Thanks to Oxymoron in Oz for this elegantly and eloquently composed view of the current global economic crisis, which cannot be declared. This analysis is complementary to the Surplus Energy Economics piece from yesterday https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2023/02/11/248-the-surplus-energy-economy-part-3/ , even though it does not look closely at the cost of energy as a corrupting factor of the Fordist Capitalism model which was working well until the 1970s.
Rising input costs (energy, raw materials, pollution-remediation) led to restriction of wages to retain profitability. Reduction of payments to workers led to reduction of market-demand, which was "solved" by blowing sequentially larger financial bubbles, wherein notional-money kept growing, without directly causing price-inflation of goods in the physical/real economy. Inflation has clearly crept in in the past 5 years as investors realized that they needed to obtain real assets while they could, before the casino collapsed.
The Energy Cost of Energy rising has made it "necessary" to create this corrupted divergence between real economy and financial "wealth" expansion, or to thoroughly revise economic theory, which could not be agreed upon (yet). Economic theory will be revised to something more like the SEEDS ( "Surplus Energy Economics Data System") model. https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/14-a-brief-guide-and-a-packet-of-seeds/
Marx and Keynes did not yet have to consider the cost of energy in their theories, because it was available enough in the world, except in times of war, when the availability of oil or coal was known to be decisive in deciding which side prevailed and which side lost. This analysis includes Marxist and Keynsian reasoning.
Senile Economics (excerpts) Fabio Vighi..It is worth reminding ourselves that in the globalised West we have already pawned everything we own. That is to say, we (states, businesses, families) own nothing but our debt, which is falling underwater. And, as the global casino threatens to go bankrupt, our puppet masters understand all too well that they must act swiftly if they are to retain power and privileges. Crucially, they know that their only chance to continue to flood the markets with the necessary amounts of artificial liquidity requires controlling (through authoritarian measures legitimised by emergencies) the freefall of the real economy as it shrinks into stagflation. Inaugurated in style by the pseudo-pandemic, today this process continues to take place under the coordinated watch of Central Banks, whose rate hikes only tickle inflation but further depress real demand...
..Arguably, understanding our condition requires the effort of thinking against ourselves, since, as a rule, a subject who ‘organically belongs to a civilization cannot identify the nature of the disease which undermines it.’[iv] Conformity and wilful ignorance are infinitely more contagious than the strength needed to overcome the biases of our time. Most of us are determined to remain asleep, preferring to believe that what we are experiencing is only a temporary glitch. Yet, we must gather the courage to see through the smokescreen that hides the decaying substance of our world. Defensive reasoning crushes the vitality of thought. It colonizes not only consciousness, but especially our unconscious attachments to the obsolete categories of a collapsing civilisation.
Every civilisation immunises itself by drawing a line between its own constituent order and a malevolent other. Evil-doing must be projected outside the dominant social body if the latter is to retain the illusion of its consistency. Yet, a global civilisation on the verge of defaulting on its own value (the self-valorising value called capital) can no longer rely solely on fighting localised enemies – it must unleash global and ubiquitous villains. This is why, having replaced the pandemic, the Ukrainian war was from the start portrayed as a kind of synecdoche for global conflict: we must constantly be reminded that a “Dr Strangelove moment” is always behind the corner. The fear of Virus has been replaced by the Doomsday Clock. This way, the war really turns into the ideal continuation of Covid: an ideological screen dissimulating the painful everyday reality around us, from recession to structural inflation and mass corporation layoffs. Furthermore, the war allows both monetary expansion by financing the military-industrial complex, as well as systemic self-immunization via re-drawing the line between us (morally and culturally superior) and them (the barbarians). In this respect, the geopolitical tension between the US-led globalized Western model and the multipolar world in the making (BRICS+) is, strictly speaking, an effect of the ongoing economic collapse. The “new Cold War” in the making has already been factored-in, as none other than Morgan Stanley claim that rewiring for a multipolar order is now a priority.
Regardless of where you are on the geopolitical chessboard, the common problem faced by every capitalist state and its overseeing transnational aristocracy is, and will continue to be, how to control the waves of mass discontent stemming from increased immiseration. We only need to browse the recent G20 Bali declaration, or the latest WEF programme at Davos, to see that the elites’ main concern is to make sure the growing levels of global poverty are met with “global solutions” ranging from digital IDs linked to vaccination programmes, to the releasing of Central Bank Digital Currencies. Global cooperation is the ideological catchphrase of the jet-setting ultra-rich who seek to regiment the increasingly stagnant world population. In this regard, the neo-feudal spirit of our time is best captured by the “lockdown model”: on the one hand, we tend to forget that millions of socially excluded humans were already living under “lockdown conditions” before the pandemic, confined to suburban slums and rural peripheries of the world, without access to work and basic goods; on the other hand, iterations of the lockdown model will be extended to most of us in the near future, allegedly to protect us from global threats.
It is crucial, then, to realise that we are facing total socioeconomic breakdown. Those who drive the financial gravy train will continue to promote conflicts and divisions of all kind to hide systemic collapse. Every conflict, geopolitical or otherwise, begins and ends within “crisis capitalism”. The demise of Socialism in the 1980s lifted the veil of Maya. Since then, as a Buddhist would say, “duality is a delusion”: there is only One socioeconomic dogma, and it is no longer working. Keeping consumer capitalism alive while also expanding debt toward infinity is now impossible. The pile of IOUs is reaching beyond what we own as collateral (essentially, our assets, labour power, and lives) while fiat currencies have long started their journey to the land of rubbish. The entire banking system is closing in on folding, which is why it so desperately needs new inflationary liquidity to keep afloat. The Great Reset is our owners’ authoritarian attempt to respond to this systemic threat by taking control of the collateral (our lives) and remain in the driving seat. All the rest is perception management.
The massive chemical spill , due to tanker-car axle failure, was due to lack of grease and the heat of friction causing fire and material failure.
Corporate liability was more profitably managed without maintenance workers. “Once they eliminated that position, it fell to the signal maintainers who had no knowledge, no training or very, very little training on these hot-box detectors,” Hand said in an interview with FreightWaves.
Across the rail industry, Hand said most signalmen are exclusively spending time on these government-mandated tests, rather than doing preventive maintenance, like cleaning and greasing.
“There used to be something called ‘maintenance’ and it was routinely maintaining your apparatus — not just strictly going there when you have a regulated test,” Hand said.
It’s the responsibility of the railroad to maintain the track and locomotives by which railcars move. However, these derailed cars were possibly owned by a leasing company or the actual shipper of the chemicals inside the railcar. (Diffusion of liability)
Seymore Hersh is not going away, but does allude to his family being threatened at times.
This is a transcript of a recent interview. It has significantly more details.
His Substack is now behind a paywall, following the initial free release of the story.
The US Destroyed the Nord Stream Pipeline. Interview with Seymour Hersh In late September of 2022, eight bombs were supposed to go off; six went off under the water near the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, in the area where it is rather shallow. They destroyed three of the four major pipelines in the Nord Stream 1 and 2...
..Every summer for twenty-one years, our navy Sixth Fleet, which has control of the Mediterranean and also the Baltic Sea, has an exercise for NATO navies in the Baltic (BALTOPS). And we’d bring a navy carrier or large ships around. It was a very open thing. The Russians certainly knew about it. We did publicity. And in this one, for the first time in history, the Baltic Sea NATO operation had a new program. It was going to have an exercise in dropping mines and finding mines for ten or twelve days.Several nations sent out mining teams, and one group would drop the mine and another mining group from their country would go hunt and blow it up. So you had a period where there are things blowing up, and in that time the Norwegians could recover deep-sea divers. The two pipelines run about a mile apart; they’re under the dirt a little but they’re not hard to get to, and they had practiced this. It didn’t take more than a few hours to plant the bombs...
..The president said he’s afraid of doing it. He changed his mind and gave them the order that he wanted the right to bomb anytime, to set the bombs off anytime remotely by us. You do it with just a regular sonar, actually a Raytheon build. You fly over and drop a cylinder down. It sends a low-frequency signal — you can describe it as a flute sound tone, you can make different frequencies. But the worry was that one of the bombs, if left in the water too long, would not work, and two did not — they only got three of the four pipelines...
,,In September, he decided to do it. I’ll tell you something. The operational people, the people who do kinetic things for the United States, they do what the president says, and they initially thought this was a useful weapon that he could use in negotiations. But at some point, once the Russians went in, and then when the operation was done, this became increasingly odious to the people who did it. These are well-trained people; they are in the highest level of secret intelligence agencies. They turned on the project. They thought this was an insane thing to do. And within a week, or three or four days after the bombing, after they did what they were ordered to, there was a lot of anger and hostility. This is obviously reflected in the fact that I’m learning so much about it. And I’ll tell you something else. The people in America and Europe who build pipelines know what happened. I’m telling you something important. The people who own companies that build pipelines know the story...
..It scares me if the president was willing to do this. And the people who did this mission believed that the president did realize what he was doing to the people of Germany, that he was punishing them for a war that wasn’t going well. And in the long run, this is going to be very detrimental not only to his reputation as the president but politically too. It’s going to be a stigma for America.....The point is that Biden chose to keep Germany cold this winter. The president of the United States would rather see Germany cold [because of energy shortages] than Germany possibly not supportive in the Ukraine war, and that, to me, is going to be a devastating thing for this White House. For me, and I think also for the people on the mission, it was appalling...
..I can tell you that the people involved in the operation saw the president as choosing to keep Germany cold for his short-range political goals, and that horrified them. I’m talking about American people that are intensely loyal to the United States...
..What’s courageous about telling the truth? Our job isn’t to be afraid. And sometimes it gets ugly. There have been times in my life, when — you know, I don’t talk about it. Threats aren’t made to people like me; they’re made to children of people like me.
Norway Informs NATO: The Russian Northern Fleet has sailed armed with nuclear weapons for the first time in 30 years.
Putin attends emergency meeting of Duma (parliament) after President of Duma survives assassination attempt by HIMARS missile, while visiting the Donbass (presumably timed and targeted by NATO intelligence).
Russian supersonic strategic bombers overfly Norwegian airspace today as warning of potential consequences.
John Helmer offers military analysis of Russian military operations in Ukraine from a Retired Indian general, with follow up commentary by a retired NATO officer. Thanks Dan, worth reading.
Russia Denies Plans to Destabilize MoldovaNATO-friendly Moldovan President, a Romanian citizen, has sought to bring Moldova into NATO, and has reportedly been told by Ukrainian President Zelensky that Russia has a plan to destabilize Moldova with military agents disguised as civilians. Shortly after the President made this announcement, the Prime Minister resigned. The Serbian Foreign Minister took exception to Serbia being named as a co-conspirator in the plot and demanded information.
This clearly has aspects of, "Hey, look, it's a squirrel!" On the other hand a lot of money and effort has been spent by the US government to cover up and discredit information about extraterrestrial sightings and interactions on our fair planet for longer than I have been alive, and a lot of reliable reports exist, a couple in my own life from retired military officers who I knew, who have since passed away.John Podesta: The Trilateral Commission Link to UFO/Alien Mania?
Star Seed (pictured placing grip strips on steep stairs after Jenny and I both slipped)
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