Friday, October 24, 2008

Cold War II?

"Are we in another cold war with Russia? I don't think so. It's more a case, perhaps, of history appearing to repeat itself--the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. ... In Germany in 1945 the victorious allies were in a position to impose, very thoroughly, their policy of denazification. Members of the Nazi elite were hanged or suffered long periods of imprisonment and were banned from ever holding political office. The eradication of Nazi ideas was enforced with success, and the new Germany emerged as a democracy down to the grass roots. ... Russia, in contrast, was never occupied and reeducated. No one was punished for Stalin's or his successors' crimes. ... Russia has no ideology, other than the ruthless retention and exploitation of power. It is not burdened by the rule of law, which does not exist there. It has no moral principles of any kind. It is, however, nationalisitic and can and does exploit popular xenophobia to win support for its adventures beyond its borders", my emphasis, Paul Johnson (PJ) at Forbes, 13 October 2008.

I am in large agreement with PJ, except with respect to Russian xenophobia. I am intrigued by using denazification techniques on Wall Street. With many street lights, all we need are a few dozen stout ropes. What are say Goldman Sachs (GSG): ideology, respect for the rule of law, or moral principles? GSG lists 14 "Business Principles" at its website. I select these: "2. Our assets are our people, capital and reputation. If any of these is ever diminished, the last is the most difficult to restore. We are dedicated to complying with the letter and the spirit of the laws, rules and ethical principles that govern us. Our continued success depends upon unswerving adherence to this standard. ... 9. The dedication of our people to the firm and the intense effort they give their jobs are greater than one finds in most other organizations. We think that this is an important part of our success. ... 14. Integrity and honesty are the heart of our business. We expect our people to maintain high ethical standards in everything they do, both in their work for the firm and in their personal lives", my emphasis. There is some truth here. I do not doubt GSG's people are dedicated to GSG, even after they "leave". I suspect part of the GSG "initiation rite" is memorizing Rothschild's maxim, see my 30 March 2008 post, http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/03/yves-smith-on-paulson.html.

5 comments:

printfaster said...

I see Russia differently. It exists only as a nation because it is nastier than its neighbors. As soon as Russia becomes nice, it ceases to exist. It is a matter of mathematics. As a central Asian power, if any of its neighbors has designs on Russian territory, it is doomed. It only takes one.

With that said, I see the developing relationship between Russia and Germany as shaping the future of Europe. The current Islamization of western Europe dooms western society. Period. Look at the populations of muslim minorities in the UK, France, Spain, etc.

If there is any pushback on Islam, it will come from Russia. Russia is determined to push aside the influence of the middle east on western economies, and the place they are starting is Germany. They aim to be energy and resource supplier supreme. The notion of an industrial Germany and a resource rich Russia is a political change that will cause the world to gasp.

Germany has no choice. Russia has no choice. If there is a new world order, this is will be the one. Instead of the US spanning North America, it will be Germany and Russia spanning Eurasia.

Anonymous said...

Printfaster...

Breathtaking analysis... I can barely take it in...

I don't know enough to challenge it... so I'll accept it... and look for verification...

Independent Accountant said...

Anonymous:
You might get something from my 24 and 28 August 2008 posts under the "Spengler" tab. I see printfaster's comments about a Russia-Germany relationship as a possibility and have for a year. I have said for at least five years that US foreign policy with respect to Russia is crazy, that Russia is the only likely "pushback" against Islam in Europe. I agree with printfaster completely here.
JR Nyquist recently had a post which might interest you. He sees Russia and China as the US's enemies. I see each as a nationalistic country with her own interets which may conflict with ours.

printfaster said...

Looking at this in the world of alliances, the problem is that the US is aligned with the Islamic nations. Russia sees them as natural enemies, and Germany is getting itchy with the Turks under their skins. Both seek independence from the middle east. Russia sees China as a geographic enemy, and Germany sees China as an industrial enemy.

China is a bit uneasy with Islam, but has natural enemies with the Islamic states such as India and Russia. The enemy my enemy is my friend kind of thing.

What is happening through all of this is that with the US becoming an organic quiche eating Argentina, it will become increasingly ignored by the emerging alliance structure.

The future looks more like the Napoleanic war with Prussia and Russia on the same side, than WW1 or WW2. The cold war is definitely out. If anything, the US will be out in the cold, back to skinning range fed buffalo.

Anonymous said...

Reading Nadezhda Yakovlevna's autobiography now and read Osip's poem... kind of fits in the discussion...

The Stalin Epigram
by Osip Mandelstam
Translated by W. S. Merwin


Our lives no longer feel ground under them.
At ten paces you can’t hear our words.

But whenever there’s a snatch of talk
it turns to the Kremlin mountaineer,

the ten thick worms his fingers,
his words like measures of weight,

the huge laughing cockroaches on his top lip,
the glitter of his boot-rims.

Ringed with a scum of chicken-necked bosses
he toys with the tributes of half-men.

One whistles, another meows, a third snivels.
He pokes out his finger and he alone goes boom.

He forges decrees in a line like horseshoes,
One for the groin, one the forehead, temple, eye.

He rolls the executions on his tongue like berries.
He wishes he could hug them like big friends from home.


What the end looks like when there is no rule of law... spooky..