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14 February 2015

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Harper

How appropriate to feature Victoria Nuland as the poster girl of neoliberalism. As you have so pointedly warned, this brand of neoconservative neoliberalism (is Nuland a new species--an Obamacon?) could lead us to the edge of strategic confrontation with Russia. Merkel came to Washington on behalf of the European leadership and warned pointedly that unless Obama and Putin set the US-Russia relation straight, the world is in jeopardy. Considering that the Europeans got the world into two world wars in the 20th century, this is quite a role reversal, and indicates just how far US leadership has fallen under the last two presidencies.

Aka

sir,
can above be called neo-liberalism?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

rjj

Is this hasbara or a prank failure ?? {{{READ YOUR DOCUMENTATION, WILLIS: YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO PUT IT IN A BAG THEN IGNITE THE BAG!!!}}}

anna-marina

perhaps the proper definition for the policies named "neo-liberalism" should be "neo-slavery"

Jack

Sir

My criticism of the Salon article is like many of the current left leaning thought the belief that markets failed.Not many are making the point that markets have ceased to exist a long time ago as government interventions have rocketed. It is governments that intervened and bailed out bankers in the US and passed losses on to future generations. Greek citizens were not bailed out but German & French banks. As government spending rises those that feed of that trough benefit. From the military surveillance complex to big ag to the beltway think-tanks.Oligopolies exit only because government interventions provide them protection.

The fact is both the left and right want big government to intervene to provide them cheese while fleecing the other guy. The system is beyond repair.

jld

re: the military surveillance complex
You might like to know a bit more about the "surveillance complex" and what it entails:

http://blog.thinkst.com/p/if-nsa-has-been-hacking-everything-how.html?m=1

turcopolier

JLD

NSA is only nominally part of DoD. pl

Imagine

Ms. Nuland is the protege of Dick Cheney, and the wife of Robert Kagan.

Cheney famously originated the "1% doctrine": if there is even 1% of a chance that another country /could/ attack you and take you down, then all right-thinking peoples must attack that country first. He failed to see, by this paranoid logic, all countries of the world should immediately attack America and Israel. The fact they don't means most other countries have realized paranoid logic is self-destructive and does not work in the long term: the world has to go along to get along.

Kolomoiski wipes out coal mines and town populations to assure the cheap production and dominance of oil & gas; the Bidens and John Kerry's fundraiser Archer appear to be in it purely for profit; Poroshenko needs cash to stay in power, and so perpetuates a cottage industry of "Russian Invasion" spook-house shows. Ms. Nuland, IMO, appears to be in it for higher reasons: pure hegemony. Russia needs to be made to crawl. Mutually-beneficial cooperation is for wimps; America requires dominance--there are only vassals and enemies. Cheney wiped out all of Iraq, but it takes balls, dedication, and real talent to sabotage the ongoing successful American-Russian relationship and bring it to the brink of WWIII. Kagan predicted PNAC, and, like Armageddon, it's being moved forward step by step--no matter how many liver eaters and Nazis we have to hire, no matter how many towns we have to cleanse. We have become that which we most hated. America uber alles.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang, SST:

The following article might be relevant: "Neocons and Neoliberals: Two Masks, One Face" (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2008/11/neocons-and-neoliberals-two-masks-one-face.html)

Ishmael Zechariah

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I agree with the Salon article and am encouraged to see it distributed across the internet.

The remnants of the sovereign state that are at the beck and call of the wealthy against the consent of the people is not government it is anarchy. Greece is the test to see if people can vote back in a government that serves their best interests. If not, the alternative is unimaginable.

If the second Minsk Peace Plan does not hold, mankind is on the nuclear escalator to Armageddon. It is in the best interest of Russia to point out the covert actions and lies that neo-liberals and neo-conservatives employed to start the Ukraine civil war and whose intent is a Kremlin regime change. The only possible way to bring peace to the world is to retire these stupid ideologues.

Grimgrin

Greece is going to win in the debt negotiations, simply because the EU's leverage is mostly imaginary, while the EU's risks are real. Greece has suffered massively under the austerity program. Where 5 years ago the threat of 'chaos' might have made them sign on the dotted line, after dealing with street riots, the resurgence of fascism, and the collapse of public sector services, the 'chaos' of an exit from the Eurozone probably seems much more manageable. The intangible pressures the EU can bring to bear are weaker, as Syriza is an insurgent coalition that will fall apart if its leaders succumb to the blandishments that turn other national leaders against their nation's interests. Meanwhile, the consequences for the EU of a Greek default and exit are are pretty much the same as they were, a massive hit to their banking sector triggering god knows what knock on effects and possibly other defaults from Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

"When I ask Varoufakis if he has a plan B, for all negotiators surely have a credible alternative, he looks at me wide-eyed. “We constantly hear, ‘if you don’t sign on the dotted line there is going to be Armageddon’. My answer is ‘let it happen!’ There is no fall-back plan. That is my plan B.”"

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/12/greece-eurozone-debt-stalemate

The man is a game theorist apparently; I'd guess that what he's doing now is the equivalent of Herman Kahn's throwing the steering wheel out the window; creating a situation where the EU has absolutely no possible doubt as to Greece's intentions. The EU is either going to accept the Greek proposal; or crash the car as it were and force Greece out of the EU.

What happens after that is going to be interesting. The Frankenstein is not a graceful looser.

turcopolier

All

I had missed Willis Reed's anti-Semitic comment. An oversight, I was inattentive. I have taken it down and he is banned from SST. pl

walrus

The Salon article pretty much sums it up like it is. Over in Australia we now have a NeoLiberal Government that is doing its level best to make the poor poorer and the rich richer.

Their mantra: privatise everything, reduce benefits and pensions because they are allegedly "unsustainable", destroy the manufacturing sector, destroy the education and health systems, destroy working conditions by the use of "guest workers" paid pennies, destroy the defence sector by contracting out our next generations of naval vessels of all sorts and turn us into a combination of a mine and a farm - shades of the Morgenthau plan.

The desired net results? Corporations own everything and leave us as uneducated penniless peasants.

Babak Makkinejad

Cheney's statement was just talk for the feeble-minded and the effete; no one challenged him to produce the probability calculations that could be applied to any country in the world to deduce the likelihood of that country attacking US.

Ingolf


I'm with Jack. The various imitations of "free markets" today aren't.

Still, from Smith's backgrounding of "neoliberalism" in the article he seems to get that, at least in part. There's only one thing I seriously disagree with and that's his implicit acceptance of the current highly politicised usage of the word "austerity".

It's become a four letter word in recent years because two things have been forgotten. Or, perhaps in some cases, deliberately set aside.

First, if your consumption consistently exceeds your production, servitude looms. Literal if the gap is bridged by loans, figurative if by charity. Reality bites.

Second, austerity can take many forms. It doesn't have to mean most of the burden falls on those least able to bear it (I think the opposite should happen).

Put simply, the distribution of austerity is political, the need for it economic.

walrus

Ingolf, in Neoliberal circles, "austerity", "Unsustainable benefits", "self reliance" are code for the One Percenters not wishing to pay tax proportional to their vast incomes.

To put that another way, the accepted take of Government is around 30% of GDP. That seems to pay social benefits quite well.

Bryn P

Here in Europe we are beginning to see a backlash against the austerity imposed upon us by the financial hegemony and their compliant politicians. The rise of Syrisa in Greece and Podemos in Spain offers at least some small hope that at last peoples' eyes are opening to the very real injustices forced upon them by neoliberal policies. The big question will be whether they will be able to carry out their promises in the face of such powerful and moneyed political opposition?
In the light of the manifest failure of neocon government in the US over more than a decade I have to wonder why there is not more of a backlash in your country? Given your predeliction for guns it seems to me that if one does come then it might get very bloody. Or do I totally misundestand your psyche?

turcopolier

Bryn P

IMO Canadians largely define themselves by not being Americans. Likewise those US citizens who are aware of the outside world largely define themselves as "not foreigners." This is particularly true of Americans outside the biggest cities; New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, LA and the like. The non "city people" are culturally quite different. Because of the constitutional structure of the US and many of the states the non-city people have many political advantages which they will not give up and which the city people are powerless to change. This, of course, enrages the city people. Tant pis pour eux! Among the differing cultural characteristics of the non city people is a profound distrust of government authority whether it be federal or state. This is, IMO, the authentic American cultural legacy rather than that of the big cities. The US Constitution is built to limit the power of government in general and parts of the government like the US presidency in particular. It is not built to enable government power. The framers assumed that government power was naturally unlimited if unrestrained and that is what the constitution was built to do. The various parts of the US polity are built to be mutually antagonistic. The three co-equal branches of the federal government, the states, a free press, and an armed citizenry are all parts of the balance of power in the US. The idea of an armed citizenry bring part of the balance of power was present from the beginning. No? Read Federalist # 46 by Madison. This was part of the argument made country-wide for ratification of the US Constitution. Potential citizen resistance to tyranny is no longer credible? If you think that, then you have not participated in world history in the last century as I have. In short, the 200 million + Americans who own guns think of you and the Canadians as lap dogs for your governments. you have allowed a situation to arise in which criminals, terrorists and rich people have guns and you are wards of the state. clear? pl

Thomas

Walrus,

It does seem like there is a world wide Morgenthau plan trying to be put in place, though instead of achieving the desired results it is receiving a backlash. The problem for the worshipers of Davos Man is their fundamental assumption that us peasants have no brains or ability to react to their Superior Strategy.

All that is left to be done is their taking a step too far and triggering an event that will lead to collapse of the domination dream.

Tyler

I always have a laugh when someone mocks the idea of resistance against the state With small arms. Theyve never fought against Afghanis with SKSes. The US is full of returning vets with modern semi autos and 'wise men' like the Colonel and TTG.

Good luck to any would be kings when the shootung starts.

Ingolf


Walrus, sure, but that's an example of what I was saying. Those circles are using "austerity" in a highly politicised fashion.

Bryn P

Thank you for that. I have to admit that when I was younger I used to think that the American obsession with guns indicated that you were somewhat less civilised than we Brits. In recent years I have felt that when the merde hits the fan, as I feel it must if we all continue on the present course, then you will be far better placed to resist than we simple, trusting peasants over here.

Thank you too for this site. It is a real pleasure to read the common sense displayed here.

Babak Makkinejad

I do not find it plausible; the prairie states of central United States do not offer any cover from air-craft and their electricity and fuel can be cut-off with a blockade.

I just do not see how small arms can do much against light tanks, remotely controlled flying gun ships and mobile artillery.

Did not US Grant establish that at Vicksburg?

turcopolier

Babak

No. Grant proved no such thing at Vicksburg or anywhere else. he took Vicksburg by investing it and subjecting it to a regular siege in which he finally triumphed in a very standard way in history. The notion that irregular warfare can only be conducted successfully in forested ot similar terrain has no relationship to the history of such warfare. Think Iraq, Zionists in Palestine, Afghanistan, etc. The critical thing is always the achievement of support among the masses. pl

Fred

Babak,

Who is going to be flying those planes and drones? The #bringbackourgirls crowd? I think not. More importantly there will be more election loses amongst the entrenched members of the Congress and state legislatures. (The latest scandals at the state level - Oregon's governor and NY State Assembly Speaker being just a part of the iceberg of corruption amongst career politicians who forgot just who they served.) If they don't change the course of government who things will get interesting.

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