Friday, November 15, 2019

New Book, Just Published: The Meat Generation



Another year has passed, and the time has come to publish another book of essays. This year’s offering has turned out to be a rather weighty tome, at 1.5 lbs. (0,68 kg) and 352 pages. As usual, it includes both the public blog posts and the ones that remain hidden behind a paywall. Also as usual, those who have been supporting me at the $10/month level (and have provided a shipping address) will receive a free copy. The book is available for order only through Amazon, which offers direct shipping in all of the following: US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Japan. Others will need to pay for international shipping. (Pick the nearest country that's on the list.)

I can think of quite a few reasons why someone might want to buy this book:

• Those of my readers who haven’t splurged on $1/month to get past the paywall will get a chance to catch up on everything I’ve written over the past year.

• Writings published on the internet are ephemeral but a paper book is a physical object that will persist over time and will remain perfectly legible after the lights go out. You will be able to rely on it as a sort of time capsule of ideas, to look back and see what 2019 was all about.

• Perhaps you have family members, friends, acquaintances and neighbors who spend money on personal trainers, psychologists, booze and recreational drugs, all in an effort to stay sane in an increasingly insane world. If they start railing against the injustices of the world, please hand them a copy of my book and tell them it’s what Dr. Orlov ordered. It offers a much cheaper alternative for building up the independence of thought and the mental fortitude to make it through life with their sanity intact.

• You can check whether someone is mentally stable and capable of simultaneously entertaining several mutually contradictory notions without suffering cognitive dissonance simply by handing them a copy of my book. If all goes well, it will give you plenty to talk about. But if it “triggers” them, run away!

Contents:
The Meat Generation
The Flight of the Headless Chicken
Bush41 was an Excremental Planetoid roiled by Wriggling Worms
The Self-Destruct Sequence
The Future of Energy is Bright, Part I
RIP European Union, 1973-2019
A Seasonal Homily: Gratitude and Joy!
The Year the Planet Flipped Over
National Bankruptcy as a Board Game
Is The US Still A Superpower?
The Five Stages of Collapse, 2019 Update
The Future of Energy is Bright, Part II
Shut it all down!
Why must Venezuela be destroyed?
RIP INF Treaty: Russia’s Victory, America’s Waterloo
The Future of Energy is Bright, Part III: Radiophobia
Death of Free Speech leads to Fascism
Putin now thinks Western Elites are Swine
How Bad Can Things Possibly Get?
Why do Capitalists hate Socialism?
Is the USS Ship of Fools Taking on Water?
Introduction to the Ethnosphere of the Earth
Respecting the Other
The Martyrdom of St. Julian
Ukrainian Election Redux
America, You Are Fired!
How Mutants Make History
A Hegemon Checkmated
Ethnogenesis: The Map and the Data
The Limits of American Destructiveness
Party Semantics
World’s Biggest Problems Solved
Nuclear Meltdown at HBO
The Eye-Rolls of Summer
Failure of Complementarity: from Multiculturalism to Devil- Worship
You Are Being Trolled
The Death of the Liberal Idea
The Silk Road and Lice
War Profiteers and the Demise of the US Military-Industrial Complex
Highly Unlikely Conspiracies
How to Fake a Mission Mass Media Delusions
The Technological Revolution Devours its Children
The Color Revolution Post-Mortem
Resurrecting the American Economy
The Bolsheviks Are Coming!
Bolt-on, Bolt-off! Who Blew Up The Oil Market?
Greta and the Deep Green State
Ayatollahs Jump for Joy
On Systemic Corruption

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Meat Generation

To the globalist elites who are still attempting to control your fate, you are either milk or meat. The moment they can no longer milk you for debt payments or rent, you and your children will be asked to report to the abattoir. But you have to volunteer to be milked or slaughtered; otherwise, processing you would be too difficult to do efficiently and profitably. Therefore, it is possible to think of ways to make yourself too expensive for them to exploit, so that they might give up on trying to use you for further self-enrichment and leave you in peace.

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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

On Systemic Corruption

The philosopher Slavoj Žižek, among others, has drawn a useful distinction between subjective violence, which takes place between individuals, and systemic violence, which is perpetuated by institutions. Žižek is a Marxist, and part of his justification for introducing this distinction is to justify revolutionary violence as a means of opposing the systemic violence of oppressive systems. This may or may not work, since revolutionary violence is often itself systemic, borne of an ideology that dictates radical change of one sort of another, while the end result of revolutionary change along Marxist lines is often a totalitarian state which raises systemic violence to a whole new level. No matter; I think the distinction is still useful.

It is useful because it makes it possible to draw a certain axis—between free action and compelled action—that runs through not just violence but every type of vileness and perfidy. Subjective violence is an instance of the former: you punch a person you don’t like as an expression of your personal opinion. Systemic violence, on the other hand, is where, for instance, depersonalized knuckle-dragging drones have no choice but to imprison parents for their children’s truancy—nothing personal, the rules are the rules. This axis runs through many aspects of individual and group behavior. Lying, for instance, can be done privately (to spare someone’s feelings or to teach a fool a lesson) or publicly (such as excluding close to 100 million long-term unemployed Americans when calculating the official unemployment rate).

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Monday, November 04, 2019

Keiser Report interview, Part II



Again, fast-forward to minute 13 if you don't want to listen to how unicorns burn money.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Art of Betrayal

The recent history with the Syrian Kurds has shown that the United States can betray absolutely anyone, regardless of personal relationships or official promises and guarantees. It’s nothing personal, you know, strictly business…

For example, what do the Ukrainians have in common with the Syrian Kurds? At first glance, their people, geography and history are completely different. But then what about the panicked tweets from former Ukrainian foreign minister Pavel Klimkin, in which he wonders in forlorn trepidation whether the US can betray the Ukraine just as it has betrayed its key ally in Syria. But what about the endlessly promised eternal friendship?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ayatollahs Jump for Joy

At the recent United Nations General Assembly there was one person who appeared noticeably happier than the rest, especially in comparison with the rather glum Europeans. It was Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. He positively beamed with pleasure and good humor. While his speech was harsh, containing terms such as “economic terrorism” and “international piracy,” of which he accused the Washington regime, his entire demeanor belied pure joy. Along the way, he dashed Boris Johnson’s hopes of brokering a rapprochement between Iran and the Washingtonians, clearly seeing any further attempts at negotiation with them as utterly pointless.

Rouhani is certainly not alone in espousing this position, although he may be unique among national leaders in doing so openly. The Chinese have been dragging out trade negotiations without any intention to actually reach an agreement. The Russians see arms control negotiations with the Washingtonians as rather pointless, promising a symmetrical (but much cheaper) response to any US escalation.

Indeed, what’s the point in negotiating with Americans if, as experience has shown, they can later renege on whatever agreement has been reached on a moment’s notice? They do so either without any justification (as was most recently the case with the Syrian Kurds) or based on any sort of whimsy that happens to sound good to them at the time (as with the abandonment of the INF treaty between the US and Russia).

This point still seems worth repeating a few more times, although it has been made many times by numerous analysts and is becoming rather glaringly obvious. (The Russians even coined a new word to describe this condition: недоговороспособный (“nedogovorosposóbny,” literally “non-agreement-capable.”) But there is another point to be made, which most geopolitical observers so far seem to be missing, and which, by the way, explains Rouhani’s joyful mood at the UN, and which I am equally happy to make.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Greta and the Deep Green State

In recent weeks the Greta Thunberg phenomenon—the fifteen-year-old climate change campaigner— has swept the Western hemisphere, culminating with her impassioned speech at the UN. The rest of the globe, including the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter (China) has felt it beneath their dignity to react to an overwrought, psychiatrically abnormal child that appears to have been stage-managed by shady oligarchs pursuing a globalist agenda. Some people even went as far as calling this phenomenon “political pedophilia” and calling for her handlers’ prosecution. But the West, where dignity is currently in short supply, has seen major youth protests: in 156 cities, with 100,000 marching in Berlin, 60,000 in New York and four million participants total. They called for a “Green New Deal” which would eliminate all fossil fuel use by 2030. I believe it to be a sort of enforced stupidity—forcing simple and unworkable solutions to complex, unsolved problems.

I have been unsure whether I should respond to the Greta phenomenon at all. After all, she is only one in a long series of children paraded in front of the mass media as part of a political ploy. There was, for instance, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, David Suzuki’s daughter, who at age twelve spoke at a 1992 UN climate conference in Rio about the danger of holes in the ozone layer. Since then the ozone layer has pretty much stayed the same and nobody can prove whether this has much of anything to do with the Montreal Protocol. Severn went on to study at Yale and then on to a career in environmental activism and journalism, so all’s well that ends well, ozone holes notwithstanding. Perhaps Greta will do just as well, carbon emissions and global warming notwithstanding. After all, her native Sweden is rather well insulated from climatic fluctuations. The onset of the next ice age (due any millennium now) would make it unlivable for tens of thousands of years, but this is not a big worry as far as Greta’s great-great-grandchildren are concerned.

But then I thought that all’s not necessarily well with Greta, who appeared distraught, if not to say emotionally disturbed, in her monomaniacal focus on an issue she I am sure doesn’t understand (because nobody does). This sort of obsession is contagious, and if left unchecked could lead to mass psychosis among young people. Those of us who have achieved a modicum of wisdom and perspective have a responsibility to talk to young people and to try to counteract the hysterical influences of those who would lead them astray for their own political ends. And so I decided to write an open letter to Greta (open to all Club Orlov members, and, of course, to Greta, should she wish to join).

Dear Greta,

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Look who’s not laughing!

International politics is a daunting subject for many. Understanding what is happening requires knowledge of history, firsthand experience with various countries and cultures, some understanding of foreign languages (since the information that’s available in English tends to be incomplete and slanted in a particular direction) and much else. But there is another approach that can produce good results even for a seven-year-old: reading facial expressions and body language of world leaders.

When everything is routine, world leaders generally manage to remain poker-faced or (in the case of American politicians) grinning stupidly with a vacant-eyed stare. But when things get interesting all sorts of ticks and grimaces and strange gestures and postures start showing up. And when you see one of the “world leaders” (in quotes because I use the term facetiously) looking like his entire life is flashing before his eyes at a joint press conference, you can be sure that something very funky is going down.

To wit: here is the Ukraine’s new, popularly elected president, Vladimir Zelensky, appearing next to Donald Trump and looking for all the world as if he really doesn’t want to be there. A bright seven-year-old will tell you that much (I checked) but we adults wish to know more. And so I will oblige and fill you in on some of the salient details.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Sergei Lavrov: “World at a Crossroads and a System of International Relations for the Future”

Sergei Lavrov is a world-class diplomatic heavyweight and Russia's foreign minister. As the saying goes, if you don't deal with Lavrov, you'll end up dealing with Sergei Shoigu, defense minister. This speech is important in the context of the borderline nonexistent relations between Russia and the United States. It explains why that is and orders ways out. The question is, are American government officials capable of accepting reality and acquiescing to the fact that the world has changed and that they are no longer the ones calling the shots.



These days, the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly opens up. So does a new international “political season”.

The session begins at a highly symbolic historical moment. Next year we will celebrate two great and interconnected anniversaries – the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the UN.

Reflecting on the spiritual and moral significance of these landmark events, one needs to bear in mind the enormous political meaning of the Victory that ended one of the most brutal wars in the history of mankind.

The defeat of fascism in 1945 had fundamentally affected the further course of world history and created conditions for establishing a post-war world order. The UN Charter became its bearing frame and a key source of international law to this day. The UN-centric system still preserves its sustainability and has a great degree of resilience. It actually is kind of a safety net that ensures peaceful development of mankind amid largely natural divergence of interests and rivalries among leading powers. The War-time experience of ideology-free cooperation of states with different socioeconomic and political systems is still highly relevant.

It is regrettable that these obvious truths are being deliberately silenced or ignored by certain influential forces in the West. Moreover, some have intensified attempts at privatizing the Victory, expunging from memory the Soviet Union’s role in the defeat of Nazism, condemning to oblivion the Red Army’s feat of sacrifice and liberation, forgetting the many millions of Soviet citizens who perished during the War, wiping out from history the consequences of the ruinous policy of appeasement. From this perspective, it is easy to grasp the essence of the concept of expounding the equality of the totalitarian regimes. Its purpose is not just to belittle the Soviet contribution to the Victory, but also to retrospectively strip our country of its historic role as an architect and guarantor of the post-war world order, and label it a “revisionist power” that is posing a threat to the well-being of the so-called free world.

Trouble at the Asset Detox

Remember the term “toxic assets”? Google Trends shows a huge spike for this search term in March of 2009 and then… nothing. We don’t call them “toxic assets” any more, we just call them “assets” now, please don’t talk back and just listen. There are some things you just have to accept as facts.

For instance, the size of the US sovereign debt doesn’t matter. For instance, Americans can print all the money they want. For instance, interest rates are set by the Federal Reserve and can always be set low enough so that interest payments on the federal debt can always be made. For instance, the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency—always was and always will be.

That’s why the US federal debt will NEVER be defaulted on no matter how huge it gets. These are articles of faith in the US financial system. You want your swipey-card to continue working at the supermarket, don’t you? If so, go on believing! Not only that, but keep clapping… because if you don’t, this is what will happen and children everywhere will burst into tears.

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Who Blew Up The Oil Market?

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer oil processing plant. There it was, sitting out in the Saudi desert, processing seven million barrels a day of crude oil, defended by hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of “made in the USA” weapons systems, and the Yemenis take it out using some drones they knocked together in a bombed-out garage, programmed by somebody’s nerdy AI-whiz nephew. And now, all of a sudden, 8% of global oil production can’t be shipped because until it’s processed it isn’t exactly oil. What happened, who is responsible, and what does it mean for you? Please allow me to lay it all out for you…

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Bolt-on, Bolt-off!

Lots of people have had lots of things to say about Trump’s firing of his odious, warmongering national security advisor John Bolton, but none of them stated the obvious. And so, once again, it is my turn to step into the breach and set everyone straight on the logic behind Trump’s madness, because it actually exists and is simple, rock-solid and effective. Furthermore, it will work every time, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop him.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Bolsheviks Are Coming! (Part I)

Suppose you are an American. And suppose you spent the last 60 years laying in quiet repose in a freezer chest after expertly injecting yourself with enough glycerine to keep ice crystals from disrupting your cellular membranes. Lord only knows why the heck you did that, but that’s all past tense now. Anyhow, now it’s 2019 and for some other unfathomable reason your great-grandchildren dig you out of the freezer chest, defrost you, zap you a few times with a cattle prod to get your heart pumping, walk you around for a bit while feeding you strong black coffee and here you are again, good as new and ready for action.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Resurrecting the American Economy

Donald Trump has recently ordered US corporations to move production out of China and into the US. Easier said than done!—or, rather, undone. Moving production to China (and, in case of IT, to India) allowed US corporations to benefit from the large wage differential and an easier regulatory environment in order to be more profitable. They spent these excess profits by buying back their own stock, paying generous dividends to their shareholders and using their artificially inflated stock prices to justify exorbitant executive salaries and bonuses.

Along the way, they impoverished American workers by depriving them of gainful deployment, eroded the skill base of the American population and, perhaps most importantly, destroyed demand for their products because more and more Americans could no longer afford them. As these trends played out, making China prosperous and the US increasingly distressed and impoverished, with close to 100 million working-age people permanently jobless, US corporations could no longer profit from their offshored production to the same extent, and so they took advantage of low interest rates to borrow huge sums of money and use it to continue buying back their own shares, paying dividends and continuing with the exorbitant executive compensation.

By now, many of the major US corporations are financial zombies, waiting for an uptick in interest rates to drive them into bankruptcy. And it is these zombies that are being tasked with bringing production back to the US. Good luck with that! Which is to say, it is highly unlikely that such an effort could possibly succeed. But even if it could succeed, would it solve the problem—which is that the US is gradually degenerating into a bankrupt third world country? Perhaps not, because, you see, the entire theory of “making America great again” is based on a fallacy—which is that China became the world’s largest economy (by purchasing power) and the world’s factory simply by virtue of the fact that American corporations offshored production to it.

No, China’s stunning success primarily has to do with its superior economic planning and social governance. Call it Stalinism 2.0. Under Stalin, the USSR was able to produce steady double digit growth rates through a combination of central planning and market mechanisms. It also had some 4 million political prisoners, which, for a country of 200 million, seems a bit much, but that’s politics, not economics. When it comes to managing the economy, Stalinism, and especially Stalinism 2.0—its modern, Chinese version—was and is a stunning success. Fundamentally, it is a recipe for building socialism using capitalist (mainly state-capitalist) means with whatever market elements are found to be effective.

Just bringing back production from China would not save the US. To achieve results comparable to China’s, the US would have to make some changes, to bring it more in line with Stalinism 2.0. I will now sketch out a few of these changes, to give you a sense of what would be involved.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Going Negative

Ask the right question
and you are automatically
a member
The following article was first published three years ago. Since then the US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates above zero, only to start lowering them again. In the meantime, the total amount of negative-yielding debt in the world has reached $13 trillion (USD). This is more than the combined 2019 federal budgets of USA, China, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, Italy, Brazil and Canada (which, incidentally, are nine of the largest, most overdeveloped and most collapse-prone economies on the planet). It may seem surprising that investors are willing to lend money at a negative interest rate, but it's an offer they can't refuse: they would rather lose their money slowly over time than all at once. Some investors (and central banks) have decided that fiat currency reserves are a bad idea and are buying gold instead, but this won't change the overall economic picture. And overall picture is that global financial collapse has been on pause since 2008, but now somebody hit "play" again. In any case, this seems like an opportune moment to dust off this article and once again look at what negative interest rates are, and what they do.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Color Revolution Post-Mortem

Over the recent weeks two attempts at color revolution have been proceeding in parallel; one in Moscow and another in Hong Kong. While a casual observer might feel that the connection between the two is tenuous at best, a closer look reveals that the methodology is exactly the same one that had been used successfully during the various regime change exercises in the past—more than once in the case or the Ukraine—but has been misfiring of late.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hull Assembly Made Easy

Today we ignore all the crazy happenings in the big wide world (since it's all going according to plan anyway) and concentrate on moving the Quidnon project closer to completion.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Technological Revolution Devours its Children

It’s been almost three years since I published my book Shrinking the Technosphere, and an astute critic might observe that it didn’t work as intended because the technosphere hasn’t shrunk. True, it was intended as an only slightly ironic how-to book, but then it isn’t known how many people bothered to read it and actually practice what I preach. It is possible to equivocate a bit on the point that the technosphere isn’t shrinking: for example, heavy truck orders in the US are down 81% from last year. These Class 8 trucks move the vast majority of goods in the US and this collapse signals a major slowdown across the entire economy.

So the technosphere may not be entirely thriving; but then it doesn’t seem to be particularly shrinking either. There is no shortage of techno-optimists on hand talking up newfangled technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, molecular, cellular and nuclear technology, stem cell technology, tissue and organ farming, nanobiotechnology, biomimetics, nanobionics, nanotronics, not to mention the perennial techno-utopian stand-by’s of artificial intelligence, renewable energy, electric driverless cars and the internet of things. “A new technological revolution is at hand!” they exclaim. Fine, I say, but what’s the new, overabundant resource for this new technological revolution?

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Surviving Cultural Collapse

My recent interview with Fr. Robert McTeigue of the Catholic Current can be heard here.

Yes, this is a religious radio program, and although there is only passing mention of religion during the interview, perhaps a quick note on my personal stance on religion is in order. The gift of faith is one that not all people are granted. Faith comes most easily to those who are simple, while hypereducated urbane sophistos like most of my readers tend to find it difficult to believe in immaculate conception, resurrection, tricks with loaves and fishes, ascension unto heaven, the second coming, yadda-yadda. But here's a stunning discovery I've made that you may find useful: if you find that you lack the gift of faith, you don't necessarily have to tell anyone about it. You may also lack perfect pitch but nobody is ever going to demand that you sing a capella. You can still go on and act as if you believe in an all-seeing God who is just but merciful. Living in fear of a God that you believe to exist is functionally equivalent to living in fear of a God whose existence you doubt but cannot disprove, which is the best you can do. (To use Bertrand Russell's famous example, you cannot disprove the existence God just as you cannot disprove the existence of a small porcelain teapot in high elliptical orbit around the Earth). Having looked up some statistics, I can assert that if you live your life as if God exists and abide by His commandments it is statistically likely that numerous benefits will accrue to you more or less automatically: you will suffer fewer psychological problems, your marriage will be stronger, your children better-behaved, you will find yourself keeping better company and, when the time comes, you will rest easier on your deathbed because you've done your homework, unlike W.C. Fields who, when visited by a friend shortly before his death, discovered to be studying the Bible, and asked as to why, responded: "Looking for loopholes."

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mass Media Delusions

For anyone who lives in the West (the US, the EU and its various adjuncts such as Australia, New Zealand) and wants to know what really goes on in the world, a major hindrance is the powerful filter imposed on reality by Western mass media. It uses two methods to prevent reality from leaking through to the public, one active, one passive.

The passive method uses omission and obfuscation: certain events and facts are simply not reported. Some are willfully suppressed, others carefully underemphasized, yet others are presented in a context designed to disguise their significance. For example, anybody attentive enough could have easily ascertained that Robert Mueller is senile and in no way shape or form was ever capable of running any sort of investigation or writing a report. And yet this salient fact was not reported at all; that’s willful suppression.

But now that Mueller has provided six hours of congressional testimony to prove this fact before anyone who cared to watch, outright suppression has become impossible and context substitution has come into play: those who draw attention to Mueller’s obvious senility are accused of being right-wing extremists. But how can a readily observable medical fact be dismissed as political bias? How could he have failed to recall important details from a report he supposedly wrote (or at least read)? Mind you, I am just using the Mueller disaster as a handy example. As I have explained many times, it doesn’t matter who is president and the entire ridiculous witch-hunt is an instance of fiddling while Rome burns.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

How to Fake a Mission

Some people, unable to argue against all the evidence that the Apollo missions to the Moon were all faked, fall back on the defense that faking them and keeping the fakes secret would have been too difficult. It is possible to counter them simply by throwing a logic textbook in their general direction: what’s harder to do, land on the moon six times with zero casualties, or fake the whole thing and keep it quiet? The latter is just an exercise in public relations, and PR ain’t rocket science.

Another approach is to get specific. Information on how exactly the whole thing was faked isn’t particularly hard to find if you know where to look. Steps in faking the moon landings were the following:

1. Bribe or browbeat the Soviet leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and subsequent Soviet and Russian leaders to go along with the fake and to keep it quiet.

2. Simulate launches of Saturn V rockets, none of which could have ever made it to space.

3. Simulate radio communications between flight control center and the flight crew using radio relays.

4. Falsify lunar rocks supposedly retrieved from the Moon.

5. Simulate videos and photos supposedly made while on the Moon with the help of Stanley Kubrick.

6. Destroy a great deal of evidence in order to make the fake harder to prove.

7. Stonewall all those who kept asking obvious questions for five decades running.

Here's how it was done. (Patreon) (SubscribeStar)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Highly Unlikely Conspiracies

Lost NASA footage from the moon landing
A year and a half ago the British PM Theresa May stunned the world by introducing into international relations a new, rather casual standard of proof—“highly likely”—in regard to the very strange case of the Sergei Skripal poisoning. It is part of a technique that is applied as follows. Make an unsubstantiated accusation of some party being “highly likely” to have committed a certain crime. Demand that the accused party confess to the crime, disclose all relevant information and agree to pay reparation. If this demand is not met, impose punishment.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

War Profiteers and the Demise of the US Military-Industrial Complex

Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public. It is even available to the general public in Russia, and Russian experts had a really good time poring over it.

In fact, it filled them with optimism. You see, Russia wants peace but the US seems to want war and keeps making threatening gestures against a longish list of countries that refuse to do its bidding or simply don’t share its “universal values.” But now it turns out that threats (and the increasingly toothless economic sanctions) are pretty much all that the US is still capable of dishing out—this in spite of absolutely astronomical levels of defense spending. Let’s see what the US military-industrial complex looks like through a Russian lens.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Five Stages of Collapse in Colorado

It’s been a while since I ran a guest post, due to a lack of good candidates, but this article by user h_h from ZeroHedge caught my eye. It uses my book The Five Stages of Collapse as a jumping point and nicely outlines the case studies I used to examine each stage of collapse.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

The Silk Road and Lice

The old Silk Road was an ancient trade route that tied together the Roman Empire and China, where silk came from. It was so called because silk was at the heart of the trade. Silk went to Europe, gold and luxury goods went back. Silk was important because silk garments worn against the skin prevented body lice, and wealthy Roman citizens were ready to pay for silk with gold, because the alternative was watching their wives and concubines scratch themselves. In addition to wearing silk, the Romans built baths, along with aqueducts to supply them. The Roman delousing procedure involved getting all of your body hair plucked (ouch!), oiling yourself up, working up a sweat in pretend-wresting, then scraping your skin using a sickle-shaped implement called a strigil. Then they would soak in a hot bath, don silk undergarments, and remain itch-free until the next bath day.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

The Death of the Liberal Idea

Last week’s G20 gathering in Osaka was a signal event: it signaled how much the world has changed. The centerpieces of the new configuration are China, Russia and India, with the EU and Japan as eager adjuncts, and with Eurasian integration as the overarching priority. The agenda was clearly being set by Xi and Putin. May, Macron and Merkel—the European leaders not quite deserving of that title—were clearly being relegated to the outskirts; two of the three are on their way out while the one keeping his seat (for now) is looking more and more like a toyboy. The Europeans wasted their time haggling over who should head the European Commission, only to face open rebellion over their choice the moment they arrived back home.

And then there was Trump, let loose now that the Robert Mueller farce has come to its inevitable conclusion. He was running around trying to figure out which of America’s “partners” can still be thrown under the bus before the roof comes down on Pax Americana. It’s a stretch goal because he is out of ammo. He has already threatened all-out war—twice, once against North Korea, once against Iran, but, given the disasters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, sanity caused him to keep his military Humpty-Dumpty safely seated on the wall.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

You Are Being Trolled

The world is on the brink of war, again. And again. And, yes, yet again. And then it’s not on the brink of war any more… but wait, there’s more! Of course there’s more, there always is. US aircraft carrier battle groups are steaming toward North Korea… or not. They are steaming about aimlessly, nowhere near North Korea, but in a very threatening manner. Then Trump and Kim Jong Un meet, get on great, sign a piece of paper that means nothing and part friends. Now the aircraft carriers are steaming about far less menacingly. Then Trump and Un meet again, to sign some other meaningless piece of paper, but then John Bolton shoots his mouth off and the deal is off. But Trump and Un continue to exchange love letters, so the bromance isn’t dead. In any case, war between the US and North Korea is not just unwinnable but unthinkable: South Korea’s capitol is within striking range of North Korean artillery and all US military bases in the region are within range of North Korean rockets. War with North Korea is definitely off. Executive summary: nothing happens. So, what was that all about?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Failure of Complementarity: from Multiculturalism to Devil-Worship

Over the past week there has been a spike of renewed interest in an essay I wrote a year ago, Barbarians Rampage through Europe's Cemetery, in which I described how the steady degradation of the Western countries is being speeded up by the arrival of migrants from incompatible ethnic groups. What provoked this renewed interest was a post by Paul Craig Roberts in which he described my essay as “Europe’s—and America’s— obituary.” I certainly stand by everything I wrote—no matter how many people it rubs the wrong way—but over the intervening year I have done some research that has helped me understand why exactly the Western project has gone off the rails, and it turns out that I have a lot more to say on the subject.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Eye-Rolls of Summer

There isn’t much to report that I haven’t already reported. What goes on is more of the same but the attitude seems to have changed. A new development is the Global Eye-Roll and at this rate it may turn into an Olympic sport before long.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dismasting Made Easy

You are sailing along on a passage, on autopilot, the radar set up to wake up and do a sweep every 10 minutes or so and sound an alarm if it detects a collision course, with the entire crew (which could be just me and the ship’s cat) down below doing whatever people and cats do when they aren’t sailing. Then a squall kicks up, or a waterspout (a sort of water-borne tornado), or you royally screwed up and plotted a course that takes you under a bridge that’s too low. Suddenly, you find yourself minus the masts. This can be very dramatic, or not, depending on how the boat is designed. And since Quidnon is primarily a houseboat (that sails), drama is specifically what we don’t want.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Nuclear Meltdown at HBO

Hydrogen explosion at Fukushima Daiichi
There is no particular reason why you should be aware of this, but HBO, in collaboration with British Sky, has created a miniseries about the Chernobyl disaster. I have not watched it, but I have read multiple analyses and discussions of it by those who have, and who can also claim the Chernobyl disaster as their particular area of expertise. Based on their collective verdict, I will not watch it, because it is basically shit, and I have much better things to do with my time. So do you. The miniseries isn’t interesting; what is interesting is why and how it was made. Armed with this understanding, we will know what to look out for.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

World’s Biggest Problems Solved

Five years ago, when Angela Merkel, at the time the respected leader of the European Union’s largest economy, was interviewed on the subject of the biggest problems facing the world, she opined that they would be the following three key ones:

• Russia’s annexation of Crimea
• Ebola epidemic
• ISIS in Syria

I am happy to report that over the intervening period all three of Frau Merkel’s most important problems facing the world have been solved, and she can now retire in peace. Ironically, none of them have been solved by her, her government, her nation, the whole of the EU, or the collective West in its entirety.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Party Semantics

Having spent a good while marveling at the results of the recent elections of the European Parliament, I have come to a conclusion as to where all of this is going. In the past, there were two distinct meanings of the English word “party”:

1 a social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment;

2 a formally constituted political group, typically operating on a national basis, that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Limits of American Destructiveness

US foreign policy has always been directed at wrecking anything that wasn’t deemed sufficiently American and replacing it with something more acceptable—especially if that something allowed wealth to flow into the US from the outside. Compromises were reserved for the USSR, but even there the Americans constantly tried to cheat. For everyone else there was just submission, which was usually tactfully disguised as a positive—a seat at the big table which offered better chances for peace, prosperity and economic and social development.

Of course, it was a simple enough matter to pierce this veil of hypocritical politeness and to point out that the US, living far beyond its means, has only managed to survive by looting the rest of the world, but anyone who dared to do so would be ostracized, sanctioned, regime-changed, invaded and destroyed—whatever it took.

The US establishment has lavished its wrath on anyone who dared to oppose it ideologically, but it reserved its most extreme forms of malice for those who dared commit the cardinal sin of attempting to sell oil for anything other than US dollars. Iraq was destroyed for this very reason, then Libya. With Syria the juggernaut bogged down and stalled out; with Iran it is unlikely to ever get started.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ethnogenesis: The Map and the Data

Before we move on to discussing the very significant modern-day implications of Gumilëv’s theory of ethnogenesis, I want to present, in condensed, summary form, the data this theory is based on. According to this theory, the biogenetic phenomenon that underlies all of human history is triggered two or three times per millennium, seemingly randomly, and always along a band just a few hundred kilometers wide that spans just one side of the planet and follows the great circle (which is the shortest path between two points on a sphere). These bands are variously oriented and lie outside the plane of the solar system, suggesting that the bursts of mutagenic radiation come from outside the solar system. After some human population that happens to be within the narrow band gets zapped, there follows an incubation period of over a century during which the mutant gene spreads through the population; only then does the fun start.

All of this makes the subject a damned difficult one. A vulcanologist might be pleased with the frequency of two or three major events per millennium, but then would not be so pleased with the complete lack of geological evidence; all that remains is written is history and archeology. An evolutionary biologist would say that a few thousand years is too short a time frame to work with (the entire span of human history is barely 20 centuries). And how would a geneticist look for markers within the Y chromosome of men who’ve been dead for many centuries that happen to correlate with the trait of “willingness to die for an abstract cause”? But just because a theory cannot be attested based on physical evidence does not automatically invalidate it. There is another method—preponderance of circumstantial evidence—and this is where Gumilëv happens to truly shine. He assembled 20 centuries’ worth of historical and archeological data into a single map that shows who got zapped by space rays where and when, and discussed the results of each such event in great detail. Here, then is the map.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

QUIDNON: The Rudder

Rudder assembly
Quidnon’s steering has evolved quite a lot since the original concept. Now all that’s left of the original concept is the idea that the rudder should have a kick-up blade: when sailing across shallows it should gently float up instead of getting torn off or getting stuck, and when the boat settles on its bottom at low tide the rudder blade should automatically get itself out of the way. Only now has a good solution to this problem has finally been found.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A Hegemon Checkmated

The way a lot of otherwise intelligent and well-informed commentators are sounding, a war between the US and Iran could break out at any point. Their evidence in favor of this view consists of some US aircraft carriers that are supposedly en route to the Persian Gulf, which Iran threatened to blockade if attacked. To do so, Iran wouldn’t actually have to do anything kinetic; it would suffice for it to threaten to attack some oil tankers for their insurance coverage to be voided, preventing them from loading cargo or setting sail. That would block deliveries of close to two-thirds of all the crude oil that’s shipped by sea and cause a truly staggering amount of economic damage—so staggering that the oil-fired economies of the oil-importing nations (and even some of the oil-exporting ones) may never recover.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

How Mutants Make History

We all tend to be fooled by perspective: foreshortening causes objects close to us to appear relatively larger to objects farther away. This is also true of history: our view tends to be obstructed by recent events, making us accept as the immutable order of creation patterns that may be no more than a temporary, transient aberration. It doesn’t help that history is generally just a bunch of stories, mostly about notable people and important events, and not at all the sort of highly processed, abstracted data that would allow us to see immutable patterns. Yet these patterns do exist, they can be perceived by looking back over several thousand years of archeological record and recorded history, and they tell us a great deal about what is happening now and what the future is likely to hold. And the most striking feature of all this is that history is made by mutant humans whereas normal humans generally subsist in whatever fashion nature and their local environment allows without leaving much of a trace.

Historians and archeologists are a pompous lot and tend to prattle on about civilizations and cultures, but if we take all of their work together and crunch it down to numbers we discover that most of the time and in most places there is really not much of a civilization to write about and cultures are mostly static things that go around in circles, and only once in a while something notable happens: the emergence of a new culture or civilization. All of a sudden a tiny group of Mongolian tribesmen conquers half of Eurasia by organizing nomadic tribesmen into a great military, or a tiny group of Taiwanese tribesmen colonizes numerous islands in the Pacific Ocean in outrigger sailing canoes. Other tribes build pyramids (Giza, Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza) or temple complexes (Angkor Wat), or dig giant canal systems that cause deserts to bloom. But such events are few and far between and no historian can tell you what triggers them or what determines their timing. But there is a clear answer and it is, in a word, mutants.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Podcast: America Faded

The United States is facing collapse. The U.S. is in massive debt, and wholly relies on its global military presence to maintain the dominance of the dollar — a situation in which we have to ask the question: how long before that, too, fails? Decades of United States global hegemony is being successfully countered by other global powers, namely Russia, although in a very different fashion from how the United States has traditionally exerted geopolitical influence up to the present moment. Why, and how, has this happened? Dmitry lays out the interrelating factors that are contributing to America’s faltering influence on the global stage, even as the U.S. Empire becomes increasingly belligerent towards other nations, whether ally or foe, as it seeks to maintain its place at the top of the global economic and political order. I ask Dmitry to go over the faltering shale oil industry and energy production in the United States; the failed attempt by the U.S. government, under the leadership and direction of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, to instigate a coup in Venezuela; the forced expulsion of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London (and possible extradition to the U.S.); Russia’s growing economic prominence and geopolitical influence in relation to the United States; the history of the Ukraine’s deep and complicated relationship with the USSR, and more recently the United States; and the overwhelming social collapse we are witnessing in the United States, manifesting in widespread drug addiction, mental illness, political division, and hypernationalism.

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Monday, May 13, 2019

QUIDNON: The Centerboard


Although the Quidnon blog has been quiescent for the past three months, there has been some good progress on completing the design, and I can now report these results and see what comments, ideas and suggestions emerge. It takes time to come up with simple and cheap solutions to complex and potentially expensive problems.

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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

America, You Are Fired!

Some ironies are just too precious to pass by. The 2016 US presidential elections gave us Donald Trump, a reality TV star whose famous tag line from his show “The Apprentice” was “You are fired!” Focus on this tag line; it is all that is important to this story. Some Trump Derangement Disorder sufferers might disagree. This is because they are laboring under certain misapprehensions: that the US is a democracy; or that it matters who is president. It isn’t and it doesn’t. By this point, the choice of president matters as much as the choice of conductor for the band that plays aboard a ship as it vanishes beneath the waves.

I have made these points continuously since before Trump got into office. Whether or not you think that Trump was actually elected, he did get in somehow, and there are reasons to believe that this had something to do with his wonderfully refreshing “You are fired!” tag line. It’s a fair guess that what motivated people to vote for him was their ardent wish that somebody would come along and fire all of the miscreants that infest Washington, DC and surrounding areas. Alas, that he couldn’t do. Figurehead leaders are never granted the authority to dismantle the political establishments that install them. But that is not to say that it can’t be done at all.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Saker Interview

The Saker: How would you assess the current situation in the Ukraine in terms of social, economic and political collapse?

Dmitry Orlov: The Ukraine has never been viable as an independent, sovereign state and so its ongoing disintegration is to be expected. The applicability of the concept of collapse is predicated on the existence of an intact, stand-alone entity capable of collapse, and with the Ukraine this is definitely not the case. Never in its history has it been able to stand alone as a stable, self-sufficient, sovereign entity. As soon as it gained independence, it just fell over. Just as the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), it had reached its peak of economic and social development just as the USSR was about to collapse, and it has been degenerating and losing population ever since. Thus, the right model for discussing it is not one of sudden collapse but of steady degeneration and decay.

The Ukraine’s territory was stuck together by the Bolsheviks—first by Lenin, then by Stalin, then by Khrushchev. It was Lenin who lumped in its eastern regions (Donetsk and Lugansk specifically) who previously were part of Russia proper. Stalin then added eastern lands, which were at various times Polish, Austro-Hungarian or Romanian. Finally, Khrushchev tossed in Russian Crimea in a move that was unconstitutional at the time, since no public referendum had been held in Crimea to decide this question as was required by the Soviet constitution.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ukrainian Election Redux

A presidential election was recently held in the troubled land known as the Ukraine. Some people are waxing hopeful that thanks to having a new president the Ukraine can now finally be put on the mend, get serious about fighting corruption and reverse its slide into destitution and crime. Others see this as an optimization, of sorts, of the existing oligarchic order: instead of having an oligarch (Poroshenko) as president, it is cheaper to have an oligarch’s personal pet (Zelensky) as president, because why should a self-respecting oligarch (Kolomoisky) have to bother with elections.

The Ukraine is interesting for me because it makes such a wonderful case study in collapse: it has been collapsing ever since it gained independence from the USSR. It’s a curious case, because its peculiar congenital disorder has rendered it morbid, and without an external life support system such as the USSR (which is, thankfully, over) or the European Union (good luck with that!) all the Ukrainians are ever likely to do is cannibalize their country until nothing of it is left. Rather than collapse as an event (after which recovery is theoretically possible) what we have in the Ukraine is collapse on rails—an inexorable, systematic hollowing-out and pauperization.

Still, I believe that this last presidential election marks a turning point of sorts for the Ukraine. We should fully expect a great deal of continuity: the oligarchic rule, the widespread corruption, the population loss, the mass impoverishment and the infrastructure decay. Although things that can’t go on forever don’t, in this case they can probably go on for a while yet. But due to the force of external events we should also expect certain discontinuities to occur sooner rather than later.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Martyrdom of St. Julian

News of the arrest and imprisonment of Julian Assange has probably reached you by now, but, just in case, here is a recap. Julian Assange is an Australian journalist; as such, he is a towering giant among a tiny cluster of midgets. Google “great Australian journalists” and you get him and a bunch of people nobody has ever heard of, many of them already dead.

He is a towering figure outside of Australia as well. While other Western journalists run around trying to please their owners, sell advertising space, or struggle to avoid getting banned by the all-seeing eye of social media corporations, Assange has been both principled and fearless. Through his media outlet Wikileaks he has laid bare the dirty secrets of the US State Department and the war crimes of the Pentagon, corporate malfeasance and political corruption, hanging out for all to see the dirty laundry of many powerful and influential people. This made him a cause célèbre: Time Magazine pronounced him Man of the Year and he received human rights awards, standing in the same pantheon as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. But such are the vicissitudes of fortune that now he is being martyred—a sufferer for the truth, unjustly accused and persecuted by a doomed race of inveterate liars.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Five Stages of Collapse of The [Western] Roman Empire

This is a guest post by Hugo Bardi. He has applied my collapse taxonomy to the collapse of Western Roman Empire, and his analysis shows that the canonical collapse cascade of financial–commercial–political–social–cultural collapse did operate as expected in yet another, particularly famous case. But it does raise a question that has great significance for our time. Hugo’s analysis is accurate when it comes specifically to Old Rome and its collapse except for a crucial detail. Old Rome didn’t just collapse; it was abandoned; then, two centuries later, it disappeared. I’ll include some comments about this at the end of Hugo’s article.



Dmitry Orlov wrote "The Five Stages of Collapse" as an article in 2008 and as a book in 2013. It was an original idea for that time that of comparing the fall of the Soviet Union with that of the United States. Being an American citizen born in Russia, Orlov could compare the two Empires in detail and note the many similarities that led both to follow the same trajectory, even though the cycle of the American Empire is not over, yet.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Respecting the Other

One of my old friends' father was at one time something of a Cold Warrior: he did something or other for the US defense establishment—nuclear submarine-related, if I recall correctly. This work activity apparently led him to develop a particularly virulent form of Russophobia; not so much a phobia as a pronounced loathing of all things Russian. According to my friend, her father would compulsively talk about Russia in overly negative terms. He would also sneeze a lot (allergies, perhaps), and she said that it was often difficult for her to distinguish his sneezes from his use of the word "Russia" as an expletive. But perhaps she was trying to draw a distinction without a difference: her father was allergic to Russia, his allergy caused him to sneeze a lot and also to develop a touch of Tourette's, thus his sneezes came out sounding like "Russia!"

What had caused him to develop such a jaundiced view of Russia? The reason is easy to guess: his work activity on behalf of the government forced him to focus closely on what his superiors labeled as "the Russian threat." Unfolded a bit, it would no doubt turn out that what Russia threatened was Americans' self-generated fiction of overwhelming military superiority. Unlike the United States, which had developed any number of plans to destroy the Soviet Union (of which nothing ever came due to said lack of overwhelming military superiority) the Soviet Union had never developed any such plans. And this was utterly infuriating to certain people in the US. Was this truly necessary, or was this an accident?

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Introduction to the Ethnosphere of the Earth

The way humans relate to the rest of the animal kingdom seems a bit artificial and strained. Some would insist that they are not animals (while behaving like other animals in almost every possible way). Others wander in search of their spirit animal and worship nature (of which they are barely a part, being kept alive by the services of a perfectly unnatural technosphere). The way humans relate to each other is a bit fraught as well.

Some believe that humanity is all of a piece and that it would be racist to make any distinctions at all (even against those who would gang-rape and kill you for sport, roast you on a spit and eat you, or cut off your clitoris with a pair of scissors). Others believe that they are different and better than the rest, based artificial distinctions and incidental symbols such as a flag, an anthem, an official language and some historical documents, slogans and statues.

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Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Is the USS Ship of Fools Taking on Water?

It certainly appears to be doing so, and the rate is accelerating. Having spent the last three weeks at an undisclosed location away from the internet has allowed me to observe the increase in its rate of sinkage. There was wifi at the airport and I downloaded three weeks' worth of articles, which I read on the long flight back to civilization. What I read came as a bit of a shock, especially after three weeks of nothing but surf, sea birds, crabs scampering about and lots of happy, friendly people who couldn't possibly care any less about the US.

For some time people have been telling me that I should watch the movie Idiocracy because it shows what the US is turning into. Well, I am not sure that a move about idiocy can avoid being idiotic, so I'll pass, but there is a definite increase in the level of stupidity displayed by those who are part of the US establishment. This shouldn't come as a surprise; after all, why would anyone possessed of wisdom and integrity want to have anything to do with it by this time? Points of extreme stupidity—so stupid it hurts to watch—are all around us at the moment. Let me point out a few important ones.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Imperial Collapse Playbook

First published on December 30, 2014

Some people enjoy having the Big Picture laid out in front of them—the biggest possible—on what is happening in the world at large, and I am happy to oblige. The largest development of 2014 is, very broadly, this: the Anglo-imperialists are finally being forced out of Eurasia. How can we tell? Well, here is the Big Picture—the biggest I could find. I found it thanks to Nikolai Starikov and a recent article of his.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Care and Feeding of a Financial Black Hole

First published on June 30, 2015

A while ago I had the pleasure of hearing Sergey Glazyev—economist, politician, member of the Academy of Sciences, adviser to Pres. Putin—say something that very much confirmed my own thinking. He said that anyone who knows mathematics can see that the United States is on the verge of collapse because its debt has gone exponential. These aren't words that an American or a European politician can utter in public, and perhaps not even whisper to their significant other while lying in bed, because the American eavesdroppers might overhear them, and then the politician in question would get the Dominique Strauss-Kahn treatment (whose illustrious career ended when on a visit to the US he was falsely accused of rape and arrested). And so no European (never mind American) politician can state the obvious, no matter how obvious it is.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

It's really very simple

First published on July 26, 2015

There are times when a loud cry of “The emperor has no clothes!” can be most copacetic. And so, let me point out something quite simple, yet very important.

The old world order, to which we became accustomed over the course of the 1990s and the 2000s, its crises and its problems detailed in numerous authoritative publications on both sides of the Atlantic—it is no more. It is not out sick and it is not on vacation. It is deceased. It has passed on, gone to meet its maker, bought the farm, kicked the bucket and joined the choir invisible. It is an ex-world order.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Power of “Nyet”

First published on July 17, 2016

The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this: in the United States, the power structures (public and private) decide what they want the rest of the world to do. They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation. If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, financial and economic pressure. If that still doesn’t produce the intended effect, they attempt regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation. If that still doesn’t work, they bomb the country back to the stone age. This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late a new dynamic has emerged.