On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation

Immigration
Immigration

Nearly four-fifths of the whole emigration are, accordingly, to be regarded as belonging to the Celtic population of Ireland and of the Highlands and islands of Scotland. The London Economist says of this emigration:

“It is consequent on the breaking down of the system of society founded on small holdings and potato cultivation;” and adds: “The departure of the redundant part of the population of Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland is an indispensable preliminary to every kind of improvement. .The revenue of Ireland has not suffered in any degree from the famine of 1846-47, or from the emigration that has since taken place. On the contrary, her net revenue amounted in 1851 to £4,281,999, being about £184,000 greater than in 1843.”

Begin with pauperising the inhabitants of a country, and when there is no more profit to be ground out of them, when they have grown a burden to the revenue, drive them away, and sum up your Net Revenue! Such is the doctrine laid down by Ricardo, in his celebrated work, “The Principle of Political Economy.” The annual profits of a capitalist amounting to £2,000, what does it matter to him whether he employs 100 men or 1,000 men? “Is not,” says Ricardo, “the real income of a nation similar?” The net real income of a nation, rents and profits, remaining the same, it is no subject of consideration whether it is derived from ten millions of people or from twelve millions. Sismondi, in his “Nouveaux Principes d’Economie Politique,” answers that, according to this view of the matter, the English nation would not be interested at all in the disappearance of the whole population, the King (at that time it was no Queen, but a King) remaining alone in the midst of the island, supposing only that automatic machinery enabled him to procure the amount of net revenue now produced by a population of twenty millions. Indeed that grammatical entity, “the national wealth,” would in this case not be diminished.

But it is not only the pauperised inhabitants of Green Erin [Ireland] and of the Highlands of Scotland that are swept away by agricultural improvements, and by the “breaking down of the antiquated system of society.” It is not only the able-bodied agricultural labourers from England, Wales, and Lower Scotland, whose passages are paid by the Emigration Commissioners. The wheel of “improvement” is now seizing another class, the most stationary class in England. A startling emigration movement has sprung up among the smaller English farmers, especially those holding heavy clay soils, who, with bad prospects for the coming harvest, and in want of sufficient capital to make the great improvements on their farms which would enable them to pay their old rents, have no other alternative but to cross the sea in search of a new country and of new lands, I am not speaking now of the emigration caused by the gold mania, but only of the compulsory emigration produced by landlordism, concentration of farms, application of machinery to the soil, and introduction of the modern system of agriculture on a great scale.

In the ancient States, in Greece and Rome, compulsory emigration, assuming the shape of the periodical establishment of colonies, formed a regular link in the structure of society. The whole system of those States was founded on certain limits to the numbers of the population, which could not be surpassed without endangering the condition of antique civilisation itself. But why was it so? Because the application of science to material production was utterly unknown to them. To remain civilised they were forced to remain few. Otherwise they would have had to submit to the bodily drudgery which transformed the free citizen into a slave. The want of productive power made citizenship dependent on a certain proportion in numbers not to be disturbed. Forced emigration was the only remedy.

It was the same pressure of population on the powers of production. that drove the barbarians from the high plains of Asia to invade the Old World. The same cause acted there, although under a different form. To remain barbarians they were forced to remain few. They were pastoral, hunting, war-waging tribes, whose manners of production required a large space for every individual, as is now the case with the Indian tribes in North-America. By augmenting in numbers they curtailed each other’s field of production. Thus the surplus population was forced to undertake those great adventurous migratory movements which laid the foundation of the peoples of ancient and modern Europe.

But with modern compulsory emigration the case stands quite opposite. Here it is not the want of productive. power which creates a surplus population; it is the increase of productive power which demands a diminution of population, and drives away the surplus by famine or emigration. It is not population that presses on productive power; it is productive power that presses on population.

by Karl Marx

On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation

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Dispatches for the New York Tribune

Karl Marx
1870: German social, political and economic theorist Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) the inspiration of modern international communism. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Born in Trier in the Rhineland in 1818, Karl Marx was the son of a Jewish lawyer recently converted to Christianity. As a student in Bonn and Berlin, Marx studied law and then philosophy. He joined with the Young Hegelians, the most radical of Hegel’s followers, in denying that Hegel’s philosophy could be reconciled with Christianity or the existing State. Forced out of university by his radicalism, he became a journalist and, soon after, a socialist. He left Prussia for Paris and then Brussels, where he stayed until 1848. In 1844 he began his collaboration with Friedrich Engels and developed a new theory of communism to be brought into being by a proletarian revolution. This theory was brilliantly outlined in The Communist Manifesto. Marx participated in the 1848 revolutions as a newspaper editor in Cologne. Exiled together with his family to London, he tried to make a living writing for the New York Tribune and other journals, but remained financially dependent on Engels. His researches in the British Museum were aimed at underpinning his conception of communism with a theory of history that demonstrated that capitalism was a transient economic form destined to break down and be superseded by a society without classes, private property or state authority. This study was never completed, but its first part, which was published as Capital in 1867, established him as the principal theorist of revolutionary socialism. He died in London in 1883.

Dispatches for the New York Tribune

The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism

Bolshevism
Bolshevism

I cannot share the hopes of the Bolsheviks any more than those of the Egyptian anchorites; I regard both as tragic delusions, destined to bring upon the world centuries of darkness and futile violence. The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are admirable, but their effect upon average human nature was very different from what was intended. Those who followed Christ did not learn to love their enemies or to turn the other cheek. They learned instead to use the Inquisition and the stake, to subject the human intellect to the yoke of an ignorant and intolerant priesthood, to degrade art and extinguish science for a thousand years. These were the inevitable results, not of the teaching, but of fanatical belief in the teaching. The hopes which inspire Communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically, and are likely to do as much harm. Cruelty lurks in our instincts, and fanaticism is a camouflage for cruelty. Fanatics are seldom genuinely humane, and those who sincerely dread cruelty will be slow to adopt a fanatical creed. I do not know whether Bolshevism can be prevented from acquiring universal power. But even if it cannot, I am persuaded that those who stand out against it, not from love of ancient injustice, but in the name of the free spirit of Man, will be the bearers of the seeds of progress, from which, when the world’s gestation is accomplished, new life will be born.

The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism

Vietnam Phoenix Program

Phoenix Program
Phoenix Program

One of the principal requirements of counterinsurgency is the ability to disrupt or destroy not just the insurgency’s military capabilities but also the infrastructure that supports the insurgent forces. This infrastructure provides, among other things, the critical intelligence, recruiting, and logistics functions that enable insurgents to contend with counter-insurgent forces that are often much more capable in a purely military sense. During the Vietnam War, one of the main efforts to attack the insurgent infrastructure was known as the Phoenix Program. Phoenix has subsequently become highly controversial, and its lessons for contemporary counterinsurgency can be overdrawn. However, a careful assessment of Phoenix does provide some suggestions for
improving current efforts against insurgent infrastructure.

Phoenix Project Vietnam

Phoenix Program Vietnam

Romeos and Swallows

Romeos and Swallows
Romeos and Swallows

Sexpionage is the involvement of sexual activity, or the possibility of sexual activity, intimacy, romance, or seduction to conduct espionage. Sex or the possibility of sex can function as a distraction, incentive, cover story, or unintended part of any intelligence operation. A commonly known type of sexpionage is a honey trap operation, which is designed to compromise an opponent sexually to elicit information from that person. In the KGB, a man who is the seducer in a honey trap operation is known as a raven (Вороны). A female seductress is known as a swallow (ласточка). A “swallow’s nest” was the name given for the double-apartments in which the target would be seduced in one room while next door KGB technicians filmed or taped the entire affair.

Romeos and Swallows

Romeo Spy

Ghost Army

Inflatable Tank
Inflatable Tank

THE 23RD WAS OFFICIALLY ACTIVATED on January 20, 1944, and the bulk of the unit Headquarters Special Troops arrived in England in May, shortly before D-Day. Led by regular army veteran Colonel Harry L. Reeder, this highly irregular unit would go to war with three types of tools: visual, sonic, and radio. Visual deception was handled by the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. Many of this battalion’s men were artists recruited from New York and Philadelphia art schools. (The outfit was said to have the highest IQ in the army.) In stolen moments of spare time they painted and sketched everything they saw, creating a unique visual record of the war. “We were sleeping in hedgerows and foxholes,” says John Jarvie, “but nothing ever kept us from going someplace to do a watercolor.” One of the artists was a 21-year-old from Indiana named Bill Blass. Fellow veterans recall that the future fashion designer read Vogue magazine in his foxhole, and his wartime notebooks are filled with sketches of women’s fashions. He was one of many Ghost Army soldiers who went on to prominent postwar art careers.

Ellsworth Kelly would become one of the nation’s foremost painters and sculptors. Arthur Singer’s drawings of birds would eventually illustrate dozens of books and a series of US postage stamps. Art Kane’s photograph of 57 musicians on a stoop in Harlem would become a jazz art icon. And Ed Haas would be credited as one of the creators of the 1960s television show The Munsters. To pull off its visual trickery, the 603rd was equipped with truckloads of inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks, and even airplanes. With these they created dummy armored formations, motor pools, and artillery batteries that looked like the real thing from the air. Attention to detail was critical in concocting convincing illusions. Bulldozers even scraped fake tread-tracks in the ground leading up to 93-pound, inflatable Sherman tanks. Working with these faux tanks had its lighter moments. Corporal Arthur Shilstone was on guard duty one day when he halted two Frenchmen on bicycles who accidentally wandered past his post. “They weren’t looking at me,” he says. “They were looking over my shoulder. And what they thought they saw was four GIs picking up what was a 40-ton Sherman tank and turning it around.” As they searched for an explanation, Shilstone finally told them “The Americans are very strong.”

Ghost Army Bill HR2170

Ghost Army Feature June 2013

Technetronic Revolution

Brzezninski

The paradox of our time is that humanity is becoming simultaneously more unified and more fragmented. That is the principal thrust of contemporary change. Time and space have become so compressed that global politics manifest a tendency toward larger, more interwoven forms of cooperation as well as toward the dissolution of established institutional and ideological loyalties. Humanity is becoming more integral and intimate even as the differences in the condition of the separate societies are widening. Under these circumstances proximity, instead of promoting unity, gives rise to tensions prompted by a new sense of global congestion. A new pattern of international politics is emerging.

The world is ceasing to be an arena in which relatively self contained, “sovereign,” and homogeneous nations interact, collaborate, clash, or make war. International politics, in the original sense of the term, were born when groups of people began to identify themselves— and others—in mutually exclusive terms (territory, language, symbols, beliefs), and when that identification became in turn the dominant factor in relations between these groups. The concept of national interest—based on geographical factors, traditional animosities or friendships, economics, and security considerations— implied a degree of autonomy and specificity that was possible only so long as nations were sufficiently separated in time and space to have both the room to maneuver and the distance needed to maintain separate identity.

Between Two Ages

Trilateral Commission

Gaslighting

Gaslighting
Gaslighting

Gaslighting — a kind of psychological manipulation where an abuser causes one to question their perception of reality through repeated systematic lies and downplaying their own actions — has become a popular term in the era of Trump. It’s the concept that helped skyrocket a previously buttoned up Teen Vogue into the wakeness stratosphere; it’s since been trotted out many times as a way to explain the alternate reality being peddled by the president and his cronies in the Oval Office. As Carpenter came to understand what happened to her, she also realized she wasn’t the only one who had been gaslit — and now she’s literally written the book on the subject.

The Gaslight Effect