by Chris Faure for The Saker Blog
We all ask the question regarding what is next? What are we going to see and experience next in our world. What will be first: a global economic crash or a world war or a few more smaller wars?
This piece will focus on the current demagoguery and adds some options and alternatives to this binary lineup of either large or small kinetic wars or global economic implosion.
We can spot a demagogue by the language it uses, and by lack of honesty and values. The demagogue incites or agitates and always blames the other guy, unless they can garner sympathy with false ‘mea culpas‘. A demagogue has no honor. Rules-based International Order means the rules that the demagogue invented to their own benefit just this minute or so. There is a distinct disrespect for anything but the demagogue’s current world view. There is never peace around a demagogue, but always chaos. There never is any competent development or intelligent use of resources but always they leave dust, debris and death in their wakes.
We are accustomed to use the word demagogue in relation to a person.
But what if what we see now, is demagogue states? Literally a Demagogue Den of States, as a strategic policy of demagoguery to attempt to stave off their own implosion?
Yes, it is empire and yes, it is imperialism and yes, it is hegemony but what we are seeing is much more. The action around Demagogue States can be distinguished – they form into cliques that morph around a main demagogue of the day, with a bunch of gogues-in-training being brought under the gogue and this is what now presents as Democracy West. One can almost distinguish this tendency as a new social system that does not look like anything we have seen thus far – it is nothing that we can commonly recognize, excepting by its callous and casual contempt for human life. No, I am not making up words. A “gogue” is a specialized training lead for horses .. hence gogues-in-training, all trotting along on their training leads following in the footsteps of their chosen demagogue.
Justin Trudeau is a little-gog. Macron is a little-gog, and so we can continue throughout the West. The US Embassador to Germany is a little-gog. Guaidó is a little-gog in training.
Barack Obama even wants a new university to train future Demagogues.
“if we can train a million Baracks and Michelles who are running around thinking they can change the world,” they will fulfill the ‘hope and change’ agenda, said Obama – echoing a similar statement he made in Japan last year.
We always express astonishment and amazement at the callous nature of these so-called leaders. We routinely make statements such as: “This is unbelievable hubris; they have no human emotions; they cannot feel shame; it is like they are without human soul; they are psychopaths.”It has grown bigger than a definition of psychopathic evil.
So, we must look at the acts or what the Demagogue States and their little-gogs-in-training do, to begin to recognize the greater or overarching phenomenon and get underneath the optics. You will recognize the tactics and methodologies and mechanisms once you know them.
A leader demagogue – intent on more conquest – will use words or phrases like: “We will be the first free hemisphere in the world” or “rules based international order”. Note, neither of those actually have clear definitions, the language is soft, and this is for a reason – a demagogue shades language always.
The language changes and morphs and shades. As example, a callous and brutal torture program is very quickly redefined to something like Is waterboarding torture? And is it permissible? And cruelty is celebrated and applauded. When you see that kind of ‘concept shading’, you may have a demagogue on your hands. (Note the current attempt at asset stripping by words. The latest US State Dept report refers to Israel, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza, not as occupied lands, but as Israeli-controlled.)
They always use language to manipulate people into defining their patriotism in terms of the demagogue’s political agenda rather than in terms of the higher value goal, the nation as a whole and its political processes and institutions.
A demagogue always presents as a savior, uses rapture political language, always presents himself as protector of those that stand with him, always sells hope porn and always acts in a way that can be classified as economic terrorism as no demagogic country can ever get enough.
There is no mechanism or internal sense of restraint for the Demagogue State.
As long as they can safeguard personal wealth for their own and create generational wealth in terms of trust fund kids, there is no further restraint.
With a messianic fervor, they equate and conflate wealth to ‘being good‘ and ‘having ability or talent‘. We call them neocons, ziocons, globalists, but that describes their philosophy, it does not describe the zeitgeist of the new voracious Demagogue Den States where only money makes the world go round.
The dead give-away of a demagogue is that it gets drunk on its own rhetoric. It believes in its own eternal ability to project hyper-limitless power. It is devoid of reason and believes itself to be proverbial demigods. Its egomania soon shows in complete megalomania and statements of psychopathic glee.
The Demagogue Business is now Global Asset Strips
The Demagogue Den with its gogues-in-training is a hungry critter. It moves via pseudopods, i.e., false feet – stretch out one foot in a direction and pull the rest along. This is called ‘manufacturing consent’, in modern political language. They eat their food by surrounding it and gulping it down in one.
The Global Asset Strip is the major task that the Demagogue Den is now involved in as a distinct methodology in place of boots on the ground kinetic war. They require and consume more wealth and more assets as they are gobbling up what they have faster than what they can make more and there is very little left in their own spheres of influence. They are even eroding their own middle classes and poor to satisfy their wealth sucking machine.
This is actually a common business problem and is usually called a Cashflow Crunch, and to the ones that have facility in business-speak, they are bankrupt by any of the normal definitions. Generally, in business terms, one would want to ‘trade out of a cashflow crunch’, or ‘you cook the books temporarily and overstate assets’, or, you actually increase or decrease or rightsize the business, or you sell off something, and of course a bankruptcy proceeding has all kinds of targeted wealth transfer hidden inside of it. So, there are many options. One does not have to go to war, but, war is an option.
In business terms an asset strip is not a productive thing – it always destroys. What the Demagogue Den is involved in now, is 2 types of asset strips that can be clearly defined. There are more, (and we can identify at least 6 methodologies) but let’s stay with these 2 for now. For the non-business orientated minds, one buys, gets control of, takes over by eminent domain or by controlling stock interests, a company with some value, and, via corporate fixers strip it of all value (monetizes it, capitalizes it) even before selling office chairs, buildings, vehicles, machinery or any other asset with a realizable cash value for short term cash requirements. For example, I’ve seen this happen to a very rich pension fund, leaving long-term employees destitute. The accounting books are made to look good, because you’ve turned a ‘dog’ into a profit. And either your cash position or your asset position is flashing in the green. Of course, this has a direct influence on stock price. A green balance sheet leads to higher stock prices and more money in the pockets of those involved in this ponzi scheme, and those involved would be mostly everyone in the Demagogue Den. (Refer modern banking business and ask yourself the question what Germany for example has to gain in hard cash or soft trading of favors by supporting the attempted overthrow in Venezuela).
No matter how high the deficit (which is an accounting word for debt) rises, there is always the hope to either trade out of it, or increase value of the asset base to offset the deficit. Debt is the new wealth. Its cool to owe so much that you will never trade out of it, or never pay what you owe. So, you need more and more, and hence the global asset strip. We see this happening with complete countries now. If the demagogue states cannot own another country, they take it in unfair wars as war conquest, while reducing the country itself to rubble in order to profit enormously by rebuilding it ‘in their own image’. They create their own destruction in order to profit at the end of the day. This was the economic model we saw in Iraq, Libya and the model attempted and still in progress in Syria. The population is left to starve or migrate and some demagogic demigod declares “Mission Accomplished”.
MAGA sounds so good as a patriotic slogan, but it is in reality an attempt toward a Global Asset Strip. We see this most visibly in operation both in Venezuela, as well as in North Korea although the North Korean situation is somewhat different. Venezuela is a straight forward asset grab to strip the country for profit, to eliminate competition and to fulfill the profit motive benefit of multinational organizations and the resultant surge of the right stocks on the US stock market. The work of this planning has been done over some years:
“In an interview with Bloomberg Surveillance, Hausmann was asked who would be there to rebuild Venezuela after the coup—the IMF, the World Bank? Hausmann replied (around minute 20), “we have been in touch with all of them. … I have been working for three years on a ‘morning after’ plan for Venezuela.”
North Korea, being in backwardization in terms of what the world thinks of as development (and development itself is a subjective concept), forms the ideal potential for gathering a new asset cheap (or so they thought initially). The potential is there for development of a whole country (can you just imagine the golf courses) and a makeover as a demagoguery while denying the countries of the region a foothold in the development of the country.
James Petras confirms this in his piece titled: US Negotiations : Masters of Defeats.
“The US has adopted diplomatic strategies in the face of its ‘inability’ to secure military victories. The purpose of adopting a diplomatic approach is to secure through negotiations, in part or fully, goals and advantages unattainable through military means.While diplomacy is less subject to military and economic losses it does require making concessions. Negotiations are only successful if there are reciprocal benefits to both parties.”Reciprocity is like Death to a Demagogue as this implies that someone else is important and equally worthy of benefit.
Also see Peter Koenig: Washington is Waging a New Dimension War Against China – and will Lose out Bitterly
I agree fully with Mike Whitney here:
“Can you see what’s going on? The economic integration plans are moving forward even before the nuclear issue has been resolved, the sanctions have been lifted, or a formal treaty ending the war has been signed. The entire region appears to be breaking out of Washington’s orbit and charting a new course on its own. Naturally, this has ruffled a few feathers at the White House where Trump’s advisers have concocted various means of derailing the project. Sabotaging the summit in Hanoi is just the first volley in this new confrontation., there are bound to be many more in the days to come.”
It has nothing to do with the pretext of nukes that is being sold to the population as the higher value here, but is a complete attempt at grabbing a whole country as an asset. Nevertheless there is speculation now that a certain long range missile site in North Korea is now being made operational again – this is of course being slipped into the news so that North Korea looks like the fly in the ointment instead of the abject failure of US negotiations. North Korea will not be stripped of assets.
The Demagogue Den and gogues-in-training have created a hive-mind across the spectrum and is consumed with their own presupposed godliness. You think I am overstating?. Take a look : https://www.rt.com/usa/453408-trump-signs-bible-twitter/
The Demagogue Den has one value only, and this is more money honey. Every country has to be brought under the gogue to siphon off more money and more value. There is never enough for the collective hive mind, and their interest is not in long term balanced development, but in short term riches. They have a death grip on the economic world, and will steal with impunity, will rob, will make war simply for conquest and to obtain more riches, more assets and in this vision, they will commit the vilest atrocities. Remember, wealth to these critters is the evidence that they are good and talented. They deny anyone outside of the den even the basics of life. Life is now described as human rights, instead of absolute human requirements for maintaining life. You’ll be tossed a few rights – yes, you can have drinking water when we have some to spare after we’ve filled up all our bottles of drinking water which you can then buy. I for one fail to see that ‘human right’ in action in my world. I pay for water and the ones that cannot pay, drink water unfit for human consumption.
This is the new hybrid creature approaching a new civilizational model if it is not stopped.
The demagogic hive mind writhes, crawls, pushes and betrays even one another inside of the hive. If one demagogue gets an advantage over another, they will fight one another and extort from one another as Moon of Alabama describes the vassals now having to pay for being occupied. Have you not seen that extortion is now becoming a Profit Center? Previously it was a Cost of Doing Business to maintain hegemony. There is less and less interest in the people that make up a geographic or a cultural whole but the shared demagogic solution is protected with all their might.
The most important task that the demagogue den is now engaged in, is the biggest global asset grab that we’ve ever witnessed. No less than the King of the Earth throne is at stake here and the sweet MAGA creed in fact means take everything you can strip or steal to keep the illusion of quality of life and to keep sufficient numbers of citizens tranquil and non-dissenting for as long as possible.
What the Demagogic Den is not doing and is not in the business of, is building productive national economies and sovereign nation-states.
Let us look at how singularly unsuccessful The Demagogue Den is, in reality:
There is serious disarray in every Demagogue Den country (and most vassals), and the deep seated social contract in each of those countries is now definitively broken. (Even at the latest Davos meeting, this was highlighted as one of the risks going forward. See the Section on Davos Risks where words such as tapped out, emotional disruption and no rights left are used to describe this).
Canada … where Justin Trudeau is embroiled in a scandal with its roots in bribery and corruption of officials in the Libyan government for government contracts and consequent pressure on Canadian government officials to bury this. It is interesting. There is no focus on the actual bribery and corruption, only on the officials that may, or may not have been coerced to hide this. This is a demagogic instrument of shading the reality in the same way that the reality of torture is shaded.
In Israel … “Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced on Thursday his decision to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases, pending a hearing.” Yes, we’re dealing with all out criminals here.
In the UK … Brexit has been literally destroying the fabric of social harmony. “Brexit Britain is an object lesson in how a modern nation fails.” (Allow me, May is nothing but a Shuffling ShooFly as in ShooFly, don’t bother me!)
Germany … is interesting as its business community is showing signs of partially breaking from the Demagogue Den – Merkel is slowly recusing herself and moving out of her leading role and holding on to some Red Lines – Nord Stream 2 continues (at least still at the time of writing) and some trade with Russia continues. But from a observer’s perspective it seems to me Merkel is ‘tossing bones’ or ‘hedging her bets’ to buy time. She tosses a bone to the EU and France, she tosses a bone to the US by keeping sanctions against Russia and so she goes … carefully tossing bones to whomever shouts the loudest.
In France … we have the yellow vests and the latest strange demagoguery of Merkel and Macron, who have never been better friends. Of course, because both understand very clearly that the demagogue King of the World war is a war to the death among themselves. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/06/gone-with-wind-disastrous-passion-merkel-and-macron.html
Yet, as of one voice, all of these these Demagogue Den states are doubling down on asset stripping Venezuela. Did you ever wonder what they will be paid, how much and how that money flow will work? Because they are not doing it gratis and for free.
And then from a man who complained bitterly of ‘invaders’ on the US Southern Border, of course the US is now the invader on the Venezuelan border. It is of course a perverse type of inverted justice that the very same is being done to Trump.
In the USA … Quite telling evidence of this demagogue’s nefarious deeds is outlined by Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), who now says that the United States of America is no longer sovereign. So, this part of the demagogue’s writhing has led to the selling of their own sovereignty. CAF outlines certain financial regulation (FASAB 56) that has taken most of the federal budget dark and created ‘secret money for secret armies’, in fact openly inviting every mercenary and every private army to bring proposals for new wars that could create the financials to lead to higher stock market valuations. This is the way that the US congress continually assures their own kickbacks from military adventures. CAF goes as far as to outline how private mercenary armies can now have their own nuclear weapons.
None of the Countries that make up the Demagogue Den are sovereign. This leads to these countries having to agree with one another, while fighting for the Biggest Demagogue of All Crown. Do you have respect for any of these leaders? I don’t. The Demagogue Den is throwing us into the Law of the Jungle or an erstwhile Rules-Based International Order where even the sacred is now profane.
Considering Countries that have escaped or seem to be escaping the Demagogue Den.
What is India doing?
India is showing clear signs of breaking loose from being a vassal state. Tom Lungo reports back:
“Not only has India defied the U.S. over buying Iranian oil and Russian S-400 missile defense systems but now they continue to flaunt U.S. sanctions on Venezuela upping its purchases from 400,000 barrels per day to more than 600,000.”
India shrugged off the US saying that they are not Most Favored Nation (MFN) in trade any longer. Duty Free imports on a whole range of goods have been revoked. https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/us-revokes-duty-free-concession-on-import-of-50-indian-products/story/287604.html
What is MFN? Member countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have to treat one another as favored trading partners in terms of imposing customs duties on goods.
The US is now barking at India who actually increased their oil purchases from Venezuela. I suspect India will shrug this off and continue buying gold.
Stepping across from India to China
In combination with China, both India and China banned trash recyclables from the US – keep your own trash is a strong message.
What is China doing?
Getting cold feet – especially with the recent NK negotiations. They’ve had enough of the US bad faith bargaining that demands structural changes and piles on willy nilly demands in an unorganized negotiating manner. We’re not even approaching diplomacy here – it is just vile and exceedingly poor negotiators and negotiating methodology and technique.
Is it that the US does not want a trade agreement with China? Has the penny dropped that bi-lateral trade agreements put restraints on both sides of the equation? This seems to be what China is saying and now clearly signalling that they are not expecting much:
“A trade agreement between China and the US is poised on a knife-edge. The administration of US President Donald Trump has continuously signaled positive expectations. But in the past two days, he stressed that he wants either a good deal or no deal. According to the US side, China and the US are not preparing for a summit between the two leaders.
The US also reveals that the biggest divergence between China and the US now is that the US will impose punitive tariffs on Chinese products any time it feels that China does not fully implement the agreement while China should not retaliate. China believes this is an intrusion on China’s sovereignty and has rejected the proposition.”
… http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1141577.shtmlThe Trade War. Let us quickly put this in simplistic terms that we all can understand and lift ourselves out of the economic terminology. The USA is acting as if China is their greatest enemy (and just a few years ago, China was most favored trading nation – the demagogue makes rules as it goes along and as it suits them). Thing is, in simplistic terms, it is as if your local supermarket is pressuring you to buy more. This trade war is as if your local supermarket comes to you, tells you about the great physical space that it built for you, and demands that you buy more. And if you do not buy more, they’re going to make the carrots, onions and eggs that you buy, more expensive. And if you cannot buy more, the demand is to restructure your home budget so that you can afford to buy more from them, and them only. And if you still do not buy more, they will snatch the husband or wife of the household, and keep them in jail, until you buy more. And heaven help you if you are a supplier to that supermarket. Now, you do not only have to buy more, but you have to reduce the price of what you supply to that supermarket and make it cheaper. That is the art of the deal. And if you do not make it cheaper, or you do not buy more … if you say to that supermarket that they are not your owners to tell you how to structure your household budget and what you can buy and what not, all-out war is threatened and you become the greatest enemy while still being pressurized to buy more. In this simplistic explanation, it is clear that this zero sum mechanism can never end well.
China will deal with the US trade war in a defensive way and bend to some minor demands but the main demand, internal restructuring will not be given any attention by China. They will not let up on their belt and road plans albeit progress is somewhat slowing.
China is in my view stringing the US along while building different on and off ramps to a new global economy that is dedollarized for economic and financial dealings. We will see a new financial system. They are creating new global mechanisms outside of US sanctions power. (New banks, new oil trading mechanisms, more frequently doing some kind of currency swap and dealing in local currencies and not using the US Dollar as currency, buying gold, an alternative to the IMF and World Bank and more)
The demagogue reacts to this by completely overstating progress made … and if China buys a few ships full of soybeans more, this is announced as TREMENDOUS and HUGE DEALS whereas in reality, it is a minor concession and simply demonstrating a good faith mechanism in negotiations of this size and import.
“Trump has hinted that he may be willing to accept a deal that sees China buy more US products and make some cosmetic changes that can be sold as “structural” reforms. It is anyone’s guess how he will react to the swift backlash such a deal would provoke.” https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/02/article/political-storm-clouds-in-us-over-china-trade-deal/
Note the following language in bold, and such language is becoming common from Chinese sources:
The Belt and Road Initiative has been the top agenda of China’s diplomacy. The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held in April in Beijing is the most important diplomatic event this year. Wang said thousands of representatives from more than 100 countries will attend the conference. The popularity of the Belt and Road Initiative itself is a powerful response to the rabble-rousing of the “debt trap theory” and “geopolitical tool theory” by the US and its allies.
China is arming, keeping their troops on ready status, and buying gold.
My working theory in terms of China, is that they will do just what they think they should do while continuing the development on belt and road, as well as creating a middle class citizen in their own country and in Eurasia. I suggest that China will be willing to join a war, if that becomes absolutely necessary to defend themselves. They will insist on their rights in the South China Seas, as this is existential. In the mean time, we see a poverty eradication from China that is incredible in size, scope and effectiveness.
“China has been responsible for 70 percent of the global reduction in extreme poverty over the past 40 years. This historical achievement is the result of a clearly defined and effectively organized campaign to reduce poverty. And the result has been unprecedented progress, with more people lifted out of poverty more quickly than has ever been achieved by any country in the history of humanity.” http://www.chinawatch.cn/a/201903/07/WS5c80c802a310df3a7f371320.html
Stepping across from China to Russia
Both China and Russia are playing a long game and making time work for them. Both countries are implementing the strategy they agreed upon in 2015 to dedollarize and create a global economic mechanism outside US veto power or sanctions power.
It is against this backdrop that we need to look at the possibilities of what we will see happen in this, and the next few years.
“China and Russia have zero foreign debt. Those who argue to the contrary do not understand the concept of net debt. If you have no foreign creditors then it’s a totally different playing field domestically.”
What is Russia doing?
We can of course look to Russia to find viable management in order to get rid of the demagogue. Russia first developed its own self-defense with spectacular results, and thereafter developed its own food and trade security with impressive programs. There had to be trade-offs and perhaps internal social programs could not receive enough attention. The sanctions may bite, but somehow they shrug off the +-60 sanctions, and even welcome them as this is motivation to become more sovereign. This can only be ascribed to an internal cohesion despite the problems with the retirement regulations and other internal problems.
In reality, to the outsider, Russia still presents cohesion and possibly the best anti-demagogue example that we can see in our world today. Of course, nothing is perfect.
Russia has already given up all pretense of dealing with the Demagogue Den … financially and militarily. Putin doorknobbed the US on the INF treaty, saying Russia withdraws as well. The door is open once there is someone that understands the necessity of walking through it. In business-speak, it is a clear doorknob – We’re out of here, if you come to your senses, come talk to us. Just perhaps you will be given a hearing, depends on the circumstances.
Financially and militarily Russia simply avoids trading with the US or in the Dollar denominated currency.
“In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the United States is undermining confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency as a direct consequence of its pursuit of economic sanctions. Putin didn’t confirm that Russia was following a strategy of de-dolarization, rather that the Russian Federation is being forced not to use the dollar.”
Take a good look at that statement and we can now figure out that it is very much in the realm of possibilities that Russia’s Central Bank could be reformed. Perhaps this is just a slow move connecting to the BRICS and other Belt and Road banks, to using cryptocurrencies much more widely as a settlement vehicle and perhaps taking the task of protecting the Ruble seriously. This will move Russia up the scale of sovereignty.
We don’t need a working theory here – we can see already that what Russia says, is what Russia does and that is refreshing. Perhaps the only working theory here is don’t march on Russia and if you do anything that touches the security of Russia, they will take out your planning centers. The overall sense, at least to the observer, is that Russia is moving closer to a more active defense of what matters most to her and an active shunning of what can only be described as time wasters from the Demagogue Den. I trust that they will work on their internal issues. Russian-ness is quite unique and to the outsider it looks like they will stand in a cohesive manner, no matter the internal social thorns.
What is Japan doing?
Japan is re-arming. This is a serious development and I cannot ascertain whether this move is to secure itself away from the Demagogue Den and become somewhat Japanese again, or to remain as a gogue-in-training. At the same time, we see the demagogue technique of complete disrepect for the inhabitants of Okinawa clearly on display. (There are other bases where the Japanese people are protesting but we do not see much news in English of this).
My extremely cautious working theory is that Japan may just be toying with moving to a position of sitting on the fence of the multi-polar world, at least.
The two most important dominoes here are:
a peace agreement or solution around the Kurils and
we need to watch the Okinawa issue closely, as this is the domino that will fall if there is any change as to direction and respect for citizens in Japan and will tell the story of where they are in terms of sovereignty.
We can most probably start counting Italy as well as a non-demagogue country. We could also start counting the Philippines for what that is worth
What is happening in Africa?
To look at Africa as a unit and ignore the differences between North and South and the various countries, each with its own unique characteristics, is not wise. But for the moment we can make an overall comment that Africa has been mis-managed back to a stone age. We have spots of splendor and opulent riches next to vast stretches of the most extreme poverty and human misery imaginable. The point to remember is that in Africa now, politics is not politics but simply a money making machine.
It may be prudent to take a quick look at China’s influence here. The concept is simple although contractually very complex. Lets focus on the simple version: China says .. we will invest in a bridge, a port, an airport, a new road or where-ever an investment can show a return. China does the numbers and almost in the form of a franchise, prescribes how that investment has to be handled and managed for the country in question both to pay off the long term financing as well as running it profitably. Africa usually mismanages most things and there is always a lot of graft. When China does not see its investment in good hands, they simply take it back and put in their own people. The rest of the agreement remains intact. As someone involved in business all my life, I cannot see anything wrong with this and it certainly is not disaster capitalism or attempts at imperialism as the blame from the West states. From a business perspective, it is good business with solid risk hedges.
Let’s look at the current global risks as presented at the last Davos meeting.
Now you may say, why look at the work of the pinnacle of the demagogue, and I will answer, because they have damn good researchers and it is always good to know what the Demagogue Den is thinking. In many cases you will find that their defined risks are equal to the ones that you see for yourself. It never goes to waste to know what the elites are thinking and Davos represents the power structures of today. It may even represent those that own the demagogues. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Global_Risks_Report_2019.pdf
They define future shocks in part 6 of the report:
Let’s leave Weather Wars for another time as it is a topic in itself. But if you think about these categories of Future Shocks, we can already see them. Before you read the actual report, try and put your own spin on the categories and then go and see the data. It is interesting and here are my initial gut-level reactions as to the best contemporary examples of each:
Open Secrets – The Venezuelan Coup.
City Limits – Where we have cities that are too large to even manage and in China, we have vast unoccupied cities, most probably built exactly for this reason – so that cities do not become even bigger. It is interesting to note that in China’s program to lift people out of poverty, more people were brought into actual cities.
Against the Grain: If you follow the food situation in the world, there are climate issues and issues of frankenfood which truly are inedible by humans. And yet, we see the word ‘clean’ being used for laboratory grown food. Don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat lab grown gristle. ttps://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/07/lab-grown-meat/565049/
Digital Panopticon: We’re looking to a future of incredible precision robotics and supporting AI software. This is tearing the principle of Labor and Capital as inputs apart and conversation is needed with the socialists and the new economics cadre as we have to cover new ground here.
Tapped out: Right On! What is not tapped out? My credit cards sure are.
Contested Space: We can look only to the Middle East and this becomes clear.
Emotional Disruption: Do we need to say more? I certainly get ’emotionally disrupted’ about every morning following any geo-political or geo-economic news.
No Rights Left: The ‘rights’ that we as human beings may ‘claim’, are increasing both in stupidity (refer culture wars) and in total dominance. We need to work on this. One can only refer to the so-called right for clean water.
Monetary Populism: CAF talked about US Securities for example. She says that she does not know where the ‘credit’ (i.e., the value proposition) is any longer. I propose that she is being nuanced and that the credit is not there and that the greatest asset grab in the world is happening now, almost in lieu of bigger war – The Demagogue Den cannot trade out of their net negative position, so they are trying to steal more assets.
I was quite surprised to see not a word about concepts such as universal basic income while robotics and AI eats up conventional jobs. I was also surprised to see ‘weather wars’ instead of the beaten-to-death global warming, global cooling or climate change raging discussions. But these are discussions outside of the scope of this broad writing.
So, what can we expect in our world this year?
We continually ask: economic crash, or war, or little wars – what is next?
The chance of a massive economic crash is not outside of the realm of possibilities. Neither is the possibility of vast areas of the world falling into economic hardship. But my view is, not this year yet. When you see China escalating their current slow sell-off of US treasuries or T-Bonds, that is when you should be taking notice – and it will be fast – when China thinks it can take the hit itself – perhaps when they decide they have sufficient gold reserves to withstand a long term economic downturn. There is also the possibility of the US having to default on its debt, but I don’t see that happening this year either or perhaps ever in a type of controlled demolition style. There is not yet enough friction in the global financial machine to cause this. Yet, the friction is increasing and the debt is growing. There is also the possibility that only certain areas in the world will experience an economic crash and it will not be ubiquitous. (Refer to the Sirius Report comment that neither Russia nor China has internal debt if you state debt that as a net position). An economic crash will be front and center the moment someone cannot pay their debts or pay the interest on their debts. I know some economists feel that periodic debt forgiveness is part of our historical background, but I am not enamored with that idea.
Economically I believe we will see smaller countries increasingly getting into economic trouble, with the possibilities of larger countries having to start taking the pain. By the end of this year, my own expectation is that we will still be walking through economic snowdrifts or swimming through economic treacle, but having less money and fewer resources for some reason – prices increasing, value being eroded in the currency that we use, and supply chains just seizing up because of economic wars. I expect China to continue their Belt and Road initiative as this is the biggest development that we have ever seen, and aims to lift all boats. I expect more and more real economic activity flowing east in a stronger stream. I expect the rate of US dollar usage to continue its decline and the alternative economic mechanisms and methods to increase in usage and in size.
My working thesis is that apparently China and Russia are managing in such a way as to let the West down easy economically, as well as reducing the shock on the changing global economic system overall. Whether they will have sufficient time to complete this process, and let everyone down easy, depends on how rabid the Demagogue Den gets and how fast China and Russia (and India) moves. Bear in mind that China is still the 2nd largest economy in the world but that, at least in the retail sector, they are now outstripping the US. Personally if I need to purchase something, I now seek out first Alibaba, MercadoLibre, AliExpress and only after that, perhaps Amazon or Ebay.
A global economic crash will of course affect you and me and the ordinary people much more than the demagogues .. excepting that they will throw one another under the bus, as it suits them. Trump’s new demands for more money from allies that host US bases is a good example. But bear in mind, some kind of economy will bumble along, no matter what happens. Best option here for an individual is to be already plugged in to an alternative economy and to be able to feed and house yourself and partake in a social life inside of an alternative economy in the event of tumbling just-in-time supply lines.
Little Wars – My expectation is that we will see lots of little fires, run for profit and mostly run by mercenary and proxy forces. Refer the Erik Prince plans to take over the Afghanistan war. If these little wars will keep the demagogue alive to slake its never-ending thirst and hunger and keep the war and industrial partnership and money making machine going, I don’t know. If the war and industrial partnership can change focus on space-based force projection, I don’t know. When does the fat lady sing? Probably when the dollar as reserve currency turns into confetti. To be sure, whatever happens to the dollar, it will most probably still be used as a US Currency. It depends on what the demagogue den decides is their most profitable asset strip and who they decide to plunder.
Trump’s regular announcements of removal of troops is not an end to any specific warmaking operating. It means changing that warmaking operation to a different style or type (hybrid most likely) of war without boots on the ground. Best option here is that they fight each other and their own kin which clearly is beginning to happen. The hive mind cannot exist without war industries propping it up. As a parasite needs a host, they need war. They cannot keep their economies going without warring.
A World War (fast and furious and burning itself out quickly) only if someone somewhere makes a strategic and unrecoverable error.
Refer The Saker’s article: Each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang!”
(On a humorous note, I keep calculating if The Saker’s axiomatic Russian Roulette revolver is only a 6-shooter or if we could be hopeful that it has at least 12 rounds to buy time).
We’re positioned on a trigger point and it just depends on whether the Demagogue Den gets more hungry and gins up pretexts. The dramatic events with Pakistan and India dogfighting over Kashmir in what seemed to me suddenly happening over breakfast one morning, is a wake-up call – these are two countries that possess over 100 nuclear warheads apiece. Without looking at the reason for this but only at the meta data, it is a demonstration of exactly how fast things can spin out of control, especially when the fans are flamed third-party actors.
War is a profit center because it is a huge asset strip in business terms and small wars have the added benefit of creating an environment where it is cheap to train soldiers and test weapons. But even on this level, as on the economic level, Russia and China are letting the Demagogue Den down easy by absolutely avoiding those errors that may lead to conflagration.
A Return to Regional Influence like the Monroe Doctrine
No – this bird has flown. Its been tried and it is against the nature of the Demagogue Den to share anything. They cannot survive without seeking global dominance. (Refer Nato Bases and as a consequence, BRICS and new influence of Russian/China in the Americas Central and South).
A Slow Erosion of the Demagogue Den while, at the same time, other countries cement their own culture, a new economic and financial system and their own sovereign statusWe will see hybrid wars continue for the foreseeable future.
This is my working thesis overall in terms of what comes next. We can expect, and there is no timeline, that the Demagogue Den will either implode upon itself, or slowly crack up with a continuing slow erosion of their power base. This revolution will happen slowly, but gain momentum over another 2 or 3 years and as we usually joke, it will not be televised as one cohesive whole. At the same time China/Russia will continue to let the US down slowly to reduce shock on the world’s integrated economy while the economic systems change.
If this process is indeed our future, we must think of a world that may just have more peace inside of it, than our current world.
I will leave the speculation on What Happens to the Demagogue Den after implosion for another time.
What should you and I and our various governments be doing?
There is life outside the Demagogue Den. Despite what we see, we can also see that the Den is rudderless and that leadership is lacking and truly becoming idiotic. Cracks and slippage are happening in this body politic and their internal fights are imploding themselves, as we continue to observe.
It seems that we are at the point where only momentum and inertia keeps it going.
I say we try for that multi-polar world as in my memory and historical knowledge, we’ve not tried that yet in our recent history. Compare the principled position of China on Major Global issues, where there is no yelling about ‘our enemies’ and there is no bloviating about who is next for regime change, and no announcements on things like ‘the first free hemisphere’. There simply is a principled and peaceful approach although you may disagree on the details and mechanisms. China’s positions on global major issues
A few striking high level changes in process
- The physical economy is melting down and the fight for a new system, a new civilizational epoch is on.
- We are already in a full on resource war and asset strip where even trash becomes a weapon.
- Multi polarity has not yet fully found its strengths and is still involved with staving off war of some kind with those that are declaring it an enemy.
- Technology is changing our landscape so fast that the literal ground under our feet is changing. The ways we transact, buy, travel, sell our products or labor and live our lives are changing. We are moving to add a space-based economy (China with probing the dark side of the moon and incredible advances in space based abilities with asteroid mining probably the most desireable – https://www.asterank.com/) I cannot make up my own mind whether the move to space is as a result of the normal human drive to explore, or whether it is an exploration for military advantage only, or if we truly are running out of earth based resource.
- Education is massively changing as a result of the rabid liberalism in our teaching institutions. The growth in private education and self-education is massive. My Love Affair With Books: Self-Education From Greaseball to Street Intellectual Part I – 1968 to 1989 (If you are looking for a new job, self-powered, you will find it in robotics and AI (which can be used positively) and in technical development of cryptocurrencies).
- Belt and Road is now complemented by the Ice Silk Road around the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic. Reading even just the Wikipedia, one gets the idea of how vast this project is, and now one can understand why Xi JinPing is now what is called with derision “Emperor for Life”. This is his project, and he is going to stick around for as long as it takes to make sure it succeeds.
What we do not yet have working for us, is a principled approach to the power of peace. As the Demagogue Den relies on war for their continuing existence, we have to deprive them of their best tool and deprive them of war.
What can we do individually, collectively and in our countries?
- Deprive the Demagogue Den of war. (I am sure Venezuela is using Russian diplomacy and that would be excellent as Russia has deprived the Demagogue Den of war for years now. Somehow the quick acting Latino spirit is just a little shaped and focused and cured, in the Russian way – astute observers can see this).
- Deprive them of money. Yeah sure, they can print, but if nobody has respect or trust in the printed money, then they are deprived.
- Insist on personal sovereignty, and sovereignty for your group or your tribe, and for your country. Avoid the toxic systems as much as is possible, but don’t get in a fight with the cops. They are the enforcement arm for the 1% .
- Keep healthy.
- Lend a hand to someone else – small acts of kindness make a big impact.
- Keep self-educating. Economics for example is a bunch of words and a whole bunch of economic methods and mechanisms … its not so hard. Where you cannot self-educate, consult educated sources. Become an expert on one or two things – and teach freely.
- Be wary of the Warriors of the Interwebs spreading all kinds of sheer nonsense. Look that person in the eye and figure how they treat people around them before you accept the mostly drivel. Become quality conscious in the information that you let in.
- Insist on balance in your own life and make space for culture, music, the things that you love. There is a reason for the saying: Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll.
- Keep awareness of all the wars, not only the kinetic kind – Economic, BigAg and food, BigPharma and health, Dumbing down Populations, Racist Bigotry etc.
- Get to eating truly clean food, but not as a new-age soy kid, but do the homework as to the hands that feed you. There is a good and positive contribution to be made here. If you do not have a CSA farm or similar initiative around you, get busy and create this kind of clean food network.
- Keep yourself out of the debt system even if it means temporarily living with a strict budget. There is a very simple way to calculate this and get a snapshot. Add up your debts, Add up what you own (don’t overstate your assets like a home or cars). If the debt is bigger than the assets, you need to make an economic plan. (This is of course simplistically stated and does not take future earnings into account).
- The state is not your friend – The state works in its own interest and you, my friend, are viewed as a Profit Center until you get older, and you become a Cost of Doing Business. When a state is more interested in your well-being and sovereignty, then you should start paying attention. Voting systems these days are almost comical – Change this status quo or massively do not take part. For example, any politician that makes it with say only 3% of voters will be decapitated, right out of the starting blocks.
- We have a core human need, and that is connection. Even the most introverted among us have a need for connection. Let’s become better at it.
- If you are a state, become a country. Unite your people and work productively at the problems in your sphere of control. Be honest, share both the good and the bad news. Take feedback, take frequent actioned referenda. Technology now allows for this easily. (AMLO in Mexico is beginning to use this mechanism to excellent effect and China with an incredibly thorough process of democratic sampling of their population, can be emulated http://www.unz.com/article/chinas-congresses-in-action/).
- Do not leave cracks in the body politic open and suppurating – the demagogues are just waiting for those cracks to break them wider and find themselves a bunch of students that can be put under the gogue and will demonstrate and they can agitate and regime change.
- Consult experts (Cuba, Nicaragua, it is your time to consult experts to safeguard your people). If you produce oil or a major crop, start getting a balanced food production system going. Diversify your economy even if it means less wealth for a period.
- Become internally strong in your ability to protect your country.
- Do not use the currency of the demagogue in your country – go and play some games – place yourself under ‘imagined’ demagogic sanctions in order to build mechanisms to withstand these.
- Do not become a systems ideologue and shout capitalism, or democracy or socialism as an end in itself. We actually do not know but what we know is that all of those have a place and probably, if we work out a continuum, we can figure what is appropriate for a country, a people, and individuals, dependent on their own level of development at a certain point in time. It does not have to be a one-stop shop.
- Countries must take responsibility so that every life can be lead with dignity. Stop putting up clueless shysters for leadership positions.
- Reform the UN, (I believe Putin said that already around 2014) and if that cannot be done, move it! Split it! The demagogues could stay behind and amuse themselves.
- Soldiers must take responsibility to know clearly the reasons that they get deployed
- Mercenary and proxy forces with no responsibility to anyone, should try and get another job. We need to get beyond the killing fields. Develop a conscience.
Sitting on the potato couch and don’t know where to start? Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life may be a starting point. This is not a recommendation as to his whole body of work, but it is a simple modern structural starting point that is strong enough to take you from sitting on the potato couch to actively creating connections and vision whether you are 18 or 78. You will in any event soon grow out of it after it has given you structure.
Spend as much time on actions for peace as what we spend on studying war (and of course, Teach your Children Well). If things really get rough, spend some time thinking of what could be:
The Green Beautiful “There was competition, mass production of useless things, wars, nuclear weapons, destruction of nature, incurable diseases. Really prehistoric!”
list of additional sources: