Monday, May 28, 2018

Links - 28 May 2018

Thomas Fazi is Bill Mitchell's collaborator.
The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci coined the term “organic crisis” to describe a crisis that differs from ”ordinary” financial, economic, or political crises. An organic crisis is a “comprehensive crisis,” encompassing the totality of a system or order that, for whatever reason, is no longer able to generate societal consensus (in material or ideological terms).
Such a crisis lays bare fundamental contradictions in the system that the ruling classes are unable to resolve. Organic crises are at once economic, political, social, and ideological—in Gramscian terms, they are crises of hegemony—and they usually lead to a rejection of established political parties, economic policies, and value systems. However, they don’t necessarily lead to the swift collapse of the dominant order. Gramsci described these situations as interregna in which “the old is dying and the new cannot yet be born” and during which time “a great variety of morbid symptoms” can appear.

Gramsci was talking about Italy in the 1910s. A century later, the country is facing another organic crisis. More specifically, it is a crisis of the post-Maastricht model of Italian capitalism, inaugurated in the early 1990s. This model, I argue, can be described as a peculiar kind of comprador capitalism—a term generally used in the context of the old colonial system to describe a regime in which a country’s ruling classes ally with foreign interests in exchange for a subordinated role within the dominant hierarchy of power.…
American Affairs
Italy’s Organic Crisis
Thomas Fazi

The fight for a full employment bill forty years ago offers lessons for supporters of a job guarantee today.…
If history is a guide, then these efforts may need to be more powerful than the Civil Rights Movement, which at its height made full employment such a key component of its agenda. If that is daunting, well, it should be. But an appropriate power analysis is vital for the years ahead....
Full Employment and Freedom
David Stein

See also
But diverse as the activities of the Forum may have been, none of the Forum venues, none of the Forum participants were as important to the success of the event as the four leaders who joined President Vladimir Putin on stage to address the Plenary Session Friday afternoon: President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Chinese Vice President Wang Quishan and IMF General Director Christine Lagarde.….
Putin's Russia is not exactly isolated.
As we shall see, Macron uses history as a cloak of personal grandeur; he envisions himself as an historic personage, an agent of History, following in the footsteps of none other than Charles De Gaulle....
It is more than curious that Macron chose to highlight the fact that when his predecessor Charles Charles De Gaulle decided to visit Russia in June 1966 he chose St Petersburg (Leningrad at the time) because of the city’s heroic resistance in the great siege of World War II. Macron announced that he would be visiting the Piskarevo cemetery where more than a million unidentified victims of the siege are buried to lay a wreath of remembrance.
Mention of his following in the footsteps of De Gaulle during this speech in Petersburg aligns perfectly with his mentioning one month ago in Washington De Gaulle’s address to the joint session of Congress in 1967, an honor that had been granted to no other French head of state in the intervening 51 years. It is remarkable that Macron, who started his government career as a Socialist and served under Hollande, has chosen De Gaulle, the iconic figure of the French Center Right, to be his avatar. The common denominator is surely national sovereignty, which De Gaulle went very far to promote....
Une parole franche 
St Petersburg International Economic Forum, 24 - 26 May 2018
Gilbert Doctorow | European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd.

See also
Merkel on Saturday also reiterated a February coalition proposal to allow municipalities to apply a dissuasive tax on owners of vacant land who leave their plots unused, hoping to speculate on future windfall sales.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Merkel to Revive Land Tax on Plots held Speculatively Vacent
Andrew Lainton

See also
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India abides only by the sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not that of any individual nation indicating that the country may not be in a hurry to re-consider its economic ties with Iran on account of the fresh sanctions imposed by the US on the Islamic nation.
“India follows only UN sanctions, and not unilateral sanctions by any country,” Swaraj said at a press conference on Monday when asked about India’s response to the US decision of withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is in New Delhi to discuss the situation following the US rejection of the nuclear accord and to find out about India’s position on the matter. Iran is the third largest supplier of oil to India, after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Global South and East not going along with Global North and West. The parting of the ways?

The Hindu — Business Line (India)
India abides by UN sanctions, not unilateral ones: Swaraj


Pepe reports from Iran. A very different view than the picture presented in Western media.

Asia Times
Iran diary: bracing for all-out economic war
Pepe Escobar

See also
Now I learn that they also recruit "confidential sources" to speak to you about the subject of FBI interest WITHOUT bothering to inform you that they are going to tell the FBI what you said about things. Some of these "confidential sources" are employed by the FBI for long periods of time. The American professor now teaching at a UK university who was sent by the FBI to talk to several Trump campaign people was one such. Other "confidential sources" are recruited for a particular case.  Sometimes they are recruited from among the existing acquaintances or "friends" of the person targeted by the FBI. In other words if DoJ, the WH, or the Bureau (FBI) want to know what I, or anyone else, really says about a given topic, they can recruit someone I know using pressure, persuasion or money to "rat" me out.
Felix Dzerzhinsky would have been proud of their skills if they had been his men.
Just how is this different from the KGB?

Sic Semper Tyrannis 
The FBI uses "confidential informants?" So did the Cheka.
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.) 
At the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lang was the Defense Intelligence Officer (DIO) for the Middle East, South Asia and counter-terrorism, and later, the first Director of the Defense Humint Service. At the DIA, he was a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service. He participated in the drafting of National Intelligence Estimates. From 1992 to 1994, all the U.S. military attachés worldwide reported to him. During that period, he also briefed President George H. W. Bush at the White House, as he had during Operation Desert Storm.

He was also the head of intelligence analysis for the Middle East for seven or eight years at that institution. He was the head of all the Middle East and South Asia analysis in DIA for counter-terrorism for seven years. For his service in the DIA, Lang received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive. — Wikipedia


Matt Franko said...

“Just how is this different from the KGB?“

It’s not the Obama people all have commie backgrounds...this is right out of the solovoki playbook...

Brennan ACTUALLY ADMITS he voted for Gus Hall back in the day...

Also Tom you’re doing it again ie when Democrats do something very wrong you’re blaming it on “the USA!”...

It’s commie Democrats...

Matt Franko said...

Tom this is what you are doing:

Marx: “we’re out of money!”

Tom: “c’mon Karl we’re not out of money....”

Tom: “I’m a Marxian”

You can’t do that....

Tom Hickey said...

Doesn't follow, Matt.

"Marxist" generally implies dogmatist. Marxian implies recognizing that the context has changed over time and that a lot has been learned since Marx and Engles wrote, and identifying what is useful today.

The classical economists inducing Marx were working in a very different social, political, and economic context than applies now. This doesn't mean that they can be ignored, as conventional economics assumes, unless it is useful to them, and even then they misread what the original texts say.

Summing it up, Marx held that economics is socially embedded, hence historically conditioned, whereas conventional economics says that the "laws" of economics are timeless and universal because they are an expression of human nature, which doesn't change.

These are two entirely different ways of approaching the world methodologically. Marx's insight into embeddedness, added to by Max Weber and Emile von Durkheim, out of which economic sociology and anthropology developed, produced many views on social embeddedness, from Marxist, to Marxian, to Veblen and institutionalists, to Polanyi, etc.

When I say that I am a "Marxian," I don't mean that I follow Marx exclusively or think that times have not changed and that conditions are different now. Marx included that in his account.

I post all the various links I do on account of social/political embeddedness, which conventional economics and its conventional application to political economy doesn't.