Friday, January 02, 2009

livestock management tension in the TEP?

NYTimes | In the face of mounting economic troubles, Russia cut off deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine on Thursday after Ukraine rejected the Kremlin’s demands for a sharp increase in gas prices.

A similar reduction in supplies to Ukraine in 2006 caused a drop in pressure throughout Europe’s integrated natural gas pipeline system and led to shortages in countries as far away as Italy and France.

But with a recessionary drop in demand, ample supplies and assurances from both countries that gas would flow westward without interruption, there were few signs of the near hysteria in Europe that accompanied the 2006 cutoff.

The authorities in Poland and Italy issued soothing statements on Thursday, noting the existence of high reserves and the distant likelihood of an immediate effect on gas supplies.

Even Ukraine, which says it has enough gas in reserve to last through the winter, took Russia’s action in stride, underscoring how the political potency of the Kremlin’s energy card has plunged along with the price of oil and gas. Its normally fractious political leadership rallied together in the face of the supply cutoff, united in their demand that the Kremlin pay more for the right to transship gas through Ukraine.

Gazprom, the Russian natural gas monopoly, likened its actions to a utility cutting off service to a deadbeat customer. “The message is very simple,” Ilya Y. Kochevrin, the executive director of Gazprom’s export arm, Gazexport, said in a telephone interview. “If you receive a product, you have to pay for it. If you don’t pay, you don’t receive it.”

But energy experts said that the Kremlin’s decision to employ the gambit again in a pricing dispute with Ukraine was an indication as well of Russia’s deepening economic woes.
As tensions such as these mount, it is essential to understand the reality of the world. When you look at a map of the world, you are not looking at countries, but farms.

You are allowed certain liberties - limited property ownership, movement rights, freedom of association and occupation - not because your government approves of these rights in principle - since it constantly violates them - but rather because "free range livestock" is so much cheaper to own and so more productive.

It is important to understand the reality of ideologies. State capitalism, socialism, communism, fascism, democracy - these are all livestock management approaches. Some work well for long periods - state capitalism - and some work very badly - communism. They all fail eventually, because it is immoral and irrational to treat human beings as livestock.