The past 10 days or so I have been contemplating my last context piece to Give my own filter to apply to the final part of my Novel The Conquest of Dough.
I am leaning to the notion of another Epic Poem dealing with the characters and issues in the current political maelstrom.
I have allighted upon that idea, I think Usury Hells Fuel and Bourgopise resolution could do with a completion of the trilogy. Usury , Political Economy Bourgoisee the human Geography of power structure and this Globalisation piece.
This blog has been a catharsis a sounding board and real time scribble pad, and this post is merely a passing trifle in what I consider to be my Creative process.
The Russian government, especially the Central Bank, has largely managed to preserve financial stability, a brief outbreak of panic in December 2014 notwithstanding. To offset the loss of access to Western financial markets, the Central Bank has relied on a new instrument—foreign currency repurchase agreements. In effect, the Central Bank has lent dollars to Russian banks that essentially posted their own dollar loans to Russian companies as collateral—and in turn used the dollars to repay their external debt. This has allowed Russia to stave off a run on the ruble as well as major defaults on Russian corporates’ dollar-denominated debt.
The government, for its part, looked into the issue of recapitalizing systemically important banks. This is a critical issue, as isolation is especially costly for the banking system. It is very likely that Russian banks—aside from Sberbank, which is run by Gref—will suffer losses in 2015. The Deposit Insurance Agency has already exhausted its funds and has asked the Central Bank for help.
While government support is indeed needed, the government itself lacks extra funds. Though the 2016 budget draft foresees cutting spending by 8 percent in real terms, it still includes a budget deficit equivalent to 3 percent of GDP.2 That is why the government has chosen to recapitalize the banks with government bonds rather than cash. Doing so solves the problem for the time being, but it increases major risks in the long run. Essentially, it threatens a vicious circle of sovereign debt and bank default. If banks hold sovereign bonds, then the sovereign debt crisis will hit their capital—and to recapitalize banks, the sovereign budget will need to issue new debt. The eurozone faced this problem in recent years and tried hard to break out of this cycle by creating a banking union. It is ironic that Russia is brazenly refusing to learn from the EU’s mistakes and may walk directly into this trap.
There is one direction in which Mr Streit’s proposals are open to improvement. Let us turn to another in which he does not seem to have realised all the implications of his proposal. This great Union is to have a union money and a union customs-free economy. What follows upon that? More I think than he realises.
There is one aspect of money to which the majority of those that discuss it seem to be incurably blind. You cannot have a theory of money or any plan about money by itself in the air. Money is not a thing in itself; it is a working part of an economic system. Money varies in its nature with the laws and ideas of property in a community. As a community moves towards collectivism and communism, for example, money simplifies out. Money is a necessary in a communism as it is in any other system, but its function therein is at its simplest. Payment in kind to the worker gives him no freedom of choice among the goods the community produces. Money does. Money becomes the incentive that “works the worker” and nothing more. Ed. NB
But directly you allow individuals not only to obtain goods for consumption, but also to obtain credit to produce material for types of production outside the staple productions of the state, the question of credit and debt arises and money becomes more complicated. With every liberation of this or that product or service from collective control to business or experimental exploitation, the play of the money system enlarges and the laws regulating what you may take for it, the company laws, bankruptcy laws and so forth increase. In any highly developed collective system the administration will certainly have to give credits for hopeful experimental enterprises. When the system is not collectivism, monetary operations for gain are bound to creep in and become more and more complicated. Where most of the substantial side of life is entrusted to uncoordinated private enterprise, the intricacy of the money apparatus increases enormously. Monetary manipulation becomes a greater and greater factor in the competitive struggle, not only between individuals and firms, but between states. As Mr Streit himself shows, in an excellent discussion of the abandonment of the gold standard, inflation and deflation become devices in international competition. Money becomes strategic, just as pipe lines and railways can become strategic.
This being so it is plain that for the Federal Union a common money means an identical economic life throughout the Union. And this too is implied also in Mr Streit’s “customs-free” economy. It is impossible to have a common money when a dollar or a pound, or whatever it is, can buy this, that or the other advantage in one state and is debarred from anything but bare purchases for consumption in another. So that this Federal Union is bound to be a uniform economic system. There can be only very slight variations in the control of economic life.
A dozen years ago anyone who had foretold the political line-up of today would have been looked on as a lunatic. And yet the truth is that the present situation — not in detail, of course, but in its main outlines — ought to have been predictable even in the golden age before Hitler. Something like it was bound to happen as soon as British security was seriously threatened.
The unspoken clause is always ‘not counting niggers’. For how can we make a ‘firm stand’ against Hitler if we are simultaneously weakening ourselves at home? In other words, how can we ‘fight Fascism’ except by bolstering up a far vaster injustice?
For of course it is vaster. What we always forget is that the overwhelming bulk of the British proletariat does not live in Britain, but in Asia and Africa. It is not in Hitler’s power, for instance, to make a penny an hour a normal industrial wage; it is perfectly normal in India, and we are at great pains to keep it so. One gets some idea of the real relationship of England and India when one reflects that the per capita annual income in England is something over £80, and in India about £7. It is quite common for an Indian coolie’s leg to be thinner than the average Englishman’s arm. And there is nothing racial in this, for well-fed members of the same races are of normal physique; it is due to simple starvation. This is the system which we all live on and which we denounce when there seems to be no danger of its being altered. Of late, however, it has become the first duty of a ‘good anti-Fascist’ to lie about it and help to keep it in being.
Now here I have nothing to suggest about America. I have never, for example, tried to work out the consequences of the absence of executive ministers from the legislature. I am inclined to think that is one of the weak points in the Constitution and that the English usage which exposes the minister to question time in the House and makes him a prime mover in legislation affecting his department, is a less complicated and therefore more democratic arrangement than the American one. And the powers and functions of the President and the Senate are so different from the consolidated powers of Cabinet and Prime Minister, that even when an Englishman has industriously “mugged up” the constitutional points, he is still almost as much at a loss to get the living reality as he would be if he were shown the score of an opera before hearing it played or the blue prints of a machine he had never seen in action. Very few Europeans understand the history of Woodrow Wilson, the Senate and his League of Nations. They think that “America”, which they imagine as a large single individual, planted the latter institution upon Europe and then deliberately shuffled out of her responsibility for it, and they will never think otherwise. And they think that “America” kept out of the war to the very limit of decency, overcharged us for munitions that contributed to the common victory, and made a grievance because the consequent debt was not discharged. They talk like that while Americans talk as if no English were killed between 1914 and 1918 (we had 800,000 dead) until the noble American conscripts came forward to die for them (to the tune of about 50,000). Savour for example even the title of Quincy Howe’s England expects every American to do his Duty. It’s the meanest of titles, but many Americans seem to like it.
On my desk as I write is a pamphlet by a Mr Robert Randall, nicely cyclostyled and got up. Which urges a common attack on the United States as a solution of the problem of Europe. No countries will ever feel united unless they have a common enemy, and the natural common enemy for Europe, it is declared, is the United States. So to bring about the United States of Europe we are to begin by denouncing the Monroe doctrine. I believe in the honesty and good intentions of Mr Robert Randall; he is, I am sure, no more in the pay of Germany, direct or indirect, than Mr Quincy Howe or Mr Harry Elmer Barnes; but could the most brilliant of Nazi war propagandists devise a more effective estranging suggestion?
But I wander from my topic. I do not know how sane men in America are going to set about relaxing the stranglehold of the Constitution, get control of their own country out of the hands of those lumpish, solemnly cunning politicians with their great strong jowls developed by chewing-gum and orotund speaking, whose photographs add a real element of frightfulness to the pages of Time, how they are going to abolish the spoils system, discover, and educate to expand a competent civil service able to redeem the hampered promises of the New Deal and pull America into line with the reconstruction of the rest of the world. But I perceive that in politics and indeed in most things, the underlying humour and sanity of Americans are apt to find a way round and do the impossible, and I have as little doubt they will manage it somehow as I have when I see a street performer on his little chair and carpet, all tied up with chains, waiting until there are sufficient pennies in the hat to justify exertion.
Real brothers can curse each other and keep friends. Someday Britannia will give Columbia a piece of her mind, and that may clear the air. Said an exasperated Englishman to me a day or so ago: “I pray to God they keep out of the end of this war anyhow. We shall never hear the last of it if they don’t….”
At present we see one public service after another in a mess through the incompetent handling of some party hack and the unseen activities of interested parties. People are asking already why Sir Arthur Salter is not in control of Allied Shipping again, Sir John Orr directing our food supply with perhaps Sir Fredrick Keeble to help him, Sir Robert Vansittart in the Foreign Office. We want to know the individuals responsible for the incapacity of our Intelligence and Propaganda Ministries, so that we may induce them to quit public life. It would be quite easy now to excite a number of anxious people with a cry for “Competence not Party”.
They are expropriated by profit-control and taxation alike, and at the same time they suffer in purchasing power by the acceleration of that process of monetary inflation which is the unavoidable readjustment, the petition in bankruptcy, of a community that has overspent.
See Money passage above. Ed. NB
And if we, the virtuous democracies, are not fighting for these common human rights, then what in the name of the nobility and gentry, the Crown and the Established Church, the City, The Times and the Army and Navy Club, are we common British peoples fighting for?
XI. — INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
There is this idea of federalism upon which I have already submitted a criticism in chapter seven. As I have shown there, the Streit proposals will either take you further or land you nowhere. Let us assume that we can strengthen his proposals to the extent of making a socialistic economic consortium and adhesion to that Declaration of Rights, primary conditions for any federal union; then it becomes a matter of mood and occasion with what communities the federal association may be begun. We can even encourage feeble federal experiments which do not venture even so far as that along the path to sanity, in the certainty that either they will fade out again or else that they will become liberal realities of the type to which the whole world must ultimately conform. Behind any such half-hearted tentatives an educational propaganda can be active and effective.
The present writer cherishes the idea that the realisation of a common purpose and a common cultural inheritance may spread throughout all the English-speaking communities, and there can be no harm in efforts to give this concrete expression. He believes the dissociation of the British Empire may inaugurate this great synthesis. At the same time there are factors making for some closer association of the United States of America with what are called the Oslo powers. There is no reason why one of these associations should stand in the way of the other. Some countries such as Canada rest already under what is practically a double guarantee; she has the security of the Monroe Doctrine and the protection of the British fleet.
A Germany of eighty million people which has been brought to acquiesce in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and which is already highly collectivised, may come much earlier to a completely liberal socialist regime than Great Britain or France.
A lingering fear of German military aggression may not be altogether bad for the minor states of South-Eastern Europe and Asia Minor, by breaking down their excessive nationalism and inducing them to work together. The policy of the sane man should be to welcome every possible experiment in international understandings duplicate and overlap one another, so much the better. He has to watch the activities of his own Foreign Office with incessant jealousy, for signs of that Machiavellian spirit which foments division among foreign governments and peoples and schemes perpetually to frustrate the progressive movement in human affairs by converting it into a swaying indecisive balance of power.
Some years ago four or five books written by Mrs. Nesta Webster attracted considerable attention. She is a very competent writer and so sound a Christian, of a faith so uncritical, that she is quite unable to understand that many honest people find a vast amount of Christian doctrine impossible. How impossible, I have sought to show in §§ 13 and 14. To her there is nothing good except in Christianity, and this is so obvious to her that any objection to the faith seems necessarily part of some diabolically hatched conspiracy. She has set herself with the greatest industry to trace and link together the long-drawn succession of Cabalists, Gnostics, Manichaeans, the Old Man of the Mountains, Knight Templars, Satanists, Rosicrucians, Illuminati, Freemasons, Rousseau, Voltaire, Cagliostro, Madame Blavatsky, Mrs. Besant, Trade Unions, Anarchists, Socialists, Theosophists, Communists, Those Bolsheviks, a frightful horde all plotting and getting hold of power and handing it on and doing down Christianity and the Christian life. Her books are written with-conviction enough to make one look under the bed at nights. She has never quite committed herself to those famous forged Protocols Of The Elders Of Zionwhich were published as the articles of association so to speak of that world conspiracy, but she stoutly maintains that though that book may not be genuine, it nevertheless shows the sort of thing of which the Jews are capable. Her book Secret Societies And Subversive Movementsconcludes: “For behind the concrete forces of revolution—whether Pan-German, Judaic or Illuminist—beyond that invisible secret circle which perhaps directs them all, is there not yet another force, still more potent, that must be taken into account? In looking back over the centuries at the dark episodes that have marked the history of the human race from its earliest origins—strange and horrible cults, waves of witchcraft, blasphemies and desecrations—how is it possible to ignore the existence of an Occult Power at work in the world? Individuals, sects, or races fired with the desire of world domination, have provided the fighting forces of destruction, but behind them are the veritable powers of darkness in eternal conflict with the powers of light.”
§23. — THREE FACTORS IN EVERYONE
WE have now exposed, in stripped outline, the primary factors in world affairs at the present time. In all these matters I have written with the complete freedom of a biologically trained and uncontrolled observer. Sir Arthur Salter, for example, in his Security. Can We Retrieve It? (1939), writes with all the discretions and reserves of a responsible politician who has to think and speak within the conventions that I, in my entire irresponsibility, can repudiate and kick aside. His thoughts are capped and gowned and mine are stark. He has an air of scarcely recognizing the realities I assemble. Nevertheless, his intelligence and integrity are manifestly forcing him towards a conception of public policy and the human future essentially the same as those I have stated concisely and brutally here.*
Note 23A. Sir Arthur’s Epilogue begins: “Shall we never pluck the best from fate and find the Golden Mean? Must we ever choose freedom without order, or order without freedom? Must justice and mercy bring always weakness in their train, and strength bring tyranny? “Shall Peace be never made between equals, but imposed always by victor upon vanquished? Must every peace treaty sow the seeds of future war? Shall the strong never be magnanimous and the weak never secure justice? Must success always sap the will, and the humiliation of defeat incite only to revenge? Shall wars with changing victors be for ever the dire fate of men? “We, the free democracies of the world, have the virtues bred and nursed in the pursuits of peace. That is not enough. We need also the sterner virtues—fortitude, daemonic energy, the will to act—and to act together.” (p. 385.) “…willing cooperation and the endurance which is only possible to an instructed people who understand the purpose of their effort and approve it.” (p. 384.) Sir Arthur Salter, Security. Can We Retrieve It? (1939).
The Week That Was July 17, 2004
1. New on the Web: THE GLOBAL WARMING SCARE IS DYING. Two papers published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters suggest that the climate has not warmed appreciably in the past quarter-century and that current climate models cannot adequately simulate atmospheric processes. These results contradict two of the three major conclusions of the IPCC that have been advanced as evidence for a human influence on climate warming.. [The third conclusion, i.e., that the 20th century is the warmest in the past 1000 years, has been traced to the mangling of the underlying data.]
2. HOCKEYSTICK DATA WERE MANGLED: CORRECTION IN NATURE
3. Meanwhile, an AAAS CONFERENCE PROMOTES GLOBAL WARMING SCARES. According to a report by the CO2 & Climate team, “never before has a group that purports to represent the purest ideals of scientific discourse put together such a biased look at the issue.”
4. CLIMATE CHANGE PRIESTHOOD DESPERATELY SEARCHING FOR ‘DREAD FACTOR’
5. DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM IGNORES KYOTO PROTOCOL – for good reason
6. SHOWDOWN IN MOSCOW: RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES VS. BRITISH SCIENCE ADVISER SIR DAVID KING: Several reports and SEPP Comments
7. SIR DAVID’S APOCALYPTIC VISIONS: A Water World
8. And finally, A TRUE WORD FROM THE IPCC REPORT (not from the Summary) ************************************************************************************************************************************************
6. Illarionov Calls Kyoto Protocol Undeclared War on Russia
MOSCOW. July 8 (Interfax) – Russian presidential economic advisor Andrei Illarionov called the Kyoto Protocol an “undeclared war against Russia” at a Moscow press conference.
“The Kyoto Protocol is an undeclared war against Russia from all sides – the left, the right, from liberals, conservatives and businesses. It uses absolutely all means and its main prize is the ratification by Russian authorities of the Kyoto Protocol, which would mean a complete capitulation to a dangerous ideology imposed via international diplomacy,” Illarionov said.
“The nature and content of the Kyoto Protocol is one of the largest, if not the largest, escapade of all times and nations,” Illarionov said. “Not one of the claims contained in the Kyoto Protocol and the “scientific” theory on which they are based have been confirmed by real facts. Extreme natural occurrences are not becoming more frequent, and there has been no increase in infectious diseases either,” he said.
Supporters of Russia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol demonstrate an “approach to Russia similar to that of a ‘banana republic,’ a country, which, if it hasn’t already become a colony, will soon do so, if the document is ratified,” Illarionov said. “If this decision is approved, it won’t be on the basis of a substantial analysis, and not for substantial reasons, but for other reasons. We can’t completely rule this out,” Illarionov said on the possibility of Russia approving this decision.
Illarionov Attacks Britain, Vows to Bury Kyoto By Simon Ostrovsky Staff Writer, MOSCOW TIMES, July 12, 2004.
President Vladimir Putin’s personal adviser on all things economic last week accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government of declaring “all-out and total war on Russia” and using “bribes, blackmail and murder threats” to force it to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
In a six-hour diatribe, Andrei Illarionov accused visiting Blair adviser Sir David King, the British government’s top scientist, of trying, through pressure from Blair’s office and through Foreign Secretary Jack Straw personally, to hijack a two-day conference on the global environmental treaty at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“During the past year [the British] have used bribes, blackmail and murder threats to put pressure on Russia, which shows how desperate their case is,” Illarionov said without elaborating. “This has not been in the press, but it had to come out after Sir David King’s behavior at the conference,” he said.
King filibustered the conference for four hours in an effort to block opponents of the protocol from presenting their findings, Illarionov said.
Illarionov, an outspoken and respected liberal economist, has often clashed with government officials on a variety of reform issues — including the Kyoto Protocol, which will die if Russia does not ratify it. It is not clear how much sway Illarionov has with Putin, a fellow St. Petersburger.
Putin appeared to back the protocol earlier this year in exchange for the European Union supporting Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization. But late Thursday, when asked by a Japanese journalist whether his fierce opposition to Kyoto reflected the Kremlin’s position, Illarionov said Putin had never said he backs the treaty. “Putin didn’t say he supports the Kyoto Protocol, he said he supports the Kyoto process,” Illarionov said. He did not elaborate.
After signing a trade deal with the EU in May, Putin said Brussels had met Russia “halfway” on WTO, which “cannot but affect positively our position on the Kyoto Protocol.” But he also stressed that Russia “did not package the issues of WTO and the Kyoto Protocol.” “I cannot say how things will be 100 percent, because ratification is not an issue for the president but for parliament,” Putin said at the time.
Illarionov accused Britain and other “imperialist” rich nations of using Kyoto to keep poor nations from developing. Britain denied the charge. “Global warming is an issue of concern for all citizens of the world and we need to tackle it,” British Embassy spokesman Richard Turner said.
Peter Cox, head of the British Meteorological Office’s climate, chemistry and ecosystems department, said last week’s conference was a publicity stunt by Illarionov, who brought in well-known skeptics to discredit the findings of the International Panel on Climate Control, the basis for Kyoto, Cox said. “The meeting was set up to challenge the IPCC line,” he said. “Illarionov hijacked the meeting by inviting people who were outside the IPCC process and who were bitter about that.”
Cox said the conference was “like no other” he had ever attended and said he felt very sorry for the Russian scientists that were used as a “rubber stamp for Illarionov’s agenda.” The [Russian] Academy issued a statement after the conference saying that it found “no scientific basis” for the Kyoto Protocol, and that a warmer Earth is actually positive for Russia.
The stated aim of the 1997 Protocol is to roll back global carbon dioxide emissions — which many scientists say cause global warming — to 1990 levels. Many poor countries have argued that the agreement puts a disproportionate amount of pressure on their carbon-intensive, manufacturing-based economies. Illarionov, however, has also opted to attack the very scientific principles on which IPCC bases its argument for implementing the treaty.
Illarionov argued that the real reason every rich nation but America, the world’s biggest polluter, backs the Protocol is because they want control of emissions quotas, something he said will give developed nations unprecedented control of poor countries’ economies.
“Europe has seen the effects of the national-socialist ideology and the Marxist ideology. The imperialist philosophy behind Kyoto is nothing short of these in its scale,” he said. “This is war. But our cause is just and we will prevail.”
Hot Controversy Over Climate Meeting by MARTIN ENSERINK Science, 13 July 2004
A political hurricane blew through an international scientific meeting on climate change held in Moscow last week, sparking a major row between top advisers to the British and Russian governments. U.K. scientists complained that the meeting had been “hijacked” by opponents of the Kyoto Protocol, while Russian officials accused the British delegation, led by Chief Scientific Adviser David King, of trying to suppress dissenting views.
Russia’s Andrey Illarionov says Kyoto would trigger “undeclared war.”
Russia holds the key to the Kyoto climate treaty, which enters into force only if adopted by countries that together are responsible for at least 55% of the world’s carbon dioxide output. In May, President Vladimir Putin hinted that he might ratify the treaty in exchange for the European Union’s support of Russian membership in the World Trade Organization. That came shortly after the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) produced a report criticizing the Protocol, saying it lacks scientific validity and would not be effective.
British climate experts expected the meeting, organized by RAS, to be a forum to discuss global warming and the Kyoto treaty with RAS members. On the eve of their departure for Moscow, however, the U.K. group learned about the addition of several well-known “skeptics” in the climate change debate. The list included Stockholm University’s Nils-Axel Mo”rner, who has cast doubts on claims of rising sea levels, British climate maverick Piers Corbyn, and the Pasteur Institute’s Paul Reiter, who disputes predictions that infectious diseases will explode as temperatures rise.
The new program was “unacceptable” to King, says Peter Cox of the U.K.’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Exeter. “We knew that we would not get to the scientific issues if we went down every rabbit hole of skepticism.” In fact, the opening session was delayed while King and RAS President Yuri Osipov attempted to negotiate an alternative agenda. King also asked British foreign secretary Jack Straw to intervene, several participants say.
“It’s very sad, but the Russian Academy seems to have been taken over” by Andrey Illarionov, a top adviser to President Putin and a vocal opponent of the Kyoto treaty, says John Houghton, another participant.
At a press conference after the meeting, Illarionov called the treaty an “undeclared war against Russia,” based on a “totalitarian ideology.” But he denies having a hand in the agenda and says he was “shocked” by British attempts at “censorship.” ==============================================================
Global Warming British climatologists spark a fierce debate at the Russian Academy of Sciences
Climate change symposium in Moscow plagued by “totalitarian ideology”
This week’s issue of the international journal Science reports a bizarre event that took place recently in Moscow. A serious confrontation arose between a small group of British scientists and their Russian hosts during a symposium on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which had been organized by the prestigious Russian Academy of Science. The clash was more than a minor diplomatic incident because it revealed a form of intellectual bullying that is beginning to dominate the scientific community on the question of climate change.
Since its rejection by the United States in 2001, the fate of the Kyoto Protocol has lain in the hands of the Russians. This is because the treaty can only enter into force if it is ratified by countries that, as a group, are responsible for at least 55% of the world’s output of carbon dioxide. Because Russia emits 17% of this output (the United States emits 25%), it is being wooed from all quarters. The Europeans dearly want them to sign whereas the United States are strongly against the idea. Faced with this situation, Vladimir Putin has raised the bidding by ordering Russian climatologists to study the question in detail.
Months ago, the Academicians had posed a long list of searching questions to clarify the widely publicized viewpoints of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), but they have never received a word of reply. That was the initial affront. In May, the Russians published a report that was fairly critical of the Kyoto Protocol, judging it unfair to developing countries. This verdict was close to that of Andreï Illarionov, principal economic adviser to President Putin, who believes the Protocol could ruin the Russian economy. It was in this context that the Academicians, who include several of the world’s leading climate scientists, had arranged the Moscow symposium.
The second affront came from the British scientists, who refused to accept the Russian programme. In particular, they adamantly rejected the presence of several international experts whom the Russians had chosen to invite. Motive: these experts have been denouncing the “IPCC dogma” for many years. The British referred to them as “climate skeptics”. Notable among these were Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); British specialist in mosquito-borne diseases, Paul Reiter, currently Professor at the Pasteur Institute, Paris; Swedish Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, specialist in sea-level science; Madhav Khandekar, Canadian specialist in severe weather, and Australian climatologist William Kininmonth, ex-Director of the Australian National Climate Centre. These names are not well-known to the general public, but are regarded as infamous in the eyes of climatologists who support the IPCC.
The third affront came from the President of the British delegation, Sir David King, who remained absent for much of the meeting, following his unsuccessful efforts to eliminate the “skeptics”.
In a later interview, Paul Reiter stated: “The simple truth is that we are not extremists”. A scientist of international stature, he dismissed as fantasy the catastrophic scenarios promoted by the IPCC in which global warming will cause malaria to move into temperate regions. “Poverty, not climate, is the dominant factor in the distribution of malaria” he asserted. “When I asked whether any of the Russian Academicians at the symposium had had malaria, nearly all raised their hands. Several had contracted the disease in Siberia”!
At a Moscow press conference after the symposium, Andreï Illarionov denounced the “totalitarian ideology” of the British climatologists who support the IPCC, giving his support to the “dissident scientists”, victims of ostracism by “official science”. Truly an irony of history.
Translated from Le Figaro, Friday July 16, 2004, page 9 ============================================================
Remarks By Russian Presidential Economic Adviser Andrei Illarionov at the July 8th Press Conference held in Moscow on the subjects of global warming and Kyoto. Because S. 139, the McCain-Lieberman bill, is seen by many as “Kyoto Light” and is driven by the same interests and “science”, one can likely assume Illarionov views it in the same light. One would not likely see this reported in the main US press.
Below are some highlights. Probably most remarkable is the Russian view of the ideology underlying the UN Kyoto Protocol:
“That ideological base can be juxtaposed and compared, as Professor Reiter has done just now, with man-hating totalitarian ideology with which we had the bad fortune to deal during the 20th century, such as National Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkoism and so on. All methods of distorting information existing in the world have been committed to prove the alleged validity of these theories. Misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda. Because what is offered cannot be qualified in any other way than myth, nonsense and absurdity.” =============================================================
SEPP Comment: The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) is the only one to take a realistic position on the science underlying the Kyoto Protocol. By contrast, the Royal Society (UK) has led in imagining climate disasters and has attempted to get other national academies to join. [The US National Academy has declined to participate.]
All is not lost in Britain. The Royal Academy of Engineering has maintained a sane and levelheaded position on climate change and energy policy. It seems ironic that the RAS — and Russia – may yet save Europe from economic ruin by refusing to ratify Kyoto and thus making the Protocol inoperative. **********************************************************************
On 3 January 2005 Illarionov resigned from his position as presidential representative to the G8. On 21 December 2005, Illarionov declared “This year Russia has become a different country. It is no longer a democratic country. It is no longer a free country”. The Washington Post reported that he had cited a recent report by the U.S.-based and government sponsored Freedom House. On 27 December 2005, Illarionov offered his resignation in protest against the government course, saying that Russia was no longer politically free, but ran by an authoritarian elite. “It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic,” he said. He also claimed that he had no more ability to influence the government’s course and that Kremlin put limits on him expressing his point of view. Illarionov was openly critical to such elements of the Russian economic policy as the Yukos affair, increasing influence of government officials on large companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft, and at last the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute and the energy policy of Russia in general. Illarionov has also been a proponent of secession of Chechnya.
In October 2006, Illarionov was appointed senior researcher of the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity of the US libertarian think tank Cato Institute in Washington, DC. In this position, he has lamented “[Russia’s] new corporate state in which state-owned enterprises are governed by personal interests and private corporations have become subject to arbitrary intervention to serve state interests” as well as “new ways in which political, economic and civil liberties are being eliminated.”
Illarionov is one of the 34 first signatories of the online anti-Putin manifesto “Putin must go“, published on 10 March 2010.
As a well known opponent to Vladimir Putin and his policies, he criticized former Czech president Václav Klaus‘ view that the EU and the USA did more to escalate conflict in the Ukraine than did Vladimir Putin. Illarionov was able to end the cooperation between Klaus and the Cato Institute.
Illarionov has questioned the official Russian version of the Russian-Georgian war over Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He has suggested that the war was premeditated by the Russian leadership which had introduced its military into South Ossetia and escalated the situation to provoke the Georgian side.
Illarionov has also stated that Moscow’s bellicose rhetoric scared away investors and was in part responsible for the 2008 Russian financial crisis. He has heavily criticized both Western and Russian government plans to ease the credit crunch, saying they amounted to a public bailout of bad decisions made by the private sector.
On 9 June, he predicted that the beginning of the ceasefire and negotiations between the newly elected Ukrainian president Poroshenko and self-proclaimed authorities of break-away republics at the East of Ukraine would ultimately result in a Russian attempt at occupation or political control over the entire Ukraine
As a well known opponent to Vladimir Putin and his policies, he criticized former Czech president Václav Klaus‘ view that the EU and the USA did more to escalate conflict in the Ukraine than did Vladimir Putin. Illarionov was able to end the cooperation between Klaus and the Cato Institute.
After his presidency ended in 2013, Klaus was named a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. His appointment was terminated in September 2014, due to his views on the Ukrainian crisis, his hostility to homosexuality, and support of European far right parties.
This article needs to be updated. Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2012)
Klaus’ euroscepticism and possibly also his scepticism about impacts of human activities on climate change are the cornerstones of his policy as President. He claimed that accession to the Union represented a significant reduction of Czech sovereignty and he chose not to give any recommendation before the 2003 accession referendum (77% voted yes).
Klaus’ eurosceptic activism has manifested itself in his articles and numerous speeches, in which he warned against the gradual loss of sovereignty in favour of the EU. He promoted the publication of a work by the Irish Eurosceptic Anthony Coughlan. In 2005 Klaus called for the EU to be “scrapped” and replaced by a free trade area to be called the “Organisation of European States.” He also attacked the EU as an institution which undermines freedom, calling the EU “as big a threat to freedom as the Soviet Union was”.
Also in 2005 he remarked to a group of visiting U.S. politicians that the EU was a “failed and bankrupt entity.”
Václav Klaus with Boris Tadić during his state visit to Serbia in 2008.
On 5 December 2008, members of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament visited the Czech Republic prior to the start of the Czech presidency of the European Union. They were invited by Václav Klaus to meet him at Prague Castle. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, chairman of Green Group, brought a European flag and presented it to Klaus. Cohn-Bendit also said that he “did not care about Klaus’ opinions on the Lisbon Treaty, that Klaus would simply have to sign it”. This was negatively commented in the Czech Republic as an undue interference in Czech affairs. Co-president of the Independence/Democracy parliamentary group, Nigel Farage, compared Cohn-Bendit’s actions to a “German official from seventy years ago or a Soviet official from twenty years ago.
Further, then Irish MEPBrian Crowley told Klaus that the Irish people wanted ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon and were “insulted” by Klaus’ association with Declan Ganley and Libertas. Klaus responded that “the biggest insult to the Irish people is not to accept the results of the Irish referendum“. Crowley replied, “You will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.” In the UK the confrontative atmosphere of this meeting was criticized by some of the media: “This bizarre confrontation … confirms the inability of the Euro-elite to accept that anyone holds views different from their own.”
On 19 February 2009, Klaus made a speech to the European Parliament where he criticized the European Union’s lack of democracy, continuing integration and economic policies:
The present decision-making system of the European Union is different from a classic parliamentary democracy, tested and proven by history. In a normal parliamentary system, part of the MPs support the government and part support the opposition. In the European Parliament, this arrangement has been missing. Here, only one single alternative is being promoted, and those who dare think about a different option are labelled as enemies of European integration… There is also a great distance (not only in a geographical sense) between citizens and Union representatives, which is much greater than is the case inside the member countries. This distance is often described as the democratic deficit, the loss of democratic accountability, the decision-making of the unelected – but selected – ones, as bureaucratisation of decision-making etc. The proposals to change the current state of affairs – included in the rejected European Constitution or in the not much different Lisbon Treaty – would make this defect even worse. Since there is no European demos – and no European nation – this defect cannot be solved by strengthening the role of the European Parliament, either.
After this point was made, a number of MEPs walked out of the chamber. Klaus continued to state:
I fear that the attempts to speed up and deepen integration and to move decisions about the lives of the citizens of the member countries up to the European level can have effects that will endanger all the positive things achieved in Europe in the last half a century… Let us not allow a situation where the citizens of member countries would live their lives with a resigned feeling that the EU project is not their own; that it is developing differently than they would wish, that they are only forced to accept it. We would very easily and very soon slip back to the times that we hoped belonged to history… We must say openly that the present economic system of the EU is a system of a suppressed market, a system of a permanently strengthening centrally controlled economy. Although history has more than clearly proven that this is a dead end, we find ourselves walking the same path once again.
This article needs to be updated. Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information. (October 2012)
Klaus is a long-term opponent of centrally implemented economic policies in the EU and of the euro as common currency of the eurozone countries. During the observance of the 10th anniversary of the euro in 2008 he expressed his beliefs in a Financial Times article:
If Europe does not wake up, it will face hard times. A common monetary policy will not help. Member countries already react differently to the appreciation of the euro against the dollar, the rising cost of energy, food or raw materials, and Asian competition. . . . In practice, the existence of euro has shown that forcing an economically disparate Europe into a homogeneous entity through a political decision is political engineering par excellence, far from beneficial for all countries concerned.
Klaus long refused to sign the Treaty of Lisbon, being the last head of state in the EU to provide a signature. Other European leaders ignored his reluctance, making it clear that they would not consent to be “held hostage” by the Czech President. Czech Prime Minister of that time Jan Fischer, however, was confident that Klaus would eventually sign the Lisbon treaty, saying: “There is no reason for anxiety in Europe. The question is not Yes or No, it is only when.”
As early as in November 2008 Klaus said in an interview with the Czech Television:
I can only repeat aloud one of my verdicts. If indeed all agree that the Lisbon Treaty is a ‘golden nut’ for Europe that must be, and that there is only one single person who would block it, and that person is the Czech president, so this is what I will not do. This is all.
Václav Klaus signed Lisbon treaty on 3 November 2009, with protest against decision of Constitutional court of Czech republic. However he never signed addition to Lisbon Treaty, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). So did his follower in the president office, Miloš Zeman.
On some issues like energy policy, Klaus has sought cooperation with Russia.
In the 1990s, Klaus promoted renewed oil and gas agreements between the Czech Republic and Russia. He was at that time, for economic reasons, reluctant to seek other energy sources. He was rather negative towards the construction of a pipeline between the Czech Republic and Germany. According to former Czech secret service directors, he was allegedly warned by the secret service of Russian organized crime spreading in the Czech economy. In one scheme, oil was imported to the Czech Republic as heating oil and re-sold as diesel, which created huge profits for Russian entrepreneur Semion Mogilevich.
Later, Klaus was characterized by The Economist as one of Russian PresidentVladimir Putin‘s “warmest admirers abroad”. Furthermore, Klaus obtained the 2007 Pushkin Medal for the promotion of Russian culture from President Putin. It was suggested that this was due to his use of Russian language in conversations with Putin and Russian diplomats. According to Klaus, as far as Russia is concerned there have been “challenges and successes, tremendous successes”.
Otherwise, in a May 2009 interview for Lidové noviny, Klaus said Russia was not a threat but still a big, strong and ambitious country, of which the Czech authorities should beware more than the likes of Estonia and Lithuania should.
Klaus criticised NATO bombings of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo crisis. Afterwards, he voiced many times his disagreement with the unilateral Kosovo declaration of independence. During his visit to Slovakia in March 2008, a country that together with Spain, Romania, Greece and Cyprus has not recognized the independence of Kosovo, Klaus categorically rejected the argument that Kosovo was a special case. He stated that a precedent was set, as those who have recognized Kosovo opened a Pandora’s box in Europe. According to Klaus this could lead to disastrous consequences, and he compared the situation of Serbia to the 1938 Munich treaty. When Serbia recalled its ambassador in protest of the Czech government’s recognition of Kosovo, the Serbian ambassador was invited to the Prague Castle for a friendly farewell. During his visit to Serbia in January 2011, Klaus stated that as long as he was President the Czech Republic would not appoint an ambassador to Kosovo.
The Czech Presidential election of 2008 differed from past ones in that the voting was on the record, rather than by secret ballot. This was a precondition demanded by several Czech political parties after the last experience, but long opposed by Klaus’ Civic Democratic Party which had strengthened since 2003, already had the safe majority in the Senate even by itself and needed only to secure a few votes in the House for the third round.
The second ballot on 15 February 2008 brought a new candidate MEPJana Bobošíková, nominated by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. However, not drawing any wider support, she withdrew her candidacy before the election itself. The first and second rounds ended similarly to the previous weekend. However, Klaus consistently had 141 votes. Thus in the third round, where the only goal is to achieve a majority of all legislators present from both houses, Klaus won by the smallest possible margin.[clarification needed] Švejnar received 111 votes, the 29 Communists voting for neither.
Klaus’s first term as President concluded on 7 March 2008; he took oath for the second term on the same day so as not to create a president-less interregnum since the Parliament could not otherwise come to a joint session before the following Tuesday. Thus, he lost the day of overlap and his second term had to end on 6 March 2013.
On 1 January 2013, using his constitutional rights, Klaus announced an amnesty to mark the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s independence. The amnesty took effect on 2 January and released all prisoners sentenced to one year or less whose sentences had not been served, and all prisoners over 75 years of age sentenced to ten years or less whose sentences had not been served, as well as cancelling all court proceedings which had been ongoing for longer than eight years. As of 11 January 6318 prisoners have been released due to the amnesty; others may yet be released depending on the outcome of court appeals.
The large extent of this amnesty has been widely criticized in the Czech Republic, with the opposition demanding a vote of no confidence to be held against Prime Minister Petr Nečas, who countersigned it. Meanwhile, a comparison was drawn with similar actions by Klaus’s predecessor, Václav Havel, who dispensed three amnesties while Czechoslovak and later Czech president (1989–2003). Havel’s first amnesty of January 1990 was the largest post-war one. Some 23,000 people, or two thirds of then 31,000 prisoners in then 15 million Czechoslovakia, were released from prison on the grounds that they had been convicted by a communist court system.
The amnesty sparked a public petition to persuade the Senate of the Czech Republic to charge President Klaus with high treason before the Constitutional court, effectively impeaching him. As of the beginning of February 2013, the petition was signed by more than 64,000 people. During the first 24 hours after its launch, it accumulated 24,500 signatures. On 4 March 2013, the Senate voted to charge Klaus with high treason, based on five cases in which he was alleged to have violated the constitution, including the amnesty, his refusal to sign the European stability mechanism and his alleged procrastination in nominating judges to the Constitutional Court. The following day, on 5 March, the Constitutional Court rejected a previous motion by a smaller group of senators to cancel the New Year amnesty. Thus, the issue of the amnesty from the constitutional suit is already legally refuted. In view of the fact that the only sanction for treason committed by the Czech head of state is the loss of office, the court’s verdict will be a mere formality. A guilty verdict would make Klaus ineligible for a third term of office in 2018. Klaus himself has called the move an attempt by his political opponents to tarnish his presidency.
Criticism of the scientific consensus on climate change
Václav Klaus 2009
Klaus is a strong critic of the scientific consensus that global warming is anthropogenic. He has also called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a group of politicized scientists with one-sided opinions and one-sided assignments. He has said that some other top-level politicians do not expose their doubts about global warming being anthropogenic because “a whip of political correctness strangles their voices.”
In addition he says, “Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences” along with other “isms” such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. Klaus said that “environmentalism is a religion” and, answering questions of U.S. Congressmen, a “modern counterpart of communism” that seeks to change peoples’ habits and economic systems.
In a June 2007 Financial Times article, Klaus called ambitious environmentalism “the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, market economy and prosperity“. He hinted at present political and scientific debates on environment issues as a design to suppress freedom and democracy, and asked the readers to oppose the term “scientific consensus“, adding that “it is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority”. In an online Q&A session following the article he wrote “Environmentalism, not preservation of nature (and of environment), is a leftist ideology… Environmentalism is indeed a vehicle for bringing us socialist government at the global level. Again, my life in communism has made me oversensitive in this respect.” He reiterated these statements at a showing of Martin Durkin‘s The Great Global Warming Swindle organised by his think tank CEP in June 2007.
In November 2007 BBC World‘s Hardtalk Klaus called the interviewer “absolutely arrogant” for claiming that a scientific consensus embracing the bulk of the world had been reached on climate change. He added that he was “absolutely certain” that in 30 years people would look back and express their thanks to him for his stands.
At a September 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Klaus spoke of his disbelief in global warming, calling for a second IPCC to be set up to produce competing reports, and for countries to be left alone to set their priorities and prepare their own plans for the problem.
In 2007, Klaus published a book titled Modrá, nikoli zelená planeta (literally “Blue planet – not green”). The book has been translated from the Czech into various languages. The title in English, which is not a direct translation, is “Blue Planet in Green Shackles”. It claims that “The theory of global warming and the hypothesis on its causes, which has spread around massively nowadays, may be a bad theory, it may also be a valueless theory, but in any case it is a very dangerous theory.”
At the September 2009 UN Climate Change Conference, Klaus again voiced his disapproval, calling the gathering “propagandistic” and “undignified.”
On 26 July 2011 at the National Press Club Address, Klaus pronounced himself again against global warming calling it “a communist conspiracy“.
On 21 May 2012 Klaus addressed the climate sceptic Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-7).
Special interests and lobbying by non-country interested parties
There are numerous special interest groups, organizations, corporations who have public and private positions on the multifaceted topic of global warming. The following is a partial list of the types of special interest parties that have demonstrated an interest in the politics of global warming:
Financial Institutions: Financial institutions generally support restrictive policies regarding global warming, particularly the implementation of carbon trading schemes and the creation of market mechanisms that associate a price with carbon. These new markets would require trading infrastructures which banking institutions are well positioned to provide. Financial institutions would also be positioned well to invest, trade and develop various financial instruments that they could profit from through speculative positions on carbon prices and the use of brokerage and other financial functions like insurance and derivative instruments.
Environmental groups: Environmental groups generally take ideological positions on global warming and favor strict restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. Environmental groups, as activists, engage in raising awareness and attracting investment into the advocacy movement to further raise awareness.
Fossil fuel companies: Traditional fossil fuel corporations could benefit or lose from stricter global warming regulations. A reduction in the use of fossil fuels could negatively impact fossil fuel corporations. However, the fact that fossil fuel companies are a large source of energy, are also the primary source of carbon dioxide, and are engaged in energy trading might mean that their participation in trading schemes and other such mechanisms might give them a unique advantage and makes it unclear whether traditional fossil fuel companies would all and always be against stricter global warming policies. As an example, Enron, a traditional gas pipeline company with a large trading desk heavily lobbied the government for the EPA to regulate CO2: they thought that they would dominate the energy industry if they could be at the center of energy trading.
Alternative energy companies: alternative energy companies like wind and solar generally support stricter global warming policies. They would expect their share of the energy market to expand as fossil fuels are made more expensive through trading schemes or taxes.
Nuclear energy companies: nuclear energy companies could see a renaissance in a world where fossil fuels are taxed directly or through a carbon trading mechanism. For this reason, it is likely that nuclear energy companies would likely support stricter global warming policies.
Traditional retailers and marketers: traditional retailers, marketers, and the general corporations respond by adopting policies that resonate with their customers. If “being green” helps a general corporation, then they could undertake modest programs to please and better align with their customers. However, since the general corporation does not make a profit from their particular position, it is unlikely that they would strongly lobby either for or against a stricter global warming policy position.
Governments: On the Australian Sunday morning political discussion show The Bolt Report, Richard Lindzen said in a 2011 interview that governments might use global warming as a rationale for additional taxes.
The various interested parties sometimes align with one another to reinforce their message. Sometimes industries will fund specialty nonprofit organizations to raise awareness and lobby on their behest. The combinations and tactics that the various interested parties use are nuanced and sometimes unlimited in the variety of their approaches to promote their positions onto the general public.
Selective historical timeline of significant climate change political events
1969, on Initiative of US President Richard Nixon, NATO tried to establish a third civil column and planned to establish itself as a hub of research and initiatives in the civil region, especially on environmental topics.Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Nixons NATO delegate for the topic named acid rain and the greenhouse effect as suitable international challenges to be dealt by NATO. NATO had suitable expertise in the field, experience with international research coordination and a direct access to governments. After an enthusiastic start on authority level, the German government reacted skeptically. The initiative was seen as an American attempt to regain international terrain after the lost Vietnam War. The topics and the internal coordination and preparation effort however gained momentum in civil conferences and institutions in Germany and beyond during the Brandt government.
July 2005: 31st G8 summit has climate change on the agenda, but makes relatively little concrete progress
November/December 2005: United Nations Climate Change Conference; the first meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol, alongside the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11), to plan further measures for 2008–2012 and beyond.
30 October 2006: The Stern Review is published. It is the first comprehensive contribution to the global warming debate by an economist and its conclusions lead to the promise of urgent action by the UK government to further curb Europe’s CO2 emissions and engage other countries to do so. It discusses the consequences of climate change, mitigation measures to prevent it, possible adaptation measures to deal with its consequences, and prospects for international cooperation.
12 December 2015: World leaders meet in Paris, France for the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC. One hundred eighty seven countries eventually signed on to the Paris Agreement. As of September 2016, 187 UNFCCC members have signed the treaty, 60 of which have ratified it. The agreement will only enter into force provided that 55 countries that produce at least 55% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions ratify, accept, approve or accede to the agreement; although the minimum number of ratifications has been reached, the ratifying states do not produce the requisite percentage of greenhouse gases for the agreement to enter into force.
Sir David King: IPCC runs against the spirit of science
The science of climate change appears to be under siege.
Following leaked emails from the University of East Anglia and evidence for sloppy referencing in the IPCC’s 2007 report, the work of thousands of remarkable scientists is now being questioned, not just by the public but also by other members of the scientific community. To understand the implications, it helps to consider how this parlous situation has arisen.
By Professor David King, former Government chief scientist
A highly sophisticated hacking operation that led to the leaking of hundreds of emails from the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia was probably carried out by a foreign intelligence agency, according to the Government’s former chief scientist. Sir David King, who was Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser for seven years until 2007, said that the hacking and selective leaking of the unit’s emails, going back 13 years, bore all the hallmarks of a co-ordinated intelligence operation – especially given their release just before the Copenhagen climate conference in December.
“I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the stealing of the emails from the individuals involved in East Anglia was put out for publication one month before Copenhagen. That wasn’t a coincidence,” Sir David said. “The emails date back to 1996, so someone was collecting the data over many years. It looks like possibly the work of an intelligence service. What it was was a very well co-ordinated part of a campaign. It was a difficult piece of work to get that done.
“I’ve no inside knowledge except for the fact that I did work with our [intelligence] agencies, and the American agencies, that I have some experience,” he added.
Cyber crime: The 21st century threat
*Espionage once conjured images of lonely spooks on foreign assignations during the height of the Cold War. Not any longer. The rise of capitalism, a free-market economy and an interconnected digital world have changed those terms of engagement.
Last week Hillary Clinton issued a warning to China and Russia to tighten up their internet security amid a growing threat of international cyber crime. “We cannot afford in today’s interconnected world to have too many instances … where companies’ accounts can be hacked into,” she said. It came after Google threatened to end its operations in China following what it described as a “sophisticated and targeted” cyberattack on Google, Adobe and 20 other US companies.
More recently MI5 has accused China of setting up so-called “honeytraps” with a view to obtaining sensitive commercial secrets from top UK companies. According to The Sunday Times, promotional gifts handed out at business trade shows included cameras and memory sticks have allegedly been found to contain bugs that provide the Chinese with remote access to users’ computers.
I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.
by: Gideon Rachman
A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.
So could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might. First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a “global war on terror”. Second, : “For the first time in human history, world government of some sort is now possible.” Mr But – the third point – a change in the political atmosphere suggests that “global governance” could come much sooner than that. The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.
´´A taste of the ideas doing the rounds in Obama circles is offered by a recent report from the Managing Global Insecurity project, whose small US advisory group includes John Podesta, the man heading Mr Obama’s transition team and Strobe Talbott, the president of the Brookings Institution, from which Ms Rice has just emerged.´´
´´But some European thinkers think that they recognise what is going on. Jacques Attali, an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, argues that: “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government.” As far as he is concerned, some form of global government cannot come too soon. Mr Attali believes that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law”.
´´But this “problem” also hints at a more welcome reason why making progress on global governance will be slow sledding. Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic.´´
Something for everyone in that little lot, apart of course for the Establishment.
Crux AnsataAn Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church
First published by Penguin Books, London, 1943 First US edition: Agora Publishing Co., New York, 1944
II. — THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEA OF CHRISTENDOM
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks13/1303501h.html It is impossible for an intelligent modern student of history not to sympathise with the underlying idea of the papal court, with the idea of one universal rule of righteousness keeping the peace of the earth, and not to recognise the many elements of nobility that entered into the Lateran policy. Sooner or later mankind must come to one universal peace, unless our race is to be destroyed by the increasing power of its own destructive inventions; and that universal peace must needs take the form of a government, that is to say, a law-sustaining organisation, in the best sense of the word religious—a government ruling men through the educated co-ordination of their minds in a common conception of human history and human destiny.
The Catholic Church was the first clearly conscious attempt to provide such a government in the wor1d. We cannot too earnestly. examine its deficiencies and inadequacies, for every lesson we can draw from them is necessarily of the greatest value in forming our ideas of our own international relationships.
Marxism vs. Liberalism An Interview
H.G. Wells & J.V. Stalin
H.G. Wells visited the Soviet Union in 1934 and on July 23 he interviewed Joseph Stalin. The conversation, lasting from 4 P.M. to 6:50 P.M., was recorded by Constantine Oumansky, then head of the Press Bureau of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. The text, as printed in this pamphlet, has been approved by Mr. Wells.
Stalin: You object to the simplified classification of mankind into rich and poor. Of course there is a middle stratum, there is the technical intelligentsia that you have mentioned and among which there are very good and very honest people. Among them there are also dishonest and wicked people, there are all sorts of people among them. But first of all mankind is divided into. rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from the fundamental fact. I do not deny the existence of intermediate, middle strata, which either take the side of one or other of these two conflicting classes, or else take up a neutral or semineutral position in this struggle. But, I repeat, to abstract oneself from this fundamental division in society and from the fundamental struggle between the two main classes means ignoring facts. This struggle is going on and will continue. The outcome of the struggle will be determined by the proletarian class, the working class.
Wells: But are there not many people who are not poor, but who work and work productively? .
Stalin: Of course, there are small landowners, artisans, small traders, but it is not these people who decide the fate of a country, but the toiling masses, who produce all the things society requires.
Wells: But there are very different kinds of capitalists. There are capitalists who only think about profit, about getting rich; but there are also those who are prepared to make sacrifices. Take old Morgan for example. He only thought about profit; he was a parasite on society, simply, he merely accumulated wealth. But take Rockefeller. He is a brilliant organizer; he has set an example of how to organize the delivery of oil that is worthy of emulation. Or take Ford. Of course Ford is selfish. But is he not a passionate organizer of rationalized production from whom you take lessons? I would like to emphasize the fact that recently an important change in opinion towards the U.S.S.R. has taken place in English speaking countries. The reason for this, first of all, is the position of Japan and the events in Germany. But there are other reasons besides those arising from international politics. There is a more profound reason, namely, the recognition by many people of the fact that the system based on private profit is breaking down. Under these circumstances, it seems to me, we must not bring to the forefront the antagonism between the two worlds, but should strive to combine all the constructive movements, all the constructive forces in one line as much as possible. It seems to me that I am more to the Left than you, Mr. Stalin; I think the old system is nearer to its end than you think.
Stalin: In speaking of the capitalists who strive only for profit, only to get rich, I do not want to say that these are the most worthless people, capable of nothing else. Many of them undoubtedly possess great organizing talent, Which I do not dream of denying. We Soviet people learn a great deal from the capitalists. And Morgan, whom you characterize so unfavorably, was undoubtedly a good, capable organizer. But if you mean people who are prepared to reconstruct the world, of course, you will not be able to find them in the ranks of those who faithfully serve the cause of profit. We and they stand at opposite poles. You mentioned Ford. Of course, he is a capable organizer of production. But don’t you know his attitude towards the working class? Don’t you know how many workers he throws on the street? The capitalist is riveted to profit; and no power on earth can tear him away from it. Capitalism will be abolished, not, by “organizers” of production, not by the technical intelligentsia, but by the working class, because the aforementioned strata do not play an independent role. The engineer, the organizer of production, does not work as he would like to, but as he is ordered, in such a way as to serve the interests of his employers. There are exceptions of course; there are people in this stratum who have awakened from the intoxication of capitalism the technical intelligentsia can, under certain conditions, perform miracles and greatly benefit mankind. But It can also cause great harm. We Soviet people have not a little experience of the technical intelligentsia. After the October Revolution, a certain section of the technical intelligentsia refused to take part in the work of constructing the new society; they opposed this work of construction and sabotaged it. We did all we possibly could to bring the technical intelligentsia into this work of construction we tried this way and that. Not a little time passed before our technical intelligentsia agreed actively to assist the new system. Today the best section of this technical intelligentsia are in the front rank of the builders of socialist society. Having this experience, we are far from underestimating the good and the bad sides of the technical intelligentsia and we know that on the one hand it can do harm, and on the other hand, it can perform “miracles.” Of course, things would be different if it were possible, at one stroke, spiritually to tear the technical intelligentsia away from the capitalist world. But that is utopia. Are there many of the technical intelligentsia who would dare break away from the bourgeois world and set to work to reconstruct society? Do you think there are many people of this kind, say, in England or in France? No, there are few who would be willing to break away from their employers and begin reconstructing the world. Besides, can we lose sight of the fact that in order to transform the world it is necessary’to have political power? It seems to me, Mr. Wells, that you greatly underestimate the question of political power, that it entirely drops out of your conception. What can those, even with the best intentions in the world, do if they are unable to raise the question of seizing power, and do not possess power? At best they can help the class which takes power, but they cannot change the world themselves. This can only be done by a great class which will take the place of the capitalist class and become the sovereign master as the latter was before. This class is the working class. Of course, the assistance of the technical intelligentsia must be accepted; and the latter, in turn, must be assisted. But it must not be thought that the technical intelligentsia can play an independent historical role. The transformation of the world is a great, complicated and painful process. For this great task a great class is required. Big ships go on long voyages.
Wells: Yes, but for long voyages a captain and a navigator are required.
Stalin: That is true; but what is first required for a long voyage is a big ship. What is a navigator without a ship? An idle man.
Wells: The big ship is humanity, not a class.
Stalin: You, Mr. Wells, evidently start out with the assumption that all men are good. I, however, do not forget that there are many wicked men. I do not believe in the goodness of the bourgeoisie.
Wells: There was a case in the history of England, however, of a class voluntarily handing over power to another class. In the period between 1830 and 1870, the aristocracy, whose influence was still very considerable at the end of the eighteenth century, voluntarily, without a severe struggle, surrendered power to the bourgeoisie, which serves as a sentimental support of the monarchy. Subsequently, this transference of power led to the establishment of the rule of the financial oligarchy.
Stalin: But you have imperceptibly passed from questions of revolution to questions of reform. This is not the same thing. Don’t you think that the Chartist movement played a great role in the Reforms in England in the nineteenth century?
Wells: The Chartists did little and disappeared without leaving a trace.
Stalin: I do not agree with you. The Chartists, and the strike movement which they organized, played a great role; they compelled the ruling classes to make a number of concessions in regard to the franchise, in regard to abolishing the so-called “rotten boroughs,” and in regard to some of the points of the “Charter.” Chartism played a not unimportant historical role and compelled a section of the ruling classes to make certain concessions, reforms, in order to avert great shocks. Generally speaking, it must be said that of all the ruling classes, the ruling classes of England, both the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, proved to be the cleverest, most flexible from the point of view of their class interests, from the point of view of maintaining their power. Take as an example, say, from modern history, the general strike in England in 1926. The first thing any other bourgeoisie would have done in the face. of such an event, when the General Council of Trade Unions called for a strike, would have been to arrest the trade union leaders. The British bourgeoisie did not do that, and it acted cleverly from the point of view of its own interests. I cannot conceive of such a flexible strategy being employed by the bourgeoisie in the United States, Germany or France. In order to maintain their rule, the ruling classes of Great Britain have never foresworn small concessions, reforms. But it would be a mistake to think that these reforms were revolutionary.
Wells: You have a higher opinion of the ruling classes of my country than I have. But is there a great difference between a small revolution and a great reform? Is not a reform a small revolution?
Stalin: Owing to pressure from below, the pressure of the masses, the bourgeoisie may sometimes concede certain partial reforms while remaining on the basis of the existing social-economic system. Acting in this way, it calculates that these concessions are necessary in order to preserve its class rule. This is the essence of reform. Revolution, however, means the transference of power from one class to another. That is why it is impossible to describe any reform as revolution. That is why we cannot count on the change of social systems taking place as an imperceptible transition from one system to another by means, of reforms, by the ruling class making concessions….
Go to http://www.isgp.eu/for more information…. See the article “Le Cercle: a private bridge between Vatican-Paneuropean and Anglo-American intelligence”. This video was based on research by ISGP (the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Covert Politics). However, this video WAS NOT made by ISGP or Joël van der Reijden.
The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism Sergei Guriev, Andrei Rachinsky To cite this version: Sergei Guriev, Andrei Rachinsky. The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005, pp.131 – 150.
How Did the Oligarchs Gain Control? A common belief is that the oligarchs owe their fortunes to the “loans-forshares” auctions held in mid-1990s, which are widely regarded as the most scandalous episode of Russian privatization. In the classical loans-for-shares scenario, the government appointed a commercial banker to run an auction that would allocate a controlling stake of a large natural resource enterprise in exchange for a loan to the federal government that the latter never intended to repay. Not surprisingly, the auctioneer always awarded the stake to himself for a nominal bid (usually, slightly above a very low reserve price) by excluding all outside bidders. The scheme was designed to consolidate the bankers’ support for Yeltzin’s reelection campaign in 1996 (Freeland, 2000). The conventional loans-for-shares story fits the cases of Abramovich (in 1995– 1997, a junior partner of Berezovsky), Khodorkovsky and especially Potanin. The other two winners were the oil sector insiders Alekperov and Bogdanov, who obtained stakes in firms they already controlled. However, most of those listed in Table 1 did not become oligarchs through the loans-for-shares program. Some of the 22 largest owners tried to participate in the loans-for-shares and even offered more competitive bids, but were excluded by those in charge of respective auctions; some even raised their concerns in public (Freeland, 2000).
Russian Oligarchs in International Perspective Cross-country comparisons of wealth concentration are usually based on the share of stock market capitalization controlled by a given number (often ten) of families. Certainly, this metric is not a perfect one—after all, it doesn’t include firms not listed on stock markets and emerging markets are likely to provide at best an imperfect measure of value. But we are not aware of comparable data sets on nonlisted firms, so we rely on the data on the share of the stock market owned by the top 10 families. By that measure, ownership concentration in modern Russia is higher than in any other country for which the data are available. The top 10 families or ownership groups (a subset of Table 1) owned 60.2 percent of Russia’s stock market in June 2003. This percentage is much higher than in any country in continental Europe, where the share of 10 largest families is below 35 percent in small countries and below 30 percent in all large countries (Faccio and Lang, 2002). In the United States and the United Kingdom, this share The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism 139 is in single-digit percentages (Faccio and Lang, 2002, Claessens et al., 2002).8 In east Asian countries before 1997 crisis, the highest shares of 10 largest families were in Indonesia (58 percent), Philippines (52 percent), Thailand (43 percent) and Korea (37 percent) (Claessens, Djankov and Lang, 2000). The numbers for Indonesia and Philippines include the holdings of Suharto and Marcos families, each controlling 17 percent of total market capitalization in the respective countries. In Russia, the personal wealth of Yeltsin and Putin is considered to be very modest
Seeing how serious intelligence agencies have always taken any left wing threat, from anti-war to anti-nuclear energy protestors, we can only imagine how serious they take the threat of a conspiracy community digging into the state’s sordid affairs. Conveniently, a conspiracy community is a major potential source of manipulation by foreign powers, so controlling it from top to bottom is probably, somewhere, semi-legal. In various locations on this site evidence of this control is discussed.
The monument stands at the highest point in Elbert County, about 90 miles (140 km) east of Atlanta, 45 miles (72 km) from Athens, and 9 miles (14 km) north of the center of Elberton. One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it. A capstone lies on top of the five slabs, which are astronomically aligned. An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some notes on the history and purpose of the Guidestones. The structure is sometimes referred to as an “American Stonehenge“. The monument is 19 feet 3 inches (5.87 m) tall, made from six granite slabs weighing 237,746 pounds (107,840 kg) in all. The designer and meaning of the Guidestones are unknown, leading to speculation and conspiracy theory.
The stones defaced with polyurethane paint and graffiti
In June 1979, a man using the self-confessed pseudonym Robert C. Christian approached the Elberton Granite Finishing company on behalf of “a small group of loyal Americans”, and commissioned the structure. Christian explained that the stones would function as a compass, calendar and clock, and should be capable of withstanding catastrophic events. Joe Fendley of Elberton Granite assumed that Christian was “a nut” and attempted to discourage him by giving a quote several times higher than any project the company had taken, explaining that the Guidestones would require additional tools and consultants. Christian accepted the quote. When arranging payment, Christian explained that he represented a group which had been planning the Guidestones for 20 years, and which intended to remain anonymous.
Christian delivered a scale model of the Guidestones and ten pages of specifications. The five-acre land was apparently purchased by Christian on October 1, 1979,[non-primary source needed] from farm owner Wayne Mullinex. Mullinex and his children were given lifetime cattle grazing rights on the Guidestones site. The monument was unveiled on March 22, 1980, before an audience variously described as 100 or 400 people. Christian later transferred ownership of the land and the Guidestones to Elbert County.
In 2008, the stones were defaced with polyurethane paint and graffiti with slogans such as “Death to the new world order”.Wired magazine called the defacement “the first serious act of vandalism in the Guidestones’ history”. In September 2014, an employee of the Elbert County maintenance department contacted the FBI when the stones were vandalized with graffiti including the phrase “I Am Isis, goddess of love”.
A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
Unite humanity with a living new language.
Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
Balance personal rights with social duties.
Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.
A few feet to the west of the monument, an additional granite ledger has been set level with the ground. This tablet identifies the structure and the languages used on it, lists various facts about the size, weight, and astronomical features of the stones, the date it was installed, and the sponsors of the project. It also speaks of a time capsule buried under the tablet, but spaces on the stone reserved for filling in the dates on which the capsule was buried and is to be opened have not been inscribed, so it is uncertain if the time capsule was put in place.
The complete text of the explanatory tablet is detailed below. The tablet is somewhat inconsistent with respect to punctuation, misspells the word “pseudonym”, and incorrectly uses the adjective “hieroglyphic” as a plural noun. The original spelling, punctuation, and line breaks in the text have been preserved in the transcription which follows (letter case is not). At the top center of the tablet is written:
The Georgia Guidestones Center cluster erected March 22, 1980
Immediately below this is the outline of a square, inside which is written:
Below the two columns of text is written the caption “GUIDESTONE LANGUAGES”, with a diagram of the granite slab layout beneath it. The names of eight modern languages are inscribed along the long edges of the projecting rectangles, one per edge. Starting from due north and moving clockwise around so that the upper edge of the northeast rectangle is listed first, they are English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. At the bottom center of the tablet is the following text:
Additional information available at Elberton Granite Museum & Exhibit College Avenue Elberton, Georgia
The four outer stones are oriented to mark the limits of the 18.6 year lunar declination cycle. The center column features a hole drilled at an angle from one side to the other, through which can be seen the North Star, a star whose position changes only very gradually over time. The same pillar has a slot carved through it which is aligned with the Sun’s solstices and equinoxes. A 7/8″ aperture in the capstone allows a ray of sun to pass through at noon each day, shining a beam on the center stone indicating the day of the year.
Yoko Ono and others have praised the inscribed messages as “a stirring call to rational thinking”, while Wired stated that unspecified opponents have labeled them as the “Ten Commandments of the Antichrist“.
The Guidestones have become a subject of interest for conspiracy theorists. One of them, an activist named Mark Dice, demanded that the Guidestones “be smashed into a million pieces, and then the rubble used for a construction project”, claiming that the Guidestones are of “a deep Satanic origin”, and that R. C. Christian belongs to “a Luciferian secret society” related to the “New World Order“. At the unveiling of the monument, a local minister proclaimed that he believed the monument was “for sun worshipers, for cult worship and for devil worship”. Others have suggested that the stones were commissioned by the Rosicrucians, with conspiracy theorist Jay Weidner observing that the pseudonym of the man who commissioned the stones – “R. C. Christian” – resembles Rose Cross Christian, or Christian Rosenkreuz, the founder of the Rosicrucian Order.Alex Jones‘s film Endgame: Blueprint for Global Enslavement proposes that the Guidestones are a harbinger of self-appointed elites who intend on exterminating most of the world’s population.
Computer analyst Van Smith said the monument’s dimensions predicted the height of the Burj Khalifa, which opened in Dubai over thirty years after the Georgia Guidestones were designed. Smith said the builders of the Guidestones were likely aware of the Burj Khalifa project which he compared to the biblical Tower of Babel.
The most widely agreed-upon interpretation of the stones is that they describe the basic concepts required to rebuild a devastated civilization. Author Brad Meltzer notes that the stones were built in 1979 at the height of the Cold War, and thus argues that they may have been intended as a message to the possible survivors of a nuclearWorld War III. The engraved suggestion to keep humanity’s population below 500 million could have been made under the assumption that war had already reduced humanity below this number.
29. But I admit that the counsels of such a dominion can hardly be
concealed. But everyone will also admit with me that it is far better
for the right counsels of a dominion to be known to its enemies, than
for the evil secrets of tyrants to be concealed from the citizens. They
who can treat secretly of the affairs of a dominion have it absolutely
under their authority, and, as they plot against the enemy in time of
war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.
It is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved? It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
Ch. 15; Variant: A man who strives after goodness in all his acts is sure to come to ruin, since there are so many men who are not good.
I say that every prince must desire to be considered merciful and not cruel. He must, however, take care not to misuse this mercifulness. … A prince, therefore, must not mind incurring the charge of cruelty for the purpose of keeping his subjects united and confident; for, with a very few examples, he will be more merciful than those who, from excess of tenderness, allow disorders to arise, from whence spring murders and rapine; for these as a rule injure the whole community, while the executions carried out by the prince injure only one individual. And of all princes, it is impossible for a new prince to escape the name of cruel, new states being always full of dangers. … Nevertheless, he must be cautious in believing and acting, and must not inspire fear of his own accord, and must proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence does not render him incautious, and too much diffidence does not render him intolerant. From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved more than feared, or feared more than loved. The reply is, that one ought to be both feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go together, it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to be wanting. For it may be said of men in general that they are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain ; as long as you benefit them, they are entirely yours; they offer you their blood, their goods, their life, and their children, as I have before said, when the necessity is remote; but when it approaches, they revolt. And the prince who has relied solely on their words, without making other preparations, is ruined, for the friendship which is gained by purchase and not through grandeur and nobility of spirit is merited but is not secured, and at times is not to be had. And men have less scruple in offending one who makes himself loved than one who makes himself feared; for love is held by a chain of obligation which, men being selfish, is broken whenever it serves their purpose; but fear is maintained by a dread of punishment which never fails.
Ch. 17, as translated by Luigi Ricci (1903)
Variant translations of portions of this passage:
From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
He ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable.
The prince who relies upon their words, without having otherwise provided for his security, is ruined; for friendships that are won by awards, and not by greatness and nobility of soul, although deserved, yet are not real, and cannot be depended upon in time of adversity.
Still, a prince should make himself feared in such a way that if he does not gain love, he at any rate avoids hatred; for fear and the absence of hatred may well go together, and will be always attained by one who abstains from interfering with the property of his citizens and subjects or with their women. And when he is obliged to take the life of any one, to do so when there is a proper justification and manifest reason for it; but above all he must abstain from taking the property of others, for men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Then also pretexts for seizing property are never wanting, and one who begins to live by rapine will always find some reason for taking the goods of others, whereas causes for taking life are rarer and more quickly destroyed.
“Hegel declares that poetry is supreme among the arts, combining music’s apprehension of the inner life of the mind with the determinate phenomenal character of sculpture and painting. In contrast to many of his contemporaries who make similar claims, however, Hegel never wavers in insisting that poetry is the crisis of art as much as it is its triumph. Poetry’s uniqueness stems from the fact that the subject and the object of poetry, the medium and the message, are one and the same. Unlike painting or sculpture, poetry can deal with any and every topic in any and every fashion because in the final analysis what poetry really expresses is the mind’s apprehension of itself to itself in itself”, “Derrida, Hegel, and the Language of Finitude”, Jan Mieszkowski, Postmodern Culture, May 2005
Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration and Development, is former Director General of the World Trade Organization, EU Commissioner for Competition, and Attorney General of Ireland. He will issue a report on improving internationa… READ MORE
Cecilia Malmstrom is EU Commissioner for Home Affairs and former Swedish Minister for Europe.
LONDON – Europe faces an immigration predicament. Mainstream politicians, held hostage by xenophobic parties, adopt anti-immigrant rhetoric to win over fearful publics, while the foreign-born are increasingly marginalized in schools, cities, and at the workplace. Yet, despite high unemployment across much of the continent, too many employers lack the workers they need. Engineers, doctors, and nurses are in short supply; so, too, are farmhands and health aides. And Europe can never have enough entrepreneurs, whose ideas drive economies and create jobs.
The prevailing skepticism about immigration is not wholly unfounded. Many communities are genuinely polarized, which makes Europeans understandably anxious. But to place the blame for this on immigrants is wrong, and exacerbates the problem. We are all at fault.
By not taking responsibility, we allowed immigration to become the scapegoat for a host of other, unrelated problems. The enduring insecurity caused by the global economic crisis, Europe’s existential political debates, and the rise of emerging powers is too often expressed in reactions against migrants. Not only is this unjust, but it distracts us from crafting solutions to the real problems.
European countries must finally and honestly acknowledge that, like the United States, Canada, and Australia, they are lands of immigrants. The percentage of foreign-born residents in several European countries – including Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Greece – is similar to that in the US.
Yet, despite this, we do not make the necessary investments to integrate newcomers into our schools and workplaces. Nor have we done enough to reshape our public institutions to be inclusive and responsive to our diverse societies. The issue is not how many new immigrants are accepted into the European Union, but acknowledging the nature and composition of the societies in which we already live.
It is ironic – and dangerous – that Europe’s anti-immigrant sentiment is peaking just when global structural changes are fundamentally shifting migration flows. The most important transformation is the emergence of new poles of attraction. Entrepreneurs, migrants with Ph.Ds, and those simply with a desire to improve their lives are flocking to places like Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, China, and India. In the coming decade, most of the growth in migration will take place in the global south. The West is no longer the Promised Land, placing at risk Europe’s ability to compete globally.
The aging of Europe’s population is historically unprecedented. The number of workers will decline precipitously, and could shrink by almost one-third by mid-century, with immense consequences for Europe’s social model, the vitality of its cities, its ability to innovate and compete, and for relations among generations as the old become heavily reliant on the young. And, while history suggests that countries that welcome newcomers’ energy and vibrancy compete best internationally, Europe is taking the opposite tack by tightening its borders.
But all is not lost. Europe got itself into this situation through a combination of inaction and short-sighted policymaking. This leaves considerable room for improvement. In fact, there are rays of hope in certain corners of Europe.
Consider Sweden, which has transformed its immigration policy by allowing employers to identify the immigrant workers whom they need (the policy has built-in safeguards to give preference to Swedish and EU citizens). In more rational times, these reforms would be the envy of Europe, especially given the relative resilience of Sweden’s economy. They certainly have caught the attention of Australia and Canada, which aim to emulate them.
There have also been innovations in integrating immigrants. Some initiatives, albeit modest, encourage those with immigrant backgrounds to apply for public-sector jobs in police forces, fire departments, media, and elsewhere. Such measures also respond to the urgent need for public institutions that look like the populations they serve.
There are many other tools to advance integration. We understand well the importance of early childhood education, and what kinds of programs can bridge the gap between immigrant and native children. We know as well the importance of finding a job in the integration process. We know how to recognize immigrants’ skills better, and how to provide the right kind of vocational training. We know how to ward off discrimination in hiring.
But, while we know what to do, we now need to muster the political will to do it. The good news is that, if we get integration right, we will be far more likely to bring publics along on more open immigration policies.
Equally important is international cooperation on migration. Last year, during the Arab revolutions, the EU missed a historic opportunity to begin weaving together the two sides of the Mediterranean. It failed to open its doors to young students, entrepreneurs, and other North Africans. Today, the EU is making a more serious effort to engage its southern neighborhood. Among the potential opportunities are free-trade agreements, an easing of visa requirements for university students, temporary work programs, and incentives to attract entrepreneurs.
No country is an island when it comes to migration, and none can address it alone. We have a long way to go, probably in a climate that will not turn favorable to immigration for many years. How much progress we can make will hinge on our ability to break through the myths about migration.
Migration is changing in fundamental ways, and we must continue to push ourselves to devise systems and approaches that respond to new realities. If we succeed, human mobility can become one of the great assets of the twenty-first century.
Superclass Index: permanent government (U.S., Europe, Russia, Middle East)
Below the reader can find names of prominent individuals ranked according to the number of private groups and a number of key corporations that they have (certainly) been involved with (maintained here). Overall it appears to be a very accurate influence index when it comes to, once and for all, and in rather scientific manner, identifying the “powers-that-be”. Certainly it identifies all the key players in the liberal (globalist), conservative (defense), Catholic conservative (Opus Dei/SMOM), Zionist, and to a large degree even the Russian establishments. As the reader will soon realize, most of these people know one another very well. Anyone with an interest in globalization or parapolitical issues would do well to become familar with these individuals.
“The friendship Nancy and I shared with Kay Graham is one of the legacies of my government service that we cherish most. … The Kay of the permanent establishment never lost sight of the fact that societies thrive not by the victories of their factions but by their ultimate reconciliations. Kay and I met in 1969 at the home of Joe Alsop, another member of Washington’s permanent establishment.”
July 23, 2001, Henry Kissinger, Eulogy for Katharine Graham of the Washington Pos
David Copperfieldis the eighth novel by Charles Dickens. The novel’s full title is, The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account).[note 1]It was first published as a serialin 1849–50, and as a book in 1850. Many elements of the novel follow events in Dickens’ own life, and it is often considered as his veiled autobiography.It was Dickens’ favorite among his own novels. In the preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens wrote, “like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.”
Wilkins Micawber – A melodramatic, kind-hearted and foolish gentleman who befriends David as a young boy. He suffers from much financial difficulty and even has to spend time in a debtors’ prison before moving to Plymouth. As an adult, Copperfield meets him again in London and gets him a job with Wickfield and Heep. Thinking Micawber is criminally-minded, Heep forces him to be his accomplice in several of his schemes, but Micawber eventually turns the tables on his employer and is instrumental in his downfall. Micawber eventually emigrates to Australia, where he enjoys a successful career as a sheep farmer and becomes a magistrate. He is based on Dickens’s father, John Dickens, who faced similar financial problems when Dickens was a child. Micawber is known for asserting his faith that “something will turn up”. His name has become synonymous with someone who lives in hopeful expectation. This has formed the basis for the Micawber Principle, based upon his observation:
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.” – (Chapter 12)
I trust that the labour and hazard of an investigation -of which the smallest results have been slowly pieced together, in the pressure of arduous avocations, under grinding penurious apprehensions, at rise of morn, at dewy eve, in the shadows of night, under the watchful eye of one whom it were superfluous to call Demon, combined with the struggle of parental Poverty to turn it, when completed, to the right account, may be as the sprinkling of a few drops of sweet water on my funeral pyre. I ask no more. Let it be, in justice, merely said of me, as of a gallant and eminent Naval Hero, with whom I have no pretensions to cope, that what I have done, I did, in despite of mercenary and selfish objectives, “FOR ENGLAND, HOME AND BEAUTY.” Remaining always, &c, &c, Wilkins Micawber.
Welcome poverty!..Welcome misery, welcome houselessness, welcome hunger, rags, tempest, and beggary! Mutual confidence will sustain us to the end!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Whoever they are, they are right. There has never been a more eloquent expression of David Cameron’s Big Society, a more annihilating wrecking-ball of Conservative rhetoric, a more profound embarrassment of the shallow motto “we’re all in this together” than this picture from last night’s “save the NHS” rally.
Sacco prrrrrrrrrobably doesn’t have a job anymore, though a bad AIDS joke likely won’t keep a good PR person down for too long. Sooner or later, Sacco will be employed again and potentially back on Twitter, except this time she’ll probably be smart enough to keep her racist jokes amongst friends.
And thus concludes another heartwarming version of “An Internet Story,” just in time for the holidays.
The movement against public shaming had gained momentum in 1787, when Benjamin Rush, a physician in Philadelphia and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote a paper calling for its demise — the stocks, the pillory, the whipping post, the lot. “Ignominy is universally acknowledged to be a worse punishment than death,” he wrote. “It would seem strange that ignominy should ever have been adopted as a milder punishment than death, did we not know that the human mind seldom arrives at truth upon any subject till it has first reached the extremity of error.”
White guilt gave us a mock politics based on the pretense of moral authority.
White guilt is not angst over injustices suffered by others; it is the terror of being stigmatized with America’s old bigotries—racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. To be stigmatized as a fellow traveler with any of these bigotries is to be utterly stripped of moral authority and made into a pariah. The terror of this, of having “no name in the street” as the Bible puts it, pressures whites to act guiltily even when they feel no actual guilt. White guilt is a mock guilt, a pretense of real guilt, a shallow etiquette of empathy, pity and regret.
It is also the heart and soul of contemporary liberalism. This liberalism is the politics given to us by white guilt, and it shares white guilt’s central corruption. It is not real liberalism, in the classic sense. It is a mock liberalism. Freedom is not its raison d’être; moral authority is.
Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965—an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.
This liberalism came into being not as an ideology but as an identity. It offered Americans moral esteem against the specter of American shame. This made for a liberalism devoted to the idea of American shamefulness. Without an ugly America to loathe, there is no automatic esteem to receive. Thus liberalism’s unrelenting current of anti-Americanism.
Let’s stipulate that, given our history, this liberalism is understandable. But American liberalism never acknowledged that it was about white esteem rather than minority accomplishment. Four thousand shootings in Chicago last year, and the mayor announces that his will be a sanctuary city. This is moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism. Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.
Tucker Carlson interviews Shelby Steele about the Op-Ed he wrote about The Exhaustion Of American Liberalism, he claims that liberals believe that you are not only attacking their ideas, but that you are attacking them personally when you debate them on politics. Shelby Steele wrote the Wall Street Journal-
“The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos. Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism. All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending? America, since the ’60s, has lived through what might be called an age of white guilt. We may still be in this age, but the Trump election suggests an exhaustion with the idea of white guilt, and with the drama of culpability, innocence and correctness in which it mires us. … This liberalism evolved within a society shamed by its past. But that shame has weakened now. Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all—liberal and conservative alike—know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. …”
Welcome to WhoRulesAmerica.net, a site about how power is distributed and wielded in the United States. It both builds upon and greatly supplements the book Who Rules America?, now in its 7th edition. The book’s new subtitle, “The Triumph of the Corporate Rich,” reflects the success of the wealthy few in defeating all of their rivals (e.g., organized labor, liberals, environmentalists) over the course of the past 35 years. The story of how the corporate rich won all the big battles is complicated, but most of the answers are in the new Who Rules America? and/or this Web site; there’s also a YouTube video of Bill giving an invited lecture on the topic.
As argued in Who Rules America?, the owners and top executives of the largest corporations, banks, investment firms, and agri-businesses come together as a corporate community. Their enormous economic resources give them the “structural economic power” that is the basis for dominating the federal government through lobbying, campaign finance, appointments to key government positions, and a policy-planning network made up of foundations, think tanks, and policy-discussion groups. The CEOs and owners in the corporate community, along with the top executives at the foundations, think tanks, and policy-discussion groups, work together as a leadership group that I call the power elite. However, they do fight among themselves sometimes, leading to moderate-conservative and ultra-conservative factions in the power elite. This class-domination theory developed out of Power Structure Research, going back to the 1950s.
Q: Do the same people rule at the local level that rule at the federal level?
A: No, not quite. The local level is dominated by the land owners and businesses that own downtown real estate and big shopping malls. They come together as growth coalitions, which turn cities into “growth machines” when they gain control of local government. Everything is about land values for them, and that requires office buildings, stadiums, museums, concert halls, shoppers, conventions, and tourists.
Q: Do they rule secretly from behind the scenes, as a conspiracy?
A: No, conspiracy theories are all wrong for many reasons. It’s true that some corporate leaders lie and steal, and that some government officials — including the President — initiate secret actions and then try (and usually fail) to keep them out of the newspapers. But those activities are not what is meant by a conspiracy theory, most of which involve an imagined small group of people secretly plotting to gain or retain control of the government through illegal means.
Q: Then how do they rule?
A: That’s a complicated story, but the short answer is through lobbying, open and direct involvement in general policy planning on the big issues, participation (in large part through campaign donations) in political campaigns and elections, and through appointments to key decision-making positions in government.
Q: Are you saying that elections don’t matter?
A: No, but they usually matter a lot less than they could, and a lot less in America than they do in other industrialized democracies. That’s because of the nature of the electoral rules and the unique history of the South.
Q: Does social science research have anything useful to say about making progressive social change more effective?
A: Yes, it does, but few if any people pay much attention to that research.
Q: Is WhoRulesAmerica.net connected to the “Who Rules America?” documents on natvan.com or ncoal.com?
The Corporate Community, Think Tanks,Policy-Discussion Groups, and Government
by G. William Domhoff, Clifford Staples, & Adam Schneider
This document presents new findings about the American power structure based on the connections among 2,563 corporations, 6 business leadership and policy-discussion groups, 33 prominent think tanks, 82 major foundations, 47 private universities with large endowments, and 19 White House advisory committees for the years 2011-2012. In all, the database used for our study contains 2,750 separate organizations and 9,121 individuals.
Epigraph This book is intended for normal, mainstream, secular, modern, disaffected and alienated intellectuals; those who are complicit in political correctness (as are all intellectuals) but who are (when not distracted, drugged or dreaming) in a state of despair. This book will, I hope, help such people to understand their condition, and present the likely choices. It will not help them to save their world (too late for that) but it may help them to save their souls. * *
Note: Why I use the term Political Correctness, instead of Liberalism or Socialism? The reasons include: 1. The confusion over what ‘liberalism’ means – to some a free marketeer, to others a socialist. My definition of political correctness is broad and includes most mainstream conservatives, libertarians and anarchists; who are nowadays all significantly PC.
Thus, the major output of the modern international Mass Media consists of only four categories: 1. Good presented as bad 2. Bad presented as Good (That is to say simple inversion) 3. Good presented as Good for a bad reason 4. Bad presented as bad for a bad reason (That is to say explanatory inversion) These four categories, which can be summarized as either simple or explanatory inversion, account for all sustained and high impact modern major Mass Media stories without any exceptions.
The problem is that Political education and discourse are so poorly communicated. Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed and what will become apparent is Political liberation is a Praxis and not a party. Freedom is something you live and do not something you join.
Political correctness, the intellectual elite and the mass media
PC depends upon at least two necessary (although not sufficient) conditions: an intellectual ruling class and a large and effective mass media.
The intellectual ruling elite are necessary because only they have the disposition for abstraction, the preference to regard ideas as realer than experience (because PC ‘reality’ is socially constructed), and the tendency to privilege ideas even (or especially) when they are in conflict with commonsense observation.
The mass media are necessary because the media constitute the discourse – the cognitive process, the mode of thinking – of modern societies.
Political correctness is (roughly) a mixture of bureaucratic Old Left and subjective New Left, the interspersion of a system of communist/ Fabian totalitarian central planning with irruptions of counter-cultural hedonism.
The main difference between the late Soviet Union in the Brezhnev era and political correctness in the West, is therefore the presence of a mass media.
In the old Soviet Union the media were instruments of state propaganda; they were dull, people didn’t pay much attention to them, and the quantity of media output was anyway kept low (because the media content was controlled and checked, item by item).
In the modern West, by contrast, the mass media are vast, primarily attention-grabbing, and still growing; media content is vivid and varied; and the subject matter is controlled only by self-censorship.
The mass media disciplines intellectuals and organizations who endanger political correctness: disciplines first by exclusion then by demonization – working like an inquisition by choosing and publicizing suitable anti-PC targets for aggression by ‘the secular arm’: organized Leftist direct action, rioting by approved groups, apparently-random acts by lone vigilantes – and so on.
The mass media identifies and locates reactionary targets for ‘legitimate’ aggression of many types, including violence.
And since these reactionary targets are seen as having willfully-provoked violence against themselves, the perpetrators of violence are exonerated from blame.
The moral universe of PC subsists on two distinct realities – good causes and good intentions, but never the twain can stay stuck-together.
(Note the lack of reference to good outcomes. Being wholly abstract, PC is indifferent to outcomes. ‘Outcomes’ are regarded as having no autonomous reality, but are merely seen as part of abstract theory.)
When everything is interpretation, action is rendered hazardous, indeed unnecessary.
The bureaucrat and the media communicator (those who do nothing and risk nothing – but who interpret, and re-interpret reality for the masses) are the modern cultural exemplars: certainly not the heroic producer, maker, act-er and do-er (whose positive behaviors might, at any moment, be re-interpreted; and the erstwhile hero exposed as a modern villain.)
So, wretched inert submissiveness oscillates with arrogant but empty moral grandstanding.
Is anybody safe?
Under PC, whatever you do, whatever willing you show, status is contingent.
There is no safety even for members of the ruling elite in a system of Political Correctness; anyone at all is susceptible to denunciation for any reason or no reason at any time.
Since PC is a wave of moral ‘progress’ which leaves-behind all previous moral standards and behaviours – there can be no accumulation of moral capital.
This applies to the ultra-PC just as much as to the openly reactionary.
(In this respect PC is more like communist than fascist totalitarianism: under fascism membership-of and courageous loyalty to the in-group usually brings safety from denunciation; but under communism anybody was vulnerable to denunciation – friends and enemies of the government alternated with bewildering rapidity: nobody was safe.)
The insanity of pure abstract altruism
Pure disinterested altruism, imposed on all by abstract systems, is therefore a logical consequence of the moral primacy of pure altruism…
It is also insane, and lacks any test in reality.
PC is good by definition and for no other reason; especially not because PC has been found to be good.
What is more, PC is the creation of that minority of humans capable of abstract thought and who regard abstraction as primary, and experience as derived from theory. This perspective is coercively enforced on that majority of other humans who privilege experience above abstraction (e.g. the majority who spontaneously privilege natural law above moral inversion, beauty above shock, truth above subversion and so on…)
The mass majority therefore experience coercive altruism as merely alienating – either as aggressive or patronizing depending on whether they are at that moment givers or receivers.
PC stands or falls by the fact of a secular intellectual ruling elite, and can be imposed widely by this elite only by the recent technologies of modern mass media.
And PC is only possible in a fully materialist and secular society: where this-worldly ‘goods’ and their just (i.e. altruistic) allocation can assume ultimate importance, over-riding all other considerations (such as the saving of souls).
It is this idealistic quest for pure impersonal abstract altruism, in a secular context, which has caused the anti-human, alienating, aggressive, patronizing, self-hating and suicidal insanity that is political correctness.
Expelled opened in 1,052 movie theaters, more than any other documentary before it, and grossed over $2,900,000 in its first weekend. It earned $7.7 million, making it the 27th highest-grossing documentary film in the United States (statistics include 1982–present, and are not adjusted for inflation).
The general media response to the film has been largely negative. Multiple reviews, including those of USA Today and Scientific American, have described the film as propaganda. The Chicago Tribune‘s rating was “1 star (poor),” while The New York Times described it as “a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry” and “an unprincipled propaganda piece that insults believers and nonbelievers alike.” It received a 9% meta-score (“rotten”) in late May 2008 from the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes (later improved to 11% overall) where the film was summarized thus: “Full of patronizing, poorly structured arguments, Expelled is a cynical political stunt in the guise of a documentary.”Christianity Today gave the film a positive review, earning a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.
The phrase “not even wrong” describes any argument that purports to be scientific but fails at some fundamental level, usually in that it contains a terminal logical fallacy or it cannot be falsified by experiment (i.e., tested with the possibility of being rejected), or cannot be used to make predictions about the natural world.
The phrase is generally attributed to theoretical physicistWolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking.Rudolf Peierls documents an instance in which “a friend showed Pauli the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli’s views. Pauli remarked sadly, ‘It is not even wrong’.” This is also often quoted as “That is not only not right; it is not even wrong,” or “Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig; es ist nicht einmal falsch!“ in Pauli’s native German. Peierls remarks that quite a few apocryphal stories of this kind have been circulated and mentions that he listed only the ones personally vouched for by him. He also quotes another example when Pauli replied to Lev Landau, “What you said was so confused that one could not tell whether it was nonsense or not.”
The phrase is often used to describe pseudoscience or bad science and is considered derogatory.
What future for Europe does Jean Claude Juncker want?
On 1 March 2017, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a White Paper on the future of Europe, which is meant to be discussed by governments and to encourage reflection on the role of the European Union. Later this month the Treaty of Rome’s will turn 60,
More than anything, the White Paper encourages governments, thinkers, and ordinary citizens, to prepare for change. The best case scenario describes what we already expect from EU institutions, so the real message lies in the other options.
NB Curious Governemetns thinkers and ordinary thinkers? Whieghted IQ and Net worth voting anyone?
It is time to recognize that the integrity of information is part of the critical infrastructure of liberal democracy.
The rise of ‘fake news’ sites, internet filter bubbles, and the ever-increasing polarisation of society has given rise to the idea that we are entering a ‘post-truth’ world. This is a scary prospect. When there is no truth, fear reigns. Disputes become unresolvable, politics become zero sum, and societies become cruel.
NB. Starts from assumption that status quo is right?
While the breaking of the establishment’s stranglehold on the media is to be welcomed, these changes in the information environment have also meant that there are no longer any sources of information that are universally viewed as credible. The problem with this is not just that it allows occasional lies to be accepted by segments of the population as true. It is that, without an accepted reference point for truth, societies degenerate into rival camps screaming ‘liar!’ at each other.
One casualty of this is that it is becoming impossible to achieve political consensus even on fairly technocratic issues such as health care and pension reform. The other is that it has increased the possibility of elections being manipulated by special interests and foreign powers. Misinformation was a key theme of the recent US election, in which Hillary Clinton was demonised daily – often without any factual basis – in both new and established right-wing outlets.
How sincere is this ?
(1) Establish a correction mechanism
One element of an effective strategy against misreporting and fake news would be to make sure that clearly factually wrong news and deliberate misinformation cannot be spread as easily through social networks. This is already happening, with Germany set to be the second country after the US to benefit from Facebook’s new ‘disputed’ model for reducing the power of fake news.
(4) More information education
A final element would be to improve the population’s awareness about misinformation and fake news. Just as its needs to be conveyed to the average internet users that “password” or “12345” are not secure passwords, the users need to learn the difference between high-quality and low-quality information. To this end, education about how to evaluate the quality of information found on the internet should be added to all school curricula.
The world according to Europe’s insurgent parties: Putin, migration and people power
It concludes that foreign policy is no longer an elite game.
Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said:
““Many of these insurgent parties have views on foreign policy that are closer to President Putin than President Obama. They are overturning an elite foreign policy consensus based on Atlanticism and liberal democracy that has dominated for the last fifty years”
“We can’t dismiss them as fringe parties – they represent a revolution in European foreign policy. Their chosen weapon is using referenda to whip up popular support on their pet issues. Even where they don’t win power directly, they are so politically powerful that they are forcing mainstream parties to adopt their positions”
Among the challenger parties:
1. Most, 28 in total, thought that a Brexit vote in the UK referendum would trigger EU disintegration. Most, but not all, believed that this would be a good thing. Most parties believed that it would trigger further referenda in the EU.
2. Most showed a strong suspicion of cooperation with Turkey on the refugee crisis and particular opposition to Turkish accession 36 parties oppose the EU-Turkey deal on the refugee crisis, many of them voicing concern about the EU-Turkey deal because it will lead to closer co-operation between the EU and Turkey. On other issues, 23 opposed cooperation with Turkey on the war in Syria, and 24 against terrorism. On other issues such as the Ukraine crisis and the eurozone crisis, very few parties could see a case for talking to Turkey at all
3. The challenger parties are contributing to the European Parliament’s increasingly assertive role in foreign policy, as seen in their opposition to elements of the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal. The great majority of the challenger parties have representation in the EP, and many of them are stronger at this level than nationally. As they grow in influence, they are likely to use the consultation role of the EP on international agreements reached under CFSP to push their agenda.
4. Merkel’s ‘refugees welcome’ policy is not widely blamed as the cause of the migration crisis: only seven parties named it in their top two explanations for the Crisis. US strategy in the Middle East was the most popular answer, with President Assad’s regime sponsored violence in Syria in second place in the responses given.
5. There is no appetite among these parties for intervention in Syria: On the prospect of collective European involvement in intervention in Syria 32 parties responded that this option should not even be on the table. This is linked to a general anti-Americanism, and a distaste for the EU towing the US line particularly on foreign policy in the Middle East.
6. There is widespread opposition to the Ukraine’s path to EU accession. Only 14 parties responded unequivocally that they supported it, and of these two wouldn’t support NATO accession for Ukraine.
7. There is scepticism around future European or US interventionism generally, particularly in the Middle East, from Sinn Fein in Ireland, to UKIP in the UK, to the Front National and the Communist Party in France, to AFD and Die Linke in Germany, to Jobbik in Hungary and the Five Star Movement in Italy. These parties are likely to bolster the intervention fatigue trend in EU foreign policy over coming years, making it even more difficult for national governments to sell the idea of future military deployment to their populations.
8. Despite differences between the parties, there was consensus in the external threats faced by the EU. For 36 out of the 45 parties covered, the refugee crisis or the threat of terrorism and radical Islamism (these issues were inextricably linked in the responses that the majority of parties gave) represented the top or top two priorities for the EU. This response was not the preserve of the right wing: Die Linke in Germany; the French Communist Party, Podemos in Spain, and the Lithuanian Labour Party were also among those who voted in this way.
9. Suspicions among these parties about the transatlantic relationship are partly fuelled by opposition to the Transatlantic Trade Treaty (TTIP), with 26 out of the parties arguing that the EU should not conclude a TTIP with the US at all. But there were some notable exceptions including the Sweden Democrats; Danish People’s Party, the Finns Party, Estonia Party of People’s Unity, ALFA in Germany, Syriza and Independent Greeks who saw the potential for it to be positive under the right conditions.
10. The parties confessed to having little understanding of today’s China and how to work with it. There is no real evidence of more support for engagement with China from parties on the right or left: 15 parties simply had no official position.
11. The parties are most divided on how to engage with Russia. Although there is a general spread of sympathy for Russian foreign policy (30 parties expressed agreement with at least some recent Russian positions, including particularly for their intervention in Syria in the absence of other actors playing a decisive conflict resolution role) there were more mixed views on whether EU sanctions should be maintained and whether NATO should build up militarily against the Russian threat. These views on Russia policy do not fall naturally along the lines of ‘left’ and ‘right’ groupings.
12. Many agree with Trump’s argument that Europeans and others need to pay their way more within the NATO alliance and have a vision of a militarily strong Europe that invests more in its own security – largely at national level – and is consequently independent from the US.
13. The overwhelming majority saw the need for European solutions to specific current challenges. This was least pronounced on the Eurozone crisis where 20 parties opted for European level solutions; scaling up to 24 in favour of European solutions on the refugee crisis, 29 on the Syrian war and 28 on Ukraine; and 34 on terrorism.
Correction: Due to an incident that happened with a Chrome extension installed on the personal laptop of one of our staff members, for a couple of days the online version of this press release showed a misspelled version of the name of Donald Trump.