Armageddon: our 21st-22nd century futures

where souls meet, by ~ fernando.  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. Large size:   http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/onblack.php?id=%20285550120&size=large

1. OUR XXI – XXII C. FUTURES BETS, AND BASE SCENARIO

We sell here this future: in year 2200 the Sapiens will count as much as 1.5 billion individuals, circa China today; but don’t worry: they’ll not be all Han or Chinese,

A Late Victorian paradigm on the international economy trends. Towards a (so called) “Communism”- Finance- Mafia connection, implementing the neoclassical ideal of a complete futures markets, fully securitised economy? The definitive Casino- Las Vegas- Sinatra economy.

Don’t mind current desecuritisation: look beyond it, The Economist suggests. We did, and saw a nightmare. It was an extrapolation scenario from Loretta Napoleoni’s state-of-the-art: the Rogue Economy (economia canaglia) sorting out of the shadows, mixing up with melted down shadow finance, and slowly becoming the core financial section of most capitalisms (where ends up more than 50% of the surplus value).

A global Russian future. Berlusconi [1] (his close friendship with Putin: more organic and gas based, than just personal) was just an appetizer of the finance- mafias- governments collapse into a unique Global Rentiers Class. Its internal conflicts, contradictions and divisions will continue to increase and explode locally, in local total wars, in our epoch of:

(a) KEYNESIAN AGE. Krugman is wrong (in his a-deflation view of the state of the world, namely in his Intro to the General Theory): the 1930s were only a first, minor episode and premonition. Now we are in a much deeper 21th century lock-in, that only one, two or even three HYPER-DESTRUCTIVE TOTAL GLOBAL WARS can remedy. There will be, in this century, an intrinsic global hysteresis, lock-in into deflation, depression and over-accumulation (excess capacity): see Chesnais (2008), Aglietta and Berrebi (2007) and our all-the-subcrime-science.pdf here.

(b) Empire Transition (forget the connard Negri’s view of a spaceless Empire, ignoring facts and geopolitics). Intra-rentiers contradictions will certainly explode sometimes in the next 2 centuries, engendering WWs that will bring the Sapiens very close to extinction, in the search of capitalist solutions to problem (a). A feminist-socialist solution would not risk a Sapiens’ extinction, nor reduce world population from any sustainable level below 10 bn, down to 1-2 bn in 2200: our base warfare scenario.

Let us build up the other contradiction, now weaker than ever: a class struggle offensive against the enemies of any civilisation; and carefully prepare, more patient than Penelope was, a Revolution Française against the Ancient Rentier Régime. With guillotines, of course: this time there will be much more work.

NOTE 1: The Economist and the Financial Times (the two British established world leaders in economic analysis) are 0K despising and insulting Berlusconi as he deserves, but they are too snobbish as Giovanni Agnelli was too: “who’s this parvenu ?” HE IS OUR, YOUR FUTURE: he comes from the future (perhaps with a Time Machine). Their analysis is definitely wrong, with policy implications of extreme gravity, since they underestimate (by an order of magnitude) the world risks for decency, democracy, legality, order, peace, social justice and welfare.

Imagine someone like Andreotti becoming the UN Chairman, i.e. co-chairing the world assembly, and the italo-american Mafia (not as Godfather, but his political arm) at the same time. Expect exactly this: except that new, younger financial mafias will govern the world in the 21st century. And lead us necessarily, through the ups and downs of short booms and long depressions, to a Third and even a Fourth World War.

We sell this Malthusian, Gomorra’s future: world pop. down from 8 to 4 bn in WW3, 2 bn left after WW4. Nobel price RIta Levi di Montalcini explains that our brain works exactly as if we were still hunters (nothing has really changed in a slow brain evolution); but we are definitely better equipped and can kill an ecosystem in a strike, or decide to commit collective suicide, in order to try Total War out of the computer.

PAGE UPDATES

The most activist and nice atheist oL, Nick Gisburne, counter-argues Fundamentalist Christian Apoalyptics (who, by the way, never read the original: the Qumran version) saying that we do not live in a war-intensive era. He might be right, but scenario scholars forecast an intensification of wars in the coming decades, basically for the hydrocarbures Humboldt peak trespassing.

This one is partially covered in my blog of 2 March 2008, End Times alert – are there really more wars? In essence, there are now far fewer wars than was the case in most of pre-20th century history. What has changed is the scale of war. There is no denying that it’s now far easier to kill more people, simply because the technology is more advanced. And let’s not forget that there are simply more people to kill, so obviously more people are going to die. But is that any reason to play the numbers game and use this as a sign that Jesus is about to make a comeback?

No, of course it isn’t. World War I was the biggest ever war, certainly… until World War II came along of course. But then before WWI there were other wars which were, at the time, the ‘biggest ever wars’. So shouldn’t the words of Jesus have applied to the end of the 15th century, after the Hundred Years’ War? I see no mention of it in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature at all. Surely a war which lasted 116 years was actually bigger, by some measurement, than ones which lasted for relatively short periods of time (1914-18 and 1939-45). Yet that was over 500 years ago, and the world didn’t end. Life went on. Wars went on.

a WSJ op-ed, by a frankly speaking fellow

The Challenge From China

By MARK HELPRIN
May 13, 2008; Page A17
[The Challenge From China]
AP
Beijing: Delegates from China’s military attend the annual session of the National People’s Congress.

China has a vast internal market

newly unified by modern transport

and communications; a rapidly

flowering technology; an irritable but

highly capable workforce that as long

as its standard of living improves

is unlikely to push the country into

paralyzing unrest; and a widerworld,

now freely accessible, that will buy

anything it can make.

China is threatened neither by Japan,

Russia, India, nor the Western

powers, as it was not that long ago.

It has an immense talent for the utilization

of capital, and in the free

market is as agile as a cat. (..)

As we content ourselves with the fallacy that never again shall we have

to fight large, technological opponents, China is transforming its forces

into a full-spectrum military capable of major operations and remote

power projection. (..) The China that has threatened to turn Los Angeles

to cinder is arguably more cavalier about nuclear weapons than are we,

and may find parity a stimulus to brinkmanship. Who will blink first, a

Barack Obama (who even now blinks like Betty Boop) or a Hu Jintao? (..)

In the past we have been able to outwit both more advanced industrial

economies and those floating upon seas of cheap labor – by innovating

and automating. (..) The problem is cheap labor. The solution, therefore,

is automation. (..)

In comparison with its recent history, American military potential is

restrained. Were we to allot the average of 5.7% of GNP that we devoted

annually to defense in peacetime from 1940-2000, we would have as a

matter of course $800 billion each year with which to develop and sustain

armies and fleets. During World War II we devoted up to 40% of GNP to

this, and yet the economy expanded in real terms and Americans did not

live like paupers.

The oceans have been our battlefields since the beginning; we invented

powered flight; and our automobiles still await us on the surface of the moon

– our métiers are the sea, air and space. (..)

And there we will be, if we are wise, not with 280 ships but a thousand;

not eleven carriers, or nine, but 40, not 183 F-22s, but a thousand; and so on.

That is, the levels of military potential that traditional peacetime expenditures

of GNP have provided, without strain, throughout most of our lives. As opposed

either to ignominious defeat without war, or war with a rising power

emboldened by our weakness and retirement, this would be infinitely cheaper.

Mr. Helprin, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, is the author of,

among other works, “Winter’s Tale” (Harcourt) and “A Soldier of the

Great War” (Harcourt). This piece was adapted from a speech given

at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

Brics offer investors a varied harvest

By Matthew Vincent

FT. Published: May 6 2008 05:04 | Last updated: May 6 2008 05:04

It was in November 2001 that Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill coined the term now used to describe the rapidly emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China, in the research paper “Building Better Global Economic Brics”. He argued that these four economies could make up more than 10 per cent of world gross domestic product by the end of the decade.

In just six years, the investment bank has drastically revised these predictions. Last November, it forecast that China’s economy would surpass the US’s by 2027, India would catch up with the US by 2050 and that the four nations as a group would overtake the G7 in 2032.

[Our bold above.  By adding South Africa, BRICS-5 might overtake G7 GNP circa in 2030 ]


May 1, 2008: The NationThe New Geopolitics of Energy

by MICHAEL T. KLARE

While the day-to-day focus of US military planning remains Iraq and Afghanistan, American strategists are increasingly looking beyond these two conflicts to envision the global combat environment of the emerging period–and the world they see is one where the struggle over vital resources, rather than ideology or balance-of-power politics, dominates the martial landscape. Believing that the United States must reconfigure its doctrines and forces in order to prevail in such an environment, senior officials have taken steps to enhance strategic planning and combat capabilities. Although little of this has reached the public domain, there have been a number of key indicators.

Since 2006 the Defense Department, in its annual report Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, has equated competition over resources with conflict over Taiwan as a potential spark for a US war with China. Preparation for a clash over Taiwan remains “an important driver” of China’s military modernization, the 2008 edition noted, but “analysis of China’s military acquisitions and strategic thinking suggests Beijing is also developing capabilities for use in other contingencies, such as conflict over resources.” The report went on to suggest that the Chinese are planning to enhance their capacity for “power projection” in areas that provide them with critical raw materials, especially fossil fuels, and that such efforts would pose a significant threat to America’s security interests.

On the other hand, peacefully reuniting with Taiwan sometimes in the 1st half of this century, under the constraint of some deep political reform (Putin-cracy supplies a model), would guarantee to China’s pre-Imperial power a much stricter control of the entire SE Asian decentralized industrial filières (most of them now orientated towards Taiwan), therefore a wider lead on India and a closer gap from US-NATO.

A – how will (S- I) financial surpluses change direction and sign?

CHINA AND INDIA ARE EMERGING; they will decelerate (much below their current, unsustainable 11% and 9% growth rates), face various obstacles and go through distinct growth phases along this century. Brasil, L. America and S. Africa will follow. NOT Russia and the Middle East.

Japan is in a two decades long 0 growth steady state. It will stick there for longer, gradually losing ground in home manufacturing; becoming a sort of Far Eastern Switzerland (defending a reduced manufacturing base, with ICT and radical innovations). The Tokyo-Osaka hyper-infrastructured axis is directly challenging Bangalore, Hong Kong, Shangai and Singapore now, in Asian and global KBBS markets (Knowledge and ICT Based Business Services). From 2012 on, with Next Generations Networks the Tokyo-Osaka megalopolis will defy NY-London centrality even on finance: the bet will be where the new financial boom will locate its HQs and new core employment; many emergent markets will try to take advantage from a more regulated City and Wall Street (both struggling hard against regulation, for survival). But no location is better placed and prepared than Tokyo-Osaka: it is a systemic quasi-Thatcher strategy of flying away from most manufacturing (not entirely, in this case), with very strong industrial MNCs and conglomerates (the keiretsu), a banking-finance tradition still immature in the short run. But it is a long run game: Japan\China like Switzerland\Germany (the latter, the most resilient old Europe, and by now the unique one that we may project as resilient even into the 22nd C).

US in free fall, pushing down most, but not all Europe; UK suddenly back to Feudalism (after repeated locally acute world recessions, from now on), therefore possibly subject in 2050-2100 (WW3 and postwar age?) to invasions – mass migration of armed unworking poor ethnic bands, coming by the sea: a Nemesis. London City looking like the besieged by Barbarians Magisterium HQs in Nicole Kidman’s The Golden Compass, from Philip Pullman’s novel.

EUROPE in 2100: a poor periphery, with inland satellites of slowly declining, still rich Germany and Russia, but also new and flourishing coastal Chinese and Indian colonies-enclaves (the same story as Colonialism, with inverted roles). As the Irish “celtic tiger” now, tomorrow’s Gomorra, i.e. Camorra’s Naples (as well as other Chindian colonies on coastal Europe and Africa: namely Luanda, already a Chinese Manhattan now) might become a new “creative Dublin”, in the hands of Chinese Triads, Sovereign Funds, Port Authorities, Multinationals and private capital (it’s a triadic game: State, companies and mafia). At least, they will finally halt micro-criminality! The latter is already an official request coming from the Triads to their Camorra partners (Napoleoni): “learn from the Casalesi, read more carefully Saviano, aggregate your forces, become socially responsible (as Sicilian Mafia is), give us warrants and China – in exchange – will select Campania and transform Naples’ commercial harbour into a booming industrial one, with assembly operations and logistics for the EU market” (this was reported by Il Mattino di Napoli, during the 2005 camorra war: of course disguised as an official Chinese argument, which parallels the unofficial one). But the reverse is true as well, the Gomorra-Triad connection works two ways:

a) apparently, for business as usual reasons, the Triad prefers the Casalesi to Secondigliano

b) East Asian bandits are not comig here to educate our ones: nothing to learn; it’s a matter of business models variety, Apple is not Yahoo

c) reverse learning: the complete. full and inedit social irresponsibility of Gomorra’a Campania will conquer the world. The big finance, most big governments and all the emerging mafias converge already now into a collusive Nash: to apply to the Earth Gomorra’s “Far West” (in fact, Far West was order compared to this chaos). Give them time and no opposition (where is the Left? Obama is a nice, charismatic guy of the Centre) and they will implement it to the end. The rest, if there will be any civilization left, will be eradicated by inter-capitalistic and inter-State TOTAL WARS.

Read Roberto Saviano’s Gomorra: it tells your future, nothing is Naples peculiar.

Financial centers: shifting across decades, from NY-London to Shangai-Tokio. The PRC communist dictatorship will liberally tolerate: not free Trade Unions, but only creative shadow finance (by then entirely in mafias’ hands, THE NEW RENTIERS CLASS); they will futurise and securitise the universe. In Asian top business schools, General Competitive Equilibrium economists will drink rivers of SA champagne, coming from Capetown hinterland (a mafia cadeau), since they’ll finally be able to demonstrate new theorems about a complete markets economy, and they will be realistic – for the first time ever.

Lacking any other manufacturing-services business outlet, Russian mafia also likely to excel in finance (diversifying successfully from post-modern prostitution to post-securitisation, which will induce more women and men into prostitution in subprime recessions). From Berlin they might want to move to Shangai or Tokyo, and a mafia war will follow. In case of defeat, they’ll go for a second best in Jo’burg or San Paolo – and will start from their a financial innovation competition against China-Nippon incumbent mafias. Loretta Napoleoni will receive a Nobel prize for having timely predicted all this decades before, a Cassandra prophet in the desert: never mind this was her extreme, most pessimistic scenario.

The BRICS galaxy will breakup soon, on the grounds of success or failure in the transition to an I-S deficit, from a dependency, Mezzogiorno-like S-I surplus. China is about to reduce its S-I tribute to over-indebted America. In OPEC countries this is less likely. Russia has a unique, once for all oil-gas card, but Putin’s tiranny is inadapt (compared to a consensus building democracy, especially a non myopic version) to solve the unsolvable: a demographic gap and an aversion to any interracial immigration (exc. from India, where no poor is available). The SWF geopolitical war in the 2007-08 subcrime crisis is a fortune teller: for whom is the bell ringing? For the end of the US Empire. Financial surpluses will continue to inflow for a couple of decades, but will come attached with power conditions, more and more.

B – from local total wars, to the Armagheddon?

Current future bets (est. updated 25 April 2008): 1 or 2 global, and many local TOTAL WARS

– neutral demographic transition’s asymptote (only AIDS, drought and famines, no WW): 8 billions.

– WW3 within the 2050-75 est. interval. Its timing IS THE MAIN STRATEGIC GAME and major factor of final victory, because of the high tech and financial backup runs: the later it happens, the more China will be better equipped, and might therefore attract more OPEC countries in its orbit, after Venezuela (that US will try to recapture by all means, if possible).

– Besides OPEC’s finance, India will decide the world balance of power, hence even the chances of WW3 yes or no. Historically and strategically, India has its own interests, and they never converge with hegemonic powers (Russia’s choice was a cool, defensive and tactical one, in the Cold War – namely a preventive military umbrella and insurance bill against China). Therefore it will play a peace and UN game, until possible. And try to stay neutral even during a WW3 (somehow like the US in WW1: not ready yet to build an Empire on its own). Both NATO and China will try hard, ever and ever, to get its tactical support (knowing they’ll never get a strategic one). India’s problem is the SE Asia regional integration, whose leadership moves necessarily from Tokyo-Seoul towards Beijing. India’s strategic mission is to build up its own supply chains; problem is: where? diffuse everywhere, from Australia to UK is good in times of peace, not of war. NATO countries and multinationals have the same problem, except that it is an Empire decline, not an Empire building one. India plays of course a longer game than China: on a demographic base.

– WW3 will start after a decade or more (around 2050, a sort of magical “sorpasso” deadline) of continuous and ever more challenging attempts by NATO to provoke China beforehand. The cut of ferrous minerals supply from Australia, abatement of Chinese telecom satellites and even a NATO invasion of Tibet (only under India’s neutrality, and after calculating the risk of pushing India on enemy’s side) are much likely during an escalation phase. They are already preparing the latter, through counter-information, human rights and Tibet nationalism infiltration. By the time, the new Dalai Lama will stand with China, but Tibetans might split between Buddhists and Separatists. Under a patient, strong and Confucian leadership, China will gain time and alliances, carefully avoiding NATO’s traps, one after another. The web4 (or 5) will be a major total war battlefield, in order to gain public opinion and disseminate counter-information (wikipedia will fork). In this escalation decade scenario, US-EU multinationals will try hard to relocate out of China and the SE.

– WW3 might start after a UN reproach of the last NATO provocation (Serajevo 1914, Dantzig 1939). It will be the paradigmatic biochemical\global\ICT\laser\nanotech\nuclear\robotised\satellite total war, reality much beyond today’s horror+sci. fi. Our average guess: 4 bn total and 3.9 bn civilian deaths; world population down 50% from 8 to 4 bn. After that, Auschwitz will be remembered as the good, old times: as in Benigni’s film “La vita è bella”.

– Golden Age growth will follow, pushed by reconstruction (iff WW3 in 2060-65, then in 2065-90, e.g.). The powerful military R&D machine will be partially converted into the complex recovering from a “bio-nano tech and nuclear” pollution disaster: unknown effects, difficult to detect and clean joint pollution everywhere incl. food chains, no safe heaven; 1000 Tchernobyl plus bio-nano monsters walking around. An unmitigated global heat (all the coastal cities and their infrastructures under sea levels: see OECD forecasts) might eventually be timely, when all the harbour cities will be at Ground 0: reconstruction miles away much easier, in such a “lucky” case! (OECD shows that this is essentially a problem all over Asia and in the US)

WWs come in couple? Yes, perhaps: in the 20th C it is a strategic game in two times, Action and Reaction (no dialectics). Why? There are two superimposed games: an intra-EU one (Austrian Empire – Germany against France-GB) and a global one: who substitutes for the dead Victorian Empire? (3 candidates: Germany, US and Japan; Russia a wild card). The managerial-manufacturing-R&D-social machine gives a slight potential lead to the US, the most reluctant player exactly for this reason (more to lose): it moves from Periphery to Centre in WW1; then it faces directly the global rivals (unwillingly doing the dirty job, helping the US to push off Churchill & the Queen, the Incumbent), and wins the second game.

– LESSON form coupling: IFF China wins the 1st round, all the interest to capitalize in a 2nd round. But if it looses, it will want to try again after 2 or 3 decades. Who’s Germany and who’s the US, between India and China? Depending from who wins WW3, the “coupling principle” might not repeat an old pattern:

a) NATO lost? then a China-India rivalry will quickly develop, at the centre of the 2100 Asian Empire (a sort of hydraulic principle, well known in geopolitics: water goes where there is an empty space to be filled).

b) NATO won? China, as Germany a century before, will resurrect soon and strike back: WW4 more likely and sooner in such a case (even before 2100).

War fronts diverge in the two scenarios: a new intra-Chindia rivalry; or old East vs West a 2nd time. It’s so complicated, that there is room even for a WW5, except for a survival constraint (8 bn down to 4, then 2, then 1 bn Sapiens surviving).

There is a significant (although impossible to quantify) Prob. of no Sapiens surviving, but life still on in many damaged, polluted ecosystems, if there will be any WW3-WW4 coupling whatsoever in the coming 2 centuries. Let us say that after WW3 (as we already understood after WW2, taking weak counter-measures like the Bonn-Paris axis of the EU, and the Nuclear control treaty – India and Israel are out of it, perhaps Iran soon; did Pakistan sign?), we definitely enter an “End of History” age; and it is not Heavenlike, as the Moderns thought, by secularising silly religious myths (Hegel, Marx, Fukuyama).

Just 2 centuries before the FINAL BELL RINGS? The Armageddon and Apocalypse? Che Guevara was such a generous but very stupid guy, he never understood anything: his cheap, illiterate Utopia was selling a Homo Novus the day before … (I learned a lot on this issue by my suocero, the unforgettable Nonno Ercole).

On the contrary, two centuries before an endogeous puncuated equiibrium catastrophé menacing the species, is definitely too short a time span for any counter-balancing, preventive cultural shift (e.g. a New Millenarist Religion, inducing people to behave theirselves – we lost the 2000 chance). Namely, what is needed (but impossible) is a feminist-green-indigenous cultural change, affecting the inner core of civilizations, in such a way as to dismantle the war, military component of the “itch” to colonise ecosystems and the Earth! (Fernàndez Armesto, Civilizations) The process has started, and we cannot stop its causes: TOO LATE. Eventually, we might stop the effects with: a) anti-rentiers very strong alliances (Peace Leagues); b) a safer way (cut all the heads, no rentier still alive nor his children and granchildren; no legacy to relatives), would be an improbable International Diffusion of Anti-Capitalist Revolutions (Communism no. 2, the Revenge).

Why too late to act on causes (which implies that even after a revolution, all things will be back soon – cfr. René Girard)? RIta Levi di Montalcini explains that our brain works exactly as if we were still hunters (nothing has changed in its much slower evolution, that might require a few million years); but we are better equipped and can kill an ecosystem, and\or commit collective suicide.

In the (exp. Prob. it happens before 2200: in a 16,6%-33% range) case of a Sapiens’ extinction, another Primate is likely, sooner or later, to evolve through coastal fishing across Ice Ages, and Capetown’s unique ecosystem will still be a good location for that film. Therefore, Gaia’s freedom from a one-species monopoly will be at risk again: we expect it will last only a few million years. We rely here on the Malthus-Schumpeter constraints of long and repeated Ice Ages, as a Darwinian incentive to a Primates evolution; only if Primates had to fail, it will take much longer; as a limit case, there will be no second Earth anthropisation (incl. one from outside the Solar System), before the Sun implodes.

Independently of our “veil of ignorance” and uncertainty upon WWs, a base scenario for the early 22th C is: a carbon-free Earth, with a renewable energy “killer application”(invented sometimes around 2050). Oceans level at steady state, likely 1m up from now. Biodiversity might flourish and take new paths in a cleaner and warmer planet, subject to two constraints: a) peace and war techno-pollution; b) in a longer perspective, a globally biodiversity-reducing Ice Age (3000+ ?) is behind the corner. As far as we know, it’d be accelerated by a decrease of mass agriculture (for whatever catastrophic reason). A continuity of agriculture and civilizations: retards the Ice Age, buys time and allows for R&D on adaptation to a long and hard Ice Age, in the coming millennia (mitigation techniques now unknown, but “tomorrow is another day”).

7 plagues, before mankind extinction or salvation? Bible a more reliable source than Fukuyama’s over-optimism? No, but extreme climate change is a major challenge, requiring a complex global, cross-civilizations coordination Nash-equilibrium (Ignazio Musu). Not evident that technical change will be available in time, and freely disposable (under current monopolistic IPR régimes), in order to deal with being grilled and frozen afterwards: heat and drought, then an Ice Age; both provoking crises and wars, epidemics and famines; a disruption of that social capital, solidarity required by a global and decentralised Nash for GCC management.

D – POLICY IMPLICATION 1. How to avoid all this ArmageddoNightmare, and increase the chance of Sapiens survival, welfare, even happiness in 2100 or 2200? Only by class struggle and TRUE peace mobilitation (breaking with past dependence from Russia, that made pacifists a mass of “utili idioti”, instrumental useful idiots).

Key policy issues follow from our analyses: if you don’t know your enemy, you might work for him unwilingly; e.g., if you go to cry against the Olympic flame, and a Triad or a secret service didn’t pay you for that, as a provocator. Not even for the right causes, that would make less happy MNCs, rentiers and their media. Talking China:

a) 0.8 bn hungry, poor and over-taxed peasants (as we saw, they were much better off in the Qing era; the autors of the samizdat on paesants’ revolts, explain that when the Communist bosses told the peasants to remember their gloomy capitalist past, in fact their mind went back to the hardest time for generations, Mao’s artifical famine and democide in the Great Leap Forward – some dozen millions people killed for the Emperor’s sadic joy).

b) An almost enslaved labour force, supporting on his shoulders the world low-cost bribery system.

c) Innocent, unguilty citizens enslaved and daily brain-washed in the LAOGAIS: the 3rd millennium museum of horrors: vergogna! ashame! vergogna! ashame! vergogna! ashame! … vergogna! ashame! 1 trillion times. There was much more humanity indeed in Nazism.

If we were human beings (we are not), not a single container would enter the Chinese-managed Euroports, until the last Laogai prisoner is free.

d) The Fascist – by Political Economy and Marxist scientific definition: a wages deflating, Trade Unions forbidding and workers oppressing managerial and military régime – PRC betrays his patriotic origins: defending the Chinese peasantry from Nippon Imperialism.

E – POLICY IMPLICATION 2. Why Socialism must be feminist.

Truth is: Jesus Christ might actually descend form the Olympus. But she will be a woman: a Madonna, a Minerva. OUR MATERNAL SOPHIA, KNOWLEDGE-IN-LOVE (refer to Russian Sophiology).

And might say: “Boys, i warned you so many times, first I told Louis XVI not being so silly. He was.

Then, during your first massacre I sent a message about Russia in Fatima, but the Popes didn’t care a nickel, only Putin got it. Even the good intentioned JP2 misunderstood: of course he could not be the “white dressed man with the Cross”, it was me deviating the bullet! You silly boys …

In Metzugorje I gave all the details, it was your final chance before the Armageddon: but with less than a week time alert, you had no chance to escape my fed up son’s vengeance. You know how are Jewish people when they lose patience … So, here I am, your Jewish Mother. Frankly, now tell me: do you think you really deserve my help? Really? Come on, be sincere to your Mother, it’s your last chance! DId you deserve me to shield you from the implacable, Biblical God of Justice and fair remuneration? Did you? Please tell me”.

And when a Jewish Mother is judging you, you have little chance… Here is the only way to convince the Madonna-Minerva (Goddess of science and knowledge) – a chance now betted 4:1, a 20% exp. Prob. True, genuine, pure feminism is the only safety net, but not the career woman one à la Hillary. Because, as the Sussex school predicts, this is our only chance to dismantle the core Sapiens-self-destruction mechanism (Lesson 4 below): make S&T an innocent and maternal game, not a war and childish game. IFF (IF AND ONLY IF) a consistent minority of mankind and womankind will take this option and engage in it until the last energy, last breath (cfr. all the Apocalypses), THEN the Madonna-Minerva might extend to some of us, the left over, her mighty shield.

Back to her roots: Hillary Clinton among the women of Scranton, Pa.

Hillary Clinton among the women of Scranton, Pa

By Dan Videtich. Source: from The Telegraph 080421, Camille Paglia: Why women shouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

2. OUR KNOWLEDGE BASE: 10 LITTLE LESSONS FROM HISTORY

1. LONG WAVES AXIOM. Let us go beyond one Author or another (Kondratiev, Schumpeter, Perez; Braudel, Wallerstein, Fernandez Armesto), and let us generalize their analyses in an Eclectic Axiom:

“We live into, and move across a great variety of Long “Peace” (in fact, Many Small Wars) versus One Big War, Civilisations, science and technology, resources accumulation and International Finance Waves.”

AXIOM NOTE: Let us consider SR cycles spectral analysis, and assume that a similar pattern might be found even in the range of over-century to under-century very long cycles: no reason to spouse a single theorem\author reductionism, and (often wrongly) predict that some or most long waves will sing the same song, all’unisono. (E.g., Chesnais and Perez make different assumptions on subcrime crisis LR roots, by focussing upon different variables and LWs, as we discuss in our page and pdf: All the subcrime science)

2. For many analytical reasons, it’s the latter long wave pattern that matter most: the International Trade and Finance one. Although Lesson 3 will argue against a PURELY ECONOMIC-FINANCIAL THEORY OF IMPERIALISM (on Marx – Hilferding – Lenin – Chesnais lines). Within a given régime (lasting just one or sometimes more centuries): where saving surpluses come from? where saving surpluses go to? And, at régime transition: how do the above International Finance flows change of origin\destination?

3. Where saving surpluses come from? From the richest Empire countryside and peripheries (i granai e le miniere d’oro spagnole di Roma), artificially retrograded into under-development (colonialism, artificial and induced famines: O’Rourke).

A LEMMA follows: from the observation and extrapolation of changing S-I surpluses, you bet upon future local wars and WW Winners.

But you will not always win the bet, since the military supremacy outcome is subject to many caveat and conditions: time required in order to leapfrog (Luc Soete) and gain an international lead; success chance: the fact that you become a net investor (a candidate Empire) doesn’t imply you will actually succeed. Since in the military technology BLACK BOX it is just a necessary, and not a sufficient condition to pour a lot of money (monetary capital, in capitalist ages) and highly educated, equipped and trained labour. It also depends a lot, often decisively from factors related to culture and technology supply-side: and we know little about how demand pull (pouring L and M, K) and technology push do interact in the very long run, across centuries and civilizations (for the short run, Mowery-Rosenberg and Dosi’s paradigms settled the issue in the early 1980s).

4. Where incoming saving surpluses become investment surpluses, and to do what? They are always (more regularly since from post-1500 inter-European colonialist rivalries: Carlo Cipolla), and maniacally absorbed by a paranoid search for a further and further, as fast as possible advance of the military technology frontier in the Centre. A friend of ours, an important, but too much truth-teller, therefore academically persecuted Sussex historian of science has correctly identified this crazy logic as a Male Principle, Totem emanation: S&T as a male organ branded against the Enemy. He has traced back this simbolism in all the Western S&T tradition and self-representation. Until the Manhattan project established the nuclear and, indirecty as a byproduct (semiconductors) the ICT US masculine supremacy, versus emasculated rivals.

5. The centers after 1000 AC were: China until 1433 (end of the Great Eunuch Adm. Zhen’s expeditions), European rivalry (cleverly studied by Braudel), Great Britain, US, and now Asian rivalry times. Then, in the 22th C. it will be either China or India (an aut aut at the border of species extinction, given the new techniques available for total war). It follows that, at least in principle, at current expectations:

– WW3 will be fought between NATO and China-Russia postcom front; the latter might win (but not in a majority of scenarios: an uncertainty veil rules on this, and might affect strategies – Rawls); Middle East and OPEC “FInancial Capital” (Chesnais: entitlements, property rights on weapons manufacturing capabilities) will decide the balance of power, the sooner WW3 will explode (oil stocks still valuable).

– Conditional upon WW3 scenarios, it is likely that, sometimes in the 22nd century:

– WW4 will be between China VS India world alliances (by the time, Russia will be colonised, marginal and perhaps absent from political maps; St. Putin Christian orthodox cult forbidden but still ongoing).

6. IRON CURTAINS MOVE, DON’T DISAPPEAR: Nelson Mandela was not liberated, few weeks after the Berlin Wall fall, because of an end, but because of a spatial shift in the Cold War (contemporary history books need some reediting). We have never been in a world peace equilibrium, after WW2: from Korea to now, there is a moving geopolitical map of contemporary local wars in dozens (see the maps in Le Monde Diplomatique). Feeding the ALWAYS, EVER GLOBAL MOONLIGHT ECONOMY: arms, drugs, finance heavens, ICT strategic rivalry, illegal capital flows, induced basic needs dissatisfaction, mafias & secret services, military ICT, prostitution, shadow finance, slavery; the capitalist or States’ uses of climate, Tsunamis and Terrorisms (L. Napoleoni, corrected for an understatement of State power).

7. The Late Victorian British Empire is the right place in history, where to study current international macro-economic trends, the decline of the US-lead North Atlantic Empire, Civilization (F Felipe Armesto,Civilizations) and NATO imperialist army. Now reorienting against the new tripolar enemy: Al Qaeda, China, and Russia back again in the target (a look also to Latin America, a possible fourth pole). Now, what Marcello De Cecco, Mike Davis and other scholars of British Empire late glory and decline, do teach us?

8. An Empire in decline is a fury of devastation, artificial famines (Late Victorian democides in China, India ad NE Brasil: 50 millions were peacefully killed for Queen Victoria’s sake), and total wars (opium wars, mass rapes). It badly needs all that, for prolonging the decline (Davis), and still dominates the global scene, by channelling world S-I Keynesian surpluses (De Cecco).

9. Peace risks of two different kinds come from a Late Imperialism.

PHASE 1. Local peaceful massacres (by artificial famines and related epidemics: in the 21th C they will kill some hundred million people, anything up to 1 billion) and total wars, at hegemonic Empire decline times.

PHASE 2. A likely and almost unavoidable WW, when the time comes to pass over the world Empire crown (from a British Queen to a US President: who’s next? WW3 will tell, but you guess it beforehand from S-I changing disequilibria: pay attention when current Late American trends will reverse their sign). The next, will be the Global Holocaust likely to anticipate Global Climate Change and related catastrophes, in the assigned by Destiny task of eradicating forever the Sapiens from Gaia, this planet (likely to be the uninvited third, but finally winning party).

10. 0PEN B0X. Please suggest, through Comments, any important, missing Lesson that might fit here.

AN ANNOTATED, ESSENTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

We talk essentially of History here, incl. Cultural History, Economic, Science and Technology ones; and some Ecology, Geographies on the background (Fernàndez Armesto, Civilizations; and: Food).
First of all, the Eurocentric bias is over, and forever; Braudel’s (the last Eurocentric) fortune evaporates also because of that (Arcangeli 2007, ch.1). A turning point was Needham’s re-discovery of China’s S&T autonomy: a collection of facts, against prejudices. Anti-China prejudices, still diffused in the North-Atlantic Civilization cultures, were a counter-information investment of Late Victorian Empire’s science and literature. Such a Mandarine bureaucratic, decadent, dispotic and inefficient Empire! Even a fake “Oriental Dispotism” school of historiography was readily built up in Europe, in order to make a Hypostasis of the Late Victorian Theology. Mike Davis tells us the truth: it was such an efficient and human-friendly Empire, until it started to weaken, and Colonialist Wolves came in mass to make it collapse. They did this, sending some dozen million people to starvation and death, on purpose: in order to answer the 1850s FAQ posed by Marx in a NY newspaper.
Now it’s Australia-California gold mania, driving the world boom. But what’s next?
How will they command and force a self-sufficient Chinese peasant,
to go to the market, make debts and become a potential slave?
Answer was: cultivate opium in Begali, and trade it illegally in mainland China; more in Davis: the architecture of the dying Empire had a bastion in a deindustrialised, desertified India, which sub-exploited China in order to support the burden of Victorian Debt. Clinton, Bush and the next President cut the wealth supply chain; they deal directly with Hu Jintao.
Second, there is a methodological side, worth noting, of new ways to look at historical facts. There is much in common between post-ideological History and other disciplines. It’s our hyper-modern Zeitgeist: it will change ever and ever (while Eurocentrism is dead, perhaps Asiacentrism will arise).
Time, from philosophy to thermodynamics (the entropy laws as analysed by N. Georgescu Roegen, but now redefined by I. Prigogine), is no more assumed as shaped in any linear and progressive form. Classic and amended entropy matter: according to both, no final absorption state for any open system, so what’s Fukuyama’s idiot end of history about? (in their oil-democracy? no, thanks!). Our end of history is better, and purely neo-Darwinian. The fitter …
Time has come for a non-linear and complex History, interacting with similar approaches in Humanities and social sciences (complexity; cognitivism; extended neo-Darwinism); and even with the hard-natural science paradigms still adopted and adapted (neo-Darwinism, Heisenberg’s subjectivity, Pluriverse), or in decline for their weaknesses (1980s catastrophè and self-organisation: but we’ll not throw out Thom’s and Prigogine’s babies, with their messed up waters. Baby names are “point of catastrophè” and the notion of “emergence” – e.g., see Kauffman self-catalytic systems rewording of Prigogine, in chemistry and biology).

MUST READINGS (to be added: the unnamed Brighton scholar)

Suggested complementary subsets from the list below: Arcangeli and Needham on cultural history; de Cecco, Findlay and 0′ Rourke on economic history; Davis, de Cecco and 0’Grada on the late Victorian precedent of an Empire’s decay; Fernàndez Armesto, Findlay – 0′ Rourke and Helprin on empires, wars and world history; Chiesa, Napoleoni and Saviano on the rough-and-rogue economy; Davis, Needham and Pomeranz on China.

i. Alessandro Arcangeli (2007), Che cos’è la storia culturale. Roma: Carocci, 96 pp.

We mentioned, in point 3 above, the relevance and counter-intuitive (anti-deterministic, anti-materialistic) effect of cultures on Civilizations’ rivalry and success: this is a textbook about the novel approach of historians and related disciplines (e.g. ethnology) to culture, in a spirit of cooperation between history and social sciences (Burke 2006). The foundations of our argument require such a survey, plus something else: falsifying Max Weber’s Calvinism – Capitalism association; but all the contemporary historic research is against such a close connection, so it’s obvious by now. This does not diminish Max as a pioneer, on the contrary. Every country had its own peculiar ethic, religion and capitalism coupling in the 2nd millennium (e.g. Indian examples in Fernandez Armesto’s Millennium; and Lambert 2007).

ii. Giulietto Chiesa (2000), Russia addio [in Chinese]. Beijing: New China editions.

iii. Mike Davis (2001), Late Victorian Holocausts, El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World. London: Verso. (French ed. 2003. Paris: La Découverte)

Just an excerpt. In defence of Qing dinasty’s golden age, until the mid-19th C.:

“On imagine mal Louis XVI passant ses soirées à examiner à la loupe les moindres détails du mouvement des prix des céréales à Limoges ou en Auvergne. Or, un tel effort eût peut-être fini par contribuer à le sauver de la guillotine.
De même, on voit mal un monarque européen se plonger dans toutes les subtilités techniques des travaux d’infrastructure hydraulique ..” (French ed., p. 309)

Even though the last passage might unvoluntarily echo hydraulic dispotism (a colonialist, eurocentric, fake and misleading paradigm). Read and analyze, discuss it together with:

iv. Marcello De Cecco (1984), The International Gold Standard: Money and Empire. New York.

The classic text on the international economy of the British Empire. Read it together with Davis.

v. Felipe Fernàndez Armesto (2007). The World. A Brief History. Prentice Hall.

vi. R. Findlay and K. O’ Rourke (2007), Power and Plenty. Trade, war, and the world economy in the second millennium. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

vii. Mark Helprin: The challenge from China – a WSJ op-ed, may 2008 (quoted abov, in: updates)

viii. Loretta Napoleoni (2008), Rogue Economics. Seven Stories Press (ed. it. 2008, L’economia canaglia. Milano il Saggiatore)

We already introduce the book in our page on “All the subcrime science”, here on the right column. Let us now add some friendly debate, since she’s the economist we most like to read. And this discussion affects scenarios. We agree with most of her informative, unique frontier research on the dark side of capitalisms in a new age of globalisation: we would be happy to count Loretta among de(e)pre(ce)ssion co-Authors. There is a minor problem of interpretation, undermining a neat proposition within her research paradigm. The one arguing that the States “fully (?) retired” from the economy (even in such a case, they are now coming back to socialize the subcrime losses). It is a good metaphor against Chicago-Reaganism: but sometimes it fits evidence, sometimes not.

Take, e.g., the USSR destruction and compare her analysis with other sources (namely Giulietto Chiesa’s cahier de doléances): truth must be somewhere in-between. The US Govt. (assisted by some bastard, criminal economists – we know the names they paid through Washington consensus institutes) decided: a) a quasi-democide, b) the mass prostitution of the most liberated women in the world, and c) a Zero Ground de-industrialisation. In order to be: d) 100% sure no Mil.-Ind. Complex was left at all, at mass immiserisation process end. It was like fishing in a small pond with a tactical nuclear bomb. This is a case of a Leviathan, a SuperState in action, trying hard to destroy the Other, the Mirror one with finance-and-mafia mass destruction weapons. We know the end: hunger, then SuperMan Putin. Where are free markets in this story? The State does not retire here, but it colludes with banditism, à la Kissinger and all’italiana: Machiavelli.

Loretta is precise, impitoyable in the consequences: there are ontological and irreversible changes here, nothing will be as it was before. Historians might find tomorrow that from the “good” (Berlin’s wall fall) the most evil sorted out. Shadow and core capitalisms started becoming completely blurred, no distinction and wall any more. Other walls fell as well, together with the one in bricks and Pink Floyd’s notes.

We learned it from this book: as you see, this was one of the axis, a spine in the skeleton of our gloomy scenarios. With sincere intellectual modesty, and a spirit of total dedication to a Feminist-Marxist cause of protecting the Sapiens from over-exploitation and extinction, we suggest a mutual, reasonable convergence of Loretta’s globalisation demistification, with our Late Victorian paradigm.

ix. John Needham – all his works, and the series on Chinese S&T he co-edited

x. Kenneth Pomeranz (2000), The Great Divergence. China, Europe and the making of the modern world economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (tr. it. 2004. Bologna: il Mulino)

xi. C. O’Grada (2007), Making famine history. Journal of Economic Literature, 45: 5-38.

xii. Roberto Saviano (2007), Gomorra.

MORE FOOD 4 THOUGHT

G. Arrighi
F. Braudel
P. Burke (2004, 2006), La storia culturale. Bologna: il Mulino.
Giulietto Chiesa e Marcello Villari (2003), Superclan: chi comanda l’economia mondiale? Milano : Feltrinelli
C. Cipolla, Vele e cannoni
G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Milles Plateaux.
G. Dosi
F. Fernàndez Armesto: all his recent works, no one excluded
D. Harvey
D. Harvey
R. Hilferding
S. Kauffman
S. Kauffman
Yves Lambert (2007), La naissance des religions. De la préhistoire aux religions universalistes. Paris: Armand Colin.
V.I. Lenin, L’imperialismo, fase suprema del capitalismo.
Lu Aiguo (2000) China and the Global Economy Since 1840. Helsinki.
K. Marx,
Filippo Mignini ed. (2003), Padre Matteo Ricci. L’Europa alla corte dei Ming. Milano: Mazzotta.
Enzo Modugno (2008), 11/9 e warfare: il capolavoro di Bush. In: Giulietto Chiesa and Roberto Vigoli eds., Zero. Piemme [1]
J. Needham ed.
C. O’ Grada (2007), Famine: A Short History. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
J.A. Schumpeter
Eric Sheppard
M. Watts (1983), Silent Violence: Food, Famine and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria. Berkeley.
NOTES
[1] From Giulietta Chiesa’s introduction, a convergence with our Late Victorian paradigm:
Enzo Modugno ci mostra questo aspetto …: un’America in recessione, che si rilancia con la guerra, che ha bisogno della guerra per … estendere il suo potere imperiale. Un’America che fa le guerre non per vincerle ma per prosperare. Un’America il cui “ponte di comando” già vede il pericolo del declino e vi si contrappone con tutti i mezzi a propria disposizione … Un’America che ha scelto di essere l’unico
vero centro del potere, e vuole imporsi come tale, proprio mentre altri giganti alzano o rialzano la testa e vi si contrappongono caparbiamente, in attesa di divenire essi i più forti. (…) Se accade che non si possano più rastrellare due miliardi di dollari al giorno dai mercati mondia-
li, per ripianare il debito statunitense
; se accade cioè che il tenore di vita del popolo americano (…), allora non resta che il warfare, da applicare con la più grande determinazione (…).
«Ogni dieci anni, all’incirca, gli Stati Uniti devono prendere per la
gola qualche piccolo riottoso paese e scaraventarlo contro un
muro, così, tanto per mostrare al mondo ciò che noi intendia-
mo per affari 10.» L’autore di queste righe è il professor Michael Ledeen, uno dei fondatori del Progetto per il Nuovo Secolo Americano, stretto collaboratore di Richard Perle, … intimo di Paul Wolfowitz e di Donald Rumsfeld. Queste parole costituiscono, in certo qual senso, un
ritratto di gruppo. Ma queste sono cose che non si possono fa-
re dichiarandole al mondo come tali.
note 10 in the quotation: Michael Ledeen citato da Ervand Abrahamian in Empire Strikes Back: Iran in US Sights, Inventing the Axis of Evil, The New Press, New York 2004, p. 93 (trad. it., Inventare l’asse del male. La verità su Iran, Siria e Corea del Nord, Nuovi Mondi Media, 2005).
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Published on April 25, 2008 at 10:30 pm  Comments (3)  

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