cj#1046,rn> rkm draft article: THE REVOLUTIONARY IMPERATIVE


Richard Moore

Dear friends,

In case the net goes down tomorrow I thought I'd go ahead
and share this article draft which is very near completion.
Your feedback and comments are desired.  What I'm trying to
do is get down in approximately 10,000 words the entire
revolutionary analysis which has been developed
collaboratively with your help. (Although I must take
responsibility (blame?) for the final content.)

all the best,



                      The Revolutionary Imperative:
                            from Global Crisis
                        to Democratic Renaissance

          Copyright (C) 1999 Richard K. Moore, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

                Intended for: Socialist Review Journal
                  Comments to: •••@••.•••

Table of Contents

    1. The crisis of globalization
    2. Pax Americana and the postwar corporate regime
    3. The neoliberal revolution & The Crisis of Democracy
    4. The New World Order & The Clash of Civilizations
    5. The revolutionary imperative



    Only when the last tree has died
    And the last river been poisoned
    And the last fish caught
    Will we realize that we cannot eat money.
    - The Cree (a tribe of native North Americans)

    There is an almost gravitational pull toward putting out of
    mind unpleasant facts. And our collective ability to face
    painful facts is no greater than our personal one. We tune
    out, we turn away, we avoid. Finally we forget, and forget
    we have forgotten.
    - psychologist Daniel Goleman

The decision-making part of humanity is dominated by a
particular ideology - the ideology of economic growth. Our
very definition of a "healthy economy" is expressed in terms
of the rate at which it is growing. The process of
globalization has entrenched the growth ideology even
further - as reflected in the modern usage of the term
"competitive". In earlier times "competitive" referred to
the ability of a nation to compete on world markets. The
term reflected efficiency of production, competence in
marketing, and a sound national economy. But under
globalization, nations compete to attract investors and
corporate operators. Global investors seek those
opportunities which offer the greatest promise of growth for
their funds. Thus in order to be competitive - in the modern
sense - a nation must orient its policies around encouraging
and supporting unrestrained economic growth - despite
whatever social deterioration and environmental degradation
might be caused.

In 1995 the globalization process was institutionalized in
the form of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO has
the power, by binding treaties, to overturn national
policies whenever those policies are deemed to be contrary
to competitiveness. In every case where the WTO has been
asked to review a health, safety, or environmental
regulation, that regulation has been overturned.

Even the almighty United States must kowtow to WTO
directives. Venezuelan gas refiners challenged U.S. rules
requiring that gas exported to the United States meet basic
clean air standards. The WTO ruled that the U.S. Clean Air
Act was an "unfair restriction on trade". In 1997, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency obediently changed the rules
to allow foreign refiners to avoid U.S. performance
standards. When American steelworkers asked President
Clinton for aid in defending their jobs in the face of the
"dumping" of steel from Japan, Russia and Brazil into the
U.S. market, Clinton responded by telling them he could do
nothing to protect U.S. jobs because World Trade
Organization rules forbade such an action.

For the people of the West globalization has brought
declining living standards, reduced social programs,
increased crime and other social stresses, and the loss of
sovereignty to centralized global institutions. In effect,
Western political leaders have abandoned constitutional
sovereignty and have betrayed Western democracy and
prosperity to global corporate interests. But in the third
world, the ravages of globalization have been far greater.
The West has been spared the worst - for the time being. But
once the WTO regime is firmly established in power, the West
will have little protection from the full consequences of
"investor friendliness". The third world offers chilling
examples of where this process can lead.

The case of Rwanda is particularly poignant. Rwanda had
enjoyed a reasonably healthy economy by third-world
standards. Roughly half of the economy was devoted to
agriculture, providing for the needs of the local
population. The other half was devoted to export production
of coffee and other commodities. An international quota
system maintained reasonably stable prices for coffee
producers, and coffee income was a major source of Rwandan
public finances. A population growth of 3.2% per annum was
negligible, and up until 1989 inflation remained low and
food imports were minimal. The Rwandan economy was then
totally destroyed - not by population growth, not by
drought, and not by tribal conflict - but by the actions of
international coffee traders and the IMF.

professor Michel Chossudovsky examines this and many other
third-world collapse scenarios. In the chapter ECONOMIC
GENOCIDE IN RWANDA he explains in detail how international
capital, with assistance from the U.S. government and the
IMF, systematically reduced Rwanda to a state of poverty,
famine, and genocidal civil war. The first blow was struck
in 1989 when large U.S. coffee traders persuaded Washington
to undermine the international quota system. In a matter of
months, coffee prices to producers plummeted by 50%. Retail
coffee prices remained high - 20 times what Rwandan
producers were receiving. The difference was being pocketed
by powerful international traders who controlled
distribution and retail markets.

Nonetheless, the Rwandan government was coping with the
situation as best it could. Restrictions on food imports and
subsidies to coffee growers kept the domestic economy and
society functioning. Similar government measures have been
used routinely in the West to stabilize domestic economies.
Nonetheless, by 1990 the Rwandan government needed some
outside financing and had no choice but to turn to the IMF.
Western governments too depend on debt financing, but they
have more control over the terms of the loans. The terms
attached to Rwanda's loans were dictated by the IMF, and
those terms led directly to the destruction of the Rwandan

The IMF, as usual, based its conditions on what is called
"trade liberalization" - one of the many names used for
policies which serve the interests of global capital at the
expense of national economies. The IMF ordered a devaluation
of the currency, prohibited restrictions on imports, and
strictly limited the price that could be paid to coffee
growers. Inflation followed quickly and cheap food imports
undermined domestic agriculture. Soon coffee producers could
not cover their costs and in 1992, in desperation, growers
uprooted 300,000 coffee trees. The economy collapsed along
with government finances. Society disintegrated and civil
war arose out of the chaos.

When scenes of genocide appeared on Western television
screens, the media said nothing about the IMF dictates and
international financial manipulations which caused the
problem. Viewers were led to believe that traditional tribal
rivalries were to blame - that's just "how things are" in
the backward third world. The U.S. government, whose actions
had contributed directly to the problems, offered no
"humanitarian intervention". The IMF has little chance of
recovering its loans from Rwanda, but that is of secondary
concern. The goal of the IMF is not to be a successful
lending institution, but rather to serve the interests of
global capital.

Today, small farmers in the U.S. and the European Union are
being put out of business in much the same way that Rwandan
agriculture was destroyed. Free-trade treaties and
government policies are reducing prices paid to farmers and
eliminating import restrictions. Small farms are going
bankrupt on a massive scale - even while retail food prices
remain relatively constant. As in Rwanda, "trade
liberalization" squeezes the small operators and enables the
big corporate operators and distributors to pocket the
difference and to monopolize markets. Thus the full ravages
of globalization are gradually spreading from the third
world to the West.

The increased profits of the large corporations show up in
official figures as "economic growth", but that "growth"
does not benefit the consumer, farmers, or workers. Instead
it destroys rural economies, lowers wages, creates
widespread unemployment, and undermines the fabric of
societies. Globalization represents a dire crisis for
democracy, for national economies, for societal harmony, and
for human welfare generally. As market forces collide with a
finite Earth, the destructive stresses are being channeled
onto ordinary people and their societies. Meanwhile, large
corporations and a tiny wealthy elite manipulate the system
to protect themselves from the consequences of their own
insane growth ideology.

As the scale of human activity has grown over recent
centuries, the Earth's life-support systems have been
stressed to the breaking point. The Atlantic Shelf was at
one time the world's most productive fishery. Today, due to
the operations of city-size factory trawlers, the Shelf's
productivity has been reduced to a comparative trickle.
Consequently the trawler fleets have moved on to other
oceans - systematically repeating the destructive pattern on
a global scale. Meanwhile due to over-grazing and intensive
agricultural practices, irreplaceable topsoils are being
destroyed and green areas are turning into deserts. Food
supplies from land and sea alike are being threatened and
famine is increasing on a global scale. Carbon-dioxide
pollution, ozone depletion, acid rain, deforestation,
poisoning of air and waterways - all of these stresses and
more have global consequences that cannot be easily

Over-population and resource scarcity do not account for
these crises. This point was made concisely and dramatically
in Francis Moore Lappé's little book, "WORLD HUNGER, TWELVE
MYTHS", published in 1986. Permit me to paraphrase just two
of her many surprising observations... "During the past 25
years food production has outstripped population growth by
16%. India - which for many of us symbolizes over-population
and poverty - is one of the top third-world food exporters.
If a mere 5.6% of India's food production were re-allocated,
hunger would be wiped out in India." These figures were
computed in 1986, but the basic picture hasn't changed
since. Population growth must be brought under control, but
the more immediate threat to humanity's survival has to do
with economic arrangements and the misuse of resources.

We don't really know when we will reach a critical breaking
point, yet in our collective ignorance we plunge recklessly
ahead as a global society - accelerating our usage of fossil
fuels, generating ever-more pollution, and squeezing
ever-more resources out of an over-stressed Earth. We are
like a blind man who charges ahead, even though he knows he
is near the edge of a precipice. As a species, our behavior
is not merely careless or imprudent - it is suicidal and
insane.  The ideology of growth at one time seemed to be
more or less functional. The nations which opted for growth
industrialized and became prosperous and powerful. The Earth
seemed to offer endless new territories and resources, and
the growth ideology - due to its apparent success - became
firmly ingrained, especially in the West. A once functional
ideology has now become dysfunctional and yet it remains
globally dominant. This is humanity's mental disconnect;
this is our collective insanity - our dysfunctional,
out-of-date growth ideology.

Recommended reading:

Frances Moore Lappé, WORLD HUNGER, TWELVE MYTHS, Grove
Press, New York, 1986.

Michel Chossudovsky, THE GLOBALIZATION OF POVERTY, The Third
World Network, Penang, Malaysia, 1997.

Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith, ed, THE CASE AGAINST THE
Books, San Francisco, 1996.

Hans-Peter Martin & Harald Schumann, THE GLOBAL TRAP,
Martin's Press, New York, 1997.

GLOBAL CAPITALISM, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997.

Richard Douthwaite, THE GROWTH ILLUSION, Lilliput Press,
Dublin, 1992.

James Goldsmith, THE RESPONSE, Macmillan, London, 1995.

THIRD WORLD RESURGENCE, a magazine published monthly by the
Third World Network, Penang, Malaysia.

THE NEW INTERNATIONALIST, a magazine published monthly by
New Internationalist Publications, Ltd, Oxford, UK.


    If we see that Germany is winning we should help Russia and
    if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way
    let them kill as many as possible.
    - Harry S. Truman, 1941

World War II resulted in overwhelming U.S. military
supremacy, and a regime of American-backed "peace" - a PAX
AMERICANA - was established early in the postwar world.
European businesses could get the benefit of foreign trade
and investment without the assistance of their own fleets
and armies. Under this new regime, it no longer made much
sense for European powers to fight with one another or to
compete militarily for economic spheres. After 1945 the old
empires were gradually dismantled and Western Europe entered
an unprecedented era of collaboration.

The fundamental structure of the international economy had
rapidly shifted from partitioned to integrated. And for the
first time in many centuries a lasting peace in Western
Europe had been achieved. Both of these developments
followed naturally from a single revolutionary shift - the
establishment of the pax-americana regime. Before that
regime, globalization was impossible and European peace had
been unachievable; with the regime, the peace followed
naturally and the integration of the global economy, in one
form or another, became inevitable.

The outcome of World War II had given America military
supremacy, but the U.S. had other options available to it
besides establishing the pax-americana regime. There was
considerable domestic pressure for the U.S. to return to
isolationism and minimize foreign entanglements. Why did
America instead pursue a role of active leadership, guiding
the creation of the UN, the IMF, and the other postwar
international institutions? And why didn't America follow
standard Western tradition, and use its overwhelming power
to carve out its own private sphere of influence, leaving
the European powers to stake out their own?

It turns out there are very clear answers to these
questions. In fact, the strategic considerations that went
into these momentous policy choices are a matter of public

In 1939 important parts of the world were coming under the
control of Japan and Germany, and the U.S. government was
trying to figure out what response would best serve U.S.
interests. The government turned to the Council on Foreign
Relations (CFR) and empowered it to convene a series of
planning sessions in order to come up with a sensible U.S.
strategy. The CFR was a prominent voice for sentiment which
was widespread among U.S. policy makers and elites. The
planning sessions were highly secret at the time, but notes
and bulletins produced by the sessions have since become
publicly available. The development of the strategic
thinking can be clearly traced.

The CFR sessions immediately focused on economic
considerations. They systematically assessed market sizes,
and resource availability, in different parts of the world.
They were seeking to identify what sphere of influence the
U.S. would require in order to fulfill the trade
requirements of the imperialist American economy. Out of
these deliberations came the fundamental framework for U.S.
war strategy.

In their initial thinking, the Council planning teams were
inclined to write off Hitler's gains as irreversible. They
painstakingly calculated that they needed the Western
Hemisphere, the British Commonwealth, and Asia - as
"friendly" zones - in order to remain viable as a world
power. They decided that Japan's expansion must be stopped,
that Japan must be ultimately incorporated into the American
fold, and that Great Britain was central to U.S. strategy.
But by 1941 the grand planners expanded their objectives to
include the defeat of Germany and the establishment of a
world-wide "friendly" zone - what was to later become known
as the free world or the underdeveloped world or the third

The Council also outlined, during 1941-2, the basic
structures of the Bretton Woods arrangements - the IMF, the
World Bank, and the UN. The fundamental objectives behind
this blueprint were stated clearly and candidly by the
participants themselves in publicly available documents. The
excerpts below are from the book "Trilaterialism - The
Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World

    Recommendation P-B23 (July 1941) stated that worldwide
    financial institutions were necessary for the purpose of
    "stabilizing currencies and facilitating programs of capital
    investment for constructive undertakings in backward and
    underdeveloped regions." During the last half of 1941 and in
    the first months of 1942, the Council developed this idea
    for the integration of the world.
    - Trilateralism, p. 148

    Isaiah Bowman first suggested a way to solve the problem of
    maintaining effective control over weaker territories while
    avoiding overt imperial conquest. At a Council meeting in
    May 1942, he stated that the United States had to exercise
    the strength needed to assure "security", and at the same
    time "avoid conventional forms of imperialism". The way to
    do this, he argued, was to make the exercise of that power
    international in character through a United Nations body.
    - Trilateralism, p. 149.

From this it becomes clear that the primary objective behind
this planning was to facilitate the growth of the global
capitalist economy ("facilitate programs of capital
investment"). No other primary concerns seemed to play any
role in the planning process - least of all any related to
human rights, or world peace, or democratic sovereignty.
Economic growth, and economic growth alone was the prize
upon which these planners always kept their eyes. The rest
of the agenda, as expressed above, was about how to
accomplish this single objective.

The third world ("backward and underdeveloped regions") was
targeted as the place where growth can be generated -
through corporate-funded development projects ("capital
investment for constructive undertakings "). The planners
anticipated that third-world nations would need to be
coerced into this agenda ("the problem of maintaining
effective control over weaker territories"). They also
anticipated that overt imperialism would be politically
unacceptable in the postwar world ("avoid conventional forms
of imperialism."). A solution was identified to solve these
anticipated problems. That was to deploy American power
("United States had to exercise the strength"), but to
disguise it as an international mission ("make the exercise
of that power international in character through a United
Nations body.").  Ironically, the real U.S. objective for
the UN - coercion through intervention - was nearly the
opposite of the public objective - peace through

These policy recommendations were adopted and the postwar
"free world" developed accordingly.  In PUBLIC REALITY the
U.S. would be providing benign leadership and policing on
behalf of the international community in pursuit of
democracy and peace. In HIDDEN REALITY the U.S. would be
intervening on behalf of international capital while
explaining its actions in public-reality terms. That's what
was explicitly anticipated in the CFR planning documents,
and that's precisely how things have developed ever since.
William Blum's KILLING HOPE chronicles in detail the postwar
history of this dual-agenda system, contrasting rhetoric
with reality in 55 separate intervention incidents. Some of
these interventions were overt and some covert - but the
motivating agendas were in all cases covert.

In order to carry out the hidden agenda - maximizing capital
growth through exploitive third-world development - it was
necessary that the socialist ideology be contained. "Mother
Russia", which had been heralded as the West's staunch ally
against fascism, suddenly became the "Red Menace". In 1946
Churchill articulated the doctrine of the "Iron Curtain" and
the Cold War was on. There began a decades-long propaganda
campaign in Western media which demonized the Soviet Union.
The Nazi intelligence network which had operated throughout
Eastern Europe was kept intact and was incorporated into the
new U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Covert
destabilization operations against the Soviets were an
ongoing part of the Cold War.

It was the ideology of socialism that needed to be contained
much more than the USSR itself. Any ideology which sought to
organize a third-world economy around its own local self
interests, rather than external investor interests, was
labeled "Marxist", and the Soviet expansionist Bogeyman was
offered as an excuse for whatever "order restoring" military
intervention might be required. In fact Soviet forces, and
later Chinese, preferred for the most part to stay home and
keep order within what was called the Communist Bloc. It was
American bases that were strung around the globe, not Soviet
or Chinese ones.

The leadership of this global regime remains to this day
centered in the top echelons of the U.S. government. And the
tradition of ongoing elite strategic planning has been
institutionalized in the form of the National Security
Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National
Security Agency, and miscellaneous other agencies - all
working closely with a network of corporate-linked think
tanks and consulting firms. As the U.S. continues to impose
its leadership, using unilateral force when considered
necessary, it follows the policy guidelines defined by this
highly secret, ongoing, corporate-dominated, elite planning

Thus it is a corporate elite which is guiding the direction
of global events - for its own benefit.  Western populations
benefitted economically from this system in the immediate
postwar years - but the price they paid was the loss of
democratic control over their destinies.  In the final
analysis the people of the West are just as much victims of
this elite global regime as is the rest of the world. This
fact became apparent with the unfolding of the NEOLIBERAL

Recommended reading:

Holly Sklar ed., Trilaterialism - The Trilateral Commission
and Elite Planning for World Management, South End Press,
Boston, 1980.

William Blum, Killing Hope, U.S. Military and CIA
Interventions since World War II, Common Courage Press,
Monroe Maine, 1995.

Michael Parenti, The Sword and the Dollar, Imperialism,
Revolution, and the Arms Race, St. Martin's Press, New York,

Noam Chomsky, World Orders Old and New, Columbia University
Press, New York,

Covert Action Quarterly magazine, published quarterly by
Covert Action Publications, Inc., Washington D.C. 1994.

James Bradford, The Puzzle Palace, Inside the National
Security Agency, America's Most Secret Intelligence
Organization, Penguin Books, New York, 1983.


In the postwar years the West continued to exploit the third
world as it had been doing for centuries. The only
difference was that the imperial partitions had been removed
and a single nation was providing overall "security".
Imperialism went from being competitive to being collective
- but it was still centered on industrialized nation states.
Those nations, apart from America, shed their roles as
first-rate military powers - but strong industrialized
economies continued to be the fulcrum of global economic
affairs. The vision of the postwar era was one of prosperous
and contented populations in the industrialized world,
living in economically sound nations.

When Volkswagens sold on world markets, the economic
benefits went largely to German workers, to a German
corporation, and to the German national budget. The story
was similar for Renault & France, Fiat & Italy, General
Motors & America - or Toyota & Japan. As the global economy
grew, the general prosperity of the populations in
industrialized nations reached unprecedented levels. The
postwar system worked to the benefit of industrialized
nations, their corporations, and their populations.

Today - as was discussed above in THE CRISIS OF
GLOBALIZATION - industrialized nations are in decline.
Economic power has shifted from nations to transnational
corporations and financial institutions. The WTO - which
acts as the agent of international capital - is able to
dictate economic policy even to the USA, the world's only
super power. General Motors, for example, no longer "belongs
to" the U.S. - its factories are spread around the world,
Detroit is cluttered with abandoned factories, auto workers
have sought new jobs or have become unemployed, and the U.S.
treasury receives little direct benefit from GM's immense

The postwar economy was governed by two things: the
industrialized nations themselves, and the Bretton Woods
institutions. These institutions - primarily the IMF and the
World Bank - acted as system gyroscopes. They were designed
to stabilize the system and to buffer it against financial
and market fluctuations. The U.S. dollar was pegged to gold
at thirty-five dollars per ounce, and other major currencies
were linked to the dollar by a schedule of stable
exchange-rates. Industrialized nations controlled the flow
of currencies and capital across their borders. They could
establish trade restrictions and could regulate industry so
as to maintain the overall health of their national

For two decades the elite-designed system operated according
to plan. On the surface it seemed ideal for all parties in
the West - the general population, nations, and investors.
But stresses were building up beneath the surface and by the
late 1960s those stresses were leading to serious problems
for Western capital interests. One of these stresses was
caused by the very success of the system. Economic growth
had been so strong up through the 1960s that maintaining
that rate became problematic. Western corporations were
finding it difficult to keep up their record levels of

Another source of stress came from the emergence of
non-Western economic powers such as Japan. Lower Japanese
wages allowed their products to be priced attractively on
world markets. The Western commitment to general prosperity
- and decent wages - made it difficult for Western firms to
compete against such non-Western upstarts. The principle of
general prosperity in the West was coming into conflict with
the goal of capital growth for Western investors. The
postwar system was under stress, and as Japanese products
flooded world markets this source of stress mounted.

Western prosperity was important to the postwar regime for
two reasons. One reason was that well-paid Westerners were
good consumers - their buying power created demand for the
products the capitalist system was producing. Prosperity was
also important because it provided public support for the
regime. The elite planners had assumed that a prosperous
population would be a content population, and that a content
population would be a politically docile population. Why
would people be concerned about how the inner circle was
running the world, if those people were well off and had
lots of goodies to enjoy? A democratic political system was
no problem for the inner circle who ran the regime - as long
as voters were docile. A prosperous electorate, it was
assumed, would be happy to simply vote and leave the elite
regime to run things.

Then quite unexpectedly in the mid 1960s a significant wave
of popular discontent began to arise throughout the West.
Prosperity was experiencing all-time highs but people were
beginning to demonstrate that they lived by more than bread
alone. A civil-rights movement sprang up in America, along
with an anti-Vietnam War movement. An environmental movement
arose throughout the West, challenging the exploitive
practices of capitalist development. A general sentiment
against militarism and interventionism prevailed,
challenging the methods by which the regime managed world
affairs. In America there arose a broad-based and fairly
well-organized New Left political movement. In Europe, 1968
took its place with 1848 as an historic milestone of popular

Environmental protection laws were passed which raised
corporate costs and cut into profits. Anti-militarist
sentiment remained high, making it difficult for
interventions to be justified - a phenomenon that came to be
known as the Vietnam Syndrome. Even the system of government
secrecy - enabling the inner circle to exercise covert
control - came under attack in the U.S. with the passage of
the Freedom of Information Act. The elite regime was under
attack from below, and continued prosperity was failing to
quell the tide.

As a consequence, the democratic process itself was becoming
a net liability to the regime. Popular idealism was taking
the political initiative and was pushing politicians in
directions that were contrary to elite interests. As
environmental and other popular reform measures were
implemented, the strong nation state - with its ability to
regulate capital flows and corporations - was also becoming
a hindrance to corporate growth.  The primary interests of
the elite were being seriously challenged, and the
architecture they had designed was spinning out of control.
A crisis had arisen for the elite, and by the early 1970s
the time had come to make fundamental adjustments in the
postwar architecture.

The first revolutionary shift in the postwar regime came in
1972 when President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold
standard. That act immediately removed the solid anchor to
which major currencies had been pegged. Soon after that the
system of fixed exchange rates had to be abandoned since the
real value of the American dollar was now subject to
fluctuations. A process of creeping destabilization
occurred, leading to the gradual development of
international financial markets of astronomical size and
extreme volatility. Ultimately, in the modern era of
globalization, the Bretton Woods institutions themselves
have become a vehicle of intentional destabilization.

In 1980, under the charismatic leadership of Ronald Reagan
and Margaret Thatcher, a host of other revolutionary changes
were introduced. The Reagan-Thatcher revolution goes under
several names, and the term that is used most in
international circles is NEOLIBERAL REVOLUTION. Economic
liberalism is the doctrine that Adam Smith advocated: free
markets unhampered by government interference. In the late
1800s economic liberalism was dominant in the USA and
Britain, and it was referred to as laissez-faire capitalism.
This era was disastrous for society, and the doctrine fell
into general disrepute. Reagan & Thatcher re-introduced the
doctrine with a vengeance. Economic liberalism was being
revived, and hence the name "neoliberalism". The American
political term "liberal" is quite a different thing
altogether - American liberals tend to favor government
regulation of industry if they think it will be good for
society. Neoliberals always put capital growth first,
American liberals would put societal benefit first.

The central themes introduced by the neoliberal revolution
were deregulation, tax cuts, privatization, and the use of
mass propaganda to create support for neoliberal policies
and to undermine confidence in government itself. This
turned out to be a very radical program of change and
sophisticated propaganda was central to its success. Anyone
with the slightest knowledge of economic history knew that
neoliberalism would devastate society as it had in the late
1800s. The elite planners faced a major challenge: how to
somehow hoodwink the electorate into tolerating the
inevitable consequences.

As in the war-years, a dual-agenda propaganda strategy was
adopted. The hidden agenda, as one would expect, was about
the creation and expansion of capital growth vehicles - and
the elimination of obstructions to their operation. The
public agenda was one of liberation: liberating individuals
and businesses from "bungling government interference".

Tax cuts - the propaganda line goes - would take money away
from "the politicians" and put it into the hands of
businesses and ordinary people - where it could be used
"more efficiently". Deregulation would put an end to
"government meddling" and allow the "efficient private
sector" to "get on with business". All of our societal woes
have been caused by "government bungling" and "special
interest politicians". If those evil forces can be reined
in, then corporations can get on with the job of "rebuilding
our economies" and everyone will benefit. Privatization of
government-run industries and services is "obviously a good
thing" - it gives some "efficient private operator" a chance
to clean up the mess that must have been created by
government ownership.

A notable feature of this propaganda line is its radical
fundamentalism. That is, there aren't any qualifiers:
government is ALWAYS bad, it is ALWAYS inefficient, and it
NEVER does anything right. Private business on the other
hand is ALWAYS efficient and NEVER does anything wrong - and
it certainly never needs to be regulated by government.
There are no balancing considerations, no data to be looked
at, no debate to be entered into. The question, once this
line has been swallowed, is simply how quickly the project
can be undertaken. How quickly can government be made
"smaller"? How quickly can business be "freed"? How rapidly
can taxes be cut and by how much?

There were in fact two limits to the rate at which the
neoliberal agenda could be pursued. The first limit came
from the elite planners themselves. Their own agenda was
about the orderly expansion of growth vehicles, which does
require the balancing of various considerations, and looking
at data, and debating tradeoffs. But in terms of public
resistance, the only limit was that society shouldn't be
allowed to deteriorate so quickly that unrest outstripped
the ability of propaganda to placate that unrest. As long as
the ongoing propaganda campaign remained effective, its
fundamentalist nature allowed the elite to push things along
at their own chosen speed. There was no obvious point where
a new propaganda line would be needed - as long as a single
regulation remained on the books, the neoliberal revolution
could continue to march forward.

In the postwar regime Western governments were expected to
regulate industry so as to achieve healthy and balanced
national economies. Critical industries or infrastructures
might be subsidized, so as to support better operation of
the economy as a whole. Financial institutions were
prevented from investing in over-risky ventures so that
stable financing would be available to businesses and
individuals generally. Regulations of wages and working
conditions protected worker's interests and encouraged
general prosperity. Other regulations protected public
health and safety, and helped ensure the quality of products
and foodstuffs. Regulations on mergers and acquisitions
helped maintain competition and prevent the formation of
monopolies. Regulations on capital transfers across borders
encouraged capital to stay at home where it could be
re-invested in the domestic economy. Naturally, elite
economic planners used their influence to minimize the
impact of regulations on corporate profits, but this was
balanced against other considerations.

The removal of regulations under the neoliberal assault led
to exactly the results you might expect - and most certainly
elite planners were well aware of the inevitable
consequences. Over time, the effect of neoliberal
deregulation drove down wages, reduced worker safety,
increased industrial pollution and environmental
degradation, encouraged more corporations to relocate their
production facilities "offshore" to lower-waged countries,
increased unemployment and poverty, and permitted the
increasing concentration of ownership and the domination of
markets by big operators. Quite predictably, the same kind
of social devastation arose which had characterized the
Robber Baron era of the late 1800s. Corporate profits were
skyrocketing, the stock market grew wildly, and many
fortunes were made. Television told people the system was
working and that only more deregulation could make things

The postwar regulatory regime had served society's best
interests and it had been intentionally encouraged by the
elite planners themselves. Neoliberal propaganda, on the
other hand, claimed that all regulations had arisen out of
the perversity of "interfering bureaucrats". Neoliberal
propaganda was and still is shallow and simplistic, it
ignores all history, and it flies in the face of direct
experience. But as propaganda pioneer Paul Goebbels
discovered, if you tell a big enough lie, and you tell it
often enough, people will eventually believe it. When that
philosophy is augmented by the talents of Madison Avenue and
Hollywood, and the mass channels of film and television - it
is very difficult for the average viewer to know what is
real and what is not.

Although the nation state was losing its power over
corporations, it remained as powerful as ever over ordinary
people. Social deterioration led to unrest and increased
crime, as was easily predictable. Policing was increased,
tough-on-crime policies were adopted, and prison populations
increased. Police forces started getting better equipment
and elite police groups were formed which used
military-style automatic weapons. Films like "Dirty Harry"
depicted police as being hampered by bureaucratic and
constitutional restrictions - generating public support for
more aggressive policing. Social order in the postwar regime
had been largely based on voluntary compliance with laws.
Under neoliberalism, the beginnings of police-state tactics
and a police-state mentality began to emerge. With general
prosperity abandoned, and society rapidly deteriorating, a
strong nation state - in terms of police power - was
important to the success of neoliberalism.

Part of the police-state mentality was the belief that
constitutional civil liberties were a "bureaucratic
nuisance" that hampered police investigations and
contributed to crime. Popular opinion began to revile the
very protections that had been so greatly valued by the
earlier citizens who had fought and died to achieve them.
The denigration of politicians and government - a central
theme of neoliberal propaganda - further eroded public
support for democratic institutions. Citizens were
applauding the weakening of the only institutions which
could possibly represent their interests effectively.

Let us now take a look at some of the elite thinking that
went into the formulation of this bold neoliberal
architecture. Recall that the Council on Foreign Relations
was the elite think tank which had been responsible for
designing the postwar architecture. CFR has continued to be
highly influential in planning circles. One of the most
prominent spokesmen for the CFR is Harvard history Professor
Samuel P. Huntington. Huntington has published several
pivotal articles and books which serve to promote elite
regime changes in terms which appeal to wider leadership
circles in government and industry.

In May 1975, a remarkable report was made public - the
Report of the Trilateral Task Force on Governability of
Democracies. In the book TRILATERALISM, Alan Wolfe discusses
this report. He focuses especially on the analysis presented
by Huntington in a section of the report entitled the Crisis
of Democracy. Permit me to paraphrase from Wolfe's
discussion, which begins on p. 295... Huntington tells us
that democratic societies "cannot work" unless the citizenry
is "passive". The "democratic surge of the 1960s"
represented an "excess of democracy", which must be reduced
if governments are to carry out their "traditional
policies", both domestic and foreign. Huntington's notion of
"traditional policies" is expressed in the following passage
from the report:

    To the extent that the United States was governed by anyone
    during the decades after World War II, it was governed by
    the President acting with the support and cooperation of key
    individuals and groups in the executive office, the federal
    bureaucracy, Congress, and the more important businesses,
    banks, law firms, foundations, and media, which constitute
    the private sector's "Establishment."

As you can see, Huntington's analysis was in complete
agreement with the one which has been developed in this
article. He concurs that citizen docility ("passivity") is
central to the success of the elite regime - if "traditional
policies" are to be carried out. In other words, docility is
necessary if the interests of elite capital ("important
businesses, banks" and the rest of the "Establishment") are
to be served. His words also re-confirm that policy making
is indeed an elite process, centered at the top echelons of
U.S. government. Even the title "Crisis of Democracy" was
unusually candid - as the "crisis" was one being faced by
the elite, not by the public or by government.

Huntington was accurately describing the fact that the
democratic process was becoming a hindrance to elite
objectives, and he was recommending that the "excess of
democracy" be "reduced". Huntington's remarks were
surprisingly candid - he was giving us a rare glance into
inner-circle thinking. Huntington takes it for granted that
the purpose of government is to support capitalist growth -
democracy is only useful if it serves that purpose. As Wolfe
expressed it:

    The warning that comes across clearly from a reading of The
    Crisis of Democracy is that some people with access to the
    center of power now understand that the change in popular
    attitudes toward government will necessitate a rapid
    dismantling of the whole structure of liberal democracy.

As we have seen, neoliberalism indeed did lead to "a rapid
dismantling of the whole structure of liberal democracy".
Five years before Reagan & Thatcher unleashed the neoliberal
assault the clear signals about the agenda were already
visible - if you knew where to look. As it turns out,
Huntington has published subsequent material which forecasts
in some detail later dramatic regime changes. His book The
Clash of Civilizations will prove to very useful in section
6 when we investigate the meaning of President George Bush's
New World Order.

The changes caused by neoliberalism were extensive and
all-pervasive. They were revolutionary changes and they
transformed not only British and American society but they
also exerted pressure on other nations to adopt similar
policies in order to remain competitive. But as dramatic as
it was, the neoliberal revolution did not result in modern
globalization. The core of the globalization agenda is about
radical free trade - the elimination of all restrictions on
international trade and investment. Under neoliberalism,
trade barriers remained as an acceptable tool for
governments to use to protect local industry. Under
globalization transnational corporations are the center of
power and national boundaries are irrelevant to corporations
and investors. Under neoliberalism corporations retain a
bond with their home nation, and continue to depend on
government for protection from foreign competition.

Furthermore, globalization applies to the whole world while
neoliberalism was primarily limited to Britain & the U.S.
Nixon's gold-standard decision complemented the neoliberal
revolution, but in many ways that act can be seen as a very
early first step toward globalization - it affected all
nations and it significantly enhanced the power of capital
on a global scale.

Recommended reading:

William Greider, Who Will Tell the People, the Betrayal of
American Democracy, Touchstone - Simon & Schuster, New York,

Haynes Johnson, Sleepwalking Through History, America in the
Reagan Years, W. W. Norton, New York, 1991.


The period 1989-1990 brought more REVOLUTIONARY SHIFTS
in the postwar's global architecture. Two very significant
historical events occurred during that period - the collapse
of the Soviet Union and the Desert Storm. Even before the
dust had settled from these events, President George Bush
announced on global television that a NEW WORLD ORDER had
been established. What he meant by that was not immediately
obvious, but the meaning became clear as subsequent events
unfolded - under U.S. leadership and with the support of
massive propaganda.

Desert Storm represented a revolutionary shift in
international relations. It set a precedent which was to
pave the way for later interventions in Albania, Bosnia, and
eventually Yugoslavia and East Timor. The kind of "order
restoring" interventions which the U.S. had formerly carried
out unilaterally - and which were often opposed by global
public opinion - were now being carried out on behalf of
global public opinion. In addition, other Western powers and
NATO started playing a bigger role. Pax americana continued
to provide the framework of world order, but within that
framework other Western powers were assuming a partnership
role in maintaining by force the system of collective

Meanwhile, the collapse of the Soviet Union offered major
new opportunities to the West. The Soviet realms were
abandoning socialism, and looking to the West for a vision
of their new future. Big Western investors and transnational
corporations stood to realize immense profits out of
development projects in that vast region. A world-class
investment vehicle was in the process of being launched. And
the Soviet deterrent to U.S. aggression was to be no more -
the New World Order was to have a free hand on the world

The build-up to Desert Storm witnessed an unprecedented
global propaganda campaign aimed at building widespread
support for intervention. Lies were spread about babies in
Kuwait being taken from their incubators and left to die.
Saddam Hussein - who had been the darling of the West during
the decade-long war with Iran - was rapidly transformed by a
demonization campaign into a reincarnation of Hitler

The U.S. blocked all attempts at effective negotiation
before the war, and the invasion was launched at the
earliest moment permitted by the UN authorization - despite
(or because of) the fact that a Soviet-brokered deal seemed
about to bear fruit. The evidence was clear that the U.S.
wanted this intervention very badly, although the motivation
was not apparent at the time. The only thing that was clear
is that some hidden agenda was being pursued. The public
agenda was all about freeing Kuwait, but the actual
execution of Desert Storm went far, far beyond that limited
objective. As the Storm progressed - utterly destroying Iraq
as a modern nation - the public objective of the campaign
gradually shifted from freeing Kuwait to ousting Saddam from
power. The way was being prepared for Bush to make historic
new-world-order announcement. Once again, by means of
dual-agenda propaganda, top U.S. leadership had accomplished
their own hidden agenda - in this case the establishment of
a new global regime of international "order".

The sanctity of national sovereignty - which had been taken
very seriously by the UN's general membership ever since
the UN was formed - was to be rapidly abandoned by this new
world order. Sovereignty was becoming conditional. If a
nation met with the disapproval of the "international
community" then it was now to be subject to forceful
disciplining by means of Western military power. And what
the "international community" approved or disapproved of -
it turned out - was whatever the corporate-owned
international media said it approved or disapproved of.
Since the 1970s the West had funded and supported genocide
in East Timor. But only when the mass media started covering
events there did "international opinion" take note.

The basic outline of Bush's new world order became
eventually obvious from events. However a much more
comprehensive perspective was provided for us, once again,
by Samuel P. Huntington. In the summer of 1993 he published
an article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS entitled THE CLASH OF
CIVILIZATIONS. In 1997, he elaborated his vision further in
WORLD ORDER. In this book he divides the world into eight
"civilizations," and provides a detailed description of the
dynamics planned for the new global regime. Ongoing
"KULTUR-KAMPF" (culture clash) is to be expected.

When Huntington's CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY was published, little
public note was taken. Its prophetic significance only
became apparent five years later with the launch of the
neoliberal revolution. In the case of CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
there was again a delay of four years from the time the
initial article was published before its full importance was
noted. Soon after the publication of the book version, the
significance of Huntington's vision was duly noted in the
mainstream press:

    The Clash of Civilizations, the book by Harvard professor
    Sam Huntington, may not have hit the bestseller lists, but
    its dire warning of a 21st century  rivalry between
    the liberal white folk and the Yellow Peril - sorry, the
    Confucian cultures - is underpinning the formation of a new
    political environment.

    To adapt one of Mao's subtler metaphors, Huntington's
    Kultur-kampf is becoming, with stunning speed, the
    conceptual sea in which Washington's policy-making fish now
    - Guardian Weekly, April 6, 1997

Within regions, according to the kultur-kampf paradigm,
there are to be "core states," which are to have a special
role in maintaining order within "their" regions. As the US
"authorizes" Turkish incursions into Iraq - and as Turkish
attempts to join the EU are regularly rebuffed - we can see
Turkey being excluded from the Western "civilization" and
being guided into a core-state role in the Islamic

Between regions, says Huntington, we are to expect perpetual
"fault-line conflicts," which are to be resolved through the
auspices of "non primary level participants." This is what
has been happening in Yugoslavia, where allegedly neutral
NATO is "resolving" the fault-line conflict between the
Muslim and Christian "civilizations." The media reported on
Serbian "ethnic cleansing," but in the larger picture it was
the West that has engaged in ethnic cleansing. By
destabilizing and fragmenting Yugoslavia, the West could
then assign the various pieces to their appropriate

Huntington's core states are nothing really new, but are
simply a renaming of what have been traditionally called
Western "client states." Managing "fault line conflicts",
for supposedly humanitarian reasons, becomes the excuse for
intervention, in place of "defending strategic interests" or
"resisting communism," - but maintaining collective Western
domination continues to be the underlying agenda.

Under this regional regime there is little danger of
Armageddon, nor is there any hope of a final peace. Ongoing
managed conflict is to be the order of things, providing
dynamic stability, with the price in suffering to be paid by
the people of the non-Western "civilizations." George
Orwell's 1984 becomes especially prophetic at this point in
history, not only because of its kultur-kampf-like warfare
scenarios, but also because of the rapid "Orwellian" shifts
in public rhetoric that have accompanied globalization and
the onset of its new world order.

The latest propaganda cloak - masking the regime of
kultur-kampf imperialism - is called humanitarian
intervention. Clinton made it all quite clear, when he spoke
to NATO troops in Macedonia in July 1999. In this momentous
announcement, amounting to a global Monroe Doctrine, the US
- along with its faithful assistant, NATO - declares its
right and its intention to forcefully intervene in the
affairs of any nation, whenever and wherever it chooses:

    "We must win the peace. If we can do this here...we can then
    say to the people of the world, 'Whether you live in Africa
    or Central Europe or any other place, if somebody comes
    after innocent civilians and tries to kill them en masse
    because of their race, their ethnic background or their
    religion and it is within our power stop it, we will stop
    - "The Clinton Doctrine", from the Washington Post,
    reprinted in The Guardian Weekly, July 1-7 1999, p. 31

You've got hand it to him... it's a very effective formula.
Who can resist the idea of taking action to prevent

The problem with the tidy little formula is that the same
folks who decide where to intervene are the ones who run the
global system that intentionally creates the conditions
which are destabilizing societies globally and making
pretexts for intervention plentiful.

It is the USA which installed or supported Noriega, Marcos,
Pinochet, the Shah, the Ayatollah, and Saddam Hussein. It is
the West that sold Saddam weapons of mass destruction. It is
the West that supported Suharto and profited from his
crony-capitalist regime and East Timor repression. It is the
US and Germany who intentionally promoted the
destabilization of Yugoslavia over the past decade and
repeatedly encouraged Milosevic, giving him enough rope so
they could later hang him with it.

A band of arsonists has successfully usurped the role of
global fire crew. They start fires all over the world on a
routine basis, and whenever they want to intervene
militarily, all they have to do is turn the media spotlight
on the results of their own diabolical handiwork. Not only
that, but when they do intervene, as we've seen in Iraq and
Yugoslavia, they don't put out the fire: they simply burn
down the rest of the house. Ethnic repression is going on
all over the world, including within staunch American allies
such as Turkey and Israel, and Most Favored Nations such as
China. But only when the corporate mass media gets around to
'revealing' such a circumstance does it become a
'humanitarian crisis'.

Huntington's civilizational paradigm gives Western nations a
plausible justification for pursuing their self interest on
the world stage, as they play their "natural role" as one of
the contending "civilizations." It gives Western forces a
"right" to intervene, as "disinterested parties"
adjudicating "fault-line" conflicts or protecting
"humanitarian" interests. The kultur-kampf mythology reeks
of Western hypocrisy, and its implicit imperialism is
disastrous for most of the world in terms of human rights
abuses, disease and starvation, and lack of
self-determination. Nonetheless, the doctrine appears to
offer an effective propaganda strategy for maintaining
Western hegemony under globalization into the new

The only visible threats to this scheme are Russia and
China.  Russia, because it retains a credible nuclear
deterrent, and China, because it is pursuing a policy of
strategic weapons development and is seeking to achieve for
itself regional hegemony in Asia. Both Russia and China
strongly protested the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia - they
understood that their own sovereignty was being threatened
by the precedent being set there.  More recently, Russia has
asserted that it continues to considers itself to be a super
power and intends to keep its strategic forces on alert
status.  If Russia and China remain unwilling to submit
themselves to the new world order, then decisive military
action by the USA is likely.

The devestating bombing campaigns against Iraq and
Yugoslavia made no sense within their own contexts - but
they make considerable sense in the context of a
confrontation between the U.S. and Russia & China.  Those
incidents served as precedents for the abandonment of
national sovereignty; they served as warnings that the U.S.
is prepared to destroy whole nations under its
new-world-order system; they served as testing grounds for
hi-tech weapons systems and for global propaganda tactics.
U.S. spending on weapons development continues at Cold War
levels, with a strong emphasis on developing the kind
hi-tech weapons that could upgrade Desert Storm tactics to
the scale of Russia and China.

rec read:


Foreign Affairs - THE CHINA QUESTION




Allow me to summarize what has been said so far.

The course of world events, for the first time in history,
is now largely controlled by a centralized global regime.
This regime has been consolidating its power ever since
World War II and is now formalizing that power into a
collection of centralized institutions and a new system of
international "order".  Top Western political leaders are
participants in this global regime, and the strong Western
nation state is rapidly being dismantled and destablized.
The global regime serves elite corporate interests
exclusively.  It has no particular regard for human rights,
democracy, human welfare, or the health of the environment.
The only god of this regime is the god of wealth

From the beginning, this evolving regime has employed
dual-agenda propaganda.  For each elite initiative there
has been a public cover-story which makes that initiative
seem palatable to public opinion.  There has been a public
reality and a hidden reality.  In public reality the UN was
to be the instrument of peaceful internantional
collaboration.  In fact the postwar era has been dominated
by US interventionism in support of international capital.
In public reality the Reagan-Thatcher revolution was about
increasing freedom.  In fact neoliberalism was about
transferring power to corporations and dismantling
democracy.  In public reality humanitarianism has been the
motivation for the recent acceleration in Western
interventions.  In fact the global regime has been
establishing - in the public mind - the "legitimacy" of its
new world order.

In Section 1, THE CRISIS OF GLOBALIZATION, the following
observation was offered:

    A once functional ideology has now become dysfunctional and
    yet it remains globally dominant. This is humanity's mental
    disconnect; this is our collective insanity - our
    dysfunctional, out-of-date growth ideology.

But in fact is not humanity - in any democratic sense -
which has a "mental disconnect".  It is not humanity that
directs the course of world events.  It is not humanity that
decides to give top priority to unrestrained growth.  And
yet humanity, in a general sense, IS AQUIESCING to this state of
affairs.  It is acquiescing not out of informed choice, but
out of a diet of disinformation and a lack of perceived

In two centuries the Western world has come full circle from
tyranny to tyranny.  The tyranny of monarchs was overthrown
in the Enlightenment and democratic republics were
established.   Two centuries later those republics are being
destabilized and a new tyranny is assuming power - a global
tyranny of anonymous corporate greed.  Lacking even the
compassion of a human tyrant, this anonymous regime has no
qualms about destroying nations and engaging in genocide.

Humanity can do better than this - much better - and there
is reason to hope that the time is ripe for humanity to
bring about revolutionary changes.  For the past two hundred
years capitalism has employed a sound formula to maintain
its stranglehold over the world.  That formula has been
based on the relative prosperity of Western populations -
popular support maintained Western regimes which were
capable of restraining by military force the rest of the
world.  That formula reached its culmination in the postwar
years when that prosperity reached unprecedented heights and
simultaneously a centralized global regime was being

With neoliberalism and globalization, this formula has been
replaced by another.  Western populations have been
abandoned and capitalism has bet its future on the success
of its WTO/ Pentagon/ NATO new-world-order system. In a few
years this regime may be so thoroughly established that it
will be invincible.  But in the meantime - if Western
populations wake up to the fact that they are being betrayed
- they might possibly rise up and assert the democratic
sovereignty which they in theory yet possess.  If such a
democratic revolution occurs, there is even some hope that
the revolution would move in the direction of sanity -
establishing a livable and peaceful world.

There are three primary obstacles standing in the way of
such an outcome.  First is the obstacle of PUBLIC AWAKENING.
Until a very large number of people wake up from their
mass-media trance, there is no hope that the tyrannical
global regime can be overcome.  Second is the obstacle of
VISION.  Unless there is a viable collective vision of a
better future, then a popular uprising would probably do
more harm than good.  Third is the obstacle of MEANS.  A
revolutionary uprising, even one with a sound vision for the
future, cannot succeed unless it has a sound strategy to
achieve victory.

A PUBLIC AWAKENING is not such a far-fetched thing as you
might imagine.  In fact hundreds of thousands have ALREADY
woken up - and they are called POLITICAL ACTIVISTS.  It is
not apathy but rather divisiveness that impedes the
development of a massive, global, grass-roots movement for a
sane and livable world. The first step in achieving a wider
public awakening is the achievement of effective
collaboration among politically active groups and
individuals.  Such collaboration can then provide the
basis upon which a broader movement could be built.

In early December, in Seattle, we may have seen the
beginnings of just such a collaboration.  Activists from
around the world, from many different "causes", and across
social divisions, all gathered in opposition to the WTO -
the central symbol of the global regime.  Television viewers
saw only images of violent confrontation.  But behind the
scenes classes and discussions had been organized -
activists were expanding their understanding by sharing
their insights and experiences with one another.  It is by
such means that common purpose is identified, that a sense
of solidarity arises, and the effective and sustained
collaboration can begin.


Richard K Moore
Wexford, Irleand
Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance

                Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
                committed citizens can change the world,
                indeed it's the only thing that ever has.
                        - Margaret Mead

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