Brexit, Nexit, Frexit, Grexit, and Italeave

Starting this week and lasting into the summer there will be a series of elections/events that could totally redefine the political and financial system of Europe.

Brexit

Prime Minister May could trigger Article 50 as early as Monday, although it will likely be later. It starts the clock for Britain's exit from the EU, which will probably happen in mid-2019.
This event is expected, so no one will be surprised except those that are still in denial.

Nexit

The Dutch general election happens on Wednesday, and it will be a nail-biter. Far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) has a slim lead in the polls.

Mr Wilders' election would be the latest blow for Europe’s liberal order in the wake of the Donald Trump’s victory and the Brexit vote.
He has pledged to close the Netherlands’ borders, shut down mosques and leave the euro and EU if he gets into power.

Mr. Wilder may promise that, but he won't come anywhere near enough votes in the legislature to do it.
However, being the largest party, the PVV should have enough pull to implement a Brexit-style referendum. This is what the globalists fear.

The poll, carried out by the respected Maurice de Hond group, found that once ‘don’t knows’ are excluded 56 per cent of Dutch people would vote to leave the EU compared to 44 per cent who would opt for remain.

Frexit

The 2017 French presidential election on 23 April, and the second round on 7 May, is the Big Enchilada.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front (NF), should never have had a chance, but a flurry of scandals involving François Fillon has made her advance to the second round a near certainty.

Polls published this week show Emmanuel Macron, the former investment banker running on a pro-business, socially liberal ticket, ahead of Ms Le Pen in first-round voting for the first time. He polled at 26 per cent of the vote, with Ms Le Pen a breath behind at 25 per cent.
Bruno Cautres, from the Cevipof think tank, told The Local: "Six months ago the possibility of her winning was zero. Now, we cannot say that."

Le Pen has promised to renegotiate the terms of France's membership of the EU if elected president.
In all of Europe, only in Greece is the EU more unpopular than it is in France. If given a referendum, French voters would almost surely vote to leave the Eurozone, and that would mean the end of the Euro.

Some analysts have given the NF leader up to a one in five chance of becoming President in May though Krämer projected that should Le Pen be able to defy the odds and deliver Frexit, the European Monetary Union would then be "virtually doomed".

europeans_view_eu.png

Grexit

Greece is on the verge of default. So what's new?

Bailout negotiations between Athens and its creditors have stalled. The possibility of Grexit, or euro exit, has re-emerged and bond yields have soared. The yield on two-year Greek government bonds has risen from 6% to 10% in less than two weeks as spooked investors have dumped their holdings. And the shrill rhetoric last seen at the height of the crisis in 2015 has returned....
The impasse has turned into a standoff as creditors demand additional austerity once the current bailout expires. Without further reduction of pensions – already cut 12 times since the crisis began – and the tax-free threshold of personal incomes, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) argues, the debt-stricken country will never be able to achieve its agreed fiscal goal of a primary surplus of 3.5% of GDP from 2018.

The problem is that Greece's economy is back in recession while its debt load grows ever higher, never shrinking. Will Greece kick the can down the road again? Maybe, maybe not.

Moody's credit rating agency projected that although they expect the country's government to be able to meet the demands from the EU and IMF, the potential for snap general elections in Greece is evident.

Greece is first-world proof of what has failed so often in third-world nations: unpayable debts will never be paid with more austerity.

Annual GDP data published yesterday confirmed that Greece indeed grew last year, by just 0.01% (pdf). That won’t do much to dig the economy out of its hole: GDP has shrunk by a quarter since 2008 and the unemployment rate is stuck above 20%....As a result, the government has been spending less each year since 2009, dragging down economic growth. The main reason for the unexpectedly large fourth-quarter revision to GDP was a sharp drop in government spending—down 2.1% from the third quarter.
If Greece’s economy continues to limp along, its crippling debts will only get more burdensome. Public debt already stands a about 180% of GDP, and the IMF warned earlier this year that it could rise to 275% of GDP by 2060.

Eventually Greece will leave the Eurozone. It's only a matter of time.

Italeave

After the defeat of the consitutional referendum last December, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation as promised. This should have triggered a national election, where the anti-Euro Five Star Movement was leading the polls.
It never happened. Italy's next election won't happen until 2018. What happened? I'm not exactly sure, but I do know that Berlusconi is involved and the ruling party has split.
In the meantime, Italy's banking system is still in crisis and investors are fleeing Italian debt.

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and set the stage for the far RW to be in position to win. In the USA we know how that feels with 8 years of Obama.

The Left failed in Greece because the global monetary authorities let it be known it was their way or Greece would be hollowed out. It seems Greece is hollowed out anyway so the Left should have repudiated the economic mess the RW bequeathed them and started anew.

Few countries want to be governed by German bankers any longer.

One bright spot, sort of unrelated, is how Wales is refusing to go along with the English program of austerity and is preserving the National Health Service as was originally designed: a fully socialist, everyone is equal, enterprise.

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"The justness of individual land right is not justifiable to those to whom the land by right of first claim collectively belonged"

detroitmechworks's picture

Especially considering the MSM is breathlessly telling us how it will result in everybody becoming communist homophobic Nazis who hate all people who have been affected by the wars.

Maybe some folks want everyone to be "Citizens of the World" and have culture and economics set to the lowest possible setting. I believe that setting is China currently, but won't be long till they're surpassed by somebody in the race to the bottom.

See here's the thing, I don't like it when places change to the dominant corporate paradigm. I like Portland, as Portland. Not LA with rain. When I moved here, I left behind CA for a reason.

The thought of everywhere in the world becoming as cultureless and elitist as CA is frankly appalling.

So, I support people choosing to leave corporate control. If that makes me a fascist, as the unity folks tell me, then I seem to not understand the concept of fascism.

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I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

earthling1's picture

@detroitmechworks austerity does not work. All the alphabetexits I see as a giant wrench being thrown in the global new world order. We will suffer some, but the global elite will be knocked back on their gilded heels. Not really a down side here, OMHO.

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@detroitmechworks
Obviously the surge of far-right politics is a bad thing overall.
OTOH, this is only happening because of the failure of the neoliberal centrists, who need to lose before something better can take their place.

If this is what must happen to kill off the awful Euro, and force the EU to be more democratic then maybe its worth it. But this is not a good way to do this.

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mimi's picture

@gjohnsit

Obviously the surge of far-right politics is a bad thing overall.
OTOH, this is only happening because of the failure of the neoliberal centrists

You believe that is true in which countries in Europe? I really would like to learn the specifics, with names and examples for each country. Specify the neoliberal centrists, please. And I like to know when this started out in the various European countries as well.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi
Your request requires more work than I am prepared to give.
Needless to say, yes, it is true. Europe has been drifting towards neoliberalism for decades now.

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mimi's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit
I used those provocative rhetorical question to express my aversion against the
the wording of neo-liberalism and austerity measures. There are a couple of words I like to live without and not use and that is neo-liberalism, progressives and populism. They are too imprecise, may be just for me. I think I am not alone in that. How many of the 99 percent of little people really know exactly what is meant by those words.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi which is a large part of the problem with neo-this, neo-that, NWO, etc. The level of public knowledge has diminished proportionately to the the rise of "infotainment". In terms of nutrition, infotainment is empty calories.

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mimi's picture

@mimi
of right-wing political parties and groups. Let's start with Wikipedia:
List of active nationalist parties in Europe

Ruth Wodak stresses that the rise of populist parties across Europe has different reasons in different countries. In a March 2014 article she divided these parties into four groups:
1. "parties [that] gain support via an ambivalent relationship with fascist and Nazi pasts" (e.g., in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and France),
2. parties that "focus primarily on a perceived threat from Islam" (e.g., in the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland),
3. parties that "restrict their propaganda to a perceived threat to their national identities from ethnic minorities" (e.g., in Hungary, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom) and
4. parties that "endorse a fundamentalist Christian conservative-reactionary agenda" (e.g., in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria).[9]
According to the Economist, the main attraction of far-right parties in the Scandinavian countries is the national culture is under threat.[10]

Different parts of Europe have nationalist parties with different ideologies and goals. Most nationalist parties in Western Europe are described as right-wing populists.[11] According to Thomas Klau of the European Council on Foreign Relations "as antisemitism was a unifying factor for far-right parties in the 1910s, 20s and 30s, Islamophobia has become the unifying factor in the early decades of the 21st century."[12] Many are Left Wing or Civic Nationalist Parties, which often advocate regionalism


AUGUST 26, 2016 2:59 AM 4 - Explaining the Rise of the Far-Right in Europe

or
European Politics Are Swinging to the Right - Simon Shuster - Sep 22, 2016
or
The Rise of Right-wing Populism in Europe and the United States - A Comparative Perspective

ok. Just my 0.02 euro cents. Of course the austerity reasons you mention play a big part in some of the countries, but that is only part of the picture.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi

How much of this is like Trump, with people being allowed nobody and nothing to vote whole-heartedly for, so they vote for someone claiming to at least be willing to do one or a few things that are major, like getting them out of bad 'agreements' designed to crush them, to get them jobs, to reduce corruption in government, to improve their lives in some way, even if in with a lot of other bad things which they hope they might somehow survive?

There's so much propaganda against anyone not voting for the corporate-favored candidates, it's hard to believe the negative reasons officially given for other countries, such as people turning to fascism - as was said about Trump voters often desperately voting against The Mad Bomber.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mimi's picture

@Ellen North
Frankly I think people in Europe can vote for whomever they want. May be the parties that represent them are not anymore as distinctly diverse as they once were, but the propaganda can't force anyone for not vote for their choices here.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi

Sorry, I evidently didn't frame that very clearly. Do they typically have any political options which clearly and unequivocally represent the public interest in a fair and reasonable manner, or must they pick and choose among a number of parties, none of which actually fit what would adequately suit a majority of the population?

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@gjohnsit
but I don't think this means that support for it is primarily fascistic, or even necessarily Rightist. I see it more as a popular revolt against the globalist, neoliberal, and pseudo-idealistic version of multiculturalism that has been foisted on various nations whether their public likes it or not. The problems that have been caused by unchecked immigration in Europe are all too real, but centrist and nominally left-leaning governments have failed to deal with them adequately, and in many cases have even refused to recognize them as being problematic.

The EU's participation in, and support of America's various MENA wars is at the root of its immigration problems, and this fact is not lost upon European citizens who have been left to deal the consequences of them. When the Right-wing parties represent the only political force willing to honestly recognize the problem, people will support the Right-wing parties.

The primary division that seems to be developing is not one of Right vs Left, but of nationalism vs globalism. Which is to say, protectionism and nativism vs internationalism and multiculturalism. It's a backlash of the former in reaction to a clear over-reach by the latter.

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native

Alligator Ed's picture

@native

The primary division that seems to be developing is not one of Right vs Left, but of nationalism vs globalism.

When the Right-wing parties represent the only political force willing to honestly recognize the problem, people will support the Right-wing parties

is precisely why we got Trump.

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@Alligator Ed

Or, perhaps, of local democracy versus a globalized corporate control? Only co-opting any party which might work for people seems to be a priority for the Parasite Class...

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Alligator Ed's picture

@Ellen North How would the stranglehold of corporatism be weakened enough to allow local democracy to actually have the potency to function?

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@Alligator Ed

It's unfortunate that we, the global people, couldn't unilaterally, on a global basis, boycott/divest from all criminal corporations on a permanent basis, as that would weaken the corporate strangle-hold and potentially allow for the survival of life on the planet.

Remember that these corporations are so grossly inefficient that they apparently cannot function without off-loading their health, environmental and other costs onto the public and ecology - both of which are sickening/dying as a result - without obscene profits gouged from customers/virtual monopolies/massive public funding both directly in subsidies and in being permitted public property and resources often at relatively little or no cost and indirectly in tax breaks and in being permitted to underpay workers often also placed at 'cost-cutting' hazard by lack of sensible regulation and oversight.

It's way past time that these bloated, wasteful destructive hulks moved over and allowed more efficient smaller business to take over.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Alligator Ed
purely coincidental.

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native

mimi's picture

@native
So, formerly we had socialism (as a global movement) against nationalism. Globalism per se, alone, is based on new technologies and corporatism that grew to global entitites because of the technologies that allowed them to do that. Other than corporate profit orientation there is no ideology in globalism. which is nothing more than a bunch of greedy assholes to steal as much as they can from the little people and the planet's resources.

Socialism got co-opted and sold out. Nothing left of people, who once stood for it.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@detroitmechworks But I also think that the people have a right to choose. Integration did not have wide popular support. Maastricht only faced the voters in a few countries. It failed in Denmark and had to be re-written and it barely passed in France. The elites forced this on the people and now they are shocked that the people are pushing back.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@detroitmechworks Let's review:

1) Money holds its power as a claim upon future labor-power. If we knew at some point that our dollar bills would be worthless, then, they'd be worthless PDQ, because there would be a run on them. My bank account? I'd withdraw it all and spend it on tangible assets before the rest of the public had a clue.

2) It takes time to withdraw from the Euro. They need to print up a whole bunch of money, establish exchange rates, recode computer transactions, and so on. Nobody is really going to know how much the new moneys, the Italian lira, the Dutch thaler, the French franc, and so on, will be worth. Meanwhile, you have a neoliberal economy based on unsustainably huge levels of debt, books cooked to hide bankruptcy, and so on. There are no doubt a fair number of banks and businesses which will need to be bailed out if everyone starts calling in loans. But in what currency? The euro? Where are the euros going to come from?

3) So in the conversion era that will precipitate when the euro is broken up, what happens to the national economies? I'm sure that's what they're all worried about.

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"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

@detroitmechworks

We are all to be homogenized, fungible corporate assets within a global factory floor.

That ain't happening, I hope. Individuality, tradition, culture, history, humanity all matter far more than the symbols representing currency and the demands of one small group determined to eventually 'collect them all' by manipulating pawns in government and draining the last drop of life-blood from every economy, every natural resource and all remaining life on the planet prior to perishing with the rest of us because it's cheaper for them to poison or explode a world at public expense.

Countries need localized government to represent the people and country in the interest of the public good. Which includes the happiness and comfort of that public within a cultural matrix they prefer and which protects their rights. Nothing else is sustainable. Especially not people having themselves and their countries being forced into conglomerates under self-interests eager to sacrifice them and all that they value to their own pathological greed.

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mimi's picture

@Ellen North

Which includes the happiness and comfort of that public within a cultural matrix they prefer and which protects their rights

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@Ellen North

within a cultural matrix they prefer

What do you mean by that? I'm trying not to jump to any conclusions, but it sounds dog-whistly to me.

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@rachael7 @rachael7

Why should all countries and people abandon what suits them to become 'Westernized' or any other 'ized'?

Why should we all be forced into the same mold to suit corporate/billionaire interests who'd really prefer robots but in the meantime will attempt to arrange people's countries in the manner of chain-stores, with everything and everyone as identical as possible and no trace of individuality to be found?

Countries are not 'trade centers', they are people's countries, and they have every right to be happy and comfortable in their own countries while self-interests have none to force them into becoming characterless interchangeables useful to their profiteering at their own cost, on identical factory floors. They have to use economic and military violence to achieve that.

You may feel that 'your way' in every area is the best way for every other person's area, and it may indeed be for you, but this may not hold true for everybody. Human rights matter!

Edit: CB posted this recently and it brought home what I can only vaguely describe as a great stillness within me, something too great to bear; I also lack words, as did CB...

caucus99percent.com/content/“what-have-you-done-me”

“What have you done to me?”
Submitted by CB on Sat, 03/11/2017 - 11:45am

I've just finished reading an intense article by Andre Vltchek about the impact of Obama's 'Good War' on the people of Afghanistan that has profoundly affected me.

I have no words....

From the must-read (have tissue handy and remember to breathe) link:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/10/afghanistan-notes-from-a-broken-l...

March 10, 2017
Afghanistan: Notes From a Broken Land

by Andre Vltchek

... So this is what Afghanistan became under the Western ‘liberating’ boots! Barbed wires, foreign jet fighters, concrete walls everywhere, battles with the religious fundamentalist elements (invented and manufactured by the West), grotesque savage capitalism, ignorant or shameless collaboration, and guns, guns and guns, as well as misery in almost every corner, and one of the lowest life expectancies and standards of living on Earth! And of course, people escaping, leaving this beautiful country behind – a country, which is suddenly unloved, humiliated, abandoned by so many!

This is all happening only roughly four decades after the heroic attempts to build some great social housing projects, after the implementation of a well-functioning public transportation network, public education and medical care, as well as an attempt to introduce secularism, while building a decent, egalitarian society.

The glorious victory of Western imperialism over one of the oldest and greatest cultures seems to be complete. The Brits tried, on several occasions; they murdered and tortured, but were defeated. They never forgave. They waited for decades, and then returned with their muscular and aggressive offspring. And here they are, all of them, now!

Afghanistan appears to be exhausted and defeated. It is badly injured, and it has been dragged through unimaginable dirt.

But I don’t think it is crushed, by the West or by the religious fundamentalists, or by these two historical allies.

Deep inside, Afghanistan knows better. It already experienced many years of hope; it knows the taste of it. During long centuries and millennia of its existence, it survived several dreadful moments, but it always stood up again, undefeated and proud. I’m certain that it will rise again.

Flying, driving or walking through its magnificent mountains, I often felt that Afghanistan is like a living organism, it was winking at me, letting me know that it is alive, that it sees everything that goes on, that it is not futile at all to struggle for its future.

I watched the stubs of the electric contacts that used to hold, some decades ago, those long wires used by the legendary Kabul trolley bus network.

“Those beautiful vehicles came from former Czechoslovakia”, a man, an office worker, whom I stopped in the center of the city, told me. “They were beautiful, and do you know who used to drive them? Some young girls; optimistic women who were for some reason always in a good mood.” ...

In the comments, snoopydog had also posted a link:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-neocons-project-for-the-new-american-ce...

The Neocons’ Project for the New American Century: “American World Leadership” – Syria next to Pay the Price?
By Felicity Arbuthnot
Global Research, September 20, 2012
Region: Middle East & North Africa, USA
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO'S NEXT WAR?

And the rest of the as-yet-uncaptured world is to follow... unless this is stopped at source.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Azazello's picture

and you'd think it would be obvious: Debts that can't be paid won't be.

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@Azazello

And once countries again have their currency, they can print as they please right off the hop, get the bail-outs done and start over, fresh?

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

The question is how long it will take to replace it with decency, and how much damage we will suffer before.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

mimi's picture

@doh1304
or if it is then explain it to me and list all neo-liberal politicians in each of the European countries.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Cassiodorus's picture

@mimi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

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"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

mimi's picture

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus
and I just scanned the first paragraph, and it's well explained. But frankly how many of the 99 percent little people you are trying to talk to, would have read the Wiki entry? Ask a person on the streets in Germany what the right-wing parties are up to and what gets their blood boiling and then ask them who are the neo-liberals who are supposedly the reason for them to exist, and I doubt they would know (aside from their party leaders, who have the vocabulary ready to go in front of the cameras). All of them though sure know about the anti-islam and other xenophobic opinions they have.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Alligator Ed's picture

@Cassiodorus No, I don't mean the world turned upside down. What has been turned upside down is the modern definition of neoliberalism, versus the earlier interpretation. From the Wikipedia citation:

In 1938 at the Colloque Walter Lippmann, the term "neoliberalism" was proposed, among other terms, and ultimately chosen to be used to describe a certain set of economic beliefs.[20]:12–3[25] The colloquium defined the concept of neoliberalism as involving "the priority of the price mechanism, free enterprise, the system of competition, and a strong and impartial state".

The amputation of the last two parts of the original understanding, competition and a strong, impartial state has left us in the current mess. Who were the surgeons responsible for the amputation? Milton Friedman might have been a cheer-leader but he was not the effectuator.

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed
I guess in 1938 German folks had something else in mind. May be that's why the term was so foreign to me in the last ten years.

ok, mimi needs learning and needs to stop to read the intertubes.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Cassiodorus's picture

@Alligator Ed You are aware, for instance, that Milton Friedman was one of the founders of the Mont Pelerin Society, and that he headed a team of economists sent to Chile to advise the Pinochet junta, and that the Pinochet junta was installed in Chile as the incubator regime for planetary neoliberalism...

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"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

mimi's picture

where do you think they will go? Those Europeans, who rather would want the EU to stay united, I mean, you think they will just stay and look at it, accepting it as an order from the up on high without doing anything against it?

I guess they will run away, probably into the USA. Expect a new immigration wave from Europeans, who have had it with those of their fellow Europeans, who can't stick together and can't see a value in their culture.

I am in deep denial, gjohnsit. Luckily I will be dead by the time all those right-wing dumbfucks take over in Europe.

Of course I speak out of my... behind. Everything disgusts me these days.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi
from the EU, need to go anywhere? Are Europeans so completely dependent on a unified banking and political structure, that to claim autonomy from it would ruin them? I'm far from being knowledgeable about the complexities of international banking, but I don't see why this would necessarily have to be the case.

I suppose that the largest "Western" financial institutions would stand to lose a great deal of power and influence if their control of Europe's economy were to be splintered, and relinquished to smaller, more localized entities. But I am not convinced that this fragmentation would axiomatically result in a lower standard of living for Europeans generally.

Perhaps someone more well-versed in the banking industry than myself, can explain to me why it would. It's a question I'd like to ask of George Soros: Why, in the world of banking, bigger is better and smaller is weaker, and why an Italian credit union for example, is obligated to kiss the ass of Deutsche Bank?

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native

mimi's picture

@native @native
international banking' ...
heh, you couldn't talk with a dumber person than me about that. I think because I am that clueless and somewhat lazy (too depressed) enough to not inquire the nitty-gritty details about it to get an understanding of what is going on in people, when it comes to their feelings about the European Union. I think all the economic arguements people make against staying in the Euro zone and their anger to see many banks to have 'kiss ass' Deutsche Bank, have their rightful justifications. I can follow that somehow, though only vaguely.

I suppose that the largest "Western" financial institutions would stand to lose a great deal of power and influence if their control of Europe's economy were to be splintered, and relinquished to smaller, more localized entities. But I am not convinced that this fragmentation would axiomatically result in a lower standard of living for Europeans generally.

I don't think that "lower standard of living" is the motivator for EU people to emigrate and go do uncle Tom's country. People in Europe, who have a job, have a nice enough life. People, who have no jobs, might go and search for jobs in the US. Well, the US has jobs for them? I doubt it.

The fragmentation that would occur has its dangers not in the ecomomic realm, but in the ideological one. The EU as a whole is not 'xenophobic', the population of each little country is though, each in their own specific way, everybody fears the "foreigner, the muslim, the African" to take over their national culture with their very own ethical, mores, religious value system, they take away their jobs, they "behave just inappropriately" etc.

The split is not based on economic fears (though greatly abused in its political propaganda of those, who want to gain power in the populist parties), but way more based on 'emotions against anything that is not like 'they themselves'. Tribalism, identity politics is on the rise.

The fragmentation will be ideological, that will cause tremendous tensions, civil unrest and future wars among them. That is the real danger, imo. The EU as a "ethical value system and construct" that doesn't account for nationalistic emotions of each country, has its good sides, that I believe protects against those tendencies.

If it falls apart, we have a huge mess of right-wing nationalistic movements, who will go against each other in the end. It looks right now as if they will 'unite' in a global right-wing movement, but I doubt that this will happen. They will nicely fight each other, each country against its neighbors.

I don't want these tensions and future civil or hot wars to happen. I think the EU would protect against these tendencies. May be I am totally naive and just don't get it. Once those wars break out within the territory of the EU and its Eastern European countries trying to become members of the EU, people will flee. And of course, when those war-like activities grow within the EU, the "great" Americans will feel they have to come in and stop the mess. So, the US will (again) be 'the beacon of peace and freedom and democracy'. Just wait.

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

Alligator Ed's picture

@mimi

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mimi's picture

@Alligator Ed
so, I just might call it quits. Depends ... may be it's just too stupid to consider, heh? Smile

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"History is what the present chooses to remember" - Carl Becker

@mimi

Sometimes, all we can do is to live until we die. Other times, things work out much better than expected - but you only know this if you're still around to see and share in it.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Regardless of the seat totals, Wilders will not form the next Dutch government. However, he has already shifted the window to the right. And if the next Dutch government offers more of the same neoliberalism, it will only delay a right-populist victory - not prevent it. And, BTW, the Dutch Labour and Socialist parties have taken a beating - far exceeding the growth in Green support.

Same goes for France and Marine Le Pen. The chances of Le Pen winning the 2nd round are not zero, but close to it. Still, there is no denying the huge upsurge in right-populism in France - often at the expense of the left. The FN's strongholds are blighted industrial areas that were once bastions of the left. Meanwhile, Hollande is a laughing-stock and the left is badly split.

See a pattern?

Labour in Britain is in free-fall. There are zero - zero - left representatives in the Polish Sejm. The Social Democrats are semi-comatose in Germany for the first time in more than a decade; however, the AfD, although a bit weaker, will almost certainly come into the Bundestag.

If traditional parties of the center-left and center-right shift from their more-of-the-same neoliberalism, right-populism will continue to grow. The left has been unable to offer a coherent critique of the current system worldwide. Clintonism/Blairism has left the left in an indefensible position - failing the poor, working poor, and middle classes. (But quite lucrative for the co-opted third-way leadership.) As show by Hollande's presidency and the French presidential election - it turns the political arena over to different flavors of center, center-right, and far right.

One might conclude that short-term losses for a left party that cuts ties to neoliberalism are preferable to long-term insignificance.

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@Jamawani

One might conclude that short-term losses for a left party that cuts ties to neoliberalism are preferable to long-term insignificance.

It's not the best way to go about it, but it seems necessary.

Of course the failure of the Dems to reform fails even that scenario.

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controlling countries within the EU, it never ends well.

PS not one of the right wing parties gives a shit about the people it is all about them.

Socialists here in France want the union with financial reform.

As for the UK always wanting it more business friendly for 40 years, good riddance.

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industry. There's some connection between the anti-Christ and the Roman Empire, though I don't remember exactly what. Maybe he's born there? Well, it's been a minute since the Empire expired, so they said the U.S. was a type of the Roman Empire. Then, they decided it was the Common Market. If the latter collapses, it's back to us again.

If you see a male baby with a birthmark on his head that looks 666, let us know.

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gendjinn's picture

The EU has been appointing negotiators that are known to be unsympathetic to the UK, at best. There was a recent statement by the EU that each member state could decide whether or not UK citizens could retain residency or not. Which is a shot across the bows of the UK. Apparently it went unheeded.

The Brussels administration is irked and heading towards annoyed at the British, and it does not seem that May and the Tories see it. It appears that they believe that because the EU is the UK's largest trading partner they will have to cut a special deal with the UK that no one else has or else. The way things are going, unless someone wakes up and calls a halt to the madness, it will be the hardest of Brexits. Hard border between north & south Ireland, hard border between the UK and the EU. And the UK with almost no trading partners because not even their WTO negotiations will be anywhere near completion. I do not see the logic in their position but that's no precedent.

A hard Brexit means Scotland is out for sure. Re-unification of Ireland quickly follows. A decade or so of misery and the UK rejoins the EU and Euro. Or the UK becomes a mercenary client state of the US - hey it's 1984!

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Alligator Ed's picture

@gendjinn

Or the UK becomes a mercenary client state of the US - hey it's 1984!

Well actually Margaret T. came a little after 1984.

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gendjinn's picture

@Alligator Ed

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@gendjinn
that Britain is the 2nd largest economy in Europe, and the fastest growing.
So Europe playing hardball with Britain is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

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gendjinn's picture

@gjohnsit The EU cannot afford to let anyone else see they can get a deal so they WILL slap the UK down hard and it WILL be much harder on the UK than it will be on the EU. Much harder.

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@gendjinn
The EU economy is not strong. Losing its 2nd largest economy will throw it into recession again.

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gendjinn's picture

@gjohnsit than maintaining the four freedoms and not carving out a special deal for the UK. And thereby setting a dangerous precedent for other members.

Recessions come and go, they are a natural part of the business cycle. Besides a hard Brexit hits the UK far worse than the EU and none of the fallout will impact EU decision makers.

One of the tea leaves is how the Irish govt just got a fright put into it by the Irish civil servants in Brussels over Brexit. Enda Kenny made a public statement that re-unification terms need to be written into the Brexit deal - because we are definitely getting a hard border in Ireland the way the British are negotiating in Brussels. The UK believes the EU will crack on the four freedoms for the same reason you do, the EU disagrees. But somehow little of that is getting any coverage int he english language press.

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@gendjinn

OK, why do 'trade deals' have to be conducted under contracts between major corporate interests and involve impinging on the people's basic rights and democracies - why can't there simply be trade between countries with everyone free to choose whether it works for them or not in each case?

Companies could look up the protective laws of each country and decide whether they wanted to conform to them or not and then look for suitable markets to carry their produce, couldn't they?

Why do the people and environments have to be victimized and poisoned in each and every case of these 'trade deals' to 'make it worth-while' for the corporations, while the people have no say in having their rights, democracy, ecology, economy, public money, health and lives stolen to further enrich the wealthiest?

If the giant corporations can't make a reasonable profit under a responsible business plan, shouldn't they simply move over and let a more efficient smaller business take over?

Enquiring minds want to know!

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6 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

eyo's picture

@Ellen North , Regarding "reasonable" profits and "responsible" business plans, nothing has changed:

In 1991 Larry Summers, then Chief Economist for the World Bank (and US Treasury Secretary, in the Clinton Administration, until George Bush and the Republican party came into power), had been a strong backer of structural adjustment policies. He wrote in an internal memo:

Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging more migration of dirty industries to the LDCs [less developed countries]?… The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to that… Under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted; their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City… The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostate cancer than in a country where under-five mortality is 200 per thousand.

That is the logic driving humans to extinction, taking out most other species along with it. Dumb shits.

Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession. After his departure from the NEC in December 2010, Summers has worked in the private sector and as a columnist in major newspapers. In mid-2013, his name was widely floated as the potential successor to Ben Bernanke as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, though after pushback from the left, Obama eventually nominated Federal Reserve Vice-Chairwoman Janet Yellen for the position.

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On a blog.

@eyo

Thanks! These guys are all stinkers and need their spray-glands neutered...

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

gendjinn's picture

@Ellen North It's not as if I've ever been a fan or defender of trade deals. Just pointing out the UK is shafting itself in the current operating environment that requires these deals.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@gendjinn Companies should decide if they will succeed in countries with different laws than ours. But they find it much easier to screw over the 99ers in each country.

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gendjinn's picture

@Alligator Ed And as Ellen North makes clear below she was wrong about my position on trade deals.

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@gendjinn @gendjinn @gendjinn

Well, mainly because you seem to be highly informed on this issue and I have a lot of respect for your intelligence, yet you'd seem to be in favour of deals which appear to negatively impact involved people and countries by negatively impacting protective law and essential social services in order to benefit banksters and other corporations and billionaires at everyone else's expense. (Naturally, there are also a lot of other negative factors present as well.)

I don't really know anything about the EU except for a number of negative occurrences having appeared in conjunction with this and with trade deals, so I was curious as to how you considered that the EU was worth all of this bankster-run adjustment-to-apparently-the-lowest-common-denominator and the suffering of the people involved, while they're shuffled around like interchangeable cards, as far as I - from my position of ignorance - can tell.

Very likely, I have an entirely wrong impression of the whole thing - but I find it difficult to believe anything in any corporate media and haven't looked into it myself. And your post was right there, lol.

Edit: the toxic trading environment evidently needs to be freshened up a good bit with a large dose of respect for human, environmental and democratic rights.

Those politicians who 'don't believe in society' are clearly unfit to hold any position rendering them capable of making decisions to destroy them, is all I can say...

And re-edited to remove an extra word; should probably have a nap, lol.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

gendjinn's picture

@Ellen North @Ellen North I am not in favour of NAFTA, TTP, TTIP, or the vast majority of trade deals done over the last 30 odd years.

I'm talking about what Brexit, the world and how screwed the UK is because it is getting a hard Brexit and two years is insufficient time to negotiate any trade deals.

The comment you responded to made that clear and yet you claim to perceive a favourability in me for these trade deals? : "It's not as if I've ever been a fan or defender of trade deals. Just pointing out the UK is shafting itself in the current operating environment that requires these deals."

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@gendjinn

Evidently, and my apologies! Not sure how I picked up that idea, probably lack of sleep and reading through my eyelids again.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

gendjinn's picture

@Ellen North I am waiting for the (Trump)Pence to resurrect an even more horrid version of TTP.

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@gendjinn

Not sure how they'll manage worse, but if anyone can...

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

k9disc's picture

Peace through forward deployed troops.
Less responsibility for those at the top is good for those at the bottom.
Private Sector will save us.
Voluntary regulation.
The Rising Tide of Austerity

These things are maxims of globalization, and I know some of them are clearly US framed issues, but they all spring from the profound disconnect of corporate sponsorship and public policy.

The very idea of corporate sponsored public policy, globalization in a nutshell, is an oxymoron. It can not hold intellectually and ideologically when push comes to shove.

And push is really coming to shove these days: climaticide, cheap labor economics, war for peace, 9B humans, resource scarcity...

I read Joint Vision 2020 and it's realpolitik realitives back in the day. We've seen this coming for a long time. Everybody in charge knew this was going to be our reality, and what did they do?

They fanned the flames and set up profit streams.

That is the problem with neoliberalism, and it's base level oxymoron kind of stuff: They will fan the flames for profit.

Everybody who is at all politically aware and honest with themselves knows this. We just don't have a common bogeyman to point at, as nobody will tattoo corporate with some responsibility and accountability for our current social situation - at least here in the US.

I would imagine that there is great angst throughout Europe within many demographics at the same kind of operational methodology of the EU.

Isn't Greece "fanning the flames for profit"?

Isn't it easy for many nations and their people to see that graft packaged up as noble sacrifice or natural law?

I remember back in the day, when the EU was coming on line, I was excited because I thought we were going to get a welfare state of similar size to do ideological battle with the Caveat Empire™.

I remember how naive I felt when I realized that it wasn't an ideological counter balance to the US, it was a fellow cheap labor competitor. The EU was not going to buttress and export the welfare state, it was going to bastardize it, hollow it out, and marketize it. Huge bummer.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu