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The New Prince: What does Charlottesville teach about America’s class consciousness?

The attacks in Charlottesville raises a lot of important questions about the nature of class consciousness in America. Here’s what we have learned.

Haneul Na'avi

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The Romans never liked the dictum we constantly hear from the wise men of our day, that time will take care of things. — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

The aftermath of the Unite the Right protests in Charlottesville, VA raises very important questions about class consciousness in the United States.

Following the Occupy Movement—a subsidy of the Open Society Foundation—and January Women’s March, also linked to over 50 Soros organisations, disturbing trend have revealed that American “class consciousness” is merely the work of billionaire reactionaries.

The 11-12 August rally featured two eclectic camps, whose interactions led to the catastrophe which killed 32 year-old Heather Hayer and two police officers.

The first camp, the alt-Right, was a loose confederation of social-chauvinists, including Charlottesville’s own Proud Boy James Kessler, the League of the South, and others protesting the impending removal of a venerated Robert E. Lee statue.

Alt-Right participants were an umbrella of “pro-Confederate, National Socialist, Republican, Libertarian, Neoreactionary and other post-egalitarian viewpoints”, one observer highlighted, which worked in favour of US intelligence agencies and organisations to brand these groups as racist, extremists, bigots, terrorists, ad nauseam.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre communicated beforehand that,

Unite the Right” is expected to draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups – from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members – all of whom seem emboldened by the Trump presidency.

However, these groups were emboldened by those within the Obama presidency as well, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange noticed.

“The new face of America is eerily familiar,” he tweeted, pointing out the rally’s striking resemblance to the Ukrainian Euromaidan colour revolution.

However, the other camp was a loose confederation of “antifascists”—Leftist reactionaries and enraged Hillary Clinton supporters—some whom employ subversive, agitational tactics.

Libcom explains,

At a regional and national level, [Antifascist Action] actions were mainly based around countering known – or intelligence-indicated – fascist mobilisations. […] These militant AFA mobilisations had the desired effect – the fascists were stopped.

Contrasting American media propaganda, the US Department of Homeland Security (surprisingly) blacklisted AntiFa as an extremist organisation just two months prior to the event.  It warned

“In the past year, Antifa groups have become active across the United States, employing a variety of methods to disrupt demonstrations” 

Most notably, a 7 April video reveals an AntiFa branch taunting—who else—George Soros, after he neglected to pay them for joining the “Fight for $15/ hr.” rally.

As US president Donald Trump struggles to placate both his critics and followers, America’s dilemmatic liberal democracy has turned into a teratoma of various malignant ideologies.

Consequently, one must criticise the underlying bourgeois character of American democracy in order to assess possible outcomes of the growing conflict.

What is American democracy?

American democracy is, in reality, liberal bourgeois democracy, which is oligarchy beneath a thin veneer of republicanism. All power in America is oligarchic and the democratic expression thereof is the product and responsibility of those that wield American capital against the majority.

This democracy is still subject to, according to Marxian philosophy, the base (material) and superstructure (idealism/ immaterial). Oligarchy controls the means of production (base) and influences the American people via bourgeois propaganda (the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.).

The groups in Charlottesville represent superstructural expressions of this bourgeois democracy, controlled by capitalists, whose manufactured protests lead to agitation, whipping America’s emotionalist, liberal public into consent (Annuit Cœptis).

Oligarchy benefits from this dialectic process by securing its power, allowing the superstructure to progress more amicably as oligarchy (base) centralises and concentrates capital via imperialism.

Additionally, it was established in a previous Duran article why oligarchy prefers liberal democracies, where Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin highlighted that,

Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners.

This is entirely true. To accept American (capitalist) democracy, one must accept slavery as an indivisible aspect thereof.

American democracy is a synthesis of Athenian democracy, where one-third of all Greek residents were slaves, and capitalism, a political economy advantageous to bourgeois slave owners, designed to gradually extract the greatest amount of surplus value from human labour and concentrate it within the hands of the bourgeoisie—a natural consequence of capitalism.

Economic History clarifies the following,

[It] is fair to say […] that ancient Greece was a “slave dependent society” [that] were so essential to the economy; and they became so thoroughly embedded into the every day life and values of the society that without slavery, ancient Greek civilization could not have existed in the manner it did. In Classical Athens […] there were around 120,000 slaves [who] comprised over a third of the total population and outnumbered adult male citizens by three to one.

The BBC extrapolates from this:

The architects of the first democracies of the modern era, post-revolutionary France and the United States, claimed a line of descent from classical Greek demokratia – ‘government of the people by the people for the people’, as Abraham Lincoln put it. 

Capitalist proponent Adam Smith himself focused more on the economic disadvantages of slavery (slave vs. freeman productivity), but abjured on the matter of its continued existence.  He passively lamented that 

“Slavery therefore has been universal in the beginnings of society, and the love of dominion and authority over others will probably make it perpetual” 

As in ancient Greece, American slavery is chattel slavery, and has neither been abolished nor diminished in importance. The 13th amendment industrialises slavery by entrusting the judicial system, not the people, to regulate the influx of slaves into the prison system. It states that,

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The key word is “except”, and therefore, Americans must “accept” slavery in all its instituted forms as a necessary component. Both slave institutions will not disappear as a consequence of the Left or Right because, as long as there is liberal democracy, Americans will depend on them.

What is the primary source of conflict between the Left and Right?

It is uncertain why these two camps—the alt-Right and alt-Left—are enemies, and on the contrary, their only conflict is based on competing forms of subservience to slavery.

Charlottesville was not a battle between nationalists and antifascists, but a battle between superstructures within the pre-Industrialist and post-Industrialist epochs of slavery.

A previous Duran article highlighted Karl Marx’s comments on historical materialism,

At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production [which] turn into their fetters.

This is precisely what is happening. To procure new modes of slavery, the American bourgeoisie use colour revolutions to facilitate transitions of power between rulers.

Niccoló Machiavelli explains in his masterpiece, The Prince (Ch. 5),

[If] the inhabitants are not dispersed or driven into quarrelling factions, they will never forget the former government or order of things, and will quickly revert to it at every opportunity […] in republics, there is more vitality, more hatred, and more desire for revenge. The memory of former freedom simply will not leave the people in peace.

However, these “quarrelling factions” belong to the same class stratum— the petit-bourgeoisie. Had America any shred of class consciousness in its virulent 241-year existence, these two camps could unite under a proletariat vanguard.

For instance, Karl Marx clearly states in his essay, “The American Civil War”,

[The] number of actual slaveholders in the South of the Union does not amount to more than three hundred thousand, a narrow oligarchy that is confronted with many millions of so-called poor whites, whose numbers have been constantly growing through concentration of landed property and whose condition is only to be compared with that of the Roman plebeians in the period of Rome’s extreme decline.

He continues,

Only by acquisition and the prospect of acquisition of new Territories, as well as by filibustering expeditions, is it possible to square the interests of these poor whites with those of the slaveholders, to give their restless thirst for action a harmless direction and to tame them with the prospect of one day becoming slaveholders themselves.

So, the “Right” are nothing more than instruments of American bourgeois power, middle-managing serfs, content with the crumbs falling from the tables of oligarchy, also susceptible to the pangs of economic volatility, of wage slavery, and the crises of capitalism when they unfold.

Yet, they claim that their “racial superiority” is a “fortunate” material condition; even more than the blessings of hollowed cheeks and protruding stomachs from “their” bourgeoisie!

Conversely, the “alt-Left”, despite labelling others as fascists, no one, absolutely no one encompasses the evils of modern imperialism better than they.

If there was any “alternative” to the Left, then surely history was rife with examples around 1933.

Even the most simple of Bolsheviks could point out the three grievous sins of the “alt-Left”—spontaneity, idealism, and a lack of class consciousness—but the most fundamental flaw in Leftist reasoning is a lack of understanding of the role and function of the State.

AntiFa class consciousness is best described as liberalism—rather than scientific socialism—endangering the worker’s movement by prioritising race (idealism) instead of class (material condition), and their spontaneous, leaderless platform is antithetical to socialist development.

Lenin exposed this clearly in “What is to Be Done”,

We have said that there could not have been Social-Democratic consciousness among the workers. It would have to be brought to them from without. The history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade union consciousness, i.e., the conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight the employers, and strive to compel the government to pass necessary labour legislation, etc.

This is handicap of the AntiFa movement; adding a “kopek to a ruble” with trade-unionist tactics, or, as Americans would say, “trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents” ($15 in this case!).

The AntiFa’s maxim is to “keep the fascists out of the streets” (but not its own treasuries), but how does it equate racism with fascism? Debunking this Leftist fallacy lies in the role of the state.

In different forms of political economy, the state wields a dictatorship corresponding to its aim:

– Fascism = dictatorship of the corporation, withers away the public wealth, establishes the primacy of private industrial and finance capital

– Nazism = dictatorship of an ethnicity, withers away other ethnicities, establishes a dominant nation-state

– Communism: dictatorship of the proletariat, withers away class antagonisms and private wealth, establishes a classless workers’ society.

– Democracy = dictatorship of the majority, withers away Federal dictatorship, establishes an liberal bourgeois society

Additionally, the best evidence against the alt-Left is to, firstly, define it. The alt-Left, in its simplest terms, is nothing more than a betrayal of Socialism—fascism itself.

A Spectator article clarifies this,

Mussolini, a revolutionary socialist, founded Fascism in 1919 as an alternative revolutionary movement of the Left: The First World War had made him, and many other European Socialists, realise an essential truth: People are more loyal to their country than their class.

The article continues, citing Benito Mussolini himself in a 1932 interview with Emil Ludwig,

Naturally there is no such thing as a pure race, not even a Jewish one … Race: it is a sentiment, not a reality, it is 95% sentiment. I don’t believe that it is possible to prove biologically that a race is more or less pure …Anti-Semitism does not exist in Italy. The Jews have behaved well as citizens, and as soldiers, they have fought courageously.’

With this in mind, the question remains: what exactly is fascism to the AntiFa? Fascism focuses on private wealth and state control, in which race is an integrative rather than divisive tool. However, the alt-Left remains loyal to identities and abhors State control, and this error becomes to fascism and nationalist-socialism a blade used to carve the public into warring factions.

Hypocritically, the “Left” decries Trump and any odd racist as fascists, “except” (key word) industrial-scale corporatists in the previous Obama administration and others responsible for exterminating hundreds of thousands across the Middle East, Ukraine, and Venezuela, caused by refusing to reach any consensus based on the means of production, but to liberal idealism.

Had these primitivists studied scientific socialism instead of “anti-Capitalism”—whatever that means—they wouldn’t bludgeon other sections of the working class like Neanderthals for being comparatively as ignorant as themselves, and they could explain these concepts sufficiently to raise everyone’s class consciousness and unite these two factions of the American proletariat!

Lenin mentioned in Left-Wing Communism that,

The Communists’ proper tactics should consist in utilising these vacillations, not ignoring them; utilising [these] calls for concessions to elements that are turning towards the proletariat […] in addition to fighting those who turn towards the bourgeoisie […] This is a lengthy process, and the hasty “decision”—“No compromises, no manoeuvres”—can only prejudice the strengthening of the revolutionary proletariat’s influence and the enlargement of its forces.

However, he warns that,

Of course, to very young and inexperienced revolutionaries, as well as to petty-bourgeois revolutionaries of even very respectable age and great experience, it seems extremely “dangerous”, incomprehensible and wrong to “permit compromises”.

Potential Outcomes

Charlottesville was merely one example of a long history of failures in the American (and Western) Left. It was a meeting of counterrevolutionaries, under the guidance of the bourgeoisie, for the benefit of the centralising state authority and targeting embryonic forms of resistance.

One can understand that the alt-Right are reactionary, but the corporatist support thrown behind the alt-Left, mainly the AntiFa movement, only reinforces the depravity of the postmodern “Left”.

As a result, what is certain to happen is one of two options:

1. A long-overdue civil war that will benefit the bourgeoisie exponentially.
2. Continued in-fighting amongst proletarians that will benefit the bourgeoisie dialectically.

The Left and Right are wings of the same class stratum, and things may have been different had the AntiFa not liberally applied violence in Charlottesville. In his book, “War in Human Civilisation”, Azar Gat sums up the Left-Right dialectic brilliantly, in which the opposing camps will experience,

“a ‘Red Queen Effect’ […] without gaining the advantage over their rivals or making any gain—that is, they all lost in comparison with what they might have had in the absence of conflict.”

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bluewater
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bluewater

these criminally insane psychopaths are determined to plunge the nation into a full-scale civil war.

Charlottesville and the August 21st solar eclipse

Just as Sandy Hook was staged one week before 12/21/2012,
Charlottesville was likewise engineered to go down a week before
Monday’s eclipse. This timing is by purposeful design, and the quicker folks wake up to this fact the better prepared everyone can be.
8/21/2017——-9/23 9/24…Jewish holidays/satanic rituals…..Black magik

comment image

samo war
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samo war

who is us CHe Gewara ?

FiendlyNeighbourhoodTerrorist
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Western leftism is tribalism, pure and simple. Anyone who knows anything about how tribes work – anyone who has spent any time around tribal people – knows well that the tribal identity is the most important thing. Tribal people fear exclusion from the tribe more than literally anything else. They will – and I am absolutely not joking – agree that day is night or black is white if that is what the tribe orders them to believe today, and if tomorrow the tribe declares that night is day and white is black, why, they will agree with that too.… Read more »

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

I sometimes get the feeling that this article dignifies subversion and psychopathy with an attempt at scientific analysis. Surely the tangle of intrigues and lines of force, between these foot soldiers and the Deep State Oligarchy which funds them plays out in recognizable ways, not because it can be explained scientifically by Marx and Lenin but because the way of amoral corruption and lust for power, though broad, is not limitless. Things flow this way, not because of theories and alleged laws, but in an ad hoc fashion. Whatever works, will do. And what works is force and the money… Read more »

Feudal Peasant
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Feudal Peasant

I cannot intelligently make any comments, other than thank for for this very informative article.

Avramijevdan
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Avramijevdan

Libtards: These right wingers are Nazis Rightards: These liberals are Nazis. Libtards: They are racists, these Nazis. Rightards: They are racists, these Nazis. Libtards: The hate America and our freedom. Rightards: They hate America and our freedom. How about the history? Libtards and Rightards: We don’t care about history and will misrepresent whatever it is in question. Libtards: We never did anything wrong, we are exceptionals. Rigtards: We never did anything wrong, if some wrong was done, it was Jews who did it, not us.We are exceptionals. And so on, It goes like that for an hour and as time… Read more »

my2Cents
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my2Cents

The U.S Constitution lists every person of color as 3/5th of a human being…..still today!!!. Slavery officially ended 1865 which is a Myth because ONLY the rebel States’ slaves were freed. (See below) Slavery remained in the rest of the U.S. Lincoln is portrayed as a hero which he wasn’t If the issue were one of statues, we should do away with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson’s statues all of whom had slaves. Americans are not educated but indoctrinated. Racism and white supremacists are institutionalized in America. It comes from the top down. School segregation finally ended in the 60s…..very… Read more »

TecumsehUnfaced
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my2Cents
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my2Cents

Very interesting…Sounds as if tariffs and “other” hostile acts from the North led to the secession….in order to have the South succumb to the North demands on slavery….Have to read it again…learned that it was a bit more nasty than I thought. Thanks for the link….

TecumsehUnfaced
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TecumsehUnfaced

There’s just as much bull in there as in the Declaration of Independence. Look up Garry Wills Inventing America.

Yes, there are lots of issues with Lincoln. There is a lot of speculation that can be made on what if he hadn’t been such an enthusiastic supporter of the Northern railroad barons.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Lincoln suffered “Melancholy” all his life…which is Clinical Depression. At that time it was common to use opiates and cocaine from he local drugstore. He had digestive issues for which he took the cure of the day which was “blue mass” which is mercury which most likely caused him to have mercury poisoning. He suffered from erratic behavior and anger outbursts which some believed were related to the “blue mass”..He took this stuff while in the White House. No doubt they affected his judgements. The man was ill!!! And here we have Freud who too was a druggy https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/08/10/3-facts-you-might-not-know-about-freud-and-his-biggest-addiction/ Here’s… Read more »

Anja Boettcher
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Anja Boettcher

The blocking function is a good thing.

Seing your post is followed by a rat-tail of comments wearing the title “This user is blocked”, I can well imagine what they are about, withoug needing to read that dirt.

TecumsehUnfaced
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TecumsehUnfaced

If either of these groups had any significant social consciousness, they would be assaulting Wall Street, not fighting over silly statues.

XRGRSF
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XRGRSF

More than anything else unified social consciousness terrifies the ruling elite.

TecumsehUnfaced
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TecumsehUnfaced

So they have worked very hard at developing the art of busting it. One of the most clever and morally repugnant of their champions was Edward Bernays, who was much admired by Joseph Goebbels.

Lorettaochaidez
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Lorettaochaidez

Style97h

Google is paying 97$ per hour! work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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Michellefescobar
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Michellefescobar

Planet94e

Google is paying 97$ per hour! work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!
On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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Jennifermslone
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Jennifermslone

my co worker’s mom makes $71 each hour at home, she has been unemployed for two months and the previous month her payoff was $12023 working on the laptop a couple of hours every day.➤ see➤ this
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DenLilleAbe
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DenLilleAbe

The alt right has almost destroyed the conservative wing of American politics. The GOP has been on a self destructing car ride for years , fuelled by ignorant bastards like the the Turtle, God call him home soon, who has destroyed the right, by their obstruction, A country needs at least two parties, preferably more.Else no democracy, just China. But the conservatives are not credible, Bannon anyone ? I personally hail Americans who shoved up in force and rejected the Fascists in Charlotteville…. I am Danish, I still have have a packet unopened of chewing gum, inherited from my father… Read more »

FiendlyNeighbourhoodTerrorist
Guest

What’s wrong with China? How many countries has China invaded in the last 16 years on false pretences and which Chinese President dropped bombs every three minutes for the eight years of his (mis/) rule?

DenLilleAbe
Guest
DenLilleAbe

Well I can only upvote you and say : none..

beverly
Guest
beverly

Charlottesville was another false flag operation designed to assist in the coup to oust Trump as well as distract/divide/conquer. While the sheeple are busy fighting over inanimate objects, the empire is busy cementing a fascist agenda. Notice the majority of those ranting about confederate statues are white. The few blacks chiming in are the usual suspects: race hustlers like Sharpton and the Soros/Dem controlled BLM and their gullible sheeple who jump on the bandwagon when it rolls by. The average black person (of which I am) is ambivalent, oblivious, or just doesn’t care about these statues. Most blacks or whites… Read more »

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US-China trade war heats up as surplus hits record $34 Billion (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 136.

Alex Christoforou

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According to a report by the AFP, China’s trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of US tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.
The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other’s goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of US goods.

“China-US trade friction has caused trouble and pounded our foreign trade development,” customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters Friday.

But China’s trade surplus with the US grew 10 percent in September from a record $31 billion in August, according to China’s customs administration. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month last year.

China’s exports to the US rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

China’s overall trade — what it buys and sells with all countries including the US — logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

While the data showed China’s trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

China’s export jump for the month suggests exporters were shipping goods early to beat the latest tariffs, said ANZ’s China economist Betty Wang, citing the bounce in electrical machinery exports, much of which faced the looming duties.

“We will watch for downside risks to China’s exports” in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

“The big picture is the Chinese exports have so far held up well in the face of escalating trade tensions and cooling global growth, most likely thanks to the competitiveness boost provided by a weaker renminbi (yuan),” said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics.

“With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and US tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained,” he said.

According to Bloomberg US President Donald Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement isn’t that different from the North American Free Trade Agreement that it replaced. But hidden in the bowels of the new trade deal is a clause, Article 32.10, that could have a far-reaching impact. The new agreement requires member states to get approval from the other members if they initiate trade negotiations with a so-called non-market economy. In practice, “non-market” almost certainly means China. If, for example, Canada begins trade talks with China, it has to show the full text of the proposed agreement to the U.S. and Mexico — and if either the U.S. or Mexico doesn’t like what it sees, it can unilaterally kick Canada out of the USMCA.

Although it seems unlikely that the clause would be invoked, it will almost certainly exert a chilling effect on Canada and Mexico’s trade relations with China. Forced to choose between a gargantuan economy across the Pacific and another one next door, both of the U.S.’s neighbors are almost certain to pick the latter.

This is just another part of Trump’s general trade waragainst China. It’s a good sign that Trump realizes that unilateral U.S. efforts alone won’t be enough to force China to make concessions on issues like currency valuation, intellectual-property protection and industrial subsidies. China’s export markets are much too diverse:

If Trump cuts the U.S. off from trade with China, the likeliest outcome is that China simply steps up its exports to other markets. That would bind the rest of the world more closely to China and weaken the global influence of the U.S. China’s economy would take a small but temporary hit, while the U.S. would see its position as the economic center of the world slip into memory.

Instead, to take on China, Trump needs a gang. And that gang has to be much bigger than just North America. But most countries in Europe and East Asia probably can’t be bullied into choosing between the U.S. and China. — their ties to the U.S. are not as strong as those of Mexico and Canada. Countries such as South Korea, Germany, India and Japan will need carrots as well as sticks if they’re going to join a U.S.-led united trade front against China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the escalating trade war between the United States and China, and the record trade surplus that positions China with a bit more leverage than Trump anticipated.

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Via Zerohedge Trump Threatens China With More Tariffs, Does Not Seek Economic “Depression”

US equity futures dipped in the red after President Trump threatened to impose a third round of tariffs on China and warned that Chinese meddling in U.S. politics was a “bigger problem” than Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

During the same interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes”, in which Trump threatened to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the Saudis are found to have killed WaPo reported Khashoggi, and which sent Saudi stock plunging, Trump said he “might,” impose a new round of tariffs on China, adding that while he has “great chemistry” with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and noting that Xi “wants to negotiate”, he doesn’t “know that that’s necessarily going to continue.” Asked if American products have become more expensive due to tariffs on China, Trump said that “so far, that hasn’t turned out to be the case.”

“They can retaliate, but they can’t, they don’t have enough ammunition to retaliate,” Trump says, “We do $100 billion with them. They do $531 billion with us.”

Trump was also asked if he wants to push China’s economy into a depression to which the US president said “no” before comparing the country’s stock-market losses since the tariffs first launched to those in 1929, the start of the Great Depression in the U.S.

“I want them to negotiate a fair deal with us. I want them to open their markets like our markets are open,” Trump said in the interview that aired Sunday. So far, the U.S. has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese imports totaling $250 billion, prompting China to retaliate against U.S. products. The president previously has threatened to hit virtually all Chinese imports with duties.

Asked about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, Trump quickly turned back to China. “They meddled,” he said of Russia, “but I think China meddled too.”

“I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, China … is a bigger problem,” Trump said, as interviewer Lesley Stahl interrupted him for “diverting” from a discussion of Russia.

Shortly before an audacious speech by Mike Pence last weekend, in which the US vice president effectively declared a new cold war on Beijing (see “Russell Napier: Mike Pence Announces Cold War II”), Trump made similar accusations during a speech at the United Nations last month, which his aides substantiated by pointing to long-term Chinese influence campaigns and an advertising section in the Des Moines Register warning farmers about the potential effects of Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile, in a rare U.S. television appearance, China’s ambassador to the U.S. said Beijing has no choice but to respond to what he described as a trade war started by the U.S.

“We never wanted a trade war, but if somebody started a trade war against us, we have to respond and defend our own interests,” said China’s Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui also dismissed as “groundless” the abovementioned suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that China has orchestrated an effort to meddle in U.S. domestic affairs. Pence escalated the rhetoric in a speech Oct. 4, saying Beijing has created a “a whole-of-government approach” to sway American public opinion, including spies, tariffs, coercive measures and a propaganda campaign.

Pence’s comments were some of the most critical about China by a high-ranking U.S. official in recent memory. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo got a lecture when he visited Beijing days later, about U.S. actions that were termed “completely out of line.” The tough words followed months of increases tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing that have ballooned to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio, Cui said the U.S. has “not sufficiently” dealt in good faith with the Chinese on trade matters, saying “the U.S. position keeps changing all the time so we don’t know exactly what the U.S. would want as priorities.”

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “probably meet” at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November. “There’s plans and discussions and agendas” being discussed, he said. So far, talks with China on trade have been “unsatisfactory,” Kudlow said. “We’ve made our asks” on allegations of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, he added. “We have to have reciprocity.”

Addressing the upcoming meeting, Cui said he was present at two previous meetings of Xi and Trump, and that top-level communication “played a key role, an irreplaceable role, in guiding the relationship forward.” Despite current tensions the two have a “good working relationship,” he said.

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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10 percent of American F-22 fighter jets damaged by Hurricane Michael

Part of the reason the F-22’s were left in the path of the storm is that they were broken and too expensive to fix or fly.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Note to the wise: When a hurricane comes, move your planes out of the way. Especially your really expensive F-22 fighter planes. After all, those babies are $339 mil apiece. Got the message?

Apparently the US Air Force didn’t get this message. Or, did they find themselves unable to follow the message?

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The Washington Times reported Tuesday that between 17 and 20 of these top-of-the-line fighter jets were damaged, some beyond the point of repair, when Hurricane Michael slammed ashore on Mexico Beach, Florida, not far from the Tyndall Air Force Base in the same state. The Times reports that more than a dozen of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the extremely fierce storm:

President Trump’s tour Monday of devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael took him close to Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where more than a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the powerful storm.

The pricey fighter jets — some possibly damaged beyond repair — were caught in the widespread destruction that took at least 18 lives, flattened homes, downed trees and buckled roads from Florida to Virginia.

The decision to leave roughly $7.5 billion in aircraft in the path of a hurricane raised eyebrows, including among defense analysts who say the Pentagon’s entire high-tech strategy continues to make its fighter jets vulnerable to weather and other mishaps when they are grounded for repairs.

“This becomes sort of a self-defeating cycle where we have $400 million aircraft that can’t fly precisely because they are $400 million aircraft,” said Dan Grazier, a defense fellow at Project on Government Oversight. “If we were buying simpler aircraft then it would be a whole lot easier for the base commander to get these aircraft up and in working order, at least more of them.”

This is quite a statement. The F-22 is held to be the tip of the American air defense sword. A superb airplane (when it works), it can do things no other plane in the world can do. It boasts a radar profile the size of a marble, making it virtually undetectable by enemy radars. It is highly maneuverable with thrust-vectoring built into its engines.

However, to see a report like this is simply stunning. After all, one would expect that the best military equipment ought to be the most reliable as well. 

It appears that Hurricane Michael figuratively and physically blew the lid off any efforts to conceal a problem with these planes, and indeed with the hyper-technological basis for the US air fighting forcesThe Times continues:

Reports on the number of aircraft damaged ranged from 17 to 22 or about 10 percent of the Air Force’s F-22 fleet of 187.

The Air Force stopped buying F-22s, considered the world’s most advanced fighter jets, in 2012. The aircraft is being replaced by the F-35, another high-tech but slightly less-expensive aircraft.

Later in the tour, at an emergency command center in Georgia, Mr. Trump said the damage to the F-22s couldn’t be avoided because the aircraft were grounded and the storm moved quickly.

“We’re going to have a full report. There was some damage, not nearly as bad as we first heard,” he said when asked about the F-22s, which cost about $339 million each.

“I’m always concerned about cost. I don’t like it,” Mr. Trump said.

Still, the president remains a fan of the high-tech fighter jet.

“The F-22 is one of my all-time favorites. It is the most beautiful fighter jet in the world. One of the best,” he said.

The Air Force managed to fly 33 of the F-22s to safety, but maintenance and repair issues kept 22 of the notoriously finicky aircraft on the ground when the powerful storm hit the base.

About 49 percent of the F-22s are out of action at any given time, according to an Air Force report this year.

This is a stunning statistic. This means that of the 187 planes in existence, 90 of them are not working. At their cost, that means that over thirty billion dollars worth of military equipment is sitting around, broken, just in airplanes alone.

As a point of comparison, the entire Russian military budget for 2017 was $61 billion, with that budget producing hypersonic missiles, superb fighter aircraft and tanks. Russian fighter planes are known for being able to take harsh landing and take-off conditions that would cripple the most modern American flying machines.

It would seem that Hurricane Michael exposed a serious problem with the state of readiness of American armed forces. Thankfully that problem did not arise in combat, but it is no less serious.

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