Article 43

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Austerity American Style Part 22 - Forced Unemployment

image class warfare

In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren’t everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion.
- Why The Rich Love Unemployment

After saying that “the halls of Congress are no joke,” Ocasio-Cortez said that “standing up to corporate power, and established interests is no joke. It’s not just about standing up and saying these things, but behind closed doors, your arm is twisted, the vise pressure of political pressure gets put on you, every trick in the book, psychological, and otherwise is to get us to abandon the working class.”
- AOC - Bernie Sanders WonԒt Abandon the Working Class

The Feds Austerity Program to Reduce Wages

By Michael Hudson
June 19, 2022

To Wall Street and its backers, the solution to any price inflation is to reduce wages and public social spending. The orthodox way to do this is to push the economy into recession in order to reduce hiring. Rising unemployment will oblige labor to compete for jobs that pay less and less as the economy slows.

This class-war doctrine is the prime directive of neoliberal economics. It is the tunnel vision of corporate managers and the One Percent. The Federal Reserve and IMF are its most prestigious lobbyists. Along with Janet Yellen at the Treasury, public discussion of today’s inflation is framed in a way that avoids blaming the 8.2 percent rise in consumer prices on the Biden Administration’s New Cold War sanctions on Russian oil, gas and agriculture, or on oil companies and other sectors using these sanctions as an excuse to charge monopoly prices as if America has not continued to buy Russian diesel oil, as if fracking has picked up and corn is not being turned into biofuel. There has been no disruption in supply. We are simply dealing with monopoly rent by the oil companies using the anti-Russian sanctions as an excuse that an oil shortage will soon develop for the United States and indeed for the entire world economy.

Covid’s shutdown of the U.S. and foreign economies and foreign trade also is not acknowledged as disrupting supply lines and raising shipping costs and hence import prices. The entire blame for inflation is placed on wage earners, and the response is to make them the victims of the coming austerity, as if their wages are responsible for bidding up oil prices, food prices and other prices resulting from the crisis. The reality is that they are too debt-strapped to be spendthrifts.

The Feds junk economics of what bank credit is spent on

The pretense behind the Fed’s recent increase in its discount rate by 0.75 percent on June 15 (to a paltry range of 1.50% to 1.75%) is that raising interest rates will cure inflation by deterring borrowing to spend on the basic needs that make up the Consumer Price Index and its related GDP deflator. But banks do not finance much consumption, except for credit card debt, which is now less than student loans and automobile loans.

Banks lend almost entirely to buy real estate, stocks and bonds, not goods and services. Some 80 percent of bank loans are real estate mortgages, and most of the remainder loans are collateralized by stocks and bonds. So raising interest rates will not lead wage-earners to borrow less to buy consumer goods. The main price effect of less bank credit and higher interest rates is on asset prices deterring borrowing to buy homes, as well as for arbitragers to buy stocks and bonds.

Rolling back middle-class home ownership

The most immediate effect of the Federal Reserve’s credit tightening will be to reduce America’s home-ownership rate. This rate has been falling since 2008, from nearly 68 percent to just 61 percent today. The decline got underway with President Obama’s eviction of nearly ten million victims of junk mortgages, mainly black and Hispanic debtors. That was the Democratic Party’s alternative to writing down fraudulent mortgage loans to realistic market prices, and reducing their carrying charges to bring them in line with market rental values. The indebted victims of this massive bank fraud were made to suffer, so that Obama’s Wall Street sponsors could keep their predatory gains and indeed, receive massive bailouts. The costs of their fraud fell on bank customers, not on the banks and their stockholders and bondholders.

The effect of discouraging new home buyers by raising interest rates lowers home ownership - the badge of being middle-class. Despite this, the United States is turning into a landlord economy. The Feds policy of raising interest rates will greatly increase the interest charges that prospective new home buyers will have to pay, pricing the carrying charge out of reach for many families.

As the United States has become more debt-ridden, more than 50 percent of the value of U.S. real estate already is held by mortgage bankers. Homeowners’ equity what they own net of their mortgage debt - has fallen even faster than home ownership rates have declined.

Real estate is being transferred from “poor” hands to those of wealthy landlord corporations. Private capital companies - the funds of the One Percent - are going to pick up the pieces to turn homes into rental properties. Higher interest rates will not affect their cost of buying this housing, because they buy for all cash to make profits (actually, real estate rents) as landlords. In another decade the nation’s home ownership rate may fall toward 50 percent, turning the United States into a landlord economy instead of the promised middle-class home ownership economy.

The coming economic austerity (indeed, debt-burdened depression)

While home ownership rates plunged for the population at large, the Fed’s “Quantitative Easing” increased its subsidy of Wall Street’s financial securities from $1 trillion to $8.2 trillion of which the largest gain has been in packaged home mortgages. This has kept housing prices from falling and becoming more affordable for home buyers. But the Fed’s support of asset prices saved many insolvent banks - the very largest ones - from going under. Sheila Bair of the FDIC singled out Citigroup, along with Countrywide, Bank of America and the other usual suspects. The working population is not considered to be too big to fail. Its political weight is small by comparison to that of Wall Street banks.

Lowering the discount rate to only about 0.1 percent enabled the banking system to make a bonanza of gains by making mortgage loans at around 3.50 percent. So despite the stock markets plunge of over 20 percent from nearly 36000 to under 30,000 on June 17, America’s wealthiest One Percent, and indeed the top 10 Percent, have vastly increased their wealth. But most Americans have not benefitted from this run up in asset prices, because most stocks and bonds are owned by only the wealthiest layer of the population. For most American families, corporations and government at all levels, the financial boom since 2008 has entailed growing debt. Many families face insolvency as Federal Reserve policy aims to create unemployment. Now that the Covid moratorium on the evictions of renters behind in their payments is expiring, the ranks of the homeless are rising.

The Biden Administration is trying to blame today’s inflation and related distortions on Putin, even using the term “Putin inflation.” The mainstream media follow suit in not explaining to their audience that blocking Russian energy and food exports will cause a food and energy crisis for many countries this summer and autumn. And indeed, beyond: Biden’s military and State Department officers warn that the fight against RUSSIA is just the first step in their war against China’s non-neoliberal economy, and may last twenty years.

That is a long depression. But as Madeline Albright would say, they think that the price is “worth it.” Biden’s cabinet depicts this New Cold War as a fight of the “democratic” United States privatizing economic planning in the hands of the largest banks “too big to fail” and other members of the neo-rentier class, in opposition to autocratic China and even Russia treating banking and money creation as a public utility to finance tangible economic growth, not financialization.

There is no evidence that America’s neoliberal New Cold War can restore the nations former industrial and related economic power.

The economy cannot recover as long as it leaves todayҒs debt overhead in place. Debt service, housing costs, privatized medical care, student debt and a decaying infrastructure have made the U.S. economy uncompetitive. There is no way to restore its economic viability without reversing these neoliberal policies. But there is little reality economicsӔ at hand to provide an alternative to the class war inherent in neoliberalism’s belief that the economy and living standards can prosper by purely financial means, by debt leveraging and corporate monopoly rent extraction while the United States has made its manufacturing uncompetitive - seemingly irreversibly.

The rentier class has sought to make Americas neoliberal privatization and financialization irreversible.

It has succeeded to such a degree that there is no party or economic constituency promoting such recovery. Yet the Democratic Party leadership, subjecting the economy to an IMF-style austerity plan, will make this November’s midterm elections unique. For the past half century, the Feds role has been to provide easy money to give the ruling party at least the illusion of prosperity to deter voters from electing the opposition party. But this time the Biden Administration are running on a program of financial austerity.

The Party’s identity politics address almost every identity except that of wage-earners and debtors. That does not look like a platform that can succeed. But as the ghost of Margaret Thatcher no doubt is telling them: “There Is No Alternative.”

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Posted by Elvis on 06/28/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Thursday, June 23, 2022

NWO Covid Year 3 Part 2

cure.jpg image: cure worse than disease border=0

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual BALANCE WITH NATURE
- The Georgia Guidestones

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Dr. Naomi Wolf on the Pfizer “Confidential Report”
It’s Really True: They Know they are Killing the Babies

By Dr Naomi Wolf
Outspoken with Dr. Naomi Wolf
May 31, 2022

The WarRoom/DailyClout Pfizer Documents Research Volunteers, a group of 3,000 highly credentialled doctors, RNs, biostatisticians, medical fraud investigators, lab clinicians and research scientists, have been turning out report after report, as you may know, to tell the world what is in the 55,000 internal Pfizer documents which the FDA had asked a court to keep under wraps for 75 years.

By court order, THESE DOCUMENTS were forcibly disclosed. And our experts are serving humanity by reading through these documents and explaining them in lay terms. You can find all of the Volunteers reports on DAILY CLOUT.

The lies revealed are stunning.

The WarRoom/DailyClout Volunteers have confirmed:

That Pfizer (and thus the FDA) knew by December 2020 that the MRNA vaccines did not work - that they “waned in efficacy” and presented “vaccine failure.” One side effect of getting vaccinated, as they knew by one month after the mass 2020 rollout, was “COVID.”

Pfizer knew in May of 2021 that 35 minors hearts had been damaged a week after MRNA injection, but the FDA rolled out the EUA for teens a month later anyway, and parents did not get a press release from the US government about heart harms til August of 2021, after thousands of teens were vaccinated. [See this]

Pfizer (and thus the FDA; many of the documents say “FDA: CONFIDENTIAL” at the lower boundary) knew that, contrary to what the highly paid spokesmodels and bought-off physicians were assuring people, the MRNA, spike protein and lipid nanoparticles did not stay in the injection site in the deltoid, but rather went, within 48 hours, into the bloodstream, from there to lodge in the liver, spleen, adrenals, lymph nodes, and, if you are a woman, in the ovaries. [See this]

Pfizer (and thus the FDA) knew that the Moderna vaccine had 100 mcg of MRNA, lipid nanoparticles and spike protein, which was more than three times the 30 mcg of the adult Pfizer dose; the company’s internal documents show a higher rate of adverse events with the 100 mcg dose, so they stopped experimenting with that amount internally due to its “reactogenicity.” Pfizer’s words but no one told all of the millions of Americans who all got the first and second 100 mcg Moderna dose, and the boosters.

Pfizer skewed the trial subjects so that almost three quarters were female - a gender that is less prone to cardiac damage. Pfizer lost the records of what became of hundreds of their trial subjects.

In the internal trials, there were over 42,000 adverse events and more than 1.200 people died. Four of the people who died, died on the day they were injected.

Adverse events tallied up in the internal Pfizer documents are completely different from those reported on the CDC website or announced by corrupted physicians and medical organizations and hospitals. These include vast columns of joint pain, muscle pain (myalgia), masses of neurological effects include MS, Guillain Barre and Bells Palsy, encephaly, every iteration possible of blood clotting, thrombocytopenia at scale, strokes, hemorrhages, and many kinds of ruptures of membranes throughout the human body.

The side effects about which Pfizer and the FDA knew but you did not, include blistering problems, rashes, shingles, and herpetic conditions (indeed, a range of blistering conditions oddly foreshadowing the symptoms of monkeypox).

The internal documents show that Pfizer (and thus the FDA) knew that angry red welts or hives were a common reaction to the PEG, a petroleum-derived allergen in the vaccine ingredients - one that you are certainly not supposed to ingest. Indeed, PEG is an allergen so severe that many people can go into anaphylactic shock if they are exposed to it. But people with a PEG allergy were not warned away from the vaccines or even carefully watched by their doctors, EpiPen in hand. They were left to their shock.

Pfizer knew that “exposure” to the vaccine was defined - in their own words - as sexual contact (especially at time of conception), skin contact, inhalation or lactation. [See this]. “Fact-checkers” can deny this all they want. The documents speak for themselves.

Of course, people who have tried to raise any of these issues have been deplatformed, scolded by the President, called insane, and roundly punished.

Athletes and college students and teenagers are collapsing on football and soccer fields. Doctors wring their hands and express mystification. But BioNTechs SEC filing shows a fact about which the CDC and the AMA breathe not a word: fainting so violently that you may hurt yourself is one of the side effects important enough for BioNTech to highlight to the SEC.

But not to highlight to you and me.

I was able to process all of this and keep simply reporting. But in the last few weeks the horror overcame me. Because now, the Volunteers, under the excellent leadership of Program Manager Amy Kelly, have confirmed that there is a genocide underway, intentionally driven or not. And Israeli journalist Etana Hecht has added her own superb analysis. Here is Ms Hecht’s summary of the Volunteers findings:

image: screenshot

It seems that there can indeed be a happenstance genocide. Reproduction itself is targeted, intentionally or not, by the mRNA vaccines. And if you know that reproduction is harmed, and babies and fetuses are harmed, and you know that this is at scale, which everyone at Pfizer and at the FDA who read these documents, knew - and if you do not stop then does that not ultimately become a genocide?

The WarRoom/DailyClout volunteers have confirmed that lipid nanoparticles, the tiny hard fatty casings that contain the MRNA, traverse the amniotic membrane. That means that they enter the fetal environment, of course. (They also traverse the blood-brain barrier, which may help explain the post-MRNA vaccination strokes and cognitive issues we are seeing). The Volunteers have drilled deep into the Pfizer documents’ reports about pregnancy and found that the assurance that the vaccine is safe and effective for pregnant women, was based on a study of 44 French rats, followed for 42 days (the scientists who ran the study are shareholders or employees of BioNTech). [See this]

The Volunteers found that while pregnant women were excluded from the internal studies, and thus from the EUA on which basis all pregnant women were assured the vaccine was “safe and effective,” nonetheless about 270 women got pregnant during the study. More than 230 of them were lost somehow to history. But of the 36 pregnant women whose outcomes were followed - 28 lost their babies.

The Volunteers found that a baby died after nursing from a vaccinated lactating mother, and was found to have had an inflamed liver. Many babies nursing from vaccinated mothers showed agitation, gastrointestinal distress, and failure to thrive (to grow), and were inconsolable.

I am hearing anecdotal reports of these symptoms in babies nursing from vaccinated mothers, now, from across the country.

The Pfizer documents also show that some vaccinated mothers had suppressed lactation, or could produce no milk at all.

Doctors, of course, are stumped by all this. Stumped.

The NIH database has a preprint study making the case that there are negligible amounts of PEG in the breast milk of vaccinated women. [See this]

But what is a negligible amount of a petroleum product in mother’s milk, when you are a tiny newborn with no immunities, just arriving in the world? The NIH preprint itself reported higher levels of GI distress and sleeplessness in the infants studied, and one mother had elevated PEG levels in breast milk, and the fine print concludes that more study is needed:

“Larger studies are needed to increase our understanding of transfer of PEG into human milk, and potential effects after ingestion by the infant. Although expert consensus states there is minimal or no potential risk for the infant from maternal COVID-19 vaccination(20,21), the minor symptoms that were reported (sleep changes and gastrointestinal symptoms) could be further investigated in future studies to determine if they are related to vaccination.”

Since no babies died in the brief time frame of the tiny study, the study concluded that nursing babies suffered no real ill effects from vaccinated mothers. But the study did not follow these poor babies, with their acknowledged sleeplessness and their confirmed GI distress, to see if they actually thrivedӔ gained weight and developed normally.

On such faulty science were women assured that the vaccines were דsafe and effective for them and their nursing babies.

But - four of the lactating vaccinated women in the Pfizer documents reported “blue-green” breast milk. I am not making this up. And the nursing baby who died, with an inflamed liver - the case has been buried; has not made headlines.

Coincidentally - or not - the SAME FDA that turned a blind eye to vast harms to humans, and to the subcategory of moms and babies, in the Pfizer documents, declared that Abbot, a major producer of baby formula in the US, had to close its factory. [See this]

Coincidentally, with little formula available and with some or many (we donԒt know) vaccinated moms having compromised breast milk, it turns out that Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Mark Zuckerberg have all invested in a startup called “BioMilq” - which produces lab grown breast milk from mammary cells. [See this]. Reports of this startup include this Frankenstein-like language as if this is normal:

“The BIOMILQ team creates its product from cells taken from human breast tissue and milk, donated by women in the local community, who get a Target giftcard in return.” [See THIS]

As if all of this is not horrific enough, Ms Hecht drew studies from three countries Canada, Scotland and now Israel ז -to show that babies are dying disproportionately, during and after 2021, in highly vaccinated countries, and that newborns are dying disproportionately if they have vaccinated mothers versus unvaccinated mothers.

In highly vaccinated Scotland, ALMOST TWICE THE NUMBER OF BABIES DIED IN 2021 AS DIED IN BASELINE NUMBERS.

screenshot

Ms Hecht also notes that menstrual dysregulation in vaccinated women is fully confirmed now by many studies, with an average of one extra day of bleeding a month (a side effect about which I warned about in March of 2021, which in turn got me called names by a CNN commentator and permanently deplatformed from Twitter).

You don’t have to know more than eighth grade biology to know that a dysregulated menstrual cycle, not to mention spike protein accumulating in the ovaries, not to mention the traversing of the bodies’ membranes, including the amniotic sac, by tiny hard fatty lipid nanoparticles, not to mention PEG in breast milk, is all going to affect fertility, fetal health, childbirth, and babies GI wellbeing or distress, and thus their ability or failure to thrive (let alone to bond).

And now, the babies are dying. Now scale the data from Canada, Scotland and Israel to all the vaccinated nations in the world.

What do we do with all of this?

Knowing as I now do, that Pfizer and the FDA knew that babies were dying and mothers’ milk discoloring by just looking at their own internal records; knowing as I do that they did not alertanyone let alone stop what they were doing, and that to this day Pfizer, the FDA and other demonic “public health” entities are pushing to MRNA-vaccinate more and more pregnant women; now that they are about to force this on women in Africa and other lower income nations who are not seeking the MRNA vaccines, per Pfizer CEO Bourla this past week at the WEF, and knowing that Pfizer is pushing and may even receive a US EUA for babies to five year olds - I must conclude that we are looking into an abyss of EVIL not seen since 1945.

So I donҒt know about you, but I must switch gears with this kind of unspeakable knowledge to another kind of discourse.

I am not saying that this is exactly like finding evidence of Dr Mengeles experiments; but I am saying, with these findings, that now the comparison may not be that excessive.

These anti-humans at Pfizer, speaking at the WEF; these anti-humans at the FDA; knowing what they know; are targeting the miraculous female body, with its ability to conceive, gestate, birth and nurture life. They are targeting the female bodyҒs ability to sustain a newborn human being with nothing but itself. They are targeting the amniotic membrane, the ovaries that release the ovum, they are targeting the lymph and blood that help support the building up of mothers milk, they are targeting the fetus in utero, helpless.

They are targeting the human fetu’ very environment, one of the most sacred spaces on this earth, if not the most sacred.

And they know it.

I don’t know about you, and I am not proselytizing, but as you may know if you read me here, these apocalyptic days, I turn to prayer. I have started to say in public, once I had to face the fact of the die-off of the babies, that this is a Biblical time; and I mean Old Testament Biblical.

It is a time like that of the construction of the Tower of Babel - of massive arrogance against divine plans. Men such Bill Gates tamper with and seek to outdo Gods best works in lab after lab, and Tech Bros disrupt the human competition for their unsought-after goods and services, by targeting human processes and by ruining the bodies made in the image of God.

It is a time like that when the ten plagues assailed the Egyptians in Exodus 11:4-6:

“4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt.

5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 

6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt - worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.’”

This was the worst plague of all, the slaying of the firstborn.

It is a time of ha-Satan - Satan going to and fro in the earth, and “walking up and down in it, as Job 2 describes him.

It is a time of demons sauntering around in human spaces, though they look human enough themselves, smug in their Italian suits on panels at the World Economic Forum.

Ha-Satan and his armies: ruining the conception, the milk, the menses, the touch, the cradling of the infant by its mother, ruining the feeding of the infant; ruining the babies themselves.

I read the Prophets a lot these days - because how could I not? I am looking for what writer Annie Lamott called “Operating Instructions.” What do you do when humanity itself is threatened? When there are professional battalions and bureaucratic departments of people who act with anathema toward the human race?

Surely there must be a clue.

So I reread the story of Noah, and the Book of Esther, a lot these days; I reread Jeremiah.

We’ve been here before. Embarrassingly often, when it comes to that.

The story is always the same, at least in the Hebrew Bible (in the New Testament, of course, God skips to the end and upends the plot).

At least in the Hebrew Bible, God is always trying to get our attention, always, it seems, simply asking us just to walk alongside him; simply asking us to keep his not-too-challenging commandments; not, indeed, asking a lot.

JERIMIAH 1:13

11 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see”?

13 “I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”

14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land.”

15 “I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.

“Their kings will come and set up their thrones in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem; they will come against all her surrounding walls and against all the towns of Judah.

16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made”

In the Hebrew Bible, anyway, the math is simple. We turn, we listen, and we are saved; or we carry on heedlessly, worshipping what our own hands have made, sluts to other gods - to “the science,” to media lies; to the narcissism of convention, these days, one might say - and thus we are lost.

We have been nearly lost, time after time after time.

This time could really be the last time; these monsters in the labs, on the transnational panels, are so very skillful; and so powerful; and their dark work is so extensive.

If God is there - again - after all the times that we have tried his patience - and who indeed knows?  Will we reach out a hand to him in return, will we take hold in the last moment out of this abyss, and simply find a way somehow to walk alongside him?

Or will we this time, in losing the babies, and heedlessly carrying on nonetheless - be truly lost ourselves?

SOURCE

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At Hearing, Dr. Deborah Birx Tells Select Subcommittee That “Dangerous Ideas” Undermined Trump Administration Coronavirus Response

Former Trump White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator provides firsthand account of how the Trump White Houses prioritization of politics and spread of misinformation undermined the nation’s coronavirus response

Select Subcommittee On The Caronavirus Crisis
June 23, 2022

Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2022) Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn, held a hearing with Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator under President Trump. The hearing highlighted Dr. Birx’s firsthand knowledge of the Trump Administrations historic failure of leadership in responding to the pandemic.

“Our investigations have found that the Trump Administration engaged in a rampant campaign of political interference in the pandemic response: minimizing, undermining, and eventually even suppressing the work of scientists and public health experts in a misguided and dangerous attempt to advance the president’s political goals, Chairman Clyburn said in his opening statement. “President Trump’s contempt for science and his persistent attacks on public health experts have had a lasting harmful impact on our country, undermining many Americans’ trust in public health officials and institutions, and contributing to the continued politicization of public health. This damage has resulted in far too many coronavirus deaths, including deaths that could have been prevented through vaccinations. We cannot bring those Americans back, nor the more than 130,000 who Dr. Birx estimates lost their lives before vaccines as a result of the previous administrations failures. But we must learn all we can about these failures so that we can properly prepare for future pandemic threats.”

Dr. Birx provided the following additional testimony:

President Trump’s Failure to Accurately and Effectively Communicate the Severity of the Coronavirus Hampered the Countrys Ability to Prepare for and Respond to the Pandemic

In response to a question from Chairman Clyburn about what then-President Trump should have done differently in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Birx said that the Trump White House’s early messaging “created a sense among the American people that this was not going to be a serious pandemic.” She said that “there was continued communication of underplaying the seriousness of this pandemic,” even after we could already see evidence of high fatality rates” from other countries.

According to Dr. Birx, the early failure to issue “concise, consistent communication about the seriousness of the pandemic resulted in inaction early on across our agencies” and “created a false sense of security in America.” Dr. Birx reiterated what she PREVIOUSLY TOLD the Select Subcommittee - that these and other failures by then-President Trump were devastating and led to the preventable loss of an estimated 130,000 American lives.

Then-President Trumps Reelection Campaign and Efforts to Overturn the Election Results Distracted the White House and Detracted from the Pandemic Response

Dr. Birx said that “the White House was distracted about its reelection and that this impacted the pandemic response.” Dr. Birx explained that early in the crisis, she was able to have discussions about what was not going optimally within the White House and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, but that she found it “very difficult throughout the summer and the fall of 2020 to find those individuals.”

Dr. Birx testified that she “created a fall strategy” in September and October 2020 to combat the upcoming winter surge, but that the Trump White House did not implement it. She stated: “Of course, I would have wanted to start it earlier, but I believed - and I was given reason to believe - that after the election that strategy would be utilized to combat the surge that I knew was coming.” However, Dr. Birx stated that this strategy was never fully executed in all of its robust and comprehensive approach because the Trump White House was “distracted by the post-election issues.”

The Trump White House’s Full-Throated Embrace of Dr. Scott Atlas and His Dangerous and Discredited Herd Immunity Strategy “Absolutely” Undermined the Coronavirus Response

Dr. Birx confirmed the findings of a recent Select Subcommittee STAFF REPORT that Dr. Atlas and his allies pursued a strategy premised on the idea that “if you infected enough people that you would have herd immunity.” Dr. Birx explained that “Dr. Atlass view was anybody who was not going to have severe disease should be allowed to become infected” with the coronavirus before any vaccines were available. She said that Dr. Atlas’s belief that “somehow you could magically separate the 50 or 60 million vulnerable Americans from that infection at a high level” was “impossible without mitigation.”

Dr. Birx recounted an August 2020 Oval Office meeting she attended with then-President Trump and Dr. Atlas, during which Dr. Atlas “took that opportunity to make the points that it didn’t matter what you did, each of these surges would be identical. It didn’t matter if you tested.” According to Dr. Birx, Dr. Atlas believed that testing young people and asking them to isolate if infectious “was an infringement of their rights and was equivalent to a lockdown.” She said: “These kind of thoughts, particularly in any infectious disease, are dangerous.”

When asked by Rep. Jamie Raskin whether Dr. Atlas’s tenure in the White House undermined America’s coronavirus response and jeopardized public health, Dr. Birx responded unequivocally: “Absolutely.” She explained that Dr. Atlass influence “created the sense that if Debbi [Birx], Bob [Redfield], Tony [Fauci], and Steve [Hahn] are saying this, and Scott Atlas and these PhDs are saying that, then no one’s right. And no one really knows. So it created a sense that anything could be right and nothing was absolutely right.” She added that Dr. Atlas’s presence in the White House “certainly destroyed any cohesion in the response in the White House itself.”

President Trump and His Allies Chose to Rely on Coronavirus Misinformation- Rather than Sound Science - to Justify Their Disastrous Handling of the Pandemic Response

Dr. Birx said that President Trumps April 23, 2020, press conference in which he suggested that Americans could inject themselves with disinfectant to treat coronavirus infections, “illustrates clearly that people were communicating with the President dangerous ideas.” She said: “These were coming into the White House on a daily basis from different individuals and I wasn’t there for a majority of those discussions.”

Dr. Birx also revealed that “there were parallel streams of data coming into the White House and parallel analyses that I was not privy to. They would show up in statements.” Although “it was subtle at the beginning,” eventually Dr. Birx saw the president “holding up graphs that I had never seen or created.”

Referring to the influence of misinformation on the Trump White House, Dr. Birx warned, “When you no longer agree on what is actually happening in the country and what needs to be done, and there’s not consensus on that, then you lose the ability to execute in the maximum efficient and effective way.”

Chairman Clyburn said in his closing remarks: We have learned and will remember how the Trump Administration’s failures resulted in many thousands of preventable American deaths. We have learned and will remember how politics was prioritized over science. We have learned and will remember how damaging it is when people in positions of authority undermine public trust in those like Dr. Birx with lifesaving medical expertise. We cant change the terrible history of the coronavirus pandemic, but we can remember it so that no future administration is condemned to repeat the Trump Administration’s failed response and its deadly consequences.

Click HERE to read the Chairman’s opening statement in full.

Click HERE to watch the full hearing.

Click to read the full transcribed interview with Dr. Birx released today: VOLUME 1 and VOLUME 2.

Click to read the Trump White House documents released today: AUGUST 11 2020, EMAIL; AUGUST 13, 2020 EMAIL EXCHANGE; AUGUST 25, 2020, EMAIL; and NOVEMBER 1, 2020, REPORT.

Click HERE to read Tuesday’s report on the Trump Administration’s embrace of a herd immunity via mass infection strategy

117th Congress

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Posted by Elvis on 06/23/22 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO
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Thursday, June 09, 2022

Stages Of Totalitarianism

image: fuehrer

“With use of propaganda and speeches Hitler soon became portrayed as the Hand to lift the people of Germany out of the great depression.”
- Fascism - Causes And Effect

The hallmark of “fascist collectivism” in international history is totalizing loyalty to The Leader, which, in a foreign but familiar turn-of-phrase, would be translated to Der Fuhrer. That fuhrer, when it comes to the Republican Party, is Donald Trump. The former president insists he defeated Joe Biden. He insists everyone in the GOP believe and repeat the same lie. Anyone who does not believe and repeat the same lie is quickly identified as insufficiently loyal. This is how “fascist collectivism” works. The sky isn’t green because the fuhrer says it is. It’s green after everyone agrees. If that sounds like mass delusion is the heart of fascism collectivism, that’s because it is.
- The GOP is Falling Into Mass Delusion

“People who shut their eyes to reality simply invite their own destruction, and anyone who insists on remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead, turns himself into a monster.”
- James Baldwin

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We can’t pretend we don’t know what’s happening and where it will lead if it’s not stopped - the question is what we will do about it

By Thom Hartmann
The Hartmann Report
June 8, 2022

It’s time to talk about what an American fascist government would look like. The word “fascism” gets thrown around a lot, but most Americans have no idea what it would look like or how it would actually play out.

It’s critical to lay out what a fascist America would look like now because this is what is being envisioned right now by many in the Republican Party, and it might come to pass.

They don’t talk about it out loud very much, like Nixon’s man G. Gordon Liddy used to back in the day when he signed memos using Hitlers SS symbol. But there is a model here and they do have something in mind.

What could it be? What would it look like? How will it most likely come about?

First, and essential to American fascism, Republicans envision a strong-man Leader who will hold power for as long as he (it’s always a “he") chooses, with the transition to the next Leader determined by the Leader himself.

This has been the primary characteristic of every fascistic government to emerge in the 7000-year written history of the modern world.

When Trump was running for re-election, at rallies in both Nevada and Wisconsin, he came right out and SAID that not only would he win the 2020 election but that hed also be re-elected again in 2024.  He was dead serious.

Sure, our constitution says a president can only serve two terms: so did the Russian constitution, until Putin GOT IT AMENDED. Trump was planning the same, and his followers were - if the response at the rallies when he announced it is any indicator - ecstatic at the prospect.

That single strongman Leader is the key to understanding everything else that happens when a country flips from democracy to oligarchy to fascism.

For example, in a fascist state the way that you as an average citizen ensure your own advancement and economic, personal, and political security is by sucking up to that man. You either become an acolyte/follower or you find yourself on the outside looking in.

If you think this sounds extreme, just look at today’s Republican Party.

Liz Cheney spoke against Trump and the Wyoming GOP expelled her and Trump is supporting a primary challenger. Four Republicans who voted to impeach Trump have faced such a backlash that they’ve DECIDED TO RETIRE at the end of this term: Adam Kinzinger, Anthony Gonzalez, John Katko, and Fred Upton.

Republican freshman Congressman Chris Jacobs, representing a district including parts of Buffalo, NY, was FORCED to withdraw from this years primary (and, thus, he’ll be retiring from the House) because after the Buffalo massacre he spoke against Trumps and his party’s embrace of assault weapons.

Not only is fealty to the Leader required for political advancement, it’s also a requirement for individual economic advancement.  Employers eager for state contracts or the Leaders endorsements of their products or services demote or fire those insufficiently loyal to the Leader.

Psychologist Dr. Bandy Lee was FIRED from Yale University for tweeting that Trump was mentally ill. Schoolteacher Leah Kinyon was fired from her job for SAYING that “I hate Donald Trump.  He is a sexual predator. Hes a literal moron.” Juli Brisker was FIRED from her job with government contractor Akima for giving Trump’s motorcade the finger.

Rebekah Jones was FIRED by Ron DeSantis for telling the truth about his covering up Florida Covid statistics. Florida’s Orange County Health Director Dr. Raul Pino was removed for encouraging his staff to get vaccinated.

When companies defy the Leader they are brutally punished, as DeSantis is doing right now to Disney and the Tampa Bay Rays. Soon companies don’t even try to stand up to the DISNEY and the TAMPA BAY RAYS\. Soon companies don’t even try to stand up to the Leader, including media companies.

And now DeSantis has signed legislation giving him the authority to “hold accountable” college professors, reviewing their politics every five years so those who aren’t totally on board with the agenda can lose tenure and be fired. The headline at Salon SAYS IT ALL:

“DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state: Universities may lose funding if staff and students’ beliefs do not satisfy Florida’s GOP-run legislature.”

You end up doing things on the Leader’s behalf, whether you’re supporting his party, working at a private corporation, or engaged in the nonprofit sector like teaching at a university or medical center.

Defying or challenging the Leader brings opprobrium; supporting the Leader is the path to career advancement.  The Trump White House and DeSantis Governors Office are filled with examples.

Everything is done for the Leader because the Leader is the state. The state and the Leader have become one.

If you challenge the Leader, you’re challenging the state, and thats treason.

Whatever the Leader says becomes the law. This is called ғRULE BY DECREE and itԒs where every fascist in history has ended up.

The power to rule by decree goes back to the days of kings and is also embedded in our laws about the president’s emergency powers. Trump came close to invoking it with an “emergency declaration” when he lost the election. General Flynn BEGGED him to do it and “temporarily suspend the Constitution.”

Next time, he won’t be so restrained and he will have surrounded himself in advance with people like Flynn who will make it happen. While it will change how power is distributed in our government, things will still look much the same.

If a fascist like Trump rises to power again in the United States, there will still be all the trappings of democracy.

The House and Senate, state houses and governors, bureaucracies and political systems will remain intact. Everything looks normal on the surface.

But when you peel off the top layer, you discover that all of those people in all of those offices, whether elected or bureaucratic, are serving only one principle and one person and that is the Leader.

There will even be opposition parties and political candidacies in a Republican fascist America, although if any of them seriously challenge the Leader or show the ability to disrupt the status quo they’ll be discovered to have a secret drug habit or get imprisoned for corruption or other made-up charges.

The prosperity of the company you work for depends in part on how well it supports the politics of the Leader.

The Leader helps a few dozen oligarchs seize control of the nations major industries, and every smaller company in each of those industries must directly or indirectly answer to that oligarch.

Those who fail to are bought out, shut down, or simply cannot find customers or supplies because nobody will do business with them.

The industry where this is most visible at first is the media.

Some media organizations will be absorbed by the government itself, as Putin has done in Russia; others will be bought out and run by the Leader’s oligarch buddies, as is the case today in Hungary and Turkey (among others).

Soon opposition voices vanish from all but the most obscure media, and those few opposing voices that are tolerated are pointed to by the Leader as proof the nation is still an open democracy.

Jews and people of color may find a rougher time maintaining a job or staying safe from vigilantes, abuse, and discrimination but whites will be just fine, particularly white men.

There will still be Christmas parties, although people celebrating Hanukkah or Muslims praying may want to pull the shades closed.

Hate crimes and murders by vigilante groups start happening with such frequency that the media doesnt bother to report them anymore.

Within a few years a little bit of every business activity in the country ends up in the Leader’s pocket. And the Leader uses that revenue to enrich himself, his inner circle, and those who are part of his military entourage, his private military.

ThatҒs right: the Leaders private military.

It’d be put together like what Ron DeSantis is FLYING Customs and Border Protection officers into Portland where they hit the streets without identification on their uniforms to beat and kidnap people protesting George Floyds murder.

When the private militia is created at the federal level itҒll become a substantial national military force with hundreds of thousands of soldiers under the Leader’s direct command. Hitlers was called the SS and answered only to the Leader himself. Mussolini had his, as do Putin, ERDOGAN, el-Sisi, and others today.

Citing “national security,” the Leaders private militia will have an undisclosed and therefore vast budget. Outside of times it’s called on to intimidate people or make a public display of power, itҒll largely operate in secret.

It’s members won’t have to obey the law because, as agents of the Leader whos above the law, they are, too. If they have to kill somebody, there will be no investigation unless itҒs to cover up the crime. If they need to make somebody disappear, that person disappears.

They, along with the Leader’s allies, promote a law-and-order crime ideology in public that results in high levels of incarceration, heavily militarized police, and a disregard for the general rights of the average citizen, particularly racial and religious minorities.

This is how the kind of government the Donald Trump was trying to establish in America has played out, over and over again, across the world and throughout history.

In our own time weve seen it in Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Cuba, Hungary, the Philippines, Venezuela, and dozens of other countries around the world less well known for the nature of the government.

It may call itself left-wing or right-wing, but what really matters is that all power and authority rests with the Leader. Stalin was every bit the fascist that Hitler and Mussolini were; his fascism just had a different face and brand.

As dystopian as all this may sound, there are more governments in the world run this way today than there are democracies. It’s “normal.” Once established it’s almost impossible to dislodge without a crisis like the death of the Leader or an actual revolution.

Some of the governments around the world that are structured like this were democracies that turned fascist, like Russia, Turkey, and Hungary. But many have been this way for centuries, like hereditary kingdoms in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

So, how do the democratic countries that make the transition to fascism allow that to happen? And what is life like in those countries, both during and after it’s happened?

After World War II, a Chicago reporter named Milton Mayer struggled to understand how Hitler was able to flip one of the world’s most stable democracies into fascism.

An American Jew of German ancestry and a brilliant writer, Mayer went to Germany seven years after Hitler’s fall and befriended 10 “average Germans,” asking each how the Nazis rose to power in an otherwise civilized nation.

His book, THEY THOUGH THEY WERE FREE, is his story of that experience. Intertwined through it - first published in 1955 - are repeated overt and subtle warnings to future generations of Americans: to us, today.

Mayer quotes one of his German friends as describing what happened once the Leader seized power:

“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”

Did the German people realize theyd abandoned democracy? That they would soon become international pariahs? The college professor Mayer interviewed answered:

“To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it - please try to believe me - unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop.”

“Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing.”

“And one day it is over his head.”

Is it possible this could happen in America? That all these “small steps” would one day lead to a dictatorial form of government that has so cowed the people, the politicians, and even the business community and media that it cant be challenged?

Doesn’t the nation rise up and protest the destruction of its own democracy? DonҒt the people pour into the streets?

Mayers professor gave us the answer:

“You see, one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow.”

“You don’t want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not? - Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.Ҕ

We can’t say we weren’t warned by our own people, our own politicians, the most senior members of our own institutional power structure.

In a speech that was hysterically criticized by Republicans and Fox “News” pundits, President Obama in December of 2017 CAME RIGHT OUT AND SAID IT:

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens.”

Yes, the former President of the United States was invoked Nazi Germany five years ago while Donald Trump was President, adding:

“Now, presumably, there was a ballroom in Vienna in the late 1920s or ‘30s that looked and seemed as if it - filled with the music and art and literature and the science that was emerging - would continue into perpetuity.”

“And then,"President Obama said, “60 million people died. And the entire world was plunged into chaos.”

The warnings have been there all along. I wrote of this IN 2005, quoting Mayer and going off on Bush and the PATRIOT ACT as the prequel to fascism.

Americans have been shouting about it lately, in venues like THE NEW YORK TIMES and MADELINE ALBRIGHT’S BOOK and from legislators like ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ.

But how do we know? Is there a sudden proclamation by the Leader that the nation is now “officially fascist”?

Back to Mayers German friend in 1954:

“But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.”

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.”

I thought about this quote yesterday when a caller to my radio/TV show told the story of his very progressive son who moved to Tennessee and married a local woman; now hes a complete Trump-humper who uses the N-word at the slightest provocation and rails about Jews and communists. He obsessively watches Fox News and listens to right wing radio.

America is changing as you read these words. In this fall’s election many of us will no longer be able to know if our voices, our attempts to vote, will actually decide who leads our nation.

Five Republicans on the Supreme Court RULED in 2018 that you can be purged from the voting rolls on a whim. In most states Republicans can take over electoral precincts, install their people (as we just learned THEY ARE DOING right now) and run them under whatever rules they want.

Already, when the GOP inflicts 10-hour lines to vote on a stateԒs people, for example, you go to jail if you bring them water. If you make a mistake on your voting registration or ballot they can choose to send you to prison for five years or more.

Somehow, of the many people from both parties who are busted for this, only the Democrats end up going to prison.

And yet everything seems “normal.” As Mayers’ professor friend told him, when the Leader finally seizes control of all the levers of power from political to economic to spiritual, everything changes but everything also stays the same:

“The world you live in - your nation, your people - is not the world you were in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays.”

“But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed.”

“Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God.”

Were already quite a ways down this road, which is why our democracy has been rated by numerous international groups as being ғat risk or similar designations.

Voter suppression, gerrymandering, the proliferation of phony media selling rightwing propaganda as “news,” armed militias on our streets (and the GOP recruiting them for “election monitors") are the visible tip of the proverbial iceberg.

“How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men?” Mayer’s friend asked rhetorically.

And, without the benefit of a previous and recent and well-remembered fascistic regime to refer to, Mayer had to candidly answer: “Frankly, I do not know.”

That was 1954; this is 2022. We now know.

We know how the poisonous hate that animates fascism seeps into a society because weve seen it ourselves in the 4 years of the Trump administration.

We know how easily a government can be toppled and how close we came in 2020: if just five Republicans had not refused to go along with Trump we’d be in this fascist dystopia today.

We cant pretend we don’t know whats happening and where it will lead if it’s not stopped.

The question is what we will do about it.

SOURCE

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image: biden

The Five Stages of Totalitarianism

By Walker Larson
Mises Institute
June 11, 2022

Fears of a growing totalitarian tendency in the US have swelled during 202022. But how close are we really to a totalitarian state? How have such regimes come about historically and what are the warning signs? This article will answer these questions by examining totalitarian regimes in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries and the pattern by which they came to power.

Stage 1: Discontent and Rumblings

Every new order rises on the ruins of the old.

Those who would establish a new regime must tap into or generate dissatisfaction with the status quo. However much those desiring a reset may despise the old order, they can֒t accomplish much without harnessing or fabricating a similar attitude in the public. Then the revolutionary totalitarian appears as the solution to these problems.

The Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France, for example, didnt begin with blood but with bread. Between 1715 and 1800, the population of Europe doubled, creating food shortages among the French people. Many of the French people resented the KingҒs growing centralized authority. In addition, the ideas of the EnlightenmentӔ thinkers were stirring up revolutionary feeling. Finally, the French government was massively in debt due to the many wars of the eighteenth century, and it increased taxation even on nobles.

It was these sufferings and fears, combined with the machinations of the secret societies (admitted by the Marquis de Rosanbo at the Chamber of Deputies session of July 1, 1904) that led the to the revolution and the totalitarian Jacobin government. The Reign of Terror came after the fall of the king and the Ancien Rgime, which the revolutionaries accomplished in part because of the problems and suffering in French society prerevolution.

The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917which established a totalitarian regime so bloody that it would make the Reign of Terror look like a mere red drop in the guillotine bucket闗followed a similar blueprint. The Bolshevik communists exploited the sufferings of the Russian people for revolutionary purposes. What were these sufferings? The Russian people had lost faith in Tsar Nicholas II and his government, Russia contained restless ethnic minorities, and the poorly equipped and led Russian armies were losing against the Germans in World War I. Russias failures in the war led to demoralization and disrupted the economy. In January 1917, transportation to cities like Petrograd broke down, and this caused food and fuel shortages, and, eventually, riots.

Not long after the rise of Bolshevism in Russia, Adolf Hitler became involved with the Nazi Party during the Weimar Republic. Struggling postwar Germany bubbled with discontent. The Treaty of Versailles had been harsh: Germany was expected to accept full responsibility for the war, pay massive indemnities to the Allies, surrender large amounts of territory, possess no military worth speaking of, and be monitored by Allied troops. In the years following the war and the treaty, the German economy suffered mightily, including through hyperinflation. When Germany defaulted on some of its payments, French and Belgian troops occupied GermanyҒs richest industrial region, the Ruhr district, which only made Germany poorer and the people angrier.

Stage 2: The False Savior and the First Revolution

After identifying and appealing to the peoples discontent, the totalitarian presents himself as a savior. In stage 2, the revolutionary totalitarian enacts a dramatic change to “solve” the problems and discontent of stage 1.

To find a solution for its debt crisis, the French government called the Estates General assembly to advise the king on what to do. The Third Estate quickly claimed full governmental authority as the “National Assembly.” The National Assembly wanted to draw up a new constitution that would change the nature of the government to deal with injustices. After the storming of the Bastille, peasants in rural areas revolted against their lords. The National Assembly declared feudalism abolished and introduced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. With the execution of Louis XVI on January 21, 1793, the first stage of the revolution was over. The regicide left a massive power vacuum. Various groups struggled to fill this hole, but in the end, the Jacobins - the radicals - dominated the new revolutionary government.

In the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks took advantage of the food riots that began early in 1917. When the military began siding with the rioting workers, rather than restoring law and order, Tsar Nicholas knew all was lost. He abdicated on March 2, 1917 (and was later shot). The Bolshevik-run Petrograd Soviet quickly took control of post-tsarist Russia. Their slogan - Peace, Land, and Bread - attracted many frightened and angry people to them as to a savior. On November 6Җ7, they staged a coup that finally overturned the provisional government.

The initial rise of Nazism in Germany was less bloody but similarly based on messianic promises. Capitalizing on the resentment in Germany due to the Versailles Treaty and global economic downturn in 1929, the Nazi Party grew in size and influence. The Nazis had attempted a violent coup in November 1923 but had failed, and they turned to legal means of gaining control of the government. Due to Hitlers skill with propaganda, the Nazi Party won more and more of the vote by the early 1930s. Eventually, it was the second-biggest political party in the country. At this point, Hitler was demanded that President Paul von Hindenburg appoint him chancellor, which Hindenburg agreed to in 1933. This was not a violent revolution, but the failed 1923 attempt shows the party’s violent tendencies.

Stage 3: Censorship, Persecution, Propaganda, and the Ending of Opposition

In stage 3, the initial upheaval of stage 2 has passed. The old order has been fundamentally changed, and now various forces begin to react. The rising totalitarian government faces many enemies, often dubbed “counterrevolutionaries” or “extremists.” Here in its infancy, the new order must struggle to gain more power and maintain that which has been acquired. For this reason, it sets about combatting its enemies through censorship and persecution.

As soon as they had gained sway over their countries, the first move of totalitarians like Hitler and Vladimir Lenin was to censor opposition and put out propaganda. Each of these totalitarian leaders also gained control of education and had secret police forces to monitor and even kill anyone designated as an enemy. Another strategy was to establish youth organizations to indoctrinate citizens in the stateҒs propaganda from an early age and tear their loyalties away from family or religion. Religion was almost universally persecuted once these regimes came to power.

Finally, Hitler and Lenin outlawed (either de jure or de facto) all political parties and views besides their own after coming to power.1 Totalitarians create a one-party system that often maintains a faade of democracy.

Stage 4: The Crisis

Stage 4 prepares the way for the totalitarian government to grasp total control over those under its rule. It consists of a crisis moment, which may be either a real threat or a false flag that seems to threaten the nation.

By 1793, the French Revolution was at a crisis point. Defenders of the old order rose up on all sides to crush the new order. Austrian and Prussian armies encircled France, while the Vendean peasants revolted against the revolutionary government and army. And so, in the name of 穓public safety, the government decided to take harsh measures against all enemies of the revolution. And so, of course, they needed more control. This was the task of the Committee of Public Safety, and it suffered from no scruple in its methods.

On August 3, 1918, Lenin was shot after giving a speech at a factory. While recovering in the hospital, he wrote to a subordinate, “It is necessary secretly - and urgently - to prepare the terror. This initiated a campaign of mass killings and detentions by the government, known to history as the Red Terror. As always, the justification for these acts was the “emergency” indicated by the attempted assassination. The “radicals” and “counterrevolutionaries” were allegedly “at the gate,” and it was necessary to use extreme measures to deal with this imminent “threat.” So the rhetoric went. And so it always goes.

Hitler also used a “state of emergency” to justify his clampdown. On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag went up in flames. In response, Herman Gorrin, minister of the interior, ordered a raid on Communist headquarters, allegedly for evidence of sedition and a Communist plot to attack public buildings. This, in Hitler’s mind, was the signal for seizing complete control. On February 28, the cabinet abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy, and the press. Around four thousand people were arrested that night. This “crisis,” with the usual language about safety and countering threats, ushered in totalitarianism in Germany.

Stage 5: Purges, Genocide, and Total Control

Using the crisis of stage 4 as an excuse, the totalitarian government now seizes absolute control over the lives of its citizens. The regime overcomes the enemies of stages 3 and 4. It begins brutally enforcing its “utopia” and ideology on the populace. This stage also sees the greatest atrocities committed against the populace because resistance to the totalitarian regime has been crushed. The people are defenseless and demoralized. Nothing stands between the regime and its victims. This stage involves mass killings as the regime liquidates any remaining enemies while seeking to control every detail of citizens’ lives.

During the latter stages of the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety received dictatorial powers to defeat anyone who opposed the revolutionary government. During 179394, the CPS eliminated rival revolutionary groups before passing a law that suspended citizens֒ rights to a public trial or legal assistance and gave the jury only two options, acquittal or death. The result was horrifying: throughout France, three hundred thousand suspects were arrested, seventeen thousand were executed, and about ten thousand died in prison or without trial.

But it was nothing compared to the Red Terror and Joseph Stalin’s purges. The party used the attempted assassination of Lenin as justification for intense persecution of its enemies. Tens of thousands of people became victims, as discussed in Richard Pipes’s THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION. But Lenin’s handiwork was only a precursor to Stalin’s “purges” of political enemies. Historians are divided on just how many people Stalin killed, but estimates reach as high as sixty million.

Estimates of the people killed by Hitler and his Nazi Party vary as well. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the figure stands at seventeen million, but only God knows for certain.

In addition to carrying out mass killings, established totalitarian regimes seek to control everyday life through measures like censorship, propaganda, gun control, and internal passports.

The United States in 2022

So is the United States headed for totalitarianism? Here we move from facts to speculation - a risky business. The answer is not straightforward. But if we are careful to avoid exaggeration, some useful comparisons can be made.

· Have any forces in the US taken advantage of real or imagined problems in the country to stir up discontent and even violence? The death of George Floyd and the associated claims of systemic racism in 2020 gave rise to violent and destructive riots. Fortunately, this has calmed down, but, like in pre-Soviet Russia, ongoing tensions surrounding racial minorities continue to threaten more social unrest. This unrest could intensify if predictions of food shortages and increasing inflation come true in the coming months and years.

· Has any figure or group presented themselves as a savior with the solution to our problems, a solution that will require the curtailing of individual rights? Are freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, due process, or religious rights under attack? The covid pandemic was used by governments around the world to justify vast restrictions on personal freedom, including limitations on freedom of assembly, the closing of religious centers, and censorship of information or viewpoints that opposed the official covid narrative and dictates. Many of these public officials presented themselves as “experts” whose forceful policies were “necessary” for “public safety.” Entities such as the World Economic Forum and many global leaders continue to discuss the need for a “Great Reset,” in part as a response to the “threat” of covid. This reset includes everything from redesigning health systems and education to the implementation of vaccine passports. This is presented to us as our “salvation” from covid and other dangers, including racism.

· Are we experiencing any censorship in the US? Are our media sources independent and objective or coerced and controlled? As the recent Musk/Twitter debacle has highlighted, Big Tech bears responsibility for censoring certain information and views with increasing regularity in recent years, and particularly conservative voices.

· Does the US live under a one-party system? As far as we can tell, the answer to this question is no. However, if the claims of election fraud abounding since the 2020 elections are true and the fraud remains unremedied, we effectively live in a one-party system, since one party can maintain power indefinitely through illegal means. But that is a substantial if.

· Are we witnessing MASS ARRESTS or mass killings? We clearly have not progressed into stage 5 type mass arrests and killings at this time, although the data on ADVERSE REACTIONS SURROUNDING THE COVID VACCINE is concerning. Still, that data, even if accurate, does not definitively show that premeditation or a totalitarian regime is the culprit behind these injuries and deaths. Yet the possibility, I think, should not be ruled out entirely.

One final point must be made. Though troubling similarities exist between the trajectory of the US and the historical examples of totalitarianism outlined above, we must avoid both the extremes of an alarmist fatalism and a starry-eyed state of denial. On the one hand, the events of the past few years in our country are grim. On the other, history does not work like a machine, and many factors are at play here. I do not claim to know the future, and I do not believe in historical determinism. In the end, whether the United States is headed for totalitarianism or not is largely up to us and whether or not we resist these trends.

About the author

Walker Larson teaches literature and history at a private academy in Wisconsin, where he resides with his wife. He holds a Masters in English Literature and Language, and his writing has appeared in The Hemingway Review, Intellectual Takeout, and his SUBSTACK.

SOURCE

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Thursday, June 02, 2022

Corinthian Fifteen

image: occupy movement

I Went on Strike to Cancel My Student Debt and Won. Every Debtor Deserves the Same.
Former students Corinthian Colleges just won the largest student debt cancelation in Education Department history. Now its time for Biden to cancel debt for everyone.

By Ann Bowers
In These Times
June 2, 2022

This week, former students of Corinthian Colleges - a predatory for-profit school that once boasted more than 100 campuses across the country - received news that their student loans will be canceled. In an ANNOUNCEMENT, a Department of Education (DOE) press release called the move “the largest single loan discharge the Department has made in history.” As a former student of Everest College, which is a branch of Corinthian, I am overjoyed that everyone who attended the scam school will finally be made whole.

The action, announced on June 2, will impact 560,000 former Corinthian students and $5.8 in total student debt will be CANCELLED. This amounts to a stunning victory for debtors who took collective action to win relief.

But I want to set the record straight. This victory is not the result of the Biden administrations good will. It is the outcome of a fierce organizing campaign by debtors that has been going on for almost eight years. I should know. I was part of a group of former students that launched a 7‑year long student debt strike to win loan cancellation from the federal government.

Now, as President Biden considers cancelling student loan debt more broadly, the outcome for former Corinthian students should send a clear message that the only way to resolve the issue of pernicious student loan debt is to cancel it for everybody and to do so automatically, without making borrowers individually apply.

My involvement started back in 2014 when I read an article that revealed my school was suspected of lying to and defrauding borrowers, many of whom were from LOW-INCOME FAMILIES. I was outraged to discover that CORINTHIAN HAD BEEN UNDER INVESTIGATION by the U.S. Senate since at least 2010 for breaking the law - all while continuing to RECEIVE BILLIONS of dollars per year in government funding. Investigators found that Corinthian lied to students about job placement rates, ENROLLED PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT PREPARED for college-level work and offered a sub-par education. The college also PROVIDED FALSIFIED PLACEMENT information to accrediting agencies in order to keep federal money flowing. Some of the evidence against Corinthian was compiled by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who SUED THE SCHOOL in 2013 for false advertising.

Furious and determined to fight back, I turned to social media and found that hundreds of former students of my school were gathering online to address the dilemma that we had found ourselves in: huge debts and worthless degrees.

Organizers from the Debt Collective, a union for debtors, had also heard about the plight of Corinthian borrowers and found our group on Facebook. They proposed that everyone who had attended the school join together to pressure the government to cancel our debts. There were few other choices: student debts cannot be erased in bankruptcy except in a few extreme circumstances. Turning our individual burdens into a collective demand was our only option.

In the winter of 2015, a group of former students met in person to plan the campaign. We were all in a similar situation. None of us had been able to find the high-paying jobs that Corinthian had promised, and none of us could afford to pay back the astronomical sums that we owed. We turned our inability to repay into a rallying cry and launched a student debt strike  the first in U.S. history ח to demand the cancellation of our loans. We called ourselves the CORINTHIAN FIFTEEN.

The law was on our side. We relied on an obscure legal mechanism called Borrower Defense to Repayment that required the government to cancel the debts of defrauded students. Since the DOE did not even have an application available to those who wanted to apply for relief, we worked with lawyers to design a form and then made it available on the Debt Collectives website. By the spring of 2015, applications from former for-profit college students ROLLED IN by the thousands.

Public opinion was also on our side. Our campaign went viral. Dozens of news outlets covered the story of the scammed borrowers who were taking on the Obama administration in March 2015. Strikers MET IN WASHINGTON D.C. with officials from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Education and the Treasury Department. We shared our experiences of being lied to and defrauded by Corinthian and delivered hundreds of applications for loan relief into the hands of Ted Mitchell, the Undersecretary of Education under President Obama.

Our campaign won the support of major media organizations like the NEW YORK TIMES editorial board and politicians like Sen. ELIZABETH WARREN (D‑Mass.) and HILLARY CLINTON. As more former for-profit college students realized they had been scammed, our numbers grew. We were joined by students who had attended other predatory schools such as ITT Technical Institutes. Our group of 15 strikers soon GREW TO 100. Thanks to the Debt Collective, we met with lawyers who helped us understand the consequences of not paying our debts. We knew that defaulted debtors could face wage garnishment and tax offsets. Older borrowers might have their social security benefits garnished. But we were ready for those consequences. Most of us could not afford to pay anyway and were already in default, so the strike was a way to politicize our inability to pay. We stood together for everyone in our situation across the country.

Unfortunately, the Department of Education dragged its feet. Officials claimed they cared about us and wanted to help, but rather than just canceling debts that were shattering lives and ruining futures, they SET UP A SERIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSES and claimed they needed to study the issue. Little by little, a few former students who filled out the correct forms and checked the right boxes GOT THEIR LOANS RELIEVED. But hundreds of thousands of others waited in anguish.

I was one of the lucky ones. Finally, in 2017, I received an email from the DOE that said my loans were being canceled. My joy was tempered by the fact that thousands of others were still in debt. The news got even worse when President Donald Trump came into office. His Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, HALTED THE RELIEF PROCESS that had begun slowly under Obama.

But the fight is far from over, and the stakes are higher than ever.

Back in 2010, when I enrolled at Corinthian, I didnt know there was such a thing as for-profit education. I assumed that if the government was funding a college, it must be offering a quality education. My experience organizing a debt strike and talking to borrowers who attended colleges of all kinds has taught me that the problem is larger than scam schools. The for-profit college industry is part of a larger system of higher education that often promises the world while failing to deliver for students like me who don’t come from wealthy backgrounds.

Just like former Corinthian students won by turning our individual struggles into a collective demand, I believe we can win even more if student debtors from colleges of all kinds fight back together. We can demand a more fair and just higher education system and an end to the for-profit schools that prey on low-income students.

The change we seek can start with the flick of the president’s pen. Rather than hand-wringing over means-testing and debt caps, BIDEN CAN CANCEL ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS VIA EXECUTIVE ORDER. And Congress can pass a bill that makes public higher education free. These transformations are within our grasp. The Corinthian Fifteen put the issue of student debt on the national map. This weeks win for Corinthian borrowers should be extended to everyone - because no one should have to go into debt to follow their dreams.

About the author

Ann Bowers is an activist and organizer with the Debt Collective.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 06/02/22 •
Section American Solidarity
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