MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

EconomicPolicyJournal.com: What AOC’s Favorite “Socialist” Country is Really Like

Posted by M. C. on June 25, 2019

https://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2019/06/what-aocs-favorite-socialist-country-is.html

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey explains:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

A non-technical definition of “socialism” would be “bossy and obstructive and high-handed government.” Sweden certainly has a good deal of that, inspired for example by the eugenicists Gunnar and Alva Myrdal in the 1930s. Sweden, with other Protestant countries, led the world in compulsory sterilization and persecution of gays into the 1970s. It’s an example of the way the Swedes go along with their government too much, sometimes because they assume too easily that whatever is widely agreed must be right. An old Swedish woman left her worn-out frying pan in a trash container for metal packages. She was arrested for committing a crime against the environment, freed only after trial, and fined. Nice…

Swedish-government spending, true, is very high, half again as large, measured as a share of GDP, as government spending in the U.S.

But when it comes to production, socialism disappears:

Sweden in fact is pretty much as “capitalistic” as is the United States. It’s Minnesota writ large. Not writ all that large, actually, with merely 9.3 million people, many of them now foreign-born, compared with the 5.3 million Minnesotans, 10 percent of Swedish descent. Like the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Sweden is a place of private ownership and thrusting inventors, Swedish bachelor farmers and pretty generous social provision, pretty good schools (with vouchers) and terrible weather.

If “socialism” means government ownership of the means of production, which is the classic definition, Sweden never qualified. When little Sweden’s economists were second in academic standing only to big Britain’s, in the early 20th century, they were “liberal” in the European sense: free-traders opposed to central planning and governmental ownership. None of Sweden’s manufacturing or extractive industries has ever been socialized, this in contrast, for example, to the experiment after 1946 in the world’s first innovative economy, when the Labour party’s Clause IV nationalized the Bank of England, coal, inland transport, gas, steel, health services, and much else. Sweden never followed even the more modest example of America’s temporary nationalization of railways during the First World War. Sweden’s Systembolaget, the state liquor store, was sold off in 2008, as it has not yet been in all the U.S. Apoteket, the maddeningly inefficient Swedish-government drug-store monopoly, was privatized, too, praise the Lord.

But these are small potatoes. The big potatoes in Sweden are owned by reclusive millionaires worthy of Newport, R.I., or Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Consult Stieg Larsson and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When Saab Autos began its descent into bankruptcy, no Swede suggested that the government give the company billions on the security of its worthless stock. When Volvo became a Chinese company, no Swede objected. Compare the determination of the Bush and Obama administrations in proudly capitalist America to socialize General Motors and Chrysler — Chrysler for the second time. Or compare the plans on the left of the Democratic party to solve any problem by expanding the government instead of solving the problem, such as monopoly in the provision of U.S. health care. “In many fields,” noted a Swedish diplomat, “we have more private ownership compared to other European countries, and to America. About 80 percent of all new schools are privately run, as are the railroads and the subway system.” Compare Amtrak, with eight stops in West Virginia, compliments of Senator Robert Byrd.

RW

 

 

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trump: War President or Anti-Interventionist? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on June 25, 2019

Yet, what vital interest of ours does Iran today threaten?

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2019/06/24/trump-war-president-or-anti-interventionist/

Visualizing 150 Iranian dead from a missile strike that he had ordered, President Donald Trump recoiled and canceled the strike, a brave decision and defining moment for his presidency.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence had signed off on the strike on Iran as the right response to Tehran’s shootdown of a U.S. Global Hawk spy plane over the Gulf of Oman.

The U.S. claims the drone was over international waters. Tehran says it was in Iranian territory. But while the loss of a $100 million drone is no small matter, no American pilot was lost, and retaliating by killing 150 Iranians would appear to be a disproportionate response.

Good for Trump. Yet, all weekend, he was berated for chickening out and imitating President Barack Obama. U.S. credibility, it was said, has taken a big hit and must be restored with military action…

Monday, the president tweeted: “The U.S. request for Iran is very simple – No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”

But Iran has no nuclear weapons, has never had nuclear weapons, and has never even produced bomb-grade uranium.

According to our own intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2011, Tehran did not even have a nuclear weapons program.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA, the only way Iran could have a nuclear weapons program would be in secret, outside its known nuclear facilities, all of which are under constant U.N. inspection.

Where is the evidence that any such secret program exists?

And if it does, why does America not tell the world where Iran’s secret nuclear facilities are located and demand immediate inspections?

“No further sponsoring of terror,” Trump says.

But what does that mean? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Of Course It Should Be Legal! – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 25, 2019

The foundation of libertarianism is individual freedom. The individual should be free to make his or her own choices according to his or her own desires, as long as those choices don’t infringe on the rights of others. The most important and basic human rights, according to libertarianism, are life, liberty and property. Libertarians believe that these “natural rights” existed before and outside of any organized form of government [source: Boaz]. If left to themselves, libertarians argue, people will respect and protect these rights. Government doesn’t need to force or coerce us.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/06/laurence-m-vance/of-course-it-should-be-legal/

By

…Now, I am no libertine or hedonist. And neither do I smoke marijuana, eat magic mushrooms, or employ sex workers. I wouldn’t do any these things even if they were free and legal. But that doesn’t mean that I think the government should seek to prevent people from doing them and punish them if they do.

And here are thirty-five more things about which libertarians would say the same thing.

Of course selling beer that you brew at home should be legal!

Of course snorting coke should be legal!

Of course buying as much Sudafed as you want should be legal!

Of course selling one of your kidneys should be legal!

Of course ticket scalping should be legal!

Of course online gambling should be legal!

Of course the purchase of alcohol by adults under age 21 should be legal!

Of course businesses opening on Sunday should be legal!

Of course price gouging should be legal!

Of course businesses not having handicapped parking should be legal!

Of course discrimination in employment should be legal!

Of course businesses not having handicapped restrooms should be legal!

Of course owning a bump stock should be legal!

Of course a business selling alcohol at any time on Sunday should be legal!

Of course smoking crack should be legal!

Of course hiring a willing worker for less than the minimum wage should be legal!

Of course desecrating a flag that is your property should be legal!

Of course shooting up with heroin should be legal!

Of course businesses not paying overtime should be legal!

Of course having a garage sale without a permit should be legal!

Of course discrimination in rental housing should be legal!

Of course traveling to Cuba should be legal!

Of course popping ecstasy pills should be legal!

Of course cutting hair without a license should be legal!

Of course importing Cuban cigars should be legal!

Of course depositing more than $10,000 in cash your bank account should be legal!

Of course making crystal meth should be legal!

Of course blackmail should be legal!

Of course businesses not providing family leave should be legal!

Of course making more than six withdrawals from your savings account every month should be legal!

Of course allowing smoking in your restaurant should be legal!

Of course running a neighborhood blackjack game should be legal!

Of course prohibiting an employee from wearing a yarmulke or hijab should be legal!

Of course refusing to serve someone in your place of business should be legal!

Of course making moonshine should be legal!

These things should be legal because government shouldn’t be monitoring, regulating, controlling, or prohibiting peaceful, private, voluntary, consensual actions that don’t aggress against the personal or property rights of others. The only actions that should be illegal are those that aggress against the rights of others without their consent.

Be seeing you

wp-1555692458658.jpg

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You Are Fighting In The Most Important Battle Of All Time – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on June 25, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/24/you-are-fighting-in-the-most-important-battle-of-all-time/

If you are reading this, it’s most likely the result of a series of events in your life which have drawn your interest and attention to the fact that our world is quite a bit different from what we’ve been told by our school teachers, by the news media, by Hollywood, and by politicians.

At some point, for whatever reason, you’ve come to realize that the consensus narratives in our society about what’s going on are false. The tools that people are taught to use to inform themselves about their government, their nation and their world are not just full of inaccuracies, but deliberate distortions, ranging from the reasons we’re given for why wars are started, to the way our political systems work, to where real power and authority actually lies, to the way nations and governments actually behave in the world.

This awareness has come with a degree of alienation. Not buying into the same consensus narratives about the world as your friends, loved ones and peers comes with an inability to relate to them on some levels, which can cause you to feel a lack of intimacy in those areas. You may have also found yourself the odd one out in conversations about politics or other controversial issues, maybe even lost old friends over it.

But you kept going anyway. For some of us, it’s more important to be true to the truth than it is to fit in. You’re one of those people.

So, I just want to say thank you. Sincerely. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m on-my-knees grateful to anyone who sets about untangling themselves and their species from the deceitful narratives which pervade our society. It is the most important battle that can possibly be fought. The most important battle that has ever been fought.

There is nothing more important than this fight. Our species is on a sure trajectory toward Orwellian dystopia if climate collapse or nuclear war don’t send us the way of the dinosaur first, and the only thing that has the power to steer us out of that trajectory is the people using the strength of their numbers to force an end to the oppressive, ecocidal, omnicidal status quo.

But they don’t. The people don’t use the strength of their numbers to force an end to the oppressive, ecocidal, omnicidal status quo, because they aren’t interested in doing so. Why aren’t they interested in doing so? Because their minds are being manipulated on a mass scale by the same people who have been granted immense power and wealth by the existence of that status quo.

All of mankind’s biggest dilemmas are ultimately due to the fact that propaganda is far more ubiquitous and far more advanced than most people realize.

And it’s not their fault. Not really. Nobody teaches you in school that throughout your entire life your plutocratic overlords will be working to control the thoughts in your head using a highly sophisticated arsenal of psychological operations funneled into your mind via their near-total control of the media. Nobody warns you as a kid that if you ever really want to grow up, you’ll first have to extricate the vast network of lies which have been deliberately sewn into your consciousness since birth.

But their tricks didn’t work on you. You found your way out of that matrix of deception. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t comfortable, but you did it. And now you’re ready to fight.

And fight you have. You have already been doing what you can to share information which counters the disinformation, doing your best to throw sand in the gears of the propaganda machine and show people the little gaps in the code of the matrix in the hope that some light sleeper might spot it and begin waking up from the dream. You don’t need me to tell you to do this, because it’s obvious to anyone who’s seen through the illusion. You’re doing it already.

And you’re going to keep doing it. And you’re going to get better at it.

You’re going to get better at it because you’re going to keep learning and gaining a better and better understanding of how the oppression machine operates, so that you can describe it more lucidly to others.

You’re going to get better at it because you’re going to keep practicing your craft: attacking the propaganda matrix at its weakest and most vulnerable points at every opportunity. Practice makes perfect, and the more you keep at it the more skillful you’ll get at spotting gaps in its armor and firing the most damaging truth bombs straight into them.

You’re going to get better at it because you’re going to keep doing your own inner work to expunge all lies from your system, from the most surface-level propaganda narratives all the way down to your most fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality itself. You understand that only turkeys are done, and that it will always be possible to get a little bit clearer inside every day. The less your vision is impeded by falsehood, the better you’ll be able to see on the battlefield.

You’re going to get better at fighting, and you’re going to keep fighting no matter what. Not because it’s an easy war, nor even because it’s a winnable war, but because you have made truth your highest value, and untruth is therefore intolerable to you. You will keep attacking the lie factory at every turn until it collapses into its own foundations beyond any possibility of repair. You will keep driving your sword through until you see it come out the other side.

And others will join you, because they have awakened to what’s going on too. And then there will be more of them. And more. And more.

There is no more important fight than this. The survival and wellbeing of our entire species depends upon it. The oligarchs and their government agency allies cannot be defeated as long as their propaganda machine is killing off all desire to defeat them.

You are already engaged in this fight, so my purpose here is only to thank you and to encourage you, and to urge you to redouble your efforts. Never doubt that your energy poured into this effort is well-spent. Never let anyone shame you into silence or make you believe that your efforts are in vain. Never doubt that you’re on the right path.

Your edge is your agility and your access to inspiration. No amount of social engineering can move as fast or shine as bright as the truth. You have everything you need to win, and there are more signs than ever that the win is on the horizon. What once seemed impossible now seems inevitable.

I love you.

Keep pushing.

_____________________________

_____________________________

_____________________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Black Markets Show How Socialists Can’t Overturn Economic Laws | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2019

https://mises.org/wire/black-markets-show-how-socialists-cant-overturn-economic-laws

If we consider economics to be an objective science, its rules should also have universal significance and use, despite differences in societal order. However, socialists of the materialist camp are committed to the idea that common ownership of the means of production would change the way economic laws unfold under socialism. Basically, they reject the notion of the universality and objectivity of economic rules by suggesting that the laws would change along with a change to the social formation.

Thus, communists adhered to the Marxian idea that socialism would rectify a “surplus value” law, end the “exploitation” of workers, and efficiently regulate the production, distribution, and consumption aspects of the economy. They sought to eliminate the market regulatory mechanism and replace it with directives of the central planning authority. Bolsheviks enthusiastically got down to business: they eradicated private property, collectivized everything and everyone, and implemented an official planned economy.

Did it effectively turn off market relations as they thought it would?

No. In contrast to the common perception, socialism has been unable to kill the market economy. The market went underground and turned into a black market. Black markets existed in capitalist countries as well, but they worked underground because they dealt in illegal commodities and services. The black market under socialism served the same purpose, but the list of commodities and services included mostly items of everyday and innocent consumption that people under capitalism could easily purchase in stores. Virtually all groups of personal consumption products found their way to the black market at some time and in some places. Everything from jar lids to toilet paper was subject to black-market relations.

Despite the proclaimed planned economy, people were engaged in market relations on all levels and trusted more the price of the goods and services that were established by the market and not dictated by the government. The official exchange rate of the ruble to the dollar was 0.66 to 1 in 1980. But nobody except party nomenclature was able to enjoy such a favorable exchange rate. At the same time, the black market offered 4 rubles for 1 American dollar.

There was no production of jeans in the Soviet Union, but like all their peers abroad, Soviet youth wore jeans. The price was 180–250 rubles for a pair depending on the brand, which was almost twice as much as the monthly wage of an entry-level engineer. A visiting nurse charged 1 ruble for one injection if a patient lived below the fifth floor. The price reached 1.5 rubles for patients who lived on the fifth floor and up. A plumber happily repaired a faucet for just a bottle of vodka.

Two Prices for Everything

Therefore, in the Soviet Union, any significant goods had two price tags: one real and another virtual. The state set the first price through some obscure methods; the usual mechanism of supply and demand established the second price on the market. If you were lucky, after several hours of standing in a queue, you could purchase goods at the state price. However, due to the chronic lack of everything for everyone, the same product could be bought on the black market at a much higher price. The virtual price became real on the black market and reflected the actual value of the goods for the buyer. The presence of two price tags is a confirmation of the thesis of Ludwig von Mises regarding the impossibility of economic calculations under socialism. At the same time, this is proof of the immortality and immutability of the economic laws of the free market, even under a totalitarian regime. Therefore, two economic systems and two sets of prices co-exist under socialism…

Socialism is a set of systems that try to artificially inhibit the free flow of objective economic laws by creating subjective barriers in the form of specific legislation and punitive policies. Socialists mistakenly think that if they assault private property and market relations, the economic laws will also change. They have taken up the task which, in principle, has no rational solution. Nothing good comes from the idea of ignoring or violating the fundamental laws of economics. These laws still exist, regardless of opinions and neglect to recognize their real character and the impossibility of changing them.

Socialism disrupts the evolutionary process and leads society to a dead end. The desperate economic situation of ordinary folks in Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea — the remnants of socialist undertakings — is a direct result of building a society in defiance of the natural action of the fundamental law of economics. As a rule, socialist regimes were buying time by employing slave labor, plunder, coercion, and everything else that an aggressive totalitarian regime could offer. However, in the end, the means of socialistic life support was exhausted, and than returning to the natural and healthy market relations, where the laws of economics work for the benefit of the human race.

The same laws of market economics have worked in different human societies: from pre-historic to post-industrial, but still socialists continue to entertain the idea of tampering with these forces of nature.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Project Veritas – Google Exec Decries Trump’s Election: ‘How Do We Prevent It from Happening Again’

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2019

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/06/24/project-veritas-google-exec-decries-trumps-

by Allum Bokhari

Undercover videos recorded by Project Veritas reveals that Google is determined to prevent the re-election of Donald Trump in 2020, and is altering its products with this aim in mind.

The report includes undercover footage featuring a top Google executive, Jen Gennai, discussing how Google might prevent an electoral outcome like 2016 from happening again.

Here’s what Gennai says in the undercover video:

We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.

We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?

Gennai also declares her opposition to Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Google. Why? Because, says Gennai, if Google is broken up it can’t prevent another “Trump situation.”

Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.

Gennai also declared that no amount of soft pressure from Congress or the White House will make Google change its ways. In other words, talk won’t help — if politicians want to change Google’s behavior, they’ll have to go beyond committee hearings and actually change the law. 

We got called in front of Congress multiple times, so we’ve not shown up because we know that they’re just going to attack us. We’re not going to change our, we’re not going to change our mind. There’s no use sitting there being attacked over something we know we’re not going to change. They can pressure us but we’re not changing. But we also have to be aware of what they’re doing and what they’re accusing us of.

According to her professional profile, Gennai works on “responsible innovation” in the Global Affairs division of Google — the same division run by Kent Walker, the Google VP who has declared his intention to make the populist-nationalist movement represented by Donald Trump a “blip” or “hiccup” in history, which he said “bends towards progress.”

Walker made these statements just days after the 2016 election, in a confidential video recording that was leaked to Breitbart News.

Be seeing you

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Guardians of money bristle at Zuckerberg’s new financial order

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2019

Having custody of your own assets rather than depositing them in a bank is a totally different paradigm

The obvious Facebook concerns aside, digital money that the owner can actually control is the problem.

Bitcoin was originally envisioned as private banking. No one could stick it’s nose in your business. Facebook’s Libra? Forgettaboutit.

Privacy – there will be none, this is a Facebook/CIA project. Control – It’s extent is yet to be seen. Don’t get your hopes up.

The point of digital currency from a government/bankster perspective is to control your “money”. The bank wants to charge you to store your electrons. Interest? That’s funny!

Everyone wants to know your business. There will be no “crypto”.

The government wants banks to be able to shut you off at the flick of a switch. The bank and the government want to be able to give you haircut when things get bad.

This is a war on you and your cash.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/guardians-of-money-bristle-at-zuckerberg-s-new-financial-order-1.1277277

Alastair Marsh

–With assistance from Michelle Jamrisko.

Facebook Inc. was hours away from the formal announcement of its ambitious foray into financial services, but French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was already broadcasting his discontent.

“It’s out of the question’’ that the social-media giant’s digital money compete with sovereign currencies, Le Maire said.

That was just the first shot in a torrent of criticism and skepticism from policy makers around the world. U.S. House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters promised an aggressive response from Congress. Former European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio called the initiative “unreliable and dangerous.”

Led by the social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., the project represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage. And while the megabanks and their regulators face no short-term threat to their command of finance, advocates of cryptocurrency say the future has arrived and that there’s no turning back.

“It is the beginning of a new financial system where current gatekeepers are substantially less relevant,’’ said Joey Krug, co-chief investment officer at Pantera Capital, founded in 2013 as the first U.S. investment firm focused on Bitcoin.

Called Libra, Facebook’s new currency will launch as soon as next year. It will initially be used for sending money among friends, family and businesses through the Messenger and WhatsApp services and then be used for routine transactions.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions extend beyond simply minting a new coin. The Libra token would contribute to a fairer world, where those now excluded from the banking system would have ready access to cheap and easy payments and financial services, according to a company white paper.

Libra is the latest example of how tech companies including Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc have ventured into the financial industry, offering everything from payments to money management and lending. While finance currently makes up a fraction of their business, giant companies with huge customer bases have the potential to trigger rapid changes in the industry and introduce new risks, according to a report Sunday by the Bank for International Settlements.

“Technology is changing the basis of competition,’’ says Huw van Steenis, senior adviser to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. “It’s tearing up walls between businesses. It’s not just Facebook trying to do a currency.’’

Moving into the heavily regulated financial-services industry via cryptocurrencies, which are seen by many officials as nothing more than a conduit for financing illicit activities, Facebook has shown little reluctance to lessen its confrontation with authorities…

Meanwhile, Waters said Libra is “like starting a bank without having to go through any steps to do it,” and that it’s seeking to “compete with the dollar without having any regulatory regime that’s dealing with them.”

While Libra is designed to be less volatile than cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and is backed by a basket of securities and traditional currencies, some question how a technology company will interact with the monetary system. “I’m not entirely convinced that a tech company, at the end of the day, can be held accountable,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank in Singapore.

There are still many questions about how it will operate and its success is far from guaranteed. Yet the endeavor is being taken seriously by the financial-services industry because of Facebook’s scale and its already vast impact on the world.

While Facebook is now trying to sign up banks to the association governing the token, its new system is a challenge to banks that often act as middlemen in virtually all transactions, according to Charles McGarraugh, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner who has moved into the digital world as head of markets at cryptocurrency-wallet provider Blockchain.com.

“We are witnessing a re-orientation of financial services,’’ said McGarraugh. “Having custody of your own assets rather than depositing them in a bank is a totally different paradigm and a superior system to the too-big-to-fail construct that dominates the market now.’’

Be seeing you

UD/RK Samhälls Debatt | Ett rättframt, öppet och ...

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mainstream Media Faults Trump for Not Following Through on Iran Attack – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2019

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/06/21/mainstream-media-faults-trump-for-not-following-through-on-iran-attack/

Mainstream media outlets were of a lot of different minds on the Iran question earlier this week, counseling different approaches for US-Iran tensions. Friday, those outlets were broadly united, upset by the lack of a new war they thought sure was coming…

America can, after all, usually be counted on to react hastily, and stumble into what are in retrospect unfortunate wars. That Trump managed to just barely avoid the siren’s song of war was outside the expectation of American allies, and now they don’t know what to think. NBC News was quick to accuse Trump of “indecision” and declared it would “embolden Iran.”

CNN’s Samantha Vinograd accused Trump of not being able to “make up his mind,” and suggested that he’s “blown America’s credibility” by not attacking Iran…

NBC News is rarely friendly to Trump, but in this case they are echoing the Wall Street Journal’s own editorial, which accused him of not being able to follow through on his “maximum pressure” campaign when that pressure was going to involve starting a war. They warned Trump’s lack of war looked “misguided and weak.”

Trump was not following the consistent calls for war from John Bolton, noted Australia’s ABC News, who noted instead that he was “siding with his electioneers,” and even suggested the talk of an earlier order to strike may have been made up.

Trump talked of proportionality, and his reluctance to kill 150 Iranians, now even Fox and Friends are crying weakness. It’s not surprising the media wasn’t thinking of killing 150 people as a problem. After all, historically death tolls in US attacks are grossly underreported, and they were on board not just for the deaths here, but those in the years of war to come…

Now reporters are questioning if he has the stomach to be the sort of thoughtless war-monger everyone assumed he was going to be.

Be seeing you

Sunday Cartoon Blogging – March 25, 2018

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fact That Americans Need To Be Deceived Into War Proves Their Underlying Goodness – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/22/the-fact-that-americans-need-to-be-deceived-into-war-proves-their-underlying-goodness/

Last night Fox’s Tucker Carlson praised Trump’s decision not to go forward with a planned attack against Iran which the president claims would have killed approximately 150 people in response to a downed drone, which if true would have been a profoundly barbaric response to a broken toy plane and would have led to retaliations from Iran, followed by a chain of military actions which could have escalated God knows how far.

Carlson, who has been credited with persuading Trump against further military escalations with Iran, lit into the neoconservative elements of Trump’s cabinet with unprecedented viciousness. He called National Security Advisor John Bolton a “bureaucratic tapeworm” who never suffers any consequences for his relentless warmongering and accusing him and his collaborators of deliberately engineering a provocation to lead to direct military confrontation. Carlson urged Trump to expunge the influencers who are pushing for a war with Iran, and cautioned that it would cost him re-election.

“Bombing Iran would have ended [Trump’s] political career in a minute,” Carlson said. “There’d be no chance of re-election after that.”

Carlson’s first guest, The American Conservative‘s Robert Merry, plainly stated the likely reason for Bolton’s deceitful manipulations, saying that Americans are typically reluctant to go to war and citing a few of the historical instances in which they were tricked into consenting to it by those who desire mass military violence.

“So, you’re saying that there is a long, almost unbroken history of lying our way into war?” Carlson asked his guest rhetorically.

“Lying sometimes, not always lying, sometimes it’s manipulations, but yeah,” Merry replied. “America’s warmaking history indicates that there’s been significant instances of that kind of maneuvering, manipulations, and in some instances lying–Vietnam is a great example–to get us into wars that the American people weren’t clamoring for.”

Both men are correct. The US empire does indeed have an extensive and well-documented history of using lies, manipulations and distortions to manufacture consent for war from a populace that would otherwise choose peace, and a Reuters poll released last month found that only 12 percent of Americans favor attacking Iranian military interests without having been attacked first.

Watching Americans react online to the jarring report about how close they may have just come to a war which would have impacted most of the world to varying degrees, I’ve been experiencing a deep appreciation for what truly, sincerely good people they are underneath all the propaganda and deceit.

The fact that Americans have had to be tricked into every major military action since the Spanish-American War is telling in itself. If Americans were truly a war-hungry mob, the hawks wouldn’t need to do that. Notice too how these tricks almost always hinge on manipulating Americans’ desire to help others. The manipulators literally have to use people’s goodness to manufacture consent for war by making it all about a “dictator” who is harming his people or some variation of this theme. The hawks could try to play off of hatred or fear, but they know it wouldn’t work nearly as effectively as manipulating the already-installed “Save the day!” helping desire that most Americans live and breathe.

Now, these tricks are becoming more and more conscious for an increasing number of Americans. For instance, on the day of the Gulf of Oman incident, “Gulf of Tonkin” briefly trended on Twitter. As it becomes more apparent that they’ve been lied to, you could expect people to compartmentalize away from the bloodshed by arguing for exceptionalism and for strengthening the petrodollar and US geostrategic interests no matter the cost. They could simply switch gears and take their cues from Bolton and the neocons. But the large majority don’t. They are horrified. There is shame and there is palpable grief. They hate the thought that they might be the baddies, and they want to do what they can to stop the next senseless military bloodbath.

And then something like this near-miss happens in Iran and the responses on social media make it very clear that the will for war with Iran is almost non-existent everywhere except DC. On the contrary, Americans came out in force over the last two days to mock, deride, argue and demand that Trump cease this madness immediately. I’ve been reading all day and just swelling with so much love.

I’ve often had the thought that American culture creates the kind of people we need to save the world, but they’re also subject to the most sophisticated propaganda in the world, so so far they’ve put all that get-up-and-go goodwill into fighting shadows and each other. If the veil of the propaganda gets too thin, these guys might really end up being the superheroes, but for real this time.

And that gives me so much hope. If the US-centralized empire were built upon a foundation of cold, uncaring people, I’d probably pack it in right now and seek out a low-effort job so I can buy chips and booze to take the edge off while I wait for armageddon. But it’s not. All that’s holding our world back from health is a thin, wispy leash made of propaganda.

Whenever I try to talk about this I get a lot of pushback, not from outsiders like myself but from Americans themselves. When you’re in the thick of a society that keeps seeing itself manipulated into war after war after war, it can feel like being in the middle of an endless zombie apocalypse, and it’s easy to grow impatient with one’s countrymen.

But it’s so important that the blame be placed in the right place. We must be vigilant in directing our anger at the manipulators and not the manipulated. It’s always the conman’s fault, never the victim. That’s how it works in fraud law and how it works in life. Blaming people for being “stupid” is not only victim blaming, it’s also unlikely to be true. Being susceptible to propaganda has very little to do with intelligence. You will notice that some of the smartest people you know not only fervently believe the propaganda, they are able to gaslight themselves and others more effectively than most with their own clever arguments. A high IQ does not inoculate you against propaganda, in fact it can work against you because agile minds are able to create the most convincing kinds of reframes.

They’re not stupid, they’re trusting. And is being trusting something we really want to mock? Aside from mocking a beautiful attribute that we should be trying to protect, it also is a bad strategy if you want to help someone into seeing that they’ve been duped. Our brains are very adept at avoiding the feeling of shame, and people will use many strategies to avoid feeling the shame of being duped. So when you mock people as “stupid” you’re literally just strengthening their shame cage by making them defend it. Get angry at their abusers instead and encourage them to get angry at them too. It’s the manipulators who we should be staring down right now, not their victims.

What we are watching with Iran is a war propaganda narrative failing to get airborne. It was all set up and ready to go, they had the whole marketing team working on it, and then it faceplanted right on the linoleum. This is what a failed narrative management campaign looks like. It is possible for us to see this more and more.

Today I have a lot more hope. It’s becoming clear that the manipulations of the US war machine are becoming more and more obvious to more and more people and that everyday, regular Americans are reacting with a healthy amount of horror and revulsion. There was always the risk that the US population would already be sufficiently paced ahead of these revelations and there would be little to no reaction, but that didn’t happen. Americans are seeing what they’re doing, and they don’t like it, and they don’t want it.

And that makes me so happy. Come on Captain America. Save the day. The world is counting on you.

___________________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

 

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“A rational man is guided by his thinking – by a process of Reason – not by his feelings and desires.”

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2019

Ayn Rand

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »