cj#860> reader comments on rkm’s book


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

Here's a question for the list: "What does a movement look like?"

What kinds of things need to happen before there is a public perception
that a movement exists?  I don't think it can be something on television.
By the time anything about a movement gets to television it's very old

Does it have to be demonstrations?  Mass rallies and marches?  Neighborhood
meetings?  You tell me...


From: •••@••.••• (John Trechak)
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#855> re-2: my book & publishers


I just attended the Biennial Symposium of the Jack London Society at the
Huntington Library in Pasadena. An exilerating four-day affair, wonderful
group. Most people do not realize that London remains the most-translated,
most-sold, most-read of all American authors. Not so, however, in America,
itself, where it is difficult to discuss him honestly because of the
predominant focus of his public life--his dedication to social justice by way
of socialism.

Here is why I bring him up. In his lifetime, as revealed by the copious notes
he made on such matters, a great number of his very finest stories were
rejected by a dozen or more publishers before one had the good sense to
publish them. Publishers, by the nature of their business, will give writers
advice that is based upon good business sense of the past, not upon what is
necessarily going to work in the future.

At some point you will have to decide as to how much advice you take from
outside of yourself as opposed you what advice you follow from within.

I have passed on some of your chapters to friends who I would describe as very
right-wing libertarian. Their comments about your writing have been very
favorable. That says a lot about your writing. If you are able to relate to
such readers at an abstarct level, then you already have the makings of a fine
book, in my opinion. If you do not find a major publisher for your work, that
is no big deal. A publisher's job today is actually mainly arranging tours and
publicity. If you self-publish, you will find that there are many advantages.
And with you expertise on the web, you should be able to self-promote

I do not have time for much non-required reading these days, but I always look
forward to your new chapters. I hope that tells you how interesting many of us
find them.


John Trechak


Dear John,

Thanks for the feedback on right-wing reactions. As Carolyn Chute of the
2nd Maine Militia says, "There's no right wing or left wing, there's just
up and down. All the fat cats up there having a good time while the rest of
us are down here struggling to get by."  The perceived gap between left and
right comes more from lack of communication than it does from lack of
shared interests.

It's the right which has expressed the most concern about the undermining
of the consititution and national sovereignty. This at least is a basis for
common ground. We need to build from points of agreement, and expand
solidarity from there.

I take your point about advice. So far, most of the advice I've gotten from
publishers has made sense to me.  But the book has to be "me" if it is to
be coherent. I think the rewrite is going to be more effective for all
audiences, and well worth the time. We'll see what publishers say after I
complete Chapter 1.

Thanks for the encouragement and ideas,   [and the same to others who wrote]

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998
From: "Charles S. Queen" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Your book is great!
To: •••@••.•••


      Your book is awesome even in the draft stage; I can't wait to read
the final copy.

     Keep up the good work....

from Charles


Dear list,

I'd be interested in finding out how many people on the list would be
interested in ordering a copy of the book...  publishers like to know about
potential sales possibilities. I assume there'd be some kind of discount
for a bulk order direct from the publisher.

Let me know,

Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998
From: "Linnea Carroll, Meyer" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#855> re-2: my book & publishers


How about Wm Grieder for a co-author?
He recently 'edited" and wrote an 'intro' to The Celling Of America--a
book written and compiled by Prison Legal News--in Washington state.

Grieder's on the same path...but would he go as far?

Linnea Carroll


Dear Linnea,

I've given up on the idea of a co-author. I think I was suffering a
temporary crisis of self-confidence.  As I get into rewriting my feeling is
that I want to do it myself.

Wm Greider already put out a book on globalization, "One World Ready or
Not". Reading it is like going on a world tour with the author, getting the
globalization picture by seeing what it means on the ground in far-flung
parts of the globe. He didn't seem to become radicalized by the experience.


Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998
From: Jeff Jewell <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#855> re-2: my book & publishers

Dear Richard, regarding the structure of your land-mark book, here are my
thoughts to add to the discussion.

Primarily, I believe the most important thing is for you to decide on the
audience you want your work to reach.

And every book must be tailored to its primary audience -- it would be an
unsuccessful compromise to attempt anything else.

And since your/our message must eventually reach all segments of all
populations, there must be multiple reformulations of its concepts -- each
matched to different target audiences, and each appropriately structured
and supported with the necessary background information and argumentation.
Perhaps it would be fruitful to develop a tentative list of the various
target audiences, and to sketch out the structural differences of the
corresponding products.  Also important is a dynamic bibliography of the
important references.

My suggestion is that your initial work [in approximately its present form,
supported by substantial references to the selected bibliography] should
serve as a bible for informed activists -- as this is the segment that must
first start singing from the same songbook if the 'imperative' of the
revolutionary movement is ever to move from vision to reality.

If you pursue this approach, you should attract sufficient talent that can
assist in the development of the larger array of informational products to
sustain the movement.  [Incidentally, this is the hope that I have
harboured relative to the initiative that I'm still planning to work on.]

Now several comments on your recent chapters.

Re your chapter on sustainable societies, I would suggest that the concept
of stewardship should be emphasized; also, its corollary, the issue of
intergenerational responsibilities.   In particular, some consideration of
the conflict between maximization of short term versus long term interests
-- and the difficulties a democratic solution may be vulnerable to in this
regard, especially given the influence of vested interests etc.

Re your chapters 5 and 6, they represent what is to me a novel and
brilliant analysis.  In the constructive spirit, several questions or
comments for your consideration:

Your strong concerns about the negative aspects of centralization coupled
with your strong advocacy of localism [both of which have substantial
merit] would, in my opinion, tend to produce sovereign entities that are
smaller and weaker than the nation states have been.  Indeed, this seems
unfortunately to play into the TWO's [Trans World Oligarchy] hidden agenda
of dismantling today's nation states -- to be replaced by less powerful
city states.

Your guiding principle of self-sufficiency, that would tend to limit the
weakening of sovereign powers in producing a large number of natural
economic units of intermediate sizes [i.e. smaller than today's nations but
larger than cities], may not be a viable solution.  The problem is that
city states -- unless they would be prohibited -- would have the
competitive advantages of concentrating wealth, externalizing costs, and
being able to play off one hinterland supplier of natural resources against

And of course there are the questions of the TNCs and global finance
capital -- which are the main reasons why strong national sovereignty would
be desirable today.  If the revolutionary imperative has a realistic and
effective plan to deal with these adversaries, the size and strength of
political units may not be an issue.

Regarding your exemplification of Cuba as a model democracy, you realize
that the considerable prejudices [arising largely from American propaganda]
may lead some who would otherwise be open to your message to reject it on
this account. Further, however worthy Cuban democracy may be, the
undeniable fact is that many Cubans would eagerly choose capitalist
prosperity if given the freedom of choice.

And this, I think, raises the issue of which people hold more dear --
democracy or prosperity?  While I'm personally fully on-side that democracy
is essential to freedom -- and indeed worth paying a very high price for --
it may well be that the majority of people place much less faith and value
in democracy, and would be quite content with increased prosperity.  There
is a risk that we may be seen by the public to be glorifying democracy
rather too much, while glossing over its problems and inadequacies.  In
particular, we must not become fixated on the abstract principle of
democracy and disregard the importance of managing the downside risks of
the revolution so as to  preserve maximum prosperity for the people [i.e.
the Russian style of salvation won't wash].

Keep up the outstanding work!


Dear Jeff,

I do want the book to be useful to activists, but I want to encourage more
people to become activists as well.

Stewardship and intergenerational responsibilities are inherent in
sustainability. But I'm not selling the virtues of sustainability, rather
the necessity -- it seems like a stronger argument.

You mention the problem of `vested interests' and TNC's. These must be
eliminated as independent political forces if democracy and sustainability
are to be achieved. This will be discussed in Chapter 9. So, as you say...

  >If the revolutionary imperative has a realistic and effective plan
  >to deal with these adversaries, the size and strength of political
  >units may not be an issue.

You suggest that mentioning Cuba will detract from credibility for many US
readers. I've gone a long ways toward eliminating unnecessarily
radical-sounding languge... the word `revolution' does not occur at all in
the introduction!  But with Cuba I think it is strategically correct to
make a point of it, with appropriate apologetics. I could be wrong, but I
think it could generate a productive kind of controversy. There comes a
point where shirking from an issue weakens your position, while a bit of
boldness can gain respect. I'll approach it with care, and will need to
talk about refugees. One point is that lots of people would elect to become
refugees in the US if they were welcomed in the way Cubans seem to have
been. That just reflects the extent to which Latin America has been kept
down by US policies.

Your point about `democracy' vs `prosperity' is a very good one and I will
make a point to deal with it explicitly. I'll refer to the fact that
non-sustainable prosperity is irresponsibly short-sighted, and is already
coming home to roost in our deteriorating environment.  I'll also argue
that if resources and technologies are used sensibly, we should actually
have _better lives... the fact that Cuba leads the third world in health &
education, for example, shows that `more can be achieved with less'.  I'll
point out that democracy does not imply anything about policy: we could
decide to be non-sustainable!  The issue here is really _sustainability.
The final point, then, is that the `sustainable' vs `non-sustainable'
decision should be made democratically rather than some other way.  Who
could object to that except would-be autocrats?


Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998
From: •••@••.••• (Joe Ferguson)
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#854> re: my book & publishers

Hi Richard,

> They want something that draws the reader along and "shares the
> experience of discovery".  Examples leading up to conclusions.
> This seems like a major challenge, but it also makes sense.

I agree, and it sounds extremely promising that you have a publisher
providing this guidance.

Perhaps the readership of CJ can help?  For example, I can tell you how
I became so receptive to your analysis.  There were two primary threads
I found myself trying to untangle when I came in contact with you.

One was the War on Drugs, our modern Prohibition.  I had experience with
drugs and alcohol and knew many people who had become addicted, many of
whom survived and found ways to deal with their addictions.  None of the
"cures" had any positive "criminal justice" component to them.

With the bad news in the eighties about the dollar amount of the black
market in this country, I found myself asking "didn't this country learn
anything from alcohol prohibition?"  My search for understanding of the
situation led me to Jack Herer's "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" which
exposes the economic incentive for the hemp ban established by the
Marijunana Tax Act of 1937.  Economic incentive, that is, for oil, timber,
pharmaceutical, prison and drug-testing corporate interests that is, to
name only a few.

Once the greed motive was illustrated, all the other pieces, like the
large-scale misinformation campaign in the media made sense.

The other thread was Haiti.  In the early nineties, when the U.S. was
debating the merits of Aristide vs. those who had overthrown his
government, I was listening to mainstream media and NPR (before it lost
its public funding) on the subject.  I was hearing two completely opposing
accounts of the situation and really wanted to find out the truth.  One
day I heard a writer and doctor Paul Farmer on KQED talking about the ten
years he had spent in Haiti and felt he was honest, so I bought his book
"The Uses of Haiti" (Common Courage Press) and read it.

What an eye opener!  Farmer provides a historical perspective, first hand
experience and other up-to-date information to show how U.S. taxes and
propaganda organizations (e.g., U.S. Aid and The New York Times) do and
have sugarcoated and justified a policy of exploitation, oppression and
racism in Haiti and other Latin American countries.  Once again I found
unbalanced corporate power at the root of the problem.

The two books mentioned are excellent sources of history and experience
that build the readers' sense of discovery of what has and is going on
in these two universes.

For me, with your help, it became clear that while the essential evils
are part of human nature, it is uncontrolled corporate power that
promotes the most evil people to positions of supreme power in the world
and that the first step needed to correct this situation is to bring
corporations under the statutorial control of sovereign people.

Hope this helps.  Gotta go!

- Joe


Dear Joe,

Good to hear from you again. Hope to visit you in Santa Cruz. (Send phone #).

I'm sensitive to this issue of `eye openers'.  `Opening eyes' is what it's
all about. The whole bloody mess is obvious, really... that is, the truth
about capitalism. I try to make little points along the way that are minor
eye openers.  The hope is that once people get used to the idea of
eye-opening, that is to be open to the possibility they've been
brainwashed, then they will begin to take in a lot quickly and from many

all the best,

Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998
From: Antonio Rossin <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
CC: •••@••.•••
Subject: "Top-to-Down" revolution


I'm not tuned so well with those revolutionaries, such as Richard
K. Moore, who want to perform revolution Top-to-Down.  Indeed they
don't realize that Real Democracy is already at work.

It sounds that they believe of the answers which politicians and
economists and govt.'s give people that these are the wrong ones to
people's right demands, and are not able to understand that these
answers are the right ones - according with real democracy - which
politicians, economists and such "Top" leaderships give to people's
wrong demands.

*Actually* (in their votes even though not in their words) people
don't want to share within real democracy, and this is the *really
democratic* people's demand.  They want to have a kindly-disposed
enlightened authority ruling over them, anything else but what they
utter themselves and are supposed to want and, even worse, anything
else but what a real democracy should be.  Nevertheless, this must
be assumed as the *really democratic* wish of people substantially,
even though its appearance is not.

Therefore, whoever aims to change the current order, that is the
current people's democratic wish - as some today's Top-to-Down
revolutionaries claim themselves being aimed - is *actually* going
towards forcing the really democratic people's wish.

Such a forcing over people's real wishes is never so cheap.  Like
all forcings, it will request a considerable waste of energy.  Maybe
the Top-to-Down revolutionaries will be successful in substituting
the old leadership with a new more kindly-disposed and enlightened
one, themselves possibly ;-) provided of course that they had lots
of energy to spend and were lucky.

Let's admit, it could be better, cheaper and really revolutionary if
they would spend their energy in looking for people's Bottom-to-Up
possibly wrong demands, rather than - or at least in addition to -
urging to revolutionize what today's really democratic Top-to-Down
political and economical answers look rightfully to be.

Warm regards,



Dear antonio,

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. I _think you're saying that
people actually want things the way they are, and want someone else to rule
over them.

I don't believe people want someone to rule over them. It is a difficult
judgement, and you have to look at it from several points of view.  There
are slaves, reportedly, who thought they were better off as slaves.  But
are there any who would go back after being free?  An animal in a zoo might
not want to go back to the wild, and that's a sad thing, but if it does the
progeny will be grateful.  Do you, antonio, want someone else to rule you?

When people are politically apathetic, you cannot assume it is because they
don't care about politics.  It can just as easily arise from an accurate
understanding that their participation is irrelevant in the current regime.

And you cannot assume things-are-the-way-they-are because people want them
that way.  That would be to say that we have achieved democracy.  We


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