Archive for April, 2022

You can’t always get what you pay for


This paraphrasing of Mick Jagger’s line seems apt for modern times because that is the essential game being played by multiple players in the world today. Seeing this game for what it is turns out to be more difficult than it should be for emotional reasons: people are made angry by the very idea that their hard-earned money can’t get them their heart’s every desire, having been convinced that money is more real than anything else. But this is exactly backward; all that is real is matter and energy, and money is neither—it is a mere promise. We could spend all day discussing the entire submerged part of the iceberg of official, objective violence that props up this promise, but we won’t and simply state that the fiction of money as wealth and the fiction of the free market are both erected and maintained in the interests of the State, or the Government, such as taxation, social spending, military spending and colonial administration.

But it is all based on a promise: “If you have the money, you will get what you pay for.” Break that promise, and the entire ephemeral structure simply vanishes.

At this point you may be apt to that, since money simply vanishes, you ought to do something with it in preparation for that event—eat, drink and be merry, perhaps? Sure, that’s a great idea, but what about the rest of it? Do you buy gold futures or bitcoins or yuan, or park it on a small island in the North Atlantic? Do you buy a book called “Russian Made Simple” ( or would “Chinese Made Simple” (sorry, title not found) make a better choice? It’s rather difficult to directly hoard matter and energy, you know. You might think of investing in matter (a pile bricks) or energy (a gas well) but an investment is still essentially just a promise. You could, of course, just hoard a bunch of expensive stuff and stand guard over it holding a shotgun, but then what happens to it when you have to take a bathroom break?

I feel like I’ve said it all before. Money is a government scheme. A free market is a criminal market. A day will come when offering someone a million dollars will get you punched in the face. Prepare for life without money. And in response I was asked something like “So, what do you think about bitcoin?” or “Don’t you think the ruble is a bit overvalued right now?” Still, I persist…

And so, let’s look at one aspect of money that everybody should be very clear about because that’s where the whole thing is crumbling: money as a tool of colonial administration. The purpose of colonial administration is to pump wealth out of colonies, and here the most efficient method is finance. Direct violence is expensive and it is much more efficient to bribe local elites to accept an unfair economic arrangement and to keep them in line using the mere threat of violence. This has been the arrangement for some time but now it is failing.

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Where can the West find some rubles?


Putin ordered Russia’s internal foreign exchange market to be prepared for the transition to settling export deliveries, for now specifically natural gas, in rubles. This is becoming a pressing issue because banks in “unfriendly countries” (a technical term that includes the EU and most English-speaking coutntries) are willfully and wantonly delaying payments for Russian energy. Thus, deliveries are now taking place on credit—ruble-based credit! Meanwhile, the Russian central bank’s prime rate is 17%—down from 20%, but still! Sounds like somebody not very smart is working hard to get their energy prices to go up. Meanwhile, payments received for oil and gas exports have been halved, making it likely that the exports themselves (to “unfriendly countries”) will be halved as well. At this point, some historians might take some dusty old books off the selves and opine that this sort of insane trade policy is what caused the Great Depression. I would beg to differ and call it Commercial Collapse, which follows Financial Collapse with its loss of access to credit caused by excessive counterparty risk.

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Ukraine: just the facts


Some of the comments and questions I have received over the past few weeks made it clear to me that many of my readers, enlightened and well-informed though they generally are, aren’t sure what to believe about the action in the Ukraine, having been caught up in a maelstrom of lies that pass as news coverage in the West. My goal here is not to convert or to convince but to simply list a number of aspects of the Ukrainian situation for you to toss around in your mind. Let me apologize ahead of time for any cognitive dissonance this may create; I am only trying to be helpful. The exposition is going to seem a bit dry in places, but that is because I am trying hard to stick to known, well-established facts. I will leave up to you to decide how well what you are being told by Western consent manufacturers squares with it.

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The Battle for Donbass


On March 29, 2022, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the end of the first stage of the special military operation in the Ukraine, explaining that the main focus of Russia’s army will now be on achieving the main goal of the operation: the liberation of Donbass. The battle for Donbass will largely determine the future of both of the territory that is currently known as the Ukraine. It will also have a significant impact on the rest of Europe and on Russia. If all goes well, there will be a wide assortment of Ukrainian Nazi flags to toss at the foot of the Lenin Mausoleum on the Red Square in Moscow during Victory Day parade on May 9, 2022, echoing the one held on May 9, 1945. But we are not quite there yet, and here is how it is all likely to go down over the next couple of weeks.

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Europe doesn’t have any contracts for Russian natural gas


I promised to stop writing on this subject until something  significant happened, and an entire day went by without anything  significant, but now there’s this. German-language media has already  been going crazy lately about future purchases of oil and natural gas.  Since Germany is included in the list of “unfriendly countries” by  Russia, it, like all the EU states, will only be allowed to purchase  Russian natural gas for rubles, and not for euros or US dollars. And now  comes this bit of news, which should make the German talking heads go  super-double-crazy

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A Perfectly Workable Plan


This will be the last article I’ll write on the subject of the rubles  for gas deal that went into effect on April Fool’s of 2022—until  something dramatic happens. As far as the dramatic event that has  already happened (the emergence of the ruble as the world’s only  energy-backed currency) the picture was fuzzy at first but has by now  come into very sharp focus. Russia’s plan is as simple as it is  brilliant: the EU nations (a.k.a. “unfriendly nations” in contemporary  Russian official terminology) may continue to pay for gas in euros; all  they have to do is open specific (K-type foreign currency) bank accounts  in a specific Russian bank (Gazprombank, which is not under any  sanctions). Gazprombank will then exchange these euros for rubles on  Russia’s internal foreign currency market and deposit the proceeds (if  any) into corresponding (K-type ruble) accounts. It will then transfer  these rubles to Gazprom, which will then let flow a corresponding  quantity of natural gas. Superficially, nothing has changed; the  Europeans are still paying for Russian natural gas in euros and the rest  is some Byzantine Rube Goldberg that Putin has thought up and makes no  difference to anyone but him. Right? Wrong! This is a trap! Please allow  me to explain.

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