Tags: imperialism

Russia Plays A Central Role In The New World Economic Order, Working With The WEF And Western Banks

This is based primarily on a series of tweets by ☭NovaShpakova☭@NovaShpakova. This is what she says about herself:

For 22 yrs I've researched the networks that comprise the policy-making arm that protects the interests of the global capitalist class. And despite the absurd blame-game heard from BOTH sides of the propaganda machine, I know for a FACT all the leaders are fucking in the backroom.

She has collected a series of documents to show just how closely Russia, the supposed great "thread" to the West, works with the WEF in order to transform the world economy into a "multi-polar" world, and they can all be seen below. You can see in the first article that Atlantic Council & Russia are making policy TOGETHER for the WEF. Note the Global Platform for Geo-strategic Partners  contains Atlantic Council, Chatham House/UK, CIIS/China, RAND/US, and Valdai Club/Russia. So there is ongoing geostrategic cooperation between the USA, UK, Russia and China which somehow is never discussed in the media. 

Collapse )

The Nazi Invasion of the USSR was NOT Like their Invasion of Western Europe

This is a guest post by Denis Churilov who was born in St Petersberg but now lives in Australia.

I think it’s necessary to say a few things about the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union and explain why most Russians take such topics very seriously, even nowadays. 

Just want to begin by telling a few documented stories to illustrate how Nazis treated the Soviet people on occupied territories. 

Mikhail Lukinov, who was taking a part in counter-attack under Moscow in December 1941, for instance, describes in his memoirs the aftermath of German occupation he witnessed in liberated villages, and all the stories the locals told him back then. In particular, there was a story about Nazis who stayed in a hut with a local family who had an infant child. At nighttime, the child was crying, the mother couldn't calm him down. One of the Nazi soldiers got so irritated that he got up and killed the baby by piercing his body with a bayonet. Then the soldiers pushed the crying mother, who was barely dressed, outside into the freezing cold, shut the door and went back to sleep.

Lots of similar documented stories like that of Nazis killing small children, by shooting them, bashing their head against the wall, throwing them out at night time into subzero temperatures, etc, simply for being too loud and/or interfering with their rest. Many of those accounts were later officially presented at the Nuremberg Trials. 

Collapse )

How the Super-Rich - the Oligarchical Rich - Have Used Covid19 To Gain Control of the World

Here we find a massive story which reveals the course that the UK is taking to total servitude, a destroyed economy and its assets sold off. The following is quoted from EuropeReloaded which is worth quoting at length.(1)

“Huge foreign loans are given to sovereign nations by the World Bank, IMF and the likes. But the conditions that come attached to these loans are seldom told by governments to their citizens. A recent case in Belarus has exposed the conditions laid by these agencies for loans being provided for COVID-19. The President of Belarus has exposed that the World Bank coronavirus aid comes with conditions for imposing extreme lockdown measures, to model their coronavirus response on that of Italy, and even changes in the economic policies, which he refused as being “unacceptable”. Additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for Belarus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when speaking about external lending during a meeting to discuss support measures for the real economic sector on the part of the banking system, reported Belarusian Telegraph Agency, BelTA. Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the participants of the meeting how things were with the provision of foreign credit assistance to Belarus. “What are our partners’ requirements? It was announced that they can provide Belarus with $940 million in so-called rapid financing. The head of state stressed that additional conditions which do not apply to the financial part are unacceptable for the country. “We hear the demands, for example, to model our coronavirus response on that of Italy. I do not want to see the Italian situation to be repeated in Belarus. We have our own country and our own situation,” the president said. According to the president, the World Bank has shown interest in Belarus’ coronavirus response practices.“It is ready to fund us ten times more than it offered initially as a token of commendation for our efficient fight against this virus. The World Bank has even asked the Healthcare Ministry to share the experience. Meanwhile, the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone’s tune,” said the president.



The President of Belarus is not the first one to have exposed the pressure exerted by global agencies amidst the coronavirus crisis to further their agenda. Earlier, in a shocking development the President of Madagascar made a sensational claim that the WHO offered him $20m bribe to poison a COVID-19 cure called COVID-19 Organics made from Artemisia. The Tanzanian President kicked out WHO from the country after Goat and Papaya samples came COVID-19 positive. Days after the Tanzanian move, Burundi also kicked out WHO Coronavirus Team from the country for interference in internal matters. It was also revealed in an intercepted human intelligence report that Bill Gates offered $10 million bribe for a forced Coronavirus vaccination program in Nigeria. After which, an Italian politician demanded the arrest of Bill Gates in the Italian parliament. She also exposed Bill Gates’ agenda in India and Africa, along with the plans to chip the human race through the digital identification program ID2020.”(2)

This explanation of the World Bank role in Covid lockdown measures explains the direction of government policy in impoverishing our nation and loading it up with debt. Jaws dropped when Boris Johnson announced that he was going to spend £100 Billion on the new moonshot daily Covid tests – 2/3rds of the NHS budget. – this on top of help schemes for businesses brought to their knees by Covid lockdown and other stuff. This begs the question where is this money coming from? I could not make sense of this as he could never raise all of that on the bond markets and even the Bank of England will baulk at the level of QE it would require. Raising taxes on a shrinking economy is out of the question. With Lukashenko’s statement, the penny dropped. The government is going to put us in hock to the World Bank and the IMF. This will be justified by the fake Covid virus which they could not control. Only the World Bank and the IMF could provide the kind of sums that will be necessary and from Lukashenko we can see they are ready and willing. They are doing it all over the world. It was already easy to see the UK plan as far as the compulsory vaccine’s but this restructuring the country’s finance was hidden behind code words like “reset” or “repurpose”. We will be in massive debt that can never be repaid or even reasonably accounted for together with declining industry, jobs, services, etc. Remind you of any other country? Greece was dealt with in the same way by the EU together with the troika and the IMF, the ECB and City of London The next step is to profit from the declining value of all assets, industries, property, etc and move in for the kill buying it all up for a song. The UK then like Greece will be owned by the global institutions and those who have invested in them – the oligarchical rich. There is your “reset”. As with Greece the process will be irreversible and the British people will be condemned to permanent penury.

The politicians and their hangers who have forced this on us on will be taking a major, major cut in the carve up of Britain’s wealth and promoted to positions of power in the New World Order – for that is what this is. Covid was simply a means of crippling and impoverishing the country but it will still serve the purpose of continuing vaccines to control and destroy peoples’ lives under the NWO of Greece-like despair and hopelessness visited on our shores. But of course all countries that have entered into the Covid scam are on course for the same financial catastrophe with the global institutions that form the nexus of world government ruling them. With all countries under the yoke and financially broke the iron weight of the NWO will be impossible to lift. The small countries like Belarus, Tanzania and Madagascar that have not accepted the offer they could not refuse will be destroyed. The prize is so great that the clear fiction of the danger of the virus, if it exists, is of no concern to the NWO glove puppets who hold the levers of power to politically control us. This is going to get really ugly and I cannot see it proceeding without a major war over something. I have written before that the big players in the NWO (by which I mean countries) will inevitably fall out over dividing the spoils. War fever will be whipped up on false pretexts and a new world war could happen. The only way to stop this train of events is for every person to pick up their pitchfork and storm the centres of power and finance – now while we still have the chance. I don't see that happening I think my retirement from politics will be longer and deeper than I thought.

Footnotes:

1. This is a guest post by Peter Kellow edited slightly by AV. https://www.facebook.com/peterkellow

2. This has been quoted by Peter Kellow from https://www.europereloaded.com/world-bank-imf-exposed-covid-aid-conditional-on-imposing-extreme-lockdowns-curfews/?fbclid=IwAR3EN5Hify_DYtHEooSoW5HR2k_Dtk958YlnPbDwVQyXt4XWXVwXIgSCam4

China's“Socialist” Investment in Australia is No Different from that of Other Capitalist Wolves

IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK AND QUACKS LIKE A DUCK...
In Australia we have a quaint saying: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Most of this article consists of an imperfect and incomplete description of Chinese investment in Australia. I defy anyone to explain how Chinese “socialist” investment is any different from investment by the US, UK or Japan.

At the moment China is the fifth largest investor in Australia. It has also recently become the second largest foreign owner of Australian land. It has only 2 million hectares less than the UK. Much of the investment is not by China's State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). These are gradually being turned into privately owned companies as required by the Communist Party of China. While most investors are private individuals or privately owned companies, the investments are guided by government policies, such as the One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR). Investments clearly tied to the OBOR policy are the acquisition of the Ports of Newcastle, Melbourne and Darwin. Newcastle is the largest coal port in the world, Melbourne is Australia's largest port, and Darwin is important for animal exports. Other areas of Chinese investment include mining, real estate, infrastructure, and electricity.

It is important to realise that Chinese investors often invest jointly with foreign investors or Australians. In other words, they invest in Australia in the same way as any other foreign capitalist investors. They put money into Australia in order to take money out or use their profits to expand into other areas. Chinese investment is not a socialist swan but a capitalist duck. The discussion of Australia's wine exports to China shows that like most other countries, China's trading relations are connected to broader political concerns.

Investment in Australia:(1)

The following chart shows the pattern of foreign investment in Australia between 2015 and 2017, recorded in A$billion.



For some reason the information from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade separates the investment from Honk Kong and the People's Republic of China even though they have been united for years. Adding the two together, the total Chinese investment in Australia is A$181.6 billion, which makes it the fifth largest investor in this country. Between 2012 and 2017 the most rapid increases in investment are 21.6% for China and 17% for Hong Kong. Even though the increase for China is the highest over this three year period, investment fell considerably from 2016 to 2017. According to a recent report by KPMG:

Chinese government regulations which were implemented to address concerns about speculative, irrational global investments and massive capital outflows have impacted the Australia result, as have recent changes to Australia’s foreign investment regulations for strategic infrastructure assets.

Australia remains globally competitive for attracting Chinese investment, retaining its position as the second largest recipient of accumulated Chinese investment – only behind the United States – with just under USD 100 billion since 2008.

Chinese investors continue to be drawn to projects in Australia that relate to growing Chinese consumer demand and Chinese government priority initiatives – health and wellbeing, tourism and lifestyle, real estate, technology, services and a continuing demand for mining commodity resources.

The breakdown of Chinese investment in 2017 and 2016 was:

Mining - 35% (4% in 2016)
Real Estate – 33% (36% in 2016
Healthcare – 12% (9% in 2016)
Food/Agribusiness – 8% (Same in 2016)
Infrastructure – 4%. (28% in 2016 )

Private investors accounted for 83 percent of the Chinese deal volume and 60 percent of deal value in 2017, up from 78 percent in number and 49 percent in volume in 2016. Chinese SOE investment dropped in both the number and value of investments for the first time since 2014.

The breakdown of Chinese investment varies from year to year depending the projects they are interested in. It will be more useful to look at the important areas individually.

Mining:
The mining sector saw 12 deals announced in 2017 totalling AUD 4.6 billion, a rise of 448 percent from 2016. This large increase was mostly driven by the AUD 3.4 billion acquisition of Rio Tinto’s thermal coal assets by Yancoal.

Commercial Real Estate:
This remained an important sector for Chinese investment in 2017, accounting for AUD 4.4 billion of investment, with Australia attracting 11.5 percent of China’s total global overseas real estate investment.

Agricultural land:

Chinese investment in land is very important. In 2017 UK owned the largest amount of land with 16.4 million hectares, followed by China with 14.4 million hectares. By contrast US ownership has fallen to 2.6 million hectares. The rise was largely due to the Australian Outback Beef joint venture between mining magnate Gina Rinehart and Chinese partner Shanghai Cred buying the 10 million hectare S Kidman & Co cattle empire.(2)

Ports:
Ports are a vital component of Australian trade infrastructure, underpinning 20 percent of Australian GDP.
In 2014 the world's biggest coal port, the Port of Newcastle, was sold in a deal worth A$1.75 billion. A consortium made up of Hastings Funds Management and China Merchants made the successful bid for the New South Wales Government asset.(3)
A consortium of global and domestic funds, backed by investors including China Investment Corp, agreed to buy Melbourne, Australia’s busiest port, for A$9.7 billion.(4)
In 2015 the Chinese Landbridge corporation bought a 99 year lease for the Port of Darwin for A$506 million.(5) The Chairman of Landbridge Ye Cheng sees this as part of China's One Belt , One Road initiative.(6) He also bought the Brisbane-based gas producer WestSide Corporation in 2014.(7) Landbridge also paid US$900 million for a port in Panama which fits in the One Belt, One Road plan.(8)

Infrastructure:
Chinese investment in large Australian infrastructure assets continued in 2016 at a record level. Chinese companies with technical expertise and financing capabilities are keen to work with Australian and international partners in infrastructure provision. China’s comprehensive and global "Belt and Road" Initiative ties into their investment activities in Australia. Chinese investment in infrastructure comprised two very large deals with minority shares taken by Chinese investor CIC Capital in Asciano Limited and the Port of Melbourne.

Electricity:
EnergyAustralia is owned by Hong Kong-based China Light and Power.
Cheung Kong Infrastructure/Power Assets owns a 51-per-cent share, on a 200-year lease, in SA Power Networks Electricity Distribution network.
Chinese Government-owned State Grid Corporate has holdings in the following jurisdictions:
In the ACT the government owns 50% of ActewAGL Distribution Ltd. and State Grid Corporate holds a 30 per cent share.
In Victoria State Grid Corporate holds shares in three of the five electricity distributors in that state.
In South Australia, State Grid Corporation has a 46.5 per cent share of ElectraNet, the transmitter in SA.(9)

Australian Wine Exports:
While the focus of this article is on Chinese investment in Australia, this year an interesting conflict has appeared in one area of Australian exports to China, namely wine. In the last few years wine exports to China have rapidly increased to $A1 billion annually. However earlier this year Prime Minister Turnbull complained about Chinese political interference in Australia and took steps to develop tougher laws aimed at cracking down on foreign interference in Australian politics. After this announcement it seems Australian wine now take two months to clear customs in China while wine from other countries only took two weeks. Major exporters such as Treasury Wine Estates and McWilliams Wines as well as Wolf Blass, Penfolds and Rosemont have reported such delays. Global Times, among a few Chinese newspapers, is calling for China to slash Australian imports to teach Australia a lesson.(10)


This article is one part of four articles on Chinese "Socialism"


China's Transition from Socialism to State Controlled Capitalism
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39112.html

China's State Controlled Capitalism is Not Very Different From Capitalism in the West
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39306.html

The Damage Caused by China's “Socialism” to Workers Around the World
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39545.html



Footnotes:

1. Much of the information on Chinese investment in Australia comes from the three sources given below. Where there is another source of information it is given in the other footnotes.
https://dfat.gov.au/trade/resources/investment-statistics/Pages/statistics-on-who-invests-in-australia.aspx;
https://home.kpmg.com/au/en/home/media/press-releases/2018/06/chinese-investment-in-australia-remains-strong-despite-global-outflow-slowdown-12-june-2018.html; and
https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/au/pdf/2017/demystifying-chinese-investment-in-australia-may-2017.pdf

2. https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/agribusiness/decisionag/china-to-become-biggest-foreign-owner-of-australian-farmland/news-story/ba27742491380f55568bc3d5ada296cb

3. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-30/nsw-government-sells-port-of-newcastle-for-1.75-billion/5421800

4. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-privatisation-ports/australian-port-sold-for-7-3-billion-to-consortium-china-fund-among-backers-idUSKCN11P04O

5. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/18/how-the-sale-of-darwin-port-to-the-chinese-sparked-a-geopolitical-brawl

6. https://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/how-landbridges-purchase-of-the-darwin-port-killed-perceived-wisdom-on-china-20170706-gx66r8

7. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/dec/18/how-the-sale-of-darwin-port-to-the-chinese-sparked-a-geopolitical-brawl

8. https://www.ft.com/content/b4d35440-5a68-11e7-9bc8-8055f264aa8b

9. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-21/chinese-investment-in-the-australian-power-grid/7766086

10. https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/06/pernod-ricard-facing-wine-delays-in-china/; https://www.acbr.com.au/treasury-wine-facing-china-customs-delay-amid-diplomatic-rift; and https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/pressure-on-turnbull-as-china-puts-a-cork-in-wine-exports-20180605-p4zjns.html

The Damage Caused by China's “Socialism” to Workers Around the World


Apart from the control exercised by the USSR over Eastern Europe, socialism in the USSR had little direct influence on the jobs of workers around the world.(1) The case of socialist China from Liberation to the death of Mao is the same. Workers gained a powerful demonstration that it was possible to create a society without capitalist exploitation, but the existence of these societies had no impact on the economies of their own countries.

By contrast the rise of the “market socialism” in China during the last 40 years has produced massive changes throughout the world. An ever increasing flow of basic consumer items, electronic equipment, cars, steel, etc. has helped to destroy jobs in all countries in the West and many more in the “developing world”. Marty Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett's book China and Socialism looked at this question more than 15 years ago.

"They regard the hypergrowth of the Chinese economy as something that cannot be viewed in isolation from the development requirements of neighboring states. As should be obvious to anybody who lives under capitalism, there can only be winners and losers. If China is "winning" today - even on a highly distorted basis - other nations have to lose. With a race to the bottom, foreign investment will always be persuaded to leave some place like Mexico and flow to China. So, looking at capitalism as a world system, China's gain can only be understood in terms of some other country's loss.


"In Malaysia, for example, 16,000 jobs have disappeared from the country's high tech production hub as new investment flows to China. A J.P Morgan report states that China's growth in high technology has 'eroded' Singapore's status as an electronics exporter. South Korea has found it profitable to relocate in China as well where militant unionized workers are not a problem. Samsung, Daewoo and LG Electronics now make half their goods outside of Korea, many in China.


"Although Japan is often seen as a strategic partner for China, the benefits of such an alliance will be lost no doubt on Japanese workers who will increasingly see their jobs disappear to China. Under newly instituted WTO rules, it will be much easier for Toyota and company to relocate where they can save 10 to 20 percent on manufacturing costs. The World Bank predicts a major contraction of automobile production in Japan, just around the time when a 10 year old slump appears to be ending."(2)


David Harvey also notes that “Mexico lost 200,000 jobs in just two years as China (in spite of NAFTA) overtook it as the major supplier of the US market in consumer goods.” He reports the same trends noted above:

“During the 1990s China began to move up the value-added ladder of production and to compete with South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore in spheres such as electronics and machine tools. This occurred in part as corporations in those countries decided to move their production offshore to take advantage of the large pool of low-cost and highly skilled labourers being churned out by the Chinese university system.”
(3)

Call it what you want, socialism or capitalism, the last 40 years of China's history can be seen as a “success” only by using the values of neo-liberal and globalist economics. We saw in a previous article that the level of inequality in China rose rapidly from 1994 to 2010, and has only been changed by abandoning some of the neo-liberal dogmas used to create a giant pool of workers forced to work for very low wages.(4) The neo-liberal/globalist paradigm for the whole world is one giant interconnected system in which the task of each country is to find and/or develop exports which are cheap enough to be competitive in the world market. These commodities and/or services – like call centres – can be bought or used by consumers or companies around the world.

In this neo-liberal utopia a country like China is a perfect model for the rest of the world to follow. But the “world market” has a deeper purpose, to drive down wages everywhere by a combination of shifting work to low wage countries or allowing people from low wage or impoverished countries to have unrestricted access to work in countries which do not have low wages – know as the open borders policy. Whether you want to think of China as socialist or not, the way their economic policies fit into the “world market” is obviously of absolutely no benefit to the workers in the rest of the world. Some of them may have jobs, but they will be jobs which will be at or below subsistence levels, just the sort of jobs capitalists are always looking for. This is why I said the policies of the USSR had virtually no effect on the workers in the rest of the world. They had virtually no effect on workers compared with the effect China's policies have had.

The following passage sums up my central point:

“When confronted by Argentina’s worries about cheap Chinese imports destroying the vestiges of its indigenous textile, shoe, and leather industries that began to revive in 2004, the Chinese advice was simply to let such industries die and concentrate on being a raw material and agricultural commodity producer for the booming China market. It was not lost on the Argentines that this was exactly how Britain had approached its Indian empire in the nineteenth century.”
(5)

So what is new here? The Chinese answer to the question put to them is essentially the globalist strategy explained above. The British wanted to wipe out the domestic manufacture of cotton so they could replace it with their own manufactures. Now in 21st century globalism expects most countries like Australia and Argentina to produce the raw materials the countries like China cannot provide for themselves. Few people seem to realise that globalism dictates to each nation how they are to run their economies without any regard to the impact of these policies on the people living in these countries. Countries must fit into the globalist New World Order. There is no alternative, or so we are told by today's dispensing economic wisdom.

There is another way to look at this question. The workers in China expend their labour power to create commodities for sale in other countries. What that means is that they do not benefit themselves from the fruits of their labour. The benefits are enjoyed by the people in the importing countries. Under Mao's policy of self-reliance, the fruits of the labour of Chinese workers were enjoyed by themselves and other Chinese who could buy and use the products they produced. The income derived from the export of these commodities is divided between the workers, their employers and the middlemen who handle the trade in these commodities.

This show us the real alternative for all countries, even China. There is nothing wrong with international trade, but each nation must be able to plan and carry out its own economic plans which should focus on the well-being of the people who live there.


This article is one part of four articles on Chinese "Socialism"


China's Transition from Socialism to State Controlled Capitalism
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39112.html

China's State Controlled Capitalism is Not Very Different From Capitalism in the West
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39306.html

China's“Socialist” Investment in Australia is No Different from that of Other Capitalist Wolves
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39849.html





Footnotes:

1. Some will say that Soviet policy with respect to Spain and Nazi Germany was in the end detrimental to the working class in Spain, Germany and France. Even if this is true, it is not relevant to the point I wish to make here.

2. Martin Hart-Landsberg and Paul Burkett, "China and Socialism: Introduction", https://monthlyreview.org/2004/07/01/introduction-china-and-socialism/

3. David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford University Press, 2005, https://erenow.com/common/a-brief-history-of-neoliberalism/6.php

4. China's State Controlled Capitalism is Not Very Different From Capitalism in the West,

5. David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39306.html

China's State Controlled Capitalism is Not Very Different From Capitalism in the West



WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES?
We can all see a growing antagonism between China and the United States. One area of conflict is over the use of the US dollar in world trade. Because the US dollar is essential for payments between nations, giving it the status of the world's reserve currency, the US is able to harm other nations by restricting their use of the US dollar for trade. A current example is the way the US wishes to block Iran's sale of oil and gas to China by not allowing its dollars to facilitate such trade. The EU is trying to find a way out of this problem, and both Russia and China are working to set up a financial system which does not depend on the US dollar. When an alternative system has been established the US will have lost one of its important mechanisms for exercising power over the rest of the world.

Both sides of this conflict would like us to understand it as a conflict between different kinds of economic systems or different sets of important values. The previous article has explained how what once was a genuine socialist system in China has been changed into a powerful neo-liberal state controlled capitalist system.(1) The only difference is the way that the owners of the means of production relate to the state. In the West, the owners of the means of production exercise their ownership and control via a web of interconnected banks and large corporations who select and advise the political leaders in the US, UK, the EU, Australia and many other countries. In China the owners of the large corporations are answerable to the leadership of the Communist Party of China which formulates policy and controls the banking system. In a simplified comparison, we can say that in the West the banks control the state, while in China the state controls the banks.

Anyone who wishes to believe that this difference constitutes a conflict between the capitalist West and socialist China needs to explain the importance of this difference to the workers in Australia who have seen their jobs disappear in the last few decades. They all know that capitalists cannot resist the urge to move their activities to countries with the lowest wage levels. Socialist countries focus their economies on looking after the people living in that country. People before profits.


NEO-LIBERALISM IN THE WEST
There are two important ways that the form of neo-liberalism developed in China is different from the neo-liberalism introduced in the West. When the basic doctrines of neo-liberalism were formulated by the members of the Mont Pelerin society in the late 1940s they took the form of two interrelated themes. Both themes were focused on freedom. The early neo-liberals were reacting to to recent phenomena. The first theme was political freedom, and arose from a reaction against the rise of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the socialist USSR, all of which created powerful states to control their populations. This was feared by the political theorists in the West who wished to see a society with much greater personal and political freedom.

The second theme was economic freedom. This arose arose from a reaction against Keynsian economics and/or state planned economies which had been adopted by most countries in the world after WWII. In the democratic West, including the US, UK and Western Europe, governments adopted measures such as limiting the power of banks, nationalising industries and concentrating their economic policies on creating full employment. Of course in the USSR and Communist China, there was a much stronger form of state control of the economy. Some of these early neo-liberals even claimed that economic freedom helped create and sustain personal and political freedom. We have seen, however, that economic freedom in the West has brought with it the elimination of both the personal and political freedoms once prized in the West.

While a few of the founding fathers of neo-liberalism may have been concerned with personal and political freedom, the real legacy of neo-liberalism in the West today is economic freedom or the “free market”. In fact most sectors of the economy in the West are dominated by cartels. While these are totally at odds with the idea of a “free market”, these cartels are of no more interest to neo-liberals than the powerful snooper states which have developed along side of the cartels. The only economic freedom neo-liberals in the West really care about are “free trade” between countries, where there must be no restrictions on what can be imported into any country, and “free markets” in which there are no restrictions on foreign investment and take-overs. This means large firms can invest in anything anywhere they find profitable and buy out any rivals.


CHINA'S "MARKET SOCIALISM" IS DEBATED AT THE WORLD TRADE ORGANISATION
The by contrast, the CCP places limits both on Chinese investors and foreign investors in violation of the “free market” principles demanded by neo-liberals in the West. If we step beyond the nearly invisible world of the left – invisible at any rate from the tops of our sky-scraper cathedrals to imperialist success – virtually all investors and market analysts in the mainstream neo-liberal press assume China is a de-facto “market economy”. Othewise, why would they think it was a good place to make a profit?

While the nature of the Chinese economy is not debated in the mainstream media, there is actually a significant dispute about this topic going on in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The problem is that while China has been a member of the WTO for 15 years, it has not been allowed full membership. This can only be granted to countries deemed to be “market economies”. Currently the US and the EU argue that China is not a market economy. According to Forbes:

“They (the US and EU) remain implacably opposed for the simple reason that this would restrict anti-dumping measures against China’s vast export surplus. Equally, China has made no inroads in persuading either the U.S. or the EU that it is, in fact, a market economy, doing almost nothing to ensure EU or U.S. companies actually gain market access to China without endless conditions and habitual delays. Specifically, China continually promises open market access for EU and U.S. exporters, but then frustrates them in practice, demands investment takes place through joint ventures, often with SOEs, and routinely insists upon technology transfer.”
(2)

The Forbes article begins with a rather blunt dismissal of the US/EU claims: “China’s status as a 'market economy' is once again under dispute. Not, of course, by anyone who knows anything about the Chinese economy.” For the US and the EU the Chinese economy is not as open as they would like. There are restrictions on access which they don't face in countries like Australia.


THE WEST HAS A NEO-LIBERAL STATE WHILE CHINA HAS STATE NEO-LIBERALISM
The basis of the US/EU objection to China joining the WTO is the role of the state in the Chinese economy. In the West, neo-liberals demand the state be small with little or no role in the economy. In practice this means that the giant corporations themselves control the economy and the government. Politicians are “democratically elected” puppets of the largest banks and cartels. In China the Communist Party has gone to great lengths to stop the newly formed capitalist class in China from controlling economic and political decisions. This means that foreign corporations cannot control economic and political decisions either. There is one element of Marxist theory the Chinese have not abandoned: either the state controls large corporations or the large corporations control the state. This is an unstable situation, but the Chinese leadership are all too well aware of the way foreign corporations politically control most countries in the world.

Just as the Chinese state is not a typical neo-liberal state, its economy does not follow all of the policies demanded by the neo-liberals in the West. While the state in China is working to minimise its ownership of all enterprises, the CCP still maintains control over major investment decisions and lending by banks. For the neo-liberals in the West this is perhaps the worst economic sin a government can commit. Another difference is that the Chinese state has used a Keynesian strategy to deal with the unemployment caused by disbanding the rural communes and the collapse of many SOEs as they were privatised. Since 1998 the CCP had sought to confront their unemployment problem through debt-financed investments in huge mega-projects to transform physical infrastructures. For neo-liberal economists in the West this is seen as the sin of "deficit spending". China has undertaken very ambitious projects like the Three Gorges Dam to divert water from the Yangtze to the Yellow River. Astonishing rates of urbanization (no fewer than forty-two cities have expanded beyond the 1 million population mark since 1992) require huge investments of fixed capital.

New subway systems and highways are being built in major cities, and 8,500 miles of new railroad are proposed to link the interior to the economically dynamic coastal zone, including a high-speed link between Shanghai and Beijing and a link into Tibet. The Olympic Games also prompted heavy investment in Beijing. Furthermore, China is planning to build an interstate highway system more extensive than that in the US, and practically every large city is building or has just completed a big new airport. At last count, China had more than 15,000 highway projects in the works, which will add 162,000 kilometres of road to the country, enough to circle the planet at the equator four times.(3)

Alvin Y. So and Yin-wah Chu give an account of how other neo-liberal policies have been abandoned after 2006. If these policies look like “socialism” to people today, it is only because they were born after the changes forced on the capitalists after WWII were dismantled. Chinese capitalism is adopting the concessions used by capitalists in the West to revive their system at the war's end.

“In contrast to the neoliberal doctrine which calls for the dismantling of the welfare state, the Chinese party-state under Hu/Wen leadership has recently presented a new policy of building a new socialist countryside and a harmonious society in 2006 . The above policy is significant because it could signal a change of ideological orientation of the Chinese state. Whereas the pre-2006 Chinese party-state adopted a neoliberal orientation, it is now moving toward a more balanced one between economic growth and social development. While market reforms would continue, this new policy indicates that the state would play a more active role in moderating the negative impacts of marketization. In the new policy, the state will need to include ―the people and environment in its developmental plan, and not just focus narrowly on GNP indicators and economic growth.

“Thus the new policy advocates a transfer of resources from the state to strengthen the fiscal foundation of the countryside. Not only was the agricultural tax abolished to help relieve the burden on farmers, but the state increased its rural expenditure by 15 percent (to $15 billion) to bankroll guaranteed minimum living allowances for farmers, and an 87 percent hike (to $4 billion) for the health-care budget. These policies indicate a massive infusion of funding from the state onto the peasants and rural areas. In addition, there is a de-commodification of human services. Rural residents would no longer have to pay many miscellaneous charges levied by schools; fees at primary schools will be abolished as part of a nationwide campaign to eliminate them in the countryside for the first nine years of education. The state will also increase the subsidies for rural health cooperatives that will be available in 80 percent of the rural counties by 2008. For now, rural residents have to pay market rates at the villages‘ private clinics and most of them do not even have medical insurance and spend more than 80 percent of their cash on health care. Furthermore, the new policy is aimed at reducing social inequality, especially the widening gap between the countryside and the city. Thus, pensions are to be made available for everyone, not just those enjoying a privileged status as registered urban residents. Over the past two years, the state has also been promoting the spread of Minimum Living Standard Assistance for the rural population. This is potentially a highly significant development, opening up for the first time the real possibility of instituting a social safety net that covers the whole of the population, whether urban or rural”(4)

Noting that China's economy under neo-liberalism has been far more successful than in the West, Alvin Y. So and Yin-wah Chu have concluded that “China has pursued a different mode of neo-liberalism – what we called state neo-liberalism – from the mainstream neo-liberalism that is promoted in the Washington Consensus model.”(5) With state neo-liberalism, the state “interferes” in the economy by controling major investment projects and deficit spending, while adopting all the other neo-liberal policies.

The following chart gives us an interesting way to look at the Chinese economy in a global perspective.(6)



In 2017 the Chinese debt to income (=gross domestic product (GDP)) ratio rose to 266 percent.(7) We can also see that Australia and many of the major NATO countries have debt to income=GDP ratios as large or larger than China. The difference is that while the absolute size of the Chinese debt is small, it has the same size relative to its income as many major Western economies. In contrast, China has the same per capita income as Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia, but has the same debt to income level as the major Western countries. In other words, it is unique in having a low per capita income and a high ratio of debt to income, just as Saudi Arabia is unique with its very high per capita income and its low debt to income level.


WHY CCP MANAGEMENT OF LOANS AND INVESTMENT IS NOT SOCIALISM

Some might be tempted to believe that the significant role played by the CCP in the economy show that China is after all socialist. As we saw in the previous article: “A share of stock is merely a title of ownership to a corresponding portion of the surplus-value to be realised by it.”(8) The Chinese state does not own the newly liberated State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). They are owned by their stockholders. Some of the people who own stock in these SOE may be members of the CCP and as individuals have a role in state decisions, but the state itself does not own the means of production.

Oddly, much the same situation can be seen in the US today. It is well known that leaders in banking and other sectors of the economy occupy powerful positions in the state apparatus of the US. There is a “revolving door” between the largest companies and the highest offices. Clearly these individuals have almost total control the US government foreign and domestic policy, but the US state does not own these giant corporations. So if anyone thinks the dual role of CCP members in the state economy and the stocks they hold as individuals or families shows China is socialist, they same must be said for the US itself.


CHINA'S GINI MYSTERY
An admittedly imperfect but widely used measure of social inequality is called the Gini coefficient. Here is a graph of the changes in China's gini coefficient from 1994 to 2013. Remember that the higher the number the higher the level of inequality.(9)



There are an number of calculations of China's Gini coefficient. Because of these differences I will not compare China's rating with other countries. Here I have relied on only one study which is based on the following research paper: BOFIT Discussion Paper, Ravi Kanbur, Yue Wang and Xiaobo Zhang, The great Chinese inequality turnaround.(10)

China's Gini mystery is this: How can a socialist country generate almost two decades (or more) of increasing social inequality? My answer of course is that China has been dismantling its formerly socialist relations of production for the last 40 years. The purpose of neo-liberal policies where ever they are introduced is to concentrate wealth in the hands of those with the most wealth. Even in 1994, China's inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient was much better than it is now. It has a long way to go to attain the level of inequality it had 25 years ago.

Perhaps it is useful to cite the conclusion of Ravi Kanbur, Yue Wang and Xiaobo Zhang, authors of a 20 page study of income inequality in China:

“We have argued in this paper that the long period of inequality increase in China is coming to an end. The data, seen from different perspectives, seem to indicate a turnaround towards the latter part of the 2000s. The explanations for this turnaround need to be explored further, but there is prima facie evidence of economic forces and government policy tightening labor markets in rural areas, together with government transfers and social policy mitigating inequality in urban and rural areas, which may explain the observed trends. This of course, raises the further question of why government policy changed over a 20-year period from allowing inequality to increase to mitigating it. The political economy of the Chinese state (Wong, 2011) may provide an explanation, but that takes us beyond our present remit. Although China’s inequality has come to a turnaround, the level is still rather high compared with many countries. More efforts are still needed to keep the momentum.”(11)

The authors ask “why government policy changed over a 20-year period from allowing inequality to increase to mitigating it.” I would speculate that the CCP realised their neo-liberal policies were producing a level of unrest that might threaten social stability and and with it their rule. This forced them to depart from the hard-line neo-liberal policies they introduced since 1979. The policies explained by Alvin Y. So and Yin-wah Chu in a previous section explain how the growing inequality was reversed.

In contrast to the leaders of the CCP, who have broadcast their "reforms" in well publicized policy announcements, the leaders of the developed economies of the West have introduced neo-liberal policies more slowly, carefully and secretly. In this way most of the population fail to appreciate that their current situation has come from many unnoticed changes. These changes have created a class of super-rich who are now on the way to controlling the whole world under the policy of globalisation. This policy removes all national sovereignty and the ability of people to use the power of their government to stop giant banks and corporations from doing anything they want to in pursuit of maximising their profits.


This article is one part of four articles on Chinese "Socialism"

China's Transition from Socialism to State Controlled Capitalism
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39112.html

The Damage Caused by China's “Socialism” to Workers Around the World
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39545.html

China's“Socialist” Investment in Australia is No Different from that of Other Capitalist Wolves
https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39849.html




Footnotes:

1. China's Transition from Socialism to State Controlled Capitalism, https://australianvoice.livejournal.com/39112.html

2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/douglasbulloch/2017/12/08/china-is-not-a-market-economy-and-the-wto-wont-survive-recognising-it-as-such/#2aa0877e37fc

3. David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford University Press, 2005, https://erenow.com/common/a-brief-history-of-neoliberalism/6.php

4. Alvin Y. So and Yin-wah Chu, "The transition from Neoliberalism to State Neoliberalism in China at the turn of the 21st Century", https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304795946_The_Transition_from_Neoliberalism_to_State_Neoliberalism_in_China_at_the_Turn_of_the_Twenty-First_Century

5. Ibid.

6. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-08/sizing-up-china-s-debt-bubble-bloomberg-economics

7. https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/chinas-debt-bomb

8. Karl Marx, Capital, Vol III, Part V, Ch XXIX.

9. https://qz.com/937137/chinas-extreme-income-inequality-appears-to-be-improving-after-decades-of-deterioration/

10. BOFIT Discussion Paper, Ravi Kanbur, Yue Wang and Xiaobo Zhang, The great Chinese inequality turnaround. Pdf available here: https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/bitstream/handle/123456789/14667/dp0617.pdf;jsessionid=4F2E45518BA4A14CB84E84F7A9A72726?sequence=1

11. Ibid.

The Road to Ruin – A Short History of the US Economy and Similar Changes in Australia

This account is taken from a recent article by Paul Craig Roberts. The sequence of events outlined here should be familiar: manufacturing and other jobs go overseas, jobs and incomes decline, consumer debt replaces incomes, bank's debts covered by governments, interest rates decline to zero, speculation increases and investment returns disappear. Then what?

High debt levels mean no consumer spending, no growth and falling tax revenue for paying off debt or funding social services, pensions, health care, education. Welcome to austerity. Notice that all important policies are introduced to maximise corporate profits, drive down wages and decrease tax revenue. This is clearly a war by the wealthy to increase their wealth at our expense. Many decades ago this was called Class War.




IN THE BEGINNING
When China “opened up” to the West many US and Australian corporations moved their manufacturing and other jobs offshore. Offshoring to China or other countries is a substantial benefit to these corporations because of much lower labor and compliance costs. Profits, executive bonuses, and shareholders’ capital gains receive a large boost from offshoring. The costs of these benefits for a few fall on the many—the former employees who formerly had a middle class income and expectations for their children.


CORPORATIONS WIN, EVERYONE ELSE LOSES

The loss of middle class jobs has had a dire effect on the US and Australia economies. Because the incomes of ordinary people fell, this meant that states and the Federal governments received less in taxes, so it became harder for them to meet pension obligations and provide public services. For the same reason the tax receipts which pay for Social Security, Centrelink payments and Medicare also fell.


FALLING INCOMES ARE REPLACED BY INCREASED CONSUMER DEBT
The Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan substituted an expansion in consumer credit for the missing growth in consumer income in order to maintain aggregate consumer demand. The Reserve Bank of Australia has followed the same path here.
The credit expansion and consequent rise in real estate prices, together with the deregulation of the banking system, especially the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, produced the real estate bubble and the fraud and mortgage-backed derivatives that gave us the 2007-08 financial crash. The result in Australia has been an increase in loans for houses and a significant rise in the cost of housing in the major cities. Since incomes are static or falling, fewer people can afford to buy houses, and some working people cannot even afford the higher rental costs.


US GOVERNMENT SAVES THE BANKS, NOT THE PEOPLE IN DEBT
The Federal Reserve responded to the crash not by bailing out consumer debt but by bailing out the debt of its only constituency—the big banks. The Federal Reserve let little banks fail and be bought up by the big ones, thus further increasing financial concentration. The multi-trillion dollar increase in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet was entirely for the benefit of a handful of large banks. Never before in history had an agency of the US government acted so decisively in behalf only of the ownership class.


BANKS SAVED BY LOWERING INTEREST RATES TO ZERO
The way the Federal Reserve saved the irresponsible large banks, which should have failed and have been broken up, was to raise the prices of troubled assets on the banks’ books by lowering interest rates. To be clear, interest rates and bond prices move in opposite directions. When interest rates are lowered by the Federal Reserve, which it achieves by purchasing debt instruments, the prices of bonds rise. As the various debt risks move together, lower interest rates raise the prices of all debt instruments, even troubled ones. Raising the prices of debt instruments produced solvent balance sheets for the big banks. In the end, the Federal Reserve had to lower the interest rates to zero, which even the low reported inflation reduced to negative interest rates.


LOW INTEREST RATES FACILITATES SPECULATION AND REMOVES RETURNS ON RETIREMENT SAVINGS
These low rates had disastrous consequences. On the one hand low interest rates caused all sorts of speculations. On the other low interest rates deprived retirees of interest income on their retirement savings, forcing them to draw down capital, thus reducing accumulated wealth among the 90 percent. The under-reported inflation rate also denied retirees Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, forcing them to spend retirement capital.


LOW INTEREST RATES INCREASE WEALTH OF EXECUTIVES AND SHAREHOLDERS
The low interest rates also encouraged corporate boards to borrow money in order to buy back the corporation’s stock, thus raising its price and, thereby, the bonuses and stock options of executives and board members and the capital gains of shareholders. In other words, corporations indebted themselves for the short-term benefit of executives and owners. Companies that refused to participate in this scam were threatened by Wall Street with takeovers.


RESULT: DEBT AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE
Consequently today the combination of offshoring and Federal Reserve policy has left us a situation in which every aspect of the economy is indebted—consumers, government at all levels, and businesses. A recent Federal Reserve study concluded that Americans are so indebted and so poor that 41 percent of the American population cannot raise $400 without borrowing from family and friends or selling personal possessions.


MASSIVE DEBT MEANS NO CONSUMER SPENDING, NO GROWTH, FALLING TAX REVENUE
A country whose population is this indebted has no consumer market. Without a consumer market there is no economic growth, other than the false orchestrated figures produced by the US government by under counting the inflation rate and the unemployment rate. Without economic growth, consumers, businesses, state, local, and federal governments cannot service their debts and meet their obligations.


SOLUTION: PRINT MORE MONEY AND KEEP ASSET PRICES HIGH
The Federal Reserve has learned that it can keep afloat the Ponzi scheme that is the US economy by printing money with which to support financial asset prices. The alleged rises in interest rates by the Federal Reserve are not real interest rates rises. Even the under-reported inflation rate is higher than the interest rate increases, with the result that the real interest rate falls.


THREE REASONS WHY THE US DOLLAR DOES NOT FALL IN VALUE WITH RESPECT TO OTHER CURRENCIES
There are three reasons. One is that the central banks of the other three reserve currencies—the Japanese central bank, the European central bank, and the Bank of England—also print money. Their Quantitative Easing, which still continues, offsets the dollars created by the Federal Reserve and keeps the US dollar from depreciating. A second reason is that when suspicion of the dollar’s worth sends up the gold price, the Federal Reserve or its bullion banks short gold futures with naked contracts. This drives down the gold price. The third reason is that money managers, individuals, pension funds, everyone and all the rest had rather make money than not. Therefore, they go along with the Ponzi scheme.


HOW WILL IT END? WHEN THE US DOLLAR IS NO LONGER THE WORLD RESERVE CURRENCY

A Ponzi scheme like this falls apart when it becomes impossible to continue to support the dollar as burdened as the dollar is by debt levels and abundance of dollars that could be dumped on the exchange markets. Notice that the other three reserve currencies are completely under the political control of the US.


COULD THE US DOLLAR BE REPLACED AS A RESERVE CURRENCY?

There is some movement in the EU away from the US policies. Some leaders are talking of closer economic ties with Russia and China. At the same time Russia and China are increasing their holdings of gold and selling off their US Treasury bonds. If these continue it is possible that a mix of the ruble, the yuan, the Euro and gold could replace the US dollar for international trade.


THE US ANSWER TO THIS CHALLENGE: POLITICAL AND MILITARY PRESSURE
This is why Washington is determined to retain its hegemony. It is Washington’s hegemony over Japan, Europe, and the UK that protects the American Ponzi scheme. The moment one of these central banks ceases to support the dollar, the others would follow, and the Ponzi scheme would unravel. If the prices of US debt and stocks were reduced to their real values, the United States would no longer have a place in the ranks of world powers.


WILL THE US ALLOW THEIR PONZI SCHEME TO COLLAPSE WITHOUT A FIGHT?
Only time will tell.


About the Author:
Paul Craig Roberts served as United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan in 1981. Later he was editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and other US publications. Then he was appointed professor of economics at George Mason University and held the inaugural William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at Georgetown University.


How Long Can The Federal Reserve Stave Off the Inevitable?
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/06/26/long-can-federal-reserve-stave-off-inevitable-paul-craig-roberts/

Was Stalin Responsible For More Deaths Than Hitler?

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.

A Discussion Surrounding Karl Marx’s Recent 200th Anniversary

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.

Hard to Post the Butchery in Syria Supported by Our Government, But We Should Know...

Knowing the truth is a great burden. Anyone of conscience would want to let people know what is going on in their name. It is so hard to see images of unbelievable butchery and pass this vileness out into the world of cyberspace. The only motivation is to try to stop this barbarity. If anyone feels they can face the reality of what the US/NATO backed 'Moderate' head chopping SCUM are doing for the US Empire, Military Industrial Complex, Banks and Corporations, you can look at the rest of this post.

This is the reality of Neoliberalism Globalism, the system we all live under at this present time. Human life is of no account for the people behind the scenes who are enabling these butchers to commit the most heinous crimes upon humanity imaginable. There is PROFIT in DEATH and DESTRUCTION. Our system is a DEATH CULT. Some may find this an extreme statement but if you do some research you will come to the same conclusion. I say this with a heavy heart.


This is what US does to countries that do not possess Nuclear Weapons.