#121
the new age of the new age
#122
#123

The documents were obtained through the Dossier Center, a London-based investigative project funded by Russian opposition figure Mikhail Khodorkovsky. NBC News has not independently verified the materials, but forensic analysis by the Dossier Center appeared to substantiate the communications.

lol

#124
The documents have not been verified, but they have been independently verified by the organization that gave us the documents.
#125
I never thought I'd hear that name again.
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/01/12/remote-control-2

Since he’d already declared his desire to run Russia, someone at the table asked him a question posed to all contemporary politicians: how did he feel about gay marriage? “You know, people are like lemmings,” Khodorkovsky said, his eyes twinkling behind rimless glasses. “Whenever there get to be too many of them, they always find ways of limiting their reproduction.”

Khodorkovsky offered opinions on a number of issues that evening. He thought Obama was too much of a lawyer. He told a couple of salty stories from tyuryaga, “the clink.” He recalled with fondness an old acquaintance, the unfortunate Kenneth Lay, the late C.E.O. of Enron, who was, in Khodorkovsky’s estimation, a thumbs-up kind of guy. The whistle-blowers in that case outraged him: why did people glorify cowardly spies and traitors, and put them on magazine covers?

Maria Logan, one of Khodorkovsky’s lawyers, who was in charge of dealing with foreign reporters, looked increasingly pained as her eyes darted from Khodorkovsky to me and back again. “Mikhail Borisovich,” she said, with a strained laugh, “we need to talk—especially before your trip to America!”

A brief bio from the same piece:

Khodorkovsky used his Komsomol connections to get seed capital and open a small business. It took the largely useless virtual credits that the central planners issued to Soviet factories and converted them into highly valuable hard currency. By 1988, when the average salary in the Soviet Union was around a hundred rubles a month, Khodorkovsky’s firm was raking in millions. With two and a half million rubles, he founded Menatep Bank.

By 1989, he had opened an offshore bank account in Switzerland, one of the first of the Russian oligarchs to do so. (Khodorkovsky denies this, saying that he didn’t open his first personal account in the West until 1997.) Through Menatep, Freeland writes, in her book “Sale of the Century,” Khodorkovsky and his business partners bought computers abroad and sold them at home for many times their original value. He also began to import other goods—fake Napoleon cognac, stonewashed jeans—with which he laundered Soviet credits, transforming them into cash. He was exploiting the very system he had served as a Komsomol leader.

In 1992, just after the Soviet Union fell, Khodorkovsky and his partners published a manifesto called “Man with a Ruble,” which declared, “Our compass is profit. Our idol is the financial majesty, capital.” In an interview with the Miami Herald, he said that although he had once been a fervent believer in Communism, he had undergone a “total rethink.” He said, “If the old Mikhail had met the new one, he would have shot him.”

Boris Yeltsin’s post-Soviet government implemented radical market reforms but instituted almost no legal structure to control them. Khodorkovsky was perfectly positioned to take advantage. Menatep became an official bank for the Russian Ministry of Finance. Here, too, Khodorkovsky identified a lucrative loophole. One of his lieutenants at Menatep bragged about the scheme to Hoffman. The Ministry of Finance would deposit, say, six hundred million dollars in Menatep Bank, to be disbursed to pay salaries in the regions. Menatep would delay those payments and funnel the six hundred million into high-yield investments for three weeks. In that time, salaries in the regions went unpaid, but Menatep earned millions on the investment. (Khodorkovsky denied this, saying that three weeks was a normal amount of time for a transfer in those days.)

Khodorkovsky began to amass the bulk of his wealth in 1995, when the oligarchs devised a scheme by which their banks lent money to the Yeltsin government, which was desperate for cash. In exchange for the loan, the banks would hold shares of handpicked state enterprises as collateral. If the government defaulted on the loans, as everyone involved knew it would, the banks would be allowed to sell off the collateral in order to recover their money. Khodorkovsky, who had set his sights on the oil enterprises that were unified under the name Yukos, lent the government $159 million in exchange for forty-five per cent of Yukos. When the government inevitably defaulted, Menatep organized an auction to sell off the collateral––Yukos. With some maneuvering, Khodorkovsky was able to shut foreign investors out of an initial auction, and then disqualified a troika of domestic participants. When the auction was over, Hoffman writes, a Menatep affiliate was the owner of a controlling stake in Yukos that it had purchased at an extreme discount. Khodorkovsky disputes this account, claiming that he turned a rotting Soviet enterprise around: two years later, Yukos, a company that Menatep had effectively sold to itself, was valued at nine billion dollars. Khodorkovsky was thirty-four. After acquiring Yukos, he sent his enforcers to establish control of the extraction companies. Then, according to an article published in Foreign Affairs, in 2000, by Lee Wolosky, who was at the time the deputy director of the Economic Task Force on Russia at the Council on Foreign Relations, Yukos began using a tactic called transfer pricing. Yukos would buy oil from the extraction companies at an artificially low price and sell it abroad at the much higher market price. In early 1999, Yukos bought two hundred and forty million barrels of oil from its subsidiaries for$1.70 a barrel. It sold the oil abroad for fifteen dollars a barrel. In the first half of that year alone, according to Wolosky, Yukos made eight hundred million dollars. Khodorkovsky says that this was not illegal under Russian law at the time, and that these estimates don’t take into account duties and other costs.

Very little of this wealth was making it back to the parts of the country that were producing it. Instead of paying taxes, which could have been used to repair the decaying Soviet infrastructure, Khodorkovsky and his colleagues were depositing the funds in an offshore network. “Whole regions of Russia are being impoverished” by such tactics, Wolosky wrote.

Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Neftyugansk, where Yukos had its main production facility, appealed to the Kremlin to investigate Yukos’s practices. In May, 1998, he led a protest in Neftyugansk that disrupted a Yukos shareholders’ meeting. Several weeks later, he was shot to death on the street. Police labelled the murder a contract killing. Khodorkovsky has consistently denied any role in Petukhov’s death and has never been charged with the murder. His former chief of security, however, is serving a life sentence for it, as well as for one other murder and two attempted murders. Leonid Nevzlin, a former business partner of Khodorkovsky’s, who moved to Israel in 2003, was convicted in absentia in 2008 for Petukhov’s murder, among others. Nevzlin dismisses the convictions as charades—a reasonable claim, given the political nature of the cases.

When, in 1998, the Russian government defaulted on its debt, provoking a severe economic crisis, Yukos barely survived. According to Hoffman, Khodorkovsky was deeply in debt to Western banks, and he dodged his creditors. One of his tactics involved the transfer of almost all Yukos’s assets to obscure shell companies, which left his American shareholders and his Western creditors holding only the company’s debt. Another involved flooding the market with millions of new Yukos shares, diluting Western shareholders out of existence.

The piece is worth the read if you get past the anti-Russian spin. Guy surprisingly ends up getting convicted and sentenced for 9 years for fraud and tax evasion and his personal wealth was cut from 9 billion to 500 mil.

I asked Khodorkovsky if he was hatching a coup. The Russian people, he said, “are not ready for a coup.” He sounded both resigned and disappointed. He would try to help keep things from getting worse in Russia, but that was not the way to improve the lot of Russian liberals. “The only way to improve things is through violent methods,” he explained, smiling, as if he had reached the satisfying end of a mathematical proof. “You—we all—are not ready for these methods. So then let’s agree that we’re going to use the methods we can use in order not to worsen our situation.”

He went on, “The key question that the Kremlin is posing to society is: If not us, who? And society, spooked by the nineties, is afraid of not having an answer to this question.” He added, “ It’s spooked by the fact that, because of the crisis of management, we got what we got.”

I asked him if he felt at all responsible for what happened in the nineties. “Oh, come on,” he said. “This theme of ‘feeling guilt’ or ‘you’re not feeling guilty.’ Let’s drop to our knees and start repenting. Look, I was not part of the system of management, for understandable reasons.”

#126
Khodorkovsky has been a top beneficiary of the willful amnesia of the Western news cycle for about thirty years at this point. Every half-decade or so he mysteriously reappears as whatever Washington needs him to be at the moment. We should never lose faith in him chuu~~~~
#127
I was in Moscow when they had him in the dock the first time and the Moscow Times, the English-language mercenary-consultant rag, was doing double back-flips every day to try to explain why this corrupt piece of shit wasn't exactly that.
#128

cars posted:

I was in Moscow when they had him in the dock the first time and the Moscow Times, the English-language mercenary-consultant rag, was doing double back-flips every day to try to explain why this corrupt piece of shit wasn't exactly that.

wow look at this sinister guy, he was in Moscow once, writing my frontpage article now about the kremlin agitators among us,

#129

ilmdge posted:

it's a deliberate strategy of the hillary campaign (

) and the liberal media to freak the hell out about russia and putin, to accuse trmp of being cozy with the Enemy, and so on. moreover we know that's more than just talk from her end as evidenced by her track record of aggression against russia and russian-aligned regime. the legitimacy of trump's anti-imperialism is, and any commentary on white male privilege seems to be, to me, immaterial as to whether we are indeed seeing an interesting/ironic dem/rep inversion on scaremongering about russia

posted July 26, 2016... that whole thread is amazing to read in hindsight

#130

shriekingviolet posted:

wow look at this sinister guy, he was in Moscow once, writing my frontpage article now about the kremlin agitators among us,

no one told me about topilini puh before i went to MOSCOW and my GIRLFRIEND was like, yeah a BOY BAND had a HIT SONG ABOUT IT

#131
scrolling through 50 page threads to make sure i didnt say anything stupid
#132
Low prices and significant discounts, friends. Looking forward to read the old thread and passing judgement on various posters like an unaccountable despot with a low postcount.
#133
when biden loses to trump in 2020 i can't even imagine how the democrat base will react, or maybe I'm too scared too idk
#134

ghostpinballer posted:

when biden loses to trump in 2020 i can't even imagine how the democrat base will react, or maybe I'm too scared too idk

They'll blame the social democrats in their party and instigate another red scare.

#135

Populares posted:

ghostpinballer posted:

when biden loses to trump in 2020 i can't even imagine how the democrat base will react, or maybe I'm too scared too idk

They'll blame the social democrats in their party and instigate another red scare.

yeah, like the brexit farce over here where the hardcore remain lot are running wild, it's just constantly escalating tension with no release. the way the libs doubled down on russia even after the mueller punchline confirmed for me that they're all completely off the deep end. one of the "left wing" candidates just said climate change should be taken seriously cos it is a threat to the US military ffs. no hope.

#136

ghostpinballer posted:

one of the "left wing" candidates just said climate change should be taken seriously cos it is a threat to the US military ffs. no hope.

was the implication that this is a reason to rein in ecocide, or a reason to turn the earth into venus

#137
News is breaking that Twitter has forever banned the Krassenstein bros. for operating bot farms to boost their profiles. The bros became celebrities for sliding into Trump's menchies with tweets like "No, YOU are a disgrace, sir!" They also wrote a fascist children's book called "How the People Trumped Ronald Plump" with cartoons of Vladimir Putin (called Loudimir Tootin: "an evil man from a town many miles away") shooting rockets out of ass into voting booths and a shirtless, roided out Robert Mueller:

Grift in power my bros
#138

ghostpinballer posted:

yeah, like the brexit farce over here where the hardcore remain lot are running wild, it's just constantly escalating tension with no release. the way the libs doubled down on russia even after the mueller punchline confirmed for me that they're all completely off the deep end. one of the "left wing" candidates just said climate change should be taken seriously cos it is a threat to the US military ffs. no hope.

Brexit seems like what happens when dominant social formations opt to threaten their own productive base to maintain and/or strengthen their subjective, superstructural political and social position. It's a contradiction between the base and superstructure, or between hegemony of capitalist reproduction and the immediate, repressive needs of dominant elements within imperialist society. Objectively, there is no reason from the perspective of the European common market why the White Van Men of England should be treated any differently from workers anywhere else in Europe, but those constituents and their ruling class allies in the U.K. see the common market as (again) threatening their relative standing. This is what remainers don't get. They're always waving around data and stats as to what damage Brexit will do the economy and the U.K.'s standing in the world, but it doesn't matter.

There's not really a coherent "left" position on this, and I think the left has been generally confused and slow to keep up. On the one hand, there's a remain tendency because there are workers in Britain threatened by a reactionary campaign from the Brexiteers, and so the status quo is preferable to that, and there's also this social-democratic campaign led by Jeremy Corbyn which seems to have an opportunistic approach to the whole question (like "let's just get it done with and move on with our program"), although a quantitative weakening of the United Kingdom -- one of the core capitalist powers -- is probably good for socialists in the third world.

I suppose everything is riding on the global economy over the next few years. Trump's bargain in the U.S. seems to be to create a little inflation to give his base of debt-encumbered, petty-bourgeois homeowners a few hundred extra bucks to go blow on football games while keeping the corporate sector's share of profits intact. So his base is happy and his approval ratings aren't budging. But it's interesting looking at these stats for stuff like industrial production in the core countries slowing down fast, plunging shipments of home appliances, talk about big asset bubbles, etc.

#139

trakfactri posted:

but those constituents and their ruling class allies in the U.K. see the common market as (again) threatening their relative standing. This is what remainers don't get. They're always waving around data and stats as to what damage Brexit will do the economy and the U.K.'s standing in the world, but it doesn't matter.

why do they feel threatened though? i still dont get what brexiters care about so much. immigration?

#140
They think the UK is Fantasia and the EU is The Nothing and voting for Brexit is naming the Childlike Empress.
#141
Reign in Ecocide | 9pm // Doors | 8pm
#142
There's a coherent left position on Brexit, which is that British workers are labor aristocracy and support a white-supremacist neo-colonial state with a global military presence, and weakening both Great Britain's influence and the clout of the EU's masters in Brussels in that way is a net good for the world. I can see why some people don't like that one though.
#143

sovnarkoman posted:

why do they feel threatened though? i still dont get what brexiters care about so much. immigration?

Angry white yokels of a conventionally heterosexual and Christian background fearing the loss of their social, cultural and political dominance. The needs of the base are now contradicting the interests of the dominant formations within the superstructure, which is opting to strangle the base to death in a fit of white rage.

I should probably stop posting because I'm not British and I don't know how well the Settlers thesis applies here (feel free to call me an idiot), but home ownership is falling fast in the U.K. more than any other E.U. country, and the idea behind the thesis as I understand it is that you have this non-proletarian class that still survives through labor but also has a stake in private property which is key to their retirements. In the United States this is extreme and deliberately created because debt-encumbered home owners don't go on strike, and giving out houses to every white person with a pulse was key to dividing the working class and keeping it compliant. Now the working class is defeated, so there is no longer any (objective) reason to continue dividing it. Rents paid out to the white yokels is extracted as capital dispossesses this class of their property to make up for a declining rate in profitability. This is happening in the U.K. as well, no?

At the same time, the crushing of labor has given capital the room to neutralize (to varying extents) the political struggles of oppressed social formations (women, queer people, POC), provided these formations abandon any anti-imperialist element to their demands, incorporating them into the present hegemony. In the United States this is articulated by a politician like Pete Buttigieg who lives a conventional bourgeois lifestyle and is now a credible candidate for president (or more likely, future CIA director in a Democratic administration). In the U.K. a symbol for this might be Sadiq Khan, who mayorship is fully entangled with the interests of London's financial service industry.

The reactionary campaign meanwhile sees these social groups and the ruling hegemony as one and the same, makes them into scapegoats, and targets them for repressive violence (see how Khan is targeted as both a symbol of the cosmopolitan elite and "Islamic extremism" on account of being Muslim). From the perspective of people in these targeted groups, the status quo (in the form of continued European integration + defense of technocratic cosmopolitanism) is preferable to reactionary violence, which is a very real and deadly threat.

Anyways, I'm not sure how Britain gets out of its crisis and the government seems flatly incapable of delivering on Brexit, which makes sense because it would entail a massive loss to Britain's productive capacity. I'm reading that May just resigned, another sign of the ongoing collapse of the United Kingdom's political order, such as it was.

cars posted:

There's a coherent left position on Brexit, which is that British workers are labor aristocracy and support a white-supremacist neo-colonial state with a global military presence, and weakening both Great Britain's influence and the clout of the EU's masters in Brussels in that way is a net good for the world. I can see why some people don't like that one though.

Well yes that's the good news and involves a quantitative change in the balance of forces, giving anti-imperialist forces on the periphery an opportunity to reorganize and then advance the global revolution.

Edited by trakfactri ()

#144
to summarise: the ukkk has fail aids and hell, i couldn't be happier
#145
Joe Biden slurs whenever he talks now because his brain is a decayed brain from doing Dem politics for so long, instead of a normal brain!
#146
Joe Biden will be next dems' failed attempted to running anyone but sanders against Trump Steaks.
#147
joe is on camera this week sexually harassing a 10 year old girl
#148

ilmdge posted:

Joe Biden slurs whenever he talks now because his brain is a decayed brain from doing Dem politics for so long, instead of a normal brain!

I bet it smells horrible!

#149

ghostpinballer posted:

joe is on camera this week sexually harassing a 10 year old girl

well there's a shock *eyes roll so far back they drop out of my ass hole*

#150
Diamond Joe Biden strikes again!
#151
This is the first year I've ever felt like the '08 crash seems to be a collective memory, not something that wiped people out and fundamentally ruined the prospects of millions of people but something that happened and was overcome and moved on from. Very strange. People talk about the alt-right and fascism and its growth but the only fundamental shift in the international perspective narrative I've seen is that Americans are now more than willing to openly act like thugs and gangsters toward the global south. Just take their shit damn the perception it gives off.
#152

Munching on those old posts during 2016. I appreciate the desperate attempt by rHizzonE cadres, in between defenses of Joseph Stalin's legacy, to prevent the thread about the Amerikkkan cracker election from turning into D&D by page two. HK also clearly saw a Trump presidency (postdate Jan. 6, 2016) backing Saudi Arabia to the hilt, and to be sure there was a shift here in U.S. away from Qatar which had bought off the Obama administration. Anyways there are a lot of bad posts too and some real howlers (Trump being to the left of Hillary on Cuba) but I like to focus on the golden nuggets. I liked the forum's reaction to vilerat's mom showing up to give a speech at the RNC. There is also mention of a white supremacist forum that offshooted from SA that backed Trump, which must have resulted in a meltdown for them later on. It looks like the rHizzonE also backed Trump, but in a clever way similar to Iraqi civilians with pretend smiles waving to U.S. armored columns.

tsinava posted:

hillary is going to get the nomination and the DNC is going to finally be able to relax since a scary mean old unelectable socialist isn't running and then trump is going to win the presidency and the entire democratic establishment will collapse in on itself and yes, it's going to own.

Keven posted:

Donald Trump is going to win.

Petrol posted:

trump is going to win the nomination, and then beat hillary.

EmanuelaBrolandi posted:

I don't see what Trump could do that would be worse than Hillary. There will probably be a white supremacist upswing regardless, because this is America

There are some other posts that hope Americans will wake up about how vile and shitty they are, but 2019 regrets to inform them that this has not happened. There was also some sporadic hope Trump would reduce American imperial force projection -- ain't seeing it!

cars posted:

dave neiwert & others tracked massive organized support from at-the-edge, non-establishment white supremacists for george w. bush, just like they did ronald reagan, so this is not a new phenomenon, just one that had a lull with john mccain and mitt romney whom they didn't like as much for various reasons.

Yeah that's true. When the bonehead scene felt bummed out by establishment Republicans they channeled to Ross Perot, Ron Paul. From what I could tell Bush's wars kinda derailed that somewhat with the harder fash, and in 2002 they tried to do a big demo in D.C. for their size of which there's very little record (beyond VHS tapes from mail-order distributers with names like Hatehammer Records), but the Nazi turd-in-chief (Pierce) kicked the bucket the same year and it all imploded -- my guess is the scene glommed onto Paul after that.

c_man posted:

im not convinced that a trump presidency would be that much of a departure from any other presidency, globally speaking. i mean, its not like the material forces on the US world economy will change if trump gets elected. on the national scale the main difference i can see would be more overt and violent displays of white supremacy but i dont see where all of these supposed marxists are getting all this Hope for global policy Change from trump. it wont all of a sudden be in the interests of capital to scale down global confrontation and economic exploitation.

c_man posted:

bourgeois elections are a sham~!! ohhh, except for this especially racist guy. he's looking like the Great White Hope of the global proletariat, and will be best friends with my pals Putin and Assad!!

Beb!

ilmdge posted:

imagine (Sanders) loses and all that people remember about him is that he was "socialist" and then the country goes to hell in a handbasket and everyone is like "shit we shouldve elected the socialist." cut to 4 years later as the rhizzone celebrates at the inauguration of president bob avakian

Could still happen!

le_nelson_mandela_face posted:

The Communist Cubans have a word - bailamos - for when the rhytym takes you over

dipshit420 posted:

if you think about it we all live in groverhaus

Edited by trakfactri ()

#153
What does "beb" mean?
#154
#155

trakfactri posted:

not in it but gave you a + anyway because im in a good mood.

#156

Petrol posted:

not in it but gave you a + anyway because im in a good mood.

#157
*devo voice* that's beb!
#158

wasted posted:

This is the first year I've ever felt like the '08 crash seems to be a collective memory, not something that wiped people out and fundamentally ruined the prospects of millions of people but something that happened and was overcome and moved on from. Very strange. People talk about the alt-right and fascism and its growth but the only fundamental shift in the international perspective narrative I've seen is that Americans are now more than willing to openly act like thugs and gangsters toward the global south. Just take their shit damn the perception it gives off.

the crowd appeal of overt racism is also back in a big way for the West's "left-wing" parties. It just took them a few years to redefine who it's cool to be racist about, and it's super-mysteriously the Russians and the Chinese and the Koreans and wow I wonder why.

#159

trakfactri posted:

Thanks but are you reading a bunch of posters here correctly predicting Trump would win, in yet another display of this forum's near-prophetic genius, as them supporting Trump...? Why?

#160
I'll point out again that this site gave an official endorsement in 2016, even if I thought that was kind of Lol, and it was for the PSL slate, not Trump