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

China’s Economic Plans Amount to Preparation for Cold War

From the Wall Street Journal:

The article itself is a bit foolish. China can’t, and knows it can’t, be entirely self-sufficient. But it can reduce its dependency, in particular on US and Western sources, and that’s what it has to do. Unlike with Venezuela and Iran, seizing Chinese freighters routinely is a no-go (and, if necessary, China can send military escorts). But US sanctions can bite, and hard, as they did with semiconductors, and the US showed its teeth under Trump and continues to growl under Biden.

What Americans don’t seem to understand is that China could easily retaliate: It is the sole source for a huge number of manufactured goods and is the world’s largest manufacturing power. So far it has chosen not to; it wants the status quo to limp on for as long as possible, but if the US decides to start a real trade war, it’s likely the US will be hurt badly. This isn’t the USSR vs. the US, where the US was the clear, superior industrial power. The US has the lead in a few areas, its allies in others (it’s Taiwan that makes semiconductors), but China is the lynchpin industrial economy.

Still, the Chinese have decided that the US is determined to have a cold war, and they are right, and they are preparing for it.

US propaganda has become particularly unhinged of late. My favorite being this from the NYTimes:

It seems more apt to describe the “herd immunity” policies followed in the West, especially since Omicron, as Holocaust-like, as official US death figures are 800K, and likely real figures are twice that and Covid isn’t close to over yet.

But “they are very strict at lockdowns and the work is exhausting but they’ve saved millions of lives” seems like an odd thing to criticize China for, but US elite lack of self-awareness continues to be the marvel of the world.

Western elites can’t admit basic facts. Covid could be controlled. They chose not to control it because letting it rip made them rich. Millions died as a result. They are responsible for more deaths than the Holocaust due to their refusal to handle the pandemic (and it will be many more by the end). The “evil, totalitarian Chinese Communist Party” are the ones who went all out to save lives, not the “good, wonderful, free democratic governments of the West.” (With, yes, a few minor exceptions.)

Western elites, through their actions and lack of actions, in effect, murdered millions of people. Covid could be controlled, China proves it, and so they hate China even more.

Hopefully they won’t let their hate reach such a peak they toss nukes around when the Cold War they are so determined to have goes hot.



Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 16, 2022


Politics Series: Power


  1. Mary Bennett

    IDK what to tell you, Mr. Welsh. Us working class Americans, as distinct from elites, you should excuse the expression, are already hurting. For us, it makes perfect sense to boycott Chinese (and most other overseas) made goods and, when we have to buy something, let our own neighbor make some cash. Shoddy, careless making of anything, whether it is the car you buy or your kid’s costume you run up the night before Halloween, is a kind of lying, IMHO, and at this point I do. not. care. whose lie it was. Most of the hard goods any reasonable person needs are available second hand and of far better quality than what one can find at the boxes.

    I would assert that in the present emergency the first things we have to do are commit to tell no lies ourselves and do no more shoddy work. You think that isn’t revolutionary? Try it at your job and see what happens. And the next thing after that is wherever and whenever do not support, praise or spend money on the shoddy work of others. No matter who they are.

    Grocery shopping is an interesting case in point. For many years, most organically produced products have been priced out of the reach of poor shoppers. Now prices of industrially produced and processed so-called foods have gotten so high that one might as well buy the good stuff.

    I would like to see the word ‘consumer’ replaced with ‘citizen’. I am an American citizen, not a mass market consumer.

  2. different clue

    The reason that ” China could easily retaliate: it is the sole source for a huge number of manufactured goods, and is the world’s largest manufacturing power. ” is because the anti-American traitors for Free Trade spent several decades very carefully dismantling the production economy in America and relocating it to China. That is why “nothing” is made in America anymore.

    What America needs is to seccede from the International Free Trade Order, and take the several decades of pain involved in restoring American production for American consumption here in America. Let America rule America and let China rule the rest of the world.

    Realistically, we can’t vote our way back to a pro-America economic policy. The only way we can get there is to mass-exterminate our way there. We will have to mass exterminate every single Free Trade Supporter living within the borders of the United States before we can even have a hope of restoring America’s economy back to separate existence.

  3. Mary Bennett

    Different Clue, agreed as far as withdraw from WTO etc. The problem with mass extermination is that a. a new group of sociopaths moves in, b. some will escape and sooner or later come back, with foreign military (peacekeeping) support. Better to make their lives as unpleasant as possible and encourage them to leave of their own accord and take their apparatchiks with them. The Great Boycott needs to join the Great Resignation.

  4. Trinity

    “China’s economic plan these days reads like a massive security plan. Food security. Energy security. Raw materials security. Supply chain security. Data and tech security. ”

    Basically China is demonstrating a sane response to our shared reality of a poisoned environment, limits to growth, and climate change. Meanwhile, the captured nations, including the US, are suffering under fascist control based on a “reality” (fantasy) that only exists in Bond movies and the former Soviet Union.

    Quite a role reversal in only 50 years. I guess that comes from an emphasis on “efficiency”. For the US, we have food insecurity, energy insecurity, raw materials insecurity, supply chain insecurity, and most definitely data and tech insecurity.

    But let’s keep going. We also have job insecurity, housing insecurity, retirement insecurity, healthcare insecurity, economic insecurity, retirement insecurity, community insecurity, right to vote insecurity. Did I miss anything?

  5. different clue

    @ Mary Bennett,

    You could be correct and your approach is certainly worth trying, especially in the meantime-now while America is still occupied by the OverClass Biznazi Regime and the International Free Trade Conspiracy. We could call it Leaderless Mass Rejection.

    Perhaps Tony Wikrent’s republished-here Weekly Round Up which Ian Welsh runs every Sunday might be a good place to put sources and leads to what few things are still Made In America, and beyond that what a-few-more-things are still Made In The First World. And then things made in countries along a descending ladder of less-worse pay/conditions/etc. to more-worse pay/conditions/etc. And at least try to buy the thing from the least worst country.

    And since China seeks to stealth-colonize America more stealthily than Britain sought to colonize India, and for the same wealth-and-power aquisition purpose, we should have a Boycott China Goods campaign for the same reason that Gandhi started a Boycott British Goods campaign in India. We need to decouple America and China from eachother to the point of Zero Economic Contact of any kind whatsoever. Otherwise, America will not survive.

    China’s pursuit of supply security will have some interesting side effects. Here’s a prediction: China will pay Brazil to cut down and burn every last tree in Brazil’s part of the Amazon, and make the whole Amazon basin from the mouth of the Amazon to the border with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, into a million-square-mile soybean plantation.

    That will help speed up and strengthen global warming, and China will get to show the world how its superior social system helps it cope with that.

  6. Mark Pontin

    Ian: “Western elites can’t admit basic facts. ”

    You could have stopped right there.

    Trinity: “…the US (is) suffering under fascist control based on a “reality” (fantasy) that only exists in Bond movies ….”

    That’s unfair to Bond movies.

  7. Mary Bennett

    Different Clue, allow me to recommend: Rogue Hoes, a company in Missouri, I believe, which recuts used steel agricultural disks into some of the best garden tools I have seen. Online reviews tend to say things like “The best hoe I have ever used. Period”, and I agree. Mine is. King Auther Flour is a worker owned company in Vermont which makes the best mid-priced line of flours I have used, and I am old enough to remember when Gold Medal was a quality product. Bob’s Red Mill, also worker owned, is another good baking source but a bit pricier. For garden hand tools, check out The Red Pig, blacksmith, in Gresham OR. I have and use several of their products.

    There are organizations which do the kind of ranking you propose; unfortunately, they tend to be taken over by wokesters so I ignore them. If I have to buy something new, and 2nd hand should be your first stop, not the last, I look for American origin and quality. Some American stuff, like anything at all from Pilsbury, is crap.

  8. Gaianne

    Mary Bennett–

    As we are not in an age for grand designs and sweeping plans, your thoughts are refreshingly practical and down-to-earth.


  9. someofparts

    M Bennett – “For many years, most organically produced products have been priced out of the reach of poor shoppers.” Somebody forgot to send that memo to Trader Joe’s.

    It looks to me like our Owners would be delighted if the plague they are inflicting on us killed off about 80% of the domestic population. How we will rebuild ourselves as a self-sufficient nation with an industrial base while we continue to be ravaged by disease is a humdinger of a puzzle.

    You say try working to a high standard and see what happens. I did and got insulted, robbed and shit-canned for my trouble. The apples are rotten all the way to the bottom of the barrel.

    Even in the South, our high school history teachers had to admit that they lost the Civil War because there was no way a backward agricultural economy could ever beat an industrial economy in a war. Naturally I am astonished to watch our Owners threaten China as if there is a snowball’s chance in hell we could win a conflict against an industrial powerhouse like China.

    The day China closes it’s borders and stops exporting to the U.S. is the day we find out that we are a third world nation. Once the value of our currency tanks to reflect that reality, how easy to you think it will be to become an a strong economy again when we a paying for everything with dollars that are worth less than pesos?

  10. anon

    I think a lot of the hate has to do with racism. Western elites, including many of their peasants, hate seeing any non-European/Western i.e white country (with the exception of Russia) excelling and doing better than them. They f*cked up much of South America, Africa, and the Middle East. The one part of the world they could not completely conquer is Asia, and its main superpower, China. I doubt the hate would be as intense toward any Western country that did the same as China in stopping the Covid spread.

  11. Lex

    I’m seeing fewer and fewer paths forward with good endings. Whether US elites are oblivious to the reality or bent on self-destruction, the fact is that the US is in no position to wage a war against a significant opponent. Yet we’re careening towards trying it with three significant opponents simultaneously. Keeping Russia and China apart was a key foreign policy for the US since WWII. The way they speak publicly there may already be serious agreements in place.

    How does the US, after abandoning large portions of its industrial base (and the enviable position of realistically self-sufficient nation), ramp up to fight a real war, far from home on multiple fronts? Do we have the physical and logistic capabilities necessary for such a war? The American people can’t even agree on wearing a mask; not sure how a world war will go for us. I bet the draft would go over well these days.

    And yet we’ve pushed three nations into corners. All three have drawn red lines and every indication is that they’re serious about them being red lines. We act like they cannot be serious with, apparently, no real consideration for what happens if they are.

  12. anon

    Working class Americans like the commenter above who want to “boycott China”: Get real. It’s your political and business leaders who are responsible for why everything is made in China. Don’t blame China for doing more to get their citizens out of poverty than your own government. Boycotting China would actually be boycotting Apple, Nike, and every major American company that has sent jobs to Asia to save money. The average Chinese or any other Asian factory worker making products for American companies work in awful conditions. But I doubt any American who hated the Chinese have stopped buying most of our products made from slave labor.

  13. different clue


    ” Boycotting China would actually be boycotting Apple, Nike, and every major American company that has sent jobs to Asia to save money. Exactly. These companies are among the Free Trade Traitors who deserve to be destroyed. If that is still possible.

  14. different clue


    Here is a newstory I just saw on the reddit, titled ” British military aircraft rapidly supplying weapons to Ukraine ”

    Here is the link.

    Not just the DC FedRegime. The UK BritRegime also.

    We should consider the possibility that NATO is a European conspiracy against America at this point, and our DC FedRegime is staffed with anti-American secret agents of the EuroNATO conspiracy.

  15. different clue


    I realize this post is about China but your noting that the DC FedRegime engineering 3 wars ( is the third one to be with North Korea?) makes this post from Canadian analyst and commentator Patrick Armstrong about the current tension situation between the DC FedRegime and the RussiaGov relevant.

    Here is the link.

    And Ian Welsh’s question about just how hate-based the DC FedRegimers are . . . enough to drop A-bombs out of spite and wounded pride? . . comes back into play here.
    I wonder how much of the current DC FedRegime attitude can trace right back to the Elite Nazi Sympathisers in America who had to lay half-way low during WWII, and to all the thousands of PaperClip Nazis they brought into America in the years right after WWII, including injecting some of them deep into hidden corners of the US government.

  16. Chiron

    I see this “Cold War 2.0 “ as a farce, it’s about keeping the Military-industrial-complex happy after the Afghanistan humiliation.

  17. NL

    Did not seem to work the first time – repost without web links:

    I was personally a bit surprised when the US military budget came under the sequester in 2011. What it signaled to me was that our propertied classes are not serious about maintaining the Empire — the bigger priority of the private/invisible government was to preserve the dollar and correct excessive M2 issuance during the previous years known as the real estate crisis — or, in other words, they felt militarily secure but financially insecure. Our military budget then went down or plateaued until 2019 (that’s 8 years), when it finally exceeded the previous high of 2011.

    Think about it — nothing really changed for us militarily in 2011, we were still in Afghanistan, Iraq; we entered Syria at some point in those year — the war machine carried on in spite of the flat and decreasing budgets (but not without growling and dire predictions naturally on the part of the military-industrial complex). Note also that the rest of the world was also increasing military spending in the years 2000-2011, apparently trying to keep up with us during the massive military build-up known as the war on terrorism, and when we decreased our military budget in 2012-2014, the world kept its military budget slightly higher or the same — yet we did not care – we lowered our spending and allowed the world to catch up to us! (Another way to say it is: “We lost a Reaganesque arms race that we imposed on the world after 9/11”. ) Altogether this tells me that our military posture is dictated more so by internal conditions than external situation.

    And our internal conditions really call for another sequester after the profligacy of a single year. We may not have a legislatively imposed sequester, but the invisible government will promulgate it via higher interests rates and reduced lending. Now look, what was the official inflation rate for 2021 — 7%, our military budget for 2021 was $753.5 B, 7% of that is $52.7B, $753.5+$52.7= $806.2B — i.e., to keep with the inflation, we need to increase our 2022 military budget to ~$800B. But the 2022 military budget will be nowhere near $800B — it is $768B, which after adjusting for inflation is lower again than the 2011 military budget!!!!

    That should tell you we are not going to war nor does our invisible government of private financiers and merchants care about the Empire. It is all posturing for internal consumption. We started it by doing this to China (which seems to me the Chinese understood for what it was); now Russia, which has the same domestic problem, is doing it to us.

    Internally, of course, we should all relax and stop twisting ourselves in a pickle — a civil war is not coming, and the stand-off between the so-called Dem and Rep is fake news — product shortages, lower real wages, poverty, food riots, criminality and the like are coming but not civil war or at least not the type of civil war that we are worried about. Have anyone read the recent essay by Joseph Nye, the proponent of soft power — after reading it, I thought that we may be on the way to becoming like a capitalist North Korea.

    Bottom line, however, the Chinese philosopher-administrators are getting their house in order and preparing for a period of our weakness, diminishing and potential self-destruction more so than for a cold war…

  18. Astrid

    Buying stuff from thrift shops and growing/making your own are reasonable individual options for some things, but in no way makes up for the US’s lack of industrial policy. Every if practiced en mass, you’re basically looking at a salvage economy akin to Cuba after 1990.

    The US economy is like any other third world plantation economy, except we export dollars and “IP” instead of bananas. If the dollar crashes or the world decides to break our rentiering patents, we’re done.

  19. Astrid

    The question of whether our parasitic elites are mostly stupid or mostly evil matters. If they’re evil and trying to manage a Western decline to their personal advantage, then we can hope that they will avoid a destructive civilization ending war. But if they (and not just their political and policy minions in Western governments) are stupid enough to buy their own propaganda, then we’re done for. They can’t fix the world but they still have plenty of power to destroy it over and over again.

    Before Covid, I would have gone with evil. But even if they have gotten wealthier from Covid, many of them have also gotten Covid. WTF?

  20. Ché Pasa

    Here’s my question:

    Did Our Rulers have some kind of Grand Plan in mind when they very consciously de-industrialized the United States and transferred almost all US industrial capacity to Asia? Not just China, mind you, but including Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam.

    Were they following some kind of model, like the de-industrialization of Britain following WWII? Did they know what they were doing?

    I think yes, there is the broad outline of an economic plan of a de-industrialized USofA, somewhat aligned with the New World Order/Conquest Plan of the Project for the New American Century (which seems to have proved pretty worthless, though it is still being carried out).

    So what is the economy of the de-industrialized USofA? Mostly financial sleight of hand, no? Currency manipulation, money laundering, stock market gambling, bank squeeze, various protection rackets, yadda yadda. Not much different in Britain, is it? In other words, they don’t make anything, and they don’t really do anything, either, but have their staffs jigger the so-called “markets” (primarily finance) this way and that to increase the suffering of the lowly and the wealth and power of the high and mighty. That’s it. There’s nothing else.

    Meanwhile the Asian industrial heartland with China in the lead is taking serious steps to decouple from the financial straight jacket that the Western players — who have nothing else — want to maintain on the whole wide world.

    Is there a Cold War scenario to maintain Asian industrial capacity while simultaneously crippling or eliminating Asian — and particularly Chinese — independence? I’m sure there’s a plan to do that, but global plans in the West have tended to go awry, no? The whole destruction of the Middle East was laid out in the Project for the New American Century decades ago, and it’s not gone well… ahem. Yet it is still in operation with almost no rethinking. Just bomb and murder and destroy over and over again, endlessly. Not so much for conquest as for submission to the rule of… who?

    Chinese government understands that in the West and particularly the United States, the only thing that matters is making money hand over fist by exploitation of… financial vulnerabilities in their targets. China is taking steps to reduce or eliminate those vulnerabilities at home and to some extent abroad. How they’ll thread that needle remains to be seen. But if they are successful, it will be world changing. The US and the West in general wants to prevent them from succeeding. But they may not be able to.

  21. GM

    The question of whether our parasitic elites are mostly stupid or mostly evil matters. If they’re evil and trying to manage a Western decline to their personal advantage, then we can hope that they will avoid a destructive civilization ending war.


    Before Covid, I would have gone with evil. But even if they have gotten wealthier from Covid, many of them have also gotten Covid. WTF?

    They appear to be both.

    See for example how even Harvard has abandoned contact tracing and isolation (and you know whose progeny goes to Harvard), how the UK leadership was having regular maskless parties even before there were vaccines, etc. etc.

    Now some of the elites are still holed up and isolating but clearly a large portion of them have not only decided to let it rip through the general population but have accepted that they will be infected regularly too.

    So clearly there is little concern about the virus at the personal level too.

    I do happen to understand the science very well professionally, and I want no part of getting infected with this thing, no matter how many doses I have and how much access I have to sotrovimab and paxlovid.

    I doubt they have more accurate information, though they certainly can receive it from the most reliable sources available.

    So either they never sought that information, or they decided that the tradeoff is worth it.

    For an actual scientist, the potential neurological damage is a completely unacceptable risk – because science isn’t just your job, it is your identity and calling, and the prospect of your ability to do it at the highest possible level being seriously compromised is a possibility in some ways worse than death.

    But if you plan on spending your life by the pool drinking cocktails and just watching your wealth grow because your family has managed to set up a toll both somewhere in the economy, then given that vaccines + paxlovid + sotrovimab will likely keep you alive, the neurological and other internal organ damage is a completely acceptable tradeoff for the continued existence of that toll booth. Which would be threatened by efforts to contain the virus, while you don’t really need those extra IQ points for anything.

    That’s the conscious or unconscious calculation that probably has been going on since the start of the pandemic…

  22. Ché Pasa

    Also, it’s my understanding that war funding is never included in the DoD budget but is some separate item that’s never stated. We don’t know, in other words, how much our many wars cost, where the money comes from, or who gets it.


    If someone knows better, please correct me.

  23. Stirling S Newberry

    This is like WWI – both sides are incompetent and both sides are making money yet a war gives the leadership more power. So they make moves towards war.

  24. Mary Bennett

    anon, I have to ask myself why the attempts of a few scruffy nobodies to regain some control over our own lives provokes such fury from you. Could it be possible that the internationalist overclass is not so stable as it pretends? Overseas alleged ‘slave labor” is not my responsibility; my neighbors and fellow countrymen and women are. Furthermore, the luxury products you mention are quite beyond the reach of even lower-level managerial workers, never mind the working class.

    It is a basic principle of moral regeneration. You start where you are with what you have. We Americans have been for far too long conned into “save the world”, so that we could continue believing in our essential “goodness” while horrors were being perpetrated in our name, while ignoring our own. I’ll see your overseas “slave labor” and raise you 500,000+ homeless living right here among us. When do they get to be important? But I guess the guy sleeping under a bridge lacks exotic appeal.

    Astrid, as for industrial policy, I suggest what we need is to revive the American System of national development.

    someofparts, My condolences. The same happened to me. More than once.

    Gaianne, thank you.

  25. NL

    “Did Our Rulers have some kind of Grand Plan in mind when they very consciously de-industrialized the United States and transferred almost all US industrial capacity to Asia?”

    No, they just follow our economic logic of making profit. And so do most of us — look what is our retirement accounts — paper assets…

    My budget numbers include most of the things: DOD base, Overseas Contingency Operations + DOE. There is no OCO for 2022.

    Every time I try to post a link to a graph, the post does not show up. Search Google images with “World, US and Major Countries Military Expenditure” and you will see a nice graph of US vs the world.

  26. Astrid


    Even a “come to Jesus” on US industrial policy isn’t going to amount to much. The US has been deindustrializing for 40 years and China has been industrializing for 40 years. You can’t bridge that gaps in a decade or two, nevermind the much more limited time we have left. The US is a banana republic with dollars instead of bananas. At least Cuba had sugarcane, cigars, and quaint charm.


    If they’re both, then I’d say stupidity trumps evil. If they can’t bother to care about their own physical well being then what chance do the rest of us have? I guess many a farmboy thought the same thing as they saw the cream of European society dropping like flies around them on the Western front. We’ll see how much of long COVID and naive t cell exhaustion is hype in the coming years.

  27. anon

    “Overseas alleged ‘slave labor” is not my responsibility; my neighbors and fellow countrymen and women are. Furthermore, the luxury products you mention are quite beyond the reach of even lower-level managerial workers, never mind the working class.”
    What are you talking about? The items that working class Americans buy at Walmart, Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, Christmas Tree Shops, and any other big box store are largely made in China and the rest of Asia. Much of what you buy is made from sweat shops. You say it isn’t your responsibility when you don’t want to take responsibility for buying products made from slave labor then blaming those countries for taking American jobs rather than the American companies that shipped those jobs to Asia.
    “It is a basic principle of moral regeneration. You start where you are with what you have. We Americans have been for far too long conned into “save the world”, so that we could continue believing in our essential “goodness” while horrors were being perpetrated in our name, while ignoring our own. I’ll see your overseas “slave labor” and raise you 500,000+ homeless living right here among us. When do they get to be important? But I guess the guy sleeping under a bridge lacks exotic appeal.”
    Anyone who thinks that Americans have “saved the world” by supporting leaders who perpetuate war crimes for decades in the Middle East and Africa and make cheap goods using slave labor is delusional.

  28. different clue

    @Mary Bennet,

    Thanks for the referrences. This kind of thing would also be useful in the Weekly RoundUp threads, after everyone has finished discussing the specific things that Tony Wikrent has offered articles about.

    Here are a couple of more garden-or-even-microfarm focused sources. Hoss Tools.
    Meadow Creature.
    Compost Crank.
    While the Compost Crank is “for” compost mixing, I could see using it for deep or super-deep mixing soil-food/ plant-food into the planting hole where you want to plant something or plant seeds. If I ever get diligent enough to actually buy a Compost Crank, I may suggest to the company that they also consider making a 2-inch-wide version for mixing plant-soil food into narrower diameter planting holes.

    About those “better-to-worse standards countries” lists, do any of them break out the categories they rank according to, so that real areas of better to worse, like wages, unionization levels, pollution levels, etc. can be specifically tracked and compared? And the Wokeness-based categories can be ignored?

    About getting or not getting covid: just because the Ruling Overclasses want to give me covid does not mean I have to make it easier for them. I can social distance, use every reasonable immune-system pre-building supplements and approaches, use one of another of the X95 series of masks, stay out of Typhoid Mary covid-superspreader venues like concerts, restaurants, etc.

    Why did the Ruling Class dis-industrialize America? Aside from arbitraging the cost-differentials between America and Slave Laborstan and riding the arbitrage rackets all the way down, they also hated the union movement and wanted to exterminate industrial unions. And the easiest way to do that was to exterminate industry. No industry, no industrial unions. So simple.

    We work in the dark. We do what we can where we are at. The most co-collective thing we can do is share information which different people can use in different ways.
    A spirit of Leaderless Mass Rejection might be good to cultivate. And in the work we do, we can do good work where good work is permitted. Where good work is forbidden and one has to do bad work in order to keep one’s job, one can only grit one’s teeth and do the bad work which is demanded of us. In this”no money = you die” society, we have to keep our bad-work-demanded job unless and until we can find or self-create a better-work-permitted job to go to.

  29. Mark Level

    Well, mostly the refreshing and useful commentary to Ian’s posts I come here for, & I see only one thing that hasn’t been brought up. Recently Michael Hudson did a very good talk on US economic decline with Ben Norton of the GrayZone, and he pointed out another long-term problem for the Empire will be de-dollarization by all of the other large economies, since the US loots Venezuelan or other countries’ assets held in dollars in US, European (etc.) banks, e.g. determining Juan Guaido was the “real” Venezuelan head of state so millions in oil revenues could be stolen (& presumably, never returned.) The US drive for hegemony seems undiminished by both foreign forever wars as well as the US public’s complete distrust for the elites now as well . . . yet I could see them bumbling into some War scenario, they are that evil and stupid. (To give my tentative answer to Astrid’s question when the Elites’ stupidity level is at 100% and evil the same, looking for which sum is greater seems a fools’ errand.) It’s gonna get ugly, currently we do indeed inhabit the darkest timeline and the public (apart from Cosplaying Trump Cult wanna-be “revolutionaries”) seems remarkably unable to even push back a little. But clearly the Duopoly parties WILL go too far, slowly escalating Covid deaths won’t be all we will have to deal with. In closing, that reminds me, whomever said that they want a mass die-off, which Ian has also pointed out, I certainly agree, but– the one piece they didn’t think thru on that (which was evident in Medieval plagues) is the resultant rise in Labor power and wages, & of course that is one thing that both DemoPublican parties will not allow!! Eventually the abuse will reach such a level that there will be real riots and not just urban one-offs by non-white folks who are targeted for daily murder. (And let’s add, hopefully about real issues, the Elites’ looting and theft, not imaginary stuff like li’l Donnie couldn’t steal an election like George the Lesser did back in 2000.)

  30. js

    It’s not true the U.S. doesn’t have any economy except financial games. It produces about 1/2 as much oil as all of OPEC. Of course that is destroying the world, so the U.S. is in the destroying the world business, but it’s not just financial games.

  31. different clue

    Here is an article which could be seen as optimistic if America were advanced enough to take advantage of the opportunity revealed in this article. It is titled ” China to Curb Purchases of U S Farm Goods.” Here is the link.

    Why would this be optimistic in a better world with a better America? Because in a better America this would be taken as an opportunity to do several things with the land set free from enslavement to growing corn and soybeans for China. The land could be bought by We The Peoples’ Government and turned into neo-virgin prairie and set aside for National Prairie Refuges. Or that part of it which still Treaty-Legally belongs to relevant Treaty Indian Nations could be given back to those Nations. Or if that is too awful a thought, it could be Nationalized and held in reserve for slow careful re-homesteading to people carefully chosen and trained for their ability to create the kind of farm which Gabe Brown has created, or the kind of Permaculture Food Savannah Farmlet which Mark Shepherd has created in Wisconsin.

    It could grow sustainable food for Americans to buy and eat, and the market could be cleared for it by banning the import of any food which would be directly competing with this food eco-correctly grown on this freed-up for eco-correct management land.

    But we don’t live in a better America in a better world. We live in the America we live in in the world we live in. So the opportunity this news opens for us will never be grasped. Or even seen by most.

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