How Misguided Financial Policy Strengthens the Right-Wing by Jule Gourin Capitalism has shown how democratic processes can be easily evaded. The Chicago boys carried out their radical reform program that was known as shock therapy. This included dismantling social state structures, opening the market to foreign investors and shattering unions. The Pinochet military regime kept the population in a constant state of shock with the terror of arrest waves so the population was too paralyzed to resist the selling off of the public infrastructure and the dismantling of their labor rights.

Posted in 2011 | Leave a comment

The US Tramples on International Law

by Alfred de Zayas, Urs Fasche, Florian Zollmann, and Hans Blix

The US surprise attack on Iraq in March 2003 was a primal catastrophe. International law was eliminated and replaced by the imperial dictatorship of the US. Millions took to the streets. That war happened despite the protests against the planned murder, against the manipulation of public opinion and against the repeated lies about weapons of mass destruction. Those who destroyed a whole people and have over a million casualties on their conscience are not punished in any way.

War crimes and crimes against humanity were committed and not only the crime of aggression.

Posted in 2011 | 2 Comments

The Social State in the Age of Global Capitalism by Michael Kratke and Elmar Altvater

Translator Marc on Oct 28

1.3 million in the Bay Area were in the dark for two days!  Time for nationalizing electricity, for a 3-day work week and time for “Be Kind to Californians Week” redefininig our priforities!   Back in 1930, John Maynard Keyes said 15 hours a week would be enough and he never saw the Internet.  Some say 10 hours a week would be enough if we knew how to use resources!  The great necessities are massive public spending, ending the tax avoidance industry and stock buybacks, restraining micro-second betting, tax havens and insider trading.  Mitch gets an extra $2 million a year thanks to a phone call early in the morning. These are market distortions – not everyone can buy in high frequency trading!  Let me know when the govt wakes up and creates a fair tax policy.  The state should have other priorities than increasing corporate profit!

Posted in 2011 | 3 Comments

Uncle Joe and the Violence of the Liberal Middle by Lukas Hermsmeier

To many, Joe Biden represents the feelings of normality and reconciliation. Many Americans seem to like this mix of nostalgia and reconciliation, a kind of tranquilizer-patriotism. Whoever listens to Biden will hear vague promises, conjurations and Obama anecdotes. But Biden is only doing what Hillary Clinton tried unsuccessfully to do: positioning himself between leftists and right-wing Republicans.

Translator Marc’s note: Oct 22

Biden must surely drop out. He was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, a nonstop cheerleader for the Iraq War back in 1988. He kept warning of Saddam’s weaponsof mass destruction and they never appeared! Delaware (and NJ) are tax havens according to my research. There’s a building at 1208 Orange Ave in Wilmington with 10,000 mailbox firms. Obama even mentioned that. Then there’s the disastrous Crime Bill with the three strikes you’re out in the Clinton time. Uncle Joe is also called Creepy or Folksy Joe. Try researching that on Google! Couldn’t a moment of remorse or honesty break into folksy Joe’s life?

Bernie wins in a landslide with Elizabeth, Tulsi or Stephen Colbert as VP! Colbert could be the new face and his spirit and humor could surely shame the Twitterer or “Embarrassment-in-chief”. The self-styled “Chosen One” is now a bundle of profanity. That’s what happens when impeachment meets the thin-skinned pathological narcissist and pathological paranoid! Tulsi will get great support after being called a “Russian agent” by Hillary. But would people know that? The corporate media and the way they reduce the campaign to a horse race is just our reality.

Justin Trudeau leads a minority government- after yesterday’s narrow victory!. If he hadn’t conceded on the terrible pipe line, the conservative Sheer would probably head the minority government.

The future is the social state and the poor need a strong state. The state’s public function includes fighting poverty, market failures and market distortions (tax havens, micro-second trading, insider trading and stock buybacks). Bernie speaks of how the richest three men have more wealth than half of the population. Jeff Bezos makes $235 million a day, a half-million a minute and Amazon pays no tax on $12 billion in profit. Bezos makes more in 12 seconds than five or six Amazon workers in a whole year!

Taxation pays for schools roads, hospitals, community centers, water quality, food safety and airwaves. Life goes donwhill when only six corporations own 1500 broadcast stations, 1500 newspapers, 700 publishers etc. We need a political and fiscal revolution from top to bottom and not from bottom to top. The young should have more job choices than the Amazon assembly line or driving Uber cars!

Marc’s note Oct 23

The way forward is opposition!
Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people!
What are the arguments against a 4-day work week?
If we knew how to use resources, ten hours a week would be enough!
Rejoice, post-materialists!
Elizabeth, Tulsi or Stephen Colbert would be super VP candidates for Bernie! Why can’t we all rejoice over his speedy recovery? Can’t we let corporations and the rich pay their fair share and not shift their profits to tax havens like Switzerland, Cayman Islands, Delaware and Lichtenstein?
New thinking and new priorities for the era of Nebechednezzar!

October 22 at 4:29 PM ·

Opposition or contradiction is the way forward! With Bernie, we will have a labor policy, a social security policy, a housing policy, an environmental policy, a peaceable foreign policy, an education policy, a health care policy, a science and technology policy and a technology assessment policy!
Unlike a chair, an idea can be shared by a whole people! The future could be open and dynamic and not closed and static!

Translator Marc’s note Oct 24

Time for new ideas, for an active and social state, not an activating and punishing state!

The US could lead the way to a more human future with the 4-day work week, the “Happy Revolution,” a Marshall Plan for Journalism, Education and Research, exchanging roles, future-friendly economics, massive redistribution and post-material qualitative growth!

When Trump returns free school lunches for the one million children, we can negotiate and compromise. Until then, we face Nebachednezzar or Hitler who fills every day with insults and threats, fear mongering, scapegoating, tax fraud, and growing cynicism.

Outwardly we fall apart but inwardly we are renewed. There’s no renerwal when the poor, children, disabled and students are attacked. The Repubs should fade away or face the music for their insider trading, stock buybacks, tax havens and micro-second trading!.

The country needs a progressive revolution after 40 years of corporate rule, tax favors and the enrichment of the top 1%
Why not make Stephen Colbert President and Bernie, Elizabeth or Tulsi the VP choice?

more at,,,,, and

Posted in 2011 | 5 Comments

The Left is Not Obsolete by Norman Birnbaum

“Propaganda is always the other. We are the principled,” said Norman Birnbaum. The left is rooted philosophically in the Enlightenment with its rejection of throne and altar. The left sought material redistribution for moral reasons-for the sake of transforming human nature. The left finds itself in a grave crisis that it ascribes to the tenacity of global capitalism with its weak understanding of history. The challenge is to forge new alliances.

Rainer Mausfeld, “Markets as a Fetish,” January 2019

Rainer Mausfeld, “Neoliberal Indoctrination,” February 2016

Rainer Mausfeld, “Propaganda: Making Alternatives Disappear,” July 2016

Rainer Mausfeld, “The Gigantic Chasm between Democratic Rhetoric and Capitalist Reality,” August 2019

Rainer Mausfeld, “The Silence of the Lambs,” February 2019

Rainer Mausfeld, “We Live in a Time of Radical Counter Enlightenment,” December 2018

Posted in 2011 | 2 Comments

Totalitarianism of Self-Optimization

Totalitarianism of Self-Optimization by Max Tholl

“Feel-don’t think” is the mantra of the illuminated who accept the social dislocations. This is a withdrawal to private solutions in view of the mounting collective problems. Mindfulness therapy fits perfects into the contemporary I-fixation that rules many lives.

Posted in 2011 | 2 Comments

Impeachment is not a coup

Impeachment is not a coup

by John Stoehr, October 2, 2019

Impeachment is a constitutional tool designed for times of extraordinary abnormality-say, for instance, when a president presides over an obscenely lawless administration. That’s what we are seeing

Impeachment is a constitutional tool designed for times of extraordinary abnormality — say, for instance, when a president presides over an obscenely lawless administration. That’s certainly what we are seeing. Time and again, the House Democrats have issued lawful subpoenas to gain access to people and resources in their constitutional duty of conducting executive oversight. Time and again, they have been blocked by
a president refusing to recognize their co-equal authority. If the Congress can’t conduct oversight, the executive functions absent accountability. If the executive functions absent accountability, our belief in equal justice before the law is an empty gesture.

Impeachment is, indeed, highly unusual in and of itself. But it should not be understood outside of its context, which, in our current case, is one of extraordinary presidential lawlessness to the point of collusion with an enemy government seeking to injure our republic. So we should see what the House Democrats are doing for what it is. They are not, as the president alleged last night, fomenting a coup d’etat. They are not meeting abnormal politics with more and greater abnormal politics. The House Democrats are instead seeking a constitutional solution to a constitutional crisis.

They are, in other words, trying to bring politics back to normal.

Impeaching a president

Impeaching a President: how it works, and what to expect from it

Posted in 2011 | 3 Comments

The Political Theology of the New Right

The Political Theology of the New Right by Rolf Schieder
The new right-wing movements try to create a state of emergency with the help of apocalyptic rhetoric enabling them to suspend rules and procedures. Apocalypticists long for the final struggle between good and evil. Eschatologicsts are driven by a theology of hope. The feeling of completely losing control is the motivational driver for accepting right-wing offers and not the alternatives.  Racism and nationalism are made the guidelines of politics.

Posted in 2011 | 1 Comment

The Way to Authoritarianism is Paved with Lies

by Jurg Muller-Muralt

Lying is part of the human condition. But democracy is in peril when politicians make lying into a “business principle.” Lying is a second nature for Trump. Trump lies strategically and doesn’t have a bad conscience. For Trump, the borders between true and false have largely disappeared. Liars and bullshitters undermine trust in language and calculable communication.

Posted in 2011 | 2 Comments

The C.E.O. – A Fun Poem

The C.E.O. – A Fun Poem

Fun poem by Rene Sonsmann from the Smirking Chimp.
I love poetry. Always have. So here goes.


The company’s share price had failed to perform
And anxious fund managers demanded reform.
The Board decided the M.D. should be the fall guy
So he left with an eight figure ‘golden goodbye’.
They then set about finding, amongst corporate aces,
The man to put smiles back on shareholders’ faces.

The new Chief Executive drove into town,
The black-tinted windows of his limo wound down,
He toured all the factories and the high office tower,
Before taking control at his new seat of power.
He was a Captain Of Industry, Lord Of All He Surveyed,
Worth every mill of the king’s ransom they paid.

Now, it’s interesting that employers expect me and you,
In return for our wage, to do the best we can do.
But for Senior Executives such rules don’t apply,
And for ten mill a year you can’t expect them to try.
So the Board, as an incentive, agreed to offer the man
A staggeringly generous stock option plan.

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the guy,
For securing an income so obscenely high.
But as this story unfolds, I hope that you’ll see,
How that stock option plan does affect you and me,
And why the way that executives get their remuneration,
Should be a cause of extreme consternation.

His brief from the Board was to stop the decline
In the share price, which had gone only south for some time.
His first act was, of course, ‘A wide ranging review
Of all operations’, so he’d know what to do.
And with the eyes of the market upon the new man,
A month or so later he announced his ‘Grand Plan’.

While the company’s business, he said, was basically sound,
There were problems but nothing he could not turn around.
There’d be pain, there’d be cutbacks and, it grieved him to say,
There’d be substantial job losses – starting today!
His ‘Vision for the Future’, his ‘Strategy for Success’,
Were wildly acclaimed by the Financial Press.

Now a company’s share price, in case it’s not clear,
Depends, largely, on the profit it makes year to year.
And profit, for those not in commerce instructed,
Is the sum left from sales once costs are deducted.
And from this, you can see, that lifting profit entails
One of two choices – cut costs or raise sales.

To raise sales isn’t easy, certain or quick,
So which, do you think, did our C.E.O. pick?
Yes! He cut thousands of jobs and threatened that more,
Without much lower wages, would be transferred offshore.
The market approved, the share pundits said “Buy”,
This man clearly meant business, he was their kind of guy.

He cut back on maintenance, the preventative sort,
He cut capital spending, no new machines would be bought,
He cut Research & Development, existing products would do,
He cut advertising, admin and sales support too.
He cut workers’ pensions (though not the management team’s)
And all but abandoned the Employees’ Health Scheme.

Well, after all this cost-cutting, profitability soared
The Press lionized him, he was adored by the Board.
Investors were convinced and shares started to buy,
And when, two years later, they hit a new high,
He was on the cover of ‘Newsweek’, Time’s ‘Man of the Year’,
He rang the stock exchange bell, got a back-slapping cheer.

But those cuts, which gave profits a temporary boost,
Gave rise also to chickens that must come home to roost.
Machines broke down more often and caused production delays,
Annoying loyal customers, who had heard anyways,
That competitors’ products were now better and cheaper,
Sales fell, slowly at first, but then progressively steeper.

‘Creative Accounting’ now came to the fore
As honest-to-god profits weren’t made any more.
There were dubious transactions, asset revaluations,
Sale and lease-back arrangements, financial manipulations.
For a couple more years he maintained the façade,
But concealing the truth became increasingly hard.

So the executive decided he’d not stick around
The company he’d managed right into the ground
From here on, he knew, things would only get worse,
So he sold the stock mentioned in an earlier verse,
And left with a profit of over one hundred mill,
Now, who do you think will get stuck with the bill?

It was a year or so later that the shit hit the fan,
So a new C.E.O. had to carry the can
For the worst corporate crash of the past two decades,
While the former chief executive escaped largely unscathed,
The media being loathe to condemn or accuse,
Lest their own blind support become front page news.

The factories are silent now, the jobs gone offshore,
The city’s a ‘ghost town’, where few work anymore.
The company collapsed, though their brand name’s still known
But, though they don’t advertise it, it’s now foreign-owned.
The small investors and workers, for whom life was once good,
Paid the price with their pensions and lost livelihoods.

And the former C.E.O., what of him, you might wonder?
How fares the main culprit of this corporate blunder?
Well, he winters in Aspen and summers in Maine,
He bought a place in The Hamptons, flies his own Lear jet plane.
He’s much in demand and firms pay richly to hear,
Words of wisdom from the former ‘Time’s Man-of-the-Year”

Posted in 2011 | 1 Comment