What Can Americans Learn from the Eurocrisis

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At the risk of looking like NC has become the “all Michael Hudson, all the time” channel, we’re featuring his latest talk with Real News Network. He discusses how and why candidates make promises to ordinary people that they promptly repudiate when they assume office.

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  1. LucyLulu

    Hollande, est-il le frère français d’Obama? Should we call him Hollama or Obande? Where’s Lambert when you need him?

    What did the US learn?
    It’s the same everywhere. No matter who we (believe we) elect, we end up with the same in charge.

    Imagine the result if Ron Paul were elected. Would he be called Bushbamaron?

  2. Kevin de Bruxelles

    Dr. Hudson is quite good on the US political scene and is of course correct on the uselessness of the Left in Europe. But here his reflections end – he seems to say at the end that we just have to keep voting Left and hope for the best.

    If we accept that back in the Sixties and early Seventies the working / middle class standard of living reached a peak is Western societies, we have to ask the question that Dr. Hudson seems not to want to pose: how has the Left changed over the last 40 years? And can the answer perhaps give us a clue as to how to reverse the downward trend in the working / middle class standard of living. Are there perhaps current candidates and political ideas that tend towards being similar to how the Left used to be?

    To me one crystal clear symbol of the changes on the Left is the fact that in 1969 César Chavez, Ted Abernathy, and Walter Mondale led a march to the Mexican border to protest the fact that Big Ag was undermining their efforts to organize farm workers by flooding the fields with illegal labor. Whenever there was a strike by the UFW, Big Ag broke it with cheap labor from the other side of the border. Chavez’s group would respond by patrolling the border themselves to prevent scabs from entering the country. But ultimately Chavez and working class people lost this war and soon cheap labor started flooding across the border unchecked and then construction industry, as well as many other blue collar sectors, salaries started heading on the long downward slope that they continue to be on today.

    The image of Chavez, Abernathy, and Mondale marching at the border is an image of a Left fighting for the working / middle classes. But since those days the Left has been seduced by upper middle class ideas such as globalization, mass immigration and identity politics.

    Do you want to know why unions are so weak? Because of globalization and mass immigration.

    But are there any current politicians who are against mass immigration, globalization, and push currency sovereignty? In France there seemed to be one and it was certainly not Francois Hollande. Here is what Bill Mitchell says about Marine Le Pen:

    The only serious anti-Euro contender, Marine Le Pen got around 20 per cent of the vote in the first-round. She clearly appeals to the areas where unemployment is entrenched (the industrial north) and espouses some sensible economic policies when appraised from the perspective of a sovereign, currency-issuing government.

    The problem is that she clearly doesn’t understand the full implications of abandoning the Euro and restoring one’s own currency. So she considers full employment to be one of the main responsibilities of government and that the state should use its fiscal authority to achieve that goal.

    Further, she wants to make it legal for the government to borrow at zero interest from the central bank (Banque de France).

    She is opposed to privatization of the large French public utilities and favours substantial re-regulation of the banking sector including the separation of commercial and investment banks.

    All of those policy positions would be consistent with Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). But then you read that she favours an international currency and fixed exchange rates, which is the anathema of MMT.

    Of course Marine Le Pen would have no power on the international level. These calls of hers for an international gold or silver standard are not serious and are instead political posturing to avoid attacks from the mainstream parties over the lack of constraints within her policies on printing money. Once in power she would most certainly not face any such constraints since on the international level we are a long way from going back to the gold standard. But her domestic economic policies, those over which she would actually have control if she were elected, are indeed very close to MMT ideas.

    One of my biggest problems with the MMT idea of full employment is that it is not possible in a context of open borders and “free” trade, where government stimulus would just leak over the borders to fund more sweat shops in China. But here is a candidate who could actually make MMT work but besides Bill Mitchell there has been almost total silence on the Left about her.

    As far as I can tell, Marine Le Pen is anathema to the Left because at a time of high unemployment she want to decrease immigration from 200,000 down to 10,000 a year. Chavez, Mondale, and Abernathy should be ashamed of themselves.

    It would be really interesting for people of Dr. Hudson’s stature to explain exactly why, given the total turn of the Left towards the bourgeoisie over the past forty years, working class people should not give a reasonable Nationalist Right (not one flashing Nazi-like symbols) a look, especially one that espouses MMT ideas on at least the national level.

    1. sd

      I have a slightly different take and that is labor doesn’t know it is labor. There is a false belief that a college degree and a white color lift one into management.
      They do not understand that if someone else owns the company and signs the paycheck, regardless of their ‘title’ they are labor.

      1. Breton

        Americans have been seduced
        Look all around, ‘everyone” tries to act “rich”!
        Silly fools left the mirror at home!

        The Rich do not even think about You!


        1. Glenn Condell

          ‘Look all around, ‘everyone” tries to act “rich”!’

          Who was it that said America was a nation of ‘temporarily embarrassed millionaires’? Tocqueville? To complain of nakedness and cold would be shameful, and would also limit your ability to ever come in from the cold.

          Anyone can make it so you can too. Of course you almost certainly won’t, but you could! And anyone can become president too, you don’t need to have come from the 1% or even the courtier class; you just need native rat cunning, a plausible manner and good teeth, balls like churchbells and a tacit but absolute fealty to those who pave your way through the Conveyor Beltway (TM) and into the owner’s enclosure, if not the inner sanctum.

          You might struggle with your self respect if there’s a skerrick of decency left, but at least you’re not hungry and cold and (ugh) poor!

      2. Chris Rogers

        Well noted – it is a issue have highlighted many time’s in The Guardian, that is, the majority who believe themselves to be middle class are deluded, for as with those who actually call themselves working class, they are but a paycheque away from poverty.

        It’s the Left’s move away from class-based politics, epitomised by the UK’s Labour Party that cannot bring itself to be associated with the word ‘socialism.’, embrace of single issues and support for globalisation – presumably in the interests of global peace, that has allowed the neoliberals/neoconserviaties to run riot around many segments of society – including the much pressed upon working class – which in both the USA and UK comprises the bulk of the population, regrettably, most do not seem to understand this truism!!!!!!

    2. EmilianoZ

      Another classic thought-provoking post. I didn’t know Marine Le Pen were a MMT proponent. She certainly succeeded in making the party more respectable than her father’s.

      I always thought that Marine Le Pen was what the Tea Party here would look like if it were not an astro-turf creation.

      One day Kevin will convert us all to voting for the nationalist right. For now, I still prefer trying the green party though.

      1. Kevin de Bruxelles

        Thanks EZ. In the States the only thing close to a nationalist right candidate is Ron Paul but his Libertarian streak is worrying. So I would probably vote Green there as well (I certainly have before). This year though I have decided to let my children fill in my ballet. They were totally divided on the French elections (one each for Hollande, Sarkozy, and Le Pen) so we will see if they can come together for a candidate in the US.

        1. Susan the other

          To make an argument for MMT that does not exclude a new nationalism, a green and economically self sufficient nationalism, we have to get rid of the hitler-skinhead stereotype. Newsflash: we actually have evolved politically since 1930. We have to rid ourselves of the arrogant idea that the Tea Party exists only in an ideological past. I think that nationalism has a place in politics and that place is needed to smooth out the inconsistencies and harmful effects of forced, selective globalization. It will take another century before globalization is an equitable economic model for all people. In the meantime we need Green and we need to promote local economies. I just don’t see why this kind of nationalism is discounted. It should be embraced. And we will know when a global goal has been achieved because globalization will be able to give us everything nationalism gave us – like the advantages of sovereign currency. How will globalization do this? We don’t even have a clue yet. But, until we figure this out, we will always have to operate on some vestige of national cooperation which protects people – geographic, natural resources, social skills, etc. Because globalization cannot ever work if it is just a rolling system of arbitrary capital exploitation. It’s a joke.

          1. Aquifer

            I think it is sort of interesting when you think about it – we talk about “localism” as the ideal goal – but what is nationalism but localism writ a bit larger. And when we localize, what will be the definition of “local”?

            To tell you the truth, the only things i think we should concentrate on globally are the things that have to do with the globe – the atmosphere, the water – those things, and critters, that routinely naturally cross artificial borders. For the rest, be as self-sufficient in as small an area as possible and help others to do the same – i think in terms of bio-regionalism. That is the way MN does it. That would take awhile, but in the meantime national borders may have to do. “Commerce” should be the commerce of conversation, sharing ideas, greetings and pictures – leave the planes and ships in the docks, leave the sea and the air, and as much of the land as possible, at peace …

          2. Kevin de Bruxelles

            I agree, we need a new type of nationalism / localization that emphasizes in-group cooperation and resists the easy temptation of out-group strife.

    3. Calgacus

      One of my biggest problems with the MMT idea of full employment is that it is not possible in a context of open borders and “free” trade, where government stimulus would just leak over the borders to fund more sweat shops in China. The only real problem is seeing this as a problem (for the USA). MMT works just fine in the open borders free trade case. It is the ONLY thing that works fine. Whoop-de-doo if the stimulus leaks over the borders. If the Chinese want to amass dollars, who are we to tell them not to? “Stimulate” some more. Where is the problem? There isn’t any. The main thing is to run your economy at full employment, with well-paying jobs. To the precise extent that funding Chinese sweatshops deflationarily damages the US economy & loses jobs, the US government is given the space to ameliorate the damage, account for all the externalities & almost always more. China + the US might be better off with balanced trade, but the US certainly isn’t worse off unless it squanders the gift it has been given.

      It would be really interesting for people of Dr. Hudson’s stature to explain exactly why, given the total turn of the Left towards the bourgeoisie over the past forty years, working class people should not give a reasonable Nationalist Right Sure. In France, Nicholas Dupont-Aignan or François Asselineau are genuine “Nationalist Right” in the tradition of De Gaulle, rather than Le Pen. By any sane standard, these two or De Gaulle are/were FAR to the left of the European fake left, even Trotskyites like Melenchon. History has shown that De Gaulle was more progressive at heart than future neoliberal Red Danny. Basically the question is pro or anti slavery. The reasonable “nationalist right” is against slavery. Hard to find any other political forces in France, or many other places that are anti-slavery.

    4. Nathanael


      Hostility to immigration is the mark of the sort of bigoted mind which believes in “communism for Russia” and opposes “communism for the world”.

      Attaching your flag to hostility to immigration is not only bigoted, but also a guaranteed failure; immigration has proven to be uncontrollable everywhere except for small islands. It’s not worth trying. The only way to do it is incredibly self-destructive.

      The US recently successfully caused Mexican immigration to reverse — now more people are going from the US to Mexico than the other way around. How did we do it? By making the US an unpleasant place with no economic opportunity. Great success there, guys.

      Of course, what I’m making is properly an argument for one world government, but anyway…

  3. mutt50

    Immigration is slowing now that America is a second world country with crumbling infrastructure and a desperate population. We now look enough like Mexico or any banana republic, that there is no great advantage to coming here. It will probably increase with climate change. The elites want to crush unions and drive wages down as low as possible. They will succeed. We are too distracted by gadgets and stupid cultural issues to care.

    1. tom allen

      “Stupid cultural issues” — by which I assume you mean the rights of gay people like me? And “Mexico or any banana republic”? Elitist much yourself?

      1. El Guapo

        Yup. “Stupid cultural issues” are those that apply to other less important people. “Identity politics” = equal rights for those dirty gays/women/coloreds. Why does anyone waste their time with these “wedge issues”?

        1. John F. Opie

          Why do people obsess with wedge issues? Because they are wedge issues, part and parcel of divide-and-conquer, reducing everything to identity politics in order to ensure that the only groups are ethnic and lifestyle groups, rather than economic interest groups.

          It’s the Chicago way. Seriously. Play one ethnic group off the other, blaming “The Other” for lack of jobs/housing/good schools, inciting resentment that someone is taking what’s yours, it’s all a zero-sum game. For those playing these kinds of politics – and you know who you are – everything is a zero-sum game.

          They win, everyone else loses.

          1. Aquifer

            Personally, i think that dividing people on the basis of economic interests – the whole “class war” thing, is just as divisive. Why can’t we unite around the “rights” we all are entitled to – food, clothing shelter, decent education, dignified work, freedom of expression, a livable environment, etc.

            Why can’t our “identity” be as living beings embedded in this limited planet? When asked to check off a “race” or “ethnic” identity in a form, I simply write in “human” ..

          2. chitown2020

            We The People can surely all unite under and agree on the language in the preamble to the Constitution which assigns no powers to the Federal Government. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

          3. Nathanael

            Aquifer, the problem is that a portion of the upper class (the Koch Brothers, etc.) is very intent on preventing the rest of us from having our basic human rights. That’s why we can’t avoid the class war; a subgroup of the superrich are starting the war, and the 99% have to defend themselves.

            The 99% have the occasional ally among the superrich, of course. (Soros is the only one who comes to mind, properly speaking; perhaps his personal history makes him recognize the dangers better than others.)

  4. mutt50

    @tom allen,
    Yes. The rights of gay and any other citizens should not be up for debate. It is a tragic waste of effort to have to keep fighting bigots, who drive our national debates into the ditch. That is what I meant by “stupid”
    And Mexico is a corrupt oligarchy, run by a callous class of elites who don’t care about ordinary Mexicans. A lot like here.
    Judgmental much yourself?

    1. Heretic

      I agree with you, the issue of gay rights and abortions are massive wedge issue… To separate the social rightwing sense of reason from perceiving the real harm that is being done to their parishioners and the health of this nation. It is sad to see, but the elites behind the democrats and the republicans can control the Christian right ‘Pavlov’s dog experiment’, …. Someone mentions gay in the media and the Christian rightwing goes rabid, and shout down any possibility of respectful discourse.

      It is truly a sad thing to witness… This dissolution of reason, civility and discourse in this nation.

      1. GCT

        Heretic herein lies the problem. People want to redfine marriage. My brother is gay and I love him but marriage is between a man and a woman and no matter how you put it to me nothing will change that term. Because I disagree with your view, you will hold me in contempt. I think if you went to some churches you will find most do not care if gay people have civil unions. But it will never be marriage. That does not make a person small minded. I think you will find as we did in our state the majority of people are for civil unions.

        There are extremes in both parties to be honest. You know that. Basically it is going to take a real leader people will want to vote for to solve the problems, how do you thin that type of candidate will make it there in this enviroment? They won’t to be honest. We are so divided in this country over just about everything these days.

        1. Because

          Sorry, but marriage is whatever legal “tender” comes as. Men/Women, Women/Women, it doesn’t matter.

          The Gays want a civil union and get the perks of the “hetros”. Your trying way to hard.

        2. Aquifer

          “marriage is between a man and a woman …”

          Says who? Religious marriage or civil marriage? let the religions make their own choices, but for civil marriage, that is defined by the state. If that were not so, there would be no call for all these new state laws.

          If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, don’t, but don’t tell others they cannot. How does it hurt you, or anyone else for that matter? This is a civil rights issue, for Pete’s sake ….

          It used to be that marriage was for people of the same “race”; we got over that one, now it’s time to get over this ..

        3. Nathanael

          The Unitarians have been sanctioning same-sex marriages for years now. Why is their religious marriage not recognized by the state, while other religions’ marriages are?

          Personally, I think the government should get out of the “marriage” business, leave it to the churches, and have civil unions for everyone. This is roughly what is done in most of continental Europe, where civil marriage is *totally separate* from, and unrelated to, religious marriage.

  5. mutt50

    The “Chicago way”?. Or the North Carolina way?
    both, probably. Truth is, tribalism trumps everything for a lot of scared, ignorant people.

    1. amspirnational

      so if it is impossible or much less so to have economic
      cross-class esprit de corps in a multicultural body politic,
      why not start building socialist (ethno)nationalism instead of complaining?

  6. neil terry

    Micheal is spot on. I’m 60 and have seen the left disappear in the UK. There is no political debate here, just a bimbo-celebrity media space of promises and slagging. There’snot only no one to vote for – I can’t even register a protest in the ballot against all of them.

    1. Chris Rogers


      Not sure which part of the UK you are from, but in my neck of the woods we do actually have more than the three mainstream parties to vote for.

      Here in South Wales, where in many a constituency a monkey would be elected if it wore a Labour Red Rosette, many are waking up to the fact that Labour is much like the Tories and Lib Dem’s, basically a grouping of neoliberals exposing much the same nonsense.

      However, whilst many are still attached to the Labour Party, the umbilical cord is being stretched greatly, – to the point of breaking actually.

      As a lifelong Labour supporter and party member my final break with the Party came with Miliband’s tacit support of student course fees – this after Blair introduced them in the first place.

      As such, I’m now in the Green/Plaid Cymru camp – both parties being closer to my own political make-up than Labour.

      Indeed, such is my disdain for Labour and anything thing that smacks of neoliberal/neoconservtivism, I now support 100% independence for my homeland, rather than be governed by an out of touch elite residing in Westminster – the majority of whom are an insult to the nation.

      1. Nathanael

        I assume the person you’re responding to is from England.

        Scotland has an excellent competent party in the SNP, of course. But they don’t run candidates in England. You just described the Wales situation.

        Northern Ireland is a whole ‘nother ball of wax, but it actually does have competent alternatives.

        But England? Well, I guess you gotta vote Green and hope you can manage to win a constituency or two.

  7. F. Beard

    The banks are heavily privileged by government in the interest of “financial stability”. How’s that working out?

    Let’s go beyond that famous Democrat Andrew Jackson and kill not just “The Bank” but banking itself in the US:

    1) Ban any further borrowing by the US Government; all future deficits are to be financed with pure money “printing”. The existing National Debt should be paid off the same way as it comes due.

    2) Have the US Government set up a risk-free fiat storage and transaction service that makes no loans and pays no interest. This should be free up to certain limits on deposits and transactions.

    3) Ban government deposit insurance, period.

    The above would be massively deflationary so it should be combined with a universal bailout of the entire population with new fiat metered to just replace existing credit as it is paid off.

    1. chitown2020

      There is not enough insurance money on the planet let alone in AIG or at the FDIC to cover the TBTF massive debts. They are just robbing us until we are bankrupt. That is why they must be shut down and the FED abolished. This financial coup de tat has to stop. They are stealing our country for their massive debt that can never be repaid.

      1. chitown2020

        I should say the FDIC would not be able to cover the losses if the truth was revealed about the insolvency of the Big Banks. This is why we need to issue our own currency, U.S. BANK NOTES via State Banks. We need to be able to exchange FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES for U.S. BANK NOTES.

  8. EmilianoZ

    What I find amazing is that Hudson says the masters of finance have no power at all except the power to bribe. I was under the impression that the reason we bailed them out is that they also had the power to sabotage the economy. Hudson should elaborate.

    1. Susan the other

      The banks have been operating like gamblers making bets for or against the market. They haven’t participated in the market, not obligated themselves to many long-term socially beneficial projects for decades. The banks’ only business model is the carry trade. It is a global racket as well as a national one, but we can control the national one and restrict the global one. May be a good transition technique would be to do a national reform along the lines Beard talks about and allow other forms of currency, one of them being a global currency which can be exchanged for national and other local forms of currency. If such a grass-roots global experiment can stand the test of time, or endure long enough to show progress, then a global economy will be viable. If not, then it won’t.

    2. Aquifer

      The reason you were under that impression is an example of what Hudson refers to as the successful brainwashing of the populace by TPTB – they needed folks to believe that in order to extort TARP, et.al.

  9. JIm

    One of the many problems with the “left” in the United States is their shift, in the late 19th century, from a focus on building a democratic society to an almost obsessive concern with harnessing the state as the only instrument for ameliorating the gross social injustices brought about by the concentration of private capital.

    A discussion about why, for the “left,” the state became such an obsessive concern is desperately needed, but for now it is enough to note that much of the public discussion within and around the “left” in the 20th century narrowed down to arguments over the merit and extent of state participation in the economy.

    Economic depression and other social/political crises eventually produced. after World War II. a modern welfare capitalism which was administered by 2 political parties that acted as suppose stand-ins for all of American society. Politics more and more became a preoccupation with the nature and type of rules to be administered by an increasingly distant bureaucratic state and the increasingly distant elites of private capital, each well represented in the 2 party system.

    Alternative to the State as an agency of Liberation

    Near the end of the recent Bowles and Gintis book “A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and its Evolution” they argue that … “neither private contract or government fiat singly or in combination provides and adequate basis for the governance of modern society.”

    Bowles and Gintis instead focus on what they call altruistic cooperation as the essential foundation for social and economic life.

    What if, for example, a new radical politics was to shift its focus to the importance of altruistic cooperation at the community level as the key agency of transformation and not on a dependency on the national state.?

    What if, for example, a new radical politics was was to shift to a focus to a restructuring of national power to democratic control on a local and a regional level and not on a dependency on the national state?

    What if, for example a new radical politics was to shift it focus to a more populist concern with small ownership and the rebuilding of local communities (around the economies of food, for example) and not a dependency on the national state?

    Such shifts towards a new radical politics, without a dependency on the state, may then offer a genuine foundation for a political realignment that could, taken the historical traditions of our country, sweep away our present corrupt hierarchies of authority that are so distant and increasingly alien to us.

    1. JTFaraday

      I agree with the idea of building a movement from the ground up, apart from the increasingly alien state.

      But, such a detached grassroots movement does leave unresolved the small matter of the sociopathic dictator– who is, as you suggest, in part a monster of “our own” making– and who seems to think that they now have the right to do whatever they want to us.

      1. JTFaraday

        That’s also quite an about face for the Bowles and Gintis who wrote “Schooling in Capitalist America.”

    2. Because

      Democratic societies as a basic landmark never work. The state is eternal. It will always exist. As will the warrior,merchant or slave. The destruction of the state is a freemason/illumanti dream. No more state means control by the low castes into a new “state” of being. It is why the intellectualism of Abbie Hoffman or Ron Paul will never work. They intellectualize unreality.

      I think you need to accept the traditional school’s arguement against this. You need a strong “rule” to unite the tribes and bring a beneficial harvest into working together democratically. Democracy can exist on some levels, but on several other levels, it cannot.

      1. JTFaraday

        They didn’t say “abolish the state,” they said build a bottom up movement to “sweep away our present corrupt hierarchies of authority.”

        Hierarchy does have a way of reasserting itself, but it’s not as if some semblance of the above has never been done before.

        In any case, the state is not eternal. The state hasn’t even been around all that long, although I will grant you that it does have a storied history already.

        1. Because

          My friend, the state is always eternal. We all have a ‘state’ inside of us. Whoever is in power creates a state, which goes back to my Hoffman/Paul society they intellectualize. There will be a state, no matter how deformed or diasterious it is.

        2. Nathanael

          “Hierarchy does have a way of reasserting itself”.

          And quite quickly.

          As for “the state”, it dates to before recorded history. Heck, it appears to predate farming.

          Governments arise naturally and the best we know how to do is to try to keep them under democratic control. This in itself is already extremely difficult.

  10. Aquifer

    Thank you very much, Michael Hudson, for addressing one of my biggest peeves – the degree to which the populace has been brainwashed into accepting the TINA narrative, even though better alternatives do exist and are available to be chosen ..

    He stressed that both with regard to the the bank bailout situation and with regard to the political duopoly.

    Until we understand that the TINA meme is NOT a structural feature, a “natural law”, an “inevitable occurrence”, “common sense”, or written on tablets of stone, but is something deliberately promulgated by TPTB to maintain their power, we will get nowhere. Once we understand that there are indeed alternatives – we will begin to examine them and make choices based on their merits. Until then we are stuck in Plato’s cave …

    The one area where he seems to have a bit of a blind spot is where he mentions Kucinich, who had/has a lot of great ideas but whose problem is that he cannot cut the umbilical cord to the Dems, considerably undercutting whatever credibility he might otherwise have …..

    There were alternatives to bailing out the banks and there are alternatives to the duopoly. Let us choose them …

    For an alternative that Hudson says does indeed exist, go Green and get the hell out of that damn cave … painting or writing on the walls, no matter how elegant, is not an adequate substitute ….

    1. Otter

      Why don’t you evaluate what Kucinich says by what it means, or better by what better meaning can be derive therefrom?

      Surely it would wiser and more honest to criticise his pisspoor political strategy as a political strategy, and criticise his ideas as ideas.

      I don’t think you have fallen into ad hominem, but you have surely committed rhetorical confusion.

  11. S Cargo

    You can’t just say “the banks have the power to assasinate” and then roll right on, never addressing that and the power it implies. If electeds face the explicit threat of assasination when bribery fails to work, that’s the whole ballgame, it’s over, the people cannot win in that case.

    1. Nathanael

      No, if that’s the case it’s the BEGINNING of the ballgame.

      If people as a whole conclude that we’re operating in the world of brute force and threats of assassination, a whole lot of other tools suddenly start to seem like options to the general public, which were previously dismissed out of hand.

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