Revenge is sweet

fire

I have been offline for a week because a fire burned up half of my house. I don’t know what caused the fire (I don’t smoke), but water from the firemen’s hose damaged my computer. Only now have I been able to get the computer running again. Fortunately no one was hurt, although I no longer have a bedroom. Or a kitchen. On the bright side, my cockroach problem has finally been solved. If I seem calm, it is because I have already been through the anguish phase.

I promised one reader (“Beaner who looks like a cracker”) that I would discuss Venezuela, and so I shall.

But for this moment, I want to quickly describe a form of revenge that I am enjoying. To explain this revenge, I must first give some background…

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The euro scam plunges some nations into ever-worsening debt and austerity even when they enjoy a trade surplus. More debt means more austerity, which causes more debt, which causes more austerity, and so on…forever. The purpose of this self-perpetuating nightmare is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest.

The nightmare continues because most people are cattle. (I’ll come back to this.)

Spain, for example, has an average monthly trade surplus of 1.61 billion euros. This means that each month, 1.61 billion more euros flow into Spain than flow out of Spain.

This sounds great, except that Spain is now in debt to the bankers for a record 1.1 trillion euros! As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), Spain’s debt is 100.9 percent, which is equivalent to the total value of the goods and services that Spain produces in an entire year.

Back in 2007, Spain’s national debt was only 35.5 percent of GDP (€384 billion).

Just to pay the interest on the Spanish government’s ballooning debt, the caretaker Popular Party government has set aside €33.5 billion in this year’s budget. This is nearly twice as much as what the government will give out for social subsidies and unemployment payments.

That €33.5 billion in interest will go to the bankers, who create their loan money out of thin air.

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So let’s see…

Beginning in 2012, Spain climbed out of a trade deficit, and now has a trade surplus, such that 1.61 billion more euros come in each month than go out (on average).

However, Spain must pay an average of almost three billions euros a month to the bankers in the form of interest payments.

Therefore no matter how hard the Spaniards work, they go 1.39 billion euros further into debt to the bankers each month.

spain 02By the end of 2016, Spain will have a trade surplus of 19.32 billion euros, but will also have paid 33.5 billion euros in interest payments alone. This means that by the end of 2016, Spain will be another 14.2 billion euros in debt to the bankers. (The bankers are in Spain and elsewhere. They lend to the Spanish government.)

Whenever the ECB in Frankfurt “bails out” Spain, it is the bankers who get paid off.  Spain’s remains loaded with the full debt, only now (after the “bail out”) Spain owes the ECB instead of the bankers. Thus, the bankers can’t lose.

Spanish politicians support all this because they are on the ECB’s payroll. Same with Greek politicians. They live in luxury while average people starve. Can I prove they are on the ECB payroll? No, but there is no other possible explanation.

spain 04Of course, this is what average Spaniards want, as evidenced by their devotion to the euro. In Europe, because of average people’s stupidity, Belgium’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 105 percent, Cyprus’ ratio is 108%, Portugal’s 128 percent, Italy’s 130 percent, and Greece’s ratio is 176 percent. This is insane.

Meanwhile the USA’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 125%, and Japan’s ratio is 229.2 percent. However these latter two figures mean nothing, since the U.S. and Japanese governments create their spending money out of thin air. Their “national debts” are simply money that has been deposited into central bank savings accounts. That money is not used to run the U.S. or Japanese governments.

Not so with euro-zone governments, most of which must borrow their spending money from bankers. Their debt is real.

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The “Podemos” movement in Spain is a coalition of so-called “leftist” and “progressive” politicians who claim to oppose austerity, but who actually favor austerity, since they champion the euro.

I knew from Day One that “Podemos” in Spain were liars, just as I knew from Day One that SYRIZA in Greece were liars. How did I know? Because both coalitions champion the euro. Therefore both coalitions favor more austerity. Always more. They made “anti-austerity” sounds to get elected, that’s all.

SYRIZA betrayed the Greek masses, doing the exact opposite of what SYRIZA had promised it would do. In Spain the “Podemos” movement did the same, and says that the Spanish government’s top priority must be to keep making interest payments to the bankers.

“Podemos” politicians do this because (once again) they are on the ECB payroll.

Spain has been unable to form a new government since the general election in December 2015. Another general election in June 2016 was also undecisive. Therefore Spain must have a third election before the end of 2016.

spain 01

Not that any of this matters, since all the major parties in Spain are committed to paying the bankers first (Popular Party, Socialist Party, Citizens Party, and the pseudo-left Podemos Party).

In addition, all are committed to ramming through another €10 billion in austerity measures before October 15.

Podemos, in its program for the elections of 26 June 2016, explicitly committed the party to more austerity, and to paying the bankers first.

Their betrayal caused a million Spaniards who voted for the Podemos / United Left alliance in December 2015 to not vote for them again in the 26 June 2016 election.

So where is my revenge in all this?

The masses bring all this on themselves because of their herd behavior. They enjoy attacking you with rage if you question the official lies about World War II, including the “holocaust”™ lie. They enjoy attacking you if you oppose mandatory vaccination, or if you prove that the Zika virus does not cause microcephaly, or any other birth defect.

These are herd behaviors, which to me are frustrating.

However the same herd behavior causes them to cling to the euro, which causes them to suffer more and more each day.

Now that is sweet.

Are you a rational person?

Let’s find out.

First, the set-up…

Perhaps you know that pharmaceutical companies are so greedy and fraudulent that they must pay an average of 125 million dollars each month to settle lawsuits against them. However their profits are so extreme that $125 million a month is a trivial cost of doing business.

If I explained all the reasons why Big Pharma must pay 125 million dollars per month, you would see that drug companies and bio-med companies indulge in every kind of lie, fraud, bribery, corruption, and extortion you can imagine.  Usually they get away with it, but even so, during the last fourteen years they have had to pay over 18 billion dollars in legal settlements.

In addition, drug companies profit from endless war, since war casualties need drugs as part of their treatment. Soldiers need opiate derivatives, which come from fields in Afghanistan that are guarded by U.S. troops.

(U.S. government spokesmen say they maintain the production of Afghan heroin in order to give the natives a livelihood, so they don’t join the Taliban. The U.S. government ships countless tons of Afghan heroin to the USA, where it creates jobs for countless prison guards and law enforcement personnel.)

Afghanistan

Drug companies are a criminal racket. They are major pushers for the TPP and TTIP. Their power and corruption is beyond most people’s grasp. And the unholy trinity of Big Pharma, the medical establishment, and the insurance industry makes the United States the most costly, broken, corrupt, destructive healthcare system in the world.

You already knew this.

Drug companies and many bio-med companies tell any lie to boost their profits. They co-own the politicians at all levels. Drug companies write legislation, and they pay politicians to pass it.

You already knew this too.

Now let’s see if you are a rational person…

Despite the lies and the evil of Big Pharma, most people defend the evil, and become extremely angry when anyone exposes the evil. Most people self-righteously attack anyone who would prevent you from being harmed.

They defend the evil of Big Pharma by defending Big Pharma’s vaccination scams.

Neil deGrasse TysonAre you one of those people? An example is “science” guru Neil deGrasse Tyson (seen at right) who is so popular with audiences that he often gets a standing ovation when he walks onto a stage, or walks onto a TV talk show. Tyson says that anyone who questions Big Pharma’s lies about vaccines is “unscientific,” and that anyone who questions the lies about genetically modified food products is “irrational.” Tyson is a corporate whore sell-out who sits on a board sponsored by the Pentagon whose mission is to design more lethal and destructive weapons. (Anything for cash.)

VACCINATION 01I could write a tightly reasoned blog post about this, with citations and examples, but you can discover the truth yourself by Googling the words “vaccination scam.”

Of course, you shouldn’t have to, since you already know that drug companies lie, and are infinitely greedy and corrupt.

Pick any supposed epidemic of contagious diseases, and add the word scam to it. Then Google it. Zika scam. Ebola scam. HIV scam. Bird flu scam. Polio scam. Vaccination scam. You will see that although these diseases are real, the “crises” connected with them are lies fabricated by Big Pharma and Big Biomed to boost their profits, and to increase the amount of federal dollars they receive.

Corporate media outlets repeat these same lies, for the same reason (profits) since the outlets depend on advertising revenue from Big Pharma. Besides, people who own stock in Big Pharma also own stock in the big media companies, plus the banks, the weapons makers, and so on.

Vaccines don’t work. They are useless at best, and very harmful at worst. No disease has ever been conquered by vaccination. None. Not ever. Instead, the cure has always been three simple things: proper hygiene, proper nutrition, and proper sanitation.

VACCINATION 03Note that I said vaccines, not anti-biotics, which are different things. There are cures for bacterial infections, but there are no cures for any viral infections, except your body’s immune system.

In theory, vaccinations enhance the body’s immune system, but in practice they don’t. Often vaccines damage the body’s immune system, sometimes permanently.

Again, I could wrote a blog post about all this, but why bother? If you are rational, you can Google the truth for yourself. If you are not rational, then no amount of proof will ever change your mind. It’s the same with the “holocaust”™ lies, or the lies about monetarily sovereign government finances.

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There is endless information available about these topics, and I don’t mean fuzzy self-contradictory stuff like we see among people who claim that climate change is a hoax. I mean formal analyses.

Big Pharma does not care about you. Big Pharma cares about profits. This is why politicians (bribed by Big Pharma) are increasingly making vaccination mandatory for everyone, and why politicians are constantly adding to the mandatory list of shots that people must get. It’s all about profits for Big Pharma, and bribes campaign donations for politicians.

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None of this should surprise you. Doctors, politicians, and “experts” are routinely paid by corporations to lie. There was a time when big tobacco companies paid doctors and “experts” to claim that tobacco products were good for your health. For decades, anyone who questioned this lie was dismissed as “irrational” and “unscientific.”

Again, it was all about corporate profits. (Public health be damned.)

cigarettes

CRISCOConsider partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans-fats). This was the first man-made fat to become part of our food supply more than a century ago when a German scientist presented Procter & Gamble with ways to add hydrogen to cottonseed oil. The product was originally intended for soap, but since it looked like lard, Procter & Gamble started selling it in 1911 as Crisco (the name derived from “crystallized cottonseed oil”).

Synthetic compounds like this are easier and cheaper to produce than are all-natural oils, and they have a longer shelf life. This makes them more profitable for manufacturers. As a result, big companies like Procter & Gamble paid doctors, politicians, and “experts” to lie, claiming that trans-fats were healthier than natural fats.

In reality, trans-fats are deadly, even in trace amounts. (They fill your bloodstream with bad cholesterol.)

TYSONThe lies were deadly but profitable, and people believed them for decades, since the (bribed) “experts” were authority figures. Anyone who questioned the lies was angrily dismissed by his peers as “irrational” and “unscientific.”

Food manufacturers added partially hydrogenated oil to cookies, crackers, bread, frozen foods and more. Food companies and restaurants used it for frying. As average people smugly and self-righteously defended the lies they had been told, millions of them died of heart disease.

oleomargarine2And speaking of trans-fats, during the 1930s depression and World War II, butter was in limited supply, and oleomargarine was widely used in its place. Oleomargarine was originally made with beef fat, but by 1950 it was made with partly hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are deadly. As always, the big food manufacturers paid doctors and “experts” to claim that margarine was better for you than was real butter. Anyone who questioned this lie was dismissed as “irrational” and “unscientific.”

Even though a food label may read zero grams trans-fat, if the ingredient list includes partially hydrogenated oil of any kind, the product has trans-fat. Below are some examples. The FDA allows any product with up to half a gram of trans-fat per serving to claim that it has “zero trans-fat.” Avoid any food product whose ingredients include the words “partially hydrogenated.” In fact, try to avoid all processed foods as much as you can. You will be healthier, and you will automatically lose weight without having to exercise.

food products

In the long history of corporations boosting their profits by paying doctors, and “experts” and politicians to lie, nothing has succeeded like the vaccination scam. Average people become enraged if you question it.  They say that unless you are shot full of Big Pharma’s venoms, everyone is doomed. They say that if you avoid Big Pharma’s  vax-poisons, you are directly threatening their lives.

go again

Of course, rich people don’t have to get the shots. When state legislatures make vaccinations mandatory, they excuse the elite private schools, because that’s where rich people send their children. If rich people’s kids were forced to get shots like average kids must, then rich people would shut down the entire scam.

walking dead

Vaccines are “disaster capitalism” at its finest. Big Pharma and Big Media declare that there is a “crises,” and then they get rich selling the fake “cure” for the “crises” (i.e. selling useless and often harmful vaccines) along with the (fabricated) “news” about the “crisis.”

omegaCurrently we have the Zika virus hoax.  The Zika virus is real (it’s been known for decades) but the Zika epidemic is not. Nor has any link been proven between Zika and infant microcephaly. Nor is the Zika virus particularly dangerous or widespread. Most people who get it never have any symptoms.  If you doubt me, then Google the words “Zika hoax,” or “Zika scam.” You will get clear, irrefutable explanations. (By contrast, if you Google the words “climate change hoax,” you will get garbage.)

So what do you think? Are you a rational person?

That sudden moment

This happens routinely. You’ll be skimming an article, only paying half attention, when  suddenly you see something that makes you think, “Bullshit!”

Just now I glanced at an article in the Washington Post about the Obama’s proxy war against Syria, which has killed 400,000 people, and has reduced countless other people to refugees.

Every time the Empire causes new tragedies, the Empire uses those tragedies to justify its creation of still more tragedies.

For instance, when the Empire murders children, the Empire uses a photo of the child victims to say, “The Syrian government did it! That’s why we must continue the war!”

An example is the famous photo of the boy-in-the-ambulance.

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The rescue of 5-year old Omran Daqneesh, pulled from the rubble of his bombed-out Aleppo, Syria, was broadcast around the world, dominating front pages and drawing tears from television anchors.

Thank you Obama. (And Israel, and Turkey, and Europe, and the Gulf oil sheikhdoms, and everyone else who sustains the proxy war against Syria.)

“This is Omran,” CNN’s Kate Bolduan said Thursday, her voice breaking as she introduced the footage. “He’s alive. We wanted you to know.”

How sweet. It would be even sweeter if Obama ended the proxy war that creates such scenes.

The corporate media outlets say that an explosion destroyed the boy’s house and buried him in rubble. We don’t know who caused the explosion. Therefore let’s blame it on Putin.

russia did it 03

On Saturday, activists said, Omran’s 10-year-old brother, Ali, died from wounds sustained in the same airstrike, launched by forces allied to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

There’s the “bullshit” moment. By “activists” the Washington Post means Rami Abdulrahman, a lone blogger who lives in a tiny house in Coventry England, and calls himself the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.” Mr. Abdulrahman has spewed propaganda against the Syrian government for the last five years. The Washington Post calls this individual a “Britain-based monitoring group.”

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It was not immediately clear whether Ali’s death had been counted in the 168 civilians that the observatory claimed had been killed by Russian or regime airstrikes.

“Empathy and outrage must be matched by action,” said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake in a statement late Friday. “Children of Omran’s age in Syria have known nothing but the horror of this war waged by adults. We all should demand that those same adults bring an end to the nightmare.”

Agreed. Let’s end the proxy war.

Of course, by  “end the nightmare” the Washington Post means that NATO must bomb Syria to rubble like NATO did Libya.  Hillary has vowed to launch such a bombing campaign as soon as Wall Street installs her in the White House.

bomb them2

While the Assad regime is now propped up by the funding and military might of Iran and Russia, rebel opposition groups of varying ideologies are supported by the United States, Turkey and Persian Gulf states.

Explain to me again why the U.S. government is arming, funding, and training “rebel opposition groups” mercenary terrorists.

By the way, the photo of the boy in the ambulance was taken by Mahmoud Raslan, who had earlier posted photos of himself with the U.S.-backed “Zenki” terrorist group. On 19 July 2016, the “Zenkis” abducted a wounded 12-year-old Palestinian boy from northern Aleppo and hacked off his head. The boy’s name was Abdullah Tayseer Issa. Mr. Raslan helped to film the beheading, and was wearing the same shirt on both occasions. The Empire is now praising Raslan for his “boy-in-the-ambulance” photo.

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CHANGE OF TOPIC

John Pilger notes that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Hague has cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of alleged war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.

In 1999, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine (“price was worth it”) Albright gave Milosevic an ultimatum. If Milosevic did not submit to the imposition of a neo-liberal “free market,” and to having his country (Serbia) occupied by foreign soldiers whose crimes would be “outside the legal process,” then NATO would start bombing.

When Milosevic refused, the western media vilified him as the “butcher of the Balkans” who ordered a “genocide,” especially in the secessionist Yugoslav province of Kosovo. David Scheffer, the US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed that Milocevic’s forces murdered many “225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59.”

It was all lies, as the Hague now admits.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair used the lies to justify the bombing, which killed hundreds of civilians in hospitals, schools, churches, parks and television studios.

Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006, alone in his cell in the Hague, during a bogus trial by an American-invented “international tribunal.” Denied heart surgery that might have saved his life, his condition worsened, but it was kept secret by US officials, as WikiLeaks has since revealed.

Now with Milosevic, Gaddafi, and Chavez dead, the new Demon Number One is Putin.

When the Panama Papers leak was published, the front page of many newspapers showed a picture of Putin, even though Putin was not mentioned anywhere in the leaks.

The Western media outlets claim (with no proof) that on 17 July 2014 Putin ordered the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine (298 people murdered) .

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It was Putin’s “aggression” that supposedly caused Washington’s overthrow of the elected government in Kiev in 2014.

It was Putin’s “aggression” that supposedly caused the subsequent terror campaign by militias against the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine.

It was Putin’s “aggression” that prevented Crimea from becoming a NATO missile base, and protected the mostly Russian population who had voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

Meanwhile Obama continues his endless wars.

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I wonder if there is life after death, and if so, will it entail any justice?

Anyway the video of Obama’s “moderates” beheading that Palestinian boy is here…

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/aleppo-rebels-behead-a-child/

Or if you prefer an non-blurred version, you can go here. If there is a heaven, I hope that boy is there now.

https://www.zerocensorship.com/uncensored/syrian/boys-beheading-execution-by-rebels-video-295973

Tedious optimism

what_planetOptimism is tedious when it is based on delusions.

An example is economist Joseph Stiglitz (seen at right) who claims that “neoliberalism is dead.”

From the Business Insider blog…

Since the late 1980s, neoliberalism has dominated the thinking of the world’s biggest economies and international organizations like the IMF and the World Bank.

Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and former adviser to US President Bill Clinton, says the consensus surrounding neoliberal economic thought has come to an end.

Nonsense. The neoliberal plague shows no sign of remission. It will soon include the ratification of the TPP, TTIP, and TiSA.

What is neoliberalism anyway? Let’s review the basics…

[1] Free trade is when governments make laws to protect monopolies, while blocking smaller competitors. Trade is “free” when the giants control it. Trade is “liberated” when nothing can stop big corporations (or well-connected corporations) from crushing whatever is in their path.

[2] Open market: is a market that is closed to all but the big or well-connected corporations. The result is monopolies, which charge ever-higher prices for ever-lower-quality goods and services.

[3] Privatization: is the campaign to have a handful of people own everything, with everyone else as their slaves and their property. This is called “efficiency.”

[4] Deregulation: is when there are no limits placed on the greed and destructiveness of big corporations. The more the giants are deregulated, the more regulation is imposed on average people by a police / surveillance state, plus mass incarceration, along with a parasitical “justice” system.

[5] Reductions in federal government spending: also known as gratuitous austerity, is designed to reduce the masses to being helplessly dependent on rich people and big corporations for their income and livelihoods.

Do you see any of these evils abating? No?

This is what I call tedious optimism. Or perhaps the correct word is bullshit.

Lagarde

Speaking with Business Insider after the launch of his latest book, The Euro: How A Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe, Stiglitz argued that neoliberalism is on its last legs.

Last legs? Any examples? I’ll wait.

timeline

The policies of Ronald Reagan and Clinton in the US, and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, are often held up as the gold standard of neoliberalism at work, while in recent years in Britain George Osborne and David Cameron’s economic policies continued the neoliberal tradition.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, however, there has been a groundswell of opinion in both economic and political circles to suggest that the neoliberal consensus may not be the right way forward for the world. In the past few years, with growth low and inequality rampant, that groundswell has gained traction.

Nonsense. Professors, politicians, and media pundits are paid to promote neoliberalism. This has not changed.

And what’s with this wimpy assertion that “the neoliberal consensus may not be the right way forward for the world”? For the rich, neoliberalism is definitely the right way forward.

Stiglitz, who won a Nobel Memorial Prize in economics in 2001, has been one of neoliberalism’s biggest critics in recent years. He says the “neoliberal euphoria” that has gripped the world since the 1980s is now gone.

Nonsense. The corporate media outlets still praise austerity, privatization, and “free trade.”

Business Insider asked Stiglitz whether he thought the economic consensus surrounding neoliberalism was coming to an end. “In academia, I think it has pretty well become rejected,” he responded.

More nonsense. The more prestigious the university, the more its professors’ jobs depend on them lying. For example, you don’t become a Harvard professor of economics by telling the truth.

“Young students are not interested in establishing that neoliberalism works,” Stiglitz says. “They’re trying to understand where markets fail and what to do about it, with an understanding that the failures are pervasive. That’s true of both micro and macroeconomics. I wouldn’t say it’s everywhere, but I’d say that it’s dominant.”

Still more nonsense. It economics classes, grades depend on students mimicking their professors’ lies.

final grade 2

“Even many of the people on the right would say markets don’t work very well, but their problem is governments are unable to correct it.”

Huh? What are governments unable to correct?

Stiglitz says that one of the central tenets of the neoliberal ideology — the idea that markets function best when left alone and that an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth — has now been pretty much disproved.

The truth is that there can be no game without rules. There can be no market, or society, or universe without regulation. Laws are what keep systems from collapsing, flying apart, or melting down.

Anyway if deregulation is so great, then why don’t we eliminate all police forces? Why don’t we remove all laws regarding airline safety or food safety? Why not remove all regulations everywhere?

What neoliberals mean by “deregulation” is zero regulation for themselves, and total regulation for their “inferiors.”

“We’ve gone from a neoliberal euphoria that ‘markets work well almost all the time’ and all we need to do is keep governments on course, to ‘markets don’t work’ and the debate is now about how we get governments to function in ways that can alleviate this,” he said.

In other words, Stiglitz says: “Neoliberalism is dead in both developing and developed countries.”

Really? You could have fooled me.

Stiglitz is not alone in his belief that neoliberalism has problems, though his argument that the consensus is “dead” is somewhat more forthright than those of many others. In a blog post in May, three economists from the IMF — long one of the greatest champions of the neoliberal consensus — questioned the efficacy of some aspects of it, particularly when it comes to the creation of inequality.

Efficacy? The purpose of neoliberalism is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest. In this it has great efficacy.

“The increase in inequality engendered by financial openness and austerity might itself undercut growth, the very thing that the neoliberal agenda is intent on boosting,” Jonathan Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri argued. “There is now strong evidence that inequality can significantly lower both the level and the durability of growth.”

This is like those childish claims that neoliberalism has “failed,” or is “misguided.” Neoliberalism has succeeded in its purpose, which is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest.

And yes, inequality cripples growth in the real economy. However it enhances the wealth and power of the 1%.

“There are a lot of people thinking the same thing at this point, that basically some aspects of the neoliberal agenda probably need a rethink,” Ostry told the Financial Times on the day the blog was published, adding: “The crisis said: ‘The way we’ve been thinking can’t be right.'”

“Some aspects probably need a rethink”? This is timid drivel. Everyone knows that the entire neoliberal project is based on lies and theft.

The (fictitious ~ E.H.) decline of neoliberalism is also evident in the UK, where austerity has reigned since the accession of the Conservative Party to government in 2010. Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne presided over a period of record fiscal-deficit reduction created through a six-year program of austerity.

But since Cameron resigned following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, fiscal stimulus in the UK has started to gain traction once again as a viable means of stimulating growth. (Examples?) It is widely expected (by who?) that Philip Hammond, the new chancellor under newly installed Prime Minister Theresa May, will announce some form of fiscal easing at the Autumn Statement — which will come at some point before the end of the year (last year’s was in late November). As Business Insider’s Oscar Williams-Grut argued in mid-July, “Britain’s age of austerity could be over.”

Dream on, fools. Ours is a world of increasing poverty, inequality, violence and despair. The desperate and starving masses will eventually rebel, at which point their owners will declare a world war. The masses will obediently die for their owners, because, “Go team!”

Across the Atlantic, both US presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both favoring expanded government borrowing to fund infrastructure projects.

Lies. The US government does not borrow its spending money from anyone. Instead, the US government creates its spending money out of thin air, by crediting bank accounts.

“We are all Keynesians now, President Richard Nixon famously declared after his New Economic Plan was unveiled in 1971. The notion seems to be echoing now, with the two major parties’ presidential candidates calling for increased government spending, notably for infrastructure projects.”

Can you give any examples?

Neoliberalism may not be completely dead, as Stiglitz argues, but it is certainly being challenged from many angles.

Not from any quarter that matters.

sure is

Même vieux merde

Arnaud Montebourg

Today Arnaud Montebourg announced his candidacy for president of France.

The election will be in May 2017.

Montebourg will face incumbent President François Hollande, who is radically anti-worker and pro-austerity.

Montebourg resigned as Minister of Industry in 2014 to protest Hollande’s radical neoliberalism.

He says that as President, his project will include measures to end austerity, reduce taxes, and increase spending. (Hollande told the same lies when he was running for the presidency.) Montebourg also says he will fight globalization and restructure the European Union. (As though one politician could change the entire EU.)

Can Montebourg be believed?

Absolutely not.

Look at France’s trade deficit…

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What this chart means is that each month since October 2015, France has gone (on average) over a billion euros further into debt. Each month. Or, if France is not borrowing that money, then each month (on average) over a billion more euros flows out of France than flows into France. Each month.

Either way, the French economy is dead, and is becoming worse all the time. France will eventually become Greece. This is mathematically unavoidable as long as France continues to use the euro.

However the gap between the rich and the rest will continue to widen in France, which is the whole reason for the euro. The worse the French economy becomes, the more that workers must submit to ever-lower wages with no benefits. This means higher profits for the corporate owners.

If Montebourg is elected president on an anti-austerity ticket, he will become even more pro-austerity than was his predecessor, Hollande. Again, this is mathematically unavoidable.

Does Montebourg have a chance to be elected? Yes. He will be France’s Hillary. Hollande is hugely unpopular. The bankers will install Montebourg because he makes progressive noises, but in fiscal matters he will be fanatically right-wing, whether he wants to be or not. The French corporate media outlets will tell the French masses to vote for the radically right-wing Montebourg in order to keep out the “far right” National Front, led by Marine Le Pen.

The French masses will fall for this ruse, like they always do.

Then, having stupidly screwed themselves (as they always do) they will walk around in tee shirts:

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They are simply “misguided”

Everyone knows that politicians are liars and thieves.

Therefore it annoys me when average people pretend that politicians are simply “misguided.”

Politicians serve the rich and serve themselves. If we falsely think that politicians mean well, then we will remain confused and bewildered. We will think that politicians have no economic policy, when in fact their policy is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest.

I mention this because I just saw an annoying article about Iran, in which the author thinks that President Hassan Rouhani means well, but is misguided.

Rouhani doesn’t mean well. He is a rich oligarch who is dedicated to neoliberalism, i.e. mass privatization, mass financialization, gratuitous austerity, and everything else that widens the gap between the rich and the rest in Iran. Rouhani even affirms the lie about the Jewish holocaust. He has accomplished what Iran’s “green revolution” of 2009 failed to do, namely bring neoliberalism to the Islamic Republic. Why else do you imagine that the West has warmed up to Rouhani? He wants to break away from Russia, and stop supporting Syria, but he is opposed by the Republican Guard.

I have said this since Rouhani took office in August 2013, but everyone calls me an idiot.

Let me explain something. The corporate media outlets portray Iran as a crazed Islamic extremist nation. In reality, rich oligarchs in Iran have been increasing their wealth and power ever since the 1979 Revolution. For them, Islam is a weapon to keep the peasants down.

In August 1989, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani became Iran’s president. Rafsanjani was a rich oligarch who was dedicated to neoliberalism, which is why the Western Empire praised him as a “reformer.” Rafsanjani served two terms (eight years) and was replaced in August 1997 by Mohammad Khatami, another rich oligarch. The oligarchs were opposed by the Republican Guard, which is anti-imperialist and anti-neo-liberal. Also the Republican Guard does not worship Israeli atrocities.

By 2005, the greed of the oligarchs caused the gap between rich and poor in Iran to become so huge that average Iranians finally voted out the oligarchs, and voted in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Ahmadinejad was anti-imperialist and anti-neo-liberal. He befriended Russia. He befriended Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. He questioned the Jewish holocaust™ lie. He supported Hezbollah in Lebanon when Israel bombarded and invaded Lebanon in 2006. He started programs to give food and fuel subsidies to the poor. Health care and education were free.

All these things and more made Ahmadinejad “evil” in the eyes of the Western Empire, plus the rich oligarchs in Iran. The Western Empire decided to punish average Iranians for having voted Ahmadinejad into office. On 31 July 2006 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1696, the first of endless rounds of sanctions imposed on average Iranians. The pretext was Iran’s nuclear energy program. Russia and China stupidly agreed to these sanctions, hoping that obedience to them would make the Western Empire ease up on Russia and China. (It did not.) Russia and China remained stupid until the Empire destroyed Libya in 2011, at which point Russia and China finally grew a brain and a spine.

In response to the blockading of Iran, President Ahmadinejad launched a national campaign of self-sufficiency. Iran produced its own food, its own cars, weapons, household appliances, and so on. Ahmadinejad also formed partnerships with then-leftist governments in South America.

Because he would not bow to the Western Empire, or to Israel, the Empire retaliated by having the UN Security Council pass more and more resolutions to punish average Iranians for supporting Ahmadinejad (e.g. Resolutions 1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835, 1929, 1984, 2049, 2105, 2159, and 2231).

When Ahmadinejad stood for re-election in 2009, the Western Empire, plus the rich oligarchs in Iran (along with Iran’s entire upper class), tried to mount a “green revolution.” They tried to get rid of Ahmadinejad by claiming that the election results were fraudulent. Rich Iranians were desperate to reclaim supremacy, and the Western Empire was desperate to help them do so. However their revolution failed, and Ahmadinejad served a second four-year term.

The now-enraged Western Empire tripled its sanctions against Iran, calling Iran the world’s foremost state sponsor of global terrorism. The Empire’s pretext was Iran’s nuclear power program, but the attack on Iran has never been about nuclear power. It has always been about neoliberalism.

By 2013 the Empire’s blockade and sanctions began to wear down the lower classes in Iran. Average Iranians (especially the naïve younger ones) started listening to the greedy oligarchs who claimed that they could get the sanctions removed, and bring joy to all. Hassan Rouhani ran for the presidency using very progressive-sounding rhetoric (just like Obama), promising hope and change and prosperity (just like Obama) while being a total liar (just like Obama).

In August 2013 Rouhani became Iran’s president, and immediately embarked on a vicious campaign of neoliberalism, cutting food and fuel subsidies to the poor, imposing gratuitous austerity on the masses, and demanding mass privatization of education, health care, and banks. He deregulated the financial sector, and oversaw the financialization of Iran’s economy, in which Iran’s Wall Street became a deadly parasite on Main Street.

The only impediment to Rouhani’s neoliberal assault is the Republican Guard, which has always been a thorn in the paw of the Western Empire, Israel, and the Iranian upper class.

Now let me return to this article that annoys me because its author thinks that Rouhani means well, but is “misguided.”

My comments are in blue.

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How parasitic finance capital has turned Iran’s economy into a case of casino capitalism

Critics (which critics?) have often blamed President Rouhani of Iran for blindly following the worst aspects of the neoclassical-neoliberal model of capitalism. He’s not blindly following it. Rouhani is widening the gap between the rich and the rest. Why else do you imagine that the USA has warmed up to him?

An example is the unregulated and out-of-control financialization of Iran’s economy. Rouhani and his cronies have given the banking/financial sector a free rein to engage in all kinds of parasitic, speculative activities. So much for the “Islamic Republic.” This has robbed the manufacturing sector of the productively-investible finance capital, thereby leading to a severe economic stagnation and high rates of unemployment. Sound familiar? Hillary will accelerate financialization in the USA.

It is now common knowledge that the 2008 financial crisis in the U.S., which spread to other parts of the capitalist world, was precipitated largely by a disproportionately high degree of financialization, that is, by an unsustainable financial bubble on top of a much narrower base of real values. Rodger Mitchell does not understand this. No matter how many times I have carefully explained it to him, Mitchell cannot grasp that the real economy (which is based on the production and consumption of goods and services) is separate from the financial economy (which is based on fraud and speculation). Mitchell thinks that the gulf between Wall Street and Main Street is not important.

It is equally well-known that systematic deregulation of the financial sector in the U.S., especially of the dismantlement of the Glass-Steagall Act (in 1998), which had fairly well regulated the financial sector in the aftermath of the Great Depression, was a major contributing factor to the creation of the financial bubble that burst in 2008.

President Rouhani and his economic team seem to be altogether oblivious to the bitter experiences of the financialization disaster in the U.S. and other core capitalist countries around the world. WRONG! Rouhani is not oblivious! Rouhani is a rich oligarch who is focused on widening the gap between the rich and the rest. He does not mean well. He is not “misguided.” He does not care about Iran. He only cares about getting more wealth and power for himself and his cronies.

Rouhani’s blatant inattention to the devastating consequences of a bloated financial sector at the expense of a cash-strapped real sector, combined with his trade policy which has effectively replaced domestic products with foreign products through a policy of unhindered importation of foreign goods and services, has greatly contributed to Iran’s economic stagnation. It’s all part of the neoliberal program.

While the real / manufacturing sector of Iran’s economy is in dire need of investment funds, its financial sector enjoys an abundance of liquidity that, according to Iran’s Central Bank, amounts to nearly 900,000 billion tumans, or almost $260 billion dollars ($1 = 3500 toomans). That is approximately equal to 65% of Iran’s 2015 GDP of barely $400 billion. Unfortunately, the major bulk of this plethora of liquidity is used for speculation purposes, instead of lending to manufacturers for productive investment.  For the rich, this is glorious, just like in the West. Everything and everyone in the lower classes exists to serve the financial casino.

By the way, toman is an informal word for ten Iranian rials. Thus, “900,000 billion tumans” (as the author writes, misspelled) equals 900 trillion rials.

The fact that the financial sector prefers the more lucrative speculation to real production is not surprising—it is simply in the nature of a profit-driven economic system. What is surprising is a total lack of an economic policy that would channel the nation’s financial resource away from speculation to production. Why is it surprising? Rouhani and his cronies are widening the gap between the rich and the rest. That’s what oligarchs do.  They want to personally owns everything in Iran so they can reduce the lower classes to slavery. Calling it “surprising” is like saying it will be “surprising” when Hillary privatizes Social Security.

The abundance of domestic liquidity belies President Rouhani’s frequent pleading with foreign investors on the grounds that Iran’s economy is suffering from illiquidity, and that foreign direct investment could serve as a panacea to Iran’s ailing economy. When Rouhani calls for foreign investment, he is calling for more money for the speculative casinos in Iran.

The persistent economic stagnation in Iran is largely due to a dire lack of an effective macroeconomic policy. WRONG. Rouhani’s economic policy is quite effective. It favors the rich, and it favors the financial economy at the expense of the real economy. Lack of economic policy is, in turn, mostly due to President Rouhani’s and his economic advisors’ blind faith in an economic model that is unfeasible in the real world; a model that, while simple and even elegant, is dangerously misleading. WRONG. Neoliberalism is not “unfeasible.” It works beautifully for the rich. Nor does Rouhani have a “blind faith” in neoliberalism. He has no need for “faith” when he can see it working with his own eyes. It is misleading because it maintains that if the government abstains from making macroeconomic policies and leaves all economic matters to microeconomic activities of private individuals and businesses, the invisible hand of the market mechanism would in a magical fashion lead to efficiency, development and prosperity.

Neoliberals claim that markets work best when there is no government regulation. This is like saying that society works best when there are no police forces, and no penalties for crime.

Neoliberals actually love regulation, as long as it is only imposed on the lower classes. The rich get decriminalized, while the lower classes get brutal police states. More socialism for the rich. Less for everyone else.

According to this doctrine lie, called supply-side or neoliberal economics, solutions to economic stagnation, poverty and under-development lie in unhindered market mechanism and unreserved integration into world capitalist system. Recessions, joblessness and economic hardship in many less-developed countries are not so much caused by the nature of global capitalism as they are because of government intervention and / or exclusion from world capitalist markets. So say the neoliberal liars.

Unimpeded importation of foreign products into Iran’s open-door market, unregulated and out-of-control financialization of its markets, and devastating stagnation of its economy are mainly due this misguided economic doctrine.

There it is again. Rouhani and all the other financial thieves are simply “misguided.” (Who is doing the “misguiding”?)

Misquided 02Misguided. Why do people use that ridiculous word? Do they think it will make them seem more sophisticated? Why not just call thieves “thieves”?

Misquided 03It is now widely acknowledged that the disproportionate growth of the financial sector has been a major contributing factor to the ongoing financial turbulence and economic stagnation in many core capitalist countries. In Iran the parasitic growth of the financial sector is among the highest in the world. The per capita number of banks, shadow banks, and other financial institutions (called moasesaat-e atebaari) is certainly the highest in the world. Parasitic activities of the financial players include speculation in foreign exchange or foreign currency market, in gold and other precious metals market, in all kinds of imports (both legal and illegal), in real estate, and the like. This is the cause of Iran’s high inflation rate. When Ahmadinejad clamped down on all this, the Western Empire called him “evil.”bomber 1

Profits are so high from speculative activities in the financial sector that a number of major manufacturing corporations such as Iran Khodrow bomber 2(Iran’s largest auto manufacturer) have established their own banks that divert funds from their manufacturing operations to the financial sector. General Motors did the same thing in the USA. GM started making more money through its financial arm (GMaC0 than from selling cars. When Obama bailed out General Motors in 2009, he actually bailed out GMAC. Anything to support the speculative financial casinos.

Likewise, many civil, military, and governmental organizations (such as municipalities), as well as pension funds and charity foundations (such as Bonyad-e Mostazafan) have also created their own banks in pursuit of a share in the lucrative financial sector. Everybody is so busy playing in the financial casino that they are increasingly ignoring the basic necessities of life (like producing food). This is how empires and nations collapse.

The perils of the commercial banks’ and other financial institutions’ speculative activities are dangerously magnified by their ability to create money! Following the Anglo-Saxon model of fractional reserve banking (explained below), which is today practiced in most capitalist countries, the power prevalence of money creation in Iran rests not so much with the government as it does with commercial banks. When commercial banks make loans or extend credit to their clients they, in effect, create money, which is called debt/credit money, or bank money, as opposed to sovereign or real money created by the government. Although in essence bank money is not real money, in practice it functions just as real money.

Bank money is real money. The author is trying to say that neoliberalism always entails gratuitous austerity, in which the central government creates less money, so that the masses are forced to seek loans from banks. Why have free college, for example, when you can reduce millions of students to debt slaves?

By the way, fractional reserve banking is a myth. Banks create money when banks make loans. The author admits this. Farther below, he falls into the error of believing that banks create all money.  

The ability of the commercial banking system to create money explains why the all-important power of controlling or manipulating money supply, of financing and, therefore, of influencing or controlling national economies in most capitalist countries has increasingly come to rest with commercial banks, often mediated by central banks and treasury departments that are frequently headed by the proxies of the financial oligarchy. Bankers bribe politicians to give more and more power to bankers. Welcome to the wonderful world of post-industrial capitalism.

In theory, the ability of the banking system to create credit or debt money is determined or limited by two factors: (a) the savings/deposits by households and businesses, WRONG and (b) the central bank policy that determines reserve requirements and the money supply—the so-called fractional reserve banking. Fractional reserve banking means that, for the sake of financial safety and stability, commercial banks ought to always keep a legally-determined fraction of their deposits (for example, 20%) on hand, either in their own coffers or in their accounts with the central bank. This fraction of bank deposits is called required reserves, or capital requirement/base. Only the rest (80% in our example), which is called excess reserves, can be loaned out.

NO. Reserve requirements (which are set by the central bank) do indeed limit the creation of loan money by banks. However reserves are not deposits. When a customer deposits money in a bank, the customer’s money remains spendable. The customer can take the money out. Reserves are money too, but reserves are not spendable. Reserves are a stabilizing back-up for the regular (spendable) money system. In the USA, the $20 trillion deposited at the Federal Reserve (the so-called “national debt”) are reserves. That reserve money cannot be spent until it is converted back to regular money. Where do banks get reserves? Not from customer deposits. Banks borrow reserves from other banks, and from the central bank. Banks must pay interest on the reserves they borrow.

What has made the ability of the commercial banking system to create debt money especially dangerous in recent years is that, as the financial sector has systematically freed itself from traditional rules and regulations, most of the debt money they now create is increasingly geared towards speculation, not production. It’s called financialization. This explains the exponential growth of parasitic finance in most capitalist countries. As noted, parasitic growth of the financial sector in Iran represents an extreme case of this ominous development—a developments that has made Iran’s economy akin to a nationwide casino.

It is the same in most nations. If a country tries to resist this nightmarish global trend, the Empire calls its government “evil” and a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

Also, let us not forget the role of gratuitous austerity in causing financialization. When politicians claim that there is “no money” for social programs, it means, “If you need food, shelter, or medical care, get a loan for it.”

What is to be done?

It follows from this brief discussion that the inordinate financialization of Iran’s economy is largely due to two major factors: (1) the ability and/or freedom of commercial banks and other financial institutions to create money, along with the government’s refusal to create enough money and (2) their freedom to engage in non-banking activities, including speculation in commodities market, especially in precious metals, in foreign currency market, in real estate market, in imports market, and the like.

Policy implications of this diagnosis are unmistakable: to cleanse Iran’s economy of the poisonous effects of parasitic finance requires (1) ending the commercial banks’ and other financial institutions’ ability to engage in non-banking activities, and (2) ending their ability to create money.

We can let banks create money (i.e. issue loans) as long as we don’t let politicians screw us with austerity. Also, for every privately owned bank, there should be a publicly owned bank available, so that people have freedom to choose.

The article then has several paragraphs that are in error, and which do not enhance the discussion. Basically the author lapses into falsely believing that all money is created by banks, and that things would be better if central governments could create money, which of course they already do (although the euro-zone is an exception).

By creating the money they need interest-free, instead of borrowing it from commercial banks and other private financial entities interest-borne, governments can strengthen their budgets and save taxpayers huge sums of money.

This author is a disciple of Ellen Brown and her delusions. Monetarily sovereign governments do not borrow their own money in their own currency from anyone. They create their money out of thin air by spending. And they spend by crediting bank accounts.

Moreover, if central governments want to “save taxpayers money,” they can do so by lowering taxes.

For example, evidence shows that the U.S. federal government paid in 2011 a sum of $454 billion in interest on its debt—the third highest budget item after the military and Social Security outlays. The Federal Reserve did that, and it created the money out of thin air for interest payments. The “national debt” places no constraint on the U.S. government’s ability to create money out of thin air. This figure amounted to nearly one-third of the total personal income taxes ($1, 100 billion) collected that year. Nope. Tax revenues do not pay for the federal government, whether we speak of the USA or Iran.

This means that if the federal government created the money it needed, instead of borrowing it at interest, personal income taxes could have been cut by a third. WRONG. The U.S. federal government does not borrow its spending money. Nor does it depend on federal tax revenues. Alternatively, the savings could be invested in social infrastructure, both human and physical, thereby drastically augmenting the productive capacity of the nation, creating millions of jobs and elevating the standard of living for all. The U.S. government does not need to worry about “savings.”

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The herd instinct (Part 2)

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Why do members of large organizations (such as the military) keep quiet about the crimes they see? What causes things like the Mỹ Lai Massacre (16 March 1968) in which U.S. soldiers slaughtered 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam?

During the last 708 days, the USA has conducted 4,433 bombing raids on Syria, plus 6,693 on Iraq, at a cost of $11.9 million per day. U.S. bombers have destroyed 1,620 oil depots and other oil facilities. Why do pilots do such things without question?

Why do people insist on believing that the U.S. government is “bankrupt” when they know that the U.S. government can “print” infinite money?

Why would anyone who is not rich, or is not a political insider, support Hillary?

The cause is the herd instinct, which manifests inside organizations, and in the general population. Quite simply, most humans are herd animals. Their livelihood depends on obeying the herd leaders, whether the herd is a company, an army, or society at large.

If they are in the military, they directly or indirectly participate in routine atrocities. As herd members, they rationalize their atrocities, so that they imagine themselves to be righteous, and their victims to be evil.

Even the few members of the herd who have a moral conscience keep quiet, for fear of losing their meal ticket. Besides, they know that if they speak out, they might be imprisoned, or even “disappeared” or “suicided.” Most importantly they know that their self-sacrifice would not be appreciated by the larger herd (i.e. by the public at large).

When we understand this herd phenomenon, we see that the courage and heroism of people like Edward Snowden and Bradley/ Chelsey Manning are very rare.

There’s a good article about this, which I shall condense below (since it is very wordy).

It discusses the military, but its principles can more or less be applied to society at large.

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WHY THEY STAY SILENT

As U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower oversaw a vast expansion of the national security state and the military. Why did he wait until 17 Jan 1961 (three days before retirement) to publicly warn America about an out-of-control “military-industrial complex”?

Gen. George Lee Butler oversaw all U.S. Navy and Air Force nuclear weapons from 1991 to 1994. When Butler retired, he publicly called for the elimination of nuclear weapons, saying they were a “scourge” to the planet, and a danger to humanity. Why did Butler wait until he retired?

Why did William Perry wait until he retired before he condemned the nuclear buildup he had overseen? Perry had spent decades inside the national security state working on nuclear issues. As undersecretary of defense for research and engineering under President Jimmy Carter, and as secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, William Perry oversaw a massive increase in the U.S. nuclear weapons inventory.

Why do people wait until they retire from an organization before they expose its evil?

There are several reasons for this, and they reinforce each other…

  1. Careerism and ambition

The U.S. military no longer has draftees who are just waiting to get out. Today’s military has “volunteers” who want to excel. Many join the military because there are no job opportunities back home.  Once inside, getting a reputation for critical comments kills one’s chances for promotions and plum assignments.  Thus, instead of expressing honest opinions, most military personnel decide it is better to quietly fail upward. We see this in all those absurdly decorated generals from our endless wars that appear on TV.

  1. Future careerism and ambition

Civilian job options are limited when you leave the military. However you may be able to double or triple your pay if you go to work for a defense contractor as a military consultant, or as an adviser overseas. Why endanger lucrative prospects (or even your security clearance, which could be worth tens of thousands of dollars to you, and to firms looking to hire you) by earning a reputation for being “difficult”?

  1. Lack of diversity

The U.S. military is a selective sampling of U.S. society. It automatically screens out most of the rebels and independent thinkers. After Vietnam, the high command was determined to never have such a wave of dissent within the ranks again, and they succeeded.  Most of the people who join the military (or the police or the government) are chosen precisely because they are sociopaths, or they are mindless.

  1. The false belief that you can effect change by working quietly from within the system

This is a bullshit attempt to rationalize one’s cowardly group-think. “I stay in the organization so I can change it.” During the Vietnam War, Harold K. Johnson was an Army general who considered resigning in protest over what he saw, but decided to stay,  rationalizing that he could better effect change while he was still a general. Later he regretted this decision. He realized that the herd has time-tested ways of neutralizing internal dissent by burying it, punishing it, or channeling it so as to render it harmless.

  1. The constant valorization of the military

Ever since the 9/11 false-flag scam, in which the U.S. government murdered 3,000 Americans, the gushing pro-military rhetoric of politicians has served to quiet any doubts within the military.  If the president and other politicians think you’re a force for human liberation, then who are you to disagree, Private Schmuckatelli?

The Pentagon is America’s national cathedral. Most Americans worship the military as “our greatest national treasure” (in the words of former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta at the recent Democratic convention).  The military has become so crucial to Washington that aspiring civilian commanders-in-chief like Hillary Clinton use retired generals to anoint them as qualified for the job.

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  1. Dissent is lonely

What’s the use of exposing the evils of the herd when people outside it are part of another herd? Most people in society are as much herd animals as are military personnel. If you expose military crimes to people in the public, half of them don’t care, and the other half attack you as a traitor or a terrorist. It is one thing to privately vent your frustrations among friends on your military base, or among friends at the local VFW hall.  It’s quite another to talk to outsiders.

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Thus, organizations encourage the herd mentality. They exhibit collective behavior. Almost everyone in the herd is subject to groupthink, while imagining that he is immune from groupthink.

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Society at large is a herd that consists of numerous sub-herds. For example, socio-economic classes exhibit collective behavior. The middle class clings to lies (e.g. the U.S. government is “bankrupt”) in order to maintain their privileges over “inferior” herds such as poor people. (“There is no money for welfare.”)

hoax denier

Members of the wealthy herd do the same. In order to maintain their privileges, they collaborate less by direct communication than by simply following the swarm, or the flock, or the school, or the stampede. When Wall Street gives Hillary $300,000 for making a speech, this is the wealthy herd reaffirming its collective superiority over the wretched scum (i.e. over you and me).

The formal name for such collaboration is emergence (or emergent behavior) or sometimes spontaneous order, i.e. the spontaneous emergence of order out of seeming chaos.

MY POINT

Sometimes herd behavior is unavoidable, as when we are caught in physical traffic. Other times it is a result of voluntary smugness and hate. Perhaps all of us (including me) are guilty of this to some extent. We seem intelligent, but then we reveal ourselves to be part of the swarm.

Example…

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