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The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion by Maria Wolflingseder

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
by Maria Wolflingseder, 2007

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/20/18808617.php

The market accepts and rejects like a Calvinist God. The market only promises itself. Its highest good is the economic boom. The Christian God’s reign was not of this world. In contrast, market theocracy makes this side into something otherworldly. The cult of money and the commodity eclipses the outlandishness and absurdity of all its predecessors.

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Book Review: “The New Bonapartists”

Book Review : “The New Bonapartists”
by Martin Beck & Ingo Stutzle (ed), 2018, freitag.de

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/16/18808502.php

In the figure of Bonaparte, the state made itself independent over society at a time when the bourgeoisie lost the capacity to rule the nation and the working class had not yet gained that ability. Aren’t conditions similar nowadays in the many de-industrialized regions of the US, England, Germany or Poland?

Marx traced how the class struggle in France created conditions that enabled mediocre and grotesque persons to play the hero’s role. The whole world cheered him as the deliverer of society, Marx wrote about Bonaparte’s effect in his time.

Posted in Anti-militarism, Political Theory | Leave a comment

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia by Gabriele Klone-Schmalz

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
by Gabriele Klone-Schmalz, April 2018

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/14/18808465.php

“Russia acts out of a strategic defensive and does not pursue an aggressive, expansive policy. It will defend itself against a policy of Nato that sees it as aggressive. A policy of strength does not help overcome this dangerous situation…

The steps to detente must start from western states because they clearly regard themselves as wiser and morally superior… That Nato is willing to rethink must be one of the visible signs.”

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The World Dependent on Central Banks by Ernst Wolff

The World Dependent on Central Banks
by Ernst Wolff, January 2018

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/12/18808407.php

The situation seems extremely contradictory. The economy grows, the stock market posts all-time records, the unemployment numbers fall and industry shows optimism.

We live in an exceptional situation that the world has not seen before. The global economic and financial system has been clinically dead since 2008. It only functions because it is artificially kept alive by the central banks like a patient in the intensive care unit.

$18 trillion was pumped into the global financial system and the interests were lowered 670 times.
In the first three months of 2018, corporations have spent $214 billion buying back their own stock.

Posted in Financial Market Capitalism, Political Theory | Leave a comment

Radical Changes for a Sustainable Economy

From my research, $18 trillion (the amount pumped into the economy to bail out the banks), $214 billion (the amount corporations have spent buying back their stock) and 3 billionaires owning more than 150 million in the US stand out.

The financial sector has weakened and distorted the government. The revenue crisis is really a tax-refusal crisis.

Paul Ryan should gain a new perspective and look back on his deceitful career of corporate enrichment as a lucky roll of the dice!

Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people. Time for Democrats to embrace social programs instead of corporate profiteering!

more at www.citizen.org, www.openculture.com, www.onthecommons.org, www.therealnews.org and www.kickitover.org

Posted in Financial Market Capitalism, Political Theory | Leave a comment

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
by Urs Gasche, Marc Chesney & Thomas Bieger

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/09/18808356.php

The financial sector that has gone off course should serve the real economy again in the future. The exchange functions like a gigantic casino with the difference that a casino is more transparent and is easier to understand. Throwing some sand in the gears would slow down the speculation and restrain the fraudsters somewhat. Only opening the exchanges two days a week would be better.

Learning from critical Swiss economists is vital when the US corporate media trivializes reality. $18 trillion was pumped into the banking system in the 2007/2008 financial crisis. The financial sector weakens and distorts the federal government. The revenue crisis is really a tax refusal crisis. So far in 2018, corporations have spent $214 billion in buying back their own stock according to The Real World Economics Review.

Posted in Financial Market Capitalism, Political Theory | Leave a comment

The US, the Dollar, IS and Saudi Arabia by Ernst Wolff

The US, the Dollar, IS and Saudi Arabia
by Ernst Wolff, February 2017

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/05/18808247.php

Like his predecessor Obama, President Trump did not say a single word against the ruling house in Saudi Arabia either in the election campaign or since his assumption of office even though its systemic human rights violations could be compared with those of IS.

The US treats IS and the Saudi royal house differently. For decades, Saudi Arabia has been the US’ closest ally in the Middle East and therefore enjoys Washington’s unrestricted solidarity despite all its crimes.

Posted in Anti-militarism, Political Theory | Leave a comment

Aldous Huxley interview from 1958, 28 min

Thanks, openculture.com for this peak into the future from the futurologist Aldous Huxley!
Advertisers know how the people could vote for someone they don’t know.

more at: www.openculture.com, www.grin.com, www.linguee.com and www.citizen.org

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5 Reasons for UN Agreements Regulating Corporations

Countless cases of human rights violations by corporations show voluntary self-commitments of businesses cannot ensure social and ecological standards. Instead of social achievements, neoliberal globalization brings a deregulation race downwards. UN agreements create rights for persons instead of companies rather than one-way streets for enforcing corporate interests.

Radical changes are necessary to avert exploding inequality and corporate rule.

to read “5 Reasons for UN Agreements Regulating Corporations” by Austerian justice advocates published on 3.6.2018, click on

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/04/02/18808118.php

to download 30 pages of panels and keynotes at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, OR, March 1-5, 2018, click on

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Posted in Environmental Economics, Human Rights, Political Theory | Leave a comment

As Trump consolidates his power, the history of 1930s Germany repeats itself

As Trump consolidates his power, the history of 1930s Germany repeats itself
by Sascha Abramsky, The Sacramanento Bee

March 18, 2018, http://www.sacbee.com/article205750864.html

In a 2005 essay, “In Defense of History,” published in the Guardian newspaper, the historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote that we should think of “history as an indivisible web in which all human activities are interconnected.” Comprehending historical forces, he wrote, gives us a “capacity to help us understand the world.”

My grandfather was a leading historian, and Hobsbawm was one of many colleagues who came through my grandparents’ book-filled house in London. As an academic discipline, but also, more generally, a mode of thought, history has always fascinated me. It is the weave of human existence over time and across space, the framework of understanding that allows us to craft stories and myths, cautionary tales and morality plays that resonate down the ages.

Ex-Chancellor Franz Von Papen believed that conservative elites could control Hitler. Instead, by 1934 Von Papen’s political career was over, as Hitler, in a whirlwind series of personnel changes, set his propaganda machine – that same machine that denounced the media as the lugenpresse, the “lying press” – to work against his erstwhile allies and, despite not having won a majority of the votes in the previous election, purged his government of the moderating voices of non-Nazis.

Recently, to sate a historical itch, I have been reading about Germany in the 1930s, about what happened when a great and cultured country was handed over to a gang of sadists, misogynists, and racists, when security services were given carte blanche to use the methods of the iron fist, and when torturers were rewarded by promotion rather than prosecuted for their crimes.

And I have been reading about what happened when the great mass of the citizenry either supported the transformation or sat back and did nothing, some mistaking their silence and disdain for effective opposition, others simply hoping against hope for “normalcy” to return.

Ex-Chancellor Franz Von Papen, I have discovered from my readings, believed that conservative elites could control Hitler.

“In two months’ time we will have squeezed Hitler into a corner until he squeaks,” he reputedly told a friend in early 1933, upon Hitler’s appointment by a reluctant President von Hindenburg to the Chancellorship, and his own, short-lived accession to the Vice Chancellorship.

Instead, by 1934 Von Papen’s political career was over, as Hitler, in a whirlwind series of personnel changes, set his propaganda machine – that same machine that denounced the media as the lugenpresse, the “lying press” – to work against his erstwhile allies and, despite not having won a majority of the votes in the previous election, purged his government of the moderating voices of non-Nazis.

So, too, was the independent power of the Reichstag neutralized, as political opponents were imprisoned or otherwise hounded out of public life, and as Nazi legislators, serving as wingmen for their shameless boss, repeatedly voted to let Hitler override the constitutional constraints of the dying Weimar republic.

“Thus was parliamentary democracy finally interred in Germany,” William Shirer, author of the classic book “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” wrote of the raft of laws by which the Reichstag abetted in its own demise in the spring of 1933. “Except for the arrests of the Communists and some of the Social Democratic deputies, it was all done quite legally.”

I have been reading about what follows when the institutions that are supposed to moderate extremist, impulsive, venal, demagogic leaders default in this role. And how easily, at that point, those institutions and the career civil servants and judges and politicians who populate them, are then swept aside, at best complicit in their own irrelevance, at worst full partners in the increasingly brazen agenda of the demagogue.

“One by one, Germany’s most powerful institutions now began to surrender to Hitler, and to pass quietly, unprotestingly out of existence,” Shirer continued.

What happens when supposedly high-principled conservatives, such as von Papen, decide to serve in the administration of a sociopath, opportunistically convincing themselves that the devil-you-know is better than the alternatives?

‘One by one, Germany’s most powerful institutions now began to surrender to Hitler, and to pass quietly, unprotestingly out of existence.’

And what happens when they then further convince themselves and their cronies in big business that maybe that devil actually isn’t so devilish, that, despite all his manifest crudeness and vulgarity, he does indeed have some special connection to destiny, a force of will that merits the personal loyalty oath of the Führerprinzip?

What happens when good citizens passively watch as hoodlums masquerading as politicians, and shouting “Deutschland Uber Alles” – Germany First – blow up international institutions, like the League of Nations, and treaties designed to secure the peace after the catastrophe of a world war?

What happens when upright civic leaders stay silent as investments in diplomacy are replaced by renewed arms races and a fetishization of all-things-military?

What happens when decent people do nothing as deportation forces are unleashed to rip apart families, and as religious and ethnic minorities are demonized and brutalized, their residency and employment rights challenged, their values publicly denigrated, by a leadership intent on providing lebensraum for a master race?

What happens when a paranoid leader such as Hitler accuses the rest of the world, in numerous speeches, of having “laughed at us” in its trade and military dealings with Germany, and then promises them they shall laugh no more?

General Erich Ludendorff, the man who, along with Hindenburg, ran Germany’s military effort during World War I, knew the answer. In despair at President Hindenburg having presided over Hitler’s ascent to the Chancellorship, he sent a telegram to the old man: “You have handed over our Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action.”

My favorite comment about history, however, was penned by Karl Marx, in his “Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon,” his excoriating takedown of the mid-nineteenth century preening, philistine, narcissist French leader and would-be dictator. It is, almost certainly, the most quoted statement about history in… history:

“History repeats itself,” he noted, “first as tragedy, second as farce.”

As Adolf Hitler rose to power, principled conservatives in Germany convinced themselves that he could be controlled. End of the American Dream.” He can be reached at [email protected]

Posted in Anti-militarism, Essays, Political Theory | Leave a comment