ppi.023-dialog with S Tomljenovic re/revolutionary scenarios


Richard Moore

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      ppi.023-dialog with S Tomljenovic re/revolutionary scenarios
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Date: Sat, 16 May 1998
From: Steve Tomljenovic <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: ppi.016-A Croation view re Bosnian conflict

First, let me say thanks for publishing my response.  I believe your
action says alot for you as a person.

On Fri, 15 May 1998, Richard K. Moore wrote:
> There is only one part of Steve's remarks I would like to comment on, the
> rest I simply pass on without comment and without endorsement.  He suggests
> that if blame is to be allocated to Western leaders, he would include Bush
> in the indictment, but not Clinton.
> What I would like to say here is a generic comment about US foreign
> policy... In my humble opinion, there is no real difference between Bush
> and Clinton, or between Republicans and Democrats -- what _seem to be
> differences are simply different PR spins.  US policy over the past ten
> years or so must be seen as _continuous and _coherent.  It doesn't _seem
> that way if you follow the mass media, as many of us do, because that's
> nothing but lies.  Bush was the "bad cop" and Clinton is the "good cop" (if
> you're a "liberal"), whereas Clinton is the "bad cop" and Bush was the
> "good cop" (if you're a "conservative").

To clarify, let me say that my observations on Clinton were confined to
the yugoslav circumstance.  But I think the whole situation is revealing
as to the limits of US imperialism, and the freedom that elected officials
do have.  Essentially, I think the US elites intervene and collude when
corporate interests are at stake.  However, when there are no outright
economic interests, public officials are free to exercise their moral
beliefs.  For example, in the case of ex-yugoslavia, the trans-national
corporations and their wealthy owners really could care less, as long as
there was peace.  So, decision as to what to do there rested with the
intellectual elites.  Here, you had prejudice, croynism and personal
belief essentially influencing policy.  And for the "conservative" elites
in control at the time, it was clear that human rights,
self-determination, and peace were not of very high values when given the
chance to act freely.

Now, when "liberal" elites came to power, with the elections of Clinton
and Blair, it was clear that they used their influence to resolve the
situation.  When given the free chance, the exercised a more morally
correct course.

Now, I am not absolving Clinton in his other policies.  But I do think
that in a situation where there is nothing needed to keep his power
(supporting corporate interests), he acts correctly.  And given recent
events, he is sometimes even doing things that put him at risk. I think
the whole Monica Lewinsky thing is an attempt by the certain segments of
the American Jewry to retaliate for the pressure he is applying to
Netenyahu.  To me, what was interesting is that all this broke at the very
time that Arafat and Netenayahu came to the Washington to meet with
Clinton, an event which was not given the usual fanfare by the American
news media.  I think Clinton, intoxicated with his success in Bosnia, is
looking to make peace in the Middle East as well.

I do think that down deep, Clinton is a good man.  However, I do not think
I could say the same thing of Bush.

Anyway, to be caught up in the persona's, is as you stated, meaningless,
as corporate power is the problem.  And here, the problem is clearly a
systemic one.  Despite all the propaganda and popular beliefs to the
contrary, our political systems were never designed to be democratic.  In
actuality, our political system was designed to be firmly under the
control of economic interests.  This is well understood by any who
honestly investigates the matter.  An excellent book which talks about the
design objectives of our "Founding Fathers" is:

Private Property and the Limits of American Constitutionalism : The
Madisonian Framework and Its Legacy

by Jennifer Nedelsky

She gives an excellent and even handed view of our tradition, despite the
fact that I would not characterise her as a radical populist or marxist.

Pretty much, our "Founding Fathers" make it quite clear what their
ultimate goal is, and that is to protect private property rights above all
else. Of course, they were extremely niave in thinking that economic
elites would act impartially and in the common good, and not abuse their
powers for their own personal gain.

I think everyone in this country, and the world for that matter, as
virtually all other "democratic" political systems have descended from the
american tradition, has to accept that these political processes are not
democratic, there is no way to reform them as the reasoning behind them is
clearly flawed, and that we must adopt a completely new political

Two other books I would highly suggest reading, as they give excellent
broad overviews on the subject are:

Models of Democracy by David Held
Democracy and it's Critics by Robert Dahl

Both give an evenhanded and insightful look at the evolution of democratic

Before concluding, I'd like to comment on the near term future, I have
both severe reservations and enourmous hope.  We are about to hit, I
believe, a crossroad between tyranny unlike anything before, or a
realization of every hope we have.  Freed from the communistic threat, the
inherent contradictions of corporate capitalism are playing themselves
out, as the search for profit is essentially destroying the base of
consumption.  The surpluses of captial have nowhere to go, and hence are
being poured into the stock markets, resulting in the "irrational
exubernece" that our beloved Mr Greenspan is so wary of.  The market is a
bubble waiting to burst, and I believe the trigger will the be the year
2000 computer problem.  Most people have underestimated the threat that
this will pose to civilization as we know it.  I suggest looking at
www.yourdon.com or www.yardeni.com for an indepth analysis.  Both of these
gentlemen are well respected in their fields.  This, combined with the
collapse of overinflated markets, will severly damage the world economy,
make the 1930's tame.  I think this will be the jolt which will finally
waken the masses from their sleep.

Revolutions happen when people are hungery.  Let's hope we do it right
this time..



Dear Steve,

Thanks for your comments, which seem to have drifted over several threads,
but c'est la vie.  Thanks especially for the book referrals.  As regards
Clinton being "basically good", I suggest to look at the recent
Bilderberger posting, and realize that Demos and Repubs at the top both
take their marching orders from the same elite.  But as you say, the real
issue is corporate power, the problems of Madisonian Democracy, and the
difficulty of coherent alternative models.


As for the "surpluses of captial have nowhere to go", and the
long-predicted collapse of capitalism, and at risk of repeating myself to
many, this is a view that has long passed its sell-by date.

The endgame of capitalism is not collapse but _monopoly.  Not monopoly by a
single operator, it seems, but monopoly by a clique of operators who
collaborate in controlling production, distribution, and pricing.  The
seven-sister petroleum majors are the archtype, and that scenario is
rapidly duplicating globally in most economic sectors under neoliberalism.

Another way at looking at this kind of scenario is by considering mafia
gangs.  Such gangs certainly compete at various times and in various ways,
but by and large they end up dividing territories and markets and giving
each other space to run their operations.

Monopoly is preceded by shakeouts.  Those shakeouts can involve
depressions, and some might interpret them as portents of an ultimate
collapse.  But a shakeout is simply a stage of the monopolization process,
and one cannot reliably extrapolate without this understanding.


The current instabilities in the global marketplace are well understood and
there are various workable solutions on offer.  You may have heard of the
"Tobin Tax", which is one of the better known schemes to moderate
speculative instability.

Even the US acting alone, or perhaps with a few of its European partners,
could bring stability rather quickly if the will existed.  It turns out
that most funds are actually in US and European banks -- the offshore
unregulated banks function as money-laundering agencies, but the cash does
not stay in the laundromat.  Notice how easily Iranian and Iraqi assets
have been frozen when the will existed.

I believe the conclusion is inescapable that the current instabilities are
intentional.  And in fact they serve a very obvious purpose: the economic
destablization of national economies and the acceleration of the transfer
of sovereignty to the corporate globalist world government (WTO, IMF, et
al).  We saw it in Mexico, we saw it in Brazil et al, and most recently we
saw it in SE Asia; imperialism by other means, pure and simple.


Revolutions happen when revolutions happen.  The US revolution had _nothing
to do with hunger.  The Russian revolution was not primarily about hunger
either, although times must have been hard in the midst of WW I in Russia.
We all recall Marie Antoinette's gaffe about bread & cake, but the French
monarchy had survived worse crises earlier -- one must look instead to the
rise of capitalism and to enlightenment thinking to explain why 1789 was
the magic time, and why "liberte, egalite, and fraterntie (sp)" was the

To anticpate global starvation as being the way of saving of mankind is to
me a dismal stance, as is acquiesence in corporte tyranny.  Ben Franklin
and the lads said "either we all hang together or we all hang separately";
Marx said "you have nothing to lose but your chains"; I say let's work
together now to overthrow corporate power before things get worse.  If you
don't think conditions are bad enough already I ask which planet you've
just arrived from (this last is to all, not to our friend Steve, who I am
not trying to flame by this rebuttal).



                  "Seeking an Effective Democratic
                      Response to Globalization
                        and Corporate Power"
           an international workshop for activist leaders
        June 25 <incl> July 2 - 1998 - Nova Scotia - Canada
                  Restore democratic sovereignty
                  Create a sane and livable world
             Bring corporate globalization under control.
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