🔴 What is “The Cabal”?


🔴 What Is The Cabal?

Completed: June 13, 2015 at 9:45 am CDT

⭕ Powers Behind the Throne
⭕ The Season Finale: 2:22 Tom Connolly
⭕ The Backdrop of The Cold War
⭕ Raymond Reddington: The KGB’s Greatest Enemy
⭕ The U.S. Navy at the End of the Cold War
⭕ So who are these people and what do they stand for?
⭕ War Without End, Amen
⭕ Two Tells
⭕ State Capitalism
⭕ The Climate Challenge
⭕ Can a New World Order Ever Be A Good Thing?
⭕ Conclusion: End of the Enlightenment?
⭕ Additional Reading

The Kremlin, Moscow.

The Kremlin, Moscow.

Originally, “The Cabal” was referred to (by Alan Fitch and by Red Reddington) as an “alliance.” Red used the term “cabal” for the first time in 2:9 Braxton when he referred to the Fulcrum as a “blackmail file.” It has become clear that The Cabal is international and involves people embedded in the governments of the world’s most powerful nations who will, on cue, spring into action in a coordinated effort to restore a “bipolar world,” similar to the world that existed during the Cold War. According to Red, “The Director [of U.S. National Clandestine Services] believes there are too many players on the board. He thinks a bipolar world is inherently more stable.” The bipolar world would involve a different balance of power. The Cabal (with The Director at its helm), prefers an antagonist model to the unipolar world which now exists in which the United States exerts hegemony. The bipolar world seems to involve Russia versus the U.S. but China also has a major role to play, likely as an ally of Russia. Likely smaller nations would align with more powerful ones, as was the situation during the Cold War, at the end of which The Cabal was formed.

It is unclear as of the end of Season 2 what the exact mix is of state-based power and corporate power is currently within The Cabal or precisely how it functions. Of course, international coordinating bodies exist in the world already, including:

● political/social organizations like the United Nations,
● military alliances like NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization),
● economic development groups like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (which was mentioned by Megan Boone in an interview as “Cabal”-like http://bit.ly/1Ecue35),
● and many, many voluntary associations, foundations and think tanks

All of these interact with nations and corporations in shaping the world.

The last group also includes charities, rights organizations, medical and disaster outreach organizations and groups interested in promoting a political or economic agenda. This includes, for example: the ACLU, Catholic Charities, the Clinton Foundation, the World Economic Forum (WEF) usually referred to as “Davos” after the location of its annual meeting, Doctors Without Borders, the Gates Foundation, Heifer International, Oxfam International, Rotary International, and TED https://www.ted.com, a gathering of brilliant scientists, artists, designers and thought leaders who gather to present ideas at an annual conference. In what is hopefully a sign of things to come, many of this group’s sessions are available free online. All of these groups – and there are thousands – interact with more formal power structures and also help to shape our world.

"Most Innovative" Non-Profits from survey by Devex (NPQ 2011)

“Most Innovative” Non-Profits from survey by Devex (NPQ 2011)

To the right is a list of the “Most Innovative Nonprofit Organizations” (Click to Open) taken from a member survey by Devex in 2011 published in The Nonprofit Quarterly http://bit.ly/1KWtWD5. There are many lists using various criteria. I like this list because you can see the potential for concern which may arise over the activities of such NGOs (non-governmental organizations). OSI is George Soros’ organization, for instance. Full disclosure: I have contributed to many of these.

Most of the time, these NGOs are what they say they are. But there are instances in which “public interest” groups front for specific industries or interests in misleading ways. The oil industry and some libertarian think tanks for instance, argue against climate change in the guise of the “Heartland Institute.” The group previously earned its stripes denying that cigarettes cause cancer. Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/1B2c49R. Each election season, we see the attribution of political ads to groups with pleasant sounding names created solely to disguise the corporate, financial or partisan interests paying for them. This kind of misdirection, incidentally, is worse in the United States than in most other “first world” countries due to both the First Amendment and our system of campaign finance.


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⭕ Powers Behind the Throne

Once the Masons actually did matter

There are also groups that, for various reasons, have been thought of as as “powers behind the throne.” Some of these go back for centuries. The Masons are likely the most well-known but are perhaps currently also the least influential. Their pedigree does indeed go back centuries, to at least the Crusades when the West learned a thing or two about architecture in the lands they briefly conquered. Many of the Founding Fathers and early presidents were Masons, beginning with George Washington and yes – those are Masonic symbols on the dollar bill, public buildings and the architecture (and likely the street layout) of Washington DC. By the time of the Founding Fathers, of course, the group had become more of a travel club than a trade union or holder of mysterious knowledge, allowing members to move from place to place throughout Europe and America assured of finding lodging, companionship and often entertainment among like-minded free-thinkers. Today, however, Masons do not exert an outsized influence over Western politics or culture. The “Illuminati,” which had an on-again off-again relationship with the Masons in Bavaria in Southern Germany for several decades in the 18th Century, did not survive beyond the early 19th Century, except perhaps in the imagination of Dan Brown.

Contemporary Groups

Some contemporary groups sometimes mentioned as ‘pulling the strings’ of power in the world today include (alphabetically), the Bilderburg Group (a group of 100 or so rich men named after a hotel), the Council on Foreign Relations (originally formed at the end of WWI as a Presidential advisory group), Skull and Bones (the Yale fraternity to which Bush 41, Bush 43 (and paterfamilias Senator Prescott Bush), as well as John Kerry, belong/ed) and the Trilateral Commission, a group founded by David Rockefeller in the 1970s, famously including Henry Kissinger, to look at ways to improve relationships between the U.S., Europe and Japan. And of course, there’s always the Return-to-the-Gold-Standard crowd. Some of these groups are described on this blog under Deep Background http://wp.me/PDKwi-4N and Deep, Deep Background http://wp.me/PDKwi-8Q (with links to Wikipedia’s exhaustive list of “conspiracy theories”). Here is Wikipedia on “New World Order (conspiracy theory)”: http://bit.ly/1JIgMwm.

ALEC and the Koch Brothers: The Importance of Being Open

More recently, in the U.S., a couple of specific groups have drawn scrutiny, including the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC) http://bit.ly/I3S4qv and the Charles and David Koch network of political fund-raising and money allocation organizations http://nyti.ms/1FSkHiP. In both cases, it was their ‘under the radar’ status that ended up elevating concern over their activities.

imageI do not mean to pooh-pooh the existence or diminish the impact of any of these groups, – after all, birds of a feather – though I think we can draw the line at David Icke’s “Lizard People” and the alien “Greys” (and other extraterrestrials) for the purposes of this article. I doubt that The Blacklist will head off in that particular direction.(For those interested, 200 episodes of the X-Files are already available for viewing and Scully and Mulder are scheduled for a limited return to prime time on Fox next year http://bit.ly/1FRQnF1. I hope they take on the lizard people – srsly I do.)

Suffice it to say that some organizations have aroused public interest in part because they have tried so hard to operate below the radar. By not opening themselves to scrutiny, they may ironically be more likely to generate public concern and speculation over the extent of their actual influence and power. “The cover-up is often worse than the crime” seems to apply in this sphere as well for political scandals. Certainly the Koch brothers and the now much-diminished ALEC should have learned this lesson. Yet, when one examines what these groups were doing ‘under the radar,’ it’s not hard to see why they did not want public scrutiny. See the information at the links. Jane Mayer’s famous 2010 exposé on the Koch brothers in The New Yorker, “Covert Operations,” may also be of interest http://nyr.kr/1wzhqAp .

The Koch Brothers' Network. Source: Center for Responsive Politics

The Koch Brothers’ Network. Source: Center for Responsive Politics

I don’t really understand why The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is sometimes considered a nefarious group. It’s basically a group of academics writing policy papers, as many less thoughtful groups do. Perhaps it is because some their recommendations can at times seem politically impractical (politics being the ‘art of the possible’ and all). For instance, they recommended that the U.S. not go to war with Viet Nam. Fancy that. Typically, their recommendations are considered by policy-makers, but more often than not, shelved. They publish “Foreign Affairs,” a reputable journal. Full-disclosure: I’m a subscriber.

The “Cave Dwellers” and “The Dark State”

Lastly, no account of the powers-that-be can be complete without mentioning the culture of Washington DC itself. Elected officials come and go in Washington, but Washington – known to its denizens as “This Town” – has a pedigree stretching back generations. Sally Quinn, once an opinion writer for the Washington Post, described this society in an article in 1998 titled “In Washington, That Letdown Feeling” in which she chided Bill Clinton for dragging the pristine reputation of “This Town” through the dirt http://wapo.st/1bO9oAg.

Of course, this was a singular moment in time, and an imaginary one at that. Just before Newt Gingrich resigned over a sex scandal. Before Robert Livingston turned down the Speakership because of one. Before Dennis Hastert accepted the Speakership in spite of a potentially explosive one coming to light just now. Bill Clinton, it turns out, may have been the least of the sinners, compared to that unholy trinity.

Source: The Washington Post (2/18/2015)

Source: The Washington Post (2/18/2015)

But even those were the good old days, before Washington devolved further, driven by a Vice President and President willing to lie the U.S. into a war fought for access to Iraqi oil on the premise that Saddam Hussein was mysteriously involved in 9/11 (he was not, on the other hand our allies the Saudis more than likely were http://nyti.ms/1TceAA6) OR that he harbored Al Qaeda (he did not) OR that he was developing nuclear weapons (he was not) OR that he already had weapons of mass destruction in the form of chemical weapons (again, not). The Center for Public Integrity identified 935 lies leading up to the war (9/11/2001 to 9/11/2003) and put them into a convenient, searchable database: http://bit.ly/1BZCO5E.

This is also the Washington of another group of denizens which harkens back to Eisenhower’s warning regarding the emergence of the “military-industrial complex” http://bit.ly/1FK3Tvg. Bill Moyers calls this “the Dark State.” Mike Lofgren, in an essay on Moyers’ website http://bit.ly/1BBiY29, describes it this way:

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.

Lest there be any doubt about the persistence of this group, most of Jeb Bush’s foreign affairs and defense advisor are http://bit.ly/1I2BkK8 the same neocons who served under either his father’s administration, his brother’s – or both http://wapo.st/1F9Idr2:

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⭕ The Season Finale: 2:22 Tom Connolly

We may assume The Cabal incorporates aspects of all of these: 1) nation-states, 2) multi-national corporations, 3) international organizations like the United Nations, 5)) public and private voluntary associations, and 6) ‘under-the-radar’ organizations. It’s the mix that needs to be better understood to provide the context for The Cabal.

Where, in this broad spectrum of power and influence is The Cabal positioned? In the Season 2 finale, Red – after having survived an attempt on his life by The Cabal – does what he has threatened for 20 years – to inform the world of its existence and its power. To do this, he has some of his ‘associates’ around the world abduct specific journalists and bring them to a secret venue in Washington DC for a “debriefing” on The Cabal and the release of the The Fulcrum: the blackmail file which reveals organizational information about The Cabal (names of participants, how they are placed in governments and corporations) and a record of its nefarious activities.

Red addresses a captive audience of journalists

Red addresses a captive audience of journalists

Over a video/slideshow presentation of the names of those involved and a record of The Cabal’s activities, Red provides a description of the organization and the extent of its power:

Red: My name is Raymond Reddington. The United States government has placed me atop the country’s list of most-wanted fugitives for a colorful and not uninteresting assortment of crimes, most of which I have committed. That’s who I am.♤

You, in turn, are by my estimation eleven of the best investigative journalists in the world. I’m here to tell you a story.

I’m sure you recognize many of the faces behind me. They are among the most powerful men and women on the planet. They are also part of a global conspiracy, a shadow organization that spans across every continent and has for the last three decades, consisting of leaders in world government and the private sector. Some call this group “The Cabal.”

Faces of The Cabal under Fitch

Faces of The Cabal under Fitch

The world you live in is the world they want you to think you live in. They start wars, create chaos. And when it suits them, they resolve it. Cabal members will move more money in the next quarter than the World Bank will in the next year. Their alliance effects sea change in every aspect of human life – the value and distribution of commodities, money, weapons, water, fuel, the food we eat to live, the information we rely on to tell us who we are.

Journalist: What exactly do you expect us to do with this information?

Study it, investigate it to determine the truth, and then report it. Let me be clear. Investigating this group will immediately position you as a threat. If you do what I’m asking, you’ll be putting your lives and the lives of those you love at grave risk. In the end, “The truth will out.” Not all of us will live to see that day, but the truth will out.♤

Script [2:22 Tom Connolly] http://wp.me/pDKwi-Wi // 5/14/2015 original air date

Near the end of the Finale [2:22 Tom Connolly], we see The Director opening his morning paper, to reveal the startling headline:

The Director gets the news

The Director gets the news


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Cold War

⭕ The Backdrop of The Cold War

In the single best article I have read in the last two years, Mark Lilla, writing in The New Republic, lamented the eclipse of Americans’ understanding of the world around us in light of the end of the Cold War:

In truth, we have not thought nearly enough about the end of the cold war, and especially the intellectual vacuum that it left behind. If nothing else, the cold war focused the mind. The ideologies in conflict, whose lineages could be traced back two centuries, offered clear opposing views of political reality. Now that they are gone, one would expect things to be much clearer to us, but just the opposite seems true. Never since the end of World War II, and perhaps since the Russian Revolution, has political thinking in the West been so shallow and clueless. We all sense that ominous changes are taking place in our societies, and in other societies whose destinies will very much shape our own. Yet we lack adequate concepts or even a vocabulary for describing the world we find ourselves in. The connection between words and things has snapped. The end of ideology has not meant the lifting of clouds. It has brought a fog so thick that we can no longer read what is right before us. We find ourselves in an illegible age. [emphasis added]

The New Republic, Mark Lilla (6/17/2014): The Truth About Our Libertarian Age – Why the dogma of democracy doesn’t always make the world better http://bit.ly/1sXX2gn


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⭕ Raymond Reddington: The KGB’s Greatest Enemy

I don’t want to enter into a Blacklist timeline debate in this article. Suffice it to say that Reddington was a Naval Academy graduate who likely graduated in the spring of 1984. The pilot episode indicates Red was: “Top of his class. Graduated by the time he was 24. He was being groomed for admiral.” http://wp.me/pDKwi-16b. He was, in an earlier version of the script, an intelligence officer http://wp.me/pDKwi-2m. In that version, Ressler says, “By 30 he was an intelligence officer in the Army. … Military Liaison Officer to the NSA.” (In that version, he graduated from West Point, not Annapolis.) The main difference in the emphasis on his work in intelligence.

Red, "the KGB's greatest enemy"

Red, “the KGB’s greatest enemy”

Normally, I would pass over unused lines from a script, but the idea that Red was an intelligence officer is consistent with what Anton Velov, an ex-KGB officer, says to Red in [2:21 Karakurt http://wp.me/pDKwi-Ub%5D – that he, Velov, once considered Reddington to be “the KGB’s greatest enemy.” Red’s reaction is interesting. Below is that bit of dialogue:

Velov: [ Russian accent ] You’re Raymond Reddington.
Red: I am. And if I’m right, you’re the same Anton Velov who once led a Spetsnaz Special Forces Unit called The Zarubin Group.
Velov: I’m surprised we never met. For many years, while you were still with US Counterintelligence, I considered you the KGB’s greatest enemy.
Red: [ Laughing ] Oh, my God. That feels like ages ago. For what it’s worth, I was young. I had no concept of what a real enemy looked like. [ Inhales deeply ] But I do now. Which is why I’m hoping you and I might prove to be fast friends.

This is consistent with Red’s being an officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence which eventually became part of the CIA.

The upshot is that Red was obviously deeply entrenched in anti-Russian counter-intelligence at the time the backstory of The Blacklist enfolded, from between 1987 and 1994 (dates approximate). Whether he was working in the field (inside Russia) or was involved in the Kursk bombing along with Alan Fitch, we don’t yet know. What we do know is that his position as a KGB-hunter would have put him in a position to come into contact with Liz’s (aka Masha’s) mother, the notorious KGB spy Katarina Rostova, and possibly with her father who Red tells Liz in [2:20 Quon Zhang http://wp.me/pDKwi-RL%5D was also “in foreign intelligence.” As we know from [2:22 Tom Connolly http://wp.me/pDKwi-Wi%5D, Liz as a young girl (about four years old) shot her father as he beat her mother in an argument, apparently in over possession of The Fulcrum [2:10 Luther Braxton2 http://wp.me/pDKwi-15A%5D.


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⭕ The U.S. Navy at the End of the Cold War

The U.S. Navy was directly involved in the arrangements made between the United States and the Soviet Union as the U.S.S.R. entered its final days. The Malta Summit, which some see as marking the official end of the Cold War took place in December 1989 aboard two navy vessels off the coast of the Island of Malta near Sicily in the Mediterranean. U.S.S.R. leader Mikhail Gorbachev attended on the Soviet cruise ship SS Maxim Gorky, aboard which the meetings took place and President George H W Bush attended the summit staying on the USS Belknap. The meeting took place just two weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. President Bush arranged to have pieces of the Wall handed out to summit participants. By December 1989, the dissolution of the Soviet Union was well underway, with former “Soviet Socialist States” having peeled off one by one to form independent nations whose governments were quickly recognized by the Western powers.

The purpose of the Malta Summit was to reassure the world that the unraveling of the U.S.S.R. would continue to take place peacefully.

Speaking at a joint news conference, Soviet leader Gorbachev announced:

“The world is leaving one epoch and entering another. We are at the beginning of a long road to a lasting, peaceful era. The threat of force, mistrust, psychological and ideological struggle should all be things of the past.”

“I assured the President of the United States that I will never start a hot war against the USA.”

In reply, President Bush said:

“We can realise a lasting peace and transform the East-West relationship to one of enduring co-operation. That is the future that Chairman Gorbachev and I began right here in Malta.”

Source: Wikipedia http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta_Summit

United States Capitol, Washington DC

United States Capitol, Washington DC

However, hardliners in the Soviet Union were dissatisfied with the turn of events, and in August of 1991, the hardliners attempted a coup d’état. Although Gorbachev had been placed under house arrest, Russian President Boris Yeltsin stood up in opposition to the coup and widespread demonstrations led to the eventual failure of the coup and the release of Gorbachev.

According to the plot of The Blacklist, such hardliners did not, however, “go gently into that goodnight,” but rather joined with certain elements, chiefly in the defense and intelligence agencies of the United States and other major powers, to establish a 25-year framework to overturn the U.S.-centric world which the end of the Cold War left in place. The “Kursk bombing” which in The Blacklist plot, killed many of the hardliners, is not mentioned in actual historical accounts of this period. The Blacklist implies that Americans, including Alan Fitch, were active in the the U.S.S.R./Russia during this period and were likely involved in the Kursk bombing. Red Reddington, a Naval intelligence officer, may also have been in the U.S.S.R. during the period (years 1989, 1990, 1991) as it devolved into Russia and its former constituent states peeled away.


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⭕ So who are these people and what do they stand for?

According to Red, the ‘valuable information’ he stole and once again possesses (the “Fulcrum” and it’s enabling technologies) are The Cabal’s plan for clandestine world domination:

Red: Your government is being robbed.
Liz: From here? How? What’s he after?
Red: The Fulcrum.
imageLiz: I don’t know what that is. What is that?
Red: It’s a blackmail file – proof of the existence of an extraordinarily powerful clandestine organization. If their activities were made public, some of the most powerful and influential men would go to prison or be executed.
Liz: And it’s here, this Fulcrum?
Red: No, the Fulcrum isn’t here, but I believe information critical to finding it is, and that’s what Braxton wants. I’m here to stop it.

The Fulcrum includes information on The Cabal’s organizational structure and a timeline of events intended to create instability in the world, including in the United States. In the video photo montage FBI Agent Elizabeth (“Liz”) Keen plays for The Director, images are flashed of newspaper headlines including the Reagan assassination attempt, Libya, the “Star Wars” missile defense program, and the growing trade imbalance between the U.S. and China. A list of people’s names runs down the left-hand side of the display. There is a photo of the Pentagon. Across the bottom right of this montage a typewritten strip reads:

[ALL CAPS:] “Information from this source, if used, must be carefully paraphrased in order … [?] … source. under no circumstances should subjec- … [?] … become aware we have knowledge of the … [?]”

Liz shows The Director the Fulcrum.

Liz shows The Director the Fulcrum.

As FBI Agent Samar Navabi says to Kenneth Jasper (a member of The Cabal whom Red has captured), in Episode 2:20 Quon Zhang:

Samar: That’s why Reddington brought you in. He knows the Director is advancing the time-line. He knows that the plan is to trigger a series of events that will bring us to the brink of another world war.
Jasper: I didn’t tell him that. It was Leonard Caul.
Samar: Reddington has the Fulcrum, which means he has a blueprint outlining our entire infrastructure. If you leaked operational details, we’re done. [ Emphasis added ]
Jasper: I didn’t. I don’t even have those details. I know we’re targeting a defense installation, but I don’t know which one. I’m serious! [ Scoffs ] The Director won’t finalize his choice until next week.

The next two paragraphs were written before the final two Season 2 episodes, but may still be of interest:

It seems likely that the major attack planned on a military installation in the U.S. set to take place in Episode 2:21 or 2:22 could be destabilizing, perhaps even more so than the 9/11 attacks which were mostly against the financial sector and civilian targets. (The Pentagon was, of course, hit as well, with the tragic deaths of 189 people, but no diminishment of military capability occurred.)

However, a successful attack on a military base could impact actual military readiness. Perhaps as important, with Cabal operatives like The Director of Clandestine Services and the Attorney General now in place and ready to take action, even a moderate strike could be trumped up and used as justification for martial law to be invoked. Red was accused of stealing “military secrets” and certainly, plans for invoking martial law would fall into this category. The military itself would go on high alert (DEFCON 3 ➔ 1), especially if evidence is provided to the public that the attack was carried out by a Russian agent.

It is likely the “attack on a military installation” was the destruction of the U.S. anti-Russian counter-intelligence unit. The plan was to blame Liz or “Masha” who, it would be revealed, not only was the daughter of a Russian KGB agent, but would be said to be working for the Russians herself. Had everything gone down as planned, the steps outlined above might all have been taken: escalation of the DEFCON level, suspension of civil liberties, etc. Instead, Liz escaped from U.S. custody with help from Red and Cooper, then returned with Cooper to confront Connolly. Things spun out of control and Liz shot and killed Connolly, then – in the season’s final minutes – is shown heading out somewhere with Red. With Attorney General Connolly now dead and The Director caught off guard, whatever plans the Cabal may have had had been thrown up into the air.
The contents of the Fulcrum, meanwhile, have made the headlines of at least one major U.S. newspaper, thanks to Red’s meeting with that “captive audience” of investigative journalists. The Fulcrum plan names names – names like Alan Fitch (Assistant Director of National Intelligence, now deceased) and The Director (with others bound by threat or blackmail), and others embedded at the highest levels of governments around the world. It also involves certain industries, particularly defense and R&D. Revealing the names, organizational infrastructure, game plan and list of events that have already taken place could result in governments moving to apprehend the traitors in their midst, leading to their arrest, and eventual imprisonment and, in some cases, execution. OR the embeds themselves may take the opportunity to grab for the reins of power. The world would be in a precarious state.

The Fulcrum reveals its secrets.

The Fulcrum reveals its secrets.

Red, Liz and Red’s associate Leonard Caul, a surveillance expert, had all seen the list of those involved in The Cabal. Though it is dated, Leonard Caul told Red that “Most of the key delegations are run by the same players.” From Episode [2:19 Leonard Caul]:

Caul: First time I saw it, I was speechless, too.
Liz: Some of the names on that list, people, they’re CEOs, Defense contractors, intelligence officers from China, India, all over the world.

The chumminess of The Cabal was apparent when The Director told Hobbs:

Reddington did not make you! We made you! Have you forgotten what this organization has done for you? Government contracts? Silverstone? R&D grants? We put you in the game, and you betray us? You betray me? I treated you like family. I supported you.

This defense, intelligence and corporate interests comprising The Cabal seems to be nothing short of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” http://bit.ly/1FK3Tvg, advanced to the point of possibly seizing control of the world. It is Ike’s ‘nightmare come true,’ only not limited to the United States. Here is a slightly longer-than-usual passage from President Eisenhower’s famous 1961 Farewell Address:

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.


The Pentagon

The Pentagon

A chief “product” of this military-industrial Cabal is War – materiél for war, men for war, intelligence for war, ideologies for war – orchestrated to serve the owners of the Capital of war. The Cabal, by coordinating the war-making potential among participating countries, allows for the expenditure of war capital on an on-going basis. It prevents actual annihilation (though it risks it), by always somewhere nurturing conflicts through the manipulation of popular sentiment [ finally! some catharsis from Jon Bokenkamp! lol! ].This allows the use of military assets in order to ensure continued demand to war suppliers. By continual surveillance and subtle subjugation of populations, as well as by media manipulation or outright ownership, it pacifies the population, sometimes distracting it, sometimes riling it up. So it prevents rebellion from stirring, or knowledge of who the manipulators so are to slip past the comforting smoke screens and orchestrated public dramas. Life has become a massive reality show the population does not know it is taking part in. This is how the permanent “managed” global war economy is realized and sustained.


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⭕ War Without End, Amen

Under The Cabal, government contracts, favors (eg Asst FBI Director Cooper getting in the clinical trial) and above all, wealth, are based on favoritism – on being “on the inside” or “in the loop.” The Cabal is powered by the military-industrial complex and oiled by graft, with dissenters held at bay by threats of physical violence and blackmail, while the population as a whole is lulled by media. William Butler Yeats could have been invoking such a scenario in “The Second Coming” (1919):

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

It is striking how similar this modus operandi is to that of ISIS, the operational structure and methods of which were revealed in an exclusive article in Der Spiegel magazine on 4/18/2015 http://bit.ly/1Ksrh45. In particular, the use of blackmail and threats in order to recruit or neutralize those in existing power structures. Also, as the article reveals, ISIS is basically a re-emergence of the Iraqi Sunni military might of Saddam Hussein. Deprived of power after the overthrow of Saddam, those in Saddam’s power elite combined forces with Sunni jihadists. Left out in the cold, they didn’t just disappear, but worked to re-emerge in a new guise.

Similarly, the end of the Cold War promised the West a “peace dividend” – resources that had been expended on war were to be redeployed to non-military domestic purposes. And for a while there was a spend-down in the Defense Department budget (see chart). Well, we know how that turned out in the long run. We attacked Iraq, a country which had nothing to do with attacking us on 9/11. We couldn’t attack Saudi Arabia, after all – they are our friends! [See Newsweek: The Saudi Role http://bit.ly/1zCm5cM Jan 2015.] Since then, the U.S. defense and intelligence establishments have only grown, not shrunk, and even President Obama’s admirable attempt to disengage has, in the end, only broadened the conflict by leaving a mismanaged Iraq open to the emergence of Sunni jihadists in league with the military know-how of Saddam’s army: The Islamic State, I.S., or ISIS. A ‘permanent war economy’ already exists made almost inevitable by a world awash in weaponry and hysteria (on both sides), if not by design, as on The Blacklist.

U.S. Defense Spending Since WWII.

U.S. Defense Spending Since WWII.

Yet, the United States remains the sole superpower, which President Obama conceding “okay” to those who have called for a continuation of “Team America, World Police” TheNewRepublic: http://bit.ly/1sPcPye ForeignPolicy: http://atfp.co/1P0dVSJ

With the U.S. Supreme Court fully in the camp of “money = speech” and lobbyists exerting more and more control over politicians, it does seems that permanent war is store. Look at these headlines from last August and September:

HuffPo (Sep): Pope Francis Warns Against Third World War: ‘War Is Madness’ http://huff.to/1y0cYkS
// 9/15/2014

WaPo, Cillizza: Pres Obama’s ISIS speech http://wapo.st/1ADI7Xg “America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden
// 9/10/2014

NYT: Obama Promises Sustained Effort to Rout Militants http://nyti.ms/1tM3iaK
// 9/10/2014

USATODAY, Obama: ‘It will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL’ http://usat.ly/1rWhaPM
// 9/10/2014

STLToday, Raasch: Obama confronts the Long War http://bit.ly/WKT7EW “I don’t think that this threat is ever going to go away” Claire McCaskill
// 9/9/2014

WaPo, Michael Gerson: America’s resumption of ‘the long war’ http://wapo.st/1lUdfAj “We fight ’em there, so we don’t face ’em here” #ISIS #Iraq #Syria
// 9/8/2014
“Former Australian Army chief Peter Leahy recently called this “the early stages of a war which is likely to last for the rest of the centuryhttp://wapo.st/1lUdfAj

TheEconomist (Aug): How #ISIS is faring since it declared a caliphate http://econ.st/1tbICbS “likely to be active for generations to come
// 8/26/2014

Forbes, David Eldon: A World At War: The Threat Of Rising Extremism May Last For Decades http://onforb.es/1snqOJb
// 8/13/2014


⊰ ♤ ⊱


⭕ State Capitalism

Russia today is characterized by a form of capitalism in which government favors and contracts are handed out to Vladimir Putin’s friends, with non-supporters frozen out and antagonists eliminated in one way it another. In China, such favors go to those who support the agenda of the communist party. This new system is part planned economy, part capital- and investment based. It has a name: state capitalism.

Unlike free-market capitalism, under state capitalism, lucky firms favored by governments are protected from the phenomenon of “creative destruction,” in which firms that perform poorly are allowed to fail, replaced by more vigorous firms that have managed to prevail in an environment of free competition. Of course, such a system of free-market capitalism does not exist anywhere in reality – for in reality, an open system tends toward the formation of “natural monopolies,” (described aptly in 2:6 The Mombasa Cartel). So in the West, there are laws and regulations against the formation of such monopolies (eg the breakup of AT&T). Still, the companies that can emerge, even with such regulations, can be very large indeed, large enough to swallow up smaller companies which may threaten them.

“State capitalism” gets its name because government (the state) plays an large role in setting the direction of the economy overall as well as determining the fates of individual companies. Both free-market capitalism and state capitalism do share some key features of capitalism.

1. Capital: Instead of top-down planning and allocation of existing resources (from taxes, labor etc), money is borrowed on a long-term basis and repaid over time from revenues,

2. Risk: Shareholders, both domestic and international, can invest in the companies and make or lose money in the process,

3. Oversight and Transparency: There is oversight by governing bodies, both domestic (like our Federal Reserve System) and international (like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank), and adherence to principles of professional accounting organizations which prescribe how a firm’s books are to be kept.

However the differences between free-market capitalism and state capitalism remain stark, particularly regarding the extent of state involvement in investment and type and degree in the oversight and transparency. Recently, in regard to transparency, Russia and China have taken steps to establish their own credit rating service, citing the Big Three’s inability to predict (and complicity in) the 2008 Crash – but also because their firms often receive low scores. It remains to be seen how investors will respond to this.


⊰ ♤ ⊱


⭕ Two Tells


Per Capita GDP Growth: Free-Market vs State Capitalism (real through 2010, then projected)

Per Capita GDP Growth: Free-Market vs State Capitalism (real through 2010, then projected)

In the aftermath of 9/11, The Economist and other leading economic journals featured an extensive discussion of the emergence of state capitalism as an alternative to free-market capitalism in the wake of the 2008 market crash and subsequent Great Recession. This discussion was spurred in part because Russia and China weathered the initial shocks of the Great Recession better than did the free-market systems of the United States and Europe. In the chart, note the downward dips in the GDPs of Western economies (blue arrow) whereas China and Russia show little impact (red arrow). I’ve provided a short list of key articles and links on State Capitalism under “Further Reading,” at the end of this article.

But given the more recent recovery (which has been strongest in the U,S.), it requires The Cabal to attempt to actively reignite the demise of the Western powers by striking a destabilizing blow against the United States. Such an attack or series of attacks could bring the world to the brink of another world war, suggests Samar Navabi in 2:20 Quon Zhang. With Cabal figures like “The Director” of National Clandestine Services (NCS, a branch of the CIA) and the Attorney General at the helm of the DOJ (Department of Justice), not only could a strike be fabricated, but so could the government’s (over-)reaction to it. In this way, the U.S could be nudged further in the direction of a surveillance state, with attenuated civil liberties, and periods of martial law.

Also under this “emergency” scenario, shortcuts in the awarding of government contracts could be justified as necessary given the urgency of events – exactly as Halliburton (the company which Dick Cheney had previously chaired) was awarded billions in non-competitive contracts to provide services and goods to the U.S. Armed Services for use during the Iraq War. This was apart from the massive payout Halliburton received in oil leases, thinly disguised within one of its subsidiaries. In brief, by first creating panic and then exaggerating the response to it, an attack on American soil would shudder democratic and free-market institutions, replacing them with the kind of cronyism that actually did take place to some extent during in Second Iraq War, – but of which most Americans are still not aware, due to polarization and the incompetence of the media.

With competition for government contracts replaced by cronyism and with corporations and billionaires freed by the courts to to purchase favors from politicians by contributing to their campaigns (see: bribery) – or to simply run their own boughten politicians for political office – the result becomes clear: the emergence of an American version of state capitalism.

According to The Economist, there are two things that state capitalists cannot tolerate that make for dynamic economies:

1) the free flow of information [e.g. the Internet] that empowers entrepreneurs & consumers and
2) the creative destruction that allows vigorous new firms to replace tired old ones


Tim Berners-Lee.

Tim Berners-Lee.

December 25, 1990 – the day AFTER Red disappeared – was the day the World Wide Web was born. How perfect is that? Developed by Tim Berners-Lee and team at CERN in Switzerland, this user-friendly capability placed state-of-the-art in computer networking capabilities into the hands of a public not sure at the time what it was even good for.

The architecture of the Internet itself was developed by the United States Department of Defense (as “ARPAnet” then “DARPAnet”). It was designed to be decentralized (“self-healing,” in effect) so it would be able to survive even the effects of a nuclear attack. Also in 1990, DARPAnet was transferred into to the public domain and rechristened the Internet. The World Wide Web (WWW) was the “killer app” that put the Internet into the hands of the masses. It’s the addressing ability beginning with “http:// that everyone is familiar with. A newsmagazine cover at the time stated, “The Web Changes Everything.” And it did. The dot-com boom and bust followed, of course, but despite its traumatic birth, the saying was apt: The Web changed everything.

According to the original script for the pilot of The Blacklist, Raymond Reddington was no Luddite. He was an Intelligence Officer who was the DOD’s chief liaison to the NSA. Was Red in favor of these developments or against them? Could supporting the privatization of the Internet have been thought of as surrendering “military intelligence” at the time? Is part of the plan of The Cabal to put this genie of readily-accessible information back in the bottle? One thing we know with absolute certainty is that neither of the two great state-capitalistic powers, neither Russia nor China, are fans of the Open Internet. The same can be said of several Middle Eastern states, which also feel they have a right to control what information their citizens have access to. The very design of the Internet is democratizing: it empowers the individual, and as such it will always be a threat to the powerful.
The Cabal’s disruption and takeover plan is already in play. But as Lizzie tells The Director in [2:19 Leonard Caul], the FBI’s Blacklist Task Force know exactly what is going on. In one of the most powerful scenes of the 2nd Season so far, Lizzie confronts The Director:

[ Device whirring ]
Liz: The Fulcrum. You didn’t think Reddington had it. Well, here it is, and it tells quite a story – political assassinations, terrorism. We know who you are, what you’ve done.♤ You called Reddington’s bluff, and you lost. Call it off.
The Director: I told you it’s too late.
Liz: Pick up the phone right now and call it off!♤

[ Red has been shooting attackers, runs out of bullets, crawls out of the hospital bed and tries to get a gun from off of a dead man. But it’s too late. He’s surrounded. Several men are now aiming rifles at him. One holds a pistol to his head. Then a man comes forward, whispers to another. One by one, they turn to leave. The operation has been called off ]

[ Receiver clicks; the Director hangs up ]
The Director: You have no idea the enemies you just made.
Liz: I’m afraid I do.♤ [ Turns to leave ] You can keep that. We have copies.
The Director: I never saw it before.
Liz: Saw what?
The Director: How much you look like your mother.♤


The nightmare scenario The Cabal presages is “a new world order,” based – not on sovereign nation-states, democracy, free markets and open access to information – but one of clandestinely orchestrated interactions between semi-autonomous nation/states characterized by centralized, government-supported corporate power in a state-capitalistic system of cronyism. With a public mollified by a controlled, muffled or blindly partisan media, metered and monitored Internet services, constant surveillance and, at least occasionally, the threat or reality of suspension of civil liberties and martial law. And war – endless, wasteful, purportedly “managed” but nonetheless always threatening to erupt into generalized conflagration – in a torrid tango with humanity, balancing civilization and even our survival ‘on the blade of a knife.’

Note: In the real world, a handful of encouraging things have happened in the two months since I began writing this article: 1. Net Neutrality prevailed: It was decided Internet communications could not be allowed to have to have “fast” and “slow” lanes, 2. Section 215 of the Patriot Act was allowed to expire, so the government will no longer keep communications metadata on all Americans, and 3. (As of this writing 6/13/2014), The Transpacific Trade Partnership (developed in secret primarily by corporate interests) was voted down by the U.S. House of Representatives. None of the important issues breaks down neatly along party lines, by the way.


⊰ ♤ ⊱

In the world of The Blacklist, the long-term plan of The Cabal began with the end of the Cold War and was originally to culminate in 2017, around the time the next U.S. President was to take power. But then a mysterious figure named Karakurt (after a variety of black widow spider) has arrived to set off the series of events that would eventually lead to claiming an attack by Russia on the United States had taken place – carried out by a woman named Masha Rostova, a Russian operative whose mother was a KGB spy. We, of course, know “Masha Rostova” as Elizabeth Keen.



State capitalism is NOT a conspiracy theory. Nor is the existence of a permanent war economy. These exist today in countries we currently consider our rivals, and in latent form, within the depths of our own country. Such forces present a major challenge – alongside which ISIS and Ebola pale in comparison – to our way of life, and to the long term leadership of the United States in the world. One might even ask if the U.S. initiation of the Iraq War, begun under false pretenses by a clique of neoconservatives, might be seen as an action that weakened the reputation of the United States as a relatively benevolent force in the world, while giving in to the demands of international oil conglomerates for access to Iraqi oil fields.


⊰ ♤ ⊱


⭕ The Climate Challenge

Must state capitalism necessarily lead to a permanent war economy? Of course not. This is simply where 50,000 years of being predisposed to inter-group conflicts has brought us. We are inclined by our genome to distrust outsiders. But, we are also blessed with curiosity and a sense of justice. We can stretch our perception of who our “in” group is to include all human beings, That is what the Enlightenment idea of human rights is all about. As President Reagan once pointed out, if the world were attacked by an alien force that threatened our annihilation, humans would readily come together to oppose such an enemy. And in fact, there already is such an enemy on the horizon. It is the devastation of the earth by the very technologies and attitudes that have brought us to where we currently stand, at the the brink of creating a planet uninhabitable by much of mankind. We can take comfort in the fact that life on earth will survive almost regardless of what we can do, but we ourselves – and our civilizations – may not.

The Blacklist stayed grounded in its second season in the reality of international relations and science challenges, not spinning off into science fiction, conspiracy theory, or genealogy (except for that “daughter of a Russian spy thing). The series has a lot to offer as a mirror to the contemporary world. I hope it continues to explore the powers in the world with vested interests in the accumulation of power, unnecessary war, wasteful wealth accumulation, inequality, ideology, anti-human rights forces and a host of other evils, of which there is a long list http://wp.me/PDKwi-8Q (topics! not plot ideas).
Among these, however, climate is key. The rejection of the science of global warming by so many U.S. politicians (in spite of its popular acceptance) presents a grave threat to the world’s ability to address this danger.

Above: 12-second video.

I spent some time last year studying the climate issue – in particular, trying to understand the argument that climate change is not happening and the accusation that the government and researchers are collaborating to mislead the public. On the latter point, there has been some genuine confusion over studies of “scientists'” level of consensus. I concluded that there is definitely evidence that actual climate scientists agree about 97% the time that the planet is warming. There is less agreement (though still a huge consensus) among scientists who are not climate experts. But there is also evidence of intentional obfuscation and real denialism instigated by polluting industries.

The climate bibliography I compiled is available here: http://wp.me/PDKwi-1ad. This includes an assessment I did of all the major polls done of scientists on the reality of climate change. [ Just do a page search for “💙💙 Climate Consensus” ]

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

In terms of the science itself, the best articles I came across looked extended periods of time. One of these looked at the last 1000 years, the other at the last 800,000 years. [ See double chart; click to enlarge ] You can easily see the problem. The 1000-year data finds exactly the same curve looking at three entirely different types of data collection: atmospheric, sea sediment and ice cores. It shows that we entered the 20th Century in what was a cooling trend, but have reversed that direction with a sudden and relentless projection toward a sudden and terrifying increase in CO₂ levels to levels not seen in millions of years. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (the accounting firm) says we have already shot past the ✛2℃ scenario aimed at by the 2009 Copenhagen Accord heading toward ✛4℃ – if we can even stop it there http://bit.ly/1r8NBto. The depiction of what the world will look like if this happens – and it appears almost inevitable – has been outlined in the most recent IPCC report and its U.S. companion (see “Additional Reading”). Below are links to the two studies I found most convincing:

1. RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0
// “Just looking at the known drivers (climate forcings) and the actual temperature history shows it directly, without need for a climate model: without the increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans, the slow cooling trend would have continued. Thus virtually the entire warming of the 20th Century is due to man. This May, for the first time in at least a million years, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has exceeded the threshold of 400 ppm. If we do not stop this trend very soon, we will not recognize our Earth by the end of this century.”
● RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 3 climate studies corroborating the “hockey stick” curve
● RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 Shaun Marcott et al http://pic.twitter.com/zKbG9GTSFC
● RealClimate (2013): “Rapid temp rise in 20th C is unique throughout the Holocene” http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 by 3 methods http://pic.twitter.com/9wKs1ZvE3V
● RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: End of Ice Age Projected Through End of 21st C http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 omg http://pic.twitter.com/IHp5twEDxZ

2. NCA2014: 800,000 Year Record of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Concentrations (& Projection) http://1.usa.gov/1pW8TIr http://pic.twitter.com/fzadjBPBbR
⋙ from US National Climate Assessment 2013 http://1.usa.gov/1kNo8hQ Overview: http://bit.ly/1oVZLVn
// Chart caption: “Carbon dioxide concentration (parts per million) for the last 800,000 years, measured from trapped bubbles of air in an Antarctic ice core. The 2008 observed value is from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and projections are based upon future emission scenarios. More information on the data can be found in the Climate Change Impacts on the U.S. report.”


Climate: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Climate: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The resources required to address climate change could be repurposed from some of those which are currently creating a permanent war economy. Just as the United States’ industrial base was repurposed and ramped up during the Second World War, creating the military-industrial complex – and then after the War redirected to the consumer goods that created the American middle class – so too could a portion of our war resources now be repurposed to fight a greater war against the profound changes to the earth that the industrial revolution has brought about. Ideally, this will happen. It needs to happen. However, in all honesty, I look around at the powers-that-be and the path we appear to be on, and I am not encouraged.


⊰ ♤ ⊱


⭕ Can a ‘New World Order’ Ever Be A Good Thing?

A commenter at the Wall Street Journal Speakeasy blog on The Blacklist provided what I think is a description of what a “good” new world order would look like. I find it chillingly perceptive:

The “good” version of a “New World Order” was described by George H.W. Bush in his famous speech at the end of the Cold War [ March 6, 1991 http://bit.ly/1FM5rou ]:

Until now, the world we’ve known has been a world divided—a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war. Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a ‘world order’ in which ‘the principles of justice and fair play … protect the weak against the strong …’ A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.

[ NOTE: In another speech, on Sept 11, 1990, Bush had also said http://bit.ly/1IxlQjU:

We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective—a new world order—can emerge: a new era—freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace.

This is obviously a “globalist” view where, in the good sense, nationalism is secondary to what is good for humanity.

Those who see “evil” in the New World Order believe that the global elites are using global institutions and free trade agreements to maximize their profits and control at the expense of jobs and the working class.

Basically, the New World Order is a move toward one government that rules all the world. There has been an obvious movement toward more and stronger institutions in the past 100 years – the United Nations, Bretton Woods, EU, NAFTA, etc. There is no doubt that so called “elites” govern the world. There has been a big change in who those “elites” are though. Until recently, governments of the great powers provided most of the elites, but with globalization the nation-state’s power has diminished shrinking politicians to minority power broker status; leaders in international business, finance and the defense industry not only dominate the superclass, they move freely into high positions in their nations’ governments and back to private life largely beyond the notice of the general population and even elected legislatures who are abysmally ignorant of affairs beyond their borders.

The elites’ influence over national policy is constructive but always self-interested, and … [A]cross the world, few object to corruption and oppressive governments provided they can do business in these countries. Established upper-class families with “old money” have founded and finance Davos [ the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum ], the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Club, Club of Rome, Council on Foreign Relations, Rhodes Trust, Skull and Bones, Trilateral Commission, and similar think tanks and private clubs that urge an increasingly authoritarian world government controlled by the United Nations and a global central bank, which maintains political power through the financialization of the economy, regulation and restriction of speech through the concentration of media ownership, mass surveillance, widespread use of state terrorism, and an all-encompassing propaganda that … ideologizes world government as the culmination of history’s progress.

So far, we’ve only seen brief glimpses of most of The Cabal members, but they seem to be an international group. Those trying to map The Cabal to political parties of the United States miss the point – the American political parties are irrelevant to The Cabal. [Emphasis added]

WSJ Speakeasy Blog on The Blacklist, “Ghost of Fitch”: Discussion of [2:20 Quon Zhang] 2:00 pm May 7, 2015 http://on.wsj.com/1e5iDyl

When The Director described “The Cabal” to Connolly, it was a bucolic vision:

The Director: I understand you’re conflicted. Lives were lost today. But the work we do is important. We help provide peace, stability. Children can go to school, families to church without fear – or certainly with less of it because of us. And you wanted to be a part of that. It’s a solemn responsibility and, on days like today, a heavy one. And few people are capable of honoring that responsibility.

[2:19 Leonard Caul http://wp.me/pDKwi-Ps%5D

Everyone, it seems, uses the same language to describe a desirable future. The question is who to believe and who not to believe. Who is interested only in power and their personal wealth and comfort and who in the “common welfare”? Who is lying and who is not? Who will lead us to the truth we must in the end discover for ourselves – for that is the only way we will accept it? These are the questions at the very core of The Blacklist. They are its thematic foundation.

Could human beings make the change from a permanent war economy to one focused on climate and a fairer allocation of resources? Many think not. But the Papal Encyclical on climate change will be released on June 18, 2015 and there is one more opportunity to act in a meaningful way when the world meets in Paris in November to commit to limiting the damage carbon emissions are wreaking on the planet. We have already blown by ✛2℃, on our way to ✛4℃ – a frightening scenario laid out in the last IPCC Report http://bit.ly/1jPd6wS (2013) and its U.S. companion http;//bit.ly/1kLoPbi (2014).

I am reminded of the scene in [2:10 Luther Braxton2] in which Liz and little Liz [Masha] are hiding in the closet when smoke from the fire begins to seep under the door:

Liz [ to young Liz ] Listen to me. You have to say something. There’s a fire. I know you saw something out there and you don’t want to go out there [Voice breaking] but you can’t stay here!. You have to scream! Do you hear me? As loud as you can, you have to scream! You have to– [ Screams ] [ Both scream ] [ Wails ] [ Haunting Russian lullaby plays ]

[2:10 Luther Braxton2 http://wp.me/pDKwi-15A ]


"But you can't stay here!"

“But you can’t stay here!”

‘There is a fire out there.’ It’s called climate change. And ‘we can’t stay here.’ We can’t stay here. That is the problem we face. If democracies cannot manage to govern themselves effectively, the future we face is ominous indeed. Did Game of Thrones intend the terror of the descending onset of severe and interminable winter to mirror the future we face, of severe and interminable summer? “Fire or Ice?” Frost asked, then supplied the answer: It scarcely matters.


⊰ ♤ ⊱


⭕ Conclusion: End of the Enlightenment?

I of course have no idea what Jon Bokenkamp or John Eisendrath think about climate change. The topic is one I think The Blacklist needs to address, like ISIS, if it is to maintain its relevance and its edge. But the show’s real power comes when it delves beyond that specific matter and looks into broader issues of self-governance, human rights, human nature, and the question of good and evil especially as this relates to truthfulness and deceit.

If we fail in self-governance, the best we can hope may be a battle between the “good” elites and the “bad” elites. Ralph Nader, in fact, has written a novel titled “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us” http://amzn.to/1QrURxw. What a sorry statement that is on our ability to confront the evil in our midst, the incessant call to inaction [sic]. Like the Greeks, most of us will feel powerless as we watch the gods and heroes duke it out.

But the stakes are huge: how and even whether the vast “unwashed masses” of the earth can survive in the mad dash as we all struggle for higher ground – either in terms of longitude, feet above sea level or the wealth to purchase the goods needed to survive. Will the elites who are building their own separate world of gated communities, private schools, and trust-fund-based lifestyles, even need to bother with the “losers,” the “lazy,” and the “dependent” – the “47 percent.” ? No wonder Millennials are steeped in “conspiracy” theories of mass extermination using technologies like HAARP, of the intentional spread of manufactured viruses, of mind-numbing substances dumped into the air in chemtrails. It reflects how utterly dispensable they’ve come to feel.

Can we trust ourselves with our own future and that of our planet or have we lost our sense of agency: can we even begin to comprehend the consequences of our actions? “Every cause has more than one effect.” We feel enmeshed in an indecipherable network of causality, in which it impossible to act morally because we can identify neither reachable goals nor meaningful actions.

Has the Enlightenment itself failed? – that world of rights and responsibilities in which the individual was the measure of all things, the crux of ethics and morality, the agent of action. This question frames the dreadful legacy we may leave to our children. They will live with the consequences of our inaction, of our inability to bear the burden of moral and effective self-governance. “A Republic,” Ben Franklin cautioned: “– if you can keep it.” In light of all our missteps going back to the 1980s, however, one thing is obvious: “We can’t stay here.”


༺✦ ⌘ ✦༻


⭕ Further Reading

State Capitalism

The Economist (2012): State capitalism http://econ.st/11lUfBY
The Economist (2012): The visible hand http://econ.st/1tkzrl9
ForeignRelations (2009): State Capitalism comes of age http://fam.ag/15B6yfB
WSJ (2010): China’s ‘State Capitalism’ Sparks a Global Backlash http://on.wsj.com/1zYPiKO
Bloomberg (Aug): Statist Strongmen Putin and Xi See History’s Capitalism Clash http://bloom.bg/1vPOHN5

WSJ/PetersonFoundation Nicholas Rowdy (Sep): Is China’s ‘State Capitalism’ Dead? Another View http://on.wsj.com/1xUArSx
// 9/10/2014

TheEconomist (2012): State capitalism’s global reach: New masters of the universe http://econ.st/1rwp2lK

Comments on this topic I posted here earlier (from Oct-Nov 2014);

State Capitalism vs the Internet, Pt 1: http://wp.me/pDKwi-1Z
State Capitalism vs the Internet, Pt 2: http://wp.me/pDKwi-22
The Decembrist: State Capitalism the Internet http://wp.me/pDKwi-31

Cold War History

The Economist (2012): Something old, something new: A brief history of state capitalism http://econ.st/1vPHRaN //➔ explains the rise of state capitalism in Russia & China since the Cold War:

The final event was the collapse of Soviet communism. This was initially seen as one of the great triumphs of liberalism, but it soon unleashed dark forces. Communist apparatchiks-turned-oligarchs grabbed chunks of the economy. Between 1990 and 1995 the country’s GDP dropped by a third. Male life expectancy shrank from 64 to 58. Once-captive nations broke away. In 1998 the country defaulted on its debts.

The post-Soviet disaster created a craving for order. Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s president, reasserted direct state control over ‘strategic’ industries and brought the remaining private-sector oligarchs to heel. But just as important as the backlash in Russia was the one in China. The collapse of the Soviet Union confirmed the Chinese Communist Party’s deepest fear: that the end of party rule would mean the breakdown of order. The only safe way forward was a judicious mixture of private enterprise and state capitalism

Climate and Alternative Futures

Articles distilled from a 64 page bibliography: http://wp.me/PDKwi-1ad

1. NASA: Effects of Changing in the Carbon Cycle http://go.nasa.gov/2a3XPaw
// (undated) “Variations in Earth’s orbit alter the amount of energy Earth receives from the Sun and leads to a cycle of ice ages and warm periods like Earth’s current climate”
● NASA: Changes in the Carbon Cycle http://1.usa.gov/1piVISm Correlation between CO₂ levels & Antarctic Temperatures http://pic.twitter.com/MHk5y806Sq
● NASA: Changes in the Carbon Cycle http://1.usa.gov/1piVISm Human contribution to CO₂ levels since 1800s http://pic.twitter.com/0Zd9bv92va

2. RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0
// “Just looking at the known drivers (climate forcings) and the actual temperature history shows it directly, without need for a climate model: without the increase in greenhouse gases caused by humans, the slow cooling trend would have continued. Thus virtually the entire warming of the 20th Century is due to man. This May, for the first time in at least a million years, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has exceeded the threshold of 400 ppm. If we do not stop this trend very soon, we will not recognize our Earth by the end of this century.”
● RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 3 climate studies corroborating the “hockey stick” curve
● RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: The End of the Holocene http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 Shaun Marcott et al http://pic.twitter.com/zKbG9GTSFC
● RealClimate (2013): “Rapid temp rise in 20th C is unique throughout the Holocene” http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 by 3 methods http://pic.twitter.com/9wKs1ZvE3V
● RealClimate (2013): Paleoclimate: End of Ice Age Projected Through End of 21st C http://bit.ly/1t3kQw0 omg http://pic.twitter.com/IHp5twEDxZ

3. NCA2014: 800,000 Year Record of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Concentrations (& Projection) http://1.usa.gov/1pW8TIr http://pic.twitter.com/fzadjBPBbR
⋙ from US National Climate Assessment 2013 http://1.usa.gov/1kNo8hQ Overview: http://bit.ly/1oVZLVn
// Chart caption: “Carbon dioxide concentration (parts per million) for the last 800,000 years, measured from trapped bubbles of air in an Antarctic ice core. The 2008 observed value is from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and projections are based upon future emission scenarios. More information on the data can be found in the Climate Change Impacts on the U.S. report.”

Major Reports
≣ IPCC Climate Change Report 2013: Summary for Policy Makers [pdf] http://bit.ly/1jPd6wS (28 pages) // (2013)
⇈ ⇊
≣ IPCC: #Climate Change 2014: Summary For Policy Makers: Mitigation http://mitigation2014.org
≣ USNCA: Climate Change Impacts in the United States 2014: Highlights http://bit.ly/1kLoPbi
// 5/6/2014 US National Climate Assessment
⇈ ⇊
≣ USNCA: Climate Change Impacts in the United States 2014: Full Report http://1.usa.gov/1kNo8hQ
⇈ ⇊
≣ USNCA: Climate Change Impacts in the United States 2014: Appendix 3: Climate Science Supplement http://bit.ly/1mK57CL


imageAnielski, Mark: The Economics of Happiness – Building Genuine Wealth (2007) http://bit.ly/1cNP7eQ (Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S7PqRG)

NYT (6/18/2015): Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change http://nyti.ms/1GSgrVr
↥ ↧
Encyclical Letter of the Holy Father Francis (6/18/2015): ‘Laudato Si’ on Care of Our Common Home [pdf] http://bit.ly/1SrvUQe pp 184 #Climate

Hansen, James: Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity (2010) http://bit.ly/1TdYO7E (Amazon: http://amzn.to/1KZEVM2)

Klein, Naomi: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate (2014) (Amazon http://amzn.to/1dFeD6O)
NYT Review, Rob Nixon (11/6/2014): “a book of such ambition and consequence that it is almost unreviewable” http://nyti.ms/1INAdkr

Kolbert, Elizabeth: The Sixth Extinction – An Unnatural History (2014) (Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IxgKnX)
NYT Review, Al Gore (2/10/2014): Without A Trace http://nyti.ms/1e5YzMe
// was selected as one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2014

Sachs, Jeffrey D: The Age of Sustainable Development (2015) http://bit.ly/1IJWkem (Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GvXd7U)
// foreword by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon



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