cj#739> reader dialog


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997
Sender: "Bill Michtom" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#729> comments re: "Globalization & NWO" book

rkm wrote, re: Marx:
  >I will need to compare as you say.  I also need to read a bit more
  >about Marx.  My impression is that his observations of capitalism have
  >proven to be astute but that his theory of value, his predictions of
  >collapse, and his proposed solutions are of a much lower standard.

I would say his predictions of collapse - if we mean the coming of world
capitalism and the subsequent immiseration of the proletariat, etc. -
have been unknowable until now. From where we are today, it looks, to me
at least, that he was all too prescient.

Dear Bill,

I believe Marx was predicting that _capitalism_ (not the proletariat) would
collapse, due to capitalism's "inherent contradictions".  But capitalism
seems to have found ways to survive the various crises Marx anticipated
would prove fatal.  The overthrow of the nation state system itself, for
example, is perhaps a capitalist project he could never have imagined.


Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997
From: Charles Bell <•••@••.•••>
To: "Richard K. Moore" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#730> Truth in Media on globalism (fwd)

There is some truth to this, but not much.  No, that's not right; it's all
true enough, but it misses the point:

you had best get used to that giant sucking sound because it is going to
continue.  And it should.

Manufacturing jobs, especially the lesser-skilled variety, will continue
to migrate away from the (over?)developed world to the rest of the world.
They will and they should.

These populations have to go through _some_ version of the 19th Century
before they can reach the 21st.  We will have our hands full trying to
ensure that their version of the 19th Century is more humane and less
environmentally destructive than our version was.  But it makes no sense
for us to try to keep the broom factories in Tennessee or the steel mills
in Indiana.  They will migrate to their natural habitats far from our

So what will become of our still-burgeoning but increasingly redundant
`work force'?  Need they all be forced through unemployment into crime and
thence into prisons where their labor can be employed at suitably low
rates?  That may be the direction in which we are moving right now, but
there is nothing inevitable about it.

It's not as though there isn't work to be done right here at home.
Physical work, for workers without computer skills or advanced degrees.
For starters, most of America's cities need to be torn down and rebuilt in
more humanly and environmentally friendly configuations.  The damage
already done to our environment (such as the appalling loss of topsoil)
needs to be slowed, stopped and eventually reversed by a large set of
small and labor-intensive projects.  Urban schools, now often mere
warehouses or proto-prisons, need to be dismantled and replaced by smaller
entities grouped around a common core.  Such an endeavor would employ
construction workers for a few years and educational workers forever.
(School staffs should total ten or twenty times their current numbers, and
probably at overall higher levels of pay.)  Daycare centers should be
similarly upgraded in staff and pay -- but we should reconsider our
current insistence that mothers of newborns be forced out of the
home and into the commercial marketplace.  Raising a child is a job.
It is the most important of all jobs, but I suppose it would be
unrealistic to insist that mothers be better paid than CEOs of, say,
tobacco companies.  They should be compensated somehow nonetheless.

These are just a few ideas as to how to employ labor left behind when
their jobs were sucked away.  Reflection will no doubt suggest many more.
And this work, unlike much of the `work' currently being done, will add to
the quality of life rather than detracting from it.  How will we pay for
such work?  Presumably the same way in which we pay for anything that
adds value.  We are the richest community in human history.  I think we
can figure it out.  We probably won't get much help from David Rockefeller
or Bill Clinton, but we might just get some from their successors.  These
people may lack grand vision and long foresight, but they are not stupid.
I think they may be induced to make some changes before the
jobless throng the streets and the tumbrels start to roll.

  -   Charles   -

Dear Charles,

You wrote:
  >These populations have to go through _some_ version of the 19th Century
  >before they can reach the 21st.  We will have our hands full trying to
  >ensure that their version of the 19th Century is more humane and less
  >environmentally destructive than our version was.  But it makes no sense
  >for us to try to keep the broom factories in Tennessee or the steel mills
  >in Indiana.  They will migrate to their natural habitats far from our

I believe you grant too much here.  I would not seriously propose national
self-sufficiency as a goal, but I believe a full accounting is not
reflected in the economic considerations that have governed globalization
of production recently.

Over-protection of industries has often led to bad results, to be sure, but
sensible protectionism has often worked admirably, in fact it was
responsible for the development of the Imperial British economy, the
19th-Century U.S. economic miracle, and the postwar Japanese miracle.  If
10,000 workers are to be placed on the dole, just so a few cents can be
trimmed of the unit cost of production, that does not make overall economic
sense: the fact that such decisions have become the norm reflects the
political hegemony of a tiny elite, not any natural economic order.

Your observations about labor redeployment ("a large set of small and
labor-intensive projects") make sense to me.  But the critical issue, as
you mention in your last few sentences, is the political decision-making
process.  My belief is that agendas such as yours are not that difficult to
come up with: your phrase "I think we can figure it out" sums it up well.
If we had an administration and congress which represented the people -- a
democratic regime -- solutions would be forthcoming (taking into account
the political climate that would have been necessary to bring such a regime
into power in the first place).

I disagree with your characterization of politicians: "These people may
lack grand vision and long foresight, but they are not stupid."  They _do_
represent a foresighted grand vision: the global corporate state.  Their
rhetoric is about other things, but that's a planned distraction.  And
their image of "always bungling" is an important and intentional ploy: (1)
it successfully explains away a great deal of skullduggery which in fact
deserves greater public scrutiny; (2) it contributes to the destabilization
of the nation state by undermining respect for government.

I see no reason to expect any better from the next generation of
politicians -- as long as the elite-dominated two-party system continues to
operate and the corporate mass-media continues to present the only shared
societal consciousness.  The only hope I see for changing things
substantially was presented in "cj#737> DEMOCRACY: AN ACHIEVABLE NECESSITY,

As you say, "I think they may be induced to make some changes before the
jobless throng the streets and the tumbrels start to roll" -- those changes
seem to be well underway: and all in the direction of a police state.


Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997
Sender: Bob Djurdjevic <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#732> Eric Margolis: BAGHDAD BLUFF POKER (fwd)

rkm wrote:
  >Here's another piece (besides cj#730) from someone I disagree with more
  >often than I agree; in fact this is his first piece that I've forwarded.
  >He always has an incredible grasp of the facts -- I sometimes suspect he
  >has confidential access to intelligence reports -- but he usually wrenches
  >the facts into what seems to me a warped perspective.
  >Not this time.  He seems to be giving us an even-handed overview of the
  >real-politik attitudes of the relevant players, and as usual he pulls no

Richard, I agree both with your general characterization of Margolis' past
columns, and with your approval of the subject one, which someone had also
sent to me a few days ago.

But you're wrong when you say that Margolis "always has an incredible grasp
of the facts."  I know some (non-Balkan) principals in the Bosnian war, for
example, who are livid with Margolis because he deliberately misrepresented
the facts.  Which suggests that he clearly has an ax to grind, though it is
not always clear to me what that ax is.  Maybe your theory re. the inside
information from some intelligence service could explain it.


Bob Dj.

Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997
Sender: Bill Michtom <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#736> Democracy and Nationalism: a History (fwd)

  > From:  David Richardson  <•••@••.•••>
  >      I enjoyed your investigation of globalism . . .

Richardson's discussion of democracy in Greece is seriously flawed by
its all but total ignoring of slavery. The *majority* of Greece's
population were slaves. Ignoring slavery makes any discussion of
"democracy" moot.

  > The problem, so to speak, is not capitalism itself, but rather the
  > political hegemony of capitalism over other ideological perspectives, and
  > of the capitalist elite over other contituencies.--

Capitalism, by its nature, requires hegemony. Consequently, what does
this statement mean?

  > Sensible and effecive regulation, public representation on boards,
  > and a public equity position in corporate ownership  seem to me to
  > be more fruitful agendas than any blanket opposition to capitalism
  > itself or to private property more generally.

This would only make sense if capitalists would allow it or if the
government which is under their sway required it. Is this realistic? I
think not.

  > "Greece was characterized by two political paradigms,
  > the first was aristocratic rule, and the second was an oscillation
  > between democracy and tyranny".  (This would harmonize with my
  > observation that the USA has exhibited a see-saw struggle between
  > the wealthy elite and popular interests.

In both cases, I would disagree. Greece, more realistically, oscillated
between democracy for the few and tyranny. As to the USA, when did
"popular interests" ever have the upper hand on "the wealthy elite?"

Dear Bill,

Why do you say "Capitalism, by its nature, requires hegemony"?  It may
_seek_ hegemony, but it has not always enjoyed it.  For example in postwar
Britain there was a strong socialist (Labor) reaction against capitalism
that prevailed for quite a while, in conjunction with a generally
capitalist economy.  And Scandanavia has kept capitalism under tighter
reign than has, say, the U.S.

Capitalism has functioned successfully with a lot or a little political
influence: it does not _require_ hegemony in order to operate.

  >This [corporate reforms] would only make sense if capitalists would
  >allow it or if the government which is under their sway required it.
  >Is this realistic?

It can only become realistic if people generally wake up to the fact that
democracy is being taken away and decide to storm the political barricades.
Again, I refer to cj#737 as a more thorough response.

Your comments about Greece and slavery are of course correct, and U.S.
democracy was flawed by slavery, genocide, and female disenfranchisement
(symbolized by cracked Liberty Bell).  And I'll grant that in the U.S. the
wealthy elite have always held the upper hand.

But the elite have had to accomodate periods of relative popular
resurgance, as in the turn-of-the-century progressive movement (leading to
somewhat effective anti-trust legislation), the labor movement of the
ninteen thirties (leading to the New Deal and decades of stronger unions),
the new-left movement of the sixties (leading to Freedom-Of-Information
act, the EPA, reduced interventionism, and other temporarily effective
popular measures).

When people have found a common voice, and expressed it with determination,
political adjustments have occurred.  The strategic error has been for all
of these movements to allow themselves to be folded into the Democratic
Party -- they always thought they were "taking over", but they were always
being co-opted instead.  FDR boasted near the end that his real agenda had
been to "save capitalism".  That's why an ongoing organization, not just a
third party, is critical to the long-term effectiveness of popular
political resurgance.


Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997
Sender: Raleigh Myers <•••@••.•••>

rkm wrote
  >Corporations are our coalition's bison herd: corporate self-interest can be
  >expected to provide a stable economic environment for society and for
  >coalition members.  It is only the reins of the corporations that need the
  >influence of a more democratic hand; the corporate machine itself is every
  >bit as capable of operating as a beneficent mega-genie as it is a
  >destructive one.

        Our scenario in our Ten Incident Premise takes the Proto phenomenon
a step further.  The buffalo herd is Permaculture and one acre per family to
produce their own food as well as cottage industry for Mondragon
http://mondragon.mcc.es/english/mcc.html  style entepreneurial entities to
replace the corporation as we know it.

       In a nut shell, ten million or so   hundred  family village- support
groups can manage the planet ie. proto democracy.  Each Walton style family
is self sufficient with three generations under one roof ie. co-housing with
elder care, child care, cottage industry, work at home, school at home, grow
your own food with Permaculture technology.  Each hundred family group is
devoted to the provisioning of their own  life support needs. The wealth
stays in the community- village -support group rather than disappear into
glass buildings in New York etc. ie. LETS local employment and trading

This is a small foot print life support system which is share ware for the
two thirds undeveloped world as well as the  developed for opulence world.

        At our web site we present  EARTH HOUR
http://www.igc.apc.org/raenergy/raenergy.html  which depicts these
transitions and a way of financing them.  In particular we have THE TEN
INCIDENT PREMISE   http://www.igc.apc.org/raenergy/teninic.html   which is a
bill of rights for the planet which solves many of the bedrock factors which
need some attention before we can proceed with the empowerment of our
progeny as job one.  The base of the "PREMISE" is the planet belongs to the
unborn and we are stewards who lease our birthright  family acre  from them.
This synergy is our Buffalo herd not dependant on the supply side or the
resultant  Hegemony of Parasitism.

        The enemy is "Organized Usury"
http://www.igc.apc.org/raenergy/usury.html  or the Hegemony of Parasitism
with their visible representative oligarchy making itself  as representative

In Solidarity

Raleigh Myers
Ra Energy Fdn

Don't forget to get some bumper stickers printed.

Dear Raleigh,

An interesting utopian vision.  It seems, in essence, to be a return to
traditional village life, a form that prevailed worldwide (punctuated by
cities and modified by empires) from the dawn of agriculture to the
industrial revolution.  But you seem to get very specific about a great
many details: I wonder how much variety you envision?  One of the strong
points, I'd hope, of a fully decentralized system would be the evolutionary
potential brought by a variety of approaches in various locations.

I don't believe a practical solution needs to be as radical as you propose,
nor does everyone want to live in a village.  Some people like cities or
towns.  The key phrase I think is "_appropriate_ technology".  I was just
in Amsterdam, and was amazed at how livable a city could be: the electric
trams are scheduled to the second; bicycles (used by the thousands) have
their own complete traffic system; cars and pedestrians are
well-accomodated as well, and traffic is light and fast; a subway is not

Humanity has survived (barely) the Industrial age with its huge
energy-intensive mechanical machines, and has emerged into an era where
many technologies (such as personal computers, communications, and modern
mass-transit) can now deliver incredible utitlity with minimal
environmental impact.

If technology were to be applied "appropriately", and based on utility
rather than expanding corporate profits, we wouldn't need to aim for mere
survival, we could have the very Garden of Eden -- paradise on Earth.  The
so-called "unemployment problem" (fewer people needed to produce society's
needs) could translate into everyone working just a few months a year, and
pursuing more creative endeavors the rest of the time, with poverty

As I said earlier, the fundamental problem is that of political decsion

In the various reform proposals I've seen, such as yours above, there's a
minimalism to the demands being made.  We've been so conditioned by elite
control, that we don't dare to ask for what is legitimately ours:
democratic hegemony over the the whole damn system.  We can dismantle it if
we want, but I suggest we view our current economy as just another
ecosystem: and the lesson of ecology is that in tampering with ecosystems,
caution is advised.  Learn to respect the part that works, before
dismantling the part that doesn't.


Date: Wed, 3 Dec 1997
Sender: Daniel del Solar <•••@••.•••>

will part 2 be coming along soon?

i think this is a very interesting POV and presentation.

Should be a TV show...something concise that can enter public discourse

Dear Daniel,

Thanks for the TV idea, and glad you liked the treatment.  I tacked the
whole "indictment" thing on at the last minute, because I found myself,
naturally, trying to "prove a case", as in court.  The issues of motive,
opportunity, modus operandi, and evidence seemed to be central; and
conspiracy is one of the identified categories of criminal activity.  Once
that treatment was selected, it proved to be very convenient: I could move
from point to point naturally; the indictment format naturally provides for
the framework for the various issues and examples.

I'm planning a part 2, and probably a part 3.  The series would then
provide the backbone of Chapter VII of the book:

 |   VII.  National decay and the police state
 |        A.  Social decline and unrest: predictable consequences of globalism
 |        B.  The Third-World police-state precedent
 |        C.  Crossing the Rubicon: First-World police-state apparatus
 |        D.  Smuggling camels: the "war" on drugs, crime and terrorism
 |        E.  Corporate-feudalism: governments as "royal governors"
 |        F.  Cyberspace: global surveillance and centralized control

As TV, I'd envision a mock-trial using actors for lawyers, witnesses,
defendents, plaintiffs, judge, and reporter/commentator.  Much of the
evidence presented would be clips from the actual media (news, cop shows,
panel discussions, official announcements, etc.).  The judge role could be
very helpful: the way she ruled on the objections of the two sides could
lend a credibility to the proceedings.  Private jury deliberations could be
dramatized as a way to give voice to various anticipated audience
reactions.   (Maybe a real judge and lawyers could be recruited, partly
pro-bono, to give the proceedings more reality than your typical dramatized
courtroom trial).

Feedback anyone?