How Neo-Liberalism Came To Australia
australianvoice
WHAT IS NEO-LIBERALISM?
Neo-liberalism is both an economic and a political doctrine. Its economic policy is the unrestricted pursuit of private profit. The political policy is called small government, meaning that governments should not regulate or engage in economic activity. They believe these two policies will produce the best outcome for all of society. What I have called the four pillars of neo-liberalism are 1) privatisation of most government services including health and education, 2) serious reductions in government expences, 3) no tax increases, only tax cuts, and 4) deregulation of all economic activity.(1)



Australians must realise that these neo-liberal policies are applied to varying degrees in virtually all Western countries. They are not unique to Australia. They are part of an open conspiracy organized by some of the wealthiest people in the world to remove all the positive, progressive political and economic policies from the Depression until the 1970s. The neo-liberals might claim to be supporters of “liberal democracy”, but in the end they are happy to toss democracy aside because people elected in democracies tend to ask for policies which put limits or restrictrions on the maximisation of profit.



It is an “open” conspiracy because as we will see there is a reasonable amount of information on where it was first formunated and how it has been spread around the world. However it is an open “conspiracy” because these details are seldom explained in the mass media and the media always presents the policies as beyond political discussion and dispute. In the words of Margaret Thatcher “There Is No Alternative” or TINA. In reality it is an economic/political dogma which if considered as a theory would be found to be false.




NEO-LIBERAL POLICIES IN AUSTRALIA
We have seen all of these neo-liberal policies in Australia starting with the privatisation of the Commonwealth Bank between 1991 and 1996 under both Labor and the Liberals. In 1992 the Keating Labor government in effect privatised the age pension by setting up the current superannuation system to replace it. In this system money for each persons' old age is invested in the financial system. This system is deregulated and liable to sustain significant losses. In the meantime the money becomes a plaything of the super-rich investors and the system as a whole does not provide adequate support for many older people. Since then most public utilities and public transport systems have also been privatised by state governments. In 2014 Medibank was privatised by the Abbott government. Recently the LNP has started to privatise Medicare and “outsource” work from Centrelink.

Neo-liberal “austerity” has been with us for some time. For example, the unemployment support now called Newstart has not been raised for 20 years, so it has been a policy for both the ALP and the LNP. It is hard to find a sector of government other than “security” that has not had its funds cut. It is clear that broadly speaking “welfare” takes up a significant part of the Federal Budget.

“According to the the pie chart titled “Total Social Security and Welfare expenditure” in the 2014-15 Budget, the vast majority of expenditure on social security and welfare, excluding tax expenditures, goes to support seniors (29%), family tax benefits (13%), people with disability (12%), carers (5%), veterans (5%), parents income support (4%), and child care assistance (4%) and “other welfare expenditure” (21%). Only 7% of the “welfare bill” goes to support the unemployed and sick.”
(2)

However, all discussions follow on from the logic of the so-called “Audit Report” which only concentrates on cutting payments and cuting taxes. The most recent suggestion is the LNP plan to cut taxes for big business with a loss of $15 billion in income per year. The Audit Report was funamentally flawed because when any business is audited, one looks at both expenditure and income. Increasing income of course means increasing taxes, which is not part of the neo-liberal agenda.

Deregulation has taken many forms in Australia. One example is the recent abolition of penalty rates for weekends and holidays. Another form of deregulation can be found when the organisations which are required to assess and collect taxes like the ATO, or Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) which regulate the financial sector, either do not do their job, or are hindered from doing their job by a shortage of staff. The current Banking Royal Commission has found many “irregularities” which should not have happened with adequate supervision.


WHERE DID NEO-LIBERALISM COME FROM?
The first international gathering to discuss what we now know as neo-liberalism was held in Paris 1938, just before the start off WWII in Europe. The meeting was made up of intellectuals mainly from France and Germany to discuss the ideas put forward by Walter Lippmann in his work The Good Society published in 1937.



The modern neo-liberal policies were formulated in the 50s and 60s at the University of Chicago by economists like Milton Friedman. They were first enacted in Chile after the 1973 coup against the Allende government. They have been imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on most 3rd world countries. While the neo-liberal, free-market ideas did not gain acceptance immediately in the West, they were spread through the creation of “think tanks” in many different countries. These organizations were funded by corporations and banks to teach and develop ideas which were first ignored by mainstream economists and politicians.


The first of these think tanks, the Mont Pelerin Society, was created in April, 1947 at a conference organized by Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) in Switzerland. 39 economists, political scientists, and philosophers attended this conference including Milton Friedman and Karl Popper. Von Hayek wanted to combat the "state ascendancy and Marxist or Keynesian planning [that was] sweeping the globe". Keynsian economics was adoped by the USA in the New Deal and advocates a managed market economy with a significant private sector, but also advocates an active role for government intervention during recessions and depressions.(3) Of course complete central planning of the economy was fundamental to the socialism of the USSR.



While the Mont Pelerin Society itself was new, the ideas behind it were as old as economics itself. The first economist, Adam Smith (1723- 1790), wrote in his book The Wealth of Nations that if people pursue their own interests they frequently promote the wealth of society more successfully than when they really intend to promote it. He held there was an “invisible hand” in the market which would turn each individuals' private pursuit of profit into the greater good for all. In other words, a free market in society without any government intervention is actually the best economic – and political – policy. This idea never had the universal assent of economists before 1947, and it was considered completely discredited after the results of the 1929 Depression. The goal of von Hayek and his friends in the Mont Pelerin Society was to bring these ideas back to life.

Sir Antony Fisher (1915-1988) was a British businessman and a member of the Mont Pelerin Society who organised free-market think tanks during the second half of the twentieth century, including the Institute of Economic Affairs (1956) and the Atlas Network (1988). He was impressed with the ideas of Friedrich August von Hayek. In The Road to Serfdom, von Hayek insists that central planning inevitably erodes individual liberty and enables tyranny. The Institute of Economic Affairs gradually gained credibility in the UK and laid the intellectual groundwork for what later became the Thatcher Revolution. The Atlas Network now consists of over 450 free-market think tanks in 90 countries.

Historical Note: The Atlas Network is no doubt named after the well-known free-market bible by Ann Rand, Atlas Shrugged, first published in 1957. Ann Rand was born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum in Russia in 1905. She became one of the first women educated at no cost in the USSR after the fall of the Tzarest regime. At the end of her life, despite her initial objections, she allowed Evva Pryor, an employee of her attorney, to enroll her in Social Security and Medicare, the kind of safety net institutions she opposed most of her life. Nothing like biting the hand that feeds you.


NEO-LIBERALISM IN AUSTRALIA
The reason the Mont Pelerin Sociey and the Atlas Network are of great importance to Australia can be seen by looking at the list of Australian members in Appendix 1. Of the 187 members of the Mont Pelerin Society listed in Wikipedia, the 17 Australian members given here make up about 10% of the total. Seven of the 450 neo-liberal think-tanks in the Atlas network are in Australia and can also be found in Appendix 2.

Probably the best known Australian members of the Mont Pelerin Society are John Howard, Prime Minister from 1977 to 1983, and John Stone, Secretary to the Treasury between 1979 and 1984. Members who are more prominent today are Janet Albrechtsen, a journalist and Director of the Institute for Public Affairs, Bob Day, Senator from South Australia from 2014-2016, and John Roskam, Executive Director of the Institute for Public Affairs.

What we know as the IPA – the Institute of Public Affairs – is older than any of the think-tanks discussed so far and did not begin with a neo-liberal approach to economics. 1943 it was created as the Institute of Public Affairs Victoria, with Charles Denton Kemp as the first director and George Coles as the first chairman. The founders were prominent businessmen, and current executive director John Roskam admits: “Big business created the IPA.”(4)

The founders of the original IPA are a virtual who's who of Australian business at the time including Sir Keith Murdoch. In the beginning the IPA advocated anti-socialist Keynesian economics and protectionist policy for industry. However with the appointment of Rod Kemp, the son of C.D. Kemp, to the position of executive director in 1982 it changed its policies to the neo-liberal and free-market ideas we see today.


THE FIRST NEO-LIBERAL SUCCESS – PINOCHET'S CHILE
The economic ideas of the Mont Pelerin society were generally ignored in the 50s and 60s. However they were first implemented in Chile after the US-backed overthrow of the Allende Government in September 1973. At least 10,000 people were killed to establish the new regime of General Pinochet. So what did the new government do?

“Pinochet cut government spending by 27%, with education and health hit hardest, while adopting a 'pro-business package' and a move towards 'complete free trade' which removed 'as many obstacles as possible that now hinder the private market'.” (5)

Here we see two of the standard neo-liberal policies: (1) cutting governement spending on health and education and (2) deregulation of economic activity. The Pinochet government also deregulated the public school system. It was replaced by vouchers and private charter schools. Another neo-liberal policy (3) privatization was imposed on Chile. 500 state-owned companies, kindergartens, cemeteries and the country’s social security system were privatised.

These policies were justified by insisting they are “better for the economy”, but the results in Chile are scary. The neo-liberal guru Milton Friedman deliberately plunged the country into a recession by insisting on cuts to government spending. His neo-liberal “reforms” - called “shock treatment” - caused the economy to contract by 15% in its first year and unemployment hit 20%.

“Contrary to Friedman’s predictions, joblessness and recession persisted for years. Around 74% of the average Chilean income went to buying bread, forcing households to choose between bread or milk or a bus fare to get to work. (...) By 1974, inflation had reached 375%.” (6)

This is what this neo-liberal “experiment” did to Chile:

“By the end of Pinochet’s reign, 45% of the population was living below the poverty line. But over the same time period, this bloody, economic crisis saw wealthy Chileans catapulted into the ‘uber-rich’ category. The richest 10% of Chileans saw their incomes increase by 83%. The gulf between rich and poor continues to this day.”(7)

By the end of the eighties, neoliberals were able to put the theories of Friedman and Hayek into action in the USA, the UK, and with the help of the International Monetary Fund, eventually, almost everywhere. How have these policies been spread around the world?

“In countries where leaders needn’t be overthrown, Mont Pelerin Society members, affiliates and sympathisers have intellectually captured and taken over whole governments, from the US Republican & Democratic Parties, to Australia’s Liberal National Government, and the British Labour party who are the opposition, to Britain’s neoliberal Tories.”
(8)




APPENDIX 1: Australian Members of the Mont Pelerin Society(9)

Janet Albrechtsen
Director of the Institute for Public Affairs
Member of the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Written for The Australian, The Age, Australian Financial Review

James Allan
Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland

Geoffrey Brennan
Faculty member in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University

Bob Day OA
Federal chairman of the Family First Party
Previously member of Liberal Party of Australia
Senator for South Australia from July 2014 to November 2016
Day's Home Australia group went into liquidation in November 2016

Ray Evans
Founder and President of H.R. Nichols Society
Executive Officer at Western Mining Corporation

Ronald Max Hartwell
Neo-liberal economic historian
President of the Mont Pelerin Society 1992-94

John Howard OM, AC
While Federal Treasurer (1977–83) adopted neo-liberal economics
Prime Minister from 1996 to 2007

Wolfgang Kasper
Foundation professor of economics at the University of New South Wales from 1977 to 1999
Senior fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies (1999-2007)

Greg Lindsay OA
founded Centre for Independent Studies
President of the Mont Pelerin Society (2006-08)

Ron Manners
Founder and formerly the Chairman of Croesus Mining
Founded Mannkal Economic Foundation
Board Member of Australian Taxpayers Alliance

Maurice Newman
Executive Chairman the Deutsche Bank Group in Australia (1985-1999)
Chairperson of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Chancellor of Macquarie University

Andrew Norton
Advocates market-based approach to higher education
Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies
Higher Education Adviser to Dr David Kemp, Federal Minister for Education
Program Director of Higher Education at the Grattan Institute

Suri Ratnapala
His book Welfare State or Constitutional State? was awarded a Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Prize
Editorial Advisory Council of the Centre for Independent Studies

John Roskam
Chief of Staff to Dr David Kemp, the Federal Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs
Executive Director of The Menzies Research Centre
Executive Director of the Institute for Public Affairs
Worked on a contract with the federal government to develop proposals to limit the role of nongovernmental organisations on public policy
Manager of government and corporate affairs for Rio Tinto Group

Peter Robert Saunders
Research Manager at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (1999-2000)
Social Research Director at the Centre for Independent Studies (2001–2008)

John Stone
founded H.R. Nichols Society
Secretary to the Treasury between 1979 and 1984
Senator for Queensland representing the National Party from 1987 to 1990.
John Howard's Shadow Finance Minister

Tim Wilson
Policy director of the Institute of Public Affairs
Australian Human Rights Commissioner from 2014 to 2016
Represents Goldstein in the Australian House of Representatives since 2016 as a member of the Liberal Party.



APPENEDIX 2: Seven Neo-liberal Think-tanks Connected to the Atlas Network

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE FOR PROGRESS (nd)
Brisbane
https://aip.asn.au/

The AIP promotes the classic rights – freedom of expression, freedom of association, property rights, freedom of worship, and freedom of markets. It is the view of the AIP that human ingenuity is indomitable and lies at the heart of human progress. We believe that individuals – not governments – are best placed to direct their own futures, and that it is their ideas and efforts that help shape a collective future.


AUSTRALIAN TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE (ca 2012)
Sydney South
http://www.taxpayers.org.au/

The Australian Taxpayers' Alliance believes in advocating of behalf of taxpayers' rights, ensuring that they are fairly and accurately represented in the political process.
Promoting a fair tax system and less government regulation.

From Sourcewatch:
Australian Taxpayers Alliance (ATPA) is the parent organisation of Menzies House, a website for "conservative, centre-right and libertarian thinkers and activists".(10)

Menzies Research Centre (1994)
https://www.menziesrc.org/

The Menzies Research Centre promotes freedom, enterprise and empowerment to Australia and the world through an extensive national research, communications and engagement program.
Since its establishment in 1994, the Centre has been an independent voice for liberty, free speech, competitive enterprise, smaller government and democracy through its policy research, publications, public lectures and discussions.


CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES (1976)
St. Leonards
https://www.cis.org.au/

The Centre for Independent Studies seeks to create a better Australian society through ideas, research and advocacy that support individual liberty and responsibility, free enterprise, the rule of law and limited, democratic government.

From Wikipedia:
The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) is an Australian libertarian think tank. It was founded in 1976 by Greg Lindsay. In 2018 Tom Switzer became the new Executive Director. The CIS focuses on classical liberal issues such as free market economics and reducing the size and scope of government.
According to the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), CIS is number 101 (of 150) in the "Top Think Tanks Worldwide"
Simon Cowan, Research Manager and Senior Research Fellow (11)


H.R. NICHOLLS SOCIETY
(1986)
Sydney
https://hrnicholls.com.au/

To promote discussion about the operation of industrial relations in Australia including the system of determining wages and other conditions of employment.
To promote the rule of law with respect to employers and employee organisations alike.
To promote reform of the current wage-fixing system
To support the necessity for labour relations to be conducted in such a way as to promote economic development in Australia.

From Wikipedia:
The Society supports the deregulation of the Australian Industrial Relations System, including the abolition of the award system, the widespread use of individual employment contracts and the lowering of minimum wages. The Society only believes in limited labour market regulation, as it believes that excessive minimum wages and employment inflexibility lead to higher unemployment and lower productivity.
It was created in March 1986 after John Stone, Peter Costello, Barrie Purvis, and Ray Evans organised a seminar aimed at discussing the Hancock Report and other industrial matters. (12)


INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS (1943)
Melbourne
https://ipa.org.au/

Does not seem to have a clear mission statement or set of aims posted on the Internet.

From Wikipedia:
The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is a public policy think tank based in Melbourne, Australia. It advocates free market economic policies such as privatisation and deregulation of state-owned enterprises, trade liberalisation and deregulated workplaces, climate change skepticism, the abolition of the minimum wage[6], and the repeal of parts of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.
The Institute of Public Affairs was founded in 1943 as the Institute of Public Affairs Victoria, with Charles Denton ("CD") Kemp as its inaugural director and George Coles as its inaugural chair.
The appointment of Rod Kemp (CD Kemp’s son) as executive director in 1982, along with other administrative changes that had occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, marked a shift to neo-liberal ideology that continues to this day.
The IPA was not influential again until the 1980s, when C.D. Kemp's son, Rod Kemp took up the leadership. Rod Kemp transformed it from a conservative organisation to a neoliberal one, funded mainly by major corporations groups, and pursuing a pro-free-market, pro-privatization, pro-deregulation and anti-union agenda.(13)


LIBERTYWORKS INC. (nd)
Brisbane
https://libertyworks.org.au/

The mission of LibertyWorks is to:
1. Stand firm and protect our current freedoms from regulatory attack, and
2. Expand liberty further by campaigning for change and further adoption of our principles.
LibertyWorks Inc. is an Australian based not-for-profit organisation that advocates for a drastic reduction in government control over people’s economic and personal lives.
Free Market Capitalism is a Win-Win System
Free markets allow buyers and sellers to willingly engage in interactions that create value for both parties. Buyers reward sellers who produce goods and services that appeal to them and sellers are encouraged to take risks and work hard to develop new ideas, products and services to appeal to potential buyers. Neither buyers nor sellers are coerced into proceeding with any transaction, they are entirely voluntary, and move forward if both parties perceive they get something out of it. It’s only free markets that produce these voluntary win-win interactions and each time they do, they economic pie expands.
Governments Operate Win-Lose Systems
In contrast to free markets, government provided services are always win-lose transactions. Governments tax unwilling citizens to redistribute the proceeds to others in the form of cash or “services”. While the recipients of the largess are typically happy to take the handouts, we should remember that everything that is given to them has been forced from someone else.
Under this system, “winners” seek to maximise their wins and the coerced seek to avoid additional losses. Government created transactions do not create value, they take value from some people and give it to others without increasing the economic pie. Therefore, Government heavy economies produce poor economic results and are morally inferior to free markets because they rely on coercion to function.
Individuals should be free to lead their lives in the way that they believe is best for them provided that in doing so they do not diminish anyone else’s right to do the same. Free markets operate best when individuals are free to pursue their interests. It’s the combination of empowered and unfettered individuals living and operating in efficient free markets that powers progress for all.


MANNKAL ECONOMIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION (1997)
Subiaco
https://www.mannkal.org/about-us/

Mannkal Economic Education Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organisation established in 1997 by Mr Ron Manners. Mannkal’s mission is to develop future leaders of the free market. We promote free enterprise, limited government and individual initiative for the benefit of all Australians.
As enthusiasts of the economist F. A. Hayek, our Mannkal team believes that insights from classical liberal thinkers and their application to local conditions are important for understanding why Australia has been successful. Mannkal has published a detailed history of the Australian experience in The Libertarian Primer  which serves as the definitive introduction to students and scholars on this vital topic.


Footnotes:

1. I have written another article which goes into neo-liberalism in more detail entitled: Do You Know How Ruthless The Neo-Liberals Are? https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/35684.html

2. https://theconversation.com/factcheck-do-eight-out-of-10-taxpayers-work-every-day-to-pay-our-150b-welfare-bill-39573

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics

4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Public_Affairs

5. https://claireconnelly.com.au/work/journalism/wtf-is-happening-a-history-renegade-inc/

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Mont_Pelerin_Society_members

10. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Australian_Taxpayers_Alliance

11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_for_Independent_Studies

12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._R._Nicholls_Society

13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Public_Affairs

Was Stalin Responsible For More Deaths Than Hitler?
australianvoice
Guest Post by Denis Churilov
(https://www.facebook.com/chdv1991)

People who say that Stalin killed three (five? six? twenty eight!?) times more people than Hitler haven’t grown beyond moronic Cold War propaganda.

These days we know the exact number of people who fell victims to the so called Stalin repressions, with all the dynamics already taken apart by researchers month by month. The NKVD were documenting everything they were doing pretty pedantically for internal use. All their archives have been studied thoroughly throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s since they became open for historians and statisticians during the Perestroika years, most notably by the international research group led by Zemskov.



As such, we know that the GULAG population reached its historic maximum in the post-War time, in the year 1950 at 2,561,351 people. The percentage of “politically repressed” out of the total number of inmates reached its maximum of 59% in 1945-1946. Lots of people were accused of Nazi collaboration, often rightly so, after occupied territories were liberated. 

By the way, many people don’t seem to realise it these days, but GULAGs were correctional labour camps, where inmates were working, sometimes they were even paid for their labour, with the results of their labour being used by the government/society. Even though, in the majority of cases, working conditions were tough, GULAGs weren’t “death camps” unless you believe in fiction written by Solzhenitsyn. Any comparison to the Nazi concentration camps, which were specifically built to eliminate people in large quantities, should be viewed as nothing but ahistorical nonsense. 

As for those who were sentenced to death for “counter-revolutionary” actions, which often included any serious crimes against the state, e. g. armed robberies during or shortly after the Civil War, large scale fund embezzlement, and such, between 1921 and 1953, around 800,000 were sentenced to death by shooting and around 600,000 died in prisons/GULAGs due to illnesses and harsh conditions. Therefore, the total number of people who died because of political repressions during Stalin’s rule – almost 30 years - is around 1.4 million. 

Obviously, there were also people who died during the civil war in the late 1910s and the 1920s, as well as those who fell victim to the famines in the early 1930s. And, no, those famines weren’t engineered. (I will talk about them in-depth some other time.) But attributing those deaths to Stalin - Marxism/Socialism/Communism/etc. - would be facile, as both sides in the civil war were equally brutal to each other. Besides, civil wars and famines are not exclusive to the history of Soviet Russia or even to the history of Russia in general. 

The total Soviet population increased by about 50 million during Stalin’s era despite WWII. So, when we look at the EMPIRICAL, verifiable data, we see that there were 2.5 million people locked up in GULAGs during the worst times. 

As a side note, there were 2,220,300 adults in the US federal and state prisons in 2013, according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, and that’s not including people who were on probation and parole. And, unlike the Stalin’s Soviet Union, the modern day United States hasn’t experienced any major revolutions/regime changes, civil wars or foreign invasions in over 140 years. 



How does Stalin compare to Hitler? Well, I haven’t studied it in such depth, but the general estimates give a figure of around 6 million Jews (Jews alone!) exterminated by the Nazis during the Holocaust. And that not including the people who died as a result of the Nazi military aggression against other states. The Soviet Union, for instance, lost up to 27 million lives due to Nazi invasion. Stalinism stands nowhere near Hitlerism/Nazism when measured by the death toll for each of them. 

There’s also one crucial point that many people fail to understand about history, either deliberately or due to the fact that no-one bothered to explain it to them. Unlike Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s regime was exterminating millions of people based on their ethnicity ON PURPOSE. Yes, Stalin was a merciless dictator responsible for death of many innocent people (Still some would argue that, given all the tragic complexities of those times, Stalinism saved Russia form far worse tragedy that could’ve happen if the country failed to stabilise and industrialise in time.) Stalin wasn’t killing people just for the sake of it. Again, repressions and mass executions have been happening during and after every major civil war throughout the entire history of mankind. But Hitler was a whole different level of pure evil. Genocide was a deliberate, ideological function of Nazism. Look into the works of Himmler, the ideas expressed by Goebbels, or even Hitler’s own Mein Kampf. People who happened to rule German back then were all pretty explicit about their views, making them into official policies and facilitating one of the worst genocides in modern history. 

Again, those who died under Stalin died because of historical tragedy, like people who died during and after the French Revolution, with authorities inventing guillotine to behead people faster, or during the land reforms in England, or during the American Civil War. But people who died under Hitler, those who died during the Holocaust, they were the victims of direct, DELIBERATE genocide that was directed against people based on their ethnicity. 

Not being able to see the difference between the two requires a special kind of intellectual dishonesty and moral underdevelopment. 

***

So, was Stalin responsible for more deaths than Hitler? No, neither empirical research nor inferential analysis, that is looking into demographic data and its dynamics over the years, support this assertion. And casually comparing the victims of Stalinism to the victims of Nazism is like comparing a lethal traffic accident on a busy road to a deliberate, cold-minded killing spree.
 
Besides, there’s only one logical step between saying that Stalin was worse than Hitler - he wasn’t - and saying that Hitler was better than Stalin. Not surprisingly, most of the “communism death toll” nonsense is really just old Goebbels propaganda that was repackaged by the Cold War think tanks to slander the Soviet Union. 

Too sad many people still believe this horseshit.

Do You Know How Ruthless The Neo-Liberals Are?
australianvoice
Neo-liberalism is both an economic and a political doctrine. Its economic policy is the unrestricted pursuit of private profit. The political policy is called small government, meaning that governments should not regulate or engage in economic activity. They believe these two policies will produce the best outcome for all of society.



Neo-liberalism is dangerous for two reasons. The first is that the goal of neo-liberal policies is to remove anything which stands in the way of maximizing the profits of people with money. Neo-liberals insist that all of their policies produce the best results for everyone, but this is a lie. The second reason it is dangerous is that few people understand that neo-liberal policies are behind virtually every government “reform” introduced for decades.

Deciding what Australian neo-liberals actually think is not easy, but we can start with what they say. The words words listed below appear again and again in the mission statements of the neo-liberal think-tanks listed at the end of this article:

Freedom
Libertarian
Individual liberty
Free enterprise
Free markets
Free speech

Neo-liberal think-tanks present themselves as advocates of freedom and liberty. But do the believe what they say? Do the walk the talk? Let's start with free speech.



Free Speech
About the only free speech issue which neo-liberals in Australia have raised publicly is the repeal of some sections of the Racial Discrimination Act of 1975 because Andrew Bolt was found to have breached the act in 2009.

Are any of the neo-liberal think-tanks active in promoting the freedom of Julian Assange? He has been detained for 6 years. Many people believe the reason he has been detained is to restrict his freedom of speech and the access of ordinary people to important information. The UN itself has found that his detention is totally unjustified.

We could ask who actually has free speech in our society anyway? If you own a newspaper, you have free speech. Otherwise what you say will not be reported unless your message is approved by the few people who own media outlets. Australia has one of the most powerful media monopolies in the world. Surely this constitutes a limit on press freedom in Australia, and press freedom is essential to freedom of speech. Have you ever noticed the IPA or any other neo-liberal think tank complain about this? They only object to the publicly funded broadcasters like ABC and SBS because they are not private. They are indifferent to the overall media monopoly and the way it limits freedom of speech in Australia.

So while these think-tanks claim that they support free speech, they do not acknowledge that in our society there is no free speech. The media in Australia and the West as a whole is a cartel of a few giant corporations. This means that their support for free speech is empty. They do not object to the media monopoly because it is a monopoly of private firms and nothing should hinder their pursuit of private profit.

This gives an insight into the thinking of the neo-liberal think-tanks. They repeat stock phrases like 'free speech' while at the same time ignoring the obvious fact that what they support does not really exist. Perhaps they support Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy as well.


Free Enterprise
Their support for free enterprise is no better. If we look at the West we see all important areas of the economy are dominated by cartels. Large chunks of Australia's four giant banks are owned by the same three groups: Combined HSBC (Nominees), JP Morgan Nominees and Combined Citicorp. No wonder they are almost indistinguishable. Several giant oil companies, once know as the Seven Sisters, control much of the worlds production and distribution of petrol and diesel. Virtually every area you look at is the same. This means that just like free speech, there is no free enterprise in our society.

While Adam Smith also was an advocate of free markets and free enterprise, he was also quite well aware of the way monopolies and cartels can destroy free markets.

“Again and again, Smith warned of the collusive nature of business interests, which may form cabals or monopolies, fixing the highest price 'which can be squeezed out of the buyers'. Smith also warned that a business-dominated political system would allow a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation.”(1)

Such warnings about the health of our free market economy never come from today's neo-liberal thinkers.


Free Market
While it is harder to prove, it is not difficult to find statements by reputable economists who will admit that there is no international free market. How can this be? The answer is that over the last 30 years of bank deregulation in the USA there are individuals like George Soros and institutions who can mobilize sufficient assets to manipulate the currency of major countries, the price of raw materials, and the prices of stocks on Wall Street. Why have you not heard about this before? Well, who is going to tell you?

So far we have seen that some of the things the neo-liberal think-tanks support are actually myths and fictions. They are a carefully crafted set of lies which are repeated by people who ”believe in” the system. They are articles of faith like the virgin birth or the Resurrection of Jesus for Christians. Are the four or five owners of the media in the West going to tell you they are a cartel? Many ordinary people want to believe they have free speech, press freedom, free – competitive – enterprise and free – unmanipulated – markets. Neo-liberals say they support these things because they know this is what people want to believe. These phrases are the sheep skin which covers the neo-liberal wolf that we will now reveal.



The Free Market and Nothing But the Free Market

While the idea of a free market may sound attractive to some, there is a real sting in the tail when you insist, as the neo-liberals do, on having nothing but the free market in society. LibertyWorks Ltd gives this account of the nature and virtues of free markets:

“Free markets allow buyers and sellers to willingly engage in interactions that create value for both parties. Buyers reward sellers who produce goods and services that appeal to them and sellers are encouraged to take risks and work hard to develop new ideas, products and services to appeal to potential buyers. Neither buyers nor sellers are coerced into proceeding with any transaction, they are entirely voluntary, and move forward if both parties perceive they get something out of it. It’s only free markets that produce these voluntary win-win interactions and each time they do, they economic pie expands.”(2)

When they say “neither buyers nor sellers are coerced into proceeding with any transaction, they are entirely voluntary” they overlook the “transaction” in which a worker sells their labour to an employer. It is only “voluntary” in a strictly legalistic sense. If they live in a neo-liberal paradise which has nothing but the free market a worker who does not sell their labour to an employer will starve to death.

LibertyWorks rejects the idea that a government should give support to an unemployed worker. “Government created transactions do not create value, they take value from some people and give it to others without increasing the economic pie.”(3) In other words, for the neo-liberals at LibertyWorks, creating “economic value” is the only thing that is important in society. Saving the life of an unemployed worker is seen to have no value at all. The only value in society they recognise is economic value, which is private profit.

Does this mean that for neo-liberals the only thing of value in the universe is creating economic value? Is this their fundamental but well-hidden assumption? Can this be simplified to this article of faith: the only important/necessary/valued activity in society is creating a private profit? Or: Everything must maximise private profit, so anything which hinders the maximisation of private profit should be removed.


Individual Liberty
In the years since 9/11 there has been a massive attack on what was previously taken to be individual liberties, but it seems the neo-liberal think-tanks have been thinking about other things. We might compare what they have been doing for the last few years with an organization called Civil Liberties Australia. Their mission statement is:

“We stand for people’s rights, and go in to bat for everyone’s civil liberties.
“We monitor police and security forces, and the actions and inaction of politicians.
“We review proposed legislation, to make it better, and keep watch on government departments and agencies.
“We work to keep Australia the free and open society it has traditionally been, where you can be yourself without undue interference from ‘authority’.”
(4)

These are all goals of a libertarian organization. Here are some of their projects:

“Correcting the worst excesses of anti-terrorism laws.
“Helping to safeguard people’s data and privacy, especially in health.
“Cooperating with similar groups on privacy, prisons, refugees, mental health, drug law reform, aboriginal rights, migrant rights, whistleblowers, voluntary euthanasia,
campaigning against the death penalty.
“Monitoring prisoners’ and detainees’ rights in jails, particularly juveniles.”
(5)

When is the last time you noticed LibertyWorks, Australian Taxpayers Alliance, or Centre for Independent Studies fighting for privacy, prisons, refugees, mental health, drug law reform, aboriginal rights or migrant rights? Our individual liberties have been eroded by new technology and government policies, all under the watchful eyes of the neo-liberals in Australia.


Privatisation and Deregulation of State-owned Enterprises
Earlier we saw what I called the neo-liberals' article of faith: Everything must maximise private profit. Since government enterprises do not produce a private profit, neo-liberals insist on the privatisation of all government enterprises. For years the right has insisted that government owned enterprises are inefficient and wasteful, since only the pursuit of private profit will cut costs to the lowest possible level. What I have called their article of faith is a different kind of reason which has nothing to do with efficiency or waste. Since we must create the most value = private profit possible in society, all non-private activity must be privatised.


Deregulated Workplaces and Abolition of the Minimum Wage
The same neo-liberal article of faith we uncovered above justifies both of these demands. Government regulation of workplaces will impose work practices on the employer which almost certainly will be seen to cut into their value = profitability. In the same way an employer may be able to find workers who will work for less than the minimum wage, which would increase the profitability of their enterprise.



Trade Liberalisation
Trade liberalisation, that is the removal of any tariffs or other legal requirements which could hinder the importation of the cheapest possible items also follows from the article of faith that nothing should hinder the profitability of enterprises. Globalist treaties like the TPP are simply examples of the article of faith applied to international trade.


Taxation
According to neo-liberals, when governments give money to an unemployed worker, this does not create value. Usually the money used by the government is derived from taxation. This is how LibertyWorks understands taxation:

“In contrast to free markets, government provided services are always win-lose transactions. Governments tax unwilling citizens to redistribute the proceeds to others in the form of cash or 'services'. While the recipients of the largess are typically happy to take the handouts, we should remember that everything that is given to them has been forced from someone else.
“Under this system, 'winners' seek to maximise their wins and the coerced seek to avoid additional losses. Government created transactions do not create value, they take value from some people and give it to others without increasing the economic pie.”
(6)

Taxes come from “unwilling citizens” who are forced or coerced to pay them. LibertyWorks concludes that “Government heavy economies (...) are morally inferior to free markets because they rely on coercion to function.”

Do the thinkers at LibertyWorks realise that governments not only coerce people to pay taxes, they coerce people to obey other laws like speed limits, prohibitions against theft, murder or pedophilia. Sometimes they even coerce their citizens to join their military to fight and die for their country.

Coercion by governments is an essential feature of governments, without which they cannot exist. Why does this coercion make governments “morally inferior” to free markets? The use of force by governments is just a simple fact of life. LibertyWorks presents such coercion as a defect rather than realising it has been a necessary feature of complex human societies for thousands of years. And who thinks that government coercion is always immoral? Anarchists.


Smaller Government
Smaller government means little or no regulation and no government enterprises. However it also means much less taxation, which neo-liberals see as theft of what is rightfully theirs and theirs alone. They want us to believe that the “hidden hand” of the market will insure that the unrestricted pursuit of private profit produces the best result for all of us. If there was a genuine free press and free academic inquiry neo-liberalism could be unmasked rather easily. Under the not so hidden hand of corporate censorship the task is more difficult.


Limited Democracy

While virtually all Australian neo-liberal think-tanks use words like 'freedom', 'liberty', etc., the word 'democracy' is not nearly as common, and is sometimes endorsed only as limited democracy. Why is this?

The answer is rather simple. Neo-liberals will not endure anything which restricts the maximisation of private profit. Where might some of these restrictions come from? From demands by people for safe consumer products, safe working environments, careful handling of dangerous products like explosives, chemicals or radiation. The greatest threat they see to their unlimited pursuit of profit is people demanding their democratic governments protect them from these and other dangers. Neo-liberals would prefer limited democracy or perhaps no democracy at all, as in Chile under Pinochet.


Conclusion
My conclusion is that neo-liberalism is dangerious because it values only one thing, maximising private profit, and quite simply nothing else matters. The lives, the health, and the living standards of the citizens of any country like Australia are therefore at risk. So is democracy, political freedom, press freedom and the usual understandings of individual liberty.

These policies are not only pushed by the Liberal and National Parties. It is clear the the Australian Labor Party and the Greens in Australia also follow the neo-liberal agenda. They have all gone along with cuts to government spending, deregulation and privatization, three pillars of neo-liberal economics. The political situation is so bad that no political party dares to challenge the truly evil assumptions behind neo-liberalism.

First and foremost, neo-liberals do not value human life itself. If you cannot work to support your self and you do not have money to buy what you need to live, you can starve. The Nazi phrase “useless mouths” comes to mind. In reality the neo-liberal article of faith and the policies based on it are completely ruthless. What else would you say of people who insist it is acceptable, if not morally superior, to allow the unemployed, the homeless, single parents, age pensioners, the disabled and mentally ill to starve to death because to give them food and shelter does not increase economic value = profit? It is time that the mask of respectability is torn from the faces of people who care only about maximising private profit and are indifferent to the lives of ordinary people forced to suffer only to increase the wealth of the super-rich.



Australian Neo-liberal Think-tanks which are members of the Atlas Network, a nonprofit organization connecting a global network of more than 450 free-market organizations in over 90 countries.(7)

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE FOR PROGRESS (nd)
Brisbane, Australia

AUSTRALIAN TAXPAYERS' ALLIANCE (ca 2012)
Sydney South, Australia
(Includes the Menzies Research Centre 1994)

CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES (1976)
St. Leonards, Australia

H.R. NICHOLLS SOCIETY (1986)
Sydney, Australia

INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS - IPA (1943)
Melbourne, Australia

LIBERTYWORKS INC. (nd)
Brisbane, Australia

MANNKAL ECONOMIC EDUCATION FOUNDATION (1997)
Subiaco, Australia


Footnotes:

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith
2. https://libertyworks.org.au/vision-mission/
3. Ibid.
4. https://www.cla.asn.au/News/cla-policies/
5. Ibid.
6. https://libertyworks.org.au/vision-mission/
7. https://www.atlasnetwork.org/

A Discussion Surrounding Karl Marx’s Recent 200th Anniversary
australianvoice
Guest Post by Denis Churilov
(https://www.facebook.com/chdv1991)

I’ve been saying for a long time that it is beyond absurd to compare communism/socialism to capitalism and the free market without considering geographical, socio-cultural and historic factors in each particular case. 

Everyone laughs at North Korea and their quasi-communism. Yet nobody takes into account that the country has been under brutal economic sanctions for decades, and that it is geographically situated in a region where you can’t farm anything substantial. And almost no-one talks about the regional geopolitical configuration that explains the strictness of the current North Korean regime. And yet, despite all those unfortunate circumstances, North Koreans still manage to develop submarines, ballistic missile systems and thermonuclear weapons. Can the capitalist and the natural resource rich Democratic Republic of the Congo develop its own missile system and build thermonuclear weapons? I doubt it. 



When people attempt to compare communism/socialism to capitalism, they always compare Cuba to the United States and the European Union. Nobody compares Cuba to, say, Haiti, which is a fully capitalist country under the US influence. How come nobody compares poor and “miserable" socialist Cuba to “rich” and “happy” regional capitalist states such as Columbia? Or the capitalist state of Mexico, where there is a huge gap between rich and poor, and where they’ve been having totally capitalist drug cartel wars, with death toll estimated to go over 100 thousands in the last 10 years? Shall we compare the 1960s version of quasi-capitalist state of Iraq with, say, the socialist state of the Soviet Union? 

“Socialism is a retarded system that doesn’t work.” some retarded far right cuckoos say on the Internet. Well, that “retarded” system managed to defend itself and crush the world’s most advanced war machine in the 1940s and then proceed with developing world leading nuclear and space programs. 

Many people in the West are not aware of this nowadays, but in World War II, the Soviet Union wasn’t just fighting Nazi Germany. It was fighting all of Europe with a combined population of around 400 million, while the USSR had less than 200 million. Further, about a third of Third Reich tanks were produced in Czechoslovakia, most of the occupied countries were providing resources, working hands and soldiers to Hitler. There were more French soldiers serving in the Nazi forces in the Eastern Front than there were people in the entire French Resistance.

The Soviet Union was fighting Nazi Germany more or less alone until 1944. The Red Army was already advancing through Europe when the Allies finally decided to launch the Normandy Landing. Then the Soviet Army singlehandedly defeated the Manchurian army of Imperial Japan (which was a capitalist power too, by the way), kicking them out of mainland Asia in just a few weeks. That happened before the US “stopped the war” and “saved lives” by nuking 400,000 civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

And then, after the devastating war, the socialist Soviet Union managed to rebuild everything. Then this “retarded” system conducted its first successful nuclear test in 1949. And then it successfully conducted the thermonuclear tests in 1953, proving again how “retarded” and “impotent” it is. Then the “retarded” Soviets did it again when they launched the first man-made space satellite, Sputnik-1, in 1957. Then again, in April 1961, when “retarded” socialists sent the first man to space.

Not to mention the healthcare and the nearly 100% literacy rate. Before the 1917 October Revolution, about 70% of Russian population was illiterate with average life expectancy hardly exceeding what is observed in Central Africa nowadays. 

So much for “Socialism failed every time it was tried.”. Those “retarded” socialists managed to build the World’s second most powerful superpower in the second half of the 20th century. Ignoring that is to ignore the historic reality. 

Yes, the Soviet people didn’t have all the luxuries enjoyed by the citizens of America, but they still lived better than 80% of the world's population, most of whom lived under global capitalism, despite relatively harsh climate conditions. 

“Oh, but how did it all end for USSR?”. The Soviet Union collapsed, indeed. I am not going to go into details of why it happened now. It wasn’t because of the objective economic reasons, but I just want to say that, arithmetically, there have been more capitalist regimes and empires that ceased to exist in the last 150 years compared to socialist/communist states. 

Oh, and let’s not forget about China! Far from being strictly socialist nowadays, as China has greatly relaxed its policies and largely hybridised its economy since the late 1980s, it is still officially ruled by the Communist Party, it has government exercising control over the economic sector and it has been one of the world's fastest growing economies. Just to illustrate the point, some sources say that they build about a thousand airports every year. Needless to say that China is now emerging as a global superpower. 

“Oh, but what about all those who died under communist/socialist dictatorships?” What about them? Yes, many people died in socialist countries when the system was forming, but 1) people almost never get the figures right, overestimating the number of victims by 10s and even 100s of times, for ideological and propaganda purposes and 2) people misattribute and misinterpret the causes from objective historical processes that occur after any regime change by strictly blaming it all on communism/socialism. 

Throughout history, whenever there was a revolution, or a regime change, it has always been accompanied by a bloodshed, usually in the form of civil wars and repressions. In such light, we can talk about the horrors of the French Revolution, where they were executing so many people they had to invent guillotine to behead people faster and that was considered humane at the time! We can talk about the victims and all the people executed during the land reforms in England, and similar events in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and everywhere else around the world. If we take each case and compare it to what was happening in the Soviet Union and Communist China in their early years, percentage wise, the figures will be comparable. In fact, the soviets weren’t as bad as their European counterparts from a century before them. 

It’s the genesis of history, the history itself that has always been forged in blood, pain, and suffering. Take a look at the American history, for instance. See how many native tribes had to perish and how many people had to die in America’s own civil war for the US to form in its current shape. 

That brings us to the next point. If you want to talk about the victims of communism, you should also talk about the victims of capitalism. It’s hard to tell when it started exactly, but, for the argument’s sake, let’s go from 1776, the year in which Adam Smith formally explained the mechanics of the capitalism and the free market in his “Wealth of Nations", although, de facto, capitalism formed centuries before that. We can talk about Triangular Slave Trade in which African slaves were initially used by capitalists to work on their sugar plantations and how that resulted in millions of deaths. We had the Chinese Opium wars and the subsequent opium epidemic when the British companies forced China to buy drugs. There are some estimates that say that up to 10% of the Chinese population fell victims of opium. We had all the imperial wars, including the World War I. We had the colonialism and all the colonial wars, the effects of which are still experienced by Africans because the current civil wars come as a result of national borders being thoughtlessly marked by old European powers who had no regard for the organic ethnocultural/tribal configuration of those lands. These kill thousands every single year. If we were to estimate the numbers of victims of free market and capitalism, the figures would be, literally, in the hundreds of millions. 

So lets stop perceiving the world and the history in black & white, peddling the scary tales about “evil communist regimes” and how “Marxism is responsible for over a hundred million deaths!”, and other ideological bullshit that tends to replace genuine analysis and understanding. Let’s not put simplistic labels on everything. 
I am not advocating Socialism. It would be somewhat stupid and naive to think that the United States, Australia and Western European countries would be able to go full communism at this stage. It’s just not realistic, given the current socio-economic configuration and the Western mindset. Capitalism isn't as bad after all; much better than, say, feudalism, that's for sure. Besides, each country/society has its own destiny, and I don’t think that the Western world can/should accept communism any time soon. There are some intellectuals, such as Anatoly Wasserman, who argue that “Digital Socialism” would be achievable on a global scale through smooth transition and that it will be too good to resist, but such concepts are still within the realm of science fiction and I don’t think it would be possible within the next 20-30 years. 
I just want people to stop viewing history and reality in simplistic cliches that were developed by Goebbels and then consolidated through decades of Cold War propaganda. 

Think. Be aware of the context. Look for analogies. View things in a wider perspective. Compare everything with everything. We, as humanity, will never be able to go forward if we don’t start thinking and analysing things holistically. We can never move forward if we don’t see history objectively and understand our past genuinely.

There is an ALTERNATIVE to neo-liberal austerity - Modern Monetary Theory
australianvoice
Guest Post by Stephen Tardrew

INTRODUCTION
Apart from the day to day lies in the media like "the Russians hacked the last US election" all mass media and academics who write or teach about economics work from the same self-interested doctrine known as neoclassical economics, neo-liberalism, the Washington Consensus, or the Chicago School founded by Milton Friedman.

It is an approach to invented by banks and used by the super-rich to formulate policy which benefits them at the expense of everyone else. This is what Margaret Thatcher meant when she said: There Is No Alternative = TINA. Because the banks and their many friends in high places this doctrine has replaced the older dogmas of religion as the one thing no politician, journalist or academic can challenge if they value their careers or their income. Apart from a few genuinely independent voices, all investment advice is also made within this framework. It is the gospel truth for everyone. One very good reason to call it a dogma is that it does not actually explain or predict economic reality. It has little empirical evidence for it, and much that is opposed.

In effect this answers the question asked in the article posted below by Stephen Tardrew, namely: Why is an alternative approach to economic policy like Modern Monetory Theory not even mentioned in any political discussion today? This quite sane and empirically based approach has not effect on the way our economy is discussed by anyone "important" because it is deliberately ignored, suppressed or ridiculed. This doctrine is the "theory" which is used to justify political choices because it reinforces the power and importance of our real rulers, a small number of super-rich individuals and families who control the largest banks and multinationals. Through the doctrines of neo-liberalism they set the agenda for our politicians, an agenda which includes austerity (minimal government services), low taxes on corporations, and privatization.



Why doesn't Modern Monetary Theory have a profound impact on the way we understand the economy?

Neoclassical economics was designed for the gold standard however when the amount of gold was insufficient the US changed to a fiat currency during the Nixon administration. The point about neoclassical economics is that it continually feeds wealth upwards while putting the burden upon the working class, low income and poor. The corporations, banks, financiers and venture capitalists own the government and so they own the message. Remember Marshal Mcluhan "the medium is the message" and Chomsky's "Manufacturing of Consent".

Economics - as understood today in public life - is not a science it is a bunch of self-interested opinions overlain with pseudo mathematical justifications posing as a science when in fact it is a pseudo science. MMT economist simply asked what is the real implication of fiat currency and when they found out the facts were marginalised by conventional academics simply because they had invested their whole careers in a system that was essentially broken and corrupt. Too much to lose for the power brokers. Lots of neoclassical and neoliberal stooges loosing all credibility so they hang on for dear life to their lies. Politicians, including treasurers, are uninformed completely indoctrinated playthings of the corporations, bankers, and financiers.

Don't expect much critical thinking from this lot. Point is MMT is the most science based empirical approach to economics however they do not want you to know the truth. The trillions they offshore is their power base and weapon for hoarding currency while the rest suffer debt servitude and general hardship. And our greed infested PM and his L-NP mates are at the head of the gravy train. Meanwhile Labor sleeps in ignorance.

1. The government is not currency constrained
2. Taxation does not pay for expenditure
3. Bonds are literally government run savings accounts that pay interest and are balance sheet debits not profit and loss debt.
4. Full employment is possible with a Job Guarantee
5. Austerity dries up the money supply and shrinks the economy
6. Governments nearly always need to run a deficit
7. A balanced budget or surplus means more private debt servitude and borrowing for you
8. A government budget is a double entry balance sheet not a profit and loss statement like a family budget
9. Families cannot print currency however treasury can literally print as much as is necessary so a government with a fiat currency can always pay down its debts as long as it controls inflation and prevents over production of commodities.
10. All welfare demands can be reasonably met if we have full employment
11. There is absolutely no need for poverty and hardship

Work by Stephen Tardrew can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/stephen.tardrew?hc_ref=ARStBdRdX2nrGfqvOOzaqOyCULxh3hGFEu1lt2nZKXINPDm2JlA_X3Xth1xRoH3-CCo&fref=nf&pnref=story

MUST READ: Summary of US Military Plans for Next 20 years
australianvoice
Guest Post by Scott Humor
(http://thesaker.is/pentagon-makes-a-20-year-plan-while-washington-outsources-its-color-revolution/)

“Nevertheless, we do not lose our hope that the voice of reason will sooner or later prevail, and that our American colleagues will be aware of the futility and detrimental nature of further sliding down the spiral of sanctions.
“In the meantime, we are beginning to work out the inevitable response to this situation.”


INTRODUCTION
Trump’s new commitment to continue the war in Afghanistan comes as a shock, after all the Americans had voted to stop Washington’s wars around the world.  As a punishment, they are being treated to an artificially created civil conflict, while the deep state continues to use the US infrastructure, financial and human capital and military to pursue its doctrine of perpetual war.

Reading from the teleprompter, Trump not only unveiled plans for open-end war, he also promised to stop revealing any future US plans. It makes sense to look at the plans they have revealed so far to see what to expect. After all, we all have witnessed working of the plan revealed by the general Wesley Clark in 2007 to take out seven countries in five years.

US ARMY PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
In August 2012, TRISA-Threats published “Operational Environments to 2028: The Strategic Environment for Unified Land Operations”. In this publication, TRADOC G-2 identified potentially contentious OEs and missions the US Army could face, including the OEs of Iran, China, Yemen, North Korea, Pakistan, and Nigeria as possible environments.” For those who don’t know this yet, “Operational Environments” are countries that the US bombs and invades.



THE TRADOC mentioned here is the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. TRISA is Tradoc Intelligence Support Activity. Keep in mind, this 20-year plan written in 2012 prior to the mass migration from Africa and the Middle East to Europe, but it speaks of the European economic and societal collapse by the year of 2028. This plan also speaks of Ukraine becoming a NATO member, even so it was written prior to the Maidan color revolution and the war in Ukraine. Also, this plan was written prior to the North Korea obtaining the Soviet ICBM technologies from Ukraine, but it names North Korea as “Operational Environment,” or, in plain English, a war zone.

Reading this remarkable document should enlighten you on predetermined nature of the US wars, engagements, lead from behind actions, and all the activities in support for “human rights.” For the Europeans to blame Muslims in an ongoing migrant crisis is like blaming cattle for running over their fields, and ignoring cowboys driving and steering their herd from behind.

NEW PLANS FOR INDIA - KEY US ALLY
According to this plan, the most crucial event of 2016 wasn’t Hilary Clinton losing the elections and Donald Trump winning. The most important event was the Indian government signing the logistics support and communication interoperability agreements that the U.S. has lobbied intensively for since 2005,  but the Indian government had been refusing to sign because it will nullify India’s independent security stance, interfere with India’s easy access to Iranian energy supplies, jeopardize Indian partner status in the Silk Road projects among other things.


Newly elected Indian government threw caution to the wind, and signed the LEMOA agreement in April 2016. LEMOA stands for Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), an India-specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA). The three agreements — Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA) are referred to as the foundational agreements which the U.S. signs with countries with which it has close military ties.

The agreement permits American aircraft and warships to access Indian military bases for refuelling, repair and other logistical purposes. This agreement gives the US military a legal foothold in Eurasia. Something they have never had before.

UNIQUE INSIGHT INTO INDIA TODAY
The following documents were posted on Twitter by Scott's Humor:






SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT US ACTIVITY AND PLANS

1. Uncontrolled growth of the US personnel and equipment in Afghanistan



2. Naming Pakistan a threat to the US.

3. Skirmishes between India and Pakistan, in which the US takes India’s side. This hostilities were most likely initiated by the US SOF dressed as corresponding militaries.

4. Skirmishes between India and China, in which the US takes India’s side. Most likely initiated by the US SOF.

5. Transfer to Korea ICBM technologies from Ukraine by the SBU under a full control of the C.I.A.

6. The attempts to initiate a war on North Korea. So far, the US attempts failed because Russian fleet positioned itself between the N. Korean coast and the US 7th Fleet, and the Russian battleships were ready to intercept anything flying from the US ships towards N. Korea.
However, this Russia’s strategy won’t work if war is initiated by the South Korea, or by the US special forces dressed as South Koreans or Chinese troops.

7. Ongoing war on Yemen.

8. The US has lost the war on Syria, but they plan to transfer their surviving proxy troops into Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and India.

9. Blockade of Qatar.

10. Blaming Russia for supplying arms to Taliban, to make Russia and Afghan government cooperation impossible.

11. Blaming Russia for supplying North Korea with ICBM technologies, which has been written into plan in 2012. North Korean spies were arrested in Ukraine in 2011 for trying to obtain these technologies. The arrests and convictions were made by the Ukrainian security services when Yanukovich still was a president. After the Maidan putsch, SBU raided the RD-250 rocket engines manufacturer and seized all its technological documents.

12.”Operational Environments to 2028″ names Azerbaijan as one of the future war zones.

13. As a pretext for war, Pentagon planed in 2012 to blame Pakistan for “WMD proliferation, direct threat to the Homeland, terrorist organizations, and regional tensions with India.”

14. The plan also predicts the Cold War with China and a proxy military conflict using India’s military and the US SOF and proxies acting from Afghanistan. “It is unlikely that the U.S. will face China in armed conflict over the forecast period. However, China’s military strength and technological prowess will manifest beyond its borders in other ways that will significantly impact the U.S. Army. A mercantilist version of the Cold War is a potential outcome from China’s rise.”

15. China’s cooperation with North Korea, Sudan, Iran, Burma, Venezuela, and others contributes significantly to the proliferation of anti-access capabilities that “will threaten the ability of the U.S. Army to deploy and sustain in key regions of the world.” In human language, defense cooperation between countries “threatened” the US capability to attack and destroy those countries.

16. In 2012, the US didn’t see Germany and the EU among four most powerful, economies: the US, China, India and Japan. An indication that back in 2012, there were already plans to destroy the economies of the EU and Germany.

17. The US keeps undertaking steps “to minimize perceptions of American military “occupation”.”

18. In 2012 Pentagon also planned in relations to Russia to trigger a war between Russia and China: “Russia is also facing a general decline in military capabilities and is struggling to fund and implement a sweeping set of military reforms that would slash the size of ineffective reserve forces, stockpiles of antiquated equipment, a bloated officer corps, and military bureaucracy, while simultaneously transforming the armed forces into a professional force with modern weapons, doctrine, and enhanced readiness. Russian military doctrine is still focused on the core mission of a large Asian land war, with China.”

19. In 2012 Pentagon planned that post-2020, after Putin leaves by their estimates, NATO will be able to start an occupation of Russia. “Future deterioration in Russia’s security environment could eventually (post-2020) lead to increased dialogue and mil-mil relations with Russia, potentially leading to combined training or small-scale combined operations with Russian ground forces in the Arctic, the Caucasus, or Central Asia.” In the US terms “combined operations” is something only possible under the conditions of NATO invasion.

20. The true reason why the US funded NGO continue aiding to the migrant flow in Europe and why the US interfering with the energy security of the European countries: to create conditions for military intervention in Europe. “There are no likely scenarios requiring a U.S. limited intervention over the next decade. Later in the forecast period (2025-2030) there is a possibility that population declines and continuing financial weakness will seriously erode social and economic conditions in some European states, leading to widespread collapse in civil order, failure of national governments, or humanitarian crises due to natural disasters that weakened states are unable to contend with. “

21. IRREGULAR WARFARE in and against Russia “U.S. Army involvement in irregular warfare in the Europe/Russia region during the forecast period appears unlikely.” ” One exception that could arise late in the forecast period would involve a request by a weakened Russia for NATO assistance to stabilize key oil producing regions upon which Europe depends.” As of now, the US is conducting an irregular war against Ukraine for three years, and it will go on in perpetuity.


THE ADVANTAGE OF THE US 20 YEAR PLAN
One last thing stated in the 20-year plan is the CULTURAL PERCEPTION OF TIME. “Western cultures tend to have a view of time that is concrete and short-term, whereas Eastern cultures are more likely to focus on the long term and make decisions accordingly.”

“If one party is working from a five-year plan and its opponent is working from a twenty-year plan, the first party will find itself at a distinct disadvantage.”

“If the opponent sees time in terms of centuries, then the first has already lost. Unless the first party achieves total control through either annihilation or conquest and assimilation, its opponent will simply wait until the opportune time—be that ten, fifty, or two hundred years later—and then reassert itself.”


ACCORDING TO THIS PLAN BY 2018 WE SHOULD EXPECT:

Wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq and Libya to continue as launch pads for the wars in Iran, China, Korean Peninsula, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and Nigeria.

War on China has started using India as a proxy, and later by the US will interfere directly or via proxies in Afghanistan.

Ongoing collapse of the European economies with the US will act as a stabilizing military force against civil disobedience.

Russia’s economy will be weakened by the devastation of its trading partners in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The end of the doctrine of nation building means that the regions devastated by the US will be maintained in a state of devastation in perpetuity to promote collapse of neighboring countries.

I wonder what’s in their 100-year plan?

Scott Humor
Director of Research and Development
Author of The enemy of the State

In case you have forgotten what happened in Ukraine, this book should refresh your memory with the incredibly precise and humorous chronicles: ANTHOLOGY OF RUSSIAN HUMOR: FROM MAIDAN TO TRUMP


US SOURCE DOCUMENT
Operational Environments to 2028: The Strategic Environment for Unified Land Operations
2012 white paper that sets out empire's plans to invade &/or destroy countries up to 2028
http://www.arcic.army.mil/app_Documents/TRADOC_Paper_Operational-Environments-to-2028-Strategic-Environment-for-Unified-Land-Operations_AUG2012.pdf




Why Does the USA Want to Start a War with Russia and/or China NOW?
australianvoice
TENSIONS BETWEEN US AND RUSSIA/CHINA ARE VERY HIGH
Looking at recent events we can see that the US is adopting a very aggressive military stance in many places around the world:

In Syria they have just killed three Russian Officers.
The are holding war games in Poland near Russian border.
They are threatening N. Korea with complete destruction.

The connection between these events is not understood by many people because our media does not point out two simple facts:

If the US attacks N. Korea China will defend them.
Russia and China are military allies so if one is attacked both will respond.

Any of these separate conflicts in Syria, Europe or N. Korea could lead to the same thing: total nuclear war between the US and Russia/China.



WHY WOULD THE US WANT A WAR WITH RUSSIA/CHINA NOW?
Since 1971 the power of the US has rested on the fact that all countries must use the US dollar to buy and sell oil. This also means that most other international trade is bought and sold in US dollars. Why this is important for the US is explained below.

The threat the US faces now is that Venezuela and soon other countries will start to buy and sell oil in the Chinese gold-backed Yuan. If oil and other commodities are widely bought and sold in Yuan the value or worth of all US dollars around the world will drop to almost nothing.


THE END OF THE US DOLLAR FOR OIL - PETRODOLLAR - IS THE END OF US DOMINATION OF THE WORLD
This will mean that the US cannot afford to buy and import formerly cheap products for consumers or industry. It will also mean that the US cannot afford to pay for some 800 military bases around the world. Without military power to enforce the policies of Wall Street on the rest of the world, countries will have a freedom not experienced since 1500 when the European countries started to create colonies.


HOW THE US HAS CONTROLLED THE WORLD SINCE 1971
American power is based upon the U.S.’s ability to force oil-producing countries to accept payment for oil exclusively in dollars. This is sometimes referred to as the Petrodollar System.

America’s ability to enforce “dollar hegemony” in oil payments artificially strengthens the US dollar and allows American banks to loan as much money as they want without fear of inflationIt will also mean that the US cannot afford to pay for some 800 military bases around the world.

The US dollar is a fiat currency. This means that unlike currencies used for centuries in international trade it is not backed by gold. It is just pieces of paper that are valuable because the US can make countries use them thanks to its military supremacy. U.S. banks can create money out of nothing, with few consequences, due to the military-backed dollar hegemony system. And this is principally what has made America the richest country on earth.


THE US EMPIRE IS A SYSTEM
This system has two major “nodes”:

The financial sector
The military industrial complex


Each of these nodes are interdependent and symbiotic. The military industrial complex needs MONEY to support itself. It gets this from BANKERS. The bankers, in turn, need a STRONG MILITARY to force the oil-producing countries to sell oil in dollars, thus propping up the dollar so that the bankers can create money out of nothing without worrying too much about inflation.

What makes the U.S. imperial system successful is its flywheel structure:
Being the richest nation on earth allows the U.S. to spend more money on its military…
More military spending makes it easier to enforce “dollar hegemony” in world oil markets…
Dollar hegemony allows the U.S. banking sector to print money at will without it causing inflation…
Endless money printing sustains America’s wealth and keeps it the richest nation on earth…
…and so on, ad infinitum.

The American Empire is a system. It’s not just based on military force and it’s not just based on money. It’s based on a symbiotic relationship between the two, which mutually strengthen and guarantee each other. It is a beautifully designed system. Most people think that American foreign policy is ugly and chaotic — and it seems that way on the surface. But the secret principle that underpins American power is in fact deeply elegant. Real genius went into designing this system.


THE VULNERABILITY OF THE SYSTEM
If the US loses control of how oil is priced, they lose everything.
As it stands, the fact that oil sales are priced in dollars basically gives America a license to print money. But if major oil producers stop selling oil in dollars, the whole system breaks down — and the U.S. will no longer be able to print money without it causing hyperinflation.

This is the importance of the move by China to use the gold-backed Yuan instead of the US Dollar for trade in oil and other commodities. Note that Venezuela has already said it will sell its oil for Yuan, not US dollars. The only way the US can stop the use of the gold-backed Yuan is with MILITARY FORCE! This is why we have every reason to be VERY AFRAID!

This has been copied and modified from the following article:
http://insurgentmedia.tv/new-world-order-part-ii-war-the-petrodollar-and-u-s-imperial-grand-strategy/

Who Are Anglo Settlers in Australia? What Are Their Crimes?
australianvoice
You Anglo settlers can feel guilty about your foundational crimes after you've benefited from them.

This claim is unsatisfactory as historical analysis.
1. The term “Anglo” is useless for historical investigation. How are we to distinguish Anglo settlers from non-Anglo settlers?
2. Blame for foundational crimes is based on emotional response to the undefined “Anglos”, not rational historical investigation.
3. Descendants of indigenous Australians have experienced ongoing crimes from 1788 to the present day. “Foundational crimes” are just the beginning.
4. All settlers in and visitors to Australia benefit from foundational crimes, not just Anglo settlers.


John Macarthur
British Army Officer
Pioneer of the wool industry

WHO ARE SETTLERS IN AUSTRALIA?

In 1770 Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay and claimed possession of the east coast of the land now known as Australia for the British Empire. The conquest of this land by agents of the British Empire began in 1788 under the doctrine of 'terra nullius'. This conquest was organised and sanctioned by the separate colonial administrations created by the British at different locations. When these colonies joined together as the Australian Federation in 1901 virtually all land was under the control of new government. This government did not recognise the remaining indigenous people living on the continent as citizens of the Federation until 1967.

Since 1788 people have come to Australia from almost every part of the world including Europe, Africa, South America, North America, the Middle East, Eurasia, the Indian subcontinent, SE Asia, China, Japan and the islands of the Pacific. These people and their descendants are equally settlers, people who live and work on land conquered by the British Empire.

WHO ARE THE ANGLO SETTLERS?
Trying to determine who Anglo settlers are and what makes them different is not easy because the term 'Anglo' is vague. It could refer to people who come from England where Anglo-Saxon tribes settled. It could also refer to all people from the British Isles. However people who descend from Scottish, Irish and Welsh inhabitants usually prefer not to be confused with the English who conquered them. More generally, the term 'Anglo' could simply be taken as another term for 'white', so 'Anglo' settlers would be 'white' settlers. I do no use colour words to describe people, so I will use the word 'white' as little as possible and always put it in quotes to remind readers of this.(1)

WHAT MAKES ANGLO SETTLERS DIFFERENT?
Still, however we determine the identity of Anglo settlers, why distinguish between different groups of Australian settlers in an historical analysis of Australian society? Could it be that Anglo settlers are different because Australia was conquered by Anglo invaders of the British Empire, and the crimes they committed single them out from other settlers to Australia?

WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE PAST?
The most common way to attribute blame for crimes in the past is to use the concept of collective guilt. The NAZI government of Germany invaded Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the USSR while the Japanese Imperial government invaded China. These invasions and the following wars led to the deaths of over 25 million people in the USSR, 5 million in Poland, as well as 5 million deaths among soldiers fighting for Germany. Closer to home, 3 million Japanese and 20 million Chinese died in and Asian half of WW II.(2)

Using the concept of collective guilt we can blame the Germans and the Japanese for these death and destruction of WW II. Such thinking is emotionally understandable for the victims of these crimes, but it is irrational, a kind of moral stereotype. Why? Because the blame is ascribed to ALL Germans and Japanese without regard to the actual behaviour of individuals at the time. Many Germans and Japanese had nothing to do with the WW II, and could not have stopped it even if they tried. This generalised guilt is even more baseless when applied to the descendants of Germans and Japanese. How can the children of German and Japanese soldiers be guilty of anything because of what their fathers did?

The only rational way to assign blame for the crimes in the past is to start with the leaders who ordered or sanctioned the crimes. No army can function without its soldiers following orders. No country can function without the army following orders of the leaders of the government. Guilt falls directly on the shoulders of the political leaders and the highest commanding officers in the military of any government which orders and carries out such invasions and theft. Usually these political leaders themselves are guided by a small circle of the ruling class with a clear financial interest in the war/conquest. For example some of the powerful backers of Hitler were people like Fritz Thyssen, Gustav Krupp, Friedrich Flick and the directors of IG Farben. All but Thyssen faced trials after WW II.

WHAT ARE THE CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE CONQUEST OF AUSTRALIA?
The history of Australia since 1788 contains many crimes. The two central crimes in Australia, as in countries like the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Israel, are murder and theft. In all of these countries many of people in the indigenous population were killed and their land stolen so it could be used by the invading settlers. There is also another crime which takes place after the murders and theft. This is the cover-up of the original crimes by ignoring them or denying they ever happened. Finally, there are the crimes committed against the descendants of indigenous Australians by successive governments. The different policies they have devised and implemented have resulted in many living in 3rd world poverty and suffering very high rates of incarceration and death in custody.

WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THESE CRIMES IN AUSTRALIA?

The situation in Australia is somewhat different from WW II because many of the murders were not carried out by the military. Still the members of the government in London were directly responsible and so are the separate colonial administrations in Australia. Certainly a number of individuals in the ruling class of the Empire, particularly those in the wool trade, would have encouraged political leaders to "open" land in Australia for grazing sheep. Informal groups of settlers who killed the original inhabitants or drove them off their land would have known that they would not be punished. The people who made up these colonial governments most certainly knew and approved of these actions and so did the administrators in London. Of course none of the settlers could be charged with theft because according to colonial law (terra nullius) the land belonged to nobody, so could not legally be stolen.

Today, in 2017, virtually all of the people involved in what would now be called the ethnic cleansing of Australia are dead. However these crimes are completely ignored by State and Federal governments who continue to venerate Australia's founding fathers as great men. Politicians and government officials who continue to ignore the crimes of the past in Australia are themselves guilty of a cover-up, whether they are Anglos or not. The same is true for the families of the first settlers who pretend the land their ancestors claimed was acquired without violence and bloodshed. The politicians and administrators of the Federal government, the states and territories are responsible for the policies which have allowed descendants of the indigenous Australians to live today in conditions no settler would accept voluntarily.

WHO BENEFITS FROM AUSTRALIA'S CRIMES?

You Anglo settlers can feel guilty about your foundational crimes after you've benefited from them.

Since all the people who took part in organising and killing the indigenous population of Australia are dead, who are the people referred to as 'you' that are said to benefit from these past crimes? Australia is a very wealthy country, at least for the settlers from many parts of the world who are now citizens and others who find work or study here but do not become citizens. The passage quoted above fails to recognize that all settlers and visitors are benefiting from the results of the theft and murders of the past, not just the descendants of the first settlers who committed these crimes. Whoever Anglo settlers are, there is no rational reason for distinguishing them from non-Anglo settlers and visitors in any historical analysis of Australia. Furthermore, all the super-rich investors who derive their profits from banks and larger corporations based in Australia also benefit from the conquest of Australia.


Written on Ramindjeri land.


Footnotes:

1. Over the years people seem to have forgotten one argument used to attack segregation in the US in the 1960s. A man who owned a segregated movie theatre (“Whites” Only) was shown a line of people so arranged that at one end there was a perfect example of a “white” person and at the other end a perfect example of a “black” person. He was then challenged to show where he would draw the line between those he would admit into his theatre and those he would not. The fact that any such line would be arbitrary shows that the use of the terms 'black' and 'white' as a way of distinguishing between people is itself arbitrary, relative and superficial. The same is true for other general descriptions like 'tall', 'short', 'fat', 'thin', etc.

The use of such arbitrary and catch-all terms in political discussion is even worse, as it creates artificial differences when unity is fundamental in any attempt to fight the power of the world's super-rich with their banks, corporations and obedient politicians. Where would an anti-imperialist political movement be if it only relied on “thin” people but ignored “fat” people”? So what is different about separating “white” people from “black”, “brown”, or “coloured” people in the anti-imperialist movement in Australia?

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

Is THIS the End of the US Petrodollar and the Financial System of the West?
australianvoice
INTRODUCTION
I have written three articles on the US Petrodollar system.(1) It began in 1973 and is still the central feature of the US Empire. The system works like this: If anybody wants to buy crude oil, they MUST pay in US dollars. The Saudis were the first to agree but it soon became the only way to buy oil. The dollars paid to the Saudis and others is then deposited in US banks and form the basis of the world financial system. What does this mean? It means that the US occupies a special and very powerful place in the world. The way this works is explained in the Appendix a the end of the article: HOW DOES THE PETRODOLLAR SYSTEM MAKE THE US POWERFUL?

When I wrote this article at the end of 2015 I knew it could end, but I did not see how it could end without a war in which the US was destroyed by nuclear weapons. However I have just found an article which explains exactly how the Petrodollar system could end, and this may not be that far off. The article is written by Dr Jim Willie who writes for Max Keiser, Gold Eagle, Golden Jackass, Market Sanity, etc. The article is entitled "China Has the Leverage to Kill the Petrodollar".(2)

He describes the Petrodollar system as follows:

Its essence is the sale of crude oil universally in US Dollar terms. Typically the payment form is the US Treasury Bill. The OPEC crew typically sock their surplus petro dollars in US Treasury Bonds. The sale proceeds never exit the USD form. (...) The other little item in the Petro-Dollar defacto standard treaty is that the Saudis, along with the Gulf Arab neighbors, would buy US Military hardware exclusively. (...) The global currency reserve consists of the trade payments done in USD terms, together with the banking systems holding US Treasury Bonds as core assets.



HOW CAN CHINA BREAK THE SELL-OIL-FOR-US-DOLLARS SYSTEM?
The problem is that now the Saudi oil fields are almost empty. This is the reason for the Saudi war on Yemen. The Saudis want to steal their oil & gas reserves which are enormous and plentiful. They also want more cash. Since they cannot rely on oil income they have decided to sell stock in 10% of their giant oil company ARAMCO, formerly known as the Arabian-American Oil Company. Until now it has never operated as most companies in the West with publicly available shares and known shareholders. The Saudis value this asset at US$2 trillion but Western energy analysts value it at $500 billion. While the West may not want to buy what they consider an overvalued asset China might. Why?

China might over-pay for a stake in the ARAMCO company for two reasons. First, they want a toe-hold in the kingdom, in order to win other trade deals with a degree of exclusivity. They would become a favorite foreign son in the process, especially if other Western financial houses refuse to invest in the bloated over-valued petro-chemical firm. Second, the Chinese would then be in a position to demand that oil sales to China be paid in Yuan currency, in RMB terms. The ARAMCO investment, large or small, would serve as leverage to fracture the Petro-Dollar at its home base, within Saudi Arabia.


WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THE CHINESE CAN BUY OIL IN THEIR OWN CURRENCY, NOT THE US DOLLAR?
This will in turn have a very significant effect on other countries in the Middle East and the Far East:

Once the Chinese win the privilege to buy Saudi oil in RMB terms, the other Gulf Arab oil producers will match the offer of selling oil to the Chinese in their own currency, and NOT in the US Dollar. (...) The rival Gulf Arabs will not wish to lose market share to the Saudis. They will also permit the Chinese to pay in yuan. On the other side, Southeast Asian oil customers will wish to buy crude oil from the Gulf region generally in currency other than the US Dollar. They are fast dumping their US Treasury Bonds, a trend that has endured for almost two years. The Gulf Arabs will grant the Asians the right to pay for crude oil in whatever currency they wish, being very accommodative. The result will be deeply damaging. The Gulf Region will sell crude oil in non-USD terms on a widespread basis and significant scale.

The author writes that this development "is not covered well in the financial press, not even in the alternative media." You will have to look carefully to follow the negotiations between China and the Saudis. If this analysis is correct, we will have little warning before the core assets of the West, US Treasury Bonds, will drop in value to almost nothing and the US Empire will be unable to exert financial power over anyone. So will they use their military power instead? We hope not!



APPENDIX: HOW DOES THE PETRODOLLAR SYSTEM MAKE THE US POWERFUL?
There are at least three ways that the Petrodollar system works for the US to give it power over all other countries. The Petrodollar system puts all the profits from the sale of crude oil in the vaults of the major US banks. With much more money to invest or loan, the US banks have a clear advantage over the investors in other countries. Further, any country which does not have enough export income to buy oil must borrow US dollars from the IMF or the major US banks. Because most countries must import oil to function, the lenders can set any conditions on these loans they wish. These countries have no choice other than accepting any conditions. This certainly helps to create the well known poverty and underdevelopment in the 3rd world. These countries are simply bled dry by the investment vultures who run these institutions.

But the Petrodollar system also gives US government a significant advantage. All other countries need to focus on their balance of payments to make sure they have enough international currency to cover the cost of imported goods. However the US can simply print more money to pay for what it wants. Why is this? Countries want to have US dollars because they need US dollars to trade with other countries. As explained above, this is the role of a reserve currency. Without a reserve currency of one kind or another, world trade, and trade in oil and gas, would simply grind to a halt. Since there is no alternative to the US dollar, and everyone must have dollars to export or import goods, there is no practical limit on the amount of US dollars they create. This may seem insane, but this is how the world economy has worked since the 1970s.

So why is the US dollar still the reserve currency for world trade? Tyler Durden explains the even though the Federal Reserve Bank in the US has inflated the value of the US dollar so it loses value against other commodities, there has been no real alternative:

“The German Deutsche mark held its value better, but the German economy and its trade was a fraction that of the US, meaning that holders of marks would find less to buy in Germany than holders of dollars would find in the US. So demand for the mark was lower than demand for the dollar. Of course, psychological factors entered the demand for dollars, too, since the US was the military protector of all the Western nations against the communist countries.”(3)

Durden is quite aware of the power the US has from the dollar being the reserve currency and the way it is being used: “We need to look at the concept of a reserve currency differently, because it is important. We need to look at it as a privilege and a responsibility and not as a weapon we can use against the rest of the world.”(4)

When the US abandoned the gold standard for the US dollar and forced OPEC to sell all oil for US dollars, they forced all countries needing oil to acquire dollars, either by trade or by loans from US banks or the IMF. The aim the Petrodollar system is to force the world to accept the US dollar as the reserve currency, thus allowing the US to occupy the uniquely powerful position this creates. All countries must balance exports and imports except the US. Furthermore, the profit from the sale of oil by OPEC ends up in US banks. We will see in the next sections how the vastly increased power of these giant banks have totally transformed both economic and political life around the world.


Footnotes:

1. How Does the US Empire Control the World? Petrodollars Rule, Ok! (Part 1)
http://australianvoice.livejournal.com/12523.html
How Does the US Empire Control the World? Petrodollars Rule, Ok! (Part 2)
http://australianvoice.livejournal.com/13483.html
How Does the US Empire Control the World? Petrodollars Rule, Ok! (Part 3)
http://australianvoice.livejournal.com/13786.html

2. http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/china-has-leverage-kill-petrodollar/ri20552

3. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-07/threat-dollar-world%E2%80%99s-primary-reserve-currency

4. Ibid.

Part 2 - What You Don't Know About the EU Migrant Crisis – It Was Planned
australianvoice
It is natural to assume migrants and refugees are coming to the EU because of the NATO wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc. This is certainly correct, but there are interesting reports that will show there is much more to this current mass migration.

MONEY FOR NOTHING?
To summarize the earlier article, Part 1 - Things You Don't Know About EU Migrant Crisis – It's Not About Refugees.(1) Most of the migrants are not refugees, many migrants and refugees are given an allowance after they are registered in the EU, and there are millions of them. The money offered seems modest to us, however as one author explained: “Compared to the places and situations where the refugees are escaping from, this temptation of free money is practically impossible to ignore.”(2)

The level of payments reported for Italy in Part 1 seem high compared other countries. Refugees in Germany receive up to 345 euro per month from the government, while in Sweden the maximum monthly allowance is 224 euro.(3) Nevertheless the cost of this massive wave of migrants is high. In 2016 the German media suggested the total amount the government will have to pay to support migrants is about US$46 billion per year.(4) In January 2017 a paper in the UK estimated the German migrant policy could cost them US$51 billion by the end of 2017.(5) This amounts to about A$65 billion, so is hardly small change.

It is well known that the EU governments are demanding Neo-Liberal austerity cuts to public services that are much the same as what we have suffered in Australia. Why would otherwise penny-pinching governments give so much money to people who are not expected to do anything in return for their payments? If anyone does not smell a rat here, they do not understand the mindset of today's Neo-Liberal politicians.


One of the thousands of tweets with "#Refugees" hashtag sent in August & September 2015.

WHY END REFUGEE SUPPORT IN TURKEY?
Refugees in Turkey and many other countries are not allowed to work, so they rely on relief donations just to have food to eat. Consider this:

“An article published in the Suddeutsche Zeitung on October 14th 2014, states that Syrian refugees in Turkey are going hungry due to lack of funds for their upkeep. It states that 280 million euros more are required to feed the refugees.”(6)

This is about US$321 million. When you consider the actual cost of migrants to Germany today – which surely could have been estimated by German bureaucrats in 2014 - you must ask the question: If the Germans or the EU bureaucracy did not want millions of migrants flooding into the EU, why didn't they just pay the very modest cost of feeding them in Turkey? The cost of US$321 million for food is about 0.5% of the current cost of housing migrants in Germany this year. How could the bean-counters overlook this way of saving themselves billions of euros?


DID THE EU ALWAYS WELCOME MIGRANTS?
Before 2014 the EU did not encourage migrants coming through Greece or Italy. They wanted to block the overland route for undocumented people seeking entry to the EU from through Greece from Turkey. As a result the EU agency for border security helped the Greek government put up a 6.5-mile steel fence at the Evros River. They also provided Greek border police with search dogs, night-vision goggles, and helicopters. These actions produced the desired effect. 6,000 migrants were detained by Greek authorities in July 2012 but only 45 six months later.(7)

In response to the closing of the land route, migrants began making the voyage from Turkey to Greece by sea. This forced the Hellenic Coast Guard to use “pushback” tactics, repulsing boats away from the Greek coast into Turkish waters. However this practice violates international law and Amnesty International with other NGOs raised the issue in the media.

At this point we need to highlight the work of George Soros. He is a politically active billionaire. One of his causes is “open borders” and mass migration. He funded many of the NGOs active in criticizing Greece for its “pushback” tactics. However he also had a political friend in Greek politics, Alexis Tsipras, leader of the political party Syriza. In the next round of elections, Syriza won big, first in European parliament elections in May 2014, and then in Greek parliamentary elections called in January 2015. In this election Syriza was three votes short of a parliamentary majority. This allowed Tsipras, allied with a small center-right party, Independent Greeks (ANEL), to govern. (Ibid) The central issue in these elections was not migrants but the EU “bailout”. Syriza opposed this legalized robbery. (In the end they agreed to the “bailout” in spite of the fact they won the election by opposing it.) As soon as he was in office, Tsipras' government moved to completely change the Greek migrant policy.

In its first month, Syriza’s deputy immigration minister announced the government would turn refugee detention facilities into welcome centers. They also discontinud Operation Xenios Zeus, an aggressive policy of identifying and deporting illegal migrants. On April 14, the government declared all Syrian refugees would receive documents for onward travel to Europe.(8) Greece not only welcomed migrants, they gave them valid travel documents for the rest of the EU. Between April and August 2015 arrivals increased 721%, from 13,133 to 107,843. More refugees arrived in July than in all of 2014.


HOW DO MIGRANTS PAY FOR THEIR PASSAGE TO GREECE OR ITALY?
Austrian intelligence officials have reportedly revealed that US government agencies are paying for the transport of migrants to Europe. On August 5th, 2015 Austrian magazine Infodirekt reported:

“It has come to our knowledge that US organisations are paying for the boats taking thousands of refugees to Europe. US organisations have created a co-financing scheme which provides for a considerable portion of the transportation costs. Not every refugee from North Africa has 11,000 Euro cash. Nobody is asking, where is the money coming from?”(9)

We have seen that Soros and his political friends like Tsipras worked to encourage increase migration to the EU. We have also seen that Germany wants to encourage migrants to “replace its aging workforce” and/or drive down wages. Here we see that the US is also quietly involved as well. Why would they spend money assisting migrants to enter the EU?


WHO GAVE THOUSANDS OF SMARTPHONES TO MIGRANTS?
Thousands of smartphones were provided to US-funded ‘activists’ during the ‘Arab Spring’. It is unsurprising, therefore, to see that smartphones are being supplied to thousands of migrants by NGOs once they arrive in Europe. Investigations in Germany showed that migrants were being supplied with smartphones by Austria’s A-1 mobile phone company. The A-1 mobile company is controlled by Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim. (10)


WI-FI NETWORKS INSTALLED ON MIGRATION ROUTE IN EU
Former U.S. State Department official J. Michael Springmann has just published a book entitled Goodbye Europe? Hello, Chaos?: Merkel’s Migrant Bomb. He believes that the refugees and migrants were deliberately created by the US to be used as political weapons to advance their interests. The resulting chaos is cold-blooded strategy. Springmann offers evidence that the US has assisted the process by explaining that the have sett up a Wi-Fi network for smartphones in the EU:

“CISCO’s Tactical Operations (TacOps) team supported by the volunteer Disaster Response Team (DRT) from the U.K. and Ireland, Google, and NetHope have installed Meraki-based Wi-Fi networks and device charging stations at more than 17 sites along the migration route in Southern and Central Europe."(11)

Cisco is American multinational IT company which specializes in networking. Cisco says of its Meraki access points that they “are built from the highest grade components and carefully optimized for a seamless user experience. The outcome: faster connections, greater user capacity, more coverage, and fewer support calls.” In other words, this is a state of the art system which provides “deep network insight enabling smarter network management.”(12) NetHope, a shadowy organization headquartered in CIA-friendly Fairfax County, Virginia, is tied to the US government. Springmann believes one reason the US has to support mass migration is to destabilize Europe as an economic challenger to the US.


WHO SENT TWEETS TO MIGRANTS/REFUGEES ON TWITTER?
Content-analysis of a great number of tweets that triggered the ongoing wave of migration from Turkey to Germany since August 2015 suggests that these human streams were inspired and channelled from outside of continental Europe. The following analysis is taken from the article “Who Is Twitter-Luring Refugees To Germany?”(13)

According to Vladimir Shalak from the Russian Academy of Science who developed the Internet  Content-Analysis System for Twitter (Scai4Twi), his study of over 19000 refugees-related original tweets (retweets discounted) demonstrates that the vast majority of them mention Germany and Austria as the most refugee-welcoming countries in Europe:


Counties mentioned in tweets containing "#Refugees hashtag", by percent

Importantly, 93% of all tweets dedicated to Germany contained positive references to German hospitality and its refugee policy:

• Germany Yes! Leftists spray a graffiti on a train sayin “Welcome, refugees” in Arabic
• Lovely people – video of Germans welcoming Syrian refugees to their community
• Respect! Football fans saying “Welcome Refugees” across stadiums in Germany.
• This Arabic Graffiti train is running in Dresden welcoming refugees: (ahlan wa sahlan – a warm welcome).
• ‘We love Germany!,’ cry relieved refugees at Munich railway station
• Thousands welcome refugees to Germany – Sky News Australia
• Wherever this German town is that welcomed a coach of Syrian refugees with welcome signs and flowers -thank you.

Analysis of 5704 original tweets containing "#RefugeesWelcome” hashtag and a country name lead to even larger gap between Germany and the rest of Europe:



The next step is to study the source twitter accounts where the hashtag #RefugeesWelcome + Germany originate. Next diagram shows the countries of origin of the relevant twitter accounts (where they could be idenfitied):



As you see, only 6,4% of all tweets with “#RefugeesWelcome”+Germany came from Germany itself. Almost half of them were originated from UK, USA and Australia! Looks like your remote planetmates are blushlessly inviting guests to visit your home without inquiring your opinion beforehand!


SOROS AND HIS NGOS PROMOTE MASS MIGRATION
Perhaps nothing explains Soros' views on mass migration better than his own comment on the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s policy to not take migrants in Hungary: “His (Orbán's) plan treats the protection of national borders as the objective and the refugees as an obstacle. Our plan treats the protection of refugees as the objective and national borders as the obstacle.”(14)

The refugee crisis has been blamed on the NATO proxy war in Syria. But who asks how people in the Middle East suddenly knew Europe would open its gates and let them in? The refugee crisis is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. It has been promoted by Soros funded NGOs such as the Open Society Foundation (OSF), the US-based Migration Policy Institute and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants. All advocate the resettlement of Muslims into Europe. This is just one operation among many:

“An example of what these NGOs do was discovered in 2015 by a Sky News reporter who found “Migrant Handbooks” on the Greek island of Lesbos. The handbooks, written in Arabic, had been given to refugees before crossing the Mediterranean by a group called “Welcome to the EU” which is funded the Open Society Foundations.(14)

Soros has not only backed groups that advocate the resettlement of migrants into Europe. The “Merkel Plan” was created by the European Stability Initiative, and the chairman Gerald Knaus is a senior fellow at the Open Society Foundations.(15)

Soros has created an international network of individuals and organizations quietly working together to give the appearance of a “spontaneous” result of the NATO wars in the Middle East. But would this flood of migrants have happened if money was provided to feed and house them in Turkey and other countries? If countries in the EU did not offer allowances to the migrants who are not refugees? If Greece has not suddenly offered migrants valid travel documents? If migrants were not provided with free smartphones and state-of-the-art networking hardware? If NGOs had not handed out guide books in Arabic? If people in the US, UK and Australia had not sent tweets inviting migrants to the EU? The next question is this: What is the purpose of mass migration to the EU and who is behind it?


DOES SOROS HAVE THE HIGH MORAL GROUND ON REFUGEES?
Many people agree with Soros' advocacy of suppoAre they afraid to speak out against the genocidal wars launched by the US and NATO? rting migrants and refugees. Those who oppose his plans are called “racists”. Consider this: Pro-migrant activists made much of the Greek “pushback” as being against international law, which it is. How many of these pro-migrant activists, including Soros himself, protested against the recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya? These also contravene international law, specifically Article 2 of the United Nations Charter signed in June 1945.

It is strange to some of us that the pro-migrant activists are only interested in the welfare of the people they call migrants and refugees after they leave their war-torn countries. Why don't they care about them when they were being bombed as citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya? What is the “moral” difference between a citizen of Syria and a migrant from Syria? Why ignore a person's fate in their home country and then be outraged by their treatment when they leave? Isn't this hypocricy? If international law had been upheld and these countries not illegally attacked, would there be millions of “refugees” trying to get to the EU?


Footnotes:

1. http://australianvoice.livejournal.com/33239.html

2. http://www.globalresearch.ca/are-the-us-elites-attempting-to-destroy-europe-by-triggering-a-flood-of-immigrants-and-refugees/5502526

3. http://www.globalresearch.ca/are-the-us-elites-attempting-to-destroy-europe-by-triggering-a-flood-of-immigrants-and-refugees/5502526

4. http://www.globalresearch.ca/imperialisms-migration-agenda-who-is-funding-the-refugees-transport-into-europe/5504056

5. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/761162/Angela-Merkel-Germany-Migrant-Crisis-costs-refugees

6. http://www.globalresearch.ca/imperialisms-migration-agenda-who-is-funding-the-refugees-transport-into-europe/5504056

7. https://spectator.org/greece-george-soros-trojan-horse-against-europe/

8. Ibid.

9. http://www.globalresearch.ca/imperialisms-migration-agenda-who-is-funding-the-refugees-transport-into-europe/5504056

10. Ibid.

11. http://www.globalresearch.ca/refugee-crisis-manufactured-migrants-are-tools-in-u-s-empires-grand-chessboard/5596706

12. https://meraki.cisco.com/products/wireless

13. http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-twitter-luring-refugees-to-germany/5477477

14. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-08/how-george-soros-singlehandedly-created-european-refugee-crisis-and-why

15. Ibid

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