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20 May, 2018

Why after the next financial meltdown the system will be probably crushed beyond repair

We are running out of time. And maybe it's too late already ...

by system failure

Capitalism apologists frequently use a very common argument (to the point that it has become a cliche) to defend the capitalist system. They often support - in the context of a pseudo-rational dominant perception - that financial crises is a kind of a natural phenomenon and that capitalism will always survive, no matter what.

Yet, today there are signs showing that we are probably living in a unique moment in history. For the first time, there is a constant and bizarre atmosphere of uncertainty, inside which, only one certainty manages to survive: that another major crisis is about to come. The only question is "when".

Indeed, in the past, capitalism was always finding ways to escape dead ends and contradictions, through its ability to transform itself and mutate. Yet, after major financial crises, a big war was necessary to restart that process. However, the last mutation of capitalism, which has started about four decades ago, appears to contain the tools of its final demolition. Financial capitalism, accompanied with the corresponding neoliberal ideology, created a deeply unequal and unstable system.

The mainstream neoliberal ideology has penetrated in almost every aspect of life. Naturally, the so-called political center, especially in the West, has been bought by that ideology. In our strange times, establishment politicians have adopted a completely distorted perception of reality, in which, their political amoralism is often considered something natural and justifiable.

This blatant dysfunctionality continuously grows through a vicious cycle in which the system produces types of politicians who have no real vision and zero ability to foresee developments. Therefore, they have absolutely no idea how to handle another major crisis, and, naturally, their only option is to mobilize all energy and means to save that system from definite collapse, just to keep it alive until the next crisis.

We are now exactly at the point where we should expect another major war, after the big financial crisis of 2007-08, that will permit the system to survive. Only this time, a WWIII is not an option because with all this terrifying nuclear arsenal, it would probably mean the end of civilization.

So, what should we expect to happen after the next big financial meltdown?

It seems that the only answer to that question is that the system will be probably crushed beyond repair. This is as far as we can go, for now.

Hyper-automation evolves rapidly, throwing millions out of the working force. Small-medium businesses are being eliminated by a system in which only the big players have direct access to the printing and digital money machine, and creates bubbles of all sizes that finally burst, more and more frequently. And, despite the inflating instability, the elites continue to accumulate capital as if they are preparing for the final collapse, no longer being able to maintain their failed model.

Meanwhile, the only reverse contribution of that system to the planet, is the rapid environmental degradation with immeasurable impact to our lives in the close future. And, of course, the constant threat of a nuclear holocaust through an accident, or through a creepy, lunatic clown in power who will finally push the button.

Above all, and perhaps the most frightening, is that this is a picture of a system that makes absolutely no sense.

In short, we could say that, while the arrow of technology goes always forward, the arrow of the cultural progress of societies goes back and forth. Well, we don't have the luxury to go back and forth many times until we meet the arrow of technology and behave for the first time with true responsibility. Meaning, managing technology only for the benefit of the whole, and not for war and destruction of nature.

We are running out of time. And maybe it's too late already ...

19 May, 2018

Make the economy scream ... this time in Venezuela

The Greek journalist Aris Chatzistefanou, creator of impressively revealing documentaries such as Catastroika, Debtocracy, FASCISM INC and This is not a coup, reports from Caracas-Venezuela about the oncoming elections, while filming his new documentary about Venezuela called ‘Make the Economy Scream'.

Ignacio Ramonet, former editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique, explained during the filming of Make the economy scream, that the continuous elections was one of the features of what Hugo Chavez called "Socialism of the 21st century".

The most paradox thing lately, is that the opponents of the so-called Bolivarian Revolution in Caracas are trying to prove that what happens in Venezuela is the purest type of Socialism and that the result of the elections in May, 20, will be a product of a rigged process.

Every phrase coming from their mouths actually echoes Donald Trump's statement that "the problem of Venezuela is not that Socialism has been poorly implemented, but that Socialism has been faithfully implemented". Another statement from 14 right-wing governments of the Lima Group through which they requested the cancellation of the presidential elections, it was like it was coming straight from the US State Department.

Despite the fact that the Government of Venezuela has invited the UN to send inspectors since February, the organization refused supporting that it did not have enough time to prepare for such a mission, according to diplomatic sources.

It should be noted that the biggest coalition of the right-wing opposition, MUD, called the UN to refuse to accept Maduro's invitation because such an action would legitimize the elections.

The opposition is now typically divided, especially after Henri Falcon's decision - who was cooperating with MUD in the past - to break the boycott of the elections by running for president. There is a creepy silence in the streets of Caracas, because of the fact that MUD has put all its power to dispute the result of the elections, even before the start of the process.

Yet, there is a broad fear for potential riots the first days after the announcement of the results, which according to the first signs, will give Maduro another victory.

Info from:

Latest from Aris Chatzistefanou in Venezuela:

Conspiracy emerges to push Julian Assange into British and US hands

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who provided the world’s people with the truth about US war crimes in the Middle East and many of Washington’s coups and regime-change intrigues around the globe, is in escalating danger.

Moves are afoot to force Assange out of Ecuador’s London embassy, where he sought political asylum close to six years ago and has been forced to live as an effective prisoner. If he is taken into custody by British authorities, he faces being handed over to the US government, which has long sought to place him on trial on espionage charges that potentially carry the death sentence.

The British newspaper, the Guardian, originally published some of WikiLeaks’ devastating exposures in 2010. It then turned viciously against him, along with other international news outlets. Now, it has instigated a foul campaign, clearly acting in league with various intelligence agencies, to justify Ecuador reneging on Assange’s asylum.

The fresh offensive against Assange comes seven weeks after the Ecuadorian government, under pressure from the US, Britain and other powers, cut off Assange’s entire Internet and phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from visiting him.

Full report:

Analyzed: The Western media's fear and loathing of Venezuela

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." – Noam Chomsky

By Manmeet Sahni

Part 1

Humanitarian crisis, starvation, migration, repressive government, economic crisis, sanctions, resistance, Communist Party, Chavez, hyperinflation, crackdown on corruption, election fraud: just some of the keywords used by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Reuters and the Miami Herald to describe Venezuela as it heads to the polls on May 20 to select its next president.

While some of these words might give a glimpse into the current situation in Venezuela, Western media's hyper-sensationalism of the nation's domestic affairs falls far short of addressing the realities on the ground.

On a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver – a British comedian – attempted to shed light on the ongoing crisis by weaving some random anecdotes into a 20-minute segment. He outrightly dismissed crucial facts about Venezuela and its socialist history, coming perilously close to publicly endorsing the U.S. sanctions intended to prolong the crisis.

Critics, however, took note. Gabriel Hetland is a professor at the University of Albany who writes extensively about Venezuela. Writing in The Nation, she said: "The U.S. government has not only cheered and funded these anti-democratic actions. By absurdly declaring that Venezuela is an 'unusual and extraordinary threat' to U.S. national security, and pressuring investors and bankers to steer clear of the Maduro administration, the White House has prevented Venezuela from obtaining much-needed foreign financing and investment."

One of the main failings of the Western media is the refusal to acknowledge the history of the issues currently playing out in Venezuela.

In 2006, after Hugo Chavez was elected Venezuela's president for a second term, Nicolas Maduro – who would later become president – was named foreign affairs minister. Under Chavez, Maduro made strategic alliances with neighboring countries, forging and strengthening regional alliances with progressive governments in Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as with the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Venezuela's foreign policy is notable for its multipolar vision: a geopolitical perspective unconfined to the binary, Cold War powers represented by the United States and Russia. It was Maduro who revitalized the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and established Petrocaribe as part of Venezuela's cooperation with other Caribbean nations.

Despite attempts by the Western power axis – the United States, Switzerland, Canada and the European Union – to overthrow Maduro's government, the president has sought to consolidate support with member states of the Non-Aligned Movement, including South Africa, Dominica, Iran and Cuba.

Maduro has made repeated calls to the mainstream media for fair, unbiased and accurate coverage, but to little avail. In April 2017, then Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Venezuela was being exposed to a "very aggressive global media campaign" and called for "responsible management of information."


Ανατριχιαστική… ηρεμία επικρατεί στο Καράκας

Αποστολή Βενεζουέλα

Άρης Χατζηστεφάνου

«Δεν θυμάμαι ποτέ στη ζωή μου τόσο ήρεμη προεκλογική περίοδο», μου είπε ο Ανχελ, καθώς περνούσαμε ανάμεσα στα τεράστια φρεσκοβαμμένα γκράφιτι με την εικόνα του Νικολάς Μαδούρο στα προάστια του Καράκας. Η ζωή του Ανχελ, όπως και εκατοντάδων χιλιάδων νέων στη Βενεζουέλα, έχει ίσως τις περισσότερες εκλογικές αναμετρήσεις από οποιονδήποτε άλλο κάτοικο του πλανήτη. Από τα 23 του χρόνια έχει περάσει τα 19 με κυβερνήσεις του Τσάβες και του Μαδούρο και σ’ αυτά θυμάται τους γονείς του να καλούνται 25 φορές στις κάλπες για να αναδείξουν τον πρόεδρο, βουλευτές ή τοπικούς άρχοντες.

Οπως μας εξηγούσε ο πρώην διευθυντής της Monde Diplomatique, Ιγνάσιο Ραμονέ, στα γυρίσματα του ντοκιμαντέρ Make the economy scream, η διαρκής προσφυγή στις κάλπες ήταν ένα από τα χαρακτηριστικά σε αυτό που ο Τσάβες αποκαλούσε «Σοσιαλισμό του 21ου αιώνα».

Το παράδοξο των ημερών είναι πως όλοι οι αντίπαλοι της λεγόμενης μπολιβαριανής επανάστασης, εδώ στο Καράκας, προσπαθούν να αποδείξουν ότι αυτό που συμβαίνει στη Βενεζουέλα είναι η γνησιότερη μορφή του σοσιαλισμού και ταυτόχρονα πως το αποτέλεσμα των εκλογών στις 20 Μαΐου θα είναι προϊόν νοθείας.

Κάθε τους φράση απηχεί τις δηλώσεις του Ντόναλντ Τραμπ πως «το πρόβλημα της Βενεζουέλας δεν είναι ότι ο σοσιαλισμός δεν εφαρμόστηκε σωστά, αλλά αντίθετα ότι εφαρμόστηκε με θρησκευτική ευλάβεια». Βγαλμένη από ανακοίνωση του Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ έμοιαζε όμως και η ανακοίνωση 14 δεξιών κυβερνήσεων της Ομάδας της Λίμας, που ζήτησαν την ακύρωση των προεδρικών εκλογών χαρακτηρίζοντας εκ των προτέρων τη διαδικασία «απονομιμοποιημένη».

Παρά το γεγονός ότι η κυβέρνηση της Βενεζουέλας είχε καλέσει από τον Φεβρουάριο τον ΟΗΕ να στείλει παρατηρητές, ο διεθνής οργανισμός αρνήθηκε υποστηρίζοντας, σύμφωνα με διπλωματικές πηγές, ότι δεν είχε στη διάθεσή του επαρκή χρόνο για την προετοιμασία της αποστολής.

Να σημειωθεί ότι ο μεγαλύτερος συνασπισμός της δεξιάς αντιπολίτευσης, MUD, είχε καλέσει τον ΟΗΕ να μην κάνει δεκτό το αίτημα του Μαδούρο καθώς έτσι θα… νομιμοποιούσε τις εκλογές.

Η αντιπολίτευση είναι πλέον και τυπικά διασπασμένη, ιδιαίτερα μετά την απόφαση του υποψηφίου Ενρι Φαλκόν, ο οποίος παλαιότερα συνεργαζόταν με το MUD, να σπάσει το μποϊκοτάζ των εκλογών και να διεκδικήσει την προεδρία.

Η ανατριχιαστική ηρεμία στους δρόμους του Καράκας είναι αποτέλεσμα αυτής ακριβώς της στάσης του MUD, που έχει ρίξει όλες του τις δυνάμεις στο να αμφισβητήσει το αποτέλεσμα πριν ακόμη προσέλθει ο πρώτος ψηφοφόρος στις κάλπες.

Παρ’ όλα αυτά ο φόβος των επεισοδίων είναι διάχυτος για τις πρώτες ώρες και ημέρες μετά την ανακοίνωση των αποτελεσμάτων, που σύμφωνα με τις περισσότερες ενδείξεις αναμένεται να δώσουν για άλλη μια φορά τη νίκη στον Μαδούρο.

Η αναμενόμενη αποχή δρα σε βάρος του Φαλκόν, ο οποίος τις τελευταίες εβδομάδες διεκδικεί με αξιώσεις τον προεδρικό θώκο.

Υποσχόμενος δολαριοποίηση μισθών και συντάξεων, δραστικές περικοπές επιδομάτων αλλά και άνοιγμα του πετρελαϊκού τομέα σε ιδιωτικές επενδύσεις ο σημαντικότερος υποψήφιος μετά τον Μαδούρο επιβεβαιώνει τον χαρακτηρισμό «πολιτικό εκκρεμές», αφού πέρασε από το στρατόπεδο του Τσάβες στη δεξιά αντιπολίτευση και τελικά αποφάσισε να κατέβει με τον δικό του πολιτικό σχηματισμό στις εκλογές.