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

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Is The Police’s Right Wing Bias A Problem For Them?


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 9, 2023


  1. bruce wilder

    I suppose it is a rhetorical trope to claim any one factor in our complex world is a root cause, and not necessarily a well-applied one in any particular argument but I am going make that kind of claim here and contrast my example with what I regard as a false and misleading counterpart.

    Consider the Ukraine War.

    One view holds that misguided U.S. foreign policy — expansion of NATO coupled with hostility to Russia etc. — predictably provoked the Russian invasion.

    A contrasting view holds that U.S. policy, now that Russia has invaded its neighbor, must uphold the sanctity of internationally recognized borders and prevent Russia from benefitting from its aggression, lest these events set a precedent encouraging further aggression by Russia or other states with similar ambitions.

    The “root cause” that I want to draw attention to is the inability of the U.S. foreign policy establishment to acknowledge error or reverse bad policy.

    The first view, ably argued by realist John Mearsheimer among others, requires the U.S. to admit error and reverse a long-standing policy direction.

    The second view is anchored by a claim of moral principle, and conveniently, a history-less framing. It is arguing: “here is ‘right’ and we must stand for what is right.” Regardless of whatever mistakes may have been made in the past.

    My thought here is mostly an observation: how moralism prevents recognition of mistakes, small or large, and encourages erasure of history and complexity. And, becomes a useful tool of propaganda for those reasons, I suppose.

    Complexity can also be a tool of propaganda useful for obfuscating and confusing. Knowing one fact — or sometimes one synthesized factoid — can be used as a cudgel to destroy any clarity, moral or otherwise. Moral simplicity has genuine appeal against some common styles of argument.

    What I want to particularly notice in the case of U.S. foreign policy — not just with regard to Russia and Eastern Europe — is the dedication to never acknowledging an error or following such acknowledgment with reversal. When a reversal of sorts, in the form of say a withdrawal, takes place that policy action is itself labeled an error dressed in the carnage of its immediate and proximate consequences. As far as I can tell, no change in personnel or institutions follows or is allowed to alter the color or direction of policy.

    The stubborn inability to admit policy error and change direction creates an accelerating momentum for escalating destruction. In the case of the Ukraine War, one of the worst ideas in the entire mad history of U.S. foreign policy malevolence goes forward: “we should not fear the risk of escalating to a nuclear exchange”. The sensible inhibitions and risk aversion erode steadily under the assault of never acknowledging a past mistake. If “we” (the collective foreign policy establishment) cannot acknowledge an error, we cannot correct policy by a reversal; as consequences roll in and reality bites, the only course open is blind escalation.

    Obviously, there are many critics looking on in horror, including powerful people on the “inside” cautioning against madness every step of descent, but the collective core is mightily resistant to discussion and dialectic that might change minds. And, I would point out that that resistance extends to and embraces what used to be called, “public opinion”. It is not strictly an elite phenomenon of “group think” or similar. It is dispersed and embedded in popular Media propaganda, managed in part by how political propaganda is generated and managed, pundits are ensconced or marginalized. Carefully cultivated popular ignorance and misunderstanding insulate the frozen stupidity against light and heat. somehow it is a systemic problem.

  2. NR

    The ongoing implosion of Twitter is certainly a sight to behold. Elon Musk bought Twitter approximately eight months ago for $44 billion. At the time he bought it, Twitter was valued at $20 billion. Today, it’s valued at $15 billion and that amount is dropping every day. The platform is falling apart, Musk has had to limit the number of tweets people can view because he isn’t paying his bills for the server bandwidth. Lots of people are leaving and it seems like the platform is on its last legs.

    I don’t think Musk ever expected to make money off Twitter; rather, I think he bought it to turn it into a platform for right-wing propaganda and disinformation, with the ultimate goal of helping the Republicans win in 2024 so they could usher in a fascist government where he’d be one of the top people in it. So the platform collapsing in 2023 was definitely not something he wanted, and his own gross incompetence prevented him from executing his plan. So we should be grateful for that, at least.

    Unfortunately I doubt the collapse of Twitter will bring on anything good for society. Facebook has launched a competing app called Threads and people are simply migrating over to that. It’s doubtful that in the long term, Threads will be any better than Twitter was, though anything is possible I suppose. Regardless, at least this whole mess should shatter the myth that Elon Musk is a brilliant businessman who got where he is by being smart and working hard.

  3. Curt Kastens

    Louis Proyect published a post on his blog a number of years ago called Radical Takes on World War 2. The post was a book review of a book called Fighting on All Fronts.
    I made quite a few comments on that post. In fact I wonder if those comments in total could be amount to my Magnum Opa.
    Then a few days ago I wrote a comment that I intened to post in the open thread of a week ago. Something happened and I did not get that post sent. But to make a long story short the subject of the post that I wrote a few days ago was about people saying that things are true when they have to know that they are actually not true because no one in their position could be so stupid as to understand that what they are saying is not true.
    In my post I gave examples of military people from many different political perspectives talking about the Wagner Incident. The obvious conclusion is that for one reason or another they all have to know that they are lying. If your the reader need me to point out examples to you then this comment is going to go over your head anyways. So I encourage you to find your own examples.
    The way that this Wagner Incident was covered has caused me to ask the most radical question I have ever asked myself about the conduct of human affairs. The question that I have asked myself, though I have by no means answered this question, is; is it possible that the US Deep State (MIC) leadership and leadership of the Russian and Chinese MIC have actually teamed up to write the story of the last chapter of human existence?
    This will no doubt seem to be an absurd thought for orthodox thinkers. But powerful people all over the world have known for quite a long time humans would have little to no chance to survive long in to the future because our industrial civilization devours huge amounts of non renewable resources, especially oil. These would have know that human pollution (waste products) would in decades not centuries completly lay waste to the natural world. These leaders would have also known that the chance of reaching some sort of agreement that would result in effective coordinated international action to meet these challenges was .00000001 at best.
    It really would not have taken very smart people in leadership positions in the USA, Russia and China, and India to understand where the world was headed. It also would not have been very difficult for the leadership of the MICs, especially the intellegence corps of the different countries to set up their own “independent” system of communications.
    On the other hand could the leaderships of the MICs of these 3 or 4 nations actually manage to work together any better than the overt national political leadership? These deep state leaders would have to be able to agree not only on goals but the means to achieve those goals down to a very detailed level. I imagine one aspect of the detail would have to be how to hide where the coordinated manipulation is comming from.
    But as I look at the unfolding consqesquences of the Ukraine War I see that Europe is losing big time, especially the Ukraine. Could this not bee seen as an example of capitalistic canabilism? Could it not be understood that the reason for this capitalistic canablism have to be given a cover story to conceal the real reasons that bad things are happening?
    One other interesting aspect from my very indirect observational point of view is, would manipulation that is occuring from a simulation director(s) look any different than the manipulation being carried out by a high level international military cabal.

  4. Willy

    Jobs was hardly Apple and Gates was hardly Microsoft. They were just very good at latching onto actual creative geniuses and visionaries then riding young and ambitious talent like race horses until they dropped to be replaced by fresh new horses, while taking near full credit for whatever everybody else involved did for them.

    Musk took all that to a whole new level. Many know that Paypal was actually Levchin, Thiel and Nosek and Tesla was actually Everhard and Tarpenning. I find it highly amusing that Musk is threatening to sue Zuck for doing exactly what he himself has done for decades, to spot who’s gotten the business idea jump then taking control, talent and tech away from them.

    I don’t think Musk ever once thought: “What promising new innovation shall I invent today?” I think he spent all his time plotting how to take control of promising innovations. He’s a master manipulator. I think that sort of mentality reached some kind of hubris (or insanity) tipping point with Twitter and now we see the collapse.

    A true creative genius visionary would’ve known how to make Twitter better and profitable before even buying the thing. Let that sink in.

  5. Steven Schmidt

    Ian, can you please do a post or series on the mind-numbing levels of betrayal progressives in Congress have done throughout the Biden administration? Specifically, Bernie and the Squad. But really the entire progressive “movement” deserves the harshest castigation imaginable.

    Did you see AOC yesterday? She ENDORSED that fucking mummified malice known as Joe Biden for reelection! The fucking traitor.

    Poll after poll shows *most* democrats don’t want his dying ass to run again. He and his handlers have spat in the face of every value, every desperate poor person, every doomed young person, and everything she claims to champion during his useless term in office. Everything she got elected on to fight.

    It’s so god damn infuriating. Biden and his fellow wraiths are going to hurt people. That’s what they do. This was easily predicted.

    They’re going to find every excuse to not raise the minimum wage, end the dystopian mass murder of for-profit healthcare by enacting Medicare for all, or cancel every cent of illegitimate, usurious student loans. Predatory loans, I should add, that Biden played a main role in ensuring are so paralyzing and destructive. Among innumerable other monstrous crimes of negligence.

    He’s spent his entire shameful career destroying her generation, MY generation. As well as every future generation to come through outright genocidal inaction of climate change.

    Doesn’t she know that the climate apocalypse is here in earnest? That jailin’ Jim Crow Joe and the rotten wing of the party he represents won’t do a damn meaningful thing about it?

    What is the plan? What is the strategy? He’s going to lose! He’s behind motherfucking Donald Trump already. An incumbent president is behind…There’s an opening here. There was an opening to challenge Biden. Most Americans–most DEMOCRATS– don’t want him to run again. What is she doing? What is she thinking? Has she just given up after what, four years?

    Ugh. Just watching one of the only sources of hope betray you is completely and utterly gut-wrenching. I had a lot of faith in her when she first got elected. This sucks. This hurts. This is painful in a different way.

    Please Ian. You’re one of the only people who can concisely articulate how I feel with eloquence and fury. This is an important topic as we struggle with what the Hell to do now.

    Everyday reader, but this is the first time I’ve commented here because I’m so fucking angry and hurt.

  6. mago

    Twitter dee Twitter dum
    Who cares?
    Everyone apparently
    World leaders play board games together
    Compete and cooperate while lying cheating and stealing and destroying the elements and life—human and nonhuman alike. It’s the game that matters
    Coordinated from the Levant.
    (Playing Risk as a youth I went for border and port areas and also the overlooked Middle East.)

    Drown me in a vat of beer Validimir
    I’m your flunky I’m your monkey
    the hot dog guy you’re looking for
    I’m your fool
    I’m your tool
    Feed me lies
    Feed me honey
    Gimme some of that easy money

  7. Ian Welsh


    I’m sorry to hear it. Yeah, AOC and the squad have been a fairly consistent embarassment. Not sure I’ll write it, but I’ll consider it. I never expected much of Biden and as for the squad, well, I had hope at first, but it’s been a while.

  8. capelin

    RFK jr is where it’s at.

    The censorship and “crazy anti-injection guy” framing had until recently kept me from actually, like, listening to him.

    But once ya do – Wow, he’s fantastic, across a whole bunch of metrics. And polling very well. His run sure looks to me like the brightest spark in American politics in like 50 years. Not a Bernie – AOC poseur.

    For instance, re mass shootings (paraphrased) – “No other country has mass shootings like the U.S. What’s different? Well, we prescribe 3-4x the amount of (Prozac etc). Known side effects are…. and to the best of my knowledge most/all these shooters were on anti depressants. Maybe we should look at that. ” I mentioned this to a friend and he said yeah, a friend of his had been on it and all buddy could think about was “sex and mass violence”, (so he stopped taking it).

    “I will end the Forever Wars”

    “I will address the the state of American’s health” RFK jr is 70+ and buff. Contrast with Biden.

    “Putin is a thug, but Russia has legitimate concerns about what we have been doing on it’s borders (cites the nato encroachment backstory)”

    Check him out. CBC is 100% sleeping on him except to occassionally call him crazy.

  9. StewartM

    Musk isn’t the only billionaire to “sink” something. Another billionaire quite literally did:

    It starts with someone with more money than brains, of course. Or at least, more money than humility. Rush, the owner of the company that created the Titan, came from old money and did a turn as a venture capitalist after earning an MBA. He comes from a breed of people who think that financial engineering is a substitute for actually understanding your business. The small submersible business actually has a decent safety record, per the article, but that is because until now it has worked closely with the safety regulators. In the words of one successful submersible builder “We’re using the brainpower of their engineers to feed into our design”. Rush, though, Rush knew better.


    There you have it: five people dead for no reason. The popular story is the arrogance of a rich man killing the people who trusted him. And that is true as far as it goes. But scratch the surface, and you find that the system failed at every point. The overwhelming power capital has to abuse employees, to corrupt people who should be guardians of the public good, to force employees to toe the company line regardless of its truth or impact on other human beings, their ability to avoid regulations on little more than their own word — all combined to ensure that a vessel that should never have been allowed to operate was allowed instead to murder people.

  10. Willy

    One thing hopey changers blame when failing to change hopefully is “political realities”. I’m wondering if so-called leftist influencers like Dore have any realistic answers for this. And I wonder why he and his seem to prefer attacking the left from the left.

    Personally, I’d balance any of that out (thus earning street cred with the street smart) with far more vitriolic attacks on right wing enemies, especially the plutocrats. I’d spend more time exposing and shaming all that plutocratic cash going into influencing people to demonize anything leftist.

    And just as MAGAs continuously throw FUD at AOC, you know sure as shit they’ll be throwing FUD at RFK Jr. or anybody else who’s declared even remotely progressive or adversarial to their own ridiculous plutocrat-enabling scapegoat-diversioning cult base. When leftists do the same but towards their own, I think it confuses the issue for many independents who don’t consume much in the way of political content.

  11. bruce wilder

    Political realignment has been well underway for 25 years, ever since Clinton threw away what remained of the working classes as a Democratic Party constituency, by de-regulating banking and finance and enabling the accelerated export of industrial jobs to China. Democratic politicians have paid lip service to the interests of what we used to call the working classes. Oh, they kept using the “fighting for you” rhetoric long past its gone-stale date. Obama featured raising the minimum wage in at least two of his State of the Union addresses, while not actually accomplishing it. Biden still polishes the zinc-plated token of his Scranton blue collar origins and “aw shucks” rhetoric. But, “build back better” has long since been diverted into financing cluster munitions for Ukraine.
    Who do you think is financing “the left” that campaigns for trans in women sports or drag shows for third-graders or “defund the police”? “The left” of 2023 is not merely ineffectual, their only function in politics is to keep a steady stream of provocations going that can distract and embroil in trivial constroversies, the electoral bases of the entire spectrum of the uniparty, so the emerging “populist” revulsion for war-mongering and corruption can no traction in partisan politics.

    So, yeah, just keep thinking that voting for a zombie as a lesser evil is “a plan”.

  12. Curt Kastens

    Steven Schmidt,
    Western Societies lost the ability to reform themselves along time ago. To be able to drain the swamp as Trump puts it would requite putting millions of people in prison.
    15 years ago I still had some hope. I thought if only Americans at the mid levels in the military and civil service could hear the truth they would recognize as the truth and act upon it and then bring around most of the rest of the country. None of that is true.
    Hope for humanity has been wiped out. Near term human extinction (NTHE)is on the horizon.
    If we humans did not have to deal with global warming, other forms of environmental collapse, and resource deplition NTHE might not be on the horizon. If NTHE were not on the horizon the condition of the west would still be close to hopeless. The strange thing about where that small amount of hope or westerners would come from is that it would not come from the west, but from Russia. Not from Putin but from Russia.
    But even on the condition that we did not have to worry about the 3 things that are going to bring about our spicies demise the odds that Russia would have been able to save us from our own psycopathic leaders would have been very very small indeed.
    It will be very difficult for Russia to denazify the Ukraine. But even if Russia succeeds in doing that their problems with the west will still not be solved. They would have to denazify all of Europe.
    Liberating Europe from US occupation would only be the first step towards denazifying the continent. That would be the comparatively easy part. Re educating the western Europeans would take seveeral life times. There would be a lot of resistence to such changes from those in Europe who have benifited from Europes policies, if things ever got that far. That is time that the Russians do not have.
    None the less what else are the Russians going to do in the mean time? They can collectively either do something meaningful like have end of the world parties, and make babies. Or they can die trying to do something trivial like freeing Europe from the thugs that reign over western Europe.

  13. mago

    Best strategy?
    Flood Europa with war refugees. (Already happened and continues)
    Second, yes, let the Slavs multiply (already happening) while the poor tossed Ukrainian mules decline in number, especially among the breeding set.
    Couple that with environmental and social carnage—failed policy fallout fueled by hubris and juvenile leadership along with greed and hatred.
    Toxicity everywhere you look increasing by the nanosecond.

  14. Willy

    Who do you think is financing “the left” that campaigns for trans in women sports or drag shows for third-graders or “defund the police”?

    I dunno. You tell me. I’m only acquainted with “the left” which doesn’t sweat Kaitlyn Jenner or who calls out church clergy molesting children at far higher rates than drag queens do or who continuously try to explain what “defund the police” actually means, with strangely, virtually no nuanced counterpoint debates coming back from the other side to advance any discussiong. Just more repetition of the same old accusations as if nothing at all has been said.

    Personally, I think plutocratic operatives are on a constant quest to deliver to their zombie faithful trivial controversies which leftist media and influencers get suckered into talking about time and again. But to their credit, there are a few lesser-known leftist influencers who are good at exposing many ways in which most mad-as-heck conservative faithful really aren’t all that mad-as-heck, who really don’t believe in the ‘critical importance’ of any of these trivial controversies because what they really want, need actually… are scapegoats. Scapegoats to deflect away from the fact that for the last 40 years their “patriotic” “natural law” “conservative Christian” policies have been disastrous.

    My plan is to expose and attack the plutocracy which funds most Democratic “representatives” but all Republicans, and their various operations and influencers.
    And also our radically backsliding Supreme Court which is mostly in the pocket of those plutocrats, thanks to the likes of conned “working man” MAGAs and anti-prog operatives like D W Schultz and corporate big media.

    But who knows, maybe singing kumbaya will bring back ‘leadership’ such as our once-beloved Tulsi and Krysten? Surely singing’s gotta be more fulfilling than spending our money.

    It sounds like bruce is getting ready to reveal his own plan. Or maybe a direction? A way to combat corporate neolib/neocon operatives? Or maybe a belief system, perhaps?

  15. Curt Kastens

    The hot war has been going on for 500 plus days. I have heard it reported by numerous sources that the Ukrainians have been using 5,000 to 6,000 rounds of artillery each day.
    That is conservatively estimated then at 2,500,000 rounds of various sizes. But I do not think that figure includes drone strikes, or cruise missle strikes or bombs droped by aircraft.
    During World War One and Two satalite intellegence did not exist. There have been huge improvements in real time intellegence since then. Therefore one should expect that the effectiveness of these artillary rounds would also improve. After all a WW1 trench and a WW3 trench are both still dug in to the ground only to a depth that they can still be used to fight from.
    Well the western narrative is that this is true the Ukrainians are kicking the Russians asses. The Ukrainian military including its artlillery forces have been very effective. So much so that they have the Russians on the ropes.
    But the pro Russian narrative is that the Ukrainian artillery has not been all that difficult to deal with.
    To make a long story short at least one side in the conflict should be near collapse if at least one side in the conflict has competent military forces. The military leaders on the other side are going to have to explain why the massive expenditure that they made did not bear fruit.
    OK the Ukrainians can easily explain away their failed offensive, assuming it fails at this point, by claiming that they lacked air supiriority and artillery supiriority. But then those same leaders need to answer the question of why they let the leaders of NATO force them in to a premature offensive action.
    Clearly something has gone seriously wrong with the Ukrainian war effort. There was a lot of propoganda at the beginning of the war that Russia would win quickly. Those who believed that were foolish. The size of the Russian invasion force was so small I did not think they stood a chance of achieving anything of value. Those that were sayng that the Russians would win quickly were simply part of a campaign to lower expectations in the west so that the Ukrainians could be portrayed as super heros once the Russians quickly failed to subdue the country.
    But the fact that the Ukrainian military, which had been built up by the west since 2014, failed to defeat the Russians by now shows that something has gone as sour as rotten eggs of the Ukrainian side of the war effort. Even understanding that the Ukrainians had a weaker Air Force than the Russians does not fully explain their lack of success on the battlefield. Because the Russian Air Force has failed to stop the Ukrainian Army from firing 2,500,000 artillery rounds at 500,000 Russian soldiers.
    An artillery round does not need to land on someones head to inflict a mortal wound.

  16. bruce wilder

    what they really want, need actually… are scapegoats.

    thanks to the likes of conned “working man” MAGAs

    so, you’ve found your favorite scapegoats.

    still, I encourage you to disengage from the red v blue, media-synthesized “outrage” controversies, fueled by deliberate disinformation campaigns.

    I think it is toxic to identify as a “Democrat” or “Republican” without personally regarding people who do so, as “the Other”. Historically I identified most of my life as a Dem, but Obama disabused me of any notion that they were any lesser an evil than the Reps. The whole bankster immunity, torture, perpetual war, 11-dimensional chess thing, et cetera got old.

    I don’t think there’s much hope in the near-term — the vast disparity in political power driven by fantastic extremes of economic inequality means that partisan politics among electeds is a competition for the money necessary to pay for the propaganda tools necessary to shamelessly manipulate the electorate. voters are the target of that manipulation and as such are lied to relentlessly and systematically isolated from reliable sources of information and models of humane, balanced moral judgment. That’s a relatively pessimistic view, but it has the great advantage of being truthful and realistic.

    I don’t think there is any virtue in embracing, say, the slogan, “defund the police” even if there are good policy arguments to be made that the police have been excessively funded and militarized (thanks, Obama – such a great President! /sarc). I don’t think it is at all healthy for the country that the Media runs a script that hypes police-involved homicides with a racial component. “defund the police” is not a good conversation-starter; it is deliberately provocative and gets a predictable response, because that’s what it was designed to do. To complain that a nuanced dialogue doesn’t follow is disingenuous. And, if you want to see just how disingenuous, watch as House Democrats respond to Republican investigations of the Twitter Files or Russiagate qua abuse of power by the FBI. Far from taking an opportunity to cooperate with Republican factions to reform the FBI, the Congressional Dems embrace the FBI (and CIA) as the heart-and-soul of “Our Democracy”. And, yes, I know you reject Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but what’s your “alternative”? There is no one “better” among the Democratic Party establishment as currently constituted and you are misinformed to the point of delusion to imagine that there are some “good guys” redeeming the Party. DW Schultz, dutiful servant of payday lenders as pillars of the Florida business community, is not exceptional. She was right in there engineering the nomination of war-monger Hillary Clinton by hook-or-crook — mostly crook — back-in-the-day. Old news? Yeah, yeah, past performance is no guarantee of future results, heh?

    So, I think political attitudes reflect the range of human ambivalence and just because in groups we radiate into “roles” that select some attitudes to embrace and represent is no reason to “other” people who come to politics with attitudes that we don’t silk-screen onto our own jerseys. Democracy requires a lot of agreeing to disagree both to assemble a majority and to reconcile “losers” to the legitimacy of decisions taken. It’s not “singing Kumbaya” to reject participation in the madness of the propagandists’ manipulations or to respect the perspectives of others. I absolutely do not subscribe to a naive “we all want the same things”. Some policy desiderata really ought to be rejected — senseless war-mongering to boost Raytheon’s stock is not something I think ought to be embraced. I worry that so-called “authoritarian personalities” can become concentrated in certain political factions or certain organizations (military units, police, “intelligence agencies”) and create real dysfunction and risk, but I don’t think “authoritarian personality” is a genuine psychopathology in an individual that would lead me to “other” such people, or regard them as categorically out of reach for political organizing. Fundamentally, a genuine party of the left will seek to represent the common people against the rich and as such will compete against demagogues to lead and organize the common people in pursuit of the general welfare — that can’t be done while deploring the “deplorables” out-of-hand. The snobbery and predatory instincts the professional and managerial classes bring to the Democratic Party have poisoned that Party as an instrument of representative democracy. And, I don’t see much basis to hope for reform in the near-term. For the long-term, the best course for individuals is to try to hold onto one’s sanity and capacity for truth-telling and openness to joining or participating in such political organizing that may happen from time-to-time, and for such time as such organizing gambits avoid being subsumed by madness. (It probably won’t take long in most cases, given the enormous weight of corruption inherent in extremes of wealth inequality.)

    So, yeah, I say one-and-a-half cheers for RFK Jr. And, no b.s. about the corpse cast in Weekend-at-Bidens having any credibility.

  17. Willy

    Bruce, l lost my lucrative career in which (by all objective measures) I excelled, because of the machinations of those in power who’d been persuaded that I was a personal threat to them. And then I saw the same thing being done to others just like me.

    I saw how it’s done, who the players are, who wins power games and how things like scapegoating and the methods used to inspire a mob mentality works. There’s been nothing to persuade me that all of those human behaviors I experienced and witnessed do not scale up to national politics.

    So going back to my situation, where the boss I’d helped get promoted, who hired me back years later after telling his PMs that I was one of those high-integrity high-bottom-dollar-value all-stars which their company desperately needed, who then became turned by sociopathic competitors against me and allowed a full blown workplace mobbing to ensue… you’re saying that my boss would’ve been turned back to decency had I declared myself to be a genuine leftist wanting to represent the common people against the rich and as such would compete against demagogues to lead and organize the common people in pursuit of the general welfare?

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just expose the plutocracy? …with the hopes perhaps, of inspiring a full-blown mobbing against them?

  18. Curt Kastens

    Somme Days ago I wrote about how back in the 60s and 70s maybe even as early as the 50s the actual top leaders of the US, the UK and maybe France on one side, and possibly the USSR on the other side must have done some studies and actually discovered for the first time that humans live on a finite planet and that our way of life could not continue for many more generations, due to resource deplition. Whether or not global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels was on their radar at that time would require me to make a difficult guess. Anyways. I imagine that their first thought once they learned that we live on a finite planet was what can we do to address the situation.
    Once the CIA studies that they no doubt commissioned were shown to them and they realized that with drastic action, which would have to include socialist measures, they could stave off the collapse of industrial civilization for perhaps 40 years through the use of peaceful and honest means. The socialist measures would have been neccessary because average people would refuse to make the neccessary sacrifices if those who were wealthy were not making sacrifices as well.
    Plan B would extend the time before collapse but only by preventing the rest of the planet from industrializing.
    Plan C would be to allow the rest of the world to industrialize but to transform western societies in to something other than manufacturing centers.
    Now you the reader may not agree with me that these studies were actually done and these decisions were constantly and conscienciously made by real people. But we can all look back on history and clearly see that nothing was done about problems that were clearly predicted for the future to the public way back in the 1960s. The only thing in redoubt was did the leaders of that generation fail because of negligence or was it design.
    Fast Forward 40 or 50 years and the current set of leaders know that they are in a position in which they are out of effective options. The PTB might be mostly made of up psycopaths. But even if they were largely normal they would want to continue business as ususal until the collapse occurs because the leaders one or two generations before them left them with no effective options.
    Now when we get down to the next levels of world administration I think that we are dealing largely with a case of denial. These people just simply can not imgaine that those in actually crucial positions in society would act, from the point of view of lawyers, and doctors, and GS15s, and field grade officers, in such an irresponsible manner. Although I must condition that conclusion. I think that we are dealing with a mass case of denial, assuming that such people are all here in the first place.
    This denial of how bad things are going to get leads to just preposterous proclimations being spewn out by big and small personalities every second of every day.
    “This is the century of Asia” “This is how we are going to solve this that or the other problem.” “We have to reduce our CO2 emmisions to ZERO by 2050, or 2040, or 2030. “We will never be able to pay off the national debt”. “We can not afford to pay repatriations to descendents of slavery” Even though we could. ” Can the Gulf states diversify their oil based economies to avoid major problems when their oil runs out?”, is one of my favorite nonsensical slogans. Should’nt it be as obvious as hell that once that oil runs out no one is going to avoid major problems?
    Sadly understanding this does not help much because if you are a second level administrator or even lower there is nothing that you can do about the NTHE anyways.
    Your options are to continue on with business as usual or get crushed by the gears of civilization even faster than everyone else who gets to wait around for the collapse of industrial civlization when to many scarce industrial resources run out. Or when food runs out because industrial agriculture is no longer viable.
    350ppm was the magic number, not 2°C, ore even 1.5° C. We are at 422 now and still climbing. The rate of climb has slowed somewhat. But how long will it take before the thawing trunda more than makes up for any unlikely reductions that humans might manage to make in their CO2 output. Furthermore methane levels are climbing as well.
    The war in Ukraine shows that western leaders have absolutely no interest in delaying the time at when the collapse of industrial civilization occurs. That we will be toasted this century is beyond a shadoe of legitimate doubt.
    This state of affairs ties in to something else I wrote about recently. Is it possible that even those that think that they are in charge in the US, UK, (&NATO plus Japan and Korea), Russia, and China and India are being punked by their own intellegence services. I do not think that such a thing is likely. People in these fields seem to suffer from a serious lack of imagination. But I think that it should be recognized as a possibilty.
    I and many others believe that the deep state has its heart and brains in the Pentagon.
    The reason for this is because the Pentagon posseses large amounts of the 3 ingriedents neccessary to achieve power. It has acess to huge amounts of resources to commit acts of violence. It has access to huge amounts of money. Actually, There is no amount of money that it can not obtain. It has access to huge amounts of data. (intellegence). But the Pentagon also has access to something else that is not often spoken of as a resource of power. That is privacy. And who has the most privacy inside of any military industrial complex?
    What appears to be lacking to make such an event likely is a lack of unifying motive. In the past avoiding nuclear war might have provided such a motive. But no one seems to be concerned about the threat of nuclear war anymore. Nuclear weapons as a deterence has failed. The motive would have to be something that would motivate someone with a lot to lose to take great risks to achieve. Nothing comes to my mind that would meet such criteria. But maybe I lack enough imagination to figure it out.
    It is 1:10 am. Do you know where your children are?

  19. Jorge

    Curt Kastens: the study you speak of was called “The Limits to Growth”, a project commissioned by the “Club of Rome”. Such models took fantastic amounts of computer power back then, and can now run on your phone. The “Mankind at the Turning Point” model would make a fantastic app.

  20. different clue

    @ Steven Schmidt,

    I wanted Bernie Sanders for DemPrez nominee in 2016 ( or whatever year it was). But the Dems engineered the primary process to give me Clinton. So I voted for Trump, partly out of revenge against the Dems for not letting me have my Sanders, ( and revenge against Clinton specifically for NAFTA and all it stands for) and also to prevent Clinton from starting Thermonuclear World War Three with Russia. I was one of those relatively few voters in what Michael Moore called the “Brexit States” which he predicted would give the election to Trump by just enough votes.

    But by 2020 ( or whatever the year was) I had seen the Trump Show running long enough and thought there was no more good to be had by voting to “don’t touch that dial!” for 4 more years. So I voted for Biden, as much as I resented the DemParty betrayal once again
    against Sanders.

    Every blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then, and the blind squirrel known as “Adam Smith” found an acorn when he said ” There is a lot of ruin in a country.” If the Dems nominate Sundowner Biden again, I will vote for it instead of voting for Trump to find even more ruin in this country than Biden would find.

    At this point it is not even about the “lesser evil” any more. It is about which pilot will fly the plain into a semi-controlled crash landing somewhere semi-survivable as against which pilot will power-drive the plane into terrain at a vertical angle of approach. 4 more years of Biden might give you time for you and the people you know to aquire all the AR15s you can and all the ammo you can afford for them and all the training you can possible get in order to give yourselves a hope of surviving the armed onslaught of heavily armed Intrumpahamwe Militias who will be seeking vengeance and slaughter in the name of their defeated God-Emperor at the end of Biden’s 2nd term, if not before. If Trump wins, the Intrumpahamwe Militias won’t even give you time to prepare.

    Of course one could speculate about other things that could happen in 2024. The ” No Labels” movement might run its Manchin in order to draw enough votes from Biden in order to get Trump elected. If that happens ( “No Labels” Manchin running), then Trump’s re-election is guaranteed, and I will cast a purity-of-gesture vote for Cornell West.

  21. Curt Kastens

    I might have seen the study that you refer to that was commissioned by the club of Rome.
    But I have 100% for sure seen a MIT study done around 1970 that predicted the collapse of Industrial Civilization most lively around 1970.

  22. Curt Kastens

    I suspect the figures of the Ukrainians frying 5000 to 6000 rounds of artillery a day are rather inflated. There is no doubt a need to account for all of the ammuntion that gets shipped. An apparently high percent of the rounds get destroyed at Amu Supply Points. An unknown percentage might also get resold on the black market to say a militia or two in Sudan.
    It is no doubt simply more simple to record all of the rounds that have disappeared in one of these manners as having been fired on the front lines.
    Also when speaking about inefficiancy of the artillary forces to inflict more caualities I have to wonder about the Russians as well. They are supposed to be firing alot more artillary than the Ukrainians. Yet the Ukrainians are still fighting hard, even attacking the Russians in many areas along the front lines. It seems reasonable to me to conclude something is not adding up in the Russian narrative about how the war is going.
    Something is not adding up in the western narrative as well. The western Generals have to be only pretending that they thought that the Ukrainians would easily roll over Russians defences once the Ukrainians launched their much ballyhood offensive even though the Ukrainians had neither air supirority, nor artillery supiriority, nor adequate mine clearing equipment. All taking place on a battlefield watched by people on both sides using satalites and drones and manned aircraft all loaded with high tech scientific equipment. Even if Russian tech is 20 years behind the west it is still 50 years better than what the Red Army had when they defeated the Nazis.
    Because this is all so obvious I have to wonder if the Ukrainians are really only pretending to be on the offensive because they really want to keep the bulk of thier forces for countering a large scale Russian offensive should the Russians give that one more try.
    I mayself have doubts that the Russians will try that unless the Ukrainians forces were so depleted that their combat pontential was less than the South Vietnemese Army in April of 1991.
    Even though the Ukrainians are still managing to keep the war a stale mate. It should be comming obvious to more and more western Ukrianians, if they have a lick of sense, that they were the butt of the NATO joke on their nation. They really should be having dreams of revenge against those people who pretended to be thier friends.

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