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SHAME on conservatives who ridicule supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders

Young people are drawn to socialism because they have rejected the immorality of corporatism. Conservatives should find solace in this–not ridicule it.

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For at least 20 years, the mainstream political and academic narrative in the west has been that socialism is a failure. Many site production deadlock, strikes, riots and a punitive taxation system to justify these claims.

However, the system which ended up supplanting socialism both as a governing economic force and as a viable mainstream opposition platform in the west has also failed and failed more miserably than any prior socio-economic system. Corporatism, a system that is the logical result of neo-liberal economics rejects the cottage-industry style capitalism of people like Ron Paul and the classical Austrian economists. Therefore it is unfair to call it ‘capitalism’ in a true sense.

Unlike with Austrian economics, corporatism places no value on individual liberty, nor does it decry endless rules and regulations and bureaucracy either. Corporatism is to capitalism what the Manson Family is to a Norman Rockwell family painting–it is a sick perversion.

Likewise, corporatism does not value the growth of a national economy, the steadying of national wealth or the protection of national wealth from foreign hands. In this sense, it is unlike traditional market-protectionist economics, neo-mercantile thinking and what many now call sovereigntist economics. It is in this sense different than what I call conservative socio-economics.

Corporatism is a series of inter-locking oligarchic global-corporations where production often occurs on different continents from where the profits are stored and furthermore,  products themselves are often sold in multiple third locations.

Corporatism has plenty of regulations and bureaucratic red tape but all of it works in the favour of giant multi-nationals who often end up paying less tax than struggling middle-income individuals and families who are oppressed with the high taxation of socialism while receiving none of the benefits of a real welfare state.

There is neither a moral, national or individualist component in corporatism. In this sense it rejects the morality of socialism, protectionism and classical capitalism simultaneously.

While occasionally corporatist economics can result in a trickle-down effect for some ordinary people, if this ever happens it is generally short lived. The Great Recession of corporatism in 2007/2008 was a testament to this phenomenon.

The result has been that many middle income, middle-aged people have turned to sovereigntist/protectionist conservative politicians who reject the multi-nationalism of corporatism and the collectivism of socialism equally.

People in all age groups have also begun to revisit classic capitalism as defined by the Austrian school of economics. Generally these people are drawn to the connection this school makes between individual liberty and economic liberality.

Socialism too has seen a revival and one of the biggest constituent part of this new socialist coalition has been the young, although it is a very different kind of youth than those who previously voted for classical left wing parties.

Throughout much of the 20th century, left wing voters came from the heart of suburban industry and of course the urban proletariat also. In the US this was the so-called ‘rust belt’ states and in Europe this was generally in the big industrial cities outside of the more urbane capitals (Marseilles, Calais, Birmingham, Glasgow etc).

It was only logical that working class voters would vote for parties with an emphasis on the morality of treating working class people with economic and social dignity and fairness.

However, today’s socialist core voters are very different. Although what remains of a western industrial base still often vote for politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, an increasing amount of young people from struggling middle-income families are turning to ideas which previously had appeal among the working classes and those of other classes who for moral, intellectual or spiritual reasons turned to socialism.

These young people are not classical socialists but they are victims of corporatism. They have found that the first proper job in life hardly pays enough to make it worth considering and that the comfortable middle-income jobs of their parents’ generation have either gone oversees or become reserved exclusively for an upper-middle class of people who are highly connected, beyond simply having a decent income and ability to work hard for an honest first world pay-cheque.

They have found that the neo-liberal myth that having a university education guarantees good employment was simply a lie to force young people to take out insanely high loans to pay a university which was in actual fact, a business disguised as a place of learning.

They have also come to the realisation that many of the comforts of middle-income life were based on the fact that working class people created wealth. Now that wealth is being created in foreign factories.

All of these factors have led young people to turn to socialism for moral and personal reasons rather than more broad economic beliefs.

It is difficult for socialism to work in a non-industrial society. Socialism relies on working-class labour to create wealth in the same way that conservative economics relies on investment into national (rather than global) industry to initially create wealth. A healthy working class however is indispensable to proper, moral conservative socio-economics also. One must remember that the Irish famine of the 1840s and 1850s was not created by conservative policies but by the adoption of liberal free trade by the British state which ruled Ireland at the time.

With few countries in the west having any national wealth and millionaires conveniently and legally offshoring their money, it is difficult to see how socialism can achieve anything in the 21st century west unless it takes the crucial step to use the resources of the state to build new factories and pass protectionist laws to keep the wealth they generated flowing on the home front.

These longer term economic issues however, are of little consequences to many young, enthusiastic supporters of people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, who unlike Sanders, will almost certainly attain the highest political office in his country.

These voters are drawn to the moral message of socialism and this should not be condemned callously, even by conservative, protectionists like myself. It should instead be praised.

The only way society can ever retain its traditional values is by embracing anyone who rejects the immoral ideologies of globalism, liberalism and corporatism. While I personally prefer a mixed system, what Deng Xiaoping called “market socialism”, I am nevertheless sympathetic to those who have turned to classical socialism, even though I fully reject the dogma of radical wealth distribution and the rejection of traditional conservative values that many socialists preach.

However, in this case, socialism is a healthy first step towards rejecting neo-liberalism and allowing a path back to conservatism to form.

In many ways it is the opposite of the Marxist historical world view wherein we have to go back from corporatism to socialism to them step back to conservatism, in each case along the way one must realise our return to past values while combining such thought with contemporary realities. In this sense one can be both a reactionary and a pragmatic modernist simultaneously. This is the essence of any mixed socio-economic system which rejects the dogmas of progressive thinking for the sake of modernity alone.

This obviously assumes that it is not full communism but full corporatism which is the final ‘end of economics’. Here, Marx got it wrong while Oswald Spengler (a conservative) got it right.

This has been proved not by a theory but by history. After Russia attempted communism between 1917 and 1991, Russia then turned to corporatism for the remainder of the 1990s.

Today, Russia is taking certain socialist elements of the past such as higher pensions and better funding for public services vis-a-vis the 1990s, while ultimately returning to a modern version of patriotic conservative socio-economics.

If the west is to attempt to save itself, it must follow the same path. While my view is that the October Revolution was a crime against humanity, I nevertheless wept in the 1990s at photos of old women, too thin for their age, who were carrying photos of Stalin while protesting the piratical liberal economics of Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais. Indeed, if Russia was ever to return to a fraction of its pre-1917 conservatism, the liberal corporatists of the 1990s would have to be opposed by both conservatives and those holding placards of Stalin while protesting the Yeltsin regime.

This is why conservatives who ridicule supporters of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn ought to really step back from their position of arrogance.

The young people voting for Sanders and Corbyn may often be odd in their appearance and the idea that they would want to radically redistribute wealth might be horrifying. Their lack of God is also deeply sad for conservative believers. However, in finding Corbyn, these young people are rejecting the same immoral Godlessness inherent in neo-liberalism that true conservatives reject. They are looking for morality, they are looking for ethics, they are looking for community, they are looking for family. The authentic conservative solution is the best way to find each, but if they support socialism which for all of its faults is still endlessly more moral than liberalism/corporatism, then we should wish them well while respectfully offering them a respectable conservative alternative.

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‘End of free speech’: Maffick CEO, host slam Facebook’s unprovoked ‘censorship’ after CNN report

This is because of the political content that challenges the US wars. It is absolutely an act of censorship.

RT

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Via RT…


Facebook blocking several pages operated by Maffick Media is nothing short of outright censorship, the company’s CEO Anissa Naouai said, after a US-funded think tank pointed them out to CNN for a ‘hit-piece’.

The actions of the social media giant, which suspended the accounts of In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed last Friday without providing any explanation or even contacting the company that ran the pages, is nothing but a simple attempt to get rid of dissenting voices critical of Washington’s policies, Naouai told RT.

It is blatant censorship. What else can you call it?

Unexplained ban

The ban came literally out of the blue even though Maffick did not violate any existing Facebook regulations. “There is no rule that you have to post anything about your funding or personal funding. No one does it, not any of the US-sponsored outlets,” Naouai said. However, that was apparently the stated reason for the blocking as a Facebook spokesperson said the social media giant wanted the pages to become more transparent by disclosing their funding and “Russian affiliations.”

Facebook never contacted Maffick Media directly, though. In fact, it did not even answer the company’s emails and stayed conspicuously silent about the ways that would allow the accounts to be reinstated. “We have not heard a word from Facebook and it has been over three days now,” Naouai said.

The whole situation makes one think that the suspension is in fact connected to the pages’ popularity as well as their critical stance towards US policies, the Maffick CEO said. “We have hosts that talk about things that are not allowed to talk about on other networks like CNN,” she explained.

“If a video that says that gets hundreds of thousands of views on a page that has millions of views, people [in Washington] start to notice that and they get upset. I believe that is why we were targeted: because of our success and because of, as CNN said, high quality of our videos,” Naouai added.

The Maffick CEO also assumed that a recent piece on the US-sponsored coup attempt in Venezuela might have become a trigger for this drastic measure taken by Facebook. “There is a very … divisive and obnoxious policy taking place right now against Venezuela,” she said, “we do not know if this was the segment that triggered [the suspension] but the timing is convenient.”

“When someone calls out what is happening in Venezuela as a blatant coup it ruffles the feathers of think tanks that spent millions if not billions of dollars to persuade [the audience otherwise] and lobby their interests.”

‘Interrogation’ by CNN

Some details of this whole case may indeed seem odd. Just about an hour after the pages were blocked, CNN published a report on the issue as if they broke the news. “CNN knew that we were going to be blocked before we did,” Naouai said, explaining that, when she found out her company’s pages were suspended, CNN had already published its piece.

Weeks before the blocking, CNN sought to interview some freelancers working with Maffick in an apparent attempt to “dig up some dirt,” Rania Khalek, the American host of Soapbox – one of the video shows Maffick ran on Facebook – recalled.

When the company’s leadership “got wind of it” and offered CNN an interview, it all ended up with a 45-minute “interrogation” loaded with “unethical” questions that “almost any other media organization would even think to answer.”

It felt like a police interrogation: very invasive questions about Maffick and our editorial policies. It was clear that they were doing a hit-piece.

“A CNN journalist repeatedly asked me about my political viewpoints. He was in complete disbelief that I have editorial control over my scripts. He could not understand how it was possible,” Khalek, who was one of those, who gave the interview to CNN, said.

Maffick Media assumed that CNN might in fact pressure Facebook into blocking the accounts. “It is a very competitive market existing in a very political atmosphere that is toxic right now in the US,” Naouai said.

Loophole for state censorship?

CNN itself admits in its piece that it did not just stumble upon the Facebook pages in question independently. Instead, this issue was brought to its attention by the Alliance for Securing Democracy – a part of the German Marshall Fund. This fund is a think tank, which is financed by the US and German governments and has such people as Michael Morell, the former CIA deputy head, and Jacob Sullivan, former Vice President Joe Biden’s top security aide, on its advisory board.

Now, CNN, which stepped on a slippery slope by scrutinizing other media outlets’ funding, had to go to some extraordinary lengths to persuade its audience that the Alliance for Securing Democracy “does not receive any funding” from the German Marshall Fund, while still being a part of it at the same time. However, all these facts just added a new layer to the story.

“You have this US-funded think tank prompting CNN to pressure Facebook to ban our pages. That is an act of censorship,”Khalek said. She thinks the whole scheme was used to circumvent the First Amendment banning the US authorities from directly censoring free speech. “So, they use a middleman to pressure private companies to censor us,” she added, calling it a “legal loophole.”

‘Beginning of an end’

Regardless of who is really behind the ploy, Facebook banning some media pages without any explanation sets a tremendously dangerous precedent, Maffick Media believes. “We had a verified page, which had billions of views, just disappear from online without any kind of comment, any kind of requirement, without breaking any rules. That is unprecedented,” Naouai said.

You have Facebook dictating what people can and cannot see and judging what is good content and bad content. And it is all based on the accusations and criticism coming from a government-funded outlet. If Facebook does it to us, it can do it to anyone,” Khalek warned.

This is because of the political content that challenges the US wars. It is absolutely an act of censorship.

The US establishment apparently seeks to suppress the outlets that “offer a platform to alternative voices that can speak out against US wars and the corporate control over our government in a way that you just do not hear in our corporate media,” the Soapbox host believes.

However, if the social media giant and the likes of it will just continue to randomly block media resources while having “no grounds” to do so, it could create very serious problems for society, Naouai believes.

That would be the beginning of an end of free speech.

 

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Warsaw And Munich: Whistling Past NATO’s Graveyard

Sanctions cut both ways.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


If the Anti-Iran conference in Warsaw was the opening act, the annual Munich Security Conference was the main event. Both produced a lot of speeches, grandstanding and virtue-signaling, as well as a lot of shuffling of feet and looking at the ground.

The message from the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia was clear, “We are still committed to the destruction of Syria as a functional state to end the growing influence of Iran.”

Europe, for the most part, doesn’t buy that argument anymore. Germany certainly doesn’t. France is only interested in how they can curry favor with the U.S. to wrest control of the EU from Germany. The U.K. is a hopeless has-been, living on Deep State inertia and money laundered through City of London.

The Poles just want to stick it to the Russians.

Everyone else has a bad case of, “been there, done that, ain’t doin’ it again.”

They know supporting the fiction that the War in Syria was a war against the evil President Bashar al-Assad is counter-productive.

The geopolitical landscape is changing quickly. And these countries, like Hungary, Italy, and the Czech Republic, know that the current policy trajectory of the Trump administration vis a vis Russia, Iran and China is a suicide pact for them.

So they show up when called, receive our ‘diplomats’ and then pretty much ignore everything they said. This is what happened, ultimately, in Munich.

Even the EU leadership has no illusions about the goals of the U.S./Israeli/Saudi policy on Syria. And that’s why they refused to shut Russia and Iran out of the Munich Security Conference despite the hyperventilating of Pompeo’s amateur-hour State Dept.

The Syria Hangover

These countries are struggling with the after-effects of eight years of war displacing millions who Angela Merkel invited into Europe for her own political purposes.

The resultant chaos now threatens every major political power center in Europe, which could culminate in a Euroskeptic win at the European Parliamentary elections in May.

Continuing on this road will only lead to Russia, Iran, Turkey and China forming a bloc with India to challenge the economic and political might of the West over the next two decades.

So it was no surprise to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu glad-handing looking for support to beam back home for his re-election campaign.

It was also no surprise to see NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg grovel at the feet of the U.S. over the shared mission because he knows that’s where the gravy flows from.

But there was no statement of purpose coming out of Munich after two days of talks. Warsaw already set the stage for that. Vice-President Mike Pence fell completely flat as the substitute Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looked sad and confused as to why no one applauded him for his cheap and empty rhetoric about how evil Iran is.

The Syria operation was put together by the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar with the expressed purpose of creating a failed state of ungoverned fiefdoms. Syria was to be carved up piecemeal with a great land grab for all major partners getting a piece.

Israel gets a buffer zone east of the Golan Heights, Turkey gets Idlib, Afrin and Aleppo. The Kurds get everything east of the Euphrates. And Europe gets pipelines from the Arabian peninsula.

Meanwhile Iran loses Syria and Lebanon, Russia gets pushed out of the European gas market (along with the putsch in Ukraine) and the center of the country is a hot mess of terrorism which can be exported all around the region and further directed against Russia and Iran.

It all looked so good on paper.

But, as I’ve described multiple times, it was an operation built on perception and the false premise that no one would stand up to it.

In came Russia in October 2015 and the rest, unfortunately for the neocons, is just a chase scene.

Sanctions Cut Both Ways

Because for Europe, once it became clear what the costs would be to continue this project, there was little to no incentive to do so. That’s why they sued for peace with Iran by negotiating the JCPOA.

For every MAGApede and Fox News neocon who excoriates Obama for giving Iran $150 billion dollars (of their own money back which we stole) I remind you that it was Obama in 2012 that signed the sanctions which froze that money in the first place.

The JCPOA was signed because in 2014 the Syria operation looked like it was on auto-pilot to success. Iran could have their money back because it wouldn’t matter. They would be vassals and the money wouldn’t buy them anything of substance.

It was Russia and China’s making the move into Syria that changed that calculus.

That’s why the only ones who keep pushing for this balkanization strategy are the ones who still stand to gain from it. The U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel. It was clear in Munich that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was the man everyone wanted to talk to.

Everyone has cut bait. Even the Saudis are hedging their best cozying up to Vladimir Putin.

The U.S. still needs to project power globally to support the dollar and its obscene fiscal debauchery. Israel is staring at a future in which its myriad enemies have won and the Saudis need to rule the Sunni Arab world by leading them in a war against Iran.

The Warsaw Summit was a triumph only insofar as the U.S. can still call its allies to attention and they’ll do so. But that’s about it. But it was clear at Munich that Europe isn’t buying what the U.S. is selling about its relationship anymore.

It’s an not only an abusive one with Trump applying maximal economic pressure but also a wholly unrealistic one. Foreign policy midgets like Pompeo and Pence were literally pleading with everyone to not undermine their latest plan to make the world safe for Israel and Trump’s moronic Energy Dominance plan.

Whistling in Munich

In the end, the whole Munich affair looked like a bunch of people gathering to whistle past the graveyard of the fraying post-WWII institutional order. Trump wants Europe to pay for NATO so we don’t but Europe doesn’t want NATO on Trump’s terms which put them in the cross-hairs of his power play with Russia and China over the INF treaty.

Putin has built a version of fortress Russia that is for all practical purposes impregnable, short-of an all-out nuclear conflict which no one except maybe the most ideologically possessed in D.C. and Tel Aviv wants.

The naysayers have had their day but the weapons unveiled by Putin at last March’s State of the Union address changed the board state in a way that requires different tactics. I said so last March and it identified a shift narrative for all of us as to what Putin’s long-game was.

These new weapons represent a state change in weapons technology but, at the same time, are cheap deterrents to further escalation.  They fit within Russia’s budget, again limited by demographic and, as I pointed out in a recent article, domestic realities

…[They highlight] we’re not winning in technology.  So, all we can do is employ meat-grinder policies and force Russia and her allies to spend money countering the money we spend.

It’s a game that hollows everyone out.  And it’s easier for Putin to sell the defensive nature of his position to Russians than it is to sell our backing Al-Qaeda and ISIS to defeat them.  Because that reality has broken through the barrier to it.

And that’s why Europe is so unwilling to go along with Trump on the INF Treaty, Iranian regime change and even his Arab NATO plan. They are the ones being asked to be on the front lines, pay for and fight a war against their best interests.

And that’s why no one was willing to join the latest ‘coalition of the willing’ in Munich to perpetuate the conflict in Asia. They’ll go along with Trump’s plans in Venezuela, it doesn’t cost them anything strategically.

But even Merkel knows that in light of the events of the past three and a half years, the right move for Europe is to cut a deal with Russia and Iran while keeping their head down as the U.S. loses its mind.


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Venezuela Under Washington’s Gun

It is discouraging to see Trump participate in the attempt to chase Maduro out of office.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Via Paul Craig Roberts…


A full court press is taking place in Florida today (Presidents Day) with Republicans, Democrats, expatriates from Cuba and Venezuela and the fascist warmonger ministry of propaganda that constitutes the US media all denouncing Maduro and blaming him for the hardships imposed on Venezuelans by Washington’s sanctions and attacks on Venezuela’s currency . Even “liberal” NPR is reading off the same fascist warmonger script. NPR managed to report on Venezuela without mentioning the sanctions, without mentioning the theft of Venezuela’s gold foolishly entrusted to the US and British central banks, or the orchestrated protests funded by US-financed NGOs that are small in comparison with the crowds that support Maduro that are never mentioned in the US media. In other words, NPR is just another part of the whorehouse brigade.

What Americans forget, or never knew, is that the Cuban expatriates are the descendents of the corrupt Batista crowd that had looted Cuba for years and were thrown out of Cuba by Castro. The Venezuelan expatriates are from the rich elite that couldn’t adjust to Chavez running the country for the people instead of for them, and some of these expatriates were involved in the failed CIA coup against Chavez. All of these expatriates are nothing but shills for Washington’s takeover so that they can get back in on the take.

It is discouraging to see Trump, who the Democrats, the media, and the military/security complex are attempting to chase out of office participate in the attempt to chase Maduro out of office.

It is discouraging to see Washington’s vassals in Europe and in the Organization of American States throw all truth to the wind and line up with Washington’s lies.

It is discouraging that within Western civilization lies dominate all aspects of domestic and international policy. Truth has been stamped out.

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