The question in the title is V.I. Lenin’s question. His answer was to create a revolutionary “vanguard” to spread revolutionary ideas among the workers, the economic class that Karl Marx had declared to be the class rising to the ascendency of political power. Finally, democracy, frustrated by upper class interests in its earlier manifestations, would become reality. The workers would rule.
Given the presence of evil and human failing, it did not work out in that way. But Lenin’s question remains a valid one. Americans whose economic life and prospects for their children have been destroyed by the offshoring of American manufacturing and tradable professional skills jobs, such as software engineering, answered the question by electing Donald Trump.
The Americans, dispossessed by the offshoring corporations, elected Trump, because Trump was the only American running for a political office who called attention to the problem and declared his intention to fix it.
By standing up for Americans, Trump alienated the global corporations, their executives and shareholders, all of whom benefit from stealing the economic life of Americans and producing abroad where labor and regulatory costs are lower. Neoliberal junk economists describe this labor arbitrage, which reduces the real incomes of the American labor force, as the beneficial working of free trade.
These offshoring firms not only have destroyed the economic prospects of millions of Americans, but also have destroyed the payroll tax base of Social Security and Medicare, and the tax base of local and state governments, with the consequence that numerous pension systems are on the verge of failure. The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has just failed. This failure, experts predict, is the beginning of a tsunami that will spread into municipal and state pension systems.
When you add up the external costs of jobs offshoring that are imposed on Americans, the costs far exceed the value of the profits that flow to the One Percent. Clearly, this is an intolerable situation.
Dispossessed Americans rose up. They ignored the presstitute media, or perhaps were driven to support Trump by the hostility of the media. Trump was elected by dispossessed America, by the working class.
The working class is out of favor with the elite liberal/ progressive/left which abhors the working class as racist, misogynist, homophobic, gun nuts who oppose transgendered toilet facilities. Thus, the working class, and their chosen representative, Donald Trump, are under full assault by the presstitutes. “Trump Must Go” is their slogan.
And well he might. Trump, in a fit of stupidity, dismissed his National Security Advisor, Gen. Flynn, because Flynn did what he should have done and spoke with the Russian ambassador in order to avoid a Russian response to Obama’s provocation of expelling Russian diplomats at Christmas.
Russians have been demonized and ascribed demonic powers. If you speak to a Russian, you fall under suspicion and become a traitor to your country. This is the story according to the CIA, the Democratic Party, the military/security complex, and the presstitute media.
Once Trump put Flynn’s blood in the water, he set the situation for the sacrifice of other of his appointees, ending with himself. At the present time, “the Russian connection” black mark is operating against Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. If Sessions falls, Trump is next.
Let’s be clear. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sessions met with the Russian ambassador, just as he met with a number of other countries’ ambassadors. There is nothing unusual or surprising about a US senator meeting with foreign diplomatic representatives.
Those who accuse Sessions of lying are misrepresenting the facts. Session met with ambassadors in his capacity as a US Senator, not in his capacity as a Trump representative. As a former US Senate staffer, I can attest that it is perfectly normal for US Senators to meet with diplomats. John McCain and Lindsey Graham even fly to the Middle East to meet with terrorists.
Despite the facts, the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN and all the rest of the CIA’s media whores are consciously and intentionally misrepresenting the facts. Amerians do not need any more evidence that the entirely of the American media is totally devoid of intergrity and respect for truth. The American media is a collection of whores who lie for a living. The presstitutes are despicable, the scum of the earth.
The real question is how has contact with Russian government officials become criminalized, grounds for removing a National Security Adviser, an Attorney General, and impeaching a President himself. President John F. Kennedy had ongoing contact with Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet government, in order to resolve the Cuban/Turkish missile crisis without nuclear war. President Nixon had ongoing contact with the Russians in order to achieve SALT I and the anti-ballistic missile treaty. President Carter had ongoing contact with Russians in order to achieve SALT II. President Reagan worked with the Russian leader in order to end the Cold War. I know. I was there.
But if President Trump wants to defuse the extremely dangerous tensions that the reckless Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes have resurrected with a powerful thermo-nuclear state that only wants peace with the US, President Trump and any of his appointees who spoke to a Russian are unfit for office! This madness is the position of the idiot liberal/progressive/left, the CIA, the Democratic Party, the right-wing morons of the Republican Party such as Lindsey Graham and John McCain, and the two-bit whores that comprise the Westrern media.
Dear reader, ask yourself, how did communications with Russians in the interest of peace and the reduction of tensions become a criminal act? Have laws been passed that it is forbidden for US officials to speak with Russian officials? Are you so utterly stupid that a presstitute media that has never in your entire life told you anything that was truthful can convince you that those who seek to avoid a conflict between thermo-nuclear powers are “Russian agents”?
I have no doubt that the vast bulk of Western populations are insouciant. But if there is no intelligence and awareness left anywhere in the population, and most certainly there is none whatsoever in the governments of the West or in the Western media or the Identity Politics of the liberal/progressive/left, then don’t expect to be alive much longer.
The entirely of the world has been put on the knife edge of existence by the arrogance, stupidity, and hubris of the neoconservative pursuit of American world hegemony. The neoconservative ideology is perfect cover for the material interest of the military/security Deep State that is driving the world to destruction.
(Reprinted from PaulCraigRoberts.org by permission of author or representative)
According to official US economic data, the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has expanded for 22 quarters, raising real GDP 12.1% above its high prior to the 2008-09 economic contraction. Yet, US manufacturing output and US industrial production have not recovered to their pre-contraction high.
So what is driving the real GDP growth? In my opinion, the rise in real GDP is an illusion produced by the under-measurement of inflation.
As I have reported on many occasions, John Williams of shadowstats.com has concluded that changes in the way that the government approaches the measurement of inflation has, in effect, defined inflation away.
Formerly, if a price of an item in an inflation measure rose, the inflation rate would rise by the price times the weight of the item in the index. Today, if a price of an item in an inflation measure rises, that item is removed from the index, and a lower cost item substituted in its place.
A second way that government has contrived in order to undermeasure inflation is to declare price rises “quality improvements” and not count the higher price as inflation.
Using these methods, an 8% rate of inflation can, for example, be reduced to a 2% inflation rate.
The low inflation rate is what produces the appearance of real GDP growth. As GDP is measured in prevailing prices, in order to know whether the GDP number is the result of an increase in the output of goods and services or merely the result of higher prices or inflation, the nominal GDP figure is deflated by the inflation measure.
For example, if nominal GDP rises 5% this year over last year, and the inflation rate is measured at 2%, real GDP has grown by 3%. However, if the 2% inflation rate is the contrived result described above, and inflation is really 5% or 8%, GDP growth was zero or declined by 3%.
The main reason that the government revamped its measurement of inflation is to save money by denying Social Security recipients cost-of-living-adjustments. During the many years that retirees have had no interest income on their retirement savings due to the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy in support of the balance sheets of the “banks too big to fail,” retirees have also been denied cost-of-living adjustments to their Social Security pensions.
In his latest report John Williams states:
“Decades of massaged reporting methodologies have distanced headline economic activity from common experience and underlying reality. When I started the Shadow Government Statistics newsletter in 2004, it reflected my formal experiences of assessing the quality and nature of headline economic reporting since the early 1980s, and of a broad recognition that Main Street U.S.A. had a good sense of underlying economic reality.
“By 2004, underlying economic reality clearly was not reflected in the headline numbers issued by most statistical agencies of the federal government. Headline business conditions broadly were overstated, while inflation was understated. A heavily-positive public response accompanied the ShadowStats.com introduction, broadly confirming that common experience was not reflected meaningfully in the government’s headline data. Reporting quality and related circumstances have deteriorated since.”
To speak frankly, the picture of the economy that is presented to the public is a virtual reality contrived to take the place of the real reality. The economic recovery, the low inflation and unemployment rates are no more real than Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, and Russian invasion of Ukraine. As in the movie, the Matrix in which Americans live is the product of government’s ability to control the explanations.
As John Williams says, the government’s “GDP reporting is not close to being credible.” The Federal Reserve’s Industrial Production Index represents 61% of GDP and remains below its peak prior to the 2008-09 economic contraction. Yet the government says real GDP is 12.1% higher.
Try finding any discussion of this inconsistency in the financial media.
There have always been biases in the media, but the 21st century has seen the rise of fake news in order to advance agendas. For example, the neoconservative agenda of overthrowing seven countries in the Middle East in five years was served by the fake news about Saddam Hussein, Gadaffi, Assad, and Iran. The military/security complex’s agenda of a New Cold War was served by the fake news of Russian invasion and threat to Europe. President Trump’s intention of restoring normal relations with Russia was defeated by fake news of Russian interference in the presidential election and Trump’s alleged connections to Russian intelligence.
Practically the entire US population belived the obvious, transparent lies about Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran and perhaps most still do. Various polls show that a majority of Americans believe the obvious lies about the Russians, and many Amerians want Trump impeached for his non-existent “Russian connections.”
The print and TV media and much of the Internet media create the virtual reality that supports the agendas of the ruling elites, depriving the people of comprehension of factual reality. Websites, such as this one, which endeavor to provide truthful explanations, are dismissed as Russian dupes/agents, conspiracy theorists, kooks, and so forth.
Democracy cannot function when lies crowd out truth in the service of hidden agendas. Neither can life on earth. As terrible as the two 20th century World Wars were in the expenditure of life and destruction of cities, the weapons were puny compared to the thermo-nuclear weapons of today.
According to reports, just one Russian Satan II nuclear missile has sufficient destructive force to obliterate France or the state of Texas.
Russia, surrounded by 28 hostile NATO countries egged on by insane neoconservatives and crazed US generals, relies on nuclear weapons to protect its homeland. In recent years, various Russian officials have said that Russia will never again fight a war on its own territory. This should tell us something, but it hasn’t.
If you have a brain, ask yourself what this orchestrated conflict with Russia is about. Putin has said that he wants no conflict, that Russia threatens no one. But the Western presstitutes declare that Russia is a threat, and the generals who Trump has appointed to the highest positions in his new
government say that “Russia is the principal threat to the US.” If you believe Putin, you are a Russian dupe or even a traitor. If you believe the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, you have signed up for Armageddon.