reader submissions: Tobin tax, PGA, disarmament conference


Jan Slakov

Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 15:25:49 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: Hans Sinn <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Tobin Tax & UN Reform 

This in response to Roberto Magellan's observations about the Tobin Tax.
Dear Roberto,

I completely agree with your outline of the conditions, implications and
difficulties of introducing the Tobin Tax. I also agree that if we do not
do something imaginative and constructive ourselves, then Mother Nature is
most likely going to do it for us.

We may wish, for a variety of reasons, to let nature take its course. But
we know from experience that the natural route is going to be much harder
on the majority, especially the children, than on the Elites (to whom
Richard refers). The political, financial and military Elites have a proven
record of being able to survive the terrible conditions which they, more
often than not, themselves have created for everybody. We may take it, that
the Elites are at the top of the natural food chain  because of their great
capacity to survive and thrive, where the less prepared cannot and,
especially children, do not.  

Back to the Tobin Tax. I agree, the administration and enforcement of a
Tobin Tax would require a supra national tax authority or would have to be
framed into the UN structure. In both cases it would require UN reform and
mean a move in the general direction of formal global governance - as
anticipated, in some measure, by the World Federalists.

You mentioned the French government as being in favour of the Tobin Tax. I
know that Paul Martin the Canadian Minister of Finance likes it. Without
getting too optimistic about it, the new German Social Democratic/Green
government might well be for it.

Certain is, that the German Social Democrats have a demonstrated interest
in UN Reform. Part of the German interest is the fact that Germany is still
listed in the UN Charter as an "enemy state" and, strictly speaking, it was
the United Nations who waged WWII against Germany. Germany "surrendered on
May 1945 to the United Nations". Although I have not kept track of what the
SPD has doing lately in regard to UN Reform, it was Willy Brandt who in
1991 headed the "Stockholm Initiative on Global Security and Governance". 

In regard to the enforcement of the tax. The recent agreement on the
creation of an Internal Criminal Court, in spite of  US opposition, seems a
step in the right direction.(Canada is contribution $ 50 Million toward its
implementation). And before we get too pessimistic about US intentions, it
was a US government which was instrumental in creating the UN, while
admittedly the US right would love to see that organization disappear

Best wishes,


Hans Sinn
687 Brooke Valley Rd.
RR#4 Perth ON
K7H 3C6

Phone: (613) 264 8833    Fax:  (613) 264 8605

Civilian Peace Service homepage:  <>

Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 00:07:57 +1300
To: •••@••.•••
From: Makere Harawira <•••@••.•••>
Subject: PGA and other resistance networks

Tena koutou ki a koutou

Can anyone please tell me what has happened to the Peoples' Global Action
webpage - or was it only a temporary page re the conference in Geneva?
Given the amount of harassment of people involved in the PGA in Geneva, I
am feeling the need to keep in touch much more with what is going on. Have
I been so busy with my own activities lately that I have missed something
In response to the message forwarded by Bob Olsen, yes, there is huge fear
out there - fear of the amount of effective resistance that determined
people working together can create, fear of losing control over a carefully
planned agenda for how the world should operate - serving the interests of
the few by the oppression of many and most of all, fear that they may lose
the battle.  For battle it is, albeit a physically non-violent battle on
our part, at least. 
One of the many fascinating aspects of all  this (when I manage to
momentarily step back from it) is that even this time of the wholesale
oppression of peoples by governments has been foretold in the stories of
many indigenous peoples.  The harrassment and oppression is ocurring in so
many ways, overtly and less overtly, in the public arena and in our
work-places, our careers, our homes. 
But what was also been foretold, and every day the cracks become larger and
more glaringly obvious, is the eventual collapse of the self-same
governments and structures of oppression. So all we have to do is to keep
on resisting, keep on educating ourselves and others, keep on searching for
different and better ways of co-existing, and keep on being non-violent.
There are a myriad of outstanding examples who preceded us, myriads who are
now holding up that torch, and  myriads who daily come and join the
struggle. I am extremely grateful to all those who give of their time and
energy in keeping us informed and participating.
Na reira he mihi aroha ki a koutou.

Makere Harawira
Aotearoa/New Zealand
Phone 09 535 4986
Fax 09 535 4934
Mobile 025 283 2713
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 10:21:58 -1000
From: viviane lerner <•••@••.•••>

>Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 20:38:44 +0200
>From: Harsh Kapoor <•••@••.•••>
>Subject: UNIDIR
>> >Dear Colleague
>> >
>> >     UNIDIR is pleased to announce an Electronic Conference
>> >     entitled "A New Agenda for Security and Disarmament." We hope
>> >     that it would help us to exchange ideas and proposals and ease
>> >     the current stalemates in security and disarmament
>> >     negotiations. We are hoping for wide participation and we
>> >     would like to invite you to sign onto this conference.
>> >
>> >        To sign on as a conference participant, please visit our
>> >        website
>> >     ( and type in your e-mail address in
>> >     our disarmament dialogue box. You will then receive all of the
>> >     correspondence to the electronic conference directly to your
>> >     e-mail address and you will be able to reply with your own
>> >     thoughts and ideas whenever you want or you may wish to merely
>> >     observe the conference proceedings. We intend to run the
>> >     conference for a few months and hope to feed the ideas
>> >     obtained into the various international debates. For further
>> >     details please check our website.
>> >
>> >     I'd also be grateful if you could pass this message on to your
>> >     colleagues and any relevent networks and conferences in which
>> >     you participate.
>> >     Sincerely,
>> >
>> >     Patricia Lewis
>> >     Director
>> >     UNIDIR
>> >
>> >     •••@••.•••
>> >