cj#1035,sm,rn-> rkm: “What to do about the WTO”

1999-12-11

Richard Moore

Dear friends,

Let's review the outcome of Seattle from a strategic
perspective.

First let's consider some good news.  Seattle may prove to
be the turning point in the creation of an effective global
movement FOR grass-roots democracy, and AGAINST
globalization and tyranny -- FOR a livable world, and
AGAINST poverty and the destruction of the Earth.  This is
VERY VERY important.  The journey of a thousand miles CANNOT
BEGIN until the first step is taken.  We can take great
PLEASURE, PRIDE, and HOPE in that first step.

Next let's consider some sobering news.  This first step was
a VERY TINY one in the overall scheme of things.  By
comparison we really do have a thousand miles YET TO GO. And
all along that thousand-mile journey there will be signposts
tempting us to stray from the path, or to give up. The HOPE
of Seattle must be turned into PERSEVERANCE with HUMILITY -
not into POLLYANIC EUPHORIA.

For example - the WTO was not stopped.  It was hardly even
slowed down.  Neoliberalism and globalization - in a few
short decades - are undoing two centuries of (relative)
progress toward democracy and human-rights.  Globalization
is like a race car. Seattle, you might say, punctured a tire
and forced a pit-stop and tire change.  At best!  Within
weeks the race car will be back on the track, with
strengthened tires and a new battle-plan for the race.  Top
planners are probably gleeful that they've actually met a
challenge which allows them to earn their think-tank
salaries.  Up until now they've had it SO EASY that it has
been ridiculous - even shameful.

I've read several over-optimistic reports about the Seattle
outcome - about "reversals" in the WTO process.  The USA
wanted to cut farm subsidies and the EU balked.  The West
wanted to impose "human rights" constraints and the
third-world balked.  First of all we should recognize that
these "balks" are what slowed down the WTO, not the
protests. At best the protests SLIGHTLY EMBOLDENED the
delegates.  And these "balks" are nothing to write home
about anyway.  They didn't reverse anything, they only
slowed down - temporarily - some NEW initiatives.

The EU may be insisting on continuing some form of farm
subsidies - but small EU farmers are going bankrupt ANYWAY
(as are small US farmers).  The West may be asking for some
kind of TOKEN human-rights guarantees, but they are only
token.  Western multinationals simply don't want locally-owned
sweatshops to pay EVEN LOWER wages than their own sweatshops
pay.  And how can we take comfort in the fact that
third-world dictators are standing up to the WTO because
they want to INCREASE THEIR LEVEL OF WORKER EXPLOITATION
even more than the WTO wants them to??  That's a victory???
Give me a break!

Seattle was in NO WAY a victory over anything - EXCEPT our
own apathy and disorganization.  Let's please be clear about
that.  But our own apathy and disorganization have been OUR
WORST ENEMIES!!  Therefore Seattle IS something to take hope
from!  OK?   Now let's talk about what the WTO is...

---

We must understand that gobalization is a centrally-planned
and coordinated PROJECT.  If you have any doubt about this,
then please do some browsing in these books:

    Michel Chossudovsky, "THE GLOBALIZATION OF POVERTY", The Third
    World Network, Penang, Malaysia, 1997.

    Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith, ed, "THE CASE AGAINST THE
    GLOBAL ECONOMY AND FOR A TURN TOWARD THE LOCAL", Sierra Club
    Books, San Francisco, 1996.

Or you might browse my own humble effort, "GLOBALIZATION AND
THE REVOLUTIONARY IMPERATIVE" at:
    http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri/gri.html

During the 1970s the postwar economic boom began to falter,
and top business leaders realized that they couldn't keep
corporate profits growing at the rates they had come to
expect.  They came to the decision that democracy would need
to be dismantled and that general prosperity in the West
would need to be sacrificed - so that the big corporations
could continue to grow their profits.  That's what Reagan,
Thatcher, and "neoliberalism" were all about.  This isn't a
conspiracy theory - you can read the planning documents in
published think-tank reports.  Especially revealing:  "THE
CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY", by Samuel P. Huntington, published in
May 1975, as part of the "Report of the Trilateral Task
Force on Governability of Democracies".

A central part of the neoliberal revolution was the use of
widespread BIG LIE propaganda.  Reagan and Thatcher were
SELECTED FOR THEIR ROLES because of their personal public
appeal.  They both lied through their teeth about "personal
responsibility" and "smaller government" while they SOLD OUT
their nations and Constitutions to deep-pocket corporate
interests.  But neoliberalism was still nation-centered.
Reagan was promoting _US corporate interests, and Thatcher
was promoting _British corporate interests - AGAINST the
welfare of their respective populations.

What is different about globalization is that it is not at
all nation-centered.  Elite corporate interests have now
divorced themselves entirely from "home nations".  Thatcher
realized this, and that's why she opposed EU centralization
- and that's why she was dumped by her corporate backers.
She was elitist and anti-democratic to the core - but she
was sincere about being pro-Britain.  As the tide of
neoliberalism turned into the tide of globalization, she
didn't "keep up".  The "Ero Skeptics" in Britain are the
remnants of Thatcherism.

---

I could go on & on with this kind of historical analysis,
but I'll stop here.  The point I'm trying to make is simply
that we are dealing with a very centralized, very
coordinated, very long-range, and very sophisticated
PROJECT.  Globalization is NOT a TREND - it is a PROJECT.
The scope and power of this project are almost impossible to
contemplate.  The project created Thatcherism and then
dumped it.  It advanced part of its program with
Reagan-Bush, took a breather under Carter, and now is going
the next mile with liar-smiler-non-inhaler Clinton.

The project took the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF & World
Bank) and reversed their roles 180 degrees.  These
institutions were orignally designed to STABILIZE the global
economy and national economies - now their role is to to
DESTABILIZE both.  This is awesome stuff.  This is the big
leagues. This is hardball.  The Vietnam War was by
comparison softball.

Those of you on the right are probably saying - "Hey - wait
a minute - how come you're not blaming the U.N. and
tree-hugging liberals for all this?"  Those of you on the
left are probably saying - "Hey - wait a minute - this is
sounding like a CONSPIRACY THEORY!"

OF COURSE we're talking about a conspiracy!!  (Or rather
many levels of conspiracies within conspiracies.)  Do you
think world leaders go on television and tell you the
truth??  Do you still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth
Fairy?  Do you think the New York Times tries to analyze
what's really going on and then tell you about it?  WAKE UP
AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

The problem I have with conspiracy theorists is that most of
them don't think big enough.  They mess around with tiny
conpiracies, like "Who killed JFK?" or "Who burned WACO and
why?" These are distractions - they have become part of the
propaganda program.  The real conspiracy issue is WHO IS
RULING THE WORLD AND WHERE ARE THEY TAKING US?

Here are a few quotes you might find interesting...

   "The 20th century has been characterized by three
    developments of great political importance: the growth of
    democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of
    corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate
    power against democracy."
      - Alex Carey [tell me if you know who Alex is - rkm]

   "In a moment of insane candor, David Boylan, a Murdoch
    manager, told an unvarnished truth which should be framed
    and stuck on the top of every television set. 'We paid $3
    billion for these television stations, he snapped. We'll
    decide what the news is. NEWS IS WHAT WE SAY IT IS.'"
      - The Observer, London, July 5, 1998

   "There is no such thing in America as an independent press,
    unless it is in the small towns. You know it and I know it.
    There is not one of you who dares to write his honest
    opinions, and if you did you know before hand that they
    would never appear in print. . . . The business of the New
    York journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to
    pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to
    sell his race and country for his daily bread. You know this
    and I know it, and what folly is this to be toasting an
    'Independent Press.' We are the tools and vassals of rich
    men behind the scenes. We are the jumping-jacks; they pull
    the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and
    our lives are all the property of other men. We are
    intellectual prostitutes."
      - John Swinton, former Chief of Staff for the New York
        Times, in a speech at a banquet in his honor attended by
        leaders of New York journalism in 1980. [If anyone can
        verify this source and its date, please do so - rkm]

    "The ability to fake sincerity."
      - Walter Cronkite, former CBS anchorman, in response to the
        question: "What makes for a good news commentator?"

   "If the American people ever allow private banks to control
    the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by
    deflation, the banks...will deprive the people of all
    property until their children wake-up homeless on the
    continent their fathers conquered.... The issuing power
    should be taken from the banks and restored to the people,
    to whom it properly belongs."
      -Thomas Jefferson, a U.S. "Founding Father" and later President

   "I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my
    country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its
    system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The
    growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are
    in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the
    worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and
    dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a
    Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by
    conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by
    the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."
      -Woodrow Wilson, a few years after signing the 1913 Federal
       Reserve Act

---

OK, how many of you are still with me?  The WTO and
globalization are like a giant powerful lion.  In Seattle we
had the courage to poke our heads into the lion's den.  The
lion sent a  mouse (the Seattle Police and National Guard)
to shoo us away.  The lion itself didn't even bother to stir
or roar.  The lion's spokesman whimpered on TV that he
"welcomed dissent to the WTO process".  Did you notice when
his pinnoochio nose grew an inch??

In order to defeat an enemy, it is first necessary to
acknowledge the strength of the enemy.  Global capitalism is
an AWESOME enemy.  Admit it and accept it.

But we can defeat it!  It is our own disunity, credulity,
and lack of imagination that are holding us back.  THEY
actually have no power at all!  It is _we who carry the
weapons and man the armies.  It is _we who run the
newspapers and TV stations and tell the lies for salaries.
THEY are such a tiny tiny minority they don't even count!
Bill Gates isn't even one of THEM.  He's a kid who got
lucky - so lucky that they're now taking his coin-machine
away from him.

The enemy, when it comes down to it, is CAPITALISM ITSELF.

But do you know what that means?  What do you think
capitalism is?  What do you think the OPPOSITE of capitalism
is?  Most likely, your answer to both questions is wrong.
(Sorry, but Marx got this quiz wrong as well.)

Capitalism is NOT any of the following things:
    - democracy
    - republics
    - freedom
    - free enterprise
    - profitable enterprise
    - private property

The opposite of capitalism is NOT any of the following things:
    - communism
    - socialism
    - big government
    - abolition of private property

A brief word about how capitalism works is now in order.  An
investor invests some money. After a period of time, the
investor wants to cash in the investment for a bigger amount
of money.  That is called CAPITAL GROWTH.  If growth cannot
be obtained, the investor will not invest.  Unless growth
can be maintained continually, the whole system collapses.
Marx predicted it would collapse, but he seriously
underestimated the human imagination - the ability of
capitalists to dream up new ways to create growth.

But Marx was approximately right.  He (and Lenin) foresaw
that capitalism would become a global system and that it
would then begin to run out of growth room.  That is now
happening.  But instead of collapsing itself, capitalism is
causing the REST OF THE WORLD to collapse instead!  It is
destroying the environment.  It is engaging in intentional
genocide in the third world.  It is intentionally destryong
democracy and Western prosperity.  It is putting an increasing
percentage of Americans in slave-labor prisons.  It is doing
all of these things to postpone its own collapse.  If we wait
for it to collapse, we will all be dead first.

CAPITALISM is two things.  FIRST, it is the control of
society by the most wealthy.  SECOND, it is the economic
doctrine which says that prosperity is achieved through
change & development - the GROWTH PARADIGM.  Capitalism
pushes this doctrine for only one reason: the doctrine
provides for CAPITAL GROWTH.  The doctrine is actually a
MYTH.  Economies work much better if they are NOT forced to
grow all the time.

The most HONEST and DIRECT form of capitalism is called FASCISM.

COMMUNISM (at least the Soviet and Chinese variety)
substituted one kind of tyranny for another, and retained
the disastrous growth paradigm.

LIBERAL DEMOCRACY is capitalism with a PRETENSE of democracy.

SOCIALISM, as practiced in postwar Europe, is the vain
attempt to combine democracy with capitalism.  You might
call it DEMOCRACY WITH CANCER.

For two hundred years, capitalism SEEMED to be a good thing
to people in the West - at least to the middle classes.  By
means of the middle class, capitalism retained control of
Western nations.  By means of Western nations and their
militaries, capitalism ruled the world.  But after two
centuries wealth became so concentrated, and the resources of
the Earth so thoroughly exploited, that capitalism had
nowhere else to go.

Globalization is the attempt to rule the world and ALSO
ABANDON the Western middle classes.  The attempt is feasible
because of modern technology and modern propaganda.  With
hi-tech weapons you only need a few thousand black-uniformed
elite troops to rule the world.  You don't need massive
armies, and hence you don't need generally prosperous
Western middle classes.

Reform WAS the process by which people demanded a PIECE OF
THE PIE (some combination of money or quality of life) for
themselves. Reform became outmoded once globalization
arrived. Globalization is the declaration by the capitalist
elite that they intend to keep 100% OF THE PIE.  They MUST
keep 100% because that's the only way the growth of capital
can be continued.  The capitalist system can no longer be
reformed.  IT MUST BE REPLACED ENTIRELY.

But this DOES NOT MEAN we must embrace SOCIALISM or MARXISM
or ANY OTHER ISM.  It means we must kick out the elite few
who rule the world and begin deciding ourselves how we want
to run the world - from the bottom up.  We do not need or
want any central planning authority.  Decision making should
be moved as close to the bottom as possible - down to the
village & town level.

Our economy needs to become sustainable - not because of any
ECOLOGICAL IDEOLOGY but because of COMMON SENSE.  Can you
live month after month by running up credit card bills you
can never repay?  Obviously not.  Similarly we cannot keep
using up resources that cannot be replaced.  This is not
"tree hugging" or "owl loving" - it is simply being HONEST
WITH OURSELVES.

We DO NOT need to give up technology or trade or money or
property.  We simply need to begin using these things with
common sense and controlling them democratically.

---

I think this is enough for one day.

I know those of you who disagree will write in.  You always
do.

I want to request something else.  Those of you who
understand what I'm trying to say, but who think I'm not
saying it well  - please write in with your own "fixes".
Give me a helping hand.


Many thanks.

Bye for now


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard K Moore
Wexford, Irleand
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance
•••@••.•••
http://cyberjournal.org


                Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
                committed citizens can change the world,
                indeed it's the only thing that ever has.
                        - Margaret Mead

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