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The Globalization of humanity is a natural, biological, evolutionary process. Yet we face an enormous crisis because the most central and important aspect of globalization -- its economy -- is currently being organized in a manner that so gravely violates the fundamental principles by which healthy living systems are organized that it threatens the demise of our whole civilization. . . .
The picture of globalization and the needs and aspirations of the human community are clarifying now and we can get on with the task of insuring our civilization against demise. We can prove ourselves a mature species, ready to learn from our parent planet's four and a half billion years of experience in evolving workable living systems.
The beloved American author Mark Twain tells the story of a young man returning from his first forays out into the world, amazed on hearing his father speak -- surprised at all his father has learned while he was gone. It is of course a characterization not of new learning in the father, but in the son. The son's budding maturity lies in his new ability to listen to an elder's accumulated wisdom.
When we humans, after all a very young species, drop our adolescent arrogance of thinking we know it all and read the wisdom in our parent planet's accumulated experience of living systems design, we too will mature as a species, to our own benefit and that of all other species, as well as the planet itself.
The globalization of humanity is an evolutionary process. Although the advocates of corporate globalization assert there is no alternative to this hierarchical system of centralized control, when we examine The Principles of Living Systems as Elisabet has done, we find a remarkable, practical and feasible model we can adopt. In doing so, we will co-create the means of living in partnership with everyone and everything on this single, irreplaceable planetary home of ours.
Janine Benyus, author of a wonderful book called Biomimicry, pointed out that humans assigned one group of people called biologists to study how OTHER species make a living, while a totally separate group of people called economists were to figure out how HUMANS make a living. Now we have the opportunity to look at economics in terms of biology -- to look at the experience of four-and-half billion YEARS of self-organization, to see how young species are acquisitive and territorial and grabby, and mature species co-operate, as in a rainforest. Where is the leadership? Distributed leadership. Everything shared and recycled. What a great economic model!
The following is mirrored from its source at: http://www.newdawnmagazine.com.au/articles/War_on_Terror_The_Police_State_Agenda.html
Like many other viewers, I shrank back in disbelief when the images of the World Trade Centre (WTC) attack first began to flood the airwaves. How could this happen? Who would want to do such a thing? How could four different airliners all be hijacked at the same time? How had security systems and air defenses both failed so miserably? How would America respond?
And then the answers to such questions started coming in . . . within hours the authorities "knew" that the perpetrators were linked to Bin Laden, and President George Bush was already announcing a "War Against Terrorism". While images of the attack were still being replayed, over and over again, US Congress had already authorised the President to take "any necessary measures", and had allocated $40 billion to that purpose. Within days, the US had persuaded NATO to declare that this "attack on one member nation was an attack on all". Then it turned out that the $40 billion had come from America's social-security fund, and $15 billion was being allocated to bailing out the airline industry. Next we were being told that Americans would need to give up their civil liberties, and Congress was rapidly approving the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001". The War on Terrorism was going to be largely a covert war, a war "unlike any other", a war that would go on indefinitely into the future.
By this time, my disbelief began to turn into suspicion. How had the US government come up so quickly with such a comprehensive and coordinated response? How had they decided within hours that an extended War on Terrorism was the appropriate action? How did they know that $40 billion was the exact amount needed? And then as background reports began to appear, my suspicion deepened. It turns out that the airlines were already in deep trouble, before the attack. And the US had other reasons to go after Afghanistan, having to do with oil reserves, and pipeline routes. And there had been earlier signs that the social-security funds might be raided for other uses. And still, no actual evidence had been produced linking Bin Laden to the attacks.
The whole scenario began to fit a very familiar pattern, a pattern that has characterised American history from its earliest days. This led me to a quite different analysis of the events than we were being fed over the mass media. I am not claiming that this alternative analysis is correct, I offer it only for your consideration. The various claims I make in this article are my opinion only. There may be some factual errors, but in my humble opinion, given the reports I have seen, this seems to be the most-likely scenario . . .
US History -- A Series of Suspicious Warpath `Incidents'
As we look back at history, we find that every time the US has entered into a major military adventure, that has been enabled by a dramatic incident which aroused public sentiment overwhelmingly in favour of military action. These incidents have always been accepted at face value when they occurred, but in every case we have learned later that the incidents were highly suspicious. And in every case, the ensuing military action served some elite geopolitical design.
Consider, for example, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which gave President Lyndon Johnson an excuse to begin major escalation of the Vietnam War. Supposedly, in that incident, a North Vietnamese boat launched torpedoes in an attempt to sink an American warship. It is now generally accepted by historians that the attack did not in fact occur, and that Johnson had been preparing to escalate all along.
One of my correspondents on the Internet summarised a portion of the history this way:
"The US Government lied to the American People about the following events. Each of these incidents led the United States into War. . . .
"1898 . . . THEY LIED about the sinking of the battleship Maine. (Spanish American War)
"1915 . . . THEY LIED about the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania (World War I)
"1941 . . . THEY LIED about the attack on Pearl Harbor. (World War II)
"1964 . . . THEY LIED about the Gulf of Tonkin affair. (Vietnam War)."
In the media coverage of the recent WTC attack, the comparison with Pearl Harbor has been frequently raised. Thousands of American troops were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and thousands of American civilians were killed in the attack on the WTC. In both cases the American people responded (quite understandably) with deep shock and outrage. In both cases, overwhelming public sentiment was for retaliation, and for giving the President total support for whatever course he chose. In 1941, as now, any suggestion that the US government knew in advance of the attacks, and could have prevented them, would have been met by angry disbelief by almost any American. Nonetheless, the evidence now seems to favour the view that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) did know about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, and that he could have mounted an effective defense.
We now know that elite US planners, during the period 1939-1941, had come to the conclusion that the Japanese conquest of Asia had to be stopped. The planners determined that Southeast Asia, in particular, was critical to US economic interests. But US public opinion was overwhelmingly against entering the war. It now seems that FDR figured out a way to get the US into the war, and that Pearl Harbor was the key to his plan.
When the Japanese began to threaten Southeast Asia, FDR froze Japanese assets in US banks, resulting in a cutoff of Japanese oil supplies. This was considered an act of war by Japan, and Japanese retaliation was expected by American planners. As the Japanese fleet approached Pearl Harbor, intelligence services in Britain and the US evidently knew of that approach. British Prime Minister Churchill notified his Pacific commanders that the Japanese were heading for Pearl Harbor. FDR, on the other hand, did not notify his commanders. Instead, he sent the most strategic ships (the aircraft carriers) out to sea where they would be safe, and instructed key observation outposts on the island of Kauai to stand down. It was over Kauai that the Japanese made their approach to Pearl Harbor.
It seems that FDR intentionally set the stage for a `surprise' attack -- shocking the nation and instantly shifting public opinion from non-interventionism to war frenzy. I am suggesting that this same scenario must be considered in the case of the recent WTC and Pentagon attacks. Unbelievable as this may seem, this is a scenario that matches the modus operandi of US ruling elites. These elites show callous disregard for civilian lives in Iraq, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and dozens of other places around the world. Is it so surprising that they would sacrifice a few thousand American civilians if they considered that necessary in order to pursue their geopolitical objectives?
Let us now consider in more detail the possible motives for such a crime scenario.
Global Capitalism in Crisis
Capitalism must have growth and change in order to operate. The engine of capitalism is driven by wealthy investors who put their money into the economy in order to increase their wealth. If the economy offers no growth opportunities, then investors withdraw their money and the whole system collapses. A minor collapse is called a recession, and a major collapse is called a depression. The history of capitalism is punctuated by such collapses.
Capitalism came into existence along with the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s in Scotland and northern England. Before that time societies were not based primarily on growth. Certainly there were people before then who sought to increase their wealth, but economies as a whole did not require growth in order to operate. Societies were ruled by aristocratic elites whose wealth was measured by the estates they owned, and the peasants who worked their land. Such aristocrats were more interested in stability than change, and more concerned with maintaining their estates than with economic growth.
When the Industrial Revolution came along then all this began to change. With the cotton gin, steam engine, and other new technologies, it became possible for an entrepreneur to make a great deal of wealth rapidly. A new wealthy elite began to emerge made up inventors, industrialists, bankers, and traders. These were the people who built the factories, invested in them, and figured out ways to get the new products to markets.
The interests of this new elite clashed with those of the old aristocratic elite. The aristocrats favoured stability, and laws which provided stability -- such as tariffs, price controls, etc. The new elite, on the other hand, wanted change and growth -- they wanted to develop new products, build new factories, and capture new markets. While aristocratic wealth was based on land and stability, industrial wealth was based on investment, development, change, and growth.
This new kind of economics, based on investment and growth, came to be known as capitalism. And the new elite, gaining its wealth through change and growth, is the capitalist elite. At first capitalism existed alongside aristocracy, competing with it to control the laws of society. But then in Britain, and later in other nations, the capitalist elite won out. Laws, economies, and societies were transformed to favour capitalism and growth over stability and land-based wealth. Banking, monetary systems, and taxation were re-engineered so as to compel businesses to seek growth whether they wanted to or not. Thus our economies were transformed into engines designed to increase elite wealth. Rather than economies which serve the needs of societies, we have societies which serve the needs of capital growth.
No one can deny that capitalism and its growth have brought many kinds of benefits to some people. America was based on capitalism from its very founding, and American wealth and prosperity are legendary. But there is a fundamental problem with capitalism. How is it possible for an economy to grow endlessly? How can growth be forever achieved in a finite world? Is capitalism, in the final analysis, sustainable?
In fact, providing for ongoing growth has been the primary challenge faced by every nation that has adopted capitalism. The history of the 19th and 20th centuries has been primarily the story of nations competing for markets and resources to support growth. Our history books tell us about noble causes and evil enemies, but in truth every significant war since 1800 has been about competition among Great Powers for economic growth.
Before capitalism, nations built empires because kings or individuals were greedy and wanted more territory and wealth. After capitalism, nations developed empires out of necessity. If they didn't expand their markets and access to resources their economies would collapse. As industrial capitalism got into high gear in the late 1800s, that was accompanied by an unprecedented expansion of imperialism on a global scale.
From 1800 until 1945 the world system was a matter of competition among Great Powers for empires, in order to provide for capitalist growth. In each empire there was a core nation which ruled over peripheral territories. The peripheral territories were exploited in order to provide growth for the core ruling nation. The populations of the core nations were convinced by propaganda that they were helping or aiding the periphery to develop. This propaganda was lies. The fact was suppression, exploitation, and the prevention of healthy development in the periphery -- so as to enable capitalism to flourish in the core Great Powers.
In 1945 this global system was radically changed. Under American leadership, with the help of both incentives and coercion, a new paradigm of capitalist growth was launched. Instead of competitive imperialism, a regime of cooperative imperialism was instituted. Under the protection of the American military, the so-called "Free World" was opened to exploitation by capitalism generally. This led to the rise of immense transnational corporations which were no longer limited in their growth to a single national empire. This new post-1945 system was invented in order to provide another round of growth to capitalism.
Under the post-1945 system, part of the scheme was to provide prosperity to the Western middle classes. In Europe, the USA, and in Japan as well, populations experienced unprecedented prosperity. Cooperative imperialism provided immense growth room for capitalism, and the wealth was being shared with the core-nation populations.
But no matter what system might be set up, growth eventually runs into the limits of that system. The post-1945 system was no exception. By the early 1970s the growth machine was beginning to slow down. Recessions began to replace prosperity. As a consequence, the global capitalist elite designed yet another system, offering yet another round of capitalist growth. This new system goes under the name `neoliberalism', and it was launched under the auspices of Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
The purpose of neoliberalism was to steal the wealth of the prosperous capitalist nations and transfer that wealth to the capitalist elite and the corporations which they own and control. That's what privatisation, deregulation, and other so-called `reforms' were all about. In addition, neoliberalism was aimed at disempowering democracy itself -- because it was the democratic nations which were implementing laws which limited the power of corporations. Any limit on the power of corporations is a limit on their ability to grow. And the one thing capitalism cannot tolerate is limits to its growth. That is a matter of life and death to capitalism.
Again, as must always happen, the neoliberal system also began to run out of growth room. In this case, the system only provided growth for about ten years, the decade of the 1980s. And thus we were brought to the era of globalisation. Propaganda tells us that globalisation is simply the continuation of `natural' trends in technology, trade, and commerce. This is not true. Globalisation represents an intentional and radical policy shift on the part of the global capitalist elite.
Globalisation amounts to four radical changes in the world system. These are (1) the destabilisation of and removal of sovereignty from Western nation states, (2) the establishment of an essentially fascist world government under the direct control of the capitalist elite, (3) the greatly accelerated exploitation and suppression of the third-world, and (4) the gradual downgrading of Western living conditions toward third-world standards. By these means, elites hope to achieve yet another round of capital growth.
During most of the decade of the 1990s globalisation proceeded almost unnoticed by the world's population. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) began to establish their tentacles of power without publicity. Government leaders worldwide, under the pressure of capitalist elites, were quietly signing their sovereignty over to the new global institutions. When globalisation was mentioned at all in the media, it was described in propaganda terms as sharing `progress' with the downtrodden of the world.
And then in December 1999 the people of the world began to wake up. The demonstrations in Seattle marked the beginning of a new global movement. In fairness, one must acknowledge that there were earlier signs of the movement in Europe and the third world. But only when the movement reached the USA did it become `real' in the eyes of the world. And ever since Seattle the movement has been growing by leaps and bounds on a global scale.
The movement does not yet have well-defined goals, but it is a very promising and very radical movement. It is based on a clear understanding that global capitalism is leading us to ecological disaster and to tyranny. The movement does not have a clear organisational structure, but that itself is promising. The decentralised nature of the movement points the way to a new kind of genuine, locally-based democracy -- a democracy that is not subject to elite manipulation as have been our Western pseudo-democracies with their manufactured `majorities'.
Having presented this (highly abbreviated) historical background, I can now describe the nature of `the global crisis of capitalism'. On the one hand, the capitalist elite must accelerate the pace of globalisation in order to continue providing room for capital growth. On the other hand, the people of the world, including in the West, have begun to wake up and oppose the dangerous and ominous path of globalisation. The elite know that as the path of globalisation is pursued more vigorously, more and more people will rise in opposition. The crisis of globalisation is a crisis of population control, requiring tightened political management of the people of Europe and North America.
People in the third world have been subjected to imperialist tyranny for centuries, and this has been possible because of suppression by Western military force. If the people of the West arise in opposition to globalisation, then the hegemony of the capitalist elite is seriously threatened. This is the crisis of global capitalism.
"War on Terrorism" -
A Solution to Capitalism's Crisis
President Bush calls it a "War on Terrorism", but what is it really? Let's look at some of the specifics . . .
- Congress has authorised the President to do "whatever is necessary".
- Congress has allocated 40 billion dollars to do "whatever".
- The $40 billion came from Social Security funds.
- $15 billion is being allocated to bail out the airline industry. Thus, terrorism is being used as an excuse to steal the savings of workers and transfer it to large corporations, including airlines and weapons contractors.
- For the first time, NATO has invoked the treaty clause which says "an attack on one nation is an attack on all".
- We've been told to expect significant curtailment of civil liberties.
- Bush declared that "Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."
- Fleets, planes, and ground troops have been dispatched to the Middle East to do "whatever".
- We are to expect a long, protracted war, much of which will be covert and we won't be told what happened even after it's all over.
- After Bin Laden is dealt with, Secretary of State Colin Powell tells us "we will then broaden the campaign to go after other terrorist organisations and forms of terrorism around the world."
- Bush tells us that "We will use every necessary weapon of war", and "Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen."
- The Pentagon specifically refuses to rule out the use of nuclear weapons.
This is a very comprehensive agenda. Bush has a blank check to do whatever he wants, wherever he wants, using whatever means he chooses. He has made it clear he intends to pull no punches and that he will keep drawing on this blank check for a long time to come. From such an agenda, one cannot easily predict where it will all lead. In such a case, it is instructive to look at the historical precedents.
Pearl Harbor aroused the wrath of Americans against the Japanese . . . but as soon as the blank check was signed, it was Europe that received the initial focus of American military attention. After the Battleship Maine was blown up (from an internal explosion we have since learned), the thirst for revenge was translated into the imperialist capture of the Philippines. In other words, when one of these outrage incidents occurs, the modus operandi of the US elite is to pursue whatever objectives are most important to it -- regardless of the incident that provided the blank check.
And the most important issue before the elite at this point in history is the preservation of global elite rule, the acceleration of globalisation, and the suppression of the anti-globalisation movement. They must deal with the crisis of global capitalism.
From this perspective, the real meaning of the "War on Terrorism" begins to come into focus. Permit me to speculate as to the scenario which is likely to unfold . . .
- Nearly every country in the third world has some local ethnic group which is struggling against some kind of dictatorial government, usually installed by the USA. Every one of these ethnic groups can be labelled `terrorist'. Thus Bush can always intervene anywhere he wants for whatever reason and call it part of the "War on Terrorism".
- In the Middle East, Balkans, and Western Asia, the US will continue the process of turning much of the region into an occupied imperialist realm, as we now see in Kosovo. Afghanistan occupies a very strategic geopolitical position, and military bases there will be important in the coming confrontation with China. Vast reserves of oil remain in that region, along with other minerals, and control over these resources will be critical as global supplies become increasingly scarce. In particular, Afghanistan is the planned route for a pipeline to transport huge Caspian Sea oil reserves to Western markets.
- US dominance of the NATO agenda will be important in this region, as will the careful management of European public opinion. One should not be surprised if US intelligence agencies covertly arrange for terrorist attacks in Europe along the same lines as the WTC attacks.
- Even without covert US encouragement, one can expect terrorist responses to the indiscriminate US bombing unleashed in Afghanistan and who-knows-where-else. Any such terrorist attacks will galvanise Western public opinion still further, adding depth to Bush's blank check.
- The "Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001" is almost unbelievable in the degree to which it will turn the USA into a full-scale police state. Terrorism is very loosely and broadly defined, and life imprisonment is authorised for any offense which comes under this definition. The bill is retroactive and there is no statue of limitations. This means that people who were activists back in the 1960s or 1970s could be imprisoned for life, if their acts in the past could be construed as `terrorism' under this new police-state bill. Even those who merely attended the demonstrations, or helped plan them, could be punished equally with those who actually committed the acts. Broad new powers of surveillance, preventive detention, and searches of homes without warrants are included in the police-state bill. Even minor computer hacking would be `terrorism' and would be punishable by life imprisonment. And there many, many other equally frightening provisions.
- Already Greenpeace and many other progressive organisations are categorised as `terrorist' in the FBI lexicon. And it is the anti-globalisation movement, which includes such organisations, which is the real threat to the global capitalist elite. Agent-provocateur tactics have already been used against the movement, from Seattle to Genoa, and in the media the movement has been falsely portrayed as being essentially a violent movement. When Colin Powell talks about going after "other forms of terrorism", it seems very clear that the movement will be systematically suppressed on a global scale. The overt fascism we saw in Genoa will be raising its ugly head in the US, Germany, the UK, and elsewhere. Right-wing paranoia about Federally-managed concentration camps in the USA will soon seem much less paranoid.
George Bush senior announced the New World Order, and it seems that George Bush junior is destined to complete its implementation. With a blank check to dominate the globe militarily, and to suppress the American people in the name of `security', there seems to be little to stand in his way. This does not mean that the movement should give up. It means that the movement needs to be aware that the game being played is totally hardball. And hardball does not mean violence, at least not on the part of the movement. Hardball means we need to realise that the enemy is nothing less than global fascism. The sooner we realise that and organise accordingly, the greater chance we have of changing things while there are still human beings alive and out of prison on this Earth.
Excerpts from the draft
US Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2001
SEC. 302. ALTERNATIVE MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR TERRORISM CRIMES.
. . . A person convicted of any Federal terrorism offense may be sentenced to imprisonment for any term of years or for life, notwithstanding any maximum term of imprisonment specified in the law describing the offense.
SEC. 303. PENALTIES FOR TERRORIST CONSPIRACIES.
. . . Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any Federal terrorism offense shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense . . .
[Much of what was proposed in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 (ATA) has been folded in to the so-called United States `PATRIOT Act'. The Electronic Privacy Information Center's Analysis of the ATA was written before the `Patriot Act' was passed. --ratitor]
- David C. Korten, The Post-Corporate World, Life After Capitalism, Kumarian Press, 1999.
Propaganda tells us that capitalism is the same as free enterprise, and that the only alternative to capitalism is state-run socialism. Korten clearly explains why both of these beliefs are false. He examines market economies, as articulated by Adam Smith, and shows that capitalism is something entirely different. Market economies are based on competition among equal buyers and sellers, while capitalism is about monopoly control by large operators.
- Brian Martin, Nonviolence versus capitalism, War Resisters' International, London, 2001.
- Laurence Shoup and William Minter, "Shaping a New World Order: The Council on Foreign Relations' Blueprint for World Hegemony, 1939-1945", in: Holly Sklar, ed, Trilateralism, South End Press, 1980, pp. 135-156
- Robert B. Stinnett, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor, Free Press, 2000.
- Robert B. Stinnett, "December 7, 1941: A Setup from the Beginning", Honolulu Advertiser, December 7, 2000. Online at: http://www.independent.org/tii/news/001207Stinnett.html
- William Greider, Who Will Tell the People, the Betrayal of American Democracy, Touchstone -- Simon & Schuster, New York, 1993.
- Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash Of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Simon and Schuster, London, 1997.
Huntington, who organised death squads for the CIA during the Vietnam War, is now an honoured history professor at Harvard. He specialises in publishing new-world-order propaganda, and "Clash of Civilizations" is perhaps his masterpiece. The current "War on Terrorism" can be seen as an attempt to implement Huntington's diabolical world architecture.
- Jerry Fresia, Toward an American Revolution, Exposing the Constitution and Other Illusions, South End Press, Boston, 1988.
A must-read if you want to know what America is really about -- rule by wealthy elites.
- Daniel Quinn, The Story of B, Bantam Books, New York, 1996.
Copyright © 2001 Richard K. Moore
Copyright © 2001 New Dawn Magazine
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.