Does E.U. Stand For European Union Or Economic Union?

It stands for Economic Union. The Central Banks now own a vast majority of the settled areas of Earth. N.A.T.O. is little more than a private army which directly serve the interests of these privately owned corporations which call themselves Central Banks. The vast majority of humans have forgotten that currency actually is,”something which is worthless, yet presented and perceived as valuable.” So E.U. stands for Economic Union. The base of the present “economy”(currency slavery) relies solely upon mass privatization and usury. To witness the “austerity measures” being imposed upon the majority of the hapless humans on Earth (who only want to have freedom and work which they enjoy) is as unbelievable as it is outrageous. This Central Banks Cartel is nothing more than a few privately owned corporations which have shares owned by a small minority of humans. They rely upon their ability to “mint”/control/distribute currency over the population which in turn must believe that their worthless currency (worthless gold or other shiny metals or shiny stones -worthless diamonds-) is valuable and that somehow they owe them for it. Only labour has value because only labour creates. Currency does not create anything. This is not the first time We have witnessed the beleaguered citizens of Greece in the news.

Read it here or below.

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Syriza’s election defeat: A balance sheet of a political betrayal
9 July 2019

The election defeat Sunday of the Syriza (“Coalition of the Radical Left”) government brings to a close a strategic experience for the Greek and international working class.

When Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took office four years ago, pledging to end the European Union (EU) austerity Memorandum, the entire middle-class pseudo-left declared the party’s victory a massive triumph for the working class and a “radical” alternative to capitalism.

These forces held Syriza up as a model for all the parties and political leaders “of the 99 percent”—from the Podemos party in Spain to British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and America’s self-styled “socialist” candidate Bernie Sanders.

Instead, Syriza imposed a set of deeper austerity measures than any government in modern history, save the Stalinist Communist Party in its dissolution of the USSR, while turning the country into a quasi-police state and carrying out the most draconian anti-refugee policy in all of Europe.

Four years later, a frustrated, impoverished electorate threw Tsipras out. Amidst mass abstention, the despised, right-wing New Democracy (ND) is back in office.

A deafening silence reigns in Spain’s Cuarto Poder, Britain’s Socialist Worker and America’s Jacobin magazine on the reasons for this defeat. But it was the predictable outcome of Syriza’s rank betrayal of its election promises. Since taking office in January 2015, it has slavishly signed on the dotted line for every austerity memorandum, bank bailout and social cut demanded by the EU.

These four years have vindicated the International Committee of the Fourth International’s (ICFI) analysis of the class gulf separating workers from “left populist” parties of the affluent middle class. These organizations have nothing to do with socialism. If the university professors, media operatives and union bureaucrats leading Syriza could speak frankly about what they think of the reactionary outcome of their term in office, they would say: “Mission Accomplished.”

In 2012, when Tsipras traveled to Washington to audition before the CIA amid mounting working class opposition to EU austerity imposed by the ND, the WSWS warned: “In the coming class struggles, Syriza will confront the workers as an enemy. Its aim, whether in or out of power, is to contain popular opposition to austerity policies and maintain the political domination of finance capital over the working class.”

When Syriza was elected in January 2015, after a year of strikes and protests against austerity, the WSWS wrote that Syriza represented “an enormous danger. Despite its left-wing façade, Syriza is a bourgeois party that rests on affluent layers of the middle class… While its leader, Alexis Tsipras, promises the voters a (very small) lessening of the terrible austerity in Greece, he never tires of promising the representatives of the banks and governments abroad that they have ‘nothing to fear’ from a Syriza government.”

By contrast, King’s College professor and ex-Syriza member Stathis Kouvelakis wrote in Jacobin at the time: “Syriza’s electoral triumph has brought hope to the European radical left and workers’ movement, offering it an immense opportunity.” He admitted that Syriza’s “strategic orientation toward the EU is also rather unclear,” and that its government coalition with the far-right Independent Greeks was “an evil.” Nevertheless, he predicted a fight: “The moment of truth is at hand.”

This was as fraudulent as Tsipras’ election promise to end EU austerity. Far from seeking to fight, Syriza was surprised and disturbed by mass demonstrations of workers that broke out after its election. It had no intention of mobilizing working class anger at decades of EU austerity since the Stalinist restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union in 1991, and especially since the 2008 Wall Street crash.

Syriza made no appeal to broader opposition in the European and international working class. Instead, then-Syriza Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis toured the major European capitals for talks to work out a slightly modified austerity policy. Varoufakis later told the Observer that in these talks, during which he publicly hailed German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Europe’s “most astute politician,” he proposed “standard Thatcherite or Reaganesque” economic policies.

This was why—once Berlin, London and Paris indicated they would brook no letup to austerity—Syriza quickly capitulated and, trampling its election promises underfoot, signed a new EU austerity memorandum on February 20, 2015. Syriza had all the powers of office to make an international appeal to working class discontent. But it did not want to. To enforce the types of attacks imposed by Thatcher or Reagan against British and American workers in the 1980s, it could not tolerate a wave of strikes and struggles in the working class.

Throughout the spring of 2015, Syriza sought to find ways to justify the tens of billions of euros in social attacks that it was preparing. As the EU threatened to cut off credit to Greek banks and force Greece to re-establish a national currency to avert a breakdown of its financial system, Tsipras scheduled a referendum on EU austerity for July 2015. This referendum, Syriza admirer and long-time Pabloite Tariq Ali later reported, was for Tsipras “a calculated risk. He thought the ‘Yes’ camp would win, and planned to resign and let EU stooges run the government.”

Tsipras’ first attempt to hand power back to the right failed, however. The “no” vote won by a 61 percent landslide, as workers voted overwhelmingly against austerity. Tsipras and Syriza then ignored the result of their own referendum, deciding to impose a 13-billion-euro austerity package dictated by Berlin and Brussels.

This decision was rooted in the class interests served by Syriza and epitomized by the considerable wealth of its leaders. The WSWS noted at the time: “Syriza legislator Dimitris Tsoukalas (with declared personal savings in 2013 of over €1 million), Finance Minister Tsakalotos (whose stock portfolio is worth over €500,000), Economy Minister Giorgios Stathakis (€426,000 invested with JP Morgan), former Syriza leader Alekos Alavanos (€350,000 in savings, a stock portfolio and 11 real estate properties), and former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (whose wife Danae Stratou is a millionaire) cannot imagine or tolerate a break with the EU because—like the rest of the Greek ruling elite—they would lose a great deal of wealth if Greece exited the euro and their assets were re-denominated in a heavily devalued national currency.”

What has this meant for workers in Greece? It was the greatest economic collapse in Europe since the Stalinist restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union itself. Economic production fell by a quarter, incomes by over 30 percent and pensions by 50 percent, as the poverty rate rose to 35 percent. The jobless rate still stands at 18 percent and over 40 percent for youth, even after the surge in gig economy employment that Syriza has heavily touted. One Greek worker in three works on a part-time salary of €317 per month, or half the official minimum wage.

EU austerity overseen by Syriza has blighted millions of lives, throwing the working class back decades. The ending of universal healthcare has meant a surge of deaths by preventable diseases, or because cancers are discovered only in late stages of the disease due to a suspension of testing. In the workplaces, workers are routinely forced to agree to pay back part of their salary to employers as a precondition to find employment, or to forgo their salary for long periods of time. Hundreds of thousands of Greeks were forced to leave their country to try to find jobs.

Those who say that this was an inevitable outcome of an unequal fight between Greece and the entire EU are only deceiving themselves or others. The last several years have seen the greatest upsurge of strikes and social protests, across Europe and beyond, in decades. These include the first national teachers strike in Poland since the Stalinist restoration of capitalism in 1989, French “yellow vest” protests, and strikes against EU wage freezes in Germany, Portugal and Belgium.

The Syriza government refused to appeal to and mobilize this opposition in the international working class because it was led by a cabal of petty-bourgeois gangsters determined to save the wealth of the banks and to enrich themselves.

A key concern of the Syriza government since 2015 has been to perfect techniques of police repression targeting workers. As he set up concentration camps in Greece for refugees fleeing imperialist wars in Syria and Iraq, Tsipras has also strengthened the riot police and cultivated a relationship with the butcher of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, military dictator General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. There is little doubt that, as Tsipras leaves office, plans have been well laid for him to quickly emerge personally wealthy.

Four years of the Syriza government have provided devastating political lessons, very dearly bought, for the international working class. The pressing task is to draw the political conclusions flowing from these lessons.

This experience has unforgettably demonstrated the impossibility of fighting a bankrupt capitalist order by voting for “left populist” parties to implement reforms under capitalism. The betrayal carried out by Syriza, rooted in its class basis in the affluent petty bourgeoisie, will be repeated if similar parties come to power elsewhere. The way forward is a turn to the perspective of classical Marxism, that is, Trotskyism: the revolutionary mobilization of the full industrial and economic power of the international working class to take control of economic life and state power.

The fight for this perspective requires a new revolutionary leadership in the working class. That leadership is the ICFI, which demonstrated through its opposition to Syriza the fundamental correctness of its class perspective and its orientation to the working class. The central task now is the building of sections of the ICFI in Greece and in every country.

Alex Lantier
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The future of Earth relies upon changing the planet from a capitalist planet to a non-capitalist planet. The individuals will not return the power they have stolen (along with everything else) to you willingly. They are prepared to start another World War in order to distract you as well as eliminate much of the population on Earth to to this. It is time for more and more of you to stop listening to the lies that they tell you and to awake and see what it is that they actually do.

The history of the United States of America is not being fully explained or even taught in schools today. The reason is because at the outset of America, Central Banks and Corporations were illegal. It was not permitted to allow private individuals control over any of the variable currencies in use. In regards to corporations, they were eventually permitted but only if they were formed to achieve a clearly defined goal (building a bridge etc) and had a dissolution date within their mandate.
Read more about this topic here

It is still possible to take back your power and to close all of these Central Banks. When you seek a cause for such problems as drug addiction, be aware that the demand will always be supplied. The cause of this demand is almost always usury.

Hope Remains

Greetings Human Collective upon the surface of the Planet Earth. Here is an inspirational message from the New Global Communist Party.

When We examine the situation of Country Internment, Currency Slavery and the unending tribal wars which have marred the prospects of Unity for 13,000 years, it looks dismal. Do not give up your hope. The “Petty Ones” who have done everything to nurse Civilization Level Zero, do not intend to willingly relinquish their power over you. As more and more of you awake, it is no longer possible for them to hide what it is that they actually do from you. The situation must appear very dire as the two primary instigators of War (the U.S.A. and the U.K.) begin an unending campaign to launch the Collective upon a path to WWIII. There are some members of the current government in the U.S.A. that believe it is still possible for them to win a nuclear war. The present Global Plutocracy on Earth exists. Those who hoard this worthless currency, know that it is worthless. They rely upon your continued belief in the value and manufactured need (Currency Addiction) in order to maintain power over you as they engage in the same contest among themselves. Remember the definition of currency “something which is worthless, yet presented and perceived as being valuable.” None of you require currency for anything because you all, already have everything you need. You require only labour of yourselves, animals and nature as well as the natural resources of Earth. This you already have, yet these along with all resources and Universal Law and Universal Human Rights have been denied you by the “Petty Ones”.

We will soon be releasing a larger and more extensive version of the New Global Communist Manifesto that will be released for the public (the present Manifesto is a small release intended for special interest groups). Let us discuss here some information that We trust will inspire hope. You are all already aware that you live upon the Planet Earth. The Earth is your home, not a postage stamp, and whatever happens upon the surface of Earth will have an effect upon all of you. At this moment in time, there is no valid government on Earth beyond the municipal level. This is because all Humans live in towns and cities and are sovereign citizens of Earth, with the right to live, work or travel anyplace upon the Earth unhindered. It is Humans who keep the culture simply by living their daily lives, not governments.

We encourage all of you to maintain and to escalate the street protests throughout the major cities on Earth. These protests are a superb way to disrupt everyday life and prevent the masquerade that is being maintained by the “Petty Ones” through their enforced usury. We do not advise any forward, violent revolutions upon Earth because the “Petty Ones” do not intend to ever willing set you free and they are prepared to outright murder billions of you and destroy the Earth before they set you free. The solution has been before you all along. Take back your power. The Internment Camps that they have created to hold you are not without a foundation. This foundation is the towns and cities where you dwell. An attempt to destroy the “head” of this beast that is ready to impose martial law and violence will end in failure. To take back your towns and cities is how you destroy it’s feet and see it collapse. Those of you who are reading this and have an involvement in municipal governments, are the key to setting your Brothers and Sisters (Human Family) free.

You must declare your towns and cities as independent City States. Separate yourselves where you all reside in your cities and towns from the Internment Camps government that are holding you all prisoners. You all, already know that none of these governments actually care about you. They only care about enforcing usury as a means of maintaining their power over you. War, famine, disease, homelessness, education, healthy food, potable water etc. none of these things matter to them. This is why your basic freedoms keep eroding each year and the misery of the increasing numbers of the poor which grow each year are simply ignored. They control you through fear, shame and lies. They invent more and more and more petty laws in order to imprison more and more of you innocent, non-violent humans. Drug laws and sex laws are an excellent way for them to target the vulnerable for imprisonment, in order to be used as slave labour in “for profit” prisons. Do not blame the police. All they can do is enforce more and more of these laws. Do not expect to be given a “fair trial” since there are now so many laws and so many of you being charged, that it is impossible for you to be given a trial. Today you will be represented only by yourself or by a lawyer who works for the prosecution and will tell you to plea guilty, even if you insist that you are not, to avoid the court (plea Bargain). So you must begin to separate yourselves from these “Countries”. As more and more of you witness the declaration of independent City-States, be they small enclaves or large Metropolitan Centres, you will see the foundation of the beast decay until it can no longer be supported.

We know that these will be opposed in the beginning. Perhaps even the military will be employed. Still, this is your hope to see greater personal freedoms restored. A Planetary Council must be formed upon Earth. You must organize to create this across the globe. It must be the independent City-states which form this. “Elected representatives of the First World, Second World, Third World and Fourth World Nations, as well as selected environmentalists, engineers, physicists from a global pool of their peers. There is hope.

Soon We will be releasing our New Global Communist Manifesto as a larger version for the public.

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Peace be with you. Here is another inspirational message.

Message Number 232

God Says

Clarity is important. Clarity is being able to see as well as to know the truth of what is happening around you. I have told you all before that there is such a thing as Universal Law. On Earth, you will hear many proponents of “relative truth”, they want you to believe that truth is not an absolute, universal, intransient thing, but only a matter of perception. “What is truth for one may not be truth for another.” This is false. I have told you all before that you are all My children. You are all equal. I have asked you all not to judge but to be the embodiment of unconditional love. Do not cause harm to others or to your environment. Each of you is responsible for creating your personal realities on Earth and My plan is for all of you to be free to do anything that you desire, provided that you do not cause harm to others or to your environment. When you hear amongst  you these debates about what constitutes truth, remember that My truth is clear to you. Do not believe in any humans who tell you that a thing can be both a truth as well as an untruth at the same time depending upon your personal perception. Do not believe that anything can be both good and bad at the same time. My way is truth and My way is always courage, pride and truth.

Arab Boy Singer Exclusive: Poetry Of Islam

Here is an exclusive on a delightful Arab Boy singer. You’ll be running to the nearest Mosque in your Hood when you hear the sultry voice of this salacious young Turkish Boy Chanter, crooning Islamic Poetry for your listening pleasure.


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Please feel free to explore and learn more about this delightful Arab Boy singer on your own. Music for the discriminating, Modern Boylover. The music is Compliments of the United Arab Emirates.

Let’s Laugh At The U.K. And The U.S.A.

Introducing The United Kingdom

Brexit has been the best thing could ever happen to the U.K. and to the world because it shows how utterly inept and separated from the people it “serves” the ruling government of the U.K. actually is. It has been almost 3 years since the vote to leave Europe and nothing at all has been done apart from the useless government arguing with itself as it ignores the people. Could it be proof that we have all been waiting for that the U.K. is really just a puppet of the Privately owned Central Bank with it’s only purpose being Usury, mass manufacture of weapons of mass destruction for sales to countries for use in genocide, imprisoning more and more non-violent humans for use as slave labour and sending youth to die in foreign wars?

Why have the people not had a revolution yet?


Four million British workers live in poverty, charity says

Number of workers entering poverty rising faster than employment, says Joseph Rowntree Foundation

More than 500,000 British workers have been swept into working poverty over the past five years, according to a report that shows the number of people with a job but living below the breadline has risen faster than employment.

In the latest sign that the link between entering work and making ends meet has become increasingly frayed in 21st-century Britain, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said that the number of workers in poverty hit 4 million last year, meaning about one in eight in the economy are now classified as working poor.

Nearly all of the increase comes as growing numbers of working parents find it harder to earn enough money to pay for food, clothing and accommodation due to weak wage growth, an erosion of welfare support and tax credits and the rising cost of living.

Half a million more children have become trapped in poverty over the past five years as a direct consequence, reaching 4.1 million last year, the charity’s report added. It means that in a typical classroom of 30 children, nine would come from a household in poverty.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the JRF, said: “We are seeing a rising tide of child poverty as more parents are unable to make ends meet, despite working. This is unacceptable.”

In the findings of JRF’s report, UK Poverty 2018, the number of children who slipped into poverty from a working family rose more steeply than at any time for 20 years.

It said parents getting stuck in low-paid work, especially in retail and hospitality jobs in hotels, bars, restaurants and shops, were among the drivers for the increase. It said more companies could pay the real living wage, which is higher than the government minimum, to help alleviate in-work poverty.

The charity defines the poverty line as being when households earn less than 60% of the median income, adjusted for size and type of household. The average median income for UK households after housing costs was £425 a week (£22,100 a year) in 2016-17.

Margaret Greenwood, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said the report should be a wake-up call for the government. “There is something seriously wrong when the number of people in work in poverty is increasing faster than employment,” she said.

The JRF analysis shows that gains for working families from the rising national living wage have been far outweighed by changes to tax credits and benefits designed to top up low wages. The living wage has steadily risen from £7.20 an hour in 2016 to £7.83 this April and will rise again to £8.21 next April.

It called on the government to end its four-year freeze on benefits, which began in 2016, a year earlier than planned, saying it would help lift 200,000 people out of poverty and give 14 million people on low incomes an extra £270 on average in 2020-21.

Research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the tax and spending thinktank, has shown that government cuts made under George Osborne’s policy of austerity have left the poorest 10% in society much worse-off than the richest since 2015.

Although Theresa May promised to bring austerity to an end at the autumn budget, as Britain prepares for Brexit, many economists say that milestone has yet to be reached.

More than 14 million people are struggling in poverty, or about one in five of the total UK population, according to the JRF. Of these, 8.2 million are working-age adults, 4.1 million are children and 1.9 million are pensioners. Eight million people live in poverty in families where at least one person is in work.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said it disagreed with the report, and that there were 1 million fewer people than in 2010 living in absolute poverty, which is a higher threshold than the measure used by the JRF.

They added: “With this government’s changes household incomes have never been higher, income inequality has fallen, taxes are down for families and businesses and there are fewer children in workless households than ever before, boosting their prospects in life.”


It has been stated time and time again that there is no reason for any form of currency to be used on Earth. You already have all of the resources and labour that is required to accomplish anything. When you permit privatization to exist alongside currency you manufacture wealth with poverty and place limits upon yourselves which prevent all manner of growth, especially the growth of Civilization. We have a solution.


Introducing The United States of America

This country is being ruled by a senile demented Steampunk who wants to revamp coal mining and restore steam-run factories, steam driven locomotives, the cold war, and C.I.A. interference in order to covertly overthrow peaceful governments that do not pander to their privately owned Central Bank.

Steam Punk Multi-Billionaire Trump

Let’s examine the history of the United States that Trump wants to recreate for it’s future.


What really happened in Hungary

Published Nov 9, 2006 7:46 PM

Why did George W. Bush just send New York Gov. George Pataki to Budapest to praise the 1956 uprising of the “Hungarian freedom fighters”?

It’s also the 30th anniversary of the heroic Soweto rebellion, in which hundreds of African youth were killed fighting apartheid. But Pataki didn’t go to South Africa.

No capitalist politician commemorates the 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic, which was the second socialist revolution following the victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia.

The Hungarian Soviet Republic lasted 133 days. Allen Dulles, at that time a young U.S. diplomat, played a role in coordinating the invasion that drowned it in blood. In the 1950s, after he became CIA director, Dulles overthrew progressive governments in Guatemala and Iran.

Admiral Miklós Horthy, a leading player in the overthrow of that early soviet republic, later became Hungary’s fascist dictator and allied himself to Hitler. Under fascist rule, over 400,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.

During World War II, many Hungarian soldiers who had been press-ganged to fight against the Soviet Union died during the failed Nazi attempt to seize the city of Stalingrad.

The Soviet Red Army finally liberated Hungary from fascism at tremendous cost.

Unlike in Yugoslavia and Albania, the main agent of change in Hungary was the Soviet Army, not revolutionary forces inside the country. The country had been devastated. Few communists had survived the decades of death camps and torture.

Nevertheless, workers took over the factories. Two-thirds of the land had been owned by 40 families while 3 million peasants didn’t have any. “Hungary remained one of the last strongholds of feudal or semi-feudal forms of tenure in Europe up until 1945,” wrote scholar Alexander Eckstein in August 1949. Peasants chased the landlords off their huge feudal estates, which were divided up.

Schools were opened to the poor. College enrollment rose 400 percent by 1955. The number of women students increased five times. Workers and peasants were guaranteed 60 percent of college seats.

Health care was made free. A campaign against tuberculosis—called the “Hungarian disease”—saved thousands of lives.

Socialist economic planning made these advances possible. Industrial production increased by 14 percent per year in the early 1950s, but from a very low base.

Meantime the “cold war” was intensifying. Pentagon brass were preparing for a nuclear war against the Soviet Union. They launched a massive invasion of Korea in 1950.

Despite the Hungarian Communists’ attempts to bring about greater equality, they were under tremendous pressure.

By the mid 1950s, with an infusion of U.S. capital through the Marshall Plan, Western Europe was becoming prosperous again. But Eastern Europe—where the fascist offensive had claimed millions of lives and destroyed most of the infrastructure—remained poor.

Many collective farms had been established in Hungary, but too hastily, alienating the peasants, who didn’t have enough tractors to work large spreads because the industrial base was weak.

Mass discontent in Hungary was fanned by the formerly privileged classes who had been expropriated. Struggles within the Communist Party made things worse.

In the background was the extremely influential Catholic Church. This wasn’t the church of El Salvador’s martyred Archbishop Romero. Hungarian Cardinal Mindszenty was ideologically far to the right; he wrote that Darwin should have been burned at the stake.

A “secret speech” by Nikita Khrushchev at the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in February 1956 denounced Stalin—but from the right, seeking an accommodation with the imperialists. It gave a green light to pro-capitalist elements throughout Eastern Europe.

In October Imre Nagy became Hungary’s premier and opened the door to reaction—in the same way that Mikhail Gorbachev later did in the USSR.

Workers had grievances in Hungary. But their discontent was misused in a bloody struggle that was welcomed by Wall Street.

Book burnings of Marxist literature were carried out, just as the Nazis had done. Red stars were removed from buildings. Socialist symbols were cut out of the Hungarian flag. And Communists were lynched.

Hungarian workers were told they could keep their socialized factories and other achievements after they “overthrew communism.”

“Workers’ councils” allowed pro-capitalist parties like the Smallholders to be brought into the government. Fascist Mindszenty was released from prison. Hungarian “freedom fighters” called for U.N. intervention, which, as in Korea, really meant U.S. intervention.

The Soviet Union was compelled to send in troops to stop this counter-revolution.

The reaction was thrown back. The first job of new Communist leader János Kádár, who himself had been imprisoned under a previous Communist regime, was winning back the workers. A workers’ militia was formed.

After 1956 socialist Hungary advanced economically, but Washington spent trillions of U.S. workers’ taxes to defeat the socialist bloc, initiating a terribly costly arms race. They were finally victorious in 1989-91 throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

This was a real tragedy for the world working class and nations fighting neocolonialism. Cuba and People’s Korea suffered terribly, losing most of their foreign trade.

While the new ruling class now flaunts its wealth, the workers gained nothing from these counter-revolutions. Hungary’s unemployment rate skyrocketed from 1.7 percent in 1990 to 11 percent in 1996. Fifty thousand Hungarians were made homeless by capitalist “freedom.” Tuberculosis cases increased 18 percent between 1990 and 1999.

Now current Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is under attack from even more right-wing forces.

All this shows why it was important to defend the Hungarian workers’ state in 1956 and stop the right wing. The counter-revolutionaries had masqueraded as friends of the workers, just as Hitler had disguised his reactionary program as “national socialism.” But in fact they were totally allied with world imperialism and, as partners of global monopoly capital, were ready to exploit the workers doubly.

Today Bush may boast about the defeat of the socialist bloc in Europe. But the rising resistance to U.S. imperialism all over the globe demonstrates more clearly than any words that the tide is once again turning in favor of the workers and the national liberation struggles.


Donald trump must have been inspired by watching his youngest son (Barron) playing Fallout 4, he wants his own Fatman. It has been tried before.


The M28/M29 Davy Crockett Nuclear Weapon System

Written By: Matthew Seelinger

During the Cold War, as the U.S. Navy and Air Force maintained America’s strategic nuclear arsenal of long-range bombers and submarine and land-based ballistic missiles, the Army focused on the development and deployment of tactical nuclear weapons for possible use on the battlefield.  Beginning in the early 1950s, the Army introduced a wide range of unguided rockets, guided missiles, artillery shells, demolition charges, and other systems capable of carrying nuclear warheads, with yields ranging from a fraction of a kiloton to a few megatons.  Among the smallest of the weapons in the Army’s nuclear arsenal was the M28/M29 Davy Crockett, a recoilless rifle system operated by a three-man crew and entering service in the early 1960s.

The development of nuclear weapons during World War II, and their use against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, ushered in a new, and potentially cataclysmic, age of warfare.  Whole cities could now be destroyed in a matter of seconds by a single weapon.  Some military planners believed that expensive, large-scale ground armies were now all but obsolete, as nuclear bombs provided “more bang for the buck.”  However, the early versions of these weapons were primarily for strategic use.   The two devices dropped on Japan, the “Little Boy” and the “Fat Man,” were large, cumbersome weapons, each with a weight of over 10,000 pounds and a length of approximately ten feet.  Only the B-29 Superfortress had the capability of carrying and dropping these bombs, and they had little tactical use on the battlefield.

By the early 1950s, advances in nuclear weapons development, spurred by the Cold War and the Soviet Union’s detonation of an atomic bomb in 1949, allowed for great reductions in the size and weight of nuclear warheads.  As a result, the Army began developing and deploying tactical nuclear weapon systems in Europe, beginning with the M65 “atomic cannon” capable of firing nuclear shells weighing 600-800 pounds, with yields of fifteen kilotons.  This was followed by nuclear-tipped Corporal and Honest John missiles.

With the size of atomic warheads shrinking, and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s growing reliance on tactical nuclear weapons to offset the Soviet Union’s huge advantage in conventional forces, the Army’s Ordnance Corps began looking at new weapon systems for use on the nuclear battlefield, including ones capable of being operated by small groups of front-line infantrymen.  For Ordnance officials, the ideal system would be an easily transportable weapon carrying a simple nuclear warhead with a sub-kiloton yield, and having a range of 500 to 4,000 yards.

In late 1957, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the government agency responsible for developing nuclear weapons, announced that it had successfully created a lightweight sub-kiloton yield fission warhead that could be used as a front-line weapon.  AEC subsequently turned the responsibility of incorporating the warhead into a weapon system over to the Army’s Chief of Ordnance, Major General John H. Hinrichs.  Work on the project commenced at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey in January 1958.

While Ordnance officials explored as many as twenty potential delivery systems, including guided missiles, standard artillery, and mortars, the Army settled on a recoilless rifle system, which offered the simplest and lightest option.  Additional work on what was now referred to as the Battle Group Atomic Delivery System (BGADS) was conducted at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois; Frankford Arsenal, Pennsylvania; Watervliet Arsenal, New York; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Lake City Arsenal, Missouri; and Watertown Arsenal, Massachusetts.   Army Chief of Staff General Maxwell D. Taylor considered development of the BGADS a high priority and a key component of the Army’s new “pentomic” divisions, a reorganization of the Army’s force structure believed to improve the Army’s ability to fight on the nuclear battlefield.

In August 1958, the Army officially began to refer to the BGADS as the Davy Crocket, after the American folk hero, frontiersman, and politician who died at the Alamo in 1836, though the name had been used months earlier.  In November 1958, the Ordnance Corps delivered the first prototype Davy Crockett recoilless rifle tube at Picatinny Arsenal.  After several years of development and testing at various Army arsenals, Forts Greeley and Wainwright in Alaska, and the Yuma Test Station in Arizona, the M28/M29 Davy Crockett entered service in May 1961.

The Davy Crockett was produced in two variants:  the “light” M28 120mm recoilless rifle and the “heavy” M29 155mm recoilless rifle.  The M28 had a range of approximately 1.25 miles (2 kilometers), while the larger M29 could launch a projectile out to 2.5 miles (4 kilometers).  Both variants fire the 76-pound M388 atomic projectile, which had a diameter of eleven inches and a length of thirty-one inches.  After firing, four fins on the round’s tail popped out to stabilize it in flight.  Due to its oblong shape, some soldiers referred to the projectile as the “atomic watermelon.”  The M388 carried the W54 warhead, the smallest nuclear weapon deployed by U.S. armed forces.  The W54 weighed fifty-one pounds and had an explosive yield of .01-.02 kilotons of TNT (the equivalent of approximately 10-20 tons).  The same warhead was also used in the Special Atomic Demolition Munition and the Air Force’s AIM-26 Falcon air-to-air missile.

The Davy Crockett was operated by a three-man crew and mounted on an M38 or M151 jeep.  Both variants could be launched from jeeps, but they could also be launched from a tripod placed on the ground.  The M28 launcher weighed 185 pounds.  The larger M29, weighing in at 440 pounds, was often carried by an M113 armored personnel carrier (APC), but it was fired only from a tripod mounted on the ground near the vehicle, not from the APC itself.

After firing a “spotting” round from either a 20 mm (M28) or a 37 mm (M29) gun attached to the Davy Crockett launch tube to determine the proper distance and angle for the target, the crew inserted the propellant charge down the muzzle, followed by a metal piston.  It then loaded the sub-caliber spigot on the rear of the M388 projectile into the barrel of the launcher like a rifle grenade.  A switch on the warhead allowed the crew to select the height of detonation.  Upon firing, the M388 left the launcher with a great bang and large cloud of white smoke, reaching a speed of 100 miles per hour.  Since the launch tube was smoothbore,  accuracy was always a problem.   Nevertheless, what the Davy Crockett lacked in accuracy it made up for in power, although the initial radiation created by the detonation of the W54 warhead would be as lethal to the enemy, if not more so, than the heat and blast effects.  Since the warhead also posed a threat to the crew firing it, the Army recommended that soldiers manning the Davy Crockett select firing positions in sheltered locations, such as the rear slope of a hill.  Soldiers were also encouraged to keep their heads down to protect themselves from the warhead’s detonation.

he Army began deploying the first M28/M29 systems in 1961 to Europe to equip Davy Crockett sections within Seventh Army’s armor and infantry battalions, in particular those defending the Fulda Gap in West Germany, the expected invasion route of Warsaw Pact forces advancing west.  Davy Crockett units were also deployed to Guam, Hawaii, Okinawa, and South Korea.  Eventually the lighter M28 was phased out and replaced by the M29 in all Davy Crockett-equipped units.

While the Army conducted dozens of live-fire tests of the Davy Crockett with training rounds, only two live M388 atomic projectiles were detonated.  The first occurred on 7 July 1962 at the Nevada Test Site when an M388 suspended in the air by wires was detonated a few feet off the ground in the Little Feller II weapons shot.  Ten days later, in the Little Feller I shot, an Army crew fired a live M388 from an M29 launcher.  The warhead detonated at a height of approximately twenty feet and at a distance of 1.7 miles from the launcher.  The test was conducted in conjunction with Operation IVY FLATS, a series of maneuvers to train soldiers in nuclear battlefield conditions.  Among the VIPs in attendance were Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and presidential military advisor General Maxwell D. Taylor, who made the development of the Davy Crockett a priority when he served as Army Chief of Staff.  Little Feller I also marked the last above-ground nuclear test at the Nevada Test Range.

As with other nuclear weapons of the Cold War era, the Davy Crockett was, fortunately, never used in combat, and its service with the Army was relatively brief.  By 1967, the Army began withdrawing the Davy Crockett from Europe, and by 1971, it was retired from service.  Today, a number of Davy Crockett systems can be found in several museums throughout the United States, including the Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the West Point Museum at West Point, New York.


How much longer will the American people permit the Central Bank controlled government of the United States to force usury while denying healthcare, education, potable water, safe infrastructures and all manner of dignity from the people? Combine that with archaic laws designed to target the vulnerable non-violent humans for mass imprisonment and Immigrant detention; all the while encouraging the Corporations (owned by the same people who own shares in the private central banks) to completely avoid paying taxes (which are used exclusively by the military anyways). Where is the revolution?

Here is an important message.


Message Number 207

God Says

It really is love that makes the world go around. It is not wealth. Love of families, of romance, of nature, of Me and My love for you. As a free will Being, you get to decide what will be the focus of your life upon Earth. I tell you that each lives independent lives and create around you based upon your focus. In love, you are all equal in your capacity to give and to receive, to perform service in the joy of knowing the love you provide is My kind of living. Among yourselves you will witness some of My children who are lost and they have a need to create a world based upon wealth and the inequality that must exist to maintain it. Reject the fear, shame and lies of this type of life. Return to Me instead.


 

Life On Earth Relies On Ending The Global Plutocracy

Greetings Human Collective on Earth

We (The Servants Of The Light), have repeated many times that Civilization upon Earth has been at Level Zero for approximately 13,000 years. Unless you make drastic changes, nothing will change. You have at present technology upon the Earth which does not belong there and poses a threat to all life as it is beyond your civilization level. It is now time to begin a new level of civilization upon earth and this means that everything must change. The Planetary economy must change to a non-capitalist planet (end of currency slavery), the nuclear family must change to the communal family unit, all countries (internment camps) must be shut down resulting in a planetary identity without borders, the organized religions must Coalesque into a unified spiritual consciousness, the hideous cities which sprawl across the surface of Earth must be deconstructed and replaced by Super City-State buildings. Everything must change. The Internment Camps upon Earth and their governments which do not represent the will of the masses, can no longer hide what it is that they actually do. Here are some studies that will support what We have been telling you all along.

———————————————

Nature crisis: Humans ‘threaten 1m species with extinction’

On land, in the seas, in the sky, the devastating impact of humans on nature is laid bare in a compelling UN report.

One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

Nature everywhere is declining at a speed never previously seen and our need for ever more food and energy are the main drivers.

These trends can be halted, the study says, but it will take “transformative change” in every aspect of how humans interact with nature.

From the bees that pollinate our crops, to the forests that hold back flood waters, the report reveals how humans are ravaging the very ecosystems that support their societies.

Three years in the making, this global assessment of nature draws on 15,000 reference materials, and has been compiled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It runs to 1,800 pages.

The brief, 40-page “summary for policymakers”, published today at a meeting in Paris, is perhaps the most powerful indictment of how humans have treated their only home.

It says that while the Earth has always suffered from the actions of humans through history, over the past 50 years, these scratches have become deep scars.

The world’s population has doubled since 1970, the global economy has grown four-fold, while international trade has increased 10 times over.

To feed, clothe and give energy to this burgeoning world, forests have been cleared at astonishing rates, especially in tropical areas.

Between 1980 and 2000, 100 million hectares of tropical forest were lost, mainly from cattle ranching in South America and palm oil plantations in South East Asia.

Faring worse than forests are wetlands, with only 13% of those present in 1700 still in existence in the year 2000.

Our cities have expanded rapidly, with urban areas doubling since 1992.

All this human activity is killing species in greater numbers than ever before.

According to the global assessment, an average of around 25% of animals and plants are now threatened.

Global trends in insect populations are not known but rapid declines in some locations have also been well documented.

All this suggests around a million species now face extinction within decades, a rate of destruction tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10 million years.

“We have documented a really unprecedented decline in biodiversity and nature, this is completely different than anything we’ve seen in human history in terms of the rate of decline and the scale of the threat,” said Dr Kate Brauman, from the University of Minnesota and a co-ordinating lead author of the assessment.

“When we laid it all out together I was just shocked to see how extreme the declines are in terms of species and in terms of the contributions that nature is providing to people.”

The assessment also finds that soils are being degraded as never before. This has reduced the productivity of 23% of the land surface of the Earth.

Our insatiable appetites are producing a mountain of waste.

Plastic pollution has increased ten-fold since 1980.

Every year we dump 300-400 million tonnes of heavy metals, solvents, toxic sludge and other wastes into the waters of the world.

What’s behind this crisis?

The report’s authors say there are a number of direct drivers of which land use change is the primary one.

This essentially means the replacement of grassland with intensive crops, or replacing ancient woodland with a plantation forest, or the clearing of forests to grow crops. This is happening in many parts of the world, especially in the tropics.

Since 1980, more than half of the increase in agriculture has been at the expense of intact forests.

It’s a similar story at sea.

Only 3% of the world’s oceans were described as free from human pressure in 2014.

Fish are being exploited as never before, with 33% of fish stocks harvested at unsustainable levels in 2015.

Live coral cover on reefs has nearly halved over the past 150 years.

Pushing all this forward, though, are increased demands for food from a growing global population and specifically our growing appetite for meat and fish.

“Land use now appears as the major driver of the biodiversity collapse, with 70% of agriculture related to meat production,” said Yann Laurans from IDDRI, the French policy research institute.

“It is time to reconsider the share of industrial meat and dairy in our diet.”

The other key factors are the hunting and the direct exploitation of animals, climate change, pollution and invasive species.

The report finds that many of these factors work together to make matters worse.

At the report’s launch, Kai Chan, a co-ordinating lead author from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, said: “No previous assessment has considered at this scale the simultaneous challenge of protecting nature, maintaining water, feeding the planet, supplying energy, while mitigating climate change… this is the most exhaustive report to have ever done that.”

Species extinction risk: Approximately 25% of species are already threatened with extinction in most animal and plant groups studied.

Natural ecosystems: Natural ecosystems have declined by 47% on average, relative to their earliest estimated states.

Biomass and species abundance: The global biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82%. Indicators of vertebrate abundance have declined rapidly since 1970.

Nature for indigenous people: 72% of indicators developed by local communities show ongoing deterioration of elements of nature important to them.

What does the future hold?

It all depends on what we do.

The authors looked at a number of scenarios for the future, including business-as-usual, but also examining options that were more based on sustainable practices.

In almost all cases, the negative trends for nature will continue to 2050 and beyond.

The only ones that didn’t continue towards ecological disaster involved what the scientists term “transformative change”.

What does transformative change actually mean?

The study doesn’t tell governments what to do, but gives them some pretty strong hints.

One big idea is to steer the world away from the “limited paradigm of economic growth”.

They suggest moving away from GDP as a key measure of economic wealth and instead adopting more holistic approaches that would capture quality of life and long-term effects.

They argue that our traditional notion of a “good quality of life” has involved increasing consumption on every level. This has to change.

Similarly, there must be change when it comes to financial incentives that damage biodiversity.

“Crucially, governments must end the destructive subsidies, including for fossil fuels and industrial fishing and agriculture,” said Andrew Norton, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development.

“These drive the plundering of the land and ocean at the expense of a clean, healthy and diverse environment on which billions of women, children and men depend now and in the future.”

The amount of land and sea that is under protection needs to increase rapidly, with observers saying that a third of our lands need to be preserved.

“We need to secure half of the planet by 2050 with an interim target of 30% by 2030,” said Jonathan Baillie, from the National Geographic Society.

“Then we must restore nature and drive innovation. Only then will we leave future generations a healthy and sustainable planet.”

Is this worse than climate change?

Climate change is a crucial underlying factor that’s helping to drive destruction around the world.

Greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since 1980 and temperatures have gone up 0.7C as a result. This is having a big impact on some species, restricting their ranges and making extinction more likely. The global assessment finds that if temperatures go up by 2C, then 5% of species are at risk of climate-driven extinction, rising to 16% if the world warms by 4.3C.

“Of the prioritised list of proximate drivers of biodiversity decline, climate change is only number three,” said Prof John Spicer from the University of Plymouth.

“Climate change is certainly one of the greatest threats that face humankind in the near future – so what does that tell us about the first and second, changes in land/sea use, and direct exploitation? The current situation is desperate and has been for some time.”

The report’s authors hope that their assessment becomes as critical to the argument about biodiversity loss as the IPCC report on 1.5C has done to the debate over climate change.

What can I do?

The idea of transformative action is not just confined to governments or local authorities. Individuals can certainly make a difference.

“We know that the way people eat today is often unhealthy for them and for the planet,” said Dr Kate Brauman, one of the report’s authors.

“We can become healthier as individuals by eating more diverse diets, with more vegetables, and we can also make the planet healthier by growing that food in more sustainable ways.”

As well as consumer and lifestyle choices, other authors believe people can make a difference through politics.

“It might be more important for society to invest more in renewables than coal,” said Dr Rinku Roy Chowdhury, from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

“So how do you that? Through individual behaviour, through the polling booth.

“Rather than just conserving energy by turning my lights off, some other less obvious means might be through political action.”


Dare to declare capitalism dead – before it takes us all down with it

George Monbiot

For most of my adult life I’ve railed against “corporate capitalism”, “consumer capitalism” and “crony capitalism”. It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun. While some people have rejected capitalism gladly and swiftly, I’ve done so slowly and reluctantly. Part of the reason was that I could see no clear alternative: unlike some anti-capitalists, I have never been an enthusiast for state communism. I was also inhibited by its religious status. To say “capitalism is failing” in the 21st century is like saying “God is dead” in the 19th: it is secular blasphemy. It requires a degree of self-confidence I did not possess.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to recognise two things. First, that it is the system, rather than any variant of the system, that drives us inexorably towards disaster. Second, that you do not have to produce a definitive alternative to say that capitalism is failing. The statement stands in its own right. But it also demands another, and different, effort to develop a new system.

Capitalism’s failures arise from two of its defining elements. The first is perpetual growth. Economic growth is the aggregate effect of the quest to accumulate capital and extract profit. Capitalism collapses without growth, yet perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.

Those who defend capitalism argue that, as consumption switches from goods to services, economic growth can be decoupled from the use of material resources. Last week a paper in the journal New Political Economy, by Jason Hickel and Giorgos Kallis, examined this premise. They found that while some relative decoupling took place in the 20th century (material resource consumption grew, but not as quickly as economic growth), in the 21st century there has been a recoupling: rising resource consumption has so far matched or exceeded the rate of economic growth. The absolute decoupling needed to avert environmental catastrophe (a reduction in material resource use) has never been achieved, and appears impossible while economic growth continues. Green growth is an illusion.

A system based on perpetual growth cannot function without peripheries and externalities. There must always be an extraction zone – from which materials are taken without full payment – and a disposal zone, where costs are dumped in the form of waste and pollution. As the scale of economic activity increases until capitalism affects everything, from the atmosphere to the deep ocean floor, the entire planet becomes a sacrifice zone: we all inhabit the periphery of the profit-making machine.

The second defining element is the bizarre assumption that a person is entitled to as great a share of the world’s natural wealth as their money can buy. This seizure of common goods causes three further dislocations. First, the scramble for exclusive control of non-reproducible assets, which implies either violence or legislative truncations of other people’s rights. Second, the immiseration of other people by an economy based on looting across both space and time. Third, the translation of economic power into political power, as control over essential resources leads to control over the social relations that surround them.

In the New York Times on Sunday, the Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz sought to distinguish between good capitalism, which he called “wealth creation”, and bad capitalism, which he called “wealth grabbing” (extracting rent). I understand his distinction. But from the environmental point of view, wealth creation is wealth grabbing. Economic growth, intrinsically linked to the increasing use of material resources, means seizing natural wealth from both living systems and future generations.

To point to such problems is to invite a barrage of accusations, many of which are based on this premise: capitalism has rescued hundreds of millions of people from poverty – now you want to impoverish them again. It is true that capitalism, and the economic growth it drives, has radically improved the prosperity of vast numbers of people, while simultaneously destroying the prosperity of many others: those whose land, labour and resources were seized to fuel growth elsewhere. Much of the wealth of the rich nations was – and is – built on slavery and colonial expropriation.

Like coal, capitalism has brought many benefits. But, like coal, it now causes more harm than good. Just as we have found means of generating useful energy that are better and less damaging than coal, so we need to find means of generating human wellbeing that are better and less damaging than capitalism.

There is no going back: the alternative to capitalism is neither feudalism nor state communism. Soviet communism had more in common with capitalism than the advocates of either system would care to admit. Both systems are (or were) obsessed with generating economic growth. Both are willing to inflict astonishing levels of harm in pursuit of this and other ends. Both promised a future in which we would need to work for only a few hours a week, but instead demand endless, brutal labour. Both are dehumanising. Both are absolutist, insisting that theirs and theirs alone is the one true God.

So what does a better system look like? I don’t have a complete answer, and I don’t believe any one person does. But I think I see a rough framework emerging. Part of it is provided by the ecological civilisation proposed by Jeremy Lent, one of the greatest thinkers of our age. Other elements come from Kate Raworth’s doughnut economics and the environmental thinking of Naomi KleinAmitav GhoshAngaangaq AngakkorsuaqRaj Patel and Bill McKibben. Part of the answer lies in the notion of “private sufficiency, public luxury”. Another part arises from the creation of a new conception of justice based on this simple principle: every generation, everywhere, shall have an equal right to the enjoyment of natural wealth.

I believe our task is to identify the best proposals from many different thinkers and shape them into a coherent alternative. Because no economic system is only an economic system but intrudes into every aspect of our lives, we need many minds from various disciplines – economic, environmental, political, cultural, social and logistical – working collaboratively to create a better way of organising ourselves that meets our needs without destroying our home.

Our choice comes down to this. Do we stop life to allow capitalism to continue, or stop capitalism to allow life to continue?

 George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist


Capitalism and the Destruction of Life on Earth: Six Theses on Saving the Humans

As global capitalist economic growth accelerates planetary ecological collapse, this article, originally published on November 10, 2013, argues that – impossible as it may seem at present – only the most radical solution – the overthrow of global capitalism, the construction of a mostly publicly-owned and mostly planned eco-socialist economy based on global “contraction and convergence,” on substantial de-industrialization, on sharing, on much less work and much more play and on bottom-up democratic management – is, in fact, the only alternative to the collapse of civilization and ecological suicide.

When, on May 10, 2013, scientists at Mauna Loa Observatory on the big island of Hawaii announced that global CO2 emissions had crossed a threshold at 400 parts per million for the first time in millions of years, a sense of dread spread around the world – not only among climate scientists.

CO2 emissions have been relentlessly climbing since Charles David Keeling first set up his tracking station near the summit of Mauna Loa Observatory in 1958 to monitor average daily global CO2 levels. At that time, CO2 concentrations registered 315ppm. CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations have been climbing ever since and, as the records show, temperatures rises will follow. For all the climate summits, the promises of “voluntary restraint,” the carbon trading and carbon taxes, the growth of CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations has not just been relentless, it has been accelerating in what scientists have dubbed the “Keeling Curve.”

In the early 1960s, CO2ppm concentrations in the atmosphere grew by 0.7ppm per year. In recent decades, especially as China has industrialized, the growth rate has tripled to 2.1ppm per year. In just the first 17 weeks of 2013, CO2 levels jumped by 2.74ppm compared to last year — “the biggest increase since benchmark monitoring stations high on the Hawaiian volcano of Mauna Loa began taking measurements in 1958.”[1] Carbon concentrations have not been this high since the Pliocene period, between 3 million and 5 million years ago, when global average temperatures were 3 degrees or 4 degrees Centigrade hotter than today, the Arctic was ice-free, sea levels were about 40 meters higher, jungles covered northern Canada and Florida was under water – along with coastal locations we now call New York City, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Sydney and many others.

Crossing this threshold has fueled fears that we are fast approaching “tipping points” – melting of the subarctic tundra or thawing and releasing the vast quantities of methane in the Arctic sea bottom – that will accelerate global warming beyond any human capacity to stop it: “I wish it weren’t true, but it looks like the world is going to blow through the 400-ppm level without losing a beat,” said Scripps Institute geochemist Ralph Keeling, whose father, Charles, set up the first monitoring stations in 1958: “At this pace, we’ll hit 450 ppm within a few decades.”

“It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster,” said Maureen E. Raymo, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a unit of Columbia University.[2]

Why are we marching to disaster, “sleepwalking to extinction” as The Guardian‘s George Monbiot once put it? Why can’t we slam on the brakes before we ride off the cliff to collapse? I’m going to argue here that the problem is rooted in the requirements of capitalist reproduction, that large corporations are destroying life on Earth, that they can’t help themselves, they can’t change or change very much, that so long as we live under this system we have little choice but to go along in this destruction, to keep pouring on the gas instead of slamming on the brakes.

The only alternative – impossible as this may seem right now – is to overthrow this global economic system and all of the governments of the 1% that prop it up and replace them with a global economic democracy, a radical bottom-up political democracy, an ecosocialist civilization. I argue that, although we are fast approaching the precipice of ecological collapse, the means to derail this train wreck are in the making as, around the world, we are witnessing a near-simultaneous global mass democratic “awakening,” as the Brazilians call it, almost a global uprising from Tahir Square to Zuccotti Park, from Athens to Istanbul to Beijing and beyond such as the world has never seen.

To be sure, like Occupy Wall Street, these movements are still inchoate, still mainly protesting what’s wrong rather than fighting for an alternative social order. Like Occupy, they have yet to clearly and robustly answer that crucial question, “Don’t like capitalism? What’s your alternative?” Yet they are working on it, and they are for the most part instinctively and radically democratic. And in this lies our hope. I’m going to make my case in the form of six theses:

1. CAPITALISM IS, OVERWHELMINGLY, THE MAIN DRIVER OF PLANETARY ECOLOGICAL COLLAPSE

From climate change to resource overconsumption to pollution, the engine that has powered three centuries of accelerating economic development revolutionizing technology, science, culture and human life itself is today a roaring, out-of-control locomotive mowing down continents of forests, sweeping oceans of life, clawing out mountains of minerals, drilling, pumping out lakes of fuels, devouring the planet’s last accessible resources to turn them all into “product” while destroying fragile global ecologies built up over eons.

Between 1950 and 2000 the global human population more than doubled from 2.5 billion to 6 billion. But in these same decades, consumption of major natural resources soared more than sixfold on average, some much more. Natural gas consumption grew nearly twelvefold, bauxite (aluminum ore) fifteenfold. And so on.[3]

At current rates, Harvard biologist E.O Wilson says, “half the world’s great forests have already been leveled, and half the world’s plant and animal species may be gone by the end of this century.” Corporations aren’t necessarily evil – although plenty are diabolically evil – but they can’t help themselves. They’re just doing what they’re supposed to do for the benefit of their shareholders. Shell Oil can’t help but loot Nigeria and the Arctic and cook the climate. That’s what shareholders demand.[4]BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and other mining giants can’t resist mining Australia’s abundant coal and exporting it to China and India. Mining accounts for 19 percent of Australia’s gross domestic product and substantial employment even as coal combustion is the worst driver of global warming. IKEA can’t help but level the forests of Siberia and Malaysia to feed the Chinese mills building its flimsy, disposable furniture (IKEA is the third-largest consumer of lumber in the world). Apple can’t help it if the cost of extracting the “rare earths” it needs to make millions of new iThings each year is the destruction of the eastern Congo – violence, rape, slavery, forced induction of child soldiers, along with poisoning local waterways. [5] Monsanto and DuPont and Syngenta and Bayer Crop Science have no choice but to wipe out bees, butterflies, birds and small farmers and extinguish crop diversity to secure their grip on the world’s food supply while drenching the planet with their Roundups and Atrazines and neonicotinoids. [6] This is how giant corporations are wiping out life on Earth in the course of a routine business day. And the bigger the corporations grow, the worse the problems become.

In Adam Smith’s day, when the first factories and mills produced hat pins and iron tools and rolls of cloth by the thousands, capitalist freedom to make whatever they wanted didn’t much matter because they didn’t have much impact on the global environment. But now everything is produced in the millions and billions – then trashed today and reproduced all over again tomorrow. When the planet is looted and polluted to support all this frantic and senseless growth, it matters – a lot.

The world’s climate scientists tell us we’re facing a planetary emergency. They’ve been telling us since the 1990s that if we don’t cut global fossil-fuel greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent to 90 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 we will cross critical tipping points and global warming will accelerate beyond any human power to contain it. Yet despite all the ringing alarm bells, no corporation and no government can oppose growth. Instead, every capitalist government in the world is putting pedal to the metal to accelerate growth, to drive us full throttle off the cliff to collapse. Marxists have never had a better argument against capitalism than this inescapable and apocalyptic “contradiction.”

2. SOLUTIONS TO THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS ARE BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS, BUT WE CAN’T TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS TO PREVENT ECOLOGICAL COLLAPSE BECAUSE, SO LONG AS WE LIVE UNDER CAPITALISM, ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS TO TAKE PRIORITY OVER ECOLOGICAL CONCERNS OR THE ECONOMY WILL COLLAPSE AND MASS UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE THE RESULT

We all know what we have to do: suppress greenhouse gas emissions. Stop overconsuming natural resources. Stop the senseless pollution of the Earth, its waters and its atmosphere with toxic chemicals. Stop producing waste that can’t be recycled by nature. Stop the destruction of biological diversity and ensure the rights of other species to flourish. We don’t need any new technological breakthroughs to solve these problems. Mostly, we just stop doing what we’re doing. But we can’t stop because we’re all locked into an economic system in which companies have to grow to compete and reward their shareholders and because we all need the jobs.

Take Climate Change …

James Hansen, the world’s pre-eminent climate scientist, has argued that to save the humans, “Coal emissions must be phased out as rapidly as possible, or global climate disasters will be a dead certainty. … Yes, [coal, oil, gas] most of the fossil fuels must be left in the ground. That is the explicit message that the science provides.”

Humanity treads today on a slippery slope. As we continue to pump greenhouse gases in the air, we move onto a steeper, even more slippery incline. We seem oblivious to the danger – unaware of how close we may be to a situation in which a catastrophic slip becomes practically unavoidable, a slip where we suddenly lose all control and are pulled into a torrential stream that hurls us over a precipice to our demise. [7]

But how can we do this under capitalism? After his climate negotiators stonewalled calls for binding limits on CO2 emissions at Copenhagen, Cancun, Cape Town and Doha, President Obama is now trying to salvage his environmental “legacy” by ordering his EPA to impose “tough” new emissions limits on existing power plants, especially coal-fired plants.[8] But this won’t salvage his legacy or, more importantly, his daughters’ future. How much difference would it make, really, if every coal-fired power plant in the United States were to shut down tomorrow when US coal producers are free to export their coal to China, which they are doing, and when China is building another coal-fired power plant every week? The atmosphere doesn’t care where the coal is burned. It only cares how much is burned. Yet how could Obama tell American mining companies to stop mining coal? This would be tantamount to socialism. But if we do not stop mining and burning coal, capitalist freedom and private property is the least we’ll have to worry about.

Same with Obama’s “tough” new fuel-economy standards. In August 2012, Obama boasted that his new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards would “double fuel efficiency” in the next 13 years to 54.5 mpg by 2025, up from 28.6 mpg at present – cutting vehicle CO2 emissions in half, so helping enormously to “save the planet.” But as the Center for Biological Diversity and other critics have noted, Obama was lying as usual. First, his so-called “tough” new CAFE standards were so full of loopholes, negotiated with Detroit, that they actually encourage more gas guzzling, not less.[9] That’s because the standards are based on a sliding scale according to “vehicle footprints” – the bigger the car, the less mileage it has to get to meet its standard. So, in fact, Obama’s “tough” standards are (surprise) custom-designed to promote what Detroit does best – produce giant Sequoias, mountainous Denalis, Sierras, Yukons, Tundras and Ticonderogas, Ram Chargers and Ford F series luxury trucks, grossly obese Cadillac Escalades, soccer kid hauler Suburbans, even 8,000-pound Ford Excursions and let these gross gas hogs meet the “fleet standard.” Many of these ridiculously oversized and overaccessorized behemoths are more than twice the weight of cars and pickup trucks in the 1950s.[10] These cars and “light” trucks are among the biggest-selling vehicles in America today (GM’s Sierra is No. 1), and they get worse gas mileage than American cars and trucks half a century ago. Cadillac’s current Escalade gets worse mileage than its chrome-bedecked tailfin-festooned land yachts of the mid-1950s![11] Little wonder Detroit applauded Obama’s new CAFE standards instead of damning them. Secondly, what would it matter even if Obama’s new CAFE standards actually did double fleet mileage – when American and global vehicle fleets are growing exponentially? In 1950 Americans had one car for every three people. Today we have 1.2 cars for every American. In 1950 when there were about 2.6 billion humans on the planet, there were 53 million cars on the world’s roads – about one for every 50 persons. Today, there are 7 billion people but more than 1 billion cars. And industry forecasters expect there will be 2 billion to 2.5 billion cars on the world’s roads by midcentury. China is expected to have 1 billion.[12] So, at the end of the day, incremental half-measures like CAFE standards can’t stop rising GHG missions. Barring some technical miracle, the only way to cut vehicle emissions is to just stop making them – drastically suppress vehicle production, especially of the worst gas hogs. In theory, Obama could at least simply order GM to stop building its humongous gas guzzlers and switch to producing small economy cars. After all, the federal government owns the company! But of course, how could he do any such thing? Detroit lives by the mantra “big car big profit, small car small profit.” Since Detroit has never been able to compete against the Japanese and Germans in the small-car market, which already is glutted and nearly profitless everywhere, such an order would only doom GM to failure, if not bankruptcy (again), throw masses of workers onto the unemployment lines (and devalue the GM stock in the feds’ portfolio). So given capitalism, Obama is, in fact, powerless. He’s locked in to promoting the endless growth of vehicle production, even of the worst polluters – and lying about it all to the public to try to patch up his pathetic “legacy.” And yet, if we don’t suppress vehicle production, how can we stop rising CO2 emissions?

In the wake of the failure of climate negotiators from Kyoto to Doha to agree on binding limits on GHG emissions, exasperated British climate scientists Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows at the Tyndall Centre, Britain’s leading climate change research center, wrote in September 2012 that we need an entirely “new paradigm”: government policies must “radically change” if “dangerous” climate change is to be avoided:

We urgently need to acknowledge that the development needs of many countries leave the rich western nations with little choice but to immediately and severely curb their greenhouse gas emissions. … [The] misguided belief that commitments to avoid warming of 2 degrees C can still be realized with incremental adjustments to economic incentives. A carbon tax here, a little emissions trading there and the odd voluntary agreement thrown in for good measure will not be sufficient. … Long-term end-point targets (for example, 80% by 2050) have no scientific basis. What governs future global temperatures and other adverse climate impacts are the emissions from yesterday, today, and those released in the next few years.[13]

And not just scientists. In its latest world energy forecast released on November 12, 2012, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns that despite the bonanza of fossil fuels now made possible by fracking, horizontal and deepwater drilling, we can’t consume them if we want to save the humans: “The climate goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Centigrade is becoming more difficult and costly with each year that passes. … No more that one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2 degree C goal. … ” [14] Of course the science could be wrong about this. But so far climate scientists have consistently underestimated the speed and ferocity of global warming, and even prominent climate change deniers have folded their cards.[15]

Emergency Contraction or Global Ecological Collapse

Still, it’s one thing for James Hansen or Bill McKibben of 350.org to say we need to “leave the coal in the hole, the oil in the soil, the gas under the grass,” to call for “severe curbs” in GHG emissions – in the abstract. But think about what this means in our capitalist economy. Most of us, even passionate environmental activists, don’t really want to face up to the economic implications of the science we defend. That’s why, if you listen to environmentalists such as Bill McKibben or Al Gore, for example, you will get the impression that global warming is mainly driven by fossil-fuel-powered electric power plants, so if we just “switch to renewables” this will solve the main problem and we can carry on with life more or less as we do now. Indeed, “green capitalism” enthusiasts like Thomas Friedman and the union-backed “green jobs” lobby look to renewable energy, electric cars and such as “the next great engine of industrial growth” – the perfect win-win solution. This is a not a solution. This is a delusion, because greenhouse gasses are produced across the economy, not just by or even mainly by power plants. Globally, fossil-fuel-powered electricity generation accounts for 17 percent of GHG emissions, heating accounts for 5 percent, miscellaneous “other” fuel combustion 8.6 percent, industry 14.7 percent, industrial processes another 4.3 percent, transportation 14.3 percent, agriculture 13.6 percent, land-use changes (mainly deforestation) 12.2 percent.[16] This means, for a start, that even if we immediately replaced every fossil-fuel-powered electricity-generating plant on the planet with 100 percent renewable solar, wind and water power, this would reduce global GHG emissions only by around 17 percent. What this means is that, far from launching a new green-energy-powered “industrial growth” boom, barring some tech-fix miracle, the only way to impose “immediate and severe curbs” on fossil fuel production and consumption would be to impose an emergency contraction in the industrialized countries: drastically retrench and in some cases shut down industries, even entire sectors, across the economy and around the planet – not just fossil-fuel producers, but all the industries that consume them and produce GHG emissions – autos, trucking, aircraft, airlines, shipping and cruise lines, construction, chemicals, plastics, synthetic fabrics, cosmetics, synthetic fiber and fabrics, synthetic fertilizer and agribusiness CAFO operations, and many more. Of course, no one wants to hear this because, given capitalism, this would unavoidably mean mass bankruptcies, global economic collapse, depression and mass unemployment around the world. That’s why in April 2013, in laying the political groundwork for his approval of the XL pipeline in some form, President Obama said “The politics of this are tough.” The Earth’s temperature probably isn’t the “number one concern” for workers who haven’t seen a raise in a decade, have an underwater mortgage, are spending $40 to fill their gas tank, can’t afford a hybrid car and face other challenges.”[17] Obama wants to save the planet. But given capitalism, his “number one concern” has to be growing the economy, growing jobs. Given capitalism, today, tomorrow, next year and every year, economic growth will always be the overriding priority – until we barrel right off the cliff to collapse.

The Necessity of Denial and Delusion

There’s no technical solution to this problem and no market solution either. In a very few cases – electricity generation is the main one – a broad shift to renewables could indeed sharply reduce fossil-fuel emissions in that sector. But if we just use “clean” “green” energy to power more growth, consume ever more natural resources to produce more and more junk we don’t need, then we would solve nothing and still would be headed to collapse. Agriculture is another sector in which reliance on fossil fuels could be sharply reduced – by abandoning synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and switching to organic farming. And there’s no downside there – just the resistance of the agribusiness industrial complex. But for the rest of the economy – mining, manufacturing, transportation, chemicals, most services (including construction, tourism, advertising, etc.), there are no such easy substitutes. Take transportation. There are no solar-powered ships or airplanes or trains on anyone’s drawing boards. Producing millions of electric cars instead of millions of gasoline-powered cars, as I explained elsewhere, would be just as ecologically destructive and polluting, if in somewhat different ways, even if they were all run on solar power.[18]Substituting biofuels for fossil fuels in transportation just creates different but no less environmentally destructive problems: Converting farmland to raise biofuel feedstock pits food production against fuels. Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas or grasslands to produce biofuels releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than the fossil fuels they replace and accelerates species extinction.[19] More industrial farming means more demand for water, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. And so on. Cap-and-trade schemes can’t cut fossil fuel emissions because, as I explained elsewhere,[20] business understands, even if some environmentalists do not, that “dematerialization” is a fantasy, that there’s no win-win tech solution, that capping emissions means cutting growth. Since cutting growth is unacceptable to business, labor and governments, cap-and-trade has been abandoned everywhere.[21]Carbon taxes can’t stop global warming either because they do not cap emissions. That’s why fossil fuel execs like Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil (the largest private oil company in the world) and Paul Anderson, CEO of Duke Energy (the largest electric utility in the United States), support carbon taxes. They understand that carbon taxes would add something to the cost of doing business, like other taxes, but they pose no limit, no “cap” on growth.[22] Exxon predicts that, carbon tax or no carbon tax, by 2040 global demand for energy is going to grow by 35 percent to 65 percent in the developing world and nearly all of this is going to be supplied by fossil fuels. ExxonMobil is not looking to “leave the oil in the soil” as a favor to Bill McKibben and the humans. ExxonMobil is looking to pump it and burn it all as fast as possible to enrich its shareholders. [23]

James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Barack Obama and most of us, really, don’t want to face up to the economic implications of the need to put the brakes on growth and fossil-fuel-based overconsumption. We all “need” to live in denial and believe in delusions that carbon taxes or some tech fix will save us because we all know that capitalism has to grow or we’ll all be out of work. And the thought of replacing capitalism seems so impossible, especially given the powers arrayed against change. But what’s the alternative? In the not-so-distant future, this is all going to come to a screeching halt one way or another – either we seize hold of this out-of-control locomotive and wrench down this overproduction of fossil fuels, or we ride this train right off the cliff to collapse.

Same with Resource Depletion

We in the industrialized “consumer economies” are not just overconsuming fossil fuels. We’re overconsuming everything. From fish to forests, minerals to metals, oil to fresh water, we’re consuming the planet like there’s no tomorrow.[24] Ecological “footprint” scientists tell us that we in the industrialized nations are now consuming resources and sinks at the rate of 1.5 planets per year. That is, we’re using natural resources like fish, forests, water, farmland and so on at half-again the rate that nature can replenish them.[25] According to the World Bank, the wealthiest 10 percent of the world’s people accounts for almost 60 percent of consumption expenditures and the top 20 percent accounts for more than 76 percent of global consumption, whereas the bottom 40 percent of the world’s population account for just 5 percent. Even the bottom 70 percent of the world’s population accounts for barely 15.3 percent of global consumption expenditures.[26] Needless to say, the 70 percent wants and deserves a higher material standard of living. Yet if the whole world were to achieve this by consuming like Americans, we would need something like five more planets of natural resources and sinks for all of that.[27] Think what this means.

Take the case of China. Columbia University’s Earth Policy Institute predicts that if China keeps growing by around 8 percent per year, it’s current rate, Chinese average per capita consumption will reach current US level by around 2035. But to provide the natural resources for China’s 1.3 billion-plus to consume like America’s 330 million, the Chinese, roughly 20 percent of the world’s population, will consume as much oil as the entire world consumes today. They also will consume 69 percent of current world grain production, 62 percent of the current world meat production, 63 percent of current world coal consumption, 35 percent of current world steel consumption, 84 percent of current world paper consumption. (See Table 1.) Well, where on earth are the Chinese going to find the resources (not to mention sinks) to support all this consumption? China certainly doesn’t have the resources. That’s why the Chinese are buying up the planet. And that’s just China. What about the other four-fifths of humanity? What are they going to consume in 2035?

Already, as resource analyst Michael Klare reviews in his latest book, The Race for What’s Left, around the world existing reserves of oil, minerals and other resources “are being depleted at a terrifying pace and will be largely exhausted in the not-too-distant future.” This is driving miners and drillers to the ends of the earth, the bottom of oceans, to the arctic. We’re running out of planet to plunder so fast that serious people like Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt have partnered with film director James Cameron to make life imitate art, to explore the possibility of mining asteroids and near planets. Avatar – the perfect capitalist solution to resource exhaustion (but the Marines will be Chinese). [28]

China’s Capitalist Environmental Nightmare

As Beijing has been choking on smog this year, Deutsche Bank analysts gloomily conclude that, barring extreme reforms, Chinese coal consumption and increased car ownership will push pollution levels 70 percent higher by 2025. They say that even if China’s economy slowed to 5 percent growth per year, its annual coal consumption still would rise to 6 billion tons by 2022, from the current 3.8 billion tons. Car ownership is expected to increase over the years to 400 million in 2030 from the current 90 million. For China to meet its goal of reducing PM2.5 particulate matter to 35 micrograms of per cubic meter by 2030, the government would have to take drastic steps – shut down large numbers of coal-fired power plants, sharply reduce the number of vehicles on the roads, and shut down many other polluting industries.

Even then, air pollution would still be above the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization (25 micrograms of PM2.5 particulates per cubic meter). The current national average is 75 micrograms per cubic meter. In January, PM2.5 levels in Beijing reached 900 micrograms per cubic meter.[29] But here again, the problem is that ever since China turned onto the “capitalist road” and made its economy and employment ever-more dependent upon market success like the Western capitalist economies Deng Xiaoping sought to emulate, it can no more subordinate growth to the environment than can Barack Obama or ExxonMobil. Instead, China’s commie capitalists, like regular capitalists everywhere, have no choice but to put the pedal to the metal, do all they can to accelerate humanity’s collective drive to suicide.[30]

“Wild facts” and Unquestioned Assumptions

In mainstream discourse it is taken as an absolutely unquestioned given by scientists like James Hansen, environmentalists like George Monbiot, not to mention CEOs and presidents, that demand for everything must grow infinitely, that economies must grow forever. That’s why Hansen, Monbiot, James Lovelock and others tell us that, Fukishima notwithstanding, we “have to” go nuclear for energy production. In their view, the human population is headed for 9 billion to 10 billion. All these billions want to consume like Americans, so we will need more power for their washing machines, air conditioners, iPads, TVs and (electric) SUVs. We can’t burn more fossil fuels to produce this power because it will cook the planet. Renewables are great but can’t reliably meet relentlessly growing “base load” demand for electricity 24/7. Therefore, they tell us, we have no choice but to turn to nuclear power. (Besides, what could go wrong with the “newest,” “safest,” “fourth generation” reactors? What indeed?)[31]

But not one of these people stops to ask the obvious question: Where are all the resources going to come from to support insatiable consumption on a global scale? In the capitalist lexicon, there is no concept of “too much.” The word overconsumption cannot be found in Econ. 101 text books except as a temporary market aberration, soon to be erased as “perfect competition” matches supply to demand and shortages and surpluses vanish down the gullet of the consumer. The fact that we live on one small planet with finite resources and sinks is just beyond the capitalist imagination because, as Herman Daly used to say, the “wild facts” of environmental reality demolish their underlying premise of the viability of endless growth on a finite planet. So inconvenient facts must be denied, suppressed or ignored. And they are. When, on May 10,2013, climate scientists announced the latest “wild fact” that the level of heat-trapping CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere had passed the long-feared milestone of 400 ppm, an event fraught with ominous consequences for us all, this was met with total silence from the world’s economic and political elites. President Obama was busy preparing his own announcement – that he was clearing the way for accelerated natural-gas exports by approving a huge new $10 billion Freeport LNG facility in Texas. Obama’s Department of Energy gave Freeport LNG the green light because it “found the prospective benefits from exporting energy outweighed concerns about possible downsides.” No surprise there. Freeport LNG chief Michael Smith wasn’t anticipating downsides or any change in Obama’s priorities. He said: “I hope this means that more facilities will get approval in due time, sooner than later. The country needs these exports for jobs, for trade and for geopolitical reasons. … “[32] That’s why, even though, at some repressed level, most Americans understand that fracking the planet is disastrous, even suicidal for their own children in the long run, yet still for the present they have to make the mortgage payments and fill the gas tank. So they have little choice but to live in denial and support fracking.[33] And so we go, down the slippery slope.

No one stops to ask “what’s it all for?” Why do we “need” all this energy? Why do we “need” all the stuff we produce with all this energy? It’s high time we start asking this question. Economists tell us that two-thirds of America’s own economy is geared to producing “consumer” goods and services. To be sure, we need food, clothing, housing, transportation, and energy to run all this. But as Vance Packard astutely observed half a century ago, most of what corporations produce today is produced not for the needs of people but for the needs of corporations to sell to people. From the ever-more obscene and pointless vanities of ruling class consumption – the Bentleys and Maseratis, the Bergdorf Goodman designer collections, the penthouses and resorts and estates and yachts and jets, to the endless waste stream of designed-in obsolescence-driven mass market fashions, cosmetics, furniture, cars, “consumer electronics,” the obese 1000 calorie Big Macs with fries, the obese and overaccesorized SUVs and “light trucks,” the obese and ever-growing McMansions for ever-smaller middle class families, the whole-house central air conditioning, flat screen TVs in every room, iThings in every hand, H&M disposable “fast fashion” too cheap to bother to clean, [34]the frivolous and astonishingly polluting jet and cruise ship vacations everywhere (even Nation magazine cruises with Naomi Klein!), and all the retail malls, office complexes, the packaging, shipping industries, the junk mail/magazine/catalog sales companies, the advertising, banking and credit card “industries” that keep this perpetual consumption machine humming along, not to mention the appalling waste of the arms industry, which is just total deliberate waste and destruction, the vast majority – I would guess at least three quarters of all the goods and services we produce today just do not need to be produced at all. It’s all just a resource-hogging, polluting waste. My parents lived passably comfortable working class lives in the 1940s and 50s without half this stuff and they weren’t living in caves. We could all live happier, better, more meaningful lives without all this junk — and we do not need ever-more energy, solar or otherwise, to produce it. We could shut down all the coal-powered electric generators around the world, most of which, especially in China, are currently dedicated to powering the production of superfluous and disposable junk we don’t need and replace them with —- nothing. How’s that for a sustainable solution? Same with nuclear. Since the 1960s, Japan built 54 nuclear power plants. But these were built not so much to provide electricity for the Japanese (their population is falling) as to power Japan’s mighty manufacturing export engine producing all those disposable TVs and Gameboys and Toyotas and Hondas the world does not need and can no longer afford to consume.

Endless growth or repair, rebuild, upgrade, recycle?

So, for example, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, we don’t really need a global automobile industry. At least we don’t need an industry cranking out hundreds of millions of new cars every year, because the industry is built on the principle of designed-in obsolescence, on insatiable repetitive consumption, on advertising and “cash for clunkers” programs to push you to crush your perfectly good present car for a “new,” “improved,” “bigger,” “more luxurious” model that is, in reality, trivially different, sometimes even inferior to the one you just junked. What we need is a different approach to transportation. To build a sustainable transportation system, we would have to divert most resources from auto production to public transportation, trains, buses and bicycling. But, of course, bikes and public transport aren’t feasible everywhere and for every task, particularly for those who live in the suburbs or the country or in the mostly rural developing world. So we would still need some cars and trucks – but many fewer if we “degrow” the economy to produce just what we need instead of for profit. As the VW ads below point out, properly designed and engineered cars can be sturdy but simple, economical to drive, easily serviceable and repairable (even DIY), perpetually rebuildable and upgradable as needed. I’m not suggesting an ecosocialist society should produce this particular “peoples’ car.” We need something with modern safety features. But to the extent that we would need cars in a sustainable society, we could save immense resources and GHG emissions by producing massively fewer cars and keep them running for decades, if not practically forever. Reducing global car production to something like, say 10 percent of current production – and sharing those – would not only save vast resources and eliminate massive pollution but also free up labor and resources for other uses. Let us shorten the working day – and take longer vacations.

The same goes for all kinds of industries.

Apple easily could build you iPhones and iMacs, in classic timeless designs that could last for decades, that could be upgraded easily. This would save mountains of resources, not to mention the lives of Congolese kids and Foxconn assembly workers. But how much profit is there in that? Apple could never justify such a humane and environmentally rational approach to its shareholders because shareholders (who are several stages removed from the “sourcing” process and don’t really care to know about it) are capitalists rationally looking to maximize returns on their portfolios, not to maximize the lifespan of the company’s products, let alone the lifespan of Congolese or Chinese. So to this end, you have to be convinced that your G4 phone is not good enough, that you “need” an iPhone5 because you need a phone that streams movies, that talks to you and more, and next year you will need an iPhone6. And even if you own an iPad3 you will soon “need” an iPad4, plus an iPad Mini, and how will you live without iTV? This incessant, exponentially growing demand for the latest model of disposable electronic gadgets is destroying societies and the environment from Congo to China and beyond.

Miners near village of Kobu in northeastern Congo. Picture credit: Finbarr O’Reilly/Reuters, in The New York Times, March 20, 2012.

IKEA easily could manufacture beautifully designed, high-quality, sturdy and durable furniture that could last a lifetime, that could be handed down to your children or passed on friends or antique shops for others. That would save a Siberia’s worth of trees, lakes of toxic dyes and finishes, and vast quantities of other resources. But why would it do that? IKEA is not in business to make furniture or save the planet. IKEA is in the business to make money. As Ingvar Kamprad, founder and CEO of IKEA (and Nazi symp), long ago discovered, the way to maximize profits (besides employing semi-slave forced prison labor in Stalinist regimes and moving his “Swedish” company from high-tax Sweden to low-tax Holland and Switzerland)[35] is to relentlessly cheapen production by, among other tactics, building flat-pack disposable particle-board furniture in accordance with the Iron Law of Marketing to sell “the cheapest construction for the briefest interval the buying public will tolerate” so IKEA can chop down more Siberian birch trees and sell you the same shoddy $59 bookcase all over again that will last you as long as the first one did – perhaps a bit longer this time if you don’t actually load many books of those flimsy shelves. As an IKEA commercial, directed by Spike Jonze, tells us: “an old lamp (or bookcase or table) doesn’t have any feelings; any piece of furniture can and should be replaced at any time.” The ad, and the whole IKEA approach, suggests that objects have no lasting meaning or value. They’re disposable; when we tire of them, we should just throw them out.[36] This is how IKEA got to be the third-largest consumer of wood in the world, most of it from East Europe and the Russian Siberia, where, according to the World Bank, half of all logging is illegal even by the Russian kleptocracy’s standards of legality. IKEA’s wholly owned Swedish subsidiary Swedwood has even been condemned by Russian nature conservancy organizations and the Global Forest Coalition for clear-cutting 1,400 acres a year of 200- to 600-year-old forest near the Finnish border, a process that “is having deep ramifications on invaluable forest ecosystems.”[37] This is how IKEA’s business plan based on endless “repetitive consumption” is wiping out life on Earth. Here again, the capitalist freedom to make such junk wouldn’t matter – if it weren’t costing the Earth.[38]

Given capitalism, there’s no way to “incentivize” GM to stop producing new cars every year, IKEA to stop making its disposable furniture, Apple to stop pushing you to lose your iPhone 4 and buy a 5. That’s what they’re invested in. Companies can’t change, or change much, because it’s too costly, too risky, shareholders won’t allow it. And given capitalism, most workers, most of the time, have no choice but to support all this suicidal overconsumption because if we all stop shopping to save the planet today, we’d all be out of work tomorrow. Ask your nearest 6-year-old what’s wrong with this picture.

Capitalism and Délastage in the Richest Country of Poor People in the World

Yet even as corporations are plundering the planet to overproduce stuff we don’t need, huge social, economic and ecological needs – housing, schools, infrastructure, health care, environmental remediation – go unmet, even in the industrialized world, while most of Third World lacks even basic sanitation, clean water, schools, health care, ecological restoration, not to mention jobs.[39] After 300 years of capitalist “development” the gap between rich and poor has never been wider: Today, almost half the world, more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day, 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. This while the world’s richest 1% own 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The richest 10 percent own 85 percent of total global assets, and half the world barely owns 1 percent of global wealth. And these gaps have only widened over time.[40] Tell me again where Karl Marx was wrong? In Congo is one of the lushest, most fertile countries on the planet, with untold natural wealth in minerals, lumber, tropical crops and more. Yet its resources are plundered every day to support gross overconsumption in the north while poverty, hunger and malnutrition are so widespread that Congo is now listed dead last on the 2011 Global Hunger Index, a measure of malnutrition and child nutrition compiled by the International Food Policy Research Institute. While European and American corporations loot its copper and cobalt and coltran for iPhones and such, half the population eats only once a day and a quarter less than that. Things have reached such a state that in places like the capital Kinshasha parents can afford to feed their children only every other day. Congolese call it “délastage” – an ironic takeoff on the rolling electrical blackouts that routinely hit first one neighborhood then the next. In this context it means “Today we eat! Tomorrow we don’t.”

“On some days,” one citoyen told a New York Times reporter, “some children eat, others do not. On other days, all the children eat, and the adults do not. Or vice versa.” [41] This, in the 21st century, in one of the resource-richest countries on Earth, and brought to them by an economic system that capitalist economists never tire of telling us is “the best system humanity can come up with.”

Contraction or Collapse

If there’s no market mechanism to stop plundering the planet, then, again, what alternative is there but to impose an emergency contraction on resource consumption? This doesn’t mean we would have to de-industrialize and go back to riding horses and living in log cabins. But it does mean that we would have to abandon the “consumer economy” – shut down all kinds of unnecessary, wasteful and polluting industries from junk food to cruise ships, disposable Pampers to disposable H&M clothes, disposable IKEA furniture, endless new model cars, phones, electronic games, the lot. Plus all the banking, advertising, junk mail, most retail, etc. We would have completely redesign production to replace “fast junk food” with healthy, nutritious, fresh “slow food,” replace “fast fashion” with “slow fashion,” bring back mending, alterations and local tailors and shoe repairmen. We would have to completely redesign production of appliances, electronics, housewares, furniture and so on to be as durable and long-lived as possible. Bring back appliance repairmen and such. We would have to abolish the throwaway disposables industries, the packaging and plastic bag industrial complex, bring back refillable bottles and the like. We would have to design and build housing to last for centuries, to be as energy-efficient as possible, to be reconfigurable and shareable. We would have to vastly expand public transportation to curb vehicle use but also build those we do need to last and be shareable like Zipcar or Paris’ municipally owned “Autolib” shared electric cars. These are the sorts of things we would have to do to if we really want to stop overconsumption and save the world. All these changes are simple, self-evident, no great technical challenge. They just require a completely different kind of economy, an economy geared to producing what we need while conserving resources for future generations of humans and for other species with which we share this planet.

3. IF CAPITALISM CAN’T HELP BUT DESTROY THE WORLD, THEN WHAT ALTERNATIVE IS THERE BUT TO NATIONALIZE AND SOCIALIZE MOST OF THE ECONOMY AND PLAN IT DIRECTLY, EVEN PLAN MOST OF THE GLOBAL INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY?

With 7 billion humans crowded on one small planet running out of resources, with cities disappearing under vast clouds of pollution, with the glaciers and ice caps melting and species going extinct by the hour, we desperately need a PLAN to avert ecological collapse. We need a comprehensive global plan, a number of national or regional plans, and a multitude of local plans – and we need to coordinate them all. When climate scientists call on governments to cut CO2 emissions to stay within a global “carbon budget” if we want to keep a livable planet, isn’t that, in effect, calling for “planning,” indeed, planning on a global scale? When governments pump money into research projects like nuclear power or biotech or the Internet or clean energy projects, isn’t that planning? When scientists say that we need to massively reduce and limit consumption of oil, coal, trees, fish, all kinds of scarce resources or stop dumping chemicals in the world’s oceans – isn’t that, in effect, physical planning and rationing? And don’t we want that? Indeed, because we all breathe the same air, live in the same biosphere, don’t we really want and need something like a “one-world government” at least on environmental issues? How else can we regulate humanity’s collective impact on the global biosphere? How else can we reorganize and reprioritize the economy in the common interest and environmental rationality except in a mostly planned and mostly publicly owned economy?

What Would We Have To Do To Save the Humans?

If we want a sustainable economy, one that “meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” then we would have to do at least some or all of the following:

  1. Put the brakes on out-of-control growth in the global North – retrench or shut down unnecessary, resource-hogging, wasteful, polluting industries like fossil fuels, autos, aircraft and airlines, shipping, chemicals, bottled water, processed foods, unnecessary pharmaceuticals and so on. Abolish luxury-goods production, the fashions, jewelry, handbags, mansions, Bentleys, yachts, private jets etc. Abolish the manufacture of disposable, throw-away and “repetitive consumption” products. All these consume resources we’re running out of, resources that other people on the planet desperately need and that our children and theirs will need.

  2. Discontinue harmful industrial processes like industrial agriculture, industrial fishing, logging, mining and so on.

  3. Close many services – the banking industry, Wall Street, the credit card, retail, PR and advertising “industries” built to underwrite and promote all this overconsumption. I’m sure most of the people working in these so-called industries would rather be doing something else, something useful, creative and interesting and personally rewarding with their lives. They deserve that chance.

  4. Abolish the military-surveillance-police state industrial complex, and all its manufactures because this is just a total waste whose only purpose is global domination, terrorism and destruction abroad and repression at home. We can’t build decent societies anywhere when so much of social surplus is squandered on such waste.

  5. Reorganize, restructure, reprioritize production and build the products we do need to be as durable and shareable as possible.

  6. Steer investments into things society does need, like renewable energy, organic farming, public transportation, public water systems, ecological remediation, public health, quality schools and other currently unmet needs.

  7. Deglobalize trade to produce what can be produced locally; trade what can’t be produced locally, to reduce transportation pollution and revive local producers.

  8. Equalize development the world over by shifting resources out of useless and harmful production in the North and into developing the South, building basic infrastructure, sanitation systems, public schools, health care, and so on.

  9. Devise a rational approach to eliminate or control waste and toxins as much as possible.

  10. Provide equivalent jobs for workers displaced by the retrenchment or closure of unnecessary or harmful industries, not just the unemployment line, not just because workers cannot support the industry we and they need to save ourselves.

“Necessary,” “Unnecessary” and Who’s the “Decider”?

Now we might all agree that we have to cut “overconsumption” to save the humans. But who’s to say what’s “necessary” and “unnecessary?” How do we decide what to cut? And who’s to decide? Under capitalism goods and services are rationed by the market. But that’s not sustainable because the market can’t restrain consumption, the market can only accelerate consumption. So we need a non-market approach. I don’t claim to have all the answers. This is a big question and I’m sure there are others better qualified than me to figure out solutions. But I would think the short answer has to be a combination of planning, rationing and democracy. I don’t see why that’s so hard. The US government planned significant parts of the US economy during World War II and rationed many goods and services. And we managed just fine. Actually, far form suffering unduly, Americans took pride in conservation and sharing. Besides, what’s the alternative? What other choice do we have? There are only so many ways to organize a modern industrial economy.

The challenges of physically planning the world economy in the interests of the 99% instead of for the 1% – reorganizing and reprioritizing the world economy to provide every person sufficient, nutritious, safe and delicious food, providing every human with high-quality, pleasurable, and aesthetically appealing housing, consolidating our cities to maximize the feasibility of public transportation, building great schools to enable every student to reach her or his fullest potential, providing top-notch health care for everyone on the planet, reorganizing and reprioritizing work so that everyone can find constructive, enjoyable, interesting, challenging and rewarding work, work that’s rewarding in many ways beyond simple remuneration, providing fun, enlightening and inspiring entertainment, reducing the workday so people can actually have time to enjoy themselves and pursue other pleasures, while, not least, how to limit our collective human impact on the planet so as to leave space and resources to all the other wonderful life forms with which we have the pleasure of sharing this unique and amazing planet – all these are no doubt big challenges. They’re very big political challenges. But they’re not an economic challenge. This is not Soviet Russia in 1917. I’m not proposing Maoist austerity. Today, there’s more than enough wealth and productive capacity to provide every person on earth a very satisfactory material standard of living. Even more than half a century ago, Gandhi was right to say then that “there’s more than enough wealth for man’s need but never enough for some men’s greed.” I doubt that it would even be much of a technical challenge. Google’s Larry Page predicts that the virtually everyone in the world will have access to the Internet by 2020. Quantifying human needs, global resources and global agricultural and industrial capacities is, I would think, a fairly pedestrian task for today’s computers, with all their algorithms.

Planning Can’t Work?

Right-wing economists like Milton Friedman denied the very possibility of planning any economy, equating all planning with Stalinism. I don’t buy that. The question is this: Planning by whom, for whom? Stalinist central planning was planning from the top down, by and for a totalitarian bureaucracy. It completely shut out workers and the rest of society from the planning process. So it’s hardly surprising that planning didn’t work so well in the Soviet Union. But I don’t see what that tells us about the potentials of planning from the bottom up, of democratic planning. Besides, capitalists indirectly plan the national and global economies all the time. They meet every year at Davos to shape the world market for their benefit. They conspire to privatize medicine, schools, public transportation, force us to buy “their” water or eat GMO foods. They use the IMF and World Bank to shackle countries with debt then open them up to U.S. corporate takeover. They’ve been using their states for centuries to expropriate peasants and tribes, even to exterminate them when necessary as in the Americas, to steal and privatize common lands, break up pre-capitalist societies, reorganize, replan whole continents to set up the right “business climate” for capital accumulation. Late developers like Japan and South Korea used their state-backed MITIs and Chaebols to hothouse their own industries, protect them and strategically plan their integration into the world market. Capitalists are very good at planning – for their own interests. So why can’t we plan the economy for our own interests?

Government “Can’t Pick Winners”?

Disengenuous capitalist apologists like the Wall Street Journal are quick to condemn any perceived government funded “failures” like the recent bankruptcy of solar startup Solyndra Corporation bankrolled by the Obama administration as proof that “government can’t pick winners.” But Solyndra didn’t fail because solar is a losing technology. It failed because, ironically, capitalist Solyndra could not compete against lower-cost, state-owned, state-directed and state-subsidized competitors in China. Besides, since when do capitalists have a crystal ball? CEOs and corporate boards bet on “loser” technologies and products all the time. Look at the recent collapse of electric car startup Fisker Automotive, or Better Place, the Israeli electric vehicle charging/battery swapping stations venture.[42] These join a long list of misplaced private bets from Sony’s Betamax to Polaroid, Ford’s Edsel, Tucker Autonobilie, DeLorean Motor Company and all the way back to White Star Lines Titanic and the Tulip Mania. CEOs and boards not only pick losing technology and products, they also lose money for their shareholders and even drive perfectly successful companies into bankruptcy every day: Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Enron, WorldCom, Pan Am, SwissAir and on and on. Who knows if Facebook or Zipcar or Tesla Motors will ever make money? Government-backed Solyndra lost $500 million. But when Jamie Dimon lost $12 billion for JPMorgan, I don’t recall the Journal howling that capitalists “can’t pick winners.” When Enron collapsed I don’t recall hearing any blanket condemnation of the “inevitable incompetence” of the private sector. Hypocrisy is stock and trade of capitalists, lazy media and fact-averse capitalist economists who want to make the facts fit their simple-minded model no matter the truth. That’s why it’s entirely in character that the Wall Street Journal has never bothered to applaud government when it picked indisputable winners: when government-funded, government-directed applied research produced nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, radar, rockets, the jet engine, the transistor, the microchip, the Internet, GPS, crucial breakthroughs in biotechnology, when government scientists and government industries launched the Apollo spacecrafts that put men on the moon, when government-developed and produced ballistic missiles terrorized the Soviets and government-designed and operated bombers bombed the Reds in Korea and Vietnam to “contain Communism” and secure American dominance of the Free World for corporate subscribers of the Wall Street Journal to exploit – where then was the cri de coeur that “government can’t pick winners”? And what about those government-run drones? Anti-government bigmouth Rand Paul filibustered for a whole day against the threat of swarms of government drones over American cities but I didn’t hear him complain that government drones don’t work. That wasn’t his problem. And when, after an eight-year, mind-bogglingly difficult, complex and risky 150 million-mile journey, NASA’s government-built Curiosity spaceship landed a (government-built) state-of-the art science lab the size of a Mini Cooper within a mile and a half of its target on the surface of Mars – then it immediately set off to explore its new neighborhood – even the Ayn Rand-loving government-hating Republicans in Congress were awed into silence. As David Sirota’s headline in Salon.com read on August 13, 2012, just after Curiosity set down on the red planet: “Lesson from Mars: Government works!” And right now, as I’m writing this in April 2013, most of a year later, that government-run Mars explorer is happily roving around drilling core samples to find out if there is now, or used to be, water and possibly even life on Mars. All this while, back home, Shell Oil’s private capitalist-run arctic drilling platform ran aground in an arctic storm and is now being towed away to Asia for repairs while Shell Oil’s shareholders are having second thoughts about their CEO’s wisdom in “picking winners” by squandering $5 billion on this fools errand of drilling for oil under Artic ice.[43]

One Planet, One People, One Economy for the Common Good

For better or worse we are well into what scientists call the “Anthropocene.” Nature doesn’t run Earth anymore. We do. So if we are, after all, just “one people on one planet,” it’s time we begin to make conscious and collective decisions about how our economic activity affects the natural world – and I don’t mean “geoengineering” the planet by wrapping glaciers in tinfoil to slow their melting while capitalism goes right on cooking and pillaging the planet. Since the rise of capitalism 300 years ago, more and more of the world has come to be run on the principle of market anarchy, on Adam Smith’s maxim that every individual should just maximize his own interest – “look out for No. 1” – and the “public interest,” the “common good” would take care of itself. Well, that hasn’t worked out so well. It was always a dumb theory, but it’s worked OK for the 1% who could mostly manage without the commons. For the rest of us, the more capitalism, the more the common good gets trashed. And now globalized market anarchy is destroying not just humanity and society but even life on Earth.[44] The problem with Smith’s theory is that the aggregate of private interests don’t add up to the public interest. The problems we face with respect to the planetary environment and ecology can’t be solved by individual choice in the marketplace. They require collective democratic control over the economy to prioritize the needs of society, the environment, other species and future generations. This requires local, national and global economic planning to reorganize the world economy and redeploy labor and resources to these ends. And it requires an economy of guaranteed full employment because if we would have to shut down ExxonMobil and GM and Monsanto[45] and Walmart and so on to save the world, then we have to provide equal or better jobs for all those laid-off workers because otherwise they won’t support what we all need to do to save ourselves.

Ecosocialism and the Salvation of Small Businesses

This does not at all mean that we would have to nationalize local restaurants, family farms, farmers markets, artisans, groceries, bakeries, repair shops, workers co-ops and the like. Small-scale self-managed producers based on simple reproduction are not destroying the world. Large-scale capitalist investor-owned corporations based on insatiable accumulation are destroying the world. So they would have to be nationalized, many closed down, others scaled back, others repurposed. But an ecosocialist society would rescue and promote small-scale, local, self-managed businesses because we would need them. Indeed, we would want many more of them whereas, today, capitalism is driving them out of business everywhere.

4. RATIONAL PLANNING REQUIRES DEMOCRACY: VOTING THE BIG QUESTIONS

Solar or coal? Frack the planet, or work our way off fossil fuels? Drench the world’s farms in toxic pesticides or return to organic agriculture. Public transportation or private cars as the mainstay? Let’s put the big questions up for a vote. Shouldn’t everyone have a say in decisions that affect them all? Isn’t that the essential idea of democracy? The problem with capitalism is that the economy isn’t up for a vote. But it needs to be. Again, in Adam Smith’s day it mattered less, at least for the environment, because private decisions had so little impact on the planet. But today, huge decisions that affect all of us, other species, and even the fate of life on Earth are all still private decisions, made by corporate boards on behalf of self-interested investors. Polls show that 57 percent of Chinese feel that protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the expense of economic growth, and only 21 percent prioritize the economy over the environment.[46] But, obviously, the Chinese don’t get to vote on that or anything else. Polls show Americans opposed to GMO foods outnumber supporters nearly two to one and 82 percent of Americans favor labeling of GMO foods.[47] But Americans don’t get to vote on whether we get GMOs in our food or get told about it. Well, why not? Corporate boards vote to put GMOs and all kinds of toxic chemicals in our food. We’re the ones who consume this stuff. We can’t avoid GMOs simply by refusing to purchase them – the “market solution” – because they’re everywhere. They’re in 80 percent of the foods we consume, and Monsanto and the rest of the GMO-industrial complex bribe politicians and regulators with campaign contributions and lucrative revolving-door jobs to make sure you don’t know what foods to avoid.[48] Well, why should we accept this? Why shouldn’t we have a say in these decisions? We don’t have to be experts; corporate boards aren’t composed of experts. They’re mainly made up of major investors. They discuss and vote on what they want to do, then hire experts to figure out how to implement their decisions. Why can’t we do that – for humanity’s interests?

Every Cook Can Govern

From Tunisa to Tahir Square; Zuccotti Park to Gezi Park; Madison, Wisconsin, to Kunming Yunnan, Songjian Shanghai, Shifang Sichuan, Guangzhou and thousands of sites and cities and towns all over China, ordinary citizens demonstrate remarkably rational environmental sense against the profit-driven environmental irrationality and irresponsibility of their rulers.[49] In Turkey, “Sultan” Erdogon’s decree to tear up Istanbul’s last major park to replace it with an Ottoman-style shopping mall provoked mass outrage. Protesters complained, as one put it: “When were we asked what we wanted? We have three times as many mosques as we do schools. Yet they are building new mosques. There are eight shopping malls in the vicinity of Taksim, yet they want to build another. … Where are the opera houses? The theaters? The culture and youth centers? What about those? They only choose what will bring them the most profit without considering what we need.”[50] When, in a bid to mollify the protesters, a spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) floated the excellent idea of a public referendum on the issue saying, “We might put it to a referendum. … In democracies only the will of the people counts,” Erdogon considered this option for a moment. But when protesters doubted his sincerity, he proved them right by calling in his riot squads to crush the protests instead.[51] In Brazil, on the heels of the Turkish protests, mass protests erupted over announced bus fare hikes but soon morphed into more sweeping social protest as hundreds of thousands of Brazilians turned out in cities across the country to denounce the irresponsible waste of public funds on extravagant soccer stadiums in the run-up to the World Cup in 2014, when schools, public transportation, hospitals, health care and other public services are neglected: “People are going hungry, and the government builds stadiums,” said Eleuntina Scuilgaro, a pensioner. “I love soccer, but we need schools,” said Evaldir Cardoso, a firemen at a protest with his 7-month-old son. “These protests are in favor of common sense, argued protester Roberta da Matta. “We pay an absurd amount of taxes in Brazil, and now more people are questioning what they are getting in return.”[52]

If corporations and capitalist governments can’t align production with the common good and ecological rationality, what other choice is there but for society to collectively and democratically organize, plan and manage most production themselves? To do this we would have to establish democratic institutions to plan and manage our social economy. We would have to set up planning boards at local, regional, national/continental and international levels. Those would have to include not just workers, the direct producers, but entire communities, consumers, farmers, peasants, everyone. We have models: the Paris Commune, Russian soviets, Brazil’s participatory planning, La Via Campesina and others. Direct democracy at the base, delegated authority with right of recall for higher-level planning boards. What’s so difficult about that? [53]

As Greg Palast, Jarrold Oppenheim and Theo MacGregor described in Democracy and Regulation: How the Public Can Govern Essential Services(2003), it is a curious and ironic fact that the United States, foremost protagonist of the free market, possesses a large and indispensable sector of the economy that is not governed by the free market but instead, democratically, by public oversight – and that is utilities: the provision of electricity, heating fuel, water and sewerage, and local telephone service. Not only that but these are the most efficient and cheapest utility systems in the world. The authors note that British residents pay 44 percent more for electricity than do American consumers, 85 percent more for local telephone service and 26 percent more for natural gas. Europeans pay even more, Latin Americans more than Europeans. They write that “Americans pay astonishingly little for high-quality public services, yet low charges do not suppress wages: American utility workers are the nation’s industrial elite, with a higher concentration of union membership than in any other private industry.” Palast, Oppenheim and MacGregor attribute this to the fact that, unlike Britain and most of the rest of the world, utilities are not unregulated free-market corporations like ExxonMobil or Monsanto or Rio Light or British Water. Instead, they are tightly regulated industries, mostly privately owned, but many publicly owned by local municipalities. Yet even when utilities are privately owned like Con Edison in New York or Green Mountain Power in Vermont or Florida Power and Light (to take some East Coast examples), it’s really hard to call this “capitalism.” It’s more like state capitalism, even quasi-socialism. Either way, public- or investor-owned, they are highly regulated, subject to public oversight, involvement and control:

Unique in the world (with the exception of Canada), every aspect of US regulation is wide open to the public. There are no secret meetings, no secret documents. Any and all citizens and groups are invited to take part: individuals, industrial customers, government agencies, consumer groups, trade unions, the utility itself, even its competitors. Everyone affected by the outcome has a right to make their case openly, to ask questions of government and utilities, to read all financial and operating records in detail. In public forums, with all information open to all citizens, the principles of social dialogue and transparency come to life. It is an extra-ordinary exercise in democracy – and it works. … Another little-known fact is that, despite the recent experiments with markets in electricity [the authors published this book in 2003, just three years after the Enron privatization debacle], the US holds to the strictest, most elaborate and detailed system of regulation anywhere: Private utilities’ profits are capped, investments directed or vetoed by public agencies. Privately owned utilities are directed to reduce prices for the poor, fund environmentally friendly physical and financial inspection. … Americans, while strongly attached to private property and ownership, demand stern and exacting government control over vital utility services.[54]

The authors are careful to note that this is “no regulatory Garden of Eden.” It has many failings: regulation is constantly under attack by promoters of market pricing, the public interest and the profit motive of investor-owned utilities often conflict with negative consequences for the public, and so on. [55] But even so, this long-established and indisputably successful example of democratic public regulation of large-scale industries offers us a real-world practical example of something like a “proto-socialism.” I see no obvious reason something like this model of democracy and transparency could not be extended, expanded, fully socialized and replicated to encompass the entire large-scale industrial economy. Of course, as I argued above, to save the humans, we would have to do much more than just “regulate” industries. We would have to completely reorganize and reprioritize the whole economy, indeed the whole global industrial economy. This means not just regulating but retrenching and closing down resource-consuming and polluting industries, shifting resources out of them, starting up new industries and so on. Those are huge tasks, beyond the scope of even the biggest corporations, even many governments. So who else could do this but self-organized masses of citizens, the whole society acting in concert, democratically? Obviously, many issues can be decided at local levels. Others like closing down the coal industry or repurposing the auto industry, require large-scale planning at national if not international levels. Some, like global warming, ocean acidification, deforestation, would require extensive international coordination, virtually global planning. I don’t see why that’s not doable. We have the UN Climate Convention, which meets annually and is charged with regulating GHG emissions. It fails to do so only because it lacks enforcement powers. We need to give it enforcement powers.

5. DEMOCRACY CAN WORK ONLY IN CONTEXT OF ROUGH SOCIO-ECONOMIC EQUALITY AND SOCIAL GUARANTEES.

When in the midst of the Great Depression, the great “people’s jurist” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can’t have both.” He was more right than he knew. Today we have by far the greatest concentration of wealth in history. So it’s hardly surprising that we have the weakest and most corrupt democracies since the Gilded Age. If we want democracy, we would have to abolish “the great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few.” That means abolishing not just private property in the means of production, but also extremes of income, exorbitant salaries, great property, and inheritance. Because the only way to prevent corruption of democracy is to make it impossible to materially gain by doing so – by creating a society with neither rich nor poor, a society of basic economic equality.

Does that mean we would all have to dress in blue Mao suits and dine in communal mess halls? Hardly. Lots of studies (Wilkinson and Pickett’s Spirit Level, the UK’s New Economics Foundation studies, and others) have shown that people are happier, there’s less crime and violence and fewer mental health problems in societies where income differences are small and where concentrated wealth is limited. We don’t have five planets to provide the resources for the whole world to live the “American Dream” of endless consumerism. But we have more than enough wealth to provide every human being on the planet with a basic income, with a good job at pay sufficient to lead a dignified life, with safe water and sanitation, quality food, housing, education and health care, with public transportation – all the authentic necessities we really need. These should all be guaranteed as a matter of right, as indeed most of these already were declared as such in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

Freeing ourselves from the toil of producing unnecessary or harmful commodities – the three-quarters of current US production that’s a waste – would free us to shorten the work day, to enjoy the leisure promised but never delivered by capitalism, to redefine the meaning of the standard of living to connote a way of life that is actually richer, while consuming less, to realize our fullest human potential instead of wasting our lives in mindless drudgery and shopping. This is the emancipatory promise of ecosocialism.[56]

6. THIS IS CRAZY, UTOPIAN, IMPOSSIBLE, NEVER HAPPEN

Perhaps. But what’s the alternative? The specter of planetwide ecological collapse and the collapse of civilization into some kind of Blade Runnerdystopia is not as hypothetical as it once seemed. Ask the Chinese. China’s “capitalist miracle” already has driven that country off the cliff into headlong ecological collapse that threatens to take the whole planet down with it. With virtually all its rivers and lakes polluted and many depleted, with 70 percent of its croplands contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins, with undrinkable water, inedible food, unbreathable air that kills more than a million Chinese a year, with “cancer villages” metastasizing over the rural landscape and cancer the leading cause of death in Beijing,[57] China’s rulers face hundreds of mass protests, often violent, around the country every day, more than 100,000 protest a year. And even with all their police-state instruments of repression, they know they can’t keep the lid on forever (indeed, hundreds of thousands of Communist Party kleptocrats can see the writing on the wall through the smog and are moving their families, their money and themselves out of the country before it’s too late). Today the Chinese and we need a socialist revolution not just to abolish exploitation and alienation but to derail the capitalist train wreck of ecological collapse before it takes us all over the edge. As China itself demonstrates, revolutions come and go. Economic systems come and go. Capitalism has had a 300-year run. The question is, will humanity stand by let the world be destroyed to save the profit system?

The Specter of Eco-Democratic Revolution

That outcome depends to a great extent on whether we, on the left, can answer that question – “What’s your alternative?” – with a compelling and plausible vision of an eco-socialist civilization – and figure out how to get there. We have our work cut out for us. But what gives the growing global eco-socialist movement an edge in this ideological struggle is that capitalism has no solution to the ecological crisis, no way to put the brakes on collapse, because its only answer to every problem is more of the same growth that’s killing us. “History” was supposed to have “ended” with the fall of communism and the triumph of capitalism two decades ago. Yet today, history is very much alive. And it is, ironically, capitalism itself that is being challenged more broadly than ever and found wanting for solutions. Today, we are very much living in one of those pivotal world-changing moments in history, indeed it is no exaggeration to say that this is the most critical moment in human history. We may be fast approaching the precipice of ecological collapse, but the means to derail this train wreck are in the making as, around the world, struggles against the destruction of nature, against dams, against pollution, against overdevelopment, against the siting of chemical plants and power plants, against predatory resource extraction, against the imposition of GMOs, against privatization of remaining common lands, water and public services, against capitalist unemployment and precaritéare growing and building momentum. Today we’re riding a swelling wave of near-simultaneous global mass democratic “awakening,” almost global mass uprising. This global insurrection is still in its infancy, still unsure of its future, but its radical democratic instincts are, I believe, humanity’s last best hope. Let’s make history!

The original version of this story appeared in the Real World Economics Review.

 


[1] Tom Bawden, “Carbon dioxide in atmosphere at highest level for 5 million years,” The Independent, May 10, 2013 .

[2] Justin Gillis, “Heat-trapping gas passes milestone, raising fears,” The New York Times, May 10, 2013. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Scripps News, April 23, 2013 .

[3] Michael T. Klare, The Race for What’s Left (New York: Picador 2012), p. 24 Table 1.1. Jeffrey Sachs calculates that in value terms, between 1950 and 2008 the global human population rose from 2.5 billion to 7 billion, so less than tripled, while global GDP multiplied eight times. Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (New York: Penguin Books, 2008), p. 19.

[4] On Shell’s impact on Africa, see Nimo Bassey, To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa (Cape Town: Pambazuka Press 2012).

[5] Delly Mawazo Sesete of Change.org, writing in The Guardiannewspaper says, “I am originally from the North Kivu province in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a deadly conflict has been raging for over 15 years. While that conflict began as a war over ethnic tension, land rights and politics, it has increasingly turned to being a war of profit, with various armed groups fighting one another for control of strategic mineral reserves. Near the area where I grew up, there are mines with vast amounts of tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold – minerals that make most consumer electronics in the world function. These minerals are part of your daily life. They keep your computer running so you can surf the Internet. They save your high score on your Playstation. They make your cellphone vibrate when someone calls you. While minerals from the Congo have enriched your life, they have often brought violence, rape and instability to my home country. That’s because those armed groups fighting for control of these mineral resources use murder, extortion and mass rape as a deliberate strategy to intimidate and control local populations, which helps them secure control of mines, trading routes and other strategic areas. Living in the Congo, I saw many of these atrocities firsthand. I documented the child slaves who are forced to work in the mines in dangerous conditions. I witnessed the deadly chemicals dumped into the local environment. I saw the use of rape as a weapon. And despite receiving multiple death threats for my work, I’ve continued to call for peace, development and dignity in Congo’s minerals trade.” “Apple: time to make a conflict-free iPhone,” The Guardian, December 30, 2011. For more detail see conflictminerals.org. See also: Peter Eichstaedt, Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World’s Deadliest Place (Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 2011).

[6] Lauren McCauley, “Herbicides for GMOs driving monarch butterfly populations to ‘ominous’ brink,” Common Dreams, March 14, 2013.

[7] James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren (New York: Bloomsbury 2009), pp. 70, 172-173,

[8] John M. Broder, “Obama readying emissions limits on power plants,” The New York Times, June 20, 2013.

[9] Center for Biological Diversity, “New mileage standards out of step with worsening climate crisis,” press release, August 28, 2012. Also, Common Dreams staff, “New mileage standards encourage more gas-guzzling, not less: report,” Common Dreams, August 28, 2012.

[10] A full-size 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air weighed 3,100 pounds. A ’55 Ford F-100 pickup truck also weighed 3,100 (3,300 with the optional V-8 motor). Even a 1955 Cadillac El Dorado, icon of 1950s conspicuous consumption, weighed only 5,050 pounds – chrome bullets, tailfins and all. By comparison, today even a compact Toyota Prius weighs 3,274 pounds (could it be the batteries?) while your typical full-size Ford Taurus weighs more than 4,300 pounds, pickup trucks and big SUVs start at around 6,000 pounds and go up from there to 7,000 to 8,000 pounds. Even though the occasional honest driver will concede he or she doesn’t really “need” all this bulk and horsepower to load up at the mall, as a cheerful Texas Ford salesman noted, “We haven’t found a ceiling to this luxury truck market.” Joseph B. White, “Luxury pickups stray off the ranch,” Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2012.

[11] Your typical 4,428-pound 1955 Cadillac Coupe DeVille got 12.9 mpg in city driving, according to Motor Trend magazine, whereas your typical 5,963-pound 2013 Cadillac Escalade gets 10 mpg in the city (12 mpg “combined” city and highway). Your typical 2013 Chevrolet Silverado K15 truck gets just 9 mpg hauling those heavy bags of groceries home from the mall. This is after six decades of Detroit fuel economy “improvements” – and Obama says Detroit is going to “double its fleet mileage in 20 years.” Good luck on that. Mileage figures for the Cadillac are from Cadillac History 1955. For the Silverado at www.fuel economy.gov.

[12] For forecasts of China’s vehicle fleet and its implications see Craig Simons, The Devouring Dragon (New York: St. Martins Press, 2013), p. 200.

[13] “A new paradigm for climate change,” Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2 September 2012, pp. 639-640 (my italics).

[14] IEA, World Energy Outlook 2012 Executive Summary (November 12, 2012), p. 3 .

[15] For a recent summary of the peer-reviewed literature see Glenn Scherer and DailyClimate.org, “Climate science predictions prove too conservative,” Scientific American December 6, 2012 . Prominent ex-denier Richard A. Muller published his mea culpa on the op-ed page of The New York Times: “The conversion of a climate-change skeptic,” July 28, 2012.

[16] World Resources Institute, WRI Navigating the Numbers, Table 1. pp. 4-5 .

[17] The Hill blog .

[18] See my “Green capitalism,” op cit. pp. 131-133.

[19] Eg. David Biello, “The false promise of biofuels,” Scientific American, August 2011, pp. 59-65.

[20] Smith, “Green capitalism,” op cit. pp. 117-122.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] ExxonMobil, The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 (December 2012) . See also, Jon Queally, “BP’s Big Plan: Burn it. Burn it all,” Common Dreams, January 17, 2013.

[24] Eg. John Parnell, “World on course to run out of water, warns Ban Ki-moon,” The Guardian, May 22, 22013. Gaia Vince, “How the world’s oceans could be running out of fish,” BBC News Online, September 12, 2012 . And as tropical forests, biodiversity is being sacrificed even in nominally protected areas at an alarming rate. See William F. Laurance et al. “Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas,” Nature, no. 489 September 12, 2012 pp. 290-294. “Widespread local ‘extinctions’ in tropical forest ‘remnants’ ” Also, ScienceDaily, August 14, 2012 . On minerals and oil, see Michael T. Klare, The Race for What’s Left (New York: Picador 2012).

[25] Ecological “footprint” studies show that today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. Moderate UN scenarios suggest that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us. And of course, we have only one. Turning resources into waste faster than waste can be turned back into resources puts us in global ecological “overshoot” depleting the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend. See the Global Footprint Network.

[26] World Bank, 2008 World Development Indicators, p. 4 Table 1J .

[27] Worldwatch Institute, 2010 State of the World: Transforming Cultures From Consumerism to Sustainability (New York: Norton, 2010) pp. 3-7ff. Also Alan Durning, How Much is Enough? (New York: Norton 1992). Avatar.

[28] Michael T. Klare, The Race for What’s Left, p. 12. AP, “Tech tycoons in asteroid mining venture,” The Guardian, April 20, 2012.

[29] “China’s environmental nightmare,” China Digital Times, March 12, 2012 . Lily Kuo, “China’s nightmare scenario: by 2025 air quality could be much much worse,” posted March 12, 2013 on Quartz.

[30] See eg. Sam Wade, ” ‘Growth first’ mentality undermines war on pollution,” China Digital Times, June 5, 2013 .

[31] Hansen, Storms, chapter 9. Independent Voices: “James Lovelock: Nuclear power is the only green solution,” Independent, May 24, 2004 . George Monbiot, The Guardian columnist, has argued this in many venues but see, in particular, his blog piece: “The moral case for nuclear power,” August 8, 2011 . Also, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, “Going green? Then go nuclear,” Wall Street Journal op-ed, May 23, 2013.

[32] Keith Johnson and Ben Lefebvre, “U.S. approves expanded gas exports,” Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2013.

[33] John Vogel, “Methane gas ‘fracking:’ 3 polls show public leaning to toward yes,” American Agriculturalist, April 9, 2013 . Karen DeWitt, “Poll shows increased support for fracking,” North Country Public Radio, September 13, 2012 .

[34] Clothing designer Eliza Starbuck says of ultra -cheap producers like H&M “It’s throwaway fashion or ‘trashion.’ If their prices are that cheap that people are throwing their disposable income at them – only to find that the clothes fall apart on the hangers after a wash or two – they’re just creating garbage. … It takes such a huge amount of human energy and textile fibers, dyes and chemicals to create even poor-quality clothes. They may be offering fashions at a price anyone can afford in an economic crunch, but they’re being irresponsible about what happens to the goods after the consumers purchase them.” Jasmin Malik Chua, “Is H&M’s new lower-priced clothing encouraging disposable fashion?” ecouterre, September 28, 2010 . And H&M takes “disposable” literally. As The New York Times reported in 2012, H&M’s employees systematically slash and rip perfectly good unsold clothes before tossing them in dumpsters at the back of the chain’s 34th Street store in Manhattan – to make sure they can’t be sold but thus adding pointlessly to landfills rather than donating them to charity. It is little remarked that capitalism is the first economic system in which perfectly serviceable, even brand new goods from clothes to automobiles (recall the “cash for clunkers” rebates) are deliberately destroyed so as to promote production of their replacements. I’ll explore this interesting theme further elsewhere. See Jim Dwyer, “A clothing clearance where more than just the prices are slashed,” The New York Times, January 5, 2010. Also, Ann Zimmerman and Neil Shah, “Taste for cheap clothes fed Bangladesh boom,” Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2013.

[35] Juan O. Tamayo, “STASI records show Cuba deal included IKEA furniture, antiques, rum and guns,” McClatchy Newspapers, May 9, 2012. James Angelos, “IKEA regrets use of East German prisoners,” Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2012. Kamprad’s soft spot for prison slave labor fits very well with his deep past as a Swedish Nazi recruiter and long-time sympathizer as detailed in a recent book by Elisabeth Asbrink. See “Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad’s Nazi ties ‘went deeper,’ ” BBC News online August 25, 2011 .

[36] I am quoting here from Stephanie Zacharek’s excellent “IKEA is as bad as Wal-Mart,” Salon.com, July 12, 2009: 12:11 PM. Reviewing Ellen Ruppel Shell, Cheap: The High cost of Discount Culture (New York: Penguin, 2009), chapter 6.

[37] Ida Karisson, “IKEA products made from 600-year old trees,” Inter Press Service, May 29, 2012 Common Dreams.org.

[38] Eg. Fred Pearce, “Ikea – you can’t build a green reputation with a flatpack DIY manual, Guardian, April 2, 2009. Also: Greenpeace, Slaughtering the Amazon, July 2009 . Alfonso Daniels, “Battling Siberia’s devastating illegal logging trade,” BBC news online, November 27, 2009.

[39] Michael Davis, Planet of Slums (London: Verso 2006).

[40] World Bank Development Indicators 2008, cited in Anup Shah, Poverty and stats, Global Issues, January 7, 2013 . World Institute for Development Economics Research of the UN cited in James Randerson, “World’s richest 1% own 40% of all wealth, UN report discovers,” The Guardian, December 6, 2006. As for trends, in 1979 the richest 1% in the U.S. earned 33.1 percent more than the bottom 20 percent. In 2000 the wealthiest 1% made 88.5 percent more than the poorest 20 percent. In the Third World, polarization has grown even worse, especially in China which in 1978 had the world’s most equal incomes while today, it has the most unequal incomes of any large society. Who says capitalism doesn’t work?!

[41] Adam Nossiter, “For Congo children, food today means none tomorrow,” The New York Times, January 3, 2012.

[42] Isabel Kershner, “Israeli venture meant to serve electric cars ending its run,” The New York Times, May 27, 2013. Ronald D. White, “One owner, low miles, will finance: sellers try to unload Fiskers,” Los Angeles Times, April 26, 2013. Rachel Feintzeig, “Electric-car maker Coda files for bankruptcy,” Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2013.

[43] Kenneth Chang, “Mars could have supported life long ago, NASA says,” The New York Times, March 12, 2013. And Shell Oil isn’t the only company having second thoughts about what its brilliant CEO thought was a sure thing: Clifford Krauss, “ConocoPhilips suspends its Arctic drilling plans,” The New York Times, April 11, 2013.

[44] Citing a recent study by an international team of researchers in Nature Climate Change in May 2013, the BBC reports that if “rapid action” is not taken to curb greenhouse gases, some 34 percent of animals and 57 percent of plants will lose more than half of their current habitat ranges. Dr. Rachel Warren, the lead scientist of the study said that “our research predicts that climate change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides. There will also be a knock-on effect for humans because these species are important for things like water and air purification, flood control, nutrient cycling and eco-tourism.” Matt McGrath, ” ‘Dramatic decline’ warning for plants and animals,” BBC News Online, May 12, 2013 .

[45] On the existential threat Monsanto Corporation poses to humanity and the planet, see the Green Shadow Cabinet: “What must be done about Monsanto corporation, and why,” May 23, 2013 .

[46] Gallup, June 8, 2012 .

[47] Huffington Post, “GMO poll finds huge majority say foods should be labeled,” March 4, 2013 .

[48] See again, Green Shadow Cabinet, “What must be done about Monsanto, and why?” op cit.

[49] Eg. Jennifer Duggan, “Kunming pollution is the tip of rising Chinese environmental activism,” The Guardian blog post May 16, 2013.

[50] Tim Arango and Ceylan Yeginsu, “Peaceful protest over Istanbul park turns violent as police crack down,” The New York Times, May 31, 2013.

[51] “Turkish government moots referendum on Gezi Park,” Deutsche Welle, June 12, 2013 .

[52] Simon Romero, “Protests grow as Brazilians blame leaders,” The New York Times, June 19, 2013.

[53] For further exploration of these themes see the superb piece by Michael Lowy: “Eco-socialism and democratic planning,” Socialist Register 2007 (New York: Monthly Review 2007), p. 294-309.

[54] Greg Palast, Jerrold Oppenheim, and Theo MacGregor, Democracy and Regulation: How the Public can Govern Essential Services (London: Pluto, 2003) pp. 2-4. The authors point out yet another irony of this system of public regulation, namely that it was created by private companies as the lesser evil to fend off the threat of nationalization: “Modern US utility regulation is pretty much the invention of American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) and the National Electric Light Association (NELA) – the investor-owned telephone and electric industries at the turn of the twentieth century. They saw regulation as protection against Populist and Progressive movements that, since the economic panic of 1873 and later disruptions, had galvanized anti-corporate farmer and labor organizations. By the turn of the twentieth century, these movements had galvanized considerable public support for governmental ownership of utilities. … ” p. 98.

[55] In the case of nuclear power plants, local public regulation often has been subverted and overridden by the federal government in its zealous drive to push nuclear power even against the wishes of the local public. Thus in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, social scientists Raymond Goldsteen and John Schorr interviewed residents around Three Mile Island about the history of the power plant, why it was built, what voice they had in the decision to build it and the decision to restart the plant after the accident. It turns out that, as one resident, a Mrs. Kelsey, put it, they had no choice. They were virtually forced to accept it: “They [Met Ed the utility, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission] keep saying we need this nuclear. They keep pounding that into our heads with the news and everything. We need it. We need it. We can’t do without it.” Residents told Goldstein and Schorr that the surrounding communities petitioned against restarting the plant after the accident but lost again. Another resident, Mrs. Boswell, said, “We don’t want to be guinea pigs. … I still think that we should have a say, too, in what goes on. I really do, because we’re the victims.” Mrs. Brown: “The company just wants [to reopen the plant for] the money. … ” Mrs. Carmen: “No, they’re going to do what they want. … I don’t think [community feelings] would bother them at all.” Mrs. Hemmingway: “I feel very angry about it really, because I just feel that there is so much incompetence on the part of the utility, on the part of the NRC, on the part of the local governments. … ” Residents said that if they had been informed honestly about the risks and if they had had a choice, they would have investigated other technologies and chosen differently. Mrs. Hemingway again: “It just seems to me there are so many alternatives we could explore. … We obviously need alternate energy sources, but solar could provide heating for houses and water [and so on].” Residents said they would have preferred other choices even if it meant giving up certain conveniences: Mrs. Caspar: “I don’t really mind conserving all that much. If people can conserve gas [for cars], why can’t they conserve energy? Now I don’t mean I want to go back to the scrubboard … but I don’t dry my clothes in the dryer. I hang them … on the line … and I do try to conserve as far as that goes.” (pp. 181-183,212). One of the most interesting results of this study, which is well worth reading in full, is that it illustrates how ordinary citizens, given the chance, would make more rational decisions about technology, safety and the environment than the “experts” at the utility, Met Ed, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It’s not that they were more knowledgeable about the technology than the experts but that the experts were not impartial. They were representing the industry and profits and the NRC, not the public, so they could not help but systematically make wrong decisions, decisions that in this case not only violated the public trust and but put huge numbers of lives in danger. Raymond L. Goldsteen and John K. Schorr, Demanding Democracy After Three Mile Island (Gainsville: University of Florida Press 1991).

[56] See again, Michael Lowy op. cit.

[57] Edward Wong, “Air pollution linked to 1.2 million premature deaths in China,” The New York Times. April 1, 2013. Johnathan Kaiman, “Inside China’s ‘cancer villages,’ ” The Guardian, June 4, 2012.


We (The New Global Communist Party) have been saying all along that a New Earth is not a Reboot of Old Earth. Everything as it exists must change. Only We have something to offer to the Planet that will stop all of this trouble. A Planetary Council will establish Universal Law and abolish all borders to finally permit all like-minded individuals to gather into their own communities of service to each other (Independent City-states). We will abolish all currency and all forms of privatization. When We establish that all resources and businesses and vehicles are held in trust to the people by the State, it enables Us to create a world free of currency where all humans of all ages are employees of the State.

Please do read, translate and distribute Our propaganda for Us.

The Evil Empire

The two most evil governments on the Planet Earth at this moment are the governments of the United States of America (U.S.A.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.). They are not alone in the heinous actions towards imposing suffering abroad as well as upon their own citizens as they have allies which (as vassals are want to do) follow them and obey whatever they are told (all members of N.A.T.O.); yet it is these two evil nations which lead the entire world towards destruction. From telling outright lies (they control their sad populations through the use of fear, shame and lies), to private media control (trying to give the illusion of a fair and unbiased media), to imposing sanctions on any Nations that do not support their global agenda of country internment and currency slavery to uphold the horrors of Global Plutocracy on Earth. These horrible governments continue with abhorrent actions seemingly unchallenged. How can this be?

Just recently we are seeing them attempting to orchestrate yet another military coup in Venezuela after the Bank of England stealing the justly elected government’s gold deposits, as well as imposing unjust sanctions as a means to ferment revolution through forced human misery (when they impose sanctions it is like artillery fire to “soften up” the enemy prior to ground troops.)

Why aren’t sanctions being imposed upon them?


Bank of England refuses to return 14 tonnes of gold to Venezuela

The Bank of England claims to be one of the largest physical gold custodians in the world, holding gold bars in vault storage on behalf of more than 70 central banks and a number of commercial (bullion) banks.

As a long-standing and well-known gold custodian, it should therefore be a simple matter operationally and logistically for any central bank customer from around the world to withdraw gold bars from the Bank of England and to have those gold bars sent overseas. These types of shipments have been happening at the Bank of England for hundreds of years.

Such an event would normally not generate any media interest nor even be known about in the public domain such is the secrecy and opacity of central bank gold transactions. For these reasons, the current case involving the Bank of England’s refusal to deliver Venezuela’s gold stored in London, and the way its been publicized, raises some questions and deserves comment.

HM Treasury and Fleet Street

So what exactly is the issue? On 5 November, the London headquartered Reuters news agency reported that the Venezuelan state, fearing sanctions, is attempting to repatriate 14 tonnes of gold from the Bank of England in London, but that this gold withdrawal and transport operation has not yet been actioned despite the withdrawal request being made by Venezuela nearly two months ago.

According to Reuters’ sources which were two unnamed “public officials with direct knowledge of the operation“, Venezuela’s gold bar withdrawal delay is being caused by the difficulty and cost in obtaining insurance for the gold shipment, and also because the Bank of England wants to know what Venezuela plans to do with its gold once it receives it.

On 7 November, the establishment ‘The Times’ of London newspaper picked up on the same story, running a report that “British officials” want clarification on what the Venezuelan government intends to do with its gold after it receives it, and that these “officials” are also throwing up hurdles by insisting that for this gold shipment “standard measures to prevent money-laundering be taken“.

Interestingly, in the above reports, both the Bank of England and Venezuela’s central bank, the Banco Centrale de Venezuela (BCV), declined to comment. This means that the entire ‘story’ about Venezuela’s gold that is now in the public domain is based on snippets of information that ‘public officials’, possibly from HM Treasury, fed to both Reuters and The Times.

The timing of the above news items from Reuters and The Times also came a few days after the United States had signed a new executive order on 1 November imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s gold industry (Executive Order 13850), an executive order which pressurizes the global gold industry not to do business with Venezuela or its gold sector.

On a Set-Aside Basis

Central banks can hold gold at the Bank of England in a number of ways. When gold is held at the Bank of England on a set-aside basis, specific London Good Delivery gold bars are earmarked and allocated for that central bank with the Bank of England acting as custodian for the central bank client. The central bank client in this case would or should have a weight list of the gold bars that it has in custody with the Bank of England, and the service would also involve a custodian agreement.

The Bank of England also facilitates gold lending in London using the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) cartel of bullion banks who offer gold deposits and gold swaps, with central banks putting their gold out on deposit or swap with one or more of these bullion banks and receiving interest or financing. In this case, the original gold bars are taken by the bullion banks and they do with them as they please, and the bullion bank / Bank of England has a liability to the central bank to deliver back a certain amount of gold to the central bank account that was lent/deposited/swapped.

What type of gold holding constitutes the 14 tonnes of gold that Venezuela holds at the Bank of England is unclear, but it is either gold held on a custody / set-aside / earmarked basis, in which case it is in the form of specific Good Delivery gold bars with a gold bar weight list, or it is gold held in a gold account reflected by a fine ounce gold balance of the equivalent of 14 tonnes (approximately 450,000 troy ounces) that the Bank of England (as facilitator of the gold deposits / swaps and as facilitator of the gold accounts that the bullion banks hold at the Bank) has a duty to allocate to the central bank requesting a gold bar withdrawal.

If the 14 tonnes of gold is set-aside and in custody then, given these delays, the Banco Centrale de Venezuela should release its gold bar weight list to the public domain so that all the gold bar serial numbers go on the public record as this would prevent those gold bars clandestinely appearing in gold-backed ETF holdings or in other central bank gold holdings. If the 14 tonnes of gold is an amount that the Bank of England owes the BCV but is not yet allocated, the BCV should still release all the gold bar weight lists that it possesses relating to the Bank of England as this could also help expose previous transactions that the bullion banks have done using BCV’s previous set-aside gold and highlight the real ownership of the bars.

Either way, there should be no reason for any delays in the Bank of England sending gold bars overseas for one of its central bank clients, since either the gold bars are already set-aside in its vaults, or the Bank can allocate gold bars to reflect the fine ounce balance of the gold account of the central bank customer. From an operational standpoint, the Bank of England’s refusal to deliver Venezuela’s gold is therefore purely political.

Bogus Excuse 1 – A Large Shipment of Gold

From a logistical standpoint, the Bank of England’s refusal to deliver Venezuela’s gold is also political. In its article, Reuters quotes one of the unnamed officials as follows:

“The plan has been held up for nearly two months due to difficulty in obtaining insurance for the shipment, needed to move a large gold cargo, one of the officials said.

“They are still trying to find insurance coverage, because the costs are high,” the official said.”

Frankly, this insurance excuse is absurd chiefly because it was the very same Venezuela that received a flight shipment of an exact similar quantity of 14 tonnes of gold bars on 30 January 2012, which was the last flight of its previous gold repatriation shipments when 23 flights airlifted 160 tonnes of Venezuela’s gold from Europe to Caracas between 25 November 2011 and 30 January 2012.

The 14 tonne gold shipment on 30 January 2012 was flown into Caracas International Airport on a World Airways cargo jet,  McDonnell Douglas MD-11 convertible freighter, registration number N275WA. As documented in BullionStar’s article “Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 2: From Repatriation to Reactivation“:

“The final shipment arrived into Maiquetía – Simón Bolívar airport on Monday 30 January 2012 consisting of 14 tonnes of gold in 28 boxes.” 

Large amounts of gold bars are flown around the world every week both on commercial and cargo airliners and handled by the secure shipping agents such as Brinks which are specifically insured for such activities. How else can hundreds of tonnes of gold enter and leave London, Switzerland, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai etc every month? Brinks have a number of gold vaults and secure shipping areas beside Heathrow Airport at Radius Park and a commercial cargo jet carrying 14 tonnes of gold could easily take off from Heathrow any day and be in Caracas the next morning to deliver the gold to the BCV. Therefore, this excuse from the ‘officials’ is bogus.

Its possible that the UK and US governments have leaned on insurance companies and secure carriers (such as XL Caitlin and Brinks) not to facilitate a gold shipment for Venezuela, but again, this would be a political issue, not a logistical issue.

Bogus Excuse 2 – Money Laundering

The next bogus excuse from the unnamed British officials about the Venezuelan gold at the Bank of England is also worth examining. According to The Times:

“British officials are understood to have insisted that standard measures to prevent money-laundering be taken – including clarification of the Venezuelan government’s intentions for the gold.”

This excuse is both illogical as its phrased and also breaches customer privacy while being illegal under international law to withhold assets based on a suspicion or a whim.

Firstly, money laundering refers to the concealing of funds from illegal activities and the transformation of those funds into legitimate assets, and can involve placing funds into the financial system, hiding (layering) the origin of those funds through a series of transactions, and then finally integrating those funds into other assets. Money laundering and its three phases have nothing to do with the value and wealth that is tied up in existing Good Delivery gold bars that are either already vaulted at the Bank of England or were deposited and accepted at a previous point in time at the Bank of England into the Good Delivery bar chain of integrity.

Venezuela’s gold bars in question are already in the Bank of England vaults and are part of the Good Delivery gold bar chain of integrity. When Venezuela either purchased this gold at the Bank of England, delivered this gold to the Bank of England, or received back this gold at the Bank of England after a gold loan (deposit) or gold swap, the gold bars in question were already in or entered the Good Delivery bar chain of integrity.

Venezuela already had 50 tonnes of gold at the Bank of England in London and left it there in 2011 when it shipped other gold bars back from Europe to Caracas. See BullionStar article “Venezuela’s Gold Reserves – Part 1: El Oro, El BCV, y Los Bancos de Lingotes” for full details. This 50 tonnes was most probably the gold that it used as collateral in a gold swap with Citibank a few years later. Venezuela then also entered gold swaps with Deutsche Bank (and the BIS), and would have sent more gold bars to the Bank of England for the Deutsche gold swap. All of this gold was either at the Bank of England for years or accepted by the Bank of England a few years ago, and was by definition, considered by the Bank of England to be legitimate assets.

Withdrawing gold bars from the Bank of England and then selling them for fiat currency is also as much to do with money laundering as any other future transaction that has yet to take place, i.e. nothing. So money laundering is a red-herring. As a custodian, the Bank of England also has no remit or right to inquire from another nation state as to what it proposes to do with its property, i.e. gold bars, that that nation state wants to withdraw and repatriate back to within its own borders. The Times mentions possible sales of this gold by Maduro’s government to Turkey, which is a possibility. But so what? That has nothing to do with the Bank of England or the US Treasury.

Assuming on face value that these ‘British officials’ actually want to pursue this scenario of “clarification of the Venezuelan government’s intentions for the gold”, then this is a breach customer privacy, a breach of the Bank of England’s fiduciary duties as a gold custodian, and a breach of international law since the Bank of England is in effect confiscating and freezing the assets of another nation state.

That’s not to say that the British (HM Treasury and Bank of England) will not go ahead and freeze these Venezuelan assets (gold bars) as this is in effect what happened when the Carter Administration via the US Treasury / Fed froze and confiscated Iranian gold bars at the Federal Reserve bank of New York in November 1979 through Executive Order 12170.

Conclusion

The reasons put forward by official sources in the Reuters and Times articles for why Venezuela can’t withdraw its gold from the Bank of England are clearly bogus. The more logical and likely explanation is that the US, through the White House, US Treasury and State Department have been liaising with the British Foreign office, HM Treasury to put pressure on the Bank of England to delay and push back on Venezuela’s gold withdrawal request.

However, these ‘British officials’ are creating a dangerous precedent that other central bank gold customers of the Bank of England around the world will be taking note of. Similar gold withdrawal requests from other central banks, especially those that hold gold loans and gold swaps and want allocation, could well precipitate a run on the physical gold stored in the Bank of England’s vaults.


Even though many of you are beginning to awaken to the fact that all currency in whatever form, including gold, is worthless. Still the present “economy” which is based upon currency slavery, relies upon it to maintain the countries (Internment Camps).

War is also something which both of these countries must maintain as they have heavily based their internal economies on manufacture and sales of weapons of mass destruction.


The US Arms Machine: Why Wars R Us

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Yves here. Even though most readers no doubt know that the military-industrial complex is the moving force behind our regular exercises in nation-breaking, it’s still instructive to have data on the scale of America’s arms scales. The author, William Hartung, notes that US weapons often make their way to our enemies. From the perspective of the arms makers, that’s a feature, not a bug.

By William D. Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of “Trends in Major U.S. Arms Sales in 2017: A Comparison of the Obama and Trump Administrations,” Security Assistance Monitor, March 2018. Originally published at TomDispatch

It’s one of those stories of the century that somehow never gets treated that way. For an astounding 25 of the past 26 years, the United States has been the leading arms dealer on the planet, at some moments in near monopolistic fashion. Its major weapons-producers, including Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, regularly pour the latest in high-tech arms and munitions into the most explosive areas of the planet with ample assistancefrom the Pentagon. In recent years, the bulk of those arms have gone to the Greater Middle East. Donald Trump is only the latest American president to preside over a global arms sales bonanza. With remarkable enthusiasm, he’s appointed himself America’s number one weapons salesman and he couldn’t be prouder of the job he’s doing.

Earlier this month, for instance, on the very day Congress was debating whether to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen, Trump engaged in one of his favorite presidential activities: bragging about the economic benefits of the American arms sales he’s been promoting. He was joined in his moment of braggadocio by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the chief architect of that war. That grim conflict has killed thousands of civilians through indiscriminate air strikes, while putting millions at risk of death from famine, cholera, and other “natural” disasters caused at least in part by a Saudi-led blockade of that country’s ports.

That Washington-enabled humanitarian crisis provided the backdrop for the Senate’s consideration of a bill co-sponsored by Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders, Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, and Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy. It was aimed at ending U.S. mid-air refueling of Saudi war planes and Washington’s additional assistance for the Saudi war effort (at least until the war is explicitly authorized by Congress). The bill generated a vigorous debate. In the end, on an issue that wouldn’t have even come to the floor two years ago, an unprecedented 44 senators voted to halt this country’s support for the Saudi war effort. The bill nonetheless went down to defeat and the suffering in Yemen continues.

Debate about the merits of that brutal war was, however, the last thing on the mind of a president who views his bear-hug embrace of the Saudi regime as a straightforward business proposition. He’s so enthusiastic about selling arms to Riyadh that he even brought his very own prop to the White House meeting with bin Salman: a U.S. map highlighting which of the 50 states would benefit most from pending weapons sales to the prince’s country.

You undoubtedly won’t be surprised to learn that Michigan, Ohio, and Florida, the three crucial swing states in the 2016 presidential election, were specially highlighted. His latest stunt only underscored a simple fact of his presidency: Trump’s arms sales are meant to promote pork-barrel politics, while pumping up the profits of U.S. weapons manufacturers. As for human rights or human lives, who cares?

To be fair, Donald Trump is hardly the first American president to make it his business to aggressively promote weapons exports. Though seldom a highlighted part of his presidency, Barack Obama proved to be a weapons salesman par excellence. He made more arms offers in his two terms in office than any U.S. president since World War II, including an astounding $115 billion in weapons deals with Saudi Arabia. For the tiny group of us who follow such things, that map of Trump’s only underscored a familiar reality.

On it, in addition to the map linking U.S. jobs and arms transfers to the Saudis, were little boxes that highlighted four specific weapons sales worth tens of billions of dollars. Three of those that included the THAAD missile defense system, C-130 transport planes, P-8 anti-submarine warfare planes, and Bradley armored vehicles were, in fact, completed during the Obama years. So much for Donald Trump’s claim to be a deal maker the likes of which we’ve never seen before. You might, in fact, say that the truest arms race these days is between American presidents, not the United States and other countries. Not only has the U.S. been the world’s top arms exporting nation throughout this century, but last year it sold one and a half times as much weaponry as its closest rival, Russia.

Embracing Lockheed Martin

It’s worth noting that three of those four Saudi deals involved weapons made by Lockheed Martin. Admittedly, Trump’s relationship with Lockheed got off to a rocky start in December 2016 when he tweeted his displeasure over the cost of that company’s F-35 combat aircraft, the most expensive weapons program ever undertaken by the Pentagon. Since then, however, relations between the nation’s largest defense contractor and America’s most self-involved president have warmed considerably.

Before Trump’s May 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia, his son-in-law, Jared Kusher, new best buddy to Mohammed bin Salman, was put in charge of cobbling together a smoke-and-mirrors, wildly exaggerated $100 billion-plus arms package that Trump could announce in Riyadh. What Kushner needed was a list of sales or potential sales that his father-in-law could boast about (even if many of the deals had been made by Obama). So he called Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson to ask if she could cut the price of a THAAD anti-missile system that the administration wanted to include in the package. She agreed and the $15 billion THAAD deal — still a huge price tag and the most lucrative sale to the Saudis made by the Trump administration — went forward. To sweeten the pot for the Saudi royals, the Pentagon even waived a $3.5 billion fee normally required by law and designed to reimburse the Treasury for the cost to American taxpayers of developing such a major weapons system. General Joseph Rixey, until recently the director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which granted that waiver, has since gone directly through Washington’s revolving door and been hired by — you guessed it — Lockheed Martin.

In addition, former Lockheed Martin executive John Rood is now the Trump administration’s undersecretary of defense for policy, where one of his responsibilities will be to weigh in on… don’t be shocked!… major arms deals. In his confirmation hearings, Rood refused to say that he would recuse himself from transactions involving his former employer, for which he was denounced by Senators John McCain and Elizabeth Warren. As Warren asserted in a speech opposing Rood’s appointment,

“No taxpayer should have to wonder whether the top policy-makers at the Pentagon are pushing defense products and foreign military sales for reasons other than the protection of the United States of America… No American should have to wonder whether the Defense Department is acting to protect the national interests of our nation or the financial interests of the five giant defense contractors.”

Still, most senators were unfazed and Rood’s nomination sailed through that body by a vote of 81 to 7. He is now positioned to help smooth the way for any Lockheed Martin deal that might meet with a discouraging word from the Pentagon or State Department officials charged with vetting foreign arms sales.

Arming the Planet

Though Saudi Arabia may be the largest recipient of U.S. arms on the planet, it’s anything but Washington’s only customer. According to the Pentagon’s annual tally of major agreements under the Foreign Military Sales program, the most significant channel for U.S. arms exports, Washington entered into formal agreements to sell weaponry to 130 nations in 2016 (the most recent year for which full data is available). According to a recent report from the Cato Institute, between 2002 and 2016 the United States delivered weaponry to 167 countries — more than 85% of the nations on the planet. The Cato report also notes that, between 1981 and 2010, Washington supplied some form of weaponry to 59% of all nations engaged in high-level conflicts.

In short, Donald Trump has headed down a well-traveled arms superhighway. Every president since Richard Nixon has taken that same road and, in 2010, the Obama administration managed to rack up a record $102 billion in foreign arms offers. In a recent report I wrote for the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy, I documented more than $82 billion in arms offers by the Trump administration in 2017 alone, which actually represented a slight increase from the $76 billion in offers made during President Obama’s final year. It was, however, far lower than that 2010 figure, $60 billion of which came from Saudi deals for F-15 combat aircraft, Apache attack helicopters, transport aircraft, and armored vehicles, as well as guns and ammunition.

There have nonetheless been some differences in the approaches of the two administrations in the area of human rights. Under pressure from human rights groups, the Obama administration did, in the end, suspend sales of aircraft to Bahrain and Nigeria, both of whose militaries were significant human rights violators, and also a $1 billion-plus deal for precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia. That Saudi suspension represented the first concrete action by the Obama administration to express displeasure with Riyadh’s indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen. Conducted largely with U.S. and British supplied aircraft, bombs, and missiles, it has included strikesagainst hospitals, marketplaces, water treatment facilities, and even a funeral. In keeping with his focus on jobs to the exclusion of humanitarian concerns, Trump reversed all three of the Obama suspensions shortly after taking office.

Fueling Terrorism and Instability

In fact, selling weapons to dictatorships and repressive regimes often fuels instability, war, and terrorism, as the American war on terror has vividly demonstrated for the last nearly 17 years. U.S.-supplied arms also have a nasty habit of ending up in the hands of America’s adversaries. At the height of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, for instance, that country’s armed forces lost track of hundreds of thousands of rifles, many of which made their way into the hands of forces resisting the U.S. occupation.

In a similar fashion, when Islamic State militants swept into Iraq in 2014, the Iraqi security forces abandoned billions of dollars worth of American equipment, from small arms to military trucks and armored vehicles. ISIS promptly put them to use against U.S. advisers and the Iraqi security forces as well as tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. The Taliban, too, has gotten its hands on substantial quantities of U.S. weaponry, either on the battlefield or by buying them at cut-rate, black market prices from corrupt members of the Afghan security forces.

In northern Syria, two U.S.-armed groups are now fighting each other. Turkish forces are facing off against Syrian Kurdish militias that have been among the most effective anti-ISIS fighters and there is even an ongoing risk that U.S. and Turkish forces, NATO allies, may find themselves in direct combat with each other. Far from giving Washington influence over key allies or improving their combat effectiveness, U.S. arms and training often simply spur further conflict and chaos to the detriment of the security of the United States, not to speak of the peace of the world.

In the grim and devolving conflict in Yemen, for instance, all sides possess at least some U.S. weaponry. Saudi Arabia is, of course, the top U.S. arms client and its forces are a catalogue of American weaponry, from planes and anti-tank missiles to cluster bombs, but hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid were also provided to the forces of Yemeni autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh during his 30 years of rule before he was driven from power in 2012. Later, however, he joined forces with the Houthi rebels against the Saudi-led intervention, taking large parts of the Yemeni armed forces — and their U.S.-supplied weapons — with him. (He would himself be assassinatedby Houthi forces late last year after a falling out.)

Trump’s Plan: Make It Easier on Arms Makers

The Trump administration is poised to release a new policy directive on global arms transfers. A report by Politico, based on interviews with sources at the State Department and a National Security Council (NSC) official, suggests that it will seek to further streamline the process of approving arms sales, in part by increasing the already extensive role of U.S. government personnel in promoting such exports. It will also remove what a National Security Council statement has described as “unreasonable constraints on the ability of our companies to compete.” In keeping with that priority, according to the NSC official, “the administration is intent on ensuring that U.S. industry has every advantage in the global marketplace.”

In January, a Reuters article confirmed this approach, reporting that the forthcoming directive would emphasize arms-sales promotion by U.S. diplomats and other overseas personnel. As one administration official told Reuters, “We want to see those guys, the commercial and military attaches, unfettered to be salesmen for this stuff, to be promoters.”

The Trump administration is also expected to move forward with a plan, stalled as the Obama years ended, to ease controls on the export of U.S. firearms. Gun exports now licensed and scrutinized by the State Department would instead be put under the far-less-stringent jurisdiction of the Commerce Department. Some firearms could then be exported to allies without even a license, reducing the government’s ability to prevent them from reaching criminal networks or the security forces of potential adversaries. 

In September 2017, Democratic senators Ben Cardin, Dianne Feinstein, and Patrick Leahy sent a letter to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson raising concerns about such a change. As they wrote, “Combat firearms and ammunition are uniquely lethal; they are easily spread and easily modified, and are the primary means of injury, death and destruction in civil and military conflicts throughout the world. As such they should be subjected to more — not less — rigorous export controls and oversight.”

If Trump’s vision of an all-arms-sales-all-the-time foreign policy is realized, he may scale the weapons-dealing heights reached by the Obama administration. As Washington’s arms-dealer-in-chief, he might indeed succeed in selling American weaponry as if there were no tomorrow. Given the known human costs of unbridled arms trafficking, however, such a presidency would also ensure that whatever tomorrow finally arrived would prove far worse than today, unless of course you happen to be a major U.S. arms maker.


There simply isn’t room to include all of the N.A.T.O. Nations and their arms sales here.

We will only touch briefly upon the misery of the citizens which are forced to languish under the iron-shod boots of these nations. Especially the U.S.A. where Education and Healthcare are not about education or healthcare, but only about “profit”.

How much longer will the behavior of these monsters (U.S.A. and the U.K.) be permitted to continue without consequences? Why aren’t sanctions being imposed upon them? This just shows you what has been said all along about the “United” Nations. It is a vapid, non-governmental body of select veto-wielding nations and their vassals. It is time to establish the First Planetary Council of Earth (elected representatives from First, Second, Third and Fourth World Nations as well as Physicists, Engineers, Environmentalists and Scientists as elected by the Global Body of their peers.

How Is Your Brain Keeping?

As many messages are being relayed about the importance of the Human Brain in regards to what makes you more or less human. Here is a discussion about the human brain. Let us mention what is known, as well as the 3 most popular myths about the human brain, followed by the World observations and then My personal opinions about the human brain.

Humans know relatively nothing about the human brain, just as they know relatively little about D.N.A. They are quick to emphasize the importance of these things that all of Us share, yet also quick to dismiss what they do not know (90%) as being unimportant. They say it is nothing to be concerned about or call it “junk”. This lends itself to many claims, since so little is actually known, it is difficult if not impossible to actually prove or disprove any claims.

Now let us all look at the 3 most popular myths about the human brain. Many on Earth still do believe in these myths.

Popular Human Brain Myth Number One

The Coloured Races upon Earth have less developed brains than the White Race. This is why it is perfectly acceptable for them to be enslaved by Us (White Race) in fact We are doing them a favour. We can take care of them in return for their labour and save their brains from all of the stress and responsibility of being free and having to care for themselves. There is no reason for any of the Coloured Races to own their own businesses as this would be beyond the ability of their brains anyways, not to mention a threat to White-owned businesses. The Coloured Races must not be permitted to vote because they will only ask the White authority fiqure in their lives what to do and then vote accordingly. This means that to give a Coloured Person the right to vote is only giving some Whites more than one vote. Obviously it is absurd to even imagine any Coloured Person running for public office; let alone actually winning and holding a position. Due to their inferior brains… it would be dangerous and irresponsible for Us (White Race) to permit this. Can you imagine a world of Free and Equal Coloured Races being any better… could it be any worse?

Popular Human Brain Myth Number Two

The Brains of Females are inferior to the Brains of Males. This is why it is imperative that Females must always be subservient to Males. They need  Males to provide for and care for them so that We can save their brains from stress and responsibility of caring for themselves. There is no reason for any Females to own/operate any businesses for themselves as this would be too much for their brains as well as interfere with Male owned businesses. Females must never be permitted to vote because they will only ask their husbands or other Male authority figure what to do and then vote accordingly. When you allow any Female to vote, you are only giving more than one vote to a Male. Obviously it is absurd to even imagine any Female running for a public office; let alone actually winning and holding a position. Due to their inferior brains… it would be dangerous and irresponsible for Us (Males) to permit this. Can you imagine a world of Free and Equal Females being any better… could it be any worse?

Popular Human Brain Myth Number Three

The Brains of Children are inferior to the Brains of Adults. They are not developed and this is why it is imperative that Children must always be subservient to Adults. They need Adults to care and provide for them so that We can save their human brains from all of the stress and responsibility of caring for themselves. There is no reason for any Children to own/operate any businesses for themselves as this would be too much for their brains as well as interfere with Adult owned businesses. Children must never be permitted to vote because they will only ask an Adult what to do and then vote accordingly. When you permit a Child to vote, you are only providing an Adult with more than one vote. Obviously it is absurd to imagine any Child running for public office; let alone getting elected and holding a position. Due to their inferior brains… it would be dangerous and irresponsible for Us (Adults) to permit this. Can you imagine a world of Free and Equal Children being any better… could it be any worse?

Here is My Opinion

You are not your brain. It is just another body part of the Human Vessel you are using at present to experience this Dense World. The human brain operates your body and manages to do this smoothly without the need for you to be consciously aware of all that is required to do so. The human brain also acts as a receiver from the Source Field of  all Imperfect Thought-forms as well as Perfect Thought-forms and ideas. No human brain is capable of generating even a single thought on it’s own. There are examples of some humans born on Earth with abnormally small human brains or brains that had a catastrophic injury, yet they lived completely normal lives and were regarded as “medical miracles”. Remember, you know next to nothing about your human brain.

When you dismiss Children as being less than human, you are ignoring the facts of many Children who are regarded as genious’ and capable of contributing to the whole world development as well as any Adult. When you pretend that somehow, being an Adult makes you intelligent, mature and capable; you are dismissing the facts of everyday life. Just read any newspaper in any town and it will be full of examples of adults acting in very stupid, dangerous and immature ways. Do not permit others to use shame, fear and lies to make you hide or to keep silent about what your heart is telling you. Yes, Child slavery is the present situation on Earth. It has not always been this way because for a time, Children were regarded as miniature adults and not as some separate entity, living at a different time and in a different space or world from the rest of us. When you see the mass protests taking place that have been orchestrated by Children, you cannot ignore them. All Humans on Earth own only themselves and worthless paper. You do not own this planet which is meant to be shared by all humans (including children), animals, plants and elementals as well as Oceans, rivers, streams and minerals.

Below are some inspirational messages which are meant to inspire you to the Greatness you are meant to achieve.


Here

Message Number 193

God Says

How many opportunities have you missed in your life as a result of doubt and fear? When you follow your heart, you leave doubt and fear behind you because they are not natural, they are cerebral. It is your own inability to control your thoughts that permits these things to arise. Doubt and fear are imperfect thought-forms, all imperfect thought-forms do arise from the Source Field as do all perfect thought-forms. Imperfect thought-forms are in opposition to your heart and that is why they are unnatural. Sometimes you worry and this is a side effect of doubt and fear that will only make every situation worse. Know that I will never forget you and you can never disappoint Me because of My love for you which is also why I will always forgive you.I ask you all to treat one another as I treat you and forgiveness is a part of that. Some of you will say that I expect too much from you. To them I say this, “do you think you know better than Me?”


And here


Now I have some news for you all readers that might shock you. You will accept and believe that all of the 3 myths above are real or you will reject them all as false. Do not even believe for an instant that a choice is being made available for any of you readers to say that you agree with this one and yet not the other one because they are all the same.