freedoms in exchange for safety and security. Therefore, the most effective weapon at the disposal of the globalists and their central banking counterparts is engineered economic crisis — a weapon that can, if allowed, destroy entire civilizations almost as fast as a nuclear war, while still keeping most of the expensive infrastructure intact.

Beyond that, economic crisis is also a weapon that can influence a population to embrace even greater enslavement while viewing their slave masters as saviors rather than villains.

Despite what many people assume, central bankers are not driven by a desire for profit. They print their own capital, they hardly need to make a profit. Central bankers are also not driven by a desire to keep the current system afloat. They have demonstrated time and time again their habit of deliberately sabotaging the system through the use of inflationary bubbles followed by fiscal tightening into weak economic conditions. The U.S. economy today is just as expendable as any other economy the banks have destroyed in the past. It is not special.

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The Capitalism and Freedom Connection, by Robert Ringer

Capitalism is the economics of free people. From Robert Ringer at lewrockwell.com:

Americans are easy prey when it comes to being distracted by the political theater in Washington.  It is this attraction to non-issues (e.g., the so-called government shutdown) that prevents them from focusing on the issues that really matter.

Of course, people’s ideas about what constitutes freedom can vary widely, depending upon whether they view the world from the right or the left.  Speaking for myself, I believe that the easiest way to define freedom is to call it the antithesis of communism.

Karl Marx and his lackey benefactor, Friedrich Engels, firmly believed that violent revolution was the only way to bring about pure communism, and that such a revolution was possible only where capitalism existed.  The reason for this, they believed, was because capitalism was a necessary ingredient for creating a wide financial disparity between the workers and the privileged class.

It’s kind of weird that Marx and Engels sought to increase income disparity between the classes, then rectify the disparity through violent revolution.  Perhaps their thinking was a result of their being familiar with the colossal failure of the French Revolution, which led not to freedom but mob violence, unthinkable human carnage, and ultimately a Napoleonic dictatorship.

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All (Political) Roads Lead To Massively Higher Government Spending, by John Rubino

All of the revolutions, quasi-revolutions, and proposed revolutions out there are pushing for higher spending and less taxes. That’s problematic when the overthrown governments are deeply in debt. From John Rubino at dollarcollapse.com:

The past few years have seen more than the usual amount of political upheaval. But, interestingly, most regime changes have resulted in pretty much the same thing: Higher government spending and bigger deficits.

Apparently the only “reforms” today’s voters will accept – which is to say the only actions that don’t get a leader kicked out of office – involve spending rather than saving money.

Three recent examples:

The US
Republicans – the party of smaller government – gained control of the White House and Congress in 2016, and proceeded to take a meat ax to bloated entitlements, lowering the government’s share of the economy to levels not seen since the Reagan years.

Just kidding. They tried to eliminate the newest entitlement, Obamacare, but failed to produce even a coherent proposal. So instead they cut taxes, expanded the military and left everything else on autopilot. Now, nine years into a recovery with official unemployment below 4% — and with the small-government party in charge:

U.S. budget deficit approaches $1 trillion

(MarketWatch) – The Treasury Department says that adjusted for timing-related transactions, the deficit would have been $270 billion over the last two months compared to $250 billion during the same period the prior year, with tax revenue up by 1% but spending up by 4%.

The budget picture is deteriorating as the U.S. taxes individuals and companies less and spends more, mostly on defense and benefit payments to an aging population. Though a growing economy is softening the blow, it’s possible that the annual deficit will top $1 trillion this year.

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The Myth Of American Capitalism Exposed: Competition Is Dying As The Biggest Corporations Gobble Up Everything, by Michael Snyder

Many industries are becoming increasingly concentrated or are already alarmingly concentrated. From Michael Snyder at endoftheamericandream.com:

Vibrant competition is absolutely essential in order for a capitalist economic system to function effectively.  Unfortunately, in the United States today we are witnessing the death of competition in industry after industry as the biggest corporations increasingly gobble up all of their competitors.  John D. Rockefeller famously once said that “competition is a sin”, and he was one of America’s very first oligopolists.  According to Google, an oligopoly is “a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers”, and that is a perfect description of the current state of affairs in many major industries.  In early America, corporations were greatly limited in scope, and in most instances they were only supposed to exist temporarily.  But today the largest corporations have become so huge that they literally dominate our entire society, and that is not good for any of us.

Just look at what is happening in the airline industry.  When I was growing up, there were literally dozens of airlines, but now four major corporations control everything and they have been making gigantic profits

AMERICA’S airlines used to be famous for two things: terrible service and worse finances. Today flyers still endure hidden fees, late flights, bruised knees, clapped-out fittings and sub-par food. Yet airlines now make juicy profits. Scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $15.5bn in 2017, up from $14bn in 2016.

What is true of the airline industry is increasingly true of America’s economy. Profits have risen in most rich countries over the past ten years but the increase has been biggest for American firms. Coupled with an increasing concentration of ownership, this means the fruits of economic growth are being monopolised.

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Lenin would be so proud, by Simon Black

By socializing risk, in other words by making others pay for someone else’s mistakes, we make sure those risks will be taken again and again. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

Several years ago back in 2004-2006, if you had a pulse, you could borrow money from a bank to buy a house.

In fact, bank lending standards were so loose back then that there were some infamous cases of people who DIDN’T have a pulse who were still able to borrow money.

That’s right. Some banks were so irresponsible that they actually loaned money to dead people.

Of course, it turned out that lending money to dead people… or people with terrible credit who had a history of default, was a bad idea.

And the entire financial system almost blew up as a result of this reckless stupidity.

But then something even crazier happened: the Federal Reserve came in and bailed out all the banks with trillions of dollars of free money.

That was utterly nuts. Instead of being wiped out by their idiotic mistakes, the banks learned that they would always be bailed out no matter how stupid or greedy they acted.

The key lesson was that there would be zero consequences for bad behavior.

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