Globalization the EU and the Road to Serfdom

by Frank Lee from OffGuardian

It might be a good idea to start with some theoretical clarifications. Firstly, nationalism should not be confused with national sovereignty. Nations which are effectively ruled by outside agents – from Greece to Honduras – are not sovereign; they are colonies or vassals of some larger agency. And since they are not sovereign, the cannot be democratic, since decision making, and policies have been abrogated to an external ruling power. Secondly, nationalism: the term which in general is generally regarded as the all-weather bête noire by the orthodox left, can be and often is aggressive, racist, imperialistic, and so forth.

But this is only half the story and there are ample reasons to believe that this view is both simplistic and narrowly focussed; ‘nationalism’ can be either a reactionary or a radical/progressive force, depending on the local and political circumstances. This is simply an historical fact. The latter phenomenon is particularly true of those nations which struggled under the yoke of imperialism – from Algeria to Vietnam both ex-French colonies – and who actively engaged in national repeat, national, liberation struggles involving a broad coalition of political forces.

However, according to the conventional wisdom of the hyper-globalists both nation states and the whole concept of national sovereignty are now defunct. Their reasoning is based upon the following premises.

  1. Most products have developed a very complex geography – with parts made in different countries and then assembled somewhere else – in which case labels of origin begin to lose their meaning.
  2. Markets when left unfettered will arrive at optimal price, allocative, and productive efficiency.
  3. This means that capital, commodities and labour should be free to move around the globe without let or hindrance to achieve these goals.
  4. Any barriers to this process – capital controls, trade unions, exchange rate controls, welfare expenditures, minimum wage legislation, wages and even public goods – will result in price and allocative distortions. Q.E.D.

Such globalization (neo-liberalism writ large) has come to be seen and defined by its proponents as the ‘natural order’, almost a force of nature; an inevitable and inexorable process of increasing geographical spread and increasing functional integration between economic activities. This current orthodoxy goes by various other names, Washington consensus, market liberalisation, neo-liberalism and so on and so forth. In fact, there is nothing ‘natural’ about this stage of historical development, since the whole phenomenon has been politically driven from the outset. (Of which more later).

It is important to note, however, the difference between contemporary imperialism in its present stage – i.e., globalization – and the classical imperialism of pre-1914 vintage which preoccupied Hobson, Lenin, Bukharin and Rosa Luxemburg. Classical imperialism was characterised by a shallow integration manifested in arms-length trade in goods and services through independent firms and international movement of portfolio capital and relatively simple direct investment. Note also that the British state granted Charters to investment entities such as the East India Company and the British South Africa Chartered Company to ‘develop’ (i.e. exploit) these colonial possessions.

Thus, even at this early stage the British state actively intervened to facilitate and open up markets for British capital in India and Africa. This was the liberal epoch trade of the 19th century. Full-on globalization did not develop, however, due to inter-imperialist rivalries and mercantilist policies being carried out by the competing imperial powers (which eventuated in WW1). The opening up and liberalization of markets – which did not at that time occur – was and still is the conditio sine qua non for the development of full-blown globalization, which even today is nowhere near total…

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Trump Supporters Being Told They Support Obama’s DACA Plan After All

by Scott Creighton

How many times have you seen a report on Fox or CNN talking about how Trump supporters SUPPORT his flip-flop on DACA? Here’s another one.

Donald Trump’s tough talk on illegal immigration was a big part of the reason Dave Hagstrom and many others in this booming Phoenix suburb supported him for president. “Walls make good neighbors,” Hagstrom said.

So when the president moved this week to cut a deal — with Democrats no less — to block the expulsion of 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, was Hagstrom disappointed?

Not at all.

“If you were to deport them, where would they go?” Hagstrom, 60, a car-warranty manager, asked on his way to a Bible-study dinner at an upscale shopping mall. “To send them across the border would be inhumane almost. There’s no life for them there.” LA Times

Big Business likes cheap labor that enjoys no workers’ protections. And Big Business tells the press what to write. So it’s not surprising they have decided to instruct Trump’s base that they too support the Dream Act provision of the 2007 Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill they have opposed since neoliberal neocons proposed it 10 or 11 years ago. And they damn sure opposed it when neoliberal centrist Obama proposed it 6 years ago.

Now all of a sudden we are supposed to believe everyone who opposed allowing Big Business to keep their 800,000 young slaves has changed their minds… because they think it would be “inhumane” to send them back to their country of origin since there is “no life” in Mexico.

Uh… yeah. Right.

This is just another example of what Mika B. was talking about a couple months ago when she said it was their job to “control what people think”

They figure if they tell Trump supporters enough times that OTHER Trump supporters back the president’s flip-flop and his siding up with corporate Dems to keep the 800,000 illegal immigrants in the country working on the cheap for Big Business, then eventually they will start to believe it.

You keep watching the news. That’s the trend now, the talking point memo they have all received. “Tell your viewers Trump supporters BACK his flip-flop and his working with the centrist Dems”

It’s not true, but I guess they think they can speak it into reality just like they figured they could speak Killary into the White House.

They still haven’t learned shit have they?

The Big Lie: Mark Penn on How to “Fix” the unDemocratic Party

by Scott Creighton

Adolf Hitler: “The great masses will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one”

https://willyloman.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/oklahomacitybombing1.jpg?w=315&h=255

Back in November of 2010, former Clinton administration advisor and former Hillary campaign advisor Mark Penn said what then president Barack Obama needed was a “right moment” like Bill Clinton had in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing to bring the people back to him and help his sagging poll numbers. Six months later, Barack and Hillary sat around in a clearly staged meeting watching a live feed of Seal Team 6 pretend to capture and execute Osama bin Laden.

Here are a few more of Mark Penn’s career highlights:

Mark Penn is more than just a repeat loser when it comes to elections: he’s a heartless, opportunistic neoliberal fake-Dem who’s sole purpose is to help other fake-Dems “move” the unDemocratic Party further and further to the full on fascist Right which they call “centrist”

As if you couldn’t see this coming and as Lee Fang pointed out the other day in an article posted at the Intercept, Mark… wait for it… WAIT for it…. “invests in Republican advocacy firms — and profits from the electoral defeat of Democrats.”

“In March, Penn’s investment firm Stagwell Media LLC announced that it had acquired a minority stake in Targeted Victory, a major Republican digital consulting company. Targeted Victory, founded by personnel from Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, was provided consulting services for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. More recently, following Penn’s investment in the firm, Targeted Victory assisted Republican Karen Handel in her successful campaign against Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Georgia special election last month.” Lee Fang

Not surprisingly, Mark Penn has gotten together with one Andrew Stein to scribble a little Op-Ed for the New York Times on how the unDemocratic Party needs to fix itself… by moving further to the “center” and go full-on neoliberal fascist as a response to their flailing popularity ratings.

“The path back to power for the Democratic Party today, as it was in the 1990s, is unquestionably to move to the center and reject the siren calls of the left, whose policies and ideas have weakened the party.” Mark Penn, Andrew Stein New York Times 7/06/217

You know (who or what) Mark Penn is. How about Andrew Stein? He’s a Democrat as well right? Democrat in name maybe… like Penn… and Clinton… and Obama… and Pelosi… and Schumer… you get the picture. Stein was married to Lynn Forester de Rothschild for 10 years from 1983–1993. Yep. He was a Rothschild by marriage. In 2011, Stein was convicted of tax evasion in a money laundering scheme. And he dated Ann Coulter.

According to Penn and Stein, what the unDemocratic Party needs is to go back to it’s sell-out neoliberal roots, the ones woven in the tapestry of American politics back in the good old days of Bill Clinton in the 90s when he was “compromising” with the reactionary Right and selling out progressive institutions like he was getting paid for it. Oh wait, he was getting paid for it.

“After years of leftward drift by the Democrats culminated in Republican control of the House under Speaker Newt Gingrich, President Bill Clinton moved the party back to the center in 1995 by supporting a balanced budget, welfare reform, a crime bill that called for providing 100,000 new police officers and a step-by-step approach to broadening health care. Mr. Clinton won a resounding re-election victory in 1996 and Democrats were back.” Mark Penn, Andrew Stein New York Times 7/06/217

Welfare reform gutted that social safety net program and forced tens of thousands of single mothers to work for free for Big Business. The crime bill Mark and Andy seem to like so much increased the populations of prisons across the country and opened them up to privatization… again, so Big Business could make a profit off sticking poor people in prison for as long as possible. And the “healthcare” program he was “broadening”… well, we all see how that morphed into Obama’s version of RomneyCare complete with the unconstitutional mandate and huge profit margins for… you guessed it… Big Business.

Continue reading

Trump Pushes Neoliberal Infrastructure Plan Via Demagoguery (AE video)

Graham: We can’t go forward as a nation ‘until we punish Russia’

(Neocon war-monger Lindsey Graham channels fake progressive New McCarthyite Rachel Maddow calling for Trump to “punish” Russia for doing NOTHING. Says they didn’t change outcome of election but “they tried’ so they must be punished. And like Hillary and Madcow, he doesn’t need any stinking proof. What Russia did actually do is start the last stage of the Turkish Stream pipeline and prevent us, so far, from regime changing Turkey. THAT is what Russia did and THAT is why Clinton, Graham and Maddow want blood.)

from The Hill

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said the Russians need to be punished for their meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“I do not believe we can go forward as a nation until we punish Russia,” he said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Graham said he does not need additional proof to confirm that Moscow attempted to hack the election.

“I’m 1,000 percent certain that the Russians interfered in our election,” he said.

“They did try to undercut Clinton. I don’t think they changed the outcome,” he said of the presidential vote that put President Trump in office. “Russia didn’t change the outcome of the election but they sure as hell tried and I want to punish the Russians and I hope the president will see their interference as a threat to our democracy.”

Graham said he has bipartisan support for sanctions against Russia for interfering in the presidential election.

“And my goal is to put it on the president’s desk and I hope he would embrace it,” he said…

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On the Russia Lunacy & Wikileaks BOMBSHELL Leak of CIA Hacking Force (Sane Progressive video)

Trump nominates ultra-right justice to US Supreme Court

by Patrick Martin, WSWS

President Donald Trump has chosen an ultra-right acolyte of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to fill the vacancy created by Scalia’s death a year ago, nominating Neil Gorsuch, a federal appellate judge from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Denver, Colorado.

Trump unveiled the nomination in a prime-time television production Tuesday night that had been hyped for several days but seemed anticlimactic, lasting only 15 minutes. The former reality television impresario sought to build suspense for the event by inviting the two “finalists” to Washington for the occasion, although he did not complete the degrading spectacle by forcing the runner-up, Judge Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit in Pennsylvania, to make an appearance.

Gorsuch has all the right-wing credentials to be Trump’s selection. He is a reliable vote against abortion and for all manner of legal privileges and exemptions for religious groups and institutions; he is a proven defender of the police against democratic rights; and he has sided with businesses against consumers and workers in the vast majority of such cases he heard.

The judge comes from right-wing Republican stock. His mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, was appointed administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1981 by Ronald Reagan, and given the task of dismantling antipollution regulations. When the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives sought EPA records of how money in the so-called Superfund for cleaning up toxic waste was being spent, Gorsuch defied congressional subpoenas, was cited for contempt and was eventually forced to resign…

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