Autor: João

Trade War

Trade war in Navarro-Navarro Land   There will be no clear winner or loser and at best it will be a split decision with some avoidable collateral damage along the way David P. Goldman May 8, 2018   China sells low-end products to the United States and the US sells high-end products to China, directly as in the case of passenger aircraft and indirectly in the form of royalties for semiconductor and other designs paid to American companies by third-party suppliers. If the two countries erect tariff barriers, China will shift resources to make its own high-end products and the US will either consume less, or source the same products from China’s economic satellites or, worst of all, manufacture low-end products at home. That is the paradox of Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser and the most implacable advocate of tariff barriers against Chinese goods. But things in Navarro-Navarro land don’t always work out as planned. In the case of a tariff war, China will suffer a drop in output in low-skilled industries, for example smartphone assembly, and Boeing will lose the aircraft market to Airbus. This is clear from an industry breakdown of China-US trade. In Beijing last week, the US economic team demanded that China cut its $375 billion trade surplus with the United States by more than half by 2020 and stop subsidizing high-value-added industries. The...

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Nationalism

Don’t Fear the New Nationalism   The utopian belief in a globalized world without borders is dying in the West.   Anatol Lieven Jun. 25, 2017   MARRIAGE BETWEEN the Economist and the New Left Review may seem like one of Hieronymus Bosch’s stranger copulations. Liberal capitalists and Marxists have been drawn passionately together over the past few decades in one area: their common utopian belief in the development of a globalized world without nationalism and national borders, a dream now dying in the West. Elsewhere, it never really took root beyond sections of the Western-influenced (and often Western-subsidized) intelligentsia. Nationalism has frequently been described as a form of religion, and as the social scientist Liah Greenfeld writes, Like the great religions of the past, nationalism today forms the foundation of our social consciousness, the cognitive framework of our perception of reality. Seen against the record of the great religions’ historical longevity and continuous vitality over centuries of political, economic and technological change, the recognition of this functional equivalence may give us a more accurate idea of nationalism’s projected life span and pace of development. The strongest states in Asia today are those with strong nationalisms, which are central to the legitimacy not only of the present regimes but of the states themselves. The development of strong senses of national identity is not only a regime strategy; it also...

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Macron

Emmanuel Macron’s Speech to the Joint Session of Congress, 25 April 2018   Gilbert Doctorow Apr. 30, 2018   In this essay, I offer a detailed textual analysis of the speech which French President Emmanuel Macron delivered before the Joint Session of Congress, Washington, D.C. on 25 April 2018.  In line with the kind of textual analysis which I performed on major political documents signed by heroic East European freedom fighters in 2007 and 2009, which were in fact authored by US intelligence operatives, I maintain here that a substantial part of Macron’s speech was either written by or coordinated closely with these same intelligence services for the purpose of exerting maximum influence on domestic US politics by reinforcement of centrist American predispositions from respected foreign actors. However, in the given instance, it is also essential to explain how M. Macron became president of France in 2017 with the connivance of these same intelligence services. I will attempt to do that in the second part of the essay. I freely admit that my argumentation is circumstantial and relies heavily on hunches that today are sagely phrased as “most likely” scenarios. But whereas the “most likely” reasoning of Theresa May is used to justify unprecedented verbal attacks on Russia and military attacks on the sovereign state of Syria, my reasoning, if unpersuasive, has no other consequence than to lose a...

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US Empire

Did the West Just Lose World War III by Forfeit?   Jim Jatras Apr. 20, 2018   In the fall of the year 1480, at a point not far from Moscow, two armies faced each other on the opposite banks of the Ugra River. On the one side were the forces of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, whose ruler, Grand Prince Ivan III (known as “the Great” and the “gatherer of the Russian lands”), had recently rejected further payment of tribute to the Great Horde. On the other were the forces of Grand Khan Ahmed bin Küchük, who had come to lay waste to Moscow and instruct the impudent Prince Ivan to mend his ways. For weeks the two assembled hosts glared at one another, each wary of crossing the water and becoming vulnerable to attack by the other. In the end, as though heeding the same inaudible signal, both withdrew and hastily returned home. Thus ended more than two centuries of the Tatar-Mongol yoke upon the land of the Rus’. Was this event, which came to be known as “the great standing on the Ugra River,” a model of what happened in Syria last week? Almost immediately upon reports of the staged chemical attack in Douma on April 7, speculation began as to the likely response from the west – which in reality meant from the United States, in...

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Putin and Trump

Mikhail Octavian Trump   Jim Jatras Apr. 6, 2018   It is said that during the 1990s’ time of troubles in Russia a popular view held that the prevailing chaos and ruin could only be redressed by a leader meeting the description of “Adolf Vissarionovich Pinochet.” (Адольф Виссарионович Пиночет). The composite name of this hypothetical rescuer featured (1) the surname “Pinochet” of the anti-communist Chilean military strongman, (2) the patronymic “Vissarionovich” of Joseph “the Great Helmsman” Stalin, and (3) the first name “Adolf” of – well, you know… Let’s leave aside for now whether Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin bears any remote resemblance to this imaginary (but 20 years ago, much hoped-for) personage except to note that Russia under his tenure has made an astonishing comeback. As described by historian Vladimir Brovkin: “What Putin has accomplished or what Russia has accomplished since 2000 is astonishing. It amounts to a political, economic, and moral revolution. Any aspect of Russia’s existence you take, you see measurable progress. The standard of living has grown, pensions are paid, factories are working, and unemployment is lower than in most European countries. Life expectancy has steadily increased, birth rates have increased, and incomes have increased. Education is back, Russian research and development is back again, one of the best in the world and not staffed by foreigners who flock to Silicon Valley, but staffed by Russians educated in Russia. “Military...

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