Tag: civil society

A Europe We Can Believe In

Via Oriental Review,

In early October a group of European intellectuals published a conservative manifesto with 36 tenets defending 'old Europe' and its values, which we are republishing today in full:

1. Europe is our home.

Europe belongs to us, and we belong to Europe. These lands are our home; we have no other. The reasons we hold Europe dear exceed our ability to explain or justify our loyalty. It is a matter of shared histories, hopes and loves. It is a matter of accustomed ways, of moments of pathos and pain. It is a matter of inspiring experiences of reconciliation and the promise of a shared future. Ordinary landscapes and events are charged with special meaning—for us, but not for others. Home is a place where things are familiar, and where we are recognized, however far we have wandered. This is the real Europe, our precious and irreplaceable civilization.

2. A false Europe threatens us.

Europe, in all its richness and greatness, is threatened by a false understanding of itself. This false Europe imagines itself as a fulfilment of our civilization, but in truth it will confiscate our home. It appeals to exaggerations and distortions of Europe’s authentic virtues while remaining blind to its own vices. Complacently trading in one-sided caricatures of our history, this false Europe is invincibly prejudiced against the past. Its proponents are orphans by choice, and they presume that to be an orphan—to be homeless—is a noble achievement. In this way, the false Europe praises itself as the forerunner of a universal community that is neither universal nor a community.

3. The false Europe is utopian and tyrannical.

The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing. Moreover, they are ignorant of the true sources of the humane decencies they themselves hold dear—as do we. They ignore, even repudiate the Christian roots of Europe. At the same time they take great care not to offend Muslims, who they imagine will cheerfully adopt their secular, multicultural outlook. Sunk in prejudice, superstition and ignorance, and blinded by vain, self-congratulating visions of a utopian future, the false Europe reflexively stifles dissent. This is done, of course, in the name of freedom and tolerance.

4. We must defend the real Europe.

We are reaching a dead-end. The greatest threat to the future of Europe is neither Russian adventurism nor Muslim immigration. The true Europe is at risk because of the suffocating grip that the false Europe has over our imaginations. Our nations and shared culture are being hollowed out by illusions and self-deceptions about what Europe is and should be. We pledge to resist this threat to our future. We will defend, sustain and champion the real Europe, the Europe to which we all in truth belong.

5. Solidarity and civic loyalty encourage active participation.

The true Europe expects and encourages active participation in the common project of political and cultural life. The European ideal is one of solidarity based on assent to a body of law that applies to all, but is limited in its demands. This assent has not always taken the form of representative democracy. But our traditions of civic loyalty reflect a fundamental assent to our political and cultural traditions, whatever their forms. In the past, Europeans fought to make our political systems more open to popular participation, and we are justly proud of this history. Even as they did so, sometimes in open rebellion, they warmly affirmed that, despite their injustices and failures, the traditions of the peoples of this continent are ours. Such dedication to reform makes Europe a place that seeks ever-greater justice. This spirit of progress is born out of our love for and loyalty to our homelands.

6. We are not passive subjects.

A European spirit of unity allows us to trust others in the public square, even when we are strangers. The public parks, central squares and broad boulevards of European towns and cities express the European political spirit: We share our common life and the res publica. We assume that it is our duty to take responsibility for the futures of our societies. We are not passive subjects under the domination of despotic powers, whether sacred or secular. And we are not prostrate before implacable historical forces. To be European is to possess political and historical agency. We are the authors of our shared destiny.

7. The nation-state is a hallmark of Europe.

The true Europe is a community of nations. We have our own languages, traditions and borders. Yet we have always recognized a kinship with one another, even when we have been at odds—or at war. This unity-in-diversity seems natural to us. Yet this is remarkable and precious, for it is neither natural nor inevitable. The most common political form of unity-in-diversity is empire, which European warrior kings tried to recreate in the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire. The allure of the imperial form endured, but the nation-state prevailed, the political form that joins peoplehood with sovereignty. The nation-state thereby became the hallmark of European civilization.

8. We do not back an imposed, enforced unity.

A national community takes pride in governing itself in its own way, often boasts of its great national achievements in the arts and sciences, and competes with other nations, sometimes on the battlefield. This has wounded Europe, sometimes gravely, but it has never compromised our cultural unity. In fact, the contrary has been the case. As the nation states of Europe became more established and distinct, a shared European identity became stronger. In the aftermath of the terrible bloodshed of the world wars in the first half of the twentieth century, we emerged with an even greater resolve to honor our shared heritage. This testifies to the depth and power of Europe as a civilization that is cosmopolitan in a proper sense. We do not seek the imposed, enforced unity of empire. Instead, European cosmopolitanism recognizes that patriotic love and civic loyalty open out to a wider world.

9. Christianity encouraged cultural unity.

The true Europe has been marked by Christianity. The universal spiritual empire of the Church brought cultural unity to Europe, but did so without political empire. This has allowed for particular civic loyalties to flourish within a shared European culture. The autonomy of what we call civil society became a characteristic feature of European life. Moreover, the Christian Gospel does not deliver a comprehensive divine law, and thus the diversity of the secular laws of the nations may be affirmed and honoured without threat to our European unity. It is no accident that the decline of Christian faith in Europe has been accompanied by renewed efforts to establish political unity—an empire of money and regulations, covered with sentiments of pseudo-religious universalism, that is being constructed by the European Union.

10. Christian roots nourish Europe.

The true Europe affirms the equal dignity of every individual, regardless of sex, rank or race. This also arises from our Christian roots. Our gentle virtues are of an unmistakably Christian heritage: fairness, compassion, mercy, forgiveness, peace-making, charity. Christianity revolutionized the relationship between men and women, valuing love and mutual fidelity in an unprecedented way. The bond of marriage allows both men and women to flourish in communion. Most of the sacrifices we make are for the sake of our spouses and children. This spirit of self-giving is yet another Christian contribution to the Europe we love.

11. Classical roots encourage excellence.

The true Europe also draws inspiration from the Classical tradition. We recognize ourselves in the literature of ancient Greece and Rome. As Europeans, we strive for greatness, the crown of the Classical virtues. At times, this has led to violent competition for supremacy. But at its best, an aspiration toward excellence inspires the men and women of Europe to craft musical and artistic works of unsurpassed beauty and to make extraordinary breakthroughs in science and technology. The grave virtues of the self-possessed Romans and the pride in civic participation and spirit of philosophical inquiry of the Greeks have never been forgotten in the real Europe. These inheritances, too, are ours.

12. Europe is a shared project.

The true Europe has never been perfect. The proponents of the false Europe are not wrong to seek development and reform, and there is much that has been accomplished since 1945 and 1989 that we should cherish and honor. Our shared life is an ongoing project, not an ossified inheritance. But the future of Europe rests in renewed loyalty to our best traditions, not a spurious universalism demanding forgetfulness and self-repudiation. Europe did not begin with the Enlightenment. Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union. The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, share—and love.

13. We are losing our home.

The true Europe is in jeopardy. The achievements of popular sovereignty, resistance to empire, cosmopolitanism capable of civic love, the Christian legacy of humane and dignified life, a living engagement with our Classical inheritance—all this is slipping away. As the patrons of the false Europe construct their faux Christendom of universal human rights, we are losing our home.

14. A false freedom prevails.

The false Europe boasts of an unprecedented commitment to human liberty. This liberty, however, is very one-sided. It sells itself as liberation from all restraints: sexual freedom, freedom of self-expression, freedom to “be oneself.” The Generation of ’68 regards these freedoms as precious victories over a once almighty and oppressive cultural regime. They see themselves as great liberators, and their transgressions are acclaimed as noble moral achievements, for which the whole world should be grateful.

15. Individualism, isolation, and aimlessness are widespread.

For Europe’s younger generations, however, reality is far less gilt with gold. Libertine hedonism often leads to boredom and a profound sense of purposelessness. The bond of marriage has weakened. In the roiling sea of sexual liberty, the deep desires of our young people to marry and form families are often frustrated. A liberty that frustrates our heart’s deepest longings becomes a curse. Our societies seem to be falling into individualism, isolation and aimlessness. Instead of freedom, we are condemned to the empty conformity of consumer- and media-driven culture. It is our duty to speak the truth: The Generation of ’68 destroyed but did not build. They created a vacuum now filled by social media, cheap tourism and pornography.

16. We are regulated and managed.

At the same time that we hear boasts of unprecedented liberty, European life is more and more comprehensively regulated. Rules—often confected by faceless technocrats in league with powerful interests—govern our work relationships, our business decisions, our educational qualifications, our news and entertainment media. And Europe now seeks to tighten existing regulations on freedom of speech, an aboriginal European freedom—freedom of conscience made manifest. The targets of these restrictions are not obscenity or other assaults on decency in public life. Instead, Europe’s governing classes wish to restrict manifestly political speech. Political leaders who give voice to inconvenient truths about Islam and immigration are hauled before judges. Political correctness enforces strong taboos that deem challenges to the status quo beyond the pale. The false Europe does not really encourage a culture of freedom. It promotes a culture of market-driven homogeneity and politically enforced conformity.

17. Multiculturalism is unworkable.

The false Europe also boasts of an unprecedented commitment to equality. It claims to promote non-discrimination and the inclusion of all races, religions and identities. Here, genuine progress has been made, but a utopian detachment from reality has taken hold. Over the past generation, Europe has pursued a grand project of multiculturalism. To demand or even promote the assimilation of Muslim newcomers to our manners and mores, much less to our religion, has been thought a gross injustice. A commitment to equality, we have been told, demands that we abjure any hint that we believe our culture superior. Paradoxically, Europe’s multicultural enterprise, which denies the Christian roots of Europe, trades on the Christian ideal of universal charity in an exaggerated and unsustainable form. It requires from the European peoples a saintly degree of self-abnegation. We are to affirm the very colonization of our homelands and the demise of our culture as Europe’s great twenty-first century glory—a collective act of self-sacrifice for the sake of some new global community of peace and prosperity that is being born.

18. Bad faith grows.

There is a great deal of bad faith in this thinking. Most in our governing classes doubtless presume the superiority of European culture—which must not be affirmed in public in ways that might offend immigrants. Given that superiority, they think that assimilation will happen naturally, and quickly. In an ironic echo of the imperialist thinking of old, Europe’s governing classes presume that, somehow, by the laws of nature or of history, ‘they’ will necessarily become like ‘us’—and it is inconceivable that the reverse might be true. In the meantime, official multiculturalism has been deployed as a therapeutic tool for managing the unfortunate but ‘temporary’ cultural tensions.

19. Technocratic tyranny increases.

There is more bad faith at work, of a darker kind. Over the last generation, a larger and larger segment of our governing class has decided that its own self-interest lies in accelerated globalization. They wish to build supranational institutions that they are able to control without the inconveniences of popular sovereignty. It is increasingly clear that the ‘democratic deficit’ in the European Union is not a mere technical problem to be remedied by technical means. Rather, this deficit is a fundamental commitment, and it is zealously defended. Whether legitimated by supposed economic necessities or autonomously developing international human rights law, the supra-national mandarins of the EU institutions confiscate the political life of Europe, answering all challenges with a technocratic answer: There is no alternative. This is the soft but increasingly real tyranny we face.

20. The false Europe is fragile and impotent.

The hubris of the false Europe is now becoming evident, despite the best efforts of its partisans to shore up comfortable illusions. Above all, the false Europe is revealed to be weaker than anyone imagined. Popular entertainment and material consumption do not sustain civic life. Shorn of higher ideals and discouraged from expressing patriotic pride by multiculturalist ideology, our societies now have difficulty summoning the will to defend themselves. Moreover, civic trust and social cohesion are not renewed by inclusive rhetoric or an impersonal economic system dominated by gigantic international corporations. Again, we must be frank: European societies are fraying badly. If we but open our eyes, we see an ever-greater use of government power, social management and educational indoctrination. It is not just Islamic terror that brings heavily armed soldiers into our streets. Riot police are now necessary to quell violent anti-establishment protests and even to manage drunken crowds of football fans. The fanaticism of our football loyalties is a desperate sign of the deeply human need for solidarity, a need that otherwise goes unfulfilled in the false Europe.

21. A culture of repudiation has taken hold.

Europe’s intellectual classes are, alas, among the chief ideological partisans of the conceits of the false Europe. Without doubt, our universities are one of the glories of European civilization. But where once they sought to transmit to each new generation the wisdom of past ages, today most within the universities equate critical thinking with a simpleminded repudiation of the past. A lodestar of the European spirit has been the rigorous discipline of intellectual honesty and objectivity. But over the past two generations, this noble ideal has been transformed. The asceticism that once sought to free the mind of the tyranny of dominant opinion has become an often complacent and unreflective animus against everything that is our own. This stance of cultural repudiation functions as a cheap and easy way of being ‘critical.’ Over the last generation, it has been rehearsed in the lecture halls, becoming a doctrine, a dogma. And to join in professing this creed is taken to be the mark of ‘enlightenment,’ and of spiritual election. As a consequence, our universities are now active agents of ongoing cultural destruction.

22. Elites arrogantly parade their virtue.

Our governing classes are advancing human rights. They are at work fighting climate change. They are engineering a more globally integrated market economy and harmonizing tax policies. They are monitoring progress toward gender equality. They are doing so much for us! What does it matter by what mechanisms they inhabit their offices? What does it matter if the European peoples grow more sceptical of their ministrations?

23. There is an alternative.

That growing scepticism is fully justified. Today, Europe is dominated by an aimless materialism that seems unable to motivate men and women to have children and form families. A culture of repudiation deprives the next generation of a sense of identity. Some of our countries have regions in which Muslims live with an informal autonomy from local laws, as if they were colonialists rather than fellow members of our nations. Individualism isolates us one from another. Globalization transforms the life prospects of millions. When challenged, our governing classes say that they are merely working to accommodate the inevitable, adjusting to implacable necessities. No other course is possible, and it is irrational to resist. Things cannot be otherwise. Those who object are said to suffer nostalgia—for which they deserve moral condemnation as racists or fascists. As social divisions and civic distrust become more apparent, European public life grows angrier, more rancourous, and no one can say where it will end. We must not continue down this path. We need to throw off the tyranny of the false Europe. There is an alternative.

24. We must turn back ersatz religion.

The work of renewal begins with theological self-knowledge. The universalist and universalizing pretensions of the false Europe reveal it to be an ersatz religious enterprise, complete with strong creedal commitments—and anathemas. This is the potent opiate that paralyzes Europe as a political body. We must insist that religious aspirations are properly the province of religion, not politics, much less bureaucratic administration. In order to recover our political and historical agency, it is imperative that we re-secularize European public life.

25. We must restore a true liberalism.

This will require us to renounce the mendacious language that evades responsibility and fosters ideological manipulation. Talk of diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism is empty. Often, such language is deployed as a way to characterize our failures as accomplishments: The unravelling of social solidarity is ‘actually’ a sign of welcome, tolerance, and inclusion. This is marketing language, a language meant to obscure reality rather than illuminate. We must recover an abiding respect for reality. Language is a delicate instrument, and it is debased when used as a bludgeon. We should be patrons of linguistic decency. Recourse to denunciation is a sign of the decadence of our present moment. We must not tolerate verbal intimidation, much less mortal threats. We need to protect those who speak reasonably, even if we think their views mistaken. The future of Europe must be liberal in the best sense, which means committed to robust public debate free from all threats of violence and coercion.

26. We need responsible statesmen.

Breaking the spell of the false Europe and its utopian, pseudo-religious crusade for a borderless world means fostering a new kind of statesmanship and a new kind of statesman. A good political leader stewards the commonweal of a particular people. A good statesman views our shared European inheritance and our particular national traditions as magnificent and life-giving, but also fragile gifts. He does not reject that inheritance, nor does he chance losing it all for utopian dreams. Such leaders covet the honors bestowed upon them by their people; they do not lust for the approbation of the ‘international community,’ which is in fact the public relations apparatus of an oligarchy.

27. We should renew national unity and solidarity.

Recognizing the particular character of the European nations, and their Christian mark, we need not be perplexed before the spurious claims of the multiculturalists. Immigration without assimilation is colonization, and this must be rejected. We rightly expect that those who migrate to our lands will incorporate themselves into our nations and adopt our ways. This expectation needs to be supported by sound policy. The language of multiculturalism has been imported from America. But America’s great age of immigration came at the turn of the twentieth century, a period of remarkably rapid economic growth, in a country with virtually no welfare state, and with a very strong sense of national identity to which immigrants were expected to assimilate. After admitting large numbers of immigrants, America closed its doors very nearly shut for two generations. Europe needs to learn from this American experience rather than adopt contemporary American ideologies. That experience tells us that the workplace is a powerful engine of assimilation, that a generous welfare system can impede assimilation and that prudent political leadership sometimes dictates reductions in immigration—even drastic reductions. We must not allow a multicultural ideology to deform our political judgments about how best to serve the common good, which requires national communities with sufficient unity and solidarity to see their good as common.

28. Only empires are multicultural.

After World War II, Western Europe cultivated vital democracies. After the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Central European nations restored their civic vitality. These are among Europe’s most precious achievements. But they will be lost if we do not address immigration and demographic change in our nations. Only empires can be multicultural, which is what the European Union will become if we fail to make renewed solidarity and civic unity the criteria by which to assess immigration policies and strategies for assimilation.

29. A proper hierarchy nourishes social well-being.

Many wrongly think Europe is being convulsed only by controversies over immigration. In truth, this is but one dimension of a more general social unraveling that must be reversed. We must recover the dignity of particular roles in society. Parents, teachers and professors have a duty to form those under their care. We must resist the cult of expertise that comes at the expense of wisdom, tact and the quest for a cultured life. There can be no renewal of Europe without a determined rejection of an exaggerated egalitarianism and the reduction of wisdom to technical knowledge. We endorse the political achievements of the modern era. Each man and woman should have an equal vote. Basic rights must be protected. But a healthy democracy requires social and cultural hierarchies that encourage the pursuit of excellence and give honor to those who serve the common good. We need to restore a sense of spiritual greatness and give it due honour so that our civilization can counter the growing power of mere wealth on the one hand and vulgar entertainment on the other.

30. We must restore moral culture.

Human dignity is more than the right to be left alone, and doctrines of international human rights do not exhaust the claims of justice, much less of the good. Europe needs to renew a consensus about moral culture so that the populace can be guided toward a virtuous life. We must not allow a false view of freedom to impede the prudent use of the law to deter vice. We must be forgiving of human weakness, but Europe cannot flourish without a restoration of a communal aspiration toward upright conduct and human excellence. A culture of dignity flows from decency and the discharge of the duties of our stations in life. We need to renew the exchange of respect between social classes that characterizes a society that values the contributions of all.

31. Markets need to be ordered toward social ends.

While we recognize the positive aspects of free-market economics, we must resist ideologies that seek to totalize the logic of the market. We cannot allow everything to be for sale. Well functioning markets require the rule of law, and our rule of law should aim at more than mere economic efficiency. Markets also function best when they are nested within strong social institutions organized on their own, non-market principles. Economic growth, while beneficial, is not the highest good. Markets need to be oriented toward social ends. Today, corporate giganticism threatens even political sovereignty. The nations need to cooperate to master the arrogance and mindlessness of global economic forces. We affirm the prudent use of government power to sustain non-economic social goods.

32. Education needs to be reformed.

We believe Europe has a history and culture worth sustaining. Our universities, however, too often betray our cultural heritage. We need to reform educational curricula to foster the transmission of our common culture rather than indoctrinating young people into a culture of repudiation. Teachers and mentors at every level have a duty of memory. They should take pride in their role as a bridge between generations past and generations to come. We must also renew the high culture of Europe by setting the sublime and the beautiful as our common standard and rejecting the degradation of the arts into a kind of political propaganda. This will require the cultivation of a new generation of patrons. Corporations and bureaucracies have shown themselves to be poor stewards of the arts.

33. Marriage and family are essential.

Marriage is the foundation of civil society and the basis for harmony between men and women. It is the intimate bond organized around sustaining a household and raising children. We affirm that our most fundamental roles in society and as human beings are as fathers and mothers. Marriage and children are integral to any vision of human flourishing. Children require sacrifice from those who bring them into the world. This sacrifice is noble and must be honoured. We endorse prudent social policies to encourage and strengthen marriage, childbearing, and childrearing. A society that fails to welcome children has no future.

34. Populism should be engaged.

There is great anxiety in Europe today because of the rise of what is called ‘populism’—though the meaning of the term seems never to be defined, and it is used mostly as invective. We have our reservations. Europe needs to draw upon the deep wisdom of her traditions rather than relying on simplistic slogans and divisive emotional appeals. Still, we acknowledge that much in this new political phenomenon can represent a healthy rebellion against the tyranny of the false Europe, which labels as ‘anti-democratic’ any threat to its monopoly on moral legitimacy. The so-called “populism” challenges the dictatorship of the status quo, the ‘fanaticism of the centre,’ and rightly so. It is a sign that even in the midst of our degraded and impoverished political culture, the historical agency of the European peoples can be reborn.

35. Our future is the true Europe.

We reject as false the claim that there is no responsible alternative to the artificial, soulless solidarity of a unified market, a transnational bureaucracy, and glib entertainment. Bread and circuses are not enough. The responsible alternative is the true Europe.

36. We must take responsibility.

In this moment, we ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders. We rightly love our homelands, and we seek to hand on to our children every noble thing that we have ourselves received as our patrimony. As Europeans, we also share a common heritage, and this heritage asks us to live together in peace as a Europe of nations. Let us renew national sovereignty, and recover the dignity of a shared political responsibility for Europe’s future.

*  *  *

Signers:

Philippe Bénéton (France)

Rémi Brague (France)

Chantal Delsol (France)

Roman Joch (Czech Republic)

Lánczi András (Hungary)

Ryszard Legutko (Poland)

Pierre Manent (France)

Janne Haaland Matlary (Norway)

Dalmacio Negro Pavón (Spain)

Roger Scruton (United Kingdom)

Robert Spaemann (Germany)

Bart Jan Spruyt (Netherlands)

Matthias Storme (Belgium)

 

http://WarMachines.com

Soros & The Myth Of European Democracy: A Shocking Revelation

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

It’s an open secret that the “Soros network” has an extensive sphere of influence in the European Parliament and in other European Union institutions.

The list of Soros has been made public recently. The document lists 226 MEPs from all sides of political spectrum, including former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt, seven vice-presidents, and a number of committee heads, coordinators, and quaestors. These people promote the ideas of Soros, such as bringing in more migrants, same-sex marriages, integration of Ukraine into the EU, and countering Russia. There are 751 members of the European Parliament. It means that the Soros friends have more than one third of seats.

George Soros, a Hungarian-American investor and the founder and owner of Open Society Foundations NGO, was able to meet with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker with “no transparent agenda for their closed-door meeting”, and pointed out how EU proposals to redistribute quotas of migrants across the EU are eerily familiar to Soros’s own self-published plan for dealing with the crisis.

The billionaire financier believes that the European Union should receive millions of immigrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa, provide each one with an annual 15,000 EUR in aid, and resettle these migrants in member-states where they do not wish to go and are not necessarily welcome.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has accused the EU of “eating out of the hand” of Soros. He believes that the billionaire open borders campaigner is behind the attacks on Hungary. The reason is the government’s attempts to take legal action over a new law which requires foreign-supported ‘civil society’ organizations — many funded by Soros — to list their big overseas donors in a public register and be transparent about their funding sources in their publications. The Hungarian government is applying efforts to close the Budapest-based Central European University founded by Soros.

“The whole of the European Union is in trouble because its leaders and bureaucrats adopt decisions like this,” said Orbán.

 

“The people support the ideal of the European Union. At the same time, they can’t stand the leadership of the EU, because it insults the Member-States with things like this, and it abuses its power. Everyone in Europe can see that. This is why the European leadership is not respected.

The Visegrad group is trying to stand tall under the EU pressure on migrants’ policy. The European Commission of Migration and Home Affairs is pushing a new bill to make migrants quotas obligatory. At least 30 Soros supporters work for the commission.

Many people listed in the document are known for attacks on Russia. For instance, Rebecca Harms, a MEP from German Green Party, regularly calls the European Parliament to toughen the sanctions regime against Moscow. Guy Verhofstadt blames Russia for almost each and every thing going wrong in Europe. His article Putting Putin in his Place made a lot of noise last year. In 2012, former Croatian Primer Tonino Picula, who was the head of an observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), slammed the Russian presidential election of 2012 as unfair, saying it was “skewed” in Vladimir Putin’s favor.

The Soros list sheds light on the question of what makes the EU leadership implement policies, which run counter to the interests of Europeans. The answer is corruption. The politicians bribed by Soros dance to his tune. They fight against the attempts of national leaders to protect the interests of their peoples. Quite often those who oppose such policies have to face the resistance of political elites of their own countries. The standoff between Hungarian PM Orbán and the Soros network is a good example to illustrate how it works. The European Parliament under the influence of Soros friends is pushing Europe to suicide by letting millions of migrants in.

It shows that the much-vaunted European democracy is a façade to hide the activities of power structure close to feudal system with local lord holding the reins. It can hardly be called the power of people. The publication of Soros list provides a clue to understanding who rules the EU and who instigates anti-Russia sentiments in Europe. Actually, this is the case when EU member countries like Hungary happen to be in the same boat with Russia opposing the very same US-based forces, while protecting their sovereignty and independence. This is the time for Europeans to think about transforming the system to do away with outside pressure.

http://WarMachines.com

Remembering Communism’s Bloody Century

Authored by Stephen Kotkin via The Wall Street Journal,

In the 100 years since Lenin’s coup in Russia, the ideology devoted to abolishing markets and private property has left a long, murderous trail of destruction…

A century ago this week, communism took over the Russian empire, the world’s largest state at the time. Leftist movements of various sorts had been common in European politics long before the revolution of Oct. 25, 1917 (which became Nov. 7 in the reformed Russian calendar), but Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks were different. They were not merely fanatical in their convictions but flexible in their tactics—and fortunate in their opponents.

Communism entered history as a ferocious yet idealistic condemnation of capitalism, promising a better world. Its adherents, like others on the left, blamed capitalism for the miserable conditions that afflicted peasants and workers alike and for the prevalence of indentured and child labor. Communists saw the slaughter of World War I as a direct result of the rapacious competition among the great powers for overseas markets.

But a century of communism in power—with holdouts even now in Cuba, North Korea and China—has made clear the human cost of a political program bent on overthrowing capitalism. Again and again, the effort to eliminate markets and private property has brought about the deaths of an astounding number of people. Since 1917—in the Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Indochina, Africa, Afghanistan and parts of Latin America—communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers.

Communism’s tools of destruction have included mass deportations, forced labor camps and police-state terror – a model established by Lenin and especially by his successor Joseph Stalin. It has been widely imitated. Though communism has killed huge numbers of people intentionally, even more of its victims have died from starvation as a result of its cruel projects of social engineering.

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A communal Chinese farm in the 1950s during the Great Leap Forward. Photo: UIG/Getty Images

For these epic crimes, Lenin and Stalin bear personal responsibility, as do Mao Zedong in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, the Kim dynasty in North Korea and any number of lesser communist tyrants. But we must not lose sight of the ideas that prompted these vicious men to kill on such a vast scale, or of the nationalist context in which they embraced these ideas. Anticapitalism was attractive to them in its own right, but it also served as an instrument, in their minds, for backward countries to leapfrog into the ranks of great powers.

The communist revolution may now be spent, but its centenary, as the great anticapitalist cause, still demands a proper reckoning.

In February 1917, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated under pressure from his generals, who worried that bread marches and strikes in the capital of St. Petersburg were undermining the war effort against Germany and its allies. The February Revolution, as these events became known, produced an unelected provisional government, which chose to rule without the elected parliament. Peasants began to seize the land, and soviets (or political councils) started to form among soldiers at the front, as had already happened among political groups in the cities.

That fall, as the war raged on, Lenin’s Bolsheviks undertook an armed insurrection involving probably no more than 10,000 people. They directed their coup not against the provisional government, which had long since become moribund, but against the main soviet in the capital, which was dominated by other, more moderate socialists. The October Revolution began as a putsch by the radical left against the rest of the left, whose members denounced the Bolsheviks for violating all norms and then walked out of the soviet.

The Bolsheviks, like many of their rivals, were devotees of Karl Marx, who saw class struggle as the great engine of history. What he called feudalism would give way to capitalism, which would be replaced in turn by socialism and, finally, the distant utopia of communism. Marx envisioned a new era of freedom and plenty, and its precondition was destroying the “wage slavery” and exploitation of capitalism. As he and his collaborator Friedrich Engels declared in the Communist Manifesto of 1848, our theory “may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”

Once in power in early 1918, the Bolsheviks renamed themselves the Communist Party as they sought to force-march Russia to socialism and, eventually, to history’s final stage. Millions set about trying to live in new ways. No one, however, knew precisely what the new society was supposed to look like. “We cannot give a characterization of socialism,” Lenin conceded in March 1918. “What socialism will be like when it reaches its completed form we do not know, we cannot say.”

But one thing was clear to them: Socialism could not resemble capitalism. The regime would replace private property with collective property, markets with planning, and “bourgeois” parliaments with “people’s power.” In practice, however, scientific planning was unattainable, as even some communists conceded at the time. As for collectivizing property, it empowered not the people but the state.

The process set in motion by the communists entailed the vast expansion of a secret-police apparatus to handle the arrest, internal deportation and execution of “class enemies.” The dispossession of capitalists also enriched a new class of state functionaries, who gained control over the country’s wealth. All parties and points of view outside the official doctrine were repressed, eliminating politics as a corrective mechanism.

The declared goals of the revolution of 1917 were abundance and social justice, but the commitment to destroy capitalism gave rise to structures that made it impossible to attain those goals.

In urban areas, the Soviet regime was able to draw upon armed factory workers, eager recruits to the party and secret police, and on young people impatient to build a new world. In the countryside, however, the peasantry—some 120 million souls—had carried out their own revolution, deposing the gentry and establishing de facto peasant land ownership.

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Russian Communist Party supporters participated in a march in Moscow on Defender of the Fatherland Day, Feb. 23. Photo: Serebryakov Dmitry/TASS/ZUMA PRESS

With the devastated country on the verge of famine, Lenin forced reluctant party cadres to accept the separate peasant revolution for the time being. In the countryside, over the objections of communist purists, a quasi-market economy was allowed to operate.

With Lenin’s death in 1924, this concession became Stalin’s problem. No more than 1% of the country’s arable land had been collectivized voluntarily by 1928. By then, key factories were largely owned by the state, and the regime had committed to a five-year plan for industrialization. Revolutionaries fretted that the Soviet Union now had two incompatible systems—socialism in the city and capitalism in the village.

Stalin didn’t temporize. He imposed coercive collectivization from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, even in the face of mass peasant rebellion. He threatened party officials, telling them that if they were not serious about eradicating capitalism, they should be prepared to cede power to the rising rural bourgeoisie. He incited class warfare against “kulaks” (better-off peasants) and anyone who defended them, imposing quotas for mass arrests and internal deportations.

Stalin was clear about his ideological rationale. “Could we develop agriculture in kulak fashion, as individual farms, along the path of large-scale farms” as in “America and so on?” he asked. “No, we could not. We’re a Soviet country. We want to implant a collective economy, not solely in industry, but in agriculture.”

And he never backtracked, even when, as a result of his policies, the country descended into yet another famine from 1931 to 1933. Forced collectivization during those few years would claim 5 to 7 million lives.

The Soviet Union’s awful precedent did nothing to deter other communist revolutionaries. Mao Zedong, a hard man like Stalin, had risen to the top of the Chinese movement and, in 1949, he and his comrades emerged as the victors in the Chinese civil war. Mao saw the colossal loss of life in the Soviet experiment as intrinsic to its success.

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Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing, 1952. Photo: Lyu Houmin/Visual China Group/Getty Images

His Great Leap Forward, a violent campaign from 1958 to 1962, was an attempt to collectivize some 700 million Chinese peasants and to spread industry throughout the countryside. “Three years of hard work and suffering, and a thousand years of prosperity,” went one prominent slogan of the time.

Falsified reports of triumphal harvests and joyful peasants inundated the communist ruling elite’s well-provisioned compound in Beijing. In reality, Mao’s program resulted in one of history’s deadliest famines, claiming between 16 and 32 million victims. After the catastrophe, referred to by survivors as the “communist wind,” Mao blocked calls for a retreat from collectivization. As he declared, “the peasants want ‘freedom,’ but we want socialism.”

Nor did this exhaust the repertoire of communist brutality in the name of overthrowing capitalism. With their conquest of Cambodia in 1975, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge drove millions from the country’s cities into the countryside to work on collectives and forced-labor projects. They sought to remake Cambodia as a classless, solely agrarian society.

The Khmer Rouge abolished money, banned commercial fishing and persecuted Buddhists, Muslims and the country’s ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese minorities as “infiltrators.” Pol Pot’s regime also seized children to pre-empt ideological infection from “capitalist” parents.

All told, perhaps as many as 2 million Cambodians, a quarter of the population, perished as a result of starvation, disease and mass executions during the four nightmarish years of Pol Pot’s rule. In some regions, skulls could be found in every pond.

Marx’s class analysis denied legitimacy to any political opposition, not just from “bourgeois” elements but from within communist movements themselves—because dissenters “objectively” served the interests of the international capitalist order. The relentless logic of anticapitalist revolution pointed to a single leader atop a single-party system.

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A Cambodian man prayed during a ceremony in front of a map of skulls of Khmer Rouge victims at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, March 10, 2002. Photo: Andy Eames/Associated Press

From Russia and China to Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba, communist dictators have shared key traits. All have conformed, more or less, to the Leninist type: a fusion of militant ideologue and unprincipled intriguer. And all have possessed an extreme willpower—the prerequisite for attaining what only unspeakable bloodshed could bring.

Communism was hardly alone over the past century in committing grand carnage. Nazism’s repression and wars of racial extermination killed at least 40 million people, and during the Cold War, anticommunism spurred paroxysms of grotesque violence in Indonesia, Latin America and elsewhere.

But as evidence of communism’s horrors emerged over the decades, it rightly shocked liberals and leftists in the West, who shared many of the egalitarian aims of the revolutionaries. Some repudiated the Soviet Union as a deformation of socialism, attributing the regime’s crimes to the backwardness of Russia or the peculiarities of Lenin and Stalin. After all, Marx had never advocated mass murder or Gulag labor camps. Nowhere did he argue that the secret police, deportation by cattle car and mass death from starvation should be used to establish collective farms.

But if we’ve learned one lesson from the communist century, it is this: That to implement Marxist ideals is to betray them. Marx’s demand to “abolish private property” was a clarion call to action—and an inexorable path to the creation of an oppressive, unchecked state.

A few socialists began to recognize that there could be no freedom without markets and private property. When they made their peace with the existence of capitalism, hoping to regulate rather than to abolish it, they initially elicited denunciations as apostates. Over time, more socialists embraced the welfare state, or the market economy with redistribution. But the siren call to transcend capitalism persists among some on the left.

It also remains alive, though hardly in orthodox Marxist fashion, in Russia and China, the great redoubts of the communist century. Both countries continue to distrust what is perhaps most important about free markets and private property: Their capacity to give independence of action and thought to ordinary people, pursuing their own interests as they see fit, in private life, civil society and the political sphere.

But anticapitalism also served as a program for an alternative world order, one in which long-suppressed nationalist aims might be realized. For Stalin and Mao, heirs to proud ancient civilizations, Europe and the U.S. represented the allure and threat of a superior West. The communists set themselves the task of matching and overtaking their capitalist rivals and winning a central place for their own countries on the international stage. This revolutionary struggle allowed Russia to satisfy its centuries-old sense of a special mission in the world, while it gave China a claim to be, once again, the Middle Kingdom.

Vladimir Putin’s resistance to the West, with his peculiar mix of Soviet nostalgia and Russian Orthodox revival, builds on Stalin’s precedent. For its part, of course, China remains the last communist giant, even as Beijing promotes and tries to control a mostly market economy. Under Xi Jinping, the country now embraces both communist ideology and traditional Chinese culture in a drive to raise its standing as an alternative to the West.

Communism’s bloody century has come to an end, and we can only celebrate its passing. But troubling aspects of its legacy endure.

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Europe: Journalists Against Free Speech

Authored by Judith Bergman via The Gatestone Institute,

  • Gone is all pretense that journalism is about reporting the facts. These are the aims of a political actor.
  • Being bought and paid for by the EU apparently counts as "press freedom" these days.
  • According to the guidelines, journalists should, among other things, "Provide an appropriate range of opinions, including those belonging to migrants and members of minorities, but… not… extremist perspectives just to 'show the other side'…. Don't allow extremists' claims about acting 'in the name of Islam' to stand unchallenged…. where it is necessary and newsworthy to report hateful comments against Muslims, mediate the information."

The European Federation of Journalists (EJF), is "the largest organization of journalists in Europe, represents over 320,000 journalists in 71 journalists' organizations across 43 countries," according to its website. The EJF, a powerful player, also leads a Europe-wide campaign called "Media against Hate."

The "Media against Hate" campaign aims to:

"counter hate speech and discrimination in the media, both on and offline… media and journalists play a crucial role in informing…policy … regarding migration and refugees. As hate speech and stereotypes targeting migrants proliferate across Europe… #MediaAgainstHate campaign aims to: improve media coverage related to migration, refugees, religion and marginalised groups… counter hate speech, intolerance, racism and discrimination… improve implementation of legal frameworks regulating hate speech and freedom of speech…"

Gone is all pretense that journalism is about reporting the facts. These are the aims of a political actor.

A very large political actor is, in fact, involved in the "Media against Hate" campaign. The campaign is one of several media programs supported by the EU under its Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC). In the REC program for 2017, the EU Commission, the EU's executive body, writes:

"DG Justice and Consumers [the EU Commission's justice department] will address the worrying increase of hate crime and hate speech by allocating funding to actions aiming at preventing and combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance… including dedicated work in the area of countering online hate speech (implementation of the Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online)… DG Justice also funds civil society organisations combatting racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance".

This political player, the EU, the biggest in Europe, works openly at influencing the "free press" with its own political agendas. One of these agendas is the issue of migration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East. In his September State of the Union address, the president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, made it clear that whatever Europeans may think — polls repeatedly show that the majority of Europeans do not want any more migrants — the EU has no intention of putting a stop to migration. "Europe," Juncker said, "contrary to what some say, is not a fortress and must never become one. Europe is and must remain the continent of solidarity where those fleeing persecution can find refuge".

The EU, the biggest political player Europe, works openly at influencing the "free press" with its own political agendas. In September, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) made it clear that whatever Europeans may think — polls repeatedly show that the majority of Europeans do not want any more migrants — the EU has no intention of putting a stop to migration. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The European Union's REC Program also recently financed the publication of a handbook with guidelines for journalists on how to write about migrants and migration. The guidelines form part of the RESPECT WORDS project — also EU-financed — which "aims to promote quality reporting on migrants and ethnic and religious minorities as an indispensable tool in the fight against hate". The new guidelines are "aimed at strengthening quality media coverage of migrants and ethnic and religious minorities". The handbook was launched on October 12 by the International Press Institute (IPI) — an association of media professionals" representing leading digital, print and broadcast news outlets in more than 120 countries. IPI boasts that it has been "defending press freedom since 1950". (Being bought and paid for by the EU apparently counts as "press freedom" these days.) Seven other European media outlets and civil society groups based in Europe participated in the project and presented it at an event at the European Parliament in Brussels attended by MEPs and civil society experts. According to the press release, the guidelines are "supplementary to standards already in place at news outlets".

The guidelines state that, "journalism cannot and should not 'solve' the problem of hate speech on its own" but that it can help to prevent its "normalisation". However, "meeting this challenge requires the involvement of many actors, in particular the European Union, which must reinforce existing mechanisms and support new tools designed to combat hate speech…"

Why do journalists, who claim to fight for the freedom of the press, now appeal to the EU to help bring an end to freedom of speech in Europe?

According to the guidelines, journalists should, among other things:

"Provide an appropriate range of opinions, including those belonging to migrants and members of minorities, but… not… extremist perspectives just to 'show the other side'… Avoid directly reproducing hate speech; when it is newsworthy to do so, mediate it by…challenging such speech, and exposing any false premises it relies on. Remember that sensitive information (eg race and ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, party affiliation or union affiliation, health and sexual information) should only be mentioned when it is necessary for the public's understanding of the news".

Is that why news reports always refer to perpetrators of rape or terrorism simply as "men"?

Specifically, with regard to Muslims, the guidelines recommend:

"Challenge existing anti-Muslim stereotypes that have become pervasive in public discourse… Increase the visibility of Muslim men and women in your general reporting… Take care not to further stigmatise terms such as 'Muslim' or 'Islam' by associating them with particular acts… Don't allow extremists' claims about acting 'in the name of Islam' to stand unchallenged. Highlight… the diversity of Muslim communities… where it is necessary and newsworthy to report hateful comments against Muslims, mediate the information. Challenge any false premises on which such comments rely".

Not even Orwell could have made that up.

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If You Want To Understand The Next 10 Years, Study Spain

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Some of you may be confused as to why a U.S. citizen living in Colorado has become so completely obsessed with what’s going on in Spain. Bear with me, there’s a method to my madness.

I believe what’s currently happening in Spain represents a crucial microcosm for what we’ll see sweep across the entire planet over the next ten years.

Some of you will want to have a discussion about who’s right and who’s wrong in this particular affair, but that’s besides the point. It doesn’t matter which side you favor, what matters is that Madrid/Catalonia is an example of the forces of centralization duking it out with forces of decentralization.

Madrid represents the nation-state as we know it, with its leaders claiming Spain is forever indivisible according to the constitution. Madrid has essentially proclaimed there’s no possible avenue to independence from a centralized Spain even if various regions decide in large number they wish to be independent. This sort of attitude will be seen as unacceptable and primitive by increasingly large numbers of humans in the years ahead. Catalonia should be seen as a canary in the coal mine. The forces of decentralization are rising, but entrenched centralized institutions and the bureaucrats running them will become increasingly terrified, panicked and oppressive.

As I’ve discussed, this isn’t coming out of nowhere. Humanity’s current established centralized institutions and nation-states have become clownishly corrupt, merely existing to protect and enrich the powerful/connected as opposed to benefiting the population at large. As such, legitimacy has been shattered and people have begun to demand a new way. Whether we see this with the rising popularity of Bitcoin, or the UK decision to leave the EU, evidence is everywhere and we’ve already passed the point of no return. This is precisely why EU leaders are rallying around Madrid. They’re scared to death and fear they might be next. They’re probably right.

Before we continue, I want to revisit something I pointed out in last week’s post, Surprisingly, I’m Quite Optimistic About the Future:

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see sufficient change in this regard without hardship. This hardship is likely to occur as the old paradigm becomes more authoritarian and paranoid as it lashes out in an attempt to solidify and expand control. Of course, we’re already seeing this all around us, but it’s likely to get even worse in the years ahead. Don’t be afraid of it, understand that it’s coming and accept that this is all part of the change process. Did you really think control-freak authoritarians would give up without a fight?

If you want to see how a control-freak authoritarian responds to a situation, just look at how Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has responded to Catalonia. People like him simply can’t help themselves, it’s in their nature and all they know is the fist of violence. As I noted in last week’s post on the topic, those in favor of Catalan independence have thus far played the situation flawlessly. For this to turn out positively for the forces of decentralization, the Spanish authorities must be encouraged to act increasingly thuggish, which will in turn bolster more and more popular support for independence. This has already started to happen, and will likely accelerate in the weeks ahead as Rajoy is about to make the biggest mistake of all by activating Article 155.

It’s really important to understand how irresponsibly aggressive Madrid is about to become before moving on. Here’s some background courtesy of Bloomberg:

Rajoy on Saturday shocked many observers with plans to clear out the entire separatist administration in Barcelona and take control of key institutions including public media and the regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra. Spain’s chief prosecutor said that if Puigdemont declares independence he would face as much as 30 years in jail and signaled that he could be arrested immediately.

 

“Catalan government officials and many within the Mossos and Catalan media are not just going to stand down without a fight,” said Caroline Gray, a lecturer in politics and Spanish at Aston University in the U.K. who specializes in nationalist movements. “The big question for me, really, is how Madrid is actually going to implement its proposed actions in Catalonia.”

 

Rajoy is wielding the untested powers of Article 155 of Spain’s 1978 Constitution to try to impose central government control on Catalonia. The aim ultimately is to trigger regional elections within six months.

Madrid is making a mistake of enormous historical significance here. First, you don’t need to be a genius to see that him forcibly taking over control over key aspects of Catalan civil society will only make the independence movement grow in strength, passion and numbers. Second, does Rajoy really think he’s going to be able to make this happen without enormous amounts of civil unrest? Not a chance.

Here’s some of what’s already being planned, according to Bloomberg:

Catalan separatists are mobilizing a human shield to block efforts by the Spanish authorities to take control of the breakaway region as both sides prepare to escalate the political conflict.

 

Groups will concentrate their activists around the regional government’s headquarters in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and the nearby parliament building, according to two people familiar with the plans, asking not to be identified by name. They expect Spanish police to use force to try to shut down the administration and will put their bodies on the line, said one person.

 

“We are calling for a peaceful and democratic defense of the institutions,” Lluis Corominas, the leader of the main separatist group in the Catalan Parliament, said at a press conference in Barcelona. Regional President Carles Puigdemont has called for similar action.

 

The separatists have shown they can rally support. A crowd estimated by local police at around 450,000 joined him to protest in central Barcelona after Rajoy announced his plans. CUP, a pro-secessionist party, on Monday called for mass civil disobedience in Catalonia, Ara newspaper reported.

The key dates this week will be on Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s when the Catalan assembly is set to meet to prepare a response to Spain taking over the region by force. Friday is when Spain’s national Senate will vote to implement direct rule. In my opinion, it would be a big mistake for the Catalan government to declare independence at this stage. Madrid needs to continue to be seen as the unreasonable aggressor, which is what will happen if article 155 is activated Friday. For Catalonia to succeed, the public must become even more outraged than it already is. Any attempt by Madrid at taking over Catalan civil society by force will achieve this in spades.

If I’m correct in my forecast, the entire world will be looking at similar forces of decentralization battling it out with discredited, entrenched centralized power structures over the next decade or so. I think this will result in virtually all of our current institutions collapsing and being replaced by a completely different paradigm. In my view, the new paradigm will be increasingly defined by decentralized structures. Terms like “peer-to-peer,” “distributed” and “direct democracy” will become increasingly ubiquitous as we begin to lay down the foundations for a far less top-down, centralized and authoritarian approach to human affairs.

This isn’t to say the process will be easy or smooth, but that’s where I think all of this is headed. The struggle between Madrid and Catalonia represents a high-profile and early example of this struggle and those of us who wish for a more decentralized world need to pay very close attention since many lessons can be learned from this historic crisis.

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You Think You’re Free, Catalonia? Think Again, Spain Says

You Think You’re Free? Think Again, Spain Says, Begins Preparations to Crack Down on Catalan

Written by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money News

 

You Think You're Free? Think Again, Spain Says, Begins Preparations to Crack Down on Catalan - Nathan McDonald

 

Governments all over the world need control: they need control over “their” people, they need control over “their” money supply, and through this control they can grow their power and ability to dictate our everyday lives.

 

 

Everyone is born under a system of control in today’s modern world. Arguably, for most of history, it has been this way. Sure, we are given freedoms as long as we play within our specifically defined set of rules, but just try to break these rules and watch how quickly the hammer comes down on top of your head.

 

 

This is exactly what we have witnessed on October 1st, within the Catalan region of Spain, who voted OVERWHELMINGLY, 92.1% in fact, to exit Spain and become independent. This was a nonviolent, democratic process, by a set of people of a specific region, yet they have learned the hard way that their destiny is far from their own.

 

 

The government of Spain looks at this prosperous region as theirs and the people that make up this area are their cash cows – cash cows that are attempting to hop the fence and drift off the farm. This cannot and will not be allowed.

 

 

The violent crackdown that we witnessed on October 1st showed the government of Spain’s hand, but they are far from the only government that would act in this way. The global elites of both the West and the East all would act in a similar manner.

 

 

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is now taking additional steps, invoking Article 155 of their Constitution, which gives them the right to “restore the legality” of the semi-autonomous region. Which I’m sure as you can guess, means forcefully removing the “renegade” government of Catalonia by any means necessary.

 

Still, Catalonia’s President Carles Puigdemont is not backing down in the face of these threats and hopes that the region can separate peacefully – a truly hopeful wish in my opinion.

 

 

This has led to civil society organizations within Catalonia to call for retaliation against the government of Spain, requesting that all citizens within the region initiate a bank run by withdrawing their funds all at once, together.

 

 

If you think this call to action is to be taken lightly, then you are forgetting one of the key elements that give the ruling class their power: their control over the fiat money supply and the banking system that keeps it going.

 

 

 

The citizens of Catalonia are going to learn the hard way just how little money the modern day banking system keeps in physical reserve. Quickly the vaults and ATMs will run dry – and then what?

 

 

I for one am hopeful that this situation will resolve itself peacefully and the people of Catalonia will be set free, as they have democratically requested, and that this will be a bright shining example of liberty and free will in a modern time. Sadly, I highly doubt that is what is going to occur.

 

 

Unless the government of Catalonia steps down on their own accord, then you can expect to see violence and blood in the streets. This action cannot and will not be tolerated by the elites of the world, lest the rest of us peasants get any silly ideas in our heads.

 

 

Questions or comments about this article? Leave your thoughts HERE.

 

 

 

 

You Think You’re Free? Think Again, Spain Says, Begins Preparations to Crack Down on Catalan

Written by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money News

 

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All Hail Chinese Emperor Xi Jinping: Will He ‘Make China Great Again’?

Authored by Mike Shedlock via Maven.net/MishTalk,

At the nineteenth Communist Party meeting, Chinese president Xi Jinping consolidated his hold on power.

But can he make China great again? What would it take?

New Yorker columnist Jiayang Fan notes At the Communist Party Congress, Xi Jinping Plays the Emperor.

Perhaps no event embodies the unyielding abstruseness and the unforgiving hierarchy of China’s ruling Communist Party as much as its Party Congress, the government’s most important leadership conference. Attended by some twenty-three hundred delegates from across the country, it is held every five years in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People—and when the weeklong meeting finally begins, one can be certain that the crucial politicking has already concluded. What proceeds is a choreographed spectacle bearing fastidiously scripted speeches, pro-forma elections of what has heretofore been determined (a leadership reshuffle in the seven-member Politburo, the highest echelon of power), and, in the case of the 19th Communist Party Congress, which opened today, high-spirited, propagandistic posters reminding the masses that “Life in China Is Good! Everyday Is Like a Holiday!”

 

This is a message that Xi Jinping, who was appointed President at the previous Party Congress, in 2012, is eager to instill in a country that continues to grapple with a vertiginous pace of change and the outsize influence of politics in everyday life. Xi is almost certainly guaranteed another five-year term, if not longer. Since taking office, he has sought to launch the greatest ideological campaign since the days of Mao.

 

Xi has made clear from the outset, he is intent on both defining a new world order and restoring to Chinese culture its former esteem.

 

Yet Xi’s mission should be regarded in the context of a collective and profound post-traumatic stress disorder, the result of almost two centuries of cataclysmic events in China. For every Tang Taizong, who ushered in the golden years of the Tang Dynasty, there were many others like Empress Dowager Cixi, who usurped the throne, crippled the path of progress, and contributed to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty.

 

As Xi made clear today, during his three-hour address to the Party Congress, he sees this moment as “a new historic juncture in China’s development”—and himself as the man to seize it. He seems to believe that the more power he amasses, the easier it will be for him to enact the kind of monumental changes necessary to transform China into the world’s leading superpower. In this sense, he is positioning himself as a savior with a cause noble enough to justify his autocratic turn. The logic is akin to that which animated the ambition of many of the Middle Kingdom’s five-hundred-odd emperors. Sure, Xi has rerouted all tributaries of power to run upstream to him, but isn’t it in the service of rejuvenation?

 

Xi has also used his growing power to curb that of his citizens. Under his rule, China has become increasingly repressive. The media is censored and civil society has been muted. Activists have been silenced and human-rights lawyers arrested. More than a million officials have been disciplined. Despite paying lip service to the constitution—the Party devoted an entire plenary session during the 18th Congress to a discussion of “judicial independence”—Xi is steering the country away from the rule of law and toward the rule of the Party.

 

Xi’s vision for China’s future suggests a great leap backward, in which old lessons remain unlearned.

Bravo!

A paradigm change is indeed underway, but it will be led by cars (autonomous driving and electrification), demographics (aging boomers), the demise of pension plans, a revolt by millennials, and a squashing of the current political class.

A currency crisis is inevitable but it's too soon to say that gold will be back in the picture. Some suggest SDRs, but I dismiss that idea.

King dollar is certainly not dead yet, and contrary to popular belief, having the reserve currency is more of a curse than a blessing.

Why Dollar is King

  • The dollar is king because the US has open capital markets, property rights, and the world's biggest bond markets.

  • The US also has a Bill of Rights granting freedom of speech and protection from unwarranted searches. China imprisons people for speaking their mind.

  • China is a long way from competing with the US on those important issues. In addition, China repeatedly resorts to capital controls to stop monetary flight.

China will not supplant the US for at least two decades and may not ever.

I expounded on the topic in Marc Faber Banned from CNBC. Here are a few snips.

What Made the US Great?

The Constitution's Bill of Rights is what makes the US great. There is nothing else like it in the world. It's a unique constitution put together by a unique set of educated lawyers and other scholars.

The First Amendment grants freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

That's what enables Faber to say what he did. And that's a good thing, whether you agree with him or not! China imprisons or kills people for saying something the state disagrees with. Numerous countries in Europe would fine Faber for such remarks.

The First Amendment prohibits state-sponsored religion. Many Republicans who allegedly want a strict constitution, ought to take a closer look. School prayer does not fit in.

Democrats might wish to consider the Second Amendment.

Everyone should appreciate the right to be secure in their home. That's the Fourth Amendment.

The Sixth Amendment grants a speedy trial.

Reader Comments

The subject came up a third time today. In response to the above articles, reader Brindu had this to say:

Hello Mish

 

In your section "What Makes the US Great", you used the points made earlier in " King Dollar". This will be very educational for readers who normally don't dwell on constitutional issues.

 

I have another point worth adding: "A credible, independent and impartial court system accessible to all.".

 

To illustrate how the Constitution and the Bill of Rights worked real time, I reflected back to Nixon and the Watergate era (1972-74). Many of your readers were too young to remember or not even born. Here is a summary of relevant events showing how the points you listed under "What makes the US Great?" worked in actual practice.

 

  1. Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the NYT. Nixon went to court to stop publication, but the judge ruled against Nixon, saying there was no threat to national security. The NYT published the Pentagon papers in its entirety, This is a classic example of the first amendment at work. Many foreign leaders asked why Nixon did not shut down the press. (The UK has something called the Official Secrets Act and can shut down newspapers).

  2. Nixon's aides broke into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office looking for dirt. They went to jail. This is a classic example of the 4th amendment at work.

  3. Judge John Sirica systematically sent a dozen or more Nixon's aides (Haldeman, Erlichman, Dean etc.) to jail as Nixon watched helplessly. Again, foreigners, unfamiliar with the US separation of powers asked why Nixon just did not throw Judge Sirica in jail. Imagine a judge acting independently in China or in Erdogan's Turkey? This is a classic example of an independent judiciary at work.

 

The parliamentary systems in Europe and Canada are inferior in protecting individual rights like our Bill of Rights. Under parliamentary law, the UK can shut down newspapers. They can wiretap, open mail without a warrant. There is no double jeopardy- in some places, they can try you again and again on the same charge even if you are acquitted.

 

At one time, Australia did not allow its citizens to own foreign accounts. The UK, in the 1960's has capital outflow due to 90%+ marginal taxes. Folks were mailing British pounds abroad and the Government scanned outgoing mail to intercept this.

 

Like you said, "The Constitution's Bill of Rights is what makes the US great. There is nothing else like it in the world."

US Dollar Not Dead Yet

Chinese history speaks for itself. Absolute power in the hands of a man whose actions are rubber-stamped by a mock-up Congress will not make China great.

Wake me up when China has a Bill of Rights granting freedom of speech and protection from unwarranted searches.

Add an independent judiciary, a free-floating currency, and the world's largest bond market to the list of China needs.


http://WarMachines.com

The Spanish Civil War, Revisited: Pepe Escobar Fears “Lethal Response” From Madrid

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

Puigdemont's political twist could invoke a lethal response from Madrid: suspension of Catalonia's government

Call it theatre of the absurd – with a lethal subtext. Under pressure from all corners – even Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council – in his fateful date with destiny Carles Puigdemont, President of Catalonia, came up with some last-minute judo dialectics. He issued a non-denial denial Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Spain. What was declared was immediately suspended; the Republic of Catalonia lasted for six seconds.

The deft political gambit left Madrid predictably bewildered. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a.k.a. nano-Franco, issued an ultimatum; you have five days to say if you declared independence or not.

Independent of the answer, Madrid’s nuclear option remains on the cards; infamous article 155 of the Constitution, which calls for the suspension of Catalonia’s government and parliament from six to 12 months.

Yet that may come with a twist; a 155 in slow motion, parallel to the hazy offer of starting a process, in six months maximum, leading to Spanish constitutional reform. Madrid needs Catalonia for this reform to succeed. So, essentially, Puigdemont just needs to say “no” for the train to start rolling.

It’s way more complex than it seems. The Catalan extreme left, up to the last minute, was trying to convince Puigdemont to proclaim unconditional independence. At the same time, those six seconds left Catalan unionists predictably furious. Moderates for their part prefer to see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

The problem is that even with discreet back channels in place, Madrid’s strategy is to ultimately force a fissure in the independentist coalition; secession inside Catalonia to prevent secession from Spain. So far, the fissure has been prevented by some members of the Catalonian Parliament signing a declaration of support for the – still non-existent – republic.

Scrap that constitution

The President of the Cantabria region, Miguel Ángel Revilla, sums it all up: Rajoy is to blame. Revilla worries that “50% of Catalans want to leave Spain. Four years ago, that was not the case.” He stresses how a “Catalan statute – approved by the Catalans and the Spanish Parliament – was impugned by the Constitutional court, so they had to be mad, right? It did not deal with independence, it was a pact, delineating a series of obligations.”

So the unwillingness of the Spanish government to talk, according to Revilla, is what led to the current impasse. No wonder; Rajoy is closely advised by former Prime Minister José María Aznar.

The extremely reactionary administration in place in Madrid could have defused the bomb even before the referendum, by mobilizing sectors of the working class in Catalonia whose first language is Spanish, not Catalan; many of these view the independence dossier as a “war of the elites”.

Madrid though opted for Franco-ist repression tactics. King Felipe VI had one chance to appeal for calm and reunite the nation; he chose to play Scaremonger-in-Chief. EU “leaders” stuck to platitudes, like Rothschild favorite Emmanuel Macron extolling his “profound” vision of an integrated Europe and Chancellor Angela Merkel abdicating from her role of Dispenser of Wisdom; after all, this is not Crimea.

The European Commission (EC), losing the scarce credibility it still possessed, sharply ignored its own “core values”; the rights of national minorities enshrined in Article 2 of the EU founding treaty, as well as Article 21 of its charter of fundamental rights.

Podemos has some decent ideas to “save Spanish democracy”.

Yet there seems to be only one sensible road map ahead.

  1. Kick out the incompetent, nano-Franco administration, which does not want any dialogue; a tough call in a nation so viscerally conservative as Spain.
  2. Explain to everyone in Catalonia, especially the different strands of the working class, what independence would mean in practice – something the current “leaders” are incapable of. Catalonia – one of the EU’s wealthiest regions – in or out of the EU? Trading in which currency? Without an army? Able to manage a neighboring hostile power (Spain) and not recognized by France?
  3. Launch a comprehensive national dialogue process to reform the outdated 1978 constitution – privileging a modern, federal charter, emphasizing more consensus among regions, and considering the concerns of at least 25% of hardcore independentists in Catalonia.

None of this seems to be on the cards – and that’s why the real tragedy is only beginning. Spain is already broken – and there will be no turning back.

Calling Rosa Luxemburg

The temptation to strike parallels with Europe a century ago are strong. What about adapting Rosa Luxemburg’s latest, searing essay before she was assassinated in January 1919; “You stupid henchmen! Your ‘order’ is built on sand.” At the same time Rosa Luxemburg warned the Left about the petty-bourgeois nationalisms emerging after the collapse of the Habsburgs (the exception was Czechoslovakia.)

“Catalanism” – which sprang up in the 19th century – is a different beast though. The Barcelona-Madrid fissure is based on deep economic/fiscal reasons, amplified by the dire consequences of the financial crisis in Spain since 2008. Catalonia’s nationalism is not narrow-minded but inclusive, largely open to The Other – from other parts of Spain and abroad.

The intractability of the political problem is that Catalonia – the most European of all Spanish regions and historically in favor of republicanism and federalism – contests the very essence of the Spanish system. To scrap this outdated constitution – written immediately after Franco’s demise and drenched in amnesty for Franco-ists – is as important as self-determination. To say that the Bourbons face a legitimacy crisis is a major understatement.

Madrid’s actions on Referendum Repression Day – led by a Franco-ist partisan of torture, infamous General Bum-Bum – could not but revive the memory of Catalonia as the key anarchist/republican hub during the Spanish Civil War; the Civil Guard in itself represents the memory of Francoism. It’s understandable how separatists prefer to discard the historic/ financial heavy load when they see the impossibility of a true modernization of Spain.

The prospect of an implosion of this current Spanish state – with repercussions everywhere from the Basque country to Scotland –   should be driving Europeans east and west to think hard about all the interconnections between city, territory, nation, state and (European) union; a healthy exercise in political economy thinking.

Instead, once again, we have total Brussels paralysis. There’s no plan B. Worse; there’s no political will, as some Greens at the European Parliament have remarked. No wonder, with EU “leaders” as mediocre as the Juncker/Tusk bunch, and the number two of the EC, Dutch jurist Frans Timmermans, saying that “sometimes the rule of law must be preserved by a proportionate use of force.”

Brussels, facing the prospect of a region that may leave in one go not only the EU but also the euro, is incapable to see that the Spanish fracture is a microcosm of the nation-state fracture inside the EU. The Juncker/Tusk unconditional support for nano-Franco cannot but be interpreted all across progressive European circles for what it is; what good could possibly emerge out of “mediation” by these non-entities? It’s civil society, in tandem, in Spain and Catalonia, that should be the mediators. One wonders if they’re up to the task.

http://WarMachines.com

Is That a Feature or a Bug? Gold & Silver Report 1 Oct 2017

We have covered many reasons why bitcoin is unsound and not money. It’s a ledger of unbacked liabilities. It is designed to have finite quantity but therefore indeterminate and hence volatile value. This makes it unusable for borrowing or lending and hence savings, but a great a vehicle for conversion of one person’s wealth into another’s income. It is not a commodity—discussion of the usefulness of the network notwithstanding—nor is it backed by a commodity or any asset. It is a perfect, cryptographically secure record—of itself. People use it to get rich quick. In other words, it’s the very model of a (post)modern monetary marvel (OK, Keith is not the next Gilbert and Sullivan).

And bitcoin has a questionable feature. Transactions are irreversible.

First it should be addressed that irreversible transactions have an appeal to merchants. Everyone who sells on eBay knows the frustration of shipping merchandise to a customer only to have the customer claim it was never received. Merchants would surely love the idea that once payment is made, it cannot be unmade.

However, there are good reasons why our payments system was designed as it is. Sometimes there is a clear mistake. No one has an interest in allowing the payee to keep $100,000 when $10,000 was the purchase price of the used car. No one wants to see Jon Schmidt get the money that was intended for John Smith. There is also the occasional case of fraud. If someone breaks into your account, you want recourse to recover the lost funds. Irreversible transactions are not a dream come true for consumers who are defrauded by merchants.

Consider that bitcoin’s designer, Satoshi, built the system so that transactions cannot be reversed. Is this a merchant’s dream come true? Or a criminal’s? Qui bono (who benefits?) It is hard to even think of a good legitimate case for this.

Now also consider that bitcoin was designed so payments can be sent and received anonymously. You not only cannot reverse a transaction, but you don’t even know who got it, so there is no way to know who to sue in court. Your money (well your bitcoin) is irretrievably lost.

The combination of irreversible and anonymous may still seem to have some legitimate appeal, but let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. It’s perfect for criminals. Anyone who sells fake driver’s licenses or murder for hire would love it.

As an aside, bitcoin’s anonymity is not perfect. The ledger shows every transaction, which means that if your identity is ever discovered, anyone can go through the history of what you have done. For example, if you sell bitcoins in an account at an exchange, and wire the dollars to your bank account.

To address this problem, there is the bitcoin mixer. It is designed to mix up your bitcoins with the bitcoins of others who also want to hide the identity of their coins and their origin. It seems almost as if it is designed for money laundering. While irreversible transactions may have some legitimate use cases, this is a whole ‘nother beast. If you steal millions of dollars of bitcoin from an exchange, hack a DAO, sell rocket launchers to terrorists, or even infect companies with ransomware, the mixer is great. You need a way to get paid, without anyone being able trace your loot.

It’s just like bags of cash left in the phone booth at 2am across the street from the all-night diner (as we recall from detective shows in the 1970’s), only better. In those shows, the bad guy always demanded “unmarked” bills, but no one ever clearly showed what “marked” vs. “unmarked” looked like. Well (we assume) bitcoins that have been tumbled are unmarked.

Irreversibility, anonymity, and untraceable unmarked bills. That may still sound attractive to a consumer, an end user of the system. However, that is not the main question, which is: are these desirable features for businesses who sell you things? Are they appropriate features for financial businesses who ask you to trust them with your life savings?

If no trust is possible, if civil society ever breaks down so far that no one can trust anyone else, that transactions are conducted between two armed groups with cash exchanged for goods under cover of more armed men with rifles, then we will have arrived in Keynes’ long run—a dark age. This has not happened just yet. So let’s continue with our inquiry into the nature of anonymity, irreversibility, and untraceability.

It takes us now to the concept of transparency. Let’s look at some examples outside finance. A grocer sells tomatoes labeled “locally grown”. Consumers want to be able to trust the label, and not have to be suspicious that they were really grown in Venezuela. If E Coli breaks out, everyone has an interest in tracing the tainted produce back to the packaging plant or farm which introduced the bacteria.

If a solar panel company tells you that its panels generate 15 watts per square foot, you want to trust that it is not only telling the truth but the whole truth. Is this figure for residents of a high altitude southern desert like Albuquerque or is it for a northern city like Oslo?

If an electric car company claims that its HEPA air filter is good enough to block biological warfare agents, buyers want to know if this has been validated by a credible third party.

It’s one thing if such marketing claims are mere puffery. We don’t know if any Tesla buyers are planning to drive through war zones where anthrax bacteria are in the air. We assume it is more about so called bragging rights:

“Oh yeah, your 911 turbo S can out-accelerate my Tesla in super-duper ludicrous insane mode?! Well can it do it under conditions of biological warfare??”

It is quite another when a company custodies client assets, or brokers or conducts financial transactions. A responsible financial business thinks constantly about—and establishes systems and controls for—conflicts of interest, unsustainable structures, shady transactions, and all factors which affect pricing or execution for its clients. For example, Monetary Metals publishes graphs of the offers that set the gold interest rate in its lease auctions.

You would expect disclosure statements, documented processes, guidance from a credible law firm, and an auditor—not to mention due diligence. Conversely, if a firm seems optimized to avoid government scrutiny, if there is no way to discover who owns it much less its liabilities, then it may not be seeking to build a great business for the long term.

Like it or not, we live in a world which is demanding more transparency from the companies we trust. And consumers and savers should like it.

In this light, let’s look at two interesting promises of the blockchain, One, there is no need to trust in a counterparty. Two, it enables realtime audit and verification.

The reality is any coalition of miners that controls a majority of the mining power can do whatever they want. For example, they can fork to undo a transaction. Whether you realize it or not, you are giving your trust to them—whomever they are. As the capital investment required to be a serious player in bitcoin mining has increased, mining power has consolidated. As the electricity consumption of serious mining power increased, miners consolidated in regions with subsidized electricity prices.

We do not believe that most people understand or appreciate that bitcoin governance is political.

As to realtime audit, how many cryptocurrency financial firms show even just their assets on the blockchain? (This would be of limited value without the liabilities also). It is telling that MtGox, before it collapsed, was a leading (if not the leading) bitcoin exchange and account provider. Serious allegations have emerged that MtGox was operating in a state of insolvency for years. A leading firm in the space. It was insolvent for years. A leading firm. Think about that. Take as long as you need.

The hype-reality spread is wide indeed.

Finally, we get to the so called Initial Coin Offering, or ICO. Raising capital is difficult and expensive under securities regulations. Many regulations serve to protect incumbents (see this article by Keith). It would seem to be a good thing to bypass all this, and sell a newfangled thing that is not called a security but a token.

However, it must be said that early-stage companies are risky. Regulation or no regulation, a responsible entrepreneur does not raise capital from people who don’t understand the risks and/or cannot afford to bear them. Yes, that means retirees living on a fixed pension. Responsible entrepreneurs do not promote their offerings with unrealistic promises of huge gains, while omitting a discussion of risks. They certainly do not use the proceeds to speculate on asset prices or plow them into the next startup’s hot deal (said next startup having an undisclosed relationship with management, of course).

For that matter, and this also needs to be said, no good comes of raising too much money too early in a company’s development. In a sane world, investors do not inject $30,000,000 into a company with a white paper and a partial management team. So what does that make the ICO world?

As the bitcoin mixer is designed to help criminals evade law enforcement, the ICO is designed to help businesses raise money that they have no business raising.

We are not lawyers, however one thing seems clear enough. The tokens sold in ICOs are securities. Sooner or later, regulators will crack down on issuers. And if innocent investors are bilked of their savings, the crackdown will be sooner.

This discussion brings us full circle. Bitcoin proponents will tell you that bitcoin is going to a million dollars. That may be, but it helps make our point that while the price is going up everyone is happy and fraud often goes undiscovered. Bernie Madoff was not caught until December 2008, when stocks crashed in the global financial crisis. If the Fed had kept the boom going for another 5 years, it’s likely that Madoff would have gotten away with it until 2013.

We are not, by the way, big fans of prior restraint regulation. In practice, regulatory compliance—whatever its stated intent—often means guilty until proven innocent. It demands that you constantly prove your innocence, at your own expense, under threat of being convicted of the crime of not complying.

However, we firmly believe that if a crime is committed then law enforcement should obtain a warrant and ask financial intermediaries for documentation related to the suspicious transactions and persons of interest. And we believe that responsible businesses keep records of transactions and clients for a number of reasons, including that they want to assist law enforcement catch criminals. No honest person benefits from aiding and abetting criminals.

A responsible financial business makes money by making money for its clients. It does so whether it operates in a free market or in a severe regulatory environment. Conversely, regulation does not stop the bad actors. Witness Bernie Madoff, who stole tens of billions, in a Ponzi scheme that endured perhaps 30 years (the start of the great boom fueled by falling interest rates since 1981).

Regulation, or not, a responsible business does not tout incredible gains, cherry pick performance numbers, conceal the source of funds, obscure its activities, ignore its liabilities, or understate or deny the risks while hyping the possible gains.

Of course, most businesses involved in bitcoin are not dishonest, the same as people elsewhere. However, it cannot be ignored that the bitcoin ecosystem has features which seem tailor-made for criminal activity.

Our final caveat is that law enforcement may allow things to proceed for years. When it enters a new technology arena, law enforcement can be like a steamroller. It doesn’t move forward quickly. However, once it grabs a toe, it will keep rolling right over the body, until it is made one with the pavement.


The prices of the metals dropped $17 and $0.35, and the gold-silver ratio rose to 77.

A look at the chart of either metal shows that a downtrend in prices (i.e. uptrend in the dollar) that began in mid-April reversed in mid-July. Then the prices began rising (i.e. dollar began falling). But that move ended Sep 8.

One way to think of these moves is as the addition of energy into the market. Like tossing a pebble into a still pond (not quantity of water, but energy that perturbs it). Once the speculators get the idea that gold and especially silver should go up, well it becomes self-fulfilling. Statements by the Fed, the ECB, or even the fatboy who rules North Korea can all have an effect.

Buying begets buying, as the chart shows signs of a breakout. But then, especially in this moribund market, the energy of new speculation is depleted. And the price subsides, until new energy is added by the next event. We are in that mode right now.

We will look at an updated picture of the fundamentals of supply and demand of both metals. But first, here are the charts of the prices of gold and silver, and the gold-silver ratio.

Next, this is a graph of the gold price measured in silver, otherwise known as the gold to silver ratio. The ratio rose.

In this graph, we show both bid and offer prices for the gold-silver ratio. If you were to sell gold on the bid and buy silver at the ask, that is the lower bid price. Conversely, if you sold silver on the bid and bought gold at the offer, that is the higher offer price.

For each metal, we will look at a graph of the basis and cobasis overlaid with the price of the dollar in terms of the respective metal. It will make it easier to provide brief commentary. The dollar will be represented in green, the basis in blue and cobasis in red.

Here is the intraday gold graph showing Friday’s action (you can see the regular 3-month gold basis chart).

This is interesting. From a bit after 6am (GMT) the price of gold is rising but the basis is falling. That means the buying was fundamental, i.e. gold metal was bought. This lasted until a bit after 7am. At around 10:30am, something different occurred. Speculators started buying futures. They drove the price up from $1,288 to $1,290, but this took the basis up from 0.8% to 0.83%. After that, the basis tracked the price. That is, when price was falling basis was falling (i.e. futures were being sold) and when price was rising basis rose with it (i.e. futures were bought). By the way, don’t pay too much attention to the end of the day, as particularly on a Friday liquidity is dried up and the signal can be spurious.

Our calculated Monetary Metals gold fundamental price fell $30 to $1,348.

Now let’s look at silver intraday (here is the regular daily silver basis chart).

Interestingly again, we see the same fundamental buying of silver after 6am from $16.80 to $16.86 while the basis drops from 0.5% to 0.47%. After that, like gold, the price action was driven by speculators in the futures markets.

Our calculated Monetary Metals silver fundamental price fell $0.25 to $17.05.

 

© 2017 Monetary Metals

http://WarMachines.com

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis: George Soros, Oil, & Lessons For India

Authored by Shelley Kasli via GGINews.com,

"When George Soros comes to this or that country… he looks for religious, ethnic or social contradictions, chooses the model of action for one of these options or their combination and tries to 'warm them up'," Egorchenkov explained…

 The ongoing crisis in Myanmar including tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities and the military crackdown by Myanmar Army and police seems to be a multidimensional crisis with major geopolitical players involved according to a report by Sputnik International.

As per the report Dmitry Mosyakov, director of the Centre for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told RT that the conflict “was apparently fanned by external global players” and “has at least three dimensions”.

First, this is a game against China, as China has very large investments in Arakan [Rakhine],” Mosyakov told RT.

 

“Second, it is aimed at fuelling Muslim extremism in Southeast Asia….

 

Third, it’s the attempt to sow discord within ASEAN [between Myanmar and Muslim-dominated Indonesia and Malaysia].”

The conflict is mostly concentrated in the country’s northwestern region in the Rakhine State which consists of vast reserves of hydrocarbons located offshore. This vast reserve of hydrocarbon is the major reason why external players are using the conflict to undermine Southeast Asian stability, according to Mosyakov.

“There’s a huge gas field named Than Shwe after the general who had long ruled Burma,” Mosyakov said.

In 2004 this massive Rakhine energy reserves were discovered and by 2013 China had connected Myanmar’s port of Kyaukphyu with the Chinese city of Kunming in Yunnan province with oil and natural gas pipelines. Through this oil pipeline China can bypass the world’s most congested shipping choke points – the Malacca Straits, while through the gas pipeline hydrocarbons from Myanmar’s offshore fields are transported to China.

The development of the Sino-Myanmar energy project coincided with the intensification of the Rohingya conflict in 2011-2012 when 120,000 asylum seekers left the country escaping the bloodshed.

Dmitry Egorchenkov, deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies and Prognosis at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia doesn’t believe that this is a coincidence. Although there are certain internal causes behind the Rohingya crisis, Dmitry believes that the crisis might be fueled by external players, most notably, George Soros.

By destabilizing Myanmar they could directly target China’s energy projects.

George Soros funded Burma Task Force has been actively operating in Myanmar since 2013 although Soros interference in Myanmar’s domestic affairs goes deeper than that.

In 2003, George Soros joined a US Task Force group aimed at increasing “US cooperation with other countries to bring about a long overdue political, economic and social transformation in Burma [Myanmar].”

A document published by the Council of Foreign Relation’s (CFR) in 2003 entitled “Burma: Time For Change,” states that “democracy… cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United States and the international community” and calls for an establishment of a group to implement the project.

“When George Soros comes to this or that country… he looks for religious, ethnic or social contradictions, chooses the model of action for one of these options or their combination and tries to ‘warm them up,'” Egorchenkov explained, speaking with RT.

According to Mosyakov, it is a globalist management policy to sow discord in nations by fuelling regional conflicts which allows them to exert pressure on those nations and ultimately gain control over their sovereignty. A recent example is the Ukrainian Crisis and the Greek Crisis before that. When the flames are out and the country ravaged with the crisis, it is time for the vultures to descend.

“BUY WHEN THERE IS BLOOD ON THE STREETS, EVEN IF THE BLOOD IS YOUR OWN”

 

– THESE ARE THE WORDS OF NATHAN MAYER ROTHSCHILD OF THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD, ONE OF THE FAMILY BLOODLINES THAT CONTROLLED THE EAST INDIA COMPANIES.

What one should understand is that a crisis just doesn’t take a toll on the infrastructure and human lives but it also ruptures the economy and puts the country in huge debt. And it is through this debt that the global players dictate their terms to sovereign nations for decades or even centuries if there is no course correction. That is the reason why both Ukraine and Greece appointed Rothschild as their debt adviser to assist with their growing debt crisis.

Lesson for India

 

Even India is hunting for a solution to its Bad-Debt Crisis (read the corporate loans that state-owned banks wrote off, which were taken by arousing nationalistic sentiments in the media) which is a Rs 1.14 lakh crore (this is a conservative figure) scam as we explained in our special Demonetization issue War on Cash. However, a solution has already been prescribed by the deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India, Viral Acharya. His solution is to simple sell-off state owned units to foreign players bankrupted in the 2008 crisis. You can read all about it here – PARA – A New Central Bank For Strategic Sale Of India.

These Money Masters doesn’t lose anything in case the situation escalates and war erupts between China and Myanmar, infact they have everything to gain from it; just like they had everything to gain from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Educated folks call it Balance of Power. It is through this same strategy of Balance of Power that even the India-China conflict is being orchestrated. But we don’t have to rely on war to be in debt, our policy makers are already doing a good job at it. We are already in the midst of a major crisis, be it agriculture, economy, civil society and press or defense and security. This is the direction our policy makers have set for us, and it leads directly to destruction, unless we do a major course correction.

Could such a crisis be orchestrated in India?

This is the hypothetical question we raised after Liquor baron Vijay Mallya was allowed to flee India to take refuge in London. This was not the first time a person fleeing local law in foreign countries had taken shelter in London. Since decades, high-profile foreign offenders with considerable wealth have found refuge and a safe place to park their assets and enjoy a peaceful life in Britain.

Similar is the case of Russia. Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union large-scale privatization of state-owned assets was implemented. From Glasnost and Perestroika (liberalization and privatization or globalization) – the tools created by the East India Company for enslavement of their colonies (known at the time as Free Trade) emerged the Oligarchs – who amassed vast wealth by acquiring state assets very cheaply (or for free) during the privatization process.

After coming to power Vladimir Putin set about on a massive purging of these oligarchs from Russia, the power struggle that continues to this day. The most famous case is that of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2003, Khodorkovsky was believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia (with a fortune estimated to be worth $15 billion) who accumulated considerable wealth through obtaining control of a series of Siberian oil fields unified under the name Yukos, one of the major companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s. Khodorkovsky was later backed up by Henry Kissinger, George Soros and Rothschilds as a candidate to run for a Presidential election against Putin as well as for an attempted revolution.

UK has been traditionally the largest sanctuary to not just money launderers and fraudsters but foreign terrorists and extremists as well. Everybody, who is somebody in the world of terrorism, has found a rear base in the UK.

There are as many as 131 pending pleas for extradition of wanted criminals from Britain by India alone.

Below are just some of the cases of individuals wanted in India and living in Britain:

  1. Vijay Mallya (financial offences)
  2. Lalit Modi (financial offences)
  3. Ravi Shankaran (accused in the Indian Navy war room leak case)
  4. Tiger Hanif (wanted in connection with two bomb attacks in Gujarat in 1993)
  5. Nadeem Saifi (music director accused and acquitted in the Gulshan Kumar murder)
  6. Raymond Varley (accused in child abuse cases in Goa)
  7. Lord Sudhir Choudhrie (one of India’s most notorious arms-dealers and Italian consortium’s middleman in Finmeccanica helicopter scandal)
  8. Several individuals related to the Khalistan movement
  9. Several individuals related to the LTTE
  10. Several individuals related to ISIS

Even MQM leader Altaf Hussein resides in London, under the protection of the British government, which has refused Pakistani government requests for his extradition to face trial for murder.

Last year, Khodorkovsky said Open Russia (a George Soros funded organisation) would provide logistical backing to 230 candidates running from various opposition parties or on independent tickets in September from the headquarters of his Open Russia foundation in London. With rise of Indian Oligarchs increasingly finding asylum in Britain, is it a far-fetched scenario for India as well when these Indian Oligarchs would be used for inciting revolution in India or even orchestrating elections – that is in case India goes for course correction?

Even so, there is a way to avert such a scenario as well as the impending crisis.

After Putin kicked them out of Russia the same Oligarchs setup shop in India under the same tried and tested ideology of enslavement – Glasnost and Perestroika (called in India as Liberalization and Privatization) during the 90s.

It is this group of Oligarchs or Robber Barons (as they are known in the United States of America) that is still operational in India.

What our intelligence agencies should be doing instead of spying on opposition political parties and depending on foreign agencies for information and direction is to track this shadow network and dismantle its grip on India as was done in America (the process that still continues to this day).

 

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