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Elites Buy Us Off with Trivial Protections – While They Raid the Common Wealth
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In these posts I try to highlight how our social, cultural and political structures are rigged to reflect the interests of an economic elite and maintain their power. Because the forces that shape those structures are largely invisible – we mainly notice the people and buildings inside these structures – the way power operates can be difficult to describe and to understand.

To use a familiar analogy, we are like a fish that cannot see the water in which it is submerged. Water completely orders its life: how it swims, that it swims, the limits of where it can swim, and so on.

Power orders our lives similarly. The difference is that the way power is organised in our societies is not natural – “the normal order of things” – in the way water is for a fish. A wealth elite engineers our environment to perpetuate itself and sustain the power structures on which it depends.

It is because we are largely blind to this engineered environment that we don’t get out of bed each morning determined to overthrow our governments for maintaining financial systems that tax nurses and teachers at a higher rate than they do transnational corporations; or that protect private, usually inherited, wealth parked offshore; or that reward corporations for “externalising” their costs – that is, offloading them in ways that destroy the environment and the future of our children.

Resignation – our assumption that this is just the way things are – is made possible only because every day we face endless propaganda: in our schools, in our places of higher education, in the workplace, and most especially from the so-called “mainstream” – code for billionaire-owned or state-run – media.

Our minds are battered each day into submission, so much so that fairly quickly our childhood exuberance, curiosity and wonder, and our sense of fairness and justice, is crushed into a soulless technocrat’s ideas of order, efficiency and pragmatism. We are sidetracked into, at best, debates about how we can improve the status quo, rather than whether the status quo works or, even more usefully, whether the status quo is dangerous and eco-cidal.

Ideological capture

The propaganda system tightly constrains our understanding of political and ideological realities to make them dependent on the economic priorities of the ultra-rich. We become unconscious lobbyists for the lawless and immoral activities of corporations and billionaires.

This ideological capture was neatly illustrated by one liberal analyst who bewailed the danger posed by those who seek to challenge the status quo:

If you want to replace the current system of capitalism with something else, who is going to make your jeans, iPhones and run Twitter?

The layers of ideological protection around this system – the degree to which our intellectual and cultural life is entirely captured by the billionaire class – was highlighted, inadvertently as ever, in an exclusive report this week in the Guardian.

Under the headline “Watchdog stopped ministers breaching neutrality code in top BBC and BFI hires”, we get an insight into how our “watchdogs” operate – not primarily to protect our interests from high-level corruption, but to preserve the existing system of power by preventing it from being discredited.

The Guardian report is based on the response from the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments to a Freedom of Information request. That response reveals that Peter Riddell, who served until last month as the Commissioner overseeing public appointments, blocked efforts by the government of Boris Johnson to rig the system to make it even easier for Tory party donors and cronies to head the UK’s most important public bodies.

Image of democracy

Riddell was appointed to the Commissioner’s position in 2012 by the Conservative government of David Cameron.

Riddell is a former journalist, and one, it should be noted, who is about as establishment as they come. He worked his way up through the economic elite’s house journal, the Financial Times, for 20 years. Then he joined the Times, the political elite’s house journal, where he spent a further two decades, first as a political commentator and then as assistant editor.

Riddell was an early member of the secretive Gibson inquiry that was supposed to investigate British complicity in the US-led torture and rendition programme. The inquiry, with its tightly delimited remit, didn’t even manage to reach the level of a whitewash. It failed to get to grips with the most pressing issues around systemic law-breaking by the UK and US, and what modest findings it did reach were quietly shelved by Cameron’s government.

Riddell has also held senior roles at the Hansard Society and the Institute for Government, both elite institutions concerned with strengthening the substance and image of parliamentary democracy in the UK to avert growing criticism of its glaring deficiencies.

So Riddell – who was honoured by the Queen in 2012 as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to journalism – is very much integrated into the establishment that runs the country for its own benefit. But he is also on the wing of it that is most anxious about the masses getting restless if the failures inherent in a system designed to uphold the establishment’s power become too apparent.

Carefully selected

Riddell’s ostensible job as Commissioner for Public Appointments is to assess whether appointments to the bodies that control or regulate public life in the UK are being properly conducted – from the BBC to the various regulatory Of-bodies, cultural institutions like the British Film Institute, the commission that regulates charities, the health and safety executive, museums and galleries, and education oversight bodies like the Office for Students.

Riddell was an ideal person for the job, as Cameron doubtless understood, because he cares deeply about the image of elite institutions.

ORDER IT NOW

The candidates for these public bodies – including, of course, Riddell himself – have already been carefully filtered for ideological sympathy to elite goals. The vast majority, like Riddell, have attended private schools and/or gone on to elite universities such as Oxbridge. Like Riddell, they have then typically served in the status-quo adoring, advocacy-trained elite professions, as lawyers or journalists, or they have spent decades working in the various temples to late-stage capitalism, such as banks, investment firms and fund management companies.

Traditionally, the ideological pluralism represented by those appointed to public bodies has varied from a moderate, gently reformist identification with turbo-charged capitalism (neoliberalism) to a complete, dog-eat-dog identification with neoliberalism. Riddell is on the more moderate wing of that already narrow spectrum.

The appointments system has always been heavily rigged – as one would expect – to maintain class privilege. Cliques have no incentive to invite in outsiders, those who might disrupt the financial and ideological gravy train the elite has been growing fat on. The appointments system, by its very nature, is deeply conservative.

Crony appointments

Any challenges to the status quo come not from the left – or so rarely from the left that they can be quickly snuffed out with corporate media-led propaganda-vilification campaigns, as happened with Jeremy Corbyn – but from the right. Which is why the system has a consistent tendency to shift rightwards, even as reality moves leftwards, in the sense that the failure of financial institutions and the collapse of environmental support systems become ever harder to conceal or ignore.

That is the context for understanding the “exposure” of Riddell’s concerns about “interference” by Boris Johnson’s government in the appointments system.

The system Riddell oversees is supposed to ensure that one member – and one member only – of the selection panels that decide who will head the bodies influencing our cultural, intellectual and environmental spaces is “independent”.

The charade of this should be obvious. Riddell’s job is to make sure that, even though the rest of the panel deciding, for example, who gets to run the BBC can be packed with Boris Johnson’s cronies, one member of the panel must be “a non-political senior independent panel member”. They even have an acronym for this sticking plaster: a SIPM.

What does “independent” mean in this case? Only that these solitary figures on the appointments panels should not be “politically active” in public – perhaps to encourage us to imagine that, in secret, there are lots of socialist bankers and hedge fund managers who pick the people who head our most important public bodies. And that, unlike the other panellists, the “independent” one should have some minimal technical understanding of the principles of making public appointments.

In other words, Riddell’s role is to make sure there is one person like him on these selection panels – a moderate apostle for neoliberalism – rather than only dog-at-dog cheerleaders for neoliberalism. And the reason is as cynical as it looks: that it benefits the system that not too many overtly dog-eat-dog candidates get appointed to our most important, visible and cherished public bodies.

Feeble rules

Riddell earnt his place as Commissioner for Public Appointments after a lifetime of working to salvage the image of establishment structures – persuading us that inherently corrupt institutions are basically respectable and well-meaning.

The Guardian fulfils the same role. In its report on the public appointments system, it highlights a supposed battle to maintain the system’s already non-existent integrity – as though Riddell serves as a check on government power over regulatory bodies in the same way the Guardian claims to act as a check on the rest of the billionaire-owned corporate media.

In reality, both are trying to stop real scrutiny of out-of-control power structures that are ultimately destroying economic health and environmental health on a global scale.

The Guardian report summarises Riddell’s actions in its introductory paragraph:

A watchdog had to prevent ministers breaching a strict code on political neutrality and independence during the search for new chairs for the BBC and the British Film Institute (BFI), the Guardian can reveal.

What does this “prevention” amount to in practice? In the main cases cited, Riddell insisted on one member of the appointments board not being someone who trumpets their allegiance to Boris Johnson’s brand of politics.

Riddell compares the Johnson government’s rule-breaking with the situation under Johnson’s predecessor: the much blander, rightwing Conservative leader, Theresa May. He says of her: “May was, as you would expect, rather correct [enforced the “senior independent panel member” rule] and she was concerned with getting good people to do things. She was quite robust on that.”

This is what we are supposed to be excited about? This is what we are supposed to champion as proper regulation? And given how low expectations are – from Riddell, from the Guardian and from us the public – the Johnson government’s efforts to break this feeble rule are presented as some kind of special threat to good governance.

Human warehousing

Riddell and his principles of good governance actually make no substantial difference to the appointments process he is supposed to oversee – as is apparent from the results.

Even though Riddell insisted on an “independent” member on the panel that picked the chair of the BBC, the winner was Richard Sharp, a major donor to the Tory party and former adviser to Johnson’s Chancellor, the billionaire former banker Rishi Sunak. Sharp’s business ventures include funding a firm accused of “human warehousing” – stuffing benefit recipients into “rabbit hutch” flats to profit from a Conservative government scheme.

The man appointed – under Riddell’s ultimate oversight – to head the Office for Students, which regulates higher education in England, is James Wharton. He is a senior figure drawn from the inherently corrupt world of corporate lobbying whose only qualifications for the job are that he is a Conservative peer and served as Johnson’s campaign manager.

The problem here is not the one Riddell or the Guardian are peddling. Johnson’s government is indeed a threat but not in the way they are highlighting. There is no system of transparent, honest governance and regulation Johnson is undermining and that Riddell and the Guardian are seeking to protect.

ORDER IT NOW

Through his clownish incompetence, Johnson is threatening to expose the system’s corruption by making it even more corrupt – so corrupt, in fact, that its corruption can no longer be concealed from the public. Johnson is threatening to make a system designed to covertly maintain elite privilege explicitly do so. He threatens to discredit it, to bring it into disrepute.

To make us, like the fish, aware of the water all around us.

Sticking plaster

The Guardian and Riddell are waging a battle – one presented as critically important – to ensure that the sticking plaster continues to stick.

We are being sidelined into trivial debates about upholding rules over panels having one, solitary “independent” member. That “independent” panellist, let us note, has no influence over the shortlist of candidates. He or she has no meaningful influence over who gets picked. And more importantly still, the “independent” panellist is not even independent – they are selected, as were Ridell and the editor of the Guardian, precisely because they have spent a lifetime identifying with establishment priorities.

Riddell personifies the only permitted struggles going in our political, cultural and economic spaces.

On one side are those who have grown so confident in the elite’s ability to rig the system to its advantage that they are contemptuous of those outside their own class and no longer care how bad the system looks.

And on the other side are those who fear that, if the system’s corruption becomes too gross, to offensive, the masses may turn on the elites and end their privileges just as revolutionaries sent the French elite to the guillotine nearly 250 years ago.

Appointments to public bodies are critically important. The leaders of them shape our cultural, intellectual and social lives. But let us not pretend that anything Riddell or the Guardian are doing will bring pluralism to our public bodies or protect democracy. They will simply maintain the veil a little longer over the charade that is elite privilege masquerading as the pubic good.

(Republished from Jonathan Cook by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Boris Johnson, Britain, Inequality 
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  1. If you want to be promoted to the top, your ‘expertise’ better jibe with the agenda.

    It’s more expportunism.

  2. FYI Gavin Newsom is fine.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
  3. @Priss Factor

    The late Nobel prize winner, Kerry Mullis, detested Fauci and said so many times.

    • Replies: @Tsar Nicholas
  4. JackOH says:

    Jonathan, those first eight paragraphs of yours are real gems.

    I sometimes imagine if the brutal warrior-conquerors of yesteryear, the absolute monarchs, the murderous dictators, and so on had more talent for creating a lawyering class of rule-makers, likewise a lickspittle press, a bit more attention to consumer goods for bread-and-circuses reasons, and a bit more diligence in the thimblerig theatrics of governance—well, maybe nobody would clearly recognize any difference between Western “liberal democracy” and the regimes the West routinely bitch-slaps for being naughty. There’d be no substantive difference to see.

  5. Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.

    –Sallust

  6. I see that Mr Cook is a shallow thinker. I especially like his fish and water explanation and then his inability to realize that it is the gov’t that he swims in that is the source of all the problems. The inference to the need for corporations to pay their fair share was another tell. Corporations are the State’s hidden tax collectors, since any tax they submit was taken from the public as part of the sales transaction for their product or service.

    The way to get rid of corruption in high places is to get rid of high places.
    Frank Chodorov

    The solution is anarchism to get rid of the thieves and scoundrels that currently control the levers of power, not some useless attempt to mitigate the damage they do.

  7. Dumbo says:
    @obwandiyag

    Too bad. That sonofabitch is hard to get rid of.

  8. Dumbo says:
    @Priss Factor

    Fauxi was never an expert on anything. He was always a spokesman for the powerful.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  9. Mr Jonathan Cook, look over the horizon, don’t be so focused on national politics.
    As they say, these are Global times. Even from the top of Ben Nevis you will not get the full picture.
    Here, let me help you by showing you how helpless we all are.
    An explosive interview of Dr. David Martin,
    Following The Patents Reveals The Truth About CoVID

    http://www.neutralizenaturally.com/?p=976

    A word of caution Mr Cook, use opera or duckduckgo to access it. Google will not show it.
    If this too doesn’t work go to Rumble.

  10. We need Free Speech Mutualism.

    We defend the free speech of those who would defend our free speech even if we totally disagree on issues.

    But do not defend the free speech of those who would take it away from you.

    So, instead of free speech absolutism, we need free speech bargainism. Any side that wants our side to defend their free speech must defend our free speech. If not, if they try to shut us down, we must do everything to shut them down.

    Zionist supremacists don’t deserve free speech because they wanna take away our free speech. They deserve THIS treatment.

    Same should go with neo-nazis. If neo-nazi types defend our free speech, we defend their free speech. If they don’t defend our free speech, we don’t defend theirs.
    Free speech protection must be mutual.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @MLK
    , @Francis Miville
  11. @JackOH

    I have often said that the absolute monarchs of yesteryear understood how far they could push the masses, because their “armies” were mostly guards, and in the big scheme of things, not all that large. They relied on the masses to join if the realm was attacked. If they were too nasty toward the masses, the defense of the realm was on shaky ground. If they were attacking another realm, the mercenaries stepped up, and the spoils of war were divided on strict rules. The mercenaries had something to gain personally.
    With “democracies”, the armies grew and became careers. When the people you “elect” can vote to tax you to create large standing armies armies and now, militarized police forces, to protect the politicians, and engage in wars for corporations, you know you are screwed.

    • Agree: RoatanBill, HdC
  12. Raiders of the commonwealth…you better believe it, interest rates are finally catching up with the money printing, 6% inflation…WOW.

    Americans won’t be able to find enough hours in the week to work to just tread water!

    • Replies: @JM
  13. JackOH says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon, thanks.

    I think you offered a pretty good paraphrase or illustration of what I’m trying to get at. The “unreliability” (there ought to be a better word) of Western “liberalism” makes it a more treacherous thing than people imagine.

    Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Hans-Hermann Hoppe and probably others have noted that a strong monarch has an intrinsic and very genuine interest in being responsive to his people because he’s going to pass on his domain to the kids.

    We have in the States a transient President, a gerrymandered-up and lobbyist-bought Congress, and a very permanent and talented Deep State, unelected and appointed by little known corporate elites, and the last of which has an intrinsic and very genuine interest in being responsive to its corporate-internationalist masters.

    Yeah, we have more big-screen TVs, chattering classes that could sell a fart in a phone booth as air freshener, but I’m not sure we’re getting justice or basic human decency.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  14. @RoatanBill

    I see that Mr Cook is a shallow thinker. I especially like his fish and water explanation and then his inability to realize that it is the gov’t that he swims in that is the source of all the problems.

    The true solution to the so-called ‘problems’ listed by shallow thinker Cook is easy for any True Liberatarian to see.

    The way to get rid of corruption in high places is to get rid of high places.
    Frank Chodorov

    Or

    …all government is OBSOLETE and DANGEROUS

    Most of the sheeple are almost too stupid to breathe. Especially the ones with skin colors which are not pure white. Abolish government and return to a system where strong wise White men rule – The Feudal System. With a few modern theological tweaks, of course. Back in ancient Feudal times St. Ayn Rand hadn’t been born yet, so the old timers were still living in a kind of original sin.

    • Agree: GomezAdddams
    • Replies: @RobinG
  15. While living in the UK in the early seventies, it was common for the common folks to say the BBC stood for “Ball Breaking Cunts”. I would say that still stands today as it did it did fifty years ago.
    This is the same monopolistic network that tried to deprived Brits of Rock N Roll.
    If it hadn’t been for a Pirate Radio Ship broadcasting off the coast of England blasting Rolling Stones, Beatles etc. to Brits, they would have never heard of Rock N Roll but through bootleg records smuggled in from America.
    We are witnessing the same censorship broadcast 24/7/365 by a unified propaganda media machine controlled by evil overlords hell bent on the destruction of humility.
    UNZ is that Pirate Radio of the Twenty First Century.

  16. @RoatanBill

    Anarchism is an absurd and ultimately childish act of wishful thinking but you’re right that for many leftists, the answer to the problem of government is bigger government.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  17. @JackOH

    Well, those brutal warrior-conqueror, etc had to be very smart to retain their chairs, unlike the “elected” “leaders” of today, who can retain their chairs for as long as their plutocratic owner lets them to.

    • Agree: JackOH
    • Replies: @JackOH
  18. @Henry's Cat

    I encounter your sentiment quite often, but it is never accompanied by a thorough explanation for why anarchism is unworkable. Most don’t know that there were anarchic societies that lasted hundreds of years in some cases. Admittedly they are few and far between and most were long ago, but they had one salient characteristic, they were peaceful. They were probably too peaceful and didn’t have adequate defenses.

    Modern gov’t is nothing but gang warfare on a large scale. Elections are rigged, policing doesn’t work and huge amounts of human labor are siphoned off for the political class to live very well while producing nothing but death and destruction. The shallow thinkers, such as yourself, can be counted on to throw out ‘but who will build the roads’ or some such quip. Government is the gang of thieves and murderers they claim to protect us against. No one can deny this.

    I dare you to justify the current cadaver in office or the hemorrhoid of the previous administration. The fact that most people don’t see taxes as outright theft, policing and the military as nothing but oppression is, I believe, due to gov’t propaganda and the average persons relatively low IQ. I don’t need or want anyone telling me what to do. Most people demand to be led around by the nose because that’s what they’ve been indoctrinated to do.

    The decent people in the society can easily kill off the petty thieves, child molesters, murderers, etc and then live as free men and women. Canceling the Fed Gov, for example, would immediately get rid of the most oppressive force on the planet while removing their financial burden from the economy so it could be competitive with other world actors. The Fed Gov’s resources don’t just disappear. The people that provide certain capabilities don’t die off. A true defensive capability can be had without the current offensive posture that squanders so much of the country’s resources.

    Anarchism means rules but no rulers. We all know what the rules are for decent people and it amounts to the NAP. Everything else is excess baggage purposely created to form the control system we currently experience. I say we get rid of that system and breathe free.

    • Agree: Bro43rd, Maddaugh
    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
  19. Anon[357] • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Good points – We should all realize that basically every single Israeli Politician or business owner is most likely a war criminal given 1) the IDF war crimes in the region and 2) given the only way to rise in the system is to have participated in various IDF actions such as killing of children, torture of innocents, destruction of property, collective punishment, reprisals, and ethnic cleansing. All are considered war crimes under Geneva Conventions related to the responsibilities of the Occupying Power.

    This includes women also, women also participate in IDF crimes.

    So…. gentle reminders early and often of these facts can do a lot to change the narrative.

    • Replies: @Badger Down
  20. Jiminy says:

    Rather sad that we couldn’t have an uplifting story especially for today, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, otherwise known as Rememberance Day.
    When we look back on those who gave their lives for what they thought was right at the time.
    They died for, amongst other things, freedom.
    Yet today it seems as if we’re loosing more of those hard-fought rights, freedom included.
    As the hand of the tyrant comes down ever harder, what will this time be remembered for?

    • Replies: @HdC
  21. @RoatanBill

    Anarchism means rules but no rulers.

    Who enforces these rules? Who mediates disputes and punishes rule breakers? Volunteer militias and juries of concerned citizens? I’m betting that you live in one of the most regulated and policed states that ever existed.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  22. @JackOH

    Jonathan, those first eight paragraphs of yours are real gems.

    He started out with a super gem as well.:

    …our social, cultural and political structures are rigged to reflect the interests of an economic elite and maintain their power.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    • Agree: JackOH
  23. MLK says:
    @Priss Factor

    Hadi Nasrallah’s tweet apparently is incorrect. She was not “de-platformed.” She faced a raucous demonstration exiting after completing her talk and taking questions:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/10/priti-patel-lse-protest-israeli-ambassador-tzipi-hotovely-police-investigation

    Excepting specific threats of violence, not the loosey-goosey “intimidation,” the protesters are engaged in speech as well.

    Patel tweeted that she was “disgusted” by the treatment of the Israeli ambassador, and that antisemitism had no place in Britain, adding that she would continue to do everything possible “to keep the Jewish community safe from intimidation, harassment and abuse”. She said she had been in touch with the ambassador and that the police had her full support in investigating the matter.

    In a nutshell, it appears the chilling effect on speech derives from a police investigation, at least per the scope mentioned here.

    I agree with Priss Factor insofar as individuals or organizations assert a permissive view of quashing speech under the rubric of keeping people “safe” from “intimidation, harassment, or abuse.”

    • Replies: @hillaire
  24. @Henry's Cat

    In my domain, I set the rules. In your domain, you can set your rules. To have some 3rd party ogre set the rules to some ridiculous level doesn’t make sense to me, especially when he gets to profit from both of us.

    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
    Robert A. Heinlein

    Conflicts are avoided and compromise is sought after when things get real. The US is a lawyers heaven. Everyone suing each other and who benefits from all the conflict – the state and it’s henchmen.

    I live on the island of Roatan, Honduras. I moved to Honduras from Texas to live in a much more free environment than I ever experienced in New York or Texas. There is no cop chasing me for the made up crime of speeding. Taxes are paid with what I routinely carry in my wallet. There is no IRS. There is no mandatory vehicle insurance. There is no mandatory health insurance. There is no mandatory home owners insurance. No one is trying to jab me. No one is threatening to turn off a fuel pipeline. No one is implementing some idiotic ‘green new deal’.

    There are literally thousands of US and Canadian expats on this rock. Maybe we know something you don’t.

    Let me offer up one recent example of conflict resolution.

    A known thief was warned with bodily harm to stay off a particular dock numerous times by the property owner after items like an outboard motor went missing. One day, the thief was discovered dead on the dock with a bullet hole in him. The owner told the cops he knew nothing about the incident and no more was made of the case. There’s an example of true, swift and inexpensive justice after scrupulous conflict resolution.

    • Thanks: TKK
    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
    , @Maddaugh
  25. Maddaugh says:

    the way power operates can be difficult to describe and to understand.

    Huh !? This author must think the common man is a complete bozo who does not “understand power and how it operates” . The author then kindly volunteers to explain to all of us deplorables in need of a lesson.

    I think if we ask the roadside panhandler he advise you he understands it and knows how it operates. Specifically, he will tell you that:
    1. The powerful look out only for their interests and enough of anything is never enough
    2. That they dont give a shit about anyone else
    3. That they will skin their own Mothers and sell her hide to protect their position
    4. That they indulge in and get away with activities for which the common man would be crucified

    The author thinks that people are so dumb they dont know this ? One of the reasons criminality and lawlessness seems to be increasing is that the powerful do not set an example.

    Bad behaviour at any level is unacceptable. However there are enough people who play follow the leader and leadership by example seems a thing of the past. This leads to good people becoming bad and bad people becoming worse.

    • Replies: @Fart Blossom
  26. JackOH says:
    @Old Brown Fool

    OBF, the idea of “elections” and “representation” and “legitimacy” has been looked at by people way more competent than I am. We’re redistricting here in Ohio, and there’s something intensely distasteful about our political elites drawing districts to achieve the electoral results they know they can get. What the hey is my “vote” supposed to mean in a fixed district?

    I think one critic of Western liberalism, the German scholar Schmitt, had it that unless you hold a plebiscite on every government decision, you have in essence an authoritarian or dictatorial government, with, I suppose, the formality of elections as cosmetic.

    FWIW-there’s sort of a notion that folks who lived under monarchs, despots, dictators, and what-not must have all been very unhappy until democracy and liberalism set them free. Y’know, all that stuff. Mebbe so-I wouldn’t want to live under Stalin or Pol Pot’s regime under any circumstances. But, there are plenty of people who found the reliable authority and steady rhythms of everyday life under non-democratic regimes pretty good.

    • Replies: @Old Brown Fool
  27. We Jews glory in the fact that the stupid goy have never realized that we are the parasites consuming an increasing portion of production while the producers are continually receiving less and less. Harold Wallace Rosenthal, The Harold Wallace Rosenthal Interview, 1976, by Charles A. Weisman, published June 1992 (See chapter 9, ‘Jews about Financial and Political Power)

  28. @RoatanBill

    In my domain, I set the rules. In your domain, you can set your rules.

    Did you grow up watching Westerns? ‘Get off, my land!’ What happens when there’s a dispute over whose land is whose? Or when your neighbour or outsiders come to take your land? Or water rights or maybe just my music is too loud? How would something like the Internet have been developed in such an atomistic society?

    An armed society is a polite society.

    It’s also a nervous one. Which is why America has so many guns – not because they’re afraid of the government, but because they’re scared of eac other.

    I live on the island of Roatan, Honduras.

    Fine, you hide away as a hermit in the back of nowhere. But please don’t assume to tell everyone else to do the same.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  29. sally says:
    @Priss Factor

    one of the most efficient means to attack human liberty, block individual freedom and denounce global democracy is the bureaucracy.. The digital platform increased the efficiency of the bureaucracy many times over its prior capacity.. so Oligarchs can nor comfortably bribe their politicians in peace.. now..

  30. @Maddaugh

    This author must think the common man is a complete bozo who does not “understand power and how it operates” .

    Well, judging by the apparent numbers of “covidiots,” and other forms of true believers, I think the author is correct there.

    Which is why democracy will never work for the masses, and why anarchy must be practiced by the few whereas preaching it is, generally, futility.

    • Replies: @Maddaugh
  31. It seems even our liberal media are impressed that the US and China have decided to collaborate on greenwashing their suicidally polluting industries.

    No surprise to find Cook still pushing the same climate lies as the elites he affects to distrust.

  32. If the British are so corrupt, what chance Americans have to combat rot in the system?

  33. @Henry's Cat

    You bring up the typical straw man arguments that are so tiring. It’s like you’re scared of everyone coming after you to cheat you and possibly kill you for no apparent reason and thank goodness gov’t is there to look out for you. What a joke.

    What you don’t realize, or don’t want to realize, is that the gov’t IS the one constantly cheating you out of your property. They call it taxes, regulations, fees, licenses, etc. Try not paying your property taxes and then see who is coming for your land. The gov’t uses your substitute for money, namely their currency manufactured out of thin air, to constantly demand more from you. I guess you’re fine with their incessant thieving as long as you feel protected in their embrace.

    Apparently you don’t know anything about Roatan, the above water projection of the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Roatan is a tourist destination, mostly divers. It has an international airport and several cruise ship docks. There are million dollar homes and a world class golf course. I wouldn’t call that a back of nowhere, but then your an ignorant person, determined to stay that way.

    • Replies: @Henry's Cat
  34. nsa says:

    The Rule of 72 quantifies the looting of saver bees and worker bees. 72 / 6.2% nominal inflation rate = 11.6 years i.e. the time needed for the currency to halve in purchasing power. If the actual inflation rate is 10%, then 72/10% actual inflation rate = 7.2 years to halve the purchasing power of the currency. This represents a massive but almost invisible transfer of wealth from decent people (savers and workers) to the legions of freeloaders, crooks, debtors, deadbeats, swindlers, usurers, etc.

  35. HdC says:
    @Jiminy

    They died for freedom???
    Hmmm, I heard it was for king and country.
    In the US they died because the presidents lied.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  36. @Curmudgeon

    The other thing monarchs of yesteryear had were large piles of physical wealth that could be looted and divided among the lords, peasants, mercs, etc.

    This is no longer true.

    Our modern billionaires store their wealth as an encrypted series of 1s and 0s among a bewildering array of offshore accounts, shell corporations, and blind trusts.

    None of those are easily looted, even by the most sophisticated, well-trained disgruntled mercs.

  37. Maddaugh says:
    @Fart Blossom

    This author must think the common man is a complete bozo who does not “understand power and how it operates” .

    Well, judging by the apparent numbers of “covidiots,” and other forms of true believers, I think the author is correct there.

    You have a point there !

    • Replies: @Fart Blossom
  38. Perhaps mass domestic deaths, preventable and government-forced deaths, combined with the collapse of the petrodollar system and a now paper-thin, delusional mirage of the USA a strong military power and champion of democracy and human rights, will shake people out of their slumber and get them interested in holding their representatives accountable again.

    Throw in a little mass starvation of the formerly middle classes, newfound and widespread awareness of the state of our drinking water and soil health, an undeniable position on the downslope of Peak Everything, etc. and we’re off to the races!

  39. Maddaugh says:
    @RoatanBill

    RB- excellent point. I know the landowner of a large ranch in S/America who will employ anyone regardless of their past provided they are prepared to work good and hard and behave.

    Now a lot of dudes from the slums flee into the interior when things get out of control ie either the police or competitors are after them. Some of these characters are particularly hard men having committed numerous serious crimes and spent time in some of the most notorious prisons on the continent.

    Yet, if employed at the ranch they are model citizens as they are warned on day one that while their past is irrelevant, if they bring any of their bad habits to the ranch they will get fucked up.

    A lot of tough guys have disappeared and one fellow who raped a local woman was burned alive in front of the other ranch hands. The local police dont care as the owner exercises a lot of power locally and he in fact saves them a mountain of paperwork and chasing these fellows all over the place.

    The ranch area is very wild, remote and desolate and YET, I feel safer there walking at any time of the day or night than I feel in downtown Manhattan.

    Criminals know how to bend the rules and game the system in the US with little or no consequence. In other parts of the world there are no judges, juries and lawyers to argue the fine points and technical loopholes of criminal actions. In other parts of the world penalties are swift, terminal and send a message to any others contemplating straying from the path of the righteous.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  40. @HdC

    They died because they were stupid.

    • Replies: @HdC
  41. @RoatanBill

    Why so tired? You don’t sound very busy. How is it you make a living on your plot of land? Or are you retired and existing on a pension paid for by the American people (or sheeple, in your vernacular)? Who owns the golf courses by the way?

    I’m sorry that I’m still none the wiser about how your vision for a free society is to be scaled up for a global population of 8 billion people.

  42. Miro23 says:

    On one side are those who have grown so confident in the elite’s ability to rig the system to its advantage that they are contemptuous of those outside their own class and no longer care how bad the system looks.

    And on the other side are those who fear that, if the system’s corruption becomes too gross, too offensive, the masses may turn on the elites and end their privileges just as revolutionaries sent the French elite to the guillotine nearly 250 years ago.

    A fine article. When the trouble starts this “financial aristocracy” will try to use violence to defend its power (first group) or try to share power to survive (second group).

    Either way they’re finished, with the classic examples being the French Revolution 1789 and the Russian Revolutions 1917.

    The causes are generally agreed to be a combination of social, political and economic factors, which the existing regime proved unable to manage.

    “The French Revolution” – Wikipedia

  43. @Maddaugh

    What gets me is that people are so determined to be victims. Their irrational belief in the crime prevention fallacy promoted by the justice system and their determination to hassle anyone that simply wants to protect themselves is something I can’t understand.

    The criminals don’t follow the law by definition. Why would anyone pretend that they have protection from some entity called the police when there’s almost never a cop around when a crime occurs. Can’t people see the obvious idiocy in believing in what is blatantly false?

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

    The simple fact that gun laws exist should be proof positive that the gov’t does not have your best interests at heart. The 2nd clearly states that there can be no gun laws since such a law is an infringement and yet they exist. Even the supreme court of jackasses admitted that the people have the right and not a militia.

    • Agree: Realist
  44. Agent76 says:

    Jul 18, 2016 The European Union: Part of America’s Imperial Project

    The British people’s decision to leave the European Union shocked the political establishment across Europe and around the globe. Now, Professor Michel Chossudovsky exposes the EU as the imperial project that it always was, and the growing movement against EU domination as an anti-imperial movement of world historical importance.

  45. Both Bernie and Corbyn are leftist idiots that would do at least as much damage as the current cop of idiots, like BoJo the clown. The current “elites’ do little more than lie. At least Bernie and Corbyn believed the lies they spew. BoJo and Biden’s minions know better.

    Fauci should be given a fair trial and fine hanging.

  46. @Henry's Cat

    Not that it’s any of your business, but at the present I’m forced into retirement. All my businesses are closed due to the lack of customers that were prevented from living normal lives by gov’t mandate. I’m waiting to see what happens with all the lunacy. I’m taking the rest of this year and possibly all or a portion of next year off. I’m not investing time and money till I can see it has a potential to pay off.

    I signed up for Social Security on my 70th birthday this year. That was money taken from me without my permission, so I just want to get some of it back. I’ve never had a days worth of unemployment in my life and never got a dimes worth of ‘free stuff’ from gov’t with the exception of a public high school education that my parents paid for with their taxes.

    Let me help you by suggesting you look up Larken Rose. He has a fairly good series of books and videos on YouTube on the idiocy of gov’t and how a peaceful society can do just fine without all the gov’t theft, murder and coercion. I suspect I’m wasting my time even for the suggestion because I doubt you’ll investigate other options.

    The Social Contract:

    [MORE]

    I, the party of the first part (“the ruler”), promise:
    (1) To stipulate how much of your money you will hand over to me, as well as how, when, and where the transfer will be made. You will have no effective say in the matter, aside from pleading for my mercy, and if you should fail to comply, my agents will punish you with fines, imprisonment, and (in the event of your persistent resistance) death.
    (2) To make thousands upon thousands of rules for you to obey without question, again on pain of punishment by my agents. You will have no effective say in determining the content of these rules, which will be so numerous, complex, and in many cases beyond comprehension that no human being could conceivably know about more than a handful of them, much less their specific character; yet if you should fail to comply with any of them, I will feel free to punish you to the extent of a law made by me and my confederates.
    (3) To provide for your use, on terms stipulated by me and my agents, so-called public goods and services. Although you may actually place some value on a few of these goods and services, most will have little or no value to you, and some you will find utterly abhorrent, and in no event will you as an individual have any effective say over the goods and services I provide, notwithstanding any economist’s cock-and-bull story to the effect that you “demand” all this stuff and value it at whatever amount of money I choose to expend for its provision.
    (4) In the event of a dispute between us, judges beholden to me for their appointment and salaries will decide how to settle the dispute. You can expect to lose in these settlements, if your case is heard at all.
    In exchange for the foregoing government “benefits,” you, the party of the second part (“the subject”), promise:
    (5) To shut up, make no waves, obey all orders issued by the ruler and his agents, kowtow to them as if they were important, honorable people, and when they say “jump,” ask only “how high?”
    Robert Higgs

    • Replies: @Anon
  47. Miro23 says:
    @gar manarnar

    If John Cleese is right, then maybe it’s a question restricted to the 10% who do know what they’re doing.

    The 0.1% elite are most likely part of this 10% who do know what they are doing – which in fact for them comprises of working to augment and protect their own wealth and power.

    Conclusion that the 9.9% who do know what they are doing (but aren’t part of the elite and are excluded/exploited) have an interest in activating their leadership of the remaining 90% and mobilizing them to bring down the 0.1%.

    That way they win, and could put their new found power on a more solid democratic foundation and maybe even serve the ignorant 90% (since after all, they’re also citizens and are doing the best they can).

  48. Marcion says:
    @Henry's Cat

    Exactly. Few places can run on a cruise ship economy and only in fair times. Wait till food prices quadruple and the gangs go door to door. I suggest, rural America is far safer in a downturn.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  49. @Maddaugh

    You have a point there !

    I have another point and it’s that the same can be said for the legions of “uncommon men” such as doctors, “teachers,” “professors,” “journalists,” and other “professionals” who fall in line with the rest of the masked morons and gullible idiots who continually allow themselves to be duped by the worst of the greedy sadistic perverts among us.

    Knowing that there is no hope for deliverance or salvation or whatever can be quite liberating and is good for popcorn vendors to boot! Enjoy! 😉

    • Agree: Herald
    • Replies: @Maddaugh
  50. @Marcion

    The island families of British origin and the gringos run most of the businesses on the island. Roatan was British for a long time and then was handed over to Honduras at some point. The bulk of the island speaks English. The only Spanish I know is to order a beer.

    We have one advantage on the island in that we won’t freeze to death here. There are plenty of fish and fishing boats and lots of our vegetables come from mainland Honduras as well as neighboring countries that also have lots of sunshine for growing crops. Natural fresh caught shrimp and lobster are delicious. Put a stick in the ground and it will sprout. The island is littered with avocado, mango, papaya, banana and other wild edibles.

    One of the reason I moved was climate change. I suspect winters are going to get colder as solar cycle 25 gets going. The earth’s cycles predict a cold future with growing regions heading south. Coupled with the US administrations idiocy of disturbing the Midwest with a planned CO2 capture scheme that will destroy lots of farm land, your food supply is in jeopardy.

    Since gov’t is so much less intrusive here, we can hang out for years without a cruise ship and is why I can take a few years off. Can you?

  51. Anon[357] • Disclaimer says:
    @RoatanBill

    Today gov‘t (at all levels)consumes 40-42% of GDP

    Circa 1812 – that figure was around 3%
    In 1912, gov‘t ( at all levels ) consumed 7% of GDP

    Note that the 7% of GDP in 1912 was of a GDP that in real terms was a fraction today‘s GDP. Yet in 1912, we had public schools, hospitals, police, fire departments, subways, post office that delivered twice a day, big cities, universities, electricity, telephones, and a solid military ( the Great white Fleet )

    Those who defend a gov‘t that is gigantic compared to the 1912 gov‘t need to explain why and how we need a gov’t that is more than TEN TIMES as expensive yet of lower quality versus 1912.

    Let‘s just get to 7% of GDP.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  52. @Anon

    I could handle an extremely limited gov’t, one that doesn’t try to run my life and actually provides some common services appropriate to the funds they need to supply said services.

    I champion anarchism as a goal and because one doesn’t want to grant the opposition any territory they haven’t word for. An extremely limited gov’t severely restricted in its ability to invent laws and with absolutely no ability to borrow under any circumstances and with absolutely no input on what constitutes money would be fine. The very idea of a central bank, currency from thin air, legal tender laws is so idiotic that only some evil bastard could ever have envisioned them.

    1912 – the year before the Federal Reserve was instituted. What a remarkable coincidence. There can’t possibly be a connection. /sarc

    Once the US dollar fails, things will get a lot worse in the US as the Fed Gov will double down with ever more insanity. Martial law, exchange controls, rationing, price controls, etc, all the usual stupid things that all gov’ts resort to will be tried to keep it together for just a while longer.

    The US Fed Gov is a dead man walking. The debt plus the unfunded liabilities along with the rest of the world waking up to the dollar reserve currency scam means hyperinflation can’t be avoided. Once the dollar goes, the goons that work for gov’t will quit and there goes the threat. People just need to hold out long enough to keep their guns and wait like the Chinese and Russians are doing for the monster to just die.

    If some of the medical folks talking about future deaths resulting from the jab are correct, that alone will turn the entire country against the cretins that invented the Covid scam. Winter is approaching and spring might tell a nasty tale. It’s all coming to a crisis real soon.

    • Replies: @Smashed Squash
    , @Realist
  53. anonymous[172] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dumbo

    How about his namesake Yaakov (née Jason) Fauci, also from Long Island, making headlines in Israel for throwing a Palestinian woman out of her home? In a Zoom call to a synagogue (Baltimore as I recall), Tony established his identity by telling the congregation that he and his wife are kosher mavens who prefer latkes to hamentaschen. . . yuk, yuk, yuk. In the video posted above he sure looks the part. And how about Tony getting Israel’s \$1 million Dan David Award for being the Jew who, in his respective field, best used it to promote the interests of International Jewry during the previous year. What? Like promoting the covid scam?

    • Replies: @Dumbo
  54. Boris Johnson reminds me of a guy I used to work with and was actually from England. He had the same blond hair and pasty face. His politics were totally to the left–he always reminded me of it. He said, ” I don’t believe in the politics of exclusion” something in fact, that I never even mentioned to him. One day he announced that he was taking his wife and ten year old daughter and moving to Oregon. This was some twenty five to thirty years ago. I asked him why? He told me that his ten year old daughter came home one day with gang writing on her tennis shoes. He said that was what made him decide to move from California to Oregon. Having had enough of this arrogant clown, I made his pasty white face turn a nice shade of pink when I asked him, “but what about the politics of exclusion”!!?? Leftist are phony to the core. When their self interest is involved. However they will bring the same demented attitude to any place they move to.

  55. Pardon me, “the politics of exclusion you use to NOT believe in.”

  56. ..D.. says:

    A little offtopic but it seem that the stablishment is in the process of destroying their own woke creation now that every one of their objectives have been fullfilled and the replacement of europeans in america make it imposible to democratically enforce a pro white goverment that could stand against jewish power , limite their power or expulse them like it happened so many times before in the european history.

    It seem that they they want to stabilizate the situacion and give euroamerican some breath and even manufacture a ” white identity ” that absolve you of the original sin of racism , autoritarianism and blablabla but of course always as extension ( pets )of jewish stablishment . Now china is the enemy and they need stability in home

    In their latests article they seem to be desasociating the woke politics with the elitism and prestige asociated with university graduate students one if not most important reason that drive so many white university students to larp as heroes of the minorities to try to feel as elite

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/11/young-people-college-grads-wokeness/620674/

    And patalogizing the woke crew with same autoritarianism that post war jewish intelectuals used to define the right

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/620185/

  57. Rocha says:

    Wasn’t limited democracy instituted on the same day as they established the Bank of England so that the citizens could not renege the debts contracted in their name by a so-called representative government with private bankers who conjured money out of thin air under the fractional reserve system?
    On the same day they instituted income taxes so that the government always had the money to pay the interest on these fictitious debts with real wealth produced by labour. That is how the money lenders have accumulated so much wealth and power they are able to impose their NWO. We vote for our slavery to the money lenders.
    They also banned independent goldsmiths from operating so that there fraudulent paper currency issuing scam had no competition.The same reason for 9/11 , the illegal invasions of the Middle East and the barbaric assassination of Gaddafi who wanted to mint a new currency based on gold.
    Under the cynical guise of promoting democracy, every single war and revolution since then has been to impose this nefarious system on the rest of the world. It is no coincidence that after 9/11 the only two countries left in the Middle East without a Rothschilds controlled central bank are Iran and Syria.
    The debt based financial system is about to implode with too much debt and too few assets. The reason for the lockdown was to create a world recession to cool the economy to reduce lending, to strengthen the dollar and to effect the biggest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy private corporations in human history.

    • Replies: @Francis Miville
  58. HdC says:
    @RoatanBill

    Methinks you’re a little harsh in your judgment. But they were certainly lied to by all levels of government and opinion makers. The ones that saw through the lies and tried to warn the populace were threatened, and often thrown in jail. Newspapers with dissenting opinions were shut down.
    Two famous names that spring to mind are Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh. There were newspaper publishers that were imprisoned for opposing the official position. Just as we have today.

    • Replies: @RoatanBill
  59. @Priss Factor

    Jews, Muslims and Catholics that declare themselves as such should renounce to any right to free speech : in as much as they are honestly committed to their religion they are not supposed to emit any free opinion in their own name. They should publish an opinion only with their community of call’s stamp of approval. And what is said by people outside their religious community of call is none of their business. It is like working for a company like Ford or Apple : in as much as you talk about cars your point of view about cars is supposed to be Ford’s, and in as much as you talk about computer science you never favour Microsoft or IBM over Apple. The difference with Abrahamic religions is that the latter require your whole soul to their obedience under pain of hell, a pain of hell they generally to give you a foretaste on earth in as much as they can. If you want to enjoy full First Amendment rights as a person first solemnly renounce to your tribal or religious belonging.

    The only exception should be for a Jewish, Christian or Muslim denomination that okays the First Amendment for its members and consequently never undertakes any slight move against it. For instance a group such as the Bnai Brith for whom free thought is even more the cardinal sin as it is for the Opus Dei should have no legal existence on the American soil.

    You cannot allow a slave trade organization of any kind to do business of any kind (unless slave labour is done as a retribution for serious crimes : that’s a problematic loophole indeed as most slaves of antiquity and of other civilisations that sold slaves to the Western colonial powers were legally made slaves as a penalty for what was considered offensive conduct or lifestyle as per their law : there was a time when you could be made a slave for debts or heresy and that time is coming back soon) on US ground since there is a thirteenth amendement.

    • Replies: @Change that Matters
  60. @Rocha

    Iran has no Rothschild central bank because since King Cyrus Persia or Iran allows for one single source of financing : the Sassoon clan, who financed the British colonization of India, opium wars in China and then the Chinese revolution of Mao together with smaller-sized ones such as Libya’s with Qaddhafi : the latter’s dreams of a perfectly autonomous currency were not in accordance with the support he had enjoyed up to then. Same thing for Syria. Among the countries classically listed as without a central bank are Cuba and North Korea : they are considered private properties of their ruling families, as was also Congo under Leopold. As per the law the global banking system applies Cuba is a private colony, not a sovereign state.

  61. @HdC

    Wars are fought for money in the final analysis. It’s always about the money. Germany and Japan were the US’s enemy at one time and now are best buddies. Vietnam was the communist menace and now its a trading partner. Russia was an ally against Hitler but quickly became an enemy to start the cold war.

    One has to be dense as a brick to not understand that wars are nothing but a gov’ts attempt to gain influence for monetary advantage. The people of the various countries have no quarrel with each other, it’s the political class that initiates the wars that the thick as a brick die in along with the innocent civilians on both sides.

    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
    General Smedley Butler (Usmc, Ret.)

    My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military.
    General Smedley Butler (Usmc, Ret.)

    War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
    General Smedley Butler (Usmc, Ret.)

  62. Robb says:

    Where once the was a “common wealth”, there is now a “commonwealth”. Sure sounds the same.

    The whole “Social Contract” bullshit is null and void.

    Keep expecting things to get worse, before they get better.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  63. nsa says:
    @Priss Factor

    Priss,
    Unz has offered you a regular column. Do the right thing and accept his offer.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  64. Maddaugh says:
    @Fart Blossom

    You have a point there too ! To tell the truth the education system does not engender thought or logic. It encourages regurgitation ! SO for example, a friend (well educated mind you) touted 750,000 Covid deaths in the US. A dismal figue on the face of it. However I pointed out that the number is inflated because if a fellow has a sore throat and slips on a banana skin he died of COVID. To avoid a pissing contest I accepted the 750K. However compared to total US population of what 330M the death rate is .22% which means the recovery rate is close to 100%. He was SHOCKED ! He only looked at it from the daily battering on MSM.

    Now another point I mentioned to my Bro. If your diet is poor and you smoke, drink, use prescribed and fun drugs and delight in otherwise abusing your body one’s immune system will not resist ANY virus. Viruses have been with us forever, have mutated forever and will be with us forever. Again he never looked at it that way. As far as he was concerned Covid was the only virus that EVER existed since our ancestors exited their caves.

    I do enjoy all this because what is considered a catastrophe these days would reduce my parents to hopeless mirth. It seems to me the powers that be do not want folks who THINK. Further there is no distinction between right and wrong. Hence the experts tout whatever is expedient to maintain their positions, wealth and status and to hell with goodness.

    So as you said there is no hope for deliverance or salvation and this is liberating. However it pushes us into a predatory state of mind where our own interests are of paramount importance and mounting the bones of other people becomes an accepted part of life>>>>>>or doing business so to speak.

  65. Ace says:

    The pandemic was not caused by our “pillage of natural habitats” And whatever mankind is doing just now it’s not “eco-cidal.”

    Could you please dial down the hysteria, Mr. Cook?

  66. When you honestly appraise the type of vile and corrupt psychopaths that ‘liberal democracy’ places in power, the way that Party politics divides societies into mutually hateful factions, the manner in which these ‘liberal democratic’ societies fail in every way to face up to, let alone cure, the economic, ecological, social and geopolitical calamities facing us and threatening our extinction, the Chinese model becomes ever more inviting. Which is the real reason, along with race and cultural hatred, that the Evil Gadarene swine running the West, the Anglogoons in particular, are so determined to destroy the ‘good example’. Only it’s too late, hence their frenzy is tainted with fear, too.

  67. @Robb

    There was only ever a ‘social contract’ when the parasites who reign under capitalism were frightened of socialism. One that spectre disappeared, in 1989, the real character of capitalism was revealed, and reimposed. The result-ecological devastation, record inequality, record debt, record elite wealth.

  68. American Morality. When cops do their duty and if some idiot Negro thug like George Floyd dies of drug overdose, it is the tragedy of the century and cities must burn, shrines must be erected, millions must be rewarded to Floyd’s estranged family, and the cop must serve 22 yrs in jail(getting anal-raped by black thugs). Of course, it didn’t have to happen, but in 2020, Jews needed to win back every black vote from Trump and orchestrated the Floyd-BLM riots.

    But the deaths of totally innocent Afghanis by US military? The response by the entire elite power base is ‘oops, sorry, movie at 11’. US is a sick disgusting vile country. If anything, the ruling elites should be tried Nuremberg style and what should be defunded is the Mass Murder Military. And the Zionist-controlled media are no better than Goebbel’s outfit.

    https://theintercept.com/2021/11/04/drone-attack-kabul-pentagon-report-whistleblowers/

    • Agree: Exalted Cyclops
    • Replies: @Exalted Cyclops
  69. @nsa

    I did.

    The thing is this site is so politics-heavy(about 95% of the content) that I suggested a blog devoted more to pop music/culture etc. Trevor Lynch focuses on cinema, and Occidental Observer writers occasionally touch on cultural issues, but I figure the site could use one more.

    I could do that. But another political blog would be besides the point. I wanna leave political stuff to comment section.

    If approved, I could do that.

  70. @Anon

    And look at that “IDF”. Are they really playing defence, or is it offence? Have Palestinians been attacking Jews since forever, or did the Jews decide to invade Palestine, murder, and steal? Does Gaza have the right to defend itself? Does “israel” have any right to exist in Palestine? O Bethlehem!

    Pals have a humanity that shines from their faces; the “is” radiate hatred and ugliness.
    https://ifamericansknew.org/

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  71. @Henry's Cat

    existing on a pension paid for by the American people

    Don’t blame the pensioner for that setup. Them oldsters worked for decades paying in. If that money has disappeared, blames the thieves. USUK have ponzi schemes instead of a pension system. Norway shows how to do it properly.

  72. “The orgy of the ’60s and ’70s gives way to mobile elites that have lost their illusions, but at least in self-promotion, they remain optimistic and mobile. They progress untiringly, whether in business, politics, or informatics. Their slogan could be:

    [MORE]

    YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR MONEY AND SPEND IT TOO!
    YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO!
    YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR WIFE AND FUCK IT TOO!
    YOU CAN’T LIVE AND HAVE YOUR LIVING TOO! ” (Jean Baudrillard “America”)

  73. @Priss Factor

    You’re absolutely correct. The USSA is now very blatantly the “Evil Empire” – even moreso than the stagnating sclerotic Soviet regime of the 1980s. Most of its residents are far too stupid to comprehend this – having been maleducated and marinated in 24 x 7 x 365 lies from academia and gaslight media Goebbels couldn’t even dream of. The Chinese traditionally described this state of affairs as having ‘lost the mandate of heaven’. An utterly lawless regime run by an organized crime syndicate masquerading as a religion. It’s only a matter of time before it falls.

    • Agree: Mulga Mumblebrain
  74. @obwandiyag

    Body double. Kagemusha. Doppelganger.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  75. Ron Unz says:
    @Exalted Cyclops

    You’re absolutely correct. The USSA is now very blatantly the “Evil Empire” – even moreso than the stagnating sclerotic Soviet regime of the 1980s.

    Our (very lightly moderated) comment-threads tend to attract an extremely wide range of contributors, ranging from the deranged or ignorant to others remarkably erudite and knowledgeable. One of the latter calls himself “lysias” and based upon many of his past comments and a little checking, I think there’s a high likelihood he has exactly the background he claims in his very harsh assessment from a few months ago:

    I think our leaders are now considerably worse than the Soviet leaders ever were.

    There was undoubtedly a lot of cynicism among Soviet leaders from the time of Stalin on. But I think there was idealism too. That was not dead in the 1980s. Gorbachev thought he could rescue Communism.

    Whatever idealism there may ever have been among our leaders is now long dead. And I speak as someone who was a true believer in and a veteran of the Cold War. I was in Air Force signals intelligence in Berlin 1970-2, later in the reserve program of Navy signals intelligence until I retired in 1994. But it has become increasingly clear that whatever it was that we fought for — Christianity, free enterprise, freedom from totalitarian systems — is no longer of interest to those who now rule us. And I also believed in intellectual freedom. Hence I got a Ph.D. in Classics and worked for a decade at the Institute for Advanced Study. And in the rule of law. Hence I got a law degree and worked 20 years as a lawyer for the federal governmant. But intellectual freedom and the rule of law also no longer interest those who rule us.

    What is there about our current system that deserves loyalty?

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/breaking-the-silence-on-the-origins-of-covid-19/?showcomments#comment-4671766

    • Replies: @JackOH
    , @Yevardian
    , @Anonymous
  76. @Exalted Cyclops

    I regret to say that, in my opinion, Judaism is best described as the world’s oldest extant Mafia.

  77. JM says:
    @Cookie Boy

    Raiders of the commonwealth…you better believe it, interest rates are finally catching up with the money printing, 6% inflation…WOW.

    Americans won’t be able to find enough hours in the week to work to just tread water!

    Historically, high inflation favors worker radicalism. Here’s hoping.

  78. @Badger Down

    Numerous Israeli observers have noted that the unending occupation and repression of the Palestinians is driving Israeli society ever further in the direction of racist sadism. The compulsory military service, mostly in terrorising old people and pregnant women at checkpoints, or in murdering defenceless Gazans, or kidnapping and terrorising Palestinian children, or overseeing ‘settler’ thugs poisoning Palestinian wells and livestock, or stealing or destroying their centuries old olive trees etc, tends to have a salutary, and bad, effect on the worst Israelis, and a liberating effect on some, who bear witness to the atrocities committed by the ‘most moral army on Earth’.

  79. @Francis Miville

    I am against free speech because it is nothing more than an Enlightenment con to allow blasphemy. I would like a prohibition on taking the Lord’s name in vain.

  80. Dumbo says:
    @anonymous

    Yeah, Anthony Fauci looks like a Jew, talks like a Jew, jews like a Jew… But somehow he’s Italian. Well, maybe he’s an Italian… An Italian Jew.

    I remember that article about he preferring “latkes to hamantaschen”. What non-jew would even be aware of such obscure culinary discussion? Plus, an Italian being so much into (usually bland) Jewish cuisine is almost a heresy.

    Whatever, the Italians have their mafia too, so, Jew or not Jew, he’s a fraud and a menace.

  81. @RoatanBill

    The government sector is hoping China rides to their rescue everywhere they’ve gotten themselves into a jam. Not realizing that China merely existing is what got them in a jam.

    Think of it this way….

    The Democrats wanted to destroy the means of production in the USA because they have a genocidal impulse. China stepped up and saved the means of production from the Democrats.

    Now Democrats up South China Sea without a paddle.

  82. JackOH says:
    @Ron Unz

    But intellectual freedom and the rule of law also no longer interest those who rule us.

    Agree. I think independent journos might want to look at institutions, such as corporations, that routinely, knowingly, and willfully utter false statements in oral and written communications in legal proceedings to essentially nullify laws that they regard as undesirable. That’s but one way we got a racketeerized American government and leadership caste. The lawyers who engage in such practices–I actually know one–claim everyone does it, it’s a “big-league” commonplace, and if they don’t lie, their boss will find a lawyer who will.

  83. Realist says:
    @RoatanBill

    It’s all coming to a crisis real soon.

    I hope so…only because it is the only way out.

    Looking forward to the public executions of those that are destroying this country for wealth and power.

  84. Anonymous[539] • Disclaimer says:
    @JackOH

    a very permanent and talented Deep State

    In over a decade of working for the US Federal Government bureaucracy, I ran into only a very few talented bureaucrats, and they were as isolated as I was. One of them commented that “giving these people computers is like giving a gold watch to a chimpanzee”, pronounced chim-panzee, with rising emphasis as the word is pronounced. He was correct, unfortunately.

    Basic problem is that the Deep State is primarily a source of patronage jobs. There is no Civil Service test, neither problem solving ability (IQ) nor actual knowledge or physical ability is tested for. The result is a collection of people who actually use the skills of a child in about 6th grade (basic arithmetic and verbal communications), have the social organization of a high school student (informal group membership is all that counts), and spend their time ensuring in ensuring that their organization requires no more than the 6th grade and high school skills listed above.

    This is what one might expect if “political reality” were considered all that exists. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The US and the West are destroying their physical capital base (example: this winter there will be a fuel shortage in Europe and probably in the USA, largely because of capital diversion into “green energy” projects and military/economic failures/ineptness that preclude fuel purchases from the CIS and Saudi Arabia.)

    As for the elite themselves, consider Hunter Biden and his father. His father was once a mid-range successful politician. He was promoted to President when it became clear that he was capable only of following scripts and after all other primary candidates had been vetoed by Democratic coalition members. His son, Hunter, is little more than a bag man, and appears incapable of anything better.
    This is an example of the Third Generation problem that all large organizations have. For almost all humans, by the third generation the descendants of an outstanding man or woman have about average talents and interests for the surrounding population. Quite often, regression to the mean is obvious in the second generation — Hunter Biden being an example.
    It has been 50 years since the 1970 soft revolution, 50 years. The Western Elite is now in its third generation, and the moldy oldies (Soros and others less generally known, first wave Feminists, the Clintons and other historical political dynasties) are too old to be effective. We have, instead, the current array of political mistakes.
    Examples: the Democrats are now majority non-white. They are working very hard amounts to establish the legitimacy of racism. The pharmaceutical companies are working very hard to force use of drugs that are quite often immediately harmful (oxycontin, the anti-COVID injections). The US DoD had been, since about 2010, using mercenaries for almost all combat operations, this after deciding that conventional units were useful and trying to convert SF into a corps of strategically decisive assassins. Now, having been forced out of Afghanistan by US politics and the Taliban, DoD is joining the Democrats in legitimizing racism. The education establishment, having given up on teaching substantively the same materials to BIPOC people, has now ceased to teach anything substantive, is also legitimizing racism, and is charging enough to cripple student financially for life (e.g. they can’t borrow enough to own a home, as they are already heavily indebted.)

    All of these projects are self defeating in the short run, as the 2020 elections have demonstrated. They are unbelievably inept, on the level of “it’s insane to bribe a policeman with counterfeit money when you’re already in jail”, unless they were conceived and executed by people who weren’t very smart — see Biden’s handlers for examples of such people.

    So you can safely assume that the Deep State staff and leadership are not talented. Which implies that, although they are third generation, they also aren’t permanent.

    • Agree: Old Brown Fool
    • Replies: @JackOH
  85. @JackOH

    there’s sort of a notion that folks who lived under monarchs, despots, dictators, and what-not must have all been very unhappy until democracy and liberalism set them free.

    That is a persistent myth every regime propagates about itself: every regime always pretends it has rescued people from something worse, people are now better off, and they must be grateful for it. Thus the Roman emperors were not blamed for overthrowing (whatever was left of) the Roman republic, but were praised for rescuing people from the unceasing wrangles and quarrels of democracy; the Statholder of Netherlands was praised for protecting the Dutch Republic (No, it is not my sick joke). Even Mugabe expected the Zimbabweans to be grateful to him for rescuing them from the British rule.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  86. Pamela says:
    @gar manarnar

    Perfect – it supports an idea I’ve had for some time – most especially as it relates to the fact that we are now living in the most high Tech world in recorded History – yet most people are very incompetent and dont understand much of the world around them.
    Incidentally, do you have a link to the video so I can share it – I tried a search and only found one link on YouTube, but it has no sound.
    This one is perfect.
    Many thanks for sharing it.

    • Replies: @gar manarnar
  87. @Priss Factor

    That’s a brilliant idea! I actually follow Priss’s comments like they were a blog. Keeps my Netflix queue full, lol!

  88. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    I doubt it. He’s just a governor. And everybody feels bad after the shot and then feels better.

    Not that I in any way endorse the shot. I think it’s frightening and horrifying. But it’s funny. Most people I know who badmouth the shot got the shot. People are funny that way.

  89. Yevardian says:
    @Ron Unz

    I think our leaders are now considerably worse than the Soviet leaders ever were.

    There was undoubtedly a lot of cynicism among Soviet leaders from the time of Stalin on. But I think there was idealism too. That was not dead in the 1980s. Gorbachev thought he could rescue Communism.

    All true, although I think the geographic position and relative (cultural) homogeneity of the US will save it from a collapse on the level of the Soviet Union. I can’t see any American separatist movement gaining any serious traction, whilst the Mexican goverment has only tenuous authority over large parts of its own territory.

    I mean, what really is the worst case scenario you can see regarding any future collapse of the American government/economy? A decade of acute hardship for most of the American population (much of whom are experiencing this already), and US withdrawal from world affairs?
    It’s just that the American population is so large, the country so abundant in natural resources, with its geography so well-protected, its hard for me a world where the US isn’t a world power, even if not the undisputed hyperpower it has been until recently.

    Certainly problems in Europe, India or the Middle-East seem much more acute and intractable in the long-term to me. Russia is in a slightly better position, although Akarlin’s final triumphalist post seems premature, given the giant question mark of Putin’s succcession, or whether it’s relations with China will remain friendly and equal.

  90. JackOH says:
    @Anonymous

    A539, thanks for your thoughtful reply. I thought my use of “talented” was a mistake. I wanted to convey the idea of “important”, “influential”, “little recognized”, “unelected”, etc, and stumbled on the wrong single word to carry those ideas. Your comment was a help to me and other readers.

  91. JackOH says:
    @Old Brown Fool

    OBF, there used to be a 1980s columnist (A. M. Rosenthal?) whose shtick was to open with fuzzy stuff about the rightness of democracy and liberalism, then quick cut to Country X that deviated from the columnist’s very specific policy prescription, then he’d conclude by urging the US to aggressively pursue diplomatic initiatives to remedy Country X’s deviation from some liberal norm.

    The trick to his writing was to conceal his specific policy prescription within that warm, fuzzy talk about democracy. He didn’t give a shit about democracy–he wanted the US to boss other countries around.

    We have many examples where that self-congratulatory stuff about our superior governments is cover for cheap labor rackets, land grabs, imperial military interventions, and the like, that we ascribe to others. What’s that old saw? He who accuses, excuses.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  92. @Dr. Charles Fhandrich

    There is just something about his barber —can’t he cut hair??

  93. @Dr. Charles Fhandrich

    I have only recently begun to appreciate how much Mullis questioned the AIDS story, and Fauci’s role in it.

    Looking back thirty years it’s incredible to realise how many people were terrified of AIDS, toilet seats, and casual contact with those whom they thought might be infected.

    And let us not forget Peter Duesberg who probably lost out on a Nobel Prize because he questioned the HIV/AIDS link.

    • Replies: @Dr. Charles Fhandrich
  94. Anonymous[539] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    There was undoubtedly a lot of cynicism among Soviet leaders from the time of Stalin on. But I think there was idealism too. That was not dead in the 1980s. Gorbachev thought he could rescue Communism.

    Yurchak’s book Everything was Forever, Until it Was No More, is a serious academic book that strongly supports your assertion. Briefly, Yurchak asserts that dealism applied rationally to inescapable and serious problems dismantled the Soviet Union.

    Less briefly, Yurchak asserts that the ruling elite in the USSR assumed Communism to be objectively the final system of the world, the “end of history” as it were. They constructed a university system that taught critical thinking so that the superiority of Communism would be self evident to university graduates. This worked until Gorbachev tried changing the Communist system in order to solve certain inescapably obvious problems through rational inquiry and solutions.
    The search for solutions to these problems made it clear that they could not be solved within a Communist system. When this became clear, Communism itself was abandoned by the very university educated people who had been intended to be its strongest supporters, and the USSR was over.

    If something similar were to happen in the US, an intellectually trained population of college students would not bring it about, as there is no such population. However, other populations just might.

  95. @Tsar Nicholas

    My oversight. Dr. Duesberg, was indeed a hero, a voice of reason and nobel prize material , during the height of the aids crisis. It’s always this way, millions follow false prophets and worthless “administration father figures and know nothings,” while a few are “voices in the wilderness” crying out, mostly unheard.

  96. @Priss Factor

    With respect, what the fuck does the scumbag Fauci and AIDS have to do with the article I’ve just read about Boris Johnson, the Guardian’s lies, and British public life ?

    Anybody ?

  97. RobinG says:
    @Priss Factor

    If you’re going to write about culture, how about a piece on Hunter Biden, the artist. Not so much about his painting, per se, but the ‘art market’ scam, and how he got to plug in at the top of the pecking order.

  98. RobinG says:
    @Zachary Smith

    any True Liberatarian

    Lol, and lol.

  99. @Priss Factor

    I would vote for that, and I agree that culture — whether understood in terms of art and popular culture or the evolving norms and values of American society — does not get enough play on Unz.

  100. @JackOH

    ALL Western ‘liberal’ MSM presstitute hacks follow that formula. Service to Imperial Power plus hypocrisy and, often enough, pig ignorance.

    • Thanks: JackOH
  101. @Dumbo

    And what goy would know that ‘hamantaschen’ refers to ‘Haman’s ears’ an allusion to the genocidal Judaic myth of the Purim massacre of Haman, his ten sons and 75,000 (the equivalent, oddly enough, of about six million given today’s global population numbers) of his ‘followers’ by the noble Jews, whose casualties were, one supposes, minimal, Yahweh being on their side. A sort of ritual cannibalism of your victims.

  102. hillaire says:
    @MLK

    Patel was fired from Theresa Mays (then P.M) cabinet after her furtive and secret meetings with Israeli state assets became public knowledge and thus highly embarrassing …acting essentially as a fifth columnist working with a foreign state… in a serious nation there would have been an enquiry at the least (that this didn’t happen thus proving who pulls the strings in the septic isles)…

    This was at the time Israeli embassy staff were caught boasting on camera as having the power to destroy any member of parliament..

    Patel now sits in with the rest of the ‘bent’ clowns known as the British Cabinet… not an Englishman amongst ’em…

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