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From Feudalism To The Future: How the “Red Prince’s” “Revolution” could modernize The Monarchy

The “Red Prince” Mohammed Bin Salman is trying to do the seemingly unthinkable — modernize Saudi Arabia through an anti-feudalist “revolution” — but he’s going to face a lot of resistance every step of the way, and his possible failure would inevitably doom the Kingdom to future destruction.

Andrew Korybko

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman flawlessly executed what can only be described as an anti-oligarchic Bolshevik “deep state” coup over the weekend in preemptively thwarting a pro-US royalist plot to unseat him in response to the socio-economic and religious reforms that he initiated as part of his ambitious Vision 2030 program, as well as his newfound game-changing Great Power partnerships with China and Russia.

Mohammed Bin Salman: The Unlikely Anti-Oligarchic Bolshevik?

He’s not just trying to preserve his own power in the ultimate Machiavellian “Game of Thrones” environment of Saudi royal politics, but to save Saudi Arabia from what would otherwise be its impending collapse with time if the old order of business is allowed to continue. The absurdly wealthy Kingdom has been bleeding billions of dollars due to the disastrous (and very expensive) War on Yemen that he unwisely commenced roughly two and a half years ago, and falling oil prices during that time have made it impossible for the country to recoup its massive expenses from this ongoing campaign.

Not only that, but Saudi Arabia ridiculously boasts over a million public sector employees and an uncomfortably high 12,5% unemployment rate in a country where 70% of the population is under the age of 30. In addition, the Kingdom’s macroeconomic riches are largely concentrated in the hands of the royal family, whereas the rest of the country mostly trudges onward in a state of semi-feudalism where wealth has never truly “trickled down” to them.

To make matters even worse, the Wahhabi extremists that Saudi Arabia has always exported from its own population and simultaneously cultivated abroad are already boomeranging back into the Kingdom with the imminent defeat of Daesh in the Mideast. On top of that, historic state suppression of the sizeable Shiite minority in the oil-rich Eastern Province and the relatively liberal cravings of the majority youthful population are setting Saudi Arabia up for future sectarian and generational clashes.

Riyadh arrogantly believed that it could throw money at all of its problems and continue to buy time in indefinitely staving off this impending domestic disaster, but this irresponsible policy was never sustainable in the first place, and the situation is clearly approaching the brink of a serious crisis in the coming years given how state expenses are dangerously running way above the budget’s resource-dependent replenishment rate.

None of the royals really seemed to care, however, since in typical oligarchic and globalist fashion, they don’t have any loyalty to their homeland and figured they could just easily relocate somewhere else if everything started to fall apart. The only influential member of the monarchy that does care is Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who cleverly muscled his way to the top of the Kingdom’s power structure in the span of just a few years by breaking all of the country’s previously sacred succession traditions.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Mohammed Bin Salman is a “radical” in every sense of the word since he’s not only poised to undertake the Bolshevik-like takeover of approximately $800 billion in oligarchic assets to fund his Vision 2030 public works projects, but he’s also totally smashed the previous power hierarchy in the Kingdom and is slated to soon set his sights on its infamous Wahhabi clerics as well. The Crown Prince is, relatively speaking, carrying out a rapid across-the-board “revolution” in modernizing his feudalist Kingdom in order to save it, and the key to understanding it all is to appreciate the grand strategy behind Vision 2030.

For the pressing economic-structural reasons described above, Saudi Arabia urgently needs to transition from its oil-dependent economy to a real-sector one, and the $130 billion in investments that it secured from China over the past year during two separate deal-signing ceremonies in April and August will go a long way to jumpstarting this initiative, but it’s still far from enough. That’s why Mohammed Bin Salman moved to purge his country’s “deep state” before it could act against him first, since he knew from the inside-out just how badly Saudi Arabia needed a comprehensive “regime reboot” otherwise the best-intended and most visionary plans were inevitably bound to fail because of the Kingdom’s cesspool of corruption.

Having “cleaned house” and holding onto power with the help of the military and internal security services who support his patriotic mission to save Saudi Arabia from itself, the Crown Prince must now take out or sideline the Wahhabi clerics who had shared power with the monarchy due to a pre-unification arrangement between the Houses of Saud and Wahhab. There’s no way that this influential bastion of Takfiri power will let the modernizing young ruler reverse society’s gender segregations and bestow more liberties to women without making a stand to oppose what they and their older generation supporters may have come to believe is a future “infidel” King.

The clerics don’t just hate what Mohammed Bin Salman has already done, but they also deeply despise what he wants to do, and that’s increase the participation of women in the workforce and therefore diminish their traditional role in the family, something which is almost as “haram” as one can get in Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince knows that Vision 2030 won’t succeed so long as most women are kept cloistered in the home and out of work, and however reluctant some Saudis might be to recognize this, the objective economic fact is that their country’s women will have to eventually “modernize” in the Western sense if the Kingdom is to survive the coming decade, let alone this century.

Mohammed Bin Salman won the first “deep state” battle when he detained the oligarchs and confiscated their wealth on an anti-corruption pretext, but the war isn’t over so long as the Wahhabi clerics remain in positions of power and influence, though truth be told, he’s already jailed quite a few of them over the past couple of months in order to instill fear in their hearts and set an unforgettable example. Still, this might not be enough, and if this “deep state” faction isn’t put under control and effectively neutralized, then they’ll eventually agitate against him sooner than later.

This task is admittedly much easier said than done, since the legacy of the past 80 years has left an indelibly extremist mark on the country’s psyche, and even if Mohammed Bin Salman “drains the Wahhabi swamp”, his security forces are going to forever remain on the defensive in guarding against “lone wolf” and “sleeper cell” attacks, whether homegrown or inspired/boomeranged from abroad. In any case, if by some auspicious chance he can score a Herculean victory in this “deep state” war while still retaining the loyalty of the military, the Crown Prince will then have to begin the painful process of implementing “shock therapy” to structurally modernize Saudi Arabia’s socio-economic situation.

It’s not known at this point how fast he would move on the social front, but this aspect of his country is inevitably bound to change alongside the economic one that he’ll probably most directly focus on at first. As was mentioned, the Crown Prince’s planned incorporation of women into the country’s workforce can’t take place without their liberation from restrictive Wahhabi standards first, hence why he’s already begun to implement piecemeal but relatively (for his country) radical reforms such as allowing women to drive and permitting gender mixing in sports stadiums.

The next step will be to incentivize them to get jobs, most likely in the service and administrative sectors, and it’s here where his majority-youthful and comparatively more “liberal” base can help him by standing behind his moves and opposing the older “conservative” generation’s resistance to this unprecedented reform. Women always end up in the workforce whenever a feudal society transitions to capitalism, but the strict socio-religious traditions that have been pervasive in Saudi Arabia for centuries suggest that a generational-culture clash of some degree is inevitable, which again underscores the necessity of the military’s loyalty to him personally but also more importantly to the patriotic understanding of how Vision 2030 is so necessary for preserving the Kingdom’s future survival.

All told, Saudi Arabia isn’t just in the midst of a power-grabbing (counter-)coup, but in the throes of a modernizing “revolution” that’s only just begun to play out under the stewardship of the Stalinist-like “Red Prince” Mohammed Bin Salman. Despite not being an actual communist, this young royal is no less “revolutionary” in that he’s robbed his country’s oligarchs of billions in order to fund his expensive socio-economic programs for transitioning his feudal country towards a capitalist model, with all of the profound socio-religious implications that this entails.

Just like all revolutions, however, this one is bound to come across resistance from the endangered elite, their foreign patrons, and the masses under their “conservative” ideological spell, but economic and demographic facts are on the “Red Prince’s” side, though he is admittedly making a somewhat risky bet that the latter are “liberal” enough to both support him and accept the all-encompassing lifestyle changes that his “revolution” will inevitably result in.

It’s too early to know whether Mohammed Bin Salman will succeed, let alone if he’ll even live another day after de-facto expropriating the mind-boggling sum of at least $800 billion from some of the world’s most powerful oligarchs, but it’s becoming clear that the “Red Prince” is carrying out his “revolution” not just for the sake of pure power, but to patriotically save Saudi Arabia from itself and ensure its continued existence in the future.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.

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French opposition rejects Macron’s concessions to Yellow Vests, some demand ‘citizen revolution’

Mélenchon: “I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.”

RT

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Macron’s concessions to the Yellow Vests has failed to appease protesters and opposition politicians, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Immediately after French President Macron declared a “social and economic state of emergency” in response to large-scale protests by members of the Yellow Vest movement, promising a range of concessions to address their grievances, left-wing opposition politician Mélenchon called on the grassroots campaign to continue their revolution next Saturday.

I believe that Act 5 of the citizen revolution in our country will be a moment of great mobilization.

Macron’s promise of a €100 minimum wage increase, tax-free overtime pay and end-of-year bonuses, Mélenchon argued, will not affect any “considerable part” of the French population. Yet the leader of La France Insoumise stressed that the “decision” to rise up rests with “those who are in action.”

“We expect a real redistribution of wealth,” Benoît Hamon, a former presidential candidate and the founder of the Mouvement Génération, told BFM TV, accusing Macron’s package of measures that benefit the rich.

The Socialist Party’s first secretary, Olivier Faure, also slammed Macron’s financial concessions to struggling workers, noting that his general “course has not changed.”

Although welcoming certain tax measures, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally (previously National Front), accused the president’s “model” of governance based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition,” of failing to address the social and cultural consequences of the Yellow Vest movement.

Macron’s speech was a “great comedy,”according to Debout la France chairman, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who accused the French President of “hypocrisy.”

Yet many found Melanchon’s calls to rise up against the government unreasonable, accusing the 67-year-old opposition politician of being an “opportunist” and “populist,” who is trying to hijack the social protest movement for his own gain.

Furthermore, some 54 percent of French believe the Yellow Vests achieved their goals and want rallies to stop, OpinionWay survey showed. While half of the survey respondents considered Macron’s anti-crisis measures unconvincing, another 49 percent found the president to be successful in addressing the demands of the protesters. Some 68 percent of those polled following Macron’s speech on Monday especially welcomed the increase in the minimum wage, while 78 percent favored tax cuts.

The Yellow Vest protests against pension cuts and fuel tax hikes last month were organized and kept strong via social media, without help from France’s powerful labor unions or official political parties. Some noted that such a mass mobilization of all levels of society managed to achieve unprecedented concessions from the government, which the unions failed to negotiate over the last three decades.

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Soros Mimics Hitler’s Bankers: Will Burden Europeans With Debt To ‘Save’ Them

George Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas.

The Duran

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After the Second World War, many economists racked their brains to answer the question of how Hitler managed to finance his armament, boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Today his trick is well known. The economic miracle of Führer’s time became possible thanks to the so-called Mefo promissory notes.

The notes were the idea of the then President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, and served not only to finance the armament of the Wehrmacht for the Second World War, but also to create state jobs, which would otherwise not have been possible through the normal use of the money and capital markets, i.e. the annual increase in savings in Germany.

The Reich thus financed the armaments industry by accepting notes issued by the dummy company Metallurgische Forschungsgesellschaft GmbH (hence the name Mefo) rather than paying them in cash. The creation of money was in full swing from 1934 to 1938 – the total amount of notes issued at that time was 12 billion marks. The Reichsbank declared to the German banks that it was prepared to rediscount the Mefo notes, thus enabling the banks to discount them.

Because of their five-year term, the redemption of notes had to begin in 1939 at the latest. This threatened with enormous inflation. Since Schacht saw this as a threat to the Reichsmark, he expressed his doubts about the Reich Minister of Finance. But it did not help, and Schacht was quickly replaced by Economics Minister Walther Funk, who declared that the Reich would not redeem the Mefo notes, but would give Reich bonds to the Reichsbank in exchange. At the time of Funk, the autonomous Reichsbank statute was abolished, the Reichsbank was nationalized, and inflation exploded in such a way that Mefo notes with a circulation of 60 billion Reichsmark burdened the budget in post-war Germany.

George Soros also proposes such a money flurry in the style of Schacht and Funk.

Soros is dissatisfied with the current EU refugee policy because it is still based on quotas. He calls on the EU heads of state and governments to effectively deal with the migrant crisis through money flooding, which he calls “surge funding”.

“This would help to keep the influx of refugees at a level that Europe can absorb.”

Can absorb? Soros would be satisfied with the reception of 300,000 to 500,000 migrants per year. However, he is aware that the costs of his ethnic exchange plan are not financially feasible. In addition to the already enormous costs caused by migrants already in Europe, such a large number of new arrivals would add billions each year.

Soros calculates it at 30 billion euros a year, but argues that it would be worth it because “there is a real threat that the refugee crisis could cause the collapse of Europe’s Schengen system of open internal borders among twenty-six European states,” which would cost the EU between 47 and 100 billion euros in GDP losses.

Soros thus sees the financing of migrants and also of non-European countries that primarily receive migrants (which he also advocates) as a win-win relationship. He calls for the introduction of a new tax for the refugee crisis in the member states, including a financial transaction tax, an increase in VAT and the establishment of refugee funds. Soros knows, however, that such measures would not be accepted in the EU countries, so he proposes a different solution, which does not require a vote in the sovereign countries.

The new EU debt should be made by the EU taking advantage of its largely unused AAA credit status and issuing long-term bonds, which would boost the European economy. The funds could come from the European Stability Mechanism and the EU balance of payments support institution.

 “Both also have very similar institutional structures, and they are both backed entirely by the EU budget—and therefore do not require national guarantees or national parliamentary approval.“

In this way, the ESM and the BoPA (Balance of Payments Assistance Facility) would become the new Mefo’s that could issue bills of exchange, perhaps even cheques for Turks, Soros NGOs. Soros calculates that both institutions have a credit capacity of 60 billion, which should only increase as Portugal, Ireland and Greece repay each year the loans they received during the euro crisis. According to Soros, the old debts should be used to finance the new ones in such a way that it officially does not burden the budget in any of the EU Member States. The financial institutions that are to carry out this debt fraud must extend (indeed – cancel) their status, as the leader of the refugees expressed such a wish in his speech.

That Soros is striving to replace the indigenous European population with new arrivals from Africa and Asia is clear to anyone who observes its activities in Europe. The question is: what does he want to do this for and who is the real ruler, behind him, the real leader?

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The French People Feel Screwed

For the first time in his presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

The Duran

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Authored by David Brown via The Gatestone Institute:


On December 4, French Prime Minister Édouard Phillipe told deputies of the ruling party, “La République en Marche”, that a proposed fuel tax rise, which had led to the largest protests France has seen in decades, would be suspended.

The protesters, called Gilets-Jaunes — “Yellow Vests,” because of the vests drivers are obliged by the government to carry in their vehicles in the event of a roadside breakdown — say that the fuel tax was the last straw from a president who took office with a promise to help the economically left-behind but instead has favoured the rich.

Even by French standards, the protests of the “Yellow Vests” during the weekend of December 1 were startling. Burning cars and vast plumes of grey smoke seemed to engulf the Arc De Triomphe as if Paris were at war. Comparisons were drawn with the Bread Wars of the 17th Century and the spirit of the Revolution of the 18th Century.

For more than two weeks, the “Yellow Vests” disrupted France. They paralyzed highways and forced roads to close — causing shortages across the country – and blocked fuel stations from Lille in the North to Marseilles in the South.

During protests in France’s capital, Paris, the “Yellow Vests” were soon joined by a more violent element, who began torching cars, smashing windows and looting stores. 133 were injured, 412 were arrested and more than 10,000 tear gas and stun grenades were fired.

One elderly lady was killed when she was struck by a stray grenade as she tried to shutter her windows against the melee.

There was talk of imposing a State of Emergency.

The “Yellow Vests” present the most significant opposition French President Emmanuel Macron has faced since coming to office in May 2017. Unlike previous protests in France, which have divided public opinion, these have widespread support – 72% according to a Harris Interactive Poll published December 1st.

Fuel tax rises — announced in November before being retracted on December — were intended to help bring down France’s carbon emissions by curbing the use of cars. Macron makes no secret of his wish to be seen as a global leader for environmental reform.

He forgets that back at home, among the people who elected him, fuel prices really matter to those outside big cities, where four-fifths of commuters drive to work and a third of them cover more than 30km each week.

The increases have incensed people in smaller communities, where they have already seen speed limits reduced to please the Greens and cuts to the local transport services.

These additional costs-of-living increases come at an extremely bad time for ordinary French people working outside of Paris. Lower-middle class families are not poor enough to receive welfare benefits but have seen their income flat-line whilst cost-of-living and taxes have risen.

An analysis by the Institut des Politiques Publiques think-tank shows that benefits cuts and tax changes in 2018 and 2019 will leave pensioners and the bottom fifth of households worse off, while the abolition of the wealth tax means that by far the biggest gains will go to the top 1%

This is tough to swallow. Macron is seen as being out of touch with ordinary people and is unlikely to escape his new title, “the President of the Rich.”

“People have this feeling that the Paris technocrats are doing complicated things to screw them,” said Charles Wyplosz, an economics professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

It is probably not as complex as that. The French people feel screwed.

As employment and growth are slowing, Macron, for the first time in his presidency, is under serious pressure. Unemployment is at 9%; his efforts to reform Europe are stalling, and his approval rating has plummeted to just 23% according to a recent opinion poll by IFOP.

Images of Macron at the Arc De Triomphe daubed in graffiti calling for him to step down, or worse, have done little to bolster his image abroad.

So far, Macron had said he would not bow to street protests. To underline his point, in September 2017, he called protestors against French labour-market reform “slackers”.

The political U-Turn on the fuel tax is a turning point for the Macron presidency. The question is : What next, both for Macron and the “Yellow Vests”?

Macron most likely needs to plough ahead with his reform agenda, and doubtless knows he has the support of a solid majority in the National Assembly to do so. France is crippled by debt (nearly 100% of GDP) and its grossly bloated public sector. There are 5.2 million civil servants in France, and their number has increased by 36% since 1983. These represent 22% of the workforce compared to an OCDE average of 15%.

Tax-expert Jean-Philippe Delsol says France has 1.5 million too many “fonctionnaires [officials]. When you consider that public spending in France now accounts for 57 per cent of gross domestic product. Soon the system will no longer function as there will be less and less people working to support more and more people working less”.

Macron’s mistake, in addition to a seeming inclination for arrogance, is not to have made national economic reform his absolute priority right from his initial grace period after his election. Lower public expenses would have made it possible to lower taxes, hence creating what economists call a virtuous circle. Instead, he waited.

Now, at a time when he is deeply unpopular and social unrest is in full sway he is looking to make further reforms in unemployment benefits, scaling them back by reducing the payments and the length of time beneficiaries can receive the money. The “President of the Rich” strikes again.

There is talk that he may also re-introduce the wealth tax to try to placate the protestors.

Macron’s presidential term lasts until May 13, 2022. Understandably, Macron will be focused on the elections to the European Parliament expected to be held May 23-26, 2019. Headlines have signalled that Marine Le Pen and the National Rally (formally National Front) are ahead in the polls at 20%, compared to Macron’s En Marche at 19%.

The shift is understandable, given the divide between the countryside, where Le Pen has solid support, and the cities, where Macron’s centre-left prevail.

In contrast, the “Yellow Vests” have galvanised support after standing up for the “impotent ordinary”, and seem much buoyed by the solidarity they have been shown by both fire fighters and the police. There are images online of police removing their helmets and firefighters turning their backs on political authority to show their support for the protestors.

Whilst Macron’s political opposition may be fragmented, this new breed of coherent public opposition is something new. Leaderless, unstructured and organised online, the “Yellow Vests” have gained support from the left and right, yet resisted subjugation by either.

Being leaderless makes them difficult to negotiate withor to reason with in private. The “Yellow Vests” seem acutely aware of this strength, given their firm rebuttal of overtures for peace talks from the Macron government.

Enjoying huge support from the public and with reforms to the social welfare system on the horizon, the “Yellow Vests” are not going away.

For the first time in his Presidency, Macron is in trouble and Europe and America are looking on.

After Macron rebuked nationalism during his speech at the armistice ceremony, Trump was quick to remind the French President of his low approval rating and unemployment rate near 10%. A stinging broadside from Trump on twitter suggests that Macron may well be relegated to Trump’s list of global “Losers“:

“Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”

The “impotent ordinary” in the United Kingdom, who might feel betrayed over Brexit, and the nationalists in Germany, who have suffered under Merkel , are no doubt staring in wonder at the “Yellow Vests”, wishing for the same moxie.

The historian Thomas Carlyle, chronicler of the French Revolution, said the French were unrivaled practitioners in the “art of insurrection”, and characterised the French mob as the “liveliest phenomena of our world”.

Mobs in other countries, by comparison, he argued were “dull masses” lacking audacity and inventiveness. The blazing yellow vests of the French protest movement , however, have made Macron appear increasingly dull and weak too.

David Brown is based in the United Kingdom.

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