Nebs Sez

Oct. 4th, 2015 01:21 pm
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
Some of you might have noticed that I stopped using the term 'The Corporate State' and instead use the term 'The Corporate Confederacy'. I made that switch because 'State' implies a solid monolithic entity, but that is not really the case. The thing is 'confederated' in that it is a group of many entities, most in competition with others in the grouping, but all untied in their larger outcomes, which generally boils down to “Control Everything.”

I also refer to The Corporate Confederacy as 'the bastard child of Patriarchy' because the paradigm of “Control Everything” comes from the Male's second Primary Function, The Hunt. Modern Corporate Capitalism is The Hunt taken to its ultimate existential conclusion.

BTW The Male's first Primary Function is to impregnate Females. That is an existential survival drive that most men are completely unaware of. They think they just 'want to get laid'. But this is what drives The Male to hunt The Female as sexual prey, whether he does so with Diamonds and Dinner or chasing them down an alley with a knife. That is why Rape Culture is a key feature of Patriarchy.
nebris: (Away Team)
“I’ve been thinking a lot about why there has been more internet outrage over Cecil than over Sandra Bland and all the other situations like hers. It seems like almost everyone posted something about Cecil, myself included, but I didn’t see nearly as many posts about Sandra.

I think it has something to do with our essential powerlessness. We witness these tragedies happening daily, weekly, constantly; we see our society imploding around us; we know that there are monsters a-bornin’ all across the country, born from violence and drug addiction, born from the fact that they are far more valuable as fodder for a for-profit prison system than they are as modest taxpayers, so why invest in them having any future; the wealth of our nation is channeled upward, away from us, instead of outward, to serve us - and yet we’re easily played by politicians who cut more and more of our commonwealth and tell us it’s to save us taxes; we try to conduct our lives decently, but we have no power. Even if we have some protection from accidents of birth and privilege. Even if we’re hanging on to modest middle-class status by our fingernails. We have NO power. If we allowed ourselves to feel the outrage that is really there, we would die of rage and grief.

But then here comes this guy. This oily, smirking, wealthy white guy. If he’s not quite a 1%er, he seems damn close to it, as far as we can see. And this asshole tosses 50k, which is more than most of us make in a year, and half of what a reasonably comfortable home might run on, he blithely tosses fifty thousand dollars for the chance to destroy something beautiful. Because he can. Because fuck you, peasant. Because when I pump my crossbow bolt into something rare and special, it gives me that jolt I need to keep my jaded appetite alive. Because I can buy anything I damn well please. Because it’s super fun to kill big things. Because I need something new for my trophy room.

But then we see - he is, in fact, just one guy. And we’re all after him. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe we can catch him, and make him pay. And deep down, maybe that will help us feel like we were actually able to strike a blow about this deep sense of unraveling that is seeping into our consciousness, for anyone that is even the least bit awake.

Of course, this will do nothing to the people who actually own us - the ones whose level of power and wealth is, quite literally, unimaginable to us, the ones who hunt with such subtlety that we don’t even see it happening, the ones to whom this Minnesota dentist is nothing but a scurrying little toady. They take whole nations for their trophy room. And there is nothing that you or I can do about it.” ~Liz Anderson
nebris: (A Dark Boy)
"This morning I began to seriously wonder how long it would be before my posts regarding the relationship between Greece and Germany would migrate from “Our Doomed Present” [my Economic, Environmental and Social Issues Blog] to “Politics By Other Means” [my War Blog]. The American Left may have been reduced to mostly a bunch of gutless middle class big mouths who are offended by everything, but the Greek Left has a storied history of Armed Resistance. We shall see if that tradition is still alive."
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
Provisions that allow foreign investors to bypass the federal courts could undermine U.S. legal protections.

Alan Morrison Jun 23, 2015

It is January 2017. The mayor of San Francisco signs a bill that will raise the minimum wage of all workers from $8 to $16 an hour effective July 1st. His lawyers assure him that neither federal nor California minimum wage laws forbid that and that it is fine under the U.S. Constitution.

Then, a month later, a Vietnamese company that owns 15 restaurants in San Francisco files a lawsuit saying that the pay increase violates the “investor protection” provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement recently approved by Congress. The lawsuit is not in a federal or state court, but instead will be heard by three private arbitrators; the United States government is the sole defendant; and the city can participate only if the U.S. allows it.

It is not a far-fetched scenario. The TPP reportedly includes such provisions, as a means of solving a thorny problem. In the United States, the courts are, by and large, independent and willing to fairly decide challenges to arbitrary government laws and rulings, no matter who the plaintiff is. The same is not consistently true in less developed countries.

The solution proposed in the TPP is to allow foreign investors to bring claims for money damages over violations of the TPP’s investor protection provisions before a private arbitration tribunal that operates outside the challenged government’s court system. One arbitrator would be chosen by the investor, one by the country being challenged, and a third by agreement of the other two arbitrators.

The arbitrators are often lawyers who specialize in international trade and investment, for whom serving as arbitrators is only one source of their income. Unlike U.S. judges, they are not salaried but paid by the hour, and they can rotate between arbitrating cases and representing investors suing governments.

Despite the fairness of our court system, the U.S. government has consented in prior trade agreements, and in a leaked version of the still-secret TPP, to allow foreign investors to bypass our courts and instead move to “investor-state” arbitration. Thus, challenges based upon TPP to our duly enacted laws and other regulatory actions would be decided by three individuals who are not government officials and need not be American citizens. And they would have the final word as to whether the federal government will be compelled to pay damages, because there is no judicial review in any U.S. court of the merits of these arbitral rulings.

If such a case were brought, the foreign investor would sue the United States and ask that the arbitrators find that “investor-based expectations” under the TPP were violated. So, for example, it might claim that doubling the minimum wage from its prior level violated the TPP’s provisions requiring fair and equitable treatment of foreign investors. If the arbitrators agreed, they would assess money damages that would be paid from the federal treasury, but the San Francisco wage law would not be directly affected. However, because the ruling would open the door for other foreign investors in any number of businesses to bring similar claims, Congress would almost assuredly step in and override the wage increase to prevent opening the doors to the Treasury to every foreign investor in San Francisco. Indeed, in a similar situation Canada reversed a toxics ban and published a worldwide advertisement that the chemical was safe in order to avoid the possibility of having to pay substantial damages.

In recent years, there has been a major increase in the use of arbitration in the United States to decide commercial disputes, but those cases involve contracts in which the parties agreed to arbitration, with the outcome generally depending on how factual issues are resolved. TPP arbitrators, by contrast, will decide what is essentially a legal question: whether governmental actions, which are designed to protect our health, safety, environment and economic well-being, are consistent with the TPP. Those protections extend from locally enacted laws like the San Francisco minimum-wage provision, to state statutes and regulatory actions, to laws passed by Congress and decisions of federal regulatory agencies. And under the TPP, as under other trade agreements, decisions of a majority of the arbitrators on compliance with the TPP will not be subject to review in any court, federal or state. Among the other important public policy measures currently being debated that might be the basis for a TPP claim by a foreign investor include water rationing in California, the legality of selling e-cigarettes to minors, and the state regulation of medical facilities performing abortions. If a foreign investor won a TPP arbitration in these situations or the wage increase discussed above, that would not only cost the Treasury, but it would disadvantage American competitors who cannot benefit from TPP arbitrations, unless the offending law were set aside. And if governments feel compelled to set aside such laws in response to adverse rulings, the three arbitrators will effectively have substituted their own judgments for that of the electorate.

Under the TPP, the arbitrators will act like judges, deciding legal questions just as federal judges decide constitutional claims. However, unlike judges appointed under Article III of the Constitution, TPP arbitrators are not appointed by the president or confirmed by the Senate, nor do they have the independence that comes from life tenure. And that presents a significant constitutional issue: Can the president and Congress, consistent with Article III, assign to three private arbitrators the judicial function of deciding the merits of a TPP investor challenge?

The Supreme Court has not ruled on this precise question. But the collective reasoning in four of its recent rulings bearing on the issue leans heavily toward a finding of unconstitutionality. The Court has placed significant limits on the ability of Congress to assign the power to decide cases traditionally handled by the courts to people other than Article III judges, even when the judicial substitutes are full-time federal officials, such as bankruptcy judges or the heads of federal agencies. Moreover, in each case in which the Court approved of a dispute being taken away from federal judges, there was judicial review at the end of the process, which is not the case with TPP. Moreover, although the Justice Department issued a lengthy opinion in 1995 on when arbitration can be used to replace court adjudication, it did not then, and has not since then, defended the constitutionality of arbitration provisions like those in the proposed TPP.

As it presses for the passage of TPP, the administration needs to explain how the Constitution allows the United States to agree to submit the validity of its federal, state, and local laws to three private arbitrators, with no possibility of review by any U.S. court. Otherwise, it risks securing a trade agreement that won’t survive judicial scrutiny, or, even worse, which will undermine the structural protections that an independent federal judiciary was created to ensure.
nebris: (Away Team)
"The final stages of capitalism, Marx wrote, would be marked by developments that are intimately familiar to most of us. Unable to expand and generate profits at past levels, the capitalist system would begin to consume the structures that sustained it. It would prey upon, in the name of austerity, the working class and the poor, driving them ever deeper into debt and poverty and diminishing the capacity of the state to serve the needs of ordinary citizens. It would, as it has, increasingly relocate jobs, including both manufacturing and professional positions, to countries with cheap pools of laborers. Industries would mechanize their workplaces. This would trigger an economic assault on not only the working class but the middle class—the bulwark of a capitalist system—that would be disguised by the imposition of massive personal debt as incomes declined or remained stagnant. Politics would in the late stages of capitalism become subordinate to economics, leading to political parties hollowed out of any real political content and abjectly subservient to the dictates and money of global capitalism."
Karl Marx Was Right
nebris: (A Guru)
~I don't believe I'm really being all that paranoid when I think that the timing of The Duggar Scandal seems rather 'fortuitous' vis-a-vis the whole Trans-Pacific Partnership Fast Track issue. I can certainly see a pair of Fascist PR Operatives talking about it.

FPRO#1: “We're getting killed in the Media and On-Line and I'm taking a lot of heat from The Main Office. We need a nice juicy scandal to distract people. And quick!”

FPRO#2: “Limmi see what I got in the hopper. I'll get back to you asap.”

~a short time later~

FPRO#2: [excited] “I've got a beaut here. You know the Duggar family?”

FPRO#1: “Those Christian breeder freaks with a TV show?”

FPRO#2: “The very same. Seems Josh, the oldest son, molested his sisters when he was like fourteen.”

FPRO#1: “That is fucking perfect!”

FPRO#2: “Oh, it gets better. There is a whole network of pedos involved in this from top to bottom.”

FPRO#1: [laughs] “Thank you, Jesus!”

[they high five]

FPRO#1: “Yeah, throw him under the bus. They always gave me the creeps anyway.”

FPRO#2: “Consider it done.”

Nebs Sez

Mar. 28th, 2015 11:09 am
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
...this was a set of comments on a post about Racism...

"Human beings are Tribal by nature. We organically gravitate to 'our own'. This usually applies to 'ethnicity', but, in the case of artists - especially musicians - this can be purely Cultural. Note how 'interracial' musicians are. They Hear more than they See.

What European Civilization has done is to distil that Tribalism into Racism, with The so-called White Race on top. And that was done almost exclusively for Fiscal reasons, as Money drove their Empires.

I say so-called because in the early to mid 19th Centuries, Catholic Irish were not considered White. And I'm old enough to remember when Italians were 'not White' either.

Truth is, Race is purely a Social Construct.

Of course Racism is quite real. But Race itself is bullshit. The DNA bouillabaisse of the American People is proof of that. [Love that White Supremacist who found out he was 17% Black. lol]

That said, a lotta Old White Folks are gonna have to die off before this shit eases up. They're too skert to let go of their Racism. For many, it's all they have left to feel better about.

I believe the fatal error The Rulers have made is to show that they think of all of us 'ruled folks' as niggers. That's what has really upset the lower class Whites. And I use that word purposefully because it is so hateful.

I believe it to be the only word that truly conveys the utter contempt The Rulers have for the rest of us.

Growing up White in America, even in the most liberal of households, subtly embeds Racist perceptions in all of us. The best one can do is be aware of them, not let them run you and don't go in the other direction - White Guilt - which simply makes you prey to non-White demagogues, who are also 'allies' of The Rulers in that they fuel the racial divide among the ruled."

Nebs Sez

Dec. 19th, 2014 12:24 am
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
"Because both the Democratic and Republican parties are largely beholden to their Corporate Pay Masters in how they vote etc, their rhetoric must reflect the essential world view of their political base in order for them to retain any type of 'legitimacy'.

For the Democratic base, that means making 'Progressive' noise about Social Justice etc, even has the party keeps on moving Rightward as it has since the defeat of Walter Mondale in 1984. Every now and then it can toss its base a political bone, like Marriage Equality, something that does not have any real effect upon the fortunes of its Corporate Pay Masters.

For the Republican base, that means making more and more 'Conservative' noise as it keeps moving Rightward to stay ahead of the cynical Democratic shift. This has led the GOP into the territory of nearly pure Fascism, with all its trappings; War Mongering, Misogyny, Racism, Nativism, Religious Extremism, etc. Their Corporate Pay Masters are either indifferent to these things or supportive of them because they help generate profit and create a favorable operating environment.

Real democracy is a very tough gig and history shows that the average human is simply not up to the task. It is therefore quite easy for The Corporate State to use its wealth and power to manipulate and divide The Electorate. That even someone as well educated as Ms Douglas is so publicly polarized proves that point.

The truly well informed equally despise both parties, knows full well how thoroughly the system is rigged and that voting is largely a sucker's game."

..comment on We Can’t All Just Get Along

Nebs Sez

Dec. 10th, 2014 02:08 pm
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
This Meme is making the rounds Dear Elizabeth Warren, Please Run For President. I commented:

"In order to run she'd have to sell her soul to the Corporate State. They're the only ones with the cash to fund a Presidential campaign. [Obama and Mittens *each* spent a Billion Dollars in 2012] We get better service out of her in the Senate.

Yes, I said "Obama and Mittens *each* spent a Billion Dollars in 2012."

That's the Financial Primary that chooses candidates before the voters cast a single ballot.

Elizabeth Warren is not going to save us.

Bernie Sanders is not going to save us.

And Hillary most certainly is not going to save us.

The Game is far too thoroughly rigged at this point for any single leader to save us.

I'll repeat two things I've said over and over again....

"All politics is local." ~'Tip' O'Neill

Which is why, in the end, democracy fails. Because humans are, as a rule, 'provincial', which is a socio-cultural way of saying that they are primarily concerned with their own immediate sphere of interest, tend to ignore everything outside of that sphere and react with fear/anger whenever the larger sphere impinges. That prevents most humans from thinking 'globally' or even 'nationally'.

This is why Leaders are *required*. The People, by their nature, cannot lead themselves.


“Do not expect to defeat The Corporate State at the ballot box. Big Money can power its way through almost any election cycle. That is not however a call for Revolution. Big Money can power its way through those as well and rather unpleasantly.

Instead it must always be remembered that by its conscienceless and rapacious nature, the thing sows the seeds of its own destruction. Therefore what is required is both the ability to survive its collapse *and* to have another functional structure extent to replace it. Anything else is empty rhetoric.”

This is why said 'Leaders' - a group of them is necessary - will need to be Very Patient and Very Disciplined. True Change will take at least two generations to create "another functional structure to replace it." Otherwise, The System will be able to simply co-opt whatever movements that manifest."

Friend: Michael - I must have hope. Human beings must have hope.

Michael Varian Daly: Hope is a trap. Every time hope fails us, we get beaten down even more. What is required are realistic goals and the Willingness to pursue them no matter what.

Without realistic goals, hope is merely self delusion, the thing that leads us to the showers at Auschwitz.

Friend: name them....

Michael Varian Daly: I have already outline my goals. They scare most people.

But in general terms, what one needs is a practical Ideological Framework that will engage a Beginner Cadre to move things forward during the early days aka 'the hard times'.

Said Framework must in turn serve a Greater Goal, a Profound Goal, one which provides both a Mundane and Spiritual motivation for people to be willing to sacrifice in order to achieve it.

And one must accept that one will not see the end of this thing, that one will likely barely even see the beginning. This is especially hard for Americans. We have been primed for Instant Gratification and for 'Closure'. Such a mindset traps one in 'the here and now' and blocks one off from The Future.

The positive value of 'being in the moment' is to see with clarity where one actually is in said moment and understand its true nature. One is not supposed to move in to that 'moment' and remain there. It is merely a station upon a journey.

Friend: Where do I find them?

Michael Varian Daly: I have one paradigm. There are others. Beyond my own paradigm, I cannot tell you. You have to Seek. Just make sure you're not doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.

And investing in Liz or Bernie et al is very much 'doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.'

Friend: I know - I don't invest in them but I thank God for them. But I DO invest in repealing Citizens United and McKucheon as that is where the big money is taking us down. You may be right Michael and I suspect you are. We are very much like Rome in it's last days. But I will not stand idly by.

And you told me you wouldn't comment on my political posts unless I asked! I volunteered to delete them all. This is the epitome of the American 'liberal' mindset, just as fear driven and unwilling to listen as the Baggers, just in their own way.

I expect she will do absolutely nothing different and be frustrated when she gets the same results.
nebris: (Away Team)
"The dumbest thing Marx ever did was fall for that "withering away of the state" business. Whether the state is "bourgeois" or "proletarian" or "cooperative" or "corporatist" or what have you, there is not the slightest reason for thinking that the state, as such, will come to an end. There is no reason at all for thinking that complex human societies can forgo politics, governmental organization, planning, the rule of law, coercive enforcement of the rule of law, the paternalistic socialization of children and the ongoing, organized defense of the realm against violent threats from potential predators. There is no reason at all to think that the many interlocking institutions in such a society can make everything work through "self-organization" or "emergent" patterns of pure voluntariness and spontaneous cooperation.

There is no millennial salvation coming at the "end of history". There will be no end of history.

You know why the left goes absolutely nowhere and has been crushed by the forces of private capital power for over a half-century? Because it is largely composed of nitwit fantasists, dreamy melancholics drowning in barbarous and muddy ideological theorization, and thumb-sucking fools who are in deep, deep, deep denial about human history, human nature, and human social life.

People want a more just and equal world? Then they are going to have to fight for such a world, struggle to build it, think hard and in a concrete analytic fashion about how to organize it, put those organizational plans in place though the messy gringing work of politics and the coercive mechanisms of an organized legal system, and then struggle to keep it from falling apart.

And the struggle will be endless, because human beings are an erratic mess, with abundant proclivities toward aggression, violence, irrationality, selfishness, delusion, laziness, fanaticism and hysteria. Decent human society comes from keeping all of these things in check via a well-thought out system of governance, not from attempts to eradicate them.

Society is hard work because human beings are just a species of wild animal with the special ability to domesticate and tame themselves. There is no race of pure and sinless angels waiting to emerge once all of the fascism, statism, or meanyism is scraped away." ~Dan Kervick
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
[addressing some Bagger on Facebook] you demonstrate the classic 'conservative' cluelessness about how modern economics works. But in your defense, that is true of most Americans of any political persuasion. At least you know who Karl Marx is, even if you're probably quite unclear as to his actual philosophies. I'll wager half the people you'd ask on the street would have never heard of him.

I'm not a commie btw. While Marx's critique of Capitalism is spot on, he really never gets around to explaining how the so-called Worker's Paradise was supposed to come into being, which is, in part, what led to abominations like the Soviet Union, etc.

But, I digress...

So, modern economics. I know this is tough because though it seems to be about The Maths, is in fact really about Existential Concepts. It is about what we humans decide is Valuable and what is not. Let's start with Gold. [bet yer a Goldbug, ain't ya lol] Gold, in and of itself, had no real intrinsic value until modern times when we discovered its great usefulness in the manufacture of electronics.

But before that it's 'value' was entirely subjective. Gold was valuable because it was pretty and, being mailable, it was easy to make pretty things with it. But as Midas found out, you can't eat it.

That is the nature of ALL forms of Money. We choose what it is worth by a more or less common Social Agreement. Take some of that colored paper out of your pocket. You bust you ass for that, but that's all it really is; colored paper that we all agree has a certain value. People will kill you for that paper....and you can't really eat that either. Well, actually you can, but its nutritional worth is near zero.

Our money here in the United States is what as known as a Fiat Currency, 'Fiat' being the Latin for 'make it so'. In essence, the US Govt simply prints what it needs and has done so ever since Richard Nixon shelved the Bretton Woods Agreement and took us off the Gold Standard. [bet that makes yer lil pink bunghole pucker]

Nixon many have been a seriously fucked up human being, but he was a brilliant political thinker. He was planing to institute a form of Basic Income called Negative Income Tax and also a National Health plan that was rather more 'socialist' than Obamacare, which is really just a watered down version of Nixon's plan.

Nixon was fully aware of Corporate American's plans to crush America's unions, outsource most of America's manufacturing – along with industry’s jobs – and generally roll back as much of the New Deal as was possible. [Goggle 'The Powell Memo'] He knew that would destroy the social fabric of The Republic, which it did – not to mention severely pollute the land – and he was a true patriot for all his terrible flaws.

So he tried to put those programs in place to keep his fellow citizens from being economically raped by The Corporations. But then Watergate came along...interesting that, eh?

But again, I digress....

So, Fiat Currency, printing what need. Such is the greatest Economic Truth that The Corporate State does not want you to know. If the American people ever really figure that out, the Govt would have to pony up to *everyone*. And The Corporate State wants a terrorized exhausted half starved work force to keep their Labor Costs down and their Profit Margins up. This is Stupidity driven by Greed of course. If we're all broke, who'll buy their shit? [there is however the possibility that they're trying to kill us off, but I'll save that paranoia for another time]

That is what all the screeching about the Nation Debt and Austerity and Social Security going broke and so on. But it is Debt that 'creates' money. Austerity strangles growth. [see the EU] And the Social Security Trust Fund would be just fine if all those who stole from it were forced to pay back the money. [The Corporate State, we're looking at you]

With a Basic Income Grant, the US Govt simply sets up bank accounts for every single American Citizen and electronically drops X number of dollars in said each month. [$800 to $1000 is the ballpark number right now] Those Citizens then go out and put that money back into the American economy. That is actually how all nearly all Govt payments work now anyway.

This would boost the economy, scrape just about every welfare program we have – which would be a cost saving right there and restore a lot of human dignity – and free up vast amounts of American creative energy because most people like to work. Sure, some will fuck off for the rest of their lives, but that gets boring after a while.

So, freed from the fear of homelessness and hunger, we could blossom as a people as we go off to Do What We Love instead of The Daily Grind of Survival.

The only caveat is Inflation and The Fed has all manner of tools to keep that in check. Of course, that would badly cut into the profits of The Investor Class...but fuck them. Those clowns brought us the Crash of 2008.

So, wasn't that fun? Bet you hated every minute of it and believe not a single word. And that's okay. I enjoyed myself and will post this elsewhere to more receptive audiences. You can sit home, fume about Obama et al [he's not a Socialist btw...he's at best a Moderate Republican] and become more and more irrelevant as the Hispanic population grows and grows and they'll love Basic Income. *smirk*
nebris: (A Dark Boy)
"The Poor of all ethnicities [there's no such thing as 'race'] have far more in common with each other than with The Rulers who oppress them. But The Rulers have known that since the early days of America and used human's innate Tribalism to build a very specific form of Racism into our Collective Culture in order to maintain control.

Brown/Red/Yellow=Conquered and/or Subject Peoples

But now Economic Inequality is causing that paradigm to strain to its breaking point as more and more Whites begin to realize that The Rulers regard them as Niggers, too."
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
Posted on 13 August 2014

Demands on time in the MMT community include (i) providing “simple as possible” explanations of “basic MMT” for public consumption and (ii) exploring theoretical and policy ideas informed by an understanding of those basics together with insights from related approaches to economics. Although the latter task is perhaps more enticing for those who have by now (mostly) absorbed the basics, and is certainly an area worthy of pursuit, the former task remains politically pressing and so equally deserving of time. It doesn’t matter what progressive policies, institutional reforms or plans can be devised if the public believes they are “unaffordable because the nation is bankrupt” or “impossible because capitalists won’t stand for them”. This brainwashing has occurred over decades and clearly people are not freeing themselves of it easily.

Although confusion over “money” is immense, it seems fairly common on the left to view the topic as superficial compared with study of “real” stuff. I think downplaying the significance of money is a mistake. Downplaying its connection to the real is also a mistake. And imagining the analysis of money is any less threatening to the powers that be than analysis of the real is a bigger mistake. Probably the only topic as taboo as money in orthodox economics would be the identification of profit with surplus labor. The reason for money’s taboo status seems clear. Understanding existing monetary institutions and operations points to a way of undermining the profit system and exploitation of labor.

This is not, of course, to attribute such a focus or motivation to the Modern Monetary Theorists themselves, most of whom appear to favor managed capitalism (although see Bill Mitchell’s MMT is not conservative thought for a more left perspective from a leading proponent). It is rather to suggest that the Modern Monetary Theorists’ careful and, as far as possible, objective institutional description and analysis of monetary and fiscal operations in a sovereign currency system arguably brings to light a radical democratic potential inherent in sovereign money, waiting to be seized upon. It opens the way to managed capitalism or social democracy or socialism or beyond, however far (or not so far) we wish to take it. This democratic potential may have been what drove European elites to take currency issuance out of the hands of democratically elected national governments and empower, instead, the unaccountable European Central Bank.

In the present economic system, real resources are mobilized only on the say-so of the issuers or possessors of money, and only on their terms. No production, even for profit based on the exploitation of labor, takes place until finance is secured. It makes a great difference whether money is made available on our terms, by a democratically accountable currency-issuing government, or on the basis of private interests motivated narrowly by profit, facilitated by an unaccountable government. The issuers and possessors of money determine what production will and won’t take place, the nature of the production process, the nature of work itself, access to productive resources, distribution of income and leisure, and more. The channel through which money is created (public or private) and the terms on which it is issued (democratic or undemocratic, interest free or rentier friendly) strongly influence whether institutional reforms and regulatory measures contrary to the interests of capitalists, including measures capable of re-shaping the sphere of production, are viable or not viable.

Except to the extent that production is freed from the profit imperative — is allowed to proceed without reference to it and without a need to answer to it — attempts to base enterprise on a different social basis and re-shape the sphere of production, including the nature of work, seem likely sooner rather than later to revert to the same methods of operation and priorities as capitalist corporations. But freedom from the profit imperative, when desired, is always near at hand in a modern money system. A prerogative of a currency-issuing government is to ignore the profit criterion and to proceed on a different basis. The absence of a revenue constraint means that real-resource availability (in relation both to the inflation barrier and environmental sustainability) is the only hard constraint. There is no need to generate a profit. There is no need to provide a flow of interest income to rentiers. If the production is something that the majority would consider socially beneficial, and is within resource limits, the main obstacle to its going ahead is the electorate’s own failure to understand the options available to it.

An understanding of modern money makes clear that a democratically accountable government with the backing of the greater part of the electorate would already, under present institutional arrangements, be in a position to begin an extensive transformation of social and economic institutions. But it would require going against the interests of the rich and powerful. To do that successfully, government needs the overwhelming backing of the electorate. And, for that to happen, the electorate needs to be liberated from its confusion over “money” and comprehend the viability of following such a course.

That, perhaps, is why close scrutiny of monetary operations is taboo among orthodox academic economists just as acknowledging the origin of profit is taboo.

Nebs Sez

Sep. 5th, 2013 07:39 pm
nebris: (Bachmann Pancake)
"No-one who is not owned by The Corporate State is getting anywhere near the Oval Office for the foreseeable future. That will likely translate into a steady stream of Democrats because only Right Wing Radicals can make it through the GOP primaries and The Corporate State has learned The Hitler Lesson, that one cannot control a Political Radical once they grasp the levers of power.

FWIW I stopped voting for president when confronted with Obama Inc. The blatant lying of how he was marketed - The Great Liberal Superman You've All Been Waiting For - so baldly conflicted with his record - Center/Right Corporatist - that I was physically repulsed."
nebris: (Away Team)
"All politics is local." ~'Tip' O'Neill

~Which is why, in the end, democracy fails. Because humans are, as a rule, 'provincial', which is a socio-cultural way of saying that they are primarily concerned with their own immediate sphere of interest, tend to ignore everything outside of that sphere and react with fear/anger whenever the larger sphere impinges. That prevents most humans from thinking 'globally' or even 'nationally'. Now hold that thought...

"Why should I concern myself with how many die? Even the Christian Bible says what is man that God should be mindful of him? For me men are nothing but a brain at one end and a shit factory at the other." ~Aurelio Peccei, founder and first president of the Club of Rome

In 1972 The Club of Rome published a historical document, “The Limits to Growth,” described by Wikipedia as a “book about the computer modeling of unchecked economic and population growth with finite resource supplies.” I remember at the time it generated a lot of speculation and controversy, but for the general population, like so many things before it, it went down The Memory Hole, eclipsed by Watergate and then the Fall of Saigon. [see "All politics is local."]

Aurelio Peccei was one the authors of that report and his sentiments are fairly clear.

“The Limits to Growth,” were also, I have come to believe, a warning to the population of Earth from The Western Financial Elites; “Since you are obviously incapable of controlling your own affairs and managing your our resources, we are going to gather up as much of them as we can lay our hands upon, build ourselves safe havens and let the rest of you drown in your own shit. In fact, we plan to expedite that by making things as bad as possible in order to get this over with as fast as possible.” In other words, a Culling.

I suspect they made that decision not so much because they are evil – though there is certainly some sociopathic reasoning in the mix – but because, seeing that “All politics are local,” they already knew that the solutions required to head off Global Catastrophe would be impossible to implement. Keep in mind that at the time The Cold War was still going strong, America was socioculturally unraveling and China had just wrapped up The Cultural Revolution.

In that context, I really cannot fault the logic, even if I am one of those likely to culled.

I have imagined snippets of conversations such as these, uttered not at secret meetings in darkened rooms, but at bright social gatherings over cocktails:

“Let it all got to hell.”

“They will rebel.”

“We make Consumerism ubiquitous and fund their social hatreds.”

“But we cannot control something like that.”

“No, but we can guide it and we can survive it. We'll surf the apocalypse.”

If I were in their position, I'd do much the same thing, though as those of you who know me will understand that my 'grand scheme' is of a somewhat different design. And because of that, while I expect this Culling will more or less succeed, I have my doubts that it will play out at all close to what The Elites hope for.

But the die have been cast and now what shall be, shall be...
nebris: (FemJihad)
~We are locked in a desperate Cold Civil War with an American Right Wing that is more insane and well armed with each passing day.

~We live within a National Security State that is well on its way to becoming a Stasi wet dream.

~Austerity is strangling us economically and relentlessly eliminating Public Sector Services, reducing us to penury.

~All of this is being supported and funded by The Corporate State with the goal of completely crushing any Progressive action or even thinking because such interferes with their long term outcomes.

....and yet one of your top priorities is disarming yourselves? Really, why don't you just drown your children and slit your own throats. That fate would be better one than the steady road to slavery to which your delusional faux-pacifist ideology is leading us.

nebris: (Bachmann Pancake)
~The Affordable Care Act [the so-called 'Obamacare'] is the perfect example of how The Corporate State plays the Right and Left off against each other for its own benefit while getting each to help it screw the other.

Throughout the entire election cycle Obama faithfully, endlessly, relentlessly promised that there would be a Public Option in his health care plan. Of course all the research showed that a Public Option would devastate the Insurance Industry's business model because a govt run medical plan is cheaper as it needs no profit margin.

Meanwhile The Tea Party movement was underway as a reaction to bailing out the banks and 'shiftless' mortgage holders. [note only the banks got bailed out] Within weeks of this GOP operatives started Freedom Works and The Tea Party Express – with Corporate funding - and almost immediately began shifting the Tea Party's focus toward Obama's health care reform.

By the time the Obama Administration took office, The Tea Party was almost exclusively [and negatively] 'Obamacare' focused. He used that astroturfed political pressure to bail on The Public Option within a month of taking office.

What then resulted was the govt turning over thirty million Americans into economic hostages to the Insurance Industry. Obama's supporters were so busy arguing with The Tea Party's nonsense claims of 'socialism' that they did not see that they had been sold down the river. And the Right was so convinced of those ridiculous claims that they didn't see what was really going on either.

The only 'socialism' going on here is Corporate. And you've all been played because you let your fears run you and you didn't do your homework. This is also a perfect example of why Mass Democracy has failed. Most of you idiots, Left and Right, do not deserve the Franchise. And now another plague is upon both your houses...

PS You're all being 'handled' in essentially the same fashion in regards Reproductive Rights and Gun Rights.
nebris: (A Proper General)
I have been thinking about the 20th Century struggle between Democracy, Communism and Fascism. I have come to the conclusion that Fascism is the victor.

The reasons for that victory are many, but here are the basics:

Democracy followed the money and alined itself with Industrial Capitalism, thereby allowed Fascism in through the back door. It also requires a level of communal selflessness and personal commitment that most humans are simply not capable of. Its ebullient exhortations constantly annoyingly remind of us of that harsh fact.

Stalin devoured the Communist Dream of a Workers Paradise and vomited up a totalitarian nightmare that has poisoned Leftest politics throughout the world, in all probability forever. First all the Useful Idiots who sang his praises and then, when faced with the truth, the Western Left's retreat into Bourgeois complacency and impotent faux-pacifism.

Nazism, the most effective form of Fascism ever, addressed both Euro-Sapian arrogance and fears, plus had absolutely fabulous design aesthetics. It was also brutally honest in ways that Twenty Century Communism never was and of which Democracy is systemically incapable.

Ultimately the primary reason for Fascism's victory is that, as Norman Mailer once observed, “Fascism in the most natural from of human government.” It gives people very clear guidelines about how to behave and what to believe. And most importantly, it allows people to openly hate that which they fear. That is tremendously liberating.

This is also why everyone hates the Jews. Even Jews hate other Jews. I have personally observed that quite often. It's not because they are arrogant, though God knows they are, a 'stiffed necked people'. It's not even the Christ Killer thing, the perfect example of Jews hating Jews.

No, it is because of their greatest strength and their greatest gift; Talmudic thinking, the Jew's literally inbred capacity to examine every single thing from every single angle, endlessly. While that has yielded amazing intellectual, spiritual and scientific results in all fields of human endeavor, it also sows the seeds of doubt everywhere and in everything.

That is why we really hate the Jews; the Jews are The Fathers of Doubt. And we [secretly] love Fascism because it promises us the certainty that in our hearts we all crave.
nebris: (FemJihad)
Gun Control Logic is *always* about Gun Elimination because it is trying to stop humans from being the violent creatures that we are and since that is *always* doomed to failure, 'control' keeps including more and more types of guns until *all* guns are banned, except for those owned by The State. That's called Fascism.

The UK proved that back in 1987 when it finally banned handguns. The result? In the following decade violent crime went from 650,000 to 1.2 million incidents per year, even though the UK is one of the most surveillance intensive country's in the world. BTW the ratio of violent crime in the UK is 950 per 100,000 while in the US is 449 per 100,000.

It's a lot like gay marriage. You don't want to have one? Fine. Don't. Just do not try to deny me the Right to have the ones I want.

And in the end the politicians understand the numbers. 146,000,0000 Americans own 310,000,000 guns. There will be a lot of noise and not much will happen, basically because they want to keep their jobs.

All this Gun Control noise is likely to do is breathe fresh life into The Tea Party. But most Progressives are pretty clueless about that. Hell, a lot of y'all still think Obama is 'your guy'. He ain't.

I believe The Corporate State has learned The Hitler Lesson, that once a political radical grasps the levers of power, you can no longer control him with money. [It'll be a 'him' every time] That is why they ran all of the loons the GOP base favored off the road with cash early on. Mittens was always a sacrificial candidate. The Corporate State is perfectly happy with that smart accommodating black chap.

But I digress...

As I said a while back: "If the American Left would fully embrace the 2nd Amendment and the concept of The Armed Citizen, they would wipe the GOP Right Wing [and Blue Dog Dems] off of the political map in a single season."

And that is the core issue, 'the concept of The Armed Citizen'. In the past half century, the single worst political mistake of The American Left, tactically and strategically, was in surrendering that ground to The American Right.

There are many 'middle of the road' Americans who like their Social Security and Medicare and Public Services and would happy to see some more of them. Many of them don't really care about, or would comfortably ignore, the establishment of Gay Marriage or the expansion of Women's Reproductive Rights or a host of other progressive issues.

But they will vote for one nasty Fascist asshole after another if he or she promises faithfully to protect their Gun Rights because they don't trust The Gubmint aka The State. That distrust is the heart of 'the concept of The Armed Citizen' and while The American Left also distrusts The State on so many levels, it has adopted this bizarre attitude that it is just fine for The State to posses all the guns.

The Armed Citizen is truly the last best defense against the power of The State. And that is the essence of our Liberty here in The Republic. But The American Right taken almost total control of that concept and has reframed it terms that benefit their true masters, The Corporate State.

Let us do some reframing of our own. Think about Concealed Carry Permits and 'Stand Your Ground' laws. It has been ALEC, possible the most insidious operation of The Corporate State in recent memory, that has largely been the author and lobbyist for those issues. That gave us Travon Martin.

However, what if Occupy had taken the concept of The Armed Citizen to heart. Not for violent revolution, but simply to 'stand their ground'. Think about how the police treated Occupy at Zucotti and in Oakland, with violence and brutality and a near total abrogation of their Civil Rights.

Now think about they might have 'shifted' their policies if it were possible that in each instance there were hundreds of handguns and dozens of assault rifles legally present in each encampment and that there was legal justification to use them, even against law enforcement, within a 'Stand Your Ground' context.

How many American politicians really have the stones to use mass military fire power against crowds of our young Citizens in our urban centers? How many of them would be willing to inflict that kind of a deep wound on the American Body Politic? I doubt any who actually *have* the power to order such a massacre. Even Corporate Media could not ignore State Violence and bloodshed on that scale. The sociopolitical consequences would be extensive and unknowable and politicians deeply dislike those.

That is how the concept of The Armed Citizen really works. Yes, it is scary and uncomfortable. Not only might you yourself die, but you also might kill someone else. Both are profoundly disturbing ideas. But what is your Liberty worth to you? If you're not ready to die, or kill, for it...well, just Submit to The State and shut the fuck up.

Again, this not about armed revolution. We're really not at a place where such is necessary, no matter what the alarmists on the Left and Right say. The Armed Citizen is about Deterrence, about informing The State that pushing certain matters too far will result in civil insurrection and therefore that it needs to respect its Citizens and Negotiate.

For those that sneeringly summon the whole 'tanks versus deer rifles' canard, besides telling you to take a hard look at your own tendencies to fall back on brutal authoritarian solutions, I also advise you to look to our recent adventures in Iraq.

No matter how Washington spins it, the US Military ultimately lost there and it was a fully unified organization in that war. A civil war here would fracture it badly, which is why the Pentagon quails at the thought. I have little doubt that such has held Martial Law at bay several times in recent history. [can you say Dick Cheney?]

For those whom the concept of The Armed Citizen is too difficult, too uncomfortable to embrace, I say Just Let It Be and try this: If you really truly want to reduce gun related homicides in this country, instead of Gun Control, fight just as hard to end The War on Drugs, which is also a multifaceted Social Justice fight. That would reduce those deaths by at least half. Many many more black and brown children are dying in our Inner Cites from gun violence, nearly all Drug War related, than are white children in our suburban schools.

Such also has the moral benefit of Fighting FOR Rights, not against them.

Nebs Sez

Sep. 8th, 2012 01:28 pm
nebris: (A Manga Thang)
~The past day or so Dr. Lamb and I have been chatting about how Mike Lofgren and Matt Taibbi have been 'on the same page' regarding our present social-political-economic situation. And he created a blog post about it. It is absolutely Required Reading.

Yours truly, upping the stakes as usual, then made the following comment:

“Where I suspect Richistan shall be destroyed, at least in this country, is when fracking causes the New Madrid fault to awaken and smash the central and eastern portions of the US. Only the US Military – still the most respected organization in America - will be able to handle that. And in the aftermath, The People will want blood and I would not be surprised if a junta steps up and gives it to them. And it won't be the blood of 'socialists'.

What would be the nature of this junta? It will almost certainly wear some sort of 'Christian masque', but whether they are True Believers or True Patriots will determine what the longer outcome will be. I am not particularity hopeful regarding the latter completion, though I'm not totally despairing in that either. Professional soldiers tend toward the cynical and the pragmatic.

But, as ever, more shall be revealed....”

Meanwhile, the Japanese have been busy. [the Japanese are always busy]

FYI This is the New Madrid Fault wiki


nebris: (Default)
The Divine Mr. M

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