Archive for economy

Bitcoin, Fascism, Economic Collapse & Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 18, 2020 by jtoddring

Fiat currencies are without question going to collapse. There are easily understandable, undeniable, structural reasons for that. That means the ordinary money people use daily, for those who are unfamiliar with the term: US dollars, Canadian dollars, euros, etc., are set to collapse into worthless pieces of paper.

When that happens – which is possibly very soon, especially because the structural problems in the global economy, combined with QE radically devaluing currencies world-wide, combined with the deliberate mass economic terrorism now being carried out by the global business elite in an act of unprecedented economic warfare of the ruling 0.001% plutocrats against the other 99.999% – the same plutocrats who crashed the global economy twice, and collapsed the world’s fiat currencies along with it, on the second time around, will try to impose their own central banker / global plutocracy-controlled digital currency. (Embedded chips may well be and probably are the coming mechanism of delivery and forced compliance.)

At the same time, certain select cryptocurrencies, likely including Bitcoin, will skyrocket in value and in mass adoption, while traditional hard currencies and asset storage devices such as gold and silver, will also soar in value.

While all this is happening, simultaneously, the resulting global economic collapse will, of course, send already extreme levels of social unrest to tipping point levels, resulting in exponentially increasing protests, uprisings, blockades, revolution and civil war.

The plutocrats, of course, have planned for that, by building a global police state.

Cryptocurrencies, silver and gold, furthermore, may be made illegal and confiscated, since they will be obstacles to mass adoption of the banking elites’ preferred total surveillance and total control version of digital, electronic currency. That, of course, will only add further gasoline to the fires of revolution.

In short, the Chinese curse has been made and fulfilled: we now live in highly interesting times. They are both dreadfully dangerous, and also, enormously fecund.

Which way this ends, is anyone’s guess. That fascism is here, is not in question. That the plutocrats are scared, and resorting to desperate measures, including censorship, global surveillance, war, and fascism, is not in question. That a global awakening of humanity and a new renaissance are being born, and are underway, is not in question. That we are on the edge of a very steep cliff, with regards to the coming of, a) economic collapse, b) global fascist plutocratic oligarchy; and c) ecological collapse, is also not in question.

We could be terrified into a stupor of paralysis, and in fact, most people are. That would be, and is, foolish, irresponsible, cowardly and pointless. Now is the time for courage. The needed actions should be clear enough from the description of the situation. What we need, is renaissance, revolution, unity amidst diversity, mass civil disobedience and non-violence, along with moves toward a more just, more free, more democratic, and more ecologically sound society.

We had best all do our best now. Our children, the roughly 3.7 billion children on the planet, and all life on Earth, are counting on US.

The power remains in our hands.

What are YOU going to do about it?

JTR,
September 17, 2020

Economic Theory & Reality: Revolution Now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2020 by jtoddring

Know this: we must understand and boldly address economics in fundamental ways, or there is no hope, in terms of justice, prosperity, the environment, democracy, freedom, or peace, but only a black hole future of darkly dystopian, genocidal, ecocidal, and ultimately suicidal Orwellian corporate rule.

Economic theory and policy – what a morass. What a rotting bog! What a dung heap of self-justifying mass, systemic delusion and self-deceit. But we need to make sense of it, and cut through the fog, and urgently so. Why? Here is why.

  1. The real political philosophy, and the real, derivative economic policy that rule the world is, and has been for a long time, “Let them eat cake.” It is “the vile maxim of the masters”, as Adam Smith called it, which, as he said, is “All for us. Nothing for anybody else.” The currently ruling economic theory, model, paradigm or orthodoxy, which is neoliberalism, and its equally evil twin, neoconservatism, is simply a rationalization and a smoke screen for crony capitalism on steroids, which has over the past 50 years deliberately morphed itself, in silence, in a slow motion global corporate coup, into corporatism, which, as Mussolini said, is the merger of business and the state, and is the proper term for fascism. So, under cover of the ideological bullshit of a rising tide lifting all boats, or the trickle down theory, what we have is rabid class warfare and economic warfare, with the banking elite and the Fortune 100 biggest corporations, the richest 0.1%, devouring the poor, the middle class, small and medium businesses en mass, the real economy and economic infrastructure, the social infrastructure, and even the affluent and the merely rich, along with the planet, while amassing control of all assets, wealth, resources and power into their hands. And big government and big money are now fused into an all-consuming, ravenous, insatiable eating machine, that is not only eating the people and the planet alive, but also, all that remains of freedom, democracy and constitutional rule, driving us at break-neck speed into a barren and toxic, global dystopia that would make Orwell shudder.
  2. Ok, that was several major problems listed together, for they are inseparably linked to the central problem, which is excessive concentration of power – and that CANNOT be resolved by limiting or even dissolving government and political power merely. It requires limiting and placing strict checks on both political and also economic power. And that, by now, requires fiercesome anti-trust action to break up the entire corporate oligarchy, and, with possibly a few exceptions, break up the Fortune 1000 corporations competely. I would urge we break them up immediately, which requires Gandhian revolution, and distribute their assets to the people broadly, and globally, since they have been stripping assets globally, and turn each corporate empire into a coordinated federation of local democratic co-ops, with ownership divided in shares among three main groups: the local workers, the local community, and the global community of citizens. But however we do it, we must break them up immediately, or they will devour us, and all life on Earth along with us. Make no mistake.

Does a free market economy work? No, all questions of justice aside, it simply implodes. Chile tried it under Pinoche. It was a disaster economically, as well as sociologically. (See Naomi Klein and Greg Palast) A mixed economy had to be reintroduced to stem the hemorrhaging, and restart the collapsed economy.

Does elite run central planning work? Not well, and it creates a gulag society, as China and the USSR have shown. Not remotely acceptable, though the West has now adopted it in 2020, ominously.

Do locally owned, economically democratic co-ops work? Yes, it is amply proven. Mondragon and myriad examples prove it beyond doubt. And it is a model with vast emancipatory power, which we have barely glimpsed so far.

What must be done?

First, remove the bankers and other corporate elites from power. Nothing changes until that happens. We are living in a dreamworld if we think otherwise. That means revolution. Get ready for it. It is coming, and fast. And the enormously heightened feeding frenzy and class warfare, the ramped up, feverish economic warfare of the plutocrats on the other 99.9% of humanity in 2020 will mean that: a) economic collapse is coming fast; and b) civil war and revolution will follow right behind; with c) ruthless fascist repression unleashed in response, and rationalized in order to restore “order”.

We need to restore the power of democratically elected governments at three levels, firstly – national, provincial/state, and local. This is necessary in order to reign in the business elites, as Chomsky has emphasized, though his long term vision accords with Bertrand Russell’s, Bookchin’s and mine, which is libertarian socialism: which means freedom with compassion and cooperation, or mutual aid. Libertarians and anarchists must understand this, or tyranny is all we can expect.

After restoring democratic power to the nations, states and provinces, and to local communities, and removing the business elite from their current position as the new technocratic, neofeudal, fascist overlords, both of which are urgently required and unavoidable; then, and only then, can we decentralize power further. First things first: we must remove the neoliberal and neoconservative fascists from power, and now.

In the short term, democratic nations with mixed economies, serious anti-trust policies, free and fair trade, and both serious anti-pollution laws and green New Deal economic stimulus programs, and above all, dethroning the bankers, by ditching fiat money, implementing a tax on financial speculation, instituting serious capital controls, and dethroning the Fortune 100 by de-chartering them and breaking them up via vigorous and fearless anti-trust action (Teddy Roosevelt would understand), and restoring full constitutional rights for all, would take us a long way, and very rapidly if we have the will, toward a peaceful, clean, green, just, and free world, and a better world for all.

It’s not rocket science. Economics is the dismal science. In truth it is medieval, scholastic, quasi-religious, pseudo-science run by high priests who are as indoctrinated as they are deluded. The whole “profession” is awash in delusion and systemic self-deceit, and functionally serves to rationalize and justify rabidly anti-democratic, world-razing, sociopathic elite rule and global looting and pillaging, the strip-mining of people and the planet, and the cancerous consumption of all life. Remove the crypto-fascist sociopaths from power, and we can swiftly make real, rapid progress from there. Dethrone the oligarchs and their high priests, and we will be half way there.

The moderate grassroots right understand that the core problem is authoritarian technocratic corporate oligarchy, just as the saner minds on the left understand it. In fact, my estimate is that 30% of the people, who are on the moderate right, and 30% of the people who are on the left, understand this fact, and what needs to be done, which is to remove the oligarchs from power. Only the timid 30% in the centre quiver in their boots at such bold statements and bold propositions. Well, to hell with the eternally vacant and spineless centre, I say. Unite the right and the left, and let’s get on with the revolution and the task at hand. Remove the fascist bipartisan corporate elite from power, restore freedom and constitutional democracy, or the republic if you prefer that term, and return the power to the people, where it rightfully belongs, and we will be well on our way to a better world for all.

Don’t let the Orwellian-Machiavellian swindlers fool you. The core problem really is that simple to fix: remove the crooks from power. Restore power to the people, and now.

JTR,

September 15, 2020

5 Key Points For Understanding The World In 2020 & Beyond

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2020 by jtoddring

The great social psychologist Erich Fromm was right, echoing Thoreau as well: modern society is insane. However, 2020 has taken the collective insanity to a whole new level.

People are lining up in queues to parrot the official party line. Conformity is virtue. Obedience is paramount. Thought crime is the unforgivable sin.

Slavery is freedom. War is peace. 2+2=5, and don’t you forget it!

The mass training in cognitive dissonance has been put into overdrive. And to question authority is the most unpardonable crime of all.

Does anyone realize that questioning and examining the words and actions of the powerful is not only acceptable, but a moral duty, and the very basis of a free and democratic society? If we shame others for questioning authority, we are thereby guilty of helping to create a medieval, feudal society, a gulag society, or a police state. The disgrace lies with those who engage in such virulent, small-minded, docile and cowardly group-think.

While a global awakening across humanity accelerates rapidly; still, the herd-like majority clings desperately to the thin hope that, this time, the authorities are not lying.

Has everyone forgotten the lies that started the war in Iraq?

Saddam has weapons of mass destruction! So we were told by all the major media, the politicians, the government and the UN. But it was a lie. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, to steal their oil, based on a lie. Have we learned nothing?

The sheep-like majority will not be treated kindly by history. They will be seen as fools, as Quislings, as the Neville Chamberlains of the 21st century.

To them, I have nothing to say. But to those still courageous enough, and sane enough, to question authority, and to question the official narrative, which we have seen repeatedly in the past, turn out to be lies, I offer this.

*

A number of points must be investigated, examined in depth, realized and understood, if we are to understand the events unfolding in 2020 and beyond.

  1. A crisis of legitimacy (popular discontent combined with public loss of confidence and trust in ruling elites) was reaching critical mass globally, growing from its inception in the 1960’s, to critical levels in 2019, with protests and uprisings in 19 countires, including Canada, the United States, France and Hong Kong. Elites both East and West were getting panicky.
  2. The economic crash of 2007-2010, which I predicted, was papered over with paper money, leaving deep structural problems unresolved, guaranteeing a far greater crash soon to come. The elite also understood this very well.
  3. The Western corporate oligarchy had been in relative decline for decades, as the BRIC nations, and particularly China, rose in economic power. The Western elite faced an imminent loss of their 500 year old position as the de facto rulers of the world. Needless to say, the Western oligarchs were not pleased with the thought.
  4. Knowing these three interconnected crises were fast coming to a head, Western elites had been planning for any and all challenges to their power, including external economic rivals, and an internal challenge of greater portent, in the form of an uprising of the people, representing an outbreak of democracy. Documents on this type of planning are extensive and in the public record, beginning at least with the Pentagon Papers, from 1968. (The elite planning documents continue through the Powell Memorandum of 1970; Brzezinski’s, Between Two Ages and the TC’s, The Crisis of Democracy in the 1970s; up to the COG planning documents under Reagan, the PNAC documents under Cheney/Bush, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Lock Step of 2010, and Event 201 of 2019, amongst others.)
  5. One element of elite planned response was to crash the global economy, through shutting it down deliberately, under pretext of a pandemic. (It matters not if the pandemic was natural, synthetic, exaggerated or otherwise. It could be used to advantage.) This would blame the coming economic crash on a virus, deflecting blame from the plutocrats who caused it, while turning Western democracies fully into corporate ruled fascist states. The elite would then buy up their failing competitors after the crash, while crushing the outbreak of democracy with a resort to permanent authoritarian rule, thus consolidating their power, internally at least, leaving war with China and Russia yet to be addressed.

In short, the major event of 2020 was the culmination of a slow-motion corporate coup, which had been unfolding for fifty years. Jefferson warned us about this.

What would the sensible response be? To defend democracy and freedom, and stand up for justice, of course – which, by this time, requires nothing less than revolution.

Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire and Thomas Paine would certainly agree. Gandhi, Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. show the way.

What are we waiting for?

The elite-driven events of 2020 surrounding covid are a Continuity of Government operation, a fall-back position to a more authoritarian order, upheld not only by all-pervasive propaganda and indoctrination, but by force.

Permanent martial law is the elite response to popular discontent, global geopolitical shifts, and the crisis of legitimacy which is now reaching tipping point.

“Let them eat cake”, is the elites’ answer to poverty, inequality and injustice. But it will work no better for the new plutocrats than it did for the French aristocracy on the eve of revolution.

Let us, this time however, choose means and methods shown by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Then we will win a more permanent victory for freedom and the common good. But do not doubt: we will win.

JTR,

September 8, 2020

Canada, Climate Emergency and Economic Cataclysm: A Proposed Response In Brief

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2020 by jtoddring

 

Or,

On Trolls and Concision, Sound-Bite Culture, and The Importance of Thinking For Yourself

(Please see my recent essay, titled, Canada, eh?, for part one of this present meditation)

The following issues require immediate, urgent attention, thought and action, proritized in the highest degree by all levels of society, as a growing number of people well know. Millions of people and thousands of organizations are doing great things in myriad ways. There is good reason for hope, and always good reason for empowerment and bold action. At the same time, the big picture remans stark. Currently we are not dealing with the rapidly escalating confluence of intertwined economic, social, political and ecological crises in anything that is remotely adequate to the task at hand.

We will be forced to face these issues within twenty years, and more likely, in less than a decade, if not sooner. Why not deal with reality now? Things almost always go better when we respond early, rather than waiting until we are forced to act, when things have gone from bad to disastrous.

*

We must start with re-examining the fundamentals, or we will get nowhere, except where we are already heading.

Reading is something that needs to become hip, cool, and widespread – that is the beginning of an important constellation of reflection and thought, I would contend. Reading is critically important – almost as important as oral culture, and telling and truly listening to each others’ stories. By that I mean serious reading, of course, and not just reading for entertainment, which is also valuable and wonderful.

Reflection must go with reading and sharing our stories. Reflection is even more urgently needed. That, in turn, requires solitude and quiet be embraced, at least for part of every year, every lifetime, and ideally every day.

Dialogue, debate or discussion, is also critical. We need to read, reflect, share our stories and truly listen; and we need to discuss our thoughts, views, ideas and experiences, on topics ranging from the personal, to issues of our communities, our nations, and our world.

For dialogue or discourse to most most fruitful, we need to be frank, open and honest, confident yet humble, respectful, friendly, warm, open-minded, and willing and able to both speak and to listen. We do not always reach that ideal, as we all know. We strive, if we are sensible, for such an ideal.

We strive to halt and reverse the modern plague of mass alienation combined with mass narcissistic regression to a highly neurotic infantile state.

But even when discourse is thorny, and far from ideal, we can learn a great deal. It is true that reading, reflection, writing, and discussion can all clarify thought and sharpen the mind. Conflict, if handled well, can do the same.

So, thank you to the trolls, I say: your cantankerous, petty, infantile obnoxiousness can spell blessings in disguise.

Thankfully “comments” from trolls are no more than 5% of the responses I get, and usually less. Most people interact like civil, respectful, thoughtful adults. Trolls do not.

Maybe that is the best definition of troll-like behaviour: internet or other mediated, socially-distanced, alienated social activity which displays a marked lack of civility, courtesy, respect, or maturity, and tends to sound like the temper tantrum of a small (neurotic) child.

When I write an article, I try to keep it concise, to accomodate for the fact that most people now have drastically shortened attention spans (thanks to the glorious panacea of the internet and TV) along with chronic undiagnosed hyperactivity – both of which are pandemic in modern 21st century society – and very little ability to take in anything longer than 400-500 words: which is already an extreme stretch for most people. (And even that limit I have a hard time limiting myself to. This essay is 1600 words. Yikes! Scary!)

Given that the subjects I general deal with are complex social, ecological and political-economic issues, requiring in-depth analysis, along with interdisciplinary systems analysis, as well as in-depth philosophical reflection; going into any depth, while preserving breadth and clarity of overview, and also concision for the mass culture of pandemic global ADHD, obviously requires a focus on major patterns, and an omission of many details. It clearly becomes impossible to spell out every detail of either an analysis or a proposed response to an issue, if, that is, both concision for general approachability as well as depth and breadth, are to be maintained. (It is amazing that certain obvious things must be explained.)

What is expected is that readers will think for themselves, investigate things for themselves, and think through the implications and details which were not explicitly included or stated aloud. What is not expected is that readers must be spoon-fed every single detail, because they cannot possibly think for themselves. For most people, most readers, it is understood that not every detail is laid out in great explication. The reader assumes that just because a set of details have not been explicitly stated, that does not mean they have not been considered or are not implied. Not so with trolls. Trolls seem to have no brain. Or they act as if that is the case.

When I laid out a sketch for how Canadians might deal with just a couple of the crises we and our world face, including the growing economic, environmental, social and political crises, and the growing refugee crisis they also entail – in an esay titled, Canada, eh? – it was with the assumption that intelligent readers understand this is a mere sketch, not a detailed blueprint.

Again, trolls cannot distinguish such rudimentary concepts as “overview” vs “comprehensive, detailed plan”.

Amazing.

So, for the small-minded and addle-brained few, who tend, ironically, to be the ones most filled with self-righteous and pompous, pretentious venom and vitriol, let me spell out a few things which should gave been clear, implied, or otherwise not in need of explication or explicit elaboration.

*

1. Who will build the homes and infrastructure for 37 million refugees, which I recommended be taken into Canada, as a minimum, between 2020 and 2030?

I did make that clearly implied, I thought: the refugees would be required to commit a portion of each year, for a specified period of time, devoted to community service and infrastructure work. I mentioned green home and energy efficiency building retrofits, a transnational solar-hydrogen highway, and a trans-Canada solar mag-lev high speed light rail coridor, as examples. What I thought would be clear from that, is that the building of (tiny, off-grid green) homes, and the minimal road infrastructure to support such refugee eco villages, would be provided by the refugees themselves. This to me seems both practical as well as fair.

2. Who pays for the homes and infrastructure for an additional 37 million refugees?

Firstly, the intelligent thing would not be to replicate our doomed and failed 20th century first world model. That would be insane.

What we need are clusters of off-grid, ultra-low cost, tiny green homes (tiny straw bale adobe earth integrated townhomes would be best), within the context of newly created small rural eco-villages, centred around largely food- water- and energy-self-reliant, small-scale organic farming and regenerative agriculture. That means the costs of housing construction and infrastructure are extremely low, relative to the failed norms that we still blindly and stubbornly adhere to in Canada, the US and the industrialized world. It also means the homes and infrastructure are ultra-low impact, while the communities as a whole are ecologically REGENERATIVE – they actually heal the planet. This is what is simply, urgently needed, in Canada and world-wide; and this is also, simply do-able, and entirely achievable – if we have the sanity to muster the will.

Secondly, I did say explicitly that the costs of bringing in 37 million refugees over the next ten years would be met by: a) raising corporate taxes back to 1980 levels, prior to 40 years of corporate tax cuts; and, b) by taxing pollution, and especially carbon emmissions. Between the two, there would be enough money and resources to fully fund social programs such as health care, education, child care, pharma care and pensions, along with environmental programs, parks, libraries, public transit and infrastructure repair, which have all been disastrously neglected over the past forty years of neoliberal corporate rule; and it would also be more than enough money and resources to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure to make it truly green, by using a volunteer army of refugee labour as a joint project of mutual aid.

3. Shouldn’t we Canadians get first dibs? Why don’t you give five acres to every Canadian!?

I said explicitly just that. We have the land. It is simply not being distributed justly, nor used ecologically or wisely. Give each Canadian five acres, yes. To claim that plot, volunteer community service time will be required, in energy efficiency building retrofit projects, and new green home and infrastructure creation.

Of course, for such a plan, or any plan or public policy framework, to be truly equitable or just, we must sit down with Native First Nations Peoples across the country to work out the concrete ways we will heal our world while respecting the rights of all peoples, including First Nations peoples, and further, giving due credence and receptivity to traditional knowledge, which will most likely be pivotal.

*

Does anyone have a better plan for the fast-approaching Dust Bowl and Great Depression conditions, coming in 2021 or very soon after, as we face the combined hurricane force of economic collapse, social chaos, and a rapidly escalating environmental emergency? If someone has a better plan, that also deals with these stark, fast-approaching realities, I would like to see it.

The broad strategy laid out here should of course be one part of an overall national plan for building a vibrant, just, ecologically sound, peaceful, democratic and free society for the 21st century and beyond.

But even this component of a broader vision and plan, which I have sketched out only in overview in this and the preceding essay, would radically transform the country for the better. It would double the population over the span of a decade, and triple the number of municipalities in Canada, from roughly 3,500 to roughly 10,000, adding roughly 20-30 new communities per county across the country. It would go a long way toward an urgently needed decentralization and re-localization of our society; renewing rural areas and existing small towns, villages and cities in the process, and adding a powerful new set of voices advocating for rural communities and environmental stewardship and action. It would rapidly transition us from a fossil fuel addicted nation with enormous levels of energy waste and inefficiency, toward a much lower impact, energy efficient, energy conserving, post-carbon, post-fossil fuel society – while kick-starting the economy into a flourishing state, with high if not full employment. And it would accomplish all of this while profoundly aiding and empowering the majority of Canadians who are now struggling economically, and taking in 37 million refugees, or roughly ten million refugee families over the course of a decade.

I think that is a bold and innovative plan, or a major part of a vision I have laid out before, in my first two published books and 500 essays. I think we would be wise to consider it, and to act on it sooner than later, if not immediately.

Drastic measures will soon be needed. I am spelling out the broad oulines of a humane and practical response to that impending disaster, which is about to slam us in the face.

We can be bold and brave, and act now; or we can wait a while longer, for the stakes, and the disaster, to rise to exponentially higher levels. The sane response, would be to act now, and act boldly.

JTR,

August 19, 2020

Don’t Support Your Slavers – Buy Local, Support Independents

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 13, 2020 by jtoddring

 

It’s generally very refreshing to deal with local small business people. They tend to be honest and competent, two traits that are becoming rare in the realms of business, government or the media, as well as friendly and warm. 

The bigger the corporation, the more likely that honesty, ethics, and even basic competence, go straight out the window. 

You want sleaze, and cheap, shoddy goods and services – go big, go corporate: go to chains, McRestaurants, McBars, and box stores.

I say we have better choices available. Buy local. Support independent business. Save the planet, save your community, and save yourself some grief. 

Now more than ever, it matters. It matters greatly.

Don’t feed the hydra. Boycott the Fortune 500 wherever possible.

Don’t support your slavers. That should be rule #2.

Rule #1, of course, is think for yourself.

JTR,

August 13, 2020

Coronavirus Questions – and Explanations

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2020 by jtoddring

 

Can anyone do basic math? Does anyone fact check? Does anyone question the media or the government? Another $2 trillion was just announced by the US Federal Reserve  to continue the historically unprecedented transfer of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street, after a record $4.2 trillion was approved just last week. Yet nobody questions or even looks at the underlying numbers of the coronavirus crisis itself. The people and the pundits are both lost in a fog.

According to Bloomberg business journal, the global death toll as of April 9 was just over 110,000. Compare that to 500,000 deaths a year, which is common for the common flu.

“Unprecedented” – the word seems to be on everyone’s lips. Yes, this wave of deaths from infectious disease is unprecedented: except for the yearly deaths from the common flu last year, and the year before, and the year before that; and for the past 300,000 years of human history. But otherwise, it’s totally unprecedented.

250,000-650,000 people die of the common flu every year. The coronavirus deaths are certainly tragic, but they are no more tragic than the yearly flu deaths – and so far, they are only 1/3rd to 1/6th of the global death toll from the common flu.

The only things that are unprecedented here are: 

1. The level of propaganda success is staggering; 

2. That three billion people were put effectively under house arrest, is unprecedented, are a dire omen. 

3. The predicted result of a global economic lockdown, which was an elite decision, remember, not an act of God, was to cause a global economic train wreck. 

And

4. The planned economic train wreck allowed the rationalization for a second round of multi-trillion dollar wealth transfer from the many to the elite few ($20 trillion already between 2008-2010); and this is while the usual daily looting of the people and the planet is accelerated a thousand-fold, and the police state arrives, or rather, is brought in, in full. 

These things are unprecedented; a relatively small number of deaths from a virus, among a fraction of a percent of the population, is not.

How can a state of emergency be justified, much less a literally fascist police state and martial law, with three billion people effectively placed under house arrest, for an infectious disease that has a lower death toll than the annual flu?

How is it that virtually no one is asking such questions?

Montaigne said of fear, “There is no emotion which more readily ravishes our judgement.” That would seem to be the best explanation of our current mass social psychology: the great majority, including most of the otherwise thoughtful, intelligent, and emminently sane, are temporarily incapable of rational thought, due to panic and intense fear. That is to say, temporary insanity has descended upon them.

Montaigne echoes all the sages: when you meditate on death, you can face your mortality, and hence, conquer the fear of death; and when you conquer the fear of death, you thereby conquer all fear of life – and it is then only that we begin to truly live.

“To practise death is to practise freedom. The man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” – Michel de Montaigne

Yet, the great majority hide from death, and thus hide from life – and their secret fear makes them easily misled, easily manipulated, easily ensnared and enslaved, easily irrational and confused, as well as perpetually filled with a secret, unconscious, perpetual anxiety and fear, no matter how cleverly masked or disguised.

“No wonder that they often get caught in a trap. You can frighten such people simply by mentioning death… And then, in the midst of pain and terror, God only knows what shape their good judgement kneeds into!”

– Michel de Montaigne

Blind faith in the medical establishment, with its clear and well-document ties and frequent if not general subordination to the pharmaceutical industry, would be plainly stupid. Blind faith in government and the media should be unthinkable by now. Have the people been living under a rock for the past several decades?

No, that is not it. They are simply “beside themselves” with fear: meaning, temporarily incapable of reason, and insane.

Why is the mortality rate in Europe lower this year than in the three previous years? Why is that not the top news story, repeated from the thousands of media echo chambers, which by the way are 80% owned world-wide by six corporations?

Why is no one questioning the official narrative? A pandemic of brainlessness?

There is a simple explanation for the enormous discrepancy between the facts of the virus and the wild-eyed panic, hysteria, and draconian measures in response to it, which have put three billion people into effective mass house arrest and enforced a police state lockdown. 

The Davos billionaire elite benefit from such extreme, utterly unjustified authoritarian measures in three ways at least: 

1. Mass distraction from vastly bigger issues; 

2. Divide and conquer: sow fear, panic, and hysteria, and make people terrified of social contact: keep the people separate and isolated – “social distancing” serves one purpose above all, and it is not public health.

3. Economic warfare, which simply represents an enormous surge in the usual, on-going feeding frenzy of the super-rich 0.1% upon the 99.9% of the people and the planet (the super-rich always benefit from an economic crash); 

4. And what should be most obvious: implement and install fascist architecture and fascist measures, rationalized by a wildly exaggerated crisis.

As the Grand Inquisitor said, (I am paraphrasing here,) and Huxley quoted: In the end, the people will beg us to take away their freedom and put them in chains.

Welcome to the Brave New World. And with the intellect and common sense, and basic ability to think rationally, to question, or check a single fact, laid to waste across the political spectrum, from right to left, we are certainly in grave, and unprecedented, danger indeed.

JTR,

April 11, 2020

The Greatest Depression Begins

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 6, 2020 by jtoddring

Goldman Sachs predicts a 34% contraction of economy in Q2 alone, after revising their estimate up ftom 24% – and they are the optimistic ones! This is bigger than the Great Depression, by the look of it. Thanks to fascist lockdown. It’s economic warfare: the elite vs the 99%. As both Adam Smith and George Carlin said, “They want it all.”

JTR,

April 5, 2020

Post-Script:

Smart moves: slash spending; save every penny; plant a garden; buy (physical) gold and silver, Bitcoins, solar panels and heritage organic seeds; build resilience in all levels and ways; build community; nourish body, spirit and mind; help one another: and get ready for revolution. This last round of looting and “creative destruction” by the disaster capitalists, the kleptocratic oligarchs, the corporate elite, will not be tolerated long.

See:

My essay, Global Geopolitics 2020

Trends Journal – always, and especially now

And the Kieser Report:

Global Geopolitics Analysis 2020: Sinking All Ships (But Our Own): Elite Aim To Sink Global Economy, In Order To Consolidate Global Neo-Feudal Corporate Rule

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2020 by jtoddring

The currently reigning political-economic orthodoxy, philosophy or ideology, both East and West, and in virtually every nation, with only a few exceptions, has rightly been called neoliberalism. What that means, is the merger of business and the state, which as Mussolini himself defined it, is properly called corporatism – which, he said, is the proper term for fascism. That is the order which we are facing now. And this is the final phase, it would seem, of the slow motion fascist coup which has been under way for the past forty years. Things are coming to a head, right now, in 2020.

Neoconservatism, which arose along side neoliberalism in the 1970’s, as its uglier Siamese twin, is its mirror image – without the velvet glove, or the Obama-esque, silky smooth PR machinery.

Both neoliberalism and neoconservatism – the two wings of the global corporate oligarchy and its self-serving ideology – have been a disaster for human beings and the Earth – as well as for democracy, human rights, civil liberties, constitutional rule and the rule of law, and for freedom.

Everywhere, this beast roams, or lurks, waiting to devour ever more. And devouring the people and the planet, our freedom, our democracy, our future and our rights, indeed it is.

What neoliberalism and neoconservatism represent, at their heart, is simply an escalated and intensified class war. It is a class war waged by the elite 0.1% upon the other 99.9% of the people, along with democracy, freedom, and the Earth.

The oligarchs are fulfilling Adam Smith’s depiction of what Thomas Jefferson called “the new moneyed aristocracy”, which Adam Smith called “the architects of policy”.

Note what Thomas Jefferson said about “the new moneyed aristocracy”, 200 years ago. In 1812, Jefferson said, “I pray we shall crush the new moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for already it bids defiance to our laws, and seeks a contest of strength with our democratic government.”

Adam Smith spoke in similar ways, referring to “the vile maxim of the masters” – which he said was, “All for us, nothing for any one else.”

The elite simply want it all: all wealth on Earth; and more dangerously, all power. And they are making rapid progress. The richest eight individuals now have more wealth than the poorest half of humanity. Inequality has skyrocketed. Checks and balances and limits on power have been shredded, along with constitutions and human rights. The corporate coup is approaching completion.

What the neoliberal and neoconservative “New Bad Deal” of the past 40 years represents, is a) corporate globalization, b) globalism (closely related, but distinct), and c) corporatism. Corporatism means merger of business and the state – or the full corporate take-over of the state, in the case of the West, and the state take-over of the corporatized economy in the formerly Red East of China. Again, what is critical to remember is that in both cases, it is corporatism – which, again, as Mussolini said, is the proper term for fascism.

Globalization, and the ideology of neoliberal and neoconservative corporate globalism, is at heart, a war on democracy, since it is a slow-motion global corporate coup. It was sold to the people with the lie that it would lift all boats, and benefit all – while of course leaving all precious liberties and our democracy in tact, naturally.

What happened over the past four decades of neoliberal and neoconservative class warfare, however, has been the devouring of the middle class in the formerly wealthy nations of the West, the de-industrialization of the West, the offshoring of production for higher corporate profits, along with the offshoring of profits, and above all, a war on democracy at home and abroad.

Instead of lifting all boats, the result was a massive, historically unprecedented transfer of wealth from the middle class and the poor – from Main Street – to Wall Street, the City of London, Davos, and the already stratospherically rich global business elite. And the corresponding hyper-concentration of power has been even more disastrous, and extremely dangerous.

*

Now that the elite have given themselves trillions of dollars worth of cash and assets from the public purse between 2008 and the start of 2020, and have looted, privatized, bought up, or taken private, just about everything they can, they want to sink the global economy, pull the plug, and sink all boats – other than theirs, of course.

Remember, the super-rich are never harmed in a crash – they prosper, and go on a feeding frenzy. Moreover, they can demand more bailouts for themselves while sinking and devouring everyone else – and they will get it becuase they control the levers of power.

It’s happening now:

$4.5 trillion in public money, in the US alone, is to go to the corporate elite, for their protection, while they continue to crash the economy by the new fascist lockdown they themselves have imposed on the people.

The elite trash the economy with their imposition of  “temporary” police state lockdown measures, then loot the people, claiming an emergency multi-trillion dollar bailout for themselves…. Predictable. And this is just the start.

A “temporary” invocation of emergency powers and martial law, with the suspension of all civil rights, is already here.

A “temporary” suspension of all regulations, contractual obligations, labour and environmental standards is being rammed through as well.

Event 201 and the Rockefeller Foundation Lock Step plan had nothing to do with health, and everything to do with power and wealth. We are seeing a continuity of agenda.

Again, we should not be surprised. This is turbocharged class war on nitrous oxide. This is end game. Re-read Orwell, Huxley, Zamyatin, and Jack London’s Iron Heel.

 

‘Holy Crap This Is Insane’: Citing Coronavirus Pandemic, EPA Indefinitely Suspends Environmental Rules

“The EPA uses this global pandemic to create loopholes for destroying the environment. This is a schoolbook example for what we need to start looking out for.” – Common Dreams, 

‘Looting of America by Big Corporations’: Progressives Appalled as Senate Unanimously Passes Largest Bailout Bill in US History

“A transfer of wealth and power to the super rich from the rest of us, with the support of both political parties—a damning statement about the condition of American democracy.”

– Common Dreams,

“At the moment when the American people are most in need, our coffers are being looted by the wealthy and well-connected.”
—Progressive Change Campaign Committee

“We oppose the Senate’s looting of America by big corporations,” the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) said in a statement. “Over and over, the American people are told there is ‘no money’—for student debt relief, for Medicare for All, for a Green New Deal, to create millions of jobs and save our planet. And now, at the moment when the American people are most in need, our coffers are being looted by the wealthy and well-connected.”

 

But this is business as usual for the elite. Cause a crisis, present yourself as the cure, and increase your wealth, and more importantly your power, by delivering “the cure”.

 

*

“Worth citing here is Caitlin Johnstone, who in a recent article noted how America’s response to COVID-19 illustrates the pathologies of market-driven capitalism and the politicians who so willingly serve it:

The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic multitrillion-dollar corporate bailout of which actual Americans are only receiving a tiny fraction. Instead of putting that money toward paying people a living wage to stay home during a global pandemic, the overwhelming majority of the money is going to corporations while actual human beings receive a paltry $1,200 (which they won’t even be getting until May at the earliest) at a time of record-smashing unemployment.

America’s capitalism worship has been highlighted with Wall Street Journal headline “Dow Soars More Than 11% In Biggest One-Day Jump Since 1933” running at the exact same time as “Record Rise in Unemployment Claims Halts Historic Run of Job Growth — More than 3 million workers file for jobless benefits as coronavirus hits the economy“. Stocks are booming, Amazon is surging, and mountains of wealth are being transferred to sprawling megacorporations, while actual human beings are terrified of what the future holds.

Nice to know a few are profiting while so many worry, suffer, and die.  But should we be that surprised by how callous America’s leaders are?

I recall reading Daniel Ellsberg’s book on U.S. planning for nuclear war.  Sixty years ago, U.S. leaders were prepared to kill 600 million people (that’s not a typo) in their efforts to “win” the Cold War.”

– William J. Astore, American Herald Tribune

Only 600 million killed. That was the plan. Mind you, world population is much higher now. The numbers may need adjusting.

Do the elite feel ok about mass murder for money and power? Yes, they do. Are they deeply concerned about public health? Are you delusional? They’re interested in money and power, as always. Mass deaths are quite fine. So are prison camps and a police state.

*

And in turn, in the aftermath of the next great economic crash, which looks to be unfolding now, the cycle of an every-intensifying feeding frenzy of the elite few upon the many will continue, and with greater ferocity and speed.

Of course, if the ruling elite sink the global economy, then the levels of popular discontent, which are already extremely high, will go through the roof. That is understood. That is why a police state has been built.

But a police state must be rationalized. That was the purpose of the “war on terrorism” – which in reality was a war on democracy at home and abroad, as well as a pretext for resource wars and coups the world over.

However, the “war on terrorism” propaganda narrative is no longer working. People are beginning to realize what even Trump has admitted: the wars in the Middle East are about oil. The propaganda narrative is failing.

So a new narrative was created, to distract the people from the three powers at home who are devouring them: Wall Street, Washington, and the military industrial complex. The new official enemies became Russia, China and Iran – regardless of their real threats, which in reality are basically economic competition only.

But even the new Red Scare and the new Cold War have failed. People are seeing through that as well. Something new was needed.

After a number of trials, over several years, the public health emergency pretext for the police state, fascism and martial law, have been refined to a fine edge.

Whether the coronavirus was naturally occurring, or whether it was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Bioweapons lab, or whether the Chinese government released it deliberately, or the US government, or perhaps even a US-China joint effort, to consolidate the powers of the oligarchs East and West simultaneously, or some other actor, it ultimately matters very little. Any crisis, real or manufactured – whether honestly portrayed, or greatly exaggerated, as this one seems clearly to be – any crisis will do as a rationale for the new global police state.

*

So there you have it. Conspiracy theory? No: it is simply political-economic, sociological and geopolitical analysis of power elites and their known patterns and proven past actions, with extrapolation to the near future, based on very clear and undeniable indications.

In short, get ready for a global shit-storm: not necessarily due to a pandemic, which is very unlikely to amount to anything much beyond its present, wildly exaggerated levels. (Compare 11,000 global deaths from coronavirus vs nearly 50,000 deaths per day from the combined body count from poverty, hunger, obesity and poor diets).

What is clearly unfolding is:

a) fascist architecture continues to be being built;

b) draconian and authoritarian, fascist responses to the coronavirus, both East and West are in play;

c) an already extremely unstable global economy is being pushed toward collapse by the fascist lockdown imposed by elites, both in China, and also in the West;

d) economic crash – with huge spikes in global uprisings, as well as suffering and deaths, are certain to result if the draconian lockdowns continue for long; and

e) the hounds will likely be unleashed by the new global fascist police state, justified by the war on terrorism, by the new Red Scare and Cold War, by calls for “order”, and quite possibly by a public health emergency – and whether it is real or fabricated, does not matter – as popular unrest soars to new hiehgts world-wide in the face of the global economic crash which the elite have brought about.

The oligarchs create a crisis, then use the crisis to ram through sweeping changes that favour themselves, at the expense of the people, democracy, freedom, and the Earth. That is what is happening now – again, only this time with greater ferocity.

Remember, I will say again, I predicted the 2007-2010 global economic crisis when everyone was saying things are just rosy. It would be unwise to dismiss this second warning, of an even greater economic crisis coming fast – and the fascist “solution” to the crisis which will follow.

Speak up, and stand up: for democracy, freedom, human dignity, and the Earth which is also being razed, looted, devoured and destroyed.

The hour is very late. The next few months to several years will be our greatest; or, if we are complacent, or reality avoidant, our darkest hour.

Speak up, stand up. It ain’t over ’till it’s over.

Neo-feudalism, or more simply put, global fascism, is what is arising now.  The oligarchs, the elite, are consolidating their power. If we value our freedom, our democracy, or our future on Earth, we had better stand now.

JTR,
March 27, 2020

See Trends Journal, Economic Epidemic, March 17, 2020

Medical Martial Law, The Corbett Report, March 2020

Globalization: Killed By Coronavirus?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 10, 2020 by jtoddring

Globalization was already a dying ideology and socio-economic-political order, program, or pattern, by 1999, twenty years ago. The defeat of the MAI and the Seattle World Trade Talks made that clear. As economic analyst Max Keiser has said, de-dollarization and de-globalization are two of the major on-going patterns or trends  world-wide. This was well underway before the latest virus hysteria, but the fear-mongering and draconian responses, especially in China, and now also Italy (both authoritarian regimes) has certainly accelerated the trend toward the end of globalization.

JTR,

March 10, 2020

Prospects for America: Sanders vs Civil War

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2016 by jtoddring

(And that is not a threat, of course, but a prediction)

An analysis of the present state and future prospects of the nation

~

An open letter in response to Daily Kos,

and to anyone concerned with either justice, or peace

The article I recently wrote and published on Daily Kos, Prognosis for America: Sanders or Civil War, (January 26, 2016) seemed to cause quite a stir, and quite a backlash. I will repeat again, to clarify, that I merely made a prediction, based on sound evidence, and what are, to me, obvious and undeniable facts.

What I said was that the US now has such extreme and growing levels of inequality and internal divisions, that tensions are high and mounting, and that if real positive social change is not soon forthcoming, the country is at serious risk of descending into a nightmare of civil war.

This may be shocking to some, but anyone who is paying attention to what is going on should not be shocked in the least. These things should be obvious. Even members of the corporate elite are warning of it. They too are afraid that the country could explode into civil war.

And they should be afraid. Civil war is a horror which any sane person should wish to avoid. But it is heading for the US, I believe, if real change continues to be blocked, and long-standing and legitimate grievances among the people are not addressed.

I clearly did not, and do not advocate civil war, but urged that it be recognized as a serious risk, and that it be averted. I clearly did not say that either Bernie Sanders or his supporters are going to launch a civil war – something that should not need be said.

What I said was that the popular movement that is now coalescing around Bernie Sanders’ Presidential candidacy represents the only serious hope for real social change on the present horizon, and if that route to change is blocked, or does not bear fruit, then the country could be in real danger, due to its own unaddressed and growing internal tensions.

To repeat, I believe the tensions within the United States have reached such a high degree, that only three options present themselves.

One is revolution – and I am speaking here of the kind of revolution that Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. would launch or advocate: bold, passionate, determined, but strictly non-violent. That is the most intelligent option for the American people at present, I would say, given the circumstances, and given the fact that the corporate elite and the billionaire class of de facto oligarchs have taken over the political process, the government, the economy, most of the media, and the nation in general.

That is the response which I have been passionately urging for a long time now. But, unfortunately, I do not see evidence to believe that the American people are ready for it yet. So that option, at the present moment, appears to be closed. Things could change quickly, but for the time being, I do not think that revolution, at least in the near term, is something we should count on.

The second option is reform. And by reform, I do not mean pretty speeches that lead to no real change. Nor do I mean merely changing the window dressings. I mean real social change that comes about by political, economic and social reforms, such as bringing about serious election financing laws, invoking serious anti-trust legislation to break up the big banks and other corporate cartels and oligopolies, removing big money from politics, and returning power to the people, and thereby, at the same time, restoring some greater degree of equality and justice in the land.

There are many people, many movements, and many organizations working to accomplish such goals, but again, at present, the only serious hope for accomplishing such mild, moderate, but extremely important and urgently needed reforms in the short term, in any way that is at all commensurate with the scale of changes needed, is with the movement surrounding Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton is not going to do these things. That is perfectly clear, or at least it should be. Hillary is owned by Wall Street, to put it frankly and most bluntly. And nor do I see any other person or any other movement that at present has enough popular backing and popular power to have any hope, at least in the near term, of accomplishing these goals, other than the movement surrounding Bernie Sanders.

I do think the Green Party and also the Occupy movement, along with the co-op movement, the re-localization movement, and other popular movements for social change, show great promise; but they still do not have the necessary support of a wide enough or impassioned enough popular backing to create the necessary changes of the necessary magnitude – not yet. Maybe they will soon, and I hope they do, but at present, Bernie Sanders and the movement that is building around his leadership, is our best, and probably only hope, for real, substantial change in the short term.

The third option for the United States is to continue on its present course, without revolution, and without any serious reform, or any real change. That option will, I guarantee you, lead to disaster.

So yes, I stand by my premise and my prediction, which is, that if serious change does not occur very soon in the US, either by revolution or by reform – and Bernie Sanders’ campaign and the popular movement surrounding it, being the only real hope for serious reform at present – then the US faces a very real and growing risk of descending, or even exploding, into civil war.

*

Sometimes uncomfortable truths must be spoken. Sometimes controversial statements must be made. In 2001, it was controversial to say that invading, bombing or otherwise attacking Afghanistan or Iraq, would be morally unconscionable, a violation of international law, a war crime, and furthermore, a disaster. But these were the facts of the matter, and they had to be said, whether or not the speaking of the truth made a great many people uncomfortable. And of course, it turned out that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were all of these things, and they were a disaster in moral, fiscal and human terms.

When Henry David Thoreau wrote his landmark essay, On Civil Disobedience, in the 1830’s, it was controversial to say that slavery was an abomination, and one which must be abolished. But these controversial statements, of course, had to be made, whether they were viewed by some as controversial or not.

And and ever since that short, great essay of truly monumental import and significance, and still to this day, it has been and continues to be controversial to say that there are times when the law must be broken and civil disobedience becomes a moral obligation, because both the law as well as the norm, are in not only in the wrong, but further, it is unconscionable to obey them. And yet, it is vitally necessary that we speak such controversial thoughts, and demand that laws and norms which are unethical in the extreme be disobeyed, and civil disobedience be undertaken as a matter of moral principle.

During the Suffragette Movement, it was controversial to say that women deserved the right to vote. But it had to be said, and today most people would agree that it had to be said, and said with passion, until the message was heard and acted upon.

During the Civil Rights Movement, especially at the early stages of it, it was controversial to say that racial segregation was morally repugnant, as well as socially divisive and destabilizing, and therefore had to be overturned and abolished. But these things had to be said in any case – even if they were controversial, and even if there was a violent backlash against such statements of simple truth.

From the birth of the environmental movement, in the 1950’s and ’60’s, until the present, and especially in the early stages of the movement, it was controversial, and to many people it remains controversial, to say that human beings are affecting the earth, and all life on it, in disastrous as well as highly unethical ways. And yet, these truths needed to be spoken, and still need to be spoken today, be they controversial or not.

The movement to end racial discrimination and racially-based police violence – a movement which has long and deep roots, but which is now coming to a greater prominence – has extremely important things to say, but much of what it has to say is viewed as controversial by many people. And yet, these things must simply be said, whether or not they make some people uncomfortable.

And in the present moment, the same is true with regards to my warning that the US is in serious danger of descending into civil war. It makes people uncomfortable to say such things. It is controversial, perhaps, to some minds at least, to say such things. But it is an uncomfortable truth which must be spoken nevertheless.

Believe me, a warning is much less discomforting than a full-scale disaster – and that is what we are facing, hurtling towards us at 100 miles an hour, if we do not make major changes, and now.

“… an open society may also be threatened. … from excessive individualism.

Too much competition and too little cooperation can cause intolerable inequities and instability. …

The present situation is comparable to that at the turn of the past century. …Yet the free-market regime that prevailed a hundred years ago was destroyed by the First World War. …

How much more likely the present regime is to break down unless we learn from experience!”

– Toward a Global Open Society, by George Soros

Atlantic Monthly, January 1998

As the Dalai Lama said, “If the poor become too envious and too frustrated, the frustration turns into anger, and that anger turns into violence.” Again, this should be obvious to all. We are headed for disaster if we do not address the rising levels of poverty and inequality in our society, and in the world more broadly, and very, very soon. These are the simple facts of the matter, whether we like it or not.

*

I like what my favourite monk had to say about writing, and it is relevant here.

“If you’re afraid of writing something that might offend someone,

why write anything at all?”

– Thomas Merton

And by the way, simply because someone says something that is controversial, does not mean they are “trolling” for a fight. They may be simply saying something that is controversial, but which needs to be said.

I despise bickering, quarrelling, rancour, and especially, thoughtless divisiveness – which the popular internet expression, “troll” represents: a term that is often justly used, but at other times, frequently thrown about in a thoughtless or reactionary manner, in which case it has the effect, either intended or unintended, of deterring and thwarting any serious discussion, or expression controversial statements or views diverge from the standard media-driven narrative.

It was not “trolling” for a fight to simply speak my mind, but merely a moral obligation, to me, in the face of such extreme injustice, human suffering, and great dangers facing the people. Smarmy and smug, sardonic comments are not helpful to our discussion, nor to the people of the United States or the world. Hurling accusations of “troll”, at least in this case, simply shows that the attacker has no intelligent argument to bring to bear, but must instead resort to hurling insults. Let us try to rise above that.

If we want to look at controversial statements that could be labelled as “trolling” – and mislabelled as trolling, since they were simply sincere statements, representing an attempt to spark thoughtful reflection and discussion, here are a few by some truly great Americans which we would do well to consider. Compared to these statements, the statements I made in the above essay were very mild indeed.

“The First Law of Journalism: to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it.”

– Alexander Cockburn

“I sometimes despair of getting anything accomplished by the help of my fellow men. Their minds would first have to be placed in a kind of powerful vice, to squeeze their old ideas out of them.”

– Henry David Thoreau

“If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, every US president since WWII would be hanged.”

– Noam Chomsky

“Today capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that

takes necessities from the masses to give luxuries to the classes.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government

owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”

– Teddy Roosevelt

“I hope we shall crush the new moneyed aristocracy in its infancy, for it already bids defiance to our laws, and bids a contest of strength with our democratic government.”

– Thomas Jefferson, 1812 (Note that he said this in 1812!)

Let us try to keep things in perspective. Not everything can be sugar coated, dumbed down, skirted or perennially avoided. Sometimes we have to speak the frank and honest truth, even if it is painful to hear, or to say.

Nor do I find my predictions for, or analysis of, the United States, to be hyperbole of any sort. I think it is quite shocking – or it would be shocking, if I did not know that many people are deeply steeped in denial – that the statements I made would shock anyone. Have a great number of people been living under a rock for the past three decades? Apparently so. The United States is not what it used to be, and it is in great danger – from its own internal divisions, above all, as well as from the corporate elite who are rapidly devouring it, along with the world, the middle class and the poor.

If stating obvious truths, or simply making controversial statements, makes some people uncomfortable, and perhaps very upset, I am willing to live with that. That goes with the territory.

But if stating obvious truths, or even simply making controversial statements, gets me banned from Daily Kos, then this journal, this forum, has some serious problems with freedom of speech and openness to diverse and thoughtful discussion – and that is quite dismal.

I suspect that the problem here, with regard to Daily Kos banning me on my first day as a member – maybe a new record – was simple partisan politics: Daily Kos is by an large a dyed in the wool and staunch supporter of the Democratic Party establishment, from what I can see, although there is some dissent within the broader forum. Hillary is the anointed candidate of the Democratic Party establishment. Any serious challenge to the Democratic Party’s chosen candidate by more genuinely democratic political movements or voices, are frowned upon, at the least, and possibly even banished from Daily Kos, as has apparently happened before. But that is beside the point. The editorial actions of Daily Kos remain a gross violation of the principles of free speech and free and open debate, and as such, are repugnant, no matter what the motivation or rationalization may have been.

In fact, if the editors at Daily Kos are going to ban me from this forum, which they did, and they have yet to rescind or reverse their decision, then not only do they have serious failings with regards to free and open discussion, and basic freedom of speech, but they do not qualify for the term “progressive”, much less the high and vaulted self-annointment of presenting themselves as the leading voice of progressive America.

But we are facing much bigger and far more important issues than the editorial policies or current state of Daily Kos, of course.

*

During the Great Depression, FDR, who I believe was a man of conscience, came to realize that there was not only a moral crisis facing the United States, but also a social and political crisis. It was realized then by the ruling elite, that tensions were high, and if serious changes were not made to address the people’s legitimate concerns, then there was a serious risk of revolution.

The political elite, and at least a portion of the business elite, knew that concessions had to be made. Smedley Butler had blown the lid off of The Business Plot, so the corporate-led fascist coup which was planned, and which Congress documented after General Butler’s testimony, seemed to no longer be an option, at least for the moment; and so, concessions were viewed as necessary and unavoidable.

(See my essay, Smedley Butler and the Business Plot, on WordPress.)

That was the beginning of The New Deal, and the beginning of major programs and initiatives to address poverty and inequality in America. And today, once again – after four decades of rising corporate powers, not only effectively having taken over the political process, government, finance and the economy, but also, rolling back many of the gains that had been made by the people over the past several decades and more – poverty is high and growing, inequality is higher than at any time in history, tensions are high, and if serious political, economic and social change is not made soon, the results are very likely to be a conflagration of one kind or another.

Again, I think these things should, by now, to obvious to just about everyone. The Occupy Wall Street movement was just the beginning. Real change is coming, and as John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

And that is not a threat. It is a prediction, and it is a virtual certainty – if we fail to make the needed changes in time. Neither JFK nor myself were making a threat: it was simply an observation of the obvious facts, and a very sound and reasonable prediction based on the facts.

I have written about these things before, and extensively, and my writing and analysis is based upon thirty years of intensive research, study and reflection. (And I will freely mention my other writing here, and quite legitimately, because it is relevant to the subject at hand, above all; and because it has merit, because it should be widely read, and because I do not have a PR or marketing firm working on my behalf, or even an agent, and so, must, by necessity, promote my work myself, if it is to have the kind of positive impact I hope for it, or any impact at all.) My recent essay, Pre-Revolutionary France and America:1785 and Now; and my recent book, Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium, cover the subject in greater depth.

Remember also, that I predicted the economic crash of 2008, at a time when virtually everyone was saying that things are just rosy, and would remain so for the foreseeable future. There is good reason, therefore, to take these present predictions as to the current dangers facing the United States, quite seriously, and with all due thoughtfulness.

We should note also, that people as diverse as billionaire financier George Soros, who single-handedly brought the British Pound to its knees, before finishing his breakfast one fine morning; along with South African tycoon Johann Rupert, the fifth richest man in Africa; and multi-billionaire Nick Hanauer, who recently penned an open letter addressed, “To My Fellow Zillionaires”, warning, The Pitchforks ARE Coming…For Us Plutocrats; to David Sirota, the progressive democrat, veteran journalist and activist, and author of the book, The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington; to Jacques Attali, leading intellectual in residence to the French elite, and author of the book, Millennium: Winners and Losers in the Coming World Order, among many others, have all warned essentially of the same thing: a great confrontation and great turmoil is brewing in America, if not also the world, and it is plain to see for anyone who cares to look. To me it has been so plainly obvious for so long, that, again, it is almost shocking that some still cannot see it. The writing is clearly on the wall.

Peaceful change through political, economic and social reforms is urgently needed, and world-wide, or we will face a crisis of truly terrible proportions – and the US is in the lead in terms of rushing headlong into disaster, if these changes are not made quickly, and now. This should be so plain as to go without saying. It is a testimony to the fact that large segments of the population remain asleep, or stubbornly and foolishly in denial, that such things need to be stated at all.

Let’s hope serious positive change comes to the United States, or rather, is actively brought about in the United States, and soon, is all I can say. People can take these warnings, and heed them, or brush them aside. But if they choose to ignore them, I assure you, it will be at their peril.

*

As Martin Luther King Jr. said, at another time of rising crisis, “We must face the fierce urgency of now…..There is such a thing as being too late.”

Two hundred years ago, the business elite backed the democratic revolutions of France and America, because they rightly saw it as a means to break the back of the ruling monarchy and aristocracy. But ever since, they have been, at best, ambivalent about democracy, and have sought an undeclared oligarchy, with themselves as the new ruling god-kings, pharaohs or tsars. (Chomsky documents this very well, in what is perhaps his most important book, Necessary Illusions: Thought Control In Democratic Societies – a book should be considered essential reading for every informed person.)

And today, after two hundred years of exponentially rising powers, the business elite is not only the principle obstacle to real and authentic democracy, and rule of the people, by the people, for the people; but they are, in fact, engaged in an aggressive and determined war against democracy, as with the people and the earth.

The business elite, who are now firmly in control, both in the United States and in most nations around the world, foolishly believe that they can have a grand global showdown against the people, and win. I would remind them that any such foolish notions and foolish responses to a very real and growing social crisis, will not end in peace, and nor will they end quickly. Such an attitude will result only in a long and protracted state of civil war, in which the toll on all sides is truly horrific, and devastating.

The stubborn, and quite foolishly smug refusal among the business and political elite to embrace change, must be overcome. And even more importantly, the excessive docility and obedience of the majority of the people, and their continued insistence on voting for the candidates of the business elite, such as Hillary Clinton, must be overcome.

I realize that there are some very thoughtful critics of Bernie Sanders’ policy platform, and I also realize that his proposed policy changes are not thorough enough or radical enough for some people. But I will say again, that Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy, and more essentially, the popular movement for social change that is coalescing around it, is the best hope we have for real, substantive change at this time. And at least at this time, I think it is probably true: we have a choice between a Sanders’ presidency, or civil war for America.

Let the voters decide. But let us realize, the hour is very late, and change is needed urgently, and now.

In hope and in peace,

J. Todd Ring

February 10, 2016

 

Further reading:

“The pitchforks ARE coming” – A billionaire warns his fellow Oligarchs what is coming down the pipe

By MinistryOfTruth – Daily Kos, Friday Jun 27, 2014

“The pitchforks are coming . . . for us Plutocrats” – Nick Hanauer, Politico Magazine, 6/26/2014

Luxury Goods CEO Billionaire Warns Of Imminent Violent Uprising Of The Poor

By Joe Clark, July 15, 2015, Liberal America

http://www.liberalamerica.org/2015/07/15/billionaire-ceo-warns-of-imminent-violent-uprising-of-the-poor/

Millennium: Winners and Losers in the Coming World – August 20, 1991
by Jacques Attali

http://www.amazon.com/Millennium-Winners-Losers-Coming-World/dp/0812919130/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455111111&sr=1-2&keywords=Jacques+Attali+millennium

 

The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington,

by David Sirota, 2008

http://www.amazon.com/The-Uprising-Unauthorized-Populist-Washington/dp/B006Z39Q4W

 

Six Responses To Bernie Sanders Sceptics – An excellent, short, three minute video by Robert Reich

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/02/08/6-responses-to-bernie-sanders-skeptics/

 

Economic Inequality: It’s Far Worse Than You Think,

Scientific American,

By Nicholas Fitz, March 31, 2015

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/

 

Davos’ Blind Eye: How the Rich Eat the Poor and the World

https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-davos-blind-eye-how-the-rich-eat-the-poor-and-the-world

 

 

 

CBS South Carolina Poll: 100% of 18-29 year-olds think Bernie is honest and trustworthy,

Daily Kos, February 14, 2016

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/2/14/1485191/-CBS-South-Carolina-poll-100-of-18-29-year-olds-think-Bernie-is-honest-and-trustworthy-Nice

 

Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium: Volume One: Introductory Essays in Political-Economy, Social Analysis & The State of the World

By J. Todd Ring

http://www.amazon.com/Enlightened-Democracy-Millennium-Introductory-Political-Economy/dp/1481074776/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455111715&sr=1-1&keywords=ring+enlightened+democracy

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