============================================================================ From: "Malika" <•••@••.•••> To: <•••@••.•••> Subject: Your Article Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 12:49:35 -0500 Hi: Just finished reading your article "Globalization and the Revolutionary Imperative." I really appreciate the historical information as to how globalization came to be and I like your prescription of a democratic renaissance as a way to counter the bad effects of globalization in our society. I'd like to work with you to achieve that. Here's the rub, though. I am African-American and work in my community to promote economic development, mostly through entrepreneurship. I acutely feel the need for economic growth in our community but I don't want to see us forced to accept global capitalism as it is in order to have that growth. At the same time, I see what you are saying and in fact, your article makes it easier for me to explain to my community how globalization has affected us in particular negatively. I've been telling folks for years how changes in the global economy robbed us of the kinds of manufacturing jobs that allowed men like my father, who didn't finish high school, to make enough money to support their families. Your article helps to corroborate that. So I am in a bit of a quandary, and I hope you can help. I want growth but not if it hooks us into a system that I'm not sure we can compete in anyway. Do we have to start transnational corporations and big international banks in order to bring economic growth to our community? I'm open to any input you have and look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks, Mileka Aljuwani =============== Dear Mileka, Thanks for your note. I hope you don't mind that I'm posting it to our list... your quandry is one that lurks in other minds as well. Consider this little Sufi story: A dervish and his teacher were trekking across the desert. Their throats were parched, and the dervish said to his teacher: "How delightful it would be right now to have a fresh, juicy apple." The teacher snapped his fingers and a big red apple materialized in his hand, which he gave to the dervish. The dervish took a bite and beamed with pleasure. Then he looked at the apple and found there was a worm in it. He said, "Sir, if you're going to manifest an apple, why do you make one with a worm in it?" The teacher answered, "If you are going to exist in this world, then you must partake in the imperfections of this world." Robert Heinlein said it another way in one of his stories: "Maturity is the ability to tolerate conflict." In order to get along in this world, we do what we need to do -- that's life. Some people then feel the need to 'believe in the system', in order to feel comfortable with themselves and their actions. That is a form of self-deciet, an intentional burying of ones head in the sand, a condemning of oneself to intellectual and spritual immaturity. You are no such person -- you are accepting conflict and seeking to work it out. The Sufis would say that you are 'capable of learning'. I will answer your immediate question as best I can, but the conflict will continue between what-you-must-do and what-you-would-like-to-be. Dealing with that conflict is an ongoing part of the mature human condition. I suggest that you can promote the welfare of your community, as you are doing, and work against the bigger system at the same time -- both with sincere conviction. I imagine you want to improve your community in both the short term and the long term. In the short term, you can only participate in the system that exists. In order to bring about long-term improvement, you need to develop an understanding of how you would like things to be -- and then you can refine your short-term actions so that they work toward your longer range goals. You've heard the phrase "Think globally and act locally". If we apply this to time rather than space, the phrase becomes: "Think historically and act now". In fact, you are already doing this. You are promoting local entrepreneurship rather than begging big companies to allocate jobs to your neighborhood. You are developing community spirit, personal empowerment, and locally-based economics. You are encouraging the development of grassroots democracy and you are reducing dependence on corporate- controlled 'employment'. Your short-term actions seem well directed -- keep up the good work! --- Now let's consider your question in another light. In a sane and livable world, where elite capitalism has been left behind, would you still want to promote private enterprise in your community? Is private enterprise the same as capitalism? Is development inherently destructive? Where do you draw the line? Many people see this as a question of economic doctrine. They seek answers in terms of some alternative economic ideology. Historically, we've had our Marxists and socialists, and more recently we have green economics, and eco-cost accounting. We certainly need to organize our economies differerently than they are now, but in my view our salvation is not to be found in some economic doctrine or ideology. No ideology is perfect and every ideology can be corrupted or mismanaged. The word 'economics', I've been told, originally referred to 'management of the household'. One does not manage a household by referring to a doctrine, one manages it by looking at the problems at hand and doing your best to deal with them. Economics is a pragmatic matter more than a theoretical one; it requires management and experience more than it requires philosophy. If something works, then you let it be; if it gets out of hand, you do something about it. If you think of a better way to do things, then you consider implementing it -- which includes thinking about the side-effects and the hidden costs. These are principles of management, not pieces of economic doctrine. Those who run our economy currently understand this very well. As long as Bill Gates contributed to growth in the electronic industry, then he was allowed to be as monopolistic as he wanted to be -- antitrust philosophy was not allowed to interfere. But when he tried to carry his monopoly over to Internet browsers and web access, then he was threatening the growth plans of the big communications conglomerates. He was getting out of hand, and they did something about it. They 'discovered' that he was using OS dominance to benefit his software business -- something that had been obvious to everyone for at least a decade. Splitting off his software business will in fact change the industry very little. Once Gates' empire is on the chopping block, the interesting strokes will be the ones that sever his grasp of the emerging e-markets. The most useful news is always in the follow-up stories after the spotlight has moved on to the next media circus. Capitalist ideology is infinitely flexible, as we learned with Bill Gates and earlier with AT&T, and as the next posting below illustrates. We too must understand that economics is a question of flexible management. We can use what works, and we can change things that don't work. We don't need to have a perfect plan in order to begin. --- But we need something else in order to begin -- we need to take charge of our societies. As long as we let elites run society, then it will not be run with our interests at heart. It is of only secondary concern whether those elites be capitalists, politburos, or ivory-tower central planners. One slavemaster is pretty much as bad as the next. What we need is our freedom and our self-determinination. The answer to capitalism is democracy. best regard, rkm ============================================================================ Delivered-To: moderator for •••@••.••• From: •••@••.••• (Glynn Ash) Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 09:24:01 -0500 (CDT) To: •••@••.•••, •••@••.••• Subject: Pentagon is willing to pay more to "maintain competition" for JSF. Hello Jan & Richard, It's amazing. In the past week we have seen two examples of what capitalism is really all about...and the masses collectively yawn, eager to return to "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and wondering if they'll get a good parking space at the mall! First, there's the Fed/Greeenspan raising interest rates because there are to many of us working and -- horror of horrors -- we're making too much money... ...and now we have this lesson on the concept of "competition" from our friends in the Pentagon. "Boeing and Lockheed Martin say they are prepared to share..." ``It would defeat the purpose if the loser didn´t get some work.´´ Huh??? Isn't that rather communistic? Isn't this the "evil" we fought a 50 year cold war over? Insanity and hypocracy abound! I guess that the mantra "competition will control/reduce prices" is yet another lie that we will ignore in our quest for more stuff. Slainte Glynn <snip> Message Sender: •••@••.••• From: •••@••.••• (Int'l Network on Disarmament and Globalization) Date: Fri, May 12, 2000, 2:11pm (CDT-2) To: •••@••.••• (MIL-CORP) Subject: [mil-corp] Pentagon is willing to pay more to "maintain competition" for JSF. Network members: The Pentagon is afraid that if it awards the massive Joint Strike Fighter program to either Boeing or Lockheed Martin, the loser may retreat from building military fighter planes altogether. So, in a strange twist, the Pentagon seems prepared to split the contract between the two corporations to preserve competition in the industry, which would raise the cost of the contract. As one analyst put it, "The Pentagon is saying it's willing to pay a higher price to maintain competition.'' Steve **** http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/000511/n7.html Thursday May 11, 8:40 pm Eastern Time Boeing, Lockheed set to share massive fighter deal By Chris Stetkiewicz SEATTLE, May 11 (Reuters) - The Pentagon may abandon its current winner-take-all strategy for a $200 billion contract to build a new fighter jet and Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA - news) and Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT - news) say they are prepared to share. While each manufacturer insists it would win the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) contract outright, both say they would work together no matter which of the competing designs the Pentagon picks as the template for over 3,000 attack planes. ``We are still operating in winner-take-all mode,´´ said Lockheed spokeswoman Carolyn Hodge. ``We believe we have the right airplane and we want to be the prime contractor. But we will work with Boeing. We work with them on other programmes.´´ Seattle-based Boeing said it has been expecting some kind of cooperative approach and would accept a subcontracting role if Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed were to win the deal. ``The whole reason for doing that is to keep both Boeing and Lockheed in the fighter industry and to preserve the industrial base,´´ Boeing spokesman Mike Tull said. ``It would defeat the purpose if the loser didn´t get some work.´´ Tull noted that Boeing was prepared to compete for and win the deal outright in the meantime. U.S. Defence Department officials apparently want to guarantee work-sharing on what could be the last major jet fighter contract for decades, analysts said. A wave of industry mergers have left the two titans as the only potential U.S. builders of attack planes and the Pentagon would risk one of those two retreating from the business if it lost the JSF contract outright. Splitting the order would wipe out much of the cost savings that would have been generated by building the huge fleet under one design, but would preserve competition for the long run. ``The handwriting has been on the wall for years,´´ said Jon Kutler, president of Quarterdeck Investment Partners. ``The Pentagon is saying it´s willing to pay a higher price to maintain competition.´´ A Pentagon JSF spokeswoman did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. Representative Jerry Lewis, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations defence subcommittee, said on Thursday that the Pentagon was ``highly likely´´ to opt for a team of contractors, almost certainly changing the program´s schedule and costs. Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia had projected Lockheed as the odds-on favourite to win the deal, citing its success with the F-16 fighter, which has continued to draw orders from overseas even as Boeing's F-15 appears near the end of the line. ``Lockheed has tremendous experience producing export fighters at an excellent price. At one point they were cranking out over 300 F-16s a year and they´re still producing at a much lower rate at affordable prices, which is phenomenal,´´ he said. The F-15 lists at about $70 million, compared to about $50 million for the F-16, which has somewhat more limited capabilities. The JSF would back up the Air Force's new F-22 stealth jet and the Navy's upgraded F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet under a plan to buy nearly $340 billion worth of new planes over 30 years to phase out ageing Cold War era jets. Both the House and Senate are considering slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from the JSF's fiscal 2001 development budget, and some critics say the military neither needs nor can afford to fund all three of the new fighter programmes, including the JSF, the F-22 and the new F-18. With foreign JSF orders expected to boost the workload to 5,000 aircraft, its benefactors are scrambling to keep the programme alive. ``The point could be ultimately moot. There are very few supporters of the JSF,´´ Aboulafia said. Splitting the JSF order would broaden its political constituency, satisfying voters in Maryland and Washington but also in Ft. Worth, Texas, where Lockheed builds tactical jets, and St. Louis, site of Boeing's military headquarters. Lockheed, which won the F-22 contract, has subcontracted some of the estimated $61 billion award to Boeing. ______________________________________________ International Network on Disarmament and Globalization 405-825 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1K9 CANADA tel: (604) 687-3223 fax: (604) 687-3277 •••@••.••• www.indg.org To subscribe to the e-mail list, send an e-mail to mailto:•••@••.••• SUBSCRIBE mil-corp <•••@••.•••> as the first and only line in the message body. <snip> Slainte' GA +++ FIRST MAN: "I think I am. Therefore, I am...I think." ESTABLISHMENT: "Of course you are, my bright little star! I've miles and miles of files -- pretty files -- of your forefather's fruit and now, to suit our great computer...you're magnetic ink! FIRST MAN: "I'm more than that...I know I am. At least, I think I must be!" INNER MAN: "There ya go, man! Keep as cool as ya can. Face piles and piles of trials with smiles...it riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave... ...And keep on thinking free!" - Graeme Edge +++ "Once its institutional structure is in place, capitalist democracy will function only if all [people] subordinate their interests to the needs of those who control investment decisions, from the country club to the soup kitchen. It is only a matter of time before an independent working class culture erodes, along with the institutions and organizations that sustain it, given the distribution of resources and power. And with popular organizations weakened or eliminated, isolated individuals are unable to participate in the political system in a meaningful way. It will, over time, become largely a symbolic pageant or, at most, a device whereby the public can select among competing elite groups, and ratify their decisions, playing the role assigned them by progressive democratic theorists..." - Noam Chomsky <snip> +++ "When they heard Americans were coming, three children began shaking and screaming. Their mothers had to be fetched to pick them up. We found out that they were traumatized because a cement bomb from an American plane patrolling the northern no-fly zone had just hit the school. Some children were severely wounded." ~ Nicholas Arons of the Voices in the Wilderness, describing the reaction of Iraqi children upon learning that an American would be visiting their public primary school in Mosul. +++ <snip> "I think it would be a good idea." ~ Gandhi, upon being asked what he thought of Western "civilization". <snip> ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website: http://cyberjournal.org cyberjournal archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ book in progress: http://cyberjournal.org/cdr/gri.html A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon You cannot have capitalism without ever-increasing exploitive development -- that would be like trying to use an automobile without putting gasoline in it. Capitalism is a _political doctrine which decrees the accumulation of money-wealth to be the only economic value, and which demands that such economics dominate all other societal values. -- rkm Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .