حالة الانكشاف

سعادة مصطفى ارشيد

تمر العلاقات الدولية عالمياً في حال متغيّرة، تفرضها من جانب قوانين التغير والحركة والتطور دائمة الدوران، ومن جانب آخر عوامل مساعدة منها جائحة كورونا التي تجاوز عدد ضحاياها نصف المليون نفس بشرية، وعدد المصابين بالفيروس قد قفز عن حاجز الاثني عشر مليوناً، والأعداد في تزايد مستمر. ومع دخول الجائحة طوراً ثانياً اعتبرته منظمة الصحة العالمية أكثر ضراوة، نلاحظ أنها تجاوزت في عدوانها الإنسان وسلامته لتصيب وتعطل الدورة الاقتصادية من صناعة وتجارة وزراعة في طول العالم وعرضه؛ الأمر الذي قاد إلى معدلات بطالة مرتفعة حتى في المجتمعات الصناعية النشطة وكساد اقتصادي وانهيار في أسعار النفط ومعظم السلع وأثر بدوره على الرعاية الاجتماعيّة والنظم الصحيّة اللاهثة وراء الجائحة.

دفع كل ذلك دول العالم للانكفاء إلى دواخلها، وإلى البحث عن حلول لما تعانيه بشكل منفرد، والتفكير بأساليب الحماية والاكتفاء الداخلي (الذاتي) وإعادة التفكير باتفاقيات التجارة الحرة وضريبة القيمة المضافة، وظهر الوهن على المنظمات العابرة للقومية، كالاتحاد الأوروبي الذي فشل في معالجة الجائحة كاتحاد وترك إيطاليا وإسبانيا واليونان تعالج كل منها جراحها بشكل منفرد فيما رأت ألمانيا أن أولوياتها ألمانية بحتة، نتيجة لذلك أخذت دول الاتحاد تتلمس طرقها القومية القديمة بمعزل عن القوميات الشريكة لها في الاتحاد الأوروبي. فبدأت الدولة الإيطالية طريق العودة إلى إيطاليتها وإسبانيا إلى إسبانيتها وكذلك ألمانيا بمعزل عن المشروع الإقليمي.

وإذا كان العالم يمرّ في هذا المخاض المأزوم، فإن العالم العربي يمرّ بما هو أدهى وأمرّ. حاله غير مسبوقة من السيولة وأبواب أمن قومي مشرّعة لا حارس لها، في المشرق العربي استطالت الأزمة السورية، وإن كانت ملامح نهايتها بادية، إلا أن الأعداء لا زال لديهم من الأوراق ما يطيل في عمرها. ولبنان يترنّح تحت ضغط سعر صرف الليرة مقابل الدولار، والدولة تعاقب القاضي الفاضل الذي أنفذ القانون بالطلب من سفيرة الولايات المتحدة عدم التدخل في شؤونه الداخلية. العراق يعيش حالة تقسيم بادية للعيان، والأردن يعاني من التغول الإسرائيلي بالضفة الغربية. الأمر الذي يمثل تهديداً وجودياً له، فيما تكشف تصريحات رئيس وزراء أسبق عما يدور في العقل السياسي لبعض جماعة الحكم، ولمن رسم شكل الأردن في مرحلة ما بعد عام 1994 (اتفاقية وادي عربة)، وفلسطين التي تعارض رسمياً قرار نتنياهو بضمّ ثلث الضفة الغربية، إلا أنها لا تملك من الآليات وأدوات الضغط ما يحول دون ذلك، هذا وإن تفاءل البعض من المؤتمر الصحافي المشترك لقياديين من فتح وحماس، إلا أن المؤتمر الصحافي لم يتطرق للبحث في الآليات أو في إنهاء حالة الانقسام البشع أو الاتفاق على برنامج حد أدنى واقتصر على مجاملات متبادلة. وعملية الضمّ من شأنها تقطيع ما تبقى من الضفة الغربية إلى ثلاثة معازل منفصلة بالواقع الاستيطاني الذي سيتم ضمة ويحول دون قيام دولة أو شبه دولة في الضفة الغربية. اليمن يصمد ويقاوم بأكلاف عالية، فيما الكورونا والفساد يضربان كل هذه المجتمعات.

الأوضاع في غرب العالم العربي تفوق خطورة وتهافت الأوضاع في مشرقه على صعوبتها، فحالة السيولة وأبواب الأمن القومي المشرّعة، خاصة في ليبيا ومصر والسودان. ليبيا اليوم مسرح وساحة مفتوحة للفرنسيين والأتراك فيما تلعب مصر دوراً ملحقاً بالفرنسيين بدلاً من أن يكون العكس، وأصبحت ليبيا مصدر خطر على مصر من خاصرتها الغربية التي لم تكن عبر تاريخ مصر الطويل تمثل تهديداً لأمنها القومي، فلم يحدث أن غُزيت مصر من الغرب إلا مرة واحدة على يد المعز لدين الله الفاطمي.

طيلة عقود تحاشت مصر الاهتمام بمسائل الأمن القومي، وهي التي رسمت أولى ملامح نظريات الجغرافية السياسية والاستراتيجية وضرورات الأمن القومي بالاشتراك الصدامي مع اتحاد الدول الكنعانية وذلك في القرن الخامس عشر قبل الميلاد في معركة مجدو الشهيرة بقيادة مملكتي قادش ومجدو، حيث رأى الفرعون المصري أن أمن بلاده يبدأ من مرج إبن عامر، فيما رأى التحالف الكنعاني أن أمن اتحادهم يبدأ من غرب سيناء. تطوّرت نظرية الأمن القومي المصري لاحقاً لتضيف عنصراً ثانياً وهو نهر النيل وفيضانه ومنابعه. هذه الرؤية الاستراتيجية سكنت العقل السياسي المصري وعقل كل مَن توالى على حكم مصر منذ تحتمس الثالث حتى عهد الرئيس الأسبق أنور السادات.

منذ تسلم السادات حكم مصر بدأ العمل على إخراج مصر من عالمها العربي، وقد أخذت ملامح هذا الدور تتبدّى خلال حرب تشرين، بمحادثات فك الارتباط بمعزل عن دمشق، ثم ما لبث أن أخذ شكله الصريح عام 1977 في زيارة السادات المشؤومة للقدس وتوقيع اتفاقية كامب دافيد في العام التالي، ثم الترويج لذلك الانقلاب على الاستراتيجيا بالتنظير أن العالم العربي كان عبئاً على مصر التي تستطيع بالتخفف منه الانطلاق في عوالم السوق الرأسمالي والتطور والازدهار وتحقيق الرخاء، ولم تلتفت تلك التنظيرات إلى أن علاقة مصر مع العالم العربي تكاملية يحتاج فيها كل منهما أن يكون ظهيراً للآخر. هذه المدرسة أنتجت ورثة السادات، ومنهم مَن أيّد بحماس تدمير العراق واحتلاله، وتواطأ على الجناح الشرقي للأمن القومي في سورية، وافتعل معارك لا لزوم لها حول منطقة حلايب مع السودان، ولم يلتفت – ولا زال – لخطورة الاعتراف بدولة جنوب السودان التي يمرّ من أراضيها النيل الأبيض، واستمر بعلاقات عدائية مع إثيوبيا التي ينبع من هضبتها النيل الأزرق، ولم يستقبل من أمره ما استدبر لإيقاف مشروع سد النهضة أو للتفاهم مع إثيوبيا بالدبلوماسية أو بغيرها طيلة عقد من الزمن كانت الشركات الإسرائيلية والأميركية تنفذ خلاله مشروع بناء ذلك السد، ولم تستشعر أجهزة أمنه أن خمس مؤسسات مالية مصرية قد استثمرت في السندات الإثيوبية التي موّلت بناء السد الذي قد يحرم مصر من سرّ وجودها، وقد قيل قديماً أن مصر هبة النيل.

في شرق مصر تم إهمال الخاصرة الشرقية التي حددها تحتمس الثالث وسار على هديها كل من أتى من بعده، فلم يتم ايلاء شبه جزيرة سيناء أي اهتمام وتمّ استثناؤها من مشاريع التنمية والرعاية الحكومية، هذا الإهمال والتجاهل الذي هدف إلى إفراغها من كثير من سكانها إرضاء لتل أبيب عاد على مصر بنتائج عكسية إذ خلق بيئة رطبة ومناسبة لجراثيم الإرهاب والتطرف، في حين انصبّ اهتمام الدولة في مرحلة ما قبل الربيع الزائف على بناء حاجز تحت الأرض يحول دون إمداد غزة بحاجاتها الأساسية، وفي العهد الحالي تم إغراق الأنفاق الغزيّة بمياه البحر وإقامة جدار مكهرب فوق الأرض، وكأن المهم أمن «إسرائيل» لا أمن مصر القومي.

مصر التي نحبّ في خطر، وهذا الخطر لا يصيبها منفردة وإنما بالشراكة مع كامل المحيط العربي، مصر لم يهزمها الغرباء والأعداء ولا الجهات الخارجية أو المؤامرات الأجنبية، وإنما هزمها مَن قدّم أولوية البقاء في الحكم على حسابات الاستراتيجية والأمن القومي، ومن جعل الأمن القومي ضحيّة لأمن النظام.

لك الله يا مصر.

*سياسيّ فلسطينيّ مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

VIDEO: The 2020 Economic Crisis. Global Poverty, Unemployment and Despair

Source

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, June 30, 2020

We are living one of the most serious crises in modern history. 

According to Michel Chossudovsky, the coronavirus pandemic is used as a pretext and a justification to close down the global economy, as a means to resolving a public health concern.  

A complex decision-making process is instrumental in the closing down of national economies Worldwide. We are led to believe that the lockdown is the solution.

Politicians and health officials in more than 150 countries obey orders emanating from higher authority.

In turn millions of people obey the orders of their governments without questioning the fact that closing down an economy is not the solution but in fact the cause of  global poverty and unemployment. 

What we are dealing with is a crime against humanity.

Fear, intimidation, media disinformation prevail. The Lie has become the Truth

This is an imperial project emanating from powerful economic interests.

A global fear campaign is sustained by the media. And now a so-called second wave is envisaged.

The social and economic impacts are beyond description.


FULL TRANSCRIPT

The 2020 Economic Crisis. Global Poverty, Unemployment and Despair
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

June 30, 2020

We are undoubtedly living (in) one of the most serious economic and social and crises in modern history. In some regards, we are living history and we are unable to comprehend the logic of the corona virus pandemic.

What is at stake is the pretext and the justification for closing down national economies worldwide based on a public health concern.

We have to understand the causalities. Closing down an economy, nationally and globally does NOT resolve the pandemic. In fact, it creates a situation of INSTITUTIONAL INSTABILITY.

It also results in massive unemployment, confinement of people in their homes, without employment, without food . . . That is what we’re living.

There is NO justification for closing down national economies based on a public health concern, which can be resolved, and SHOULD be resolved!

There is a very complex decision-making process, which has been PLANNED WELL IN ADVANCE. From ‘central authority’, governments are instructed to close down their economies and then, in turn, the governments instruct people to implement social engineering, not to meet, not to have family reunions . . .

And, essentially, what we do not understand, and which is fundamental, is that economic activity is the basis for the reproduction of real life. By that I mean, institutions, purchasing power of families, a whole series of activities, which have developed in the course of history – economic activity constitutes the foundation of all societies.

And what these measures have resulted in is a massive crisis, in which particularly small and medium sized enterprises are being precipitated into bankruptcy, millions of people have become unemployed, and in many countries this has resulted in mass poverty, famine, among certain groups of the population.

We have ample evidence to this effect and we have to understand that this process of closing down national economies is deliberate. IT’S A PLAN.

And, it’s co-ordinated with the financial crisis which took place in the month of February (2020), which led to massive collapse in banking institutions, stock markets and so on. Economists, conventional economists, have a tendency to say that there’s no relationship between the corona pandemic crisis and the financial crash in February. That is utterly mistaken. The fear campaign, the disinformation campaign, have facilitated the MANIPULATION OF STOCK MARKETS. And we’re (I’m) talking about the use of very sophisticated derivatives, speculative instruments and so on.

What is now happening is that governments have been indebted up to their ears. They’re paying out compensation to companies which have been affected; in some cases it’s generous bailouts, in other cases it’s part of a social safety net coming to the rescue of workers and small-scale enterprises.

And the next stage is the MOST SERIOUS DEBT CRISIS IN WORLD HISTORY. In other words, the levels of employment have crashed and companies are bankrupt. We will have a fiscal crisis of the state. In other words, a dramatic decline in (income) tax revenues due to the collapse in employment, and the  companies (which have not gone bankrupt) are going to deduct corporate losses, of course (on their tax statements). How will the governments around the world continue to govern, finance social programs and so on?

It will ultimately be through a gigantic global debt operation implemented both in the so-called ‘developed’ countries – e.g. Italy, France, United States, Canada – and in the developing countries where it will be more the international financial institutions, the World Bank, the IMF, the regional development banks.

Now, the problem of Western governments is that that debt is NOT REPAYABLE. The Italian government has issued bonds with the support of Goldman Sachs and so on; that was done a couple of months back. And what has happened? Italy’s debt is categorized (by Standard and Poor). . . these Italian bonds, are classified ‘BB’, which essentially means junk bond status. In other words, that means that an entire state apparatus is now in the hands of the creditors. And these creditors are the financial institutions, the banks and so on.

And the next stage is ultimately the confiscation of the State! THE STATE WILL BE PRIVATIZED. All the programs will be under the helm of the creditors. We can say, “Goodbye” to the welfare state in Western Europe. Why? Because the creditors will immediately, following what they did in Greece a few years back . . . they will immediately impose austerity measures, and the privatization of social programs, the privatization of anything that can be privatized – cities, land, public buildings.

And, in other words, we are living a very important evolution because the State, as we know it, will no longer exist. It will be run by private banking interests, who will . . . and they’re already doing that . . . APPOINT their governments, or their politicians, their corrupt politicians, and essentially they will take over the whole political landscape.

That is happening in a number of countries. And in some countries they have even instructed the governments NOT to debate (in parliament) the enormous debts which have been accumulated in the last few months as a result of the pandemic, which now are the object of financing by these powerful financial institutions. In Canada there was an agreement between Prime Minister Trudeau on the one hand and the leader of the opposition – NO DEBATE in parliament on $150 billion of debt, which then has to be covered through public debt operations and loans from financial institutions.

And essentially the scenario that we are living. . . which is unfolding is that, on the one hand, the real economy in the course of the last few months starting in March, well, in fact, starting in February with the stock market crash is in a state of crisis, production activity has been affected, trade has been affected. Millions and millions of people are going to be unemployed, without earnings, and it’s not only poverty – it’s poverty and despair. It’s the marginalization of large sectors of the world population from the labour market. There are figures on that, published by the ILO (International Labour Organization) that in fact, at this stage, it is premature to even start estimating these impacts.

We can look at it country by country. We can see, for instance, that in developing countries the informal sector, let’s say in India or in certain countries in Latin America, (such as) Peru, a large sector of the labour force is involved in what is called the ‘informal sector’; self-employed, small-scale industries and so on. Well, this has been COMPLETELY WIPED OUT and the people affected are left very often, homeless. The only choice they have is to do it to go back to their home villages and in the process they are the victims of famine and a situation of TOTAL MARGINALIZATION.

That is the scenario. It’s beyond global poverty. It’s mass unemployment. It is something which has been ENGINEERED, it’s not something which is accidental. And it’s certainly not something which has been used to resolve a global health crisis.

The global health crisis pertaining to covid has been MULTIPLIED. People have been confined, they have fallen sick, they have lost their jobs, and at the same time the whole health apparatus has been in crisis, unable to function.

What we have to understand is that this process HAS TO BE CONFRONTED! There has to be an organized opposition. This is a neo-liberal project! It’s neo-liberalism to the extreme.

Now, bear in mind that today, what we have, (is that) in some regards, the stock market crash used speculative instruments, insider trading, but also the fear campaign to implement what is THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TRANSFER OF WEALTH IN WORLD HISTORY! In other words, everybody loses money in the stock market crash and the money goes into the hands of, you know, a limited number of billionaires. And there have been estimates as to the enrichment of this class in the course of the last three months. I won’t get into details. So that, this, in a sense, this crisis of February, the stock market crisis, sets the stage for the lockdown.

And on (the topic of) the lockdown, we can call it by another name. The lockdown is the CLOSURE OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY! It is an act which instructs national governments to close down their economy, and they obey! That’s what we call, ‘global governance’. But it’s an imperial project. They obey and they close down everything.

And then they they try to convince their citizens that this is all for a good cause, we are closing down the economy so that we can save lives due to covid-19. That is a very strong statement and at the same time the statistics on covid-19 are the source of manipulation.

I won’t get into that particular dimension but I can say in all certitude that the impact of this crisis is so dramatic, the economic crisis, that it DOESN’T COMPARE to the impact of covid-19, which, according even to people like Anthony Fauci, is comparable to the seasonal influenza. They’ve written that in their peer-reviewed articles.

What they say online, on CNN is a different matter. But they do not consider covid-19 as an ultimate danger of all dangers. It’s not. There are many other health pandemics affecting the world. That does not mean that we shouldn’t take it seriously but we should understand, it’s common sense, it’s not by closing down the global economy that you’re going to resolve this pandemic.

So somebody’s lying, somewhere. And in fact, the lies are ‘becoming the truth’, they’re becoming part of the ‘consensus’ and THAT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

Because when the lie becomes ‘the truth’, there’s no turning backwards.

And we notice how independent scientists, independent analysts, are being CENSORED,  that we have many doctors and nurses and scientists, virologists as well as economists who are speaking out. And you just have to look at the figures, the millions and millions of people who are unemployed as a result of this.

So, what we really need is a historical understanding of what’s going on, because closing down the economy through orders from ‘somewhere up there’ . . .

First of all, it’s DISTINCT FROM ANY PREVIOUS CRISIS. But secondly, we have to RESIST THAT MODEL. And it’s not by changing the paradigm, no. It’s a mass movement; it’s a mass movement against our governments, it’s a mass movement against the architects of this diabolical project . . .

And we can’t ask the Rockefellers, “Please lend us the money” to pay for our expenses, we have to do that on our own.

And that’s why all these NGOs, which are funded by corporate foundations Cannot  . . . I’m not saying . . . some of the things they do are fine but they cannot wage a campaign against those who are sponsoring them, that’s an impossibility.

So we have to implement a grassroots movement, nationally and internationally, to CONFRONT THIS DIABOLICAL PROJECT and to restore our national economies, our national institutions. And, to DENY THE LEGITIMACY OF THE DEBT PROJECT. And to investigate the elements of corruption which have led to this diabolical adventure, which is affecting humanity in its entirety.

This is a war against humanity, implemented through complex economic instruments.

Goodbye and we will continue our battle and our analysis to the best of our abilities at Global Research.

***

Our thanks to Chris Green for the Transcript of the above video.

CAPS indicate emphasis


The Globalization of Poverty and the New World OrderThe Globalization of Poverty: Deconstructing the New World Order

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Reviews:

“This concise, provocative book reveals the negative effects of imposed economic structural reform, privatization, deregulation and competition. It deserves to be read carefully and widely.”
– Choice, American Library Association (ALA)

“The current system, Chossudovsky argues, is one of capital creation through destruction. The author confronts head on the links between civil violence, social and environmental stress, with the modalities of market expansion.”
– Michele Stoddard, Covert Action Quarterly

CLICK HERE FOR A SPECIAL INSIDE LOOK AT THE PREFACE

Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which hosts the critically acclaimed website www.globalresearch.ca. He is a contributor to the Encyclopedia Britannica. His writings have been translated into more than 20 languages.

The original source of this article is Global

ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

الغياب التدريجي للعصر الأميركي أصبح قريباً

د. وفيق إبراهيم

غياب الدول يبتدئ بمؤشرات وهنٍ تظهر بشكل تدريجي ككل كائن، فتفتك بصاحبها حتى يتولاه التاريخ ويسجنه في صفحاته الصفراء.

هكذا حال الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي تسطع منذ 1945 وتضع يدها منذ ثلاثة عقود على العالم بأسره بما يحتويه من سياسة واقتصاد وثقافة.

هذه الإمبراطورية تتعرّض اليوم لانتفاضة ضخمة من أقلياتها السوداء التي تشعر بغبن جراء ثقافة عنصريّة تشكل اساس النظام التاريخي الأميركي مع حرمان اقتصادي يجمّدها في أسفل السلم الاجتماعي وتدهور إضافي بسبب جائحة كورونا أوصل العاطلين عن العمل الى 50 مليوناً تقريباً.

لكن هذه الانتفاضة السوداء تتوسّع بأعمال عنف تضرب عشرات الولايات وتتسبب بأضرار مادية مع سقوط قتلى اغتالهم مجهولون لإثارة الهلع في صفوف المتظاهرين، هؤلاء يتّجهون الى تصعيد “انتفاضتهم” وتزويدها بشحنات سياسية قوية عنوانها ما فعلوه بحصار البيت الابيض الأميركي مقر الرؤساء، ومنهم بالطبع الحالي دونالد ترامب الذي يبدو مذعوراً يهدّد المتظاهرين بالكلاب والجيش.

هناك عنصر ثانٍ يدعم انتفاضة الأقليات السوداء وهم ذوو الأصول اللاتينية الذين بدأوا ينخرطون في الحركات الاحتجاجيّة الى جانب كتل وازنة من الأميركيين البيض يسجلون بدورهم استياءهم من سياسات ترامب التي يصفونها بالحمقاء المدمّرة للدولة.

إن انهيار الإمبراطوريات يحتاج عادة لتضافر عوامل داخلية وخارجية. وهذا ما يجري تماماً على الصعيد الأميركي.

خارجياً تتعرّض القطبية الأحادية الأميركية لمنافسة بنيوية عميقة مع نظام اقتصادي صيني نجح في مدة بسيطة من التهام قسم هام من اسواق العالم بوسائل جاذبة قامت على رخص سعر السلعة وجودتها مع الاستفادة من نظام العولمة الذي فتح الحدود السياسية للدول امام التبادلات التجارية.

كان المعتقد أن العولمة سلاح أميركي للمزيد من هيمنة الاقتصاد الأميركي على العالم، وبالفعل هذا ما حدث إنما بمشاركة صينية يابانية وألمانية أدّت الى تراجع الاقتصاد الأميركي نسبياً.

الملاحظ هنا أن هناك تزامناً بين الخارج والداخل في دفع الهيمنة على الأسواق، هذا ما يصيب ترامب بالجنون، فيبدأ بتحميل الصين وزر الكورونا والسطو على الاختراعات الأميركية والاعتداء على هونغ كونغ ودعم كوريا الشمالية ومحاولات التحرش ببوارج أميركية في بحر الصين الجنوبي، لكن ما يطالب به برامب يفضح ما يريده وهو وقف تدفق السلع الصينية الى أسواق بلاده أولاً وتحالفاتها ثانياً. وهذا يعني تسديد ضربة قاتلة للاقتصاد الصيني.

قد يعتقد البعض ان القوة النووية الأميركية كافية لإرهاب الصين، لكن الكرة الأرضية لا تحتاج الى آلاف الاسلحة النووية الأميركية لتدميرها، لربما فإن ما تملكه الصين من أعداد قليلة منها أكثر من كافية لإثارة الذعر الأميركي والابتعاد عن اللجوء إليه.

كذلك فإن الروس عادوا الى التمدد الاستراتيجي في دول تشكل بالنسبة إليهم رؤوس جسور لعودتهم الى فضاءاتهم السوفياتية السابقة.

أما الضربة الثالثة فهي كورونا التي شلت الاقتصاد الأميركي بحركتيه الداخلية والخارجية، وأنتجت حتى الآن خمسين مليون عاطل عن العمل من أبناء الطبقات الفقيرة والوسطى، ولولا المساعدات الاجتماعيّة الحكوميّة لانفجر الوضع منذ أكثر من شهر.

هناك اذاً ظروف خارجية وأخرى تتعلّق بجائحة كورونا تضع الدولة الأميركيّة في وضع صعب.

لقد استلزم الأمر “قشة” صغيرة تقصم ظهر البعير الأميركي. وهذا ما حدث باغتيال مواطن أميركي من ذوي البشرة السمراء خنقه بركبته ضابط شرطة أميركي في ولاية مينيابوليس فهبّت الأقلية السمراء في عشرات الولايات في أكبر انتفاضة شعبية تنفذها الأقلية السمراء بشكل غاضب أحرق مقارّ رسمية وممتلكات خاصة في تظاهرات لم تتوقف حتى الآن وتذهب نحو مزيد من التصعيد؛ يكفي ان الشرطة الأميركية اعتقلت حتى الآن 1400 أميركي أسمر البشرة في سبع عشرة ولاية ولم تتمكن من تفريق متظاهرين يطوقون البيت الأبيض الرئاسي محاولين اقتحامه.

المشكلة هنا، تتمحور في أن ترامب يريد من حكام الولايات إنزال الحرس الوطني لقمع التظاهرات. وهذا من صلاحيات مناطقهم الفدراليّة، وذلك كي يهرب من اللجوء الى صلاحياته الرئاسية باستخدام الجيش، لأن ما يفكر فيه هو الانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني المقبل.

وقد يذهب لتأجيج الصراع بين أبناء الطبقات الفقيرة والمتوسطة البيضاء ومع الاقلية السمراء وذلك لكسب أصوات فقراء أميركا المحسوبين تاريخياً مع الحزب الديمقراطي المنافس.

بذلك ينجح ترامب بأصوات بيضاء صافية من أغنياء أميركا في حزبهم الجمهوري والفقراء من البيض الذين يوهمهم ترامب ان الأقليّة السمراء تحاول التهام ما يتمتعون به من امتيازات.

إن هذا النمط من التعامل هو أسلوب اتسم به الرئيس ترامب من طريق تحريض البيض من كل التنوّعات الاقتصادية على السود والمسلمين واللاتينيين ذوي الأصول الصينية والمكسيكية، حتى أنه هو أكثر من حرّض على الدين الإسلامي لكسب أصوات اليهود الأميركيين مُهدياً ما تبقى من فلسطين المحتلة للإسرائيليين المحتلين.

هذه العوامل مجتمعة، تجب إضافتها الى اهتزاز الهيمنة الأميركية في مشروعها الفاشل في الشرق الأوسط.

فبعد فشله في سورية والعراق وغزة واليمن، وإيران وعودة منظمة طالبان الى الحرب على حلفاء الأميركيين في موقفه من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران وانسحابهم من منظمة الصحة الدولية، وبيعهم الضفة الغربية لكيان المحتل، وخروجهم من اتفاق الأجواء المفتوحة، هذا الخروج الذي يضع العالم على كف عفريت اسمه ترامب.

كل هذه العناصر المجتمعة في آن واحد تكشف ان انتفاضة الأقليات الأميركية السمراء او اللاتينية مع تأييد قسم وافر من البيض الأميركيين، هي مقدمة تراجع بنيوي تدخل فيها الامبراطورية الأميركية إنما بشكل تدريجي، لأن قوتها الاقتصادية لا تزال قوية وأولى بين اقتصادات الدول وتتمتع بقدرات عسكرية هائلة توازي إمكانات روسيا.

لذلك فإن تعميق التحالف الصيني – الروسي واستمرار انتفاضة الأقليات الأميركية، هي عناصر دفع الهيمنة الأميركية الى تدهور سريع على أساس سيادة قطبية جديدة وإعادة العمل بالقانون الدولي كمرجع للخلافات الدولية، وتسديد ضربة للنظام العنصري الأميركي خصوصاً والغربي عموماً، قد لا تكفيه، لكنها تمنعه من ممارساته الوحشية وتؤسس لتدريس وبناء نظام ثقافي عالمي جديد لا يميز بين البشر على أساس ألوانهم ومستوى ثرواتهم.

ماذا تقول الأحداث الأميركيّة؟ وماذا عن المقارنات اللبنانيّة؟

ناصر قنديل

تدخل الأحداث التي تتفجّر عنفاً في الشوارع الأميركيّة وتشمل عدداً كبيراً من المدن والولايات طريق التعاظم، لأسبوع إضافي، وبمعزل عن حماسة الترحيب بهذه الأحداث أو الدعوات لعدم الاحتفال بها، فهي لا تبدو مجرد احتجاج عابر على مقتل الرجل الأسود على أيدي رجال الشرطة، بمقدار ما شكل الحادث الصادم بطريقته وظروفه، عنصر التفجير لمخزون غضب كان ينتظر فرصة التحوّل إلى شريك في المشهد الأميركي. ومخزون الغضب يتجمّع مع الخطاب العنصريّ للرئيس دونالد ترامب، وزادته تعاظماً بأضعاف مضاعفة الأزمات الاجتماعية الناجمة عن تداعيات وباء كورونا، وتشرد ملايين العاطلين عن العمل من وظائفهم، وانضمامهم إلى طالبي الإعانات، في ظل تراكم مجموعة أحداث سياسية دولية أصابت الهيبة الأميركية، خصوصاً في الجوار المباشر، الذي تمثله فنزويلا، بعدما قدّمها ترامب كثمرة ناضجة للقطاف العنصري لنظامه، وتحوّلت بعد وصول ناقلات النفط الإيرانيّة، إلى عنوان الفشل الأميركي، فيما لا تبدو الانتخابات الفرصة التي كان ينتظرها الشارع الغاضب على ترامب وإدارته لتغيير ديمقراطي، في ظل الصورة الباهتة التي يقدّمها الحزب الديمقراطي، والمشاكل التي تحيط بأهليّة مرشحه جو بايدن لمواصلة السابق الانتخابي، مع ظهور بوادر للتلاعب بالعملية الانتخابية برمّتها، وصولاً لفرضيات التأجيل حتى إشعار آخر.

الغضب وانعدام الأمل هما طريق النزول إلى الشارع، وهما عنصران متوافران بقوة في شارع أميركي ليس محصوراً بأصحاب البشرة السوداء. فضحايا العنصرية التي يضخها خطاب ترامب تتخطاهم لتطال ذوي الأصول اللاتينيّة، والمسلمين، والنساء، والأزمة الاقتصادية الاجتماعيّة تمسّ شرائح كانت تحسب حتى الأمس على الطبقة الوسطى من البيض المتنورين، وتحرك مجموعات الوسط الليبرالي واليساري الذين أظهرت حملة المرشح بيرني ساندرز أنهم شريحة وازنة في معظم الولايات الأميركية، وهذا الشارع المتنوع يبدو أنه ينضم تدريجاً للحركة الاحتجاجية التي تتسع بصورة لافتة على مستوى تنوّع مكوّناتها، وتعدد ولاياتها، لتصير أقرب نحو تشكيل شارع وطني أميركي يواجه سلطة حكم، متوحشة، اقتصادياً واجتماعياً وسياسياً وإعلامياً، يقودها وحش مالي عنصري هو دونالد ترامب، من دون وجود أفق راهن لتسوية في منتصف الطريق، في ظل أزمة اقتصادية مرشحة للمزيد من التفاقم، وشح متزايد في الموارد، مع تراجع عام تعانيه الشخصية الأميركية في العالم، في ظل فقدان السيطرة على الملفات السياسية الخارجية كحاكم منفرد للعالم، من جهة، وتراجع كبير في الصورة العلمية والأخلاقية التي حرص الأميركيون دائماً على إظهار تفوّق نموذجهم في تمثيلها. وكان ما شهدته الولايات الأميركية وخصوصاً نيويورك، في مواجهة وباء كورونا، التعبير الأقوى عن هذا السقوط العلمي والأخلاقي.

المخاض الأميركي يبدو مفتوحاً، بلا أفق واضح لخاتمة قريبة، والحديث هنا ليس عن ثورة ولا عن تغيير نظام بالتأكيد، هو الغضب الشعبي اليائس من قدرة النظام على احتواء الأزمات ضمن مؤسسات الديمقراطية. وهذا يجب أن يدركه الذين يرغبون بإجراء المقارنات مع ما شهده لبنان، ويحبّون بتسميته ثورة، فما يجري في أميركا يشبه ما جرى في لبنان، وليس تغيير النظام في كليهما أفقاً ممكناً، ولا صفة الثورة تصحّ فيه، لأنها بالضبط بلا قيادة وبلا برنامج، وما يجري في أميركا يقول للبنانيين الذين يتساءلون عن معنى احتفال الخصوم السياسيين للإدارة الأميركية بما يجري، بينما لم يفعلوا ذلك تجاه ما جرى في لبنان، الجواب بسيط، هو أنهم لا يرغبون لبلدهم ما يرغبونه لعدوهم، من فوضى ومخاطر أمنية، وضياع للأفق السياسي؛ أما الذين يقولون لماذا لا يطعن أحد بأهلية ما يجري في أميركا من الذين طعنوا بأهلية ما جرى في لبنان؟ فالجواب ببساطة هو أن “لا وجود لسفارة أميركية في أميركا”.

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August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin

May 28, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

TITANIC LARGEST SHIP IN THE WORLD SINKING

personally I am not sure that the twelvehour day is bad for employees especially when they insist on working that long in order to make more money

— John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel, part one of the U.S.A. trilogy

What if the bailouts actually work?

Naturally, socialists aren’t inclined to explore this question, but what’s so interesting is that the Western Mainstream Media doesn’t want to admit the truth: the US bailouts for the lower classes have been hugely effective.

Too effective, they fear, and their fears are entirely correct. Make sure to circle August 1 on your calendar because that will be something of a US class war D-Day.

The Mainstream Media does not want to touch this issue with a 10-foot pole, so we cannot find much coverage of the reality that the Great Lockdown payouts to the lower classes have been – by US standards – incredibly generous. (Note: this article was written last week. The latest Fed Beige Book came out yesterday and addressed this issue, so I bumped this column up in the queue.)

2020 saw the very first “People’s QE”, with $1,200 in direct payments and a $600 increase per week in unemployment insurance until July 31.

Even if the bureaucracy sometimes moved too slowly and there were inevitable issues with this enormous and unprecedented redistribution, the verdict was in immediately: this was a hugely popular success with the lower classes. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s the most generous unemployment payout since the 1930s. For the first time in recent memory governmental policy favoured the lower class worker instead of the upper-middle and upper classes.

The average worker went from $378 per week in state unemployment benefits to $978 per week – a jump of 160%. You ever get a 160% raise before? I haven’t. Indeed, a socialist had to have gotten a lump in their throats when this was announced. One study showed that a whopping 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings. That number seems a bit high, but the massive desire to support the stay-at-home orders was surely a reflection of a desire to support this radically different approach to poverty prevention.

For the incredibly stingy US system the payout was unexpectedly generous and even based on good sense: the payout was $978 per week because the national average salary for unemployment recipients is $970 per week. It passed the smell test, too: $4,000 per month is a pretty good salary in the US… if you have no kids. However, if you have a very good upper-middle class job then it’s a pay cut, but democratically orienting policy to the needs of the lower classes and not the upper and upper-middle classes in the US? Since when?!

This is when socialists had to think – maybe these bailouts will actually work?

But it’s not as if they pulled the plug on capitalist-imperialist culture, so I think the US 1% made a major mistake in suddenly growing a conscience – they have unwittingly done more to raise class consciousness than any union or socialist party has done for many decades.

Buy some popcorn and watch the show – August 1 is going to see public labor-related rage for the first time since the 1930s.

Big, big problems in almost too many ways to count starting August 1

Michiganders demanding their constitutional right to fish was interesting, courageous and an example of ancestor worship any East Asian would be proud of, but let’s talk turkey about why in May – when it became clear that comparisons of coronavirus with the Spanish Flu of 1918 were obviously tabloid journalism – polls showed so many people refused to go back to work:

The early reopening of the economy was shot in the foot by this “unemployment bailout” – why on earth would the lower classes want to return to their low-paid jobs, where they could contract huge corona-related health care costs, when they can be totally safe and paid better to boot?

Don’t get it twisted for even a moment: the problem was NOT an excessive government handout but the TERRIBLE wages lower class workers have to endure since 1980. What “shot the recovery in the foot”, therefore, was capitalist greed and decades of stagnant wages, not “overly-generous government programs”. If the US had paid proper wages, and had shown proper skepticism to the now-unproven claims of corona hysterics, then they wouldn’t have so many employees telling bosses to take their job and shove it.

And the anger will seethe long-term, because the long, long, LONG overdue payout only sowed the seeds of future class discontent: it took a deadly pandemic for America’s most abused workers to finally get a living wage of above $15/hour. How can the lower classes – who are totally denied class consciousness by the US education system and pop culture – now ever forget that money for them really is there, but it is unfairly redistributed?

The US already has 41 million unemployed officially – given that the median weekly income in the US is $865, we are conservatively talking about 20 million workers who will only go back to work grudgingly on August 1.

The long-term cultural ramifications of that should not be underestimated.

Equally necessary to not underestimate: after August 1 many millions of workers won’t have these proper unemployment benefits nor a job either – at least 25% to up to over 40% of jobs aren’t coming back. So, conservatively, 20-30 million workers are going to get a huge pay cut as they have to survive on the “normal” benefit of just $378 per week.

Again, the cultural ramifications add up to massive discontent.

I think there is no chance that the US 1% authorises an extension of the $600 per week extra past August 1 – it was totally out of keeping with US ideology to begin with, and yet another indicator of the hysteria which swept the US regarding coronavirus. If unemployment benefits remained that high the only choice would be for bosses to raise wages to attract workers, and 40 years of recent shows that simply won’t be allowed to happen in the US.

Congress will, however, likely extend the number of weeks workers can live on the inadequate $378 wage (usually around 6 months in the US) but that will hardly be viewed as sufficient. They are talking about giving a $450 back to work bonus to get workers to accept jobs, and this only shows what a huge mistake the US 1% made amid the corona hysteria (thankfully!) and how they are now scrambling to erase it by offering crumbs.

The Democratic leadership has proposed extending the $600/week until 2021, but that’s typically-empty Democratic electioneering: if they really wanted to protect the lower classes and not corporations then they would have included that proposal in the first bailout package. Democrats waited until they knew extending $600 plus had no chance of getting passed

The cultural discontent will also be amplified and extended by the upcoming US elections in November.

Should we expect on August 1st the media to “play ball” with the 1%, like they normally do, and shepherd the masses to go back to work? Not hardly. I think it’s staggeringly unpatriotic to have “played politics” during this pandemic but nobody would doubt that many journalists, politicians and governors have done and are doing exactly that – why would they stop just a few months prior to Trump’s re-election vote?

(Indeed, whereas pre-corona I viewed Trump as a near-lock to be re-elected the odds of him winning amid such economic depression now seems rather illogical. As he is an extreme narcissist Trump views absolutely everything as being all about him, but I can see why he said back in February that corona was being overhyped to damage him politically.)

Will the fake-leftist MSM agitate in favor of labor/the unemployed army, thus against the 1%? That would be rather amazing, and something not seen since the 1970s, but it actually seems likely because they want to better Democratic election chances. It is only a temporary change caused by the corona hysteria and won’t stick long-term, of course.

Countering the fake-leftist MSM will be the always unwanted presence of Austrians/Chicagoans/Republicans who sanctimoniously rail about the “moral hazard” of “incentivising sloth” – people who never knew working hard at a lousy job yet still being unable to pay the most basic bills – will be equating extending the $600/week with the arrival of Satan, whom they are sure is also a Stalinist socialist. These greedy toads had effectively kept a lid on class consciousness for four decades, but no longer.

By August 1 all will be reminded: the problem remains unequal distribution

The term “working class” is so distorted in US culture that the term has no meaning anymore – I prefer the Iranian term “the lower classes” because everybody instinctively knows if they are in the “upper class” or one of all those “lower classes”. And, far more importantly, is that everyone knows whom they politically support: Mao came from a wealthy family but lived his motto of “Serve the People”, whereas plenty of New York City rappers would set an urban housing project on fire just to get on MTV. Many in the US are aware of Eugene “Daddy Socialist” V. Debs’ saying “while there is a soul in prison, I am not free,” but they are not told what preceded it: “while there is a lower class, I am in it”.

So support/opposition to $600 extra per week is going to go a long way in showing who supports which class.

Ultimately, the bailouts will not work – in terms of aiding society – for the three other major components of the US economy: the small- and medium-sized business, corporations and high finance. Addressing “Will the bailouts work?” for those sectors requires another article, but this column democratically addressed the bailouts’ effect on the largest sector of society – the lower classes.

August 1 will mark a critical new era in which domestic disenchantment with the American system reaches an all-time peak, and then only increase from there. Mark your calendars.

It’s not as if American socialism doesn’t have a history to draw upon for strength and guidance, such as John Dos Passos. The U.S.A. trilogy was ranked 23rd on Modern Library’s 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, but today Dos Passos has been banished from schools, academia and public consciousness – he chronicled the early years of American socialism.

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Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Waiter, I’ll have the soup of the day followed by the vaccine

Waiter, I’ll have the soup of the day followed by the vaccine

May 27, 2020

by Denis Conroy for The Saker Blog

Statistics suggest that one and a half billion day-labourers throughout the world need work to avoid starvation. This fact suggests that clarity of mind may only exist apropos of external conditions. This thought of itself suggests that man’s inhumanity to man is really a war on human rights. Clarity of mind may be the ace in the pack, but the problem is, the pack is rigged.

Watching Donald Trump respond to the Covid-19 enables us to observe just how myopic the American way of doing business is, especially when their idea of ‘progress’ is interrupted. When the twin prongs of capitalism, investment and expediency were curtailed by the novel Covid-19 virus, and the music faltered, the ‘establishment’ honchos quickly sought to place their fat arses on seats paid for by tax-payers’ money as the game of musical-chairs came to an abrupt halt. Under cover of institutional privilege, the wily controllers of external conditions were quick to consolidate their advantage.

Adherents of the house-of-cards economy, a system designed for elites to engorge themselves at the expense of main street took fright when the mechanics of their Ponzi scheme began to splutter under the pressure of the pandemic. Soon afterwards, a forlorn sense of angst began to pervade the zeitgeist. An unknown force was interfering with the ‘norm’.

What followed from this point onwards was a babble-fest conducted by inhouse-gurus of the institutional-stripe who quickly appeared at centre stage like marionettes competing for a Nobel Prize in atonal gibberish. Their pronouncements concerning the nature of something that would only be understood in hindsight or through ongoing research made little sense, but such is the role of the marionette.

In the heat of the Covid-19 moment, institutional bodies that normally underpin the status quo were seriously challenged by the social dimensions of the pandemic. Instead of a unified or clarified front we observed a host of snide internecine tensions emerge to fuel political division as well as giving crackpottery free rein. The burden of proof had become the meat in the political sandwich. For we (the masses) who had been relegated to the role of mere spectator, the deep-state was seen for what it really was, a collection of inept coterie-managed institutions now successfully privatised and without any real connection to the public domain. Authoritarianism was having a field day.

What the pandemic has taught me to date is that there is no deep state. Power, it would seem, needs spokespersons, and institutions meet this need by providing honchos to personalise the hobby horses that they have taken charge of ; think church, royalty, the ‘defence’ department, banks (Bank of International Settlements?), The New York Times, Disneyland, Donald Trump, Monarchy, etc. etc. etc…and one notices that the only thing they have in common is that they provide services that have surface value.

Therefore, the realization that surface values…known knowns…were being used as pugnacious tools when dealing with scientific facts relating to Covid-19 had me reaching for the whisky bottle.

What has kept Donald Trump’s quiff (well-stuck) from blowing in the wind is the institutional glue that keeps American mythology alive and unwell…a vapid narrative born of a need to keep the scales of injustice tilted toward protecting its own predatory appetites…a congenital aberration peculiar to unfettered capitalism perhaps?

Hence the myopic messages endlessly militating for more of the same for the purpose of keeping alternative flavours at bay… Trump declares churches ‘essential’ (Evangelical Christians et al?) and calls on them to reopen. But alas, open and reopen are merely extensions of Trump’s interpretation of what is ‘essential’. In his mind, ‘essential’, it would seem, means doing the sort of deals that keep the status quo buoyant for the privateers.

Nevertheless, when it comes to motivation, this great twit is not without a high degree of artistry. He has brought new meaning to the expression ‘out of sight, but not out of mind’, and he does it very well…embarrassingly well!

Bewitched by the voodoo of contemporary Neo-con economics, Trump’s essentiality can be best understood in terms of business motivation separated from conscience or science. He is a child of his time who tweets a story based on lies, cheating and widespread corruption which is frequently criminal as well. He has managed to ensconce himself as titular head of a business-as-usual culture that bailed out the corrupt banks in 2008 …$4.6 trillion have already been paid out…and the farce continues as structural change is blocked at every turn by means most queer! He is of a class of people who are there to prove that economics is not a science.

But stranger than strange, it could be the case that Covid-19 has the power to affect the national (or personal) psyche. As psychic reality ultimately possesses the power to temper thought, this phenomenon has the capacity to deal with the restructuring of systemic issues. That we have become used to accepting co-adjustments relating to our wellbeing per hefty amounts of bureaucratic verbiage, it does not exclude the fact that this pandemic has the potential for us to re-prioritize adjustments.

A more worrisome aspect…here in Australia…is the fact that the Covid-19 has become a ‘for-profit’ issue, and the best way of getting into the action is to get behind the guy with the biggest stick. Trump as world sheriff has deputised our lacklustre prime minister for the purpose of weaponizing the Covid-19 issue with the intention of whacking-a-mole (a yellow-peril mole as is the case down here) because it is becoming ever more proficient in ways that suggest the emergence of a culture that is capable of producing an improved world order…ScoMo, our great leader wants all us boy and girl scouts to get behind this ‘deal’ … I can almost hear his deft fingers knead the national psyche from my place in lockdown.

And while in lockdown, my thoughts now focus on what a nightmare might look like in the mind of Donald Trump…or for many Americans for that matter. Trump the child screaming his way out of a bad dream and his mother rushing in to comfort him. He, telling her that he had an awful dream. He, having dreamed that peace had broken-out across the world. He, saying to his mother, “But mum, no more weapons of mass destruction sales to Saudi Arabia or our other allies”, and she, his mother saying, while attempting to comfort him, “shush dear boy, America would never allow that to happen, now go back to sleep, everything will stay the same my dear child, the world outside is evil and it needs to be bombed. Bombing is how America sleepwalks through time.”

While the above reverie occurred in lockdown, another troubling thought quickly followed on its coattails. What is it in the American constitution (culture) or psyche that enables the general public to myopically sustain belief in their ‘democracy’ in spite of the fact that their use of excessive military force throughout the globe is there for all to see. Has horror been normalized?

As much of the world observes how America has become possessed of a pathology wherein sadism and paranoia define the inhumane hubris that MAGA lauds, a vulgar complacency now conceals what John Steinbeck’s Ethan felt in “The Winter of Our Discount”(published in 1961)…a parabolic reality wherein the main character Ethan is surrounded and influenced by family and friends who urge him to be less honest, abandon integrity, take bribes because anything else is futile in a corrupt society…restore the status of the family by any means!

And corruption breeds contradictions. Here in Australia one can still encounter the spirit of what the average Oz calls ‘a fair go’…but for how long will it last if American corruption continues to spill-over into Australia. Our Prime Minister ( ScoMo) is a political clone and devotee of Neo-con economics…a blinkered pallbearer dutifully shouldering the demise of colonial grandeur…a functionary on a mission to nowhere who finds it impossible to reimagine a genuinely independent Australia.

No doubt there are difficulties here as elsewhere, but until the spirit of young Australian awareness comes to the rescue, we are likely to continue to elect the usual idiomatic pageboys of last resort. After all, Australia is no longer a white-sliced-inbred Anglo culture strutting the stage with pin-striped aplomb to impress the natives. We have become a diverse society in spite of the White Australia Policy that once-was.

So, the times are a ’changing and the Covid-19 is a kind of mirror held up to reality. What we see when we peer into the mirror is a redundancy which makes us wonder at the ineptness of Western leadership. The Covid-19 itself being a mirror that discloses the fact that power in the hands of charlatans is power wasted.

So, when we hear people talk about a return to normalcy, we are left wondering whose interpretation of the norm is relevant. Clearly, the political honchos are marching to a different drum beat and the Pentagon is there to keep it that way.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists?

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists?

May 15, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

(Hey hey, my new book is out today! Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism. Buy a copy for yourself and 50 of your closest friends and Iranophobic/Islamophobic/socialism-phobic enemies.)

On May 14 France’s nurses held a protest march in Paris despite ongoing fears about coronavirus — so are they no longer rightly-guided heroes but far-right neo-fascists now?

For several months we’ve been banging pots in gratitude and watching corporations praise them in TV ads but – there they are: gathering in public, not really keeping 2 meters between each other, demanding economic policy changes, defying the advice of their well-paid bosses and generally being very, very bad children who should go straight to bed after dinner.

France’s medical staff won’t be infantilised and have no time for jokes – they are tired of enduring economic hardship and poor working conditions.

Those with overprotective parents claimed the Great Lockdown was to save just one life, but the most common justification among mature adults was to avoid overwhelming medical systems – in France they failed to heed years of public protests saying exactly that.

Excepting the Yellow Vests, nobody in France has protested more in the past couple years than medical staff – austerity has gutted a medical system which in 2000 was ranked number one in the world. I got tired of covering them. My Sputnik Français colleagues hid the tedium of our job as far as the second paragraph: “… protested in order to denounce a lack of resources. It’s a demand which is far from new.” But, you know, people gotta listen to the protesters, so work has us back on the streets again….

Had people listened earlier, France would have far fewer dead grandparents today.

In the US people were explicitly told by Western journalists to not listen to the first anti-Great Lockdown protests, in Michigan. I immediately supported the protesters (in We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state?) because, you know – we’re trying to have a democracy here. However, the fake-leftist media looked on them with loathing and terror – calling them irresponsible, science-stupid, selfish, death-crazed, martyrdom-seeking, dangerous curmudgeons and neighbors who would not loan you a cup of sugar.

So the same applies to these French nurses, right?

You would accuse them of being nonchalant about corona? (Or is their crime that they aren’t single-mindedly obsessed with corona enough?)

We can’t really say, because there is no mention of the protesting nurses in Western media, or even in French state foreign-language media. From a mixed economy model to these nurses – more of “the French bad example”.

The widespread insulting of Michiganders refused to take into account their economic situation and the fact that their type of state put them in such a vulnerable position. A stunning 25% of their workers had just become jobless, so why wouldn’t they be demonstrating to get the government’s attention? On top of that their governor imposed an extremely harsh stay-at-home order, as though this was something routine for Michiganders instead of being a (hysterical, economically-suicidal overreaction) shocking, unprecedented first which is undoubtedly more restrictive on movement than being sentenced to house arrest for having committed a serious crime.

Do I think France’s nurses are heroes? Not really – I never asked them to do my job and stand at the front lines during the Yellow Vest protests and do live interviews, giving a big target for the rubber bullets. But, then again, my local garbagemen never asked me to heroically hoist refuse cans for decades even though it’s hardly fun and statistically likely to lead to an early death. And no housewife ever asked me to take care of the kids for even one month, and that seems harder than being a garbageman. Am I a curmudgeon or conceited? No, when one accepts socialism one can’t help but view all workers are equal (capitalists never enjoy this feeling). We all deserve our 15 minutes of fame, I suppose, but caring about fame is decidedly not heroism.

But the kiddies do need heroes, so should the West start cheering: “Nurses are our heroes – except French nurses!”

There is a very worrying outcome of the recent hero worship of medical practitioners: more doctors are now entering politics. The problem with this is simple: you can’t tell a doctor anything – they are the world’s worst-know-it-alls/sufferers from God complexes. They march into a room, quite late, hand down a diagnosis with absolute certainty, which then turns out to be wrong and kills you later (CNBC: The third-leading cause of death in US most doctors don’t want you to know about), but not before you are debt-yoked to a hugely inflated bill, and then doctors imperiously march into the next room and do the same thing all over again. This is NOT a mentality conducive to the consensus-building demanded by democracy.

Well, that’s in socialist-inspired democracy. In liberal democracy technocrats rule with executive decrees, so look for more doctors in office – they can afford to campaign, after all. Thus, “the recent hero worship of medical practitioners” isn’t going to lead to sensible, humble, hard-working nurses to get into office in the West – liberal democracy systematically puts the rich into office.

‘Liberty or boogaloo’? God bless America!

The coronavirus has really laid bare how dictatorial and anti-democratic their executive-dominated system really is, no? What checks and balances, much less public opinion reflected in public policy?

Across the country governors (the presidents of states) have imposed lockdowns without a single legislative vote of approval (at least that I can find). Michigan’s governor, a front-runner to be Biden’s vice-president, seems disturbingly rankled by the existence of other elected officials: Gov. Whitmer blasts Michigan Legislature for meeting during stay-at-home order, says she will veto power-limiting bills. Historically, this trend towards executive decree “began” with Dubya Bush and the Patriot Act, but that’s an inaccurate and sentimental reading of Western liberal democratic history. However, it clearly has become de rigeur across the West, and especially in Hollande/Macron France.

Wisconsin has become the first state, finally, whose judicial branch finally got involved and struck down their governor’s unilateral decree. (What’s amazing is how the Mainstream Media coverage of this was nothing but political sniping – Republicans undermining Democrats – from the very lede sentence.)

If there really are checks and balances in Western liberal democracy they are non-existent or move too slow. The reality is that judges in general are overwhelmingly hyper-conservative and in a non-revolutionary nation do nothing but defend the status quo – why has no judge interceded to prevent the weekly mauling of the Yellow Vests, for example?

(The Vesters will be out there this Saturday, of course, but we already knew what naughty children they are. I wonder if the media will cover it? If they do I doubt they will cover them two weeks in a row.)

It was historically predictable that Michigan and Wisconsin are the first to demand their rights – the Midwest has historically been the hotbed of American “progressivism” (but they still can’t say socialist over there). The state of Missouri was the first to sue China which, LOL, is misguided but at least they are sticking up for residents of the “Show-Me State”. Texas is semi-Midwestern, and non-Americans would expect them to be the first to resist for their sovereign rights, but Texans mostly just talk a lot – like Dubya Bush: all (cowboy) hat and no cattle.

By far the most delightful, “only in America” news item actually comes from the incredibly unfunky state of New Hampshire – “armed demonstrators passed out ‘Liberty or Boogaloo’ fliers at a statehouse protest”. You must be a fake-leftist if you can’t support that, LOL!

I know that when my liberty feels too infringed I immediately break out my best boogaloo dance – it works surprisingly well. I have a “Where’s My Bailout?” t-shirt from 2008 – I need a “Liberty or Boogaloo” t-shirt to sartorially commemorate the Great Lockdown. I really have to question the alleged superiority of the American entrepreneur when I cannot yet find such a t-shirt for sale?

Western journalists have thrown away skepticism during corona, except towards protesters

French nurses go against the script and thus they get ignored, but most often anti-corona hysteria protesters just get discredited.

The reality back in April was that the Michigan gun-wavers were just a small fringe group – the overwhelming majority of protesters stayed in their car as it was primarily an “auto protest”. The Mainstream Media focused on a tiny portion of overall demonstrators in order to totally discredit the anti-establishment message.

In today’s New York Times lead economics columnist, Paul Krugman (who surely cannot boogaloo his way out of a wet paper bag) also discredits the protesters, opposes ending the Great Lockdown (“never mind what the experts say”, he condescendingly pouts) and even fails to bring up a single word about the obvious economic justification for American discontent in his article Covid-19 Reality has a liberal bias:

Indeed, the antilockdown demonstrations of recent weeks appear to have been organized in part by the same people and groups that have spent decades denying climate change.

Virus trutherism is also reminiscent of the various kinds of trutherism that ran rampant during the Obama years. Inflation truthers insisted that the government was hiding the truth about rampant inflation; unemployment truthers, including a guy named Donald Trump, insisted that the steadily improving job numbers were fake.

In my last article (which elicited no happy dancing) Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona, I noted how Western inflation gauges exclude food, energy, housing, medical care and education costs – call me a “conspiracy theorist” for saying some hiding is going on, Paul. US unemployment data counts working just one hour per week as being employed, which allows part-time work and underemployment to pad their (pre-Great Lockdown ) alleged “full employment” rate – Paul must know this, but reporting that doesn’t keep in you in New York Times clover.

The Guardian’s anti-Michigander piece (yes, I enjoy writing the word “Michigander”) I linked to from April 17 used this same “discredit-via-the-organiser” tactic – as if participants were sheep and not humans with free will – in the 5th paragraph of their story.

This is the same tactic we saw against the Yellow Vests. In the 21st century West being lower class and making economic demands automatically makes one a far-right, anti-Semitic, anti-Black, deplorable neo-fascist. Unfortunately, political understanding will progress not one millimeter with such an unfactual position, yet there is huge popular Western support for such a political interpretation.

People also think I eccentrically enjoy writing the term “fake-leftist”, but it’s really quite necessary: in the US the term “leftist” is refused by Democrats as too radical, so they prefer what Krugman used in his headline – “liberals”. US liberals have only the scantest leftist economic component to their ideology – when you press them to be honest they are resolutely anti-socialist and inevitably support not just neo-imperialism but even many aspects of far-right neoliberalism. Yes, they do not openly claim to be “leftist”, but they certainly falsely and opportunistically present themselves that way. This is why “fake-leftist” can and should be used synonymously with “liberal”.

Liberals, fake-leftists and corona hysterics have two things in common: they are now hissing and booing at the French nurses, and they cannot boogaloo.

**********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona

May 13, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Among capitalist economists stagflation is the worst possible outcome, excepting a Great Depression.

They even admit they cannot explain it (especially Keynesians), or rather they choose not to – this is why the word has barely been broached during this very depressing coronavirus era. In exactly the same vein, the West’s intellectuals claim they cannot explain the causes of World War I (as I discussed last week here).

There is clearly something in stagflation which, like the banker collusion which orchestrated World War I, strikes at the moral heart of the Western liberal project.

They don’t know what caused the 1970s stagflation, but what’s certain is that the solution – the highest prime interest rates (20% in 1981) in US history, which provoked two recessions and a disaster for the housing market – is not available today in this age of Western ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policies) and Quantitative Easing. A total reversal to that type of a contractionary monetary policy would lead to bankers starting World War III; negative interest rates could reach the US as soon as this winter.

The West wants to ignore stagflation because fixing it is so very, very hard. If Weimar Germany represents the most dynamic pole of Western capitalist-imperialist socio-economic breakdown, then stagflation is its equally destructive passive pole. Stagflation was indeed put to music via the punk movement, with its trumpeting of what everyone knows: the Western capitalist dream does not work without imperialist wars, the liberal democratic neo-aristocrats are phony hypocrites, and anarchy in the UK (and the rest of the West) is needed in order to overthrow the status-quo loving “keep calm and carry on-ers”.

Cover your ears – the West is about to get punk again.

“Stagflation” is a portmanteau of “stagnation” and “inflation”: it is the combination of slow economic growth, high unemployment and price inflation. Stagnant wages is a fourth component but it is often left out because the capitalist West doesn’t want to talk about lifting wages at home, in their factories in Haiti, or even on Mars.

Astute readers should be re-reading that sentence and thinking: “Well, since the Great Lockdown started the West certainly now has all four.”

Indeed, but let’s quickly recap:

Slow economic growth – YES: This existed pre-corona in the West’s “Great Recession”: a Lost Decade for the Eurozone, while US economic growth was only in the asset classes of the 1%. As a result of their hysterical overreaction to corona Western GDP growth is going to drop probably around 5%, which is a total catastrophe for a Western system that relies on constant growth and wage-earning instead of central planning and government intervention to prevent economic catastrophe for their lower classes.

We know there will be a corona-related demand shock: the expectation of continued economic chaos will increase the desire to save and not spend. There is also the demand shock caused by their generalised consumer terror – i.e., people who remain too scared of corona to even shop or travel, which will affect businesses from luxury goods to tourism to restaurants to the mall.

High unemployment – YESThis is just as obviously another catastrophic but entirely foreseeable consequence of the Great Lockdown. Estimates range from 25-42% of all lost jobs in the US are never, ever coming back. The Eurozone already had persistently high unemployment since 2008, whereas Germany and the US falsified/degraded their unemployment rate with part-time work/minijobs/gig economy jobs.

Price inflation: YES – Just talk to any small businessman: their first goal upon reopening will be to recoup months of zero revenue – they are desperate to do so because they still had to pay costs like rent, debt servicing, utilities, wages and more during the Great Lockdown. Thus, they will raise prices and cut costs (i.e. fire workers) to not be a part of the mass bankruptcies which will arrive once the West actually gets back to work and sees how bad things are now.

Consider the effects on prices of these new Great Lockdown-inspired obstacles for business such as social distancing: If restaurants, for example, are only allowed to run at half-capacity, they have to either sell twice as much food or raise prices. Talk of supply chains moving back to the US are far-fetched, given that US corporate law requires that stockholders not lose a penny just to aid the nation, but supply chain disruptions will raise prices.

How can the price of the few remaining Western government social services go down when government tax revenue has plummeted?

This is all why nobody is expecting prices to go down in 2020, but many are predicting crashes in asset classes like homes, stocks, bonds, luxury goods, etc.

Low wages: YES – This is never discussed in the West because the outlook is so perpetually depressing in a neoliberal-capitalist system which both refuses wage controls and guts stable civil service jobs in order to hand them to the unstable, profit-oriented private sector in the name of so-called “efficiency”: When the Great Lockdown ends there will be an enormous oversupply in the labor market, thus driving down wages – the Western MSM dares not discuss this inevitability. For those who kept their job: if you thought you didn’t ask for a raise from 2008-2020 because you were too shy, fear of joining the jobless ranks will keep you even quieter in 2020.

So we see that all the components are there – were already there – for Western stagflation.

A solution to stagflation would be either increased wages or increased “People’s QE”. Given that wages represent a long-term drain on the bosses’ profits, we should thus expect the Western 1% to prefer another round of direct, but one-time, government payments to individuals and households – but this would be only a temporary staving off of stagflation. However, the preference of this band-aid solution will be resolutely opposed by anti-socialist neoliberals who view government intervention as the work of Satan, as well as the existence of Austrian/Chicago/“immoral competition is normal”-capitalists who are licking their chops at the prospect of buying up the bankrupted at low prices.

From the outset I warned that the West was fooling themselves into thinking they had the same strengths and capabilities as socialist-inspired nations like China, Iran, Vietnam and others – they employed quarantining, control methods and collective-over-individualist concepts used by Asian nations, but without having similar cultures of government economic intervention nor widespread trust in their governments, and amid their economic Great Recession on top of it all.

But you hear that analysis about as often as you have heard about stagflation.

The West will continue to avoid stagflation discussions by continuing to distort the data

The West won’t discuss what it can’t explain or what threatens their cultural chauvinism, whether that is World War I, or stagflation, or how Trump doing the exact same thing Obama did is somehow only evil when Trump does it.

Slow economic growth – the excuse of Western liberal exceptionalism: “2021 economic growth rates can only go up from 2020, thus the definition of stagflation is not met.” This is a purely technical and pedantic reply – there will be both stagnation and inflation, but by taking as narrow and as uncritical a view as possible of what stagflation truly is, then Western journalists can say “claiming stagflation is wrong”. But this response can’t endlessly hold up any more than the “confidence fairy” justification for Eurozone austerity did.

High unemployment – the excuse of Western liberal exceptionalism: This will be the toughest to hide, so they will likely do something similar to what Emmanuel Macron did: stop reporting the embarrassing unemployment data every month and only give it quarterly. Perhaps they will do what the US and Germany do – pretend as if “underemployment” does not exist (even though it is the defining feature of their young adult class for over a decade) and act as if working one hour per week makes one “employed”.

Price inflation – the excuse of Western liberal exceptionalismTheir inflation gauges already exclude the biggest expenses for the average person: food & energy (too volatile to include, they say), housing, health care and education costs. Ask a German politician and they will tell you that they are watching inflation like a hawk and that it is certainly staying in their “acceptable 2% range”. But ask a normal worker – who keeps paying more for the metro, beef, fruit, housing and all those other crucial things which inflation gauges exclude – and you’ll understand why “decreased purchasing power” has been the number one French voter concern for the 11 years I’ve lived here.

Low wages – the excuse of Western liberal exceptionalismHistory is clear: It took a pandemic for Americans to finally get a barely liveable wage of $15/hour… but only via government welfare and only until July 31. What many Republicans have already ruled out is extending these benefits – which are better than the low wages their lower classes get – because that would increase unemployment and thus only worsen stagflation. Permanently increasing wages should not be expected, as that would represent a sea-change in Western economics in favor of the bottom 90%, and that hasn’t been seen in 40 years.

Increased wages would, however, increase demand for goods and thus raise revenue and demand, and thus increase employment. It would also theoretically causes prices to rise, but the more worrying near-term reason for the price rises are the hysterical restrictions imposed by new social distancing rules and corona fears which have been overblown to bits across the West.

The West can write off 2020 as a recession or a depression, but stagflation will occur after that

Among the West’s Mainstream Media the general editorial line is denialism: “How can there ever be a catastrophe in the West when There Is No Alternative?” Among the West’s fringe/alternative websites the general editorial line is, “Armageddon/a Brave New World starts tomorrow due to the Mainstream Media’s cover-ups of catastrophe!”

However, the post-Great Lockdown truth is likely a very un-Confucian middle path: 1970s-style stagnation, which is Chinese water torture for the bottom 90%, certainly, but not revolution. They say that revolutions can never be predicted and certainly nothing at all can truly be predicted until their Great Lockdown ends – but if the West’s 1% and their toadies successfully resist the call for change from capitalism-imperialism, then stagflation is the West’s future.

The Western 1% profited from the stagflation era, of course: it proved to be a perfect antidote to their political involvement of the 1960s – creating mass precariousness is a very easy way to shut workers and citizens up. The 1970s were a “long national nightmare” for the US and their Western allies – how could their 1%-controlled Mainstream Media demand a Great Lockdown so very strenuously if they honestly warned that a return of that degraded era would be the result?

The causes of the West’s stagflation era (the “Nixon shock”, going off the gold standard, colluding with the House of Saud to create the Petrodollar system, the lack of imperialist war to keep factories from Detroit to Gary, Indiana, humming, the desire to break the record-level power of organised labor, the increased capitalist fanaticism resulting from the continued refusal of peaceful coexistence with socialist-inspired nations which oppose capitalism-imperialism) and its solutions (the breaking of the housing market in order to gut the primary asset of the bottom 90%, a vast anti-union campaign, purposeful governmental ineptitude in order to provoke the rabid anti-government component of neoliberalism, the hyper-financialisation of the economy, the demand for neoliberal “free markets” in order to send good manufacturing jobs out and weaken labor further, the promotion in the US of Reaganesque jingoism in order to give lower class Whites a feeling of pride to replace their socioeconomic degradation) will require much more analysis in the coming months and years because that lousy past is the capitalist-imperialist West’s post-corona future.

See why they don’t want to talk about stagflation?

**********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Fake Coronavirus Data, Fear Campaign. Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 12, 2020Global Research 5 April 2020

Introduction

Do not let yourself be misled by the fear campaign, pointing to a Worldwide coronavirus calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.

These are boldface lies. Scientific assessments of the health impacts of  the COVID-19 have been withheld, they do not make the headlines. 

While COVID-19 constitutes a serious health issue, why is it the object of  a Worldwide fear campaign?

According to the WHO, “The most commonly reported symptoms [COV-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness.”  

Examine the contradictory headlines:

Screenshot The Hill 

According to the WHO and John Hopkins Medicine (see below),  the risks of dying from influenza (annual) compared to those of  COVID-19. (from January through early April)

Source; John Hopkins Medicine

Moreover, the media fails to acknowledge that there are simple and effective treatments for COVID-19. In fact, the reports on the treatment of COVID-19 are being suppressed. And the issue of “recovery” is barely mentioned. 

Persistent headlines and TV reports. Fear and panic. Neither the WHO nor our governments have taken the trouble to reassure us. 

According to the latest media hype, citing and often distorting scientific opinion (CNBC)

Statistical Models by Washington think tanks predict a scenario of devastation suggesting that “more than a million Americans could die if the nation does not take swift action to stop its spread as quickly as possible”.

One model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that between 160 million and 210 million Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year. Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million. (The Hill, March 13, 2020)

The Unspoken Truth:  Unprecedented Global Crisis

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to trigger the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy, extreme poverty and despair. 

This is the true picture of what is happening. “Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties and the “Right to Life”. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Small and medium sized capital are slated to be eliminated. Big capital prevails. A massive concentration of corporate wealth is ongoing. 

Is a diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020)

“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”.

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum)

This crisis is unprecedented in World history. It is destabilizing and destroying people’s lives Worldwide. It’s a “War against Humanity”.

While it is presented to World public opinion as a WHO global health emergency, what is really at stake are the mechanisms of  “economic warfare” sustained by fear and intimidation, with devastating consequences.

The economic and social impacts far exceed those attributed to the coronavirus. Cited below are selected examples of  a global process: 

  • Massive job losses and layoffs in the US, with more than 10 million workers filing claims for unemployment benefits.
  • In India,  a 21 days lockdown has triggered a wave of famine and despair affecting millions of homeless migrant workers all over the country. No lockdown for the homeless: “too poor to afford a meal”.  
  • The impoverishment in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa is beyond description. For large sectors of the urban population, household income has literally been wiped out.
  • In Italy, the destabilization of the tourist industry has resulted in bankruptcies and rising unemployment. 
  • In many countries, citizens are the object of police violence. Five people involved in protests against the lockdown were killed by police in Kenya and South Africa.

The WHO’s global health emergency was declared on January 30th, when there were 150 confirmed cases outside China. From the outset it was based on a Big Lie. 

Moreover, the timing of the WHO emergency coincided with America’s ongoing wars as well simmering financial instability on the World’s stock markets.

Is the global lockdown which engineers Worldwide economic destruction in any way related to America’s global military agenda? 

The coronavirus pandemic is magnifying the cruelty of US foreign policy”

This is an exceedingly complex process which we have examined in detail in the course of the last two months. Consult our archive on coronavirus. 

To reverse the tide, we must confront the lies.  And the lies are overwhelming. A counter propaganda initiative is required. 

When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is No Moving Backwards.

***

Part II

The Second Part of this article will largely focus on the following issues:

  • the definition of COVID-19 and the assessment of the number of “confirmed cases”, 
  • the risks to people’s health,
  • how the alleged epidemic is measured and identified. 

The Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

In many countries including the US, there is no precise lab test which will identify COVID-19 as the cause of a positive infection. Meanwhile the media will not only quote unreliable statistics, it will forecast a doomsday scenario. 

Let us put the discussion on COVID-19 in context.

What is a Human Coronavirus.  “Coronaviruses are everywhere”. They are categorized as “the second leading cause of the common cold (after rhinoviruses)”. Since the 2003 outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), several (new) corona viruses were identified. COVID-19 is categorized as a novel or new corona virus initially named SARS-CoV-2.

According to Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, pneumonia is “regularly caused or accompanied by corona viruses”. And that has been the case for many years prior to the identification of the COVID-19 in January 2020:

[It is a] well-known fact that in every “flu wave” 7-15% of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are coming along with coronaviruses” 

The COVID-19 belongs to the family of coronviruses which trigger colds and seasonal influenza. We will also address the lab tests required to estimate the data as well as the spread of the COVID-19.  The WHO defines the COVID-19 as follows:

“The most commonly reported symptoms [of COVID-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness. Approximately 14% experienced severe disease and 5% were critically ill. Early reports suggest that illness severity is associated with age (>60 years old) and co-morbid disease.” (largely basing on WHO’s assessment of COVID-19 in China)

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in an article entitled Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted provides the following definition:

The overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.“

These assessments confirm that COVID-19 is akin to seasonal influenza and pneumonia, categorized as contagious respiratory infections.

If the above definitions had made the headlines, there would have been no fear and panic.

The COVID-19. Tests and Data Collection

The H1N1 Pandemic 2009. Déjà Vu

This is not the first time that a global health emergency has been called by the WHO in close liaison with Big Pharma.

In 2009,  the WHO launched the  H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic predicting that “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

One month later WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan stated that  “Vaccine makers could produce 4.9 billion pandemic flu shots per year in the best-case scenario”,( Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), quoted by Reuters, 21 July 2009)

While creating an atmosphere of  fear and insecurity, pointing to an impending global public health crisis, the WHO nonetheless acknowledged that the H1N1 symptoms were moderate and that “most people will recover from swine flu within a week, just as they would from seasonal forms of influenza” (WHO statement, quoted in the Independent, August 22, 2009).

And President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stated with authority, “reassuring public opinion” that  “the H1N1 pandemic is  a serious health threat… to the U.S. — not as serious as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic but worse than the swine flu outbreak of 1976.”Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 Data

H1N1 Fake Data 

In many regards, the H1N1 2009 pandemic reveals the problems of data collection and analysis which we are facing now in relation to COVID-19

Following the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu in Mexico, the data collection was at the outset scanty and incomplete, as confirmed by official statements. The Atlanta based Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledged that what was being collected in the US were figures of  “confirmed and probable cases”. There was, however, no breakdown between “confirmed” and “probable”. In fact, only a small percentage of the reported cases were “confirmed” by a laboratory test.

There was no attempt to improve the process of data collection in terms of lab confirmation. In fact quite the opposite. Following the level 6 Pandemic announcement by Dr. Margaret Chan, both the WHO and the CDC decided that data collection of individual confirmed and probable cases was no longer necessary to ascertain the spread of swine fluOne month after the announcement of the level six pandemic, the WHO discontinued the collection of  “confirmed cases”. It did not require member countries to send in figures pertaining to confirmed or probable cases. WHO, Briefing note, 2009)

Based on incomplete, scanty and suppressed data, the WHO nonetheless predicted with authority that: “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

In 2010, Dr. Margaret Chan and the WHO were the object of an investigation by the European Parliament:

“Confirmed Cases”: The CDC Methodology

The CDC methodology in 2020 is broadly similar (with minor changes in terminology) to that applied to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. “Probable cases” was replaced by “Presumptive cases”.

Presumptive vs. Confirmed Cases

According to the CDC the data presented for the United States include both “confirmed” and “presumptive” positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020″.

The presumptive positive data does not confirm coronavirus infection: Presumptive testing involves “chemical analysis of a sample that establishes the possibility that a substance is present“ (emphasis added). But it does not confirm the presence of COVID-19. The presumptive test must then be sent for confirmation to an accredited government health lab. (For further details see: Michel Chossudovsky, Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 DataMarch 20, 2020)

How is the COVID-19 Data Tabulated?

The presumptive (PC) and confirmed cases (CC) are lumped together.  And the total number (PC + CC ) constitutes the basis for establishing the data for COVID-19 infection. It’s like adding apples and oranges. The total figure (PC+CC) categorized as “Total cases” is meaningless. It does not measure positive COVID-19 Infection. And among those “total cases” are “recovered cases”.

CDC Data for April 5, 2020

But there is another important consideration: the required CDC lab test pertaining to CC (confirmed cases) is intended to “confirm the infection”. But does it confirm that the infection was caused by COVID-19?

The COVID-19 is a coronavirus which is associated with the broad symptoms of  seasonal influenza and pneumonia. Are the lab exams pertaining to COVID-19 (confirmed cases) in a position to establish unequivocally the prevalence of COVID-19 positive infection?

Below are criteria and guidelines confirmed by the CDC pertaining to “The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel” (Read carefully):

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities. 

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

What this suggests is that a positive infection could be the result of other viruses as well as other corona viruses. (i.e. related to seasonal influenza or pneumonia).

Moreover, the second paragraph suggests that “Negative Results” of the lab test does not preclude a positive COVID-19 infection. But neither do the “combined clinical observations, etc … “.

These criteria and CDC guidelines are contradictory and inevitably subject to error. Since January, these “positive test results” of the RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel do not prove that COVID-19  is the cause of a positive infection for the COVID-19. (also referred to as 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV-2). (See annex below).

Where does the bias come in?

Various coronaviruses are there in the tested specimen. Does the test identify COVID-19?

Has the COVID-19 been singled out as the source of an active infection, when the infection could be the result of  other viruses and/or bacteria?

Important Question?

Are the tests conducted in the US since January 2020 (pertaining to upper and lower respiratory specimens) which confirm infection from one or more causes (without proof of COVID-19) entered in the CDC data banks as “confirmed cases” of COVID-19?

As outlined by the CDC: “The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease.”

Moreover, the presumptive cases” referred to earlier –which do not involve the test of a respiratory specimen– are casually lumped together with “confirmed cases” which are then categorized as “Total Cases”.

Another fundamental question: What is being tested?

Inasmuch as COVID-19 and Influenza have similar symptoms, to what extent are the data pertaining to COVID-19 “overlapping” with those pertaining to viral influenza and pneumonia?

The test pertaining to active infection could be attributed either to influenza or COVID-19, or both?

What is More Dangerous: Seasonal Influenza or COVID-19? 

Influenza –which has never been the object of a lockdown– appears from the recorded data on mortality to be “more dangerous” than COVID-19?

Based on the figures below, the recorded annual death rate pertaining to Influenza is substantially higher than that pertaining to COVID-19. (This is a rough comparison, given the fact that the recorded data pertaining to COVID-19 is not on an annual basis).

The latest data WHO data pertaining to COVID-19 

(Globally, all countries and territories):  40,598 deaths  (recorded up until April 1, 2020).

The estimates of annual mortality pertaining to Influenza:

Historically of the order of 250 000 to 500 000 annually (globally). (WHO).

The most recent WHO estimates (2017):

290 000 – 650 000 deaths globally  (annual). 



ANNEX

https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download

Note: Two important texts 

Text of CDC criteria For in Vitro Diagnostic Use

Intended Use

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Summary and Explanation

An outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China was initially reported to WHO on December 31, 2019. Chinese authorities identified a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections in multiple provinces throughout China and many countries including the United States. Cases of asymptomatic infection, mild illness, severe illness, and some deaths have been reported.

The CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a molecular in vitro diagnostic test that aids in the detection and diagnosis 2019-nCoV and is based on widely used nucleic acid amplification technology. The product contains oligonucleotide primers and dual-labeled hydrolysis probes (TaqMan®) and control material used in rRT-PCR for the in vitro qualitative detection of 2019-nCoV RNA in respiratory specimens.

The term “qualified laboratories” refers to laboratories in which all users, analysts, and any person reporting results from use of this device should be trained to perform and interpret the results from this procedure by a competent instructor prior to use.

Principles of the Procedure

The oligonucleotide primers and probes for detection of 2019-nCoV were selected from regions of the virus nucleocapsid (N) gene. The panel is designed for specific detection of the 2019-nCoV (two primer/probe sets). An additional primer/probe set to detect the human RNase P gene (RP) in control samples and clinical specimens is also included in the panel.

RNA isolated and purified from upper and lower respiratory specimens is reverse transcribed to cDNA and subsequently amplified in the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument with SDS version 1.4 software. In the process, the probe anneals to a specific target sequence located between the forward and reverse primers. During the extension phase of the PCR cycle, the 5’ nuclease activity of Taq polymerase degrades the probe, causing the reporter dye to separate from the quencher dye, generating a fluorescent signal. With each cycle, additional reporter dye molecules are cleaved from their respective probes, increasing the fluorescence intensity. Fluorescence intensity is monitored at each PCR cycle by Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR System with SDS version 1.4 software.

Detection of viral RNA not only aids in the diagnosis of illness but also provides epidemiological and surveillance information.

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

 Serology Test for COVID-19

CDC is working to develop a new laboratory test to assist with efforts to determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

The serology test will look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.  Antibodies can be found in the blood and in other tissues of those who are tested after infection.  The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic.  Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms.

Initial work to develop a serology test for SARS-CoV-2 is underway at CDC.  In order to develop the test, CDC needs blood samples from people who had COVID-19 at least 21 days after their symptoms first started. Researchers are currently working to develop the basic parameters for the test, which will be refined as more samples become available. Once the test is developed, CDC will need additional samples to evaluate whether the test works as intended.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research , 2020

مفتاح البيت الأبيض بيد كورونا

زهر يوسف

من المبكر الحديث عن الرئيس السادس والأربعين للولايات المتحدة الأميركية، ومَن سيكون، أجمهورياً أم ديمقراطياً، دونالد ترامب أم جو بايدن؟ غير أنّ جملة معطيات حدثت وما زالت في أميركا ومنها فيروس كورونا، جعلت ترامب في وضع غير مرتاح، عكس منافسه الديمقراطي بايدن المبتسِم حتى اللحظة.

خرج السيناتور المستقلّ بيرني ساندرز من السباق الرئاسيّ الأميركي، وسلّم الراية لبايدن نائب الرئيس الأميركي السابق، انسحاب حدا بالبعض إلى القول إن مفاتيح البيت الأبيض باقية في قبضة ترامب “ملك التسويق” لولاية جديدة من أربع سنوات، إلا أن مؤشرات عديدة وقعت بدّدت ما ذهب إليه ذلك البعض، فيروس كوفيد – 19 “كورونا” يتصدّر قائمة التحديات المستجدة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية. فآلية التعاطي الترامبي ومعه إدارته في ملف كورونا تحديداً وما يتفرّع عنه من قضايا وإشكاليات تعصف بالمجتمع الأميركي.

كلها أمور وضعت ترامب في مكان لا يرغب به بتاتاً، لا سيما بالنظر إلى استطلاعات الرأي التي أجريت حتى تاريخه وتكشف عن تقدّم لافت لمنافسه الديمقراطي جو بايدن.

وسائل الإعلام الأميركية التي وصفها ترامب بـ”المزيفة” في أكثر من محفل، تراقب عن كثب ماراتون السباق إلى البيت الأبيض، فمثلا صحيفة نيويورك تايمز – من دون أن تتبنى – استعانت بمصادر قالت إن استمزاج رأي داخل حملة ترامب يقّر أن الأخير خسر التأييد الذي كسبه في وقت مبكر من أزمة كورونا، هذا الاعتراف من داخل البيت الترامبي تزامن مع استطلاعات رأي أجريت في أكثر من ولاية أميركية، موالية كانت لمجلس الشيوخ “الجمهوري” أم مناصرة لمجلس النواب “الديمقراطي” وكشفت بوضوح تفوق بايدن على ترامب، المُطَالَب من قبل مشرّعين جمهوريين أولاً.. للحدّ من ظهوره الإعلامي وتصريحاته المشبعة بالأخطاء حيث يبدو ترامب كـ”مهرج سيرك” مبتدئ ينشد النجومية، ما يفقده أصوات ناخبين قد يجدون في بايدن طوق نجاة؛ وثانياً التحرك بقوة وحزم لمواجهة حالة الركود الاقتصادي التي بدأت في الظهور. الأرق الاقتصادي الذي ينتاب ترامب هذه الأيام ربما هو ما يجعل ترامب لا ينظر أبعد من ذلك، وإلا كيف يمكن تفسير دعوته الأخيرة لسكان الولايات الخمسين إلى “تحرير” الولايات في إشارة واضحة لكسر حالة الطوارئ المعلنة!! بخاصة أن المتابع لتصريحات ترامب منذ ظهور فيروس كورونا بالأمس القريب واللامبالاة التي قابله بها حتى اليوم، حيث تتصدّر أميركا دول العالم في أعداد المصابين والوفيات، المتابع يدرك جيداً أن ترامب ما انبرى يسأل عن فائدة إغلاق البلاد وما خلّفه ذلك من ارتفاع معدلات البطالة. وهذا يكشف أهمية الاقتصاد لترامب، وهو ما دفعه لاستئناف القطاعات الاقتصادية نشاطها، الأمر الذي أثار مخاوف كبيرة وهواجس مقلقة داخل أوساط القطاع الطبي الأميركي إذ في عهد ترامب صاحب شعار “إعادة أميركا عظيمة مجدداً” يتهاوى الأميركيون موتى بأعداد مرعبة كل يوم، كمدينة نيويورك مثلاً التي تدفن ضحايا كورونا في مقابر جماعية.

لذا السؤال كيف نبني موقفاً حاسماً لجهة مَن سيربح الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، الإجابة ستكون أعقد من مسألة أن نصدر توقعات في هذا السياق، بايدن تحدّى ترامب وتوعده بإلحاق أقسى هزيمة، فهل يفعلها بايدن؟ خاصة أن مؤشرات تقول: قد ينجح ترامب!! أم أن كورونا قد يضع الجميع أمام واقع إرجاء الانتخابات من أساسها والمقررة في نوفمبر تشرين الثاني المقبل.

من يحي يرَ

*صحافية سورية

Global Economic Collapse Reveals the Complete Failure of Neo-Liberal Capitalism

Global Economic Collapse Reveals the Complete Failure of Neo-Liberal Capitalism

Written by Dr. Leon Tressell exclusively for SouthFront

  • Fitch Ratings, ‘Unparalleled Global Recession Underway’
  • Economist Sven Heinrich, ‘Central banks are weapons of economic mass destruction.’

As each day passes by data pours in revealing the immense economic damage caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. Most politicians and economic pundits will put the blame for up the economic hurricane, blasting tens of millions into unemployment, on Coronavirus lock downs. Fitch Ratings has given a brief snapshot of the unfolding economic catastrophe which it predicts will last well into the 2020s:

“World GDP is now expected to fall by 3.9% in 2020, a recession of unprecedented depth in the post-war period. This is twice as large as the decline anticipated in our early April GEO update and would be twice as severe as the 2009 recession.”

“The decline in GDP equates to a USD2.8 trillion fall in global income levels relative to 2019 and a loss of USD4.5 trillion relative to our pre-virus expectations of 2020 global GDP. Fitch expects Eurozone GDP to decline by 7%, US GDP by 5.6%, and UK GDP by 6.3% in 2020.”javascript:window[“$iceContent”]

Yet at the beginning of this year the financial media and political classes around the world were making rosy forecasts how we were going to experience moderate economic growth this year built upon solid economic foundations. There was no cause for worry or alarm just let global capital work its magic and trickle-down economics would ensure living standards would rise for all.

Fast forward 4 months and a global health pandemic has revealed how shallow, brittle and unstable were the economic foundations of the neo-liberal economic order that has been heralded as such a success since the Reagan-Thatcher era of the 1980s. These foundations were built upon infinitely low interest rates, an exponential rise in debt both public and private (sending global debt over the $250 trillion mark) and a massive increase in social and economic inequality. Alongside this, has been the intense exploitation of nations in the developing world and the use of regime change wars as naked resource grabs which cement the neo-liberal economic model in position.The world economy was slowing down during 2019 and heading towards a global recession. Japan’s economy had already entered recession territory in the last quarter of 2019, meanwhile PMI data from China and Germany indicated that they were hovering just outside recession territory.The global economy at the end of 2019 was teetering on the brink and just needed a catalyst or pin to pop the everything bubble which has seen massive inflation in the prices of paper assets across the globe ranging from stocks and bonds to derivatives such as collateralized loan obligations.

The anaemic economic growth experienced by global capitalism since the last financial crisis, which was a mere 12 years ago, has been based upon a gigantic expansion of the global money supply as central banks and governments mistakenly believe that the only way to sustain our debt fuelled economic system was to create ever more debt.

The last 12 years since the 2008 global financial crisis have witnessed an unparalleled wealth transfer from the working classes to the billionaire class which wields immense political influence over governments across the world. Central bank stimulus programs i.e. quantitative easing together with historically low interest rates fuelled a speculative bonanza which has pushed financial markets to all-time highs across the globe.

Meanwhile, governments across the world have sought to give the hard pressed billionaire class a helping hand by cutting capital gains, income and corporation taxes across the board. President Trump’s $1 trillion tax give away to the economic elites in 2017 is the most egregious example of this phenomena.

At the same time, wages for billions of ordinary people have stagnated or fallen whilst welfare benefits and health care have declined. We now have the utterly surreal situation whereby 26 billionaires control as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity amounting to over 3.8 billion people.

The working and middle classes together with the underemployed poor of the developing world were made to pay for the costs of the 2008 global economic crisis. Once the Coronavirus pandemic has finally burned itself out the working people of this world will be confronted with an economic depression which will rival and indeed may exceed in severity that of the 1930s. Governments across the board will once again seek to make ordinary people pay for the cost of the gigantic debts incurred by government and central bank bailouts.

In a desperate effort to prop up their system and protect the interests of their own class central bankers and corporate politicians across the globe are presiding over yet another wealth transfer that benefits the richest 1% in society. Bloomberg has noted how over $8 trillion has been printed out of thin air by global central banks and governments to prop up their debt fuelled system. The bulk of this horde of fiat money has gone to service the needs of Wall Street and its counterparts in London, Paris Frankfurt, Shanghai et cetera.The Wall Street Journal has openly acknowledged this truth in an editorial:

“The Fed may feel all of this is essential to protect the financial system’s plumbing and reduce systemic risk until the virus crisis passes, but make no mistake the Fed is protecting Wall Street first. The goal seems to be to lift asset prices, as the Fed did after the financial panic, and hope that the wealth effect trickles down to the rest of the economy.”

As the 2020s progress massive wealth and health inequalities, hunger and poverty will lead large numbers of people to question the hyper financialised economic system whose sole motive is to protect the interests of the 1%.

The American dominated monetary system which gives preferential treatment to the empire and its allies is in decline. Its decline will be exacerbated by the twin hammer blows of the Coronavirus pandemic and the global economic depression now unfolding.

During the coming decade the make the world will become an even more unstable place as the hegemonic power of our era seeks to maintain its dominant position in the global economy at the expense of other nations. The contradictions and tensions between the United States and its rival China will be greatly exacerbated during the next period. As we saw in the 1930s once these economic contradictions and tensions reach breaking point then the superpowers of the day have few course of action open to them beyond war or appeasement of their rival.Yet during the 1930s there were instances where the onward march to war could have been averted. If Republican Spain had defeated Franco’s fascist insurgency then the momentum towards war would have been slowed. It would have greatly strengthened the Popular Front government in France and halted the appeasement policies that allowed Nazi Germany to grow in strength like a cancerous tumour.
During the next decade there will no doubt be other such instances where the onward march to war can be averted.

Towards A New World Order? The Global Debt Crisis and the Privatization of the State

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, April 17, 2020

There is a serious health crisis which must be duly resolved. And this is a number one priority.

But there is another important dimension which has to be addressed. 

Millions of people have lost their jobs, and their lifelong savings. In developing countries, poverty and despair prevail. 

While the lockdown is presented to public opinion as  the sole means to resolving a global public health crisis,  its devastating economic and social impacts are casually ignored.  

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to precipitate the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy and extreme poverty. 

This is the true picture of what is happening.  Poverty is Worldwide. While famines are erupting in Third World countries, closer to home,  in the richest country on earth,

millions of desperate Americans wait in long crowded lines for handouts”

“Miles-long lines formed at food banks and unemployment offices across the US over the past week”   

In India:

food is disappearing, ….  in shanty towns, too scared to go out, walking home or trapped in the street crackdowns,

In India there have been 106 coronavirus deaths as of today, to put things in perspective 3,000 Indian children starve to death each day” 

From Mumbai to New York City. It’s the “Globalization of Poverty”.

Production is at a standstill. 

Starvation in Asia and Africa. Famine in the U.S. 

All countries are now Third World countries. It’s the “Thirdworldisation” of the so-called high income “developed countries”.  

And what is happening in Italy?

People are running out of food. Reports confirm that the Mafia rather than the government “is gaining local support by distributing free food to poor families in quarantine who have run out of cash”. (The Guardian)

This crisis combines fear and panic concerning the COVID-19 together with a sophisticated process of economic manipulation.

Let us first examine the impacts pertaining to the developing countries.

Developing Countries. The IMF’s “Economic Medicine” and the Globalization of Poverty

Is the coronavirus crisis part of a broader macro-economic agenda?

First some historical background.

I spent more than ten years undertaking field research on the impacts of IMF-World Bank economic reforms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

Since the early 1980s, “strong economic medicine” was imposed on indebted developing countries under what was called the “structural adjustment program” (SAP).

From 1992 to 1995, I undertook field research in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam and returned to Latin America to complete my study on Brazil. In all the countries I visited, including Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and The Philippines, I observed the same pattern of economic manipulation and political interference by the Washington-based institutions. In India, directly resulting from the IMF reforms, millions of people had been driven into starvation. In Vietnam – which constitutes among the world’s most prosperous rice producing economies – local-level famines had erupted resulting directly from the lifting of price controls and the deregulation of the grain market. (Preface to the Second Edition of the Globalization of Poverty, 2003)

 The hegemony of the dollar was imposed. With mounting dollar denominated debt, eventually in most developing countries the entire national monetary system was “dollarized”.

Massive austerity measures were conducive to the collapse in real wages. Sweeping privatization programs were imposed. These deadly economic reforms -applied on behalf the creditors- invariably triggered economic collapse, poverty and mass unemployment.

In Nigeria starting in the 1980s, the entire public health system had been dismantled. Public hospitals were driven into bankruptcy. The medical doctors with whom I spoke described the infamous structural adjustment program (SAP) with a touch of humor:

“we’ve been sapped by the SAP”, they said, our hospitals have literally been destroyed courtesy of the IMF-World Bank.

From Structural Adjustment to Global Adjustment

Today, the mechanism for triggering poverty and economic collapse is fundamentally different and increasingly sophisticated.

The ongoing 2020 Economic Crisis is tied into the logic of the COVID-19 pandemic: No need for the IMF-World Bank to negotiate a structural adjustment loan with national governments.

What has occurred under the COVID-19 crisis is a “Global Adjustment” in the structure of the World economy. In one fell swoop this Global Adjustment (GA) triggers a Worldwide process of bankruptcy, unemployment, poverty and total despair.

How is it implemented? The lockdown is presented to national governments as the sole solution to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic. It becomes a political consensus, irrespective of the devastating economic and social consequences.A Global People’s Bailout for the Coming Financial Crash

No need to reflect or analyze the likely impacts. Corrupt national governments are pressured to comply.

The partial or complete closing down of a national economy is triggered through the enforcement of  so-called “WHO guidelines” pertaining to the lockdown, as well as to trade, immigration and transportation restrictions, etc.

Powerful financial institutions and lobby groups including Wall Street, Big Pharma, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were involved in shaping the actions of the WHO pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lockdown together with the curtailment of trade and air travel had set the stage. This closing down of national economies was undertaken Worldwide starting in the month of  March,  affecting simultaneously a large of number of countries in all major regions of the World.  It is unprecedented in World history.

Why did leaders in high office let it happen? The consequences were obvious.

This closing down operation affects production and supply lines of goods and services, investment activities, exports and imports, wholesale and retail trade, consumer spending, the closing down of schools, colleges and universities, research institutions, etc.

In turn it leads almost immediately to mass unemployment, bankruptcies of small and medium sized enterprises, a collapse in purchasing power, widespread poverty and famine.

What is the underlying objective of this restructuring of the global economy?  What are the consequences? Cui Bono? 

  • A massive concentration of wealth,
  • the destabilization of small and middle sized enterprises in all major areas of economic activity including the services economy, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • It derogates the rights of workers. It destabilizes labor markets.
  • It compresses wages (and labor costs) in the so-called high income “developed countries” as well as in the impoverished developing countries.

Needless to say this Global Adjustment (GA) operation is far more detrimental than the country-level IMF-WB structural adjustment program (SAP).

It is neoliberalism to the nth degree.

In one fell swoop (in the course of the last months) the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to impoverishing a large sector of the World population.

And Guess who comes to the rescue? The IMF and the World Bank:

The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has casually acknowledged that the World economy has come to a standstill, without addressing the causes of economic collapse.

“The WHO is there to protect the Health of the People, The IMF is there to protect the health of the World economy” says Georgieva.

 How does she intend to “protect the World economy”?

At the expense of the national economy?

What’s her “magic solution”?

 “We rely on $1 trillion in overall lending capacity.” (IMF M-D Georgieva, Press Conference in early March)

At first sight this appears to be “generous”, a lot money. But ultimately it’s what we might call “fictitious money”, what it means is:

“We will lend you the money and with the money we lend you, you will pay us back”.(paraphrase).

The ultimate objective is to make the external (dollar denominated) debt go fly high.

The IMF is explicit. In one of its lending windows, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, which applies to pandemics, generously,

“provides grants for debt relief to our poorest and most vulnerable members.”

Nonsensical statement: it is there to replenish the coffers of the creditors, the money is allocated to debt servicing.

“For low-income countries and for emerging middle-income countries we have … up to $50 billion that does not require a full-fledged IMF program.”

No conditions on how you spend the money. But this money increases the debt stock and requires reimbursement.

The countries are already in a straight-jacket. And the objective is that they comply with the demands of the creditors.

That’s the neoliberal solution applied at a global level: No real economic recovery, more poverty and unemployment Worldwide. The “solution” becomes the “cause”. It initiates a new process of indebtedness. It contributes to an escalation of the debt.

The more you lend, the more you squeeze the developing countries into political compliance. And ultimately that is the objective of the failing American Empire.

The unspoken truth is that this one trillion dollars ++ of the Bretton Woods institutions is intended to drive up the external debt.

In recent developments, the G20 Finance ministers decided to “put on hold”,  the repayment of debt servicing obligations of the World’s poorest countries.

The cancellation of debt has not been envisaged. Quite the opposite. The strategy consists in building up the debt.

It is important that the governments of developing countries take a firm stance against the IMF-World Bank “rescue operation”. 

The Global Debt Crisis in the Developed Countries

An unprecedented fiscal crisis is unfolding at all levels of government. With high levels of unemployment, incoming tax revenues in developed countries are almost at a standstill.  In the course of the last 2 months, national governments have become increasingly indebted.

In turn, Western governments as well as political parties are increasingly under the control of  the creditors, who ultimately call the shots.

All levels of governments have been precipitated into a debt stranglehold. The debt cannot be repaid. In the US, the federal deficit “has increased by 26% to $984 billion for fiscal 2019, highest in 7 years”.  And that is just the beginning.

In Western countries, a colossal expansion of the public debt has occurred. It is being used to finance the “bailouts”, the “handouts” to corporations as well as “the social safety nets” to the unemployed.

The logic of the bailouts is in some regards similar to that of the 2008 economic crisis, but on a much larger scale. Ironically, in 2008, US banks were both the creditors of the US federal government as well as the lucky recipients: the rescue operation was funded by the banks with a view to  “bailing out the banks”. Sounds contradictory?

The Privatization of the State

This crisis will  eventually precipitate the privatization of the state. Increasingly, national governments will be under the stranglehold of Big Money.

Crippled by mounting debts, what is at stake is the eventual de facto privatization of the entire state structure, in different countries, at all levels of government, under the surveillance of powerful financial interests. The fiction of  “sovereign governments” serving the interests of the electors will nonetheless be maintained.

The first level of government up for privatization will be the municipalities (many of which are already partially or fully privatized, e.g. Detroit in 2013). America’s billionaires will be enticed to buy up an entire city.

Several major cities are already on the verge of bankruptcy. (This is nothing new).

Is the city of Vancouver up for privatization?: “the mayor of Vancouver has already indicated that he feared the bankruptcy of his city.” (Le Devoir, April 15, 2020)

In America’s largest cities, people are simply unable to pay their taxes: The debt of New York City for fiscal 2019 is a staggering $91.56 billion (FY 2019) an increase of 132% since FY 2000. In turn personal debts across America have skyrocketed.

“U.S. households collectively carry about $1 trillion in credit card debt”. No measures are being taken in the US to reduce the interest rates on credit card debt.

The New World Order?

The lockdown impoverishes both the developed and developing countries and literally destroys national economies.

It destabilizes the entire economic landscape. It undermines social institutions including schools and universities. It spearheads small and medium sized enterprises into bankruptcy.

What kind of World awaits us?

A diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger? (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020):

“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum)

The political implications are far-reaching.

 What kind of government will we have in the wake of the crisis?

Concluding Remarks

There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the nature of this crisis.

Several progressive intellectuals are now saying that this crisis constitutues a defeat of neoliberalism. “It opens up a new beginning”.

Some people see it as a “potential turning point”, which opens up an opportunity to “build socialism” or “restore social democracy” in the wake of the lockdown.

The evidence amply confirms that neoliberalism has not been defeated. Quite the opposite.

Global capitalism has consolidated its clutch. Fear and panic prevail. The State is being privatized. The tendency is towards authoritarian forms of government.

These are the issues which we must address.

That historical opportunity to confront the power structures of global capitalism, –including the US-NATO military apparatus– remains to be firmly established in wake of the lockdown.


The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

In this expanded edition of Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.

This book is a skillful combination of lucid explanation and cogently argued critique of the fundamental directions in which our world is moving financially and economically.

In this updated and enlarged edition – which includes ten additional chapters and a new introduction – the author reviews the causes and consequences of famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic meltdown of financial markets, the demise of State social programs and the devastation resulting from corporate downsizing and trade liberalization.

“This concise, provocative book reveals the negative effects of imposed economic structural reform, privatization, deregulation and competition. It deserves to be read carefully and widely.”
– Choice, American Library Association (ALA)

“The current system, Chossudovsky argues, is one of capital creation through destruction. The author confronts head on the links between civil violence, social and environmental stress, with the modalities of market expansion.”
– Michele Stoddard, Covert Action Quarterly

Global Research Price: $19.00
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The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020


Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism

April 14, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker blog

I’m only three years from being a Millennial myself but, wow! They sure have had a much rougher go of it:

Most of them were teenagers when the “victory” of the “leader of the free world” came crashing down on 9/11. Jingoistic hysteria against (fictitious, always Pentagon-supported) Islamic radicalism was followed by the Great Recession. The alleged “economic recovery” was always limited to the 1%, and now we have the coronavirus panic. Ever since 2008, when my elders start to decry the alleged character flaws of the Millennial generation I always point out how they were handed so many handicaps.

“The only Millennials with a decent job and no debt were those selected in the first round of the NBA draft,” is my usual attempt at pithiness. It’s surprising that the phrase “Ok, boomer” took so long to develop, frankly?

So what’s going to happen to this beleaguered bunch post-corona? It seems like even more burdens will be heaped on them, and I can think of five important ones:

First, there will be no growth-rebuilding “corona reconstruction” because infrastructure is not destroyed in a pandemic. When the corona craziness dies down the neoliberals in the US and the austerity-evangelicals in the Eurozone are going to be just as resistant to taxing the rich in order to give useful jobs to the poor as they have been for the past four decades.

Second, there are many fearful Mainstream Media articles detailing how after the Black Plague workers in Europe were emboldened to demand more wages and rights. This is merely an interesting historical vignette – there are no mass deaths in 2020. Therefore, once the corona hysteria ends you will have a flood of workers competing with each other for jobs. In a parallel, compounding development, good jobs will also be even more scarce than in 2008 (although maybe the NBA will expand?) because the corona overreaction is creating such enormous economic devastation with mass bankruptcies, closures and reduced government tax revenue sure to result. Due to a lack of socialist controls and planning, the law of supply and demand will rule unfettered – wages are sure to drop.

Third, the very sectors where Millennials can be most often found – restaurants, retail, tourism, hospitality and creative – will be the most decimated by corona lockdowns. What’s more, this age group has – necessarily – the least seniority, experience and skills and thus they will be the first to be fired in every sector. Labor participation rate for Millennials had only just returned to pre-2008 levels, but – as I stressed to my often-dismissive elders – levels “returned” only via terrible part-time jobs, gig economy work and short-term contracts in Europe. How long will it take to return to (these fundamentally inferior) pre-2020 levels?

Fourth, in these lousy, poorly-paid pieces of under-employment “benefits” like health care, pension contributions and unemployment insurance were often non-existent. The US bailouts have thrown them some unemployment insurance for a few months, but will it be enough? Not to pay the overhead for the moderate-to-successful Millennial classes – that is absolutely certain. Dirt-poor Millennials will, at best, not stop being dirt-poor, and certainly will return after these modest “bailouts” quickly finish. Millennials were already worse off in every major economic indicator compared to their Generation X, Baby Boomer and Silent Generation counterparts.

Fifth, if you thought Millennials were too sensitive before, then imagine how they will be after the corona trauma? There is no “victory” to be had here for the survivors – all they did was cower at home, sometimes snitch on their neighbors, and often couldn’t even risk trying to volunteer to help the elderly and vulnerable. This is going to create guilt and shame personally, mistrust and resentment socially, and a desire to save, hoard and not take risks economically.

And, please note, this is the bad situation for the White youth class in the West – imagine being non-White, or Muslim, or (gasp!) both non-White and Muslim?

To summarise briefly, the same logic will hold true for individuals as for businesses: anyone without savings or stable access to credit NOW is about to be dragged under. Millennials have the least amount of savings, social credit or economic credit.

So what is to be done?

There is a lot of fear among the corporate MSM, conservatives and corporate neo-fascists that the economic downturn caused by the corona lockdown will cause the Millennials and younger to embrace socialism.

To this I respond: Well, it would be about time.

A hugely common Western misconception during the 1950s and 60s was that the youth class would carry the day and float the elderly off on icebergs to the North Pole. We now know much more about modern Western capitalism: this was undoubtedly misguided, because in the West it is the elder classes which dominate the economic assets and political power, and are just as weighty arbiters of cultural power.

As I have repeatedly discussed, only in China and Iran did the upheavals of the 1960s translate into actual political and economic power for the youth class, and thanks to (the world’s only two) state-sponsored Cultural Revolutions. Contrarily, in the West their victory was limited to the pop culture sphere – their Cultural Revolution was repressed and halted, yes, because the real failure lay within the populace: they simply weren’t real, class-warfare, anti-imperialist leftists, apparently.

Maybe this will change now?

However, (truly) fake-leftist Bernie Sanders just bowed out (hilarious timing from a reliable Democratic Party toady); Jeremy Corbyn’s (fake-leftist) anti-Brexit stance failed (of course) and his replacement is far more conservative; France’s (fake-)left wants four things: wine, pornography, no religion whatsoever and to smash the superb Yellow Vest movement’s call for a French Cultural Revolution by any means necessary.

So what is to be done?

The political nihilists – who are stupid, wrong, lazy and cowardly – insist that leftism has failed everywhere in 2020, but there are a dozen or so examples which prove them wrong (simply look to the countries the US organises Western sanctions against). The West, being evangelical, chauvinistic and used to leading for two centuries, ignores and/or denigrates all of these examples.

Now one thing I always try to do is to shoot myself in the foot – as far as getting my articles rebroadcast, retweeted and the like – by praising Iran when deserved. I mean, what surer way is there today to terrify fake-leftist, rabidly-secularist Anglophones and Westerners than to stick up for not just Iran but also (and I’m not sure which is worse to them) Islamic Socialism?

But I feel compelled to point out that the corona-situation of Iranian Millennials (i.e. their youth class) is not anywhere as dire as for their Western counterparts, and I need only one reason to prove why: most of them live at home until they are married or around 30.

Iranian young adults who aren’t working now – at least they aren’t racking up rent/mortgage debt, eh?

What’s more: there are no Western credit card companies in Iran due to the Western blockade, and formal interest rates are constrained by the morals of Islamic finance, so what credit card debt? University eduction is widespread and cheap, so what university debt? The medical system is the best in the region and, while absolute poverty has not been totally eradicated anywhere, it is undoubtedly within the reach of Iran’s lower class, so what medical debt? Europeans usually enjoy the latter two realities, at least, so you can’t say I am talking about impossibilities. Corona quarantines are hardest on the lower class everywhere, but Iran is a socialist-inspired society so political policy actually addresses their needs first and has done so since 1979.

Unlike Europeans (especially Anglo-Saxons), Iran’s entire (allegedly) “failed to launch” youth class also have far more emotional support than in atomised Western households. This is not a small thing for some people during the corona crisis, but also post-corona.

However Iran is not the only example of success amid the post-1980 neoliberal era: it’s grounds for calls of “traitor” in the US, but is not Russia’s amazing rebound after the tragedy of the USSR’s implosion not worthy of interest? How did they do that? They are a socialist-inspired culture to some degree, but what about the continent of China and tiny Cuba as well? The point here is: the primary obstacle Millennials have to overcome are lifetimes of Gen X, Boomer and Silent Generation TINA (There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism)) to realise that socialism is an actual, still-viable, never-going-away source of solutions.

Without openly promoting socialism all the complaints and public disavowals of Western imperialism-capitalism ultimately reach a dead end, after all. Millennials need to learn that class warfare exists, but in the West only the 1% is cognisant of this reality.

Unfortunately, to see how wide the political-intellectual gap is simply consider: US imperialism more dangerous than coronavirus for international community: Iran president. What other national leaders would say such thing in 2020?

How many actually did say it in 1918 amid the Spanish Flu pandemic? In 2020 you would be crucified for saying that – despite its obvious accuracy – and certainly not retweeted.

But Western Millennials are free to ignore existing examples, and also to go on hating God, Mom, Dad, socialism, central planning, strong social safety nets, all governments etc.; they are perfectly free to stay focused on the current corona “War on Dying” and to not immediately demand socialist-inspired policies for a youth class which keeps being forced to bear the domestic brunt of Western neoliberalism and (never even broached domestic) neo-imperialism.

They’re still young – maybe they’ll get drafted by the NBA?

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Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020 – April 13, 2020

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response

April 10, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

I found out today
We’re going wrong.
– Cream – We’re Going Wrong – 1967 album Disraeli Gears

Shortly after reading about the latest 7 million Americans who made unemployment claims this week that song shuffled on my iPod. It’s a haunting and even frightening song, and while that makes it sound like some lame emo band we must remember that it’s being played by the rock super-dupergroup of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce.

The song is a psychedelic ode to the terrifying realisations caused by a middle-class freak-out, which were occurring regularly across the West back in 1967. Somebody’s mind has just been opened to the fact that the path they were on is not right. Why was it not right? Because they had failed to ever look inward – they had accepted the prevailing nonsense without questioning it.

Today it’s hard not to have this same feeling that the Western trajectory is veering out of control… but only because that is entirely the case: capitalist – i.e. growth-demanding – economies are hysterically yanking out the single-most important pillar of their economic culture (competitive demand) as if their house won’t collapse immediately.

Because there is none of the dependability provided by central planning, Western capitalism is flying blind because it has wilfully broken its fundamentals – how can any investor, CEO or supply clerk accurately foresee the economic future for at least several months (at a minimum)?

Thus a good comparison is Gorbachev’s “fatal error” in 1987, so-called “self-financing”: that yanked out the single-most important pillar of their economic culture – central planning – for enterprises which controlled 60% of all Soviet output. The immediate, radical reordering sparked economic chaos, then bread lines, then the undemocratic, top-down implosion of the USSR.

In my previous article I condensed the economic data and gave the undeniable conclusion: Who now needs a bailout in the West as a result of the poverty-inducing corona response? Wall Street, Main Street, the County Seat, State Capitol Plaza and Corporate Circle. Everybody.

Of course “bailout” is a euphemism for “loan”, meaning that the “lucky” in these sectors will simply get more and more indebted to a 1% which actually only gets smaller, smaller, richer and richer (as Marx proved).

Want mediocrity? Turn to the middle-class

What was rather fascinating is that among all the articles I have read about our new corona-world I found only one single instance of a Mainstream Media relaying a complaint of how the corona response was a middling, “middle-class” solution.

The entire plan had the imagination of a middle-class person,” was the tough assessment of Harsh Mander, director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Equity Studies. “People were asked to maintain social distance, wash their hands and stay home assuming they have homes and salaries going into bank accounts.

It is interesting that open resentment towards the middle class seemingly surfaced only in India: It’s hard to imagine a middle-class with a more disagreeable sense of entitlement than the pudgy middle managers from the mighty continent of India. One need not be an untouchable Dalit to believe that while a college degree might be a marginally-impressive achievement, using it to work at a Western corporation’s call centre is really not proof of hot stuff; one need not question the reactionary caste system to point out that such a middling life is not sufficient justification for maintaining a system of alleged karmic supremacism. Thus, I would imagine that in India today the term “middle-class” carries as many condescending connotations as it did in the Anglophone world back in 1967.

“But the West is not India”, you will object. Indeed, nobody talks about class or caste in the former. But high-and-mighty Westerners must concede that it is also not 1967 for them, back when union membership was high and an 18-year old male could exit high school assured of not just a decent-paying job but even house and car loans from private banks. (LOL, Millennials think I am making this up, but ask your grandparents – this was actually the case!)

Let’s accept Harsh’s mild definition of “middle class”: somebody who has a nice home, savings and the resources to comfortably weather months of societal turmoil. Using that definition, how very few qualify as “middle class” in the West in 2020!

The 17 million Americans who have been added to unemployment ranks in the past 15 days now have not only no income but no health care and no pension (which had become nearly non-existent in their private sector, anyway). The number is not higher than 17 million in 15 days only because the USA’s antiquated 1980s computer infrastructure could not process more claims. These people are definitely not middle-class.

You could have a family of four and an income of $90,000 in the US but how can you call yourself “middle class” when you strain to afford middling versions of health insurance plans, college education, child care and elder care? And heaven forbid you have to pay for all four at once. These people lack the stability to be called middle-class.

What is middle-class in France? I rarely meet anybody taking home more than 2,000 euros per month. That sum was fine in 1980, but after a Lost Decade produced by austerity – with its increased taxes, steady price inflation and social services which are no longer paid for by the state – their middle-class now suffers from lower-class instability as well.

The reality is that “middle class” in the West in 2020 is actually what used to be called the “upper-middle class” – their entire society has been devalued by a standard deviation since 1980 due to neoliberal capitalism.

Across the West doctors are telling 64-year old Uber drivers to quit in order to avoid exposure to coronavirus, and their journalists are agreeing with this remedy, as if such a person is only Ubering because they have a passion for people-moving? Such advice is middling, middle-class nonsense.

Corona is forcing the West’s upper class to learn that the middle-class mentality has been blown apart, and not by Cream and loud bass but by inequality-provoking socioeconomic policies which fundamentally disregard the needs of the middle and lower classes. Contrarily, the needs of those classes are always and indisputably the primary policy focus of socialist-inspired nations, which is why the West declares Cold War on them.

The West’s upper-class is telling their lower classes to commit suicide

The US fake-left has practically deified Dr. Anthony Fauci mainly because he openly contradicts Trump, but also because middle-class Westerners slavishly worship at the altar of technocracy, which rests upon the false idol of their imaginary meritocracy.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson made the correct observation that not only is this lockdown economic “national suicide” but that Fauci had “bulletproof job security”; this meant that, “He has the luxury of looking at the world through the narrow lens of his professionHe doesn’t seem to think much outside that lens.

For anyone who thinks Carlson pegged him wrong, Fauci recently said: ‘I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.” That is the “cultural suicide” assessment and bizarre goal of the man who essentially has been given the power to guide US socio-economic policy.

Fauci is not middle-class, but his workaholic, narrow view certainly is stereotypically middle-class; his total disregard for life as it is lived by living, pulsating, hungry, unstable workers certainly is middle-class.

Instead of a vanguard party which is in touch with the lower classes, the US has promoted the singular view of this germ-obsessed technician (and I’m sure Fauci is considering the broader effects of a lockdown on the municipal bond market in his non-lab time/non-hand washing time).

In an interesting article by USA TodayThis is what China did to beat coronavirus. Experts say America couldn’t handle it, we can see a government which is invasive, or we can see a government which is actually touching and in-touch with the average person – which you see depends on your lens.

But have no doubt: testing, tracing, treating, quarantining – these are all things which require mass mobilisation of pulsating humans, and which were done under an unassailable Chinese government slogan of, “No one left behind”.

China demands the ill have “zero contact” with healthy people, and that is rigorous; Fauci seems to want everyone to have “zero contact”, period, permanently.

Fauci’s slogan is more like “I want to leave you behind”, and is that not the middle-class Western dream: To leave the sick, hungry and poor – including their White Trash – behind in their rear-view mirror?

Insist that socialist-inspired nations are totalitarian and unfeeling all you want, but nothing is more synonymous with “mediocrity” than the Western middle-class: “The approach we should be taking right now is one that most people would find to be too drastic because otherwise, it is not drastic enough,” Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health,” said to USA Today.

What a middling and mediocre statement. And what a middling and mediocre Western response to the corona crisis (which still could wind up as middling and mediocre, as far as pandemics go).

Expect many more freak-outs.

In a crisis mediocrity is not needed, but truly exceptional conduct and resolve. Unfortunately their most inspirational conceptual ideas – which could really help people through these tough times – go unreflected upon and not relayed by the Western corporate media.

***********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

PEPE ESCOBAR: Who Profits from the Pandemic?

April 08, 2020

Pepe Escobar looks at a frightening future that might follow the already terrifying Covid-19 global outbreak. 

By Pepe Escobar
in Bangkok
Special to Consortium News

You don’t need to read Michel Foucault’s work on biopolitics to understand that neoliberalism – in deep crisis since at least 2008 – is a control/governing technique in which surveillance capitalism is deeply embedded.

But now, with the world-system collapsing at breathtaking speed, neoliberalism is at a loss to deal with the next stage of dystopia, ever present in our hyper-connected angst: global mass unemployment.

Henry Kissinger, anointed oracle/gatekeeper of the ruling class, is predictably scared. He claims that, “sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity.” He’s convinced the Hegemon should “safeguard the principles of the liberal world order.” Otherwise, “failure could set the world on fire.”

That’s so quaint. Public trust is dead across the spectrum. The liberal world “order” is now social Darwinist chaos. Just wait for the fire to rage.

The numbers are staggering. The Japan-based Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its annual economic report, may not have been exactly original. But it did note that the impact of the “worst pandemic in a century” will be as high as $4.1 trillion, or 4.8 percent of global GDP.

This an underestimation, as “supply disruptions, interrupted remittances, possible social and financial crises, and long-term effects on health care and education are excluded from the analysis.”

We cannot even start to imagine the cataclysmic social consequences of the crash. Entire sub-sectors of the global economy may not be recomposed at all.  

The International Labor Organization (ILO) forecasts global unemployment at a conservative, additonal 24.7 million people – especially in aviation, tourism and hospitality.

The global aviation industry is a humongous $2.7 trillion business. That’s 3.6 percent of global GDP. It employs 2.7 million people. When you add air transport and tourism —everything from hotels and restaurants to theme parks and museums — it accounts for a minimum of 65.5 million jobs around the world.

According to the ILO, income losses for workers may range from $860 billion to an astonishing $3.4 trillion. “Working poverty” will be the new normal – especially across the Global South.

“Working poor,” in ILO terminology, means employed people living in households with a per capita income below the poverty line of $2 a day. As many as an additional 35 million people worldwide will become working poor in 2020. 

Switching to feasible perspectives for global trade, it’s enlightening to examine that this report about how the economy may rebound is centered on the notorious hyperactive merchants and traders of Yiwu in eastern China – the world’s busiest small-commodity, business hub.

Their experience spells out a long and difficult recovery. As the rest of the world is in a coma, Lu Ting, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong stresses that China faces a 30 percent decline in external demand at least until next Fall.

Neoliberalism in Reverse?

San Miguel, Bulacan, Philippines, 2016. (Judgefloro, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

In the next stage, the strategic competition between the U.S. and China will be no-holds-barred, as emerging narratives of China’s new, multifaceted global role – on trade, technology, cyberspace, climate change – will set in, even more far-reaching than the New Silk Roads. That will also be the case in global public health policies. Get ready for an accelerated Hybrid War between the “Chinese virus” narrative and the Health Silk Road.

The latest report by the China Institute of International Studies would be quite helpful for the West — hubris permitting — to understand how Beijing adopted key measures putting the health and safety of the general population first. 

Now, as the Chinese economy slowly picks up, hordes of fund managers from across Asia are tracking everything from trips on the metro to noodle consumption to preview what kind of economy may emerge post-lockdown.

In contrast, across the West, the prevailing doom and gloom elicited a priceless editorial from The Financial Times. Like James Brown in the 1980s Blues Brothers pop epic, the City of London seems to have seen the light, or at least giving the impression it really means it. Neoliberalism in reverse. New social contract. “Secure” labor markets. Redistribution.

Cynics won’t be fooled. The cryogenic state of the global economy spells out a vicious Great Depression 2.0 and an unemployment tsunami. The plebs eventually reaching for the pitchforks and the AR-15s en masse is now a distinct possibility. Might as well start throwing a few breadcrumbs to the beggars’ banquet. 

That may apply to European latitudes. But the American story is in a class by itself.

Mural, Seattle, February 2017. (Mitchell Haindfield, Flickr)

For decades, we were led to believe that the world-system put in place after WWII provided the U.S. with unrivalled structural power. Now, all that’s left is structural fragility, grotesque inequalities, unpayable Himalayas of debt, and a rolling crisis.

No one is fooled anymore by the Fed’s magic quantitative easing powers, or the acronym salad – TALF, ESF, SPV – built into the Fed/U.S. Treasury exclusive obsession with big banks, corporations and the Goddess of the Market, to the detriment of the average American.   

It was only a few months ago that a serious discussion evolved around the $2.5 quadrillion derivatives market imploding and collapsing the global economy, based on the price of oil skyrocketing, in case the Strait of Hormuz – for whatever reason – was shut down. 

Now it’s about Great Depression 2.0: the whole system crashing as a result of the shutdown of the global economy. The questions are absolutely legitimate: is the political and social cataclysm of the global economic crisis arguably a larger catastrophe than Covid-19 itself?  And will it provide an opportunity to end neoliberalism and usher in a more equitable system, or something even worse?

 ‘Transparent’ BlackRock

Wall Street, of course, lives in an alternative universe. In a nutshell, Wall Street turned the Fed into a hedge fund. The Fed is going to own at least two thirds of all U.S. Treasury bills in the market before the end of 2020.

The U.S. Treasury will be buying every security and loan in sight while the Fed will be the banker – financing the whole scheme.

So essentially this is a Fed/Treasury merger. A behemoth dispensing loads of helicopter money.

And the winner is BlackRock—the biggest money manager on the planet, with tentacles everywhere, managing the assets of over 170 pension funds, banks, foundations, insurance companies, in fact a great deal of the money in private equity and hedge funds. BlackRock — promising to be fully  “transparent” — will buy these securities and manage those dodgy SPVs on behalf of the Treasury.

BlackRock, founded in 1988 by Larry Fink, may not be as big as Vanguard, but it’s the top investor in Goldman Sachs, along with Vanguard and State Street, and with $6.5 trillion in assets, bigger than Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank combined. 

Now, BlackRock is the new operating system (OS) of the Fed and the Treasury. The world’s biggest shadow bank – and no, it’s not Chinese.

Compared to this high-stakes game, mini-scandals such as the one around Georgia Senator Kelly Loffler are peanuts. Loffler allegedly profited from inside information on Covid-19 by the CDC to make a stock market killing. Loffler is married to Jeffrey Sprecher – who happens to be the chairman of the NYSE, installed by Goldman Sachs. 

While corporate media followed this story like headless chickens, post-Covid-19 plans, in Pentagon parlance, “move forward” by stealth. 

The price? A meager $1,200 check per person for a month. Anyone knows that, based on median salary income, a typical American family would need $12,000 to survive for two months. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an act of supreme effrontry, allows them a mere 10 percent of that. So American taxpayers will be left with a tsunami of debt while selected Wall Street players grab the whole loot, part of an unparalleled transfer of wealth upwards, complete with bankruptcies en masse of small and medium businesses.

Fink’s letter to his shareholders almost gives the game away: “I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

And right on cue, he forecasted that, “in the near future – and sooner than most anticipate – there will be a significant reallocation of capital.”

He was referring, then, to climate change. Now that refers to Covid-19.

Implant Our Nanochip, Or Else?

West Virginia National Guard members reporting to a Charleston nursing home to assist with Covid-19 testing. April 6, 2020. (U.S. Army National Guard, Edwin L. Wriston)

The game ahead for the elites, taking advantage of the crisis, might well contain these four elements: a social credit system, mandatory vaccination, a digital currency and a Universal Basic Income (UBI). This is what used to be called, according to the decades-old, time-tested CIA playbook, a “conspiracy theory.” Well, it might actually happen.

A social credit system is something that China set up already in 2014. Before the end of 2020, every Chinese citizen will be assigned his/her own credit score – a de facto “dynamic profile”, elaborated with extensive use of AI and the internet of things (IoT), including ubiquitous facial recognition technology. This implies, of course, 24/7 surveillance, complete with Blade Runner-style roving robotic birds.

The U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Russia and India may not be far behind. Germany, for instance, is tweaking its universal credit rating system, SCHUFA. France has an ID app very similar to the Chinese model, verified by facial recognition.

Mandatory vaccination is Bill Gates’s dream, working in conjunction with the WHO, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Big Pharma. He wants “billions of doses” to be enforced over the Global South. And it could be a cover to everyone getting a digital implant.

Here it is, in his own words. At 34:15: “Eventually what we’ll have to have is certificates of who’s a recovered person, who’s a vaccinated person…Because you don’t want people moving around the world where you’ll have some countries that won’t have it under control, sadly. You don’t want to completely block off the ability for people to go there and come back and move around.”

Then comes the last sentence which was erased from the official TED video. This was noted by Rosemary Frei, who has a master on molecular biology and is an independent investigative journalist in Canada. Gates says: “So eventually there will be this digital immunity proof that will help facilitate the global reopening up.”

This “digital immunity proof” is crucial to keep in mind, something that could be misused by the state for nefarious purposes.

The three top candidates to produce a coronavirus vaccine are American biotech firm Moderna, as well as Germans CureVac and BioNTech.

Digital cash might then become an offspring of blockchain. Not only the U.S., but China and Russia are also interested in a national crypto-currency. A global currency – of course controlled by central bankers – may soon be adopted in the form of a basket of currencies, and would circulate virtually. Endless permutations of the toxic cocktail of IoT, blockchain technology and the social credit system could loom ahead.

Already Spain has announced that it is introducing UBI, and wants it to be permanent. It’s a form insurance for the elite against social uprisings, especially if millions of jobs never come back.

So the key working hypothesis is that Covid-19 could be used as cover for the usual suspects to bring in a new digital financial system and a mandatory vaccine with a “digital identity” nanochip with dissent not tolerated: what Slavoj Zizek calls the “erotic dream” of every totalitarian government.

Yet underneath it all, amid so much anxiety, a pent-up rage seems to be gathering strength, to eventually explode in unforeseeable ways. As much as the system may be changing at breakneck speed, there’s no guarantee even the 0.1 percent will be safe. 

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is “2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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