Modern liberal democratic states are oligarchies of state-capitalist power elites in practice (C. Wright Mills). But they have to afford a reasonable standard of living, level of protection, and quality of life to the middle class in order to maintain their legitimacy. States tend to collapse when they can no longer hold the support of the middle class. The middle class generally fears the lower class more than the ruling class (for a range of reasons, e.g. crime, economic competition, perceived cultural threats, status anxiety, etc). So the state will maintain the loyalty of the middle class by ensuring the lower class is effectively suppressed. Political rivalries in liberal democracies either represent different factions of the elite attempting to build constituencies for themselves (e.g. FOX News or MSNBC) or various middle class factions seeking favors and preferential treatment from the state and other elite institutions.
By J P Cortez
October 19, 2017 marks an important holiday in the Indian culture. Diwali begins.
Diwali is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. It is a lavish celebration of the victory of light over darkness with its gleaming candles, luxurious works of art, and opulent feasts. Diwali is also characterized by gift giving. Buying and gifting gold is considered auspicious during Diwali.
Given the nature of the holiday and the number of people who celebrate it, according to CNBC, the past few years have seen a tendency for the gold price to rise around Diwali. Last year during Diwali, Mihir Kapadia, founder & CEO of Sun Global Investments, said “As heavy consumers, the festive seasons always tend to surge the demand, and considering the current low prices, this should increase the market activity and thus push the prices a little.” Kapadia continued, “We do not expect it to boost prices significantly as the overall market is subdued due to the worries about rising interest rates.”
There is no shortage of economic analysis during the buildup to this year’s celebration as The Economic Times reported “bullion has climbed almost 10 percent on the Indian market this year as world prices increased on… reduced chances of a further hike in U.S. interest rates in 2017.”
However, history shows that rising interest rates do not necessarily make bonds and cash more attractive or push the demand for (and therefore the price) gold down. Interest rate hikes are usually a gold bullish event.
“Gold prices going down after rate hikes is a myth propagated by the financial establishment and portfolio managers who may be intellectually lazy or have a vested interest in scaring people away from gold,” says Stefan Gleason, president of U.S. precious metals dealer Money Metals Exchange. “In reality, central banks are almost always behind the curve, and real interest rates may be going in the opposite direction despite the rate hikes.”
Slaying the Beast Takes Multiple Blows
Diwali is a grand, extravagant multi-day festival celebrating many things by many different groups of people. One of the more popular tales remembered and celebrated during Diwali is that of the brave Lord Rama. According to legend, he returned from exile after having saved his kidnapped wife and slayed the evil demon Ravanna.
KMO welcomes Keith Preston back to the program to discuss the difference between absolute and relative poverty. There are a lot of people who make less than the national average, but most of the so-called poverty in the US is relative poverty. Even so, social stratification and wide disparities between rich and poor, even when the poor are not facing starvation, erodes the sense of shared national identity and makes democratic government difficult to maintain.
It could be that Trump has started a trend where the political class, corporate class, and celebrity class are increasingly blended into each other. Also, a Zuckerberg presidential candidacy would be significant in that he represents social and economic forces outside the traditional WASP plutocracy to a much greater degree than Trump in that he is both a minority (Jewish) and part of the rising class of the “newly rich” (i.e. those from outside the traditional elite who have acquired enormous amounts of wealth in newer, high-tech industries.)My suspicion is that Trump’s upset victory in 2016 largely represents “WASP America’s last stand” and that the trend begun by Obama of political leaders increasingly being drawn from the ranks of those outside the traditional elite (e.g. ethnic minorities or the newly rich from outside the traditional plutocracy) will continue in the future.
By Shawn M. Carter
There’s increasing speculation that Mark Zuckerberg, the self-made billionaire chairman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook, may one day run for office. And though it’s unclear that he will make a bid for to be the next U.S. President in 2020, he could certainly afford it.
According to Politico, some of the signs that he does plan to run are there.
Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have hired Joel Benenson, a Democratic pollster, adviser to former President Barack Obama and chief strategist of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as a consultant for their joint philanthropic project, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The pair also hired David Plouffe, campaign manager for Obama’s 2008 presidential run; Amy Dudley, former communications adviser for Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.; and Ken Mehlman, who directed President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.
Zuckerberg is on a yearlong “listening tour,” where he is traveling to all 50 states and meeting with leaders and constituents in each — and, to document the trip, he has hired Charles Ommanney, a photographer for both the Bush and Obama presidential campaigns.
William Schnack is an author, philosopher, and community organizer. On the show we discuss Pierre-Joseph Proudon’s mutual credit bank (mutualism), Henry George’s land value tax (Georgism), and how these two schools can be married under the libertarian philosophy of geo-mutualism.
By Chloe Farand
Peter Temin says 80 per cent of the population is burdened with debt and anxious about job security.
America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation, an MIT economist has warned.
Peter Temin says the world’s’ largest economy has roads and bridges that look more like those in Thailand and Venezuela than those in parts of Europe.
In his new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class”, reviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Mr Temin says the fracture of US society is leading the middle class to disappear.
The Baby Boomers were the product of the largest and most prosperous middle class in world history which has subsequently been destroyed by the convergence of dozens of factors.
By Lauren Messman
A depressing new analysis found that young Americans today are making 20 percent less than baby boomers were at the same age.
Despite being the largest and best-educated generation in the country, millennials are far worse off financially than baby boomers were, spelling out a troubling financial future for young people throughout their lifetime, according to a depressing new analysis from the advocacy group Young Invincibles.
After looking at 2013 Federal Reserve data for 25- to 34-year-olds and comparing it with the same age group back in 1989, the analysis found that millennials today are making a median income of around $40,000—a whopping 20 percent drop from what baby boomers were earning when they were just starting out. Baby boomers also had twice the number of assets that millennials have now.
By Alexander Kolokotronis
A municipalist revolution is impossible without the support and cooperation of labor unions. In some cases, labor unions might themselves take the lead in promulgating a municipalist shift. To effectively pursue this path, the left must grapple with the diverse composition and structure of the working class — joining calls for union democracy with nascent municipalist movements. Experiments in participatory democracy can then be tried and tested at the intra-union level, nourishing possibilities for subsequent municipal-wide implementation.
Developments in the United States and Spain are showing that municipalist participatory platforms can win. Examples include the mayoral election of Chokwe Lumumba Jr. in Jackson, Mississippi on a three-pronged platform of building peoples’ assemblies, a solidarity economy and a network of progressive political candidates. A number of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) candidates are running on platforms of expanding participatory democracy and the workers’ cooperative sector. Municipalist movements are proliferating as a means of resisting Donald Trump and a rising far-right.
This is one of the very best discussions of the system of social stratification in the United States that I have ever seen, both inside the academic world and outside. This is really great work.
By Will Schnack
Evolution of Consent
Class refers to one’s political and economic position, while status includes one’s cultural standing, or the esteem one’s culture has for them, which is affected by one’s class, but not wholly restricted by it. These are quite often correlated to some degree, such that “class status” may be useful, but this is not always the case. There are times when one’s status is elevated above one’s economic class, or when it falls below.
For instance, a greatly skilled artist from the lower class may find him or herself elevated in status when they find the favor of upper class spectators or otherwise come across wide support. On the other hand, if one goes against the norms or customs of the upper class, as by engaging in the wrong conspicuous consumption, or doing the “wrong” thing, they may fall in their status, without falling in their class.
Class relates to property, but status includes social esteem. Status is composed of the power and/or privilege of one’s class (relationship to property ownership), but also includes one’s level of prestige. Power is the ability to decide or make changes, to rule, while privilege is a granted opportunity (by power), and prestige is social esteem or influence. At times, elevated status, from high levels of prestige, allows one to transcend class boundaries.
In the United States there are three main classes, with some subdivision.
Once again, whatever one thinks of alt-right ideology, this article is consistent with something I have noticed for a while, i.e. the convergence of a capitalism with left-wing ideology. I think this has to do with changes in the capitalist class that have taken place over the past few decades, where we now have a rising left-wing of the capitalist class that is rooted in the “newly rich,” and outside the traditional American plutocracy (i.e. the right-wing of the ruling class). In fact, I interpret much of the left/right red/blue divide at present as representing the fracturing of the capitalist class between its traditional upper class sectors, and a rising upper middle class and newly rich with a different set of social and cultural values that are shaped more by the 1960s than by 18th and 19th century America, and the efforts of both of these to rally constituents for themselves on the ground level (hence, the MSMBC/FOX dichotomy in the media).
By Vincent Law
To those who have not been keeping up to date on all the happenings post-Charlottesville, the most disturbing trends has been the great Shuttening of Alt-Right sites, accounts, and communications.
We’ve been getting attacked on all fronts from the Corporate leviathan. From Airbnb to Paypal, GoDaddy to Cloudfare, we are under attack by the bugmen running these corporations. Even TOR, the world’s largest enabler of child pornography and narco-trafficking decided to come out and denounce the Alt-Right.
The Stark Truth. Listen here.
Robert Stark and co-host Sam Kevorkian talk to Joshua Zeidner about the Tech Industry. Joshua has worked in Tech as a software developer and private consultant for Publishing and Finance Companies.
The Tech Industry since the Dot Com boom
Joshua’s work in the Tech Industry in Germany and Israel, and his observation that Germany’s has the best work environment and the United States the worst
Prof. Norm Matloff’s H-1B Statistics and the current cap at about 65k per year which are eligible for permanent residency
How H-1B’s provide pliant(“handcuffed”) workers
H-1B Frauds such as fake job adds and diplomas, and Indian firms Like Infosys and Tata Abusing the program
The need for Unionization/Trade Organizations for Tech workers
Nationalizing Search Engines and Social Media
The International Safe Harbor Privacy Act which was developed for social networks to be built
Surveillance Valley by Yasha Levine
How Venture Capital money goes into “tech ventures” that embezzle crypto coins, operated like a ponzi scheme and become a liquid un-taxable and untraceable asset
Making Sense of the Google Memo
Why I Was Fired by Google – WSJ
Is Silicon Valley pulling it’s weight for California?
Tim Draper’s Six Californias Proposal
Tonight SnakeIsNinja (the pro-socialist side) will defend the proposition that abolition of Private Property is feasible and explain how it might be achieved, against Mathoma (who argues against socialism) who will contend that it is not feasible or achievable.
The Stark Truth. Listen here.
Robert Stark and co-host Sam Kevorkian talk to Zoltan Istvan about his proposal for a California State Basic Income. Zoltan is a Trans-Humanist and futurist writer, philosopher, and journalist. He was the Transhumanist Party’s candidate for president in 2016, has written for Vice, Newsweek, the Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, was a reporter for the National Geographic Channel, and is the author of The Transhumanist Wager.
Zoltan’s campaign for President
Zoltan’s Run for California Governor as a Libertarian in 2018
Zoltan’s proposal for a California state-wide Basic Income
How Automation and Artificial Intelligence will make a Basic Income Necessary
The estimated proposal of $56k per household in California
Residency restrictions on the Basic Income
How the Basic Income would replace existing social programs
Is monetizing federal land the way to pay for a basic income
The environmental concerns in monetizing Public Lands, how no National Parks would be touched, and the clause that says the land must be maintained
How Gene Editing will impact wildlife conservation in the future
Using drones to track non-violence criminals in lieu of incarceration
Liberty Might Be Better Served by Doing Away with Privacy
The California High Speed Rail and Driverless Cars
A major national precious metals dealer has just opened its gold-backed scholarship fund for 2017 applicants. Funds will be awarded to students who understand that gold is money and are able to clearly articulate the many failures of the inflation-creating Federal Reserve System.
Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer recently ranked “Best in the USA,” teamed up with the Sound Money Defense League, setting aside 100 oz of physical gold, currently worth almost $130,000, to help outstanding students pay for ever-rising education costs.
“The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies have jacked up education costs, and our company is proud to help students who understand this problem as they cope with this unfolding disaster,” said Stefan Gleason, president of Money Metals Exchange. “Because of abusive and ongoing devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note, we expect the gold that we have set aside to fund the scholarship program will grow in nominal value dramatically over time.”
This scholarship will be open to high school seniors, undergraduate students, and graduate students with an interest in economics, specifically the tradition of the Austrian school. However, one does not have to be an economics major to apply.
The ongoing devaluation of the Federal Reserve Note “dollar” pushes up the nominal prices of assets, goods, and services across America.
Central planners have further contributed to the problem of skyrocketing education costs through easy access to government-subsidized loans which are usually awarded regardless of merit or creditworthiness. Colleges and universities can spend frivolously and raise their tuition costs aggressively. Meanwhile, students frequently leave college with debt that exceeds a home mortgage.
Essays will be reviewed by a blue ribbon committee of professors, economists, and executives of Money Metals Exchange and Sound Money Defense League. The panel will select two (2) undergraduate winners and two (2) graduate winners. All four (4) articles will be published on one or both organizations’ websites. The four (4) winners will also have the opportunity to win the People’s Choice Award which goes to the student whose article attracts the most interest from social media (Facebook, Twitter).
Jp Cortez, Assistant Director of Sound Money Defense League, said, “Last year was a huge success. We had well over one hundred entries from students. Applicants are excited at the prospect of having their essays read and graded by some of the most notable sound money economists and thinkers in the world.”
Jared Taylor of American Renaissance tries to understand the concept of “institutional racism.” Racism is said to be what holds back blacks and whites in American society, but there just don’t seem to be enough racist people or deliberately racist practices to explain large gaps in achievement. The culprit must therefore be institutions, or the structure of society. Jared Taylor shows why this explanation makes no sense, and explains what the real problem is.
Are blacks more likely to be arrested for drug offenses despite using drugs at the same rates as whites? Conventional wisdom has it that the war on drugs is inherently discriminatory, but a closer look at black crime statistics undermines explanations that rely exclusively on racial bias or police discrimination. Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, discusses several empirical studies that support a more nuanced understanding of differential arrest rates for drug-related crimes, one that avoids the pitfalls of the typically reductive explanations that emphasize systemic anti-black discrimination by a hopelessly racist police force.
It’s interesting to compare this article with the Caleb Maupin piece. Maupin represents the authoritarian Stalinist Left, while Draister and Reid-Ross represent the authoritarian neo-Marxist/SJW/Antifa Left that is presently being coopted by hammer and sicklers (predominantly Maoists and Trotskyists). The principal different between the two camps seems to be that the Maupin circle continues to hold to the pro-Russian line of Western Communists during the Cold War, which means they have largely and ironically adopted the Duginist narrative regarding international relations, and have maintained a more authentically pro-working class orientation, which means they are less dismissive of the concerns raised by the populist right. The neo-Marxists have adopted an anti-Russian line, which puts them in the middle between neoliberalism and Eurasianism, and continues to emphasize identity politics in opposition to working class populism.
By Yoav Mitvin
Mint Press News
NEW YORK (Interview) —Neoliberal capitalism has failed the vast majority of Americans. It has increased inequality, fostered austerity, destroyed the environment and fomented wars.
Reactionary right-wing politics have largely succeeded in filling this ideological vacuum, embodied by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America.
By Keith Preston
Special thanks to Peter Topfer, Adam Ormes, Thom Forester, and Sean Jobst for their assistance in the writing of this summary.
On June 17 and 18, the first ever conference of the National-Anarchist Movement (N-AM) took place in Madrid. The process of arranging this conference was certainly not without its difficulties, and the organizers deserve much praise for their diligence in this regard. Originally, the conference was supposed to be hosted by the Madrid section of N-AM, who dropped out of the project shortly (and out of N-AM altogether) before the conference took place. This led to the irony of a conference being held in Spain where no actual Spanish people were among the attendees. Because National-Anarchists are widely despised by leftists who mistakenly regard N-A as a “fascist” tendency, security was a paramount concern.
The international ruling class gathers, and the reactionary Left strikes in retaliation. Classic heel vs. heel match.
Press TV. Watch here.
Protesters have continued their rallies in the German city of Hamburg against an ongoing G20 summit, setting up burning barricades and vandalizing public and private public properties.
Friday night’s demonstrations were the latest in a series of protests, which began even before the leaders of the world’s biggest economies arrived in Germany’s northern city of Hamburg for their 12th summit that began earlier in the day and will wrap up on Saturday.
An estimated 100,000 protesters filled the streets of Hamburg, but a small portion of them participated in the violent rallies. Some 20,000 police officers are currently on duty over the course of the summit, but the escalating violence prompted Hamburg’s police to call in reinforcements from around the country.
Far-left demonstrators, seeking to wrest control of the streets, hurled flares, rocks and bottles at police, set fire to barricades, ripped up paving stones and even looted shops, creating a situation Hamburg police described as “very serious.” Reports say at least 160 police officers sustained injuries in the violence.
Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the enraged crowds. According to police, a total of at least 85 had been arrested since the protests intensified on Thursday night.
Demonstrators are protesting against a range of issues, including climate change, global wealth inequalities and the presence of US President Donald Trump at the summit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already denounced the violence, saying it was “unacceptable” to “put peoples’ lives… [and] the protesters’ own lives in danger.”
It’s about globalism/globalization vs non-state actors.
Some thoughts on the present political polarization, geopolitical rivalries, the G20, and “populist-nationalism.”
The present political polarization represents an effort by the various factions of the ruling class attempting to create constituencies for themselves. Most of the mainstream media represents the dominant centrist and center-left factions, academia represents the furthest left faction of the elite, FOX/GOP/talk radio represents the right-wing of the ruling class. I actually think the Trumpians represent yet another faction that wishes to pursue a new geopolitical strategy devised by Kissinger, but is being thwarted by the dominant faction and the Deep State in the process. https://www.the-american-interest.com/…/donald-trumps…/
One of the many problems with these populist-nationalist tendencies that have emerged in various Western nations is that they are not revolutionaries or even radicals, but reactionaries who resist globalization in the same manner that the anti-modernist movements of the19th century resisted industrialization. The populist-nationalists simply want to turn back the clock to the 20th century model of relatively autonomous nation-states that are middle-class oriented and ethnically, culturally, and religiously homogeneous. They’re not going to be any more successful at this than the Luddites were at blocking the Industrial Revolution, or the throne and altar traditionalists were at blocking the rise of liberal bourgeois republicanism.
The Stark Truth. Listen here.
On A Post Labor Scarcity Economy
On A Basic Guaranteed Living
Some Form of State Capitalism Is the Future
State Capitalism in the Internet Age
Much US Dysfunction Comes From Post-Scarcity Denial
Urban Land Management In A Post Scarcity Economy
The Leisure Economy
NEETs, Lumpenproles, and the Leisure Economy
Baton Rouge, Louisiana — Sound money advocates rejoiced as Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 396 into law in recent days. HB 396, which passed in the Louisiana state house and senate earlier this month by overwhelming majorities, removes state sales taxation of precious metals, specifically gold, silver, and platinum coins and ingots.
Representative Stephen Dwight (R-Lake Charles) and Representative Mark Abraham (R-Lake Charles) introduced HB 396 with the goal of encouraging precious metals purchasers to keep more of their investment dollars inside the state rather making investments elsewhere.
The bill impacts purchases of platinum, gold, or silver bullion that is valued solely upon its precious metal content, whether in coin or ingot form. It also impacts numismatic coins that have a sales price of no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and numismatic coins that are sold at a national, statewide, or multi-parish numismatic trade show.