Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Role Might Russia Play In The Devolution Of Late Stage U.S. Empire

Interesting markets today, eh?   April has the potential to be a very, very interesting month.  Not just for assets either.   We could be close to what Robert Prechter terms as the “oh shit” moment. (My slang characterization.)  ie, When Wall Street bag holders wake up and realize that they have inflated assets to the moon and the entire herd goes running for the door at the same time. 

I don’t typically put up this kind of what-if post that involves possible guesstimates of what is happening behind the scenes but I’m going to make an exception here.   I’m doing so primarily because the current geopolitical dynamics are very interesting.   The U.S. is clearly in the late stages of empire and, as such, that empire is very vulnerable .  (As noted on here in the past, 2022 is the latest date by which I would anticipate that empire to disappear.)   Good news for lovers of liberty.  Bad news for capitalism, the state, state actors, Wall Street, the investor class, the Federal Reserve and, frankly, political and capitalist classes in countless countries around the globe that have enriched themselves on the tails of U.S. empire.  That even includes the Russian oligarchy that has enriched itself through American empire’s deregulation of global capital that has resulted in an unprecedented looting fest.  One that Russian capitalist oligarchs and the political class (moochers and parasites) have jointly benefited from immensely. 

Russian state actors are almost certainly emboldened because of the weak Ukrainian response by the United States and Europe.   When one understands state actors are generally predators one may appreciate how an emboldened Russia could be explained by the primitive laws of the jungle.  What happens when hyenas have surrounded a weakened lion? (And mind you, the U.S. is in a very weakened, late stage empire state.) They never refuse an opportunity to go for the kill.  Is there really any appreciable difference in how state actors act out their primitive ego-driven pathology?  Let’s be honest.  There is little evidence the Russian state cares about humanity more than any other state actor. 

We simply don’t know the intent of  the political players in the world today.  And there certainly are differing intents in each country as well.   Obama’s intents may be determined by unseen forces or by a personal agenda and Putin may be no different.  I don’t believe anything with any degree of conviction that I read or hear as it pertains to issues involving the state.   If Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy told you they were selflessly acting on your behalf, would you submit to their authority?   With the pathology that is so pervasive in this world of unprecedented evil concentrated in class-based state power and control, is there really a difference? 

I think it’s plausible to consider Putin may be nothing but a propagandized front for a wildly corrupt political and capitalist thugs robbing the Russian people blind.  In other words, a “made man”.   Garry Kasparov, the world’s best known Russian sans Putin has talked about this repeatedly in his current role of human rights leader.  And his characterizations are far more colorful than mine.  Of course, conspiracy theorists say Kasparov is a mule for western power and opposes Putin under false pretense.   I guess opposing massive state corruption must now be a conspiracy.  The list of claims and counterclaims is endless.   Let’s stick to what we do know - Putin was a low level apparatchik who came out of no where to gain control of Russia.  Russia certainly isn’t the home of political saints and servants.  Putin somehow became one of the most powerful men in the world almost overnight.  How did that happen?  His bear wrestling skills?   Get real.   What potential powers control him or inserted him into the Russian political scene?  Or uses their made man’s charm to manipulate Russians and people around the world on behalf of Russian state actors?   I doubt Putin’s rise to power is the result of the mythical free market.  And I doubt it is virtuous.  As Bill Moyers noted decades ago in the documentary I have highlighted on here countless times, who controls Russia’s equivalent of our secret government?   There is a very large world out there that is hidden from plain sight, not just in the U.S. but in Russia, Europe, China and elsewhere.   With unprecedented state secrecy, it is almost certainly driven by extreme pathology and thus a will to use state violence to win, loot, steal, pillage and exploit at any cost. 

We really don’t know what Putin’s intent is in the Ukraine or elsewhere.  Or what has been premeditated or cultivated by state actors.  But we do know Russia is a shithole of mass inequality and injustices,  substantial media censorship, extreme levels of corruption and very powerful organized crime.  The facts just don’t present themselves that Putin is on a mission to serve humanity through nonviolence and selflessness.   In other words, for someone to grab at the personal and political power Putin continually is grabbing at is for dubious, almost certainly pathological reasons.  There are no benevolent dictators.  Only magnanimous ones who are willing to throw scraps to those they have destroyed on their way to their pathological need for power and control. 

What this ongoing situation in the Ukraine does point out is how tribal the primitive, unmindful ego truly is.  How placing our responsibilities into the hands of state actors perpetuates the victimization of innocent people.  How placing people in a ego-driven, primitive state of fear or using propaganda to turn people against each other for reasons of race, creed, language or any superficial  difference, truly does turn our minds into that which is little different than jungle animals with a will to win/survive. 

The Ukrainians seemingly started fanning the flames against Russian-heritage people by using state violence to pass laws making them second-class citizens.  Russia then responds.  Then absurd allegations of using nuclear weapons against Russian-speaking Ukrainians was intercepted by Russia. Of course, these preposterous remarks and violence against Russians is almost certainly driven by the Russian genocide of Ukrainian people some decades ago.   Information is leaked out that is manipulatively used for the benefit of providing propagandized cover each state actors.  Ukrainian Russians certainly had a right to referendum.  And, if they wish, to join the state of Russia.  But the news organization Russia Today has been on a propaganda binge recently.  It has become absurd.  That includes painting Stalin, one of the worst state butchers in human history, as a hero and also stating that Russia would have won World War II without western assistance.   This at a time when reports out or Russia highlight rising censorship of those critical of Putin and increasing state propaganda.   Russia Today often does report the truth when it benefits the Russian state.  Especially regarding U.S. and European injustices.   But Russian journalism is still substantially repressed when it comes to reporting the massive corruption and injustices in Russia itself. 

For some time now news has come out that Russian corporations and banks have been moving their money out of the west.   So, there may be some reason to believe all of this is premeditated or that Russia expects it to get much worse.   It appears plausible that Russia may be ready to challenge the U.S. global economic, political and even military authority.  Most likely not to take the place of the U.S. but rather than create a multi-polar world where Russia gets more of that good ole American home cooking.   Some view this as a positive.  In other words, a return to a multi-polar world.  So, rather than U.S. hegemon, we now have other states also seeking to dominate humanity.  And all using every form of violence at their disposal to become king of the jungle.  Are you kidding me?   Let’s get real.  State power doesn’t give a shit about you or me or humanity.  Or for polar bears or teddy bears or small kittens.  Russia (China, India, Europe, Japan and other state actors) simply covet what we have.   That is, more state power.    I have little doubt that most politicians around the world today would have supported Hitler were they to be caught up in the egomaniacal power rush of Nazi Germany.   A reason why law based on natural rights is the only true authority over humanity.   The only true authority over humanity is law that frees man from men.  And why the concept of a political class must become obsolete for humanity to evolve and thrive.  A multi-polar world simply gives state actors new reasons for being.  It gives those who serve the state new purpose.  New reasons to perpetuate violence.  More spying.  More economic violence.  More military spending at the expense of humanity.  Possibly a new cold war.  Humanity?  Well, we are the victims of any world that glorifies the state.  That includes a multi-polar world.   The answer to empire is more people power.  Not a multi-polar world controlled by more state actors.

Is it possible that Russia’s recent intents include unseating the petrodollar?  And possibly baiting the U.S. into arrogant, unmindful, primitive-ego-actions that would cause that to  happen?  Is it possible that all of this could be premeditated by Russia’s “secret government”?   Who really knows?  No one.  That is, except those handful possibly behind the curtain.   But, regardless, taking all of today’s events at face value when there is another world of state actors hidden from view is dubious.  It’s just a matter of really understanding what is going on.  And all we have are guesses.  Possibly somewhat educated or plausible ones that take into account the state’s intent.  That is, to survive and enrich itself through violence and control.  

One thing is certain, as I noted many times over the years, we will likely see more and more of these challenges to U.S. power as the empire continues to fracture.   This could have been anticipated to some degree and was predicted on here years before it started happening.  The waning U.S. empire simply doesn’t have the capacity to control everything.   The U.S. empire suffers from overreach as all empires eventually do. That is why they are encouraging South Korea, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Poland, Egypt, Georgia and other outposts for the empire to join them in armaments purchases and even new armaments production.  Japan is now on the verge of recreating a large armaments industry for the first time since its ill-fated attempt at empire.   It’s also likely why the U.S. foments so much insurrection around the world.   Not to win every situation, but to keep a lid on challenges to the empire.  The only way the U.S. can keep a lid on the world is by encouraging its satellite states to join the empire in keeping the status quo “as is” for every political class’s own self-interested benefit.   And, to use policies fomenting strife to keep state challenges and resultant rises in democracy to a controlled number. 

Pathology holds vendettas forever.  The will to win (competition) that defines pathology is fundamental to vendettas and the ego’s primitive need for revenge. (violence)  There certainly is no desire for pathology to connect to another human being and resolve issues through nonviolent shared benefit.  Or to grant someone grace for past mistakes.  Russian state power has many reasons to have a vendetta against the U.S.   That goes well beyond the collapse of the Soviet Union.  That was a very humiliating experience for any proud state actors of the Soviet control structure.  It’s almost a certainty that some of those in Soviet power are still very influential today.  Possibly, or I would say almost certainly,  working behind the scenes in Russia’s secret government.

But the revenge goes well beyond the collapse of the Soviet Union.  That includes endless efforts by the United States to surround and destabilize Russia financially, economically and militarily.  And while you will never read this in the mainstream media, it is almost a surety the U.S. and European state actors in concert with U.S. and European financial forces caused the Russian currency crisis in the late 1990s that tanked the Russian economy, decimated newly forming Russian power, sucked billions in savings out of Russia and thus created instability within the Russian populace.  And, in the process, enslaved Russia to U.S. handouts and financial control courtesy of the IMF and Wall Street.  By the way, this type of currency/financial crisis is substantially behind China’s unfolding disaster as well.  Umm, not the only country on the receiving end of that kind of economic and financial violence either.   Iceland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Iran, Iraq and on and on have all experienced this form of financial/currency violence to varying degrees by European or American state actors.  Don’t think this isn’t well understood in the halls of Russian power.  It most certainly is.  Unlike people in the west who are oblivious to it.  Russians actually lived it. 

Additionally, back in 2008 and starting again in 2013, the Russian economy started serious declines that were made more precarious due to its relatively small dollar holdings.  Something I noted in 2008 and even accurately predicted Russia’s next moves in the process.  Russian state actors are enslaved to U.S. hegemon and they certainly know it.  Russia today is on the verge of another currency crisis as the ruble hits all time lows, their equity markets are imploding and another Russian bank run is in the early phases of developing.   Russia may possibly be on the verge of another 1998-type crisis or worse.  Again, don’t think Russian state actors don’t appreciate this.   The circumstances dictate that Russian state actors do something to break this cycle of American control or watch their economy, currency and political system collapse again.  They will certainly use state violence to defend the goons and thugs who control Russia.   

Let me interject briefly here.  What does any of this have to do with humanity?  Or the betterment of the world for all people or our planet?  Hahahaha.  Diddly shit.   We are the useful idiots through whom endless state violence is perpetuated be we American, Russian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican or whatnot.   The state exists because we allow it to exist.  And, often we cheer its violence through war, economic exploitation or winning any type of nationalist game.  As inventions, supporters and beneficiaries of state violence, the military, the security apparatus, the mainstream media, corporations and the financial apparatus stokes the flames of state violence as well.   Not just in the U.S. either.   Out of this state violence comes rising nationalism, which is nothing more than a form of ego primitive tribalism that rations love for our fellow man and allows state pathology to project its violence upon innocent humanity both domestically and around the world.   More than half a dozen years ago, when we were in the throws of Pax Globalia, I wrote that we were entering a period of rising nationalism.  Does anyone doubt it is here?  The state laid the ground work for rising nationalism with its fear-based violence and control that has left people afraid, helpless and hopeless.   Unless humanity rises up and stops the pathology of the state we don’t really know where any of this ends.  But, it won’t be any outcomes that benefit humanity.  Again, entering a war cycle is something I have again talked about for a long time on here as well.  I would argue the world is already at war in many ways as I type this.  That includes economically, financially and through state security apparatuses amongst other manifestations of state violence.  

What would the Russian state recognize as the best method of accomplishing a break from this U.S. and western European control?  Or creating a dollar crisis and possibly even a euro currency crisis or a Euro-area economic crisis?  How about by mocking Obama and baiting him into making a wrong move in this game of state chess?   Which is exactly what Russian state actors are doing.  Because then Obama, the U.S. and Europe are likely to respond through primitive attempts at control.  In a primitive, control-driven state of mind, we never think clearly of our behavior’s consequences.  The Russians certainly appreciate U.S. political and military arrogance is off the charts.   Possibly without historical precedence unless we go back to the times of the Roman Empire.  And that means the U.S. is likely bait-able into arrogant, rash and impulsive control-driven decisions that have a self-harming or self-destructive effect.   But, remember something.  I noted on here a long time ago that after the fall of the Roman Empire, the world’s wealth peaked for a thousand years.  Don’t think it can’t happen again.  Not necessarily for a thousand years but my point is that the U.S. empire is far, far larger than is imagined by anything I have ever seen written or spoken of.   The U.S. empire is probably responsible for upwards of $50-60 trillion in annual global trade.  Not GDP.  Trade.  Possibly even more than that if we include indirect or second and third degree derivatives of trade.  That is not an inflated number.  I’ll hit this in greater detail and with an explanation in my upcoming series.    My point is that Russian state power too could crumble if they actually do attack American empire or the dollar.  And Russia could eventually collapse or break into even smaller pieces as a result of their own actions backfiring. 

China could never, ever pull any of this off.  That is, if Russia is actually attempting to pull anything off.  China is beholden to a mercantilist economic system reliant on American and European consumption.   They actually extend us massive loans to buy their exports.  (Treasury and European bond purchases)  (Obama wrote an op-ed some years ago stating this is the direction he wants the U.S. economy to go.  ie Mercantilist policies that are a form of state violence against other nations.  Well, and enslaves a producing nation to corporate control.)

Russian state actors may believe they could possibly survive such acts of aggression because they are energy independent, commodity rich and have some ability to produce most of what is required to survive, including food.  But, then again Russia is highly reliant on trade with China, Germany and much of Europe.  So, they have an indirect and massive exposure to U.S. empire and the status quo that empire has created.

We are going to see if this is a premeditated attempt by the Russians to clip U.S. empire as 2014 unfolds.  Because if it is, tensions, events and an emboldened Putin will likely keep pushing the U.S. and Europe.   That pushing may be calculated to get the United States and European state actors to make a mistake that cannot be put back in the bottle.  Mistakes that would create unrecoverable crises.  We already see Russia lining up new trade deals with China and Iran.  As an aside the Iranian deal is apparently a barter deal.  That’s very interesting because I have noted direct trade settlement and barter are likely where the future of trade is heading.  Not exactly a commonly predicted outcome.  But it all continues to unfold as I have anticipated for many years.  Regardless of what is going on  I think we can safely assume what is being reported in the media certainly isn’t the whole of it with state secrecy, power and violence around the world at such abominable levels.

Additionally, at some point it may be plausible that Russia make a calculated move that allows the ruble do whatever it will against the dollar or even refuse to recognize a market for dollars.  In other words, provide no direct convertibility of rubles to dollars.   Why does the ruble need to even trade against the dollar?  What does Russia buy from the U.S. other than Treasuries they are forced to buy?   Possibly, if necessary, Russia could back its currency by raw materials, petroleum or gold in some effort to prop up its value.  I suspect that effort, if undertaken, would fail completely and miserably.  And possibly lead to Russia’s permanent collapse.  But Russia isn’t a major trader with the United States and frankly we offer nothing of value for them to purchase in dollars so they may believe they can pull this off.   That’s all that matters.  Is this a calculated risk they are willing to take to get out from under American control?

By the way, that we offer nothing of value for Russia to purchase, other than dollars, is symptomatic of empire overreach and is a late state dynamic of empire collapse that has been documented very substantially by historians.    So, while all of this would be very, very painful for Russia, they may view it as an achievable goal of regaining some degree of state power at the expense of the United States.   Remember, Russian state actors are likely driven by a pathological will to win rather than worrying about the rights of their own citizens or humanity.  Do you actually see American state actors worried about the poverty, homelessness of crumbling of America?  They are living large and our fate isn’t even on their radar.  It is no different anywhere else state violence exists.    

The U.S. is in a very, very weak state and I am certain state predators in Russian and elsewhere can sense this.   Ego and arrogance keeps U.S. state actors from recognizing their own weaknesses.  While some people see the size of the U.S. military and thus would disagree with that statement, they would be wrong.  People simply will not fight endless wars on behalf of the state.  So, the U.S. military is generally there to intimidate.  To enforce the potential of state violence so that actual war is unnecessary.   This was the premise of the Soviet-U.S. balance of power for 40 years.  That is, overwhelming state force existed to ensure it military action never actually had to be used.    Wholesale use of military violence is a major sign of weakness and state policy failure.   When the state relies on overt violence to solve its issues,  they have reached the last resort.  That should tell you something about the state of permanent war that now exists in the United States.  U.S. state actors are operating from a very weakened, ego primitive state of mind that lacks criticality of thought or mindful understanding in a last ditch effort to save the empire.  I doubt they are consciously aware of this but it doesn’t make it any less true. 

Regardless, given the heightened sense of arrogance (United States), and possibly even calculated desperation of many state players (Russia and others) around the world, we should consider that the linearity of the past is out the window.  State actors are under extreme duress from their populace given the unprecedented suffering and economic crises around the world.  Suffering and crisis that state actors created.   Heightened violence (control) may be the last, best option for many players.  And fomenting foreign enemies is a favorite game for pathology.  To varying degrees, every major state actor around the world is operating at some degree of failed state status.  This may not be evident yet but it will become so.  While some states appear more stable than others, if the U.S. failed state collapses, Canada and Mexico, as just one example, will collapse with it.   Well, frankly the world will collapse with it.  

In a world where nearly every state is the some degree of terminal failure, actions of state actors today are a matter of life and death for the state.   So in order to maintain state power, any disagreement in today’s world has the  potential to become bigger and more dangerous than most are willing to consider.   I’m not stating that will happen.  But that we should open our minds to its possibility unless humanity steps in to stop this madness.

Humanity has what are really two simple choices in this cycle.   We either continue to place our faith and power in the authority of class-based state actors, and could end up with a substantial amount of humanity and the planet dead, or we continue our awakening to reality and take back our God-given personal authority from the state.  ie, We refuse to fight their wars, refuse to be subjugated to their debt and monetary enslavement, refuse to be intimidated and threatened into conformity and obedience, refuse to allow their endless destruction of our privacy and our rights, refuse to allow the continued exploitation and destruction of the human community, refuse to allow the continued destruction of the planet, refuse to support their endless devaluation of life, refuse to serve their exploitative, feudal economic system of corporate control and refuse to serve their god of mammon and exaltation of the disconnected, Godless ego underlying all of this.

posted by TimingLogic at 7:55 PM