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The IMF shows us that the central bank monetary financing taboo has no substance

Recently (February 22, 2022), I received the latest E-mail update from the IMF blog advertising their new post – Should Monetary Finance Remain Taboo? – which obviously attracted my attention. One of the most deeply entrenched taboos in economics relates to central banks directly facilitating government spending without any other monetary operation. In an important sense, the characterisation of ‘monetary financing’ by the mainstream economists is erroneous and leads to all sorts of fictions that undermine sensible and responsible economic policy making. But, we can work through those fictions to discuss what the IMF is talking about. Importantly, they find that this taboo, which has been broken during the pandemic in many countries (although Japan has been leading the way for decades) does not lead to enduring inflation or a rise in inflationary expectations. Another major plank of mainstream macroeconomics gone. That is something to celebrate.

The opening lines in Chapter 17 of my 2015 book – Eurozone Dystopia: Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale (published May 2015) – were:

Taboo

noun

… a social or religious custom prohibiting or forbidding discussion of a particular practice or forbidding association with a particular person, place or thing.

adjective

… prohibited or restricted by social custom.

verb

… place under prohibition.

[Oxford Dictionary]

Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank

“we have to ensure that the prohibition of monetary financing is respected.”

Interview with MNI, March 21, 2014.

The Chapter was about ‘overt monetary financing’ and I began by noting that while taboos in western society are ways to reinforce the status quo and resist change, they also, obviously function to allow dominant hegemonies to isolate options if they consider exercising them would undermine their capacity to maintain ideological control over public policy.

I asked: How can a relatively simple monetary operation between a central bank and its corresponding treasury department (both part of what we call the ‘consolidated’ government sector) possibly be considered a taboo?

‘Overt Monetary Financing’ (OMF) simply means that in some form or another, the treasury arm of government tells the central bank it wants to spend a particular amount and the latter then ensures those funds are available for use in the government’s bank account.

Various accounting arrangements might accompany that action. For example, the treasury might sell some government bonds to the central bank to match the value of the funds that are placed in the treasury’s bank account.

None of these accounting arrangements should cloud, in the words of former Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann – during a Speech in Frankfurt – Money Creation and Responsibility – on September 28, 2012, that:

… the fact that central banks can create money out of thin air … many observers are likely to find surprising and strange, perhaps mystical and dreamlike, too – or even nightmarish.

That is, the currency-issuing government via its central bank can create as much of its currency as it likes but to do so has been considered taboo by economists.

Why?

Inflation anxiety is the stated reason.

Actual reason?

The elites want to reserve that capacity to advance their own interests and suppress the capacity when it might empower those below them in the pecking order.

Well the events since the GFC, accelerated by the pandemic are exposing all sorts of truths that taboos require to remain suppressed.

IMF talks about taboos

The IMF article define “monetary financing” as:

… the financing of government via money creation.

They relate it to “Milton Friedman’s metaphor of a helicopter dropping money from the sky” – or cruder characterisations which still abound today = ‘printing money’.

The term ‘printing money’ is not used in Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) because it is not descriptive of the actual process that underpins government spending.

The term also invokes irrational emotional responses about hyperinflation with the Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe immediately entering the conversation and reasoned debate then becomes impossible.

The IMFs depiction of ‘monetary financing’ is drawn from the erroneous mainstream macroeconomic framework for analysing the so-called ‘financing’ choices faced by a government – taxation, debt-issuance, and money printing.

This choice is analysed within the so-called ‘government budget constraint’, where the currency-issuer is reduced to a household facing the need to raise currency in order to spend.

You can see even at the most elemental level, the framework quickly enters the world of fiction.

Students in mainstream programs are told that in order to spend, the government has to raise funds from taxpayers (which allegedly undermines incentives to work and invest).

If they want to spend more than the tax revenue they can raise, then they have two options.

They can issue debt – which allegedly squeezes scarce savings in the loans markets, drives up the cost of borrowing (interest rates), which undermines (‘crowds out’) private investment spending. It also allegedly leaves a legacy of higher tax burdens for future generations.

So debt-issuance is discouraged.

Alternatively, the central bank can just ‘print money’ to cover the deficits. But this is taboo because allegedly too much money enters the system, which undermines its value (inflation).

Taken these negatives together, the mainstream economist is thus persuaded to advocate for small fiscal footprints where low taxation generates just enough revenue to cover essential government functions such as law and order and defence of property rights (including external borders) and the government achieves fiscal balance or surplus.

However, these depictions are fiction and designed to reinforce the ideological message – small government and (the unstated) fiscal handouts only to the elites.

The reality is that every day, new currency enters the economy via government spending and currency leaves the system via taxation.

The idea that the government spends out of different kitties (tax, debt, printing) is false and obfuscates the reality.

In a sense, ‘monetary financing’ is happening all the time anyway.

But we can advance the discussion by agreeing that what the IMF is referring to, while erroneously constructed by them, is the situation where the central bank arm of government credits bank accounts or sends out cheques on behalf of the treasury arm of government to match government expenditure, without there being any offsetting tax revenue raised or debt issued to the private bond markets.

The IMF also thinks that the taboo against that practice began in the 1970s:

The 1970s struggle to contain inflation, and the many catastrophic episodes during which monetary policy became hostage to a country’s fiscal needs, however, made monetary finance taboo.

In fact, Abba Lerner in the 1940s was keenly aware that the conservative economists considered the ‘printing money’ option to be taboo.

In his 1943 article – Functional Finance and the Federal Debt (published in Social Research, Vol 10(1), 38-51), he referred to the:

… almost instinctive revulsion that we have to the idea of printing money, and the tendency to identify it with inflation, can be overcome if we calm ourselves and take note that this printing does not affect the amount of money spent (p.41).

He had earlier said that common people are (p.38):

… easily frightened by fairly tales of terrible consequences …

The money financing taboo was used to elevate the sense of fright in order to prevent otherwise sensible ideas becoming politically acceptable and benefiting the broader population.

The IMF also claim that the taboo was useful because it allowed the central banks to operate independently from government and suppress inflation in the post-1970s period.

That claim is also false.

The OPEC-induced inflation was finally driven out of the system by the deep recession in 1991 rather than any specific conduct by the central banks.

Around the globe, different central banks embraced the ‘inflation-first’ targetting approach in very different ways and experienced broadly similar inflation outcomes.

Further, the so-called great moderation came after the 1991 recession and by then inflation was generally low and stable.

And, whenever you hear a mainstream economist preach the virtues of ‘central bank independence’ ask them what happens each day of the working week where treasury and central bankers work closely together to ensure there is a correspondence between the impacts of fiscal policy on the ‘cash’ system and the implications for the monetary policy interest rate target.

There can be no ‘independence’ between these institutions in a modern monetary economy.

Please read my blog posts for more discussion on that topic:

1. The central bank independence myth continues (March 2, 2020).

2. The sham of central bank independence (December 23, 2014).

3. Central bank independence – another faux agenda (May 26, 2010).

The IMF blog post asks the questions:

Should monetary finance remain taboo? Or are there merits to recent calls for using this tool during times of severe crises?

If you want a more detailed analysis of their answers, then consult the IMF Departmental Paper No. 2022/001 – Monetary Finance: Do Not Touch, or Handle with Care? – which was published on January 13, 2022.

The blog post really is sufficient though to understand their argument.

Their reasoning is totally mainstream and incorrect.

They claim that:

Proponents of monetary finance argue that it has a stronger effect on aggregate demand than a debt-financed fiscal stimulus. Because there is no increase in public debt, monetary finance does not need to be paid for with future tax hikes, making consumers more likely to spend.

This claim rehearses the so-called Ricardian Equivalence theorem that says government spending in ineffective because consumers realise that the deficits will have to be paid back with higher taxes and so they save up to ensure they can pay the extra tax burden and as a consequence consumption spending falls to offset the new government net spending.

It is a ridiculous notion that has never found any empirical resonance.

You can find out more about that notion in this blog post – Ricardian agents (if there are any) steer clear of Australia (June 9, 2014).

I would guess that if we conducted a sample of households they would not reveal any knowledge of the relations between treasury and the central bank, and would not form any view of future tax hikes in this context.

And every generation chooses its own tax structure when it reaches voting age.

Next we are told by the IMF that:

Monetary finance may also prevent self-fulfilling runs on government debt. If investors suddenly lose confidence in debt sustainability, the central bank may avert a default by partially monetizing debt. Importantly, if the central bank commits to this strategy—and does not abuse its power to monetize debt outside of self-fulfilling runs—investors are unlikely to lose confidence in the first place, without requiring the central bank to intervene.

As if the bond markets are in charge or something.

What we have all learned (I hope) during the years of GFC then pandemic is that the currency-issuing government controls the yields on the debt it issues whenever it wants to.

The bond markets only get latitude if the government gives it to them.

The bond markets can never threaten the spending capacity of such a government.

Investors are supplicants for the corporate welfare that the government debt offers them.

They do not call the shots.

Please read my blog post – Who is in charge? (February 8, 2010) – for more discussion on this point.

We are then appraised of the IMF concern that democracy might prevail:

The primary concern is that it may pave the way to fiscal dominance whereby monetary policy decisions are made subordinate to the fiscal needs of the government.

So our elected representatives, who are accountable to us via the ballot box, might actually represent our interests and make sure the unelected technocrats in the central bank, who play revolving doors with the private speculating institutions (hedge funds, etc) and who are not accountable to us, play ball.

Worrisome in the extreme.

Suppressing the quality of our democracies has been one of the primary purposes of this taboo, among others in the economic sphere of our lives.

The IMF then offer some empirical research to see if “monetary expansion” is highly inflationary.

I won’t go into their methods, which are flawed.

But even with those flawed methods, the findings are that over time there is very little impact on inflation even when the initial inflation rate is high and the fiscal deficits are large.

Further, the IMF differentiate between monetary financing (buying government debt in the primary issuing market) and quantitative easing (purchasing the same debt in secondary markets after it has been issued to private investors in the primary market).

They claim the difference is that QE carries the expectation that the central bank will sell the debt back to the non-government investors, which is another imaginary piece of reasoning.

Ask yourself, how much debt has the ECB, the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, etc sold back rather than allowed to mature while still on their books?

The answer is not much!

They find that during the pandemic, that neither central bank option that were used variously by nations had any:

… systematic effects … on inflation expectations …

Which means that all the hype that surrounds the ‘taboo’ about the private sector fearing inflation if the government acts in this way is based on nothing substantive.

But that doesn’t stop the IMF falling back into lockstep with the fiction when they conclude that “departures from central bank independence can be very dangerous … [and have] … devastating effects on economies and livelihoods”.

Conclusion

Phew, for a moment I thought the IMF might be turning the corner

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2022 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

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    This Post Has 24 Comments
    1. When you simply analyse real data graphs, none of the IMF preaching from the pulpit is true. Any other science would have abandoned these theories years ago.

      Why in my view it was a political project and nothing more. With a geopolitical, foreign policy agenda at the heart of it all. Which allowed the leisure class and capital to create one party nation states at home. No matter who you voted for at the ballot box you ended up drinking the same poison.

      After being tried out in New York was rolled out across South America. Essentially became the blue print of how the EU would be set up. Finally they had what they always wanted, an economic textbooks that would allow NATO expansion with a defined set of rules.

      The rules of which was guarded by the Bank of International settlements, the world bank and the IMF. With think tanks being created in each nation state that after like the police. In the UK these are the institute of fiscal studies and the office of budget responsibility.

      Once set up in any nation state. The result was the economy had to depend on banks to create the money to expand. Which by passed the electoral cycle beautifully and was the start of the Depoliticisation of democracy. The creation of the one party nation state. A smaller state = larger technocratic banking sector that is accountable and responsible to nobody apart from their shareholders.

      They clamour for a balanced budget, saying, “We don’t want the government to fund public infrastructure. We want it to be privatised in a way that will generate profits for the new owners, along with interest for the bondholders and the banks that fund it; and also, management fees. Most of all, the privatised enterprises should generate capital gains for the stockholders as they jack up prices for public services.”

      Turned the public sector into a monopoly from which they could to extract rent. Every expansion of NATO was built upon these foundations. Not only was it a power grab. It was a wealth grab from a 1000 years ago, a theft of real resources.

      Which killed millions across South America and the Middle East under the heading of both freedom and peace. They continue to bomb Syria and Yemen and Iran whilst condemning Ukraine. Turkey continue to steal land in Syria and Israel continue to expand their lands in Palestine and both shout Ukraine.

      The Germans scream Ukraine whilst carving up Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.

      http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=37962

      None of this was a mistake or a simple case of getting the economics wrong. This was planned for years and implemented with the precision of a Tomahawk cruise missile. By a bunch of psychopaths in the western world represented by changing faces in Washington.

      The media today is straight out of Orwells 1984. What a media looks like under a one party nation state. That will never rest until they own every real resource in the world or take everyone down with them.

      What is today’s New Cold War is trying to change or “solve.”

      https://thesaker.is/america-defeats-germany-for-the-third-time-in-a-century-the-mic-ogam-and-fire-sectors-conquer-nato/

      1.

    2. Russia has increased interest rates from 9.5% to 20%

      Fallen for the first Orwellian traps set by the West.

      Are now going to be in big trouble.

      For me has always been part of US geopolitical and foreign policy. To get countries to do that to make the crises even worse along with getting them to increase foreign debt holdings. It is textbook 101 on how to destabilise a country.

      Russia should have slashed the rate.

    3. Same as most other taboo’s, a way to protect elite interests by lying to the masses about the evils of other practices.

    4. The mainstream approach doesn’t just turn the government into a household – just another entity in the economy like any other. It also turns the banks into pampered pets that have to be protected and maintained – because they are the primary path for the stabilisation mechanism.

      Replacing interest rate adjustment and credit management with taxation and buffer stocks doesn’t just free up government to achieve the public purpose – it also makes banks ordinary businesses again. They can be allowed to go bust and be subject to intense competition. In other words to become just another entity in the economy like any other.

    5. The IMF conclusion, “departures from central bank independence can be very dangerous … [and have] … devastating effects on economies and livelihoods” is an incomplete sentence. They mean for neoclassical economists, central bank employees and their masters in the top end of town …

    6. Apropos “Phew, for a moment I thought the IMF might be turning the corner”, the IMF just shows itself to be just another 2-handed economist. Let’s live dangerously!

    7. Derek it is the perpetual invader to the east that has more than anything else driven the east European nations into NATO and the EU so as to provide some collective security. Even Finland and Sweden are being driven closer to NATO by the little dictator, after a lengthy period of popular semi neutrality. The people of the Baltic States for example are now even more confident that they made the right decision to join NATO in 2004.

      Ukraine’s current tragedy from my perspective of having half Lithuanian heritage has proven the necessity of NATO more than being the result of it despite what the little dictator has said. If the EU and NATO did not expand east after the collapse of the USSR then we no doubt would have seen the USSR re-establish itself as the Russian federation or some other name by now and be a much more formidable threat as well as being a new prison for those in eastern Europe.

      The leisure classes centred in the West’s FIRE sectors of the global economy, by imposing the parasitic tumour of neoliberalism and by hijacking the democratic process are responsible for the relative geopolitical decline of the West relative to the perpetual invader and especially the much bigger and ultimately more dangerous empire further to the east that knows how to practice central bank monetary financing along with competent economic development.

      The EU on the other hand is a fundamentally flawed neoliberal disaster which should be replaced by the European Union of Nations (EUN) which would be more of a preferential trade zone where each member nation retains full control of its own destiny and has its own sovereign currency with only some policy coordination and harmonisation of standards carried out collectively through some sort of collective institutions perhaps similar to the UN.

      Ultimately even Russia and its remaining client states could join the EUN even while retaining a seperate defence alliance, after meeting the required democratic, judicial and human rights standards. The EUN model would also conveniently suit Britain, Ukraine, Turkey and all other nations of Europe and northen and western Asia.

    8. All of their arguments would make sense if we still used gold as de facto money.

      C’mon, guys, you’ve had 50 years now to figure this out…

    9. @Creigh Gordon and others,
      On another site, some MAGA guy posted about how wonderful it would be to get back to “a stable currency”, meaning gold.

      I pointed out that the history from 1815 to 1914 showed that in the US at least, the currency was not stable. Why? Because banks needed to create things called “bank notes” that people used as if they were money. Until the next Bank Panic, when they had to rush to the bank to get real dollars.
      . . . Why did banks need to print bank notes? Because they could not make enough loans to supply the demand in the booms with just their depositors’ money.
      . . .We MMTers can clearly see why this was so. It was because the Boom required a growing total income (i.e. GDP) and to get this it is necessary to increase the ‘velocity’ of the money or increase the supply of ‘money’. Because increasing the velocity of money and also increasing the gold supply is hard, so neither was an option. Therefore, most western nations in the 19th century turned to increasing the money supply with bank notes.
      . . . However, it was never stable as is proven by the many Bank Panics, about 1 every 13 years.
      . . . We MMTers assert that we know how to make it more stable than in the 19th cent. and more stable than it is now too.
      .

    10. Andreas I disagree,

      NATO has broken every promise it has ever made. It is an aggressor not a defender.

      Just look.at what Freedom meant for Iraq with the Bremer plan.

      As for perpetual invader is that the US you are talking about or Russia defending its own borders from geopolitical meddling ?

      I would agree with your analysis if the Perpetual invader had 800 military bases stationed outside its own borders and stationed 100’s of thousands of troops in Mexico and Canada and Cuba and armed them to the teeth and placed nuclear bases there. Asset stripped the Middle East and sent death squads into South America to put in place puppet rulers that served its own interests.

      Compared with a nation state that every document it signed for peace turned out not to worth the paper it was written on . Which is then surrounded and not allowed to trade with its neighbours and threaten to be broken up into little pieces via insurgents and coup de tat’s. Who only ever left its own borders to fight it it’s whole security was under threat.

      We can talk about the Middle East and South America if you want to Andreas. Was all of that Russia’s fault or just a campaign of greed for real resources and complete control of a region.

      Puppet neo!liberal rulers have driven Eastern states into Nato. Who’s voters vote on direction of what they are told by their individual media. We can talk about why SKY was set up and other corporate news networks of you like and wasn’t to show sport.

      In the UK, the EU and the US and Russia and the world over democracy is a sham Andreas. Elections are rigged and leaders are chosen and it is decided who you can vote for.So when polling is done on populations it is a measure to find out if certain types of brainwashing that has taken by place by the media has worked or not. Quite simply money has replaced the vote. That is the model.of democracy that has been exported around the world to compete with authoritarian regimes.

      There’s a HUGE difference between the old Soviet Union and Russia today they are not the same animal. Yet, the West continues to treat Russia as if it is the same. In the last 30 years peace could easily have been achieved but it’s not about peace. The West want to break it up and own and control the real resources Russia has to offer. Licking their lips when they look at China.

      Both Russia and China won’t let them in Andreas to allow the Western FIRE sectors to destabilise and then asset strip their countries. That:s what this is all about not peace.

      Over the last 2 years it is currently taking place in Scotland. We managed to keep them out of Scotland Andreas. We voted for people who promised not to allow it to happen. All that changed after the SNP promised to join the EU if they win independence. Now Scotland is being asset stripped.

      Scotland is being asset-stripped:

      http://robinmcalpine.org/scotland-is-being-asset-stripped/

      Why is the Scottish Government surging to the right?

      http://robinmcalpine.org/why-is-the-scottish-government-surging-to-the-right/

    11. Derek,

      “What is today’s New Cold War is trying to change or “solve.””

      You’re a funny fella.

      The very things you hate about the marauding money and political elites of the US et al are evident in the money and political elites of Russia and China you idolize,

      Leftie commentators like Hudson seem to not believe that NATO has any legitimate strategic interests – it’s only the Russians that have any legitimate strategic interests or least they have primacy over those of NATO.

      And of course these leftie commentators totally ignore the desires of the peoples of the buffer states which have on mass spurned Russia and want to be part of Europe. It’s terribly galling for these leftie commentators that that is the case.

      And I suppose you would like to catalogue the horrors that the marauding money and political elites of the USD et al have visited upon, well, just about everybody. While you’re at it, perhaps you might like to mention all the wonderful things the Russians and Chinese have contributed in a similar vein.

      Despite what these leftie commentators believe, Russia, in particular, had nothing to fear from NATO militarily, given the until recently extant strategic stalemate, now disturbed by a nuclear sabre rattling maniac.

    12. I’m a funny fella Henry ?

      Nancy Pelosi confused Hungary with Ukraine and Joe Biden just called Ukrainians ‘Iranians.’ It’s so clear they have the same speeches for every country, and they’ve been in politics for so long they just forget which ones they were supposed to talk about after they have enslaved them.

      Now that’s Hilarious Henry.

      Listening to Biden is like watching a 90 year old woman cross an icy street on roller skates. The same journalists who now demand that Russia be forced to exit Ukraine were the very loudest demanding the US be forced to stay in Afghanistan.

      Banning books, films, athletes, musicians, students and everything else simply because they’re Russian achieves absolutely nothing positive for anyone – just a little social media clout – but creates a toxic climate designed to foster the darkest and ugliest instincts in humans.

      Yet another sign of how authoritarian the liberals have become. From how often now we are told that crises are so severe and dangerous that we simply must accept centralised censorship for our own good. An endless training course in acquiescing to having information curtailed.

      To the liberal left Labour Party calling Corbyn antisemitic, yet funding and supporting neo nazis in Ukraine. Banning what you can watch and listen to via censorship. To clearly stating that no Labour MP will be tolerated saying that Russia is simply defending itself from NATO agression. John McDonnell have whip withdrawn if he goes to Stop the War rally tonight.

      One day Henry it may be applied to you. Groupthink may exclude your view, on Climate, on Covid, on Brexit, race, gender, politics, culture, anything the majority decides. No matter how comfy you sit in your armchair today.

      Free speech is being systematically rolled back. Liberal voters have made these measures easier for the government to carry out right now and in the future. Should a foreign state be allowed to ban sportsman , musicians and artists from performing in the world stage . Sanctioning representatives of Putin or the Russian state is one thing. Punishing individual citizens merely on the grounds they are Russian quite another.

      Italy’s main University in Milan just banned teaching Fyodor Dostoevsky because he’s a Russian writer. Dostoevsky was sent to a Siberian labour camp for reading banned books in Tsarist Russia. You laughed at me when I said they were just getting going when it comes to book burning.

      Keep drinking the liberal kool aid Henry and wrap up your confirmation bias with Orwellian Groupthink. Convincing yourself that you are in the correct side of the debate by going to bed on a bed of nails every night..

      Don’t come crying to the lefties Henry when the neoliberal globalists censorship starts imposing itself on your way of life. They are just getting started and will knock on your door soon enough.

    13. Derek,

      I might be drinking the liberal kool aid, but you’re doing the same with the leftie kool aid.

      And you’re just as susceptible to Groupthink as is anyone else.

      At least in the West, if I disagree with the boss cocky I’m not that likely to cop a bullet in the back of the head.

      The neoliberal globalists censorship might be coming but it’s been in Russia and China from early on in the 20th century.

      You really are a funny fella.

    14. I don’t drink any type of Kool aid Henry.

      I read Greek, Russian, German, French, English and American literature.

      You should try it sometime instead of trying to compare Apple’s with Oranges. What you will learn quite quickly is that many times , we have all been here at this point before. History flows on the breeze but ideologues of all stripes still can’t hear the wind chimes.

      With economics, the MMT lens performs the exact same job that literature provides the reader when it comes to politics. It is just a long list of different characters with different faces playing on the same stage.

      While you are comparing Apple’s with Oranges in your head Henry. You have missed the glaringly simple point that no matter where on the map they live. When it comes down to it, and throughout history all world leaders are the same.

      You will deny it of course by saying an Apple is green and an Orange is Orange.

      Yet, now you are no different to a Trump supporter Henry. The liberals could walk onto the street with a gun and shoot somebody and they will still get their votes. How easy it was for the liberals to cross the rubicon. How easy it was for the media to convince them that they are now on the right path.

      Can you actually hear the wind chimes Henry or have you become tone deaf ?

      I voted once when I was 18 Henry and again for Brexit and I am now 52. So voted twice in 34 years.

      Listen to the wind chimes Henry that sing out from every page of world literature. Instead of lending your vote to a bunch of psychopaths every few years. Take a big whiff Henry, just look at what they are doing “again” in your name.

      Every liberal born before you and born after you. Will have fallen for, or will fall for the same 3 card monte. A game that has been played for 100’s of years. Why here in the UK it is called the lib, lab, con.

      Voted twice in 34 years Henry. Yup, their GROUPTHINK really got my brain working like a vibrator in a biscuit tin.

      Maybe, just maybe Henry it is worth creating a new political party that just might be worth voting for. One that recognises the wind chimes clearly. That takes our democracy back from the least worst option?

      Or do you prefer to keep comparing Apple’s with Oranges and remain tone deaf ?

      The liberals are about to be wiped out Henry at the next elections. Republicans and conservatives will take their place all over the globe. China will then be the main focus as the wind chimes sing.

      You might not hear it, but I guarantee that you’ll see it.

    15. Derek,

      While you do ramble on a bit, I can agree with some of what you say.

      What dismays me is your support for the fascist regimes in Russia and China – I just don’t get it.

    16. I don’t support them Henry.

      I call a spade a spade.

      However, I do belief they have the right to defend themselves whilst being threatened on all fronts. When Russian speaking parts of Ukraine was being bombed over a 7 year period.

      Infact, I would also say the UK or any country in the West would have done exactly what Putin has done if they were in his shoes. Only quicker and years ago. Probably right after Clinton broke every promise ever made.

      It should never have come to this Henry.

      Every strategist warned from the 80’s onwards this is what would happen if NATO continued to expand Eastwards. Independence isn’t the issue. Independence under NATO is the problem.

      But they done it anyway.

      Now using Orwellian Groupthink on a grand scale to hide behind a foreign policy that they knew would end up this way.

      I can’t believe how anybody in the West could support this insanity.

      Read the history of Cyprus and then still tell me we are dealing with Apple’s and oranges.

    17. Derek, I can agree with your viewpoint that the US is also a ‘perpetual invader’ or at least a perpetual coup plotter and pepetual meddler. The numerous South American coups, the second invasion of Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan and the Vietnam War are all terrible examples.

      NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan shows this organisation is too tightly controlled by the vested interests that control the US. However I still support the concept of NATO and NATO’s role in the breakup of that mini Soviet Union – Yugoslavia as well as NATO’s eastward expansion. Russia’s bombs, bullets and prisons are still worse than the West’s swindlers as I am sure the Ukrainian people would agree and maybe some day some sought of real democracy can re-establish itself in the world as per Bill’s and Thomas’ Reclaiming the State.

      Yes the oligarchs currently rule everywhere and democracy has been corrupted by the oligarch’s mass media and their money buying the political class and much of the bureaucracy and academia, but so far the West’s oligarchs are a bit more benign unless you become too effective at revealing the truth like Julian Assange. Of course this situation can always get worse.

      In Australia I can see how our democracy, social structure and economy have eroded since the US, UK and Australian oligarch (Murdoch) organised coup against the Whitlam government in 1975.

      As for the Ukrainians deserving their current fate as they were too foolish to elect a pro-Russian government – that viewpoint is grossly unjust. Perhaps when Scotland is invaded by the eastern perpetual invader so as to provide a needed buffer state between itself and the US your perspective may change a little. No one wants to be ruled by the Russian Tsar, not even the Russians!

      Thanks Henry for manning the trenches.

    18. Andreas,

      Manning the trenches, don’t make me laugh. You can’t even bring about the change you want in your own country. Never mind between nuclear super powers. You can’t even change the so called liberal democracy you live in and love so much. Yet, you want to export that shit show to the rest of the world. I would start with fixing your own country first before putting your faith into NATO turning the world into Utopia. But you would have to leave your cosy armchair first and make sure you record your favourite Netflix series while you are off creating any meaningful change.

      Tell me Andreas, name one liberal democracy in the last 10,000 years. I’m not asking for much . You only have to pick one and you have 10,000 years to do it. Don’t think just because when you were 5 years old and got put into an education camp, that then told you that you will work 40 hours a week and get 4 weeks annual leave that you are free. You are just a consumption unit like everybody else.

      Yet, you don’t agree that Russia and China have a right to defend themselves when surrounded

      https://thesaker.is/a-matter-of-self-defence/

      Do you believe in self defence ? When the Russian parts of Ukraine have been bombed by the neo nazis for 8 years. I suppose you would climb In bed with anyone after climbing in bed with Nazis to expand Nato. As long as the job gets done right ? At least the military stocks in the markets rose 69%.

      Cuba should give a little perspective. What did the Americans do when they said they were being surrounded. Ah, of course that was alright then. It was liberating.

      ” I still support the concept of NATO and NATO’s role in the breakup of that mini Soviet Union – Yugoslavia as well as NATO’s eastward expansion”

      Well you support nuclear war then because it won’t end any other way. No matter how many war game algorithms you put it into a computer and war game the situation you won’t win. It is a lose, lose scenario. If you think both Russia and China are going to simply give up their real resources to the West to be sold off then you are simply deluded.

      I suppose if by some miracle if NATO could invade Russia and China and break them up without causing a nuclear war. Then you would call that a liberation and not an invasion. How NATO liberated all these countries but oh no they didn’t invade them. According to you they liberated Serbia, Iraq and Syria and Vietnam and Yemen and Libya they didn’t invader them. That’s very convenient.

      Ukraine is where it is because of a coup de tat in 2014 to remove the Russian leader and the West played games around the Minsk agreement. But that’s alright with you is it. Were you screaming for sanctions against NATO for breaking international law as they set up their Puppet regime. Banning sports, musicians and all the rest of it from performing. Of course you weren’t you were cheering as nuclear war became an ever closer reality. I didn’t hear you crying when Ukraine’s Army also killed Ukrainians in large numbers in Donbass since 2014. Where they the right kind of deaths.

      Even during World war 2 and the atrocities carried out right across Europe. Can you name any famous Germans who were banned from writing, composing, or performing. How many books are going to burn to free Russia and China and how much censorship are you going to install to get your way. To implement your wonderful liberal democracy that works so well everywhere else. At the very least The “liberal democracies” of the western empire found a loophole in their own freedom of expression laws (the same laws they claim make them superior to overtly authoritarian regimes) in that they can outsource their censorship to government-tied monopolistic megacorporations. How very liberal of them.

      Next you will be be telling me that Russia was unprovoked and just invaded and risked nuclear war for the he’ll of it. Want to March all the way to Scotland and rule Europe. Either somebody has shat in your teapot or you have completely lost the plot. If you believe that you need to switch off what ever media you are watching and quick. You’ve obviously confused the old Soviet empire with the Russia of today. A history book or two will help with that infliction.

      If the Western media covered the 43 invasions ( sorry how foolish of me liberations) by NATO since World war 2 in the same way as they are covering Ukraine. That is from the civilian point of view. Those 43 invasions would have been stopped within a week. Unfortunately, those 43 invasions were covered from the Shock and awe military point of view as freedom fighters and the civilians were completely ignored. Funny that ain’t it.

      I’d love to hear your take on Ireland’s history Andrea. That must confuse the life out of you. Figuring out who was the Apple and who was the Orange. Ending up after all that death and slaughter not even independent. With that beautiful liberal democracy of yours run by Brussels. Free at last Andrea free at last. I wonder what you are going to promise Russia and China if after ever getting round to fixing your own country. I do wonder what your freedom that you offer would look like. What if the Russian people and Chinese people don’t like your idea of freedom. You are going to force it on them anyways aren’t you.

      War hysteria is loose. Dissent is attacked as treachery. For the first time in my life I’m fully able to imagine the catastrophic 1914 period, when an entire nation hurled itself over the cliffs of war. It’ll be white feathers next.

      Most fascinating thing about the Ukraine war is the sheer number of top strategic thinkers who warned for years that it was coming if we continued down the same path.

      No-one listened to them and here we are. From Kissinger to Mearsheimer, George Kennen, Jack Matlock Jr, William Perry, Chomsky, Stephen Cohen, Vladimir Pozner, Jeffery Sachs, General Pino Arlacchi, Bill Burns, Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keeting, Bob Gates, Sir Roderic Lyne, Pat Buchanan.

      But we dome it anyway. You and Henry act surprised that both nuclear powers are now on DEFCOM 5.

      So you keep shouting and supporting NATO expansion eastwards Andrea from your sofa. While those of who recognise the nukes are real and not made out of plasticine and empty washing up liquid bottles. Ask the liberals nicely to lock you and Henry up in a Guantanamo Bay ( sorry a Gulag) to save us from a thermal nuclear war.

      Here’s a novel idea Andrea. Why not just let them be. Leave them alone and let them work out the problems they have themselves. While you work on the HUGE problems in your own country. I’m pretty sure you have enough to be getting on with.

      You could start off by reading the Anatolia Lieven article. Catch up with the sane world and then spell it out to Henry. While sand bagging the trenches.

      https://www.thenation.com/article/world/ukraine-donbas-russia-conflict/

    19. G’day yok,

      ” Do you know what a Troll is ?”

      It would seem it would be anyone who disagreed with your opinions.

    20. Derek that is quite a rant. I will try to address some of the questions and statements you made.

      I will decline to limit my comments to Australian issues only.

      Yes Autralia’s liberal democracy is not in good health and is deteriorating rapidly.

      Australia’s liberal democracy was quite good back at the beginning of the 1970’s even though even then corporations, the rich and some foreign interests had too much influence. The Scandinavian countries have quite good liberal democracies. Germany’s and New Zealand’s mixed member proportional voting system looks like a good model. Japan has been generally good at maintaining full employment fiscal policies.

      We all consume so we all must work, I can’t see a way around that. Improved working conditions and more rewarding jobs can be government policy. The Scandinavian countries and Germany a few decades ago had made good progress here.

      Derek what is your preferred political/economic model?

      The West comprising the US, Canada, Western and Central Europe and Japan it could be argued are surounded by Russia and China and their military bases.

      “When the Russian parts of Ukraine have been bombed by the neo nazis for 8 years.” – bollocks.

      “If you think both Russia and China are going to simply give up their real resources to the West to be sold off then you are simply deluded.” – I thought the West pays for the stuff they buy from these two?

      “Even during World war 2 and the atrocities carried out right across Europe. Can you name any famous Germans who were banned from writing, composing, or performing.” – Are you kidding?

      NATO invading Russia or China? – implausible

      “Ukraine’s Army also killed Ukrainians in large numbers in Donbass since 2014.” – bollocks

      The reference to Scotland was just to remind you that the Scots should not be subjected to being a buffer/vassal state for Russia just as the Ukrainian and Baltic peoples for example should not be expected to be. It is easy to dictate unjust terms for other nation’s people.

      Confusing present day Russia with the Soviet Union? – Same imperialism from the perpetual invader.

      43 invasions by NATO since WW2? I didn’t get beyond one hand? Are you also counting the US acting alone or with or by other nations that acted independently of NATO?

      Ireland’s history? – Relevance? British imperialism was once like Russian or Chinese imperialism.

      Friend of Henry K? – ?

      Supporter of NATO’s eastward expansion? Yes up to the current extent but I never thought Ukraine or Belarus for example should be admitted into NATO. This is unjust for them if and when they would want membership, but given WW2 history I can see NATO membership for these two would be too much for Russia to tolerate. Ukraine and Belarus are however entitled to full national independence.

      The Minsk 2 proposal – I can see that Ukraine could not accept full autonomy for Donetsk and Luhansk so quite reasonably this proposal was stalled.

      The little Tsar is a war criminal as well as being a corrupt embezzler, dictator, murderer and sociopath.

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