Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote. Norman Pollack

The collapse of world markets is telling evidence of capitalism’s stake in maintaining a renewed Cold War, indispensable to its logic of global confrontation as a sustaining developmental force and dependence on a disproportionate, heavy-laden defense sector for America and drawing in its allies. The European Union, historically, was first and foremost the economic underpinning to solidify NATO, itself from first to last an obviously military alliance. Together, EU and NATO represented America’s stalking horse in its posture of world intervention and counterrevolution. Obama’s “pivot” to the Far East, his Pacific-first geostrategic framework, complements and extends the US geopolitical vision of global, unilateral dominance—military, ideological, economic.

With Britain’s vote, we see a magnificent—even if Britons voted on other grounds—objective determination to put a roadblock into the American Grand Design of universalizing its own brand of monopoly capitalism (and heading off a projected nuclear holocaust), in which systemic financialization erodes and supplants the US manufacturing base via outsourcing, foreign investment, and securing predictable sources of raw materials, including of course oil.

Consternation and worse reigns supreme in both the capitalist and defense communities, the architectural splendor of simultaneous containment, even isolation, of Russia and China, now on hold, yet hardly surrendered, as America, for its own self-identity, reified the idea of the Pervasive Enemy to accompany its doctrine of Permanent War. Blowback, after all, has some validity, as America’s warmongers pressed too far: Obama’s modernization of the nuclear arsenal, provocative incursion in the South China Sea, pressures on NATO to occupy the borderlands of Russia. Whether or not inadvertent, Britons have thwarted the US move toward the greater fascistization of a once-democratic polity, yet no longer recognizable as such.

How will America react to the British vote? Probably by intensifying, as is already happening, its Cold War rhetoric, and translating that into more aggressive policies of containment vis-a-vis a growing list of enemies presumed waiting in the wings. Counterterrorism, which has become a catch-all for creating a mindset for ideological conformity, will be a useful instrument for confusing radicalism and terrorism, in order to suppress the former as in Latin America and Africa. Secretly, I suspect, American policy makers hoped for the Britain-EU outcome, so as to beef up European defenses, continue the rearming (encouragement of a nuclear capability) of Abe’s Japan, and feel relief in pursuing the abominable policy of armed drone targeted assassination…. read more…

Source: Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote

Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction, by Christopher Wright & Daniel Nyberg

Processes of Creative Self-Destruction

Source: Climate Change, Capitalism and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction

An extremely well-researched and readable text which includes five case studies, demonstrating the role of business and the ‘green economy’ narrative in re-capturing activists, academics and civil society in the processes of ‘creative self-destruction’. An indispensable text for anyone seeking to understand why change is so slow to happen – and why it must.

Less than the sum of its parts: Rethinking “all of the above” clean energy. Reblogged from Brave New Climate

Brave New Climate

Guest Post by John Morgan. John is Chief Scientist at a Sydney startup developing smart grid and grid scale energy storage technologies.  You can follow John on twitter at @JohnDPMorgan.


The fastest path to decarbonization would seem to be combining every kind of low carbon energy available – the so-called “all of the above” camp of clean energy advocacy.  The argument runs that different kinds of clean energy are complementary and we should build as much of each as we can manage.  This is not in fact the case, and I’ll show that a mix of wind and solar significantly decreases the total share of energy that all renewables can capture.  The “all of the above” approach to emissions reduction needs to be reconsidered.

In a recent essay Breakthrough Institute writers Jesse Jenkins and Alex Trembath have described a simple limit on the maximum contribution of wind and solar energy:

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Davos Elite Message Deserves Fierce Resistance Not Applause | Common Dreams

Even amid seemingly thoughtful discussions about climate change, economic inequality, water scarcity and other key global issues, whats important to remember, says Alex Jensen, an expert on globalization and development at the International Society for Ecology and Culture ISEC, is that a critical look at any of these crises shows \”the complicity of the very corporations that the WEF represents.\”Beyond its glossy \”veneer,\” Jensen says, the Davos summit acts as a stage \”for multinational corporations, among them human rights abusers, political racketeers, property thieves and international environmental criminals.\”

via Davos Elite Message Deserves Fierce Resistance Not Applause | Common Dreams.

Dame Anne Salmond: We could do with a change of heart – Opinion – NZ Herald News

The “invisible hand” of the market, first conceived in the Enlightenment but coupled at that time with notions of justice, human dignity and “the rights of man”, has failed to deliver prosperity and happiness, in New Zealand as elsewhere.

The problem, it seems, is a loss of balance. In the pursuit of profit, everything in the world – the earth itself, other species, knowledge and indeed, other people – has been turned into a “resource” to be exploited, often without care or conscience.

In the process, ideas of justice, truth and the common good have been undermined. Without these bulwarks, democracy falters, capitalism fails to share wealth and the distribution of income shifts dangerously out of kilter.

via Dame Anne Salmond: We could do with a change of heart – Opinion – NZ Herald News.

Daily digest for August 2, 2013 – makere@ualberta.ca – University of Alberta Mail

n August 2007, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index was beginning to decline, after being stuck at a plateau for most of the preceding year.  In France, BNP Paribas was about to close two investment vehicles that were heavily exposed to the US housing market.  And Northern Rock Bank was days away from the first British bank run in more than a century.  The world was on the edge of the largest economic crisis in a generation.  From the pages of Governance, here is a reading list on the crisis so far.

via Daily digest for August 2, 2013 – makere@ualberta.ca – University of Alberta Mail.

Chile’s ex-chief negotiator drops a bombshell on TPPA | Scoop News

Chile’s ex-chief negotiator drops a bombshell on TPPA | Scoop News.

‘Here is an insider who knows the texts. Rodrigo Contreras has sat in the negotiating room for several years and tried to get the US and others to back off their most damaging demands. He now believes the current direction of the TPPA poses a threat to his country’s economic and social development’.

‘The evidence continues to mount against this agreement every day. New Zealand cannot continue to negotiate the TPPA under the shroud of secrecy. With many chapters nearing closure, it is way past the time to release what is on the table so we can evaluate and debate its implications’, Kelsey said.
*For an English translation see: The New Chessboard – English Translation of Rodrigo Contreras 

Move over God, the biotech companies are here | Climate Connections

Note: God Move Over, indeed.  Proselytizing abounds at the Tree Biotech 2013 conference here in Asheville.  Due to massive protests throughout the week, the conference has been dominated by discussion on how to convert the GMO-skeptical public to “believe” in the mythical miracles of the bioengineered forest.  So far, it looks like the gospel of truth is winning against the rhetoric of power.

via Move over God, the biotech companies are here | Climate Connections.

World Environment News – Climate needs less U.N. talking, more market action: EU draft – Planet Ark

World Environment News – Climate needs less U.N. talking, more market action: EU draft – Planet Ark.

Totally wrong approach…

Market-driven ideology got us into this, market-driven ideology will not get us out.  
What is needed is a major change of thinking on our part. That’s you and that’s me, folks! and the time actually is right now.

Biodiversity, water and natural resource management – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Biodiversity, water and natural resource management – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“Price it right, use it well”. From the perspective of market logic, this is the only feasible solution to the looming shortages of fresh water on the planet. Yet the very idea of commodifying the commons, the most basic fundamentals of human rights, is anathema, or should be.  There have to be better solutions and indeed there are. But for them to be inserted at the appropriate levels of infrastructure in ways that will not benefit only the elite and middle class will require more than magic.  It requires the active investment of  time, energy and conscious will of us all.