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The End Of The World Is Just The Beginning Free... [TOP]

Until recently, Volkswagen never had much reason to bother with electric cars. Instead, it poured investment dollars into making its diesel engines more fuel efficient and affordable, which helped it to sell huge volumes of cars and overtake Japanese rival Toyota. In 2018, Volkswagen delivered a record 10.8 million cars. It says just 40,000 of those, or 0.4%, were electric vehicles. Another 60,000 were plug-in hybrids. Global sales of electric cars have been only slightly less anemic: 1.3 million of the roughly 95 million cars sold around the world in 2018 were battery electrics, according to the consultancy LMC Automotive.

The End of the World is Just the Beginning Free...


We didn\u2019t just pay lip service to this theory; we bet the entire world on it. The U.S. and Europe championed the admission of China into the World Trade Organization, and deliberately looked the other way on a number of things that might have given us reason to restrict trade with China (currency manipulation in the 00s, various mercantilist policies, poor labor and environmental standards). As a result, the global economy underwent a titanic shift. Whereas global manufacturing, trading networks, and supply chains had once been dominated by the U.S., Japan, and Germany, China now came to occupy the central place in all of these:

There were were always those who fretted about this shift, but too many people were just making too much money from it to upset the apple cart. U.S. manufacturers boosted their profits \u2014 and at least on paper, their productivity \u2014 by outsourcing production to China, while retail outlets (and consumers) benefitted from a flood of cheap imports. American companies grew their profits massively from grabbing mere slivers of the vast Chinese market, and salivated over the possibility of more. The finance industry reaped the benefits of cheap capital inflows as China bought U.S. assets in order to hold down the value of the RMB in the 2000s. Knowledge workers in the U.S. and Europe benefitted from researching, designing, and marketing the products that China built for us. Production workers in rich countries lost out big-time, but this was a price our country was willing to pay. America and our rich-world allies went from being the world\u2019s workshop to being the world\u2019s research park, and the people who had been our factory workers became the janitors and cooks and security guards of that research park.

Some called the world system of the 2000s and early 2010s \u201CChimerica\u201D. During these years, the hope that global trade would lead to a cessation of great-power conflict, even without ideological alignment, seemed justified. And although China\u2019s politics didn\u2019t liberalize, under Jiang and Hu the country became more open to foreign travelers, foreign workers, and foreign ideas. This might not have been the End of History, but it was a compromise most people could live with for a while.

One reasonable prediction is that the era of global value chains will not come to an end. Offshoring and supply chaining are just how companies know how to produce stuff now, meaning that \u2014 barring a very catastrophic war \u2014 we will not go back to an era of largely self-contained national manufacturing economies. Instead, supply chains will shift into blocs. China is obviously one bloc; Xi and his followers want China to make and own everything valuable in-house and rely on other countries only for raw materials and other low-value goods. In the absence of the U.S.-led liberal world order to enforce free trade, securing those resources will require geopolitical and even military action \u2014 a return, in some form or another, to the pre-WW2 era that will doubtless draw at least scattered protests of neo-imperialism. There will be struggles over the resources of some neutral countries, including poor countries, and this could turn into some ugly Cold-War style proxy struggles.

Essentially it's a book about the wrath of God being poured out upon the world.People not repenting except for the small group of faithful followers of God,and this awful wicked beast power ruling the whole world, and defying God,shaking his fist at God. And finally Jesus coming, not as a Prince of Peace atall, not as a lamb, but at the end of the book, as a rider on a horse, awarrior with a sword, to smite the nations. In one of the quotes that comes tomy mind it says, "He will rule the nations with a rod of iron, as a potterstrikes a pot with iron and it just completely shatters." So I think thatwould be the dominant impression someone would get, maybe a book you'd wantto close and put away and not even think about. The book that might give younightmares at night, in terms of all of these bizarre creatures. ...

Montanus was a Christian living in the latter half of the second century of theCommon Era, somewhere between 160 and 180, roughly. He's from an area of modernday Turkey called Phrygia ... . Montanus at some point comes to therealization that the world is about to end, or that things are getting bad,just like the Book of Revelation seems to predict. ... What leads him to this?Well, we know in fact that there's a massive plague that breaks out in 160. Infact, it's the first time that smallpox enters into the western world just atthis time. They don't know what to call it, but they know it's devastating and[it would be] the kind of plague that the Book of Revelation seems to describe.

Montanism lasted for several hundred more years as one of the forms ofChristianity that a lot of people knew. It was considered, of course, heresy.It was stamped out at various times but it remained fairly popular in certainregions of the empire for quite a long time. For one thing, Montanism took veryseriously this radical anti-worldly stance that the Book of Revelation makescentral to its understanding: don't give in to the world, resist the Romanempire, stand apart as the righteous remnant of God. ... The key point is John's Revelation is not mainstream, and, right from thebeginning, was rather seen as subversive to authority, and a dangerous book,isn't that how it was seen?

Yes. John's antagonism towards the Roman Empire is not a view that otherChristians felt very clearly. ... His view was subversive of authority, whetherit is political authority or ecclesiastical authority. Montanus is a goodexample of someone who takes it and continues to use it as a subversiveoutlook. The response, of course, is that that's a heresy against Christianityand not acceptable within the church. ... Montanus is probably the firstexample that we can see clearly in Christian history--but we'll see a lot moreof them later on--of someone who comes and reads this book, takes it veryliterally, but says that, "The predictions of John are only now coming tofulfillment in my day, and if that's the case and because I understand this, Iam carrying on the tradition. I have the key to unlock the revelation and I aman agent of God's plan to bring the world to an end." We find that down tovery recent times with some one like a David Koresh who sees himself as a newmessiah figure carrying on the tradition just as in the Revelation of John....

In Augustine's reinterpretation of the Book of Revelation what this actuallydoes is to say that the symbolism, all the vivid elements that some peoplebefore had been taking literally, none of them were literal. He did notbelieve in a literal thousand year reign. He did not believe in a literalfigure that would come as a kind of Antichrist or any thing like that. What hesays essentially is that all of that ... is really about the church, it's thechurch that is the thousand year reign of Christ on earth, beginning at theresurrection of Jesus himself. And the symbolic thousand years will come toend only when Christ returns at the end of the world and takes the kingdom awayto heaven ... .

The crucial term in Augustine's interpretation is he sees, in the Book ofRevelation itself, that there are two resurrections. The one resurrection thatcomes at the beginning of the thousand year reign and another resurrection whenChrist comes again and establishes the new Jerusalem. Augustine. though, takesthat to mean the first resurrection is when one is born into the church. Forhim, symbolically the thousand year kingdom on earth is the church, so whenyou're going into the church that's your spiritual resurrection into thekingdom. But the second resurrection will be the one that comes at the end ofthe world, when Christ literally does come again and ... establishes finallyhis new heavenly kingdom.

When Hoover took over in 1924, the Bureau had about 650 employees, including 441 special agents. In five years, with the rash of firings it had just 339 special agents and less than 600 total employees. But it was beginning to become the organized, professional, and effective force that Hoover envisioned.

The Cold War had long roots. The World War II alliance of convenience was not enough to erase decades of mutual suspicions. The Bolshevik Revolution had overthrown the Russian tsarists during World War I. Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin urged an immediate worldwide peace that would pave the way for world socialism just as Woodrow Wilson brought the United States into the war with promises of global democracy and free trade. The United States had intervened militarily against the Red Army during the Russian Civil War, and when the Soviet Union was founded in 1922 the United States refused to recognize it. The two powers were brought together only by their common enemy, and without that common enemy, there was little hope for cooperation.6

Based on the logic of militarized containment established by NSC-68 and American Cold War strategy, interventions in Korea and Vietnam were seen as appropriate American responses to the ascent of communism in China. Unless Soviet power in Asia was halted, Chinese influence would ripple across the continent, and one country after another would fall to communism. Easily transposed onto any region of the world, the Domino Theory became a standard basis for the justification of U.S. interventions abroad. Cuba was seen as a communist beachhead that imperiled Latin America, the Caribbean, and perhaps eventually the United States. Like Ho Chi Minh, Cuban leader Fidel Castro was a revolutionary nationalist whose career as a communist began in earnest after he was rebuffed by the United States, and American interventions targeted nations that never espoused official communist positions. Many interventions in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere were driven by factors that were shaped by but also transcended anticommunist ideology. 041b061a72

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