AEP 63: Coffee, Tourism, and Lithium imperialism in Latin America with Yanis Iqbal

Commodity imperialism in Latin America

Independent journalist Yanis Iqbal, based in India, has written a series of articles about commodities and imperialism in Latin America. He presents some of his findings on coffee in Colombia, tourism and the displacement of Indigenous people in Honduras, and lithium imperialism in Chile and Bolivia.

AEP 62: Kashmir and Xinjiang, with Carl Zha

Kashmir and Xinjiang

Another one in the Kung Fu Yoga series, with Carl Zha. 

This time we’re comparing the situations in Kashmir and Xinjiang, reporting what we’ve studied about state violence, censorship, economy, freedom of religion, popular agendas and state agendas of India and China in Kashmir and in Xinjiang.

AEP 61: Men’s self-help and propaganda from Jordan Peterson to Jocko Willink – with Amish Patel

Where do you get your rules for life?

Why do Indian boys love Jordan Peterson? If war is hell, as Jocko Willink says, why do they keep doing it? And is it unfair to consider Joe Rogan conservative?

To debate these questions, I’m joined by screenwriter and comedian Amish Patel, who analyzes fake gurus on the coffeezilla podcast. This episode is kind of a continuation of the episode 57 discussion with Dan about “super wealth through the right mindset”. 

AEP 60: Colombian ex-president Alvaro Uribe Velez under house arrest

Alvaro Uribe Velez under house arrest

With Manuel Rozental. On August 4 2020, the Supreme Court of Colombia ordered ex-president Alvaro Uribe Velez, now a senator, under house arrest pending an investigation that he suborned witnesses in a case about paramilitarism.

Mayor of Medellin in 1982, governor of Antioquia from 1995-1998, and president of Colombia from 2002-2010, Alvaro Uribe Velez has been implicated in the “para-politica” scandal in which politicians from his party signed pacts with paramilitary organizations to commit crimes in their jurisdictions; in the “false positives” scandal in which the Colombian military killed perhaps 10,000 completely innocent people and dressed their corpses up as rebel fighters to inflate death counts; the “wiretapping” scandal in which he used Colombia’s intelligence agency to spy on his political opponents; and now the accusation that he has suborned witnesses on these and other cases.

What is behind this turn against such an all-powerful and seemingly untouchable politician? And what will he do next? Submit quietly? Agitate for a constitutional change to the judiciary? How much fight does this 68-year old politician have in him yet? We tackle these questions after a highly compressed timeline of Uribe’s career as one of the principal architects of Colombia’s endless war.

AEP 59: The American Trap sprung on Tiktok and Huawei, with Carl Zha

The American Trap is sprung on Tiktok and Huawei

Back with Carl Zha of Silk & Steel podcast, who we last saw in our episode on the India-China border conflict. 

We’re thinking of calling this the Kung Fu Yoga series. In this one, Justin has just finished reading the terrifying book The American Trap by Frederic Pierucci (which Carl notes has 100,000 reviews for the Chinese edition so far). Pierucci was jailed for 30 months in the US in a 5-year long ordeal that ended in his company, the French multinational Alstom, selling off its entire nuclear division to General Electric. 

We talk about Pierucci’s case in detail and its relevance to the kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou of Huawei and Trump’s ban of Tiktok: the use of the US’s judicial apparatus to seize billions in assets from other countries, including allied countries, and including entire businesses. 

Carl thinks China’s only possible response is to build its own tech stack from the bottom up.

Civilizations 14: Early 19th Century Political Ideologies

Conservatism, Liberalism, Communism, Anarchism, and more – in the early-mid 1800s

Choosing our avatars carefully, we take you through the political ideologies of the 19th century. Conservatism (Burke, Metternich); Liberalism (Paine, Locke); Radicalism (Condorcet, Gregoire); Anarchism (Bakunin, Kropotkin); Communism (Marx & Engels); and we throw a few more in as well (nationalism, humanitarianism, romanticism). This episode will set you up nicely for the next round of revolutions – 1830, 1848, and 1870.

Civilizations 13: The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution

We cover the Industrial Revolution in England, from a few angles. Justin inserts his usual colonial determinism notes, as well as some environmental history about fossil fuels and energy sources for imperialism; Dave takes us through the revolution and what it meant; we talk about the rise of the working class, reveal that the Luddites pretty much had it right, and conclude with the early socialists: Robert Owen, and Marx and Engels.

AEP 58: Mafiosity, the current stage of Colombian capitalism

Mafiosity may not be the highest stage, but it is definitely the current stage

Manuel is back on the show for this one. How does an Indigenous community that has recovered land and autonomy end up back under state authority? How does a territory go from winning a life and death struggle for food sovereignty to growing a hemp monoculture? And how do mafias and ultra-rightwing (fascist) political movements work together to destroy everything?

Civilizations 12b: Bolivar and Latin American Independence pt2

Bolivar completes the liberation

At the beginning we quickly tell the story of Mexico’s Wars of Independence – Hidalgo, Morelo, and Iturbide. Then we return to Simon Bolivar from the Angostura period to the liberation of Peru and an assessment of Bolivar’s politics and legacy. We conclude by quickly telling the story of Brazil’s Independence and discern some patterns in these liberations. 

AEP 57: Super-Wealth through the right mindset? A breakdown of Silicon Valley Ideology

Is wealth a matter of mindset?

I forced Dan to listen to naval (Naval Ravikant)’s twitter stream/podcast about How to Get Rich Without Luck or Inheritance. Naval’s twitterstorm inspired me to create one of my own, about the real strategies used by the super-wealthy (spoiler: they aren’t available to you). But we spend an hour talking about where these “how to get rich” methods fit into a bigger propaganda and ideology scheme, pushing people towards pyramid schemes; to despise unions, taxes, and collective solutions; and to feel like social failures are their own fault. 


Here are my thirty five ways to get SUPER WEALTHY.

My Dad tells me that everywhere online and on TV there are Indian guys my age teaching you how to be rich (in at least one case, without luck). I won’t be left out! After extensive study, not one but 20+ ways to become not just rich, but super-rich. Here we go.

I am going to confine myself to the great countries of the Anglosphere, where opportunity is more abundant and where the wealthy don’t have to worry about authoritarianism, socialism, or taxes.

1. The first and best way to be wealthy is to inherit wealth.

2. The next reliable way to vast wealth is to win a war with an empire that is in decline, steal its entire treasury, and install a ruler who gives you rights to tax the population.

3. We are talking country-scale wealth here, folks. So, use hundreds of millions of other people’s money to sell a country’s currency short during a financial crisis. If you guessed right, you’re a billionaire. Wrong? It’s mostly other people’s money, it’s cool. (See: George Soros).

4. Own a bank.

5. If you own a bank, charge bank fees, trading fees, mutual fund management fees, etc. These will make you rich, whatever other games you can play with interest rates.

6. Get a big contract with the government – say, to rebuild an occupied country.

7. Get a big contract with the military – supply a military with weapons. Look for countries that are violating human rights: these countries require weapons.

8. Obtain tax relief and government subsidies.

9. Install a monarch in power and obtain rights to the state-owned oil company. The general principle applies to other governments and resources.

10. Own the media.

11. Bank for organized crime.

12. Offer to overthrow an elected government (see: Silvercorp). Mercenaries make good money.

13. Have your friends in government privatize a previously public service: obtain a monopoly over that area.

14. De-fund and destroy public systems to offer expensive private alternatives. Especially good in higher education.

15. Avoid taxes using private jets, wine auctions, and rewriting tax codes.

16. Obtain government protection for intellectual property. It doesn’t matter who created that property, only that you get a government-protected monopoly.

17. Use your political position to personally enrich yourself and your companies.

18. Obtain board positions after being in office.

19. Do speaking tours after leaving office.

20. Start a speculative bubble, obviously. Below this: create fancy financial instruments and use them to create bubbles or suckers.

21. Run a pyramid scheme, of course.

22. Use fancy talk about disruption to seduce investors into giving you money. Lose money year after year while your valuation increases. Being profitable is irrelevant- real wealth is about making promises.

23. Sell dollars for 90 cents while your stock price increases (see: Amazon). Only do this if you want to become the wealthiest man in the universe.

24. Get everyone in the world to work producing content for you for free, then sell their attention to advertisers. By taking over the entire communication infrastructure for the world, you also obtain the entire advertising revenue.

25. Extract precious minerals from the earth, destroying irreplaceable ecosystems and local cultures. (see: gold in Guatemala).

26. Have the goverment create money and give it to you in astronomical amounts (see the recent bailout).

27. Rob banks in a country you occupy. Nice headline by the way, NYT. Thanks for that.

28. Rob banks, part 2.

29. Declare sanctions and steal from the sanctioned country.

30. Leveraged buyout: borrow money, buy a large corporation, and sell its assets – do asset stripping.

31. Be a vulture fund and sue countries in financial trouble.

32. Join the military in a country with a fragile democracy. Wait for the CIA to ask you to launch a coup.

33. Be born into the right social circle. Attend the right schools, join the right clubs. Never do anything to rock the boat. When you are made CEO, do exactly what everyone else does. Two years later, collect your golden parachute. Rinse and repeat.

34. Operate a sexual abuse network with undisclosed intelligence agencies [allegedly. Note this is a high-risk strategy].

35. Start with an inheritance, and use a mafia-connected lawyer to sue the government for hundreds of millions of dollars.

I am planning another twitterstorm about how to stay wealthy once you already are wealthy, so sign up for my EXCLUSIVE SEMINAR and I’ll teach you the secrets that ONLY THE RICHEST PEOPLE ON EARTH KNOW! (And everyone who looks them up).