The Octant
Insights and reporting from Caleb Maupin

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“I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world — and it is not even close,” Donald Trump told the country at his State of the Union address on February 4th, 2020.

Such words are laughable to anyone familiar with basic economic data. The 1950s, was a far better time, when the wages of American industrial workers significantly increased, and the US was the trading center of the non-Communist world amidst the post-war economic expansion, was a far better time.  Currently, living standards in the US are not rising. The slight increase in wages does not cancel out the rise of debt, the crumbling infrastructure, the low wage economy, and many obvious woes. These woes propelled Bernie Sanders, with his message of “Democratic Socialism”, to nearly steal the spotlight at the Iowa Caucuses.

However, Trump’s emphasis on military spending, as well as his stoking of fears about immigrant crime, points to the underlying reality of America’s economic management since 1945. In essence, what can be called “Death Economy,” a particular application of Keynesianism have been relentlessly applied, and their ability to boost growth is running out.

How Should The Government Spend Money? Keynes vs. Schacht

Prior to the financial meltdown that swept the western world in 1929, it was common for observers and commentators to declare “Ford has overtaken Marx.” The application of assembly-line production to efficiently churn out goods as specifically applied by Henry Ford, was said to have disproved Marx’s theory that capitalism is prone to cyclical crises of overproduction. The thesis of “Ford has overtaken Marx” was an earlier incarnation of what is now called “The Efficient Market Hypothesis” by economists.

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On Jan. 3rd, 2019, China landed the Chang-e 4 rover on the far side of the moon. This was a dramatic accomplishment in terms of extraterrestrial activity. The mission had a concrete purpose, not merely in terms of scientific research, but also in terms of technology.Helium-3, the rare, non-radioactive isotope, is quite hard to find on earth. Due to its rarity, it costs roughly $40,000 per ounce. However, Helium-3 is highly abundant on the far side of the Moon. The Chang’e 4 is believed to be the first step, with China intending to send up Chang’e 5, which will land on the moon, load up, and return to earth with a cache of Helium-3, extracted from the lunar surface.

Helium-3 is in high demand right now, as fusion energy research is taking off. Many believe that Helium-3 could be used in a fusion reactor that could be developed, and completely change life on this planet with abundant levels of new energy. Russian President, Vladimir Putin is a champion of these efforts, saying: “Potentially we can harness a colossal, inexhaustible and safe source of energy. However, we will only succeed in fusion energy and in solving other fundamental tasks if we establish broad international cooperation and interaction between government and business and join the efforts of researchers representing different scientific schools and areas. If technological development becomes truly global, it will not be split up or reined in by attempts to monopolize progress, limit access to education and put up new obstacles to the free exchange of knowledge and ideas…The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) serves as a prime example of open scientific, technological cooperation. Scientists are now planning to use it to launch the process of controlled thermonuclear fusion…Our country is actively participating in this project, and is now prepared to suggest that they use Russia’s scientific infrastructure for joint research, joint scientific investigation, for the international scientific teams that are working in the sphere of nature-like and other breakthrough technologies, including unique mega-science installations.”

The US space program originated with similar aspirations. NASA sought to advance human civilization, develop new energy sources, and make life better on earth by reaching for the stars. On Sept. 20th, 1963, US President, John F. Kennedy spoke at the United Nations and proposed that instead of having a “Space Race” that the United States and the Soviet Union work together. He said: “In a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity–in the field of space–there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon.”

2020: Pornography Takes the Place of Politics

When describing the years of 1907-1910, a period when Russia was gripped by hopelessness after the failure of the 1905 revolution, Vladimir Lenin wrote: “Depression, demoralization, splits, discord, defection, and pornography took the place of politics.”

Such words accurately describe the current atmosphere within the United States. Suicide rates are higher than they have been in decades. Opioid addiction is also claiming lives at a very high rate. Roads across the country are being un-paved because municipalities cannot afford to maintain them. Water is not being properly purified. Demoralization and depression are abundant, and discord among the country’s different demographics and regions is also widespread.

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A video of Paula White, the pastor, and televangelist, became a hit sensation on social media among those who dislike US President Donald Trump. The selected clip from her Jan. 5th, 2020 Sermon portrayed the spiritual guru, who is loosely connected with the commander-in-chief, uttering the words: “We declare that anything that’s been conceived in satanic wombs, that it will miscarry, it will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm,” and asking Jesus Christ to “command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now.” White has come forward and said she was speaking metaphorically, and that her words seem less bizarre when put into the context of the full sermon.

 

At the same time, a true-crime miniseries entitled “Fall River”, which documents the hysteria that swept a small Massachusetts town in 1979 after some gruesome killings, is currently in production.

 

All of this seems to point to that the fact that the United States is now attempting to interpret a strand of fear-based religious and political thinking that sprung up in the United States during the late Cold War. What is widely described as the “Satanic Panic” was a major current in US society from the 1970s up into the early 2000s, reaching its height of cultural influence during the 1980s. It accompanied the broader rise of the evangelical Christian right-wing, which was aligned with the Neoconservative faction in the Republican Party.

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Donald Trump recently announced changes to the US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called “Food Stamps.” This program enables low income Americans to buy food. As a result, 750,000 people will immediately lose their food assistance, while it is expected that as many as 3 million will be deprived of their benefits in the near future.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor, has announced that he is running for President of the United States as a Democrat. Many are revisiting his leadership of New York City and the many controversial things he did. Among them is was a subway advertisement campaign intended to discourage teen girls from becoming mothers by shaming them. The ads, showing a small child with the words “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen” had the obvious, though unstated goal of increasing abortion among low-income New York City residents, many of which are not white.

Unemployment in the USA is low currently, and despite numerous projections that things could get bad soon, the stock market numbers and other measurements currently look somewhat better than most of the last decade. So, why cut food stamps?

Eliminating “Useless Eaters” To Save Capitalism

Those who equate the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany overlook many very key differences between the two countries and their political systems. One of the most obvious is this: the Soviet Union worked very hard to expand its population, while the Nazis worked very hard to reduce their population.

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Since the 2016 elections, the Democratic Party has been calling out President Trump for his alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Even after the investigation of Trump for “collusion” has been concluded, new hearings regarding Trump’s dealing with Ukraine have been turned into a festival of anti-Russian phrase mongering.

Meanwhile, Trump is waging a trade war with China. The White House Trade Council includes Peter Navarro, an economic flimflam man whose entire career has consisted of blaming China for all of America’s woes. While Republicans love “law and order” at home, they seem to line up behind the Hong Kong protesters without question as they light people on fire and attack police officers.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former New York City Mayor who recently announced a Presidential run as a centrist Democrat, speaks positively of Xi Jinping. Furthermore, despite it not showing up in his policies, Trump has made positive statements about the Russian President and expressed a desire to improve US-Russia relations.

So, what is going on here? It’s actually quite easy to understand. All it takes is an understanding of the Russian and Chinese economies, the US Deep State apparatus, and the different interests among the circles of American power.

WTOProtestNEOEveryone wants to predict the future. This is why for thousands of years astrologers, sorcerers, and psychics have continued to rake in money, despite science debunking their supposed abilities. Every human being goes through life engaging in actions based on a calculation of what the consequences will be, and on at least a vague prediction of what will happen next.

Beyond personal life, the ability to calculate the trajectory of events is deeply important in geopolitics. Observing global trends and making accurate predictions is a highly desired ability. To be able to watch world events as they occur, take note of certain trends, and forecast correctly what will eventually unfold, gives the forecaster a strong advantage.

With this understanding, we shall look over the year of 1999, twenty years ago. This was a year in which a number of the biggest trends impacting the contemporary global situation first began to manifest themselves.