cj#959,rn,sm> Reader responses to Chapter 7 “Prospects for a Global Movement – some strategic considerations”


Richard Moore

Also sent to: •••@••.•••,

Dear friends,

Several readers responded thoughtfully to the Chapter 7 posting.  Below
I've included the parts that seem of most general interest, along with my
own comments.  The posting is long, but I think some very useful points are

Several people complained that the chapter raised problems without offering
solutions.  This is partly true, but that's because it is only one chapter
- leading up to Chapter 8, which is about _solutions to the problems.  (The
Table of Contents for the book is immediately below.)  And even within
chapter 7 there was a basically optimistic message, as discussed in the

        The disarray of activism is grounds for optimism!

What I'd like to do on the cj & rn lists is post, as a series, the chapters
leading up to chapter 7.  These were posted last year, as they were
written... putting them out as a series will allow those interested to
review the overall direction of the book.  I won't post the series to the
social-movements list unless people write in expressing an interest.
Subscription information for the cj and rn lists is in the sig at the

yours in solidarity,

btw> The book can be reviewed online at http://cyberjournal.org, under the
"Library" button.  Chapter 1 and the Introduction to Part I are under
"Draft 2", while the rest up to Chapter 6 is under "Draft 1".


                     Achieving a Livable, Peaceful World
                   A democratic response to globalization

                  a book in progress - updated: 29 May 99

Table of Contents

Introduction - Globalization and the revolutionary imperative

Part I - Corporate rule and global ruin: understanding the dynamics of
today's world

     Introduction - Globalization and Western society: destabilization
     and betrayal

     Chapter 1 - Evolution of Western power: from national rivalries to
     collective imperialism, by way of American hegemony

     Chapter 2 - Evolution of political power: from kingdoms to
     corporate rule, by way of republics

     Chapter 3 - Evolution of capitalism: from competition to elite
     tyranny, by way of Wall Street

Part II - Envisioning a livable world: an inquiry into democracy,
sustainability, and world order

     Introduction - Is there any hope for humanity?

     Chapter 4 - Sustainable societies: a realizable necessity

     Chapter 5 - Democracy: collaboration and harmonization
     instead of competition and factionalism

     Chapter 6 - Collaborative internationalism:
     culture-diversity and the trap of world government

Part III - Achieving a livable world: a strategic framework for
global transformation

     Introduction - A call for a radical popular movement

     Chapter 7 - Prospects for a global movement: some strategic

     Chapter 8 - Engaging the corporate regime: anticipating elite
     responses and avoiding co-option

     Chapter 9 - The Democratic Renaissance: making the transition to a
     livable world


Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 07:51:56 -0700 (PDT)
To: •••@••.•••
From: "John H.St.John" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: your book


5. Therefore the only answer is to go for the corporation stock-market
jugular by demanding that common-stock be outlawed. It is illegal under
common law because ownership and liability are one and the same. Ownership
under common-law cannot be shredded into small pieces and sold on the open

6. Any shot-gun political approach is doomed from the start. We need only
one slogan. Martin Luther King insisted on integration and told us to "keep
our eye on the prize". Nelson Mandela insisted on ignoring the other
programs of ANC and demanding an end to apartheid. Mahatma Ghandi had only
one demand. Get the English out of India.



Dear John,

Thanks for your comments.

You wrote:
    >the only answer is to go for the corporation stock-market
    >jugular by demanding that common-stock be outlawed

This is an example of what I call the "magic bullet" theory of
transformation.  There are several similar notions being proposed these
days, such as revocation of corporate charters, public participation in
corporate boards, radical reform of the election process or the mass-media,
etc.  In each case, if the radical "bullet" could be "magically"
implemented, then it _would certainly force changes in "the system".  But
there is a fundamental problem with all magic-bullet approaches: there is
no way to implement such proposals - they put the cart before the horse.

If "we" want to implement a transformation of society, "we" need to be in
charge.  And if "we" were in charge, reviewing the role of stock-ownership
would be only one part of a whole transformation agenda.  We need a whole
new game-plan for humanity, not a few patches to the current system.  And
economics is only a symptom - our primary problem is a political one.

Western political processes are currently dominated by establishment
parties, whose primary agenda in every case is to get on the globalization
bandwagon - which only further consolidates corporate power.  As long as
this continues, we can "demand" magic radical reforms until the cows come
home - but none of them are going to be implemented.

A radical grass-roots movement is not a "shotgun" approach - it is an
approach that goes to the heart of the major question facing us:  "Who is
it that runs society?"  Martin Luther King realized toward the end that the
civil-rights movement needed to be much broader, and there is considerable
evidence that is why he was assassinated.  At that time in history - with
the anti-war protests growing and most soldiers being black - a broadened
multi-racial movement could have become a real threat to the establishment.
King was dangerous because he had the prestige to actually go out there and
mobilize people.  It is popular mobilization - ie, democracy - that is most
threatening to the establishment, and it is popular mobilization that we
need to be pursuing.

  >Mahatma Ghandi had only
  >one demand. Get the English out of India.

The equivalent demand, in our case, would be "Get Capitalism out of
Politics".  And in both cases, there is an implicit follow-on:
        Gandhi:   ...and let India be self-governing.
        today:  ...and let the people be self-governing.

Gandhi accomplished his objective - which was no simple magic bullet - not
by "demanding" it from the British, but by mobilizing the Indian people.

mobilize, mobilize, mobilize!

From: "Vadim Bondar" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#954,rn,sn-> Chapter 7 - Prospects for a global movement:
somestrategic considerations
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 22:15:27 -0700

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your very good article about tactics and strategies of the
movement (it doesn't even have a name, what does this tell you?). I have a
couple of points:

1.      I agree 100% with a non-violent plea.

2.      I think we should not continue focusing around environmentalism,
and instead make democracy our first priority.


4.      I have seen a right-wing website. It had clearly defined
objectives, all legislation was thoroughly analyzed as to how it affected
their objectives, and legislative activity of every congressman was tracked
down. They succeeded in attracting people who are not necessarily so
right-wing. ( I am talking about John Birch Society, and I won't even start
with Council on Foreign Relations). If our enemies are so organized, we
should be organized even better. In this age of appearances we should leave
not one of their lies without a response.

5.      The problem with political  parties is not so much that there is
not a good one but that people tend to believe that if they elected a good
candidate they have to do nothing.

6.      I would not want to call Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan our allies. I
think they represent domestic-based government-supported military
industrial corporations. They are not opponents of financial
internationalists but rather the other end of the same stick. If we were to
support them we would drown the message.


Thank you again, Richard.
Keep up your good work and good luck with your book.


Dear Vadim,

Thanks, Vadim - very useful comments.   Your remarks about political
parties get to the root of the problem: democracy is not something that can
be left to others.  And as you say earlier: "make democracy our first
priority".  In a _real democracy, representatives don't get a blank check -
they carry the community agenda on to wider levels, where it can be
harmonized with those of other communitities.  But first there has to be a
"community agenda", which means there has to be a "community".  That's what
we need to mobilize: community self-awarness as a political actor.

But a community needs to include everyone - not just lefties or the
Politically Correct.  When you say, "we should not continue focusing around
environmentalism", you reveal a dangerous assumption about who "we" are.
What about all those people who put other concerns before environmentalism,
or are too busy feeding their families to worry about "causes" at all?  If
we don't welcome and recruit such people to the movement - then how can we
say we're genuinely for democracy?  Is it democracy to push "our" own
agenda down someone else's throat?  I know this isn't what you were
implying, but we need to be careful about who "we" are - if "we" want to
achieve a democratic society.

Is the "right wing" our enemy?  I think it's important to keep the words of
Carolyn Chute in mind:

        "There's no left and right, 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 survive."
                - Carolyn Chute, Secretary, 2nd Maine Militia

There are right-wing "leaders" who delude those people who listen to them,
just as their are liberal "leaders" who delude the rest of us.  Clinton is
no less a demagogue than is the John Birch Society.  At the grass roots -
on all sides - are just ordinary people trying to make sense of the world,
struggling to provide for their children, and listening to those who seem
to speak to their needs.  We are all in this together.

When I started the cyberjournal list several years ago, I thought of "the
right" as being "the enemy".  I made a special point of seeking out
right-wingers for debate.  I thought I could explain to them the error of
their thinking, and convert them to my "liberal" way of seeing things.  In
order to engage them in disucussion, I had to listen to their arguments.
What I learned is that education is a two-way street.

It is in right-wing circles, for example, that people are most concerned
about the Constitution, civil liberties, and the importance of national
sovereignty - and who understand that both these are in mortal danger.  In
liberal circles, when I bring up those topics, I always get back a
knee-jerk "that sounds like a conspiracy theory" reponse.  To be candid, I
now find the standard liberal/left perspective to be every bit as flawed as
the standard right/conservative perspective.

We need to break out of our standard ideological molds - and what better
way to do it than to engage in dialog with the (shudder!) "other" side?  If
democracy is about building a sense of community, then we need to foster
community-wide dialog.  This applies to geographical communities, Internet
communities, and at the level of dialog between activist organizations.  We
all have something to learn from one another - and until we can learn to
understand one another, we will continue to be manipulated as "factions" by
our anti-democratic political process.

solidarity, solidarity, solidarity,

Date: Tue, 8 Jun 1999 15:36:06 +0000
To: •••@••.•••
From: Elias Davidsson <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: cj#954,rn,sn-> Chapter 7 - Prospects for a global movement:
 some  strategic considerations

Dear cj,

rkm wrote:
    "Important as these Third-World movements are, by themselves
    they could never overcome imperialist domination - let alone
    lead to the defeat of global capitalist hegemony. Strong
    Western-based movements - working in synergy with
    Third-World movements - must be the vanguard of the

...Although I have no sympathy with the various dictators of Third World
countries, it is nevertheless true that imperialism was held in check by
the Soviet Union through the sheer POWER of that state, its military might,
its political clout and the existence of substantial segment of the world
economy which could not bullied by the US.  The development of state power
in the periphery, by China, India, Brazi, Korea, Indonesia, Iran and other
powerful Third-World nations and other nations, if combined with an
intelligent strategy of cooperation between them as well as targeting
constituenceies in the Wests, will in my opinion be much more effective in
taming the beast than idealist movements in the West.

I believe that most people cannot be rallied to a political cause for
merely idealistic reasons such as democratic rights, sovereignty, global
justice... Most people will support an opposition movement only when their
own situation is becoming very bad, their lives endangered, their
well-being seriously affected.  There is indeed some potential in the US
for the poor and the black to become the vanguard against imperialism, but
I have some doubts. I am not familiar enough with this matter. As for
Europe I don't see actually any wide constituency which would feel
compelled and strong enough to effect real change.

Will be happy to hear your comments,



Dear Elias,

In the immediate postwar years, with a strong Soviet Union and an
enthusiastic Maoist China, you saw the high-water mark of a non-Western
opposition to Western imperialism.  I agree with you that these regimes
were _not the answer to humanitity's problems.  But in terms of the West
vs. Non-West power balance, I don't think that the West will ever again be
threatened in that way by state power.

In Iraq and Yugoslavia we saw the formula by which overwhelming military
power will be used to crush any nation that is in disfavor by the global
regime, with the mass media playing a close-support dis-information role.
The US is _increasing its military budget, and _accelerating its
development of hi-tech weapons.  The global media is becoming _more
concentrated into corporate hands.  NATO is officialy preparing to take on
a _more aggressive military role.

The West is systematically - and successfully - preparing to keep the Third
World down in the era of globalization.  Not even a resurgant China will be
allowed to become strong enough to challenge that regime.  I can't agree
that the Third World can be the source of humanity's salvation under these
conditions.  Change _must occur in the West.

I agree fully when you say:

    "Most people will support an opposition movement only when their
     own situation is becoming very bad , their lives endangered, their
     well-being seriously affected."

That is why I try so hard to expose what globalization is really about: the
transfer of political power _out of Western democracies, and _into
centralized corporate bureaucracies.  The loss of national sovereignty
spells an end to any possibility of democracy - we won't even have our
constitutions to fall back on - they will have become irrelevant.
Meanwhile, we can see what corporate rule is leading to: increased poverty,
rising prison populations, genetically- poisoned foods, environmental
destruction, tighter control over propaganda channels, increased global
conflict, etc, etc.

Our own situation in the West _is becoming very bad, our lives and
livelihoods _are endangered, our well-being _is seriously threatened.
Globalization is an _emergency threatening all of us, an emergency every
bit as frightening as an advancing enemy army.  These are not "merely
idealistic reasons" for a Western grass-roots movement!

arise, arise, arise!

Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 21:38:26 -0700
To: •••@••.•••
From: Raven Earlygrow <•••@••.•••>
Subject: New Chapter

        Overall, an excellent and cogent analysis.  My only disagreement is
with your dismissal of the Greens.  I'm not sure how it works in Europe, but
the California Green Party is _distinctly_ progressive on _all_ fronts, as
codified in their platforms.  We are a broadbased movement for social,
economic, and environmental justice.

        Keep at it!


Dear Raven,

Many thanks for your encouragement.  Yes, the "Greens" are different in
different places.  In some sense, they're a lot stronger in Europe, where
they have seats in the European Parliament.  But by focusing on party
politics, they've dulled their impact as a social movement.  They've
narrowed their goals to winning a few seats, and content themselves with
negotiating tiny "gains" within a European agenda which is heading in the
wrong direction.

Which are you, in California - a political party or a broadbased movement?
I believe those are two different things, and if you mix them you sow the
seeds of your own failure.  If you _do manage to succeed as a mass
movement, then you will lose it all as your "political party" aspect
dilutes you into the jungle of factional politics.

I recommend that you review the history of the Populist Movement, and study
the dynamics that drove them out of existence - one of the most promising
popular movements in US history, much stronger than the Greens today.

    Howard Zinn, "A People's History of the United States"
    Lawrence Goodwyn, "The Populist Moment" (thanks to David Lewitt)

history, history, history,

Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 21:35:53 -0500 (CDT)
From: Mark Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#954,rn,sn-> Chapter 7 - Prospects for a global movement:
some strategic considerations


rkm said:
    Nonetheless, nearly all activist movements today continue to
    pursue piecemeal reforms... we need nothing less than a
    shift of power from elites to the people. Only functional
    democracy - an historically radical objective - can save us
    from our current path to societal ruin.

The situation has indeed changed. Instead of reformist strategies
being sound politics, structual inequalities that have always existed from
the commencement of the nation-state are getting harder and harder to
ignore. These can only be solved by structural changes, and political
movements, to 'make good' on political movements that are over 200 years
old--the move to a representative and sustainable democratic politcal

These four problematic qualities deal with forms of representation,
economic centralization in a democratic state, and the power role of media
and financial power which were pushed aside in the day to day
politics--are the very aspects that are dismantling the previous frame of
action. These  four areas are setting the stage, the grounds, for what
politics has failed to address in the past.

(On another note--a good read is Beder's book "Global Spin" that is a
comparative--Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United
States)--analysis of 'environentalism' and corporate power strategies for
defrocking localist politics. Impressive research. Published 1997. It
might be useful in your book in someway.

>      The situation is similar in Europe. Concern for national
>      sovereignty and coherent national economic policies have been
>      linked by the media with National Front movements in France, and
>      with Neo-Nazi movements in Germany. Anyone else who wants to
>      espouse these concerns must first defend themselves against
>      spurious charges of provincialism, racism, and out-of-date
>      thinking.

So, a solution is to create mechanisms that help people resist the
demonization of democratic procedures--by creating a wide localist base of
poltics, that allows for integating left and right, up and down, in
andout, etc.--for it is here where the democratic debate should begin,
otherwise it is only elite sponsorship of 'astroturf' fake grass roots
inputs [as you describe in the fascist section below].

The only way to keep elites from calling democratic procedure
'provincial' is to have louder localist politics in the nation-state,
to make the process of idea tabling more representative--to make culture
the social movement resource it 'should' be, instead of only a
mouthpiece for consumerist corporate controlled frames of identity.

>      The US civil-rights movement of the sixties was a broad-based,
>      grass-roots movement. ... Federal
>      civil-rights legislation, while granting some of the measures
>      demanded by civil-rights leaders, also succeeding in taking the
>      steam out of the movement. ...

Once the black 'bourgeois' (for lack of a better term, please
supply me with one) became integrated, the politics for the representation
of the black poor became even worse. Places like Atlanta are presently
more segregated than they were in the 1960's, and they are without any

>      The use of fascism by Western capitalism in Italy, Germany, and
>      Spain - to suppress leftist movements in the twenties and thirties
>      - is of course a matter of familiar historical record. The fact
>      that American corporations built weapons for Hitler throughout
>      World War II is not as widely known, but is well-documented
>      nonetheless.

Many people will disbelieve this, being raised in their
nation-state boxes. I suggest, if you go into detail on at least one area
in the book, it is in this area. Did you know that German sited American
corporations got money from the American government for destruction of
their facilities in the 'enemy' area?


Dear Mark,

Thanks for your observations.  Part I of the book is devoted to "making the
case" regarding the nature of capitalism, and its use of imperialism,
facism, genocide, and other brutatlities - in pursuit of its growth
objectives.  Stay tuned for a rebroadcast of Part I.  I snipped out many of
your suggestions for improving the book - but I've got them on file for
revision time.


Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 15:07:32 -0700 (PDT)
To: cyberjournal <•••@••.•••>, •••@••.•••
From: David Lewit <•••@••.•••>

Dear Richard:  I read Chap 7 with great pleasure.  Just with this, any
intelligent but naive reader should "get it,"  provided you lard it with
credible references.  The writing is terse and orderly.


re: Populist Movement:
   "...threatened to achieve victories at the ballot box."

Not just threatened, but actually succeeded in electing many state
legislators. Check to see Lawrence Goodwyn The Populist Moment to see if
indeed they also elected reps and senators to Congress.

Under "Induced economic crisis":
"In the US it is the private Federal Reserve..."  Please explain how the Fed
is "private."

Under "the EU trap":
Last sentence: "Little Norway..."  My source in Norway (Solveig Eskedahl)
says the Norwegian gov is too conservative and neoliberal.  Check their
stance in the jlast several years.



Dear David,

Thanks for your contributions.  The Federal Reserve may officially be a
governmental institution, just as the World Trade Organization supposedly
represents governments.  But both are set up to serve a private capitalist
agenda.  The Federal Reserve is run by private bankers, and prides itself
on being "outside of political influence".  That may sound like a good
idea, given the corruptness of our political process, but what it means is
that it serves a corporate agenda, not a democratic one.

I must confess I don't know much about Norway, except (I believe) it has
kept its sovereignty from the grasp of Brussels.




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                             (Richard K. Moore)

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