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Posts Tagged ‘China’

War With Russia, China, Iran: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2022

by Walt Zlotow

antiwar.com

The US is locked in endless proxy war with Russia over Ukraine.

The US is locked in rapid escalation with China leading to possible war over Taiwan.

The US is locked in a collision course with Iran over their imaginary nuclear program that could blow up the Middle East.

I’ve not been as concerned about the world stumbling into nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis, 60 years ago next month. A high school senior then, I worried about being denied a long life. Now, at 77, I fret more about my children and grandkids being denied that privilege.

US world dominance since collapse of the Soviet Union is over, but it doesn’t realize it. Like a wounded animal, the US is lashing out on 3 fronts, none of which may have an ending short of nuclear war, and none of which can resurrect American world dominance.

Once the US falls into to abyss of uncontrolled war, we will be no better off than Humpty Dumpty.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.

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Will The United States and NATO Wake Up To What Happened at the Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

Posted by M. C. on September 22, 2022

By Larry Johnson
Gateway Pundit

I am certain that most Americans do not have a clue what transpired this week at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (aka SCO). It is a clarion call, a defiant declaration, that the countries, which account for over half of the world’s population, are no longer going to defer to the United States. The attendees included Russia, China, India, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The speeches by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping are especially noteworthy. Both countries put the United States on notice that the United States and NATO will be treated as a sponsor of terrorism because they supply weapons to Ukraine that are being used to attack civilian targets.

I am certain that most Americans do not have a clue what transpired this week at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (aka SCO). It is a clarion call, a defiant declaration, that the countries, which account for over half of the world’s population, are no longer going to defer to the United States. The attendees included Russia, China, India, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The speeches by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping are especially noteworthy. Both countries put the United States on notice that the United States and NATO will be treated as a sponsor of terrorism because they supply weapons to Ukraine that are being used to attack civilian targets. You may accuse me of exaggerating because neither Putin nor Xi mention the United States or NATO by name. But the actions of the NATO allies in Ukraine are seen by both Russia and China as acts of terrorism. I am reprinting the salient portions of each speech below.

Russia and China also put the west on notice that Iran is no longer going to be treated as a pariah state. Iran is welcomed emphatically by both Putin and Xi as a member of the SCO. Going forward, this means that Iran will do business with all members of the SCO under the rubric of a new financial order being organized by Russia, China, India and Brazil.

I am sure this is jarring news to the western allies. They have enjoyed the luxury of the dominance of the U.S. Dollar as the international reserve currency. It was the Golden Rule at work–those with the gold make the rules. The United States faces a dilemma because it insists on levying international sanctions on any nation or leader who refuses to toe Washington’s line, but the blow back effects of those sanctions are savaging the European economies and will hurt America as well.

China and Russia now realize and affirm that the United States is no longer a reliable, trustworthy partner. They see the United States as a petulant child that, in the past, coerced others by throwing temper tantrums and launching ill-conceived, foolish foreign military operations.

Most important, but not said, the leaders of the SCO realize that Washington is leaderless. Biden is a demented buffoon. Putin demonstrated this in his press conference. He did not have a podium to lean on. He did not have a cheat sheet of journalists that instructed him who to call on. And he spoke intelligently off the cuff. Pay attention to what he says:

President Xi’s speech lays out in detail the future of the SCO:

Under these new conditions, the SCO, as an important constructive force in international and regional affairs, should keep itself well-positioned in the face of changing international dynamics, ride on the trend of the times, strengthen solidarity and cooperation and build a closer SCO community with a shared future.

First, we need to enhance mutual support. We should strengthen high-level exchanges and strategic communication, deepen mutual understanding and political trust, and support each other in our efforts to uphold security and development interests. We should guard against attempts by external forces to instigate “color revolution,” jointly oppose interference in other countries’ internal affairs under any pretext, and hold our future firmly in our own hands.

Second, we need to expand security cooperation. A proverb in Uzbekistan goes to the effect that “With peace, a country enjoys prosperity, just as with rain, the land can flourish.” The Global Security Initiative put forward by China is to address the peace deficit and global security challenges. It calls on all countries to stay true to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture. We welcome all stakeholders to get involved in implementing this initiative.

We should continue to carry out joint anti-terrorism exercises, crack down hard on terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking as well as cyber and transnational organized crimes; and we should effectively meet the challenges in data security, biosecurity, outer space security and other non-traditional security domains. China is ready to train 2,000 law enforcement personnel for SCO member states in the next five years, and establish a China-SCO base for training counter-terrorism personnel, so as to enhance capacity-building for law enforcement of SCO member states.

Third, we need to deepen practical cooperation. To deliver a better life for people of all countries in the region is our shared goal. The Global Development Initiative launched by China aims to focus global attention on development, foster global development partnership, and achieve more robust, greener and more balanced global development. China is ready to work with all other stakeholders to pursue this initiative in our region to support the sustainable development of regional countries.

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Biden Keeps Pledging Direct US War With China Over Taiwan

Posted by M. C. on September 20, 2022

This Taiwan situation is getting uglier and uglier, much faster than many expected, and the president of the world’s mightiest war machine is either two stupid, too bloodthirsty, too careless or too demented to navigate this situation with the sensitivity it deserves. Things never should have been allowed to get this far, and the US empire is showing us every indication that it intends to take things much, much further.

Caitlin Johnstone

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/biden-keeps-pledging-direct-us-war

The president of the United States has once again committed the US military to direct hot war with China in the event of an attack on Taiwan, a commitment that was once again walked back by his White House handlers.

In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Biden was asked point-blank by CBS News’ Scott Pelley if US forces would defend Taiwan from an attack by the mainland.

“Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden said.

“After our interview a White House official told us US policy has not changed,” Pelly narrates after the comment. “Officially, the U.S. will not say whether American forces would defend Taiwan. But the commander-in-chief had a view of his own.”

“So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir, US Forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?” Pelley asked.

“Yes,” Biden replied.

This is by my count the fourth time the US president has made such remarks in transgression of his government’s standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” on this issue only to have them walked back by administration staff.

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‘Samarkand Spirit’ to Be Driven by ‘Responsible Powers’ Russia and China

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2022

The SCO summit of Asian power players delineated a road map for strengthening the multipolar world

By Pepe Escobar
The Cradle

Arguably the biggest takeaway of this week’s Samarkand summit is that Chinese President Xi Jinping presented China and Russia, together, as “responsible global powers” bent on securing the emergence of multipolarity, and refusing the arbitrary “order” imposed by the United States and its unipolar worldview.

https://thecradle.co/Article/Columns/15771

Amidst serious tremors in the world of geopolitics, it is so fitting that this year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of state summit should have taken place in Samarkand – the ultimate Silk Road crossroads for 2,500 years.

When in 329 BC Alexander the Great reached the then Sogdian city of Marakanda, part of the Achaemenid empire, he was stunned: “Everything I have heard about Samarkand it’s true, except it is even more beautiful than I had imagined.”

Fast forward to an Op-Ed by Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev published ahead of the SCO summit, where he stresses how Samarkand now “can become a platform that is able to unite and reconcile states with various foreign policy priorities.”

After all, historically, the world from the point of view of the Silk Road landmark has always been “perceived as one and indivisible, not divided. This is the essence of a unique phenomenon – the ‘Samarkand spirit’.”

And here Mirziyoyev ties the “Samarkand Spirit” to the original SCO “Shanghai Spirit” established in early 2001, a few months before the events of September 11, when the world was forced into strife and endless war, almost overnight.

All these years, the culture of the SCO has been evolving in a distinctive Chinese way. Initially, the Shanghai Five were focused on fighting terrorism – months before the US war of terror (italics mine) metastasized from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond.

Over the years, the initial “three no’s” – no alliance, no confrontation, no targeting any third party – ended up equipping a fast, hybrid vehicle whose ‘four wheels’ are ‘politics, security, economy, and humanities,’ complete with a Global Development Initiative, all of which contrast sharply with the priorities of a hegemonic, confrontational west.

Arguably the biggest takeaway of this week’s Samarkand summit is that Chinese President Xi Jinping presented China and Russia, together, as “responsible global powers” bent on securing the emergence of multipolarity, and refusing the arbitrary “order” imposed by the United States and its unipolar worldview.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pronounced Xi’s bilateral conversation with President Vladimir Putin as “excellent.” Xi Jinping, previous to their meeting, and addressing Putin directly, had already stressed the common Russia-China objectives:

“In the face of the colossal changes of our time on a global scale, unprecedented in history, we are ready with our Russian colleagues to set an example of a responsible world power and play a leading role in order to put such a rapidly changing world on the trajectory of sustainable and positive development.”

Later, in the preamble to the heads of state meeting, Xi went straight to the point: it is important to “prevent attempts by external forces to organize ‘color revolutions’ in the SCO countries.” Well, Europe wouldn’t be able to tell, because it has been color-revolutionized non-stop since 1945.

Putin, for his part, sent a message that will be ringing all across the Global South: “Fundamental transformations have been outlined in world politics and economics, and they are irreversible.” (italics mine)

Iran: it’s showtime

Iran was the guest star of the Samarkand show, officially embraced as the 9th member of the SCO. President Ebrahim Raisi, significantly, stressed before meeting Putin that “Iran does not recognize sanctions against Russia.” Their strategic partnership will be enhanced. On the business front, a hefty delegation comprising leaders of 80 large Russian companies will be visiting Tehran next week.

The increasing Russia-China-Iran interpolation – the three top drivers of Eurasia integration – scares the hell out of the usual suspects, who may be starting to grasp how the SCO represents, in the long run, a serious challenge to their geoeconomic game. So, as every grain of sand in every Heartland desert is already aware, the geopolitical pressure against the trio will increase exponentially.

And then there was the mega-crucial Samarkand trilateral: Russia-China-Mongolia. There were no official leaks, but this trio arguably discussed the Power of Siberia-2 gas pipeline – the interconnector to be built across Mongolia; and Mongolia’s enhanced role in a crucial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) connectivity corridor, now that China is not using the Trans-Siberian route for exports to Europe because of sanctions.

Putin briefed Xi on all aspects of Russia’s Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine, and arguably answered some really tough questions, many of them circulating wildly on the Chinese web for months now.

Which brings us to Putin’s presser at the end of the summit – with virtually all questions predictably revolving around the military theater in Ukraine.

The key takeaway from the Russian president: “There are no changes on the SMO plan. The main tasks are being implemented.” On peace prospects, it is Ukraine that “is not ready to talk to Russia.” And overall, “it is regrettable that the west had the idea to use Ukraine to try to collapse Russia.”

On the fertilizer soap opera, Putin remarked, “food supply, energy supply, they (the west) created these problems, and now are trying to resolve them at the expense of someone else” – meaning the poorest nations. “European countries are former colonial powers and they still have this paradigm of colonial philosophy. The time has come to change their behavior, to become more civilized.”

On his meeting with Xi Jinping: “It was just a regular meeting, it’s been quite some time we haven’t had a meeting face to face.” They talked about how to “expand trade turnover” and circumvent the “trade wars caused by our so-called partners,” with “expansion of settlements in national currencies not progressing as fast as we want.”

Strenghtening multipolarity

Putin’s bilateral with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not have been more cordial – on a “very special friendship” register – with Modi calling for serious solutions to the food and fuel crises, actually addressing the west. Meanwhile, the State Bank of India will be opening special rupee accounts to handle Russia-related trade.

This is Xi’s first foreign trip since the Covid pandemic. He could do it because he’s totally confident of being awarded a third term during the Communist Party Congress next month in Beijing. Xi now controls and/or has allies placed in at least 90 percent of the Politburo.

The other serious reason was to recharge the appeal of BRI in close connection to the SCO. China’s ambitious BRI project was officially launched by Xi in Astana (now Nur-Sultan) nine years ago. It will remain the overarching Chinese foreign policy concept for decades ahead.

BRI’s emphasis on trade and connectivity ties in with the SCO’s evolving multilateral cooperation mechanisms, congregating nations focusing on economic development independent from the hazy, hegemonic “rules-based order.” Even India under Modi is having second thoughts about relying on western blocs, where New Delhi is at best a neo-colonized “partner.”

So Xi and Putin, in Samarkand, for all practical purposes delineated a road map for strengthening multipolarity – as stressed by the final  Samarkand declaration  signed by all SCO members.

The Kazakh puzzle 

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China Threatens the US Empire, Not the US Itself: Notes From the Edge of the Narrative Matrix

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2022

Things you can make money out of:

  • War
  • Ecocide
  • Sickness
  • Finite commodities

Things you can’t make money out of:

  • Peace
  • A thriving biosphere
  • Health
  • Energy sources you can’t control

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

So many empire apologist arguments depend on pretending the US empire doesn’t exist; pretending the US is just a normal country sitting there minding its own business. If you do that, it really does look like Russia and China are picking on Ukraine and Taiwan completely unprovoked.

If you act like the US isn’t the hub of an empire that is projecting power all over the globe, then the fact that it has a hand in every major international conflict becomes obscured and it just looks like evil barbaric foreigners doing evil things for no good reason. Take the empire out of the equation and Assad wasn’t reacting to a western-backed regime change proxy war, he was just killing his own people because he likes killing people. China isn’t responding to US encirclement, it’s just being aggressive to its neighbors because it is evil.

Because the globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States is an unacknowledged, unofficial empire that doesn’t look like the empires of old, its apologists can just insist that it doesn’t exist, like mob lawyers used to do with the mafia. By doing that, they can assign others responsibility for the empire’s crimes.

A large amount of empire apologia in 2022 is also built around pretending that provocation just isn’t a thing. That this concept we’ve all lived our entire lives knowing about and understanding is suddenly a freakish and ridiculous invention of Moscow and Beijing.

If I provoke someone into doing something bad, then they’re guilty of doing the bad thing, but I am also guilty of provoking them. This is the plot behind any movie or show with a sneaky or manipulative villain. It’s the subject of entire Shakespearean plays. I’m not saying anything new here. This notion wasn’t just invented.

Most of us learn this as children with siblings kicking the other under the table or whatever to provoke a loud outburst, and we’ve understood it ever since. But in 2022 everyone’s pretending that this extremely basic, kindergarten-level concept is some kind of bizarre alien gibberish.

China poses no threat to the United States of America, the country. What China poses a threat to is the US empire and the hegemonic unipolarist ambitions thereof. That’s what various government agencies are talking about when they describe China as the number one “threat”.

Talking about China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors without talking about the US empire’s efforts to establish strategic domination of those areas is the same as lying.

Normal person: China’s misdeeds have been greatly exaggerated by western propaganda and the US is quantifiably far more murderous and destructive.

Crazy person: Oh so you think China is a perfect communist utopia and the CCP never does anything wrong?? Why don’t you MOVE there??

Caitlin Johnstone

@caitoz

CBS: Here’s an investigative report on how only 30% of the weapons we’re sending to Ukraine are getting to the frontline! Ukrainian government: No. Take it down. CBS: Okay sorry.

6:53 PM · Aug 9, 2022·Twitter Web App

Pretending the US government has been taken over by Marxists lets the “populist right” feel as though their shrieking about communism is punching up and fighting the power, when really they’re just facilitating longstanding neocon agendas against China and longstanding CIA/FBI agendas against western socialists.

It was scary when Russiagate first started and liberals began turning into cold war zombies. You could just tell the brainwashing was going to be used to get them to consent to ugly, dangerous things. The brainwashing about China is even scarier, and it’s just getting started.

If your government is showing a clear interest in the outcome of a foreign war, and your first response isn’t to do some rigorous and intellectually honest investigation as to whether your government played a role in starting that war, then there’s something wrong with your mind.

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Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip Exposes Foolishness of Interventionism

Posted by M. C. on August 9, 2022

By Ron Paul, MD

Ron Paul Institute

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/august/08/pelosi-s-taiwan-trip-exposes-foolishness-of-interventionism/

The US fighting a proxy war with Russia through Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi provoking China nearly to the point of war over Taiwan is meant to show the world how tough we are. In reality, it demonstrates the opposite. The drunken man in a bar challenging everyone to a fight is not tough. He’s foolish.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “surprise” trip to Taiwan last week should be “Exhibit A” as to why interventionism is dangerous, deadly, and dumb. Though she claimed her visit won some sort of victory for democracy over autocracy, the stopover achieved nothing of the sort. It was a pointless gesture that brought us closer to military conflict with zero benefits.

As Col. Doug Macgregor said of Pelosi’s trip on a recent episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, “statesmanship involves advancing American interests at the least cost to the American people. None of that is in play here. … Posturing is not statesmanship.”

Pelosi’s trip was no outlier. Such counterproductive posturing is much celebrated by both parties in Washington. Neoconservative Senators Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham were thrilled with Pelosi’s stop in Taipei and used it as a springboard to push for new legislation that would essentially declare war on China by declaring Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally.”

The “one China” policy that, while perhaps not perfect, has kept the peace for more than 40 years is to be scrapped and replaced with one sure to provoke a war. Who benefits?

Foolishly taking the US to the brink of war with Russia over Ukraine is evidently not enough for Washington’s bipartisan warmongering class. Risking a nuclear war on two fronts, with both Russia and China, is apparently the only way for Washington to show the rest of the world it’s serious.

The Washington Post’s neoconservative columnist Josh Rogin accurately captures the mindset in Washington DC with a recent article titled, “The skeptics are wrong: The US can confront both China and Russia.”

For Washington’s foreign policy “experts,” those of us who don’t believe a war with both Russia and China is a great idea are written off as “skeptics.” Count me as one of the skeptics!

During the Cold War there were times of heightened tension, but even in the darkest days the idea that nuclear war with China and the Soviet Union could be a solution was held only by only a few madmen. Now, with the ideological struggles of the Cold War a decades-old memory, such an argument makes even less sense. Yet this is what Washington is selling.

The US fighting a proxy war with Russia through Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi provoking China nearly to the point of war over Taiwan is meant to show the world how tough we are. In reality, it demonstrates the opposite. The drunken man in a bar challenging everyone to a fight is not tough. He’s foolish. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose from his display of bravado.

That is interventionism at its core: a foolish policy that provokes nothing but anger overseas, benefits no one in the US except the special interests, and leaves the rest of us much poorer and worse off.

There may be plenty to criticize about China’s government and policies. They are far from perfect, particularly in protection of civil liberties. But have we already forgotten that our own government shut down the country for two years over a virus, and then forced a huge number of Americans to take an experimental shot that is proving to be as worthless as it is dangerous? Let’s look at the log in our own eye before we start lobbing missiles overseas.


Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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In Eurasia, the War of Economic Corridors Is in Full Swing

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2022

Mega Eurasian organizations and their respective projects are now converging at record speed, with one global pole way ahead of the other.

This also explains why Russia has been busy building a vast array of state-of-the-art icebreakers.

By Pepe Escobar
The Cradle

The War of Economic Corridors is now proceeding full speed ahead, with the game-changing first cargo flow of goods from Russia to India via the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) already in effect.

Very few, both in the east and west, are aware of how this actually has long been in the making: the Russia-Iran-India agreement for implementing a shorter and cheaper Eurasian trade route via the Caspian Sea (compared to the Suez Canal), was first signed in 2000, in the pre-9/11 era.

The INSTC in full operational mode signals a powerful hallmark of Eurasian integration – alongside the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and last but not least, what I described as “Pipelineistan” two decades ago.

Caspian is key

Let’s have a first look on how these vectors are interacting.

The genesis of the current acceleration lies in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, for the 6th Caspian Summit. This event not only brought the evolving Russia-Iran strategic partnership to a deeper level, but crucially, all five Caspian Sea littoral states agreed that no NATO warships or bases will be allowed on site.

That essentially configures the Caspian as a virtual Russian lake, and in a minor sense, Iranian – without compromising the interests of the three “stans,” Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. For all practical purposes, Moscow has tightened its grip on Central Asia a notch.

As the Caspian Sea is connected to the Black Sea by canals off the Volga built by the former USSR, Moscow can always count on a reserve navy of small vessels – invariably equipped with powerful missiles – that may be transferred to the Black Sea in no time if necessary.

Stronger trade and financial links with Iran now proceed in tandem with binding the three “stans” to the Russian matrix. Gas-rich republic Turkmenistan for its part has been historically idiosyncratic – apart from committing most of its exports to China.

Under an arguably more pragmatic young new leader, President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, Ashgabat may eventually opt to become a member of the SCO and/or the EAEU.

Caspian littoral state Azerbaijan on the other hand presents a complex case: an oil and gas producer eyed by the European Union (EU) to become an alternative energy supplier to Russia – although this is not happening anytime soon.

The West Asia connection

Iran’s foreign policy under President Ebrahim Raisi is clearly on a Eurasian and Global South trajectory. Tehran will be formally incorporated into the SCO as a full member in the upcoming summit in Samarkand in September, while its formal application to join the BRICS has been filed.

Purnima Anand, head of the BRICS International Forum, has stated that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are also very much keen on joining BRICS. Should that happen, by 2024 we could be on our way to a powerful West Asia, North Africa hub firmly installed inside one of the key institutions of the multipolar world.

As Putin heads to Tehran next week for trilateral Russia, Iran, Turkey talks, ostensibly about Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is bound to bring up the subject of BRICS.

Tehran is operating on two parallel vectors. In the event the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is revived – a quite dim possibility as it stands, considering the latest shenanigans in Vienna and Doha – that would represent a tactical victory. Yet moving towards Eurasia is on a whole new strategic level.

In the INSTC framework, Iran will make maximum good use of the geostrategically crucial port of Bandar Abbas – straddling the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

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Don’t blame the communists for all those deaths?

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2022

https://mailchi.mp/tomwoods/expiring?e=fa1aba8cd8

I was just telling one of my daughters about my college days, when one of my professors expected us to buy our books at a store called Revolution Books.

That place had portraits of Mao and the usual list of mass murderers hanging on the walls.

Oh, those deaths weren’t the communists’ fault! Those people died because of bad weather!

(Ain’t it funny how much bad weather there is in communist countries?)

A few years ago I was delighted to read a column by Pierre Yared, a professor at — of all places — Columbia Business School, who had studied the agricultural and demographic record of the period of mass death in Maoist China, and who said we should pay no attention to leftist excuse-making.

First, chuck the “bad weather” excuse. China’s food production was three times what would have been necessary to feed everyone. And second, China did not lack an effective food-distribution network, as has been claimed.

Could the famine have been avoided? Yared answered:

Perhaps — if the Communists hadn’t outlawed agricultural markets. In a market system, any local food shortage would result in higher food prices, inducing those with a surplus to direct resources toward those with a deficit. Indeed, according to historical accounts, Communist Party members, who could engage in black-market transactions with impunity, escaped the worst hunger.

As for people who celebrated communism one the one hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, they “should be honest about its deadly track record, rooted in a set of failed ideas — such as abandoning free markets and relying on government bureaucrats to distribute resources, thus making entire societies vulnerable to the effects of even small human errors.”

As I’ve mentioned over the past few days, the next course we’ll be adding to our collection of on-demand courses (we have 28 so far) at Liberty Classroom, my dashboard university, will be on the crimes of communism. Talk about history they didn’t teach you!

As with all our other courses, you’ll be able to consume it any time of day or night.

If you’re like me, you were a victim of educational malpractice. Here’s your chance to put things right.

In honor of that upcoming course, I’m having a flash sale: take a full 50% off our master (lifetime) membership when you use coupon code communism (but the offer expires at midnight tonight):
 http://www.LibertyClassroom.com
Tom Woods

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Why we all need education in economics and international trade

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2022

BY TED TUCKER, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR

What has not changed, however, are the fundamental truths by which economies operate. And the benefits of free trade are more than just access to higher-quality, lower-priced goods — a point underscored by the recent baby formula shortage, caused in part by a limited number of domestic formula companies under strict government policies designed to keep out foreign producers. Studies show that globalization actually boosts the American economy by reducing inefficient domestic industries and providing resources and opportunity for innovation, in turn raising wages and improving living standards.

As prices at the gas pump and on our store shelves rise, President Biden recently mentioned he would consider lifting some tariffs on China in an attempt to combat exorbitant inflation. It’s an issue he has addressed before, noting that inflation is his “top economic priority.” And while doing away with tariffs is a start, there’s more to be done to encourage international trade — the real solution to combating rising costs. Simply stated, all barriers to free global trade limit competition and allow domestic producers to increase prices, a contributing factor to inflation. But somewhere along the way, elected leaders have forgotten this basic economic concept and have turned to policies limiting an international marketplace.

A global pandemic and subsequent runaway deficit spending have contributed to a historic level of inflation. Now, Republicans and Democrats alike are questioning U.S. participation in international trade and suggesting that weaning ourselves from a global free market is the right answer. In doing so, they are ignoring a basic economic truth: voluntary trade creates wealth.

Look no further than the president’s State of the Union address: “Instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America,” Biden said, receiving applause from both sides of the aisle. And Democrats recently revved up support for this effort, including Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who introduced the Supply Chain Resiliency Act. She noted, “Our ‘made in America’ economy has been neglected, exposing us to shocks that leave us unable to produce or acquire the things we need, putting our health, economy and security at risk.” 

However, it isn’t just Democrats who want to curtail international trade. Others, such as Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, have said the need to domestically produce critical items such as computer parts and semiconductor chips “was there solidly before, but the Russian invasion [of Ukraine] just puts an exclamation point on it” — making it clear that both parties have experienced an abrupt change on this issue over the past several years.

What has not changed, however, are the fundamental truths by which economies operate. And the benefits of free trade are more than just access to higher-quality, lower-priced goods — a point underscored by the recent baby formula shortage, caused in part by a limited number of domestic formula companies under strict government policies designed to keep out foreign producers. Studies show that globalization actually boosts the American economy by reducing inefficient domestic industries and providing resources and opportunity for innovation, in turn raising wages and improving living standards. In fact, the Bureau of Economic Analysis notes at least half of America’s imports are inputs for U.S. manufacturers, not consumer goods. These imports reduce imported-input costs, ultimately lowering a manufacturer’s production costs and facilitating economic growth.

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Is It All Up to India?

Posted by M. C. on July 7, 2022

India has stood firm in its position of not being pulled from a multipolar world into the US led unipolar world. If the US cannot use divisions with China to pull India from Russia onto its side, it may face a large and muscular competitor in the global tug of war.

antiwar.com

by Ted Snider

In the global tug of war between a US led unipolar world and a Russia-China nurtured multipolar world, whichever side India throws its massive size behind will likely prevail, or at least not be defeated.

On the one side of the rope is the US with all its political, economic and military muscle. On the other is Russia and its massive and growing strategic partner, China. In the middle is India, the second largest country in the world and a growing power.

India maintains a friendly foot in both worlds. Long a partner of the US in containing China, India long played that same role for Russia, with whom it has long been a key friend. India is a member of the US led QUAD, whose purpose is to contain and deflate China while asserting US leadership over the management of Asia. There have been times in the twenty-first century when the US plan for pressing China back down has included nurturing India’s ascent to a major world power so it could be deputized as a reliable hegemon in the region. Today, still, the key to the QUAD is bringing India over to the US side.

But India is also a long and very close partner of Russia, and its relations with China have been improving for decades. It is a member of the QUAD but has restrained that organization. It has participated in it and supported it but maintained, unlike its American, Japanese and Australian partners, that the QUAD is “not against somebody.” Though India has regional concerns about China over which it opposes it, it lacks America’s global concerns about China and may not be “against” it. India has its own concerns about its giant neighbor but does not share American concerns of containing it.

Instead, India is also a member of important international organizations in which it joins Russia and China in containing, or balancing, US hegemony. India is an important and enthusiastic member of both the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), whose purpose is to act as an economic and foreign policy counterweight to the US in an attempt to re-balance the US led unipolar world into a multipolar one. 

India is not only a member of BRICS, which includes Brazil and South Africa, it is also a member of the core RIC group along with Russia and China. In a recent landmark Joint Statement, Russia and China announced that they “intend to develop cooperation within the ‘Russia-India-China’ format.” India, too, has said that they would join Russia and China in discussing “further strengthening of RIC trilateral cooperation.” Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has noted that part of the role of RIC is “in promoting trust and confidence between India and China.” That role is the antithesis of the US goal of exploiting divisions between India and China to bring India over to the US side.

The current template the US has imposed on the world no longer allows for neutrality.

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