Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Cycles Collapse

 Recycling Biomass,

  Christine sent the latest article from Alastair Crooke about the question of where America's Cultural Revolution might lead. We can see where the Bolshevik Revolution, the Nazi takeover and China's Cultural Revolution led, and we can see the more hopeful recent history of the collapse of the Soviet Union, with a decade of western vulture-capitalist parasitism, and a 10% loss of population, especially retired people without pensions. Looking at the broad context, I have to consider the collapse of the USSR as being the more optimistic scenario.
  The British Empire did wind down in the best of economic times, and handed the baton of empire to the New-York/London/Amsterdam financial neo-colonial empire. The Petrobuck Empire which seems to be having its "Suez Crisis" in Ukraine now.
  Crooke looks at the destruction and nihilism of the leveling-process of a cultural revolution. We can see that in the Bolshevik and Chinese cultural revolutions, the focus was on destructive leveling, particularly of intellectuals. "Political Correctness" was everything, and facts could get you killed or sent to a re-education camp quickly.
  What I see, myself, and you may see differently, is that the left has been ascendant in the west since the US withdrew from Vietnam, but the anti-war left has been replaced by the limousine-left and "identity politics". This coalition supports neoliberal globalism for the low cost of public-relations arrangements with the media/propaganda organs of business-as-usual. I see this coalition as being "a mile wide and an inch deep". The propaganda is cheap enough, but there is the economic support cost. I will venture to presume that the majority of this coalition are not productive workers, but are more focused on compliance, bureaucracy and "services". 
  The BLM protests were illustrative of the efforts to weaponize this class of political activists. Most black people quickly distanced themselves from being weaponized, having seen this movie script before. There were some hoodlums and vandals among the "mostly peaceful protesters". There appear to have been agents-provocateurs as well. The riots did not seem to reach critical mass for a cultural revolution, and the conservative and productive working classes kept their cools; did not much engage against this threatening group. 
  Waves of foreign immigration, often from war zones, are another weaponization of different cultural groups against each other, when forced to live in the same places. The British Empire would move populations of workers from one part of the world to another, to disrupt social bonds which resisted the imperial will. Some of those stressful situations persist today. These flows seem more disruptive to European societies than to the US, where Hispanics have always been part of society, especially in the areas which were previously Mexican.
  I'm not sure that there is enough intolerance in the US to feed a cultural revolution, or right-fascism, though the potential for a swing to right-fascism has long concerned me. That came for Germany with the desperation of financial collapse, leading to economic collapse, which appears to have originated with forced-debt repayments by all of the nations which participated in WW-1. The US Federal Reserve arose just before WW-1, and pumped loans to the countries involved, all of which spent way more than they could afford. They expected loans to be written down, but the US did not write them down, so France tried to make Germany pay, but took away German industry and coal mines. The UK was similarly very tight, but global finance exacted repayment, leading to the Great Depression and WW-2. ("All wars are banker's wars.")
  Global neoliberal financial capitalism is not a productive financial system, but rather extracts value from the physical economy. The west is currently controlled by Global neoliberal financial capitalists, who need to cement their control or lose it completely to nationalist-industrialists.
  Powerful banking interests can profit from either form of capitalism, if they keep the privilege of creating money. Central Bank Digital Currency is a particular threat of global neoliberalism, but commercial banking has long controlled industrial capitalist economies by fractional reserve lending, especially during and after wars. Both Michael Hudson and Ellen Brown have long advocated a form of banking, exemplified by the Bank of North Dakota, which is owned by the state, and invests in projects that will improve the state  economy, if they have good prospects to flourish. "Profits" go to the state, so the "tax" paid to financiers in most places funds the state instead, reducing state taxes.
  The two candidates with the most promise for the 2024 election seem to be Trump and Kennedy, similar to the Trump-Sanders desires of the electorate in 2016 (thwarted, we recall). Americans do not want business-as-usual, which is breaking, and is on track to be grossly broken before fall 2024. Both of these candidates are moderate populist nationalists, open to negotiation within the political process, not ideologues.
​  ​We are Closening to a Move Through the Cycle – But First Will Come Disorder​ , Alastair Crooke​  
  ​The question posed at this point is: Is the collective West nearing the end of a cycle? Or are we still in mid-cycle? And is this a four-generational mini-cycle, or an epochal point of inflection?
​  Is Russo-Chinese Entente and the global tectonic discontent with the ‘Rules Order’ – on the heels of a long trajectory of catastrophes from Viet Nam, through Iraq to Ukraine – sufficient to move the West on to the next stage of cyclical change from apex to disillusionment, retrenchment and eventual stabilisation? Or not?
​  ​A major inflection point is typically a period in history when all the negative components from the outgoing era ‘come into play’ – all at once, and all together; and when an anxious ruling class resorts to widespread repression.
​  Elements of such crises of inflection are today everywhere present: Deep schism in the U.S.; mass protest in France, and across Europe. A crisis in Israel. Faltering economies; and the threat of some, as yet undefined, financial crisis chilling the air.​..
..The consequence to such a moment of epochal ‘in-betweeness’ has been characterised historically by the irruption of disorder, the breakdown of ethical norms, and the loss of a grip on what is real: Black becomes white; right becomes wrong; up becomes down.
​  ​That’s where we are – in the grip of western élite anxiety and a desperation to keep the ‘old machinery’s’ wheels spinning; its ratchets loudly opening and closing, and its levers clanging into, and out of place – all to give the impression of forward motion when, in truth, practically all of western energy is consumed in simply keeping the mechanism noisily aloft, and not crashing to an irreversible, dysfunctional stop.
​  ​So, this is the paradigm that governs western politics today: Doubling-down on the Rules Order with no strategic blueprint of what it is supposed to achieve – in fact no blueprint at all, except for ‘fingers crossed’ that something beneficial for the West will emerge, ex machina...  ​..​They want absolute democratic levelling of every societal discrepancy – reaching even, back into history, to historic discrimination and inequalities; and to have history re-written to highlight such ancient practice so that they can be routed out through enforced reverse discrimination.
​  ​What has this to do with foreign policy? Well, pretty well everything (so long as ‘our’ liberalism) retains its capture of the western institutional framework.
​  ​Bear this background in mind when thinking of the western political class’s reaction to events, say, in the Middle East, or in Ukraine. Although the cognitive élite contends that they are tolerant, inclusive, and pluralistic, they will not accept the moral legitimacy of their opponents. That is why in the U.S. – where the Cultural War is most developed – the language deployed by its foreign policy practitioners is so intemperate and inflammatory towards non-compliant states.
​  ​The point here is that, as Professor Frank Furedi has emphasised, the contemporary ‘timbre’ is one no longer merely adversarial, but unremittingly hegemonic. It is not a ‘turn’. It is a rupture: The determination to displace other sets of values by a western inspired ‘Rules-Based Order’.​.. 
​..​The levelling project being essentially nihilistic becomes captured by the destructive side of the revolution – its authors so absorbed with dismantling structures that they do not attend to the need to think policies through, before launching into them. The latter are not adept at doing politics: at making politics ‘work’.
​  ​Thus, discontent at the welling string of western foreign policy flops grows. Crises multiply, both in number and across different societal dimensions. Perhaps, we are closening to a point of beginning to move through the cycle – toward disillusionment, retrenchment, and stabilization; the prerequisite step to catharsis and ultimate renewal. Yet, it would be a mistake to underestimate the longevity and tenacity of the western revolutionary impulse.
​  ​“The revolution does not operate as an explicit political movement. It operates laterally through the bureaucracy and it filters its revolutionary language through the language of the therapeutic, the language of the pedagogical, or the language of the corporate HR department”, Professor Furedi writes. “And then, it establishes power anti-democratically, bypassing the democratic structure: using this manipulative and soft language – to continue the revolution from within the institutions.”

​  Also from Christine is more of Gilbert Doctorow's assessment of Macron's trip to China, what was revealed and what remains hidden.​
  (Is Macron not only doing non-dollar deals in Yuan/Renminbi and deserting the NATO "faithful", but moving French factories to China?)
​  ​Diplomats and lawmakers in the US and in central and eastern Europe slammed Macron for being soft on Beijing and worryingly critical of the US, especially given that Washington has been a staunch backer of Europe as it deals with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Analysts found the comments particularly ill-timed with China carrying out large-scale military drills in the straits of Taiwan in response to the Taiwanese president’s visit to the US last week….
…the trip also provoked malaise in some quarters for the way the French president was accompanied by a big delegation of business leaders and the announcement of a lucrative deal in China by French jet manufacturer Airbus.
​  ​All of this goes to show that with or without the cover of having the EU Commission President at his side, even without public disclosure of the results achieved by the business delegation, Emmanuel Macron was no more successful in avoiding brickbats from other EU Member States, led of course by the Baltics and East Europeans, over his state visit to China than Chancellor Scholz was last  November when he took no such precautions to protect Germany’s business interests when meeting with Xi.  I note that the deal by Airbus had been announced a week before the trip, presumably to avoid embarrassment during the visit itself. That deal centered on an agreement to set up a second Airbus production line in China, doubling the existing output. It presumably also had a letter of intent to buy a certain number of Airbus aircraft from Toulouse.

​  Ruh-roh!  ​Macron Makes 'No Apology' For China Trip Comments As EU Leadership Warms To 'Anti-US' Message

​  C'mon Bobby! Be the first POTUS candidate to pledge to Free Assange!
​  ​Australian And UK Politicians Call On The US To Drop Julian Assange’s Extradition

​Un-televised Revolutionary (took this picture of a fawn twin in our yard, year before last. Both lived.)​

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