cj#672> re: corporations, nations, warfare


Richard Moore

5/20/97, XXX wrote:
>I confess I have never read Report from Iron Mountain, though I do
>remember the title.  Your reference makes me think it may be worthwhile
>looking up.  It was certainly not an official report of any kind -- but it
>may have been a piece of informed speculation by some person or persons
>who had access to interior lines of communication.  I seem to recall that
>the author was pseudonmous.  (What name was given?)

        Leonard C. Lewis writes the Foreward, and claims that the "Report"
was given to him by one "John Doe", a "professor at a large university in
the Middle West".  Included next, supposedly, are transcripts from taped
interviews with John Doe, followed by the actual contents of the "Report",
intended supposedly for the very highest levels of government.  The whole
package makes a persuasive case for the validity of its claims - but of
course there are many thriller authors who would be capable of such.  The
radical interpretation of warfare - as the sole basis of the nation state -
is the uniquely interesting part, and the apparent candid humility in the
face of trying to identify substitute mechanisms.

>As you may know, I have dissented from your view that salvation lies in
>the revitalization of the principle of nationalism.  A nation is just a
>street gang writ large: an irrational solidarity group based on no
>principle more exalted than `we versus them.'  Considering that all the
>major `we's will soon be armed with mass-destruction weapons, I don't
>think the world can afford to organize itself this way much longer.

        I believe a nation is much more than just a street gang writ large.
When playing competitive imperialist games, its macro behavior _does_ fit
well your metaphor.  But in its routine domestic operations the Old West
has been mostly banished, and diverse constituencies are accommodated,
usually, in more-or-less businesslike ways.  Most important, democratic
mechanisms are the basis of Western nations, and while those exist there is
a realistic framework in which citizens can collaborate, potentially, to
pursue progressive agendas.

        Nations are not perfect, and today they happen to be systematically
corrupted by corporate influence, but before we acquiesce in further
national dismantlement - nay before we cease active support for our
democratic institutions - we better have some kind of consensus on what
will replace the nation state, and an understanding on how we can feasibly
get there.

        There is only one defined contender to take over control from
nation states, and that is corporate feudalism.  And that's a contendor
which is actively jockying for the position, and many say already has the
job in the bag.  In such a context, dismissal of the nation state is a very
dangerous attitude on the part of the citizenry.  Unlike cattle going to
the slaughter, many of us, unfortunately, can't smell the final death of
our own freedom in the air.

>You and others have expressed doubts as to whether in fact the world has
>really been organized this way in the past, or whether the great struggles
>of recent centuries have been orchestrated from behind the scenes by
>manipulators whose loyalties lay not to any nation or ideology but only to
>their own power.

        What I've said is that national republics have been based on an
unwritten partnership between the capital elite and the people: the elite
got to run the development show at a profit (via capitalism), and the
people got a piece of the action (via salaries and corporate taxes) and a
say in the running of things (via minimal democracy).
        Imperialism was a joint venture of the partnership: people manned
the guns, and the elite selected target venues where development could be
profitably expanded.  People's acceptance of their role has been helped
along recently by propaganda - but in earlier days (killing Indians,
conquering the Phillipines) the partnership was understood explicitly.
        Globalization is the unilateral severing of this partnership by the
elite, who are scuttling the ship of state (and democracy) as they prepare
their new world order to be governed by the WTO, policed by the
elite-controlled forces of the US and NATO, propagandized by the coporate
media, and balkanized by encouragement of devolution movements.

        This is the context to keep in mind when passing judgement on the
nation state.

>I think you have a point -- but it is the kind of point
>which has to be clearly focussed lest it expand beyond its useful
>boundaries into a a Rorschach of paranoia.  Lenin and Stalin and Mao were
>real rulers and not the tools of shadowy Illuminati.  (I'm pretty
>sure...)  But there is certainly an international `ruling class' that
>believes its collective interest lies in setting populations at odds with
>each other and directing their inchoate anger downward and outward rather
>than up.

        You seem to have made both sides of the argument.  I take things
exactly as far as I find them to be true.  I believe Lenin and Stalin were
real rulers, with their own personal agendas.  I'm also aware that German
Intelligence made damn sure Lenin got to the show on time, and that German
Intelligence has been highly effective behind Soviet lines ever since -
even unto the postwar world, thanks to Gehlen.

>It might be an interesting exercise to imagine yourself as being
>a member of that class at this particular moment of history.  What
>strategy would you adopt for the next fifty years?  I don't think you
>really want to see a major war; future wars would be too dangerous.

        Most of what I write comes _exactly_ from imagining myself in the
shoes of the elite.  That is the perspective from which events of the day
make perfect sense, although they seem confusing or transitory in the news
since the most important points (the effect on elite interests; which sides
are covertly supported and by whom, etc.) are typically left out of the

        My strategy, so shod, for the next 50 years would be exactly what's
coming to pass: globalization - reliance on the corporation as the
vehicle-of-choice to multiply the value of investments; reliance on
WTO-style commissions to define a coporate-friendly world; reduction of
nation-state to subservient shell of itself.

        Most of the world is playing along, or being coerced into complying
with, this agenda.  The pace of achieving this new order seems to be
accelerating as the commissions grind into gear, shrunken budgets are
imposed on the West, and corporate profits soar - this is not a momentum to
be easily reversed.

        China may or may not be persuaded to play ball.  Serious analysts
have made convincing arguments that China will seek to build a traditional
military/ economic sphere-of-influence in Asia, and that this would be
unacceptably threatening to the West.  The obvious and tested Western
strategy would be to attempt persuasion - but to be prepared if necessary
to nip the nationalist bud before it becomes Asian-wide kudzu.

        The warfare option, to settle balances of power, has been standard
procedure for centuries - the only reasons to change tactics now would be
the fear of China's ability to respond strategically or the fear of bogging
down in a land war in Asia.  Both of these potential downsides are being
addressed by a fast-track endeavor to build a C4-based, next-generation
weapons system that would be capable of neutralizing and demolishing China
in a scaled-up version of Desert Storm.

        It is too simplistic to dismiss this option by observing that
"future wars would be too dangerous" - the think-tanks ask "What if?"
questions over a wide range of "unthinkable" scenarios.

>But you cannot expect to see mega-corporations supersede nations,
>religions and cultures as foci of the masses'personal loyalty.  Not
>without a few generations' preparatory work, at least.  So what do you do
>in the meantime?

        It's doesn't seem that megacorps are aiming to be the primary focus
of personal loyalties (ala Rollerball) - although those with good jobs
often do invest loyalty, and feel betrayed when made redundant.  The trend
seems to be to encourage devolution, giving people minimal-sized countries
and possibly a sense of ethnic identification.  These nation-fiefdoms will
have very few legislative, financial, or economic perogatives - but at
least everyone can suffer together.  And smaller, ethnically-based fiefdoms
are easy to play off against one another if necessary to maintain overall
long-term stability (as in Bosnia).


Another view from a cj reader:


From: YYY
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 10:35:36
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#661> China & war: economic considerations

There is no feasible way for the United States to involve itself in any type
of military operation, on a full scale, with China while operating in China's
area of influence.  The incident last year with our aircraft carriers and
battle groups interdicting with the Chinese over Taiwan was only a show of
force....if Chinese had wanted to start soemthing, they would have finished

Why do I say this?

First, we are on their turf, and all of their forces are right there.  No
worry about mass logistics like us, or pulling forces from a thousand
thousand miles away to help.

Second, we are to thin.  The new Secretary of Defense (SOD), and previous
SODs have made it clear that while the United States should still be able to
carry on a two front war at the same time, the military needs to be run like
a business and people need to be laid off.  This is no problem, but then we
are tasked we carrying out UN peace keeping missions galore in every
god-forsaken country imaginable, plus remain vigilant and alert, waiting for
someone to start a war.

Third, while the SOD has cut manpower, previous SODs have cut the amount of
our military, specifically the United States Navy.  I am not an advocate of
any one particular branch, but we must look at history.  Those who have ruled
the seas, the main areas of trading, have controlled everything that they
wanted to control.  Without a strong navy, shipping lanes cannot be
controlled, and others are given the opportunity to influence vast areas of
the world themselves, in places where we would have normally said what should
happen.  We are militarily weak in the navy, even though we do have 12
carriers, but are they a thing of the past?  No, I do not believe in Gunboat
Diplomacy as a norm that should be followed all of the time, but if you were
fighting a little war somewhere, against Americans, and all of a sudden
shells the size of Volswagens started landed all around, wouldn't you be
inclined to think about changing your position (politically, militarily, and
economically) against the United States.  There is something about a Iowa
class Battleship and/or an aircraft carrier and their complement sitting of
my coast that would scare the hell out of me.

Simply put, we must bring other nations together with us to impose the
restraints needed on China.  We will not will a war alone with the Chinese.


Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• - PO Box 26   Wexford, Ireland
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