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The world on the brink of the abyss. Looking at the real danger

The world on the brink of the abyss. Looking at the real danger

The neoliberal ideology of unrestrained markets has led to a global crisis. Humanity now faces an existential threat as the result of global dominance by corporations, whose ultimate goal is at odds with human flourishing


Back in 1947, as the world was rebuilding from the destruction of the Second World War, a few dozen free-market ideologues met in a luxury Swiss resort to form the Mont Pelerin Society—an organization devoted to spreading the ideology of neoliberalism throughout the world. Their ideas—that the free market should dominate virtually all aspects of society, that regulations should be dismantled, and that individual liberty should eclipse all other considerations of fairness, equity, or community welfare—were considered fanatical at the time. Over three decades, though, financed by wealthy donors, they assiduously established networks of academics, businessmen, economists, journalists, and politicians in global centers of power.

When the stagflation crisis of the 1970s threw classic Keynesian economics into disrepute, their moment of opportunity arrived. By 1985, with free market disciples Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher entrenched in power, they initiated a campaign to systematically transform virtually all aspects of life into an unrestrained marketplace, where everything could be bought and sold to the highest bidder, subject to no moral scruple. They crippled trade unions, tore up social safety nets, reduced tax rates for the wealthy, eliminated regulations, and instituted a massive transfer of wealth from society at large to the uber-elite.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher helped initiate the neoliberal takeover of global politics, economics, and media. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

They Don’t Just Lie To Us About Wars. They Lie To Us About Everything.

Listen to a reading of this article:

Propaganda isn’t just about manufacturing consent for wars and ridiculous governmental measures we’d never normally accept. That’s what most people think of when they hear that word, but there’s so very, very much more to it than that.

The lion’s share of propaganda goes not toward convincing us to accept new agendas of the powerful, but toward keeping us entranced in the status quo dream world which enables the powerful to have power in the first place. Toward normalizing status quo systems and training us to shape ourselves to fit into them like neat little cogs in a well-oiled machine.

And it’s not even a grand, monolithic conspiracy in most cases. The giant corporations who indoctrinate us with their advertisements, their Hollywood movies and shows, their apps, their websites and their news media are all naturally incentivized to point us further and further into delusion by the fact that they benefit from the status quo systems which have elevated them to wealth.

So day in and day out we are presented with media which train us what to value, where to place our interest and attention, what success looks like, and how a normal human behaves on this planet. And it always aligns perfectly with the interests of the rich and powerful.

They don’t just teach us what to believe. They teach us who we are. They give us the frameworks upon which we cast our ambitions and evaluate our success, and we build psychological identities out of those constructs. I am a businessman. I am unemployed. My life is about making money…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Covid: A Collision of Historical and Scientific Illiteracy

Covid: A Collision of Historical and Scientific Illiteracy

It’s been a year since I’ve written anything for this blog. The reason, frankly, is that I have been at a loss for words. What has happened to human society in the last two years has been, for anyone with an understanding of history, beyond belief.

Of course, it should not be beyond belief because we know history repeats itself. And in the last two years it has been repeating with a vengeance.

I spent 18 years working to understand, and help others understand, the crimes of September 11, 2001. Those crimes were never honestly investigated apart from the work of independent researchers. The official accounts are widely known to be false and those who have taken the time to look deeper have found that there are good reasons to believe that people within government and major corporations were involved in planning and executing the attacks.

September 11th was a deception used by rich and powerful people to steal resources, consolidate power, and control the masses. It was just one example of such a mass deception.  Others include the following.

  • The CIA’s assassination of JFK
  • The false Gulf of Tonkin incident that escalated the CIA’s war in Vietnam
  • The deceptions used to justify the 1991 Gulf War
  • The government-sponsored 2001 anthrax attacks
  • Claims of weapons of mass destruction used to justify the second invasion of Iraq
  • The many manufactured terrorist events following 9/11
  • Previously hyped pandemics, including the 2005 “Bird Flu” and 2009 “Swine Flu” that were grossly exaggerated by the World Health Organization for the benefit of big pharma companies

Along with these conveniently over-looked crimes, the last 18 months have shown that the 9/11 lie was not taken seriously. Anyone who still believes that governments and media care about our health has forgotten that deep state actors murdered thousands of citizens on 9/11…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Super Serious News Reporting: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Super Serious News Reporting: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article:

Hi I’m a very serious news reporter. The Russians are controlling our thoughts with Facebook memes and scrambling our brains with invisible ray gun attacks. In other news, capitalism is working fine and our wars defend freedom and democracy. The government never lies. Here’s Bob with the weather.

It’s hilarious that people still think the Democratic Party cares about winning elections. That’s not its job, children. That’s not why the Democratic Party exists. The Democratic Party exists to kill leftward progress in the world’s most powerful nation. That’s all it cares about doing.

The Democratic Party doesn’t care about winning elections. The Democratic Party doesn’t care about promoting popular policies. The Democratic Party doesn’t care about passing legislation. The Democratic Party only cares about doing things like this:

They were always going to blame Biden’s failures on the left.

“The political spectrum has moved too far to the left. I believe this because I was told to by a millionaire with a vested interest in stifling support for socialism. Also I think ‘left’ means having pink hair and using words like ‘polycule’ in casual conversation.”

So mad at American leftists for forcing the Democratic Party to be a right wing imperialist oligarch front who nobody wants to vote for.

US troops are four times more likely to die by their own hand than in combat. They’ve figured out how to protect US military personnel from enemy fire, but not from the psychological consequences of working for the US military.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Corporate Greed the ‘Real Culprit Behind Rising Prices,’ Researchers Say

Corporate Greed the ‘Real Culprit Behind Rising Prices,’ Researchers Say

“The more sway mega-corporations have over our economy, the more power they have to gouge customers, squeeze Main Street, and exploit workers.”

Amid mounting data showing that people are paying more for food at grocery stores around the United States, a new analysis out Wednesday reveals how corporate power is “the real culprit behind rising prices at the checkout line.”

“Addressing this crisis means recognizing these price increases for what they are: the result of deeply entrenched concentrated corporate power.”

After the U.S. Labor Department announced that the Consumer Price Index increased by 0.4% in September, researchers at the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive think tank, explained the connections between “price hikes, monopoly, and corporate greed.”

“The more sway mega-corporations have over our economy, the more power they have to gouge customers, squeeze Main Street, and exploit workers,” Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, said in a statement.

Since September 2020, food prices overall have increased by 4.6%, with the price of meats, poultry, fish, and eggs surging the most over the past 12 months, at 10.5%.

The higher inflation rate in those industries, researchers noted, can be attributed to decades of consolidation, which has given a handful of corporations an ever-greater degree of market control and with it, the power to set prices.

According to the Groundwork Collaborative:

Just four meat processing conglomerates control more than 80% of the beef industry and more than 60% of the pork industry. This enables them to dictate prices that both flatten returns for farmers and ranchers and inflate prices for consumers at the meat counter. As a result, consumers have seen a 12% increase in the cost of beef and a nearly 10% increase in the cost of pork over the last year…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Democrat and Republican parties work together against “We, the People”: Ralph Nader explains

How Democrat and Republican parties work together against “We, the People”: Ralph Nader explains

Politicians from both parties exploit voters on behalf of their big corporate bosses. —

polarized – divided or cause to be divided into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs.

*****

Ralph Nader the Warrior

“‘Polarization’ is the word most associated with the positions of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The mass media and the commentators never tire of this focus, in part because such clashes create the flashes conducive to daily coverage. The quiet harmony between the two parties created by the omnipresent power of Big Business and other powerful single-issue lobbyists is often the status quo. That’s why there are so few changes in this country’s politics. In many cases, the similarities of both major parties are tied to the fundamental concentration of power by the few over the many. In short, the two parties regularly agree on anti-democratic abuses of power…. Right now, both Parties are readying to give over $50 billion of your tax money to the very profitable under-taxed computer chip industry companies like Intel and Nvidia, so they can make more profit-building plants in the U.S. These companies are loaded with cash. They should invest their own money and stop the stock buyback craze. Isn’t that what capitalism is all about?” —Ralph Nader

Below is my repost of Ralph Nader’s article, “How the “Polarized” Political Parties Work Together Against the Public Interest.” – Ralph documents 16 crucial areas of Republican and Democrat accord, not discord.

Both Parties,” declares Nader, “vote as if the American middle-class taxpayer is a sleeping sucker…. Sleep on America, you have nothing to lose but your dreams.”

To read Ralph’s penetrating attack, click on the following linked title on his website.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Corporations Are The Government: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

The Corporations Are The Government: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Listen to a reading of this article:

You’d think the revelation that the CIA planned to assassinate an award-winning journalist for journalistic activity would have been a bigger deal.

Capitalism hinders progress because it ensures that all mass-scale human behavior will be driven by the pursuit of profit. For example, a huge global issue we have right now is cleaning up the pollution in our oceans. That is an easily solved issue if you take out the profit motive; you don’t wait for market forces to find some way to make it profitable, you just get in there and clean it up. But with the profit motive it’s almost impossible to conceive of it ever being solved.

How often have you been excited by a great idea only to feel that familiar disappointment wash over you as you realize that it will never happen because it won’t make anyone any money? That’s how the profit motive stunts innovation.

The profit motive will never find a way to leave a forest alone or minerals in the ground. There’s no business plan that makes money out of moms being paid to bring up healthy, happy, secure children. You can’t find a way to make money out of people driving less or buying less. There is no money in curing an illness, only treating it. There is no money in solving poverty, only in setting up a multi-million dollar “charity” that never actually intends to solve poverty because it’s a business and a business requires endless expansion.

People who proffer the market as a solution to our massive problems have either never really thought about the restrictions of the profit motive, or they are heavily invested in pretending those restrictions don’t exist. I don’t respect either of those positions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Conspiracy theories aside, there is something fishy about the Great Reset

Conspiracy theories aside, there is something fishy about the Great Reset

It’s a corporate takeover of global governance that affects our food, our data and our vaccines

Last year’s WEF summit had the theme ’the Great Reset’
EThamPhoto / Alamy Stock Photo

‘The Great Reset’ conspiracy theories don’t seem to want to die. The theories were triggered by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) summit last year, which had the theme ‘The Great Reset’ and argued that the COVID crisis was an opportunity to address the burning issues facing the world. According to the BBC, the term ‘Great Reset’ has received more than eight million interactions on Facebook and has been shared almost two million times on Twitter since the WEF initiative was launched.

The set of conspiracy theories around the Great Reset are nebulous and hard to pin down, but piecing them together gives us something like this: the Great Reset is the global elite’s plan to instate a communist world order by abolishing private property while using COVID-19 to solve overpopulation and enslaving what remains of humanity with vaccines.

Intrigued by the palaver around last year’s summit, I decided to find out what the WEF’s Great Reset plan was really about. At the heart of conspiracy theories are supposed secret agendas and malicious intent. While these may be absent from the WEF’s Great Reset initiative, what I found was something almost as sinister hiding in plain sight. In fact, more sinister because it’s real and it’s happening now. And it involves things as fundamental as our food, our data and our vaccines.

The real Great Reset

The magic words are ‘stakeholder capitalism’, a concept that WEF chairman Klaus Schwab has been hammering for decades and which occupies pride of place in the WEF’s Great Reset plan from June 2020…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why the Global Economy Is Unraveling

Why the Global Economy Is Unraveling

Global supply chain logjams and global credit/financial crises aren’t bugs, they’re intrinsic features of Neoliberalism’s fully financialized global economy.

To understand why the global economy is unraveling, we have to look past the headlines to the primary dynamic of globalization: Neoliberalism, the ideological orthodoxy which holds that introducing market dynamics to sectors that were closed to global markets generates prosperity for all.

This is known as Neoliberalism, as liberalizing markets means opening up sectors that had previously been restricted. Neoliberalism holds that global market forces introduce efficiencies and opportunities that then pave the way for growth. Global market forces include not just new buyers and sellers of goods and services but the introduction of vast new markets for credit and risk that far exceed what was available in local marketplaces.

So far so good: opening markets creates efficiencies and prosperity, blah blah blah. But the real dynamic behind this happy-story shuck-and-jive is unprecedented prosperity for those with access to low-cost credit generated out of thin air by central banks.

In other words, introducing market forces leads to the dominance of those who control those forces –banks and corporations. Once a local economy is exposed to global capital, those with the most expansive access to the lowest-cost credit can outbid local buyers, snapping up the most productive assets and dominating the local economy to their own benefit.

Since the core mechanism of Neoliberalism is access to low-cost credit, Neoliberalism concentrates financial power and risk in a handful of financial nodes which every market participant unknowingly becomes dependent on. When a developing-nation village was largely self-sustaining and not exposed to global markets, it was largely unaffected by global financial crises.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Tyranny, Inc.

Tyranny, Inc.

What government wants to do but cannot, it can require corporations to do for it

If you’ve read the Parable of the Seasteader, you’ll already know that at sufficient scale the public/private distinction collapses — a private entity of sufficient size can have all the power of a public entity. It is certainly arguable that Facebook and Google have reached such size. Here, however, I want to discuss a different dilemma – government’s use of private entities to regulate freedoms it cannot directly abridge.

We’re going to look at one specific right (the right to free speech) and one specific set of Federal regulations (§ 1604.11) but the pattern I’m describing here has become ubiquitous in our country. Nowadays, almost anything government is forbidden to regulate, it can require corporations to regulate for it. The government has outsourced tyranny. Let’s see how this black magic is performed.

Expression of Viewpoints is Guaranteed to be Free from Government Abridgement, Even if the Viewpoints are Hateful…

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a remarkable provision that has, for centuries, protected Americans from the abridgment of their freedom of speech by their government. Even so-called “hate speech” is protected.

The relevant provision states that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” As written, the guarantee of free speech originally applied only to the federal government. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Gitlow v. New York that the guarantee had been “incorporated” in the Fourteenth Amendment and the guarantee is now applied to all state and local governments as well.

Now, in practice, there are laws regulating speech (you cannot shout “fire” in a crowded theater, and so on), but such regulations are generally “time, place, and manner” restrictions. Our Courts have universally frowned on what is called viewpoint discrimination:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

India’s One-Day General Strike Largest in History

India’s One-Day General Strike Largest in History

If those who struck on Nov. 26 formed a country, it would be the fifth largest in the world after China, India, the United States and Indonesia, writes Vijay Prashad.

India’s general strike on Nov. 26, 2020. (IndustriALL Global Union, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Farmers and agricultural workers from northern India marched along various national highways toward India’s capital of New Delhi as part of the general strike on Nov. 26.

They carried placards with slogans against the anti-farmer, pro-corporate laws that were passed by India’s Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) in September, and then pushed through the Rajya Sabha (upper house) with only a voice vote.

The striking agricultural workers and farmers carried flags that indicated their affiliation with a range of organizations, from the communist movement to a broad front of farmers’ organizations. They marched against the privatization of agriculture, which they argue undermines India’s food sovereignty and erodes their ability to remain agriculturalists.

Roughly two-thirds of India’s workforce derives its income from agriculture, which contributes to roughly 18 percent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP). The three anti-farmer bills passed in September undermine the minimum support price buying schemes of the government, put 85 percent of the farmers who own less than 2 hectares of land at the mercy of bargaining with monopoly wholesalers, and will lead to the destruction of a system that has till now maintained agricultural production despite erratic prices for food produce.

One hundred and fifty farmer organizations came together for their march on New Delhi. They pledge to stay in the city indefinitely.

India’s general strike on Nov. 26, 2020. (IndustriALL Global Union, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Global Elite Have Far More Control Over Us Than Most People Would Dare To Imagine

The Global Elite Have Far More Control Over Us Than Most People Would Dare To Imagine

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you probably agree that the global elite have too much power and influence.  It has been said that “money is power”, and today that seems to be more true than ever.  Those at the very, very top of the pyramid dictate the rules of the game for the rest of us, and there isn’t too much that the rest of us can do about it.  When we talk about how the global elite dominate our lives, the focus tends to be on how they influence national governments, but the truth is that is one of the areas where the global elite have the least control.  I know that may sound strange, but I believe that things will become clearer by the end of this article.

I would submit that corporations are the primary vehicle that the elite use to control our lives.  In fact, many global corporations are now larger and more powerful than most national governments, and collectively the network of global corporations that dominates the planet is far larger and far more powerful than any single national government.

A number of years ago, a remarkable study was conducted that closely examined the interconnecting relationships of major corporations all over the world.  That study discovered that a network of 1,318 enormous companies dominated the global economy, and it also found that 147 colossal corporations at the core of that web formed a “super-entity” that controlled 40 percent of the entire network…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Climate Crisis Means the Ruling Class has Failed. Can the Working Class Inherit the Earth?

Climate Crisis Means the Ruling Class has Failed. Can the Working Class Inherit the Earth?

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

The climate crisis is proof positive that the ruling class is an utter failure — but it will not fall on its own. Can the working class rise to the challenge? It sure will help if we understand that our class interests are not merely the economic needs of working people — no matter how important that is — but the universal interests of a healthy planet for all the people. Let’s start acting like it.

The corporate solutions to the climate crisis must dodge the causes of the crisis. The ruling class uses deception and secrecy to limit public debate. When the facts become obvious and overwhelming corporate politicians simply refuse to debate it. Gag rules are back in fashion. When the people demand a Green New Deal the same politicians water it down and disarm it.

Power For Profit is Still the Prime Directive

Meanwhile, the Corporate State pursues the only agenda it has ever known: power and profit. If we accept corporate empire as normal, natural or eternal there is nothing left but better management, technical fixes, adaptation, and illusions of endless growth.

Since corporate capitalism is a “grow or die” system, it cannot consider limits even at a time when planetary limits are on display for all to see and verified by our best science. For example, there is no place in corporate plans for the conservation of energy despite the fact that energy not used is the truest form of clean energy. Instead of keeping in the ground, it’s always more and more.

Former Trump Secretary of State and former Exxon-Mobile CEO, Rex Tillerson repeats the managerial view.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Corporate Share Buybacks Increasing at Alarming Rate… Again

corporate buybacks


Photo by Mike Kalasnik | CC BY | Photoshopped from original

Corporate Share Buybacks Increasing at Alarming Rate…Again

Corporations have been using buybacks to “rob Peter to pay Paul” since the Reagan administration created laws that allow it.

According to a Goldman Sachs chart, 2018 was a record year for buybacks, which neared $800 billion for S&P 500 companies alone:

Even though these companies bought back shares, which should have spurred investment in more companies, that didn’t keep the S&P from dropping 6 percent by the end of 2018. But corporations are still getting a benefit…

“Buyback Monsters” Perform Market Illusion

This “sleight of hand” illusion allowed Apple to increase their market cap by $118 billion in 2018 on news that it would complete share buybacks in the amount of $210 billion.

They used tax incentives along with other forms of capital to complete the buyback. This move only helped Apple’s economy and their shareholders.

But they’re not the only company that has pulled off this amazing magical feat. Home Depot and “nearly 80 others”are also dipping into the “buyback gravy train.”

Home Depot is in a class of corporations I call “buyback monsters,” companies that have reduced their share count outstanding by at least 25 percent since 2010. It is by no means alone. Nearly 80 companies in the S&P 500 have reduced their share count by at least 25 percent since 2010, and more than 100 (20 percent) have reduced their share count by 20 percent or more, including some of the best-known companies in America.

Using Home Depot’s 35% share buyback as an example, a CNBC article highlighted another implication of being a member of the “buyback monster” club:

All other metrics being equal, Home Depot’s 35 percent share count reduction means that earnings appear 35 percent better, without any change in “fundamentals” like revenues, costs or taxes.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data

The Age of Tyrannical Surveillance: We’re Being Branded, Bought and Sold for Our Data

“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about… Your digital identity will live forever… because there’s no delete button.”—Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Uncle Sam wants you.

Correction: Big Brother wants you.

To be technically accurate, Big Brother—aided and abetted by his corporate partners in crime—wants your data.

That’s what we have been reduced to in the eyes of the government and Corporate America: data bits and economic units to be bought, bartered and sold to the highest bidder.

Those highest bidders include America’s political class and the politicians aspiring to get elected or re-elected. As the Los Angeles Times reports, “If you have been to a political rally, a town hall, or just fit a demographic a campaign is after, chances are good your movements are being tracked with unnerving accuracy by data vendors on the payroll of campaigns.”

Your phones, televisions and digital devices are selling you out to politicians who want your vote.

Have you shopped at Whole Foods? Tested out target practice at a gun range? Sipped coffee at Starbucks while surfing the web? Visited an abortion clinic? Watched FOX News or MSNBC? Played Candy Crush on your phone? Walked through a mall? Walked past a government building?

That’s all it takes for your data to be hoovered up, sold and used to target you.

This is the age of surveillance capitalism.

Incredibly, once you’ve been identified and tracked, data brokers can travel back in time, digitally speaking, to discover where you’ve been, who you’ve been with, what you’ve been doing, and what you’ve been reading, viewing, buying, etc.

Once you’ve been identified in this way, you can be tracked endlessly.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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