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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 11:35pm

 kurtster wrote:
So tell me how we avoid revolution with economic collapse ?  The elites are engineering this collapse.  Do they really think they can do it and not have a revolution ? (...)
 
As far as I can see, there isn't anything like a revolution going on in your country at the moment. It's been averted through corporate welfare (and some suppression of dissent. See Occupy).

A bit of a collapse is ok for elites, they can still profit/recoup from it when the gov provides their welfare and restores confidence/trust (to most of the system). Total collapse isn't.

But... you can't avoid it forever. See the structural analysis of Marx. {#Mrgreen}

Cyclical crises are a feature of the system, not a bug. Deregulation enables those crises.
kurtster

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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 11:11pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

I wasn't talking about me that was worried about revolution, but rather the elites and government that were. Generally speaking, revolution is bad for business and general security. Your feelings are irrelevant (save them for topics that end in an question mark).

 
So tell me how we avoid revolution with economic collapse ?  The elites are engineering this collapse.  Do they really think they can do it and not have a revolution ?

Yeah, you never have been worried much about others' feelings ...  {#Mrgreen} 

 Calling me names doesn't change that simple fact.
  

I meant it as a compliment  {#Nyah}


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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 11:02pm

 kurtster wrote:
Yes, it is all about trust, yet trust is only a fleeting perception, oh master of propaganda.

Like that is no longer a problem ?  The downside is worse now than it was then.  And now you are worried about revolution ?  I always had the feeling you are trying to incite revolution. (...)
 
As we I learned in Economics 101, institutional trust is essential to the working of an economy, incl. for money/capital. Calling me names doesn't change that simple fact.

I wasn't talking about me that was worried about revolution, but rather the elites and government that were. Generally speaking, revolution is bad for business and general security. Your feelings are irrelevant (save them for topics that end in an question mark).
kurtster

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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 10:35pm

 RichardPrins wrote:

It's all about trust. In your scenario there would likely (also) have been a snowball effect affecting much, much more than just those banks. Not just the toxic assets would be affected, but also regular business and common folks with their mortgages/loans/credit, aside of course from that trust/reputation. A serious potential for revolution.

 
Yes, it is all about trust, yet trust is only a fleeting perception, oh master of propaganda.

Like that is no longer a problem ?  The downside is worse now than it was then.  And now you are worried about revolution ?  I always had the feeling you are trying to incite revolution.

Yeah there would have been damage, but no where near the level facing us today.  The stimulus has been a massive transfer of wealth by the governments from the people to the banks and then back to the .gov.  Does Fannie or Freddie hold the note for your home, if it does who owns the "F's", why the US gov, when it bailed them out and took them over.  The .gov now holds the note on your all's home.  What is one of the definitions of socialism ?  Government taking ownership of private property or something to that effect ?  We are already there and I tried to point this out when it was happening.  Then who owns the .gov's notes ?  The Fed.  So who really owns the country / .gov now, as in already ? 

But I'll disagree with the assertion that capitalism is failing due to built in defect.  It is failing because of corruption, sanctioned corruption, where the .gov overlooks the corruption, by just taking a piece of the action calling it a criminal fine / penalty, while no one meaningful goes to jail and really stop it from starting in the first place.  Who won't give up 20% to the gov and be allowed to keep the rest and walk the streets freely, in style ?  Or even 50% ?  

The elites are the elites, they will corrupt any system.  Its just that because capitalism is the best of all systems, it took much longer to corrupt.  And the US Constitution has been the strongest deterrent to corruption ever.  But we have a constitutions scholar deconstructing it right in front of our eyes.  He was re elected, giving him approval to keep doing it.  

And no one is bitching about the "appearance"  of laughably widespread corruption with the Clinton Foundation.  Sure looks like a duck to me. And it will be ignored and approved by the election of Billary in 2016.

Pawleeeze ...  


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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 9:54pm

 kurtster wrote:
Later in the article...

What we saw in 2008 was the enactment of a welfare state for the rich, a kind of state socialism for the financial elites that Marx predicted. But with this comes an increased and volatile cycle of boom and bust, bringing the system closer to disintegration and collapse. We have undergone two major stock market crashes and the implosion of real estate prices in just the first decade of the 21st century.

I remember saying back then and often since ... we should let the house burn down and the banks fail, to prevent what is mentioned above.  We will never get a second chance to wipe out the banksters ...

And I remember the reaction I got to that sentiment ... you're crazy, you have no idea what you are talking about ...

If the house did burn down, we would largely be free of the big banks as they would be gone.  Their money was only on paper in the first place making the destruction largely imaginary, but they fooled everyone into bailing them out with more phony paper, but this time the government put us, the tax payer up for collateral.  Yeah, I'm just a stupid stoner who is clueless, full of pixie dust ...
 
It's all about trust. In your scenario there would likely (also) have been a snowball effect affecting much, much more than just those banks. Not just the toxic assets would be affected, but also regular business and common folks with their mortgages/loans/credit, aside of course from that trust/reputation. A serious potential for revolution.
kurtster

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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 9:44pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Chris Hedges: Karl Marx Was Right

(...) The final stages of capitalism, Marx wrote, would be marked by developments that are intimately familiar to most of us. Unable to expand and generate profits at past levels, the capitalist system would begin to consume the structures that sustained it. It would prey upon, in the name of austerity, the working class and the poor, driving them ever deeper into debt and poverty and diminishing the capacity of the state to serve the needs of ordinary citizens. It would, as it has, increasingly relocate jobs, including both manufacturing and professional positions, to countries with cheap pools of laborers. Industries would mechanize their workplaces. This would trigger an economic assault on not only the working class but the middle class—the bulwark of a capitalist system—that would be disguised by the imposition of massive personal debt as incomes declined or remained stagnant. Politics would in the late stages of capitalism become subordinate to economics, leading to political parties hollowed out of any real political content and abjectly subservient to the dictates and money of global capitalism.

But as Marx warned, there is a limit to an economy built on scaffolding of debt expansion. There comes a moment, Marx knew, when there would be no new markets available and no new pools of people who could take on more debt. This is what happened with the subprime mortgage crisis. Once the banks cannot conjure up new subprime borrowers, the scheme falls apart and the system crashes.

Capitalist oligarchs, meanwhile, hoard huge sums of wealth—$18 trillion stashed in overseas tax havens—exacted as tribute from those they dominate, indebt and impoverish. Capitalism would, in the end, Marx said, turn on the so-called free market, along with the values and traditions it claims to defend. It would in its final stages pillage the systems and structures that made capitalism possible. It would resort, as it caused widespread suffering, to harsher forms of repression. It would attempt in a frantic last stand to maintain its profits by looting and pillaging state institutions, contradicting its stated nature. (...)



 
Later in the article...

What we saw in 2008 was the enactment of a welfare state for the rich, a kind of state socialism for the financial elites that Marx predicted. But with this comes an increased and volatile cycle of boom and bust, bringing the system closer to disintegration and collapse. We have undergone two major stock market crashes and the implosion of real estate prices in just the first decade of the 21st century.

I remember saying back then and often since ... we should let the house burn down and the banks fail, to prevent what is mentioned above.  We will never get a second chance to wipe out the banksters ...

And I remember the reaction I got to that sentiment ... you're crazy, you have no idea what you are talking about ...

If the house did burn down, we would largely be free of the big banks as they would be gone.  Their money was only on paper in the first place making the destruction largely imaginary, but they fooled everyone into bailing them out with more phony paper, but this time the government put us, the tax payer up for collateral.  Yeah, I'm just a stupid stoner who is clueless, full of pixie dust ...

 
R_P

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Posted: May 31, 2015 - 9:00pm

Chris Hedges: Karl Marx Was Right

(...) The final stages of capitalism, Marx wrote, would be marked by developments that are intimately familiar to most of us. Unable to expand and generate profits at past levels, the capitalist system would begin to consume the structures that sustained it. It would prey upon, in the name of austerity, the working class and the poor, driving them ever deeper into debt and poverty and diminishing the capacity of the state to serve the needs of ordinary citizens. It would, as it has, increasingly relocate jobs, including both manufacturing and professional positions, to countries with cheap pools of laborers. Industries would mechanize their workplaces. This would trigger an economic assault on not only the working class but the middle class—the bulwark of a capitalist system—that would be disguised by the imposition of massive personal debt as incomes declined or remained stagnant. Politics would in the late stages of capitalism become subordinate to economics, leading to political parties hollowed out of any real political content and abjectly subservient to the dictates and money of global capitalism.

But as Marx warned, there is a limit to an economy built on scaffolding of debt expansion. There comes a moment, Marx knew, when there would be no new markets available and no new pools of people who could take on more debt. This is what happened with the subprime mortgage crisis. Once the banks cannot conjure up new subprime borrowers, the scheme falls apart and the system crashes.

Capitalist oligarchs, meanwhile, hoard huge sums of wealth—$18 trillion stashed in overseas tax havens—exacted as tribute from those they dominate, indebt and impoverish. Capitalism would, in the end, Marx said, turn on the so-called free market, along with the values and traditions it claims to defend. It would in its final stages pillage the systems and structures that made capitalism possible. It would resort, as it caused widespread suffering, to harsher forms of repression. It would attempt in a frantic last stand to maintain its profits by looting and pillaging state institutions, contradicting its stated nature. (...)


kurtster

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Posted: Apr 27, 2015 - 3:23pm

Another shining example of typical Democrat thinking in action in a city run by Democrats since 1967 ...

 
aflanigan

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Posted: Mar 17, 2015 - 1:49pm

As we all know, the GOP/conservatives/right wing political fringe obviously does not have a monopoly on batshit crazy . . . 

Penn State Abington Professor Speaks Out about her Arrest 


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Posted: Oct 29, 2014 - 11:58am

 sirdroseph wrote:
And to be fair, it is not just Obama they will vote for, it is anyone with a D behind their name for the sole reason it is not an R as if it makes a difference.  And the beat goes on.............
 
I suspect the reasoning is a bit more complex than that for most, but yes, partisanship/identity does play a large role (and for any ideology for that matter incl. "other"). My (political) belief, right or wrong. {#Mrgreen}
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Posted: Oct 29, 2014 - 10:39am

 RichardPrins wrote:

 

Running a death squad — which, among many others, kills American citizens without due process, then, just for the hell of it, murders their children: this doesn’t put a person beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior. Not at all. It’s something we can argue about, sure; but not only is it within the parameters of acceptable behavior, it does not even disqualify you from enthusiastic political support, not even from earnest, peace-loving antiwar liberals like Digby, who fought tooth and nail to keep Obama running his death squads and dirty wars in 2012. (And if he could run for a third term there is no doubt — none whatsoever — that he would have fierce backing of the earnest, peace-loving antiwar liberals like Digby.) (...)



 
And to be fair, it is not just Obama they will vote for, it is anyone with a D behind their name for the sole reason it is not an R as if it makes a difference.  And the beat goes on.............


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Posted: Oct 29, 2014 - 10:31am

The Moral Blindness of Our Leading Liberals- Chris Floyd

Behold the quintessential earnest progressive liberal in the highest moral dudgeon: Digby railing with thunderous fury at the possibility (the very distinct possibility) that Barack Obama is going to suppress the Senate’s report on CIA torture. Digby quotes the recent letter from some of Obama’s fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureates, who are calling on Obama to release the report (and close the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, for good measure.) Worthy sentiments and justifiable anger indeed. But then Digby adds this gloss:

“Honestly, if they deep six the report (or redact it so heavily that it’s meaningless) I think President Obama has no choice but to give back his prize. There’s a lot of actions he’s taken as president that people could claim disqualify him for the prize anyway. Arguments about the dirty wars and targeted assassination programs alone will go on for generations. But one can, at least, say they represent some form of modern warfare and that the President of a military Empire is always going to be required to deal in such ugly matters. (That, in fact, s one reason why it was ludicrous to give him the prize in the first place — he runs the most powerful killing machine on the planet.)

But however you see his performance as Commander in Chief, There can be no debate about torture. It’s a war crime. It should be prosecuted. But even if they cannot do that, covering it up is to be complicit.”

Old cynic that I am, I must admit that even my grizzled jaw dropped as I read these words. “Arguments about the dirty wars and targeted assassination programs alone will go on for generations.” This, again, is from one of our leading liberal lights. She thinks dirty wars — secret incursions into other nations to murder, subvert, wreak havoc, terrorize — are open to debate. She thinks that “targeted assassination programs” — one of which is run directly out of the White House, with regular weekly meetings where Obama and his advisors tick off names of human beings to be killed without warning, without the slightest pretense of judicial process or rule of law — will be argued about for generations. The morality of death squads and dirty wars is something about which serious, concerned citizens can disagree and debate, apparently.

Running a death squad — which, among many others, kills American citizens without due process, then, just for the hell of it, murders their children: this doesn’t put a person beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior. Not at all. It’s something we can argue about, sure; but not only is it within the parameters of acceptable behavior, it does not even disqualify you from enthusiastic political support, not even from earnest, peace-loving antiwar liberals like Digby, who fought tooth and nail to keep Obama running his death squads and dirty wars in 2012. (And if he could run for a third term there is no doubt — none whatsoever — that he would have fierce backing of the earnest, peace-loving antiwar liberals like Digby.) (...)


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Posted: Oct 16, 2014 - 5:01am


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Posted: Oct 15, 2014 - 8:00am

Beyond Orwellian Nightmares and Neoliberal Authoritarianism - Henry A. Giroux
To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.- George Orwell
Central to George Orwell's nightmarish vision of a totalitarian society was a government so powerful that it not only dominated all of the major institutions in a society, but it also was quite adept at making invisible its inner workings of power. This is what some have called a shadow government, deep state, dual state or corporate state. (1) In the deep state, politics becomes the domain of the ultra-wealthy, the powerful few who run powerful financial services, big corporations and the imperious elite of the defense industries and other components of the military-industrial complex. Corporate interests such as ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies, megabanks such as Bank of America, and defense industries such as Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin are powerful lobbying groups and as such have control of the major seats of political power and the commanding institutions necessary to insure that the deeply anti-democratic state rules in the interests of the few while exploiting and repressing the many.

A recent Princeton University study analyzed policy initiatives passed under the influence of the deep state from 1981 to 2002 and concluded that rather than being a democracy, however weak, the United States had become an oligarchy where power is effectively wielded by "the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military." (2) Bill Blunden adds to this description with a useful map of the interpenetrating elements and overlapping layers of interest that make up the deep state. He writes:

The American Deep State, or what Colonel Fletcher Prouty called the Secret Team, is a structural layer of political intermediaries: non-governmental organizations (e.g. National Endowment for Democracy, Ford Foundation), lobbyists (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, AIPAC), media outlets (e.g. Time Warner, News Corp), dark money pits (e.g. Freedom Partners, NRA), and private sector contractors (e.g. Booz Allen, SAIC) that interface with official government organs (CIA, Department of Defense). This layer establishes a series of informal, often secret, backchannels and revolving doors through which profound sources of wealth and power outside of government can purchase influence. . . . the American Deep State is a fundamentally anti-democratic apparatus that caters to the agenda of heavily entrenched elites. (3)

This is a state in which people participate willingly in their own oppression, often out of deep insecurity about their freedom and the future. This is a mode of governance in which individual and social agency are in crisis and begin to disappear in a society in which 99 percent of the public, especially young people, low-income groups and minorities of class and color are considered disposable. The rulers of the deep state no longer care about the social contract and make no concessions in their ruthless pursuits of power and profits. One consequence is the creation of a state and society that no longer believes in social investments and is more than willing to condemn young people, often paralyzed by the precariousness and instability that haunts their lives and future, to a savage form of casino capitalism. (...)


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Posted: Oct 10, 2014 - 8:38am


"I am convinced Socialism is the only answer and I urge all comrades to take this struggle to a victorious conclusion. Only this will free us from the chains of bigotry and exploitation."
—Malala Yousafzai, who just became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history.

ScottFromWyoming

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Posted: Jul 28, 2014 - 11:31am

 expertTexpert wrote:

You could have the same discussion, generally, with the various folks that made up the incarnations of Fleetwood Mac, although I gather that most of them would never have considered staying.

Still can you imagine Buckingham/Nicks/McVie/Perfect/Fleetwood + Bob Welch? {#Guitarist}

 
Bob's solo stuff didn't age too well but I liked it at the time. Pre-Buckingham FM is not something I listen to willingly. I don't consider myself a fan of Buckingham, either, but I have a lot of respect for what he brought about. If I can also excise Stevie's lead vocals from the oeuvre, we're getting close to something great
 
But remember: my favorite album of theirs is Tusk, so my 2¢ may only be worth .4¢ to a real fan.
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Posted: Jul 28, 2014 - 11:17am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

I don't know about the 2 guys from Mudcrutch who left, whether they're talented or assholes or anything. But the Heartbreakers band that formed is one of the Great Bands in Rock & Roll History. So was there a bigger spark with the new lineup? Probably. Would Mudcrutch have been even 10% as successful had those two guys not left? Probably not. Was that all timing and luck? You betcha.
 
If you had told Mudcrutch that they would be in a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, if they'd only agree to become Tom's backing band and grind out 5 more years on the Gainesville bar circuit before it began to pay any bills at all, but in 20 years they'd be millionaires, those two guys might still have quit. It's nice that Tom did this for them but we'll just never know if it could have been even better.

 
You could have the same discussion, generally, with the various folks that made up the incarnations of Fleetwood Mac, although I gather that most of them would never have considered staying.

Still can you imagine Buckingham/Nicks/McVie/Perfect/Fleetwood + Bob Welch? {#Guitarist}
ScottFromWyoming

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Posted: Jul 28, 2014 - 11:02am

 expertTexpert wrote:

Re: Mudcrutch - do you think that their failure, but the success of the Heartbreakers, was a matter of timing and luck - or because the two bands were different enough that one had the spark and the other didn't?

 
I don't know about the 2 guys from Mudcrutch who left, whether they're talented or assholes or anything. But the Heartbreakers band that formed is one of the Great Bands in Rock & Roll History. So was there a bigger spark with the new lineup? Probably. Would Mudcrutch have been even 10% as successful had those two guys not left? Probably not. Was that all timing and luck? You betcha.
 
If you had told Mudcrutch that they would be in a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, if they'd only agree to become Tom's backing band and grind out 5 more years on the Gainesville bar circuit before it began to pay any bills at all, but in 20 years they'd be millionaires, those two guys might still have quit. It's nice that Tom did this for them but we'll just never know if it could have been even better.
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Posted: Jul 28, 2014 - 10:43am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Well seeing as how Buckingham had recently become inconceivably wealthy and influential, anything he touched right about then was bound to have his stamp on it, that's what I was getting at. I haven't found any direct reference to it, but I'm going to assume that without Buckingham taking co-producer duties, the record would not have gotten made.* Nicks sang on the first single, too, so I threw her in there. ;-) 
  
  
 *See also: Mudcrutch.

 
Re: Mudcrutch - do you think that their failure, but the success of the Heartbreakers, was a matter of timing and luck - or because the two bands were different enough that one had the spark and the other didn't?
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Posted: Jul 28, 2014 - 10:41am

 mutepoint wrote:

Oh, I wouldn't call it a Buckingham-Nicks production.  Nope.  They were admirers of his.  And it seems, the feeling was mutual.

Remembering John Stewart

edit:  Good read here: http://www.fleetwoodmac.net/penguin/stewart.htm

 
Well seeing as how Buckingham had recently become inconceivably wealthy and influential, anything he touched right about then was bound to have his stamp on it, that's what I was getting at. I haven't found any direct reference to it, but I'm going to assume that without Buckingham taking co-producer duties, the record would not have gotten made.* Nicks sang on the first single, too, so I threw her in there. ;-) 
  
  
 *See also: Mudcrutch.


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