The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Month: September 2022 Page 1 of 3

America Defeats Germany Again, Europe Foolishly Helps

(I’m aware others have made the same US defeats Germany point before this. Just becoming super obvious.)

There’s a good article in Der Spiegel on the German energy/industrial crisis which is worth your time.

Basically industries which have high energy costs are being crushed. In particular this means chemical and automotive, both big in Germany, but extends far further.

(Indeed, the chemical industry was essentially invented by Germany in the 19th century, and American industry exists because the patents were broken in WWI and not reinstated after the war.)

This has a lot of knock-on effects, not only in price increases (which are big), but shortages. For example:

The coronavirus pandemic showed how easily modern production processes can get out of sync. Supply chains interlock like the insides of a clock, and if one cog fails, the entire machinery can grind to a halt.

An example is a small company from Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany, which has made it onto the prime-time news broadcasts in recent days because its products are needed almost everywhere. “Our production has been halted completely,” says Torsten Klett, the co-managing director of SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz. “And we will only be able to restart if the gas price drops significantly or if politicians provide us with massive support.” The chemical company is one of Germany’s largest producers of fertilizers and AdBlue. Natural gas has also become too expensive for SKW. If political help doesn’t arrive soon, the company could be forced to send its 860 employees into a work furlough program in October.

Few modern diesel engines can be operated without AdBlue – not those of the fire department, not those used in public transportation and, above all, not the 800,000 or so trucks that transport goods of all kinds across Germany’s roads every day. Should companies no longer receive the products they need for their own production, the result wold be devastating, and almost all sectors would be affected.

The national association representing the logistics industry has begun warning of potential bottlenecks, even though AdBlue is also manufactured by BASF and the Norwegian firm Yara. But BASF began cutting back on ammonia production last year due to increased gas prices. The world’s largest chemical company can still compensate for the shortfall by buying on the world market, though the costs continue to rise.

So, logistics crisis intensifies because of lack AdBlue.

Meanwhile increased energy prices are hammering every single business and homeowner just for electricity, heating and cooling, so much so that it’s causing many retailers to become non-viable. Employment is actually tight (whisper after me “Covid deaths and Long Covid”), so there’s pressure on wages, but prices are increasing faster than wages so consumers don’t want to spend.

Industries that Germany has been powerful in for over a century are being hammered.

Now a lot of Europeans hate Germany, and with good reason. The Euro has been less than Germany would have had given its own currency with their level of exports, but higher than it should be for most other European countries, meaning that German industry was subsidized and other nations like Italy and Finland were penalized.

Germany aggressively policed other European countries, making it near impossible for them to protect their industry thru other means like subsidies, generally under the rubric of “fiscal discipline” and when countries were in crisis engaged in a fair bit of looting.

Meanwhile Eastern Europe was never properly integrated into Europe, remaining primarily a source of cheap labour and not properly moving up value chains.

To Eastern Europeans Germany is a traitor who made deals with the evil Russians to keep their energy prices low and didn’t really share the ensuing prosperity. (Germans would mostly disagree, noting the subsidies. But countries want their own prosperity, not welfare.) To Western Europeans Germany has repeatedly abused its economic and political power to keep its industry strong, even as others lost theirs.

So Germany has a lot of power in the EU, but few true friends, and there’s a lot of resentment.

Still, whatever the causes, Germany is the industrial powerhouse of Europe and Europeans who are laughing at Germany’s loss of industry during this energy crisis are being foolish, because what’s happening is that Europe as a whole is becoming weaker.

But the beautiful icing on the cake (if you’re an American oligarch) is:

A big winner from the energy crisis in Europe: the U.S. economy.

Battered by skyrocketing gas prices, companies in Europe that make steel, fertilizer and other feedstocks of economic activity are shifting operations to the U.S., attracted by more stable energy prices and muscular government support.

As wild swings in energy prices and persistent supply-chain troubles threaten Europe with what some economists warn could be a new era of deindustrialization, Washington has unveiled a raft of incentives for manufacturing and green energy. The upshot is a playing field increasingly tilted in the U.S.’s favor, executives say, particularly for companies placing bets on projects to make chemicals, batteries and other energy-intensive products.

“It’s a no-brainer to go and do that in the United States,” said Ahmed El-Hoshy, chief executive of Amsterdam-based chemical firm OCI NV, which this month announced an expansion of an ammonia plant in Texas.

Some economists have warned that natural-gas producers from Canada to the U.S. and Qatar may struggle to fully replace Russia as a supplier for Europe in the medium term. If so, the continent could face high prices, at least for gas, well into 2024, threatening to make the scarring on Europe’s manufacturing sector permanent.

It’s not other Europeans who are going to win out of this, everyone’s being hurt to some degree and any gains are relative, not absolute. “Well this hurts the Germans so much more than us” is only a relative win. But it weakens Europe overall: the production mostly isn’t moving to other European countries This is the wrong way to deal with a real problem, in other words, and the right way was political and a rejection of neo-liberalism. But since neo-liberalism is religion to Eurocrats, that wasn’t possible. Dealing with Germany couldn’t be done rationally and sensibly, so instead it has been done stupidly and harmfully, so that no one benefits except the US.

As I have said since the start, anti-Russia sanctions primarily hurt Europe and help America. They make Europe weaker and re-enforce the European political position as American satrapies. Since they do very little harm to Russia, the rational course would have been to continue to buy Russian oil while only putting on targeted sanctions (no military or dual use sales), and spend the next 2-4 years gracefully moving to alternatives in a way that would not deeply damage Germany and Europe’s industrial base and wouldn’t cause a general economic crisis in Europe.

Longer term, my forecast is that Europe as a whole will move to second world status. Their decisions around Ukraine have made that a certainty, since they make it a virtual certainty they will also wind up going along with the US in the cold-war against China. Europe has less and less tech and industry that the world must have: there are other consumers available and they no longer have a military worth worrying about.

Europe’s massive living standard was based technological, industrial and military superiority which is going away. The rise of China ends that: there are now 4+ major industrial/technological powers and Europe isn’t needed. As China climbs the tech chain, there will soon be nothing significant they, or anybody else, must get from Europe (jets may be the last holdout, but even that will not last.)

Mishandling of Ukraine, the war and sanctions is Europe’s decision to go ugly into its twilight.


The Attacks On Nord Stream I & II

Let’s point out the obvious. Russia had no reason to attack its own pipelines. If it doesn’t want gas to go thru them it just turns off the tap. Sabotage to the pipelines weakens Russia’s position, since it will be months before they can offer to turn fuel back on, if they ever can (I’m seeing reports the damage is truly epic), which they would have wanted to offer during the winter in order to pressure Germany in specific and Europe in general. Anyone who says or believes that Russia did this is a moron, a propagandist or has had their mind so twisted by Russia-hatred they can no longer think straight.

Who did attack? Who knows. One possibility is the US.

Radek Sikorski is a Polish MEP, and married to Anne Applebaum.

On the other hand, Naked Capitalism published a piece suggesting Poland did it. They recently opened their own pipeline, and are rabidly anti-Russia. Germany needs Russian gas and oil to run its industrial economy, but Poland wants Germany to not push for a peace deal with Russia.

I don’t know who did this, but what I do know is that it almost certainly wasn’t Russia. If you thought it was, check yourself, you’ve gone off the rails into propaganda-land and your emotions are ruling your reason.

Oh, and this is an attack on Germany and other countries who get gas from Russia, even more than on Russia and a reminder of how fragile international logistics links are. In the event of a real war, expect far more than this to go down.


No The Solution To Ending Mandatory Masking Isn’t “Well YOU can still mask”

Few things make more more tired or contemptuous of someone than, when a masking mandate is removed, someone saying “well, you still have the choice to wear a mask, we’re not effecting you” or some variation.

Masking is not primarily about protecting yourself. Only a respirator and a well-fitted N95 offer good protection from Covid if other people aren’t masking.


Now that chart may be making you feel safe if you go quickly in and out of businesses, but realize that there are multiple people in those buildings and that in an enclosed space the virus builds up, so even if there’s only one person who is infectious, if they’ve been there for a while, you can walk in and get a huge dose. And if you have multiple exposures in different places, the viral load can build.

Oh, and if you think anything short of a respirator is likely to protect you on a long flight where people don’t have to mask…

Masking is not primarily about protecting yourself, though it helps, it’s about protecting other people, especially since Covid can be asymptomatic and since Covid tests, especially the rapid antigen tests, often give false negatives.

It’s not, thus, just about you. It’s about the people around you.

And hysterics aside and rare conditions, no, masking may be uncomfortable but it doesn’t hurt adults or children. What hurts them is getting Covid, especially repeated exposure leading to organ damage, including brain damage, and to serious long-Covid.

Now I know that most countries have given up and just declared Covid over. Happening where I live, even as emergency departments have to be closed because of not enough nurses and doctors. It’s “over”.

But this marker is still worth placing. Masking is far more effective when it is a communal action. Some things, to work properly, we must do together.

The end result of not doing these things (which go far beyond masking) is going to be a double digit percentage of the population disabled and I doubt, combined with climate change, that our societies can handle that.

Welcome to the future. Deliberately un-handled plague, ecological collapse and climate change, combined with a cyberpunk dystopia without the cool parts of cyberpunk.


How Peace In Ukraine Has Been Made Almost Impossible

To make peace either one side has to be unable to fight any more, or both sides must want to make peace.

One problem in Ukraine is that both sides (and I don’t mean Ukraine and Russia, but Ukraine/NATO v. Russia) have put themselves into a trap where the leaders of various countries can’t afford to lose the war, because they will lose power.

Support for Ukraine is popular in Europe, but it is also true that such support has cost the Europeans a great deal, and that ordinary Europeans have seen bad economic times as a result. This is especially true in Germany and is seen as true in the UK (where more of the reason is their political leadership.) This will get worse as the war drags on thru the winter, as it seems certain to do, and Russia reduces or cuts off energy supplies as they seem almost certain to do.

Western war propaganda has been about how Ukraine is kicking Russia’s ass, and that Russia’s economy and logistics are on their last legs, while their army is weak and so riddled by refuseniks it can barely fight. Maximalist scenarios, like retaking Donetsk, Luhansk, Crimea and even breaking up Russia have been constantly stated as the war goals.

European politicians have made these statements or implicitly backed them, and if Russia is seen by their own population to win the war then there is likely to be a massive political backlash that loses them their jobs.

My read on Russia has always been that if Putin isn’t seen by Russians as winning the war (it doesn’t matter what Westerners think) then he loses power, as well, and quite possibly his life. To win Putin needs Crimea, Luhansk, a good chunk of the coast and for Ukraine to respect those borders in practice (no military incursions, no artillery or missile strikes) if not in principle.

Ukraine has virtually endless NATO material, surveillance and planning support. The West is willing to fight Russia to the last drop of Ukrainian blood, and even to encourage volunteers (many of whom I suspect are “volunteers”) and mercenaries to fight for them. Ukraine has been drafting for a long time, and still has plenty of manpower.

Russia has a 3 million man reserve. One my wonder if they can really call up all of it and what quality it is, but remember that Russia does have the world’s second largest armaments industry and that the armaments which have been doing the majority of the work aren’t fancy guided missiles (though those get the press), but simple dumb artillery with aid from the type of drones you can by on Amazon. They export food and fuel and can buy most of what they need but don’t make from China and India, where countries are scrambling to get into the market as Western companies leave.

Not only can Russia call up those 3 million, in theory it could draft many more, the question is political will and internal unity. While Western reports of resistance to the call-up seem to me to be one-sides (there are also reports of large numbers of volunteers), I would expect Russia’s political ability to call up men beyond the reserves is limited. The bill which was used to call up 300K was written to allow up to a million to be called.

So both Ukraine/NATO and Russia have a lot of ability to still poor men and weapons into Ukraine. They have incompatible peace criteria: Ukraine is not to give up any land and even take back land it already holds while Russia wants assurances from a Ukraine government it probably can’t get without toppling the government or making it clear that  Ukraine cannot defend itself.

One can legitimately point out that negotiators ask for what they never expect to get and say “neither side can seriously expect to get this?” but this isn’t a private negotiation. Putin and Zelensky and western politicians have to get a deal which their population and powerful interests will accept, and the more the rhetoric has been heated up, the harder that becomes. Putin’s real opposition is the hard right: there is no left wing or liberal opposition in his country.

Then there’s the US: the US economy is suffering, sure, but a lot of it is self-inflicted and US political elites are insulated from popular opinion. The Federal Reserve has just announced it will throw many millions more out of work to crush inflation by crushing wages of poor people rather than hurting the really rich, after all, and in any case the worst costs of the Ukraine war fall on Ukraine (whose suffering is irrelevant to them) and European countries whose weakening making them more reliable American satrapies. Humbling Germany and doing as much harm to their industry as possible is an especial bonus and very important to ensuring there is never a Europe which is independent of America.

All of this means that we’re in a trap. For there to be peace one of two conditions must prevail:

  • One side or the other must make such gains on the battlefield that the other side feels it has no choice but to give in. Russia must make it clear it can destroy Ukraine using conventional force, or Ukraine must actually push the Russians back and make clear they can and will march into all the occupied territory or even strike into Russia.
  • The costs of continuing the war must seem too high to the decision makers or those who can replace the decision makers. This doesn’t just mean Putin and Zelensky, it means NATO leaders and especially America and it means the public coming to find economic conditions intolerable and not worth it. It means China saying they will pull the plug on Russia (very unlikely unless used as pressure for a “get some of what you want deal”). If these conditions prevail on BOTH SIDES and both sides change their propaganda to “Russia gets some land and Ukraine recognizes that” then a deal is possible. Until then it is not.

Judge for yourself how likely these conditions are. World War I went on forever in part because both sides wanted something for having gone to war, and WWII happened because the Allies used their victory in WWI to punish Germany severely.

Peace requires one side to realize it absolutely can’t win and faces devastation if it continues, or it requires both sides to be willing to give up some gains they had hoped to realize. If both sides are committed to goals unacceptable to the other side, peace can’t occur until that changes.


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 25, 2022

by Tony Wikrent

The Making Of “LINCOLN” Behind The Scenes

[TW: A enthralling discussion of how they strove to make the film as authentic as possible. The clock ticking heard in the background of some scenes, for example, was a recording made of a watch Lincoln had actually owned. And Daniel Day Lewis describing how he researched and came to love Lincoln as a person is simply marvelous.]


Light Under a Bushel: Eric Foner, interviewed by Nawal Arjini

[The New York Review of Books, September 17, 2022]

My father, Jack Foner, lost his job at the City University of New York because of the legislative investigation of “Communist influence” on the school. This was in the early 1940s, before McCarthy. My mother, who was a high school art teacher and an artist in her own right, was also named and was going to be fired from the city educational system, but the principal of her school allowed her to retire on a medical disability instead so that she could get a pension. My family lived on my mother’s pension while I was growing up. Much later, in the late 1960s, my father was able to get a teaching job for the remainder of his career.

Blacklisting had a devastating impact on the teaching of history. Some of the very best scholars were thrown out of the profession. But I eventually realized that that experience was very educational. I learned something a lot of my college classmates didn’t know and had to learn during the 1960s: the rhetoric of freedom, liberty, and progress in our country does not comport with reality. A person losing his livelihood because someone called him a Communist—what does that tell us about freedom of speech, academic freedom in this country? The principles the country claimed to stand for and the practices it instituted were contradictory, which many young people came to discover in other ways, through the Vietnam War and the way the government lied or the civil rights revolution and the idea that we lived in equality….

“We can’t accept the principle that the way to judge a course of study is by how much money you will make. It’s important to study history if you want to be an intelligent citizen in a democracy…


The Complicity of the Textbooks

Eric Foner [The New York Review of Books, September 22, 2022]

In Teaching White Supremacy, Donald Yacovone traces how the writing of American history, from Reconstruction on, has falsified and illuminated our racial past…..

Like most works of history, W.E.B. Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction in America concludes with a bibliography listing primary and other sources consulted by the author. Most of the groupings are unexceptional—for example, monographs, government reports, and biographies. But Du Bois’s first and largest category comes as a shock to the modern reader: it consists of books by historians who believe African Americans to be “sub-human and congenitally unfitted for citizenship and the suffrage.” Just before the bibliography, Du Bois includes a chapter, “The Propaganda of History,” that indicts the profession for abandoning scholarly objectivity in the service of “that bizarre doctrine of race that makes most men inferior to the few.” This was the state of historical scholarship in the United States when Black Reconstruction was published, in 1935.


US is becoming a ‘developing country’ on global rankings that measure democracy, inequality 

[The Conversation, via Naked Capitalism 9-21-2022]

In its global rankings, the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development dropped the U.S. to 41st worldwide, down from its previous ranking of 32nd. Under this methodology – an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity – the U.S. ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries.

The U.S. is also now considered a “flawed democracy,” according to The Economist’s democracy index.

As a political historian who studies U.S. institutional development, I recognize these dismal ratings as the inevitable result of two problems. Racism has cheated many Americans out of the health care, education, economic security and environment they deserve. At the same time, as threats to democracy become more serious, a devotion to “American exceptionalism” keeps the country from candid appraisals and course corrections.

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. (No Ukraine, in other words.)

Effects of the 300K Russian Mobilization

Putin has called up 300K Russian reservists. These are people who had military service, but unlike the National Guard in the US or other similar reserve forces they do not attend regular training.

I’m seeing both reports of Russian men fleeing the country and of volunteers not in the call-up reporting. Bear in mind that Russia has somewhat more than 2 million reservists, this is a little over one-seventh of the men they can call up.  The quality of these forces will be low, but they aren’t raw recruits.

Russia’s primary liability in the war is that they’ve been fight about about 1:3 odds. This will make it so they’re fight at about 5:6 or thereabouts (it’s a little unclear how many many both sides have right now.) The recent loss happened because Russia didn’t have enough money to hold lines, so Ukraine was able to punch through, and Russia also didn’t have enough mobile reserves to counter-attack. These facts are indisputable at this point.

Even low training troops can hold ground. It is a military maxim that the main difference low training (as opposed to no training makes is in the ability to move. Low training troops tend to fight well enough, but they can’t move under fire. This is why Ukraine sends its raw conscripts to die in trenches under artillery bombardment and why western “volunteers” appear to have been the spearhead of the recent counter-offensive.

So the effect of this should be to make it much harder for any Ukrainian counter-offensives to work. They are less likely to break through, and with trained troops not being used to hold ground, there will both be more men in reserve forces to stop any counter-attacks and more trained men for Russia’s own offensives.

Russia will  have to go to partial war footing to keep these men supplied, which is something Putin was trying to avoid, and there will be more death-notices to families who though their men’s time in the military was over. Russia has the world’s second largest arms industry after the US, so don’t expect that they can’t supply their forces, though there may be “last 100 mile” challenges. High end computer chips are not needed for most of what the Russian military will want (and which can be built on this time scale) and China can supply a great deal of what Russia needs even without sending arms.

The West will now need to decide whether to partially move to a war economy and whether to send even more high-end equipment to Ukraine (which will have to, in many cases, be operated by “volunteers” if it is to be fully effective. However, ramp-up times for a lot of what the West has been sending are long, and in many cases will take a year or two to go into effect, so how much can be done is unclear.

That said, one possibility is to simply play for time and do the ramp up. Keep Russian advances slow, make sure there is no negotiated settlement and try and use the Western material advantage to offset Russia’s manpower advantage. Give it a couple years and a ton of material can flood into Ukraine, more than Russia can keep up with unless China decides to fully support them.

(This is a simulation of how the NATO analysts and officers who are actually running the Ukrainian strategy are probably thinking.)

We’ll see how this plays out, but the Russians were never as bad as Western propaganda claimed and the Ukrainians never supermen. Ukraine had a 3:1 manpower advantage and was still losing ground. They had two wins: Kiev and the recent counter-offensive, but have still lost about 20% of the country. And bear in mind that most Ukrainian troops are now barely trained conscripts, they aren’t any better and maybe slightly worse than the Russian reservists.

So, the West will have to send more gear, but there’s only so much they can send and ramping up production of the fancy stuff will take longer than it takes for Russia to get these new troops to the front. That means that Russia needs to make gains during that gap and end the war before the Western production advantage can come to bear.

This winter will be key: ground will be hard, many rivers are likely to be frozen and both armies will be able to move swiftly. If Russia wants to win the war by taking enough ground to force a peace, they need to do much of it in this winter.


Machiavelli On Putin

Back in 2014 I wrote an article which started from the problems that Russia was happening at the Sochi Winter Olympics. It wasn’t running smoothly, and that was interesting and a warning of the limits of what Putin had done in Russia. The Beijing Olympics ran almost like clockwork, the 1980 Moscow Olympics worked relatively well, but not Sochi.

Russia’s got problem, big ones, and Sochi has highlighted them. Putin has failed to transition the economy from resources, and he has not kept corruption under limits: corruption is one thing, that the system can’t be made to work in high profile circumstances like Sochi, is another.

I call it “putting your fingers down.” Maybe some things in your society or organization don’t work, but wherever leadership is putting their firm attention does. Even in 1980, as the Soviet Union was rotting, the leadership could still “put its fingers down.”

Putin, at Sochi, could not.

People tend to lump China and Russia together, but they are two very different countries, with very different systems and leadership. China has had one of the world’s best performances against Covid, after some initial fumbling and Russia some of the worst.

This is interesting because Russia is already in the middle of a demographic disaster: they can’t afford to lose a couple million people, they’re desperate for people.

Some nations may want less population: Russia is NOT one of them.

What enabled China to handle Covid, other than wanting to, is that they have vast administrative resources right down to the ward level and while those resources are somewhat corrupt, they are expected to produce results and Communist Party members are judged based on results. You can have some corruption IF you produce results, which includes reducing poverty.

In Russia this isn’t the case, administrative capacity is weak and riven with corruption and you don’t have to be competent at the actual running of your area.

So when Covid hit, the capacity just wasn’t available and Putin couldn’t “put his fingers down.” China had the capacity and could put its fingers down in addition.

Putin’s recovery, post-Yeltsin was based on the fundamental insight that resources were scarce or going to get scarcer and that Russia had a lot of resources. But instead of sequestering that money Norway style, Putin allowed quite a bit of corruption, probably in part because that corruption bought him a lot of cooperation from various elites. But when you don’t isolate resource money from other sectors and when you allow corruption, it rots the muscles of the rest of society.

And when it matters, you lack admin capacity and corruption is so severe it threatens non-resource core interests.

So Putin’s Russia was run on a fairly narrow basis, with a lot of corruption and no serious development of administrative capacity.

The 2nd Chechen war was fought essentially the same way that Putin tried to run the Ukraine war, except with a lot more willingness to commit mass murder. There was no general mobilization, because after Afghanistan and the first Chechen war, Russians hated mass mobilization, just as Americans had after Vietnam. Part of what made Putin popular, beyond improving the economy (vastly important) and reversing the demographic birth and death trends, was that he fought the war and won without mobilization, and the war was sold as an anti-terrorist operation.

Now Putin has had two crises, Covid and Ukraine, where his standard playbook; where what made him powerful and popular, doesn’t work.

One of Machavelli’s dictums is that most leaders don’t change with the times and challenges. Certain strategies and tactics got them into power and kept them there, and those strategies genuinely worked. Then times and challenges change and the leaders keep doing what they always did, which is no longer appropriate.

Putin has looked pretty competent for the past 20 years, but his competence was a matter of specific strategies in specific circumstances. The world has changed and the challenges have changed. He failed at dealing with Covid, and he tried to win the Ukraine war with a 1:3 force structure against a NATO trained army with strong NATO support and lots of foreign volunteers. (Or perhaps, “volunteers”. There are some reports that volunteers spearheaded the last Ukrainian counter-offensive and NATO military staffs are likely doing most of the planning.)

The strategies that worked in Chechnya, which didn’t have NATO support or a NATO trained army or massive supplies from NATO, are questionable in Ukraine, at best. The policies that created Russia’s largely resource based economy, didn’t work when Covid hit, there was not enough administrative capacity.

So, Putin’s been mostly competent for two decades. But the question now is if he can adapt; if he can change. Winter will be a key period in the Ukraine war and may decide it: the ground will be hard, many rivers are likely to be frozen and movement will be fast on both sides. Putin has about 2 1/2 months to get his army ready.

And as I’ve said before, I don’t believe Putin can political survive being seen to lose the Ukraine war by the Russian public. He may not be able to physically survive losing it. Those who will replace him are on the right, much more willing to use force than Putin, who has been (though most in the West won’t acknowledge it) rather restrained compared to Chechnya or Iraq.

Can Putin change? Can he learn? Most leaders can’t. We’ll know soon.


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