Corbett Report: The Abnormalization of Dissent

James Corbett explains how mainstream media is currently trying to discredit dissent without arguments:

UPDATE:

Related Posts:

Lenin’s New Economic Policy (NEP)

Lenin’s NEP was an instructive chapter in economic history:

Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit.

(…)

Rather than repossess all goods produced, the Soviet government took only a small percentage of goods. This left the peasants with a marketable surplus which could be sold privately

(…)

The state, after starting to use the NEP, migrated away from Communist ideals and started the modernizing of the economy, but this time, with a more free-minded way of doing things. The Soviet Union stopped upholding the idea of nationalizing certain parts of industries. Some kinds of foreign investments were expected by the Soviet Union under the NEP, in order to fund industrial and developmental projects with foreign exchange or technology requirements.

The results:

Agricultural production increased greatly. Instead of the government taking all agricultural surpluses with no compensation, the farmers now had the option to sell their surplus yields, and therefore had an incentive to produce more grain. This incentive coupled with the breakup of the quasi-feudal landed estates not only brought agricultural production to pre-Revolution levels but surpassed them.

The only problem with the policy was that the state still maintained control over significant other aspects of the economy, leading to the usual problems of interventionism:

While the agricultural sector became increasingly reliant on small family farms, the heavy industries, banks and financial institutions remained owned and run by the state. Since the Soviet government did not yet pursue any policy of industrialization, and did not allow it to be facilitated by the same private incentives that were increasing agricultural production, this created an imbalance in the economy where the agricultural sector was growing much faster than heavy industry. To keep their income high, the factories began to sell their products at higher prices. Due to the rising cost of manufactured goods, peasants had to produce much more wheat to purchase these consumer goods. This fall in prices of agricultural goods and sharp rise in prices of industrial products was known as the Scissor crisis (from the shape of the graph of relative prices to a reference date). Peasants began withholding their surpluses to wait for higher prices, or sold them to “NEPmen” (traders and middle-men) who then sold them on at high prices, which was opposed by many members of the Communist Party who considered it an exploitation of urban consumers.

And when government intervention in free markets creates problems, what do bureaucrats always inevitably pursue as panacea? Right, more government intervention:

To combat the price of consumer goods the state took measures to decrease inflation and enact reforms on the internal practices of the factories. The government also fixed prices to halt the scissor effect.

Naturally, a policy that increases the wealth of the common man is a thorn in the side of tyrannical sociopaths, thus Josef Stalin ended the NEP in 1928 with the Soviets’ first 5 year plan.

Related Posts:

Belarus Currency Devaluation & Inflation Spreads Panic

Business week writes Belarus devaluation spreads panic:

A sharp devaluation of the Belarusian ruble has spread panic throughout the country, with people sweeping store shelves and queuing up at currency exchange offices on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to protect their savings.

President Alexander Lukashenko promised that the national currency will remain stable following the devaluation enacted a day earlier, but experts warned the Belarusian ruble will continue its nosedive if Russia doesn’t provide a quick bailout.

The ruble lost nearly half of its official value against the dollar Tuesday, when the National Bank ordered a devaluation. The new official rate is 4,930 rubles per dollar, up from the previous 3,155 but the perceived value of the local currency is much lower — on the black market it takes 6,000 rubles to buy a dollar.

To make matters worse, there is a physical shortage in the country of dollars and euros, which companies and households desperately want to own to protect themselves from a worse devaluation in the future.

The government has tightly regulated sales of hard foreign currency and its own reserves are badly depleted. Exchange offices have run out of foreign currency because they are allowed only to sell what they buy from clients.

Andrei Krylevich, 42, has spent a week in lines outside an exchange booth in downtown Minsk without a chance to buy a single dollar. The computer company he works at has sent its employees on an unpaid leave, and he urgently needs to pay back a $9,000 loan to a bank.

“In just one month, I have virtually turned bankrupt, the entire country has gone bankrupt,” Krylevich said.

Most Belarusian industries are state-owned, and the government has tried to keep its scarce currency reserves for vital imports. On Tuesday, it set tight limits on interbank currency trading, effectively stifling the market.

The flamboyant Lukashenko, in power for nearly 17 years, has kept an unusually low profile in recent weeks as his government has been pleading Moscow for a vital loan. Russia has been reluctant to provide it, pushing Belarus to sell its industrial assets.

Russia’s Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Tuesday that Belarus can get the total of $3 billion in loans from an economic alliance of several ex-Soviet nations over the next three years, including the first $800 million disbursement that could be delivered next month. Kudrin added that Belarus could earn another $7.5 billion by privatizing its industries, most of which remain in state hands.

Events like these are likely to occur more and more in Europe, in particular Eastern Europe, but also in many other emerging markets.

Note how the dollar is still well accepted as a stable flight to safety when other currencies fail. That’s why I marked that one part in bold: This is a perfect example for what happens when credit crunches hit emerging market economies.

Global deleveraging is always rather likely to exert an upward pressure on the Dollar and on gold as well as the chickens of cheap global credit come home to roost.

By the way: It’s comical, but absolutely typical, for any actions taken by government officials, that “Lukashenko promised that the national currency will remain stable”! As if the affected people had any choice in the matter to begin with!! =)

Related Posts: