Wednesday, 26 October 2016

How to fix Syria

Make the West & its allies (Israel & Saudi Arabia included) stop funding islamic fundamentalists. Strike a deal with Assad (basically, don't prosecute him and his cronies). Send out the Army Corps of Engineers from all NATO members to Syria, to rebuild it in something like half a year (if people aren't shooting at them). Then put the refugees on planes and trains back to Syria. Naturally, this goes against the agenda of any hawk, regardless of political colour. Peace in the Middle East = the formation and consolidation of regional power blocks, and no empire wants that. But that's the only real pragmatic solution I see. You might call it wishful thinking - and it probably is, but it's a lot better than trying to integrate them in Europe. It will simply lead to political instability, and we'll end up with a divided continent, with regimes in power that won't shy away from using extreme means to "bring things under control."

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Elevating Trump, the DNC's strategy all along

Richard Moser absolutely nails it. Original kudos to Wikileaks of course.
Read the whole thing here:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/11/elevating-trump/

Force all Republican Candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election…
The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream Republican Party. Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:
Ted Cruz
Donald Trump
Ben Carson
We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Disappointing article from The Jacobin on the UBI

Source: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/01/universal-basic-income-switzerland-finland-milton-friedman-kathi-weeks/

Here's my take on it.

The article mixes in a number of faux-problems. Firstly, it assumes that Government must increase taxes somewhere and or cut funding from somewhere else in order to implement the UBI (regardless if it's livable or not).

Secondly, it assumes that with more leisure time, people will be more emancipated and be more engaged socially and politically. An ironic consequence might be that reactionaries will gain in free time too (and be more engaged in social activism of a different kind), leaving things more or less neutral.

Thirdly, it brings in ethics in a very flawed manner. "While a basic income would compensate those who spend countless hours doing unpaid reproductive labor, men who don’t engage in reproductive labor would receive the same amount." By this line of reasoning, old people might not be deserving of the UBI because they don't engage in 'reproductive labor', or they don't engage as much. Never was a fan of LTV lingo.

Number 4, it assumes that we can have the type of social relations humans used to have in hunter gatherer societies. "By shortening working hours, a basic income expands the realm of freedom and encroaches upon the realm of necessity, taking us closer to a society where we can hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, criticize in the evening, and wash dishes after dinner." Yeah, no. The realities of cities is very different. If you're in the countryside and you own land, things might be different. But so long as you have the phenomenon of private rent seeking, stemming from private ownership over natural monopolies (over non-man-made things, such as land, forests, rivers, minerals etc) - then the hunter gatherer society can't be revived.

And finally, it assumes that capital can only turn a profit by exploiting people. That's just not true. And as for capital flight. Man, they can't leave with the land. Ok? What matters is the land, its riches, and its people. Not someone's nrs on an electronic balance sheet.
"The only way out is to continue producing even if one can’t make a profit. Thus, an LBI would sooner or later force onto the stage the age-old question of the ownership of means of production."
Alright, so we can deduce from this that Government owning the means of production doesn't need to make a money profit to operate industry and infrastructure. So why then is the UBI fiscally incompatible without tax increases and or budget cuts?
Now, if you're die hard on ethics, then the UBI isn't for you. Why? Because why should the rich, the uber rich, and the moderately well off get an extra income, unlike the poor who have none?
In case you don't know. I'm not big on ethics. I'm interested in whatever gets the job done. That being said, I'm not a Machiavellian. Genocide today to achieve utopia tomorrow is not my credo. Onwards...

It would be better to implement the Freeland reform, in which Government takes ownership of all the land and natural monopolies, leaving man-made things (like buildings) in private possession. This alongside Universal Health care should be the top priorities in my view. The BIG and the JG can take a back seat. Unemployment is caused by Government money taxation, anyway, and it's exacerbated by the inequitable flow of funds within the economy. Through money taxation, the Government creates a pool of unemployed from which to draw labor so that it can provision itself. If there's an excess of unemployed, there are two options. 1) for the Government to hire them (see the JG). 2) for the Government to lower the tax. Instead of preserving the highly inequitable flow of funds from high MPC households to low MPC households - let's do away with the FIRE sector in its entirety. Have asset side discipline for the banks and provide a public banking option ONLY, which would issue loans to consumers and business without interest. We'd eliminate the drag and inequality in the economy, produced by compound interest and mortgage debt.
In conclusion, I want to say this. Regardless of what you implement, regardless of how good it may be - at the end of the day, people are fucking stupid. And they're everywhere in every strata. Stupid rich people. Stupid middle class people. Stupid poor people. Stupid working people. Stupid unemployed people. Stupid men. Stupid women. Stupid trans people. Stupid heterosexuals. Stupid homosexuals. Stupid theists. Stupid atheists. Etc. At the end of the day, that good system which was in place will erode, and people will allow it to fall because they're fucking stupid and greedy.
I'm not being a fatalist here. I'm simply using Ibn Khaldun's theory on society.