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

The Riots to Come… and The Revolution?

This map, from CNBC, sort of says it all:

Assume the numbers are half that, you’re looking at 15 percent to nearly 30 percent of renters facing eviction in many states. Assume 75 percent of these numbers, and, well…

This is an apocalypse. If this won’t cause riots and revolution, nothing will.

Remember, the people who did this have names and addresses, as do those who bailed out the rich and left you to die on the street.

Don’t forget Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and every CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Every private equity guy, etc.

Do remember to display your displeasure to Congress when it’s in session and at the White House.

This, children, is what happens when you elect a woman like Thatcher who says, “There is no such thing as society,” or Reagan, who agreed. Trump is just a stage in the disease, and the choice to not do moratoriums, etc… was up to Congress. Likewise, the Fed has exceeded its legal authority multiple times for trillions of dollars to bail out the rich, and could have chosen to bail out ordinary people.

This is a choice. Not even Britain is making the choice this badly (though rest assured, Britain is a weak state, heading towards being a failing state, and having rejected Corbyn and chosen Johnson (who wants, among other things, to suspend jury trial), they will get there too.

I wonder if other neoliberal nations, like my own Canada, and Australia, Germany, France, and so on will take the lesson.

I’d like to think so.

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American Social Collapse Is Far Closer than Most Will Admit


Understanding American Elites Means Understanding Predators


  1. NL

    Well, who’s gonna rent/own all that empty property after evictions? No one. So it will be there empty and the same people will return as squatters. Mom and pop landlords will be lucky to have tenants — no free money for them from the Fed. Cut the rents down. People will adjust — build shanty towns, start growing food, develop underground economy. Engels — Condition of the Working Class in England — we have seen nothing yet.

    Hunger riots — yes, revolution – no. Please accept my apologies for disagreeing. We are seeing now oligarchs behind the Ford Foundation funding protests that oligarchs behind Trump want to suppress using federal forces.

  2. Keith in Modesto

    I love how, in the chart, the light blue squares/states are 22%/28%/29%. “They’re just *light* blue, see – that’s not so bad! Just 29% – that’s not so bad!”

  3. someofparts

    Watching craigslist, rents are already dropping in my town. For professionally managed multi-unit complexes the drops are still small. The biggest changes are coming from private landlords renting apartments in basements or atop garages.

  4. Plague Species

    Yeah, no, I don’t see it happening, or not in America at least. The right stuff for a revolution is simply not there. I give the internet credit for eviscerating that potential. It is the greatest revolution neutralizer ever created especially because it purports the exact opposite. The internet is not an assembler, it’s a disassembler. The internet is fracking. What does it frack? Solidarity, that’s what. It fractures US into millions of pieces, never to be conjoined again if we ever once were.

    BLM is a farce. It’s yet another example of the corporatocracy usurping any and all resistance to the point it creates its own resistance so it can be controlled and contained.

    My wife commutes to work in a wealthy liberal part of town that is gated and there are security cameras everywhere. It’s an ostentatious wealthy enclave, one of many, in the city. Despite the fact that it’s a sheltered and secured, nay fortified, privileged community, she has noted most every yard has an “I support #BlackLivesMatter” yard sign. Too funny. For this reason, I do not support BLM or any of these protests that have been underway. They are not authentic. They are not real. Those who should be earnestly protesting, people like my wife and my children, are too busy working to survive than to be out and about “protesting,” and once and if they are evicted, they will have no means to protest because they will be scrapping for their next meal and trying to find a way to put a roof over their heads. Protesting is for the bourgeoisie and the petite bourgeoisie, not for the truly afflicted in this ongoing class war and the protests are meant to obscure the class war by making the dispossessed and impoverished appear privileged by focusing the issue on race and gender versus class.

    How many times must it be said? Corporations are psychopaths. They are evil institutions. If they support anything, that anything is also evil. The corporations and Wall Street and the wealthy elite who own the corporations will not provide a solution to their evil ways. But they will usurp, corrupt and contain any resistance to their dominion.

  5. gnokgnoh

    NL, I agree, no revolution. Juan Cole has an article by Martin Powers about the British austerity and repressive rule of Hong Kong, with comparisons to us. There’s an irony in there somewhere about colonizing your own body politic.

    Colonizing Portland Excesses

    Plague Species, most revolutions are led by the elite, with the workers as soldiers. To use a less well-known example, most of the Southern Slavic revolts against the Ottoman (Turkish) occupiers were led by the elite in concert with the clergy with extensive financial and military support from Russia. The poor and working class do not have the resources.

  6. StewartM


    Mom and pop landlords will be lucky to have tenants — no free money for them from the Fed. Cut the rents down.

    And if those mom-and-pop landlords still have mortgages to pay on those properties, who’s going to keep the (bailed-out) banks from repossessing those properties if they *do* cut the rent? The renters probably won’t be able to pay enough to even cover the mortgage payments…

  7. StewartM


    For this reason, I do not support BLM or any of these protests that have been underway. They are not authentic. They are not real.

    So veterans and moms and people are out getting beaten and teargassed for what—fun? A lark?

    You guys are starting to sound SO like the old Southerners I know protesting that the Freedom Riders were “paid outside agitators”. BLM is nothing but authentic. While it’s easy to bus guys in to show off their AR-15s at no risk to themselves, it’s hard to get people to risk (perhaps permanent) bodily injury. BLM, I should remind you, started out with almost no support, even among Democrats; and in that way it’s similar to the 1950s and 1960s Civil RIghts Movement.

  8. gnokgnoh

    StewartM, that was not me. Chill.

  9. Steve

    Seriously thinking about moving to Canada these past few days. Not just toying with it, as in past. Even though I’m not so sanguine about Canada either. If I did move there, I’d be a big proponent of ranked-choice voting. The Liberals and Conservatives aren’t much different from the Democrats and Republicans. RCV also would probably force NDP to become more serious.

    BTW, these evictions benefit big finance in the long run, allowing them to consolidate control over huge amounts of property. That’s why this is happening.

  10. StewartM

    Apologies, gnokgnoh. My comment was mis-attributed to Plague Species.

  11. Stirling S Newberry

    This is the start because what they learn from the Great Depression is “Stop a liberal from being elected.” The elite did not care to notice the defects in the own behavior.

    Side Note the Atlantic may soon spawn another tropical storm. “I” for any of you wondering.

  12. S Brennan

    Yeah, not seeing it Ian, just not seeing it…Biden gets in and the numerically tiny protests will cease except for dead-enders who won’t hear the dog whistles to stop…

    …those folks will be swept-up as they were in 2009, and to the polite applause of the EZ-Rah Kliens of the world…what was it he said, I paraphrase, “these mass arrests and detentions will actually strengthen the movement”. These protests are being driven by a four year media frenzy against the 2016 election…everything, including the kitchen sink has been thrown at Trump, this is just one more…it will stop, like a child’s tantrum, when D’s retake their “rightful place” and start skimming the take they pass on to their constituents, Wall Street, Pharma, Insurance et al .

    To your point on rent, being kicked out leaving over rent, is a very bad thing [it’s happened to me…thank you Mr. Volker] but, not as severe as losing tens of thousands of dollars because you got kicked out of a home…that is what happened in 2009 to the Gen-Xers…Obama cracked down those protests, as I mentioned, “to polite applause” of “liberals”, “progressives” and “lefties”. Millennials were not just silent on the injustice, they fully supported Obama, as group they are not a bunch of revolutionaries.

    When “liberals”, “progressives” and “lefties” start embracing genuinely populist liberal, progressive and lefty policies then things could get interesting but, honestly Ian, that’s pretty far over the horizon. Protests will end when the D’s are back in office.

  13. krake

    I think passive immiseration is the more likely outcome.

  14. Plague Species

    So veterans and moms and people are out getting beaten and teargassed for what—fun? A lark?

    Well, that\’s the question, isn\’t it? For what? To spread COVID-19 as far and wide as they possibly can? So that the overpasses many people will be living under in the near future will be BLM overpasses with fifteen different designated areas for people to relieve themselves according to what gender du jour they are?

    The fact of the matter is, outside of what the media sensationalizes, the protests for most folks are non-existent. If the world judges America by virtue of the sensationalized cable media, they are deluded. I have yet to see a protest. They are not that widespread. They are chaotic and disorganized. I\’m not impressed and I\’m not supportive. Make it about class and start seizing some institutions like the media and maybe you can start cooking with bacon grease, but that\’s not going to happen.

    Also too funny is characterizing me as an \”old Southerner.\” Show me an \”old Southerner\” who decried the Freedom Riders because they weren\’t focusing on class war and race instead. No such \”old Southerner\” exists, so your characterization is disingenuous.

  15. Stirling S Newberry

    They should have called it the Heels Act.

  16. Zachary Smith

    Assume the numbers are half that, you’re looking at 15% to nearly 30% of renters facing eviction in many states. Assume 75% of these numbers, and, well…

    This is an apocalypse. If this won’t cause riots and revolution, nothing will.

    Heck, assume the numbers are 1/3 those in the graph! Even that would be a disaster in its own right. Probably this will contribute to a trend I’ve already noticed in my part of Indiana – multiple families will live together in a single house. Basements and garages will become living quarters. (I know of people within ten miles of me living in a barn right now) By itself this probably won’t cause “riots and revolution”, but it’ll sure be a huge contribution to the coming chaos when that finally arrives. Added to the increasing despair from joblessness and humiliation/shame and growing hunger – there is no telling what will happen next!

    The stupidity/cluelessness of the US power elites is something to behold.

  17. highrpm

    trump? how about all the single party leadership? (yah, trump’s a rallying point & folks need that.) what i find interesting is that most of the pro-bernie progressive talk/ dreams/ if-only subsided rather quickly after bernie repeated in 2020 his 2016 cave-to-the-party script. sad. (it’s said that when the viet cong would take over a village, they’d kill first the village leadership and second the teachers. strategy & tactics.)

    mr brennan, resident critique par excellente, what do you think of the journalist max parry over at the site? his latest “the-battle-of-seattle-was-fought-by-the-pro-war-left-in-northern-syria” is worth at least my lost time reading.

  18. Ché Pasa

    I suspect that if the US really, seriously looks to break up, it will be forced to stay (relatively) united while jettisoning portions of its physical empire and maintaining financial dominance.

    The stage we’re going through right now is “Dominate or Die”. This is plain to see at every level of the US politics, economy and society. It means disintegration in one sense, consolidation in another.

    And for the most part, it’s all about competing authoritarians seeking to dominate and rule the ruins.

    Short term, there is no better future for most of us. The Decline is intended to get rid of most of us because we’re troublesome and unnecessary to the interests of the Dominators. 90% or more of us could disappear tomorrow, and the Overclass would be just fine.

    It’s interesting to see that the housing crisis is not being addressed in upcoming legislation. Nor is rampant hunger being directly addressed. The “money” that’s being created to go to the miserable wretches who would be thrown out of their homes (if that’s what happens) and unable to buy food otherwise will only go to a portion of the populace. Say 60%? Maybe. Fewer will qualify as time goes by. If they get sick, they will be required to die quickly. And so forth.

    The cull will continue until a new equilibrium is established.

    Protests will become more intense and more widespread, and yes, more protesters will be killed by the would-be Dominators. We may see massacres in the streets.

    As long as the protesters are petitioning for redress of grievance, the Dominators win. We aren’t yet near the point of petitioning turning into revolution.

  19. NL

    gnokgnoh: we are not talking about self-determination movement, we are talking about a change in political economy together with replacement of the elite that installed and solely benefited from this political economy. The new political economy will be benefit most people in the society (except of course the old elite) and be administered by a new budding elite that brought the change about.

    StewartM : Agree regarding mom-and-pop. The people protesting right now are meaning well and feel the need for reforms and change. Unfortunately, the cold fact remains that BLM are funded and controlled by the corporations: You can look for the grant in their database:

    Ford Foundation president is a member a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a board member of the Arcus Foundation, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Friends of the High Line … in other words as up there as one can get.

    BLM is tightly managed by some outside firm (read up) that was hired for this very purpose. Once the money dries up, the protest will vanish.

  20. Kim Little

    @Ian Welsh

    In your previous blog post you predict that an authoritarian despot will sooner or later take control of the United States.

    In that case riots and unrest will only provide a pretext for the iron fist. If North Korea offers an insight it is this – a despot willing to do whatever it takes to remain in control will do so for a very, very, long time. Regardless if millions of people are starving or not.

    Do you suppose, then, that telling people to go hunt down elites is wise? Because, to the best of my knowledge, rabble-rousers also have homes and addresses…

  21. StewartM


    I am quite sure that while corps may be putting *visible* money into BLM (gawd only knows where their real money, the dark money, goes). I am also sure that this is an attempt to gather both good publicity and co-opt or influence the movement.

    That however does not apply to its origin and the fact that BLM was originally given the standard Dem establishment response to progressive groups; i.e, “shut up and clap louder”. Nor what you posted apply to all of BLM, as it is decentralized and some chapters accept *no money* for fear of either being or seeming to appear to be co-opted; so it is not “tightly controlled”. Finally, no amount of money can get people to put their bodies at risk.

    An analogy can be made with the gay rights movement, that; despite having some rich donors too, was undeniably grassroots. 25 years ago, even the friendliest politicians gave gay issues a wide berth; most were either mum or actively hostile. That was change that occurred largely because people in essence “voted” in mass.

  22. gnokgnoh

    NL, it’s hard to separate movements/revolutions for self-determination from those advocating for a change in the political economy. Lenin and Mao were very much the latter, but also the former. Referencing your first post, are you saying that hunger riots will change the political economy? We just won’t get a revolution?

  23. S Brennan

    highrpm; I saw your note, took a glance but can’t get to it ’till tonight….

  24. ProNewerDeal

    I am incredibly frustrated that the US Power Elite of Billionaires, Fortune500 CXOs, & the Fed politrickians they own refuse to copy the solution to mitigate the health & economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, shown by both the rich OECD nations & the communist nations like Cuba & Vietnam. Even the prior fugazi status nations like Italy/Spain are down to 0.08% Estimated Currently Infected compared the US 2nd-worst-in-world-just-behind-Panama 1.91% per covid19-projects dot com.

    Instituting a US-nationwide 6-8 week lockdown with a Andrew Yang-style temporary UBI of $2K/month to all adults, with the USPO dropping off a N95 mask 5-pk at every residential address would get us on the path to Canada/Italy/etc. Add better rapid testing & say optional free isolation for mild & asymptomatic tested positive patients who live with others to protect their noninfected household.

    These proven policies from other nations would seem to benefit the Power Elite. The sum of Q3-Q4 profits of their companies would be better than the current status quo. Sacrifice 8 wks for a better overall 26 wks. The Fed politrickians incumbents would have a better chance of winning their Nov elections. The Fed Gov expenditures over the 8 weeks would eventually be offset, perhaps by 1 year later at most, by a less-crappy economy.

    The health vs economic False Dichotomy has been shown to be obviously bogus. Crush Currently Infected to 0.10% (Canada is at 0.05%) & both health & economy will be better off.

    I do not understand the Power Elite here to recognize what seems obvious enlightened self-interest. For example, South Korea is allowing back fans at baseball games, presumably wearing masks. The NFL Billionaire owners could have prevented losing a major percentage of their revenues (30%?) had such policies had been implemented & the US was at Canada’s Currently Infected levels by September.

    Anyways it is incredibly frustrating to see the failure to implement the proven obvious solutions that could greatly limit such health, economic, & social interaction suffering of us USians. I do not see “light at the end of the tunnel” as when Currently Infected declines to even 0.30% in the US & each state.

  25. The Medical Mafia (and TDS) affiliated censors are going crazy. About 8 doctors, members of a new organization called American Frontline Doctors, gave a Capitol Hill press conference. Apparently, they did something similar yesterday, but the video was taken down by youtube. Also, their website,, was taken down (supposedly by squarespace). I’m not sure if this was the subject of a tweet by Trump, Jr., but some tweet of his was recently taken down because it contradicted science (according to CNN).

    It’s mostly a hydroxychloroquine (and sanity) advocacy group, apparently.

    Meanwhile, unless my lying eyes deceive me, neither Trump nor Pence nor anybody else from the Trump Administration bothered showing up. How’s that for leadership skills, huh?

  26. Ian Welsh

    The future is not written.

    One path is authoritarian despotism on the way to a failed state (or if you’re lucky, the American Putin). Another is a successful revolt. Another that enough pressure is put on elites and Americans that the elites are changed, in part because the elites shit their pants but are unable to crack down enough to do the authoritarian finale.

    There is NO better future without a change in elites. So I think that advising Americans to put maximal pressure on elites by getting in their faces where they live and work IS the best thing to do.

    They aren’t going to change their ways of doing things because you ask nicely, and an “excuse” is a bullshit reason for doing what you always intended and wanted to do.

    This is about power. Exert maximal power if you want a chance for a better future.

    Asking nicely doesn’t work.

  27. Zachary Smith

    Stella Immanuel is part of a team of Medical professionals attended the America’s Frontline Doctors Summit in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 27.

    According to her Facebook, Dr. Immanuel is based in Houston, Texas, and is a physician at Rehoboth Medical Center in Houston. She is also a deliverance minister and founder of Fire Power Ministries. In the video above from the summit, Immanuel says, “In the past few months, after taking in over 350 patients, we have not lost one. Not a diabetic, not somebody with high blood pressure, not somebody with asthma, not an old person. We’ve not lost one patient.”null

    She then says that in addition to this, she and her staff at the clinic and “many doctors that I know” are on hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure. She says the medication works as a preventative drug, and despite seeing around a dozen patients each day and only wearing a surgical mask, none of them have gotten sick.

    She says, “I came here to Washington, D.C. to say: America, nobody needs to die.” Immanuel says it’s upsetting to see people struggling to breathe and thinking that COVID-19 is a “death sentence.” She then says, “I hug them, and I tell them that it’s going to be okay you’re going to leave. And we treat them, and they leave. None have died.

    She goes on to claim that it’s “fake science” to say hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work. “This virus has a cure,” she says. “It is called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and zithromax.” Immanuel also says that no one needs masks or to shut down schools because there is a cure.

    Why is the media suppressing the success story of this Wonder Woman? There Is A Cure! Nobody needs to invest a red cent in the dangerous masks. Send the kids back to school. Tell those meat-cutter workers to shut up and get back to work. There Is A Cure!

    Bring back all the professional and college sports. All the crowds at their events. There is no no longer anything to fear. There Is A Cure. Doctor Trump is undoubtedly going to be re-elected and awarded the Nobel Prize. Those who make it inside the Pearly Gates will surely see The Orange Leader at the Right Hand of God. The Trump Cure!!

    Our Glorious Leader needs to be Tweeting the other discoveries of the Nigerian Doctor.

    Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

    She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

    You’re now OK to ditch the mask, but try very hard to avoid dreaming about sex with demons and witches. Doing THAT could get you into some real trouble.

    So let’s all praise the efforts of the American Frontline Doctors, and this one in particular. (internal link for above quote)

  28. S Brennan


    I don’t know if you saw this but, Krake put this Pharma sponsored study up with the Headline

    “Use of hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, did not improve clinical status at 15 days as compared with standard care.”

    Here is my rebuttal:

    S Brennan permalink
    July 26, 2020

    “Lancet, New England Journal retract Covid-19 studies on Hydroxychloroquine”

    But after publishing fraudulent papers and apologizing for their sloppy work, the New England Journal returns with a study designed to examine why taking birth control pills, after the onset of pregnancy is of limited efficacy…oops, sorry, I meant Hydroxychloroquine. Let me quote some of the the punchlines of this “study” after a 5 minute read of Krake’s posted link.
    “Hospitalized Hydroxychloroquine-treated patients were more severely ill at baseline than those who did not receive hydroxychloroquine [control group]…The trial included patients who had been hospitalized with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 with 14 or fewer days since symptom onset…[two weeks after Covid-19 symptom onset..hence my birth-control-pill remark…what next…hydroxychloroquine fails to raise the dead? ].

    Among the reasons for exclusion from the trial were, previous use of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, or any other macrolide for more than 24 hours beforeenrollment (and since the onset of symptoms)…[in other words anybody who had been properly treated with hydroxychloroquine prior to hospitalization]….the [control group] treatment was at the discretion of the treating physicians. The use of glucocorticoids, other immunomodulators, antibiotic agents, and antiviral agents was allowed [for the control group..just not documented]”
    Which means the control group was anything but a control group, they were highly treated patients…we, the reader of this “study” are not allowed to know what the control group was treated with…that my friends, is not science.

    It goes on, the full protocol was written in Spanish…which is odd for an article written in English, probably more irregularities buried there. But let me add one more salient point, the study was financed by EMS Pharma, the largest pharmaceutical company in Brazil and they provided the pharmaceuticals! No conflict of interest there…huh?

    I can already see Fauci loving this “study”

  29. Zachary Smith

    A big part of our current problem in the US is that there is no obvious way to get off the Road To Ruin. What we have now in DC is a disaster on all fronts, and Biden isn’t going to do anything to change that.

    Google Headline One: Biden’s VP shortlist comes up short

    The Democratic presidential nominee wants to pick someone who is like him (or at least the way he saw himself as vice president): loyal, trusted, experienced, apolitical, someone with whom he will bond.

    Somebody Just Like Him! Only wearing a skirt. (And maybe not yet losing it upstairs.) Biden has his fingerprints on every recent American disaster. The Bushies even copied the Patriot Act from some of his failed legislation.

    Google Headline Two: Former Sanders campaign co-chair Nina Turner compares voting for Biden to eating ‘bowl of sh–‘

    Hillary and her neocon buddies hand-picked Trump to run against her because they couldn’t imagine finding anybody worse. THAT part they got right! Despite Biden being the most awful Democratic candidate in 2020, the DNC chose him to be the person to replace Sanders.

    The US power elites think they can manage this crisis with a few token gestures and some strategic bandaids placed here and there. Totally Unqualified (R) vs Totally Unqualifed (D) is NOT the way to recover from the current mess. But the two of them are our only choices. I fear Mr. Welsh’s pessimism isn’t misplaced.

  30. Bruce

    The reason revolution will not come is that everyone thinks there must be some horrible violent upheaval. But all that needs to be done is translate profits into work-hours and it can be seen how unnecessary is most of our work. We can have the same standard of living as RIGHT NOW except we’d only need to work 10-15 hours PER WEEK. If we let go of profits, society is more than capable of maintaining itself. We are too scared.

  31. NL

    StewartM: There can be any sort of movement in the US, except for labor interests. Those who sell their labor are ‘discouraged’ from organizing and pursuing their interests. The same play was pulled in 2008 to cover up misdeeds in the preceding real estate scheme. We were told that an African ancestry president will solve all our problems and we should just hope. And nothing happened, here we are… The president was hand-picked, groomed and closely supervised by the oligarchy.

    gnokgnoh: From what I understand Lenin was all about political economy and productivity. He lived abroad a lot and studied in detail the Western way of business. His thinking was not just based on Marx (monopoly capitalism), he also saw financialization and dominance of banking and (seems to me at this point) came to the conclusion that capitalism is good at extracting resource for the owners but not at ensuring productivity (not so surprising for us now). He believed (probably correctly) that the most productive economic system wins. When he lived late 1800s and early 19oo, things were not that much different from now. Oligarchs known as “robber barons” ran the show, finance dominated, various schemes flourished (read the Titan by Theodore Dreiser). Lenin might have tried to pull off something like what CCP did in the recent decades, and allegedly Deng was influenced by Lenin a lot (

    But he also did a lot of expediency things. There were actually a revolution and counter-revolution in Russia. The 1905 was the oligarchic revolution pulled off by a conspiracy of oligarchs. It was supposed to overthrow the monarchy, establish a parliament of oligarchs, displace peasants from land (thus creating a class of poor unattached labor sellers) and permit the rising group of industrialist to exploit the labor to the fullest. Curiously, it is the Monarch who was in favor of laws at that time to protect labor. The 1917 was the counter-revolution of peasants who understood what was in store for them. So, one of the first decrees Lenin signed after taken power was to give land back to the peasants.

    Oligarchy/capitalism is a stable system in the context of English-speaking ancestry. No revolution any time soon. It is just not necessarily a most productive, advanced and forward looking system and it produces a lot of suffering and grief that could be avoided. It holds the man to be a beast driven by fear and greed. And I strongly disagree with those who claim it is not perfect but the best — no. It is only the ‘best’ because we refuse to image and create better. We still to a large extent live in the version of capitalism created for us by Roosevelt. He was an oligarch that broke off the oligarchy. He should have been made a king. Instead the oligarchy passed presidential term limits and branded him a class-traitor. Now, we are simply going back to a type of capitalism that existed before Roosevelt…

  32. Zinsky

    One consequence of the pandemic is more multi-generational households – which is the polar opposite of what you would like to have happen in a pandemic. In my own family, two of my three twenty-something kids are back living with my wife and I now. I am retired and hadn’t really planned on having kids still living with me in my golden years but, oh well. They keep me young. At least our house and property is paid for, so we control our destiny much more than most people. Debt is slavery. Pity the renters who live from paycheck to paycheck – they are well and truly f*cked.

  33. Via Twitter:

    Dr. Simone Gold
    UPDATE: We have just met with Vice President Mike Pence to request the administration’s assistance in empowering doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine without political obstruction.

    We also discussed the recent censorship of doctors on social media platforms.

    7:54 PM · Jul 28, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

  34. Stirling S Newberry

    This is the pit that low inflation gets you into: people want a high inflation rate for the things the sell, but a low inflation rate for thing they buy. But everyone wants in on this game. So for a long time, governments do the expect: tax the non-voting to reward the voting. The voting die and the non-voting eventually become the voters. A new government the does the same thing: reward the present by taxing the future.

    This piles up for a long time, with each generation passing on to their inheritors the weight of debt. The can be done so long as the future gain enough from production. The problem is this, statistically speaking, can be calculated. Which means the present some of that actions. This is the moved from early cycle to late cycle. In the late cycle, one has to lift barriers to large swathes of activities – education for example. In addition, hidden barriers to energy production are laid bare: in three long capital cycles (wind/water, wood/coal, oil/fission) finally desert the main energy supply when its (obvious in hindsight) limitation are made manifest. (Simply put: the problems of low density, low-grade soot, high-grade soot respectively. In otherwords it isn’t the input, it’s the output.

    The late can go on for a considerable amount of time: the ruling elite has huge sources of cash to burn protect the key bottleneck on which the wrath depends. In fact, they run into negative wealth accumulation to protect them. This runs into a condrumn: the future, which the elite depends on, wants positive growth (so the can steal it and sell it) but their defending of bottleneck gradually moves to negative.

    This means they start selling of the hinterlands, some of which are not that valuable. They key point is when the start selling things the are valuable. Let us take the decline of the British Empire as an example. The key resources were the oil-bearing lands: control over them was key. When they had to defend them, the long term was already written – the could have them taken away by Germany and Japan, or sold to the US. The way that they manage the debt to avoid the first was by selling lands and traderoutes on the sovereign debt market.

    In the present, the US is doing the same. This does not mean capitalism will go under (it has survived before) but it does mean the this form of capitalism will.

  35. GlassHammer

    Well if we think things are this dire maybe we should start sharing preparedness tips.

    Here is a product I installed in my home:

    Here is a cheaper alternative:

    An even cheaper alternative is to replace the screws in the plate connecting your deadbolt to the door with much longer wood screws. This will make it much harder for the plate to come loose from the door since you are connecting it deeper to the frame. The screws will only cost you a few bucks. (This option and the one directly above it will work for apartment living since most landlords won’t balk about these changes.)

  36. Joan


    It’s not optimal, sure, but I think allowing your kids to move back in is a good idea. They have a roof over their heads without handing over most of their paycheck to a landlord, and you have someone around should you need help in older age. I think that’s smart, provided that you treat your grown children like adults and allow them privacy. I had a helicopter parent with no concept of healthy boundaries and thus I sprinted from the nest with no intention of ever going back, even if she needed me. But your solution sounds good in the decades ahead.

  37. Ché Pasa

    Re: Housing

    I mentioned before that out here in the wilderness, almost every housing unit/dwelling is now occupied — even the ones that had been abandoned for years. There are few jobs out here after all, and people leave, they don’t stay. Yet now, for some reason, people are moving in and some of them are doubling or tripling up households in one residence.

    Close neighbors now have siblings living with them. Multi-generational households are proliferating. I know a couple of old coots down the road who now have their kids and grandkids living with them. They’ve mostly moved out here from “town” — and that could be any town, not just the nearest ones. They lost their jobs, like tens of millions of others, and didn’t see any point in sticking it out in town waiting for things to get better. They knew things wouldn’t get better any time soon. And they were right.

    The few local properties I see listed for sale on the Zillow machine have amazing asking prices, in some cases double what would have been considered normal before the pandemic.

    Another close neighbor has two Airstreams they were going to restore and sell but they never got around to it. They’re thinking of fixing them up just enough to live in — they need repairs and hookups, but otherwise are in good shape — and renting them out. There are no other rentals available in the area.

    There’s an RV park behind one of the local gas stations. Every space is full.

    If evictions in the cities commence on a grand scale in August, we’ll be in uncharted waters. It’s not just a matter of people being thrown out on the street, it’s a matter of nobody else moving in. Landlords with no tenants face a dilemma, don’t they? This situation has already affected commercial landlords and it’s a growing problem for them. What are they going to do? And when residential properties in the cities become vacant because of eviction or other reasons, and nobody is around to move in, what happens?

    Squatting is likely, sure. Carving residences into smaller and smaller units was common during the Depression, and that’s likely to happen again. People will double up, triple up, do what they have to to stay housed. Moving out to the country is a thing, and not just where I am. But there aren’t that many places to live out in the boonies. Some of the locals are self-building “shops” and “garages” (we know what they’re for…) but nobody so far is building new houses out here. Maybe they will eventually, but then again, maybe not.

    While the People are doing what they can to deal with this among so many other crises, our rulers are doing little but beefing up their suppression squadrons, preparing to do battle in the streets (Portland a harbinger of what’s to come) when the money runs out. And the food runs out. And there’s no place to live.

    I was going to add a riff on what’s happened to Riot Ribs in Portland, but I’ll save it. Ian is right, however, to urge readers to prepare for what’s to come. Short term, it will work out for some, probably many, but as the situation deteriorates even the best laid plans and the best intentions will likely come to naught.

  38. Stirling S Newberry

    Housing is a way of rewarding voters (and contributors) while penalizing non-voters. That it has gone up is predictable – the people owning the house are banks.

    “When I speak of the paranoid style, I use the term much as a historian of art might speak of the baroque….” Hofstadter The Paranoid Style in American Politics

    While the paranoid style never changes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  39. StewartM


    I share your frustration about identity politics; it’s why we ended up with sleepy Uncle Joe as the Dem nominee, after all, due to the shenanigans Obama directed in SC, and that was all convincing black voters that Joe-who-fought-desegregation in CT was really a far better friend of African-Americans than the candidate who was actually arrested protesting on their behalf, Benie Sanders. Just like Obama and the Clintons rushed into Arkansas in 2010 to similarly convince black voters that Senator Walmart (oops, Conservadem Blanche Lincoln) was the best friend black voters ever had, despite polling that showed Lincoln would be massacred in the general while her Democratic primary opponent Bill Halter, backed by labor unions and MoveOn, might actually win and keep the Senate seat blue. Lincoln won, but was beaten by almost 20 points in the general.

    That taught me that corporate Dems would far rather have a movement Conservative R win than see anything like a progressive Dem win. But their trick wouldn’t have played at all if black voters (who are disproportionately older females, probably less likely to get their news from non-corporate sources but from corporate Democrat-friendly sources like CNN) hadn’t bought it based on tribalism and the mis-reporting of these sources (polling sources showed that black voters wanted a return to Obama policies, even though his presidency was objectively bad, for both black economic prospects and saw the blackslide of black civil rights and voting rights). Younger African-Americans, by contrast, are less likely to buy the BS and vote for their best interests.

    Still, there are quite legitimate concerns that BLM addresses, it originated as a grassroots movement, and despite corporate Dems attempts to co-opt it at least parts of if still are. Moreover, there are also grassroots movements which are indisputably labor-friendly, like the Fight for 15.$15

    To me, BLM is worth supporting as any movement that brings out secret Federal police to crush it needs to be supported, by everyone. That’s my bottom line. I’m not going to quibble about any faults.

  40. Benjamin


    The Portland protests were fizzling out, precisely because BLM is largely incoherent and not demanding much in the way of specific policies (‘end racism’ isn’t actually a meaningful policy demand).

    Then Trump reinvigorated it by sending in his Federal goons, at which point the protests shifted to being against his thugs. The demonstrations are still awash in BLM signage and rhetoric, but they’re very clearly about ‘get the fuck out of our city’ right now.

  41. bruce wilder

    I feel ambivalent about BLM.

    As a slogan, “Black Lives Matter” has the hypnotic structure of a sentence completion exercise: it invites hearers to silently supply another beat, a response. And, the movement does not seek to supply one, to displace some of the ugly possibilities. Rather, I think some of the early BLM leadership wanted a fight.

    I want universal rights, not idpol synthetic grievance. There is a very real legacy of racism, but the ideological lens of idpol used to focus attention seems badly distorted to me.

    It is almost a cliche now to observe that the insistent narrative of “anti-racism” blocks the development of narratives of class that might open the possibility of coalitions broad enough to graduate from impotent protest and virtue-signalling to governance.

    And, it isn’t simply that the racial frame placed upon, say, murderous police violence, silo’s interest, though it does that. The narratives used by journalists that begin and end with race and racism exclude a lot of murderous police violence where the victim is not black from public attention. The definition of “the problem” must focus exclusively on racial animus as a trigger, because that is the approved script for journalists to follow. And, racial animus as trigger puts the problem in the imagined depravity of the character of the individual officer. Class analysis, by contrast, would question the motives and competence of authority structures and management, the governance of policy and procedure. The NY Times “Here’s What You Need to Know About Breonna Taylor’s Death” does not mention the real estate development that may have motivated the police campaign to “clean up” the neighborhood.

    The culture of idpol protest is rooted in a hothouse ideology bred among college students. Its virtue-signalling aspect is a fashion statement, a form of conspicuous consumption designed to distinguish the initiate from plebs with simpler ideas and untutored prejudices. That brittle righteousness and the need to feel superior in one’s thoughts contributes to the “outrage” of cancel culture. I saw someone — I think here on this blog — describe the New Deal coalition as a Popular Front of the left. The reality is that some of the most enthusiastic New Dealers were rabid white supremacists. That is not a criticism of the New Deal, which gained power from its openness to alliance, something a protest movement with no ambition to govern need not consider.

    Ian points out the coming crisis of homelessness (and crowding) and hunger and unemployment. The French Revolution and the insurrections of 1848 were driven at important points by the willingness of the hungry to join in riot. Finding a new class able and willing to govern responsibly in the interest of a larger public was a bit more of a challenge.

    I agree with other commenters that we will get the riots. I just do not think there are enough competent people with a shared “consciousness” to graduate from the theatre of protest to wielding power in governance. So, I, too, will say, no revolution. Not this time.

  42. Lex

    Hey metamars and sbrennon,
    Nobody is stopping doctors from prescribing anything. Off label drug prescriptions are common (though not always covered by insurance). Doctors don’t give a shit about politics when it comes to curing illnesses. If it worked, docs would be using it. The doctor in question treated 350 patients (outpatients) with hydroxychlorquine and they all got better, but she had no control group so she doesn’t know if it was the drugs or the fact that the disease ran its course. It is clear that neither of you have any functional relationship with actual science. If you did, you’d understand that we’re watching science happen in real time and under tremendous pressure. But hey, enjoy your conspiracy theories. They’re a lot easier than understanding science.

  43. S Brennan

    Hey Lex…I’m sure your bs works with the gulable but, give it a rest around here.

    “June 15, 2020 Update: Based on ongoing analysis and emerging scientific data, FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible. —->We made this determination based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial in hospitalized patients that found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery. Those studies were shown to be fraudulent, they were retracted by the publishing Journals <—

  44. S Brennan

    Screwed-up that quote from the FDA website:

    “June 15, 2020 Update: Based on ongoing analysis and emerging scientific data, FDA has revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat COVID-19 in certain hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is unavailable or participation is not feasible. We made this determination based on recent results from a large, randomized clinical trial* in hospitalized patients that found these medicines showed no benefit for decreasing the likelihood of death or speeding recovery. This outcome was consistent with other new data, including those showing the suggested dosing for these medicines are unlikely to kill or inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19. As a result, we determined that the legal criteria for the EUA are no longer met. Please refer to the Revocation of the EUA Letter and FAQs on the Revocation of the EUA for Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate and Chloroquine Phosphate for more information.”

    *The studies noted above were shown to be fraudulent, they were retracted by the publishing Journals.

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