Here Thar Be Monsters!
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Rant Du Jour
When I first came to Indonesia in 2008, the country had 8% growth, the energy industry was going gangbusters, and foreign investment money was pouring in like a waterspout in monsoon season. Cina was on a building spree to end all Building sprees, buying up Indonesian coal like it was the last supply on Earth. Everyone was making money hand over fist.
Then the bottom fell out.
The US and EU economies tanked and China's exports were chopped off at the knees. Western sanctions against Russia put the halt on the next hottest economy around (which was the real intent). Southeast Asia, which was basically the low-cost labor supplier to China, along with the coal, suddenly found jobs drying up.
A combination of oil price cuts and really, incredibly short-sighted bureaucratic blunders on the part of Indonesia's Energy Ministry caused the bottom to fall out of the industry here. And when I say bottom fall out, I mean the backup to the backup of the bottom fell out, too. The sudden black hole in the government's budget has caused it to go on a tax hunt like never before in this country.
They are scrutinizing tax returns. They are going through every title and deed. They are hog-tying mud-caked tribesmen with bones in their noses (oh, yes, still have them) and forcing them to get tax numbers and start reporting their non-existent incomes. The government is terrified also that a bunch of out-of-work, bored folks will suddenly realize how cushy and out-of-control all those ministries have gotten.
See 1998 for an example of what happens when that occurs. People have gotten quite accustomed to upward mobility around these parts.
The areas of Jakarta, like Kemang, where all the ex-pat execs used to live have dried up. Houses that used to rent for a month what a "normal" house gets for a year have stood empty for months. All the oil companies have pulled out most of their ex-pat staff and are running on skeleton crews until the ministry comes to its senses. By that I mean that current rules require exploration risks to be 100% on the company, all equipment imported for drilling can never leave again, and the government gets a majority share of production for doing nothing. This is not to mention wonderful cabotage laws that require only Indonesian-flagged vessels to operated in national waters. Bye-bye ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total.
A combination of greed, corruption and the attitude that good times always continue are sinking the ship of state. Can you say "panic?"
None of this is to say that it's not happening in the rest of the world, too. The Globalists have pushed too hard and tried to jump too far on the final leg of their take-over plans. The blow-back comes in the form of all the nationalist movements worldwide, such as Brexit, Trump and the astounding rise to sainthood of Vlad the Putinator.
Alternative economic systems, such as ASEAN and BRICSA, that still respect national boundaries and cultures, while replacing the over-ripe and rotting carcass of the Western banking system, are coming into their own. China's battle for the 9-Dash Line in the South China Sea is a direct dart in the eye of Western hegemony. The unbridled gold-buying spree in China, India and Russia show a long-term plan to reinforce monetary foundations and stabilize economic shocks that are coming as the post-WW2 alliances and agreements start to unravel.
Honestly, I have no problem with globalism, per se. The problem has been that for the last 60 years, the push has been to free corporations from national boundaries and level the playing field for faceless, soulless entities, at the cost of individual freedom and the sanctity of culture. I would be quite happy to get rid of the money-making scam that is commonly evident in visas and passports for human beings.
However, the Western concept of corporations has shown repeatedly that these monster "legal entities" cannot be trusted and should never be allowed to slip the regulatory leash. In other words, free the people, not the mega-corps.
When free to choose, people will always gravitate to areas with their common language, culture, foods, and sensibilities. On the other hand, corporations don't care about any of that. They are predatory and will slither into every nook and cranny, and gut the place of anything valuable unless they are tightly controlled.
People will care for their land. Corporations will suck every penny of profit out of it until there is nothing left but waste.
When I say "people first," I am not referring to the liberal catch-phrase that hides a multitude of "diverse" evil. I am referring to taking the yoke off of all us individuals. Yes, it's a libertarian pipe-dream, but one that has the benefit of never having been tried. There's been a lot of lip service to "liberty" and "freedom," but in fact that has only been shared with the privileged few and not the masses.
In many ways, Karl Marx was right, but the execution has failed miserably, because true communism only works on small scales with ethnically and culturally homogeneous populations. Massive state infrastructure that forces "diversity" and jumbled populations to work together is doomed to fail, as it has repeatedly.
People will smoke. People will do drugs. People will eat fatty foods. Let them the hell alone. Just don't steal my stuff, leave my family alone and don't murder anyone who isn't trying to do one of the previous two things. What more do you need for a decent life?
If left the hell alone, people will do what is right for themselves and the ones they care about. And they will collect in groups of like-minded folks who all have similar goals and cultures. Let them.
But when Uncle Globalist wants to come in and rape and plunder your wealth using the deadly power of the government, well he should be roped, chained, tarred and feathered. Maybe even a good turn in the pillory for some humiliation and ridicule might do him some good, as well. But for gods' sake, don't enable him with TPP and TTIP and all those other alphabet fuels on the fire.
Kind of got off topic there, didn't I?
Well, that's why you come here and lurk in the corners, isn't it?