Saturday 30th July 2016

banner.png

news menu leftnews menu right

Editorial
SHAKEN STABILITY PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 July 2016 07:20

The world of humans is in a flux, to say nothing about the dynamically changing biosphere negatively affecting us all. Social commotions are increasing all over, from the countries of the rich to that of the very poor. Obviously those who benefit from the existing set up don’t think real change is necessary. On the other hand, the customarily rudderless sheeple (human mass) of the 99% has started to ask pertinent questions as to its current and future livelihood in the context of the prevailing unsustainable and polarizing globalization. In all these, persuasive worldview grounded on concrete socio-economic reality, focused on fostering peace (even relative and temporal ones) and sustainable livelihood just doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, at least not from within the core countries of the system!

Admitted or not, the following is visible to both (elite & mass). The post war (WWII) order that sustained relative peace and prosperity across the world is breaking down! At the same time this visibly dying order doesn’t seem to present/introduce or even indicate viable alternatives on which humanity can place its fate. Polarization (between countries) and income inequality (within nation-states) is in the ascendance creating instability in the lives of the global population. This is true even in the OECD (rich) countries themselves. The middle class in the OECD is shrinking fast. Sustained social strife is becoming a regular feature of advanced industrialized societies. In Europe where there is more democratic leeway to express grievances in fresher and more direct political formats, compared to the straight political jacket of North America, the sheeple has started to interrogate established convictions that were once regarded sacrosanct and off limit to the plebs’ articulations, ‘populist policies’, to use the phrase of the banksters and their paid politicos!

Newer parties/alliances are wining offices across the EU. In Spain, Italy, France etc. the new political outlooks seem to be solidifying around political entities whose ideologies range from the uncomfortably right to the moderately left. For example, the new mayors of Turin and Rome now come from the ‘five star’ movement. UKIP (UK Independent Party) and its successful Brexit campaign is another example that might end up serving as a template to others with similar inclinations. France, Italy, Austria, The Czech Republic and many others want a thoroughly reformed EU, otherwise, they are willing to call it quits. Consequently, EU and NATO will not have it easy, going forward, as peaceful quitters are on the rise. Moreover, ‘blowbacks’, to use a word coined by the US-CIA, are coming to peaceful neighborhoods of the powerful nations. Blowbacks from NATO’s aggression in NAME (North Africa & Middle East) are now reaching the shores of Europe. This year’s celebration of ‘the Storming of the Bastille (last day of the Bastille), will be remembered, sadly enough, by the storming of a lunatic trucker! The Nice incident, whether executed by a lone wolf or an organized entity was a terrorist act, pure and simple!

South America is also in dire strait. In Venezuela, Brazil, etc. the states are having difficulties meeting even their basic responsibilities, like paying salaries to government employees. Many of the Rio police force that are expected to protect and secure the people/site during the Rio Olympic Games, have not been paid for months! To be sure, violent crime has always been prevalent in this highly polarized region of our world, but now it is really roaring, to say the least. For instance Brazil had 42,000 homicides last year. The top thirty cities in the world, when it comes to murder (on per capita basis) are all from South America, save Cape Town (South Africa) at number nine, St Louis at number 15, Baltimore at number 19 and Detroit at number 28, all from the USA.

Instability is also coming to the USA.The increased arbitrariness of the existing professional police force has led to the creation of a social movement like ‘Blacks lives Matter’. One can also have ‘Hispanics Lives Matter’, ‘White lives Matter’, or more appropriately and to our liking ‘All lives matter’! We admit this is a less dramatic and a more diffused slogan to galvanize angry people. Nonetheless, we believe, ‘All lives Matter’ should underline all efforts towards the curtailments of police brutality as well as violent crimes. Encouragingly, there are now serious discussions as to how to do policing differently in many cities of the United States. Various policing methods, (voluntary, community, etc.) are all finding their ways to the discussion tables. However, before any of these new policing strategies come to fruition, we believe, gun control measures should be given priority. Without coming to terms with America’s archaic tradition of armed citizenry, (particularly in the context of massive urbanization) we believe, there might not be much hope in containing either crime or police brutality!

In Africa, like the other peripheries and semi-peripheries (South America, Asia, etc.) turmoil is becoming frequent and more violent. South Sudan flared up last week and allowed an open season to hunt down alleged enemies, mostly in Juba and environs. Even the African countries that faired better after independence, are currently flirting with impending instability. As the going gets tough, the ever-present cleaver manipulators and maliciously inclined goons of the political genre will not be able to foster peace and stability on our continent. The engrained ideology of Africa’s decadent and degenerate polity, ‘it is our turn to eat’, can only fetch more turmoil and chaos.

The old colonialists leveraged the bible to penetrate the continent and exploit its resources. The current ideology of neoliberalism and its ‘money god’ can only facilitate dispensations based on our demented(antisocial) inclination of greed and selfishness. To help forge communal peace and solidarity (in all and sundry) new philosophical orientations are needed, focusing on the celebration of prudence, probity, sustainability, democracy, equity and harmony. Many African countries are hurting (from the consequences of unbridled global market operations) and unless they decidedly change their ways, however difficult, their peaceful future cannot be guaranteed. A highly diverse continent that has yet to secure the basics to its sheeple is still chronically obsessed with ‘identity politics’.  Africa desperately needs wise, independent and forward-looking indigenous leadership!

Here is an old liberation fighter of African descent. "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." Frederick Douglass (US slave, turned abolitionist and statesman, 1818-1895) Good Day!

Add a comment
 
DIRECT DEMOCRACY SANS INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 July 2016 07:44

Electoral democracy has the backing of the whole existing state structures (legislation, executive and the judiciary) and other functioning social institutions. On the other hand, direct democracy is without much support within the prevailing state structures. As a result, the voices/desires of the ideologically unincorporated ordinary sheeple, (human mass) as reflected via referendums, etc., don’t seem to readily find tangible and practical expressions on the ground. What has happened in last year’s Greece referendum (against TROIKA’s austerity program), the Dutch referendum opposing the proposed Ukrainian trade relation with the EU, as well as the current fluid situation in Britain(after Brexit) are clear examples of direct democracy wallowing without supporting institutions within established state apparatuses!

Referendums or other similar options are conducted (by the sheeple) when the matter at hand is either very critical or the operating political parties fail/hesitate to address the sentiments of the general public towards the given issue. By their very set up, almost all state institutions are geared to benefiting the well-established system of electoral democracy, from which the apparatchiks and the politicos derive their livelihood and political sustenance! Election commissions, established political parties, etc., etc., are all members of this support institutions. On the other hand, when a referendum delivers unexpected even undesired results direct from the sheeple, (at least from the point of view of the status quo) vital state institutions do not (in majority of cases) all heartedly try to implement the sheeple’s decisions. Brexit seems to be one classic example in this vein. Because of various ongoing shortcomings, Western democracies are being challenged to their very core. The lack of institutional infrastructure, both within and outside of the state, to support directly & clearly expressed sentiments of the sheeple (a la referendum, etc.), we believe, is one emerging problematic!

European Union and NATO are superstructures imposed on the European sheeple from without (to a large extent). Challenging some of the policies of the two Brussels based institutions has become difficult within existing set ups. Even ‘Electoral Democracy’ seems to have become impotent vis-à-vis the above two powerful and symbiotic institutions. Observing the sheeple’s increasing frustrations on the whole arrangement, politicos with sharper survival instincts have started to sympathize with the plebs’ dilemmas. For example, after witnessing Brexit, the leader of Czech Republic opined that he also wants to see a referendum in regards to EU and NATO membership! The now largest Italian political party that is still vying for power also wants referendum. Ditto France’s opposition party! Like it or not, this is now a widely shared sentiment within the European sheeple and must be satisfactorily addressed, if some kind of European unity is to be preserved. On the other hand, the reigning status quo guided by the ‘deep state’ doesn’t want any of this, and herein lies the problem! The same sentiment is also being expressed in a somewhat different format in the USA. The two presidential candidates who are not vetted and endorsed by the ‘deep state’ managed to garner unprecedented support from the ordinary people.

In the absence of European type democracy in the US, such as being able to readily conduct referendum across the nation, etc. the US sheeple is resorting to finding candidates that sound a bit out of the ordinary. The two outliers (Bernie Sanders & Trump) do not wholly espouse the objectives/ideals of their respective establishment political vehicles, i.e., the Democratic and the Republican parties. Obviously, contending for the presidential office by going outside of these political parties might not have been realistic in the US, as the system is effectively rigged against alternative parties entering the political fray! Be that’s as it may, these two individuals have still managed to galvanize the American sheeple, both from the left and the right. Naturally, since they were not the favorites of both parties, all sorts of obstacles were systemically put in place (by existing institutions, residing both within the state and outside of it) to frustrate their campaigns and make election life miserable. The political game in the US has started to change for the better, at least from the point of view of democracy. Come November, it wouldn’t be very surprising to see Mr. Trump in the white house, (barring unforeseen circumstances) to the horror of the ‘deep state’ and its politicos, who are literally on its payroll.

The global sheeple that is sufficiently indoctrinated by the ‘deep states’ of the powerful states also seems to be perturbed. To be sure, we do not support all what Mr. Trump claims to believe in or wants to do if elected president. Frankly speaking, we do not overly obsess with politicos’ rhetoric. Mr. Trump’s down to earth rouge and unsophisticated worldview (about all and sundry) should not be taken seriously.  We cannot deny that his campaign has added a bit of color to the whole political jamboree.  Compared to the boring and stifling posturing of the established political ruling elites, his seems to be somewhat refreshing. His critic of NATO’s adventures in faraway lands is right on the button and should be welcomed all over the peace-loving world! Unfortunately, if it has to come to this kind of low-level political pomposity and mendacity to actually stop global wars and secure peace, then we have no choice but to oblige. The effort to debunk the current narrative of the ‘deep state’, which includes, amongst other things, painting Russia as aggressive, is to be encouraged. We believe peace must be the acid test by which the president of a reigning hegemon should be judged. In this regard, Mr. Trump’s rhetorical statements shine a glitter of hope for peace on earth. Of course, rhetoric, policy and actions are very different things, as we have painfully learned from the sitting Nobel peace prizewinning president. The once community organizer ended up destroying countries after countries and secured his status, pathetically, as the most ambitious promoter of nuclear arsenals in recent American history. No wonder the doomsday clock is now only two minutes from midnight (The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)!

Obviously the killing industry (military-industrial–complex, MIC) doesn’t like the tenuously peaceful orientation Mr. Trump promises to pursue in parts of Europe and NAME (North Africa & Middle East). The MIC, which is the core of the ‘deep state’, is up in arms to make sure this view doesn’t get the better of the electorate and the executive, in case Trump becomes Triumphant! Remember our definition of the deep state? It is the military-intelligence-industrial-banking-media-complex. We certainly do not aspire to see another ‘Hope & Change’, ‘Change we can believe in’, blah, blah easily dissipate into the ether. Neither do we want to hear the following imbecilic stupidity as: ‘Maybe you can even reverse Brexit. There are always solutions to the problems, as long as you have the right people in the room.’ Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan.That is why we insist: “Enough electoral democracy, more direct democracy.” Good Day!

Add a comment
 
NEOLIBERALISM ON THE ROPES PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 June 2016 07:20

In a nutshell, neoliberalism is a version of the reigning capitalist economic system where the private sector led market is given more leeway, prominence even leadership in general societal matters: and pivotal role in all economic undertakings. It is synonymous with laissez-faire capitalism, i.e. unencumbered ‘open & free’ market activities. Amongst its corner stones; privatization instead of state-ization and deregulation instead of regulation stand out. Results and consequences of the recent intense global neoliberalism are coming in droves. A whole lot of these outcomes are not very appetizing, to say the least. Today we will look at some of the real, real bad ones!

Thanks to imprudent deregulation of the financial sector, very much pushed by the usual culprits-the banking cabal, our current world finds itself in unprecedented situation where the basic tenets of capitalism are shaken (might even shatter completely) to the core. To begin with, modern finance has already become the top predator of the capitalist world order as of at least the early 1970s. Subsequently, it also managed to construct (financial) schemes that are unbecoming of capitalism itself, as we know it. For example, we now have an economic reality, not a fiction, where there is literally no cost for capital, i.e., saved money yields zero or negative return. This has become the norm in a number of advanced industrialized countries; Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, etc. Without a doubt, this is a major distortion of classical capitalism, whatever that is/was! There are already many visible consequences of this unusual and bizarre theory of the globally entrenched financial oligarchs and their state accomplices (central banks, etc.)!  Add a comment

Read more...
 
MUHAMMAD ALI (1942-2016) PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 June 2016 07:14

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky (USA) in 1942. Cassius Clay Sr., his father, was a house and billboard painter and an amateur musician. His mother was a humble homemaker and a domestic worker. Ali’s father died in 1990 and his mother in 1994. Even though his father took up the name of the famous abolitionist, Cassius Clay, the son reckoned it was not good enough for him. Cassius Clay Jr. changed his name to Muhammad Aliand joined the ‘Nation of Islam’ immediately after he defeated the fearsome heavyweight champion of the world Sonny Liston, at the age of 22. Muhammad Ali, probably the most celebrated sport personality of the 20th century died on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74. He is survived by his nine children. Add a comment

Read more...
 
BANKS MANUFACTURE INEQUITY PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 07:24

As we always say, ‘fractional reserve banking/fiat currency is the worst non-violent crime of the millennium.’ As a dominant, dreaded and despised enterprise of the modern world system, banking must be continuously reexamined and reconstructed, given its tendency to devastate ordinary life within days. The so-called Great Financial Crisis (GFC) has thrown some light on the potential damage deep financial crisis can cause. Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, etc., of the OECD (rich countries) and the commodity exporting countries of Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, South Africa, etc., are all facing difficulties, mostly because of protracted mispricing of goods and services, compliment of phony money based financial system. Even China is now in the thickest of this problem! African countries, once again, are looking at impending disasters!
Banks have always been core members of the ‘deep state’. For our purpose, we have defined the prevailing ‘deep state’ of the usually strong states (but not exclusively confined to them) as the military-intelligence-industrial-banking-media-complex, which run the show behind the elected formal state! As a result, it has become difficult to have democratic and enlightened debates on the existing global financial architecture, even in the universities. That is why we have chosen the phrase ‘indoctrination institutions’ to describe the current orientation/status of these once centers of learning, teaching and reflection. Nonetheless, because of the gross inequity of the global system, there is now a critical number of the global sheeple (human mass) willing to take matters in its own hand, particularly in regards to the fraudulent creation of phony money that is substantively funneled to the global oligarchs at the expense of the global masses. The rise of alternative currencies, (crypto-currencies, coupons, points, etc.) as means of exchange is just one option that is gaining traction. We sincerely advise the power that be (TPTB) to drastically change its ways before the s@#$ starts hitting the fan!
May be it is wise to listen to more versed/prominent personalities than us when it comes to modern banking. Here is the former governor of the Bank of England and president of the Rothschild Bank. ‘The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin. Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again. Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.”  Sir Josiah Stamp, the second richest man in UK (1927). ‘The creation of fiat currency should be a government monopoly.’ Milton Friedman. J.P. Morgan’s words to Congress in 1912: “Gold is money. Everything else is credit.” ‘There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance. Past experience, to the extent that it is part of memory at all, is dismissed as the primitive refuge of those who do not have insight to appreciate the incredible wonders of the present’. John Kenneth Galbraith. Let us contextualize the fraudulent system’s operation by referencing it to our own country.
Ethiopia’s working stiff (entrepreneurs and workers) are dropping out like flies from genuine economic activities opening up more space to the ascending feudal lords (rent seekers), mostly comprising of Ethiopia’s newly minted financial and landed aristocracy! This fused aristocracy is now at the forefront of Ethiopia’s fledging land lordism! We will look at one of the most ridiculous sector that is absolutely wallowing in pyramidal scheme. Ethiopia’s private banks now pay dividend, ranging from 20% to 90% per annum! Theoretically, banks are presumed to be intermediaries, i.e., they are supposed to mobilize finance capital to lend out to the productive sector. But Ethiopia’s productive sector that is supposed to utilize banks’ credit/loan cannot make a return of 20 to 90% on a yearly basis. Then how are banks to pay such incredible dividends, when their supposed profit largely comes from interests and other fees, which are regulated and modest, if not nominal? Most importantly, this sends a dangerous signal to a would be business operator. Why engage in difficult and risky productive activities when banking (which is protected by the state, at least to a large extent) is giving such a return? We can only say; ‘Eat your heart out Charles Ponzi’!
In a system that is overarched by greed, the desire to beat regulation can be overwhelming to many and overpowering to the chronically selfish. Ethiopia’s (current) lucrative banking sector is closed to outsiders, including the Ethiopian diaspora. Of course, given such returns, (which hardly exist in normal business operations anywhere) all and sundry are eager to get in the game. To this end, ‘next to kin’ or fronting lackeys are employed to access this lucrative business or financial rent, to use a more appropriate phrase. Such regulation beating arrangements are quite common in other sectors as well, supposedly restricted to the poor natives, including retail, hospitality (small hotels/motels/guesthouses, restaurants, etc.) land, real estate, import, etc. Phony money, imported or not, is systemically and aggressively disfranchising the settled from their homes, businesses, etc. Frightening disempowerment and unfair uprooting of citizens has become the order of the day. Don’t forget; ‘printing money out of thin air does not increase wealth, it only increases claims on existing wealth.’ (Charles Hugh Smith) This is exactly how Ethiopians are getting dispossessed, under various pretexts, like privatization, open tenders/competition, blah, blah. The ultimate objective behind these charades is to allow oligarchs (both domestic & foreign) secure long-term stream of income and real assets, by utilizing phony/bank money (only available to them, via cross shareholding of banks, etc.) before the jig is up. This is dispossession by stealth par excellence! See Ellen’s article next column, Whitney’s, Bonner’s and Smiths’ on page 38, 39 and 46.
Sooner than later, popular reaction against such fraud and injustice is bound to appear on the horizon, with a potential to undermine peace and stability in this diverse country (think Somalia, Libya, even Nigeria, etc.)! Unfortunately, a good portion of Ethiopia’s intellectual elite seems to have lost its honesty and professional integrity, all to the ‘good life’ facilitated by easy & unearned money. It is not inclined to critiquing the ongoing criminal accumulation and its potential consequences. In fact, it seems to have become part and parcel of the wholesome scheming; materially, morally, spiritually, emotionally and culturally. Under all sorts of ploys, the connected few (not excluding degenerate top officials) are looting as if there is no tomorrow! But we believe tomorrow, when it comes (coming days, months, years, etc.) might not be all that forgiving! As the young Spanish leader recently proved: “Populism Rises from Failures of the Elite.” Pablo Iglesias (PODEMOS.) Good Day!

Add a comment
 
« StartPrev12NextEnd »

Page 1 of 2

POLL 1

1. Do you think the drought will affect next year's harvest?

(16617 votes)

34.3%   (5699)
33.7%   (5593)
32%   (5325)
Loading...

POLL 2

2. Do you think the water problem in Addis Ababa will be solved by next year?

(7003 votes)

76.4%   (5347)
23.3%   (1635)
0.3%   (21)
Loading...


Powered by Spearhead Softwares Joomla Facebook Like Button
Follow us on Twitter
feed-image Feed Entries

PANKHURST'S CORNER

The Dramatic History of Addis Ababa Part 13: The Beginnings of Cabinet Government

The object of the present series of articles is to consider how the founding and early growth of Addis Ababa witnessed Transformation in other fields of Ethiopian economic, social and political life. read more...

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

Name: Ashenafi Bekele
Education: Diploma in Automobile Engineering
Company name: Ashenafi General Metal and Machinery Factory
Studio title: General Manager
Founded in: 2014
What it does: Producing household machineries
HQ: Kazanchis read more...

DOING BUSINESS

Last week we discussed how to deal with our time management, also in relation to doing business with foreign investors. read more...

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Concerning the ongoing America’s Presidential campaign, economic analysts argued that men who are supporting the Republican forerunner, Donald Trump have reason to be mad as hell. read more...