Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby nam » 07 Apr 2018 16:37

Austin wrote:Boeing is on the receiving end here

China Tariffs Could Hurt More Than First Thought



Poor Boeing, getting caught in the mess. Feel for them.

They better open a assembly plant in India, if they want Indian orders.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Rahulsidhu » 07 Apr 2018 18:34

panduranghari wrote:
Austin wrote:
It wont be that easy as bond market are as much about trust as it is about money itself.

It would be impossible to sell $1.2 trillion even if the chinese want to but lets assume they could do that than it would lead to significant change in US T bills interest rate and Stock Market will collapse , even a small $50 billion tarriff lead to fall of many 100 points for dow jones.

T Bills are nuke option for Chinese to be used only as last resort if every thing fails becuase it will impact their exports too


Bond bear market started after 35 years in June 2016. The bond yields are gradually rising and will eventually get to the 1980 levels and then move higher from there too. At the moment the yield curve is flat- there is not much gain in holding a 30 year bond than a 2 year bond. God forbid - Trump et al must be thinking - if it inverts, it positively benefits holding shorter duration treasury holdings. So if China sells even half then in theory it's game over for both US and China. End of dollar hegemony if you will.

Then the question arises how will china devalue the yuan? They have to sell a lot of treasuries to make the capital account deficient- another step towards its goal of reserve currency status. But that alone won't be sufficient. They need people to hold yuan. Also selling US treasuries does not mean not buying alternative investments I.e. Euro bonds or Japanese bonds. While yuan will devalue vis-a-vis dollar, it will rise against Euro or yen. But US markets are its prized asset. Do they have alternative market? OBOR is not yet functional, India is positively not going to let Chinese in, RCEP is still not big enough.

Trump obviously does not want the DOW to crash but it will irrespective of his wish. He may expedite it.

US will come out weaker but it's still a demographically surplus state. It's the revolution that Chinese communists need to fear. If we understand Tianamen square protest of 1989 was predominantly a rising inflation protest, why should such a thing not reapeat. So IMO China comes out weaker.

As there is still a dollar shortage globally, we can expect QE instead of QT as relayed by Powell.

How can India play this? Have you got thoughts?


Sorry, but the above account does not make much sense. Notably, you do not make your capital account deficient by selling FX reserves- its exactly the other way round.

Let's think through things a bit. If China sells US treasuries, what will it sell them against?
1) If if converts the proceeds to CNY then it will lead to CNY appreciation and USD depreciation. Indeed this would mean an appreciating CNY which would be a healthy way to reduce the trade surplus. The problem with this is two fold:
a) This would make Chinese industry marginally uncompetitive internationally. This is a problem since China has over-capacity and relies heavily on export markets.
b) what would they do with the CNY? If they let it sit idle on the CB balance sheet, it represents a monetary shock. Nothing gained by this exercise.
c) Domestic fiscal stimulus: the question is whether its even possible at a large scale given they have already over-built.

2) If they buy EUR/JPY securities, well the markets are simply not deep enough besides appreciating EUR, JPY will lead to new tensions with EU Japan etc. You've just replaced one problem by another.

The global trade system has long relied on the US running a huge trade deficit with protectionist east Asian countries who over-built and got very prosperous. Now the US is calling it an unfair system and wants more balanced trade. There is no way out but a reshaping of world supply chains leading towards lower trade imbalances.

For India, which has its own problem of huge trade deficits with China, this is a great opportunity. Opportunistically make Chinese imports more expensive, promote local industry where possible and have relatively free trade and capital flows with the West. The manufacturing shifting away from China will be of two kinds:
1) The kind that can be done within the US (high-value, highly automated kind). This will naturally move back to the US.
2) The kind that still relies on cheap labour, infeasible to do in the US. India should position itself as the prime contender to gain such manufacturing away from China. Besides good infrastructure etc, a lot depends on marketing. In our favour, we have a huge domestic market as well.
Last edited by Rahulsidhu on 07 Apr 2018 18:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby rsingh » 07 Apr 2018 18:41




Diplomatic language is at its lowest these days. Shame

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Austin » 07 Apr 2018 20:02

Nirmala Sitharaman speaks at Moscow security conference


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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Austin » 07 Apr 2018 23:21

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.in/2018/04/ ... nally.html

Lavrov finally got it.

The Western countries should not expect Moscow to confess to all deadly sins and beg for forgiveness, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday. "If our counterparts plan to end the current tensions by making Russia confess to all deadly sins and say ‘I was wrong in every aspect, forgive this sinner’ - if they have such expectations, it means they have no experts on Russia left," Lavrov said. He quoted a Russian saying that goes "God dwells in truth, not in strength." "I believe it fully reflects the principle the Russian people are guided by," Lavrov stressed.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 08 Apr 2018 14:32

Rahulsidhu wrote:
Sorry, but the above account does not make much sense. Notably, you do not make your capital account deficient by selling FX reserves- its exactly the other way round.

:(


Thanks for the reply RahulSidhu ji. I remember listening to Michael Pettis after he published his book http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9936.html about how China is trying to run an unconventional monetary policy. Let me see if I can find the post. He makes some very interesting claims.

Nothing is working so doing something is considered better optics than not doing anything. An epsilon theory blog post the author states the central bank has a DNA of capital not DNA of Labour. For them winning the meta game (the game of games) is more important than winning the smaller games within. PBoC is more concerned about the elites and their financial well being in the long run. The benefits accrued to the common folk is coincidental but the explanation for action or lack thereof is purely for public consumption.

It's no different in US.

However, CNY will need to appreciate under the effects of market forces. We very well know, that won't happen. They would rather devalue against the dollar to negate the effects of tariffs. The meta game is to keep CCP in power.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 25 Apr 2018 07:39

While most of the news and discussion with respect to Russia and West is stuck in waypons and mijjiles (whose new clear button is bigger :wink: ), the real conflict is playing out through sanctions. Slow tightening of noose around the neck using sanctions and squeezing the enemy out of thollar based financial system is difficult to prevent using any modern anti-mijjile system. By sanctioning Deripaska and his Aluminum company UC Rusal (#2 Aluminum producer in the world), ungle is determined to choke Cremlin by using oligarchs. This will mean job losses at home, and imagine who will be ultimately be responsible for that...

Inside Deripaska's scramble to soften Russia sanctions blow

Rusal Nationalization Possible

London Metal Exchange banned deliveries of Rusal metal

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Singha » 25 Apr 2018 08:44

Cheen and india are probably largest consumers of many raw materials
While india went along grudgingly with sanctions on iran there is no chance of that on russia

Cheen is not going to side with western kabila on russia

In a way it will embolden and force ppl to trade more outside of dollar settlements knowing the noose can be pulled anytime they play in dollars

Also savings and gold must be kept all at home not in foreign vaults
Germany has repatriated its gold from new york federal vaults with very grudging coop from gotus

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 02 May 2018 08:25

Margaret Thatcher kick started Paki terrorism towards India in 1980

Dr. Peter Scott, Uty of Leicster

https://www.aninews.in/news/world/other ... ssion=true

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby disha » 02 May 2018 08:59

From the above link:

"Following his extensive historical analysis, Dr. Stott posed a vital question -- When the Jihadists are defeated in Syria and Iraq, where will their attention turn to next? He expressed the fear that Jammu and Kashmir may possibly be the next battlefield for these hardened terrorists. (ANI)"

I think the first battlefield will be Afghanistan.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 02 May 2018 11:02

disha wrote:From the above link:

"Following his extensive historical analysis, Dr. Stott posed a vital question -- When the Jihadists are defeated in Syria and Iraq, where will their attention turn to next? He expressed the fear that Jammu and Kashmir may possibly be the next battlefield for these hardened terrorists. (ANI)"

I think the first battlefield will be Afghanistan.



Does Dr. Stott even know how they arrived in Syria in the first place.

US/Saudi Arabia must have shipped them in and keep supplying them to create chaos on Russia's borders.

There is no way a bunch of rag tag goons can take over a country without active financial & military support from an external country/s.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby disha » 03 May 2018 01:45

In Afghanistan, for last 40-50 years, enough money and arms have been pushed to sustain continuous civil wars. Further the poppy cultivation and conduit of drugs gives them enough sustenance.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 03 May 2018 07:53

World Chess Federation body's (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is on sanction list.

(FT) Sanctions hit world chess body as UBS shuts down account

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 03 May 2018 18:11

From J&K thread

Muns wrote:When I think about it, why is this really such a big deal? International community on the whole really doesn't give 2 cents for what we think by the barrage of negative media reports as we've all seen.


US has exploited the world after European colonialism died, now China is doing the same. The thought might be the smaller nations in Africa, Polynesia, Southern America who tend to see how India votes before voting for issues that could also affect them. This is not NON ALIGNMENT nonsense that chacha was preaching. If you follow the work of Neil Strauss on the 4th turning, the situation India will be presented with going into the 1st turning from the current 4th turning is - new international institutions need to be built which India will take a lead in and small nation states will support this realignment and an Indian 700 million middle class making them financial heavy weights too hard to ignore to western or eastern corporations. just some thoughts.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby panduranghari » 03 May 2018 18:11

Disha ji, Welcome back.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 05 May 2018 06:44

panduranghari wrote:...
If you follow the work of Neil Strauss on the 4th turning, the situation India will be presented with going into the 1st turning from the current 4th turning is - new international institutions need to be built which India will take a lead in and small nation states will support this realignment and an Indian 700 million middle class making them financial heavy weights too hard to ignore to western or eastern corporations. just some thoughts.

Agree. I would imagine that the institutions and the economic system as we know it (currency, reserves etc.) would change simultaneously. I hope, in the meantime, we are ready before the wyest and China figure out a way to benefit from Indian population dividend before Indians themselves.

Not to pick on one specific example, but companies like Xiaomi are extremely successful in delivering western technologies for cheap. I do give Xiaomi credit. #1 in India in little over 4 years.

How India’s smartphone mania fuelled Xiaomi’s spectacular rise

Xiaomi's $100bn Worth Listing Details

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 07 May 2018 06:15

As China continually reforms its capital markets, more and more its financial sector is opening up to foreign ownership.

China speeds up reforms opening finance sector to foreign ownership

BEIJING FINANCIAL MARKETS MATURE AS CHINA TURNS GRAY

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 07 May 2018 06:28

When the Kolonizer becomes Kolonized...

Britain’s film renaissance: made in UK, owned in US?

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Philip » 08 May 2018 13:25

Is he right? Globalisation and crony capitalism certainly has deprived billions of people of their wealth,stolen by rogue bankers..sorry regular bankers(!),corrupt politicos and babus and their families and cronies.We see so much of it in India today with govts. struggling to keep the lid down on these scams which appear to be the tip of the iceberg. But equally,crony Communism brought about the downfall of the USSR! Pseudo-Socialism ,laziness of the working class,zilch accountability and the suppression of individualism and innovation which has always benefited human society enabling it to progress in history,saw the Communist manifesto abandoned in the latter years of the 20th century.In our country we see a Left movement,almost irrelevant ,sticking to its archaic ideology,forgetting even Marx and the possibility of other variables,which China has lapped up in n authoritarian society where the state and Communist party reigns supreme,but has spurred an economic miracle that has used capitalism to its benefit.I feel that the jury is out on this one but the popularity of Bernie Sanders,Corbyn and co. in the West shows that disillusionment ith the existing eco-system that benefits the rich and priviliged is rapidly bringing the pot to the boil and some sort of explosion is inevitable if remedial measures are not taken immediately.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long ... 34241.html
Karl Marx 200th anniversary: The world is finally ready for Marxism as capitalism reaches the tipping point
The philosopher predicted that centralisation would lead to revolution and give birth to a post-capitalist society – globalisation has led us to that point

Youssef El-Gingihy

The point is to change the world, argued the German philosopher, so are we ready for a revolution?

Two hundred years ago on 5 May 1818, Karl Marx was born in the German town of Trier on the banks of the river Moselle. Serendipitously, at the start of this bicentennial year, I found myself invited to a wedding in what used to be called Karl-Marx-Stadt, since renamed Chemnitz, in the former East Germany. Communism may have formally collapsed with the downfall of the Soviet Union, yet it has not been extinguished.

The world’s most populous state and rising superpower, China, is officially communist, albeit nominally. And socialist ideas remain prevalent throughout the world. The resurgence of socialism could be seen in the Chavismo new left wave of Latin American politics (admittedly now in the process of being rolled back). In the US, self-proclaimed socialist senator Bernie Sanders could well have been as unlikely an occupant of the Oval office as Donald Trump – if the Democratic National Committee had not conspired against him.

In the UK, unapologetic socialist Jeremy Corbyn swept to the leadership of Her Majesty’s opposition, appointed Trotskyist John McDonnell as shadow chancellor (McDonnell recently told the Financial Times that their aims for Britain are socialist), pronounced socialism as no longer a dirty word to a delirious conference, before garnering 40 per cent of the vote in the general election. In France, Jean Luc Mélenchon performed respectably in the first round of the French elections, commanding nearly 20 per cent of the vote. In Greece, the left-wing Syriza government remains in power – even though its manifesto has been crushed by international finance capital. Its former finance minister and firebrand Yanis Varoufakis describes himself as a lapsed Marxist. His recent essay penned in The Guardian cites Marx’s analysis as both the key to understanding our present predicament and the way out of it.

Millennial capitalism
In 2015, socialism was the most searched word on Merriam Webster’s online dictionary. Socialism does not carry historical baggage for a younger generation left behind by the iniquities of capitalism. A Harvard study found that a majority of millennials reject capitalism and a third are in favour of socialism. This is what might be called the revenge of Marx; the rehabilitation of one of the world’s historical philosophers. Marx inverted Hegelian doctrine into dialectical materialism, affirming that it was material relations that were responsible for consciousness and social relations  –  not the other way round. In 2011, back when it was still unfashionable to confess to being Marxist, Oxford University literary theorist Professor Terry Eagleton boldly decreed that the bearded prophet had been right after all. Eagleton is no longer alone.

Jeremy Corbyn proves socialism is a popular ideology (Alamy)
A slew of books herald the end of capitalism, in the words of economic sociologist Wolfgang Streeck, and announce that we are entering the epoch of Postcapitalism, according to the gospel of journalist and author Paul Mason. The most dangerous philosopher in the West, Slavoj Zizek,  according to The New Republic magazine ,  is communist; one of his recent tomes, Living in the End Times, conjures up the apocalyptic sense of the death throes of capitalism.

Of course, it wasn’t meant to be like this. Marx’s ideas had apparently been discredited with the collapse of communism and consigned to Trotsky’s dustbin of history. Hadn’t history proven that communism was not a historical inevitability? Then came the 2008 financial crash and the demise of political economist Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’. A decade of austerity was the death knell for the ideological vacuum. The fall-out has seen a polarisation between authoritarian nationalism and progressivism; between dystopia and NOT dystopia, if you like.

Neoliberalism​ always presented itself as depoliticised, in that the free market is akin to an all-enveloping atmosphere and as irresistible as a force of nature. Its allocation of resources and outcomes supposedly only required mere supervision through technocratic managerialism. In reality, it could not have been more ideological, operating through the corporate capture of the state and hollowing out of the institutions of civic society. Global capitalism appeared to be indomitable and impregnable, in so far as it was the hegemonic system. Yet at the same time, the delayed reaction of a series of political earthquakes, in the form of the Arab Spring and a wave of authoritarian populism, has exposed its vulnerabilities. Even if these events have not challenged the fundamental basis of the system, its neoliberal globalisation variant is under attack.

Yanis Varoufakis was at the forefront of Greece’s radical left coalition (Getty)
Mao Zedong’s description of capitalism as a paper tiger seems as pertinent as ever. Marxism bequeathed a rich legacy of thinkers, ranging from Lenin and Trotsky to the Frankfurt school, as well as the likes of Antonio Gramsci, Fredric Jameson and Alain Badiou. It was once unthinkable to break with Marxist orthodoxy on the left. Until, as American Marxist Marshall Berman relates in his modern classic All that is Solid Melts into Air (taking its cue from the famous phrase in the Communist Manifesto), a group of disaffected French post-structuralists and postmodernists, namely Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes, did just that. Disillusioned by the defeat of May 1968, when an uprising against De Gaulle resulted in his party emerging even stronger than before, they broke ranks.

Karl Marx is 'back in fashion,' says shadow chancellor John McDonnell
Is Jeremy Corbyn, in the words of his favourite philosopher Karl Marx,
'We can learn a great deal from Marx', says Jeremy Corbyn
In the intervening decades, the battles of identity politics have been significant but they have also been hampered by the lack of a structural, systemic understanding of how capitalism operates. Where resistance has mirrored the fragmented, atomised, hyper-individualism of neoliberalism then it has often been doomed to failure. All of which is very much bound up with the Cold War victory of the US empire. The CIA saw its chance, according to a recently declassified research paper. The agency read French postmodern theory, concluding that its questioning of the objective basis of reality could be used to undermine the Marxist doctrine of historical and teleological inevitability. Millions of dollars were pumped into front organisations such as magazines, publishing houses and favoured academics, in order to push postmodern ideas and to create a centre left, thus demarcating the outer boundary of respectable ideas – anything beyond which could be denounced as dangerous and radical lunacy. After all, the strategy of divide and rule has generally been the preferred one of the ruling class.

The ruling class
Marx was familiar with the methods of the ruling class. He was often on the run from European authorities, eventually finding refuge in the relative tolerance of London where he divided up his time between his smoke-filled home (Soho then later Kentish town), the British Library and watering holes. His rebellious life  –  immersed in the struggles of the 19th century, from the 1848 revolutions to the Paris commune  –  lent itself, naturally, to the counterculture of the late 20th century. And now to the glamour of the big screen. A new Marx biopic – The Young Karl Marx  from I Am Not Your Negro director Raoul Peck  –  has been released. Marx’s starting point, outlined in his 1844 letter For A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existing to fellow philosopher Arnold Ruge, is a philosophical tabula rasa comparable to a Cartesian wiping of the slate clean. This position of ‘Kritik’, adopted by the young Hegelians, gradually evolved into praxis for Marx. Hence, in Theses on Feuerbach (1888), Marx states “the philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it”.

The Communist Manifesto itself was not merely a political and economic tract. It is a call to arms, as well as a work of canonical sublimity and literary fecundity; by turns poetic, inspired and visionary. Author and journalist Francis Wheen’s biography describes the Damascene moment at which Marx anoints the word ‘proletariat’. It descends on to the page like a thunderclap across the landscape, presaging the revolutions to come of the 20th century. In the wide-ranging debate Die Judenfrage, or The Jewish Question, Marx posits that the liberal definition of freedom is limited. The motto of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fratérnité’ of the French revolution is just that  –  a good slogan. To take one example, equality does not relate to power or wealth but merely denotes equality before the law.

Marx formulates that consciousness is generated by the mode of production, in a classic inversion of the Hegelian system. He defined alienation as the quintessential state of mind and being under capitalism, corresponding to the economic relations of commodification, exploitation and oppression. It is a state of mind that is little understood by the billions who experience it daily. Thus, bourgeois society is predicated on economic individualism, private ownership and self-interest. The relations between individuals, including intimate relations, are thus egoistical. Pure self-interest becomes the prime driver of not just economic processes but all relations. Under capitalism, every entity, no matter how sacred, can be transformed, exploited and sold for profit. This is what Marx meant by the intrinsic process of commodification. And it is this limitless commodification which extends into every sphere, including sex, the body and relationships.

lenin-trotsky.jpg
Lenin (left) and Trotsky were two of the 20th century’s greatest revolutionaries inspired by Marxism (Getty)
Online *****, social media and dating apps are merely the latest extrapolations of this relentless commodification. Furthermore, social roles and relations are engendered by historical modes of production. Thus, the agrarian, feudal world corresponds to the social strata of monarchy; aristocracy and the church dominating and exploiting the peasantry. Similarly, the industrial, urbanised world corresponds to the social structure of the bourgeoisie exploiting the proletariat. In a memorably thunderous passage in The Communist Manifesto, Marx extrapolates this connection between social and economic relations to define free trade: “It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom  –  Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.”

Marx outlined the history of mankind as the history of class struggle in which the classes are opposed in a dialectical paradigm. Thus, we move from antiquity with the duality of slave owner and slaves to the feudal age of lord and serf to the capitalist age of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. It is these same unsustainable contradictions that Marx later proposes will bury capitalism, when the burgeoning proletariat become the ‘gravediggers’ of the bourgeoisie. This ‘final’ stage will usher in communism, completely transforming and reconfiguring the previous relations into a classless society. Marx outlines that communism, in abolishing private property, also abolishes alienation and wage bondage, leading to worker emancipation and, by extension, universal emancipation. Nevertheless, Marx subscribes to the enlightenment belief in the rationality and logic of mankind to create a narrative of progress. The bourgeois capitalist system is perceived as a necessary step in this progression, enabling the transition from a feudal, agrarian society into an urban, industrialised one. Thus, the bourgeoisie is portrayed as having played a revolutionary role in transforming the world. In its propensity for upheaval and turmoil, capitalism never ceases to alter the world.

marx-chemnitz.jpg
A monument to Karl Marx in the German city Chemnitz, formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt (Getty)
The dialectical materialist analysis of the history of class struggle played out in the contradictions of Marx’s own life. Whether in his marriage to the aristocratic Jenny Von Westphalen, or his friendship with industrialist Friedrich Engels, which enabled the genius of Marx and offset the penury of his journalism and political activities. Some of the most switched-on uber capitalists and masters of the universe concede that Marx’s basic analysis of capitalism has never been improved upon. Trump billionaire backer and donor Peter Thiel states that the breakdown of the status quo points either towards libertarianism or Marxism. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett infamously once said: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

Concentration of wealth
The Marxist critique of capitalism hinges on its innate tendency towards concentration and centralisation of wealth. In Capital Volume 1, Marx fleshes out the M-C-M circuit (in which M is money and C is commodities). This circuit guarantees the expansion of capital, providing the economic basis of capitalism as a mechanism for limitless capital accumulation. The resulting crises of overproduction and capital accumulation are resolved through the enforced destruction of productive forces, the conquest of new markets and more thorough exploitation paving the way for more extensive and destructive crises. Fracking might be viewed as the ultimate metaphor for this process, whilst Uber is emblematic of the same hyper-exploitation.

French economist Thomas Piketty’s work, updating the original title to Capital in the Twenty-First Century, using a large amount of historical data, has further corroborated Marx’s theories on the concentration of wealth. Unsurprisingly, several decades of neoliberalism have been the greatest testament to how a deregulated capitalism, red in tooth and claw, siphons wealth to the top 1 per cent or even 0.1 per cent. Recent figures show that the wealthiest eight billionaires in the world (whom you could fit into a people carrier) have as much wealth as the bottom half of the global population, or some 3. 5 billion people. Astonishingly, the equivalent figure was the 62 wealthiest billionaires in 2016. Back in 2010 it was more than 300. This is how rapidly wealth is being sucked up to the top  – this may be termed the vacuum-up effect as opposed to the myth of trickle-down economics.

young-marx.jpg
Stefan Konarske, left, as Friedrich Engels and August Diehl as Karl Marx in ‘The Young Karl Marx’ (Rex)
Whilst Victorian capitalism was dominated by small-to-medium-sized companies, the middle decades of the 20th century witnessed a shift to statist capitalism. In effect, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China represented variations on this theme. Since then the age of globalisation has been ushered in with multinational corporations straddling the globe – many of them larger than the states they operate in. The movement of vast pools of capital on a global scale is historically unmatched. Mega mergers seem to be rarely out of the headlines. In other words, the centralisation Marx predicted 150 years ago is panning out.

There is a one-way trend towards the control of capital by an ever smaller number of players. Neoliberal doctrine emphasises the virtues of competition. Yet the reality of deregulated free markets, most evidently in financial services, has been monopoly, cartels, collusion and rigging. This is evidenced by the big four dominance in every sector from banking, accountancy, magic circle law firms, to high street supermarkets, energy companies and privatised utilities. The contradictions of the system have now attained a new level of absurdity.

Capitalists presently invest in existing money, be it financial instruments, housing or debt, in order to make profit. In fact, this financialisation of the economy has superseded the traditional profit-making processes of manufacturing. Unlike manufacturing, this financialisation does not create value. Instead it creates asset bubbles of financial and housing speculation, which eventually burst, as happened on a seismic scale in the 2008 crash. Since the 1970s there have been a series of escalating market crises  – yet even this volatility is profitable for hedge funds.

paris-68.jpg
Civil unrest in France in 1968 was described as a social revolution against capitialism (Getty)
So if late capitalism is economically, socially and ecologically unsustainable, not to mention bankrupt, then whither to from here? One of the obtuse criticisms of Marx has been the lack of a blueprint, despite the fact that a participatory, truly democratic society would need to emerge organically rather than following a roadmap. Marx posited revolution as “the driving force of history”. The overthrow of the existing state and the dissolution of property would lead to liberation extending to the dissolution of the bourgeois conceptions of family, marriage and all nation states. This liberation from national barriers would then bring everyone into connection with the production of the whole world for the pleasure of their consumption.

Under communism, Marx daintily describes how one would be able to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening and criticise after dinner (naturally). Communism would appear to truly represent the end of the history, or at least the end of history, as class struggle :  “Communism is the riddle of history solved and it knows itself to be this solution.” Marx formulates that human emancipation can only be achieved by going beyond the bourgeois framework; material emancipation translates into spiritual and sensuous emancipation. Only the resolution of the material modes of production, beyond the paradigm of economic individualism, private property and self-interest, can liberate consciousness and revolutionise social relations  –  such that there is the capacity, the capability and propensity for free behaviour and genuine ties between individuals based on love, warmth and affection, rather than purely calculating and cold self-interest.

Alternative future
The exultant victory lap of all-singing, all-dancing capitalism has been remarkably brief; the unipolar moment of American triumphalism short-lived. Only recently, US defence secretary Jim Mattis announced that the era of great power politics has returned. Undoubtedly, a set of progressive ideas is coalescing amongst the new left  –  a green economy, public and democratic control of the economy, full automation. This 21st century manifesto is embodied in such books as Inventing the Future. The critical question remains of the vehicle necessary to bring about this transition.

There is no doubt that 21st-century global capitalism is far more sophisticated and resilient than that of pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The transition of capitalism to an alternative political and economic system will likely play out over a protracted period, even if it is catalysed by revolution. Much in the same way that feudalism evolved into capitalism through the dual industrial (economic) and French revolutions (political), in which the bourgeoisie superseded the aristocratic order preceded by the 17th-century English civil war.

Or to leave the last word to Marx: “No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society.”

Youssef El-Gingihy is the author of ‘How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps’, published by Zero books


Please enjoy this great song,written a few yars ago but very relevant today esp. in India with our bank scams galore.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSIUf2hD6Io

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 08 May 2018 13:32

What consequences could that be.

US is slowly but surely being driven out of East Asia by China.

--------

White House Threatens Beijing With "Consequences" Should Missiles Remain In South China Sea

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05- ... -china-sea

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby A_Gupta » 09 May 2018 15:34

India loses, China gains from Trump’s scrapping of Iran deal
https://www.firstpost.com/world/donald- ... 62097.html

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 09 May 2018 16:52

Marx was not wrong, just early.

Capitalism inevitably degenerates into Cronyism.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 09 May 2018 20:02

A_Gupta wrote:India loses, China gains from Trump’s scrapping of Iran deal
https://www.firstpost.com/world/donald- ... 62097.html

Nonsense article in the Blow to Namo genre.

OTH India gets better deal with Iran on oil and Chahbahar.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 11 May 2018 07:09


Austin
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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Austin » 12 May 2018 11:53

Time to ‘take fate into its own hands’: Europe can’t rely on US protection anymore, says Merkel
Europe can no longer count on the US in defense and must take matters into its own hands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who also said: “Something should be done.”

“It’s no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us,” Merkel said in a speech honoring President Macron, who came to Aachen to receive the prestigious Charlemagne Prize. Receiving a round of applause, Merkel stated: “Rather, Europe needs to take its fate into its own hands. That’s the task for the future.

Europe has to “act together and speak with one voice," she said, as cited by Germany’s Die Welt newspaper. “But let's be honest: Europe is still in its infancy with regard to the common foreign policy.”

Speaking after Merkel, Macron said that “We should not be waiting, we must do something right now. Let us not be weak,” added the French president.

Last year, Merkel had made a similar statement, urging Europe to become less dependent on its transatlantic ally. “The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I've experienced that in the last few days,” she told a crowd a day after attending the G7 summit in Italy.

The German chancellor, who secured her fourth term earlier this year, reiterated that Europeans “must really take our destiny into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain, with good neighborly relations wherever possible, also with Russia and other countries.”

Nevertheless, countries within the EU “have to know that we have to fight for our future and our fate ourselves as Europeans."

Merkel’s statement comes shortly after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, prompting a backlash from members of the accord, including Germany. On Wednesday, the German chancellor said: “We will remain committed to this agreement and will do everything to ensure that Iran complies with its obligations.”

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby JayS » 12 May 2018 13:31

Looks like the Golden monkey has made a estrategic boo boo by pulling out of Eiran deal. All major stake holders are resisting US.

Its a good chance for India IMO if we play our cards right. Time to show middle finger to the Golden Monkey this time. If we lose out of occupying the strategic space in Iran, China will grab it and it will have Russian support. Thats two Vetos to block any US attempt to repeal Iran deal in UNSC. We should look for our National interest. We can always tell the US that they have lost their credibility for us (nothing new, but we have an excuse to reiterate it).

In the times of weakenng Rupee and increasing oil prices, we have a lot to gain by buying oil from Iran in rupees. Iran which stiffened post the deal while dealing with India would be softend again. Time to negotiate better deals on Oil and strategic matters like Chabahar port.

If US tries to overuse its stronghold on global financial system through sanctions against the broad global opposition it will only push others to try and get out of the US controlled system and establish their alternatives that much sooner.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby JE Menon » 12 May 2018 16:09

https://swarajyamag.com/world/trump-jus ... ic-misstep

Probably right to post this here - Trump Has Just Made His First Real Strategic Misstep

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ShauryaT » 12 May 2018 18:01

The Price of Aid: The Economic Cold War in India
FULL AUDIO OF TALK
INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Listen to the full audio (above) of the talk by David C Engerman, where he discusses how superpowers turned to foreign aid as an instrument for pursuing geopolitics through economic means during the Cold War.

Looking back to the origins and evolution of foreign aid during the Cold War, Engerman invites us to recognise the strategic thinking at the heart of development assistance—as well as the political costs. India, the largest of the ex-colonies, stood at the center of American and Soviet aid competition, seeking superpower aid to advance their own economic visions, thus bringing external resources into domestic debates about India’s economic future.

Drawing on an expansive set of documents, many recently declassified, from seven countries, Engerman reconstructs a story of Indian leaders using Cold War competition to win battles at home, but in the process eroding the Indian state.

David C Engerman is Otillie Springer Professor of History at Brandeis University, and the author of ‘The Price of Aid: The Economic Cold War in India’.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby rsingh » 12 May 2018 18:27

chanakyaa wrote:x-posting from econ dhaga

Argentina's socialist economy is in free fall. Presenting Argentina IMF Bailout 2.0

Argentina begins talks with IMF over financial aid

Argentine Central Bank Holds Key Interest Rate at 40 Percent

Argentina on brink of ECONOMIC MELTDOWN as inflation soars and peso plummets


https://countryeconomy.com/countries/co ... a/pakistan
How come Bakistan has no problem of free fall? Somehow bakistan always find some solution.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Falijee » 12 May 2018 19:34

As often happens in most Muslim countries , because of regime change , the loser is demonized when the "new faction" roles into power !

Corruption allegations: Travel ban imposed on former Malaysian PM Najib Razak :mrgreen:

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Austin » 12 May 2018 19:57

India's Role in the World


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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Parasu » 12 May 2018 23:10

JE Menon wrote:https://swarajyamag.com/world/trump-just-made-his-first-real-strategic-misstep

Probably right to post this here - Trump Has Just Made His First Real Strategic Misstep

Nah.
Europe is dependent on US. It has no defences worth speaking of. Even if Trump kicks everyone`s butt from Macron to Merkel, they cant do anything about it. And, they have a completely dhimmified population to boot.
Where can they go? Join the islamists? Join Russia? Join China?
Europeans can shout all they want about how they will continue with the JCPOA deal. But no European company would choose Iran over US and risk US sanctions. Europeans have no cards to play.
Moreover, It is only a strategic misstep if you believe it to be. Iran was going to China and Russia anyway. US bringing about a regime change in Iran or even whacking Iran economically is in American interests. If China wants to go around funding all jihadi states from Pakistan to Iran, let them. Its no skin off Unkil`s back.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby habal » 13 May 2018 00:04

Trump has been put in place by deep state to ignite a war against Iran. Even during his nomination speeches he was blabbering away about Iran this, Iran that. At that time I thought why he is blabbering about Iran so much esp when a nuclear deal also had been completed. Now this nuclear deal was important only in sense that Iran's nuclear weapons had to be capped/diminished/seized before any future conflict.

So yes, I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that Trump's task is to launch war with Iran. Preparatory work was fracturing Syria and confiscating Iran's nuclear capability as much as feasible. Next step is economic sanctions which will last for 3-4 years after which a convenient false flag will give necessary excuse for first strikes against Iran.

Russia knows all these multi-generational and multi-presidential term plans and wants to ensure USA is sufficiently militarily weakened, demoralized, resenting & dissatisfied population, and economically crippled enough to make it out of its Iran adventure intact & to thereaten Russia in any shape or form after that. This is why Russia in Syria is a holding operation and not a battle to the finish. Why allow your enemy to improvise and knock over both foes at once.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby chanakyaa » 13 May 2018 07:16

rsingh wrote:...
https://countryeconomy.com/countries/co ... a/pakistan
How come Bakistan has no problem of free fall? Somehow bakistan always find some solution.

Bakistan is in a worst position than Argentina. Country has been in moral free fall since its creation and economic free fall for at least 30+ years. Survival is a different story. Like Bakistan, Argentina will survive, by depreciating its currency and turning over public enterprises. As far as Bakistan, some history with IMF here...

Great game or a curious case of Dutch Disease without the oil?
A history of Pakistan’s relations with the IMF (and the Bretton Woods Institutions in general) cannot be told without reference to the complex and changing role played by the United States, especially since the mid‐1980s when the Reagan administration stepped up responses to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. We argue that the influx of US assistance over the past quarter of a century has distorted incentive structures in Pakistan, and weakened the desire for self‐reliance. It has created a Dutch Disease‐like effect, except that the country lacks oil, and trades on its geographical importance. As this importance fluctuates over time, it leaves the country increasingly vulnerable.
...(more)


Cure or curse: Our perpetual dependence on the IMF

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Neshant » 13 May 2018 08:44

^^ It's a rentier state, like Afg.

Anyone who can write off large parts of it's debts can assume control of it.

Except the rent is getting more & more expensive.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Parasu » 14 May 2018 17:25

https://www.ft.com/content/8fc1b404-56c ... tlhomepage

Trump has ordered a U-turn over Chinese company ZTE after meeting with Xi.
Anyone remembers how he had mocked Modi after Indian government repeatedly reduced import duty on American motorcycles.
No wonder Modi wanted to meet Xi in Wuhan.
I hope, there was a serious long-term strategic dialogue in Wuhan. <offensive part deleted by moderator>
Last edited by nachiket on 15 May 2018 04:05, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: User warned

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby Vips » 17 May 2018 18:35

Here's How Sikkim Became An Integral Part Of India On This Day In 1975.

One of the most beautiful places across the length and breadth of the country, Sikkim, became a part of India on this day in 1975.

Sikkim did not become a part of India when it became an independent Union in 1947. At that time it was just the buffer state between British India and China. However, it remained under the protection of India and until 1975 it remained an Indian protectorate but an independent state.

Here is the timeline of Sikkim as the state until it officially included in Union of India.

1. Sikkim as a state came into being in 1642 when the rule of Chogyal dynasty and 1890 it came under British rule and became of protectorate state of British. It meant that it came under the jurisdiction of the British and acted as buffer state between China and British India which also included Nepal and Bhutan.

2. In 1947 with India became independent and Sikkim became India’s protectorate but Sikkim’s foreign policy, security and communication came under India’s rule with the state retaining independence internally.

3. But Sikkim’s monarch’s always shared a tense relationship with India and the big problem came up when the state’s last monarch Palden Thondup Namgyal married a US citizen Hope Cook. Some say she was CIA agent. She took over the Sikkim governance in her hands which not only undermined the government operating in Sikkim, but also India’s role in the state.

4. In 1975, the people of Sikkim rebelled against the monarch. Many believe that citing the poor relation with monarch India fuelled the rebellion, but soon the violence in the state crossed bounds and monarch’s loyal were killing people.

5. Seeing the law and order cripple, India intervened militarily and restoring the order. The 1967 batch IPS officer Ajit Doval, who is currently National Security Adviser went from Mizoram to Sikkim and handled the entire operation. Sikkim’s first chief minister Kazi Lhendup Dorjee was supporting India throughout this.

Since then Sikkim remained with India and stands as one of the most sought-after tourist places.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 17 May 2018 21:13

JE Menon wrote:https://swarajyamag.com/world/trump-just-made-his-first-real-strategic-misstep

Probably right to post this here - Trump Has Just Made His First Real Strategic Misstep



Good points.

DT has domestic compulsions for this and knows pulling out wont hurt Iran as the others will sustain the treaty.

So US for first time is letting EURC do the heavy lifting.
Soon they will venture out.
EURC is Eurasian land mass.

Think about it. Back to future of pre WWI.

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Re: Geopolitics/Geoeconomics Thread- June 2015

Postby ramana » 17 May 2018 21:16

Austin wrote:India's Role in the World




Why does FZ look like he should go to toilet?

Anyway why are people inviting him to discuss India?

he sued to have khayly pullao dreams of being the first Muslim Secy of State for US!!!!


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