I wrote this a while ago when someone asked about phosphorus shortages and food insecurity. Short answer: it is neo-malthusian justification of the delieberately inefficient globalized, neo-colonial, capitalist food industry.
Literally from today. https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/23/us-imposes-flawed-food-system-on-the-world/
The system, not access to specific chemical products like fertilizer, is the root problem. I believe that the system is not “flawed” as the author puts it, but rather is simply designed to produce a different result than the implementers say. It is designed to subjugate non-western nations via the conditions of IMF loans which inevitably result in the neoliberalization/monopolization of the debtor coutnry’s food markets/land. Furthermore, it gives the West (the US in particular) a key political weapon against any nations that get out of line… food. Food has been weaponized against other nations for many many years now. For example, one of the key contributing factors to the famines in the USSR was the Western powers not accepting the money or gold of the USSR due to a blockade during years of drought.
When you look up fertilizer/phosphorus shortages you get articles from 2011, 2008,2014, etc. I think that while shortages are real they are pretty convenient pretexts for price gouging and shifting blame away from the system itself which dominates the food production/access for most of the globe. The mortgage crisis in 2008 played the same role - the attention was diverted from the BROKEN system that led to the recession and the blame was placed on something that sounded smart, was actually true in part, and could be blamed on a scapegoat. In 2008 it was poor people taking loans they couldn’t afford (I guarantee you that was workshopped and focus grouped) instead of the derivatives market and predatory lending practices (which extend far beyond the housing market) that are the real, systemic, and unresolved problems.
Back to food, one of the key conditions of the IMF loans is the adherence to American Intellectual Property rights/laws. The result is that there is suddenly an enormous barrier to entry to farming in the form of yearly seed purchasing (you must purchase seeds yearly) and other IP royalties. Seeds, biotechnology, techniques, GMOs, fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, etc. all are a form of rent which the west can extract from IMF-loan nations in addition to land consolidation. In fact that is a major reason the US wanted control over Ukraine - I have done some digging into the carve-up of Ukrainian farmland by US Private equity. Therefore, they can make farming cost prohibitive to locals, then american FDI can monopolize land and the american biotech/seed firms have been collecting their rent all along. One of the key issues which led to the 2014 coup in Ukraine was Yanukovych’s decision not to sign a 14$ loan with the IMF, and instead sign a better loan with Russia. Literally months after that he was gone.
Anyone saying stuff like “the population is too big” is an ass. We can find solutions, but as you hint at I think there are very real homicidal/eugenicist undercurrents in western leadership. Covid should be a big reveal that even Westerners are not safe from the willingness of our leadership to sacrifice us so that profits go up. This is the end result of what Michael Parenti referred to as the pathology of wealth.
If you have time I recommend this video from Breakthrough News regarding food sovereignty from the perspective of a Marxist Brazilian Agricultural Economist. https://youtu.be/PdQOGNrTEaE
Excerpt showing the role of Intellectual Property
As a result the demand as well as the grant of patents in plant breeding technology rose very high under the Patent Co-operation Treaty in the USA, Europe and Japan (Atkinson et al. 2003). The international agreements forces the national governments to include some sort of intellectual property rights to the plant genetic resources (Blakeney 2009). This incident eventuated in several overlapping claims over the genetic resources and often the example of golden rice is given which has approximately 70 different patented technologies
This is the kind of thing where incontrovertible proof will only be found after the revolution when a former 7/11 employee turned revolutionary is rifling through the files in some windowless government building in Texas or Georgia. Or more than likely the building of a private contractor in Azerbaijan or something.
I think that given enough time all of them will. Socialism is literally the only way to structure a modern society absent exploitation of the global south. Socialists/ML’s have been yelling this for years but now the G7 countries are about to learn the hard way. The Global south is standing up like China did and the West must adapt or die (recede to a subsistence sort of propaganda/physically imposed feudalism).
Many Indian marxists will say it - here is an Indian jurist saying it. the short version is that independence was inevitable but the UK wanted to retain as much influence over India as possible and selected this south african indian-born lawyer they thought they could control and positioned him to lead a “non violent revolution” when in reality there was an ongoing successful Marxist-Leninist (maybe maoist I am not super familiar) revolution which was gaining ground. So it was either independence a the point of a gun or independence they could manage and they could keep the pakistan-india wound fresh in order to manipulate the region. I am missing a lot of details and probably overstating it a bit but that is the gist.
Morocco’s king is a western lapdog and Erdogan is definitely in NATO but he really plays both sides. https://thecradle.co/Article/News/14004
India is a massive target of Western propaganda/soft power. And unlike China, they have not had the political willpower to build a great firewall. Also, the british never really left. In fact some people say that Gandhi was a british agent designed to bring religion into the discussion of independence where it wasn’t before and that making the independence movement focus on hinduism was part of the British Architecture to divide and Conquer Pakistan and India. This would track with the way in which the Pakistani military and ISI can be seen almost as extensions of the UK then the US militaries. India is one of the most resource and population rich nations on earth, just like China and so the Brits were not about to give it up easily. The British have always used religion as a key part of socially engineering populations to create exploitable divisions (divide and conquer) beginning with their own and Irish populations.
India is not a monolith and not all indians you see online represent India. Furthermore I don’t think that I would call india fully an ally of russia just yet. I would color India purple (and I might make Morocco Blue and turkey purple to a lesser extent)
Final point, The internet is full of bots, and this is exactly the kind of sentiment they would leverage using astroturfing techniques… supporting Israel against their muslim neighbors.
Communism is assured to win comrade.
Yeah I actually think the empire may go out with a whimper (no nukes) because the leadership is so incompetent and they would have such a hard time justifying a kinetic war to the population. They will turn to fascism domestically and the people will revolt or be liberated eventually imo.
The average american literally never knew we were an empire at our height and so they will slowly inexplicably watch their quality of life deteriorate.
I believe so. The aim of a war is to compel a nation to make a decision they would not make of their own volition (To quote Thomas Beaufort “Bloody constraint” - Henry V; Or as Clausewitz put it “war is politics by other means”). And that is what the sanctions, proxies, terrorist orgs, color revolutions, and propaganda campaigns and so forth are designed to do.
The monetary policies and sanctions represent the financialization of war in much the same way that WWI represented the mechanization of war. Trade wars are no joke. Millions die.
And I mean the US has been at war with China by funding the terrorists in Xinjiang for years… Just not openly at war.
Literally no red nation will go to the blue but literally every blue nation is at risk of revolution in the coming decades and would then flip.
The economic position of the West is going to become untenable. BTW the war has already begun, covid, economics, trade, and proxy wars. We will look back at the 2014 coup + the sanctions imposed on Russia as the beginning of the war and then 2022 as when the war began in earnest… imo.
Yeah excellent point if I had limited time I would Just read Lenin’s “Conspectus of Hegel’s book the Science of Logic” rather than both.
I read Hegel before I became a marxist so I actually still have to read Lenin’s Conpsectus myself. However I think that at the very least people should read Phenomenology of the Spirit cliff’s notes to get the Master-slave dialectic which personally frames my entire worldview. It will speak deeply to any marxist who reads it imo.
1 thing I would add to the philosophy of marxism is Hegel. In particular Phenomenology of Spirit. This was a huge influence in the development of dialectics and importantly materialism.
I believe it was Lenin who said that one cannot fully understand Marx without first reading Hegel. And ML’s are not big on the bourgeois notion that you can only understand x if you’ve read y.
Also: for all his faults I think Michael Hudson is the best author to bring Marxist economic analysis into the 21st century.
Also, also: I would add in a global south perspective like Walter Rodney at least.
Besides that I like this and will definitely reference it myself.
I don’t think this is a productive way to spend time.
100% agree on that and Roderic has had some interesting back and forths on this topic. On one hand it is necessary and good to counter liberal/fascist propaganda but on the other hand, if you spend all your time on that you will never move the ball down the field.
I mean it’s potential insight/leaked data which is properly hedged by both my post and the post I link to as being unverified (Edited the title to be clearer on that, though). This is the kind of area where you can never know anything for certain.
Definitely wouldn’t take any decisions based off of it though, agreed. But I think we’re all pretty much just armchairing here.
That sucks but now that you have it, no sense crying over spilt milk. Your main objective now is to limit the impact it has on your body to the best of your ability and to then avoid getting covid again. Also if you begin feeling actually weak do NOT wait too long to go the hospital. In all likelihood if you rest, you will be fine.
From what I understand there are certain mitigating things you can do that will decrease your chance of developing long covid (insofar as it can be mitigated). Literally do nothing for as long as you have covid, and imo I would even take a week off (at least from exercise) afterward to be sure.
Rest rest rest until it’s gone - Like I love interacting with you but it would even be a good idea to limit your time on of here as I don’t think it is that restful lol. If you can’t miss work then do your best to be inactive at work and after work res rest rest. For whatever reason the docs I really trust say this reduces the risk of developing long covid. Do not try to power through and DO NOT try to exercise AT ALL. DON"T GO ON A WALK EVEN. seriously they are adamant about this. Also some random dude I know says leeks are supposed to help but tbh idk about that, but if I get covid you bet your ass my greens for the next month are going to be leek-heavy.
Then after it’s gone just keep doing what you were doing before to avoid getting it again, it is absolutely cumulative and each subsequent reinfection increases the severity and the chance of developing long covid.
(I know I sound very cold here but I find it is helpful to keep a clear mind in situations like this - identify, prioritize, execute)
The cradle (Most of pepe Escobar’s stuff ends up here)
Strategic culture (be careful around certain authors on this site it can veer off the deep end - most of Alastair Crooke’s stuff ends up here)
Moon of Alabama (terrific)
Specific authors to follow who do not have twitter -
Pepe Escobar (a bit out there sometimes but great raw data - his earlier stuff in central asia is fascinating)
Alastair Crooke - a bit right of center but really good even-keeled analysis of West asia - be careful though he’s former MI6
Twitter - follow good people and it is a great source of info - not all below are marxist but they are good sources of information (my main advice for twitter is to only follow a very limited number of accounts so you keep track)
Sirius Report (finance and int’l trade)
Walter Bloomberg (finance)
Bidet Marxman (great deep dives on random issues with excellent ML background)
gumby4christ (America’s fascist deep state analysis)
Roderic Day (GOAT for Marxist analysis)
Ben Norton (GOAT)
Consortium News (great variety)
Alan Macleod (GOAT)
Caitlin Johnstone (subjective analysis a bit libertarian sometimes)
Robert Skvarla (US conspiracies)
Carl Zha (china)
Arnaud Bertrand (china/intl trade/politics)
Dongsheng news (massive one for China imo)
Kawsachun News (latin America)
Brasil Wire (brazil)
Al Mayadeen (Middle East but overall one of the best/most underrated imo)
Taseenov (Latin america)
Africa Archives (africa)
Thomas C. Mountain (Eastern africa)
Youtube - Just to add (multipolarista and BT news are great)
Any mask is better than nothing so good on you. Just passing along what I’ve learned by listening to subject matter experts. Essentially the n95 creates a better seal like it should be that when you suck in there is like a vacuum effect that tugs on the material. They have been banging their heads against the wall trying to get the government to spread the word but have been met with resistance.
I bought mine online at https://medidentsupplies.com/ and it was a reasonable price. (these ones fit me the best - 22 dollars for 20 really good masks)
The recycled memes tend to fill up the page and make it more difficult to encounter discussion posts or posts of a wider variety from smaller communities.
I don’t care to spend that much time watching liberals take an L, news reports from months ago, or memes from reddit. (and to be clear I don’t mind at all when people post that, I do it myself, but the constant barrage is something else imo).
Appreciate the feedback, it feels good to share this thing I have spent hundreds of hours thinking about and researching. I am actually thinking that I could write a pamphlet or essay of some sort on how covid has shown us the toolkit of the capitalist class at astroturfing/socializing ideas.
Like just this weekend Malcolm Gladwell talks about “by working from home you are missing out on life” and that shit is just so insidious. It’s literally evil when there is a virus that is killing millions and disabling hundreds of millions for a fucking desk jockey pseudo-intellectual guy who literally works from home encourages people to go into work when they clearly would prefer not to. If people were unable to handle it then people like him wouldn’t have to try and encourage that behavior!!! These types are for sale and he was almost certainly put up to this by the oil companies and/or real estate firms.
The Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities saga of covid is still far from over. We are headed for great depression era hardship but 10x worse because it coincides with the end of imperialism. Good for 84% of the global population bad for white people (in the short term - in the long term it will be great for us to as socialism in the west will be the result).
That is A solution and I did that for a couple years which really helped me develop my analytical skills.
My longterm solution is media literacy. Know who is writing what you’re reading/watching what their objectives are and where they got their data. So parsing the quantitative data from the qualitative analysis. And then assessing how good the quantitative data is.
I think it is also very helpful to understand what is at stake with each issue. For example the attempt to demonize working from home is of great interest to the capitalist class because (1) it reduces their ability to control the workers, (2) it reduces the value of real estate by reducing revenues and companies may close offices, and (3) people spend less money when they stay home -especially less on gas and restaurants.
Absolutely great addition comrade. You could write a whole book about social media and it’s role during the pandemic.
I especially like that you picked up on exactly the same thing as I did wrt Caitlin Johnstone’s write up. I like her overall but she has a bit too much libertarian in her for me to uncritically recommend her and that often manifests itself in misattributing motivations of key players.
Mintpressnews has the best write ups on the infiltration of social media https://www.mintpressnews.com/valent-facebook-influence-ops-regime-change-leak/281403/
Furthermore the book “Surveillance Valley” does an excellent job breaking down how Silicon Valley has essentially been a government project since the beginning. But I would say that the intel agencies are staffing up these companies because as you say this became an urgent concertn.
My general take on trump is that he was kind of a bull in a china shop and they wanted to hem him in as much as possible to limit his destructive impact on their plans (like going to war with russia and china on their terms). I think he really didn’t do very much and was hugely outmaneuvered by the neocons who are splintered but largely in the dems now.
overall American politics is 2 parties. the Dems and 80% of the republicans, with that last 20% of the republicans who are just absolutely batshit but are astroturfed into prominence and who bring us slowly but surely to the right (a lot of our politicians are straight up actors though). I think they permit that far-right 20% to flourish because they are useful to the power structure. (1) they create a tension, (2) they maintain the illusion that there is a 2 party system which keeps dems on their toes and afraid to go any further left (that’s how it’s used, it doesn’t make sense), (3) they can be used the same way that the blackshirts were used if they decide to break the glass and go towards fascism (to create the appearance of a revolution even though none took place).
Ctrl+F “lenin” on wiciapedia yields no results, but that sounds so believable. Could you point me towards a source for that fact please?