the big oil lie
[link to useful article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard]
Context: Crude oil prices are dropping despite the warring in various countries in the Middle East.
The Saudis don't just reduce the crude oil supply to increase prices, they also drop prices to drive out competition.
Shale oil is much more expensive to extract, than the common 'put down a pipe and suck it out of the sands'.
If OPEC drives down the price of oil, shale oil becomes too expensive to extract, and companies and countries will lose trillions.
Then OPEC will hope to put up the prices back again.
tar sands and shale oil
'corporatism', salazar style (on constitutions)
António de Oliveira Salazar (1889-1970) was an intellectual who built the Portuguese constitution on Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo
and Divini Redemptoris, three papal encyclicals written by Pius XI.
It is vital to understand the differences between the 'corporate
state' and the 'corporative state', these are often confused!
Here (mostly) Salazar is describing his (Portugal's) corporative state in contrast to the corporate state of
The corporate state is elsewhere described by the papacy as 'statolatry', that is, the worship of the state
Keep in mind that Catholic theology has nothing to say on the form in which states are ruled, only on whether respect
for the individual and their conscience is honoured. Thus, Catholic theology does not insist on 'democracy'.
- "He proceeds to emphasise that no Government can govern truly in the national interest
unless It completely transcends the party spirit, and actively opposes any tendency of the party spirit to return.
"It must always be remembered that he is talking about Portugal, and that the Estado Nova is Portuguese.
- "I have not a horror of parties in a general way: I have a horror of the party spirit in
Portugal. England has lived for centuries under a party system, and has managed quite well so far
. . . . But in Portugal these groups have formed themselves round individuals or vested interests
or seekers after power, simply in their own interests. That is the sort of party spirit that must
be ended if we are to achieve any real work of reconstruction"
"The more profound is our feeling of the organic reality of the Nation, the more necessary it becomes to thrust aside all factions, parties, and groups to which individuals adhere according to hance circumstances. There will be no more such politics, and two benefits will result: for the
Nation, the fact that the Government will work solely for it, and for the Government, the splendid
liberty of being able to serve only the nation."
- "Contrasting the Portuguese with the Italian and other revolts against the party system, he writes:
"The military origin of the Portuguese dictatorship will always give a special characteristic
to our revolution. With us, it was not a party, a revolutionary force, which seized power; it was
the army, the voice of the nation, which intervened to create the conditions necessary to the
existence of a Government that should be both national and opposed to the parties. The armed forces
do not constitute a party, do not represent a party, cannot depend on any party."
- "The Portuguese experience has not consisted in the application by some triumphant faction of a
programme previously prepared. What has happened has been that a completely disinterested
Government has been placed in power by the army, and preserved in power by the gratitude of the
people. The break with nineteenth century liberalism has been complete: that which has arisen is
called the Estado Novo, the New State; but it is really very old, as old as Christendom and Kings.
Portugal, then, is not Fascist, for this reason: that in Italy, which is Fascist, a party with a
programme gained power and applied it. In Portugal, a man with a number of fundamental principles,
and those principles little more than the bases of Christian morals, was placed in control and
fostered and developed a truly Portuguese Portugal.
"There Is no etatisme In Portugal: that Is why Portugal is not Fascist. In rejecting Liberalism,
Salazar has preserved liberty. He has preserved Portugal from any form of totalitarianism. To
quote him again: "The State which would subordinate all without exception its morality,
Its law, its politics, its economy to the idea of nation or of race as represented by
itself would come forward as an omnipotent being, a beginning and end In itself, to which
all existences, both individual and collective, must be subjected, and would give
rise to a worse form of absolutism than that to which the Liberal regimes succeeded. Such a
State would be essentially pagan, of its nature incompatible with the spirit of our Christian civilisation. . . .
- "The (Portuguese) Constitution, approved by popular plebiscite, rejects as Irreconcilable
with Its ends all that proceeds, directly or Indirectly, from this totalitarian conception. It
begins by establishing the moral law and justice as limits to Its own sovereignty; it obliges the
State to respect its natural obligations towards the individual, the family, the corporation, and
local government; it assures liberty and inviolability of religious beliefs and practices; It
acknowledges the right of parents to educate their own children; it guarantees the rights of
property, capital, and labour, within the social harmony, it recognises the Church, with the
organisations which are proper to her, and leaves her free to carry on her spiritual work."
From Chapter 5, entitled Portugal is not fascist.
The Portugal of Salazar, Derrick, 1938, pp.157-160.
energy dependence - russia, ukraine
"November 5, 2013 Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas production-sharing agreement with U.S. oil giant Chevron on Tuesday, another step in a drive for energy independence from Russia."
[Quoted from america.aljazeera.com]
"MOSCOW — Even as American and Russian diplomats groped toward a settlement that would halt further Russian military intervention in Ukraine, Gazprom, the Russian energy company, stepped up the economic pressure on Tuesday by sharply raising the price it charges for natural gas."
[Quoted from nytimes.com]
While Putin is clearly revealing himself as a bad neighbour,
it is the right of Russia to sell energy for whatever it can get. After all, like any
backward country, they have little else to offer beyond the exploitation of natural
But it is also the right of anyone else to attempt to
get free of the Russian blackmail. Further, it is unlikely the blackmail will last long
in a world of the mass oil exchange market.
Putin is shooting Russia in the foot. He is not some great leader
to be admired, he is simply a fool with mad dreams of yesterday. But primarily, he was
the problem of the Russian people until he started invading other democratic
areas/countries. One can but hope the pressures on him will grow until his
irresponsibility is curbed/mitigated.
The governments of the West are like the unwise virgins, they
should never have allowed this dependency mess to develop. Clean, safe nuclear power would solve the energy problems, if only Western politicians would show some sense and guts. This energy upgrade should have been put in places decades ago.
I might remind the reader that oil has been a major factor in wars for
over one century. This dereliction of sense and duty is no small potatoes.
power - is nuclear power really
nuclear energy option
russia is a weak and dying giant