Sunday, July 24, 2011

The End of the World as We Know It

By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, OpEd News [Posted on Bear Market Issues]

This is the first of two articles exploring the likelihood that capitalism is on the verge of collapse and what a post-capitalistic world might look like.

Global Capitalism: a House of Cards

As the global recession and debt crisis worsens, even mainstream analysts are starting to speculate that global capitalism is on the verge of collapse. At the moment, most attention is focused on European "debt contagion." European Union economists are terrified that the Greek government will default on their debt. A Greek default makes it inevitable that Spain and Italy will also default. The mechanism here relates to the totally unregulated, speculative way in which "sovereign debt" (the money countries borrow from private banks to finance government operations) is financed.

Investment banks in France, Germany, London and New York have already jacked up the interest rates they charge Italy and Spain -- high risk investments always command higher interest rates. Higher debt repayments will make Italian and Spanish default inevitable, which will increase interest rates on Japanese, British and US debt -- as all three countries have very high debt levels. Owing to the size of their economies, default in Japan or the US is very likely to crash the global economy.

The Endgame

There are three schools of thought as to how the capitalist endgame is likely to play out. The first predicts a scenario in which the Asian tiger economies (China and India) collapse when the US, Japan and UK do -- given that national economies are hopelessly intertwined as a result of globalization. This school also predicts that any serious global instability will pop the Chinese real estate (debt) bubble. When this happens, the Chinese economy will crash, like the US economy did when the subprime derivatives bubble burst in 2008. The creation of debt bubbles (the bubbles leading to the 1987 market crash and 2001 dot com collapse are examples), involves the creation of vast amounts of credit (i.e. wealth that only exists on paper), which are all wiped out simultaneously when the bubble bursts. This sudden loss of economic wealth inevitably bankrupts large numbers of businesses and causes massive job loss.

The second school believes that only the US, Europe and Japan will collapse, while the economies of China, India and its Asian and non-Asian trading partners (for example, Australia and New Zealand) will continue to prosper. In this scenario the coming debt crisis and crash will merely accelerate the gradual role reversal of the past two decades -- with China rising to the status of economic superpower and the US, Europe and Japan becoming third world nations.

The third school supports the scenario I believe Wall Street and the Pentagon have in mind, in which the US and its NATO allies confront China militarily to prevent it from replacing the US as the world superpower. Evidence that the Pentagon has already chosen this tact is seen in the strategic alliances it has formed around Middle East and North African oil resources. Many foreign analysts believe that the US wars in the Middle East and Libya are really proxy wars with China over oil resources. They worry that these proxy wars have the potential to degenerate into a full scale war between the US and China -- which would surely destroy both economies.

[ ... ]

Bottom-Up Government

Unlike the Bolshevik Revolution, which had the immense resources of the Tsarist empire at its disposal, most of the small, regional units that emerge following the collapse of global capitalism will be forced to rebuild themselves from the ground-up. They all have the potential to be built according to democratic and egalitarian principles, though this is by no means guaranteed.

A study of early New England efforts to govern via "town hall" direct democracy reveals that self-governance is always more effective in small groups and communities. Early colonists found that once authority shifted from the town to state and eventually federal government, ordinary people lost the ability to have input into decision making. They could only elect representatives, without any ability to ensure the individuals they chose would actually represent their interests.

Reclaiming the Commons

"The Commons" is a historical concept present in all cultures that views certain property, material goods and intangibles (such as the air people breathe and the public airwaves used to transmit radio and TV) as belonging to the community as a whole to be managed in a way benefiting the public interest, rather than that of a particular individual group. The eighteenth century (British) Enclosure Act is considered the watershed event enabling individual and corporate interests to take precedence over the pubic good. Under the Enclosure Act, the landed gentry banned peasant farmers from raising crops or grazing on the "village commons," which now became "enclosed" as the gentry's private property. Subsequent enclosure laws enabled early capitalists to drive even more farmers off communal land to build factories.

Preliminary notes towards an account of the “movement of popular assemblies”

The movement of the assemblies in the squares started completely unexpectedly on the 25th of May in Athens. It’s unclear which was the initial group of people that took the initiative to post a call for a rally in Syntagma square on Facebook to express their “indignation” and anger at the government’s austerity measures. It seems though that some people around a political group influenced by the later Castoriadis’ democratic ideology were involved among others in that initiative. The call was publicized favourably by the mass media and during the first days there was a reference in the media to a banner that allegedly appeared in the Spanish mobilizations: “Shhh, do not shout, we will wake up the Greeks” or something like that. Of course, no one could expect what would follow.

The initial call was a declaration of independence and separation from political parties, representation and ideologies. It also declared the will to protest peacefully against the state management of the debt crisis and “all those who led us here”. Furthermore, a main slogan was the call for a “real democracy”. The slogan of “real democracy” was quickly replaced after a couple of days by the slogan of “direct democracy”. The initial effort of the organizers to set a body of specific democratic rules for the assembly was rejected by the participants. However, certain regulations were established after some days concerning the time-limit of the speeches (90 sec), the way that someone can propose a subject for the discussion (in written form, two hours before the beggining of the assembly) and the way that speakers are being chosen (through a lottery)… We should also mention that around the core of the general assembly there are always plenty of discussions, events or even confrontations among the participants.

In the beginning there was a communal spirit in the first efforts at self-organizing the occupation of the square and officially political parties were not tolerated. However, the leftists and especially those coming from SYRIZA (Coalition of Radical Left) got quickly involved in the Syntagma assembly and took over important positions in the groups that were formed in order to run the occupation of Syntagma square, and, more specifically, in the group for “secretarial support” and the one responsible for “communication”. These two groups are the most important ones because they organize the agenda of the assemblies as well as the flow of the discussion. It must be noted that these people do not openly declare their political allegiance and appear as ‘individuals’. However, these politicos are unable to completely manipulate such a volatile and heterogeneous assembly since the delegitimization of the political parties is prevalent. It is very difficult to participate as an individual in these specific groups though, since you have to confront the shadow party mechanisms of the leftists.

The rallies organized on a daily basis gradually became very massive and expressed the complete delegitimization of the government and of the political system in general. In the most massive rally maybe 500.000 people participated (on Sunday 5/6).
The social composition of the mixed crowd that rallies everyday ranges from workers, unemployed, pensioners and students to small entrepreneurs or former small bosses hard hit by the crisis. In these rallies in the Syntagma square, a divide was formed from the first days between those who are “above” (near the Parliament) and those who are “below” (in the square proper). In the first category, some nationalist and extreme right-wing groups have been active from the beginning influencing the more conservative and/or less politicized people who participate in the demonstrations (being either proletarians or proletarianized former small entrepreneurs). It is quite common for most of them gathering outside the Parliament to wave Greek flags, make the open palm gesture against the MPs, cry out populist and nationalist slogans like “Traitors!” or “Thieves!” or even sing the national anthem. However, the fact that these people are more politically conservative does not necessarily mean that they are more controllable when the conflicts with the police escalate or that they can be counted to the lines of the organized extreme right-wing groups. On the other hand, the second group which forms the constituency of the assembly is much more oriented to the democratic left (patriotic, antifascist, anti-imperialist) as it can be seen by the voted communiqués (see 
Real Democracy Website) and is also proletarian in composition (unemployed workers, civil servants, university students, workers from the private sector, etc.)

Musical Innerlube: Common Sense - Sixteen ways to kill the master

Revolution song from an unknown band:
seven days a week workin for him
he;snot sick he will survive the lions den,
nine times he called me on one day,
he calls me dummy adn there is nothing i can say.
but i'm working on a plan yes i'm working on a masterplan
16 ways to kill the master 16 ways to grow up faster!

S.V.Mitchell: Dream Machine Visions

The visionary art of S.V.Mitchell, a dream vision from the dream machine.

Seth Tobocman

"We are the city. We can shut it down."

Greek Battle For World War ll Nazi War Crime Reparations

A village in Greece is at at the centre of an international legal battle in a fight for reparations for a World War ll Nazi massacre.

Residents in Distomo won a court case in Italy, but the German government is worried it will set a precedent and has appealed to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

Malcolm Brabant in Greece spoke to Carsten Gerick from the Republic Attorneys' Association.

What's The World's Favorite Number?

Robert Krulwich blogs for NPR:

It's a simple question, really, but a cunning one, because the answers are so embarrassingly, voluptuously personal. Alex Bellos thought it up. He's a writer, math enthusiast, and nut.

Here's what he wants: He wants to know your favorite number. Just that. Tell me your favorite, and tell me why, he says.

He's set up a website, and he's asked people to write in. So far he's had about 13,000 submissions. He wants more.

[ ... ]

The most common reason to have a favorite number is it's the day you were born, especially if you were born on the 3rd, the 5th, the 9th, the 13th. "If you were born, like me, on the 22nd," Alex says, "you are unlikely to choose your birthday as your favorite number." He has yet to find anyone who chose 30, even if they were born on the 30th. "It just doesn't happen," he says. He doesn't know why.

~ more... ~

Meanwhile, there's...

June 31st for Popes

June 31st For Popes is the two-day celebration from June 30th to July 1st for Discordian Popes to symbolically ex-communicate each other!  During this celebration, Discordian Popes will symbolically excommunicate each other, then they will de-excommunicate themselves and each other, where they will then excommunicate themselves, and finally de-excommunicate themselves.  There are a million different ways to celebrate this day than the before mentioned excommunications and de-excommunications, and there are several millions of different situations that are possible!

Join us every June 30th and July 1st, as June 31st is a long-lost holiday!  We will miss you June 31st.  

Rainbow Family Gathering 2006-2008 World Peace Prayer

Rainbow Family Gathering 2006-2008 World Peace Prayer from John Hartman on Vimeo.

EXPOSED: Illuminati - Freemasons Secret Society Behind Norway Bombing and Shooting

92 people killed and the immediate knee-jerk reaction was to call this a terrorist attack and the work of Islamist fanatics.

But it was not a terror attack to be blamed on Al Qaida but the bloody work of a depraved and demented Norwegian Freemason who hated Muslims.

According to media reports Anders Behring was born in 1979 , the position of General Manager and Home Oslo.

The alleged offender is a member of the John lodge St. Olaus TD Three pillars of the Norwegian Masonic Order. He has 3 degree status, where the peak is ten degrees. read it all

On his Facebook profile(already removed) appears to be 32-year-old Christian and politically conservative. As favorite books provide the man behind the profile including George Orwell’s “1984″ and Kafka’s “process”.

According to above translated page, the ranking of the members of the 'John lodge pillars' in Oslo are 'about 813 members' of this lodge.

The page shows 'about 813 members', there is 1 person in the position of '
Grand Master' of the lodge.The next rank below the 'Grand Master' of this lodge, is the 'Zealous St. John's medbrors', of which there are 34 out of the 813 members.

The next level below them in this lodge of 813 is the level Anders Behrings is at, the 'Hardworking St. John's apprentices', of which there are 38 in this Masonic lodge

So basically the Mason Anders Behring is in the top 9 percent of initiates in that lodge of 813, and there are only 4 percent of the members of that lodge that had a higher ranking than he did.

Note that the website reports the 'information is taken from "matrikkel of the Norwegian Masonic Order 2008" and is therefore not an updated membership' so he could have had an even higher level of initiation than that.

It’s come to this. The junior partner in the Norwegian government, the Socialist Left Party of Kristin Halvorsen, (Sosialistisk Venstreparti), plans to vote on a measure calling for military action against Israel if it decides to act against the Hamas in Gaza. Norway, Israel and the Jews blog informs the Tundra Tabloids of the following:


image from

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