“Breaking the Fear Factor”: Opposing War, Financial Fraud and State Terrorism, Dismantling Propaganda

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By Peter Koenig

Source: Global Research

We are living in a (western) world dominated by neoliberal dictators, criminals and crooks. And many of us, impregnated with the human idiocy, as so well described by  Andre Vltcheck (The West Spreads Intellectual Idiocy) are every day deeper and deeper immersed into fear – fear of action, fear of what’s next – fear of losing our comfort zone. The western propaganda machine paid for by the corporate and financial oligarchy through the presstitute media is constantly indoctrinating the little we have left of our free-thinking brains.

Fear is everywhere. People who are afraid can easily be manipulated. People who are afraid obey. The system needs people who don’t resist. Renegades are potential drone targets. The Big Constant that pervades our western world with ambitions to also infiltrate Asia – is terrorism. Man-made terrorism – or better – elite-made terrorism; George Orwell would have called it Big Brother-made terrorism; terrorism with a particular purpose: spreading fear and submission.

On Friday, 21 August 2015, on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, according to the New York Times, “a heavily armed gunman opened fire aboard a packed high-speed train, traveling from Amsterdam to Paris [….] wounding several passengers before he was tackled and subdued” by two American military servicemen (on leave), who were helped by a third American. According to French officials, they “averted a mass killing.”- The gunman was armed with an automatic pistol, an AK47 and a knife (NYT annotation: AK47 is Al Qaeda’s preferred weapon). The Americans were coincidentally and suitably near to subdue the shooting 26 year-old Moroccan, a convenient Arab, who was taken into custody when the train stopped in Arras, France, just beyond the French-Belgian border. No doubt, he will be squeezed for confession. He may try to escape – and then may be shot death. Amen.

The French anti-terrorist unit took immediately charge of the investigation. The unit is known to work in utmost secrecy. Whatever news comes out of it is most likely ‘cooked’ to suit the system.

The NYT proclaims that the three Americans saved the train from a massacre. Nobody was killed. Just one of the American heroes was injured. Hollande thanked Obama for the brave Americans’ exemplary behavior and for preventing a train carnage. Propaganda all over. In America we trust – is dogma number one; dogma number two is – there is no save place on earth.

Fear everywhere, but America is there to help. Danger lingers at every corner. A terrorist may be just next door. Just give yourself up to Big Brother and he won’t let you down.

The first step towards sub-doing fear is asking yourself: Who invented and fabricated terrorism in the first place? In countries and entire regions ravaged by Washington incited wars and conflicts, terrorism is the expression of hopelessness, of wrath – of fighting back, when there is nothing left to lose. Look at the Middle East. A battlefield of nations destroyed by years of war – people living in ruins, in miserable squalor; some escape – and become the endless and EU loathed stream of refugees. According to the UN High Commissioner, there are more than 50 million refugees worldwide.

People take-up arms in self-defense. The west calls them terrorists. A term popularized by the media. A term that instills fear. – Imagine a world where the Judeo-Christian aggressors would suddenly see the light and stop spreading wars and conflicts and subjugating the world – peace would break out and settle in – terrorism, one of the key reasons for fear, would have no purpose to persist – fear would die, trust and solidarity would grow. The empires worst enemy: solidarity, friendship, and trust among people.

All wars and conflicts are multi-purpose. They boost the elite-dominated war industry; in the US more than 50% of GDP; they help dominate and subjugate people, exploit their resources, and are trailblazing a path towards Full Spectrum Dominance – world hegemony. They also help one of the ‘elite’s’ key objective – depopulating the world, so the elite may live longer with the ever scarcer resources of our gradually depleted planet. Reducing world population is a key objective of the Bilderberg Society – voiced by Henry Kissinger already in the 1960s. Recently I overheard one buddy telling another: I hate wars; but the only good thing about wars is – they reduce world population.

That is the horrendous level of immorality and greed to which humanity has sunk. – We the over-fed west may not get enough in an ‘overpopulated world’ (sic), therefore let’s reduce the human stock by killing off the under-people.

According to FAO – the UN Food and Agriculture Organization – with the current available agricultural technology Mother Earth could aliment at least 12 billion people, almost double of today’s world population. Fear and greed decimate our rational thinking. The me-me-me of abject western consumerism – and the fear of losing it – overwhelms our innate sense of human solidarity.

Remember the infamous Christmas Day 2009 ‘underwear bomber’ on a Northwest Airliner approaching Detroit wanting to detonate a plastic bomb sewed into his undies? He was suitably identified as a Nigerian Al Qaeda fighter and also conveniently and par hazard filmed by a passenger in the back row — This was such an amateurish attempt to spread fear, that after a short while even the media didn’t want to lose their ‘credibility’ (sic) and shut up.

Is there ever a thought among the fearful that such terrorists might be ‘planted’ by those who are served by the fear they cause?

A former CIA official recently admitted that virtually all so-called terror acts in the US and most of those in other parts of the world since (and including – added by me) 9/11 are false flags. With every false flag, the system can tighten its grip on the population under the pretext of ‘protection and security’. The populace literally asks for it – please protect us, please come to our houses, put them upside down and see whether there are terrorists hiding in our closets… that’s how the Boston people reacted after the April 2013 false-flag Marathon bombing.

Since 9/11 US citizens have lost more than 90% of their civil rights; first through the Patriot Act, then by subsequent extensions of police ‘protective measures’. Most US citizens are not even aware of the power they gave up to the police which has now the authority to invade people’s homes at will, without search warrant or explanation and then find anything justifying the arrest and indefinite confinement without trial of an inconvenient person. The ‘suspects’ are mostly Muslims. These days it’s easy selling to the brainwashed western world a Muslim as a criminal or terrorist.

Yet, the Boston Marathon false flag was of such low grade that anybody with a little bit of reason left, could recognize that the bombs were detonated by special forces with the mere purpose of implanting the notion that even a relatively progressive thinking university town like Boston is in danger of terrorism. Therefore let’s control the people, let’s not this ‘intellectual Boston crowd’ choose its own ways, abandoning the sinking ship. All sheep must be kept together in false solidarity, of course.

The two Chechnyan brothers were pre-identified, they had no clue what may eventually happen to them. They conveniently had a police record, maybe fabricated, to also hurt Russia, hitting two flies with the same stone. The Chechnyan ‘malfeasance’ could easily be sold to the public. One of the two alleged suspects was killed – and silenced – in an artificially created ‘shootout’. The other one is in solidarity confinement and is not allowed to talk, not even in court – condemned to die – soon to be silenced too.

Public events henceforth project fear. – People, please stand up against police and state-sponsored violence and terrorism! – Analyze for yourselves! Don’t believe the lies spread by the mainstream media. Yes, it takes a little effort, seeking out the truth and reading the news on internet – Global Research, Information Clearing House, Sputnik News, VNN, RT, TeleSUR, PressTV, CounterPunch, New Easter Outlook, The Saker – and many more – but it is one of the few chances you have to see the light and stand up for your rights – and get rid of fear.

The Boston false flag bombing, was followed by a similar horror event in Paris, in January this year. The Hebdo Charlie and related supermarket assault killed 17 people. It was opportunely planned at a notoriously anti-Muslim cartoon magazine, executed by CIA-Mossad forces in full connivance with the French secret service

(see http://www.globalresearch.ca/paris-charlie-the-shock-doctrine-par-excellence/5424960).

Two plus one ‘suspects’ with previous police records, were pre-identified. One of them ‘forgets or loses’ casually his ID in the get-away car – the only link the police has to the ‘terrorists’ – they find two, kill them at sight – so they won’t talk anymore. – The third related alleged assassin of a Jewish supermarket at the outskirts of Paris awaited the same fate: death by a police barrage of bullets. A blurred amateur video (maybe by now taken off internet) shows how a hand-cuffed individual is thrown before the wolves outside of the supermarket, to be riddled mercilessly with bullets. Nobody to talk. The truth remains ugly propaganda – propaganda for the system – a system that prevails over and feeds on terrorism. Millions of people, dulled by the event, walked the streets of European cities, solemnly parading placards lettered with “I am Charlie” — millions of people submitted – and still do – to a miserable lie – spreading and perpetuating fear.

Hollande had a justification to tighten the grip around France and within Paris – police everywhere, reducing civil liberties just a tad more – orders from the Washington masters. Being a nominal ‘socialist’ (sic), the emperor doesn’t quite trust him – as he may resent having been forced by the White House to abrogate his country’s lucrative sale of two Mistral type amphibious assault ships to Russia. To dampen any lingering sympathy for Russian President Putin, Hollande had to be reined in; and the spineless French leader (sic) did indeed cave in.

Fear is everywhere. European politicians are all afraid they may be in the crosshairs of the CIA or Pentagon or other US mercenary hit men if they don’t behave. A couple of days ago it was reported that Hollande is now also planning preventive drone assassinations, mimicking his brother-in-crime, Peace Nobel Laureate, Barack Obama. Imagine! – How far can you sink to lick – ehhh – the naked toes of the naked emperor. How far has our western civilization sunk in only the last 30 years – the onset of neoliberalism!

Fear commands everyone – almost. Fear is the public enemy number One – but it can be overcome – with courage, an open mind and foremost an awakened consciousness.

People feel reasonably happy. They feel protected. They gladly trade their civil rights for police and military protection. Terrorism is horrible and it is so unpredictable. It lurks everywhere. And nobody dares to question these bloody fabricated horror events. Nobody dares ask: what motivates the terrorists? How come their number has increased exponentially in the last 15 years? Terror sows more terror. Fear disseminates more fear. More fear facilitates more oppression and manipulation of people – and eventually more terrorism.

Take the massive flood of refugees engulfing Europe. The EU laments the ‘refugee crisis; seemingly not realizing that they helped making it. The Eurocrats cannot deal with the overwhelming influx of refugees. They use the bought media to make people afraid of them. The refugees come from these Arab countries the west is fighting for ‘freedom and democracy’. They are dark-skinned, poor and no-good. They steal our jobs, food and women. The human touch and solidarity of westerners has been annihilated long ago – by the neoliberal doctrine – that knows no mercy, only profit and power. Western powers don’t want these poor homeless beggars within their frontiers. What to do with them? They are a costly nuisance. Most of them are Muslims anyway. There is no space for them.

Would it ever occur to one of those high-flying, arrogant never elected Maastricht politicians to ask ‘why is this onslaught of refugees increasing by the day?’ – They may find the answer in front of their nose, in case they still have some left-over ticking brains. We, Europeans, in full complicity with war-mongering hegemonic Washington have helped destroy their countries, their economies, their jobs, torn apart their families, killed their children, have bombed their very homes to ashes – now they come to seek help from us. These poor people have no choice but asking their hangmen for a bit of mercy, for some crumbs of bread, for some rudimentary shelter. The raped seeks alms from the rapist. It’s the Stockholm syndrome. – Its fear from dying. Maybe the criminals who almost killed them have some humanity left, a bit of mercy – please.

What makes them tick – these criminal hegemonic politicians? Why are they so inhumanly selfish, greedy and violent? The public at large is afraid to even ask. Asking could produce answers that may derange one’s comfort zone. Better don’t ask and follow the rules. Let fear continue to rule.

The NYT also reports, “Stock prices around the world continued to plunge on Friday, threatening to end one of the longest bull runs in the history of the United States stock market.” Fear of losing money is spread. Such ‘market’ fluctuations, as most of us know, have little to do with ‘markets’, be it share or money markets. Money is fabricated by a mouse-click of a bank dishing out debt. Markets are manipulated by banks and political powers for monetary profit and political gains – and to sow fear – fear that something horrendously drastic may happen, may affect our fragile economy – and may foremost affect our stolen well-being. Yes, stolen. Our western riches have been stolen during hundreds of years of abject, murderous colonization of the southern hemisphere. And we continue colonizing them with our modern weapon – MONEY. When banks spread fear, it is to steal the money, pension funds, social systems from us, their faithful clients. Stealing from abroad is not enough.

Rather than fearfully shutting up – wake up! Dare stand up fellow citizen – against the white collar onslaught of fraud and exploitation, against corruption of our elitist neoliberal system! Get rid of those deceiving politicians – the scum of greed and power. Expose them. Neutralize them.

The US as well as the European Commission just enacted laws, allowing banks, effective immediately – to ‘rescue’ themselves by so-called ‘bail-ins’ – meaning, a bank that has overstretched and over-speculated itself into bankruptcy may literally save itself by stealing the money from its depositors and shareholders. – Why does such an edict – not really a law because those who designed the rule are unelected Eurocrats – not prompt an immediate run on the banks? – Why does nobody even protest? – Because people don’t know? Maybe. But Fear – sheer fear from being punished for ‘disobedience’ – is a better explanation.

Instead, our fear makes us trust that such ‘bail-ins’ will always happen to others. We so easily forget what happened only two years ago, in March 2013 to the people of Cyprus, when their deposits were decimated by the infamous ‘haircut’, administered by the highly indebted Cypriot banks, by order of the BCE, with full complicity of the Cypriot elites, who first transferred their fortunes abroad. It was like a trial run. How much would the populace swallow without (too much) protesting? – It worked. The rule is now institutionalized – and nobody says beep. – For fear that worse may follow? – Or for sheer comfort of not moving our butts.

The famous late Howard Zinn said civil disobedience is our – as in ‘we the people’ – strongest weapon against corporate and state injustice and abuse. Today’s version of this wisdom might be for the 99.99% of us, the people, to organize and infiltrate the reigning criminal system and breaking it down from within. Much like did and do the State Department funded Washington-based thinktanks (sic) – initiating the deadly and destructive ‘Arab Spring’, intruding and subverting the European Parliament with bought proxies and fake NGOs – and what they attempt to do in Russia and China, albeit unsuccessfully.

Back to the NYT article on the plunge of the US stock exchange. Finger-pointing of the guilty is of the order. The fear factor has to be substantiated and enhanced by fault of an ‘outsider’ – in this case China – which according to the NYT has ‘unexpectedly’ devalued its currency, a sign of a troubled economy and a bleak outlook for the economy of other large ‘developing countries’.

Let’s fear the Evil East. – No good may come from the east. The NYT has of course no explanation of truth. Namely that the Chinese Yuan had been artificially over-valued under pressure of the US, and kept within a 2% band of fluctuation by the Chinese authorities. This was also in line with China’s huge dollar reserves, some 1.6 trillion dollars. Relaxation of the fluctuation – letting the rate slide naturally to an expected 3% margin, would not only make China more competitive, but might enhance the currency’s international standing to eventually becoming a new currency in the IMF’s basket constituting the SDRs, or Special Drawing Rights. The SDR is an international virtual money that may be lent to countries which so desire, hence, better balancing the currency exchange risk of the loan. The current SDR basket is composed of only four ‘world’ currencies; the US dollar, the British Pound, the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

If the Yuan can keep its own by floating against other major currencies, chances are it may be admitted by the west-dominated IMF as the fifth currency to the SDR basket, thereby opening the door for the Chinese Yuan to become a major official world reserve currency. Washington may not like it, but may have little choice preventing the currency of the world’s strongest economy to become an officially admitted reserve currency.

Fear may also be the main reason for the Greek Tsipras Government 180 degree U-turn after the 62% NO vote on July 5 – No to austerity, No to more strangulation by the infamous troika – European Central Bank (ECB), European Commission (EC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Not Germany, not the troika, are Greece’s strongest enemies; fear is. The Syriza government was pressured, blackmailed, coerced – and possibly even corrupted – into accepting an even more nefarious austerity package than the one against which Greeks voted with an overwhelming NO. If indeed enacted, the new debt commitment of € 86 billion will drive Greece’s debt to GDP ratio way above 200 % – and not one euro will flow into Greece’s economy, her social system, fighting unemployment, bringing back public hospitals, schools, water and electricity.

The Syriza Tsipras Government has committed an illegal act against Greece’s own Constitution which puts the people above parliament and above the executive – as a true democracy should. Tsipras’ anti-democratic act could be undone any time by a simple decision of the Supreme Court. According to international standards, Greece’s accumulated debt is fully illegal and could be erased by a mouse click, the same way it was created. Any contract – in this case debt – concluded under duress, coercion, corruption and / or blackmail does not stand up before an international court of law. This must have been known to the Tsipras government. Yet, Tsipras and his inner circle went to Brussels to ‘negotiate’ ignoring this chance. Instead they sold out their country to the banksters, let themselves be humiliated, ridiculed in the face of their own people, let alone the rest of the world.

Fear was most likely the engine for Tsipras’ behavior. Many of his Syriza colleagues left the government coalition. Ministers who didn’t agree with his politics were fired. He preferred succumbing to fear – fear of the potential wrath that might emanate from the corrupt and criminal EU; from greedy Germany whose neoliberalism is rapidly taking on the colors of Nazism. – German supremacy over Europe – again? – Maybe there were death-threats involved, who knows. It is common practice when power and resources are at stake.

However, a true leader has no fear. He or she stands tall with the moral and ethical obligation to defend the interests of the people who elected him or her. As did Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Cristina Kirchner, Lula, Dilma Rousseff and many more.

Traveling recently all over Greece fear was visible everywhere. When asked, why their inaction in the face of this shameful treason of their PM – no protests, the streets remained calm – the answer was almost uniformly – we are afraid. Afraid of what? Of the police; they shoot at us with rubber bullets, with water cannons – and we don’t know when the military will intervene.

In Delphi, the very town where democracy was born some 2,500 years ago, a shop owner confessed, democracy is dead, not only in Greece – but in Europe, in the world. With this backdrop, a new military takeover was according to him not far-fetched. The Tsipras betrayal was a boon for the rightwing, the Nazi-like ‘Golden Dawn’ – a perfect backing for a new military regime.

After the 1967 US-supported so-called Coup of the Colonels, Greece suffered seven years of a most repressive right wing military dictatorship, where full obedience was of the order, where people disappeared, where the communist party was forbidden and communists were prosecuted and killed, where anything resembling left-wing literature was censured, during which miniskirts, pop-music, long hair, the peace sign and the like were prohibited. This repressive regime has deeply marked the Greek population. They are afraid it may return. They are aware of their country’s vulnerability due to its importance for Washington, hosting the southern-most strategic NATO base. Any deviation of the Washington made and EC imposed rule may bring back the military horror – reminiscent of Costa Cavras’ 1969 extraordinary docudrama “Z”.

Now, the Tsipras Government has resigned – for fear of the domestic consequences of its actions? – A new interim government is to be prepared before the announced 20 September election. Will the radical break-away Syriza faction, the new Unity Party, be able to form a viable coalition and gather the necessary trust to win the coming September elections?

Will Greece after all be able to break the paralyzing streak of fear?

Will Greece set the new standard of fearlessness for the rest of Europe to follow? – Will Greece dare to go the only practical way – exit the unviable euro – go back to her drachma and revamp their economy with public banking for the benefit of the Greek people? – I trust Greece will dare take back her sovereignty, breaking the all-permeating Fear Factor and become a flagship of courage for Europe and for the world.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance . 

Posted in 9/11, Activism, anti-war, Authoriarianism, black ops, CIA, civil disobedience, civil liberties, conditioning, consciousness, Conspiracy, corporate news, Corruption, culture, divide and conquer, Economics, Empire, False Flag, Financial Crisis, Geopolitics, History, Militarization, news, police state, propaganda, Recession, Social Control, society, State Crime, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency Threatened

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By Stephen Lendman

Source: Stephen Lendman Blog

US dollar dominance finances Washington’s reckless spending, global militarism, its empire of bases, endless wars, corporate takeovers, as well as speculative excess creating bubbles and economic crises – at the expense of democratic freedoms and beneficial social change.

China, Russia and other nations increasingly trading in their own currencies pose a significant threat to dollar dominance. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya explained Washington’s currency war on China, saying:

“The Chinese are in the process of displacing the monopoly of the US dollar. They are dropping their US Treasury bonds, stockpiling gold reserves, and opening regional distribution banks for their own national currency.”

“This will give them easier access to capital markets and insulate them from financial manipulation by Washington and Wall Street.”

China bashing by public and private US officials is part of a campaign to denigrate its government – making inflammatory accusations without proof about hacking, defying its legitimate right to do what it wishes in its own waters, and threatening sanctions – legal only by Security Council members, never by individual countries against others, Washington’s longstanding weapon against independent governments.

“As the financial architecture of the world is being altered by China and Russia, the US dollar is gradually being neutralized as one of Washington’s weapon of choice,” Nazemroaya explained.

The post-WW II US-dominated international monetary system is threatened with unraveling. Washington is fighting back with propaganda, energy, financial, economic and currency wars against China and Russia, said Nazemroaya.

Russia sold a fifth of its $125 billion in US Treasuries holdings last March. China’s US Treasuries holdings exceed $1 trillion dollars. It’s been aggressively dumping them.

It’s gone from the world’s largest buyer to its biggest seller. Will other countries follow suit? Nations are increasingly trading in their own currencies. Weakening America’s financial strength is the best way curb its imperial ambitions.

Russia drafted legislation aimed at eliminating dollars and euros in trade between Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, and other former Soviet republics.

A Kremlin statement said “(t)his would help expand the use of national currencies in foreign trade payments and financial services and thus create preconditions for greater liquidity of domestic currency markets.”

It would facilitate regional trade and help achieve economic stability. It would reduce dependency on the world’s two dominant currencies.

China’s central bank launched a Heilongjiang Province yuan/ruble program – Russia’s currency replacing the dollar.

Both countries are increasingly trading in their own currencies – bypassing dollar transactions. If enough other countries follow suit, dollar strength will weaken. Its hegemonic ambitions will be curbed – how much, how soon remains to be seen.

 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Posted in Economics, History, Geopolitics, Empire, society, Recession, Financial Crisis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yes, Global Wealth Inequality is Unjust

Income-Inequality

By Jessica Flanigan

Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians

Jonathan Anomaly asks, “Is global wealth inequality unjust?” Anomaly and Dan Moller suggest that global wealth inequality may be less unjust than a lot of people think because rich countries have good political institutions and cultures that encourage social and scientific experimentation, not because they are actively harming poor countries.

Moller’s argument is that if wealthy countries did not cause global poverty they have no duty to provide aid. His main targets seem to be Richard Miller and Thomas Pogge, who argue that the system of global trade, which is imposed on everyone in the world, does cause poverty in poor countries. I agree with Moller that if anything, the system of global trade has made everyone better off, though it has made some much better off than others. And like Moller, I don’t think inequality is necessarily a moral problem. But like Pogge and Miller, I do think it is a moral problem if a system of property is imposed on everyone and it leaves some people so desperately poor they don’t have enough.

This argument is the same as my argument for the basic income. As Harry Frankfurt writes in one of my favorite papers, we should care about everyone having enough rather than an equal share. It is much easier to calculate an equal share than to calculate what counts as enough, but enough is what matters. Though it requires a further moral argument to say what enough is, I think most of us could agree that conditions extreme poverty do not give a person enough, whatever enough means. More than a billion people live in extreme poverty, and their lives are governed by a global property system that they have no choice but to participate in. My intuition is that just as domestic property systems should provide citizens with a basic income, a similar argument can be deployed to support limited duties of assistance for people in extreme poverty if we could know that assistance could make a meaningful difference.

I imagine a lot of BHL readers will be pretty unsympathetic to this argument. Some libertarians will object to my claim that property systems are coercive in ways that require providing everyone who is coerced by a property system to have enough. Some libertarians seem to think that the existing system of global capitalism is just everyone exercising their natural pre-political property rights without violating anyone else’s entitlements. Or, some people think that assistance would just do more harm than good, and people aren’t owed assistance if it would make the global rich worse off without making anyone better off. Of course it’s hard to know what would be enough assistance. Aid may not work. If aid works, it’s hard to know why. It’s hard to know how to make aid better too. But there are amazing researchers who are working to find the answers to these questions. Some worry that aid is paternalistic or infantilizing, but it doesn’t have to be. Just because we don’t know how best to improve the lives the global poor doesn’t mean we should stick to the current system of basically not trying at all.

For libertarians who are skeptical of wealth redistribution though, here is another reason that global wealth inequality is unjust—borders. As my co-blogger Chris writes, there’s no such thing as a closed border libertarian. As far as I know, Pogge doesn’t mention the global system of borders in his argument for eradicating systemic poverty and Moller doesn’t discuss immigration in his article either. This is a striking oversight. Both Moller and Anomaly emphasize the non-zero sum nature of trade. Moller considers and responds to the objection that the rich got rich by unfair trade practices, but does not include borders on the list of unfair trade practices.

I’m not saying that rich countries got rich by turning poor people away at the border. I suspect the opposite is true, and that rich countries got rich when they had a lot of migration (like the US in the 19th century) and continue to get rich despite immigration restrictions. But one thing is clear, poorer people are poorer because of the border system. As Jason Brennan points out, opening the borders would not only respect people’s freedom of movement and association, it would also add trillions to the world economy and benefit rich and poor countries alike.

So yes, global wealth inequality is unjust. Not because rich countries cause poor countries to be poor, but because coercive property rules and borders trap people in conditions of extreme poverty. For these reasons, even libertarians should support policy reforms that improve the lives of the global poor—especially open borders.

Posted in culture, Economics, Financial Crisis, society, Work | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Two for Tuesday

Sofia Ashraf

Tamer Nafar

 

Posted in Art, culture, Music Video, Two for Tuesday, Video | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Upside down economics of debt, poverty, unemployment: Ready to seize solutions now, or do you require more pain?

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By Carl Herman

Source: The Daily Censored

“If people were really self-interested, they would stop trying to be individualistic.” – John B. Cobb, founder of Seizing an Alternative conference (and here, videos here)

Economic Hitman John Perkins’ 2-minutes on today’s neo-colonialism capitalism:

Demonocracy’s 2-minutes on what the US national debt looks like if shown in actual amounts of $100 bills:

Earth economics is upside down.

Accelerating technology can and should provide:

  • more personal freedom from labor,
  • more beauty in infrastructure and nature,
  • greater joy in our freedom to create and explore our beautiful, powerful, and diverse virtues (something like “resource-based economics” as researched by The Venus Project).

We know what we have is in contrived Orwellian opposition of what leadership should create. We know that what we receive is literal criminal fraud:

I could go on to literally ~100 areas of crucial concern.

The first challenge for the 99.99% is to trust their own Emperor’s New Clothes observations that Earth is truly in this tragic-comedy rather than listen to the .01%’s lies attempting to cover naked facts anyone can see.

Please understand that I represent likely hundreds of thousands of professionals making factual claims with objective evidence anyone with a high school-level of education can verify. For example, the June 2015 Seizing an Alternative conference (and here, videos here) at the Claremont Colleges had hundreds of professionals presenting data and solutions in over 80 areas of speciality. My paper and videos for this conference is here.

The purpose of education since the “Age of Enlightenment” is to present facts for public verification, and to seize the victory of refuting lies by would-be dictators, especially when such lies are obvious and of crucial public importance.

The path forward as we build a critical mass of humans recognizing the Emperor’s New Clothes truth is to demand arrests and solutions, obviously:

  1. ARRESTS: the first responsible action upon recognizing massive crimes that annually kill millions, harm billions, and loot trillions is to demand that law enforcement and military enact arrests of criminal leaders to stop the crimes and begin unwinding the truth of what happened in Earth’s tragic-comedy (four-part article series with videos on arrests as the obvious citizen response).
  2. SOLUTIONS: the .01% with corporate media have suppressed solutions documented beginning with Benjamin Franklin how government can abundantly operate without taxes: monetary and credit reform allow the public to have near-instant prosperity: full-employment, zero public deficits and debt, the best infrastructure we can imagine, falling prices, and release of public TRILLIONS held in “rainy day” accounts. Full documentation here.

Humanity’s choices:

  1. Ongoing .01% Orwellian, upside-down, tragic-comic, Emperor’s New Clothes crimes with all the pain, fear, harm, death, debt, poverty, enslavement, crime, destruction, and despair.
  2. Arrests to stop the crimes of the present, and ready-to-start solutions to build a brighter future.

Be your brightest light as the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Former World Bank economist Herman Daly and co-author John B. Cobb of For the Common Good discuss our condition and pathways forward in this 40-minute interview:

Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

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Where is Neo When We Need Him — Paul Craig Roberts

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By Paul Craig Roberts

Source: PaulCraigRoberts.org

In The Matrix in which Americans live, nothing is ever their fault. For example, the current decline in the US stock market is not because years of excessive liquidity supplied by the Federal Reserve have created a bubble so overblown that a mere six stocks, some of which have no earnings commiserate with their price, accounted for more than all of the gain in market capitalization in the S&P 500 prior to the current disruption.

In our Matrix existence, the stock market decline is not due to corporations using their profits, and even taking out loans, to repurchase their shares, thus creating an artificial demand for their equity shares.

The decline is not due to the latest monthly reporting of durable goods orders falling on a year-to-year basis for the sixth consecutive month.

The stock market decline is not due to a week economy in which after a decade of alleged economy recovery, new and existing home sales are still down by 63% and 23% from the peak in July 2005.

The stock market decline is not due to the collapse in real median family income and, thereby, consumer demand, resulting from two decades of offshoring middle class jobs and partially replacing them with minimum wage part-time Walmart jobs without benefits that do not provide sufficient income to form a household.

No, none of these facts can be blamed. The decline in the US stock market is the fault of China.

What did China do? China is accused of devaluing by a small amount its currency.

Why would a slight adjustment in the yuan’s exchange value to the dollar cause the US and European stock markets to decline?

It wouldn’t. But facts don’t matter to the presstitute media. They lie for a living.

Moreover, it was not a devaluation.

When China began the transition from communism to capitalism, China pegged its currency to the US dollar in order to demonstrate that its currency was as good as the world’s reserve currency. Over time China has allowed its currency to appreciate relative to the dollar. For example, in 2006 one US dollar was worth 8.1 Chinese yuan. Recently, prior to the alleged “devaluation” one US dollar was worth 6.1 or 6.2 yuan. After China’s adjustment to its floating peg, one US dollar is worth 6.4 yuan. Clearly, a change in the value of the yuan from 6.1 or 6.2 to the dollar to 6.4 to the dollar did not collapse the US and European stock markets.

Furthermore, the change in the range of the floating peg to the US dollar did not devalue China’s currency with regard to its non-US trading partners. What had happened, and what China corrected, is that as a result of the QE money printing policies currently underway by the Japanese and European central banks, the dollar appreciated against other currencies. As China’s yuan is pegged to the dollar, China’s currency appreciated with regard to its Asian and European trading partners. The appreciation of China’s currency (due to its peg to the US dollar) is not a good thing for Chinese exports during a time of struggling economies. China merely altered its peg to the dollar in order to eliminate the appreciation of its currency against its other trading partners.

Why did not the financial press tell us this? Is the Western financial press so incompetent that they do not know this? Yes.

Or is it simply that America itself cannot possibly be responsible for anything that goes wrong. That’s it. Who, us?! We are innocent! It was those damn Chinese!

Look, for example, at the hordes of refugees from America’s invasions and bombings of seven countries who are currently overrunning Europe. The huge inflows of peoples from America’s massive slaughter of populations in seven countries, enabled by the Europeans themselves, is causing political consternation in Europe and the revival of far-right political parties. Today, for example, neo-nazis shouted down German Chancellor Merkel, who tried to make a speech asking for compassion for refugees.

But, of course, Merkel herself is responsible for the refugee problem that is destabilizing Europe. Without Germany as Washington’s two-bit punk puppet state, a non-entity devoid of sovereignty, a non-country, a mere vassal, an outpost of the Empire, ruled from Washington, America could not be conducting the illegal wars that are producing the hordes of refugees that are over-taxing Europe’s ability to accept refugees and encouraging neo-nazi parties.

The corrupt European and American press present the refugee problem as if it has nothing whatsoever to do with America’s war crimes against seven countries. I mean, really, why should peoples flee countries when America is bringing them “freedom and democracy?”

Nowhere in the Western media other than a few alternative media websites is there an ounce of integrity. The Western media is a Ministry of Truth that operates full-time in support of the artificial existence that Westerners live inside The Matrix where Westerners exist without thought. Considering their inaptitude and inaction, Western peoples might as well not exist.

More is going to collapse on the brainwashed Western fools than mere stock values.

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Don’t Worry – Everything is Not Under Control

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By Zen Gardner

Source: ZenGardner.com

What a farce. Telling everyone “everything is under control” is perhaps the most dulling and disempowering phrase ever uttered.

My fascination with language just keeps expanding. I love looking at expressions, words, colloquialisms, so-called “sayings” and the like with fresh awakened eyes. I can’t help it. The supposed, accepted and unconscious meanings of these imposed “expressions” are what direct our minds and turn our attention.

So much of what we’ve been handed down is contorted, manipulated and eventually nestled in the collective mindset to twist our hearts away from simple truth.

How many times has this expression been used to bring seeming comfort to someone; “Don’t worry, everything’s under control.” Really? What control? Who’s controlling what? And why?

So often this is used to imply some powerful force is behind everything directing what’s going on. Remind you of anything? Yes – religion, hierarchy, and social, political and economic so-called “controllers”. How debilitating can you get when it comes right down to it, playing on people’s insecurity and lack of conscious awareness?

“It’s under control” is comforting to people? It’s the picture of personal disempowerment!

External Control? Or Creative Freedom!

Sure, there is a wonderful creative Source we are all intrinsically part of, but it’s not “controlling” anything in a living, expanding Universe with beings of all sorts with free will and self determination in an alive multidimensional environment. If anything, this Creative impetus is tearing down control systems that attempt to foist themselves on its process, put there either by conscious intent or the manifestation of hardening mindsets in the social fabric.

Earth processes attest to this, as well as our spectacular expanding and ever changing Universe. Nature itself is alive with new sprouts of life in the animal, plant and mineral worlds, never mind other realms of existence.

Look at earthquakes and volcanoes, or the sun and astral influences. As much as some try to analyze or predict major events that affect earth that still brings no control, only a measure of preparedness on rare occasion. And that type of insecurity is good for us. It’s humbling and keeps us in check.

This process is what the awakening is all about!

While some earth changes may be exacerbated by human activity, the big stuff is way out of our control. Thankfully. That’s what makes life life, and also why the insane would-be captivators of humanity and its planet work so feverishly in their mad pursuits to try to control natural processes. Control is their yardstick and without it they have no temporal security or power, which to them equates some weird form of normalcy or equilibrium.

How upside down can you get.

Be it geoengineering our climate, genetically modifying the natural progression of life forms, or attempting to install artificial intelligence to run their soulless programs, these maniacs are desperate for control in every shape and form. Why? They cannot meld or harmonize with what’s natural since their psychopathic, demonic intentions have nothing to gain, all while the rest of us thrive on being part of the fantastic empowering natural processes of Creation Itself.

Therein lies the rub. Quite apparently we’re in a world of conflicts of interest. That’s our current playing field, if you will. Or won’t. It’s just the way it is.

Let Go Into Conscious Anarchy

I like the anarchy approach. Anarchy is an example of another twisted word. It’s doesn’t mean putting a society into deliberate chaotic destruction, it means living without hierarchical control mechanisms. Something most groomed humans are scared spitless of thanks to generations of social programming.

You mean to tell me if we didn’t have so-called “government” that everything would fall apart? Baloney. People are resourceful and essentially responsible, at least their inner nature is, that hasn’t been perverted by all of this programming to the contrary. That very dependence on external control systems is what the hierarchy is literally banking on which is why the repeated memes of fear of scarcity or personal security.

There’s plenty for everybody. All we need to do is work together locally and share with other communities in a range of sizes and distances. Real commerce in loving cooperation, not the regulated systems that have been foisted upon us. We’ve been weaned from personal responsibility into a system of statist dependence, like someone who’s stopped using their muscles and is dependent on some mass produced contraption for their mobility when there’s nothing wrong with them at all.

They just need to exercise their innate capabilities.

Just because people have become spiritually atrophied in large numbers doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Exactly like waking up, it’s time to arise and use the magnificent body of capabilities we’ve all been given, and let go of these false crutches and systems of hierarchy and walk into life and live!

Epilogue

That false assurance that everything’s under control by external forces as if we individually have virtually none has got to go. Being comforting in times of stress and turmoil is one thing, but propping people up with some external dependence reinforcement is fundamentally wrong.

It’s time to be conscious – in our words, our thoughts and our actions.

It’s really not that difficult. The main thing you’ll confront is ignorant, unenlightened opposition from those who’ve grown deeply accustomed to this dependency programming, as if it’s some form of respect for the “great ones” who rule them.

It’s very deep and will take time to overcome for most. But remaining in that conscious space, no matter what ridicule or obstacles assail you, is the very solution we each are longing for.

It begins with each of us. Standing our ground and then moving forward in conscious, loving action.

Do it. Bravely. The time for humanity to arise is now.

Much love, be well, and fully empowered,

Zen

ZenGardner.com

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Saturday Matinee: Future Shock

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Future Shock: Orson Welles Narrates a 1972 Film About the Perils of Technological Change

By Jonathan Crow

Source: Open Culture

The beginning of the 1972 documentary Future Shock, directed by Alex Grasshof, shows Orson Welles, bearded and chomping on a cigar, standing on an airport people mover. He turns to the camera and delivers a monologue in his trademark silken baritone. “In the course of my work, which has taken me to just about every corner of the globe, I see many aspects of a phenomenon which I’m just beginning to understand. Our modern technologies have changed the degree of sophistication beyond our wildest dreams. But this technology has exacted a pretty heavy price. We live in an age of anxiety and time of stress. And with all our sophistication, we are in fact the victims of our own technological strengths –- we are the victims of shock… a future shock.”

The documentary itself is wonderfully dated. From its bizarre opening montage; to its soundtrack, which lurches from early electronic music to jazz funk; to some endearing video special effects, which, for whatever reason, mostly centers around Orson Welles’s head, the film feels thoroughly rooted in the Nixon administration. Yet many of the ideas discussed in the movie are, if anything, more relevant now than in the 1970s. Watch it above.

The term “future shock” was invented in Alvin Toffler’s hugely bestselling book of the same name to describe the constant, bewildering barrage of new technologies and all the resulting societal changes those technologies bring about. Anyone who has struggled to comprehend a new, baffling and supposedly essential social media platform, anyone who has been driven to paralysis over the number of choices on Netflix, anyone who found their livelihood decimated because of a hot new app knows what “future shock” is.

Toffler (along with his wife and uncredited co-writer Heidi Toffler) argued that we are in the midst of a massive structural change from an industrial society to a post-industrial one – a society that boggles the mind with an overload of information and an overload of consumer choices. “Change,” as they wrote, “is the only constant.”

Along the way, the Tofflers managed to predict the collapse of America’s manufacturing sector, along with things like Prozac, temp jobs, the internet and the meteoric rise and fall of insta-celebs (Alex from Target, we hardly knew you.) Other predictions – underwater cities, paper clothes and being able to choose your own skin color – haven’t yet come to pass. Still, they had a surprisingly good track record considering these predictions were written over four decades ago.

The video ends with a plea from not Welles, but Toffler himself, who is seen addressing college students.

If we can recognize that industrialism is not the only possible form of technological society, if we can begin to think more imaginatively about the future, then we can prevent future shock and we can use technology itself to build a decent, democratic and humane society. […] We can no longer allow technology just to come roaring down at us. We must begin to say “No” to certain kinds of technology and begin to control technological change, because we have now reached the point at which technology is so powerful and so rapid that it may destroy us, unless we control it. But what is the most important is we simply do not accept everything; that we begin to make critical decisions about what kind of world we want and what kind of technology we want.

 

Related Content:

Isaac Asimov Predicts in 1964 What the World Will Look Like Today — in 2014

Arthur C. Clarke Predicts the Future in 1964 … And Kind of Nails It

Walter Cronkite Imagines the Home of the 21st Century … Back in 1967

The Internet Imagined in 1969

Marshall McLuhan Announces That The World is a Global Village

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veeptopus, featuring lots of pictures of badgers and even more pictures of vice presidents with octopuses on their heads.  The Veeptopus store is here.

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