Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
U.S. President Trump’s bold support for the apartheid dictatorship of Israel against that theocratic-racist nation’s non-Jews, fits into a larger picture of the supremacist nation that America itself has increasingly become. His immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, had repeatedly referred to the United States as being the only indispensable nation — that all others are “dispensable” — such as when President Obama addressed America’s future military leaders, at West Point, on 28 May 2014, by telling them:
The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.
He was telling the military that America’s economic competition, against the BRICS nations, is a key matter for America’s military, and not only for America’s private corporations; that U.S. taxpayers fund America’s military at least partially in order to impose the wills and extend the wealth of the stockholders in America’s corporations abroad; and that the countries against which America is in economic competition are “dispensable” but America “is and remains the one indispensable nation.” This, supposedly, also authorizes America’s weapons and troops to fight against countries whose “governments seek a greater say in global forums.” In other words: Stop the growing economies from growing faster than America’s. There is another name for the American Government’s supremacist ideology. This term is “fascism.”
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Yesterday I discussed how robots only do work that’s profitable, as any enterprise buying, programming and maintaining robots to do unprofitable work will soon be out of business.
What few observers seem to grasp is that automation goes through two distinct stages of profitability: when robots/automation first replace high-cost human workers, profits soar. Observers then draw projections based on the belief that these initial profits will continue essentially forever.
But this initial boost phase of profits gushing from automation is short-lived;as the tools of automation are themselves commoditized and become available to anyone on the planet with some capital and ambition, lower cost automated competitors come to market, destroying the pricing power of the first adopter.
Once an enterprise is competing only with other automated enterprises, profits fall to near-zero as lower cost competitors emerge. Competitive advantages are small once a field has been commoditized/globalized, and there is little pricing power left except for brands that establish some cache people will pay extra to have and hold.
But everything that’s been commoditized will no longer be profitable, as the competitive advantage of replacing human workers with robots vanishes once competitors have also replaced their human workers with robots.
Karl Marx described this dynamic of profits cratering and then vanishing in the 19th century. Marx described the consequences of over-investment in commoditized production and the resulting over-capacity: when anyone with access to investors or credit can buy the same machinery—that is, the machines are interchangeable commodities such as sewing machines, power looms, etc.–the capacity to produce rises as every competitor attempts to lower the unit cost of each product by producing more.
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The U.S. press is now a uniform chorus shouting against America’s widespread ‘sexual harassment’ by men in power, but the press misrepresents fundamentally to call it ‘harassment’, which brings to mind (and which until recently was normally used for) ‘low-class’ or poor men whistling at physically attractive women who walk by and who might reasonably feel insulted — or even endangered — by male strangers who are unashamed to view them publicly as being primarily attractive flesh for their enjoyment on their beds or in their back-rooms. Nothing of what the press is reporting is actually that; it is fundamentally different from that; and the difference isn’t merely ‘semantical’ but is instead very substantive. This false characterization of sexual exploitation as ‘sexual harassment’ is universal in the American press.
There is an enormous difference between “harassment” and “exploitation”. However, in America’s pro-power legal system, there isn’t (the legal distinction is almost non-existent), and the U.S. ‘news’media adopt the existing power-serving system unquestioningly, so that in legal terms, they can get away with calling it merely as “harassment.” But they are not supposed to be agencies of the law; they claim instead to be ‘journalists’ (or else they are merely propagandists). And, if they are journalists, then the common-parlance definitions are the ones that should be applied by them.
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Donald Trump is tweeting about a particular spot in Hawaii. He visited it recently on his way to threaten war in Asia. It’s a big feature this week in lots of U.S. magazines and newspapers. It has a lovely name that sounds like murder and blood because Japanese airplanes engaged in large-scale murder there in 1941: Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor Day today is like Columbus Day 50 years ago. That is to say: most people still believe the hype. The myths are still maintained in their blissful unquestioned state. “New Pearl Harbors” are longed for by war makers, claimed, and exploited. Yet the original Pearl Harbor remains the most popular U.S. argument for all things military, including the long-delayed remilitarization of Japan — not to mention the WWII internment of Japanese Americans as a model for targeting other groups today. Believers in Pearl Harbor imagine for their mythical event, in contrast to today, a greater U.S. innocence, a purer victimhood, a higher contrast of good and evil, and a total necessity of defensive war making.
The facts do not support the mythology. The United States government did not need to make Japan a junior partner in imperialism, did not need to fuel an arms race, did not need to support Nazism and fascism (as some of the biggest U.S. corporations did right through the war), did not need to provoke Japan, did not need to join the war in Asia or Europe, and was not surprised by the attack on Pearl Harbor. For support of each of these statements, keep reading.
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If you haven’t seen Charlottesville on the news lately, you should know that the Lee Statue and the Jackson Statue still stand, covered with enormous black garbage bags so that nobody can see them, but everybody can know there’s something ugly there. The state of Virginia forbids localities from removing any war memorials whatsoever, at least if you apply laws retroactively and have no courage. Nobody has made any move to repeal that state restriction, principally because nobody wants to make any sort of move against war memorials, and only half the public supports any sort of move against Confederate war memorials, which can be found all over Virginia, dominate Richmond, and show up in the U.S. Capitol in the form of Virginia’s Lee statue there in Statuary Hall, which nobody seems to care a fig about one way or another.
Meanwhile, as the fascists consider holding a 1-year anniversary riot next summer, local and state reports have been published about the fascist rallies last summer. I was eager to see whether either report would touch on the apparently taboo topic of letting crowds of people armed with all kinds of weaponry and threatening violence hold rallies in public places. When I’ve raised the matter, the City has claimed the state won’t let it ban guns, and has just said nothing regarding any other weapons. The local report says:
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What is money? We all assume we know, because money is a commonplace feature of everyday life. Money is what we earn and exchange for goods and services. Everyone thinks the money they’re familiar with is the only possible system of money—until they run across an entirely different system of money.
Then they realize money is a social construct, a confluence of social consensus and political force– what we agree to use as money, and what our government mandates we use as money under threat of punishment.
We assume that our monetary system is much like a Law of Nature: since it’s ubiquitous, it must be the only possible system.
But there are no financial Laws of Nature for money. In the past, notched sticks served as money. In other non-Western cultures, giant stone disks (rai, a traditional form of money on the island of Yap) and even salt served as money.
In our experience, 1) money is issued by a government or central bank (i.e. a currency), and each of these currencies is the sole form of legal money (legal tender) in the nation-state that issues the currency; 2) each of these currencies is available in physical coins and paper bills and digitally as entries in bank and credit card accounts; 3) our currency is borrowed into existence by the central bank or by fractional reserve lending in private banks, and 4) this currency meets all of the utility traditionally required of money:
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