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Monday 15th of August 2022
 





29-NOV-2021 :: Regime Change The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop
Law & Politics


29-NOV-2021 :: Regime Change The Music has been playing for Eternity and its about to stop


There is no training – classroom or otherwise.. that can prepare for trading the last third of a move, whether it's the end of a bull market or the end of a bear market. There's typically no logic to it; irrationality reigns supreme, and no class can teach what to do during that brief, volatile reign. Paul Tudor-Jones

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The elixir @thesecretouniv1
Misc.


The elixir @thesecretouniv1

The elixir if we think, everything that exists is born from a thought and to every root of a thought we can look for a use, a why, a utility, because everything is part of everything, and if we think it for the Good of All and of all, it is marvellous

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Chinese president Xi Jinping expected to visit Saudi Arabia next week @guardian
Law & Politics


Chinese president Xi Jinping expected to visit Saudi Arabia next week @guardian 


The welcome being prepared for the Chinese leader is in stark contrast with that afforded to Joe Biden in June, when the US president received a low-key reception, reflecting strained ties between the two countries and personal distaste between Biden and the de facto Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman.
Xi, however, is instead expected to receive a bells-and-whistles welcome intended to consolidate ties between Beijing and Riyadh and reinforce the image of China as an ally of Saudi Arabia, as ties with Washington continue to drift.

“China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trade partner. It is the largest buyer of Saudi oil,” said Mohammed Alyahya, a fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center’s Middle East Institute and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. 

“China is very important in the region geopolitically. It has been eyeing military bases in Africa and elsewhere. In the past its interests had been purely mercantilist, focused entirely on commerce. Now they’re increasingly looking at things through a strategic lens.

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Turning point in W.Asian history since historic Valentine Day meeting on USS Quincy in 1945! If Xi's 'expected' visit materialises, it'll message Saudi distancing from America. @BhadraPunchline
Law & Politics

Turning point in W.Asian history since historic Valentine Day meeting on USS Quincy in 1945! If Xi's 'expected' visit materialises, it'll message Saudi distancing from America. US will be kept at arm's length through Saudi succession being likely spoiler.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022 the very same exorbitant privilege that King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia gave President Franklin D Roosevelt aboard the USS Quincy in Great Bitter Lake in February 14, 1945 when the petro dollar economy was symbolically bor
Law & Politics

Russia essentially gave the $ and the Euro the very same exorbitant privilege that King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia gave President Franklin D Roosevelt aboard the USS Quincy in Great Bitter Lake in February 14, 1945 when the petro dollar economy was symbolically born. By insisting payments are made in Russian Rubles for Russian commodities Vladimir Putin has withdrawn that exorbitant privilege.

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Henry Kissinger Is Worried About ‘Disequilibrium’ @WSJ
Law & Politics


Henry Kissinger Is Worried About ‘Disequilibrium’  @WSJ 


At 99 years old, Henry Kissinger has just published his 19th book, “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy.” 

Asked if he knows of any contemporary leader who shares this combination of qualities, he says, 

“No. I would make the qualification that, though DeGaulle had this in him, this vision of himself, in the case of Nixon and probably Sadat, or even of Adenauer, you would not have known at an earlier stage. On the other hand, none of these people were essentially tactical people. They mastered the art of tactics, but they had a perception of purpose as they entered office.”

‘I think that the current period has a great trouble defining a direction. It’s very responsive to the emotion of the moment.’
One never goes long in conversation with Mr. Kissinger without hearing that word—purpose—the defining quality of the prophet, along with another, equilibrium, the guiding preoccupation of the statesman

Since the 1950s, when he was a Harvard scholar writing on nuclear strategy, Mr. Kissinger has understood diplomacy as a balancing act among great powers shadowed by the potential for nuclear catastrophe. 

The apocalyptic potential of modern weapons technology, in his view, makes sustaining an equilibrium of hostile powers, however uneasy it might be, an overriding imperative of international relations.
“In my thinking, equilibrium has two components,” he tells me. 

“A kind of balance of power, with an acceptance of the legitimacy of sometimes opposing values. Because if you believe that the final outcome of your effort has to be the imposition of your values, then I think equilibrium is not possible. So one level is a sort of absolute equilibrium.” The other level, he says, is “equilibrium of conduct, meaning there are limitations to the exercise of your own capabilities and power in relation to what is needed for the overall equilibrium.” 

Achieving this combination takes “an almost artistic skill,” he says

“It’s not very often that statesmen have aimed at it deliberately, because power had so many possibilities of being expanded without being disastrous that countries never felt that full obligation.”

Mr. Kissinger concedes that equilibrium, while essential, can’t be a value in itself. 

“There can be situations where coexistence is morally impossible,” he notes. 

“For example, with Hitler. With Hitler it was useless to discuss equilibrium—even though I have some sympathy for Chamberlain if he was thinking that he needed to gain time for a showdown that he thought would be inevitable anyway.”
There is a hint, in “Leadership,” of Mr. Kissinger’s hope that contemporary American statesmen might absorb the lessons of their predecessors. 

“I think that the current period has a great trouble defining a direction,” Mr. Kissinger says. 

“It’s very responsive to the emotion of the moment.” 

Americans resist separating the idea of diplomacy from that of “personal relationships with the adversary.” 

They tend to view negotiations, he tells me, in missionary rather than psychological terms, seeking to convert or condemn their interlocutors rather than to penetrate their thinking.
Mr. Kissinger sees today’s world as verging on a dangerous disequilibrium. 

“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,” he says

Could the U.S. manage the two adversaries by triangulating between them, as during the Nixon years? 

He offers no simple prescription. “You can’t just now say we’re going to split them off and turn them against each other. All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose.”

On the question of Taiwan, Mr. Kissinger worries that the U.S. and China are maneuvering toward a crisis, and he counsels steadiness on Washington’s part. 

“The policy that was carried out by both parties has produced and allowed the progress of Taiwan into an autonomous democratic entity and has preserved peace between China and the U.S. for 50 years,” he says.

 “One should be very careful, therefore, in measures that seem to change the basic structure.”
Mr. Kissinger courted controversy earlier this year by suggesting that incautious policies on the part of the U.S. and NATO may have touched off the crisis in Ukraine. 

He sees no choice but to take Vladimir Putin’s stated security concerns seriously and believes that it was a mistake for NATO to signal to Ukraine that it might eventually join the alliance:

 “I thought that Poland—all the traditional Western countries that have been part of Western history—were logical members of NATO,” he says. 

But Ukraine, in his view, is a collection of territories once appended to Russia, which Russians see as their own, even though “some Ukrainians” do not. 

Stability would be better served by its acting as a buffer between Russia and the West: 

“I was in favor of the full independence of Ukraine, but I thought its best role was something like Finland.”

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"There is an almost complete absence of policy innovation. The party grasps around for yesterday’s answers to yesterday’s problems, copying the homework of Thatcher, a leader who has been out of power for 30 years" @Juergen_Maier
Law & Politics



"There is an almost complete absence of policy innovation. The party grasps around for yesterday’s answers to yesterday’s problems, copying the homework of Thatcher, a leader who has been out of power for 30 years" @Juergen_Maier



Very well written article, this summarises the situation for me: "There is an almost complete absence of policy innovation. The party grasps around for yesterday’s answers to yesterday’s problems, copying the homework of Thatcher, a leader who has been out of power for 30 years"

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The crisis at the heart of the Conservative party @spectator
Law & Politics


The crisis at the heart of the Conservative party @spectator 

It is always interesting to read the Wikipedia pages of plane crashes. Thanks to the data recovered from black boxes, especially the cockpit voice recordings, the last moments of flights can be recreated with vivid accuracy. The most interesting are those caused largely by human error.
In those final fateful moments, you can observe highly intelligent, highly trained professionals making error after error, gradually dooming them and their passengers. 

Despite the ringing alarms of the onboard systems, they lose sight of what they are doing or how to avoid the impending doom. 

They pull the joystick instead of releasing it, they shut down the working engine instead of the failing one, or sometimes the two pilots pull in different directions, cancelling each other out. 

Eventually, they hit the Point of No Return and, shortly after, the ground.
The current Conservative leadership election has a similar atmosphere. 

Every day in this interminably long contest, the final two candidates fire out press releases and half-formed policy proposals, only to wind them back in – flailing around the controls they want to wield in a month’s time. Meanwhile, the country heads towards crisis.
Neither Rishi Sunak nor Liz Truss appears to recognise or acknowledge the looming problems Britain faces, both in the short and the long term. 

Analysts predict that this winter the energy price cap will hit £4,400. For the average household, this will represent 14 per cent of their post-tax income. 

As an isolated threat, that would mean deep discomfort for many households. 

Combined with other price rises and increasing interest rates, it will mean destitution. Government will have to act to prevent this, yet everything promised so far is lacklustre.

This isn’t, however, meant to be a mere catalogue of the UK’s woes. 

Instead, these issues are served up to highlight what is arguably the most pervasive and surprising problem the Tory party faces: that it doesn’t care about politics.

That is not to say that the party doesn’t care about winning elections. It remains ruthlessly committed to that and its record is clear. 

Even after the crashing scandals of the Johnson era, the incoming PM has a fighting chance of securing the next election, leaving the Tories in government for nearly 20 years. 

The problem is that the party no longer understands why or to what end they wield such power.

Factionalism within the party is driven far more by aesthetics than by ideology. One (former) MP once told me that when he asked his association why they had picked him for a safe seat, he was told ‘It was the lovely way you spoke about your wife at the selection’.

Rather than principles or goals, the Tory party today lives for day-to-day reactions to the things that catch its eye. 

Most MPs have no understanding of economics, but instead repeat half-remembered maxims about lower taxes (we are, it seems, forever to the right of the Laffer curve), whilst at the same time celebrating the latest boondoggle that happens to land in their constituency.

Even on its beloved Brexit, the Conservative party tries to stoke an ongoing threat that it might be undone or revoked or strangled at birth rather than engage with the realities of leaving the EU. 

With the simple in and out completed, there is no clue whether Britain’s future is Singapore on Thames or shoring up the dying embers of Red Wall industries. Instead, it jumps to silly-season headlines on imperial measures and crowns on pint glasses.

There is an almost complete absence of policy innovation. The party grasps around for yesterday’s answers to yesterday’s problems, copying the homework of Thatcher, a leader who has been out of power for 30 years and dead for ten. 

The party has become a machine for garnering headlines and votes but is now starting to stall. Insulated by a media which also focuses on the day-to-day rigmarole of politics as soap opera, our leaders are missing the signs of short- and long-term crisis which will soon hit. They are failing to adapt, failing to plan. The sirens are ringing, the ground is coming.

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Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity ..
Law & Politics


Vanity of Vanities! All is vanity


Blofeld: Kronsteen, you are sure this plan is foolproof?
Kronsteen: Yes it is, because I have anticipated every possible variation of counter-move.
Politics therefore suffers from a surfeit of narcissists.

In terms of a method to ‘manage’ government, it is not far from tribal elders howling incantations around the camp fire after inspecting the entrails of slaughtered animals. 

The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble.
At a time when what is required is agile multi disciplinary thinking we have ''weaponized babble''

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Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
Law & Politics


Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent


“Now is the winter of our discontent” is the opening of a speech by William Shakespeare from Richard III.
It was also used to describe the profound industrial unrest that took place in 1978—9 in the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Callaghan was asked by a reporter
"What is your general approach, in view of the mounting chaos in the country at the moment?" and replied:
Well, that's a judgment that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.
The next day's edition of The Sun headlined its story "Crisis? What crisis?"

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The Masque of Pandora Alastair Crooke
Law & Politics


The Masque of Pandora Alastair Crooke


What happens when people awake to the deceit of Totalitarian-Lite posing as liberty and individualism (let alone democracy)?
Well, this piece is from the leading Establishment journal from the Deep-State-linked, Anglosphere, the Daily Telegraph:
“This is the summer before the storm. Make no mistake, with energy prices set to rise to unprecedented highs, we are approaching one of the biggest geopolitical earthquake in decadesThe ensuing convulsions are likely to be of a far greater order of magnitude than those that followed the 2008 financial crash, which sparked protests culminating in the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring 
“Carnage has already arrived in the developing world, with power outages from Cuba to South Africa. Sri Lanka is just one of a cascade of low-income countries where leaders face being driven out of power in an ignominious blaze of petrol droughts and loan defaults.
“But the West is not going to escape this Armageddon. In fact, in many ways, it looks set to be its epicentre – and Britain, its Ground Zero. In Europe and America, a technocratic élite system built on mythology and complacency is crumbling. 

Its founding fable – which prophesied the nation states’ glorious enmeshment in world government and supply chains – has metastasised into a parable of the perils of globalisation.
This time, élites cannot shirk responsibility for the consequences of their fatal errors … Put simply, the emperor has no clothes: The Establishment simply has no message for voters in the face of hardship. The only vision for the future it can conjure up is Net Zero – a dystopian agenda that takes the sacrificial politics of austerity and financialisation of the world economy to new heights. 

But it is a perfectly logical programme for an élite that has become unhinged from the real world”.
Yes, the western sphere has become so prone to a ‘head-spinning’ disorientation (as was intended), through the constant rain of disinformation labels, stuck haphazardly across anything critical of the ‘uniform messaging’, and by outrageous, obvious lying, that a majority in the western world has begun to question their own and surrounding levels of sanity.
In their bemusement, they have come to see the ‘messaging’ of sacrificial politics and the financialisation of absolutely everything as ‘perfectly rational’. They have been rendered helpless, held immobile in a spider’s web. Bewitched.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone,
“it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
(Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass)

Yes, the Beast’s Siren Call is for sacrificial politics to be levered down upon the people, whilst the horsemen of War and Pandemic all scream out that an apocalyptic hour approaches. 

We may call it a collective syndrome – similar to the Witch Craze of the 14th–17th Centuries – but today, the phenomenon WB Yeats termed the ‘rough beast’ with its’ gaze as ‘blank and pitiless as the sun’, is better known simply as Ideology.
The word ‘ideology’ is often used as a synonym for political ideas, a corruption of language that conceals its fundamentally anti-political, latent totalitarian character. 

Ideology is incapable of treating human beings as distinct participants in a shared, non-political social life. 

Today’s woke ideology sees human association rather, as groups to be acted upon. It is explicitly anti-National, anti-Sovereign, anti-Traditional Religion, anti-Traditional Culture, anti-National Infrastructure, and anti-Family.
The term idéologie was coined during the French Revolution by Antoine Destutt de Tracy, an anti-clerical materialist philosopher who conceived of idéologie as a social science of ‘ideas’ that would inform the construction of a rational progressive society governed by an enlightened élite, whose technical expertise would justify their claim to rule.
These contours to European ideology, as they emerged during the French revolutionary era, largely were cast by the Franks in the period before, and after Charlemagne. 

It was then that the doctrine of racial superiority arose (‘others’ were ‘barbarian’ and Pagan and served only as slaves). 

It was then too, that outward, predatory expansionism (the Crusades, then colonialism) was embedded in the European psyche.
The Charlemagne era further cemented an unbridgeable social schism. The Frankish oligarch in his castle; his Frankish bishops inculcating his villein serfs, living by the foot of the castle, with vivid fear of eternal Hell.

 To which, the non-elect was pre-destined, unless improbably, they gained the grace of God. 

This nascent Frankish ‘idea’ was precursor to how we Europeans are today: the sense of absolute superiority; of belonging to an elect; and Europe’s class divide – are today’s shadows from that totalitarian era.
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
''Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

What the French Revolution added was raw ideology, through the radical shift in the relation between state and traditional society. 

Rousseau is often taken as the icon of ‘liberty’ and ‘individualism’ and is widely admired. Yet here we have that clear corruption of language which conceals ideology’s fundamentally anti-political character.
Rousseau explicitly refused human participation in non-political, shared life. 

He saw the human associations rather, as groups to be acted upon so that all thinking and daily behaviour could be folded into the like-minded units of a unitary state.
It is that unified state – the absolute state – which Rousseau upholds at the expense of the other forms of cultural tradition, together with the moral ‘narratives’ that provide context to terms such as good, justice and telos.
The individualism of Rousseau’s thought, therefore, is no libertarian assertion of absolute rights against the all-consuming state. No raising of the ‘tri-colour’ against an oppressive state.
Quite the reverse! Rousseau’s passionate ‘defence of the individual’ arises out of his opposition to ‘the tyranny’ of social convention – the forms and ancient myths that bind society: religion, family, history, and social institutions. 

His ideal may be proclaimed as that of individual freedom; but it is ‘freedom’, however, not in a sense of immunity from control of the state, but in our withdrawal from the supposed oppressions and corruptions of collective society.
Family relationship is thus transmuted subtly into a political relationship; the molecule of the family is broken into the atoms of its individuals. 

With these atoms today groomed further to shed their biological gender, their cultural identity and ethnicity, they are coalesced afresh into the single unity of the state.
This is the deceit concealed in the ideologues’ language of freedom and individualism. It is rather, the politicization of everything into the mould of an authoritarian singularity of perception. 

The late George Steiner said the Jacobins “abolished the millennial barrier between common life and the enormities of the historical [past]. 

Past the hedge and gate of even the humblest garden, march the bayonets of political ideology and historic conflict”.
This Jacobin inheritance was polished further by the Fabians and the likes of HG Wells, who wrote in his new Bible Trilogy, published in 1901,
“It has become apparent that whole masses of human population are, as a whole, inferior in their claim upon the future, to other masses, that they cannot be given opportunities or trusted with power as the superior peoples are trusted, that their characteristic weaknesses are contagious and detrimental to the civilizing fabric, and that their range of incapacity tempts and demoralizes the strong. 

To give them equality is to sink to their level, to protect and cherish them is to be swamped in their fecundity.”
Bertrand Russell (linked with the same current of thought) would put it most succinctly in The Scientific Outlook (1931):
“The scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and women and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power. 

Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual, thoughtless and contented. 

Of these qualities, probably contentment will be considered the most important all the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called “cooperative” i.e.: to do exactly what everybody else is doing. 

Initiative will be discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being punished will be scientifically trained out of them”.
In sum, today’s ‘Totalitarianism Lite’ (Niall Ferguson coinage) of contemporary western life, accepts that whilst human beings naturally form social groups for common purposes, today’s woke ideology assumes that organic associations natural to any rooted community, cannot support a good society (because of ingrained racism, etc.), and therefore must be cleansed from the top down to rid it of such legacies. 

This is the ‘Bolshevik’ seed that Rousseau sowed.
Here is the point: Our disorientation and sense of disappearing sanity owes not a little to the psychic stress of embracing an ideology that purports to be exactly what it is not. Or, in other words, it proclaims liberty and the individual, when concealed within is absolute statism.
Alain Besançon remarks that “it is just not possible to remain intelligent under the spell of ideology”. Intelligence, after all, is an ongoing attentiveness to reality, which is inconsistent with willfulness and fantasy. 

Nor can it take root in the sterile soil of widespread cultural repudiation. This is why all ideological regimes are without exception plagued by sheer ineptitude.
Which neatly returns us to the afore-quoted Telegraph piece:
“Nor is there any explanation for this fiasco apart from decades of failed assumptions and policy missteps by our governing class. 

In the wake of the [2008] Great Financial Crisis, the Establishment just about managed to convince the public to submit to the purifying rigours of austerity [sacrificial politics] – persuading voters that we all shared the blame for the crisis and must all play a role in atoning for the country’s mistakes. 

This time, élites cannot shirk responsibility for the consequences of their fatal errors.
“Carnage has already arrived … And Britain is not going to escape [it]. In fact, in many ways, it looks set to be the tinderbox of Europe.

“The predicament we face is likely game-changing. We have barely begun to grasp how unpredictable the next few years are likely to be – and how poorly prepared we are to face the consequences

This may sound like a grim prognosis, but particularly in Britain, it does feel as if we just may have entered the final act of an economic system that has patently failed. It is clearer than ever that the emperor has no clothes and has no more stories to distract us with”.
The author is right. There will be public protests – in some states, perhaps, more than others; civil disobedience – such has already been launched in the UK and in the Netherlands: 

‘The Don’t Pay’ campaign, which is urging people to join a ‘mass non-payment strike’, is the first token of pushback.
This, however, is but the initial step. When the western financial authorities say they ‘welcome’ a recession to destroy demand – and so to reduce inflation – implicit in this statement is an élite conviction that protest can and will be successfully squashed.
All the signs are that a ruthless, violent, and administrative suppression of popular disquiet is being contemplated.
Every so often, throughout history, humans have periodically experienced a deep sense of their lives being somehow hollow, of nothing realised, and of the world about them being sham – being somehow illusory and empty of meaning.
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

But if we look back at this pattern, repeating itself, time and time again, we get a clear sense of both the event and of the repeating experience of void. 

For, it is the insecurity and fearfulness associated with ‘void’ which causes torpor to fade, and people to erupt into rebellious disorder. 

And why also the attempt by the élite inner circle ‘to manage away’ such awakenings, so easily ends in tragedy (and bloodshed).
But there is a further – major – difficulty in today’s situation. Even if the ‘doors of perception were cleansed’ (Huxley), it is that there is no ‘there – there’. 

No neat conceptualisation to which he or she can say: ‘here is to ‘where’ we should be going’ – or, at least, there is ‘no-where’ that would make sense to those already becoming half-panicked at what they perceive to be the assault on all the landmarks by which they have lived their lives.
What then might ultimately break a collective psychosis caught up in some irresistible, ‘magical’ spell? Well, put simply, pain. Pain is the great clarifying agency.
What happens when people awake to the deceit of Totalitarian-Lite posing as liberty and individualism (let alone democracy!). 

The question then becomes: To what other ‘image-idea’ will the people collectively migrate?
The geo-political implication is that Italy may migrate to one; Germany to another; and France to yet another, and others may just ‘give up’ on the whole mess of European politics (and nihilism will rise). Does this matter? Might it possibly be revitalising?
It does let us address directly the ‘Beast of ideology’, who through ‘his’ own ineptitude, has inadvertently stripped Pandora of her masque, thus opening her box. Who may say which masque she will don next!

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PROLEGOMENA TO A FRANCISCAN CAPITALISM Fabio Vighi
Law & Politics


PROLEGOMENA TO A FRANCISCAN CAPITALISM Fabio Vighi 


“La conjuration des imbéciles” is the title of a short essay by Jean Baudrillard published in Libération on May 7, 1997

Reflecting on the political success of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National, Baudrillard lashes out against the conformist moralism of the left. 

Two questions from that text strike at the heart of our present: 

‘Is it possible today to utter anything unusual, insolent, heterodox or paradoxical without being labelled a far-right extremist? […] Why has everything that is moral, compliant and conformist, which was traditionally on the right, now moved to the left?’ 

Baudrillard argues that the left, ‘by stripping itself of all political energy’, has become ‘a purely moral jurisdiction, the embodiment of universal values, champion of the kingdom of Virtue and guardian of museum values of the Good and of Truth; a jurisdiction that can hold everyone accountable without having to answer to anyone.’ 

Given this depressing context, ‘repressed political energy necessarily crystallizes elsewhere – in the enemy’s camp. The left, therefore, by embodying the reign of Virtue, which is also the reign of the greatest hypocrisy, can only feed Evil.’

Baudrillard’s argument proves useful to understand our epoch’s ideological obsession with Evil. 

The narratives of Evil that fill our collective imaginary serve to consolidate the illusion that globalized capitalism is morally grounded

This illusion is increasingly necessary for a world that has eliminated all external referents: a global economic system approaching saturation cannot stand on its own feet

The more capitalism perseveres in liquidating anything that refuses to comply with its laws, the more it implodes. 

And the more it also becomes hostage to a perverse logic based on the fantasy of a ferocious enemy ready to annihilate us.

Today’s Evil often emerges as an obscene populist mob, that ‘basket of deplorables’ (Hillary Clinton) whom we all love to hate. 

The liberal-democratic forces of the planet fight the populist rabble by drawing on the inexhaustible narrative repertoire of fairy-tales and of Hollywood, where the Good eventually triumphs. 

However, the humanitarian war of today’s moralizers is so heartfelt that they conveniently forget how the humanity they want to save has already been plundered, crushed, and at best sold off to the highest bidder precisely by the knights of the liberal apocalypse.

There is a simple claim in Baudrillard’s text that perfectly captures the hypocrisy I am referring to: ‘Le Pen is criticized for rejecting and excluding immigrants, but this is nothing compared to the processes of social exclusion that take place everywhere.’ 

Why limit yourself to fighting the racism of those who reject immigrants, when social discrimination is everywhere, in the form of exclusion, ghettoization, slave-like exploitation, and war? 

Why persist in seeing only populist walls, when globalization itself is increasingly criminal? 

Perhaps the answer is simpler than it may seem: by pointing the finger at the bad guy, we protect ourselves from the acknowledgement of our intimate collusion with systemic violence. 

That is to say, we protect ourselves from the viral racism encoded in the DNA of Western liberal democracies, upon which our sacred identities and privileges are founded.

As shown by Domenico Losurdo, the civil conquests of liberal ideology were established in symbiosis with the modern tragedies of slavery, deportation, and genocide.[i] 

These tragedies return in the diabolical project of neoliberal globalization. The paradox that guides the moralistic drive of today’s “good politics” was perfectly summarised by Baudrillard:

‘If Le Pen did not exist, he would have to be invented. It is he who frees us from the evil side of ourselves, from the quintessence of all that is worst in us. For this, he is cursed. But woe to us if he disappears, because his disappearance would trigger our racist, sexist and nationalist viruses (we have all of them) or, simply, the homicidal negativity of social being.’

Jean-Marie Le Pen did not disappear. He was cloned and slotted into a colourful carousel of monsters whose role it is to distract us from real processes of socio-economic devastation that push millions into misery, despair, and the fratricidal struggle for survival. 

This suggests that neoliberal ideology sustains itself not only through what Goethe called ‘active ignorance’, or what psychoanalysis knows as ‘fetishistic disavowal’, but also through a duplicitous kind of moralism that immunizes those who promote it.

Drawing on Roberto Esposito’s central philosophical theme, today’s obsession with vaccines should be read as an immunological metaphor that accurately depicts our zeitgeist. 

While mass vaccination is firmly tied to the logic of profit-making, it also captures the functioning of a global power apparatus that self-inoculates immoral and anti-democratic pathogens in order to stimulate the production of alleged antibodies. 

From Le Pen to Trump, from Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction to Islamic terrorism, from the COVID-19 pandemic narrative to Iran’s nuclear program, we are looking at a long series of immunological operations through which we seek to legitimize a blatantly (self-)destructive socio-economic model by unloading its murderous madness on “flavour-of-the-month” evildoers. 

This is why global governance is fatally addicted to emergency narratives.

As with Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, the excrescence of Evil is produced by the Good, and it must be eliminated to hide this embarrassing truth. 

In this respect, Max Horkheimer’s immortal admonition should be kept in mind: ‘Whoever is not willing to talk about capitalism should also keep quiet about fascism. […] The totalitarian order differs from its bourgeois predecessor only in that it has lost its inhibitions.’[ii] 

For instance, we have been recently persuaded that Donald Trump is responsible for all the horrors of the Earth, from the slavery, upon which the United States of America was built, to the latest “apocalyptic” virus. 

It does not matter if the empire of Good is accountable for the same Evil it attributes to the other. 

What matters is that the soft side of our intelligence is not disturbed, because basically we only care about being on the right side of the Good: on the right side of universalism (and its bombs), on the right side of a world ruled by turbo-capitalist imperialism.

In the meantime, the neoliberal knights are weaving the web of the Great Reset, which they like to define as fairer, safer, more resilient, and obviously cloaked in green energy for all. 

Just take a quick look at the webpages of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which meets every year in the Swiss slum of Davos. 

There you will find what awaits us: a deadly mix of ‘platform economy’ capable of ‘unlocking prosperity for billions of workers’ (enslaved?), and the commitment of ‘corporate activists [sic!]: companies that take concrete action on the most prominent challenges that we are facing’, i.e. ‘the climate crisis, the increasing disconnection of urban and rural communities, or even the current global pandemic’.

 Our corporate ‘pioneers of change’ also know that, while spinning their narratives, they must reinvent faith, which is why they rely on decidedly Franciscan slogans like ‘Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything’ (millions of human lives?).

‘Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better.’ This is not a cruel parody, but the (again, very Franciscan) title of a short piece by Ida Auken (former Minister for the Environment and now a member of the ‘Danish Social Liberal Party’) which appeared on the WEF website in 2016.[iii] 

Essentially, Auken tells us about the “communism” to come. In the near future, we will live in model cities where ‘I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.’ 

Our private property will truly be abolished. Yet, we will be happy, because in the city of digitized services, freed from traffic and pollution, ‘we have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives.’ 

There will be no need to ‘pay the rent’ either, because when we are out cycling or picking daisies, ‘someone else is using our free space’ (true communism!). Shopping will be a distant memory, as ‘the algorithm will do it for me’ since ‘it knows my taste better than I do by now’. 

With robotics in full swing, work will have morphed into a pleasant activity: ‘thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.’

Although Auken is genuinely concerned about the people ‘who do not to live in our city’, ‘those we lost on the way’, who have perhaps ‘formed little self-supplying communities’, or ‘stayed in the empty and abandoned houses in small 19th century villages’, 

and although, she writes, ‘once in a while I get annoyed about the fact that I have no real privacy’, since ‘somewhere, everything I do, think and dream of [sic!] is recorded’—despite these small complications, life will be ‘much better’, because we will have defeated ‘all these terrible things happening: 

lifestyle diseases, climate change, the refugee crisis, environmental degradation, completely congested cities, water pollution, air pollution, social unrest and unemployment.’

It takes only a small effort of the imagination to see how this utopian fairy-tale is actually a dystopian nightmare, for the simple reason that if we no longer possess anything, it is because, after “disciplining” the poor and stripping the middle classes of all access to livelihood, the world elite will truly own everything. 

Already now, in a time of pandemic restructuring, the big neoliberal financial institutions (IMF, World Bank, etc.) are “helping” poor countries on the verge of default by dint of “generous loans”, while also supporting the strictest lockdowns.[iv] 

As Daniel Guérin wrote in 1936: ‘When the economic crisis becomes acute, when the rate of profit sinks toward zero, the bourgeoisie can see only one way to restore its profits: it empties the pockets of the people down to the last centime.’[v] 

Guérin’s final massage, like Horkheimer’s, was clear: ‘any anti-fascism is a frail illusion if it confines itself to defensive measures and does not aim at smashing capitalism itself.’[vi] 

How can we fail to see that at the heart of today’s ‘creative destruction’ (Schumpeter) there is none other than a new “fascism of big capital”, to paraphrase the title of Guérin’s book? 

The goal of the pandemic psychodrama imposed on us is the devastation of what remains of the real economy, aimed at the stipulation of a new Leviathanic social contract (the Great Reset) in which our own survival will depend on the “charitable” intervention of supranational monetary institutions.

The “new normal” is the reshaping of humanity so that it accepts Capitalism 4.0, based on the fourth industrial revolution. 

Global governance in the field of bio-security is today the most evident expression of this despotism, which finds its perfect economic expression in the so-called “stakeholder capitalism”: while gobbling up huge stock market profits, managers and shareholders of large multinationals also control a powerful political and media-friendly front driven by philanthropic sensitivity. 

This is the greatest paradox of our time: the 0.1% – the winners of globalization, the most predatory class in the history of humankind (from Bill Gates to Warren Buffett, Bill Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, etc.) – are also socially committed to supporting noble causes such as health and the fight against world hunger. 

Thanks to their donations, these philanthropic prophets of Franciscan capitalism exercise an increasingly despotic influence on governments and their fragile institutions. 

The interlacing of money, power and lobbying alliances deprives politics of the last crumbs of potential autonomy, to the point that democracies all over the planet now welcome our philanthropic predators with open arms, without even asking questions. 

Moral blackmail works, which also means that capitalist implosion is not necessarily explosive: it does not automatically produce revolutionary contradictions, as many Marxists believe. 

Rather, in its current phase the implosion of capitalism generates once again its own fascistic deterrence. To focus our energy on fighting anything else is, perhaps, the most dangerous mistake.

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5 DEC 16 :: One common theme is a parabolic Putin rebound. At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded
Law & Politics


5 DEC 16 :: One common theme is a parabolic Putin rebound. At this moment, President Putin has Fortress Europe surrounded



The intellectual father of the new Zeitgeist that propelled Brexit, Le Pen, the Five Star movement in Italy, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, is Vladimir Putin.

Beppe Grillo, the comic turned leader of the Five Star movement in Italy said: This is the deflagration of an epoch. It’s the apocalypse of this information system, of the TVs, of the big newspapers, of the intellectuals, of the journalists.”

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ


Euro 1.026255 
Dollar Index 105.624
Japan Yen 133.4365
Swiss Franc 0.9415900
Pound 1.214165 
Aussie 0.712665 
India Rupee 79.6278
South Korea Won 1302.38 
Brazil Real 5.0764 
Egypt Pound 19.14366 
South Africa Rand 16.16765

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Jul 3 One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity.
World Of Finance


Jul 3 One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity.



Western markets are turbo finiancialized and for an eternity, Western banks and Central Banks have been able to distort the commodity price complex with little difficulty. 
Take the Gold market for example where derivatives are 100x the underlying. 
One can create inorganic cascade like price moves in the derivatives market and thereby control the physical commodity. 
There are plenty of examples of these inorganic price moves. In essence, the Tail wags the dog. 
The challenge is where the Supply/Demand balance is precarious and a small adjustment [reduce Supply or increase Demand] tips the situation into disequilibrium. 
The Tail will no longer wag the Dog and the Dog will simply run amok.

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Jul 3 The Tail will no longer wag the Dog and the Dog will simply run amok.
Commodities


Jul 3 The Tail will no longer wag the Dog and the Dog will simply run amok.


The challenge is where the Supply/Demand balance is precarious and a small adjustment [reduce Supply or increase Demand] tips the situation into disequilibrium. 
The Tail will no longer wag the Dog and the Dog will simply run amok.

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Wells Fargo says these countries could be next: @nickhedley
Emerging Markets


Wells Fargo says these countries could be next: @nickhedley



- Ukraine (despite being granted repayment holidays)
- Ghana
- Egypt
- Costa Rica
- Argentina 
- El Salvador

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Latest US strategy highlights Africa’s place in the new world order @thecontinent_
Africa


Latest US strategy highlights Africa’s place in the new world order @thecontinent_  

Under the harsh, uncompromising glare of superpower realpolitik, the African continent is apparently only significant for three reasons. 

These are helpfully outlined, in a blue highlights box, at the front of the United States’ shiny new “Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa”, which was released this week by its secretary of state, Anthony Blinken.

First, Africa’s people: Africans will be 25% of the world’s population by 2050. In other words, they are the future workforce of a world where the populations of so many countries are ageing fast.
Second, Africa’s geography: The continent is home to 30% of the world’s critical minerals, and its second-largest rainforest. There can be no sustainable future without access to those minerals, many of which are crucial to renewable energy technologies. 

Similarly, the health of the planet depends on the Congo rainforest remaining undeveloped. 

Third, African countries are the largest voting bloc in the United Nations, accounting for some 28% of the vote.
In this context, Blinken’s itinerary on his whistlestop three-nation tour of Africa makes a lot of sense.

In its strategic objectives, Blinken’s Africa trip echoed that of his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov last month, who visited the DRC’s neighbours, the Republic of Congo and Uganda, before heading to Ethiopia, Africa’s diplomatic capital – the African Union is headquartered here – and the continent’s second-most populous nation.
Lavrov also visited Egypt, which receives 80% of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine.

Murithi Mutiga, the International Crisis Group’s Program Director for Africa, told The Continent: “Both foreign ministers will reflect on their visits with satisfaction. Lavrov obviously exploited old networks and ties that Moscow enjoys with the continent. He received a generally warm welcome. And Blinken was also very nuanced and careful in his approach, and so did not attract any blowback.”

America’s new Africa strategy represents a break from the past – on paper, at least. It acknowledges that “some of our longstanding approaches have become insufficient to meet new challenges in a more contested and competitive world”.
It also promises to supplement its relentless focus on counter-terrorism – which has not delivered a safer continent, it acknowledges – with more focus on governance, trade and development.

“Time and again, they [African countries] have been told to pick a side in great power contests that feel far removed from the daily struggles of their people. The United States will not dictate Africa’s choices,” said Blinken in a lecture at the University of Pretoria. “Neither should anyone else.”

As laudable as these words sound, some US policies suggest the opposite. Earlier this month, for example, another senior US official, ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said that any African countries that bought Russian oil in violation of US-imposed sanctions “stand the chance of having actions taken against them”.

The spectre of a new Cold War looms large over African decision-makers. “Few African countries were left unaffected by the last Cold War,” said Crisis Group’s Murithi. 

“Where it was cold in developed countries, it was hot in many developing countries. The instinct is that when these big powers are clashing, the continent could have a lot to lose and little to gain by being openly aligned.”

It is a reality also backed up in research released this week by the Institute for Security Studies’s African Futures programme. 

The think tank observed that, on various indices of global power, the entire African continent accounts for only between 3% and 6% of global power – leaving it outgunned, both literally and metaphorically, by everyone else.

“Africa has effectively been instrumentalised in global power competition since independence,” the research concluded. 

This “limited agency” was “hardly surprising” given that Africa as a whole comprises just 3% of the world economy, and will only grow to 5% by 2043 thanks to its population growth.

There are growing anti-western sentiments in parts of Africa, including the Sahel, and areas of Southern Africa.”
A similar concern is growing over Russia’s support of dictatorships in Guinea, Sudan, the Central African Republic and other countries, he said.
“What African states need to do is learn the lessons from the Cold War, as they were used as proxies, and adopt an even-handed stance in their international engagement in line with [their own] principles on democracy, the rule of law and human rights.” 

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9 DEC 19 :: Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes
Africa


9 DEC 19 :: Time to Big Up the Dosage of Quaaludes


we were all popping Quaaludes [Quaaludes ‘’to promote relaxation, sleepiness and sometimes a feeling of euphoria. It causes a drop in blood pressure and slows the pulse rate. These proper- ties are the reason why it was initially thought to be a useful sedative and anxiolytic It became a recreational drug due to its euphoric effect’’].

Everyone knows how this story ends. When the music stops, everyone will dash for the Exit and the currency will collapse 

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GHANA From ‘No IMF’ to a $3-billion request @thecontinent_
Africa


GHANA From ‘No IMF’ to a $3-billion request @thecontinent_  




Ghana’s leaders, who in July reversed their position to never again seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have now doubled how much money they will request, from $1.5-billion to $3-billion. That’s according to Bloomberg, the business news agency. 


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The rise and fall of the Nile perch @thecontinent_ @markweston19
Africa



The rise and fall of the Nile perch @thecontinent_  @markweston19 


First, this giant fish was a god. Then a colonial invader. Later, an economic miracle. Now the self-decolonising Nile perch is a massive problem for Lake Victoria.

Near the town of Esna in Egypt lies a cemetery that contains nothing but fish. Elsewhere in ancient Egypt, the Nile perch was a popular fish for traders. 

But at Esna its consumption was forbidden – instead, dead fish were embalmed with salted mud, wrapped in linen and buried in individual graves.
The veneration of the perch came from its association with the goddess Neith, who according to Egyptian mythology assumed the form of a fish while she and the ram-headed god Khnum came together to create the world. Khnum was also the god of the Nile’s then-unknown source.
Two thousand years would pass between the death of the last pharaoh and the perch’s first appearance at the great river’s starting point.
Its arrival in Lake Victoria was the result not of some sacred ritual but of a colonial gamble – near-bankrupt British imperialists in East Africa who were in need of a quick win.
The Nile perch is a fast-swimming predator that can grow to two metres in length. 

The colonisers hypothesised that introducing it into Africa’s largest lake would turn “worthless” native fish stock – which the perch would eat – into a popular product for regional markets that would help balance the books.
In 1954, against the advice of scientists who warned of the risks a voracious new species might pose to a complex tropical ecosystem, a fisheries officer was ordered to deposit into the shallows a bucketful of juvenile perch.
Within a decade, the British had been evicted from East Africa and their decision – which never benefited them – forgotten. 

Nile perch would not appear in fishermen’s nets until the 1970s. But when it did, it sparked a boom that would transform the lake’s economy.
By the mid-1980s, Tanzanian fishermen were netting 80,000 tons of perch per year, and 200,000 tons a decade later. 

Their counterparts in Kenya and Uganda, the other lakeshore countries, also found their nets bulging with fleshy giants. Demand soared not only in regional but also in international markets.
With help from aid agencies, fish processing factories were built around the lakeshore, their produce exported to Asia, the Middle East and Europe. 

In what had once been one of East Africa’s poorest regions, the perch created a quarter of a million jobs. 

New schools were built, new industries sprang up, foreign exchange poured in. The perch was once again revered on the Nile, where the species was gratefully dubbed “The Saviour Fish”.
But the boom couldn’t last. So many fishermen descended on the lake that the perch came under unsustainable pressure. 

Two thousand new fishing boats were launched onto the lake every year, using ever more efficient motors and nets. Pollution – from the new industries, from sewage produced by the burgeoning human population that had come to take advantage of the bonanza, and from the farms that fed that population – turned swathes of the lake into dead zones. 

Deforestation cleared the effluents’ path to the shallows, which are the Nile perch’s prime breeding ground.
Stocks of perch in Lake Victoria have declined by three-quarters since their peak. 

The average weight of those caught has shrunk by four-fifths. 

Many of the processing factories have closed. Of the lake’s native fish, meanwhile, more than 200 species have gone extinct.
Few of the 25-million people who rely on the lake have not been affected. Fishing crews that once made $50 a night are now lucky to make five. 

Net menders, boat builders and those who fillet, dry, smoke or trade the fish have seen their earnings dry up. 

The dearth of cash is crippling the shops, markets, bars and other small businesses that depend on the fishermen’s custom. Billions of dollars in export revenues have been lost.

To reverse the slide, the lakeshore governments have banned trawling and other harmful fishing techniques. 

No consideration has been given to the needs or opinions of fishermen, however, so illegal fishing continues. 

“The politicians tell us we shouldn’t fish like this,” laments a fisherman on Ukerewe, the lake’s largest island, “but there are no companies to work for and no government jobs. What else can we do?”

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The price of a plate of rice has gone up 50%, from $1 to $1.50. It is now too expensive to have every day. @thecontinent_
Africa

The price of one kilogram of rice has more than doubled, from 70 cents to $1.80. Three litres of cooking oil is now $9, up from $5.

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Sunday, April 10, 2022 Apocalypse Now
Africa


Sunday, April 10, 2022 Apocalypse Now


The consequences for global stability are now unfathomable.

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Regime Change.Power is draining away as we speak.
Law & Politics


Regime Change.Power is draining away as we speak.

Quite an extraordinary outcome follows a clear Trend in SSA 
Martin Fayulu @HHichilema  (who is excelling) Preacher in Malawi (who was eloquent yet so pedestrian) and now WSR. 
Tribe is dissolved it’s about class 

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Mr @WilliamsRuto success among the Kikuyu can be attributed partly to the disappointment many feel about how the president acquitted himself in office. @TheEconomist
Law & Politics


Mr @WilliamsRuto success among the Kikuyu can be attributed partly to the disappointment many feel about how the president acquitted himself in office. @TheEconomist 



“We are ruled by the richest man in the country and yet we are still poor,” says Mwangi Githinji, a lorry driver in Gatundu, the Kenyatta family’s home town.  

If Mr Ruto wins it will signal a momentous shift in Kenya’s politics, which have long been sullied by ethnicity. 

Mr Ruto has campaigned to persuade Kikuyus to forget about the past by tapping into fresh grievances. 

Presenting himself as the champion of the poor, he won support from have-nots across the country. 

For the first time, a Kenyan election has been fought—and may indeed be won—as much on class as on ethnic lines.

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New Kenyan President Must Deal With Debt 'Head-on'
Kenyan Economy


Crises Kenya is facing: "debt-making projects that have brought the country’s economy to its knees," extractive infrastructure projects, austerity measures, ecocide & climate change, a fifth cycle of failed rains. None are on the electoral agenda. @zmmoloo


A useful breakdown of all the crises Kenya is facing: "debt-making projects that have brought the country’s economy to its knees," extractive infrastructure projects, austerity measures, ecocide & climate change, a fifth cycle of failed rains. None are on the electoral agenda.

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Our trade deficit is ksh.1.6 trillion;imports at ksh.2.2 trillion and exports ksh.600bn. @WillisOwiti
Kenyan Economy

Our trade deficit is ksh.1.6 trillion;imports at ksh.2.2 trillion and exports ksh.600bn. @WillisOwiti

Look at our foreign debt situation at both the national government and government agencies.Weakening the ksh will be devastating

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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August 2022
 
 
 
 
 
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