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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1300 on: February 05, 2020, 09:08:42 AM »
Hedges at truthdig: United States of delusion

"The rhetoric we use to describe ourselves is so disconnected from reality that it has induced collective schizophrenia. "

"The embrace of collective self-delusion marks the death spasms of all civilizations. We are in the terminal stage. We no longer know who we are, what we have become or how those on the outside see us. "

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/america-land-of-make-believe/

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philopek

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1301 on: February 05, 2020, 01:57:05 PM »

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1302 on: February 06, 2020, 06:27:14 AM »
Monroe ascendant: Both wings of the same bird of prey applaud Venezuela coup

"congressional Democrats applauded along with their Republican colleagues after President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to praise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who headed a failed U.S-backed coup against his country’s elected president last year."

“Guaidó received an extended bipartisan standing ovation. It was one of the few times that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats stood to applaud during Trump’s speech.”

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-most-appalling-moment-from-trumps-state-of-the-union/

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nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1303 on: February 06, 2020, 07:20:01 AM »
^^
Very apt: "Both wings of the same bird of prey applaud Venezuela coup"
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1304 on: February 06, 2020, 08:16:06 AM »
Re: "two wings of the same bird of prey"

I like the phrase, but i did not compose it. I first came across it in Upton Sinclair's representation of Eugene Debs in "The Jungle." It is originally from a Debs speech in 1902:

"You cannot expect any help from either of the two old parties. They are simply the two wings to the same foul bird of prey."

That speech may be found at:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1902/0616-debs-mustgainpossession.pdf

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nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1305 on: February 06, 2020, 11:01:17 AM »
Thanks for the link sidd.

A two-party system cannot be a democracy I think. In a functioning democracy, a wide range of choices represents the diversity of voters.
Truth and Integrity are paramount to combat corruption for personal gain. All doors must be open with everything 'visible'.
Once the political leaders tilt to non-truth and non-integrity, the system will fall over to that side and stay there until revolution. A lie is much more powerful than the truth in modern times. The mounting temptation to lie will override all truths.

The U.S.A. is run by morally empty vessels-of-destruction. Proud of their vitiating deviousness. The top of the empire.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1306 on: February 07, 2020, 01:36:33 AM »
"congressional Democrats applauded along with their Republican colleagues after President Donald Trump used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to praise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who headed a failed U.S-backed coup against his country’s elected president last year."

“Guaidó received an extended bipartisan standing ovation. It was one of the few times that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats stood to applaud during Trump’s speech.”

Sick. Sociopathic.
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karl dubhe2

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1307 on: February 07, 2020, 02:32:48 PM »


Sick. Sociopathic.

Two words that describe every empire in Earth's history.

blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1308 on: February 08, 2020, 08:49:29 AM »
Former US drone operator recalls dropping a missile on Afghanistan children and says military is ‘worse than the Nazis’

Link >> https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-military-drone-nazis-brandon-bryant-a9324011.html

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1309 on: February 23, 2020, 12:33:00 AM »
China  down on US treasuries:

https://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt

Japan up ...

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1310 on: February 24, 2020, 02:57:03 AM »
Freeman on decline:

"Washington has given up on diplomacy and turned to aggressive reliance on exclusively coercive means"

"the United States has lost or is clearly losing every conflict it has fought in this century. With no fixed objectives or termination strategies for any of these wars, they go on forever.  And history strongly suggests that once American troops establish a presence in a country, they do not withdraw.  "

"friends and foes alike are considering how best to end the dollar’s central role in global trade settlement.  "

"ability to adapt to change is severely constrained by fiscal incapacity ... The federal revenue shortfall (i.e. the budget deficit) is now about $1 trillion annually – about the same size as overall military spending "

"The Russian “System for Transfer of Financial Messages” (STFS) has already de-dollarized 70 percent of trade within the Eurasian Economic Union ... later this year, Beijing is expected to expand its Cross-Border International Payments System (CIPS) to connect some twenty banks in a worldwide payments superhighway for clearing and settling transactions in yuan.  It will link up with the Russian STFS and an Indian system now being designed.  Earlier, the EU established a “special vehicle” to conduct trade with Iran outside SWIFT.  The BRICS group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) is joining forces to create a single payment system – BRICS Pay."

"the main driver of this and other new clearance mechanisms is the desire to evade the extraterritorial enforcement of U.S. policies that most of the world considers both illegal and obnoxious."

" America could no longer run persistent balance of trade and payments deficits. The overvaluation of the dollar that its primacy has sustained would end.  The American standard of living would plunge. "

https://chasfreeman.net/america-in-distress-the-challenges-of-disadvantageous-change/

He still thinks in the terms of a representative of Empire. But he is waking up.

sidd

nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1311 on: February 25, 2020, 12:10:42 PM »
‘I gotta stay strong’: the Native American families with a legacy of violent deaths

   An untracked number of Indigenous people have more than one relative missing or murdered in unexplained circumstances

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/25/native-americans-families-missing-murdered-indigenous
  by Hallie Golden in Seattle


 Some quotes:
When HighWolf saw her daughter’s body, she said there was a dent on her forehead, bruising on her nose and hands, scraped knees and red around her neck.

“What’s going on with my family?” HighWolf, 60, asked. “There’s times when I just want to cry and scream, but I gotta stay strong.”

Native Americans disappear at twice the per capita rate of white Americans, despite comprising a far smaller population, according to FBI figures. In 2008, research funded by the Department of Justice found Indigenous women who are living on tribal lands are murdered at more than 10 times the national average in some places.

they documented more than 50 instances in the US and Canada in which a missing or murdered Indigenous woman or girl (MMIWG) had a similar case in their immediate family. Many of these cases included daughters and granddaughters of a MMIWG, according to the report.

Annita Lucchesi, a Southern Cheyenne descendant and the executive director of the Sovereign Bodies Institute, said the number is surely much higher.


They noticed that most of the people living on the streets were direct descendants of those who had been most severely physically and sexually abused at residential schools.


seems kind of parallel story to the native Australians. Are they perceived as dangerous? No. It is something else. Please think about it.
>much more in the linked article
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1312 on: February 26, 2020, 10:11:05 AM »
The united states of cruelty:

'I Don't Want to Go in a Police Car.' Body Camera Footage Captures Handcuffed 6-Year-Old's Tearful Pleas During Arrest at School

Link >> https://time.com/5790482/6-year-old-arrested-florida-body-cam/

kassy

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1313 on: February 26, 2020, 03:31:06 PM »
And also stupidity.

WTF would you arrest a 6 year old? Is she an early blossoming axe murderess or is this a total failure of a system.

What can a 6 year old do that you can not correct as teachers especially if you get the parents to work on it too (it´s cases where they suck that are really problematic to solve).

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blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1314 on: February 26, 2020, 04:13:33 PM »
total failure of a system

This is worse. This is Naziesque, Kafkaesque, and for the little girl, it's traumatizing.

Those cops need to be locked away for life to prevent further harm.

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1315 on: February 27, 2020, 06:17:01 AM »
Amazing: Bernie goes there

"it might be a good idea to be honest about American foreign policy"

"the fact that America has overthrown governments all over the world in Chile, in Guatemala, in Iran."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/02/26/chile-guatemala-iran-sanders-applauded-highlighting-us-record-overthrowing

sidd

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1316 on: February 29, 2020, 09:20:25 PM »
Empire, satraps and Kafka: Johnstone on Assange show trial

"The magistrate keeps telling Assange to stop speaking up during his trial and to speak through his lawyers, yet he’s being actively prevented from communicating with his lawyers."

"Both the defense and the prosecution agree that this is absurd, yet the supposedly impartial judge ruled against them both."

"Assange was forbidden from passing notes to his lawyers, yet when he tried to speak up during his trial to get someone’s attention Baraitser told him he may only speak through his lawyers."

"Perfectly normal stuff in a perfectly normal trial being treated in a perfectly normal way by a perfectly normal empire."

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/02/28/this-assange-trial-is-a-self-contradictory-kafkaesque-nightmare/

sidd


Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1317 on: March 02, 2020, 06:17:54 PM »
I'm following this stuff. It's sickening. Maybe we should have an Assange thread. More people should know about this fascistic muzzling of journalism/whistleblowers going on. The 'free press' isn't going to tell anyone about it.
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nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1319 on: March 03, 2020, 05:57:42 AM »
Thanks for the links.
I think The Guardian newspaper should run an article about this. Previously they have been reporting with good articles about this.
I've read sidd's post Sunday morning and just sat here for a couple of minutes silently thinking. I have no words for the mistreatment of Julian Assange. It's as if 'everybody' just looks away.

The same nefarious injustice happens to the last non-civilisation humans; The heedless murdering of Amazon Indigenous people. I have no words for that either.
I won't look away but can only accept because I'm powerless to change it. Regrettably, even the U.N. is powerless in this.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1320 on: March 03, 2020, 07:23:20 AM »
Schooling and Empire: Weiner at 3quarksdaily

"For people educated in the United States, the connection to ideology and schooling is obvious except when it comes to their own ... Ideology is something that defines other governmental and educational systems, not their own. Ironically, this points to the deep level of ideological indoctrination that state schools have helped to achieve"

"an education system that teaches students to believe in an illusion of freedom, while disciplining what Michel Foucault famously called docile bodies and obedient minds."

"public schools in the United States have been preparing their students to function competently, yet blindly within a “free-market” ideology and a governmental system most accurately described as a neoliberal plutocracy. "

"refined over the years in large part by educational psychologists, linguists, sociologists, and political scientists to produce a uniquely American subject, one that is unaware of its own civic ignorance and democratic incompetencies, yet is ubernationalistic, overly confident in its cognitive abilities, and morally superior. "

"In preparing students to be sociological competent in a neoliberal plutocracy they were unintentionally helping to lay the groundwork for the emergence of an even less democratic system. "

"equity is a pre-condition of a functioning democracy, not its outcome. Capitalism has no such requirement and indeed, at an ideological level, demands inequality as a measure of its success; inequality is a precondition of capitalism as well as a measure of its health ... Basic facility with reading and maths in combination with job training is really all this ideological formation requires of its citizens. Obedience more than any other behavior is what is desired, taught, and rewarded. Functioning democracies demand the opposite from their citizens."

"Public schools effectively and efficiently have managed to educate a citizenry unprepared to self-govern, but more than ready to follow state mandates, consume voraciously, and celebrate “negative freedom” (i.e., freedom from) as the ultimate expression of liberty. "

"Unless people are educated to see the specific ways in which their own ideological systems work, then it is likely they will be able to recognize ideological bias in other systems but remain blind to their own."

"If young people are schooled to think about education as, first and foremost, a means to a job, then that is what they will think. If they are not taught to appreciate democracy and act democratically then they won’t."

"when I ask my undergraduate students why they chose to go to college, they unanimously say it’s about getting a good job ... they acknowledge they don’t know the information and don’t have the skills that a functioning democracy requires of its citizens ... More troubling perhaps is their docility in the face of authoritarian expressions of power."

"Some of the skills and knowledge is learned because of what is actually taught, while other skills and knowledge is acquired because of what is not taught."

"Discipline is unleashed through structures of reward and punishment. Inequality is naturalized. Opportunity indexes freedom which references “choice.” Individualism normalizes atomization. Docility and obedience equates with good behavior while disruptions are “criminalized” or “pathologized.” Speech is constrained and managed by rules and regulations that serve the status quo. Morality and country intersect in a form of currency."

" we can’t simply be fighting against these emerging systems; we must also be as diligent in fighting for alternatives."

"Democracy is not a zero-sum game therefore students should learn that “winners” don’t take all, but have a responsibility to make sure the “losers” still get some of what they want or need. Democracy requires a level of intellectual maturity and emotional intelligence. A democratic education teaches young people to care for each other, to see themselves in each other. "

https://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2020/03/schooling-and-the-emergence-of-free-market-authoritarianism-the-struggle-for-democratic-life.html

sidd


nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1321 on: March 03, 2020, 09:25:30 AM »
Great article sidd!

An active independent critical curious mind is important. Question every 'normal' and every 'tradition' etc.
The power of 'the new normal' is blocking all alternatives from the mind.

Our whole society and culture needs a serious open reevaluation. For that to happen, the age of reason needs a reboot by high morality cooperating real leaders.

If I look up from the proverbial hellish pit we're in, I can see far in the distance a glimmer of light. To reach the light, our self-made hellish pit has to be eliminated. To the relieve of all other life on Earth.

The U.S.A. are not in a democracy anymore but in an oligarchy.
The most important 'policies' are no longer made by chosen leaders but by corporate interests.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

kassy

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1322 on: March 03, 2020, 01:42:31 PM »
A buddy of mine had fun debating American exchange students at university in the 90ies. They were already pretty nationalistic and rather badly informed then. They had a really hard time arguing why their system was better because they lacked detailed knowledge of its history. When pressed too hard many went defensive calling him unamerican which was funny because he was only critiquing the current system which is something different.


 
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nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1323 on: March 03, 2020, 05:35:10 PM »
To not acquiesce to prevailing dogma can be very dangerous and make you an outcast. Much courage is needed to overcome that.

Grown-ups' group behaviour is very strict and isolating. Punishing. A self-made prison in your head.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

Ranman99

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1324 on: March 05, 2020, 05:04:30 AM »
The trick I found is the keep quiet ;-) 'm not always good at it ;-)
Randy Fitton

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1325 on: March 30, 2020, 06:35:20 AM »
Wyman at motherjones on end of Empire:

"stories are one of the fundamental ways in which we engage with and grasp the meaning of the world"

"Any political unit sound enough to project its power over a large geographic area for centuries has deep structural roots. Those roots can’t be pulled up in a day or even a year. If an empire seems to topple overnight, it’s certain that the conditions that produced the outcome had been present for a long time"

"The disaster ... doesn’t so much break the system as show just how broken the system already was."

"The fall of an empire—the end of a polity, a socioeconomic order, a dominant culture, or the intertwined whole—looks more like a cascading series of minor, individually unimportant failures than a dramatic ending that appears out of the blue. "

"Those were small things, state-subsidized ships pulling up to docks built at state expense, sacks of grain hauled on squealing carts and distributed to the citizens, but an empire is an agglomeration of small things. One by one, the arrangements and norms that enabled those small things fell away; not all at once, not everywhere, but slowly and inexorably."

" every state and society faces serious challenges. The difference lies in whether the underlying structures are healthy enough to effectively respond to those challenges ... Successful states and societies are resilient when faced with even serious challenges. Falling empires are not."

"All empires think they’re special, but all empires eventually come to an end."

" that the real meat of the issue will be found in a tax code full of sweetheart deals for the ultra-wealthy, the slashed budgets of county public health offices, the lead-contaminated water supplies. And that’s to say nothing of the decades of pointless, self-perpetuating, and almost undiscussed imperial wars that produce no victories but plenty of expenditures in blood and treasure, and a great deal of justified ill will."

" the text of legislation nobody bothered reading, in local elections nobody was following, in speeches nobody thought were important enough to comment on, in a thousand tiny disasters that amounted to a thousand little cuts on the body politic."

"The pull of the past is strong. The mental frameworks through which we understand the world are durable, far more so than its actual fabric"

https://www.motherjones.com/media/2020/03/how-do-you-know-if-youre-living-through-the-death-of-an-empire/

sidd


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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1326 on: April 01, 2020, 07:11:12 AM »
Paul Krugman in the New York Times

It’s hard to feel any sympathy for Trish Regan, the Fox News host who was fired after a rant in which she called the coronavirus “yet another attempt to impeach the president.” We may never know how many Fox viewers became gravely ill or died because they ignored social distancing in response to people like Regan, who told them that the pandemic was a politically motivated hoax. But the number was surely significant.

The twist in the Regan story, however, is that what she said wasn’t significantly different from what her whole network had been saying for weeks. Her career-killing mistake wasn’t saying something false and evil, it was her timing. She apparently missed the abrupt turn in the party line by a few hours.

For Regan’s rant came just after Fox and right-wing media in general suddenly changed their line from “the pandemic is a liberal hoax” to “everyone must unify behind our great leader in his heroic struggle against the Chinese virus.” And for some reason Regan didn’t get the memo.

Actually, Regan wasn’t the only person who didn’t get the memo. A number of people on the religious right are still sticking with the virus-as-hoax story, notably Jerry Falwell Jr., who defied public health experts by reopening Liberty University — and promptly created his own personal virus hot spot. But most leading figures on the right have swerved on command.

Needless to say, the mounting coronavirus death toll hasn’t produced any apologies from pundits who previously claimed that the virus was a hoax, let alone admissions that the terrible, horrible, no-good mainstream media were actually giving accurate information. Perhaps more surprisingly, as far as I know there haven’t been any howls of protest from Fox viewers, or Rush Limbaugh listeners, who are now being told something completely different from what they were hearing three weeks ago. Their trust in Fox, their disdain for The New York Times and The Washington Post, and, above all, their faith in Donald Trump are apparently unshaken.

The parallels with George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” are obvious. When Oceania suddenly shifts alliances, and its former ally Eastasia becomes an enemy, everyone knows what to believe: not only was the nation at war with Eastasia, it had always been at war with Eastasia. In Orwell’s vision, however, this mind-set was produced by a totalitarian state whose vigilant Thought Police stamp out any hint of independent thought. America isn’t a totalitarian state — not yet, anyway — yet there are tens of millions of American apparently willing to act and think as if the Thought Police were already up and running.

Orwell wrote a great essay a few years before “Nineteen Eighty-Four” titled “Looking Back on the Spanish War.” In it he wrote of his vision of a “nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, ‘It never happened’ — well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five — well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs.

Well, a lot of Americans evidently already live in that nightmare world. And that scares me more than Covid-19.

Sourced from Climate Denial Crock of the Week
with Peter Sinclair
Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.
Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
Robert Heinlein.

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1327 on: April 11, 2020, 07:21:52 AM »
I got my doctorate from a land grant university some thirty year ago. Alas, i naively imagined that "land grant" meant the university was given local lands for university stuctures and research. Fool that i was.

The lands given by lincoln in 1862 were stolen from the first nations and were distributed all over the USA.

"The Morrill Act worked by turning land expropriated from tribal nations into seed money for higher education. In all, the act redistributed nearly 11 million acres — an area larger than Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. But with a footprint broken up into almost 80,000 parcels of land, scattered mostly across 24 Western states, its place in the violent history of North America’s colonization has remained comfortably inaccessible."

And those bloodstained monies remain on the university books:

"according to the Morrill Act, all money made from land sales must be used in perpetuity, meaning those funds still remain on university ledgers to this day."

https://www.hcn.org/issues/52.4/indigenous-affairs-education-land-grab-universities

The data is accessible at

https://www.landgrabu.org/lands

I urge those who have studied at the schools to look up that history.

sidd



Pmt111500

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1328 on: April 16, 2020, 10:34:19 AM »
Funny news from USA, looks like they need a raging pandemic to forget to shoot their children: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-first-march-without-school-shooting-since-2002-united-states/

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1329 on: April 23, 2020, 09:24:08 AM »
Monroe ripoff continues: puppetry in Venezuela

"US $342 million was to be transferred out of its [Venezuela's]  US-based Citibank account."

"The transfer to the US government’s Federal Reserve was “approved” by Venezuela’s parallel parliament on Wednesday, which “requested” that the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) authorise the transaction."

"Washington’s recognition of Guaido in 2019 led to the seizure of several Venezuelan assets abroad, including US-based oil subsidiary CITGO, valued at US $7 billion, which was later passed to a Guaido-appointed ad hoc board of directors. In 2018, 14 tonnes of Venezuelan gold worth US $550 million were likewise held by the Bank of England."

https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14850

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1330 on: May 05, 2020, 10:00:09 AM »
Venezuela detains two Americans allegedly involved in failed raid to remove Maduro

President Nicolas Maduro claims men were among 13 ‘terrorists’ involved in plot to enter country via the coast and oust him

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/venezuela-detains-two-americans-allegedly-involved-in-failed-raid-to-remove-maduro
  by Reuters


  Excerpts:
Venezuelan authorities have detained two US citizens allegedly working with a US military veteran who has claimed responsibility for a failed armed incursion into the oil-producing country, President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday.

In a state television address, Maduro said authorities arrested 13 “terrorists” on Monday allegedly involved in a plot he said was coordinated with Washington to enter the South American country via the Caribbean coast and oust him.

Maduro showed what he said were the US passports and other identification cards belonging to Airan Berry and Luke Denman, who he said were in custody and had been working with Jordan Goudreau, an American military veteran who leads a Florida-based security company called Silvercorp USA.

“They were playing Rambo. They were playing hero,” Maduro said, adding that Venezuelan authorities had caught wind of the plot before its execution.

Goudreau, who identified himself as an organiser of the invasion on Sunday, told Reuters on Monday that Berry and Denman were also involved.

“They’re working with me. Those are my guys,” he said by telephone.

The State Department did not provide any immediate comment on the alleged arrests. US officials have strongly denied any US government involvement in the incursions.


Opposition leader, Juan Guaido, who the US has backed to be president of Venezuela, cast doubt on the government’s version of Sunday’s events, insisting Maduro is seeking to distract from other problems in recent days including a deadly prison riot and a violent gang battle in Caracas.

Guaido’s communications team on Monday denied media reports that Guaido had hired Silvercorp to remove Maduro by force, adding the opposition leader and his allies “have no relationship with or responsibility for the actions of the company Silvercorp.”

In a statement on Monday evening, Guaido’s team said: “We demand the human rights ... of the people captured in recent hours be respected.“


Monday’s arrests come after Maduro’s government on Sunday said mercenaries had attempted to enter the South American country on speed boats from neighbouring Colombia, saying eight people had been killed and two detained.

Later on Sunday, Goudreau released a video identifying himself as an organiser of the alleged invasion, alongside dissident Venezuelan military officer Javier Nieto.

Goudreau said in the video that fighters on the ground continued to carry out operations in different parts of the country.

He identified one of the fighters as “Commander Sequea,” which appeared to be a reference to Antonio Sequea, who was identified on Monday by state television as one of the people arrested.

Silvercorp’s website describes Goudreau as a “highly decorated Special Forces Iraq and Afghanistan veteran.“
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1331 on: May 05, 2020, 05:51:48 PM »
In addition to Nanning's link, a good commentary here:


sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1332 on: May 06, 2020, 02:19:55 AM »
van Auken at wsws: Incompetent Empire

"one of the two mercenaries captured in Macuto claimed to be an agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration."

"Juan Guaidó ... initially issued a statement denying any involvement in the events "

"a signed contract between Guaidó and Jordan Goudreau"

"an audio recording of a conversation between Goudreau and Guaidó agreeing to sign the contract"

"a total fee of $212,900,000, guaranteed by oil money seized by the US government."

"Goudreau confirmed the contract, but claimed that Guaidó and his collaborators failed to pay a retainer of $1.5 million."

"the two US citizens with whom he was captured told him that they worked for the head of security for US President Donald Trump."

"had been introduced to Guaidó and his cohorts by Keith Schiller, the longtime bodyguard of President Trump"

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/05/vene-m05.html

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Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1333 on: May 06, 2020, 10:03:26 AM »
Obama, HRC, Biden, all of them would've handled this so much better. We came, we saw, Venezuela died.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin


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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1335 on: July 03, 2020, 08:04:22 AM »
wertheim at foreignaffairs: costs of primacy are too dear

"Washington’s post–Cold War strategy has failed. The United States should abandon the quest for armed primacy"

"By seeking dominance instead of merely defense, the strategy of primacy plunged the United States into a downward spiral: American actions generated antagonists and enemies, who in turn made primacy more dangerous to pursue."

"the quest for primacy is now leading the United States to erode its own financial position "

"The United States has acquired a kaleidoscope of foreign enemies, whom U.S. officials and the mass media have encouraged the American public to fear and punish."

"A strategy to transform globalization would also transcend the current impasse between “America first” nationalism and nostalgia for the U.S.-led “liberal international order.” The former is implacably hostile to the outside world (and hurts the United States by defining it in opposition to others rather than in terms of itself and its interests). The latter submerges U.S. interests in a vague abstraction (and hurts the world by subordinating everyone to U.S. leadership). A better approach would be to focus on definable interests and major threats that genuinely require action across borders."

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/afghanistan/2020-02-10/price-primacy

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1336 on: July 12, 2020, 01:44:23 AM »
Part two of a Hudson interview by Norton and Blumenthal: how the empire works

" the more America fought militarily, it was depleting its own gold stock, until finally, in August 1971, it said, “We’ve been using gold as the key to our world power ever since World War I, when we put Europe on rations. So we’re going to stop paying gold.” "

“We’ve told the Saudi Arabians that they can charge whatever they want for their oil, but all the money they get, they have to recycle to the United States. Mostly they can buy Treasury bonds, so that we’ll have the money to keep on spending, but they can also buy stocks, or they can do with the Japanese did and buy junk real estate and lose their shirts.”

"when America spends money abroad, central banks really don’t have much — they don’t speculate. They don’t buy companies; they buy Treasury bonds. So we run a monetary deficit; the dollars are spent abroad; the central banks lend them back to the Treasury; and that finances the budget deficit, but it also finances the balance of payments deficit. So we just keep giving paper"

"George W. Bush, said, “Well we’re never really going to repay this. They get counters, but we’re not going to repay it.” "

" that’s why China, Russia, and other countries are trying to de-dollarize"

"America has been buying up Europe, Asia, and other regions with paper credit, US Treasury IOUs that it has informed the world it has little intention of ever paying off."

“And there is little Europe or Asia can do about it except to abandon the dollar and create their own financial system.”

"gunboats don’t appear in your economics textbooks. I bet your price theory didn’t have gun boats in them, or the crime sector"

"Does there have to be an armed revolution here to cancel the debts? Do they have to eat the rich? That’s the whole question for the politics of America."

"If it is not solved by the indebted people simply starving to death, committing suicide, getting sick, or emigrating, then there will have to be a revolution. Those are the choices "

"we’re in the Orwellian world that works through the organs or the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, National Public Radio, the real right-wing of America."

"China doesn’t threaten the American people, but rather the chokehold that the US has on the international financial system."

"what makes China so threatening is that it’s following the exact, identical policies that made America rich "

"we don’t want American banks to come in, create paper dollars, and buy out all of our industries. We’re not going to let America do that.”

"America says China is a vicious threat because it’s not letting us exploit them and victimize them"

"So by essentially waging this economic warfare against China to protect America monopolies, America is integrating China and Russia. "

"The World Bank has one primary aim, and that’s to make other countries dependent on American agriculture."

"So the United States, through the World Bank, has become I think the most dangerous, right-wing, evil organization in modern in history — more evil than the IMF. "

“You must not feed yourself; you must not grow your own grain or your own food; you must depend on the United States for that. And you can pay for that by exporting plantation crops that can’t be grown in temperate zones like the United States.”

"The purpose of the World Bank is to make other countries’ economies distorted and warped into a degree that they are dependent on the United States for their trade patterns."

"First with the School of the Americas graduates staging a coup, and Bill Clinton reinstalls Jean-Bertrand Aristide ...  Aristide is forced to sign off, basically sign away Haiti’s domestic agricultural production capacity. And the next thing you know, their rice economy’s wiped out, and they’re importing rice from Louisiana ... the only economy left, the only economic opportunity left, is to work in these free trade zones for US companies"

"When you have the same problem occurring after 50 years, it’s either insanity — and we know it’s not — or it’s the intent."

"And when you isolate the United States, China realizes that what will be isolated is the neoliberal philosophy that is the cover story, the junk economics that justifies all of these destructive policies."

" the cold war was an attempt — it’s neoliberalism and privatization. It’s Thatcherism. It’s, “How do we make China and Russia look like Margaret Thatcher’s England, or Russia in the 1990s under Yeltsin?” "

"The cold war really is about what is going to happen to Europe. Because we have already isolated China and Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization ... The question is what will happen to Europe, and what will happen to Africa."

https://moderaterebels.com/transcript-economics-american-imperialism-michael-hudson/

Part 1 is about the corona virus bailout

https://moderaterebels.com/transcript-us-coronavirus-bailout-michael-hudson/

I have posted a summary elsewhere.

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1337 on: July 12, 2020, 01:54:34 AM »
Aharonian at venezuelanalysis: the new pirates

" national and international law are no longer worth a dime"

"Piracy is not new to the UK government"

"Devious financial deals abducted countries and cooked them up if they failed to pay the ransom. The global economy is the most efficient expression of organised crime."

"Twenty-first century pirates no longer need to storm foreign ships, now they storm banks"

"It is theft. Due to actions like this, the most famous pirates in the 18th century were the English privateers, they all followed the British Crown (...) The UK violates international law and intends to steal Venezuelan resources,"

https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14936

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1338 on: July 13, 2020, 04:13:45 AM »
Mishra at lrb on decline:

" The abyss of history​ is deep enough to hold us all"

"The early winners of modern history now seem to be its biggest losers"

"Covid-19 has exposed the world’s greatest democracies as victims of prolonged self-harm; it has also demonstrated that countries with strong state capacity have been far more successful at stemming the virus’s spread and look better equipped to cope with the social and economic fallout."

"Anglo-American free marketeering results in intolerable inequity."

" Covid-19 shattered what John Stuart Mill called ‘the deep slumber of a decided opinion’, forcing many to realise that they live in a broken society, with a carefully dismantled state. "

"the idealised view of democracy and free markets prized since the Cold War will not survive much longer."

"Hegel predicted that since the American political community was defined by ‘the preponderance of private interest’, it would only achieve a ‘real state and a real government’ after ‘wealth and poverty become extreme’, compelling an economically exhausted people to seek new forms of governance. "

"When inequality grew intolerable and meritocracy began to appear a fraud, the American ruling class answered its social question more ferociously than many tyrants, with mass incarceration – removing many of the long-term victims of slave society from public life. "

"After the collapse of communism, and the moral challenge it presented, the corralling of African Americans was resumed without fear of international scrutiny; the new weapons for this purpose, honed to deadly effect under Clinton, and fully endorsed by Joe Biden in the Senate, were mass incarceration and a militarised police. "

" the Reagan-Thatcher model, which privatised risk and shifted the state’s responsibility onto the individual, condemns an unconscionable number of people to premature death or to a desperate struggle for existence."

"Democracy does not guarantee good government, even in its original heartlands. "

"The ideal of democracy, according to which all adults are equal and possess equal power to choose and control political and economic outcomes, is realised nowhere. The fact of economic inequality, not to mention the compromised character of political representatives, makes it unrealisable. "

"in no place does democracy look more like a zombie than in India, Anglo-America’s most diligent apprentice, where a tremendously popular Hindu supremacist movement diverts attention from grotesque levels of inequality and its own criminal maladroitness by stoking murderous hatred against Muslims."

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n14/pankaj-mishra/flailing-states

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1339 on: July 17, 2020, 11:51:52 PM »
Engelhardt at tomdispatch: Donald Trump was proof of Osama bin Laden’s success

"of one thing I’m convinced: Donald Trump is Osama bin Laden’s revenge."

"Osama bin Laden, whose urge was then to provoke Washington into a genuine war in the Muslim world and so create yet more Islamic extremists. And did he succeed? You bet -- and in a fashion even he undoubtedly hadn’t conceived of in his wildest dreams. Think of 9/11, in fact, as the greatest example of “shock and awe” in this century."

" I watched my own country become a “bleeding wound” that has never stopped flowing and, in Donald Trump’s Covid-19 moment, has turned into an American Garden of Blood."

"Donald Trump was, in fact, proof of Osama bin Laden’s success, of the fact that 9/11 and those 19 hijackers were all that was needed to produce the world of his dreams and the wounds that went with it."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176728/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_donald_j._trump%2C_or_osama_bin_laden%27s_revenge/

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blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1340 on: July 18, 2020, 08:15:51 AM »
Only, it's not blood coming out of this wound. It's pus...

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1341 on: August 03, 2020, 06:36:12 AM »
China swings away from SWIFT:

"China should prepare for potential U.S. sanctions by increasing use of its own financial messaging network for cross-border transactions ... a report from the investment banking unit of Bank of China. "

"in anticipation of U.S. legislation that could penalise banks "

" reduce exposure of China's global payments data to the United States"

"potential measures the United States could take against Chinese banks, including cutting off their access to the SWIFT financial messaging service"

" if the United States were to take the extreme action of cutting off some Chinese banks' access to dollar settlements, China should also consider stopping using the U.S. dollar as the anchor currency for its foreign exchange controls. "

https://reuters.com/article/idUSKCN24U0SN

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1342 on: August 03, 2020, 06:55:11 AM »
Sjursen at scheerpost sees sectarian war:

I do not excerpt, because i do not agree with many of his points, so i don;t think i would be fair. Read the whole thing:

https://scheerpost.com/2020/07/31/welcome-to-sectarian-america-a-people-divided-and-armed/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1343 on: August 04, 2020, 10:44:44 PM »
Venezuela at bat, Nicaragua on deck: Norton at grayzone

"The USAID regime-change scheme states openly that one of its top “mission goals” is for Nicaragua to “transition to a rules-based market economy” based on the “protection of private property rights.” "

"concludes by calling for the future US-installed regime in Nicaragua to “rebuild institutions” and “reestablish” the military and police; to “dismantle parallel institutions” that support the Sandinista Front; and to persecute FSLN leaders through “transitional justice measures” – in other words, a thorough purge of the Sandinista movement to prevent it from ever returning to power."

"USAID declared its intention to assist in what could be an “orderly transition” or a “sudden transition without elections,” which is clear code for a coup. At the same time, it acknowledged that Nicaragua’s right-wing opposition is divided and has little chance of winning the upcoming 2021 national election."

"The US Agency for International Development was instrumental in the Donald Trump administration’s violent US coup attempts against Venezuela’s elected government in 2019, working directly with the Department of Defense. USAID has poured hundreds of millions of dollars funding the US regime-change efforts against the leftist Chavista government, and has bankrolled the Trump-backed coup regime of Juan Guaidó."

"The pages spelling out the regime-change plot employ precisely the same language and phrases as a job listing that was posted in late July by another US government-funded organization, Democracy International. In fact, the USAID document appears to be a more detailed job description for this post."

"Democracy International stated in its listing on LinkedIn that it was seeking a Nicaraguan national in the capital of Managua to work as a “Senior Level Technical Expert – Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance to provide technical and programmatic support for USAID/Nicaragua’s Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RAIN) Task Order.” "

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/08/04/usaid-document-nicaragua-coup/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1344 on: August 09, 2020, 01:18:06 AM »
Empire walls itself in:

" remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the US. "

"What people didn't expect was that the US might follow China's lead. "

 "This is the Balkanisation of the internet happening in front of our eyes."

"The US government has for a long time criticised other countries for controlling access to the internet… and now we see the Americans doing the same thing."

"The great irony is that the internet would then look a lot more like China's vision."

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53686390

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1345 on: August 11, 2020, 11:12:00 AM »

bluice

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1346 on: August 11, 2020, 12:45:45 PM »

blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1347 on: August 18, 2020, 01:54:08 PM »
Worthy vs Unworthy protests?


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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1348 on: August 18, 2020, 10:57:41 PM »
Gerety at MIT tech review: Empire unmade

"In 1990, he recalled, the US textile industry produced 60% of the “cut & sew” apparel made worldwide—that is, clothing with stitches on the seams, as opposed to knitted wool sweaters or rain gear whose pieces are welded together with heat. Today that figure is 3%. "

" most surviving textile companies have long since disbanded the proprietary sampling labs they used to house on site. Many of the senior staff at both centers learned their trade at companies that were picked apart and reconstituted overseas after hostile takeovers "

"Rhodes recalls watching from afar as the town of Fort Payne, Alabama, lost its status as “sock capital of the world.” “All it takes is one financier”—he stretches the word across four venomous syllables—“on Wall Street to call somebody in China and say, ‘Send me a million dozen of those black socks with the gold thread in the toe.’ He doesn’t know how to make any socks, but he can destroy all that expertise.” "

"the incentives driving the economy no longer distinguish between profitability and greed. “It used to be that plants closed because they weren’t profitable,” he says. “Now they close because they’re not profitable enough.”  "

"Environmental laws transformed huge swaths of American manufacturing, but they also gave US corporations a strong incentive to relocate factories to places where they could pollute at will.  "

"From 2000 to 2016, the US shed nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs, or more than a quarter of the total, and one out of every five manufacturing establishments in the country shut its doors ... In the early 2000s, a wave of sock manufacturers closed, followed by food-processing plants, plastics plants, automotive plants, and lightbulb factories."

"many economists and commentators looked at the data on manufacturing’s share of GDP and concluded that imports couldn’t be the major culprit behind so many lost jobs. "

"Houseman didn’t buy it. Beginning in 2007, she published a series of papers arguing that the basic tools the federal government uses to generate manufacturing, import, and export statistics were misleading and frequently misinterpreted. "

"If a television manufacturer that sells $1,000 TVs relocates production overseas, and Americans start buying $500 imported TVs instead, the amount of economic activity “displaced” by offshoring shows up as $500, not $1,000. But the American town that hosted the old factory lost $1,000 worth of work. Even if the TV is still made in the US, but complex components start being sourced abroad, productivity statistics don’t account for labor done by foreign suppliers. If a TV assembled in Ohio takes nine hours of Vietnamese labor and one hour of Toledo labor, as opposed to all 10 hours coming from Toledo, federal statistics will show that American manufacturers are suddenly able to produce 10 times as many TVs with the same amount of labor. “Productivity” jumps. It appears as though technology improved, when what really happened is that jobs were shipped abroad."

" for several decades, the speed and power of the chips and semiconductors churned out by one small slice of American manufacturers advanced so rapidly that increases in “output” from that sector alone accounted for the vast majority of productivity gains among US manufacturers. Leave computers out of it, and all of a sudden US manufacturing appeared to be in very bad shape. "

"  the loss of the “industrial commons”—the combination of expertise, infrastructure, and networks of mutually dependent businesses that help foster efficiency and innovation. Over time, Shih argues, outsourcing has cannibalized not only the assembly line jobs we associate with the factory floor, but the whole chain of intellectual effort that makes those jobs possible. "

" Any manufacturer that built in wiggle room to better weather a pandemic would have had “Wall Street analysts all over their case,” Shih says, saying: “Look at how inefficiently you’re using your capital.”"

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/08/14/1006428/unmade-in-america/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1349 on: August 19, 2020, 11:32:15 AM »
Quote
"Rhodes recalls watching from afar as the town of Fort Payne, Alabama, lost its status as “sock capital of the world.” “All it takes is one financier”—he stretches the word across four venomous syllables—“on Wall Street to call somebody in China and say, ‘Send me a million dozen of those black socks with the gold thread in the toe.’ He doesn’t know how to make any socks, but he can destroy all that expertise.” "

"the incentives driving the economy no longer distinguish between profitability and greed. “It used to be that plants closed because they weren’t profitable,” he says. “Now they close because they’re not profitable enough.”  "
All it takes is millions of poor people in another location willing to work for far lower wages. Global inequality drives these arbitrages.
And the last quoted paragraph is very wrong. When interest rates are high and capital is scarce plants are closed when they are not profitable enough. When interest rates are negative and capital chases just about anything, a profitable plant is a goose that lays golden eggs, regardless of the level of profitability.