cj#257> Dialog: NWO & Nationalism


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 00:02:03 -0700
Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#255> Editorial: NWO & Nationalism (re: cj#253)

On Wed, 23 Aug 1995, Richard K. Moore wrote:

> As multinationals operate increasingly
> globally, they are less and less dependent on a "national identity" to
> protect their interests.  They increasingly push "their governments" to
> cooperate with the other "great powers" in building GATT et al -- they want
> a "world made safe for investment" more than special treatment compared to
> other multinationals.

These days, they don't even need to push "their governments" -- with
modern electronic money transfer, they just start to push money out. It
doesn't have to be a lot: the amounts rapidly snowball as automated
systems of corporations and individuals magnify the flows to torrents
that no government can control. India, for instance, has tried hard to
keep multinationals in check. But now, any serious withdrawal of foreign
institutional money would completely knock the bottom out of the stock
market, so even as governments change, policies towards foreign
investment cannot alter much.

> "solution" part.  But I still see the nation state as being absolutely
> necessary as a refuge.  But we need a lot more than that as well.

The nation state has not been able to seriously challenge multinationals
in the past -- do you see any change in its situation that would
encourage one to trust its ability to do better in the future?

What has worked to some extent is public opinion -- boycotts, like that
recent Shell thing with the offshore platform work a lot better. In this
sense, your suggestion:
AO> Maybe what we need is for Green parties and Labor parties to
AO> merge into a
AO> coalition with international ties, and with their own newspaper
AO> published in all the languages.

makes sense to me.

> Something that ties
> together progressive citizens in the First and Third Worlds.  Something
> that allows people to identify their common interests, and which provides
> for exchange of real news -- not dictated by NBC, CNN, Reuters, and
> Murdoch.
> Any ideas out there?

If electronic communications is part of the problem, as in the case of
the money transfers, it can also be part of the solution. Maybe that is
implicit in any discussion on this forum, but it may bear repeating. The
Internet is an excellent medium "for exchange of real news", and it can
help people to effectively coordinate. Maybe a coalition against
broadening multinational power could help focus the energies of cyber
activists everywhere in a single campaign: soon, the multinationals will
try to control the Internet, and we need to be prepared. The Economist in
its July survey (http://www.economist.com/internet.htm) described a
possible scenario:
at some point in not too many years the telephone
companies have enough customers within their own parts of the Internet
to launch an attack on the network. They want to go back to the
telephone model that has earned them so much for so long: settlements,
usage-based pricing, the works. They cut off independent networks that
refuse to go along. The Internet splits in two, leaving a high-priced,
orderly business network and a cheap, chaotic consumer network, with
minimal interconnection between them. Thus balkanised, the Internet as
we know it fades away, leaving the field to commercial networks. The
cable TV and telephone companies' vision triumphs.

Right now, we have a window of opportunity, as it were, to keep the
Internet free. If a coalition against multinational power is to have any
chance, it better stay that way. That is by no means a sufficient action
program, merely a necessary part of any.

Arun Mehta, Indata, B-69,Lajpat Nagar-I, New Delhi-24,India
Tel: +91-11-6841172 or 6849103. •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••
I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be
stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house
as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any--Gandhi.

Date: Thu, 31 Aug 1995 00:00:08 -0700
Sender: •••@••.••• (Joe Ferguson)
Subject: Re: cj#255> Editorial: NWO & Nationalism (re: cj#253)

The entire post was illuminating, but I am particularly inspired to respond
to the last paragraph.

> Maybe what we need is for Green parties and Labor parties to merge into a
> coalition with international ties, and with their own newspaper published
> in all the languages.  Something on that scale.  Something that ties
> together progressive citizens in the First and Third Worlds.  Something
> that allows people to identify their common interests, and which provides
> for exchange of real news -- not dictated by NBC, CNN, Reuters, and
> Murdoch.

I just got back from a vacation.  When I spend much time on a plane, I
get a chance to ruminate on ideas I've received and shared over the past
months.  Funny, but one conclusion I had reached during this trip was
exactly that "Greens" and "Labor" are the key constituencies that need
to unite, but that this is a much bigger challenge than it seems.  So I
would comment Yes, but not "Maybe [that's] what we need" but DEFINITELY,
we must help unite "Greens" and "Labor!"

It is fairly easy for the spin-masters to divide these constituencies by
making it seem like they have OPPOSITE goals.  Greens want to preserve
nature and a clean natural environment without regard to jobs (as the
spin-doctors would have us believe) and Labor wants jobs for all workers
without regard for environmental consequences (they would have us believe).
Clear thinking people can resolve these two views, and of course MUST
resolve them, to provide for a long-term vision, but it is very easy for
manipulators to polarize these two interests!

I would be interested in helping to join these two forces.  (As you know
I'm on board with Peace interests, but I think that is a broader issue
that is powerful in the hands of progressives as well as facists.  You see,
many high-paying JOBS are in the death industry.  People need to understand
that they reap what they sow - that their own children may face the weapons
they are manufacturing - that we can convert weapons jobs to peaceful,
environmentally friendly industries, but that the elites will NOT do this
for us!)  Specifically trying to merge Green and Labor interests would be a
good investment of energy.  I need ideas on local organizations in these
two camps I can join and try to unify!  That is the idea I'm trying to
contribute here.  (Local for me is Santa Cruz, California, or even the "Bay
Area.")  This is also a request for any ideas on specific organizations to
"target" for such a unification goal.

    Merging Green and Labor interests, to me is THE key to creating a viable
third party in the United States.  Doing this on an international scale, and
publishing an independent newspaper in as many languages as possible is a
fabulous idea.

    - Joe

    Joseph C. Ferguson                     Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    (408) 774-8650 (office)             •••@••.•••
    Snail-Mail:               1159 30th Ave., Santa Cruz CA 95062


Editor's Note:

I think it is important to emphasize that _any_ attempt to modify the
momentum of the NWO is a _formidable_ undertaking.  All actions taken so
far -- by nations, individuals, or activist groups -- have been like spray
on the windshield, insignificant to the progress of the vehicle.

If the course of the NWO is to be changed, there will need to be an
organizing effort of unprecedented scope and urgency.  We may be achieving
the first grain of a consensus that "Greens" + "Labor" appropriately
characterizes that effort.  But these terms, I believe, are most relevant
to the kind of organizing needed in the highly developed countries.  In the
Third World, the relevant constituencies might be "peasants" or "rural
poor".  And in some advanced countries (Sweden? Norway? Cuba?) the entire
nation, including the government, might be part of "the movement".  Thus
the counter-NWO coalition would be global in scope, diverse in character,
unified in goals, and mutually self-nurturing across various kinds of

This kind of global coalition would meet with fierce opposition from the
NWO establishment.  There would be a media demonization campaign,
characterizing the movement as fringe radicals, communists, reactionary
nationalists, luddites, or whatever.  If the movement gained any strength,
there would be attempts to split it -- to buy off some segments, and to
suppress others.

If the movement is to succeed, it must plan beyond the initial building of
constituencies (formidable as that is).  It must anticipate the nature of
the battles that will need to be fought by the coaltion, and it must think
ahead to what "victory" would look like.

It is in these later stages of the movement that the nation-state becomes
all-important.  For example, if Labor & Greens were to build a majority
coalition in a European nation, they would want to assume power as a
government with maximal sovereignty, not as one that had signed over its
authority to a bureaucratically controlled EU.

And if there were some measure of global success, the
representative-democracy nation state is an appropriate political structure
for Greens & Labor to "inherit".  Thus an anti-NWO coalition is not
politically revolutionary, but rather politically conservative!  This is a
very important point.  It is the NWO itself which is politically

If power were achieved by such progressive coalitions, on a
nation-by-nation basis, with global mutual nurturing, _then_ there would be
an opportunity to reform governmental structures.  Reforms such as better
proportional representation, stronger bills of rights, regional autonomy,
election funding restrictions, etc., would then be possible.  But such
reforms are relevant _after_ "victory" not before.  If "reform" is
emphasized while the corporate establishment is everywhere in power, the
we'll end up with more of the NWO, not less.

Finally, there needs to be an agenda of accomodation with corporations.
The anti-corporate socialist card has been played.  It lasted from 1917 to
1990 and is not likely to be viable again in the forseeable future.
Besides, good tactics never involve backing a formidable opponent into a
corner.  The corporation, like it or not, is here to stay, and can function
as an efficient, evolving, economic engine.  But it needs to be the servant
of society, not the master.

In Solidarity,