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Constructing the Political Structure of a Global Government

Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton administration from 1994 to 2001, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission and is currently President of the Brookings Institution, a prominent US think tank. In 1992, before becoming Deputy Secretary of State, he wrote an article for Time Magazine originally titled, “The Birth of the Global Nation,” which has now, in the Time Magazine archives, been renamed “America Abroad.” In the article, he states that within the next 100 years, “nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century -- "citizen of the world" -- will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st.”
Interestingly, Talbott endorses the social constructivist perspective of nation-states and international order, stating that, “All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary. Through the ages, there has been an overall trend toward larger units claiming sovereignty and, paradoxically, a gradual diminution of how much true sovereignty any one country actually has.”
He explained that empires “were a powerful force for obliterating natural and demographic barriers and forging connections among far-flung parts of the world,” and following that, “Empire eventually yielded to the nation-state,” and that, “The main goal driving the process of political expansion and consolidation was conquest. The big absorbed the small, the strong the weak. National might made international right. Such a world was in a more or less constant state of war.” Talbott states that, “perhaps national sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all.”
He continued, saying that, “it has taken the events in our own wondrous and terrible century to clinch the case for world government. With the advent of electricity, radio and air travel, the planet has become smaller than ever, its commercial life freer, its nations more interdependent and its conflicts bloodier.” Further, “Each world war inspired the creation of an international organization, the League of Nations in the 1920s and the United Nations in the '40s.” He explained, “The plot thickened with the heavy-breathing arrival on the scene of a new species of ideology -- expansionist totalitarianism -- as perpetrated by the Nazis and the Soviets. It threatened the very idea of democracy and divided the world. [Thus] The advocacy of any kind of world government became highly suspect.” However, as Talbott points out, Soviet expansion led the way for NATO expansion, and “The cold war also saw the European Community pioneer the kind of regional cohesion that may pave the way for globalism.”
On top of that, “the free world formed multilateral financial institutions that depend on member states' willingness to give up a degree of sovereignty. The International Monetary Fund can virtually dictate fiscal policies, even including how much tax a government should levy on its citizens. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade regulates how much duty a nation can charge on imports. These organizations can be seen as the protoministries of trade, finance and development for a united world.” In addressing crises, Talbott wrote that, “Globalization has also contributed to the spread of terrorism, drug trafficking, AIDS and environmental degradation. But because those threats are more than any one nation can cope with on its own, they constitute an incentive for international cooperation.” Thus, out of crisis, comes opportunity; out of chaos comes order.
In prescribing a solution, Talbott postulates that, “The best mechanism for democracy, whether at the level of the multinational state or that of the planet as a whole, is not an all-powerful Leviathan or centralized superstate, but a federation, a union of separate states that allocate certain powers to a central government while retaining many others for themselves.”[56]
In a 1974 issue of Foreign Affairs, Richard N. Gardner wrote about the formation of the New World Order. Gardner, a former American ambassador to the United Nations, Italy and Spain, is also a member of the Trilateral Commission. In his article, The Hard Road to World Order, Gardner wrote that, “The quest for a world structure that secures peace, advances human rights and provides the conditions for economic progress—for what is loosely called world order—has never seemed more frustrating but at the same time strangely hopeful.”[57] He explained that, “few people retain much confidence in the more ambitious strategies for world order that bad wide backing a generation ago—‘world federalism,’ ‘charter review,’ and "world peace through world law’.” Further, “The same considerations suggest the doubtful utility of bolding a [UN] Charter review conference.”[58]
Gardner wrote, “If instant world government, Charter review, and a greatly strengthened International Court do not provide the answers, what hope for progress is there? The answer will not satisfy those who seek simple solutions to complex problems, but it comes down essentially to this: The hope for the foreseeable future lies, not in building up a few ambitious central institutions of universal membership and general jurisdiction as was envisaged at the end of the last war, but rather in the much more decentralized, disorderly and pragmatic process of inventing or adapting institutions of limited jurisdiction and selected membership to deal with specific problems on a case-by-case basis, as the necessity for cooperation is perceived by the relevant nations.”
He then stated, “In short, the "house of world order" will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great "booming, buzzing confusion," to use William James' famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”[59]
In the 2001 issue of Foreign Affairs, Richard Falk and Andrew Strauss wrote an article titled, “Toward Global Parliament.” They wrote that, “International governance is no longer limited to such traditional fare as defining international borders, protecting diplomats, and proscribing the use of force. Many issues of global policy that directly affect citizens are now being shaped by the international system. Workers can lose their jobs as a result of decisions made at the WTO or within regional trade regimes.”[60] In 2006, a UN report stated that, “the nation-state is an old-fashioned concept that has no role to play in a modern globalised world.”[61]
Further, “As with citizen groups, elite business participation in the international system is becoming institutionalized. The best example is the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In the 1980s, the WEF transformed itself from an organization devoted to humdrum management issues into a dynamic political forum. Once a year, a thousand of the world s most powerful business executives get together with another thousand of the world's senior policymakers to participate in a week of roundtables and presentations. The WEF also provides ongoing arenas for discussion and recommendations on shaping global policy.” They continue in explaining that, “The Davos assembly and overlapping networks of corporate elites, such as the International Chamber of Commerce, have been successful in shaping compatible global policies. Their success has come in the expansion of international trade regimes, the modest regulation of capital markets, the dominance of neoliberal market philosophy, and the supportive collaboration of most governments, especially those of rich countries.”[62]
In explaining the purpose of a global parliament, essentially to address the “democratic deficit” created by international organizations, the authors wrote that, “Some business leaders would certainly oppose a global parliament because it would broaden popular decision-making and likely press for transnational regulations. But others are coming to believe that the democratic deficit must be closed by some sort of stakeholder accommodation. After all, many members of the managerial class who were initially hostile to such reform came to realize that the New Deal—or its social-democratic equivalent in Europe—was necessary to save capitalism. Many business leaders today similarly agree that democratization is necessary to make globalization politically acceptable throughout the world.” Essentially, its purpose would be to give globalization “grassroots acceptance and legitimacy.”[63]
David Rothkopf, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade in the Clinton administration, former managing director of Kissinger and Associates, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently wrote a book titled, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. As a member of that “superclass,” his writing should provide a necessary insight into the construction of this “New World Order.” He states that, “In a world of global movements and threats that don’t present their passports at national borders, it is no longer possible for a nation-state acting alone to fulfill its portion of the social contract.” He wrote that, “progress will continue to be made,” however, it will be challenging, because it “undercuts many national and local power structures and cultural concepts that have foundations deep in the bedrock of human civilization, namely the notion of sovereignty.” He further wrote that, “Mechanisms of global governance are more achievable in today’s environment,” and that these mechanisms “are often creative with temporary solutions to urgent problems that cannot wait for the world to embrace a bigger and more controversial idea like real global government.”[64]
Jacques Attali, founder and former President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and economic adviser to French President Nicholas Sarkozy, interviewed on EuroNews, said that, “either we’re heading towards a world government or we’re going to put national issues first.” The interviewer stated that the idea of world government will frighten many people, to which Attali responded, “Indeed, that’s only to be expected, because it seems like a fantasy. But there is already global authority in many areas,” and that, “even if it’s hard to think of a European government at the moment, which is there, but very weak, Europe can at least press on its experience to the world. If they’re not capable of creating an economic framework along side a political framework, then they’re never going to do it on a global scale. And then the world economic model will break up, and we’ll be back to the Great Depression.”[65]
In December of 2008, the Financial Times published an article titled, “And Now for A World Government,” in which the author, former Bilderberg attendee, Gideon Rachman, wrote that, “for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible,” and that, “A ‘world government’ would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.”
He stated that, “it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there is global warming, a global financial crisis and a ‘global war on terror’.” He wrote that the European model could “go global” and that a world government “could be done,” as “The financial crisis and climate change are pushing national governments towards global solutions, even in countries such as China and the US that are traditionally fierce guardians of national sovereignty.” He quoted an adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy as saying, “Global governance is just a euphemism for global government,” and that the “core of the international financial crisis is that we have global financial markets and no global rule of law.” However, Rachman states that any push towards a global government “will be a painful, slow process.” He then states that a key problem in this push can be explained with an example from the EU, which “has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for ‘ever closer union’ have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic. [Emphasis added]”[66]
In November of 2008, the United States National Intelligence Council (NIC), the US intelligence community’s “center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking,” released a report that it produced in collaboration with numerous think tanks, consulting firms, academic institutions and hundreds of other experts, among them are the Atlantic Council of the United States, the Wilson Center, RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, Texas A&M University, the Council on Foreign Relations and Chatham House in London.[67]
Outlining the global trends that the world will be going through up to the year 2025, the report states that the financial crisis “will require long-term efforts to establish a new international system.” It suggests that as the “China-model” for development becomes increasingly attractive, there may be a “decline in democratization” for emerging economies, authoritarian regimes, and “weak democracies frustrated by years of economic underperformance.” Further, the dollar will cease to be the global reserve currency, as there would likely be a “move away from the dollar.”[68]
Further, the dollar will become “something of a first among equals in a basket of currencies by 2025. This could occur suddenly in the wake of a crisis, or gradually with global rebalancing.”[69] The report elaborates on the construction of a new international system, stating that, “By 2025, nation-states will no longer be the only – and often not the most important – actors on the world stage and the ‘international system’ will have morphed to accommodate the new reality. But the transformation will be incomplete and uneven.” Further, it would be “unlikely to see an overarching, comprehensive, unitary approach to global governance. Current trends suggest that global governance in 2025 will be a patchwork of overlapping, often ad hoc and fragmented efforts, with shifting coalitions of member nations, international organizations, social movements, NGOs, philanthropic foundations, and companies.” It also notes that, “Most of the pressing transnational problems – including climate change, regulation of globalized financial markets, migration, failing states, crime networks, etc. – are unlikely to be effectively resolved by the actions of individual nation-states. The need for effective global governance will increase faster than existing mechanisms can respond.”[70]
The report discusses regionalism, and stated that, “Asian regionalism would have global implications, possibly sparking or reinforcing a trend toward three trade and financial clusters that could become quasi-blocs (North America, Europe, and East Asia).” These blocs “would have implications for the ability to achieve future global World Trade Organization agreements and regional clusters could compete in the setting of trans-regional product standards for IT, biotech, nanotech, intellectual property rights, and other ‘new economy’ products.”[71]
In discussing democracy and democratization, the report stated that, “advances are likely to slow and globalization will subject many recently democratized countries to increasing social and economic pressures that could undermine liberal institutions.” This is largely because “the better economic performance of many authoritarian governments could sow doubts among some about democracy as the best form of government.  The surveys we consulted indicated that many East Asians put greater emphasis on good management, including increasing standards of livings, than democracy.” Further, “even in many well-established democracies, surveys show growing frustration with the current workings of democratic government and questioning among elites over the ability of democratic governments to take the bold actions necessary to deal rapidly and effectively with the growing number of transnational challenges.”[72] In other words, “well established democracies,” such as those in Western Europe and North America, will, through successive crises (climate, finance, war), erode and replace their democratic systems of government with totalitarian structures that are able to “take the bold actions necessary” to deal with “transnational challenges.”
David Rockefeller wrote in his book, Memoirs, that, “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” (Empahsis added) [73]
The Global Economic Crisis in Context
The current global economic crisis has its roots not in the Bush administration, which is linear and diluted thinking at best, but in the systematic nature of the global capitalist system. Crisis is not separate from capital; crisis is capitalist expansion. In addressing the foundations of the economic crisis, neo-Marxist theory can help explain much of the actions and functions that led to the crisis.
In 2006, Walden Bello wrote an article for Third World Quarterly, in which he explained that, “The crisis of globalisation and over-accumulation is one of the three central crises that are currently eroding US hegemony. The other two are the over-extension of US military power and the crisis of legitimacy of liberal democracy.” He explained that, “Monetary manipulation, via the high interest rate regime initiated by Federal Reserve Chief Paul Volcker in the late 1980s, while directed at fighting inflation, was also geared strategically at channeling global savings to the USA to fuel economic expansion. One key consequence of this momentous move was the Third World debt crisis of the early 1980s, which ended the boom of the economies of the South and led to their resubordination to the Northern capitalist centres.”[74]
The economic foundations of the current crisis were laid in the “Clinton globalist project.” As Bello explained, “The administration embraced globalisation as its ‘Grand Strategy’—that is, its fundamental foreign policy posture towards the world.” Further, “The dominant position of the USA allowed the liberal faction of the US capitalist class to act as a leading edge of a transnational ruling elite in the process of formation—a transnational elite alliance that could act to promote the comprehensive interest of the international capitalist class.”[75]
Bello then explained that, “the dominant dynamic of global capitalism during the Clinton period—one that was the source of its strength as well as its Achilles’ Heel—was not the movement of productive capital but the gyrations of finance capital.” The dominance of finance capital was “a result of the declining profitability of industry brought about by the crisis of overproduction. By 1997 profits in US industry had stopped growing. Financial speculation, or what one might conceptualise as the squeezing of value from already created value, became the most dynamic source of profitability.” This was termed “financialization,” and it had many components that composed its structure and led way for its dominance. Among these were the “Elimination of restrictions dating back to the 1930s that had created a Chinese Wall between investment banking and commercial banking in the USA opened up a new era of rapid consolidation in the US financial sector.”[76]
Specifically, this is in reference to the repealing of the Glass-Steagall Act, put in place in 1933 in response to the actions that created the Great Depression, which undertook banking reforms, specifically those designed to limit speculation. In 1987, the Federal Reserve Board voted to ease regulations under Glass-Steagall, after hearing “proposals from Citicorp, J.P. Morgan and Bankers Trust advocating the loosening of Glass-Steagall restrictions to allow banks to handle several underwriting businesses, including commercial paper, municipal revenue bonds, and mortgage-backed securities.” And, “In August 1987, Alan Greenspan -- formerly a director of J.P. Morgan and a proponent of banking deregulation – [became] chairma...
Chris Hedges

The rage of the disposed is fracturing the country, dividing it into camps that are unmoored from the political mainstream. Movements are building on the ends of the political spectrum that have lost faith in the mechanisms of democratic change. You can’t blame them. But unless we on the left move quickly, this rage will be captured by a virulent and racist right wing, one that seeks a disturbing proto-fascism.

Every day counts. Every deferral of protest hurts. We should, if we have the time and the ability, make our way to Pittsburgh for the meeting of the G-20 this week rather than do what the power elite is hoping we will do—stay home. Complacency comes at a horrible price.

“The leaders of the G-20 are meeting to try and salvage their power and money after everything that has gone wrong,” said Benedicto Martinez Orozco, co-president of the Mexican Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT), who is in Pittsburgh for the protests. “This is what this meeting is about.”

The draconian security measures put in place to silence dissent in Pittsburgh are disproportionate to any actual security concern. They are a response not to a real threat, but to the fear gripping the established centers of power.

The power elite grasps, even if we do not, the massive fraud and theft being undertaken to save a criminal class on Wall Street and international speculators of the kinds who were executed in other periods of human history. They know the awful cost this plundering of state treasuries will impose on workers, who will become a permanent underclass. And they also know that once this is clear to the rest of us, rebellion will no longer be a foreign concept.

The delegates to the G-20, the gathering of the world’s wealthiest nations, will consequently be protected by a National Guard combat battalion, recently returned from Iraq. The battalion will shut down the area around the city center, man checkpoints and patrol the streets in combat gear. Pittsburgh has augmented the city’s police force of 1,000 with an additional 3,000 officers. Helicopters have begun to buzz gatherings in city parks, buses driven to Pittsburgh to provide food to protesters have been impounded, activists have been detained, and permits to camp in the city parks have been denied. Web sites belonging to resistance groups have been hacked and trashed, and many groups suspect that they have been infiltrated and that their phones and e-mail accounts are being monitored.

Larry Holmes, an organizer from New York City, stood outside a tent encampment on land owned by the Monumental Baptist Church in the city’s Hill District. He is one of the leaders of the Bail Out the People Movement. Holmes, a longtime labor activist, on Sunday led a march on the convention center by unemployed people calling for jobs. He will coordinate more protests during the week.

“It is de facto martial law,” he said, “and the real effort to subvert the work of those protesting has yet to begin. But voting only gets you so far. There are often not many choices in an election. When you build democratic movements around the war or unemployment you get a more authentic expression of democracy. It is more organic. It makes a difference. History has taught us this.”

Our global economy, like our political system, has been hijacked by a tiny oligarchy, composed mostly of wealthy white men who serve corporations.

They have pledged or raised a staggering $18 trillion, looted largely from state treasuries, to prop up banks and other financial institutions that engaged in suicidal acts of speculation and ruined the world economy.

They have formulated trade deals so corporations can speculate across borders with currency, food and natural resources even as, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 1.02 billion people on the planet struggle with hunger. Globalization has obliterated the ability of many poor countries to protect food staples such as corn, rice, beans and wheat with subsidies or taxes on imported staples. The abolishment of these protections has permitted the giant mechanized farms to wipe out tens of millions of small farmers—2 million in Mexico alone—bankrupting many and driving them off their land. Those who could once feed themselves can no longer find enough food, and the wealthiest governments use institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization like pit bulls to establish economic supremacy. There is little that most governments seem able to do to fight back.

But the game is up. The utopian dreams of globalization have been exposed as a sham. Force is all the elite have left.

We are living through one of civilization’s great seismic reversals. The ideology of globalization, like all utopias that are sold as inevitable and irreversible, has become a farce. The power elite, perplexed and confused, cling to the disastrous principles of globalization and its outdated language to mask the political and economic vacuum before us. The absurd idea that the marketplace alone should determine economic and political constructs caused the crisis. It led the G-20 to sacrifice other areas of human importance—from working conditions, to taxation, to child labor, to hunger, to health and pollution—on the altar of free trade. It left the world’s poor worse off and the United States with the largest deficits in human history. Globalization has become an excuse to ignore the mess. It has left a mediocre elite desperately trying to save a system that cannot be saved and, more important, trying to save itself. “Speculation,” then-President Jacques Chirac of France once warned, “is the AIDS of our economies.” We have reached the terminal stage.

“Each of Globalization’s strengths has somehow turned out to have an opposing meaning,” John Ralston Saul wrote in “The Collapse of Globalism.” “The lowering of national residency requirements for corporations has morphed into a tool for massive tax evasion. The idea of a global economic system mysteriously made local poverty seem unreal, even normal. The decline of the middle class—the very basis of democracy—seemed to be just one of those things that happen, unfortunate but inevitable. That the working class and the lower middle class, even parts of the middle class, could only survive with more than one job per person seemed to be expected punishment for not keeping up. The contrast between unprecedented bonuses for mere managers at the top and the four-job families below them seemed inevitable in a globalized world. For two decades an elite consensus insisted that unsustainable third-world debts could not be put aside in a sort of bad debt reserve without betraying Globalism’s essential principles and moral obligations, which included an unwavering respect for the sanctity of international contracts. It took the same people about two weeks to abandon sanctity and propose bad debt banks for their own far larger debts in 2009.”

The institutions that once provided alternative sources of power, including the press, government, agencies of religion, universities and labor unions, have proved morally bankrupt. They no longer provide a space for voices of moral autonomy. No one will save us now but ourselves.

“The best thing that happened to the Establishment is the election of a black president,” Holmes said. “It will contain people for a given period of time, but time is running out. Suppose something else happens? Suppose another straw breaks? What happens when there is a credit card crisis or a collapse in commercial real estate? The financial system is very, very fragile. The legs are being kicked out from underneath it.”

“Obama is in trouble,” Holmes went on. “The economic crisis is a structural crisis. The recovery is only a recovery for Wall Street. It can’t be sustained, and Obama will be blamed for it. He is doing everything Wall Street demands. But this will be a dead end. It is a prescription for disaster, not only for Obama but the Democratic Party. It is only groups like ours that provide hope. If labor unions will get off their ass and stop focusing on narrow legislation for their members, if they will go back to being social unions that embrace broad causes, we have a chance of effecting change. If this does not happen it will be a right-wing disaster.”

Chris Hedges’ latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.” His weekly column appears Mondays on Truthdig.

John Hoefle

The world has far too many speculators, and not nearly enough machine-tool operators. We need producers, not parasites, if we are to reverse the current collapse into a New Dark Age.

At this late stage, anyone who is fixated on money is missing the point. The global monetary system is dead, and the attempts to revive it through hyperinflationary money-pumping are destroying not only the value of the dollar, but the chain of production upon which human life depends.

It is this chain of production, which is of immediate, crucial concern. As the productive base of the world disintegrates, in the wake of the monetary collapse, the level of population that that economy can support—what Lyndon LaRouche calls relative potential population density—falls with it. When that potential falls below the level of the existing population, as it has today, people begin to die.

The policies of the Anglo-Venetian imperial elite, and the attempts to save its collapsed system through the bailout swindle, are, in effect, killing people, and doing so deliberately. The overriding policy, as Britain's Prince Philip has openly boasted, is to reduce world population by two-thirds. That is genocide—deliberate genocide.

The only way to stop this genocide is to launch a global emergency recovery program, one based on rebuilding the world's productive capacity. That means The LaRouche Plan (see EIR, Oct. 16, 2009), to shut down the parasites, restore financial sanity, and recommit humanity to scientific and technological progress. It means a return to the American System, not only for the United States, but for the world as a whole.

Machine Tools
Machine tools fabricate the machines which turn scientific concepts into real-world products. They make science real, and without a vibrant machine-tool capability, there is no progress. In 2004, LaRouche proposed to take the excess machine-tool capacity in the U.S. auto sector, and put it to use rebuilding the nation's infrastructure and manufacturing capacity. That program was defeated by the oligarchy and its stooges in Washington, and as a result, much of the nation's auto-related machine-tool capability has been lost.

With auto on the way out, the last bastion of the machine-tool sector is the aerospace industry, and it is fading fast there, too. Nowhere is that more evident than in Wichita, Kansas, the self-described "Air Capital of the World," where much of the nation's aerospace equipment is produced.

Aviation Week, in its Oct. 16 issue, called Wichita "a potent symbol of industrial decline," and wondered if it were becoming the "next Detroit." In mid-2008, the aircraft industry had record backlogs and global orders, the magazine said, but then, "it all came crashing down, with a suddenness and severity that no executives had foreseen, even in their worst-case models.... In less than a year, Wichita's three business jet producers—Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and Bombardier's Learjet—have shed about 12,000 jobs, or nearly 30% of the local aerospace workforce, and watched billions of dollars of backlog vanish."

"It is as bad as I've ever seen it for that industry, and I've been doing this for 34 years," International Association of Machinists president Tom Buffenbarger told the magazine. "In September 2008 we had 9,000 openings in Wichita for machinists, aircraft-certified welders, avionics electricians and aircraft sheet-metal people. And today we have 11,000 [union member] layoffs. That's a shift of 20,000 jobs right there."

Sales of machine tools and related technologies plunged 68% during the first eight months of this year, compared to the same period of last year, according to a report by the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributor's Association. What sales there are, are mainly of foreign-made equipment, as American production of machine tools has all but died.

The issue is not only the tools themselves, but the existence of a skilled workforce that knows how to make the tools work. When these workers lose their jobs, even if they take other jobs, the nation loses skills which are vital to the recovery effort. That is true not only for machine-tool operators, but for all sorts of skilled, blue-collar, work. We are rapidly losing the skills necessary to save ourselves and our fellow man from the horrors which are already upon us.

This devastation of a key component of physical production can be laid directly at the feet of the Brutish Empire, the parasitic financial policies of which have blown up the world economy. It can also be laid at the feet of the fascist financiers of the Obama Administration, and its deadly bailout scheme.

The world is falling apart, and the suffering of the people of the planet is growing rapidly. The shrinkage of the machine-tool sector is a harbinger of further collapse, reflecting yet another downshift in manufacturing overall. It is similar in effect to the cutbacks in world shipping, especially the decline in raw materials and semi-finished products. The whole world economy is winding down, and the result will be measured not only in declining levels of goods and services, but in the loss of jobs, the loss of human potential, and in death. A disaster of world-historic proportions is playing out before our eyes.

If we are to survive, we must change the way we approach our work. White-collar jobs, whose numbers zoomed with the rise of the post-industrial society, are for the most part not productive, in the economic sense. We have far too high a percentage of our population employed as lawyers, financiers, clerks, and paper-pushers, and far too low a percentage employed in building infrastructure, manufacturing, and the like. What we need is more blue-collar workers, who know how to build things, who know how to make the machinery of civilization work. We need more scientists and engineers, to discover new physical principles and turn those discoveries into technologies to benefit all of mankind. We need to return to working for a living, instead of manipulating money and shuffling papers.

The LaRouche Plan
In these circumstances, the only subject worth discussing is the physical-economic collapse, its implications, and what can be done to reverse it. And the only solution for that collapse, is the plan developed by LaRouche.

That solution begins by admitting that the financialization and globalization of the planet has not only been a failure, but is the disease which must be eradicated if we are to survive. We must return to the principles upon which the United States was founded, which represented then—and still do today—the high-water mark of Western civilization. The concept that all men are created equal; that all men are born with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that the role of government should be to protect the general welfare of all the people, rather than some self-appointed elite.

The U.S. was founded as the antidote to the disease of oligarchism which infects much of the world today, including many within its own ranks. We in the U.S. must return to that conception, so that we may lead the world away from a New Dark Age and into a new Renaissance. We have it within us, as part of our culture, and it tends to surface in times of crisis. We must draw upon the strength it provides, to see us through these dark times.

The argument of the empire's financiers is that we must save them, in order to save ourselves. This is plantation economics. We do not live off the crumbs from the tables of the elite; it is they who are living off us. No more. We need production, not parasites.

Sergey A. Stroev

Global Research, November 21, 2009
Civilization Alternative (original Russian)

This text will be presented at the Third All-Russia Anti-Global Forum, Moscow, December 2009

It is easier to manage people when they have low needs. Simply because low needs are easier to satisfy. <...> Thus the dictatorship of show business is a part of the state machine. Previously, rock music, as well as earlier the church, were separated from the state, but now they are part of it. The results are well known. Radislava Anchevskaya

There is a popular expression (attributed to various famous authors), that any "anti-" is dissolved in that, against which it is "anti-". This phrase has a profound meaning, which consists in the fact that to unite in a bare denial of anything is counter-productive and doomed to defeat. A viable alternative may be only an independent project that contains a constructive idea and a program for implementation.

Accordingly, the Third Forum of Anti-Global Resistance diverts from the themes of criticism and exposure of the essence of imperialist globalization and seeks to create its own meaningful project, its own civilizational alternative to globalism. As a part of this task, we would like to present our positions in a succinct form.

1. Economy for man, not man for economy.

The logic of modern civilization, which represents global capitalism in the final stage of capital concentration and expansion of markets of raw materials, labor and sales, is profit maximization as the basic task of production. This approach appears to be a form of fetishism, a kind of religious ministry to a deified material idol. It breeds widespread poverty and actual purposeful genocide of the "economically unjustified" populations of entire regions of the world, escalation of class and ethnic conflicts, extremely wasteful and historically irresponsible squandering of nonrenewable natural resources, destruction of traditional cultures and moral standards, imposing standards of consumer thinking and behavior that lead to cultural and intellectual degradation of mankind, denaturalization of consumer goods, leading to an increase in the number of diseases, including the genetic degradation of the human species.

As an alternative, we propose a planned system of production, entirely subordinate to the purposes and objectives of Life and Life Reproduction, meeting the needs of a particular country in the agricultural, industrial, and information products required for the stable maintenance of a decent standard of living. Such a type of production requires as a prerequisite the nationalization of major industries and a significant preponderance of public (state) ownership over private ownership. The existence of such production should imply stable, sustainable self-reproduction, rather than unlimited growth and expansion.

Of course, this approach does not exclude the differences in the levels of development and consumption between developed regions and those lagging behind, but, at least, the present absurd situation of exterminating the "economically unjustified" population will be impossible, given that population has everything needed for sustainable life reproduction on their land.

2. The unconditional priority of the principles of national statehood and sovereignty over the international law, the authority of international organizations and the rights of transnational corporations.

Today, the capitalist system, which has reached the stage of consolidating the world in a single market, seeks to eliminate national borders and make the world completely "free" in the sense of free movement of goods, raw materials, capital and labor, thus totally fine-tuning it with the interests of capitalist profit. This results in withering away of the nationhood, associated with the interests of specific nations and populations of specific areas - that is, with the interests of socially organized populations. In parallel, a number of roles and prerogatives, at first monopolized by the state, have transferred to the extraterritorial power centers (especially TNCs), unrelated to the interests of specific people and specific areas. We observe the formation of private armies and quasi-police security forces of commercial corporations. This situation is fraught with the disappearance of law as a category and the absolutely uncontrollable and irresponsible use of armed violence by financial clans.

A special tragedy of the situation is that modern states, being inherently capitalist, primarily express the will of the bourgeois class, and, in the interests of this class, are losing out to multinational corporate structures with virtually no fighting and resistance.

We propose the shift to the revival of the sovereignty of nation-states, which is possible only if the first item on the program – the nationalization of the basic means of production - is implemented. Only in this case the state would become national, not in word, but in deed, that is expressing the will of the nation, rather than the bourgeois class. And in the modern world such a common nation-state, beyond any class interests, can exist only on the basis of a classless socialist society. Only in this case, the monopoly on armed violence remains under the control of people, and there may be reproduction of the legal relationship (although the legal principle is not absolute and should not apply to all spheres of public life, see below).

3. Priority of preserving the natural environment and cultural sites over their consumer use.

The domination of the present-day capitalocratic principle leads to the overexploitation of unique and irreplaceable objects of nature and culture, wherever the possibility of their utilization gives hope for profit. In the best case, it admits the prevention of their complete destruction based on the argument of maintaining them as a source of long-term business. The argument that they can exist in their own right is completely ignored. Everything is subjected to the paradigm of consumption, formed by advertising for the sake of the increase of business profits.

Rejecting the logic of the subordination of Life to the interest of profit-making, we also deny the principle of the rule of consumption. Of course, the monuments of nature and culture can and should be used for the benefit of man, but only in such a manner that does not contradict the conditions of their conservation and does not cause harm.

4. Preservation of national cultures as an alternative to the unification of the world.

Providing free movement of goods, raw materials and labor in order to maximize profits, capitalocracy rapidly destroys the diversity of human cultures. In place of a flowering diversity of cultures there emerges a unified space of faceless housing, English-language pop music on radio and television, advertising brands, unified fast food, consumer lifestyle, corporate standards of conduct. The masses of people, wandering the world as a free-moving labor, lose their national and cultural identity and become a depersonalized "gray race". The notorious "multiculturalism" does not save the case, transforming cities into a sort of circus buffoonery or Babylonian fair. Such "multiculturalism" does not only protect, but even more destroys the identity of national cultures, randomly mixing their elements and destroying their internal unity.

We assert that cultural diversity is the key to development, and, on the contrary, the unification or chaotic confusion of cultures inevitably leads to cultural impoverishment and cultural degradation of humanity. We also believe that each national culture is an internal unity, and only in this inner unity of each of its elements it becomes meaningful and imbued with spiritual life. Various aspects of culture, such as elements of clothing or traditional law, have a deep inner connection. Breaking these ties, placing cultural elements, torn from their medium, in an alien context, makes them meaningless and in fact deprives them of their cultural value.

Culture in the broadest sense is a way of life of an ethnic group. It is inseparable from the social relations characteristic of this ethnic group, its accommodating landscape, methods and nature of production. The destruction of ethnic boundaries destroys the ethnicity, and, consequently, the culture as a way of its being.

Cultural development is achieved through diversity, and this diversity requires a certain (though certainly not absolute) level of isolation of cultures from each other. Cultural contacts, occurring between peoples as subjects of cultures, of course, enrich these cultures, but they should not exceed the level at which they turn into fusion and confusion, leading to the unification and reduction of cultural diversity. A national culture should have the time for processing and ethnification of the experience, obtained from external contacts, otherwise these contacts become destructive for it.

Therefore, we oppose the policies that encourage the migration processes and ethnic mixing and support limiting migration and maintaining, to the extent possible, the constancy of ethnic composition of each specific territory.

5. The same applies to the conservation of biological, anthropological and racial diversity of humanity.

6. Traditional social structure as an alternative to social atomization.

Traditional social structures ensure multiple and diverse connections and relationships between people, governed by education and customs, rather than legal norms. In this context, a particular importance is given to traditional social institutions (especially family) and the traditional social roles, specific to a particular society and a specific culture. The presence of such multiple informal relations between human beings, on the one hand, is the key to preservation and transmission of a national culture and unwritten life experiences from generation to generation. On the other hand, it protects the individual and the society as a whole from the arbitrary actions of the state and from the manipulation of consciousness.

In an effort to transform the human material into ideal subjects of labor and consumption, the capitalocracy deliberately destroys the ties that unite people into a social organism, it destroys culture, which is inexpedient in terms of commerce, divides generations in order to reduce the formative influence of parents on the child and enhance the impact of mass media, schools and other educational means under its control. The purpose of capitalocracy is the maximum atomization of society, maximum alienation of man from man, and, in the limit, the reduction of the diversity of human relationships to the standards of a legal contract.

Particular efforts in this regard are concentrated on three areas. First, capitalocracy seeks to combat all forms of non-commercial art. An attempt is made, and not without success, to completely replace the artistic creativity with commercial pop industry, which is fundamentally not only extremely primitive, but also entirely high-tech. Second, there is a consistent leveling of gender differences, i.e. the differences in the social behavior of genders. In parallel, under the hypocritical slogan of "protection from domestic violence" the capitalocracy-controlled state assumes the role of a mediator and supervisor of the relationships between man and woman in marriage and outside it. The result is the destruction of the family as the basic unit of society. Third, under the same pretext of "protection from domestic violence", the state positions itself as a mediator and controller between parents and children, deliberately undermining the authority of parents and virtually making family education and cultural transmission from generation to generation impossible.

We put forward and defend the opposite values. We believe that only non-profit art, which arises from the inside urge for creativity, rather than from the need to satisfy someone's demands, is full-fledged. We believe that non-conventional, non-legal, informal forms of relationships between people not only have a right to exist, but should be protected and developed. Therefore, we favor unformatted arts and informal cultures. And of all the informal ties and non-contractual relations, we put at the forefront the most traditional forms as time-tested, rooted in the culture, most stable and able to most effectively resist the destructive influences.

As a prerequisite for socio-cultural and organic unity we assert the absolute value of those types of social behavior, which are developed by culture, such as the historically established interactions between senior and junior, teacher and student, parents and children, between relatives, between friends, etc.

We affirm the naturalness of the connection between traditional gender patterns of social behavior and biological sex, and regard the disruption of this connection (under whatever specious and "socialist" slogans it is made) as totally destructive from the cultural and biological points of view.

We affirm the value of traditional social institutions, especially the traditional family, and believe that government intervention in the internal relations of family members is possible only in exceptional cases, but not everyday life. We believe that the destructive interference of state and public structures in the internal affairs of the family is a much greater evil than the notorious "domestic violence" and the hypocritical struggle with it which this interference is disguised in.

We are aware that the traditional social relations we uphold are incompatible with capitalocracy, which is why we set as the sixth paragraph of our program the protection of traditional forms of sociality, and above all put forward the need for transition from the economy of profit to the economy of Life and Life reproduction, which involves the socialization of production and elimination of the very basis of capitalocracy. It is better to pull the bad grass with the roots.

7. Traditional religions as forms of collective spiritual life, calibrated by millennia of experience of many generations.

At the same time, we by no means see the main threat to spiritual tradition in atheism, materialism and rationalist philosophy, but in commercial pseudo-religions, constructed as a sphere of ritual and psychological services. We are primarily against the muddy wave of pop mysticism, pseudo-religious commercial businesses in the spirit of New Age, as well as ecumenical and renovation currents, trying to adjust the traditional religion to the standards of consumer society.

One of our tasks is the assimilation of traditional forms of spirituality by those informal cultures and subcultures, which oppose the pop-industry anti-culture.

8. Freedom of intellectual and artistic creativity as an alternative to "intellectual property".

The so-called "copyright", originally conceived as its name implies, to protect the rights of the author, has now taken completely distorted forms and serves the interests not of the author, but the capitalocracy machine. The system of "intellectual property" today postulates the existence of property rights not only for discovery and technology, but virtually for any text and visual image. And in most cases, the right-holder of this property does not have the slightest relation to its authorship. It reaches the absurdity, when the rights of "intellectual property" are registered for the works of long dead authors.

The consistent application of the principle of intellectual property in its modern capitalocratic interpretation makes the development of science, art and culture in general virtually impossible. Any scientific discovery is based on the synthesis of knowledge accumulated by predecessors. The copyright ban on the use of the developments of predecessors makes it impossible to promote any further development. The same can be said about art: any original work grows out of the surrounding cultural context. If the surrounding context is cut into fragments and prohibited to use, live creativity becomes impossible. An artist's place is taken by a team of lawyers, verifying the compliance and non-compliance of a combination of sounds with the previously obtained licenses and able to prove the illegality of a piece of art. What can work in such conditions is rubber-stamping commercial pop music, rather than real art. Thus with the help of the laws of "intellectual property" the capitalocracy is able to deal with the non-profit art not only by its financial strangulation, but by direct violence – by sending authors to jail.

The copyright and patent law, however, are not only about the development of arts and basic sciences. They obstruct the development of civilization in all fields. Promising discoveries and inventions are bought up and buried by corporations in order not to create competition for their goods, whose production is already established and profitable. Drug prices are jacked up hundredfold and thousandfold, because the patent law eliminates competition and monopolizes the market. The developing countries are caught in the eternal neo-colonial dependence, being deprived of the opportunity to adopt the achievements of progress and having no funds for buying licenses.

There appears an absurd situation where people know how to produce a cheap medicine and can easily establish their own production, but under the international law cannot make it without a license and die of epidemics.

We stand on the position of unrestricted freedom to produce, copy, distribute, modify and process information of any nature, whether a scientific paper, a technical development or an artistic work, except for the information that is socially dangerous or destructive in terms of moral character. We recognize certain (though limited) rights of the author, but categorically refuse to accept the rights of the owner of a patent or license, if they are not the author himself.

The copyright law should not be standardized, and the right of the author of a literary text is absolutely not the same thing as the right of the author of a technical invention, and certainly is not the same as a registered trademark.

We recognize the right of the author of an artistic or scientific text to require the reference to his/her name when this text is quoted or distributed, as well as the identity of the text signed by his/her name. If the text has been subjected to editing or modifying, it should be stated that a text by a certain author is taken as the basis for the present text; it has been modified and is not the original. With this indication the modified text may be freely distributed and used. We reject the right of the author of a text to impose restrictions on its copying and distribution, if the author of this text or its fragments is indicated, as well as on its modification, if the fact of modification and inconsistency with the original is indicated.

We recognize the right of an inventor to a material reward for his/her invention, either in the form of a lump-sum repayment by the society, or in the form of a short-term monopoly on its use. However, after that any invention becomes in the public domain and can be used without limit as well as developed by other inventors.

The proposed approach is progressive as it removes the completely artificial limitation that "intellectual property" puts in the way of progress. Like any progressive movement, our approach is doomed to ultimate victory, since, being implemented in one country, it inevitably leads to the multifold superiority of this country's development and willy-nilly forces others to follow its example.

9. We favor the strict supervision by the public organizations of any technology being introduced into the sphere of public administration and management.

With the introduction of various hardware, especially electronic, in management, a situation is created, in which the technical capabilities and limitations (the logic of the machine) are in contradiction with the constitutional rights of individuals and indeed triumph over them. The simplest example is the electronic system, which automatically processes documents and may require of a person parameters, which he/she may not have and not obliged by law to have (e.g. TIN, credit card number, etc.), or offer alternatives, none of which are suitable. To argue with the electronic system is impossible. It creates a situation of domination of technology over civil rights. Particularly threatening are those electronic systems which automatically accumulate and process the electronic information about citizens and create their electronic profiles.

We stand for a substantial restriction of electronic monitoring and control and strict public control over them. In particular, we categorically oppose to awarding people personal numbers. The number should be identified only with a specific document, such as a passport, but not with its owner. We stand for the categorical prohibition of the summation of information about people in a common database from different departmental sources, unless there is a direct need for it, for the technical dissociation of this kind of databases, including the dissociation of documents, under the numbers of which the information about a person is stored. For example, medical information should be stored only in the medical database under the medical record number, not matching with the data stored under the number of a bank card, passport data, etc. The purpose of this separation of information is to limit the technical capabilities of the state and, especially, non-state actors, to violate the individual right to private life.

We would also like to alert the public to monitor the timely destruction of personal information about a person in departmental, company and other databases after the cessation of actual and immediate need for its use, with a view of compulsory depersonalization of the disused numbers of his/her documents, etc.

We support the categorical rejection of the implantation of microchips in human body except in cases of extreme necessity for medical reasons. We also favor the ban on placing RFID-chips in consumer goods and installation of sensors. We oppose the introduction of bioidentification and electronically readable elements in the personal documents.

And, of course, we strongly advocate the legal prohibition of wiretapping by government services prior to its judicial authorization.

We are, therefore, for the creation of a strong social counterweight to balance the technical capacity of public and commercial services of collecting, storing and analyzing personal information about citizens.

10. We assert the priority of rights of the majority against minority rights in all respects: economic, cultural, national, etc., as well as the priority of public and national interests over group, clan and personal ones.

The modern capitalocratic society, deliberately destroying the unity of the social organism, specifically encourages minorities, opposing them to the interests of the majority. Ultimately, this leads to stripping the entire society into a set of minorities lobbying the narrow sectarian interests of their clans. The purpose of this policy is obvious: the capitalocratic oligarchy is numerically a tiny minority and can stably maintain their position only in a society fragmented into minorities, in which they are the strongest minority.

We are aware that every member of the society in some respects belongs to the majority, and in some other respects - to a minority. The principal difference in the positions is that the capitalocratic system accentuates the features of belonging to a minority, making them socially prestigious or lucrative, and obscures the features of identification with the majority, making them undesirable and unprofitable. This results in a subjective self-identification of an individual with one of the minorities, rather than with the socio-forming majority. Our approach is diametrically opposed to this. It is to encourage and promote the features of identity with the majority and level the features of attributing oneself to minorities.

Summarizing the above ten theses, we should say, that we speak from the position of domination of man, his biological, social, cultural and spiritual needs over the technosphere, state machine and impersonal economic forces. We strongly refuse to position ourselves on the political line between the "right" and "left" imposed on us by the capitalocracy. Speaking from the standpoint of socialization and nationalization of the means of production, natural resources and intellectual property, from the position of domination of the planning elements in the economy over the market, we do not consider binding ourselves with the typical "left" love of minorities, the struggle for gender equality (not to be confused with legal equality) and hatred of the traditional "patriarchal" social norms and institutions. On the other hand, being supporters of traditional religion, morality and family values, we do not believe it mandatory to burden ourselves with the typical "right-wing" absolutisation of economic freedom and individual rights to the detriment of the people as a whole.

We are located outside of the linear "right-left" political system, dictated by the world capitalocracy, and propose our own draft of the civilization development, involving, as opposed to globalist concepts, prudent self-restraint of society in material production and consumption, but unlimited freedom in creative, intellectual and spiritual self-development .

Translated by Helen V. Shelestiuk


Prof.James Petras and Prof. Henry Veltmeyer

An analysis of the dynamics of capitalist development over the last two decades has been overshadowed by an all too prevalent “globalization” discourse. It appears that much of the Left has bought into this discourse, tacitly accepting globalization as an irresistible fact and that in many ways it is progressive, needing only for the corporate agenda to be derailed and an abandonment of neoliberalism. This is certainly the case in Latin America where the Left has focused its concern almost exclusively on the bankruptcy of “neoliberalism”, with reference to the agenda pursued and package of policy reforms implemented by virtually every government in the region by the dint of ideology if not the demands of the global capital or political opportunism. In this concern, imperialism and capitalism per se, as opposed to neoliberalism, have been pushed off the agenda, and as a result, excepting Chavéz's Bolivarian Revolution, the project of building socialism has virtually disappeared as an object of theory and practice.

In this paper we would like to contribute towards turning this around—to resurrect the socialist project; to do so by deconstructing the discourse on “neoliberal globalization” and reconstructing the actual contemporary dynamics of capitalist development.

This is a major task requiring a closer look at the issues. The modest contribution of this paper is to bring into focus the imperialist dynamics of capitalist development in Latin America. To this end, we present an analytical framework for an analysis of the dynamics of capitalist development and imperialism. We then summarize these dynamics in the Latin American context. Our argument is that the dynamics of capitalist development and imperialism have both an objective-structural and a subjective-political dimension and that a class analysis of these dynamics should include both. This means that it is not enough to establish the workings of capitalism and imperialism in terms of their objectively given conditions that affect people and countries according to their class location in this system. We need to establish the political dynamics of popular and working class responses to these conditions—to neoliberal policies of structural adjustment to the purported requirements of the new world order.  The politics of the Left might so be better informed.

The Neoliberal Era of Capitalist Development and Imperialism

Capitalist development in Latin America can be periodized as follows: (1) an initial phase of primitive accumulation and national development dating more or less from the Independence Movement in the 1860s and crystallizing in the Porfiriato, an extended dictatorship of the big landowners and incipient bourgeoisie in Mexico; (2) a period of modernization, incipient industrialization (in the form of “Fordism”) and social reform, dating from the Mexican Revolution in the second decade of the twentieth century; (3) a period of state-led capitalist development with “international cooperation” (technical and financial assistance) dating from the end of the Second World War and the construction of the Bretton Woods world order (1945-70); (4) a period of transition (1971-82) characterized by an extended crisis in the global system of capitalist production and diverse efforts to restructure the system; and (iv) the construction of a new world order designed so as to free the “forces of freedom” from the constraints on capital accumulation imposed by the system of sovereign nation states. This phase, which can be dated from the onset of a region-wide debt and an ensuing “development” crisis, is characterized by dynamic processes of neoliberal globalization and imperialism – the institution of a neoliberal policy framework (the structural adjustment program, as it was termed at the time), a renewed imperial offensive, and the decline but then partial recovery of the capital accumulation process and the self-styled “forces of economic and political freedom”.  

The latest period of capitalist development has two dimensions (globalization in theory / imperialism in practice, forces of opposition and resistance), both of which can also be broken down into four phases.

Neoliberalism and Imperialism in Practice: A Framework of Analysis

Phase I (1975-82) of the neoliberal project is associated with the bloody Pinochet regime in Chile constituted with a military coup in 1973. The “bold reforms” implemented by this regime and extended into Argentina and Uruguay were subsequently implemented by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and used by economists at the World Bank as a model for the structural reforms set as the price of admission into the new (neoliberal) world order.

Phase II (1983-90) of neoliberalism (imperialism masked as globalization) includes the foundation stones of renewed process of capital accumulation on a global scale; setting the parameters for a new configuration of economic and political power; implementation of a second round of neoliberal “structural reform”; launch of an ideology (globalization) designed to legitimate this reform process, and the first wave of privatizations as part of this reform process; and a process of redemocratization designed as a means of securing the political conditions of structural adjustment—a marriage of strategic convenience between capitalism /economic liberalism and democracy / political liberalism (Dominguez and Lowenthal, 1996).

Phase III (1990-2000) entails what might be viewed as a “golden age” of massive transfers of public property to the “private sector” (capitalists and their enterprises); an enormous net outflow of capital (“international resource transfers”) in the form of profits on investments, debt payments and royalty charges; virtually no economic growth—less than one percent per capita over the decade and a growing divide in the distribution of society's wealth and income; huge bailouts of the banks and investors in corporate stock in a situation of financial crisis; and another round of neoliberal policy reform (“structural reform”), this time with a “human face” (adding to the reform process a “new social policy” targeted at the poor,); a second wave of privatizations and an associated denationalization of the banks and strategic economic enterprises; and a post-Washingron Consensus on the need for a more inclusive form of neoliberalism designed to empower the poor (Craig and Porter, 2006; Ocampo, 1998; Van Waeyenberge, 2006).

Phase IV (2000-09) begins with an involution in the system of capitalist production and the collapse of foreign direct investment inflows; and the onset of political crisis viz. widespread disenchantment with neoliberalism, and a process of regime change (Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela—a coup against and the restoration of Chávez to power—and Uruguay. In 2003, the production crisis gives way to a mild economic recovery for a number of countries in the region and a sweeping realignment of political forces into four blocs. The basis of this process of economic and political development is a realignment of global production—a primary commodities boom fueled by the growing demand in China and India for new sources of energy, natural resource industrial inputs and consumption goods for a rapidly growing middle class.

Opposition to Imperialism, Class Rule and Neoliberalism: Forces of Resistance

Phase 1 (1973-82) of the anti-neoliberal project includes a major counter-offensive of the landed proprietors and big capital against the incremental advance of the workers and peasants; a double-offensive of the state against the rural poor and landless peasants in the form of the “Alliance for Progress” (“rural development”) and use of the state's repressive apparatus against the guerrilla armies of national liberation; the counter-offensive of capital, with the support of the state, against the working class, resulting in a disarticulation of the labor movement, cooptation of its leadership and a weakening in its capacity to negotiate for higher wages and better working conditions; and, with the agency and support of U.S. imperialism, the institution of military coups and the institution of military rule and a war against “subversives” under the aegis of a Washington-designed “Doctrine of National Security”.

Phase II (1983-99) was characterized by a reorganization of the popular movement, particularly in the countryside—in the indigenous communities and among the masses of dispossessed, landless workers and peasant producers; the mobilization of the forces of popular opposition and resistance against the neoliberal policies of the governments of the day; various uprisings of indigenous peasants in Ecuador, Chiapas and Bolivia, resulting in the ouster of several presidents if not regime change, and in the blocking of governments efforts to extend the neoliberal agenda; the division of the indigenous movement (in Bolivia and Ecuador) into a social and political movement, allowing it to contest elections as well as mobilize the forces of resistance in direct action against the state; a general advance in the popular movement with the growth of new offensive and defensive class struggles.

Phase III (2000-03), corresponding to a crisis in production and ideology vis-à-vis neoliberalism, was characterized by the emergence of various offensive struggles and social mobilizations that led to the overthrow of regimes in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador. In Venezuela, Hugo Chávez came to power, inciting the complex dynamics of a class struggle characterized by a series of counter-offensives by the ruling class (attempted coups, referendums), growing demands for radical reforms and the institution of the “Bolivarian Revolution” based on an anti-imperialist strategy designed to take the country along a socialist path.

As for Phase IV (2003-09) it saw the rise of a bloc of pragmatic neoliberal, quasi-populist democratic socialist regimes oriented towards the post-Washington Consensus, an ebb in the flow of the popular movements, the radicalization of Chávez's project of “21st Century Socialism” and the reflux of the popular movement.  

Four Cycles of Neoliberalism

“Neoliberalism” in this historic context denotes a national policy—or rather, reform of the then-existing policy of state-led development (“structural reform” or “structural adjustment”)—justified with a neoclassical theory of economic growth and development and an ideology of globalization. In this context, we can identify four cycles of neoliberal “structural reform”. The first cycle, initiated by the Chicago Boys in Chile under Pinochet . After this first round of neoliberal experiments in policy reform, extended to Argentina and Uruguay, crashed in the early 1980s, a second round of neoliberal policy reforms was implemented under conditions of redemocratization, an external debt crisis and the political leverage that this crisis provided the World Bank and the IMF, the agencies that assumed primary responsibility for implementing the Washington Consensus on needed policy reform.

The third cycle of neoliberal policies was implemented in the 1990s. At the outset only four major regimes had failed to fully embrace the “discipline” of structural adjustment. But serious concerns had surfaced as to the sustainability of the neoliberal model and the associated Washington Consensus. For one thing, neoliberalism had utterly failed to deliver on the promise of economic prosperity and mutual benefits to countries north and south of the global development divide. For another, structural reforms had not only released the “forces of freedom” but also forces of resistance that threatened the survival not only the viability of the neoliberal model but the survival of the state itself. To avert an impending crisis the ideologues of globalization and neoliberal architects of policy reform came up with a revised model: structural adjustment with a human face (UNICEF, 1989) in one formulation, productive transformation with equity (ECLAC, 1990) in another, and “sustainable human development” (UNDP, 1996) in yet another. The common feature of these and other such models was a continuing commitment to a neoliberal program of “structural reform” at the level of national policy, the design and adoption of a “new social policy” that “targeted” social investment funds at the poor and their communities, and specific policies that helped shelter the most vulnerable groups from the admittedly high “transitional” social costs of structural adjustment. [1]

Policy Dynamics of Neoliberal Structural Reform

The discourse on “globalization” emerged in the 1980s in the context of efforts in policymaking circles to renovate the ailing Bretton Woods world order—to create a “new world order”.  Under widespread systemic conditions of a capitalist production crisis and an associated fiscal crisis, economists at the World Bank and its sister “international financial institutions”, all adjuncts of the U.S. imperial state, formulated a program of policy reforms designed to open up the economies of the developing world to the forces of “economic freedom”, to integrate these societies and economies into the new world order. These policy reforms included various IMF stabilization measures such as currency devaluation and import restrictions, and policies of structural adjustment: (1) privatization of the means of social production and associated economic enterprises (reverting thereby the nationalization policies of the earlier model of state-led development); (2) deregulation of diverse product, capital and labor markets; (3) liberalization of capital flows and trade in products and services; and (4) and administrative decentralization, attempting to “democratize” thereby the relation of civil society to the state, transferring to local governments in partnership with civil society responsibility for economic and social development; that is, privatizing “development”  (allowing the poor to “own” and be responsible for improving their lives, changing themselves rather than the system.

By the end of the 1980s, this package of policy reforms had transformed the economic and social system of many Latin American societies. The state-led reforms of the 1960s and 1970s (nationalization, regulation of capitalist enterprise and capital inflows, protection of domestic producers, rural credit schemes, land and income redistribution market-generated incomes, etc.) had been reverted, effectively halting, where not reversing, the process of development and incremental change.

The outcome and social impacts of this social transformation were all too visible and apparent, especially to those groups and classes that bore the brunt of the adjustment and globalization process. With a significant reduction in the share of labor (and households) in society's wealth and national income, and an equally significant concentration of asset-based incomes and its conversion into capital, Latin American society became increasingly class divided and polarized between a small minority of individuals capacitated and able to appropriate the lion's share of the new wealth and a large mass of producers and workers who had to bear the costs of this “structural adjustment” and excluded from its benefits. The economic and political landscape of Latin American society was, and is, littered with the detritus of this development process. The objectively given conditions of this process are not only reflected in the all too evident deterioration in living and working conditions of the mass of the urban and rural population. They are also reflected in the evidence of a process of massive outmigration, the export of labor as it were, and an equally massive process of capital export—a net outflow or transfer of “financial resources” estimated by Saxe-Fernandez and Núñez  (2001) to amount to over USD 100 million for the entire decade of the 1990s. Recent studies suggest that if anything the process, fuelled by the financialization of development and policies of privatization, liberalization and deregulation, has continued to accelerate, putting an end to any talk, and much writing, about a purported “economic recovery” based on a program of “bold reforms” and “sound economics.”  Neoliberalism is in decline if not dead.

Globalization or Global Class War?

It is commonplace among many intellectuals, pundits and policy makers both in Latin America as elsewhere to discuss “globalization” as of it were a process unfolding with an air of inevitability, the result of forces beyond anyone's control—at worst allowing policymakers to manage the process and at best to push it in a more ethical direction; that is, allow the presumed benefits of globalization to be spread somewhat more equitably. This is, in fact, the project shared by the antiglobalization movement in their search for “another world” and the pragmatic centre-left politicians currently in power in their search for “another development”.            

In this discourse, globalization appears as a behemoth whose appetites must be satisfied and whose thirst must be quenched at all costs—costs borne, as it happens but not fortuitously, by the working class. In this context to write, as do so many on the Left today, of the “corporate agenda” and “national interests”, etc. is to obfuscate the class realities of globalization—the existence and machinations of the global ruling class (Petras, 2007) and what Jeffrey Faux (2006) terms a “global class war”.

Faux's book allows us to view in a different way the globalizing economy, the politics and economics of free trade, and soaring corporate profits on the one hand, and, on the other hand, deteriorating standards of living and the continuing (and deepening) poverty of most of the world's people. What is behind this reality? A dynamic objective process, working like the invisible hand of providence through the free market to bring about mutual benefits and general prosperity? Or a class of people who in their collective interest have launched a global war with diverse features and theaters. One feature of this class war, one of many (on its manifestation in the European theater, see Davis, 1984; and Crouch and Pizzorno, 1978) entails ripping up the social contract that had allowed the benefits of capitalism to be broadly shared with other social classes. Another feature was the use of the state apparatus to reduce the share of labor in national income waken its organizational and negotiating capacity, and repress any movement for substantive social change.

The globalization discourse hides the class realities behind it. The press, for example, consistently talks about national interests without defining whom exactly is getting what and how, under what policy or decision-making conditions. Thus, American workers are told that the Chinese are taking their jobs. But the China threat, in fact, is but another global business partnership, in this case between Chinese commissars who supply global capital cheap labor and the U.S. and other foreign capitalists who supply the technology and much of the capital used to finance China's exports. Workers in Latin America are told that it is their inflexibility and intransigence, and government interference in the free market, that hold them back from engaging meaningfully or at all in the many benefits of globalization. Many, including on the Left, view “globalization” in this way. However, it would be better to see it for what it is: a class project vis-à-vis the accumulation of capital on a global scale; and as “imperialism” vis-à-vis the project of world domination, a source and means of ideological hegemony over the system.

Neoliberalism is the reigning ideology of the global elite, a transnational capitalist class that holds its annual meeting in the plush mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland. Hosted by the multinational corporations that dominate the world economy (Citigroup, Siemens, Microsoft, Nestlé, Shell, Chevron, BP Amoco, Repsol-YPF, Texaco, Occidental, Halliburton, etc.), some 2000 CEOs, prominent politicians (including former and the current presidents of Mexico), this and other such meetings allow this elite to network with pundits and international bureaucrats, discuss policy briefs and position papers on the state of the global economy, and to strategize abut the world's future – all over the best food, fine wine, good skiing and cozy evenings by the fire among friends and associates – fellow self-appointed and nominated members and guardians of the imperial world order.

Davos is not a secret cabal, although it is surrounded by meetings and workings of a host of groupings, meetings and committees and extended networks that is. Journalists issue daily reports to the world on the wit and informal charm of these unelected, self-appointed or nominated members of the class that runs and manages the global economy.  In this sense it is a political convention of what Fauz dubs “the Davos Party” that includes solid representation from the economic and political elite in Latin America. The mechanism and dynamics of class membership are unclear; as far as we know it has not been systemically studied. But it likely involves “people” like Henrique Fernando Cardoso, former dependency theorist and later neoliberal president of Brazil, upon or before completion of his term in office, being invited to give a “talk” or address members of the imperial brain trust, the global elite, at one of its diverse foundations and  “policy forums”, such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a critical linchpin of the imperial brain trust and its system of thinktanks, policy forums and geopolitical planning centers. Certainly this is how former Mexican presidents Carlos Salinas and Ernesto Zedillo were appointed and assigned specific responsibilities on diverse working “committees” designed to identify and redress fissures in and threats to the system. It is evident that listing in Forbes' listing of the world's biggest billionaire family fortunes, such as Bill Gates, George Soros and Carlos Slim, is sufficient in itself to ensure automatic membership in the club.

The New World Order system easily identifies those members of the global elite in each country that, as Salbuchi (2000) notes, are “malleable, controllable and willing to subordinate themselves to the system's objectives”.  Their careers are then launched so that they may rise to become presidents of their countries or ministers of finance and central bank governors.  This was the case, for example, for Argentina's Domingo Cavallo, Chile's Alejandro Foxley and Brazil's Henrique Cardoso, each of whom received suitable local and international press coverage; were honored with “prestige-generating” reviews, interviews, conferences and dinners, etc.; and then invited to address the Council on Foreign Relations, the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, so that the key New World Order players in New York and Washington could evaluate them. If and when they pass muster their election campaigns are generously financed by the corporate, banking and media infrastructure of the “establishment” that has the resources and means to bring them to power legally and democratically—to do the bidding of their masters and colleagues. [2] Some are even invited to join elite circles and organizations such as Trilateral Commission and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), or one of the CRC's working committees.

The Left Responds to the Crisis of Neoliberalism

Throughout the 1990s the dominant popular response to neoliberal globalization and associated regimes and policies was in the form of social movements that represented and advanced most effectively the struggle against what Ron Chilcote (1990) called a “plurality of resistances to inequality and oppression”. These movements placed growing pressure from below on the regime and the “political class”. However, by mid-decade, well into the left's general retreat from class politics, a number of these movements followed Brazil's labor movement (The PT or Workers' party) in establishing a party apparatus to allow them to contest both national and local elections—to pursue an electoral strategy. This political development did not require or mean an abandonment of the social movement strategy of social mobilizations, etc. but it did open up a broader opportunity to participate in the electoral process, allowing the populace to participate in party politics.

Local Politics and Community Development

The mobilization of the electorate via the institutional trappings of liberal democracy provided a new impetus to the political left—the segment that opted for party politics over social mobilization as a strategy for achieving state power: influencing government policy from within rather than outside the system. However, a large swath of the Left seem to have heeded Jorge Casteñeda's call for the Left to switch its electoral ambitions to the municipality, local politics and community development. His argument, advanced in Utopia Unarmed, was that “municipal politics should be the centre-piece of the left's democratic agenda... because it typifies the kind of change that is viable... a stepping stone for the future” (1994: 244). Engagement in local politics, he argued –and much of the left seemed to have followed this line—would provide the basis for a consolidation of the Left after the so-called “democratic transition” from 1979 (Bolivia, Ecuador) to 1989 (Chile). In addition it would help re-articulate the civil society-local state nexus and restore legitimacy to the Left's relationship with the popular sector (Lievesley, 2005: 8).

An example of the approach proposed by Casteñeda, and in fact widely pursued by the Left even before his book (the World Bank's strategy in this regard was already quite advanced) had already is the PT's experience with municipal government in Porto Alegre, the capital city of Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul (1989-2004). The PT administration opened up municipal institutions with a stated commitment to accountability and transparency, as well as citizen participation in the budget planning process via the mechanism of public meetings (Orçamento Participativa).

The Porto Alegre experience with participatory budgeting was hailed by the World Bank and the International Development “community” of multilateral institutions and liberal academics as a good example of collective decision-making for the common good, a model of grassroots participatory development and politics, and it continues to serve as a guide to similar practices and experiences elsewhere (Abers, 1997). Other examples of this “participatory” approach towards local politics and community development, widely adopted by the Left in the 1990s in its retreat from class, can be found in Bolivia and Ecuador, both countries a laboratory for diverse experiments to convert the municipality into a “productive agent” (the “productive municipality”)[3] and exertions by the Left to bring about social change via local politics (North and Cameron, 2003). On the left this shift from macro-politics and development (national elections versus social movements) to micro-politics and development (local politics, participatory development) was viewed as a salutary retreat from a form of analysis and politics whose time had come and gone. Within academe the dynamics of this process has been viewed in some circles as the harbinger of a “new tyranny” (Cooke and Kothari, 2001).

The World Social Forum Process: Is Another World Possible?

On January 3, 2007, Caracas, the capital city of an epicenter of social and political transformation in the region was concerted into the Mecca of the international left. Thousands of activists (100, 00 according to the organizers) arrived in Caracas from some 170 countries to participate in the sixth edition of the World Social Forum (WSF), a process initiated in Porto Alegre, Brazil, six years earlier.  It was the first of a then thereafter annual event, extended to and replicated in other regional settings from India, Europe and most recently Nairobi, Kenya in the African subcontinent. In each place and in each annual event, the organizers would bring together hundreds of nongovernmental and civil organizations committed to the search for a more ethical form of globalization, a more human form of capitalism. The process brings together diverse representatives of a self-defined new left committed to the belief in the necessity and possibility of a “new world”, an alternative to globalization in its neoliberal form.

There are, of course, defined limits to this new political process: participants are invited and expected to explore diverse proposals for bringing about “another world” but to limit this search to reforms to the existing system, reforms that no matter how “radical” are expected to leave the pillars of the system intact. This liberal reform orientation to the process is ensured by explicit exclusions—any political organizations that include armed struggle or violent confrontation and class struggle in its repertoire, that are oriented towards revolutionary change.

ATTAC, a Paris-based social democratic organization is the most visible representative of this approach towards social change, but the World Social Forum from its inception morphed into and became a significant expression of what emerged as the “antiglobalization movement”. This movement had its origins in the encounter of diverse forces of resistance formed in middleclass organizations in the “global north” and mounted against the symbols of neoliberal globalization such as the World Trade Organization and the G-7/8 annual summit. A defining moment in this movement, rooted in the organizations of the urban middle class—NGOs, unions, students, etc.–in both Europe and North America, included the successful mobilization against the MAI in Seattle. This mobilization was the first of a number of serialized events scheduled to unfold at important gatherings of the representatives of global capital—Genoa, Quebec, Melbourne, Dakar...

In Latin America the World Social Forum process, is the basic form taken by the “antiglobalization movement” in the search for “another world” (the latest event in this process was hosted by Lula, taking place in Bélem towards the end of January 2009). Apart from the absence of an internal division between the advocates of moderate reform (ethical globalization) and more radical change the antiglobalization process is designed to define and maintain the outer limits of permitted change; that is, controlled dissent from the prevailing model of global capitalist development. Not anti-globalization but a more ethical form. Not anti-capitalism but a more humane form of capitalism, a more sustainable human form of development. Not anti-imperialism because imperialism is not at issue.

The New Left and the Politics of No-Power

In the shape and form of class struggle the path towards social change in the 1960s and 1970s was paved with state power. That is, the forces of resistance, at the time based in the countryside, in the organizations and movements of the landless and near landless peasants, and in the urban-based organized labor movement; and for the most part led by petit-bourgeois middle class intellectuals, were concerned with the capture of state power. In the 1990s, in a very different context—neoliberal globalization—and in the wake of the Zapatista uprising in January 1994, there emerged on the left a postmodern twist to the struggle for social change: “social change without taking state power” (Holloway, 2002).

In the discourse of Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatismo came to symbolically—or theoretically, in the writings of Holloway and others (for example, Burbach, 1994)—represent a “new way of doing politics”: to bring about social change without resort to class struggle or the quest for state power (Holloway, 2002). However, much of the Latin American Left appeared all o ready to retreat from class politics and engage the new way of “doing politics”. Some of the Left joined the struggle for change at the level of local politics and community development–to bring about social change by building on the assets of the poor, their “social capital” (Portes, 1998, 2000; Ocampo, 2004). Another part joined the “situationists” and other militants of “radical praxis” in an intellectual engagement with the forces of social and political disenchantment in the popular barrios of unemployed workers—in Gran Buenos Aires and elsewhere (Besayag and Sztulwark. 2000; Colectivo Situaciónes, 2001, 2002). This was in the early years of the new millennium. In the specific conjuncture of economic and political crisis, a generalized rejection of the “old way” of doing politics (“que se vayan todos”), the search for redemption and relevance left a large part of the left without a political project, without a social base for their politics.  

Dynamics of Electoral Politics: What's Left of the Left

With the advent of the new millennium, it was clear that the neoliberal model even in its revamped form, had failed to deliver on its promise of economic growth and general prosperity. Instead it had deepened existing class and global divides in wealth and income, and regime after regime was pushed towards its limits of endurance by the forces of popular mobilization. In this context, the political class in each country turned to the left, opening up new opportunities for groups that had hitherto concentrated their efforts on local politics and community development.  Governments of the day, many of them neoliberal client regimes of the US, fell to the forces of resistance and opposition.

Political developments in the region regarding this regime change led to a concern in the US, and widespread hopes and expectations on the Left, about a tilt to the left in national politics and what the press (Globe & Mail) has termed a “disheartening” triumph of politics over “sound economics”. A lot of this concern revolves around Hugo Chávez, who appears (to the press and U.S. policymakers) to be taking Venezuela down a decidedly anti-US, anti-imperialist and seemingly socialist path–and taking other governments in the region with him.

Chávez's electoral victory was seen by many as the moment when a red tide began to wash over the region's political landscape. In the summer of 2002, the Movement to Socialism (MAS) in Bolivia, led by militant coca growers' leader Evo Morales, became the second largest party in the Congress while in December it achieved huge victories in municipal elections—in what was billed by the MAS itself as “la toma de los municipios”. The election to state power of Lula da Silva in Brazil (October 2002) wa followed by Nestor Kirchner in Argentina (May 2003), Tabaré Vasquez in Uruguay (November 2004), Evo Morales (December 2005), (December 2006) Rafael Correa in Ecuador (December 2006) and most recently Lucas Longo in Paraguay. The tide was checked in Mexico in the summer of 2006 when Lopez Obrador, presidential candidate of the PRD, fell just short of victory, and in Peru, where the nationalist Humala lost out to Alan Garcia, the once disgraced social democrat but reborn neoliberal. But it appeared to swell again with Daniel Ortega's victory in Nicaragua—although, given his opportunism and religious rebirth, Ortega could hardly be viewed as on the Left notwithstanding his friendship with Chávez and Fidel Castro—and Rafael Correa.

Thus it appeared that Latin America had turned against the US-inspired—and dictated—neoliberal policies of structural adjustment and globalization by electing to state power a number of parties on the political left—although “moderate” or “pragmatic”. Centre-left regimes, some of which cherish their links with Cuba and relish throwing it in the face of the U.S. administration, which has shown itself to be extraordinarily ideological and non-pragmatic, now outnumber right-of-centre governments in the region. The days of the US-supported and instigated right-wing dictatorships and military rule are over, having long disappeared in the dustbins of history and replaced by a new breed of neoliberal regimes.

Latin America turns left?

These regimes in appearance (that is, as constructed in the rhetoric of public discourse) have changed or are changing economic course, ostensibly moving away from the neoliberal policies pushed by the US. This was the case in Argentina, for example where the Kirchner administration was compelled by the most serious economic and political crisis in its history to confront the IMF and the World Bank, and the US, by halting payments on the country's external debt, redirecting import revenues towards productive and social investments, including short-term work projects demanded by the mass of unemployed workers that at the time constituted over 25% of the laborforce and who had taken to the streets, picketing highways in protest. The result: some three years later is an annual growth rate of 8%, the highest in the region.

Another example of apparent regime change was in Brazil, where and when in October 2002 the electorate after his third attempt voted Ignacio [Lula] da Silva, leader of the PT, into power, re-electing him in 2006 to a second term in office. The first President on the “left” voted into power since Allende in 1970, Lula is nevertheless (and for good reason, it turns out) very well received by Wall Street, if not Washington, which tends to view him as a thorn in the U.S. side. Indeed Lula played a major role in defeating the White House plan for a hemispheric free trade zone, and continues to annoy the U.S. with his support of Chávez-Morales-Correa axis in Latin American politics. In this context, the intellectual Left associated with the antiglobalization movement choose to see Lula as an opponent of neoliberal globalization. In fact, Lula, on behalf of Brazil's agribusiness and other capitalist producers simply has been playing and continues to play hardball in negotiations over access to the U.S. market.

Elections of centre-left governments followed in Uruguay (2004), Chile (2005), Ecuador (2006) where the electorate was polarized between a business magnate, Alvaro Noboa, the richest man in the country and a committed neoliberal ideologue; and Rafael Correa, head of a centre-left coalition that appears to be taking Ecuador down the same path as Evo Morales is taking Bolivia, particularly in regard to a constituent assembly that might well, or is expected to, change the economic and social system as well as the correlation of class forces in the country's politics. In this regard, elements of the political left in Ecuador, especially those associated with the “Coordinadora de Movimientos Sociales” (CMS), see a political opportunity to build a “radical bloc” on the basis of combined action “from above” (the government) and “from below” (the indigenous and popular movement). Whether this will happen (see Saltos, 2006) [4] remains to be seen. For one thing, it hinges on the capacity of the popular movement for active mobilization – to pressure the Correa government from below towards the left. On this the historic record is fairly clear. As observed by Pedro Stedile, leader of the MST, “without active mobilization the government gives nothing”.

With the election of Rafael Correa over Alvaro Noboa the popular and indigenous movement in Ecuador at least placed on the agenda of government action issues such as national sovereignty, nationalization of the country's natural resources, agrarian reform, indigenous rights, subordination of payment on the external debt to social programs, renegotiation of oil contracts will the multinationals, the ending of the military bases in Manta, and Latin American (vs. continental) integration. Whether the government will act on these issues remains to be seen.  

The conflict that ensued over the Constituent Assembly (CA) in Ecuador and Bolivia, where the CA was finally approved) is symptomatic of the profound legitimation crisis in the system of class domination in these and other countries (Saltos, 2006). Earlier and other forms of hegemony, such as “globalization” and the trappings of representative “democracy”, have lost their hold over people, having been totally undermined by the all too tangible and visible signs of the negative effects of neoliberal policies. The reign of Washington in the region appears to be in serious decline. Nor can Washington, in its efforts to preserve the status quo or the status quo ante, revert to the use of force—to bring back the Armed Forces to restore order. Its only recourse is to engage “civil society” in the project of “good governance”—to restore political order by means of a broad social consensus that reaches well beyond the state and the political class (Blair, 1997; OECD, 1997; UNDP, 1996; World Bank, 1994b).

What we saw in Quito and La Paz in regard to the Constituent Assembly went beyond a conflict between two branches of government. At issue was that those who elected Correa and Morales had come to the point of refusing to be subordinated to a state controlled by the dominant class and servile to Washington and the interests of global capital. On achieving political representation with the election of Morales and Correa, and Chávez for that matter, the forces in the popular movement were all too aware that the legislature was dominated by the “oligarchy” (the ruling class is understood in Bolivia and Ecuador). In this situation, Morales and Correa were compelled to construct a multi-class alliance and mobilize the forces of resistance to class rule and the neoliberal agenda of previous governments under the post-Washington Consensus. The result is the construction of a multi-ethnic or pluri-national state oriented towards what the Vice-President of Bolivia, Alvaro Garcia, conceives of as an Andean form of capitalism, and a new anti-american axis of regional politics and trade.

These and other such political developments in Bolivia and Ecuador are illustrative of what appears to be a regional trend. For example, in neighboring Colombia in October 2003 the voters elected a former union leader Luis Garzón as mayor of Bogotá. The election marked a swing to the left in Colombia's second most important elective office, a clear challenge to the pro-US, scandal-ridden right-wing government of Alvaro Uribe. If we take these and other such developments together, especially in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, there does indeed seem to be a leftward swing in the political winds of change, leading declare that democratic elections are not enough: governments in the region also have to “govern democratically”, i.e. place no constrictions on the forces of opposition to the new agenda in national and regional politics.  

Whither Socialism in a Sea of Crisis and Neoliberal Decline?

A serious discussion of the prospects for socialism in Latin America today must take into account world economic conditions in the current conjuncture, the state of US-Latin American relations relative to the project of world domination and imperialism, the specific impact on Latin American countries of these conditions and relations, the conditions deriving from the correlation of class forces within these countries, and the class nature and agency of the state relative to these forces.  

World Economic Conditions and Their Impact on Latin America

Latin America's “restructured” capitalist economy emerged from the financial crisis of the 1990s and the recession of the early years of the new millennium with its axis of growth anchored in the primary sector of agro-mineral exports (Cypher, 2007; Ocampo, 2007).  From 2003 to 2008 all Latin American economies, regardless of their ideological orientation or political complexion, based their economic growth strategy on the “re-primarization” of their export production, to take advantage thereby of the expanding markets for oil, energy and natural resources and the general increase in the price of primary commodities on the world market. The driving force of capitalist development in this period was agribusiness and mineral exports, export-oriented production of primary commodities leading to an increased dependence on diversified overseas markets and a change in the correlation of class forces, strengthening the right and, notwithstanding a generalized tilt to the Left at the level of the state, a weakening of the Left. Ironically, the primarization of exports led to the revival and strengthening of neoliberalism via the reconfiguration of state policy to favor agro-mineral exporters and accommodate the poorest section through populist clientelistic “poverty programs”.  In the context of a primary commodities boom and the emergence of a range of democratically elected centre-left regimes, trade union leaders were coopted and the social movements that had mobilized the forces of resistance to neoliberalism in the 1990s were forced to beat a retreat from the class struggle (Petras and Veltmeyer, 2009).

The link between U.S. finance capital, the growth of industry and the domestic market in Asia, and the primary commodities boom, was responsible for the period of high growth in Latin America from 2003 to 2008, when the boom went bust and most economies in the region succumbed to a financial crisis of global proportions and a system-wide deep recession that threatened to push the U.S. economy, at the centre of the gravitational force of this crisis, towards collapse. With the U.S. empire's “over-extension” and the exceedingly high costs of prosecuting imperialist war in Iraq and maintaining its enormous military apparatus—military expenditures on the Iraq war alone increasing by millions each minute (as of February 17, 2009 US$ 597.7 billion) and likely to cost well over a trillion dollars before it is over—the capacity of the U.S. to weather the storm of financial crisis and a deepening recession has been seriously diminished. Given the absorption of the U.S. state in the Iraq war, governments in Latin America in the latest phase of capitalist development managed to achieve a measure of “independence” and “relative autonomy” in their relations with the United States.  And this has given leaders like Hugo Chavez a free hand in his efforts to push Venezuela in a socialist direction.  

Impact of World Recession and U.S. Imperial Revivalism in Latin America

Latin America is feeling the full brunt of the world recession. Every country in the region, without exception, is experiencing a major decline in trade, domestic production, investment, employment, state revenues and income. The projected growth of Latin America's GDP in 2009 has declined from 3.6% in September 2008 to 1.4% in December 2008 (Financial Times, January 9, 2009). More recent projections estimate Latin America's GDP per capita as falling to minus two percent (-2%). [5] As a result state spending on social services will undoubtedly be reduced. State credit and subsidies to big banks and businesses will increase; unemployment will expand, especially in the agro-mineral and transport (automobile) export sectors. Public employees will be let go and experience a sharp decline in salaries.  Latin America's balance of payments will deteriorate as the inflow of billions of dollars and euros in remittances from overseas workers, a major source of “international financial resource” for many countries in the region, declines. Foreign speculators are already withdrawing tens of billions of investment dollars to cover their losses in the U.S. and Europe. A process of foreign disinvestment has replaced the substantial inflow of “foreign investment” in recent years, eliminating a major source of financing for major “joint ventures”. The precipitous decline in commodity prices in 2008, reflecting an abrupt drop in world demand, has sharply reduced government revenues dependent on export taxes. Foreign reserves in Latin America can only cushion the fall in export revenues for a limited time and extent.

The recession also means that the economic and social structure, the entire socioeconomic class configuration on which Latin America's growth dynamic in recent years (2003-2008) was based, is headed for a major transformation. The entire spectrum of political parties linked to the primary commodity export model and that dominate the electoral process will be adversely affected. The trade unions and social movements oriented toward an improvement in their socioeconomic conditions and wages, social reforms and increased expenditures of fiscal resources and social spending within the primary commodity export model will be forced to take direct action or lose influence and relevance.

The initial response of the left of center regimes that came to power in the context of a primary commodities boom and neoliberalism in its demise has largely focused on: (i) financial support for the banking sector (Lula) and lower taxes for the agro-mineral export elite (Kirchner/Lula); (ii) cheap credit for consumers to stimulate domestic consumption (Kirchner); and (iii) temporary unemployment benefits for workers laid off from closed small and medium size mines (Morales). The response of the Latin American regimes to date (up to the beginning of 2009) could be characterized as delusional, the belief that their economies would not be affected. This response was followed by an attempt to minimize the crisis, with the claim that the recession would not be severe and that most countries would experience a rapid recovery in “late 2009”. It is argued in this context that the existing foreign reserves would protect their countries from a more severe decline.

According to the IMF, 40% of Latin America's financial wealth ($2.200 billion dollars) was lost in 2008 because of the decline of the stock market and other asset markets and currency depreciation. This decline is estimated to reduce domestic spending by 5% in 2009. The terms of trade for Latin America have deteriorated sharply as commodity prices have fallen sharply, making imports more expensive and raising the specter of growing trade deficits (Financial Times, January 9, 2009, p. 7).

The impact of these “developments” can be traced out not only in regime politics but on the class structure and the correlation of forces associated with this structure. Thus, the fall in the demand and price of primary commodities is resulting in a sharp decline in income, the power and the solvency of the agromineral exporters that dominated state policy in recent years. Much of their expansion during the “boom years” was debt-financed, in some cases with dollar and euro-denominated loans (Financial Times, January 9, 2009, p.7). But many of the highly indebted “export elite” now face bankruptcy and are pressuring their governments to relieve them of immediate debt obligations. And in the course of the recession/depression there will be a further concentration and centralization of agro-mineral capital as many medium and large miners and capitalist farmers are foreclosed or forced to sell. The relative decline of the contribution of the agro-mineral sector to the GDP and state revenues means they will have less leverage over the government and economic decision making. The collapse of their overseas markets and their dependence on the state to subsidize their debts and intervene in the market means that the “neoliberal” free market ideology is dead – for the duration of the recession. Weakened economically, the agro-mineral elite are turning to the state as its instrument of survival, recovery and refinancing.

In this new context, the “new statism” in formation has absolutely nothing “progressive” about it, let alone any claim to “socialism”. The state under the influence of the primary sector elites assumes the primary task of imposing the entire burden of the recession on the backs of the workers, employees, small farmers and business operators. In other words, the state is charged with indebting the mass of people in order to subsidize the debts of the elite export sector and provide zero cost loans to capital. Massive cuts in social services (health, pensions and education), and salaries will be backed by state repression. In the final analysis the increased role of the state will be primarily directed to financing the debt and subsidizing loans to the ruling class.

The State of U.S. Relations in Latin America in the Current Conjuncture

If the U.S. suffered a severe loss of influence in the first half decade of the early 2000s due to mass mobilization and popular movements ousting its clients, during the subsequent four years the U.S. retained political influence among the most reactionary regimes in the region, especially Mexico, Peru and Colombia. Despite the decline of mass mobilizations after 2004, the after-effects continued to ripple through regional relations and blocked efforts by Washington to return to relations that had existed during the “golden decade” of pillage (1990-1999).

While internal political dynamics put the brakes on any return to the 1990s, several other factors undermined Washington's assertion of full scale dominance: (i) The U.S. turned all of its attention, resources and military efforts toward multiple wars in South Asia (Afghanistan), Iraq and Somalia and to war preparations against Iran while backing Israel”s aggression against Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. Because of the prolonged and losing character of these wars, Washington remained relatively immobilized as far as South America was concerned.  Equally important Washington's declaration of a intensified worldwide counter-insurgency offensive (the “War on Terror”) diverted resources toward other regions. With the U.S. empire builders occupied elsewhere, Latin America was relatively free to pursue a more autonomous political agenda, including greater regional integrations, to the point of rejecting the U.S. proposed “Free Trade Agreement”.  

In this new context the spectrum of international relations between the U.S. and Latin America runs the gamut from “independence” (Venezuela), “relative autonomy” within competitive capitalism (Brazil), relative autonomy and critical opposition (Bolivia) to selective collaboration (Chile) and deep collaboration within a neoliberal framework (Mexico, Peru and Colombia). Venezuela constructed its leadership of the alternative nationalist pole in Latin America, in reaction to U.S. intervention.  Chávez has sustained its independent position through nationalist social welfare measures, which has garnered mass support. A policy of “independence” was made possible, and financed as it were, by the commodity boom and the jump in oil prices.  The “dialectic” of the US-Venezuelan conflict evolved in the context of U.S. economic weakness and over-extended warfare in the Middle East on the one hand and economic prosperity in Venezuela, which allowed it to gain regional and even international allies, on the other.

The autonomous-competitive tendency in Latin America is embodied by Brazil.  Aided by the expansive agro-mineral export boom, Brazil projected itself on the world trade and investment scene, while deepening its economic expansion among its smaller and weaker neighbors like Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador.  Brazil, like the other BRIC countries, which include Russia, India and China, forms part of newly emerging expansionist power center intent on competing and sharing with the U.S. control over the region's abundant resources and the smaller countries in Latin America. Brazil under Lula shares Washington's economic imperial vision (backed by its armed forces) even as it competes with the U.S. for supremacy.  In this context, Brazil seeks extra-regional imperial allies in Europe (mainly France) and it uses the “regional” forums and bilateral agreements with the nationalist regimes to “balance” its powerful economic links with Euro-US financial and multi-national capital.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the “imperial collaborator” regimes of Colombia, Mexico and Peru, which remain steadfast in their pro-imperial loyalties.  They are Washington's reliable supporters against the nationalist Chávez government and staunch backers of bilateral free trade agreements with the U.S.

The other countries in the region, including Chile and Argentina, continue to oscillate and improvise their policies in relation to and among these three blocs. But what should be absolutely clear is that all the countries, whether radical nationalist or imperial collaborators operate within a capitalist economy and class system in which market relations and the capitalist classes are still the central players.

Socialism and the Latin American State in the Current Conjuncture of the Class Struggle

Control of the state is an essential condition for establishing socialism. But it is evident that a more critical factor is the composition of the social forces that have managed to achieve state power by one means or the other. From 2003 to 2008, in the context of a primary commodities boom and a serious decline in the mobilizing power of neoliberal globalization, one state after the other in Latin America has tilted to the Left in establishing a nominally anti-neoliberal regime. However, the only regime in the region with a socialist project is that of Chávez, who has used the additional fiscal resources derived from the sale of oil and the primary commodities boom—specifically the growing world demand for oil – to turn the state in a socialist direction under the ideological banner of the “Bolivarian Revolution”. All of the other center-left regimes formed in this conjuncture for one reason or the other, and regardless of their national sovereignty concerns vis-à-vis U.S. imperialism, have retained an essential commitment to neoliberalism, albeit in a more socially inclusive and pragmatic form as prescribed by the post-Washington Consensus (Ocampo, 1998). A surprising feature of these centre-left regimes is that not one of them—again Venezuela (and of course Cuba) the exception—use their additional fiscal revenues derived from the primary commodities boom to reorient the state in a socialist direction, i.e. to share the wealth or, at least, in the absence of any attempt to flatten or eliminate the class structure to redirect fiscal revenues toward programs designed to improve the lot of the subordinate classes and the poor. Again, Chávez” is the exception in the use of windfall fiscal revenues derived from the primary commodities boom (oil revenues in the case of Venezuela) to improve conditions for the working class and the popular classes. The statistics regarding this “development” (see Weisbrot, 2009) are startling. Over the entire decade of Chávez rule, social spending per capita has tripled and the number of social security beneficiaries more than doubled; the percentage of households in poverty has been reduced by 39%, and extreme poverty by more than half. During the primary commodities boom (2003-2008), the poverty rate in Venezuela was cut by more than half, from 54% of households in the first half of 2003 to 26% at the end of 2008. Extreme poverty fell even more (by 72%). And these poverty rates measure only cash income, and do not take into account increased access to health care or education. However, in the other countries in the region governed by a centre-of-left regimes, not one of which is oriented towards socialism, conditions were and are very different. In a few cases (Chile, Brazil) the rate of extreme poverty was cut, but in all cases, despite recourse to an anti-poverty program following the PWC, government spending was relatively regressive. In only one case (Venezuela) is per capita PSE greater today than it was in 2000 in the vortex of a widespread crisis and a zero growth (Clements, Faircloth and Verhoeven, 2007). In many cases social programs and government spending was allocated so as to distribute more benefits to the richest stratum of households and the well to do than to the working class and the poor. [6] Even in the case of Bolivia, where the Morales-Garcia Lineres regime has a clearly defined anti-neoliberal and anti-US imperialist orientation, not only has the government not expanded social program expenditures relative to investments and expenditures designed to alleviate the concerns of foreign investors but the richest stratum of households benefited more from fiscal expenditures on social programs than the poorest (Petras and Veltmeyer, 2009). All of the centre-left regimes that have came to power in this millennium, especially Brazil and Chile, elaborated anti-poverty programs with reference to the PWC. In the case of Bolivia fiscal expenditures on social programs defined by the “new social policy” of the post-Washington Consensus have been supplemented by a populist program of bonuses and handouts, and popular programs in health and education, but these have been almost entirely financed by Cuba and Venezuela. As for the fiscal resources derived from Bolivia's participation in the primary commodities boom they have been allocated with a greater sensitivity to the concerns of foreign investors than the demands of the working class and the indigenous poor.

In this situation what is needed is not only access to state power, which the social movements managed to ostensibly achieve via the election of Evo Morales, but an ideological commitment  of the government to socialism – to turn the state in a socialist direction. In this connection the Chávez regime is unique among Latin American heads of state. Even so the road ahead for the Bolivarian revolution in bringing about socialism of the twenty-first century promises to be long and “rocky”, as in the case of Cuba littered with numerous pitfalls but unlike Cuba with the likely growth in the forces of opposition.


1.  The basic elements of the new post-Washington Consensus policy agenda under the model of “sustainable human development (UNDP, 1996) are: (1) a neoliberal program of macroeconomic policy measures, including privatization, agricultural modernization and labor reform; (2) a “new social policy” supported by a “social investment fund” targeted at the poor; (3) specific social programs (policies related to health, education and employment) designed to protect the most vulnerable social groups from the brunt of the high “transitional” social costs of structural adjustment—and to provide a “human face” to the overall process; and (4) a policy of administrative decentralization and popular participation designed to establish the juridical-administrative framework for a process of participatory development and conditions of “democratic governance.

2.  Of course, this also applies to the U.S. as in the run-up to George W. Bush's campaign for a second term in office. On 28 July, 2004, a caravan of fifty multi-billionaires met in Boston to defend and secure the electoral victory of the president. In the words of Count Mamoni – to a reporter of La Jornada (Jul 28, 2004) “We are the rich who wish to ensure that the president who we bought [paid for] stays in the White House”. He adds that “those of us who were born to wealth and privilege ...[are] owners of the country [and must continues as such].” One of the participants in the “Join the Limousine” tour added that “we are all winners under this government, just some a lot more than others”.

3.  On this see De la Fuente (2001), Sánchez (2003) and Terceros and Zambrana Barrios (2002).

4.  Napoleon Saltos, Director of the CMS sees political developments in Ecuador as somewhere between Venezuela, which is implementing from above a sort of socialist plan without pressure from below, and Bolivia, where the government to some extent is subject to the pressures of a mobilized population.

5.  The onset of the recession in Latin America is evident in the 6.2% fall in Brazil's industrial output in November 2008 and its accelerating negative momentum (Financial Times, January 7, 2009 p. 5).

6.  On this point see the IMF as in Alier and Clements (2007: 4-5): “Reallocating social spending to programs that most benefit the poor ... [are] important for forging a more equitable society... [but] the distributive incidence of social spending varies greatly across programs, with primary education and social assistance progra...
Richard C. Cook

The United States does not control its own destiny. Rather it is controlled by an international financial elite, of which the American branch works out of big New York banks like J.P. Morgan Chase, Wall Street investment firms such as Goldman Sachs, and the Federal Reserve System. They in turn control the White House, Congress, the military, the mass media, the intelligence agencies, both political parties, the universities, etc. No one can rise to the top in any of these institutions without the elite’s stamp of approval.

This elite has been around since the nation began, becoming increasingly dominant as the 19thcentury progressed. A key date was passage of the National Banking Act of 1863, when the system was put into place whereby federal government debt was used to collateralize bank lending. Since then we’ve paid the freight through our taxes for bank control of the economy. The final nails in the coffin came with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

In 1929 the bankers plunged the nation into the Great Depression by constricting the money supply. With Franklin D. Roosevelt as president, the nation struggled through the decade of the 1930s but did not pull out of the Depression until the industrial explosion during World War II.

After the war came the Golden Age of the U.S. economy, when the working man, protected by strong labor unions, became a true partner in the prosperity of the industrial age. That era lasted a full generation. The bankers were largely spectators as Americans led the world in exports, standard of living, science and space exploration, and every measure of health, longevity, and culture.

Roosevelt had kept the bankers subservient to the interests of the economy at large. The Federal Reserve was part of the New Deal team, and interest rates were held at historic lows despite a large federal deficit. One main impact was the huge increase in home ownership. After World War II, the G.I. Bill allowed home ownership to grow further and millions of veterans to attend college. The influx of educated graduates led to productivity growth and the emergence of new high-tech industries.

But the bankers were laying their plans. In the early 1950s they got the government to agree to allow the Federal Reserve to escape its subservience to the U.S. Treasury Department and set interest rates on its own. Rates rose throughout the 1950s and 1960s. By the time of the interest rate hikes of 1968, the economy was slowing down. Both federal budget and trade deficits were beginning to replace the post-war surpluses. High interest rates were the likely cause.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon removed the dollar’s gold peg, allowing the huge inflation resulting from oil price increases that the international bankers engineered through control of U.S. foreign policy when Henry Kissinger was national security adviser and secretary of state. Nixon’s opening to China resulted in early agreements, also overseen by banking interests, to begin to transfer U.S. industry to overseas producers like China which had cheap labor costs.

By the mid-1970s, the U.S. had been taken over by a behind the scenes coup-d’etat that included events in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy that could only have been instigated by the highest levels of world financial control. In the election of 1976, David Rockefeller succeeded in placing fellow Trilateral Commission member Jimmy Carter in the White House, but Carter upset the banking community, thoroughly Zionist in orientation, by working toward peace in the Middle East and elsewhere.

I was working in the Carter White House in 1979-80. Unbeknownst to the president, Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, another Rockefeller protégé, suddenly raised interest rates to fight the inflation the bankers had caused by the OPEC oil price deals, and plunged the nation into recession. Carter was made to look weak and uninformed and was defeated in the election of 1980 by Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. It was through the “Reagan Revolution” that the regulatory controls over the banking industry were lifted, mainly in allowing the banks to use their fractional reserve privileges in making mortgage loans.

Volcker’s recession shattered American manufacturing and hastened the flight of jobs abroad. Under the “Reagan Doctrine,” the U.S. military embarked on an unprecedented mission of world conquest by attacking one small nation at a time, starting with Nicaragua. Global capitalism was also on the march, with the U.S. armed forces its own private police force. With the invasion of Iraq under George H.W. Bush in 1991, mainland Asia was revealed as the principle target.

The economy was floated by productivity gains through computer automation and a huge sell-off of assets through the merger-acquisition bubble of the late 1980s which ended in a recession. This resulted in the defeat of Bush by Bill Clinton in the election of 1992. Clinton was able to create another bubble through a strong dollar policy that attracted foreign capital.

The dot-com bubble that resulted lasted all the way through to the crash of December 2000. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force led the way in the destruction of the sovereign state of Yugoslavia, whereby the international bankers took over the resource wealth of the entire Balkan region, and the U.S. military gained forward bases for further incursions into Asia.

Do we need to say that none of this was ever voted on by the American electorate? But they bought into it nevertheless, both with their silence and through participation in a generally favorable job market in the emerging service occupations, particularly finance.

By the time George W. Bush was inaugurated president in January 2001, the U.S. was facing a disaster. $4 trillion in wealth had vanished when the bubble collapsed. NAFTA caused even more American manufacturing jobs to disappear abroad. The Neocons who were moving into key jobs in the Pentagon knew they would soon have new wars to fight in the Middle East, with invasion plans for Afghanistan and Iraq ready to be pulled off the shelf.

But the U.S. had no economic engine available to generate the tax revenues Bush would need for the planned wars. At this moment Chairman Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve stepped in. Over a two year period from 2001-2003 the Fed lowered interest rates by over 500 basis points. Meanwhile, the federal government removed all regulatory controls on mortgage lending, and the housing bubble was on. $4 trillion in new home loans were pumped into the economy, much of it through subprime loans borrowers could not afford.

The Fed began to put on the brakes in 2003, but the mighty work of re-floating a moribund economy had been accomplished. By late 2006 another recession loomed, but it would take two more years before the crisis of October 2008 brought the entire system down.

The impact on the job market was immediate and profound. By the time Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008, the U.S. was mired in seemingly endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the worst recession since the Great Depression was picking up speed. In order to prevent total disaster, the Bush administration ended its eight years of catastrophic misrule with a flourish, by allocating over $700 billion in financial system bailouts to cover the bad loans the banks had been making since Greenspan gave the housing bubble the green light.

It is now November 2009. Since Barack Obama was inaugurated in January, unemployment has soared from 7.9 percent to 10.2 percent. A few hundred billion dollars were allocated for “stimulus” purposes, but most of that went to pay unemployment benefits and to keep state and local governments from laying off more employees.

A fraction has been distributed for highway improvements, but largely through the bank bailouts the federal deficit has been running at an annual rate of $1.5 trillion, by far the largest in history, with the national debt now topping $12 trillion. Ironically, those Americans who still have productive jobs continue to grow in efficiency, with productivity up over five percent in the last year.

So much federal money has been spent that the Obama administration has been struggling to make its health care proposals budget-neutral through a raft of new taxes, fees, and penalties, and by announcing in recent days that the government’ first priority must now shift to deficit reduction. The word “austerity” has been mentioned for the first time since the Carter administration. Yet Congress voted $655 billion in military expenditures to continue fighting in the Middle East. A U.S. military attack on Iran, possibly in conjunction with Israel, would surprise no one.

So where do we now stand?

At present, the Federal Reserve is trying to prevent a total economic collapse. Interest rates are near-zero, to the chagrin of foreign investors in U.S. Treasury securities, and close to half of new Treasury debt instruments have been bought by the Federal Reserve itself as a way of providing free money for federal government expenditures.

But the U.S. economy shows no signs of coming back, with no economic driver emerging that could bring it back. For all the talk about alternative energy, there has been no significant growth of any home-grown industry that could possibly make up so much lost ground in either the short or the long-term.

The industries in the U.S. that are holding up are the military, including arms exports, universities that are attracting large numbers of students from abroad, especially China, and health care, especially for the aging baby boomer population. But the war industry produces nothing with a long-term economic benefit, and health care exists mainly to treat sick people, not produce anything new.

None of this provides a foundation that can bring about a restoration of prosperity to 300 million people when the jobs of making articles of consumption are increasingly scarce. On top of everything else, since government inevitably looks to its own requirements first, the total tax burden continues to increase to the point where the average employee now pays close to 50 percent of his or her income on taxes of all types, including federal and state income taxes, real estate taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, government fees, etc. Plus the cost of utilities continues to rise steadily and threatens to skyrocket if cap-and-trade legislation is passed.

The Obama administration has no plans to deal with any of this. They have projected a budget for 15 years hence that shows the budget deficit decreasing and tax revenues going way up, but it is all lies. They have no roadmap for getting us there and no plans for following the roadmap if it portrayed a realistic goal. And yet the U.S. military is still trying to conquer Asia. It is madness.

And it is madness because the big decisions are not made by the U.S., by Congress, or by the Obama administration. The U.S. has, for half-a-century, been marching to the tune played by the international financial elite, and this fact did not change with the election of 2008. The financiers have put the people of this nation $57 trillion in debt, according to the latest reports, counting debt at the federal, state, business, and household levels. Interest alone on this debt is over $3 trillion of a GDP of $14 trillion. Failure of our political leadership to deal with this tragedy over the past three decades is nothing less than treason.

But then again, at some point the decision was made that the U.S. and its population would be discarded by history, the economic status of the nation reduced to a shadow of what it once was, but that its military machine would be used for the financial elite’s takeover of the world until it is replaced by that of some other nation. All indications are that the next country up to bat as military enforcer for the financiers is China.

There you have it. That, in my opinion, is the past, present, and future of this nation in a nutshell. Great evils have been done in the world in the last century, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Except…. and that’s what each person caught up in these travesties must decide. What are you going to do about it?

In mulling over this question, it would be wise to recognize that the dominance of the financial elite has largely been exercised through their control of the international monetary system based on bank lending and government debt. Therefore it’s through the monetary system that change can and must be made.

The progressives are wrong to think the government should go deeper in debt to create more jobs. This will just create an even deeper hole of debt future generations will have to crawl out of.

Rather the key is monetary reform, whether at the local or national levels. People have lost control of their ability to earn a living. But change could be accomplished through sovereign control by people and nations of the monetary means of exchange.

This control has been stolen. It is time to take it back. One way would be for the federal government to make a relief payment to each adult of $1,000 a month until the crisis lifted. This money could be earmarked for goods and services produced within the U.S. and used to capitalize a new series of community development banks. I have called this the “Cook Plan.”

The plan could be funded through direct payment from a Treasury relief account without new taxes or government borrowing. The payments would be balanced on the credit side by GDP growth or be used by individuals to pay off debt. It would be direct government spending as was done with Greenbacks before and after the Civil War without significant inflation.

Another method increasingly being used within the U.S. today is local and regional credit clearing exchanges and the use of local currencies or “scrip.” Use of such currencies could be enhanced by legislation at the state and federal levels allowing these currencies to be used for payment of taxes and government fees as well as payment of mortgages and other forms of bank debt. The credit clearing exchanges could be organized as private non-profit regional currency co-operatives similar to credit unions.

These would be immediate emergency measures. In the longer run, sovereign control of money and credit must be returned to the public commons and treated as public utilities. This does not mean exclusive government control to replace bank control. As stated previously, it would be done in partnership between government and private trade exchanges. Nor does it mean government takeover of business, industry, or the banking system, though all should be regulated for the common good and fairly taxed.

This program would lead to a new monetary paradigm where money and credit would be available by, as, when, and where needed, to facilitate trade between and among legitimate producers of goods and services. In this way trade and commerce will come to serve human freedom, not diminish it as is done with today’s dysfunctional partnership between big government trillions of dollars in debt and big finance with the entire world in hock.

Such a change would be a true populist revolution.

Richard C. Cook is a former federal analyst who writes on public policy issues. He is an advisor to the American Monetary Institute on its model monetary reform legislation soon to be introduced in Congress. His latest book is We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform. His website


The LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC) today released an address by Lyndon LaRouche, which was delivered by video recording to a December 3-4 conference held in Moscow under the title "Let the Earth Live! From the Clash of Civilizations to Their Cooperation." LaRouche's presentation had top billing in the main proceedings, held today, being scheduled for airing after introductory remarks from conference Organizing Committee Chairman Sergei Baburin, rector of the Russian State University of Commerce and Economics and former deputy speaker of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

Following LaRouche's video, which was announced by the conference organizers under the title "Agreement Among Four Powers Can Avert Total Collapse," scheduled speakers were Natalia Vitrenko, chairman of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, and Gen. Leonid Ivashov, the former foreign relations head of the Russian Ministry of Defense and current president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies. On the conference as lead-off speaker in the afternoon session was Schiller Institute founder and Chairman of the German Civil Rights Movement-"Solidarity" (BueSo), Helga Zepp-LaRouche.

The chief sponsors of this event are the Russian Anti-Globalist Resistance and Gen. Ivashov's Academy of Geopolitical Studies. The conference invitation was titled, "Save Human Dignity For The Sake Of Mankind!" Other listed speakers include Tatyana Shishova, a leader of the Anti-Globalist Resistance, who is a teacher and an expert on the drug/counterculture degradation of children and the family, Deputy Minister of Information from the Moldovan Transdniestr Republic V. Rykovanova, and Borislav Milosevic, the younger brother of deceased Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

The participants, among whom are representatives of European "anti-globalist" layers who are virulently anti-American, were in for a shock from LaRouche's speech, in which the U.S. economist posed the common tasks of mankind, with the horizon goal of a successful Mars colonization, making the human species into "no longer Earthlings," but "now people of the Universe or, as they say in Russia, the Cosmos." This can only be accomplished, LaRouche said, through the utter defeat of imperialist monetarism by sovereign nation-states, led by the four-power combination of Russia, China, India and, without fail, the United States. Likewise, Helga Zepp-LaRouche warned that Europe could do nothing effective in today's world and will not escape from the worsening financial and economic crisis, as long as it remains in the vise of the just-finalized EU Lisbon Treaty dictatorship.


Remarks of Lyndon LaRouche to the conference "Save Human Dignity for the Sake of Mankind," Moscow, Russia, Dec. 3-4, 2009 (recorded Nov. 18, 2009).


Since the developments of this Summer, there's been a great change in the situation in the world at large. Following the period of the Rhodes conference [Oct. 8-12, 2009], we had the effects of the negotiations between China's President and Russia's President, setting the terms which were later followed up on, with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the new agreement with China on the development, the shared development, of Siberia.

This has made a fundamental change in the direction of history—this development, and its consequences. Now, the world has shifted from the former domination by the Atlantic Ocean, as the relationship between Europe and the Americas; and now, between the United States, and the Americas, across the Pacific, into the Indian Ocean, with the nations of Asia, and touching Africa.

This means that the great area of development in Siberia, especially in northern and eastern Siberia, is now opened for its realization: that the cooperation between China and Russia, in the development of this area of Siberia, has produced a fundamental change in the strategic orientation of the planet as a whole. And, hopefully, this is a more or less permanent change for generations yet to come.

What we have on our hands, is the vast resources of countries such as Mongolia, and Russia—in Siberia, northern Siberia. This is a development which affects the populations of Africa, particularly on the Indian Ocean coast. It affects India, Southeast Asia, China, and Russia. It means that there's a change in world history from a trans-Atlantic orientation of modern civilization, which has been the case, essentially, since Christopher Columbus, to a new period, where the relationship of the United States, across the Pacific, to Asia and also to the coast of Africa, and to Australia, will be the dominant feature.

Especially in Asia, we have large populations. Russia, for example, has not a large population, comparable to the scale of China or India, but it has a very special role, with the territory of Siberia. China and India: China, 1.4 billion people; India, 1.1 billion people; the comparably large populations of Indonesia, and so forth. This means that the combination of the realization of the development of the raw materials potential, and production potential, in Siberia, is now being combined with the large populations typified by those of China and India; to combine raw materials and the labor force together, not to loot a territory of its raw materials, but to develop that territory, and to develop the peoples participating in the development of that territory.

This is the new world economy, if we escape the dangers that exist now. And we have to shift our thinking to that.

We also have to shift our thinking to something else.

The future of mankind, even though it's some generations distant, now, depends upon the development of the colonization of the Moon, as a manufacturing center for building pieces of equipment which will convey man to the colonization of Mars. This will be a fundamental change in the character of the apparent human destiny, over this period of time. And this program, which is now agreed upon, so far, by Russia and China, will be the starting point.

Those in the United States who know their history, who know their strategic history, realize this is a fundamental change. The world is now going to have a trans-Pacific orientation, as opposed to a trans-Atlantic orientation. And that will be for a long time to come. Because combining the populations, which are numerous, but underdeveloped, with a process of development of the raw-materials areas of Siberia and related places, is the solution for the present world problem. And we should look at these things in that way.

We also have to look ahead to Mars, the Mars colonization, which this will help to make possible. It will be several generations distant, before we do that. There are numerous problems, scientific problems, that have to be overcome, not so much in getting to Mars—we already know how to get to Mars—but to get men and women safely to Mars, and back, there are some problems that have to be worked out, on that one.

So, therefore, this will be the character of the coming period of history, provided we get through the present crisis.

But, there are certain parts of the world, which are not willing to accept this. The British Empire, for example. (Australia—yes, Australia will tend to be very much interested in this. Australia has resources, such as large quantities of thorium and uranium, and these resources will be very useful, not only for Australia, but for its neighbors. Thorium nuclear reactors are a very special feature of a development program during this period, and for support of this.) But, in general, you're going to have opposition from what we call the British Empire, which is not the empire of the British people; it's an empire which is based on London and the British interests, which is international. It's the international monetarist system.

And what we're going into, with this reform, with the Russia-China agreement, is the inception of an alternative to a monetarist system: a shift to a credit system. That is, instead of having an international currency, which exerts imperial power, authority over the power of nation-states, and over their economy; instead of a globalized system, we'll have a system of sovereign nation-states, in cooperation through their credit systems in the development of the planet. That's the direction we should be going in. That's what my purpose is in this.

However, in order to meet that mission—the mission not merely of starting this development, which the Russia-China cooperation begins, including Russia-China-India and other countries—we have to develop the science and technology which goes together with a Mars orientation.

Mankind is creative, instinctively. No animal is creative. Only mankind, only the human mind is creative. Living processes are creative; life is creative. But it's not consciously creative. Even the inanimate world, so-called, is creative. The evolution of the stars, the evolution of stellar systems is a creative process. But the difference is: Man, individually, is creative. And it's the willful creativity by Man, which is going to shape the future of the Solar System, and beyond.

We're looking to that. In order to realize the objectives which stand before us now, we have to give mankind a new mission—mankind as a whole. The mission is typified by the idea of the Mars colonization. This requires us to make the kinds of changes, in terms of scientific progress, which are needed for mankind's future existence.

We have many problems on this planet. And we can not solve those problems, extensively, without going into a development of the Solar System as a habitat of mankind. We're on the edge of doing that, scientifically. There are many scientific discoveries, yet to be made, which will make it possible to act for man's colonization of Mars. That will be in some time to come. But we need now: We need the intention of accomplishing the Mars colonization. We need to educate and develop generations of young people, who will be oriented to that kind of mission. In the coming period, we will have the birth of young people, who will be part of the colonization of Mars, in one way or the other, before this century is out.

We need to give mankind a sense of purpose, developmental purpose, not only throughout the planet, but through the influence of Earth on the adjoining regions of the Solar System, and beyond.

Those objectives are feasible. There are, admittedly, many problems to be solved, scientific problems, which are not yet resolved. We have many questions. But, essentially, we know this is feasible. We know this should be feasible within two or three generations. What we have to do, is give to people, who will be the grandchildren, born now, to give them something to realize. When we're dead and gone, they will be there, three generations from now, four generations from now. They will be the people who actually colonize areas beyond Earth itself. We need to give them the opportunity to do so. We need to give society, in the meantime, the mission-orientation of achieving that colonization, for our descendants, three generations or so down the line.

So, now we have a new situation. The old imperial system—and, some people may disagree with this, but there's only one empire on this planet. It's the British Empire. It's not the empire of the British people; it's the empire of an international monetarist system. And it's the monetarist system, which is the empire.

The advantage of the United States in this, is that the United States is not a monetarist nation. We do not believe, in our Constitutional system, in monetarism. We believe in a credit system. It is a feature of our Constitution, which is lacking in Europe. And our crucial role, as was the case with Franklin Roosevelt, our crucial role in society, is to promote this kind of change, away from a monetarist system, which is the true form of imperialism. Many people talk about imperialism; they use the label for many things. Mostly, it's nonsense, scientifically. There's only one kind of imperialism we've known, in European experience during the past 3,000 years, and that is monetarism, as such. And that's what we have to destroy.

Yes, there is a British domination of the planet, controlling the monetary system, as such, in the tradition of Keynes, and so forth. We have to eliminate that. But, we have to replace it with something, and this means going to a credit system, like that of the United States under Franklin Roosevelt, in which each nation's credit system is sovereign. And you have cooperation, on a fixed exchange rate, among sovereign economies. We can cooperate in long-term creation of credit, for the fulfillment of these kinds of projects, which the present treaty-agreement between Russia and China signifies. That's what I'm committed to. I'm looking forward to it.

And I think that we, who are conscious of these goals, of these kinds of goals, we wish to defend the sovereignty of cultures, the sovereignty of nation-states. We wish a system of cooperation among sovereign nation-states, for common ends, without tampering with the culture of the respective nations.

We need to have a conception, a task-oriented conception, of the goals toward which we're aimed, in the future—two or three generations. We have to have a conception of what are the steps we must take now, to realize those goals, three generations ahead.

And I think we have the potential for doing that, just now: what's happened between China and Russia, which is not going to stop there. It's oriented toward bringing India in more fully. It's going mean trying to create a situation in which India cooperates with Pakistan, in defending themselves, both, against what's coming out of Afghanistan from European sources, in terms of drug-trafficking and so forth.

There are many challenges of that type. But we can achieve that. We can achieve that, provided we come to extend what has been agreed between China and Russia, extend that on a broader scale, as the beginning of a Pacific-oriented development of the planet as a whole. And at the same time, with a mission orientation toward the development of an industrial base on the Moon, which is indispensable for the task of the colonization of Mars.

And when mankind has reached the point, that we have developed the launching of the colonization of Mars, and know it's going to work, then mankind has gone to an entirely new phase of its existence. We are no longer Earthlings. We are now people of the Universe or, as they say in Russia, the Cosmos.

Remarks of Helga Zepp-LaRouche to the conference "Save Human Dignity for the Sake of Mankind," Moscow, Russia, Dec. 3-4, 2009  

Dear Friends,

I believe that most of you will agree with me that the system of globalization today is several orders of magnitude more bankrupt than was the Communist planned economy between 1989 and 1991. Those who say that the worst is already over, are lying. As you can see now, it is merely getting, what is called in English, a second wind—that is, a person is really already out of breath, but rouses himself for one final effort.

Twenty-eight months after the outbreak of the systemic crisis at the end of July 2007, the casino economy is more aggressive than ever before. We have bigger banks than we did, even prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, because of various mega-mergers. High-risk deals are in full swing. The only thing that has occurred is that unbelievable amounts of liquidity have been pumped in to rescue the banks—which will not succeed anyway, because they are hopelessly bankrupt. In America alone, over $23 trillion in liquidity has been pumped in. Similar sums in Europe—and yet the real economy is in free fall around the world.

A new bubble is taking shape; the commercial real estate market is near collapse; the so-called credit default swap market—i.e., the credit insurance market—is near collapse. A new, very big danger is the new dollar carry trade, which means that the next mega-crash is only a matter of time, and then—unless there is a tremendous change—there is the danger of plunging into chaos and the danger of hyperinflation, like in Weimar in 1923, only this time worldwide.

As my husband, Lyndon LaRouche, explained in his video address, the agreement reached in early October between Russia and China was potentially the beginning of a new credit system. And other sovereign nations should associate themselves with it. If Russia, China, India, and, hopefully soon, the U.S. work together, this can certainly lead to a new credit system.

Europe's Role

In my remarks, I would like to discuss Europe's role in this context. As long as the European nations are trapped in the corset of the EU, Europe has no chance to overcome this crisis. Although, of course, the EU bureaucracy in Brussels says exactly the opposite: namely, that European integration is necessary so that Europe can assert itself as a regional power against other rising regional powers in the world.

This is a falsehood which is usually spread by the proponents of the EU, saying that anyone who is critical of the EU is anti-European. That is absolutely not the case; one can certainly be for Europe, but in the spirit of de Gaulle: a Europe of the Fatherlands.

The problem with the current EU is that, at least since the Maastricht Treaty, it has been on the road to becoming a true empire. If you consider developments after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the manipulation by Margaret Thatcher, with her "Fourth Reich" campaign; by Françcois Mitterrand, who even threatened war, if Germany would not give up the D-Mark; and by Bush Sr., who wanted to force Germany to contain itself, then you can see in retrospect that all these efforts to integrate Germany into the EU were essentially intended, at the very least, to severely restrict Germany's role in the economic development, first, of the Soviet Union, and then, of Russia.

In 1991, the opportunity had existed to place East-West relations on a completely new footing, and to organize real peace for the 21st Century, since there was no longer an enemy. But the problem was that precisely at that time, in the senior Bush's administration, the neocons around Cheney, Bush, Shultz, and Rumsfeld wanted to establish the American Century doctrine, and to establish the special relationship between Britain and the United States as virtually the beginning of a new world government. The result was the first Gulf War.

The pursuit of this idea of a world empire was interrupted during the eight years of the Clinton Administration, but globalization spread rapidly, of course, in its economic and financial aspects. For example, in 1996, Richard Perle placed the policy of the so-called "Clean Break" on the agenda, via then-Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu; this policy was, essentially, that all governments that were hostile to such a new world government would be eliminated by "regime change," in one way or another.

In January 2001, Lyndon LaRouche warned that the new Bush Administration would be faced with so many economic problems that there was a danger that it would stage a new Reichstag Fire. And it happened, exactly nine months later, on Sept. 11, 2001; and just one day later, Dick Cheney stood before the international press and claimed that it was clearly proven that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were to blame for Sept. 11. That was later the pretext for the strike against Iraq, and, of course, for the Afghanistan War.

The Maastricht Treaty, which defines Europe in the form of the EU, must be seen against this background, because it was not just about the containment of the reunited Germany by EU integration, but also about the so-called reform of policy toward Russia, which in the '90s had resulted in economic devastation.

Germany had to give up the deutschemark and accept monetary union and the euro. Chancellor Helmut Kohl said, at that time, that he knew for sure that a monetary union without political union could not work. But he was forced, by various very evil maneuvers—including the murder of Alfred Herrhausen, who was then the head of Deutsche Bank—to give up the D-mark; and one can only conclude that, since that time, the EU has actually become a substructure of globalization.

The behavior of Brussels and the EU Commission since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2007 proves that they have not deviated from the neo-liberal paradigm in any way. The new EU Foreign Minister, Mrs. Ashton, now has a staff of 7,000 people, who have potentially more power than any of the EU's member governments, and who will have a very large role in foreign and defense policy. The EU has also made it clear that it wants to stick with "perfecting" free trade; they insist on concluding the WTO's Doha Round. It has now been admitted that the EU's policy in the health sector is the same as the British QALY—quality adjusted life years; i.e., prioritization of health care for people who can be quickly re-integrated into the workforce, while children and old people will fall through the cracks and receive less medical care. This goes in the direction of the policy that the Nazis called Tiergarten 4 (T4), and which at that time led to the definition of "a life not worth living."

Just what a monster the EU bureaucracy has become can be seen nowhere better than in agriculture, where in Germany, for example, one-third of dairy farmers have lost their livelihoods, and many more are in danger of going bankrupt in the coming weeks and months, because the EU's pricing policy is quite obviously intended to replace family farms with so-called agro-industrial complexes.

I venture the forecast that if the EU maintains its current neo-liberal policies, the worsening of the crisis will lead to a revolt against the EU itself—not only by individual member states, but also by the vocational groups concerned, who, because of this policy, really cannot survive.

If Europe sticks with the current EU policy, then, there is no mechanism that could protect industry and the common good, because the EU Stability Pact and the madness of the so-called "debt brake," which is also enshrined in the Basic Law in Germany now, has robbed governments of any means, such as state credit creation, to do what is necessary to overcome the economic crisis. And if Europe maintains this policy, Europe—no matter what happens in the rest of the world—would plunge into a new Dark Age.

The Alternative

On the other hand, there is an alternative. If agreement is reached among Russia, China, India, and, hopefully, the U.S., then individual European nations, as sovereign states, could become part of this new credit system. In that case, I certainly see a very positive role for Germany, France, Italy, and the other European countries. For example, the German Mittelstand [small and medium-sized enterprises] has industrial capabilities that are urgently needed for the development of Eurasia.

I think that's the path we must take, because every nation in Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America need to evolve as individual sovereign nations, in the best possible way. That, moreover, is the idea that was developed by Nikolai Kusansky [Nicolaus of Cusa]: that harmony in the macrocosm is only possible if all microcosms develop in the best possible way.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization has just published in its annual report, that a total of 1.2 billion people go hungry every day. I think that shows the real scandal of the system of globalization. And therefore, one of the new tasks for cooperation among sovereign republics must be to put the elimination of hunger, of poverty—especially in Africa and Latin America—on the agenda.

We must pose to ourselves the common goal, as Mr. LaRouche has indicated, that manned spaceflight be the next stage, which can unite mankind on a higher level. This decision as to which direction we go—chaos and decline, or a new, just world economic order?—is a decision that, in all likelihood, we will face in the coming weeks and months. And I think we should confront this historic challenge with courage and confidence.


Patrick Wood, Editor

As previously noted in Pawns of the Global Elite, Barack Obama was groomed for the presidency by key members of the Trilateral Commission. Most notably, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission with David Rockefeller in 1973, who was Obama's principal foreign policy advisor.

The pre-election attention is reminiscent of Brzezinski's tutoring of Jimmy Carter prior to Carter's landslide election in 1976.

For anyone who doubts the Commission's continuing influence on Obama, consider that he has already appointed no less than eleven members of the Commission to top-level and key positions in his Administration.

According to official Trilateral Commission membership lists, there are only 87 members from the United States (the other 337 members are from other regions). Thus, in less than two weeks since his inauguration, Obama's appointments encompass more than 12% of Commission's entire U.S. membership.

Is this a mere coincidence or is it a continuation of dominance over the Executive Branch since 1976? (For important background, read The Trilateral Commission: Usurping Sovereignty.)

* Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner
* Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice
* National Security Advisor, Gen. James L. Jones
* Deputy National Security Advisor, Thomas Donilon
* Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee, Paul Volker
* Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis C. Blair
* Assistant Secretary of State, Asia & Pacific, Kurt M. Campbell
* Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg
* State Department, Special Envoy, Richard Haass
* State Department, Special Envoy, Dennis Ross
* State Department, Special Envoy, Richard Holbrooke

There are many other incidental links to the Trilateral Commission, for instance,

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is married to Commission member William Jefferson Clinton.

Geithner's informal group of advisors include E. Gerald Corrigan, Paul Volker, Alan Greenspan and Peter G. Peterson, among others. His first job after college was with Henry Kissinger at Kissinger Associates.

Brent Scowcroft has been an unofficial advisor to Obama and was mentor to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Robert Zoelick is currently president of the World Bank

Laurence Summers, White House Economic Advisor, was mentored by former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin during the Clinton administration.

There are many other such links, but these are enough for you to get the idea of what's going on here.
Analyze the positions

Notice that five of the Trilateral appointees involve the State Department, where foreign policy is created and implemented. Hillary Clinton is certainly in line with these policies because her husband, Bill Clinton, is also a member.

What is more important than economic recovery? Paul Volker is the answer.

What is more important than national intelligence? Gen. James Jones, Thomas Donilon and Adm. Dennis Blair hold the top three positions.

What is more important than the Treasury and the saving of our financial system? Timothy Geithner says he has the answers.

The State Department is virtually dominated by Trilaterals: Kurt Campbell, James Steinberg, Richard Haass, Dennis Ross and Richard Holbrooke.

This leaves Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations. The U.N. is the chosen instrument for ultimate global governance. Rice will help to subvert the U.S. into the U.N. umbrella of vassal states.
Conflict of interest

Since 1973, the Commission has met regularly in plenary sessions to discuss policy position papers developed by its members. Policies are debated in order to achieve consensuses. Respective members return to their own countries to implement policies consistent with those consensuses.

The original stated purpose of the Trilateral Commission was to create a "New International Economic Order." Its current statement has morphed into fostering a "closer cooperation among these core democratic industrialized areas of the world with shared leadership responsibilities in the wider international system." (See The Trilateral Commission web site)

U.S. Trilateral members implement policies determined by a majority of non-Americans that most often work against the best interests of the country.

"How," you say?

Since the administration of Jimmy Carter, Trilaterals held these massively influential positions:

* Six out of eight World Bank presidents, including the current appointee, Robert Zoelick
* Eight out of ten U.S. Trade Representatives
* President and/or Vice-President of every elected administration (except for Obama/Biden)
* Seven out of twelve Secretaries of State
* Nine out of twelve Secretaries of Defense

Is this sinking in? Are you grasping the enormity of it?
Endgame is at hand

For the Trilateral crowd, the game is about over. The recent reemergence of original members Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Paul Volker serves to reinforce the conclusion that the New International Economic Order is near.

The Trilateral Commission and its members have engineered the global economic, trade and financial system that is currently in a state of total chaos.

Does that mean that they have lost? Hardly.

As I recently wrote in Chorus call for New World Order, they are using the crisis to destroy what remains of national sovereignty, so that a New World Order can finally and permanently be put into place.

The Obama presidency is a disingenuous fraud. He was elected by promising to bring change, yet from the start change was never envisioned. He was carefully groomed and financed by the Trilateral Commission and their friends.

In short, Obama is merely the continuation of disastrous, non-American policies that have brought economic ruin upon us and the rest of the world. The Obama experience rivals that of Jimmy Carter, whose campaign slogan was "I will never lie to you."

When the Democrat base finally realizes that it has been conned again (Bill Clinton and Al Gore were members), perhaps it will unleash a real political revolution that will oust Trilateral politicians, operatives and policies from the shores of our country.

If the reader is a Democrat, be aware that many Republicans and conservatives are still licking their wounds after finally realizing that George Bush and Dick Cheney worked the same con on them for a disastrous eight years of the same policies!


Patrick Wood

Timothy Geithner is a rising star within the membership of the Trilateral Commission: He is highly educated, has extensive regulatory experience, and is wiling to bend, break or obscure the rules to favor his global elite bosses.

In November 2008 when Geithner was President of the NY Federal Reserve, just before becoming Obama's Secretary of the Treasury, recently discovered e-mails reveal that Geithner and the NY Fed pressured the bailed-out AIG into keeping it's mouth shut about which banks were receiving taxpayer funds in exchange for toxic assets known as "credit swaps." (This story was made possible by copies of e-mails between Fed and AIG officials that were recently secured by California Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA.))

Furthermore, the NY FED and AIG then conspired to officially hide the event when AIG was required to make a regulatory filing to the SEC on December 24, 2008: The Fed crossed out the reference on its records and AIG excluded the facts on their filing.

In November 2008, the NY Fed was officially in charge of negotiations between AIG and those banks that were "to big to fail." More than a dozen banks, including Goldman Sachs and Societe Generale SA, received payments of $62.1 billion from AIG for worthless mortgage-backed contracts. What a sweetheart deal they got, too: 100 cents on the dollar!

No wonder that Geithner wanted to hide the details.

On behalf of the taxpayer, AIG was supposed to negotiate steep discounts for these worthless contracts. Yet, in October, the NY Fed had ordered AIG to not seek discounts from the banks, which directly dinged taxpayers for at least $13 billion.

Around November 24, 2008, when Geithner learned that Obama intended to nominate him for the top Treasury job, he was officially recused from matters dealing with specific companies. In other words, he ran like a rabbit and insulated himself from any further involvement that might be discovered during his Senate confirmation hearings.

Geithner successfully obscured his still-hidden dealings with AIG and was subsequently confirmed to be the head watchdog and guardian of America's money center.

This level and sophistication of corruption is without parallel in the history of the world. It is calculated, brazen and blatant.  

Remember that in September 2008, then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry "Hammerin' Hank" Paulson demanded $700 billion in bailout funds from Congress with no strings attached. Paulson literally extorted the money by claiming that America would completely collapse in days or weeks if he didn't get the money authorized immediately. The fact that Paulson was formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs, a company with heavy representation in the Trilateral Commission, didn't deter his demands nor Congress' total capitulation to them.  

U.S. taxpayers should demand that Congress immediately start impeachment proceedings to remove Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Perhaps the threat of a publicly-broadcast Senate trial would motivate Obama to fire him before other incriminating evidence could be presented.

From a layman's perspective, criminal charges facing Geithner might start with something like these:

Perjury - lying to and withholding information from the U.S. Senate while under oath

Theft - illegally diverting billions of Treasury funds to selected global banks  

Conspiracy to conceal a criminal act - coercing AIG to file false regulatory statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Malfeasance - commission of an unlawful act in the course of an official capacity

The August Review has long pointed out and documented cases where members of the Trilateral Commission have discovered ways to raid the U.S. Treasury for private gain. A few of these articles include:

America Plundered by the Global Elite - May 18, 2005

Plundering the Public Purse - March 21, 2008

BAILOUT: America's Financial Ruin - October 6, 2008

It should be reiterated that all bankers and corporate executives are not greedy and corrupt. In fact, the vast majority are loyal Americans, law-abiding, family oriented and civic-minded. The small group of internationalists who are members of the Trilateral Commission are the polar opposite of mainstream America and live and operate as if they are above the law and any accountability to the people of the countries where they have business interests. From its founding in 1973 by Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Rockefeller, the Trilateral Commission has never had more than 400 members at any one time; of those members, only about one third are directly connected to banks and global corporations. Since Commission membership is drawn from Europe, Asia and North America, U.S. membership is obviously quite small.

The August Review's 2009 article Obama: Trilateral Commission Endgame was not widely criticized when it reported that about 12 percent of the U.S. membership had been appointed by President Obama to top-level positions in his administration: Timothy Geithner, Susan Rice, Gen James Jones, Thomas Donilon, Paul Volker, Adm. Dennis Blair, Kurt Campbell, James Steinberg, Richard Haas, Dennis Ross and Richard Holbrooke. Another Trilateral member, Robert Hormats was appointed later in 2009.

If America is to survive this pandemic of high-level corruption, then this Trilateral Commission hegemony must first be jetisoned from all positions and departments of our government; merely electing another party in November 2010 will not accomplish this.  
Patrick Wood

President Reagan ultimately came to understand Trilateral’s value and invited the entire membership to a reception at the White House in April 1984”

— David Rockefeller, Memoirs, 20021

{sidebar id=1} According to each issue of the official Trilateral Commission quarterly magazine Trialogue:

The Trilateral Commission was formed in 1973 by private citizens of Western Europe, Japan and North America to foster closer cooperation among these three regions on common problems. It seeks to improve public understanding of such problems, to support proposals for handling them jointly, and to nurture habits and practices of working together among these regions.”2

Further, Trialogue and other official writings made clear their stated goal of creating a “New International Economic Order.” President George H.W. Bush later talked openly about creating a “New World Order”, which has since become a synonymous phrase.

This paper attempts to tell the rest of the story, according to official and unofficial Commission sources and other available documents.

The Trilateral Commission was founded by the persistent maneuvering of David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Rockefeller was chairman of the ultra-powerful Chase Manhattan Bank, a director of many major multinational corporations and "endowment funds" and had long been a central figure in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Brzezinski, a brilliant prognosticator of one-world idealism, was a professor at Columbia University and the author of several books that have served as "policy guidelines" for the Trilateral Commission. Brzezinski served as the Commission's first executive director from its inception in 1973 until late 1976 when he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

The initial Commission membership was approximately three hundred, with roughly one hundred each from Europe, Japan and North America. Membership was also roughly divided between academics, politicians and corporate magnates; these included international bankers, leaders of prominent labor unions and corporate directors of media giants.

The word commission was puzzling since it is usually associated with instrumentalities set up by governments. It seemed out of place with a so-called  private group unless we could determine that it really was an arm of a government - an unseen government, different from the visible government in Washington. European and Japanese involvement indicated a world government rather than a national government. We hoped that the concept of a sub-rosa world government was just wishful thinking on the part of the Trilateral Commissioners. The facts, however, lined up quite pessimistically.

If the Council on Foreign Relations could be said to be a spawning ground for the concepts of one-world idealism, then the Trilateral Commission was the "task force" assembled to assault the beachheads. Already the Commission had placed its members in the top posts the U.S. had to offer.

President James Earl Carter, the country politician who promised, "I will never lie to you," was chosen to join the Commission by Brzezinski in 1973. It was Brzezinski, in fact, who first identified Carter as presidential timber, and subsequently educated him in economics, foreign policy, and the ins-and-outs of world politics. Upon Carter's election, Brzezinski was appointed assistant to the president for national security matters. Commonly, he was called the head of the National Security Council because he answered only to the president - some said Brzezinski held the second most powerful position in the U.S.

Carter's running mate, Walter Mondale, was also a member of the Commission. (If you are trying to calculate the odds of three virtually unknown men, out of over sixty Commissioners from the U.S., capturing the three most powerful positions in the land, don't bother. Your calculations will be meaningless.)

On January 7, 1977 Time Magazine, whose editor-in-chief, Hedley Donovan was a powerful Trilateral, named President Carter "Man of the Year." The sixteen-page article in that issue not only failed to mention Carter's connection with the Commission but also stated the following:

“As he searched for Cabinet appointees, Carter seemed at times hesitant and frustrated disconcertingly out of character. His lack of ties to Washington and the Party Establishment - qualities that helped raise him to the White House - carry potential dangers. He does not know the Federal Government or the pressures it creates. He does not really know the politicians whom he will need to help him run the country.”3

Is this portrait of Carter as a political innocent simply inaccurate or is it deliberately misleading? By December 25, 1976 - two weeks before the Time article appeared - Carter had already chosen his cabinet. Three of his cabinet members – Cyrus Vance, Michael Blumenthal, and Harold Brown - were Trilateral Commissioners; and the other non-Commission members were not unsympathetic to Commission objectives and operations. In addition, Carter had appointed another fourteen Trilateral Commissioners to top government posts, including:

C. Fred Bergsten (Under Secretary of Treasury)

James Schlesinger (Secretary of Energy)

Elliot Richardson (Delegate to Law of the Sea)

Leonard Woodcock (Chief envoy to China)

Andrew Young (Ambassador to the United Nations)

As of 25 December 1976, therefore, there were nineteen Trilaterals, including Carter and Mondale, holding tremendous political power. These presidential appointees represented almost one-third of the Trilateral Commission members from the United States. The odds of that happening “by chance” are beyond calculation!

Nevertheless, was there even the slightest evidence to indicate anything other than collusion? Hardly! Zbigniew Brzezinski spelled out the qualifications of a 1976 presidential winner in 1973:

“The Democratic candidate in 1976 will have to emphasize work, the family, religion and, increasingly, patriotism...The new conservatism will clearly not go back to laissez faire. It will be a philosophical conservatism. It will be a kind of conservative statism or managerism. There will be conservative values but a reliance on a great deal of co-determination between state and the corporations.”4

On 23 May 1976 journalist Leslie H. Gelb wrote in the not-so-conservative New York Times, "(Brzezinski) was the first guy in the Community to pay attention to Carter, to take him seriously. He spent time with Carter, talked to him, sent him books and articles, educated him."5 Richard Gardner (also of Columbia University) joined into the "educational" task, and as Gelb noted, between the two of them they had Carter virtually to themselves. Gelb continued: "While the Community as a whole was looking elsewhere, to Senators Kennedy and paid off. Brzezinski, with Gardner, is now the leading man on Carter's foreign policy task force."6

Although Richard Gardner was of considerable academic influence, it should be clear that Brzezinski was the "guiding light" of foreign policy in the Carter administration. Along with Commissioner Vance and a host of other Commissioners in the State Department, Brzezinski had more than continued the policies of befriending our enemies and alienating our friends. Since early 1977 we had witnessed a massive push to attain "normalized" relations with Communist China, Cuba, the USSR, Eastern European nations, Angola, etc. Conversely, we had withdrawn at least some support from Nationalist China, South Africa, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), etc. It was not just a trend - it was an epidemic. Thus, if it could be said that Brzezinski had, at least in part, contributed to current U.S. foreign and domestic policy, then we should briefly analyze exactly what he was espousing.

Needed: A More Just and Equitable World Order

The Trilateral Commission held their annual plenary meeting in Tokyo, Japan, in January 1977. Carter and Brzezinski obviously could not attend as they were still in the process of reorganizing the White House. They did, however, address personal letters to the meeting, which were reprinted in Trialogue, the official magazine of the Commission:

“It gives me special pleasure to send greetings to all of you gathering for the Trilateral Commission meeting in Tokyo. I have warm memories of our meeting in Tokyo some eighteen months ago, and am sorry I cannot be with you now.

“My active service on the Commission since its inception in 1973 has been a splendid experience for me, and it provided me with excellent opportunities to come to know leaders in our three regions.

“As I emphasized in my campaign, a strong partnership among us is of the greatest importance. We share economic, political and security concerns that make it logical we should seek ever-increasing cooperation and understanding. And this cooperation is essential not only for our three regions, but in the global search for a more just and equitable world order (emphasis added). I hope to see you on the occasion of your next meeting in Washington, and I look forward to receiving reports on your work in Tokyo.

“Jimmy Carter”7

Brzezinski's letter, in a similar vein, follows:

“The Trilateral Commission has meant a great deal to me over the last few years. It has been the stimulus for intellectual creativity and a source of personal satisfaction. I have formed close ties with new friends and colleagues in all three regions, ties which I value highly and which I am sure will continue.

“I remain convinced that, on the larger architectural issues of today, collaboration among our regions is of the utmost necessity. This collaboration must be dedicated to the fashioning of a more just and equitable world order (emphasis added). This will require a prolonged process, but I think we can look forward with confidence and take some pride in the contribution which the Commission is making.

“Zbigniew Brzezinski”8

The key phrase in both letters was "more just and equitable world order." Did this emphasis indicate that something was wrong with our present world order, that is, with national structures? Yes, according to Brzezinski, and since the present "framework" was inadequate to handle world problems, it must be done away with and supplanted with a world government.

In September 1974 Brzezinski was asked in an interview by the Brazilian newspaper Vega. "How would you define this new world order?" Brzezinski answered:

“When I speak of the present international system I am referring to relations in specific fields, most of all among the Atlantic countries; commercial, military, mutual security relations, involving the international monetary fund, NATO etc. We need to change the international system for a global system in which new, active and creative forces recently developed - should be integrated. This system needs to include Japan. Brazil, the oil producing countries, and even the USSR, to the extent which the Soviet Union is willing to participate in a global system.”9

When asked if Congress would have an expanded or diminished role in the new system, Brzezinski declared "...the reality of our times is that a modern society such as the U.S. needs a central coordinating and renovating organ which cannot be made up of six hundred people."10

Brzezinski developed background for the need for a new system in his book Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era (1969). He wrote that mankind has moved through three great stages of evolution, and was in the middle of the fourth and final stage. The first stage he described as "religious," combining a heavenly "universalism provided by the acceptance of the idea that man's destiny is essentially in God's hands" with an earthly "narrowness derived from massive ignorance, illiteracy, and a vision confined to the immediate environment."

The second stage was nationalism, stressing Christian equality before the law, which "marked another giant step in the progressive redefinition of man's nature and place in our world." The third stage was Marxism, which, said Brzezinski, "represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man's universal vision." The fourth and final stage was Brzezinski's Technetronic Era, or the ideal of rational humanism on a global scale - the result of American-Communist evolutionary transformations.11

In considering our structure of governance, Brzezinski stated:

“Tension is unavoidable as man strives to assimilate the new into the framework of the old. For a time the established framework resiliently integrates the new by adapting it in a more familiar shape. But at some point the old framework becomes overloaded. The newer input can no longer be redefined into traditional forms, and eventually it asserts itself with compelling force. Today, though, the old framework of international politics - with their spheres of influence, military alliances between nation-states, the fiction of sovereignty, doctrinal conflicts arising from nineteenth century crises - is clearly no longer compatible with reality.”12

One of the most important "frameworks" in the world, and especially to Americans, was the United States Constitution. It was this document that outlined the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Was our sovereignty really "fiction"? Was the U.S. vision no longer compatible with reality? Brzezinski further stated:

“The approaching two-hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence could justify the call for a national constitutional convention to reexamine the nation's formal institutional framework. Either 1976 or 1989 - the two- hundredth an anniversary of the Constitution - could serve as a suitable target date culminating a national dialogue on the relevance of existing arrangements... Realism, however, forces us to recognize that the necessary political innovation will not come from direct constitutional reform, desirable as that would be. The needed change is more likely to develop incrementally and less keeping with the American tradition of blurring distinctions between public and private institution.”13

In Brzezinski's Technetronic Era then, the "nation-state as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state."14

Brzezinski’s philosophy clearly pointed forward to Richard Gardner’s Hard Road to World Order that appeared in Foreign Affairs in 1974, where Gardner stated,

"In short, the 'house of world order' would have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great 'booming, buzzing confusion,' to use William James' famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”15

That former approach which had produced few successes during the 1950’s and 1960’s was being traded for a velvet sledge-hammer: It would make little noise, but would still drive the spikes of globalization deep into the hearts of many different countries around the world, including the United States. Indeed, the Trilateral Commission was the chosen vehicle that finally got the necessary traction to actually create their New World Order.

Understanding the philosophy of the Trilateral Commission was and is the only way we can reconcile the myriad of apparent contradictions in the information filtered through to us in the national press. For instance, how was it that the Marxist regime in Angola derived the great bulk of its foreign exchange from the offshore oil operations of Gulf Oil Corporation? Why did Andrew Young insist that "Communism has never been a threat to Blacks in Africa"? Why did the U.S. funnel billions in technological aid to the Soviet Union and Communist China? Why did the U.S. apparently help its enemies while chastising its friends?

A similar and perplexing question is asked by millions of Americans today: Why do we spend trillions on the “War on Terror” around the world and yet ignore the Mexican/U.S. border and the tens of thousands of illegal aliens who freely enter the U.S. each and every month?  

These questions, and hundreds of others like them, cannot be explained in any other way: the U.S. Executive Branch (and related agencies) was not anti-Marxist or anti-Communist - it was and is, in fact, pro- Marxist. Those ideals which led to the heinous abuses of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and Mussolini were now being accepted as necessary inevitabilities by our elected and appointed leaders.

This hardly suggests the Great American Dream. It is very doubtful that Americans would agree with Brzezinski or the Trilateral Commission. It is the American public who is paying the price, suffering the consequences, but not understanding the true nature of the situation.

This nature however, was not unknown or unknowable. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) issued a clear and precise warning in his 1979 book, With No Apologies:

“The Trilateral Commission is international and is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power – political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical.”16

Unfortunately, few heard and even fewer understood.

Follow the Money, Follow the Power

What was the economic nature of the driving force within the Trilateral Commission? It was the giant multinational corporations - those with Trilateral representation - which consistently benefited from Trilateral policy and actions. Polished academics such as Brzezinski, Gardner, Allison, McCracken, Henry Owen etc., served only to give "philosophical" justification to the exploitation of the world.

Don't underestimate their power or the distance they had already come by 1976. Their economic base was already established. Giants like Coca-Cola, IBM, CBS, Caterpillar Tractor, Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank, Deere & Company, Exxon, and others virtually dwarf whatever remains of American businesses. The market value of IBM's stock alone, for instance, was greater than the value of all the stocks on the American Stock Exchange. Chase Manhattan Bank had some fifty thousand branches or correspondent banks throughout the world. What reached our eyes and ears was highly regulated by CBS, the New York Times, Time magazine, etc.

The most important thing of all is to remember that the political coup de grace preceded the economic coup de grace. The domination of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government provided all the necessary political leverage needed to skew U.S. and global economic policies to their own benefit.

By 1977, the Trilateral Commission had notably become expert at using crises (and creating them in some instances) to manage countries toward the New World Order; yet, they found menacing backlashes from those very crises.

In the end, the biggest crisis of all was that of the American way of life. Americans never counted on such powerful and influential groups working against the Constitution and freedom, either inadvertently or purposefully, and even now, the principles that helped to build this great country are all but reduced to the sound of meaningless babblings.

Trilateral Entrenchment: 1980-2007

From left: Peter Sutherland, Sadako Ogata, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paul Volcker, David Rockefeller. (25th Anniversary, New York, Dec. 1, 1998. Source: Trilateral Commission)

It would have been damaging enough if the Trilateral domination of the Carter administration was merely a one-time anomaly; but it was not!

Subsequent presidential elections brought George H.W. Bush (under Reagan), William Jefferson Clinton, Albert Gore and Richard Cheney (under G. W. Bush) to power.

Thus, every Administration since Carter has had top-level Trilateral Commission representation through the President or Vice-president, or both!

It is important to note that Trilateral domination has transcended political parties: they dominated both the Republican and Democrat parties with equal aplomb.  

In addition, the Administration before Carter was very friendly and useful to Trilateral doctrine as well: President Gerald Ford took the reins after President Richard Nixon resigned, and then appointed Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President. Neither Ford nor Rockefeller were members of the Trilateral Commission, but Nelson was David Rockefeller’s brother and that says enough. According to Nelson Rockefeller’s memoirs, he originally introduced then-governor Jimmy Carter to David and Brzezinski.

How has the Trilateral Commission effected their goal of creating a New World Order or a New International Economic Order? They seated their own members at the top of the institutions of global trade, global banking and foreign policy.

For instance, the World Bank is one of the most critical mechanisms in the engine of globalization.17 Since the founding of the Trilateral Commission in 1973, there have been only seven World Bank presidents, all of whom were appointed by the President. Of these seven, six were pulled from the ranks of the Trilateral Commission!

Robert McNamara (1968-1981)

A.W. Clausen (1981-1986)

Barber Conable (1986-1991)

Lewis Preston (1991-1995)

James Wolfenson (1995-2005)

Paul Wolfowitz (2005-2007)

Robert Zoellick (2007-present)

Another good evidence of domination is the position of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), which is critically involved in negotiating the many international trade treaties and agreements that have been necessary to create the New International Economic Order. Since 1977, there have been ten USTR’s appointed by the President. Eight have been members of the Trilateral Commission!

Robert S. Strauss (1977-1979)

Reubin O'D. Askew (1979-1981)

William E. Brock III (1981-1985)

Clayton K. Yeutter (1985-1989)

Carla A. Hills (1989-1993)

Mickey Kantor (1993-1997)

Charlene Barshefsky (1997-2001)

Robert Zoellick (2001-2005)

Rob Portman (2005-2006)

Susan Schwab (2006-present)

This is not to say that Clayton Yeuter and Rob Portman were not friendly to Trilateral goals, because they clearly were.

The Secretary of State cabinet position has seen its share of Trilaterals as well: Henry Kissinger (Nixon, Ford), Cyrus Vance (Carter), Alexander Haig (Reagan), George Shultz (Reagan), Lawrence Eagleburger (G.H.W. Bush), Warren Christopher (Clinton) and Madeleine Albright (Clinton) There were some Acting Secretaries of State that are also noteworthy: Philip Habib (Carter), Michael Armacost (G.H.W. Bush), Arnold Kantor (Clinton), Richard Cooper (Clinton).

Lastly, it should be noted that the Federal Reserve has likewise been dominated by Trilaterals: Arthur Burns (1970-1978), Paul Volker (1979-1987), Alan Greenspan (1987-2006). While the Federal Reserve is a privately-owned corporation, the President “chooses” the Chairman to a perpetual appointment. The current Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is not a member of the Trilateral Commission, but he clearly is following the same globalist policies as his predecessors.

The point raised here is that Trilateral domination over the U.S. Executive Branch has not only continued and but has been strengthened from 1976 to the present. The pattern has been deliberate and persistent: Appoint members of the Trilateral Commission to critical positions of power so that they can carry out Trilateral policies.

The question is and has always been, do these policies originate in consensus meetings of the Trilateral Commission where two-thirds of the members are not U.S. citizens? The answer is all too obvious.

Trilateral-friendly defenders attempt to sweep criticism aside by suggesting that membership in the Trilateral Commission is incidental, and that it only demonstrates the otherwise high quality of appointees. Are we to believe that in a country of 300 million people only these 100 or so are qualified to hold such critical positions? Again, the answer is all too obvious.

Where Does the Council on Foreign Relations Fit?

While virtually all Trilateral Commission members from North America have also been members of the CFR, the reverse is certainly not true. It is easy to over-criticize the CFR because most of its members seem to fill the balance of government positions not already filled by Trilaterals.

The power structure of the Council is seen in the makeup of its board of directors: No less than 44 percent (12 out of 27) are members of the Commission! If director participation reflected only the general membership of the CFR, then only 3-4 percent of the board would be Trilaterals.18

Further, the president of the CFR is Richard N. Haass, a very prominent Trilateral member who also served as Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State from 2001-2003.

Trilateral influence can easily be seen in policy papers produced by the CFR in support of Trilateral goals.

For instance, the 2005 CFR task force report on the Future of North America was perhaps the major Trilateral policy statement on the intended creation of the North American Union. Vice-chair of the task force was Dr. Robert A. Pastor, who has emerged as the “Father of the North American Union” and has been directly involved in Trilateral operations since the 1970’s. While the CFR claimed that the task force was “independent,” careful inspection of those appointed reveal that three Trilaterals were carefully chosen to oversee the Trilateral position, one each from Mexico, Canada and the United States: Luis Rubio, Wendy K. Dobson and Carla A. Hills, respectively.19 Hills has been widely hailed as the principal architect of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that was negotiated under President George H.W. Bush in 1992.

The bottom line is that the Council on Foreign Relations, thoroughly dominated by Trilaterals, serves the interests of the Trilateral Commission, not the other way around!

Trilateral Globalization in Europe

The content of this paper thus far suggests ties between the Trilateral Commission and the United States. This is not intended to mean that Trilaterals are not active in other countries as well. Recalling the early years of the Commission, David Rockefeller wrote in 1998,

“Back in the early Seventies, the hope for a more united EUROPE was already full-blown – thanks in many ways to the individual energies previously spent by so many of the Trilateral Commission’s earliest members.” [Capitals in original]20

Thus, since 1973 and in parallel with their U.S. hegemony, the European members of the Trilateral Commission were busy creating the European Union. In fact, the EU's Constitution was authored by Commission member Valéry Giscard d'Estaing in 2002-2003, when he was President of the Convention on the Future of Europe. [For more on the EU, see European Union: Dictatorship Rising? and The Globalization Strategy: America and Europe in the Crucible]

The steps that led to the creation of the European Union are unsurprisingly similar to the steps being taken to create the North American Union today. As with the EU, lies, deceit and confusion are the principal tools used to keep an unsuspecting citizenry in the dark while they forge ahead without mandate, accountability or oversight. [See The Globalization Strategy: America and Europe in the Crucible and Toward a North American Union]


It is clear that the Executive Branch of the U.S. was literally hijacked in 1976 by members of the Trilateral Commission, upon the election of President Jimmy Carter and Vice-President Walter Mondale. This near-absolute domination, especially in the areas of trade, banking, economics and foreign policy, has continued unchallenged and unabated to the present.

Windfall profits have accrued to interests associated with the Trilateral Commission, but

the effect of their “New International Economic Order” on the U.S. has been nothing less than devastating. (See America Plundered by the Global Elite for a more detailed analysis)

The philosophical underpinnings of the Trilateral Commission are pro-Marxist and pro-socialist. They are solidly set against the concept of the nation-state and in particular, the Constitution of the United States. Thus, national sovereignty must be diminished and then abolished altogether in order to make way for the New World Order that will be governed by an unelected global elite with their self-created legal framework.

If you are having negative sentiment against Trilateral-style globalization, you are not alone. A 2007 Financial Times/Harris poll revealed that less than 20 percent of people in six industrialized countries (including the U.S.) believe that globalization is good for their country while over 50 percent are outright negative towards it.21 (See Global Backlash Against Globalization?) While citizens around the world are feeling the pain of globalization, few understand why it is happening and hence, they have no effective strategy to counter it.

The American public has never, ever conceived that such forces would align themselves so successfully against freedom and liberty. Yet, the evidence is clear: Steerage of America has long since fallen into the hands of an actively hostile enemy that intends to remove all vestiges of the very things that made us the greatest nation in the history of mankind.


Rockefeller, David, Memoirs (Random House, 2002), p.418

Trialogue, Trilateral Commission (1973)

Time Magazine, Jimmy Carter: Man of the Year, January 7, 1977

Sutton & Wood, Trilaterals Over Washington (1979), p. 7

New York Times, Jimmy Carter, Leslie Gelb, May 23, 1976


Trialogue, Looking Back…And Forward, Trilateral Commission, 1976


Sutton & Wood, Trilaterals Over Washington (1979), p. 4

ibid. p. 5

Brzezinski, Zbigniew, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era (New York: Viking Press, 1973), p. 246.




Gardner, Richard, The Hard Road to World Order, (Foreign Affairs, 1974) p. 558

Goldwater, Barry, With No Apologies, (Morrow, 1979), p. 280

Global Banking: The World Bank, Patrick Wood, The August Review

Board of Directors, Council on Foreign Relations website

Building a North American Community, Council on Foreign Relations, 2005

Rockefeller, David, In the Beginning…” The Trilateral Commission at 25, 1998, p.11

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