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Public Enemy #1 The Corporations
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DrewTerry
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracrocrates wrote:
Who is right?

1) How much proof do you require to believe what about who is right?

2) What will it matter?

Cracrocrates wrote:
...him going into the Bilderberger stuff in his book does make me wonder about him sometimes.

• That is the point of hiding truth in plain sight - by associating truth with subjects that make one wonder about all of what was written.

• This causes DOUBT about the authors intent.

• Instead of DIFFERENTIATING what may be by inference or implication true or false in what was written.

Cracrocrates wrote:
One source is never enough; facts must be checked (of course with disinfo, multiple sources can be faked too nowadays, I guess).

• Multiple sources ARE faked ALL the time.

• Propaganda has been a fact of life since the word originated in 1622 with the Pope and his Roundtable for the Propagation of the Roman Catholic Faith.

What Orwell was talking about when he said:

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jirons



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew said
Quote:
1) How much proof do you require to believe what about who is right?

2) What will it matter?


To answer 2) first, I think it does matter. I'm involved with my local antiwar group (UK). Level of political discussion is how Bush is positioning himself and what Brown intends to do.

Crap! but I want to work with these people because basically their motives are good and its healthier for me to do something with other people rather than just siting at home scouring the internet to determine how much longer I can expect to have any degree of freedom.

Almost all the groups efforts hinge on relentlessly pushing the humanitarian response to our disgusting "leaders" and "their" policies. My attitude is great, but we should also inform the public that they can't get National Health Service dental treatment because we have to bear the expense for making the lives of innocent people a misery and our house tax is going through the roof to boost Mr Cheney's portfolio.

Despite my reputation as a nut case (I've let slip my conviction that 9/11 was an inside job), I'm making some headway. I'd like to be confident about my economic arguments.

Re 1), well I took the blue pill sometime back in 2002 and I don't have the slightest doubt that the financial system is rigged-rotten corrupt. However to persuade people who still think "Muslims did it", I'd like the best proof and best information available.

Again thanks Crac for your efforts and Drew for your input.
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Cracrocrates



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
DrewTerry said:
• That countries 'needed US dollars to buy their X' is a great way to explain foreigners growing stockpiles of US dollars as 'nothing to worry about.'

• Selling oil denominated in euros not dollars does cause rather a big upset - for US.

• It shifts the dollar away from its historical position since the 1970's of defacto fiat worldwide 'gold standard' global currency.


I think DrewTerry and jirons are right. I scanned the Engdhal article that I posted again. The relevant passage :
Quote:
The only potential challenge to the reserve role of the dollar came in the late 1990s with the European Union decision to create a single currency, the euro, to be administered by single central bank, the ECB. Europe appeared to be emerging as a unified, independent policy voice of what French President Jacques Chirac then called a multipolar world. Those multipolar illusions vanished with the unpublicized decision of the ECB and national central banks not to pool their gold reserves as backing for the new euro. That decision not to use gold as backing came amid a heated controversy over Nazi gold and alleged wartime abuses by Germany, Switzerland, France and other European countries.

Since the shocks of September 11, 2001, and the ensuing declaration of a US "global war on terror", including a unilateral decision to ignore the United Nations and the community of nations and go to war against a defenseless Iraq, few countries have even dared to challenge dollar hegemony. The combined defense spending of all nations of the EU today pales by comparison with the total of current US budgeted and unbudgeted military spending. US defense outlays will reach an official, staggering level of US$663 billion in the 2007 fiscal year. The combined annual EU spending amounts to a mere $75 billion, and is tending to decline, in part because of ECB Maastricht deficit pressures on its governments.

So today, at least for the present, there are no signs of Japanese, EU or other dollar holders engaging in dollar-asset liquidation. Even China, unhappy as it is with Washington's bully politics, seems reluctant to rouse the American dragon to fury.


Since Engdahl wrote that in March 2006, the WORLD HAS BEEN MOVING AWAY FROM THE DOLLAR, HASN'T IT (though not "liquidation")?

This would make part of Hudson's analysis seem stupid. The main reason for keeping dollar reserves is to exchange for oil, since the oil nations are required to sell in mostly dollars...which there has been some shift to euros in trading oil recently by Iran (and anybody else? Does Venezeula trade in euros?) Hudson says there are no signs for any countries (except maybe Venezuela) at "pushing back" against the US, but aren't the announcements of buying FEWER DOLLARS (though not liquidating dollars, since maybe there aren't enough euros right now BECAUSE Europe wants to keep its currency strong unlike the US Dollar) exactly that...PUSHING BACK! Central banks may not be able to buy anything but US T-bills, but other nation's are doing that because gettin some interest payments is better than nothing, at least while oil can only be priced in US Dollars.


Quote:
DrewTerry said:
1) How much proof do you require to believe what about who is right?

2) What will it matter?


How Much Proof? Evidence consistent with what I understand as being how the world works...which is a continuing and growing process.[EDIT. 4:30PM. 6/6/2007 Bad Typo. I mistakenly wrote "progress" instead of "process" earlier! I didn't mean to imply that progress was inevitable!]

What will it matter? Possibly Everything. Possibly Nothing. It's hard to say what piece of information may change a life for an individual, much less that of an entire society or species. I know that an entire life of one's family can change for the worse because of lack of knowledge or common sense. ANYWAY, we may not be having this discussion if for whatever reason wantanswers hadn't decided to post this thread (as a small example).

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" 'New World Order' ?...same as the Old World Order "

Church of Crac motto:
"The End is Nigh. Give me a Dollar."


--Cracrocrates


Last edited by Cracrocrates on Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DrewTerry
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracrocrates wrote:
How Much Proof?

Evidence consistent with what I understand as being how the world works...which is a continuing and growing progress.

• If your search is for evidence consistent with what you [understand and] believe, that implies that your search EXCLUDES evidence CONTRARY to what you believe.

• If the progress is continuous growth, that implies a steady assault on existing beliefs until undeniable contrary evidence integrate new belief to become existing beliefs.

• Is it possible to imagine hypothetically that certain beliefs with - not overwhelming but - contrary evidence may need to be reconsidered?

• Imagine searching ONLY for contrary evidence knowing beliefs may be threatened but they are still there.

• Liberate Self: Decide that you decide what you believe.

Cracrocrates wrote:
This would make part of Hudson's analysis seem stupid.

• Think of his analysis as meant to confuse as much as it seems to clarify.

• The concept of "disinfo" and propaganda in general is to assault peoples sensibilities of logic and reason about what they believe.

Quote:
What Orwell means to show us with nomenclature such as:


MINISTRY OF LOVE
MINISTRY OF PLENTY
MINISTRY OF TRUTH


Nothing is what it appears to be.
Everything is not what it seems to be.


All of which in the novel 1984 were the mirror REFLECTION of what they appear to be.


• How much evidence exists that would prove, under existing standards, what you believe is true -- if you were asked to believe it today?

• How often do we hear the phrase "I know it is true but I refuse to believe it?"

• What is this if not DOUBLETHINK?

• The ability to hold two beliefs simultaneously:

Quote:
It is often necessary for a member of the party to know that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and he may often be aware that the entire war is spurious and is either not happening or is being waged for purposes quite other than the declared ones: but such knowledge is easily neutralized by the technique of doublethink.

Meanwhile no Party member wavers for an instant in his mythical belief that the war is real, and that it is bound to end victoriously, with Oceania the undisputed master of the entire world.

• TRIVIA: What is the name of the airline that stranded the cast in the first episode of the #1 prime time network drama LOST?

• How does Orwell know? He wrote propaganda during WW II for Great Britain and for Spain during their civil war - both sides.

Once I integrated all that Orwell is saying, that was for me proof enough to abandon what I was taught to believe, believe only what I know, and be aware anytime anyone asks me to believe anything:

• who is asking;
• who stands to benefit.
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Wu Li



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2007/05/22/corn.html
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Don Smith



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew-
Could you post a link or source to Orwell writing Propaganda for the Nationalist side in the fascist rebellion in Spain?

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DrewTerry
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don Smith wrote:
Drew-
Could you post a link or source to Orwell writing Propaganda for the Nationalist side in the fascist rebellion in Spain?


I said "both sides" but not necessarily that side. Nevertheless, plenty more of his writing is in the public domain at that address:

Quote:
http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/Spanish_War/english/esw_1
George Orwell

Looking back on the Spanish War

1

First of all the physical memories, the sounds, the smells and the surfaces of things
It is curious that more vividly than anything that came afterwards in the Spanish war I remember the week of so-called training that we received before being sent to the front — the huge cavalry barracks in Barcelona with its draughty stables and cobbled yards, the icy cold of the pump where one washed, the filthy meals made tolerable by pannikins of wine, the Trousered militia-women chopping firewood, and the roll-call in the early mornings where my prosaic English name made a sort of comic interlude among the resounding Spanish ones, Manuel Gonzalez, Pedro Aguilar, Ramon Fenellosa, Roque Ballaster, Jaime Domenech, Sebastian Viltron, Ramon Nuvo Bosch. I name those particular men because I remember the faces of all of them. Except for two who were mere riff-raff and have doubtless become good Falangists by this time, it is probable that all of them are dead. Two of them I know to be dead. The eldest would have been about twenty-five, the youngest sixteen.
One of the essential experiences of war is never being able to escape from disgusting smells of human origin. Latrines are an overworked subject in war literature, and I would not mention them if it were not that the latrine in our barracks did its necessary bit towards puncturing my own illusions about the Spanish civil war. The Latin type of latrine, at which you have to squat, is bad enough at its best, but these were made of some kind of polished stone so slippery that it was all you could do to keep on your feet. In addition they were always blocked. Now I have plenty of other disgusting things in my memory, but I believe it was these latrines that first brought home to me the thought, so often to recur: ‘Here we are, soldiers of a revolutionary army, defending Democracy against Fascism, fighting a war which is about something, and the detail of our lives is just as sordid and degrading as it could be in prison, let alone in a bourgeois army.’ Many other things reinforced this impression later; for instance, the boredom and animal hunger of trench life, the squalid intrigues over scraps of food, the mean, nagging quarrels which people exhausted by lack of sleep indulge in.
The essential horror of army life (whoever has been a soldier will know what I mean by the essential horror of army life) is barely affected by the nature of the war you happen to be fighting in. Discipline, for instance, is ultimately the same in all armies. Orders have to be obeyed and enforced by punishment if necessary, the relationship of officer and man has to be the relationship of superior and inferior. The picture of war set forth in books like All Quiet on the Western Front is substantially true. Bullets hurt, corpses stink, men under fire are often so frightened that they wet their trousers. It is true that the social background from which an army springs will colour its training, tactics and general efficiency, and also that the consciousness of being in the right can bolster up morale, though this affects the civilian population more than the troops. (People forget that a soldier anywhere near the front line is usually too hungry, or frightened, or cold, or, above all, too tired to bother about the political origins of the war.) But the laws of nature are not suspended for a ‘red’ army any more than for a ‘white’ one. A louse is a louse and a bomb is a bomb, even though the cause you are fighting for happens to be just.
Why is it worth while to point out anything so obvious? Because the bulk of the British and American intelligentsia were manifestly unaware of it then, and are now. Our memories are short nowadays, but look back a bit, dig out the files of New Masses or the Daily Worker, and just have a look at the romantic warmongering muck that our left-wingers were spilling at that time. All the stale old phrases! And the unimaginative callousness of it! The sang-froid with which London faced the bombing of Madrid! Here I am not bothering about the counter-propagandists of the Right, the Lunns, Garvins ethoc genus; they go without saying. But here were the very people who for twenty years had hooted and jeered at the ‘glory’ of war, at atrocity stories, at patriotism, even at physical courage, coming out with stuff that with the alteration of a few names would have fitted into the Daily Mail of 1918. If there was one thing that the British intelligentsia were committed to, it was the debunking version of war, the theory that war is all corpses and latrines and never leads to any good result. Well, the same people who in 1933 sniggered pityingly if you said that in certain circumstances you would fight for your country, in 1937 were denouncing you as a Trotsky-Fascist if you suggested that the stories in New Masses about freshly wounded men clamouring to get back into the fighting might be exaggerated. And the Left intelligentsia made their swing-over from ‘War is hell’ to ‘War is glorious’ not only with no sense of incongruity but almost without any intervening stage. Later the bulk of them were to make other transitions equally violent. There must be a quite large number of people, a sort of central core of the intelligentsia, who approved the ‘King and Country’ declaration in 1935, shouted for a’ firm line against Germany’ in 1937, supported the People's Convention in 1940, and are demanding a Second Front now.
As far as the mass of the people go, the extraordinary swings of opinion which occur nowadays, the emotions which can be turned on and off like a tap, are the result of newspaper and radio hypnosis. In the intelligentsia I should say they result rather from money and mere physical safety. At a given moment they may be ‘pro-war’ or ‘anti-war’, but in either case they have no realistic picture of war in their minds. When they enthused over the Spanish war they knew, of course, that people were being killed and that to be killed is unpleasant, but they did feel that for a soldier in the Spanish Republican army the experience of war was somehow not degrading. Somehow the latrines stank less, discipline was less irksome. You have only to glance at the New Statesman to see that they believed that; exactly similar blah is being written about the Red Army at this moment. We have become too civilized to grasp the obvious. For the truth is very simple. To survive you often have to fight, and to fight you have to dirty yourself. War is evil, and it is often the lesser evil. Those who take the sword perish by the sword, and those who don't take the sword perish by smelly diseases. The fact that such a platitude is worth writing down shows what the years of rentier capitalism have done to us.
2

In connexion with what I have just said, a footnote, on atrocities
I have little direct evidence about the atrocities in the Spanish civil war. I know that some were committed by the Republicans, and far more (they are still continuing) by the Fascists. But what impressed me then, and has impressed me ever since, is that atrocities are believed in or disbelieved in solely on grounds of political predilection. Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence. Recently I drew up a table of atrocities during the period between 1918 and the present; there was never a year when atrocities were not occurring somewhere or other, and there was hardly a single case when the Left and the Right believed in the same stories simultaneously. And stranger yet, at any moment the situation can suddenly reverse itself and yesterday's proved-to-the-hilt atrocity story can become a ridiculous lie, merely because the political landscape has changed.
In the present war we are in the curious situation that our ‘atrocity campaign’ was done largely before the war started, and done mostly by the Left, the people who normally pride themselves on their incredulity. In the same period the Right, the atrocity-mongers of 1914-18, were gazing at Nazi Germany and flatly refusing to see any evil in it. Then as soon as war broke out it was the pro-Nazis of yesterday who were repeating horror stories, while the anti-Nazis suddenly found themselves doubting whether the Gestapo really existed. Nor was this solely the result of the Russo-German Pact. It was partly because before the war the Left had wrongly believed that Britain and Germany would never fight and were therefore able to be anti-German and anti-British simultaneously; partly also because official war-propaganda, with its disgusting hypocrisy and self-righteousness, always tends to make thinking people sympathize with the enemy. Part of the price we paid for the systematic lying of 1914-17 was the exaggerated pro-German reaction which followed. During the years 1918-33 you were hooted at in left-wing circles if you suggested that Germany bore even a fraction of responsibility for the war. In all the denunciations of Versailles I listened to during those years I don't think I ever once heard the question, ‘What would have happened if Germany had won?’ even mentioned, let alone discussed. So also with atrocities. The truth, it is felt, becomes untruth when your enemy utters it. Recently I noticed that the very people who swallowed any and every horror story about the Japanese in Nanking in 1937 refused to believe exactly the same stories about Hong Kong in 1942. There was even a tendency to feel that the Nanking atrocities had become, as it were, retrospectively untrue because the British Government now drew attention to them.
But unfortunately the truth about atrocities is far worse than that they are lied about and made into propaganda. The truth is that they happen. The fact often adduced as a reason for scepticism — that the same horror stories come up in war after war — merely makes it rather more likely that these stories are true. Evidently they are widespread fantasies, and war provides an opportunity of putting them into practice. Also, although it has ceased to be fashionable to say so, there is little question that what one may roughly call the ‘whites’ commit far more and worse atrocities than the ‘reds’. There is not the slightest doubt, for instance, about the behaviour of the Japanese in China. Nor is there much doubt about the long tale of Fascist outrages during the last ten years in Europe. The volume of testimony is enormous, and a respectable proportion of it comes from the German press and radio. These things really happened, that is the thing to keep one's eye on. They happened even though Lord Halifax said they happened. The raping and butchering in Chinese cities, the tortures in the cellars of the Gestapo, the elderly Jewish professors flung into cesspools, the machine-gunning of refugees along the Spanish roads — they all happened, and they did not happen any the less because the Daily Telegraph has suddenly found out about them when it is five years too late.
3

Two memories, the first not proving anything in particular, the second, I think, giving one a certain insight into the atmosphere of revolutionary period
Early one morning another man and I had gone out to snipe at the Fascists in the trenches outside Huesca. Their line and ours here lay three hundred yards apart, at which range our aged rifles would not shoot accurately, but by sneaking out to a spot about a hundred yards from the Fascist trench you might, if you were lucky, get a shot at someone through a gap in the parapet. Unfortunately the ground between was a flat beet field with no cover except a few ditches, and it was necessary to go out while it was still-dark and return soon after dawn, before the light became too good. This time no Fascists appeared, and we stayed too long and were caught by the dawn. We were in a ditch, but behind us were two hundred yards of flat ground with hardly enough cover for a rabbit. We were still trying to nerve ourselves to make a dash for it when there was an uproar and a blowing of whistles in the Fascist trench. Some of our aeroplanes were coming over. At this moment, a man presumably carrying a message to an officer, jumped out of the trench and ran along the top of the parapet in full view. He was half-dressed and was holding up his trousers with both hands as he ran. I refrained from shooting at him. It is true that I am a poor shot and unlikely to hit a running man at a hundred yards, and also that I was thinking chiefly about getting back to our trench while the Fascists had their attention fixed on the aeroplanes. Still, I did not shoot partly because of that detail about the trousers. I had come here to shoot at ‘Fascists’; but a man who is holding up his trousers isn't a ‘Fascist’, he is visibly a fellow-creature, similar to yourself, and you don't feel like shooting at him.
What does this incident demonstrate? Nothing very much, because it is the kind of thing that happens all the time in all wars. The other is different. I don't suppose that in telling it I can make it moving to you who read it, but I ask you to believe that it is moving to me, as an incident characteristic of the moral atmosphere of a particular moment in time.
One of the recruits who joined us while I was at the barracks was a wild-looking boy from the back streets of Barcelona. He was ragged and barefooted. He was also extremely dark (Arab blood, I dare say), and made gestures you do not usually see a European make; one in particular — the arm outstretched, the palm vertical — was a gesture characteristic of Indians. One day a bundle of cigars, which you could still buy dirt cheap at that time, was stolen out of my bunk. Rather foolishly I reported this to the officer, and one of the scallywags I have already mentioned promptly came forward and said quite untruly that twenty-five pesetas had been stolen from his bunk. For some reason the officer instantly decided that the brown-faced boy must be the thief. They were very hard on stealing in the militia, and in theory people could be shot for it. The wretched boy allowed himself to be led off to the guardroom to be searched. What most struck me was that he barely attempted to protest his innocence. In the fatalism of his attitude you could see the desperate poverty in which he had been bred. The officer ordered him to take his clothes off. With a humility which was horrible to me he stripped himself naked, and his clothes were searched. Of course neither the cigars nor the money were there; in fact he had not stolen them. What was most painful of all was that he seemed no less ashamed after his innocence had been established. That night I took him to the pictures and gave him brandy and chocolate. But that too was horrible — I mean the attempt to wipe out an injury with money. For a few minutes I had half believed him to be a thief, and that could not be wiped out.
Well, a few weeks later at the front I had trouble with one of the men in my section. By this time I was a ‘cabo’, or corporal, in command of twelve men. It was static warfare, horribly cold, and the chief job was getting sentries to stay awake at their posts. One day a man suddenly refused to go to a certain post, which he said quite truly was exposed to enemy fire. He was a feeble creature, and I seized hold of him and began to drag him towards his post. This roused the feelings of the others against me, for Spaniards, I think, resent being touched more than we do. Instantly I was surrounded by a ring of shouting men:’ Fascist! Fascist! Let that man go! This isn't a bourgeois army. Fascist!’ etc., etc. As best I could in my bad Spanish I shouted back that orders had got to be obeyed, and the row developed into one of those enormous arguments by means of which discipline is gradually hammered out in revolutionary armies. Some said I was right, others said I was wrong. But the point is that the one who took my side the most warmly of all was the brown-faced boy. As soon as he saw what was happening he sprang into the ring and began passionately defending me. With his strange, wild, Indian gesture he kept exclaiming, ‘He's the best corporal we've got!’ (No hay cabo como el.) Later on he applied for leave to exchange into my section.
Why is this incident touching to me? Because in any normal circumstances it would have been impossible for good feelings ever to be re-established between this boy and myself. The implied accusation of theft would not have been made any better, probably somewhat worse, by my efforts to make amends. One of the effects of safe and civilized life is an immense oversensitiveness which makes all the primary emotions seem somewhat disgusting. Generosity is as painful as meanness, gratitude as hateful as ingratitude. But in Spain in 1936 we were not living in a normal time. It was a time when generous feelings and gestures were easier than they ordinarily are. I could relate a dozen similar incidents, not really communicable but bound up in my own mind with the special atmosphere of the time, the shabby clothes and the gay-coloured revolutionary posters, the universal use of the word ‘comrade’, the anti-Fascist ballads printed on flimsy paper and sold for a penny, the phrases like ‘international proletarian solidarty’, pathetically repeated by ignorant men who believed them to mean something. Could you feel friendly towards somebody, and stick up for him in a quarrel, after you had been ignominiously searched in his presence for property you were supposed to have stolen from him? No, you couldn't; but you might if you had both been through some emotionally widening experience. That is one of the by-products of revolution, though in this case it was only the beginnings of a revolution, and obviously foredoomed to failure.
4

The struggle for power between the Spanish Republican parties is an unhappy, far-off thing which I have no wish to revive at this date. I onl mention it in order to say: believe nothing, or next to nothing, of what you read about internal affairs on the Government side. It is all, fro whatever source, party propaganda — that is to say, lies. The broad truth about the war is simple enough. The Spanish bourgeoisie saw thei chance of crushing the labour movement, and took it, aided by the Nazis and by the forces of reaction all over the world. It is doubtful whethe more than that will ever be established
I remember saying once to Arthur Koestler, ‘History stopped in 1936’, at which he nodded in immediate understanding. We were both thinking of totalitarianism in general, but more particularly of the Spanish civil war. Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed. I saw troops who had fought bravely denounced as cowards and traitors, and others who had never seen a shot fired hailed as the heroes of imaginary victories; and I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines’. Yet in a way, horrible as all this was, it was unimportant. It concerned secondary issues — namely, the struggle for power between the Comintern and the Spanish left-wing parties, and the efforts of the Russian Government to prevent revolution in Spain. But the broad picture of the war which the Spanish Government presented to the world was not untruthful. The main issues were what it said they were. But as for the Fascists and their backers, how could they come even as near to the truth as that? How could they possibly mention their real aims? Their version of the war was pure fantasy, and in the circumstances it could not have been otherwise.
The only propaganda line open to the Nazis and Fascists was to represent themselves as Christian patriots saving Spain from a Russian dictatorship. This involved pretending that life in Government Spain was just one long massacre (vide the Catholic Herald or the Daily Mail — but these were child's play compared with the Continental Fascist press), and it involved immensely exaggerating the scale of Russian intervention. Out of the huge pyramid of lies which the Catholic and reactionary press all over the world built up, let me take just one point — the presence in Spain of a Russian army. Devout Franco partisans all believed in this; estimates of its strength went as high as half a million. Now, there was no Russian army in Spain. There may have been a handful of airmen and other technicians, a few hundred at the most, but an army there was not. Some thousands of foreigners who fought in Spain, not to mention millions of Spaniards, were witnesses of this. Well, their testimony made no impression at all upon the Franco propagandists, not one of whom had set foot in Government Spain. Simultaneously these people refused utterly to admit the fact of German or Italian intervention at the same time as the Germany and Italian press were openly boasting about the exploits of their’ legionaries’. I have chosen to mention only one point, but in fact the whole of Fascist propaganda about the war was on this level.
This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. After all, the chances are that those lies, or at any rate similar lies, will pass into history. How will the history of the Spanish war be written? If Franco remains in power his nominees will write the history books, and (to stick to my chosen point) that Russian army which never existed will become historical fact, and schoolchildren will learn about it generations hence. But suppose Fascism is finally defeated and some kind of democratic government restored in Spain in the fairly near future; even then, how is the history of the war to be written? What kind of records will Franco have left behind him? Suppose even that the records kept on the Government side are recoverable — even so, how is a true history of the war to be written? For, as I have pointed out already, the Government, also dealt extensively in lies. From the anti-Fascist angle one could write a broadly truthful history of the war, but it would be a partisan history, unreliable on every minor point. Yet, after all, some kind of history will be written, and after those who actually remember the war are dead, it will be universally accepted. So for all practical purposes the lie will have become truth.
I know it is the fashion to say that most of recorded history is lies anyway. I am willing to believe that history is for the most part inaccurate and biased, but what is peculiar to our own age is the abandonment of the idea that history could be truthfully written. In the past people deliberately lied, or they unconsciously coloured what they wrote, or they struggled after the truth, well knowing that they must make many mistakes; but in each case they believed that ‘facts’ existed and were more or less discoverable. And in practice there was always a considerable body of fact which would have been agreed to by almost everyone. If you look up the history of the last war in, for instance, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, you will find that a respectable amount of the material is drawn from German sources. A British and a German historian would disagree deeply on many things, even on fundamentals, but there would still be that body of, as it were, neutral fact on which neither would seriously challenge the other. It is just this common basis of agreement, with its implication that human beings are all one species of animal, that totalitarianism destroys. Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as ‘the truth’ exists. There is, for instance, no such thing as ‘Science’. There is only ‘German Science’, ‘Jewish Science’, etc. The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, ‘It never happened’ — well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five — well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs — and after our experiences of the last few years that is not a frivolous statement.
But is it perhaps childish or morbid to terrify oneself with visions of a totalitarian future? Before writing off the totalitarian world as a nightmare that can't come true, just remember that in 1925 the world of today would have seemed a nightmare that couldn't come true. Against that shifting phantasmagoric world in which black may be white tomorrow and yesterday's weather can be changed by decree, there are in reality only two safeguards. One is that however much you deny the truth, the truth goes on existing, as it were, behind your back, and you consequently can't violate it in ways that impair military efficiency. The other is that so long as some parts of the earth remain unconquered, the liberal tradition can be kept alive. Let Fascism, or possibly even a combination of several Fascisms, conquer the whole world, and those two conditions no longer exist. We in England underrate the danger of this kind of thing, because our traditions and our past security have given us a sentimental belief that it all comes right in the end and the thing you most fear never really happens. Nourished for hundreds of years on a literature in which Right invariably triumphs in the last chapter, we believe half-instinctively that evil always defeats itself in the long run. Pacifism, for instance, is founded largely on this belief. Don't resist evil, and it will somehow destroy itself. But why should it? What evidence is there that it does? And what instance is there of a modern industrialized state collapsing unless conquered from the outside by military force?
Consider for instance the re-institution of slavery. Who could have imagined twenty years ago that slavery would return to Europe? Well, slavery has been restored under our noses. The forced-labour camps all over Europe and North Africa where Poles, Russians, Jews and political prisoners of every race toil at road-making or swamp-draining for their bare rations, are simple chattle slavery. The most one can say is that the buying and selling of slaves by individuals is not yet permitted. In other ways — the breaking-up of families, for instance — the conditions are probably worse than they were on the American cotton plantations. There is no reason for thinking that this state of affairs will change while any totalitarian domination endures. We don't grasp its full implications, because in our mystical way we feel that a regime founded on slavery must collapse. But it is worth comparing the duration of the slave empires of antiquity with that of any modern state. Civilizations founded on slavery have lasted for such periods as four thousand years.
When I think of antiquity, the detail that frightens me is that those hundreds of millions of slaves on whose backs civilization rested generation after generation have left behind them no record whatever. We do not even know their names. In the whole of Greek and Roman history, how many slaves’ names are known to you? I can think of two, or possibly three. One is Spartacus and the other is Epictetus. Also, in the Roman room at the British Museum there is a glass jar with the maker's name inscribed on the bottom, ‘Felix fecit’. I have a mental picture of poor Felix (a Gaul with red hair and a metal collar round his neck), but in fact he may not have been a slave; so there are only two slaves whose names I definitely know, and probably few people can remember more. The rest have gone down into utter silence.
5

The backbone of the resistance against Franco was the Spanish working class, especially the urban trade union members. In the long run — it i important to remember that it is only in the long run — the working class remains the most reliable enemy of Fascism, simply because th working-class stands to gain most by a decent reconstruction of society. Unlike other classes or categories, it can't be permanently bribed
To say this is not to idealize the working class. In the long struggle that has followed the Russian Revolution it is the manual workers who have been defeated, and it is impossible not to feel that it was their own fault. Time after time, in country after country, the organized working-class movements have been crushed by open, illegal violence, and their comrades abroad, linked to themin theoretical solidarity, have simply looked on and done nothing; and underneath this, secret cause of many betrayals, has lain the fact that between white and coloured workers there is not even lip-service to solidarity. Who can believe in the class-conscious international proletariat after the events of the past ten years? To the British working class the massacre of their comrades in Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, or wherever it might be seemed less interesting and less important than yesterday's football match. Yet this does not alter the fact that the working class will go on struggling against Fascism after the others have caved in. One feature of the Nazi conquest of France was the astonishing defections among the intelligentsia, including some of the left-wing political intelligentsia. The intelligentsia are the people who squeal loudest against Fascism, and yet a respectable proportion of them collapse into defeatism when the pinch comes. They are far-sighted enough to see the odds against them, and moreoever they can be bribed — for it is evident that the Nazis think it worth while to bribe intellectuals. With the working class it is the other way about. Too ignorant to see through the trick that is being played on them, they easily swallow the promises of Fascism, yet sooner or later they always take up the struggle again. They must do so, because in their own bodies they always discover that the promises of Fascism cannot be fulfilled. To win over the working class permanently, the Fascists would have to raise the general standard of living, which they are unable and probably unwilling to do. The struggle of the working class is like the growth of a plant. The plant is blind and stupid, but it knows enough to keep pushing upwards towards the light, and it will do this in the face of endless discouragements. What are the workers struggling for? Simply for the decent life which they are more and more aware is now technically possible. Their consciousness of this aim ebbs and flows. In Spain, for a while, people were acting consciously, moving towards a goal which they wanted to reach and believed they could reach. It accounted for the curiously buoyant feeling that life in Government Spain had during the early months of the war. The common people knew in their bones that the Republic was their friend and Franco was their enemy. They knew that they were in the right, because they were fighting for something which the world owed them and was able to give them.
One has to remember this to see the Spanish war in its true perspective. When one thinks of the cruelty, squalor, and futility of War — and in this particular case of the intrigues, the persecutions, the lies and the misunderstandings — there is always the temptation to say: ‘One side is as bad as the other. I am neutral’. In practice, however, one cannot be neutral, and there is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one stands more or less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction. The hatred which the Spanish Republic excited in millionaires, dukes, cardinals, play-boys, Blimps, and what-not would in itself be enough to show one how the land lay. In essence it was a class war. If it had been won, the cause of the common people everywhere would have been strengthened. It was lost, and the dividend-drawers all over the world rubbed their hands. That was the real issue; all else was froth on its surface.
6

The outcome of the Spanish war was settled in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin — at any rate not in Spain. After the summer of 1937 those wit eyes in their heads realized that the Government could not win the war unless there were some profound change in the international set-up, an in deciding to fight on Negrin and the others may have been partly influenced by the expectation that the world war which actually broke out i 1939 was coming in 1938. The much-publicized disunity on the Government side was not a main cause of defeat. The Government militias wer hurriedly raised, ill-armed and unimaginative in their military outlook, but they would have been the same if complete political agreement ha existed from the start. At the outbreak of war the average Spanish factory-worker did not even know how to fire a rifle (there had never bee universal conscription in Spain), and the traditional pacifism of the Left was a great handicap. The thousands of foreigners who served in Spai made good infantry, but there were very few experts of any kind among them. The Trotskyist thesis that the war could have been won if th revolution had not been sabotaged was probably false. To nationalize factories, demolish churches, and issue revolutionary manifestoes woul not have made the armies more efficient. The Fascists won because they were the stronger; they had modern arms and the others hadn't. N political strategy could offset that
The most baffling thing in the Spanish war was the behaviour of the great powers. The war was actually won for Franco by the Germans and Italians, whose motives were obvious enough. The motives of France and Britain are less easy to understand. In 1936 it was clear to everyone that if Britain would only help the Spanish Government, even to the extent of a few million pounds’ worth of arms, Franco would collapse and German strategy would be severely dislocated. By that time one did not need to be a clairvoyant to foresee that war between Britain and Germany was coming; one could even foretell within a year or two when it would come. Yet in the most mean, cowardly, hypocritical way the British ruling class did all they could to hand Spain over to Franco and the Nazis. Why? Because they were pro-Fascist, was the obvious answer. Undoubtedly they were, and yet when it came to the final showdown they chose to Stand up to Germany. It is still very uncertain what plan they acted on in backing Franco, and they may have had no clear plan at all. Whether the British ruling class are wicked or merely stupid is one of the most difficult questions of our time, and at certain moments a very important question. As to the Russians, their motives in the Spanish war are completely inscrutable. Did they, as the pinks believed, intervene in Spain in order to defend Democracy and thwart the Nazis? Then why did they intervene on such a niggardly scale and finally leave Spain in the lurch? Or did they, as the Catholics maintained, intervene in order to foster revolution in Spain? Then why did they do all in their power to crush the Spanish revolutionary movements, defend private property and hand power to the middle class as against the working class? Or did they, as the Trotskyists suggested, intervene simply in order to prevent a Spanish revolution? Then why not have backed Franco? Indeed, their actions are most easily explained if one assumes that they were acting on several contradictory motives. I believe that in the future we shall come to feel that Stalin's foreign policy, instead of being so diabolically clever as it is claimed to be, has been merely opportunistic and stupid. But at any rate, the Spanish civil war demonstrated that the Nazis knew what they were doing and their opponents did not. The war was fought at a low technical level and its major strategy was very simple. That side which had arms would win. The Nazis and the Italians gave arms to the Spanish Fascist friends, and the western democracies and the Russians didn't give arms to those who should have been their friends. So the Spanish Republic perished, having’ gained what no republic missed’.
Whether it was right, as all left-wingers in other countries undoubtedly did, to encourage the Spaniards to go on fighting when they could not win is a question hard to answer. I myself think it was right, because I believe that it is better even from the point of view of survival to fight and be conquered than to surrender without fighting. The effects on the grand strategy of the struggle against Fascism cannot be assessed yet. The ragged, weaponless armies of the Republic held out for two and a half years, which was undoubtedly longer than their enemies expected. But whether that dislocated the Fascist timetable, or whether, on the other hand, it merely postponed the major war and gave the Nazis extra time to get their war machine into trim, is still uncertain.
7

I never think of the Spanish war without two memories coming into my mind. One is of the hospital ward at Lerida and the rather sad voices o the wounded militiamen singing some song with a refrain that ended
Una resolucion,
Luchar hast' al fin!
Well, they fought to the end all right. For the last eighteen months of the war the Republican armies must have been fighting almost without cigarettes, and with precious little food. Even when I left Spain in the middle of 1937, meat and bread were scarce, tobacco a rarity, coffee and sugar almost unobtainable.
The other memory is of the Italian militiaman who shook my hand in the guardroom, the day I joined the militia. I wrote about this man at the beginning of my book on the Spanish war(1), and do not want to repeat what I said there. When I remember — oh, how vividly! — his shabby uniform and fierce, pathetic, innocent face, the complex side-issues of the war seem to fade away and I see clearly that there was at any rate no doubt as to who was in the right. In spite of power politics and journalistic lying, the central issue of the war was the attempt of people like this to win the decent life which they knew to be their birthright. It is difficult to think of this particular man's probable end without several kinds of bitterness. Since I met him in the Lenin Barracks he was probably a Trotskyist or an Anarchist, and in the peculiar conditions of our time, when people of that sort are not killed by the Gestapo they are usually killed by the G.P.U. But that does not affect the long-term issues. This man's face, which I saw only for a minute or two, remains with me as a sort of visual reminder of what the war was really about. He symbolizes for me the flower of the European working class, harried by the police of all countries, the people who fill the mass graves of the Spanish battlefields and are now, to the tune of several millions, rotting in forced-labour camps.
When one thinks of all the people who support or have supported Fascism, one stands amazed at their diversity. What a crew! Think of a programme which at any rate for a while could bring Hitler, Petain, Montagu Norman, Pavelitch, William Randolph Hearst, Streicher, Buchman, Ezra Pound, Juan March, Cocteau, Thyssen, Father Coughlin, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Arnold Lunn, Antonescu, Spengler, Beverley Nichols, Lady Houston, and Marinetti all into the same boat! But the clue is really very simple. They are all people with something to lose, or people who long for a hierarchical society and dread the prospect of a world of free and equal human beings. Behind all the ballyhoo that is talked about ‘godless’ Russia and the ‘materialism’ of the working class lies the simple intention of those with money or privileges to cling to them. Ditto, though it contains a partial truth, with all the talk about the worthlessness of social reconstruction not accompanied by a ‘change of heart’. The pious ones, from the Pope to the yogis of California, are great on the’ change of heart’, much more reassuring from their point of view than a change in the economic system. Petain attributes the fall of France to the common people's ‘love of pleasure’. One sees this in its right perspective if one stops to wonder how much pleasure the ordinary French peasant's or working-man's life would contain compared with Petain's own. The damned impertinence of these politicians, priests, literary men, and what-not who lecture the working-class socialist for his ‘materialism’! All that the working man demands is what these others would consider the indispensable minimum without which human life cannot be lived at all. Enough to eat, freedom from the haunting terror of unemployment, the knowledge that your children will get a fair chance, a bath once a day, clean linen reasonably often, a roof that doesn't leak, and short enough working hours to leave you with a little energy when the day is done. Not one of those who preach against ‘materialism’ would consider life livable without these things. And how easily that minimum could be attained if we chose to set our minds to it for only twenty years! To raise the standard of living of the whole world to that of Britain would not be a greater undertaking than the war we have just fought. I don't claim, and I don't know who does, that that wouldn't solve anything in itself. It is merely that privation and brute labour have to be abolished before the real problems of humanity can be tackled. The major problem of our time is the decay of the belief in personal immortality, and it cannot be dealt with while the average human being is either drudging like an ox or shivering in fear of the secret police. How right the working classes are in their ‘materialism’! How right they are to realize that the belly comes before the soul, not in the scale of values but in point of time! Understand that, and the long horror that we are enduring becomes at least intelligible. All the considerations are likely to make one falter — the siren voices of a Petain or of a Gandhi, the inescapable fact that in order to fight one has to degrade oneself, the equivocal moral position of Britain, with its democratic phrases and its coolie empire, the sinister development of Soviet Russia, the squalid farce of left-wing politics — all this fades away and one sees only the struggle of the gradually awakening common people against the lords of property and their hired liars and bumsuckers. The question is very simple. Shall people like that Italian soldier be allowed to live the decent, fully human life which is now technically achievable, or shan't they? Shall the common man be pushed back into the mud, or shall he not? I myself believe, perhaps on insufficient grounds, that the common man will win his fight sooner or later, but I want it to be sooner and not later — some time within the next hundred years, say, and not some time within the next ten thousand years. That was the real issue of the Spanish war, and of the last war, and perhaps of other wars yet to come.
I never saw the Italian militiaman again, nor did I ever learn his name. It can be taken as quite certain that he is dead. Nearly two years later, when the war was visibly lost, I wrote these verses in his memory:
The Italian soldier shook my hand
Beside the guard-room table;
The strong hand and the subtle hand
Whose palms are only able
To meet within the sound of guns,
But oh! what peace I knew then
In gazing on his battered face
Purer than any woman's!
For the flyblown words that make me spew
Still in his ears were holy,
And he was born knowing what I had learned
Out of books and slowly.
The treacherous guns had told their tale
And we both had bought it,
But my gold brick was made of gold —
Oh! who ever would have thought it?
Good luck go with you, Italian soldier!
But luck is not for the brave;
What would the world give back to you?
Always less than you gave.
Between the shadow and the ghost,
Between the white and the red,
Between the bullet and the lie,
Where would you hide your head?
For where is Manuel Gonzalez,
And where is Pedro Aguilar,
And where is Ramon Fenellosa?
The earthworms know where they are.
Your name and your deeds were forgotten
Before your bones were dry,
And the lie that slew you is buried
Under a deeper lie;
But the thing that I saw in your face
No power can disinherit:
No bomb that ever burst
Shatters the crystal spirit.
1943
_____
1) ‘Homage to Catalonia’ [back]
THE END
____BD____
George Orwell: ‘Looking back on the Spanish War’
First published: New Road. — GB, London. — 1943.
Reprinted:
— ‘England Your England and Other Essays’. — 1953.
— ‘Such, Such Were the Joys’. — 1953.
— ‘Collected Essays’. — 1961.
— ‘The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell’. — 1968.
____
Machine-readable version: O. Dag
Last modified on: 2004-07-25
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Cracrocrates



Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject: Robot Soldiers Reply with quote

Quote:
dilbert_g said back on page 1:
Sans govt, they would simply create more non-govt institutions (NGOs) to do the same bad things that we accuse the govt of doing now, except with ZERO democratic input, only private input of it's owners or members.

That's what they are doing right now anyhow. Removing democratic-republican-constitutional govt one joist/stud at a time, and replacing each with corporate capitalist NGOs like American Enterprise, Heritage Foundation, the CFR, CNP, etc. as well as the UN and other "left" capitalist NGOs.

Humans are VASTLY outnumbered and out-gunned by capitalist dollars, not by quantity of people, but still ... And they are now building ROBOT SOLDIERS which operate via remote controls.



ROBOT SOLDIERS...uh I mean... RESCUE TEDDY- BEAR ROBOTS!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6729745.stm



Quote:
SOURCE:Vecna Tenchnologies Inc.
1. Teddy bear face designed to be reassuring
2. Hydraulic upper body carries up to 227kgs (500lbs)
3. When kneeling tracked "legs" travel over rubble. Switches to wheels on smooth surfaces
4. Dynamic Balance Behaviour (DBB) technology allows the robot to stand and carry loads upright on its ankles, knees or hips for nearly an hour



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I've seen "attack robots" as well.

probably limited hangout but I think true based on past known history

Quote:
JOHN PERKINS: You know, that’s what’s very interesting about this whole system, Amy, is that there’s no direct connection. The NSA had interviewed me, identified me and then essentially turned me over to this private corporation. It’s a very subtle and very smart system, whereby it’s the private industry that goes out and does this work. So if we’re caught doing something, if we’re caught bribing or corrupting local officials in some country, it’s blamed on private industry, not on the US government.

And it’s interesting that in the few instances when economic hit men fail, what we call “the jackals,” who are people who come in to overthrow governments or assassinate their leaders, also come out of private industry. These are not CIA employees. We all have this image of the 007, the government agent hired to kill, you know, with license to kill, but these days the government agents, in my experience, don’t do that. It’s done by private consultants that are brought in to do this work. And I’ve known a number of these individuals personally and still do.

Maybe he's "defending" the CIA, but I don't doubt that this has been privatized.

Quote about propaganda (posted on other thread already):

"In order to bring a nation to support the burdens
of maintaining great military establishments,
it is necessary to create an emotional state
akin to war psychology
. There must be the portrayal
of an external menace. This involves the development
to a high degree of the nation-hero, nation-villain
ideology
and the arousing of the population to a
sense of sacrifice. Once these exist, we have gone
a long way on the path to war."
- John Foster Dulles

This echoes some of the Brzezinski quotes on www.Takeoverworld.info/brzezinski_quotes.html
This tells a lot about the depth of their hatred for humanity.
That and the fact that Dulles and his brother Allen backed Hitler in World War 2.
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Cracrocrates



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Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 2:08 am    Post subject: We gonna party like it's 1995 Reply with quote


FLIP-FLOPS

In the light of new evidence, I'm going to have to flip-flop on my 6/6/07 11AM post that agreed with DrewTerry & Jirons concerning the US being in trouble as foreign nations shift away from the dollar as a reserve currency. Turns out from a historical perspective, THERE HASN'T BEEN A HISTORICAL WORLDWIDE SHIFT AWAY (OR TO) US Dollars or US Assets, not really, as long as you shift from the media's 5-year timeframe to a 10+ year timeframe. Over the past 40 years, the world's US Dollar Reserves have flucuated A LOT HIGHER (early 1970s) as well as A LOT LOWER (1990) than now.

Quote:
Cracrocrates said:

Quote:
DrewTerry said:
• That countries 'needed US dollars to buy their X' is a great way to explain foreigners growing stockpiles of US dollars as 'nothing to worry about.'

• Selling oil denominated in euros not dollars does cause rather a big upset - for US.

• It shifts the dollar away from its historical position since the 1970's of defacto fiat worldwide 'gold standard' global currency.



I think DrewTerry and jirons are right. I scanned the Engdhal article that I posted again...


The MSM has been hyping "the sky is falling" dollar crises for a while now. Uh, but has anybody seen a chart of the percentages of WORLD'S FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES BY CURRENCY that is more than 5 years in length (not just since the Euro's creation)? Wikipedia has one type of chart from 1995 to 2006 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_currency , that has the US dollar's percentage as reserve currency in 1995 IS A LOT LOWER THAN THAT FOR EVERY YEAR AFTERWARD

A much better discussion, with discussion of a much longer timeline (20th century, with a chart with data going back to 1965) of the change in dominant reserve currency is in a 10-page paper (+ charts) coauthored by R. Rajan(George Mason University) & Jose Kiran (National U. of Singapore) called "Will the Greenback Remain the World's Currency", January 2006. http://www.freewebs.com/rrajan1/Reserves.pdf

The tables are at the end of the article. Look at "Table 1:Shares of Currencies in Known Official Foreign Exchange Assets, 1899-1913" and
"Table 2: Share of Currencies in Total Identified Official Holdings of Foreign Exchange, 1987-2003"

Excerpts from the paper:
Quote:
Prior to World War I, Britain was the world’s leading trading nation, and around 60 percent of world trade was invoiced and settled in Pound sterling. London was alsothe undisputed financial capital of the world, and, as a result, the sterling was the logical invoicing currency for debt securities and other financial instruments.
...
The sterling’s share in foreign exchange holdings of official institutions stood at 64 percent in 1899, more than twice the total of its nearest competitors, the French franc and the Deutsche mark (Table 1), and much greater than the US dollar (USD)
...
The Bretton Woods system of pegged exchange rate centering on the USD
which was put in place in the mid 1940s consolidated the position of the USD as the world’s reserve currency in the postwar period. The USD’s share of world’s reserves peaked at almost 85 percent in the early 1970s. In contrast, the sterling’s share continued to drop dramatically following the successive devaluations of the sterling in the 1950s and 1960s. Despite the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, the USD remained the dominant international currency, though its share in global reserves began to decline, reaching a trough of 50 percent in 1990, only to bounce back to about 60 percent since the late 1990s (Table 2).
...
A study of the currency composition of global reserves in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s arrives at the following conclusion:we do not detect radical shifts in the currency composition of reserves over time. The choice of reserve asset by developing countries continues
to be influenced by a dense web of exchange rate, financial and
commercial links with the reserve-currency countries, which itself
continues to develop gradually over time. To be sure, there are ongoing
changes in these relationships and policies…(b)ut these are evolutionary
processes, which again suggests that the currency composition of
reserves will change gradually, not discontinuously. There are plenty of
potential sources of instability affecting exchange rates and the international monetary system. But…instability in the demand for reserves
seems unlikely to be one of them.
...
As noted by an analyst from Morgan Stanley:
(A)s central banks shift from a traditional liquidity management posture to
a return-enhancing investment strategy, reserve diversification..does not
necessarily mean USD selling or USD weakness…The US corporate
bond market accounts for close to three times the corporate bond market
in euroland, and 3.5 times as big as in Japan. In fact, this market is
bigger than the other corporate bond markets combined. Similarly, the
total market cap of the US equity market is dominant, 2.5-3 times bigger
than the markets in euroland or Japan. Therefore, as central banks
diversify across assets, there is greater justification to increase their
exposure to USD risky assets
Thus, if central banks diversify…it is far
from clear it will be USD-negative.


Engdahl was right that up to when he wrote that essay, there' hadn't been a worldwide shift away from the US Dollar. There still hasn't been a shift since he wrote that essay.
...
I'm beginning to think that THE MAIN FLAW IN HUDSON'S APPROACH is treating NATIONS (& Regions) LIKE IT'S THE FUCKING OLYMPIC MEDAL COUNT: US vs CHINA vs. EUROPE vs. VENEZEULA etc.

Besides,AN ELITE FAMILY/CORPORATION IN A WORLD OF GLOBALIZED CAPITAL CAN MOVE THEIR MONEY WHEREVER THE FUCK IT GIVES THEM THE MOST RETURN. A Billionaire living in Europe can shift his money, even his citizenship, to the US if he wants to. And the newest Billionaires in China aren't gonna do anything to rock the boat, either, are they?...they like this system, and aren't going to complain that China has too many dollars.

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Church of Crac motto:
"The End is Nigh. Give me a Dollar."


--Cracrocrates
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Helicopter Ben can keep printing indefinitely with nothing to worry about?

EDIT: So long as the USA keeps developing high tech weapons and a demonstrates willingness to use them, AND continues the job of global military security of other nations. It seems that this economic theory of comparative advantage has been utilized in that manner, so while China's largest advantage has been low wages and other advantages for manufacture, the world's shop floor, America has been left with the market for "security", i.e. a military economy, enforcer of stability, etc. for other global players, except what Barnett calls "the Gap", i.e. poor countries not currently having contractual relations with the Pentagon/private mil corps. That's why many countries can afford to have such small military budgets (cannot practically compete with America's nukes anyhow) and seem to have largely agreed or conceded to these arrangements.

At least that's Brzezinski's take on it: Though Europe and Asia have some resentment about US global hegemony, they would not want it to evaporate and leave them in a position of having to maintain their own local/global security arrangements and fight new wars for regional dominance, i.e. China vs. Japan or European wars. He wants to maintain this stability, albeit keeping other countries in 2nd or lower positions militarily (which some like Russia chafe at), and then leveraging that military superiority to economic advantage for Wall Street and the US financial system.



There's so many different opinions. Paul Craig Roberts is going off on jobs outsourcing, mathematically sound, huge social costs. Hudson is on about the credit bubble. Apparently it's ME who getting confused here.

------

This is some very complicated shit.
This chaos of convoluted and sometimes conflicting agreements is how it DOES work.
Nobody totally has a grasp on global economics, including Morgan-Stanley a.k.a. JP Morgan-Chase, though players can prod and influence (rig) it.

One universal trend seems to be to make workers and the poor pay for the rich, everywhere.


Quote:
MH: The main distinction that needs to be drawn concerns whether the monetary system is privately or publicly controlled. Public systems are stable mainly because they aim at supporting long-term investment. The private-sector's credit creation has different aims. The usual priority is to finance short-term asset-price gains--that is, to inflate bubbles.


This is the same conclusion drawn by Paul Craig Roberts as the cause of jobs outsourcing in America, which though he concedes is mathematically correct (he doesn't use the term "Austistic Economics"), will lead to massive social disruption in the US until wage parity with China drives jobs back to the USA.

He points out that 50% of US jobs can be outsourced. While he was a proponent of free markets, he SAYS he's now against "labor arbitrage" as practiced in these "free markets". (I'd have to ask, "what did you expect?") (And not that the Chinese people should not prosper as well.)

He refutes the neo-liberal Chicago myth that these outsourced US jobs can be replaced with higher-paying, higher-quality jobs, because those -- if they materialized -- could be outsourced as well. Unlike MH, Roberts proposes TARIFFS on the basis that, for one, they worked, and two, although they would increase prices, dollar devaluation resulting from economic decline also increases prices. He accuses neo-liberal economists of believing that the destruction of America is a worthwhile price to pay to stick with their neo-liberal theories and processes.

(Someone else mentioned estimates that by 2030, 50% of US jobs will be replaced by robots. Probably Chinese robots. Laughing Well, that's a mere TWENTY fucking years. Gotta work something out. Right? Or passively let chips fall where they may?)

I tend to agree with MH: The only way really really free markets can be imposed is by force, a dictatorship. (Or unimaginably heavy psychological warfare.)

Quote:
MH: The same observation could be made of private-sector debt as well. The question that needs to be asked today concerns just how America is going to avoid paying its debts, and how other countries are not going to pay their own public and private debts?

It looks like the debts to labor will be wiped out in order to preserve the "sanctity" of debts owed to the wealthiest layer of the population. Obligations to pension funds and social Security and medical insurance and life insurance will be wiped off the books, in order to pay a small number of rentiers--the class that Mr. Bush has made exempt from inheritance taxes, lowered capital gains taxes for, and reduced income taxes on. His policy is essentially one of "Big fish eat little fish."


Quote:
MH: ... alternative to kleptocracy over there (Russia). And the Americans who met with the World Bank who supported this were told by the World Bank, “Yes, we agree that your plan is how a country really should develop. That’s not our plan for Russia.” The World Bank since Robert McNamara has been essentially a part of the US Defense Department. It’s been part of America’s military strategy. It’s aim is to under-develop other countries and to promote under-development and dependency, not independency. [Obviously, this applies domestically in America too, to a large extent.] And until other countries realize that the function of the World Bank is to destroy their economies, and the function of the IMF is to impose austerity programs to prevent their economies from growing, the rest of the world will be in self-imposed poverty.


My impression is that non-American leaders are intent on keeping the entire global system of commerce afloat in this symbiosis -- and they DO fear military attacks or economic blackmail by the USA.

Quote:
BF: Now where is this all going to end up? We keep reading that the real estate market is what has kept the domestic economy afloat? How big of a proportion are...

MH: I think America has to sell about 200 trillion of bad mortgages to Saudi Arabia.
BF: [laughs]
MH: There are many solutions like that. In other words, go to Saudi Arabia, and say,”I’m terribly sorry, but in order to protect you, you have to take all of these bad loans. Otherwise, we’ll kill you.” An offer they can’t refuse. That’s the kind of toughness that usually gets America through these, through these things.


I noticed that Richard Perle (and Michael Moore and Dan Hopsicker and other neocons) once called for at least looking into militarily punishing Saudi Arabia for Sept 11. On the other hand, Perle was seeking business relations with Adnan Khashoggi, and Ptech either IS or WAS the possessor of many millions in high-level USG contracts for computer systems and security. At the same time, James Baker was defending his Saudi Royal clients against public exposure by NYC and NJ widows. (I thought that ties between Saudi Royals and Saudi businessmen were pretty tight, but people like Khashoggi are probably as mercenary as Rockefeller and Dupont, etc.)



I don't think that Engdahl's refutation of "petrodollars" with his explanation of how this process worked -- nations bought dollars to buy oil and then the oil exchanges and OPEC recycled the dollars into T-bills -- in large part due to the iron fist of Kissinger stepping on OPEC -- is necessarily incompatible with Hudson's views.

I think I can see them as two legs of the same elephant? Am I glossing over too much here?

My guess would be that whether the Grain Price increases pushed Saudis to raise oil, and then America said "ok, we don't care" or whether the US TOLD the Saudis to raise their prices to feed these petrodollars into the US economic system, it's pert-near the same thing.

Engdahl points out that the dollar DROPPED when Iran caused a price rise in 1979. Can this be somehow attributed to a different financial situation compared to 1972? It certainly seems that this petrodollar (whatever ya call it) thing has created quite a BOOM for western oil companies and Wall Street in recent years, but in the backdrop that current debt ratios are worse and interest payments much larger. Hence, the greater need for China, as well as Saudis, to buy up US debt.

I can see how US workers' and consumers' prosperity is transferred upwards TO the US govt, the war, and the richest 1% on Wall Street --- but via China as a giant money-laundering vehicle. Many Americans just resent China and their 'competitiveness' --- yet they have nowhere to put their excess dollars except into the US Treasury.

------
Patrick McNally pointed to this link:
http://www.allianceml.com/CommunistLeague/COMPASS92_RESTORATIONCAPITAL.htm

Quote:
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE "NEW COMMUNIST PARTY
Introduction
At a recent meeting organised in London by the 'New Communist Party', some speakers expressed the view that during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev era the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was pursuing a Marxist-Leninist, socialist course, and has pursued a revisionist, anti-socialist course only since about 1985.
I should like to express the opinion that this view cannot be reconciled with known facts.


Basically showing with documentation that since 1956 or so, and moreso since then, the USSR laid the political groundwork and then followed the principles of western market capitalism, NOT socialism -- at least not much more socialism than western countries. They had privatized ownership, profits, market pricing, etc. the whole nine yards, to industrial "directors". They maintained this in a system which was ostensibly socialist or partially socialist. Moscow set "pricing targets" and used "economic levers" much like Washington, and sought "efficiency" over egalitarianism, apparently under the consideration that private bureaucracies are inherently more efficient than public ones. (I think that too heavy centralization of planning certainly CAN induce illogical inefficiencies which can multiply and become quite irritating and counterproductive as well. However that would apply to GE and even many smaller companies, as well as govt, and even apply to ma and pa businesses who run their shops in an arbitrary and tyrannical manner. It's hard to create wisdom by either regulation or de-regulation, IMO, just different types of problems.)

The author points out that this created the problems of antagonism between classes that Marx purported to end. Then the Soviet State essentially became a tool of the corporate oligarchs, just like the West.

Quote:
According to Marxism-Leninism, a state is essentially a machinery of force by which one social class rules over the rest of the people. The Soviet State established in Russia by the revolution of November 1917 was officially described as a machinery of force in the hands of the working class, as the dictatorship of the working class'.

In 1961, however, the leaders of the CPSU declared that the Soviet state was no longer the dictatorship of the proletariat, but had become an organ representing the interests of 'the entire people':

"In our country, for the first time in history, a State has taken shape which is not a dictatorship of any one class, but an instrument of society as a whole, of the entire people. . . . The dictatorship of the proletariat is no longer necessary".
(N. S. Khrushchev: Report on the Programme of the Communist Party . . . op. cit.; p. 57, 5Cool.

But Marxism-Leninism teaches us that in a society which contains antagonistic classes -- and, as has been demonstrated, Soviet society has been such a society since the 1960s -- the state can only be the machinery of rule of the dominant social class, and any claim that it represents the interests of 'the entire people' must be dismissed as mere demagogy.

Since the Soviet revisionist leaders admit that the Soviet state is no longer the dictatorship of the working class, it must be the machinery of rule of the new capitalist class.

But Lenin demonstrated that monopoly capitalism -- such as came to exist in the Soviet Union after the 'economic reform' -- inevitably develops into state-monopoly capitalism, in which the state ceases to be the machinery of rule of the capitalist class as a whole and becomes that of the most powerful groups of monopoly capitalists, and in which the intervention of the state extends into every facet of social life:

well, this certainly seems to be coming more and more obvious

"In . . . state-monopoly capitalism the monstrous oppression of the mass of the toilers by the state -- which is becoming merged more and more with the all-powerful capitalist combines -- is becoming ever more monstrous".
(V. I. Lenin: Preface to the First Edition of 'The State and Revolution', in: 'Selected Works', Volume 7; London; 1946; p. 5).

"Imperialism -- . . . the era of the transformation of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism -- has particularly witnessed an unprecedented strengthening of the 'state machine' and an unprecedented growth of its bureaucratic and military apparatus".
(V. I. Lenin: 'The State and Revolution;, in: ibid.; p. 32).

Thus, the Soviet revisionist Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin described in 1965 how the industrial Ministries would 'rely on' the trusts, firms and combines (equiv of corporations and holding companies) in their respective fields, and would 'hand over' to them many operative functions:

"Within industries a network of cost-accounting amalgamations will exercise direct management over their respective enterprises. The Ministries will rely in their work on the cost accounting amalgamations, handing over many operative functioned to them".
(A.N. Kosygin: 'On Improving Industrial Management op. cit.).

Furthermore, the Soviet state which came into being through the 'economic reform' of the 1960s, was not of the 'parliamentary democratic' type such as exists in Britain at the present time.

Within 'parliamentary democracy' the legal right exists for the formation of political parties with the declared aim of transforming the structure of society; and the legal right exists for such parties to hold public meetings and demonstrations, to publish journals and leaflets, to contest elections, and so on.

But in the Soviet society of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s such rights did not exist. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union representing, as has been shown, the interests of Soviet monopoly capital was the sole legal political party and functioned as 'the leading and guiding force of Soviet society':

"The period of full-scale communist construction is characterised by a further enhancement of the role and importance of the Communist Party as the leading and guiding force of Soviet society".
(Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; Moscow; 1961; p. 122-23).

Consequently, the Soviet state of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s was despite its false trappings of red flags -- a fascist-type state in which the Communist Party functioned essentially as did the fascist parties in Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Falangist Spain.


"WHATEVER THE STATE CALLS ITSELF THE IMPORTANT QUESTION IS: "IS A SURPLUS BEING MADE, AND WHO GETS THE SURPLUS?""

In other words, as the USSR abandoned the concept of developing social equality (or near equality), and purposely developed a society of managers vs. workers, with vastly different pay and bonus scales (mimicking Western markets but not as vast an economic division as the US) and different levels of political power, then it was no longer a socialist or communist society at all!! I have heard that it was "State-capitalism". This shows, it really was a State+capitalist society -- albeit with some socialist safety nets, perks and guarantees to workers. Sounds like "New Deal", minus the right to dissent.

This writer describes the USSR as almost an economic analogue of the USA. (Although there was probably still significant state-owned property and assets and taxes used to serve "the masses".) Without checking, I can say that the USSR certainly maintained restrictions over investments, esp foreign investments. That is, it got looted AFTER the "fall", not before. The US restricts business in similar ways, sometimes arguably for the best good of the nation, often for the best good of the oligarchs.

I didn't really realize that dissent was forbidden even up through the early-mid 80's. I had thought that changes after Stalin somewhat freed up the ordinary person, but it sounds like just the death squads were pared back and people were free to be obedient without terror. It sounds like people had the "freedom" to relocate to find work. They were basically fucking wage slaves to capitalists who had to listen to bullshit platitudes about communism and Soviet greatness, much like US citizens had to listen to lots of bullshit platitudes about freedom and liberty from politicians here -- during McCarthyism no less as well as up through the present. At least Clinton seemed to go soft-sell on annoying patriotic platitudes which can seem like a mild form of torture - psy-torture I guess.

(I don't know if the USSR had "stock markets" however. I assume they were not THAT capitalist.) (If Stalin was as terrible as they say, how could it be that more Russians admire him than say Chileans who admire Pinochet? If that's true.)

This sounds like on one hand, Reagan and many of the Cold Warriors were correct about the USSR being an Evil Empire, internally anyhow, though it's ridiculous to think that Reagan and his crew gave a flying fuck about that.

But the USSR was NOT an Evil Empire because of economic "socialism" or "communism" which no longer existed.

This really emphasizes how much the Cold War ideology was total bullshit. In this light, the Cold War was NO MORE THAN a nationalist war between two rival economic superpowers.


If it was not "communism" that crumbled in the 80's, then maybe it WAS mostly military-industrial complex waste that was the strongest factor in the collapse. That and the type of internal corruption and looting we see in the Bush admin. (Assuming it was not 'engineered' by the Bilderberg group et al.) Looting and corruption does not cling to an ideological system, though actual democracy is supposed to limit that. And I'm sure it does, to an extent. You cant protest corruption or CIA RENDITIONS in a total police state.
Quote:
Confronting the CIA’s International System of Kidnapping and Torture
http://www.allianceML.com/PAPER/2006/Summer/Alliance2006CIA.htm

This also really illuminates that whatever labels you call these SYSTEMS, what ultimately matters is whether there is a way to get away from wealthy and dominant social classes controlling whole fucking enchilada (with private corporate institutions micmicking the State in the case of anarcho-libertarianism of the Lew Rockwell variety) and the degree to which this can be mitigated or eliminated in democratic society --- perhaps by imposing controls on corporations and policing over large economic activities but NOT imposing dictatorial controls on ordinary people and basic commerce.

I'm not saying the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights is meaningless. It certainly sets some principled standards and benchmarks. However it still comes down to democratic action from below, not some idol-worshipping of leaders or doctrines divorced from reality.

This seems obvious. An everlasting conflict/debate encompassing questions of political liberty and economic liberty as well as questions of political equality and economic equality or at minimum equality of opportunity vs. oligarchy, against questions of overall prosperty and happiness. Questions of sharing the pie and making bigger pies, albeit without destroying the environment in the process. Or setting aside an extra pie to pay for cleanup.

I don't even discount the need to develop and use some sane and wise social engineering, openly. Even emphasizing respect for other people's property and social justice, rule of law, this is a form of social engineering that prevents social chaos. This includes decisions on whether to have humungous families or small, and whether to care about education or not, etc. It is duplicitous and manipulative social engineering that irks me, deception. I don't mind anti-drug public service messages, except that the CIA manages/assists the importation and "foreign aid" funds the operations.

Late night radio has a 'rap' message about going to college, encouraging students to bug their teachers for answers to questions, be a little pushy, demand the 411 (info). Other than being a lame-ass goofy rap, it's a good social engineering message.

This reminds me of my fifth grade math teacher who pointed out that the HIGHEST forms of mathematics boil down to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Yet maths can get very very very complex and layered, and produce exceedingly complex outcomes.

But I could be wrong in my conclusions, since I note that my conclusions seem to follow stuff I have already posted and already believe. The easiest thing in the world is to believe what you already believe, and find facts to back you up. I feel like I'm poking around in the darkness, but making some progress.
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Cracrocrates



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:27 pm    Post subject: USSR & post 1956 Western Market Capitalism Reply with quote

Quote:
dilbert_g said:I didn't really realize that dissent was forbidden even up through the early-mid 80's.


I think Edward Herman & Chomsky said that in Russia, no one took Pravda seriously www.chomsky.info/onchomsky/20031209.htm says " the fact that many Soviet citizens did not swallow the lines put forward by Pravda demonstrates that Pravda was not serving a state propaganda function" What may be scarier is that in the US, until maybe recently with the Internet, a clear majority of Americans believed whatever the NYTimes was spewing.
.....
Concerning USSR's post-1956 shifts towards western market capitalism, I thought some passages from Animal Farm would be appropriate:
Quote:
Excerpts from Chapter 10 (last chapter) of Orwell's ANIMAL FARM:

Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without making the animals themselves any richer-except, of course, for the pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many pigs and so many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things called "files," "reports," "minutes," and "memoranda." These were large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were always good.
...
A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dogcarts drove up to the farm. A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited to make a tour of inspection. They were shown all over the farm, and expressed great admiration for everything they saw, especially the windmill. The animals were weeding the turnip field. They worked diligently hardly raising their faces from the ground, and not knowing whether to be more frightened of the pigs or of the human visitors.
...
Mr. Pilkington, of Foxwood, had stood up, his mug in his hand. In a moment, he said, he would ask the present company to drink a toast. But before doing so, there were a few words that he felt it incumbent upon him to say.

It was a source of great satisfaction to him, he said-and, he was sure, to all others present-to feel that a long period of mistrust and misunderstanding had now come to an end. There had been a time-not that he, or any of the present company, had shared such sentiments-but there had been a time when the respected proprietors of Animal Farm had been regarded, he would not say with hostility, but perhaps with a certain measure of misgiving, by their human neighbours. Unfortunate incidents had occurred, mistaken ideas had been current. It had been felt that the existence of a farm owned and operated by pigs was somehow abnormal and was liable to have an unsettling effect in the neighbourhood. Too many farmers had assumed, without due enquiry, that on such a farm a spirit of licence and indiscipline would prevail. They had been nervous about the effects upon their own animals, or even upon their human employees. But all such doubts were now dispelled. Today he and his friends had visited Animal Farm and inspected every inch of it with their own eyes, and what did they find? Not only the most up-to-date methods, but a discipline and an orderliness which should be an example to all farmers everywhere. He believed that he was right in saying that the lower animals on Animal Farm did more work and received less food than any animals in the county. [b]Indeed, he and his fellow-visitors today had observed many features which they intended to introduce on their own farms immediately.

.....

Quote:
dilbert_g said: (Someone else mentioned estimates that by 2030, 50% of US jobs will be replaced by robots


...And by 2050, 50% of robot jobs will be replaced by HUMANS...working for the robots Smile

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