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US navy secretary warns of ‘fragile’ supply chain
November 4, 2019 | Financial Times | by Peter Spiegel and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York.

Richard Spencer says America is at risk of relying on China and Russia for critical warship components.....many contractors are reliant on single suppliers for certain high-tech and high-precision parts, increasing the likelihood they would have to be procured from geostrategic rivals.......moreover, China (Beijing) was trying to “weaponize capital” through its Belt and Road Initiative whereby Beijing offers developing countries “loan to own” debt that they could not pay back in order to gain leverage over critical assets.....efforts to improve the domestic supply chain have been hampered by repeated government shutdowns and haphazard federal budgeting in recent years......undermining the ability to convince domestic suppliers that there will be a steady stream of business for them if they invest in building out their manufacturing capabilities......the Secretary of the U.S. Navy has recently launched a “trusted capital” programme whereby large private equity firms are invited to bid on failing or non-existent supply needs in areas from ship maintenance to weapons manufacturing.
adversaries  China  developing_countries  fragility  industrial_policies  maritime  military-industrial_complex  One_Belt_One_Road  precision  private_equity  rivalries  Russia  security_&_intelligence  supply_chains  U.S._Navy  SPOF 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
'Global Trumpism': Bailouts, Brexit and battling climate change | CBC Radio
[Also here: ]

“How did the middle class end up in perpetual debt? Why is there ‘no money’ for infrastructure or social programs, but there is for waging war? And what does all this have to do with Donald Trump, or Brexit, or climate change?

If you’re mystified about any of the above, then author and Brown University professor Mark Blyth can clarify things for you. He says it’s helpful to use a computer metaphor to describe the economy.

In his lecture at McMaster University as part of their Socrates Project, Blyth compared capitalist economies to laptops: different makes, but similar in appearance. He argues these computers run just fine for a while — say, about 30 years . But all the while, there are bugs in the software that eventually causes the system to crash. Then you rebuild the hardware, fix the software, and reboot.

System breakdown
That’s what happened in the 1970s and 1980s, when labour costs and inflation became a problem. The ‘system rebuild’ included less powerful unions, more global trade, and central bankers who were put in charge of setting interest rates.

But this new system generated bugs of its own, among them, a runaway culture of lending, and a lack of wage growth among the middle classes, who did a lot more borrowing than they could afford.

Mark Blyth says this borrowing wasn’t just driven by rampant consumerism.

“How do you get by when … everybody tells you there’s no inflation, yet the cost of everything that matters is actually going up? Education, health care, all that sort of stuff,” Blyth said in his lecture.

“And the only way you can fill in the gap is to borrow more money.”

Cue the 2008 financial crisis
However this time, Blyth says there was no rebuild. Instead, the United States Federal Reserve led a bailout of the big banks, domestically and internationally. The rich got much richer, the middle class got perpetual low interest rates to keep carrying their debts, and the poor had their social programs cut in the name of austerity.

Blyth contends this dynamic is what lit the fuse of global populism: the rise of leaders who appeal to public outrage, alienation, and lack of trust toward career politicians and traditional political parties.

“Your debts are too high…you can’t pay them off, but you can roll them over. They’re not going to be eaten away by inflation, and the people who brought you here have zero credibility,” said Blyth.

[video: ]

Blyth compares populist leaders to ‘rogue code-writers’, hacking into the software of a system that was never properly rebuilt after the crisis of 2008. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it strengthens democracies.

“[Populism] is now part of the furniture … It’s already changed, so just get used to it. And let’s remember historically that 100 years ago, the people who were the populists then, the people that everyone was afraid of, became the established parties in many cases,” Blyth told IDEAS host Nahlah Ayed.

“So every now and again you have to have a little revolution, and that’s what’s happening now.”

Populism is springing up on the right and the left, said Blyth. The difficult choices that need to be made about climate change could come from a left-wing populist movement, not unlike the so-called ‘Green New Deal’ proposed by younger American Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Looking at how things may unfold in the not-too-distant future, Blyth speculates “right populism wins round one.”

“But ultimately, left populism wins round two, because left populism is the only one that takes climate change seriously,” he concludes.”
2019  markblyth  economics  inequality  brexit  donaldtrump  trumpism  fragility  greatrecession  2007  2008  policy  democracy  personaldebt  debt  taxes  wealth  income  climatechange  bailouts  finance  recessions  recession  oligarchy  popularism  berniesanders  banking  global  financialcrisis  inflation  productivity  consumerism  stockmarket  ipos  wages  middleclass  capitalism  us  uk  canada  caymanislands  delaware  arizona  isleofman  austerity  nahlahayed  latecapitalism  federalreserve  priorities  centralbanks  monetarypolicy  politics  alangreenspan  economists  loans  creditcards  spending 
8 weeks ago by robertogreco
What to Know About an Object’s Fragility
Today, we will look over the design fundamentals of protective cases known as fragility.
protective-case  packing-strategies  fragility 
10 weeks ago by Adventure_Web
The confidence men | Richard Seymour on Patreon
For a similar reason, the centre has been battered and bewildered in the domain of meaning. How does it come to be, that facts and reason are no match for sheer confidence? For falsehoods expressed with the salesman-like bark of a commodities trader, or a real estate agent? Indeed, how have the terms of 'facts' and 'reason' become the idiom of the alt right, the brand name for their ideology, their mode of rightist 'common sense'? Why are they so impervious to fact-checks? Hannah Arendt tells us that the followers of far-right leaders actually don't mind being lied to, because they expect politicians to cheat. They just want their guys to lie more effectively. They also want to be in on it, but even if they discover they've been lied to, they will just pretend to have known all along, and it will only renew their admiration for the tactical savvy of their cheating, lying leaders. Not to mention their contempt for the stupid, conned masses. Above all, to recall Karl Rove's point, beliefs create realities, they don't reflect them. "The true goal of totalitarian propaganda," Arendt says, "is not persuasion but organisation". It orchestrates and puts into motion the believers, whether they believe or not.
UK  USA  politics  TrumpDonald  FarageNigel  IslamicState  confidence  voluntarism  misinformation  dishonesty  alt-right  ArendtHannah  myths  nationalism  Barthes  fragility  dctagged  dc:creator=SeymourRichard 
august 2019 by petej
Why Are White People So Bad At Talking About Race? – BRIGHT Magazine
Most white people consider a challenge to our racial world views as a challenge to our very identities as good, moral people. It doesn’t take much — the mere suggestion that being white has meaning often triggers defensive emotions such as anger, umbrage, and hurt feelings, and behaviors such as arguing, denying, explaining, minimizing, and withdrawing. These responses work to repel the challenge, return our racial comfort, and maintain our dominance within the racial hierarchy. They also work to punish people of color into not “going there” with us, into staying “in their place” and working to keep us comfortable lest we lash out and make things worse for them. In this way, white fragility is not weakness per se; it is a powerful means of racial control and the protection of our advantage.
white  racial  privilege  identity  fragility  race  defensiveness 
may 2019 by Michael.Massing
Sick Woman Theory – Mask Magazine
"The most anti-capitalist protest is to care for another and to care for yourself. To take on the historically feminized and therefore invisible practice of nursing, nurturing, caring. To take seriously each other’s vulnerability and fragility and precarity, and to support it, honor it, empower it. To protect each other, to enact and practice community. A radical kinship, an interdependent sociality, a politics of care."
via:anne  disability  feminism  gender  health  anticapitalism  precarity  fragility  care  caring  kinship  radicalism  nursing  nurturing  vulnerability  sociality  social  politics 
january 2019 by robertogreco
On Hayden Carruth: A Friendship in Poetry | Academy of American Poets
"everything worthy is fragile and under threat, is prey to time and invisible to power, and yet affection keeps the accounting in the black. Worthy things, invested with affection, pass into “the now / which is eternal.” I don’t know how this can be… And yet I believe that it is so"

[via: ]
wendellberry  fragility  haydencarruth  2008  power  time  worthiness  affection  now  slow  small 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story | Robin DiAngelo - YouTube
"All systems of oppression are highly adaptive, and they can adapt to challenges and incorporate them. They can allow for exceptions. And I think the most powerful adaptation of the system of racism to the challenges of the civil rights movement was to reduce a racist to a very simple formula. A racist is an individual—always an individual, not a system—who consciously does not like people based on race—must be conscious—and who intentionally seeks to be mean to them. Individual, conscious, intent. And if that is MY definition of a racist, then your suggestion that anything I’ve said or done is racist or has a racist impact, I’m going to hear that as: you just said I was a bad person. You just put me over there in that category. And most of my bias anyway is unconscious. So I’m not intending, I’m not aware. So now I’m going to need to defend my moral character, and I will, and we’ve all seen it. It seems to be virtually impossible based on that definition for the average white person to look deeply at their socialization, to look at the inevitability of internalizing racist biases, developing racist patterns, and having investments in the system of racism—which is pretty comfortable for us and serves us really well. I think that definition of a racist, that either/or, what I call the good/bad binary is the root of virtually all white defensiveness on this topic because it makes it virtually impossible to talk to the average white person about the inevitable absorption of a racist world-view that we get by being literally swimming in racist water.

White fragility is meant to capture the defensiveness that so many white people display when our world views, our identities or our racial positions are challenged. And it’s a very familiar dynamic. I think there’s a reason that term resonated for so many people. I mean even if you yourself are to explain white fragility it’s fairly recognizable that in general white people are really defensive when the topic is racism and when they are challenged racially or cross racially.

So the fragility part is meant to capture how easy it is to trigger that defensiveness. For many white people the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will set us off. Another thing that will set us off is generalizing about white people. Right now I’m generalizing about white people, and that questions a very precious ideology, which is: most white people are raised to see ourselves as individuals. We don’t like being generalized about. And yet social life is patterned and observable and predictable in describable ways. And while we are, of course, all unique individuals, we are also members of social groups. And that membership is profound. That membership matters.

We can literally predict whether my mother and I were going to survive my birth and how long I’m going to live based on my race. We need to be willing to grapple with the collective experiences we have as a result of being members of a particular group that has profound meaning for our lives. We live in a society that is deeply separate and unequal by race. I think we all know that. How we would explain why that is might vary, but that it’s separate and unequal is very, very clear.

While we who are white tend to be fragile in that it doesn’t take much to upset us around race, the impact of our response is not fragile at all. It’s a kind of weaponized defensiveness, weaponized hurt feelings. And it functions really, really effectively to repel the challenge. As a white person I move through the world racially comfortable virtually 24/7. It is exceptional for me to be outside of my racial comfort zone, and most of my life I’ve been warned not to go outside my racial comfort zone.

And so on the rare occasion when I am uncomfortable racially it’s a kind of throwing off of my racial equilibrium, and I need to get back into that. And so I will do whatever it takes to repel the challenge and get back into it. And in that way I think white fragility functions as a kind of white racial bullying, to be frank. We make it so miserable for people of color to talk to us about our inevitable and often unaware racist patterns that we cannot help develop from being socialized into a culture in which racism is the bedrock and the foundation. We make it so miserable for them to talk to us about it that most of the time they don’t, right? We just have to understand that most people of color that are working or living in primarily white environments take home way more daily slights and hurts and insults than they bother talking to us about."
racism  oppression  robindiangelo  whitesupremacy  civilrights  race  2018  intent  consciousness  unconscious  morality  whiteness  socialization  society  bias  ideology  fragility  defensiveness  comfort  comfortzone 
november 2018 by robertogreco
What the lessons of 1918 can teach today’s world leaders
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 | Financial Times | Simon Kuper.

The Armistice of 1918 is a model for how not to treat other countries. The historian Margaret MacMillan points out that Germany’s humiliation didn’t mechanically cause the second world war: there were 20 years in-between. Still, visiting Compiègne, you inevitably think of contemporary parallels. Here are some lessons for world leaders gathering in Paris next week to commemorate 1918:

• In international relations, treat even your opponents like long-term business partners.
• Nationalist passions are easy to excite and hard to put back in the bottle.
• A humiliated country will look for scapegoats — and some people will jump from angry words to violence.
• Prosperity is fragile.
• Wars beget wars. Foch helped beget Hitler; the Middle Eastern borders drawn at Versailles helped beget today’s conflicts in the region; the Korean war isn’t dead yet either, and the American civil war lives on as a north-south culture clash....Still, peace in the region cannot remain the EU’s selling point. Precisely because Europeans have come to take peace for granted, they now (rightly) ask: “What have you done for me lately?”
• Absence of war is always a political achievement.
anniversaries  Armistice  Brexit  fragility  humiliations  leaders  lessons_learned  Margaret_McMillian  Simon_Kuper  WWI 
november 2018 by jerryking
4 years ago forecasted as a key topic for 2018 in its vision. The World Economic Foru…
Fragility  Journey2018  from twitter_favs
october 2018 by tguemes

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