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The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. (Karl Marx)
The Frankfurt school united Marx and Freud to become the most influential thinkers of the 20th century left. (The Guardian)1)The Frankfurt school, part 1: why did Anders Breivik fear them?The Guardian 2013-03-25.
Marx had a dream. A dream of changing the capitalist society. With this dream he managed to inspire hundreds and thousands of intellectuals. Some of those intellectuals formulated their own proposals of implementing Marxian dream in real life. One of such proposals that turned out to be most attractive at the turn of the century was communism. After WWII, however, it became obvious that Marxism practised in communist countries not only failed to transform societies after the desired Marxist fashion but also suffered an economic defeat, whereas in western countries capitalism seemed to be thriving and the affluence placated the working class. Latter day Marxists came to the realisation that workers no longer made the revolutionary force in modern western societies and began looking for a new proletariat. The dream of creating a brave new world with a new awareness was still waiting to come true.
Almost 1000 years ago, Turkish tribes started settling in Anatolia, beginning the formation of the Turkish state. How did it happen? Many jump to quick conclusions and simplify the matter pointing to the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert in 1071. The reality is different: in the aftermath of the battle, Emperor Romanos Diogenes reached a peace agreement under which the Turkish Seljuk sultan was handsomely rewarded with money while the Byzantine Empire did not suffer territorial loss. The Byzantine elite in Constantinople, however, decided to unseat Romanos and not to adhere to the agreement. In the subsequent squabble over the throne, one of the competing factions would hire a relative of the Turkish sultan, Suleiman to increase its chances to seize the throne. As the Byzantine elite rushed to Constantinople, Suleiman was left with his troops to control one of the biggest Byzantine cities of Anatolia, Nicaea. The resulting Sultanate of Rum, the first presence of the Turkish people in Anatolia, was born not by conquest, but by the shortsightedness of the Byzantine ruling class.
“There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling.”1)Stockman: “After March 15 Everything Will Grind To A Halt”, Source: Zerohedge 2017-02-27.These are the words of David Stockman, a former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director, who insists that a market bloodbath is imminent as the debt ceiling holiday will have been finished by March 15, 2017.
“We will have a government shutdown,” said Stockman to CNBC. “It is totally unexpected, unpriced in by Wall Street, [and] it will spook everybody.“2)Wall St. is misreading Trump, and a market bloodbath is imminent: Stockman, Source: CNBC 2017-03-05.March 15 is also the day of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting during which a rate hike decision is expected to be taken; the Dutch election is slated for the same day. Will it be the beginning of the great financial turmoil?
1)Vilfredo Pareto, By Ioannis Arvanitakis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was an Italian engineer, philosopher, economist, sociologist and political scientist, famous, among other things, for his theories about “the elites”.
In his theory of the “circulation of the elites” he argues that social mobility is fundamental for the peaceful continuity of social order: as long as the elite is open to the influx of capable elements from the lower classes, the system is able to rise up to the challenges it faces. When the elites shut themselves off and do not assimilate exceptional individuals from the lower social strata, an imbalance is created that can result in a violent overthrow of the ruling class by a new one capable of governing.
Drawing on that theory we argue that democratic systems have evolved in a way that an overthrow of the elite can happen without violence, but by democratic vote. Lack of social mobility, says Pareto, results in an elite detached from the daily challenges of the common man and a sense of disenfranchisement of the voters.
The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union, which came into force on 1 January 2016, was about to help the East European economy to recover; however, the results after the first year fell far short of Ukraine’s expectations. The former Soviet Republic lost €2.2 billion more than it lost in 2015 on trade with the EU. While imports from the EU have surged, exports have merely grown.
As Polish media reports, the European Union has flooded Ukraine with goods,1)Unia Europejska zalała towarami Ukrainę, Rzeczpospolita 2017-02-27.which is contrary to the aim of the free trade agreement: the document assumed the asymmetric openness of the markets in Ukraine’s favour.
After Viktor Orban’s Hungary, the second European Union state took an aim at George Soros and his funds, accusing him of organizing anti-government protests and attempts at destabilizing the country. The head of the ruling party and a former Romania’s prime minister Liviu Dragnea, known for his independent national economic policy, called the leaders of the recent massive street protests as “agents of George Soros.”1)Romania: Keep the corrupt in jail, where they belong, Al-Jazeera 2017-01-30.
While some believe that “bad” governments from Eastern Europe (from Poland to Macedonia) use Soros’s Open Society Foundation and his broad contacts as a scapegoat in order to avoid the responsibility for their own weak political results, chief communications officer of the Open Society Foundation, Laura Silber, does not try to conceal their engagement.
Western societies have been subjected to cultural and ethnic diversification which, as its advocates proclaim, was to enrich the indigenous populations and boost their development. Contrary to the stated goals, members of different ethnic groups tend to stick together, displace the locals, and rather than morph into the culture of the host population they preserve their own,1)How Labour turned London into a foreign city: Fewer than half the capital’s population are white British, gangsters from Somalia terrorise the suburbs and even the tramps are immigrants, reveals astonishing new book, Daily Mail 2016-01-24.all the more so since their numbers are doubling and trebling and since they regard their recipient societies as weaklings without moral backbone.2)“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.” Immigrant Rape Wave in Sweden, fjordman 2005-12-12.Under such circumstances separate communities form, large cities turn into mosaics whose particular religious and cultural elements are but loosely connected. Differences in worldviews, beliefs, traditions spark off mutual suspicion, aversion, animosity or an all-out enmity. Social cohesion is only make-believe with all the attendant problems which include (ethnically or racially-driven) crime.3)Rotherham child abuse: Eight jailed for rape and sexual abuse of three girls, BBC 2016-11-04; Rotherham: eight men jailed for sexually exploiting teenage girls, The Guardian 2016-11-04; Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls, BBC 2016-06-17.
When the sense of security is lost, when “the break-ins and muggings [are] beyond control”,4)Rotherham child abuse: Eight jailed for rape and sexual abuse of three girls, BBC 2016-11-04; Rotherham: eight men jailed for sexually exploiting teenage girls, The Guardian 2016-11-04; Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls, BBC 2016-06-17.and people cannot rely on the police, and such is the case in many large cities across Western Europe, with their no-go zones,5)European ‘No-Go’ Zones: Fact or Fiction? Part 2: Britain, Gatestone Institute 2015-02-03; the following is vehemently denied by the British side, hence especially revealing: Britain protests to Hungary over claims of ‘no-go’ zones in UK, Daily Mail 2016-09-22.members of a community start setting up their own policing units in self-defence. The London-based Shomrim is a prime example.
How Labour turned London into a foreign city: Fewer than half the capital’s population are white British, gangsters from Somalia terrorise the suburbs and even the tramps are immigrants, reveals astonishing new book, Daily Mail 2016-01-24.
“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.” Immigrant Rape Wave in Sweden, fjordman 2005-12-12.
Rotherham child abuse: Eight jailed for rape and sexual abuse of three girls, BBC 2016-11-04; Rotherham: eight men jailed for sexually exploiting teenage girls, The Guardian 2016-11-04; Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls, BBC 2016-06-17.
European ‘No-Go’ Zones: Fact or Fiction? Part 2: Britain, Gatestone Institute 2015-02-03; the following is vehemently denied by the British side, hence especially revealing: Britain protests to Hungary over claims of ‘no-go’ zones in UK, Daily Mail 2016-09-22.
If a 4.5 million nation is the third biggest foreign holder of US Treasury securities, the biggest in the European Union, it is something remarkable. If a 0.5 million nation is the second EU-holder of US papers, it is something striking. Ireland and Luxembourg, as well as the United Kingdom and Belgium, are used by the international financiers of foreign powers to credit or cheat the US government who pays them interest for avoiding taxes in their home-country.
It is widely known that Japan and China are the two biggest holders of US government bonds. But these countries have huge savings and their investments over $1 trillion have fundamentals. Meanwhile, the EU holdings (altogether bigger than those of Japan or China) are pumped up by financial institutions, including US financiers and companies. In other words, European holdings stem from loose tax rules rather than strong economic demand for securities.
A break-up of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia’s claims to legal authority over Kosovo will be the next setback for the European establishment. It is not a matter of if but rather when the war in the Balkans will resume. The consequences will be more detrimental to European stability than the Bosnia war in the nineties. A war in Bosnia will increase the tension between the Muslim and the native populations in West Europe, with the latter being more and more vocal in its opposition to the Islamisation of Europe.
The 1999 NATO bombardments of Belgrade forced the Serbian authorities to withdraw their troops from the province of Kosovo. Unlike Bosnia, Kosovo was an integral part of the Serbian Republic.1)Bosnia and Herzegovina was a constituent republic that together with Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro made up Yugoslavia. Serbia in turn had two autonomous republics, Vojvodina in the north and Kosovo (and Metohija)in the south. Now it is questionable whether an autonomous republic is an integral part of something greater. It is another story that these two autonomous republics were carved out from Serbia by Tito/communists who, like communists everywhere in the world, also these in Brussels, hate nations and always try to split them up. By all international standards, the bombardments of Serbia were an illegal act of war. The European Union and Washington recognised Kosovo in 2008 as an independent state; 45% of the countries in the world did not follow suit, seeing the forced secession as a dangerous precedence incompatible with international law.2)International recognition of Kosovo, Wikipedia.To tell the truth, there is no such thing as international law; there is only international diplomacy where war is a strategic tool to bend the weaker party to the will of the stronger one.3)War is a mere continuation of policy by other means, On War Carl von Clausewitz.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was a constituent republic that together with Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro made up Yugoslavia. Serbia in turn had two autonomous republics, Vojvodina in the north and Kosovo (and Metohija)in the south. Now it is questionable whether an autonomous republic is an integral part of something greater. It is another story that these two autonomous republics were carved out from Serbia by Tito/communists who, like communists everywhere in the world, also these in Brussels, hate nations and always try to split them up.
Syria has long been a target of Neoconservative foreign policy. After the removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, the leading Neocon ideologist, Deputy Defence Secretary under George Bush and an architect of the invasion of Iraq, said in 2003 that ”there will have to be a change in Syria”.1)Syria could be next, warns Washington, The Guardian.The problems during the occupation of Iraq and the radical change in the American public opinion towards the conflict forced the Bush administration and Neoconservative circles to shelve their plans.
Original plan and first problems
In 2011, Obama assembled a mighty coalition, including France, the UK, Israel, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to finally remove Assad and bring “regime” change to the Syrian people, confirming the line of of “liberal interventionism” of the Bush years as Robert Kagan, another prominent Neocon ideologist, defines it.
In August 2013, following an alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government against rebels, Obama finally found his pretext to justify the invasion of Syria, obtaining the authorization for the use of force from the US Senate.2)S.J.Res.21 – Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Respond to Use of Chemical Weapons, Congress.govThe use of sarin by the Assad troops would later turn out to be a fabrication,3)The Red Line and the Rat Line, London Review of Books.much like Saddam’s never found weapons of mass destruction that the Bush Neocons had used as an excuse to justify the invasion of Iraq.
US-centric media report that Japan has become the biggest holder of the US treasuries, surpassing China last month. However, this is true only in regard to single countries. If we consider European Union member states collectively, then they appear to be the biggest holder of the US treasuries. It has been so almost one year long. Unfortunately, the EU’s holdings are artificially overstated because of some financial havens and they are going in the opposite direction to the trend: up rather than down.
According to the latest data from TIC (Treasury International Capital System), the EU was in possession of $1242 billion of US Treasuries in November 2016, $9 billion more than one month earlier. The EU was the only one from three biggest holders that increased its amount of US treasuries in November, while China and Japan continued to lower their holdings.
American dreams about energy independence may never come true. After a continuing decrease in the shale oil production, also the shale gas output has reached its peak and started to fall. As shale oil and gas make up half of the total United States oil and gas production and the rig count remains historically low, the American energy independence is shrinking and hopes for American LNG supply to Europe are disappearing into thin air. The US continues to be a net importer of energy resources and this is not going to change.
Dreams about the American energy autonomy are far from being abandoned, though. The shale revolution enthusiasm was shared even by top politicians, like Hillary Clinton, who claimed that the US had achieved energy independence, even if it was obviously not true.1)Hillary Clinton said America is energy independent. It is not, CNBC 2016-10-10 Gas autonomy seemed to be more achievable that of oil and 2016 was slated to be the first year when the US would export more gas than import.2)The New U.S. Energy Era Will Be a Gas, USNews 2016-05-16