Forest and Trees,
War has been the traditional solution for ruling elites to maintain their power in times of economic upheaval. Our current local and global economies are "inseparably" connected in the current globalist financial structure. This structure excels at extracting value and reducing current market prices, at the expense of strip-mining all of the production centers, including their environments and people. The exponential growth of this system is fated to meet hard limits, but a little bit before it hits the hard limits, the exponential growth collapses, which makes the financial system collapse, since the growing exponent is the flat-baseline of the current global financial regime. That's sort of a saving grace, really... It tried to happen in 2008.
There will be a financial reset to a system that functions well without exponential growth. (Or we can just have chaos.) Ideally, it will be functional in wide fluctuations, since we can expect that. That's what the world has had until the industrial revolution.
China has the longest contiguous history of financial ups and downs, alternating between paper money in growth and gold during declines, each serving a phase of economic cycles. These can be decades and centuries long. China has now come out of a couple of centuries of slump, and is in a sharp rise, but aware of Chinese history, and prepared for a reversion to the gold standard.
Russia has been through her reset, is economically and financially resilient, has lots of natural resources, including oil and gas that other countries need, the means to defend it, and pipelines to move it to markets.
Among the big 3 powers, Russia has the most flexible and least vulnerable position, but way too small of an economy to dream of subduing China or the US/Western-empire. Russia is focusing her brilliance on diplomacy, being the deciding voice in any awkward stalemate in the world.
Russia, China and the US, as "rational actors", know that nuclear war is a threat to hold over the heads of their own populations, not a rational alternative.
Expunging irrational actors, like the playground-bully neocons, is of primary importance. Then the real deals can be made to carve out spheres of influence, and cut back on wasteful military spending. It looks like negotiations regarding Korea are the start of that.
The US affords military-financial-empire right now, because the global trade currency standard is still the $US. That will not persist, partly due to the decline of American industry, which it has created, as with prior empires. No national currency persists as global trade currency, as a quick review shows.
We can expect is a return of basic industrial production in North America. This will be in the contexts of much lower wages and much lower total bureaucratic cost structure, or it won't happen at all.
That restructuring of productive economy must mean a cheapening of the upper layers of government, and a return of agency to less remote state and local governments, without any increase in revenues for state and local governments, just a decrease in Federal spending.
Within that overall picture, basic services will still need to be provided, in ways that are least costly to the overall economy.
Natural monopolies, owned and run by local, state and regional government include electricity, roads, waterways and railroads, water and wastewater, communications networks, regulatory agencies and enforcement, means of taxation, law enforcement, education and medical care. I'm sure I have left things out.
The necessary losers here are the portion of the 5% who are not actually skilled contributors to economy, but who manipulate the legal-financial system to draw off skim. They have to get real jobs. They will be tremendously stressed, and many will not be able to perform useful work. They are the politically powerful contingent, screaming "No, No, No"! They are what "pulled us out" of the 2008 financial crisis, by promising lots of nice money to everybody, if they would all just cooperate.
That nice money is promises of a cut of future wealth. Those promises are impossible, like our retirements.
Who loses the most, and when?
That deal may have been cut, but is not yet made public, or will work itself out in very messy ways, especially in the USA.
The Eagle, The Dragon and The Bear is a fairly stock pro-Trump analysis, which does not assume that exponential growth must stop. It is a static analysis, holding most codependent variables as constants. It's limited, but it presents some basic nuts-and-bolts considerations.
Three realities confronted Trump when he assumed office. The US empire is unsustainable, so too is the trajectory of its spending and debt, and the government is fundamentally corrupt. It would be foolish to bet Trump doesn’t understand these issues and the linkages between them.
Localization, a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism: (A personal approach for disenfranchised social liberals, who also can't wait.)
Under globalization, competition has increased dramatically, job security has become a thing of the past, and most people find it increasingly difficult to earn a livable wage. At the same time, identity is under threat as cultural diversity is replaced by a consumer monoculture worldwide. Under these conditions it’s not surprising that people become increasingly insecure. As advertisers know from nearly a century of experience, insecurity leaves people easier to exploit.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has launched a scathing attack on the UN monitor on extreme poverty, dismissing his recent report on America ... Instead, Haley suggested, the UN monitor should have used his voice “to shine a light” on countries where governments were causing pain and suffering on their own people, such as Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo... On Tuesday, Haley announced that the US was pulling out of membership of the human rights council. ... Sanders on Thursday issued a further response to Haley’s attack on the UN rapporteur. The 2016 runner-up for the Democratic presidential nomination agreed with Haley that Burundi and the Democratic Republic Congo faced far worse problems, but pointedly remarked that America’s poverty was taking place “in the richest country in the history of the world and a time when wealth and income inequality is worse than at any time since the 1920s”..
. “I hope you will agree that in a nation in which the top three people own more wealth than the bottom half, we can and must do much better than that,” Sanders said.
Merkel and Macron have a financial restructuring plan for the EU, but no other EU members seem to accept it. (The EU remains in financial structural crisis, and will have to devolve central control to allow nation-states to financially restructure their unsustainable debts, as they reach the limits of borrowing-more-to-make-payments. It looks to me like China can outlast the EU before a reset, and the Fed sure can, Everything will change in a reset, but first blame still matters. The EU desperately needs oil, gas and electricity from outside.)
"First they came for the Hondouran families..." "Internally displaced persons" may later be served in these camps with concertina-wire.
The US government is, in fact, planning to build a series of massive tent cities that could potentially house thousands of migrants for months at a time. A Pentagon spokesperson said Thursday that the US is planning to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children on four American military bases, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, just this afternoon, Time Magazine reported that the US Navy is planning to build several massive tent cities to house thousands of immigrants in a few different states. Time, which obtained a Navy memo outlining the plan to build "temporary and austere" tent cities, said the document was sent to the Navy Secretary for his approval. The cities will house roughly 25,000 migrants in abandoned airfields just out side the Florida Panhandle near Mobile, Alabama, at Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach, Alabama, and nearby Navy Outlying Field Silverhill... There are also plans for a camp that will hold as many as 47,000 people at former Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco. And another facility that could house 47,000 near Camp Pendleton, the largest training facility for US Marines situated along the SoCal coastline.
Here is an article on Russian Pipeline Geopolitics. Russia has gas that India, Pakistan and China all need. Russia can provide this as long as all parties remain at "peace". Russian gas-diplomacy serves all interests, as long as non-war prevails. The Western Empire prefers war to divide and conquer.
In geopolitics it is not necessary to defend an advantage. Being able to negate the expensive advantage of another may well suffice. Russia puts weapons systems in shipping containers, that can go on any ship. Who can tell which ones are on which ships? It makes things risky for the American Navy.
American bombing in Afghanistan is at it's highest level ever. (What is up? Is this the prelude to withdrawal? The US has spent a lot on Afghanistan to keep Chinese mining companies and pipelines out, and to destabilize post-collapse Russia with heroin, and to destabilize Iran by militarily supplying ethnic minorities. It has been very hard on "ally", Pakistan. The sensible thing to do is to secretly negotiate and quickly exit, while declaring "mission accomplished".)
Syrian war update. US threats and air-strikes will not be enough against combined Syrian and Russian resolve, with contributions from local interested parties: Turkey, Iran, and Hezbollah. Israel cannot field a credible infantry challenge at this point, and will have to make reasonable concessions. Air power is not enough, and mercenary-jihadis are being hammered and hammered and hammered.
Jordan moves more tanks and forces to the border with Syria. It's time to consider Jordanian needs, isn't it? What are the bids?
In the first visit of a member of the British Royal Family to Palestine/Israel, Prince William announces that he will visit Palestinians in "Occupied East Jerusalem". Israel makes loud complaints and demands a retraction, and is waiting.......
"The Murder of Julian Assange" is a cautionary tale for those who would injure the empire by revealing truth about the evil it does. Assange is a "dead man walking", and cut off from any activity, or contact with family or friends, or Wikileaks. The new Ecuadorian government seeks a politically expedient way to hand him over to the empire, but he's just an empty shell now, anyway...
Could Multiple Personality Disorder Explain "Life, the Universe and Everything"? This looks at our modes of perception in a useful way, and the premise that "the universe" is a function of our conscious-modes. From there it explores the valid premise that the universe (no quotes) exists within "consciousness". The ancient Greeks were onto this, too. How we've advanced!
Minding the Store