• 9 Posts
Joined 1Y ago
Cake day: Mar 23, 2022


To go even further, not only does USAID make up part of the Bretton Woods institutions of imperial extraction, these institutions are designed to keep over-exploited countries food insecure and reliant on imports.

If we’re upset about this just wait until you find out what sorts of atrocities IBM/Red Hat is mixed up in.

It’s just a distraction, same as usual.

So much for Ukraine being the “breadbasket of the world.” Not that it ever actually was, and not that that wasn’t a neo-colonial construct anyway.

Leave it to Switzerland to be reactionary as fuck, yet fly under the radar as the “coolest” European country.

IIRC women couldn’t open bank accounts without their husband’s permission until the eighties. Women’s right to vote came so late apparently because it was always left to a “Volksabstimmung” (plebiscite) and since only men could vote in those they didn’t see the benefit in allowing women.

Nitter link for all of us living under highly censored authoritarian regimes such as Germany.


A combination of infighting, socdem betrayal, ineffectual policies/proposals in government, BRD media villifying anything left of neoliberalism, and original Die Linke members being originally actual socialists from the DDR. Like basically every person in BRD sincerely believes DDR was a hellhole, so being an og DDR commie does not help you win any favours here. Plus the people of the DDR got neoliberalized and shock therapied, yet their post 1991 woes were blamed on the failures of the DDR and on “others” such as immigrants.

Chances of a proletarian movement in Germany today? Basically zero. If there is a movement which goes anywhere anytime soon it’s fascism. If you’re even moderately anti-capitalist or pro-worker you’re on a watchlist of some sort, and that’s just the beginning of the private-public partnership of oppression.

You’d think that, but unfortunately the opposite is true. Always has been.

This is honestly pretty typical. Fascists get a free run of the BRD while anti-fascists are vilified and made examples of in court.

I can’t even really describe my current responsibilities succinctly. I’m basically trying to automate and integrate business processes. Some of that is centered around ERP, some web apps (off the shelf and custom), and a bit of the usual Microsoft office spyware suite. It’s super interesting and I like solving these types of problems to help people work on what people should actually be using their brains for (ie not menial repetitive stuff). Yet it’s very frustrating since the everyone else (workers, management, owners) basically doesn’t “believe” in digitalization nor industry best practices.

I really want to start a union drive, but due to some, let’s say familial connections within the company, I’ve been more or less convinced that it’s in my personal interests not to be the spark in this case.

That’s really unfortunate. Hopefully some other groups will step in to take their place.

I am still shocked at how many cops there are out and about in Germany with fully automatic weapons in their hands ready to go. You’d expect it from Amerikkkans but not at a German train station or Christmas Market. Another one that has stuck with me was an entire group of soldiers with assault rifles and armored vehicles hanging out at the bus depot in Venice Italy.

You can say whatever you want and you’re free to criticize the government in wholesome western liberal democracies. /s

British police detain journalist Kit Klarenberg, interrogate him about The Grayzone


As soon as journalist Kit Klarenberg landed in his home country of Britain on May 17, 2023, six anonymous plainclothes counter-terror officers detained him. They quickly escorted him to a back room, where they grilled him for over five hours about his reporting for this outlet. They also inquired about his personal opinion on everything from the current British political leadership to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At one point, Klarenberg’s interrogators demanded to know whether The Grayzone had a special arrangement with Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (FSB) to publish hacked material.

During Klarenberg’s detention, police seized the journalist’s electronic devices and SD cards, fingerprinted him, took DNA swabs, and photographed him intensively. They threatened to arrest him if he did not comply.

The Ikea hot dog isn’t profitable, it’s just another way to get people into the stores. A normal hot dog in the US probably costs more like $5-7 at this point. I get the sense that in Europe food is less expensive compared to people’s average wage than in the US, but I may be off on that, especially with current food price increases.

It seems to be a mix between high volume (“hey this seems cheap, let’s buy lots”, plus Costco doesn’t do small sizes), membership fees (free money plus it incentives customer loyalty), and some additional services they offer like handyman type work and some B2B stuff (services from retailers are always marked up crazy high compared to the physical goods).

I work in a small niche industry which makes some of the machines these horrible conglomerates make their drugs on. The sales people are always so excited about large scale systemic health issues, because it means the get to sell more. Just the other month the sales manager complained that order volume in Brazil has gone down since Lula got elected, and nobody can possibly know what China will do in terms of foreign business. It’s so sad how out of touch with reality most people are, but that’s ultimately a choice people make (consciously or not) based on their material conditions and their private material interests.

Yet as a Marxist my contributions to conversations are shrugged off as liberals for being “too idealistic.”

There was a WaPo article from 1991 written by imperial court scribe Michael Itzikoff gloating about how wonderful it is that the NED exists to take over some important CIA programs. The first NED director himself also went on public record about how wonderful it is that the NED exists and can do overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly up until that point.

It is extremely cheap. It’s what business people call a “loss leader.” The idea is to use the absurdly cheap rotisserie chicken as a means to motivate people to come into the store. When you have people in the store, it’s easier to sell them more stuff that you actually make money on.

2021 seems late for them to have joined.

Not quite comparable but SpaceX had a handler from day one.

Meanwhile in Amerikkka:

Costco CEO says $1.50 hot dogs and $4.99 rotisserie chickens aren’t going away

In two months, Ikea sold 1 million of its new [75 cent] veggie hot dogs […] People love it.

People who take up the whole width of a shared path all on their own. It’s so frustrating trying to get by someone when they’re going half as quickly as you, but you still can’t predict where they will be in a second because they’re weaving like a sloshed pirate.

Omg same! It’s even more frustrating because in most cases the other person can’t possibly know that I’m about to do the thing, so it’s almost entirely unavoidable.

Thanks for the link! I’m just gonna go ahead and keep a copy of that. Just in case.

The organization that published that article is essentially NATO itself, which makes simply running that story quite an admission. Even so, I’m a little torn on really using this. I feel like libs could twist it into a statues-of-Confederate-generals type story pretty quick.

When someone starts to bring up Wagner Russonazis I know that I won’t get anywhere with them in terms of the big picture of anti-imperialism. There’s no real point in further discussion. Russiagate brainworms have been incredibly effective in this regard. Even if they admit that mercenaries are and always have been a part of war, they’ll just change their tune to “Putin’s personal Nazi PMC” if they haven’t already.

You could also just respond with something about Blackwater, or the German military’s Nazi infestation. Then they’ll call whataboutism and the conversation will be over, but there wasn’t any constructive dialog anyway and maybe some spectators (if it’s not a private conversation) may turn on their brains a bit and look deeper.

Useful in terms of getting a job in the institutions of bourgeois power? Somewhat. Useful in terms of developing oneself as a Marxist and learning how the world works? Not so much, at least at educational institutions within the imperial core.

The exact form of liberalism depends on the university, but they’re on the spectrum in one way or another. For that’s how imperial academia is designed. It may allow some hollow anti-status-quo takes from specific schools or individuals, but overall the purpose of academia is to provide intellectual sounding cover stories for the crimes of the empire.

New global warming study just dropped
A preprinted study by James Hansen and collaborators suggests that we've all but locked in 2°C warming by 2050. They go on to calculate a likely equilibrium warming of 10°C considering current GHG levels and known feedback loops. I know we need to take this as yet another call to action, but at the same time I think so many of us feel absolutely paralyzed by the enormity and incomprehensibility of the situation.

It looks like OpenDemocracy is partially funded by Open Society Foundation, but even more so by two Soros affiliates. Pierre Omidyar’s Luminate (Omidyar was the founder of Ebay, and seems to be a protégé of Soros), and Alan Parker, a duty-free retail tycoon who seems to spend a bunch of time with Soros as well.

It’s possible, but I’m not sure if that sort of “short selling” or snapping up “discounted” assets applies when it’s not just a single sector crashing, but all of them plus the basis currency simultaneously. It could even be that you can’t even get out of the dollar and into a “safe” currency once it all goes down, because the IOU that’s been backing the dollar for generations will have been voided. Nobody will want to trade their valuable currency for dollar toilet paper.

Then again I’m not an economist so I’m really just guessing as to how this would play out. But my understanding is that this debt, which is used as a political football stage prop every two years, is basically the thing which has kept the global economy relatively stable over the last fifty years. Without it, everything comes crashing down.

German policy overall is an absolute dumpster fire. I can’t listen to any of the politicians here for want of punching them in the nose.

My statement about cops wasn’t general cop bashing, but even that has been well earned. Recently German police dealt violently with protesters in Lützerath. The Canadian police, typically the federal RCMP, respond to peaceful environmental protests with assault rifles, sniper rifles, armoured vehicles, etc. There have been instances where Land Defenders have chained themselves to trees and the police just cut them out. But the Canadian media plays it all off as cops just doing their job and how we should be really upset at environmental protesters and indigenous people who just want to draw attention to the facts of resource extraction, climate change, and sovereignty.

In this case balanced is just an accounting term. All it means is that debits equal credits, ie. you spend what you receive.

With a quick look at this year’s expected US federal deficit ($1.15T), what you paraphrase Hudson on is roughly correct, depending on what you count as military. The DoD budget itself is $817B, plus there’s the Department of Energy nuclear programs, and any number of intelligence agencies and black budgets which you could lump in together as military spending.

This has basically always been the case too. The treasury bill standard came into being precisely because the US wanted more and more military activity, but they had exhausted the ability to pay for it by the beginning of the invasion of Vietnam.

What do you mean specifically? The official dropping of the gold standard? AFAIK that didn’t really lead to a recession.

The Yanks can shit on the entire world, but I don’t think this particular method of global defecation would benefit their oligarchs. Just as two examples, cratering the dollar via debt default would also crater all their beloved asset price bubbles, and it would pull the plug on all their military occupations and invasions.

I’m not even sure if it would be valuable to the oligarchs as a big red button to stop competing economies in their tracks. Sure it was years in the making, but Russia and trade partners were pretty quick to switch their transactions off the dollar after the first wave of financial and monetary sanctions last spring. That tells me that even if the US ruling class were threatened to the point where they’d accept the damage to themselves in order to blow up everything, the rest of the world would figure out alternatives pretty quickly.

Media circus and as already pointed out, consent manufacturing for further social spending cuts.

Not only is it a circus, but the debt ceiling simply must be raised for the US project to have a chance of continuing. It’s not a point of discussion. If the US were to default on its debt, a plurality if not still a majority of global monetary reserves would likely crash in value, causing a global recession like no other. For what is the US federal debt but treasury bills, and since 1971 US treasury bills have been used in lieu of gold as the primary central bank asset backing other currencies.

The US ruling class is terrified of the current slow moving dedollarization, but since it’s happening slowly everyone can adapt to the US no longer being the global monetary and imperial hegemon. Now imagine this slow moving dedollarization train happening simply overnight, for that’s what I think would happen were the US to default on its debt. It would be absolutely catastrophic.

In both Germany where I live and in Canada where I grew up the same is happening. Protestors have to go further and further just to make themselves heard, but this is leveraged by the media into “environmentalists are crazy loons.”

In both countries protestors have been forcefully removed by police openly working on behalf of the resource extraction companies the people are protesting against. And then the media goes on about how these people are just mentally unstable, smoke too much weed, and besides we simply can’t afford to slow down the economy or inconvenience people for the sake of the environment.

This could be the bombing and/or the coercion referenced: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/rcmp-bombed-oil-site-in-dirty-tricks-campaign-1.188599

I grew up in Alberta but I don’t remember hearing about this. Isn’t too surprising though, even the CBC article I’ve linked has almost no information for what should be a huge story. I am familiar with the name Weibo Ludwig however, so I’ll have to take some time and look into all this again.

Also worth looking into is the C-IRG (a Canadian police special operations group which helps out resource extraction companies in the most brutal ways). The Canada Files and The Tyee for example have good articles on them.

I was deadass told once that the only reason the KMT lost was because the US withdrew material support.

Spanish Sub’s New Problem
This is a bit dated by now, but the recent post about some failed US weapons systems reminded me about this absolute doozy of a Spanish submarine. >Years ago, the S-80 submarine suffered a major engineering setback: It was overweight and at risk of not being able to resurface after submerging. In the latest hitch, first reported on Wednesday by the newspaper El País, it can’t fit into the port of Cartagena at the military base in southeastern Spain where the submarine will be stationed. The article wraps up with a lame attempt to normalize spending billions on military equipment.

Capitalist says what
If this isn't a dire indictment of the ability of the capitalist mode of production to solve pressing problems, I don't know what is. > Seize property to build wind and solar farms, says JP Morgan chief > In his annual shareholder letter, Mr Dimon said: “Permitting reforms are desperately needed to allow investment to be done in any kind of timely way. > “We may even need to evoke eminent domain – we simply are not getting the adequate investments fast enough for grid, solar, wind and pipeline initiatives.”

Declarations of Independence
How should new countries be handled, where the people have clearly chosen that they would like to be their own sovereign nation, with all the rights and responsibilities that comes with? Besides the people withing the territory agreeing that they're a new sovereign country and establishing the institutions thereof, what should the global community expect? As things stand currently, it's simply up to the imperial core countries as to whether or not a territory is recognized as a country.

This story is incredibly strange and unnerving. How can a relatively well known and respected journalist simply disappear for six months before other journalists finally notice and start asking questions? Meek isn't even meaningfully anti-establishment although he's pissed off the military from time to time. It looks like he's pretty tight with the military and intelligence communities. It's clear to all of us that we cannot trust bourgeois media, but this is really something else, especially with new conspiracy theories of Chinese and Russian public figures disappearing being generated seemingly on a weekly basis yet nobody publicly stated that they noticed this guy's disappearance for six months.

Workers of the World, Unite!
In memory of the destroyed project of socialism in Germany, what better way to spend October 3rd (Germany's so-called German Reunification Day) than to discuss the successes, mistakes, and lessons of the DDR. Putting such a positive light on this topic is still beyond taboo in mainstream circles, and anti-communist mythology runs deep in Germany even today. One way we can make revolutionary inroads in any capitalist nation is to educate the working people about the successes of their socialist peers and all the tried and tested ways we can work towards making life more meaningful for all of us.

Which one of you legends is responsible for this?

Maintaining Personal Relationships with non-Communists
I really stepped in it last night. My partner is livid with me for suggesting Stalin wasn't the evil dictator he's made out to be in the west. For a German who grew up with anti-communism and went to some very liberal universities for political science it was too much. They said something to the effect of "this feels exactly like if you said, oh Hitler wasn't that bad, he was actually a good guy." We're in the midst of planning our wedding and they were suddenly at the point of doubting that they know who I am and if this is a relationship they want to maintain. We have a hard time discussing politics as it is. We are still not so great at interpreting the nuances of way each other speaks, and our background knowledge is very different. So we have to figure out what we do from here. I can't come at this from the direction of "trying to convert them." They already think I have gone into a conspiracy theory ridden and propaganda laden hole, and believe me, I ask myself the same thing every day. It really weighs heavily on me, as some of our close family members have fallen into conspiracy theory echo chambers. We've decided we need to go back to basics and make sure our core values align, which I genuinely believe they do. They're an anti-capitalist as well, although don't have a strong idea of what to would be better, just that it shouldn't be communism. I'm not sure where to go after we sort out what our shared values are. There's a certain condescension I sense when it comes to the leftist sources I read, many on recommendation from GenZedong members. I'm often met with "leftists just make up all kinds of stuff to suit their narrative," or "how do you know that's a primary or reliable secondary source, it's so easy to fake anything these days." Meanwhile they go to Wikipedia and see that Stalin killed millions and signed a treaty with the Nazis, even as they understand that much of western capitalist media is propaganda as well. We can't have any useful discussion on current events at the moment because we have vastly different knowledge of what's happening, as well as entirely different analytical tools to pick it apart with. They're also terrified I'm going to say very extreme things in front of their family (privileged petite bourgeois liberals). I try to be careful but at the same time I won't pretend to not be a communist. We have political discussions often and I'm not one to just sit those out. I'm sure my family would react poorly as well, but with the geographical distance to them it's not as present an issue in our minds. How do you all deal with this? How do you have these discussions and share these ideas with the more soc-dem or liberal minded people in your lives?