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

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 20, 2022

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 20, 2022

by Tony Wikrent


Here’s WHY your inbox is a dumpster fire of fundraising spam, and what we can do about it.

Will Easton, November 18, 2022 [DailyKos]

Over the past couple cycles here, certain Democratic consulting firms, candidates & organizations have simply decided that it’s in their best interests to sell, rent, swap & trade your email address around the ecosystem, without bothering to ask you first.  So if you’ve contributed to one campaign … you’re going to be emailed by dozens, perhaps hundreds.

The DCCC condones and encourages this practice; it’s my understanding they REQUIRE their endorsed candidates to share email addresses into the pool.  OTOH, a lot of progressive candidates do NOT engage in these practices — most notably Senator Sanders, whose refusal to just hand his entire email list over to the party in 2016 was the cause of much handwringing …but he made the right call.


Global power shift

Ukraine is a ‘Warm Up’ for Fighting China: Why the Head of America’s Nuclear Forces Just Warned of an Imminent ‘Very Long’ War  

[Military Watch Magazine, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]


John Mearsheimer on Putin’s Ambitions After Nine Months of War 

Isaac Chotine [The New Yorker, via Naked Capitalism 11-18-2022]


What Nigeria Can Teach Us About China’s Belt and Road 

[The Diplomat, via Naked Capitalism 11-15-2022]

…Beijing and Abuja have been strategic partners since 2006, and their economic relationship has blossomed in what both sides would generally consider a “win-win.” In trade and investment, China has become a significant player in Nigeria, and in the case of development assistance, it has grown to be Nigeria’s preferred partner.

In particular, China has been Nigeria’s go-to source of funding to restore its dilapidated infrastructure, with Abuja formally joining the BRI in 2018 during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Beijing. China and its economic actors, especially the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), have become the heart and soul of Abuja’s infrastructure reconstruction ambitions. Beijing has played a leading role in the construction of the Kaduna-Kano railway line (at a cost of $1.7 billion), Lagos-Kano railway line ($6.7 billion) and Lagos-Ibadan railway line ($1.5 billion). China’s role is not just limited to railway lines; even in the construction of airports and ICT infrastructure, Chinese companies have assumed a leading position….

Even Nigeria’s national legislature laments the lack of transparency concerning loan agreements signed between the executive and Chinese state banks. This follows a trend outlined by AidData: Chinese loan agreements tend to have “far-reaching confidentiality clauses.” Nigeria’s weak institutional capacity has resulted in BRI projects being mired in secrecy, corruption, and blatant disregard for domestic laws.

As a result, for all the mega-projects China has undertaken in Nigeria, there is a lack of comprehensive links back to the domestic economy. In general, Chinese development assistance is tied to Chinese companies, technology, and capital, which threatens to crowd out indigenous economic actors. Already we see Nigerian construction companies venting that they are ostracized from BRI projects….


London loses position as most valuable European stock market 

[BBC, via Naked Capitalism 11-16-2022]


America’s leaders are a danger to the world

[Chris Hedges Report, via, November 11, 2022]

[Hedges interviews Andrew Bacevich about Bacevich’s new book, After the Apocalypse]

Andrew Bacevich:  …What’s the essence of the view? The essence of the view is that we define the future, that we are called upon to shape the future. And of course, inevitably, to shape it in our own image.

When I state it so baldly, it sounds preposterous. When I state it that way, no significant figure, I think, in our public life is going to say, yeah, that’s what I believe. But regardless of their denials, that is what our elites believe, and their particular reading of history affirms their view that we are the indispensable nation. And that when we use force, it is necessarily pursuant to a righteous cause. And therefore they remain blind to the faults that lead to so much suffering, catastrophe, missed opportunities, that, in my reading, have come to be particularly common over the last 20 or 25 years….

Now, I guess my critique, if we want to call it that, is informed by my own contemporary concerns. I have come to believe, particularly, I think, since the end of the Cold War, that there is no operative definition of the common good to which we as Americans subscribe. And I think that absence is, in many respects, at the root of why our democracy has deteriorated so badly. Again, roughly since the end of the Cold War. And I fear that the interpretation of the 1619 Project of our past simply will reinforce that. I mean, my bottom line is, unless we can recover some shared understanding of the common good, then American democracy may well be doomed. I’m not predicting that. I just fear that….

Chris Hedges:  … you made some really great points in this book, but one of them for me that was particularly interesting was how you write the Trump presidency signified the final demise of what you call “the New Order”. And you talked about the crazy conspiratorial right wing as embracing a heresy that terrified the established elites, the Bidens, the Clintons, the Bushes, and everyone else. Can you explain that?

Andrew Bacevich:  Well, I think in simplest terms, it’s the heresy of America first. This goes back again to World War II, more specifically to the origins of US involvement in World War II, the great debate that occurred over a period of a couple years prior to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. That debate centered on whether or not the United States should intervene in the European war, specifically on behalf of Great Britain, which, after the fall of France that we alluded to early on, stood alone against Hitler’s Third Reich.

That debate occurred at a pivotal moment of US history and resonated for decades after that. And the prevailing interpretation among historians, within most of the political establishment – There were some individuals on the right and on the left that dissented, but certainly the consensus was that the interventionist camp was correct and the anti-interventionist camp, the America firsters, were profoundly wrong.

And that contention was the basis of post-war American internationalism, formed the cornerstone of the rationale for US policy during the Cold War, and by extension provided the rationale for the creation of the national security state, for the pattern of interventionism that became such an important part of US foreign policy in the 1950s, ’60s, and so on.

And Donald Trump runs for the presidency and he says, that’s all a lie. That’s all wrong. That what ought to be the basis of US policy is America first. This is, in the eyes of the establishment, a profound heresy, denying the truth of US intervention in World War II and of the pattern of so-called global leadership that continued beyond that. So to identify with the anti-interventionists of the pre-World War II period was simply an unforgivable mortal sin. And I think that accounts, at least in part, for the savage response of the establishment to the Trump candidacy. Let me concede, quickly, that he was a liar, a fraud, a scoundrel, corrupt, and should never have been elected president….

Chris Hedges:  … I do have to just touch on Huntington, because I had to live through that as a foreign correspondent, and you nailed him. You said, this is the clash of civilizations, “Professor Huntington published an essay that future scholars are likely to classify among the urtexts signaling the coming demise of American primacy.” You said, “It cast a pernicious spell and underwrote the abandonment of reason.” And as somebody who spent seven years in the Middle East, that is so completely correct, but it did essentially give an ideological veneer to this. It was bought. I can remember diplomats being almost giddy about this….

Andrew Bacevich:  [The Russian invasion of Ukraine] created this rallying cry in the West. The Germans agreeing that they need to spend more on their military. Nations like Sweden and Finland petitioning to join NATO. And so I think we have the appearance of a rejuvenation of the West triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Well, my bet is that when this war ends, and it will end, that that rejuvenation will quickly disappear. And when it does, then I think we can begin, we the United States, can begin to return to the question of what does define the world order in which we must play a part, in which we must be participants?

And I think that the answer is going to be this notion of a West, a Western civilization, of Western values, providing the basis for uniting Western countries into some sort of a bloc that represents liberalism, exalted values. I think we’re going to find that that was already eroding and it’s never going to come back. So what I argue in the book is it’s preposterous to say that we’re part of the West. If you acknowledge the extent to which the United States of America has become a multicultural nation where our people come from Latin America and from Asia and from Africa, the notion that we are somehow still tied to the so-called Mother Country, England, Great Britain, is really preposterous. But it’s just going to take us a while to outgrow that, I think.

Chris Hedges:  Well, people have to read the book. You’re a great historian and a great writer, and you do a pretty good job of taking down our fascination with the royals and illusions about Great Britain.


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-14-2022]



Strategic Political Economy

Policies for Adapting to the ‘New Normal’ of the Anthropocene

[Behavioral Scientist, via The Big Picture 11-17-2022]

Two sets of value systems that underlie Western society trigger environmental problems. The first is a faith in market capitalism. This faith embraces a free market, property ownership, shareholder rights, limited regulation, and unlimited economic growth to produce socially optimal outcomes such as economic prosperity or a clean environment. This value set leads us to believe in the “win-win” solution to all our problems; that we can, for example, correct climate change by pursuing solutions that also make us money.


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-17-2022]



Democracy Takes Another Hit

James Kwak, November 9, 2022 [Medium, via Avedon’s Sideshow]

Sure, last night was not as bad as some other first-midterm elections (see 1994 and 2010). But think about it. The Republicans have openly revealed themselves to be a systematically dishonest, anti-democratic, misogynist, extreme-fundamentalist party, whose members delight in promoting baseless conspiracy theories, forcing women to give birth no matter the costs, humiliating children because of their sexual identity, and stoking race hatred. In overturning Roe v. Wade — thereby showing themselves to be bald-faced liars as well — the Supreme Court’s theocratic majority gave Democrats what should have been the greatest political gift of the past half century. On hot-button issue after hot-button issue — the 2020 election, abortion, guns — the Republicans are on the wrong side of the American electorate. With every year that passes, our demographic advantage (young people) should be increasing. There is even a fatal disease that disproportionately targets people who hold conservative beliefs about science and the government.

Any visitor from Mars would say that we should have crushed the Republicans. Voters should have decisively rejected a party that inhabits an alternative universe and has no respect for half of the human species. Yet we just lost the House and at best will count ourselves lucky to squeak by in the Senate on a fortunate map (only 14 of the 35 seats up for election were ours). We can’t blame gerrymandering: the aggregate Republican advantage in House races is at its lowest point in decades. How can this be?

The truth is that the Democratic Party has failed — failed to stand for anything that ordinary people care about and failed to deliver basic economic security. We are pretty good at arming Ukraine to fight against a brutal Russian invasion, pretty bad at helping the working- and middle-class people who were once the bedrock of our party.


Nouriel Roubini Says More… 

[Project Syndicate, via Naked Capitalism 11-17-2022]

[TW: Roubini basically says the same thing as Michael Hudson, without Hudson’s concise conclusion that “debts that can’t be paid, won’t be paid.”]

Very high debt ratios (both private and public) complicate the dilemma further. Raising interest rates enough to crush inflation causes not only an economic crash, but also a financial crash, with highly leveraged private and public debtors facing severe distress. The resulting financial turmoil that intensifies the recession, creating a vicious cycle of deepening recession and escalating financial pain and debt distress.


Liberalism, conservatism and the lack of discussion of civic republicanism

[Avedon’s Sideshow,  November 20, 2022]

I don’t hold out much hope for a third party’s success, especially in the current system, but is it possible to take over the Democratic Party? I don’t feel optimistic about that, either. Here’s one position on that:

The Politicians Who Destroyed Our Democracy Want Us to Vote for Them to Save It [TW-I linked to this last week]: We should have walked out on the Democratic Party and mounted a serious opposition movement while we still had a chance. The bipartisan project of dismantling our democracy, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.”

[Avedon continues:] It’s hard to argue with any of that, but if we ever had a chance to simply walk away, that hasn’t been helped by changes in law that make third parties even more difficult to field. And unlike most Americans, I’ve had the experience of living in a country with multiple parties and I can’t honestly say they fare any better. The UK has multiple parties, and yet, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives went on and on and on with only 40% of the vote. We even ended up with Boris Johnson, and then the bizarre autumn antics that led to today. European countries are all watching inroads, if not outright successes, by the right wing breaking through whatever sort of liberalism (social democracy or democratic socialism, however you like to define it) used to create stable governments. Neoliberalism opened the door wide, and the far right has been wriggling through or even marching right in. Today’s so-called “centrist” governments seem more willing to sympathize with avowed fascists than with any kind of social democracy, let alone “the left”.

Firming Up Hierarchy

Blair Fix [Economics from the Top Down, via Mike Norman Economics 11-19-2022]

 I think that the recent rise in US income inequality is being driven by a redistribution of income within firms. In short, I believe that corporate hierarchies have become more despotic. Corporate elites have taken income that once went to the bottom of the hierarchy and redirected it to the top.

To test this idea, we’ll take a meandering route. First, I’ll tell you about my model of corporate hierarchy and how it explains income as a function of ‘hierarchical power’. Then I’ll give you a tour of US income inequality, and show you why it’s plausible that the recent rise in top incomes is being driven by growing ‘hierarchical despotism’. Next, I’ll break out the math and build a model of the US corporate landscape. I’ll use this model to predict the redistribution of income within US firms. Finally, I’ll compare the model’s predictions to the real-world trends reported by Song and colleagues. If all goes well, we’ll get some insight into the machinations of US corporate hierarchy.

My results? I find that to a surprising extent, the redistribution of income within US firms can be explained by a single parameter — a change in the rate that income scales with hierarchical power.…

Mike Norman comments:

Democracy was introduced to recapture some of the consensual organization that had been lost along way when the priestly class became entitled and was characterized by an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Similarly, the warrior class developed into a supreme leader whose reign was passed hereditarily and who had the power to created title subordinates that developed into hereditary aristocracies.

The Age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe subsequent to the Protestant Revolution give birth to modern liberalism, which was had begun to be instantiated in England with the Magna Carta (sort of). The United States of America was the first modern liberal constitutional democracy modeled on 18th classical liberalism. The US Constitution sought to combine consensual and hierarchical organization practically for governing a populous and diverse nation that was a federation of sovereign states. It was based on a model reflecting the Roman Republic (SPQR and all that).

Conversely, the firm model developed along hierarchical lines as the most practical to the task. The corporate system is quite ancient as a legally based institutional structure.  Like militaries, firms and chartered firms (“corporations”) were organized on hierarchical models. However, the joint-stock company introduced a modicum of consensual organization through the influence of the stockholders on management.

[TW: Norman commits the unfortunate but common error of referencing only liberalism, and ignoring civic republicanism. The major political theory that is developed during the Enlightenment is not liberalism, which focuses almost exclusively on individual liberty, but civic republicanism, which focuses on finding a balance between individual liberty and the needs of the community. Indeed, as Bernard Bailyn details in his 1967 book The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press)—which as awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in 1968—the republicanism developed by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon in their 1720-23 Cato’s Letters: Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious was entirely a response to the ministerial corruption that enabled the South Sea Bubble. As noted in the  Wikipedia entry,

Renowned historian Clinton Rossiter stated “no one can spend any time on the newspapers, library inventories, and pamphlets of colonial America without realizing that Cato’s Letters rather than John Locke‘s Civil Government was the most popular, quotable, esteemed source for political ideas in the colonial period.”

One of the few scholars who understands that there has been a struggle between the ideas of republicanism and liberalism is Michael J. Thompson, Professor of Political Theory at William Paterson University and author of The Politics of Inequality: A Political History of the Idea of Economic Inequality in America (New York, NY, Columbia University Press, 2007). I highly recommend this book. Some excerpts:

“the economic egalitarian tradition that I will present here is so crucial because it is at the heart of the American republican project itself. The American idea of a democratic republic had always been premised on an antipathy toward unequal divisions of property because early American thinkers saw in those unequal shares of economic power echoes of what had been historically overturned: a sociopolitical order of rank and privilege; a static society that sought to crystallize power relationships and hierarchical economic and social relations characterized by corruption and patronage; in short, a feudal order where the exercise of power was arbitrary and the prospect of domination pervaded everyday life. The reason I trace the historical development and inevitable dissolution of the discourse on economic inequality in American political thought is to show that the American republican project was, in fact, deeply tied to the issues of economic inequality as a reaction to feudal social relations. Any political community that suffers from severe imbalances between rich and poor is in danger of losing its democratic character…” p.4.

“As the liberal doctrine of competitive individualism became more dominant, calls for equality of condition were replaced with calls for equality of opportunity. As inequality began to worsen during the later decades of the twentieth century, it was these same liberal ideas that were in effect co-opted by a renewed economic libertarianism, which gave justification to inequality not only on the basis of “fairness” but on the basis of the neoliberal argument that inequalities were the product of an efficiently operating economy that would also produce an enhancement in economic incentives, prodding the economy to continuous growth and prosperity….” p.16.

“When followed historically, this tradition shows a coherent path from classical thought through the modern, even though not all of the various thinkers were of one mind on the problem. The coherence of this tradition lies not in the prescriptions that these various thinkers articulated to diminish economic inequalities but in the way that they all conceptualized inequalities of wealth and property as diminishing the strength of the political community and any kind of democratic or republican political culture. All believed that political life would be threatened by the unequal power relations that the concentration of economic power—wealth and property—created. The discourse also shows a growing response to the emergence and dominance of a market economy, and it shows a consistent concern with the welfare of the public, of society as a whole over its minority interests. Even those thinkers—such as Aristotle, Smith, and Hegel—who argue that there is a “natural inequality” between human beings do not argue that inequalities within society should persist if they lead to the dominance of one class. Indeed, what is consistently argued by both radical and moderate alike is that markets create inequalities that ought not to be tolerated and that require the intervention of society or the state.” p. 55.

“Early American thinkers inherited both liberal and republican ideas, but both traditions were tied to the idea of property. Liberal thought emphasized the nature of work and the idea that the natural right to property was inherent in the capacity to labor. The very notion of property, in Locke’s famous words, was anything with which one mixed one’s labor. Republican ideas were also premised on property, but on the notion that an equal dispersion of property needed to be maintained by some political means to ensure that political power was also evenly dispersed. The republican impulse saw that the institutions of the state had to protect against the formation of blocs of power derived from property in order to prevent the reemergence of feudal relations of mastery and subservience. Republicanism, in this sense, was not simply an “ideology”: it was a political theory which sought to prevent the growth of actual inequalities of power within society, and many radical republican thinkers saw inequalities of property as the source of inequalities of power….” p.58.

…liberalism did become an overriding dimension of American political and economic life, but it is important to see how this was separated over time from a broader concern with a civic republican concern for the public good and the search for the proper balance between individual self-interest and liberty; on the one hand, and the duties individuals must have toward the community and the maintenance of the public good, on the other. p. 208

…end TW]


This is plutocracy, not capitalism

Why Didn’t the Government Stop the Crypto Scam? 

Matt Stoller  [BIG, via Naked Capitalism 11-18-2022]

[TW: As usual, it was conservative and libertarian ideologues who screwed the pooch.]

…Today, a lot of people are mad at SBF for stealing. But one of the more bizarre aspects of the crypto meltdown is the deep anger not just at those who perpetrated it, but at those who were trying to stop the scam from going on. For instance, here’s crypto exchange Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who just a year ago was fighting regulators vehemently, blaming the cops for allowing gambling in the casino he helps run….

And here’s soon-to-be-retiring Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who not only seeks to protect the crypto industry from intrusive rules but owns crypto personally, blaming regulators for the fiasco that he himself had helped foster….

Almost as soon as he took office, [SEC head] Gensler sought to fix this situation, and treat them as securities. He began investigating important players in crypto, like Do Kwon, later revealed as a Ponzi schemer behind the $45 billion Terra/Luna scheme. But the legal wrangling to just get the courts to treat crypto as a set of speculative instruments regulated under securities law made the law moot. First Gensler asked for Kwon’s voluntary cooperation in an investigation. Kwon said no. So the SEC served Kwon with a subpoena, which Kwon refused to honor. Then the Ponzi schemer actually turned around and his powerful legal team at Dentsons sued the SEC for attempting to investigate him.

In May of 2022, a year after Gensler began trying to do something about Terra/Luna, Kwon’s scheme blew up. In a comically-too-late-to-matter gesture, an appeals court then said that the SEC had the right to compel information from Kwon’s now-bankrupt scheme. It is absolute lunacy that well-settled law, like the ability for the SEC to investigate those in the securities business, is now being re-litigated.

And the people who are now saying ‘where were the regulators?!?’ Well they were absolutely cheering for Kwon; organizers at one crypto conference showed Gary Gensler’s face and played Darth Vader’s theme song. At one event, the New York Times noted that many crypto ‘enthusiasts’ watching Gensler discuss regulation with his predecessor “called for their incarceration or worse.”


The Latest Digital Token Scheme from Hell: New York Fed Teams Up with Citigroup and Sullivan & Cromwell

Pam Martens and Russ Martens, November 17, 2022 [Wall Street on Parade]

Just two business days after the crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy and headlines swirled around the world suggesting it had used its crypto token to perpetuate a massive fraud reminiscent of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the New York Fed thought this would be an ideal time to announce it was launching a digital token pilot with the serial fraudster, Citigroup….


Big Law Firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, Did Significant Legal Work for Bankrupt Crypto Exchange, FTX

Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 13, 2022 [Wall Street on Parade]

According to Reuters, Sullivan & Cromwell has been named as one of the advising law firms to the disgraced crypto exchange, FTX, in its bankruptcy proceedings. Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and CEO of FTX, vaporized the high-profile crypto firm from a $32 billion valuation to smoldering ashes last week….


The carnage of mainstream neoliberal economics

Wall Street Readies An Avalanche Of Lies 

Matthew Cunningham-Cook, November 17, 2022 [The Lever]

Public pensions with investments in private equity are about to face a reckoning — but they have no way of knowing how bad it might get….

Private equity and other alternative investments were originally peddled as vehicles that could deliver higher returns to investors, no matter the market environment, by taking over and transforming companies — often by loading them up with debt and laying off workers.

Such promises helped inspire public pensions to enter the space. Forty years ago, most public pension funds didn’t invest in private equity or hedge funds at all, instead pursuing far more orthodox investments in stocks and bonds. Now, public pensions have more than a trillion dollars invested in alternatives.

In total, public pensions supply more than a third of the capital to private equity, and they likely provide a similar share of the capital going to hedge funds and private real estate. And they are shoveling ever more money at the alternative investment industry, despite sky-high fees and returns that either meet or trail the broader markets.


Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Up 20%

[American Farm Bureau Federation, November 22, 2022]


60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck heading into 2022 holiday 

[CNBC, via Naked Capitalism 11-19-2022]


Poverty’s toll on mental health 

[Urban Institute, via Naked Capitalism 11-14-2022]


Health care crisis

Universal Benefits Cost Less Than Means-Tested Benefits 

Matt Bruenig [People’s Policy Project, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]


The Real Insulin Stock Collapse

Jordan Uhl, November 14, 2022 [The Lever]

While all eyes were on Eli Lilly’s stock price last week, the struggles of an insulin pump manufacturer will have far more troubling implications for diabetics….

However, there’s one important, struggling insulin-related company that didn’t get as much attention last week — but whose troubles might have much wider implications for diabetes patients living in the U.S. Insulin pump manufacturer Tandem Diabetes Care saw its stock plummet more than 20 percent this month — five times the drop suffered by Eli Lilly — after a dismal quarterly earnings report. Overall, the company’s stock is down 66 percent this year.

What makes this development so interesting is the company’s executives are expressly blaming its poor sales on the lack of universal health care in this country.

In August, Tandem CEO John Sheridan said the “evolving economic environment, including inflation and the threat of recession,” is specifically hurting its business in the U.S. “This is primarily a factor in the U.S. as outside the United States, it’s mitigated by predominance of government health care plans,” he said.

Sheridan made similar comments earlier this month, explaining “the impact of the economic environment on customer purchasing behavior is primarily a U.S. phenomenon.”


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]



“An unexpected winner in the midterms: public health”

Michelle A. Williams [The Hill, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-16-2022]

Williams is dean of the faculty of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Public health was on the ballot last week — and it won. I’m not talking about specific candidates, as important as those races are. I’m talking about the ethos of public health — the principle that health is a fundamental human right and the understanding that we must look out for one another, to think not just about our own well-being, but about the public good…. The most high-profile examples of public health wins are the abortion referendums…. In another major victory for public health, South Dakota voters decisively chose to expand eligibility for Medicaid, using a ballot measure to extend access to health care to the working poor when their legislators refused to do so…. In Oregon, meanwhile, voters approved a ballot measure that makes the state the first in the U.S. to guarantee residents access to “cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable” health care. This measure effectively establishes health care as a human right…. Arizona voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure to restructure collection and limit interest rates on medical debt, which has become an enormous burden for far too many families. Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont outlawed forced labor for prison inmates, restoring some measure of their dignity and autonomy. And in California, voters overwhelmingly endorsed a ban on all flavored tobacco products in the state — a move designed to protect young people, who gravitate toward flavored vape products…. The outcomes of these ballot measures suggest that a majority of voters, in both red states and blue, believe the government has an obligation to protect the health and well-being of the most vulnerable among us. That is the essence of public health. It also happens to be the only way to build a resilient economy and a successful civil society.”


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]



The End of Vaccines at ‘Warp Speed’ 

[New York Times, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-18-2022]

“But as a third pandemic winter begins in the United States, its vaccine-making effort has lost steam. Efforts to test and produce next-generation Covid vaccines are bogged down by bureaucratic problems and funding shortfalls. Foreign rivals have raced ahead in approving long-awaited nasal-spray vaccines, including one invented in St. Louis, creating a scenario in which Americans would have to travel abroad for the latest in American vaccine technology. The Biden administration has launched a last-ditch effort to restore the country’s edge. In a bid to resurrect Operation Warp Speed, President Biden asked the lame-duck session of Congress this week for $5 billion for next-generation vaccines and therapeutics, as part of a broader $9.25 billion pandemic spending request. But Republicans, having blocked requests for next-generation vaccine funding since the spring amid complaints about how the White House spent earlier pandemic aid allocations, have shown no signs of dropping their resistance. As a result, even with the pandemic still taking a heavy toll, prospects have dimmed for the two most coveted kinds of next-generation vaccines: nasal sprays that can block more infections, and universal coronavirus shots that can defend against a wider array of ever-evolving variants…. China, India, Russia and Iran have all approved vaccines delivered through the nose or the mouth, even though they have not released much data about how the products work. In the United States, nasal sprays have been held back by the same funding constraints and logistical hassles that, before the pandemic, often made developing vaccines a decade-long ordeal. The delay could not only weaken the country’s defenses against a more lethal coronavirus variant but also hurt preparations for a future pandemic, depriving the world of an oven-ready nasal vaccine platform that could be adapted to a new pathogen.”


They’re not capitalists — they’re predatory criminals

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]



The Private Equity Guys Trying to Shoplift a Supermarket Chain Before They Sell It

[Slate, via The Big Picture 11-13-2022]

The Albertsons/Kroger merger tells you a lot about our cash-extractive economy.


How corporate chiefs dodge lawsuits over sexual abuse and deadly products

[Reuters, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]

Scandals brought down Harvey Weinstein’s movie studio and major opioid supplier Mallinckrodt. But their wealthy owners, directors and executives were granted lifetime immunity from related lawsuits in bankruptcy court — an overwhelmingly common tactic in major U.S. Chapter 11 cases, a Reuters review found.


Apple’s business model made Chinese oppression inevitable 

[Pluralistic, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]


When destitute small towns mean dangerous tap water

[Associate Press, via The Big Picture 11-13-2022]

While failures of big city water systems attract the attention, it’s small communities like Keystone, West Virginia, that more often are left unprotected by destitute and unmaintained water providers. Small water providers rack up roughly twice as many health violations as big cities on average, an analysis of thousands of records over the last three years by The Associated Press shows. In that time, small water providers violated the Safe Drinking Water Act’s health standards nearly 9,000 times. They were also frequently the very worst performers. Federal law allows authorities to force changes on water utilities, but they rarely do, even for the worst offenders. (AP)


Raw deal: discontent is rising as water companies pump sewage into UK waters

[The Guardian, via Naked Capitalism 11-14-2022]


Climate and environmental crises

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 11-14-2022]



The return of the American bison is an environmental boon — and a logistical mess 

[Grist, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]


Uzbekistan: Where the Amu Darya goes to die 

[Eurasianet, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]

A journey down the terminal stretch of a once-mighty river [that used to feed the now dry Aral Sea] highlights how hard it will be to fend off environmental catastrophe.


Surveillance capitalism police state

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]


The Quiet Merger Between Online Platforms and the National Security State Continues 

[Jacobin, via Naked Capitalism 11-15-2022]


They Want to Kill Libraries: The Last Place in America Where You Are a Person, Not a Customer 

Cory Doctorow [Medium, via Naked Capitalism 11-14-2022]


Democrats’ political suicide

“The New York establishment is beating up on AOC. It should be looking in the mirror”

[NBC, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-18-2022]

“Democratic losses in the Empire State appear to be pivotal in the narrow majority in the House of Representatives that Republicans are likely to have starting next year. The icing on this rotten cake is that New York Democrats have no one to blame but themselves.” More: “On a night of many disappointments, the party’s most egregious own goal was the one scored for Republicans by no one less than the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman himself, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. Maloney, whose DCCC role is to elect as many Democrats to the House as possible, not only presided over the loss of four previously Democratic New York districts, but failed to win his own race after putting his ego above the warnings of party officials and activists. Maloney isn’t the only one to blame for Democrats’ Big Apple bludgeoning, however. The Democratic legislators who control the statehouse fumbled the ball when they were given the task of drawing up new congressional districts to reflect the results of the 2020 census. Their new congressional maps failed to satisfy the courts that they didn’t violate the state constitution’s bar on partisan gerrymandering, leading to the appointment of a nonpartisan election expert as a special master to draw new maps that cut deeply into Democrats’ previously safe districts. But even facing those tough maps, Democrats could have prevailed had their state party — which was busy deflecting progressive criticism of their conduct — marshaled better infrastructure and financial support for swing-district candidates. The maps were a problem; the party’s malpractice was fatal.”


AOC: The New York State Democratic Party’s Corruption May Have Cost Democrats the House

[The Intercept, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-14-2022]

I think the choice among certain Democrats to validate Republican narratives and amplify Republican narratives on crime and policing, running ads on it — validating these narratives actually ended up hurting them much more than a different approach….  If we’re going to talk about public safety, you don’t talk about it in the frame of invoking defund or anti-defund, you really talk about it in the frame of what we’ve done on gun violence, what we’ve done to pass the first gun reform bill in 30 years. Our alternatives are actually effective, electorally, without having to lean into Republican narratives. So I think that was one prime mistake.

And I think another prime mistake is that in New York State, I think that — Cuomo may be gone, but his entire infrastructure, much of his infrastructure and much of the political machinery that he put in place is still there. And this is a machinery that is disorganized, it is sycophantic. It relies on lobbyists and big money. And it really undercuts the ability for there to be affirming grassroots and state-level organizing across the state. And so when that languishes and there’s very little organizing happening, yeah, I mean, basically, you’re leaving a void for Republicans to walk into….

Republicans put millions of dollars into defeating the redistricting ballot measure last year that would have protected the map, that would have put us ahead. And so I really believe that we would have won Democratic seats, potentially gained Democratic seats in New York State, but Republicans put millions of dollars against this ballot measure, they organized against it, and the New York State Democratic Party didn’t drop $1 in making sure that we got this thing passed….

But it’s very clear that the New York State Democratic Party was designed under Cuomo to be very reliant on the governor’s seat; the governor very much determines who the state party chair is, etc. And I think that, given how progressives really organized and helped deliver that margin, I think that there very much is room for a conversation to be held here about how we can restructure how the party is selected and established in perhaps a more decentralized way, or perhaps in a more democratic way, that is more representative of communities and more encouraging of engagement across the state — and less meddling, to be frank. Because these little cuts really do build up, whether it was the failure on the ballot initiative, whether it was the refusal to recognize and respect when progressive candidates do win democratic nominations outright that the party doesn’t work against its own nominees, which is what happened at Buffalo.

You know, I can say: I’ve been in Congress for four years, I have never had a conversation with the New York State Democratic Party chair ever. In fact, he’s done nothing but attack progressive Democrats all across the state. What he has done is created an environment where the only, quote unquote, or the main, quote unquote, legitimate Democratic candidates worthy of support are those who fight both progressives and Republicans, which is clearly not a winning strategy… And so when he has invested so much energy into demoralizing the grassroots and making sure that a lot of this grassroots energy gets busted up all across the state, of course we’re going to see these margins swing towards Republicans….

If you look at the difference between Tim Ryan and John Fetterman, as races, some of the preliminary data is suggesting that they had the same turnout in almost every demographic except young people. And as we know, young people skew way progressive within the party. And so when you outwardly antagonize, and outwardly seek to belittle and distance oneself from progressive values, you demoralize your base….

And I think we learned an economic lesson, which is that full employment is politically stronger than inflation, as opposed to when we were in the situation under Obama, where they tried the other tack and unemployment was punished much more severely….


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-18-2022]



“The 2022 Midterms Were One of the Best Elections the Left Has Had in Memory”

[Jacobin, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-15-2022]

“The major top-line success for the Left this election is the addition of several new insurgent candidates who, like “the Squad” of 2018, were backed by progressive outside groups — notably the Working Families Party (WFP) and Justice Democrats — with little or no support from established party networks. The total of such members now rises to twelve, after four such insurgent candidates sailed to victory in safe blue seats for which they won primaries earlier this year. This year’s crop is Summer Lee (PA-12), Greg Casar (TX-35), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), and Maxwell Frost (FL-10). This group is notable, among other things, for its seriousness commitments to left-wing policy.”


“How Democrats Can Build a John Fetterman 2.0”

Michael Sokolove [New York Times, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-15-2022]

“I talked to Mr. Fetterman’s campaign manager, Brendan McPhillips, about what lessons can be drawn from the campaign. ‘It’s about embracing candidates for who they are and not trying to nominate the same cookie-cutter people or mold them into something they’re not,’ he said. ‘And you can’t try to slice off entire demographic categories and ignore them. It’s a recipe for failure.’ Ms. [Anat Shenker-Osorio, a Bay Area-based strategist for progressive candidates and organizations] told me that the Democratic establishment in Pennsylvania lined up in the spring primary behind Mr. Fetterman’s opponent, Conor Lamb, a moderate congressman from a family with a deep history in Democratic politics. Mr. Fetterman ‘was deemed too lefty,’ she said. ‘They desperately wanted Lamb. So, as step one, how about we put an ax through ‘electability’ and recall that the middle of the road is where you get run over.’”


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-14-2022]



[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-14-2022]



[The Intercept, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-2022]


“The real story of the making of Nancy Pelosi”

Ryan Grim [via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-18-2022]

Well worth a read on Democrats going back to 1980. For those who don’t know this: ” If your knowledge of her comes from Republican attack ads, you know her as a “San Francisco liberal” or even “radical,” but she was raised in Maryland by her father Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., the boss of the Baltimore political machine, who was by turns a congressman and mayor of Charm City. D’Alesandro’s operation, like most big-city machines of the era, was linked in public to local Mafia figures, according to his FBI file.”


The Burning of Witches Will Continue 

Matt Taibbi, November 15, 2022 [TKNews]

Americans who once venerated self-reliance are building a church of conformity, whose chief means of worship is destroying heretics….

Musk is the new bête noire of the American consensus. He is the Negative Current Thing, a role mostly played by Donald Trump since summer 2015, with occasional fill-ins (in no particular order, Vladimir Putin, Tucker Carlson, Novak Djokovic, J.K. Rowling, Jeremy Corbyn, Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle, whatever they call Kanye West these days, and others have manned the slot). The coverage playbook for these heel-of-the-hour stories is rigid. Certain elements are always present.

Criminal investigations are instigated. Advocacy organizations issue denunciations (some combination of the Anti-Defamation League and the ACLU’s Chase Strangio is found in nearly all cases). News organizations demand the person’s muffling. Unions, guilds, and associations threaten walkouts. Even if the villain leans left, he or she begins to be described as “right wing,” a term with little political meaning left, that’s just code for heresy now.

It’s different from cancel culture. Cancelations start with a transgression, or at least an accusation of one. The other story type starts with a broader offense called thinking for yourself, which triggers denouncers to work backward in search of wrongdoing. Musk is the paradigmatic example. He’s achieved round-the-clock denunciation despite total confusion as to his core offense.


The Dark Side

Republicans Have a Symbiotic Relationship With Crime

Ryan Cooper, October 31, 2022 [The American Prospect, via Avedon’s Sideshow]

The striking thing about this messaging strategy is not just the undeniable opportunism—like the supposedly fearsome migrant caravan back in October 2018, it’s a safe bet that Fox’s crime focus will evaporate once the election is over—but also the perverse incentive thus created. Republicans have an objective political interest in increased crime because it allows them to incite a febrile backlash, and many of them are not at all subtle about it. By the same token, their favored policies of total legal impunity for police and making it ever-easier to buy guns will undoubtedly make crime worse, all else equal. In short, if you want more crime, vote Republican.” In fact, conservative policies have always increased crime, which may be why the states where crime is worst are Republican-run states.


Rupert Murdoch Knees Trump in the Balls While He’s Doubled Over Coughing Up Blood.

[Vanity Fair, via The Big Picture 11-15-2022]

The message from the Murdoch-owned New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News is clear: Pack your bags, bitch. You’re done…

Take The Wall Street Journal. On Wednesday, there were no fewer than six anti-Trump op-eds, with one of them literally headlined “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser.” That piece, written by the Journal’s notoriously conservative editorial board, noted that Trump “has now flopped in 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022,” and has “led Republicans into one political fiasco after another.” It suggests this week’s shellacking should be a wake-up call to the GOP “before 2024” (i.e., the party should oppose his much-teased third run for office).


“In Secretary of State Races, Election Deniers (Mostly) Lose”

[Bolts, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-15-2022]

“All election deniers who ran for secretary of state in battleground states—buoyed by endorsements from Trump—lost on Tuesday, blocking major avenues for the former president to manipulate the next election. Jim Marchant, the Republican nominee in Nevada, came closest, losing to Democrat Francisco Aguilar by two percentage points. In Michigan, Minnesota, and New Mexico, incumbent Democratic secretaries of state crushed their far-right challengers Kristina Karamo, Kim Crockett, and Audrey Trujillo by margins ranging from 9 to 14 percentage points—all far more than Joe Biden’s margins of victory two years ago. Mark Finchem, an Arizona lawmaker who has since 2020 championed proposals to decertify his own state’s presidential results, repeated just this fall that the votes of Arizona’s two most populous counties should be “tossed out.” He lost his bid on Tuesday, trailing in both of these counties decisively. Election deniers also failed to take over secretary of state offices in blue states like Massachusetts and Vermont, lost elections for governor in places where the winner can appoint a secretary of state, and fell short for other offices from which they may have exerted significant if indirect influence on elections, such as Michigan’s attorney general or New Mexico’s supreme court.”


“Why the midterms make me optimistic for America”

Noah Smith [Noahpinion, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-15-2022]

“Only recently, Florida was considered a highly competitive purple state. Obama won it in 2012, and gubernatorial races there have usually been very close. But in the 2022 midterms, Ron DeSantis won a crushing 20-point victory, and Republicans won solidly pretty much everywhere on the ballot. Turning Florida into a deep red state is a major coup for Republicans, and they owe a lot of it to DeSantis. And DeSantis did it in part because he won over the state’s Hispanic voters. The much-talked-about Hispanic shift toward the GOP is proceeding only slowly at the national level, but in Florida it has been a major shift (and not just among Cubans either). DeSantis seems to have an almost Reaganesque ability to stake out culture-war positions that drive elite liberals up the wall while failing to scare away the ethnic working class.”


“Walker’s campaign tells Republicans to stop ‘deceptive fundraising’ in Georgia runoff”

[NBC, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-16-2022]

“Republican politicians and associated committees are sending out desperate fundraising emails begging the GOP faithful to help save America by getting behind Herschel Walker in his Dec. 6 runoff against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia. But what’s not immediately clear to recipients is how little of that money is going to Walker’s campaign: just a dime for every dollar given by small donors. Walker’s campaign, which has trailed Warnock’s in fundraising throughout the election, is asking fellow Republicans to stop their fundraising practices — or at least to start sharing more with the candidate. ‘We need everyone focused on winning the Georgia Senate race, and deceptive fundraising tactics by teams that just won their races are siphoning money away from Georgia,’ Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise said Monday.”


Exclusive: Oath Keepers Leader Stewart Rhodes’ Children Speak

[Southern Poverty Law Center, May 12, 2022]

Elmer Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the antigovernment Oath Keepers organization, was, at the time of publication, in federal custody awaiting trial for his alleged role in orchestrating events at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.



Open Thread


Politics Series: International Government and Relations


  1. bruce wilder

    for what it is worth, I put a comment on Issac Chotiner’s interview with John Mearsheimer in the Open Thread.

    You don’t learn much about Ukraine in that interview, but you do see the difference between a genuine concern with basing analyses on observable facts (realist Mearsheimer) and contemporary prestige journalism (Chotiner — The New Yorker, formerly Slate and The New Republic)

  2. VietnamVet

    The crux of the problem in the West is that the ruling ideology/religion has lost contact with reality. “The Clash of Civilizations” is denied since is contrary to the corporate mantra blessing the free movement of people, goods, services, and (most importantly) capital. Yet, ethnic conflict is very real. It is the very basis of the proxy world war between Western Ukrainians and Eastern Russians. The British learned to use this to divide and rule their Empire and the Deep State adopted it too. But professionals have to deny the truth to pass upwards through the revolving doors. Who else blew up three of the four natural gas pipelines from Russia to Germany than UK and Ukrainian operatives with Baltic Sea intelligence from the Poles and US State Department acknowledgement?

    The USA has been an Empire since the 1846-1848 Mexican War. There is a long history of conflict going back to its founding between expansionist who wanted more land for slave plantations and isolationist family farmers. Constitutional Republicans won the American Civil War but lost to corporate lapdogs in the Reagan Counter Revolt. Everything “public” is being privatized to make a profit. The Corporate State is flooding Ukraine with digital dollars and armament, despite the risks of a nuclear war, to try to keep the US Dollar as the global reserve currency and to gain control of Russian resources.

    The current system sucks. To keep prescriptions that I’ve had for decades, I am being forced to go to the VA clinic to draw blood and go see my eye doctors. I get to mask up and play Russian Roulette with the BQ.1.1 variant. Once more, forced to take added unknown risks, simply because veterans and workers are of no importance. Contact tracing, closing US borders completely, quarantines, and non-pharmaceutical interventions weren’t implemented across the USA. Only shareholder value and corporate profits matter.

  3. GrimJim

    “The USA has been an Empire since the 1846-1848 Mexican War. There is a long history of conflict going back to its founding between expansionist who wanted more land for slave plantations and isolationist family farmers.”

    The USA has been an Empire since the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783. The British signed over not only the 13 colonies but also all lands south of Canada and east of the Mississippi that were not in Spanish hands (i.e., everything but Florida and the elongated panhandle). And of course, that was fixed with the Florida “Purchase” in 1819.

    One of the reasons for the Revolution was the desire for the colonies to expand west; the conflicting claims before and after the Revolution even brought some states to petty wars (c.f. the Toledo War).

    The USA was an Empire from Day One. It has always been an Empire; it has lived as an Empire; and it will die as an Empire. It will be the greatest, most spectacular, most horrified Death of an Empire in known history. If we are lucky, it will be a wet firecracker, and at least much of Earth’s biota will survive, possibly even humans. If not, if it is a Hot and Firey End, well… one more dead dust ball spinning around a big ball of fire…

  4. marku52

    FTX is a republican mess? Sorry, this just looks like a product of the PMC (His parents are MIT, his GF parents are economists) and the whole thing looks like it was designed to funnel Ukraine aid money back into the Dem party. As Lambert would say, “A self licking ice cream cone”.

  5. colorado blue

    Michelle Williams’ column on Public Health wins around the country failed to note that the voters of Colorado approved (with just under 57% of the vote) free meals for all public schools in the state (local boards can opt out).

  6. Willy

    “If you really want to wreck Russia, what you should do is to encourage it to try to conquer Ukraine. Putin is much too smart to try that” – John Mearsheimer

    ”Musk is much too smart to wreck Twitter.” – Willy

    Not to be a party pooper, but it looks like we need might be needing better realists.

    Should we start with a better science of “observable facts”?

  7. anon y'mouse

    what kind of free meals?

    because there are a bunch of companies that use the public school cafeterias as a profit center. and what they serve in most of them barely resembles food.

    so another scam, like the health exchange and all other public private partnerships. with the added propaganda of “fed kids”.

    it’s almost like no one who devises these things has ever been inside of one and tried to find something edible.

  8. Ché Pasa

    Yes, the imperial founding and present nature of the USA should be recognized without question. The mythology may present a different picture, but it’s myth.

    I don’t know how to de-imperialize the USA or even if it can be done. Those who yearn for the destruction of the US Empire are, I think, off-base. Even if by some happenstance the US Empire were to be demolished, the imperial nature of the USA will remain — as it did, for example, in the constituent parts of the Roman Empire, and to some extent still does. If someone can figure out how to get rid of it, please let the rest of us know.

    On the other hand, I’m all in favor of transforming the imperial nature into something genuinely for good. What would it take, and what would it look like? Does the US have within its nature the impulse and possibility for good?

    I think it does, but it’s a long hard slog to tease it out.

  9. Lex

    I don’t doubt that there was a debate between liberalism and civic republicanism in the founding years of the US. But it’s clear that the liberal side won all the battles that matter by the time of the Constitution. That document enshrines the very inequalities that civic republicanism would attempt to ameliorate. Periodically the Union has attempted to integrate non-liberal doctrine into the actual mechanics of running the country, but it’s never been successful on a permanent basis.

    The US is the poster child for liberal empire and has been from day one. It’s also been excellent at myth making to disguise that. Apparently even serious academics get fooled by the myth making (when they’re not busy contributing to it). So it becomes clear that the system cannot be reformed by going back to a better time. It has to be dissolved and rebuilt.

    To point to the Roman republic rather than liberal philosophers is clap trap. The Roman republic was mostly a horribly unequal society and where the plebs gained power it was through force, real or threatened. The republic was a class based, essentially aristocratic government. And feudalism developed from the senatorial class’s withdrawal from traditional public requirements as the empire degraded. The estate / plantation was a senatorial and partially self-sufficient but primarily profit agricultural system. Also, wary American philosophers had a pretty shitty understanding of Roman history that they manipulated to support their personal and political goals.

  10. different clue

    Does the USA “have” an empire? Or is the USA ” is ” an empire?

    If the USA “is” an empire, it is in the tradition of the contiguous overland settler-invader conquest or conversion empires like Russia, China, and other such. And also like the Arab World when it was one or several Unitary Caliphates. And Canada and all the major Latin American countries are also settler conquest empires in that sense.

    Those contiguous overland empires which could convert or exterminate the non-members of the imperial nation-horde into membership or extinction have turned into functional “nations”. China, Brazil, etc. Those contiguous overland empires which grant a level of citizenship and equal empire membership which is good enough for the non-majority non-settler nationalities within their borders also advance towards a kind of nationhood or federated-countryhood at least. Russia comes to mind.

    Will franglosaxon nordiceltic America offer a good enough membership-equality deal to its conquered regions and peoples to where they all decide they are Americans in the widest country sense? If it does, then America will go from empire to country. If it doesn’t, or if it reneges on deals it made and leaves “minority or plurality” nations feeling newly disenfranchised, colonized and rejected again; then it may not survive.

    Same for Canada. Same for Russia. The Great Han majority in China is so overwhelming that it will hold China together as a country regardless. If it has to exterminate Sinjiang and Tibet in every sense including the demographic physical, it will do that. If colonial oppression and exploitation are sufficient, it will stop there.
    Same for Brazil and Argentina. The Indians are so controlled in Brazil and so exterminated in Argentina that they will never threaten the overland unity of control that Brazil and Argentina have within their borders.

  11. different clue

    ( On reflection, the word ” franglosaxon” in the above comment should be expanded to ” frangloafrosaxon”, because the Black Afro Saxon community is too large to leave out of analysis and planning.

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