This digest is prepared by B.Love especially for SouthFront
With world stock markets “melting down” today – a result of the unlimited gift of “hot money” (so-called Quantitative Easing or QE) by global bankers around the world, it was only a matter of time until the financial bubble burst. But fear not. The global bankers always make money when the stock market collapses (Hint: Buy low, sell high) so they will likely rake in billions of additional profits during this planned economic collapse. We can afford to wait a day or two more before reporting further on the “Great Collapse of 2015” because this economic “down cycle” is going to be with us for a long, long time. Instead, let’s look at a few other interesting news items from around the world and from around your back yard. For starters, Henry Giroux outlines the similarities and, even more importantly, the differences between what we know as the fascism that was practiced in Europe during the 20th century and what we now see emerging (2015) in the United States.
Dr. Giroux, a Professor in the Arts and Science Program at McMasters University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada provides an overview describing how totalitarianism is not just a thing of the past but is alive and well and living within American culture today. Although history produces different forms of authoritarianism, they all share a hatred for democracy, dissent and human rights. Instead of swastikas, America has the Stars and Stripes and Christian crosses. No fascist salutes but mass recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance. These are the obligatory litmus tests for detecting an internal enemy. Instead of political leaders who commit themselves to preserving, protecting and serving the public good, we now have public officials who embrace a war culture that shapes every aspect of society.
Corporations, as we know, are not really “people” however U.S. law not only treats corporations as “people” but gives corporations many advantages that real people do not have. For example, corporations enjoy limited liability. This means that they can go out of business and never have to pay their debts. Try that if you are a real person. In addition, corporations enjoy lower tax rates than real people. Ah, but that is not enough. Now corporations all over America are practicing a new technique called “inversion” that lowers their taxes even more. “Inversion” involves legally becoming a foreign corporation thereby substantially lowering the taxes owed to the U.S. government (an entity that, by the way, is supposed to be working for the good of the American people – ahh, but that’s another story). Through “inversion” the corporation continues to exist and do business in the United States but, because it’s now a “foreign” corporation, it voids paying taxes on much of the income (especially the foreign income) that it earns. Some large corporations hold billions (yes, that’s billions, with a “b”) of dollars of profits offshore and never pay U.S. taxes on it. So who has to make up for the tax revenue that is NOT paid by these large corporations? Why, the good old hard-working, ever-shrinking, tax-paying American middle class. They can’t practice “inversion” or other tax-avoidance schemes.
When we think of World War II German concentration camps, we naturally think of the Jews as the inhabitants of these camps but the first concentration camp “guests” were not the Jews but the political opponents of Hitler’s Nazi regime – the Social Democrats, the intellectuals and the Communists. Soon after Hitler came to power, the establishment of concentration camps began, primarily to house political prisoners. These camps served to intimidate and to neutralize political opponents. By 1939, the camps were used for so-called “mercy killing” of adults and children from state-run hospitals. Those killed were considered to be too “unproductive” and a drain on the resources of the state. The killing expanded to include members of the German professional class – lawyers, doctors, nurses, economists and intellectuals. In addition to gas chambers, sometimes lethal drugs were used, other times – starvation. The gas-chamber killing techniques that were developed by the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadrons or SS) were later used on a far-wider scale in an attempt to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.
I don’t know how much we can say about the following article except perhaps that the estimate of four million people killed may be far too low. The article is based on the March 15, 2015 “Body Count” report by the Physicians for Social Responsibility which focuses on the human death count in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It also touches on Libya but it doesn’t say anything about the people killed in places like Syria where estimates of the number of dead range between 140,000 and 330,000. And what about the dead in Gaza and Yemen? And how about the number of people killed in the on-going war in the Ukraine? For each war death, how many more people have life-changing injuries? How many are forced to flee from their homes and live in foreign refugee camps? It’s probably best if you just read the following article and then try to add up all the numbers for yourself. By the way, the last time I looked, the US-NATO war(s) to take control of the Middle East and to defeat the Russian Federation were still ongoing. Who really knows what the final tally of dead, injured and displaced people will be?
The key Shanghai Composite Index sank another 7.63 percent Tuesday, extending its worst four-day rout since 1996. The index has fallen 22 percent since August 19. Investors were rattled as the China Securities Regulatory Commission made no attempt to reassure markets after Monday’s crash, as they did a month ago after an 8.5 percent drop.
“It’s panic selling and an issue of confidence,” Wei Wei, an analyst at Huaxi Securities in Shanghai, told Bloomberg News.“The government won’t step in to rescue the market again, as it’s a global selloff and it’s spreading everywhere now. It’s not going to work this time.”