Newsflash
Is China a Ukrainian ally? Read more >>> African migration to Italy booms with the aid of NGOs as EU “Open borders” policy continues Read more >>> Patchwork family, tradition, religion, state, race: patchwork everything. Read more >>> Euro-hubris punished: how Finland became the last victim of the euro Read more >>> Erdoğan’s Turkish demographic imperialism is the latest failure of open borders immigration policies Read more >>>

Is China a Ukrainian ally?

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Waving flag of Ukraine and China
photo shutterstock.com/Aleksandar Mijatovic

China is taking cautious international steps, following its national interests. Much to the Western man’s regret, it did not let itself be dictated to how to respond to the Russian incorporation of Crimea. Still, China kept Ukrainian economy alive in the aftermath, thus strengthening the Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation.

The New Silk Road

As the EU and USA cannot finance all the infrastructural projects in Ukraine, the country is turning to China for help, which in turn is interested in Ukraine as an indispensable part of the New Silk Road. Already in 2013 former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a number of agreements with China,1)Переломный визит Януковича в Китай: $30 млрд инвестиций и гарантированная квота для украинской продукции, Economics 2013-12-09.among them one that with the aid of China’s $13 billion envisaged turning Crimea into a huge transit hub. The Russian military actions thwarted these plans, which were later shifted to Southern Ukraine.

References   [ + ]

1. Переломный визит Януковича в Китай: $30 млрд инвестиций и гарантированная квота для украинской продукции, Economics 2013-12-09.

African migration to Italy booms with the aid of NGOs as EU “Open borders” policy continues

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Earlier this year, in January,1)Why the Italian government can’t resolve the problems of Mediterranean smuggling boats? Because it doesn’t want to, gefira.org 2 January 2017.we analysed how NGOs in collaboration with the Italian government had been shipping migrants from the Libyan shores to Italy and how it later evolved into the exploitation of migrants on the Italian farms and in the prostitution business in collusion with organized crime.

The first data available for the beginning of 2017 show that the business is booming even further: a 57% increase compared to the first months of 2016, which goes up to 81% for the whole winter period,2)Migrant rescues in Med hit three-year high, new data shows, telegraph.co.uk 5 March 2017.while the percentage of those transported by the NGOs ships has gone from 5% to 40% of the total in 2016, which becomes more than half in the last months of the year.3)Ong che salvano i migranti: due procure sospettano complicità con gli scafisti, tgcom24.mediaset.it 23 February 2017.NGOs are de facto replacing smugglers in the Mediterranean.

References   [ + ]

1. Why the Italian government can’t resolve the problems of Mediterranean smuggling boats? Because it doesn’t want to, gefira.org 2 January 2017.
2. Migrant rescues in Med hit three-year high, new data shows, telegraph.co.uk 5 March 2017.
3. Ong che salvano i migranti: due procure sospettano complicità con gli scafisti, tgcom24.mediaset.it 23 February 2017.

Patchwork family, tradition, religion, state, race: patchwork everything.

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Patchwork family, tradition, religion, state, race: patchwork everything.
photo f11photo / Shutterstock.com
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it. (Karl Marx)

The Frankfurt school united Marx and Freud to become the most influential thinkers of the 20th century left. (The Guardian)1)The Frankfurt school, part 1: why did Anders Breivik fear them? The Guardian 2013-03-25.

Marx had a dream. A dream of changing the capitalist society. With this dream he managed to inspire hundreds and thousands of intellectuals. Some of those intellectuals formulated their own proposals of implementing Marxian dream in real life. One of such proposals that turned out to be most attractive at the turn of the century was communism. After WWII, however, it became obvious that Marxism practised in communist countries not only failed to transform societies after the desired Marxist fashion but also suffered an economic defeat, whereas in western countries capitalism seemed to be thriving and the affluence placated the working class. Latter day Marxists came to the realisation that workers no longer made the revolutionary force in modern western societies and began looking for a new proletariat. The dream of creating a brave new world with a new awareness was still waiting to come true.

References   [ + ]

1. The Frankfurt school, part 1: why did Anders Breivik fear them? The Guardian 2013-03-25.

Euro-hubris punished: how Finland became the last victim of the euro

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100 markkaa
photo By Suomen Pankki (banknote), European Central Bank (photo) (Suomen Pankki) [ECB decisions ECB/2003/4 and ECB/2003/5 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It was just 2011 when the Finnish government, one of Greece’s many creditors, demanded that Athens put one of its national symbols, the Parthenon, as collateral for the rescue loans package.1)Finland’s demands for collateral could leave Greek bailout in ruins, The Guardian 2011-08-28.
Fast forward to 2015: while the European Union leaders humiliate the Greek democracy by imposing even harsher austerity measures than the ones previously rejected in a referendum, even despite the fact that the IMF admitted having miscalculated the Keynesian multiplier for Greece and thus completely underestimated the catastrophic consequences of austerity,2)Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers, IMF Working Paper 2013.Finland is no longer part of the group of “virtuous countries”: unlike Greece, its public finances are fine, however the sources of its economic strength, tech colossus Nokia is in a deep crisis,3)Finland: The sick man of Europe? BBC 2016-02-29.unable to keep up in innovation with its competitors, Apple and Samsung. The once national pride of the Finns, accounting at its peak for 20% of the Finnish exports,4)As Goes Nokia, So Goes Finland? Bloomberg 2013-09-03.will end up being overtaken by foreigners (Microsoft). To worsen the conditions of the Finish economy, the EU leaders opted for a trade war against one of Finland’s main trade partners, its neighbor Russia, over the Ukraine crisis.

References   [ + ]

1. Finland’s demands for collateral could leave Greek bailout in ruins, The Guardian 2011-08-28.
2. Growth Forecast Errors and Fiscal Multipliers, IMF Working Paper 2013.
3. Finland: The sick man of Europe? BBC 2016-02-29.
4. As Goes Nokia, So Goes Finland? Bloomberg 2013-09-03.

Erdoğan’s Turkish demographic imperialism is the latest failure of open borders immigration policies

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Erdoğan’s Turkish demographic imperialism is the latest failure of open borders immigration policies
photo Anastasia Petrova / Shutterstock.com
Almost 1000 years ago, Turkish tribes started settling in Anatolia, beginning the formation of the Turkish state. How did it happen? Many jump to quick conclusions and simplify the matter pointing to the Byzantine defeat at Manzikert in 1071. The reality is different: in the aftermath of the battle, Emperor Romanos Diogenes reached a peace agreement under which the Turkish Seljuk sultan was handsomely rewarded with money while the Byzantine Empire did not suffer territorial loss.
The Byzantine elite in Constantinople, however, decided to unseat Romanos and not to adhere to the agreement. In the subsequent squabble over the throne, one of the competing factions would hire a relative of the Turkish sultan, Suleiman to increase its chances to seize the throne. As the Byzantine elite rushed to Constantinople, Suleiman was left with his troops to control one of the biggest Byzantine cities of Anatolia, Nicaea. The resulting Sultanate of Rum, the first presence of the Turkish people in Anatolia, was born not by conquest, but by the shortsightedness of the Byzantine ruling class.


 On March 15 the Trumponomics may tumble down

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photo shutterstock.com
photo shutterstock.com
There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling.1)Stockman: “After March 15 Everything Will Grind To A Halt”, Source: Zerohedge 2017-02-27.These are the words of David Stockman, a former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director, who insists that a market bloodbath is imminent as the debt ceiling holiday will have been finished by March 15, 2017.

We will have a government shutdown,” said Stockman to CNBC. “It is totally unexpected, unpriced in by Wall Street, [and] it will spook everybody.2)Wall St. is misreading Trump, and a market bloodbath is imminent: Stockman, Source: CNBC 2017-03-05.March 15 is also the day of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting during which a rate hike decision is expected to be taken; the Dutch election is slated for the same day. Will it be the beginning of the great financial turmoil?

References   [ + ]

1. Stockman: “After March 15 Everything Will Grind To A Halt”, Source: Zerohedge 2017-02-27.
2. Wall St. is misreading Trump, and a market bloodbath is imminent: Stockman, Source: CNBC 2017-03-05.

Can social mobility (or lack of thereof) predict which is the next country to fall prey to popular upheaval?

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photo By Ioannis Arvanitakis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
photo By Ioannis Arvanitakis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1)Vilfredo Pareto, By Ioannis Arvanitakis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) was an Italian engineer, philosopher, economist, sociologist and political scientist, famous, among other things, for his theories about “the elites”.

In his theory of the “circulation of the elites” he argues that social mobility is fundamental for the peaceful continuity of social order: as long as the elite is open to the influx of capable elements from the lower classes, the system is able to rise up to the challenges it faces. When the elites shut themselves off and do not assimilate exceptional individuals from the lower social strata, an imbalance is created that can result in a violent overthrow of the ruling class by a new one capable of governing.

Drawing on that theory we argue that democratic systems have evolved in a way that an overthrow of the elite can happen without violence, but by democratic vote. Lack of social mobility, says Pareto, results in an elite detached from the daily challenges of the common man and a sense of disenfranchisement of the voters.

References   [ + ]

1. Vilfredo Pareto, By Ioannis Arvanitakis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Ukraine has lost billions on the Trade Agreement with the EU in year one

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photo Review News / Shutterstock.com
photo Review News / Shutterstock.com
The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union, which came into force on 1 January 2016, was about to help the East European economy to recover; however, the results after the first year fell far short of Ukraine’s expectations. The former Soviet Republic lost €2.2 billion more than it lost in 2015 on trade with the EU. While imports from the EU have surged, exports have merely grown.

As Polish media reports, the European Union has flooded Ukraine with goods,1)Unia Europejska zalała towarami Ukrainę, Rzeczpospolita 2017-02-27.which is contrary to the aim of the free trade agreement: the document assumed the asymmetric openness of the markets in Ukraine’s favour.

References   [ + ]

1. Unia Europejska zalała towarami Ukrainę, Rzeczpospolita 2017-02-27.

George Soros: the enemy of Eastern European governments

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Rio de Janeiro, April 22th, 2015- Mega investor George Soros.
photo Antonio Scorza / Shutterstock.com
After Viktor Orban’s Hungary, the second European Union state took an aim at George Soros and his funds, accusing him of organizing anti-government protests and attempts at destabilizing the country. The head of the ruling party and a former Romania’s prime minister Liviu Dragnea, known for his independent national economic policy, called the leaders of the recent massive street protests as “agents of George Soros.”1)Romania: Keep the corrupt in jail, where they belong, Al-Jazeera 2017-01-30.

While some believe that “bad” governments from Eastern Europe (from Poland to Macedonia) use Soros’s Open Society Foundation and his broad contacts as a scapegoat in order to avoid the responsibility for their own weak political results, chief communications officer of the Open Society Foundation, Laura Silber, does not try to conceal their engagement.

References   [ + ]

1. Romania: Keep the corrupt in jail, where they belong, Al-Jazeera 2017-01-30.

Shomrim, a symptom of a disintegrating state

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Shomrim, a symptom of a disintegrating state
Emblem / shoulder patch of Brooklyn South Shomrim, a volunteer Jewish patrol encompassing Boro Park, Bensonhurst, and Kensington neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Image by municipal government –presumed public domain./ en.wikipedia.org

Western societies have been subjected to cultural and ethnic diversification which, as its advocates proclaim, was to enrich the indigenous populations and boost their development. Contrary to the stated goals, members of different ethnic groups tend to stick together, displace the locals, and rather than morph into the culture of the host population they preserve their own,1)How Labour turned London into a foreign city: Fewer than half the capital’s population are white British, gangsters from Somalia terrorise the suburbs and even the tramps are immigrants, reveals astonishing new book, Daily Mail 2016-01-24.all the more so since their numbers are doubling and trebling and since they regard their recipient societies as weaklings without moral backbone.2)“It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.” Immigrant Rape Wave in Sweden, fjordman 2005-12-12.Under such circumstances separate communities form, large cities turn into mosaics whose particular religious and cultural elements are but loosely connected. Differences in worldviews, beliefs, traditions spark off mutual suspicion, aversion, animosity or an all-out enmity. Social cohesion is only make-believe with all the attendant problems which include (ethnically or racially-driven) crime.3)Rotherham child abuse: Eight jailed for rape and sexual abuse of three girls, BBC 2016-11-04; Rotherham: eight men jailed for sexually exploiting teenage girls, The Guardian 2016-11-04; Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls, BBC 2016-06-17.

When the sense of security is lost, when “the break-ins and muggings [are] beyond control”,4)Rotherham child abuse: Eight jailed for rape and sexual abuse of three girls, BBC 2016-11-04; Rotherham: eight men jailed for sexually exploiting teenage girls, The Guardian 2016-11-04; Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls, BBC 2016-06-17.and people cannot rely on the police, and such is the case in many large cities across Western Europe, with their no-go zones,5)European ‘No-Go’ Zones: Fact or Fiction? Part 2: Britain, Gatestone Institute 2015-02-03; the following is vehemently denied by the British side, hence especially revealing: Britain protests to Hungary over claims of ‘no-go’ zones in UK, Daily Mail 2016-09-22.members of a community start setting up their own policing units in self-defence. The London-based Shomrim is a prime example.

References   [ + ]

1. How Labour turned London into a foreign city: Fewer than half the capital’s population are white British, gangsters from Somalia terrorise the suburbs and even the tramps are immigrants, reveals astonishing new book, Daily Mail 2016-01-24.
2. “It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.” Immigrant Rape Wave in Sweden, fjordman 2005-12-12.
3, 4. Rotherham child abuse: Eight jailed for rape and sexual abuse of three girls, BBC 2016-11-04; Rotherham: eight men jailed for sexually exploiting teenage girls, The Guardian 2016-11-04; Calderdale gang jailed for grooming and abusing girls, BBC 2016-06-17.
5. European ‘No-Go’ Zones: Fact or Fiction? Part 2: Britain, Gatestone Institute 2015-02-03; the following is vehemently denied by the British side, hence especially revealing: Britain protests to Hungary over claims of ‘no-go’ zones in UK, Daily Mail 2016-09-22.

Is Professor Sinn worth listening to?

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Hans Werner Sinn
photo Hans Werner Sinn / commons.wikimedia.org

A frustrated Harry Truman would often say, “Give me a one-handed economist. All my economists say, on the one hand…on the other.”1)The one-handed economist, The Economist 2003-11-13.

At present, too, the media are clearly in search for a man who holds strong views and they have surely found one in Hans Werner Sinn, professor emeritus, who has published and continues to publish an avalanche of texts, is frequently interviewed by the mass media and remains one of the renowned German economists.

He made himself famous formulating a hypothesis of a bazaar economy by means of which he attempted to clarify why the German national product is shrinking despite the fact that the country has been on top of the list of the exporting countries.2)Hans-Werner Sinn (2005): Die Basar-Ökonomie. Econ Verlag. ISBN 343018536X.His books, too, have made the headlines (e.g. Can Germany Be Saved? The Malaise of the World’s First Welfare State (2007) and The Green Paradox (2011))in which he voices his protest against the energy transition and advocates a policy of strict regulations regarding banks. In numerous interviews Sinn has taken a stance on politics, now giving support to the ruling class, now endorsing the opposition. For that matter he praised Agenda 2010.3)Die Agenda 2010 und die Armutsgefährdung.His statements and comments have since 2015 evoked such uneasiness among the ruling elites that finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble began to call him in private “Professor Nonsense”, while Angela Merkel broke off the relationship with him although he used to be a welcome guest in the chancellery.4)Der verbliebene unabhängige Denker, Internetkanzlei 2012-07-23.

References   [ + ]

1. The one-handed economist, The Economist 2003-11-13.
2. Hans-Werner Sinn (2005): Die Basar-Ökonomie. Econ Verlag. ISBN 343018536X.
3. Die Agenda 2010 und die Armutsgefährdung.
4. Der verbliebene unabhängige Denker, Internetkanzlei 2012-07-23.

Will France vote in a second Hollande

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Will France vote in a second Hollande
photo Portrait de Louis de France, dauphin (1729–1765)

2016 was the year of the revolt. The Dutch referendum, the British referendum, the American elections and the Italian referendum all ended up in humiliating defeats for the political, corporate and financial elites; only Austria decided to keep faith with their projects, but even there the demonstration of malcontents was significant. 2017 requires a change of strategy.

Mainstream political parties are in disarray everywhere, facing either the rise of anti-establishment parties in the political arena or that of anti-establishment candidates within their own ranks. With the forthcoming French elections, the Socialist party collapsing after François Hollande’s disastrous tenure and the primary establishment choices Sarkozy and Juppè eliminated, a change of strategy was needed to stop the wave of the much dreaded democratic participation of the masses (dubbed as populism), unwilling to submit any longer to the interests of the elite: enter Emmanuel Macron.