18 Oct 2014

Why Nations (and organizations) Fail: Self-Serving Elites

For those who doubt that America is ruled by a narrow elite: three charts.
By Charles Hugh Smith: The book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty neatly summarizes why nations fail in a few lines:
(A nation) is poor precisely because it has been ruled by a narrow elite that has organized society for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of people. Political power has been narrowly concentrated, and has been used to create great wealth for those who possess it.
Sound like any countries you know? Perhaps we should flip this question around and ask: how many nations don't fit this profile?
I submit that this dynamic of failure--the concentrated power and wealth of self-serving elites-- is scale-invariant, meaning that it is equally true of communities, towns, cities, states, nations and empires alike: all fail when they're run for the benefit of a narrow elite.
There is a bitter irony in the ease with which American pundits discern this dynamic in developing-world kleptocracies while ignoring the same dynamic in America. One would imagine it would be easier to see the elites-inevitably-cause-failure in one's home country, but the pundits by and large are members of the Clerisy Upper Caste, well-paid functionaries, apparatchiks, lackeys, factotums, toadies, sycophants and apologists for the very elites that are leading America down the path of systemic failure as the ontological consequence of their self-serving consolidation of wealth and power.
For those who doubt that America is ruled by a narrow elite: I don't have charts for standard-issue third-world kleptocracies, but I doubt the concentration of wealth and political power is much more extreme than in America:

Punk Rock Gobbing from Central Banksters - Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert with Professor Antal Fekete

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss Johnny Rotten challenging Russell Brand and offer the show as a platform for a debate between the two. Max notes that quantitative easing is the central bank equivalent of punk rock gobbing. They highlight several of the many market distortions similar to the insanity leading up to the 1929 market crash - including $140,000 AUD cats.

Russians And Chinese Are Ditching The Dollar As Europeans Start Using Renminbi In Their Reserves

At present, US dollar accounts for roughly 61% of the world’s foreign exchange reserves.
By Simon Black: It’s still a safe bet for most, not because the currency is actually strong, but because so many others are already so reliant on it.
Between those with reserves in and pegs to the US dollar, many countries have given their allegiance, and now have a vested interest in the health of the currency.
Due to this common interest, a sort of unofficial, involuntary alliance has been formed between them all.
Together, they’re all playing along, pretending that everything is fine. If the dollar collapses, they’re all screwed, so they’ve got to get each other’s backs.
From the throne of the world’s reserve currency, the Federal Reserve, with the power to print the US dollar, feels dangerously omnipotent.
They can get away with just about anything. For now.
The central bankers get to print dollars and spend them at current prices, before the stuff hits the wider market and diminishes its overall value.
And for the time being they don’t really face any consequences. The whole world just absorbs it. Other countries really have no other choice.
But they’re getting tired of putting up with this abuse, and the unrest is growing. New alliances are being made, this time to dethrone the dollar.
Just this week yet another currency swap agreement was made between the Chinese and Russian central banks. This time for 150 billion renminbi.

Females Make The Internet An Unsafe Space For All Of Us

"Don't hold me to account, I have a vagina!"6oodfella I'm terrified to even go near a computer because of the constant death threats and abusive behaviour from females

Yousef Gaza - Parts 1 and 2 - The BBC Sucks O Cocks News

"Can you imagine a sea port with no access to the sea? ...Gaza is a big prison, West Bank is a bigger prison." Yousef and The Artist Taxi Driver.

Boko Haram (Nigeria) - Men and Boys Don't Matter to BBC, Lame-Stream

'The killing of men and boys, often by being burnt alive or by beheading, had been going on for years before Chibok. But as long as the girls were being spared, the mere killing of men and boys did not merit any media attention in the West.
It still doesn’t it seems.'
By MRA UK: On 14 April 2014, around 270 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram from Chibok in Nigeria. Boko Haram is a group of Islamic fundamentalists whose very name translates as “Western education is sinful”. The Western world exploded in outrage.
There was report after report on the BBC and all Western media condemned this vile and unacceptable treatment of the girls. We heard Angelina Jolie, as someone who has been campaigning about violence against women, express her concern. US Senator, John Kerry, became very vocal in the media, talking about the action being taken by the US to attempt to trace the abducted girls. The USA, the UK and France put special forces on the ground in Nigeria almost immediately to assist the Nigerian authorities who were overwhelmed by the issue. We witnessed President Francois Hollande of France hosting Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan in a head of state conference aimed at tackling Boko Haram. The UK’s then-foreign secretary, William Hague, opined The first focus of everything we do now is about the girls, of course it is, Ref.[1].
And we had the spontaneous Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls demonstrating the popular empathy for the girls and horror at their treatment by these appallingly violent religious zealots.

The Pauperization Of Workers In The UK And America

By: Since the financial crisis, the government of the UK and the Bank of England have jumped through hoops and twirled around in extraordinary gyrations to bail out one of the largest financial centers in the world, the uniquely powerful and at once unaccountable speck of land, the City of London, an incorporated area within London known as the Square Mile; or rather bail out its financial institutions, way of doing business, and bonuses; and along the way, bail out banks further afield.

Done in the now classic way. Key ingredient: the Bank of England printed enormous amounts of money, repressed interest rates, and stirred up inflation, which hit 5% in 2011. But somebody had to pay for it: savers and workers. It demolished real wages and purchasing power of the people who make up the rest of the country.

76 Countries Represented In Bitcoin Course By University Of Nicosia

By Mala Mukunda: The University of Nicosia in Cyprus announced its Massive Open Online Course (MOOC Bitcoin Course) in April this year. The course is free and is planned to be held several times a year. The demographic survey of 615 students who completed the first cohort of the course reveals interesting insights about the growth in interest of digital currencies across countries and age groups.
Nearly 90% were men, between ages 25 to 44 with over half of them holding above post graduate degrees. Over 55% plan to complete the paid Master of Science degree in digital currencies offered by the university. Surprisingly, those who took the introductory course had already experimented with digital currency transactions and over 80% had used a digital currency wallet.
As digital currencies garner more media attention, daily, these statistics clearly show that including Bitcoin education as a requirement in curricula worldwide is the way forward. Children and young adults are growing up in a world more connected than ever, and educating them about borderless currencies that let them exchange value over the network will assume importance in the coming years.
Antonis Polemitis, a faculty member of the university has a humorous take on how cash might be described in the press if it was introduced today, which might well be how future generations view it.

MHRA: Why There’s Been Silence About Reyhaneh Jabbari’s Removal From Death Row

'She would have been executed ten times by now, had she been a man.'
By The following is a short update on the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari, which, regardless of whether you agree she should be executed or not, the English-speaking world is being given a distorted picture of.
Reyhaneh Jabbari, who was sentenced to death for murder by five judges, was supposed to be executed on September 30. The execution was delayed for 10 days, until October 10, however, in order to give Jabbari another opportunity to get her victim’s family’s consent to let her off the death penalty. She was not executed on October 10 either, though, a fact that has been met with peculiar silence.
The media frenzy over this case started in April and has gone through four telling phases. In phase one, the media adamantly stated that Jabbari defended herself from rape, with some reports going so far as to claim that she was a rape victim. Campaigns to save her from the death penalty began, and the news outraged the public. After facts shined light on the outright lies of the media and women’s groups, in phase two, the media still narrated the story in the same way, except now some claimed that this time “she saw rape to be imminent” or “she felt she was going to be raped.” Phase three occurred in the 10-day period when only the victim’s family’s consent could have released Jabbari from the death penalty. Since the family officially and publicly stated that the reason they would not consent was because of the level of lies against their loved one, most of the media shows during this period did not mention the alleged rape at all and only focused on forgiveness.
Phase four is happening right now: a gigantic silence about the fact that Jabbari has not been executed despite the fact that the victim’s family has not given their consent to release her from the death penalty.

The Truth About Ayn Rand: Criticisms [3 of 4]

Stefan Molyneux: Anti-Semite, Elitist? What is the truth behind Ayn Rand, writer of such blockbuster novels as 'The Fountainhead,' 'Atlas Shrugged,' 'Anthem' and 'We The Living'?
Rand - and her philosophy Objectivism - have been enormously influential to public figures as diverse as Paul Ryan, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Rush drummer Neil Peart, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Hunter S. Thompson, Murray Rothbard, John Stossel, Penn Jillette and many others.

Some of her adherents - such as former Federal Reserve Chairman Allan Greenspan - have been criticized for enacting Rand's 'Virtue of Selfishness.'

ECB's 'QE' Will Not Fix The Eurozone's Problems - Jens Weidmann

By Germany's Jens Weidmann has claimed that the European Central Bank's (ECB) plan to purchase asset-backed securities (ABS), a form of quantitative easing, will do little to help the ailing eurozone economy.
He insisted that the eurozone's economic stagnation was due to structural factors rather than monetary policy.
“The biggest bottleneck for growth in the euro area is not monetary policy, nor is it the lack of fiscal stimulus: it is the structural barriers that impede competition, innovation and productivity,” he said.
The Bundesbank president also warned that the ECB's plan would only serve to transfer risks from banks to the taxpayer.
“This would run counter to everything we have strived to achieve in banking regulation over the last years,” he said. 

Russia At The Gates? US State Dept And Pentagon Spin Merchants 'Creepy And Dimwit' Grilled Over World War Provoking NATO Expansion

Creepy US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki and Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John 'Dimwit' Kirby have been challenged over the Department of Defense's claims that the US must deal with modern and capable Russian armed forces on NATO's doorstep.
RT:  Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu expressed “grave concern” and “surprise” at a Wednesday speech made by US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference. Hagel, confessed his own weak mindedness and also declared that US armed forces "must deal with a revisionist Russia - with its modern and capable army - on NATO's doorstep.” ...with a straight face.